It was an eventful year for Ministry of Defence. Government of India took policy decision to set up two Defence Production Corridors, one each in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Tamil Nadu. These would go a long way in making India self-reliant in defence production through ‘Make in India’ initiatives.
It was also a year of another milestone for women empowerment in the country when the first-ever all-women crew circumnavigated the globe in an indigenously built 56-foot Indian Navy Sailing Vessel, ‘INSV Tarini’. The achievement can be gauged from the fact that Prime Minster Shri Narendra Modi started his address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on the 72nd Independence Day this year mentioning the feat only. He aptly said, “We have been celebrating this festival of independence, at a time when our daughters from states of Uttarakhand, Himachal, Manipur, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have come back after circumnavigating the seven seas. They have come back amongst us by (unfurling tricolour in seven seas) turning the seven seas into the colour of our Tricolour.”
The 10th edition of biennial ‘DefExpo’ was organised from April 11-14, 2018 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu successfully. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on April 12, 2018. The tagline of the event was ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’.
India joined the elite group of nation which have developed the Air-to-Air refuelling system for military class aircraft when Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ successfully completed mid-air refuelling trial by wet (actual) engagement, transferring 1,900 kgs fuel from IAF IL78 mid-air refuelling tanker on September 10, 2018.
Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman launched ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ on November 27, 2018. The main idea behind this is to migrate from the culture of seeking Transfer of Technology (ToT) from foreign sources to generating Intellectual Property in India, to achieve the goal of self-reliance in Defence sector.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the Combined Commanders’ Conference at Air Force Station, Jodhpur on September 28, 2018 and also launched ‘Parakram Parv’, there. Ministry of Defence enhanced financial decision-making powers of the Vice Chiefs of the three Services by five times to Rs 500 crores in order to expedite the decision making process involved in the revenue procurements of the Armed Forces. Raksha Mantri took this important decision to augment the arms and ammunition reserves of the Armed Forces to enhance their operational preparedness.
Minister of External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Smt Nirmala Sitharaman and Secretary of State of the United States Mr Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mr James Mattis had inaugural India-US Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue in New Delhi on September 6, 2018.
The four span of temporary bridge on the old Ferozpur-Lahore highway over river Satluj River (Hussainiwala Barrage) connecting Hussainiwala Enclave from Ferozpur has been replaced by constructing a new bridge. The bridge was dedicated to the nation by Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman on August 12, 2018. Hussainiwala is the place where freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who made supreme sacrifice for their motherland, were cremated.
Whenever the nation has faced calamities, the Armed Forces have been standing firm with helping hand in trying times. This year was no different. Armed Forces played pivotal role in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) during natural disasters that include cyclone ‘Titli’, Kerala floods, cyclone ‘Gaja’ saving many lives, livestock and property.
Training Events & Military Exercises
- lndo – French Joint Military Exercise:lndo – French joint military exercise was conducted at Mailly Le Camp, France from January 28 to February 04, 2018. The aim of the exercise was to acquaint both forces with their operating procedures for counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations under UN mandate.
- lndo – Malaysian Joint Military Exercise:The first ever joint exercise between Indian and Malaysian armies ‘HARIMAU SHAKTI – 2018’ was held from April 30 to May 13, 2018 in the forests of Sengai Perdik Hulu Langat, Malaysia. 4 grenadiers from Indian Army and 1 Royal Ranger Regiment and Royal Malay Regiment participated in the exercise. The first ever such exercise between the two countries aimed at training of troops in counter insurgency operations in jungle terrain. It has laid the groundwork for future editions.
- Indo – Nepal Joint Military Exercise:‘SURYA KIRAN – XIII’ was conducted in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand from May 30 to June 12, 2018. The battalion level exercise focused on counter terrorism operations in mountainous terrain.
- lndo – Thailand Joint Military Exercise:lndo – Thai Joint Military Exercise ‘MAITREE’ was held in Thailand from August 06-19, 2018. The exercise was aimed at training the troops in counter insurgency & counter terrorism operations under the United Nations mandate. Both sides jointly trained, planned and executed a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario.
- Multinational Joint Military Exercise SCO Peace Mission 2018:India participated for the first time in the fifth edition of the joint multinational military exercise SCO Peace Mission between August 24-29, 2018. The joint exercise exhibited the combat power and dominance of the participating armies over extremist groups in simulated realistic situation.
- lndo – US Joint Military Exercise:The 14th edition of lndo – US Joint military Exercise ‘YUDHABHYAS 2018′ was conducted at Chaubatia, Uttarakhand from September 16 to 29, 2018. The two week-long event saw both the armies hone their tactical and technical skills in countering insurgency and terrorism in a UN peacekeeping scenario involving a combined deployment at a brigade level. The Indian contingent was represented a battalion from Garud Brigade, Surya Command while the US contingent was from 1st Infantry Battalion of 23 Infantry Regiment, 2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team and 7 Infantry Division.
- Indo – Kazakhstan Joint Military Exercise:The third edition of joint military training exercise between Indian Army and Kazakhstan Army was held at Otar Military station, Kazakhstan. Ex KAZIND 2018, a 14 day long joint exercise was conducted from September 10 to 23, 2018. The Kazakh contingent was represented by Military Base 85395 while the Indian side was represented by 5 Ladakh Scouts Regiment. Both sides jointly trained, planned and executed a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario.
- Multinational Joint Exercise of BIMSTEC Nations:Military field training exercise for BIMSTEC nations, MILEX-2018, was conducted between September 10-16, 2018. Aim of the exercise was to collectively train BIMSTEC nations in planning and conduct of counter terrorist operations in a semi urban focus of the exercise was to train and equip the contingents to undertake joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in urban and semi-urban terrain. Training contingents comprised of platoon strength from 1st Gorkha Rifles of the Army and 32 Regiment from Japanese ground Self Defence Forces.
- lndo – Japan Joint Military Exercise:The first of its own kind, an lndo – Japan joint military exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN 2018 was conducted at CIJWS, Vairengte from November 01 to 14, 2018. The primary aim was to in and equip the contingents undertake joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in urban and semi urban terrain. The training contingents comprised of platoon strength from 1st Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army and 32 Regiment from the Japanese ground Self Defence Forces.
- Indo – Russia Joint Military Exercise:Tenth edition of lndo – Russian joint military Exercise INDRA was conducted at Sabina Military station from November 18 to 28, 2018. The aim of the exercise was to practice joint planning and conduct to enhance interoperability of the two armies in peace keeping and enforcement environment under the aegis of United Nations.
- Indo – Maldives Joint Military Exercise:Ninth edition of lndo-Maldives joint military exercise EKUVERIN 2018 was conducted at Maafilaafushi, Maldives between December 14-29, 2018. The Indian Army contingent comprised of officers and troops from the MADRAS Regiment while Maldives was represented by officers and marines of MNDF. The primary focus of the exercise was to train and equip the contingents to undertake joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in rural/ urban environment.
- Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai training Afghan lady officers:As part of a continued effort of training being imparted by the Army to women officers from abroad, the women officers of the Afghan Army and Air Force were trained on basic military aspects including physical training, weapon training, tactics, communication skills and leadership at OTA, Chennai from November 26 to December 22, 2018.
- lndo – China Joint Military Exercise:7th Sino -India joint exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018 was held from December 10 to 23, at Chengdu, China. 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. The Indian contingent was led by Col Puneet Pratap Singh Tomar, Commanding Officer, 11 SIKHLI, 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. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency/counter terrorism environment under UN mandate.
- President awards Padma Shri Sepoy Murlikant Rajaram Petkar (Retd):President Shri Ram Nath Kovind presented Padma Shri to Sepoy Murlikant Rajaram Petkar, retired war veteran of victorious 1965 war on March 20, 2018, who later won Paralympic Gold in 50 metre free style swimming. He sustained grave injuries, including multiple gunshot wounds but trained relentlessly and achieved inspiring glory.
- Visit of President to Siachen Glacier:President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Supreme commander of armed forces, visited the world’s highest battlefield, Siachen Glacier on May 10, 2018. He addressed troops at the Siachen Base camp and profusely praised the efforts of the soldiers deployed in the harsh climatic conditions assuring that their interests are paramount in the heart of the nation.
- Army’s Kashmir Super-30 (Medical) Initiative:On June 12, 2018; a prestigious centre for Kashmir Super 30 (medical) project was inaugurated by the Chinar Corps commander, Srinagar. The project has been conceptualised by the Army which is a residential programme providing coaching and guidance to children for medical coaching and guidance to children for medical entrance exam for 12 months.
- Samba Super 40:Samba Super 40 Project under the aegis of Gurj Div was initiated to provide quality training to young NOA/CDS aspirants of Samba area as per UPSC curriculum. The project involved identification, screening and selection of potential candidates. Extensive interactions were done by Army officers of Samba brigade at Samba, Vijaypur and Kathua schools and colleges. 36 students were shortlisted out of which two boys and one girl have cleared the written exam. They will now be coached further for SSB.
- Western Fleet (WF) Overseas Deployment (OSD):Western Fleet ships comprising Mumbai and Trikand were deployed for Western FleetOverseas Deployment from April 15 to May 23, 2018. During the deployment, the ships along with P8I aircraft participated in Phase III of EX-VARUNA, at/off Reunion Island, from May 01-07, 2018. Western Fleet ships comprising Kolkata and Trikand participated in exercise IBSAMAR at Simons Town, South Africa from October 01-13, 2018.
- Malabar 18 and RIMPAC: Eastern Fleet ships comprising Sahyadri, Kamortaand Shaktiwere deployed for Eastern Fleet Overseas Deployment. The ships along with P8I aircraft participated in Exercise Malabar at Guam. On completion of Malabar 18, Kamorta and Shaktireturned Visakhapatnam on July 07, 2018. Sahyadri thereafter participated in exercise RIMPAC at Hawaii and Kakadu at Darwin and finally arrived at Visakhapatnam on September 29, 2018.
- International Fleet Review at Jeju:Eastern Fleet ship INSRanawas deployed for Eastern FleetOverseas Deployment from September 17 to November 24, 2018. The ship participated in International Fleet Review at Jeju, South Korea between October 08-15, 2018. The ship participated in IND-INDO Bilateral exercise at Surabaya, Indonesia from November 12-16, 2018.
- Overseas Deployment of 1 Training Squadron (1TS):Ships of 1 Training Squadron consisting of IN Ships Tir, Sujata, Sudarshini, Shardul and ICG Ship Sarathi were deployed in South-East Asia as part of training deployment from September 20 to October 22, 2018. The ships visited Lumut, Malaysia, Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia. During the deployment IN ships Tir, Sujata and Shardul were diverted off Palu, Indonesia, to provide relief assistance to the Tsunami affected Island of Sulawesi.
- Mission Based Deployments: Mission Based Deployments were implemented by Indian Navy (IN) in a phased manner, with an aim to safeguard national maritime interests and maintain continuous/near continuous presence in areas of significant maritime importance in the IOR. These deployments are in consonance with the PM’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’. Since the inception of Mission Based Deployment in June 2017, INships and aircraft are being regularly deployed in the Gulf of Oman/Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden/Red Sea, South and Central Indian Ocean Region (IOR), off Sunda Strait, Andaman Sea/ approaches to Malacca Strait and Northern Bay of Bengal.
- INOperational Exercises: In order to remain combat ready at all the time IN conducted Command level operational exercises ENCORE-18 (Eastern Naval Command), XPL-18 (Western Naval Command) and SHIKSHA-18 (Operational level war gaming exercise). These exercises also saw participation from the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard. The exercises facilitate refining of IN war plans, address Op Logistics issues and provide platform for smooth transition from peace to conflict.
- Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS): The IONS presently has 24 member countries with eight countries with observer status. Iran is the current ‘Chair’ of IONS. The construct has become an important Maritime construct to promote maritime cooperation amongst the member countries. During the Conclave of Chiefs held in Tehran in April 2018, it was decided to conduct the IONS Anti-piracy exercise by Iran in 2019 and India assumed Chairmanship of IWG Information Sharing and Interoperability (IS&I). Indian Navy also conducted commemorative activities for IONS 10thanniversary between November 13-14, 2018 at Kochi. Events included commemorative Seminar, Tall ship sail together from Kochi to Muscat and release of Special Day cover. Chiefs of 11 navies and 27 countries participated in the event.
- MILAN-18: MILAN-18 was conducted at Port Blair from March 06-13, 2018. More than 30 delegates from 16 countries and 11 ships from eight countries participated in the MILAN. A Table-Top Exercise focussing on ‘Enhancing Regional Cooperation for Combating Unlawful Activities at Sea’ and a seminar on the theme ‘In pursuit of Maritime Good Order – Need for Comprehensive Information Sharing Apparatus‘ was conducted during the ‘Harbour Phase’. In the ‘Sea Phase’ participating ships undertook various exercises aimed at harnessing inter-operability in a variety of maritime scenarios including ‘Search and Rescue’ and ‘Maritime Interdiction Operations’.
- Supply of 2ndDornier to Seychelles: Second Dornier aircraft was handed over to Seychelles Air Force on June 25, 2018 at a ceremony held in New Delhi. Deputy Chief of Naval Staff represented IN along with other Flag Officers during the ceremony. The first Dornier was supplied to Seychelles in January 2013.
- 37thIndian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica: Hydrographic survey team consisting of one Long Hydrography course qualified officer and one Hydrographic sailor participated in the 37th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica from December 2017 to March 2018 for surveying India Bay area.
- Rafale: Rafale is an omni-role fighter aircraft which will provide long range capability to engage targets in depth and will provide a strong weapons and systems capability edge over our adversaries. The weapon package includes air-to-air Beyond Visual Range (BVR) METEOR missile and long range SCALP precision guided air-to-ground weapon. In addition, the Rafale for IAF has specific enhancements, including capability for high altitude engine start for undertaking high altitude operations.
- Hercules C-130J-30:C-130J is a medium sized, all weather transport aircraft capable of inter theatre and intra theatre airlift operations. It is capable of delivering combat troops/personnel or cargo by airdrop or air-landed operations. IAF has also enhanced the night operational capability of the aircraft by procuring latest generation Night Vision Goggles.
- Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters: Fifteen Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters will be delivered to the IAF from March 2019 onwards. A team of aircrew and ground crew have commenced training on the Chinook in USA.
- Mirage-2000 Upgrade: Upgrade of Mirage-2000 aircraft is being undertaken by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The upgrade programme includes a new, more powerful upgraded radar, new avionics suite and integration of weapons. The upgrade was undertaken in two phases. Initial Operation Clearance (IOC) Design and Development (D&D), was completed at OEM facilities’ in France and the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) D&D was completed in March 2018.
- MiG-29 Upgrade: The MiG-29 Upgrade Contract was signed with the OEM for upgrade and life extension of MiG-29 aircraft. The first phase of the project was Design & Development (D&D), which was completed on six aircraft in Russia. The second phase was Series Upgrade of the remaining aircraft at the Base Repair Depot of the Indian Air Force. The upgraded aircraft are now being used for routine operations in frontline squadrons. The upgraded aircraft is equipped with state of the art avionics, an array of smart air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons and in-flight refuelling.
- UAV Upgrade:A combined case for upgrade of Heron UAV systems for three Services (IAF-10) is in progress and IAF is the lead service. Identification of Friend or Foe and Traffic Collision Avoidance System are some features that will be part of the upgrade. Contract negotiations have been concluded.
- AEW&C (Indigenous): The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) sanctioned the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Project on October 06, 2004. Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) was designated as nodal agency to indigenously design and develop operational AEW&C systems for IAF. The AEW&C System is a system of systems consisting of Primary Radar (PR), Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR), Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system, and Communication Support Measures (CSM) system, Self-Protection Suits (SPS), Mission Communication System (MCS) and Data Links on board Embraer-145 aircraft. The aircraft is capable of air-to-air refuelling for achieving extended endurance.
- AWACS (India): Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS-India) consists of sensors mounted on a transport aircraft for locating airborne and sea surface targets and picking up hostile emissions. The aircraft sensors provide comprehensive information to the onboard mission controllers and ground stations through a sophisticated communication data link. The system provides advance warning for approaching low flying hostile targets.
- Ex Gagan Shakti: IAF conducted PAN India Exercise Gaganshakti 2018 between April 08-22, 2018. The aim of the exercise was real time coordination and employment of air power in a short and intense battle scenario. A major highlight of the exercise was a very high availability and reliability of all combat assets including aircraft, missile systems and radars. High tempo operations also enabled the IAF to ascertain sustainability of the logistics chain.
- Ex Pitch Black-2018(OUT EX): Ex Pitch Black (Ex PB) is a biennial exercise conducted by Royal Australian Air Force. Ex PB-18 was the inaugural exercise for IAF conducted from Jul 19 to August 18, 2018, at Darwin, Australia. IAF participated with 04 x Su-30MKI, 01 x C-17 and 01 x C-130J aircraft along with 145 IAF personnel. Hop exercise was conducted at Subang, Malaysia during the transit to Malaysia.
- International Army Games-2018 (OUT EX): Two observers (each) represented IAF in “UAV Competition” at Kazakhstan from 06-08 Aug 18 and in “Ex Aviadarts (Air to Ground firing competition)” at Russia from August 03-04, 2018.
- Ex Aviaindra-2018 [Phase-I (IN Ex) & Phase-II (OUT Ex)]: The exercise was planned in two phases. Phase-II was held at Lipetsk, Russia between September 17-28, 2018 and Phase-I was held at Jodhpur, India from December 10-21, 2018. Russian IAF participated with 30 members during the exercise.
- Ex Cope India-18: United States Air Force and Indian Air Force participated in an exercise, ‘Cope India’. It was conducted at Kalaikunda and Panagarh from December 03-14 18. USAF participated with 12X F15 C/D and 03XC-130. Observers from Japan Air Self Defence Force also participated in the exercise.
Indian Coast Guard Operations
- Extended EEZ surveillance:In addition to undertaking maritime surveillance in Maritime Zone of India, ICG ships and aircraft are also deployed for undertaking maritime surveillance of littoral states. In 2018, ICG undertook three extended EEZ deployments in the Maldivian EEZ, by ICG ship Sarathi in February-April, 2018 and ICGS Samarth in April-May, 2018 followed by one ICG Dornier Aircraft in July-August 2018.
- Coastal Security Exercises: Indian Coast Guard, in coordination with Navy, has been undertaking patrolling and surveillance of the entire coastline. Since 2009, a total of 180 Coastal Security Exercises have been conducted for ensuring effectiveness of the coordinated patrolling and validation of Standard Operating Procedure.
- Coastal Security Operations: With the sustained impetus on Coastal Security total of 351 Coastal Security Operations have been conducted since 2009, in coordination with all stakeholders.
- Distress Beacon Exercise: In order to enhance efficacy of M-SAR construct, series of Beacon exercises are being conducted. The 14th and 15th exercise was conducted on May, 23-25 and September, 26-28, 2018 respectively. Active participation was witnessed from Defence and Civil and a total of 96 beacons were tested in 2018.
- SAR Exercises: With imperatives to validate the National Maritime SAR plan and to exercise the resource agencies for enhanced operability towards collaborative approach for strengthening the maritime SAR mechanism, Maritime Search and Rescue exercises were conducted under the aegis of NMSAR Board. Large scale participation of National Maritime SAR Board Member agencies, stake holders, resource agencies, national and international observers was witnessed during the exercises conducted in 2018 which are as under:-
- Maritime SAR Workshop & Interactive Sessions: Under the aegis of NMSAR Board, ICG took the initiative of conducting Maritime SAR Workshop & interactive session for mariners, fisherman and stake holders. These initiatives were aimed towards building up a collaborative approach for strengthening safety of fisher-folks and mariners and enthusing safety consciousness among coastal communities.
- SAR Communication Exercise: With a view to reinforce our operational linkages with leading Maritime SAR service providers in the Indian Ocean Region, MRCC (Mumbai), MRCC (Chennai) and MRCC (Port Blair) conducted Search and Rescue Communication Exercises (SARCOMEX) with friendly countries in the year 2018, that include Oman, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, South Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Australia.
Defence Research and Development Organisation
- Long Range Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile ‘Agni-5’: During the year, Agni-5 was successfully flight tested thrice in Jan, June& December 2018. A total of seven flight trials have been conducted so far and all the missions have been successful.
- Ballistic Missile Defence (Programme AD):Interceptor missiles have been developed by DRDO as a strategic weapon against ballistic missile attacks. Successful trials of endo interceptor missile (AAD) and exo interceptor missile (PDV) were carried out in August 2018 and September 2018 respectively.
- Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile ‘Astra’:Beyond visual range air-to-air missile ‘Astra’ possessing high single shot kill probability has been developed by DRDO to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aerial targets. A series of flight trials of the missile by IAF were conducted at ITR, Balasore as part of final development trials of the missile in September/October 2018.
- New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile (NGARM):DRDO is involved in the design and development of NGARM having a range of 100 km. AKU-58 launcher after suitable modification will be used for missile integration on Su-30 MKI aircraft. Successful static firing of integrated P-I & P-II rocket motor was conditioned at high & low temperatures in Jun & Jul 2018 respectively. Captive Flight Trials were also successfully conducted in September 2018.
- Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM):MPATGM is a 3rdgeneration ATGM with ‘Fire & Forget’ and ‘Top Attack’ capabilities, which can be day and night. Design & development of MPATGM weapon system is undertaken for deployment by Infantry and Parachute Battalions of the Army. During the year, sub-systems for control flight trial were acceptance tested and lined up for missile integration which was followed by successful Program Control Flight Trials of the missile system in September 2018.
- Stand-off Anti-Tank (SANT) Guided Missile:During the year, SANT Guided Missile mission-01 campaign was conducted during May 2018 at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan during which successful firing of SANT from Mi-35 helicopter platform was demonstrated. SANT Release Flight Trials (RFT) with mathematical model of seeker was also conducted in Nov 2018 wherein safe separation from Mi-35, transfer alignment algorithm, launch release sequence and latex/roll control auto pilot algorithms was demonstrated.
- Smart Anti Air Field Weapon (SAAW): SAAW is long-range, stand-off, precision air-to-surface weapon capable of engaging ground targets. Impact trial of SAAW was conducted in May 2018 to access penetration capability of SAAW in full configuration mode. Three tests of SAAW were also carried out during August 2018 from IAF aircraft. The weapon has undergone eight developmental flight trials till date.
- Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) ‘TAPAS BH’:TAPAS-BH, a multi-mission UAV is being developed with an endurance of 24 hours to carry out the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the three Armed Forces. It is being designed to operate at 30,000 ft Above Mean Sea Level (AMSL) altitude and is capable of carrying Electronic Warfare and Electro-Optic & Synthetic Aperture Radar (EO & SAR) payloads. During the year, a total of 63 taxi trials (LSTT & HSTT) have been completed. The first block of User Configuration flights commenced in February 2018. As on date, 25 User configuration flight trials have been completed.
- Guided Pinaka Rocket System:Guided Pinaka Rocket system is being developed by DRDO to engage targets from 20 km to 80 km range. The rocket uses propulsion system developed for Pinaka Mk-II rocket and has canard based aerodynamic control and Inertial Navigation System (INS)/Global Positioning System (GPS) based guidance. The system was successfully test fired from PXE, Chandipur in May 2018 and met all its mission objectives.
- New Family of Munitions (NFMS):Six types of munitions are being designed and developed by DRDO viz. Soft Target Blast Munition ‘NIPUN’, Anti-Tank Point Attack Munition ‘VIBHAV’, Anti-Tank Bar Munition ‘VISHAL’, Directional Fragmentation Munition ‘PARTH’, Anti-Tank Munition ‘PRACHAND’ and Jumping Fragmentation Munition ‘ULKA’ to improve the existing munitions and enhance its performance. During the year, PSQR based User Trials of PRACHAND was completed.
- Arjun Armoured Recovery and Repair Vehicle (Arjun ARRV): ARRV is intended for carrying out recovery, repair and replenishing functions pertaining to MBT Arjun in operational areas under a wide variety of field conditions. During the year, 1stprototype was successfully demonstrated during DRDO internal trials and 2nd prototype is under developmental trials.
- Advance Light Towed Array Sonar (ALTAS): ALTAS is an efficient sensing system for detection, localization and classification of submarines operating especially in the below surface layer ocean conditions. It is useful in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations and is the apt sensor for warships to locate silent submarines capable of launching high speed torpedoes. User Evaluation Trials of the system onboard INS Sharda are under progress. Almost 75 NSQR parameters including parameters pertaining to towing characteristics and functions of launch/recovery unit have been demonstrated during the trials.
- USHUS – 2: USHUS-2 is submarine sonar to be installed onboard four EKM submarines considering the long term requirements of the submarine arm and to combat the component obsolescence in the existing Russian sonars onboard these submarines. Design and development of engineered model of USHUS-2 is carried out in NPOL and produced at M/s. BEL, Bengaluru. During the year, Sea Acceptance Trials (SATs) Phase-1 of USHUS-2 onboard INS Sindhukesari was completed successfully in Russia.
- Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS): DRDO/NPOL is involved in the design and development of a PDDS system that is capable of detecting small targets such as divers and diver delivery vehicles in and around harbours. It will be deployable and retrievable as and when required. During the year, PDDS deployment system has been developed. Field evaluation of the deployment system will be by early 2019.
- Advanced Light Weight Torpedo (ALWT): ALWT is an anti-submarine torpedo launched from ship, helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. It has dual speed capability and endurance of 25 km at low speed (25 knots) and 12 km at high speed (50 knots). During the year, discharge test of 70 kw battery was conducted with full torpedo assembled. Static test was conducted at sea off Vizag to prove operation of recovery aids used in ALWT STRS, IPRS, Noise maker and BSAT. Automated electrical firing of it from single tube launcher and dynamic sea trials was conducted wherein torpedo made full run as per mission sequence.
- Software Defined Radio (SDR):The development of a family of network-enabled, interoperable and modular SDRs is to provide wireless secure communication capability to both mobile and fixed forces as required by the Navy are: Naval Combat (SDR-NC), Tactical (SDR-TAC), Airborne (SDR-AR), Manpack (SDR-MP) and Hand held (SDR-HH). During the year, Acceptance Test (ATP) and User Evaluation Trials of SDR-TAC were completed on five ships at Vizag. Flight trials of SDR-AR for selected bands were also completed.
- Air Defence Fire Control Radar (ADFCR) ‘Atulya’: ADFCR ‘Atulya’ in conjunction with anti-aircraft guns, forms a ground based air defence system whose main purpose is effective point defence against all air threats at short and very short ranges during day and night. During the year, DRDO evaluation of the radar system was completed and integrated test firing of ADFCR with guns and targets were carried out. 18. Air Defence Tactical Control Radar (ADTCR): ADTCR has been developed for Army AD for surveillance, tracking and Identification of Friend/Foe (IFF) of aerial targets and transmission of data to multiple Air Defence command posts/weapon systems. During the year, DRDO internal evaluation of ADTCR system was completed. All the PSQR parameters were complied and verified by demonstration/analysis. The system is ready for User trials.
National Cadet Corps
Training of the cadets is the core function of National Cadet Corps (NCC). Training curriculum has been designed to achieve the objectives, which have been delivering desired results. However, in the recent past there has been a growing perception that our training philosophy has to be suitably modified to accommodate the changing aspirations of our youth, and expectations of our society from our youth. The activities of the NCC as follow:
- Institutional Training:This forms the major portion of the total training peculiar to Army Wing, Naval Wing and Air Wing and is carried out in schools and colleges. Respective services provide all facilities for contact programmes/affiliated training.
- Camp Training:Camp training constitutes the most important part of NCC training. Every cadet in the NCC is expected to attend at least two camps. Therefore, nearly 70 per cent of the enrolled strength gets this opportunity every year. Various camps conducted during the year are Annual Training Camps (organised at state level), Centrally Organised Camps including 35 Ek Bharat Shrestitha Bharat (EBSB) camps, Six Leadership Camps, Thal Sainik Camp, Vayu Sainik Camp, Nau Sainik Camp, Eight Rock Climbing Camps and the Republic Day Camp (RDC).
- Army Wing Activities:There are 677 Army units covering all the States and Union Territories. In addition to Institutional Training, NCC Army Wing cadets are also given an opportunity to live and work in regular service units in the form of Attachment Training. Every year 440 officers and 20,000 cadets including 60 women officers and 560 senior wing girl cadets get attached to various units of the Army for a duration of two weeks. Around 1,000 senior wing girl cadets are also attached with various military hospitals every year. In addition, every year 120 SD cadets are given attachment training with Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and 48 SW girl cadets are given attachment training with Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai. This year during the ThalSainik Camp, conducted at New Delhi between September 17-28, 2018; a total of 1,360 cadets (680 SD and 680 SW) participated.
- Naval Wing Activities:There are 62 Naval Units covering all States and Union Territories. Naval training activities conducted during the year included Sea Training and attachment, Naval Academy attachment, scuba diving, sailing expeditions, technical camps for engineering and electrical students at Technical College of Navy and the All India Yachting Regatta (INS, Chilika, Orissa). A Nau Sainik Camp is conducted to train 600 naval cadets each year at Karwar. This year a special training camp for yachting was organised in Goa.
- Air Wing Activities:At present, there are 61 Air Squadron, including 50 Flying Squadron and 11 Technical Squadron. These Air Squadron cover most of our States and Union Territories. The major Air Wing activities include Microlite Flying, Aero Modeling and attachment training. A Vayu Sainik Camp conducted each year at Jodhpur to train 600 Air Force.
- Social Service & Voluntary Community Development Programmes:The aim of Social Service and Community Development programmes is to sensitise the youth to the problems faced by society and help them to contribute positively towards solving them. The various Social Service and Community Development activities in which the cadets take part are:
- Environment Protection Project:Drives to generate awareness about ill effects of using plastic was conducted by all Directorates during the year, wherein NCC cadets actively participated in Tree Plantation drives/door to door campaigns/interaction with local residents to spread awareness. Over 1.25 lakh saplings were planted.
- Anti Drugs/Tobacco Programme: As part of National Drive approx. 78,000 NCC cadets participated in various Anti Drugs activities on June 26.
- Mission Indradhanush: To assist in the national goal of immunising children in the affected districts pan India NCC cadets have ensured this year atleast 14,700 children have been immunised.
- International Yoga Day:In keeping up with its set tradition this year also on June 21 on International Yoga Day over 7 lakh cadets participated in the event in around 6000 different venues.
- Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: A massive focus is laid each year on swachhta based programmes throughout the different states. From September 15 to October 02, this year over 10.5 lakh cadets took part voluntarily in various cleanliness drives.
- Swasth Bharat Yatra: To commemorate 150 yrs of Mahatma Gandhi birth centenary, ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’, a pan India Cyclothon and related events is being organised by FSSAI. The event is partnered by 14 Ministries of the UOI including MoD and the related departments of all State Govts and UT Administration. The “Yatra” envisages covering a distance of 18,000 kilometre split over six cycling legs of about 3,000 kilometre each. Each leg of yatra will cover approximately 50-60 kilometre each day with 25 cyclists each. The yatra will commence simultaneously from each of the six legs on October 16, 2018 and culminate simultaneously on January 27, 2019 at New Delhi.
- Disaster Relief: NCC has always extended a helping hand during natural and other calamities. Over the years, NCC cadets have rendered a yeoman service during floods, earthquakes, cyclones and other natural disasters. NCC cadets were actively involved in assisting the civil administration in relief operations during the Kerala floods and the damage due to cyclone in Kerala.
- Youth Exchange Programme (YEP): The aim of YEP is a country to country exchange of cadets belonging to NCC/equivalent Govt/Youth Organisations of friendly countries and participation in NCC activities of the host country to create an increased awareness among participants and appreciation of each other’s socio-economic and cultural realities. The exchange program acts as the ‘third tier of diplomacy’ by supplementing the efforts of our diplomats and leaders in building bonds with other friendly nations. Presently, the NCC has youth exchange with Eleven countries (Nepal, Bhutan, Singapore, Vietnam, Russia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Maldives and Kyrgyzstan) on reciprocation basis.
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