Indian Navy Updates

Indian Navy Updates

[pib] Exercise Malabar

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ex Malabar

Mains level : QUAD security Dialogue

Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt have arrived at Guam, an Island Territory of the USA to participate in the annual Exercise MALABAR-21.

Also read:

[Prelims Spotlight] Various Defence Exercises in News

Ex Malabar

  • MALABAR series of maritime exercises commenced in 1992 as a bilateral IN-USN exercise and has grown in stature over the years to include four prominent navies in the Pacific and Indian Ocean Region.
  • It is carried out between navies of Australia, India, Japan, and the USA
  • The exercise provides an opportunity for common-minded navies to enhance inter-operability, gain from best practices and develop a common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations.

Significance

  • The exercise will see the participation of all four Quad countries.
  • Indian Navy also conducted a number of Passage Exercises (PASSEX) with navies from Japan, Australia and the US.

Another Exercise in news: Ex Konkan 2021

  • Exercise Konkan 2021 was held between INS Tabar and HMS Westminster on 16 Aug 21 in the English Channel.

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Back2Basics: Quad Security Dialogue

  • QSD is a strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India that is maintained by talks between member countries.
  • The dialogue is paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, titled Exercise Malabar.
  • Quad is widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power.

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Exercise Al–Mohed Al–Hindi

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise Al–Mohed Al–Hindi

Mains level : NA

The maiden bilateral naval exercise between India and Saudi Arabia named ‘AL–Mohed AL–Hindi’ has got underway.

Must read:

[Prelims Spotlight] Various Defence Exercises in News

Ex Al-Mohed AI-Hindi 2021

  • This is the first edition of a bilateral naval exercise between India and Saudi Arabia.
  • It comprises several shore and sea-based drills between the two navies.
  • It reflects the growing defense ties between the two nations in the wake of the Indian Army chiefs’ first visit to the West Asian country last year.
  • INS Kochi is the Indian warship participating in the exercise.
  • The exercise is being held against the backdrop of growing tensions in the Persian Gulf following a drone attack on the tanker MV Mercer Street off Oman.

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[pib] Exercise Cutlass Express 2021

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise Cutlass Express

Mains level : Not Much

Indian Naval Ship Talwar is participating in Exercise Cutlass Express 2021, being conducted along the East Coast of Africa.

Exercise Cutlass Express

  • The exercise is an annual maritime exercise conducted to promote national and regional maritime security in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.
  • Indian Navy is participating in the exercise in a ‘trainer role’.

The 2021 edition of the exercise involves the participation of:

  • 12 Eastern African countries, US, UK, India
  • Various international organizations like International Maritime Organization (IMO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Interpol, European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), Critical Maritime Routes Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO), and EUCAP Somalia

Focus of the exercise

  • The exercise focuses on East Africa’s coastal regions.
  • It is designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security and increase interoperability between the regional navies.
  • As part of the exercise, the Indian Navy, together with other partners, shall undertake the training of contingents from various participating countries in various fields across the spectrum of maritime security operations.

Must read:

[Prelims Spotlight] Defence Exercises

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What is Project Seabird?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Project Seabird

Mains level : Need for a naval base

Defence Minister has recently visited the Karwar Naval Base in Karnataka to inspect infrastructure development under Phase II of “Project Seabird”.

Project Seabird

  • The largest naval infrastructure project for India, Project Seabird involves the creation of a naval base at Karwar on the west coast of India.
  • INS Kadamba is an Indian Navy base located near Karwar in Karnataka.
  • The first phase of construction of the base was code-named Project Seabird and was completed in 2005.
  • INS Kadamba is currently the third-largest Indian naval base and is expected to become the largest naval base in the eastern hemisphere after the completion of expansion Phase IIB.

Why need such a base?

  • During the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, the Indian Navy faced security challenges for its Western Fleet in Mumbai Harbour due to congestion in the shipping lanes from commercial shipping traffic, fishing boats and tourists.
  • At the end of the war, various options were considered on addressing these concerns
  • Upon completion, it will provide the Indian Navy with its largest naval base on the west coast and also the largest naval base east of the Suez Canal.
  • The Navy’s lone aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is based at Karwar.

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[pib] Exercise EUNAVFOR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise EUNAVFOR

Mains level : NA

Indian Navy is participating in the maiden IN – EUNAVFOR Joint Naval Exercise in the Gulf of Aden.

Exercise EUNAVFOR

  • EUNAVFOR is a multilateral naval exercise comprising of Italian Navy, Spanish Navy, and French Navy.
  • Ships of the four navies will endeavor to enhance and hone their war-fighting skills and their ability as an integrated force to promote, peace, security, and stability in the maritime domain.
  • EUNAVFOR and the Indian Navy converge on multiple issues including counter-piracy operations and protection of vessels deployed under the charter of the World Food Programme (UN WFP).
  • Indian Navy and EUNAVFOR also have regular interaction through SHADE (Shared Awareness and De-confliction) meetings held annually in Bahrain.
  • This engagement showcases increased levels of synergy, coordination, and inter-operability between India and EUNAVFOR.
  • It also underscores the shared values as partner navies, in ensuring freedom of seas and commitment to an open, inclusive and rules-based international order.

Mark the nations along the Gulf of Aden:

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[pib] Seven Indian Navy Ships Deployed for Op Samudra Setu II

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Operation Samudra Setu

Mains level : Paper 3- Operation Samudra Setu II

Operation Samudra Setu II

  • In support of the nation’s fight against Covid-19 and as part of operation ‘Samudra Setu II’,  seven Indian Naval ships have been deployed for shipment of liquid medical oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and associated medical equipment from various countries.
  • Indian Navy also has the surge capability, to deploy more ships when the need arises to further nation’s fight against COVID-19.
  • It is pertinent that the ships are combat ready and capable of meeting any contingency in keeping with the attributes of versatility of sea power.

Operation Samudra Setu I

  • It may be recalled that Operation Samudra Setu was launched last year by the Navy and around 4000 Indian citizens stranded in neighbouring countries, amidst COVID 19 outbreak, were successfully repatriated back to India.

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Induction of INS Dhruv

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : INS Dhruv

Mains level : India's naval arsenal

India Navy is set to commission INS Dhruv to track satellites, strategic missiles and map the Indian Ocean bed later this year.

INS Dhruv is no ordinary vessel for the Indian Navy. Read its stealth capabilities and utilities.

INS Dhruv

  • INS Dhruv has been developed with the help of the DRDO and Indian Navy with India’s Strategic Force Command and National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) as main intelligence consumers.
  • The indigenously-developed surveillance ship has been built by Hindustan Shipyard Ltd at its Visakhapatnam facility under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan initiative.
  • The 15,000-tonne ship, part of a classified project, will not only create maritime domain awareness for India in the Indian Ocean but also act as an early warning system for adversary missiles headed towards India.

Stealth capabilities

  • INS Dhruv is equipped with active electronically scanned array radars, or AESA considered a game-changer in radar technology.
  • It can scan various spectrums to monitor satellites of adversaries that are watching over India.
  • It can also understand the range and true missile capability of adversary nations that it finds in the Indo-Pacific.

Benefits offered

  • Once the vessel is commissioned, India will be the only country outside the P-5 – the US, the UK, China, Russia and France – to have this capability
  • It will act as a major force multiplier to India’s ocean surveillance capabilities.
  • It will be able to provide the Indian Navy with an “ECG of the Indian Ocean”.

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[pib] Mission Sagar-IV

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Mission SAGAR

Mains level : Not Much

As part of Mission Sagar-IV, Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa has arrived at Port Anjouan, Comoros to deliver 1,000 Metric Tonnes of rice.

Mission SAGAR, unlike other missions, can create confusion with the name and its purpose. It is not a military exercise. Make note of such special cases. UPSC can ask such questions as one-liner MCQs.

Also note the location of the island country Comoros and its geostrategic significance.

Mission Sagar

  • SAGAR is a term coined by PM Modi in 2015 during his Mauritius visit with a focus on the blue economy.
  • It is a maritime initiative that gives priority to the Indian Ocean region for ensuring peace, stability and prosperity of India in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The goal is to seek a climate of trust and transparency; respect for international maritime rules and norms by all countries; sensitivity to each other`s interests; peaceful resolution of maritime issues; and an increase in maritime cooperation.
  • It is in line with the principles of the Indian Ocean Rim Association.

Earlier such missions

  • This is the second visit of an Indian Navy ship to the island country within a span of one year.
  • Earlier, as part of Mission Sagar-I, in May-June 2020, the Indian Navy had delivered essential medicines to the nation.
  • Mission Sagar-II was undertaken in May-June 2020, wherein India reached out to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, and provided food aid and medicines.
  • Sagar-III was undertaken in Sihanoukville Port, Cambodia.

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[pib] INS Karanj – A Kalvari Class Submarine

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : INS Karanj, Various classes of Submarines

Mains level : NA

Indian Navy’s third stealth Scorpene-class Submarine INS Karanj has been commissioned into the Indian Navy. It also completed the trials of the Indigenous Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System jointly developed by Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) and DRDO.

In a rare case, we would see a question based on various classes of Indian Submarines in the CSP. However, we can expect a question based on the AIP system in the CSP and CAPF exam.

INS Karanj

  • INS Karanj is the third submarine of the first batch of six Kalvari-class submarines for the Indian Navy.
  • It is a diesel-electric attack submarine based on the Scorpene-class, designed by French naval defence and energy group DCNS and manufactured by Mazagon Dock Limited, an Indian shipyard in Mumbai.

What is AIP?

For this, we have to understand how a submarine works. Traditionally we hear about two types of submarines- Nuclear and Diesel Electric.

Diesel Electric Submarines

  • While Nuclear Submarines can stay submerged for a prolonged period and remain undetected, Diesel Electric submarines cannot do so, and they must surface after a stipulated time interval.
  • Their Diesel Propulsion would need air to run the engine like any other Vehicle or Aircraft engines and for this, they would need oxygen which is not available underwater.
  • Hence they have to move closer to the surface so that their engines can breathe air through their snorkels.

So, these diesel turbines charge the batteries available in the submarine and once the batteries are fully charged, the submarine goes underwater where the propeller shaft, as well as other systems, runs on the power stored in the batteries.

  • This makes the Submarine very much vulnerable to threats from Air, Sea or even underwater.
  • Not only has this, but the storage of excessive fuel also reduced the overall performance and weapon holding of the submarine too.

Why don’t we can induct only the Nuclear Submarines in the Navy?

  • Though nuclear submarines can stay underwater for months, they cannot do so with total stealth.
  • While a diesel-electric submarine (while underwater) is making no noise, Nuclear submarines have a lot of vibrations that are generated from the coolant pumping system of their reactors which must run nonstop.
  • This makes even nuclear submarines vulnerable to depth sonars.
  • Moreover, the manufacturing cost of these submarines is several times higher than those of diesel-electric ones.
  • So, the most effective and commercially viable solution is a diesel-electric submarine with AIP.

What is AIP, then?

  • Over the years the biggest challenge before the mariners was to ensure that the submarines can sustain underwater for a prolonged time.
  • AIP is any marine propulsion technology that allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen (by surfacing or using a snorkel).
  • While there are different types of AIP systems being pursued internationally, the DRDO has applied fuel cell-based AIP using hydrogen onboard.
  • Fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies
  • While the first two submarines (INS Kalvari & INS Khanderi) are equipped with French-made AIPs, the rest of the submarines will be equipped with an Indian system.

Note: The Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarine for the Indian Navy.

Significance for India

  • With this induction, India has joined the club of six other elites who have the capacity to design and install such complex systems.
  • These countries are France, China, Spain, Sweden, Germany and Russia.
  • Indian AIP system is unique. It is one of the most advanced AIP systems of the world where Fuel Cell technology is used to generate onboard power.
  • With indigenous AIP, submarines can stay underwater for more than 3 weeks in low consumption mode, more than 2 weeks in endurance mode and 2-4 days in max power mode.

Back2Basics: Various classes of Submarines in India

In maritime terms, a class of ships is a group of vessels that have the same make, purpose and displacement.

  • Chakra Class: Under a 10-year lease from Russia since 2012
  • Arihant Class: Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines
  • Shishumar Class: Diesel-electric attack submarines Indian variant of the Type 209 submarines developed by the German Navy
  • Kalvari Class: Diesel-electric attack submarines designed by French company DCNS
  • Sindhughosh Class: Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines built with the help of Russia

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[pib] Malabar Naval Exercises

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Malabar Exercises

Mains level : Not Much

The 24th edition of Malabar maritime exercise, hosted by Indian Navy in 2020, witnessed the participation by Indian Navy, United States Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defence Force and Royal Australian Navy.

Such news is nothing but the repetitive chunk that occurs every year with few or no new developments. Still, they are significant for the sake of information as Australia has joined it after several apprehensions.

 Question can be expected in CAPF, CDS or AFCAT exams.

About Ex. Malabar

  • Exercise Malabar is a trilateral naval exercise involving the US, Japan and India as permanent partners.
  • This year Australia has joined as a permanent partner.
  • Originally begun in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between India and the United States, Japan became a permanent partner in 2015.
  • Past non-permanent participants are Australia and Singapore.
  • The annual Malabar series began in 1992 and includes diverse activities, ranging from fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers through Maritime Interdiction Operations Exercises.

Significance of Australia’s inclusion

  • Earlier, India had concerns that it would give the appearance of a “quadrilateral military alliance” aimed at China.
  • Now both look forward to the cooperation in the ‘Indo-Pacific’ and the strengthening of defence ties.
  • This has led to a convergence of mutual interest in many areas for a better understanding of regional and global issues.
  • Both are expected to conclude the long-pending Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) as part of measures to elevate the strategic partnership.

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India’s efforts in increasing Maritime domain awareness

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC)

Mains level : Paper 3- Increasing maritime domain awareness

The article analyses India’s efforts in increasing the maritime domain awareness while increasing the cooperation with the neighbourhood and other countries.

Indian Navy improving domain awareness

  • The enemy at sea is often unrecognisable — a terrorist, a pirate, a criminal or a sea robber.
  • Of late, the Indian Navy has been on a drive to improve domain awareness in the Indian Ocean.
  • The Indian Navy’s efforts seem focused primarily on monitoring Chinese activity in the Eastern Indian Ocean, particularly in the seas around the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
  • The Navy is seeking to expand India’s surveillance footprint by setting up radar stations in the Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • Mauritius, the Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already integrated into the wider coastal radar chain network.

Increasing international cooperation

  • Seven Indian Ocean countries — Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles — will soon post Liaison Officers at the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region in Gurugram.
  • France already has an officer at the IFC.
  • Four other Indo-Pacific navies — Australia, Japan, the U.K and the U.S. — have also agreed to position officers at the centre.
  • As a result of such cooperation, IFC is fast emerging as the most prominent information hub in the Eastern Indian Ocean.
  • India is increasing engagement in the Western Indian Ocean by positioning a Liaison Officer at the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC) in Madagascar.
  • India has also posted an officer at the European Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH) in Abu Dhabi to assist in the monitoring of maritime activity.

Stronger partnership with France

  • Delhi’s moves in the Western and South-Western littorals have been facilitated by France.
  • Two countries have signed a logistics agreement in 2019.
  • France is keen for a stronger partnership in the maritime commons.
  • France has been instrumental in securing ‘observer’ status for India at the Indian Ocean Commission and is pushing for greater Indian participation in security initiatives in the Western Indian Ocean.
  • However, the Indian Navy’s priority remains South Asia, where the naval leadership remains focused on underwater domain awareness in the Eastern Indian Ocean.

Concerns over increasing Chines presence

  • There is concern that the Chines navy may be poised to develop a generation of quieter submarines that would be hard to detect.
  • As a result, India has moved to expand its underwater detection capabilities in the Eastern chokepoints. 
  • India might also partner Japan in installing an array of undersea sensors near the Andaman Islands to help detect Chinese submarines.

India as a security provider: Manifestation of SAGAR

  • India’s initiatives in the maritime domain are motivated by more than just strategic considerations.
  • Shipping agreements with 21 countries in the Indian Ocean have enabled a comprehensive picture of maritime traffic.
  • Efforts are under way to help smaller island states build capacity to combat regional threats.
  • India’s military satellite (GSAT-7A) may soon facilitate a real-time sharing of maritime information with partners.
  • These endeavours are a manifestation of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) that advances the idea of India as a ‘security provider’ and ‘preferred partner’ in the Indo-Pacific region.

Challenges

  • Indian initiatives, however, are yet to bring about an alignment of objectives and strategies of regional littoral states.
  • While cooperative information sharing allows for a joint evaluation of threats, countries do not always share vital information timeously.

Conclusion

To bring real change, India must ensure seamless information flow, generating operational synergy with partners, and aim to expand collaborative endeavours in shared spaces.

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Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : IMAC

Mains level : India's maritime security

India is looking at integrating more countries into coastal radar network IMAC.

What is IMAC?

  • The Indian Navy’s IMAC located in Gurugram which was set up after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks is the nodal agency for maritime data fusion.
  • It functions under the National Maritime Domain Awareness (NMDA) Project.
  • The NMDA project was launched in accordance with the vision of PM on SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).
  • The IMAC monitors movement of more than 120,000 ships a year passing through the Indian Ocean.
  • The cargo carried by these ships accounts for 66 per cent of world crude oil, 50 per cent of container traffic and 33 per cent of bulk cargo.
  • Thus, IMAC performs a very crucial role in collecting shipping information, analysing traffic patterns and sharing the inputs with the user agencies.

Mission SAGAR, unlike other missions, can create confusion with the name and its purpose. Make note of such special cases. UPSC can ask such questions as one liner MCQs.

Expanding IMAC

  • It is meant to enable real-time monitoring of the high seas for threats as also expand India’s assistance for capacity building to Indian Ocean littoral states.
  • Efforts are in advanced stages to set up coastal radar stations in Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already been integrated into the country’s coastal radar chain network.
  • Similar plans are in the pipeline with Maldives and Myanmar and discussions are ongoing with Bangladesh and Thailand.

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What is Project 17A?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Project 17A

Mains level : India's maritime capability

Himgiri, the first of the three stealth frigates being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata, under Project 17A for the Navy, was launched into the water.

Try this question:

Q“To be secure on Land, we must be Supreme at Sea”. In this context, discuss why India is primarily a Maritime Nation?

Project 17A

  • The coveted ‘Project 17A’ was cleared by the govt back in 2015.
  • It involves the building of seven stealth frigates at an estimated cost of Rs 50,000 crore.
  • Of these seven, the contract for three frigates was awarded to GRSE while the contract for another four frigates was awarded to Government-owned Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) which is based in Mumbai.
  • These frigates will come armed with advanced state-of-the-art sensors and boast of top-notch stealth features.
  • They will represent the most advanced class of major surface warships for the Indian Navy in a decade, also featuring BrahMos supersonic surface-to-surface missiles.
  • These will also have torpedoes and rockets to hit submarines and rapid-fire guns to destroy anti-ship missiles as well as a heavy main gun to engage ships and coastal target.

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Operation Trident and its significance

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Operation Trident

Mains level : Liberation of Bangladesh

Every year, India celebrates December 4 as Navy Day to commemorate Operation Trident – a key offensive during the 1971 India-Pakistan War. This year, it is the 50th anniversary of the victory in the 1971 War.

This newscard is crucial for the CAPF aspirants. It hardly holds any importance for CS prelims. But the grit, glory and honour of our armed forces is a matter of pride that every CS aspirants should know.

Operation Trident

  • The India-Pakistan War of 1971 had begun on December 3, when the Pakistan Air Force launched pre-emptive strikes on airfields in Western India.
  • Following the Battle of Longewala, the Indian Navy inflicted heavy damage on Pakistani vessels in Karachi harbour.
  • India responded by formally declaring war in the wee hours of December 4.
  • On December 4, under Operation Trident, the Indian Navy sank three vessels near the Pakistani port city of Karachi.
  • The Indian Air Force also played a crucial role, when Karachi’s Kemari oil tanks were strafed by the IAF on the same day in an independent operation which it did not claim.

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To be taken seriously, Quad needs military heft

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 3- Quad needs naval heft

The article suggests projection of naval power to ensure the stability in the Indian Ocean. 

Quad conducts Malabar exercise

  • In November, the Quad converged to continue the Malabar series, with a total of just eight ships.
  • The idea of Quad is to form a grouping of democratic nations in the Indian Ocean, and use naval power to convey a message to Beijing.
  • The message a grouping of eight ships would convey to a nation thinking in terms of five aircraft carriers remains would not be taken seriously.

Importance of naval power in ensuring oceanic stability

  • There is no substitute for naval power to ensure oceanic stability, but one alternative lies in the area of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). 
  • Perhaps, some thought may already have been given to MDA in the twin agreement to BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement), and Maritime Information Sharing Technical Agreement (MISTA) signed between India and the US.
  • There is little information available in the public domain about MISTA.
  • But MISTA should cover an omnibus agreement for Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) operating and information sharing for the entire Indo-Pacific.
  • The Pacific has a high density of MPA assets, while they are sparse in the Indian Ocean, particularly the western Indian Ocean.
  • The Australians can cover the Malacca Straits, but for the west Indian Ocean, the US will probably have to base a squadron of P-8 aircraft at Masirah or Diego Garcia.
  • Today, the primary weapon system of most warships is the surface-to-surface missile, with ranges of up to 200 km.
  • The ships’ sensor range is only up to 100 km.
  • So, accurate target information has to be supplied beyond 100 km by aircraft or helicopters in what is called Over the Horizon Targeting (OTHT).
  • With the Indo-Pacific fully covered by the MPAs of the Quad, a PLAN ship in the Indian Ocean is in imminent danger of being sunk at will

Conclusion

A public announcement of a division of the Indo-Pacific into areas of responsibility for MDA, between members of the Quad will send an unmistakable signal to Beijing. With a desultory Quad naval exercise, once a year of a few ships, Beijing will only be amused that a “threat” exists to its ambition to become a global power.

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National Maritime Domain Awareness Centre (NMDAC)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : IMAC, NMDAC

Mains level : India's maritime security

The Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), the nodal agency for maritime data fusion will soon become a National Maritime Domain Awareness (NMDA) centre.

Try this question:

Q“To be secure on Land, we must be Supreme at Sea”. In this context, discuss why India is primarily a Maritime Nation?

What is IMAC?

  • The IMAC monitors movement of more than 120,000 ships a year passing through the Indian Ocean.
  • The cargo carried by these ships account for 66 per cent of world crude oil, 50 per cent of container traffic and 33 per cent of bulk cargo.
  • Thus, IMAC performs a very crucial role in collecting shipping information, analysing traffic patterns and sharing the inputs with the user agencies.
  • It tracks vessels on the high seas and gets data from the coastal radars, white shipping agreements, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) transponders fitted on merchant ships, air and traffic management system and global shipping databases.

Transforming to NDMAC

  • The IMAC will soon transform into a national NMDA centre, wherein it will be a multi-agency centre.
  • The NMDA project was launched in accordance with the vision of PM on SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).
  • Approved by the Defence Acquisition Council in 2012, the IMAC became operational in 2014 and is located in Gurugram.
  • It is the nodal centre of the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence System (NC3I), which was established to link the Navy and the Coast Guard.

Why such a move?

  • India has a coast line of about 7500 km and an Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ) of over 2 million sq kms.
  • In addition, we are endowed with abundant oceanic wealth comprising a large number of island territories and vast sea bed area, over 97 % of our national trade is carried by sea routes.
  • It is therefore, imperative that we modernize the Navy which always has to be in a high state of preparedness.

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MQ-9B Sea Guardian Unarmed Drone

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : MQ-9B, BECA

Mains level : India-US defense cooperation

The Indian Navy has inducted two MQ-9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones procured from the U.S. on lease.

Try this question from CSP 2018:

Q.What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)”, sometimes seen in the news?

(a) An Israeli radar system

(b) India’s indigenous anti-missile programme

(c) An American anti-missile system

(d) A defence collaboration between Japan and South Korea

MQ-9B Sea Guardian

  • The Guardian, which is the maritime variant of the Predator MQ-9 UAV, has a maximum endurance of 40 hours and a maximum flying altitude of 40,000 feet.
  • It has 360-degree maritime surveillance radar and optional multimode maritime surface search radar.
  • The drone can perform over-the-horizon long-endurance, medium-altitude Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
  • The recently released Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 has introduced an option for leasing military platforms.
  • The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) has simplified such high- technology cooperation.

About BECA

  • BECA will help India get real-time access to American geospatial intelligence that will enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones.
  • Through the sharing of information on maps and satellite images, it will help India access topographical and aeronautical data, and advanced products that will aid in navigation and targeting.
  • This could be a key to Air Force-to-Air Force cooperation between India and the US.
  • BECA will provide Indian military systems with a high-quality GPS to navigate missiles with real-time intelligence to precisely target the adversary.
  • Besides the sailing of ships, flying off aircraft, fighting of wars, and location of targets, geospatial intelligence is also critical to the response to natural disasters.

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Exercise SITMEX-20

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise SITMEX

Mains level : NA

The second edition of the India, Thailand and Singapore trilateral naval exercise SITMEX-20 has concluded in the Andaman Sea.

Exercise SITMEX-20

  • The SITMEX series of exercises are conducted to enhance mutual inter-operability and imbibing best practices between IN, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Royal Thai Navy (RTN).
  • The first edition of SITMEX, hosted by Indian Navy, was conducted off Port Blair in September 2019.
  • The 2020 edition of the exercise is being hosted by RSN.
  • The maritime drill witnessed a variety of exercises including naval manoeuvres, surface warfare exercises and weapon firings.
  • Besides improving inter-operability, SITMEX series of exercise also aims to strengthen mutual confidence and develop common understanding and procedures towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.

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[pib] Project-75

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Arsenal of Indian Navy

Mains level : Modernisation of Indian Navy

The fifth Scorpene submarine of Project-75 named ‘Vagir’ has been launched at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.

In a rare case we would see a question based on various classes of Indian Submarines in the CSP. However, we can expect a question based on Project-75 in the CSP and CAPF exam very well.

About Vagir

  • Vagir, ex-Russia, named after the Sand Fish, a deadly deep-sea predator of the Indian Ocean, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on December 3, 1973, and was decommissioned on June 7, 2001.
  • In true nautical tradition, it is refurbished under the same name – Vagir.
  • It is rebuilt with superior stealth features (such as advanced acoustic absorption techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimized shape etc.) and precision-guided weapons.
  • The attack can be launched with both torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on the surface.

What is Project-75?

  • The Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarine for the Indian Navy.
  • In the late 1990s, around the time of Kargil war, a three-decade plan took shape for indigenous construction of submarines.
  • It was known to have two separate series of submarine building lines – codenamed Project 75 and Project 75I — in collaboration with foreign entities.
  • Under this project, the Indian Navy intends to acquire six diesel-electric submarines, which will also feature advanced air-independent propulsion systems.
  • This is for enabling them to stay submerged for longer duration and substantially increase their operational range.

Submarines commissioned till date

  • The submarines in the current Kalvari-class take their names from erstwhile decommissioned classes of submarines named Kalvari.
  • It included Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj and Vela class — which included Vela, Vagir, Vagsheer.
  • Two submarines of the ongoing project, Kalvari and Khanderi, have been commissioned into the Indian Navy.
  • The third submarine, Karanj, is in the last phase of rigorous sea trials.
  • The fourth Scorpene, Vela, has commenced her sea trials, whilst the sixth and last submarine, Vagsheer, is being readied for boot together.

Strategic importance of these submarines

  • India currently operates one submarine each in nuclear-powered Classes of Chakra and Arihant and in addition to 14 submarines belonging to three classes of Diesel Electric category — Kalvari, Shishumar and Sindhughosh, some of which are ageing.
  • The nuclear powered and diesel-electric submarines have their designated roles in the Carrier Battle Groups, which are formations of ships and submarines with Aircraft Carriers at the lead role.
  • As per the basic principles of submarine deployment and the minimum requirement for India to create a strategic deterrence, there is a specific number of submarines of both types that India needs to have in active service.
  • Currently, India has less number of submarines than what is required with some more of those from both types being at various stages of construction.

Back2Basics: Classes of Submarines in India

  • In maritime terms, a class of ships is a group of vessels which have the same make, purpose and displacement.
  • In the Navy and Coast Guard in India, the ships belonging to a particular class are named in a specific manner.
  • Many times the names have the same first letters, prefixes, similar meanings or the names belong to a particular type of words for example names of cities, persons, mythological concepts, animals, rivers, mountains, weapons, etc.
  • The class is generally named after the first vessel in the category. In some cases, a particular class of vessels takes their names from an earlier class of vessels which are now decommissioned.
  • Like Kalvari – which means Tiger Shark, Vagir has been named after a Sand Fish, a predatory marine species.
  • Khanderi has been named after an Island Fort built by Chhatrapati Shivaji, which played a key role in his Navy. Karanj has also been named after an Island located South of Mumbai.

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Malabar Naval Exercise

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Countries participating in exerciese

Mains level : Paper 3- Defence exercises

Upping the ante against China amid the ongoing LAC confrontations, Australia has formally accepted India’s invite for the upcoming Malabar Exercise.

About Ex. Malabar

  • Exercise Malabar is a trilateral naval exercise involving the United States, Japan and India as permanent partners.
  • Originally begun in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between India and the United States, Japan became a permanent partner in 2015.
  • Past non-permanent participants are Australia and Singapore.
  • The annual Malabar series began in 1992 and includes diverse activities, ranging from fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers through Maritime Interdiction Operations Exercises.

Significance of Australia’s inclusion

  • Earlier, India had concerns that it would give the appearance of a “quadrilateral military alliance” aimed at China.
  • Now both look forward to the cooperation in the ‘Indo-Pacific’ and the strengthening of defence ties.
  • This has led to a convergence of mutual interest in many areas for a better understanding of regional and global issues.
  • Both are expected to conclude the long-pending Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) as part of measures to elevate the strategic partnership.

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[pib] Exercise SLINEX-20

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SLINEX

Mains level : Not Much

The Eighth Edition of annual Indian Navy (IN) – Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX-20 is scheduled off Trincomalee.

About SLINEX-20

  • SLINEX-20 aims to enhance inter-operability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations between both navies.
  • In addition, the exercise will also showcase the capabilities of our indigenously constructed naval ships and aircraft.
  • SLINEX series of exercise exemplifies the deep engagement between India and Sri Lanka which has strengthened mutual cooperation in the maritime domain.
  • Interaction between the SLN and IN has also grown significantly in recent years, in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and the vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’.

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Dismantling INS Viraat

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : INS Viraat

Mains level : Not much

Decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat is set to be scrapped at a ship breaking yard at Alang in Gujarat soon.

In rarest case we would see a question based on this in CSP. However, we can expect a question based on INS Viraat in the CAPF exam very well.

INS Viraat

  • Viraat, a Centaur class aircraft carrier weighing 27,800 tonnes, served in the British Navy as HMS Hermes for 25 years from November 1959 to April 1984.
  • It was commissioned into the Indian Navy in May 1987 after refurbishment and had operated Harrier fighter jets.
  • It was decommissioned from in March 2017, and the Navy had been incurring expenditure since then on its upkeep, such as the provision of electricity and water, and repairs.
  • In 2018, the Maharashtra Cabinet approved a proposal to convert the carrier into a museum and hospitality centre on a PPP basis and had invited bids. But there were no takers.

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What are MK 54 torpedoes, AGM-84L Harpoon missiles that US has cleared for sale to India?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Read the attached story

Mains level : India-US arms trade

The US has approved a military sale to India of 16 MK 54 all round up lightweight torpedoes and ten AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles. India plans to use the equipment requested in both the deals on the Indian Navy’s Boeing P-8I maritime aircraft.

What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)” , sometimes seen in the news? (CSP 2018) .

MK 54 lightweight torpedo

  • The MK 54 lightweight torpedo is known as the Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo (LHT).
  • It weighs around 608 pounds, while its warhead weighs around 96.8 pounds and is highly explosive.
  • The primary use of this equipment is for offensive purposes when deployed by anti-submarine warfare aircraft and helicopters, and for defensive purposes when deployed by ships and against fast, deep-diving nuclear submarines and slow-moving, quiet, diesel-electric submarines.

AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles

  • The Harpoon missile system will be integrated into the P-8I aircraft to conduct anti-surface warfare missions in defence of critical sea lanes.
  • It uses GPS-aided inertial navigation to hit the designated target.
  • Its warhead weighs over 500 pounds and is capable of delivering lethal firepower against targets, including land-based targets, coastal defence sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft and industrial or port facilities.

About P-8I aircraft

  • Boeing’s P-8s are designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
  • The P-8s India version is called the P-8I, and helps the Indian Navy carry out important maritime operations.
  • According to Boeing, the aircraft can surpass 25,000 flight hours, and gives the Navy a significant edge in the strategically important Indian Ocean.
  • India currently has eight of these aircraft and is scheduled to receive four more by 2022.

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[pib] Bay of Bengal Offshore Sailing Expedition (BBSE)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Bay of Bengal Offshore Sailing Expedition (BBSE)

Mains level : Not Much

 

Indian Naval Sailing Vessels Mhadei and Tarini set sail for the Bay of Bengal Offshore Sailing Expedition from the Indian Naval Ocean Sailing Node at Goa.

BBSE

  • This would be the maiden major mixed crew sailing expedition of the Indian Navy with crew composition of five naval officers including two women officers in each boat.
  • It would be covering a total distance of 6,100 Nautical miles each and will be at sea for 55 days.
  • The prolonged voyage of nearly three months during this expedition would showcase harnessing of renewal energy namely wind energy to propel the boats.
  • The expedition is also in pursuance of the GOI mission of ‘Nari Shakti’ providing opportunity to women officers at par with men.
  • The sailing vessels as part of the expedition would make replenishment halts at ports of Phuket, Yangon, Chittagong and Colombo.

About the vessels

  • Mhadei and Tarini inducted in the Indian Navy on 08 February 2009 and 18 February 2017 respectively have been the vessels of choice for the naval expeditions in various sailing expeditions, including three circumnavigations and thus have thousands of miles tucked under their belt.
  • Mhadei has successfully completed two circumnavigations, three Cape to Rio trans-Atlantic races and several other expeditions around various continents.
  • The vessel has covered in excess of 1,36,000 nautical miles.
  • Tarini created history in 2017-18 when six Indian Naval women officers sailed the vessel on maiden circumnavigation voyage titled Navika Sagar Parikrama.
  • She thereafter also participated in mixed crew Kochi to Seychelles sail training expedition during the 10th-anniversary celebration of the IONS.

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[pib] Operation Vanilla

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : HADR, Op Vanila

Mains level : NA

Indian navy will perform HADR operations in Madagascar under ‘Operation Vanilla’.

Operation Vanilla

  • Indian Navy Ship Airavat whilst mission deployed in the Southern Indian Ocean has been diverted to Antsiranana based on request recieved from Madagascar.
  • The ship will undertake Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission as part of ‘Operation Vanilla’.
  • It has been launched to provide assistance to the affected population of Madagascar post devastation caused by Cyclone Diane.

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Exercise ‘Sahyog-Kaijin’

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise ‘Sahyog-Kaijin’

Mains level : NA

Exercise ‘Sahyog-Kaijin’

  • Indian and Japanese coast guards participated in a joint exercise ‘Sahyog-Kaijin’ on January 16.
  • The aim behind ‘Sahyog-Kaijin’ is to strengthen the bond between the two countries.
  • One ship of the Japanese Coast Guard and four ships and an aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard participated in the joint exercise.
  • The drill is a five-day event.

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[pib] Exercise MILAN 2020

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ex Milan

Mains level : Not Much

Visakhapatnam is set to host an International Naval event ‘MILAN’ in March 2020.

MILAN 2020

  • It is a multilateral naval exercise aimed to enhance professional interaction between friendly foreign navies and learn from each other’s strengths and best practices in the maritime domain.
  • The Exercise with the theme ‘Synergy Across the Seas’ would provide an excellent opportunity for Operational Commanders of friendly foreign navies to interact with each other in areas of mutual interest.
  • Of the 41 navies invited, confirmations from over 30 navies have been received towards their participation in MILAN 2020.

In continuity with:

[pib] Exercise MILAN 2020

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[pib] Operation Sankalp

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Op Sankalp

Mains level : Safeguards against the ongoing turmoil in the Gulf

Indian Navy has commenced Maritime Security Operations, code named Op SANKALP, in the Gulf region to ensure safe passage of Indian Flag Vessels transiting through the Strait of Hormuz.

Op Sankalp

  • Indian Navy warships and aircraft were deployed to establish presence, provide a sense of reassurance to the Indian merchantmen, monitor the ongoing situation and respond to any emergent crises.
  • The operation is being progressed in close coordination with all stakeholders including Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and DG, Shipping.
  • The Navy continues to monitor the situation in the Gulf region and is maintaining presence in the region to ensure security of our sea borne trade and the safety of Indian Flag Merchant Vessels transiting through the region.

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[pib] Exercise ‘Apharan’

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise ‘Apharan’

Mains level : Security of the Indian mercantile coasts

The Indian Navy, in collaboration with Indian Coast Guard conducted a large scale Anti Hijacking Exercise off the Port of Kochi.

Exercise ‘Apharan’

  • The Exercise code named “Apharan” saw participation of multiple agencies, including more than 12 ships and helicopters of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Cochin Port Trust.
  • This was the first time that such a large scale exercise involving all stake holders has been conducted in Kerala.
  • It was aimed at streamlining the response mechanism/ preparedness to thwart any attempt to hijack a merchant vessel or attempt forced entry of a rogue/commandeered merchant vessel into Indian harbour.

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[pib] NAVARMS-19

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NAVARMS-19

Mains level : Indian naval arsenal and its significance

The fourth edition of International Seminar cum Exhibition on Naval Weapon Systems ‘NAVARMS-19’ with the theme Make in India is set to be held.

NAVARMS

  • NAVARMS is the only international seminar and exhibition on Naval Weapon Systems conducted in the country to invite all the stakeholders in life cycle management of Naval Weapons and provide a common platform to share their views and concerns.
  • The event provides opportunity for exchange of ideas, create awareness and identify emerging prospects for Indian/International defence industry in domain of Naval Weapon Systems.

Significance

  • India’s quintessential maritime character and vital geo-strategic location are twin factors that have defined her growth as a nation and evolution as a civilization.
  • The Indian Navy today remains the principal manifestation of India’s maritime power and plays a central role in safeguarding and prompting her security and national interests in the maritime domain.
  • The Navy’s roles and responsibilities have also expanded significantly over the years in response to changing geo-economic and geo-strategic circumstances.
  • These roles necessitate a wide inventory of weapon systems that cater for India’s security-cum-threat calculus.

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Blue Water Force

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Color classification in Navy

Mains level : Indian naval arsenal and its significance

On the Navy Day, Raksha Mantri has greeted all naval personnel and called itself a formidable blue water force.

Blue Water Navy

  • A Blue Water Navy is one that has the capacity to project itself over a much bigger maritime area than its maritime borders.
  • Simply put, it is a Navy that can go into the vast, deep oceans of the world.
  • However, while most navies have the capacity to send ships into the deep oceans, a Blue Water Force is able to carry out operations far from its borders, without being required to return to its home port to refuel or re-stock.
  • While it is evident that Blue Water navies belong to the most powerful nations, there is no one internationally agreed upon definition.
  • Owning one or more aircraft carriers is sometimes seen as a marker.

Color classification in Navy

  • Navies are classified in terms of colours.
  • A navy whose operations are restricted close to the shore, where the water is muddy, is called a Brown Water Force.
  • A navy that can go farther out is called a Green Water Force. And then there is a Blue Water Force.

Defining Blue Water Navy

  • According to the Indian Maritime Doctrine, 2015 the ability to undertake distant operations distinguish a blue-water navy from a brown-water force.
  • It requires strong integral capacity, including logistics, surveillance, networked operations, etc., and enabling capability, including equipment design, training, doctrine and organisation.
  • It states distant operations rely upon the attributes of access, mobility, sustenance and reach in order to show presence, project power and/or accomplish other national objectives in the area of interest.
  • As the Indian Navy has the capacity to carry distant operations “at or from the sea, up to considerable distance from national shore bases”, it qualifies as a Blue Water Force.

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[pib] Exercise MILAN 2020

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the Exercise

Mains level : NA


Naval Exercise MILAN 2020 is scheduled to be held at Vishakhapatnam in March 2020 in which 41 countries have been invited.

About the Exercise

  • The Government pursues cooperation initiatives with friendly foreign countries including in Indian Ocean Region through structured interactions like Staff Talks, Empowered Steering Group etc.
  • The areas of cooperation include Capacity Building, Marine Domain Awareness, Training, Hydrography, Technical Assistance, Operational Exercise etc.
  • 41 countries including Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, South Korea, the US, the UK, Australia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Iran, Sri Lanka, Thailand among others are going to participate.

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[pib] Exercise Za’ir-Al-Bahr (Roar of the Sea)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the Exercise

Mains level : NA

Indian Navy has arrived at Doha for the inaugural edition of the Bilateral Maritime Exercise Za’ir-Al-Bahr (Roar of the Sea).

 Exercise Za’ir-Al-Bahr

  • The exercise is being conducted from 17 to 21 Nov 19 between the Indian Navy and Qatari Emiri Naval Forces.
  • Za’ir-Al-Bahr 2019 would strengthen cooperation and enhance interoperability between the two navies.
  • The Exercise will include a three-day Harbour Phase and Two days Sea Phase.
  • The activities during the harbour phase will include a seminar, professional interaction, official visits, sports fixtures along with social and cultural events.
  • The Sea Phase will include a Tactical Maritime Exercise involving the domains of Surface Action, Air Defence, Maritime Surveillance and Interdiction Operation and anti-terrorism.

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[pib] Exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the Exercise

Mains level : Maritime Security in Bay of Bengal region

  • India Navy and Indonesian navy hold Joint Naval Exercise “Samudra Shakti” In Bay Of Bengal.

Ex. Samudra Shakti

  • It is a joint exercise between Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy.
  • The joint exercises include manoeuvres, Surface Warfare exercises, Air Defence exercises, Weapon firing drills, Helicopter Operations and Boarding Operations.
  • The Harbour Phase included professional interactions in the form of Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE), cross deck visits, simulator drills, planning conferences, sports fixtures and social interactions.

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Place in news: INS Baaz

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : INS Baaz

Mains level : Maritime Security in Bay of Bengal region


  • Recently Navy Chief Admiral visited INS Baaz, the southernmost air station of the Indian Armed Forces.

INS Baaz

  • The Indian Naval Station (INS) ‘Baaz’ was commissioned in July 2012, and is the southernmost air station of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • INS Baaz is located at Campbell Bay on the Great Nicobar island, the southernmost and largest island in the UT of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • It is a part of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-services formation of the Indian Armed Forces that was started in 2001.
  • This island is also the location of the Indira Point and is less than 250 km by sea from Banda Aceh in Indonesia.
  • Campbell Bay, where the base is located, is more than 1,500 km away from the Indian mainland, and 500 km from Port Blair.

Significance

  • The A&N Islands are strategically important for India’s national security as they provide a critical capability to monitor sea areas in the region.
  • The primary functions of the INS Baaz include helping build Maritime Domain Awareness by providing information via airborne surveillance using aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
  • The base was first equipped with a runway of 3,500 feet but was later lengthened to enable larger aircraft to operate from it.
  • The location has been described as India’s “window into East and Southeast Asia”, and is in close vicinity of the Six Degree Channel, also called the Great Channel.
  • It is one of the Indian Ocean’s busiest shipping lines, carrying strategic cargo to East Asian countries.
  • It is also close to the Strait of Malacca. The INS Baaz helps to ensure maritime security in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
  • The base also assists the local populace in times of need such as facilitating evacuation during medical emergencies.

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[pib] Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) 2019

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CORPAT

Mains level : India's engagement with Bay of Bengal neighbors

  • The second edition of Indian Navy (IN) –Bangladesh Navy(BN) Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) has commenced in Northern Bay of Bengal.

IN-BN CORPAT

  • It is aimed at upgrading to a bilateral exercise with the navies engaging in seamanship evolutions, flying exercises with integral helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft at sea.
  • Additionally, exercises entailing the development of mutual communication and sharing of best practices would also be undertaken, adding a new dimension to the Indo – Bangladesh maritime relations.
  • Both navies hone their mutual cooperation whilst patrolling near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) during the current edition of CORPAT.

 Background

  • CORPAT is an Indian Navy tactical procedure on behalf of Indian “Wannabe” diplomatic ambitions rather than a Multi National Treaty.
  • CORPAT has been carried out with Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Thailand.
  • It is a naval procedure that India carries out with any other country that is willing in an attempt at showing the flag as a diplomatic maneuver.

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[pib] Exercise MALABAR  2019

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise Malabar

Mains level : Significance of the multilateral exercise

  • The 23rd edition of the Trilateral Maritime Exercise MALABAR, is scheduled between the navies of India, Japan and USA from 26 Sep to 04 Oct 19 off the coast of Japan.

Exercise Malabar

  • Exercise Malabar is a trilateral naval exercise involving the United States, Japan and India as permanent partners.
  • Originally begun in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between India and the United States, Japan became a permanent partner in 2015.
  • Past non-permanent participants are Australia and Singapore.
  • The annual Malabar series began in 1992 and includes diverse activities, ranging from fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers through Maritime Interdiction Operations Exercises.
  • Malabar 2019 would encompass conduct of complex maritime operations in the surface, sub-surface and air domains, and focus on Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Air, Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) including Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) etc..
  • In addition, the partner navies would conduct official protocol visits, professional interactions including Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE), reciprocal ship visits, sports fixtures and social events during the harbour phase.

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[pib] Exercise Samudra Laksamana

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise Samudra Laksamana

Mains level : Indian ocean security

  • The Indian Navy and Malaysian Navy had recently participated in the bilateral exercise ‘Samudra Laksamana’.

Exercise Samudra Laksamana

  • The exercise includes two phases: A harbour phase wherein professional interactions social engagements, visits by the local populace and various sports events would be conducted.
  • The Sea Phase of the exercise would enable the two navies to further sharpen their skills in order to enhance interoperability between the navies to ensure peaceful and secure seas for all.
  • From the Indian side, Indian Navy Ships Sahyadri and Kiltan will participate in the exercise.
  • The visit of the IN ships would further bolster the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries and contribute to the security and stability in the region.

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[pib] Operation Sankalp

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Op Sankalp

Mains level : Maritime security and logistics

Operation Sankalp

  • Indian Navy launched Operation Sankalp in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to reassure Indian flagged vessels transiting through the area following the recent maritime incidents in the region.
  • The operation has been launched in the wake of escalating tension in the Gulf of Oman, where two oil tankers were attacked last week.
  • INS Chennai and INS Sunayna have been deployed in the region to undertake maritime security operations.
  • In addition, aerial surveillance in the area is also being done by IN aircraft.
  • The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region of the Indian Navy keeps watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region.

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[pib] Sahara Hostel

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sahara hostels

Mains level : Empowerment of veer naris

  • Lt Governor of Delhi has inaugurated the Sahara Naval Hostel for the ‘Veer Naris’

Sahara Naval Hostel

  • Sahara Hostel is a unique and first of its kind initiative by the Indian Navy for the welfare of the Naval Widows/Veernaris.
  • It is aimed towards providing support to the lady and their families in the period immediately after the unfortunate demise of their husbands.
  • Only those widows who have completed the requisite period in Government accommodation after the demise of their husbands are eligible to apply for stay in the hostel for one year.
  • Extension beyond this period will be considered based on availability and merits of the case.
  • The unique project has been built in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnership with National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC).
  • It comprises compact suites equipped with all necessary amenities for dignified living, along with a common Dining Hall and a Community Hall.

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Exercise Group Sail

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise Group Sail

Mains level : Ensuring safe and open sea lanes

Exercise Group Sail

  • Two Indian naval ships joined their counterparts from the US, Japan, and The Philippines for a “Group Sail” exercise through the contested waters of the South China Sea.
  • In China, the ships took part in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the People’s Liberation Army (Navy).
  • The ships undertook various exercises en route which included formation manoeuvering, under way replenishment runs, cross-deck flying and exchange of sea riders.
  • The group sail exercise showcased India’s commitment to operating with like-minded nations to ensure safe maritime environment through enhanced interoperability.

Importance of the exercise

  • The exercise comes at a time when India has been warily looking at increased Chinese activity in the northern Indian Ocean, traditionally seen as India’s backyard.
  • The presence of Chinese ships and submarines has been on the rise.
  • In 2017, China opened its first overseas military facility in Djibouti and has also been investing heavily in infrastructure along Africa’s eastern coast – in Tanzania and Kenya – as part of its ambitious OBOR initiative.
  • This move underlined India’s commitment to working with partners to ensure safe and open sea lanes.

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Fourth Scorpene-class submarine INS Vela launched

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : INS Vela, Project 75

Mains level : India's naval arsenal

  • The Scorpene-class submarine Vela, the fourth of six underwater warships being built in India with French collaboration, was launched in Mumbai.

INS Vela

  • The submarine has been named ‘Vela’ after an earlier lead submarine of the erstwhile Vela class, which was the second batch of the Foxtrot class submarines acquired from erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
  • INS Vela is the fourth Scorpene class Submarine of Project 75.
  • INS Kalvari, the first of the Scorpene-class submarines, was commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 14, 2017.
  • INS Khanderi and INS Karanj are in advanced stages to join the fleet.
  • The remaining two — INS Vagir and INS Vagsheer are in the advanced stages of manufacturing.

Scorpene Class Submarine: What it means?

  • The Scorpene class submarines have the capability to be operational in any theatre also have the capability of undertaking different types of missions, which include anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance.
  • They have top end stealth features which includes advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons.

Who built it?

  • The State-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited has entered into a contract for construction and transfer of technology for six Scorpene-class submarines with French collaborator Ms Naval Group (formerly DCNS).

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Indian Navy Updates

[pib] Exercise Cutlass Express 2019

Note4students

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: Exercise Cutlass Express 2019

Mains level:  India-US strategic relations


News

  • INS Trikand, a front-line warship of the Indian Navy, recently participated in a multinational training exercise ‘CUTLASS EXPRESS – 19’ held from 27 Jan to 06 Feb 19.

Exercise Cutlass Express 2019                                       

  1. Cutlass Express 2019 is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and is conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa.
  2. It is an exercise designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security in East Africa as well as information sharing, planning and operating.
  3. The aim of the exercise was to improve law enforcement capacity, promote regional security and progress inter-operability between the armed forces of the participating nations.
  4. During the exercise, Naval, Coast Guard and Marine Police personnel from a number of East African countries were jointly trained by mentors from USA, India, and Netherlands, with support of international organisations.

Role of Indian Navy

  1. The Indian Navy played a significant role in the exercise, being involved in planning, coordination and execution.
  2. Through INS Trikand, the IN provided a platform for live Visit Board Search Seizure (VBSS) drills, which proved to be of immense training value to the participating nations.

About INS Trikand 

  1. INS Trikand is equipped with a versatile range of sensors and weapons enabling her to address threats in all the three dimensions – air, surface and sub-surface.
  2. It is an ideal platform for prolonged deployments, including the present one, in which she is carrying out Presence and Surveillance missions and Anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and Western Arabian Sea.
  3. The ship is a part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet and operates under the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, headquartered at Mumbai.

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Indian Navy Updates

Exercise Sea Vigil

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Security | Security challenges and their management

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Exercise Sea Vigil

Mains level:  India’s maritime Security


News

Exercise Sea Vigil

  1. Ten years after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, India conducted its largest coastal defence drill, Exercise Sea Vigil.
  2. The exercise aims to test its preparedness along the entire 7,516.6 km-long-coastline and exclusive economic zone of the country.
  3. Exercise Sea Vigil aims to comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of the measures taken since 26/11.
  4. It aims to simultaneously activate the coastal security mechanism across all 13 coastal States and Union Territories.
  5. This involves the evaluation of critical areas and processes, including inter-agency coordination, information sharing and technical surveillance.
  6. Multi agency audit and identification of gaps, shortfalls and incorporation of lessons learnt into Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are also the desired outcomes.

Role of Indian Navy

  1. Post 26/11, the Navy was designated as the agency responsible for overall maritime security, including offshore and coastal security.
  2. The Coast Guard was designated as the agency responsible for coastal security in territorial waters.
  3. A multi-tiered patrol and surveillance mechanism with focus on technical surveillance and augmenting Maritime Domain Awareness through the coastal radar chain was adopted.
  4. Progress has been made in real-time information sharing through the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence (NC3I) Network and improving intelligence and operational coordination.

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