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Times of Joy and Saffron


TheShammySocialist
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With the announcement of the return of Marathi to the helm of power in the subcontinent, there was much work to be done in preparation for the coronation of Santaji to the throne. The move would effectively put the Marathi at the head of all governance, with representatives from throughout the Empire partaking to provide balance and equilibrium, such facets that would be needed when governing over such a wide array of regions and a large populace. Nevertheless, the Marathi had done so before, in a time when India was comparably populated, and they would do so again, with the same energy and prowess that their forefathers had before.

 

When the call to independence had come, word had spread like wildfire throughout the lands of the subcontinent, there was an aspiring clan again, one that would lead the state out of the perpetual status quo it had been in for so many years. It was a promising glimmer that had brought many out into the streets in many cities, some proclaiming that Shivaji had returned, had embodied himself in the young man that bore his ancestral name. Prayers were said for good fortune in the coming years, for peace and prosperity as all began to lift their chins to the whispers coming from the winds of change in their world.

 

Whilst many in the rest of the country celebrated and felt the air of jubilant fervor, these same feelings were much more subdued in the halls of the capital, where the heir apparent and his council were hard at work. Plans had to be made, policies had to be plotted and prioritized, much business had to be attended to, especially with the subcontinent being in a state of stagnation and self-perpetuating status-quo for so long. The men and women of the council would stay by the soon-to-be-crowned monarch late into the night over the first few nights after independence. They were faced with the daunting task of organizing and redeveloping the government and laying social policy that would shape the lives of over a billion people. So much had to be considered to be successful, but this was a reality that those who had taken up the call to leadership had considered before they even stepped out into the light.

 

Santaji's coming had been in the cards for a number of years, it had taken much to consolidate his base of support, but now that he had it, he decisively was to wield it. The bid for independence, to gather the peoples of the subcontinent together, had worked, and it was with a sense of pride and diligence that he and his cohorts set forth to the task of organizing the country that would proudly bore the names of his ancestors. Furthermore, emissaries would be quickly dispatched around the world to begin establishing the basis of the Marathi diplomatic network, which would also help in the facilitation of international trade, an important aspect of growth that would be sorely needed in the coming years for the relatively stagnant economy...

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In a subdued ceremony that has rejected the lavishness of the traditional coronation of past and contemporary monarchs, Santaji has been crowned after a short ceremony in Shaniwar Wada, the traditional home of the Peshwa rulers in Pune.

 

Attended by the High Council and representatives of all the provinces, it was presided over by a well known Brahmin, Jai Singh, who initiated Santaji as the Chhatrapati, the Paramount Sovereign of all lands. During the ceremony, coronation mantras would led by Jai Singh, holding a vessel containing the waters of the seven sacred rivers in India over the new monarchs' head. The practice was well-founded in tradition, and Santaji would elect to lead the ceremonies' participants in a prayer for good health and prosperity of the state, and for those who struggled through their lives. The prayer was ended with promises that these burdens would be eased, that the rise of the Maratha signaled change, paramount change that would change over a billion lives in an instant.

 

Before and after the brief, thoughtful coronation, several representatives would express the hope to contribute to the rebuilding of the Shaniwar Wada, to restore the traditional stronghold and symbol of Marathi power. The newly-crowned king was said to have expressed the desire that the residence would indeed be rebuilt, and it would serve as his locale for holding court.

 

The entire coronation would be televised for the benefit of all who desired to view the ceremony, and it has been noted that in several cities, celebrations would break out at the moment the new monarch was crowned. Along with the traditional rituals of coronation, there would be several letters and scripts read aloud at the ceremony expressing good wishes to the newly-crowned king. Many of them would be from the leaders of various religious communities, expressing the hope that Santaji's reign be one of religious tolerance and understanding, along with wishes of good health and a long reign. As one of his first decrees after coronation, Santaji's Prime Minister would announce that Marathi recognized the subcontinent as home to many religions and people who followed them. As long as he or his descendants ruled the throne, there would be no sectarian strife, no religious intolerance, only balance and harmony within all communities. Such conflagrations had no place in the subcontinent, or indeed the world at large.

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As the Maratha government began to establish and consolidate itself in Pune, which would serve as the capital of the vast Empire, it was imperative that national development and progression was prioritized and pressed forward with.

 

To this end, it would be imperative that the new nation was attractive to foreign investment and trade growth, domestic trade and industry producing for such a market was hardly a sustainable tactic or way forward in the globalized economy. It was recognized that logistics and maintaining a steady flow of goods would be important as the state developed; and infrastructure, not only road and rail, air and sea, but communications and basic utilities would have to be improved upon. The subcontinent that Santaji and his loyal council and court representatives were handed was an amalgamation of disjointed logistics and uneven infrastructure condition and growth. In the days of stagnation, it had been up to individual regions and local leaders to maintain their lands, some had done so to a satisfactory level, others just didn't have to ability to do so, understandably so.

 

To this end, no matter what the infrastructure existed, or what condition it was in, there was no exceptions taken that infrastructure would be brought to an acceptable level, and logistics improved to a level acceptable to modern standards. That meant tearing down derelict or unsafe bridges and building new ones, that meant rewiring large portions of the electric grid, it meant updating train timetables and improving upon existing ones. Even before the coronation had been conducted, the Maratha National Army Corps of Engineering was already spreading throughout the country, with its own personnel or contracted certified civil, utility, and structural engineers tirelessly inspecting all facets of the nations' infrastructure. Report after report would be filed back to Pune to be compiled and condensed into district-by-district work-ups of needed maintenance.

 

The work that was needed was vast, but it would not only push forward the progression of the nation, but also provide endless amounts of jobs for those willing to throw themselves into the labor sector. Companies would have to be contracted, and trades learned, it would take much effort, sweat, and toil to bring the nation back to an acceptable level of modernization, but the steady hand at the helm knew this, and the course had been set.

 

Almost immediately after the Maratha had ascended to power, tourism advertisement space began filling up in internationally-publicized magazines or airtime bought on various international television channels. The advertisements would encourage tourism to the subcontinent, underlining the great values available to those who visited, as well as illustrating some of the finer places of India. Shimmering sandy beaches and friendly faces would be plastered in the advertisements, while a crash-program of beautifying international airports that served the bulk of tourists would begin to take shape to facilitate return visitors and clean up the nations' run down international image. Locations like Goa and Visakhaptanam, or big metropolises like Mumbai, would be the premier targets of tourism, as the nation redeveloped its image as a prime tourist destination.

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In the proceeding weeks following the coronation of Santaji as the sovereign ruler, the Empire has officially issued the invocation of the Marathi National Armed Services; which shall consist of the Marathi National Army (MNA), Marathi National Navy (MNN), Marathi National Air Forces (MNAF), and the Marathi National Coast Guard (MNCG). The Marathi National Armed Services were officially invocated at a celebration at Shaniwar Wada in Pune, where the leading commanders of all four branches were given their five-star ranks by Santaji, officially giving them charge over their branches of service.

 

Released during the invocation was the mission statement devised by the Marathi National Armed Services;

 

"The members of the Armed Services shall, in the interests of the state and the monarchy, uphold their oaths of service from the day of induction, until their day of discharge. They are the guardians of the subcontinent, the protector of all her people, no matter their lot in life, social standing or otherwise. They shall ensure the integrity of her borders and the sovereignty of the nation at large, and shall defend her interests no matter the cost or task."

 

The newly-appointed commanders of the four branches are as follows;

 

MNA - Field Marshal Suresh Naidu

MNN - Fleet Admiral Rama Gehlot

MNAF - Air Marshal Rao Singh

MNCG - Fleet Commander Vijay Yadav

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After weeks of planning, the High Council would convene the National Defense and Security Committee for the first time, which would include individuals from across the defense and intelligence community. On the topic would be defense procurements and developments, as well as intelligence and counterespionage funding to be allocated.

 

Presiding over the two day closed door meeting in a secure location in Pune, Santaji would prove to be a mediator between the various branches of the military, as well as the assigned heads of the intelligence community as they vied for funding. There would be several heated discussions on what procurements were more important than others, and the members of the intelligence community in attendance would object on several occasions that they would also need the funding as well. Although the annual budget would prove far from capable of covering all expenses, the Chancellor of Finances and Corporate Affairs would assure the council that targeted budgeting and spreading payments out over time would ensure that funding would be available for necessary ventures.

 

After much debate and discourse over funding allotments and future procurements, the National Defense and Security Committee were able to commit to a allotment as follows;

 

Marathi National Army

  • 2.3 Million Combat Soldiers (1 Million are Tier 1 Reservists)
  • 12,000 Main Battle Tanks or heavy armored fighting vehicles
  • "A currently undetermined but acceptable" number of artillery, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles
  • 2,500-3,000 Helicopters (all types)

Marathi National Navy

  • 4 Fleet Supercarriers
  • 5 Guided-Missile Battleships
  • 10 Amphibious Assault Carriers
  • 10 Guided Missile Cruisers
  • 45 Guided Missile Destroyers
  • 13 Multirole Destroyers
  • 45 Frigates (All types)
  • 65 Corvettes (All types)
  • 40 Submarines (Types Undetermined; Mix of Advanced AIP, SSGN, SSN)
  • 42 Standard Diesel AIP Submarines
  • 2 Standard Guided Missile Submarines (SSGN)
  • 500 Carrier Borne Strike Fighter Aircraft (Mixed types)
  • "A currently undetermined but acceptable" number of helicopters (Utility/SAR/ASW/SOF)

Marathi National Air Forces

  • 1500 Fourth Generation Fighters [Type(s) Undetermined]
  • 3280 Advanced Combat Aircraft (Types Undetermined; Expected Mix of High Performance Stealth Fighters, Multirole Strike Aircraft, and Bombers)
  • "A currently undetermined but acceptable" number of helicopters (Utility/SAR/SOF)
  • "A currently undetermined but acceptable" number of support aircraft (Transport/EW/AWACS/XINT/CMA)

Marathi National Coast Guard

  • "A currently undetermined but acceptable" mix of High & Medium Endurance Cutters and Patrol Vessels
  • "Large allocations" of small, short range prosecution and lifesaving boats
  • "A currently undetermined but acceptable" mix of helicopters and aircraft for patrol, intercept, and SAR missions

 

Additional discussions during the meeting included topics on orbital infrastructure development, as well as allocations for special forces planning and development, counterterrorism, and inter-branch and international cooperative training.

 

Budgetary allocation for intelligence and counterespionage were undetermined, but it was noted that most members of the intelligence community deemed the sums discussed as "acceptable".

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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As part of the monarchy's progressive social policies, there has been several movements forward on the part of both Ministry for Health, as well as the Ministry for Education and Progressive Learning, some of them cooperative.

 

With the country's hospital and medical centers united under the National Healthcare System or "NHS", there has been an increasing demand for doctors, certified nurses, and medical staff, which has been quoted as being in "dire supply". As a stopgap measure, the High Council issued a decree to assign military medical personnel to hospital staff, to ensure that current medical staff are not overwhelmed or cannot cope with demand. This is in response to a report underlining overworked hospital staff unable to perform their tasks at a satisfactory condition due to "an environment that lives and breathes fatigue into them". Additionally, as part of an initiative to gain more learned medical staff, the government also enacted measures to reduce tuition for medical related fields by as much as fifty percent, and have instructed private financial institutions to lower interest rates on medical related student loans. 

 

This is expected to ease the burden on the healthcare system, whilst measures to improve sanitation and promote healthy living and activities are to prevent hospital admissions. The Ministry of Labor has also instituted several measures to improve conditions in unsafe work environments, and heavily fine companies and corporations that promote unsafe work practices. It has been reported that in a two week period, several fines have netted billions of rupees into government coffers. It is hoped that promotion of safe work practices will gain industries and government money over the long run, in a reduction in disabled benefit payments and lost time accidents.

 

Although many heads of industries have protested implementing such reforms in a "short period of time", most employers have been largely ignored by the government, intent on improving working environments.

 

As part of government reforms to public education, into the secondary level, after much deliberation, a standard curriculum with targeted education goals for individual students has been instituted. Excelling over these goals to a certain standard, will earn students extra college credits, after entering the second year of secondary education, which could reduce time in the college classroom or earn them additional government scholarships. New curriculum changes will also put an emphasis on all subjects, but also allow students to pursue a variety of topics within a certain discipline as they develop a post-graduation plan of career. This allows flexibility to students who want to begin preparing themselves for post secondary education in their targeted field.

 

Discipline fields are broken down and listed as follows; Humanities, Sciences, Maths, Language.

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As part of a show towards faith in the monarchy, and underline the role the monarch plays as commander in chief of the Armed Services, the High Council and District Representatives have voted to rename the Armed Services as a result. As such, the new monikers for the branches shall be as follows, effective immediately;

 

  • Royal Marathi Army (RMA)
  • Royal Marathi Navy (RMN)
  • Royal Marathi Air Forces (RMAF)
  • Royal Marathi Coast Guard (RMCG)

As part of this change, RMN ships shall now bear the prefix "Royal Marathi Military Ship" or "RMMS", whilst all named RMCG ships shall bear the prefix "Royal Marathi Coast Guard Ship" or "RMCGS" as part of their name.

 

[b]Private[/b]

 

As part of its ongoing naval procurement and national shipbuilding strategy, orders have been assigned to various shipyards along the coast to put efforts towards developing Maratha's green water navy, along with its blue-water contributions. Specific vessel designs have been developed at a fast-paced rate, and approved by the High Council. Although quotas on the numbers of these vessels are not currently available, the numbers available will be notably "substantial".

 

The largest and most notable of procurements for the RMN are as follows;

 

  • [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A4meenmaa-class_minelayer][i]Stork[/i]-class[/url] Minelayer
  • [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katanp%C3%A4%C3%A4-class_mine_countermeasure_vessel][i]Collector[/i]-class[/url] MCMV
  • [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamina-class_missile_boat]CMV-1 Series[/url] Missile Boat
  • [url=http://www.shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Never%20Built%20Designs/Canada/JSS%20Merwede%20Shipyards%20Design.png][i]Reliant[/i]-class[/url] Joint Support and Green Water Command Vessel

 

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With the expansion and development of the Royal Marathi Army, with a mission to defend both the nations and her interests at home and abroad; this meant being ready for the potential of armed conflict. Being ready meant constant training and readiness drills, and that would be what the newly-constituted 1st Armored Division would undertake in the Thar Desert, one day after having a military review for the monarch's birthday. Combat readiness and arid condition exercises would pit both men and equipment against the sweltering heat and harsh sand of the desert, testing weapons new and old, as well as the spirit of the men and women of the RMA.

 

The exercises would pit the armored and mechanized forces against a hodgepodge of motorized and mechanized infantry units drawn from various training and standing units in the first full-fledged large-scale exercises undertaken by the RMA. It would feature limited combined arms support for an armored thrust, simulating a combat environment where neither sides' air force had an advantage, but light scout helicopters would play a pivotal role in guiding and scouting breakthrough points and providing additional situational awareness. There would be a heavy use of artillery support, as well as light tactical air support from scout helicopters when and wherever possible. Lasting almost a total of seventy-two hours, the grueling exercises would be followed by an immediate debrief and classroom instruction on improvements to be made and implemented, and following that, well deserved R&R passes to the units that performed their missions the best.

 

[center]174241107.jpg[/center]

 

[center][i]Armored and mechanized units associated with the 1st Bengal Lancers plod through rough scrub-land somewhere in the Thar Desert RMAS Joint Services Reservation.[/i][/center]

 

The exercises also marked the first introduction of tier one special operations forces to major exercises alongside regular RMA troopers. Utilized in a light infantry and elite scouting role, particularly during the night time, utilizing various modes of transportation, these forces proved critical in several engagements. They located minefield placements as well as called in pinpoint artillery on strongpoints that would have otherwise proved to be almost impregnable without accurate, well-placed fire, as well as helped identify ambush zones for advancing mechanized forces. The operators who served alongside the 1st Armored Division in its mock battles earned themselves the name "Sons of Yama", the deity of death.

 

Although their unit designation is reportedly classified, which officially is the 556th Special Operations Regiment, they are known as the Blues and Reds, for their distinctive formal uniform and its alliteration to the colors of Yama himself.

 

[center]9d679c7b45169e47f38baed77d7ecb16.jpg[/center]

 

[center][i]A scout-sniper from the 556th Special Operations Regiment, suited up in camouflage while on maneuvers in a heavily brushed area of the Thar Desert.[/i][/center]

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As part of its commitment to expanding technological infrastructure for the nation, as well as providing orbital infrastructure for the nations' defense, the Orbital Progress Facility has been opened along the coastline northeast of the city of Visakhapatnam. Started shortly after the nations' declared independence, the facility is the pride of the Marathi Space Administration (MSA), and has a series of eight launch pads, five of them being still under construction. With a heavy workload already planned for many of the countries' telecommunications companies, there has been discussion that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), also has a slew of defense and security related satellites for launch as well.

 

The Orbital Progress Facility not only features a large number of orbital launch pads, but also has an expansive air force facility for testing and development of various aircraft, along with secure, climate controlled facilities to house such equipment. The Orbital Progress Facility is expected to launch the first government-related orbiter within the next two months, an unmanned autonomous reusable vehicle that could prove to be a future platform for manned space flight. Launched atop a large booster, the vehicle will orbit the Earth for two weeks, conducting recovery trials of a satellite that will be launched ahead of it, to test the abilities of the platform to autonomously retrieve satellites for repair or assessment, following a simulated damage report.

 

[center]herschel_banner_big.jpg[/center]

 

[center][i]One of the launch pads at the Orbital Progress Facility, readying a large booster for primary trials, which will also put a telecommunications satellite for media giant SC Comm into orbit. Additional facilities around the complex can be seen in the distance.[/i][/center]

 

The first payload for the Orbital Progress Facility is expected to be a telecommunications satellite from SC Comm, that will provide satellite television broadcasting for its twenty-four hour news network, MNSC News to receivers around the world. SC Comm makes up a large percentage of the early business for the facility, and its contracts with the government are expected to bring in large sums of money for the facility and the government to pay for its construction and maintenance. SC Comm has worked closely with both the MSA, as well as the RMAF in determining orbital tracks of its satellites. SC Comm is expected to also provide navigation assistance through its soon-expected SC NAV satellites, which will be placed into orbit to provide navigation assistance for private consumption on the subcontinent and surrounding areas.

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In response to a large demand of better navigational aids, and on recommendations by the Ministry of Labor, the RMCG has begun the construction and deployment of ground-based navigation aids. The program is to allow for a cheap alternative to GPS signalling, which can be very expensive for local fishermen, by utilizing beacon towers that are being set up along the entirety of the coastline that transmit a medium frequency emission of its geographic placement. The idea is that a mariner should be always be in range of two beacon towers, that each have their own, unique transmission, which helps a mariner get a fix on their approximate location and allow for them to avoid navigational hazards on an uploaded map on their receiver unit.

 

The transmission towers and receiver sets, which are sold to the public as a waterproof computer system, cost half as much as a fixed GPS system, and a quarter of what a basic surface wave radar set does, and the waterproof computer system can be updated with maps of the locales where the boat is operating in.
 

The placement of beacons will coincide with complete hydrographic surveys of the coastline, as well as more robust buoy and physical navigational aid placements. This process is expected to be completed by crews from the RMCG, as well as privately contracted crews that will work alongside the RMCG in their surveys. When concluded, the Royal Geographic and Hydrographic Survey Office is expected to release new charts to the general public that will aid navigation and provide better hazard awareness. These measures, taken together, are expected to ensure that groundings and property loss are minimized at sea, especially after an especially busy week for the RMCG, with over a dozen and a half major groundings over the past fortnight, most of which involved large fishing trawlers, half of which were deemed to be partly the fault of poor navigational aids.

 

[center]274px-Nkr1.jpg[/center]

 

[center][i]A directional assistance beacon near the coastline in Chittagong, in eastern Bangladesh State. The beacon was installed as part of an introductory program following two large trawler groundings in the area, one of which resulted in a sizable oil spill.[/i][/center]

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As part of exercises aimed at testing the readiness of the aerial services of the Armed Services, the RMAF has officially created its Training and Education Command, and the Bullseye Aggressor School, to prepare pilots and ground crew for high intensity and low intensity air combat and support. These new measures are expected to increase the capabilities and combat skills of pilots, turnaround times for ground crews, and the way of handling aircraft in scenarios where the importance of a mission could be the nations' sovereignty itself. Utilizing air combat instructors and seasoned crew from former subcontinent air forces, including some instructors whose military service stretched back to the time of the Royal Cochin Air Force, the program will eventually have the capacity to train as many as one thousand fighter pilots a year in three month classroom and flight instruction.

 

Graduates of the program immediately earn a gilt gold star added to the center of their assigned pilot wings, as a measure of achievement, and all graduates are immediately inducted into frontline fighter squadrons.

 

The Bullseye Aggressor School focuses both on offensive and defensive fighter engagement and interception tactics, as well as advanced air-to-ground coordination. Strike and penetration mission packages are also flown, where testing maneuverability and navigation is essentially, particularly in ground-hugging tactics which are practiced by utilizing a flat plain with integrated laser systems to simulate rolling hills, ridge-lines, and mountain passes, which pilots cannot trip during their maneuvers. Coordination with aerial defense systems and integrated squadron tactics are also practiced to ensure good discipline in intense combat situations that include aerial dogfights and close encounters with aircraft.

 

Although initiative and confidence are instilled in graduates, traits such as overconfidence, cockiness, or aggressive behavior are dissuaded. Good judgment is well prized, and the school has a reputation for pushing quick-critical-thinking techniques, as well as promoting strong team work between squadron mates and matched wingmen duos. The dissuasion of over aggressive tactics has been critiqued by some pilots as being too overbearing, and promoting hesitant behavior, but most psychologist observations have pointed to the schools' quick-thinking promotion countering hesitant behavior. Many of the classroom instructors continually preach the line 'he who hesitates is lost, but he who acts rashly will not be saved either'.

 

Early graduates of the program, that had noted existing disciplinary issues regarding overconfidence and aggressive tactics, have shown improvements after attending the school, and their edge in combat exercises have notably grown after attendance.

 

 

Rafale.jpg

 

 

 

Shikra Aggressor aircraft, featuring the dark grey paint and the Bullseye Roundel of the Aggressor School, prepare to embark for a training mission aimed at testing cadets' skills against coastal infiltration missions, in the southern district of Tamil Nadu.

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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As part of a joint statement by the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, the Maratha Empire has released the following on the nations' stance on unconventional weapons;

 

"The Maratha Empire states explicitly that it shall bar the development of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons within its borders, as part of a commitment to progress in global peace.

 

This will not inhibit the Empire from development of defensive measures to these cruel types of weaponry, and it will undertake stringent defensive programs aimed at reducing the effects of potential strikes with these types of weapons. This will include research and development of antiviruses aimed at combating biological weaponry, as well as developing appropriate conventional weaponry in deterrence to unconventionally armed non-state actors or states themselves, rogue or otherwise."

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[b]Public[/b]

 

As part of new efforts to provide affordable military equipment on the global market, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. has marketed a new class of [url=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JitTB-zM6Zo/SgLI8sZd8MI/AAAAAAAAAFo/hhSceTDSaWw/s1600-h/milgemcalisma08.GIF]Light Surface Combatants[/url] that will adequate fulfill the needs of green water and blue water navies. These corvette-sized vessels are highly customizable, heavily armed, and require a minimal size crew to fulfill operational requirements. The flexibility and capabilities of what is now known as the City-class Corvette, has led the Royal Marathi Navy to order a total of 65 of the vessels for their use.

 

The City-class Corvettes boast a heavy armament that include a 76mm Gun in a reduced visibility turret, a missile-autocannon CIWS system aft of the main battery, four [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exocet]Flying Fish[/url] anti-ship/land attack missiles, one eight-cell VLS for quad-packed [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIM-162_ESSM]Sea Shrike[/url] SHRAAD Missiles, a launcher for four Mark 54 LW Torpedoes, two dual 30mm autocannons on either side of the hanger, and one Rolling Airframe Launcher on the roof of the hanger. Additional armament includes four remotely controlled heavy machine guns midships, as well as many as two [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AgustaWestland_AW159_Wildcat]Wildcat[/url] Light Utility Helicopters, or one medium utility helicopter. The ship has also been noted to be able to carry combat-capable UAVs for scouting and light attack missions, and has appropriate control equipment for such equipment.

 

Two of the City-class Corvettes, [i]Delhi[/i] and [i]Kolkata[/i], have distinguished themselves in anti-piracy operations in the Bay of Bengal, prosecuting operations in international waters against Burmese pirates and smugglers that have been operating in the region.

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[b]Public[/b]

 

As part of initiatives to continue India's energy independence, government announcements have pointed to the awarding of a contract to IndoPetrol to begin exploiting natural gas reserves in the Bay of Bengal. IndoPetrol has been a strong proponent of natural gas exploration, and utilizing old charts and surveys to undertake new surveys in tapping underwater resources. In an announcement outside of IndoPetrol's Kolkata Regional Office, the CEO, Dreys Mahindra has stated that;

 

"IndoPetrol has always committed itself to sustainable growth and use of resources, the Bengal Emperor at-sea project will be no different, as we strive to continue to supply the Maratha Empire with most of its energy needs."

 

As part of its contribution to the Bay of Bengal economy, the corporation has donated several trillion rupees to clean water projects, including environmental cleanup and enforcement costs of stopping offshore dumping. Although several environmental groups within the nation have given a nod of appreciation to IndoPetrol's efforts, many continue to show disparaging remarks for continued fossil fuel reliance. One of IndoPetrol's competitors in energy, Thar Solutions, has openly criticized the government for the opening of natural gas fields in the Bay of Bengal. Thar Solutions runs several solar energy farms in the Thar Desert, and its manufacturing conglomerate provides solar panels for green-energy-minded private citizens and companies.

 

In other economic news, mining-giant Maharaja Holdings has stated that it is expecting to increase mining operations of bauxite and sheet mica in response to increased demand in manufacturing sectors. Thakur-Singh Steel has also noted an increase in recycling operations of various metals, attributing the rise in strides by the government to push for recyclable materials to be reprocessed.

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As part of its expanding commitment to the defense of the nation, the Royal Marathi Army, in conjunction with forces from the RMAF and RMN have begun another set of large scale exercises in the Thar Desert, as well as in the Tamil-Nadu Region of the southern subcontinent.

 

Mobile combined arms warfare exercises are once again the focuses by forces in the Thar Desert maneuvers, with four armored divisions and four mobile infantry divisions partaking in the high endurance combat operations. Both blue and red exercise teams are evenly matched in manpower, equipment, and artillery, whilst red team suffers from only limited aerial support, which is to force them to change their tactics in attacking and movements. The exercises are expected to also feature uses of tactical ballistic missile weaponry in simulated events, as well as strategic area air defense schemes, in support of ground combat operations and aerial interception techniques. The exercises are expected to take a full two weeks to complete, after which debriefing and honing maneuvers will take place to correct lapses in command judgment, with tactical commanders being given assessments of their decisions and skills based upon a highly complex criteria.

 

Exercises in Tamil Nadu are comprised of marine assault techniques, with mass amphibious drills taking place for the first time, involving a simulated landing against heavily fortified coastline, including oppositional naval forces possessing small amounts of diesel electric submarines and missile gunboats. The exercises are not only expected to hone skills of the marine assault infantry, but also test the RMN's offensive capabilities in green water operations, particularly against an unconventional enemy utilizing various methods of resistance and counterattacks. A marine assault division has been slated for blue force usage, whilst a red force is comprised of an infantry division with mixed support units. Like the exercises in the Thar Desert, these exercises will be followed by debriefing and assessments, which will help sharpen tactical skills of infantry and naval tactical commanders.

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[b]Classified[/b]

 

After much contentious deliberation, the High Council has approved a spending package under the auspices of the 'Defense Infrastructure Modernization Bill' or the DIM Bill. The DIM Bill has been highlighted by both members of the High Council as well as military commanders as a 'logical step towards providing essential strategic depth in modern warfare'.

 

As part of the strategic depth context of the DIM Bill, emphasis was put on ensuring survivability and 'bounce back' after a major attack on military installations, whatever branch they may be. This meant creating and safeguarding staging points for spare parts and repair equipment, the locations of such stocks being placed inconspicuously throughout military installations, or in nearby government-bought warehouses. The government had also put emphasis on developing stocks of spare parts for all military equipment, providing for extra stocks to be ready in the event of a major war, instead of producing them on a small-scale orders, which was also uneconomical. The simple logic was that mass production of spare parts for military equipment saved money in the long run.

 

Protection of fuel bunkers was also notably increased, including the usage of underground bunkers, rather than leaving fuel tanks exposed. Fuel tanks would be encased in concrete with steel-reinforced underground frames, with the fuel being piped to access points along the flight line at major air facilities, or pumped to transfer points for refueling trucks to disseminate to individual aircraft. Along with underground fuel bunkers, major air force facilities would also be equipped with underground climate-controlled bunkers for the storage of armaments, including missiles, bombs, and autocannon rounds. These facilities could be accessed by large elevators inside of hangers, which would bring up required armaments up to a truck for transfer to the flight line.

 

Similar facilities to these could be found at naval and ground forces bases, with fuel being able to be piped straight to quays and docks from nearby underground fuel bunkers. Armament storage facilities were also well protected with steel-reinforced concrete overhead and sidewall protection to ensure survivability against 'substantial, but not completely sustained' attack.

 

Additional survivability for elements of the air force were provided by spread-out aircraft bunkers, which were earthen covered, with armor consisting of concrete with castellated steel reinforcements. These bunkers had blast doors on both sides, and could play host to two fighter-sized aircraft in most cases, and were spread out around the flight line. Although they could not sustain continued bombardment, the fortifications provided a measure of protection against attacks which could damage several aircraft at a time if they were parked on the flight line, or in a hanger. The other advantages to the shelters provided was also against overhead satellite intelligence, and providing spaces where maintenance personnel could work in relative safety and comfort.

 

With submarines being the most numerous of the ships in the Royal Marathi Navy, as well as probably its most dangerous asset to any foreign seaborne invader, special care was taken to disguise the comings and goings of its submarine force. This was most particularly true with the diesel-electric submarines that the Navy had in service. To this end, special measures were begun to construct underground submarine bases in key coastal areas, as well as hosting at-port submarines underneath heavy camouflage netting, to mask identification. Submarine patrols were dispatched out typically at night, and the vessels would roam the littoral waters at will, with their commanders following a parameter for their patrol. Many submarines would be based out of Sri Lanka, as it was at the nexus of the subcontinent, and ships could be deployed quickly to either side of the Indian quickly.

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As part of the efforts surrounding the DIM Bill, and in conjunction with Mahindra Aerospace company, has begun the process of developing long range radar coverage of aerial and surface approaches to the country. Such developments are in keeping with the ability for the nation to provide for its' own defense, including intercepting aircraft or ships that might breach its sovereign airspace or sea space. Another facet of these advances was also tracking and management of civilian aircraft that were transiting the airspace, as well as out to sea.

 

To this end, Mahindra Aerospace, now at the forefront of aerial and surface electronic support equipment after a research grant from several donors, including government agencies, had begun full operational testing of its multistatic over-the-horizon radar known as 'Starsearch'. Utilizing multiple receivers and transmitters with a relatively low transmission power rate, but with enhanced signals processing and highly advanced electronics. This is coupled with utilizing relatively low radio frequency, averaging around 15 MHz, but varying as low as five, and as high as thirty, which is low compared to both civilian and other military radars. The radar network can be utilized for both air and surface search missions, and is well suited for anti-ballistic missile cooperative engagement missions, counter-stealth air search, and general air defense. For optimal frequency transmissions, a highly advanced ionosonde network was developed to provide a real-time map the ionosphere every five minutes, which then dictates the frequency at which the radars should operate at for optimal performance. To relay tracking and search data, the Starsearch system is connected to regional and district aerial defense command centers via fiber optic cables running at very high bandwidth.

 

Mahindra Aerospace also has duties in developing a land-based phased array warning system (PAWS), which is to track incoming ballistic targets from both land and sea-based launches, and provide assistance in ground-based midcourse updates. These early warning systems can track outwards in all directions from the subcontinent, and will eventually provide a full three hundred sixty degree early warning of missiles being sent off, as well as updates on their directions and headings. The PAWS is an integrated part of a large group of systems dedicated to ballistic missile defense, including aircraft, other ground-based radars, and ship-based and sea-based forward deployed radar. To this end, this gives tracking, intercept, and engagement abilities for what will eventually be the EAIKV or "Exoatmospheric Intercept and Kill Vehicle" ballistic defense system.

 

Additional OTH support can be provided by the in-development FalconEye Monostatic tactical OTH system. This system is road-mobile, and can be set up within four hours of arrival on site after tower erection and electronics and signals processing is complete. This system is able to provide a highly detailed picture of the airspace around the site within a thousand kilometer diameter. The FalconEye OTH Network is also supplemented by a newly-deployed high frequency surface wave radar system, used for monitoring sealane approaches and managing seaspace defenses and surveillance capabilities. These systems are meant for replacing downed or damaged OTH systems when needed, or are used as theater coverage units if significant Marathi units are deployed overseas. Relocatable OTH Multistatic systems, with forward deployment capabilities are still under development, but the FalconEye unit has been touted as being easily deployed in only "a day or two" with operational capability "within a day after arriving on site".

 

In an intense effort to bolster aerial defenses against penetration attacks from the air, particularly into the interior of the nation, which is an integral part of the nation's ability to utilize its strategic depth, Hindustan Aeronautics and the National Aerospace Laboratories have begun work with the Air Forces to deploy the Tripwire Counter Penetration Radar Network. This network of large numbers of relatively cheap receivers and transmitters is built as a counter-aerial-siege method to whittle down penetration raids by aircraft and missiles, including stealth/low-observable weapons, by analyzing backscatter and "voids" caused by the passage of aircraft and weaponry. The system is extremely hard to eliminate, and relatively easy to maintain and procure, and can dispatch high-speed surface-to-air, or through cooperative engagement systems, air-to-air missiles or interception forces to deal with a threat. Although only useful against targets that actually penetrate the radar beam paths, it is to be an important asset in the countering of aerial raids that intend to penetrate the country. The Tripwire can be utilized particularly well against low-flying, low-observable, subsonic cruise missiles, and all transmitters and receivers are to be connected via hardwired fiber optics to regional and district air defense commands.

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In what has been called a move that was "unprecedented" according to some media outlets, HRH Santaji and the High Council, after emerging from what was to be a fairly routine meeting, have announced reformations to representative government. Having debated and toyed with the idea for well over a year now, the High Council has now officially begun the process of organizing a representative legislature, also known as the Royal Legislative Council, to help with the governing of the subcontinent. Each district will elect, based on population size, a certain number of representatives to the Royal Legislative Council, which will then draft legislation for the High Council and the monarch to review and comment on, before approving it.

 

The Marathi Constitution is in the process of being rewritten to now reflect the balancing of the government, which will see the Royal Legislative Council having the ability to overrule the monarch with a certain percentage of the vote that has yet to be determined. The Royal Legislative Council will not have the power to interfere with the monarch's abilities as Commander in Chief of the Armed Services, nor can they force the monarch to abdicate, a provision that is only allowed by a full majority decree by the High Council. The Royal Legislative Council will be responsible for submitting budgetary workbooks for their respective districts, and proposing new bills for government funding, as well as providing the High Council with reports on how districts are performing, and what is needed for them to succeed.

 

The added representation is expected to have great effect on the transparency of governance, as well as make the nation much more representative for the one point five billion people that reside within the borders of the Empire. In a statement to the press, one of Santaji's remarks were, "We have realized for some time that we cannot outstretch our hands to every citizen of this great nation, we cannot hear their voices, for there are way too many. It is the responsibility of our new Royal Legislators to be those ears, to be able to reach out and connect, they will be as important as anyone on the High Council. They are my eyes and my ears, and will be elected by the people whom they will serve, it is the only way that this country will work in the long term."

 

Elections are expected to be announced within the fortnight, with candidates expected to submit their applications and petitions for candidacy within a month of the announcement date.

 

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As part of an effort to effectively combat submarines in a littoral zone, the Royal Marathi Navy has reduced the procurement of its City-Class Light Surface Combatants to 45, and replace these designated slots with twenty [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamorta-class_corvette]Pursuit-class[/url] Corvettes. These units will be outfitted specifically for ASW duties, and can serve independently, in submarine-hunting wolfpacks, or within the framework of a carrier battle group. They have been outfitted with a full suite compatible with their duties, as well as being equipped with the option for sixteen VLS-launched SAMs.

 

The ships will have the ability to not only launch ASW Helicopters, but also deploy combat picket UAVs against submarines, utilizing lightweight torpedoes. The ship is also expected to be able to work in cohesion with future-planned autonomous underwater threat tracking vessels to destroy hostile submarines in a conflict zone.

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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As part of the Royal Marathi Navy's Naval Buildup and Modernization Plan (NBMP), the government has fully authorized a full complement of guided missile destroyers and light destroyers to fulfill critical roles, particularly in surface warfare, ground operations support, ballistic missile and at-sea/littoral area air defense. Further operations intended for Marathi surface combatants is within the role of carrier strike forces and force projection into the Indian Ocean and beyond, for this reason, high-endurance warships were needed to ensure that these missions could be carried out, but these vessels also needed to be flexible enough in armaments and equipment that they could fulfill almost any task to a satisfactory level.

 

Deliveries of vessels from Garden Reach Shipyards, as well as Mazagon Dock Limited were underway of the following vessels;

  • Forty-Five [url=http://www.shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Never Built Designs/United States of America/DDG-79 Arleigh Burke Flight III Level 3.png]Hero-Class[/url] Guided Missile Destroyers
  • Thirteen [url=http://www.shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Real Designs/South Korea/DDH-975 Chungmugong Yi Sunsin.gif]Steadfast-class[/url] "Light" Destroyers

These vessels would form the nucleus of any surface action or carrier strike group, and were usually commanded by some of the more "maverick" commanding officers that the Royal Marathi Navy possessed as a result.

 

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With a rising amount of tension occurring both in Asia, centered in the Korean Peninsula, as well as the potential for leftist violence rising in East Africa, it was the decision of the General Staff to put select Marathi units on a standby order, in case deployments were needed quickly.

 

Units that were put on standby would consist of;

  • 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (Tier 2 SOF)
  • Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 556th SO Regiment
  • MARCOS - Detachment 4

Additional units that were included in the general standby order included airlift and special rotary-wing elements of the Royal Marathi Air Forces and Navy, as well as the destroyers [I]Zafar Khan[/I] and [I]Sardar Baj Singh[/I]. An auxiliary joint support depot ship would also be readied for maritime support operations, were it deemed necessary for deployment.

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The Royal Marathi Navy has finally begun receiving the first of its capital ship program procurements, with many ships still under construction at Mazagon Dock Limited, Cochin Shipyards Limited, and Garden Reach Shipyards. The newest vessels for the fleet have been commissioned and in the instance of some, are expected to join active operations in the Indian Ocean right after their shakedown cruises.

 

[url=http://shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Alternate%20Universe/USA%20CG%20%28FGMC%29%20Future%20Guided%20Missile%20Cruiser%201%20AU.gif][i]Tireless[/i]-class[/url] Guided Missile Cruiser - The six vessels [i]Tireless[/i]-class are expected to take on the duties of leading fleet in anti-air warfare (AAW) duties in any engagement situation. Each carrier battle group is expected to contain a [i]Tireless[/i]-class vessel, although this role can be passed to a Hero-Class guided missile destroyer when necessary. The [i]Tireless[/i]-class vessels are heavily equipped with sensors for AAW, including anti-ballistic missile (ABM) equipment, and are the best ships in the Marathi Navy in coordinating area air and ballistic missile defense, with the ability to compile all sensory data via secure data links, and assign engagement tasks.
 

The [i]Tireless[/i]-class are well armed, not only for AAW but for surface warfare, carrying two 5"/62 Caliber guns, eight 25mm automatic cannons (automatic/manual operation capable) for use against light surface craft, three combined SeaRAM systems, and eight anti-ship missiles launch canisters. These eight anti-ship missile canisters are expected to be enclosed inside a retractable-roof superstructure piece, which allows for the vessel to maintain its relatively low-radar signature. The heavy armament of the [i]Tireless[/i]-class are the 122 VLS Strike-length cells, that can carry long-range cruise missiles, as well as large amounts of anti-air warfare missiles, including some that can be quad-packed into cells, making its portable arsenal that much more potent.

 

The [i]Tireless[/i]-class are some of the few vessels in the RMN that are armored beyond standard splinter protection, featuring layered armored steel bulkheads, particularly around magazines, VLS tubes, and engineering and CIC spaces. Like all RMN ships, the vessels feature a high-tensile strength steel keel that is well suited for resisting the shockwaves of torpedoes or anti-missile strikes that might perhaps "snap the back" of similar ships.

 

[url=http://shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Alternate%20Universe/GB%20CH%20Enforcer_%20Aboukir%20Bay%203%20AU.gif][i]Resolution[/i]-class[/url] Aviation Support Cruiser - The four vessels of the [i]Resolution[/i]-class are expected to fulfill a flexible role within the RMN, particularly in supporting littoral warfare including special forces operations, engaging in ASW operations, and supporting small-scale low-intensity conflict operations ashore. The vessels are equipped with both helicopters, as well as patrol boats that can act as landing craft, or medium range prosecutor ships, making the cruiser well suited for anti-asymmetric warfare operations.

 

Whilst supporting ground operations, the [i]Resolution[/i] vessels can provide living space, in surge conditions, for up to three hundred fully-equipped soldiers, and has the ability to carry seven helicopters in a standard load, including five medium and two light utility helicopters. Four Combat Boat 90 craft serve the vessel and can be retrieved and launched while in motion and at up to Sea State 4. The vessel also carries sixteen strike-length VLS tubes, which are to be utilized for various AAW missiles. Numerous guns dot the ship, including a bow-mounted 6.1" main battery which is well suited for anti-surface as well as land bombardment.

 

[url=http://i.imgur.com/mFNMfPA.png][i]Citadel[/i]-class[/url] Guided Missile Battleship - The [i]Citadel[/i]-class bears an uncanny resemblance to the old Soviet Union Kirov-class Battlecruisers, from which they take a large amount of their architecture from. Beyond these structural similarities, the ship is completely redesigned with increased armor, around engineering, gun magazines and missile tube arrangements, and completely redesigned armament, including missile and gun systems. The rear flight deck, including two under-deck hangers for two light utility helicopters has been retained for use. The vessel is driven by a nuclear reactor system along with two assisting gas turbines, which can propel the ship at up to thirty four knots when all propulsion systems are engaged.

 

Designed to be the centerpiece of a surface action group, the [i]Citadel[/i]-class are equipped with large amounts of armament for both anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and AAW, with the vessel also able to partake in supporting ground combat operations with its main battery and missile systems. It has the capabilities to coordinate area air defense as well as limited ballistic missile sensors, which can be enhanced by utilizing nearby sensors via data links for relevant intelligence.

 

The vessels' armament consist of a main battery including twin-barreled 6.1" guns, a 76mm mount in the rear of the ship, as well as eight 20mm cannons in advanced SeaRAM turrets which include missile launchers. The majority of the power packed into the [i]Citadel[/i]s is its ability to carry twenty long-range highly advanced anti-ship cruise missiles, one hundred eighty-three VLS tubes, which include auto-ejection failsafe capsules, as well as a rotary launcher for one hundred ninety two ShRAAD missiles. These capabilities make the [i]Citadel[/i] an important addition to any surface fleet, especially in point defense situations against saturation attacks against any fleet it is a part of.

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