Tech Power For Air Threat

Lt. Gen A P Singh, Commandant of the Army Air Defence College said that Force is undergoing a major transformation as far as technological advancements and countering modern air threat ranging from unmanned drones to Beyond Visual Range engagements are concerned.

In a Media Interaction Program, Lt. Gen Mr.Singh said that new radars and missiles firing systems like Akash and Fly Catcher have been inducted and some others are in the pipeline.

Men and officers are kept abreast of all the latest technologies in our arsenal through various compulsory and competitive courses besides regular firing exercises.

Presenting the night firing exercise of Army's Air Defence Corps (AAD), one of the youngest corps of the Army's operational might, Lt.Gen Mr.Singh informed the Media Persons in details.

The action was taking place on the sea shore at Gopalpur-on-sea, a sprawling training establishment of AAD, located in the scenic tribal belt of Odisha along the Bay of Bengal.

With its logo 'Akashe shatrun jehi' (no enemy can dare venture in our skies) this is the strike arm of the army which protects the airspace of the country.

Although, the Air Defence guns have been part of the Indian Army since the days of World War II as part of the corps of Artillery, Air Defence was given the status of an independent corps on 01 Jaunuary 1994, following which it established its own training college for officers and Centre for jawans at Gopalpur after bifurcating from the school of Artillery in Deolali, Maharashtra.

The college is headed by an officer of Lt General rank, Mr.Singh . As the corps enters its 25th year of existence as an independent arm, Gopalpur Military station with its learning centres has emerged as a centre of excellence on all ground based
AD weapons and common training hub for all AD warriors from Air Force, Navy, CAPF and CISF.
He said that the college also receives foreign officers from about 20 Asian and African friendly countries , including, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Mozambique and Rwanda. AD guns are also deployed at important national installations and strategic facilities to provide air cover around the clock AAD came into existence in India in 1941 when the colonial government raised Anti Aircraft (AA) Artillery units in India to counter the Japanese air threat in South East Asia during WW II.

In the three major wars fought by independent India, Air Defence crowned itself with glory, particularly during 1971 war, w inning four battle honours, namely Amritsar, Basantar, Chhamb and Samba besides a number of individual gallantary awards.

A state of the art Army museum in the AAD centre traces the glorious journey of the corps battle march through years. A visit to the college and centre, reveals how the AD warriors hone their skills as regular soldier as well as protectors of the skies, marking the transformation from 'raw to razor'.

"Today, every soldier and officer in the Indian army does a stint or two in the RR on the front , so there can be no compromise on physical fitness or learning battle craft in all kinds of warfare," says an AAD officer conducting the Media Interaction.
ZU 23 MM guns, L 70 guns , Schilka self propelled gun and Igla missile weapon system have been the mainstay of the SAAD arsenal till now, however, induction of the latest Akash weapon system has heralded a modernizing drive for the AAD warriors

Well laid out equipment parks and classrooms equipped with guns and radars like Flycatcher, Upgraded SFM and Reporter help officers and men hone their skills in the nuanced warfare of the air defence.

However, the practical training at the seaward firing range is the Mecca for the warriors where all their acquired knowledge on the weapon systems is tested vigorously in the actual battle like situation, said AAD Officer.

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