INS Karanj, Third Kalvari class Submarine commissioned: Key points

INS Karanj, Third Kalvari class Submarine commissioned:  Indian Navy’s third stealth Scorpene class Submarine INS Karanj has been commissioned today at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai through a formal commissioning ceremony.  Admiral VS Shekhawat PVSM, AVSM, VrC (Retd), former Chief of the Naval Staff, who was part of the commissioning crew of the old Karanj and later the Commanding officer during the 1971 Indo – Pak war, was the Chief Guest for the ceremony. Six Scorpene Class submarines are being built in India by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, under collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France. INS Karanj would form part of the Western Naval Command’s Submarine fleet and would be another potent part of the Command’s arsenal.

Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, and other senior officers from the Indian Navy and MoD were amongst the several dignitaries who witnessed the commissioning ceremony.  Crew of the erstwhile ‘Karanj’, a Russian origin Foxtrot Class Submarine which was decommissioned in 2003 were also special invitees for the ceremony. During his address, the CNS said “this impetus to Indigenisation & AatmaNirbharBharat is a fundamental tenet of Indian Navy’s growth story and future operational capabilities”.

The Chief Guest Admiral Shekhawat also highlighted India’s push towards AatmaNirbharta by saying “we live in an India launching numerous satellites, building nuclear submarines, manufacturing vaccines for the worlds – the new Karanj is another example of it”

This year is being celebrated as the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ which marks 50 years of 1971 Indo – Pak war. Old INS Karanj, commissioned on 04 Sep 1969 at Riga in the erstwhile USSR, also took active part in the conflict under the Command of then Cdr VS Shekhawat. In recognition of the valiant action of her officers and crew, a number of personnel were decorated, including award of Vir Chakra to the then Commanding Officer Cdr VS Shekhawat. Interestingly, the commissioning Commanding Officer of the old INS Karanj Cdr MNR Samant later on became the first Chief of The Naval Staff of the newly formed Bangladesh Navy in the year 1971.

The Scorpene Submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. These platforms are equipped with the latest technologies in the world. More deadly and stealthier than their predecessors, these submarines are equipped with potent weapons and sensors to neutralise any threat above or below the sea surface.

The induction of Karanj is another step towards the Indian Navy, consolidating its position as a builder’s Navy, as also is a reflection of MDL’s capabilities as a premier ship and submarine building yard of the world. Project – 75 also marks a critical milestone in the Yard’s continued importance in the field of Defence Production

Source: PIB

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Details of Defence Budget 2020-21: Key points with Analysis

Modernisation of Armed Forces is a systematic process carried out as per the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)/ Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP). The modernisation process aims at keeping the Indian Armed Forces in state of operational readiness and optimally equipped with modern weapon systems. The budget allocation for modernisation of defence equipment is utilized to meet the operational requirement of the Armed Forces and for acquisitions of contemporary systems based on the planned priorities of the Defence Forces. DPP/DAP accords highest priority to Buy Indian (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) (IDDM). Government has put in place enablers to achieve higher level of the indigenization and self-reliance in the defence sector by harnessing the capabilities of the public and private sector industries in the country.

The Details of Budget Estimates 2020-21, Revised Estimate 2020-21 and Budget Estimate 2021-22 on the Modernisation (Capital Acquisition) of Armed Forces, under Defence Service Estimate (DSE) is as under:

(Value in Rs. crore)

  Budget Estimates

2020-21

Revised Estimates

2020-21

Budget Estimates

2021-22

Capital Acquisition

(Modernisation)

90,047.80 1,14,320.30 1,11,463

 

During last five financial year (2015-16 to 2019-20) and current year (upto January 2021), 304 contracts were signed. Out of total 304 contracts, 190 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors for capital procurement of defence equipment for Armed Forces.

In May, 2001, the Defence Industry sector, which was hitherto reserved for the public sector, was opened up to 100% for Indian private sector participation, with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 26% both subject to licensing. Further, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry vide Press Note No. 4 (2020 Series), has allowed FDI under automatic route upto 74% and above 74% through government route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded. In addition, 44 FDI proposals / Joint Ventures have been approved so far in defence sector for manufacturing of various defence equipments. FDI inflows of over Rs. 4191 crores have been reported by the defence and aerospace sector till January, 2021.

In addition, following provisions have been made in Defence Acquisition Procedure(DAP) -2020 for tie-ups with foreign companies for manufacture of defence equipment in the country:-

  1. Under Buy and Make (Indian) category, Indian vendor(s) can tie-up with a foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), for indigenous production involving transfer of technology of critical technologies.
  2. Buy(Global-Manufacture in India) category refers to an outright purchase of equipment from foreign vendors, in quantities as considered necessary, followed by indigenous manufacture of the entire/part of the equipment and spares/assemblies/sub-assemblies/maintenance along with repair and overhaul (MRO) facility(only in cases where these are part of the main contract) for the equipment, through its subsidiary in India/through a Joint Venture/through an Indian Production Agency(PA)(with ToT of critical technologies to the Indian PA), meeting a minimum of 50 % Indigenous Content (IC) on cost basis of the Base Contract price.
  3. Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model in May 2017, which envisages establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they would tie up with global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.
  4. Under the offset guidelines of DAP-2020, following avenues have been made available for discharge of offset obligations: –
  • Investment in defence manufacturing: This could be through FDI or direct investment or joint ventures or through the non-equity route for co-production, co-development and production or licensed production of defence products.
  • Investment in ToT to Indian enterprises for manufacture of eligible products.
  • Acquisition of technology through ToT to Government institutions and establishments engaged in the manufacture and/or maintenance of eligible products as listed in DAP-2020.

In order to encourage discharge of Offset obligation in investment of defence manufacturing and Transfer of Technology, higher multipliers have been assigned in the revised Offset policy under DAP-2020.

 

Following initiatives have been taken to facilitate Defence Public Sector Enterprises (DPSUs), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Private Defence Players to explore business opportunities abroad:

  1. Export Promotion cell has been constituted to co-ordinate and follow-up on export related action including enquiries received from various countries and facilitate private sector and public sector companies for export promotion.
  2. Defence Attaches in Indian Missions abroad, have been mandated for export promotion of Indigenous defence products of both public and private sector. A scheme for Export promotion of Indian Defence Equipment manufactured in India has also been rolled out wherein Defence Attachés are provided financial support to promote export of indigenous defence equipment abroad.
  3. Subject to strategic and diplomatic considerations, domestically manufactured defence products are promoted through Lines of Credit/Gratis. Defence Lines of Credit (LOCs)/Gratis are extended to identified Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs) to enable them to import Defence goods and services from India on attractive terms.
  4. Geographical countries/regions have been allocated to DPSUs/OFB for establishment of their offices in various countries to promote export of Indigenous defence platforms/equipment.
  5. An online portal has been created through which export leads received from various countries are disseminated directly to the Indian Defence Exporters who are registered on the portal.
  6. Webinars in coordination with Indian Missions abroad, DPSUs/OFB and Private Industry Associations have been organised with 15 Foreign Friendly Countries during the year 2020-21 to promote defence exports.

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First ever visit by Indian Naval Ships to the historic port city of Mongla, Bangladesh: Key Points

 

First ever visit by Indian Naval Ships to the historic port city of Mongla, Bangladesh: Key Points

First ever visit by Indian Naval Ships to the historic port city of Mongla, Bangladesh: Indian Naval Ships Sumedha, an indigenously build Offshore Patrol vessel  and Kulish, an indigenously built guided missile corvette, are scheduled to make a port call at the historic port town of Mongla in Bangladesh from 8th to 10th March 2021 to commemorate the ongoing Swarnim Vijay Varsh and reiterating the historic Indo-Bangladeshi friendship.

This is the first time that any Indian Naval Ship is visiting the port of Mongla in Bangladesh and the visit is aimed at paying homage to the Bangladeshi and Indian combatants and citizens who laid down their lives during the Liberation War of 1971, and reiterate India’s firm resolve and commitment to maintain peace, stability and good order in the region, in line with SAGAR – Security and Growth for all in the Region, as articulated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.

On behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff, the Commanding Officers of the ships will call on the senior Bangladesh Navy hierarchy to reaffirm Indian Navy’s solidarity and partnership with the Bangladesh Navy. Following all Covid-19 protocols, the ships’ crew will also participate in professional and cultural exchanges as well as friendly sports fixtures with their counterparts in the Bangladesh Navy, further enhancing synergy between the two navies.

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Indian Air Force Participation in EX Desert FLAG VI: Key Points

Indian Air Force Participation in EX Desert FLAG VI: Ex Desert Flag is an annual multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the United Arab Emirates Air Force. The Indian Air Force is participating for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag-VI along with air forces of United Arab Emirates, United States of America, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain. The exercise is scheduled from 03 Mar 21 to 27 Mar 21 at Al-Dhafra airbase, UAE.

Indian Air Force Participation in EX Desert FLAG VI

The IAF is participating with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft. C-17 Globemaster will provide support for induction/ de-induction of the IAF contingent. Su-30 MKI aircraft will undertake long range ferry, routing direct from India to the exercise area with aerial refueling support from IL-78 tanker aircraft. The aim of the exercise is to provide operational exposure to the participating forces while training them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment. The participating forces will get an opportunity to enhance their operational capabilities along with mutual exchange of best practices.

The large-scale exercise involving diverse fighter aircraft from across the globe will provide the participating forces, including IAF, a unique opportunity to exhchange knowledge, experience, enhance operational capabilities and interoperability. Exercising and interaction with the participating nations in a dynamic and realstic warfare environment will also contribute to strengthen international relations.

Over the last decade, IAF has regularly hosted and participated in multi-national operational exercises, wherin collaborative engagements are undertaken amongst the best air forces of the world.

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What Is SAI? The Indian Army Messaging App to Function from April 1

What Is SAI: Secure Application for Internet or SAI is a messaging platform developed by the Indian Army for its officials. The Indian Army is said to be starting the usage of Secure Application for Internet (SAI) starting April 1, according to reports. The indigenous app, that supports end-to-end voice, text, and video calling services is similar to commercially available messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal etc.

What Is SAI?

The Ministry of Defence announced  Secure Application for Internet (SAI) back in October 2020, and said that the Android app scored over on security features with local in-house servers and codes, which can be tweaked as per requirements. The  SAI app has been vetter by CERT-in empaneled auditor and the Army Cyber Group, and is currently in the process for filing Intellectual Property Rights hosting infrastructure on the NIC. The app is also under development for iOS and will be utilised by the Indian Army to facilitate secure messaging within the service.

SAI has been developed by Col Sai Shankar and is undergoing the process of getting cyber and security clearance and data testing. SAI is said to be an alternative to WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal for Army Personnel

In July, after the Centre banned 59 Chinese apps, Indian Army Officers were instructed to remove 89 apps from their mobiles including apps like Daily Hunt, Tinder, Facebook, Tik Tok etc. which was later banned in September 2020. Last year, the Indian Army also instructed its soldiers to steer clear of WhatsApp for official usage.

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DRDO Celebrates National Science Day: All you need to know

DRDO Celebrates National Science Day:  Defence Research & Development Organization, DRDO Head Quarter in New Delhi celebrated National Science Day 2021  on 1st March, 2021 with great fervor. A special function was organized by Defence Science Forum to mark this special occasion. Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, Prof K Vijay Raghavan was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The special occasion was presided over by Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy.

Prof Vijay Raghavan said that there is a significant amount of work being done by DRDO that epitomizes quality science. He appreciated the speed and quality of innovations by DRDO during the pandemic. He stated that “we are a design driven world, and our two major goals should be designing and manufacturing indigenously”. Prof Vijay Raghavan further said that in this new era of partnership between DRDO and industry, we should have the capability to buy local and make local.

Secretary DD R&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy in his address congratulated the scientific community for its ongoing quest to achieve excellence and self reliance. He emphasized the need to concentrate on science in laboratories and academic institutes to come out with state of art technologies. He highlighted the requirement for a focus group in each DRDO laboratory to work on future technologies. Dr G Satheesh Reddy further said that it is very important for any nation to work on the fundamental side of science, for which the universities need to be made stronger, so that the nation can come out with quality products.

Forty-Seven research papers were received from various DRDO labs/establishments, out of which three research papers were adjudged best. Defence Science Spectrum, a compilation of the scientific papers received from labs of various clusters, was also released by dignitaries on the occasion. DRDO Science Day orations were delivered by scientists of three DRDO laboratories namely, Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), Hyderabad, Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bengaluru and Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior.

National Science Day is celebrated each year on 28 February to commemorate the discovery of “Raman Effect” in 1928 by Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, which led to the Nobel Prize being awarded to him in the year 1930. The purpose of celebrating this day is to enhance scientific temper, popularization of science and encouraging innovative activities by infusing scientific temperament in the masses and to create a positive scientific research culture.

Defence Science Forum is a platform of DRDO where scientists of various discipline interact to foster fellowship, exchange of ideas with luminaries of different disciplines and feasibility and planning of all inter-disciplinary projects where expert opinion is required.

Director General (DG), Life Sciences, and Convenor Defence Science Forum, Dr AK Singh, DG (TM), Shri Sudhir Gupta, DG (HR) Shri KS Varaprasad and DG (SAM & R&M) Ms Nabanita Radhakrishnan were also present on the occasion.

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ARHMD System for Indian Army: All you Need to Know

ARHMD System for Indian Army: Augmented Reality Head Mounted Display (ARHMD) System is conceived as a capability enhancement to Land Based Air Defence Weapon Systems such as IGLA shoulder fired Infra Red Homing Air Defence Missile System and ZU 23mm 2B AD Gun System which will provide the operator with radar and Thermal Imaging (TI) sight outputs as overlays. The proposed system intends to enhance the engagement capability during night and conditions of inclement weather and the day-time engagements are also intended to be enhanced through increased reaction times, data computation for decision support and integration of output of TI sight.

ARHMD System for Indian Army

Indian Army is in the process of acquiring niche technology by procuring quantity 556 Augmented Reality Head Mounted Display (ARHMD) Systems under Make-II Category. After successful evaluation of vendor responses, Project Sanction Order (PSO) has been issued on 22 February 2021 to six vendors to start developing the prototype. The contract will be placed with one of the firms post successful development of prototype as per provisions of Buy (Indian-IDDM) category of DAP 2020.

Development of Augmented Reality Head Mounted Display System under Make-II will be a game changer for Indian Army. It will be in sync with “Atmanirbhar Bharat” policy of the Government and will lead to “Self Reliance” by giving boost to the Indian Defence Industry.

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DAC approves proposals worth Rs 13,700 crore: All you need to know

DAC approves proposals worth Rs 13,700 crore: All you need to know

DAC approves proposals worth Rs 13,700 crore: Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, has approved capital acquisition proposals of various weapons /platforms /equipment/ systems required by the Indian ArmyIndian Navy and Indian Air Force, in New Delhi on February 23, 2021. Three Acceptance of Necessities (AoNs) for an overall cost of Rs 13,700 crore were accorded. All these AoNs are in the highest priority category of Defence Acquisition viz ‘Buy [Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)].

DAC approves proposals worth Rs 13,700 crore: All you need to know

All these acquisition proposals will be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured. These will include inter-alia platforms and systems designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

To meet the Atmanirbhar Bharat goals of the Government on time-bound defence procurement process and faster decision making and to systematically work towards reducing the time taken for capital acquisition, the DAC also approved that all capital acquisition contracts (delegated and non-delegated) other than D&D cases shall be concluded in two years. The Ministry, in consultation with the Services and all stakeholders, will come up with detailed plan of action for achieving the same.

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Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurates DRDO Skill Development Centre: Key Points

Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurates DRDO Skill Development Centre for Fire Safety Training: Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has inaugurated Skill Development Centre (SDC) for Fire Safety Training of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Pilkhuwa in Uttar Pradesh through virtual mode on February 22, 2021. The facility, created by Delhi based DRDO laboratory Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES); is aimed at developing trained human resources, fire safety technology and products to save precious human lives and valued assets.

In his inaugural address, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO for this significant step in the field of fire safety. He emphasised that in any fire tragedy the nation loses precious lives and valuable assets. To prevent such losses, this Training Centre will go a long way in ensuring quality training to the personnel and preventing such mishaps.

The first of its kind in India, the SDC has been created by adopting state of art technology and setting up of simulation systems for validation of fire at realistic scale in order to meet the challenges and enhance the skills of Defence Fire Service Personnel and combatants from the Armed Forces. Spread in 24 acres area at Pilkhuwa, the DRDO facility would be utilised for imparting fire prevention and fire-fighting training to the Fire Service personnel of Indian Armed Forces, DRDO, Ordnance Factories, Coast Guard and defence undertakings. In addition, trainees from Bhutan, Sri Lanka and other neighbouring countries would also be imparted training at the Centre. The facility is likely to strengthen their knowledge and fire-fighting skills and prepare them for handling fire threats in the emerging high-tech environment. Training of fire personnel in such high standard facilities will result in high levels of fire safety awareness and implementation of safety provisions in defence establishments thus leading to minimisation of losses and property due to fire accidents.

Constructed as per International standards, the SDC has four bays with fire-fighting and rescue appliances such as hydraulic platform, air crash fire tender and emergency rescue tender, which will be used for imparting practical/hands-on training besides an important life-saving personal protective equipment for the fire fighters. The Centre has a Fire Drill Tower with emergency escape chute which would be used for simulation of fire in high rise buildings, Breathing Apparatus Training Facility, a Model Fire Station housing specialised fire-fighting and rescue appliances, LPG Petroleum Tank Farm Simulator, Fire Suit Test and Evaluation facility, a Hostel and Transit Facility and Administrative and Training Facility. The facility would be maintained by CFEES, which carries out safety audits, training activities and R&D activities in the area of fire, explosive & environment safety. Every year 400-500 personnel are being trained by CFEES in modules customised to the needs of Ministry of Defence (MoD) establishments.

Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy in his address appreciated the endeavor of the CFEES towards indigenisation of fire safety equipment and test facilities for evaluation of fire safety products. He stated that the establishment of Skill Development Centre is another step initiated by DRDO towards endorsing Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

Director General Human Resources Shri K S Varaprasad, Director General System Analysis & Modelling Ms Nabanita Radhakrishnan, Director CFEES, Shri Rajiv Narang and other dignitaries of MoD were also present on the occasion.

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 DRDO-developed Anti-Tank Guided Missile Systems ‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra’ Successfully  Tested

 DRDO-developed Anti-Tank Guided Missile Systems ‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra’ Successfully  Tested: Joint User Trials for Helina (Army Version) and Dhruvastra (Air Force Version) Missile Systemshave been carried out from Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) platform in desert ranges. The missile systems have been designed and developed indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra’ Successfully  Tested

Five missions were carried out for evaluating the missile capabilities in minimum and maximum range.The missiles were fired in hover and max forward flight against realistic static and moving targets. Some missions were carried out with warheads against derelict tanks. A mission was carried out against a moving target from a forward flying helicopter.

The Helinaand Dhruvastra are third generation, Lock on Before Launch (LOBL) fire and forget Anti-Tank Guided Missiles that can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode. The system has all-weather day and night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as with explosive reactive armour. It is one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons in the world. Now, the missile systems are ready for induction.

Defence Minister  of India Shri Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, the Army and Air Force for the achievements. Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of teams involved in the successful trials.

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