2014 will go down in the history of the Ministry of Defence as a momentous and memorable year- a year which witnessed the country’s security policies being bolstered, new ideas being infused for acquisition and the much needed momentum being provided for the modernisation process of the Armed Forces. Three Defence Ministers- Shri AK Antony, Shri Arun Jaitley and the incumbent, Shri Manohar Parrikar led the Ministry in succession during the year.
“Make in India” became the buzzword in the corridors of MoD. The Defence Acquisition Council, the apex decision-making body of the Ministry, triggered a scorching pace of acquisition by clearing proposals worth over Rs 1.50 lakh crores for the Services this year alone. Many of the equipment and platforms, cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council, will be manufactured in the country, either by the public or private sector entities, through collaborations and tie-ups with foreign manufacturing companies. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Defence Sector was encouraged by liberalising some of the policies.
One of the heartening feature of the year was the opening of the much awaited Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) – the nodal centre of the National Command Control Communications and Intelligence Network, a symbol of the paradigmatic change in our outlook towards coastal security, in the wake of the barbaric 26/11 terror strike in Mumbai in 2008.
It was also the year when Jammu & Kashmir, especially capital Srinagar, experienced hitherto unknown magnitude of flash floods. Although the Armed Forces and their families stationed in the valley were severely affected, the brave officers and men put behind their woes and carried out rescue and relief operations on a war footing, thereby, endearing themselves to the people of the state and the nation as a whole.
TOWARDS GREATER INDIGENISATION AND MODERNISATION
For speedy indigenization, the Government increased the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit from 26% to 49% through approval route. Above 49%, the proposal will go to Cabinet Committee on Security on case to case basis. The Government also lifted an earlier three year lock-in period for foreign investment in Defence sector.
Defence products list for the purpose of industrial licensing has been revised and the revised list has been notified vide Press Note no. 3(2014) dated 26/6/14 by DIPP. In the revised list most of the components/parts/raw materials, castings, forgings, production machinery, testing equipment etc. have been taken out of purview of industrial licensing. Besides, dual use items other than those specifically mentioned in the list would not require industrial license from defence angle. This will reduce the license requirement for many items, which were earlier required industrial license for manufacturing.
In order to give a boost to private sector participation in defence production, the Government has decided to replace the present fleet of 56 AVRO Transport of IAF by reserving the project for the private sector only.
The DAC also decided that all the 384 light-utility helicopters needed by the Army and Air Force to replace the existing Cheetah/Chetak fleets will be made in India with foreign collaboration.
What is more, in a landmark decision on 25 October 2014, the DAC cleared projects worth over Rs 80,000 crores. It was decided to build six submarines in India at a cost of about Rs. 50,000 crore and to purchase over 8,000 Israeli antitank guided missiles and 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft. Of the Rs. 80,000 crores, more than Rs. 65,000 crores is Make in India or Buy & Make.
For speeding up modernisation programmes, the Government has made a special allocation of Rs. 5000 crores in the current Union Budget. And to encourage research and development of new Defence systems that enhance cutting-edge technology capability in the country, the Government has allocated Rs 100 Crores to set up a Technology Development Board.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) decided that the acquisition of 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from the US will continue. The DAC cleared the revised offset proposals submitted by US Aviation major, Boeing, in this regard.
The Government approved the Navy’s proposal to buy 16 multi-role helicopters, which fly from warships and detect enemy submarines. The Defence Acquisition Council also approved the purchase of Integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare Suites (torpedo decoys and active towed array sonars) to be fitted on seven stealth frigates and four destroyers, which are to be built in India.
The DAC on 17 December 2014 approved proposals for Rs. 4,444 crore, including the purchase of four survey vessels at Rs. 2,324 crore. It also cleared the upgradation of the Mobile Integrated Electronic Warfare System, Samyukta, at a cost of Rs. 1,682 crore.
The Government also cleared a Rs. 900 crore dedicated mobile communications system for army troops deployed in Ladakh and the Eastern Command.
The Government allocated Rs. 1000 crore in this year’s budget for accelerating the development of railway system in border areas. This will facilitate quick mobilisation of troops and weapon systems in border areas and also expedite the modernisation process.
The Government also plans to embark on a major road building exercise to counter security threats both along the China borders as well as in Maoist-affected areas within the country. In order to facilitate this, government relaxed the environment norms to a great extent. Also more financial and operational powers have been delegated to DG, BRO and his officers for faster implementation of the projects. The Border Roads Organisation is developing roads along the 4056 Kms China border from Arunachal Pradesh to Jammu & Kashmir, including widening of some existing roads.
The year saw capacity building in the existing and new strategic areas which includes beginning of sea-trials of indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant and the much awaited test flying of LCA (Navy) prototype-I. The LCA programme witnessed yet another milestone on 8th November 2014 when Tejas trainer PV6, the two-seater version of Tejas LCA for Air Force, in its first flight took to the skies and became the 16th Tejas variant to have flown as part of the programme. Having absorbed all the major design modifications undertaken during the flights of earlier aircraft, PV6 is the final prototype leading to series of production of trainer and has the capability to deliver all ‘air-to-air’ and ‘air-to-ground’ weapons deliverable by the single seat counterpart.
In another landmark event, LCA (Navy) Prototype 1 (NP1), the first indigenously designed and developed 4th plus generation combat aircraft designed to operate from the decks of aircraft carriers, took-off majestically from Ski-Jump facility of Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa in Goa on 20th December 2014. The SBTF created to replicate the aircraft carrier with a Ski Jump for take-off and arresting gear cable for arrested landing, became operational for R&D as well as pilot training.
The Indian Navy has been a leader in the Nation’s quest to promote self-reliance and indigenisation. INS Kolkata, an indigenous destroyer built at Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai, the biggest warship ever to be built in India to date, was commissioned by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 16 August, 2014 which will usher new capability into the Indian Navy. INS Kamorta, an ASW corvette built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited, Kolkata, was commissioned on 23 August, 2014. In addition, Offshore Patrol Vessel INS Sumitra built by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), was commissioned on 04 September, 2014. Other major warship construction programmes include six destroyers of P15A and P15B class and six submarines of P75 class at Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai. Fifteen other ships are under construction at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited, Kolkata. The third Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel INS Sumedha was commissioned at Goa on 06 March, 2014. INS Sumedha is 200th ship indigenously built by GSL. GSL is the only yard which has delivered four classes of OPVs to both Navy and Coast Guard. INS 'Sumedha' is the third of the new 105 meter class of NOPV and the largest ship constructed by GSL for the Indian Navy. This state-of-the-art ship will help meet the increasing requirement of the Indian Navy for undertaking ocean surveillance and surface warfare operations in order to prevent infiltration and transgression of maritime sovereignty.
Induction of the nuclear submarine INS Chakra on lease from Russia has heralded an important chapter in the history of Indian Navy. In addition, INS Vikramaditya, including its Mig 29K integral fighter aircraft has been inducted into the Navy. Maritime Surveillance Capability of the Navy has been bolstered with the recent induction of Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P81.
Indian Navy’s ability to communicate with deployed ships and submarines on an uninterrupted basis throughout the year got a shot in the arm when a new state of the art “Very Low Frequency (VLF) Transmitting Station” was inaugurated on 31 July, 2014 at INS Kattaboman, Tirunelvelli, Tamil Nadu. India is among a handful of nations in the world that has such a capability.
Two Advanced Early Warning and Combat (AEW&C) aircraft having fitted with the indigenous radars and other equipment such as data links, mission system controller, data handling and display system have been flying. A wheeled version of Nishant UAV named “Panchi” has been realized and had performed its maiden flight on 24th December 2014 after series of high speed taxi trials. An expandable 450 Kg thrust class Gas Turbine engine ‘Manik’ was developed for 1000 km class subsonic cruise missile and is undergoing endurance tests.
Successful test trials of surface-to-air Akash missile and induction of its Air Force version into IAF, successful launching of 5000 Km range Agni-5, long range cruise missile Nirbhay, user trials of Prithvi-II, supersonic BrahMos and beyond visual range missile Astra were the hallmarks of this year’s achievement.
MODERNISATION OF IAF
Indian Air Force is now on a high trajectory of modernisation and in transforming with full spectrum capability. While induction of C -130J and C-17 has given the Force the long desire strategic and special operations capability, the induction of a fairly large MI-17V5 helicopter fleet has filled the gap in the medium heli-lift capability. The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) developed by HAL is also on the anvil. The IAF is likely to induct one squadron of limited series production version of this platform very soon.
The air defence system in IAF is in the process of transformation to state-of-the-art Network Centric System. All ground based and airborne sensors are being networked to provide a composite picture of the entire airspace. IAF has successfully inducted the Rohini Radars, modern generation Medium Power Radars and Low Level Transportable Radars. Mountain Radars are planned to boost our capability in the north and north eastern regions.
The year also saw spectacular progress in strengthening coastal security network with the successful commissioning of Information Management & Analysis Centre (IMAC) at Gurgaon.
Set up by BEL with American software, IMAC will be the nodal centre of the National Command Control Communications and Intelligence Network (NC3I Network), with the aim of improving coastal surveillance and tightening coastal security so as to pre-empt/prevent sea-borne terrorist attacks like 26/11 on Mumbai.
The Government’s decision to allocate a sum of Rs. 150 crore for construction of marine police stations and jetties along the vast coast lines is also a positive step in this direction.
Welfare and all round well -being of ex-servicemen and war widows have been the cornerstone of our rehabilitation policy since independence.
Acceding to the long pending demand of One Rank One Pension for retired defence personnel, the Government has, in principle, decided to implement it in the current financial year itself. Accordingly a sum of Rs. 1000 crore has been allocated in the Union Budget 2014-15.
The modalities for its implementation were recently discussed with various stakeholders and are presently under active consideration of the Government. It will be implemented once the modalities are approved by the Government.
Campaigns to implement Aadhar based Life Certificate for defence pensioners have been carried out on pilot basis at two locations, namely, Chandi Mandir near Chandigarh and Delhi Cantonment from 26 to 29 November, 2014. The response of Ex-Servicemen during the pilot project was encouraging and a total of 2605 Life Certificates were generated during that period. Further, all the Services have been instructed to launch Aadhaar Card Registration Campaign throughout the country especially at such locations where number of ex-servicemen is large.
The Indian Army launched the Army Veteran Grievance Handling Portal in Delhi on 05 June, 2014. It has also formally opened a separate Directorate for veterans in August 2014.
The Chief of Naval Staff inaugurated 80 new residential houses under Married Accommodation Project (MAP) for naval sailors at Palam on 15 August, 2014.
Indian Air Force organised a big placement fair for air veterans on 13 November, 2014 at Delhi which was attended by a number of MNCs and Indian Defence Manufacturing and Security Organisations.
REACHING OUT TO THE PEOPLE IN DISTRESS
Floods in J&K
The year saw unprecedented floods in Jammu & Kashmir in the month of September which submerged the entire Kashmir valley under 15 to 20 ft deep water in some areas for almost three weeks resulting in widespread loss of human lives and public property. As the devastating floods threw the entire public life out of control, acting upon the request of the state Government, the Indian Armed Forces with NDRF launched a joint-rescue & relief operation, which witnessed the involvement of nearly 330 Army columns in rescuing the marooned people to safer areas. The Army through its “Operations Sahayata” pressed into service innumerable Army speed boats and inflatable rafts and rescued nearly 2.4 lakh people. Indian Air Force also chipped-in through its ‘Operation Leher’ wherein they pressed into service 79 helicopters & aircraft and winched up 360 victims and later relocated them to safer areas. In some cases ‘Garudas’ dismantled the roofs and evacuated the people trapped in the top floors of their houses. Helicopters operating from six centres including Srinagar launched this rescue operations while relief materials from various parts of the country were airlifted to Srinagar, Jammu, Awantipur and other affected areas which included blankets, tents, medical supplies, readymade foods, drinking water, communication equipment etc.
The IAF engaged some MI-17 V5 helicopters to douse a massive forest fire that originated near Visakhapatnam city on 07 November, 2014. It managed to control the situation by launching a sustained fire fighting operation.
The Armed Forces’ laudable role and conduct of swift rescue and relief operations to minimise the effects of cyclone ‘Hudhud’ which struck Andhra and Odisha coast on 12 October, 2014 also came for universal praise and commendation from all quarters.
The sudden and unprovoked attacks from the Pakistan side in the guise of armed infiltration in the Line of Control in Samba and later in Arnia & Poonch sectors of Jammu and Kashmir brought disquiet into the region as it resulted in civil casualties and martyrdom of some of our brave hearts. Though our soldiers retaliated these recurrent attacks with full force at their command, yet there was no stopping of ceasefire violations from the Pakistan side. This year, it seemed, the attacks were timed to derail the smooth and peaceful assembly polls in J&K, where people of the State came forward in large numbers to exercise their right to franchise.
The situation on the India- China border remained mostly peaceful with the Armed Forces keeping a constant watch on all developments having bearing on India’s security and took necessary measures to safeguard it.
SALIENT ACHIEVEMENTS IN MILITARY SYSTEMS
The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) continued on the path of building self-reliance. The production value of DRDO developed systems inducted or cleared for acquisition (excluding strategic systems) crossed Rs 1,70,000 crores. The year 2014 witnessed yet another series of accomplishments with enormous potential to further enhance the level of self-reliance in defence technologies.
The 4,000 km range road mobile ballistic missile AGNI-4, was successfully flight tested twice. Among the development flights, the flight test on 20 January 2014 paved the way for flight test on 02 December, 2014 by the armed forces. Agni 4 is equipped with the state-of-the-art avionics, 5th Generation On board Computer and Distributed Architecture. It is also equipped with the latest features to correct and guide it for inflight disturbances. With Agni 1, 2, 3 and Prithvi already in India’s arsenal, Agni 4 further extends the reach and enhances effective deterrence capability. Besides, practice cum training launches of strategic missiles which are already inducted, such as Agni-1, Agni-2, P-II and Dhanush were carried out by the armed forces.
Nirbhay, the 1000 km class long range sub-sonic cruise missile was successfully flight tested on 17 October, 2014. The flight lasted over one hour and met all the mission objectives with the missile following the predefined trajectory with very high accuracy throughout its path. The maiden flight of PDV exo-atmospheric interceptor on 27 April 2014 was a significant milestone in the direction of developing a two layered Ballistic Missile Defence System. In addition to the interceptor itself, the two stage target for mimicking a "hostile Ballistic Missile approaching from more than 2000 km away" too was specially developed for the mission.
Productionisation and induction of Akash, the medium range air defence system with multi-target, multi directional capability was another remarkable achievement. Several squadrons of Akash (Air Force) have been inducted, with specified number of missiles from each production lot undergoing comprehensive flight tests in various operational modes before acceptance of the lot. Akash (Army) has been accepted and is undergoing its induction process. LRSAM, the Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile was successfully tested against a flying target in Israel on 10 November 2014. Successful trials of Helina, a “Lock-On Before Launch (Fire & Forget)” third generation Anti-tank Guided missile that can attack in both direct and top attack mode was integrated with Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). The missile with capability to defeat futuristic armors underwent successful field trials on 27 June 2014. ASTRA-BVR (Beyond Visual Range) Air-to-Air missile was successfully tested from a Su-30 MKI by the Indian Air Force, demonstrating interception of an electronically simulated target at long range. The series of tests conducted have demonstrated the aerodynamic characteristics of the missiles and its repeatability, robustness and endurance capability as a weapon system. A 1,000 kg class Guided Glide Bomb was designed, developed and successfully tested. The bomb, after getting released by the aircraft and guided by onboard navigation system is capable of gliding accurately to its target even 100 km away. Over thirty missions such as launches of strategic and tactical guided missiles kept the Integrated Test Range, the only one in the country, heavily engaged with activities throughout the year.
A four km long Rail Track Rocket Sled (RTRS) Penta Rail Supersonic Track, a national test facility was established and made operational, bringing India among a handful of countries in the world now possessing this unique test facility. The RTRS will facilitate testing and evaluation of a wide range of critical systems such as payload for manned missions of ISRO, the navigation system for missiles and aircrafts, proximity fuses for advanced warheads, fuses for armament systems parachutes for payload delivery and arrester systems for aircraft such as LCA.
An Advanced Parachute System meeting stringent requirements of Human Space Program (HSP-II) was designed, developed and successfully evaluated by DRDO. The system developed for India’s manned space missions was successfully proven with the recovery of Moon Mission Crew Capsule flown into space by the GSLV Mk-III on 18 December 2014. The parachute deployment system functioned perfectly and achieved the required descent rate. A Heavy Drop System (P-16) for dropping from IL 76 heavy lift aircraft was developed and is undergoing user assisted trials. The system consisting of a platform system suitably designed for harnessing and mounting of variety of payloads of 16 tones class and a highly advanced parachute system to drop loads. The load typically consists of military stores such as vehicles (including BMP class), supplies and ammunition. The first indigenously designed and developed Inflatable Radom to serve as a shelter to provide controlled environment for effective and continuous 24x7 functioning of sensitive systems such as RADARs for civil and military applications was installed. The inflatable structure consists of hemispherical envelope of coated fabrics with airlock tunnel, centrifugal air blowers, packaged air conditioners, electrical control system and emergency generator.
Phase-IV of user trials of Arjun Main Battle Tank Mk-II, that included trench crossing and step climbing capabilities, were successfully completed. Development of Arjun Catapult 130mm Self-Propelled Artillery Gun, a blend of 130 mm SP Art Gun with Arjun chassis has been completed as per GSQR. DRDO internal trial validation has been completed and the Arjun Catapult is ready for user trials. User demo trials of Pinaka Mk- II rockets with enhanced range were successfully conducted.
Successful User Assisted Technical Trials (UATT) of CBRN Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and Multi-Purpose Decontamination System (MPDS) were carried out. User and DGQA trials of BMCS (Bi-Modular Charge System) using both Soltam and Bofors guns were completed and the trials included validation of manufacturing process. Dynamic trials of 120mm Penetration-cum-Blast (PCB) ammunition for MBT Arjun Mk II were conducted successfully.
A man-portable modular military bridging system suitable for rapid deployment in mountainous regions and capable of bridging gaps up to 35m successfully completed user assisted technical trials. The modules weighing less than 18 kg each allow the bridge to be constructed from near-bank without any access to far-bank. A 35m bridge can be launched in about one hour.
“NABHRATHNA”, a Flying Test Bed (FTB) based on a Dornier aircraft acquired from HAL was realized. The FTB serves as a test bed platform for evaluation of airborne Radars. FTB sorties with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Maritime Patrol Airborne Radar (MPAR) have been taken up successfully.
Dhruva-3, the latest in a series of indigenous High Performance Computing Systems designed for solving mission critical Defence R&D applications and one of the fastest computing facilities in the country became operational.
ALTAS was realized with establishment of Towed array SONAR technology with 100% indigenous capabilities with two production centres. The system is designed to detect and identify submarines and underwater weapons. First technical trial on ALTAS has been conducted with satisfactory results. ABHAY and HUMSA-UG compact sonars, ideal for fitment on smaller platforms for surveillance purposes and having advantages of reduced installation and maintenance load on the technical personnel were installed on two platforms and are undergoing technical trials. The hull mounted sonar HUMSA-NG has been installed onboard INS Kolkata and INS Komorta. Varunastra, the heavy weight torpedo and Maareech, the decoy system for defence against torpedo attacks successfully completed 10 and 12 sets of user evaluation trials respectively.
The life sciences labs of DRDO continued its efforts with full vigour to develop soldier support systems and processes to help the soldiers perform effectively in diverse and harsh terrain and climatic conditions in the country. Submarine Escape Set 120 M to assist safe escape from underwater vessels from depths up to 120m is undergoing trials. Mark I version is already in production. ‘Telemedicine System’ has been accepted for induction in Indian Navy. The system capable of exchange of vital medical information and advice in a secure manner through multiple channels (including Satcom) will be installed in various Indian Navy ships as well as remote naval units.
JOINT EXERCISES AND VISIT OF INDIAN WARSHIPS ON GOODWILL MISSION
The 4th India-China Joint Training Exercise ‘Hand-in-Hand -2014’ culminated on 25 November 2014 after a joint tactical exercise near Pune. This 12-day joint training included understanding of trans-national terrorism, developing inter-operability and conduct of a joint tactical operation controlled by a joint command post. The aim of the exercise was to acquaint both the armies with each other’s operating procedure in the backdrop of counter-terrorism environment.
Exercise Yudh- Abhyas
The Indo-US Combined Military Training Exercise “Yudh Abhyas- 2014”, which commenced on 17 September, 2014 at Ranikhet and Chaubattia, concluded on 30 September, 2014. The focus of the exercise was to carryout Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist Operations in mountainous terrain under United Nations (UN) Charter. The exercise brought troops together of a mountain brigade of Indian Army and Company and brigade headquarters of the US Army. The exercise was the 10th in Yudh Abhyas series, which started in 2004 under US Army Pacific Partnership Programme.
Exercise Garuda V
The fifth edition of Indo-French joint Air Exercise “Garuda V” began at Air Force Station Jodhpur on 02 June, 2014 and concluded on 13 June, 2014.
Exercise Avia Indra
Indo-Russia Joint Air Force Exercise ‘Avia Indra – 2014’, Phase – I commenced at Astrakhan, Russia in fourth week of August 2014. The Phase – II of the exercise was conducted at Air Force Station, Halwara, Punjab in November 2014.
SIMBEX - 2014
The 2014 edition of the ‘SIMBEX-14’ series of annual bilateral naval exercises between the Indian Navy (IN) and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), was conducted in the Andaman Sea from 22 May to 28 May 2014.
The Indian Navy participated in the multilateral, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) exercise, dubbed “Komodo -2014”, which was held at Indonesia from 28 March to 03 April 2014. The exercise was conducted at Batam Bay, Natuna Islands and Anambas Islands. The exercise involved participants from Indonesia, the US, China, Russia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Laos.
The Indian Navy’s major annual exercise ‘TROPEX’ (Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise) concluded on 28 February 2014. The exercise involved large scale naval manoeuvres in all three dimensions viz. surface, air and underwater, across the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The exercise also provided the Indian Navy with an opportunity to validate its network centric warfare capabilities, with effective utilisation of the recently launched Indian Navy’s Satellite, GSAT.
EXERCISE RIMPAC- 14
Covering a distance of over five thousand nautical miles, Indian Naval ship Sahyadri, an indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate reached at Pearl Harbour, USA on 01 July, 2014 to participate in the multilateral maritime exercise called RIMPAC (Rim of Pacific). The exercise was concluded on 02 August,2014. INS Sahyadri’s participation in the RIMPAC-14 reinforced naval ties with USA and other participating countries. It also contributed immensely towards enhancing interoperability with friendly Navies.
INTERNATIONAL FLEET REVIEW (IFR)
INS Shivalik was deployed for participation in International Fleet Review and Multilateral Maritime Exercise at Qingdao, China from 20-25 April, 2014. Though the IFR was cancelled in view of the Search and Rescue mission for the missing Malaysian Airplane Flight MH370, the Multilateral Maritime Exercise was conducted as scheduled on 23-24 April, 2014. Ships from India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei participated in the exercise.
Ships of the eastern fleet of the Indian Navy, viz. Shivalik, Ranvijay and Shakti reached at Vladivostok, Russia to participate in the joint Indo-Russia Naval Exercise- “INDRA-2014”. In the exercise the Russian Navy was represented by guided missile cruiser Varyag, destroyer Bystry, large landing craft Peresvet along with supply vessels. Air assets of the Russian Pacific fleet and Indian Navy were also actively involved in the exercise. The six day long exercise comprising harbour and sea phases helped in strengthening the friendly relations between the navies of the two countries.
Exercise Malabar is a complex high end operational exercise that has grown in scope and complexity over the years. Malabar 2014 was the latest in a continuing series of exercises conducted to enhance multinational maritime relationships and mutual security issues. It featured both ashore and at sea training. During the ashore training at Port Sasebo, Japan from July 24-26, 2014 the interactions included subject matter expert and professional exchanges on Carrier Strike Group operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, anti-piracy operations and Visit, Board, Search and Seizure operations. This exercise helped Indian, Japanese and US navies to have a common understanding and knowledge of a shared working environment at sea.
PRIME MINISTER ON BOARD INS VIKRAMADITYA
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, embarked on the newly inducted India’s largest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, off the coast of Goa, on 13 June 2014, which incidentally was his first visit to an operational military formation after assuming office as the Prime Minister. He dedicated the aircraft carrier to the Nation.
DEFEXPO – 2014
The eighth edition of International Land, Naval and International Security Systems Exhibition started on 06 February 2014 at New Delhi. The exhibition saw the participation of 624 companies from 30 countries. It was concluded on 10 February 2014.
Fast Patrol Vessel ICGS Abhiraj was commissioned at Tuticorin on 02 September, 2014 which will strengthen our Coastal Surveillance initiatives.
As a gesture of good bilateral relations between the Coast Guards of India and Seychelles, India handed over one Fast Attack Craft INS Tarasa to Seychelles Coast Guard on 06 November 2014 and it was renamed as PS Constant by Seychelles Coast Guard.
During the year Indian Navy Warships, INS Sahyadri, INS Shivalik, INS Teg, INS Ranvijay and INS Satpura, on request from friendly foreign countries, visited different ports of China, Australia, South Africa, Mozambique, Bahrain, UAE, Russia, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Bangladesh at different times which greatly helped in cementing the bond of friendship with foreign countries. It also displayed our projection of force in foreign shores, thereby, strengthening the much needed defence diplomacy.
SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAAN – A LANDMARK CAMPAIGN
Responding to the Prime Minister’s clarion call to the people of India to realize Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of “Swachh Bharat” (Clean India) by 2nd October 2019, Ministry of Defence has undertaken in right earnest an intensive national cleanliness campaign w.e.f. 25th September 2014. Directorate of Defence Estates, Ministry of Defence has prepared an elaborate plan to implement, “Clean India - Clean Cantonments” programme. The mission will comprise a collective and sustained effort to clean our homes, workplaces, streets, roads, pavements, schools, hospitals, markets and all other public places within our purview and keeping them clean for all times to come. For this Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE) had directed all Defence Estate Officers and Cantonment Boards to undertake “Swachh Shapath” drive from October 02, 2014 onwards, involving all officers and staff in Directorates as well as offices of DEO’s. The DGDE has accordingly prepared an action plan for each Command Directorate and offices under it for a period of five years where a systemic cleanliness drive has been undertaken by a Corps of Swachh Bharat Volunteers. This Corps of volunteers will be tasked to create mass awareness about how to develop clean habits and keep our surroundings neat and clean. Since Clean India-Clean Cantonments campaign cannot be successful without public participation, the action plan for the same has devised a number of steps to make it happen in a coordinated manner.
EXCELLENCE IN SPORTS
Services contribution in putting India in the sports map of the world can never be ignored. Sportsmen from services have always brought laurels for the country. In the recently held Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea, India bagged 57 medals which include 11 gold, 10 silver and 36 bronze. Out of this sportsmen from Indian Armed Forces got 18 medals. In the Commonwealth Games held at Glasgow, Scotland from 23 July to 03 August, 2014, Services sportsmen bagged 08 medals which include 02 gold, and 05 silver out of the country’s medal tally which stood at 64.
The famous Corps of Signals Dare Devils Team once again did the Army and the Nation proud when it added yet another feather to its cap by establishing a new world record of performing maximum number of Yoga Asans on a moving motorcycle. This is the eight Guinness World Record title being conferred on the Dare Devils Team by the Guinness Book of Records.
The Government has decided to build a National War Memorial to honour Defence Forces’ personnel who were martyred in wars after Independence in 1947. A War Museum will also be constructed. Rs. 200 crore has been allocated in the Defence Service Estimates for the year 2014-15 for this purpose.
DIGITIZATION OF RECORDS
Digitization of records in History Division, Ministry of Defence is in progress. The work is likely to be completed by December, 2016. Likewise digitization of files/records relating to Defence land is also in progress and the same is likely to be completed by March, 2015.
An on-line system, e-Samiksha for monitoring of follow-up action on the decisions taken during the presentations made by different Ministries/Departments to the Prime Minister, decisions taken during Committee of Secretaries meetings, Center-State coordination issues, progress of Court cases pending before various Courts/Tribunals in which Cabinet Secretary is a respondent either directly or in the form of a pro-forma party etc. has been launched by Cabinet Secretariat. The same is being monitored regularly for issues related to this Ministry.