Current Affairs Defense

  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 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

 The Indian Air Force bids farewell to the iconic “MiG-27” with a decommissioning ceremony at the Jodhpur air base. The Mig 27 is a soviet origin aircraft that was built under licence by HAL and became a part of the IAF strike fleet in 1985. The jet contributed significantly in wars and peace-keeping operations and also emerged as the real hero in the 1999 Kargil war. It’s contribution in the Kargil war earned it the title ‘Bahadur’.
Source: The DD News

  The Cabinet Committee On Security (CCS) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post that will function as a single point of contact for different branches of armed forces. CCS also approved the report of a high-level committee headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, which finalised responsibilities and framework for operation of CDS. In the present structure, the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (CSC) is Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Bipin Rawat. However, he does not function in capacity of a CDS.
About Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) A CDS would be a four-star general- from either of the Indian Armed Forces- the Army, the Air Force or the Navy and will be payable to a salary equal to a service chief. The CDS post will have a fixed term, that is yet to be determined. [All five permanent members (P-5 nations) of United Nations Security Council (UNSC)- have equivalent posts].
  • Role of CDS: Chief of Defence Staff, described as ‘first among equals’ among service chiefs, will be tasked with trimming weapons procurement procedures and integrating operation of Indian armed forces- Army, Air Force, Navy. CDA will act as a military adviser to Government of India and will also head Department of Military Affairs. CDS would also be a single-point military advisor whose advice would be binding on service chiefs of Army, Air Force, Navy and who would have authority to direct them, along with authority to create theatre commands as and when needed.

 The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a two-day regional level pollution response exercise named ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’ at sea off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch. The exercise was conducted to validate and reinforce the response mechanism for oil pollution incidents and enable the Indian Coast Guard to fine-tune the actions required in such eventualities. The exercise was conducted in two phases. The Gulf of Kutch (GoK) region handles 70 per cent of the oil imported by India and 11 Single Point Moorings (SPMs) out of total 27 SPM.
Source: The Business Standard

  Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was successfully flight-tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the Odisha coast. The missile was flight-tested with the full configuration in deployment mode intercepting the target mid-air, meeting the mission objectives. With this mission, the developmental trials of the weapon system are successfully completed and the weapon system is expected to be ready for induction by 2021. The QRSAM weapon system, which operates on the move, comprises of fully automated Command and Control System, Active Array Battery Surveillance Radar, Active Array Battery Multifunction Radar and Launcher.
Source: The News on AIR

 The Indian Air Force Chief RKS Bhaduria will embark a four-day visit to Egypt starting on December 24, 2019. The aim of the visit is to strengthen long-standing relations between India and Egypt.
Highlights During his visit, the chief has scheduled to visit operational and training establishments of the Egyptian Air Force. Also, he will interact with senior officials of the Egyptian armed forces.
India-Egypt India is the fourth largest trading partner of Egypt following US, Italy and Saudi Arabia. The trade between the countries have been tradition. India imported 1.29 billion USD worth goods (2017-18 and exported 2.39 billion USD worth goods.
Why is Defence ties with Egypt important? Egypt controls the Suez Canal. It has been insisting India to invest in the expansion programme of Suez Canal Economic Zone. China and US have already invested their share and India has positive plans towards the investment of the expansion. Also, the investments of India in the country has been growing in the recent years. In 2018, Indian investments in the country amounted to 3 billion USD and is increasing. Therefore, it becomes essential for India to establish good defence relations with the country for the security of the traded goods and their transport through the canal.
India-Egypt Exercises As of 2019, Egypt has not participated in individual military exercises with India. However, it has participated in joint military exercises along with other African nations. India hosted defence exercise for 17 African called AFINDEX-19 that was held at Pune. The African countries that participated in the exercise include Egypt, Niger, Ghana, Uganda, etc. Apart from this, India also hosted IAFTX (India Africa Field Training Exercise) in March 2019. Therefore, it is important for India to strengthen its defence ties with Egypt to increase its presence in the African Continent

 On December 21, 2019, Indian and Chinese representatives met in New Delhi for the 22nd time to discuss the border issued between the countries. This is the first meeting of the representatives since the second informal summit between PM Modi and President Xi Jingping that was held at Chennai in October 2019.
Highlights India and China agreed to intensify their efforts in order to achieve reasonable solution to boundary problems. Also, the countries recognized the importance of Confidence Building Measures in order to promote communication between the border personnel.
Significance The India-china border dispute is in Aksai region in the western end and at the McMahon Line one the eastern side. The countries held 21st round of talks at Chengdu in China in 2018. The Special Representatives talks are given utmost importance by both the countries as it involves highest officials. It is also important the forum discusses common issues of the countries along with border issues.

  The 5th edition of ARTECH is being organised by Indian Army on ‘Technologies for Non-Contact Warfare’ which will be organised on 23 December 2019 at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantonment. The seminar is the flagship event of the Indian Army which sets the agenda for focus areas of harvesting indigenous capabilities in the Defence sector. ARTECH Seminar was launched in 2016 as part of the overall vision of ‘Make in India’ of Hon’ble Prime Minister and is conducted every year as part of events leading to Army Day celebrations. ARTECH platform provides an opportunity to practitioners of military operations, policymakers in Ministry of Defence, industry and academia to put forth their contemporary Defence-related capabilities. It is also a forum for innovators in uniform to showcase their products and offer these to industry to refine & productions.
Source: The Press Information Bureau

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