Defence Sector – DPP, Missions, Schemes, Security Forces, etc.

Aug, 17, 2019

[op-ed snap] Giving shape to an elusive strategic concept


Prime Minister announced appointing a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). This could have a far-reaching impact on the management of defence in India.


    1. Long-awaited move – The issue of efficient management of higher defence organisation came into focus after the Kargil war in 1999 when K. Subrahmanyam task force highlighted the systemic issues affecting our national security structures; such as poor coordination and technological inadequacies.
    2. Group of Ministers (GoM) in the early 2000s reviewed national security management. Though many of their recommendations were implemented, Defence management recommendations were not implemented.
    3. Decision making process – Armed forces are not formally involved in decision-making on defence planning and strategy. Service Headquarters are not within the Ministry of Defence; they are treated more like attached offices. 
    4. New age military conflicts –The concept of military conflict extends beyond land, air and sea, into the space, cyber, electronic and information. Effective defence preparedness requires a ‘jointness’ of these forces. It also requires a prioritisation of the weapons requirement and optimisation of their resource allocations.
    5. GOM Recommendations – 
      1. Integrating the armed forces headquarters into the Ministry of Defence (MoD)
      2. Appointment of a CDS
      3. CDS was to administer tri-service institutions such as the Andaman and Nicobar Command
    6. Strategic advice – CDS would provide coordinated military advice to the Defence Minister. He would develop the national defence strategy from a national security strategy
    7. Established institution – Many democracies have the institution of a CDS or its equivalent, with varying degrees of operational control over their armed forces.
    8. Accountability – It arises from the greater participation of the military in defence decision-making alongside the civilian bureaucracy
    9. Defence acquisition –  The CDS can contribute to rational defence acquisition decisions by preventing redundancy of capacities among the services and making best use of available financial resources.



Challenges posed by CDS

  1. Authority of service chiefs – there is an apprehension that a CDS would undermine the authority of the three service chiefs over their forces. The establishment of theatre commands under the CDS in many countries reinforced this fear. 
  2. An all-powerful CDS would distort the civil-military balance in our democracy.

Role of CDS

  1. Developing multi-domain military strategies
  2. Strengthening tri-service synergies 
  3. Enabling perspective planning

Way ahead

  1. India should pursue the objective of indigenisation. India is still among the top arms importers. 
  2. There must be procedures to ensure that every acquisition is structured in a way as to strengthen our indigenous technological capacities.
  3. Eventually, the three Service headquarters would need to be suitably integrated into the Ministry of Defence.
Aug, 16, 2019

Explained: The post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)


  • In his Independence Day address PM has announced the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff to provide “effective leadership at the top level” to the three wings of the armed forces, and to help improve coordination among them.

What is the office of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)?

  • The CDS is a high military office that oversees and coordinates the working of the three Services, and offers seamless tri-service views and single-point advice to the Executive (in India’s case, to the PM).
  • On long-term it provides for defence planning and management, including manpower, equipment and strategy, and above all, “jointsmanship” in operations.
  • In most democracies, the CDS is seen as being above inter-Service rivalries and the immediate operational preoccupations of the individual military chiefs.
  • The role of the CDS becomes critical in times of conflict.

Why need CDS?

  • The creation of the CDS will eventually lead to the formation of tri-service theatre commands intended to create vertical integration of the three forces.
  • The CDS will be a single-point military adviser to the government and synergise long term planning, procurements, training and logistics of the three Services.
  • This is expected to save money by avoiding duplication between the Services, at a time of shrinking capital expenditure within the defence budget.
  • Military diplomacy is today supporting the conventional diplomacy. That can’t be done by different Services.


  • India has had a feeble equivalent known as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC); but this is a toothless office, given the manner in which it is structured.
  • The seniormost among the three Service Chiefs is appointed to head the CoSC, an office that lapses with the incumbent’s retirement.
  • The post did not further tri-service integration, resulting in inefficiency and an expensive duplication of assets.
  • This system is a leftover from the colonial era, with only minor changes being carried out over the years.
  • Apprehensions in the political class about a powerful military leader, along with inter-Services bickering, have long worked to disincentives the upgrade of the post.

Recent upheaval

  • The first proposal for a CDS came from the 2000 Kargil Review Committee (KRC), which called for a reorganization of the “entire gamut of national security management and apex decision-making and structure and interface between the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces Headquarters.
  • The Group of Ministers Task Force that studied the KRC Report and recommendations proposed to the Cabinet Committee on Security that a CDS, who would be five-star officer, be created.
  • In preparation for the post, the government created the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) in late 2002, which was to eventually serve as the CDS’s Secretariat.
  • However, over the past 17 years, this has remained yet another nebulous department within the military establishment.

What happened to the proposal?

  • No consensus emerged among the Services, with the IAF especially opposed to such a move.
  • Then opposition was against the idea of concentrating too much military power in the CDS’s post.
  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) too, opposed it subtly for the same reasons, and because it could disrupt civil-military ties in the latter’s favour.
  • The smaller Air Force and Navy fear that the CDS would be from the Army, by far the largest Service.
  • The IAF has long argued that unlike the United States and other western militaries, the Indian Services are not an expeditionary force, for which a CDS is a necessity.
  • The appointment of a CDS would also lead to theatre commands, another aspect that the IAF opposes, fearing a diminution of its operational role.

Naresh Chandra Committee recommendations

  • In 2011, more than a decade after the KRC Report, the UPA government which had opposed the CDS proposal when in opposition, set up the Naresh Chandra Committee on defence and security.
  • The 14-member Committee, comprising retired Service Chiefs and other defence experts, suggested a watered-down version of the CDS proposal, in which the Chairman CoSC in the rank of a four-star officer would have a fixed tenure of two years.
  • He would have significantly more authority and powers than the Chairman CoSC, and would be a CDS in all but name.

The case for having a CDS

  • Although the KRC did not directly recommend a CDS — that came from the GoM — it underlined the need for more coordination among the three Services, which was poor in the initial weeks of the Kargil conflict.
  • The KRC Report pointed out that India is the only major democracy where the Armed Forces Headquarters is outside the apex governmental structure.
  • It observed that Service Chiefs devote most of their time to their operational roles, “often resulting in negative results”.
  • Long-term defence planning suffers as day-to-day priorities dominate.

Who serves the purpose as for now?

  • In effect it is the National Security Adviser.
  • This has been especially so after the Defence Planning Committee was created in 2018, with NSA Ajit Doval as its chairman, and the foreign, defence, and expenditure secretaries, and the three Service Chiefs as members.

Need for an integrated service

  • Also, the PM and Defence Minister do not have the benefit of the views and expertise of military commanders, in order to ensure that higher level defence management decisions are more consensual and broadbased.
  • The CDS is also seen as being vital to the creation of “theatre commands”, integrating tri-service assets and personnel like in the US military.
  • India has 17 Service commands at different locations and duplicating assets.
  • In 2016, China integrated its military and other police and paramilitaries into five theatres from the earlier seven area commands, each with its own inclusive headquarters, one of which has responsibility for the Indian border.
  • In contrast, India’s border with China is split between the Eastern, Western, and Northern Commands.

The arguments against

  • Theoretically, the appointment of a CDS is long overdue, but there appears to be no clear blueprint for the office to ensure its effectiveness.
  • India’s political establishment is seen as being largely ignorant of, or at best indifferent towards, security matters, and hence incapable of ensuring that a CDS works.
  • Militaries by nature tend to resist transformation.
  • In the US, the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act elevated the Chairman from first among equals to the “principal military advisor” to the President and the Secretary of Defence.
  • In the Indian context, critics fear, the absence of foresight and understanding might end up making the CDS just another case of “jobs for the boys”.

Way Forward

  • The last time India fought a major battle was the Kargil conflict in 1999 in which the Navy played a silent role while the Army and Air Force collaborated to evict intruders from Indian soil.
  • The lessons learnt then prompted the K. Subrahmanyam Committee to propose having a CDS for the first time.
  • Instrumentalism doesn’t always work; sometimes a giant leap is the need of the hour.
  • India has traditionally been a land power and, yes, the primary threats are still on land, from the northern and western borders.
  • But the threat matrix has changed since 1947 and the Indian Ocean region is fast metamorphosing into a major arena of friction, with increasing forays by the Chinese Navy and building up of regional navies with help from China.
  • Also, while the threat of war stills exists in the subcontinent under the nuclear overhang, the room for large conventional manoeuvres is over.
  • In a conflict situation, what would unfold are short and swift skirmishes which call for agility and swift action by the three services in unison.
Jul, 24, 2019



  • The Indian armed forces are all set to conduct the country’s first-ever simulated space warfare exercise “IndSpaceEx” this week.


  • The tri-Service integrated defence staff under the defence ministry is conducting the two-day “IndSpaceEx”, with all military and scientific stakeholders.
  • Aim: to assess the requisite space and counter-space capabilities that are needed by India to ensure we can protect our national security interests in this final frontier of warfare.
  • Such an exercise was being planned after India successfully tested an anti-satellite (A-Sat) interceptor missile to destroy the 740-kg Microsat-R satellite, at an altitude of 283-km in the low earth orbit, in a “hit-to-kill mode”.
  • The exercise will help Indian armed forces in testing the cosmic war zone and see how the A-Sat capabilities can be used to defend the Indian skies.
  • The exercise comes at a time when India’s neighbour China is aggressively growing in this field.
  • Shortly after ‘Mission Shakti’, Beijing had launched several missiles from a ship to demonstrate its A-Sat capabilities.

In response to China

  • China has been developing an array of A-Sat weapons, both kinetic in the shape of co-orbital killer satellites and direct ascent missiles as well as non-kinetic ones like lasers and electro-magnetic pulse weapons.
  • Though India for long has had an expansive civilian space programme, it largely restricted military use of space to intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, communication and navigation.
  • It will lead to an assessment of the “imminent threats” in the expanse beyond earth and the drafting of a joint space doctrine for futuristic battles.
  • The A-Sat test and the approval for the tri-Service Defence Space Agency signifies the crossing of that self-imposed threshold for developing offensive space capabilities.
  • India has no option but to develop deterrence capabilities to ensure no adversary can threaten its assets in outer-space.

Why such exercise?

  • Not only can an adversary’s counter-space weapons take out India’s assets critical for its economic and social infrastructure, they can also “blind and deafen” the Indian armed forces.
  • They could do so by destroying or jamming satellites vital for surveillance, communication, and precision-targeting.

Way Forward

  • Having demonstrated its ASAT capability, India is in an ideal place to demonstrate its global governance credentials.
  • Clearly, efforts like the IndSpaceEx are important to determine the degree of the space security challenges India faces and to develop appropriate measures for effective deterrence.
  • But India must step up its efforts to develop global rules and norms about such challenges and threats.
  • India must continue working towards all-encompassing legally-binding instruments such as the Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS).
Jun, 13, 2019

Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV)


  • The DRDO has conducted the maiden test of an indigenously developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) along with several technologies.


  • The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight.
  • India is pushing ahead with the development of ground and flight test hardware as part of an ambitious plan for a hypersonic cruise missile.
  • The HSTDV is intended to attain autonomous scramjet flight for 20 seconds, using a solid rocket launch booster.
  • The research will also inform India’s interest in reusable launch vehicles. The eventual target is to reach Mach 6.5 at an altitude of 32.5 km.
  • Under this project, DRDO is developing a hypersonic vehicle that will be powered by a scram-jet engine.


  • This is dual-use technology, which when developed, will have multiple civilian applications.
  • It can be used for launching satellites at low cost.
  • It will also be available for long-range cruise missiles of the future.


Scram-jet technology

  • In scram-jet technology, combustion of fuel takes place in a chamber in the missile at supersonic speeds.
  • This is different from a ram jet system where the system collects the air it needs from the atmosphere during the flight at subsonic speeds and the propellants burn in the combustion chamber.
Jun, 12, 2019

Defence Space Research Agency (DSRA)


  • To enhance the capabilities of the armed forces to fight wars in space, the government has approved the setting up of a new agency which will develop sophisticated weapon systems and technologies.

Defence Space Research Agency

  • The Cabinet Committee on Security headed by PM Modi has cleared the setting up of the DSRO.
  • It has been entrusted with the task of creating space warfare weapon systems and technologies.
  • The agency would be provided with a team of scientists which would be working in close coordination with the tri-services integrated Defence staff officers.
  • It would be providing the research and development support to the Defence Space Agency (DSA) which comprises members of the three services.
  • The DSA has been created “to help the country fight wars in the space”.
  • The Defence Space Agency is being set up in Bengaluru under an Air Vice Marshal-rank officer and will gradually take over the space-related capabilities of the three forces.

Why such move?

  • In March, India had carried out the Anti Satellite Test (ASAT) which demonstrated its capability to shoot down satellites and joined an elite club of four nations with similar capability.
  • The test also helped the country develop deterrence capability against adversaries who may want to attack Indian satellites to cripple systems in times of war.
Jun, 04, 2019

UdChalo Initiative


UdChalo Initiative

  • In a bid to make wounded soldiers, who are now confined to wheelchairs, self-reliant, an initiative ‘UdChalo’ is all set to take off at the Army’s Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre (PRC).
  • ‘UdChalo’ is a travel portal that caters for the personal travel of the military and paramilitary forces personnel by aggregating defence fares and getting exclusive discounts.
  • It aims to empower the disabled military veterans.
  • The initiative is unique and has given a new lease of life of these soldiers who are now confined to wheelchairs.
May, 16, 2019

[op-ed snap] All out at sea


In recent weeks, a series of bilateral exercises with regional navies in the Indian Ocean have demonstrated the Indian Navy’s resolve to preserve operational leverage in India’s near seas.

List of Naval Exercises

  • In April, in their biggest and most complex exercise, Indian and Australian warships held drills in the Bay of Bengal.
  • This was followed by a much-publicised anti-submarine exercise with the U.S. Navy near Diego Garcia.
  • Last week, the Indian Navy held a joint exercise ‘Varuna’ with the French Navy off the coast of Goa and Karwar. even as two Indian warships participated in a ‘group sail’ with warships from Japan, the Philippines and the United States on return from a fleet review in Qingdao.

Reasons for numerous exercises

1. China’s increasing naval footprint

  • For many, the trigger for India’s newfound zeal at sea is the rapid expansion of China’s naval footprint in the Indian Ocean.
  • Military outposts – Beyond commercial investments in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, China has established a military outpost in Djibouti, a key link in Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • Base for non-peacekeeping missions – Reports suggest the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is planning an expansion of its logistics base for non-peacekeeping missions, raising the possibility of an operational overlap with the Indian Navy’s areas of interest.
  • Control over key nodes – As some see it, Djibouti portends a future where China would control key nodes skirting important shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean, allowing the PLA’s Navy (PLAN) to dominate the security dynamic.

2. South Asian Navies increasing  Presence

  • Meanwhile, South Asian navies have been making their presence felt in the seas of the subcontinent.
  • In a quest for regional prominence, Sri Lanka has positioned itself as a facilitator of joint regional endeavours, expanding engagement with Pacific powers which includes the Royal Australian Navy and the U.S. Navy.
  • With China’s assistance, Pakistan too is becoming an increasingly potent actor in the northern Indian Ocean, a key region of Indian interest.
  • Beijing has also been instrumental in strengthening the navies of Bangladesh and Myanmar, both increasingly active participants in regional security initiatives.

3. Looking for partnerships

  • Widely acknowledged as the most capable regional maritime force, the Indian Navy has played a prominent role in the fight against non-traditional challenges in the Indian Ocean.
  • While its contribution to the counter-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (including in cyclone-hit Mozambique) has been substantial, a paucity of assets and capacity has forced the Navy to seek partners willing to invest resources in joint security endeavours.

4.African focus

  •  Chinese investments in port infrastructure in Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Mozambique have grown at a steady pace, even as PLAN has sought to expand its presence in the western Indian Ocean.
  • In response, India has moved to deepen its own regional engagement, seeking naval logistical access to French bases in Reunion and Djibouti, where the second phase of ‘Varuna’ will be held later this month.


Defensive stand – Yet, India’s Indian Ocean focus makes for an essentially defensive posture.

No strategic gains – Notwithstanding improvements in bilateral and trilateral naval engagements, it hasn’t succeeded in leveraging partnerships for strategic gains.

Power equation favouring China – With India’s political leadership reluctant to militarise the Quadrilateral grouping or to expand naval operations in the Western Pacific, the power-equation with China remains skewed in favour of the latter.

Only risk management approach – For all its rhetoric surrounding the ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’, New Delhi is yet to take a stand on a ‘rules-based order’ in littoral-Asia. A wariness for sustained operations in China’s Pacific backyard has rendered the Indian Navy’s regional strategy a mere ‘risk management’ tactic, with limited approach to shape events in littoral-Asia.

Apr, 16, 2019

India successfully test-fires Sub-sonic cruise Missile Nirbhay


  • In a major boost for defence, India successfully test-fired its first Sub-sonic cruise missile, Nirbhay.
  • The missile, which can be deployed from multiple platforms, was launched by the DRDO from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha.

Nirbhay Missile

  • Nirbhay is a long range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile designed and developed in India by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The missile can be launched from multiple platforms and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.
  • It is a two-stage missile powered by Solid rocket motor booster.
  • It is capable of carrying warheads of up to 300kg at a speed of 0.6 to 0.7 Mach (sub-sonic)
  • It has an operational range of 1000 km (long range).
Apr, 09, 2019

Army gets Dhanush artillery guns


  • The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has handed over the first batch of six Dhanush artillery guns to the Army.

Dhanush artillery guns

  • Dhanush is the indigenously upgraded version of the Swedish Bofors gun procured in the 1980s.
  • Dhanush is a 155 mm, 45-calibre towed artillery gun with a range of 36 km and has demonstrated a range of 38 km with specialised ammunition.
  • It is an upgrade of the existing 155m, 39 calibre Bofors FH 77 gun.
  • It is compatible with all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) 155 mm ammunition system.
  • Indigenization to the extent of about 81%, has already been achieved. By the end of 2019, the indigenization level of the gun will go up to 91%.

Additional features

  • The gun is fitted with inertial navigation system with GPS based gun recording and auto-laying.
  • It has an enhanced tactical computer for onboard ballistic computations, an onboard muzzle velocity recording, an automated gun sighting system equipped with camera, thermal imaging and laser range finder.
Mar, 19, 2019

[op-ed snap] National insecurity


Mains Paper 3: Indian Economy| Investment models

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: The newscard discusses flaws in India’s defence procurement policy , Which is threatening national security.



The stain of the Bofors scandal that was unearthed in 1987 has diseased India’s defence procurement ever since. Be it the purchase of howitzers or AgustaWestland choppers or indeed the Rafale aircraft, every Indian defence procurement initiative invites severe political challenge.

Hesitations in procurements

  • Given that the Bofors scandal brought down the Rajiv Gandhi government, every Opposition party sees the purchase of any defence equipment from abroad as a political opportunity to attack the government of corruption.
  • This has reached such a stage that defence procurement in India has become well-nigh impossible and as a country we are imperilling our security at a time when the world is geo politically unstable.

Comparison with Neighbours

  • It is  a time when over a 5, 10 or 25 year period, India’s GDP has grown at 7 per cent per annum making India the second fastest growing large economy over the last two decades.
  • This year it has even surpassed China’s GDP growth rate.
  • But it is a fact that between 2000 and 2015, China went from a $1.2 trillion dollar economy to an over $11 trillion economy while India went from a $0.48 trillion economy to a $2.2 trillion dollar economy, making India only one-fifth the size of the Chinese economy.
  • But what should concern us much more is that if we were to do this comparison in respect of defence equipment and overall military might, we would likely be more like one-fifteenth the size of China.
  • With respect to Pakistan, the difference in our economic might does not reflect in our comparative military advantage against Pakistan.
  • We are today seven times the size of Pakistan’s GDP but the armies and military equipment are much more comparable.
  • This is not okay in today’s world as even Japan and Germany are discovering with the arrival of Donald Trump in the US and his taking away the US protective umbrella for them.

Repercussions of policy failure in procurement

  • The fact that the Air Force pilot who was shot down by Pakistan recently was flying a MiG-21, termed by many as a flying coffin, is shameful.
  • We have no right to talk of ourselves as a global force with such an ancient and depleted level of military equipment. We don’t spend enough, either, on intelligence or defence armaments.
  • We have faced at least six major attacks since Kargil — Kashmir assembly, Parliament and the year of standoff thereafter, Mumbai, Pathankot, Uri, and Pulwama now.

Is change possible?

  • Today kickbacks from defence procurement cannot be a large part of election funding because our elections cost a lot and our defence procurement is meagre.
  • Yet for 10 years Defence Minister A K Antony made sure that no defence equipment was purchased under his watch, as it might stain his clean reputation.
  • What we need, therefore, are some rules to ensure that we do not weaken ourselves so much that we endanger the nation.
  • We need to ensure equipment gets purchased in a time-bound manner and a certain amount of the annual budget is allocated to defence equipment and that an interparty group approves the final purchases.

Suggestion for defence procurement

  • First, we should agree to a certain minimum defence equipment purchase budget as a percentage of our annual budget.
  • The Parliament should be informed each year whether the allocated amount was spent on defence equipment.
  • Second, we need to create a new institutional mechanism for defence purchase.
  • This mechanism needs to both de-risk the officials involved in defence procurement, provide robust oversight and yet be conducted in a time-bound manner.
  • There should be three parts to it, including a technical committee comprising defence officials, a separate commercial negotiations team from the finance and defence ministries, including possibly officials from the CAG, and a PM-led approval team that includes the leader of Opposition, CAG, defence minister and possibly the chief vigilance commissioner.
  • Each part would need to complete its job within a pre-set time limit that should also be reported to the Parliament.
  • Thereafter, these discussions should be kept outside the purview of the media.
  • A record of the comments of the approval committee should be viewed by a select joint party committee after a pre-determined time period as a check.
  • Any complaints on the process followed can only be made to the Supreme Court, which would hear the complaint and pronounce judgement in secrecy to depoliticise procurement and not allow it to become an election issue.
  • Allowing for this challenge, though, would ensure probity.

Way Forward

It is important to create a national consensus on this vital issue to guard our national sovereignty. The time to act is right after the upcoming election.




Mar, 15, 2019

[op-ed snap]Vote on national security


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Security challenges & their management in border areas

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: National Seecurity Doctrine should be an issue in Election and Plotcal Prties should include it in their mandate.



In the wake of Pulwama and Balakot, national security may become the key issue in the forthcoming general elections.

Security Issue as an Election Issue

  • It would be most timely if national security indeed became a serious election issue, not in terms of scoring political points, but in drawing attention to persistent infirmities in our governance systems, the failure to address serious gaps identified by expert committees such as the Kargil Review Committee (2000) and the Naresh Chandra Task Force on National Security (2012) and the blatant lack of accountability apparent in avoiding public reckoning in subsequent serious security lapses evident in the Pathankot, Uri and now the Pulwama incidents.
  • Let each political party in the fray have the courage to acknowledge India’s national security challenge in its various dimensions and include in their respective manifestos what practical steps they are committed to undertaking to make our country safe from external and domestic threats.

Introspecting Policy responses

  • One must expose our hostile neighbour’s responsibility for threats to our national security.
  • But it is as important to turn the spotlight on our own failings which allow our adversaries to exploit them repeatedly.
  • The surgical strikes in 2016 and now the air attacks on Balakot are significant actions in raising the costs for Pakistan pursuing cross-border terror against India.
  • Any triumphalism which deflects attention from what needs to be done to strengthen our national security structures and processes, must be avoided.
  • No government, no political leader, no institution of the state should claim immunity from scrutiny or questioning, especially in a democracy.

Issues to be present in mandates

  • Recognising that national security has become a major public preoccupation, each party should include in its manifesto what it believes should be the national security doctrine for a plural and democratic country like India.
  • It should be a doctrine based not on creating fear but clearly spelling out the real trade-off between security and the space to enjoy democratic values and fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.
  • A national security doctrine will make sense only if it is placed in the framework of India’s Constitution and conveys a sense of where India wishes to be as a country and society in 10, 20 or 30 years.

Way Forward For Political Parties

  • political parties should commit to updating the reports of the Kargil Review Committee and the Naresh Chandra Task Force on National Security, make public their outcome and promote an open debate as a prelude to implementing key recommendations.
  • They emphasise the need to draw lessons from past successes and failures and avoid ad hoc responses.


  • Any security system is as good and efficient as its junior-most footsoldier.
  • Problems With Lower Rung
    • The recruitment of police personnel at these levels is often subject to political patronage and corrupt practices.
    • They lack basic training. Some, being virtually illiterate, are not even trainable.
    • Their conditions of work and living are pathetic.
    • They are easily corrupted.
    • Most state governments are guilty of allowing large vacancies in their police forces.
    • India has one of the lowest police to population ratios at 125 per 1,00,000. At the ground level, there is virtually no policing of the kind which might have apprehended the LeT terrorists as they landed on the beach outside Mumbai.
  • That there is regular smuggling from across the sea and our land borders is an open secret.
  • Terrorists slip through using these smuggling routes often relying upon corrupted elements in security forces.
  • No additional bureaucratic layers added to an already top heavy system are likely to make much difference unless the reality at the local level is addressed.
  • There is inordinate stress on the personal security of political personages and senior officials at the expense of public security. There are three security personnel, on an average, for every VIP.
  • This is anachronistic in a democratic and egalitarian society, but also impacts adversely on the state’s ability to ensure public security and law and order without which terrorist threats cannot be addressed.


  • These are some of the real issues relating to national security and can be addressed through efficient and accountable institutions and not through individual bravery or brilliance.
  • Citizens have the right to hold their political leaders and governing institutions accountable and that is only possible if there is transparency mandated by law, not left to the discretion of a government.
  • It is unacceptable to assert that questioning the armed forces or government is unpatriotic.
  • Armed forces are not invincible. They can make mistakes, they may lack the capacity or the right kind of weaponry and equipment.
  • National security does not justify hiding from one’s own citizens the infirmities which plague our security forces.
  • Governments make mistakes and will continue making them if citizens cannot question them.
  • Let us, by all means, make national security an election issue because there are serious concerns on how it is being handled.




Mar, 14, 2019

Combat Casualty Drugs


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Combat casualty drugs

Mains level: Utility of CCDs for soldiers on battleground


  • DRDO’s medical laboratory has come up with a range of ‘combat casualty drugs’ that can extend the golden hour till the trooper is shifted to hospital.
  • These indigenously made medicines will be a boon for paramilitary and defence personnel during warfare.

Combat Casualty Drugs

  • These drugs are developed at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a laboratory of the DRDO.
  • The main battlefield emergencies are excess bleeding, sepsis, shock, hypovolemia (decreased blood volume) and pain.
  • The spectrum includes bleeding wound sealants, super absorptive dressings, and glycerated salines, all of which can save lives in the event of warfare in a jungle and high altitude areas as well as in terror attacks.

Why such move?

  • There is only one medical person and limited equipment to take care of soldiers during combat in most cases.
  • This is compounded by battlefield conditions such as forests, hilly terrain, and inaccessibility of vehicles, experts said.
  • Chances of survival and minimum disability are highest when effective first aid care is given within the golden hour.

Take a look of few CCDs

I. Glycerated Salines

  • Among the drugs developed is glycerated saline, a battlefield intravenous fluid that does not freeze till -18C and is useful in handling trauma cases in high altitude areas.
  • The glycerated saline, unlike normal saline, reduces inflammation.
  • The drug can be life-saving, particularly if the traumatic edema(the collection of fluid in tissues and cavities of the body) is in the brain or lungs.
  • It has life-saving capacities as it gives more time to the medical personnel to shift the wounded patient to a higher care facility.

II. Special Medicated Dressing

  • INMAS has also developed a special medicated dressing material which is 200 times more absorptive than normal dressings during bleeding wounds.
  • The cellulose fibre-based dressings are more effective in stopping bleeding and keeping the wound clean.
  • Additionally, antiseptics, antibiotics and curcumin can be impregnated in the dressing which acts as a slow drug release system.

III. Chitosan gel

  • INMAS has developed a chitosan gel which helps in preventing blood loss by forming a film over the wound.
  • Coupled with platelets and red blood cells aggregation, it stops the bleeding.
  • Its antibacterial and wound health properties are of added benefit.

IV. Hypocholorous acid disinfectant

  • Part of the range is hypocholorous acid (HOCL), a disinfectant for troopers involved in jungle warfare.
  • It is helpful in treating necrotising fascitis, a rapidly progressing bacterial infection of soft tissues.
  • Bacterial toxins cause local tissue damage and necrosis, as well as blunt immune system responses.
  • In such cases, pure 0.01% HOCL which has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity can rapidly neutralise bacterial toxins.

V. Nalbuphine injection

  • INMAS scientists have also discovered a new route for administering the Nalbuphine injection to reduce pain during mutilating war injuries.
  • The 10 mg injection of Nalbuphine hydrochloride is more effective for an injured trooper if it is given through the submental/sublingual route instead of intra-muscular or intravenous route.
Mar, 12, 2019

[op-ed snap] Let them take flight: on Tejas and Kaveri projects


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: TEJAS, Cauvery

Mains level: Need of/expectations reform in Aircraft and engine manufacturing to make India Self reliant in defence sector.



On February 20, the Indian Air Force and the aviation community heaved a collective sigh of relief after the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mark 1, received its long-awaited Final Operational Clearance; this means it is combat-ready and can be exploited to the limits of its approved ‘envelope’.It is not late to declare the Tejas and Kaveri projects as ‘national missions’ .


  • However, a day later, came a rather unwelcome report: a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) announcement at the show of its decision to shelve the Kaveri turbo-jet engine project. 

Short Term Political Goals

  • Historically, all major aerospace powers have possessed the capability to design airframes as well as power-plants.
  • Until India can design and produce its own aero-engines, the performance and capabilities of any indigenously designed/built aircraft will be seriously limited by the technology that we are permitted to import.
  • India has already had two bitter experiences in this regard. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s sleek and elegant HF-24 Marut fighter, of the 1960s and 1970s, failed to achieve its huge potential as a supersonic fighter for want of a suitable engine.
  • Rather than exert itself to seek alternatives, the government of the day, with stunning myopia, closed the programme.
  • Similarly, many of the problems the Tejas faced emanate from lack of engine thrust.
  • Even as the Kaveri has failed to make an appearance, U.S.-made alternatives such as the General Electric F-404 engine, or even the more powerful F-414, do not deliver adequate thrust for the Tejas Mk 1, to meet all its missions.
  •  For the Tejas Mk IA, Mk II, the LCA Navy, and other aircraft programmes such as the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, India will need turbo-jet engines of even greater thrust.

Ways to make Indigenous Aircraft Industry Prosperous

  •  It is vital for India to develop a family of homegrown jet engines to power indigenous combat aircraft as well as re-engine imported ones.
  • In this context, it is necessary to recognise that both the Tejas and Kaveri projects — which have seen more than their share of headwinds and uncertainty — form key components of India’s technological aspirations.
  •  Unless carefully guided, protected and nurtured, their failure could spell the end of India’s aeronautical industry, or condemn it forever to licensed production.
  • A long production run of, say, 250-300 aircraft for the Tejas and its advanced derivatives is essential if the industry is to hone its design and production skills.

Challenges in Engine Manufacturing

  • The HAL claims to have “manufactured” nearly 5,000 aero-engines of British, French and Russian design, and overhauled 18,000 of them.
  • Since this putative “manufacturing” process involves merely the assembly of imported components, several engine divisions of the HAL have failed to imbibe aspects of design, metallurgy, thermodynamic and aerodynamic engineering as well as the complex tooling and machining process required for the design and manufacture of aero-engines,
  • In 1986, the DRDO’s decades-old Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) was tasked with developing an indigenous power plant for the LCA, which was to replace the U.S. engines being used for the development phase of the aircraft.
  • The first complete prototype Kaveri began tests in 1996, and by 2004 it had flown on a Russian flying test-bed; albeit unsuccessfully.
  •  Since then, the Kaveri has made sporadic progress and the GTRE has been struggling with serious design and performance issues which it has been unable to resolve.
  • As the Kaveri missed successive deadlines, the U.S. import option was mindlessly and gleefully resorted to.
  • It has, at least, on two occasions, approached French and British aero-engine manufacturers for advice and consultancy in operationalising the Kaveri.
  • Despite reportedly attractive offers of performance-enhancement and technology-transfer, the negotiations stalled reportedly on cost considerations. 

Responsibility for failures

  • It is obvious that the onus for repeated setbacks in these projects must lie squarely on India’s political leadership; for its neglect as well as absence of a vision for the aeronautical industry. 
  • There are three more factors: over-estimation by the DRDO of its capabilities compounded by a reluctance to seek advice; inadequate project management and decision-making skills of its scientists; and exclusion of users — the military — from all aspects of the projects.

Way Forward

  • It is still not too late for the government to declare both these projects as ‘national missions’ and initiate urgent remedial actions.
  •  The success of both the Kaveri and Tejas programmes will transform the aerospace scene, and put India in the front ranks of aeronautical nations, perhaps even ahead of China, if the desired degree of resolve and professional rigour can be brought to the fore.
  • If we miss this opportunity, we will remain abjectly import-dependent forever in this vital area.



Feb, 19, 2019

[op-ed snap] India Urgently Needs a National Security Doctrine


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Security challenges & their management in border areas

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: IED

Mains level: Shortcomings in India’s response to security threats and need of a national security vision.



Tragic loss of 40 gallant CRPF jawans, killed in a “fidayeen” attack has unearthed how India remain deficient in intelligence-analysis, inter-agency coordination, and, above all, a national security doctrine.

Ramifications of recent attack

  • The success of vehicle-borne IED being used in J&K could mark a new phase in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations.
  • An urgent review of the quality and timeliness of intelligence inputs and the standard operating procedures (SOP) being followed by the armed police force convoys is required.
  • It’s another opportunity for reflection and introspection about our management of crisis situations in general, and of Pakistan’s role in Kashmir, in particular.

Uncertain trumpet

  • Woolly-headed thinking, lack of resolve and absence of a coherent long-term vision iregarding national security perspective
  • Crisis after crisis has caught our nation by surprise — unprepared and invariably in the reactive mode.
  • Kashmir issue to become a pressure-point for exploitation by our western and eastern neighbours,

India’s “strategic restraint” has resulted into

  • Pakistan waging war on us four times since Partition.
  • Pakistan’s three-decade-long strategy of “bleeding India by a thousand cuts” — using terrorists and religious fanatics .

Major missteps by India

  • Describing, “acts of war” by Pakistan as “cross-border terrorism
  • Labeling Pakistani perpetrators as “non-state actors”; providing Pakistan the opening to declare that they were Kashmiri “freedom fighters”.

National Security Doctrine Revival

  • National security has suffered neglect for decades due to pre-occupation of our politicians with electoral politics.
  • National Security should be first priority on the government’s and Parliament’s time .
  • There has been a gap in political pronouncements in our military capabilities — material as well as organisational.

Grave Instances of National Security Failure

  • In 2001,there was a terrorist attack on Parliament.
  • In 2008, a handful of seaborne terrorists held Mumbai hostage for 96 hours
  • Pakistani fidayeen attacks on the Pathankot air base, followed by the Uri and Nagrota army camps — and now, Pulwama.

Way forward

  • Having created an elaborate national security framework, post Pokhran II, India has strangely shied away from promulgating a doctrine .
  • The current juncture would be apt for the urgent promulgation of a security-cum-defence doctrine.
  • Benefits Of such doctrine
    • Public version defines India’s vital interests, aims and objectives .
    • It will not only become the basis for strategy-formulation, contingency-planning and evolution of SOPs, but also send a reassuring message to our public.


Setting in place clear “red lines” for adversary nations and non-state entities will mean that, in future, no further notice is required for instant punitive or retaliatory actions for any infringement of India’s red lines.

Nov, 28, 2018

[pib] Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Issues relating to intellectual property rights.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti

Mains level: India’s indigenous defence industry


  • Raksha Mantri has launched ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ which showcases salient inventions and innovations achieved by DRDO, Defence PSUs and Ordnance Factories (OFs).

Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti

  1. As part of the ongoing initiatives to enhance self-reliance in defence, the Department of Defence Production has instituted a new framework titled ‘Mission Raksha GyanShakti’ which aims to provide a boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry.
  2. The Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) has been entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the programme.
  3. The event brought out that the end objective of ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ is to inculcate IP culture in Indian defence manufacturing ecosystem.
  4. The IPR has emerged as a key ingredient of an ecosystem which stimulates innovation and ingenuity.

Defense IPRs in India

  1. An IP Facilitation Cell was established in April this year which has worked tirelessly to achieve ambitious targets of training 10,000 personnel of OFB and DPSUs on IPR and to facilitate filing of at least 1,000 new IPR applications.
  2. This has resulted in successful filing of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) applications.
Sep, 25, 2018

India conducts successful interceptor missile test at night


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) Mission

Mains level: India’s missile arsenal.



  • India successfully conducted an interceptor missile test off the Odisha coast on Sunday night, achieving a major milestone in developing a two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence

Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) Mission

  1. This PDV mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 km of the earth’s atmosphere .
  2. Both the PDV interceptor and the target missile were successfully engaged.
  3. In an automated operation, radar-based detection and tracking system detected and tracked the enemy’s ballistic missile.
  4. The computer network with the help of data received from radars predicted the trajectory of the incoming ballistic missile.
  5. The interceptor guided by high-accuracy Inertial Navigation System (INS) supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System moved towards the estimated point of the interception.
  6. Once the missile crossed the atmosphere, the Heat Shield ejected and the IR Seeker dome opened to look at the target location as designated by the mission computer.
  7. With the help of Inertial Guidance and IR Seeker the missile moved for interception.
  8. All events were monitored in real-time by the Telemetry/Range Stations, at various other locations.
Aug, 27, 2018

New copters to enable tech transfer


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: New SP Model

Mains level: India’s strides in defense technology sector and need for further development.


New Strategic Partnership model for defence purchase

  1. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister accorded approval for procurement for the Services amounting to approximately Rs. 46,000 crores.
  2. The Defence Ministry is expected to release project-specific implementation guidelines for the 111 naval utility helicopters to be procured under the Strategic Partnership (SP) model.
  3. However, foreign companies say there is still some clarity required on crucial legal, liability and technology transfer issues.

Particulars of the new SP Model

  1. This is the first project under the MoD’s prestigious Strategic Partnership (SP) Model that aims at providing significant fillip to the Government’s ‘Make in India’ programme.
  2. SP Model envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian Strategic Partner, who will collaborate with foreign OEM, acquire niche technologies and set up production facilities in the Country.
  3. The model has a long-term vision of promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment thus enhancing self-sufficiency and establishing an industrial and R&D ecosystem, capable of meeting the future requirements of the Armed Forces.
  4. The contract when finalised, would result in a vibrant and wide-spread Defence industrial eco-system in the Indian Aviation Sector with the Private Industry and MSMEs as major stakeholders.

Why such Partnership?

  1. There are two important issues that need clarity. One is legal, as the companies can’t sell a submarine or fighter jet to a private company. Global regulations do not allow that.
  2. So, there has to be a government-to-government component in the end.
  3. The other issue was about the liability of the end product.
  4. This liability issue was one of the major reasons the earlier medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal for 126 jets got derailed at the contract negotiation stage.
  5. Hence the Dassault Aviation refused to stand guarantee to the aircraft manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL).

Large Infrastructure still under-utilized

  1. For the first time, under the SP model, Indian private companies will get to tie up with global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and build major defence platforms in India under technology transfer.
  2. So far, it was defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) which played the lead role.
  3. There is large infrastructure already present in the country with DPSUs and this must be utilized for the benefit of both the country as well as form a business sense.

Need for Clarity in terms for production

  1. All procurement under the SP model would be executed by specially constituted empowered project committees (EPC) to ensure timely execution.
  2. There is need for some clarity from the MoD on production transfer and technology transfer as well, the executive added.
  3. Earlier the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the general as well as project-specific implementation guidelines for the naval helicopters that would lay emphasis on transfer of technology and high absorption of indigenous content.
  4. The guidelines and the qualification guidelines are yet to be communicated to the industry.
Aug, 20, 2018

[pib] Successful Flight Tests of Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) and ATGM ‘HELINA’


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Smart Anti Airfield Weapon, ATGM ‘HELINA’

Mains level: Defense production in India


Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW)

  1. Indigenously designed and developed guided bombs Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) were successfully flight tested from IAF aircraft at Chandan range.
  2. The weapon system was integrated with live warhead and has destroyed the targets with high precision. The telemetry and tracking systems captured all the mission events.
  3. This weapon is capable of destroying variety of ground targets using precision navigation.
  4. The weapon has undergone eight developmental trials till date and performance of system for different ranges under multiple launch conditions has been demonstrated.


  1. Indigenously developed Helicopter launched Anti-Tank Guided Missile ‘HELINA’ has been successfully flight tested from Army Helicopter at 1400hrs in the ranges of Pokhran.
  2. The weapon system has been tested for its full range.
  3. The ‘HELINA’ weapon system released smoothly from the launch platform has tracked the target all through its course and hit the target with high precision.
  4. All the parameters have been monitored by the telemetry stations, tracking systems and the Helicopters.
  5. The Missile is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR) operating in the Lock on Before Launch mode.
  6. It is one of the most advanced Anti-Tank Weapons in the world.
Aug, 20, 2018

India building new fighter jet


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Security challenges and their management in border areas

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: AMCA

Mains level: Increasing IAFs stealth capacity and fleet


Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft

  1. The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) India’s next indigenous fighter is expected to make its first flight by 2032.
  2. The aircraft will be powered by the same GE-414 engine on the LCA Mk-2 variant which is in the design phase.
  3. A GE-414 produces 98kN thrust compared to 84kN thrust of the GE-404 engine which is on the LCA Mk1.
  4. The Indian Air Force has given land to the Defence Research and Development Organisation to set up facilities for the project.
  5. The plan is to build on the capabilities and expertise developed during the development of the light combat aircraft (LCA) and produce a medium fifth generation fighter aircraft.
  6. At Aero India 2016, DRDO officials had stated that the basic design configuration has been frozen after wind tunnel testing and there are three critical technologies that need to be developed — stealth, thrust vectoring and super cruise.

Improvising Stealth Capacity

  1. There are two major ways of making a military platform stealthier. One is geometric stealth and other is material stealth.
  2. In geometric stealth, the shape of the aircraft is designed at such angles so as to deflect away maximum radar waves thereby minimising its radar cross section.
  3. In material stealth, radar-absorbing materials are used in making the aircraft which will absorb the radio waves thus reducing the radar footprint.
  4. The AMCA will initially be based on geometric stealth.
Aug, 07, 2018

[pib] New Defence Production Policy


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Draft Defence Production Policy 2018

Mains level: India’s rising defense imports and need for indigenous production



In the Budget Speech 2018, Government had announced that it will bring out an industry friendly Defence Production Policy 2018 to promote domestic production by public sector, private sector and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)

Draft Defence Production Policy, 2018

1. Considering this, a draft Defence Production Policy 2018 has been prepared which provides a focused, structured and significant thrust to development of defence design and production capabilities in the country.
2. The salient feature of the Draft Policy which is already placed in public domain for consultation with stakeholders is as follows:

  • Creation of a dynamic, robust and competitive defence and aerospace industry as an important part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • Creation of a tiered defence industrial ecosystem in the country.
  • Reducing the current dependence on imports and strive to achieve self-reliance in the development and manufacture of weapon systems/platforms.

3. The Policy mandates for Transfer of Technology or enhanced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for domestic production in the event of non-availability of manufacturing capabilities in the country.
4. The policy envisages that Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) should focus on system integration, design and development, and actively engage domestic vendors in the private sector for other assembly work.

Aug, 02, 2018

[pib] Concessional Financing Scheme (CFS) to support Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Mobilization of resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Particulars of CFS

Mains level: Facilitating Indian defence manufacturers abroad



The Union Cabinet has approved the first extension of Concessional Financing Scheme (CFS) to support Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad.

Concessional Financing Scheme (CFS)

  1. The scheme envisages GoI to provide counter guarantee and interest equalization of 2 % to EXIM Bank to offer concessional finance to any foreign Govt. or foreign Govt. owned or controlled entity if any Indian entity, succeeds in getting contract for the execution of a project.
  2. Under the Scheme, EXIM Bank extends credit at a rate not exceeding LIBOR (avg. of six months) + 100 bps. The repayment of the loan is guaranteed by the foreign govt.
  3. Under the CFS, the GoI supports Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad since 2015-16.
  4. Since the objectives of the Scheme continue to be relevant, it is proposed to extend the Scheme for another five years from 2018 to 2023.

Major Impact

  1. Earlier, Indian entities were not able to bid for large projects abroad since the cost of financing was very high for them.
  2. Bidders from other countries such as China, Japan, Europe and US were able to provide credit at superior terms, i.e., lower interest rate and longer tenures which works to the advantage of bidders from those countries.
  3. Also, by having projects of strategic interest to India executed by Indian entities, the CFS enables India to generate substantial backward linkage induced jobs, demand for material and machinery in India and also a lot of goodwill for India.

Implementation Strategy and Targets

  1. Under the Scheme, MEA selects the specific projects keeping in view strategic interest of India and sends the same to Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
  2. The strategic importance of a project to deserve financing under this Scheme, is decided, on a case to case basis, by a Committee chaired by Secretary, DEA.
  3. The Deputy National Security Adviser is also a member of this Committee.
  4. Once approved by the Committee, DEA issues a formal letter to EXIM Bank conveying approval for financing of the project under CFS.
Jul, 31, 2018

Leg-up for private sector participation in defence equipment manufacturing


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the SPG

Mains level: Indigenization of defence manufacturing


Implementing Strategic Partnership guidelines

  1. In a major step towards boosting private sector participation in domestic defence manufacturing, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the implementation of Strategic Partnership guidelines.
  2. SP model aims to revitalise defence industrial ecosystem and progressively build indigenous capabilities in the private sector to design, develop and manufacture complex weapon system for future needs of armed forces.
  3. The guidelines lay emphasis on incentivisation of transfer of niche technology and higher indigenous content.
  4. All procurements under the SP model would be executed by specially constituted Empowered Project Committees to provide focused attention and ensure timely execution.

Four segments of Policy

  1. The SP model has four segments viz. submarines, single-engine fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured carriers/main battle tanks which would be specifically opened up for the private sector.
  2. Under this policy, one Indian private company would be selected in each segment which would tie-up with shortlisted global equipment manufacturers to manufacture the platforms in India under technology transfer.

Other developments

  1. The DAC also approved platform-specific guidelines for procurement of Naval Utility helicopters
  2. In another decision, the DAC gave approval for the acquisition of eight Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV) for the Coast Guard at an approximate cost of ₹800 crore
  3. These would be indigenously designed and manufactured.
Jul, 30, 2018

India plans to buy missile shield from U.S.

Image result for India plans to buy missile shield from U.S.


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Role of external state & non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: NASAMS-II

Mains level: Defending India’s airspace as well as other strategic locations


Shield for NCR

  1. India is in talks with the U.S. to procure an advanced air defence system to defend the National Capital Region (NCR) from aerial attacks
  2. The process for procuring the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) has been initiated

About the project

  1. India is deploying a multi-tiered air defence network to fully secure its airspace from incoming fighter aircraft, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)
  2. NASAMS is a “highly adaptable mid-range solution” for any operational air defence requirement and provides a tailorable, state-of-the-art defence system
  3. It can maximise the ability to quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, UAV or emerging cruise missile threats
  4. NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of the NASAMS and features new 3D mobile surveillance radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker reaction
  5. India is also in an advanced stage of talks with Russia for the procurement of very long range S-400 air defence systems
  6. India is also developing an indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system
Jul, 19, 2018

[pib] IAF participation in Ex Pitch Black 2018


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Ex Pitch Black 2018

Mains level: Not Much


Ex Pitch Black

  1. The Indian Air Force for the first time is participating with fighter aircraft in Exercise Pitch Black 2018 (PB-18), which is scheduled in Australia.
  2. It would aim to undertake simulated air combat exercises in a controlled environment and mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing IAF operational capability.
  3. Ex Pitch Black is a biennial multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

 IAF Contingent

  1. The IAF contingent consists of 145 air-warriors including Garud team, 04 X Su-30 MKI, 01 X C-130 and 01 X C-17.
  2. The contingent will assemble at   Air Force Station Kalaikunda and depart for the exercise on 19 Jul 18 from India to Australia via Indonesia.
  3. During the flight from India to Australia and back, Su-30 MKI will carry out air to air refueling with IL-78 tankers.
  4. After completion of the exercise, on its return leg from Darwin to Subang, Su-30 MKI will be refueled in air for the first time by RAAF KC-30A.

 Benefits of such exercises

  1. The exercise will provide unique opportunity for exchange of knowledge and experience with these nations in a dynamic warfare environment.
  2. Participation in multinational air exercise assumes importance in view of the continued engagement of the IAF with friendly foreign countries.
  3. Over the last decade, IAF has been actively participating in operational exercises hosted by various countries, wherein collaborative engagements undertaken with the best air forces in the world.
Jul, 14, 2018

[pib] Shwet Ashwa Drass Expedition


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Shwet Ashwa Ride

Mains level: Not much


Tribute to Kargil War Heroes

  1. Shwet Ashwa, the elite motorcycle display team of the Corps of Military Police, commenced a motorcycle expedition from Bengaluru to Drass on 2nd July 2018 as a tribute to the soldiers who laid down their lives during the Kargil war.
  2. After a gruelling ride through the Western Ghats and encountering heavy rains at Mumbai and Jaipur, the expedition reached New Delhi from where it will be flagged off for Drass.
  3. The expedition is being undertaken by five highly experienced riders of the Army’s Shwet Ashwa Motor Cycle Display team and will travel a distance of more than 3250 km across eight states before they reach Drass.
Jun, 08, 2018

DAC approves procurement of radars, air cushion vehicles


Mains Paper 3: Security | Security challenges and their management in border areas

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: DAC, RADAR Technology, ACVs

Mains level: Modernisation of Armed forces


High Speed Targets detection Radars

  1. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement of high powered radars for the Indian Air Force and air cushion vehicles for the Army and the Coast Guard together worth over ₹5,500 crore.
  2. The 12 high power radars will be procured indigenously under the ‘Buy (Indian) IDDM’ category.
  3. The radars will provide long range medium and high altitude radar cover with the capability to detect and track high speed targets following parabolic trajectories.
  4. Technologically superior, the radars will have the capability to scan 360 degrees without mechanical rotation of Antenna and will operate on 24×7 basis with minimal maintenance requirement.

ACVs: the All-Terrain-Vehicles

  1. In the other deal, air cushion vehicles (ACVs) to be procured from an Indian shipyard.
  2. This will enable travel at very high speeds over shallow water, sand banks, mud flats and swamps which are non-navigable by boats and small crafts due to draught restrictions or uncharted depths


Defense Acquisition Council (DAC)

  1. It was set up on August 29, 2001
  2. This was done to counter corruption and speed up decision-making in military procurements
  3. Head of the Council: Defence Minister
  4. Functions of DAC:
  • Will give policy guidelines to acquisitions, based on long-term procurement plans
  • Will also clear all acquisitions, including imported equipment and those produced indigenously or under a foreign license

Defence Procurement Board will deal with purchases

Defence Production Board which will supervise procurement from indigenous sources, such as ordnance factories and equipment manufactured under a foreign license

May, 26, 2018

Rustom-2 drone to be delivered to armed forces by 2020: DRDO chief


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

From UPSC perspectives, the following things are important

Prelims Level: Particulars of the Rustom-II

Mains Level: It can be seen as an ‘Make in India’ example in the Defence Sector.


Delivery of the Rustom-II

  1. Rustom-II Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will be delivered to the armed forces by 2020
  2. It is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

Development of the UAV

  1. Rustom II has completed one test at Chitradurga recently
  2. At present, the basic UAV system is being perfected
  3. Attempts are also being made to increase the altitude
  4. By the end of this year, DRDO will be ready with the bird, after which the focus will be on the machine systems on it

Particulars of the UAV

  1. The drone is being developed for use by all three services of the Indian Armed Forces, primarily for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations
  2. The medium-altitude prototype can fly at over 22,000 feet and is a long-endurance UAV that has an 20 hours approximate flight time


Rustom-2 project

  1. Rustom 2 or TAPAS-BH-201 is a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), designed to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance roles for the Indian Armed Forces
  2. It is capable of carrying different combination of payloads including synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence systems and situational awareness systems
  3. The UAV has an endurance of 24 hours and is similar to the American predator series of drones
  4. DRDO carried out a successful test flight of Rustom 2 on 25 February 2018, at the Aeronautical Test Range(ATR) located in Chalakere, Chitradurga district. This was the first flight of the UAV in user configuration with higher power engine
Apr, 28, 2018

[pib] LCA Tejas


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: LCA Tejas, DRDO

Mains level: Make in India & Defense sector


  • The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas successfully fired Derby Air-to-Air beyond Visual Range Missile to expand the firing envelope as well as to demonstrate safe operation of the aircraft during missile plume ingestion into the aircraft engine under worst case scenarios.
  • LCA Tejas has been designed & developed by DRDO’s autonomous society – Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).
  • Integration of Derby, a BVR class missile is one of the major objectives of Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of LCA Tejas.
Apr, 28, 2018

DAC approves procurement of Nag missile system, 13 guns


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the NAMIS

Mains level: The procurement, of the NAG missile system, is a big boost to Make in India initiative(in the defence sector).


Military procurement approved

  1. The Defence Ministry has approved military procurement worth Rs. 3,687 crore, which includes anti-tank guided missile NAG for the Army and long-range guns for the Navy
  2. The proposals were cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister
  3. The NAG missile system(NAMIS) will be procured for the Army at a cost of Rs. 524 crore

Particulars of the NAMIS

  1. The NAMIS includes a third generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile, the NAG, along with the Missile Carrier Vehicle (NAMICA)
  2. The NAG missile is a third generation anti-tank guided missile, which has top attack capabilities that can effectively engage and destroy all known enemy tanks during day and night
  3. This will give a quantum boost to the Army’s capability against enemy armour
  4. The MOD cleared the procurement of 300 Nag missiles and 25 modified BMP-2 ‘NAMICA’ carrier vehicles


  1. Last year, the government had cancelled a proposed $500 million deal with Israel to procure over 8000 Spike ATGMs
  2. The project was scrapped due to DRDO’s contention that it could deliver its NAG ATGM within four years
Apr, 25, 2018

[op-ed snap] Reforming defence planning in India

Image Source


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the DPC

Mains level: Need of/expectations from the proposed DPC.


Establishing the defence planning committee (DPC) 

  1. The Union Government is deciding to establish an defence planning committee (DPC) under the national security adviser
  2. The aim is to leverage this cross-governmental body to enhance India’s ability to do some long-term strategizing
  3. Composition of the committee: the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee, three service chiefs, the defence, expenditure and foreign secretaries

Other important responsibilities of the DPC

  1. The DPC is being tasked with drafting reports on:
    (a) national security strategy, (b) international defence engagement strategy, (c) road map to build a defence manufacturing ecosystem, (d) strategy to boost defence exports, and (e) priority capability development plans
  2. Four subcommittees are to be created under the DPC to focus on:
    (1) policy and strategy, (2) plans and capability development, (3) defence diplomacy, and (4) the defence manufacturing ecosystem

Need of the DPC

  1. First, the silo-driven approach to defence planning has resulted in the lack of an integrated view
    (Silo mentality is an attitude that is found in some organizations; it occurs when several departments or groups within an organization do not want to share information or knowledge with other individuals in the same organization.)
  2. The three services as well as the civilian and defence agencies are often seen to be working at cross purposes
  3. Second, India’s $250-billion military modernization programme is often talked about
  4. But even as India remains keen on acquiring significant weapons platforms, there have been persistent doubts about its ability to harness these resources in service of a long-term strategy
  5. Third, The absence of an Indian “grand strategy” that sets out political objectives for Indian power projection has been a perennial topic of discussion within Indian strategic circles
  6. Fourth, India’s defence reform campaign has existed nearly as long as the current system itself
  7. This drive focuses on extending resource integration and coordination throughout defence policymaking
  8. Moreover, it recommends a state infrastructure able to adequately implement political judgements and to combine state resources to meet these judgements
  9. This is currently missing in India
  10. Recognizing this link between the grand strategy discourse and India’s defence predicament can help develop a better articulation of political judgement to resources

Expectations from the DPC

  1. Effective defence planning and force structuring is a function of an institutional framework that allows for a clear delineation of political goals, efficient mobilization of resources and effective use of these resources for developing instrumentalities of state power
  2. With the formation of the DPC, India seems to have finally acknowledged that a new institutional framework is needed
  3. Hopefully, this will provide an overarching vision for Indian’s defence planning

What should be done?: Other issues

  1. India needs to cut the flab on an urgent basis as over half of the annual defence budget going to meet salary and pension requirements is clearly not sustainable
  2. The priorities of India’s “Make In India” initiative and cumbersome defence procurement process will also have to be brought in sync with each other
  3. India’s status as the world’s largest arms importer hardly does justice to its ambitions to emerge as a defence manufacturing hub
  4. The debate on integration (both among the services headquarters, and between the services and the ministry of defence) also continues unabated and should be concluded

The way forward

  1. The government has made the first move
  2. Ideally, it should have come in the government’s first year so that it would have had time to streamline the planning process by now
  3. Nonetheless, it has now moved and should take the process of defence reforms to their logical conclusion
Apr, 19, 2018

NSA-headed committee for higher defence management


Mains Paper 2: Polity | Statutory, regulatory & various quasi-judicial bodies.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Defence Planning Committee (DPC)

Mains level: Developments in defence sector management & their possible effects


Improving higher defence management

  1. The government has constituted a new committee headed by the National Security Advisor to improve higher defence management
  2. The Defence Planning Committee (DPC) headed by NSA will prepare a draft national security strategy, develop a capability development plan, work on defence diplomacy issues and improving defence manufacturing in India

Composition of DPC

  1. The DPC will have the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, three service chiefs, secretaries of the ministries of defence, expenditure and foreign affairs as its members
  2. The Chief of Integrated Staff in the MoD will be the member secretary of DPC
  3. The DPC will submit its reports to the Defence Minister
Apr, 12, 2018

New fund for defence enterprises


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Mobilization of resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Defence and Aerospace SME fund

Mains level: Make in India in defense sector


Defence and Aerospace SME fund

  1. The Indian government is planning to set up a new fund for small and medium defence enterprises
  2. It will be a dedicated Defence and Aerospace SME fund

Details of the fund

  1. The fund will be registered with SEBI and minority stake can be taken up by investors
  2. The fund will help channelize investments to the two defence corridors, in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu
Apr, 10, 2018

[op-ed snap] The math of military modernization


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Insufficient Indian defence budget. How can India and the US contribute each other(in the defence sector)?


Major security challenge in the Asia-Pacific region

  1. The Chinese are on track to dominate the security architecture of the Asia-Pacific
  2. China has increased military spending at an average of 8.5% per year
  3. This acknowledges the foreseeable outcome of the growing gap between China’s ability to project military power in Asia and the defence capabilities of other regional militaries
  4. Obscuring this gap, and matching it in some sense, is the need of the hour

Insufficient defence budget

  1. The 2018 Indian defence budget is no more than 1.5% of gross domestic product, which barely keeps pace with inflation
  2. India’s military pensions are now greater than its entire defence capital budget
  3. This in the midst of a military readiness situation that notable Indian observers describe as a “crisis” caused by significant shortfalls in major weapons systems like fighter aircraft, helicopters, tanks, rifles and submarines

Direct comparison(of defence budget) is misleading

  1. Direct comparisons between military spending totals are misleading for a variety of reasons, including mismatches between resources and military requirements
  2. For example, it takes far fewer resources to deny an adversary access to a local geography than to project power from one side of the globe to the other

Asia is in the midst of a “multipolar moment”

  1. Some experts question the necessity of a defence partnership with the US, believing that India will thrive in multipolarity by hedging its partnerships among many countries
  2. But the math of military modernization suggests the multipolar moment will eventually be superseded by a Sino-centric security order

Why is India important for the US?

  1. No country has the demographic and economic weight to play the stabilizing role India can in Asia
  2. This is why Republicans and Democrats are united in treating India as a “Major Defence Partner”
  3. Major Defence Partner is a unique designation created by the Barack Obama administration and sustained by both the US Congress and the Donald Trump team

What can be done?

  1. Important steps can be taken to bolster Indian military power that are unrelated to budgets , but that requires India to embrace the US more closely than ever before
  2. A choice can be made to partner(in some areas exclusively) with the US because this is the only realistic hedge against Chinese hegemony
  3. This includes increasing information sharing and interoperability in maritime domain awareness, expanding cooperation in anti-submarine warfare, and partnering on maritime patrols
Apr, 07, 2018

Country-wide IAF exercise to prepare for two-front threat posed by China, Pakistan


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Security challenges and their management in border areas

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the exercise

Mains level: The two-front threat posed by China and Pakistan is a reality. The exercise will help in enhancing operational preparedness of the Indian Air Force.


Gagan Shakti: A country-wide training exercise

  1. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning for Gagan Shakti, scheduled to take place during April 11-21
  2. It is conducted every two years

Important particulars

  1. The exercise will be conducted in two separate phases for western and northern borders across India and deep over the Indian waters
  2. the first phase of Gagan Shakti will see practice by forces deployed along the western border while the second phase will be for practice along the northern border
  3. More than 15,000 IAF personnel, including 300 officers, will move from their bases during the exercise which will see the involvement of over 1,100 aircraft
  4. This would mean 3,000 to 4,000 sorties per day during the exercise

Participation of the Tejas

  1. This is the first time indigenously manufactured Tejas LCA fighter jets will participate in the exercise


Apr, 07, 2018

Indian Air Force begins process to procure 110 fighter jets worth $15 billion


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: The proposed deal will give a push to ‘Make in India'(indigenization of defence technologies) in defence.


One of India’s largest defence orders in recent years

  1. The Indian Air Force set in motion the process of acquiring a fleet of 110 fighter jets worth an estimated $15 billion, one of its largest orders in recent years,
  2. in a bid to shore up its fast-depleting squadron strength

Process of acquiring the fleet

  1. The issue of the request for information (RFI) is the first step to acquiring the aircraft
  2. This will be followed by a request for proposal (RFP) or a formal tender, to be followed by evaluations, technical trials and commercial negotiations

Push to ‘make in India’

  1. According to a statement on the defence ministry’s website, at least 85% of the jets have to be made in India, giving a big push to India’s “Make in India” programme
  2. In other words, the aircraft have to be jointly produced by a foreign aircraft maker along with an Indian company under the recently-launched strategic partnership model which aims to bring in high-end defence technology to India

Participating aircraft producers for the bid

  1. Leading military aircraft producers, including US firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing, Sweden’s Saab and France’s Dassault Aviation, are among those likely to vie for the mega deal

Depleting squadron strength

  1. According to estimates, some 400 aircraft will be going out of service in the next decade
  2. Many of these are the Russian-made MiG aircraft which have been the backbone of the Indian Air Force for decades
  3. The Indian Air Force and navy require as many as 400 single- and double-engine combat aircraft, according to government figures
Mar, 24, 2018

Draft defence production policy aims to raise FDI cap in niche tech to 74%


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Draft Defence Production Policy 2018, Make in India, FDI, Artificial Intelligence

Mains level: India’s rising defense imports and need for indigenous production


Draft Defence Production Policy 2018

  1. It aims to create an environment that encourages a dynamic, robust and competitive defence industry, as an important part of the Make in India initiative
  2. The policy proposes to increase the foreign direct investment (FDI) cap in niche technology areas to 74% under the automatic route
  3. At present, the FDI cap for the defense sector is 49% under the automatic route for all categories

Why more focus on ‘Make in India’?

  1. India is currently the top importer of defense hardware in the world (according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)
  2. By giving a leg-up to defense manufacturing, Asia’s third largest economy also hopes to transform itself into a “global leader in cyberspace and AI (artificial intelligence) technologies

Proposals in the policy

  1. India hopes to achieve a turnover of Rs1.7 trillion in defense goods and services by 2025
  2. It has a goal of becoming an arms exporter to the tune of Rs35,000 crore in defense goods and services by 2025
  3. The government will list its requirements in terms of platforms and weapon systems for the next decade to help private sector companies understand the opportunities
  4. It will also simplify procedures for private firms to enter defense production, i.e., liberalize the regime by issuing licenses in 30 days and pruning no-go areas to a small ‘negative list’ for licensing
  5. The government will also do away with capacity assessment, except for critical projects
  6. In the area of taxation, the government has proposed rationalization of taxes on import of capital goods for services and inputs for defense and aims to prevent inversion of taxes
Mar, 23, 2018

[op-ed snap] The battle for money


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Government Budgeting

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Recently, the army said to the Parliamentary committee on defence, “The 2018-2019 budget has dashed our hopes … The marginal increase barely accounts for inflation and does not even cater for taxes.” The newscard discusses some important points related to this issue.



  1. Funds shortage is affecting the preparedness of the armed forces, but the government has chosen to ignore the crisis

No lesson learned from the history

  1. In 1999, India was forced to request Israel, in the middle of a Kargil conflict, to fly in emergency supplies of ammunition and spares
  2. As India planned “surgical strikes” in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, it was worried about an escalation of conflict
  3. Certain types of ammunition were again in short supply, and in some urgent moves, India was forced to fly the ammunition in from friendly countries
  4. The lessons from either Kargil or surgical strikes have clearly not been learnt by the government

The current situation

  1. The situation has only worsened in the past year, and any hopes of improvement were belied in the recent budget
  2. The vice chiefs of the three services were recently compelled to speak the unspeakable to the parliamentary standing committee on defence
  3. The army vice chief has recently told the MPs that 68 per cent of army’s equipment is vintage,
  4. And the capital budget doesn’t even cater for the committed payments of 125 ongoing procurement deals, leave alone provide funds to replace the vintage equipment
  5. GST: On top of that, the army will be saddled with an additional bill of Rs 5,000 crore due to increased taxes because of GST but no additional money has been made available for it
    No different situation for the Navy and the Air Force
  6. They don’t have money to even pay for the ongoing procurement deals, and haven’t been allocated funds for additional payments to be made towards custom duties

What is the main issue?

  1. Senior military officers feel that a belief has gained ground at the highest levels of the government that a war is an absolutely impossibility in today’s times
  2. Whether it is due to the presence of nuclear weapons or structural geopolitical factors or a blind faith in India’s diplomacy is a matter of debate, but its consequences are damning
  3. Driven by this view, the government accords a lower priority to the demands of the defence services, whether it be in budgetary support or in implementing major defence reforms
    Raksha Mantri’s Directive
  4. The role and tasking of the defence services is decided by an official document called the Raksha Mantri’s Directive
  5. Notwithstanding the government’s belief about impossibility of war, it has not amended the directive to the defence services accordingly
  6. Nearly four years into office, the current government has not been able to issue a fresh directive to the defence services despite numerous deliberations on the draft of the directive a couple of years back

The way forward

  1. In all likelihood, the issues of tasking have already been broached informally with the government by the defence services
  2. If the alarming situation persists, the matter is bound to be raised more forcefully in the future
  3. The government must act quickly not merely to avoid that embarrassment but for the larger goal of ensuring India’s national security
Mar, 19, 2018

Army to buy air defence system


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: VSHORAD

Mains level: Particulars of the contract.


Decision on very short-range air defence system(VSHORAD)

  1. After several retrials and delays, the Army is set to begin contract negotiations in the multi-billion dollar deal for the very short-range air defence system or VSHORAD
  2. The bids will be opened shortly to select the lowest bidder so as to begin cost negotiations
  3. Before the bids are opened, a benchmark price will be set based on various factors, and the bids will be checked with it

Particulars of the contract

  1. The request for proposal was first issued in 2010 for over 5,000 missiles, 258 single launchers and 258 multi-launchers, estimated to cost Rs. 6,400 crore
  2. Since then, there have been trials and retrials because of the deviations in the products
  3. The request for information was issued in 2010
  4. The trials started in 2012
  5. Of the five who responded, MBDA of France; Rosoboronexport of Russia; and SAAB of Sweden made it

Expectations of the army

  1. The air defence system should have a maximum range of 6 km and an altitude of 3 km, besides all-weather capability
Mar, 17, 2018

Indigenous module for submarines undergoing trials

Image source


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Air Independent Propulsion, Scorpène submarines, DRDO

Mains level: Defense technologies and Make in India


AIP technology for submarines

  1. The indigenous Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) module is in an advanced stage of trials
  2. It enhances the ability of submarines to stay underwater
  3. It is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
  4. All Scorpène submarines will be equipped with it in due course

Procedure for fitting module on submarines

  1. The AIP module will be installed on the submarines during upgrades
  2. Six Scorpene submarines are being made at Mazagon Dock Limited under technology transfer from France


Scorpène submarines

  1. The Scorpène-class submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines
  2. In 2005, the Indian Navy ordered six Scorpène-class submarines
  3. All the Indian boats will be built in India
  4. The first Scorpène submarine, named INS Kalvari, was undocked for the purpose of starting sea trials in April 2015
  5. After extensive sea trials, Kalvari was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 14 December 2017
Mar, 01, 2018

India successfully test-fires ATGM Nag in desert conditions

Image source


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Achievements of Indians in science & technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Nag ATGM

Mains level: India’s rising defence capabilities


Nag ATGM Test Fired

  1. India has successfully test-fired Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) Nag in desert conditions
  2. The Nag ATGM has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
  3. With this, the developmental trials of the missile have been completed and it is now ready for induction


Nag Anti Tank Guided Missiles

  1. Nag is a third generation “fire-and-forget” anti-tank missile developed in India
  2. It is one of five missile systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP)
  3. The NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier) version of the missile is a ‘lock-on before launch’ system, where the target is identified and designated before the missile is launched
  4. As the targeting system is based on visual identification, the range is limited
  5. The HELINA (Helicopter-launched Nag) version, on the other hand, will use a ‘lock-on after launch’ system extending its range to 7 km
Feb, 27, 2018

Rustom-2 UAV successfully test-flown

Image source


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Rustom-2, DRDO

Mains level: Make in India in defense sector


Test flight of UAV Rustom 2

  1. India’s under-development Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Rustom-2 was successfully test-flown by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
  2. This was the first flight in user configuration with a higher power engine
  3. The flight was conducted at the DRDO’s Aeronautical Test Range at Chitradurga in Karnataka

About Rustom 2

  1. Rustom-2 belongs to a family of UAVs under development, besides Rustom-1 and Rustom-H
  2. It is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance drone (MALE)
  3. It can fly up to an altitude of 22,000 feet and has an endurance of over 20 hours
  4. It is capable of carrying payloads for electronic and signal intelligence missions

Other drones also being developed

  1. The DRDO is also developing other drones in different categories
  2. Currently, the three services employ hundreds of Israeli drones
Feb, 21, 2018

India test fires medium range nuclear capable Agni-II missile


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:Particulars of the missile

Mains level: The test confirms operational preparedness of the Indian Armed Forces.


Trial of Agni-II missile

  1. India on Tuesday test-fired its medium range nuclear capable Agni-II missile with a strike range of 2,000 km from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast
  2. The trial of the missile was conducted from a mobile launcher
  3. It was launched as a training exercise by the armed forces
  4. The test was carried out by the Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) with logistic support provided by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

Particulars of the Agni-II missile

  1. It is a surface-to-surface Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM)
  2. The state-of-the-art missile is already a part of the country’s arsenal for strategic deterrence
  3. It is a a two-stage missile, equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system and guided by a unique command and control system was propelled by solid rocket propellant system
  4. It has a launch weight of 17 tonne and can carry a payload of 1,000 kg over a distance of 2,000 km
  5. Agni-II was developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory along with other DRDO laboratories and integrated by the Bharat Dynamics Limited
Feb, 08, 2018

India successfully test-fires nuclear capable Prithvi-II


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the missile and the IGMDP

Mains level: The test shows the preparedness of Indian Army in launching missiles from production stocks.


Prithvi-II missile test

  1. India has successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile
  2. It was tested as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range in Odisha
  3. The was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur

Particulars of the Missile

  1. It is a surface-to-surface missile
  2. It has a strike range of 350 km
  3. It is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kilogram of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines
  4. It is nine-metre-tall and  single-stage liquid-fuelled missile
  5. It was developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)
  6. It is the first missile to have been developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)

The test was a part of regular training exercise

  1. The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by the specially formed Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the Army
  2. The test was monitored by the scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise


Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme

  1. The Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was an Indian Ministry of Defence programme for the research and development of the comprehensive range of missiles
  2. The programme was managed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factories Board in partnership with other Indian government political organisations
  3. The project started in 1982–83 with popular political support from the successive governments and bestowed under the leadership of Abdul Kalam who oversaw its ending in 2008 after these strategic missiles were successfully developed.
  4. On 8 January 2008, the DRDO formally announced the successful completion of the IGMDP
  5. It added that the strategic integrated guided missile programme was completed with its design objectives achieved since most of the missiles in the programme had been developed and inducted by the Indian armed forces
Dec, 29, 2017

Endo-atmospheric interceptor missile successfully tested

Image source


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile, Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system, Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV)

Mains level: Defence manufacturing and Make in India


AAD missile test successful

  1. India successfully test-fired an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile, capable of destroying enemy ballistic missiles at low altitude
  2. The missile is being developed as part the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system and it was the third successful test this year

Importance of missile

  1. The endo-atmospheric missile is capable of intercepting missiles at altitudes of 15-30 km
  2. Shooting down an incoming missile at lower altitudes is more complicated than shooting at higher altitudes due to the higher velocity of the missile

Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system

  1. The BMD consists of two interceptor missiles, the Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) for exo-atmospheric ranges and the Advanced Area Defence (AAD) missile for endo-atmosphere or lower altitudes
Dec, 26, 2017

Skewed outlay for defence: panel


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Government Budgeting

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Capital, revenue expenditure

Mains level: Defence modernisation and issues related to it


Decreasing share of capital allocation in the defence budget

  1. Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has expressed concerns over the decreasing share of capital allocation in the defence budget compared with the revenue component
  2. Committee said the Defence Ministry should overhaul its planning and budgeting mechanism to ensure a prudent and equitable distribution of funds to revenue and capital heads

Capital and revenue heads

  1. The revenue component caters to salary, other recurring expenses, requirement of stores, transportation, revenue works and maintenance and others
  2. The capital component is for procurement of weapons and systems

Decline has become a trend

  1. With each year, the ratio of revenue-to-capital outlay is skewed as the budget for capital acquisitions for the services is declining in comparison to revenue allocations
  2. This is  adversely affecting the modernisation process of our forces

Ministry’s reply

  1. Revenue outlay expenditure follows a pattern due to its inherent characteristics
  2. Capital outlay fluctuates depending on milestone payments and new accruals, which may not necessarily increase every year

Revise economy concepts faster with Titbits by Dr. V here

Dec, 18, 2017

Work to integrate Brahmos on 40 Sukhoi aircraft begins


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Brahmos missile, Sukhoi combat aircraft, MTCR

Mains level: India’s rising defense capabilities


Integration project started

  1. Work has begun to integrate the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile on 40 Sukhoi combat aircraft
  2. This project is expected to fulfil critical needs of the Indian Air Force in the wake of evolving security dynamics in the region

Test launch successful

  1. The air-launched variant of the Brahmos was successfully test fired from a Sukhoi-30 combat jet on November 22, marking a major milestone to enhance the precision strike capability of the air force

First of its kind integration

  1. Brahmos missile is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India’s Su-30 fighter aircraft
  2. The integration of the missile on Sukhoi aircraft is a very complex process involving mechanical, electrical and software modifications of the Su-30 jet


Brahmos missile

  1. It is world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile
  2. The 2.5-ton missile flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8 and has a range of 290 km
  3. The range of the missile can be extended up to 400 km as certain technical restrictions were lifted after India became a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) last year
  4. The BrahMos missile is named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Moskva
  5. Brahmos is a joint venture between DRDO of India and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia
Dec, 14, 2017

Narendra Modi inducts Scorpene-class submarine Kalvari into Indian Navy


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: INS Kalvari, INS Sindhushastra, Project-75, Kalvari tiger shark

Mains level: Defense procurement and Make in India


INS Kalvari inducted

  1. PM Modi commissioned India’s first modern conventional submarine, INS Kalvari, into Navy’s fleet
  2. This is the first induction in almost two decades
  3. The Navy last inducted a conventional diesel-electric submarine, INS Sindhushastra, procured from Russia in July 2000

About INS Kalvari

  1. Kalvari is the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines being built as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy
  2. Kalvari, named after a deep-sea tiger shark, weighs about 1,600 tonnes and carries the sea skimming SM 39 Exocet missiles and the heavyweight wire guided Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) torpedoes


Kalvari tiger shark

  1. The Tiger Shark has a worldwide distribution in tropical and warm temperate seas
  2. It occurs throughout the Indo-Pacific region from the northern Red Sea to South Africa and east through the islands of Oceania and northern New Zealand
  3. This large (>550 cm), omnivorous shark is a relatively fast growing and fecund species
  4. There is evidence of declines for several populations where they have been heavily fished, but in general they do not face a high risk of extinction
Dec, 09, 2017

Joint Indo-UK military exercise focusing on inter-operability


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Military exercises-Ajeya Warrior, Indra, Shakti, Shatrujeet, Drad sankalp

Mains level: India’s defence cooperation with various nations


Third edition of the exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior’

  1. The third edition of the exercise, underway at close to the Indo-Pak border in Rajasthan, is aimed at acquainting both the armies with each others’ operating procedures to be applied while operating in counter-terrorism environment
  2. Military-to-military cooperation, inter-operability, heliborne and anti-terrorists operations are some of the highlights of the joint Indo-UK military exercise

About the exercise

  1. The exercise is being held against the backdrop of UN mandate of anti-terrorism operations
  2. The first exercise was conducted in 2013 at Belgaum, Karnataka, where as for the second exercise in 2015, an Indian Army contingent had visited the United Kingdom

Other exercises held in Rajasthan

  1. In Rajasthan, Indo-Russian exerciseIndra-2013’ and ‘Indra-2015’ and Indo-French exerciseShakti-2016’ were the similar bilateral exercises focused on anti-terrorism operations
  2. Apart from these anti-terrorism exercises, the Indian desert terrain bordering with Pakistan has also witnessed some major armoured intensive offensive training exercises like ‘Shatrujeet-2016’ and ‘Drad Sankalp-2015
Nov, 16, 2017

Futuristic combat vehicle plan a game changer: Army

Image source


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: FICV, FRCV, T-72, Arjun tank

Mains level: Military modernization and Make in India


Two new combat vehicles to be built 

  1. The Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) and Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) programmes are going to be the biggest game changers for the Indian Army as well as defense industry

What are FICV and FRCV?

  1. The FICV is an ambitious effort to indigenously design and manufacture a futuristic infantry vehicle by the private industry by roping in foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers
  2. FRCV is a tender for the procurement of futuristic tanks through the Strategic Partnership model
  3. FRCV would replace the Russian T-72 tanks presently in service

Arjun tanks to continue

  1. FRCV programme would not “scuttle” the indigenous Arjun tanks as the service had already inducted the Arjun Mk-1 tanks
Nov, 06, 2017

Navy to use U.S. aircraft launch system in ship


                Mains Paper 3 | Security challenges

Prelims:  CATOBAR, EMALS, INS Vikrant

Mains level: Not Much



    1. The Navy is likely to go with an advanced catapult-based aircraft launch mechanism (CATOBAR) from the U.S. for its second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-II), which is on the drawing board.


  • For some time, India has been exploring the possibility of installing the U.S. electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS).


  1. The two countries had set up a joint working group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC) under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, which held several rounds of discussions
  2. The group concluded its 4th meeting in New Delhi recently.


  1. The U.S. has offered India its latest EMALS technology, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., which has just been installed on the Gerald Ford carrier.
  2. While the older generation of CATOBAR was powered by a steam catapult, EMALS uses an electric motor-driven catapult instead, which allows the launch of much heavier aircraft and also reduces the stress on the aircraft.
  3. However, the system is expensive, something that needs to be factored in.
  4. EMALS will allow us to operate heavy surveillance aircraft in addition to heavy fighters


  1. The Navy envisages the IAC-II to be around 65,000 tonnes and capable of carrying over 50 aircraft.
  2. While the Navy is keen on nuclear propulsion, which would give it unlimited range and endurance, its development in time seems doubtful.

INS Vikrant

  1. India’s first domestic carrier, Vikrant, weighing 40,000 tonnes, is in an advanced stage of construction in Kochi and is scheduled to be launched by 2018-end.
  2.  The motto of the ship is Jayema Sam Yudhi Sprdhah, which is taken from Rig Veda and is translated as “I defeat those who fight against me.
  3. It works on a Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) mechanism similar to that in the present carrier INS Vikramaditya, with an angular ski-jump.
Oct, 20, 2017

India eyes military expansion; Sitharaman to spend Diwali with soldiers in Andaman tri-service command

Image Source


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Security challenges and their management in border areas

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: INS Baaz

Mains level: Very important article. It shows Indian Navy’s plans of expansion in the Indian Ocean and talks about strategically important areas in the region.


India’s plan of Military expansion

  1. India is working on expanding the military effectiveness of its outpost at the juncture of Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea
  2. This includes creation of military infrastructure for greater naval presence in the islands which dominates the strategically important Malacca Strait

Possible reasons behind these steps

  1. The military focus is on countering the increasing Chinese presence in the region, which has been a cause of concern
  2. Chinese submarines have been sighted in the area and have also been docked at bases in Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Extension of airstrip at INAS Baaz

  1. INAS Baaz is the naval aviation base on Campbell Bay on the Great Nicobar island
  2. It is currently being extended from 3,050 feet to 10,000 feet
  3. The extension is scheduled to be completed by 2021
  4. It will allow the Navy to place its modern P-8I surveillance aircraft at INAS Baaz
  5. The Navy currently operates its eight P-8I aircraft(procured from the US in 2013) from INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu
  6. If the P-8I aircraft shift to Campbell Bay, our surveillance reach will get multiplied by thousand miles

Why is INS BAAZ important?

  1.  Baaz gives us that flexibility which will cover South China Sea
  2. Moreover, Baaz is adjacent to Malacca straits, an area of immense strategic interest to us

Other developments

  1. The Navy also plans to commission its second Floating Dry Dock Navy (FDDN)
  2. It will allow more naval ships to be maintained and serviced in the islands
  3. The Navy is also in the process of constructing three forward operating bases (FOBs) in the islands — at Diglipur, Kamorta and at Campbell Bay
  4. It will allow its Khukri class corvettes to be distributed across various locations in the archipelago
Oct, 17, 2017

Nirmala Sitharaman commissions warship INS Kiltan in Indian Navy

Image Source


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Security challenges and their management in border areas

From the UPSC perspective following things are important:

Prelims Level: Particulars of the INS Kitan

Mains Level: Specially mentioned in the Mains Syllabus. Also, it is a first-of-its-kind which make its more important for the exam.


INS Kiltan commissioned

  1. The Defence minister has commissioned the indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette INS Kiltan
  2. This is the third of the four Kamorta-class corvettes being built under Project 28
  3. The ship hosts a predominantly indigenous cutting-edge weapons

Particulars of the INS Kitan

  1. It is India’s first major warship to have a superstructure of carbon fibre composite material resulting in improved stealth features, lower top weight and maintenance costs
  2. In the future, it would also be installed with short range SAM system and carry an integral ASW helicopter


  1. The ship derives its name from one of the islands in Aminidivi group of the strategically located Lakshadweep and Minicoy group of islands
  2. The ship also boasts of the proud legacy of the erstwhile Petya Class ship of same name ‘Kiltan (P79)’ built in the USSR
  3. It had actively participated as Task Force Commander in ‘Operation Trident’ during the 1971 India-Pakistan war
Sep, 16, 2017

Indigenous artillery gun sets new record in range


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Gun

Mains level: It is a good example of Make in India in Defence.


Setting up of a World Record

  1. The advanced towed artillery gun system (ATAGS) has set a world record in range by hitting targets at a distance of 48 km
  2. ATAGS  is being jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the private sector
  3. During trial firings, ATAGS registered the longest ever distance of 48.074 km, surpassing the maximum ranges of 35-40 km fired by any artillery gun system in this category

Development of the Gun

  1. The development is being done through a consortium based model
  2. It was designed by DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE)
  3. In addition, Bharat Forge Limited of Kalyani Group, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Mahindra Defence Naval System are involved in a big way, along with the Ordnance Factory Board
Aug, 31, 2017

Navy to get advanced choppers


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Strategic Partnership Model

Mains level: Indian Government has a well structured plan to increase Indian Navy presence in the Indian Ocean, as a Blue Water Navy, this step can be seen as a step towards this plan.


Helicopters for ‘Special Operations’

  1. The Indian Navy is looking to add to its fleet dedicated helicopters for ‘Special Operations’
  2. Some of the Naval Multi-Role Helicopters (NMRH) for which the tender was issued last week will be in this configuration
  3. Of the 123 NMRH to be procured, 33 will be dedicated variants for Special Operations

Request for Information (RFI) by the Navy

  1. The Navy had issued the Request for Information (RFI) to global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) for the procurement of 123 NMRH and 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH)
  2. The procurement would be under the recently approved Strategic Partnership (SP) model of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)


Strategic Partnership(SP) Model

Click here to read more about it.

Aug, 18, 2017

Army to get six Apache helicopters

Image Source


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Country of Origin of helicopters, DAC.

Mains level: Good example of rising Indo-US defense ties.


Approval from Defence Ministry

  1. Defence Ministry has approved the purchase of six AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the U.S. , for Indian Army
  2. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared total capital acquisitions worth about Rs. 4,700 crore

Original Deal

  1. This deal is of $3 bn, India has contracted 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters through the Foreign Military Sales programme
Jun, 03, 2017

Prithvi-II missile test-fired


Mains Paper 3: Science and Technology | Science and Technology- indigenization of technology and developing new technology

Another success in India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). Read details about missile as well as authorities concerned (In B2B).

From UPSC perspective, following things are important:

Prelims level: Prithvi-II missile, other missiles developed in IGMDP, Strategic Forces Command and DRDO.

Mains level: Success of India’s missile development programme and way forward.


  1. India on Friday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile from a test range in Odisha as part of a user trial by the Army
  2. About the launch: Launch was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur (Odisha)
  3. The launch was carried out by the specially formed Strategic Force Command and monitored by the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation
  4. About Prithvi Missile: Prithvi is a surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km.
  5. It is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines
  6. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target with precision


Strategic Forces Command

  1. The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) sometimes called Strategic Nuclear Command, forms part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA)
  2. It is responsible for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons
  3. It will have the sole responsibility of initiating the process of delivering nuclear weapons and warheads, after
    acquiring explicit approval from the NCA
  4. The SFC manages and administers all strategic forces by exercising complete command and control over nuclear assets, and producing all contingency plans as needed to fulfill the required tasks
Jun, 03, 2017

Army to induct 18 Dhanush guns


Mains Paper 3: Science and Technology | Science and Technology- indigenization of technology and developing
new technology

From UPSC perspective following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of Dhanush and Bofors Gun.

Mains level: Important as an example of ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence sector.


  1. What: The first regiment of 18 Dhanush artillery guns will be inducted into the Army by the end of the year
  2. Dhanush is the indigenously upgraded variant of the Swedish Bofors guns
  3. Why is this Artillery Gun Superior? Dhanush is an upgraded version, based on the original design of the Swedish 155-mm Bofors howitzers, which India procured in the mid-1980s
  4. It is a 155-mm, 45-calibre gun with a maximum range of 40 km in salvo mode, compared to the 39-calibre, 27-km range of the original guns
  5. Background: The gun as of June 2016 has entered into active production with confirmed order of 414 guns
Jun, 01, 2017

Strategic Partnership model takes effect


Mains Paper 3: Science and Technology | Science and Technology- indigenization of technology and developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Policy.

Mains level: It will promote Make in India’ in defence manufacturing and therefore it is an important topic for Mains.


  1. What: Strategic Partnership (SP) policy, intended to promote Indian private sector participation in defence manufacturing has formally came into effect recently.
  2. The Defence Ministry notified the policy as the final chapter under the Defence Procurement Procedure
  3. Why this model: The SP model is being implemented to enable participation of private Indian firms in ‘Make in India’ in defence.
  4. The SP is expected to play the role of a system integrator by building an extensive ecosystem comprising development partners, specialised vendors and suppliers
  5. Relaxation for inexperienced Private Sector: The policy acknowledges that the Indian private sector currently has limited experience in defence manufacturing.
  6. In view of this, the policy states, “besides any experience in defence manufacturing, potential SPs will be identified primarily based on their experience and competence in integration of multi-disciplinary functional system of systems, engineering and manufacturing.”
  7. Segments under SP: Of the four segments under SP, two are for the Navy: submarines and utility helicopters.
  8. The others are single-engine fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force and armoured vehicles for the Army.
Jun, 01, 2017

INS Kalvari to join Navy by July


Mains Paper 3: Science and Technology | Science and Technology- indigenization of technology and developing new technology The inclusion of Scorpene submarines,

The inclusion of Scorpene submarines, etc. will boost the strength of India’s navy.

From UPSC perspective, following things are important

Prelims Level: Note down about Kalvari, Khanderi and Scorpenes from this newscard, questions on them are possible in Prelims


  1. The first of the six Scorpene submarines, being built in India under technology transfer from France
  2. It is likely to join the Navy by July or August
  3. Kalvari- Kalvari is named after a deep-sea tiger shark.
  4. Six Scorpene submarines are being built under Project-75
  5. It is being built by Mazagon Docks Ltd. with technology transfer from DCNS, a French naval shipbuilder
  6. Trial for Khanderi: The second Scorpene submarine Khanderi, named after an island fort of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji, was launched in the sea in January and will begin sea trials
  7. Chinese submarines: Chinese submarines on anti-piracy patrols had in the past docked in Sri Lanka, causing
    concerns in New Delhi
  8. Other firsts: The construction of the first indigenous aircraft-carrier Vikrant would start trials in 2019.



  1. The Scorpène-class submarines are a class of dieselelectric attack submarines
  2. They are jointly developed by the French Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) and the Spanish company
    Navantia, and now by DCNS
  3. It features diesel propulsion and an additional airindependent propulsion (AIP)
  4. The Scorpène class of submarines has four subtypes.

Project 75

  1. Under Project 75, six Scorpene submarines are being built with assistance and technology transfer from DCNS of France under deal signed in October 2005.
  2. The first of the series INS Kalvari is completing sea trials and will be commissioned shortly. The other four submarines are expected to be launched at nine-month intervals after the INS Khanderi.
  3. At Present, the Indian Navy operates only 13 conventionally powered submarines and two nuclear submarines.
Dec, 03, 2016

Navy says no to Tejas variant

  1. Source: Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba
  2. What: The indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas does not meet requirements
  3. Reason: The current weight of the Naval LCA with the underpowered engine does not allow it to fly from a carrier
  4. This effectively means the end of the road for the fighter’s Naval variant as the service is looking at the global market for its needs
  5. The Naval LCA made its maiden flight in April 2012 and two prototypes are currently undergoing flying as part of the development


Tejas has been inducted into the IAF. But the Navy’s rejection shows that India has just begun to get rid of its dependence on other nations for its defence needs. It also impacts Make in India.


The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft of its class. It is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.

In the early eighties, it was realised that no organisation existed which had the total capability to develop such an aircraft all on its own. The last time an indigenous fighter aircraft, the HF 24 flew was in 1961. Since then, the HF 24 assembly line had been shut down and the design team had been wound up. The only way left was to develop an aircraft from scratch.

To better accomplish these goals, the government of India in 1984 decided to establish the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to manage the LCA programme. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, (HAL) was to be the principal partner with participation of various DRDO & CSIR Laboratories, Public & private sector industries and academic institutions.

Nov, 24, 2016

Agni-I successfully test-fired

  1. Agni-I missile was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range on the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast on Tuesday
  2. The missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead weighing 500 kg
  3. The DRDO designed and developed the Agni-I, which is a single stage missile that weighs 12 tonnes and is 15 metres long. It has a range of 750 km
  4. The missile, which has already been inducted into the armed forces, has proved its excellent performance in terms of range, accuracy and lethality
Nov, 23, 2016

A relook at defence blacklist

  1. What: Defence Minister Parrikar said the Ministry will “re-ascertain” the list of blacklisted firms based on the new policy
  2. The new policy is called ‘Guidelines of the Ministry of Defence for penalties in business dealings with entities’
  3. It was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Nov 7 and was released by the Ministry on 21 Nov
  4. The new policy has reduced the period of blanket ban to 5 years from 10 years. However, the upper limit of the ban period has not been specified
  5. The policy makes a provision to do business with a blacklisted firm for support of critical spares and maintenance in view of national security
  6. But it requires the approval of the Defence Minister
Nov, 18, 2016

DRDO successfully carries out maiden-flight of indigenous UAV Rustom-II

  1. What: Rustom-II, India’s indigenously developed long-endurance combat-capable drone, successfully completed its maiden-flight
  2. This has given a boost to India’s development programme for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
  3. TAPAS 201 (RUSTOM–II) has an endurance of 24 hours and can conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions for the country’s armed forces
  4. It can also be used as an unmanned armed combat vehicle on the lines of the US’s Predator drone
Nov, 08, 2016

Blacklisting policy for tainted defence deals approved

  1. What: The government has approved the long- pending policy for blacklisting firms involved in corruption in arms purchases
  2. The government has stated that instead of blanket blacklisting of firms involved in corrupt practices, heavy fines could be imposed and banning would be the last resort
  3. Why: In several instances in the past, banning of firms had adversely affected defence preparedness
  4. As major military platforms were grounded due to lack of spares and support
Oct, 29, 2016

Range of BrahMos to be doubled

  1. What: India and Russia have agreed to double the range of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile that the two produce together
  2. Background: This follows India’s recent accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)
  3. Earlier, India was denied access to the missile technology with range over 300 km as it was not a member state
  4. BrahMos has already been deployed by the Army and the Navy in anti-ship and precision strike roles respectively
Oct, 24, 2016

Nagpur SEZ to host Rafale offset manufacturing

  1. Event: An integrated facility will be commissioned by the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and its French partner Dassault in Nagpur in the next few months
  2. Purpose: Execution of offset contracts of the just-concluded deal for 36 French fighters
  3. Amount: Four French companies which have a major stake in the Rafale deal will execute offsets worth about Rs. 30,000 crore as per their share
  4. Background: Last month India and France concluded a €7.87-billion deal for 36 Rafale multi-role fighter jets in a fly-away condition
  5. Offset: It has a 50 percent offset clause under which that contract value has be invested and sourced from India
  6. As per the agreement about 30 percent of the Rs. 30,000 crore i.e. about Rs. 9,000 crore has to be invested in R&D along with DRDO for technology development
Oct, 24, 2016

Excalibur to hold the fort now

  1. Delay in purchase: Faced with a huge delay in acquiring world-class rifles for its soldiers, the Army is now reluctantly planning to induct the indigenously developed Excalibur
  2. It had earlier rejected the Excalibur
  3. Excalibur is an upgraded version of the trouble-prone INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) inducted in the mid-1990s
  4. It is built by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)
Oct, 20, 2016

Goa periscope: A Russian sub leased

  1. India and Russia have reportedly reached an agreement on the lease of a second nuclear submarine during the recent BRICS Summit
  2. The deal is worth $2 billion
  3. India had earlier leased an Akula-II class nuclear attack submarine (SSN) for a period of 10 years
  4. The vessel was inducted into service as INS Chakra in April 2012
  5. The govt. wanted to lease at least one more submarine to train Navy crew in the complex submarine operations to prepare for a large fleet of nuclear submarines
Oct, 10, 2016

Army’s VSHORAD tender to go for re-confirmatory trials

  1. SAAB (a defence producer) of Sweden has begun training engineers of Bharat Forge under a proposed joint venture in anticipation of a contract to supply air defence systems to the Army
  2. The move comes even as SAAB is gearing up for confirmatory trials for the Very Short Range Air Defence Systems (VSHORAD) tender
  3. Also while it is making an aggressive pitch for the Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) tender
  4. These systems are meant to replace the legacy Russian air defence systems in service and have seen repeated delays

Discuss: Remember India’s recent Defence Procurement Policy? What are the salient provisions? Go back and revise now

Sep, 24, 2016

Rafale deal concluded

  1. News: India and France on Friday concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets to cost the nation Euro 7.87 billion
  2. Deal includes the 36 aircraft, weapons, spares, support and maintenance and the jet will be customised as per the requirements of the IAF
  3. France has to ensure that 75% of the fleet i.e. 27 fighters are operationally available at any given time
  4. 50% offset clause: French industry will invest half the contract value back in the country which is expected to develop some expertise domestically in the aerospace sector
Sep, 21, 2016

India sucessfully test-fires surface-to-air missile

  1. The new long range surface-to-air missile would galvanise India’s air defence capabilities
    Jointly developed with Israel
  2. Launched from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, off Odisha coast
  3. Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF-STAR)
  4. Function: Detection, tracking and guidance of the missile
Aug, 08, 2016

Indo-Russian project to replace An-32 in limbo

  1. Context: The medium transport aircraft, the planned replacement for the An-32s to be jointly developed by India and Russia
  2. News: The fate of the project seems uncertain with India having second thoughts on the project, but Russia deciding to go ahead with the initial design on its own following the unending delay
  3. Background: An inter-governmental agreement in 2007 to develop and produce the 20-tonne aircraft to replace the An-32 transport aircraft
  4. An-32 transport aircraft is in service in both the Indian and Russian air forces
  5. In 2009, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) of Russia set up a joint venture with an investment of $300 million each by the two air forces
  6. However, differences over the nature of the engine stalled progress
Jul, 08, 2016

France offers help to resurrect Kaveri engine for Tejas

  1. News: France has offered to help India revive the unsuccessful Kaveri engine project for the indigenous Tejas aircraft among other high-end collaborations
  2. Context: Part of the offsets in the multi-billion Euro Rafale fighter plane deal, which is now in the final stages
  3. An upgraded Kaveri engine with increased thrust can be developed with French cooperation, which can eventually be used for Tejas, which currently uses an American engine
Jul, 07, 2016

Indian Excalibur rifle awaits certification trials

  1. News: An indigenously produced new generation rifle, Excalibur, is awaiting user trails and final certification
  2. Excalibur: A fully automatic rifle which fires 5.56mm ammunition and is an upgraded version of the current INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System)
  3. INSAS was inducted in the mid-nineties but had a troubled history
  4. Background: The Army has been attempting to procure a new standard issue rifle for a decade
  5. Recently, the overambitious tender for rifles with interchangeable barrels was cancelled after a 4year process as no vendor could meet the requirements
Jul, 02, 2016

Made in India Tejas joins Indian Air Force

  1. News: The indigenously developed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft joined the Indian Air Force’s squadron called Flying Daggers
  2. Tejas was developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and produced by the public sector aircraft manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd
  3. Importance: Culmination of a 33-year, Rs 8,000 crore national dream to have an Indian fighter in the country’s air defence fleet
  4. Current IAF fighters are the French-origin Mirage-2000s and the Russian origin Sukhoi-30s and the aged MiGs
Jul, 01, 2016

Surface-to-air missile test successful

  1. News: A new generation Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) was successfully test-fired twice
  2. Developed by: DRDO (India) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)
  3. From: Integrated Test Range off Odisha Coast
  4. Significance: Boosting India’s efforts to fill gaps in its air defence capabilities
  5. The MRSAM is the land version of LRSAM (long range surface to air missile) that DRDO and IAI are developing for the Navy
Jun, 28, 2016

Pulgaon ammunition depot fire

  1. News: The deadly blast at the Central Ammunition Depot (CAD) in Pulgaon might have been caused by defective anti-tank mines, packed with poor quality explosives
  2. Manufacturing defects in the anti-tank 1A ND mines made by the Ordnance Factory Chanda, were repeatedly brought to the notice of various stakeholders
  3. Including the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and the Ministry of Defence
  4. Though a ban was imposed on their use, the mines were not destroyed but remained in the depot
  5. Context: The recent fire at Pulgaon claimed the lives of 19 military and civilian personnel
Jun, 27, 2016

Defence imports may come down

  1. News: Defence imports would be brought down below 40% by 2019, from the current 60%
  2. Move aimed at becoming more self-sufficient during times of war, to avoid short-supply
Jun, 24, 2016

Policy clarity on defence acquisitions soon

  1. The following decisions will get more clarity once the DAC, headed by the Defence Minister, meets:
  2. The Air Force’s long-range air defence systems
  3. The Army’s artillery modernisation programme
  4. The Navy’s plans to procure new missile boats and special operations vehicles
Jun, 13, 2016

Army to involve industry in its long-term plans

  1. Context: The Indian Army is attempting a major reworking of weapons design and procurement by incorporating academia and industry in its long-term perspective plans
  2. This will be done under the soon to be set up Army Design Bureau (ADB)
  3. This is done on the lines of the Navy’s design bureau which has been successful in indigenising warship design
  4. Aim: To bring together academic institutions and the industry to develop indigenous knowhow (Knowledge and ideas are with academia, while industry has the resources)
  5. Priority areas: Small arms, smart munitions, communication and electronic warfare systems and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), both surveillance and combat etc
Jun, 10, 2016

India says NO to Google Street View

  1. India has declined to give security clearance to the Google’s Street View service
  2. Why? Objections by the Defence Ministry about security of sensitive defence installations
  3. It is not possible to monitor the service once it is launched and it would be detrimental to national security
  4. Pathankot: The proposal was rejected in February itself, primarily amid security concerns after the terror attack at the Pathankot airbase
  5. Investigating agencies suspect that terrorists used Google maps as they were aware of the airbase’s topography
  6. Street View service: Allows users to have a panoramic view of places in cities, as they would look in real life
  7. Google uses cars and bikes fitted with cameras to collect 360-degree images of a place
Jun, 02, 2016

Deficiencies in ammunition management

  1. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and Parliamentary Standing Committees had on various occasions pointed to deficiencies in ammunition management and suggested corrective measures
  2. 2015 CAG report: (For the period 2008-09 to 2012-13) The depots are functioning with risk of fire accident, as the fire fighting equipment is not held as per requirement
  3. Also, the movement of ammunitions suffered from inadequacies such as delay in issuing them, lack of proper accounting by depots and transportation by means other than the specified vans
Jun, 02, 2016

Ammunition management steps taken so far

  1. Modernisation plans for storing of ammunition have been ongoing since 2000-01
  2. 75-80% of ammunition are now kept in specialised huts however, still 25% are stored outside under tarpaulin covers or in temporary sheds
  3. Also, all ammunition is segregated based on their volatility
  4. Electrification is done in such a way that it did not pose a risk, grass was cut regularly and surprise visits were made to check compliance
Jun, 02, 2016

Experts see need for major overhaul

  1. Context: The fire accident at the Central Ammunition Depot in Pulgaon
  2. Reform: Experts have called for a complete overhaul of the Army’s ammunition management system
  3. Need: To study the best practices of developed nations, how their armies store their ammunition
  4. Human resource: The personnel are well trained to handle all kinds of ammunition
  5. Proving: Army would carry out a technical procedure called ‘proving’ all the ammunition in the area
  6. It is a long exercise that involves a close examination of all ammunition
May, 30, 2016

Scorpenes to become Navy’s mainstay

  1. Context: French Scorpenes will replace Navy’s conventional submarine fleet Russian Kilo class vessels
  2. Mazgaon Dock has commissioned second submarine workshop
  3. The new assembly workshop is a pre-engineered building structure to handle construction of five submarines
  4. It can be used to construct additional Scorpenes or the new line of submarines under Project-75I
  5. Scorpenes will have 35 % indigenous content
  6. The first of the Scorpenes, Kalvari, is currently undergoing sea trials
  7. Scorpenes will play a major role in ensuring fleet strength
May, 17, 2016

Parrikar sets $2-billion target- II

  1. Offsets: This is an area where exports and expertise can come
  2. During 2014-15, offset obligations brought in $990 million
  3. This is likely to touch $2 billion in the next two years
  4. Why? Because major deals for fighter aircraft and helicopters are expected to be signed
  5. Offset requirements: Foreign companies are required to invest a part of the contract value back in the country
May, 17, 2016

Parrikar sets $2-billion target

  1. Target: Centre has set a target of $2 billion in defence exports in the next two years
  2. The Defence Ministry has noted the concerns expressed over the issue of strategic partners in manufacturing and would hold discussions with the industry
  3. Govt intends to identify major private companies eligible to take the lead in critical defence projects so as to boost domestic manufacturing
May, 16, 2016

India successfully test-fires advanced interceptor missile

  1. Context: Successful test fire of indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile
  2. It is a full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system
  3. Developed by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO)
  4. Features: A 7.5-metre-long single stage solid rocket equipped with navigation system, hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator
  5. Also, own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, sophisticated radar
  6. Capabilities: To destroy the incoming hostile missile in mid-air in an endo-atmospheric altitude, independent tracking and homing capabilities
May, 11, 2016

Indigenous LCH to undergo trials in August

  1. Context: LCH is set to undergo weapon certification trails in July-August
  2. LCH: Light Combat Helicopter, an indigenously built weapon helicopter
  3. Features: Integration of mission sensors such as electro optical system, helmet pointing system, weapon systems air to air missiles
  4. Earlier: It had successfully undergone development trials under various conditions
  5. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has developed this 5.8 tonne multirole attack chopper
  6. Use: Provide close air support to ground forces
May, 09, 2016

Navy to bid adieu to Sea Harriers

  1. Context: Harriers fighter aircraft is to be replaced by Indian Naval Air Squadron 300 (INAS 300)
  2. The MiG 29K/Kub fighters will also be inducted
  3. The sea harriers was inducted in 1983 & has dominated the sky protecting the fleet from foreign Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft
  4. Sea Harrier is a naval Short/Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VSTOL) jet fighter
  5. It is designed and manufactured by the British Aerospace
  6. Features: Ability of vertical takeoff, landing, Air to Air refueling, fitted with anti-ship Sea Eagle missile
  7. History: Was used in operation Vijay and Parakram & also in Falklands War (1982)
May, 04, 2016

Appoint Chief of Defence Staff

  1. Context: Report by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence
  2. Demand: The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) be appointed at the earliest
  3. Background: The recommendation for creating the post of CDS is pending since 2001
  4. In 2011, the Naresh Chandra task force on national security recommended the appointment of a permanent chairman, chiefs of staff committee
May, 04, 2016

No plan from DRDO yet

  1. Context: Report by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence
  2. Concerns: Even after 58 years [after establishment], there is no clear-cut technological road map prepared
  3. Also many projects had been closed at the initial stage itself as well as delay in certain major projects
  4. Wasteful expenditure incurred by DRDO on closure of major projects like Airborne Surveillance Platform, Cargo Ammunition
  5. Also some other projects like GPS-based system as an alternative to fire direction radar and several air-defence gun systems
  6. Panel has called for scientific, technical and concurrent audit of all ongoing DRDO projects by an independent agency
May, 04, 2016

Reorient DRDO, focus on key technologies: Panel

  1. Context: Report by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence
  2. Suggestions: DRDO should reorient itself with a technology road map
  3. Focus energy on developing certain key technologies
  4. Low-end technologies should be assigned to private sector
Apr, 27, 2016

Despite impetus, private sector lags in defence manufacturing

  1. Private share: Total value of private sector contribution to defence production remained Rs.2,500 crore for the year 2014-15, out of a total of Rs.49,531 crore that was procured from within India
  2. Efforts: This is despite efforts by the government to increase share of private sector participation in defence manufacturing
  3. Govt has issued 75 industrial licenses to 56 Indian companies for manufacture of various defence items but till date, none of these companies has reported commencement of production
  4. Other findings: Total procurement for the three services was Rs.78,754 crore, out of which the procurement from indigenous sources was Rs.49,532 crore
  5. Indigenous: Most of it went to public sector units- Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factories
Apr, 08, 2016

World military spending up in 2015, India in sixth position

  1. Context: The latest report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  2. News: India is the 6th largest military spender in 2015 having spent $51.3 billion
  3. India moved one rank up from last year accounting for 3.1 percent of global military expenditure
  4. Significance: India is also ahead of countries like France, Germany and Israel who happen to be among its top arms suppliers
  5. Fact: The US remained by far the world’s largest spender in 2015, followed by China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and UK
Apr, 01, 2016

India jumps to fourth spot in defence spending

  1. Context: A report by US research firm IHS Inc.
  2. What? India has become the world’s fourth largest spender on defence, following a 13.1% increase in its 2016-17 defence budget
  3. Why? India’s rise from sixth position last year is a result of an increase in expenditure to $50.7 billion
  4. Also, military spending cuts by Russia and Saudi Arabia are the factors


Mar, 31, 2016

BEL-Thales joint venture to develop PHAROS fire control radar

  1. Context: Thales and BEL-Thales Systems Limited (BTSL), the joint venture between Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Thales
  2. Objective: Allow Thales and BTSL to jointly develop PHAROS, a fire control radar for both gun and missile systems
  3. This will strengthen the co-operation of Thales and BTSL in the field of innovative technologies
  4. Make in India vision: This co-development agreement is in line with the ‘Make in India’ vision of Govt of India
Mar, 30, 2016

Defence policy to give a push to ‘Make in India’

  1. News: New defence procurement policy was unveiled by govt with an aim to ensure transparency, fast track acquisition process
  2. Context: Policy lays the roadmap on how India, the world’s largest arms importer, will acquire defence equipment in the future
  3. About Policy: Included a new category to acquire weapons–IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)
  4. IDDM will be the first preferred category of preference
  5. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) to take a “fast-track” route to acquire weapons, something which was limited to only armed forces till now
  6. Defence export clearances will now be granted online
Mar, 30, 2016

Reliance Defence, Israel’s Rafael to form JV to build missiles in India

  1. News: The joint venture (JV) company will be set up in India in the highly specialized areas of air-to-air missiles, air defence systems and large aerostats
  2. Importance: The joint venture is one of the biggest between an Indian company with any original equipment manufacturer
  3. Impact: It will provide big thrust into the field of indigenous production and development of high precision and weapon systems in India
  4. Future: The JV will address multiple programs valued at more than Rs.65,000 crore over the next 10 years
Mar, 30, 2016

Parrikar flags off India’s first indigenous Sonar Dome

  1. News: India has manufactured its indigenous composites sonar dome, a first of its kind in the country
  2. All anti-submarine warfare ships have a sonar array fitted to the ship structure below the waterline
  3. Agency: Designed and produced by a DRDO and has been manufactured by a composites manufacturing company Kineco
  4. The sonar functions as the ship’s underwater eyes and ears
  5. Sonar dome: It is a structure fitted over the sonar array so that its electronics and sensors are not exposed to surrounding hostile environment and has to be structurally sound as well as acoustically transparent
Mar, 29, 2016

INS Beas visits Doha, Qatar

  1. News: Indian Naval ship Beas is on an official visit to Doha, Qatar
  2. Why? To participate in the fifth edition of Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX)
  3. Context: DIMDEX is held biennially at Doha
  4. Opportunities ahead: Provides an ideal platform for showcasing our indigenous shipbuilding capability and technological prowess, innovation in Naval systems
  5. Provides an opportunity to interact with other participating warships from various countries
  6. This contribute towards strengthening ties, enhancing mutual understanding and building ‘Bridges of Friendship’
Mar, 29, 2016

Capacity crisis in Indian Air Force

  1. News: A US expert has highlighted Indian Air Force’s falling end strength and problematic force structure, combined with its troubled acquisition and development program
  2. Reason: The IAF’s fighter force is well short of its sanctioned strength, and many of its frontline aircraft are obsolete
  3. Challenge: The main barrier behind successful acquisition and modernisation drive is serious constraints on India’s defence budget
  4. Future: To strengthen its combat capabilities with 4th-generation-plus Western fighters
Mar, 29, 2016

DPP launched

  1. Context: The much-awaited Defence Procurement Policy (DPP)-2016 was launched at DefExpo 2016
  2. Aim: To ensure transparency, fast-track acquisition and give a push to the ‘Make in India’ initiative
  3. Missing: It doesn’t contain a key chapter on the proposed strategic partnership
  4. According to govt, it will take another 2-3 months to finalise this
  5. DPP lays the road map on how India, the world’s largest arms importer, will acquire equipment in the future
Mar, 26, 2016

DRDO to Bring Alive Spirit of ‘Make In India’ at Defexpo 2016

  1. News: Showcasing the state-of-the-art military systems and technologies by DRDO in Defence Expo 2016 at Goa
  2. Significance: It will narrate the saga of self-reliance & national pride with Make in India spirit
  3. Design theme: Rise of Futurism
  4. Objective: Emphasises its vision to make India prosperous by establishing world class S&T base
  5. Provide our Defence Services decisive edge by equipping them with internationally competitive systems and solutions
  6. Focus on: Make in India and Self-Reliance and provide a platform for collaboration with industry and academia
Mar, 18, 2016

Learn about Exercise Iron Fist

  1. It is a biennial event that showcases the firepower capacity of the Indian Air Force
  2. It demonstrates the IAF’s capability to safeguard our national interests
  3. It includes combat manoeuvres and live firing of Air-to-Ground and Air-to-Air precision weapons by Fighters, Transport Aircraft and Helicopters
Mar, 15, 2016

India-Bangladesh drill in Sundarbans

  1. News: A 3-day long joint exercise between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Border Security Force (BSF) of India is underway in Sundarbans border area
  2. Context: Exercise is titled Sundarban Moitry (Sundarbans Alliance). This is the first time such an exercise is taking place between the 2 border forces
  3. Four aspects: 
  • To asses the problems at the risky areas of the Sunderbans
  • Increasing patrolling in the area by both parties
  • Raiding suspicious cargo and trawlers on the Bangladesh-India sea transportation route jointly
  • Be aware of the forest camps of the partner country
Mar, 15, 2016

India test-fires n-capable Agni-I

  1. News: India successfully test-fired its indigenously built nuclear-capable intermediate range Agni-I ballistic missile
  2. Features: Surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellantsC and capable of hitting a target 700 km away
  3. Agni-I is designed to carry a payload of more than one tonne. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload
Mar, 12, 2016

Indo - Indonesia Joint Training Exercise

  1. News: Fourth edition of Indo- Indonesia Joint Training Exercise Garuda Shakti IV 2016 was conducted at Military Training Area, Magelang, Indonesia
  2. Indian contingent: comprised of platoon sized troops of an Infantry Battalion under Southern Command theatre
  3. Context: Ceremony was filled with enthusiasm and has opened another chapter in enhancing ties between Indian and Indonesian Army
  4. Relevance: Opening ceremony showcased the dedication and commitment towards joint training and the will to share expertise gained in combat by both armies
  5. Training: Indian Army troops were oriented to the terrain and tactical aspects of training
Mar, 09, 2016

Indo-Indonesia Joint Training Exercise Garuda shakti IV

  1. Context: Conducted as part of military diplomacy between Indian and Indonesian Army alternatively in India and Indonesia resp.
  2. Where? Magelang, Indonesia
  3. Relevance: Exercise is conducted on a reciprocal basis and its first edition was conducted in the year 2012 in India
  4. Aim: Building and promoting positive relations between the 2 Armies of India and Indonesia
  5. Experience: Selected Indian unit has had varied operational experience in Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist operations in the Northern, Western and Eastern theatres
  6. Scope: Visualization of insurgency related crisis situation in rural / urban setting in Counter Insurgency environment
Mar, 04, 2016

Indian firm to partner Israel for anti-tank missiles

  1. News: India’s Kalyani group will setup a joint venture with Rafale of Israel to build weapon systems in India
  2. They could start with the production of Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile which the Indian Army is in the process of procuring
  3. Importance: It is in line with the govt’s ‘Make in India’ policy
  4. It will also enable the development and production of high end technology systems within the country
Mar, 03, 2016

Two more AWACS from Israel

  1. Background: Indo-Israel ties got a major boost after Mr. Modi came to power
  2. News: The Cabinet Committee on Security has cleared the purchase of additional surveillance aircraft from Israel
  3. India will acquire 2 more Phalcon Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) at a cost of Rs. 7,500 crore under a tripartite agreement with Israel and Russia
  4. AWACS: They are advanced radars mounted on an aircraft to give 360 degree coverage to detect incoming aircraft and missiles at long ranges
Mar, 02, 2016

Handing Over of Anjadiva Island to the Defence Ministry

  1. Context: Island was given by the State Govt of Goa to the Ministry of Defence in the year 1989
  2. Background: Anjadiva Island has been declared as a prohibited place by the State Government of Goa in 1989, under Official Secrets Act, 1923
  3. Significance: Project Sea Bird at Karwar is strategically located project of sensitive nature wherein access of people cannot be allowed freely
Mar, 01, 2016

Indo-Seychelles Joint Training 'Ex Lamitye' concludes

  1. News: Exercise ‘Lamitye – 2016’, seventh in the series of Indo-Seychelles Joint Training Exercises, was conducted at Victoria, Mahe Island, Seychelles
  2. Aim: to improve interoperability between both Armies in jointly fighting Counter Insurgency / Counter Terrorism
  3. Structure: Indian contingent comprised of an infantry platoon and representatives from the Special Forces
  4. Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) was represented by the Tazar (Special Forces Unit) and Seychelles Infantry
  5. ‘Exercise Lamitye’ meaning: ‘Friendship in Creole’, has been a bridge between the Armed Forces of India and SPDF since 2001
Feb, 17, 2016

Indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile was successfully test fired

  1. Context: It was conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) and was monitored by the scientists from DRDO
  2. Background: Missile test was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR)
  3. Prithvi-II already has been inducted into India’s armed forces in 2003
  4. The last user trial of it was successfully conducted in November 2015 from the same test range
Feb, 17, 2016

Govt opens up more defense production to private firms

  1. Context: Around 25% of the defence PSU (public sector undertaking) turnover can be off-loaded to the private sector
  2. Govt has identified 25 projects to be throw open to the private industry
  3. Earlier: the ministry has already delicensed 60-70% of the production
  4. Revised offset clause: will now be applied to contracts of more than Rs.2,000 crore instead of current Rs.300 crore
  5. Earlier offset clause: any foreign arms manufacturer securing an order worth more than Rs.300 crore from India has to source components worth 30% of the value of the order from India
  6. Benefit: removing a hurdle to foreign firms eyeing the Indian market
Feb, 09, 2016

INDO-Nepal Battalion Level Combined military exercise commences

This is the Ninth Indo-Nepal Combined exercise and during the next 14 days of combined training

  1. The 14 day Indo-Nepal Combined Military Exercise Surya Kiran IX at general area, Pithoragarh
  2. The Combined Battalion Level Exercise is being conducted under the aegis of Panchshul Brigade of Central Command.
  3. Its emphasis would be laid on upgradation of tactical and practical skills by sharing each other’s experiences
  4. Also on enhancing interoperability in Jungle Warfare and Counter Terrorism operations in mountain terrain
  5. Focus will also be laid on Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief Operations which also includes medical and aviation aspects
Feb, 08, 2016

India, China hold first joint tactical drill on border

The border troops of India and China held their first joint tactical exercise in the Chushul-Moldo area along the northern border.

  1. To ensure greater interaction between troops stationed along the Line of Actual Control, and thereby ensure peace and tranquillity along the border.
  2. The exercise focussed on actions to be coordinated to tackle jointly aspects of humanitarian aid and disaster relief
  3. The joint exercise, Sino-India Cooperation 2016, lasted an entire day.
  4. This exercise complements the Hand-in-Hand series of India-China Joint Exercises and the recently conducted joint exercise in Sikkim.
Feb, 03, 2016

Nuclear-missile maker to woo investors as India revamps defence

India wants to embrace more shareholder scrutiny for the sake of national security.

  1. The govt is seeking to divest 20% of each state-owned defence company including nuclear-missile maker Bharat Dynamics.
  2. Divestment will provide capital for growth and enough transparency & accountability to drive efficiencies.
  3. Still structural changes will be required for the state-run defence companies to be more attractive for investors.
  4. India’s goal is an ambitious $150 billion modernization of its sometimes poorly equipped armed forces, including more local production to curb a flood of costly imports.
  5. The challenges is to improve state defence companies, which account for the bulk of domestic weapons output but are strained and lack the most modern technology.
Jan, 25, 2016

What's the big military challenge?

The Pathankot attack revealed weaknesses in our intelligence, police and security procedures but the bigger issue is defence reforms, initiated in the aftermath of the 1999 Kargil War.

  1. PM exhorted commanders and bureaucrats to reform their “beliefs, doctrines, objectives and strategies”.
  2. Naresh Chandra Committee in 2011 recommended the creation of a permanent chairman, chiefs of staff committee.
  3. Modi identified six broad areas for reform — defence planning, enhancing jointness , manpower rationalisation , professional military education, restructuring higher defence management and the defence procurement process.
  4. There are three significant obstacles. First, if and how the three chiefs will give up powers for the proposed CDS.  Second, how the government will create more joint commands, especially since it’s opposed by the military. Third, there’s opposition from civilian bureaucrats who don’t want to change the status quo.
  5. Reforms will not succeed if its implementation is not closely monitored.
Jan, 25, 2016

No open tenders for critical defence spares, says SC

For defence critical spare parts like submarine batteries, there cannot be any open advertisement inviting tenders.

  1. The SC upheld the government’s policy against having any open advertisements inviting tenders for critical and specialised defence spare parts.
  2. Advertisements are issued calling for tenders only for common use items which are normally available in the open market with a wide range of sources.
  3. Submarine batteries do not fall under this category of common use items, the apex court held.
  4. The importance of submarine batteries to a submarine cannot be underestimated as it is strategically a vital equipment for submarines.
  5. The only source of power to a submarine when it dives beyond nine metres into sea/ocean is submarine batteries.
Jan, 23, 2016

Talks on for Rafale pact

Officials say the final deal is unlikely to be concluded during French President Francois Hollande’s India visit due to differences over pricing.

  1. With French President François Hollande scheduled to arrive in India on January 24 as the chief guest for the Republic Day parade.
  2. India and France are holding hectic discussions to conclude the government-to-government (G-to-G) agreement for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets.
  3. Efforts are on to reduce the price by 20 per cent.
  4. In comparison, a Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft which India is assembling through technology transfer from Russia costs less than half, raising questions on the cost.
Jan, 13, 2016

Defence Postures

New procurement policy is well-meaning, with a clear focus on indigenisation. Test will be in the execution.

  1. Defence Minister announced the contours of the long-awaited new defence procurement procedure (DPP)
  2. V.K. Aatre Committee, formed to recommend policy on selection of strategic partners in defence manufacturing, is expected to submit its report this week.
  3. The policy is critical for the business development plans of India’s top private defence manufacturers.
  4. The defence ministry has accepted 90 per cent of the recommendations made by Dhirendra Singh committee.
  5. Two major highlights of the new DPP – the creation of a new category called the “IDDM” or indigenously designed, developed and manufactured platforms.
  6. This will get top priority for buying equipment and incentivise domestic manufacturing .
  7. Raising of the value of contracts for 30 per cent offsets from Rs 300 crore to Rs 2,000 crore.which satisfies foreign vendors.
  8. Policy on blacklisting of defence suppliers and authorised defence agents will also be unveiled along with the DPP.
  9. Those policies are critical to creating a well-defined landscape for the operation of both Indian and foreign defence manufacturers.
Jan, 13, 2016

Bouquets, brickbats for new defence procurement norms

  1. Indian industry has given a mixed response to the new guidelines under Defence Procurement Procedure 2016.
  2. Some welcomed the greater role for the private sector and the focus on MSME.
  3. Some argue that there was very little reflection of the problems faced by the industry.
  4. DAC deferred decisions on some issues such as strategic partnerships and procedures for blacklisting companies.
  5. There was a positive response to the proposed new category of Indigenous Design Development Manufacturing and govt funding for design & development.
Jan, 12, 2016

Fillip to ‘Make in India’ in defence purchases

  1. Attempting to streamline defence acquisitions and give a big impetus to indigenisation through the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  2. The government has approved major changes to the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).
  3. New category to promote domestic manufacturing including government funding for R&D and recognition of the MSME in technology development.
  4. Recommendations of the expert committee headed by former Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh were considered and most of them were approved.
  5. The DPP 2016 will have a new category, Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) platforms, which will be the priority route for procurements.
Jan, 11, 2016

Test Firing of New Tank Ammunition for Arjun MBT

The ammunitions have been developed by Pune based DRDO laboratories Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL).

  1. DRDO successfully conducted test firing of new tank ammunition Penetration-Cum Blast (PCB) and Thermobaric (TB) Ammunition.
  2. A specially designed for Arjun Tank at Chandipur, Odisha on 6th Jan 2016.
  3. An innovative chemical composition has been developed by HEMRL after extensive research for the TB ammunition.
  4. During the development phase, these ammunitions were extensively evaluated against different simulated targets viz., armour plates, concrete structures and fortifications.
  5. The trials were unique as for the first time such evaluation is carried out in India.
Jan, 09, 2016

ASW corvette INS Kadmatt commissioned in Visakhapatnam

  1. INS Kadmatt, second ship of Project 28 (P28) class Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvettes.
  2. Commissioned into the Indian Navy by the Chief of Naval Staff at a ceremony held at Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam.
  3. The unique feature of this ship is the high level of indigenisation incorporated in the production, accentuating our national objective of ‘Make in India’.
Jan, 01, 2016

Navy successfully tests Barak 8 missile

  1. India has successfully test-fired a long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM), jointly developed with Israel, from its warship in its maiden attempt.
  2. With this, India joined a select group of countries which has such an anti-air warfare capability for their navies.
  3. The Barak 8 missile fired by the INS Kolkata on the western seaboard successfully intercepted an aerial target at extended ranges.
Dec, 30, 2015

Navy to test Barak-8 missile

  1. The Navy will carry out the maiden test of the long-range Barak-8 surface-to-air missile.
  2. The Barak-8 missile is being developed jointly by India and Israel.
  3. It has been designed to defend against a variety of short-to-long-range airborne threats, including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, drones and projectiles.
Dec, 28, 2015

Russia is main defence partner again

Russia is making an emphatic comeback as India’s trusted and strategic partner and is on course to reclaiming the position as top supplier of defence hardware.

  1. Russia still accounts for 70 per cent of Indian arsenal, but has in recent years been overtaken by Israel and U.S. as the biggest hardware suppliers on an annual basis.
  2. Russia, still is the largest supplier due to spares and support for hardware in the inventory and the committed liabilities for programmes under way.
  3. The country’s first major project under the ‘Make in India’ will be the production of Kamov-226T utility helicopters in India.
Dec, 24, 2015

Defence, nuclear deals to be sealed

The new plants will be in sync with broad principles of ‘Make in India’ initiative and a decision in this regard is likely to be finalised.

  1. Stepping up economic engagement and further expanding ties in strategic areas are likely to be the centrepiece of the 16th India-Russia annual summit talks.
  2. Russia has been India’s biggest supplier of arms though New Delhi has started buying more military hardware from the U.S. in the last few years.
  3. In the nuclear energy sector, India is expected to offer a site in Andhra Pradesh to set up units 5 and 6 of Kudankulam nuclear power plant.
Dec, 22, 2015

India joins select club to build LNG ships

Cochin Shipyard has received certification to build LNG-transporting ships for any client world-wide, making it the first shipyard in India to get the nod, joining the league of South Korea, Japan and China.

  1. This opens a new chapter in shipbuilding technology in India and marks a big step for Make in India.
  2. The most critical part of an LNG ship is its cryogenic containment and handling system as the LNG is carried at a temperature of -163 degrees.
  3. Cochin Shipyard is now authorised to use the membrane type technologies of GTT for any liquid gas carriers, more particularly the LNG carriers.
Dec, 19, 2015

CAG warns of Army’s ageing chopper fleet

Govt.’s repeated failure to modernise the Army’s helicopter fleet has resulted in a precarious situation.

  1. CAG reports points that Army Aviation Corps is facing a 32% deficiency in its authorised fleet strength.
  2. The report says that about 52% of the existing fleet is more than 30 years old.
  3.  The main reasons were failure in meeting the targets and objectives of the acquisition plans and tardiness in procurement action.
  4. India has recently selected Russian Kamov-228T utility helicopter, which will be built in India under technology transfer.
Dec, 19, 2015

DNA Profiling of Soldiers

Armed Forces Medical Research Committee (AFMRC) approved a pilot project, titled “Development of Protocol for DNA Profiling (Identification) and Repository of Personnel of Armed Forces”.

  1. The objectives of the project were to devise a protocol for collection, preservation and transportation of blood samples of the soldiers, maintain absolute accuracy in personnel information.
  2. To devise protocol for procedure for identifying service personnel from any fragment of body tissue.
  3. Standing Operating Procedure for collection of blood samples of soldiers posted at different locations all over the country.
  4. Their transport to DNA repository, storage and profiling laboratory at Armed Forces Medical College, Pune has been developed.
Dec, 09, 2015

Country’s flagship HAL turns 75

  1. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is country’s sole maker of military aircraft, and part of the Ministry of Defence.
  2. It is ranked 34 among the world’s aerospace companies and among the top 4 in Asia by turnover.
  3. Its own product is the multipurpose Advanced Light Helicopter ‘Dhruv’ and its variations for combat and surveillance.
  4. HAL’s production portfolio includes Sukhoi-30, Mirage 2000 fighters, etc.
Dec, 09, 2015

Use of UAV for Internal Security

DRDO has developed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) – ‘Nishant’ and the same has been inducted in Army.

  1. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) has initiated activities for the design, development and manufacture of UAVs.
  2. UAV are the most advanced systems for obtaining real-time imagery of the ground and is useful in the internal security scenario.
  3. Presently, CRPF has a holding of 10 Micro-UAVs (NETRA) which have been deployed in LWE affected states, including Chhattisgarh.
  4. Besides National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) is also providing their UAV coverage to CRPF for operations in LWE areas.
Dec, 09, 2015

INDRA NAVY- 15 Commences at Visakhapatnam

INDRA NAVY is a bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian and Russian navies and epitomises the strategic relationship between the 2 countries.

  1. The 8th edition of INDRA NAVY has begun in the Bay of Bengal in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  2. Initiated in 2003, the exercise has matured over the years with increasing scope, complexity of operations and level of participation.
  3. It includes wide- ranging professional interactions during the Harbour phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities at sea across a spectrum of maritime operations.
Nov, 30, 2015

LRSAM Successfully Flight-Tested

Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM), jointly designed and developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and DRDO.

  1. LRSAM is also called Barak 8 missile in Israel which in Hebrew language means Lightning.
  2. For the LRSAM, DRDO has designed and developed Dual Pulse Propulsion System and safe arm mechanisms for Solid Propulsion system.
  3. The missile is designed to defend against any type of airborne threat including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and UAVs.
  4. The LRSAM programme consists of Missiles, MFSTAR (Radar), Weapon Control System, Vertical Launcher unit and Two- way data link.
Nov, 28, 2015

India successfully test fires Dhanush ballistic missile

  1. The nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile was recently test fired from a naval ship off the Odisha coast.
  2. It is a surface-to-surface missile and naval variant of India’s indigenously-developed Prithvi missile.
  3. It is a single-stage, liquid-propelled missile.
  4. It has already been inducted into the armed forces and is one of the 5 missiles developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
Nov, 27, 2015

Nuclear capable Prithvi II missile successfully test fired

  1. Indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile was successfully test-fired by the Indian Army.
  2. It is a tactical short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) developed by DRDO, under Integrated Guided Missile Development Program.
  3. The missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads.
  4. It has the ability to dodge enemy missiles and uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
Nov, 23, 2015

India test-fires indigenously developed interceptor missile

The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electromechanical activator.

  1. As part of efforts to develop a full fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system.
  2. India has test-fired indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile.
  3. The interceptor, known as Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile, was engaged against an electronically prepared target which simulated the trajectory of a hostile ballistic missile.
  4. The interceptor AAD missile has been indigenously developed by DRDO under Ballistic Missile Defence Programme.
Nov, 09, 2015

Indian Army successfully test fires Brahmos missile

  1. Brahmos supersonic land attack cruise missile test fired at Pokhran in Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan.
  2. It was test fired from an Autonomous Mobile Launcher (AML) in full configuration and met all the mission objectives.
  3. It is a fire-and-forget Missile.
  4. It has capability of destroying surface-based targets by flying a combined high-low trajectory by evading enemy air defence systems.
Nov, 03, 2015

BrahMos missile test-fired from INS Kochi

World’s fastest cruise missile successfully hit target ship ‘Alleppey’ located at a distance covering nearly the full range of the missile with high precision.

  1. INS Kochi is a 7,500-tonne indigenously developed warship
  2. It has new design concepts for survivability, stealth and manoeuvrability.
  3. It can carry 16 BrahMos missiles in two eight-cell vertical launch systems.
  4. Brahmos is a two stage missile, jointly developed by India and Russia.
  5. It can fly at a supersonic speed of 2.8 Mach and at a height of 10m.
  6. It carries conventional warheads and launched from ships, land and submarines.
Nov, 02, 2015

First Scorpene class submarine set afloat in Mumbai

Kalavari, the first of Scorpene class submarines being manufactured at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL).

  1. Kalvari is built under the Project 75, under collaboration with M/s DCNS, France.
  2. The Scorpene class submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarine developed by the French DCN and the Spanish company Navantia.
  3. It features AIP technology, which allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without the need to access atmospheric oxygen.
Oct, 07, 2015

INS Astradharini Joins The Indian Navy

It is Indian Navy’s first totally indigenously-designed and built Torpedo launch and recovery vessel (TRV). 

  1. It is advanced replacement for INS Astravahini which was decommissioned from India Navy.
  2. The unique design by a collaborative effort of Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), IIT Kharagpur and Shoft Shipyard.
  3. It is 50-metre twin-hulled warship with maximum speed of 15 knots (28 km/h).
  4. It will function and operate under the Eastern Fleet of Indian Navy.
  5. It will carry out the technical trials of underwater weapons and systems like torpedoes and mines.
Sep, 29, 2015

Indian Navy is set to welcome INS Kochi

The indigenously-designed ship INS Kochi, a second ship of the Kolkata-class Guided Missile Destroyer.

INS Kochi during sea trials.

  1. INS Kochi weighs over 7500 tonnes, spanning over 164 meters in length,designed to achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots.
  2. The ship is loaded with long-range BrahMos surface-to- surface missile.
  3. Anti-submarine arsenal consists of Indigenous Rocket Launchers (IRL), Indigenous Twin-tube Torpedo Launchers (ITTL) and bow-mounted new generation HUMSA Sonar Dome.
  4. It is equipped to operate two Sea King or Chetak helicopters.
Sep, 24, 2015

Apoorva and C-421 ships commissioned at Naval Dock

  1. Two Indian Coast Guard Ships are Apoorva and C-421.
  2. ICGS Apoorva is a 50 meter long Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) that displaces 317 Tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots.
  3. C-421 is a water jet propelled vessel with maximum speed of 45 Knots.
  4. ICGS Apoorva is equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry, advanced communication and navigational equipment that make her an ideal platform for undertaking multifarious close-coast Surveillance, interdiction, Search & Rescue and medical evacuation missions.
  5. The interceptor boat (ICGS C-421) is fitted with medium range armaments, the ship is designed for close coast and shallow water operations.


Sep, 12, 2015

'AUSINDEX' at Visakhapatnam for naval exercise

  1. Biennial event ‘AUSINDEX’ between Australia and India is all set to begin.
  2. The exercise will strengthen defence cooperation as envisaged in the Framework for Security Cooperation.
  3. The Indian Navy would be represented by stealth frigate INS Shivalik, guided missile destroyer INS Ranvijay, and fleet tanker INS Shakti.
  4. The exercise will include tabletop exercises, scenarios and practical demonstrations ashore, and a sea phase.
Aug, 13, 2015

French fighter talks deadlocked

  1. Reason for the deadlock is enhanced costs and differences on offset requirements.
  2. The negotiations were stuck for three years as the cost shot up to over $20 billion from $10 billion.
  3. The Defence Ministry has made it clear that offsets apply to the deal which is 50% for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA)
  4. The Air Force has also sought some changes in the configuration which will further add to the cost and time overruns.
  5. As per the Defence Procurement Procedure, offset applies to all deals worth over Rs.300 crore under which companies have to invest 30 per cent of the value of the contract back in the country.
Aug, 02, 2015

Differences over offset clause delays Rafale deal


  1. India insists that France should invest 50% of the $4Billion deal in the Indian defence industry in form of offset obligations.
  2. But France is ready to invest only 30% to cover infrastructure costs, maintenance, training and storage facilities.
  3. Also, the 2 year timeline of procuring the jets seems doubtful as Dassault (manufacturer of Rafale jets) has capacity of manufacturing 11 jets a year and it already has an order of 24 jets each from Qatar and Egypt.


What is an offset clause?

Countries importing military equipment often require obligations from the exporter to invest in the importer’s defense industry. This is called the ‘offset clause’.

Jul, 30, 2015

Rafael of Israel and India’s Kalyani Group help deepen defence ties


  1. Kalyani group will form a manufacturing joint venture with Israel’s Rafael to make Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) in India.
  2. The deal was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council last year and the plan is to start production in about 2 years.
  3. The JV will conform to the FDI guidelines with 51% ownership held by the Kalyani Group. The companies are in talks with the Telangana Govt. for land procurement.

Spike is a third generation, fire-and-forget, man-portable, anti-tank missile.

Jul, 25, 2015

Defence, aero PSUs reveal hurdles to ‘Make in India’

  1. PSUs related to strategic sectors of aerospace and defence are apprehensive of reversing in near future the 70% dependence on import of military hardware.
  2. The reason is that the parts’ suppliers are falling short on facilities, quality and time lines.
  3. India does not have a ‘wind tunnel’ used to test aircraft systems. Lack of infrastructure and delays by the suppliers is a big impediment for ‘Make in India’ challenge for defence products.
Jul, 21, 2015

Now, Naval help to ‘Make in India’

  1. With aim of complete indigenization of all warship construction in next 15 years, Navy wants to involve private companies in a big way.
  2. DRDO and Indian companies will work in tandem to achieve this target.
  3. Navy has 90% indigenization in float warships, 60% in move category and 30% in fight warships.
Jul, 16, 2015

Ottappalam to have India’s first defence industrial park

  1. With an eye on indigenization and modernization of defence items, DIPP has approved a proposal to set up the country’s first defence industrial park at Ottappalam.
  2. Defence components manufacturing sector has demand estimated at $700 million a year from India and other countries having friendly relationship with it.
  3. The defence park can help to bridge the gap of 15 per cent between demand and supply.
Jul, 15, 2015

Govt. clears Naval P-8Is and air defence guns for Army

  1. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared deals worth about 30,000 crore for new platforms and several upgrades for the Army and the Navy.
  2. Additional P-8I maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft for the Navy and new air defence guns for the army were the major deals cleared.
Jun, 06, 2015

[op-ed snap] Evolving a defence bottom line

May, 29, 2015

India and Vietnam Sign a Joint Vision Statement on Defence Cooperation

May, 29, 2015

[op-ed snap] Defence - In search of clear policy

May, 26, 2015

Parrikar pushes for Chief of Defence Staff

May, 20, 2015

[op-ed snap] A dual approach to defence production

May, 09, 2015

Indian Army and Bank of India ink MoU on Defence Salary Package

Feb, 26, 2015

What does defence expects out of the Budget 2015?

  1. While both India and China had similar defence expenditure in 1990, India has now become the largest importer & China has graduated into the club of top exporters.
  2. We might need to increase the FDI limit in defence from 49% to 51% – So that the foreign players have some certainty of ownership.
  3. Expectations are that the long-pending One Rank, One Pension scheme will get due funds.
  4. MSME industries are expecting incentives and tax concessions to enable a level-playing field with the public sector.


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