Defence Current Affairs And Updates 14 – 15 January 2021

Indian Army Day: 15 January 2021

  • India observes Army Day 2021 in honour of the soldiers and Jawans of the Indian Army who laid down their lives on the line of duty.
  • Army Day is observed on January 15 every year because it was on this day in 1949 when General KM Cariappa took over the charge of Indian Army from British General Sir Francis Butcher.
  • Gallantry awards and Sena medals are also awarded on this day. 
  • On this day, special parades are being organised by the Indian Army to salute its veterans and soldiers.
  • The day is celebrated with different themes and ideas. Last Year, the ‘Digital Transformation of Defence was the Indian Army Day 2020 Theme.

Why is Army Day celebrated on 15th January?

  • Every year, the Indian Army celebrates the Army Day on January 15 because on this day in 1949, the Indian Army got its first chief. Lieutenant General KM Cariappa took over as the reins of the armed force as first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India. He adopted the slogan ‘Jai Hind’, which means ‘Victory to India’.
  • This year the Indian Army has organized a marathon – Vijay Run – to “commemorate Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations of India’s resounding victory over Pakistan in 1971.

Facts about Indian Army:

  • The Indian Army is the 4th largest standing Army in the world after the US, Russia and China.
  • Unlike other government organisations and institutions in India, there are no provisions for reservations based on caste or religion in Indian Army.
  • The Indian Army has a horsed cavalry regiment which is among one of the last 3 such regiments in the world.
  • The Bailey Bridge is the highest bridge in the world built by Indian Army. It is in the Ladakh valley between Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan mountain.

13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue

  • Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar co-chaired the 13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue along with his Vietnamese co-chair Sr Lt Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defence Minister, Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
  • During the virtual interaction, Defence Secretary and the Deputy Defence Minister exchanged views on the plan of action that has emanated from the recently concluded Virtual Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Key Highlights:

  • The Defence Secretary and the Deputy Defence Minister expressed satisfaction at the ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries in spite of the limitations imposed by COVID 19.
  • Both the sides reviewed the progress on various bilateral defence cooperation initiatives and expressed commitment to further elevate engagements between the Armed Forces under the framework of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. 

Cooperation in various regional forums–

  • India and Vietnam closely cooperate in various regional forums such as ASEAN, East Asia Summit, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) besides UN and WTO. 

Indian Army soft-pedals light tank of DRDO-L&T

  • The Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) proposal to manufacture in L&T’s facilities a line of at least 500 light tanks, which will be powered by the same 28-tonne chassis, hull and engine that powers the K-9 Vajra.
  • Instead of the K-9 Vajra artillery turret that mounts a heavy, 155 mm gun that shoots over the horizon, the light tank will have a smaller turret with a direct firing, high pressure 105 mm gun, ready-built by Belgian firm John Cockerill.
  • The DRDO is offering the light tank for the army to use in high-altitude areas such as Ladakh, where the Chinese ingress last May has already forced the deployment of two additional divisions (36,000 troops) and the impending move of another two divisions that are being diverted from a mechanised strike corps.
  • All these 500-odd tanks are currently 42-tonne T-72M1s, which are too large and heavy to move and operate in the narrow, twisty roads and low-weight-bearing bridges that are found in the Himalaya. Nor are the T-72 tank engines customised to operating in the oxygen-depleted atmosphere at those altitudes.
  • the indigenous light tank will be at least a match for the Type-15. Engineers of the Central Vehicle R&D Establishment, the Chennai-based DRDO laboratory that designs and develops armoured vehicles, say they are working with L&T to reduce the weight of the 28-tonne Vajra chassis by 3-4 tonnes, which will bring the overall weight of the light tank to about 30 tonnes.

UK think tank lists India in ‘Difficult 4’; clubs

  • The report, “Global Britain, Global Broker” questions whether the UK, despite its inherent strengths, would be able to avoid losing influence in the world.
  • Calling for a “shift in strategic focus” the UK, the report says, It should have more realistic goals about developing deeper ties with India, which it clubs with China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey as the “difficult four”.
  • The British foreign policy establishment is currently in the process of re-writing its foreign policy focus, bringing the Indo-Pacific front and centre of the new policies.
  • The report is critical of Boris Johnson’s initiative of setting up a D10 club of democratic countries, and particularly, including India in it. “Including India in a D10 at this time could make building any meaningful consensus on policy or joint actions that much harder.
  • India has a long and consistent record of resisting being corralled into a ‘Western’ camp. It led the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War and, in 2017, India formally joined the China-and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

China Reveals New Variant of J-20 Stealth Fighter Jets

  • The Chinese Air Force (PLAAF) has unveiled the first look of a new, twin-seat variant of the J-20 stealth fighter.
  • Developed and manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG).
  • The twin-seat J-20 could spawn more variations that are equipped with devices corresponding to these tasks.
  • The WS-10C engines have stealth capability which will provide more powerful thrust than the Russian engines previously used on the J-20.
  • The domestic engine implies China will no longer rely on Russian engines.
  • The WS-10C engines are believed to be more capable than the Russian-made AL-31F ones. A powerful engine is necessary for modern fighter jets. A less capable engine like Russian AL-31F limits the capabilities of the aircraft along with affecting its manoeuvrability, fuel efficiency, and stealth capabilities at supersonic speeds.
  • The J-20 will also use the powerful WS-15 engine, being developed domestically. China has wanted to match the WS-15 to the F119 engine used by the Americans’ F-22 Raptor but in 2019 it had failed in the final evaluation.

Iran to hold missile drill in Gulf of Oman amid tensions

  • Iran’s navy was poised to begin a short-range missile drill in the Gulf of Oman.
  • Its amid heightened regional tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.
  • The two-day missile drill was to be held in the gulf’s south-eastern waters and two new Iranian-made warships were expected to join the exercise.
  • In recent weeks, Iran has increased its military drills.
  • President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear deal, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program among other issues in withdrawing from the accord.
  • Iran on occasion announces military achievements that cannot be independently verified. The country began a military sufficiency program in 1992 under which Tehran says it produces mortars to fighter jets.

India’s first indigenous machine pistol ASMI

  • Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has developed the country’s first indigenous machine pistol ASMI.
  • The pistol which is developed by DRDO along with the help of Indian Army is set to replace the 9mm pistols in the defence forces. 
  • The machine pistol can fire at a range of 100 metres and is in the class of the Uzi series guns of Israel. The prototype has fired over 300 rounds in the last four months of its development.
  • DRDO’s Pune-based facility Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and the Infantry School designed and developed this weapon utilising their respective areas of expertise in a record time of four months.
  • The weapon has huge potential in armed forces as a personal weapon for heavy weapon detachments, commanders, tank and aircraft crews, drivers and dispatch riders, radio or radar operators, for closed quarter battles, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations etc.
  • The Carbine is not just slated to replace the ageing 9 mm carbine currently in use by the armed forces, but also modernise the armoury of the Central Armed Police Forces and state police forces.

India clears purchase of 83 ‘Tejas’ jets for IAF

  • The Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a 48,000 crore rupees proposal to buy 83 Tejas LCA (light combat aircraft) Mk 1A aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
  • The defence ministry gave a green light to the purchase of 83 advanced Tejas jets from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
  • The jets to be ordered include 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircraft.
  • The LCA Mk-1A variant is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured fighter aircraft. 
  • The IAF has already bought 40 LCA-Tejas Mk-1 aircraft. The Tejas Mk1A cleared by the Cabinet committee on Wednesday is more advanced than the Mk-1, with around 40 improvements.
  • It is equipped with critical operational capabilities of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile, Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite and Air to Air Refuelling (AAR) that will be a potent platform to meet the IAF operational requirements.
  • The LCA’s manufacture by HAL will give a push to its Atma Nirbhar Bharat initiative and boost the indigenisation of defence production and the country’s defence industry. About 500 Indian companies, including MSMEs in the design and manufacturing sectors, will work with HAL in this procurement.

Indian Army officer has developed ‘microcopter’

  • An Indian Army officer has indigenously developed a ‘microcopter’ which can be used by the Army to carry out surveillance inside a building or room in which terrorists are hiding.
  • The microcopter has been developed by Lieutenant Colonel GYK Reddy.
  • The trials of the microcomputer have been successfully carried out by a Para Special Forces battalion in Jammu and Kashmir and further improvements are being carried out on the micro drone.
  • The trials of the microcomputer have been successfully carried out by a Para Special Forces battalion in Jammu and Kashmir and further improvements are being carried out on the micro drone.
  • These were displayed at an event to showcase the internal innovation by the Indian army.

India-Japan-Russia grouping in the works

  • A new trilateral format is taking shape in the Indo-Pacific region, with India, Japan and Russia planning to hold a joint meeting in the near future as part of their emerging partnership.
  • India took the initiative to hold the trilateral meet amid Russia’s reservations on the Quad format, which involves India, Japan, Australia and the United States.
  • The focus of the meeting would be to explore trilateral cooperation in the resource-rich Russian Far East, according to people aware of the matter.
  • India took the initiative to hold the trilateral meet amid Russia’s reservations on the Quad format, which involves India, Japan, Australia and the United States. The focus of the meeting would be to explore trilateral cooperation in the resource-rich Russian Far East, according to people aware of the matter.
  • Russia has been seeking both Indian and Japanese investments and presence in its Far East amid China’s growing presence in the region. The trilateral dialogue will be launched at a Track-2 level involving top three state-run think tanks.
  • External affairs minister S Jaishankar had last year suggested an expansion of the partnership between India and Japan in third countries including the Russian Far East.

Indian Armed Forces has Celebrated Fifth Veterans Day

  • Fifth Indian Armed Forces Veterans Day was celebrated on 14 Jan 2021 as recognition of the services rendered by the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Armed Forces, Field Marshal KM Cariappa, OBE who retired on 14 Jan 1953.
  • A Veterans Meet was also organised at Raina Auditorium, APS Dhaulakuan with Admiral Karambir Singh, and Chief of Naval Staff as the Chief Guest for the event.  Gen MM Naravane, COAS and Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria, CAS were also present for the event.
  • The Army Chief highlighted some important welfare measures undertaken by various welfare departments during the year amidst the COVID pandemic.
  • The veterans on the Swarnim Vijay Varsh being celebrated through the year to honour our veterans who gave us the victory in 1971 war.
  • Admiral Karambir Singh has released the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ song dedicated to the valour and courage of our brave soldiers during the 1971 War.
  • The song has been written by Kumar Vishwas and composed by Chris Powell.  It has been sung by Romy.
  • The Indian Army released the coveted ‘Samaan’ magazine and Indian Air Force released the ‘Vayu Samvedna’ magazine on the occasion.

QUICK REVIEW

  1. Indian Army Day is observed on which date?
  2. 15 January
  3. 14 January
  4. 26 January
  5. 16 January

ANSWER: A

  • Who has co-chaired the 13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue from India?
  • Rajnath Singh
  • Ajay Kumar
  • S. Jaishankar
  • All of above

 ANSWER: B

  • Which one has offered the light tank for the army to use in high-altitude areas?
  • DRDO
  • Japan
  • USA
  • BEML

 ANSWER: A

  • UK think tank has listed which country in ‘Difficult 4’?
  • Turkey
  • Saudi Arabia
  • China
  • All of above

 ANSWER: D

  • Which country has revealed its New Variant Of J-20 Stealth Fighter Jets?
  • India
  • China
  • USA
  • Japan

ANSWER: B

  • Which country has been holding missile drill in Gulf of Oman?
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • China
  • USA

ANSWER: A

  • Who has developed the India’s first indigenous machine pistol ASMI?
  • Lt Col Prasad Bansod
  • Lt Col GYK Reddy
  • Lt Col Raj Shukla
  • Lt Gen Manoj Pande

ANSWER: A

  • India has cleared purchase of which jets for IAF from HAL?
  • MiG-21 Bison
  • LCA Tejas
  • Mirage-2000
  • MiG-29

ANSWER: B

  • Which Indian Army Officer has developed the microcopter?
  • Lt Col GYK Reddy
  • Lt Col Raj Shukla
  • Lt Gen Manoj Pande
  • Lt Gen Alok Singh Kler

ANSWER: A

  1. Between which countries a new trilateral format is taking shape in the Indo-Pacific region?
  2. Iran- China-India
  3. Iraq- Iran-India
  4. India-Japan-Russia
  5. USA- Iran- China

ANSWER: C

  1. Indian Armed Forces has Celebrated Fifth Veterans’ day on?
  2. 12 Jan 2021
  3. 11 Jan 2021
  4. 14 Jan 2021
  5. 15 Jan 2021

ANSWER: C

Hemanth Kasturi

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

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