Defence Current Affairs And Updates 1 August 2020

French Armed Forces Medical Delegation Visits AFS Hindan

  • On 29 Jul 20, a French Armed Forces Medical Delegation, led by General Patrick Derain, visited AF Station Hindan for professional interaction with IAF Aeromedical Delegation & demonstration of Aeromedical Evacuation on C-17 aircraft by the IAF.
  • The IAF delegation was led by ACAS Medical, AVM Daljit Singh. Other senior IAF Medical Officers were also present for the interaction. C-17 ‘Ambulance Version’ for mass casualty carriage & procedure for transfer of casualties on a Patient Transfer Unit (PTU) was demonstrated.
  • Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation ‘ARPIT,’ designed and developed indigenously by the IAF, was also demonstrated. ARPIT module is used for transporting infectious cases including those suffering from COVID-19.

India Offers Brahmos Cruise Missile Exports to Indonesia

  • India and Indonesia agreed to expand cooperation in the defense sector including industry and technology sharing. The possibility of expanding relations in the defense and military fields was further discussed during talks between Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Indonesian Defense Minister Lieutenant General (Ret) Prabowo Subianto. Reflecting the importance of Indonesia in relation to its strategic relations with India, Prabowo arrived in India on Sunday (26/7), to hold talks with military officials, in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the country.
  • Sources said, the problem of the possibility of exporting Brahmos cruise missiles to Indonesia by India and further steps to deepen maritime security cooperation were prominent in talks between the two countries.
  • “The two ministers agreed to further enhance bilateral defense cooperation in areas that were mutually agreed upon. The potential for cooperation in the defense industry and defense technology sectors was also identified by the two countries, “the Ministry of Defense said in a statement, quoted from The Print , Monday (27/8).
  • In the statement, both Singh and Subianto committed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation and bring defense ties to the “next level of delivery”.
  • “The meeting ended on a positive note with a commitment to further strengthen and expand the scope of bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” the Defense Ministry said without giving details.
  • Prabowo paid a working visit to India for three days, namely on 26-28 July 2020. On Monday, Prabowo began the agenda of the visit by placing a wreath at the National War Memorial in the national capital of India. He was welcomed by the Honorary Guard at South Block Lawns, and Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh received Prabowo’s arrival at his office in South Block. Then, the two ministers held bilateral talks in a closed manner to further strengthen the defense ties of India and Indonesia.
  • In a meeting with Prabowo, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh was accompanied by Chief of Defense Staff and Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief of Staff General MM Naravane, Chief of Navy Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Marshal RKS Bhadauria, and Secretary of the Defense Ministry Dr. Ajay Kumar.

Orders for 83 LCA Tejas Mark 1A jets likely before December

  • In the hype over Wednesday’s arrival of the first lot of five French-built Rafale fighter aircraft, it was easy to lose sight of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ which, after years of development delays, is slowly entering squadron service.
  • What has become of the order for the 83 Tejas Mark 1A variants that the air force was to place with the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) officials told that the order is likely to be confirmed “before December 2020”. Earlier this year, after months of negotiations, HAL and the IAF finally agreed on a price tag of Rs 39,000 crore for the 83 aircraft (73 fighter jets and 10 two-seat trainer variants). HAL officials attributed the delay to several outstanding issues, particularly a number of queries related to ‘additional requirements through contract’. “All queries have now been answered and the case is under approval,” a HAL official said.
  • The next phase in the contract would be approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), India’s topmost national security decision making body. This will be followed by a formal inking of the contract between HAL and the IAF. Delivery of the Mark 1As will start within three years of the contract being signed and will conclude with all aircraft delivered in five years.
  • The IAF spent Rs 59,000 crore to buy the 36 Rafale fighter jets. While it greatly enhances the IAF’s combat potential and also contributes offsets, sourced from the Indian industry, to the tune of nearly Rs 30,000 crore, the indigenous Tejas will have a bigger force multiplier effect on an Indian industry reeling under the impact of the lockdown and economic downturn. More importantly, it is a huge step towards creating a multi-tiered defence industrial ecosystem.
  • Five major private sector players—Larsen & Toubro, VEM Technologies, Alpha Tocol, Tata Advanced Materials and Dynamatic Technologies–are manufacturing the fuselages, wings, tail fins and rudders of the LCAs. These are being assembled by HAL at its twin production lines in Bengaluru.
  • “A Rs 39,000 crore order will have a force multiplier effect of nearly seven or eight times on the economy–jobs will be created, work will be outsourced, there is going to be a tremendous downstream effect on Tier 2 and Tier 3 manufacturing in the high-tech defence aviation sector,” an HAL official said.
  • The IAF currently operates one squadron of the 16 ‘Mark 1’ baseline Tejas variants at its airbase in Sulur, Coimbatore. On May 27, the IAF operationalised the second squadron of the LCA Tejas. Number 18 squadron will get its entire 15 final operation configuration (FOC) aircraft by September 2021. These are part of an order for 40 LCAs that were placed in two tranches in 2006 and 2010. All deliveries will be completed in 2022.
  • HAL is building a third Tejas production line, to be set up this November, and this will roll out the two-seat trainer variants of the jet. The line will build a total of 18 LCA trainers that will commence deliveries from November 2021 onwards (8 are part of the 40 jets order, and 10 part of the 83 jets order).
  • After a 2017 presentation by then IAF chief Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, the government had committed to buying 18 squadrons of the LCA and its variants—over 300 aircraft over the next 15 years. IAF officials say the LCA family fits into their plans to reduce existing diversity of fighter aircraft to just four types by 2035—the other three will be the Sukhoi, Rafales and Mirage 2000s.

India set to ban import of weapons that can be produced indigenously

  • In keeping with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the Defence Ministry proposes to ban the import of weapons that can be made in the country. This suggestion has been made in the second draft of the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2020, in line with the announcements made during the Atmanirbhar Bharat presentations in March.
  • The DPP 2020 will now be called Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020, according to the draft put out by the Ministry.
  • The Defence Ministry will notify a list of weapons/platforms banned for import, which will be updated from time to time based on the requirements of the various Services, the draft said. The preparation of this negative list is on.
  • Besides, a budget head has been created by the Defence Ministry for ‘Make in India’ projects and a provision is being made for domestic capital procurement.
  • An industry body representative welcomed the move, saying it will mark a fundamental shift in India’s approach that has evolved to include acquisition of technology instead of just procurement of equipment. This is also being seen as a booster for MSMEs.
  • According to the 48th report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, India’s major equipment imports include rockets, simulator and component repair facility for tanks from Russia; laser designation pods, radars, aircraft pods, radios, weapons for ‘Garud’ commandos and missiles from Israel; aircraft, helicopters, missiles, artillery guns and simulators from the US, and aircraft, ammunition, bimodular charge system and high zone modules of artillery guns from France.
  • Local capabilities: India currently exports indigenously developed patrol vessels, helicopters, sonars and radars, avionics, radar warning receivers, small arms, small calibre ammunition, grenades, telecom equipment, coastal surveillance gear, simulators, bullet-proof jackets and body armour. These will be the low hanging fruits for completely shutting the doors to imports.

Air Marshal B Suresh PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, WAC IAF proceeds on superannuation

  • Air Marshal B Suresh PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Indian Air Force superannuated on 31 July 2020 after an illustrious career spanning nearly 40 years.
  • The Air Marshal was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot in the Indian Air Force in the year 1980. An alumni of the Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun, and National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, the Air Marshal is a ‘Sword of Honour’ recipient from the Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. The Air Officer did his post-graduation from the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and from Cranfield University, Shrivenham, UK.
  • Air Marshal Suresh is a highly experienced Fighter Pilot and has flown a variety of aircraft. During his distinguished career, the Air Marshal held a number of coveted Command and Staff appointments. He commanded a Fighter Squadron which specialised in maritime and night air strikes and was deployed along the western border during the Kargil conflict. Before taking over the appointment of Director Operations (Joint Planning) which is responsible for Tri-service coordination, he commanded Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. The Air Marshal has commanded one of the largest air bases of the IAF in the western sector as an Air Commodore. He was also the Air Assistant to the Chief of Air Staff. As an Air Vice Marshal, he held the important appointed of Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Operations (Air Defence) for nearly four years, wherein he was also the Air Force member of the Tri-service Joint Operations Committee (JOCOM).
  • Widely acclaimed as a strategist and tactician of repute within Air Force circles, he is credited with having been the mastermind behind IAF’s superlative performance during Exercise Cope India 2004 – the first International bilateral exercise with the United States Air Force, held after a gap of nearly 40 years. He was again nominated as the ‘Exercise Director’ for the first ever bilateral exercise with the Republic of Singapore Air Force – Ex SINDEX 2004 – where once again, the IAF excelled. The role played by the Air Officer in ensuring IAF’s recognition internationally as a force to reckon with was acknowledged by awarding him the Presidential award of Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM). He, as a Group Captain, was one of the youngest recipients of the Presidential Award.
  • After being promoted to the rank of Air Marshal in 2014, he was appointed as the Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of Western Air Command wherein he brought about remarkable improvements in the operational orientation and battle readiness of the Command with increased synergy with the three associated Commands of the Indian Army viz – Northern Command, Western Command and South Western Command. As Air Officer-in-Charge Personal (AOP) at Air Headquarters, his decisions and foresight left a significant impact. He was instrumental in initiating online conduct of Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) and Scheduled Test for Airmen Recruitment (STAR) – the recruitment examination for officers and airmen respectively.
  • The Air Marshal was the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command prior to his appointment as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command. Under his leadership, Southern Air Command grew exponentially in capability and functionality. The entire ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) efforts during the Kerala floods in 2018 were spearheaded by Southern Air Command under his leadership. This was one of the highest intensity HADR efforts undertaken by IAF in recent history.
  • During his tenure as the AOC-in-C Western Air Command, he ensured a high state of operational and security preparedness and laid the foundation for the induction of the formidable Rafale fighter into the IAF. He has also been instrumental in operationalisation, both by day and night, of IAF’s new inductions viz., Chinook heavy-lift helicopter and Apache attack helicopter. In a first of sorts, airfields in Ladakh sector were operationalised for night fighter operations, thus giving a tremendous boost to 24X7 capabilities of IAF.
  • The Air Marshal is a highly decorated officer having been awarded Vayu Sena Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in recognition of his distinguished and dedicated service to the Nation. He was also appointed as Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the Hon’ble President of India.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. Which among the following major private sector companies is not manufacturing the fuselages, wings, tail fins and rudders of the LCAs?
  2. Larsen & Toubro
  3. VEM Technologies
  4. Dynamatic Technologies
  5. Mahindra & Mahindra

ANSWER: D

  • In keeping with what scheme, the Defence Ministry proposes to ban the import of weapons that can be made in the country?
  • Vande Bharat Mission
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan
  • Stand Up India Scheme
  • Invest India

ANSWER: B

  • The DPP 2020 will now be called what according to the draft put out by the Ministry?
  • Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020
  • Defence Attainment Procedure (DAP) 2020
  • Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2020
  • Defence Empowerment Procedure (DEP) 2020

ANSWER: A

  • Air Marshal B Suresh PVSM AVSM VM ADC, who recently superannuated on 31 July 2020, was the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of:
  • Southern Air Command
  • Western Air Command
  • South Western Air Command
  • Central Air Command

ANSWER: B

Hemanth Kasturi

    General Studies Tutor at SSBCrackExams, Graduate in Aeronautical Engineering, Cleared NDA, CDS, INET, AFCAT exams.

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