Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Friday, July 24, 2015
Bengaluru, July 24: The Long Range Surface Air Missile (LR-SAM) will be tested-fired in India, coming October.
LRSAM, also known as Barak-8, being co-developed by India and Israel had already been successfully flight-tested against a flying target in Israel in November 2014.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have joined hands for developing LRSAM, which has a range of 70 km.
Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) V Udaya Bhaskar told defence journalists on the sidelines of the two-day Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Summit (ADMS 2015) that the LRSAM project is moving in the ‘right direction.’
“The programme has been going on for the last five to six years. The missile will have its Indian leg of trial in October. The current trials are for Navy and we will conduct parallel ground trials for the Air Force and Army variants as well,” Udaya Bhaskar said.
Full report, here: http://bit.ly/1emea9F
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Friday, July 3, 2015
Bengaluru, July 3: The Department of Defence Research and Development on Friday handed over the reins of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to Cmde Cadaba Devnath Balaji (Retd).
An Outstanding Scientist and currently the Project Director of LCA (Navy), Cmde Balaji (Retd) has been appointed as the Director of ADA and Programme Director (Combat Aircraft).
He replaces P S Subramanyam, who superannuated on June 30. Balaji will have around 2 years of service left, before attaining 60, in 2017.
As reported by OneIndia earlier, a search committee headed by former DRDO Chief Dr V K Aatre decided to hand over the baton to Cmde Balaji (Retd), who is part of ADA since 2002. (http://www.oneindia.com/india/hunt-on-pick-top-brain-head-india-s-tejas-programme-1790398.html)
Crucial juncture for LCA project: He takes over as the ADA chief at a crucial juncture when the LCA Tejas project is expected to get the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) by March 2016, a deadline that has seen many extensions.
As the captain of the ADA, Balaji will also have to get the Naval LCA moving forward with the crucial arrestor hook landing trials expected later this year.
Interestingly, Balaji is the man responsible for writing the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) paper on NLCA in 2002. The CCS gave the project its approval in 2003 and many credit him for having taking the project from ‘paper to flight.’
Though the NLCA was dogged in a series of delays, it has gained momentum in the last one year with the Indian Navy backing the programme to the hilt. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and other partners too have been extending outstanding support to the programme.
Saw Tejas trainers from close quarters: Balaji also oversaw the Indian Air Force (IAF) Tejas programme from close quarters, especially the build of the trainer version PV5 leading to its maiden flight in 2009.
Around 36 sorties of PV5 were personally monitored by him, after which it was handed over to the IAF programme. Incidentally, the Tejas trainers have the front fuselage of the naval variants.
As the Project Director NLCA, he was responsible for the first flight of NP-1 (Naval Prototype) on Apr 27, 2012. This feat was followed by the maiden ski jump launch on December 20, 2014 at the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) in Goa.
The design and build of this facility to replicate the aircraft carrier was in itself a challenge for Balaji and his team. (http://www.oneindia.com/india/oneindia-special-nlca-np-1-outperformed-our-expectations-says-ada-1647622.html)
Says he has already set immediate goals: He also oversaw the maiden flight of the NP-2 on February 7, 2015, just days ahead of 10th edition of Aero India. Executed efficiently by HAL, he has also steered the build of a ground-based naval variant purely for structural testing in a specially-created test rig.
Married to Rama Balaji, a teacher, his elder son Karthik is with the Indian Navy and younger son Anuj is employed in the US.
Speaking to OneIndia, soon after taking over the charge, Balaji said that he has already set his short-term goals.
“I must say I am stepping in with two key priorities. The FOC for IAF programme has to be met by early next year. Then comes the carrier capability trails of naval variant towards the end of 2016,” says Balaji who lost his father at the age of nine, in a road accident. He was later brought up by his mother Amrita Devnath, as her only son.
* Cmde Balaji (Retd) is born on 13 March 1957
* Holds a BE in Mechanical Engineering
* Commissioned into the Indian Navy in September 1978
* Served as the Air Engineer Officer of INAS 310 (Alize bomber) for 3 years embarking Aircraft Carrier Vikrant in 1981
* Worked with Sea Harriers in 1985
* Took Masters in Aerospace Engineering from IISc 1986-88
* Senior Instructor at Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT), Kochi, 1988-89
* Served as Lt. Cdr Chief Engineer officer onboard INS Beas 1989-91
* Station Air Engineer Officer at INS Hansa, Goa 1991-95
* As a Commander served INS Magar 1995-97
* Was attached to ALH project office in HAL 1998-2002
* Coordinated the naval team for landing of ALH on INS Ganga
* Deputed to ADA in 2002
* Wrote CCS paper on NLCA in 2002
* Appointed as Project Director Navy in 2005
* Left Navy in 2006 and joined ADA as a Naval Project Chief
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Bengaluru, July 01: Barely a month after taking over the reins of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Dr Sargunaraj Christopher says that he is keen to cruise on a flightpath that’s less complicated.
In his first interview to media after taking over as the Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Director-General, DRDO, Dr Christopher said he has set his focus on touching base with labs that were crying for attention.
“I am definitely in the process of hearing from small labs that a DRDO chief never visited in the last many, many years. I am devoting my Sundays now to spend time for such labs, which contributed to DRDO silently but never got any attention,” says Dr Christopher.
Size doesn’t matter, delivery is the key: He said there are many small labs that are constantly innovating and receiving laurels from the users. “Performance is the key for DRDO now, whether it is a small lab with 50 people or a massive complex with 5000 people,” he says.
To a specific query from this Correspondent, whether the DRDO has put its hands on too many projects, Dr Christopher said: “I have already assessed the ground situation and you will see some initiatives very soon. Two-three labs working together on major programmes will become order of the day.”
To another query of DRDO often making tall claims before achieving the final goal, Dr Christopher refused to give a direct response. “Delivery is the key. I don’t want to stand on the top of the roof and make tall claims. I am prioritizing my goals,” the DRDO chief said.
Missile programmes slow on production front: Admitting that the some of the missile programmes are extremely slow on the production front, Dr Christopher said he had already taken stock of the projects during his recent visit to the Missile Complex in Hyderabad.
“Too many varieties and even the RM (Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar) have opined his views. We want several types of weapons. We are looking for standardizing our weapon programmes by clubbing them together. The idea is to make our weapons more efficient and make them in more numbers,” says Dr Christopher, a native of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu.
He said he has set his vision to make standard production lines for faster delivery of DRDO-developed weapon systems.
To another query whether the Missile Complex enjoyed additional powers owing to the size and success of its programmes, the DRDO Chief said: “The IDGMP (Integrated Development of Guided Missile Programme) as envisioned by Dr Kalam was good. Now we need to put more impetus. Out of the total Rs 1,70,000 crore order value of DRDO systems now, almost 60 per cent comes from Missile Complex. No preferential treatment is given to any clusters.”
Tejas MK-2 is the future: On the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, the DRDO Chief said that the programme has reached the final lap.
“Tejas Mk-1 is almost there and by March 2016 the FOC will be in. We have already begun the work on the next version. Tejas Mk-2 is the future,” says the 60-year-old top radar scientist, who was appointed as the DRDO Chief recently.
He said he has already started the exercise of communicating to the youngsters in DRDO.
“I have started the exercise of meeting my people. I am spreading the message that we are second to none. I have told my team members that DRDO should achieve a milestone every three months,” Dr Christopher concluded.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Bengaluru, June 30: P S Subramanyam, one of the top-notch military brains in the country says that the lessons learned from developing Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will act as a guiding force for all future fighter programmes.
In an exclusive interview to Mathrubhumi English, Subramanyam, the outgoing Director of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Programme Director (Combat Aircraft), said that he and his team saw through the Tejas project through some of the most challenging times.
The Distinguished Scientist retired June 30 after being at the helm of affairs of ADA from 2005. Excerpts.
MB: Your tenure will probably go down in the history of Indian military aviation as the most challenging one. Isn’t it an irony that you had to leave the project just months ahead of its Final Operational Clearance (FOC)?
PSS: The Mk-1 configuration aircraft started coming after I took over in 2005. The challenge started with PV-2, which is the present Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) configuration aircraft. In the last 10 years there were major transformation in the aircraft and systems. I would say 80 per cent changes took place in the last 10 years in terms of design and systems.
Now, FOC is on track and I am happy that it will be achieved in the next six to nine months. Remember that projects are bigger than people. There are capable hands to take the programme forward. I am not running away and will be always available to offer any help.
MB: So what are the major changes to Tejas in the last 10 years?
PSS: Well, there are many. There were changes to the front fuselage, cockpit layout, radome, windshield and canopy. Almost 80 per cent avionics changed and even the wings underwent modifications due to R-73 missile. The rear fuselage too had to be changed to accommodate GE404-IN20 engine. Even the MMR (Multi-Mode Radar) underwent changes after the indigenous effort to make one did not succeed. So we had to go for Israeli Elta Radar. Even the fuel system got changes for better CG (Centre of Gravity) management. New Communication systems too came in. Fourteen aircraft were built during my regime and around 2500 flights achieved in 10 years. Tejas story will inspire generations to come.
MB: What was the most satisfying moment during your command?
PSS: I would say the handing over of SP-1 to the Indian Air Force, the first Series Production aircraft, is the most memorable moment. I can proudly say I saw through the programme end to end.
MB: During your tenure, there were many attempts to close the project. How did you manage to overcome those pressures?
PSS: Okay. We had faced many unexpected encounters while taking Tejas project forward. In 2007, we came to a situation which almost was like to be or not to be. There were several meetings held to close the programme. From our end, we gave confidence to the government and convinced them that it is a doable project. There were occasions in the past that many wanted to merge ADA with some other organisations. We faced all the rough weather bravely.
MB: Who are the people who were behind these ‘undercover operations?’
PSS: They were not undercover operations, but open attempts. Names don’t matter as we have come a great distance ahead successfully.
MB: We understand that the FOC is likely to spill over to next year?
PSS: The programme has come this far and we are confident of achieving the FOC by March 2016. The current delays are just passing clouds and we will have access to all hardware within a month. Nothing can stop achieving FOC now.
MB: What was it like handling multiple agencies, which had different command and structure?
PSS: Interesting one (Laughs). I am not sure whether we have any other national programme running with so many stakeholders associated with it. It made me a better leader. Barring ADA, I had no control over any of the stakeholders in the programme. Still, I got the support of everyone, which I am proud of.
MB: Media has been mostly very critical of the programme, but you never came out countering them.
PSS: (Laughs) If I had to that, who would have run the programme? I believe that everyone has a job to do and I did mine. The media never had the right appreciation of the time and cost of the programme. Every time a new figure came out along with a new set of timelines.
With Rs 7500 crore, we made 14 aircraft and also set up a production line. Isn’t it far superior than the expenditure twice incurred in any other programme in the world? Honestly, we were ever affected by any media reports.
MB: What are your immediate plans?
PSS: I want to get connected with the youngsters. I will visit universities and talk to engineering students. I want to share with them the Tejas story. In the next 10 years, India should be second to none in military aviation. If aviation needs to grow, we need to introspect our position in science and technology today. I have already set a blueprint in my mind to target youngsters.
In the last 10 years, I have not gone for any vacation. Even Sundays were working days. Probably, now I will get some time to listen to some old Hindi and English songs.
MB: Songs like…
PSS: My all-time favourite number is Mary Hopkin’s -- Those were the days my friend…
Bengaluru, June 30: Outgoing Director of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Programme Director (Combat Aircraft) P S Subramanyam says that there were massive efforts by a section to close the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas project in 2007.
The Distinguished Scientist and the man who spearheaded the project for the last 10 years, was speaking to this Correspondent, probably his last interview to the media as the Tejas boss.
Subramanyam, retired from the services today after attending an official farewell organized by Team ADA at its Bengaluru facility near Old Airport Road.
The soft-spoken man hailing from Vijayawada, spearheaded the programme from 2005, after taking over the reins of ADA from M B Verma.
Subramanyam is the second largest serving chief of ADA (10 years), after Dr Kota Harinarayana, who had served the project for 16 years till 2002.
We bravely retrieved the project: “Yes, I can tell you that we had to wade through several pressures while taking this project forward. In 2007, the programme saw one of its worst periods. It was almost like to be or not to be. I can proudly say that we bravely retrieved the project and gave the shape it is in now,” Subramanyam said.
He said there were several meetings held virtually to close the programme. “I stood ground and gave the confidence to the government that it is a doable project and we will deliver it on time. The rest is history and we never looked back,” he added.
Admitting that the ‘2007 project closer move’ came as a jerk to the team, Subramanyam said neither he nor his team ran away scared.
“Yes, we were shaken, but we knew we had a challenging task on hand. In the next two years (2007 to 2009) we demonstrated the capabilities of stores, sensors and weapon integration.
He also revealed that there were several occasions in the past that many wanted to merge ADA with some other organisations.
“So, while taking on the technology challenges of LCA, I has the head of ADA had to deal with other issues as well,” he added.
FOC will be in by March 2016: He refused to name the people who were acting against Tejas project and ADA during 2007. “Names don’t matter now as we have moved on. Let’s focus on the current status of the project. Nothing can stop the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) completion now. By 2016 March, the FOC will be done,” he said.
When asked about the most challenging task he had to undertake as the Tejas project chief, the NIT Warangal top brain said: “I had no command on any of the stakeholders in the programme, barring ADA. Yet, I managed to get the support of everyone, which is what I am proud of.”
He said the media never had the correct appreciation of the time and cost of the programme.
“With Rs 7500 crore making 14 aircraft and establishing a production line, is far superior than the expenditure twice incurred in any other programme of the world,” Subramanyam added.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Don't miss the exclusive web chat being arranged for Tarmak007 followers with Tejas boss and ADA programme Director P S Subramanyam today. Time 7 pm (IST). More details on https://www.facebook.com/Tarmak007
Bengaluru, June 29: The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is all set undertake critical test flights carrying an array of missiles and bombs to complete its scheduled weapon trials.
Top sources with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed to this Correspondent that the integration of Russian–made Close Combat Missile (CCM) R-73 has been completed.
The ground integration of the Israeli-made CMM Python-5 too has been completed ahead of the flight trials. The Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile Derby has also been integrated on to the aircraft.
Tejas can carry two CCMs with a range of 15 km at the extreme end pods. These missiles can home on to the enemy aircraft based on their heat signature.
The Derby (two missiles) is being integrated on the mid-board-pods of Tejas and they have a range varying between 80 and 100 km.
The home-grown fighter carries the laser-guided bomb (LGB) Griffin, which has a range of 5-6 km. Tejas will also carry LGB Paveway, which according to sources, has already demonstrated its capabilities with an accuracy of 1 meter.
“These missiles have demonstrated their capabilities to strike with precision during day and night,” says an official.
BVR missiles to be tested in July: The laser-designator pod also has been integrated on to the aircraft. “Tejas can carry drop tanks with 1200-litre and 800-725-litre capacity. The R-73 has completed flight trials in Goa, Jaisalmer and Jamnagar over 10 times. The LGB has been tested for six times now,” the official said.
The BVR testes scheduled to be held in May has now been fixed for July at forward bases. “The CCMs and BVRs used on Tejas are capable of SSKP (Single Shot Kill Probability). In a war scenario, the pilot can increase the kill probability by opting for firing both CCMs, or both BVRs together,” the official added.
The integration of Russian-made gun for Tejas Gsh-23 has been completed. The gun has been already ground tested at a facility in Nasik.
FOC may spill over to March 2016? When asked whether Tejas would skip the December 2015 deadline for Final Operational Clearance (FOC), the top MoD official said: “There are still some passing clouds hanging around. But the teams from Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) are confident of beating the deadline.”
However, another official told this Correspondent that the programme might skip the December deadline by maximum three months.
“May be it will spill over to the last quarter of this FY. The FOC will be in by March 2016,” he said.
Refuelling probe, nose cone radome awaited: To complete the FOC points, the air-to-air refueling probe from Cobham hasn’t arrived yet. The nose cone quartz radome too is being awaited.
There are already some rumours floating around in the corridors of HAL and ADA over the delay in accessing these pending foreign systems.
A Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) official says that they are hopeful of thrashing the issue.
“Definitely there are concerns. But, we are hoping to get clarity by July. Hopefully, we should have access to all hardware within a month. We don’t see any more technology challenges after the integration of these pending items,” says the senior DRDO official.
ADA says that almost 75 per cent of work related to FOC has been completed. The siblings of Tejas have completed 2971 flights so far logging around 1909 hours, at the time this piece went live on the web.
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Bengaluru, June 28: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has begun the hunt for identifying a new man to head Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). This follows the impending retirement of P S Subramanyam, one of the longest serving bosses of ADA, on June 30.
A Distinguished Scientist, Subramanyam is currently the Programme Director (Combat Aircraft) & Director ADA. He was made the head of ADA in 2005.
Sources tell OneIndia that the DRDO has already set up a Search Committee headed by eminent scientist Dr Vasudev Kalkunte Aatre.
Seventy-six year old Dr Aatre, an active member in various aerospace forums now, is the former DRDO Chief and Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister.
The search committee also has DRDO’s senior-most Director General (Aero) Dr K Tamilmani among others.
Purely going by the seniority, work experience, project handling capabilities, and relationship with users, Cmde C D Balaji (Retd), Project Director LCA (Navy), should be the natural choice.
R Swaminathan, (Technology Director), General System, ADA, is another top brain capable of running the show.
Full report here: http://bit.ly/1BLzOPE
Friday, June 26, 2015
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
|Air Commodore Dr Deepak Gaur, Commandant, Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM).|
Rare are occasions when one gets to hear a speech from a senior Indian Air Force (IAF) official packed with thought-provoking quotes and poems. During the Foundation Day celebrations of one of the defence establishments in Bengaluru recently, Air Commodore Dr Deepak Gaur, Commandant, Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM), IAF, unleashed a script that had many poetic moments, all thought-provoking ones.
He first quoted from A E Housman (1859-1936), revered as one of the greatest scholars ever lived. The English poet and classical scholar attained fame for his collection of poems ‘A Shropshire Lad.’
Quoting from a poignant poem from Housman, Air Commodore Gaur, said: “Four lines express the anguish of young soldiers who would rather be alive to enjoy than die. I quote from Housman.
“Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.
Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.”
Read the full report here: http://bit.ly/1Gwx84c
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Read report here: http://bit.ly/1SxUCyp
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Monday, June 15, 2015
|Dr S Christopher|
DRDO recently got a head finally after months of uncertainty. The government appointed Dr S Christopher, Distinguished Scientist as Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development and DG DRDO. He assumed charge on May 29, 2015.
He was the Programme Director for the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) programme and Director of Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Bangalore.
It's been over 2 weeks and we haven't yet heard anything from him officially. Sources tell Tarmak007 that he is taking time to settle down and has a long pile of files to be cleared, including manpower additions to various labs.
While he gets a grip of things, I am keen to hear from you all as to what needs to be done to revive the fortunes of DRDO. You may list a maximum of 10 points (number them) or a minimum of 5 points - as your wishlist to take DRDO forward.
Top five suggestions will each get a limited edition copy of guru Dr A P J Abdul Kalam's latest book 'Reignited.' The topmost suggestion out of the 5 will also get a copy of 'Inspiring Thoughts,' again penned by Dr Kalam.
A panel consisting of current, former scientists and senior journalists will pick the Top-5 winners.
Anyone making out of context comments will attract an automatic ban from the FB page. Comments that are not numbered, and lesser than the minimum 5 or maximum 10, won't be considered during evaluation process.
The best comments would be emailed to Dr Christopher in the first week of July. This exercise will conclude on June 30, 2015. You can leave your comments on Tarmak007's FB page. Link here: http://on.fb.me/1L9tEZA
I am sure DRDO will benefit from your suggestions.
All the best.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
It was a festive mood at the one-bedroom Bird Barrack military quarters on Dickenson Road in Bengaluru. Its occupant 30-year-old Renjith C, a Sepoy with the Indian Army, was probably on Cloud 9 as he was all set to meet his idol former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.
Hailing from Thalavoor village in Pathanapuram thaluk of Kerala’s Kollam district, Renjith is currently posted as a Sepoy in Kerala and Karnataka Sub-Area Command in Bengaluru.
Son of Chandrashekharan Pillai, a farmer, Renjith is a gifted artist right from his school days. “I used to imagine a lot like any child during while I was in the school. The walls of our small house acted as the canvass and for want of space at times I didn’t even spare the ceiling. I got good encouragement from parents and teachers initially and later from my seniors in the Army,” says Renjith, during a cleared interaction with Mathrubhumi.
His early paintings were pencil sketches and later he graduated to oil paints. “Painting is a passion for me. After para jumps I love painting the most. I would want to help the society through my paintings. I give free tuitions in painting to a few children now. Once I retire from Army, I will probably start a painting school,” says Renjith, who has done around 17 para jumps so far.
In the Army for the last 12 years, Renjith was in the midst of conducting a five-day solo painting exhibition christened ‘Awakening,’ when this Correspondent met him.
The exhibition was inaugurated by six times ‘Mr India’ title winner M Kamaraj at Bengaluru’s famous Venkatappa Art Gallery on June 10. It carries the theme: ‘Say no to killing of animals, especially cows.’
“Being an animal lover and a vegetarian, I feel cows maintain the balance of the Mother Earth. Its milk is the most precious thing one can get after our own mother’s milk. Hence, through the exhibition I want to create awareness on cows and their benefits,” says the solider.
He hopes to buy a cow for a poor farmer from the proceeds of the exhibition. In addition to his paintings on cows, the exhibition also has some general works of Renjith. One of the exhibits, a painting of Dr Kalam playing the veena, has already gone viral on social media sites, with many commenting it on par with a photograph.
“It took eight months for me to complete the painting of Kalam Sir. I used to wake up early morning and even sit through the night completing it. I have named the painting as ‘Music behind the missile hands.’ I am thrilled that he has granted me some time to meet him today,” says Renjith. He roped in Kerala’s famous artist Rajendran, who has carved a frame (37 x 40 inches) out of teak wood for the painting.
Speaking to Mathrubhumi, the artist’s childhood friend Mukesh Kumar says that Renjith always was a big dreamer.
“He shifted to oil painting when he was round 10 years old. His love and respect for cows is known to all of us. He is an inspiring soul to all his friends,” says Mukesh, a sales tax practitioner in Kottarakkara.
Married to Soumya Unnithan, Renjith is recently blessed with a baby girl, Ameya, who is around three months old.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
A tweet my MoD Spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said: “Clarification: MoD has NOT issued any photo relating to Indian Army action along Indo-Myanmar border in the North East, so far.”
With graphic details of a sensitive operation already being reported by all sections of the media, it has become a minor embarrassment for New Delhi. In addition, the office of the Myanmar President’s Office too clarified on India’s claims on cross-border operation.
"According to the information sent by Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) battalions on the ground, we have learned that the military operation was performed on the Indian side at India-Myanmar border. We will not accept any foreigner who attacks neighbouring countries in the back and creates problems by using our own territory,” Zaw Htay, Director of Myanmar's Presiden’t Office said in an official FB post.
Too many dated photos doing the rounds: In fact most online defence forums, were engaged in heated debates whether it was right to show the faces of Special Forces (SF) operatives exposing their identities.
With the claims and counter claims taking a political turn, it is left to be seen how New Delhi manages to douse the fire. The ill-timed comment by Rajyavardhan Rathore, Minister of State, I&B, has added fuel to the fire.
A former SF chief, too have slammed the media for showing the faces of the commandoes. It is a norm practice by the militaries and media world over to mask the faces of their SF operatives. The Indian Navy never lets its elite Marine Commandoes (MARCOS) to have their identity revealed.
The sudden appearance of a dated photo (showing 3 SF operatives and a chopper) of an Army operation, claiming to be the one from the Indo-Mynamar border mission, too added to the confusion.
Better we talk less about operations in public: Interestingly, former Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal F H Major (Retd) commented on an FB post yesterday criticizing too many operational details being divulged by the media.
“The less we talk about these operations in public, the better it will be for our armed forces. These kind of operations must always remain on a 'need-to-know' basis only,” commented Major, who is known for his firm views.
The Indian news channels were caught wrong-footed after they aired minute-to-minute details of the post-26/11 commando operations in Mumbai.
Army should be spared from dirty politics: Seasoned journalist and media watcher Dr Gautham Machaiah told OneIndia that hot pursuits are a common occurrence in the border and they are normally conducted with the cooperation and tacit understanding of the country concerned.
“These operations are always kept a secret so that the country in question is not put to embarrassment. While the Indian Army never mentioned Myanmar in its statement, junior Information Minister Rajavardhan Rathore told the media about the Army's operation in the neighbouring country and followed it up with his '56inchrocks' tweet, which was in bad taste,” says Dr Gautham.
Asking the netas to spare the Indian Army from dirty politics, the Dr Gautham said: “The Presidential Office in Myanmar was forced to deny any Indian Army operations within its territory. When politicians forget the fine art of diplomacy to score a few political brownie points, the nation and its professional Army are put to acute embarrassment.”
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
A report by S Anandan in The Hindu here: http://bit.ly/1F8owQn
Another report by PTI carried on NDTV here: http://bit.ly/1e386n5
Photos Courtesy: E George, MoD, Indian Navy (SNC)