Sunday, July 31, 2016

Homage Paid To Indian Army Martyrs

The Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh paying homage at the mortal remains of Sep Babloo Singh and Sep Vishal Chaudhary, in New Delhi today. The two Indian Army bravehearts were martyred yesterday in J&K's Kupwara, fighting Pakistani infiltrators. 

Top IAF Appointments

Air Marshal NJS Dhillon Takes over as SASO WAC 


Air Marshal NJS Dhillon AVSM takes over as Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command, from Air Marshal B Suresh AVSM VM, who assumes appointment of Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel at Air Headquarters. 

Air Marshal NJS Dhillon AVSM is a graduate of National Defence Academy, Defence Service Staff College, and National Defence College. He was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force in Dec 81. He has over 3700 hours accident free flying to his credit including 3100 hrs on all variants of MiG-21 aircraft. 

He topped the Fighter Strike Leader Course at TACDE and also served as Directing Staff there as of Head of Training and Deputy Commandant. He has commanded a MiG-21 Sqn and has been the Chief Operational Officer of a premier flying base. In addition to Commanding an Operational fighter base, he also Commanded a helicopter base in DR Congo as part of UN Peace Keeping Mission. He also held the appointment of Principal Director Air Defence at Air HQ and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Inspection) at Air HQ. Prior to his present appointment, he was Air Defence Commander HQ SAC. 

He was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in the year 2013. He is married to Mrs Simmar Dhillon and they have a son and daughter. 


Air Marshal B Suresh Assumes Appointment of AOP 

Air Marshal B Suresh AVSM VM assumes charge as Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel (AOP) at Air Headquarters today. A graduate of the 'Rashtriya Indian Military College', Dehradun and 'National Defence Academy' Kharakvasla, the Air Marshal was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force on 13 Dec 1980. 

He is a meritorious graduate of the 'Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment' (TACDE), a graduate of the 'Defence Services Staff College' Wellington and a post graduate from Cranfield University, Shrivenham UK. He commanded No.2 Squadron – The Winged Arrows – as a Wing Commander, TACDE as a Group Captain and a strategic fighter base as an Air Commodore. He is a highly experienced fighter pilot who has flown a variety of fighter aircraft and helicopters. 

He has held a number of staff appointments that include Joint Director and Director (Air Staff Inspection), Director Operations (Joint Planning), Directing Staff (TACDE), Air Assistant to Chief of Air Staff, Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Air Defence) and Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command. 

He is a recipient of two AOC-in-C's commendations, the 'Vayu Sena Medal' and the 'Ati Vishist Seva Medal'. 

Air Mshl B Suresh is married to Mrs Radha Suresh and they have a son and a daughter. He has been keen follower of sports. His other interests include reading and music. 

HAL-Western Air Command Conference Held

One day Conference on HAL supported airborne platforms and systems was held at Headquarters, Western Air Command, Subroto Park, New Delhi on Friday, 29 Jul 16. The conference was co-chaired by Shri T Suvarna Raju, Chairman & Managing Director, HAL and Air Marshal SB Deo PVSM AVSM VM VSM ADC, Air Officer Commanding- in-Chief, WAC. Heads of all HAL Divisions and Senior Operational and Maintenance Staff Officers at HQ WAC attended the Conference. Issues relating to Quality, Reliability, Production, Field Support, Supply Chain Management, Ground Support Equipment etc affecting operational exploitation of the HAL supplied assets in WAC, were deliberated during the conference. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Exercise Maitree 2016: Joint Indo - Thailand Military Exercise Culminates

The Indo - Thailand Military Exercise MAITREE concluded today at Krabi, Thailand. The exercise had commenced on 15 July 2016 under the aegis of the Royal Thailand Army. 90 soldiers of Indian Army and Royal Thailand Army had participated in the two week long Exercise. The exercise included combined training, familiarization with weapons & equipment used by both the countries, analyzing groupings, drills and tactics while operating in counter terrorism environment and modalities for conduct of Area Domination operations in urban environment apart from operations like Cordon and Search, raids and Seek and Destroy Missions. The combined training was an excellent opportunity to understand and learn from each others’ experiences. During the exercise both the Armies were able to evolve common tactical procedures and drills to enhance inter-operability. Col Rohan Anand, SM PRO (Army) 

Defence Minister and HRD Minister Release Three Books on Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar and Union Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar released three books on the life of former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam on July 27, 2016. The books entitled “Dr Kalam, Prerna ki Udaan” in Hindi, “Do You Know Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam” in English and “Prerna Nu Zarnu : Dr Abdul Kalam” in Gujarati language have been written by Dr. Unnat Pandit to pay tribute to Dr. Kalam on his first death anniversary. 

Speaking on the occasion Shri Parrikar said that, “Dr. Kalam was known for his simplicity, thinking big to dream and putting energy to achieve that dream”. He said, Dr. Kalam’s scientific and nationalistic thought and his views on spirituality will always give motivation to students and youth of India. The author Dr. Unnat Pandit spoke about the contents of the book and the inputs that inspired him to chronicle the life of Dr. Kalam. Amongst others the function was attended by Shri Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, Rajya Sabha MP, Dr. G Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri who worked along with Dr. Kalam, Shri Atul Kothari, Secretary, Siksha Sanskruti Uttan Nyas, Shri Anil Raval, educationalist and Shri Sunil Ambekar Organizing Secretary ABVP who all addressed the August gathering. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Anurag Singh Thakur, Member of Parliament and President BCCI Joins the Territorial Army

Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Member of Parliament and President BCCI was commissioned to the Territorial Army (TA) in the rank of Lieutenant and was conferred the ranks by General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of The Army Staff, in a solemn 'Commissioning' ceremony held at Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence at South Block in the presence of military dignitaries and his family members today. Lieutenant Anurag Singh Thakur was welcomed to the folds of Territorial Army by Maj Gen Surinder Singh, ADG TA. 

Lieutenant Anurag Singh Thakur cleared Services Selection Board (SSB) and was found fit for joining the Territorial Army. The officer has been commissioned in 124 Inf Bn (TA) SIKH. 

Territorial Army is part of Indian Army and is manned by officers and men who are embodied for training for two months in a year. Their actual role is during national emergencies, war and in support of Army when they relieve Regular Army for operations. The Territorial Army also guards vital installations like Headquarters, Ammunitions Dumps, Airports etc as also vital lines of communications. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Royal Malaysian Navy Chief Visits Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command & Southern Naval Command





Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulazaman Bin Haji Ahmad Badaruddin, Chief of Naval Staff, Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) accompanied by a Malaysian delegation arrived on 27 Jul 16  on a two-day visit to Visakhapatnam. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) of RMN interacted with Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, and held discussions on issues of mutual interest.

During the visit, the RMN Chief and the Malaysian delegation were briefed on the activities of the Command and later visited stealth frigate, INS Shivalik, prior to their departure to Kochi on 27 Jul 16 pm.


Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulazaman Bin Haji Ahmad Badaruddin, Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) CNS with Royal Malaysian Naval Delegation visit onboard INS Shivalik

Chief of Malaysian Royal Navy  visits Kochi

Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulazaman, Chief of Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy Visited Kochi from 27-28 Jul 16. “Tan Sri” visited New Delhi & Vishakhapatnam prior arriving at Kochi on 27 July 16, Vice Admiral A R Karve, AVSM, Flag Officer Commander-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command interacted with the Chief of Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy (CNRMN) and discussed on the subjects of common interest to both the navies including naval training. During his visit, “Tan Sri” visited INS Sunayna, Radar Operating station and Cochin Shipyard Limited.

Rear Admiral Narayan Prasad Takes Over As Admiral Superintendent of Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam


Rear Admiral Narayan Prasad, NM, took over as the Admiral Superintendent, Naval Dockyard, from Rear Admiral SR Sarma, AVSM, VSM, during a formal ceremony at the Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam - ND(V) on 28th July 16.

Rear Admiral Narayan Prasad was commissioned as an Engineer Officer into the Indian Navy on 01 July 83 and holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering (Marine) and M Phil (Defence & Strategic Studies). The Flag Officer is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Pune, Naval War College, Mumbai and has undergone Naval Higher Command Course and Senior Defence Management Course. He has held various important appointments in the Indian Navy including Operational, Staff, Dockyard, Research and Development. His shore appointments include General Manager (Refit) at ND(V) & Principal Director of Ship Production at New Delhi. His afloat appointments include tenures onboard frontline warships Talwar, Ranjit and Rana. He has also served as Fleet Engineer Officer of the Eastern Fleet at Visakhapatnam.

The Admiral is a recipient of the Nau Sena Medal for his distinguished service. Prior to this appointment, the Flag Officer served as the Chief Staff Officer (Technical) at HQs, ENC, Visakhapatnam and as Project Director at Aakansha, New Delhi.

Rear Admiral SR Sarma, AVSM, VSM, who was at the helm at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam for 18 months, is now taking over as the Chief Staff Officer (Technical) at HQs, ENC..

Indian Navy's Remotely Piloted Aircraft Ditched Due To Engine Malfunction

A remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) of the Indian Navy on a routine training mission from Naval Air Station, INS Garuda ditched at sea 09 miles from Kochi at about 07:30 pm on 27 Jul 2016. The aircraft had got airborne 06:35 pm but developed critical engine malfunction and a controlled ditching was undertaken at sea. Other IN and ICG Aircraft flying in the vicinity were immediately diverted to search for the ditched aircraft. The wreckage has not yet been sighted. Aerial search by IN Dornier and ALH is in progress. 

Meanwhile ships at sea with divers and other necessary equipment have also been diverted to the crash area which has a depth of 24 metres to locate and recover the RPA. No personnel were injured in the incident. 

A Board of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the incident. 

Chief Of Naval Staff Visits Kochi




The Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC is on a two day official visit to Kochi from 26 to 27 Jul 16. He was received by Vice Admiral AR Karve, AVSM, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, at naval air station, INS Garuda on 26 Jul 16 and was presented a 50 men guard of honour.

During his maiden visit to Southern Naval Command after taking over the helm of Indian navy, Admiral Lanba would be interacting with the officers and men including the defence civillians of SNC to share his vision for the navy. The Admiral would also be visiting INHS Sanjivani, the largest military hospital in Kerala which has been recently approved for upgradation to super speciality hospital by the government and would review the preparatory activities there.  

The Admiral is accompanied by Mrs Reena Lanba, President, Naval Wives Welfare Association (NWWA), who would be reviewing the welfare activities being undertaken by NWWA (southern region). The Admiral would depart Kochi on 27 Jul 16.

Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Bin Haji Ahmad Badaruddin of Royal Malaysian Navy Visits India



Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman bin Haji Ahmad Badaruddin, Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy is on a visit to India from 25-28 Jul 16. His visit is intended to consolidate the bilateral naval relations between India and Malaysia and also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.

Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman bin Haji Ahmad Badaruddin held bilateral discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Naval Staff on 25 July 16. He also interacted with the Chairman COSC and Chief of Air Staff and Vice Chief of Army Staff. The Admiral was promoted to the rank of Admiral and assumed Command of the Royal Malaysian Navy on 19 Nov 2015, as the 19th Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy. Prior to taking over as the Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy, he was the Deputy Chief.

The Indian and the Royal Malaysian Navies cooperate with each other in terms of training, Passage Exercises, as well as interact at various multilateral forums like IONS, MILAN and ADMM Plus. Warships from both navies visit each other’s ports to build ‘bridges of friendship’. The ships of the Eastern Fleet recently visited Port Kelang as part of its Overseas Deployment to North West Pacific and held a first ever ‘Table Top’ Exercise on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief with the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Major issues that were discussed during the visit included training exchanges, improving Maritime Domain Awareness by sharing of white shipping information and exploring opportunities for bilateral exercises. The Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy is scheduled to visit Kochi and Visakhapatnam on completion of his visit to New Delhi, where he will interact with the Commanders-in-Chief besides visiting ships and Naval Dockyard. He is also scheduled to visit the Cochin Shipyard Limited.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam National Memorial Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony




The National Memorial Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was held at Peikarumbhu, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, today. The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar and Union Minister for Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting Shri M Venkaiah Naidu jointly laid the foundation stone and paid rich tributes to the late President on his death anniversary. The Ministers also inaugurated the statue of Dr. Kalam. 

The event was graced among others by the Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Shri Pon Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, Minister for Labour, Govt. of Tamil Nadu Dr. Nilofer Kafeel, Minister for Information Technology, Govt. of Tamil Nadu Dr. M Manikandan and Member of Parliament, Ramanathapuram Shri A Anwhar Raajhaa. A special exhibition on the life of Dr. Kalam was inaugurated during the event. 

Cabinet Approves Abolition of Separate Guidelines For Establishing Joint Venture Companies by Defence PSUs

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved abolition of existing "Guidelines for establishing Joint Venture Companies by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs)". These guidelines which were notified in February, 2012 will not be required for separate JV by the DPSUs. The Guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) and Ministry of Finance (MoF) from time to time, which are uniformly applicable to all Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) will be applicable for the DPSUs to set up JV companies now. This will meet the goal of indigenization / self-reliance in this sector. 

The abolition of the existing JV Guidelines will provide a level playing field between DPSUs and the private sector. It will allow DPSUs to forge partnerships in an innovative manner enhancing self-reliance in defence and provide for enhanced accountability / autonomy of DPSUs in ensuring that the process of JV formation is effectively managed by them, so as to secure best outcomes in the interest of national security. 

All nine DPSUs i.e. Mazagon Dock Limited, Goa Shipyard Limited, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited, Hindustan Shipyard Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Earth Movers Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited will be benefited through this decision. 

The decision comes in the backdrop of the issues which emerged in the operationalisation of JV guidelines of DPSUs. The Department of Defence Production came to the conclusion that with the increasing participation of the private industry in defence sector and the transformation taking place in the defence acquisition eco system thereon, the requirement of having separate JV guidelines for DPSUs is no longer considered necessary. In the emerging scenario with primacy being accorded to indigenous manufacturing / Make in India, it is felt that having multiple set of guidelines may lead to ambiguity and incongruity in the environment. 

Background:

Defence Production Policy promulgated in January 2011 with the objective of achieving substantive self-reliance in defence production including design and development capability had recommended that all viable approaches including JVs to be undertaken to achieve the desired self-reliance in defence production. Consequent to this, a need was felt to supplement the DPE guidelines with formulation of JV protocols / guidelines tailored for DPSUs which would address the specific requirements of the defence sector and also ensure that the interests of DPSUs were safeguarded. Accordingly the existing Guidelines for establishing Joint Venture Companies by DPSUs was approved by the Cabinet during the meeting held on 9th February, 2012 and the same was notified on 17th February, 2012. Now, the requirement for having separate JV Guidelines for DPSUs has been reviewed in the context of the increasing participation of the private industry in defence sector and the transformation taking place in the defence acquisition eco system. 

US Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Frank Kendall Visits India

New Delhi - Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics at the U.S. Department of Defense visited India from July 25-28. During his visit he took part in the semi-annual Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and had fruitful meetings with his counterparts at the Ministry of Defence in Delhi.

USD Kendall and his delegation met with Secretary, Defence Production Ashok Gupta and his team to discuss and review progress on current DTTI efforts, as well as to determine the way ahead for the new Pathfinder Projects and Joint Working Groups that were agreed to during Secretary Carter's visit to India and Prime Minister Modi's visit to the U.S.

‎The next DTTI meeting will be held in Washington, DC in January 2017.

DRDO To Build Memorial For Missile Man Former Prez Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Foundation Stone Laid On 1st Death Anniversary






Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nation Celebrates Kargil Vijay Diwas

The Union Minister for Defence, Shri Manohar Parrikar along with the three Service Chiefs: General Dalbir Singh, Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha paying homage to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate, on the on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, in New Delhi on July 26, 2016.

WAR WIDOWS FELICITATED AS PART OF KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS







To commemorate the 17th anniversary of the ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’, a solemn ceremony was organised at the Headquarters of Telangana & Andhra Sub Area in Secunderabad today.

Widows and dependents of Kargil Martyrs residing in the areas of Hyderabad/Secunderabad, Ranga Reddy and Nalgonda districts were invited and felicitated on the occasion.

The event gave an opportunity for the officers and families to interact with the next-of-kin (NOK) and Veer Naris and help in resolving all their pending issues. NOK of Late Major Padmapani Acharya, Maha Vir Chakra (Posthumous), Late Sergeant PVNR Prasad, Vayu Sena Medal (Posthumous), Late Lance Naik Ram Chander, P Gopaiah and Srinivas Reddy attended the sober event.

The gathering was later addressed by Major General S Pachory, General Officer Commanding (GOC), Telangana & Andhra Sub Area, who lauded the stellar contribution of the brave martyrs, which the Nation and the Armed Forces can never forget. The GOC promised all help to the Veer Naris and their kin, who he said were part of the extended Army family.  

Latest Search Map for Missing IAF An-32 aircraft


Monday, July 25, 2016

IAF Chief On Missing AN-32 Aircraft

Statement by Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha PVSM AVSM VM ADC Chief of the Air Staff on Missing AN-32 Aircraft 

Following is the statement of Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha PVSM AVSM VM ADC Chief of the Air Staff on AN-32 aircraft of Indian Air Force which went missing over the Bay of Bengal :- 

“An AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force was on a scheduled courier sortie from Tambaram, Chennai to Port Blair. The aircraft had departed Tambaram at 0830 AM on 22 July 2016 with 6 crew and 23 personnel. 

Radar contact with the aircraft was lost when the aircraft was east of Chennai at an approximate distance of 270 km. Since then there has been no contact with the aircraft. 

Extensive operations have been launched to search for the missing aircraft and personnel. Several aircraft with surveillance equipment of the IAF, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard have been flying in the area. A large number of ships of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, some with helicopters on board have also joined the search. 

It is very unfortunate that we have not been able to trace the missing aircraft and the personnel on board. It is a very difficult moment for all of us and we share the concerns of the distraught family members. IAF authorities are in constant touch with the family members of the missing personnel and they are being regularly updated about the efforts being made to trace the missing aircraft and personnel. 

AN-32 transport aircraft was inducted into the IAF between 1984-1991. In the last three decades of its operations we have exploited the capabilities of this aircraft as the workhorse of the IAF. Because of its excellent operational performance, AN-32 has been landing at Daulat Beg Oldie, which is the highest landing ground in the world. Needless to say that capable aircrew are chosen to fly these aircraft. 

Events like these are painful reminders of the inherent risks which our brave personnel face in the execution of our daily missions. A thorough enquiry will be conducted to ascertain exactly what led to this unfortunate event. The IAF remains committed to provide the best possible equipment and training to our personnel so that they can execute their assigned missions professionally. 

Our prayers and thoughts are there with the missing personnel and their families and no effort will be spared to locate them.” 

Army Chief Pays Homage On Kargil Vijay Diwas, At Drass



The Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh paying homage to the martyrs of OP VIJAY at the historic Kargil War Memorial, at Drass, Jammu and Kashmir on July 25, 2016.

Update on Search Operations of IAF AN-32 aircraft

Extensive search operations are continuing off Chennai for locating the missing IAF AN-32 aircraft. A total of 12 IN and 04 ICG ships are currently engaged in the SAR operations. 12 (08 fixed wing + 04 helicopters) IN, 03 IAF and 02 ICG aircraft have also been flying, and have clocked a total of 29 sorties with 134 hours of flying time for the ongoing Search and Rescue (SAR) operations.

The IN is also maintaining constant liaison with the affected families of the missing Naval sailor and eight Defence civilians, providing regular updates on the ongoing SAR operations and any assistance that may be required.

Weather conditions have improved marginally since yesterday. It is expected that the weather would improve further over the next 24 hours. Co-ordinated SAR operations by ships, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft would intensify in the next 24 hours.

Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Bin Haji Ahmad Badaruddin of Royal Malaysian Navy Visits India

Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman bin Haji Ahmad Badaruddin, Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy is on a visit to India from 25-28 Jul 16. His visit is intended to consolidate the bilateral naval relations between India and Malaysia and also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. 

Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman bin Haji Ahmad Badaruddin held bilateral discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Naval Staff today. He also interacted with the Chairman COSC and Chief of Air Staff and Vice Chief of Army Staff. The Admiral was promoted to the rank of Admiral and assumed Command of the Royal Malaysian Navy on 19 Nov 2015, as the 19th Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy. Prior to taking over as the Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy, he was the Deputy Chief. 

The Indian and the Royal Malaysian Navies cooperate with each other in terms of training, Passage Exercises, as well as interact at various multilateral forums like IONS, MILAN and ADMM Plus. Warships from both navies visit each other’s ports to build ‘bridges of friendship’. The ships of the Eastern Fleet recently visited Port Kelang as part of its Overseas Deployment to North West Pacific and held a first ever ‘Table Top’ Exercise on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief with the Royal Malaysian Navy. 

Major issues that were discussed during the visit included training exchanges, improving Maritime Domain Awareness by sharing of white shipping information and exploring opportunities for bilateral exercises. The Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy is scheduled to visit Kochi and Visakhapatnam on completion of his visit to New Delhi, where he will interact with the Commanders-in-Chief besides visiting ships and Naval Dockyard. He is also scheduled to visit the Cochin Shipyard Limited. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

INS Viraat Sails On Her Own Steam For One Last Time

The Aircraft Carrier, INS Viraat set sail for Kochi this afternoon for Essential Repairs and Dry Docking (ERDD) at the Cochin Shipyard. This is the last sailing under her own propulsion as INS Viraat is slated for decommissioning later this year. Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command and other senior officers of the command, visited the ship and interacted with the crew prior to her departure. The carrier was escorted out of harbour by Fast Interceptor Craft and helicopters from the Western Naval Command. It was indeed an emotional moment for the Navy, as INS Viraat leaves Naval Dockyard Mumbai, for ‘one last time’ under own power. The ship will be towed back to Mumbai on completion of ERDD, for the decommissioning ceremony later this year.

INS Viraat was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 12 May 1987. The ship operated Sea Harrier (White Tigers - fighter air crafts), Seaking 42B (Harpoons - Anti Submarine helicopters) & Seaking 42C (Commando Carrier helicopters) and Chetak (Angles - SAR helicopter) as her main air elements. The Sea Harrier fleet was also recently decommissioned at Goa in May 16.

Under the Indian Flag, various aircrafts have flown more than 22,034 hours from the decks of INS Viraat. She has spent nearly 2,250 days at sea sailing 5,88,288 NM (10, 94,215 KM). This implies that Viraat has been at sea for over six years covering the entire globe about 27 times. She played a major role in the Operation Jupiter in 1989 (Indian Peace Keeping operations in Sri Lanka) and Operation Vijay in the year 1999 (Kargil War). The ship has also participated in various international joint exercises like Malabar (with US Navy), Varuna (with French Navy), Naseem-Al-Bahar (with Oman Navy) and has been an integral element of all major naval exercises. The last operational deployment of the ship was for participation in International Fleet Review (IFR-2016) at Visakhapatnam. Having served the country and the Navy for nearly three decades, INS Viraat handed over the mantle of carrier operations to INS Vikramaditya which was commissioned in the year 2013.

The second aircraft carrier of the country has spent 29 years under the Indian Flag and 27 years with the Royal Navy (United Kingdom). The ship holds the Guinness Record for being the oldest serving warship. INS Viraat is a Centaur-Class Aircraft Carrier and served in the Royal Navy as HMS Hermes, which was the flag ship of Royal Navy during the Falk Lands Campaign of 1982. She is commonly referred to as the ‘Grand Old Lady’ among the Naval community. 


Defence Minister Reviews Search & Rescue Ops In Bay Of Bengal For Missing IAF An-32 Aircraft








Raksha Mantri, Shri Manohar Parrikar personally reviewed the ongoing search operations initiated to locate the missing Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft during his visit to INS Rajali, the Naval Air Station at Arakkonam this morning. The Raksha Mantri was briefed on the search operations undertaken in the last 24 hours and utilization of assets from the Navy, Air Force and the Indian Coast Guard. The Rasksha Mantri directed that if need arises more resources be diverted for the SAR operations. Raksha Mantri also reviewed the situation on ground as well as while flying over the area of operations in a P8 i Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft. 

He was apprised of the difficult condition under which the operations are being undertaken in the last 24 hours. The state of the sea is 3 to 4 and is very choppy with thick monsoon clouds in the area making the search effort quite challenging. Raksha Mantri has directed that the operations be continued unhindered till further orders. 

It may be recalled, that on 22 July 16 an An-32 aircraft belonging to 33 Squadron of IAF which is located at Sulur, Coimbatore was on a scheduled courier sortie from Tambaram (Chennai) to Port Blair. The aircraft departed Tambaram at 0830 hrs with 06 crew members and 23 passengers. The aircraft was scheduled to arrive at Port Blair at 1145 hrs. The aircraft however did not make any contact with Air Traffic Control of Port Blair and an overdue action was initiated. The last Radar contact marked by Chennai Air Traffic Radar was East of Chennai at 151 NM. The aircraft was flying at 23000 ft. 

As of now a massive search operation is in progress braving prevalent monsoon weather conditions and poor visibility wherein IAF, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard have pooled in all available resources to look for any possible sign of the aircraft in this vast swath of Bay of Bengal between Chennai and Port Blair. 

IAF has deployed two C-130 aircraft equipped with Electro-optical and Infra-Red sensors. Indian Navy P8i aircraft equipped with Synthetic Aperture Radar along with Dorniers are also taking part in this operation. Indian Navy has deployed 13 ships in the search area and is being assisted by six ships of Indian Coast Guard and merchant vessels in the area. Indian Navy has also deployed one submarine for the task. The Maritime Rescue and Coordination Center at Chennai has been coordinating round the clock surveillance towards search effort along with Southern Air Command of IAF, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. 

Out of 29 people who were on-board six were crew members along with eleven IAF personnel, two from Indian Army and one person from Indian Coast Guard. Eight civilians working with Indian Navy along with one sailor from Indian Navy was also travelling in the aircraft. Raksha Manti has directed all commanders to be in touch with the families of the missing service personnel. Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Chief of Air Staff and Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command were also present during the review. 


The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Shri Manohar Parrikar, accompanied by Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Chief of the Air Staff, and Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, undertook a sortie today from Naval Air Station Rajali at Arakkonam onboard an Indian Naval P-8I Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft for reviewing the Search and Rescue (SAR) operations for the missing AN-32 aircraft of the IAF. During the sortie that lasted nearly two haurs, he witnessed coordinated efforts involving ships and aircraft, including helicopter operations from the Navy’s LPD INS Jalashwa. He directed that maximum resources be pressed into service so as to undertake effective SAR. He was briefed about the challenges of undertaking SAR under monsoon conditions with heavy rain, cloud cover, rough sea condition and most importantly depths of over 3500 metres in the area. He was also briefed about future plans involving additional ships and a submarine that were heading for the area to join in the SAR operations. 

Apart from aspects related to the optimum deployment of resources for SAR operations, the Hon’ble RM enquired about the families of missing Service and civilian personnel. He was assured that constant liaison was being maintained with all families, and that all possible help was being rendered to them. 

250 Gunners Graduate From Artillery Centre, Hyderabad





Golconda located Parade Ground witnessed the passing out of  250 new Gunners  of Artillery Centre Hyderabad attaining the status of Combatant Soldiers at an impressive Passing out Parade held here today. These motivated and spirited young soldiers earned their status of Gunners after thirty four weeks strenuous training. Years old traditions of the Regiment of Artillery was explained by the Education Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) before the commencement of the ceremony.   Major General SK Panigrahi, Chief of Staff, Dakshin Bharat Area was the Reviewing Officer on the occasion. The new Gunners displayed tremendous enthusiasm, vigor and zeal by putting up an excellent show, marching to the tunes of Artillery Centre Military band.

Congratulating the new Gunners on the successful completion of their training at the Centre, the Reviewing Officer emphasized the need of imbibing the glorious motto of The Regiment of Artillery, “SARVATRA IZZAT O IQBAL” to achieve professional competence and traditional qualities of a real Gunner. To keep pace with the latest technological developments, the Reviewing Officer laid emphasis on the importance of keeping in touch with the latest developments.

The General Officer praised the standard of training and also congratulated the parents and the families of the Recruit Gunners on the successful completion of training of their wards. Reviewing Officer also gave away medals for the outstanding Recruits and ‘Guarav Padak’ to the parents. 3 Training/MT Regiment was awarded for Best marching Contingent of the parade.

Major General SK Panigrahi is an alumnus of National Defence Academy Kharakwasla. He was commissioned from the Indian Military Academy, Deharadun, in Dec 1982 into the Regiment of Artillery.