Dharma Guardian-2018: First India-Japan military exercise begins in Vairengte, Mizoram
The first joint military exercise named “Dharma Guardian” between India and Japan has begun at Indian Army’s Counter-Insurgency Warfare School at Vairengte (Mizoram). The exercise is aimed at developing mutual understanding and respect between militaries of both countries, as also facilitate in tracking worldwide phenomenon of terrorism. In this exercise, Indian Army will be represented by 6/1 Gorkha Rifles, while Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force will field its 32 Infantry Regiment. The emphasis of this exercise will be on building interoperability. Armies of both countries will jointly train, plan and execute series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario. Moreover, experts from both sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their expertise on varied operational aspects.
Maharashtra Government to convert decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat into floating museum
Maharashtra state cabinet approved plant for conversion of Indian Navy’s longest-serving aircraft carrier INS Viraat, into India’s first-ever moored maritime museum-cum-marine adventure centre. At present, INS Viraat is at Mumbai’s Naval dockyard after it was decommissioned (retired) in 2017. As per state government’s plan, INS Viraat’s conversion will be on publicprivate-partnership (PPP) basis. It will be grouted (grounded, sealed to seabed with concrete and moored) seven nautical miles off Malvan coast at Nivati rocks in Sindhudurg districct. This ship will host biodiversity centres and marine adventure centre providing sailing and scuba-diving experiences. There will be virtual galleries, cafeterias and even training centre for merchant navy crew. World over only seven aircraft carriers so far have been converted into museums, theme parks and luxury hotel.
INS Viraat: It was built in 1943 during Second World War and was first commissioned as HMS Hermes into the British Royal Navy in November 1959. During the Falklands War in 1982, the aircraft carrier had served as flagship of the Royal Navy’s task force. British navy had decommissioned in 1985 after 27 years of service. It has sailed nearly 11 lakh km, enough to cover the globe 27 times. It had spent 30 years in Indian Navy and 27 years in Royal British Navy. It was commissioned into the Indian Navy on May 12, 1987. It had played a major role in Operation Jupiter in 1989 in the Sri Lankan peace keeping operation. It had participated in the standoff Operation Parakram in 2001-20012 when India and Pakistan were engaged in a standoff post the Parliament terror attack. Its last operational deployment was for participation in International Fleet Review held at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh in February 2016. INS Viraat holds Guinness Books of record of being the longest serving warship in the world. It was also the last British-built ship serving with the Indian Navy.
India successfully conducted night trial of Agni-I ballistic missile
India has successfully carried out night user trial of Agni-I short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile. The test flight was conducted by Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command off Abdul Kalam Island in Bay of Bengal, off the coast of the Indian state of Odisha. The test was second known nighttime trial of Agni-I since its first such successful test in April 2014.
Agni-I missile: Agni-I is short range nuclear capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile. It is first missile of the Agni series launched in 1983. It was developed by premier missile development laboratory of DRDO in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory and Research Centre Imarat and integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad. It weighs 12 tonnes and is 15-metre-long. It is designed to carry payload of more than one tonne (both conventional and nuclear warhead). It is single stage missile powered by solid propellants. It can hit a target 700 km away. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload. It can be fired from road and rail mobile launchers. It is equipped with sophisticated navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision. The missile already has been inducted into armed forces. Since its induction it has proved its excellent performance in terms of range, accuracy and lethality. It is also claimed to be a part of India’s minimum credible deterrence under No first to use policy.
Indian Coast Guard launches new Offshore patrol vessel ICGS Varaha
The Indian Coast Guard has launched a new offshore patrol vessel named ICGS Varaha from a corporate shipyard near Chennai.
ICGS Varaha has been designed and built indigenously. ICGS Varaha will soon be fitted with advanced navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries. The weapons fitted on board will include 30 mm guns with Fire Control Systems. ICGS Varaha will also be capable of carrying a twin-engine helicopter and four high-speed boats for Search and Rescue and Maritime Patrol. It also carries pollution response equipment to contain the oil spill at sea.
Nuclear submarine INS Arihant completes first deterrence patrol
India’s first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant has successfully completed its first deterrence patrol. The development signifies that underwater warship has completed its maiden long-range mission with live nuclear-tipped missiles. During deterrence patrol, a nuclear submarine carries nuclear missiles on board, where command and control protocols for its operations are fully tested by its crew. The term deterrence patrol is meant to deter an adversary from launching a first nuclear-strike since SSBN (Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear) can launch retaliatory strike within minutes. With this, India completed its survivable nuclear triad by adding maritime strike capability to land and air-based delivery platforms for nuclear weapons. It makes India sixth country — after US, Russia, UK, France and China — to have fully operational nuclear triad.
INS Arihant: INS Arihant is India’s first indigenously-designed, developed and manufactured nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, and three more such submarines are reportedly under various stages of construction. It was designed in 1990s and its development project was officially acknowledged in 1998. Its design is based on the Russian Akula-1 class submarine. It was launched in 2009 and its nuclear reactor went critical in 2013 and it was commissioned in 2016. It is strategic asset developed for over two decades with Russia’s help under Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) programme, which comes directly under Nuclear Command Authority headed by the Prime Minister. INS Arihant is 6,000-tonne submarine with length of 110 metres and breadth of 11 metres. It is powered by 83 MW pressurised light water nuclear reactor with enriched uranium fuel. It can carry 12 Sagarika K 15 submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) having range of over 700 km. As it powered by nuclear reactor it can function submerged for months without having to surface. This feature allows it to travel further and with greater stealth capability. It assures second strike capability to India i.e. capability to strike back after being hit by nuclear weapons first. In case of India, second strike capability is important as it had committed to ‘No-First-Use’ policy as part of its nuclear doctrine.
Nuclear triad capability of India: India is sixth Nation in the world (after US, Russia, France, China and UK) to possess Nuclear Triad. It means that India is capable of delivering nuclear weapons by aircraft, land based ballistic missiles and submarine launched missiles. India Army has strong arsenal of land based ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile). It includes Agni series, Prithvi series, Prahar Missile, Shaurya Missile, supersonic Brahmos and subsonic Nirbhay missiles. Indian Airforce (IAF) operates Jaguars aircrafts which are designed for deep penetration strike and can carry nuclear bomb. Besides, IAF also has SU 30 MKI and Rafale aircrafts which can also be used to deliver nuclear weapons. Indian Navy now has its own nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine INS Arihant capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Bilateral Naval Exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’:
Indian Navy and Indonesian Navy has scheduled Bilateral Exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’.
Exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’: The aim of the exercise is to strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interoperability and exchange best practices. The exercise seeks to promote India’s solidarity with Indonesia towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen existing bonds between the navies of the two nations.
It is a joint military exercise between Indian and Russia on combating insurgency under the aegis of United Nations (UN). The latest edition is being conducted at Babina Field Firing Ranges, Babina Military Station. The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct to enhance interoperability of the two Armies in the peace keeping/ enforcement environment under the aegis of the UN. It focuses upon training on enhancing team building, special tactical level operations such as Cordon and Search, house intervention, handling and neutralisation of Improvised Explosive Devices and integrated employment of force multipliers.