Vietnam launches Made in India patrol vessel
A high speed patrol boat has been launched by the Vietnam Government to ease the operations of the Vietnamese Coast Guards. This boat has been developed with assistance from India. One more boat of similar class will be inducted into service in the coming days. This move shows India’s commitment towards the strengthening the defence system of friendly countries. Indian Government has promised full support in building the capacity for the Vietnamese military, and the first Made in India patrol vessel was inducted into the service in December 2020. During India’s visit of the then Vietnamese Prime Minister in October 2014, India extended the Line of Credit (LOC) of 100 million dollars to the country, which has been utilized by them in a pure way.
India is aiming to create stability in the Indo-Pacific region through strategic partnership with the countries lying in the region. Vietnam lies in the critical South China Sea region, and can prove to be a strategic partner to India in time of any crisis. This move also enhances the strategic military ties between both countries. The high speed patrol vessel will assist the Vietnamese Coast Guards to stop smuggling and trafficking, and undertaking the surveillance and reconnaissance operations. It will help in stopping the illegal activities being conducted in the region.
India is assisting Vietnam in building 12 high speed patrol vessels, of which 5 are currently being built at the Larsen & Toubro (L&T) facility centre in Chennai, while the remaining 7 will be built in Hai Phong in Vietnam. The joint project of development of the vessels has been unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Russia to deliver S-400 defence systems by November
India is expecting the delivery of S-400 long range air defence systems by November 2021. The senior officials said that the deal is on track and the pandemic has not affected the delivery plans. They also dismissed the rumours of the deal being cancelled due to the increased pressure from USA. The deal is within the security considerations and will be unaffected by the Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
India signed a deal with Russia to procure 5 S-400 missile defence systems at an estimated cost of $5.43 billion in October 2018. The US has raised some concerns with this deal, but India has been keen on strengthening its defence ties with the Russian side. All the payment related issues have been resolved and a batch of Officers from Indian Defence Forces has left for Russia to be trained for operating this system.
Indian Air Force (IAF) termed the combination of Rafale Fighter Jets and S-400 air defence systems as the ‘Game Changers’ and ‘Morale Boosters’ for the side.
Light Bullet Proof Vehicle inducted in IAF
Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted the Light Bullet Proof Vehicle (LBPV) to enhance its capability to withstand terrorist attacks. These vehicles will be deployed at the airbases to protect the soldiers and officials from bullet or grenade attacks. This specialist vehicle has been designed in a unique way, where its engine is hidden from front and rear sides, averting the risks of any kind of attack. It has a thick armoured protection of 6 mm and the windshield of 40 mm can tackle the bullets fired from AK-47 or Sniper rifle.
The 6 ton specialist vehicle’s canopy is covered by an armour, which protects the gunner from being targeted, allowing him to track the target and hit freely. It can run with flat tyres and has a maximum speed of 120 kmph. 6 fully geared commandoes can be accommodated inside the vehicle, while one soldier can be kept at the open space at the rear side. The main aim behind inducting this vehicle is to avoid the risks of terrorist attacks like the Pathankot air base attack.
Students from SRM University develop UGVs for Indian Army
Torus Robotics will be developing the first of its kind ‘Unmanned Ground Vehicle’ for the Indian Army. Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) will be assisting the firm in manufacturing these vehicles. The UGV will be capable of operating at high altitude conditions and carrying payload of up to 750 kilograms. In bad weather conditions, it will be able to supply ammunitions and other material from bases to the forward posts in the Northern Command.
Torus Robotics is a defence startup by the 3 students of SRM University, Chennai. Their main aim is to reduce the burden on soldiers deployed in the forward posts, facing the problems of high altitudes and less oxygen. They focused on easing the work of soldiers, which will help them in performing their duties better. The firm signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Defence Ministry during the Aero India Summit 2021, held in Bangalore.
The all-terrain UGVs will assist the soldiers in border patrol, logistics, surveillance, combat and reconnaissance operations. It can be further customized to be amphibious and nocturnal in operations. It has already submitted its first project to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), where the members assembled and manufactured the UGV. The Indian Army is conducting the trials of this UGV and results will come soon. The UGVs come with a 2 year warranty, and can be updated with latest technologies.
Naval vessels and aircraft undertake SAR operations in Mangalore
IFB Rabah, an Indian Fishing Boat collided with a Singapore based merchant ship ‘MV APL Le Havre’ on 13th April 2021. The collision occurred to the west of New Mangalore, 40 nautical miles away from the coast. The Indian boat had 14 fishermen onboard, of which 2 have been rescued and bodies of 3 fishermen have been recovered. Indian Navy responded to the situation and deployed a team to undertake Search and Rescue (SAR) operation of the missing fishermen. The surface and air assets of Navy, including INS Tillanchang and INS Kalpeni are assisting the Coast Guard vessels in the operation. The Naval aircraft from Goa are providing the air support and undertaking surveillance operations.
INS Subhadra from Karwar will soon reach the region with diving teams. It will help in locating the sunk fishing vessel.