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The Year of Fulfilling Long-standing Demands – That’s True for Defence Too

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Indian Armed Forces operate from some of the toughest terrains- from guarding the icy glaciers of highest battlefield in the world at Siachen, keeping a watchful eye over the Thar desert to patrolling the high seas to protect India’s maritime interests.

For protecting India from all the threats emanating from such geographically diverse and challenging terrains, our armed forces naturally require the best of weapons and defence equipment.

In this regard, decisions taken in Modi 1.0 as well as decisions taken in last six months are bearing fruit and Indian armed forces are getting the modern lethal weapons and equipment’s that they need.

Guarding the Indian Skies

A slew of new fighter aircrafts and helicopter have been inducted in 2019 into the Indian Air Force adding muscle to its fleet.

In February of this year, IAF inducted first batch of the combat ready chinook heavy lift helicopters which will greatly enhance India’s capabilities across a range of military and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. Chinook is equipped with vertical-airlift capability for a very diversified terrain and will give the IAF a quantum leap to transport cargo to precarious high-altitude locations

The Chinook will not only augment air force’s heavy lift capability for military tasks but is a vital addition for the construction of strategic roads and infrastructure projects on the border. The Border Roads Organisation has been waiting in particular for the Chinook to complete road building projects in the North East that have been stuck for years for want of a heavy lift chopper that can carry material and equipment through narrow valleys.

In a major boost to its combat power, the first batch of 8 combat ready Apache Helicopters were inducted into the Airforce. The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters equipped with in lethal firepower with great accuracy. Customized to suit IAF’s future requirements, Apache’s will first be stationed at the Pathankot Air force station near the Pakistani border.

First of the 36 Rafale Fighter jets was formally handed over to the defence Minister Rajnath Singh in France on 12th of November. This 4.5 generation lethal aircraft will change the paradigm of Air combat in the region and will exponentially increase IAFs firepower.

The Rafale jets will come with various India-specific modifications, including Israeli helmet-mounted displays, radar warning receivers, low band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, infra-red search and tracking systems, air missiles, air-to-ground missiles and air-to-surface missiles along with Nuclear weapons.

Jai Jawan! - Indian Army gets a boost

In a major boost in fight against terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan Army on the Line of Control (LoC), the Indian Army has started inducting its newly acquired American SiG Sauer assault rifles in operations.

The first batch of ten thousand assault rifles out of the seventy-two thousand rifles order placed in February of this year has started arriving. While sixty-six thousand will be used by army, the remaining will be split between air force and the navy. They will be manufactured in the US and will be supplied within a year since the contract for the new guns is being made under fast-track procurement (FTP).

Along with the assault rifles, Israeli made anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMS) Spike have also been inducted along the LoC in northern command theatre in Jammu and Kashmir to bolster defence along the country’s border with Pakistan. Known as the “fire and forget” missiles, Spike ATGMs are portable by men and are powerful enough to destroy tanks and bust bunkers within four kilometers.

M777 Ultra-light howitzers whose induction had started in 2018 are also going to be manufactured in India itself under the Army’s ‘Make in India’ campaign. The Indian Army has placed an order for 145 ultra-light weight Howitzer guns with BAE Systems. Out of these 145 howitzer guns, 25 will come in a flyaway condition and the rest 120 will be assembled in India at the Mahindra Defence facility.

The highly portable M777 howitzer guns can be carried easily over land, air and sea and can be readily airlifted on the recently inducted Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. This means that at a very short notice, both troops and artillery guns can be transported by Chinooks to border areas in Jammu and Kashmir, giving India ready firepower along its borders.

India also became the 4th country in the world after US, UK and Germany to have its own national standard for bulletproof jackets and is now exporting international quality bulletproof jackets to over 100 countries including few European nations.

1.86 Lakh units of this high-quality bullet-proof jackets have already been supplied to our Armed forces.

Guarding the Naval Frontier

Indian Navy in September inducted its indigenously built state of the art diesel electric submarine INS Khanderi. It is the second of the kalvari class submarines to be inducted into the navy and was built at mazagon dock

INS Khanderi is fully weaponised to attack its enemies. It is equipped with a set of missiles and torpedoes that can be fired upon detecting enemy targets. It has a sonar suite that enables long-range detection and classification of targets. The submarine’s warfare capability comprises a cluster of integrated advanced weapons and sensors.

The Indian Navy inducted its first ‘Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle’ in December and joined a select league of world navies that have an integral submarine rescue capability. The DSRV crew carried out remotely operated vehicle operations at a depth of over 750 meters and side scan sonar operations at a depth of over 650 meters, which are all ‘firsts’ for the Indian Navy.

Indian Navy also inducted indigenously built Landing Craft Utility (LCU) War-ship which was the 100th vessel built indigenously by a Kolkata based firm. State of the Art LCU can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands.