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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

From Today's Papers - 29 Apr 2015

Army, IAF test their men, machines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The integrated Army-Air Force exercise, Bramhshira, being conducted by the Kharga Corps, concluded in the deserts of the Suratgarh sector in Rajasthan yesterday evening.

Over 20,000 soldiers and integrated combat elements of the Corps participated in the exercise under the aegis of the Western Command.

The focus of the exercise was on new and efficient ways of fighting a war in a synergised battlefield. The drill was aimed at validating strategic and operational concepts. The Kharga Corps executed swift battle maneuvers both by day and night. The application of operational and logistics concepts in a networked environment was also tested.

The exercise, named after the mythological divine weapon having total annihilation capability, was progressively structured and the participating units and formations were put through their paces in a simulated and realistic battlefield environment. All elements of command, combat decision-making and information warfare were activated during the exercise.
Army Major, team look for survivors
Jammu: An Army Major from J&K and his team are scanning Base Camp 1 of the Mount Everest to locate climbers, who went missing after the devastating 7.9 magnitude quake struck Nepal on April 25.

An ace climber from Badhori village in Samba district, Major Ranvir Jamwal is leading an Army expedition team to the Everest with a dual purpose-to mark 50 years of climb of the first Indian team and bring down over 4,000 kg trash left behind on slopes of the peak.   "When the quake struck, my brother was at Base Camp 1 along with his team. They are all safe and are now assisting the Army in the rescue operations," said Ranvir's brother Dharamvir Singh Jamwal.
Make in India: Bharat Forge & Punj Lloyd in race for Rs 16,800 crore contract to make anti-aircraft guns

NEW DELHI: Bharat Forge and Punj Lloyd have emerged as the only contenders for a Rs 16,800-crore mega contract to replace the ageing anti-aircraft guns of the Indian Army.

With the defence ministry looking to go ahead with trials and field tests to pick the winner, the two private companies are set to compete for one of the largest army projects under the 'Make in India' programme.

The project — involving manufacturing of 1,102 air defence guns over the n ..

In the first stage, the manufacturer will have to supply the army with 428 guns over the next five years. The mega contract also involves churning out several lakh rounds of ammunition in India.

However, a long process lies ahead, including extensive field tests for accuracy and reliability, quality checks and scrutiny of the finances of the competitors. In the past, it has taken two-three years to select a winning bid in such contracts.

This will be a pilot project under the M ..

Read more at:
House panel warns against poor roads along China
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
In a telling reminder of India’s woeful road infrastructure in the border areas along China, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has warned that poor road connectivity in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, could delay the Indian Army’s response while it has suggested immediate all-weather road connection between Zanskar in western part of Ladakh and Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh to open up an alternative and shorter route to Kargil and Zanskar.

The Committee headed by Lt Gen BC Khanduri (retd), now an elected BJP MP from Uttarakhand, submitted its report to both Houses of Parliament yesterday. This report is on ‘civil expenditure of Ministry of defence’ and deal with use of Capital budget of the MoD. The Committee was concerned at the lack of infrastructure in Tawang -- in Western Arunachal Pradesh.

During the 1962 conflict, the Chinese had descended down the same route to outclass the Indian Army resulting in humiliating defeat and Tawang remains a flashpoint between the two countries. The report said the committee was dismayed to note that in Tawang area the situation is still very critical in-so-far as connectivity is concerned.   “In case of a war, the Army cannot reach there in a day while our neighbouring country (it borders only China) can reach the borders within two or three hours”, the report said.

Expressing concern, it says, “This is a matter of great concern with regard to our defence preparedness. The committee recommends good quality roads in this area (Tawang) on priority basis”  On connecting Ladakh with Himachal Pradesh the report said “the committee recommends construction of Nimo-Padum-Darcha road”. Sources have explained this saying a survey was carried out last summer and the Army proposed to connect Padum in Zanskar, Ladakh, with an existing road (70 km away from it) in Himachal Pradesh, separated by high mountains.

The Army has suggested that the existing jeep track from Padum to the base of the 16,700-foot-high Shingo-La on the Zanskar side be metalled and a tunnel be made under the pass that will open near Chikka village in Lahaul Spiti. This will then connect to Darcha. This will provide access to existing road meandering down from Keylong to Chamba towards Pathankot and also the Manali—Chandigarh road.

The proposed move, will be a boon for the remote Zanskar region where people have to trek of frozen rivers during winters besides providing an alternative shorter route to Kargil, which is already connected with Padum. The route has lesser snow and roads are at lower altitudes. During winters Army equipment and men can only be moved onboard the daily flights of IL-76 from Chandigarh and in case of a war-like scenario, the air effort will be the only option.

In 1999 Kargil,  located along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, saw a limited war. Road access is through two circuitous routes. One of the existing routes is Jammu-Srinagar-Sonamarg-Dras-Kargil- dotted by the Zojila pass and the ‘Z-Morh’ which get heavy snowfall. The other route, Manali-Keylong-Leh, is dotted with one of the highest motorable passes in the world which are open only for four months or so, that too with engineering efforts.
Army, IAF activate disaster management mechanism for Nepal
Army's Gajaraj Corps and Indian Air Force (IAF), Tezpur, today activated disaster management mechanism for providing medical relief to people in earthquake-hit Nepal.

According to a defence spokesman, in this joint disaster management operation, a C-17 aircraft from Palam air base captained by Wing Commander Abbi arrived at Air Force Station Tezpur to airlift an Army medical team to Kathmandu.

The Army medical team comprised a surgical team, an orthopaedic team and a trauma management team headed by Col Alok Sen along with 9 medical officers, 3 Junior Commissioned Officers and 51 other personnel, the spokesman said.

The armed forces have provided other logistical support as well in this humanitarian assistance to a neighbouring country hit by a natural calamity in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pledge to provide assistance to Nepal following the massive earthquake in the last two days, he added.

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