On April 11, 2022, Raksha Mantri and External Affairs Minister co-chaired with their US counterparts the 4th India-US Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue. The dialogue commenced with a virtual meeting between the US President Mr Joe Biden and the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi in the presence of Shri Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Mr Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defence Mr Lloyd Austin. Before the 2+2 Dialogue, Shri Rajnath Singh held a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of Defence separately in Pentagon and reviewed defence cooperation and regional security situation. Both Ministers acknowledged the salience of India-US defence partnership for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and broader Indian Ocean Region. They reviewed Military-to-Military engagements, information sharing, enhanced logistics cooperation, and ability of the Armed Forces to cooperate closely under compatible communication arrangements. The two Ministers also discussed ways for closer collaboration between Defence Industries. The Raksha Mantri underlined the need of co-development, co-production between India and US companies and invited US companies to India for manufacturing and maintenance of defence equipment.
IAF CONCLUDES RESCUE OPERATIONS AT DEOGHAR
IAF, in close coordination with NDRF, local administration and Army, completed the rescue of 35 stranded persons from the Trikut Hills Ropeway Service, in the Deoghar district of Jharkhand on April 12, 2022. IAF utilised two Mi-17V5, one Mi-17, one Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and one Cheetah to fly more than 26 hours towards this effort. The contingent included five Garud commandos of the IAF, who had the daunting task of climbing onto the stranded trolleys of the cable cart, while being attached to the helicopter’s winch cable, accessing it from outside, strapping up each survivor individually and getting them winched up and into the helicopter hovering overhead. Smaller children were carried up to the helicopter by the Garuds themselves. The helicopter crew was faced with their own challenges where they had to maintain a steady hover, with practically no visual reference, in conditions of strong winds in the hilly terrain. The crew went from one trolley to the next to carry out their task, which was as risky for the crew as it was for the survivors of the mishap. The operation, spread over two days, also saw two unfortunate incidents wherein, despite best efforts, the survivors could not be rescued safely due to the inherently difficult nature of the rescue operation. The IAF deeply regrated the loss of lives of these two individuals and expressed its deepest condolences to their families.
101 MORE WEAPONS AND PLATFORMS TO BE INDIGENISED TO SPEED UP ‘AATMANIRBHARTA’ IN DEFENCE
Raksha Mantri has released the third positive indigenisation list of 101 items, comprising major equipment/platforms. The list lays focus on equipment/systems, which are being developed and likely to translate into firm orders in next five years. These weapons and platforms are planned to be indigenised progressively with effect from December 2022 to December 2027. This development follows issue of first list (101) and second list (108) that were promulgated on August 21, 2020 and May 31, 2021 respectively.