Defence Current Affairs And Updates 14 October 2020

Lt Gen PGK Menon assumes command of XIV Corps

  • Lt Gen Harinder Singh handed over command of Fire & Fury Corps to Lt Gen PGK Menon (17-Sikh) yesterday. On assuming command, He exhorted all ranks to continue to discharge their duties with same commitment and zeal and be prepared to deal with any threat to national security.

About XIV Corps (Fire and Fury Corps)

  • Active from: September 1, 1999 to present
  • Location: Udhampur-based (associated to Northern Command)
  • Garrison/HQ: Leh
  • The 14 Corps looks after military deployment along Kargil-Leh and looks after the frontiers with China, Pakistan and guards the Siachen glacier. The 14 Corps is strategically important to India as it is used to carry essential supplies to Siachen.

South Western Army Commander Reviews Strategic Strikers Division in Rajasthan

  • Lt Gen Alok Kler, Army Commander Sapta Shakti Command reviewed the operational preparedness of Strategic Strikers Division at Alwar, Rajasthan.
  • He commended all ranks for their professionalism & exhorted them to continue to work with the same zeal & enthusiasm.

New Commander for White Knight Corps

  • Lt Gen M V Suchindra Kumar, YSM**, VSM assumed command White Knight Corps.
  • GOC exhorted all ranks to strive for excellence & be combat ready to thwart nefarious designs of adversaries & inimical forces while being in complete synergy with civil administration & PMF.

About XVI Corps (White Knight Corps)

  • Raised on 1 June 1972, it has its headquarters at Nagrota Cantonment, Nagrota, Jammu district, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • In 2005 IX Corps (India) was raised in part of the XVI Corps’ area, taking over two of its divisions. Today it is reported to include 10th Infantry Division (India), headquartered at Akhnoor, 25th Infantry Division, headquartered at Rajauri and 39th Infantry Division, with its headquarters at Yol.
  • It is the largest wheeled formation in the world.

Joint Press Release of the 7th Round of India-China Military Commander-Level Meeting

  • On 12 October, the 7th round of Senior Commanders meeting of India and China was held in Chushul.
  • The two sides had a sincere, in-depth and constructive exchange of views on disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of India-China border areas.
  • They were of the view that these discussions were positive, constructive and had enhanced understanding of each other’s positions.
  • Both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible.
  • Both sides agreed to earnestly implement the important understandings reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

Tender for Rs 20,000-crore Landing Platform Docks project for Indian Navy scrapped

  • The Indian Navy has scrapped a tender to procure four Landing Platform Docks or amphibious warships at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore, nearly seven years after launching the acquisition process, government sources said.
  • The withdrawal of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the long-pending project was triggered by the Navy’s requirement of new specifications for the amphibious warships which are known as Landing Platform Docks (LPDs), the sources said.
  • The LPDs are used to transport troops, land warfare assets such as tanks, helicopters and vessels into a war zone by sea.
  • In a report tabled in Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General had last month taken strong exception to the India Navy’s failure to conclude the contract to procure the LPDs even after deciding on the acquisition in 2010.
  • The Navy had issued initial tender for the mega project in 2013.
  • “The qualitative requirement has undergone lot of changes,” said an official.
  • The Indian Navy now plans to start a fresh bidding process for acquisition of the fleet.
  • Three private sector companies — Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL), Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and ABG Shipyard — were in the race initially for the mega project but ABG was disqualified on account of poor financial health.
  • Each of the ships were likely to be in the range of 30,000 and 40,000 tonnes.
  • The national auditor had in September slammed the Navy for not being able to conclude the contract when it is reeling under a shortage of LPDs.

China tracking Indian underwater activities in Ladakh’s Pangong Tso

  • Since the Indo-China border standoff began, the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) has been keeping the surface of Pangong Tso under surveillance through high-speed patrol crafts such as Type 305 and Type 928D boats copied from Swedish CB-90 boats.
  • But latest satellite imagery shows China is now tracking the depths of Pangong Tso as well through new techniques used for anti-submarine warfare by navies around the world.
  • On July 31, India Today OSINT team had reported the presence of at least 13 boats between Finger 4 and Finger 8.The boat squadron was boosted by at least eight new boats from a major base at Rimutang to Kunrak Fort and Finger 5, barely 2.5 km from Finger 4.
  • And now, latest satellite images from depth areas, especially Chinese military airports, show a trend not noticed before.

PLAAF sub-surface reconnaissance

  • The PLA Air Force has started closely monitoring underwater activities in Pangong Tso. It is using special aircraft attached with a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) boom at the tail end for reconnaissance of the lake.
  • These special aircraft, such as Y-8 GX6 or Shanxi Y-8 transporter’s Gaoxin-6 or High New 6 variant, are used for anti-surface as well as anti-submarine warfare by the PLA Navy.
  • The instruments onboard can detect minute variations in the Earth’s magnetic field, which is used to detect submarines, but also minerals and rare soil hidden under the surface. These aircraft have been observed on satellite imagery at Hotan, Korla and Wudun.
  • Latest satellite imagery of Wudun airport indicates that a Y-8 GX6 was parked there on August 24. This aircraft has a smaller MAD boom than previous versions. The aircraft is in yellow primer, indicating that it is still under trial. There are at least four aircraft with such new and shorter MAD booms at the Xian-Yanliang airbase where they are manufactured.

Chinese surface surveillance

  • Since the Doklam standoff, China has increased air activities along the Indo-Tibet border. In fact, surveillance along the border has increased in the last three years. China has been keeping an eye on Indian areas through unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) located at Lhasa, Shigatse, Hotan, Akesu, Wudun and Uxxaktal.
  • China recently conducted an exercise to test the Wingloong 2 UAV under adverse weather conditions and communication outage. The rocket-powered hypersonic UAV was first tested from Uxxaktal airbase last year indicating very strongly that it was used against India.
  • The Indian Navy’s P8-I surveillance aircraft is also being used for detecting such underwater activities by China’s PLA in Pangong Tso and Spangur Tso areas in Eastern Ladakh. However, India needs to be more cautious of these sub-surface activities and keep monitoring them.

INS Vikrant to begin sea trials in December

  • India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IA C) – INS Vikrant might begin its sea trials in Karwar waters, which is scheduled to begin in December. India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier is finally entering into the pre-induction stage. It will be entering sea trial in December, which according to sources, will be in the West Coast in Karwar. “There is still time for that. It could be possible that it might happen in Karwar or Visakhapatnam. It has to be done only these two places,” an official source said, adding that these are the two places which have such facilities.
  • The IAC has been equipped with required systems and tools and the sea trial run was supposed to begin earlier this year. However, the same was postponed following the Covid-19 pandemic, sources said. Built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kerala, the INS Vikrant – with a displacement of 40,000 tonne – is 262-metre long and has a 62-metre beam. Though the aircraft can carry up to 40 fighter aircrafts, the Navy, sources said, is yet to decide on the aircrafts it would carry.
  • The project was planned in January 1997. The project, earlier known as Air Defence Ship (ADS), was planned for 20,000 tonne displacement. However, later it was enhanced to 37,500 so that the vessel would carry fighter jets like MiG 29K and the designation was changed to Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IA C) from the earlier Air Defence Ship.
  • The project was delayed due to several reasons and finally it was entrusted to CSL considering its modern infrastructure facilities. The ship was designed by the Directorate of Naval Design, which was its first assignment to design an aircraft carrier. Several firms across the country have chipped in for development of this indigenous aircraft carrier. The maximum speed of the ship would be 28 knots with a range of 7,500 nautical miles. The ship, when commissioned, will have 160 officers and 1,400 sailors on board.


  1. White Knight Corps is the nickname of
  2. XX Corps
  3. XVII Corps
  4. XVI Corps
  5. XV Corps


  • Recently, Lt Gen M V Suchindra Kumar, YSM**, VSM assumed command of
  • XX Corps
  • XVII Corps
  • XVI Corps
  • XV Corps


  • Recently, Lt Gen PGK Menon assumed command of
  • XII Corps
  • XIII Corps
  • XIV Corps
  • XV Corps


  • Fire and Fury Corps has its headquarters at
  • Jammu
  • Udhampur
  • Leh
  • Ladakh


Hemanth Kasturi

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

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