New squadron of IAF to test fire BrahMos missile
A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) has been issued by India to launch BrahMos missile from 14-16 April 2021 from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This launch of anti-ship version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile will be a part of regular tests being conducted from the island territory of India. The No. 222 squadron, comprising of the updated version of Su-30 MKI fighter jets, has been raised at the Thanjavur Air Force Station in Tamil Nadu by the Indian Air Force (IAF). These fighter jets will be armed with the air launched version of 2.5 tonne BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This missile has the ability to fly at speed that will be 3 times the speed of sound. Earlier, this missile was test fired by the experimental test pilots, but this will be the first time that it will be tested from the new squadron.
The squadron, also known as the Tigersharks, will consist of 18 Su-30 MKI fighter jets and will have the responsibility to secure the southern front of the country. This squadron can operate in all weather conditions and can strike the land and sea targets with utmost precision.
Astra Mk2 to be feature new launching mechanism
The Astra Mk2 air to air missile will be equipped with an ejection launcher, which will ensure the faster release of the missile from the fighter jets. This system will be integrated with an indigenous air to air missile system for the first time. Fresh tenders have been issued to supply the relay units and power supply for this program. This system will provide safer and quicker missile separation even in the tough flight conditions. There is also a possibility that the ejection launcher system may also be integrated with the Short Range Air to Air Missiles (ASRAAM), Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missiles (BVRAAM), Astra IR, Astra Mk1 and also with Astra Mk3.
This system will be mounted under the fuselage as a combined pylon and launcher unit. Modern High Performance fighter jets will be the most benefitted from this system as it will reduce the weight. Also, this system offers low radar signature as compare to the traditional wing pylon stations. The Astra Mk1 uses Rail Launcher technique and thus, gets limited to the traditional wing pylon stations.
India monitors the Air Defense system deployed by China near the LAC
China has deployed its HQ-9 Air Defense System, consisting of surface to air missile batteries near the Ladakh border. Indian Agencies are keeping a close eye on this system, which poses a threat to the helicopters and aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) or Indian Army operating in the region. This air defence system has a strike range of 250 kms, and it can track and hit any target that comes within this range. This move comes after the Chinese side disagreed on the disengagement process being carried out in the border region. The recently concluded high talks between the two nations focused on the disengagement process at crucial points near the Gogra heights, Depsang plains and Demchok.
The Indian Army has strengthened its troop formations in the Sugar sector, Central Sector and along the North Eastern borders. The disengagement form other friction points will be a point of discussion in the upcoming high level talks.
IAF Commanders’ Conference to be held from 15th April
Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minster of India will inaugurate the first bi-annual Indian Air Force (IAF) Commanders’ Conference on 15th April 2021. This apex level leadership conference will focus on the upcoming issues to be faced by the IAF in operations and administration. This 3 day conference will address policies and strategies required to give IAF better opportunities to enhance its operational capabilities. Also, it will help IAF gain a significant edge over its rivals.
The conference will aim to provide solutions to recuperate the HR and administrative efficiency. The Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief of all IAF commands, all Principal Staff Officers and Director Generals posted at the Headquarter will attend the conference. They will also discuss the important issues related to the Maintenance, Operational Strategies and Administration of the IAF.
The conference will be held at the Subroto Hall, Vayu Bhawan. Vayu Bhawan is the Headquarter of the IAF.
Indian Army Chief addresses the Army Chiefs Conclave
Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane, who is on a 5 day official tour to Bangladesh, attended the ‘Army Chiefs Conclave’ organised by the Bangladesh Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed. General Naravane delivered a keynote address on the ‘Changing Nature of Global Conflicts: Role of UN Peacekeepers’, and suggested the United Nations to provide technological support to the Blue Helmet missions. He expressed his views on the peacekeeping missions and emphasized on enhancing the budget to provide more logistics support in these missions.
This conclave comes at a time when Bangladesh is celebrating the birth centenary of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and 50 years of its war of independence. The conclave was attended by Senior Diplomats, Security Strategists, the Force Commanders of UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Missions of Mali, Central African Region and Bhutan Army’s Deputy Chief of Operation Brigadier General Darji Rinchen. General MM Naravane interacted with the military observers of all the participating nations and the organisations.
The Conclave is organised after the Shantir Ogroshena exercise, which commenced on 4th April. It is a Multilateral UN mandated counter terrorism exercise, scheduled to conclude on 12th April. The exercise was attended by a 30 member contingent of the Indian Army, and armies from Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh being the other participants. The other prominent participants include Military Observers from the UK, US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Singapore and Kuwait. This exercise aims to enhance the interoperability amongst the participating nations and ensures their contribution in the UN Peacekeeping missions.