This is a Maxi Post
Ensuring the highest standard of operational preparedness to meet present and emerging challenges through modernization of Armed Forces and making up critical deficiency of weapons and equipment by developing requisite capacities and infrastructure through the Make-in-India initiative were the buzz words in the Defence Ministry for the year 2015.
The year also saw progress in Ex-Servicemen Welfare and rapid digitization in the defence sector to fulfil the Prime Minister’s call of Digital India. During the year as part of Defence diplomacy, India engaged with its neighbours and far eastern countries through bilateral talks, ship visits and bilateral as well as trilateral war exercises. However, the Make-in-India concept clearly dominated acquisition plans so as to make its defence infrastructure strong and robust. 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 Rs. 2 lakh crore in the year 2015.
ENHANCEMENT OF FDI LIMIT
* For speedy indigenisation the Government has increased the foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit from 26% to 49% through approval route in August 2014. Above 49%, the proposal may be considered on case to case basis.
* Defence products list for the purpose of industrial licensing has been substantively shortened and notified.
* Government has notified a Defence Exports Strategy for faster clearance for export of defence items.
* Interactions with industry intensified through DRDO and Department of Defence Production.
Modernization & Equipment
* The Army continues to transform and modernize in order to upgrade into a lethal agile, versatile and networked force capable of operating across the spectrum of conflict. The aim is to make the ‘Force’ capable and prepared to meet the complex and uncertain challenges of the 21st century war fighting. While modernizing the force, the guiding factor remains the Indian Army Vision – “Ensure capability enhancement and operational effectiveness of the Army to meet all contemporary and emerging challenges.”
* In the quest for Capability Development, the Army remains cognizant of the fact that no country can realise its aspirations of becoming a significant power, unless it is able to harness and source its military capability needs indigenously. Accordingly, in line with the vision of ‘Make in India’ due endeavor is being made to ensure that the bulk of the capital procurement is realized through indigenous sources.
* As part of its Artillery modernization programme, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the Army’s proposal to buy 145 BAE’s M777 Ultra-Light howitzers at a cost of Rs 2,900 crore. This deal would be through Foreign Military sales but the spares, maintenance and ammunition will be procured through Indian Systems.
* Akash Weapon System was inducted into the Indian Army on May 05, 2015. It is an indigenously developed supersonic short range surface-to-air missile system with the capability to engage a wide variety of aerial threats like aircraft, helicopters and UAVs upto a maximum range of 25 kms and upto an altitude of 20 kms. The system is capable of simultaneously engaging multiple targets and is capable of providing comprehensive short range missile cover to vulnerable assets in the field force of the Army. With 96 per cent indigenous content, the state-of-the-art weapon system is a glowing manifestation of the Prime Minister’s ‘Make-in-India’ initiative.
* As part of the Indian Army’s indigenization effort, the Army has issued an EoI for the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project to 10 public and private Indian companies under the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Prime Minister.
* An important ‘Make’ projects Tactical Communication System (TCS) which aims at providing communication to forces deployed on the battlefield in a network centric environment and the Battlefield Management System (BMS) which will provide commanders at the tactical level with updated situational awareness, geo spatial data and intercommunication at the fighting formation level.
* The ongoing ‘Buy Indian’ procurement proposals include Advanced Light Helicopter, Medium Range Surface to Air missile system, BrahMos missile system, Pinaka multiple barrel rocket system, Infantry Combat vehicle BMP 2/2K, MBT Arjun, Modular Bridge System, Ballistic Helmets and Bullet Proof Jackets.
* The ongoing ‘Buy & Make Indian’ procurement proposal include the Mounted Gun System (MGS) for the Artillery, Air Defence Guns as successor to the existing L/70 and Zu-23 guns for the Army Air Defence, Light Armoured Vehicle Multipurpose Vehicle (LAM-V) for the mechanised forces and mine ploughs for the T-90 tanks.
* The Government took the decision of building a National War Memorial to honour Defence Forces’ personnel who were martyred in wars after Independence in 1947. Rs 500 crore has been allocated for the memorial which will be located near India Gate. A war museum will also be constructed. The entire project would be completed in five years.
* The construction of Indian National Defence University (INDU) at Binola near Gurgaon is progressing very fast. It is expected to be functional in 2018.
ARMY’S DIGITISATION INITIATIVES
* As part of the PM’s ‘Digital India’ initiative digitization of the recruitment process of Army personnel and Communication Networks have been undertaken in full earnest. A special software system Army; Record Officers Process Automation (ARPAN) 2.0, was launched recently. This has enabled more than 12 lakh junior commissioned officer and jawans to access their service records and employment details online.
* From July 01, 2015, Army recruitment has also gone online. A new website www.joinindianarmy.nic.in of the Directorate General of Recruitment has been launched for selection of officers, JCOs and Other Ranks. Candidates from all over India can now have access to information about career options in the Army, make suitable choices and apply online.
* The Indian Army’s private cloud was also inaugurated by the Defence Minister on October 16, 2015. This marks the commencement of the data centre infrastructure of the Army, which includes a central data centre and a near line data centre in Delhi and a Disaster Recovery Site for replication of its critical data. In addition, the Digi-Locker which provides a secure and exclusive data storage space to all the units of Army over its dedicated data network has also been launched with all the advanced features like watermarking and digital signatures. This is a giant leap towards implementation of Cyber Security as it precludes carriage of soft copies of data on CDs/DVDs and removable media.
SITUATION ON BORDERS
* By improving and beefing up the operational preparedness of the Army, incidents of infiltration have seen a downward trend while the number of infiltration on the Line of Control in 2012 was 264, in 2014 it decreased to 221 and this year, upto 30 September, 92 attempted infiltrations took place and 37 terrorists were killed by the security forces. Ceasefire violations along the International Border under operational control of the Indian Army, has also seen a slightly downward trend in comparison to the year 2014. Similarly, incidences of intrusions on our northern border has also gone down because of holding of regular border meetings between India and China.
* A battalion level Joint India-China Army Exercise called Operation Hand-in-Hand on counter-terrorism and ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief’ was held at Kunming, China from 12 to 22 October 2015. Participating troops from both sides had trained together and learned from each other in mixed groups on Basic Individual Skills (combat boxing, basic mountaineering and shooting), Comprehensive Combat Skills (obstacle crossing, combat shooting, demolition, high intensity physical training) and unit/sub unit tactics, especially in a counter terrorism scenario. A joint field exercise depicting counter-terrorist operations on India- China border areas was held from 21 to 22 October to validate the exercise objectives.
Exercise ‘INDRA - 2015’
* The joint military exercise between India and Russia, INDRA-2015 was held at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, which started from 08 to 18 November 2015. The final stage of the exercise saw consolidation of group of forces of the two countries, acting under the auspices of the United Nations, assisting the government of a third country in combating armed terrorists in a semi-urban terrain.
Exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas - 2015’
* The India-US Combined Military Training Exercise YUDH ABHYAS 2015, was held from 09 to 23 Sep 2015 at Joint Base Lewis McChord, USA. The exercise brought together troops of an Infantry sub unit and a Formation Headquarter of the Indian Army and similar participation from the US Army for the joint training. The exercise provided an ideal platform for the personnel of the two countries to share their experiences on Military Operations in Urban Terrain, under the UN mandate.
Golden Jubilee Celebration of 1965 Indo Pak War
* The Army as part of Joint Service effort, organised a series of events to mark the Golden Jubilee of the 1965 Indo - Pak War. It was aimed to pay tribute to the collective resolve of the nation and the valour and sacrifice of The Armed Forces. The commemorative events commenced from 28 Aug 15. The major attraction of the celebrations was the exhibition “Shauryanjali” in the India Gate lawns, initially planned from 15 to 20 Sep and extended till 27 Sep due to overwhelming public response. The exhibition recreated major battle scenes and showcased the role of various arms and services during the War.
* On 20 Sep 2015, a Carnival to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of 1965 Indo-Pak War, ‘Indradhanush’ was organized at India Gate lawns. It celebrated the triumph of India and shared the joy of the success with one and all. The carnival showcased events like martial arts display by regiments of the Army.
* The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti and interacted with war veterans on 22 Sep 2015. The President also interacted with veterans over tea at Rashtrapati Bhawan on the same day, marking the culmination of the 1965 Indo Pak celebrations. The exhibition depicting the war continued till 27 Sep on popular demand.
Centenary Celebrations of 1st World War
* The Indian Army commemorated the centenary of the First World War from 10 Mar to 14 Mar 2015 in New Delhi in memory of the 1.5 million Indian Soldiers who fought in the war and over 74000 who made the supreme sacrifice. 10th March 1915 coincides with the Battle of Neuve Chapelle marking the British Offensive in Artois region of France in which the Garhwal Brigade & Meerut Division of the Indian Corps participated. The period 2014 to 2018 is being commemorated as the Centenary of World War-I.
* 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 Rs. 80,000 crore. Under this programme six conventional submarines are planned to be built in India with foreign collaboration.
* To augment the Navy’s offensive capabilities, government has decided to procure twelve Mine Counter Measures Vessels (MCMVs) for which Accord of Necessities (AoN) has been issued and has nominated Goa Shipyard Limited to process the case with TOT from abroad.
* Government has taken decision to induct 16 Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) for the Navy, which will go a long way in mitigating gaps in Air Anti-Submarine Warfare capability. Apart from this initiative, it has also given a go ahead for the Major Refit/Mid Life Upgradation (MR/MLU) of Kamov 28 helicopters.
* The first ship of Project-15B Guided Missile Destroyer, christened INS Visakhapatnam was launched on April 20, 2015 at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai.
* Sardar Patel, the latest Naval establishment of Indian Navy in the maritime state of Gujarat, was commissioned at Porbandar by the Chief Minister of Gujarat on May 09, 2015.
* Under Project-28, INS Kavaratti, the fourth in the series of Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette was launched at GRSE, Kolkata by the Minister of State for Defence on 19 May 2015. These four ships of Project 28 have been designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval design, New Delhi and bear testimony to the acclaimed legacy of naval designers.
* To provide a boost to the coastal defence capability of the Navy three follow-on Water Jet Fast Attack Craft namely INS Tarmugli, INS Tilanchang and INS Tihayu were launched by the Vice Chief of Naval Staff at a function at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Kolkata on 30 June 2015.
* There was timely commencement and completion of Phase-I of Karwar ‘Project Sea Bird’ and THE Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala. Under this programme the Defence Minister commissioned INS ‘Vajrakosh’ – the latest establishment of the Indian Navy at Karwar, Karnataka on 09 September 2015.
* Three Intermediate Support Vessels (ISVs) were commissioned into the Indian Navy as T-48, T-49 and T-50 on September 29, 2015 in consonance with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. 14 of the ISVs were built indigenously by M/s SHM Shipcare, Thane while four were built by M/s ADSB and five by M/s Rodman Polyships.
* The indigenously designed and constructed Project 15A (Kolkata Class) Stealth Guided Missile Destroyer INS Kochi was commissioned by the Defence Minister on September 30, 2015 at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. The ship can be truly classified as a 'Network of Networks' as it is equipped with sophisticated digital networks, such as Asynchronous Transfer Mode based Integrated Ship Data Network (AISDN), Combat Management System (CMS), Automatic Power Management System (APMS) and Auxiliary Control System (ACS). The AISDN is the information highway on which data from all the sensors and weapons ride. The CMS is used to integrate information from other platforms using indigenous data-link system, to provide Maritime Domain Awareness. The intricate power supply management is done using APMS, and remote control and monitoring of the machinery is achieved through the ACS.
* The Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) reached another milestone, as the first ship of the Scorpene Class submarine, INS ‘Kalvari’ was separated from the pontoon and set afloat at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai on October 28, 2015. Later INS ‘Kalvari’ was brought back to Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd on October 29, 2015.
* The Indian Navy received a major fillip with the induction of eight Boeing P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft at Naval Air Station Rajali, Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu (the first aircraft arrived in May 2013 and last in mid-2015). The squadron was formally dedicated to the nation by the Defence Minister on 13 Nov 15. The P-8I aircraft, based on the Boeing 737-800(NG) airframe, is the Indian Naval variant of the P-8A Poseidon of the US Navy. The aircraft is equipped with both foreign as well as indigenous sensors for Maritime Reconnaissance, Anti-Submarine operations and for Electronic Intelligence missions. The aircraft is fully integrated with state of the art sensors and highly potent Anti-Surface and Anti-Submarine weapons. The Indian Navy is also in the process of acquiring an additional four P-8I aircraft. The induction of the P-8I aircraft into the Indian Navy has greatly enhanced India’s maritime surveillance capability in the Indian Ocean Region.
* The Combined Commanders’ Conference 2015 was held on-board INS Vikramaditya off Kochi in an operational environment. This was done on the directives of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The Conference was followed by an Operational and Naval Air Power Demonstration, wherein almost 30 ships, 05 submarines and 60 aircraft took part.
THE ROAD AHEAD
* With the release on 20 July 2015, of the Indian Naval Indigenisation Plan (INIP): 2015-2030, the Navy has given unmistakable notice of its firm intent to establish itself as a true Builder’s Navy, with attendant spinoffs enabling India to be a net provider of security in her maritime neighbourhood, by building capacity and enhancing capability of her regional friends and partners.
Further, it is aware of the serious shortfalls in terms of both Indian R & D and Indian manufacturing, as the five drivers of the INIP, viz. (1) a lack of credible R&D in military sciences and technologies; (2) inadequate amalgamation between R&D and the manufacturing sector; (3) the absence of an integrated approach amongst users, designers and manufacturers; (4) commercial unviability due to a lack of economies of scale approach; and (5) the effect of technology-denial regimes, clearly reflect the Navy’s clarity of perception in charting the course ahead.
Indo-French Naval Exercise Varuna - 2015
* Fourteenth edition of Indo-French naval exercise (VARUNA) was conducted off Goa from 23 April to 02 May 2015, which had both a harbour and sea phase exercise. The French Navy was represented by Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers Chevalier Paul and Jean de Vienne, replenishment tanker Meuse and a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2. The Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle was carrying its complement of fighter aircraft Rafale M, Strike Aircraft Super Etendard, E2C Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters Dauphin and Alouette 3. From the Indian side Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat, destroyer INS Mumbai, stealth frigate INS Tarkash, guided missile frigate INS Gomati, replenishment tanker INS Deepak, submarine INS Shankul and a few Fast Attack Craft along with P-8 I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Seaking 42B and Chetak helicopters, participated.
SIMBEX - 2015
* The Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, was on an operational deployment to southern Indian Ocean and South China Sea. As a part of this deployment, INS Satpura, indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate and INS Kamorta, the latest and indigenous Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette arrived at Singapore on 18 May 2015. These ships participated in IMDEX-15 and later conducted bilateral naval exercise SIMBEX-15 with the Singapore Navy from 23-26 May 2015.
Exercise AUSINDEX - 2015
* The Inaugural Bilateral Maritime Exercise between India and Australia AUSINDEX – 15 was conducted off the east coast of India from 11 to 19 September 2015. The exercise was jointly inaugurated by Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, Head Navy Capability of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Rear Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet on board INS Shivalik at Visakhapatnam. The exercise started with harbour phase encompassing briefings and practical demonstrations along with professional interactions. It was followed by a sea phase, which included fleet manoeuvres, gun firings as well as coordinated anti-submarine exercises. The exercise further enhanced the ability of both navies to undertake regional, joint and / or combined operations such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.
Exercise Malabar - 2015
* The 19th edition of MALABAR exercise was conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 14 to 19 October 2015. Along with the Indian Navy and the US Naval Forces, the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Forces (JMSDF) also participated in the exercise. The scope of Malabar – 15 included wide ranging professional interactions and a diverse range of operational activities during the sea – phase. An indigenous frigate INS Shivalik, INS Ranvijay, INS Betwa and a Fleet Support Ship INS Shakti and one submarine INS Sindhudhvaj represented the Indian side. Beside these, LRM Patrol Aircraft P8I and some integral rotary wing helicopters also participated in the trilateral exercise. The US Navy was represented by the ships from Carrier Task Force (CTF) 70 of the US Navy 7th Fleet, based at Yokosuka, Japan. One Nimitz Class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, Ticonderoga Class cruiser USS Normandy and Freedom Class Littoral Combat ship USS Fort Worth were part of the CTF. Besides these nuclear powered submarine USS City of Corpus, Christi, F18 aircraft and P8A Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft also participated. JMSDF was represented by JS Fyuzuki a missile destroyer with SH 60K integral helicopter. This trilateral exercise significantly enhanced naval cooperation among important navies of the Indo-Pacific region.
* The eight edition of Indo-Russian bilateral exercise INDRA NAVY 2015 was conducted in the Bay of Bengal off Visakhapatnam from 07 to 12 December 2015. The scope of the exercise included wide-ranging professional interaction during the harbour phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities at sea across a spectrum of maritime operations. During the exercise, the Indian Navy was represented by INS Sahyadri – an indigenous frigate, INS Ranvijay – a guided missile destroyer and INS Shakti – a fleet support ship in addition a submarine INS Sindhuvir, the P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Dornier Short Range Patrol Aircraft, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer and other integral rotary wing helicopters. The Russian Federation Navy was represented by four ships drawn from the Pacific Fleet. The exercise helped to further strengthen mutual confidence and interoperability and also enabled sharing of best practices between both the navies.
INDIAN AIR FORCE
* The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been modernising its inventory as per its long-term perspective plan. The focus is on “Make in India” to give impetus to indigenous development and manufacturing, including participation of private sector in defence manufacturing. Modernisation process involves new inductions, as well as upgradation of the existing weapon platforms and support systems as a part of the capability build up.
* The on-going modernisation plan spans the entire spectrum of IAF’s capability including fighters, transport aircraft, helicopters, combat support assets and air defence network. Net centricity, cyber security and ensuring enhanced visibility of entire battle space for seamless operations are part of this capability build up. To maximise the operational potential, IAF is also creating modern and efficient operational and technical infrastructure.
Acquisitions & Upgrades
* LCA. Light combat aircraft Tejas is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bangalore. The Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) of LCA was achieved in December 2013. The first series production aircraft in IOC configuration was handed over to IAF in January 2015.
* Mirage-2000 Upgrade. IAF contracted for the upgrade of Mirage 2000 aircraft to advance standards of improved radar, avionics, electronic suite, weapons and a modern generation glass cockpit. On March 25, 2015, first upgraded aircraft was handed over to the IAF. The induction of the aircraft has added the much needed teeth to Air power and keeps the IAF ahead of its adversaries. This multirole fighter aircraft has achieved enhanced operational life. A Mirage 2000 carried out a landing on the Yamuna Expressway to showcase its operational capability, characterized by flexibility and speed of response.
* MiG-29 Upgrade. The series upgrade of MiG-29 aircraft is currently underway at Base Repair Depot.
* Rafale Aircraft. The Government has decided to procure 36 Rafale aircraft through Inter Governmental agreement between the Indian and French Governments.
* C-17 GLOBE MASTER III. A contract for supply of ten C-17 aircraft was signed with the United States Government in June 2011 and was inducted into IAF in September 2013. During the year all the aircraft have been delivered and are operational in IAF.
* AN-32 Upgrade. AN-32 fleet was inducted into IAF between 1984 and 1991. Total Technical Life Extension (TTLE)/Re-Equipment (RE) project is concurrently underway at Kyiv, Ukraine and No.1 Base Repair Depot (BRD) at Kanpur. This project will extend the aircraft’s life by 15 years besides enhancing its operational potential and safety.
* Attack Helicopters. A contract was signed in September 2015 for procurement of state of the art AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. Their delivery would commence from July 2019. The Attack Helicopters are critical combat assets utilised for employment in Anti-Tank Guided Missile role, Counter Insurgency operations, Suppression of Enemy Air Defences, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle neutralization operations, Combat Search and Rescue operations and Low Intensity Conflict Operations. Attack helicopters offer unique offensive capability including support to Army Strike Corps and these capabilities are also required at high altitudes in the mountainous terrain on our Northern borders, not available hitherto.
* Heavy Lift Helicopters (HLH). A contract was signed in September 2015 for procurement of Chinook CH-47F (I) Heavy Lift Helicopters (HLH). The delivery of the helicopters will commence in a phased manner. The HLH are required to conduct strategic and tactical airlift missions in support of the armed forces and undertake humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions during calamities. HLH are critically required to support infrastructure build-up in mountainous regions. Heavy bridging and road construction equipment can be airlifted only by this class of helicopters.
* Pilatus Induction. Delivery of all Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) - PC-7 MK II from M/s Pilatus Aircraft Limited to IAF has been completed in October 2015 as per BTA procurement contract signed between Government of India and the Swiss company on May 24, 2012. Aircraft is currently in use for ab-initio pilot training. However, utilisation of aircraft is further planned to increase to Stage II flying training also. This state of art aircraft is helping newly recruited pilots to prepare for exacting requirement of combat flying.
* Microlight. A contract was signed in October 2015 with Pipistrel, Slovenia for supply of microlights. Delivery will commence from October 2016 onwards and will be completed by October 2020. It will be used in IAF for enhancement of flight safety by monitoring bird activity in the vicinity of airfields and directing bird controlling measures.
Air Defence Network
* Air Defence Radars To strengthen the existing air defence radar cover over Indian airspace, variety of new sensors are being inducted in IAF. Recent inductions include the following:-
* MPR. Medium Power Radars from Israel have been inducted. These radars have replaced legacy radars of 80s’ technology.
* LLTR. To fill the low level radar gaps along the border, new Low Level Transportable Radars (LLTRs) are being inducted in IAF from M/s Thales, France with transfer of technology. M/s BEL will produce few of these state of the art radars in India. These radars are mobile and can be deployed anywhere as per operational requirements.
* LLLWR. Low Level Light Weight Radars (LLLWRs) are being inducted to provide electronic eye to our Mobile Observation Flights (MOF). These radars scan for low level aerial threats and provide extended early warning.
* Akash Missile System. IAF is in the process of inducting Akash Missile System (AMS) in its inventory. A formal induction ceremony of AMS was conducted on July 10, 2015 at Air Force Station Gwalior.
* Harpoon. Letter of Agreement for procurement of Harpoon Anti-ship operational missiles and associated equipment was signed in August 2010. Training of the aircrew has been completed for carriage and delivery of these weapons. Integration of these weapons would enhance the capability of the IAF in neutralizing threats emanating from the maritime domain and thereby be able to provide greater support to the
Indian Navy in its operations at sea
* MICA Air to Air Missiles. The delivery of MICA air to air missiles for upgraded Mirage-2000 aircraft has commenced and these missiles will further increase the capability of the
Mirage-2000 aircraft as a potent platform
* SPICE-2000 Bombs. IAF has acquired precision guided bombs with increased accuracy and penetration for use against fortified and underground command centres. This weapon has been tested and its capabilities have been validated at an IAF firing range.
Indigenous Pechora Combat Simulator (IPCS)
o Pechora missile system is one of the vital elements of Air Defence setup of IAF. The system was procured from Russia during the period from 1974 to 1989 to provide Air Defence cover to assets of national importance. It has been provided with simulators for conduct of training for the missile combat crew. Pechora system has out lived the life specified by the OEM. However, the system is to be deployed for extended operational utilisation in view of delay in new inductions. The extended utilisation of Pechora system is a challenge due to unreliable performance and lack of product support from the OEM.
o In order to facilitate extended utilisation IAF has indigenized the class room version Pechora combat simulator for training of combat crew. The simulator has been indigenized in-house at a cost of Rs 2.3 lacs against the cost of Rs 55 lacs quoted by the vendor. A certificate of excellence has been awarded for indigenisation of simulator on October 08, 2015 by the Prime Minister of India.
* Award of ‘Certificate of Excellence’ by the Prime Minister. The importance & utility of current weather information lies in its currency and availability in real-time to operators and decision makers. To meet this requirement the Directorate of Meteorology has conceptualised and implemented the on line portal - Mausam on Line (MoL). The ultimate aim was to provide real time weather observation and forecasts to the commanders and operators towards efficient planning and execution of Air operations. Directorate of Met was awarded a Certificate for excellence in innovation by the Prime Minister on October 08, 2015 on the eve of 83rd Air Force Day celebrations.
Joint Planning and Operations
* Indo-US Joint Exercise “Yudh Abhyas”, Indo-UK Jt Ex “Ajeya Warrior”, India-China Jt Ex “Hand-in-Hand”, Indo-Thailand Jt trg “Ex Maitree”, Indo-Maldives combined Trg “Ex Ekuverian” are the joint exercises which have already been conducted by the Indian Army this year with friendly Foreign countries along with IAF air assets.
COOPERATION BETWEEN IAF AND CIVIL AUTHORITIES
Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations
* Op Rahat. The Government of India assessed a requirement of immediate evacuation of over 4000 Indian nationals based at various locations in Yemen due the Civil War there. A combined MEA, IAF, Indian Navy and Air India evacuation plan was put into place for evacuation of Indian nationals. While Indian Naval ships evacuated nationals from Yemenese port cities to Djibouti and Air India ferried back nationals from Saana to Djibouti, IAF deployed three C-17 aircraft to ferry back Indian nationals from Djibouti to Kochi and Mumbai. A total of 11 evacuation trips were undertaken by IAF aircraft which facilitated safe evacuation of 2096 Indian nationals.
* Op Maitri On April 25, 2015 Nepal was struck by an earthquake. IAF launched its biggest ever Disaster Relief Operations in a foreign land to provide relief and support to the Government of Nepal. Total 1636 sorties, amounting to a total flying effort of 863 hours were made towards air evacuation of 780 casualties (including 121 foreign nationals) and rescue of 5188 personnel from various forward/earthquake affected areas.
* Helicopters. A total of 24 helicopters were deployed in the operations which involved a total flying effort of 1572 sorties in 741 hrs, evacuating 5188 victims, 780 casualties, induction of 1488 troops and airlift of 733 tonnes of relief & rehabilitation load.
* Flood Relief Operations in Myanmar. On August 06-07, 2015, IAF C-17 and C-130J aircraft were tasked by MoD to airlift 104 tons of relief material from Delhi to Kalay and Mandalay in Myanmar. C-17 and C-130J aircraft airlifted 48 tons and 10 tons load to Mandalay and Kalay respectively. Meanwhile, another C-17 aircraft was used to position 46 tons load at Guwahati; which was subsequently airlifted to Kalay by the C-130J aircraft in three shuttles.
DEFENCE COOPERATION WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES
* As part of International Defence Cooperation, IAF is engaged with the Air Forces of various friendly foreign countries through Air Staff Talks, professional exchange visits, sports and cultural events.
* INDRADHANUSH-IV. As part of Indo-UK bi-lateral co-operation, Ex Indradhanush - IV was undertaken between July 21- 30, 2015 at RAF base Coningsby, Brize Norton and Honington. IAF contingent comprising of 190 personnel, participated in the exercise. The IAF assets comprised of Su-30MKI, C-130J, C-17, IL-78 aircraft and Garuds. The team demonstrated a high degree of
Joint Military Training (JMT) -15
* Joint Military Training (JMT-15) with Republic of Singapore Air Force was conducted at AF Stn Kalaikunda from November 02-22, 2015. RSAF deployed 06 X F-16 C/D aircraft. Bilateral exercise with Su-30 MKI was conducted from November 23, 2015 for two weeks.
EMPOWERMENT AND WELFARE OF WOMEN
Major Policy Decisions
The Government has approved induction of women into the fighter stream thereby making them eligible for induction in all branches and streams of the IAF. Women are selected as per uniform QRs at par with male counterparts. Further, uniform QRs are applied to both women and men Short Service Commissioned Officers for grant of Permanent Commission irrespective of gender. 348 women officers are holding permanent commission in the IAF as on November 15, 2015.
* In 2015, in the arena of tactical weapon systems – the DRDO productionisation and inducted Akash Missile, the medium range air defence system with multi-target, multi directional capability.
* The state-of-the-art beyond visual range air to air missile Astra, capable of engaging targets decisively was integrated with Su30 combat aircraft. Designed to arm Mig 29, Su30 and India’s own Tejas aircrafts, Astra has undergone series of successful flight trials.
* The supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, designed to be launched from land, air, sea and sub-sea platforms, is a preferred weapon system. 10 Navy ships are equipped with BrahMos, a deadly weapon, and the Army has with two regiments. The underwater launched version underwent successful trial from a submerged pontoon. Recently, BrahMos was successfully test fired with high precision from Indian Navy’s newest stealth destroyer INS Kochi.
* HELINA, an Anti-tank Guided missile that can be fired in both direct and top attack mode was integrated on advanced light helicopter ALH. The missile with capability to defeat futuristic armours is undergoing field trials.
* India’s first Light Weight Multi-role Supersonic Combat Aircraft Tejas, a 4th Generation-Plus contemporary fighter aircraft having recorded over 2500 flawless take offs and landings, demonstrated its might during the “Iron Fist”, a fire power demonstration exercise of Indian Air Force.
* Having undergone extensive weapon trials, extreme weather trials, high altitude and sea level trials, LCA TEJAS received the Initial Operational Clearance on 29th December 2013 and is heading towards achieving the final Operational Clearance. Boosted by the Initial Operational Clearance of LCA TEJAS, the LCA Navy, capable of operating from aircraft carrier ship, has resumed its flight trials after its maiden flight in April 2012.
* DRDO’s technological strength is exemplified by the development, production and acceptance of Indigenous Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) Swathi. Swathi is a highly mobile Radar system designed for automatic first round location of weapons firing projectile type rounds, it operates with a fence detection mode of operation, ensuring fast detection and tracking of shells, mortars and rockets.
* In the direction of establishing a credible Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS), DRDO achieved a major breakthrough with the development of Himshakti. The Field Evaluation & Trials for any EW System prior to induction have been conducted for the first time in the actual area of deployment.
* In a Significant contribution to boost Fire power, the development of Pinaka MKII with longer range has been completed and is undergoing trials.
* A state-of-the-art hydrodynamic test Facility Sea keeping and Manoeuvring Basin has been established at NSTL, Visakhapatnam and dedicated to the Nation by the Defence Minister. The facility will be used for conducting model testing for prediction of sea keeping and manoeuvring performance of newly designed ships and submerged bodies under different environmental conditions and for optimising the motion characteristics of the hull form and effectiveness of the control devices under various manoeuvres.
* MAAREECH an indigenous Advanced Torpedo Defence System to protect naval platform against torpedo attack has been inducted in the Indian Navy.
* A new Torpedo launch and recovery vessel INS ASTRADHARINI developed by DRDO has been commissioned by Indian Navy (FO-C-in-C East). The vessel has been designed with a unique catamaran hull form that significantly reduces its power requirement and can operate at high sea states and has a large deck area with launchers for deploying and recovering various kinds of torpedos during the trials.
* In order to promote ‘Make in India’ programme, DRDO has brought out comprehensive guidelines for Transfer of Technology (ToT) for private and public industries engaged in Indigenous production and commercialization of Defence technology spin-off for societal usage. DRDO has facilitated 75 Licensing agreements for Transfer of Technology (LATOT) to 57 industries under Make in India program.
INDIAN COAST GUARD
* During the year Indian Coast Guard vessels and crafts seized contraband worth of Rs. 618.370 crore.
* It had apprehended as of 15 December 2015, two smuggling vessels and 16 poaching boats and arrested 159 crew for illegal entry into Indian Territorial Waters.
* During the year, it undertook 179 Search and Rescue (SAR) missions and saved the lives of 3756 distressed persons on the high seas.
* ICGS ‘Samarth’ the first in the series of six indigenously-built Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) was commissioned on November 10, 2015 in Goa by the Defence Minister. Fitted with the most advanced state-of-the-art technology, navigation and communications equipment, sensors and machinery, the OPV is 105 metres long and has been designed and built by Goa Shipyard Ltd. Based in Goa, ICGS Samarth has been deployed primarily for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance and other duties on the Western Seaboard to safeguard India's maritime interests.
* The year also saw commissioning of eight Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) namely ICGS Ameya, Amogh, Anagh, Ankit, Anmol, Apoorva, Arinjay & Rani Durgavati.
* Besides these, 12 Interceptor Boats and one Pollution Control Vessel (PCV) ICGS ‘Samudra Pavak’ were also inducted in Coast Guard during the year 2015.
* The Government announced the much awaited ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme for the Armed Forces personnel on 07 November 2015. The OROP which will cost around Rs. 8000 crore extra every year is expected to remove the Pension anomaly that exists in Defence Service personnel of the same rank having the same number of years in service. On 14 December 2015 the Government appointed Justice L Narasimha Reddy as the head of the judicial committee to look into the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.
* The announcement of the 7th Central Pay Commission’s recommendations will provide a hefty hike in the pay and allowances of service personnel. For the first time the commission has substantially hiked the Military Service Pay (MSP) of all personnel and special allowances given to Naval and Air Force personnel deployed in high risk duties.
* The scope of Employees Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) has further been widened by opening more polyclinics and referral hospitals in different parts of the country.
Reaching out to people in Distress
As part of the Nation’s overall relief effort for Nepal, the Indian Army launched operation ‘Maitri’ from 25 April 2015. The Engineer Task forces launched the rescue and rehabilitation opertions from Barpak, Basantpur/Bhaktpur and Jorbati. The Indian Army aviation pilots evacuated stranded/injured people, provide relief material and induct Nepal Army troops to reach inaccessible areas to carry out relief work. Army and Air Force helicopters flew 1650 sorties, rescued 994 people, inducted 1726 troops and dropped 747 tonnes of stores and supplies in the affected areas.
Indian Army Field hospitals and the medical teams provided essential care to 4690 people including over 300 surgeries during their deployment in Nepal.
Post the unprecedented flood situation developing out of incessant rains in Chennai, the Indian Army assistance was sought by the State Government, in afternoon hours of 01 December 2015. Immediately, two Rescue and Relief Columns comprising of troops from the Garrison Infantry Battalion at Chennai and Army’s Engineer elements were activated and begun operations in Tambaram, Mudichur, Manipakam, Guduvancheri and Urapakkam areas of Chennai from evening of 01 December 2015. More than 20,000 stranded people were rescued. The Army has distributed more than 1,25,000 relief packets provided by the State Government and some NGOs besides those from within its own.
In this joint operation ‘Madad’ the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy also contributed significantly by mobilising their assets in evacuating stranded people to safer areas and helped in distribution of relief materials among the flood affected population.
Press Information Bureau
Indian Defence News: Year End Review - 2015: Various Achievements of Ministry of Defence