Indian Navy eyes on South Korean Defence Minister’s visit to India
Suh Wook, the Defence Minister of South Korea, will be on a 3 day visit to India this week. The senior officials of his ministry will accompany him in the visit. He will be discussing the cooperation in strategic defence ties and also in defence production with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh. The meeting will be held on 25th of March, 2021 in New Delhi. He will be the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony of the ‘Indo-Korean Friendship Park’ in New Delhi. He was expected to inaugurate the park way back in 2020, but the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic pushed his plans. The ‘Indo-Korean Friendship Park’ has been developed in New Delhi with combined efforts from the Indian Army and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in India (ROK) and the Korean War veterans Association. This park has been created to commemorate the sacrifice and commitment of Indian troops during the 1950-53 Korean War. In that war, the 69th Parachute Field Ambulance Platoon consisting of 627 medics was sent by India. The platoon played a very crucial role in the war and took care of around 220,000 civilians and soldiers.
The South Korean Defence Minister will also discuss about the Indo-Pacific Quad. Since 2015, both the countries have enhanced their bilateral defence ties, focusing on the Naval Shipbuilding. As per their agreement, Indian Navy can easily operate in the Indo-Pacific Region with constant support from the South Korean Navy. The $ 3 billion Self Propelled Air Defence Gun Missile System (SPAD – GMS) deal will be a point to discuss between the two countries. Through this deal, Hanhwa Defense from South Korea emerged as the lowest bidder for this system, beating a Russian firm.
Indian Navy, which is facing the shortage of Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs), can also demand the advanced systems from the South Korean team of officials. It may put the proposal to build the MCMVs at the Goa Shipyard by the Transfer of Technology (ToT). Indian Navy requires these vessels as it can locate and destroy the underwater mines and thus can secure the harbours. India considers South Korea as a major partner under the ‘Act East’ Policy. Both countries are expected to plan strategic military exercises to enhance the interoperability and mutual cooperation.
DRDO starts working on Advance Light Torpedo Shyena
India’s prominent Defence system manufacturer, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has started the development process of the Advanced Light Torpedo Shyena. DRDO has recently developed the Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART), and is focusing to make an add-on kit for Shyena. With the help of this kit, Shyena will be able to glide in air at an altitude of 20,000 feet. It will also make the Boeing P-8i Poseidon Maritime Patrol jet capable enough to attack enemy submarines from long ranges.
The add-on kit will include a navigation system based on GPS – INS, a flight control computer, a power source and several other components. DRDO may also integrate a data link to the kit, which will help in transmitting the updates of target position. The plans may include turning the advanced light torpedo Shyena into a glide weapon with wings and air controls which can activate its parachute before it enters the water. With the help of this glider kit, Shyena will glide for 7 to 10 minutes to cover a distance of 25-30 km and then will enter the water. Shyena, after entering the water, will travel for 20 more km to hit the intended target.
Short Service Commission officers to use Military Ranks after retirement
According to a decision of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the retired Short Service Commission (SSC) officer of the Indian Army will now be allowed to use their Military ranks. The demand by the SSC officers to use their military ranks after release from service was pending since 1983. This decision by the ministry will remove the dissatisfaction and discontentment among the retired SSC officers. Earlier, the retired SSC officers were not authorized to use their military ranks after the completion of their mandated terms and conditions of service. Even after serving country under the same service conditions and facing similar hardships as the Permanent Commission officers, the SSC officers were deprived of using their ranks.
This decision will also act as a morale booster for the young defence aspirants and the existing SSC officers. The SSC officers act as a support cadre to the officers’ cadre of the Indian Army. Earlier, they served for a period of 5 years. After some reforms, their service tenure was increased to 10 years, which can be further extended to 14 years. The SSC scheme of Army was launched to increase the participation of youth in defence sector and make up the deficiency of young officers in the battalions. The Army has always tried to make the SSC attractive for the youth, and this decision is one of them.
‘Operation Thiruvallur’ under progress in Tamil Nadu
‘Operation Thiruvallur’ has been launched by the troops of Southern Command, Pune for safely disposing off the 10 tonnes of unexploded ordnance, collected from other factories. This operation, with the aegis of ‘Aid to Civil Authorities’, is being conducted in the SIPCOT Industrial Area in Gummidipoondi in Thiruvallur district in Tamil Nadu. The unexploded ordnance is segregated and disposed from a metal scrap dump, which is now covered with undergrowth. This dump remains unattended after a violent blast which took place few years back. A factory worker died in this attack. The Army and Tamil Nadu State Government have presented a classic demonstration of joint coordination and planning during this operation.
This operation aims to create a safe environment for the citizens living in Gummidipoondi. The operation started after many weeks of detailed planning. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved the operation on the request of civil authorities and Tamil Nadu State Government.