Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa Reviews ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’

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Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa visits northern and western sector to review ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’ (Picture Courtesy :@IAF_MCC)

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on April 17, visited northern and western sectors during the first phase of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) exercise ‘Gagan Shakti’, to review the operational its strength of the force. The two-week long training exercise involves entire fleet strength of the IAF. The main aim of the exercise is to exhibit war preparedness and to test its capabilities in terms of equipment and stealth to perform operations.

Joint maritime operations are to be conducted in coordination with the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. To test the capability of the IAF to take over a civil airport under control of hostile elements, Garud Commandoes took over the control of a designated airfield. The operations were executed with stealth and clockwork precision, which demonstrated IAF efficiency. The IAF also conducted Long Range Strike Mission over the extended area of the Indian Ocean (IOR). In the long range strike concept validation, Sukhoi 30-MKI carried out Air-Air Refueling and engaged multiple targets at ranges in excess of 2000 Kms.

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                                  Indian Air Force;s Paratroopers in action during ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’                                           (Picture Courtesy: IndianAir Force)

On Saturday, as part of the exercise, The IAF along with the Indian Army’s Parachute Brigade conducted a battalion level air drop from Hindon airbase, which demonstratd high coordination level between the two forces.  This air drop had 560 paratroopers, combat vehicles and GPS guided cargo platforms. 6 C-130Ja and 7 An-32 aircraft were part of the exercise.

According to inputs from ANI, more than 300 officers and around 15000 airmen from The Indian Air Force are participating in the exercise. Operational capabilities of indigenous built Tejas would also be tested in this exercise. Around 1,100 aircrafts including fighter jets, helicopters and transport carriers are part of this exercise. In an interview with The Indian Express, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said that “full credit goes to our engineers that we have built up the serviceability of fighter aircraft to 80 percent, compared to a target of 75 percent, and a dispatch reliability of more than 95 percent during Gagan Shakti exercise.”

In its latest leg of ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’, The IAF’s Sukhoi 30-MKI and Jaguar fighter jets equipped with anti-warships weaponry are flying over the Indian Ocean Region.

 

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Indian Navy Trolls China Through Tweets Over Patrolling in Indian Ocean Region

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                                             Chinese Naval Ships Patrolling in the Indian Ocean Region                                                         (Picture Courtesy: @IndianNavy/Twitter)

The Indian Navy on Tuesday conveyed a strong message to China in a very subtle and sarcastic way. The navy tweeted photographs of the Chines warships payrolling in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) during the time when The Indian Air Force (IAF) conducting the latest leg of the war-time exercise ‘Gagan Shakti 2018 with fighters jest like Sukhoi 30 MKI and Jaguar equipped with anti-warship weaponry flying over the region.

In its first tweet, the Indian Navy in a very sarcastic way said, “#MaritimeDomainAwareness @indiannavy extends a warm welcome to the 29th Anti-Piracy Escort Force (APEF) of PLA(N) in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Happy Hunting.”

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Half an hour later in its second tweet the navy posted a map of the the Indian Ocean Region stating that 50 combat-ready Indian naval warships were carrying out continuous surveillance of the area.

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The 29th fleet from People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) left east China’s port city Zhoushan for the Gulf of Aden to escort civilian ships by carry out anti-piracy vigils off the Somali Coast. According to People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the fleet consists of 700 officers and soldiers, dozens of special operation soldiers, and two helicopters on board.

For the first time The Indian Navy has resorted to twitter to convey its message to China. The navy is keeping a close eye on the activities of Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean Region especially after Doklam stand-off. China’s has increased its patrols in the IOR after the stand-off. In October 2017, The Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba gave his approval for the deployment of mission-ready warships and aircrafts in the IOR to effectively counter China’s aggression. During Maldives crisis in February, Chinese warships were seeing patrolling in the region.

 

Six-Day long Army Conference Begins; Challenges along Pakistan, China Border to be Discussed

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General Bipin rawat During IMA POP (Picture Courtesy: IMA, Dehradun/File)

Six-day long conference of top army commander has begun today in New Delhi. Key issues faced by the country, especially challenges along Pakistan and China borders will be discussed. General Bipin Rawat chairs the conference.

According to a statement of Defence Ministry, Issues like infrastructure development for capacity enhancement along the northern borders, review of strategic railway lines, optimisation of limited budget to ensure making up of critical deficiency in ammunition will be discussed. Matter relating `to the welfare of soldiers and the issues of border road organisation project will also be discussed.

Subhash BHamre, the minister of state for defence is also present t the conference. BHamre said that The Indian Army should be ready to handle security challenges arising from both within and outside the country. Indian Army spokesman, Col. Aman Anand said in the statement. said, “Bhamre) stressed upon the need for being prepared for highly dynamic internal and external security challenges.”
The minister of state also appreciated the Indian Army’s countering security challenges faced by the nation and also applauded the army for undertaking various exercises with friendly foreign countries, which helped in nation’s development by establishing cordial relations with these countries. Bhamre also assured the army that government is fully aware of the army’s need and will fulfill all the requirements of the force. Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat also emphasises on the need to work in coordination in order to attain maximum combat effectiveness. He also focused on the need to moderenisation of the force.
 

Subedar Major Fateh Singh: Commonwealth Gold Medalist Who Sacrificed His Life For Motherland

 

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Shaheed Subedar Major Fateh Singh

As the entire nation is celebrating the performance of athletes in the CWG 2018, lets remember a commonwealth gold medalist who not only proved his mettle on the field of sports but also proved his valour when his country needed the most. Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Fateh Singh sacrificed his life while fighting with terrorist during an attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on 1st Jan 2016.

Singh won gold in the Big Bore Rifle Three Position event and silver medal in the Big Rifle Prone Position in the Commonwealth Shooting Championship at the Army shooting ranges in New Delhi in 1995. Singh was part of Army’s Marksmanship Unit in Mhow for many years He joined the Defense Security Corps (DSC) after retiring from the Army. Before being transferred to Pathankot he was posted in Mhow under Dogra Regiment. Singh was active in the sport till time of his martyrdom and was involved in training young shooters at the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU).

In the Commonwealth Games 2018, India has 26 gold medals, 20 Silver medals and 20 bronze medals. Athletes from Army Sports Institute (ASI), Pune have won seven medals, two gold, three silver and two bronze medals. Apart from them Naib Subedar Jitu Rai has also won gold medal in shooting. This is India’s best performance on the foreign land in such a big international event.

Fighter Jet Sukhoi Refuelled Mid-Air during Indian Air Force’s ‘Gagan Shakti’ Exercise

 

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Air to Air refuelling of Sukhoi 30 MKI during ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’ (Picture Courtesy : Twitter – @IAF_MCC)

The Indian Air Force (IAF) exhibited an extraordinary display of air-to-air refueling of a fighter jet during a two-week long ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’ exercise. A video showed pilots preparing to refuel Sukhoi-30 MKI jet.  According to a report published in NDTV, The Sukhoi Su-30 jet took off from Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal’s Kharagpur. It returned to the base after engaging in multiple targets over the area of Lakshadweep. The jet was refuelled twice during the flight towards Lakshadweep and as well as return flight after completing the mission.

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Picture Courtesy : Twitter – @IAF_MCC

Air to air refuelling is the most difficult task to perform which requires exception skills. The receptacle probe has to be accurately inserted into the basket shaped drogue trailing behind the fuel tanker by the receiving aircraft. Accuracy is the key to execute this task.

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IL-78 Refueler aircraft of the Indian Air Force (Picture Courtesy: http://www.defenceupdate.in)

Air-to-air refuelling increases the combat capabilities of the fighter aircraft. The IAF has already started the process to procure six more flight refueler aircraft (FRA) in January 2018. Currently India has six IL-78 FRAs, but these are facing maintenance issues.

Around 1,100 aircrafts, including fighter jets, helicopters and transport have been mobilised by the Indian Air Force during the exercise. More than 4,000 sorties have been planned during ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’. IAF also conducted a mass casualty air evacuation drill in the northern sector. 88 casualties were airlifted from Leh and taken to Chandigarh. The C-17 Globe Master Aircraft was converted for this role by fixing support structures for the stretchers, in the main cabin, reported ANI

DefExpo 2018: India to Indigenise Manufacturing of Spare Parts; 7 Agreements Signed With Russian Companies

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Seven MoUs signed during third Indian-Russian Military Industrial conference    (Picture Courtesy: PTI)

Indian and Russian companies signed seven Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to indigense the manufacturing of spare parts of defence products. The ministry of defence included 48 components across all platforms which are to be produced by the domestic companies in collaboration with the Russian partner. The Indian Armed Forces are pushing for the joint ventures under the ’Make in India’ model.

Indian Tri-Services officials, Indian firms and Russian firms had a few rounds of meeting during the third Indian-Russian Military Industrial conference which was held at DefExpo 2018 on Friday. The Indian Navy considered this as a cost saving move. According to a report published in The Times of India, Rear Admiral and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff V M Doss said that this would lead to a saving of 400% to 2,000%. He further added that The Navy was looking to indigenise spare parts of MIG 29k planes which were inducted in 2009 and would be in service till 2037 to 2040.

According to a press release, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and Moscow-based Rosoboronexport signed a MoU for developing underwater platforms for Indian Navy. Ananth Technologies signed two agreements with Russian companies JSC Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET) and Research and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod. The agreement inked with KRET would provide product support to develop defence systems and to manufacture spare parts and providing service and maintenance for such items, while Ananth Technologies’ pact with Research and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod would set up technical and logistic support for T90S and T72 Tanks to the Indian Army.

Another agreement signed between Space Era and Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies would ensure maximum operational availability of Sukhoi-30 MKI and Helicopters of MI 8, MI 17 and MI 35 Type helicopters by forming a strategic partnership for technical and logistics support. A MoU was also signed between Russian firm OSKROSOMARINE and JSC AGAT for development of Fregat radar on-board Indian Naval frontline warships.

DefExpo 2018: Saab and Boeing Eye to Secure $15 Billion Deal with The Indian Air Force

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Boeing Super Hornet F/A 18 (Picture Courtesy: http://www.youtube.com)

The DefExpo 2018 is providing the required impetus to the Indian defence manufacturing industry. US based company Boeing is eyeing to secure $15 billion deal with the Indian Air Force (IAF) to provide 110 fighter jets. It pitches for Super Hornet F/A 18 to the IAF. Boeing on Thursday signed a deal with public sector unit Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Mahindra Defence Systems to manufacture Super Hornets in India. The deal was signed during the ongoing DefExpo in Chennai under the ‘Make in India’ model launched by the Modi government.

The Boeing said that this partnership would will not be limited only to the production of Super Hornets in India but would also work for the development of future technologies in India, which would transform India’s aerospace and defence programmes. Partyush Kumar, President of Boeing India, “Boeing is excited to team up with India’s only company that manufactures combat fighters, HAL, and an Indian company that manufactures small commercial airplanes, Mahindra,” reported The Economics Times. Kumar further added, “Together we can deliver an affordable, combat-proven fighter platform for India, while adding growth momentum to the Indian aerospace ecosystem with manufacturing, skill development, innovation and engineering and job creation.”

According to a report of The Times of India, S P Shukla, Group President, Aerospace & Defence, Mahindra Group, said, “We are excited about the opportunities that this partnership with Boeing and HAL will provide for us to contribute further to ‘Make in India’ for defence.” HAL’s chairman T Suvarna Raju said that the partnership would create an opportunity to strengthen indigenous platforms in India thereby contributing to the Make-in-India activities, reported The Times of India.

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Saab’s Gripen E (Picture Courtesy: http://www.sputniknews.com)

On the other Swedish Company Saab also pitches for Gripen E to secure the deal with the IAF. In an interview to Bloomberg Quint Jan Widerstrom, chairman and managing director at Saab India Technologies Pvt. Ltd said, “We are glad to see that the process has started.” He further added, “Saab is pitching its latest Gripen-E to India.” The Swedish Company partnered with India’s Adani group for manufacture jets for the IAF under the ‘Make in India’ campaign. Saab was also a part of The IAF’s earlier programme for 10 years to provide Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircrafts (MMRCA), but later it was scrapped the Modi government after coming to power. The Modi government then signed a deal with French Government to acquire 36 MMRCA in fly-away condition.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while formally inaugurating the DefExpo 2018 in Chennai said, “We plan to ensure that the process for the new 110 aircraft through strategic partnership is shorter, unlike 10 years it took under the previous government.” Saab also offered transfer of technology to India.

The chairman and managing director at Saab India Technologies Pvt. Ltd said, “We have offered transfer of technology and ‘make in India’ to the government. Our offer is lot more than moving a second-hand production line to India,” Widerstrom further added, “We plan to bring state-of-the-art technology and production line along with capabilities which will eventually lead to thousands of jobs in India.” Saabs involved with the Indian Armed Forces can be traced three decades back.

The Indian Air Force has initiated the process to procure 110 fighter jets last week. Another US company Lockheed Martin, Russian Company Mig and French Company Dassault Aviation will also be eyeing to seal this deal. The companies are required to submit proposals by July 6. The aircrafts will be produced in India by the foreign company in partnership with domestic company under strategic partnership model. The main is to strengthen Indian defence manufacturing sector and to bring advance technology to India.

 

DefExpo 2018: Lockheed Martin and Boeing Gearing up to Secure $15 Billion Deal

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F-16 Block 70 (Picture Courtesy: http://www.indiandefencenews.in)

On the very first day of the DefExpo 2018, two US companies pitch in for their respective fighter jets for getting a deal of supplying 110 fighter jets worth $15 billion to the Indian Air Force (IAF).  This can be considered as a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign

Lockheed Martin offered to set up manufacturing line of F-16 fighter jets in India. Randall Howard who leads F-16 business development at Lockheed Martin, in an Interview to Bloomberg Quint said, “The fighters we offer are state of the art with modern avionics and we are willing to transfer technology to build in India as part of Make in India.” According to Howard, If Lockheed Martin gets the deal then it would shift its entire production line from US to India, which means that India would become exporter of the fighter jets to the world.

Currently 27 countries including Pakistan are flying F-16 Fighter Jets. According to Howard around 4,000 F-16 aircrafts are in use across the world. Lockheed Martin had already tied up with Tata Group to manufacture parts for the C-130J aircraft.

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Super Hornet F/A 18 (Picture Courtesy: http://www.youtube.com)

On the other hand Boeing is also pitching in for F/A 18 Super Hornet for securing $15 billion deal to supply 110 fighter jets for IAF.  According to The Asian Age, Thomas E. Breckenridge, vice-president, India, Global Sales Defence, Space and Security of Boeing, said that they were in the race of acquiring the orders of IAF to procure 110 fighter jets, reported The Asian Age. Speaking on the cost comparison of the two aircrafts, Breckenridge backed Super Hornet. He said that Super Hornet is comparatively cheap and could be maintained at lower cost.

The vice-president, India, Global Sales Defence, Space and Security of Boeing assured of sourcing components from Indian companies. Presently Boeing is sourcing components from 160 Indian companies and would enhance its operation to 400 domestic companies. Breckenridge said that Boeing would soon announce

DefExpo 2018: Indian Company Cyient Signs Deal With Israel’s BlueBird Eye to Produce UAVs

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                            Indian Company Cyient signed a deal with Israel-based BlueBird Eye                                       (Picture Courtesy: http://www.defencereview.com)

The DefExpo 2018 is organised with the aim of promoting domestic defence manufacturing industries. On April 11, an Indian company Cyient Solutions & Systems, a provider of engineering design, manufacturing, geospatial, networks, and operations management services to global industry leaders has signed a deal with Israel-based BlueBird Eye System, a leader in design, development, and production of micro, mini, and small tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to provide Unarmed aerial Vehicle (UAV) to Indian defence, paramilitary forces and police services.

Both the companies signed a joint venture agreement at DefExpo 2018. Cyient will hold 51% of the shares and 49% of the shares will be with BlueBird Eye System. The products like SpyLite, ThunderB, and MicroB systems that offer highly-innovative UAS (unmanned aircraft system) technology will be made in India. UAS technology can be used for covert and real time intelligence operations. Field trials of SpyLite were successfully conducted by Cyient Solutions and Systems. SpyLite’s will be useful in a tactical surveillance role at high altitude and in extreme weather conditions.

Cyient Solutions & Systems will indigenise, manufacture, assemble, integrate, and test advanced UAV systems at its production facilities in Hyderabad by utilising BlueBird’s technology and manufacturing know-how. Cyient in partnership with BlueBird Eye will also provide aftermath services, maintenance and support to the users across India.

Krishna Bodanapu, chief executive officer and managing director, Cyient, said, “The joint venture with BlueBird Aero Systems combines our design and manufacturing expertise to bring the best of UAV technology to the Indian defence industry. The joint venture also underlines the commitment of both partners to the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative,” reported The Times of India.
Ronen Nadir, founder & CEO, BlueBird Aero Systems, said, “We are proud to team up with Cyient in this joint venture that enables indigenisation, manufacturing, training, and support of our advanced, field-proven UAV systems in India. Bluebird is happy to transfer to Cyient Solutions & Systems the latest technology and knowhow to further enhance what we see as a long-term partnership for Indian UAV market.”

 

DefExpo 2018: ‘There is no Shortage of Equipment and Ammunition for Armed Forces’, Says Nirmala Sitharaman

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Picture Courtesy: http://www.drdo.gov.in

The 10th edition of the DefExpo begins today at Thiruvidanthai in Chennai. The main objective of this DefExpo is to promote Indian Defence manufacturing companies. Nearly 75% of the companies participating in the expo are the Indian companies. India will showcase indigenous built land, air and naval security systems. During the press conference on the sidelines of DefExpo 2018, Defence Minister said that the ministry of Defence had given emergency powers to the Armed Forces to decide the type and the amount of arms and ammunition to be purchased, reported The Times of India. Sitharaman also said that there was no shortage of any equipment and ammunition for the Armed Forces.

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during press conference at DefExpo 2018                        (Picture Courtesy: http://www.defenceworld.net)

As one of the major highlight of the event, Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO) today handed over three critical technologies to the Indian Navy. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman handed these three technologies to Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. These critical technologies are: processor-based mines (PPBM), VLF modulator and heavy weight torpedo Varunastra.

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Varunastra torpedo developed by DRDO (Picture Courtesy: http://www.indiatoday.in)

Varunastra is a heavy weight indigenously developed torpedo. A DRDO official said, “Varunastra is a ship-based ESM system developed for intercepting all modern radars. PBBM is deployable from ships and can deter movement of adversary.” An official further added, “The VLF modulator is a long range reliable communication system that we have handed over to the Navy,” reported The Times of India.

The DRDO transferred 10 other technologies to private and public sector units (PSU) for manufacturing for the Indian Armed Forces. These technologies included Astra, air to air missile system. This missile was recently test fired from Sukhoi- MKI 30, no it will be integrated into indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejasanti-thermal/ anti laser grenade, CAIRGIS geographic information system, two sonars — Humsa and Abhay — and a sonar dome. The DRDO also transferred anti-thermal/ anti laser grenade, CAIRGIS geographic information system, two sonars — Humsa and Abhay — and a sonar dome to private and PSU’s.

To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of DRDO, a souvenir and a stamp were released with all the details of technologies developed by the organisation.