1. THIRD TEST-FIRING OF PINAKA MISSILE SUCCESSFUL
On March 12, 2019, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully carried out the third successful trial of Pinaka guided missile at the Pokharan range in Rajasthan after two successful trials on March 11, 2019. All the three trials met mission objectives proving the efficacy, reliability and high precision capabilities of the weapon system. The indigenously developed Guided Pinaka by DRDO will significantly boost the capability of the Indian artillery units to hit target with precision.
2. NAVAL CHIEF VISIT TO UK
Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff is on an official visit to UK from March 12 to 15, 2019 with an aim to further consolidate bilateral maritime ties and explore new avenues of cooperation. The visit will consolidate existing maritime cooperation initiatives as well as explore new avenues. The Admiral’s visit to UK also aims to take forward the vision that was set forth during the visit of our Hon’ble PM to UK in November 2015. During the three-day visit, Admiral Sunil Lanba is scheduled to hold discussions with the Chief of Defence Staff, UK in London and the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth. Admiral Sunil Lanba is also scheduled to visit the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, RN Submarine Rescue Facility at Glasgow and interact with the organisers of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh.
3. INDIA SHOOTS DOWN ANOTHER PAK UAV
A Pak UAV that crossed over into Indian airspace was shot down by the Indian Armed Forces in the Rajasthan sector—Ganganagar, on March 9, 2019. It may be recalled that on February 27, 2019 also India had shot down a Pak UAV in Kutch sector of Gujarat. These transgressions come soon after the spectacular Indian strike at Balakot and repulsion of the massive Pak aerial raid leading to shooting down of their F-16 by the Indian MiG-21 Bison.
4. INDIA TO ELIMINATE THE TOP LEADERSHIP OF JeM OPERATING IN J&K
In a joint press conference by the Indian Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police, the GOC Chinar Corps Lt Gen Dhillon indicated that 18 terrorists have been eliminated in the last 21 days. The details of terrorists eliminated given out by him are:
6 were Commanders of terrorist organisations.
8 were of Pakistani origin.
10 were local terrorists.
14 of these terrorists belonged to the Jaish-e-Muhammad group.
JeM Commander Mudassir Ahmed Khan, the principal conspirator of the Pulwama attack has also been neutralised.
The General also added that their aim was to eliminate the top leadership of JeM active in J&K. Reports indicate that in the first 70 days of this year, 44 terrorists have been eliminated, mostly from the JeM.
5. VISIT OF COMMANDER US SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND, US ARMY
Gen Raymond Thomas, Commander US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), US Army visited India and called on the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat and discussed issues of strategic and mutual concern.
6. GRANT OF ECHS FACILITIES TO WORLD WAR II VETERANS, EMERGENCY COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, SHORT SERVICE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND PRE-MATURE RETIREES
Ministry of Defence has decided to extend the ECHS facilities to World War II Veterans, Emergency Commissioned Officers (ECOs), Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs) and pre-mature retirees.They are required to apply for membership of ECHS and accept the Terms and Conditions of ECHS.They will have to pay one-time contribution and become members of the ECHS as per the norms. However, war widows are exempted from payment of this one-time ECHS contribution. Personnel discharged on disciplinary grounds will not be entitled to the scheme.Further, they should not be covered under any other institutional health scheme of the Government.The SSCOs and pre-mature retirees and their spouses would be eligible for the following facilities:
Free OPD services from ECHS Polyclinics
They must pay for OPD/IPD/Investigations in ECHS empanelled hospitals and seek reimbursement @ 75 per cent of total admissible expenditure for personnel having more than 10 years of service and @ 50 per cent of total admissible expenditure for personnel having less than or equal to 10 years of service.
7. BHARAT AND ISRAEL INK PACT FOR MANUFACTURE OF HELMET
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Elbit Systems Ltd of Israel have signed a Technology Collaboration Agreement (TCA) for licensed manufacture of Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) during the Aero India—2019. Reports indicate that the agreement envisages BEL manufacturing HMDS with night-flying vision goggles, Colour day and night display, 3D symbology, head-tracking, sensors and weapon cuing.
8. IAF MIG-21 BISON CRASH
An Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison aircraft airborne from Air force Station Nal for a routine sortie, crashed near Bikaner, Rajasthan on March 8, 2019 at around 1430 hrs. The pilot ejected safely. Initial inputs indicate the likely cause of accident as bird hit after take-off. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of accident.