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Indian Coast Guard Conducts 'Operation Sajag' for Coastal Security along West Coast

On September 18, 2023, the Indian Coast Guard conducted 'Operation Sajag,' a comprehensive coastal security drill along the west coast.

This operation involved all stakeholders and aimed to revalidate the coastal security mechanism while raising awareness among fishermen at sea.

Key Points

  • Monthly Drill for Ongoing Improvement: This day-long drill is conducted every month, with its outcomes serving as a basis for ongoing improvements in the coastal security framework.
  • It offers an opportunity to assess the implementation of various coastal security measures, extract valuable lessons, and identify trends that impact coastal security.

Indo-US Defence Industrial Cooperation

On June 5th , 2023, Indian Defence Minister and U.S. Secretary of Defence concluded a bilateral meeting, during which they outlined a road map for 'Defence Industrial Cooperation' between the two countries.

  • Aims of Roadmap: It aims to guide policy direction for the next few years, emphasizing cooperation in high technology areas and identifying opportunities for co-development and co-production.

Key Highlights

  • Strengthening Industrial Cooperation: The meetings focused on enhancing industrial cooperation between India and the U.S. in the defence sector.
  • Collaboration in Defence Start-up Ecosystems: The ministers discussed ways to foster collaboration between the defence start-up ecosystems of both countries. This cooperation aims to leverage the innovation and expertise of start-ups in the defence industry.
  • Convergence of Strategic Interests: The discussions emphasized the convergence of strategic interests between India and the U.S. Both sides expressed their commitment to enhancing defence cooperation and security collaboration.
  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific: The critical role of the India-U.S. partnership in ensuring a free, open, and rules-based Indo-Pacific region was emphasized. Both nations acknowledged the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region.
  • Robust Bilateral Defence Cooperation: It highlighted the robust and multifaceted nature of bilateral defence cooperation between India and the U.S. The momentum of engagement will be sustained, and recent successful dialogues on defence Artificial Intelligence and defence space were acknowledged.

Tri Services' Special Forces Exercise

Recently, The Shatrujeet Brigade of the Indian Army participated in a major multi-domain exercise with the tri-services Andaman Nicobar Command (ANC) to enhance its rapid reaction capabilities on the strategically important Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

  • The exercise was carried out in conjunction with the Indian Air Force and Navy.
  • The purpose was to test the joint manship and interoperability among the special forces of tri-services.
  • Various plans and contingencies were simulated in realistic tactical settings.
  • Paratroopers from Uttar Pradesh's Agra took off and landed with surgical precision on a remote island.
  • The C130 J super Hercules aircraft of the IAF was used for the operation.
  • The exercise witnessed the validation and deployment of specialized equipment, combat free fall jumps, and ground-based maneuvers.
  • The 50th Parachute Brigade, a brigade-sized formation of the Indian Army, played a pivotal role in the exercise.
  • The brigade consists of airborne battalions, artillery batteries, a para field hospital, signal and engineer sections.
  • The highly skilled Paratroopers are trained to conduct various missions, ranging from prevention and pre-emption tasks to multifaceted, high-intensity combat fighting.

IMX 2023

Participating in the International Maritime Exercise/Cutlass Express 2023 from February 26 to March 16, 2023, INS Trikand aims to improve maritime security and safety in the Gulf region through collaboration with other navies to counter illicit maritime activities.

  • The exercise is one of the largest multinational maritime exercises in the world, involving a range of activities such as maritime interdiction operations, search and rescue, and counter-piracy operations.
  • INS Trikand, an Indian Naval ship, is participating in the exercise for the first time.
  • IMX/CE-23 is an important exercise as it allows participating nations and agencies to work together to enhance their capabilities in countering maritime security threats in the Gulf region, such as piracy, smuggling, and terrorism.

Exercise Cobra Warrior

On February 23, 2023, the Indian Air Force announced that the Tejas, India's first indigenously designed, developed, and manufactured Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), would participate in the Cobra Warrior exercises which is scheduled to be held between March 6 and 27, at Royal Air Force Station, Waddington, in the United Kingdom.

  • The Exercise aims to provide operational exposure and share best practices amongst the participating air forces, thereby enhancing combat capability and forging bonds of friendship.
  • The Tejas will use this platform to demonstrate its maneuverability and operational capability.
  • The Tejas will be flying alongside combat aircraft from the Royal Air Force and other leading air forces, including from Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and Sweden.

‘SPRINT Challenges’

On 18th July, 2022, the Prime Minister of India unveiled ‘SPRINT Challenges’, aimed at giving a boost to the usage of indigenous technology in Indian Navy, during Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) seminar ‘Swavlamban’ in New Delhi.

  • In a bid to achieve ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence and as part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, NIIO, in conjunction with the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), aims to induct at least 75 new indigenous technologies/products into the Indian Navy.
  • This collaborative project is named SPRINT {Supporting Pole-Vaulting in R&D through Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), NIIO and Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC)}.

Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 324

The Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 324 was commissioned into the Indian Navy at INS Dega, Visakhapatnam.

  • The unit is the first Naval Squadron on the Eastern Seaboard operating the indigenously designed and built Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK III (MR) helicopters.
  • INAS 324 has been named ‘Kestrels’, which are birds of prey and have good sensory capabilities symbolising the envisaged role of the aircraft and the air squadron.
  • The Insignia of the squadron depicts a ‘kestrel’ searching over vast blue and white sea waves, signifying the integral Maritime Reconnaissance and Search and Rescue (SAR) role of the squadron.

INS Gomati Decommissioned

The Indian Navy has decommissioned INS Gomati after 34 years in service on 28th May 2022.

  • The warship was inducted on April 16, 1988. The ship is the third of the Godavari class guided-missile frigates and is the oldest warrior of the Western Fleet.
  • INS Gomati was named after the River Gomati. It took part in several operations, including Operation Cactus, Parakram, and Indradhanush, and several other bilateral and multinational naval exercises.
  • In recognition of its stellar contribution to the national maritime security, INS Gomati was awarded the prestigious Unit Citation twice, once in 2007-08 and again in 2019-20.
  • INS Gomati will be kept alive in an open-air museum on the picturesque banks of river Gomati in Lucknow, where many of its combat systems will be displayed as military and war relics.

‘INS Vagsheer’: Sixth Scorpene Class Submarine Launched

  • Yard 11880 (INS Vagsheer), the sixth and last submarine of the Indian Navy’s Kalvari class submarines of Project 75 was launched on 20 April 2022 at the Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
  • The six submarines were being built under Project-75 by the MDL under technology transfer from the Naval Group (France) under a $3.75 bn deal signed in October 2005. The first one, INSKalvari, was commissioned in December 2017; the second, INSKhanderi, in September 2019; the third, INSKaranj, in March 2021; and the fourth one, INS Vela, joined service last November. The 5th one, Vagir, was launched in November 2020 and is undergoing sea trials.

“Iron Beam”: World’s First Energy-based Weapons System

  • Israel has successfully tested the new “Iron Beam” laser-based interception system.
  • The "Iron Beam" is the "world’s first energy-based weapons system" that uses a laser to shoot down incoming unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), rockets and mortars.
  • Israel uses Iron Dome as a missile defence system and recently it also tested the C-Dome - a naval variant of the Iron Dome.
  • While these systems are costly, the new Iron Beam will be cheaper with a "cost of $3.50 per shot".

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