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Defence

Rajnath Singh outlines initiatives for self-reliance in defence

Ashish Singh

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh outlines several initiatives to reduce dependence on imported military hardware, in New Delhi on Monday

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the initiatives of a number of modernisation and up-gradation of facilities and new infrastructure creation by defence PSUs and OFB, through digital link from Delhi on Monday, as part of the Aatmanirbhar Week celebration of the Ministry of Defence. MoS Defence Shripad Y. Naik, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, Secretary Defence Production Raj Kumar, Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, senior officers from DDP and CMDs and chairman of DPSUs and OFB participated in the event through video conference links.

Addressing them, Rajnath Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a clarion call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan and his 5-I formula of ‘Intent, Inclusion, Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation’ will put the economy on high-growth trajectory. He said that the government has made timely and thoughtful interventions during Covid-19 times like issuing negative list for import, increase in FDI limits, separate budget for domestic capital procurement and emphasis on indigenisation.

 The minister emphasised, “The ban on imports of 101 items is a big step towards an Atma Nirbhar Bharat. This list of negative items contains not only small items but weapon systems of high and critical technology. More such items will be added to this list shortly which will save crores of rupees in imports.” He also said we will take more steps towards, Indigenisation, investment in defence infrastructure and expansion in defence manufacturing capability. These steps will create big opportunities for the Indian defence industry.

In keeping with the vision of the Prime Minister, the defence Minister said the Department of Defence Production, Defence PSUs and Ordnance Factories Board have shown great enthusiasm and commitment in ushering in a truly Aatmanirbhar Bharat. He specifically mentioned, “Defence industry has always been the forerunner of cutting-edge technologies world across and hence self-reliance in Defence is a tall task which needs whole hearted involvement of all to be fruitful.” “The defence industries have been the force behind the Armed Forces. Today we are proud of our Defence PSUs and OFB for their continued support and sustained efforts towards this,” he added.

Under upgradation of facilities, Pinaka Rocket Complex at Ordnance Factory Chanda has launched upgradation of facilities to meet the enhanced requirement of Pinaka and other rockets as well as the assembly and testing facility for SRCG at Ordnance Factory, Trichy all of which are critical requirements towards defence preparedness. Modernisation of facilities at OLF Dehradun will serve the purpose of manufacturing of high-end Optoelectronic products for T-90 Tanks. BEL has launched fully indigenised Maareech Integration facility for manufacturing, integration and testing of Anti Torpedo Defence System Maareech which has been designed by DRDO. HAL has handed over the 500th AL31FP overhauled engine to the IAF which are mounted on its most lethal frontline fighter aircraft Su-30MKI. It has been done by the Koraput Division of HAK. BEML has set up Industrial Design Centre at Bengaluru as part of its new infrastructure creation. The Centre is first of its kind in India, focusing on implementing factors of industrial design and human factors as a part of developmental strategies for setting the global benchmarking in Industrial Design and Ergonomics in Products. It is proposed to develop this facility further as a national facility and would be offered to the industry in the next stage.

Under modernisation of facilities, GRSE has enhanced the capability at its Raja Bagan Dockyard to meet the production requirement for the ongoing prestigious P17A project. New infrastructure has been created in the defence sector in the shape of foundation laying of Seeker Facility Center (SFC) at BDL, a new modular facility for manufacturing of Missile System (RF Seeker) that will reduce import dependence for seekers and Foundation Laying for Warheads Production Facility at BDL for manufacturing and testing of indigenously developed warheads required for Konkurs-M, Invar, Akash, Astra missiles, etc. The facility being modular will cater to all futuristic missile warheads with incremental modifications.

A new state of art Steel Preparation Shop (SPS) at GSL has been inaugurated today that will enable indigenous construction of high technology Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) hull MCMVs along with other supporting infrastructure for the country. MIDHANI under its Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainable Development Policy has set up a state-of-the-art Skill Development Center and christened it as “Centre of Excellence — Special Materials”. This facility will primarily focus on Promoting applied research for the development of Special Materials used in aerospace, defence, nuclear, space and other strategic areas.

Rajnath Singh unveiled these facilities by pressing a remote button. Congratulating the Department of Defence Production MoD, Defence PSUs and Ordnance Factories Board,Rajnath Singh said “These upgradation/ modernisation/new setups will give tremendous benefit in terms of reducing dependency on foreign resources for production as well as further maintenance, upgradation and life time support, all through safe and sound, indigenous hands.” He added, “The spirit demonstrated by the DPSUs and OFB will usher the nation in a quantum jump to a resilient, Aatmanirbhar economy.”

As part of Aatmanirbhar Week celebrations, various DPSUs and OFB are also organising a series of webinars covering all relevant topics and including the various stakeholders like industry experts, vendors and academia.

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Defence

Two Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists killed in the J&K encounter

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Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH), an Al-Qaeda-linked terror outfit in Kashmir, has suffered a major setback. In an encounter on the outskirts of Srinagar, security forces killed two more AGH terrorists.

The AGH terrorists were apprehended after the army and police received specific information about their presence.

During the exchange of fire, forces killed two local Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists from AGH. Both terrorists are Pulwama residents who have been involved in a number of terrorist attacks.

According to police, the terrorists were also involved in an attack on a migrant worker in Pulwama.

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Defence

N. Korea enacts law on preventive nuclear strikes, France calls “threat to peace”

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France criticised North Korea’s adoption of a law announcing its preparedness to launch preventive nuclear strikes on Friday, calling it a “threat to international and regional peace and security.”

The announcement from the foreign ministry came after North Korean state media earlier on Friday reported that Pyongyang had enacted a law authorising preventative strikes, including in the event of conventional attacks.

“This new escalation on the part of the North Korean authorities represents a threat to international and regional peace and security,” said a ministry spokeswoman.

France “notes with great concern the increasingly aggressive declarations from North Korea,” she added.

The decision by Pyongyang practically puts an end to the possibility of denuclearization talks after leader Kim Jong Un said that the nation’s nuclear status is now “irreversible.”

The announcement comes at a time when the North and South are experiencing greater conflict.

In addition to conducting a record number of weapons tests this year, Pyongyang has blamed the COVID-19 outbreak in its territory on Seoul.

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Defence

China has successfully tested its first solar-powered drone capable of acting as a satellite

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A Chinese government official informed in a tweet that China has successfully tested its first fully solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), named Qimingxing-50, which can fly for months and can function even as a satellite if required.

What is the significance of this test flight?

The Qimingxing-50, with a wingspan of 50 m, is a high-altitude long-endurance drone that is capable of high-altitude aerial reconnaissance, assessing forest fire and can also be used for communications.

This technology will bolster Chinese defences in space and at sea. It can be used in the fields of renewable energy, new materials, and aeronautical engineering. The Chinese official also asserted that this test flight is an important step towards sustainable development.

Use of the UAV as a satellite:

The UAV, whose name translates as “Morning Star-50” in English, is claimed to be capable of functioning uninterrupted for months. This capability of having a long-endurance flight gives it a use case of operating as a satellite.

Like satellites, it is fully electric-driven, powered by solar energy and can operate at 20 km above the Earth’s surface for an extended period of time continuously. It is also referred to as a “High Altitude Platform Station” or a “pseudo-satellite.”

It can be used when there is unavailability or disruption in satellite services. The report says that compared to the cost and complexity of installing a satellite in orbit, this UAV is much more cost-effective and easy to operate.

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Defence

Strict security measures have been taken at the Central Vista ahead of the inauguration by PM Modi

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As Prime Minister Nrendra Modi is going to inaugurate the newly revamped Central Vista on Thursday, over 1,500 police personnel have been deployed for security over there.

A senior official of Delhi Police who is aware of the security arrangements said that the area has been divided into eight zones, which will be manned all day by eight deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) and additional deputy commissioners of police (ADCPs).

The officer, on condition of anonymity, said, “Besides 17 assistant commissioners of police (ACPs), 43 inspectors and nearly 1,200 upper and lower-rank staff of Delhi Police will be patrolling in the areas. While ten Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) companies will patrol the area during the day, two additional CAPF companies have been deployed for security arrangements during the evening shift.As many as five patrolling teams in 10 mobile patrolling vans (MPVs) will be keeping a constant watch on all the public movement in the area.” 

Another officer said that, “The Multi Zone Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMD) have been installed at 90 points in 25 locations in the area. Apart from one anti-drone gun, one counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has also been installed in the area, to detect, track, and ultimately disrupt and destroy any suspicious aerial intrusion. While five teams of spotters will keep a strict vigil in the area, another five traffic decongestion teams have been deployed there to immediately remove any traffic bottlenecks in the area. As many as five SWAT teams have been deployed in the area to avert any emergency crisis.”

The official added that drones will not be permitted near Central Vista on Thursday.

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Defence

Pakistani rangers opened fire on BSF patrolling party in J&K

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BSF apprehends Pakistani intruder from ‘Tehreek-e-Labbaik’ at Rajasthan border

As per the reports, Pakistani rangers opened fire on a Border Security Force (BSF) patrolling party in Jammu and Kashmir’s Arnia sector on Tuesday morning, prompting the BSF to respond appropriately to the “unprovoked firing”.

“Today morning the alert BSF Jammu troops gave a befitting reply to the unprovoked firing by Pak rangers on BSF patrolling party in Arnia Sector. No loss (of lives) or injury (reported) to the BSF troops,” a statement issued by a BSF spokesperson said.

On February 24, 2021, India and Pakistan agreed to strictly adhere to all agreements and understandings concerning cross-border firing along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir, among other sectors.

Other incidents of firing by Pakistani troops have occurred in the last year and a half, but Tuesday’s incident was “a major one” and occurred on a day when Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was in India for talks, an officer anonymously said.

According to a second officer, the Indian Army and BSF respond immediately and effectively to unprovoked firings and ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC and IB.

Before the agreement in 2021, there were 5,133 ceasefire violations in 2020, 3,479 in 2019, and 2,140 in 2018. However, this number dropped to around 700 last year. Statistics for 2022 are not yet available.

The Indian government has maintained that it is Pakistan’s responsibility to create a conducive environment by taking credible, verifiable, and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for cross-border terrorism against India in any way.

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Defence

India sends the body of Lashkar terror operative via LoC in Poonch

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Pakistan accepted the body of Tabarak Hussain, Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist operative via Chakan Da Bagh on the Line of Control in Poonch district on Monday.

“Officials of the Indian Army and civil administration took the body of slain terrorist in an ambulance to Chakan Da Bagh where it was handed over to Pakistani army officials,” said a senior official.

Tabarak Hussain, son of Mistri Malik of Sabzkote in PoK, was apprehended in an injured state by the army on August 21 in the Jhanger area of the Nowshera sector in Rajouri.

Tabarak was apprehended while allegedly infiltrating with a fidayeen terror group to attack Indian army posts along the LoC.

However, Indian army troops noticed the movement and opened fire on the intruding terror group, injuring Tabarak while other infiltrators fled to PoK.

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