Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Saturday resumed his assigned duties at Suratgarh Air Force Station in Rajasthan, reported The Times of India. However, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has not confirmed his posting to Suratgarh base saying that it is a confidential information. Meanwhile, the force has only confirmed that the IAF officer is posted in Rajasthan.
Earlier this month, a video of the IAF officer’s interaction with his colleagues went viral on social media. In the video, Wg Cdr Varthaman was looking fit and was seen clicking pictures with his air force colleagues and army personnel. The IAF pilot also joined men in shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. During his interaction, Wg Cdr Varthaman thanked the countrymen for their wishes. He said, “These photographs are not for you but for your families. I have not been able to meet them. I have recovered because of their prayers and the prayers of many.”
The IAF officer was released almost after 60 hours by Pakistan on March 1. After his return from Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah border, Wg Cdr Varthaman underwent a series of medical tests at Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) hospital in Delhi. He was also recommended by the IAF for the Vir Chakra, the third highest wartime gallantry award after the Paramvir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra.
The Indian Army will induct 464 Russian-origin T-90 MS battle tanks between 2022 and 2026, at the cost of Rs 13,448, reported The Times of India. The T-90MS are upgraded version of T-90 family. Soon, an order to produce these tanks will be placed on the Avadhi Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) under Ordnance Factory Board. The cabinet committee on security had already cleared the licence acquisition from Russia last month. Arjun Mark 2 – The Beast with upgraded technology, 3rd Generation Tank.
Last year, India also signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to procure S-400 advanced air defence system. The deal was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India to take part in the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit. Meanwhile, in 2018, India also finalised two deals of $500 and $950 million with Russia for procurement of four advanced stealth frigates. Out of these four, two frigates will be procured directly from Russia, while other two will be built at a shipyard in Goa with the transfer of technology.
The Indian Army’s ‘Vijay Prahar’ exercise concluded today. Around 25,000 troops of strike formation of South Western Command (SWC) participated in the exercise. The month-long exercise was conducted in the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges of Jaipur close to Suratgarh in Rajasthan. Pakistan border was 300Kms away from the location of the exercise. The ‘Vijay Prahar’ was carried out with cutting-edge equipment and state-of-the-art force multipliers.
South Western Army Commander Lt Gen Cherish Mathson was present in the range on the last day of the exercise to witness the final offensive of the forces achieving a decisive victory. Lt Gen Mathson told reporters, “I had laid out unambiguous scope for activities to be carried out and had also benchmarked standards to be achieved. I am fully satisfied with the efforts put in and results achieved.” He further added that designing an offensive campaign on the principles of operational art in a deep air-land battle with real-time intelligence marked the beginning of the exercise.
The concept of ‘Air Cavalry’ using attack and weaponised helicopters was validated during the exercise. Employment of modern-day sensors with weapon platforms was carried out. The exercise also focussed on real-time information and enhancing electronic warfare, reconnaissance capabilities and using satellite-based surveillance. Drones and radars were also put to test to check their efficiency with the aim to ensure transparency in the battlefield.
Operations were carried out under superficially created nuclear environment during the ‘Vijay Prahar’. The main of these operations was to check the preparation of the army under a tactical Nuclear, Chemical or Biological attack by the adversary with advanced CBRN capability. The Army and the Air Force came together to test their joint conventional firepower capability during the exercise. Lt Gen Mathson also complimented the troops who braved the soaring temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius and sandstorms to achieve a very high degree of proficiency.