31 December 2018 by PIB
It was an eventful year for Ministry of Defence. Government of India took policy decision to set up two Defence Production Corridors, one each in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Tamil Nadu. These would go a long way in making India self-reliant in defence production through ‘Make in India’ initiatives. It was also a year of another milestone for women empowerment in the country when the first-ever all-women crew circumnavigated the globe in an indigenously built 56-foot Indian Navy Sailing Vessel, ‘INSV Tarini’. The achievement can be gauged from the fact that Prime Minster Shri Narendra Modi started his address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on the 72nd Independence Day this year mentioning the feat only. He aptly said, “We have been celebrating this festival of independence, at a time when our daughters from states of Uttarakhand, Himachal, Manipur, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have come back after circumnavigating the seven seas. They have come back amongst us by (unfurling tricolour in seven seas) turning the seven seas into the colour of our Tricolour.”
The 10th edition of biennial 'DefExpo' was organised from April 11-14, 2018 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu successfully. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on April 12, 2018. The tagline of the event was ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’. India joined the elite group of nation which have developed the Air-to-Air refuelling system for military class aircraft when Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) 'Tejas' successfully completed mid-air refuelling trial by wet (actual) engagement, transferring 1,900 kgs fuel from IAF IL78 mid-air refuelling tanker on September 10, 2018. Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman launched ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ on November 27, 2018. The main idea behind this is to migrate from the culture of seeking Transfer of Technology (ToT) from foreign sources to generating Intellectual Property in India, to achieve the goal of self-reliance in Defence sector.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the Combined Commanders’ Conference at Air Force Station, Jodhpur on September 28, 2018 and also launched ‘Parakram Parv’, there. Ministry of Defence enhanced financial decision-making powers of the Vice Chiefs of the three Services by five times to Rs 500 crores in order to expedite the decision making process involved in the revenue procurements of the Armed Forces. Raksha Mantri took this important decision to augment the arms and ammunition reserves of the Armed Forces to enhance their operational preparedness.Minister of External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Smt Nirmala Sitharaman and Secretary of State of the United States Mr Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mr James Mattis had inaugural India-US Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue in New Delhi on September 6, 2018.
The four span of temporary bridge on the old Ferozpur-Lahore highway over river Satluj River (Hussainiwala Barrage) connecting Hussainiwala Enclave from Ferozpur has been replaced by constructing a new bridge. The bridge was dedicated to the nation by Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman on August 12, 2018. Hussainiwala is the place where freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who made supreme sacrifice for their motherland, were cremated.
Whenever the nation has faced calamities, the Armed Forces have been standing firm with helping hand in trying times. This year was no different. Armed Forces played pivotal role in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) during natural disasters that include cyclone‘Titli’, Kerala floods, cyclone ‘Gaja’ saving many lives, livestock and property.
Department of Defence Production
Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) a scheme of Department of Defence Production (DDP), formulated in collaboration with Start Up India and Atal Innovation Mission, with the objective of bringing Start-ups to solve problems of defence production, innovate new technologies required by defence forces and reduce dependence on imported technology was launched by the PM during DefExpo 2018 on 12.04.2018.
As regards land systems,OFB unveiled its 155mmx52 Calibre Mounted Gun System (MGS) and also showcased it prime product 155mm x 45 Calibre 'Dhanush' Artillery gun, Tank T-90, T-72 Bridge Layer Tank as part of live demonstration equipment. OFB displayed its various weapon systems along with ammunition and related accessories. The other attractions of OFB pavilion was its AK-630 Naval gun, CRN-91, 20mm Anti Material Rifle "Vidhvansak", 7.62x51 mm Assault Rifle, 7.62x39mm Assault Rifle "GHAATAK", JVPC, 12 Bore Pump Action Gun, Assault Rifle 5.56mm INSAS IC, .32 revolver and dummy of large,medium and small calibre ammunition as well as special protective clothing.
Maiden flight of indigenously developed Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) integrated on LCH has been conducted successfully by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on January 31, 2018. The flight was of 20 min duration and engagement of this system was flawless throughout the flight.
3rd Scorpene Submarine of Project-75, 'Karanj' was launched by Mazagon Dock Ship builders Limited (MDL) on 31.01.2018.
AoN (Acceptance of Necessity) has been accorded for procurement of 7.44 lakh nos of Assault Rifles, 3.64 lakh nos of Close Quarter Carbines and 0.41 lakh nos of Light Machine Gun from the Indian Defence Industry. Twenty-five per cent of the above quantities have been reserved for OFB and the remaining 7 per cent will be procured from Indian Defence Industry through competitive bidding wherein OFB would be allowed to participate.
As per provisional figures, Value of Production in respect of OFB and DPSUs has been increased by 8.21 per cent CAGR in Financial Year 2017-18 to Rs 58,759 crore against Rs 55,357 crore last FY
Ordnance Factory in Avadi, Chennai 'Engine Factory Avadi (EVA)' has successfully indigenised two tank heavy vehicle engines viz. 1000 HP engine V92S2 engine for T-90 Bhisma Tank and V-46-6 engine for T-72 Ajeya Tank and its variants which were hitherto imported. The cost of indigenised engine is nearly 50 per cent of imported engines and based on committed demand of Indian Army. This effect is expected to save Rs.800 crore to Government over next 10 years.
HAL's Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) 'Tejas' has successfully completed mid-air refuelling trial by wet (actual) engagement, transferring 1900 kgs fuel from IAF IL78 mid-air refuelling tanker on September 10, 2018. The refuelling was carried out at an altitude of 20,000 feet and aircraft speed of 270 knots to refuel all the internal tanks and drop tanks. With this,India joins the elite group of countries who have developed the Air-to-Air (AAR) refuelling system for military class of aircraft.
With the new delegation, the Vice Chiefs will be able to exercise financial powers upto five times more than the existing powers with an enhanced ceiling of Rs. 500 crores. This is likely to give another fillip to the capacity of the three Armed Forces.Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman took this important decision to augment the arms and ammunition reserves of the Armed Forces to enhance their operational preparedness.
THE INDIAN AIR FORCE
1. Rafale: Rafale is an omni-role fighter aircraft which will provide long range capability to engage targets in depth and will provide a strong weapons and systems capability edge over our adversaries. The weapon package includes air-to-air Beyond Visual Range (BVR) METEOR missile and long range SCALP precision guided air-to-ground weapon. In addition, the Rafale for IAF has specific enhancements, including capability for high altitude engine start for undertaking high altitude operations.
2. Hercules C-130J-30:C-130J is a medium sized, all weather transport aircraft capable of inter theatre and intra theatre airlift operations. It is capable of delivering combat troops/personnel or cargo by airdrop or air-landed operations. IAF has also enhanced the night operational capability of the aircraft by procuring latest generation Night Vision Goggles.
3. Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters:Fifteen Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters will be delivered to the IAF from March 2019 onwards. A team of aircrew and ground crew have commenced training on the Chinook in USA.
4. Mirage-2000 Upgrade:Upgrade of Mirage-2000 aircraft is being undertaken by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The upgrade programme includes a new, more powerful upgraded radar, new avionics suite and integration of weapons. The upgrade was undertaken in two phases. Initial Operation Clearance (IOC) Design and Development (D&D), was completed at OEM facilities’ in France and the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) D&D was completed in March 2018.
5. MiG-29 Upgrade:The MiG-29 Upgrade Contract was signed with the OEM for upgrade and life extension of MiG-29 aircraft. The first phase of the project was Design & Development (D&D), which was completed on six aircraft in Russia. The second phase was Series Upgrade of the remaining aircraft at the Base Repair Depot of the Indian Air Force. The upgraded aircraft are now being used for routine operations in frontline squadrons. The upgraded aircraft is equipped with state of the art avionics, an array of smart air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons and in-flight refuelling.
6. UAV Upgrade: A combined case for upgrade of Heron UAV systems for three Services (IAF-10) is in progress and IAF is the lead service. Identification of Friend or Foe and Traffic Collision Avoidance System are some features that will be part of the upgrade. Contract negotiations have been concluded.
7. Aircraft Accident Rates: The annual aircraft accident rates, calculated as number of Cat I accidents per 10,000 hours of flying during the financial year, have shown a progressive decline over the years.
AEW&C (Indigenous):The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) sanctioned the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Project on October 06, 2004. Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) was designated as nodal agency to indigenously design and develop operational AEW&C systems for IAF. The AEW&C System is a system of systems consisting of Primary Radar (PR), Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR), Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system, and Communication Support Measures (CSM) system, Self-Protection Suits (SPS), Mission Communication System (MCS) and Data Links on board Embraer-145 aircraft. The aircraft is capable of air-to-air refuelling for achieving extended endurance.
AWACS (India): Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS-India) consists of sensors mounted on a transport aircraft for locating airborne and sea surface targets and picking up hostile emissions. The aircraft sensors provide comprehensive information to the onboard mission controllers and ground stations through a sophisticated communication data link. The system provides advance warning for approaching low flying hostile targets.
Mission Based Deployments: Mission Based Deployments were implemented by Indian Navy (IN) in a phased manner, with an aim to safeguard national maritime interests and maintain continuous/near continuous presence in areas of significant maritime importance in the IOR. These deployments are in consonance with the PM's vision of 'Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)'. Since the inception of Mission Based Deployment in June 2017, IN ships and aircraft are being regularly deployed in the Gulf of Oman/Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden/Red Sea, South and Central Indian Ocean Region (IOR), off Sunda Strait, Andaman Sea/ approaches to Malacca Strait and Northern Bay of Bengal.
Important Events of Interest
Artificial Intelligence:In pursuance of Govt. of India’s initiative for harnessing technological advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a Task Force to study strategic implementation of AI for National Security and Defence was set up by MoD/DDP in February 2018. The Task Force consisted of eminent personalities from DRDO, BARC, IITs, Defence PSUs, industry and members from the three services. The Task Force report, which was submitted to Raksha Mantri on June 30, 2018, broadly included AI ‘Use Cases’ for implementation by three services, allocation of a portion of defence budget for AI projects, building up AI expertise and setting up AI command structure. INon its part has divided the AI use cases on the basis of short, medium and long term basis for implementation and is progressing four AI based proof-of-concept projects.
Defence Research and Development Organisation
1. Long Range Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile ‘Agni-5’: During the year, Agni-5 was successfully flight tested thrice in Jan, June& December 2018. A total of seven flight trials have been conducted so far and all the missions have been successful.
2. Ballistic Missile Defence (Programme AD):Interceptor missiles have been developed by DRDO as a strategic weapon against ballistic missile attacks. Successful trials of endo interceptor missile (AAD) and exo interceptor missile (PDV) were carried out in August 2018 and September 2018 respectively.
3. Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile ‘Astra’:Beyond visual range air-to-air missile ‘Astra’ possessing high single shot kill probability has been developed by DRDO to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aerial targets. A series of flight trials of the missile by IAF were conducted at ITR, Balasore as part of final development trials of the missile in September/October 2018.
4. New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile (NGARM):DRDO is involved in the design and development of NGARM having a range of 100 km. AKU-58 launcher after suitable modification will be used for missile integration on Su-30 MKI aircraft. Successful static firing of integrated P-I & P-II rocket motor was conditioned at high & low temperatures in Jun & Jul 2018 respectively. Captive Flight Trials were also successfully conducted in September 2018.
5. Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM):MPATGM is a 3rd generation ATGM with 'Fire & Forget' and 'Top Attack' capabilities, which can be day and night. Design & development of MPATGM weapon system is undertaken for deployment by Infantry and Parachute Battalions of the Army. During the year, sub-systems for control flight trial were acceptance tested and lined up for missile integration which was followed by successful Program Control Flight Trials of the missile system in September 2018.
6. Stand-off Anti-Tank (SANT) Guided Missile: During the year, SANT Guided Missile mission-01 campaign was conducted during May 2018 at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan during which successful firing of SANT from Mi-35 helicopter platform was demonstrated. SANT Release Flight Trials (RFT) with mathematical model of seeker was also conducted in Nov 2018 wherein safe separation from Mi-35, transfer alignment algorithm, launch release sequence and latex/roll control auto pilot algorithms was demonstrated.
7. Smart Anti Air Field Weapon (SAAW):SAAW is long-range, stand-off, precision air-to-surface weapon capable of engaging ground targets. Impact trial of SAAW was conducted in May 2018 to access penetration capability of SAAW in full configuration mode. Three tests of SAAW were also carried out during August 2018 from IAF aircraft. The weapon has undergone eight developmental flight trials till date.
8. Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) ‘TAPAS BH’:TAPAS-BH, a multi-mission UAV is being developed with an endurance of 24 hours to carry out the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the three Armed Forces. It is being designed to operate at 30,000 ft Above Mean Sea Level (AMSL) altitude and is capable of carrying Electronic Warfare and Electro-Optic & Synthetic Aperture Radar (EO & SAR) payloads. During the year, a total of 63 taxi trials (LSTT & HSTT) have been completed. The first block of User Configuration flights commenced in February 2018. As on date, 25 User configuration flight trials have been completed.
9. Guided Pinaka Rocket System:Guided Pinaka Rocket system is being developed by DRDO to engage targets from 20 km to 80 km range. The rocket uses propulsion system developed for Pinaka Mk-II rocket and has canard based aerodynamic control and Inertial Navigation System (INS)/Global Positioning System (GPS) based guidance. The system was successfully test fired from PXE, Chandipur in May 2018 and met all its mission objectives.
10. New Family of Munitions (NFMS):Six types of munitions are being designed and developed by DRDO viz. Soft Target Blast Munition 'NIPUN', Anti-Tank Point Attack Munition 'VIBHAV', Anti-Tank Bar Munition 'VISHAL', Directional Fragmentation Munition 'PARTH', Anti-Tank Munition 'PRACHAND' and Jumping Fragmentation Munition 'ULKA' to improve the existing munitions and enhance its performance. During the year, PSQR based User Trials of PRACHAND was completed.
11. Arjun Armoured Recovery and Repair Vehicle (Arjun ARRV):ARRV is intended for carrying out recovery, repair and replenishing functions pertaining to MBT Arjun in operational areas under a wide variety of field conditions. During the year, 1st prototype was successfully demonstrated during DRDO internal trials and 2nd prototype is under developmental trials.
12. Advance Light Towed Array Sonar (ALTAS):ALTAS is an efficient sensing system for detection, localization and classification of submarines operating especially in the below surface layer ocean conditions. It is useful in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations and is the apt sensor for warships to locate silent submarines capable of launching high speed torpedoes. User Evaluation Trials of the system onboard INS Sharda are under progress. Almost 75 NSQR parameters including parameters pertaining to towing characteristics and functions of launch/recovery unit have been demonstrated during the trials.
13. USHUS – 2:USHUS-2 is submarine sonar to be installed onboard four EKM submarines considering the long term requirements of the submarine arm and to combat the component obsolescence in the existing Russian sonars onboard these submarines. Design and development of engineered model of USHUS-2 is carried out in NPOL and produced at M/s. BEL, Bengaluru. During the year, Sea Acceptance Trials (SATs) Phase-1 of USHUS-2 onboard INS Sindhukesari was completed successfully in Russia.
14. Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS):DRDO/NPOL is involved in the design and development of a PDDS system that is capable of detecting small targets such as divers and diver delivery vehicles in and around harbours. It will be deployable and retrievable as and when required. During the year, PDDS deployment system has been developed. Field evaluation of the deployment system will be by early 2019.
15. Advanced Light Weight Torpedo (ALWT):ALWT is an anti-submarine torpedo launched from ship, helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. It has dual speed capability and endurance of 25 km at low speed (25 knots) and 12 km at high speed (50 knots). During the year, discharge test of 70 kw battery was conducted with full torpedo assembled. Static test was conducted at sea off Vizag to prove operation of recovery aids used in ALWT viz. STRS, IPRS, Noise maker and BSAT. Automated electrical firing of it from single tube launcher and dynamic sea trials was conducted wherein torpedo made full run as per mission sequence.
16. Software Defined Radio (SDR):The development of a family of network-enabled, interoperable and modular SDRs is to provide wireless secure communication capability to both mobile and fixed forces as required by the Navy are: Naval Combat (SDR-NC), Tactical (SDR-TAC), Airborne (SDR-AR), Manpack (SDR-MP) and Hand held (SDR-HH). During the year, Acceptance Test (ATP) and User Evaluation Trials of SDR-TAC were completed on five ships at Vizag. Flight trials of SDR-AR for selected bands were also completed.
17. Air Defence Fire Control Radar (ADFCR) ‘Atulya’:ADFCR ‘Atulya’ in conjunction with anti-aircraft guns, forms a ground based air defence system whose main purpose is effective point defence against all air threats at short and very short ranges during day and night. During the year, DRDO evaluation of the radar system was completed and integrated test firing of ADFCR with guns and targets were carried out.
18. Air Defence Tactical Control Radar (ADTCR):ADTCR has been developed for Army AD for surveillance, tracking and Identification of Friend/Foe (IFF) of aerial targets and transmission of data to multiple Air Defence command posts/weapon systems. During the year, DRDO internal evaluation of ADTCR system was completed. All the PSQR parameters were complied and verified by demonstration/analysis. The system is ready for User trials.