[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=4]Protest withdrawn, Indian peacekeepers on way to Congo[/SIZE][/FONT]
Posted: Friday , May 22, 2009 at 0304 hrs IST
India has resolved a long standing problem over sending troops for peacekeeping missions to Congo after the country withdrew its protest against the deployment of Indian troops in UN missions.
More than six months after the Congolese government wrote to the UN asking it not to send any new troops from India, the first batch of Indian soldiers are set to leave for the peacekeeping mission on May 27. Sources said the matter was resolved after Congo withdrew its protest and apologised to the Indian government. While India is not yet considering additional deployments, the troops are being sent to replace peacekeepers who have been serving in the country.
Sources said three battalions who are in Congo currently will be replaced by fresh troops. While the first batch is expected to depart by the end of this month, the other two battalions will shortly leave for the country. “The troops need to be replaced as they have already served their mandated term in the country. That is why fresh soldiers were needed and are being sent in,” an official said.
These will be the first troops to go to Congo after reports last year from Kinshasa said that Indian peacekeepers are being rejected due to allegations of ****** abuse. The stand-off had taken a serious turn in March when India cancelled the deployment of over 200 Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel to the country at the last minute. The IAF personnel were supposed to replace troops in Congo, but were pulled back at the last minute after assembling in New Delhi, raising concerns that India may pull out of the Congo mission completely.
50 Sqn's first Phalcon arrives in India!
From - LiveFist
IAF Statement: The first of the three Indian Air Force AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) platform arrived in India from Israel today. The giant IL-76 configured in its new avatar was escorted by three Mig-29 and Jaguar aircraft each that took off from an advance fighter airbase of South Western Air Command (SWAC). The fighter formations caught up with the AWACS mid-air and escorted it as it entered the Indian FIR (Flight Information Region), till safe touchdown at the Jamnagar airbase, close to midday, today.
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, SWAC, Air Marshal KD Singh, Air Defence Commander Air Vice Marshal P Singh and the AOC Jamnagar, Air Commodore C Hari Kumar and air warriors of the airbase welcomed the crew of the AWACS aircraft that included the Commanding Officer of the first AWACS squadron, Group Captain B Saju. Their maiden touchdown on Indian soil also marks the first landing of the AWACS in an IAF airbase.
"It was a great feeling to be escorted by our fighters and it feels really good to be back", said Group Captain B Saju upon arrival. Flown by a full complement of IAF pilots belonging to the newly formed squadron from Ovda International airport, located in southern Israel, the aircraft undertook an eight-and-a-half hour's flight skirting around several countries taking the aerial route over the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea before landing at Jamnagar.
The aircraft is slated to arrive at Palam airport tomorrow where an induction ceremony is scheduled on May 28. The AWACS are slated to operate from the Agra airbase under Central Air Command and frenetic preparations ahead of its first arrival to join the extended fleet of the IL-76 family are complete.
Lovely pictures. AWACS will greatly augment IAF's capabilities.
[FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=5]India joins elite club of nations with AWACS capability[/SIZE][/FONT]
[*******Blue]Source[/COLOR]Press Trust Of India
Delhi, May 28, 2009
India on Thursday joined an elite club of nations when it inducted the first of the three AWACS systems that will help the air force detect incoming missiles and enemy aircraft that may take off from across the border.
Expected to substantially enhance India's capability to keep an eye on enemy activities in air, land and the sea, the AWACS bought from Israel was formally handed over to the IAF's newly-formed Agra-based 50 Squadron at a brief ceremony here.
Symbolically, Defence Minister AK Antony handed over a key to Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major at the Palam air base here.
"This is a historic day for both the Air Force and the country that will enhance the national security apparatus. AWACS have been a long-standing operational requirement and much-needed for the IAF's modernisation process," Antony told a gathering of diplomats, bureaucrats and IAF officers at the induction ceremony here.
AWACS is described as "an eye in the sky" because of its capability to carry out surveillance at about 400-km range under all-weather situation and to lock on to 60 targets simultaneously.
AWACS has a 360-degree phased array radar mounted on to the heavylift IL-76 transport aircraft airframe and would provide the much-required battlespace situational awareness for the IAF for its tactical and strategic operations.
So far, only the US, Russia, Israel, China, United Kingdom, France and Australia have the system operational in their air forces, and its induction has propelled IAF into that major league.
"The AWACS induction has increased the IAF's response system and we had foreseen that future air operations will be conducted at a very high tempo and this requires real-time control of our combat assets.
"A potent force multiplier, it will enable robust decision-making cycle of the air force. It will be a vital component of IAF's combat potential," Major said at the ceremony.
Major said being the first of the three AWACS, India had bought from Israel in a USD 1.1 billion deal in 2004, its operations will help the IAF in assessing future requirements of the system to cover the vast expanse of the country.
"We are using this asset for the first time and it will take us a while before we know how many more we require. But seeing the expanse of our country we will need more of these," he said during a media interaction.
The AWACS would also be an important part of IAF's future communication network, providing direct data link to both airborne and static assets on the ground, he said.
The IAF has already initiated the Air Force Network (AFNET) project to be integrated with the Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) and Operational Data Link (ODL).
With its induction, IAF's frontline fighter jets such as Su-30MKI, Mirage-2000s and Jaguars would now be backed by the AWACS to provide a data loop and intelligence much beyond visual range that would speed up India's response systems to conflict situations.
India and Israel are said to be in advanced negotiations for the purchase of three more AWACS and once the six are inducted into the IAF, these systems would be ultimately linked to the country's first military satellite proposed to be launched soon.
This would take the IAF into the next step in its efforts to become a network-centric force that could pack a power punch to its both offensive and defensive operations.
Crew members of IL-76 aircraft configured with the new AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) pose for a photograph during the aircraft's inducting ceremony into Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Palam Air Force station in New Delhi May 28, 2009. This is the first of the three IAF AWACS from Israel and is slated to operate from the Agra airbase under Central Air Command.
India's Defence Minister A. K. Antony (4th R) and Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major (6th R) walk during the inducting ceremony of the IL-76 aircraft configured with the new AWACS
This IL-76 AWACS is really massive. Nice contribution Ren987 keep it up.
Last edited by VAMAN; 05-29-2009 at 10:21 AM.
Navy rescues Indian crew, kills 2 pirates
An Indian Navy ship has thwarted a pirate attack on a merchant vessel with ten Indian crew members in the Gulf of Aden, in which two of the eight Somali pirates were feared killed and the rest arrested, Navy sources said on Friday.
The attack on the Norwegian-owned merchant vessel -- M V Maud, flying the Liberian flag -- took place about 225 nautical miles east of Aden around one am on Thursday, the sources said.
INS Talwar, a guided missile frigate, was escorting a three-vessel group in the international recommended transit corridor in the Gulf of Aden when the crew of the M V Maud noticed an eight-member pirate gang in a skiff approaching them.
The vessel's captain sent a distress signal to INS Talwar, which rushed a helicopter to ward off the piracy attack.
"There was just about two-mile visibility at that hour due to the haze. And the short distance and high speed of the skiff left INS Talwar with little time to respond," the sources said.
As the helicopter approached the merchant vessel, Navy personnel noticed two of the pirates trying to board the ship after locking a ladder on it. The Navy fired at the two men, who fell into the sea.
"We shot at the two pirates boarding the ship and they fell into the sea. We did not notice them resurfacing. We are not sure about their fate," sources said.
Later, Talwar sent its men in a rigid hull inflated boat to the pirate's skiff. The pirates surrendered to the navy, which disarmed them and dumped their fuel.
The Navy also recovered a large cache of arms that included AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, a rocket launcher, ammunition, GPS and mobile phones.
The six men on the skiff, which was adrift, were later picked by another foreign warship, Navy sources said.
"Thursday's incident was by far the most dangerous operation that the Navy has carried out against pirates in the Gulf of Aden, as the pirates were already in the process of boarding the merchant vessel. If they had boarded and taken control of the cargo ship, the curative task would have been more difficult," the sources said.
Since the Navy joined the international anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden last November, it has already busted a pirate mother ship and rescued about half-a-dozen merchant vessels, including those bearing foreign flags.
Manpreet Singh Dhaliwal, the Captain of MV Maud, thanked the Indian Navy. "On behalf of the owners, crew and officers of MV Maud, I wish to express our gratitude for your prompt and effective action to thwart the attempted piracy attack on MV Maud earlier today," he stated in a letter.
Last edited by mentil; 05-29-2009 at 01:34 PM. Reason: formatting
[SIZE=4][*******Blue]Indian Navy thwarts piracy attempt [/COLOR][/SIZE]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2]15:36 IST [/SIZE][/FONT]
[*******Blue]SOURCE[/COLOR]An Indian Naval Ship, which is currently in the Gulf of Aden for anti piracy surveillance and patrol operations foiled a daring piracy attempt on Liberian registered merchant vessel MV Maud on 28 May 09. The Indian warship had earlier commenced an eastbound escort of merchant vessels including MV Maud AM 27 May 09.
At about 1250 h on 28 May 09, MV Maud with an Indian Master and nine Indian crew, reported a skiff manned by eight armed personnel approaching her at high speed. The position of the incident was approximately 225 nm east of Aden.
The Indian warship immediately responded to the distress call and advised the vessel to increase speed and carry out evasive manoeuvres to avoid getting boarded. Simultaneously, the warship launched her helicopter with Marine Commandoes embarked and started closing the distressed vessel at best speed. The helicopter saw two personnel on a ladder attempting to board the vessel from the bow. The visibility being low, it was possible that the pirates may not have sighted the warship and the helicopter. The helicopter had to, therefore, resort to firing warning shots to deter the pirates from boarding the ship. The pirates were then observed to disengage from the merchant ship and two pirates who were in the process of climbing the merchant vessel fell into the water. A boarding party from the warship, thereafter, boarded the skiff and confiscated various weapons as well as equipment used by the pirates.
Since, further piracy attacks were possible due to the low visibility prevailing in the area, the warship proceeded with full dispatch to continue with her escort mission, as warships from other countries had arrived on the scene for any follow up action. The three merchant ships are presently being escorted safely through the Gulf of Aden.
The Indian warship effectively averted the piracy attempt just in time by prompt and timely action. This has been much appreciated by the owners, crew and officers of the merchant vessel. From available records, it is appreciated that this may be the first instance of a piracy attempt being thwarted when the pirates were actually in the process of boarding a merchant ship.
when will we get to see images of our ATV