VIF Digest: Defence, National Security and Terrorism (Vol 1 Issue III)

November 15-30, 2017

Contents

Portable Diver Detection Sonar;
INS Sarvekshak at Dar-Es-Salaam;
Seminar on ‘Cyber Security in the context of Indian Navy’ at New Delhi;
Joint Indo-Bangladesh Exercise Sampriti 2017;
Successful firing of Brahmos Air Launched Missile from Su-30 MKI Aircraft;
Defence of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Exercise (DANX-17);
Chief of the Naval Staff Visits Bangladesh;
Second Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Singapore;
IAF Achieves Milestone in Air to Air Refueling (AAR) on Transport Aircraft;
Egypt-Attack on Al Rawdh Mosque;
Iraq-Anti Daesh Operation in Anbar;
Iraqi Fighter aircrafts foil Suicide attack near Mosul;
Large amount of explosives recovered in Baghdad;
Syria- US Marines leave after liberating Raqqa;
Libya-100 Daesh militants killed during the US Airstrike;
Somalia-100 al-Shabab militants killed in US Airstrike;
Five feared dead in Boko Haram Adamawa Attack;
Boko Haram attack on Army Base in Magumeri;
Security Forces Continue Counter-terrorism Operations, LeT Divisional Commander killed; Jaish and Lashkar Terrorists arrested

Defence

Portable Diver Detection Sonar

In consonance with Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ Policy, the Indian Navy, on 15th November 2017, concluded a contract with Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division for supply of Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS) under the ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category. Induction of Portable Diver Detection Sonar would further enhance Indian Navy’s Underwater Surveillance Capability in the field of Low Intensity Maritime Operations. Procurement of these sonars for utilisation on board ships is being undertaken by the Indian Navy to augment countermeasures against asymmetric threats. [ Back to Contents ]

INS Sarvekshak at Dar-Es-Salaam

In an initiative to bolster bilateral relations with friendly foreign countries and navies in the Indian ocean region, INS Sarvekshak, a hydrographic survey ship arrived at Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on 15 Nov 17 for undertaking joint Hydrographic Survey along with the Tanzanian Navy. INS Sarvekshak has also undertaken various foreign cooperation surveys in the last few years in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles and Kenya. [ Back to Contents ]

Seminar on ‘Cyber Security in the context of Indian Navy

A seminar on ‘Cyber Security in the Context of Indian Navy’ was held on 17 November 2017 at DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi by the Directorate of Information Warfare, Integrated Headquarters Ministry of Defence (Navy). Experts and practitioners from the Indian Navy shared their perspectives on Cyber Systems related to Military viz. ‘Achieving Information Security for Military Embedded Systems’ and ‘Leveraging Cyber Operations for Information Superiority in the Network Centric Battlefield’. Speakers also deliberated upon issues such as ‘Cyber Security Challenges posed by Smart phones and IOT Devices’ and ‘Implications of Social Media on Operations Security’. [ Back to Contents ]

Joint Indo-Bangladesh Exercise ‘SAMPRITI 2017’

Joint Indo-Bangladesh Training Exercise SAMPRITI 2017, which was conducted at Counter Insurgency & Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte in Mizoram, culminated with a validation exercise. This was the seventh such exercise in the SAMPRITI series aimed at strengthening and broadening aspects of interoperability and cooperation between the Indian and Bangladesh Armies. The 13-day long field training exercise commenced on 06 November 2017. It was conducted in a progressive manner wherein the participants initially familiarised themselves with each other’s organisational structure and tactical drills. Subsequently, the training advanced to various joint tactical exercises by the two Armies. [ Back to Contents ]

Successful Firing of BrahMos Air Launched Missile from Su-30 MKI Aircraft

IAF successfully fired the BrahMos air version anti shipping missile from its frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft off the Eastern Coast. The launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory before directly hitting the ship target. The air launched BrahMos missile is a 2.5 ton supersonic air to surface cruise missile with ranges of more than 400 kms. The IAF is the first Air Force in the world to have successfully fired an air launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category. One of the major challenges overcome by scientists of RCI, DRDO in the missile development was optimization of Transfer Alignment of the inertial sensors of the missile. The BrahMos missile provides Indian Air Force a much desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target be in sea or land with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions.[ Back to Contents ]

Defence of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Exercise (DANX-17)

Defence of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Exercise (DANX) was conducted under the aegis of Andaman & Nicobar Command. The five-day exercise started on 20 Nov 2017 and culminated on 24 Nov 2017. Main objective of the exercise was to practice & validate procedures and drills of all the Command forces aimed at defending Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Additional forces from the main land including fighters, Special Forces, Naval ships and heavy lift transport aircraft participated in the exercise. The highlights of the exercise were fighter ops, night para jumps at sea, slithering of troops from helicopters and amphibious landings of troops by ships.[ Back to Contents ]

Chief of the Naval Staff Visits Bangladesh

Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy visited Bangladesh to participate in the International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) being held in Bangladesh from 26 to 28 November 2017 under the aegis of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), an initiative started by Indian Navy in 2008, and now has 23 ‘Member’ nations and nine ‘Observer’ countries. Continuing with the active engagement within IONS, Bangladesh, the current ‘Chair’ of IONS is conducting the first ever operational exercise called ‘IMMSAREX’, under the IONS Charter. The exercise was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on 27 November 2017 in Cox Bazar, Bangladesh. In-addition to the conduct of the exercise, an ‘Extraordinary Conclave of Chiefs (ECoC)’ meeting of IONS was conducted on 28th November 2017, at Cox Bazar, which was also attended by the Chiefs of the Navy. [ Back to Contents ]

Second Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Singapore

The 2nd Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Singapore was held on 29 November 2017. During this meeting, India-Singapore Bilateral Agreement for Naval Cooperation was concluded, which will lead to increased cooperation in maritime security, joint exercises, temporary deployments from each other’s naval facilities and mutual logistics support. Both Ministers looked forward to the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise next year. On regional security, both Ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining maritime freedom of navigation and trade consistent with international law. Appreciating India’s leading role in the Indian Ocean Region, Dr Ng agreed to India’s proposal for continuous and institutionalised naval engagements in their shared maritime space, including establishing maritime exercises with like-minded regional/ ASEAN partners. Singapore and India have also made progress in defence industry cooperation, with the signing of the terms of reference for the Defence Industry Working Group (DIWG) in August this year. Both Ministers agreed that this would facilitate greater collaboration in aerospace, electronics and other areas of mutual interest between the defence industries of both countries. [ Back to Contents ]

IAF Achieves Milestone in Air to Air Refueling (AAR) on Transport Aircraft

An Indian Air Force Embraer transport aircraft specialised to conduct Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) function, successfully carried out AAR, to fly a long duration flight beyond the aircraft’s stated endurance. It is also the first time that AAR has been carried out on the Embraer platform. IAF is one of the few Air Forces in the world to demonstrate this capability. A mere 10 minute in-flight refuelling can generate additional four hours of flying endurance. The achievement has given a tremendous boost to Indian Air Force’s operational capability. [ Back to Contents ]

International Terrorism

Egypt-Attack on Al Rawdh Mosque

Egypt witnessed one of the deadliest terror attack on November 24, 2017 in which nearly 305 people were killed. The attacker drove a four-wheeler and exploded it inside the mosque. The attacker also sprayed bullets over worshippers. Abu Hajar al-Hashemi, the Daesh leader in Sinai is suspected to be the main perpetrator of the attack, though Al-Islam, a local militant group of Egypt is also suspected. However, immediately after the attack, Al-Islam issued a statement claiming its innocence. The Egyptian president has ordered the military to restore security and stability to the Sinai Peninsula in three months and authorised troops to use brute force if necessary. [ Back to Contents ]

The trend analysis also strongly indicate the Daesh footprint as the target was a Sufi Mosque. From the initial days of Daesh and al Qaeda militants have targeted Shia and Sufi sites questioning the legitimacy of these sects. The Sufi mosque attack in Baluchistan in November 2016 was also claimed by Daesh in which nearly 50 people lost their lives.

Iraq-Anti Daesh Operation in Anbar

The US-assisted Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) launched a final military campaign against Daesh on November 29, 2017. The military campaign consists of air strikes followed by army operations. Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial hold in Iraq earlier this month with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria. It is considered to be the last bastion of Daesh in Iraq. Officially, the ISF has declared that at a military level Daesh in Iraq is completely wiped out and final victory over Islamic State (IS) would be proclaimed after al-Jazirah is totally cleared. [ Back to Contents ]

Iraqi Fighter Aircrafts foil Suicide Attack near Mosul

Iraqi Army fighter jets claimed to have foiled a suicide attack in a Harraj village neighbouring the city of Mosul on November 30, 2017. The fighter aircrafts destroyed a booby-trapped armoured vehicle driven by a Daesh militant aiming at the Counter-Terrorism Service and Rapid Response Forces of the Iraq. The ISF is working to clear the desert area between Nineveh, Anbar and Salahuddin from Daesh vestiges. After liberating the city of Mosul the ISF has been combing the city for potential dormant militancy cells, arrested suspects and fought off occasional deadly attacks by Daesh. The Iraqi Prime Minister likely to declare a final victory of ISF against Daesh after completion of anti-Daesh operations in desert areas. [ Back to Contents ]

Large amount of Explosives Recovered in Baghdad

Iraqi Security Forces seized a large cache of explosives at a location south of Baghdad on November 30. These included 42 military grade explosive charges, seven mortar shells and remotely detonated bombs in huge quantity. No casualties were reported. After the major victory of ISF in Mosul and Tel Afar, the ISF arrested a large number of outlaws who were involved in various criminal and terrorist activities in Iraq. Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq earlier this month with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs based in Iraq, the intense anti-Daesh operation has resulted in over 3 million internally displaced persons across Iraq and humanitarian assistance was provided to nearly 11 million people across Iraq. People have started returning back to their houses. Nearly 400 people in Tel Afar and 200 people in Diyala have returned to their family homes. [ Back to Contents ]

Syria- US Marines leave after liberating Raqqa

The US coalition in an official statement confirmed that with the liberation of Raqqa, the anti-Daesh operation of US Marine Corps is over and the troops from an artillery unit of 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment will leave from Syria. The US has also called off the replacement of these troops. These US troops provided artillery and Special Forces support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and retook the city of Raqqa in October 2017. The liberation of Raqqa was an intense battle involving an estimated 2500 Daesh militants. The Marine artillery units with an approximate strength of 2000 troops had arrived for the assistance of SDF in May 2017 with 155-mm guns. The consistent US air strikes and artillery support denied and disrupted Daesh from gaining ground in Syria. Rest of the US troops will continue to work with SDF to prevent re-emergence of Daesh in Syria and Iraq. [ Back to Contents ]

Libya-100 Daesh Militants Killed during the US Airstrike

The US has stepped up it's targeting of extremists in Africa. The US launched an airstrike in Libya on November 21, 2017. After the attack, the Africa Command of the US Air Force (US-AFCOM) in a statement, confirmed that nearly 100 Daesh militants were killed. Similar airstrikes were also conducted by the USAFCOM on November 17 near Fuqaha and on November 19, 2017. No casualties were mentioned by the USAFCOM statement. These operations were launched by the USAFCOM in coordination with Libya’s interim government also known as Government of National Accord. [ Back to Contents ]

Somalia-100 al-Shabab Militants Killed in US Airstrike

In a drone strike by US-AFCOM targeting al-Shabab camp northwest of Mogadishu, Somalia, more than 100 al-Shabab terrorists were killed. This is the single largest deaths from a single US Airstrike in Somalia in 2017 when the USAFCOM expanded its military operations against al-Shabab. These airstrikes were executed in coordination with Somalia’s federal government. In 2016, the US airstrike killed nearly 150 al-Shabab militants in Somalia. [ Back to Contents ]

Five feared Dead in Boko Haram Adamawa Attack

Boko Haram militants launched an attack on Wuna village in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State on November 30, 2017, killing five people. The attack came days after about 50 persons were killed in a similar attack on a Mosque in Mubi town during the Morning Prayer. [ Back to Contents ]

Boko Haram Attack on Army Base in Magumeri

In a terror attack at Nigerian Army forward base at Magumeri, Boko Haram militants killed three Nigerian soldiers on November 26, 2017. The militants were later dislodged by a reinforcement of troops from the Nigerian Army 5th Brigade. Some militants fled with an Army truck and ammunition looted from the armory of the base. [ Back to Contents ]

Internal Security

Jammu and Kashmir

Security Forces Continue Counter-terrorism Operations in Bandipora, Kupwara, Tral and other Areas

In an intelligence-based operation, security forces, in coordination with J&K Police, killed six terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), on November 18, 2017, at Chandergeer village of Bandipora district. All the six slain terrorists were identified as of Pakistani descent. In continuing anti-terror operations in the valley, the security forces neutralised Owaid, Abdul Rehman Makki’s son and nephew of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi. Apart from Lakhvi’s nephew, two LeT commanders Zargam and Mehmood were also neutralised in the same operation. Large quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from the operation site.

In another intelligence-driven operation, the security forces along with J&K Police killed three Lashkar e Taiba terrorists on November 21, 2017, at Magam area of Kupwara district. In a joint operation between security forces and J&K Police, one militant was killed in Tral area on November 19, 2017. [ Back to Contents ]

LeT Divisional Commander Killed.

In a well-crafted intelligence-driven operation, the security forces killed the L-e-T divisional commander Muzammil on November 30, 2017, in in Baramulla. Muzamil, a Pakistani national, was divisional commander of LeT in North Kashmir. After the operation, one AK rifle, five AK magazines, 124 AK rounds, one Under Barrel Grenade Launcher and five rounds and other ammunition were recovered from the operation site.

Three Jaish Terrorists Neutralised

In another intelligence-based operation, the Army and CRPF contingent killed three Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists at Futlipora area of Charar-e-Sharief in Budgaon on November 30, 2017. A local terrorist identified as Shabir Ahmad Dar, resident of Thokerpora, Pulwama, was also among the four terrorists killed in this operation. Identity of other two foreign terrorists is being ascertained. Three AK rifles with magazines, 111 AK rounds and other ammunition were recovered from the operation site. During the operation, local villagers staged protest and clashed with the security forces. Forces fired tear gas and pellets against stone pelting masses and brought the situation under control.

Jaish and Lashkar Terrorists Arrested by J&K Police

Based on concrete Intelligence, during a search and coming operation, J&K Police arrested three terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad from Badgam area of the Valley on November 26, 2017. Police recovered an self-loading rifle, a pistol, several rounds of bullets and hand grenades from the arrested militants.

In another operation, Police arrested three LeT terrorists of Pakistani origin from Kupwara on November 24, 2017. A rifle along with two magazines was recovered from these terrorists. These arrests were made in the course of an intelligence-driven search operation by Indian Army and J&K Police in the forest area of Handwara, in Kupwara district. [ Back to Contents ]