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Indo-US-Japan naval exercise starts in west Pacific Ocean

India, Japan and the US began their marine war games, Malabar Exercise, near Okinawa Island.
•    In 2013, China unilaterally established an Aircraft Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea (ECS ADIZ) triggering protest from Japan, USA, European Union and Australia. 
•    The exercise, the annually held Malabar, has been recently expanded from a bilateral comprising India and US to a trilateral exercise to include Japan. •    Over 100 assets - warships, fighters and surveillance aircrafts - will be participating in this year's Malabar, indicating the size and intent of the exercise.
•    India is fielding its top of the line Indian-made stealth frigates INS Sahyadri and INS Satpura, Indian fleet tanker INS Shakti and INS Kirch - a missile corvette. 
•    One key elements of the exercise is anti-submarine warfare where three forces will create a scenario of hunting down Chinese submarines. 
•    China's aggressive stand in the East and South China Sea have raised concern globally. 

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Indian Reserve Battalion to be named after Maharana Pratap

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 8 June 2016 announced that a new Indian Reserve Battalion in Rajasthan will be named after Maharana Pratap. 
The battalion will be named as Maharana Pratap reserve battalion.
•    Maharana Pratap, a Rajput ruler who had fought against the Mughals and never bowed before them, is attributed as the greatest warrior of the Mewar region.
•    The announcement was made at a programme attended by Rajnath Singh during his two-day visit to the state.  
•    The decision was taken on the request of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
•    The government introduced the scheme of Indian Reserve Battalions in 1971 and so far, 153 battalions have been sanctioned to various states.
•    Besides, the union government also announced setting up of a global center for counter terrorism at Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice at Jodhpur.

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India becomes co-chair of Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness under CGPCS

On 4th  June 2016 India became the co-chair of Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness under Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS).
Steps taken by Indian Navy to ensure safety at Somalian Coast and in the Indian Ocean Region
•    In addition to escorting Indian-flagged ships, ships of other countries have also been escorted by the Indian Navy. 
•    To maintain high degree of alertness in the region, around 19 coastal security operations and exercises have been undertaken over the past year. 
•    It is a coalition of states, international organizations, the private sector and civil society that came together to fight piracy together in a coordinated manner.
•    It works on the basis of Contact Group model that facilitates discussion and coordination of actions among states and organizations to suppress Somali piracy.
•    Till now, more than 60 countries and international organizations, including India, have become part of this forum.
•    Seychelles is the current Chairman of the CGPCS for the biennium 2016-17.

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Asia’s largest annual security forum Shangri-La Dialogue was inaugurated in Singapore

Asia’s largest annual security forum Shangri-La Dialogue was inaugurated in Singapore on 3 June 2016. It is the 15th Asia Security Summit to openly discuss and debate security matters in the Asia-Pacific region.
•    It is expected that the 2016 discussions will be dominated by the issues like territorial disputes in the South China Sea, military provocations of North Korea and Islamist extremism, migration, counter terrorism, military competition and cyber security.
•    The Singaporean government along with British think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies launched the Summit in 2002.
•    The forum is organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
•    The annual three-day summit became an unofficial conclave for regional defense ministers, along with European and US military officials.
•    The 2016 dialogue got its name from the location of the meeting, the Shangri-La hotel in Singapore.
•    The forum serves for military officials as a venue to meet behind closed doors.
•    The event will be attended by at least 20 Defence Ministers from Asia-Pacific countries which India’s Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. It will be led by Pentagon chief Ashton Carter.
•    It provides opportunities to defence ministers, military chiefs and high-ranking defence officials to hold bilateral meetings on its sidelines.
•    The primary interest to delegates attending 2016 is China’s assertive activities in the South China Sea as it continues to gobble up islets and challenge the passage of US Navy ships and aircraft through the area.
•    The Legislators, academic experts, journalists and business delegates from around the globe will attend the dialogue.
•    The previous editions of the conference were marked by heated public exchanges between US and Chinese officials.

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Sunil Lanba Takes Over As Cheif Of Naval Staff

Admiral Sunil Lanba on 31 May 2016 took over as Chief of Naval Staff. 58-year-old Lanba, a specialist in Navigation and Direction, will have the full three-year tenure as the Navy Chief.
•    Lanba succeeded Admiral RK Dhowan.
•    An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Lanba is the 21st Indian to be the Navy Chief. The first two were British.
•    Born on 17 July 1957, Lanba is a recipient of Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM) and Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) for distinguished service of an exceptionally high order.
•    His operational and staff experience in a career spanning more than three decades include
•    He served as Navigating Officer of corvette INS Sindhudurg and frigate INS Dunagiri.
•    He has commanded four frontline warships namely INS Kakinada (minesweeper), INS Himgiri (frigate) and INS Ranvijay and INS Mumbai, both destroyers.
•    He is also an alumnus of the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad, where he has served as a faculty.
•    Lanba held key staff assignments such as Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet and the Chief of Staff, Southern and Eastern Naval Commands.
•    He was also the Flag Officer Sea Training, Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area and Commandant, National Defence College.
•    He was the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command at Kochi, prior to being appointed to head the Western Naval Command. He took over as the Vice Chief on 2 June 2014.

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Union Defence Minister inaugurate submarine assembly workshop at the Mazgaon Dock

Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated a state-of-the-art submarine assembly workshop at the Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai, Maharashtra. 
•    The inauguration is considered as a major step towards self-sufficiency in the area of submarine construction for the Indian Navy.
•    The newly built Submarine Marine Assembly Workshop is a pre-engineered building structure built at a cost of Rs 153 crore. It is capable to handle construction of multiple submarines simultaneously and will make it possible to assemble five submarines in the workshop at the same time.
•    The workshop has features such as sewage treatment plan, grey water treatment plant, rain water harvesting, oily water separator plant for treatment of sewage, oily water and grey water respectively, with zero discharge into the municipal drains.
•    This facility will ensure lesser delays in building indigenous submarines for Indian Navy in the long run as well as for the envisaged second line of Scorpene submarines under strategic Project P 75I.

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India and Russia have agreed to export BrahMos

India and Russia have agreed ‘in principle’ to export the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, BrahMos, to UAE, Vietnam, South Africa and Chile.
•    BrahMos was developed jointly by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM), which in 1998 established the company BrahMos Aerospace. 
•    The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
•    Russia is the partner country in the BrahMos joint venture with its consent discussions with several other countries, including Philippines, South Korea, Algeria, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt, Singapore, Venezuela and Bulgaria .
•    BrahMos has: 3 times more velocity, 2.5 to 3 times more flight range, 3 to 4 times more seeker range, 9 times more kinetic energy. 
•    The missile has identical configuration for land, sea and sub-sea platforms and uses a Transport Launch Canister (TLC) for transportation, storage and launch.

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BrahMos supersonic cruise missile test fired

India on 27th May successfully test fired the over 290-km range BrahMos land-attack supersonic cruise missile.

•    The system was put to check by the Indian Air Force, which has acquired a squadron of it consisting of over 50 missiles, at about 1200 hours in the Pokharan firing range.
•    The unique BrahMos weapon system on numerous occasions has established its supremacy in the world of supersonic cruise missile.
•    The flight conducted has met its mission parameters in a copybook manner.
•    The missile met all flight parameters the formidable weapon successfully hit and annihilated the designated target.
•    Present DRDO chief is S Christopher.
•    The accuracy was recently re-established in a campaign conducted by the Indian Army in the eastern sector last year.
•    This formidable missile system has empowered all three wings of the armed forces with impeccable anti-ship and land attack capability.

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Lt General SK Saini new commandant of Indian Military Academy

Lt General S K Saini has taken over as the new commandant of prestigious Indian Military Academy (IMA) .
•    Lt General Saini assumed the office of commandant on May 21. Earlier, he was a senior directing staff in National Defence College (NDC), New Delhi, according to press release issued by IMA.
•    Lt General Saini is an alumni of National Defence Academy (NDA) and IMA. In 1981, he was commissioned to seventh battalion of Jat regiment.
•    In his career of 36 years, he has held many important posts.
•    The Indian Military Academy, Dehradun is the officer training Academy of the Indian Army. IMA was established in the year 1932.
•    During the Indian independence struggle, Indian leaders recognized the need for a local military institution to meet the needs of an armed force loyal to sovereign India. 
•    The British Raj was reluctant to commission Indian officers or to permit local officer training. 
•    Until World War I Indians were not eligible for commission as officers in the Indian Army.

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US House of Representatives gave nod to bolster defense ties with India on par with NATO

On 20 May 2016 The US House of Representatives gave its nod to a bipartisan legislation to improve defence ties with India.
In this regard, an amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) was approved by the House. The amendment is dubbed as ‘Enhancing Defence and Security Co-operation with India’.
•    The legislation, once approved by the Senate and the President, will bring the country’s bilateral relations with India on par with its NATO allies and Israel.
•    It seeks to promote greater defence trade and encourage additional military cooperation between the United States and India.
•    The legislation is primarily aimed at easing restrictions on sale of defence equipment and technology transfer to India.
•    It encourages the executive branch to designate an official to focus on US-India defence cooperation.
•    It will facilitate the transfer of defence technology and maintain a special office in the Pentagon dedicated exclusively to the US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
•    On the bilateral front, the legislative approval is an important milestone in the US-India relations as it addresses one of the tricky issues of defence technology transfer and sale.
•    The legislation will give enough leverage to the executive branch of the US Government in dealing with India. For India, it encourages the government to authorize enhanced military planning with the USA.
•    The future missions of mutual interest will be such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter piracy, and maritime domain awareness.

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