Defence Current Affairs
· The Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating in Exercise Desert Flag-VI, which has been organised from March 03 to 27, 2021 at Al-Dhafra airbase, UAE. The purpose of the exercise is to provide operational exposure to the participating forces, train them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment, provides an opportunity to enhance their operational capabilities along with the mutual exchange of best practices.
· The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful flight test of Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) technology from the integrated test range (ITR), Chandipur, off Odisha coast. The SFDR technology will help DRDO with the technological advantage to develop long-range air-to-air missiles (AAMs).
· The Indian Navy got its third Scorpene submarine, commissioned as INS Karanj, of Project P-75 in Mumbai. With the delivery of Karanj, India further cemented its position as a submarine-building nation. Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), one of India’s leading shipyards with the capacity and the capability to meet the requirements and aspirations of the Indian Navy. Before Karanj, INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi have been commissioned in the Indian Navy in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
· The India – Uzbekistan joint military exercise DUSTLIK II has commenced in Foreign Training Node Chaubatia, Ranikhet in Uttarakhand. This is the Second Edition of the annual bilateral joint exercise of both armies. It will continue till the 19th of this month. The first edition of the exercise was held in Uzbekistan in November 2019. 45 Soldiers each from Uzbekistan and the Indian Army are participating in the exercise.
· The Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS), which is a joint venture between the Kalyani Group of India and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems of Israel, have released the first batch of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) kits. The missile was released for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.
· As part of Mission Sagar-IV, Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa arrived at Port Anjouan, Comoros to deliver 1,000 Metric Tonnes of rice. An official ceremony for handing over the food aid from the Government of India to the Government of Comoros. INS Jalashwa, the largest amphibious ship of the Indian Navy, has been specially sent to Comoros due to its large carrying capacity.
· Indian Navy on 18th March undertook Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Royal Bahrain Naval Force Corvette Al Muharraq in the Persian Gulf under Operation Sankalp. PASSEXs are conducted regularly by the Indian Navy with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other’s ports or during a rendezvous at sea. The exercises are aimed at fostering interoperability and reflecting the commitments of both, India and Bahrain, to build cooperative partnerships in meeting emergent maritime challenges.
· The Defence Ministry has sealed a deal with the public sector undertaking Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to acquire 4,960 MILAN-2T anti-tank guided missiles at a cost of ₹ 1,188 crores for the Indian Army. The missiles, having a range of 1,850 metres, are being produced by BDL under license from French defence major MBDA Missile Systems.
· China has the strongest military force in the world while India stands at number four, according to a study released by defence website Military Direct. China has the strongest military in the world, scoring 82 out of 100 points in the index. The USA, despite their enormous military budgets, comes in 2nd place with 74 points, followed by Russia with 69, India at 61 and then France with 58. The U.K. just about makes the Top 10, coming in 9th place with a score of 43.
· The eight-member bloc said that the decision to hold the joint exercise ‘Pabbi-Anti-Terror 2021’ was announced during the 36th meeting of the Council of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, including India, Pakistan and China, will hold a joint anti-terrorism exercise this year.
· L&T-built Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ICGS Vajra was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, at Chennai. ICGS Vajra is the sixth vessel in the series of seven OPVs being built by L&T under a Ministry of Defence contract signed in the year 2015. Like the five OPVs in the series, ICGS Vajra was also delivered ahead of the contractual schedule.
· In a first, the navies of India and Madagascar undertook joint patrolling of Madagascar’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and also conducted a Passage Exercise (PASSEX).
· The 11th edition of Indo-US joint special forces exercises Vajra Prahar 2021 was conducted at Special Forces training school located at Bakloh, in Himachal Pradesh. The exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ is aimed at sharing best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics. The exercise was aimed at improving interoperability between the special forces of the two countries.