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Saturday, 28 November 2015

From Today's Papers - 28 Nov 2015

Israel tests hi-tech surface-to-air missile co-developed with India
Jerusalem, November 27
For the first time, the Israeli military has successfully tested from a ship an advanced surface-to-air missile co-developed with India which will be deployed to secure vital offshore assets like gas fields.

“A Barak 8 missile fired from an Israeli Navy ship successfully intercepted an enemy target registering 100 per cent success,” Israeli military sources said.

The Barak 8 was tested from a ship for the first time and intercepted a small drone simulating an enemy craft. The system extends the range of Israel’s aerial defence and should be operational in about two years.

“The next test on the system is likely to be held in December this year onboard an Indian navy vessel,” they said.

INS Kolkata is the Indian ship likely to be used for testing as the launchers and radars to track missiles are already installed on the vessel.

The missile is being jointly developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and other companies.

Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will be assigned the task of producing the missiles with 32 initial ones to be fitted on INS Kolkata.

Israeli security sources said the missile system would be deployed to secure offshore gas fields.

It will help defend Israeli navy ships from anti-ship missiles like the Yakhont missile.

Designed to defend against a variety of short-to-long- range airborne threats, including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, drones and projectiles, Barak-8 incorporates a state-of-the-art phased array multi-mission radar, two-way data link and a flexible command and control system, enabling users to simultaneously engage multiple targets day and night and in all-weather conditions, defence sources here said. — PTI
Missile will ramp up naval warship potency
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
The long-range surface-to-air missile that has been successfully tested against a flying target from an Israeli warship will be the main stay of the Navy in the year to come.

The missile has a range of 80 km and height ceiling of 16 km. It will have the ability to simultaneously engage 12 targets with 24 missiles.

The DRDO is tasked with producing the propulsion rocket system, thrust vector system and certain other components.

The Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI) has built the seeker and the last stage avionics.

Once the missile is okayed, frontline Indian warships will carry it. Fifteen warships, including the Vikramaditya and under-construction aircraft carrier Vikrant will have these. It’s easier to fit the missile on under-construction ships. Fitting it onto the existing platforms like the Vikramaditya will be a complex procedure and it will entail some cutting through the deck, a period of eight to nine months will be needed to do this.

The test was to launch the missile from a moving warship and verify its ability to identify and kill the target mid-air while even changing course mid-flight. The missile costs Rs 2,606 crore – approximately $450 billion.

This will be a generational shift over the in-use Barak 1 missile system which has been fitted on a host of naval ships, including aircraft carrier INS Viraat. The new missile guarantees protection to a ship from an aircraft or even a sea-skimming cruise missile.

Only a few missile systems offer protection to ships against aircraft and very few can stop sea-skimming cruise missiles. A sea-skimming missile is difficult to detect.
MHA seeks paramilitary forces’ views
New Delhi, November 27
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked for views and comments of all five paramilitary forces on the Seventh Central Pay Commission (CPC) recommendations.

In a letter, the MHA has requested the paramilitary forces — the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) — to send their views on the CPC’s report to the ministry by December 2.

BSF's Director General DK Pathak today said, “Discussions are going on (in regard to the CPC’s recommendations). We have asked for the views on it from all our formations. At this stage it is difficult for me to say if we are happy or not. Let the reaction of the force come, we will compile it and send it to the MHA.” — TNS
Three cheers to Indian Army as NDA toppers call it ‘first choice’
In 2015, the Indian Army is falling short by 18% with an existing strength of 40,525 officers, when it can accommodate 49,737 officers
IT CAME as a sigh of relief for the Indian Army, fearing a shortage of officers, when the toppers of NDA’s 129th batch showed their preference for it over the Navy or the Air Force.

Divisional Cadet Captain (DCC) Rakesh Kadian, Battalion Cadet Captain (BCC) Abhishek Kundalia and Cadet Jitender Kumar who topped in Science, Social Sciences and Computer Science respectively, have chosen Army as their preferred career choice and will be heading to the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun for specialised training.

According to the recent data, the Indian Army in 2015 is falling 18 per cent short, with an existing 40,525 working officers, while it can accommodate 49,737 officers. The decision that the toppers of NDA have made is a positive sign, say experts.

Cadet Jitender Kumar, who got Commandant’s Silver Medal for standing first in Computer Science stream with the highest FGPA (Final Grade Point Average) and also bagged the Chief of Naval Staff Trophy for standing first among all the three streams, said that he wishes to join the Military Intelligence after completing his training at the IMA.

Kumar whose origins are in Haryana, first came to Pune after clearing the entrance exam for IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research). However, six months into the course, he came to know that he has cleared the NDA entrance exam, after which he quit the former institute. “I feel proud. I never thought I’d top the class when I came here. But after I stood first in the first term, I realised that it was possible to clinch the trophy. My grandfather and father both served the Army, so it was an obvious choice for me,” said Kumar.

DCC Rakesh Kadian, whose father is a farmer and mother a housewife, says that it was his uncle who inspired him to join the armed forces. Kadian, who hails from Jhajjar district of Haryana, says that the villagers respected his uncle who served the Army a lot. “My parents asked me to appear for the NDA entrance as they wanted me to be like my mamaji (uncle).” Kadian studied in R.E.D Senior Secondary School in Jhajjar, which has given 11 cadets to NDA in the past. “After my selection at the NDA, the rigorous physical activity didn’t bring me down because in Haryana, we’re used to tough physical work. Although communication was a hassle, as years passed by, my language skills improved,” said Kadian, who now speaks fluently in English. Kadian’s choice after training at IMA is Artillary, a branch of Indian Army.

BCC Abhishek Kundalia, who hails from Uttarakhand, comes from a military background. While his father has served the Navy, his uncle was an officer in the Army. Kundalia has set his eyes on the Gorkha Regiment, which he feels suits him the best. “We lived with the Gorkha infantry, and on a field visit, I loved it.” Kundalia hails from Dehradun, where the IMA is based. “There’s just one hill separating my house and the IMA, I’m excited to go back to my hometown,” he said.
Indian army foils major fidayeen attack, three ultras and a civliian killed, one solider injured
Indian Army on Wednesday repulsed a major fidayeen (suicidal) attack on the Gorkha Riffles (GR) camp when they killed three ultras before they could storm the facility at Tangdhar area near the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir's Kupwara district. A civilian, however, lost his life while a solider sustained injuries in the attack.

The incident occurred around 6.15 am when three fidayeens lobbed grenades and used under-barrel grenade launchers on the 3/1 GR camp at Tangdhar from the nearby ridgeline on the rear side of the facility.

Some grenades hit an oil depot setting off huge fire balls in the air. Plumes of smoke were seen blowing inside the camp as the troops swiftly engaged the ultras in a fierce gun fight. Special Forces were immediately rushed in to the area to smoke out the militants who were hiding outside the camp site.

Three ultras were later gunned down by the troops in a fierce gunfight. A civilian, working with army as generator operator, was also killed while a soldier received wounds in the attack.

The slain civilian has been identified as Tanvir Ahmed Sheikh of Tangdhar Kupwara. Some vehicles of the troopers were also damaged in the gunfight.

"The terrorists had tried to sneak into an army camp in the early hours firing indiscriminately which resulted in the killing of one civilian and injuring army personnel. The terrorists were effectively intercepted by the army's Quick Reaction Teams which hemmed them in a cordon thus preventing their escape. In the ensuing gun fight, three terrorists were killed," Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar.

Indian Army also denied some reports that fidayeen had managed to storm the camp. "No, they (ultras) could not enter into the camp", said Colonel Joshi.

Indian Army has launched a massive combing operation to sanitise the area and find out if any ultra is hiding there. "Three weapons have so far been recovered from the dead terrorists. Operations are in progress to fully sanitise the area," said the defence spokesman.

Dreaded Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit has claimed responsibility for the Tangdhar attack. Muhammad Hassan Shah, spokesperson of the Jaish, called up a local news agency claiming that the three ultras "stormed the camp soon after fajr (morning) prayers and inflicted heavy loss to the troops."

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