MoS Defence Ajay Bhatt Visits Indian Military Academy, Interacts With GCs Undergoing Pre-Commissioning Training At IMA

Minister of State For Defence Ajay Bhatt on visited Indian Military Academy, Dehradun on September 2 and 3, 2021. The Minister interacted with Commandant, Indian Military Academy (IMA) and the Gentlemen Cadets undergoing pre-commission training at the academy in Dehradun. He was briefed on the training aspects and was conducted around the training facilities and infrastructure of IMA.

Bhatt conveyed his deep appreciation for the stellar training standards established at the Indian Military Academy and lauded the overall training imparted to the Gentlemen Cadets, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 environment. He also appreciated the training of large number of Gentlemen Cadets from our Friendly Foreign Countries. Major General Alok Joshi Assumes Charge Of IMA’s Deputy Commandant And Chief Instructor.

In a solemn ceremony at the IMA War Memorial, the minister laid a wreath in remembrance of the brave alumni of this Academy, who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the Nation and whose acts of bravery continue to inspire our future leaders.

IAF Signs Rs 300 Crore Emergency Contract With Russia To Procure 70,000 AK-103 Assault Rifles

The Indian Air Force (IAF) signed a deal to procure 70,000 AK-103 assault rifles from Russia. The contract signed by the IAF is emergency provisions to replace INSAS rifles. AK-103 rifles are expected to come within the next few months into the service. As per reports, the force has a requirement of 1.5 lakh rifles. The entire contract reportedly is around Rs 300 crore. It was signed last week. IAF Inducts Rafale Aircraft Into 101 Squadron at Air Force Station Hasimara, Second After ‘Golden Arrows’.

“The contract worth around Rs 300 crore was signed last week under emergency provisions to buy 70,000 AK-103 assault rifles from Russia. The weapons would be first provided to troops in field areas like Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar along with sensitive air bases,” reported news agency ANI quoting government sources as saying.

As per reports, India is likely to sign another contract with Russia to procure more advanced AK-203. This contract will be processed under the Indian Army. The Army has requirement of 6.5 lakh rifles. Notably, AK-13 rifles are in service with the Indian Navy. Marine Commandos, deployed at Jammu And Kashmir’s Wular Lake, use AK-103. IAF Inducts Light Bullet Proof Vehicles to Strengthen Airbase Security Against Terrorist Attacks.

Notably, after the standoff with China at the Eastern Ladakh sector, India has increased the speed of modernisation of the defence forces. Soldiers serving at the border areas with China have already been provided with 1.5 lakh American Sig Sauers. The Centre has also provided over 16,000 Negev Light Machine Guns to the troops deployed at forward areas.

Indian Army Grants Time Scale Colonel Rank to Five Women Officers After Completion of 26 Years of Service

In a step forward towards, gender-neutrality in the armed forces, a Selection Board of the Indian Army cleared the way for the promotion of five women officers to Colonel (Time Scale) rank, post completion of 26 years of reckonable service. This is the first time that women officers serving with the Corps of Signals, Corps of Electronic and Mechanical Engineers (EME) and the Corps of Engineers have been approved to the rank of Colonel. First Batch Of 83 Women Soldiers Inducted Into Military Police Of The Indian Army.

Previously, promotion to the rank of Colonel was only applicable for women officers in the Army Medical Corps (AMC), Judge Advocate General (JAG) and the Army Education Corps (AEC). The widening of promotion avenues to more branches of the Indian Army is a sign of increasing career opportunities for women officers. Changing role of Women Officers in Indian Defence Forces.

Combined with the decision to grant permanent commission to women officers from a majority of branches of the Indian Army, this step defines the Indian Army’s approach towards a gender-neutral Army. The five women officers selected for Colonel Time Scale rank are Lt Col Sangeeta Sardana from the Corps of Signals, Lt Col Sonia Anand and Lt Col Navneet Duggal from the Corps of EME and Lt Col Reenu Khanna and Lt Col Ritcha Sagar from the Corps of Engineers.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court passed interim order allowing women to take the admission exam on September 5 to National Defence Academy (NDA) in Pune. At present only boys can join the NDA. The interim order was passed by a division bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy while hearing a petition filed by Kush Kalra.

(Article: With Inputs From PIB)

Supreme Court Allows Women To Take NDA Exam on September 5, Says Policy Decision Is Based on ‘Gender Discrimination’

In a major development, the Supreme Court on Wednesday passed interim order allowing women to take the admission exam on September 5 to National Defence Academy (NDA) in Pune. At present only boys can join the NDA. The interim order was passed by a division bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy while hearing a petition filed by Kush Kalra. In the plea, the petitioner has sought   permission for women candidates to appear for the NDA exam. Meanwhile, the admissions will be subject to the final orders of the top court. Changing role of Women Officers in Indian Defence Forces.

The Centre was represented by Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati. She argued that allowing only men to join the NDA is a policy decision of the government. However, the bench called it a “gender discrimination”.” This is a policy decision based on gender discrimination…respondents (Centre), must take a constructive view,” reported The Times of India quoting the bench as saying. Lady Officers in Indian Army to Get Permanent Commission

The Supreme Court also pulled up the Indian Army for not giving enough opportunities for women. It added that the force should not wait for judicial orders to be passed in these matters. The petition said that the notice issued by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is in complete violation of Article 14, 15, 16 and 19 of the Constitution. First Batch Of 83 Women Soldiers Inducted Into Military Police Of The Indian Army.

The plea pointed out that in the notice it was mentioned that the candidate must be an unmarried male. The petition added that the notice excluded eligible and willing female candidates. Women officers are allowed to undergo training at the Officers Training Academies (OTAs) – at Gaya and Chennai, the Air Force Academy and the Indian Naval Academy. However, only men allowed to join the Indian Military Academy, directly through CDS or after passing out through the NDA.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that women could serve as army commanders and should be granted permanent commission and promotions equal to their male counterparts. n 2015, then defence minister Manohar Parrikar told Parliament that the armed forces had given PC to 340 women officers. Notably, till February this year, there were 6.5 percent of women employed in the Indian Navy, while 1.08 percent in the Indian Air Force only and 0.56 percent in the Indian Army.

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Exercise INDRA 2021 Closing Ceremony: Indo-Russia Joint Military Drill Culminates

The closing ceremony of the Indo-Russia joint exercise INDRA was held on August 12, 2021. The aim of the exercise was to acquaint each other with operational planning, procedures, combat drills and conducting of joint operations against international terrorist groups. Both the contingents, comprising of 250 soldiers from each side displayed great enthusiasm and professionalism while practicing joint drills during the conduct of the exercise.

During the validation phase, Mechanised Forces and Special Forces practiced integrated live firing and specialised joint operations which included clearance of rebel stronghold in an urban setting. The troops not only learnt about each others organisations, but also exchanged ideas and best practices being followed in Peace Keeping Operations under aegis of the United Nations. Exercise INDRA 2021 Opening Ceremony: Indo-Russia Joint Training Exercise Commences At Prudboy Ranges in Volgograd.

Tweet By Indian Army:

The exercise was a grand success and has taught valuable lessons to the troops of the participating countries. The camaraderie developed between the contingents during the course of exercise will certainly assist in enhancing confidence between the armies. The conduct of such Joint Military Exercises is an important step to strengthen the relations between India and Russia.

(Article: PIB)

INS Vikrant, Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, Returns to Kochi After Successfully Completing Maiden 5-Day Sea Voyage

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) ‘Vikrant’ successfully accomplished its maiden sea voyage today for which she had sailed on August 3, 2021 from Kochi. Trials progressed as planned and system parameters proved satisfactory. The carrier would continue to undergo series of sea trials to prove all equipment and systems prior handing over the vessel to the Indian Navy.

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) “Vikrant” designed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a Public Sector Shipyard under Ministry of Shipping (MoS). IAC is a leading example of the nation’s quest for “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” and Indian Navy’s “Make in India” initiative, with more than 76 percent indigenous content. India’s First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Named INS Vikrant Sets For Sea Trials.

The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is 262 m long, 62 m at the widest part and height of 59 m including the superstructure. There are 14 decks in all, including five in the superstructure. The ship has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1700 people, having gender-sensitive accommodation spaces for women officers. The ship with high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, has been designed to accommodate an assortment of fixed wing and rotary aircraft.

Tweets By Indian Navy:

During the maiden sailing, ship’s performance, including hull, main propulsion, Power Generation and Distribution (PGD) and auxiliary equipment were tested. Trials, which were reviewed by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command on the last day; have progressed as planned and system parameters have been proved satisfactory.

The successful completion of maiden trials sorties, despite challenges faced due to COVID-19 pandemic and COVID protocols in place, is testimony to the dedicated efforts of large number of stakeholders for over a decade. This is a major milestone activity and historical event. The carrier would undergo a series of Sea Trials to prove all equipment and systems prior to its delivery in 2022.

Delivery of Vikrant is being targeted to coincide with celebrations to commemorate 75th anniversary of India’s independence “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”. With the delivery of IAC, India would join a select group of nations with the capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier and provides thrust to Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Delivery of IAC would also strengthen India’s position in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and its quest for a blue water Navy.

(Article Source: PIB)

India-China Border Dispute in Ladakh: Indian Army, PLA Disengage In Gogra; Standoffs in Depsang And Hot Springs Yet To Be Resolved

Indian and Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Friday have started pulling back from Gogra or Patrol Point-17A. Notably, Gogra is one of the friction points on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two countries in the Eastern Ladakh sector. The breakthrough came after the 12th round of commander level talks between the two armies. The talks were held on July 31 at Chushul Moldo Meeting Point in Eastern Ladakh.

The Defence Ministry in a statement said, “The two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on resolution of remaining areas related to disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of India-China border areas. As an outcome of the meeting, both sides agreed on disengagement in the area of Gogra. The troops in this area have been in a face-off situation since May last year.” Fact Check: No Fresh Clashes Reported at LAC Between Indian Army And PLA Troops; PIB Debunks Fake Media Report.

The ministry added, “As per the agreement, both sides have ceased forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner. The disengagement process was carried out over two days i.e. August 4 and 5, 2021. The troops of both sides are now in their respective permanent bases.” All temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides have been dismantled and mutually verified. The landform in the area has been restored by both sides to pre-stand off period. PLA Soldiers Crying on Way to LAC in Ladakh? Video Goes Viral Amid India-China Border Dispute.

This agreement ensures that the LAC in this area will be strictly observed and respected by both sides, and that there is no unilateral change in status quo.  With this one more sensitive area of face-off has been resolved. Both sides have expressed commitment to take the talks forward and resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in the Western Sector.  The Indian Army along with ITBP is totally committed to ensure the sovereignty of the nation and maintain peace & tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector.

Meanwhile, disengagement at Hot Springs and Depsang have not taken place. Both armies have reported deployed around 50,000 to 60,000 troops each in the Ladakh theatre due to the standoff.  In February this year, Indian and Chinese troops withdrew from North and South banks of the Pangong Lake.

The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on the evening of May 5; Over 100 Indian and Chinese soldiers were injured in the violence. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.

In June last year, Indian and Chinese soldiers were engaged in a violent clash at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh. Twenty Indian Army soldiers were martyred in the clash. According to reports around 40 Chinese troops were also killed in the Galwan Valley clash. However, China officially confirmed only the death of four soldiers.

(Picture Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

Exercise INDRA 2021 Opening Ceremony: Indo-Russia Joint Training Exercise Commences At Prudboy Ranges in Volgograd

The Indo – Russia joint training Exercise INDRA 2021 commenced at Prudboy Ranges, Volgograd on August 4, 2021, with an impressive opening ceremony that saw the unfurling of the National Flags of both countries. Exercise INDRA 2021 will enhance interoperability between the Indian and Russian Armies. From Rafale Jets to Sukhoi Su-30 MKI, Here Are Aircraft That Bolster IAF’s Capabilities.

The aim of the exercise is to facilitate joint training between Indian and Russian Armies to jointly plan and conduct counter terror operations under the United Nations mandate. The conduct of the exercise will also entail academic discussions between expert groups of both contingents. INDRA 2021: India And Russia To Hold Joint Military Exercise At Volgograd.

Images And Video Of Indian Contingent At Opening Ceremony Of INDRA Exercise 2021:

The exercise will focus on unit level joint planning and conduct of anti terrorist operations and will include cordon & search operations, intelligence gathering and sharing, perception management, humanitarian laws and hostage rescue in simulated settings.

Exercise INDRA – 2021 will strengthen mutual confidence, interoperability and enable sharing of best practices between both the armed forces. It will be another landmark event in the history of Indo-Russian defence cooperation.

(Article Source: PIB)

India’s First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Named INS Vikrant Sets For Sea Trials

In a boost to “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” campaign, sea trials of indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC(P71)) ‘Vikrant’ began on Wednesday. The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier “Vikrant” designed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design(DND) is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a Public Sector Shipyard under Ministry of Shipping (MoS). The IAC is a leading example of the nation’s quest for “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” with more than 76 percent indigenous content. This is the maiden attempt of the Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier. Indian Navy Gets 3 Indigenously-Built ALH MK III Helicopters; Induction Ceremony of ‘322 Dega Flight’ Held At Vishakhapatnam.

The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is 262 m long, 62 m at the widest part and height of 59 m including the superstructure. There are 14 decks in all, including five in the superstructure. The ship has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers.  The ship has been designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, ‘Vikrant’ has a top speed of around 28 knots and cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles. The ship can accommodate an assortment of fixed wing and rotary aircraft. IAF Inducts Rafale Aircraft Into 101 Squadron at Air Force Station Hasimara, Second After ‘Golden Arrows’.

Tweet By The Indian Navy:

Most of the ship construction activities have been completed and the ship has entered the trials phase. Readiness of ship’s Propulsion and Power Generation equipment/ systems was tested in harbour as part of Basin Trials in Nov 20. Progress of construction of the Carrier was reviewed by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri during his visit to the ship on June 25, 2021.

Tweet By PM Narendra Modi:

Though the commencement of Sea Trials was delayed due to the 2nd wave of COVID, with concentrated and dedicated efforts of large number of workmen, OEMs, engineers, overseers, inspectors, designers and the ship’s crew, who had put their heart and soul towards the ship’s readiness for sea trials.

This is a major milestone activity and historical event. Reaching this milestone is significant as they have been achieved barring the current pandemic challenges and imponderables. During the maiden sailing, ship’s performance, including hull, main propulsion, PGD and auxiliary equipment would be closely watched.

With the delivery of IAC, India would join a select group of nations with the capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier, which will be a real testimony to the ‘Make in India’ thrust of the Indian Government. The Indigenous construction of Aircraft Carrier is a shining example in the Nation’s quest for ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India Initiative’.

This has led to growth in indignous design and construction capabilities besides development of large number of ancillary industries, with employment opportunities for 2000 CSL personnel and about 12000 employees in ancillary industries. Over 76% indigenous content towards procurement of equipment, besides work by CSL and their subcontractors is being directly invested back into the Indian economy.

Around 550 Indian firms including about 100 MSMEs are registered with CSL, who are providing various services for construction of IAC. Indian Navy’s ship building programme is rightly poised to provide requisite ‘Economic Stimulus’, with 44 ships & submarines on order being built indigenously.

(Article Source: PIB)

IAF Inducts Rafale Aircraft Into 101 Squadron at Air Force Station Hasimara, Second After ‘Golden Arrows’

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday, i.e. July 28, operationalised the second Rafale squadron after “Golden Arrows”. The IAF formally inducted Rafale aircraft into No. 101 Squadron at Air Force Station Hasimara in Eastern Air Command (EAC). Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria attended the induction ceremony. On arrival, The CAS was received by Air Marshal Amit Dev , Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command. The event also included a fly-past heralding the arrival of Rafale aircraft to Hasimara followed by a traditional water cannon salute. Here Features And Specifications of Dassault Aviation’s ‘Omnirole’ Aircraft.

Addressing the personnel during the induction ceremony, CAS said that the induction of Rafale had been carefully planned at Hasimara; keeping in mind the importance of strengthening IAF’s capability in the Eastern Sector. Recalling the glorious history of 101 Squadron which bestowed upon them the title of ‘Falcons of Chamb and Akhnoor’, CAS urged the personnel to combine their zeal and commitment with the unmatched potential of the newly inducted platform. He said that he had no doubt that the Squadron would dominate whenever and wherever required and ensure that the adversary would always be intimidated by their sheer presence. First Batch of Five Rafale Jets Arrive in India; Dassault Aviation’s Aircraft To be Part of ‘Golden Arrows’.

Tweet By IAF:

The 101 Squadron is the second IAF Squadron to be equipped with Rafale aircraft. The Squadron was formed on May 1, 1949 at Palam and has operated Harvard, Spitfire, Vampire, Su-7 and MiG-21M aircraft in the past. The glorious history of this Squadron includes active participation in 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars. From Rafale Jets to Sukhoi Su-30 MKI, Here Are Aircraft That Bolster IAF’s Capabilities.

Glimpses of Induction Ceremony:

Notably, Till now, India has received 26 Rafale Jets out of 36 aircraft that the country has ordered from Dassault Aviation. The first squadron of Rafale Jets is “Golden Arrows”, which is already operational Ambala air force station in Haryana. It is also known as No. 17 Squadron. In 2016, India signed a deal with the France government to procure 36 Rafale jets in a “ready to fly” condition. The entire deal was worth Rs 59,000 crore. According to the deal, 75 percent Rafale fleet will always remain operational.

(Article Source: PIB)

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