Indian Air Force Mi-17 chopper crash lands in Kedarnath; all onboard safe

Five IAF personnel, including two pilots, and two army men were killed when the Mi-17 V5 medium-lift chopper crashed and burst into flames in October last year near Tawang

MI 17 crash, Uttarakhand, Indian Air Force, Kedarnath

An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crash-landed in Kedarnath, Uttrakhand on Tuesday, police said. The accident took place when the Mi-17 chopper was trying to land far from the Kedarnath shrine.

There were eight people — six passengers, pilot and co-pilot — onboard but all are safe with minor injuries, an official told IANS.

The hilly area is quite risky for helicopters.

On June 10, 2017, a chopper belonging to a Mumbai-based private aviation company crashed in Badrinath while taking off, killing an engineer onboard.
#UPDATE Four people including the pilot suffered minor injuries after Indian Air Force’s MI-17 helicopter caught fire following collision with an iron girder while landing at helipad near Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand.

More MI 17 incidents
The Mi-17 V5 is a Russian built medium-lift military transport chopper.

It is an advanced medium multirole helicopter, based on the Mi-8/17 series with more powerful propulsion systems, upgraded main rotor, gear systems and fuselage and advanced avionics. The Mi-17V-5 is based on the Mi 8 helicopter airframe and is one of the most advanced aircraft of the Mi-8/17 helicopter family.

Five IAF personnel, including two pilots, and two army men were killed when the Mi-17 V5 medium-lift chopper crashed and burst into flames in October last year near Tawang.
An Advanced Light Helicopter of the IAF had crashed at Saglee in Papum Pare district on July 4, 2017, claiming the lives of all four on board.

India’s love for MI 17
A contract for Mi-17V-5 helicopters, which was supposed to be signed last year, is now expected to be finalised soon, a top Russian official told IANS recently.
“Negotiations with the Indian side on the delivery of 48 Mi-17V-5 helicopters have been completed; we expect to sign the corresponding contract in the first quarter of 2018,” CEO of Russia’s Rostec State Corporation, Sergey Chemezov, told IANS in an interview.

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Theni forest fire: Kerala bans trekking, TN orders probe; top developments

Four helicopters of the Indian Air Force and their 10 commandos are involved in the rescue operation in Kurangani forest fire

Theni fire

A massive forest fire, which started on Saturday in Tamil Nadu’s Theni, has claimed nine lives so far and seriously injured another 11 of the 36 trekkers that had gone mountain trekking in Kurangani hills in Bodi foothills. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday ordered a probe into the incident. Speaking of stepped up rescue operations, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said an advanced light helicopter had been sent to save those trapped in the forest fire.

Twenty-seven people have been rescued so far by the fire and forest departments, along with Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) aid — 11 of them is admitted to hospitals in Madurai and Erode after suffering serious burns. The defence ministry swung into full force by fielding 16 commandos of the Garud Commando Force and four choppers from the Indian Air Force to fasten the rescue operation of those stuck in Kurangani forest fire in Theni district.

Here are the top 10 developments of Kurangani forest fire in Tamil Nadu:

1. Defence force swings into action: An advanced light helicopter (ALH) will be put into service to rescue those still trapped in Tamil Nadu forest fire. Citing the difficult terrain as a major hindrance in conducting operations seamlessly, Sitharaman said, “We are also bringing in an ALH, which is a light helicopter so that the maneuverability will be better because this cliff is almost a vertical hillock, which goes up very sharply and there is not much not of a level ground where they can land.”
Earlier during the day, 16 commandos of the Garud Commando Force and four choppers from the IAF, with one of them at standby, arrived at Theni today morning to commence the search and rescue operation.
“At the moment, the report is that the garuds are trying to lift the bodies of the dead to a higher plain, from where you can have the helicopters go and carry them down. So there are two helicopters waiting to do this particular activity,” Sitharaman said.
One helicopter has spent a lot of time from early dawn to contain the fire. It has also has doused the fire in that area, from where the garuds have moved the bodies, she added.
District Collector Pallavi Baldev said the operations were continuing and the trekkers were being brought down by the rescue team members.

2. Nine trekkers dead: The reserved forest fire in the Western Ghats near Bodinayakanur in Theni, about 40 kilometres from Tamil Nadu claimed nine lives and injured another 27 out of the 32 people that had gone for a mountain expedition on Saturday. Among the dead, six were from Chennai and three from Erode. They were camped in an estate and were returning when the fire broke out in the forest.
“Nine persons are dead, while 17 of the rescued have been hospitalised and 10 did not require hospitalisation,” Commissioner of Revenue Administration K Sathyagopal said, according to news agency PTI. The bodies have been sent for identification and they would be handed over to the relatives after autopsy.

3. Kerala bans trekking in forest: The Kerala government has issued directions that trekking to the hills should be stopped until all fire lines get cleared, said Kerala Principal Chief Conservator P K Kesavan.
Authorities on Sunday rushed a police team to help in rescue operations of over a dozen students caught up in a fire in Theni forest area in Tamil Nadu bordering Idukki district, Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra said.
Behra said instructions have been issued to Idukki district police chief to give all assistance in the rescue operation. “Medicines and food also have been sent to the spot. Behra spoke to his Tamil Nadu counterpart and assured of all help. He also asked Kerala State Fire and Rescue chief for all possible assistance,” a media statement from Behra’s office late Sunday night said.
Theni borders the famed Thekkady tourist destination in Kerala.

Click here to read → Theni forest fire

Doklam row: Ready for two-front war with China, Pak, says IAF chief Dhanoa

Chinese troops are currently present in the Chumbi Valley in the Doklam Plateau


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Today’s Paper :The Indian Air Force is capable of effectively countering any threat from China and Pakistan simultaneously in a two-front war, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa said on Thursday and indicated existing tension between Chinese and Indian troops in Dokalam row.

Noting that the Chinese troops were currently present in the Chumbi Valley in the Doklam Plateau, the IAF chief said a peaceful resolution of the issue would be in the interest of both the countries.

“The two sides are not in a physical face-off as we speak. However, their forces in Chumbi Valley are still deployed and I expect them to withdraw as their exercise in the area gets over,” Dhanoa told reporters ahead of IAF Day, which is marked on October 8.

Indian and Chinese troops were locked in an over two-month-long standoff after India stopped the construction of a road by China in Doklam in the Sikkim sector on June 16.

Asked about concerns over Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons and whether the IAF would be able to disarm Islamabad of its nuclear arsenals if necessary, Dhanoa said his force had the capability of locating, fixing and striking across the border.

Asserting that the IAF was capable of a two-front war to counter China and Pakistan, he, however, said the possibility of such a scenario was “low”. At the same time he added that India’s response had to be based on the enemy’s capability as intentions could change overnight.

“We need a strength of 42 squadrons to carry out full spectrum operations in a two-front (war) scenario. It does not mean that we are not capable of fighting a two-front (war) as we speak. We have a plan B,” Dhanoa said….READ MORE

Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh’s state funeral today; nation mourns air warrior

The national flag will fly at half-mast on Monday as the funeral is held in Delhi

Arjan Singh funeral

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lays a wreath and pays her tributes to Marshal of Air Force Arjan Singh at his last rites ceremony.

Today’s PaperThe funeral procession of the sole Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Arjan Singh, began on Sunday in the national capital.

The procession was followed by the last rites, which were performed at the Brar Square. The wreath laying ceremony was to take place at 9:00 am.

Though no state mourning was announced, the Home Ministry said the national flag would fly at half-mast on the day of the funeral in Delhi on all buildings where it is flown regularly.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday stated that along with a state funeral and an appropriate gun salute, a flypast might take place, depending on the weather conditions, to honour the contribution of the Air Force Marshal.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday led the nation in mourning the death of Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh.

Remembered for his role in leading the fledgling IAF in the 1965 war with Pakistan, Arjan Singh died in a hospital in New Delhi on Sunday after a massive heart attack. He was 98.

His mortal remains were kept at his residence 7A, Kautilya Marg for people to pay respects to the war hero — the first five-star officer of the IAF. | Readmore…

Indian army prepared for multi-front war, says Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat

Says the new 17 Strike Corps is being raised specifically for mountain warfare

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Today’s Paper : Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, in an interaction with ANI, said that the Indian army is well prepared to face external, as well as internal threats to the country. Speaking to ANI General Bipin Rawat said, “Indian Army is fully ready for a two-and-a-half front war”.

The Army Chief added that even though India is ready for a multi-front war, there are effective mechanisms available to defuse an adverse situation. “Even the PM has stated that for the last forty years not even a single bullet has been fired on the Indo-China border,” said General Rawat.

In a freewheeling conversation with ANI, General Bipin Rawat also informed that a new strike corps, 17 Strike Corps, is being raised specifically for mountain warfare. On asking about the delay in its raising Army Chief said a process as complex as this takes time. He said, “It is being raised from scratch. The recruitments are on. As it is, to prepare an army soldier it takes about three years from recruitment process to training and then orienting and finally their deployment.”

General Rawat went on to discuss modernisation plans of the army, saying that the government is aware of our all needs and is supporting us in every manner. “Make in India is a good initiative, it will give results in two to three years,” said General Rawat.

General Rawat added that all armies across the world maintain an inventory in the ratio of the 30:40:30. In India, 30 percent equipment is of state-of-art technology; another 40 percent is undergoing modernisation and the remaining 30 percent is obsolete, which requires an upgrade.

General Bipin Rawat concluded by saying that the Indian Army’s preparations are not against any specific country. | READMORE…

Pakistan jets fly near Siachen, no violation of India’s air space, says IAF

Mirage jets of PAF are part of exercises since the forward base was made operational

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Pakistani fighter jets flew near the Siachen Glacier on Wednesday, according to a media report in Islamabad, but Indian Air Force sources said there was no violation of India’s air space.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets made flights near Siachen Glacier this morning, Samaa TV reported.

Quoting sources, the report said all of PAF’s forward operating bases have been made fully operational.

Mirage jets of PAF are part of exercises since the forward base was made operational.

In New Delhi, IAF sources said there was no violation of India’s air space.

The report came a day after the Indian Army announced that it launched “punitive fire assaults” on Pakistani positions across the Line of Control earlier this month, inflicting some damage.

Pakistan’s Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman visited the forward airbase in Skardu today and flew a Mirage jet, the report said.

According to PAF, Aman met the pilots and technical staff of the fighting force. A fighter squadron carried out higher and lower altitude flights.

The Siachen glacier is the highest battleground on the earth. It is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayan mountains where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends. |READMORE…