Current Affairs Defense

  The Indian Air Force has inducted its 1st squadron of Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft. This aircraft is carrying the BrahMos missiles in the South at its Thanjavur based in Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is the ideal location because of the easy access from there to the east and the west sides and also to the Indian Ocean Region. The Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Bhadauria inducted the squadron. The newly reinstated 222-squadron, also known as the Tigersharks, would serve as a lethal weapons platform capable of carrying both aerial and maritime roles in the Indian Ocean Region.

 India has successfully test-fired nuclear-capable K-4 ballistic missile at Vizag coast in Andhra Pradesh. The missile was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). This 3,500-kilometre range nuclear-capable missile can be launched from a submarine. The submarine-launched ballistic missile is the most important part of the air, land and sea nuclear triad and is at the front of India’s second-strike capability. Only the US, Russia and China have submarine-launched ballistic missiles of 3,500-kilometre range.

  Russia has started production of S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile systems for India. All five units will be delivered to India by 2025. The S-400 air defence missile systems are among the best in the world. This will significantly bolster India’s air defence mechanism. In October 2018, India signed a USD 5 billion deal to buy the air defence missile systems. The S-400, an upgraded version of the S-300, had previously only been available to the Russian defence forces. It is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and has been in service in Russia since 2007.

  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.


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