Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Indo-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR) Concludes at Coco Islands

Indo-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR) Concludes at Coco Islands

The Closing Ceremony of the 6th cycle of the Indo-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR) was conducted off Coco Island onboard Myanmar Naval Ship King Sin Phyu Shin on 17 March 2018. Indian Naval Ships Kulish and Baratang and Myanmar Naval Ships King Sin Phyu Shin and Inlay had participated in the IMCOR, which included patrolling along the International Maritime Boundary Line, Boarding Operations and Manoeuvres. Apart from securing the Sea Lines of Communication, the exercise also served to enhance mutual understanding and inter-operability between the two navies. The ceremony was co-chaired by Commodore Ashutosh Ridhorkar, Naval Component Commander, Andaman and Nicobar Command from the Indian Navy and Commodore Kyaw Shwe Tun, Commander of Panmawaddy Naval Region Command from the Myanmar Navy.

Southern Naval Command Inducts Microlight Aircraft ‘Garud’

Vice Admiral AR Karve, PVSM, AVSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command inducted two Microlight aircraft ‘Garud’ into Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 550 on 15 March 2018 at Naval Base Kochi. ‘Garud’ is the first of its type aircraft to be inducted into the Indian Navy and is envisaged to play a pivotal role in enhancing bird survey, thereby augmenting anti-bird hazard measures and promoting Flight Safety. ‘Garud’ will be the 14th type of aircraft to join INAS 550 since its commissioning in 1959. The squadron currently operates Dornier DO 228 aircraft used for Maritime Surveillance, Search and Rescue and training of ‘Pilots’ and ‘Observers’.

Passage Exercise Held Between Indian Navy and Qatar Navy

The Deputy Commander of Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF) Brigadier Hamad Al Dosari and Head of Training Brigadier Khalid Al Ruwaili, along with 16 QENF officers, embarked INS Kolkata for a Passage Exercise between the Indian Navy and the QENF on 15 March 2018. QENS Al Ghariyah, a Barzan class missile boat, represented QENF in the exercise, which included manoeuvres, Visit Board Search and Seizure operations, force protection measures, damage control and fire-fighting evolutions.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Indian Army Releases Book on Paramveer Chakra Awardees : Paramveer Parwane

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff released a book on Paramveer Chakra Awardees - ‘Paramveer Parwane’ on 20 March 2018. The book illustrates the bravery of Paramveer Chakra Awardees from 1947 to 1965 and is written by Dr Prabhakiran Jain published by Medha Books. The book has eleven short stories, poems, and songs highlighting the history of the battles in which the brave soldiers sacrificed their lives and have shown the utmost courage & leadership while facing the enemy during War to protect the motherland.

The book is available in paperback & coffee table book format and its second part will be released shortly. Dr Prabhakiran Jain’s contribution to children’s literature has been recognized by many institutions across India. She is a three-time recipient of the Bal Sahitya Samman and Bal & Kishore Sahitya Samman awarded by the Hindi Academy and has 15 books to her credit. The writer has used simple and lucid language keeping young readers in mind.

Border Roads Organisation Coffee Table Book 

The Union Minister for Defence, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman releasing a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) Coffee table book ‘Will of Steel’, in New Delhi on March 20, 2018. The Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre and other dignitaries are also seen.

IAF Hawk MK-132 Crash

An Indian Air Force Hawk Mk-132 aircraft crashed around 1220 hrs today, after getting airborne from Air Force Station Kalaikunda, for a routine training mission.
The pilot after having ejected safely has been evacuated to the base in an IAF helicopter.  A Court of enquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Indian Navy to Host Bilateral Exercise 'Varuna' with French Navy

The Indian Navy and the French Navy have conducted bilateral maritime exercises since May 1993. Since 2001, the exercises have been named VARUNA and there have been fifteen editions of the same till date. The last edition of VARUNA was conducted off the French Coast in Apr 2017.

The conduct of VARUNA, and the special impetus on taking this Navy-to-Navy cooperative engagement forward, was reiterated in the Joint Statement made by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France, on the 10th of March 2018.

In 2017, VARUNA was conducted in three sea areas in the European waters. This year too VARUNA-18 would be conducted in three sea areas, namely, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and South Western Indian Ocean. The first phase, being conducted in the Arabian Sea, will see participation of a French submarine and frigate Jean de Vienne from the French side. The Indian Naval participation will include the destroyer Mumbai, frigate Trikand with their integral helicopters, IN submarine Kalvari, P8-I and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft, as well as the Mig 29K fighter aircraft.

The VARUNA series of exercises have grown in scope and complexity over the years and provide an opportunity to both Navies to increase interoperability and learn from each other’s best practices.

The Breakdown Of The Indian Rafale Deal : Why Does The Current Deal Cost More ? The Current Deal Versus MMRCA !!

The 36 Rafale deal worth 7.87 billion Euros, for the Indian Air Force (IAF) is rocking Indian Parliament with the Opposition demanding a breakdown of the pricing of each fighter jet, for the deal which was announced on 10th April 2015 in Paris, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the French capital.

During the recent French President Emmanuel Macron's four-day visit to India, there was buzz about a possible follow-up deal for an additional 36 Rafale jets, along with the existing one. The first one is expected to fly in by September 2019.

Chindits tries to examine the current Rafale deal vis-à-vis the earlier MMRCA (Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft) deal (which was eventually cancelled). MMRCA was for 126 fighter jets.

The current deal includes Israeli helmet-mounted displays, radar systems, Infrared search and track, low band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, towed decoy systems, integration of Brahmos NG missile.. 

All of this was not part of the earlier MMRCA deal.

The current deal includes free training of nine IAF personnel.74% of the Offsets will be imported from India.

This was missing in the earlier MMRCA deal.

The current Rafale weapon package includes 'Meteor' Air-to-Air missiles with a range over 150 kilometres, 'Storm Shadow' Air-to-Surface cruise missiles with a range over 560 kilometres.

The earlier MMRCA deal didn't have these.

The current deal includes simulators, spares and maintenance costs, which means India will not have to spend on maintenance for five years, guaranteed performance based logistics support which means 75% of the fleet will be airworthy at any given time.

All this was not part of the earlier MMRCA deal.

Meanwhile, the issue has been raised in the current session of the Indian Parliament, more than once, thereby eliciting dissatisfactory answers by both the Defemce Ministers.

The senior Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman has replied twice in Parliament within a month, earlier invoking the secrecy clause :

But later when Dassault Aviation came up with figures in its Annual Financial Report 

the Minister had no choice but to give an approximate figure in her second reply :

The Dassault Annual Financial Report : 

The Dassault Aviation Annual Financial Report also was released just before Macron's India visit began, in a way embarrassing the Indian Government. In a televised interview Macron reiterated that the price disclosure of the jets, per piece , solely rested on the Indian Government's  discretion, and the French Govt had no objections to it, as the Dassault report was out. 

The Opposition has often attacked the Government by comparing the Indian Rafale price with that of the earlier MMRCA deal, and the offer made to Qatar and Egypt. Both Qatar and Egypt have confirmed orders for 24 Rafales each. 

Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi of the Congress Party , demanded a reply form the Prime Minister following the Annual Financial Report was out  : " Dassault called RM's  (Raksha Mantri - Defence Minister) lie and released prices paid per RAFALE plane in report:
         Qatar = 1319 Cr
         MODI = 1670 Cr
         MMS =   570 Cr
1100 Cr per plane or 36,000 Cr i.e 10 % of our Defence budget, in the pocket." 

The junior Defence Minister, Mr Subhash Bhamre has also replied twice in Parliament:

 “the quantum of offsets in the Inter-Governmental Agreement for 36 Rafale fighter jets is 50 per cent, which includes investments in terms of Transfer of Technology for manufacture and maintenance of eligible products and services. The current offsets policy of the Defence Procurement permits the vendors to provide details of their Indian Offset Partners either at the time of seeking offset credits or one year prior to discharge of offset obligations. Vendor/Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) is free to select his Indian Offset Partner.”

MMRCA : A Timeline 

1. Request For Proposal (RFP) was issued on 28th August 2007 to six global vendors - Russian MiG-35, American F-16 (Block 60) by Lockheed Martin, American F-18 by Boeing, Sweden Saab's Gripen NG, Eurofighter Typhoon by the European Consortium EADS and French Rafale by Dassault Aviation.

2. Commercial offer opens on 4th November 2011. CNC (Commercial Negotiation Committee) commences on 13th February 2012.CNC divided into four sub-committees, as follows:

(a) Contract
(b) Transfer of Technology
(c) Maintenance 
(d) Offsets

All sub-committees successfully concluded negotiations, except one. The first one-Contract sub-committee remained inconclusive.

3. Draft Contract and JCA (Joint Cooperation Agreement) between Dassault and HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) submitted on 24th March 2014 to the CNC. This was not fully complied with the RFP and the DPP (Defence Procurement Procedure).

4. Basically Dassault Aviation did not want to take responsibility of the 108 Rafale aircraft to be license manufactured by HAL (as per the contract). 18 were to be bought in fly-away condition.

Negotiations reached an impasse. No breakthrough. The then Defence Minister AK Antony did not take any decision, going to the extent of waiving of proposed contractual obligations.

This correspondent recently contacted Antony and asked him to comment on the above issue. He refused to comment saying he had nothing to share and also that Parliament was in session.

5. A new Government was in place from May 2014 and Ministry of Defence asked Air Headquarters for a consolidated report to be placed before the newly elected Government for decision. The report was submitted before the new Govt in January/February 2015, along with recommendations for closure of the case. The reason given was that the vendor was not agreeing on the standard clauses. The file lay in front of the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for approximately three months, for closure.

6. All of a sudden Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Paris visit announces 36 Rafales.After the announcement of the 36 Rafales  , the MMRCA deal for 126 fighter jets was cancelled. The 36 Rafale deal was approved later.The deal concluded on 23rd September 2016.

More recently junior Minister Bhamre again replied in Parliament :

The reply touches upon the analysis done above, in the comparison, and also talks about offsets. It is learnt that Dassault is in talks with more than 70 big and small and medium sized manufacturers to meet its offset obligations. The offsets will not only find itself in sync with the Modi's Government's flagship 'Make in India' but will also help create jobs in the technological sectors, such as aeronautical parts, airframe, engines, radar, electronics and avionics, as Dassault plans to join hands with Indian partners in these areas.

Monday, February 19, 2018

SAFRAN Helicopter Engines in India


1,000 Safran rotorcraft engines delivered for Indian market  Including 300 TM333 and 350 Shakti produced in India
India’s armed forces are one of the largest operators of Safran-designed helicopter engines.
Safran has been selected to power all subsequent HAL-developed rotorcrafts.
 Demand for 1,000 rotorcraft during the coming 10 years, for both civil and military rotorcraft.

Shakti / Ardiden 1

1,400 shp engine designed to power single-engine rotorcraft
Selected for HAL’s Dhruv and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)
Certified in 2009
350 units jointly produced by HAL and Safran in India
Ardiden 1U derivative selected to power LUH
EASA certification under process in due time for aircraft qualification.


2,500 to 3,000+ shp engines Aneto family.

A complete family. Several models to address market requirement for new super medium and heavy helicopters.
Increased mission capabilities and low operating costs.
Tech 3000 technogical demonstrator New designs and technologies gradually incorporated in the family, depending on power requirements and EIS, and capable of delivering up to 15 % better fuel economy.
Selected by Leonardo to power AW189K First flight in March 2017, EIS end of 2018.


Inaugurated in October 2016

Located in Goa, southwest India
2017: Start of operation on civil activity 
2018: Military operation on field by February. 3 Maintenance Centers (Bangalore, Pathankot, Missamari) will be operational.
Goa facility ready by 2019, and will provide maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) services for TM333 and Shakti engines installed on HAL-built helicopters


5620 employees worldwide
1 out of 3 helicopter engines sold in the world is Safran . There are 2,500 customers in 155 countries and 18,200 engines in service
Revenue at Euro 1,3 billion (2016) . 708 engines produced (2016) . 1,500 engines repaired (2016)
A Safran-powered helicopter takes off every 9 seconds, somewhere in the world.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Indian Navy Conducts Exercise Naseem-Al-Bahr with Oman Navy

Indian Navy Conducts Exercise Naseem-Al-Bahr with Oman Navy

Indian Naval Ships Trikand and Teg are deployed to Oman for bilateral exercise ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ or ‘Sea Breeze’. This exercise is the 11th edition and has been a biennial feature since 1993. The Indian ships entered Muscat on 16 December 2017 for the harbour phase. A Pre-sail conference for the exercise chaired by Executive Officer of the base, Capt Aqeed Rukn Barry, was held at Said Bin Sultan Naval Base, Wudam on 17 December 2017.

Delegations from Royal Navy of Oman embarked Indian Naval Ship Teg on 18 December 2017 for briefing on basic Anti-submarine warfare procedures. The Indian Navy ships along with four Royal Navy of Oman ships Al Rasikh, Khassab, Al Mubashir and Al Bushra sailed for the sea phase of the exercise where, for the first time, an Indian Navy submarine as well as the versatile P8I, long range maritime aircraft are participating.

India has an ancient maritime tradition and maritime interaction with Oman dates back to over 4000 years B.C. Bilateral relation between Indian and Oman were formally established with signing of a 1953 Indo-Oman Treaty of friendship, Navigation and Commerce, a first between India and an Arab country. Since then, Naval exercises have contributed to strengthening of bilateral ties between India and Sultanate of Oman. The first exercise Indian Navy with Royal Navy of Oman was conducted in 1993 and this year marks 24 years of Indian Navy -Royal Navy of Oman bilateral exercises. The signing of an MoU on Defence Cooperation in December 2005 and subsequent establishment of the Joint Military Cooperation in March 2006 has set the foundation for increased defence cooperation. The naval cooperation between the countries has gradually increased in scope and scale.

Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, PVSM, ASM, VSM, ADC, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command is on a visit to Oman from 21 December to 25 December 2017 to witness the ongoing bilateral exercise.

New Diving Facility in Honour of Naval War Hero at Diving School, Kochi

A newly constructed modern dive-training facility at the Diving School, of the Southern Naval Command (SNC) christened as the “Chiman Singh” Block was jointly inaugurated by Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, VSM, Chief of Staff , SNC and Chiman Singh, MVC, Petty Officer Clearance Diver (Retd), on 15 December 2017 at naval base, Kochi. The facility is named after Chiman Singh, Petty Officer Clearance Diver (Retd), who was awarded the second highest gallantry award of the nation, the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The ceremony was attended in addition, by Rear Admiral K Swaminathan, Chief Staff Officer (Training) of SNC, Commodore VS Rawat, Principal Director Special Operations and Diving of the Navy at Integrated Headquarters of the ministry of Defence at New Delhi besides divers from all Commands of the Navy.

The facility, which has added a new chapter in the history of the Diving School, houses a state of the art Recompression Chamber complex, a laboratory as well as modern stores and will make dive training at the Diving School comparable with the best in the world. Speaking on the occasion, Rear Admiral Nadkarni extolled the bravery of Shri Chiman Singh and exhorted everyone to take motivation from such brave acts. He reiterated that it was only apt that a new diving facility is dedicated to a brave diver and expressed confidence that the naming of the block would inspire many generations of young naval personnel to bring honour to themselves, the service and the country.

Shri Chiman Singh was a young diver in the rank of Leading Seaman when he participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Deployed off the Bangladesh coast, he displayed unparalleled gallantry in the face of the enemy in rescuing several of his colleagues, despite being severely injured. The sailor was eventually taken prisoner-of-war (POW) and released on culmination of the war. The sailor was awarded MVC for his courageous actions. This is the highest gallantry award ever received by a naval person. He was also recognized by the Government of Bangladesh for his actions during the War of Liberation and honoured with the “Friends of Bangladesh Liberation” award in 2013. 

Army Chief Addresses Armed Forces Officials At CDM S'Bad  

General Bipin Rawat, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff shared the National Security Perspective and Vision of the future during his interaction with the participants of the Higher Defence Management Course at College of Defence Management, Secunderabad. During the talk, the Chief of Army Staff highlighted the importance of geopolitics and national interests in the formulation of National Security Strategy. He stressed on the relevance of jointmanship in the armed forces, which can suitably be nurtured at Tri service organization like the College of Defence Management so that it percolates at the functional level and develops the bottom-up approach. He also expressed his belief, that only through interaction and sharing of experience, one can move from education to knowledge.

The College of Defence Management is Nation's leading Centre of excellence in developing management thought to optimize the effectiveness of the armed forces for meeting the challenges to the National Security. Officers attending the course are of Colonel or equivalent Ranks from the Army, Navy and Air Force who are likely to be the future leaders of the armed forces. The participants also include officers of armed forces of friendly foreign countries attending the Higher Defence Management Course at the College.

Lt Gen B S Sahrawat takes over as DG, NCC

 Lieutenant General B S Sahrawat took over the reins of National Cadet Corps as its Director General. The General Officer is a third generation army officer. He is alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. He was commissioned in December 1980 in 13th Battalion (Rezang La), the Kumaon Regiment.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Indian Army's Judge Advocate General’s Department Celebrates Thirty Fourth Corps Day

The Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Department celebrated its 34th Corps Day on 21 December 2017.  To mark the occasion, a Wreath Laying ceremony was held at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. Wreaths were laid by Lt Gen Ashwani Kumar, Adjutant General and Colonel Commandant of JAG Department along with Maj Gen VC Chitravanshi and other serving officers, soldiers and veterans.

The JAG’s Department is the judicial and legal wing of the Army which deals with disciplinary cases and litigation. The Department is actively involved in assisting all ranks in observing Human Rights and the rule of law.

The origin and evolution of JAG’s Department, is linked with the evolution of Military Law in England and traces its history to British “Article of War-1385”.  It was on this day in the year 1949 that the Bill for the enactment of the Army Act was introduced in the Parliament.

GOC TASA Felicitates TES Topper Vidul Thimannna

Vidul Thimanna who recently topped the all India Merit List of the Technical Entry Scheme (TES) to join the Indian Army was today felicitated by Major General N Srinivas Rao, General Officer Commending, Telangana and Andhra sub area.

Vidul son of Colonel CM Thimanna, a Saurya Chakra awardee presently posted at MCEME Secunderabad and Mrs Veena Thimanna on being felicitated thanked the GOC TASA and stated that it was a proud moment for him on being honoured and such nice gestures shall continue to motivate and encourage him to put in his best in all his future endeavours.

He further attributed his success to the Principal and Staff of Army Public School Bolarum for their continuous support and guidance towards this achievement. 

Commissioning of Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ICGS Sujay

Indian Coast Guard Ship “Sujay”, the sixth in the series of six 105m Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) was commissioned by Director General Indian Coast Guard Shri Rajendra Singh at Goa today in the presence of senior officers from Coast Guard, CMD Goa Shipyard Limited and other senior dignitaries of the Central and State Government.

‘Sujay’ meaning ‘Great Victory’ is projection of Indian Coast Guard’s will and commitment “To serve and Protect” the maritime interest of the nation. The ship is based at Paradip, Odisha under the operational and administrative control of Commander Coast Guard Region (North-East).

This 105 meter OPV has been designed and built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Ltd and is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries. The features include 30mm CRN 91 Naval Gun, Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS), Power Management System (PMS) and High Power External Fire Fighting System. The ship is designed to carry one twin engine Light Helicopter and five high speed boats including two Quick Reaction Inflatable Boats for swift boarding operations, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol. The ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea.

The ship draws 2350 tons(GRT) propelled by two 9100 KW diesel engines to attain a maximum speed of 23 Knots and has an endurance of 6000 NM at economical speed. The sustenance and reach coupled with the latest and modern equipment and systems, provides her the capability to perform the role of a Command platform to accomplish all Coast Guard charter of duties.

The ship on joining Coast Guard fleet at Paradip, will be deployed extensively for EEZ surveillance and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard Charter, to safeguard the maritime interests of India. Presently, Indian Coast Guard has a fleet of 134 ships and boats and 66 ships and boats are at various stages of construction at different shipyards in India.

ICGS‘Sujay’ is commanded by Deputy Inspector General Yoginder Dhaka and manned by 12 Officers and 94 men.

The commissioning of ICGSSujay will enhance the Indian Coast Guard’s operational capability to discharge the multifarious maritime tasks. The induction of a sophisticated and state-of-the-art OPV will give a fillip to the maritime protection of our vast coastline of Eastern Seaboard in general and the maritime state of Odisha and West Bengal in particular.