GOVERNMENT GIVES EMERGENCY FINANCIAL POWERS TO ARMED FORCES
Post the Pulwama attack, the Narendra Modi government has enhanced the financial powers of the armed forces for procuring equipment and ammunition required to enhance their operational capability. The armed forces can now buy equipment worth Rs 300 crore under each proposal from a single vendor without the concurrence of the Integrated Financial Advisor. It also lays down the time frame for procuring the weapon system ie within three months from the date of approval of the proposal. Reports indicate that the army is planning to buy spike anti-tank guided missiles. Details of procurement by the Navy and Indian Air Force are not available, however they are expected to be initiating procurement of equipment required urgently by them.
SUCCESSFUL TRIAL OF 'NIRBHAY' SUB-SONIC CRUISE MISSILE
DRDO, this week successfully test fired its indigenously designed & developed Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile “Nirbhay” (1000 km range). It was its sixth developmental flight trial. The MoD press release indicates that the missile took off vertically turning horizontally into desired direction, booster separated, wing deployed, engine started and cruised all the intended waypoints. The missile demonstrated its sea-skimming capability to cruise at very low altitudes. A notable aspect of the “Nirbhay” is that its airframe, fuel tanks, foldable wings and the launch system have been designed by L&T.
IAF CELEBRATES BIRTH CENTENARY OF LATE MARSHAL OF THE INDIAN AIR FORCE (MIAF) ARJAN SINGH DFC
On April 15, 2019, IAF commenced the celebration of birth centenary of Late MIAF Arjan Singh DFC. Born on April 15, 1919 in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad in Pakistan), Marshal was known for his Professional Competence, Leadership and Strategic Vision. At the young age of 19 years he was selected for training at RAF College Cranwell in 1938 and was commissioned into RAF in December 1939. He was awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for outstanding leadership, great skill and courage in Burma Campaign during World War II. On August 15, 1947, MIAF Arjan Singh had the unique honour of leading the fly-past of over hundred IAF aircraft over the Red Fort. He also led India as Chief of the Air Staff in the 1965 war against Pakistan, wherein IAF gained air superiority over PAF and helped Indian Army score strategic victories. He passed away on September 16, 2017 at the age of 98.
To commemorate this occasion, IAF has planned various events over a period of one year. It conducted Half Marathon races on April 14, 2019 at various Air Force Stations including at New Delhi. A seminar with the theme “Air Power in the 2040s: Impact of Technology” was also held today at Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park. The seminar was attended by various serving and retired dignitaries.
CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF VISITS THAILAND
Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff visited Thailand from April 17 to 19, 2019. The visit was intended to consolidate and enhance the maritime bilateral relations between India and Thailand and also to explore new avenues of defence cooperation. During his visit, he held bilateral discussions with General Ponpipaat Benyasri, Chief of Defence Forces, Royal Thai Armed Forces, Admiral Luechai Ruddit, Commander-in-Chief Royal Thai Navy and other senior government officials.
CHETAK INCIDENT AT SEA
A major catastrophe was averted by the Indian Naval aircrew, when their Chetak helicopter ditched at sea last week. The helicopter was integral to an Indian Naval Warship operationally deployed in the Arabian Sea (MoD release). As per reports, the crew displayed immense professional skill and sound training thereby deftly landing the helicopter in the water and successfully egressing from it. A Board of Inquiry has been ordered.
INDIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY DELEGATION VISIT TO SRI LANKA AND BANGLADESH
Indian Defence Ministry delegation led by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, Lieutenant General PS Rajeshwar, CISC, HQ IDS and other Service representatives visited Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from April 7 to 11, 2019. The delegation was in Sri Lanka from April 7 to 10 for India-Sri Lanka Defence dialogue. It also called on the President of Sri Lanka Maitripala Sirisena on April 8, and discussed various important bilateral issues. In Bangladesh the delegation also called on the Mrs Sheikh Hasina on 11th Apr as part of the Defence Dialogue.
RAKSHA MANTRI INAUGURATES AF COMMANDERS’ CONFERENCE
While inaugurating the first bi-annual Commanders’ Conference of IAF for the year 2019, the Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman complimented the IAF and its air warriors for achieving and maintaining the highest standards of professionalism in the service of the nation. She praised the IAF for its flawless execution of the Balakot strikes and subsequent thwarting of the Pakistani response. She also expressed great appreciation for the training imparted to all personnel in the IAF as reflected in the actions and conduct of Wing Commander Abhinandan. The CAS while addressing the Commanders emphasised on further enhancement of the IAF’s capability in the field of Space, Cyber, Information, AI and Drone technology. During the two-day conference, the commanders deliberated on various issues in line with the theme of the conference of ‘Enhancing our operational capability in the short and long term’.