Monday, September 10, 2018

Aero India 2019 To Be Held In Bangalore In February 2019


Ministry of Defence Announces Aeroshow


The Government has decided to hold the Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru from 20-24 February 2019. This five-day event will combine a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with public air shows. Besides global leaders and big investors in aerospace industry, the show will also see participation by think-tanks from across the world. It will provide a unique opportunity for exchange of information, ideas and new developments in the aviation industry. Besides giving fillip to the domestic aviation industry it would further the cause of Make in India. The Department of Defence Production is committed to make this a successful and result oriented show.

Casevac At Kolahai Glacier Hills



Hazik Mushtaq Beigh and his friends were trekking in the Kolahai Glacier area when the team fell in a crevasse; two of the team were fatally injured. Hazik suffered injuries which required his immediate evacuation to a medical facility.

Western Air Command of Indian Airforce launched two Cheetah helicopters, of the Udhampur based Hovering Hawks unit who happened to be at Srinagar at that point. Two choppers were necessary due to the inhospitable terrain and the poor weather conditions in the general area of operations. The leader of Falcon formation was Wg Cdr Vishal Mehta with Flt Lt Mittal as the co-pilot. The plan was to winch the casualty into the heptr as no suitable landing site was available.

Upon reaching the site Wg Cdr Mehta realised that Hazik could not be winched  due to his serious injuries, so both heptrs flew to Awantipur and removed the side doors, picked up a guide enroute from Lidru and reached the spot once again. The weather during the entire period was marginal.The elevation of the place is 12000ft which added to the piloting difficulties of the small heptr. The captain of the lead aircraft Mehta decided to find a small spot of flat land nearby and touchdown. 

 Having picked up Hazik both heptrs flew back to base. “The spot was such it did not offer any place to land, we had established that winching the casualty was out of question, hence only one option was left. I told my wingman to orbit overhead while I tried to land on a small flat land. The landing called upon my entire experience and training as a helicopter pilot. It was immensely satisfying when Hazik was saved” said the mission leader and captain of the lead aircraft Wg Cdr Vishal Mehta.

Indian Naval Ships at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka for Slinex-18







Indian Naval Ships Kirch, Sumitra and Cora Divh entered Trincomalee, Sri Lanka to participate in the sixth edition of SLINEX 2018, a bi-lateral Naval Exercise between India and Sri Lanka, from 07 to 13 September 2018. The inaugural ceremony of the exercise held onboard SLNS Sayurala was attended by Rear Adm Dinesh Kumar Tripathi, Flag  Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF) of Indian Navy and Rear Adm SA Weerasinghe, Commander Eastern Naval Area (COMEAST) and Rear Adm Ananda Kumar Guruge, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet (FOCNF) of the Sri Lankan Navy.

In addition to three IN Ships, one ship-borne integral helicopter and two Maritime Patrol Aircraft Dornier are participating from Indian side while Sri Lankan Naval is represented by SLN Ships Sayurala, Samudra and Suranimala.  The exercise is being conducted in two phases, with the harbour phase from 07 to 10 September 18 at Trincomalee during which, the participants will engage in professional, sporting and social interactions. The Harbour Phase will be followed by the Sea Phase from 11 Sep to 13 Sep 18 in the Bay of Bengal off Trincomalle and will include gun firings, communication procedures, seamanship as well as navigation evolutions and helicopter operations.
SLINEX series of bilateral maritime exercises were initiated in 2005 and since then five successful engagements have been conducted. SLINEX over the years has helped both the Navies in understanding each other's procedures and enhanced interoperability. This edition of the exercise will further strength ties between the two maritime neighbours and contribute towards maritime security in the region.


Centenary of the Battle of Haifa Celebrated 




The Embassy of India held a ceremony in Haifa to mark the Centenary of the Battle of Haifa when on 23 Sep 1918, Indian soldiers from the Jodhpur, Mysore and Hyderabad Lancers liberated the city of Haifa. The ceremony was attended by a delegation from India led by Maj Gen VD Dogra and included personnel from the 61st Cavalry. The honour guard was drawn from the Indian contingent deployed as part of UN mission. The ceremony was also attended by the Mayor of Haifa, Ambassadors, Military Attaches, representatives from IDF and members of the Indian community.

Joint Statement on the Inaugural India-U.S 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

Minister of External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Smt Nirmala Sitharaman welcomed Secretary of State Mr. Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mr. James N. Mattis, here today  for the inaugural India-U.S. Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue. They welcomed the launch of the 2+2 Dialogue as a reflection of the shared commitment by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and President Mr. Donald Trump to provide a positive, forward-looking vision for the India-U.S. strategic partnership and to promote synergy in their diplomatic and security efforts. They resolved to continue meetings in this format on an annual basis. 

Celebrating over 70 years of diplomatic cooperation, the Ministers reaffirmed their view that India and the United States, as sovereign democracies founded on the values of freedom, justice and commitment to the rule of law, must continue to lead global efforts to promote peace, prosperity and security. 

Recognizing their two countries are strategic partners, major and independent stakeholders in world affairs, the Ministers committed to work together on regional and global issues, including in bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral formats. The two sides further decided to establish secure communication between the Minister of External Affairs of India and the U.S. Secretary of State and between the Minister of Defence of India and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, to help maintain regular high-level communication on emerging developments.

Strengthening the Defense and Security Partnership

The Ministers reaffirmed the strategic importance of India’s designation as a Major Defense Partner (MDP) of the United States and committed to expand the scope of India’s MDP status and take mutually agreed upon steps to strengthen defense ties further and promote better defense and security coordination and cooperation. They noted the rapid growth in bilateral defense trade and the qualitative improvement in levels of technology and equipment offered by the United States to India in recent years. They welcomed the inclusion of India by the United States among the top tier of countries entitled to license-free exports, re-exports and transfers under License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA-1) and also committed to explore other means to support further expansion in two-way trade in defense items and defense manufacturing supply chain linkages. They welcomed the signing of a Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will facilitate access to advanced defense systems and enable India to optimally utilize its existing U.S.-origin platforms. The Ministers also announced their readiness to begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defense industry cooperation and collaboration.

Recognizing their rapidly growing military-to-military ties, the two sides committed to the creation of a new, tri-services exercise and to further increase personnel exchanges between the two militaries and defense organizations. The Ministers reviewed the recent growth of bilateral engagements in support of maritime security and maritime domain awareness and committed to expand cooperation. Toward that end, the Ministers committed to start exchanges between the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Indian Navy, underscoring the importance of deepening their maritime cooperation in the western Indian Ocean. 

Acknowledging the unique role of technology in the India-U.S. defense partnership, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue to encourage and prioritize co-production and co-development projects through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and to pursue other avenues of defense innovation cooperation. In this regard, they welcomed the conclusion of a Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX). 

Welcoming the expansion of bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation, the Ministers announced their intent to increase information-sharing efforts on known or suspected terrorists and to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2396 on returning foreign terrorist fighters. They committed to enhance their ongoing cooperation in multilateral fora such as the UN and FATF. They reaffirmed their support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism. The Ministers denounced any use of terrorist proxies in the region and in this context, they called on Pakistan to ensure that the territory under its control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries. On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, they called on Pakistan to bring to justice expeditiously the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot, Uri and other cross-border terrorist attacks. The Ministers welcomed the launch of a bilateral dialogue on designation of terrorists in 2017, which is strengthening cooperation and action against terrorist groups, including Al-Qaida, ISIS, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, D-Company, and their affiliates. The two sides further reaffirmed their commitment to ongoing and future cooperation to ensure a stable cyberspace environment and to prevent cyber-attacks. 

Partners in the Indo-Pacific and Beyond.

The Ministers reviewed cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, noting that the common principles for the region articulated in the India-U.S. Joint Statement of June 2017 have been further amplified by President Mr. Donald Trump at Danang, Vietnam on November 10, 2017 and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Singapore at the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 1, 2018. Both sides committed to work together and in concert with other partners toward advancing a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, based on recognition of ASEAN centrality and on respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, rule of law, good governance, free and fair trade, and freedom of navigation and overflight. Noting the importance of infrastructure and connectivity for the Indo-Pacific region, both sides emphasized the need to work collectively with other partner countries to support transparent, responsible and sustainable debt financing practices in infrastructure development.

The Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to a united, sovereign, democratic, inclusive, stable, prosperous, and peaceful Afghanistan. The two sides expressed support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. The United States acknowledged India’s longstanding and ongoing contributions of economic assistance to Afghanistan and also welcomed India’s enhanced role in Afghanistan’s development and stabilization. 

India welcomed the recent U.S.-North Korea summit. The two sides pledged to work together to counter North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs and to hold accountable those countries that have supported them. 

The United States welcomed India’s accession to the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Missile Technology Control Regime and reiterated its full support for India’s immediate accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. 

Promoting Prosperity and People-to-People Ties.

The Ministers recognized the importance and the potential for increasing bilateral trade, investment, innovation and job creation in both countries. Both sides committed to further expanding and balancing the trade and economic partnership consistent with their leaders’ 2017 joint statement, including by facilitating trade, improving market access, and addressing issues of interest to both sides. In this regard, both sides welcomed the ongoing exchanges between the Ministry of Commerce of India and the Office of the United States Trade Representative and hoped for mutually acceptable outcomes. 

Both sides looked forward to full implementation of the civil nuclear energy partnership and collaboration between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Westinghouse Electric Company for the establishment of six nuclear power plants in India. 

Observing the strong ties of family, education and business and the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that unite their people, the Ministers highlighted the unmatched people-to-people ties between their countries and recognized the benefits to both nations and the world from these ties, including the free flow of ideas and collaboration in health, space, oceans and other areas of science and technology. 

The next 2+2 meeting is to be held in the United States in 2019


Full text of Raksha Mantri’s press statement after India-US 2+2 dialogue


We have just concluded a most productive, positive and purposeful meeting.

I wish to thank Secretaries Mattis and Pompeo for their vision and commitment. We deeply value their support for stronger ties between India and the United States.

Our discussions today were marked by the deep friendship that characterises relations between the greatest democracies of the world.

The commitment of India and the United States to defend our shared democratic values and expand on our common interests is clear and unwavering.

In today's meeting, we reaffirmed our intention to cooperate in every way possible to ensure peace and stability as well as to realise the aspirations of our peoples for continued economic growth, prosperity and development. We will also work together to combat the persisting threat of terrorism and other shared security challenges.

In our discussions, we explored the instrumentalities necessary to deliver on those shared objectives.
Defence cooperation has emerged as the most significant dimension of our strategic partnership and as a key driver of our overall bilateral relationship.

The momentum in our defence partnership has imbued a tremendous positive energy that has elevated India-US relations to unprecedented heights. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi had succinctly stated at his address to the US Congress a year ago, India's relations with the US have overcome the hesitations of history. Nowhere is this more true than in the field of defence.

Today, India's defence forces carry out extensive training and joint exercises with the United States. Our joint exercises have acquired greater complexity and newer dimensions, both bilaterally and in wider formats. To enhance our synergies in this area, we have decided to carry out, for the first time, a tri-Services joint exercise with the United States off the eastern coast of India in 2019.

We are also putting in place an enabling framework for closer cooperation between our defence forces. The signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 and the Helicopter Operations from Ships Other Than Aircraft Carriers (HOSTAC) earlier this year were important steps in this direction. The signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) today will enable India to access advanced technologies from the US and enhance India's defence preparedness.

Maritime Security has been a focus area of our cooperation. To deepen our ties in this area, we will expand our interactions on Maritime Domain Awareness.

The United States has renamed its Pacific Command responsible for relations with India as Indo-Pacific Command. Reflecting our wider global partnership, we will also enhance our interactions with the United States military's Central Command.

One of the focus areas of the discussions was on expanding the scope and content of the US' designation of India as its Major Defence Partner. We welcome the recent decision to elevate India to STA Tier 1 status for access to advanced technologies, especially in the defence field. I am confident that this and other measures to follow will enable our defence industry cooperation to make speedy progress for mutual benefit.

We highlighted the major reforms being implemented by the government to promote defence manufacturing in India under the Make in India initiative, including setting up of defence manufacturing corridors. We welcome the US' positive response to India's request to nominate a Point of Contact in the US Department of Defense to help address procedural complexities and facilitate Indian companies to join the manufacturing supply chains of US defence companies.

We also identified cooperation in defence innovation as a major area of emphasis for the future. As our defenceneeds become increasingly driven by technology, this is both necessary and timely. I am particularly thankful to have Secretary Mattis, who has spent several years in Silicon Valley, as our interlocutor in taking this aspect of our ties forward. The Memorandum of Intent between our defence innovation agencies is a first step in this direction.

The conclusion of the first ever Ministerial 2+2 between India and the United States is a concrete manifestation of the vision of our leaders, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, to take the India-US relationship to a new level.

Our leaders recognise that it is no longer viable to address foreign and defence issues in a compartmentalised manner. In today's meeting, we were able to discuss a range of issues relating to our ties in a strategic framework and identify steps to take forward our relationship.

Our discussions have paved the way for a new era in India-US defence and strategic engagement. Given our shared interests, we are confident that we can work together to promote peace, economic prosperity and security in our region and beyond. I once again thank Secretaries Pompeo and Mattis for their engagement in promoting the India-US partnership.


MID Air Refueling Trials of LCA with IL-78 MKI 


On 04 Sep 18, the Indian Air Force successfully carried out the first ever mid air refueling of the indigenously build fighter aircraft Tejas MK 1 with an IL-78 MKI tanker of the 78 Sqn. The tanker was launched from its base in Agra while the fighter was launched from Gwalior. The specially modified Tejas aircraft carried out a series of  test  profiles including a ‘Dry Contact' with the tanker. A second Tejas aircraft flying in formation was used to observe the exercise closely.

All flight parameters of Tejas aircraft were transmitted live to a ground control unit set-up at Gwalior airbase, wherein ADA scientists constantly monitored the technical parameters of the mission. The Tejas aircraft was piloted by test pilot Gp Capt Joshi and the IL-78 MKI was flown by Gp Capt R Arvind, Commanding Officer of the tanker squadron. Prior to the test flight, extensive ground trials were conducted in all possible conditions under the supervision of ADA scientists.

The success of these trials is a major leap for the indigenous fighter, thus enhancing its mission capability by increasing its range and payload. The ability to carry out Air-to-Air Refueling is one of the critical requirements for the LCA to achieve 'Final Operational Clearance'.

J&K Students Meet COAS




A group of 20 students of Degree Colleges of Kishtwar, Marwah and Chhatru, Jammu and Kashmir accompanied by two teachers on National Integration Tour, visited Delhi and interacted with General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) on 05 Sep 2018. The COAS shared his experiences while serving in these areas with the students and motivated them to work hard and contribute actively in the Nation Building process. He also exhorted them to join the Indian Armed Forces and serve the cause of the Nation.
          
The National Integration Tours are educational and motivational tours for youth of Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern States, with an aim to provide an insight into the rich heritage of the country as well as various developmental and industry initiatives that are underway. This initiative will expose them to various career options and enable them to interact with renowned personalities.

BEL Order Book Crosses 50,000 Crore landmark


An order worth Rs 9,200 crore for supply of seven Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) systems has pushed the order book of Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) beyond 50,000 crore for the first time in history of the company.  

The Navratna DPSU is confident that this is just the beginning and is looking at maintaining a healthy order inflow with business segments such as Radars & Weapon Systems, Electronic Warfare Systems, Fire Control Systems, Communication Systems and C4I Systems driving its growth in the coming days. 

The company has entered into contracts worth about 9,200 crore with Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) to supply LRSAM systems to be fitted onboard seven ships to be built by these two shipbuilders. This is the highest-ever single value order bagged by BEL.Director (Mktg), BEL, SmtAnandi Ramalingam, signed the contracts on behalf of BEL with MDL and GRSE. 

As the lead integrator of Akash Missile system, BEL has already proven its prowess in the realm of Turnkey Missile Systems. The company is now geared up for futuristic programmes such as the Quick Response Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) for the Army, Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) for the Air Force and Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) for the Navy. BEL is the lead integrator of LRSAM systems for the Navy’s P-17A stealth frigates.

The BEL will continue its indigenisation efforts in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Strategies and action plans are in place to face competition, maintain its technological edge and retain its leadership position in strategic electronics.

IAF & French Air force Conduct Basic Training in India With French Rafale Fighter & Transport Aircraft 

Indian Air Force (IAF) recently participated in Exercise Pitch Black 2018 at Darwin, Australia.  Sixteen different nations from across the globe, including French Air Force (FAF) participated in this exercise.  On the return leg, Rafale fighter aircraft and transport aircraft of FAF staged through Air Force Station, Gwalior and Air Force Station, Agra from 01 – 04 Sep 18. 

During the staging period, FAF and IAF carried out basic joint training, which included fighter sorties by pilots in their respective aircraft with observers onboard each other’s transport aircraft supporting the missions.  This interaction with FAF provided a unique opportunity for exchange of experience and sharing of best practices during cooperative deployment.




Curtain Raiser :Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Exercise KAZIND 2018

Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Army Exercise 'KAZIND' will be conducted between the Indian and Kazakhstan Army from 10 to 23 Sep 2018 in Otar region, Kazakhstan. This is the third joint military exercise between the two countries which have a history of extensive cooperation in the defence arena. The second edition of the exercise was held in India last year.

The aim of the exercise is to build and promote bilateral Army to Army relations and exchange skills and experiences between Kazakhstan Army and the Indian Army. The exercise will also serve as a platform for exchange of drills and procedures.

  The fourteen days exercise with the Kazakhstan Army will follow a graduated continuum from orientation to a full scale mock exercise; the aim being to achieve optimum integration among the two contingents through enhanced mutual comprehension of each other’s tactics, techniques and procedures. The vast experience and expertise of Indian troops in counter insurgency operations holds special importance to the Kazakhstan Army. The conduct of the joint exercise will set the stage for greater defence cooperation and consequently will manifest in stronger ties between the two great nations.

BNS Somudra Joy arrive Visakhapatnam on a goodwill visit



Bangladesh Naval Ship Somudra Joy arrived Visakhapatnam on a four day visit to the Eastern Naval Command today, 04 September 18. The Bangladesh Navy ship was accorded a warm welcome by officials from ENC and the Eastern Fleet with Naval Band in attendance on arrival. Capt M Moniruzzaman, Commanding Officer BNS Somudra Joy called-on Vice Adm Karambir Singh PVSM, AVSM FOCINC ENC.

During the ship’s stay in Vizag, a variety of activities including professional interactions, cross deck visits, sports fixtures and social interactions between IN and BN personnel have been scheduled.  Commissioned on 23 December 2013, BNS Somudra Joy, a Hamilton Class frigate, is one of the largest ships of the Bangladesh Navy. The ship earlier visited Visakhapatnam in Feb 2016 and participated in the International Fleet Review hosted by Indian Navy. 

IAF MIG-27 Crash


Today morning a MiG-27 aircraft, that had got airborne from Jodhpur, crashed during a routine mission. Pilot ejected safely. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of accident.

R Madhavan Takes Over As Chairman and Managing Director of HAL

Mr R Madhavan has taken over as Chairman and Managing Director of HAL from Mr T. Suvarna Raju, today.  Prior to this, he was heading the Accessories Division of HAL at Lucknow as an Executive Director.

“Maintaining the numero uno position of HAL in aerospace industry while delivering world class products and services through increased indigenisation would be my key focus areas”, says Mr Madhavan.  The emphasis would be to build on the core competence of the Company and emerge as the preferred supplier in the aerospace industry, he adds.

Born in 1962, Mr Madhavan is a Mechanical Engineer from NIT, Raipur and a post graduate in M. Tech. from IIT Madras.  He joined HAL as a management trainee in July 1982 and has comprehensive management and engineering experience.  His diverse skill sets in varied fields like production, quality, customer services and management fetched him key positions within the organization.

Mr Madhavan is a firm believer that technology is one of the key determinants for the future success of any organization in today’s cutting edge tech-world.  He spearheaded successful absorption of technology for production of Su-30 airframe and engine accessories from raw material phase at HAL’s Accessories Division, Lucknow. He has contributed to `Make in India’ drive by developing MSME vendors for aerospace manufacturing.

The new CMD’s focus areas would also include Design & Development, order book position and product mix which meets the customer requirements.   Partnership, collaboration and support of all the stake holders is the key for HAL’s success in future, he says.

Air Marshal Arvindra Singh Butola Takes Over As Commandant Of Air Force Academy Dundigal 



Air Marshal Arvindra Singh Butola, Vayu Sena Medal, Vishist Seva Medal took over as the Commandant of Air Force Academy, Dundigal today.  Air Force Academy is the premier training establishment and the alma mater of all Officers of Indian Air Force, located at Dundigal approximately 40 kms away from Hyderabad. Air Marshal Arvindra Singh Butola graduated from National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla in May 1981 and was commissioned in the Helicopter stream of Indian Air Force in Jun 1982.  A highly experienced pilot, the Air Marshal has flown more than 6700 hours on 21 types of aircraft.

The Air Marshal is an alumnus of the prestigious Defence Services Staff College Wellington and National Defence College New Delhi. In his illustrious career spanning over 36 years in the Indian Air Force, he has held many important appointments like Senior Officer- in- Charge Administration of an operational command, Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Operations (Transport and Helicopters) at Air Headquarters, Commanding Officer of a frontline helicopter unit in Jammu & Kashmir and Station Commander of a premier Air Force Station under Western Air Command. The Air Marshal has also served as Senior Flying Instructor and Advisor to the Namibian Defence Force and Deputy Chief Test Pilot at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Prior to taking over the prestigious post of Commandant of Air Force Academy, he was Senior Air Staff Officer of an Operational Command.

For his distinguished service and professionalism of very high order, the Air Officer was awarded with Vayu Sena Medal, Vishist Seva Medal, Chief of Air Staff Commendation and Air Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation.

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