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DEFENCE - December 2019

Dec 2019

Dec 31, 2019

Demise of Last MiG-27 Unit Stalls IAF 42-Squadron Plan

  • The retirement of the last squadron of MiG-27s from Indian Air Force (IAF) has further reduced the overall strength of the service, with no immediate fix in sight. On December 27, the last 43 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-27MLs ("Flogger Js") in the IAF's arsenal, the remnants of 165 machines license-produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) were mothballed. Their removal from the IAF's order of battle further reduces the number of combat aircraft in the IAF's arsenal, leaving a significantly capability deficit in comparison to aircraft fielded by India's immediate rivals, China and Pakistan.

Bharat Forge Increases Stake in Defense Tech Supplier Aeron Systems

  • Automotive and defense supplier Bharat Forge increased its stake in aerospace and defense technology supplier Aeron Systems in its bid to increase its know-how in the defense technology.
  • The Kalyani Group company paid Rs. 2 crore to acquire 19,500 equity shares in Aeron, bringing its total stake in the latter to 22.42%. Aeron Systems manufactures technology products for sectors like aerospace and defense, automotive, renewable energy and industry 4.0. In May 2019, Bharat Forge had announced its interest in the company to gain access to technologies in the defense and aerospace sectors.

Dec 30, 2019

Govt. Committed to Ensure that Each Paramilitary Force Jawan Spends 100 Days with his Family: Ami...

  • Home Minister Amit Shah said that the government is committed to ensure that each and every jawan of the para-military forces spends hundred days in a year with his family.
  • Laying the foundation stone of the Directorate-General building of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in New Delhi, the minister said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured to take care of the families of the security personnel while they guard the nation.
  • Mr Shah said, health cards will be provided to the families of the jawans and urged the state governments to provide such a facility. He lauded the contributions of the CRPF and said, it is the most powerful para-military force in the world. He also paid tributes to jawans of CRPF who sacrificed their lives in service to the nation.

Indian Navy Bans Use of Smartphones, Social Media at Naval Bases, Warships

  • The Indian Navy banned navy personnel from using social media and smartphones at naval bases, dockyards and onboard warships.
  • "All social networking platforms including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other messengers from here on now will not be allowed at the naval bases and ships," said a senior Indian Navy officer.
  • The stringent step has been taken by the force after seven Navy personnel were caught leaking sensitive information to enemy intelligence agencies on social media.
  • The development comes after the Indian Navy cracked a racket where seven of its personnel were found leaking sensitive information through social media including Facebook on December 20.

Taliban Ruling Council Agrees to Ceasefire in Afghanistan

  • The Taliban's ruling council agreed to a brief ceasefire in Afghanistan, potentially leading to a peace deal with the United States.
  • The council has not yet decided when the ceasefire will start, officials from the militant group told The Associated Press, but it is expected to last for 10 days. The U.S. has said the only way it will reach a peace agreement with the Taliban is if there is a ceasefire. Under a peace deal, the U.S. would agree to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, AP reports; there are now about 12,000 troops in the country.
  • After the U.S. and Taliban reach an agreement, talks would then start between the Taliban and the Afghan government, with both sides mapping out the future of the country. The ceasefire must still be approved by the Taliban chief Catherine Garcia.

Dec 29, 2019

New Insignia for CRPF's VIP Security Wing

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah unveiled a new insignia for the CRPF's VIP security wing that protects 59 high-risk dignitaries, including members of the Gandhi family and a host of Union Ministers. The logo — with a "Garuda", sword and shield — will give a distinct identity to the unit. Shah unveiled the logo during an event, where he laid the foundation for raising a new headquarters building for the CRPF.
  • The VIP security wing of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was raised in 2014 and has four battalions, comprising about 4,000 personnel. The insignia will bear the motto of the force — "Always, Aware, Alert".
  • Of the 59 protectees under this unit, 15 are under the top category of "Z+", 21 under the "Z" category and the remaining 23 under various other categories.

Dec 28, 2019

Iran, China and Russia Start Navy Drills

  • Iran, China and Russia started four days of joint naval drills in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman.
  • The exercise comes at a time of heightened tensions since the US withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May last year.
  • The message of this exercise is peace, friendship and lasting security through cooperation and unit and its effect will be to show that Iran cannot be isolated.
  • Tahani added that the drills included rescuing ships on fire or vessels under attack by pirates and shooting exercises, with both Iran's navy and its Revolutionary Guards participating.

Russia Puts Hypersonic Missiles in Place

  • Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin that the country's first Avangard hypersonic missiles have been put into service. Russian officials say the missile is highly manoeuvrable and reached the speed of Mach 27, or roughly 33,000 kmph, during tests. Mach 1 is a unit of measurement equivalent to the speed of sound. Moscow had showed US arms inspectors the Avangard missiles in November. Putin had unveiled images of the new weapon during his state of the nation address in 2018, saying it would defeat all existing missile defence systems.

Dec 27, 2019

China, Russia And Iran To Hold Naval Drills In Gulf Of Oman

  • China, Russia and Iran will hold joint naval drills starting in the Gulf of Oman, Beijing and Tehran, at a time of heightened tensions since the U.S. withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran.
  • Set to take place from December 27 to 30, the military exercises aim to "deepen exchange and cooperation between the navies of the three countries".
  • The Chinese navy would deploy its Xining guided missile destroyer — nicknamed the "carrier killer" for its array of anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles — in the drills.

India, Japan Vow To Deepen Maritime Ties, Hold Consultation On Disarmament

  • India and Japan have vowed to deepen maritime cooperation and also held consultations on disarmament, non-proliferation and export control.
  • The 5th Round of India-Japan Maritime Affairs Dialogue was held in Tokyo with the Indian delegation led by Indra Mani Pandey, Additional Secretary (Disarmament and International Security Affairs), Ministry of External Affairs, while Japanese delegation was led by Ambassador Yamanaka A Osamu, Deputy Assistant Minister, Deputy Director-General in Foreign Policy Bureau.
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