The latest round of talks between SinoIndian militaries has ended predictably without a way forward. As winter sets in both sides hunker down to fight the elements more than each other. What is it that each can achieve in winter? What is the element of risk involved in contemplated actions? What can really happen? These are the questions that arise as China continues with its crab-like, untrustworthy moves. Further, indigenous opinions say that we negotiate with the Chinese on their offer. They need a lecture on “Aatma Samman Bharat”.
The Chinese Gambits
Wow! Finally! China has a stand. It stated, “China-India border LAC is very clear, that is the LAC on November 7, 1959. China announced it in the 1950s, and the international community including India is also clear about it.” However, no one is clear about it. The famous ‘Green Line’ of Chou Enlai varies with circumstances. We rejected it in 1959. No reason to accept it now. It appears that Chinese have pruned down their lofty aims with which they started this ambitious military expedition. It is a climb down. Make no mistakes. However, the ‘Chinese are Chinese’. They must be seen to be having an upper hand. Hence, they promptly stated that they do not recognise the UT of Ladakh.
Chinese must also show that they have the initiative and pose strategic threats to India. Superpower after all! Hence a flurry of ‘String of Pearls’ activity. Yang Jiechi, the Political Bureau member of CCP, Central Committee, went to Myanmar to progress the CMEC. However, there seems to be wariness in Myanmar. Our COAS and Foreign Secretary went on 4-5 October 2020 to reassure Myanmar as a counter. Wang Jiechi also went to Sri Lanka to deepen their relationship in the post pandemic period. In plain words it means ‘expand the debt trap so that Sri Lanka is immersed in further debt’. Early days. Need to watch out. China continues to woo Bangladesh. In July, China announced tariff exemption for 97 per cent of Bangladeshi products. On 4 October, Xi Jinping said China is ready to align with Bangladesh leaders to and jointly promote the construction of the BRI projects. Meanwhile Nepalese people are pushing back with street protests outside the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu over constructing buildings on Nepalese territory.
China is also trying to operationalise the ‘Debt Trap’ against the Maldives; which is under pressure to relinquish control over one of its islands against loans. While the Sino-Pak relationship is booming, the opposition has found its mojo. After a long time the public and Opposition are protesting the Army involvement in politics. Thanks to Papa John Bajwa and CPEC. Overall, China continues efforts to make inroads with all our neighbours, despite blips in Pakistan and Nepal — its two most important pawns in the Sino Indian Chess board.
Internationally, China is bereft of any alliances. Its friends are few and unreliable. Its partners are pariah states — Pakistan and North Korea. Its internal problems related to diseases, ethnic issues, pollution, food problems, diplomatic isolation, military limitation and economic trimming persist. The Pew Research data of the negative views of 14 advanced countries about China gives a lot of room for introspection. The South China Sea and Taiwan situation remains tense. Lot of threats and hot air. The two-front situation has not changed. Things are not rosy.
The Indian Response
India has been quietly preparing for the winter. Wintering in Ladakh is a matter of experience besides wherewithal. Indian experience will come to the fore. The Atal Tunnel is inaugurated. It increases the road open time and will reduce our air effort considerably. The QUAD foreign ministers met recently in Tokyo. The statement of our External Affairs Minister was quite explicit and pointed to China. The sounds emanating from there were not exactly music to Chinese ears. India has conducted a slew of tests of various varieties of missiles in the recent past — Hypersonic, anti-tank, extended range supersonic cruise, subsonic cruise, a missile launched torpedo, a submarine launched missile, anti-radiation warheads, et al. All these are a potent message to China. If there is one thing China will take seriously, it is these missiles. The missile program is really successful in our country. Overall the situation is stable. Not too conducive to China. However, let us not forget that India wished Taiwan on its National Day with nice posters on Shantipath opposite the Chinese Embassy despite the Chinese ambassadors stupid diktat to our media.
The winter is setting in with temperatures getting into the minus of zero zone in Ladakh. Soon Indus and Pangong Tso will solidify. The ground goes hard. Mobility will improve. There will be clear skies. The dense air will be excellent for flying and air operations. The winds will pick up in the plains. Past mid-November, snowfall in higher reaches and cloudy days will increase. Mid November onwards frigid conditions are the norm. A winter subtropical jet stream (rivers of wind) blows in the Himalayas from West to East as shown in the illustration above in this season. It overlaps the Ladakh area. Jet streams are cold tubes of air blowing at speeds varying from 30m/s to over 100m/s, with strong vertical wind shears, strong horizontal temperature gradients and areas of clear air turbulence. They are at heights of 6-14 km above msl and the tube diameter could be up to 50km. These dimensions and exact locations are highly variable and unpredictable.
Local turbulences add to this phenomenon. Jet streams are used by long haul jets to aid flight. However, short haul, high manoeuvre operational flying is another kettle of fish in a jet stream. Light weight UAVS will be extremely difficult to handle. They could be blown away if caught in the jet stream. Long range Missiles and Rockets will become inconsistent and inaccurate since their control systems might be inadequate. If targets are located on steep gradients, hill tops, and narrow valleys; guided missiles could miss their targets altogether. All fancy operations are suspect in winter. Planning becomes iffy. Manned air operations will prevail. Overall large scale operations will be difficult but are not precluded. Logistics will be very difficult to sustain force ratios for offensive operations. Small scale operations will be the norm. The subtropical jet stream, incidentally, causes the North-East Monsoon.
The situation on ground is unchanged since 29-30 August when India occupied key heights and turned tables on the Chinese. Since then it is dawning on international Chinese scholars, that China is losing it. In July, when the Chinese had the initiative, Yun Sun (a Chinese Scholar in Stimson Centre) said: ‘If a strategic friendship with India is untenable, it frees up room for tactical gains’. The same lady now says, ‘It should at least be debated whether China might have just won the battle and lost the war… China’s sheer loss is strategic, and tactical advances in an uninhabitable mountain region cannot offset that fact’. 180 degrees?
Gordon Chang’s article headline in Newsweek screamed: ‘The Chinese Army flops in India. What will Xi do next?’ Slowly those who have an upper story functionally intact are coming round to my opinion that the Chinese are strategically myopic. They were too tactically focused without thinking through strategic ramifications or having a fall back option. Overall, with the occupation of the Kailash Range, the strategic and tactical advantage is with us. China has some territorial advantage. They will not let go of it without some additional leverage.
Further Courses of Action
At this stage there is bound to be a debate as to what are the options available to both India and China. Further courses of military action will be dependent on the Aim, Risk (of failure or success) and Escalation factors in each of the available options in the current winter weather and terrain conditions.
Indian Aims and Options: In my opinion Indian aims and options are simple. Firstly. It will aim to blunt any Chinese offensive and mount a limited counter offensive to evict lodgements or get into better bargaining positions thereof. Secondly. If opportunity arises it must attempt to achieve territorial parity by a Quid Pro Quo action. Even a small piece of territory is ok. Thirdly. It can manoeuvre in mountains to get into an advantageous position to foreclose any Chinese offensive without heavy costs. Fourthly. It can commence insurgency in Tibet in an adverse situation. The risk factor is pretty low and escalation can be controlled. All these are well within Indian capability. Small team actions with the backing of big firepower will be the order of the day. Chinese Aims and Options: Chinese aims and options are complex. It will aim to achieve or declare victory. That demands a major rake up in violence levels. In the least it will aim for a face saving exit. However the time for small team Chinese actions is over.
Barring Depsang plains, its chances of penetrating the Indian defence line is low. Even a penetration at Depsang might not lead to victory, since a riposte can come anywhere in the South. Moldo garrison, and Spangur are huge vulnerabilities. The Finger area is vulnerable attrition. Considering they have a clear weakness in well trained Infantry, the risk of failure for the Chinese is very high if they attempt a major offensive. Since China has to up the ante in any action, the escalation factors are high. Hence China runs the risk of not being able to control the narrative. I have grave doubts if the Chinese leadership is up to it in the overall context. I also grant that people will have grave doubts and will express incredulity at my opinions. However, please read all my ‘Sino-Indian’ writings on www.gunnersshot.com and you will see that so far I have not gone wrong — strategically, operationally or tactically.
India’s Best Bet: India’s best bet is to play below par. Hold tight and do not give the Chinese a chance. Do not underestimate them. Do not let your guard down. Given a chance, grab some piece of territory or occupy a key terrain feature. It is time to shift gear into ambiguity on the ‘One China’ policy and Tibet. India must use asymmetric options which are aplenty. We must continue to force multiply military actions with economic, diplomatic and geopolitical actions. The message to China should be clear. The Indian door is shut.
To Negotiate or Not
After China dangled the carrot of the 1959 line, many have started advocating negotiations, on that line or another, citing pragmatism. All these positions are well inside the cartographic boundaries we have maintained for the past 70 years. The offer from China was rejected in 1959 and continued to be rejected for 60 years despite facing a humiliation in 1962. If in all these years we felt that the 1959 line or any of these intermediaries were ok we should have thrown in the towel long back. We should also be clear that we are preparing to negotiate with China on its proposal and its terms for a settlement. The same untrustworthy China which has not honoured any of its international commitments or treaties ever since we can remember. Please read Chris Patten’s article on why China’s leaders cannot be trusted. With due respect to these thinkers and elders, they are less than naïve. If an expansionist China can betray us in 1962, they will do so in future also.
China is still negotiating from a position of territorial advantage. It is a good bargaining chip. That has to be neutralised. To still think that China has greater stamina due to its CNP is a gross misjudgement. Look at the Taliban vs USA example. We need to get China down a few notches more. In my opinion there are a plenty of hybrid and asymmetric options available to us. We need to think differently. That is all. Just hark back. My ‘father of the nation’ got us Independence from a great empire with far less resources at his disposal using the most asymmetric and unorthodox options. China is a far less adversary and India has far more arrows in its quiver yet. The Chinese and Pakistanis seem to have realised it. Some of us have not. We must negotiate on better terms. Let us not run out of patience. Give the undernourished armed forces a chance. They will deliver despite everything. They have put China in the international dock. If they cannot, we can always fall back to our over-endowed bureaucratic, diplomatic and political class. As I said earlier — the Chinese have come in at their behest. They should be allowed to go back at ours.
Lastly, as long as the virus lasts China will continue to weaken. As long as the current situation on the LAC lasts, China will be seen to be ineffective. So what is the hurry?
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
Testing of defence systems: New tool of adversarial response
India has, of late, tested a number of weapons and defence systems. Coming in a concentrated
manner during an ongoing LAC standoff with China raises an obvious question whether these
tests were pre-planned, or they have been orchestrated in response to the current face-off
India has come a long way especially in space and missile technology it can be compared amongst the leaders. Our strategic capability despite the 1998 sanctions following the Pokhran tests speaks for themselves. DRDO does have major limitations in development of aircraft, tanks, and weapon systems especially for the infantry and armoured.
Since Chinese intrusion in May 2020, India has tested a number of weapons and defence systems. These tests range from missiles to hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HTDV). Most of these tests have been successful. Coming in a concentrated manner during an ongoing border spat with China raises an obvious question whether these tests were pre-planned or they have been orchestrated in response to the current India-China face-off.
Given the manner in which the tests have been conducted, it is obvious that they have been done as a response to the faceoff. Therefore, the next obvious question is: What purpose are they serving? Question assumes importance because it is common knowledge that the period between testing and operationalisation of a weapon system takes considerable time. In fact some systems have been inordinately delayed; for example the Trishul, Akash and Nag, the Arjun tank, Nishant UAV have taken so long to develop that they are now obsolete. This aspect is a common knowledge and it is highly unlikely that China will be unduly concerned by these tests. But to assume that the current phase of testing various types of missiles is mere optics meant to demonstrate the Government of India’s intent to counter the Chinese threat may also not be true. A subterranean analysis is needed to decipher the gains that these tests will provide to India’s defence preparedness. The recent statement of DRDO chief G. Satheesh Reddy that “India has achieved selfreliance in the field of missile systems and can produce whatever is required by the armed forces within the country itself” would have been based on a realistic appraisal of DRDO’s capability and not merely an emotional response post these tests.
SYSTEMS TESTED IN THE PAST FEW MONTHS
11 tests of various types of missile systems were conducted successfully by DRDO. Only testing of Nirbhay subsonic missile having a range of 1000 km conducted on 12 October, 20 developed a snag and had to be aborted. Some of the important defence systems tested in the recent past are discussed below.
1) Test of SMART system
India successfully tested indigenously developed “game changer” SMART (Supersonic Missile Assisted Release Torpedo) torpedo system on 5 October 2020 for the first time. SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight antisubmarine torpedo systems for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations far beyond the torpedo range. This launch and demonstration is significant in establishing anti-submarine warfare capabilities of India. However, the point to be noted is that this was the first test and many subsystems of the missile are yet to be tested. It will take considerable time to operationalise the missile.
2) Testing of 400-km BrahMos
. Testing of India successfully test-fired on 30 September 2020, over 400- km strike range Brahmos supersonic cruise missile. The surface-to-surface cruise missile, featuring indigenous booster and airframe section along with other Made in India subsystems, blasted off from the launching complexIII of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) near here, a defence statement said.
3) Test Firing of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle
India on 8 September 2020, successfully tested Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle putting India in a select group of nations. This small club includes the US, Russia and China. After the AntiSatellite Test conducted last year, this is the biggest achievement by DRDO in terms of proving new technology. It is a dual use technology. It can also be configured to deliver nuclear warheads as well. While the USA has refrained from its operationalisation, Russia and China plan to use it for nuclear weapon delivery also. In the civil arena, it can be used to launch small satellites at cheaper cost. India has just done a technology demonstration.
4) Test Firing of Shaurya Missile Test
Firing of Shaurya Missile. India successfully test-fired a new version of nuclear-capable Shaurya Missile on 4 October 2020. The new missile would be inducted in the strategic forces to complement one of the existing missiles in the same class. DRDO claims it to be amongst the top 10 missiles in the world. Shaurya missiles have a very small profile. It is truck portable and can be launched from either from a single truck or a silo. Hence, it can be located anywhere. Moreover as per DRDO it cannot be detected by satellite imaging, the sources said. Given its short range, portability, difficulty of detection and nuclear capability it is an ideal tactical missile it would be an ideal deterrence weapon in the super high altitude terrain of Tibet. Strategic Forces Command it is believed is in the process of operationalising it in the Ladakh region shortly.
5) Test of Laser Guided Anti-Tank Missile
Test of Laser Guided Antitank Missile. On 23 September 2020, DRDO successfully test fired laser-guided anti-tank guided missile. The laser-guided anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) is supposed to enhance the firepower capability of the Indian Army particularly along the frontiers with Pakistan and China. There is a long felt need by the Indian Army for an indigenous ATGM and the success of this venture has been eluding the DRDO since long.
6) Test Firing of Dhruvastra
Test Firing of Dhruvastra. India’s indigenously developed anti-tank guided missile ‘Dhruvastra’ was test-was fired on 23 July 2020. India has successfully conducted three flight tests of its indigenously developed anti-tank guided missile ‘Dhruvastra’ from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha.
7) Test Firing of Prithvi-II Test
Firing of Prithvi-II. Indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile was test fired on 24 September 2020. The trial of the missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from ITR complex. This missile is already operational. It was a user trial test. Under the garb of testing, besides validating technical parameters, it provided the much needed practice to the users to deploy and fire this weapon if called upon into battle. It should go to the credit of SFC and the DRDO to utilize the flurry of tests to enhance the defence preparedness of the users.
8) Test Firing of ASAT
Last year in March, India test-fired an A-SAT missile under ‘Mission Shakti’. The Successful testing has demonstrated its anti-satellite technology.
9) Test Firing of Rudram Missile
In continuation of testing various missiles, India successfully test-fired Rudram 1, its first anti-radiation missile designed to take down enemy radars on 9 October 2020. The antiradiation missile can be launched from Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets. The missile has a launch speed of up to 2 Mach, twice the speed of sound. This will enhance our air combat power manifold and it is hoped that the DRDO will operationalize this capability at the earliest.
Analysis of the testing Game
Limited Value: While India’s operational capabilities do not get a boost by such tests in the short term, it does convey a strategic message of India’s increasing technical capabilities and the resolve to deal with our adversary. Having said that, on the flip side we must not get complacent by these tests and continue to be realistic on their impact on the enemy. In fact, some experts say that “the surge of tests by the DRDO is welcome; however, ability to deploy these systems needs greater emphasis and visibility.” If the aim of these tests is signalling to the domestic audience it may have served the purpose, but experts are unlikely to be impressed. Historically too, if we take the record of the journey from final testing to operationalisation of a weapon system, it varies from 8 to 10 years. For example, Prithvi 1 was tested in 1988 and finally it came into service in 1994. Similar story exists for most of the systems under development by DRDO. The technology demonstrator to operationalisation is a journey by itself and incurs considerable financial commitment besides technical, human expertise and financial challenges of commercialization and finally operationalisation.
Enhanced Technical Prowess: Above limitations notwithstanding, the missile journey of India is a success story, comparable to any leading military power in the world. On the positive side, a number of advantages these weapon tests bring to the table. Weapon tests do add up to a country’s technological capabilities.
Hard Power Image:
Conducting the weapon tests in a concentrated manner during an ongoing face off conveys an image of strong hard power orientation and resolve of the nation to its adversary. China though not worried by these tests would be cautious while responding to us especially since most of our existing systems provide dual capability of conventional and unconventional employment. Encourage Defence Exports:
Successful testing of new defence weapon systems generate acceptability of India’s capability to produce quality weapon systems that too at much lesser cost. This will facilitate export of defence systems by India. It is therefore not surprising that in the past few years our export of defence systems have increased by 700 percent in the last three years. India is now exporting defence weapons and equipment to 42 countries, which includes the likes of US, Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, South Africa, and Sweden, Azerbaijan, Seychelles, Estonia, Indonesia, Guinea and the Philippines. India’s exports in 2014 stood at meager Rs 2,000 crore, which in 2019 stood at Rs 17,000 crore and India intends to increase it by $5 billion (about Rs 35,000 crore) in the next 5 years. Improved technological threshold will encourage our neighbouring countries to go in for imports from India. Countering Chinese Influence on our Neighbours:
Increased acceptability of defence equipment due to display of high end technology demonstration will also help in weaning our neighbours away from Chinese influence. For example the decision to provide a Kilo Class Submarine, Tanks, artillery guns, ammunition for T-72 tanks, radars, sonars and 500 bullet proof jackets to Myanmar’s military may have been influenced by India’s increasing technological capabilities. A similar help to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will go a long way in countering the Chinese influence in our backyard.
Enhanced Defence Preparedness:
Increased testing leads to induction of indigenous equipment in the long – run at lower costs. Also, some of the equipment tested are on the verge of being inducted into the service such as the Shaurya missile system. There are reports that Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has begun looking for deployment of the weapon system in Ladakh. Further, these tests also help in providing the much needed user practice and revalidation of existing stockpile of our systems. Conduct of the 350 km range Prithivi 2 from the existing stockpile is a case in point. Deployment of Shaurya missile, world’s top 10 missile and ability to practice and validate existing strategic weapons does give us a better response capability against our arch rival China.
India has come a long way especially in space and missile technology it can be compared amongst the leaders. Our strategic capability despite the 1998 sanctions following the Pokhran tests speaks for themselves. DRDO does have major limitations in development of aircraft, tanks, and weapon systems especially for the infantry and armoured. But it makes it up with the Integrated Missile Development programme and the Space programme. Fortunately these are systems of the future and when coupled with its niche technology development programme in robotics, artificial intelligence, ship building and UAVs we expect India to rapidly move in the direction of self-reliance especially if the private defence sector is boosted appropriately. The new DAP 2020 with an option for leasing of defence systems is a good provision to tide over our short term needs at relatively lower costs till we achieve greater selfreliance and increase our exports as rightly aimed by the present government. It would not be out of sync to mention that India is on the path of projecting itself as a significant power in the region and the testing of new defence systems is a right step in that direction.
Lt Gen Dushyant Singh (retd) has served in varied terrains and theatre of operations, in India and in the UN as Military Observer. He has commanded an Infantry Battalion, Brigade and a Division in Jammu and Kashmir. He is currently Professor Emeritus Defence Studies at Gujarat Raksha Shakti University.
PASSING OUT PARADE, VALEDICTORY FUNCTION AT INS VALSURA
A total of 34 officers including 10 officers from friendly foreign countries successfully completed their Electrical Specialisation Course O-173 from the portals of INS Valsura, the premier Electrical training establishment of the Indian Navy. The valedictory address for the passing out ceremony was delivered by Vice Admiral S.R. Sarma, Chief of Materiel over video conferencing.
The Admiral advised the officers to imbibe the ethos enshrined in the ‘Chetwode Motto’ while executing their duties as leaders of men. During his address, the Admiral highlighted that in a quest to prepare personnel for onboard challenges, training at INS Valsura has kept pace with rapid advancements in the field of technology.
The Admiral also complimented the staff of INS Valsura, who, despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic have effectively managed to equip all trainees undergoing training at Valsura with sound professional skills and leadership attributes required to serve the nation diligently. Commodore Ajay Patney, Commanding Officer, INS Valsura reviewed the Passing-Out-Parade (POP) of the course and awarded trophies and certificates to officers who excelled in academic, sports and extra-curricular activities of the 95 weeks professional training.
The FOC-in-C (South) Rolling trophy and Book Prize for standing first in order of merit amongst International officers was awarded to Lt Cdr Aliyu Suleiman from Nigerian Navy and the coveted Admiral Ramnath Trophy for ‘Best All-round Officer’ was awarded to SLt Vikrant Nagpal. Commander AR Khandekar Rolling Trophy and Book Prize for standing first in Overall Order of Merit of the course was awarded to SLt Jacky Modi and the Commanding Officer, INS Valsura Rolling trophy for ‘Best Sportsman’ was awarded to SLt Harshavardhan Mohite.
Thales develops new, ultra compact surveillance radar
The AirMaster C has enhanced target detection capabilities
for fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and UAVs.
Threat detection, identification and surveillance missions depend on a force’s ability to operate in any type of environment and all weather conditions. Drawing on its experience with the successful Master series of radars, Thales has developed a new, ultra-compact surveillance radar with enhanced target detection capabilities for fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and UAVs. With its low integration and operating costs and high availability and performance, the AirMaster C sets a new standard for airborne radars. The nature of armed confrontation is constantly evolving. From the intrastate conflicts of the post-Cold War period to the asymmetric threats of the early 21st century and, more recently, the resurgence of rivalries between major powers, armed forces around the world must constantly adapt as they face different types of adversaries in a diverse array of environments: open ocean, coastal areas, remote deserts and urban spaces.
Responding to these rapid changes, Thales has developed the AirMaster C, a new surveillance radar with an ultra-compact, programmable 2D active antenna based on SiGe (silicon-germanium) technology. SiGe is much more energy efficient than other technologies used for AESA radars, and allows the radar to selfcool. Weighing less than 20 kg and housed in a single unit design, the radar has a 30% lower SWaP (size, weight and power) than the other radars in this class. In addition to this breakthrough SiGe technology, other innovations are deployed. Multi-polarisation (a capability displayed by many cameras) will allow the radar to automatically select the optimal settings to maximise detection performance on each mission. The radar also offers a simultaneous short-range and longrange detection capability, similar to the human eye, for instantaneous surveillance.
With its 2D navigation and weather modes, the AirMaster C will also provide valuable navigation support in all types of environments and weather conditions. The AirMaster C is a smart software-defined radar designed to reduce aircrew workload. With its autonomous sensors, self-learning functionality and the ability to analyse and classify huge volumes of data, the radar can automatically adapt to different uses, terrains and environments. The AirMaster C builds on the innovative design and proven success of the Master series. Notified by the French Armament General Directorate (DGA), preparatory studies are being carried out by Thales in collaboration with Airbus Helicopters for the integration of the AirMaster C on board the Guépard helicopter.
This is the future light joint army helicopter, which will have to carry out a wide variety of missions for the three French armies.“We’re proud to present the latest addition to the Thales family of airborne surveillance radars, the AirMaster C, which meets the full range of current and future operational requirements. With this new product, Thales offers an optimised surveillance solution for a broader array of platform types and operators, ensuring they benefit from the highest levels of mission performance as they face the new challenges ahead.” said Hervé Hamy, Vice President for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Thales.
India announces Quad in military
The Malabar-2020 maritime exercise scheduled to be held next month will have Australian Navy as the fourth participant, completing the much talked about Quad in military. Malabar-2020 will see the navies of India, United States, Japan and Australia coming together to conduct the maritime exercise. The Malabar series of naval exercises started in 1992 as a bilateral Indian Navy-US Navy exercise. Japan joined the naval exercise in 2015. This annual exercise has been conducted off the coast of Guam in the Philippine Sea in 2018, off the coast the Japan in 2019 and is expected to be held in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea later this year.
As India Seeks to increase cooperation with other countries in the maritime security domain and in the light of increased defence cooperation with Australia, Malabar 2020 will see the participation of the Australian Navy. This year, the exercise has been planned on a ‘non-contact – at sea’ format. The exercise will strengthen the coordination between the Navies of the participating countries. The participants of Exercise Malabar 2020 are engaging to enhance safety and security in the maritime domain. They collectively support free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules based international order.
81ST RAISING DAY OF the CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE
The Corps of Military police, the epitome of discipline and light of guidance to the armed forces be it in war or peace having completed 80 years of yeoman service celebrated their 81st Raising Day on 18 October 2020.The force has proved its worth in all the wars fought by India both pre- and post-Independence. Be it guidance to advancing force, management of Prisoner of War Camp, traffic management, various ceremonial activities and piloting the VIP convoys during peace, the force has evolved from strength to strength. The force is also now inducting women recruits, another proud achievement of the Corps.
The Corps has been rendering invaluable service in the upkeep of good order and discipline and in strengthening the moral fabric of the Army. It has closely monitored the changing social dynamics impacting the organisation and works towards finding pragmatic solutions to maintain optimal standards of discipline, a continued reverence of the rich cultural ethos of the Army and an enviable internal health of the organisation. On this occasion, Lieutenant General CP Mohanty, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command complimented all ranks of Corps of Military Police for living up to their motto ‘Seva Tatha Sahayata’ and urged them to continue working hard for maintenance of law and order within the force both during peace and war.
PLEDGE-TAKING CEREMONY ON COVID-19 AT APS UDHAMPUR
In continuation of the fight against Covid-19 and as part of the Jan Andolan movement launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 October 2020 where he appealed everyone to unite in the fight against corona, a “Pledge Taking Ceremony” was organised at Army Public School, Senior Wing, Udhampur (J&K) on Monday. Lt Col Abhinav Navneet, PRO (Defence) Udhampur, Mr Sanjeev Kumar, Principal, APS Udhampur, Teaching Staff, Administrative Staff and NCC students of APS Udhampur attended the ceremony.
The aim of the Ceremony was to encourage the participation of Teachers, Administrative staff & Students to spread awareness about Covid appropriate behaviours. Sanjeev Kumar, Principal, APS Udhampur, in his address said that APS family is not leaving any stone unturned in spreading awareness among children & their families through various activities and online classes. This is another initiative in the same line.
He mentioned with great pleasure that there hasn’t been any corona case till date in APS family comprising of 200+ staff members and around 4000 children & their families. Lt Col Abhinav Navneet, PRO (Defence) Udhampur during his address briefed the Staff and Students of APS, Udhampur about the Jan Andolan movement launched by the Prime Minister Modi and reiterated the Prime Minister’s key message of “Wear a Mask, Wash Hands, Follow Social Distancing and practice Do Gaj ki Doori”.
The PRO emphasised on the need to create awareness amongst fellow residents of Udhampur about coronavirus, to offer social and mental assistance to those in need, to encourage physical social distancing and stop any form of discrimination, to spread awareness on Myths related to Corona virus & to follow all guidelines issued by the Government. All teachers and staff were also briefed about the online pledge taking through pledge.mygov.in website.
The media fraternity present during the ceremony was requested for dissemination of the Jan Andolan Movement throughout the UT of J&K & Ladakh, using all media platforms. The entire Staff & selected students of Army Public School, Udhampur, pledged collectively to prevent the spread of Covid-19 under the Jan Andolan initiative.
The staff also promised to be vigilant and take all necessary steps to prevent and minimising the impact of the disease by imbibing key Covid behaviours in students and encouraging other to emulate. The joint efforts of all stakeholders in the national fight against Covid 19 will ensure that the people of the country remain safe and healthy. As brought out by the PM, “Together we will succeed and win against the Covid-19”.
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