New Delhi : 2022 was the year of path-breaking reforms for Ministry of Defence as giant strides were made with Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh at the helm to transform the military into a youthful, modern and ‘Aatmanirbhar’ force, as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. While the Armed Forces were equipped with state-of-the-art weapons/equipment/ technologies manufactured by a self-reliant indigenous industry, a major reform was rolled out with the aim to build a youthful & tech-savvy military ready to meet future challenges. Continuous efforts to increase defence exports in order to achieve the collective goal of global peace and prosperity, in line with the ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ vision, bore fruit as many countries showed keen interest in Indian platforms, resulting in record defence exports. Border area development, Nari Shakti, expansion of National Cadet Corps (NCC) and setting up of new Sainik Schools to instil patriotism among youth moved forward with renewed thrust.
- Agnipath– Major Transformative Reform
- The AGNIPATH scheme for recruitment of youth in the Armed Forces was launched in June, allowing patriotic youth (Agniveers) to don the sacred uniform and serve the country for a period of four years.
- The scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces and bring about a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy military.
- The recruitment entails an attractive monthly package with Risk & Hardship allowances as applicable in the three Services and a one-time ‘Seva Nidhi’ package to be paid to Agniveers upon completion of their engagement period.
- The response from patriotic youth towards the scheme has been encouraging. Over 54 lakh registrations, including by female aspirants, were received by the three Services for recruitment into the Armed Forces (Indian Army – 37.09 lakh; Indian Navy – 9.55 lakh and Indian Air Force – 7.69 lakh). Training centres are geared up to commence training shortly with improved training infrastructure.
- Preparation and promulgation of Basic Military Training Policy governing training of Agniveers hasbeen revised and implemented for smooth commencement of the training. Requirement of Training Infrastructure for Regimental Centres encompassing Simulators. IT Infrastructure, Training Aggregates, Physical Training/Sports Infrastructure and Works has been worked out and promulgated to cater for the reduced duration of training.
- INS Vikrant – Red letter day for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’
- India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was commissioned by the Prime Minister at Cochin Shipyard Limited in September.The commissioning showcased the country’s growing prowess of indigenous manufacturing and a major milestone in the path towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
- With 76% indigenous content, the 262.5 m long and 61.6 m wide ship is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment/systems, designed for a crew of around 1,600 officers and sailors.
- The carrier is designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operations, ship navigation and survivability. It is capable of operating air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising of MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters and Light Combat Aircraft Navy. Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery, INS Vikrant is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft and a set of ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery onboard.
- Other major ‘Made in India’ inductions/launches:
- LCH ‘Prachand’: The Raksha Mantri presided over the formal induction of Light Combat Helicopter, designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), ‘Prachand’ into the Indian Air Force in Jodhpur in October 2022. The LCH is the first indigenous Multi-Role Combat Helicopter which has potent ground attack and aerial combat capability. It possesses modern stealth characteristics, robust armour protection and formidable night attack capability. Onboard advanced navigation system, guns tailored for close combat and potent air to air missiles make the LCH especially suited for the modern battlefield. It is capable of operating from high altitude terrain and carrying out precision strike at high altitude targets.
- Indian Naval Air Squadron: Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 325, operating the indigenously built Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Mk-III, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in a ceremony held at INS Utkrosh, Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Command in May 2022. The unit was the second ALH MK III Squadron commissioned into the Indian Navy. The state-of-the-art multi role helicopter has been developed and manufactured by HAL. The ALH Mk-III helicopters features state-of-the-art equipment including advanced RADAR as well as Electro optical sensors, Shakti engines, full glass cockpit, high-intensity search light, advanced communication systems, automatic identification system as well as search-and-rescue homer. This feature enables the helicopter to undertake maritime reconnaissance as well as carry out search and rescue at extended ranges while operating from ships, both by day and night.
- Missile Destroyers/Frigates: The Raksha Mantri launched two frontline warships of the Indian Navy – ‘Surat’ and ‘Udaygiri’ – at Mazagon Docks Limited, Mumbai in May. ‘Surat’ is the fourth Stealth-Guided Missile Destroyer of P15B class, while ‘Udaygiri’ is the second Stealth Frigate of P17A class. Project 15B class of ships are the next-generation stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy which are follow-on class of the weapon intensive P15A (Kolkata Class) Destroyers. P17A Frigates are warships that are follow-on class of the P17 (Shivalik Class) Frigates with improved stealth features, advanced weapons & sensors and platform management systems. Y-12705 (Mormugao), the second ship of Project 15B, was delivered to Indian Navy in November, while fifth Stealth Frigate ‘Taragiri’ of P17A was launched in September.
- Diving Support/Survey vessels: Two Diving Support Vessels (DSVs) – Nistar and Nipun – built by Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam were launched in September. DSVs equipped with an array of complex Diving Support systems and Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel are being deployed for deep sea diving and submarine rescue operations. The ships are also capable of conducting Search and Rescue operations and carrying out Helicopter Operations at sea. They were launched by achieving approx. 80% indigenous content, a major step towards ‘Self Reliance’.‘Ikshak’, the third of the four Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL) Project, being built by GRSE/L&T for Indian Navy was launched in November in Chennai. SVL ships will replace the existing Sandhayak Class survey ships with new generation hydrographic equipment to collect oceanographic data.
- ICG ALH squadrons: In a major boost to further strengthening the capabilities of Indian Coast Guard, ALH Mk-III squadrons – 835 Sqn (CG) and 840 Sqn (CG) – were commissioned in Porbandar and Chennai in June and December respectively.
- ICG-Offshore Patrol Vessel: Indigenously built Offshore Patrol Vessel for Indian Coast Guard, Saksham was inducted in February. The ship has been designed and built by Goa Shipyard Ltd and is fitted with advanced technology navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machinery.
- C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing facility:
- The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing facility – the country’s first in the private sector – in Vadodara, Gujarat in October. The facility will manufacture C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force through collaboration between Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain.
- This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. The total cost of the project is Rs 21,935 crore. The aircraft can be used for civilian purposes as well.
- 40 aircraft will be manufactured at the facility, while 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition, as per the contract signed between Ministry of Defence with M/s Airbus Defence and Space S.A.
- Continuous pursuit of self-reliance – Other major announcements:
- Positive Indigenisation Lists: Four lists– two of 101 items each & two others for Defence PSUs of 780 & 107 items respectively – were notified by Ministry of Defence.The Raksha Mantri released the third positive indigenisation list of 101 items, comprising major equipment/platforms, in April, while the fourth list of another 101 items was announced by the Prime Minister during the opening ceremony of DefExpo 2022 in Gujarat in October. To minimise imports by DPSUs under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, Ministry of Defence, in March, approved another list of 107 strategically important Line Replacement Units (LRUs)/sub-systems with a timeline beyond which there will be an embargo on their import. In August, the Raksha Mantri approved the third list of 780 strategically important LRUs/Sub-systems/components.
- Union Budget 2022-23: Total allocation under capital outlay of Defence Services was enhanced to Rs 1.52 lakh crore in Budget 2022-23. 68% of capital procurement budget was earmarked for domestic industry to promote self-reliance and reduce import dependency.
- Defence exports: Due to the Government’s persistent efforts,defence exports grew by 334% in the last five years. They touched a record Rs 13,000 crore in Financial Year 2021-22. India is now exporting defence equipment to over 75 countries.
- BrahMos: A contract was signed for procurement of 35 combat and three Practice BrahMos missiles for two P-15B ships from M/s BrahMos Aerospace Pvt. Ltd., India for an amount of Rs 1,723 crore.
- EWSA/IEWR: Two contracts for procurement of 42 D-29 EW Systems & Associated Equipment and one Instrumented Electronic Warfare Range (IEWR) for Indian Air Force from M/s BEL, Bengaluru & Hyderabad for a total cost of Rs 1,993 crore and 1,109 crore under Buy (Indian) category respectively were signed in March.
- Commander Thermal Image: A contract for procurement of 957 Commander Thermal image (Ti) cum day sight for T-90 Tanks from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was signed in February. The total cost of contract is Rs 1,075 crore.
- Fast Patrol Vessels: A contract for construction of eight Fast Patrol vessels (FPVs) for Indian Coast Guard with M/s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), Goa at a total cost of Rs 473.47 crore under Buy (Indian) category was signed in March.
- Multi-Purpose Vessels: Contract for procurement of two Multi-Purpose Vessels (MPVs) for Indian Navy from M/s Larsen &Tubro Limited, Mumbai for a total cost of Rs 887 crore under Buy (Indian) category was signed in March.
- Bollard Pull Tugs: Contract for construction of six 25-Ton Bollard Pull Tugs was concluded with M/s Titagarh Wagons Ltd, Kolkata. These tugs, with a service life of 30 years, will be capable of assisting naval ships and submarines in berthing and un-berthing, turning and manoeuvring in confined waters.
- iDEX Prime: The Raksha Mantri launched Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) Prime and 6thDefence India Start-up Challenge (DISC 6) during DefConnect 2.0 in New Delhi. The iDEX-Prime aims to support projects, requiring support beyond Rs 1.5 crore up to Rs 10 crore to help ever-growing start-ups in the defence sector. The DISC 6 with 38 Problem Statements was also launched.
- AI in Defence: 75 newly-developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) products/technologies were launched by the Raksha Mantri during the first ever ‘AI in Defence’ symposium and exhibition organized by Ministry of Defence in New Delhi. The products fall under various domains such as AI Platform Automation; Autonomous/Unmanned/Robotics systems; Block Chain-based Automation; Command, Control, Communication, Computer and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Cyber Security; Human Behavioural Analysis; Intelligent Monitoring Systems; Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems; Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Operational Data Analytics; Manufacturing and Maintenance; Simulators/Test Equipment and speech/voice analysis using Natural Language Processing.
- US Navy ship repair: Providing a huge boost to ‘Make in India’ and adding a new dimension to the Indo-US strategic partnership, US Navy Ship Charles Drew visited L&T’s Shipyard at Kattupalli, Chennai in August for undertaking repairs and allied services. This was the first ever repair of a US Navy ship in India.
- DefExpo 2022:
- The 12th and largest-ever defence exhibition – DefExpo 2022 – marked the emergence of India’s defence industry as a sunrise sector for investment on the global scale, in line with the theme ‘Path to Pride’.Organised exclusively for Indian companies, the five-day event witnessed unparalleled participation of over 1,340 exhibitors, businesses, investors, start-ups, MSMEs, Armed Forces and delegates from several countries, with engagements spread over four venues.
- The importance of this historic DefExpo was reinforced when the Prime Minister graced the inaugural ceremony and invited the world to be part of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ journey. He made a number of announcements, including the 4thpositive indigenisation list; laid the foundation stone of Air Force Station Deesha, just 130 kms from our western border; unveiled the HAL-designed & developed HTT-40 trainer aircraft; launched Mission DefSpace and inaugurated the India and Gujarat Pavilions.
- The Raksha Mantri’s leadership enabled the implementation of vision of the DefExpo on ground with smooth conduct of dozens of engagements over three business and two public days and laid firm platform for the entire national defence ecosystem to collaborate and build a self-reliant India.
- The overwhelming response of investors and businesses showed that the objective of a defence sector worth USD 22 billion, with exports of Rs 35,000 crore by 2025, will be achieved. The best minds of defence sector came together at over 20 seminars across three business days to brainstorm over wide-ranging topics on Defence R&D, new technologies for air warfare, Indigenisation of Defence production, promotion of exports and encouraging investments.
- Conclusion of 451 MoUs, Transfer of Technology agreements, product launches and orders to domestic businesses, worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore, reflected India’s progress towards achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in Defence and integration between the Armed Forces requirements, R&D and defence production by public and private players.
- The seeds of various defence initiatives sown at DefExpo 2022 promise to bear everlasting fruits in future contributing to India’s quest for self-reliance and propel the Nation into a top defence exporter where everyone has a role to play.
- Major successful missile tests:
- Brahmos Extended Range Version: In May, India successfully fired the Extended Range Version of BrahMos Air Launched missile from Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft. The launch from the aircraft was as planned and the missile achieved a direct hit on the designated target in the Bay of Bengal region.
- Prithvi-II: A successful training launch of a Short-Range Ballistic Missile, Prithvi-II was carried out in June from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha. The missile is a proven system and is capable of striking targets with a very high degree of precision.
- Agni: India carried out a successful training launch of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, Agni-3 from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha in November. It was part of routine user training launches carried out under the aegis of the Strategic Forces Command. The launch was carried out for a predetermined range and validated all operational parameters of the system. Earlier, in June, a successful training launch Agni-4 was carried out. It, too, validated all operational parameters as also the reliability of the system. The successful test reaffirms India’s policy of having a ‘Credible Minimum Deterrence’ Capability.
- Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile: INS Arihant carried out a successful launch of a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile in October. The missile was tested to a predetermined range and impacted the target area in the Bay of Bengal with very high accuracy. All operational and technological parameters of the weapon system have been validated.
- Helina: In April, indigenously-developed helicopter launched Anti-Tank Guided Missile ‘HELINA’ was successfully flight tested twice at different high-altitude ranges as part of user validation trials. The flight-testswere jointly conducted by DRDO, Indian Army and Indian Air Force.The flight trials were conducted from an Advanced Light Helicopter and the missile was fired successfully engaging simulated tank target.
- Laser-Guided Anti-Tank Guided Missile: Indigenously-developed Laser-Guided Anti-Tank Guided Missile was successfully test-fired from Main Battle Tank Arjun by DRDO and Indian Army at KK Ranges with support of Armoured Corps Centre & School, Ahmednagar in June. In the test, the ATGM hit the bull’s eye with textbook precision and successfully defeated the target at minimum ranges. The all-indigenous ATGM employs a tandem High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead to defeat Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured vehicles.
- Naval Anti-Ship Missile: DRDO and Indian Navy successfully conducted maiden flight-test of indigenously-developed Naval Anti-Ship Missile launched from a Naval Helicopter from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha in May.It was the first indigenous air launched anti-ship missile system for the Indian Navy.The missile followed the desired sea skimming trajectory and reached the designated target with high degree of accuracy, validating the control, guidance and mission algorithms. It employed many new technologies, including an indigenously developed launcher for the helicopter.
- Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile: DRDO and Indian Army successfully completed six flight-tests of Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) system from ITR Chandipur off the Odisha coast. The flight tests were conducted as part of evaluation trials by the Indian Army. The flight-tests were carried out against high-speed aerial targets mimicking various types of threats to evaluate the capability of the weapon systems under different scenarios, including long range medium altitude, short range, high altitude manoeuvring target, low radar signature with receding & crossing target and salvo launch with two missiles fired in quick succession.
- Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile: Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile Army weapon system has once again proved its effectiveness as two missiles, during the flight tests, achieved direct hits against high speed aerial targets at Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha in March. The launches were carried out establishing the accuracy and reliability of the weapon system against targets covering the sea skimming and high altitude functionality within the envelope.
- Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile: Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) was successfully flight-tested by DRDO and Indian Navy from an Indian Naval Ship at ITR, Chandipur. The system will further strengthen the Indian Navy for neutralising various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.
- Phase-II Ballistic Missile Defence interceptor:DRDO conducted a successful maiden flight-test of Phase-II Ballistic Missile Defence interceptor AD-1missile with large kill altitude bracket from APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha in November. The flight-test was carried out with participation of all BMD weapon system elements located at different geographical locations.The AD-1 is a long-range interceptor missile designed for both low exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric interception of long-range ballistic missiles as well as aircraft.
- Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile: In January, DRDO successfully flight tested the final deliverable configuration of Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile. The indigenously developed anti-tank missile is a low weight, fire & forget missile and is launched from a man portable launcher, integrated with thermal sight. The missile impacted the designated target and destroyed it.
- Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator: Maiden flight of Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator was carried out successfully by DRDO from the Aeronautical Test Range, Chitradurga, Karnataka in July. Operating in a fully autonomous mode, the aircraft exhibited a perfect flight, including take-off, way point navigation and a smooth touchdown.
- Situation along LAC:
- With diplomatic and military efforts, effective disengagement with PLA forces was achieved from the area of PP 15 (Eastern Ladakh) in September. This disengagement was carried out almost a year after the previous such disengagement which was effected from Gogra in August 2021. As part of the engagement mechanism, a total of 16 rounds of Corps Commander Level Meetings and 12 related Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination meetings have been held till date and subsequent talks are being scheduled to discuss disengagement in the balance friction areas in Eastern Ladakh.
- On December 09, 2022, PLA troops tried to transgress LAC in Yangtse area of Tawangsector and unilaterally change the status quo. The Raksha Mantri made a statement inParliament on the incident. He informed both the Houses that the Chinese attempt was contested by Indian troops in a firm and resolute manner. The ensuing face-off led to a physical scuffle in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from transgressing into our territory and compelled them to return to their posts. The scuffle led to injuries to a few personnel on both sides. He informed both the Houses that there were no fatalities or serious casualties on our side.Due to timely intervention of Indian military commanders, PLA soldiers went back to their locations. As a follow-up of the incident, local Commander in the area held a Flag Meeting with his counterpart on December 11 to discuss the issue in accordance with established mechanisms. The Chinese side was asked to refrain from such actions and maintain peace and tranquility along the border. The issue was also taken up with the Chinese side through diplomatic channels, he said.
- IAF Weapon Systems branch:
- In a historic step for the Indian Air Force, Government approved the creation of a new branch ‘Weapon Systems (WS) branch’. It would entail unification of all weapon system operators under one entity dedicated to the operational employment of all ground-based and specialist airborne weapon systems.
- The branch would encompass operators in four specialised streams of Surface-to-Surface missiles, Surface-to-Air missiles, Remotely Piloted Aircraft and Weapon System Operators in twin/multi-crew aircraft. The branch will contribute immensely by enhancing the war fighting capability of the Indian Air Force.
- Key Appointments:
- Chief of Defence Staff: Government appointed General Anil Chauhan as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in September. He succeeded General BipinRawatwho lost his life in a tragic helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu last year.
- Chief of Army Staff: In April, General Manoj Pande took over as 29th Chief of the Army Staff from General Manoj MukundNaravane, who superannuated after four decades of an illustrious career.
- Defence Secretary: Shri Giridhar Aramane, a 1988-batch IAS officer assumed the office of Defence Secretary in November. He succeeded Dr Ajay Kumar who superannuated following an illustrious career.
- Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare): Shri Vijoy Kumar Singh, a 1990-batch IAS officer, assumed charge as Secretary, Ex-Servicemen Welfare in September. He succeeded 1987-batch IAS officer Shri B Anand who superannuated from service.
- International Cooperation:
- ASEAN Defence Ministers’Meeting Plus: The Raksha Mantri participated in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) and co-chaired the maiden India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting during his visit to Siem Reap, Cambodia in November.During the ADMM, Shri Rajnath Singh called for resolute global efforts to counter transnational and cross-border terrorism. He reiterated India’s vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, calling for peaceful resolution of disputes while respecting the sovereignty & territorial integrity of all nations. During the India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, the Raksha Mantri stated that India and ASEAN must work together for maritime security in the region. To further expand the India-ASEAN ties, he announced initiatives for Women in UN Peace Keeping Operations and Marine Plastic Pollution.
- India-US 2+2 Dialogue: The Raksha Mantri and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar took part in4thIndia-USA 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Washington DC in April. The dialogue reviewed bilateral cooperation across domains and discussed ways to further bolster the ties. The Raksha Mantri expressed India’s desire to take the partnership towards co-development and co-production with US companies. He called for increased investments by US defence companies in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme. Shri Rajnath Singh also held bilateral talks with US Secretary of Defence to review defence cooperation & regional security situation.
- India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue: The Raksha Mantri, along with the External Affairs Minister, participated in the 2ndIndia-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo in September. A wide spectrum of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting. Extensive discussions were held on ways to enhance maritime cooperation, including maritime domain awareness. There was consensus on both sides that a strong India-Japan relationship is very important for a free, open, rule-based and inclusive Indo-Pacific based upon sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations.
- India-France Annual Defence Dialogue: Shri Rajnath Singh held the 4th India-France Annual Defence Dialogue with Minister of Armed Forces of the French Republic Mr Sebastien Lecornu in New Delhi in November. They discussed means to strengthen maritime cooperation and increase the scope and complexity of bilateral exercises.One of the key areas of discussion was defence industrial cooperation with a focus on ‘Make in India’. Future collaborations and potential co-production opportunities were deliberated upon.
- Australian Defence Minister’s India visit: In June, the Raksha Mantri and Australian Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Defence Mr Richard Marles held a bilateral meeting in New Delhi. They reviewed the existing defence bilateralactivities which have been increasing despite challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and discussed ways to enhance further cooperation.
- Raksha Mantri’s Vietnam visit:Shri Rajnath Singh paid an official visit to Vietnam in June with the aim to further strengthen the ties with the Southeast Asian nation. He held bilateral talks with his Vietnamese counterpart General Phan Van Giang and presided over the handing over ceremony of 12 High Speed Guard Boats, constructed under the Government of India’s $US 100 million Defence Line of Credit to Vietnam.
- Raksha Mantri’s Mongolia visit: Giving a push to strategic partnership, Shri Rajnath Singh paid an official visit to Mongolia in September, becoming the first ever Indian Defence Minister to visit the East Asian Country. He held delegation-level talks with his Mongolian counterpartLt Gen Saikhanbayar Gursed and discussed effective & practical initiatives to further expand bilateral defence engagements besides deliberatingupon regional & global issues of mutual interest.The Raksha Mantri inaugurated of Cyber Security Training Centre, built with assistance from Government of India, at National Defence University in Ulaanbaatar and laid the foundation stone of India-Mongolia Friendship School, which is also being established with Indian assistance.
- Joint Military Exercises:2022 witnessed the Indian Armed Forces conducting a number of exercises with friendly nations, within the country and abroad, as part of Government of India’s commitment to expose the military to best foreign practices and bolster international ties.
- Ceremonial Functions
- Republic Day: The nation celebrated 73rdRepublic Day this year. The celebrations were special as the Republic Day fell in the 75th year of Independence, celebrated as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. To mark the occasion, Ministry of Defence conceptualized a series of new events during the main parade and ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony.
- The flame at Amar JawanJyoti was merged with the eternal flame at National War Memorial with full military honours.
- For the first time, a Drone Show was held during ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony. The 10-minute show involving around 1,000 drones fabricated through indigenous technology was conceptualized, designed, produced and choreographed under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, organized by a startup ‘Botlab Dynamics’ and supported by IIT Delhi & Department of Science & Technology.
- A Projection Mapping show of around six-minutes duration was showcased on the walls of North and South Block to commemorate 75 years of independence.
- Eco-friendly invitation cards were prepared for Republic Day Parade and Beating the Retreat ceremony relevant to the COVID-19 times. The cards were prepared with the seeds of medicinal plants of Ashwagandha, Aloe Vera and Amla embedded in it which can be planted in gardens/ flower pots.
- An interactive Virtual Museum hosted by the Gallantry Awards portal (www.gallantryawards.gov.in) was inaugurated by the Raksha Rajya Mantri. It comprises of a 3D walk through experience, gallery building, lobby, wall of fame, tour of war memorials, war room, resource centre, selfie booth and equipment display, etc.
- Other initiatives included launch of ‘ShaheedonKo Shat ShatNaman’ programme by NCC to honour the supreme sacrifice of the bravehearts and their families; a grand flypast by 75 aircraft/helicopters;cultural performances by 480 dancers selected through nation-wide ‘VandeBharatam’ competition; display of ten scrolls each of 75 metres prepared during ‘Kala Kumbh’ and installation of 10 large LED screens for better viewing experience of spectators.
- Keeping in view the COVID-19 situation, number of seats for parade spectators was significantly reduced and people were encouraged to register on the MyGov portal to witness the celebrations online.
- Independence Day:The Prime Minister led the Nation in celebrating the historic 76thIndependence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi. Following new components were included during the celebrations this year:-
- Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System: For 21 Gun Salute during the Flag Hoisting Ceremony, indigenously-developed Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System was used along with the traditional gun system. This gun system has been designed and developed by DRDO.
- Showering of Flower Petals: Two indigenously-developed MI-17 1V helicopters of Indian Air Force showered flower petals on the invitees.
- Scroll Paintings: Scroll paintings made by National Gallery of Modern Art during the Republic Day Celebrations2022, were installed as view cutter in the Madhavdas Park and 15 August Park. These paintings were also used to decorate the Meena Bazaar area inside the Red Fort.
- Large India Map Formation at Gyanpath: A Large Map of India was drawn on the wooden floor at Gyanpath wherein NCC cadets from all States/UTs seated at the location of their respective States/UTs in their local traditional attire.
- Youth Exchange Programme:Special Youth Exchange Programme was organised by NCC between August 09-17, 2022. Around 127 Cadets/Youths from 14 countries viz. Mauritius, Argentina, Seychelles, UAE, Mozambique, Fiji, USA, UK, Indonesia, Maldives, Nigeria, Kyrgyz Republic, Brazil and Uzbekistan were part of the programme. They were invited to witness the Flag Hoisting Ceremony at Red Fort.
- Special Invitees: A separate seating enclosure was made for special invitees, including Paralympic medal winners. Unsung heroes of society, who are usually overlooked such as mortuary workers, street vendors, successful mudra scheme loanees and anganwadi workers were also invited.
- Red Fort Wall Thematic Decoration: Giant mural was installed at the front wall of the Rampart of the Red Fort. Large wall hangings of prominent freedom fighters from various States/UTs of India were installed at the front wall of the Red Fort.
- Other Decorations: Container Art was installed behind the NCC cadets at Gyanpath.Five real size elephant figures were installed at the Lahori Gate and moat area of the Red Fort. Different installations were set up at various locations to act as selfie points for the spectators.
- Defence Investiture Ceremony:Defence Investiture Ceremony 2022 was organised at Rashtrapati Bhawan by Ministry of Defence in association with President’s Secretariat in two phases. The first phase was held on 10May, while the second took place on 31May. The President conferred Gallantry as well Distinguished Service awards to the personnel of Armed Forces, Paramilitary Forces and State/UT police. In all, oneKirti Chakra, 27 Shaurya Chakras, 29 Param Vishist Seva Medals, fourUttam Yudh Seva Medals and 53 AtiVishisht Seva Medals were awarded by the President.
Details of other achievements of different departments of Ministry of Defence as well as the Armed Forces are as follows:
- The Indian Army primarily focused on maintaining its operational preparedness in line with India’s desire to ensure stability & dominancealong the Line of Actual Control, Line of Control, carried out relentless counter insurgency/counter terrorist operations and maintained high training standards while constantly monitoring and reviewing emerging & future threats to national security. The Indian Army remains prepared for all military contingencies emanating out of the collusive threat from the military modernisation & aggressive actions by the country’s adversaries while, creating capacities to deal with emerging threats in cyber, space & info domains due to blurring of physical borders. The endeavour to progressively increase the capabilities through infusion of technology, induction of Force Multipliers, modernisation and improvement of infrastructure are progressing well.
- With sustenance of DGMO Understanding of February 2021, situation along the Line of Control witnessed significant improvement compared to pre-understanding violence levels. However, Pakistan continued to retain proxy war infrastructure and intent to prosecute Proxy War in J&K. Functionality of training camps, presence of terrorists in launch pads and continuing infiltration attempts vindicate persistent intent of Pakistan. Pakistan continues to exploit nacro-terror nexus to radicalise and motivate innocent youth undertake targeting of vulnerable civilians using pistols and grenades.
- With both sides adhering to the DGsMO Understanding, situation has been relatively peaceful. As compared to 4,645 ceasefire violations during its peak in 2020, only three minor incidents have been recorded since the Understanding in February 2021 with only one incident during 2022.
- This year, Pakistan’s attempts to push in terrorists have resulted in 12 infiltration attempts being eliminated along the LoC. 18 foreign terrorists were eliminated in these attempts and large quantities of arms and ammunition recovered.
- · Security situation in Jammu & Kashmir continues to witness consistent improvement since Abrogation of Article 370. The ‘Whole of Nation Approach’ has resulted in reduction of violence, stone pelting & agitations in the Kashmir Valley. Incipient normalcy has resulted in consequent focus on tourism with 3.65 lakh pilgrims visiting the Holy Amarnath Shrine and significant increase in the number of tourists visiting the Valley in 2022. Incident free conduct of AmarnathYatra in current year is not only a testimony of the robust security architecture in the Valley but also vindicates the desire for peace amongst locals and their willingness to reap its dividends and the locals of Kashmir deserve due credit for this.
- · The situation along the International Boundary in Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab largely remained peaceful. 2022 witnessed intensive efforts by adversaries towards employment of drones to disturb peace & security along the border areas. Indian Army has instituted a number of measures to counter this threat. Similarly, there have been persistent attempts by inimical elements operating from across the IB to construct tunnels close to the border for smuggling of arms, ammunition and narcotics in addition to infiltration of armed terrorists. Various equipment for detection of tunnels is being trial evaluated by Indian Army in collaboration with indigenous industry.
- The balance configuration of firm & compassionate outlook by the Indian Army & Assam Rifles in insurgency-affected North Eastern part of the country is evident through both tangible & intangible parameters such as, results in operations against insurgent groups, mainstreaming of insurgents and the critical decision of the Government to reduce areas under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. Since 1 January, synergised efforts by Army, Assam Rifles, CAPF and State police have resulted in neutralisation of three cadres, apprehension of 339 cadres, surrender by 133 cadres from various insurgent groups and recovery of 342 weapons of different types.
- Security Forces’ earnest endeavour to reduce the drug menace in the NE Region, through effective domination of hinterland as well as India – Myanmar border, good coordination with Police & Civil administration and a strong resolve to curb nefarious activities, have successfully recovered contraband worth Rs 595.73 crore during the year. Army & Assam Rifles continued to reach out to the local population through various awareness programmes, health & educational camps, seminars and infrastructure development projects. Efforts of the armed forces have been applauded by civil society organisations as also by the State & Central leadership.
- The Indian Army’s modernisation plan is essentially based on developing ‘Force Capabilities’ as per the enunciated national security requirements. Modernisation plan encompasses developing critical combat capabilities, besides overcoming the obsolescence in core capabilities. Currently our acquisition plans are focussing on enhanced capabilities incorporating modern technologies and simultaneously improving the Lethality, Accuracy and Reliability of existing equipment. Acquisition of platforms like AKASH Missile System, Satellites, Modular Bridges, Utility Helicopters, Electronic Warfare Systems, Surface to Air Missiles, Towed Gun Systems are fine examples of ‘Aatmanirbharta’. Currently 140 schemes valued at over Rs 2 lakh crore are at various stages of acquisition. To invest in futuristic as well as disruptive technologies, impetus is being given to projects through Make in India and Innovation in Defence Excellence also.
- Indian Army is on course to create a self-reliant defence ecosystem under the ‘Make in India’ initiative jointly with the private industry, MSMEs, Academia and the R&D labs across the country. With its extensive range of equipment spanning a vast technological spread, it is a key entity in making the ‘Make in India’ pursuit a success. Under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, there are 202 projects worth over Rs 1.12 lakh crore in progress involving 338 industries. Regional Technological Nodes are established at Pune & Bengaluru to facilitate these projects. Large number of contracts being concluded now are in favour of domestic vendors.
- Indigenous manufacturing of ammunition has been achieved in some ammunition of artillery guns and missile systems leading us to the goal of self-reliance. The process of procuring Indigenously Designed and Developed, advance Loitering Weapon System with enhanced strike capability has also progressed well.
- Concurrent studies on establishment of Theatre Commands were carried out at the Service HQ level for enhancing operational preparedness and synergising capability and combat potential of the Armed Forces during war and peace. A number of decisions taken on re-structuring are being implemented in a satisfactory manner.
- In an attempt to reform the Indian Army into a leaner & agile Army driven by technology, the Integrated Battle Groups were conceptualized. All formations of the IA will be structured on an IBG model in a phased manner. IBG-isation is progressing well and Phase 1 is near completion.
- In keeping with India’s rising global stature in recent years, there has been considerable increase in Defence Cooperation activities undertaken by the Indian Army. An increasing number of friendly foreign countries have shown keen interest in engaging with the Indian Army. As on date, we are engaged with 110 countries through Defence Cooperation activities to include Joint Exercises, training, visits, structured engagements, professional competitions and medical assistance.
- To contribute towards Nation Building, Indian Army is undertaking various activities in border areas by organising research & studies, Tibetology Cadres in Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh, promoting toursim, training of hospitality & home stays, Vibrant Village Programme, Vocational training, recruitment drives and adventure activities. All these help in increasing awareness, improves survivability and employment options in border villages.
- Women are serving proudly and confidently in various operational theatres of the Indian Army. Woman Combat Aviators have joined their counterparts at various Aviation units. Women soldiers forming part of the Corps of Military Police will continue to be inducted through the ‘Agnipath Scheme’ as well. Women soldiers are also making significant contributions as part of UN Peace keeping missions and Joint exercises with friendly foreign countries. While women officers are already part of various adventure activities and part of airborne formations for operational employment, recent sky diving activity by three women soldiers is a new beginning and Indian Army is planning to conduct more such activities to motivate the female youth to join the Indian Army.
- Based on requisition received from civil administration, Indian Army deployed 58 columns (including 15 Engineer Task Forces) in 11 states of the country for Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) operations this year. Around 31,000 individuals were rescued in such operations. Details are as under:
|S No||Type of Aid||State||Columns Deployed||Civilian Rescued|
|(a)||Flood Relief Operations||HP||02||11|
|(h)||Avalanche Rescue Operations||Uttarakhand||06||32|
|(j)||Rescue from cable car||Jharkhand||01||46|
|(k)||Rescue from suspension Bridge||Gujarat||11||93|
|(l)||Rescue of civilian trapped on mountain
- Indian Army, on behalf of Ministry of Defence, has felicitated the launch of Maa Bharati Ke Sapoot Web Portal for contribution to the Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund. The response from the citizens of the country has been immense towards contributing for the grant of immediate financial assistance to the families of soldiers/sailors/airmen who lay down their lives or get grievously injured in active military operations.
- Indian Army has undertaken various Green Initiatives to revive the nature and protect the natural resources. Activities like Mission AmrutSarovar (rejuvenation of 75 water bodies), Green Cantonment competition, induction of Electric Vehicles (EVs) for static establishments, establishment of solar plants at forward areas, induction of Fuel Cell Technology and Low smoke kerosene for troops in high altitude are being undertaken.
- The Indian Army has been at the forefront of DefenceCooperation with friendly foreign countries via concerted efforts in carrying out joint exercises and training, as also ensuring international cooperation by assisting with their specific requirements.The exercises include ‘Yudh Abhyas 2022’ between India & US at Auli, Uttarakhand; Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Exercise ‘Kazind 2022’ in Meghalaya; multilateral strategic and command Exercise ‘Vostok 2022’ in Russia; ‘Harimau Shakti 2022’ between India & Malaysiain Kluang;Multinational Peacekeeping exercise “Ex Khaan Quest 2022” featuring participation from military contingents from 16 countries in Mongolia; Vietnam-India Exercise ‘Vinbax 2022’ at Chandimandir and India-Seychelles exercise ‘LAMITIYE-2022’ at Seychelles Defence Academy.
Mission Based Deployments: IN undertook Mission Based Deployments in Areas of Interest in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to safeguard national maritime interests and maintain continuous/ near continuous presence in areas of significant maritime importance in the IOR. These deployments were in consonance with Hon’ble PM’s vision of ‘Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’. IN ships and aircraft were regularly deployed in the Gulf of Oman/ Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden/ Red Sea, South and Central IOR, off Sunda Strait, Andaman Sea/ approaches to Malacca Strait and Northern Bay of Bengal. These deployments facilitated enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness, swift Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) assistance to IOR littorals, security to Indian and international maritime community and operational engagements with friendly navies through capability development and capacity building programmes. These deployments also enabled IN to be the ‘first responder’ and ‘preferred security partner’ across the IOR.
Anti – Piracy Patrol in Gulf of Aden: Anti – Piracy Patrol in Gulf of Aden has commenced in 2008 to ensure safe passage of Indian Flag Merchant Vessels (IFMVs). 100 IN ships have been deployed in the Gulf of Aden since commencement of anti-piracy patrols in 2008.
Operation SANKALP: Maritime Security Operation code-named Op SANKALP in the Gulf Region was pursued to ensure safe passage of Indian Flag Merchant Vessels (IFMVs) transiting through the Strait of Hormuz. Since June, 2019, IN has deployed 36 warships and escorted approximately 361 Lakh Tons of cargo onboard 453 IFMVs.
Mission SAGAR: In response to requests from Friendly Foreign Countries and maritime neighbours, IN has undertaken transshipment of Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) material and medical equipment onboard IN Ships to five nations in IOR, under the overall ambit of Mission SAGAR. Details of HADR and medical aid undertaken during the year are as follows:-
|Ser||Unit||Date||Country||Medical Aid Delivered|
||Kesari||25 Dec 21 –
01 Jan 22
|7–11 Jan 22||Comoros||02 Operational Readiness Facility Containers (ORFACs)|
|14 –15 Jan 22||Port Victoria, Seychelles||Escorted Seychellois Coast Guard ship PS Zoroaster from Port Victoria to Kochi|
||Gharial||29 Apr – 01 May 22||Colombo,
|760 Kg of critical lifesaving medicines|
|03 – 05 May 22||Male, Maldives||02 Ambulances|
|11 – 14 May 22||Port Victoria, Seychelles||03 Saluting Guns alongwith ammunition|
|27 – 28 May 22||Colombo,
Anti-Narcotics Operations: In 2022, the security agencies in the region have intercepted massive heroin shipments in the Arabian Sea. Since April, 2021, nine Anti-Narcotics Operations have been undertaken by the IN. These Anti-Narcotics operations were conducted in close coordination with the intelligence agencies.
Exercise Paschim Lehar (XPL) – 22: XPL – 22 is the Command level theatre specific exercise conducted from January 12 – 29, 2022 on the Western Seaboard. This large scale Theatre Level Exercise was conceptualised to test and validate Navy’s Concept of Operations in various conflict scenarios, hone its warfighting skills, bolster its role towards maritime security in the western seaboard and was in keeping with the theme of being a ‘Combat Ready, Credible and Cohesive force’.
President’s Fleet Review – 22: The President’s Fleet Review was conducted at Visakhapatnam on February 21, 2022. The event witnessed participation of 60 ships (54 IN, 03 CG, 02 SCI and 01 NIOT), three submarines, 55 IN and four CG aircraft. The review was also witnessed by the Raksha Mantri, Raksha Rajya Mantri and other Central and State Government dignitaries.
LONG RANGE OPERATIONAL DEPLOYMENTS
- IN Ships Sahyadri, Jyoti, Kamorta and Kadmatt were deployed on operational deployment to South East Asian countries from June – July, 2022.
- IN Ships Kochi, Chennai and Aditya were deployed on operational deployment to Gulf of Aden and Red Sea for conduct of bilateral exercises with regional navies from June – July, 2022.
- IN Ship Sumedha was deployed to Java Sea, Australia and South East Asian countries from July – September, 2022 as part of Eastern Fleet Deployment.
- IN Ship Satpura was deployed on operational deployment to South East Asia and Western Pacific countries for conduct of bilateral and multilateral exercises with regional countries from May – October, 2022.
- IN Ship Tarkash was deployed on operational deployment to Atlantic Ocean, Western and Eastern Africa conduct bilateral and trilateral exercises with regional navies from June to November 2022. The ship undertook maiden Joint Patrolling in Gulf of Guinea (GoG) with Nigerian Navy in August and September, 2022. The Hon’ble President of Brazil visited onboard Tarkash during ship’s OTR at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- The ships of First Training Squadron were deployed for Long Range training deployment to Persian Gulf and Red Sea littoral countries viz Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Eritrea and Djibouti from April – May, 2022 and Oman, Kuwait, UAE and Iran in October, 2022.
- Azadi Ka Amrit Mahostav: Eight IN ships were concurrently deployed to seven foreign ports in six continents, to commemorate 75th years of India’s Independence and hoist the National Flag, as part of AKAM celebrations.
EXERCISES WITH FOREIGN NAVIES
- MILAN – 22: The Biennial Multilateral Exercise MILAN was conducted at/ off Visakhapatnam from February 24 – March 04, 2022. Delegations from 39 countries, 23 Naval ships including 13 foreign ships. and seven aircraft including P8A from USA participated in the exercise.
- Exercise Sea Dragon – 22: IN P8I participated in the multilateral Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Theatre Exercise Sea Dragon – 22 conducted at Guam, USA from January 13 – 20, 2022. This edition saw participation of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) from five other countries viz Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and USA.
- SLINEX 22: IN Ships Jyoti and Kirch participated in the Exercise SLINEX with Sri Lankan Navy ship Sayurala off Visakhapatnam from March 07 – 10, 2022.
- DIMDEX 22: IN Ship Kolkata participated in the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX-22) at Doha, Qatar from March 20 – 24, 2022 wherein the ship showcased the ‘Make in India’ drive of the Government.
- IONS Maritime Exercise: The Multilateral Maritime Exercise IMEX – 22 was conducted at/ off Goa from 25 – 30 Mar 22. Observers from 15 countries, IN ships Chennai and Gharial along with P8I and Dornier aircraft, three French Navy ships (FS Loire, Amethyste, Mistral and Courbet), Iranian ship Dena and Bangladesh Naval ship Prottasha participated in the exercise.
- Exercise Varuna 2022: The IN -FN bilateral exercise, was conducted off Goa in two phases (Phase I from March 30 – April 03, 2022 and Phase II from May 12 – 14, 2022). IN Ship Chennai along with P8I, Mig-29K and Dornier aircraft and FN ships Mistral, Courbet and Loire and submarine Amethyste participated in the exercise.
- Bongosagar: The IN and Bangladesh Navy bilateral exercise Bongosagar was conducted off Bangladesh coast from May 24 – 27, 2022. INS Kora, Sumedha and Bangladesh Navy ships Abu Ubaidah and Ali Haider participated in the exercise.
- RIMPAC 22. IN Ship Satpura alongwith P8I aircraft ex-Dega, Visakhapatnam as part of Eastern Fleet deployment, participated in biennial multilateral exercise RIMPAC 22 at Honolulu, USA from June 28 – August 02, 2022. A total of 28 countries participated in the exercise.
- JIMEX 22: Six IN Ships (Sahyadri, Kadmatt, Kavaratti, Jyoti, Sukanya and Ranvijay), one submarine along with P8I, Mig-29K and Dornier aircraft participated in the bilateral exercise JIMEX 22 with Japan Maritime Defence Force (JMSDF) ships Izumo and Takanami from September 11 – 17, 2022 off Visakhapatnam.
- Exercise KAKADU – 2022: IN Ship Satpura along with P8I aircraft as part of deployment to Pacific Ocean participated in the multilateral exercise KAKADU – 22 at Darwin, Australia from September 12 – 26, 2022. The exercise witnessed participation of naval ships from 15 countries.
- Malabar 22: The multilateral exercise Malabar – 22 between IN, USN, JMSDF and Royal Australian Navy ships was conducted from November 08 – 15, 2022 at/ off Yokosuka, Japan. IN Ships Shivalik and Kamorta alongwith P8I maritime patrol aircraft, JMSDF ships Hyuga, Takanami, Shiranui along with P-1 aircraft, US Navy ships Barry, Ronald Reagan, Chancellorsville, Benfold along with P8A and Australian Navy ships Arunta, Stalwart along with P8A aircraft participated in the exercise.
- Maritime Partnership Exercises: The IN undertakes Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) with friendly foreign navy units on opportune occasions to enhance inter-operability and imbibe best practices. A total of 47 Maritime Partnership Exercises with 28 countries (USA, Japan, Russia, Germany, Sri Lanka, Oman, Egypt, Malta, Indonesia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Greece, Italy, France, Algeria, Kuwait, Spain, Morocco, Brazil, Australia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Togo, Nigeria, South Korea, Iran, South Africa and Tanzania) were undertaken as on October 31, 2022.
ASSISTANCE TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS
- Deployment of Dornier Aircraft to Sri Lanka: An IN Dornier has been handed over to Sri Lanka wef 15 Aug 22 for a period of two years. The aircraft was formally inducted by SLAF on 15 Aug 22 at Colombo in presence of the President of Sri Lanka, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Vice Chief of Naval Staff.
- Repair of US MSC Ships in Indian Shipyard: A US MSC ship made port call at Kattupalli for Voyage Repair Availability (VRA) from 07 – 16 Aug 22. This marked maiden VRA of USN MSC ships in India.
- Diving Training of Sri Lankan Navy: IN Ship Nireekshak was deployed to Triconmalee, Sri Lanka for Mix Gas Diving training to Sri Lankan Navy personnel from February 28 – March 08, 2022.
- Exclusive Economic Zone Surveillance: IN is committed to assisting friendly IOR littoral nations in maritime surveillance. Accordingly, based on request of the host government. In 2022, IN has undertaken joint EEZ surveillance of Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius by deploying IN ships and aircraft.
HADR & SAR OPERATIONS
- SAR off Visakhapatnam: On January 02 and 03, 2022, ALH and Chetak helicopters ex-Dega, Visakhapatnam alongwith IN ISV (T-39) were deployed for SAR of three personnel reported drowning off Rama Krishna Beach, Visakhapatnam.
- MEDEVAC from FGS Bayern: The German frigate FGS Bayern had visited Mumbai from January 21 – 24, 2022. On January 20, 2022, the ship, whilst in position 180 nm South of Mumbai requested assistance for handling a medical emergency of one of the ship’s crew. Lynx helicopter ex-Bayern landed at INS Shikra, Mumbai PM January 20, 2022 and the patient was shifted to INHS Asvini. The patient was diagnosed with cerebral seizure and was discharged back to German Naval ship on January 23, 2022.
- Medical Assistance to IFB: On February 03, 2022, IN Ship Aditya provided medical assistance to a critically injured fisherman of Indian Fishing Boat (IFB) Mahonnathan about 75 nm West of Goa.
- MEDEVAC from PS Zoroaster: On April 14, 2022, PS Zoroaster, during her return transit to Seychelles, reported that one female crew was experiencing abdominal pain. The patient was transferred to INS Sharda by boat for preliminary treatment and was subsequently evacuated to INHS Sanjivani, Kochi by ALH ex-INS Garuda. The sailor was provided medical care at Sanjivani and was repatriated to Seychelles on April 21, 2022.
- Search and Rescue Operations off Mumbai: On June 28, 2022, IN Ship Teg and two helicopters ex-INS Shikra, Mumbai (one Seaking 42C and one ALH) were deployed for rendering SAR assistance for Pawan Hans helicopter (two crew members and seven passengers), ditched in position 70 nm West of Mumbai. All nine personnel from the ditched helicopter were recovered.
- Search and Rescue Operations off Point Calimere: On July 13, 2022, IN Ship Bitra, while on routine patrol in Palk Bay sighted six fishermen stranded on a capsized IFB A Pradeep in position 03 nm South East of Point Calimere, Tamil Nadu. The ship rescued all fishermen and disembarked them at Nagappattinam safely.
- Flood Relief and Rescue Operation in Andhra Pradesh: Two UH3H helicopters and one Sea King helicopter ex- INS Dega, Visakhapatnam were deployed to Rajahmundry from July 14 – 20, 2022 for rescue and relief operations due to massive flooding in Godavari river. During the detachment, 26450 kilogram of relief material was air dropped in 15 waterlogged villages in Eluru district.
- Flood Relief Operation in Odisha: On August 23, 2022, flooding was reported at multiple locations in Odisha due to incessant rains. One IN Flood Relief Team (FRT) comprising 44 personnel was deployed to Talad Gram Panchayat of Astaranga Block of Puri District for rendering HADR assistance, in coordination with the local administration, from August 23 – 26, 2022. Distribution of dry ration packets and setting up of community kitchen were undertaken for providing relief to 825 people affected by the flood.
- Search and Rescue Operation at Morbi: A request from Civil Administration, Gujarat was received by Headquarters Gujarat, Daman and Diu Naval Area (HQGD&D), Porbandar PM October 30, 2022 for undertaking SAR operations in the aftermath of collapse of a bridge over Machchhu river at Morbi, Gujarat. In response to the request, following actions were undertaken by IN between October 30 – November 04, 2022:
- A total of 71 IN personnel (MARCOS, divers and good swimmers) were deployed for SAR Operation.
- Mortal remains of 06 personnel were recovered by IN divers.
- Diving operations for retrieval of collapsed bridge.
- One IN Dornier was kept standby at NAE (Porbandar) for meeting emergent requirements.
- Commissioning of INS Vikrant: The first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier of India, INS Vikrant, was commissioned. During the event, the Prime Minister also unveiled the new Naval Ensign, doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage.
- INS Mormugao: INS Mormugao, the second ship of Project 15B will be commissioned in Mumbai on 18 Dec 22.
- Sea Trials Vagir (SM#5) followed by Commissioning: Vagir, the fifth submarine of Project-75 is undergoing Sea Trials. The submarine is planned to be commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2023.
LAUNCH OF SHIPS
- Udaygiri (Yard 12652). The Launch Ceremony of 2nd ship of P17A at MDL ‘Udaygiri’ was held on May 17, 2022 at M/s MDL Mumbai.
- Dunagiri (Yard 3023). The Launch Ceremony of 2nd ship of P17A at GRSE ‘Dunagiri’ was held on July 15, 2022 at M/s GRSE, Kolkata.
- Taragiri (Yard 12653): The Launch Ceremony of 3rd ship of P17A at MDL ‘Taragiri’ was held on September 11, 2022 at M/s MDL, Mumbai.
Survey Vessel (Large) (Four Ships at GRSE)
- Nirdeshak (Yard 3026): The launch of Yard 3026 ‘Nirdeshak’ (second ship of SVL) was held on May 26, 2022 at M/s L&T, Kattupalli from shiplift.
- Yard 3026 at M/s L&T, Kattupalli: Project 75 (Six Submarines at MDL with Transfer of Technology and M/s Naval Group, France as the collaborator).
- Vaghsheer: Vaghsheer, the sixth submarine of Project-75 was launched on April 20, 2022
- Nistar and Nipun: Diving Support Vessels (Nistar and Nipun) were launched successfully on September 22, 2022.
- Naval Aviation is poised at a crucial juncture on its path towards modernisation. Numerous initiatives have been undertaken in the quest towards ensuring a potent, professionally competent and operationally ready Naval Air Arm of the future.
Induction of Aircraft
- In the year under review, the following aircraft have been inducted into the Indian Navy:
- 16 ALH Mk III helicopters
- 04 P8I aircraft
- First batch of 03 out of 24 Multi-role helicopters (MH 60Rs). The remaining helicopters would be inducted by mid-2025, from USA. (Three other helicopters have been accepted by IN and were retained in USA for training of IN personnel)
- Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF). Indian Navy along with ADA/ DRDO are proactively pursuing Design & Development of an indigenous Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF).
- Commissioning of Air Stations/ Air Squadrons. IN has commissioned three new Air Squadrons in the last one year. The second P8I Squadron INAS 316 was commissioned at INS Hansa, Goa on 29 Mar 22. Two ALH Mk III Squadrons, INAS 324 and INAS 325 have been commissioned at Visakhapatnam and Port Blair on 04 Jul 22 and 31 May 22 respectively.
INNOVATION AND INDIGENISATION
IN has constantly strived towards achieving ‘Self-Reliance through Indigenisation’ and has synchronised the efforts in tandem with various flagship schemes of Govt of India, viz., ‘Make in India’, ‘Technology Development Fund’ and ‘Innovation for Defence Excellence’, in addition to procurement under the ‘Revenue’ route. IN has been the torch bearer amongst the three Services to leverage the distinct advantages of Govt schemes and has engaged actively with our industries ranging from Major to MSMEs including Start-ups; to encourage their active participation in our Indigenisation Programmes.
- Induction of Niche Technologies: A wide range of niche technologies are being inducted to enhance long range precision attack capabilities. Loitering Munitions in land and sea based versions are being inducted to enhance the targeting capabilities. Additionally, containerised missile systems are being inducted to enhance the operational capability and to augment flexibility in operations.
- Integrated Unmanned Roadmap for Indian Navy: In keeping with the evolving technological transformation globally, an Integrated Unmanned Roadmap for IN was released by the Raksha Mantri in October during Commander’s Conference.
WELFARE AND EMPOWERMENT
- The Indian Navy is committed to the welfare, well-being and dignity of the women. It is a constant endeavour of Indian Navy to provide maximum support to women employees and women family members in order to maintain high morale and motivation at all times. IN has taken concerted efforts to ensure empowerment of women employees and their active participation in activities/ work at respective units.
- Women in the Indian Navy: Women can now join the Indian Navy as both officers as well as sailors. For both officers entries as well as sailors entries, the eligibility criteria, methodology and induction process for women candidates is the same as that for men. There has been a steady increase both in the number of entries open for women and the overall number of women being inducted into the Indian Navy.
- Women as PC Officers: Women were hitherto inducted only into all SSC branches except GS (Executive, Electrical and Engineering). With effect from the Jun 23 batch, all entries including GS (Executive, Electrical and Engineering) have been opened for women. With this, all Branches/ Cadres/ Specialisations except Submarine specialisation (which is, in any case, a voluntary force) would be open for women officers. Induction of women as cadets through NDA has commenced w.e.f June 2022 NDA Batch, wherein women officers would be inducted as PC officers.
- Women as Sailors: With the commencement of the ‘Agnipath’ Scheme, recruitment of women as sailors in the Indian Navy is being commenced for the first time as Agniveers/ sailors with training scheduled to commence from November 2022 onwards. Up to a maximum of 20% female Agniveers are planned to be recruited in the first batch of Agniveers and they will be equitably inducted in all branches / specialisations; and will be posted on afloat platforms. Agniveers found suitable for further enrolment will be inducted as per service requirements.
- Women in Combat Role: Women officers are being appointed onboard warships, at par with male officers. Currently women officers are appointed to ships and the number of Officers are being progressively increased. Accordingly, the infrastructure onboard ships are being augmented to accommodate additional women officers. Further, women are also being inducted into Naval Aviation as Pilots and Naval Air Operators, MARCOS (Marine Commandos), RPA Pilots, Provost Officers and for Diplomatic assignments.
INDIAN AIR FORCE
‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’: In 2022, the IAF continued to modernise its airfield infrastructure under project – Modernisation of Airfield Infrastructure (MAFI) with a major Indian company M/s Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL). The upgradation of navigational aids and infrastructure under this project is enhancing the operational capability by facilitating air operations of military and civil aircraft even in adverse weather conditions.
Support to Drone Industry: Theunmanned aerial vehicles, popularly known as the Drones, have globally caught the imagination for its military application and challenges globally. The Drone industry in the country holds tremendous potential for growth. The IAF has done its bit by launching Mehar Baba-2. The competition is aimed at developing indigenous technology for a ‘Swarm drone based system to detect foreign objects on aircraft operating surfaces’.
Rafale: The teeth of IAF got sharper as France completed the delivery of all 36 Rafale aircraft. The final fighter jet of the deal landed in India in December. Both Rafale Squadrons also became fully operational.
Training and Exercises: The IAF continued to train harder this year exercising not only with sister services for enhancing jointmanship, but also with the Air Forces of friendly foreign countries to learn from their experiences and best practice. Listed below are a few:
- Exercise Eastern Bridge VI: IAF participated in Ex Eastern Bridge VI with Royal Air Force of Oman at AF Station Jodhpur in February.
- Tactical Leadership Programme in Egypt: IAF participated in Tactical Leadership Programme at Egyptian Air Force Weapon School in Cairo, Egypt in July.
- Ex Udara Shakti: An exercise named ‘Udara Shakti’ was carried out with the Malaysian Air Force in August in which four SU-30 MKI & two C-17 aircraftof IAF participated. This was first ever fighter exercise with Malaysia.
- Ex Pitch Black 22: IAF participated in Ex Pitch Black 22 in Australia in August-September. Interoperability was demonstrated as IAF carried out air to air refueling with refueller aircraft of the French Air & Space Force and during ferry from India to Australia. Air to Air refueling with Royal Australian Air Force during ferry back from Australia to India was also carried out.
- Joint Flying Exercise with UK: IAF conducted Joint flying exercise with RAF at Air Force Station,Palamin September.
- Exercise Garuda-VII: IAF conducted Ex Garuda-VII with French Air & Space Force (FASF) at AF Station Jodhpur in October-November.
- Samavay: The annual Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise ‘Samanvay 2022’ was conducted at Air Force Station, Agra in November. Various Indian stakeholders and representatives from ASEAN member countries participated in the exercise.
Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief:
- Helicopters have been regularly undertaking Air Maintenance, Disaster Relief, Casualty evacuation, Anti Naxal Operations and Communication Duties for various agencies. More often than not, helicopters are the first responder in case of any natural calamity like floods, forest fire or earthquakes. The details of HADR undertaken by IAF in 2022 are as follows:-
|Himachal Pradesh||11-13 Feb||13/16:05||82/–||Airlift of Local Civilians
|Rajasthan (Alwar)||29-31 Mar||29 / 19:50||Nil / 89400 Ltr||Forest Fire|
|Jharkand||11 -13 Apr||35 / 35:40||35 / —||Deoghar ropeway rescue|
|Rajasthan||18 -19 Apr||11 / 06:10||–/ 9800 Ltr||Forest fire at Sajjangarh wild life sanctuary|
|Rajasthan||28 -30 Apr||10 / 08:10||— / 24200 Ltr||Udaipur forest fire
|Assam||15-17 May||25/12:25||131/–||Evac of Railway Pax|
|Assam||18 – 29 May||63/35:35||331/17.71||Flood Relief|
|Meghalaya||21 Jun -02 Jul||61/38:50||05/24.83 T||Flood Relief|
|Assam||21Jun – 01 Jul||203/191:08||294/619.331||Flood Relief|
|Telangana||14 Jul||25 / 19:30||02 / 1930||Flood Relief|
|Gujarat||14 Jul||15/20:20||–/–||Flood Relief|
|Rajasthan||23 – 26 Aug||12/ 09:00||20/-||Flood Relief|
|Madhya Pradesh||22 – 27 Aug||21/19:15||25/1280 Kg||Flood Relief|
|Uttarakhand||27 – 29 Sep||26/14:50||119/–||HADR Ops (Heavy Rains)|
|Uttarakhand||04 – 19 Oct||230/79||209/ 5.375T / 27 (MR)||HADR Ops (Snow Avalanche : Uttarkashi)|
- Evacuation of Pilgrims from Deogarh Ropeway: Three MLH, one ALH Dhruvand one Cheetah were utilised in April for evacuating 35 pilgrims, who were stuck due to unserviceability of Deogarh Ropeway in Jharkhand. The rescue was carried out with NDRF, Army and State agencies.
- Airlift of Cheetahs to Kuno National Park: Eight Cheetahs from Kuno National Park were transported fromNamibia via Chartered Cargo Aircraft to Air Force Station Gwalior in September. IAF utilised 2 MI-17 for airlift of the Cheetahs and one Chinook for personnel along with their additional load.
Casualty Evacuations: IAF carried out regular casualty evacuation as demanded by various State authorities. During the year, 220 sorties were flown towards casualty evacuation. This also includes rescue of foreign nationals.
AF Day Parade: This year, the Air Force Day parade and fly-past were held in Chandigarh. The fly-past was carried out over Sukhna Lake on October 8thand was witnessed by a large number of people from Chandigarh and adjoining areas.
Diamond Jubilee of Chetak Helicopters: This year, Chetak helicopters in the inventory of Armed Forces completed 60 years of glorious service to the nation. To commemorate this, momentous event celebrations were held under the aegis of IAF’s Training Command at AF Stn, Hakimpet. The Raksha Mantri was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Green Mobility Initiative: In order to achieve reduction of carbon foot print and in keeping with the Government’s initiative towards introduction of Green mobility, IAF has introduced Tata Nexon Electric vehicles in November. The IAF plans to enhance usage of electric vehicles in progressive manner by procuring e-vehicles against downgraded vehicles.
INDIAN COAST GUARD
- In January, ICG ship during patrol apprehended Pakistani Fishing Boat ‘Yaseen’ with 2,000 kgs fish off Jakhau in Indian waters.
- In May, ‘Operation Khojbeen’, a joint operation by ICG and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence was launched. ICG ships and aircraft were deployed in the area for sea-air coordinated search. Two suspected boats were apprehended with 218 kgs of heroin worth Rs 1,526 crore.
- In June, one Pakistani fishing boat, with seven crew, was apprehended by ICG and brought to the Okha for joint interrogation by ATS Gujarat, BSF & Marine Police. Bags containing 49 packets of suspected contrabands were recovered. The estimated commercial valued of the consignment was Rs 250 crore.
- In September, ICG and ATS, Gujarat jointly apprehended a Pakistani boat with six crew, carrying approximately 40 kilograms of drugs worth Rs 200 crore from Indian waters.
- In October, ICGS C-429 apprehended one Pakistani boat named ‘Al-Sakar’ along with six crew during a surveillance mission and recovered 50 kgs of heroin. valued approx. Rs 350 crore.
- In June, Indian Coast Guard rescued a chopper operating for ONGC in Mumbai high area. The helicopter was carrying 2 pilots and 7 crew and had ditched into the sea whilst attempting emergency landing on an oil platform.
- In July, ICG rescued 22 lives in Arabian Sea, 185 km from Porbandar coast, after a distress alert was received.
- ICG rescued 16 people, who were stranded along the banks of river Ambika near Valsad, Gujarat, following incessant rain.
- in August, ICG rescued 32 Bangladeshi fishermen after their boats capsized at Indo-Bangla International Maritime Boundary Line. The fishermen were handed over to Bangladesh Coast Guard.
- In October, ICG, in a swift coordinated search and rescue operation, rescued 20 Bangladeshi fishermen from the sea off Sagar Island near Indo-Bangladesh International Maritime Border Line. The Dornier aircraft, on surveillance sortie of the post landfall of cyclone “SITRANG”, sighted their capsized boats and alerted the SAR team.
- Security drill ‘Sajag’ was conducted by Coast Guard Regional Hqrs (West), Mumbai and Coast Guard Regional Hqs (North West), Gandhinagar in January to enhance safety and security in the area of responsibility. Marine Police, Fisheries, CISF and Customs also participated in the dril
- In September, a delegation led by DG ICG visited Tokyo, Japan for the 20th edition of High Level Meeting between Indian Coast Guard and Japan Coast Guard. The HLMs and Joint Exercises are being conducted alternately in India and Japan for establishment of a collaborative relationship to combat crimes at sea and development of regional cooperation.
- USCG Cutter Midgett visited Chennai and Joint Exercise ‘ABHYAS’ was conducted between USCG Cutter and ICG ships. As part of joint exercise, cross embarkation of crew and cross boarding operations were undertaken.
DEFENCE RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION
The achievements of DRDO, other than the successful missile tests mentioned above, are as follows:
- New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG): The successful flight trial of New Generation Surface to Air Akash-NG Missile was conducted from a land-based platform with all weapon system elements such as Multifunction Radar, Command, Control & Communication System and launcher participating in deployment configuration. The missile successfully demonstrated high manoeuvrability required for neutralising fast and agile aerial threats.
- Akash Prime Missile: A new version of the Akash Missile ‘Akash Prime’ was successfully flight tested from ITR, Chandipur. It is equipped with an indigenous active Radio Frequency seeker for improved accuracy.
- Short Span Bridging System-10 m: The SSBS-10 m was inducted into Indian Army. It plays a crucial role of bridging the gaps as a single span providing a wide, fully decked roadway, ensuring faster movement of the troops.The system will help in quick movement of troops and enhance the mobilization of resources.
- Advanced Chaff Technology: The technology was developed by DRDO to safeguard the fighter aircraft of Indian Air Force against hostile radar threats and enemy missile attack.Chaff is a passive expendable electronic countermeasure technology used worldwide to protect naval ship from enemy’s radar and radio frequency missile seekers.
- Long-Range Bomb: DRDO and IAF successfully flight-tested indigenously developed Long-Range Bomb from an aerial platform. The Bomb, after release from the IAF fighter aircraft, guided to a land-based target at a long range with accuracy within specified limits.
- ABHYAS: The High-speed Expendable Aerial Targetwas successfully flight-tested from ITR, Chandipur. ABHYAS can be used as an aerial target for evaluation of various missile systems. This indigenous target aircraft, once developed, will meet the requirements of High-speed Expendable Aerial Targets.
- Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon: Two successful flight tests of indigenously-developed Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) was carried out jointly by DRDO and IAF at Chandan ranges at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. DRDO has indigenously designed and developed SAAW capable of engaging ground enemy airfield assets such as radars, bunkers, taxi tracks, and runways etc. The high precision guided bomb is light weight as compared to weapon system of the same class.
- Pralay: The maiden flight test of indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile ‘Pralay’ was successfully conducted by DRDO from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island. The missile can be launched from a mobile launcher. This was a new generation missile equipped with modern technologies and induction of this weapon system will give necessary impetus to the Armed Forces.
- Supersonic Missile assisted Torpedo System: DRDO developed supersonic missile assisted torpedo (SMART) system was successfully launched from Wheeler Island in Odisha. The system is a next generation missile-based standoff torpedo delivery system. It has been designed to enhance anti-submarine warfare capability far beyond the conventional range of the torpedo. The system will further enhance the strength of our Navy and promote self-reliance in defence, harnessing of expertise and capabilities.
- Stand-Off Anti-Tank Missile: DRDO and IAF flight-tested the indigenously designed and developed Helicopter launched Stand-off Anti-tank (SANT) Missile from Pokhran ranges. The missile is equipped with a state-of-the-art MMW seeker which provides high precision strike capability from a safe distance.
- Pinaka: Pinaka Mk-I (Enhanced) Rocket System (EPRS) and Pinaka Area Denial Munition (ADM) rocket systems were successfully flight-tested by DRDO and Indian Army at Pokhran Firing Ranges. The EPRS is the upgraded version of Pinaka variant which has been in service with the Indian Army for the last decade. The system has been upgraded with advanced technologies enhancing the range to meet the emerging requirements.
- Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet Technology: DRDO successfully flight tested Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet booster, which demonstrated the reliable functioning of all critical components involved in the complex missile system. The SFDR-based propulsion enables the missile to intercept aerial threats at very long range at supersonic speeds. With the successful trial of SFDR, the range of air-to-air missiles can be enhanced.
- Very Short Range Air Defence System: DRDO conducted two successful test flight of Very Short Range Air Defence System from a ground based portable launcher at ITR, Chandipur. It is a Man Portable Air Defence System designed and developed indigenously by DRDO in collaboration with Industry Partners.
- BrahMos contract with Philippines: BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) signed a contract with the Department of National Defence of Philippines for supply of Shore Based Anti-Ship Missile System. The BAPL is a joint venture company of DRDO. The contract is an important step forward for Government of India’s policy of promoting responsible defence exports.
- Flight Control System Integration complex: The state-of-the-art seven-storeyed Flight Control System Integration facility at Aeronautical Development Establishment, Bengaluru was constructed in record 45 days, with in-house hybrid technology consisting of conventional, pre-engineered and precast methodology. The technology has been developed by DRDO with the help of Larsen & Toubro. This facility will support R&D activities for developing Avionics for Fighter Aircraft and FCS for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft being undertaken by ADE, Bengaluru.The complex will also provide simulator training to the pilots of combat aircraft.
- Enabling Industry: The present industry base supporting DRDO consists of 1,800 MSMSEs along with DPSUs and large-scale industries. DRDO has undertaken major initiatives through various policies to involve Indian industry as Development cum Production Partners, offering its technology to industry at nominal cost and providing free access to its patents. Policy for free access of DRDO patents by the Indian industry has been promulgated. Technology Development Fund (TDF) Scheme also funds industries, especially start-ups and MSMEs up to an amount of Rs 50 crore for innovation, research and development of defence technologies in the field of defence and Aerospace. Till now, 64 projects have been awarded under TDF scheme to various MSMEs, start-ups and large industries amounting to total projects cost of approx. Rs 280 crore.DRDO has two dedicated laboratories, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), Bengaluru and DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory (DYSL)-AI, Bengaluru for application oriented research in AI.
- Enhanced Integration with Academia: A regular MTech program in Defence Technology has been launched by DRDO and AICTE to impact necessary theoretical and experimental knowledge, skill and aptitude in various defence technology areas. The programme will motivate the aspiring engineers to start their career in defence technology and will help in achieving ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare
- An amount of Rs 320 crore was allotted for Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) in the RE stage in January 2022. This cleared all the backlog in respect of the 1.58 lakh applications of Education Grant pending since May 2018 worth Rs 284 crore and 7,583 applications of Marriage Grant pending since February 2020 worth Rs 36 crore. Thus, a total of 1.66 lakh Ex-Servicemen were benefitted through this initiative.
- The Raksha Mantri launched a new website for AFFDF (www.affdf.gov.in) in November ahead of Armed Forces Flag Day on 7 December. The portal is an interactive and user-friendly portal developed to promote online contribution to the fund.
- The rate of financial assistance to 100% Disabled Children of Ex-Servicemen/Widows under the Raksha Mantri Ex-Servicemen Welfare Fund (Funded out of Armed Forces Flag Day Fund) has been increased from Rs 1,000 per month per child to Rs 3,000 per month per child w.e.f. August 01, 2021.
- The Government approved the revision of financial assistance to the orphaned children of Ex-Servicemen (ESM) from Rs 1,000/-pm to Rs 3,000/-pm under Orphan Grant Scheme of the Raksha Mantri Ex-Servicemen Welfare Fund. Many ESM families will be benefitted from this decision. This will be with effect from April 01, 2022.
- Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme: Period was extended from 15 to 30 days for purchase of Not Available medicines and consumables from open market on reimbursement basis at a time subject to the maximum value of medicines and consumables not exceeding Rs 25,000/- each time under general conditions and Rs 75,000/-each time under special conditions. For Cancer Medicines, the maximum value of purchase has also been enhanced from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh each time.
- The Government extended the benefit of provision of pro-rata pension to JCOs/ORs of the Defence Services who join/joined Central Public Enterprises/Central Autonomous Bodies/Central Public Sector Undertaking on permanent absorption/employment. This benefit was earlier available to the commissioned officers only. JCOs/ORs having not less than 10 years of qualifying service in Defence Service will be entitled to receive pro-rata pension in accordance with provisions of this letter.
- As a part of AzadiKaAmritMahotsav and as a run up to Independence Day, an outreach programme was conducted at Haldwani, Uttarakhand in July.More than 1,000 Ex-Servicemen and their dependents of the Haldwani region participated in the event. In a day-long outreach event, the Raksha Rajya Mantri laid the foundation stone of ECHS Polyclinic buildings in Vikasnagar, Raiwala and PaudiGarhwal across the state via video link, and gave away 64-KB ECHS Smart Cards to ESMs and their dependents. He also distributed job letters to ESMs.
- A felicitation programme to honour the 1971 war veterans/their families wasorganised in association with Assam Government in April which was presided over by the Raksha Mantri as the Chief Guest. Over 300 war veterans, Veer Naris and their families attended the felicitation ceremony.
BORDER ROADS ORGANISATION
- Border Development:2022 witnessed the Raksha Mantri dedicating 75 infrastructure projects of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) across sevenstates and two UTs to the Nation in October. In a ceremony organised at Shyok village in Ladakh, Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated 45 Bridges, 27 Roads, two Helipads and one Carbon Neutral Habitat. 20 of these projects are in Jammu & Kashmir, 18 each in Ladakh & Arunachal Pradesh, five in Uttarakhand and 14 in other border States of Sikkim, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab & Rajasthan.
- Accelerated work on bridges: BRO has successfully constructed a 30 m span PSC Box Girder Lai Bridge over the tributary of Siyom River on Along-Yinkiong Road in Arunachal Pradesh. The work was executed entirely by integral manpower & resources in period of eight months. Similarly, a 45 m span PSC Box Girder Simarbr on Migging-Tuting Rd in Arunachal Pradesh is also under construction and planned for completion in six months by working in day and night shifts. Further, BRO has successfully constructed a 30.2 m span Benadi Bridge in a record time of just 90 days and 181.2 m span PakkaKothaBridge in a record time of just 212 days on Dyalchak-Ramkot Road in UT of Jammu & Kashmir, executed entirely by integral manpower & resources.
- Tunneling and Runway Works: Works on construction of the 2.535 Km long Sela and 0.5 Km long Nechiphu Tunnels are in full swing. Once completed, the Sela Twin Tunnel will be one of the longest tunnels in the World at an altitude of above 13000 ft. Construction of 105 m long tunnel on Sela-Chabrela Road in Arunachal is also being undertaken. Further, construction of 2.79 Km long Sungal Tunnel, 0.7 Km long Naushera Tunnel, 1.1 Km long BhimberGali Tunnel, 0.26 Km long Kandi Tunnel all on Akhnoor-Poonch Road in UT of J&K and 0.92 Km long Cut & Cover Tunnel on D-S-DBO Road in UT of Ladakh are also going on.
- Adoption of New Technologies: A number of new technologies were incorporated by BRO. These include Cementitious Base technique for surfacing work of roads, Geo Cell for road works, Plastic Coated Aggregate for bituminous work, Soil stabilization through biological enzyme, Avalanche Protection Structures.M50 Modular Blocks and Precast Concrete Technology (Cut & Fit Technology) for construction of Reinforced Earth Wall, precast Breast walls, Drains, Culverts and Pavements.
- Carbon Neutral Habitat: BRO has taken the initiative as a pilot project at various locations in Ladakh. The aim is to provide dignified and suitable habitats with better health parameters due to lower risk of cold injuries and better hygiene & sanitation to the Karmyogis in Ladakh resulting in greater productivity and work satisfaction. BRO’s first Carbon Neutral Habitat at Hanle was inaugurated by the Raksha Mantri in October.
- 3D Printed Buildings: A dedicated museum is being constructed at Leh to recognise the efforts of the BRO personnel and to showcase their achievements. Further, to handle various aspects related to move by air, Project Himank has an Air Despatch sub unit located at Chandigarh. At present, the sub unit is located in temporary shelters and the habitat needs to be upgraded. The BRO Museum at Leh and Complex for Himank Air Despatch unit at Chandigarh will be constructed using 3D printing technology.
- Use of Steel Slag in Road Construction: The BRO is constructing a pilot road stretch in Arunachal Pradesh using steel slag which can withstand heavy rains and adverse climatic conditions. A Multi-Disciplinary Expert Group has been constituted to undertake trials with the help of CSIR-CRRI on Joram-Koloriang Road under Project Arunank in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Opening of Passes: The BRO kept the crucial Zojila axis open till 04 January. This is the first time that the axis was kept open till January providing connectivity to the forces deployed in Ladakh. This is also the first time in history that the Zojila Pass was opened for traffic on 19 March, setting up an all-time record of the pass being opened after just 73 days of its closure against traditional norms of April/May. In a similar manner, the Manali-Sarchu axis was opened in a record time frame in March almost two months in advance. This has brought down the closure period of this road from an average of 160-180 days when the road used to be opened in May to just over 117 days. All other major passes in the Himalayas were also either kept open throughout the year or opened much ahead of schedule, thereby enabling easier logistics build-up for the troops.
- Automation & Digitisation: BRO has developed ten major software and one website with the help of BISAG-N and NICSI related to management of works, HR, automation and for disseminating information and facilitating booking for visit to Atal Tunnel, Rohtang. Digitisation of land used for BRO roads has also been done to increase the efficiency and transparency of the organisation with the aim of better utilising all assets.
- Defence land survey: Ministry of Defence owns approximately 18 lakh acres of land within (1.62 lakh acres) and outside (16.38 lakh acres) the cantonments. The entire exercise of survey of this defence land was completed in association with the Revenue authorities of various State Governments. During the survey, approximately 585 acres of defence land which was previously untraceable has been identified and surveyed. Modern survey technologies like Electronic Total Station, Differential Global Positioning System, drone and satellite imagery based survey were leveraged for this exercise. 3D Modelling techniques for better visualisation of defence land in hilly area was also been introduced by utilising Digital Elevation Model in association with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). As a part of the survey, a project for real time change detection system based on the Time series Satellite imagery for detection of encroachments on defence land was also initiated. The GIS maps, digitized shape files and updated land data will enable MoD to access land data on real-time basis thus reducing delays considerably in taking decision on land optimization, land transfer for infrastructure projects and new land acquisitions. It will also enable Army, Air Force, Navy and DGDE to prevent encroachments.
- Drone Imagery: For the first time, Drone imagery based survey technology was used for survey of lakhs of acres of defence land in Rajasthan. The entire area was surveyed with the help of Surveyor General of India in a matter of weeks, which earlier used to take years.
- E-Chhawani: In e-chhawani portal (https://echhawani.gov.in), the module on Online Building Plan Approval system was made live in 17 Cantonment Boards. Residents of cantonments can apply for approval of their building plans through the portal. The requisite approval is granted through the portal in a time-bound and hassle-free manner without any human intervention.
- Online Mutation: As a step towards facilitating ease of living, over 2.18 lakh property tax payers living in 62 cantonment areas would be able to apply online for Mutation in property tax register under e-Chhawani Portal. A Certificate will be issued to the property owner online conveying the mutation in the property tax register. The process is expected to mitigate delays, procedural hardships and reduce compliance burden significantly for the beneficiary citizens.
- Online school management portal: For schools under management of Cantonment Boards, online school management portal was made live in all 192 schools. The portal comprises online admission module, online TC module and online homework and assignment module.Enabling ‘Ease of Living’ to the residents, a Digital Platform – School Management System was implemented in 194 Schools under the management of 62 Cantonment Boards across 15 states. Directorate General of Defence Estate (DGDE) developed the SMS in-house, benefiting 61,943 students and 1,965 teachers and catering to the residents of Cantonments and adjoining areas.
- Uttarakhand Defence Estates Circle: In May, the Raksha Mantri approved the proposal for creation of a new Defence Estates Circle exclusively for Uttarakhand. In view of the difficulties faced in managing large tracts of defence land in the State and demand of residents of Cantonments located in Uttarakhand, MoD will establish an independent office of Defence Estates at Dehradun. The RM also approved establishment of a sub-office at Ranikhet under the administrative jurisdiction of Defence Estates, Dehradun to deal exclusively with 6 districts of Kumaon region of the State.
- AI to detect unauthorised constructions:Centre of Excellence on Satellite & Unmanned Remote Vehicle Initiative (CoE-SURVEI) established by DGDE at NIDEM has developed an Artificial Intelligence-based software which can automatically detect change on ground, including unauthorised constructions and encroachments using Satellite Imagery. The CoE-SURVEI, leverages latest technologies in survey viz. satellite imagery, drone imagery and geo-spatial tools for effective land management and urban planning. The CoE-SURVEI also developed tools for vacant land analysis and 3D imagery analysis of hill cantonments for land management.
DEFENCE ACCOUNTS DEPARTMENT
- SPARSH: Defence Accounts Department signed an MoU with CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) under MeitY to onboard pension services under the digital platform System for Pension Administration – Raksha (SPARSH) initiative across more than four lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) all over the country. The MoU was signed by Controller of Defence Accounts (CDA) Pension and CEO of CSC e-Governance Services India Limited in February to further promote ease of living and resolve pension-related issues in a time-bound manner.In September, an MoU was signed with Bank of Baroda and HDFC Bank to onboard them as Service Centres underSPARSH across more than 14,000 branches throughout India. The web-based digital system for pension disbursal to defence pensioners has grown exponentially with more than Rs 11,600 crore disbursed in FY 2021-22. The total number of beneficiaries onboard SPARSH has reached 11 lakh covering 33% of the total defence pensioners with SPARSH. The average time in pension settlement has come down significantly to about 16 days.
- Performance and Efficiency Audit: Ministry of Defence set up an institutional mechanism comprising of an apex committee with Defence Secretary as Chairman to conduct a Performance and Efficiency Audit into various aspects of its activities. This kind of audit is expected to provide valuable inputs to the top management of the Ministry of specific shortcomings, if any, in planning and execution of projects and suggest systemic improvements in internal controls, soundness of financial procedures, identification of risk factors, etc.
- Digital Initiatives: The Raksha Mantri launched several digital initiatives of Defence Accounts Department during its 275thAnnual Day celebrations in October. The initiatives include SPARSH mobile app; Pay System for Agniveers; International Air Ticket booking module in Defence Travel System; Defence Accounts Receipts and Payment System; Defence Civilian Pay system and Defence Accounts Human Resource Management System.
- Setting up of 100 New Sainik Schools: The Government approved the initiative of setting up of 100 New Sainik Schools in partnership with NGO’s/Private/State Governments in a graded manner, starting from Class 6 onwards. Under this initiative, Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed by Sainik Schools Society with 18 schools. As on date, a total of 1,048 (912 boys and 136 girls) students have got admission in 17 of these 18 Schools and Academic Session in these 17 Schools have started in Academic Session 2022-23.
- Admission of Girl child: After the success of the pilot project which was initiated in Sainik School, Chhingchhip in academic session 2018-19 and 2019-20, Government decided to implement admission of girls children in another five Sainik Schools viz. Kalikiri (Andhra Pradesh), Kodagu (Karnataka), Ghorakhal (Uttarakhand), Chandrapur (Maharashtra) and Bijapur (Karnataka) from the academic session 2020-21 in addition to Sainik School Chhingchip which was followed by admission of girls in all the 33 Sainik Schools from the academic session 2021-22. As on date, 698 girl students are studying as boarders in these Schools. This step can be seen as a first step towards entry of women in the National Defence Academy.
NATIONAL CADET CORPS
- Puneet Sagar Abhiyan: Coinciding with the National Maritime Day (5thApril), more than 1.5 lakh cadets from all 17 State Directorates of NCC participated in various activities under their nationwide flagship campaign ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’ in April positively impacting a population of 50 lakh citizens. The flagship event was first conducted in December last year and involves cleaning up of seashores/beaches and other water bodies including rivers and lakes of plastic and other waste materials also educating the locals about ‘Swachh Bharat’.NCC and United Nations Environment Programmesigned an MoU in the presence of Raksha Mantri in New Delhi in September to tackle the issue of plastic pollution and achieve the universal goal of clean water bodies through ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’ and ‘Tide Turners Plastic Challenge programme’.
- DefExpo 2022: In a first, NCC cadets of Bihar & Jharkhand Directorate participated as exhibitors during the 12th DefExpo in Gandhinagar and displayed three advanced technology prototypes showcasing the might of the largest uniformed youth organisation in the world. The three prototypes were UAV (a versatile platform which can be used for tactical missions ranging from counter insurgency/counter terrorist operations for reconnaissance using remotely controlled cameras); All Terrain Vehicle and Hand Gesture sensing BOT (Remotely controlled robot which can find multifarious military uses without exposure of soldiers to enemy).
- Prime Minister’s Rally 2022: The Prime Minister’s Rally, the most prestigious event of the NCC Republic Day Camp was held on 28th January. Contingents from all 17 State NCC Directorates participated in the March past, displayed their skills in various activities like army action, slithering, microlite flying, parasailing and cultural programme. The rally culminated with award of Prime Minister’s Banner to Maharashtra Directorate. The event was witnessed by a number of dignitaries that included the Raksha Mantri.
Special SwachhtaCampaign 2.0:Special Campaign for Disposal of Pending Matters and Cleanliness Drive (SCDPM 2.0) as part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was carried out between 02-31 October. All departments of Ministry of Defence, including Department of Military Affairs, Department of Defence Production and DRDO,as well as the Armed Forces actively participated in the campaign. Cleanliness drives were conducted at thousands of sites across the country, with a number of rules simplified, lakhs of physical files reviewed and weeded out. A nationwide campaign was organised by Department of Military Affairs to institutionalise ‘Swachhta’ in its field offices and units across the country. The campaign was carried out by Army, Navy and Air Force at various locations across the country.
Digital screens at National War Memorial: Subsequent to implementation of Phase-I of the project of Enhancement of Digital Appeal at National War Memorial, News Delhi in 2021 wherein four digital screens were installed for paying digital tributes to fallen heroes whose names have been inscribed at Tyag Chakra, four additional screens were installed at the premises this year under Phase-II. The number of registrations of visitors paying digital tributes at NWM increased manifold. More than 10 lakh digital tributes were paid on these digital screens.