Defence Current Affairs
· The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal to export indigenously-developed Akash Missile System. The Cabinet has also approved to set up of a committee for faster approvals of exports. The export version of Akash will be different from System currently deployed with Indian Armed Forces.
· The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) observed the 63rd Foundation Day of its establishment on January 01, 2021. DRDO was established in 1958 with just 10 laboratories to enhance the research work in the Defence sector. At that time, it was tasked with designing and developing cutting edge defence technologies for Indian Armed Forces.
· The Indian Navy has signed a contract with the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), to procure Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation Dazzlers (Laser Dazzlers). Initially, agreement has been signed for 20 Laser Dazlers. The Laser dazzler technology has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and would be manufactured by BEL, Pune plant. It is the first time that this unique product is indigenously designed and developed for the Armed Forces.
· Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has delivered the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK IV class vessel ‘IN LCU L-58’ (Yard 2099) to the Indian Navy. The amphibious ships, to be based in the strategic location of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which is close to various routes leading to the South China Sea. LCU L-58 is the final ship in the series of 8 LCUs being manufactured by GRSE for the Indian Navy.
· India and Israel successfully tested a Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) defence system. The MRSAM missile defence system has been developed jointly by DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to deal with airstrikes by enemy countries. Currently being used by all three wings of the Indian Army as well as Israel Defence Forces (IDF), the air and missile defence system was a joint venture of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the IAI.
· Union Minister for Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan has launched Coastal Research Vehicle (CRV) ‘Sagar Anveshika’ at the Chennai Port. The vehicle will be used to carry out environment indexing and bathymetric (mapping underwater features) in both coastal and offshore waters. It will be used for research purposes by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and has been built by Titagarh Wagons, Kolkata, West Bengal.
· A major exercise to test military readiness at sea along the coastline of the country starts. This is the second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise “Sea Vigil-21” will be conducted on January 12 and 13. The two-day exercise involving all stakeholders, states and Central government agencies will set the tempo of operations, including “transition from peace to conflict”.
· The Indian Army has recently signed a contract with Mumbai-based drone manufacturing company, ideaForge, to procure high-altitude variant of SWITCH unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The total cost of the deal is approximately USD 20 million.
· India’s first indigenous 9mm Machine Pistol has been jointly developed by DRDO and Indian Army. Infantry School, Mhow and DRDO’s Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune have designed and developed this weapon using their respective expertise in the complementary areas. The weapon has been developed in a record time of four months. The weapon is aptly named “Asmi” meaning “Pride”, “Self-Respect” & “Hard Work”.
· Defence Research and Development Organisation has handed over Motor Bike Ambulance Rakshita to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The bike ambulance will help in overcoming the problems faced by Indian security forces and emergency health care providers. The bike ambulances will provide life-saving aid for the evacuation of injured patients from low-intensity conflict areas.
· The Government of India is set to procure 21 MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft from Russia. Apart from this, the Centre will also purchase the upgrades of the existing fleets of aircraft from Russian state-run defence export arm Rosoboronexport.
· Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force are conducting a bilateral Air exercise, Ex Desert Knight-21 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The exercise marks an important milestone in the series of engagements between the two Air forces. It is unique as it includes fielding of Rafale aircraft by both sides and is indicative of the growing interaction between the two premiers Air Forces.
· The Indian Army is to conduct a large scale joint military exercise Kavach in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. The exercise is to be held under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command. The Joint Military Exercise Kavach will involve Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard.
· The DRDO successfully conducted captive and release trial of indigenously developed Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from Hawk-I aircraft of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) off the Odisha coast. This was the 9th successful mission of SAAW conducted by DRDO till now and the first test conducted from the Hawk-i aircraft.
· The Border Security Force (BSF) has launched “Operation Sard Hawa” on the western international border of Rajasthan. The Operations aims to check the instances of infiltration due to the dense fog cover in the region and increase security on the border areas in Jaisalmer.
· A large-scale tri-service joint amphibious exercise AMPHEX – 21 was held in Andaman & Nicobar group of islands. The exercise involved the participation of troops of Army, Navy as well as the Indian Air Force. The exercise was aimed at validating India’s capabilities to safeguard the territorial integrity of its island territories. The joint force executed multi-domain, high-intensity offensive and defensive manoeuvres in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
· The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted successful maiden launch of Akash-NG (New Generation) Missile from Integrated Test Range off the coast of Odisha. Akash-NG is a new generation Surface-to-Air Missile for use by Indian Air Force (IAF) with an aim of intercepting high manoeuvring aerial threats. The launch met all the test objectives by performing high maneuvers during the trajectory.