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DEFENCE - November 2019

Nov 2019

Nov 30, 2019

UKIBC Launches Aerospace And Defence Industry Group

  •  The UK India Business Council (UKIBC) announced the establishment of the Aerospace and Defence Industry Group to boost bilateral cooperation in the areas.
  • This initiative recognises that the UK-India relationship in aerospace and defence is at a critical turning point and is another demonstration of the close ties between Indian and UK industry.

Indian Navy commissions Sixth Dornier Aircraft Squadron

  •  Indian Naval Air Squadron 314, the sixth Dornier aircraft squadron was commissioned today at Naval Air Enclave- Porbandar on Gujarat coast.
  • Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral M S Pawar was the chief guest on this occasion.
  • INAS 314 derives its name Raptors from the Bird of Prey family.
  • The insignia of the squadron depicts a Raptor bird searching over the vast blue expanse of the sea. Raptors are large birds of prey known for excellent sensory capabilities, powerful and sharp talons and strong wings symbolizing the capabilities of the aircraft and envisaged roles of the squadron.

Singapore, India Air Forces Hold Joint Training Exercise

  •  Singapore's air force has deployed six of its advanced F-16 fighter aircraft to train alongside the IAF's six Sukhoi combat aircraft during their upgraded joint military training in India.
  • The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) are conducting the Joint Military Training (JMT) from October 31 to December 12, 2019 at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station in West Bengal.
  • To commemorate the 10th edition of the JMT, the scope of the exercise was expanded to include an air-sea training component for the first time, with assets from the Indian Navy supporting.
  • The RSAF has deployed six F-16C/D fighter aircraft to train alongside the IAF's six SU-30MKI fighter aircraft.

Curtain Raiser Indo-Nepal Joint Military Exercise SURYA KIRAN - XIV

  • Joint military exercise 'SURYA KIRAN – XIV' between India and Nepal will be conducted at Salijhandi, Rupendehi district of Nepal from   03 to 16 December 2019. The exercise will comprise of 300 soldiers from both Indian and Nepal Army who would be sharing their experience in conduct of various counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations as also various humanitarian assistance missions by both the Armies.
  •  Exercise SURYA KIRAN - XIV is an annual event which is conducted alternatively in Nepal and India. Notably, in the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries, exercise   SURYA KIRAN with Nepal is an important exercise in terms of the security challenges faced by both the nations in the realm of changing facets of global terrorism. The aim of this exercise is to conduct a Battalion level combined training between Indian Army and Nepal Army to increase interoperability in jungle warfare and counter terrorist operations in mountainous terrain, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, medical and environmental conservation including aviation aspects.

Nov 29, 2019

MoD Approves Procurement of Military Platforms worth Rs. 22,800 crore

  •  The defence ministry approved procurement of six P 8I anti-submarine warfare jets, indigenous development of airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) aircraft and other military platforms at a cost of Rs. 22,800 crore.
  • The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
  • The DAC also approved procurement of twin-engine heavy helicopters (TEHH) for the Indian Coast Guard.
  • The DAC also approved indigenous development and manufacturing of 'thermal imaging night sights' for Assault Rifles.

The Indian Army Successfully Fires Spike Long Range Anti-Tank Missiles

  •  The Indian Army successfully fired newly acquired Spike Long Range anti-tank missiles at the Infantry School at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh. The firing was witnessed by the top Infantry hierarchy of the Indian Army, including General Bipin Rawat, who was there for the annual Infantry Commanders' Conference.
  • For nearly three decades, the Army has been using now outdated second-generation missiles. Spike LR is a 4th Generation missile, which can engage a target with precision at ranges up to 4 km. 
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the Spike missile, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems from Israel, established a joint venture with the Kalyani Group in India. The JV is capable of manufacturing Spike missiles in India.

Nov 28, 2019

Indian Coast Guard to Set up Helicopter Base in Puducherry

  • The Indian Coast Guard has plans to set up a helicopter base in Puducherry to address coastal security concerns.
  • Additional Director General Virender Singh Pathania, Coast Guard Commander (Eastern Seaboard), Vishakapatnam, visited Puducherry to take stock of the state of preparedness of operational assets of the ICG.
  • During his visit he called on Lt Governor Kiran Bedi.
  • The role of enhanced security and increased surveillance of the Puducherry and Karaikal coasts came in for discussion during the meeting. 

India to Carry Out Four Military Exercises

  • India will carry out major military exercises with several countries, including Russia and China, in different frontiers in December, 2019.
  • The exercises are the 'Indra' tri-services with Russia, 'Hand in Hand' with China, 'Mitra Shakti' with Sri Lanka and 'Surya Kiran' with Nepal.
  • The Indra exercise will be held at Babina, where the army to army drills will be carried out, and the navy and air force capsules will be at Goa and Pune. All the drills will be conducted simultaneously. The exercise will take place from December 10 to 20. It will involve company level mechanised forces, including infantry combat vehicles, fighter jets and warships.
  • Meanwhile, the Indian Army will carry out the 'Hand in Hand' with China's People's Liberation Army at Umroi, Meghalaya from December 7 to 20. It is at the company level, meaning around 100-120 infantry troops from both sides will be participating.
  • The seventh edition of the India-Sri Lanka joint training exercise, Mitra Shakti, will be held at the Foreign Training Node in Pune from December 1 to 14. 
  • The Indian Army will also carry out the Surya Kiran exercise with the Nepal Army from December 3 to 16 in Nepal. Company level troops from both sides will participate. 

Nov 27, 2019

Russia Hopes to Agree a New S-400 Missile Deal with Turkey

  •  According to the head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheev,  Russia hopes to seal a deal to supply Turkey with more S-400 missile systems in the first half of 2020.
  • Turkey's purchase of the S-400 missiles has already drawn the ire of the United States, which has suspended Ankara from the F-35 stealth fighter jet programme, which it was a buyer and producer of, to punish it.
  • Washington has also warned of possible U.S. sanctions, saying the missiles are not compatible with NATO defences.

HAL Bids again for Chopper Project 'Reserved' for Private Companies

  •  In a last-ditch effort to make an entry into a Rs. 21,000 crore project to manufacture naval helicopters, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has written to the Defence Ministry requesting that its bid also be considered.
  • The mega project under the strategic partnership (SP) model had been 'reserved' for the private sector, with the navy already having shortlisted four companies that would be eligible to tie up with a foreign vendor to manufacture 111 Naval Utility Helicopters domestically.
  • While Tata, Mahindra, Adani and Bharat Forge have been identified as companies that meet the financial and technical criteria required, HAL has been rejected as the bid documents had clearly mentioned that only private sector companies are eligible. 
  • The HAL bid is likely to be strongly opposed by the navy that does not want any delays to impact the critical plan. The helicopter bid is also the pilot project under the SP model and would impact the fate of all other plans. 

Nov 26, 2019

India, Afghanistan Agree To Extradite Pakistani Terrorists

  • In a move to counter terror in the region, India and Afghanistan formalised operation of extradition treaty that will enable extradition of Pakistani terrorists operating out of Afghan territory. 
  • The extradition treaty was first signed in 2016 when President Ashraf Ghani visited India. The operationalisation of will enable India to extradite Pakistan-origin terrorists from banned groups who operate from Afghan soil. Backed by Pakistan Army and ISI, LeT and Jaish terrorists takerefuge in Afghanistan.
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