YEAR-END REVIEW – 2010 Indian Army Highlights
PIB Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The Year 2010 marked a leap towards fulfilling the urgent need of the Army to bridge the shortfall in its Officers Cadre with the approval of the second Officers Training Academy (OTA) at Gaya in Bihar. Indigenization got a big boost as the Army decided to place an order for another 124 Main Battle Tanks MBT Arjun and conducted pre-induction trials of the 3,500 kms long Agni-3 ballistic missile. Also during the year a change of guard took place at the top with General VK Singh taking charge.
CCS nod to 2nd OTA at Gaya
In February, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) gave its nod for setting up an OTA at Gaya, the second in the country after Chennai, at an initial cost of Rupees 360 crores. Expected to start functioning by June next year, the Academy will groom 250 cadets initially and the number is expected to go up to 750 at its bloom. The step will go a long way in mitigating the shortage of officers in the one million strong Indian Army, which presently has around 36,000 Officers on roll as against a sanctioned strength of 47,000.
Army opts for 124 more MBT Arjuns
In a major thrust to the indigenization programme, the Army decided to place a fresh order for an additional 124 MBT Arjun Mark-2 tanks. This followed the success of the indigenous tank in the grueling desert trials in the first quarter of this year. The 124 tanks now being ordered are over and above the existing order of an equal number of MBT Arjun Mark-I placed with the Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi.
Army tests Agni-3
In February the Army conducted the successful pre-induction test firing of the Agni-3. The 17-metres long marker pen shaped missile can carry a 1.5 ton nuclear payload to a distance in a radius of 3,500 kms. The missile achieved textbook precision, attaining a maximum altitude of 350 kms and withstood temperatures in the range of 3,000 degrees Celsius during its flight.
General Vijay Kumar Singh took over charge as the 24th Chief of Army Staff on 31st March. Commissioned into the Rajput Regiment on June 14, 1970, General Singh participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak War and the IPKF Operations in Sri Lanka.
Joint Exercises, Peace Keeping
A Russian military contingent participated in the ten-day-long Indo-Russian Joint Exercise Indra-10 in the Kumaon Hills of Ranikhet, Uttarakhand in October. Earlier a contingent of the 16 Madras (Travancore) Regiment took part in the 10th edition of the Indo-US Joint Exercise Shatrujeet at Camp Pendelton, California. In October a 15-member contingent of the Botswana Defence Force participated in the Joint Exercise Milap in Dehra Dun. Seven men of the Corps of Engineers went to Cambodia to train the Royal Cambodia Armed Forces in demining, demolition and Counter-IED operations. During the three-week-long training 72 men were trained this year alone as part of the three-year-old programme.
On the flip side, an Indian Army camp in Congo operating under MONUSCO, the UN Mission at Kirumba base, came under an attack on 18th August by about 50-60 rebels, suspected to be of the Maymayi group. Three Indian Army personnel were martyred and seven wounded as the valiant men fought back the rebels. Later another attack by about 30-40 men of the same group at Rwindi was repulsed on 25th October.
CWG- Saviours in distress
When a bridge collapsed at the showpiece Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on the eve of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army stepped in at the eleventh hour, laying across a temporary Bailey bridge near the venue, and, as the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony later said, “Saved the day, really saved the day.” The Army was also visible at all the venues throughout the 12-day ceremony, the tall and mustachioed armymen at the Flag Hoisting and Medal Distribution ceremonies winning applause with their immaculate turnout.
Adventure Sports – Base Jumping, first in the country
On 29th October, skydiver Lt. Colonel Satyendra Verma made a skydive from a height of 158 metres off the Pitampura TV Tower in Delhi. He thus became the first man to undertake a BASE (Building, Antenna, Spam (Bridge) or Earth Cliff) Jump in the country. PK/Raman
Army gets New officers’ Academy, adds Muscle with Indigenous Tank