Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Interceptor is an anti-ballistic missile designed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles in the endo-atmosphere at an altitude of 30 km. AAD is single stage, solid fuelled missile. Guidance is similar to that of Prithvi Air Defence (PAD): it has an inertial navigation system, midcourse updates from ground based radar and active radar homing in the terminal phase. It is 7.5 m tall, weighs around 1.2 tons and a diameter of less than 0.5 m. The interceptor is capable of intercepting ballistic missiles with a range up to 2,000 km. It is also alternatively known as Ashwin Ballistic Missile Interceptor.

India is the fifth country to have Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) capability after the U.S., Russia, France and Israel. India felt the requirement for a BMD shield in the late 1990s when Pakistan test- fired Ghauri missiles with ranges far enough to threaten Indian cities.

IN NEWS: On 10th February 2012, AAD was again successfully test-fired from from Wheeler Island off the state coast near Dhamra in Bhadrak district, about 170 km from Bhubaneswar. The latest success means that India can destroy in mid-flight Hatf and Ghauri ballistic missiles coming from Pakistan. The February 10 mission was the sixth successful one out of seven launches carried out since 2006. The first three launches, in 2006, 2007 and 2009, were successful. The fourth ended in partial failure as the attacker did not reach the required altitude and range because of a snag in its control system.


An airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system or AWACS is an airborne radar system I that can fly at high altitude and detect aircraft and cruise missiles, perform surveillance, direct fighter I aircraft to their targets, and act as an airbone command and control centre.

The main advantage of an airborne radar system compared to a ground based radar is that a radar located at high altitude can detect and track hundreds of targets, including aircraft and cruise missiles, in a much larger area and from a greater distance. They are well out of range of most surface-to-air missiles and hence immune to aerial attack. For instance, once IL-76 Phalcon AWACS flying over Punjab can cover almost the entire airspace of Pakistan and detect and track hundreds of aircraft. In air-to-air combat, AWACS can communicate with fighter aircraft, effectively extend the range of their radars, give them added stealth since they no longer need their own active radar to detect threats, and enable the fighters to fire missiles early and before the enemy fighters come close.

E-3 Sentry, E-3C Hawkeye: These are AWACS aircraft manufactured in the US. Both have a rotating radar dome called “rotodome” or “radome”. The Sentry is mounted on a large Boeing 767 aircraft whereas the Hawkeye is a smaller aircraft carrier based version.

Phalcon: Indian Air Force uses the Phalcon AWACS mounted on a II-76 aircraft. The Phalcon is the world’s most advanced AWACS system, developed and produced by Elta in Israel. It uses the AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar technology.

Indian AWACS: The Airborne Surveillance Platform (ASP), earlier codenamed “Airavat”, is a project to develop an airborne early warning and control system (AEW&CS) by the DRDO. The project was cancelled in 1999 after the prototype aircraft crashed. The project was revived in 2004 with a new platform and radar. Apart from providing the Indian Air Force with a cheaper and hence, more flexible AEW & C platform as a backup to its more capable Phalcon AWACS, the local AEW & C project aims to develop the ability to locally design and operationalize airborne surveillance platforms.

IN NEWS: On December 6, 2011, an Embraer EMB-145 fitted with the Indian AEW&C system made its maiden flight at Sao Jose dos Campos at Sao Paulo in Brazil. It had about 1,000 mission system components developed by the CABS, including the critical Active Electronic Scanning Array (AESA) developed by the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), Bangalore, a DRDO laboratory. While the antenna called Active Antenna Array Unit (AAAU) is made by CABS, the AESA radar, which is the processor part of the AAAU, is made by the LRDE.

Well friends, don’t think that the “LRDE” is a typographical error for “ERDE”. To distinguish between “Electrical” and “Electronic”, the latter is abbreviated with the first letter of its Latin root (lektra). As such it becomes important as an individual abbreviation based question in the examination as well.


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted the American-made C-130J-30 Super Hercules airlifters to boost its special operations capability. The Lockheed Martin-manufactured C-130J is a four- engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The aircraft with precision low-level flying, airdrops, and landing in blackout conditions capabilities, has a maximum cruise speed of 355 knots or 660 km/h. The maximum takeoff weight is 75,390 kg and it can carry a maximum payload of 21,770 kg. The four-engine turboprop plane can be used for troop deployment, special operations, air-to-air refuelling, disaster relief, and humanitarian aid operations.

The Indian Air Force purchased six C-130J for its special operations forces in a package deal with the US government under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. India has options to buy six more of these aircraft. The Indian government decided not to sign the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), which resulted in the exclusion of high precision GPS and other sensitive equipment. The IAF may add similar equipment to the aircraft after delivery.


A four day joint exercise, named “Ex Eastern Bridge – 2011”, between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) concluded on 22nd October 2011 at Air Force Station Jamnagar. The exercise marks the second of the series, the first was held in October 2009 wherein six IAF Jaguars had operated at RAFO Thumrait, Oman. It is the first time that the RAFO Jaguars have participated in a Joint exercise held in India. The RAFO contingent comprised of six Jaguar aircraft and 115 personnel. The lAF’s Jaguars and MiG 29s based at Jamnagar have participated in the exercise.


Troops of Indian and US armies conducted night operations to neutralise and flush out insurgents hiding in a village in Rajasthan during an exercise codenamed ‘Desert Lark’. The simulated operation was part of the ongoing war game – codenamed ‘Exercise Yudh Abhyas’- between the two armies. The drill was performed in the Mahajan Field Range near Bikaner on the night of 12th March 2012 and was witnessed by delegation leaders from both the sides. The seventh edition of Yudh Abhyai took place at two locations under the South Western Command of the Indian Army.


Malabar is a regularly scheduled bilateral naval field training exercise between India and the US and has grown in scope and complexity over the years. Malabar 2011 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises conducted to advance multinational maritime relationships and mutual security issues. The United States and Indian navies started operations of the joint military exercise Malabar 2011 on 2nd April 2011.

The at-sea portions were conducted in the western Pacific Ocean, east of the Luzon Strait and east of Okinawa. The location coincides with the Indian Navy’s western Pacific deployment. The exercise is designed to advance U.S.-Indian military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations. Events planned during the exercise include liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks; communications exercises; surface action group exercise operations; formation maneuvering; helicopter cross deck evolutions; underway replenishments; humanitarian assistance and disaster relief; gunnery exercises; visit, board, search and seizure; maritime strike; air defense; screen exercise; and anti-submarine warfare.

U.S. Navy participants include USS Sterett, USS Stethem, USS Reuben James and a nuclear powered attack submarine. Indian Navy participants include INS Dehli, INS Ranvijay, INS Ranvir, INS Jyoti and INS Kirch.


The ‘Indian Ocean Naval Symposium’ (IONS) is a voluntary initiative led by the Indian Navy that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region, by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues and, in the process, endeavours to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly agreements on the way ahead. ‘IONS’ provides a regional forum through which the ‘Chiefs-of-Navy’ of all the littoral states of the IOR can periodically meet to constructively engage one another through the creation and promotion of regionally relevant mechanisms, events, and activities.

The inaugural IONS-2008 was inaugurated in New Delhi. The Indian Navy was given chairmanship for the period 2008-10. The theme of the IONS-2008 was “Contemporary Trans-national Challenges-International Maritime Connectivities”. The 2nd edition of IONS i.e. IONS-2010 was held in Abu-Dhabi in May 2010, wherein the baton of IONS Chairmanship was handed over to the Commander, UAE Navy. The theme IONS- 2010 was “Together for the Reinforcement of Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean”. The South African Navy has consented to take over Chairmanship for the period 2012-14.


ICGS Vijit, (Vijit means “Victorious”) the second of the new class of Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), indigenously designed in house and built by Goa Shipyard Ltd. (GSL), was commissioned into the Coast Guard in Dec 2010. The first vessel ICGS “Vishwast” was commissioned on March 17, 2010. The OPV is deployed extensively for safety of the nation’s maritime zones and offshore assets.

This state-of-the-art OPV has an Integrated Bridge System (IBS) equipped with a contemporary navigation and communication equipment and is provided with a Platform Management System. Propelled by two MTU engines, this vessel is capable of 26 knots and an endurance of 4,500 nautical miles. The vessel is equipped with a 30mm gun to counter undesirable intruders and is fitted out for helicopter operation. It is the only vessel of this class in the world with the large range of capabilities for pollution control, fire fighting, search and rescue, surveillance and patrol provided in a 90-metre vessel.


In a move to step-up the country’s maritime security, Coast Guard (CG) added a pollution control vessel (PCV), the ICGS Samudra Prahari, to its line. The PCV is being heralded as the first of its kind to be in operation in South East Asia. This move on CG’s part comes in the heels of the recent oil spill that occurred off Mumbai’s coast. The collision of MS Chitra and MV Khalijia and the consequent environmental dangers it posed, opened the doors to the prospect of Samudra Prahari.

The PCV is 94 m long with a displacement of 3300 tons and maximum draught of 4.5 m.

The vessel has a designed speed of 20.5 knots. The design of the vessel is aimed at low fuel consumption. The State of the Art user friendly equipment onboard would be used for containment, recovery, separation and dispersal of pollutants. High Tech Control Systems would enable simultaneous tasks to be performed by a single operator. The vessel will be fitted with latest pollution control equipment including two rigid sweeping arms enabling it to contain oil spill whilst in motion. An advanced software would assist in predicting the spread of the complex oil spill pattern. With an endurance of 6000 nm, the vessel is designed to recover the lightest to the most viscous oil at the rate of 300 tons per hour.

Its unique anti roll stabilization system is the first to be incorporated on any Naval or Coast Guard Vessel built in India. Other major features of ‘Samudra Prahari’ are Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) and its Dynamic Positioning System which will enable the vessel to be manoeuvred in restricted areas with precision. The vessel would also be equipped with powerful external fire fighting and salvage systems. The shaft generators run by main propulsion engines and bow thrusters are being incorporated for the first time in the Coast Guard vessel.


ICGS Vishwast is a new generation offshore patrolling vessel (OPV) that has been inducted into the Indian Coast Guard in March 2010. It was designed and built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL).’Vishwast, literally means ‘Trustworthy’. The commissioning of ICGS Vishwast is part of the plan to manufacture three new series vessels to replace the ageing Offshore Patrol Vessels inducted in 1980s


  • an integrated bridge system,
  • an integrated machinery control system,
  •  a high-power external fire fighting system and an indigenously built gun mount.
  • The ship can carry one helicopter and five high-speed boats for search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, exclusive economic zone surveillance, high speed interdiction and marine pollution response missions.

TECHNICAL DETAILS: The 90-metre-long OPV displaces 2,400 tonnes, and is propelled by 9,100 KW twin diesel engines to a maximum speed of 26 knots. At an economical speed, she has an endurance of 4,500 nautical miles, and can stay at sea for 17 days without refill.

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