Defence Current Affairs 2017

India successfully carries out fresh user trial of Agni-III ballistic missile

India has successfully carried out a fresh user trial of Agni-III ballistic missile from a defence test facility in the Abdul Kalam Island. The Strategic Forces Command carried out the test with logistics support from Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).

The objective of the test was to re-establish the operational effectiveness of the weapon system. Agni III was inducted into the armed forces in June 2011. Already several successful tests have been conducted making the missile a foolproof and a proven missile.

Significance

The missile has a two-stage solid propellant system and is capable of re-entering the atmosphere at a very high velocity. Agni-III is a rail mobile system capable missile and can be launched from various platforms anywhere in the country. The missile forms the mainstay of India’s nuclear deterrence programme as it provides the strategic second-strike capability.

Agni-III Ballistic Missile

Agni-III is an intermediate range (3,000 km to 5,000 km) missile with two stages. It is surface-to-surface nuclear capable intermediate-range ballistic missile indigenously developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes. It is 17 metres tall and weighs about 48 tonnes. The missile has been equipped with the hybrid guidance, navigation and control systems along with an advanced onboard computer.

Strategic Forces Command (SFC)

The SFC is a specially raised missile-handling unit of the Indian Army. It forms part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA). It was created on January 4, 2003, by an executive order of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It is responsible for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile. It is headed by a Commander-in-Chief of the rank of Air Marshal.

Abdul Kalam Island

To inspire youngsters to work dedicatedly for the scientific research, the state government of Odisha renamed the Wheeler Island in Bhadrak district as Abdul Kalam Island as a humble tribute to former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Prior to the renaming, the island was named after an English commandant Lieutenant Wheeler.

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Joint operational doctrine for Tri-Services unveiled

Joint operational doctrine aimed at providing deeper operational synergies among the tri-services was unveiled by the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee (COSC) and Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba in presence of Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat and IAF Chief B S Dhanoa. The doctrine is aimed at coherently dealing with all possible security threats faced by India such as conventional and proxy wars. This document is the second edition of the joint doctrine. The first edition of the document was released around eight years ago.

Salient Highlights

The doctrine proposes joint training of personnel, unified command and control structure. In addition, it supports tri-service approach to modernise the tri-services. The doctrine has said that the Higher Defence Organisation will facilitate inter-Service coordination in planning, execution of operations and force planning.

The doctrine facilitates the establishment of a broad framework for the conduct of operations across all the domains (land, air, sea, space and cyber-space).

The doctrine pushes for effective deterrent capabilities to protect India’s strategic interests along the Northern, Western and Eastern borders and sensitivities along the Line of Control (LoC) and Line of Actual Control (LAC).

According to the doctrine, India’s threats primarily emanates from the disputed land borders and thus addressing the consequences of instability and volatility emanating in India’s extended and immediate neighbourhood remains a priority.

It has said that the transnational threats posed by State and Non-State sponsored terrorist organisations pose a danger to regions beyond India’s primary theatres.

In the case of a war, the document calls for joint working of the land, air and naval commanders to jointly formulate and implement war plans to ensure a well-oiled fighting machinery. For the sake of fighting together, they have to train together.

The doctrine calls for the integration of the layered hierarchies of the national security structures to reap the most out of the available expertise.

The doctrine pushes for having an ‘Integrated Theatre Battle’ as the guiding philosophy for evolution of war fighting strategies. This is to ensure decisive victory across the entire spectrum of conflict in varied geographical domains.

The doctrine has called for coordination of agencies like RAW, Intelligence Bureau and Intelligence organisations of the para-military forces as part of the Joint Intelligence Committee under the National Security Adviser.

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