Defence Budget 2019 is Only 1.5% of GDP Despite Crossing 3-Trillion Mark, Lowest Since 1962 War

The Narendra Modi government on Thursday allocated Rs 3.05 lakh Crore for the defence forces of the country. However, later the defence ministry put the total allocation at Rs. 3,18,931 crore which included funds set aside for Border Roads Organisation, Coast Guards and salaries if civil staff of the defence ministry. Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal while presenting the budget, said that it was for the first time that the defence budget crossed 3-trillion mark. But if we deeply analysis the budget it is merely 1.5 percent (approx.) of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) so this becomes the lowest defence budgetsince China war of 1962. Defence Budget 2018 is another farce, 1.58% allocated for defence.

This year’s budget was 6.7 percent than previous year’s budget. Meanwhile, in 2018, the budget represented a growth of 7.81 per cent over budget of 2017. In the interim budget 2019, Rs 1,03,380 crore was allocated for capital expenditure to modernize the forces, while rest of the amount is to meet the revenue expenditure. Apart from the defence budget, the government also allocated Rs 35,000 crore for One Rank One Pension (OROP). The government also announced a hike in the Military Service Pay (MSP) of all service personnel and special allowances given to Naval and Air Force personnel deployed in high-risk duties. Meanwhile, Rs 1.12 lakh crore have been allocated for pensions. Expectations from Defence Budget 2018-19 and needs of our Defence Forces.

If we talk about last year’s budget, it was 1.58 percent of the GDP. A total of Rs 2,95,511.41 crore was allocated for defence, out of which Rs 99,563.41 is allocated for capital expenditure. Meanwhile, the remaining budget outlay, Rs 1,95,947.55 was set aside for for revenue expenditure. In 2018 budget Rs 1,08,853.30 was also allocated for defence pensions.

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Big Boost to Indian Defence Forces! India Successfully Test Fires Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Agni-IV Missile; Here You Need to Know All About The Missile

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Agni-IV Missile (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@SharmaKhemchand)

India on Sunday successfully test fired its nuclear-capable long-range ballistic missile Agni-IV. The missile was launched from complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Dr Abdul Kalam Island, earlier known as Wheeler Island, at about 8.35 am. The surface-to-surface ballastic missile if deployed in Northeast India, can cover entire China. The missile met all the objectives during the test-fire. This was the 7th trial of Agni-IV missile. The last trial of the missile was conducted on January 2, 2018.

Here some key features of Agni-IV:

  • The missile has a striking range of 4,000 Km.
  • It has two stages of solid propulsion and a payload with re-entry heat shield.
  • Agni-IV is equipped with modern and compact avionics to provide high level of reliability and precision.
  • The missile is indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Agni-IV missile is equipped with advanced Avionics, 5th generation On Board Computer and distributed architecture.
  • It can correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances.
  • The missile is also equipped with Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System (RINS), supported by highly reliable redundant Micro Navigation System (MINGS) which ensures that it hits its target with great precision.
  • Its length is 20 meters and launch weight 17 tonnes.
  • Agni-IV can withstand temperatures in the range of 4000 degrees centigrade as it has re-entry heat shield which also makes sure that the weapon functions normally under 50 degrees centigrade.

India has also varied range of ballistic Missiles like Agni-I and Agni-II missiles, Prithvi series missiles, Shaurya missile and Sagrika missile. In addition to this we have Anti-Tank Guided missile – Nag. India also possesses Akash and Astra Missiles. If we talk about cruise missiles, India possesses deadly rahmos supersonic cruise missile. BrahMos can travel at three times the speed of sound,  attaining maximum speed of Mach 3.0. Nirbhaya is another cruise missile which India is looking forward to. It is still under trial phase. Once developed Nirbahaya is said to supplement the role played by BrahMos missile.

Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018 Culminates; Indian Army Troops Return to India

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Indian and Chinese troops during Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018 (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@adgpi)

Troops of the Indian army returned to India after successful completion of seventh edition of Hand-in-Hand exercise with China at Chengdu. Yesterday, the joint military drill culminated on a high note with troops of the Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) displaying synergy of actions and achieving interoperability. Dignitaries from both the nations witnessed the closing ceremony. Before culmination of the exercise, both Indian and Chinese troops carried out Reflex shooting practices to enhance interoperability during counter terrorist operations.

The opening ceremony of the joint military drill was held on December 11. The military exercise was scheduled from December 10 to 23. Company size contingents of 11 SIKHLI from Indian Army and a regiment from Tibetan Military District of People’s Liberation Army participated in the exercise. Col Puneet Pratap Singh Tomar, Commanding Officer, 11 SIKHLI, led the Indian contingent, while the Chinese contingent was led by Col Zhou Jun. Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018: Indian Army Troops Perform Bhangra During Joint Military Drill; Watch Video.

The exercise consisted of a balance of indoor classes and outdoor training activities. The aim of the exercise was to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries. The exercise also involved tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency/ counter terrorism environment under UN mandate. The seventh edition of the exercise was conducted after a gap of one year. The last edition of ‘Hand-in-Hand’ took place in 2016. The drill was not held in 2017 due to the Doklam stand-off in Bhutan between Indian and Chinese troops.

Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018: Indian Army Troops Perform Bhangra During Joint Military Drill; Watch Video

During the ongoing joint military exercise Hand-in-Hand with China at Chengdu, troops of both the nations actively took part in the cultural activities. There was a magnificent display of their cultures by the contingents of Indian and Chinese armies. The Indian contingent of 11 SikhLi stole the show by performing bhangra in colourful attires. The joint exercise had promoted understanding and inter-operability between both the armies.

Last week, a video of Indian Army troops teaching bhangra to People’s Liberation Army of China went viral on social media. The joint military drill is being conducted in China’s Chengdu from December 10 to 23. The opening ceremony of the exercise was held on December 11. More than 100 personnel from both the armies are participating in the exercise. Col Puneet Pratap Singh Tomar, Commanding Officer, 11 SIKHLI, led the Indian contingent, while the Chinese contingent was led by Col Zhou Jun.

The exercise will consist of a balance of indoor classes and outdoor training activities. The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of the joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command. Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018: Indian Army Troops Exchange Gifts With PLA Soldiers During The Military Drill.

The seventh edition of the exercise is being conducted after a gap of one year. The last edition of ‘Hand-in-Hand’ took place in 2016. The drill was not held in 2017 due to the Doklam stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Bhutan. Indian troops entered the Doklam plateau to stop the Chinese military from building a new road as it would have given strategic advantage to China. India considered it as a serious security concern.

Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018: Indian Army Troops Exchange Gifts With PLA Soldiers During The Military Drill

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Troops of both the armies exchanged gifts during the ‘Hand-in-Hand’ exercise 2018 (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@adgpi)

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China is holding a joint military exercise ‘Hand in Hand’ with the Indian Army. The seventh edition of the military drill is being conducted at China’s Chengdu from December 10 – 23. The exercise has helped the both the armies to strengthen the mutual confidence level. Troops of both the nations exchanged gifts and pleasantries during the exercise. Yesterday, soldiers of the Indian and the Chinese armies played a friendly basketball match as part of the military drill. Both sides showcased excellent sportsmanship during the match. Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018:Indian Army Contingent Plays Friendly Football Match With Chinese Army Troops, Watch Video

Troops from both the nations exchanged pleasantries and gifts during ‘Hand in Hand’ joint military drill:

Commanding Officer of 11 Sikh Li, Col Puneet Pratap Singh Tomar who is leading the Indian Contingent said that the exercise would achieve synergy in joint operations. He further added that the military drill is designed to exchange best practices between both the nations and would further strengthen ability of both the armies to operate jointly. Meanwhile, the Chinese contingent was led by Col Zhou Jun. Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018: Indian Army Soldiers Teach Bhangra to Chinese Army Troops During Joint Military Drill; Watch Video

The opening ceremony of the exercise was held on December 11. The exercise will consist of a balance of indoor classes and outdoor training activities. The seventh edition of the military is being conducted after a gap of one year. The last edition of ‘Hand-in-Hand’ took place in 2016. The drill was not held in 2017 due to the Doklam stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops In Bhutan. This year, more than 100 personnel from both the armies are participating in the exercise. The exercise will also involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency/ counter terrorism environment under UN mandate.

Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018:Indian Army Contingent Plays Friendly Football Match With Chinese Army Troops, Watch Video

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Indian Army Contingent in China to take part in ‘Hand-in-Hand’military exercise (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@adgpi)

After the video of Indian Army troops teaching bhangra to Chinese soldiers during Hand-in-Hand joint military exercise in China’s Chengdu went viral on social media, the official twitter handle of the Indian Army posted another video of soldiers of both the nations playing friendly football match during the military drill. The joint military exercise is being conducted from December 10 to 23. The opening ceremony of the exercise was held on December 11. The exercise will consist of a balance of indoor classes and outdoor training activities. Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018: Indian Army Soldiers Teach Bhangra to Chinese Army Troops During Joint Military Drill; Watch Video.

Friendly football match played between both Indian and Chinese troops during ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military drill:

More than 100 personnel from both the armies are participating in the exercise. The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of the joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.  The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency/ counter terrorism environment under UN mandate. Troops from both the nations also carried out live firing practice during the military drill.

Col Puneet Pratap Singh Tomar, Commanding Officer, 11 SIKHLI, led the Indian contingent, while the Chinese contingent was led by Col Zhou Jun. The seventh edition of the exercise is being conducted after a gap of one year. The last edition of ‘Hand-in-Hand’ took place in 2016. The drill was not held in 2017 due to the Doklam stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops In Bhutan. Indian troops entered the Doklam plateau to stop the Chinese military from building a new road as it would have given strategic advantage to China. India considered it as a serious security concern.

Hand-in-Hand Exercise 2018: Indian Army Soldiers Teach Bhangra to Chinese Army Troops During Joint Military Drill; Watch Video

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India, China Flags

A video on Indian Army soldiers teaching Bhangra lessons to troops of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during a joint military exercise ‘Hand-in-Hind’ is doing rounds on social media. The joint millitray drill is being conducted in China’s Chengdu from December 10 to 23. The opening ceremony of the exercise was held on December 11. More than 100 personnel from both the armies are participating in the exercise. Col Puneet Pratap Singh Tomar, Commanding Officer, 11 SIKHLI, led the Indian contingent, while the Chinese contingent was led by Col Zhou Jun.

The seventh edition of the exercise is being conducted after a gap of one year. The last edition of ‘Hand-in-Hand’ took place in 2016. The drill was not held in 2017 due to the Doklam stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops In Bhutan. Indian troops entered the Doklam plateau to stop the Chinese military from building a new road as it would have given strategic advantage to China. India considered it as a serious security concern.

Video of Indian troops teaching  bhangra to PLA soldiers:

The exercise will consist of a balance of indoor classes and outdoor training activities. The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of the joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.  The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency/ counter terrorism environment under UN mandate.

Last month, India held joint military exercises with Russia and Japan. The 10th Indo-Russian Joint Exercise, INDRA 18 was held at Babina Military Station in Uttar Pradesh. The military exercise began on November 18 and concluded on November 28. Meanwhile, the first ever joint military exercise with Japan, ‘Dharma-Guardian 2018’ was conducted between the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Vairengte, Mizoram from November 1 to 14, 2018.

India, China Resume Joint Military Training ‘Hand-in-Hand’; Indian Army’s 11 SikhLi Participates in The Exercise

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Indian Army’s contingent arrived in China to participate in ‘Hand-in-Hand’ (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@adgpi)

The opening ceremony for the 7th Indo-Sino joint exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018 was held on December 11, 2018 at China’s Chengdu. The military exercise is scheduled from December 10 to 23.  Company size contingents of 11 SIKHLI from Indian Army and a regiment from Tibetan Military District of People’s Liberation Army participated in the exercise. Col Puneet Pratap Singh Tomar, Commanding Officer, 11 SIKHLI, led the Indian contingent, while the Chinese contingent was led by Col Zhou Jun.

Major General Kuang Dewang, a senior representative of joint training from People’s Liberation Army (PLA), reviewed the parade. Officials from both the countries were also present at the ceremony. The exercise is being conducted after a gap of one year. It was last conducted in 2016. However, due to Doklam stand-off the exercise was suspended.

The exercise will consist of a balance of indoor classes and outdoor training activities. The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of the joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.  The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency/ counter terrorism environment under UN mandate.

Opening ceremony of Hand-in-Hand, joint military exercise:

 

Last month, India held joint military exercises with Russia and Japan. The 10th Indo-Russian Joint Exercise, INDRA 18 was held at Babina Military Station in Uttar Pradesh. The military exercise began on November 18 and concluded on November 28. Around 250 Russian troops are participating in the 11-day exercise. The troops of the Eastern Military District were airlifted by two Ilyushin Il-76 “Candid” military transport aircraft from Vladivostok to New Delhi. Later, they were transferred to Babina Military Station.

Meanwhile, the first ever joint military exercise with Japan, ‘Dharma-Guardian 2018’ was conducted between the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Vairengte, Mizoram from November 1 to 14, 2018. The 6/1 Gorkha Rifles represented the Indian contingent, while the Japanese contingent was represented by 32 Infantry Regiment.

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa Raises Concern Over Chinese Air Force’s Increasing Presence in Tibet

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Representational Image (Picture Courtesy: PTI/File)

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on April 26, said that there was a ‘significant increase’ in the presence Chinese aircraft and aircrew in the Tibet Autonomous region as compared to any other military region. This statement of the Chief of Air Staff comes at the time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in China for a two-day meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

While speaking at a talk on the role of the IAF in the changing security environment conducted by the Vivekananda International Foundation, Dhanoa said, “Over the past few years we have seen a significant increase in aircraft and aircrew in the Tibet Autonomous Region from other military regions. The deployment of Sukhoi-27 and J-10 fleets for continuous operations during winter months affords them a credible year-round capability. Earlier, many years back they only used to occupy the airfields during the summers.” reported The Economic Times. Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa also warned India to step up preparations, as rival country is strengthening its fire power.

The IAF chief also highlighted the improvement made by the Chinese Air Force. According to Dhanoa, China has developed a modern air force which believes in quality rather than quantity. and China has also the second largest air force in the world. Decribing the capabilities of the Chinese Air Force, Dhanoa said that China had a mix of multi-role fighter and combat aircraft. The IAF Chief also stressed on the fact that China has geographical disadvantage in Tibet due to high altitude and cold temperatures.

The Chief of Air Staff also highlighted the strength of the Indian Air Force, but at the same time, he stressed on the fact that the IAF needs to acquire its full strength of 42 squadrons to compete with the growing air power of the neighbour country. Presently the Indian Air Force has 31 fighter squadrons.

The Air Chief appreciated the efforts of the force in the recently concluded war-like exercise ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018’ as it met the objectives of the force. It is very interesting to note that both India and China have never violated the each other’s airspace.

Indigenous Built LCA-Tejas Performed Well During The ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018’

 

The major positive to take away from the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) biggest war-like exercise, ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018′ is the performance of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas. The indigenously-manufactured (LCA) Tejas was put to test by the IAF in the 14-day long exercise. The aircraft performed as per the requirement of the force.

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LCA-Tejas in action during Gagan-Shakti 2018 (Picture Courtesy:Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

The major positive to take away from the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) biggest war-like exercise, ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018‘ is the performance of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas. The indigenously-manufactured (LCA) Tejas was put to test by the IAF in the 14-day long exercise. The aircraft performed as per the requirement of the force.

An IAF official who was involved in the exercise said, “We did trials and validation of operational efficiency of LCA Tejas. We were able to generate six sorties per platform per day. In this exercise, we had deployed eight platforms.” According to the official, on the very first day of the exercise, six Tejas aircraft reported ‘snag’, but the air force rectified it immediately. The ‘Gagan-Shakti’ started on April 8 and concluded on April 21.

The Officials associated with the exercise performed satisfaction regarding the performance of Tejas, but, they are worried about the slow production rate of the aircraft. LCA Tejas is a supersonic, single seat, single jet, multi-role light fighter designed by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL). It has been under development since 1983. The LCA Tejas was inducted into ‘Flying Daggers’ 45 Squadron of the IAF on July 1, 2016. It is to replace the ageing Mig-21. In December 2017, Defence Acquisition Council had cleared procurement of 83 LCA Tejas Mark 1A.

At present, two contracts have been signed between IAF and HAL for the LCA one for the procurement of 20 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standard aircraft and another for 20 Final Operational Clearance (FOC) standard aircraft. Till now only eight Tejas aircraft are in operation in the force. HAL is expected to provide rest 12 (IOC) aircraft this year. These 40 aircraft (20 IOC and 20 FOC) will be Tejas mark 1. HAL is also working on four major upgrades which it will incorporate in the manufacturing of the next 83 fighter jets out of which 10 are trainer aircraft. These aircraft will be Tejas Mark 1A.

Earlier this month the IAF has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for acquiring 110 fighter jets to strengthen its fighter capabilities. Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70, Saab’s Gripen E, Boeing’s F/A 18 Super Hornet and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale are the major contenders for $15 billion deal. Currently, The Indian Air Force is facing the shortage of fighter jets as age-old Migs are about to retire over the next few years. If HAL could provide LCA Tejas on time, then it would definitely help the Indian Air Force to plug in the required gap.

The ‘Gagan-Shakti 2018’ was organised with the aim to counter twin attack by China and Pakistan along western and northern border. Entire fleet strength of the force was put to test under war-like situation. LCA Tejas finally met the requirement of the Indin Air Force.