2016: An event­ful year for Min­istry of De­fence

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - [ By SP’s Cor­re­spon­dent

Speedy mod­erni­sa­tion of the armed forces to meet present and emerg­ing chal­lenges, de­vel­op­ment of req­ui­site ca­pac­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture for mak­ing up crit­i­cal de­fi­ciency of weapons and equip­ment and cre­at­ing a ro­bust de­fence set up in the coun­try through the ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive, were the salient achieve­ments of the Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) dur­ing 2016.

The year also saw progress for the wel­fare of ex-ser­vice­men as the much awaited One Rank, One Pen­sion (OROP) scheme funds reach­ing the ac­counts of ex-ser­vice­men and fam­i­lies. Dur­ing the year as part of de­fence diplo­macy, In­dia en­gaged with its neigh­bours and Far East­ern coun­tries, as well also de­vel­oped coun­tries through bi­lat­eral talks, ship vis­its and tri­lat­eral mil­i­tary ex­er­cises. To ex­pe­dite ca­pac­ity build­ing, as well as of­fen­sive ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the armed forces, the De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion Coun­cil (DAC), the apex body of the Min­istry of De­fence in mat­ters of ac­qui­si­tions, cleared dif­fer­ent crit­i­cal and high-end de­fence pro­cure­ment pro­pos­als to the tune of more than ` 1,00,000 crore.

The new De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure (DPP) 2016 was pro­mul­gated for cap­i­tal pro­cure­ments and came into ef­fect from April 1, 2016. DPP 2016 has a fo­cus on achiev­ing the ‘Make in In­dia’ vi­sion by ac­cord­ing pri­or­ity to ‘Buy In­dian–IDDM’ (In­dian De­signed, De­vel­oped and Man­u­fac­tured) and ‘Buy (In­dian)’ cat­e­gories. It also fo­cuses on en­hance­ment and ra­tion­al­i­sa­tion of in­dige­nous con­tent.

The Min­istry of De­fence also is­sued guide­lines for penal­ties in busi­ness deal­ings with en­ti­ties, which have come into ef­fect from Novem­ber 21. The guide­lines lay down pol­icy for levy of fi­nan­cial penal­ties and/or sus­pen­sion/ban­ning of busi­ness deal­ings with en­ti­ties, seek­ing to en­ter into con­tract with/hav­ing en­tered into a con­tract for the pro­cure­ment of goods and ser­vices by the Min­istry

of De­fence. ‘En­ti­ties’ will in­clude com­pa­nies, trusts, so­ci­eties, as well as in­di­vid­u­als and their as­so­ci­a­tions with whom the Min­istry of De­fence has en­tered into, or in­tends to en­ter into, or could en­ter into con­tracts or agree­ments. The guide­lines are avail­able at http://mod. nic.in/ writeread­data/ guideen­ti­ties.pdf.

In­dian Army

Cur­rent Sit­u­a­tion in Jammu and Kash­mir: The se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in J&K is at an im­por­tant crossroads. Cease­fire vi­o­la­tions (CFVs) which saw a sig­nif­i­cant rise in the pre­ced­ing months, wherein sev­eral in­ci­dents of cal­i­bre es­ca­la­tion to ar­tillery/120mm mor­tar were at­tempted by Pak­istan. This has seen a dras­tic re­duc­tion in CFVs post the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Mil­i­tary Op­er­a­tions (DGMO) level talks which took place on Novem­ber 23. Re­lent­less op­er­a­tions by the Army both along the line of con­trol (LoC) and in the hin­ter­land in con­cert with other se­cu­rity forces have thwarted the de­signs of the nexus to give a fil­lip to the proxy war be­ing waged against In­dia. Army along with Cen­tral Armed Po­lice Forces (CAPF) and J&K Po­lice con­tin­ues to put in re­lent­less ef­forts to bring back nor­malcy to the Kash­mir Val­ley.

Sit­u­a­tion along LAC: There is no com­monly de­lin­eated line of ac­tual con­trol (LAC) in the border ar­eas be­tween In­dia and China. From time to time, on ac­count of dif­fer­ing per­cep­tion of the LAC, sit­u­a­tions have arisen on the ground that could have been avoided if we had a com­mon per­cep­tion of the LAC. Army reg­u­larly takes up any such sit­u­a­tion along the LAC with the Chi­nese side through es­tab­lished mech­a­nism in­clud­ing border per­son­nel meet­ings, flag meet­ings, meet­ing of Work­ing Mech­a­nism for Con­sul­ta­tion & Co­or­di­na­tion on In­dia-China Border Af­fairs and diplo­matic chan­nels.

Sur­gi­cal Strikes along LoC: Based on spe­cific and cred­i­ble in­puts about some ter­ror­ist teams hav­ing po­si­tioned them­selves at launch pads along LoC to carry out in­fil­tra­tion and con­duct ter­ror­ist strikes in Jammu and Kash­mir and in var­i­ous met­ros in other states, the In­dian Army con­ducted sur­gi­cal strikes on Septem­ber 29 at sev­eral of these launch pads to pre-empt in­fil­tra­tion by ter­ror­ists.

The op­er­a­tions were fo­cused on en­sur­ing that these ter­ror­ists did not suc­ceed in their de­sign to cause de­struc­tion and en­dan­ger the lives of our cit­i­zens. Dur­ing these counter ter­ror­ist op­er­a­tions sig­nif­i­cant ca­su­al­ties were caused to ter­ror­ists and those pro­vid­ing sup­port to them.

Train­ing Events and Mil­i­tary Ex­er­cises: The fol­low­ing ex­er­cises were con­ducted with dif­fer­ent coun­tries: In­dia-France Joint Mil­i­tary Ex­er­cise Shakti; In­dia-Nepal Com­bined Mil­i­tary Train­ing Ex­er­cise Surya Ki­ran IX; In­dia–In­done­sia Joint Train­ing Ex­er­cise Garuda Shakti IV; Ex­er­cise Force-18, the largest ground forces multi­na­tional field train­ing ex­er­cise on Hu­man­i­tar­ian Mine Ac­tion and Peace­keep­ing Op­er­a­tions cul­mi­nated at Pune; Ex­er­cise Sha­tru­jeet; Ex­er­cise Chakravyuh-II; Ex­er­cise Jal­ra­hat; Ex­er­cise Maitree; Ex­er­cise Yudh Ab­hyas; In­dia-Kaza­khstan Joint Ex­er­cise; Ex­er­cise In­dra-2016 with Rus­sia; Sino-In­dian Joint Ex­er­cise, and In­dia-China Joint Train­ing Ex­er­cise.

In­dian Navy

To en­hance its blue wa­ter ca­pa­bil­ity, the In­dian Navy opted to strengthen its sub­ma­rine arm for which re­quest for pro­posal (RFP) to ac­quire six more con­ven­tional sub­marines un­der Project 75(I) was cleared by the DAC. The project will cost around ` 80,000 crore.

Kal­vari, the first of the Scor­pene class sub­ma­rine, be­ing built at the Mazagon Dock Ship­builders Lim­ited in Mumbai (MDL), went to sea on May 1 un­der her own propul­sion for the first sea trial, off the Mumbai coast. The sub­ma­rine is presently un­der­go­ing ad­vanced/ deep-dive tri­als and is likely to be com­mis­sioned in early 2017.

Bi­lat­eral/mul­ti­lat­eral Ex­er­cises: To en­hance In­dia’s pres­ence in the mar­itime arena/across area of re­spon­si­bil­ity/in­ter­est, the In­dian Navy was de­ployed ex­ten­sively across the globe and con­ducted ex­er­cises with friendly for­eign navies. Some of these are: Naseem-Al-Bahr with the Royal Navy of Oman; the In­ter­na­tional Fleet Re­view (IFR) 2016 at Visakha­p­at­nam from Fe­bru­ary 4-8, cul­mi­nated with In­dian and for­eign naval ships un­der­tak­ing a Pas­sage Ex­er­cise (PASSEX) in the Bay of Ben­gal on Fe­bru­ary 9. Some 54 ships that par­tic­i­pated in IFR 2016 sailed out from Visakha­p­at­nam in the first ever PASSEX with com­bined par­tic­i­pa­tion of for­eign and In­dian war­ships. The un­prece­dented scale and scope of the PASSEX was in­dica­tive of In­dia’s grow­ing stature in the mar­itime do­main and the bridges that have been painstak­ingly built by the In­dian Navy to­wards achiev­ing the motto of the In­ter­na­tional Fleet Re­view in let­ter and spirit ‘United through Oceans’.

Then there were Ex­er­cise Mal­abar 2016 with US and Ja­pan; Ex­er­cise RIMPAC off Hawaii; Indo-Thai Co­or­di­nated Pa­trol (CORPAT); ADMM Plus Ex­er­cise on Mar­itime Se­cu­rity and Counter Ter­ror­ism; Co­or­di­nated Pa­trol and In­dia-In­done­sia Bi­lat­eral Mar­itime Ex­er­cise; Ex­er­cise Konkan 16; In­dra Navy 2016; In­doMyan­mar Co­or­di­nated Pa­trol (IMCOR); de­ploy­ment of P-8(I) to Sey­chelles for EEZ Sur­veil­lance; INS Beas vis­its Doha; de­ploy­ment to Male, Mal­dives: Western Fleet ships INS Vikra­ma­ditya and de­ploy­ment to Mau­ri­tius: and Ships of First Train­ing Squadron vis­ited Thai­land and Sri Lanka.

Com­mis­sion of Tri­als of Ships: INS Kad­matt, sec­ond ship of Project 28 (P-28) class anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare corvettes, indigenously de­signed by the In­dian Navy’s in-house or­gan­i­sa­tion, the Direc­torate of Naval De­sign and con­structed by the Gar­den Reach Ship­builders and En­gi­neers Lim­ited (GRSE), Kolkata, was com­mis­sioned at the Naval Dock­yard in Visakha­p­at­nam on Jan­uary 7.

Launch of Yard 2097/2098/2099: The sixth, sev­enth and eighth ships of LCU MK IV project were launched in March, Novem­ber and De­cem­ber at the GRSE.

INS Tar­mugli: The In­dian Navy com­mis­sioned the highly ma­noeu­vrable fast at­tack craft INS Tar­mugli at a cer­e­mony at the Naval Dock­yard in Visakha­p­at­nam on May 23.

In­dian Air Force

Rafale Ac­qui­si­tion Deal: The much awaited Rafale deal with France was signed on Septem­ber 23 in New Delhi un­der which France will pro­vide 36 Rafale fighter jets to In­dia. The twinengine, multi-role air­craft will be ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing out var­i­ous com­bat mis­sions like air de­fence, ground at­tack, re­con­nais­sance, anti-ship strikes, etc.

Te­jas In­duc­tion: The light com­bat air­craft (LCA) Te­jas was in­ducted into No. 45 Squadron of the In­dian Air Force (IAF) on July 1. The squadron will op­er­ate from Bengaluru for nearly two years, be­fore it moves to its des­ig­nated lo­ca­tion at Su­lur near Coim­bat­ore. It is the first fighter squadron to be a part of the South­ern Air Com­mand of IAF head­quar­tered at Thiruvananthapuram. Op­er­a­tions

The IAF had em­barked on an am­bi­tious re­con­struc­tion plan to up­grade eight ALGs in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment at an over­all out­lay of nearly ` 1,000 crore fol­low­ing a MoU be­tween the Gov­ern­ment of Arunachal Pradesh and the Min­istry of De­fence in June 2009. Five ALGs at Ziro, Along, Mechuka, Pasighat and Tut­ing were up­graded and made op­er­a­tional in 2016. Ex­er­cises

Ex­er­cise Iron Fist 2016: A day-night ex­er­cise demon­strat­ing the com­bat and fire­power of the IAF was con­ducted on 18 Marat Ra­jasthan’s Pokhran fir­ing range in the pres­ence of the Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee and Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi. The event

com­prised of six pack­ages de­pict­ing six themes in which more than 180 air­craft, in­clud­ing fight­ers, trans­port and he­li­copters par­tic­i­pated. HADR Op­er­a­tions

Op Sankat Mochan: Stranded In­dian na­tion­als were evac­u­ated from Juba, the cap­i­tal of war-torn South Su­dan on July 14. The Min­is­ter of State for Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Gen­eral V.K. Singh (Retd), flew to Juba in one of the two C-17 Globe­mas­ter air­craft in the op­er­a­tion which was named Op­er­a­tion Sankat Mochan. De­fence Co­op­er­a­tion

Ex­er­cise Red Flag with US Air Force; Desert Ea­gle II with UAE: This was the sec­ond in the se­ries of bi­lat­eral ex­er­cises be­tween the IAF and the United Arab Emi­rates Air Force (UAEAF). This was a 10-day air com­bat ex­er­cise in which the IAF and the UAEAF un­der­took air ex­er­cises from Al-Dhafra Air Base, Abu Dhabi start­ing from May 22.

In­dia gets Women Fighter Pi­lots: His­tory was cre­ated as the first three women fighter pi­lots of the IAF were com­mis­sioned at the Com­bined Grad­u­a­tion Pa­rade at Air Force Academy, Dundi­gal, on June 18. With this, In­dia joined a se­lect few na­tions in the world that have women fighter pi­lots. These women fighter pi­lots are Fly­ing Of­fi­cers Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mo­hana Singh. Sub­se­quently, on Au­gust 12 Mar­shal of the In­dian Air Force Ar­jan Singh, DFC, fe­lic­i­tated the three women fighter pi­lots in New Delhi.

De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion

Agni-V Suc­cess­fully Test-fired: Agni-V, the long-range sur­face-to­sur­face bal­lis­tic mis­sile, was suc­cess­fully flight tested by DRDO on De­cem­ber 26 from Dr Ab­dul Kalam Is­land, Odisha. The full range test-flight of the mis­sile fur­ther boosted the in­dige­nous mis­sile ca­pa­bil­i­ties and de­ter­rence level of the coun­try.

Light Com­bat Air­craft (LCA) Te­jas: Indigenously de­vel­oped LCA is an ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy, sin­gle-seat, sin­gle-en­gine, su­personic, light­weight, all-weather, multi-role, air su­pe­ri­or­ity fighter de­signed for air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea com­bat roles. Dur­ing the year, Te­jas made its in­ter­na­tional de­but in Jan­uary 2016 with par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Bahrain In­ter­na­tional Air Show. The Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL) handed over the first two Te­jas air­craft to IAF at a cer­e­mony at the Air­craft and Sys­tems Test­ing Es­tab­lish­ment (ASTE) in Bengaluru on July 1, 2016, which will make up the Fly­ing Dag­gers 45, the name of the first squadron of LCA.

Long-range Sur­face-to-Air Mis­sile (LRSAM): LRSAM is a joint de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme of DRDO, In­dian Navy and Is­rael Aerospace In­dus­tries (IAI). The mis­siles are in­tended to equip three guided mis­sile de­stroy­ers of the In­dian Navy. LRSAM home-on-tests were con­ducted at the In­te­grated Test Range (ITR) dur­ing Septem­ber to prove three in­ter­cept sce­nar­ios with Ban­shee Jet 80 as tar­get.

Medium-range Sur­face-to-Air Msis­sile (MRSAM): MRSAM is be­ing de­vel­oped for the IAF for pro­tect­ing our ter­ri­tory and ground forces from air at­tacks by in­ter­cept­ing aerial tar­gets like fighter air­craft and guided weapons. The sys­tem is jointly de­vel­oped by DRDO, IAF and IAI, Is­rael. Dur­ing the year, three flight tri­als were suc­cess­fully car­ried out in June and July to eval­u­ate tar­get de­tec­tion and track­ing by Long Range De­tec­tion and Track­ing Radar, mis­sile launch and hom­ing on tar­get and radar track­ing.

Anti-tank Mis­sile PROSPINA: Nag is a third-gen­er­a­tion an­ti­tank mis­sile (ATM) with fire & for­get and top at­tack ca­pa­bil­i­ties, which can be used in day and night. It is de­ployed on a spe­cially mod­i­fied in­fantry com­bat ve­hi­cle (ICV) BMP-2 ve­hi­cle NAMICA. Dur­ing the year, guided flight tests of Nag were car­ried out with the ob­jec­tive of demon­strat­ing range ca­pa­bil­i­ties of IIR Seeker dur­ing worst time of the day in sum­mer en­vi­ron­ment.

Kal­vari sub­ma­rine at sea

Rafale ac­qui­si­tion deal was signed on Septem­ber 23, 2016

The light com­bat air­craft (LCA) Te­jas was in­ducted into IAF on July 1, 2016

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