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NO ‘GO’ FOR CHINA IN THE LOGJAM

China is in no position to undertake a major offensive anywhere and its economy will struggle. The fact that the meeting between Defence Ministers took place at Chinese instance gave the game away.

LT GEN PR SHANKAR (Retd)

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In my article Sino Indian Logjam: A Review, I had assessed that the Chinese situation is not as strong as it is being made out. They are in no position to undertake a major offensive anywhere. Their economy like others will struggle. They are not far ahead of the curve as being assessed by everyone. Virus, flooding and militarism will take its toll. China has done what it wants. It is our turn now. We should deal with the situation with patience, resolve, firmness, maintaining focus and with a plan. Even if it means waiting for a year. This is a follow-up of that article.

To put the cart before the horse — China is in a no ‘go’ position in the game which is still log-jammed. We did not have to wait for a year. Things have changed. The fact that the meeting between Defence Ministers took place at Chinese instance gave the game away. However, there should be no complacency. Still need to do more to restore equilibrium.

Military No ‘GO’

No ‘GO’ on Land: India has halted Chinese efforts to alter the LAC unilaterally in its tracks in the Chushul sector. India seems to have gained control of Karakoram Ridge line heights, South of Pangong Tso, down to Rezang La (see map). Despite extensive analysis let me reiterate. Chinese observation into our areas from Chushul to Dungti seems closed. Our observation into the Spangur Bowl has increased manifold. It closes Chinese offensive options and opens ours if the balloon were to go higher. The Fingers Area and  Sirijap come under observation. Place Artillery OP officers on this ridge line and they will play havoc into the Chinese. The Spanggur Gap can now be exploited by us. In the larger picture, if China mounts any offensive further North in Depsang, it will get a bloody nose there, a riposte through Chushul and assured destruction in the Fingers Area. Necessary action has also been taken to deny the Chinese other footholds. Everyone now knows that Tibetan troops have been used. It is a huge political message. 

 No GO at Sea: China has carried out demonstrative missile firing in Bohai, Yellow, East China, and South China Seas (see map). Connect the dots. PLAN is hugging its shores under mainland protection. The US has continuously deployed aircraft carriers in the South China Sea, sailed a destroyer through the Taiwan Straits, flown reconnaissance aircraft and B-1B bombers over the region and sided with Southeast Asian nations. As per reports, the Indian Navy has deployed along the Malacca Straits, near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and even in the South China Sea. The Navy is also taking care of the Chinese vessels present around Djibouti and has deployed its assets in the vicinity for protecting our national interests. It is in control of IOR. Who is on the backfoot? Additionally, Japan and US defence chiefs are to shortly meet in Guam about China and Chinese missile demonstrations and their combined response. No-Go for China.

 Indo US Partnership: The CDS signalled that China is a security threat to India and asserted readiness to use military force. He did it in a webinar to discuss US-India ties! China has achieved what it did not want — Indo-US operational synergy. So much for their strategic thinking. Now the US has once again said that it is ready to help resolve the dispute. By this offer the US has hyphenated India and China. That is a real downgrade.

 Chinese View Point: India Today’s analysis by Antara Ghosal Singh illuminates Chinese thought. They are fuming at our audacity and think that our action is our last face-saving exit fight. Waving a Tibetan flag on the Karakoram has infuriated them. Chinese also worry about our naval presence in the South China Sea and our relationship with the US. Many want to counterattack India to prove China’s great power credentials. Some feel India is not China’s primary strategic direction, and they could be walking into an India-US trap. They want a grand strategy focusing on three key objectives (i) Ensuring that India does not regard China as its principle strategic opponent, in place of Pakistan; (ii) Ensuring India exhausts its energy and resources, causing negative impact on its economic development by worsening the security situation in Kashmir, and in overall South Asia; thereby forcing India to be back at the negotiating table (iii) Ensuring India does not openly stand in line with the United States while competing with China. Finally they want to assure the domestic Chinese populace “not to be perturbed and have complete faith in the government and PLA. Global Times is screaming blue murder and issuing all kinds of threats but worried that Chinese troops will have to spend winter there. Probably unprepared! That editor and their military guru Song Zhongping can take a walk in the Karakoram hand in hand!

Assessment: China is in a difficult two front position under pressure and  worried. Winter is setting in. It cannot mount a major offensive in Ladakh. Any reinforcement in Aksai Chin will weaken its front door and open an opportunity in the South China Sea. If it does nothing, it will continue to lose face. Every military professional knows what has happened here. In my opinion, we should create a few more instabilities. If Chinese feel victory is theirs since they are a great power they can hop it. Attempts will be made to bring Pakistan into the fray. Chinese will look for an opportunity to attack us. We must be cognisant of that.  We must strategically communicate that China is our principal opponent hereafter. They should also be clear that Indo-US relations are growing stronger with their actions.

 Rimland Problems

Tibet: On 29 August, while speaking at the Seventh Central Symposium on Tibet Work, Xi Jinping’s words were “solidify border defences and ensure frontier security”, “form an impregnable fortress in maintaining stability”, “Tibetan Buddhism had to adapt to socialism and Chinese conditions” “protect national unity and educate the masses in the struggle against splittism”. The implications are very clear and ominous. We will see the LAC being strengthened. The Tibetans will be subjugated and ‘Reeducated’. Buddhism will be communised. Any call for Tibet autonomy will be dealt with an iron hand. Hitler’s actions will seem juvenile in comparison.

Mongolia: China wants to replace the language of instruction in Inner Mongolian schools from Mongolian to Mandarin Chinese. The plan follows a pattern. Earlier Tibetan and Uighur languages were restricted in Tibet in 2018 and Xinjiang in 2017. Thousands of ethnic Mongolians have protested against this move. They fear that Mongolian would be relegated to a foreign language as part of government plans to assimilate ethnic minorities into Chinese Han culture.Chinese have responded by using heavy force including armoured vehicles.

 Xinjiang: It is now well known that China has detained more than a million Uyghur Muslims in re-education camps. Despite international pressure, China continues with the crackdown on Uyghurs’ human rights through its vocational training centres which includes forced sterilisation. A massive protest was held outside Dhaka Press Club in Bangladesh. That is interesting.

Taiwan & EU:Taiwan has changed its passport design for “easier recognition & less confusion” with China. A clear step in being distinct from China. The more interesting part was that The Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil and a delegation recently visited Taiwan. Wang Yi, China’s FM while visiting Germany said that the Czech visit was an intervention in China’s internal affairs, had crossed a red line and they will pay a heavy price. The Czechs responded by calling CCP “rude clowns”. However the response from the German Foreign Minister was telling: ‘Threats don’t fit in here’. Wang Yi had gone to Germany to mend fences with the EU and achieved the opposite! Bloomberg headline- ‘Europe Just Declared Independence From China’. The sentiment in the EU is not clearly for China.

Hong Kong: A report by South China Morning Post says ‘The national security law hasn’t brought back the old Hong Kong. Rather, it has created a new, unfamiliar place. The new law has instilled fear. Hong Kong can never be at peace with itself until the underlying causes of last summer’s uprising are addressed’. The cause of the uprising is democracy which is getting crushed on a daily basis. The US has sanctioned Hong Kong’s economy. Hong Kong as an economic conduit is passe. That is a big loss for China.

Assessment: The rimland is unstable and in trouble. For the first time in a long while,all non-Han regions are experiencing some issues. Needs to be exploited to put pressure.

 Internal Economy: New Inputs

Floods: Japan Times came out with a report titled ‘The big China disaster that you’re missing’. As per that ‘the Yangtze River Economic Belt is home to more than 40% GDP.On its own, the region could be the third-largest economy in the world’. This has been disrupted due to floods. In future the flooding risk will only grow due to climate change and ‘the hundreds of thousands of levees, dikes, reservoirs and dams on its seven major river systems’. Hence future prospects are not bright.

 Sub Prime Crisis: Recently, Shenzhen authorities released guidelines for consumer bankruptcy. A week earlier, China’s Supreme Court lowered the interest rate ceiling on all non-bank credit, from 24% to 15.4%.The rate cut is substantial. Bankers are still in shock. The fact is that there is a hugeshadow banking industryin China whose interest rates are usurious. Tens of millions of subprime borrowers have been exploited and will never get out of debt traps. Hopes of a consumer led economic revival in China are bleak. Chinese internal economy is not in great shape.

External Economy

SCRI: The Supply Chain Resilience Initiative of Japan, India and Australia is taking shape. Things are being fast tracked. All three ‘China trade dependent’ countries want to reduce ‘dependence’. They feel — “the Indo-Pacific region is where the shape of the international order of tomorrow will be decided. We want to help shape that order — so that it is based on rules and international cooperation, not on the law of the strong”.

KRA Canal:  Thailand has scrapped the KRA canal project. This has a major strategic implication. However, there is a huge economic implication also. In addition, Thailand has put a submarine deal on hold. This is due to peoples pressure despite the ruling party being keen on the deal. Significant. I

India’s Second Digital Strike: India has banned118 more Chinese apps. With this the total is224 banned Chinese apps. It includes the popular PUBG. The valuation of the parent Chinese company Tencent has gone down by 34 billion dollars. Surprising that the effect is so huge.The game is obviously deeper. For all those who feel that these digital strikes are cosmetic. Rethink please.

Assessment

All glowing reports of Chinese economic indicators are suspect. Combine these issues with established facts like ageing population, export slump, food shortage and joblessness. Add the pushbacks in various international projects and the ‘Stand Still’ mode of BRI. Their diplomacy is not making headway. Everyone wants to break from ‘China Dependency’. Add the digital strikes initiated by India and now being followed up by other countries. The emerging picture is bleak. Xi Jinping has come out with the ‘Dual Circulation Plan’to revive the economy. Experts call it vague. Frankly the model is unworkable. (see graphic). It depends on internal consumption. It depends on developing the troubled Rimlands through the Go West Policy. It depends upon making asses of those nations who want to firmly decouple from China. Everyone is wise to Chinese games. Remember China has a history of exporting food grains when there was famine during their disastrous great leap forward. This forthcoming period might be their second great leap backwards. There is a requirement of experts to go into issues and make professional assessments. To my mind our China studies are being done by those bedazzled by Chinese glitter rather than hard facts on ground. Needs a hard headed reality check based on facts rather than past achievements.

Overall Assessment

 The Chinese are talking big. From the beginning their strategy has been ‘Belligerent War Avoidance’. Comprehensive National Power means nothing in cold high altitude. Battles are about blood, guts and glory.

From any angle, China is not as strong as it is made out. Their influence, operations make them seem taller than the four feet they are. When we call them “Dragon” we are building them up into mythical powerful beings that they are not. They are normal people who can be defeated. However, it will do us well to remember that China will be even more troublesome hereafter. There are also indications that Xi Jinping ispurgingthe system again. Maybe some instability ahead. Time to be steady, balanced and give them a few more battle shocks. Extend the battle into the rear in their unstable rimlands.

The overall situation is tense and will remain so. However, I doubt if the situation will escalate uncontrollably. In my opinion a few firefights will actually settle the issue.To me it is confirmed that Chinese are simply not battle hardened. Will they escalate it to a higher level? Very unlikely in this current two front scenario. As I had predicted, as time passes, the Chinese will have more to lose.

 A lot has been spoken and written about Multi Domain Warfare. I too have written extensively about it. However, battles are finally decided on ground. Never forget that. A lot has been made of primacy of economic power. All that is fine. When the chips are down, it is only military power that will stand tall and can defend a nation not diplomacy nor economies. We have a fine military machine which is standing tall. India should not run it down further. Already enough damage has been done by naïve politicians and rule bound bureaucrats. India must decide what is the security or insecurity it wants. China will come back harder at us in future.

 A word about the twofront situation we are likely to face. Pakistan is not up to it.ThePakistani generals are busy converting CPEC into Pizza outlets in the US. I do not think their Generals are in a mood to get into a scrap with India and jeopardise their ill-gotten wealth. The Pakistani Army has survived since it has not got into a conventional war with India. Do you think it will take that jump just because some Chinese tell them to do so? They will lose all their Pizzas!

Lt Gen P.R. Shankar was India’s DG Artillery. He is highly decorated and qualified with vast operational experience. He contributed significantly to the modernisation and indigenisation of Artillery. He is now a Professor in the Aerospace Dept of IIT Madras and is involved in applied research for defence technology. His other articles can be read on his blog www. gunnersshot.com.

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Defence

GUJARAT GOVERNOR HAILS INDIA’S 1971 VICTORY OVER PAKISTAN

Ashish Singh

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On the occasion of Army Day on 15 Jan, Konark Corps of the Indian Army organised a marathon under the banner of “Vijay Run”. The event was spread across multiple locations to commemorate the golden jubilee year celebrations of the Indian armed force’s resounding victory over Pakistan in the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

The event was conducted physically at more than 15 locations and virtually for the citizens across the nation.  More than 5000 personnel from the Army, Air Force, BSF, Coast Guard, Police and other enthusiasts participated in the marathon to celebrate the saga of valour and courage of our armed forces in the “Run for Soldiers, With the Soldiers”. The event also highlighted the need to foster the spirit of physical fitness and spread the message of unity amongst the countrymen.  

The main events of active run marathon were conducted at Parbat Ali Brigade in Gandhinagar Military Station in which more than 200 participants took part under various categories and ran while observing due Covid protocols.

A grand prize distribution ceremony was organised to felicitate the winners.

The event was presided over by the Chief Guest Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat. A grand display of martial arts including ‘Khukri Dance, Malkhamb and martial music’ was also organised for the participants. 

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Defence

Armed forces felicitate veer naris on Army Day

Ashish Singh

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On the occasion of 73rd Army Day in the spirit of a noble effort to mitigate the hardships and provide organisational support as per true traditions of the Indian Army, three Veer Naris from Nagpur and Gondia districts were felicitated by Station Headquarters, Kamptee.

Brigadier Deepak Sharma, Commandant Guards Regimental Centre, Station Commander presented a cheque of Rs 30,000 to each Veer Nari.

Also the issues related to pension and other emoluments in respect of these Veer Naris were addressed during the function and the event was attended by service personnel and their families from the station.

Army Day marks a day to salute and honour the valiant solders who sacrificed their lives to protect the country and its citizens.

Army Day marks a day to salute and honour the valiant solders who sacrificed their lives to protect the country and its citizens.

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Defence

INDIA SALUTES VALIANT SOLDIERS ON ARMY DAY

The celebrations commenced with a wreath-laying ceremony at the National War Memorial where CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and the three Service Chiefs paid homage to the martyrs.

Ashish Singh

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Indian Army celebrated its 73rd Army Day on Friday. Every year Indian Army celebrates 15 January as ‘Army Day’ to commemorate the day when General (later Field Marshal) K.M. Carriappa took over the command of the Army from General Sir F.R.R. Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief, in 1949 and became the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army post-Independence. The celebrations commenced with a wreath laying ceremony at the National War Memorial where CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and the three Service Chiefs paid homage to the martyrs.

General M.M. Naravane, Chief of the Army Staff, reviewed the Army Day Parade at the Cariappa Parade Ground, Delhi Cantonment and awarded 15 Sena Medals (including five posthumously) for individual acts of Gallantry and 23 COAS Unit Citations for commendable performance of their respective units. The Army Day parade was commanded by Maj Gen Alok Kaker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area. The leading contingent of the parade was formed of the recipients of the Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra awardees. This was followed by army contingents which included T-90 tank BHISHMA, infantry combat vehicle BMP II, BRAHMOS missile system, PINAKA Multiple Launch Rocket System, upgraded SCHILKA Gun System, Bridge Layer Tank, international sports awardees and seven marching contingents including mounted horse cavalry.

The Indian Army also carried out a live demonstration of Drone Swarming capability using 75 indigenously designed and developed drones which executed an array of artificial intelligence-enabled simulated offensive missions and close support tasks.

NORTHERN COMMAND LAUNCHES THE BIGGEST TALENT EVENT OF J&K

On the occasion of the Army Day, Lt Gen Yogesh Kumar Joshi, GOC-in-C, Northern Command paid a tribute to the brave-hearts of the Indian Army by laying a wreath at the Dhruva War Memorial. Later in the day he interacted with the media where he also launched the biggest musical talent hunt event of UT of J&K called “Shaurya”.

The Army Commander during his interaction with the media said that in Northern Command, we are contending with triple challenges. First we have the western adversary that is Pakistan which has not relented from using terror as an instrument of state policy. Secondly, we have northern borders where we have seen the Chinese belligerence on the LAC where it has tried to alter the status quo which has been contested with resolve and courage by the Indian Army. Thirdly, the internal situation in J&K which is stable and under control but has the propensity to flare up at any time. There is also the collusivity factor with threats ranging from supplying weapons to sharing of operational practices and so on.

The Army Commander also brought out the complex, volatile, uncertain and ambiguous conflict paradigm in the Northern Command. Relentless operations on the LC backed  with robust multi agency grid in hinterland has forced the deep state in Pakistan to recalibrate its approach to handle this situation. The terrorist networks across are trying hard to abet recruitment by extensive use of social media. The recent DDC elections have conveyed the resolve and will of the awaam to shun separatism and embrace democracy. The abrogation of Article 370 and improvement in governance has been a major game changer and helped in restoring faith of the common people in the institutions of the Government.

Indian Army has played its designated role of creating an ecosystem of safety and normalcy during Covid. “Op Sadbhavna” has been pivotal in providing avenues of employment and education to the youth. The challenge in eastern Ladakh has been further complicated by vagaries of weather and terrain. The Indian Army has displayed immense grit and determination to match the Chinese belligerence and give them a befitting reply. The Army Commander said that we Northern Command is now perched at a position of operational advantage and are negotiating with the PLA from a position of equivalence. 

While inaugurating the launch of the musical talent hunt “Shaurya”, the Army Commander lauded the efforts of “Mausqui Studios”, who along with active support of the Northern Command Army, have conceptualized and organized musical talent hunt programme.  Bollywood celebrities such as Shukhwinder Singh and Dilshaad Shabbir Shaikh have promoted the talent hunt and provided an opportunity at the doorsteps of the youth of J&K to help them explore new vistas in the music industry.

Over 2000 talented youth of Jammu & Kashmir joined the online audition which was spread over seven days. This was followed up by offline audition for four days, two days each from Jammu and Srinagar.  Finally, ten talented youth comprising vocalists and instrumentalists have been selected to form the J&K Band. This Band will be groomed before they showcase their talent on 18 Jan 2021 in Srinagar. While the entire Band will share the stage with famous singer Sukhwinder Singh, the top three will be performing with him. Post this performance, the Band members will be travelling to Mumbai for training and grooming and undertaking contractual performances

 While interacting with the media, based on the recommended list provided by Press Council of India, Jammu, the Army Commander awarded “Certificates of Appreciation” to the outstanding media personnel, who have served the public interest in a fair, accurate and unbiased manner, especially during  Covid times, bringing out the best form of truth but yet holding the national interest. The Army Commander commended all ranks of Northern Command for their dedication and devotion to duty in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. He brought out that the success of the Indian Army is due to its gallant and brave soldiers who have minimal requirements but will achieve victory every time even at the cost of their lives. He said it is never about the weapon but the man behind it who wins the battle.

‘KNOW YOUR ARMY’ MELA IN UPPER SUBANSIRI, ARUNACHAL

A ‘Know Your Army’ Mela was organised by Indian Army on 15 January at Government Higher Secondary School, Daporijo as part of the Army Day celebrations. The aim of the Mela was to spread awareness about armed forces among the civil population and motivate youth to join the forces.

The event included display of a wide array of state-of-the-art military weapons and equipment which demonstrated the technological advancement and military might of our country. During the event, the students were allowed to get hands-on experience of handling real weapons and it was the main attraction of the event. In addition to the above, Army Band Display was also organised. This event saw overwhelming participation from students and youth of the adjoining areas.

SOUTHERN COMMAND ARMY AWARENESS OUTREACH CAMPAIGN

Headquarters Southern Command organised a wreath laying ceremony at the National War Memorial, Pune on 15 Jan being 73rd Army Day. Lieutenant General C.P. Mohanty, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command laid the wreath and paid homage to all valiant soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice while safeguarding the sovereignty and integrity of the Nation. The Army Commander also conveyed his best wishes to all ranks, veterans, veer naris and their family members on the auspicious occasion and called upon all ranks of Southern Command to rededicate themselves to the task of protecting and safeguarding the motherland from both internal and external adversaries.

He said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic the Southern Command was operationally geared up to give a befitting response to misadventures by our adversaries and was prepared to thwart any challenge that comes on its way. He also reassured Southern Command’s commitment towards continued assistance to citizens in times of any calamities or natural disasters.   

On the occasion of 73rd Army Day results for the Southern Command Army awareness campaign on the theme “Indian Army a Symbol of Unity in Diversity” which was run by Headquarters Southern Command through Social Media from 19 October 2020 to 10 January 2021 were announced.

The competition was organised in four disciplines namely video making, painting, slogan writing and photography. The response was overwhelming with over two lakh entries having been received from within the Army as well as civil society.

Out of 52 prizes at the National level, Puneites bagged five individual prizes. Lieutenant General C.P. Mohanty, GOC-in-C Southern Command gave prizes to the winners. The Army Commander felicitated and congratulated the awardees at the National War Memorial.

SWORDS & SHIELD AREA CELEBRATES 73RD ARMY DAY AT MUMBAI

Swords & Shield Area celebrated the 73rd Army Day at Shaheed Smarak in Colaba Military Station, Mumbai yesterday. Lieutenant  General  S.K. Prashar, General Officer  Commanding Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa Area laid the wreath on behalf of all ranks. Several senior dignitaries attended the solemn ceremony of honouring the supreme sacrifice by our gallant soldiers made while safeguarding the sovereignty of the Nation.

The Indian Army remains steadfast in its resolve and commitment to serve the nation with vigour and professionalism of highest order.

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Defence

DRDO, Army develop India’s first indigenous 9mm machine pistol

Ashish Singh

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India’s first indigenous 9mm machine pistol has been jointly developed by DRDO and Indian Army. Infantry School, Mhow and DRDO’s Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune, have designed and developed this weapon using their respective expertise in the complementary areas. The weapon has been developed in a record time of four months.

The machine pistol fires the in-service 9mm ammunition and sports an upper receiver made from aircraft grade aluminium and lower receiver from carbon fibre. 3D Printing process has been used in designing and prototyping of various parts including trigger components made by metal 3D printing.

The weapon has huge potential in armed forces as personal weapon for heavy weapon detachments, commanders, tank and aircraft crews, drivers/dispatch riders, radio/radar operators, Closed Quarter Battle, counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations etc. This is also likely to find huge employability with the central and state police organizations as well as VIP protection duties and Policing.

The machine pistol is likely to have production cost under Rs 50,000 each and has potential for exports. The weapon is aptly named “Asmi” meaning “Pride”, “Self-Respect”&“Hard Work”.

Keeping the Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmnirbhar Bharat in view, this small step will pave way for self reliance and it is expected that the Services and Paramilitary Forces (PMFs) will induct this expeditiously.

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Defence

GUYANA, INDIA SIGN CONTRACT FOR OCEAN-GOING VESSEL

Ashish Singh

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It was a huge boost for the export initiatives of Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd, a Government of India Undertaking (GRSE), when the Harbour Department, Ministry of Public Works, Government of Guyana, signed the contract with the shipyard last week, to build an Ocean-Going Vesselat a cost of $12.7 million. The 1,700 tons vessel is to be used on the Coastal and Riverine Areas of Guyana, and shall be equipped with two Caterpillar Marine Diesel Engines coupled with Twin Disc Reduction Gear Boxes to achieve 15 knots speed.

GRSE has been a pioneer warship builder of the nation having delivered the highest number of warships till date, since its inception as a DPSU in 1960. The 106 warships built by GRSE so far range from Advanced Frigates to Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes to Fleet Tankers, Fast Attack Crafts etc. with the Shipyard having many firsts to its credit including the unique achievement of having exported the first warship by an Indian Shipyard, CGS Barracuda to Mauritius.

GRSE has the capability to construct 20 ships concurrently, spread across its three production locations and having modernized its infrastructure with Modular Integrated Facility. This Project shall further consolidate GRSE’s position as a unique shipyard with all round capability to design and build warships and vessels for export with State-of-the-Art Technology. GRSE in the recent past has delivered 14 Warships in 42 months which clocks an average of a delivery every three months, a no mean feat.

The export initiative of the shipyard have gained momentum with the award of this order and it is expected that the coming years will see a marked rise in its export order-book.

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Defence

Completion of coastal defence exercise sea vigil 21

Ashish Singh

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Exercise Sea Vigil, the two-day coastal defence exercise, was conducted earlier this week, with Indian Navy being the nodal agency, has been completed. The conceptual and geographical expanse of Sea Vigil included the entire coastline and EEZ of the country and contingencies from Peace to War-time were exercised. In addition, mitigation measures, on shore, in case of any breach in coastal security were also validated.

The exercise involved deployment of the entire coastal security apparatus and more than 110 surface assets of Indian Navy (IN) and Coast Guard (CG) participated in the exercise. In addition, a large number of Marine Police and Customs assets were also deployed. The entire coastline was kept under surveillance by the IN and CG aircraft, and helicopters were also pressed into service to reinforce Special Operations personnel operating onboard offshore platforms.

As ports form the nerve centre of sea borne trade, security mechanism of ports was also validated during the exercise and the crisis management plans of all ports were assessed for their effectiveness to tackle emergencies. The State Police teams, Indian Navy Marine Commandos and Commandos from National Security Guard were exercised to tackle acts of maritime terrorism.

This exercise also validated the technical surveillance infrastructure called the National Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence (NC3I) Network. The Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) at Gurugram and its various nodes across IN and CG stations were exercised for coordinating the surveillance and information dissemination mechanism. The envisaged objectives of the exercise were met by the whole-hearted participation of all stakeholders.

The cooperation and coordination amongst various agencies involved is a reassuring sign of progress made in the realm of Coastal defence and the exercise would go a long way in enhancing coastal defence and national security in the maritime domain.

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