Monday, November 19, 2018

India Stretches Its 'Act East', Post Singapore , Conducts 1st Ever Bilateral Naval Wargame With Indonesia

“Samudra Shakti” - Inaugural Bilateral Naval Exercise between India and Indonesia commences today in Surabaya






The first bilateral naval exercise named “Samudra Shakti” between the Indian and the Indonesian Navy was inaugurated today in Surabaya. These bilateral naval exercises will be conducted in Java Sea and would last until 18 November.

Rear Admiral Mintoro Yulianto, S.Sos, M.Si, Commander of the Second Fleet Command at Puslatkaprang (from the Indonesian Navy) along with H.E. Ambassador Pradeep Kumar Rawat, Ambassador of India to Indonesia and Rear Adm Alok Bhatnagar, NM, witnessed the opening ceremony at the Headquarters of the Second Fleet Command of the Indonesian Navy.  Both sides underscored he importance of increased cooperation between two close maritime neighbours  for ensuring maritime safety and security.

The commencement of this bilateral naval exercise marks a significant forward step in the operational engagement between the two navies following the Ind-Indo Corpat which have been ongoing since 2002. INS Rana ( a destroyer class vessel) commanded by Capt Arun Deswal, will be participating from the Indian Navy and from the Indonesian Navy the units participating would include KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda and Maritime Patrol Aircrafts.

The exercise would be held in two phases: the harbour phase and followed by the sea phase. During the harbour phase there will be course deck visits, and discussions between experts in areas of mutual interest including communication inter-operability. During the sea phase, the ships will conduct various activities pertaining to maritime safety and security, including Search and Rescue as well as procedures of investigating and engaging various types of hostile platforms at sea.

In addition to the exercises and operational level engagements, there are regular exchanges and discussion ongoing between experts of the two navies. The scope of training exchanges has also been expanded to include specialised training based on area of interest. The 6th edition of the bilateral army exercise Garuda Shakti was held in Indonesia earlier this year, and discussions are also ongoing for conduct of bilateral Air Force Exercise later next year.  Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman had also visited Indonesia from 21-24 October and discusses steps to increase bilateral defence cooperation with Indonesia.

It may be noted that following Prime Minister’s visit to Indonesia in end May, it was decided to upgrade the bilateral relationship to  Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and both sides had released a Shared Vision for the Indo Pacific Statement, which underscored deepening of maritime cooperation.

SIMBEX-2018 – 25 Glorious Years and Counting



After an intense sea phase of SIMBEX, Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, ships of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) arrived Visakhapatnam on 16 November.  In what could be termed an unprecedented level of interoperability between the two navies – ships, submarines and aircraft of India and Singapore - undertook multi-dimensional exercises at sea with perhaps very high degree of complexity.  After the initial harbour phase at Port Blair, the exercises witnessed action at sea and have now shifted gears to the second harbour phase at Visakhapatnam which is home to the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) of the Indian Navy.  

Few in 1994 would have predicted that the maiden basic Anti-Submarine Warfare exercises that were held that year between navies of India and Singapore would transform into one of the most high level maritime exercises in the years to come and sustain itself for quarter of a century – a milestone like no other. SIMBEX marked its 25th anniversary and is currently underway.  This year, the exercises are being conducted in four phases, two each in harbour at Port Blair and Visakhapatnam and two sea phases in the Bay of Bengal. 

Phase 1 of the 25th edition of SIMBEX has already witnessed over a dozen ships and submarines and a never seen before number of weapon firings at sea.  The action now shifts to the harbour activities at Visakhapatnam before they kick off the intensive Second Phase of the exercise.  In addition to the number of Operational Conferences towards planning and preparing for the final sea phase scheduled from 19 to 21 November, friendly Volleyball and Basketball matches would also be played between the two navies.  The highlight of the sporting activity is the participation of personnel from RSN in the Vizag-Navy Marathon on 18 November off RK Beach.  It is a signature event in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Visakhapatnam’s largest community event with participants from armed forces, corporate sector, government sector, educational institutions including international participants. The event attracts a large scale tourist population for participation from various states and countries.   Personnel from the RSN would be participating in the 10K Friendship Run. Personnel from Singapore Navy also savoured the local culture and cuisine during their stay at Visakhapatnam.

To mark the historic Silver Jubilee of SIMBEX, Naval Chiefs from both the participating countries would also be in Visakhapatnam.  Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy would host Rear Admiral Lew Chuen Hong, the Chief of Navy of the RSN at the SIMBEX Silver Jubilee Dinner on 18 November.  

On 19 November, the Silver Jubilee Commemoration Ceremony would be held at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam.  In a symbol of growing trust and comfort levels between the two navies, the event will witness unveiling of the SIMBEX logo, and release of commemorative Indian Special Postage Cover and Singaporean Postage Stamp. The simultaneous release of Postal Cover and Stamp by Indian and Singaporean Postal department respectively also highlights the significance of this historic occasion between the two nations.  Earlier, in June this year, the Prime Ministers of both – India and Singapore, on the sidelines of the Shangri La Dialogue held at Singapore had remarked that they looked forward to the 25th and enhanced edition of bilateral annual naval exercise SIMBEX.  

The high intensity final sea phase of the exercises is scheduled to commence on 19 November and will be marked by the presence of Defence Ministers of both India and Singapore.  This in fact would be the first such occasion, when such high level ministerial level presence from both countries would take place at sea.



National Conference And Exhibition On Aerospace And Defence Related Mechanisms


The 11th National Conference and Exhibition on Aerospace and Defence Related Mechanisms (ARMS-2018) was organised by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex and ISRO in association with Indian National Society for Aerospace and Related Mechanism (INSARM), Hyderabad Chapter and BITS Pilani, Hyderabad today. The theme of the Conference was “Advances and Challenges in Aerospace and Defence related mechanisms.”

Dr Tessy Thomas, Director General, Aero, DRDO was the chief guest and during her address she highlighted new developments and capabilities of our country in aerospace and defence related mechanisms. Guest of Honour Dr S Somnath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ISRO gave brief history about the design and development of aerospace and defence related mechanisms at ISRO. He also emphasised the objectives of INSARM and ARMS, a knowledge sharing platform for all scientists and engineers.

Prof G. Sundar, Director, BITS, Dr KM Rajan, Director, ARDE and Dr MRM Babu, Director, ASL welcomed the dignitaries and delegates and briefed about the conference.  Dr V. Venkateswara Rao, Outstanding Scientist, Director, Centre for Advanced Systems, DRDO and Chairman, Organising Committee (ARMS) highlighted the tremendous advancements which have taken place in aerospace sector and which need knowledge of aerospace mechanisms. The Conference aims to highlight advances in the design and development, fabrication, testing & analysis, as well as futuristic concepts of aerospace and defence related mechanisms. This event has brought in scientists, academia, professionals and related entrepreneurs from aerospace and defence sectors under a common platform.”

Key note address was delivered by Dr S. Somnath on 'Highly Reliable Aerospace Mechanism of ISRO'. More than 500 delegates participated in the Conference.



Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani takes over as Director General Naval Projects, Mumbai



Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, VSM took over as the Director General Naval Projects, Mumbai, on 06 Nov 18, on promotion. 

Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani is an alumnus of the 65th course of NDA and was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jan 1985. The Admiral has done the 55th  Defence Services Staff Course and the 54th course of the National Defence College. He holds a Masters Degree in Radar and Communications Engg (MTech) from IIT Delhi. 

The Flag Officer has held various important Operational, Staff and Dockyard appointments in the Indian Navy. He has done three afloat tenures on the Aircraft Carrier Viraat and has commanded INS Valsura, the premier training establishment for the Electrical Branch of the Indian Navy. His other shore appointments include Director of Personnel and Director of Ship Production at IHQ MoD(Navy), AGM (Planning) at Naval Dockyard (Vishakhapatnam) and Manager, Electrical and Power Systems at Naval Dockyard (Mumbai).

The Admiral is a recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished service. As a Flag Officer, he has served as the Assistant Chief of Materiel (Modernisation), IHQ MoD(N) and thereafter as Chief Staff Officer (Technical), HQWNC before taking over the reins of the Naval Dockyard Mumbai in January this year.

He takes over as Director General Naval Projects from Vice Admiral AK Saxena who is now the Controller Warship Production and Acquisition at IHQ MoD(N), New Delhi.

SIMBEX-18 kicks off at Port Blair

There are only a few militaries that can boast of continuity and cooperation in the field of maritime combat drills like the navies of India and Singapore and that too sustained for 25 years.  When the frontline ships of the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy and those of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) made their entry into the azure waters of Port Blair in the pristine Andaman and Nicobar Islands on  10 November 2018, it was a treat for the on lookers.  The ships arrived at Port Blair for the commencement of the 25th edition of the SIMBEX - Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise.  Started as Basic ASW exercises in 1994, today these exercises have graduated to complex maritime combat drills including missile and torpedo firings and shore based intensive professional exchanges.  

Home to India’s only Tri-Services Command, the crew of the participating warships and the Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft and integral helicopters, would go through the last minute exercise coordination details with a fine comb at Port Blair.  During the harbour phase, in addition to operational conferences towards preparation of the sea phase of the exercises in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, courtesy calls by both sides on the Senior Officers are also scheduled. 

In addition, Subject Matter Expert Exchanges or SMEE as they are commonly known by militaries worldwide are also scheduled.  The SMEEs, have over the years provided a platform to formally exchange best practices of respective navies so that learning and improvement never ceases.  Cross deck visits by air crew towards deck familiarisation are also planned.  

Over the next two days, Port Blair is playing host to Indian Naval Ships Ranvijay, Satpura, Sahyadri, Shakti, Kirch, Kadmatt, Sumedha and Sukanya along with the RSN Ships, Formidable, Steadfast, Unity, Valiant and Vigour.  Maritime Patrol Aircraft of both countries – the versatile P8I of the Indian Navy and Fokker F50 from Singapore would also be based out of Port Blair.  Local Flotilla ships based at Port Blair would be ensuring seafront security including in the exercise areas towards smooth conduct of the exercise.

Also participating in the exercises are RSS Swordsman, an Archer Class submarine and Swift Rescue, a Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV).  While the Indian Navy recently inducted a DSRV on the western seaboard and is slated to induct another on its eastern seaboard, it continues to exercise with various navies and assimilate best practices as well as enhance interoperability.

The exercises at sea this year are unprecedented and largest of kind in terms of the complexity and weapon firings. The sea phase would be held under Commander Task Group of Joint Forces of SIMBEX-18, Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. Senior Lieutenant Colonel Ho Jee Kien, Commanding Officer of 188 Missile Corvette Squadron would be leading the Republic of Singapore Navy during the first sea phase and would also be the Deputy Task Group Commander.        



MOD enhances Financial Powers of Vice Chiefs of Tri-Services by Five Times

The Ministry of Defence has delegated greater financial decision-making powers to Vice Chiefs of the three Services in order to expedite the decision making process involved in the revenue procurements of the Armed Forces. With the new delegation, the Vice Chiefs will be able to exercise financial powers upto five times more than the existing powers with an enhanced ceiling of Rs. 500 crores. This is likely to give another fillip to the capacity of the three Armed Forces.
 
Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has taken this important decision to augment the arms and ammunition reserves of the Armed Forces to enhance their operational preparedness.


Dedication Ceremony on 09 Nov 18

Marking a major milestone towards capacity building and capability enhancement of the Indian Army, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Honorable Defence Minister, today dedicated the globally combat proven M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzers, K-9 Vajra-Tracked Self Propelled Guns and 6x6 Filed Artillery Tractors to the service of the Nation. Ceremony to dedicate was held at Devlali Field Firing Ranges and was attended by Honorable Raksha Rajya Mantri, Dr Subhash Ram Rao Bhamre, General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, senior serving officers of the Indian Army & Ministry of Defence, representative of manufacturing industries as also dignitaries from the governments of USA and South Korea.

The 155mm, 39 Calibre Ultra Light Howitzers have been procured from USA under government to government foreign military sales and will be assembled in India by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defense. The gun system is versatile, light weight and can be heli-lifted, thereby providing much needed flexibility in employment in various terrains obtainable in the country.

The first ten K9 Vajra 155mm/52 calibre guns have been imported from Hanwha Techwin of South Korea in semi knocked down state and have been assembled by L&T in India. The balance 90 guns will be largely manufactured in India with some major assemblies coming from South Korea. Its induction will enhance firepower capabilities.

An indigenously developed 6x6 field artillery tractor by Ashok Leyland was also formally inducted to provide the much awaited replacement for the ageing fleet of Artillery Gun Towing Vehicles.

The event included an impressive display of equipment & firepower by the guns of Indian Artillery. Also on display were indigenous gun systems/ surveillance & target acquisition systems that have been recently introduced in service.

Bilateral Exercise Between Indian & Republic of Singapore Navies – SIMBEX 18 - marks Silver Jubilee this Year

The 25th edition of SIMBEX, an acronym for “Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise” is scheduled from 10th to 21st November 2018 off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalised when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994. What began as a modest endeavour to exchange best practices in the field of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), has in the recent years evolved into a complex high stakes exercise with both nations attaching premium in terms of time, complex advanced exercises and type of platforms involved.

Complementing India’s ‘Act-East’ policy, there have been a number of agreements and high level visits in the recent past between the two countries.  Indo-Singapore bilateral relations have been on an upswing in the recent past.  Both countries have a full calendar of more than 20 bilateral mechanisms, dialogues and exercises, many of which take place annually.  In November 2015, the robust relationship between the two countries was elevated to ‘Strategic Partnership’.

In June this year, on the side-lines of the Shangrila Dialogue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore inked many agreements including those under the ‘Defence and Strategic Partnership Sectors’. Key among them is the ‘Implementation Agreement between Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy concerning Mutual Coordination, Logistics and Services Support for Naval Ships’, Submarines and Naval Aircraft (including Ship borne Aviation Assets) visits.  The Implementation Agreement since coming in force has facilitated deployment of naval assets from bases of the other through logistics and services support.

Both sides agreed to undertake continuous and institutionalised naval engagements in their shared maritime space including establishing maritime exercises with like-minded regional / ASEAN partners.  On the occasion, the Prime Ministers of both countries had commended the Armed Forces for maintaining a high level of annual exercises, goodwill visits and professional exchanges. Both Prime Ministers also remarked that they looked forward to the 25th and enhanced edition of bilateral annual naval exercises SIMBEX.  The previous edition of the exercise was held off Singapore in the South China Sea in May 2017.

The 2018 edition marks the Silver Jubilee of SIMBEX.  To mark the historical occasion, both navies are undertaking exercises over an extended geography.  This year, the Indian Navy is being represented by the Ranvir class destroyer – INS Ranvijay, two Project 17 multirole stealth frigates – INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, the Project 28 ASW corvette - INS Kadmatt the Project 25A missile corvettes, INS Kirch, the OPVs INS Sumedha and INS Sukanya, the Fleet Support Ship, INS Shakti, a Sindhughosh Class submarine, INS Sindhukirti, the P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol and ASW aircraft from INAS 312, Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol aircraft from INAS 311, Mk 132 Hawk AJTs from INAS 551 and integral helicopters such as the UH3H, Seaking 42 B, Seaking 42C and Chetak utility helicopters.

The Republic of Singapore Navy is being represented by two Formidable Class stealth frigates - RSS Formidable and RSS Steadfast, one Littoral Mission Vessel - RSS Unity, two Missile Corvettes, RSS Vigour and RSS Valiant, an Archer class Submarine, RSS Swordsman, ‘Swift Rescue’ a Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle (DSRV), a Fokker F50 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, embarked S70B helicopters and Scan Eagle unmanned aerial systems.  Indian Navy has recently inducted its own DSRV and proved the capability at sea on the western seaboard.

The sea phase of this year’s edition is being conducted under the Command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, NM, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, who will take on the mantle of the Commander Task Group.  The Deputy Commander Task Group from Singapore Navy will be SLTC Ho Jee Kien, CO 188 Missile Corvette Squadron for Sea Phase 1 and Col Lim Yu Chuan, CO 185 Formidable Class Frigate Squadron for Second Sea Phase.

SIMBEX 2018 will be the largest edition since 1994 in terms of scale and complexity. The initial harbour phase will be held at Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands from 10 to 12 November followed by Sea Phase from 12 to 16 November in the Andaman Sea.  The second harbour phase from 16 to 19 November will be held at Visakhapatnam – ‘the City of Destiny’.  Silver Jubilee Commemoration Ceremony, various professional and training interactions, 10 Km ‘Friendship Run’ during the Annual Vizag-Navy Marathon, social evening and joint cultural programmes would be held during the harbour phases to commemorate the 25th anniversary.  The final sea phase would be held in the Bay of Bengal from 19 to 21 November.  High level delegations including respective Defence Ministries are also scheduled to observe the exercises including advanced weapon firings marking a new high in the series.

The 25th edition will witness a diverse range of exercises at sea ranging from live weapon drills including multiple missile firings, Heavy Weight Torpedo (HWT) and Medium Range Gun/ Anti Submarine Rocket firings; advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercises, Submarine Rescue demonstrations; integrated Surface and Anti-Air Warfare (AAW); Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations and Cross Deck Helicopter flying among others.  The number of missiles and torpedo firings being undertaken are in fact unprecedented and perhaps the largest the Indian Navy has undertaken with any foreign Navy till date, indicative of the growing trust and operational comfort between the two navies. This year would also witness the highest numbers and variety of platforms fielded by both sides.  Over the years the two navies have increased their interoperability to a level that could be matched by few other navies. 
 

Consultative Committee for Ministry of Defence Reviews Operational Preparedness of Indian Coast Guard
 Consultative Committee Meeting of Ministry of Defence on Indian Coast Guard chaired by Hon'ble Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman  reviewed the operational preparedness, Infrastructure development and coastal security mechanism of the Coast Guard. Hon'ble Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr Subhash Bhamre, Hon'ble MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Director General Indian Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh along with senior officials of MoD were also present.

Raksha Mantri and the delegation was briefed about the coastal security mechanism and preparedness of Coast Guard to tackle maritime emergencies. Coast Guard’s initiative of making fishermen the Eyes and Ears of Coast Guard was appreciated.

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated that the ICG discharges a silent but invaluable service to the nation and lauded the efforts of all personnel of Coast Guard for its multiple successful search and rescue missions, humanitarian aid, assistance to fishermen and increased surveillance capability.  Smt Sitharaman also laid emphasis on modernization of the ICG with the Definitive Action Program 2017 – 22 which envisages acquisition of 43 ships, 20 aircraft and other infrastructure. Raksha Mantri appreciated the Coast Guard for successfully implementing Minister's directions on use of local language speaking personnel onboard the ships and aircraft to alert the fishermen during emergencies and rescue operations. Raksha Mantri sought the support of all members of the house and their influence in their home states to spread awareness among the sea-faring community regarding utility of carrying emergency communication equipment which they tend to leave behind and face difficulty in communicating SOS messages in times of emergencies. Raksha Mantri declared that the next meeting of the Consultative Committee will be on Ordnance Depots.

Wreath laying ceremony by cavalry officers’
Association at Teen Murti Memorial 


A wreath laying ceremony was organised today at the Teen Murti Memorial by the Cavalry Officers’ Association, to honour the sacrifices, valour, and splendid contribution of the Indian Cavalry since World War I.  The Indian Cavalry has a long and awe-inspiring history of valour and sacrifice. 

 Teen Murti memorial was instituted in the memory of the cavalry officers, non commissioned officers and men of the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade composed of cavalry regiments from the Indian states of Hyderabad, Mysore and Jodhpur, with detachments from Bhavnagar, Kashmir and Kathiawar who were martyred in the Great War of 1914-1919, in the Sinai, Palestine and Syria. The Armoured Corps, a successor and inheritor of the cavalry traditions has proven to be the spear of the Indian military might with its mighty T-72, Arjun and T-90 tanks.

 The memorial service was a solemn ceremony of poise and grace wherein wreaths were placed by serving and retired officers of the cavalry fraternity.

 Lt Gen Amit Sharma (Retd), President COA, highlighted the great contribution of the Indian Armoured Corps, in protecting the nation’s sovereignty.  This is aptly reflected by the ‘Gallantry Awards’ earned by the Corps since independence, which include two Param Vir Chakras, 16 Mahavir Chakras, Three Kirti Chakras, 57 Vir Chakras and 26 Shaurya Chakras.

Naval Commanders’ Conference (2018/ 2) concludes

The second edition of this years’ bi-annual Naval Commanders’ Conference concluded today after three days of fruitful deliberations. The Hon’ble RM addressed Naval Commanders today and complimented all personnel of the Indian Navy for maintaining a high operational tempo and ensuring maritime security of the country. The Hon’ble RM reiterated the need for the nation to be strong at sea and the Navy to be ready and vigilant to counter any challenge in the maritime domain. She appreciated Navy’s efforts in the area of indigenisation, self-reliance and support to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.  She expressed her satisfaction at Navy’s initiatives to achieve ‘Digital Navy’ vision in line with the Government’s initiative of ‘Digital India Programme’. During the interaction the Hon’ble RM reviewed the combat readiness of the Navy, pace of modernisation and progress of various acquisition and infrastructure related cases. She extolled IN’s diplomatic efforts to support the regional Navies that are in consonance with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of SAGAR – Security and Growth for all in the Region.  The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri also appreciated the efforts underway to improve the quality of life and welfare of personnel.

Opening her address to the senior echelons of Navy and Ministry of Defence, the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman began by complimenting all naval personnel who continue to tirelessly and selflessly perform their duty of securing the maritime interests of the nation. She lauded the Navy for the outstanding and efficient HADR operations undertaken in the wake of the recent floods in Kerala wherein close to 17,000 personnel were rescued. The selfless dedication displayed by IN personnel during this national crisis and the ability of the Navy, as an organisation, to rise to the demand of the occasion to provide succor to our fellow countrymen in distress, has added yet another feather to the list of accomplishments of Indian Navy said the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri.

The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri also expressed her satisfaction with which both the Navy and the Ministry of Defence were performing their tasks in a constructive and a cohesive manner to ensure that the capability shortfalls are mitigated in the shortest possible time.

The Conference undertook a review of the Navy’s modernisation plan including induction of aircraft carrier, ships, nuclear powered submarines, conventional submarines, re-vitalisation of the aviation and sub-surface assets and induction of certain state-of-the-art weapons, sensors and equipment. Further, development of technical and support infrastructure for maintenance of these assets were also discussed in consonance with the ‘Indian Naval Indigenisation Plan 2015-30’, which has formulated the requirements of the IN towards indigenous development of equipment and systems over the next 15 years.

Chairing the conference, Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff, addressed the Naval Commanders on various important issues pertaining to operational readiness, capability enhancement, maintenance, op logistics, infrastructure development and human resource management.

Extensive discussions were undertaken on the functional re-organisation of the Indian Navy towards improving operational efficiency and the CNS encouraged the Commanders to implement innovative and modern ideas towards achieving the same.

Indian Navy’s Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) Capability 


The Indian Navy has inducted a Submarine Rescue System with a Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) along with associated equipment. This System has a Side Scan Sonar for locating the position of the submarine in distress at sea, providing immediate relief by way of posting Emergency Life Support Containers with the help of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and thereafter rescuing the crew of the submarine using the DSRV itself. In a submarine accident, rapidity of response is most crucial to safety of life. To ensure early mobilisation, the System has been procured in a Flyaway configuration which permits rapid transportation of the Rescue System from the base to the exact location of the distressed submarine by transportation using air/land/sea vessels. 

The Indian DSRV has the capability to rescue personnel from a distressed submarine (DISSUB) up to a depth of 650 m and it is the latest in terms of technology and capabilities. It has been designed and supplied to meet unique requirements of our submarines by M/s James Fishes Defence, UK. We have ordered two Systems which shall be based on the West and East Coast of India respectively to provide redundancy, high operational availability and early response to deal with a submarine contingency. 

The Rescue System has recently undergone extensive Sea Trials wherein many records have been set. Our DSRV dived to over 666 m, the Remote Operations Vehicle (ROV) dived to 750m and the Side Scan Sonar dived to 650m. Live undersea matings with different types of submarines along with transfer of personnel from submarine to DSRV has also been achieved, thereby simulating the submarine rescue. 

With this capability, India has joined a select league of nations which have this unique capability and we are now in a position to not only provide rescue cover to our own submarines but also to other friendly nations in the IOR and beyond. Our vision is to emerge as a centre of regional excellence for Submarine Rescue Services in line with the stature of our great nation.

The DSRV is likely to be inducted in the Indian Navy by end of this year.
 

33rd Army Aviation Day celebrated 



Army Aviation Corps celebrated its 33rd Raising Day on 01 Nov 2018, and to mark this occasion, a Wreath Laying Ceremony was held at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, New Delhi. The ceremonial wreath was laid by Lieutenant General Kanwal Kumar, Colonel Commandant and Director General of Army Aviation, along with a host of serving officers, soldiers and veterans in attendance.

Army Aviation Corps is the aerial manoeuvre arm of the Indian Army and has played a stellar role by providing vital air support to our soldiers safeguarding the borders in addition to providing relief to the common man during times of natural calamity. The Corps is undergoing a massive transformation effort and expanding its fleet to augment its combat, tactical lift and surveillance capabilities to act as a potent force multiplier.

Seminar on Planning, Design and Construction of Long-Span Bridges

A two-day seminar has been organised by Indian Institute of Bridge Engineers (IIBE) duly supported by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on the ‘Planning, Design and Construction of Long-span bridges’ beginning here today. It was inaugurated by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Prime Minister Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space Dr Jitendra Singh. 

Dr. Singh in his inaugural address highlighted that in overall development of nation connectivity plays a vital role. He expressed his appreciation that IIBE and BRO have taken the initiative to organise this Seminar on such a vital and important topic. Director General Border Roads (DGBR) Lt Gen Harpal Singh highlighted that the topic of the Seminar is a vital subject in today’s context to give due boost to the pace of development of infrastructure in the country.  

Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen DevrajAnbu expressed the need for development of road infrastructure in North and North East of the nation for efficient and speedy mobilisation of strategic resources along the border. Therefore, the seminar on long span bridges is an apt theme to be deliberated by the fraternity of Bridge Engineers.

Construction of bridges across water bodies having widespread water ways, excessive depths of flow, high velocities of current and bouldery riverbed has always been a challenging task for the fraternity of Engineers. Long Span bridges have a significant role to play at such difficult locations especially to facilitate safe and sustainable connectivity with least disturbance to the natural settings of the area and ecology. 

Engineer-in-Chief Lt Gen SK Shrivastava, MD NHIDCL Shri NN Sinha, MD, National High Speed Rail Corporation Shri AchalKhare and Chairman Technical Committee of Indian Institute of Bridge Engineers Shri Mahesh Tandon also shared the dais with Minister. The seminar is being attended by more than 400 delegates, all dealing with the specialised subject.
 

Air Marshal MSG Menon, VSM takes over as  Director General (Wks & Cer) of IAF 


Air Marshal MSG Menon VSM was commissioned in Administrative branch of IAF in Dec 1982. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Calicut University. He has undergone Higher Air Command Course from College of Air Warfare. He is an alumnus of Defence Service Staff College Wellington and the prestigious National Defence College.

The Air Marshal is a Cat 'AYE' Air Traffic Controller and has commanded an operational radar unit at a major flying station. He was a member of the first UN Mission to Sudan. He has tenated the appointments of Chief Administration Officer at AF Station Jalahalli, Director National Defence University. He has served as the Commandant of the prestigious Air Force Administrative College, Coimbatore and Principal Director Ops (Air Traffic Services). On promotion to Air Vice Marshal, he was appointed as Assistance Chief of Air Staff (Org & Ceremonial).

Opening Ceremony: INDO - Japan joint military exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN 2018



Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN - 2018, a joint military exercise between Indian & Japanese Armies, commenced at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengete, Mizoram, India on 01 November 2018. The Japanese contingent is being represented by 32nd Infantry Battalion, while the Indian side is being represented by 6/1 Gorkha Rifles. Approximately one platoon strength each of both the battalions is participating in this exercise. The opening ceremony was given a patriotic start by contingents of both the countries singing their respective national anthems.

Being first of its kind, the 14 days long joint exercise is being conducted from 01 Nov 2018 to 14 Nov 2018. The exercise will consist of a balance of indoor classes and outdoor training activities. The objective of this exercise is to build and promote army to army relations in addition to exchanging skills and experiences between both the armies. Due emphasis will be laid on enhancing tactical skills to fight against global terrorism and on increasing interoperability between forces of both countries which is crucial for the success of any joint operation.

Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario. The exercise will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other's military. 


‘Optimising Resources’ and ‘Emerging Technologies’  to dominate Navy Commanders’ Conference deliberations



The second edition of the Navy Commanders’ Conference of 2018 that kicked off today, would see top Commanders of the Indian Navy deliberate on the themes of ‘Optimisation’ and ‘Emerging Technologies’. 

India is a maritime nation and its growth is inexpricably linked to the seas. Under the overall vision of the Hon’ble PM of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR), the Indian Navy has been at the forefront of providing an environment of stability and peace in the IOR. As the premier Navy in the region, the Indian Navy aspires to remain the ‘Net Security Provider’ in the Indian Ocean through collaboration and cooperation with like-minded and friendly nations. 

The Indian Navy has witnessed an unprecedented growth in its operational tasking over the past decade in consonance with India’s rising maritime interests. The Navy has adopted the ‘Mission-based Deployment’ philosophy and the ‘Maintenance-to-Operations’ transition cycle over the past year to address the need to be present and to respond to emerging situations in the IOR.  

The conference would among other issues, deliberate upon combat readiness of units and optimisation of resources including manpower to meet the growing list of missions and tasks that the Navy is expected to perform. The conference would have dedicated ‘Brain-storming’ sessions to discuss and conceptualise new ideas and concepts, as well as critically examine organisational structures and processes to meet developing challenges and threats to maritime security. Commanders would also look at utilising emerging technologies such as Big-Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness.

The Hon’ble RM would also address the Navy Commanders, outlining the maritime vision of the Government and expectations of the nation and its citizens from the Navy. The conference would conclude on Friday after three days of intense and focussed deliberations.

IAF Seminar on Emerging Trends in Aviation Engineering and Logistics (AVIAMAT – 2018)

Indian Air Force is organising a two day seminar on ‘Emerging Trends in Aviation Engineering and Logistics’ (AVIAMAT-2018) at Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park, New Delhi from 31 Oct 18 – 01 Nov 18.  Today morning the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC delivered the key note address.  The focus of the seminar is usable emerging and futuristic innovative aviation technologies.

The Seminar is bringing together designers, producers and users of high-tech aviation equipment to discuss the potential of innovative indigenous technologies.  Budding Innovators and start ups are having an opportunity to showcase their ideas, designs and products.  Topics on wide range of subjects like Path Breaking Aviation Engineering Technologies, Indigenous Development of Innovative Technologies, Emerging Trends in Aviation Fuel Management, Emerging Trends in Aviation Training and Evolving Technologies in Military Aviation Sensors would be presented.  A display of futuristic technology products is also being organized as part of the seminar.

The AVIAMAT Seminar will see participation of aviation experts from three services, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) and start ups from the private sector.



MOD signs contract with GRSE for supply of four survey vessels for Indian Navy



Ministry of Defence has awarded contract for design, construction and supply of four Survey Vessels for Indian Navy to Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Limited, Kolkata after it became successful bidder in the competitive bidding. The contract was signed between Ministry of Defence and GRSE here today.

The contract was signed by Joint Secretary & Acquisition Manager (MS) Shri Ravi Kant on behalf of the Ministry and Director(Shipbuilding)Cmde S Nayyar IN (Retd) for GRSE, Kolkata. Request for Proposal was issued by Indian Navy to four PSU shipyards viz. GRSE, Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and two Indian Private Shipyards in April 2016, with GRSE emerging as the lowest & successful bidder.  The order value for these four vessels is Rs. 2435.15 crore. The first ship is to be delivered within 36 months and remaining within an interval of six months for each vessel. The project completion time is 54 months from date of signing the contract. With this prestigious contract, GRSE’s Order Book as on date stands at Rs. 22,604 crore.  The GRSE is currently handling a major project to make three Stealth Frigates for Indian Navy under P17A Project.

The defence PSU has been a pioneer warship builder of the nation having delivered the highest number of warships till date since its inception in 1960. The 98 warships built by GRSE so far range from Advanced Frigates to Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes to Fleet Tankers, Fast Attack Crafts, etc. with the Shipyard having many firsts to its credit in terms of Innovation and Design. It has already delivered six Sandhayak Class Survey Vessels to Indian Navy between the period February 1981 to February 1993. The present project will further consolidate GRSE’s position as a unique shipyard with all round capability to design and build Survey Vessels with state-of-the-art technology. 


These Survey Vessels (Large) shall be 110 metre long with deep displacement of 3,300 tonnes and complement of 231, capable of fullscale coastal and deep-water hydrographic survey of ports and harbours, approaches and determination of navigational channels/routes. In addition, the vessels shall undertake surveys of maritime limits up to EEZ/extended continental shelf. These shall be deployed for collection of oceanographic and geophysical data for defence applications. In their secondary role, these shall be capable of performing limited search & rescue, limited ocean research and operate as hospital ship/casualty holding ships.

The vessels are equipped with highly advanced state-of-the-art hydrographic equipment & sensors including a Hello Hanger to accommodate one Advanced Light Helicopter.

The design and construction of these ships by GRSE will truly signify ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.

Vessels will be built as per Classification Society Rules and Naval Ship Regulations and will conform to latest MARPOL (Marine Pollution) Standards of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

INS Tarangini Returns After Vogage Across The World



The sail training ship of Indian Navy, INS Tarangini based at Kochi, returned after a seven month long sailing across the world to a grand reception at naval base, Kochi on 30 Oct 18. The ship was received by Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, VSM, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command.  A welcoming ceremony was conducted by the Southern Naval Command at South Jetty of the naval base to mark the occasion. Captain Varun Singh, SC, Senior Officer First Training Squadron and a number of senior officers, families of the crew and other distinguished guests also attended the function.

The Voyage named “Lokayan 18” was flagged off on 10 Apr 18 from Kochi. During the voyage, the ship has proudly 'shown the flag' and highlighted the diverse culture of India across 15 ports in 13 countries. The ship sailed across the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Mediterranean Sea, Strait of Gibraltar, North Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Biscay, English Channel and North Sea, right up to Norway before commencing her homeward passage back to Kochi. The ship also participated in the culminating event of the ‘Three Festival Tall Ships Regatta’ at Bordeaux, France. As well as the ‘Tall Ships Races Europe 2018’ which started at Sunderland, UK and touched Esbjerg, Denmark and Stavanger, Norway before finishing at Harlingen, Netherlands. During the tall ships regatta, the ship sailed along with hundreds of other sailing vessels, of which 200 were ‘Tall Ships’ like herself, besides taking part in the parade of sails, which was conducted at all these ports.

INS Tarangini is a three masted 'square rigged' barque which carries a total of 20 sails. She is the First Sail Training Ship in Indian Navy and was commissioned on 11 Nov 1997. In her 21 years of glorious service, she has sailed over 2,20,000 nautical miles to date across the world's oceans. The ship is under the command of Cdr Rahul Mehta. She has a crew of nine officers and 43 sailors and can also embark 30 Officer Sea Trainees. She is the first of two Sail Training Ships in the First Training Squadron, the other being INS Sudarshini. The primary role of these Sail Training Ships is to develop character and professionalism, as well as inculcate the qualities of initiative, courage, resilience and esprit-de-corps amongst the Sea Trainees and also impart practical training to them, primarily on navigation, sailing and seamanship. Over the years, INS Tarangini has been extensively deployed for long voyages away from her base port of Kochi, which includes one circumnavigation of the globe (2003-04) and three previous ‘Lokayans’ (2005, 2007 and 2015).

Monday, October 29, 2018

Conference on Cyber Security – Challenges and Innovations

Conference on Cyber Security – Challenges and Innovations



Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in association with Cyber Peace Foundation and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) organised a conference on Cyber Security – Challenges and Innovations at DRDO Bhawan here today. It was inaugurated by former DRDO chief & Chief Scienti­fic Advisor to Minister of Defence and current Member of NitiAayog, Dr. V K Saraswat.

Addressing the gathering, Dr. Saraswat emphasised to convert a challenge into an opportunity through innovation. He further said that Cyberspace is becoming more complex and we need continuous innovation to keep the space secure and resilient to threats. Indigenous solutions, in-house expertise and startup eco-system needs to be created to reduce dependence on foreign products and solutions for securing our critical infrastructure and defence installations.

National Cyber Security Coordinator Dr Gulshan Rai stressed upon the areas of strategic importance including Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Virtual reality & Augmented reality, Internet of things (IOT) which would be the backbone of the country in future. 

Speaking on the occasion, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO said that cyber security is one of the biggest challenges and emphasised on bringing the academia, industries and DRDO together for indigenous and innovative solutions. 

The conference focused on the current trends, need and future requirements of innovation in the field of cyber security for a secured cyber space and will help in understanding the challenges and the way ahead for the country through homegrown technological research and innovation. The conference brought the stakeholders working in the area to showcase their innovations, current challenges and future aspects. 

Director General, Air (OPS) Air Marshal Amit Dev was also present at the conference. More than 100 academia and 70 start ups participated in the conference. On this occasion, many start ups showcased various indigenous innovations in cyber security.

72nd Infantry Day Celebrations


                
To commemorate the selfless dedication to duty by Indian Army’s gallant Infantrymen, a wreath laying ceremony was organised at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’. General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, along with senior officers, laid wreaths in a solemn ceremony. Sepoy Boota Singh, a recipient of Vir Chakra in 1971 War represented the veterans. 

Infantry celebrates 27 October each year as Infantry Day to commemorate the first Infantry action post independence. In response to the threat posed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our Nation, on this day in 1947, the leading elements of the Indian Army from 1st Battalion of the SIKH Regiment air landed at Srinagar and gallantly fought the raiders aided by Pakistan Army. This bold action by the Indian Army and indomitable courage displayed by the Infantrymen reversed the tide of events and thwarted the adversary's nefarious designs.  
          
As part of Infantry Day celebrations, Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw  Memorial Lecture was also organised at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantonment.

DAC Approves State of the Art Technological Upgrade of 17 Dorniers of ICG Worth Rs 950 Crore

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman here today and accorded approval for the Mid Life Upgrade of 17 Dornier Aircraft of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at an approximate cost of Rs. 950 crore. The upgrades will be carried out by M/s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the aircraft manufacturer of India. 

ICG is responsible for protecting the national interests in maritime zones of India which entails surveillance of sea areas of approximately 2.01 million square kilometres of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). ICG is also the nodal agency in India for maritime pollution response. The Coast Guard has a fleet of Dornier aircraft which play a pivotal role in maritime surveillance. In order to enhance the capabilities of the fleet, DAC accorded approval for upgradation of these aircraft with state-of-the-art technology, spares, Special Maintenance Tools (SMT) and Special Test Equipment (STE). The DAC also approved equipping of three aircraft with Pollution Surveillance Systems.


Defence Pension Adalat to be held at Aundh Military Station, Pune 

A Defence Pension Adalat was conducted at Aundh Military Station, Pune, Maharashtra from 09.00 am to 05.00 pm on 24 October 2018 by the Shivneri Brigade on behalf of Dakshin Maharashtra Sub Area for the Veterans of Pune and adjoining areas.

The aim of the event was to connect with the Veterans of Maharashtra State, identify their problems and resolve them.  A platform was provided to the Veterans to meet up with the right agencies to resolve their pension related problems and other issues affecting them.  Representatives from Principal Controller of Defence Account (PCDA), Allahabad and Record Offices had set up their counters to resolve the pension anomalies.  The Record offices of Armoured Corps, Mechanised Infantry, The Brigade of the Guards, The MAHAR Regiment, The MARATHA Light Infantry, Artillery, Bombay Engineering Group, Intelligence Corps and Army Physical Training College had set up their stalls to resolve issues of the Veterans. Around 400 Veterans graced the occasion and took benefit of the Defence Pension Adalat.
 

RRM inaugurates 48th AISS Principals’ Conference

All India Sainik School (AISS) Principals’ Conference began today at Sainik School Kunjpura premises in Karnal district of Haryana. Inaugurating the 48th edition of the conference, Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre applauded the principals for their leadership roles in their respective schools and also sending a good number of cadets to the prestigious National Defence Academy.

Dr Bhamre said, “It is a testimony to the fact that the Sainik Schools are meeting their three-pronged agenda of – opening the access of quality public school education to the children of common men; serving as feeder-institutions to the National Defence Academy and removing regional imbalance in the officer cadre of the Armed Forces. It is satisfying to learn of the performance of the schools on all these three counts.” The conference would focus on review of policy matters and functioning of Sainik Schools in the country.

He said, there is a surge in the demand of Sainik schools in the country and the Government is planning to establish new schools. He also informed the establishment of two new Sainik Schools at Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan) and East Siang (Arunachal Pradesh) in the current financial year. He emphasised on the need of providing the cadets modern education and keep abreast with the changes in the education world.

Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre touched the issue of girls taking admission in Sainik Schools. He informed, the government has taken revolutionary decision to induct the girls in the Sainik Schools and open the doors of quality training; a historic step towards the empowerment of girls. Dr Bhamre emphasised that it would be his earnest endeavour to get this policy implemented at the earliest by developing required infrastructure in all the Sainik Schools.

Pointing out a number of important initiatives taken during the recently concluded Board of Governors’ (BoG) Meeting, Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr Bhamre told the august gathering, “I have directed the Sainik Schools Society to ensure that BoG meets every year and all important matter pertaining to the schools and their functioning are discussed threadbare by all the stakeholders – in particular the State Governments; a step that will enable greater synergy and closer co-operation between the state and the schools.”

Raksha Rajya Mantri assured the gathering that Government is actively considering the implementation of recommendations of 7thCentral Pay Commission for the personnel of Sainik Schools.

The Minister presented the prestigious Raksha Mantri Trophy to the Principal of Sainik School Sujanpura Tira in Himachal Pradesh for sending maximum number of cadets to NDA in 2017 and 2018. It may be noted that Sainik Schools have sent 105 cadets to the 140th course of NDA this year. Sainik School Korukonda and Sainik School Nalanda lifted the Academic Trophies for producing best result in class XII and Class X examination respectively. Principals of all Sainik Schools are taking part in the two-day conference.