NOVEMBER 2018 (15-30)

Vajra Prahar
‘Vajra Prahar’ is a Indo-US Special Forces joint training exercise conducted alternately in India and the US. The 2018 edition of this exercise has commenced at Mahajan Field Firing Range (MFFR), Bikaner in Rajasthan.
Aim and objectives of the exercise: The aim of the exercise is to promote military relations between the two countries by enhancing interoperability and mutual exchange of tactics between Special Forces. The objectives of the joint training is to share the best practices between the two armies and to develop joint strategies by sharing expertise of conducting operations in a counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment, while capitalising on the rich repository of experiences of each other armies.

India, Russia to build stealth frigates
India recently signed a $500 mn deal with Russia to locally manufacture two stealth frigates with technology transfer. In October 2016, India and Russia signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for four Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates two to be procured directly from Russia and two to be built by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL). India had earlier procured six frigates weighing 4000 tonnes of the same class in two different batches, the Talwar class and the upgraded Teg class. The navy’s medium term plans envisage increasing warship strength from the current 140-odd, to 198 warships by 2027. Russia was declared the lowest bidder in the Army’s Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) deal and recently India signed a $5.43 bn deal for five S-400 long range air defence regiments.
VSHORAD) deal: It seeks to replace the aging Russian made Igla-M air defence systems with man- portable systems weighing less than 25 kilograms, with fire and forget capability. When inducted, VSHORAD man-portable systems will be employed in varied terrains including high altitude areas, plains, desert areas, coastal areas and maritime and integrated to a passive/active sensor for mounting on a platform with facility to mount on light vehicles. These systems will also have a dedicated command, control & communication (C3) unit for detection processing and engaging aerial targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters.
recent deal: The deal is part of the umbrella agreement to acquire four such warships for the Indian Navy. Construction of frigates at Goa shipyard will begin in 2020, with first one being delivered in 2026 and the second a year later. Frigates will be armed with the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, apart from other weapon systems and sensors. The work on the two frigates will start in two years by mid-2020 and is expected to be completed by 2026- 2027. India will separately acquire the Zorya gas-turbine engines to power the frigates four for each warship at a total cost of around Rs 1,000 crore from Ukraine. The series of deals with Russia come in the backdrop of looming US sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) law. CAATSA seeks to prevent countries from buying Russian weapons or Iranian oil. The four warships will add to the six such Russian stealth frigates, three Talwar-class and three Teg-class warships, already inducted into the Indian Navy from 2003-2004 onwards.

Raksha Mantri Launches ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’
Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has formally launched ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’. The event showcased salient inventions and innovations achieved by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), and Ordinance Factories (OFs) which have resulted in successful filing of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) applications. The Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) has been entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the programme. As part of the ongoing initiatives to enhance self-reliance in defence, the Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti aims to provide a boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry. IPR emerged as a key ingredient of an ecosystem which stimulates innovation and ingenuity. It was highlighted the need to migrate from the culture of seeking Transfer of Technology (ToT) from foreign sources to generating Intellectual Property in India, to achieve the goal of self-reliance in Defence sector.
IP Facilitation Cell: It was established in April this year. To achieve ambitious targets of training 10,000 personnel of Ordnance Factories (OFs) and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) on IPR. To facilitate filing of at least 1,000 new IPR applications.
What are Intellectual Property Rights?
According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), IPRs are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.