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China, Russia to stage military drills in South China Sea

China and Russia were to start war games in the South China Sea.
•    The eight-day joint exercises will include a focus on "seizing and controlling" islands and shoals, Chinese navy spokesman Liang Yang said in a statement.
•    They will involve surface ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft, ship-borne helicopters, Marine Corps and amphibious armored equipment from both navies, he said.
•    China claims almost all of the South China Sea and has sought to bolster its case by building a series of artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities.
•    But a UN-backed tribunal ruled in July that any extensive claims to the sea had no legal basis and that China's construction of artificial islands in disputed waters was illegal.
•    This week's drills will be carried out off the coast of Zhanjiang city in the southern province of Guangdong.
•    Their precise location was not announced, but they do not appear to be taking place in disputed parts of the sea.


 

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Indian Coast Guard commissions offshore patrolling vessel Sarathi


The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned well-equipped offshore patrolling (OPV) vessel named ‘Sarathi’. 
•    It was commissioned by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) shipyard at Vasco in south Goa. 
•    ICGS Sarathi is the third in the series of six OPVs built by GSL for Indian Coast Guard (ICG). 
•    It is designed and built indigenously by GSL. It is the largest i.e. 105-meter long and is most advanced new generation off-shore patrol vessel. 
•    It has a state-of-the-art propulsion system that can propel the vessel to a speed of over 25 knots. 
•    It is designed to carry one twin engine light helicopter and five high speed boats. 
•    The vessel will be joining coast guard fleet based at Kochi, Kerala and will form part of the Naval Training Squadron. 
•    It will be deployed for other surveillance and to safeguard the maritime interests of the country. 
•    It will also help the coast guard meet the increasing requirement of policing and patrolling of the India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

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UAVs to patrol IAF bases 24*7


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has put all it bases in the western sector under UAV surveillance in the run up to an air exercise scheduled later next week. 
•    As part of the forthcoming Air exercise in WAC (Western Air Command) and to enhance security measures, all Air Force bases in Western Air Command are now under continuous security surveillance by UAVs.
•    Pathankot air base, which came under attack from Pakistan-based terrorists earlier this year, also comes under the Western Air Command. 
•    The air exercise, which comes in the aftermath of the Pathankot terror attack, is scheduled to be held in Haldwara in Punjab next week.
•    During the exercise full strength of a base is on operational deployment and the security pickets and patrols are enhanced and strengthened. 
•    The WAC also rates its performance and compares it with reports by independent bodies like DASI and AEB.
 

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Indian Coast Guard commissions offshore patrolling vessel Sarathi

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned well-equipped offshore patrolling (OPV) vessel named ‘Sarathi’. 
•    It was commissioned by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) shipyard at Vasco in south Goa. 
•    ICGS Sarathi is the third in the series of six OPVs built by GSL for Indian Coast Guard (ICG). 
•    It is designed and built indigenously by GSL. It is the largest i.e. 105-meter long and is most advanced new generation off-shore patrol vessel. 
•    It has a state-of-the-art propulsion system that can propel the vessel to a speed of over 25 knots. 
•    It is designed to carry one twin engine light helicopter and five high speed boats. 
•    The vessel will be joining coast guard fleet based at Kochi, Kerala and will form part of the Naval Training Squadron. 
•    It will be deployed for other surveillance and to safeguard the maritime interests of the country. 
•    It will also help the coast guard meet the increasing requirement of policing and patrolling of the India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

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India, Kazakhstan Joint Exercise PRABAL DOSTYK-16 begins

Troops of Indian and Kazakhstan Army on 7 September 2016 began the joint exercise 'PRABAL DOSTYK – 16'. 
•    The exercise being conducted in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan will conclude on 17 September 2016.
•    Prabal Dostyk meaning Robust Friendship is a significant step towards fostering military as well as diplomatic ties between both countries.
•    The Indian Army is being represented by platoon strength.
•    The Kazakhstan Army contingent comprise of platoon from Special Operating Force’s Unit.
•    The exercise will be conducted in two stages
•    First stage will be to familiarize with each other’s tactics, drills, weapons & equipment
•    In Second stage troops of both the armies will graduate to jointly execute a helicopter borne operation in a simulated environment. 
•    Combat battle drills and physical fitness will be the focal point of the exercise.

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HAL Successfully Tests Light Utility Helicopter


Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on 6 September 2016 successfully completed test flight of indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) Bengaluru.
•    The HAL LUH is a light, single-engine helicopter that is powered by the Safran HE Ardiden-1U engine.
•    In addition to two pilots, the helicopter can fly six passengers at sea level, with load capacity reducing with altitude.
•    The LUH’s engine delivers 750 kilowatts of power, permits flight operations at as high as 6500 metres.
•    Limited series production will be done in Bengaluru, and the 610-acre Tumakuru unit is slated to commence production in 2018-19.  
•    The Tumakuru plant will ship about 30 LUHs annually, starting in 2019-20.
•    In phase II, the production will be ramped up to 60 helicopters per year.
•    HAL intends to speed up flight-testing of the LUH by distributing it over three prototypes.
•    HAL hopes to obtain initial operational certification by end-2017.
 

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INS Kalvari to hit waters in September

Kalvari, Indian Navy's first indigenous Scorpene-class stealth submarine, will hit the waters again in September for its final phase of sea trials ahead of its planned induction by the end of this year.
•    The 66-metre-long INS Kalvari is part of an over USD 3.5 billion contract signed by the defense ministry with French firm DCNS in October 2005 to jointly develop six submarines.
•    Under Project 75 of the Indian Navy, the submarines are being built at the MDL dockyard in Mumbai under license from DCNS.
•    However, sources indicate that the AIP technology might be delayed.
•    Interestingly, the submarines still do not have its main weapon -- the heavy weight torpedos.
•    The original torpedo selected for the submarine was the one manufactured by one of the subsidiaries of scam-tainted firm Finmeccanica.
•    The government has decided to withdraw the tender for the heavy weight torpedos and go in for an alternative.
•    Once INS Kalvari is handed over to the Navy, the plan is to have other five inducted every nine months.
•    Construction of the first submarine started on 23 May 2009. The project is running four years behind schedule.
 

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HAL-Western Air Command Conference Held

One day Conference on HAL supported airborne platforms and systems was held at Headquarters, Western Air Command, Subroto Park, New Delhi on Friday, 29 Jul 16. 

•    The conference was co-chaired by Shri T Suvarna Raju, Chairman & Managing Director, HAL and Air Marshal SB Deo PVSM AVSM VM VSM ADC, Air Officer Commanding- in-Chief, WAC. 
•    Heads of all HAL Divisions and Senior Operational and Maintenance Staff Officers at HQ WAC attended the Conference. 
•    Issues relating to Quality, Reliability, Production, Field Support, Supply Chain Management, Ground Support Equipment etc affecting operational exploitation of the HAL supplied assets in WAC, were deliberated during the conference
•    The IAF currently has five operational commands, each of which is headed by an Air Officer Commander-in-Chief with the rank of Air Marshal.

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Air Marshal NJS Dhillon Takes over as SASO WAC

Air Marshal NJS Dhillon AVSM takes over as Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command, from Air Marshal B Suresh AVSM VM, who assumes appointment of Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel at Air Headquarters. 
•    Air Marshal NJS Dhillon AVSM is a graduate of National Defence Academy, Defence Service Staff College, and National Defence College. He was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force in Dec 81. He has over 3700 hours accident free flying to his credit including 3100 hrs on all variants of MiG-21 aircraft. 
•    He topped the Fighter Strike Leader Course at TACDE and also served as Directing Staff there as of Head of Training and Deputy Commandant. He has commanded a MiG-21 Sqn and has been the Chief Operational Officer of a premier flying base. In addition to Commanding an Operational fighter base, he also Commanded a helicopter base in DR Congo as part of UN Peace Keeping Mission. He also held the appointment of Principal Director Air Defence at Air HQ and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Inspection) at Air HQ. Prior to his present appointment, he was Air Defence Commander HQ SAC. 
•    He was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in the year 2013.

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Indian Army organize Siachen Glacier trek

The Indian Army conducts an annual trek to Siachen glacier for civilians, between August to September every year. The expedition for civilians was started for the first time in 2007 and is organized by the Army Adventure Wing. About 30-40 civilians are selected.

•    The length of the trek is 60 kilometres both ways and at altitudes ranging between 12,000 feet and 16,000 feet.
•    Those interested have to send a signed application to HQ Northern High Command, Indian Army by July 20, 2016. The participants will be decided on a first-come-first -serve basis. 
•    Applicants should preferably be below 45 years of age.
•    Everyone selected for the trek has the required fitness to go on the high-altitude trek in extreme conditions. 
•    The documents to be sent with the complete application form include indemnity bond and medical certificate. Download the form here.
•    Organisations associated with defence forces, media persons, Rashtriya Indian Military College and Rashtriya Military School cadets, and adventure lovers participate in the trek every year. 

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