Defence Current Affairs
· Defence minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) second Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Tejas production line in Bengaluru, ahead of the upcoming Aero India 2021. The deal to be signed in the next few days with HAL would strengthen the Indian Air Force’s fleet of homegrown fighter jet ‘LCA-Tejas’ and overall combat capability.
· The Aero India 2021 event, country’s premier aerospace and defence exhibition, kick-started at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru. The 13th edition of the international event touted as the world’s first-ever hybrid aero and defence show will see several aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Army, Navy, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), and the Coast Guard participating in the show.
· The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is developing a futuristic high altitude pseudo satellite with a start-up company, to strengthen the country’s military strike capabilities. It is a first of its kind project in the world, where a manned aircraft will operate within the boundary and the unmanned aircraft will enter the enemy zone and can carry out strikes deep inside the enemy territory.
· The India-US joint military exercise “Yudh Abhyas 20” commenced in Mahajan Field Firing Range of Bikaner district in Rajasthan. This is the 16th edition of an annual bilateral joint exercise of both the armies. It will continue till the 21st of this month.
· A maiden contingent of 34 CRPF women personnel has been inducted into its specialized jungle warfare commando force CoBRA. The contingent will soon be deployed in the anti-Naxal operations grid of the country. This women’s contingent will undergo pre-induction training for 3 months and then deployed with the units in Naxal violence-affected districts of Chhattisgarh like Dantewada, Sukma, and Bijapur. The members of the 34 CRPF women personnel contingent have been chosen from the 6 all-women battalions of CRPF.
· The Indian Navy is carrying out a mega war game involving almost all operational assets like warships, submarines and aircraft over a vast geographical expanse in the Indian Ocean Region to test the force’s combat readiness in a complex multi-dimensional scenario. The biennial ‘Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX)’ aims to validate the Navy’s offensive as well as defence capabilities and safeguard national interests in the maritime domain besides promoting peace and stability in the Indian Ocean.
· Prime Minister Narendra Modi has handed over the indigenous main battle tank Arjun Mk-1A to the Army in a function at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai. Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane received the model of the tank, designed and developed by Chennai-based Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE), a unit of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).
· India joined Iran and Russia in the naval exercise dubbed as “Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021”, which kicked-off in the northern part of the Indian Ocean. The Chinese navy will also join the exercise. The purpose of the drill is to enhance the security of international maritime trade, confront maritime piracy and terrorism, and exchange information.
· Indian Naval Ship Pralaya reached Abu Dhabi in UAE to participate in the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX 21) and International Defence Exhibition (IDEX 21) from February 20 to 25, 2021. NAVDEX 21 and IDEX 21 is one of the leading international naval and defence exhibitions of the region.
· Defence Research and Development Organisation has successfully carried out joint user trials of indigenously developed Helina and Dhruvastra Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) from the Advanced Light Helicopter at the Pokhran deserts in Rajasthan.
· The Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy conducted the Passage Exercise (PASSEX) on February 18, 2021, in the Arabian Sea. The military exercise between the navies of both countries aims to enhance operational interoperability and overall cooperation among them. Indian naval ship INS Talwar and the Indonesian Navy’s multirole corvette KRI Bung Tomo participated in the exercise.
· Army Chief Gen Manoj Naravane has flagged off the 100th K9 Vajra tracked self-propelled howitzer built by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) at its armoured system complex at Hazira in Gujarat. L&T had completed the delivery of all the howitzers under the contract awarded in May 2017 ahead of schedule.
· Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh has inaugurated Skill Development Centre (SDC) for Fire Safety Training of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) through virtual mode at Pilkhuwa in Uttar Pradesh. The first of its kind in India facility has been created by Delhi based DRDO laboratory ‘Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES)’.
· Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted two successful launches of Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM). DRDO carried out the launch from a static vertical launcher from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
· The Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICG) named C-453 was commissioned into services in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. This was the 17th interceptor boats out of the 18 which are being indigenously built by Larsen & Toubro Ltd.