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DEFENCE - January 2020

Jan 2020

Jan 31, 2020

Database for Real-Time Information on Terror Soon

  • A master database of 21 databases designed to provide real-time information to fight terror and crime will be rolled out by the end of March. The database or the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) involves data including that related to credit and debit cards, tax, telecom, immigration, airlines and railway tickets, passports, driving licenses. It will be available for nine central agencies including the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, the Enforcement Directorate and Department of Revenue Intelligence.
  • The NATGRID will service only those agencies cleared by the Union Cabinet. State police forces will not be able to access the database initially.
  • The second phase of the database will involve big data analysis for generating alerts for agencies. It is expected to be rolled out by the end of 2020.

Jan 30, 2020

Security Upped as Vikrant Enters Critical Testing before Sea Trials

  • As the country's first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant undergoes engine test for advanced-level basin trials before venturing into the sea for trials by end of 2020, Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) has put in tight security measures including biometric access for staff to prevent a repeat of September 2019 sabotage incident. The probe by National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the stealing of the hardware drives of Integrated Platform Management System (IMPS) from the vessel has so far not yielded any result. But, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) clarified that the stolen parts were certain Commercially Off the shelf hardware items from Multi Function Consoles (MFCs) of the IPMS.

India May Invite Australia for Malabar Naval Exercise with US & Japan

  • India is giving serious consideration in inviting Australia to take part in its trilateral Malabar naval exercise with the US and Japan this year (2020).
  • If this happens, the "Quad countries" will engage in serious naval combat manoeuvres and exercise on the high seas after a gap of 13 years.
  • The Malabar naval exercise will be held in the Bay of Bengal after the monsoon ends in July-August.
  • Australian diplomatic sources, on being contacted said that we have a very strong bilateral defence relationship with India. We would be glad to consider all opportunities to engage with the Indian military.

Jan 29, 2020

Operation Vanilla: India Sends Naval Ship to Provide Aid to Disaster-hit Madagascar

  • Indian Navy launched Operation Vanilla in a bid to support the people of island nation Madagascar in the face of a natural disaster.
  • Indian Navy said, 'As the first respondent, Indian Navy Ship Airavat, which was en-route to Seychelles has been diverted to Madagascar for rendering assistance.'
  • The ship is carrying victualing, clothing and stores along with medicines. The ship is scheduled to reach Madagascar by 30 January 2020. As per the Navy, the ship will be able to provide clothing, emergency food, medical assistance, diving and communication assistance and undertake transportation and evacuation of personnel using its four large and two medium-sized boats.

Jan 28, 2020

Centre Tells States to Buy Indigenous Rifles

  • The Union home ministry asked eight Left-wing Extremism (LWE)-hit states to purchase indigenously built instead of foreign made weapons for their police forces involved in anti-Maoist operations.
  • The issue was discussed at a meeting of top officers from the eight states on police modernisation. The ministry's additional secretary (police modernisation), Vivek Bhardwaj, chaired the meeting. Several Ordinance factories such as in Jabalpur and Rae Bareli in India have been manufacturing weapons, which can be used both by the security personnel and military. Special director general, R. K. Vij, who is in charge of police modernisation in Chhattisgarh, said that the ministry's representatives at the meeting emphasised on the need for using locally made automatic rifles. These rifles include Trichy Assault Rifles and AK-203 automatic rifles, which are better than self-loading rifles [SLRs] and AK-47s.
  • The ministry has classified Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala as LWE-affected states in varying degrees.

Taurus Signs Deal with Steel Group Jindal to Produce Guns in India

  • Brazilian gun maker Taurus Armas SA signed a joint venture with Indian steelmaker Jindal Group to produce and sell guns in India.
  • Under the agreement, Jindal will hold a 51% stake in the venture and Taurus the remaining shares.
  • The deal was signed during Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's visit to India.

Jan 27, 2020

Army Stocking up Ammunitions for 40-day War

  • The 13-lakh strong Army is now slowly but steadily building its ammunition stocks ranging from rockets and missiles to high-caliber tank and artillery shells to ensure it can comfortably fight a full-blown war for over 10 days, with the eventual aim to have adequate stockpiles in place to last 40 days.
  • As per defence ministry sources, all the different types of ammunition for the Army will be built up to "10(I) levels", which mean adequate stocks to undertake 10 days of "intensive" full-spectrum fighting, by 2022-2023, as per the latest assessment.
  • The next target will be to gradually achieve 40(I) levels after some major rationalisation because not all types of ammunition are needed in such large numbers. Holding large reserves is neither economically nor logistically feasible.
  • The MoD is also in the process of contracting the domestic private sector to manufacture with foreign collaboration eight different types of tank, artillery and infantry ammunition worth around Rs 1,700 crore per year for a decade from 2022-2023 onwards.

Anti-drone System Used for First Time this R-Day Parade

  • National security planners deployed anti-drone weapons to secure VVIPs during the Republic Day parade — the first instance of India attempting to neutralise the growing threat from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

India Plans 5,000-km Range Submarine-launched Ballistic Missile

  • With the K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile completing the development stage and ready for induction, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has gone back to the drawing board to develop a 5,000km-range submarine-launched platform that matches the surface-to-surface Agni-V missile.
  • The 5,000km-range submarine-launched ballistic missile will carry the same K-series label and will cover all of Asia, parts of Africa, Europe and Indo-Pacific including South China Sea.

Indian Navy to Soon Get First Batch of Indigenously-built Torpedo Varunastra

  • Indian Navy will soon get the first batch of indigenously-built heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra, giving it crucial firepower to the naval forces. The first batch will be delivered to the Navy soon and will be fitted onto Sindhu class submarines and other navy ships. This will make India one of the eight countries to have such indigenously-designed and built system.
  • Varunastra is capable to destroy any target, including ships and submarines, up to the range of 40 kilometres in waters. The torpedo was successfully inducted in the navy in July 2018, following which an order of 63 such systems for Rs. 1187 crore was placed.
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