Defence Current Affairs
· The government of India has accorded sanctions to Team CLAW to lead a team of people with disabilities to scale Siachen Glacier. It will be a new world record for the largest team of people with disabilities. This expedition is being undertaken as part of ‘Operation Blue Freedom’. It aims to shatter the common perception of pity, charity, and inability associated with people with disabilities and recreate it to one of dignity, freedom, and ability.
· The Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally inducted the second squadron of Rafale jets at West Bengal’s Hasimara airbase in Eastern Air Command (EAC). The event included a fly-past heralding the arrival of Rafale to Hasimara, followed by a traditional water cannon salute. Recalling the glorious history of 101 Squadron, which bestowed upon them the title of ‘Falcons of Chamb and Akhnoor’, Bhadauria urged the personnel to combine their zeal and commitment with the unmatched potential of the newly inducted platform.
· The Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli (OFT) in Tamil Nadu launched a new high-tech and low sound weapon called TriCa (Trichy Carbine), a mini version of the Trichy Assault Rifle (TAR). It was unveiled by General Manager of OFT Sanjay Dwivedi, IOFS (Indian Ordnance Factories Service) during a function.
· Indian Naval Ship Khanjar becomes the first Indian Navy ship to call at the heritage coastal port of Gopalpur in Odisha. The two-day visit was organised as part of Aazadi ka Amrit Mahotsav as well as Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Independence and the 50th anniversary of the 1971 War.
· India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, Vikrant set sail to begin its first sea trial. INS Vikrant was designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). This advanced warship is the first attempt by the two entities to build an aircraft carrier from the ground up. INS Vikrant has 75 per cent indigenous content and will be commissioned into the Eastern Naval Command. It will be commissioned into the Indian Navy by August 2022.
· The Indian Navy and UAE Navy conducted the bilateral naval exercise ‘Zayed Talwar 2021’ on August 07, 2021, off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The main objective of the ‘Zayed Talwar 2021’ naval exercise was to enhance interoperability and synergy between the two navies.
· The 7th edition of the International Army Games, 2021, will be held from 22 August to 04 September 2021 in Russia. The competition will be hosted in eleven countries in the 2021 Games. Over 280 teams from 42 countries will compete in the game to show their combat skills, professionalism and determination to win.
· For the first time, India-China LAC guarding the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force has commissioned its first two women officers in combat. The two women officers, Prakriti and Diksha will be posted as company commanders in ITBP battalions. Heretofore, women officers in the ITBP were serving in the medical branch or were on deputation from the Indian Police Service at top echelons.
· The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test-fired medium-range subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, off Odisha coast. Nirbhay is India’s first Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM).
· The Quad country navies including, India, the US, Japan and Australia, will be conducting the annual Malabar naval exercises, from August 21, off the coast of Guam, in the Indo-Pacific. The harbour phase of the Malabar naval exercises will take place from August 21 to 24, 2021. The sea phase of the exercise will be held on August 25 to 29, 2021.
· India and Saudi Arabia are all set to conduct their first-ever naval exercise Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021. To participate in the exercise, India’s guided-missile destroyer INS Kochi reached Saudi Arabia. The joint naval exercise will showcase the reflection of growing defence and military cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia.
· The Indian Air Force (IAF) has built one of the world’s highest mobile air traffic control (ATC) towers at the Advanced Landing Ground in Ladakh. The ATC controls operations of the fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters operating in the eastern Ladakh region. Meanwhile, India has been considering multiple options of developing airfields in eastern Ladakh including Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO), Fukche and Nyoma which are at a distance of few minutes from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
· The Indian Navy participated in the U.S. Navy-led Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) military exercise in Singapore, to demonstrate its maritime manoeuvres. The main objective of SEACAT 2021 was to enhance the interoperability and shared maritime security concerns and preserve rules-based international order. The exercise comprised approximately 400 personnel and 10 ships. The 20th edition of the exercise was organised by the U.S. Navy, in Hybrid format, and included 20 other partner nations from the Indo-Pacific region, including India.
· The Indian Naval Ship Tabar arrived at Portsmouth in England, to undertake the annual bilateral drill ‘Exercise Konkan 2021’ between the Indian Navy and Britain’s Royal Navy. The bilateral naval exercise Konkan is being held every year since 2004, to enhance the interoperability, synergy and cooperation between both navies. HMS Westminster of the Royal Navy took part from Britain’s side.
· In Jammu and Kashmir, the Army organised a 400 Km “JAZBAA-E- TIRANGA” Relay Marathon. The event was flagged off by Major General Rajeev Puri, General Officer Commanding, Ace of Spades Division, who led the relay, closely followed by other military personnel.
· The Indian Navy and Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) undertook a bilateral maritime exercise in the South China Sea, to strengthen the defence ties among the two navies. From India, INS Ranvijay and INS Kora took part in the exercise and from the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN), frigate VPNS Ly Thai To(HQ-012) participated in the drill.
· An ‘All Women Tri-Services Mountaineering Team’ successfully scaled Mt Manirang (21,625 ft) in Himachal Pradesh on August 15, 2021, and unfurled the national flag as a part of commemorative activities for ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’, to celebrate the 75 years of Independence.
· Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh launched Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) 5.0 under Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO) initiative, on August 19, 2021, in New Delhi. The Ministry of Defence has earmarked Rs 1,000 crore for domestic procurement through the iDEX initiative for the financial year 2021-2022.
· Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have jointly developed an advanced chaff technology to safeguard fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) from enemy radar threats. Defence Laboratory, Jodhpur, and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune, have developed the chaff cartridge meeting qualitative requirements of IAF.
· The second edition of the joint naval exercise, Zair-Al-Bahr, between the Indian Navy and Qatar Emiri Naval Force (QENF) was conducted between August 9 and 14 in the Persian Gulf. This edition of the exercise included a three-day harbour phase followed by a two-day sea phase.
· The 5th edition of Indo- Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise, “KAZIND-21” will be held from August 30 to September 11, 2021, at Training Node, Aisha Bibi, Kazakhstan. The joint training exercise will boost the bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan Armies.
· The International Military and Technical Forum ‘ARMY 2021’ has been organised in Moscow, Russia from August 22 to 28, 2021, at Patriot Expo, Kubinka Air Base and Alabino military training grounds. The ARMY 2021 is the 7th edition of the annual International Military-Technical Forum.
· The third edition of the week-long annual exercise called ‘Gandiv’ was launched at these locations by the NSG from August 22 and it will continue till August 28. Multiple cities in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and the National Capital Region are hosting synchronised commando drills as part of a national mock exercise being carried out by the counter-terrorism force National Security Guard (NSG) to check its response time and reaction to hostage and hijack-like situations. Gandiv was the name of Arjuna’s bow in Mahabharata.
· Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) signed a $716 mn deal with GE Aviation of the U.S. for 99 F404 aircraft engines and support services that will power the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft(LCA) Mk-1A.
· Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has dedicated to the nation, the indigenously built Coast Guard Ship ‘Vigraha’ in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. According to the defence ministry, the 98-meter vessel will be based in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam (Vizag) and will be operated by a company of 11 officers and 110 sailors.
· The Indian Navy and the German Navy carried out a joint exercise in the Gulf of Aden near Yemen, in the Indian Ocean leg of Indo-Pacific Deployment 2021. The Indian Navy was represented by frigate “Trikand” while the German Navy was represented by frigate “Bayern”.
· The Indian Naval Ship, INS Tabar, is on her goodwill visit to the number of ports in Africa and Europe since June 2021 till September 2021. As a part of this visit, INS Tabar took part in the Maiden Maritime Partnership Exercise with Algerian Navy, off the Algerian coast, in the Mediterranean Sea. The Algerian Naval Ship ANS Ezzadjer participated in the exercise.