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ONE YEAR OF UPA GOVERNMENT : MAJOR DECISIONS AND INITIATIVES - DEFENCE
Confidence Building Measures

The Government decided to reduce troops in Jammu & Kashmir as a confidence building measure following improvement in the overall security situation in the State. Opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Bus service and the joint declaration by India and Pakistan during the recent visit of Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf where some other steps were also initiated in this direction.

Department Of Ex-Servicemen Welfare Created

As per the commitment made in the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP), a new Department for welfare of ex-servicemen has been created in the Ministry of Defence with a view to give more attention to the problems of ex-servicemen.

Increase in Defence Allocation

Keeping in view the increased need for modernisation of armed forces, the allocation for Ministry of Defence in the Budget Estimates 2005-06 was increased to an all time high of Rs. 83,000 crore. The allocation for Capital expenditure is Rs. 34,375.14 crore. The proposed capital outlay for 2005-06 also includes Rs.1,364 crore for married accommodation project. The capital outlay for Research & Development has also been considerably increased from Rs 1,657.78 crore to Rs 2,541.86 crore. The Budget allocation for the financial year 2005-06 provides for Rs 7,166 crore for new acquisitions for the Armed Forces. This is substantially higher than the allocation for the last financial year, which was only Rs.1000 crore.

AV Singh Committee Report

The government has issued orders to implement the phase 1 of the Ajai Vikram Singh Committee recommendations involving the restructuring of the officers’ cadre, reduction in qualifying service for promotion in non-select ranks and a package of peel off measures to mitigate stagnation. This will help in achieving optimum combat effectiveness by bringing down the age profile of battalion / brigade commanders and to make the three services more effective in fulfilling individual career aspirations of the officers.

AERO INDIA 2005
The Fifth International Aerospace Exhibition, ‘Aero India 2005’ was held at Bangalore in February 2005. The significant feature of Aero India 2005 was the increase in the Indian participation from 74 companies to about 140 companies this time. Besides, Indian exhibitors, exhibitors from 30 countries including USA, Russia, UK, France, Israel, Italy, Germany, Poland, participated in the show. More than 350 leading companies showcased their aircraft and aerospace products/equipment through air display, static display and exhibition, attracting a large turn out of professionals and businessmen across the world. This biennial exposition has gained the status of a major Aerospace event in this part of the world.

Relief Operations

A massive relief and rescue operation was carried out jointly by Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard for Tsunami affected people. A number of aircraft, helicopters and sea vessels were pressed into service. Tonnes of relief material including food, clothing, medicines, tentage and drinking water was airlifted to the affected areas. The rescue and relief operations of this magnitude were never carried out by the Armed Forces in the past. The Navy extended help to the Tsunami affected people of Maldives, Indonesia and Sri Lanka also. The Army and Air Force also carried out a massive relief and rescue operations during the heavy snow avalanche in J&K during the last winter.

GoM On One-Rank One Pension Issue

As per its commitment made in NCMP, the Government has constituted a Group of Ministers to go into the issue of one rank - one pension scheme for retired servicemen.

Induction Of SUKHOI Aircraft

The first indigenously built Sukhoi MK-I was inducted into the Air Force in March. 2005. The aircraft assembled at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Ozhar near Nashik rolled out in November 2004. It was the first of the 140 aircraft proposed to be built in India under Russian license. SU-30 aircraft is a twin engine, twin seater, multi-role fighter that can simultaneously be operated as an intercepter, bomber and trainer. It is capable of attaining a maximum speed of two Mach with a maximum climb rate of 270 metres per second.

Arjun Battle Tanks Inducted

The first batch of five indigenously manufactured Main Battle Tank Arjun rolled out of the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi, Tamil Nadu on August 7, 2004. The superior armour defeating capability of the indigenously developed Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot ammunition and 120 mm calibre rifled gun give MBT Arjun an edge over contemporary world tanks. A computer-controlled integrated fire control system incorporating day-cum-night stabilised sighting system guarantees a very high first round hit probability and reduced reaction time to bring effective fire on targets. All round protection from anti-tank ammunition is achieved by the newly developed Kanchan armour to a degree much higher than available in present generation tanks. The Arjun will be the main stay of the Indian Army.

Air Defence Ship Project

The construction of the country’s first aircraft carrier known as Air Defence Ship formally started with the steel cutting ceremony at Kochi Shipyard on April 11, 2005. This is developed jointly by DRDO and SAIL. It has the speed of more than 28 knots, is 252 mtr long, displacing over 37,500 tons water, capable of operating a formidable array of 20 modern fighter aircraft and 10 helicopters of different types. The ship is expected to enter service in 2012.

Creation Of Army New Command

The Indian Army announced the creation of its new command known as South Western Command with its Headquarters at Jaipur, which formally came into being on April 18, 2005. Lt. Gen K Nagraj became its first GOC-in-C.

Brahmos

Brahmos, a Supersonic Anti-Ship Cruise Missile, developed by Defence Research Development Organisation was successfully flight tested for the tenth time on April 15, 2005. The highlight of this test carried out in combat mode with a number of naval vessels participating, was that Brahmos with its warhead fired from a naval ship impacted on the target ship accurately, destroying it completely.

Agni – II

The third flight test of Agni-II Missile was carried out successfully on August 29, 2004. The launch of Agni-II from its rail mobile launcher met all the mission objectives including achieving the high accuracy in guiding the payload to the designated target at 1,200 km range.

Prithvi – III

Prithvi-III, a modified version of surface-to-surface missile was successfully test fired on October 27, 2004 from Interim Test Range, Balasore. It has a range of 300 km. The launch achieved perfect trajectory, as per design projections. The test achieved all operational parameters to the required perfection.

IAF Records Lowest Accident Rate

The Indian Air Force (IAF) recorded the lowest accident rate last year as compared to other Air Forces of the world during the last 35 years. The accident record was .075 per every 10,000 hours of flying.

IAF Helicopter Sets New World Record

An IAF Cheetal Helicopter set a new world record on November 2, 2004 by landing at a Density Altitude of 25,150 ft at Saserkangri near Leh.

First Woman Air Marshal

Signifying the increasing role of women in the Air Force, Padmavathy Bandopadhyay became the first lady Air Marshal in the history of the Indian Air Force in October 2004.

Coast Guard Base At Jakhau

A new Coast Guard station at Jakhau (Gujarat) was commissioned on February 22, 2005. This station will provide the much needed assistance to Indian fishermen operating in the vicinity of maritime boundary with Pakistan. Two Hovercrafts have been based at Jakhau for operation in shallow water and creeks. The station is also capable of providing turn-around facility for Interceptor Boats of the Indian Coast Guard while on patrol in the area. On similar lines, nine more operational stations are on the anvil for activation shortly in a planned manner. These are Beypore, Pondicherry, Pipavav, Karwar, Vadinar, Ratnagiri, Kakinada, Gopalpur and Kamorta.

Joint Exercises

With a view to enhance the international image of Indian Air Force and its increased role as a force multiplier, the Air Force carried out Joint Exercises with the Air Forces of South Africa and Singapore. It also participated in the multi-lateral exercise COPE THUNDER in Alaska in USA. A joint aerobatic display with the French Air Force was also held at Hindon airbase. The 10-day long joint Indo-UK Command Post Planning Exercise Emerald Mercury was held in March 2005 in Hyderabad. About 58 Indian and 48 British military officers took part in this exercise which was the first of its kind between the two countries. This was essentially an exercise in planning an UN mandated joint indo-UK task force to be deployed for peace support operations to provide humanitarian relief in a strife torn country.

International Cooperation

India and Russia have reaffirmed their willingness to further strengthen their existing military and strategic partnership. This was decided in the fourth meeting of the Indo – Russian Inter Governmental Commission (IRIGC) on Military Technical Cooperation which concluded in New Delhi on December 2, 2004 with the signing of a protocol of IRIGC by the Defence Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, and the Russian Defence Minister, Mr Sergei Ivanov. It has also been decided to give further boost to military-to-military cooperation between both the countries by organising more joint exercises. Both the countries have also decided to expedite the discussion on the proposals of joint development of a fifth generation aircraft; development of a multi-role transport aircraft and to increase the authorised capital of Joint Venture of Brahmos Aerospace. It has also been decided to explore the possibilities of providing maintenance, service and overhauling facilities for equipment of Russian origin, in India and nearby countries.

Kelkar Committee Report

The Kelkar Committee set up by the Government to examine and recommend changes in the acquisition procedures and enabling a greater participation of private sector in defence production submitted the first part of its report on April 5, 2005 to the Defence Minister. The Committee was headed by Dr. Vijay L Kelkar. The thrust of Part I of the Report of the Committee is “Towards strengthening self-reliance in Defence Preparedness”. This Report takes into account increased capabilities of Indian Industry and growing globalisation of the Defence industry. The Committee has adopted a long-term approach to prepare a policy regime that would encourage India’s best firms to enter into the field of defence production. To promote innovation, efficiency and cost cutting, the Committee has adopted a strategic perspective in formulating proposals towards acquisition policy reforms.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:14 AM

 

 
The global defense industry is constantly shaping how borders are protected, wars are fought, terrorists are tracked and caught, and global security maintained. We aim to track news, policy, military exercises and strategic affairs between the world's largest democracies - India and the United States.

Given the vast interest and passion we have in this field, we decided to launch this blog to give visitors the ability to track these developments, exchange ideas and link to other sources of Information. Our primary sources and links can be found on the main page. Some of the pieces published herein our ours, otherwise it is reproduced from other sources (news, think-tanks or publications) to provide our readers the ability to interact and respond. The link to the original source can always be found under the article. Articles and op-ed pieces written by us include thoughts and opinions that are ours, not those of any government or political party. Last but not least, this blog is not-for-profit, nor is it financially supported by any corporation, entity or organization. It is purely to be used for informational purposes and not commercial and/or profit motives.

Thank you, Nik Khanna & Jango Unwalla

 
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This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
Cooperative Cope Thunder
Nikhil and Jehangir wrote an exhaustive article about the Cooperative Cope Thunder joint event. Their article was publihed in Vayu magazine. Click on the link below to read the in-depth article with amazing pictures courtesy of mark Farmer at topcover.com
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