Current Affairs Defense

  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh dedicates the 51st K9 Vajra-T guns to the nation. This gun is self-propelled Howitzer gun made by L&T’s Armoured System Complex at Hazira in Gujarat. The gun weighs 50 tonnes and can fire 47-kilogram bombs at targets up to a distance of 43 kilometres. It can also turn around at zero radii. This future-ready combat vehicles meet the requirement of 21st-century warfare including deep fire support to the longer firing range.

 Indian Army Officer Captain Tania Shergill, an officer with Army’s Corps of Signals, will be the first woman parade adjutant for the Republic Day parade. A parade adjutant is responsible for the parade. Captain Shergill is an electronics and communications graduate. She was commissioned in March 2017 from the Officer Training Academy, Chennai.

  Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has developed a special class diesel conforming to NATO grade for use in ships and vessels of Indian Navy. Vice Admiral G S Pabby launched the Upgraded High Flash High-Speed Diesel (HFHSD- IN 512). The fuel possesses the best rheological and detergent characteristics validated against most stringent military specifications. It also has lesser environmental impact due to low Sulphur content and would result in the better performance of engines. This fuel will facilitate the Indian Navy to enhance its global footprint and will allow India to fuel the vessels of friendly foreign countries at places where fuel conforming to NATO grade is supplied.

  India has deployed its aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in Arabian Sea. The aircraft carrier was deployed amid the Pakistan-China naval exercise “Sea Guardians” taking place in North Arabian Sea.

  India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is currently under phase-3 which involves setting to work of machinery and other equipment and to be commissioned by early 2021 in Indian Navy. It will be fully operated by 2022. Vikrant is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) Kochi, Kerala.

 Indian Navy starts 1st Maha-Navy Connect 2020 Tri-Dimensional Expedition started from Mumbai, Maharashtra. The aim of the expedition is to promote the maritime heritage of India and spread awareness about Coastal Security amongst the coastal communities in Maharashtra. The tri-dimensional expedition consisting of yachting, running and cycling teams of 50 naval personnel. This expedition will cover more than 555kms from Maharashtra’s northernmost fort Arnala to its southernmost Sindhudurg fort.

 On January 6, 2020, two Oman ships arrived in Goa to participate in “Naseem-Al-Bahr”, the Indo-Oman bilateral naval exercise.
  • Highlights
RNOV are Royal Navy of Oman Vessels. RNOV al Rasikh and RNOV Khassab arrived at Goa. Along with these ships, Indian Naval Ships Shubhadra and Beas will also participate in the exercise. The Indo-Oman Naval Exercises are being conducted since 1993.
  • Other exercises between the countries
The countries conduct regular biennial exercises between all three services namely army, navy and air force. ”Al Najah” is the army exercise conducted between the countries. “Ex Eastern Bridge” is the Air Force exercise that is held between the countries.
  • Significance
The naval exercise with Oman is highly important for India. This is because of strategic location of the country. The country is at the gateway of Strait of Hormuz through which India imports one-fifth of its oil imports. The berth rights given by Oman to Indian vessels is important for the Indian Navy to carry out anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. India recently signed a pact with the country in 2018 to access the Duqm port of Oman.
  • India-Oman
In West-Asia, Oman is one of India’s oldest defence partners and an ally in anti-piracy campaigns. India has supplied rifles to Oman. Also, India is considering to set up a defence production unit in Oman.

  The Indian Army will sign MoU with Russia to procure AK-203 assault rifles. According to the deal, around 1 lakh rifles are to be received directly from Russia and the rest will be manufactured in India
  • Highlights
The rifles will be manufactured at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh by a joint Venture (JV) called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL). Of the JV, 50.5% is to be owned by India and 49.5% by Russia.
  • Current Status
Apart from the AK-203 rifles, the Indian army recently received the first batch of 10,000 SIG-716 assault rifles from US. The contract was signed in February 2019. The plan is to provide the high cost SIGs to the front-line troops and the remaining forces will be armed with AK-203 rifles. Currently Indian army is using indigenous INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) rifles and is looking for ways to replace them.
  • INSAS
INSAS is a light machine gun that is currently being manufactured at Ordnance Factory Trichy, Ishapore Arsenal and Kanpur. It was adopted in 1990. The rifles were widely used during Kargil war. There were complaints of jamming and cracking of the rifles in high altitudes of Himalayas. Similar complaints were also reported by the Nepalese army during the 2005 Maoists clash.

  S S Deswal has been given the “additional” charge to head Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The Union home ministry took the decision as CRPF’s serving Director General (DG) R R Bhatnagar retired on 31st December, 2019. S S Deswal is presently serving as the Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). 
Source: The Economic Times

  Union Home Minister laid the foundation stone of Directorate General Building of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in New Delhi. The new building at a cost of Rs 280 crore will have all modern facilities and green amenities. It will also have effective control and command system with modern training modules for 3.5 lakh strong force to enhance their operational capability. The Home Minister also launched a new logo “Garud” for those engaged in providing security to the common man and VIPs.  
Source: The DD News


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