Army set to install smart fence along LoC

  1. What: With infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC) on the rise, the Army is all set to accelerate work on installing a new smart fence to replace the existing border fence following successful trials
  2. The existing fence called the Anti-Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS) is located about 700m from the LoC
  3. It is a double row fence consisting of concertina wire and was constructed between 2003 and 2005
  4. According to officials: The present fence has high rate of degradation due to snow and has to be repaired after every season which costs about ₹50-60 crore every year
  5. In addition, over time the infiltrators get used to the fence and have devised ways to cross it
  6. To overcome these, a proposal has been in the works for sometime to install a smart fence which will also enable round the clock real-time surveillance
  7. This gained momentum after the Pathankot and Uri terror attacks last year in which terrorists crossed the LoC and attacked military installations
  8. The fence has already been tested and installed along a 50km stretch on a trial basis
  9. The project would be implemented by the Army Corps of Engineers
  10. The smart fence stretching about 700 km will have enhanced surveillance features with sensors integrated and also has better survivability
  11. Infiltration across the LoC peaked last year in the aftermath of the surgical strikes by the Army on terror camps in September
  12. Attacks on military installations have also gone up dramatically over the last two years
  13. The border fence forms the first line of defence in the three tier counter-infiltration grid
  14. The new fence would be erected in place of the existing one and is expected to cost around ₹1000 crore
  15. Army sources said that they have received in-principle approval for the project and have been assured on the allotment of required funds

Note4students:

This news is helpful in understanding issues related to infiltration and how technology can help.

Back2basics:

Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India, however some parts of it are illegaly occupied by Pak and China. Due to this various terms like LoC keep appearing in the news. Below is an explanation.

1. The term Line of Control (LoC) refers to the military control line between the Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary, but is the de facto border.

2. Originally known as the Cease-fire Line, it was redesignated as the “Line of Control” following the Simla Agreement, which was signed on 3 July 1972.

3. The part of the former princely state that is under Indian control is known as the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistani-controlled part is divided into Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan. The northernmost point of the Line of Control is known as NJ9842.

4. Another ceasefire line separates the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir from the Chinese-controlled area known as Aksai Chin. Lying further to the east, it is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

See here for a map to make it clear – Link.

Army plans to raise inclusiveness

  1. Source: A recently concluded Army Commanders’ Conference
  2. Outcomes: It debated ways of optimum utilisation of personnel
  3. Various measures to enhance transparency and inclusiveness were also deliberated
  4. Army: Its core values have not changed, and rapid “societal changes and discernible impact of socio-economic aspirations on Army” had been a focus area of the conference
  5. Issues:
    • Pyramidal: The Service has a “highly pyramidal structure” and hence over “50% personnel are not promoted despite being highly competent”
    • Orderly system: This meeting comes against the backdrop of concerns on the sahayak system in the Army after a series of videos had surfaced on social media recently
    • In it, serving personnel alleged that they were forced to do menial jobs
    • Under the orderly system, jawans are assigned to officers to perform certain specified personal tasks
    • The government has promised a full review of the system, but no proposal has been made to abolish it

Note4students:

Note the issues for mains answers- issues in army, civilian v/s combat personnel, sahayak system, promotions based on merit.

Civil-military parity row to end

  1. Issue: Parity between military officers and their civilian counterparts in the service headquarters
  2. Background: An order was issued by the Defence Ministry “reiterating” the rank equation between civilian officers and serving military officers based on duties and functional responsibilities
  3. By the order, a Principal Director is equivalent to a Major-General, a Director is equivalent to a Brigadier and a Joint Director to a colonel
  4. This led to severe displeasure in the services, which see the order as effectively lowering the status of their officers
  5. A committee was appointed to look into the issue and examine the order of defence ministry which is soon expected to submit its report

Note4students:

Not very important directly. Keep track of the committee report. The issue might then become important for mains.

A weapon-locating radar for the Army

  1. The DRDO formally handed over an indigenously developed Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) system called ‘Swati’ to the Army
  2. It has been extensively tested along the Line of Control
  3. It also handed over a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) recce vehicle and NBC treatment drugs to the Army
  4. Export potential: It is an indigenous effort with an export potential. However, exports would take place after the Army’s requirements were fulfilled
  5. Swati: Provides quick, automatic and accurate location of all enemy weapons like mortars, shells and rockets firing within its effective zone of coverage and simultaneously handles multiple projectiles fired from different weapons at different locations. Swati can also direct artillery response based on the incoming enemy fire
  6. The WLR has been a critical requirement of the Army, and in the aftermath of the Kargil conflict, it had to be imported from the U.S. in 2002 to fill critical needs
  7. Swati has a range of 50 km which brings all artillery guns presently in service worldwide under its coverage
  8. Four systems are currently in operation and another 30 are on order for the Army
  9. The WLR was pressed into service on the LoC last year during the flare-up in hostilities after the surgical strikes
  10. It played a major role in suppressing the heavy artillery fire from Pakistan
  11. The NBC Recce Vehicle Mk-I is intended for carrying out post event recce of nuclear, biological and chemical contamination
  12. The Army had placed an order for 16 of these vehicles in 2010

Note4students:

Note the names, types and applications of the weapons and the systems developed. Very important for prelims. Also indigenisation of technology is a topic in mains GS-3 syllabus so it can be a pointer in mains answer.

[pib] Know about AAD Endo-Atmospheric Interceptor Missile

  1. DRDO conducted the successful launch of the interceptor missile Advanced Area Defence (AAD)
  2. AAD is an endo-atmospheric missile capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 km successfully destroyed the incoming missile
  3. The weapon system radars tracked the target and provided the initial guidance to the interceptor which could precisely home on to the target and destroyed it in endo-atmospheric layer
  4. The launch has proved the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) prowess of the country

Note4Students:

The information here is important for Prelims.

PIB

DRDO signs deal with firm to manufacture key alloy

  1. Agreement: The DRDO signed a technology transfer agreement with Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited (JSHL)
  2. For: Manufacturing High Nitrogen Steel (HNS)

Note4students:

The important thing here is HNS. Prelims worthy info.

Back2basics:

High Nitrogen Steel (HNS):

  1. The alloy has significant applications in the defence sector, but currently the country is largely dependent on imports
  2. It has a much higher ballistic strength than normal steel, will free the country of imports
  3. It is not only tough but also has good strength
  4. In addition to being non-magnetic and corrosion-resistant, the HNS cost is about 40% less compared to Rolled Homogenous Armour Steel (RHA)
  5. The HNS technology would further the Army’s quest for lighter and high-performance armouring material compared to materials currently in use
  6. By virtue of its strength and characteristics, it has potential application in all armoured vehicles

India, Israel to jointly develop missile for Army

  1. News: India has approved a deal to jointly develop a medium range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) system for the Army in a ₹17,000-crore deal
  2. Process: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) gave the go-ahead for the deal to be executed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)
  3. Approval comes ahead of the likely visit of Prime Minister Naendra Modi to Israel in June
  4. Details: This is the latest in a series of other variants of SAM systems for the Navy and the Air Force being jointly developed with Israeli help under deals estimated at billions of dollars
  5. The deal is for 200 missiles for five regiments, each getting 40 units
  6. The missile has a range of 50-70 km
  7. The system will be based on the older Barak system of Israel, which is in use in India
  8. Indigenous: The systems will be manufactured in India and would have an 80% indigenous content
  9. Other deals with Israel: The two countries are also in an advanced stage of negotiations for the purchase of two more long-range Phalcon Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS)
  10. The CCS had approved the deal for additional AWACS last year that is expected to cost ₹7,500 crore
  11. Russian partnership: India now operates three Phalcon AWACS with
  12. Israeli radars mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft, under a $1-billion tripartite deal with Russia, signed in 2003

Note4students:

Important for India-Israel relations. Know about the missile and CCS from prelims PoV.

Back2basics:

Cabinet Committee on Security:

  1. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) of the Central Government of India decides on India’s defence expenditure, matters of National Security, and makes significant appointments
  2. CCS is chaired by the Prime Minister of India and comprises the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Home Affairs, and the Minister of External Affairs

Other committees and chairperson:

  1. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet- the Prime Minister of India
  2. Cabinet Committee on Accommodation- the Home Minister of India
  3. Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs- the Prime Minister of India
  4. Cabinet Committee of Parliamentary Affairs- the Home Minister of India
  5. Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs- the Prime Minister of India
  6. Cabinet Committee on Security- the Prime Minister of India

Single-point military adviser soon?

  1. News: The government is keen on appointing a single-point military adviser within the year to promote synergy among the Services
  2. The government is also intent on creating theatre commands for greater interoperability within the Services, which is likely to be an “incremental step”
  3. There is general consensus that it is high time India had its single-point military adviser and greater coordination among the three services
  4. India had two adversaries who have managed to achieve this and it is not right for India to remain so
  5. There are still some differences between the Services on the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)
  6. Other reforms: In addition to the CDS, the government is also looking at various other measures to bring in synergy between the Services
  7. This includes set up theatre commands to integrate air, land and sea assets under one operational entity to improve efficiency as well as optimise resource utilisation
  8. There is also the long pending issue of specialised commands for special operations, space and cyber domains

Note4students:

Keep track as the issue develops. The CDS issue is a long pending one and can be a question in mains.

Soldiers can now WhatsApp Army Chief

  1. Context: Several soldiers had publicly aired their grievances on social media
  2. News: The Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, has announced a WhatsApp number (9643 300008) through which soldiers can complain to him directly

Note4students: Note very important but need to keep abreast of few important happenings.

[op-ed snap] Taking ‘Cold Start’ out of the freezer?

Context:

  1. New Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, aknowledged the existence of the army’s Cold Start strategy
  2. Many defence analysts presumed the army had abandoned this limited war concept altogether
  3. Either Gen. Rawat has simply referred to these “proactive strategy options” by their more common nomenclature, Cold Start, or,
  4. The Indian Army has been quietly reorganising its limited war concept along more aggressive, and offensive, lines with little fanfare

Pakistan-centric retaliatory option:

  1. The perceived failure to mobilise the army’s Strike Corps in a timely fashion after the December 2001 attacks on Parliament was the impetus for Cold Start
  2. Its official status has been the subject of extensive debate and controversy since it was first discussed in 2004

Cold Start has significantly shaped security dynamics on the subcontinent:

  1. After 2008 Mumbai attacks, the “threat” posed by Cold Start has been repeatedly cited by Pakistani authorities as proof of India’s hostile intentions and hegemonic designs
  2. This, in turn, has provided a justification for Pakistan to build up, and build out, its nuclear forces
  3. It is increasing the size of its nuclear arsenal,
  4. And developing lower-yield nuclear warheads and short range missiles, so-called tactical nuclear weapons, which are aimed at deterring a limited Indian military incursion

Can India pull it off?

  1. The army simply lacks the materiel and organisation to implement the more aggressive versions of Cold Start
  2. It is not at all clear, for example, that the Indian Army at present possesses sufficient superiority in numbers of troops and armoured vehicles in the vicinity of the International Border to be able to overcome the Pakistan Army’s defensive and geographic advantages in a short conflict
  3. Indeed, the large number of obsolete tanks and artillery pieces, not to mention critical shortages of ammunition and air-defence assets raises serious questions about the army’s ability to implement a Cold Start-style operation at all
  4. Furthermore, sustaining offensive operations in Pakistan requires joint operations with the air force
  5. Not only does the Indian Air Force lack the kind of close air support capability Cold Start would require, but army-air force cooperation is also beset by inter-service dysfunction

Effect of the term “Cold Start”:

  1. The term “Cold Start” has thus become one of the Indian Army’s biggest liabilities
  2. The perception that its most aggressive form exists is the gift that keeps on giving to the Pakistan Army, which uses it to justify a rapid expansion of its conventional and nuclear forces

Note4Students:

History is littered with tragic examples where discrepancies between perceived doctrine and actual doctrine have caused minor skirmishes to escalate into major wars. The continued loose talk of the so-called Cold Start doctrine puts South Asia in the unfortunate situation.

Be careful in citing such policies in security or international relations related questions. Be careful, but not averse!

Back2Basics:

What is Cold Start?

It is part of the army’s attempt to develop a useable, conventional retaliatory option that punishes Pakistan for terrorist attacks against India without triggering wider conventional or nuclear escalation. In its more aggressive formulations, it was believed the aim was to create division-sized formations that could rapidly mobilise and carry out short-notice, retaliatory offensives of limited duration to quickly seize and hold Pakistani territory, while simultaneously pursuing narrow enough objectives to deny Islamabad a justification to escalate the conflict by opening additional conventional fronts or to employ nuclear weapons.

Army enthused by new indigenous artillery gun

  1. What? The Army has given the thumbs-up to a heavy artillery gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)
  2. Developers: Defence Research and Development Organisation, in collaboration with the private sector
  3. This is significant step in indigenisation as the Army and the DRDO had considerable differences on projects in the past
  4. Background: ATAGS is a 155-mm, 52-calibre towed artillery gun being developed in mission mode for the Army’s artillery modernisation programme
  5. It was designed by the DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune
  6. Bharat Forge Ltd. of the Kalyani Group, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Mahindra Defence Naval System from the private sector are involved in a big way, along with the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), in the project

Note4students:

Just remember these keywords- ATAGS, DRDO, INDIGENISATION, PRIVATE SECTOR.



:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.







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