Monday, February 11, 2019

Indian Airforce Chief Visits Bangladesh

Chief of the Air Staff Visits Bangladesh

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC, Chief of the Air Staff Indian Air Force is embarking on a four day official visit to Bangladesh from 11 to 14 February 2019. This is a bilateral goodwill visit to a SAARC nation wherein the CAS is scheduled to visit operational and training units of Bangladesh Air Force.

CAS will also meet the Chiefs of the three Defence Services and the Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The visit would provide further impetus towards increasing defence cooperation and pave the way for greater interaction. This would also strengthen relationships and enable engagement in productive exchanges between the two Air Forces.

PM Lays Foundation Stone for Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Sela Tunnel Project in Arunachal Pradesh, today. The Project costing Rs. 687 crore being constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) would be completed in the next three years. It covers a total distance of 12.04 kms which consist of two tunnels of 1790 and 475 meters. Once completed this would result in:-
​All weather connectivity to Tawang and forward areas.

​Reduction in more than one hour of travelling time from Tezpur to Tawang.

​Travellers would be able to avoid the dangerous snow covered Sela top at a height of 13,700 feet.​
All weather connectivity to Tawang would be a game changer for the local population ahead of Sela apart from the much required strategic edge for our security forces. 

Seminar on ‘Trauma Care Nursing – Newer Modalities Perspectives and Challenges’ Organised at BHDC

An Inter – Command Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) on ‘Trauma Care Nursing – Newer Modalities Perspectives and Challenges’ is organised at Base Hospital Delhi Cant (BHDC)on 09 and 10 February 2019. DGMS (Army) Lt Gen M Ganguly was the Chief Guest of the event. Maj Gen AnnakuttyBabu the Guest of Honour. 

All Brig Military Nursing Service (MNS) from different commands and medical professionals of service hospitals and local super speciality hospitals graced the event.80 delegates from service hospitals and 20 delegates from civil institutions attended the CNE. The programme started with formal lamp lighting ceremony by dignitaries followed by welcome address by Commandant BHDC Maj Gen AS Sandhu. Overview of CNE was highlighted by Principal Matron BHDC Brig HV Gomathy. Brilliant encapsulation of scientific sessions by all eminent speakers and interaction between civil and service dignitaries was the highlight of the event. The two day scientific session was aimed to enlighten the recent advances in trauma care thus reducing mortality and morbidity.

Successful Flight Test of SFDR

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the second indigenously developed ‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)’ propulsion based missile system from ITR, Chandipur, Odisha today. Ground booster, separation of ground booster and Nozzle-less-booster performance were found satisfactory. Missile was guided to high altitude to simulate aircraft release conditions and subsequently nozzle-less-booster was ignited. SFDR based missile accelerated to achieve ramjet Mach number successfully. The trajectory was tracked by telemetry and radar stations till touchdown. All the mission objectives have been met. 

The success of SFDR propulsion technology is a significant milestone and will pave the way for development of long range air-to-air missiles in the country. 

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO and associated team members for the stupendous mission.

Passing Out Parade – CG Law and OPS Course 67th Batch

56 Assistant Commandants of the 67th Batch passed out of the portals of Indian Coast Guard Training Centre, Kochi on successful completion of CG Law and Operations Course today.  On this occasion, an impressive Passing Out Parade (POP) was held at Indian Coast Guard District Headquarters No. 4, Kochi. POP marked the successful culmination of the Technical Courses for the trainee officers. During the 10 weeks CG Law and Operations Course, the officers were imparted instructions on Coast Guard specific subjects such as Maritime Law, Search and Rescue, Fisheries Monitoring & Control, Prevention and Control of Marine Pollution and other subjects related to the CG Charter of Duties. The training at CGTC (K) has been conducted with due impetus to build up professional calibre, practical broad base knowledge and critical thinking skills in the Officer trainees which are the key requisites for manning state of art platforms of Indian Coast Guard, handling critical & dynamic situations at sea, besides also for grooming them for a career with the Indian Coast Guard. 

The Passing Out Parade was reviewed by Inspector General RajanBargotra, PTM, TM, Commander Coast Guard Region (North East).  During the ceremonial review, the Flag Officer awarded Sword of Honour and Book prizes to the meritorious trainee officers. Assistant  Commandant AS Pawar (1558-P) was awarded 1st prize for scoring highest marks in the 67th batch CG Law and Ops Course.  The coveted “Director General Sword of Honour” for the 66th Batch was awarded to Assistant Commandant Sahil Chopra (1497-C) for standing first in overall order of merit. Speaking on the occasion, Inspector General RajanBargotra advised the trainees to always put Nation and the Service before everything else as the Nation and its Citizens, as a whole, have reposed tremendous faith in the armed forces.  He exhorted the to imbibe right attitude, professionalism and moral probity. He also appraised the trainee Officers that during Service, they would be required to take tough decisions under most challenging circumstances and demanding working environment wherein they will be tested for leadership qualities and professionalism. IG Bargotra also congratulated the Officers and Staff of CGTC for successful conduct of the Course through high-quality and standardised training and for the parade.

POP was witnessed by a large number of senior Coast Guard and Naval Officers as well as civil dignitaries.

INS Trikand participates in exercise Cutlass Express 2019

INS Trikand, a front-line warship of the Indian Navy, participated in a multinational training exercise ‘CUTLASS EXPRESS – 19’ held from 27 Jan to 06 Feb 19. The aim of the exercise was to improve law enforcement capacity, promote regional security and progress inter-operability between the armed forces of the participating nations for the purpose of interdicting illegal maritime activity in the Western Indian Ocean. During the exercise, Naval, Coast Guard and Marine Police personnel from a number of East African countries were jointly trained by mentors from USA, India, and Netherlands, with support of international organisations like the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Combined Maritime Force (CMF) and European Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR). The Indian Navy played a significant role in ‘CUTLASS EXPRESS – 19’, being involved in planning, coordination and execution. Through INS Trikand, the IN provided a platform for live Visit Board Search Seizure (VBSS) drills, which proved to be of immense training value to the participating nations.

The exercise was conducted in two phases. The first, called the Command Post Exercise (CPX) was conducted from 27 Jan to 02 Feb 19. It involved training of personnel on shore for coordination and conduct of VBSS operations. During the CPX, extensive training and interaction was carried out between the officers and sailors of the Indian Navy and personnel from the participating nations. The training included exposure of the personnel to the various software tools used by the US Navy and the European Union for integration of maritime information, with a view to positively identify a suspicious vessel and direct a VBSS operation against it.

The second phase called the Final Training Exercise (FTX) was conducted from  03 - 05 Feb 19. This phase consisted of actual boarding operations at sea and live boardings were out onboard INS Trikand, anchored off Djibouti harbour. The closing ceremony of the event was held at the Djibouti Naval Base on the morning of 06 Feb 19.

The ship’s stay at Djibouti harbour also enabled the crew to interact professionally with the crew of other ships in harbour, including the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Ship Samidare, Spanish Naval ship ESPS Relampago and United States Ship Chung Hoon. Mutual ship visits were organised with a view to promote inter-operability between the Indian Navy and the other navies, as also understanding of best practices. Officers from the ship’s Operations team also visited Camp Lemonnaire, the American base at Djibouti. During this visit, the Commanding Officer called on Major General James D Craig, US Army, Commander Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa. The IN officers also visited the Japanese military base at Djibouti, where they were briefed about the JMSDF operations towards anti-piracy in the region. 

INS Trikand, commanded by Captain Srinivas Maddula, is equipped with a versatile range of sensors and weapons enabling her to address threats in all the three dimensions – air, surface and sub-surface. The ship’s extended endurance at sea makes it an ideal platform for prolonged deployments, including the present one, in which she is carrying out Presence and Surveillance missions and Anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and Western Arabian Sea. The ship is a part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet and operates under the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, headquartered at Mumbai. 

Curtain Raiser: Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise 11-12 February 2019

Disaster Risk Reduction has a pivotal role in supporting adaptation to climate change as well as sustained development. Jaipur based Sapta Shakti Command will be conducting Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise  EXERCISE RAHAT on behalf of Indian Army over a period of two days on 11th and 12th February 2019.  The Joint exercise in coordination with NDMA is being conducted to synergise efforts for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.  Representatives from Armed Forces, National Disaster Management Response Mechanism (NDMRM), SDMA Rajasthan and DLMAs will be participating in the exercise. 

As a prelude to the exercise, a curtain raiser has been organized at Jaipur Military station on 4th February 2019, during which Lieutenant General Cherish Mathson, GOC-in-C Sapta Shakti Command while interacting with the media informed the modalities of conduct of the exercise. The exercise will be conducted simultaneously in three places, beginning at Jaipur in the form of a table top exercise and at Kota and Alwar wherein on-ground capability and coordination amongst various stake holders will be demonstrated.

Defence Budget 2019-20

Union Budget for the financial year 2019-20, presented by the Finance Minister in the Parliament today, envisaged a total outlay of Rs. 27,84,200 crore. Out of this Rs. 3,18,931.22 crore has been earmarked for Defence (excluding Defence Pension). For Defence Pension, an amount of Rs. 1,12,079.57 crore has been provided in BE 2019-20. Total Defence Allocation, including Defence Pension, accounts for 15.48% of the total Central Government expenditure for the year 2019-20. 
The allocation of Rs. 3,18,931.22 crore represents a growth of 7.93% over Budget Estimates (2,95,511.41 crore) and 6.87% over Revised Estimates (Rs. 2,98,418.72 crore), respectively for the financial year 2018-19.  

Out of Rs. 3,18,931.22 crore allocated for the financial year 2019-20, Rs. 2,10,682.42 crore for Revenue (Net) expenditure and Rs. 1,08,248.80 crore for Capital expenditure for the Defence Services and the Organisations/Departments under the Ministry of Defence. The amount of Rs. 1,08,248.80 crore allocated for Capital expenditure, includes modernisation related expenditure. The Capital Allocation of the Ministry of Defence under BE 2019-20 is 32.19% of the total Central Government Capital Expenditure, which is Rs. 3,36,293.00 crore.
Army Dental Corps Celebrates 78th Corps Day

Army Dental (AD) Corps celebrated 78thCorps Day here today. Director General Dental Service (DGDS)and Col Comdt AD Corps Lt Gen SM Londhe with officers and men paid homage to the brave soldiers at Amar JawanJyoti, India Gate, New Delhi.

Starting as a dental branch of Indian Medical Services, AD Corps has evolved into a forerunner of professional health care service provider to soldiers, both in peace and at war.DGDS made an endorsement in visitors book & interacted with all ranks present at the occasion.         
Later on this day, a Special SainikSammelan was organized, where DGDS applauded the exemplary professionalism shown by military dental fraternity and urged them to continue the stride forward to meet higher professional expectations of the Armed Forces.
DAC approval for Indigenous construction of Six Project 75(I) submarines under strategic partnership model.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in a landmark decision today, also approved indigenous construction of six submarines for the Indian Navy at a cost of over Rs. 40,000 crores. This is the second project under the MoD’s ambitious Strategic Partnership (SP) model that aims at providing a significant fillip to the Government’s ‘Make in India’ programme. SP model envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian Strategic Partner, who will collaborate with foreign OEM to set up production facilities in the country. The model has a long term vision of promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment through transfer of niche technologies and higher Indigenous Content thereby enhancing self-sufficiency for meeting the future requirements of the Armed Forces. 

Today's DAC approval would be second such project following indigenous production of 111 Naval Utility Helicopters that was approved in August 2018. Construction of six submarines under Project 75(I) will provide a major boost to the existing submarine design and manufacturing eco-system in India through transfer of design and equipment technology as well as necessary skill sets. The DAC also approved the acquisition of approximately 5000 Milan Anti Tank Guided Missiles for the Army.

Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P takes over as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command

Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P, PVSM, AVSM, VSM took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command on 31 January 2019 at Mumbai. He succeeds Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC who retires upon superannuation, after an illustrious career spanning nearly four decades in the Indian Navy. At an impressive ceremonial parade at the Naval Air Station Shikra, the outgoing and incoming Cs-in-C were accorded a guard of honour after which they proceeded to the Headquarters of the Western Naval Command for a formal handing-taking over. On completion, Vice Admiral Luthra was “pulled out” in true Naval tradition.

An alumnus of Sainik School Kazhakootam and the National Defence Academy, Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P was commissioned in the Indian Navy on 01 Jul 81. As a specialist in Missiles and Gunnery, the Flag Officer has served onboard frontline warships of the IN and abroad. Adm Ajit Kumar has the rare distinction of commanding six warships, including two foreign warships.  These include guided missile corvette INS Kulish, guided missile frigate INS Talwar, guided missile destroyers INS Mumbai and INS Mysore. The officer has completed the Naval Higher Command Course and is also an alumnus of the prestigious Naval War College, Newport, USA. The Admiral has served extensively in the Western Naval Command in the initial specialist and Command appointments. He has also been the Chief Staff Officer (Operations) of the Western Naval Command.
Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P has also been the Flag Officer Commanding of the Eastern Fleet, Commanding Officer of  Gunnery and Missiles Training School - INS Dronacharya, served as Assistant Chief of Personnel (Human Resources Development) at IHQ MoD (Navy) and  Chief of Staff of Southern Naval Command. Promoted to the Rank of Vice Admiral in Dec 13, he has been Commandant of the prestigious Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala. His tenures also include extensive experience in higher joint defence management where he has served as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations) and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Policy Planning & Force Development), at the HQ IDS.  He was the Vice Chief of Naval Staff at Naval Headquarters, New Delhi in his last appointment prior to assuming charge as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command. In recognition of his service, he has been awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2006, the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014 and Param Vishist Seva Medal in 2019 by the Hon’ble President of India.

Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, AVSM, VSM assumes charge as Vice Chief of the Naval Staff

Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, AVSM, VSM has assumed charge as Vice Chief of the Naval Staff today, on 30 Jan 2019. An alumnus of Sainik School, Amaravathi Nagar and National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Pune, he was commissioned into the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy on 01 Jul 1982.

The Admiral has held various challenging Staff and Command assignments during his distinguished naval career spanning more than three decades. After having completed his specialisation in Navigation and Direction at Kochi in 1989, he served as the Navigating Officer of Indian Naval Ships Beas, Nilgiri, Ranvir and Vikrant. His other sea tenures include Commanding Officer of INS Kulish and Ranvir, and Executive Officer onboard INS Brahmaputra. Among his shore tenures, the important ones include Staff officer (Ops/ND) at Indian Naval Work-up team, Head of Training Team (Navy) at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Defence Advisor at the High Commission of India in Singapore and the Chief Staff Officer (Operations) of the Western Naval Command. On promotion to Flag rank, he has held the important assignments of Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), Chief of Staff (COS) of Southern Naval Command and Flag Officer Maharashtra and Gujarat (FOMAG). In the rank of Vice Admiral he has been the Commandant of the National Defence Academy and the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.

He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and has attended the Army Higher Command Course at Mhow as well as the Expeditionary Operations Course at Quantico, Virginia, USA.

He is married to Mrs Geetha Ashok and they have two daughters. 

Vice Admiral MS Pawar, AVSM, VSM Assumes Charge as Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (DCNS)

Vice Admiral MS Pawar, AVSM, VSM has assumed charge as Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff today, 30 Jan 19. An alumnus of Sainik School Korukonda and the 60th course of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune, he was commissioned on 01 Jul 1982. During the ab initio training he was adjudged ‘Best all round Cadet’ and also stood first overall in the year long Sub Lieutenant Technical Courses. He later specialised in Navigation and Direction topping the coveted and highly competitive course.

The Admiral has held various challenging Staff and Command assignments during his distinguished naval career and has had wide ranging experience of over 25 years in sea going billets onboard diverse platforms ranging from small ships to aircraft carrier. He was the Navigating Officer of INS Magar during Op Pawan in Sri Lanka, the Fleet Navigating Officer of the Western Fleet during Kargil War and the Fleet Operations Officer of Western Fleet when the IN commenced anti piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden. He has commanded Indian Naval Ships Nashak as the commissioning CO, Kuthar, Talwar and the Mauritius National Coast Guard Ship Vigilant - the senior ship of the No. 1 Patrol Vessel Squadron. He was also the Commandant of the Mauritius National Coast Guard, during 2003. His Joint Service tenures include instructor at the National Defence Academy and Deputy Assistant Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Maritime) at HQIDS. On promotion to Flag Rank, he has held the key assignments of Flag Officer Sea Training, Chief of Staff of Southern Naval Command and Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Area (FOMAG). As Vice Admiral he has been the Director General Project Seabird and Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command. 

An alumnus of the Royal Naval Staff College, UK; College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai and National Defence College, Delhi, he has won awards at each of these institutions including the prestigious Herbert Lott Prize at Royal Naval Staff college, Greenwich, UK. The Admiral also holds a double MPhil in Defence and Strategic Studies from Universities of Mumbai and Madras. He was awarded commendations by the Chief of Naval Staff and also by the Commissioner of Police, Mauritius in 2003. 

An accomplished long distance runner, the Admiral is married to Mrs Meena Pawar and they have two children.

Contract Signing with M/S Goa Shipyard Limited for Acquisition of two additional Project 1135.6 Follow-on Ships for Indian Navy

An Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between the Government of Republic of India and Government of Russian Federation was concluded on 15 Oct 2016, for construction of additional Project 1135.6 Follow-on ships in India, at M/s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL). In line with the IGA, the Government signed a contract for construction of two ships with Goa Shipyard Ltd, Goa to-date, with scheduled delivery in June 2026 and December 2026 respectively.

The Follow-on P 1135.6 series of frigates, customised to meet the Indian Navy’s specific requirements, are potent platforms, with a mission span covering the entire spectrum of Naval warfare; Air, Surface and Sub-surface. The ships would be equipped to operate in littoral and blue waters; both as a single unit and as consorts of a naval task force. Advanced features of stealth include a special hull design, to limit radar cross-section, low electromagnetic, infrared and under water noise signatures. The ships would carry highly sophisticated and state-of-art weapon systems and sensors. To support these ships through their life cycle, the Indian Navy has put in place requisite infrastructures for training and maintenance. 

Importantly, in line with the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, these ships being constructed at M/s GSL, Goa under Russian assistance, would make these platforms the largest number of ships of a class in service showcasing indigenous equipment such as sonar system, Brahmos missile system, Combat Management System etc.
IAF Jaguar Fighter Aircraft Crashes

An Indian Air Force Jaguar Fighter Aircraft crashed near Gorakhpur today at 1240 hrs. The aircraft was on a routine mission and was airborne from Gorakhpur at 1211 hrs. Aircraft crashed at approximate distance of 46 Km east of Gorakhpur. Pilot ejected safely. A court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.

Ministry of Defence Launches ‘RDP INDIA 2019’

Asa new initiative in sync with the Digital India campaign of the Government, Ministry of Defence had launched a mobile app 'RDP India 2019' on the Republic Day, with the intent of making available the highlights of the Republic Day event, not only to the spectators at Rajpath, but also to the general public all over theworld.

This app contains information about the Parade on Rajpath, New Delhi, including Order of the March, details of the tableaux presented by different States and Ministries, children cultural performances, fly past and names of recipients of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019. It was extremely informative to the spectators witnessing the Parade and was widely appreciated. The app also hadthe provision for live streaming of the Parade.

People who desire to know the theme and ideas depicted in the tableaux and also those who for some reason could not witness the Parade on Rajpath or watch it on TV, can still download the app and gather all information about the event..

India and Maldives to Continue Close Cooperation on Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism 

India and Maldives held substantive discussions on further strengthening bilateral defence cooperation here today. Both side agreed that the two countries would continue their traditionally close cooperation on issues of maritime security, counter-terrorism and medical cooperation. Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated India’s commitment to contribute towards capacity building and training requirements of the Maldives National Defence Forces. 

Earlier, Raksha Mantri received Maldivian Defence Minister Ms Mariya Ahmed Didi at South Block here today who is in India on official bilateral visit.Chief of the Army Staff General BipinRawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P and Additional Director General of the Indian Coast Guard ShriVSR Murthy call on the Maldivian Defence Minister.

Ms Didiwill witness the 70th Republic Day Parade at Rajpath as well as visit various Indian defence institutions such as the Indian Maritime Analysis Centre in Gurugram and Army Training Command in Shimla. She will also interact with National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets, including those from the Maldives, at the NCC Republic Day Camp. 

The second round of the India-Maldives Defence Cooperation Dialogue was also held today.  The Indian delegation was headed by Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra and Maldivian side was led by Chief of Defence Forces of Maldives Major General Abdulla Shamaal.  

Successful Flight Test of LRSAM

Ship launched Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) has been successfully test fired from INS Chennai against an incoming aerial target flying at low altitude,today. The missile destroyed the target with a direct hit. All the mission objectives have been met.  LRSAM has been jointly developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India and M/s Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel for the Indian Navy. 

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO, Indian Navy and associated team members.

Test and Certification Agency clears Biojet fuel for Aircraft

On January 22, 2019, after months of exhaustive ground and flight trials, the indigenous produced bio-fuel has been finally cleared for use by the premier airworthiness certification agency of the country.

In a meeting chaired by Mr Jaypal, Outstanding Scientist and Chief Executive, the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) deliberated in detail the results of various checks and tests conducted on bio-jet fuel as per procedure recommended by top national and international certification agencies. On being completely satisfied with the performance parameters, the agency has formally granted its approval for use of this fuel, produced from non-conventional source i.e. non-edible vegetable/ tree borne oil to be used on military aircraft. The bio-jet fuel has been produced from seeds of Jatropha plant sourced from Chhattisgarh and processed at CSIR-IIP’s lab at Dehradun. This approval enables the IAF to fulfil its commitment to fly the maiden IAF An-32 aircraft on January 26, 2019, with a blend of bio-jet fuel.

Any hardware or software which is to be used on Indian military aircraft, including those operated by Indian Navy or Army has to be cleared for use by CEMILAC before being inducted for regular use. This clearance is a major step for continued testing and eventual full certification of the bio-jet fuel for use on a commercial scale by civil aircraft as well.

Increased demand of bio-jet fuel would give impetus to increase in collection of tree-borne non-edible oil seeds, which, in turn, will help generate ancillary income, increase remuneration for tribal and marginal farmers, and enthuse cultivation/ collection of oilseeds.

Bureau of Indian Standards in Collaboration with Indian Air Force Releases New Standard for Bio-Jet Fuel

To use bio-jet fuel on all military and civilian aircraft, BIS has in collaboration with IAF, research organisations and the industry brought out a new standard for Aviation Turbine Fuels. These specifications will align Indian standards with current international standards.

A committee constituted with domain experts was tasked to originate the required standards. After a series of deliberations over the past nine months, an Indian Standard IS 17081:2019 Aviation Turbine Fuel (Kerosene Type, Jet A-1) containing Synthesised Hydrocarbons, has been formulated.

Air Marshal RKS Shera AVSM VSM, Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance, Indian Air Force and Mrs SurinaRajan, Director General Bureau of Indian Standards, released this standard on 24 January 2019 at Air HQs. This standard would enable the oil companies to manufacture bio-jet fuel for the Indian aviation industry. Given the advent of Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) by 2027, this is a significant development which could reduce the carbon emissions and help India become a green fuel production hub.

INS Kohassa – a New Bird’s Nest in the Andamans

Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur was commissioned as INS Kohassa by Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff today, on 24 Jan 19. The grand ceremony was attended by many dignitaries and senior officials including VAdm Bimal Verma, AVSM, ADC Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command. The ceremony included presentation of Ceremonial Guard, hoisting of the Commissioning Pennant and reading of the Ship’s Warrant by the Commanding Officer, Commander Kuldeep Tripathi. INS Kohassa has been named after a White-Bellied Sea Eagle, which is a large bird of prey, endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

NAS Shibpur was established in 2001 as a Forward Operating Air Base (FOAB) for enhanced surveillance in North Andaman. The close proximity of Coco Islands (Myanmar) and wide expanse of Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) makes the base a very vital asset. The airfield provides sustained detached operations of Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard aircraft. The Air Station presently operates Short Range Maritime Reconnaissance (SRMR) aircraft and helicopters. These aircraft undertake EEZ Surveillance, Anti-Poaching Missions, Search and Rescue (SAR) and Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions within the ANC Area of Responsibility. As a point of interest, during the search operations of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Dornier DO 228s of the Navy and Coast Guard operated from this very base.

NAS Shibpur was identified by NITI Aayog as one of the ‘Early Bird’ project as part of holistic island development. Towards this, IN has been ready in all respects to facilitate civil flight operations from NAS Shibpur. The runway extension to 10,000 ft is also planned in the near future to facilitate operations of wide-bodied aircraft.
Nigrani, Nireekshan and Nakabandi

Exercise Sea Vigil - a Historic Endeavour

Exercise Sea Vigil, India's largest-ever Coastal Defence Exercise was conducted over an intense 36-hour period from 22-23 Jan 19. Exercise Sea - Vigil conceptualised and led by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard saw the simultaneous activation of India's entire Coastal Security apparatus across all nine Coastal States and four Union Territories. The exercise saw the complete support and earnest participation of all Central and State agencies including the MHA, MoD, Customs, CISF, Dept of Fisheries, DGLL, DG Shipping, Port authorities and the Coastal police of all participating states.

Planned in two phases, the Phase I commenced with the deployment of personnel and sea-going units of all stakeholders. 150 ships and 35 aircraft of the Navy and Coast Guard were deployed for the exercise. This when added to sea-going assets of other stakeholders like the State police, CISF, Customs etc reaches an astonishing 500-600 craft at sea. This layered defence provided a near-unbroken 'Nigrani' or surveillance net along the entire coast of India and outlying islands. This was further enhanced by the Chain of radar stations setup along the coast as part of the Coastal surveillance network. All this was fed back to the Joint Operations Centres set up by the Navy at Mumbai, Kochi, Visakhapatnam and Port Blair for monitoring, analysis and response.

The uniform and technical surveillance network was further augmented by the fishing communities along the coast as the 'eyes and ears' of the nation's coastal security construct. The Phase I also saw an intensive audit of all measures put in place since 26/11 to improve the measures of efficiency and effectiveness of coastal security. This 'Nireekshan' was undertaken by multi-agency teams deployed to check and audit important landing points including Fish Landing Centres and Vulnerable areas and important installations along the coast as well as in the hinterland.

The entire coastal security apparatus was thereafter shifted to Phase II commencing 8 pm on 22 Jan 19. This Phase saw attempts to penetrate and land dummy explosives by designated 'RED' forces comprising teams drawn from the Navy Coast Guard, Police and CISF. These teams were given a free hand to commandeer fishing vessels, merchantmen etc and attempt to reach the coast. 8-10 teams were deployed in each state and it is to the credit of all participating agencies that only a few 'attacks' were successful. Many attacks were allowed to 'go-through' to test robustness of Police 'Nakabandi' which was found to be very effective throughout the exercise. The Customs also undertook rummaging of visiting ships at anchorage and in harbour.

Driven by the MHA, the Phase II also saw the exercising of various contingencies on land after an 'assumed' landing. The NSG was also called in to tackle hostage situations in two-three vital installations. Contingencies including hijacking of ships, bomb disposal in malls, attacks and responses on places of worship etc were also exercised and tested for effectiveness. The Crisis Management Groups of states were also activated to deal with such situations.

The Navy, made responsible for overall maritime security including coastal and offshore security since 26/11, will now conduct a detailed debrief for all stakeholders in Mar 19. Debriefs would also be undertaken with all participants at the State and District levels. The feedback of the internal and  external audit and lessons identified are planned to be presented at the next meeting of the National Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS), the nation's highest body that monitors implementation of measures to enhance security post 26/11. This is expected to allow stakeholders to focus efforts on identified vulnerabilities and lacunae. No coast can be completely sealed at all times, however the ability to deter and prevent enemies of the state from unhindered access to land would continue to remain top priority for all stakeholders in the Coastal Security construct. The ability to quickly respond to successful intrusions and diffuse situations in quick time and minimum casualties to people/ infrastructure would also be paramount for the security of the citizens and India.

The ready acceptance of all stakeholders to be a part of the Exercise Sea Vigil and their whole-hearted cooperation and extensive participation indicates high levels of synergy and coordination through a whole-of-government approach of the current government towards national security. This first-ever large scale Coastal Defence Exercise would be now institutionalised to be conducted every two years in addition to the state-focussed Sagar Kavach series of exercises. Sea Vigil 2019 saw the largest mobilisation of maritime and coastal security machinery in India and this sends an unambiguous message to Anti-National Elements that India would spare no effort to defend it's coast and territorial integrity at all times. 

India Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)- 2019

The final planning conference to work out the modalities for Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 is being conducted at Pune on 23-24 January 2019. Delegates from Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Niger & Zambia attended the conference.           

Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 is scheduled to be conducted at Aundh Military Station and College of Military Engineering, Pune from 18 March to 27 March 2019. The joint training exercise is being conducted with more than a dozen African countries & India. It aims at  synergysing humanitarian mine action and joint peace operations. The initial planning conference for the exercise was held in December 2018.

The IAFTX-2019 is a positive step towards growing political and military ties with the member nations of African continent and will boost the already strong strategic cooperation between the countries.

Two-Day Coastal Defence Exercise “Sea Vigil” Concludes

The first coastal defence Exercise Sea Vigil, conducted by the Navy and Coast Guard, in close coordination with State Governments and Union Territories concluded today, 23 Jan 2019. It was the largest such exercise the country had ever witnessed in recent times and saw participation by more than 100 ships, aircraft and patrol boats manned and operated by various security agencies.  

The exercise had commenced yesterday morning and comprised two distinct phases. In the first phase, all stakeholders assessed the robustness of their own organisations. During the second phase, simulated attacks were carried out on vital installations and assets by infiltrating through the sea, in Kerala and Lakshadweep. The security agencies were able to thwart attempts by the opposing force to infiltrate onto the coast using commandeered fishing boats. Response of agencies to other security contingencies such as hijacking of a ship and attack on offshore installations off Kochi Harbour was also assessed. All infiltration attempts will be analysed promptly to identify gaps in the multi-tier security layers at sea, close to the land and also in the hinterland in close coordination with concerned stakeholders.    

Sea Vigil that lasted for over two days, including the mobilisation phase, witnessed a high tempo of operations by all agencies and large-scale deployment of forces. All operational centres of the Navy and Coast Guard and control rooms of Police and Kochi Port were fully activated and exchanged information with each other. During the exercise, multi-agency teams also evaluated the security set up implemented by agencies including at fishing harbours, fish landing centres, police control rooms and ports amongst others.  

Sea Vigil conducted by Indian Navy and assisted by all stakeholders will facilitate in establishing shortfalls, working out new ways to optimise resources, recommend solutions to higher authorities and refine Standard Operating Procedures. With active support from all stakeholders, such exercises further strengthen the overall security architecture and enhance confidence to thwart any misadventure by anti-national elements. 
Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Commander-in-Chief, Coastal Defence periodically reviewed the progress of Ex Sea Vigil in the presence of senior officers from Navy, Coast Guard, Coastal Police and other agencies at the Joint Operations Centre, Kochi.

Indian Navy Coordinates Largest Ever Coastal Defence Exercise Ten Years After "26/11"

Ten years after "26/11", the Indian Navy commenced the largest coastal defence exercise off the Indian coast today. Exercise SEA VIGIL, a first of its kind, is being undertaken along the entire 7516.6 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and is involving all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with all maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.             

Exercise SEA VIGIL aims to comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of the measures taken since '26/11'. Seaward monitoring during the exercise will entail patrolling off coast, in Offshore Development Areas and off our islands by the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, supported by the State Marine Police. Closer coast, strategic assets, ports, Single Point Moorings (SPMs) will be patrolled by designated agencies. Seaward monitoring will also entail inputs from technical means, including intelligence sources. Shore-based monitoring will entail enhanced vigil by the State Police along the coast; monitoring of fish landing centres by state fisheries departments; as also monitoring of port areas by respective port authorities.

The exercise aims to simultaneously activate the coastal security mechanism across all States and Union Territories. The exercise will cover a wide frontage covering for the first time the entire coast of India, including island territories. The exercise will also go deeper, being spread over seaward, coastal, and hinterland areas. Evaluation of critical areas and processes, including inter-agency coordination, information sharing and technical surveillance will be undertaken.  Multi Agency Audit and identification of gaps, shortfalls and incorporation of lessons learnt into SOPs are also the desired outcomes.

While smaller exercises are conducted in coastal states on a biannual basis, including combined exercises amongst adjoining states, the conduct of a security exercise at a national-level is perhaps the first of its kind. It reflects the distance that has been covered since '26/11' and the relative maturing of the organisation for coastal security to take on this large-scale endeavour. Despite, the gains, the challenges are enormous. Exercise SEA VIGIL will provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weakness and this will certainly help further strengthening of maritime security and in turn national security. 

The scale of the exercise is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of units participating and in terms of the objectives to be met. The exercise is a build up towards the major theatre level tri-service exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise] which Indian Navy conducts every two years. SEA VIGIL and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security, including transition from peace to conflict. All Operational assets of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard are participating in the SEA VIGIL. The conduct of the exercise SEA VIGIL is also being facilitated by the Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries, Customs, State Governments and other agencies of Centre/ State.


Post '26/11', the Indian Navy was designated as the agency responsible for overall maritime security, including offshore and coastal security. The Naval Commanders-in-Chiefs at Mumbai, Kochi, Visakhapatnam and Port Blair were also designated as Cs-in-C Coastal Defence. The Indian Coast Guard was designated as the agency responsible for coastal security in territorial waters, including waters to be patrolled by the State Marine Police. In the discharge of these very responsibilities, Exercise 'SEA VIGIL' has been planned by the Indian Navy.

Coastal security is complex construct since it involves activities both at sea and at land. The targets of the terrorists could be well inland. In the aftermath of "26/11", a whole-of-government approach to maritime security was adopted and a large number of measures were taken by a host of stakeholders. At the apex level National Committee on Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS) with Cabinet Secretary at the helm was established to review important matters pertaining to Coastal Security and for effective centre-state coordination. Likewise committees have also been established at State and District level. At the operational level, it included setting up of Joint Operations Centres (JOCs) of the Navy and Coastal Security Operations Centres of the Indian Coast Guard. 

A multi-tiered patrol and surveillance mechanism with focus on technical surveillance and augmenting  Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) through the coastal radar chain and other systems was adopted. Real-time information sharing through the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence (NC3I) Network; greater intelligence and operational coordination were made the focus areas. The sectoral security initiatives in fisheries, offshore, ports and shipping sectors were also adopted. Overall, while there has been significant progress in the past decade, however, there remain concerns, especially in view of continuing threats in the maritime domain.         


Ten years after "26/11" the Indian Navy will coordinate the largest coastal defence exercise off the Indian coast on 22-23 Jan 19, Exercise SEA VIGIL. 

The exercise, a first of its kind, is being undertaken along the entire 7516.6 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and involves all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with all maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities. 

The scale of the exercise is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of units deployed, and in terms of the objectives to be met.
The exercise is a build up towards the major theatre level tri-service exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise] which Indian Navy conducts every two years.
The conduct of the exercise SEA VIGIL has been facilitated by the Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries, Customs, State Governments and other agencies of Centre/ State.

Post '26/11', operational responsibilities for coastal security were entrusted to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. In the discharge of these very responsibilities that Exercise 'SEA VIGIL' has been planned by the Indian Navy.

Exercise SEA VIGIL aims to comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of the measures taken since '26/11'. The exercise will entail both seaward and shore-based monitoring. 

The exercise will in addition to covering the entire coastline, will also go deeper into the hinterland.
Evaluation of critical areas and processes, including inter-agency coordination, information sharing and technical surveillance will be undertaken.  Multi agency audit and identification of gaps, shortfalls and incorporation of lessons learnt into SOPs are also the desired outcomes.

Exercise SEA VIGIL to provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weakness and this will certainly help further strengthening of maritime security and in turn national security.

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