8th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies meeting in New Delhi
The 8th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) will be held in October 2012 in New Delhi. This is the first time the HACGAM meeting is being held in South Asia region. HACGAM is an apex level forum facilitating congregation of all the major coast guard agencies of Asian region. This initiative was developed initially in 2004 to discuss cooperation among the member organisations to combat piracy in the region. However, the scope of discussions has been expanded to include law enforcement, maritime security, disaster prevention and relief and capacity building. The HACGAM is conducted every year and seven such meetings have been conducted till date.
RAC MiG-29K/KUB fighters start flying from the Vikramaditya
JSC Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (part of the United Aircraft Corporation) performed flights of the MiG-29K/KUB ship-borne fighters from the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, which is on trials in the Barents Sea. The first landing on the aircraft carrier was on July 28, 2012, after which the pilots made the first take-off from the aircraft carrier and one successful landing on the deck. On July 29, Vikramaditya aircraft carrier with MiG-29KUB on board took part in the parade of the Northern Fleet on the Russian Navy Day. Flights of the MiG-29K/KUB ship-borne fighters from the aircraft carrier were carried out as per the mutually agreed plan with India.
Commissioning of INS Sahyadri
Defence Minister A.K. Antony commissioned the third indigenous stealth frigate and the last in the Shivalik class series at the Naval DockYard, Mumbai, on July 21. The first two stealth frigates in this class, INS Shivalik and INS Satpura, are already in service. Captain Sanjay Vatsayan, the Commanding Officer, read out the commissioning warrant in the presence of Union Ministers Sachin Pilot and Milind Deora, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma, Defence Secretary S.K. Sharma, and other senior Navy officers. The 4,900-tonne INS Sahyadri can attain a speed of over 30 knots, is equipped with some of the most advanced surface and air-to-air missiles and can carry two helicopters—a mix of Dhruv, Sea King or Kamov— onboard for various missions.
Bharat Electronics and Thales JV
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Thales have announced that the Boards of both companies have approved the formation of a joint venture company (JVC) subject to statutory approvals of the Government of India and the French Government. The JVC will be dedicated to the design, development, marketing, supply and support of civilian and select defence radars for Indian and global markets.
It may be mentioned that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between BEL and Thales on November 17, 2009. The parent companies aim at making the JVC a centre of excellence with the ability to offer solutions specifically aimed at meeting the needs of both Indian and export customers. In strict accordance with Indian regulations, Thales will hold 26 per cent equity, the maximum allowable holding interest by any foreign company in the defence sector, while the Bharat Electronics will hold 74 per cent of the stock.
Defence Minister dedicates Indian Navy’s FIS
Defence Minister A.K. Antony has dedicated the Indian Navy’s Financial Information System (FIS) to the nation. Lauding the Navy’s initiative as a major initiative in the field of financial management, Antony said, “I hope the other two services and all the other departments of the Government of India will follow this timely and useful initiative of the Indian Navy. I would like to congratulate the Navy for taking this timely initiative.” The FIS, a comprehensive financial information system, will facilitate effective planning, allotment, expenditure and monitoring of the naval budget. The system links the New Delhi-based Naval Headquarters with the three Command Headquarters and various ships and establishments located far and wide across the country.
Commissioning of Indian Coast Guard Ship Samudra Paheredar
Indian Coast Guard Ship Samudra Paheredar was commissioned at Gujarat’s Hazira port near Surat by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma. This is the second of the series of three pollution control vessels (PCVs) being built by the ABG Shipyard, Surat. The 95-metre-long indigenous PCV displaces 4,300 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 20.5 knots, with an endurance of 6,500 nautical miles. The ship’s primary role is pollution response at sea and is equipped with the most advanced and sophisticated pollution response and control equipment for mitigating oil spills. ICGS Samudra Paheredar will be based at Visakhapatnam. DG ICG Vice Admiral M.P. Muralidharan and other senior officers were also present.
First Naval Air Station INS ‘Baaz’ in Nicobar commissioned
The Naval Air Station at Campbell Bay on Great Nicobar Island has been commissioned as Indian Naval Ship ‘Baaz’ by Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of the Naval Staff.
Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Verma said that “the archipelago, separated as it is by more than 650 nm from our mainland, offers a vital geostrategic advantage to India”. He added that Port Blair will be home to amphibious platforms, Naval offshore patrol vessels and fast attack craft as the Navy’s acquisition plans progress.
Rolls-Royce to design and power buoy tender vessel for India
Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has secured an £8 million contract to design and power a highly specialised buoy tender vessel for India.
The vessel will be operating in remote waters off the east coast of India and around the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, maintaining and replacing navigational aids and buoys. The vessel will be built at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd in India, and is due for delivery in 2015. The buoy tender vessel is a Rolls-Royce UT 755 S, which is a development of the well-proven UT 755 series, and designed to operate safely in the most challenging conditions. In addition to the design, Rolls-Royce will also supply the main engines, propulsion system, automation and control system, deck machinery and shaft generators.
DCNS and SEC Industries achieve another milestone
SEC Industries and DCNS have inaugurated new workshop facilities and after successful factory acceptance tests, delivered the cofferdam doors coamings for the Indian P75 Scorpene submarines. The facilities were inaugurated by M.M. Pallam Raju, the Minister of State for Defence. French Ambassador to India François Richier was present along with other Indian senior dignitaries and officials. The cofferdam doors and coamings are key safety components of the submarine. The Mazagon Dock Limited is manufacturing SSK Scorpene submarines (P75) under transfer of technology from DCNS.
Coast Guard Station Karaikal commissioned
Coast Guard (CG) Station Karaikal, the fifth CG station on the Puducherry-Tamil Nadu coastline was commissioned by Vice Admiral M.P. Muralidharan, Director General, Indian Coast Guard. Inspector General S.P. Sharma, the Commander Coast Guard Region (East) and senior officials from the Puducherry Administration witnessed the commissioning ceremony. The station is part of the ongoing efforts by the Coast Guard to strengthen coastal security.
Navantia-BAE amphibious ship, A delaide, for Royal Australian Navy
Navantia has launched at its Ferrol facilities, the second amphibious ship for the Royal Australian Navy. The ship’s launching lady, Maureen Banks, as well as the Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, together with representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia, BAE Systems, SEPI and Navantia attended the event.
Construction of the Adelaide had started with the steel cutting ceremony on February 2, 2010, and was followed by the keel laying on February 18, 2011.
The launch took place four and half months earlier than the planned date. This early launch provides additional time, until early 2014, to complete the outfitting and testing of the ship, when the hull will be transported to Australia for completion and delivery by BAE Systems Australia in Williamstown. The Adelaide is the second of the two amphibious ships contracted on November 23, 2007, by the Commonwealth of Australia in Melbourne.