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

April 01 – 15, 2018



Defexpo-2018 a Grand Success;
IAF Exercise Gagan-Shakti 2018 displays IAF’s Airpower;
Indian Companies and Russian OEMs Sign seven MoUs;
BEML and OFB launched 155mm 52 Cal Mounted Gun system – a Force Multiplier;
RM calls for Building Stronger Military to Military Ties;

International Terrorism:

Anti-Daesh Operations continue with High Casualty Rate;
Abu Walid al-Shishany killed in Kirkuk;
Afghanistan-IS Sympathisers/Militants killed by Afghan Special Forces;
Pakistan-4 Killed in an attack on Church in Quetta;
Easter Monday Attack in Quetta;
Africa-Boko Haram Attack in Northeast Nigeria Kills 18;
African Union Base attacked in Somalia;
Suicide Attack Sinai;
UK-First military Counter Cyber-Attack by the UK against ISIS;

Internal Terrorism:

Dawood in UNSC Terrorist List;
Jammu and Kashmir-13 Terrorists were killed in three Encounters;
NIA Raid at Madarsa in UP, 7 Kashmiri students Arrested;
LWE-Three LWE Cadre killed in Encounter at Srikonda.


Defexpo-2018 a Grand Success

The 10th Defexpo India, a biennial exhibition on Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems, commenced on April 11 at Thiruvidanthai on the East Coast Road near Chennai and concluded on April 14. The Expo coincided with Tamil New Year and also with 127th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Dr B R Ambedkar. On the sidelines of the Defexpo India – 2018, indigenously designed and built Indian Naval Ships Sahydari - a stealth frigate, Kamorta - anti submarine warfare corvette, Sumitra - a naval advanced offshore patrol vessel, Airavat - an amphibious ship and Kirch - a missile corvette were kept ‘Open to Visitors’ at Chennai Port for the first time in the history of Defexpo. The Defexpo witnessed four-days of hectic activities with underlined theme of ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’ showcasing India’s capability in export of defence systems and components. More than 670 exhibitors, including over 150 international exhibitors took part in the event. The MSME sector had a representation of around 15 per cent. [Back to Contents ]

Exercise Gagan-Shakti 2018 displays IAF’s Airpower

Major IAF level exercise Gagan Shakti commenced from 11 Apr 18. Over 1100 aircraft have been deployed at their operational locations for the exercise. This exercise was unique as the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) fighters were deployed at forward bases for the first time. During the first phase of the exercise, all the deployed LCA aircraft had participated. The employment of LCA in the exercise will go a long way in incorporating it in the operational matrix of the IAF.

IAF also conducted maritime air operations on the Western sea board, with the clear aim of air dominance and deep strike validation over the extended area of interest in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). In the long range strike concept validation, the Su-30s airborne from a base on the eastern coast engaged multiple targets, in the western seaboard, at distances beyond 2500 km, and landed at a southern base, thus covering a total distance of 4000 km, in a single mission. IL-78 Flight Refueling Aircraft ensured long range strike capabilities for our fighter aircraft. The joint operations had Indian Navy’s P-8I aircraft and AWACS of IAF in support.

The IAF conducted a mass casualty air evacuation drill in the Northern sector. 88 Casualties were airlifted from Leh and taken to Chandigarh by C-17 Globe Master. An indigenously developed Patient Transfer Unit (PTU) capable of providing In-Flight Critical Care to patients was demonstrated during the exercise. This capability will also be utilised by the IAF in case of Human Assistance & Disaster Relief operations near the incident locations by even landing on the designated highways. [Back to Contents ]

Indian Companies and Russian OEMs Sign MoUs

The third India-Russia Military Industrial Conference was held on the side-lines of Defexpo 2018 on April 13. Around 75 Indian defence sector manufacturing companies and 28 Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from Russian industry participated in the conference. Deliberations focused on improvement of after-sales support of Russian origin defence platforms, facilitating domestic manufacturing of some of the identified spare parts,

As part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government, seven Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed between the Indian Private manufacturing companies and Russian OEMs for manufacture/ development of spares/ sub-assemblies/ assemblies of identified Russian origin platforms in use by the Indian Armed Forces in collaboration with the Russian OEMs. The first conference was held in March 2017 in New Delhi and second in August 2017 in Moscow. [Back to Contents ]

BEML and OFB launch 155mm 52 Cal Mounted Gun system

The Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML) and the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) unveiled their latest product 155mm 52 Cal Mounted Gun system at a function held at the ongoing Defexpo 2018 in Chennai. The project has been completely designed and manufactured by OFB in association with BEML and Bharat Electronics Lid. (BEL) as part of ‘Make in India’ initiative. The base vehicle used for the gun system is the BEML-TATRA 8X8 truck. It is a high mobility and a cruising speed of 80 km/hr on road and more than 30 km/hr in cross-country and has a cruising range of 1000 km without refueling. The armament used in the 155 mm 52 Cal has a target destruction capability of approximately 42 km. With its high strategic manoeuvrability and all weather capability it will be a force multiplier for the Indian artillery. [Back to Contents ]

RM Calls for Building Stronger Military to Military Ties

Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman addressed a meeting of India’s Defence Attaches (DAs) on April 09. It was the first such conference held with the DAs, with a view to enhance their role towards implementation of India’s defence cooperation and engagement with foreign countries. Addressing the DAs, the RM outlined India’s interest in building stronger military to military cooperation, training and capacity building as well as cooperation on defence industry and technology with our partners. She encouraged the DAs to play a more pro-active role in this process, highlighting India’s views and positions on the evolving regional and global security scenario as well as its rapid economic, technical and military advancements. Enumerating ongoing efforts to expand defence manufacturing in India under Prime Minister’s Make in India initiative, the RM also stressed the need for DAs to engage effectively with all stakeholders in the defence sector, including DPSUs as well as private industry, to expand broader defence cooperation linkages. [Back to Contents ]

Bullet Proof Jackets for Army under ‘Make In India’

A major contract through capital procurement route for procurement of 1, 86,138 Bullet Proof Jackets (BPJs) has been signed for the Indian Army. These ergonomically designed BPJs have modular parts, thereby providing immense protection and flexibility to soldiers operating in different operational situations ranging from long distance patrolling to high risk room intervention scenarios. The case was processed as a ‘Buy Indian’. [Back to Contents ]

International Terrorism


Anti-Daesh Operations is continued amidst High Casualty

In December 2017, the Iraqi Prime Minister declared the complete liberation of Iraq from the control of Daesh. Recent developments in Iraq strongly suggest that Daesh has been defeated militarily, however, the ongoing continuous attacks by Daesh militants across northern Iraq indicates that Daesh militants have transformed their capabilities and show no sign of the end of Anti-Daesh campaign in Iraq. The continuous attacks by Daesh militants on the check posts of Iraqi Security forces in Anabar and Kirkuk provinces confirm this. Attacks are also reported in Mosul as well as Diyala Province. Though the group has not gained control over any territory of Iraq, it has managed to establish some sleeper cells responsible for the recent attacks. The Iraqi Security Forces have confirmed that the families of Daesh militants have been growing and hundreds of displaced families have returned to their respective region. (More information: and ) [Back to Contents ]

Abu Walid al-Shishany killed in Kirkuk

The Iraq Security Forces (ISF) killed the Daesh leader Abu Walid al-Shishny on April 09, 2018 on the outskirts of Kirkuk. Al-Shishny is believed to be the closest aide of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It is believed that after the fall of Mosul and Raqqa Shishny was tasked to plot terrorist attacks in Kirkuk. (More information: ) [Back to Contents ]


IS Sympathisers and Militants killed by Afghan Special Forces

In an intelligence-based counter-terror operation by Afghan Special Forces, a total 28 IS sympathisers and militants were killed in Eastern Nangarhar Province on April 14, 2018. These counter-terrorist operations were conducted by Afghan Special Forces at Roudat, Door Baba and Heska Mena districts of Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan. (More information: ) [Back to Contents ]


4 Killed in an attack on Church in Quetta

In a bike born gun attack after a Sunday service, at least two people were killed and five others injured. After the attack, the community members carrying the dead bodies, staged a protest demonstration and blocked roads disrupting traffic, alleging government’s “failure” to end attacks on Christians. (More Information: [Back to Contents ]

Easter Monday Attack in Quetta

On April 2, 2018, (Easter Monday) four members of the Christian family were shot dead in Quetta by Islamic State (IS) militants as claimed by the group in its media statement. However, the Pakistani Army denied the presence of ISIS in the country. (More information - ) [Back to Contents ]

Terror attacks in Pakistan in March 2018

The Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies has released a monthly data about terror incidents in Pakistan for March 2018. According to the report dated April 7, 2018, there were 25 terror attacks across Pakistan in March 2018 in which 27 people were killed. Fatalities included 19 civilians, 14 policemen, two Frontier Corps men and two militants. Security and law enforcement agencies conducted seven operational strikes against militants in March 2018, 3 in Baluchistan, two in Federally Administered Frontier Area (FATA) and many others in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In these operations nine militants and FC men were killed. [Back to Contents ]


Boko Haram Attack in Northeast Nigeria Killed 18

In a massive terror attack carried out by Boko Haram militants in the villages of Bala Shuwa and Bala Kura located outskirts of the Maiduguri on April 01, 2018, 18 people are feared killed and 84 others injured. The Nigerian government has claimed that it has achieved area dominance over Boko Haram. However, the rising attacks by the terror group, contradicts their claims. (More information: ) [Back to Contents ]

African Union Base attacked in Somalia

In a suicide terror attack over African Union Base of Bulamarer located South West of Mogadishu, 46 Ugandan troops associated with African Union troops were killed on April 01, 2018. The Attack was claimed by Al Shabab. Such attacks are designed to hasten the departure of Amisom, the military and policing coalition under the authority of the African Union, which has been fighting al-Shabaab for more than a decade. (More information: ) [Back to Contents ]

Suicide Attack hits Sinai

The City of Sinai was shattered by a suicide attack on April 14, 2018, in which eight Egyptian soldiers and 14 terrorists were killed. The attack was the largest against Egyptian security forces since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won a second term last month. (More information: ) [Back to Contents ]


First military Counter Cyber-Attack by the UK against IS

The Government Communications Headquarter (GCHQ), revealed on April 12, 2018, that Britain has used its cyber capabilities against IS. The GCHQ which is Britain’s electronic intelligence unit in a press interaction said that for first time the UK has systematically and persistently degraded online efforts of Daesh as part of a joint military campaign against Daesh. (More information: ) [Back to Contents ]

Domestic Terrorism

Dawood figures in the UN Security Council Terrorist List

The United Nations Security Council has updated its list of terrorist and militant groups on April 04, 2018. In this updated list 139 terrorists were identified from Pakistan alone. The Security Council's list identifies all those individuals who lived in Pakistan and operated from there or have been associated with groups that used Pakistani territory for carrying out their operations. UNSC has incorporated most wanted terrorist of India Dawood Kaskar who has held several Pakistani passports issued at Rawalpindi and Karachi. The terrorist entities include Jaish-e-Mohammed, Afghan Support Committee, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Al Akhtar Trust International, Harkatul Jihad Islami, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, Jamaatul Ahrar and Khatiba Imam Al-Bukhari. Some of them are listed as based in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area. (More information: ) [Back to Contents ]

Jammu and Kashmir

13 Terrorists killed in three Encounters in Kashmir

In intelligence-driven operations conducted at three different places in J&K, 13 terrorists of different terrorist organisations were killed by the Indian Army over a period of 24 hours on April 01, 2018. The operations were launched at Dragad Village and Kachdoora village of Shopian and Dialgam village of Anantnag district. According to the Press release of 15 Corps of Indian Army, the terrorists killed included those responsible for the brutal killing of Lieutenant Umar Fayaz. Out of these 13 slain terrorists, the identities of 11 have been verified and Army confirmed that all the 13 were locals.

In response to these counter-terror operations, separatists on April 01, 2018, called for a two-day strike in Kashmir under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL). The JRL comprises Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Mailk. It further asked people in the Valley to suspend business and other activities and offer funeral prayers in absentia. Among those neutralised were Ishfaq Thokar, Ehtehmad Hussian and Aquib Iqbal who were responsible for many terrorist activities in the Shopian area. The killers of Lt Fayaz have been identified as Ahmad Malik and Rayees Thokar belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen.

While the operations were ongoing, many locals disrupted the operations, four civilians were killed and three soldiers lost their lives. In a statement issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, it was underscored that all the 13 terrorists who were killed in multiple operations had joined the ranks of various terror groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir post-2016. [Back to Contents ]

NIA Raid at Madarsa in UP arrested 7 Kashmiri Unidentified Students

In connection with an investigation of terrorist activities, National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out raid at Jamia Arabia Madrasa located in Banda district in UP and arrested seven unidentified students of Kashmiri domicile on April 04, 2018. Earlier on March 09, 2018, NIA team has visited the same Madrasa and probed the students on the suspicion of their connection with terrorist activities and after a thorough investigation, the NIA arrested these seven students. [Back to Contents ]

Left Wing Extremism

Three LWE Cadre killed in an encounter at Srikonda, Maharashtra

In an intelligence-driven operation of Maharashtra Police, three CPI-Maoists cadres were killed at Srikonda forest area in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on April 03, 2018. Among the slain LWE cadres, two have been identified as Vilas Kulmethe (31), a ‘divisional committee member’ (DCM) and ‘commander’ of Sironcha Dalam, carrying INR 1.60 million head money, his wife Swaroopa alias Amsi Pocha Talandi, an ‘area committee member’ (ACM) and an absconder with a INR 600,000 bounty on her head. The identity of the third LWE cadre has released as Sushil Narote alias Ropi. Two rifles, ammunition, and Maoists literature have been recovered by Maharashtra Police from the operation site. [Back to Contents ]

Latehar Encounter

In a joint intelligence-based operation of CRPF, Jharkhand Jaguars and District Police, Latehar, five cadres of CPI-M were killed in an area between Sikid and Kedu forest area of Latehar district of Jharkhand on April 04, 2018. After the operations, two Self Loading Rifles (SLRs), Two Indian Smal Arms System (INSAS) assault rifles, .315 bore rifle, and large quantum of ammunition was recovered from the encounter site. [Back to Contents ]

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