Former DGMO Lt.Gen. Ranbir Singh Who Announced Surgical Strikes is Now Northern Army Commander; Lt.Gen. Devraj Anbu Takes Charge as Vice Chief Of Army Staff

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Lt. Gen RAnbir Singh (Picture Courtesy: Twitter)

Lt General Ranbir Singh, who informed the media about surgical strikes in Pakistan, has assumed the charge of Northern Army commander. He replaced Lt. Gen. Devraj Anbu, who is now Vice Chief of Army Staff. The 58-year-old Lt. Gen. will be the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Northern Command. The command is stationed at Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir.

Lt.Gen. Singh was the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) when Indian Army commandos conducted the surgical strikes against insurgent camps in Myanmar in June 2015 and also when India carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan to destroy terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) on September 29, 2016. He briefed the media about the operations. The Northern Army Commander is likely to be in the race of the Army Chief’s post after General Bipin Rawat. He has also served as a Colonel and Brigadier in the military operations directorate.

Lt. Gen. Singh was commissioned into the 9th Battalion of the Dogra Regiment in 1980. He has also commanded a Mountain Brigade, an Armoured Division and a Strike Corps. As part of his international assignments, he served in United Peace Keeping missions at Rwanda and Chief Operations Officer at Sudan.

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Lt. Gen Devraj Anbu (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@PIB_India)

Lt. Gen. Devraj Anbu also assumed the charge of Vice Chief of the Army Staff on Friday. He succeeded Lt.Gen.Sarath Chand. The baton was handed over to Lt.Gen. Anbu by Lt. Gen. Chand in a ceremony at South Block in Delhi.

Lt.Gen. Anbu is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla. He was commissioned into the 14 Sikh Light Infantry on June 7, 1980. Lt. Gen. Anbu has served in all types of operational environment including  Siachen Glacier, counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast. He also served in‘OP PAWAN’ in Sri Lanka.

During his 37-year military career, the General Officer commanded his unit during ‘OP PARAKRAM’, an Infantry Brigade on the Line of Control in the Kashmir Valley,. He also commanded a Mountain Division in Sikkim, the Indian Military Training Team in Bhutan and Gajraj Corps in the Eastern Theatre. The General has been awarded the Sena Medal (Gallantry) for operations in ‘OP Meghdoot’, Yudh Seva Medal during command of the Brigade, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal during command of the Division and Uttam Yudh Seva Medal during the command of an elite operational Corps.

Lt. Gen. Anbu was the Instructor at the National Defence Academy. As part of his international assignments he served as an International Military Observer with UN Peacekeeping Mission at Namibia.

 

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20,000 Indian Soldiers Participating in ‘Vijay Prahar’ along Pakistan Border

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Representational Image (Picture Courtesy: tribuneindia.com)

Over 20,000 troops of strike formation of the Indian Army’s South Western Command (SWC) are carrying out ‘Vijay Prahar’ exercise in the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges close to Suratgarh in Rajasthan. The exercise is being carried out with cutting-edge equipment and state-of-the-art force multipliers. Suratgarh is 300Km from Pakistan Border.

As reported by The Tribune, Brigadier Anil Gautam, General Staff (Information Warfare), SWC, said, “The exercise represents a small section of the overall offensive along our Western front which would be a high tempo joint air land operation involving hundreds of aircrafts, thousands of tanks and artillery pieces supported by real time intelligence surveillance reconnaissance and just in time logistic support.” He further added, “Troops are participating in a month-long exercise to practice penetrative maneuvers across the obstacle-ridden terrain, mainly the heartland Punjab area of our adversary, under a nuclear umbrella.”

The month-old drill is concluding on May 9. The formations of the South Western Command are enhancing their capabilities to counter any warlike situation, which includes carrying out offensive operations of Special Forces and also conducting operations in nuclear environment. Military operations using attack helicopters are also being tested during the exercise. Employment of modern day sensors with weapon platforms is also carried out. The exercise is also focusing on real-time information and enhancing electronic warfare, reconnaissance capabilities and using satellite-based surveillance. Drones and radars are also put to test to check their efficiency with the main aim to ensure transparency in the battlefield.

As per the report, Senior military officers, including General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff; and Lt Gen Cherish Mathson, Army Commander, South Western Command, are likely to witness the final phases of the exercise later in the week.

After Indian Army Cuts Down Purchase of Expensive Weapons; Road Construction Along China Border Also in Soup

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Picture Courtesy : Asian Age

The Indian Army listed out expensive weapons to cut down their purchase to compensate the shortage of ammunition, the infrastructure development is also stalled due to the shortage of funds. In the bi-annual Army Commanders’ Conference, this issue leading to delay in strategic road projects was discussed at length.

According to the officials, the Border Roads Organisation is facing the shortage of funds which is leading to delays in the construction of strategic roads along the China border. Due to financial crisis, the funds allocated for General Staff (GS) roads are being diverted for the India-China Border Roads (ICBRs). Around 200 GS roads would be affected with this decision. GS roads ensure inter-valley and inter-sector movement of troops and equipment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. On the other hand, the ICBRs are meant for larger mobilisation efforts.
The inadequate budget for the strategic roads and infrastructure development along the northern borders has also been highlighted by the Indian Army’s Vice Chief Lt Gen Sarath Chand, who informed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence that the allocation for these tasks is falling short by about Rs 902 crore, reported The Economics Times.

The BRO gave an update to army commanders at the ongoing conference about the construction of roads along the northern border.  An official told The Economic Times, “Only 60 per cent of demands for funds for all roads under the BRO are being met. This is not enough. Due to the shortage, all road projects, including of the 61 ICBRs and GS roads, be delayed and cannot be completed on time.”

There are 73 planned ICBRs whose construction began in 1999. The BRO has been tasked to construct 61 of them, out of which 28 have been completed and the remaining 33 are expected to be completed by 2022.

In 1999, 73 ICRCB’s were planned to be constructed. The BRO has been given a task to construct 61 roads out of 73. Till now 23 have been completed and the remaining 33 would be completed by 2022. Standing Committee on Defence has also raised mater in the parliament.

Indian Army to Cut Down Purchase of Expensive Weapons Due to Shortage of Funds

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(Picture Courtesy: IMA/File)

The Indian Army has listed out ammunition and spares of vintage weapons which it cannot buy due to the shortage of funds. According to media reports, the existing stock of ammunition is not enough to last for even 10 days. It is mandatory for the army to have ammunition to carry out at least 40 days of war.

The Indian Army has decided to compensate 15-20% shortage by cutting down the purchase of expensive weapon systems. The list includes weapon systems like smerch rockets, 9M113 Konkurs, the Anti Tank Guided Missile system, T-90 battle tank and specialised mines used in battlefields. These weapons are crucial for intense war situation.

With this move, the force will be able to save between Rs 600 crore and Rs 800 crore over the next three financial years, reported India Today. Recently, a Parliamentary committee has also raised this issue to the Ministry of Defence to ensure so that the army can meet the requirements of highest level of operational readiness.

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Indian Army’s T-90 Tank
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BM-30 Smerch

In the union budget for the financial year 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated Rs 2,95,511.41 crore for defence.  The defence budget is hiked by 7.81 % by the previous year’s budget.  Out of the total outlay for defence only Rs 99,563.41 is allocated for capital expenditure which includes modernisation expenditure for the forces, whereas Rs 1,95,947.55 for revenue expenditure.

In addition to the defence budget Rs 1,08,853.30 is allocated for defence pensions.

This year’s defence budget is only 1.58% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is lower than last year’s allocation in terms of percentage. After the war against China in 1962 this is the lowest allocation to defence forces.

Despite the recommendation of defence panel that the defence budget for the financial year 2018 should be around 2.5% of the GDP to reduce the shortages of equipment and technology in our defence forces.

Last year, the Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Sarath Chand had also termed, 65% of arms with India to be in ‘vintage category’, reported The Financial Express. The Indian Army chief, General Bipin Rawat had also expressed the need of more allocation of budget for the armed forces.

 

 

 

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.
 

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.

 

Indian Army to Get 1.86 Lakh Modern Bullet Proof Jackets

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Representational Image (Picture Courtesy: http://www.zeenews.india.com)

Finally the wait is over. The Indian Army’s infantry soldiers are going to get modern bullet proof jackets. The Indian government has signed a contract of Rs 639 crore with a domestic defence manufacturing company SMPP Pvt Ltd to procure 1.86 Lakh bullet proof jackets. The Indian Army was pressing the centre government for buying modern bullet proof jackets since 2009, but due to our slow procurement system it took nine years. The army had purchased 50,000 jackets in an emergency in March 2016, but it could not match army’s requirement neither it helped in reducing the shortage.

SMPP Pvt Ltd has successfully cleared the stringent trials of the Indian Army. SMPP chairman S C Kansal said, “The new jackets meet the most advanced GSQRs 1438 (technical parameters) standards of the Indian Army. These bullet proof jackets have `Boron Carbide Ceramic’, which is the lightest material for ballistic protection.” These will somehow reduce the shortage, but the Indian Army needs total of 3.5 lakh jackets for the infantry soldiers.

As reported by The Times of India, an officer said, “The contracted bullet proof jackets have contemporary and state-of-the-art specifications with added protection level and coverage area. These ergonomically designed bullet proof jackets have modular parts, thereby providing immense protection and flexibility to soldiers operating in different operational situations ranging from long-distance patrolling to high-risk room intervention scenarios.” He further added, “The new bullet proof jackets will provide 360 degree protection to soldiers in combat, including from latest hard steel core bullets.”

SMPP Pvt Ltd will provide these jackets within next three years and the procurement process starts in the next two months. The deal to procure these bullet proof jackets from a domestic manufacturer will definitely give a boost to ‘Make in India’ campaign. The Indian Army is also in a dire need of modernise assault rifles and also needs to modernise the artillery guns.