On 15 August 2016, Havildar Hangpan Dada, was awarded the Ashok Chakra, the nations highest gallantry award in peace time, posthumously, for conspicuous bravery beyond the call of duty in operations.
Hav Hangpan Dada, aged 36 years, hailed from Boduria village in Arunachal Pradesh. He had been operating in the snow bound high altitude areas of Kupwara district for over a year. On May 26, 2016, information was received that four heavily armed terrorists had sneaked in across the Line of Control. Hav. Dada along with his team was tasked to chase and trap the fleeing terrorists. Moving swiftly through the high altitude snow bound terrain, Hav. Dada and his team quickly established contact with the terrorists and blocked their route of escape. In the ensuing action, Dada was injured, but despite his injuries, single handedly, he killed three of the four terrorists and his team mates eliminated the fourth one. Hav Dada succumbed to his injuries on 27 May 2106. His action was indeed a daring one, executed under the most difficult conditions, for which he was rightly awarded the nation’s Highest peace time award for bravery the Ashok Chakra, for display of courage and leadership of the highest order, beyond the call of duty.
On Independence Day, a total of 82 Gallantry Awards were announced, to include 14 Shaurya Chakra. Of these, 11 went to the Army, one to the Air Force and two to police personnel under the Home Ministry.
NCC BOYS EXPEDITION TO MOUNT BHAGIRATHI II FLAGGED OFF
An NCC boys mountaineering expedition is all set to scale Mount Bhagirathiat a height of 6512m, between 19 Sep to 21 Sep 2016. Located in the Garhwal region, it is technically a very challenging peak and would require great mountaineering skills and expertise to reach the summit. The team consists of Col SS Phogat, Expedition Leader, Lt Col Arunbir Singh, Deputy Leader, Capt. Suhail Khan, Medical Officer, and 20 cadets. The team has done meticulous planning and has trained hard to scale the peak. All the cadets have done basic mountaineering course and represent some of the best climbers in the seventeen State Directorates of NCC. The NCC Boys Mountaineering Expedition was flagged off by Lt Gen. A Chakravarty, AVSM, VSM DGNCC from DGNCC HQ, New Delhi on 26 Aug 2016.
OPERATION SANKAT MOCHAN
India successfully evacuated 156 of its citizens, including 9 women and two children from Juba, the capital of South Sudan, after heavy fighting erupted there on 7 July between the Government Forces of President Salva Kiir and erstwhile rebel leader and now Vice President Riek Machar, after a year-long ceasefire wherein 272 people including 33 civilians and two UN Observers were killed. Juba’s Gudele and Jebel districts witnessed heavy fighting which apparently erupted when troops loyal to President Kiir stopped and demanded to search vehicles of Vice President Machar’s loyalists. The peace deal to end South Sudan’s civil war is being fought largely along ethnic lines with Kiir, a Dinka, and Machar, a Nuer, drawing support from their respective tribes was signed in August 2015. Delay in implementing key elements of re-integrating or demobilising their troops, has cast a shadow over the peace process leaving the country mired in poverty.The MoS, Gen. VK Singh personally led Op SANKAT MOCHAN and with Air Force C17 aircraft successfully brought the Indians to the safety of home soil.
Innoprom is the main International Industrial trade fair in Russia, organised every year to showcase Russian and Global engineering innovations. In the fair held from 10 to 13 July this year in Yekaterinburg, India has sought to buy four strategic Tu- 22M3 bombers. in addition to the bombers, the Indian Air Force is also seeking to purchase 80 Mi-17 helicopters and six IL-76 airplanes, in which the Israeli radar system, the ‘Falcon,’ can be installed. India has also expressed interest to acquire twelve S- 400 ‘Triumf’ anti-aircraft missile systems. In addition, interest was expressed to lease two nuclear submarines of the Akula-2 (‘Akula’ means Shark) class, with the option to purchase them after the completion of their lease terms.RIA Novosti had earlier reported that Russia would soon be able to deliver a second nuclear submarine of the Project 971 Shchuka-B (‘Schuka’ means pike) to India, after the relevant contract is signed. The first such submarine, named the ‘Chakra’, was delivered to the Indian Navy under lease in 2012.
Guidelines for Establishing Joint Venture Companies by Defence Public Sector Undertakings Abolished
In a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister on 27July 2016, the Union Cabinet accorded approval to abolishing the existing “Guidelines for establishing Joint Venture Companies by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs)”, which had been notified in February, 2012. Now, the guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) and Ministry of Finance (MoF) from time to time, which are uniformly applicable to all Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) will also be applicable for the DPSUs to set up JV companies.
The abolished guidelines had their origins in the Defence Production Policy (DPP) promulgated in January 2011 with the objective of achieving substantive self-reliance in defence production including design and development capability. It had recommended that all viable approaches including JVs be undertaken to achieve the desired self-reliance in defence production. These guidelines were thereafter supplemented with formulation of JV protocols/ guidelines tailored for DPSUs which would address the specific requirements of the defence sector and also ensure that the interests of DPSUs were safeguarded. The present review was necessitated in the context of the increasing participation of the private industry in defence sector and the transformation taking place in the defence acquisition eco system. With primacy being accorded to indigenous manufacturing/ Make in India, it was felt that having multiple set of guidelines may lead to ambiguity and incongruity in the environment.
The abolition of the existing JV Guidelines will provide a level playing field between DPSUs and the private sector. It will allow DPSUs to forge partnerships in an ‘innovative manner’ enhancing
APACHE AND CHINOOK HELICOPTERS PROCUREMENT
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha on 30 July 2016, the Raksha Mantri stated that the contract for Apache attack helicopters and Chinook heavy lift helicopters has been signed with US Government and Boeing on 28th September, 2015 at a cost of Rs.13,951.57 crore and Rs.8047.85 crore respectively. The delivery of Apache helicopters will commence from July, 2019 and will be completed by March, 2020. The delivery of Chinook helicopters will start from March, 2019 and will be completed by March, 2020.
LIGHT COMBAT AIRCRAFT (LCA)
Speaking to the media on 21 August 2016, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N Chandrababu Naidu said that a weapons integration facility to manufacture Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), said to be the first-of-its-kind in the country in the private sector, will be set up in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh at a total cost of Rs 2,135 crore. This will be set up by Wem Technologies Private Limited in partnership with Lockheed Martin. The state government will allot 350 acres of land for this facility spread over Vatluru and Bhogapuram villages near Eluru in West Godavari district. The project will have an investment of Rs 635 crore and provide employment to 650 persons in the first phase. When fully operational, it will provide employment opportunities to 2510 people.