Thursday, December 31, 2015

Army Chief Pays Tribute to Former COAS Gen Om Prakash Malhotra

The mortal remains of Gen OP Malhotra (Retired), Ex Chief of Army Staff were laid to rest at Brar Square, Delhi Cantt, today. As per service protocol, all ex Army Chiefs are accorded a funeral with full military honours. General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of Army Staff laid a floral wreath to pay tribute to General OP Malhotra, the former Chief of Army Staff, who had passed away on 29 Dec 2015 due to old age complications at the age of 93 years at his residence in Gurgaon. General Dalbir Singh also expressed his deepest condolences to the family of the former Chief on the irreparable loss. He stated that Gen OP Malhotra was the epitome of a soldier and a statesman who will always be remembered as one of the most prominent Leaders in the annals of Indian Military History. 

General OP Malhotra was the 13th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 1978 to 1981, the Ambassador of India to Indonesia from 1981 to 1984 and Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh from 1990 to 1991. He was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery and commanded different Artillery Regiments between November 1950 and July 1961, besides being an instructor at the Defence Service Staff College, Wellington. He commanded a Corps in the Western Sector and the Southern Army Command prior to appointment as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff. General OP Malhotra, assumed the office of the Chief of the Army Staff in June 1978. 

Wreaths were also laid on behalf of the honorable President of India and the Raksha Mantri. Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, Ex Army Chiefs (General VN Sharma, General NC Vij, General JJ Singh and General Bikram Singh), Chief of Naval Staff, representative of office of Governor of Punjab, representative of Equestrian Federation of India and a host of serving and retired fraternity of Army were present on the occasion as a mark of respect to the ex army Chief. 

The General is survived by Mrs Saroj Malhotra and his two children. His son, Mr Ajai Malhotra was Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation, Kuwait, Romania and Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in New York. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Successful Conduct of LR SAM Firing by Indian Navy


Indian Navy today achieved a significant milestone in enhancing its Anti Air Warfare capability with the maiden firing of its newly developed Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR SAM). The firing was undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata, wherein the missile successesfully intercepted an Aerial Target at extended ranges. Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile. The firing trial of the LR SAM has been jointly carried out by the Indian Navy, DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries. 

The successful conduct of the test has been the result of sustained efforts by all stake holders over the years, DRDL, Hyderabad, a DRDO Lab, has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries. The LR SAM has been manufactured by M/s Bharat Dynamics Limited, India. 

These Surface to Air Missiles are fitted onboard the Kolkata Class Destroyers and would also be fitted on all future major warships of the Indian Navy. This missile along with the MF STAR would provide these ships the capability to neutralize aerial threats at extended ranges. With the successful proving of these systems, Indian Navy has become part of a select group of Navies that have this niche capability, which would provide a fillip to our Maritime Operations. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The First Indigenously Designed & Built Indian Naval Frigate INS Godavari Decommissioned



As the sun set on 23rd December 2015, the Indian Navy hauled down its ensign from, the historic guided missile frigate, Indian Naval Ship Godavari, for the last time. In a solemn ceremony at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Staff, Headquarter Western Naval Command, decommissioned the 32 year old ship.  The ceremony was attended by a large number of people including ex-Commanding Officers and crew of the ship, and senior officers of the Western Naval Command.


INS Godavari was designed by the Indian Navy’s Design Directorate and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and was constructed at MDL. Godavari was the first major warship which was completely designed and constructed in India and thus was a significant milestone for the country in its transition from being a ‘buyers Navy’ to a ‘builders Navy’. Commissioned on 10 December 1983, she had completed 32 years of glorious and action packed service to the nation at decommissioning.  She has thus proven the success and effectiveness of the Indian designers and shipbuilders.


INS Godavari had also participated in numerous operations with ‘Operation Cactus’ thwarting a coup d’état in Maldives in 1988 being a prominent one. The ship has participated in ‘Operation Jupiter’ off Sri Lanka in 1989. In 1994, the ship participated in ‘Operations Bolster and Shield’ involving de-induction of Indian Army from Somalia.  In recent times, the ship had participated in Anti Piracy operations while on ‘Petrol of Gulf of Aden’ deployments in 2009 and 2011.


At the time of decommissioning, she was commanded by Commander Vishal Rawal who incidentally also started his career as a Midshipman on the same ship.  She was the first of ‘Godavari Class’ guided missile frigates and her sister ships, INS Ganga and INS Gomati, remain in active service.

Indian Coast Guard Releases IRS-ICG Rules 2015

Director General Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Vice Admiral HCS Bisht released the Indian Register of Shipping – Coast Guard (IRS-CG) Rules 2015 yesterday at Coast Guard Headquarters, New Delhi. These rules will facilitate design, construction and trials of ICG ships meeting International Standards. The IRS has been involved with construction of a majority of Coast Guard ships. The services of IRS are also being utilized by the Coast Guard during refit of ships. The IRS-CG Rules were initially formulated and released in 2008. The rules have been revised based on experience gained in ship building by the Indian Coast Guard and IRS. With emphasis on ‘Make in India’ by the government, these rules will help in supporting indigenous ship building in India, with prominence on excellence in design and quality construction of ICG ships. The function was attended by senior officials of Indian Coast Guard and IRS including the Additional Director, Indian Coast Guard, General Rajendra Singh, Inspector General SK Goyal, Deputy Director General (Material & Maintenance), Shri Arun Sharma, Chairman & Managing Director, IRS and Vice Admiral (Retd) BS Randhawa, Principal Advisor, IRS were also present. 

General Om Prakash Malhotra, Ex Chief Of Army Staff, Passes Away

General OP Malhotra passed away in the morning today (29 Dec 2015) due to old age at the age of 93 years at his residence in Gurgaon. General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of Army Staff has expressed his deepest condolences towards this great loss.

General Om Prakash Malhotra was the 13th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 1978 – 1981, the Ambassador of India to Indonesia from 1981 - 1984 and Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh from 1990 - 1991.

The General was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, on August 6, 1922 and received his schooling first at Model High School, Srinagar and later at SP Higher Senior Secondary School, Srinagar. He attended Government College, Lahore, before being selected to join the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.

General Malhotra was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery.  He commanded different Artillery Regiments between November 1950 and July 1961, besides being an instructor at the Defence Service Staff College, Wellington. He was the Military Attache at the Indian Embassy in Moscow for over three years from June 1962.

He commanded an Artillery Brigade from August 1965 to January 1966 and thereafter took over a Mountain Brigade. He commanded an Infantry Division and was thereafter posted as the Chief of Staff in a Corps Headquarters in the Eastern Sector in September 1969 till May 1972, when he took over a Corps in the Western Sector. In 1974, General Malhotra was appointed General Officer Commanding - in - chief Southern Command and in Jan 1977 as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff.  General OP Malhotra, assumed the office of the Chief of the Army Staff in June 1978.

He was also the President of the Equestrian Federation of India for nearly nine years. In 1994, the University of Jammu conferred the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honours Causa) upon him.

The General is survived by Mrs Saroj Malhotra and two children. His son, Mr Ajai Malhotra was Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation, Kuwait, Romania and Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in New York.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Goa Liberation Day Anniversary

It was on 19 Dec 1961 that the Indian Armed Forces under a daring, audacious and swift operation liberated goa from the portuguese and the deposed governor general of portugal in India manuel antonio vassalo e-silva surrendered to the then Chief of Army Staff general Pran Nath Thapar. The War Memorial at Indian Naval Ship Gomantak was constructed in memory of seven young gallant sailors and other personnel who laid down their lives on 19 Dec 1961 in the “Operation Vijay” undertaken by the Indian Navy for liberation of Anjadiv Island and Territories of Goa, Daman and Diu from the portuguese rule.

Every Year on 19th Dec the Officers and Men of Indian Navy pay their homage to the  was on 19 Dec 1961 that the Indian Armed Forces under a daring, audacious and swift operation liberated goa from the portuguese and the deposed governor general of portugal in India manuel antonio vassalo e-silva surrendered to the then Chief of Army Staff General Pran Nath Thapar.

The War Memorial at Indian Naval Ship Gomantak was constructed in memory of seven young gallant sailors and other personnel who laid down their lives on 19 Dec 1961 in the “Operation Vijay” undertaken by the Indian Navy for liberation of Anjadiv Island and Territories of Goa, Daman and Diu from the portuguese rule.

Every Year on 19th Dec the Officers and Men of Indian Navy pay their homage to the martyrs on behalf of a grateful nation. A Guard is paraded and wreaths laid on the occassion at the war memorial.

This year the wreaths were laid by rear Admiral Puneet K Bahl, vishist Seva Medal, Flag Officer Commanding Goa Area, Commodore Pankaj Singh, Naval Officer in Charge (Goa) and Commanding Officers of the Ships and Establishments at Goa.

India’s first indigenously designed and built Frigate INS Godavari to be Decommissioned



India’s first indigenously designed and built warship Indian Naval Ship Godavari is scheduled to be decommissioned as sun sets on 23 December 2015. With her decommissioning, INS Godavari (F-20) will complete its full life cycle, meeting all responsibilities and duties assigned, proving the success of Indian ship design and construction. 

INS Godavari has been replete with achievements and glory. Over the past three decades, Godavari has successfully been deployed in numerous operations, including ‘Operation Jupiter’ – 1988 (Sri Lanka), ‘Operation Shield’ and ‘Operation Bolster’ - 1994 (de-induction of Indian Army from Somalia) and ‘Patrol of Gulf of Aden’ (PoG) – 2009, 2011 (anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden).  In 1988, in an operation called ‘Operation Cactus’, India successfully thwarted a coup d’état against Maldivian Government. Godavari and Betwa intercepted and arrested the mercenaries, who tried to flee Male onboard the Merchant Vessel Progress Light. The mercenaries were later handed over to Male, earning great respect and goodwill for India in the international community.

Being the first indigenously designed and constructed ship she was showcased around the world as a symbol of India’s growing military might and self-reliance. Over the past three decades, she has shown country’s flag far and wide. She has participated in numerous operations and deployments, across the expanse of the Indian Ocean and beyond.

INS Godavari came about from the realization among naval planners that self reliance in design and shipbuilding was essential to build a strong navy. The Leander Frigate Project of the 1960-70s, resulted in not only the construction of six ‘Giri Class’ frigates (based on the Leander design and in collaboration with the UK) at Mazagon Docks Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), but also in boosting indigenous naval design and shipbuilding capability. As the project was nearing completion, the Directorate of Naval Design at IHQ MoD (Navy), evolved a design for a new generation frigate. MDL was entrusted with the construction of this indigenous frigate, which would essentially retain the steam propulsion of the ‘Giri’ class frigates.

However, she was not merely, ‘a Leander in new skin’, but was much faster and with far superior firepower. Whilst the Giris were gunships, the Godavari class frigates were armed with potent surface to surface and surface to air guided missiles. She was also among of the first frigates in the world capable of carrying two Sea King helicopters (well known as the ‘Flying Frigate’, because of its integral firepower and sensor suite). The frigate’s weapon and sensor suite comprised of a mix of Russian and Western systems and their efficient integration was a milestone in itself.

Godavari’s keel was laid on 03 November 1978 by Adm J Cursetji, CNS, and she was launched on 15 May 1980. 10 December 1983 was truly a ‘red letter day’ for the Indian Navy, when INS Godavari was commissioned. She is the first of three Godavari Class Frigates others being Ganga and Gomati. Three Brahmaputra class frigates were follow on ships to the successful Godavari class design. At the time of decommissioning she would have served the country for little over 32 years. 

Indo-Russian Joint Naval Exercise - Indra -2015




Large Scale Fleet Exercises Conducted by Indian Navy in Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea

Large Scale Fleet Exercises Conducted by Indian Navy in Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea 

In pursuance of its constant endeavour to maintain high levels of combat readiness and counter emerging threats, the Indian Navy recently concluded large scale Fleet exercises on the Eastern Seaboard. The exercises were conducted across a vast geographical area, extending from the Northern Bay of Bengal to the Andaman Sea. 24 ships, 02 submarines and over 10 aircraft participated in the exercise, which included the nuclear submarine Chakra as well as units from the Andaman and Nicobar Command. A ship from the Western Naval Command, with the Kamov 31 Air Early Warning helicopter, was also deployed for the exercise.

With a view to hone war fighting skills and concepts, various aspects of maritime warfare were dove-tailed into the exercise, over a period of two weeks. A wide range of weapons, including Surface to Surface missiles (SSMs), Surface to Air missiles (SAMs) and Land Attack Missiles (LAMs) were fired from various platforms. The Hawk Fighter aircraft and P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft were also integrated into the exercise. 


Indian Navy Warships scheduled to be open to visitors at Ratnagir

As part of Navy Day celebrations and to interact with local agencies, two warships from Western Naval Command will be deployed to Bhagvati Jetty of Ratnagiri Port from 21 to 23 December 2015.  The ships will be open for visit by general public and school and college students on 22 and 23 December 2015 from 10:00 AM to 03:00 PM.  Due to security reasons, visitors are requested not to carry hand bags. 

In addition to the ships being open to visitors, a coastal security awareness drive is planned on 23 December 2015.  The awareness drive by the ships’ crew will be conducted with stake holders of coastal security, which includes Marine Police, state fisheries department and local fishing community etc.

Indian Defence Ministry's Year Ender - 2015

Various Achievements of Ministry of Defence

  Year End Review - 2015


Ensuring the highest standard of operational preparedness to meet present and emerging challenges through modernization of Armed Forces and making up critical deficiency of weapons and equipment by developing requisite capacities and infrastructure through the Make-in-India initiative were the buzz words in the Defence Ministry for the year 2015.
The year also saw progress in Ex-Servicemen Welfare and rapid digitization in the defence sector to fulfil the Prime Minister’s call of Digital India. During the year as part of Defence diplomacy, India engaged with its neighbours and far eastern countries through bilateral talks, ship visits and bilateral as well as trilateral war exercises. However, the Make-in-India concept clearly dominated acquisition plans so as to make its defence infrastructure strong and robust. To expedite capacity building as well as offensive capabilities of the Armed Forces, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) the apex body of the Ministry of Defence in matters of acquisitions cleared different critical and high end defence procurement proposals to the tune of more than Rs. 2 lakh crore in the year 2015.

ENHANCEMENT OF FDI LIMIT

·                     For speedy indigenisation the Government has increased the foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit from 26% to 49% through approval route in August 2014. Above 49%, the proposal may be considered on case to case basis.

·                     Defence products list for the purpose of industrial licensing has been substantively shortened and notified.

·                     Government has notified a Defence Exports Strategy for faster clearance for export of defence items.

·                     Interactions with industry intensified through DRDO and Department of Defence Production.

INDIAN ARMY

Modernisation & Equipment

·         The Army continues to transform and modernize in order to upgrade into a lethal agile, versatile and networked force capable of operating across the spectrum of conflict. The aim is to make the ‘Force’ capable and prepared to meet the complex and uncertain challenges of the 21st century war fighting. While modernizing the force, the guiding factor remains the Indian Army Vision – “Ensure capability enhancement and operational effectiveness of the Army to meet all contemporary and emerging challenges.”
·          In the quest for Capability Development, the Army remains cognizant of the fact that no country can realise its aspirations of becoming a significant power, unless it is able to harness and source its military capability needs indigenously. Accordingly, in line with the vision of ‘Make in India’ due endeavor is being made to ensure that the bulk of the capital procurement is realized through indigenous sources.
·         As part of its Artillery modernization programme, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the Army’s proposal to buy 145 BAE’s M777 Ultra-Light howitzers at a cost of Rs 2,900 crore. This deal would be through Foreign Military sales but the spares, maintenance and ammunition will be procured through Indian Systems.
·         Akash Weapon System was inducted into the Indian Army on May 05, 2015. It is an indigenously developed supersonic short range surface-to-air missile system with the capability to engage a wide variety of aerial threats like aircraft, helicopters and UAVs upto a maximum range of 25 kms and upto an altitude of 20 kms. The system is capable of simultaneously engaging multiple targets and is capable of providing comprehensive short range missile cover to vulnerable assets in the field force of the Army. With 96 per cent indigenous content, the state-of-the-art weapon system is a glowing manifestation of the Prime Minister’s  ‘Make-in-India’ initiative.

·         As part of the Indian Army’s indigenization effort, the Army has issued an EoI for the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project to 10 public and private Indian companies under the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Prime Minister.

·         An important ‘Make’ projects Tactical Communication System (TCS) which aims at providing communication to forces deployed on the battlefield in a  network centric environment and the Battlefield Management System (BMS) which will provide commanders at the tactical level with updated situational awareness, geo spatial data and intercommunication at the fighting formation level.

·         The ongoing ‘Buy Indian’ procurement proposals include Advanced Light Helicopter, Medium Range Surface to Air missile system, BrahMos missile system, Pinaka multiple barrel rocket system, Infantry Combat vehicle BMP 2/2K, MBT Arjun, Modular Bridge System, Ballistic Helmets and Bullet Proof Jackets.

·         The ongoing ‘Buy & Make Indian’ procurement proposal include the Mounted Gun System (MGS) for the Artillery, Air Defence Guns as successor to the existing L/70 and Zu-23 guns for the Army Air Defence, Light Armoured Vehicle Multipurpose Vehicle (LAM-V) for the mechanised forces and mine ploughs for the T-90 tanks.

·         The Government took the decision of building a National War Memorial to honour Defence Forces’ personnel who were martyred in wars after Independence in 1947. Rs 500 crore has been allocated for the memorial which will be located near India Gate. A war museum will also be constructed. The entire project would be completed in five years.

·         The construction of Indian National Defence University (INDU) at Binola near Gurgaon is progressing very fast. It is expected to be functional in 2018.

ARMY’S DIGITISATION INITIATIVES

·                     As part of the PM’s ‘Digital India’ initiative digitization of the recruitment process of Army personnel and Communication Networks have been undertaken in full earnest. A special software system Army; Record Officers Process Automation (ARPAN) 2.0, was launched recently. This has enabled more than 12 lakh junior commissioned officer and jawans to access their service records and employment details online.

·                     From July 01, 2015, Army recruitment has also gone online. A new website www.joinindianarmy.nic.in of the Directorate General of Recruitment has been launched for selection of officers, JCOs and Other Ranks. Candidates from all over India can now have access to information about career options in the Army, make suitable choices and apply online.

·                     The Indian Army’s private cloud was also inaugurated by the Defence Minister on October 16, 2015. This marks the commencement of the data centre infrastructure of the Army, which includes a central data centre and a near line data centre in Delhi and a Disaster Recovery Site for replication of its critical data. In addition, the Digi-Locker which provides a secure and exclusive data storage space to all the units of Army over its dedicated data network has also been launched with all the advanced features like watermarking and digital signatures. This is a giant leap towards implementation of Cyber Security as it precludes carriage of soft copies of data on CDs/DVDs and removable media.

SITUATION ON BORDERS

·                     By improving and beefing up the operational preparedness of the Army, incidents of infiltration have seen a downward trend while the number of infiltration on the Line of Control in 2012 was 264, in 2014 it decreased to 221 and this year, upto 30 September, 92 attempted infiltrations took place and 37 terrorists were killed by the security forces. Ceasefire violations along the International Border under operational control of the Indian Army, has also seen a slightly downward trend in comparison to the year 2014. Similarly, incidences of intrusions on our northern border has also gone down because of holding of regular border meetings between India and China.

JOINT EXERCISES

Operation ‘Hand-in-Hand’

·         A battalion level Joint India-China Army Exercise called Operation Hand-in-Hand on counter-terrorism and ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief’ was held at Kunming, China from 12 to 22 October 2015. Participating troops from both sides had trained together and learned from each other in mixed groups on Basic Individual Skills (combat boxing, basic mountaineering and shooting), Comprehensive Combat Skills (obstacle crossing, combat shooting, demolition, high intensity physical training) and unit/sub unit tactics, especially in a counter terrorism scenario. A joint field exercise depicting counter-terrorist operations on India- China border areas was held from 21 to 22 October to validate the exercise objectives.

Exercise ‘INDRA - 2015’

·         The joint military exercise between India and Russia, INDRA-2015 was held at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, which started from 08 to 18 November 2015.  The final stage of the exercise saw consolidation of group of forces of the two countries, acting under the auspices of the United Nations, assisting the government of a third country in combating armed terrorists in a semi-urban terrain.

Exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas - 2015’

·         The India-US Combined Military Training Exercise YUDH ABHYAS 2015, was held from 09 to 23 Sep 2015 at Joint Base Lewis McChord, USA. The exercise brought together troops of an Infantry sub unit and a Formation Headquarter of the Indian Army and similar participation from the US Army for the joint training. The exercise provided an ideal platform for the personnel of the two countries to share their experiences on Military Operations in Urban Terrain, under the UN mandate.
Golden Jubilee Celebration of 1965 Indo Pak War
·         The Army as part of Joint Service effort, organised a series of events to mark the Golden Jubilee of the 1965 Indo - Pak War. It was aimed to pay tribute to the collective resolve of the nation and the valour and sacrifice of The Armed Forces. The commemorative events commenced from 28 Aug 15.  The major attraction of the celebrations was the exhibition “Shauryanjali” in the India Gate lawns, initially planned from 15 to 20 Sep and extended till 27 Sep due to overwhelming public response. The exhibition recreated major battle scenes and showcased the role of various arms and services during the War.

·         On 20 Sep 2015, a Carnival to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of 1965 Indo-Pak War, ‘Indradhanush’ was organized at India Gate lawns. It celebrated the triumph of India and shared the joy of the success with one and all. The carnival showcased events like martial arts display by regiments of the Army.

·         The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti and interacted with war veterans on 22 Sep 2015. The President also interacted with veterans over tea at Rashtrapati Bhawan on the same day, marking the culmination of the 1965 Indo Pak celebrations. The exhibition depicting the war continued till 27 Sep on popular demand.

Centenary Celebrations of 1st World War
·         The Indian Army commemorated the centenary of the First World War from 10 Mar to 14 Mar 2015 in New Delhi in memory of the 1.5 million Indian Soldiers who fought in the war and over 74000 who made the supreme sacrifice. 10th March 1915 coincides with the Battle of Neuve Chapelle marking the British Offensive in Artois region of France in which the Garhwal Brigade & Meerut Division of the Indian Corps participated. The period 2014 to 2018 is being commemorated as the Centenary of World War-I.
INDIAN NAVY
·         To enhance its Blue Water capability, the Indian Navy opted to strengthen its submarine arm for which Request for Proposal (RFP) to acquire six more conventional submarines under Project 75(I) was cleared by the DAC. The project will cost around Rs. 80,000 crore. Under this programme six conventional submarines are planned to be built in India with foreign collaboration.

·         To augment the Navy’s offensive capabilities, government has decided to procure twelve Mine Counter Measures Vessels (MCMVs) for which Accord of Necessities (AoN) has been issued and has nominated Goa Shipyard Limited to process the case with TOT from abroad.

·         Government has taken decision to induct 16 Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) for the Navy, which will go a long way in mitigating gaps in Air Anti-Submarine Warfare capability. Apart from this initiative, it has also given a go ahead for the Major Refit/Mid Life Upgradation (MR/MLU) of Kamov 28 helicopters.

·         The first ship of Project-15B Guided Missile Destroyer, christened INS Visakhapatnam was launched on April 20, 2015 at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai.

·         Sardar Patel, the latest Naval establishment of Indian Navy in the maritime state of Gujarat, was commissioned at Porbandar by the Chief Minister of Gujarat on May 09, 2015.

·         Under Project-28, INS Kavaratti, the fourth in the series of Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette was launched at GRSE, Kolkata by the Minister of State for Defence on 19 May 2015. These four ships of Project 28 have been designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval design, New Delhi and bear testimony to the acclaimed legacy of naval designers.

·         To provide a boost to the coastal defence capability of the Navy three follow-on Water Jet Fast Attack Craft namely INS Tarmugli, INS Tilanchang and INS Tihayu were launched by the Vice Chief of Naval Staff at a function at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Kolkata on 30 June 2015.

·         There was timely commencement and completion of Phase-I of Karwar ‘Project Sea Bird’ and THE Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala. Under this programme the Defence Minister commissioned INS ‘Vajrakosh’ – the latest establishment of the Indian Navy at Karwar, Karnataka on 09 September 2015.

·         Three Intermediate Support Vessels (ISVs) were commissioned into the Indian Navy as T-48, T-49 and T-50 on September 29, 2015 in consonance with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. 14 of the ISVs were built indigenously by M/s SHM Shipcare, Thane while four were built by M/s ADSB and five by M/s Rodman Polyships.

·         The indigenously designed and constructed Project 15A (Kolkata Class) Stealth Guided Missile Destroyer INS Kochi was commissioned by the Defence Minister on September 30, 2015 at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. The ship can be truly classified as a 'Network of Networks' as it is equipped with sophisticated digital networks, such as Asynchronous Transfer Mode based Integrated Ship Data Network (AISDN), Combat Management System (CMS), Automatic Power Management System (APMS) and Auxiliary Control System (ACS). The AISDN is the information highway on which data from all the sensors and weapons ride. The CMS is used to integrate information from other platforms using indigenous data-link system, to provide Maritime Domain Awareness. The intricate power supply management is done using APMS, and remote control and monitoring of the machinery is achieved through the ACS.

·         The Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) reached another milestone, as the first ship of the Scorpene Class submarine, INS ‘Kalvari’ was separated from the pontoon and set afloat at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai on October 28, 2015. Later INS ‘Kalvari’ was brought back to Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd on October 29, 2015.

·         The Indian Navy received a major fillip with the induction of eight Boeing P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft at Naval Air Station Rajali, Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu (the first aircraft arrived in May 2013 and last in mid-2015). The squadron was formally dedicated to the nation by the Defence Minister on 13 Nov 15. The P-8I aircraft, based on the Boeing 737-800(NG) airframe, is the Indian Naval variant of the P-8A Poseidon of the US Navy. The aircraft is equipped with both foreign as well as indigenous sensors for Maritime Reconnaissance, Anti-Submarine operations and for Electronic Intelligence missions. The aircraft is fully integrated with state of the art sensors and highly potent Anti-Surface and Anti-Submarine weapons. The Indian Navy is also in the process of acquiring an additional four P-8I aircraft. The induction of the P-8I aircraft into the Indian Navy has greatly enhanced India’s maritime surveillance capability in the Indian Ocean Region.

·         The Combined Commanders’ Conference 2015 was held on-board INS Vikramaditya off Kochi in an operational environment. This was done on the directives of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The Conference was followed by an Operational and Naval Air Power Demonstration, wherein almost 30 ships, 05 submarines and 60 aircraft took part.


 THE ROAD AHEAD
·         With the release on 20 July 2015, of the Indian Naval Indigenisation Plan (INIP): 2015-2030, the Navy has given unmistakable notice of its firm intent to establish itself as a true Builder’s Navy, with attendant spinoffs enabling India to be a net provider of security in her maritime neighbourhood, by building capacity and enhancing capability of her regional friends and partners. Further, it is aware of the serious shortfalls in terms of both Indian R & D and Indian manufacturing, as the five drivers of the INIP, viz. (1) a lack of credible R&D in military sciences and technologies; (2) inadequate amalgamation between R&D and the manufacturing sector; (3) the absence of an integrated approach amongst users, designers and manufacturers; (4) commercial unviability due to a lack of economies of scale approach; and (5) the effect of technology-denial regimes, clearly reflect the Navy’s clarity of perception in charting the course ahead.

JOINT EXERCISES

Indo-French Naval Exercise Varuna - 2015

·         Fourteenth edition of Indo-French naval exercise (VARUNA) was conducted off Goa from 23 April to 02 May 2015, which had both a harbour and sea phase exercise. The French Navy was represented by Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers Chevalier Paul and Jean de Vienne, replenishment tanker Meuse and a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2. The Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle was carrying its complement of fighter aircraft Rafale M, Strike Aircraft Super Etendard, E2C Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters Dauphin and Alouette 3.  From the Indian side Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat, destroyer INS Mumbai, stealth frigate INS Tarkash, guided missile frigate INS Gomati, replenishment tanker INS Deepak, submarine INS Shankul and a few Fast Attack Craft along with P-8 I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Seaking 42B and Chetak helicopters, participated.
SIMBEX - 2015

·         The Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, was on an operational deployment to southern Indian Ocean and South China Sea. As a part of this deployment, INS Satpura, indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate and INS Kamorta, the latest and indigenous Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette arrived at Singapore on 18 May 2015. These ships participated in IMDEX-15 and later conducted bilateral naval exercise SIMBEX-15 with the Singapore Navy from 23-26 May 2015.
Exercise AUSINDEX - 2015

·         The Inaugural Bilateral Maritime Exercise between India and Australia AUSINDEX – 15 was conducted off the east coast of India from 11 to 19 September 2015. The exercise was jointly inaugurated by Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, Head Navy Capability of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Rear Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet on board INS Shivalik at Visakhapatnam. The exercise started with harbour phase encompassing briefings and practical demonstrations along with professional interactions. It was followed by a sea phase, which included fleet manoeuvres, gun firings as well as coordinated anti-submarine exercises. The exercise further enhanced the ability of both navies to undertake regional, joint and / or combined operations such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.
Exercise Malabar - 2015

·         The 19th edition of MALABAR exercise was conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 14 to 19 October 2015. Along with the Indian Navy and the US Naval Forces, the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Forces (JMSDF) also participated in the exercise. The scope of Malabar – 15 included wide ranging professional interactions and a diverse range of operational activities during the sea – phase. An indigenous frigate INS Shivalik, INS Ranvijay, INS Betwa and a Fleet Support Ship INS Shakti and one submarine INS Sindhudhvaj represented the Indian side. Beside these, LRM Patrol Aircraft P8I and some integral rotary wing helicopters also participated in the trilateral exercise. The US Navy was represented by the ships from Carrier Task Force (CTF) 70 of the US Navy 7th Fleet, based at Yokosuka, Japan. One Nimitz Class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, Ticonderoga Class cruiser USS Normandy and Freedom Class Littoral Combat ship USS Fort Worth were part of the CTF. Besides these nuclear powered submarine USS City of Corpus, Christi, F18 aircraft and P8A Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft also participated. JMSDF was represented by JS Fyuzuki a missile destroyer with SH 60K integral helicopter. This trilateral exercise significantly enhanced naval cooperation among important navies of the Indo-Pacific region.
Indra-Navy -2015

·         The eight edition of Indo-Russian bilateral exercise INDRA NAVY 2015 was conducted in the Bay of Bengal off Visakhapatnam from 07 to 12 December 2015. The scope of the exercise included wide-ranging professional interaction during the harbour phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities at sea across a spectrum of maritime operations. During the exercise, the Indian Navy was represented by INS Sahyadri – an indigenous frigate, INS Ranvijay – a guided missile destroyer and INS Shakti – a fleet support ship in addition a submarine INS Sindhuvir, the P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Dornier Short Range Patrol Aircraft, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer and other integral rotary wing helicopters. The Russian Federation Navy was represented by four ships drawn from the Pacific Fleet. The exercise helped to further strengthen mutual confidence and interoperability and also enabled sharing of best practices between both the navies.
INDIAN AIR FORCE

·         The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been modernising its inventory as per its long-term perspective plan.  The focus is on “Make in India” to give impetus to indigenous development and manufacturing, including participation of private sector in defence manufacturing.  Modernisation process involves new inductions, as well as upgradation of the existing weapon platforms and support systems as a part of the capability build up.
·         The on-going modernisation plan spans the entire spectrum of IAF’s capability including fighters, transport aircraft, helicopters, combat support assets and air defence network. Net centricity, cyber security and ensuring enhanced visibility of entire battle space for seamless operations are part of this capability build up. To maximise the operational potential, IAF is also creating modern and efficient operational and technical infrastructure.
OPERATIONS

Acquisitions & Upgrades
·         LCA.      Light combat aircraft Tejas is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bangalore. The Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) of LCA was achieved in December 2013. The first series production aircraft in IOC configuration was handed over to IAF in January 2015.
·         Mirage-2000 Upgrade.          IAF contracted for the upgrade of Mirage 2000 aircraft to advance standards of improved radar, avionics, electronic suite, weapons and a modern generation glass cockpit. On March 25, 2015, first upgraded aircraft was handed over to the IAF. The induction of the aircraft has added the much needed teeth to Air power and keeps the IAF ahead of its adversaries. This multirole fighter aircraft has achieved enhanced operational life. A Mirage 2000 carried out a landing on the Yamuna Expressway to showcase its operational capability, characterized by flexibility and speed of response.
·         MiG-29 Upgrade.      The series upgrade of MiG-29 aircraft is currently underway at Base Repair Depot.
·         Rafale Aircraft.  The Government has decided to procure 36 Rafale aircraft through Inter Governmental agreement between the Indian and French Governments.
·         C-17 GLOBE MASTER III.                 A contract for supply of ten C-17 aircraft was signed with the United States Government in June 2011 and was inducted into IAF in September 2013. During the year all the aircraft have been delivered and are operational in IAF.
·         AN-32 Upgrade.        AN-32 fleet was inducted into IAF between 1984 and 1991. Total Technical Life Extension (TTLE)/Re-Equipment (RE) project is concurrently underway at Kyiv, Ukraine and No.1 Base Repair Depot (BRD) at Kanpur. This project will extend the aircraft’s life by 15 years besides enhancing its operational potential and safety.
·         Attack Helicopters.    A contract was signed in September 2015 for procurement of state of the art AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. Their delivery would commence from July 2019. The Attack Helicopters are critical combat assets utilised for employment in Anti-Tank Guided Missile role, Counter Insurgency operations, Suppression of Enemy Air Defences, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle neutralization operations, Combat Search and Rescue operations and Low Intensity Conflict Operations. Attack helicopters offer unique offensive capability including support to Army Strike Corps and these capabilities are also required at high altitudes in the mountainous terrain on our Northern borders, not available hitherto.
·         Heavy Lift Helicopters (HLH).           A contract was signed in September 2015 for procurement of Chinook CH-47F (I) Heavy Lift Helicopters (HLH). The delivery of the helicopters will commence in a phased manner. The HLH are required to conduct strategic and tactical airlift missions in support of the armed forces and undertake humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions during calamities. HLH are critically required to support infrastructure build-up in mountainous regions. Heavy bridging and road construction equipment can be airlifted only by this class of helicopters.
·         Pilatus Induction.           Delivery of all Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) - PC-7 MK II from M/s Pilatus Aircraft Limited to IAF has been completed in October 2015 as per BTA procurement contract signed between Government of India and the Swiss company on May 24, 2012.  Aircraft is currently in use for ab-initio pilot training. However, utilisation of aircraft is further planned to increase to Stage II flying training also. This state of art aircraft is helping newly recruited pilots to prepare for exacting requirement of combat flying.
·         Microlight.        A contract was signed in October 2015 with Pipistrel, Slovenia for supply of microlights. Delivery will commence from October 2016 onwards and will be completed by October 2020. It will be used in IAF for enhancement of flight safety by monitoring bird activity in the vicinity of airfields and directing bird controlling measures.
Air Defence Network
·         Air Defence Radars To strengthen the existing air defence radar cover over Indian airspace, variety of new sensors are being inducted in IAF. Recent inductions include the following:-
·         MPR.             Medium Power Radars from Israel have been inducted. These radars have replaced legacy radars of 80s’ technology.
·         LLTR.             To fill the low level radar gaps along the border, new Low Level Transportable Radars (LLTRs) are being inducted in IAF from M/s Thales, France with transfer of technology. M/s BEL will produce few of these state of the art radars in India. These radars are mobile and can be deployed anywhere as per operational requirements.
·         LLLWR.      Low Level Light Weight Radars (LLLWRs) are being inducted to provide electronic eye to our Mobile Observation Flights (MOF). These radars scan for low level aerial threats and provide extended early warning.                                        
Missile Systems
·         Akash Missile System.           IAF is in the process of inducting Akash Missile System (AMS) in its inventory. A formal induction ceremony of AMS was conducted on July 10, 2015 at Air Force Station Gwalior.
·         Harpoon.          Letter of Agreement for procurement of Harpoon Anti-ship operational missiles and associated equipment was signed in August 2010. Training of the aircrew has been completed for carriage and delivery of these weapons. Integration of these weapons would enhance the capability of the IAF in neutralizing threats emanating from the maritime domain and thereby be able to provide greater support to the
Indian Navy in its operations at sea.
·         MICA Air to Air Missiles.          The delivery of MICA air to air missiles for upgraded Mirage-2000 aircraft has commenced and these missiles will further increase the capability of the
Mirage-2000 aircraft as a potent platform.
·         SPICE-2000 Bombs.     IAF has acquired precision guided bombs with increased accuracy and penetration for use against fortified and underground command centres. This weapon has been tested and its capabilities have been validated at an IAF firing range.
·         Indigenous Pechora Combat Simulator (IPCS)  
o   Pechora missile system is one of the vital elements of Air Defence setup of IAF. The system was procured from Russia during the period from 1974 to 1989 to provide Air Defence cover to assets of national importance. It has been provided with simulators for conduct of training for the missile combat crew. Pechora system has out lived the life specified by the OEM. However, the system is to be deployed for extended operational utilisation in view of delay in new inductions. The extended utilisation of Pechora system is a challenge due to unreliable performance and lack of product support from the OEM.
o   In order to facilitate extended utilisation IAF has indigenized the class room version Pechora combat simulator for training of combat crew. The simulator has been indigenized in-house at a cost of Rs 2.3 lacs against the cost of Rs 55 lacs quoted by the vendor. A certificate of excellence has been awarded for indigenisation of simulator on October 08, 2015 by the Prime Minister of India.
Metereology
·         Award of ‘Certificate of Excellence’ by the Prime Minister.        The importance & utility of current weather information lies in its currency and availability in real-time to operators and decision makers. To meet this requirement the Directorate of Meteorology has conceptualised and implemented the on line portal - Mausam on Line (MoL). The ultimate aim was to provide real time weather observation and forecasts to the commanders and operators towards efficient planning and execution of Air operations. Directorate of Met was awarded a Certificate for excellence in innovation by the Prime Minister on October 08, 2015 on the eve of 83rd Air Force Day celebrations.
Joint Planning and Operations
·         Indo-US Joint Exercise “Yudh Abhyas”, Indo-UK Jt Ex “Ajeya Warrior”,  India-China Jt Ex “Hand-in-Hand”, Indo-Thailand Jt trg “Ex Maitree”, Indo-Maldives combined Trg “Ex Ekuverian” are the joint exercises which have already been conducted by the Indian Army this year with friendly Foreign countries along with IAF air assets.
COOPERATION BETWEEN IAF AND CIVIL AUTHORITIES

Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations.
·         Op Rahat.      The Government of India assessed a requirement of immediate evacuation of over 4000 Indian nationals based at various locations in Yemen due the Civil War there. A combined MEA, IAF, Indian Navy and Air India evacuation plan was put into place for evacuation of Indian nationals. While Indian Naval ships evacuated nationals from Yemenese port cities to Djibouti and Air India ferried back nationals from Saana to Djibouti, IAF deployed three C-17 aircraft to ferry back Indian nationals from Djibouti to Kochi and Mumbai. A total of 11 evacuation trips were undertaken by IAF aircraft which facilitated safe evacuation of 2096 Indian nationals.
·         Op Maitri       On April 25, 2015 Nepal was struck by an earthquake. IAF launched its biggest ever Disaster Relief Operations in a foreign land to provide relief and support to the Government of Nepal. Total 1636 sorties, amounting to a total flying effort of 863 hours were made towards air evacuation of 780 casualties (including 121 foreign nationals) and rescue of 5188 personnel from various forward/earthquake affected areas.
·         Helicopters.    A total of 24 helicopters were deployed in the operations which involved a total flying effort of 1572 sorties in 741 hrs, evacuating 5188 victims, 780 casualties, induction of 1488 troops and airlift of 733 tonnes of relief & rehabilitation load.
·         Flood Relief Operations in Myanmar.            On August 06-07, 2015, IAF C-17 and C-130J aircraft were tasked by MoD to airlift 104 tons of relief material from Delhi to Kalay and Mandalay in Myanmar. C-17 and C-130J aircraft airlifted 48 tons and 10 tons load to Mandalay and Kalay respectively. Meanwhile, another C-17 aircraft was used to position 46 tons load at Guwahati; which was subsequently airlifted to Kalay by the C-130J aircraft in three shuttles.
DEFENCE COOPERATION WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES
·         As part of International Defence Cooperation, IAF is engaged with the Air Forces of various friendly foreign countries through Air Staff Talks, professional exchange visits, sports and cultural events.
·         INDRADHANUSH-IV.        As part of Indo-UK bi-lateral co-operation, Ex Indradhanush - IV was undertaken between July 21- 30, 2015 at RAF base Coningsby, Brize Norton and Honington. IAF contingent comprising of 190 personnel, participated in the exercise. The IAF assets comprised of Su-30MKI, C-130J, C-17, IL-78 aircraft and Garuds. The team demonstrated a high degree of
Joint Military Training (JMT) -15      

·         Joint Military Training (JMT-15) with Republic of Singapore Air Force was conducted at AF Stn Kalaikunda from November 02-22, 2015. RSAF deployed 06 X F-16 C/D aircraft. Bilateral exercise with Su-30 MKI was conducted from November 23, 2015 for two weeks.
EMPOWERMENT AND WELFARE OF WOMEN
Major Policy Decisions.
              The Government has approved induction of women into the fighter stream thereby making them eligible for induction in all branches and streams of the IAF. Women are selected as per uniform QRs at par with male counterparts. Further, uniform QRs are applied to both women and men Short Service Commissioned Officers for grant of Permanent Commission irrespective of gender. 348 women officers are holding permanent commission in the IAF as on November 15, 2015.
DRDO

·         In 2015, in the arena of tactical weapon systems – the DRDO productionisation and inducted Akash Missile, the medium range air defence system with multi-target, multi directional capability.
·         The state-of-the-art beyond visual range air to air missile Astra, capable of engaging targets decisively was integrated with Su30 combat aircraft. Designed to arm Mig 29, Su30 and India’s own Tejas aircrafts, Astra has undergone series of successful flight trials.
·         The supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, designed to be launched from land, air, sea and sub-sea platforms, is a preferred weapon system. 10 Navy ships are equipped with BrahMos, a deadly weapon, and the Army has with two regiments. The underwater launched version underwent successful trial from a submerged pontoon.  Recently, BrahMos was successfully test fired with high precision from Indian Navy’s newest stealth destroyer INS Kochi.
·         HELINA, an Anti-tank Guided missile that can be fired in both direct and top attack mode was integrated on advanced light helicopter ALH. The missile with capability to defeat futuristic armours is undergoing field trials.
·         India’s first Light Weight Multi-role Supersonic Combat Aircraft Tejas, a 4th Generation-Plus contemporary fighter aircraft having recorded over 2500 flawless take offs and landings, demonstrated its might during the “Iron Fist”, a fire power demonstration exercise of Indian Air Force.

·         Having undergone extensive weapon trials, extreme weather trials, high altitude and sea level trials, LCA TEJAS received the Initial Operational Clearance on 29th December 2013 and is heading towards achieving the final Operational Clearance. Boosted by the Initial Operational Clearance of LCA TEJAS, the LCA Navy, capable of operating from aircraft carrier ship, has resumed its flight trials after its maiden flight in April 2012.

·         DRDO’s technological strength is exemplified by the development, production and acceptance of Indigenous Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) Swathi. Swathi is a highly mobile Radar system designed for automatic first round location of weapons firing projectile type rounds, it operates with a fence detection mode of operation, ensuring fast detection and tracking of shells, mortars and rockets.
·         In the direction of establishing a credible Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS), DRDO achieved a major breakthrough with the development of Himshakti. The Field Evaluation & Trials for any EW System prior to induction have been conducted for the first time in the actual area of deployment.
·         In a Significant contribution to boost Fire power, the development of Pinaka MKII with longer range has been completed and is undergoing trials.
·         A state-of-the-art hydrodynamic test Facility Sea keeping and Manoeuvring Basin has been established at NSTL, Visakhapatnam and dedicated to the Nation by the Defence Minister. The facility will be used for conducting model testing for prediction of sea keeping and manoeuvring performance of newly designed ships and submerged bodies under different environmental conditions and for optimising the motion characteristics of the hull form and effectiveness of the control devices under various manoeuvres.
·         MAAREECH an indigenous Advanced Torpedo Defence System to protect naval platform against torpedo attack has been inducted in the Indian Navy.
·         A new Torpedo launch and recovery vessel INS ASTRADHARINI developed by DRDO has been commissioned by Indian Navy (FO-C-in-C East). The vessel has been designed with a unique catamaran hull form that significantly reduces its power requirement and can operate at high sea states and has a large deck area with launchers for deploying and recovering various kinds of torpedos during the trials.
·         In order to promote ‘Make in India’ programme, DRDO has brought out comprehensive guidelines for Transfer of Technology (ToT) for private and public industries engaged in Indigenous production and commercialization of Defence technology spin-off for societal usage. DRDO has facilitated 75 Licensing agreements for Transfer of Technology (LATOT) to 57 industries under Make in India program.
INDIAN COAST GUARD

·         During the year Indian Coast Guard vessels and crafts seized contraband worth of Rs. 618.370 crore.

·         It had apprehended as of 15 December 2015, two smuggling vessels and 16 poaching boats and arrested 159 crew for illegal entry into Indian Territorial Waters.

·         During the year, it undertook 179 Search and Rescue (SAR) missions and saved the lives of 3756 distressed persons on the high seas.

New Inductions/Commissioning

·         ICGS ‘Samarth’ the first in the series of six indigenously-built Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) was commissioned on November 10, 2015 in Goa by the Defence Minister. Fitted with the most advanced state-of-the-art technology, navigation and communications equipment, sensors and machinery, the OPV is 105 metres long and has been designed and built by Goa Shipyard Ltd. Based in Goa, ICGS Samarth has been deployed primarily for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance and other duties on the Western Seaboard to safeguard India's maritime interests.

·         The year also saw commissioning of eight Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) namely ICGS Ameya, Amogh, Anagh, Ankit, Anmol, Apoorva, Arinjay & Rani Durgavati.

·         Besides these, 12 Interceptor Boats and one Pollution Control Vessel (PCV) ICGS ‘Samudra Pavak’ were also inducted in Coast Guard during the year 2015.

EX-SERVICEMEN WELFARE

·         The Government announced the much awaited ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme for the Armed Forces personnel on 07 November 2015. The OROP which will cost around Rs. 8000 crore extra every year is expected to remove the Pension anomaly that exists in Defence Service personnel of the same rank having the same number of years in service. On 14 December 2015 the Government appointed Justice L Narasimha Reddy as the head of the judicial committee to look into the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.

·         The announcement of the 7th Central Pay Commission’s recommendations will provide a hefty hike in the pay and allowances of   service personnel. For the first time the commission has substantially hiked the Military Service Pay (MSP) of all personnel and special allowances given to Naval and Air Force personnel deployed in high risk duties.

·         The scope of Employees Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) has further been widened by opening more polyclinics and referral hospitals in different parts of the country.

Reaching out to people in Distress
Nepal Earthquake
             As part of the Nation’s overall relief effort for Nepal, the Indian Army launched operation ‘Maitri’ from 25 April 2015. The Engineer Task forces launched the rescue and rehabilitation opertions from Barpak, Basantpur/Bhaktpur and Jorbati. The Indian Army aviation pilots evacuated stranded/injured people, provide relief material and induct Nepal Army troops to reach inaccessible areas to carry out relief work. Army and Air Force helicopters flew 1650 sorties, rescued 994 people, inducted 1726 troops and dropped 747 tonnes of stores and supplies in the affected areas.
            Indian Army Field hospitals and the medical teams provided essential care to 4690 people including over 300 surgeries during their deployment in Nepal.
Chennai Floods
            Post the unprecedented flood situation developing out of incessant rains in Chennai, the Indian Army assistance was sought by the State Government, in afternoon hours of 01 December 2015. Immediately, two Rescue and Relief Columns comprising of troops from the Garrison Infantry Battalion at Chennai and Army’s Engineer elements were activated and begun operations in Tambaram, Mudichur, Manipakam, Guduvancheri and Urapakkam areas of Chennai from evening of 01 December 2015. More than 20,000 stranded people were rescued. The Army has distributed more than 1,25,000 relief packets provided by the State Government and some NGOs besides those from within its own.
            In this joint operation ‘Madad’ the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy also contributed significantly by mobilising their assets in evacuating stranded people to safer areas and helped in distribution of relief materials among the flood affected population.

Construction Commences For Defence University

Ministry of Defence had acquired 205 acre and 15 marla of land in September 2012 in Gurgaon for setting up of world class Indian National Defence University (INDU), the first of its kind in India. The foundation stone of the University was laid in May 2013. However, to meet the aspirations and need of the villagers of Binola and Bilaspur of having access from their fields to National Highway - 8, Ministry of Defence transferred 2 acre 3 kanal 9½ marla of land to Government of Haryana in August this year to be used by the villagers as village track. 

With all revenue related issues resolved, infrastructure development at the University finally commenced with the BhoomiPujan ceremony held at Indian National Defence University site recently. 

Air Marshal AS Bhonsle of Integrated Defence Staff was the Chief Guest on the occasion who laid the first brick for the construction of boundary wall, perimeter road, guard room and watch towers. The ceremony was attended by officials from the Ministry of Defence, Directorate of Indian National Defence University, Chief Engineer, Delhi Zone, Revenue Department of Gurgaon, Police and villagers from Binola and Bilaspur. 

Air Marshal AS Bhonsle while interacting with the villagers stated that it is matter of pride for Manesar Tehsil in general and Binola and Bilaspur in particular to have a prestigious world class institution in their area, which in the years to come will result in rapid growth in the neighbourhood and also provide job opportunities to the youth. 

HAL Celebrates Platinum Jubilee



Defence Minister Inaugurates HAL’s Centre for Aerospace Management Excellence & Leadership

The Defence Minister, Mr. Manohar Parrikar inaugurated HAL’s ‘Centre for Aerospace Management Excellence & Leadership’ at Marathahalli here yesterday. Addressing the gathering, he said HAL being the only aerospace giant in India, this new facility is the right step in training human resources to ensure the success of `Make in India’. This new learning and development center can become a focus of technology and management expertise in India, he added.

Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL said the new state of the art learning center would promote technical skills, project management and competencies, product design and development. “This reinvigorated focus will help to achieve our goals and build a robust aerospace ecosystem in India”, he added.

The campus is being built on an area of 16 acres with 25,300 sq m built up area at Marathahalli adjacent to ISRO campus. It is an integrated campus with separate blocks for training, hostel, canteen, sports, auditorium and meditation hall. It will be a world class facility and will promote design and engineering excellence with state- of-the art infrastructure.  The salient features include computer labs, library and discussion halls,  state-of-the-art classrooms with high quality audio and video systems with streaming facility, hostel block with 300 twin sharing executive accommodation with 150 rooms including swimming pool, sports complex with indoor  badminton court, table tennis and  gymnasium and outdoor  basketball and tennis court,  traditional  model auditorium with balcony for a seating capacity of 800,  canteen block with  a seating capacity of 500 and meditation hall in a serene ambience to accommodate 100 people.

HAL Management Academy (HMA) is involved in the training of management and design trainees. It also provides learning and development opportunities for the middle and senior level executives. Most of the executives in HAL including the top management consisting of CMD, Directors, CEOs and GMs start their journey from HMA and they go through various technical and managerial training programs.  At present, the academy functions from its existing premises on Suranjan Das Road near HAL manufacturing facilities.

Defence Ministry Makes Amendments to Offset Guidelines

The Ministry of Defence has initiated various policy measures to address the concerns of the industry for ease of doing business. Provisions have now been made with an intent to provide greater flexibility to the vendors in offset contracts and reinstatement of services as an avenue for discharge of offset obligations and level playing field to Indian vendors in Capital acquisitions. 

Vendors had been expressing difficulty to upfront provide specific description of products and their work share, supporting documents to establish eligibility of Indian Offset Partners (IOPs) and yearly discharge schedule. This is primarily due to the time lag between submission of technical offset offers and finalisation and subsequent implementation of offset contracts. As a result there were frequent contract amendment requests from vendors. Accordingly, a two pronged approach for mitigating perceived bottlenecks during pre and post contract stage has been evolved through recent amendments to offset guidelines. At pre contract stage option has been given to the vendors to submit detailed offset proposals at a later stage. The vendor can finalise his IOPs and offset product details one year prior to the intended offset discharge, or can even undertake the offset activity and submit claims thereafter. This will facilitate vendors to finalise a more realistic offset offer. Orders in this regard were published by MoD on August 05, 2015. At the post contract stage, enabling provisions have been made in the offset guidelines for change in IOP/component and re-phasing of offset schedule, thereby giving complete flexibility to the vendor. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will now make it possible to address requests from vendors to change their IOP or their offset component as per requirement during the period of the contract. Necessary orders in this regard have been issued by the Ministry vide MoD ID No. 1(6)/D (Acq)/13-Vol.-II dated 11.12.2015. 

The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) has a provision for foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to discharge their offset obligations through ‘Services’. This provision had been kept under abeyance with effect from 23 May 2013 due to absence of any regulatory oversight mechanism for Services. However, there was a persistent demand from the industry (both domestic and foreign) for allowing Services as a valid avenue for discharge of offset obligations. Based on several interactions and inputs, received from industries most of the ‘Services’ which were in abeyance, have been reinstated with checks and balances following a Ministry of Defence order in this regard on December 07, 2015. Orders have been published vide MoD ID No. DOMW/OP/GEN/03/2015/01 dated 07.12.2015. 

Indian vendors participating in ‘Buy Global’ cases were at a disadvantageous position in terms of fulfilling offset obligations. In order to promote ‘Make in India’, a level playing field has been provided and an Indian vendor has been brought at par with the foreign OEM in terms of fulfilling offset obligations through orders issued by the Defence Ministry on December 11, 2015. Orders have been published vide MoD ID No. 1(6)/D (Acq)/13-Vol.II dated 11.12.2015. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

First Ever CAG Report On ECHS

Following are the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) 's first ever report tabled in Parliament on the implementation of the ex-servicemen contributory health scheme (ECHS). Irregularities found cost the nation Rs 105 crores.


1. Multiple enrollments of beneficiaries under the Scheme

2. Raising of two claims for the same patients during the overlapping period

3. Overpayment due to non-adherence to MoA

4. Non invoking of penal clause of MoA against defaulting hospitals

5. Irregular recovery of service charges from individual reimbursement claims by BPA

6. Incorrect entitlement in case of indoor treatment for ECHS beneficiaries

7. Short supply of medicines to the polyclinics and non disposal of life expired medicines/drugs

8. Non inclusion of provision for obtaining discount on medicines in MoA

9. Irregular payment by SHQ, Delhi Cantt. towards unaccounted medical bills of empanelled  

    hospitals

10. Non-development of audit module for post audit and inadequate post audit by PCsDA

11. Deficiencies in raising of Emergency Information Report (EIR) by empanelled hospitals

12. Non-adherence of the time limit for payment of bills by BPA/CFA resulting in non availing of 
discount

13. Approval of payment to empanelled hospitals by CFA (ECHS) after rejection of the same by BPA

Chinese Embassy Reacts On People's Daily Comment on South China Sea

People's Daily: Grandstanding cannot cover up illegal moves

2015/12/15

The People's Daily on Monday carried the first of a series of commentaries on the Philippines' South China Sea arbitration farce. Following is a translated version of the full text:

Since taking office as the Philippines' Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Albert F. del Rosario has spared no effort to defame China on all kinds of international occasions and, in that process, managed to enhance his own visibility. On 30 November, at the arbitral tribunal set up at the unilateral request of his country, Mr. del Rosario once again demonstrated to the world his exceptional talent in performance.

At the hearing, Mr. del Rosario went to great lengths to win sympathy for his country by depicting it as a helpless underdog with much grievance. But he made no mention, none whatsoever, of the historical facts of how, over the years, the Philippines encroached upon China's rights and interests in the South China Sea. As a matter of fact, the root cause of his country's dispute with China over the South China Sea is no other than his country's occupation of some Chinese islands and reefs in the South China Sea and its assertion of illegal territorial claims since the 1970s. Neither the international treaties that establish the scope of the Philippines' territory nor the Philippines' own constitution before 1997 includes the Nansha Islands or the Huangyan Island in the country's map. No matter how hard he tries to frame the facts or confuse the concepts, Mr. del Rosario would not be able to cover up the nature of the matter, i.e. the infringement of China's lawful rights and interests by the Philippines.

At the hearing, a scare-mongering Mr. del Rosario made far-fetched accusations against China. His statement of a limited length contained a litany of astonishing yet, alas, totally untrue allegations against China, such as using "the threat of force" against the Philippines, violating international law including UNCLOS and even the UN Charter, building "a Berlin Wall of the Sea", "intentionally" creating "one of the biggest emerging environmental disasters in the world", and "interfering with" the Philippinos' efforts to "promote social progress" and "achieve a better standard of life". One could hardly expect such fabricated and wanton allegations from any respectable foreign secretary.

At the hearing, Mr. del Rosario went so far as to say that the Philippines initiated the arbitration "precisely to preserve that friendship" with China, "a valued friend". Such eloquence is simply awesome. Without giving a prior notice to China, the Philippines initiated the arbitration in a way that can be nicely summed up as "the guilty party filing the suit first." And all this while, the Philippines has protested its innocence. Did Mr. del Rosario actually intend to say that the unilateral initiation of the arbitration is a goodwill gesture to China? While covering up its illegal moves, the Philippines has been vilifying most vigorously China's lawful rights and interests and legitimate activities in the South China Sea. An ancient Chinese sage said, "Great speech is exact and complete; small speech is merely so much talk." All those high-sounding words from Mr. del Rosario cannot gloss over the basic facts of the Philippines infringing on China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea. Rather, they give yet another example of the Philippines' twisted logic of "a robber acting like a cop."

State sovereignty is a core principle in contemporary international law. No force is above a sovereign state. No country, organization or individual could expect China to stand by and allow its interests to be harmed. Here is a piece of advice for people like Mr. del Rosario: Don't misread the situation. The Chinese government and people are adamant about safeguarding China's rights and interests in the South China Sea. All calculating moves against that would end up in failure.Lies could not change the rights and wrongs with regard to the South China Sea. 

Treacherous schemes won't fool people forever. In his capacity as foreign secretary, Mr. del Rosario has repeatedly made irresponsible remarks and, turning a blind eye to China's goodwill, deliberately hyped up the South China Sea issue in the international arena. Noises about the South China Sea are doing a disservice to peace and harmony in the region. The Philippines, who started the whole thing in the first place, has to bear the blame and Mr. del Rosario certainly has to be held responsible more than many others. China remains willing to handle its dispute with the Philippines with utmost goodwill. But any attempt to interpret China's goodwill with malicious intentions and mislead public opinion will backfire someday. Mr. del Rosario's eye-catching words and deeds may well please some non-regional forces who want to disturb the situation in the South China Sea. Yet at the end of the day, it is the overall interests of the Philippines and its people that are at stake. We urge the Philippines to be realistic as well as responsible make good on its serious commitments made in bilateral documents with China and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and seek a solution to its dispute with China over territory and maritime rights and interests through bilateral consultation and negotiation in order to maintain peace,stability and prosperity in the South China Sea.



People's Daily: China's sovereignty over South China Sea islands brooks no denial

2015/12/16

The People's Daily on Tuesday carried the second of a series of commentaries on the Philippines' South China Sea arbitration farce. Following is a translated version of the full text:

The hearing on the merits of the South China Sea arbitration case further reveals the true colors of the Philippines. The truth about the "Emperor's New Clothes" is out. During the hearing, the Philippines made a big fuss about China's sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands and went out of its way to negate China's territorial sovereignty. This fully demonstrates that the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines is, in essence, a dispute about territory. The only motive and objective of the Philippines' initiation of the arbitration is to deny China's sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands. But no matter how this "arbitration" farce continues to play out, China's sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands brooks no denial.

In disregard of basic historical facts, the Philippines falsely claims that the Chinese people historically have carried out few activities and have had no presence in the South China Sea, and China never has sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands. History, however, brooks no denial. The South China Sea Islands have been China's territory since ancient times. Successive Chinese governments have exercised continuous jurisdiction over the islands by means of administrative control, military patrol, production and business operations, and maritime disaster relief, among others. During the Japanese war of aggression against China, Japan occupied China's Xisha and Nansha islands. Following its victory in the war, China sent warships to recover the Xisha and Nansha islands, and garrisoned troops and built various military and civilian facilities on the islands, thus resuming exercise of sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands de jure and de facto.

Disregarding its untold suffering and devastation inflicted by the Japanese militarist aggression during the Second World War, the Philippines unexpectedly claimed the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation not legally binding. 

As a matter of fact, these two documents are important international legal instruments published during the Second World War, and form the bedrock of the post-war international order in East Asia. It is clearly stipulated in the two documents that Japan shall return the Chinese territory it had stolen from China. 

In the document on normalization of its diplomatic ties with China, Japan also made explicit commitment to complying with the relevant provisions of the Potsdam Proclamation. Some members of the Philippine authorities, out of their smug calculation of territorial expansion, have turned a blind eye to historical facts and gone so far as to seek selfish interests at the expense of the feelings of the Philippine people and the fruits of the World Anti-Fascist War. This only exposes the shortsightedness of these Philippine politicians, who could have no bottom line at all even in pursuit of just a few petty interests.

The Philippines erroneously claims that the Nansha Islands have been "terra nullius" since the end of the Second World War, saying that the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed in 1951 only asked Japan to give up its rights and claims on the Nansha Islands without clarifying that the islands should be returned to China. First of all, China does not recognize the San Francisco Peace Treaty. 

Secondly, China has all along enjoyed sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands; it restored the jurisdiction over the Nansha Islands after the Second World War through a series of actions, or in another word, the Nansha Islands have been returned to their original owner. In this sense, the Nansha Islands have always been China's territory. How can they become "terra nullius"? Fabrication of the excuse of "terra nullius" only lays bare the Philippines' territorial expansion and insatiable greed.

In essence, the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines is a territorial dispute between the two countries caused by Philippines' illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands after the 1970s. China and the Philippines have on many occasions reached consensus on resolving the relevant dispute through negotiations and consultations. To push ahead with the arbitration, the Philippines broke its promises, and disguised the dispute into one over the so-called "interpretation and application of the UNCLOS". Once the disguise is removed, however, people will see clearly the essence and root cause of the dispute. What does the dispute between China and the Philippines over the Nansha islands and reefs have to do with the interpretation and application of the UNCLOS? The unilateral initiation of the arbitration is an out-and-out political provocation under the cloak of law. The ulterior motive of the Philippines is to snatch China's territory through a farce like this.

Nevertheless, the determination of the Chinese people to safeguard its territorial integrity is as firm as a rock. Only the Chinese people have the final say when it comes to China's territory. Any attempt to negate China's sovereignty, rights and interests through a so-called "arbitration award" will be nothing but wishful thinking, just like flowers in a mirror and reflection of the moon in water. By going back on its own words and confusing the concepts for the purpose of territorial expansion, the Philippines will only end up bringing disgrace on itself.



People's Daily: The DOC brooks no distortion

2015/12/18

The People's Daily on Wednesday carried the third of a series of commentaries on the Philippines' South China Sea arbitration farce. Following is a translated version of the full text:

In midsummer 2015, the so-called South China Sea arbitration hearing that the Philippines had been clamoring for and brewing in the past two years finally started. Recently, the relevant arbitral tribunal held this so-called hearing in The Hague, Netherlands, where the Philippine side made irresponsible and derogatory remarks in its statements on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by relevant countries in 2002. Such remarks are indeed astonishing.It is well known that in the late 1960s, a report of the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East stirred up the South China Sea. To vie for interests in oil resources, some countries laid territorial claims to China' s Nansha Islands and illegally occupied some of the islands and reefs, giving rise to the South China Sea issue. For the purpose of managing disputes among the parties and maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, China and ASEAN countries started their communication in the 1990s to jointly explore a dispute settlement approach suitable for the region. After a long period of consultation and mutual adaptation, China and the ten ASEAN countries officially signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2002, which announced to the world that regional countries had an official document to follow when dealing with issues in the South China Sea. Since then, the South China Sea disputes gradually quieted down and peace and stability was maintained for over a decade. The DOC won the reputation of a "stability anchor." Article 4 of the DOC stipulates that, "The Parties concerned undertake to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea." With eight more years of joint efforts, China and the ten ASEAN countries reached agreement on the Guidelines for the Implementation of the DOC in 2011, and started the historical process of fully and effectively implementing the DOC.

However, since taking office, the current government of the Philippines has drastically changed the country's constructive attitude for good faith cooperation in the past, gone back on its commitment under the DOC and trampled on the common efforts of relevant countries in safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea. It meticulously planned an "arbitration" farce with the instigation and support of some country outside the region in an attempt to re-create disputes in the South China Sea. At the hearing, the Philippines' counsel made unfounded statements that the DOC had never created any right or obligation and it was merely an expediency of mutual compromise, and that the path of seeking dispute settlement through friendly negotiation chosen by the parties through joint commitment was non-binding and had not achieved any anticipated result. Such statements can be traced back to the earlier "Memorial" filed by the Philippine side. One cannot help but ask, if a sovereign state can dishonor its commitment and willfully break its promise, if the DOC is indeed as meaningless as claimed by the Philippine side, then where does the international reputation of the Philippines, a sovereign state, rest upon? And where did the peace and stability in the South China Sea for over a decade come from?!

What is also astonishing is that the arbitral tribunal could not tell right from wrong and followed suit by belittling the DOC, the document signed by the governments of China and the ten ASEAN countries, in its ruling on the relevant jurisdiction issue. One cannot help but ask how can the choice of dispute settlement approach made by all the people of eleven countries, or nearly one third of the world's population, be easily overturned by a word or two of the arbitral tribunal?! 

What's more, the relevant ruling also gives a distorted interpretation of the relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and arbitrarily interprets UNCLOS' stipulation on the "obligation to exchange views" on disputes. That is an attempt to lower the threshold for the states parties to enter into the compulsory procedures and to pave the way for new farces planned by some countries. If the interpretation of the arbitral tribunal becomes a reality, countries will be constantly involved in various legal actions and the world will hardly have a quiet day. All little disputes between two states will inevitably lead to lawsuits. Such an act of arbitrarily expanding the power of oneself will never have the consent of sovereign states.

The international rule of law upholding equity and justice cannot be distorted by a farce, and the DOC shall not become a scrap of paper just because of a few unfounded remarks. All parties to the DOC have the responsibility and obligation to safeguard its validity and authority, so that it can continue to play the role of a "stability anchor."People's Daily: Disregarding facts and jurisprudence, arbitration is neither fair nor just


2015/12/21

The People's Daily on Thursday carried the fourth of a series of commentaries on the Philippines' South China Sea arbitration farce. Following is a translated version of the full text:



The Philippines' South China Sea arbitration is a political provocation under the cloak of law. In the end of October, in disregard of basic facts and fundamental jurisprudence, the Arbitral Tribunal set up at the unilateral request of the Philippines rendered the award on jurisdiction and admissibility of the arbitration. 

Confounding black and white, the Tribunal spared no effort to back up the Philippines' arguments, thus rendering support and encouragement to the Philippines' illegal occupation of China's territory and encroachment upon China's maritime rights and interests. Fraught with far-fetched and unfounded assumptions, the reasoning process of the Tribunal was by no means based on facts, common sense or justice, and its positions were neither fair nor impartial.

What has truly happened cannot be covered up by an arbitration that ignores facts. The Tribunal deliberately framed the previous consultations between China and the Philippines concerning disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation as consultations on the interpretation and application of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and affirmed these consultations as evidence that the Philippines had fulfilled its obligation of exchange of views. As a matter of fact, China and the Philippines have never had any negotiations, not even exchange of views, on the arbitration matters.

There is no trace of justice in an arbitration that violates jurisprudence. For example, the Tribunal knows full well that it has no jurisdiction over a case concerning territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation. On the one hand, it evaded the essence of the dispute and insisted that this case had nothing to do with territorial sovereignty. On the other hand, in disregard of China' s declaration in accordance with UNCLOS in 2006 which excludes disputes concerning maritime delimitation from arbitral proceedings, the Tribunal deliberately included into its jurisdiction matters that, in essence, concern territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation. Such moves to arrogate power are a violation of the spirit of diligence and self-discipline which judicial bodies should honor when hearing cases. They are also detrimental to the credibility and value of dispute settlement through judicial means.

Another example is the one-sidedness and lack of impartiality in the Tribunal's selection and citation of judicial cases. On many occasions, it cited biased, highly controversial judicial or arbitral cases and used controversial views and verdicts put forth by arbitrators of this very Tribunal as legal precedent in support of views on the verdict of this case. Such so called self-sufficient and partial arguments have seriously damaged the integrity, logic and consistency of the relevant legal conclusion.

Yet another example is the malicious distortion of the relations between UNCLOS and customary international law. Turning a blind eye to customary international law,the Tribunal kept citing UNCLOS and attempted to make UNCLOS applicable to everything related to the sea. Any one familiar with international law would know well that the regime of international law of the sea provided in UNCLOS is, in itself, a summary of maritime history and practices and a reflection of the common aspirations of countries, and that the very text of UNCLOS shows respect for customary international law. What the Tribunal has done is a breach of the basic purposes and spirit of UNCLOS.

The Tribunal accepted the Philippines' false arguments in its entirety in disregard of the basic fact of the country's abuse of legal procedures. Its moves to jump to conclusions first and then prove them with distortion of evidence and verdicts will be a serious erosion of international judicial system that champions fairness and justice.



People's Daily: China is observing international law in the true sense

2015/12/21

The People's Daily on Friday carried the fifth of a series of commentaries on the Philippines' South China Sea arbitration farce, titled "By not accepting and not participating in the arbitration initiated by the Philippines, China is observing international law in the true sense."

Following is a translated version of the full text:

The Philippines has lately been selling the South China Sea arbitration case it unilaterally initiated to the international community while defaming China, claiming that China's non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration undermines international rule of law. Such moves are best captured by a Chinese saying: the guilty party filing the suit first. The Philippine side is misleading public opinion by playing the "victim" in the arbitration farce it started in an attempt to cover up its moves that violate international law and trample upon international legal order in pursuit of illegal interests for itself. Non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration is the move China has made to safeguard the international rule of law.China's non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration is to uphold the sanctity of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS does not apply to territorial disputes at all. Furthermore, China' s declaration in accordance with UNCLOS in 2006 excludes disputes concerning maritime delimitation from arbitral proceedings. Undeniably, the dispute between China and the Philippines is in essence a dispute over territorial and maritime delimitation issues. In fact, the Philippines' initiation of the arbitration, in total disregard of international law and the spirit of UNCLOS, undermines the authority and sanctity of the Convention. In response to the Philippines' illegal moves, China refuses to "dance with it", and follows the policy of not accepting or participating in the arbitration. This position testifies to China's strong sense of responsibility, and is the righteous act China has taken to defend the legitimate rights and interests of a State Party to UNCLOS and to uphold the authority and sanctity of this international instrument.

China's non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration is to honor the joint commitment it has made with the Philippines. The two sides reached consensus a long time ago on how to address the dispute. China and the Philippines have issued joint statements and news releases on multiple occasions and they both signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), in which the two sides have pledged to settle disputes through friendly negotiations and consultations. By unilaterally initiating the arbitration, the Philippines has negated its solemn commitment to its neighbors and the international community, and breached one of the core principles in international relations - Pacta sunt servanda ("agreements must be kept"), thus jeopardizing its own international credibility. By contrast, China's position of not accepting or participating in the arbitration demonstrates that it is true to its words.

China's non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration is to uphold its lawful rights and interests. China has sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands and lawful rights and interests in the South China Sea. No one, no country and no entity but the Chinese government has the right to make the decision on behalf of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. The Philippines chose to illegally occupy some of China's islands and reefs in the South China Sea first, and then, file the case against China instead. Its purpose is no other than to cover up its illegal moves. China will not condone such illegal actions. China's position of non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration is legitimate and justified.

China's non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration conforms with the general practice in addressing international disputes. National consent is the very core and soul of international law. The key to resolving disputes over territory and maritime rights and interests is for parties directly concerned to reach consensus ad idem. The Philippines' unilateral initiation of arbitration is by no means aimed at resolving the dispute. Rather, it is to further complicate the situation and to vilify China. What the Philippines is doing is an out-and-out political provocation. By contrast, China's way of addressing disputes over territory and maritime rights and interests through bilateral consultations and negotiations has proven effective. As a matter of fact, China has properly settled land boundary issues with 12 countries and completed the delimitation ofmaritime boundary in the Beibu Bay with Vietnam. China will continue to follow its current practice and will not accept arbitration as a way to settle disputes over territory and maritime rights and interests.China is firmly committed to upholding and building the international rule of law. 

The Philippine's unilateral initiation of arbitration regarding the South China Sea is purely an attempt to sabotage the international rule of law and encroach upon China's rights and interests under the cloak of international law. China's non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration is a lawful and sensible response to the illegal moves of the Philippines. In addressing the South China Sea disputes, it is of no use to employ treacherous means, scare-mongering or slandering, or resort to a third party. The only viable way forward is for the Philippines to admit its mistake, change its course, and return to bilateral negotiations and consultations.