Current Affairs Defense

 On February 11, 2020, United States approved sale of Integrated Air Defence Weapon System to India. The cost of the system is estimated as 1.86 billion USD.
  • Highlights
India aims to buy Integrated Air Defence Weapon System (IADWS) from the US in order to modernize its armed forces. It will help India to counter threats posed by air attacks. US President is to visit India between February 23 and February 26, 2020. The countries are expected to seal the deal during his visit. The IADWS includes Air Defence Weapon System, AMRAAM Missiles, NASAMS-II, surface to air missiles, radars, etc.
The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System was developed by USA in partnership with Norway. NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of NASAMS of Norway called Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System.
  • Significance
It is important for India to modernize its weapon systems. This is because China is undertaking massive military modernization. It is also increasing its presence in the Indian Ocean Region.

  Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has started developing a 200-km strike range tactical ballistic missile ‘Pranash’. The missile is an advanced version of the 150-km strike range Prahar missile which was being developed for tactical missions. The surface-to-surface ballistic missile will be of use for the Air Force and Army. It is a solid-propellant surface to a surface missile which can travel at the speed of Mach 2.

BHABHA KAVACH  Lightest level III PLUS BULLET PROOF JACKET DEVELOPED BY INDIA BARC TO PROTECT CISF.  The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre developed a new bullet proof jacket called Bhabha Kavach. The jackets are to be used by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
  • Highlights
Around 5 pieces of Bullet proof jackets were handed over to the CISF. The nominal weight of the jacket is 6.8kg. It is the lightest level-3 plus jacket. It has been produced based on carbon nanotube and hot- pressed boron carbide technologies The product is a substitute for imports and has been introduced under Make in India initiative. It has been approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and National Institute of Justice. The Jacket is capable of stopping hard steel core bullets that are fired from AK 47 and self-loading rifles and bolt action rifles.
  • About the jacket
The jacket is lightest of its kind as compared to the other jackets that weigh around 17 kgs. The Ministry of Home Affairs has approved to induct the jacket into all Central Armed Police Forces. The jackets will be produced at large scale in Ordnance Factories and MIDHANI (Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited) through transfer of technologies. The ordnance Factories where the jackets are to be produced will be decided by the Ordnance Factory Boards.

 India and the United Kingdom will conduct their 5th edition of joint military exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior-2020’ at Salisbury Plains, the United Kingdom from February 13-26. The exercise is being held from 2005. The exercise will comprise of 120 soldiers each from Indian and United Kingdom Army who would be sharing their experiences gained during conduct of various counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations in the past. e. The participants have also been trained in combat shooting, rock craft training, Jungle survival and martial arts for unarmed combat.

  Indian Army has developed first bulletproof helmet of the world which can stop an AK-47 bullet round fired from a distance of 10 meters. The Ballistic helmet is developed by An Indian Army Major Anoop Mishra. The helmet is developed under the Indian Army’s project “Abhedya“. Major Anoop Mishra has also developed a full-body protection bulletproof jacket which can withstand even sniper rifles. He is a part of the Indian Army’s College of Military Engineering. He started developing the bulletproof jackets when he received gunshots on his vintage bulletproof jacket. Along with bulletproof helmet, India’s first and world’s cheapest gunshot locator ‘Parth’  has been developed by Indian Army’s College of Military Engineering in partnership with a private firm. The gunshot locator can locate the bullet’s exact location from the distance of 400 meters. This locator will help the Indian Army personnel to easily locate and neutralise the terrorists. The College of Military Engineering (CME) is based in Pune. It is a premier tactical & Technical training institution and responsible for the training of personnel of the Corps of Engineers. It also imparts instructions in Works Services, Combat Engineering, CBRN Protection and GIS matters to the personnel of All Arms & Services.

  Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the 1st time, will sign a partnership pact with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at the DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. This pact is signed for manufacture advanced Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) in India. As a large MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance) UCAV has a maximum flight time of over 36 hours in favourable conditions. This will be manufactured to cater both to Indian requirements for a combat UCAV and possibly exports to third nations in the future as well. UCAV has a maximum payload weighing of 40 kg & work on sensors, payloads and other data links has been outsourced to institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

  Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi has stated that NDA government set a defense export target of 5 billion dollars in the upcoming five years. The export of defense equipment from India was about 2,000 crore rupees. In the past 2 years, it has gone up to 17,000 crore rupees. In the upcoming five years, the target is defense export of 5 billion US dollars (approx 35,000 crore rupees). The 11th edition of the mega defense event is being held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The theme of this event is “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”. The five-day DefExpo is being attended by 38 defense ministers and top executives of 172 foreign defense majors and 856 Indian companies in Lucknow.

  India hosted the Ministerial-level Defence dialogue between India and South Korea in New Delhi. The Ministerial-level Defence dialogue aimed to deepen bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries. South Korean industries are also encouraged to invest in Indian Defence corridors by establishing their manufacturing units in India by reaping benefits from the economical and skilled labour force, natural resources and tailored incentives. During the dialogue, both the countries also intended to leverage mutual strengths in digital applications as well as other advanced technologies. South Korea Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and India Defence Minister Rajnath Singh participated in the Ministerial-level Defence dialogue between India and South Korea. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General Manoj Naravane and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh were among the other participants of the dialogue.

 The Indian Navy conducts a coastal security exercise named ‘Malta Abhiyan’ in Kolkata, West Bengal. The exercise, named after Malta River, aims to interact with coastal communities to spread awareness on coastal security and understand the navigational complexities in the Sunderban deltaic waters. Under the exercise, two naval boats were flagged off to move along the river Malta in the Sundarbans region up to Hemnagar.

 The 11th edition of the biennial mega defence exhibition, DefExpo 2020, will begin on 5 February at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. The main theme of DefExpo India-2020 will be “India: the emerging defence manufacturing hub”. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is taking the lead role in organising the DefExpo-2020 in Lucknow, in coordination with the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The aim of the event is to bring leading technologies in the defence sector under one roof and provide countless opportunities for the government, private manufacturers and start-ups.

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