India To Buy NASAMS-II From United States To Shield Important Cities; $1 Billion Deal Approved By DAC

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NASAMS-II Missile System (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@defenseworld)

India is set to join the United States of America and Russia in providing advanced missile shield to its important cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Nirmarla Sitaraman, has approved the plan to procure the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS) through a government-to government deal with US. The entire deal would be close to $ 1billion. Nasams-II is manufactured by Kongsberg and Raytheon.

The new missile system will replace aging Russian Pechora air defense systems. NASAMS-II will be armed with 3-D sentinel radar and short and medium-range missile launchers. It can also track and shoots down multiple airborne threats such as cruise missile, drones and fighter jets. This missile

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also developing two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) shield. The missile system of DRDO will be capable of tracking and destroying nuclear missiles both inside and outside the earth’s atmosphere. Once developed the BMD shield will be deployed to protect cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, whereas NASMAS-II will be used to intercept cruise missiles and aircraft. India is likely to issue letter of request to the US by the end of this year.

NASAMS II – a highly adaptable mid-range air defense system. Its battery consists of 12 missile launchers carrying six missiles each. The missile system employs the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) as the primary weapon. The RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile can also be fired by the NASAMS-II.

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Defence Ministry Approves Procurement of Anti-Tank Guided Missiles NAG Along With 127 mm Calibre Naval Guns

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Nag Missiles (Picture Courtesy: India.com)

The Defence Acquisition Council (ADC) led by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on April 27, approved capital acquisition proposals of over Rs 3,687 crore. The proposal included third generation Anti-Guided Tank Missiles (ATGMs), NAG missile system developed by Defence and Research Orgnisation (DRDO).  The NAG missile system (NAMIS) worth Rs 524 crore will give a big boost to indigenisation of defence products.

The NAMIS includes a third generation missile system, The NAG along with the Missile Carrier Vehicle (NAMICA). The NAG has the capabilities to destroy enemy tanks during day and night operations. This will strengthen the army’s capabilities.

According to a report published in The Economic Times, the Ministry of Defence cleared the procurement of 300 NAG missiles and 25 BMP – 2 ‘NAMICA’ carrier vehicles. The Indian Army is currently using second generation Milan 2T and Konur ATGMs. The Indian Army is currently looking for ATGMS which could strike enemy tanks with over 2.5 km range. The Indian Army needs around 8,000 third generation missiles.

Last year, the government scrapped proposed $500 miliion deal with Israel to procure 8,000 spike ATGMs as DRDO argued to deliver the NAG within four years.

Along with NAG Missile System, DAC also approved the procurement of thirteen 127 calibre guns for the Indian Navy. These guns would cost around Rs 3,000 crore. The ministry said, “These guns will be fitted on-board new construction ships for undertaking surface engagements including Naval Gunfire Support Operations. The guns will enable naval ships to provide fire support and engagement of targets on the land,” reported Economic Times.

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                            OTO Melara 127 MM Calibre Gun to be procured by the Indian Navy                                                 (Picture Courtesy: http://www.seaforces.org)

These guns have engagement range of 24 Km.  This range could be increased by using Extended Range Gun Munitions (ERGM). The Navy requires these guns since long. The guns would be procured from BAE Systems under the Buy (Global) category of the Defence Procurement Procedure.

 

LCA Tejas Test Fires Derby Missile Off Goa Coast; Moves Inch Closer Towards Final Operational Certification

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Picture Courtesy: PTI/File

In a major breakthrough, indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has successfully test fired an air-to-air beyond visual  range (BVR) missile from the Goa coast on April, 27.  It demonstrated its overall capability as an effective combat jet. This move has paved the way to receive Final Operational Clearance (FOC). The test firing of the missile from a Tejas jet was carried out on April 27 off the Goa coast and it met all operational requirements. Earlier, Tejas was given clearance for deployment of armaments and other missiles, reported PTI, quoting defence ministry officials.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had ordered the first batch of 40 Tejas Mark-1 version. The Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) is to make four major upgrades in Mark-1 version and incorporated into the second batch of 83 Tejas fighter jets, for which a request for proposal (RFP) was issued to HAL by the IAF in December last year. This new batch will be of LCA Tejas Mark 1A version. The total cost of these 83 jets will be around Rs 50,000 crore.

The successful launch of the BVR missile will expedite issuance of the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) to the aircraft. LCA Tejas is developed by state-run aerospace organisation Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The Defence Ministry in an official statement said, “The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) successfully fired Derby air-to-air BVR Range missile to expand the firing envelope as well as to demonstrate safe operation of the aircraft.” According to the press release, the missile was launched from the LCA piloted by Wing Commander Siddharth Singh yesterday from the firing range off the Goa coast after exhaustive study of the missile separation characteristics.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman appreciated the DRDO and other agencies for developing Tejas, a world-class aircraft. DRDO Chairman S Christopher confirmed that with this firing, the Tejas had moved an inch closer towards FOC certification. According to the ministry, integration of Derby, a BVR class missile, is one of the major objectives of Final Operational Clearance of LCA Tejas. Two other Tejas aircraft tracked the aircraft which fired derby to capture the firing event in the specially instrumented high speed cameras for detailed analysis of the test launch of the missile. The entire planning, practice sorties and final firing was carried out by ADA and its National Flight Test Centre (NFTC). According to PTI, the ministry confirmed that based on the successful integration and demonstration, Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA), a unit of DRDO had cleared the series production aircraft of squadron 45, to be equipped with Derby operational capability.

 

India And Pakistan to Participate in Joint Military Exercise in Russia As Part of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

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Picture Courtesy: http://www.indianexpress.com

India along with Pakistan will be participating in a multi-nation military exercise to be conducted in Russia in September this year. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday officially announced India’s participation. Chinese forces will also be part of this exercise.

The military exercise in Russia is part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). India, China, Russia and Pakistan and other SCO nations are attending the exercise. For the first time, India is attending the Defence Ministers’ meeting at SCO being hosted in China.

Indian and Pakistan soldiers have worked together in the past during the United Nations peacekeeping missions and that to while providing security or in convoy protection deployment. The exercise, “Peace Mission 2018” is scheduled to be held in Russia’s Ural Mountains. It will begin in August-end and conclude in the first week of September. It will be the first-ever exercise in which Indian and Pakistan militaries will be participating together to conduct the mock military operation to fight terrorists. ‘Peace Mission 2018’ will be the fifth edition of the biennial multilateral exercise by the SCO countries. According to sources, India will send a 200-strong contingent to Russia.

India and Pakistan became the full member of the SCO on June 9, 2017. Both the nations were admitted as observers in 2005 in the SCO, which started in 2001 in Shanghai by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Now the Organisation has eight full members ,four nations have been accorded “observer” status, while six others are “dialogue” partners.

During her China visit Sitharaman said, “India enjoys excellent bilateral defence cooperation with a large number of SCO countries, especially with Russia, as well as with all of India’s Central Asian partners represented in the SCO.” The Defence Minister further added, “We are guided in our relations with China by the consensus reached between our leaders that at the time of global uncertainty, India-China relations could be a factor of stability and that we must not allow our differences to become disputes.”

 

Government Mulling Over Granting Permanent Commission to Women Army Officers; Still ‘No’ for Combat Role

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Representational Image (Picture Courtesy: http://www.indiastrategic.in)

The Centre is mulling over granting permanent commission (PC) to short service commission (SSC) women army officers. The government conveyed this to Supreme Court on Monday. This move could bring an end to an eight-year old battle in the apex court. The Indian Air Force and The Indian Navy have already granted permanent commission to women officers. The court questions the centre for not granting permanent commission to women army officers. The apex court also directed the government to file an affidavit with concrete policy on the PCs within two weeks.

Additional solicitor general (ASG) Maninder Singh told a bench led by Justice NV Ramana that Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, held meetings with the three chiefs of armed forces last week and the government was in favour of granting PCs to women officers in the army. The ASG said, “Deliberations happened with all earnest. They are considering expanding PC, wherever it is possible. Modalities, however, need to be worked out and a decision needs to be taken as to in which areas it (PC) can be given,” Singh further added that the women officers who left the job before 2008 would not b taken back and no PC would be given to women officers in the combat division because no SSC is offered in this stream, report Hindustan Times.

The government had taken a u-turn from its earlier stance, where it appealed in the apex court challenging the Delhi High Court’s order to give women army officers on SSC a permanent commission in March 2010. Before the HC judgment, women officers even after serving for 14 years had no scope of getting permanent commission whereas male officers get PC only after five years of service.

The government was pulled by Justice Ramana’s bench on April 13 for harassing SSC women officers for opposing their plea for PC. Even on Monday, the apex court described the Centre’s stand as “wishy-washy.” According to the report published in Hindustan Times, the judge also questioned the hesitation on Centre’s part to give PC to women in combat roles. In 2015, then defence minister Manohar Parrikar told Parliament that the armed forces had given PC to 340 women officers.

Gagan Shakti 2018: Sukhoi 30-MKI Equipped With Brahmos Missile Hit Targets Over Malacca Strait on Concluding Day

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Sukhoi 30-MKI (Picture Courtesy: http://www.sputniknews.com)

After carrying out extensive war drills along the borders with China, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had also carried out war-like operations on the locations from where the Chinese can gain entry into the Indian waters. During the second phase of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) mega war-exercise, Gagan Shakti-2018, Sukhoi-30 MKIs equipped with BrahMos missiles carried out strikes in the Malacca Strait. Malacca strait is the entry point Chinese naval ships has entered the Indian Ocean region.

The aircraft also carried out a sortie of over 2,000 kilometers where they were provided mid-air refuelling by Ilyushin 78 tankers and direction by the Airborne Early Warning Systems (AWACS), India Today reported citing sources. The Sukhoi -30 MKI launched BrahMos missiles. This showcased the capability of the aircraft to destroy enemy’s fighter jets from a distance of 300 km.

The Gagan Shakti 2018 which concluded yesterday was the biggest war-exercise carried out by the IAF. The two-week long exercise was conducted in two phases along the borders with Pakistan and China. In the first phase, its western command and south-western air command showcased the capability to counter enemy’s aggression on the western front, while in the second phase, the formations focused on the Chinese frontiers.

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IAF is conducting Advance Landing Ground (ALG) Operations in North East Sector as part of Gagan Shakti 2018                                                                                                                                              (Picture Courtesy: Arunachal24.in)
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Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressing media (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

Entire fleet strength of the Indian Air Force took part in the exercise. Sorties were carried out across the entire country. Mid-air refueling, evacuation of war causalities from border to military hospitals, Advance Landing Ground Operations are performed during the exercise. IAF paratroopers also exhibited their skills in countering any emergency situation. The main aim of this exercise was to check the war preparedness of the force. Joint maritime operations were also conducted by the IAF in coordination with the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa also reviewed the exercise. Around 1,100 IAF aircrafts participated in the exercise. According to reports, 15,000 airmen and 300 officers were also part of the Gagan Shakti 2008.

This exercise has surely given a strong message to the rival nations and hs enhanced the morale of the forces.

 

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.

 

 

 

Indian Air Force Conducts Advance Landing Ground Operations During ‘Gagan Shakti 2018’

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IAF is conducting Advance Landing Ground (ALG) Operations in North East Sector as part of Gagan Shakti 2018                                                                                                                                              (Picture Courtesy: Arunachal24.in)

The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in several areas in North East sector as part of the ongoing Gagan Shakti 2018 exercise. ALGs are unprepared airstrips which are usually placed at a short notice in far flung areas having challenging terrain with limited rail and road connectivity.

As India has many border areas which have limited connectivity, so the need for ALGs is critical. ALGs can transform the area into forward strike bases for the IAF if and when required. The IAF conducted Inter Valley Troop Transfers (IVTT), Special Heliborne Operations, Air Landed Operations and Special Operations by operationalising and utilising several ALGs.

IVTT Operations were carried out in Uttar Bharat Hills and at the Tezu-Walong in the north-east sector. Sukhoi 30-MKI fighter jets are also operating from almost every ALGs in the north-east sector.

Unpredictable weather, tough terrain, narrow corridor of approach and short runway lengths makes operation exteremely tough for pilots. The IAF appreciated the precision and efficiency of its personnel. According to the Ibdin Air Force, such type of precision and professionalism is important in determining the success of tactical operations.

As a part of Gagan Shakti 2018, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa inspected Air to Ground armament fired by Sukhoi 30-MKI and Mi-17 at DM Range, Assam. The exercise reflected IAF’s all-weather bombing capabilities and pin point precision. The Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Air Chief Marshal also reviewed the taking off of Su-30 aircraft from Pasighat ALG amidst the challenging terrain of Arunachal Pradesh.  Sitharaman also addressed media in Chabua, Assam.

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Defence Minister along with Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa addresses media in Chabua, Assam (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@DefMinIndia)

Gagan Shakti is the biggest military exercise in decades undertaken by  the IAF  to showcase its  dominance over the entire extended area of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the biggest ever war combat game exercise on the Pakistan and China border.

 

Indian Navy to Get Four Advance Warships From Russia

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Indian Navy to get four Krivak Class Frigates from Russia (Picture Courtesy: Youtube.com)

India has moved closer to finalise a deal of four advanced warships for the Indian Navy with Russia. The price for two of the naval vessels which are to be bought directly from Russia has been finalized at $1.1 billion, while the price negotiations for the remaining two warships to be manufactured at Goa Shipyard under ‘Make in India’ model is under progress. The Defence Ministry is pushing hard to close the deal at the earliest.

The four state-of-art warships to be inducted by the Indian Navy will enhance its blue water capabilities as these naval vessels will be equipped with the Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles. After negotiatons during defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Russia visit, Russian material is to be supplied to the Goa Shipyards at around USD 200 million. The Indian negotiators will also get 18 per cent discount in the contract. The first two frigates will be built in Yantar Shipyard, in Kaliningrad, Russia, while the remaining two will be built in Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL).

A Russian team had come for price negotiations during the DefExpo 2018 held in Chennai. The discussions are still in progress. The defence minister visited Russia earlier this month to discuss multiple military programmes.

The Indian Navy is to operate 10 Krivak III class frigates. Six warships of Krivak class are already in operation. The first three warships were inducted between June 2003 and April 2004, while the next group of three warships was commissioned between April 2012 and June 2013. India is expecting to finalise the price by the next couple of months.

 

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.