Year End Review – 2019 Ministry of Defence.

2019 was a year full of remarkable events for Ministry of Defence.In a landmark decision with tremendous reform in higher defence management in the country, the Government has approved to create the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in the rank of a four-star General with salary and perquisites equivalent to a Service Chief.

The CDS will also head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), to be created within the Ministry of Defence and function as its Secretary. This follows the announcement made by the Prime Minister on August 15, 2019, in his address to the nation, inter alia, “India should not have a fragmented approach. Our entire military power will have to work in unison and move forward…All the three (Services) should move simultaneously at the same pace. There should be good coordination and it should be relevant to the hope and aspirations of our people. It should be in line with the changing war and security environment with the world…after formation of this post (CDS), all the three forces will get effective leadership at the top level.”The decision will lead to improved coordination between the Armed Forces and make them more effective. The other major decisions and events related to Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces are as follows:

• Prime Minister dedicated to the nation the National War Memorial in a solemn ceremonial function on February 25 near India Gate. The memorial has been erected in the memory of those soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation after India became Independent in 1947.

• In an intelligence led operation in the early hours of February 26, India struck the biggest training camp of Jaish e Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot, Pakistan. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar, Chief of JeM. This was in response to February 14, 2019 suicide terror attack, conducted by a Pakistan based terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammad that led to the martyrdom of 40 brave jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

• It was a red-letter day in the history of Indian Air Force when Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh participated in the Rafale fighter aircraft handing over ceremony at Merignac in France in October. The Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft will make India stronger and give a boost to its air dominance to ensure peace and security in the region. Raksha Mantri also flew a sortie in the fighter aircraft.

• Shri Rajnath Singh became the first Raksha Mantri to fly the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Airport in Bengaluru, on September 2019.

• Raksha Mantri handed over Medium Range Surface-to-Air-Missileto Indian Air Force at the Bharat Dynamics Limited premises in Hyderabad on August 3 on the occasion of Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Defence PSU.

• Shri Rajnath Singh, on June 18, announced the restoration of the ‘ration in kind’ for the officers of the threeArmed Forces posted in peace areas.

• Raksha Mantri gave in principle approval to four-times enhancement of monetary assistance to Next of Kin of all categories of Battle Casualty from Rs two lakh to Rs eight lakh. Extension of retention of government accommodation by Battle Casualties for a period of one year instead of three months was also approved.

• Ushering in vast improvement in the connectivity of roads and bridges in border areas, Raksha Mantri inaugurated one kilometre long Ujh bridge in Kathua district, 617.40 Metre long Basantar bridge in Samba district of Jammu & Kashmir on July 20.

• Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated strategically important Col ChewangRinchen bridge connecting Durbuk and Daulat Beg Oldie in Eastern Ladakh on October 21.

• Raksha Mantri, on November 15, inaugurated strategically important Sisseri River Bridge, which connects Lower Dibang Valley with East Siang in Arunachal Pradesh.

• Government decided to honour the contribution of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by naming the Strategic Tunnel under Rohtang Pass after him on December 25, 2019, which happens to be his birthday. The historic decision to construct a strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 03, 2000 when late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) worked relentlessly to overcome major geological, terrain and weather challenges that included the most difficult stretch of the 587-metre Seri Nalah Fault Zone.

• Shri Rajnath Singh spent a ‘Day-at-Sea’ onboard INS Vikramaditya on September 9 off the Goa coast. During his stay on the biggest ship of Indian Navy, Raksha Mantri witnessed a wide range of naval operations, including weapon firing by the fighter aircraft and night flying operations by helicopter from the deck of the Aircraft Carrier.

• On 20 February, the then Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 12th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition at Bengaluru which witnessed participation of more than 600 Indian Companies and 200 foreign companies. A total of 61 aircraft participated in the event.

• Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh flagged off special plogging awareness drive rally in Delhi Cantt on December 7, as part of Swachhta Pakhwada to create awareness against single use plastic in the country. He himself took part in the event by picking waste material from the area.More than 3,000 people, including schoolchildren participated in the plogging and collected sizeable single use plastic waste.



Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh visited various countries, including United States, France, Russia, Ukraine, Japan and South Korea in a bid to strengthen bilateral and multilateral defence cooperation. Various issues, including counter-terrorism operations, Indo-Pacific and South China Sea were discussed during these visits.

• Shri Rajnath Singh and Dr S Jaishankar took part in the India-US 2+2 dialogue between the Defence & External Affairs Ministers of India and their US counterparts in Washington on December 18. Both sides committed to further deepen military-to-military cooperation, including between the Indian Navy and the US Navy Fleets under US Indo-Pacific Command, Central Command, and Africa Command and intend to expand similar cooperation between their respective Armies and Air Forces.

• India-Japan 2+2 dialogue was held in New Delhi on November 30. Shri Rajnath Singh and Dr S Jaishankar participated in the meeting with their Japanese counterparts. They affirmed that the dialogue will further enhance the strategic depth of bilateral security and defence cooperation.

• Raksha Mantri, during his visit to Japan, held the annual Defence Ministerial Meeting with his Japanese counterpart on September 2 in Tokyo. Both ministers discussed ways to further strengthen the existing bilateral co-operative arrangements and adopt new initiatives towards achieving peace and security in the region.

• Shri Rajnath Singh visited Thailand’s capital Bangkok to attend the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) on November 17. He also held various bilateral meetings with the leaders of US, Thailand, Japan, Australia & New Zealand and discussed ways to further improving the ties.

• During his visit to Republic of Korea, Shri Rajnath Singh held talks with Minister of National Defence of Republic of Korea in Seoul on September 6. He also addressed CEOs of Korean and Indian Defence Industries. India and Republic of Korea formulated a roadmap to take bilateral Defence Industry co-operation forward to the next level.

• Raksha Mantri and his Singaporean counterpart co-chaired the 4th Singapore-India Defence Ministers' Dialogue in Singapore on November 20. Both Ministers expressed satisfaction at the deepening defence ties between India & Singapore and reaffirmed their commitment to support further initiatives that would promote stability to the region. The inaugural edition of the Singapore-India-Thailand Maritime Exercise (SITMEX) in the Andaman Sea was conducted in September.

• Shri Rajnath Singh participated in the 18th meeting of Council of Heads of Government of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at Tashkent in Uzbekistan on November 2. He held talks with the Uzbek Defence Minister and signed three MoUs to enhance cooperation in Military Medicine & Military Education. He also attended the ‘Curtain Raiser’ of first-ever India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise ‘Dustlik 2019’.

• Shri Rajnath Singh co-chaired the 19thIndia-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation in Moscow along with his Russian counterpart.

• Continuing with his high-level engagements in Mozambique, Raksha Mantri on July 30 held discussions with Minister of Interior, Mr Jaime Basilio Monteiro in Maputo. Raksha Mantri gifted 44 SUVs to the Minister of Interior.

• Mozambique’s Defence Minister visited India and held a meeting with Shri Rajnath Singh on November 29. Both sidesreiterated their commitment to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation.

• Maldives Defence Minister paid an official visit to India in January. The Minister held a meeting with the then Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, with both sides reiterating India’s commitment to contribute towards capacity building and training requirements of the Maldives National Defence Forces.

• In February, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman visited Germany and met her counterpart. The two Ministers comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence cooperation as an important facet of India-Germany Strategic Partnership.

• Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services (CDS) of the Republic of Union of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (MAH) visited India in July-August and held extensive talks with Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Yesso Naik. The talks were aimed at enhancing defence co-operation, review joint exercises and training provided to Myanmar Defence Services, strengthen maritime security by joint surveillance and capacity building, medical co-operation, pollution response and for developing new infrastructure. On conclusion of the talks, India and Myanmar signed a Memorandum of Understanding on defence co-operation.

• Raksha Mantri held talks with Chief of General Staff, Vietnam People's Army and Deputy Minister of National Defence Senior Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang and discussed ways to further bolster defence ties between the two countries in New Delhi on November 25. He also called on Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat.

Indian army

• Assisted in maintenance of tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir after provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution were made inoperative.

• Reforms in the Army initiated including restructuring of Army HQ to result in better efficiency, more satisfaction and larger availability of young officers in the field.

• Successful summer user trials of third Generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile NAG at Pokhran Field Firing Ranges. The trials of DRDO developed Missile were conducted between July 7-18, 2019. NAG missile has been developed to engage highly fortified enemy tanks in all weather conditions with day and night capabilities and with a minimum range of 500 metres and maximum range of four kilometres.

• Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh approved a proposal for admission of girl children in Sainik schools w.e.f. academic session 2021-22 in a phased manner.

• The 14thedition of bilateral annual military exercise SURYA KIRAN-XIV between Indian and Nepal Army was held in December at Nepal Army Battle School (NABS), Salijhandi, Rupendehi district of Nepal. The 13th edition of the joint military exercise was held at Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand in June last year.

• Ceremonial Border Personnel Meetings (BPMs) were organised at Natu La, Bum La and Kibithu on October 01 to celebrate the Chinese National Day. The BPM mechanism has evolved into an important interface where local issues get discussed and are resolved thereby fostering confidence amongst the Border Guarding Troops. This ensures prevalence of peace & tranquility along the LAC.

• An Indian Army sponsored Capacity Building Tour comprising of 22 students and three teachers of Kishtwar District of Jammu and Kashmir returned to Batote after a ten-days tour which included visit to New Delhi and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. Over the period of ten days in September, the budding youth of Kishtwar District were exposed to a unique experience which entailed visit to premier military institution such as Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, icons of historical legacy such as the Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate, & National War Memorial.

• The Indian Army in step with government policies on environmental protection launched an ecological initiative with employing E Cars for use of its officials in New Delhi in partnership with Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a joint Venture of Central PSUs under Ministry of Power.

• The Indian Army assisted the Maharashtra and Karnataka state authorities in carrying out relief and rescue operations in flood hit areas. In August, a total of 16 Columns and 12 Engineer Task Forces comprising of almost 1000 Army personnel have been employed in Belgaum, Bagalkot and Raichur dist of Karnataka and Raigad, Kohlapur and Sangli district of Maharashtra to carryout flood relief operations.

• A 12 member Indian Army patrol along with a police representative recovered wreckage of a World War II vintage US Air Force aircraft in Roing district of Arunachal Pradesh on March 30. Based on the information received from local trekkers of Lower Dibang district through the police, a special patrol of Army was sent to locate the wreckage in a remote location, 30 kms from Roing.

• Inaugural edition of the Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019 (AFINDEX-19) was culminated on March 27, 2019 at Foreign Training Node, Aundh Military Station, Pune. The Indian contingent was represented by Maratha Light Infantry (Jangi Paltan). The validation exercise showcased various tactical drills which included protection of civilians, establishment of standing combat deployment, convoy protection, patrolling aspects and neutralisation of improvised explosive devices which were practiced as part of 10-day joint exercise. Participating African countries include, Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

• Fourteen-day military exercise Mitra Shakti VI between Indian and Sri Lankan Army was held between March 26 to April 08 , 2019 at Diyatalawa Parade Ground in Diyatalawa, Badulla District, Sri Lanka. This was the sixth edition of the joint exercise between the two nations. The Indian Army contingent comprises of a company group from Bihar Regiment and a similar strength from the First Gemunu Watch Battalion of Sri Lankan Army.

• Shri Rajnath Singh gave away Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence 2019 in Delhi Cantonment on December 26. The Defence Estates awards was introduced in 2013 to recognise the achievements in the field of health, education, cleanliness as well as new innovative and digitisation in Public Services and Land Management.

Indian navy

Commissioning and Decommissioning

• The sixth ship of the 08 x IN LCU (Mark IV) project, IN LCU L56 was commissioned at Vishakhapatnam on July 29. The seventh ship of the project, LCU L57, was delivered in December 19 and is likely to be commissioned in the near future.

• The second submarine of Scorpene Class (Project 75), INS Khanderi, and the Aircraft Carrier Dock, was commissioned by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai on September 28.

• Naval Air Station Shibpur was commissioned as INS Kohassa on January 24.

• Towards establishment of aviation assets to ensure Coastal Security, INAS 313 was commissioned at Meenambakkam on July 22 and INAS 314 was commissioned at Porbandaron November 29.

• The first two aircraft of the 12 new Dornier Contract were formally inducted into the Indian Navy at HAL, Kanpur on January 28. Equipped and fitted with latest sensors, these aircraft will boost the surveillance effort towards security of maritime areas of the nation.

• Indian Naval ships Ranjit, Kozhikode, LCU L-38 and LCU L-39 were de-commissioned in 2019, with all ships having served the Nation for more than 30 years.

Launching/Construction of Ships/Submarines

• Yard 12706 (Imphal), the third ship of Project 15B (Visakhapatnam class) was launched on April 20at M/s MDL, Mumbai.

• The first of Class of P17A Frigates, ‘Nilgiri’ was launched at MDL, Mumbai on September 28.

• The fourth submarine of Project 75 was launched on May 06 at MDL, Mumbai. The submarine was named INS Vela in accordance with the Naval traditions.

• Keel laying ceremony of Yard 12707, fourth ship of Project 15B (Visakhapatnam class) was held on November 07 at M/s Shoft Shipyard Pvt Ltd. (SSPL), Bharuch.

• Keel laying ceremony of Yard 12652 (Second ship of Project 17A at M/s MDL) was held on May 07 at M/s MDL, Mumbai.

• Keel laying ceremony of Yard 3025, first of the Survey Vessel Large was held November 08 at M/s GRSE, Kolkata.

• Production of Yard 3023 (Second ship of P-17A at GRSE) commenced with steel cutting on August 20at M/s GRSE, Kolkata.

Overseas Deployments (OSD)

• Indian Naval ship Tarkashparticipated in the Western Fleet OSD 01/19 from June 15 to October 15. During the OSD, the ship undertook port calls at 13 countries. The ship participated in Russian Navy Day celebrations, KONKAN-19 with UK and participated in the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Nigeria.

• IN ships Kolkata and Shaktiparticipated in the Eastern Fleet OSD 01/19 from April 03 to May 31. During the OSD, the ships visited Cam Rahn Bay (Vietnam), Qingdao (China), Busan (South Korea) and Singapore. The ships participated in IN-VPN Bilateral Exercise at Cam Rahn Bay (Vietnam), PLA (N) IFR at Qingdao (China), ADMM Plus Exercise off Busan (South Korea) and Singapore, International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX), Maritime Information Sharing Exercise (MARISX) and SIMBEX 19 at Singapore.

• IN ships Sahyadri and Kiltanparticipated in the Eastern Fleet OSD 02/19 from August 24 to November 21 to Bangkok (Thailand), Sihanoukville (Cambodia), Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Sasebo and Yokosuka (Japan), Manila (Philippines) and Jakarta (Indonesia). During the OSD, the ships participated in Ex Samudra Lakshamana with Malaysia and Malabar -19 with USN and JMSDF.

• The Indian Navy, Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and US Navy (USN) Trilateral exercise Malabar-19 was conducted off Yokosuka, Japan from September 26 to October 04. IN ships Sahyadri, Kiltan and Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I participated in the exercise. The JMSDF was represented by ships Kaga, Samidare, Chokai, Oumi and P1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft while the USN was represented by USS Mc Campbell, Pecos and nuclear submarine Okholama City.

• IN Ship Kolkata and Shakti participated in International Fleet Reviewwhich was conducted off Qingdao (China)harbour on April 23 to commemorate 70th anniversary of PLA (N).

Naval Operations/ Activities

• Indian Navy has been undertaking Mission Based Deployments in the Areas of Interest in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with an aim to safeguard national maritime interests and maintain continuous/near continuous presence in areas of significant maritime importance in the IOR.These deployments were also in consonance with the Prime Minister's vision of 'Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)'. The IN ships and aircraft are being regularly deployed in the Gulf of Oman/ Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden/ Red Sea, South and Central Indian Ocean Region (IOR), off Sunda Strait, Andaman Sea/ approaches to Malacca Strait and Northern Bay of Bengal. These deployments have facilitated enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness, swift HADR assistance to IOR littorals, security to the Indian and international maritime community and operational engagements with friendly navies through capability development and capacity building programmes. These deployments have also enabled the IN to be the 'first responder' in various HADR/ SAR operations across the IOR.

• In wake of attack on Tankers off Fujairah and in Gulf of Oman in May and June 19 respectively, the IN executed OP 'Sankalp' to ensure security & safety of Indian Flagged Merchant Vessels (IFMVs) transiting through the Gulf region.

• IN's largest biennial war game, Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX-19) was conducted from January 07– March 10 in the IOR. The primary aim of the exercise was to hone the war fighting skills of the Navy whilst exercising in a large theatre of operations.

Coastal Security and Anti-Piracy Operations

• The maiden large scale, pan India Coastal Defence Exercise, SEA VIGIL-19, was conducted along the entire coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India on January 22-23. The exercise was conducted with the aim of simultaneously activating all agencies involved in the coastal security construct, and to identify gaps and mitigating measures. Besides Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and all other stakeholders involved in the nation's Coastal Security framework participated in the exercise.

• IN ships and aircraft are deployed to maintain continuous surface and aerial coastal surveillance off the West coast of India including L&M Islands. Similar sorties are also undertaken on the East coast and the A&N Islands to further augment coastal surveillance measures.

• As part of its wider role of providing security to shipping in the Indian Ocean Region, the Indian Navy continues to deploy one ship for anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden. A total of 75 IN warships have been deployed till November 19. The IN also undertakes Passage Exercises with friendly foreign countries deployed in the Gulf of Aden. IN’s presence in this region is being maintained to ensure safety and security of Indian trade.

indian air force


• Air Defence challenges have grown manifold in the recent years especially with all pervasive threat from drones even during peace time. This challenge is compounded by employment of stand-off weapons, projectiles and munitions including cruise missiles by the adversaries. Also, over the years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of vital assets along with increase in air threat from both hostile states and malign non-state actors.

a. Contract for five Squadrons of Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile System i.e. S-400 missile system has been signed with the Russian Government. The equipment of the first Sqn is likely to be inducted in mid 2020.

b. IAF is procuring 18 Squadrons of Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile System which has been jointly developed by DRDO and IAI. Induction of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile System will be from early 2020 onwards.

c. Contract has been signed in September 2019 for seven additional indigenous Akash Squadrons and associated specialist infrastructure. Induction would commence from early 2021onwards.

• Rafale Aircraft: To enhance the combat capability of IAF and improve its fighter squadron strength is in progress. Rafale is an omni-role fighter aircraft which will provide long range capability to engage targets in depth and will provide a strong weapons and systems capability edge over our adversaries. The delivery of the aircraft has commenced and the training of IAF personnel is in progress.

• Additional Su-30 MKI Aircraft: IAF had contracted for 272 Su-30 MKI aircraft under various contracts. Presently deliveries are continuing under block IV contract and are likely to conclude by March 2020. The Su-30 MKI currently is the largest and amongst the most potent fighter fleet in operation with the IAF.

• Apache Helicopter: Apache is a Tandem Seating, day/night, all weather capable platform. It is highly agile, survivable against battle damage and is easily maintainable even in field conditions. The helicopter is capable of prolonged operations in tropical and desert regions. Being a Multi-role network centric platform capable for deployment in Air Combat, AD, CI Ops, UAV neutralization, CSAR, Urban Warfare, the aircraft meets all requirements of the IAF as well as the Strike Corps requirements of the Army. Fitted with a state of the art Fire Control Radar (FCR), the AH-64 has the capability to detect, locate, designate, track and engage targets in daylight, night, and in reduced visibility conditions.17 helicopters have already been delivered.

• Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopter (HLH): The delivery of 15 x Chinook helicopters has started from March 2019 and will be completed by March 2020. Induction of the helicopters has commenced in March 2019. Ten helicopters have been received so far.

• ASTRA:ASTRA BVR missile being designed and developed by DRDO has been evaluated for its performance and missile firing with foreign seeker was successful. IAF plans to procure these missiles for fighter aircraft.

• Integration of BrahMos Air to Surface Missile on Su-30MKI Aircraft: Successful integration of the BrahMos missile on the Su-30 MKI has been completed. It would enhance the strategic significance and combat potential of the aircraft.

• Induction of Flight Inspection System Aircraft (Dornier-228): IAF has inducted Do-228 Dornier aircraft with on board Flight Inspection System (FIS) to undertake the Cat-II calibration of Navigational aids available at Modernised Airfield Infrastructure (MAFI) of IAF bases. The induction of FIS aircraft would facilitate the in-house calibrations of MAFI assets and Navaids.


• Mirage-2000: The Final Operational Clearance (FOC) D&D has been completed in March 2018 and Series production is underway.

• MiG-29: The upgraded aircraft have been allotted to a frontline Squadron, and are being used for operations. The upgraded aircraft are equipped with state of the art avionics, an array of smart air to air and air to ground weapons and are capable of in-flight refuelling which significantly increases its combat potential.

• Jaguar DARIN-III: The upgrade of DARIN-I Jaguar aircraft to DARIN-III standard by HAL included integration of new mission computers, cockpit displays (SMDs, Engine and Flight Instrumentation System), Fire Control Radar, Hybrid navigation system and Autopilot with advanced modes. With the integration of these systems through new mission software, the cockpit has been transformed into a fully functional glass cockpit. With the integration of the radar as primary sensor, the operational capability of the Jaguar aircraft in detecting air, surface and sea targets has been enhanced manifolds. With the avionics of DARIN-III aircraft the capability has improved significantly. Flight trials for FOC have been completed in November 2019. DARIN-III platform has matured into a potent strike platform with state-of-the-art integration of the sensors on-board.The delivery of upgraded aircraft will commence from December 2019.

Make Projects

• Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C): AEW&C is an indigenous system successfully developed by DRDO. The second AEW&C aircraft has been handed over by CABS to IAF on 11 Sep 19.

• Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS): The IACCS is fully indigenous project which will integrate all sensors to give composite Air Situation Picture and aids in quick decision making.

International Exercise

• Ex Garuda: Four Su-30MKI participated in Ex Garuda at Mont-de-Marsan, France from 01 to 14 Jul 19.

• Ex Eastern Bridge: Five Mig-29 participated in Ex Eastern Bridge V in Oman from 15 to 26 Oct 19. This is the first time that the MiG-29 ac participated in an international exercise abroad. The exercise was conducted professionally and performance of MiG -29 was appreciated.

• JMT: The bilateral phase of Joint Military Training with Singapore Air Force is planned from 14 to 29 Nov 19 at Air Force Station Kalaikunda. Su-30MKI participated in this exercise.


• Aerial Fire Fighting Operation: Air effort was provided by Mi-17 V5 helicopters for fire-fighting operations at Theni (Tamil Nadu),Katra, Pathankot, Kasuali, Malviya Nagar, Bandipur (Karnataka) and Merchant Vessel off the coast in Sunderban area. A total of 93 sorties /52:20 HRS / 154 KL of water utilised.

• Flood Relief Ops: 2019 (Op Varsha): The IAF had deployed heptrs for Flood Relief Ops in a number of states (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Bihar. Various class of heptrs were utilised towards the task. A total of 219 sorties /172:10 hrs were flown air lifting 1061 pax and 84.4t of load.

• Casualty Evacuation: During FY 2019-20, 103 sorties 85:00hrs airlifting 85 pax till 25 Oct 19,including (Team of 12 trekkers (British Nationals) were trapped at Nanda Devi pass following an avalanche. One month of effort 45 Hrs / 47 sorties, 4 trekkers + 07 mortal remains retrieved).

Women Empowerment in IAF

• NCC Special Entry: NCC special entry has been extended to women Air Wing Cadets with ‘C’ Certificate for the first time ever. This would enable them to directly go for SSB, without any screening test to become a Short Service Commissioned Officer in the flying branch of IAF.

• Induction in the Fighter Stream: Women pilots have been performing admirably well in the transport and helicopter streams of IAF. As a natural progression, IAF has inducted women pilots in the fighter stream as well. Accordingly, the first batch of three women trainees were inducted in fighter stream. Currently, six are posted to fighter squadrons and two are undergoing post commissioning training on Hawk-132 ac. One more woman trainee has been allotted fighter stream was commissioned in Dec 19.

• Diplomatic Assignment: Diplomatic posts on Indian mission abroad are traditionally manned by male officers. WgCdr Anjali Singh is the first woman officer who has been nominated by IAF as Dy Air Attaché in Embassy of Russia.

• Flight Commander: WgCdrShalizaDhami was commissioned into the helicopter stream of the IAF in Dec 2003. She was granted PC in Dec 18. She became the first woman helicopter QFI in the IAF in Nov 13. She has over 2000h of flying to her credit. She has been recently posted as the first woman Flight Commander of a Combat unit of the IAF (131 FAC Flt, Hindonwef 26 Aug 19).

Indian coast guard

• Raksha Mantri commissioned Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) ‘Varaha’ in Chennai on September 25, 2019 to further strengthen coastal security.

• Third Vessel in the series of 05 Offshore Patrol Vessels for Indian Coast Guard, ‘Sajag’ was ceremoniously launched on November 14, 2019 at Goa Shipyard Limited by Mrs Vijaya Shripad Naik, wife of Raksha Rajya Mantri, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik. Entirely designed in-house by GSL, these OPVs will form a formidable part of ICG fleet and will be used for protection of Exclusive Economic Zone of India.


• IAF CONDUCTS FIVE TRIALS OF AIR-TO-AIR MISSILE ASTRA: DRDO flight-tested Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) Astra form Su-30 MKI platform off the coast of Chandipur, Odisha. The trials were held from 16-19 September 2019. Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted the trials against Jet Banshee target aircraft simulating all possible threat scenarios. The five trials conducted during this period, tested missiles in different configurations. Three missiles were launched in combat configuration with warhead and neutralized manoeuvring targets to establish the end-game capability of the missile. The trial campaign also included a direct hit of the target by the telemetered missile at maximum range.

• LCA (NAVY) MAKES ARRESTED LANDING: The first ever arrested landing of Light Combat Aircraft (Navy) at the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) INS Hansa, Goa, took place on 13 September 2019. The test will pave the way for the indigenous platform to undertake aircraft carrier landing demonstration on board the Indian Naval Aircraft Carrier, Vikramaditya. Text book arrested landing heralds the arrival of true indigenous capability.

• LOW WEIGHT, FIRE & FORGET MAN PORTABLE ANTITANK GUIDED MISSILE TESTED: DRDO flight tested indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) on 11 September 2019 in the ranges of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. The missile was launched from a man portable tripod launcher on the target mimicking a functional tank. This was the third series of successful testing of MPATGM. The missile is incorporated with state-of-the-art Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics. The test paves the way for the Army to have 3rd generation indigenous MPATGM. The missile was earlier tested successfully on 13 March 2019.

• DRDO HANDS OVER SECOND INDIGENOUS AEW&C SYSTEM TO INDIAN AIR FORCE: DRDO handed over the second of three indigenously designed Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system, Netra, to the Indian Air Force (IAF) on 11 September 2019 to augment the service’s network centric capabilities. The system was delivered to Bhatinda Air Force Station in Punjab. The system comprises an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, secondary surveillance radar, electronic and communication countermeasures, beyond line-of-sight data links, satellite communication systems, advanced identification friend-or-foe system, provides 240° coverage, and surveillance range more than 250 km.

• QUICK REACTION MISSILE TEST-FIRED: DRDO flight-tested its state-of-the-art Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) against live aerial live aerial targets from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur on 4 August 2019. Two missiles, developed by DRDO, were tested against two live targets, meeting complete mission objectives of engaging the targets. QRSAM, with many advanced technologies, engaged the targets at different ranges and altitudes. The system has been tested in final configuration with radar mounted on a vehicle and missile on the launcher. It comprises indigenous Phased Array Radar, Inertial navigation System, Data Link & RF Seeker, and is being developed for Indian Army with search and track on move capability with very short reaction time. The missile was earlier tested on 26 February 2019.

• INDIAN NEUTRALISES LIVE SATELLITE IN LOW EARTH ORBIT: The country joins a select group of nations with such capability. DRDO conducted an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test ‘Mission Shakti’ from Dr APJ Abdul kalam island in Odisha on 27 March 2019. A DRDO developed Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor Missile engaged a Live Indian satellite orbiting in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a ‘Hit to Kill’ mode. The interceptor missile was a three-stage missile with two solid rocket boosters. Tracking data from range sensors confirmed that the mission met all its objectives. The test demonstrated India’s capability to defend its assets in outer space and vindicated the strength and robust nature of DRDO’s programmes.

• FINAL OPERATIONAL CLEARNCE OF LCA TEJAS MK I FOR INDIAN AIR FORCE: In a landmark occasion, Light Combat aircraft Tejas Mk I for Indian Air Force was informally awarded Final Operational Clearance (FOC) on 20 February 2019. Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy handed FOC Certificate and Release to Service Document (RSD) to the Chief of Air Staff Air chief Marshal BS Dhanoa in the presence of Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra and chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Shri R Madhavan. IOC standard Tejas are already serving in the 45th Squadron of IAF since July 2016.

• DRDO’S IGNITER COMPLEX AT HEMRL, PUNE: Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik inaugurated the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) Igniter Complex at High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) in Pune on 05 NOV 2019. HEMRL has created a state-of-the-art facility for design, processing and evaluation of ignition systems. The facility consists of process, assembly & storage buildings and a design centre. Remotely controlled sophisticated equipments such as Sieve Shaker, Planetary Mixer, Granulating Machine, Pelleting Machine etc are installed in the process buildings. Design, modeling and simulation laboratory; assembly and testing centre are also part of Igniter Complex.

• SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF TWO BRAHMOS MISSILES FROMLAND AND AIR PLATFORMS: DRDO, Indian Air Force and BrahMos jointly successfully conducted two BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles tests today, one each from land and air platforms. The first missile launch was from a land based mobile launcher, where most of the components were indigenous, including the missile airframe, fuel management system and DRDO designed seeker. The second launch of the missile was carried out by Indian Air force (IAF) from SU-30MKI platform against a sea target. The test conducted in user configuration, revalidated the ship attack capability of the advanced air-launched cruise missile.

• SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT TEST OF TWO PINAKA MISSILES IN SALVO MODE: As part of the series of flight trials of Pinaka missile system, two test firings were conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on 17 DEC 2019. The first trial was conducted on December 19, 2019, wherein one missile was fired at 75 kilometre range.

• QUICK REACTION SURFACE TO AIR MISSILE SUCCESSFULLY FLIGHT-TESTED OFF ODISHA COAST: Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was successfully flight-tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the Odisha coast on 23 DEC 2019. The missile was flight-tested with full configuration in deployment mode intercepting the target mid air, meeting the mission objectives. The entire event was monitored by Ground Telemetry Systems, Range Radar Systems, Electro Optical Tracking System etc.


• To boost Defence manufacturing under ‘Make in India’, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a Roundtable Conference with CEOs of Indian & Foreign Defence companies including MSMEs and start-ups on August 9, 2019 in New Delhi.

• To further encourage the ‘Make in India’ initiative in Defence and Aerospace sector, Shri Rajnath Singh accorded approval to allow Private Sector industry to compete with Ordnance Factories and DPSUs for the prestigious Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence on July 16, 2019.

• Raksha Mantri launched a Dashboard of Department Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence. The dashboard is available for the general public at The DDP Dashboard contains progress on key initiatives of the Department which include Defence Exports, Defence Offsets, Defence Production, Intellectual Property Rights filed (Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti), Make in India in Defence Projects, Startups working in Defence, Investments in Defence Corridors and Artificial Intelligence Projects in Defence.

• Shri Rajnath Singh has approved setting up of a Committee under the Chairmanship of Director General (Acquisition) to review the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 and Defence Procurement Manual (DPM) 2009. The Committee will revise and align the procedures with the aim of ensuring seamless flow from asset acquisition to life cycle support.

• It is very important to have ‘Ideation, Innovation and Incubation’ to achieve the goal of indigenisation and self-reliance in cutting edge-technologies. This was the underline theme of ‘Def Connect 2019’ organised in New Delhi on October 5, 2019. It was organised to showcase the accomplishments of the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative and construct a strong outreach towards the potential future entrepreneurs of the defence sector. Third phase of Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) thrown open to prospective startups in the event under which three challenges from the Army, Navy and Air Force.


• Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the first meeting of the Apex Committee for DefExpo 2020 in New Delhi on September 9, 2019 in the presence of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath. The huge exhibition that will showcase India’s defence manufacturing capabilities as well as world’s top defence manufacturing companies would be held for the first time in Lucknow from 05 – 08 February, 2020. Raksha Mantri launched its website,, which provides online services to exhibitors, besides hosting informative content about the product profile of DPSUs and Ordnance Factories.

• Raksha Mantri chaired Ambassadors’ Round Table on DefExpo 2020 in New Delhi on November 4, 2019 in major outreach to defence manufacturing industries of the world. Heads of Missions and Defence Attaches of over 80 countries participated in the conference.

• Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched the mobile app of the forthcoming DefExpo 2020 on December 27. The app is available on Apple App Store and Android Play Store. The main features of the app are ‘inform, engage and feedback’. It provides detailed information about the day-to-day programme-wise schedule of the event; participating exhibitors; Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), guest speakers of seminars/webinars planned during the event; publications i.e., electronic brochures and e-books; maps and directions of the venues and city weather.


• On the occasion of Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFD), Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) on behalf of DESW took a unique initiative and organised the first ever Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) conclave on December 02 to create awareness about the Ex-Servicemen (ESM) and how the corporate India can play an important part in their resettlement and rehabilitation. The conclave was chaired by Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh. He apprised the audience in great detail about the challenges faced by the ESM and their dependents and appealed to corporate world to come forward and support the cause of their welfare with help of three attached offices of DESW.

• Apart from the Defence Services Estimates (DSE) Budget, AFFD Fund is the major source of funding for welfare and rehabilitation of war widows, ESM and their dependents. A sum of Rs 9.97 crore has been collected during FY 2019-20 (as on December 09, 2019). The fund is administered by KSB Sectt under the aegis of its Management Committee headed by Raksha Mantri and Executive Committee headed by Secretary, DESW.

• As per the Action Plan on Single Use Plasticprepared by the department, instructions have been issued to all our attached offices and field establishments to minimise the use of single use plastic.

• As per the action plan, the department and its attached offices undertook a nationwide campaign on Jal Shakti Abhiyan on August 17. Posters and other informational material on the theme were prepared and shared widely with all field Offices/Establishments.

• A one-day workshop on Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) was organised on December 06 in New Delhi to create awareness, review the progress and lay down the future roadmap on JSA and SBA.

• A large number of Ex-Servicemen participated in the ‘Run for Unity’ event at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi on October 31to observe the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel as National Unity Day (Rashtriya Ekta Diwas).

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