VIF Fortnightly Digest: Defence, National Security & Terrorism (Vol 2 Issue IV)

March 16 – 31, 2018

Contents

Defence Manufacturing Unit;

Cabinet approval for MoU between India and SACEP;

GSL Delivers 2nd AOPV to Sri Lankan Navy Ahead of Schedule;

Successful Test Firing of Brahmos with Indigenous Seeker;

International Terrorism

Iraq-Daesh militants attempting to regain Anabar province;

Terror attack in Damascus-44 killed;

39 Indians stranded in Iraq were killed by Daesh;

Afghanistan-Kabul Bombings;

Africa-Mogadishu Bombings;

Domestic Terrorism

J&K-Operations in Pulwama, Kupwara and Anantnag;

Cross border shelling in Poonch.
Defence

Manufacturing Unit

Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Subhash Bhamre, informed (March 28) the Parliament that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has taken up a number of manufacturing /overhauling projects such as:-

• Setting up a green field helicopter manufacturing facility at Biderehalla Kaval, Tumakuru District, Karnataka, foundation for which was laid by the Prime Minister on January 03, 2016. The facility at an initial cost of around 2000 crore, will function as an independent Division of HAL. The new facility would be self-contained unit for production and maintenance of Light Utility Helicopters (LUH), with future expansion for production of other helicopters. Indo Russian Helicopter Pvt. Ltd. (IRHL) was incorporated as Joint Venture (JV) cum subsidiary in May 2017 between HAL, Russian Helicopters and Rosoboronexport, with the objective to manufacture Ka-226T helicopters in India.

• Helicopter Engines MRO Pvt. Ltd. was incorporated as JV in August 2016 between HAL and Safran Helicopter Engines, France, with an objective to provide complete maintenance support for the Shakti and TM3332B2 engines fitted on Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) produced by HAL and operated by the Defence Services. The authorised capital of the JV is Rs 50 crores. The JV has 50 per cent shareholding by HAL and 50 per cent by Safran Helicopter Engines. This JV has planned to set up its facilities at Goa. [Back to Contents ]

Cabinet Approval for MoU between India and SACEP

Union Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) for cooperation on the response to oil and chemical pollution in the South Asian Seas Region. The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation between India and other maritime nations of South Asian seas region, namely Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, for protection and preservation of marine environment in the region. Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will be the Competent National Authority and national operational contact point for implementation of ‘Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan’ under the MoU and shall respond to oil and chemical spills on behalf of Government of India. Further, ICG Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) will be the national emergency response center for marine incidents.

Governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka had established the SACEP in 1982 in Sri Lanka, jointly with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan facilitates international co-operation and mutual assistance in preparing and responding to a major oil pollution incidents in the seas around the maritime states of Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. [Back to Contents ]

GSL Delivers 2nd AOPV to Sri Lankan Navy Ahead of Schedule

Continuing with its track record of delivering ships ahead of contractual schedule in last four years, Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) has once again delivered the second Sri Lanka Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (SL AOPV) of Sri Lankan Navy at a ceremony at Vaddem, Vasco da Gama. The vessel will be the largest and most advanced ship in the Sri Lankan Navy fleet. This is the fourth OPV delivered in the current financial year. The keel of the vessel was laid on May 09, 2015 and it was launched on May 02, 2017. About three years ago, Sri Lanka Navy Ship (SLNS) Sayurala, the first AOPV of the series delivered in July 2017 ahead of contractual schedule.

Goa Shipyard has a unique distinction of delivering all the ships ahead of contractual schedule and has been officially adjudged as the ‘Best Performing Shipyard’ by the Ministry of Defence, besides being the largest exporter shipyard of the country. Turnover of GSL has grown nearly three times with profits rising from (-) Rs 60 crore to over Rs 220 crore in the last four years. [Back to Contents ]

Successful Test Firing of Brahmos with Indigenous Seeker

BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile with indigenous seeker was successfully flight tested at the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan. The supersonic cruise missile and the seeker have been developed jointly by DRDO and BrahMos Aerospace. The precision strike weapon flew in its designated trajectory and hit the pre-set target. [Back to Contents ]

International Terrorism

Iraq-Daesh Militants attempting to regain Anbar Province

The Iraqi Security Forces had in November 2017, liberated all the territory of Iraq from the control of Daesh. However, the security forces officials confirm that the recent suicide attacks in and around Mosul are indicative of attempts by Daesh militants to regroup. Though the fatality rate has been lower since November 2017, casualty figures are still considered on higher side. Some reports of kidnapping and shooting were also reported from Hawija district of Kirkuk Province of Iraq.

For more information - https://thearabweekly.com/isis-seeking-comeback-iraq [Back to Contents ]

Terror attack in Damascus - 44 killed

The Syrian capital Damascus witnessed a deadly terror attack on March 21, 2018 in which 44 people were killed. Most of the victims were women and children.

For more information - https://www.thestar.com/news /world/2018/03/21 /syrian-market-assault-leaves-38-dead-marking-one-of-deadliest-damascus-attacks-in-years.html [Back to Contents ]

39 Indians stranded in Iraq were Killed by Daesh

The foreign minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj stated in the Parliament on March 21 2018 that 39 Indians stranded in Mosul were killed by Daesh militants. These Indian citizens were kidnapped by Daesh militants in 2014. Most of them were from Punjab.

For more information - https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/39-indian-hostages-held-by-isi... /63377052.cms [Back to Contents ]

Afghanistan-Kabul Bombings
A Daesh bomber detonated explosives in a crowd celebrating the Persian New Year in Kabul, Afghanistan, on March 21, 2018 in which 31 people killed. The explosion happened right outside the hospital. The bomber was apparently stopped before reaching a Shiite shrine in the Kart-e Sakhi area of Western Kabul, where a much larger crowd had gathered. India strongly condemned the "inhumane and barbaric" terrorist attack in Kabul and extended all possible assistance to the war-torn country.

For more information - https://www.nytimes.com/2018/ 03/21/world/asia/ kabul-suicide-bombing.html [Back to Contents ]

Africa-Mogadishu Bombings

The Somalian capital Mogadishu was shattered by bomb blast on March 25 2018. A car bomb exploded at a security checkpoint near the Interior Ministry on a road leading to the presidential palace. 18 people were killed and 22 were injured in the incident. The attack was claimed by Al Shabab an affiliate militant group to Al Qaeda.

For more information - https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/25/ world/africa/somalia-bombing-mogadishu-shabab.html [Back to Contents ]

Domestic Terrorism

Jammu and KashmirOperations in Pulwama, Kupwara, Anantnag and Budgam

Two militants were killed in an encounter on March 16, 2018 after they unsuccessfully tried to snatch weapon from a personal security guard in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. The bodies of the two militants were recovered from the encounter site. Their identities are being ascertained. Weapons, ammunitions and incriminating material have been recovered as well, police sources said.

In an intelligence-based operation on March 20, 2018 at Halmatpora forest area in Kupwara district, five militants and five security personnel were killed. The security forces have killed 25 top commanders of various terror organisations till March 2018. Similarly, in another intelligence driven operation, two terrorists were killed by the security forces on March 24, 2018 in Anantnag district. After the operations, bodies of the two terrorists along with arms cache of two AK-47 47 rifles, 2 pistols, grenades and ammunition cartridges were recovered from the operation site.

In a joint operation on March 25, 2018 in Budgam district, security forces killed one terrorist. After the operation, one AK-47 rifle and ammunition cartridges were recovered from the operation site. [Back to Contents ]

Cross Border Shelling in Poonch

Meanwhile, cross border shelling by Pakistani forces continued near Line of Control in Poonch Sector in which five members of a family were killed on March 18, 2018. The In this context, Parliament was informed that this year, a total 509 incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistani Army were recorded till February 2018. This was much higher in comparison to the total 860 incidents of ceasefire violations recorded in the whole of 2017. [Back to Contents ]