India ready to host Defence Minister’s Conclave of Indian Ocean Region in February
India will be hosting a conclave of the Defence Ministers of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) on 4th February 2021. This conclave will be followed by seminars by the Department of Defence Production and Indian Navy. The purpose behind this conclave is to focus on security concerns and collaborative efforts required to counter China’s aggressive policies in the region and South China Sea. The conclave is a part of the Aero India summit which is scheduled in Bangalore in the same month. India India has strategically made a country wise profile to understand each country’s defence needs and how it can be fulfilled by our defence products.
The Conclave is themed as ‘Enhanced Peace, Security and Cooperation in the Indian Ocean’. 28 countries have been invited to attend the summit, either physically or virtually. There is a possibility that India may become the ‘preferred security partner’ by signing a deal with the IOR countries regarding sale of indigenously developed defence equipment.
India sees the Indian Ocean Region as a region of specific importance as it will help India to extend its sphere of influence. China is continuously mapping the seabed of IOR region and increasing its submarine activities. Amidst the ongoing stand-off, both India and China are eyeing the IOR region to gain supremacy. India’s geographical location as well its robust economy helps it play an important role to maintain peace and stability in this region.
Tezpur Air Force Station gets new AOC
The new Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Of Tezpur Air Force Station Air Commodore Dharmendra Singh Dangi assured that the station is ready to tackle any challenge in the eastern sector of the country. He said that the Indian Air Force is growing by leaps and bounds and capable of facing and handling every situation. He took over the command of Tezpur Air Force Station from Air Commodore Tejpal Singh.
He is a qualified instructor and a test pilot, having more than 3,000 hours of flying to his credit. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and was in charge of the Rafale Project Management Team in France. He has the experience of flying the Tiger Moth Aircraft, MiG-21, MiG-27 and SU-30 MKI.
Indian Navy’s new area of focus: SSNs
Commodore Roby Thomas said that Indian Navy is in a dire need of a dedicated fleet of SSN and nuclear-powered general-purpose attack submarine for transforming itself into a strong Blue water force. This will in turn help in meeting the power expectations in the Indo-Pacific region.
Commodore Thomas is a senior fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). He published a paper at the Journal of Defence Studies titled as Nuclear Attack Submarines: The Elixir for a True Blue Water Navy.
He compared SSNs with SSK, the regular diesel electric submarine and said the earlier one is expensive to build and maintain. SSK is in operation since World War II and has undergone many modifications since then. According to a study by the US Navy, on SSN has same effectiveness as that of 2.2-6 SSKs. This is the difference between the two submarines. The only thing that matters it the total Life-cycle cost.
According to IDSA, one SSK fleet maintains the same on-station capability as one SSN, but costs 1.3-3.5 times more than it. Indian Navy has 16 SSKs, one SSN and one SSBN (Ballistic Missile Submarine). The SSN has been leased from Russia, to gain experience and training.
First Flight of Third FOC Tejas Mk1 successful
Rajeev Joshi, Chief Test Flying (Fixed Wing) of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) took the first flight of SP-19, the Third FOC-standard Tejas Mk1 Fighter Jet on 22nd January 2021. He was in the air for 40 minutes. This was the first flight of FOC Tejas Mk1 this year and 5 more flights are expected to be completed by the end of March.
Earlier, SP-17 completed its first flight in March 2020 and SP-18 on 24th September 2020. The low and high speed taxi trials of SP-20 have been completed and its first flight is expected to be done by end of January or in the first week of February.