Defence Scan By Air Mshl PK Roy (Retd)
   27-Mar-2019
 
 
1. INDIA-INDONESIA COORDINATED PATROL EXERCISE
The 33rd India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol Exercise (IND-INDO CORPAT) is being held at Port Blair from March 19 to April 4, 2019. The ship and aircraft from both the countries would undertake patrolling on the respective sides of 236 nautical miles long International Maritime Boundary line.These exercises seek to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly Maritime neighbours’ to ensure good order in the maritime domain, consolidate interoperability and strengthen existing bond of friendship between India and Indonesia.
 
 
 
2. TWIN SUCCESS FOR MAN PORTABLE ANTI-TANK GUIDED MISSILE
On March 14, 2019, Defence Research and Development Organisation successfully test fired indigenously developed, low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) for the second time. The missile is incorporated with advanced features including state-of-the-art Imaging Infrared Radar Seeker with integrated avionics. The first test was conducted on March 14, 2019. All the mission objectives have been met.
 
 
 
3. INDIAN NAVAL SHIPS PROVIDE DISASTER RELIEF TO MOZAMBIQUE
India diverted three of its naval ships to Mozambique to provide immediate Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief to the affected people hit by tropical cyclone. Apart from providing relief in terms of food, clothes and medicine, three doctors and nurses available on board are providing the required immediate medical help to the affected people. Reports indicate that almost 90% of Beira town and the surrounding area has been damaged or destroyed.
 
 
4. AFRICA-INDIA FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE-2019
The Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019 (AFINDEX-19) is being held from March 18 to March 27, 2019 at Aundh Military Station, Pune. Contingents of the 17 African Nations along with a contingent of Maratha Light Infantry of India are participating in the exercise. The exercise will focus on exchange of best practices between the participating nations, team building and tactical level operations in conduct of UN mandated tasks to include establishment of a new mission, siting of a United Nations Headquarters for Peace Keeping operations, siting of Military Observer sites during the peace keeping missions, protection of civilians, nuances of standing combat deployment, convoy protection, patrolling aspects and aspects related to Humanitarian Mine Assistance.
 
 
 
5. INDO-SRI LANKA JOINT EXERCISE ‘MITRA SHAKTI-VI’
The annual Indo-Sri Lanka joint exercise ‘MITRA SHAKTI’ will be conducted from March 26 to April 8, 2019 in Sri Lanka. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment under United Nations mandate and will go a long way in further cementing relationship between both the nations and act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at grass roots levels between both the armies.
 
 
 
6. CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF (CNS) REVIEWS OPERATIONAL READINESS EXERCISE IN KOCHI
The CNS, along with the Commanders-in-Chief of all naval Commands, senior operational commanders and representatives from Army, Air Force and Indian Coast Guard reviewed the operational preparedness and lessons learnt from exercise TROPEX 2019. He congratulated the participants on the high level of professionalism and commitment displayed during the exercise. He stated that the Navy will always remain ready to protect, promote and preserve national interests in the maritime domain. The Annual Integrated Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise—in short TROPEX—the largest maritime exercise of the Indian Navy was conducted in the month of February in the Arabian Sea and North Indian Ocean. About 60 ships of Indian Navy, 12 ships of Indian Coast Guard and 60 aircraft participated in the exercise.

 
 
7. MANOHAR PARRIKAR PASSES AWAY AFTER PROLONGED ILLNESS
Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, passed away on March 17, 2019. He was suffering from pancreatic cancer, since February 2018. Known for his administrative acumen and clean image, Parrikar was an IIT-Mumbai graduate. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and other leaders have condoled the passing away of Parrikar. The Prime Minister said, “Shri Manohar Parrikar was an unparalleled leader. A true patriot and exceptional administrator, he was admired by all. His impeccable service to the nation will be remembered by generations. Deeply saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti. Shri Manohar Parrikar was the builder of modern Goa…….. His pro-people policies ensured Goa scales remarkable heights of progress. India will be eternally grateful to Shri Manohar Parrikar for his tenure as our Defence Minister. When he was RM, India witnessed a series of decisions that enhanced India’s security capacities, boosted indigenous defence production and bettered the lives of ex-servicemen”.
 
8. INDIAN ARMY CARRIES OUT SURGICAL STRIKES ALONG MYANMAR BORDER
Reports indicate that in a joint operation with the Myanmar’s army, the Indian Army carried out operations along the Indo-Myanmar border from February 17 to March 2, 2019 with an aim to eliminate threats posed by the so-called Arakan Army insurgents. This should pave the way to complete the insurgent threatened ‘Kaladan Project’ connecting Kolkata port to Sitwe port in Myanmar and further linking it by road to Mizoram. The project is important for India as it would ultimately open a new gateway to the India’s landlocked Northeast reducing the transit distance and time by almost 1000 Kms and four days respectively. It may be recalled that China has also been expanding its connectivity projects in the region and developing the Kyaukpyu port near Sitwe.