Defence Current Affairs
· National Security Advisor (NSA), Ajit Doval has commissioned the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Sajag, which has been constructed by Goa Shipyard Limited.
· North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is organising “Steadfast Defender 21 war games” military exercises in Europe as tensions with Russia increases. These war games are being organised with the aim of simulating the response of a 30-nation military organisation for the attack on any one of its members. It seeks to test the ability of NATO to deploy troops from America.
· Indian Navy’s hydrographic survey ship, Sandhayak would be decommissioned after serving the nation for 40 years. The decommissioning ceremony of INS Sandhayak will be held at naval dockyard Visakhapatnam and will be a low-key event attended only by in-station officers and sailors with strict observance of COVID-19 protocols.
· The Indian Navy is set to receive its first set of multi-role helicopters as America is set to hand over three MH-60 Romeo helicopters to the force in the United States in July. The first batch of Indian pilots has also reached the US for training on the helicopters which would be arriving in India next year in July. India and the US had signed over-Rs 16,000 crore deal to buy 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin in 2020 under fast track procedures on a government-to-government deal to hasten the process.
· The Indian Navy inducted three indigenously-built advanced light helicopters ALH MK-III in their fleet. These helicopters are built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited at the Indian Naval Station (INS) Dega in Visakhapatnam will be used for maritime reconnaissance and coastal security.
· The 31st edition of the India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) kicked off on June 09, 2021, in the Andaman Sea. The three-day coordinated patrol between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy is being conducted from 09 to 11 June 2021. From the Indian side, an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel, Indian Naval Ship (INS) Saryu, is participating and from Thailand Navy, HTMS Krabi is participating in CORPAT, along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies.
· Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) recently announced that the Defence Ministry has signed a contract with Mahindra Telephonics Integrated Systems for procurement of 11 Airport Surveillance Radars with Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar for Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard.
· Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the budgetary support of Rs 498.8 crore for iDEX-DIO (Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation) for the next five years. The funds will be used to provide financial support to nearly 300 start-ups, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and individual innovators with a larger goal of ensuring self-reliance in the defence sector. The scheme is in sync with the government’s push to cut imports of military hardware and weapons and make India a hub for defence manufacturing.
· The Army conducted a successful trial by moving a military train loaded with vehicles and equipment from New Rewari to New Phulera validating the efficacy of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC). These trials were part of the “Whole of the Nation Approach” for optimising national resources and achieve seamless synergy among various ministries and departments. New Rewari in Haryana to New Phulera in Rajasthan.
· Ships of the Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) participated in a joint naval exercise at the Indian Ocean to realize “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).
· Flying Officer Mawya Sudan has become the first woman from Jammu and Kashmir to be inducted as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF). She is the 12th female fighter pilot to be inducted in the IAF. The 24-year-old Mawya hails from Lamberi village near the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu division.
· In a first, the Indian Navy is participating in a joint exercise with the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR). Stealth frigate INS Trikand, will participate in the two-day exercise in the Gulf of Aden as it is already deployed in the region on anti-piracy operations.
· The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the subsonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ on June 24, 2021, from an Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha’s Balasore. This was the eighth test flight of the missile. The first test flight of Nirbhay was held on 12 March 2013.
· The Indian Navy and the Air Force began a two-day passage exercise with U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Ronald Reagan during its transit through the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The exercise aims to strengthen the bilateral relationship and cooperation by demonstrating the ability to integrate and coordinate comprehensively in maritime operations.
· The Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has informed that India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-I), is planned to be commissioned by 2022. Once commissioned, the carrier will be rechristened as INS Vikrant, in memory of India’s first aircraft carrier.
· The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired an extended-range version of the indigenously developed Pinaka rocket. The rockets were launched from a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
· The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested a New Generation Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile “Agni P (Prime)” from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam island off the coast of Odisha, Balasore.
· Ukraine and the United States launched joint naval exercises “Sea Breeze drills” in the Black Sea in a show of Western cooperation with Kiev as it faces off with Russia.
· Turkey and Azerbaijan have begun joint military drills “Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – 2021” in Baku, deploying tanks, helicopters and drones in an effort to improve the two countries’ combat interoperability.