Indian Defence

Indian Defence Rewind 2021

The Indian Defence Rewind 2021. Let us have a look over the major Indian defence events that happened in the year 2021.

Date Events
January 01India and Pakistan officially exchanged Nuclear Information. This data contains nuclear installations and facilities across both the nation and prevent an attack on these facilities.
January 12-13To address the security challenges around Indian Coastline, Two days biennial exercise Sea Vigil was conducted in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The Exercise was conducted by the Indian Navy.
January 15On Army Day, the Indian Army displayed the recently developed Swarm Technology. The swarm drones are small size sized drones capable of carrying attacks on tanks, installations and bunkers. The AI technology based drones are also capable of conducting Kamikaze style attacks.
January 20The Global Firepower Index 2021 was released. The report is prepared on the basis of the military strength of the nation. India is ranked 4th in the Index. The US is first, Russia is second and China is ranked third.
January 21Indian Airforce and French Airforce conducted the bilateral Exercise Desert Knight-21. The Exercise was conducted in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Su-30 MKI, Rafale, Mirage aircrafts participated in the exercise from Indian Air Force
January 23-24Andaman and Nicobar Command conducted the tri-service Military exercise “Kavach” in the region of Andaman Islands and Bay of Bengal. The elements from the Indian Coast guard also participated in the exercise. The Exercise validated the offensive and defensive measures of the Indian Defence Forces. Kavach was part of the AMPHEX -21 exercise
January 26Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth became the first women fighter pilot to take part in Republic Day Parade 2021. She was one of the first women fighter pilots inducted into IAF.
January 26 DRDO successfully tested Akash NG Missile, it is capable of intercepting aerial targets. It is a medium-range mobile surface to air Missile defence system with a range of 50-60km.
Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth
Date Events
February 06The team of 34 CRPF women personnel were inducted into the Cobra Commando unit of CRPF. It is the first batch of women deployed under Cobra units which will be part of Anti-Naxal Operations.
February 08 The Yudh Abhyas “Indo-US Joint Military Exercise” began in Rajasthan. The 11 J&K Rifles represented Indian Army and the 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team represented the US counterparts.
February 23The DRDO successfully tested the indigenously designed and developed VL-SRSAM (Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile) missile system. The Missile has 360° intercepting capabilities.
Women CRPF COBRA Commandos
March 03Indian Air Force participated in the Multi-National Air Exercise in UAE. The Exercise was known as “Desert Flag”. The Su-30 MKI and C-17 Globemaster aeroplanes represented the Indian Air Force.
March 10The third scorpene class submarine “INS Karanj” was inducted into the active service of the Indian Navy. INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi were the first two submarines of Scorpene-class inducted in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
March 11The India – Uzbekistan joint military exercise began in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand. The Exercise was known as “DUSTLIK-II”. The first edition of this exercise was held in 2019 in Uzbekistan.
March 25Late CDS General Bipin Rawat commissioned ICGS Vajra into the active service of the Indian Coast Guard. The offshore patrol vessel was constructed by Larsen and Toubro Ltd
Commissioning of INS Karanj
April 05Indian Navy participated in the French-led La-Perouse Naval Exercise. Along with India, US, Japan and Australia had also participated in the exercise. The Exercise was held in the Bay of Bengal.
April 09The United States Navy conducted the Freedom of Navigation near Lakshadweep in the Indian Ocean Region. The US Warship USS John Paul Jones entered India’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
April 20Khanjar Special Forces Exercise was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The Exercise was held between India and Kyrgyzstan. The Exercise was held over the course of two weeks focusing on Counter-Terrorism and Mountain Warfare.
April 28DRDO successfully completed the Missile trials of Python 5 Air to Air Missile. Python is Israeli originated missile, soon the Python 5 missile will be integrated into LCA Tejas.
April 28Indian and France conducted the bilateral Naval Exercise “Varuna-2021” in the Arabian Sea. The Indian Navy was represented by INS Kolkata, INS Talwar, INS Tarkash, INS Deepak, Kalvari Submarine, Chetak and P-8i Patrol Aircraft.
Python- 5 Test firing from LCA Tejas
May 03Operation Samudra Setu – II was launched by the Indian Navy to fulfil the needs of oxygen requirements of the country during the second wave of Covid-19. Samudra Setu- I was launched during the first wave of COVID-19.
May 21Indian Naval Ship Rajput (D51) was decommissioned after a glorious service of 41 years. The destroyer was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 4th May 1980. The ship was equipped with the latest Missile systems such as Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missile.
May 29Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor of India commissioned the ICGS Sajag into the active service of the Indian Coast Guard. This offshore patrol vessel is built by Goa Shipyard Limited.
Decommissioning of Destroyer INS Rajput (D51)
June 18Govt approved the decision of dissolving the Ordnance Factory Board. And it is replaced by 7 new Defence Public Sector Undertakings.
June 19Indian Navy and European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) conducted the first-ever Naval Exercise in the Gulf of Aden. The Indian Navy was represented by INS Trikand.
June 26DRDO successfully tested the Pinaka rocket extended-range variant. The range of the rocket is increased up to 70 to 80 km.
June 28DRDO successfully completed the flight test trials new generation Agni P nuclear-capable missile. The Missile can hit targets up to a range of 2000kms.
Agni-P Test firing
July 17Indian Navy formally received the MH-60 Romeo Helicopters from Lockheed Martin at San Diego Naval Air Station in the US. The total order of MH 60 Romeo Helicopters is 24.
July 23Bilateral Naval Exercise of Indian and Russian Navy, “INDRA Navy” was held in Baltic Sea. INS Tabar represented Indian Navy in the INDRA Navy Exercise.
July 27India and Russia began the 13 days long joint military exercise in Volgograd, Russia. The Indian Army is represented by the Mechanised Infantry Contingent.
MH-60 Romeo delivered to Indian Navy
Date Events
August 04INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenously aircraft carrier conducted the maiden sea trials off coast Kochi. The IAC Vikrant is expected to be commissioned in 2022.
August 09The first-ever Naval Exercise between India and Saudi Arabia “Al-Mohed Al-HINDI 2021” was held in Saudi Arabia. The Indian Navy was represented by INS Kochi.
August 16PM Narendra Modi announced that the Sainik Schools across the Nation is open for female students for admission. The Sainik Schools are run by the Ministry of Defence.
August 17Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd successfully completed the Ground run and low-speed taxi trials of the Civilian Version of Do-228, the Hindustan-228. The was carried out at the HAL facility in Kanpur.
August 18The Supreme Court of India allowed women candidates to appear for NDA Entrance Exam. A total of 19 seats are allowed for NDA in the first batch.
August 21The Bilateral Naval Exercise Konkan 2021 was held on the English Channel. The Navies of India and the United Kingdom participated in the Exercise. Indian Navy was represented by INS Tabar.
August 22The four days Naval Exercise “Malabar” was held off the coast near Guam Island. The Navies of India, US, Japan and Australia participated in the Exercise.
Malabar Naval Exercise
October 04Mitra Shakti Joint Military Exercise was held in Combat Training School, Srilanka. The forces from the Indian Army and Srilankan Army participated in the exercise. It was the 8th edition of the exercise.
October 14The second phase of the Malabar Naval Exercise was held in the Bay of Bengal. The Navies of India, US, Japan and Australia participated in the Exercise. Indian Navy was represented by INS Rajput, INS Satpura and P-8I Patrol Aircraft.
October 15The Ordnance Factory Board was dissolved into 7 new Defence Public Sector Undertakings companies. The new Defence PSU will be 100% owned by the Ministry of Defence.
October 22DRDO successfully tested the flight trials of a High-Speed Expendable Aerial Target called ABHYAS. This Autonomous vehicle is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE).
October 23To celebrate the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Indian Navy conducted the offshore Sailing Regatta. This event was conducted under the aegis of the Indian Naval Sailing Association. Sailing was conducted from Kochi to Goa.
October 25IAC Vikrant completed its second sea trials successfully. The Giant Aircraft Carrier is built by Cochin Shipyard Limited. The MiG 29 K Aircraft will be operated from the deck of IAC Vikrant.
October 27DRDO successfully test-fired the Agni V Ballistic Missile off the coast of Chandipur. The range of ICBM Agni V is 5000kms.
October 28Mazagon Shipbuilders Limited launched the first-ever destroyer of Project 15B Destroyer, INS Vishakapatnam. This warship is equipped with modern electronic and warfare systems. It can be launched by the canister.
October 28DG Coast Guard K Natarajan commissioned ICGS Sarthak into the active service of the Indian Coast Guard. ICGS Sarthak is built by Goa Shipyard Limited.
October 29Joint Military Exercise “Ex Yudh Abhyas” between US and India concluded in Alaska, USA. It is the 17th edition of the Yudh Abhyas Exercise.
Ex Yudh Abhyas
November 14The 6th edition Indo-France Joint Military Exercise was held in Frejus, France. The Indian Army is represented by Gurkha Rifles Platoon. The previous edition of the exercise was held in Mahajan Field Firing Range, Rajasthan.
November 15Russia started the delivery of the S-400 Air Defence System to India. It is said that the first regiment of S-400 will be deployed in the Punjab Sector.
November 22The joint military exercise among the Indian Navy, Army, Airforce, Coast Guard and BSF was held in the creek sector of Kutch Peninsula. The Exercise was known as Sagar Shakti.
November 25Indian Navy commissioned the fourth Scorpene-class submarine INS Vela. The submarine is built by Mazagon Shipbuilders Limited. It is a diesel-electric powered attack submarine.
S-400 delivery to India
December 06The Joint Military Exercise between India and Maldives, Ekuverin was held in the Maldives. The previous edition of Ekuverin was held in Pune, Maharashtra.
December 07DRDO successfully test-fired the “Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile” off the coast of Chandipur. The range of VL-SRSAM is 70kms.
December 08The President of India presents the 22nd President Standard Award to the 22nd Missile Vessel Squadron of the Indian Navy. In the 1971 War, the 22nd Missile squadron launched attacks on the Karachi Port.
December 13DRDO successfully test-fired the Supersonic Assisted Release of Torpedo System (SMART) from Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha. The test-firing is considered as the milestone in Anti Submarine Warfare.
December 22DRDO successfully conducted the test flight of SRSSM Missile Pralay. The Short Range Surface to Surface Missile was fired from Abdul Kalam Island Odisha. The range of the missile is 150-500 km.
December 24Indian Navy decommissioned the INS Khukri (P49) after the glorious service of 32 years. The Missile Corvette was commissioned on August 23, 1989.

This is a rewind of Indian Defence Rewind 2021. Also, the defence community witnessed multiple miserable events such as Crash and Ceasefire violations, the ambush killings in Nagaland, which outraged the communal peace in the region and the nation suffered a huge loss of CDS General Bipin Rawat killed in the Mi-17 V5 Helicopter crash near Wellington, Tamil Nadu.

The year 2021 was dreadful to the Military Aviation mostly with MiG 21 Crashes, the IAF and Indian Army lost their Helicopters and Fighter jets. Our respectful homage to all the air warriors who lost their lives in these accidents. Here’s the list of crashes in 2021.

DateType of HelicopterCasualty
25 January 2021ALH Rudra (WSI)Lt Colonel Rishab Sharma
03 August 2021ALH Rudra (WSI)Lt Col Abheet Singh Batth
Capt Jayant Joshi
21 September 2021CheetahMajor Rohit Kumar
Major Anuj Rajput
17 November 2021Mi-17 Nil
08 December 2021Mi-17 V5CDS General Bipin Rawat
Mrs Madhulika Rawat
Brig Lakhbinder Singh Lidder
Gp Capt Varun Singh
Lt Col Harjinder Singh
Wg Cdr Prithvi Singh Chauhan
Sqn Ldr Kuldeep Singh
JWO Rana Pratap Das
JWO Arakkal Pradeep
Havaldar Satpal Rai
Naik Gursewak Singh
Naik Jitendra Kumar
Lance Naik Vivek Kumar
Lance Naik  B. Sai Teja
DateType of Fighter Aircraft Casualty
05 January 2021MiG-21 BisonNil
17 March 2021MiG-21 BisonGp Capt Ashish Gupta
21 May 2021MiG-21 BisonSqn Ldr Abhinav Choudhary
25 August 2021MiG-21 BisonNil
21 October 2021Mirage 2000Nil
24 December 2021MiG-21 Bison Wg Cdr Harshit Sinha

The journey of the Defence Sector in 2021 was upstanding. The Bilateral and Multilateral Exercises with friendly Nations is enhancing the operational capabilities and sharing of knowledge among the forces. The vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat is playing a huge role in Defence Manufacturing Sector. The technological advancements of DRDO are progressing India towards becoming a Modern Defence Forces

Read: Explained: How S400 Air Defence System Works?


Amaranath Siddaraddi

Global Defence and Military Aviation Geek | Recommended Candidate 21 SSB

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