Defence Current Affairs And Updates 16 January 2021

Sri Lanka revives port deal with India, Japan

  • Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced the revival of an Indian and Japanese investment project to develop a deep-sea terminal in Colombo harbour.
  • The approval came after reviewing “regional geopolitical concerns.
  • The terminal will be developed with 51 percent ownership by Sri Lanka’s government and the remaining 49 percent as an investment by India’s Adani Group and other stakeholders including Japan.
  • Nearly 70 percent of transhipment containers handled by Colombo was Indian export-import cargo.
  • Sri Lanka, unable to repay a huge Chinese loan, handed over another deep seaport in the south of the island to a Beijing company in a deal that raised concerns at home and abroad.
  • India and the United States are concerned a Chinese foothold at Hambantota, 240km (150 miles) south of Colombo, could give it a military naval advantage in the Indian Ocean.
  • Sri Lanka has insisted its ports will not be used for any military purposes.

Thales, Bharat Dynamics ink deal to work on air defence

  • Leading defence company Thales and state-run Bharat Dynamics NSE 1.74 % Limited (BDL) have signed an agreement to work in partnership on an air defence system with the support of the Indian and British governments.
  • Through the agreement, BDL will become a part of the STARStreak missile system’s global supply chain, providing the opportunity for export of Indian manufactured components to this system’s existing and future customers, including the UK Armed Forces.
  • The “teaming agreement” was signed by Thales and BDL in the presence of UK and Indian government representatives in a virtual ceremony
  • STARStreak is unique due to its three laser-guided darts, which cannot be jammed by any known countermeasure.
  • The STARStreak missile system is already in service in the British Army and has the capability to defeat any air target – even armoured helicopters – as the last line of defence.

India demonstrates combat drone swarm system

  • In a first, India has demonstrated an offensive swarm drone system that simulated taking down a range of targets, ranging from tanks, terror camps, helipads and fuel dumps at the annual Army Day parade.
  • The demonstration, which consisted of 75 drones working autonomously to identify and take down targets with Kamikaze missions, is an early peek into future technology being developed by the Army in partnership with the private industry.
  • The system as a disruption technology that has been changing warfare around the world. Besides strike missions against a variety of targets, the drones also simulating dropping supplies to ground troops like medicines and stores.
  • The Army, which started working on the swarm drone system in August last year in partnership with NewSpace Research and Technologies, plans to scale up the technology to fly over 1,000 rotary wing drones at the same time for a mission.
  • The program started with 5 systems flying together that has been scaled up to 75 for the Army Day demonstration.
  • Being developed under the Combat Air Teaming System (CATS) project, the plan is to complete development process within four years and a system that will greatly reduce the vulnerability of pilots and fighter jets to ground based air defences.

Trump Administration Backlists Chinese Firms

  • The outgoing Trump administration blacklisted Xiaomi Corp which is China’s No. 2 Smartphone maker including nine other countries barring Americans from investing in them.
  • US officials said the Chinese firms posed a threat to national security. Xiaomi’s shares nosedived 11 per cent after the US government’s announcement.
  • The latest move by Trump administration focused on Chinese companies with military ties and strategic value which includes plane maker COMAC.
  • The blacklisting forces American investors to divest their holdings of the firms by November 11, 2021.
  • The US Commerce Department has also banned Americans from supplying companies including China’s oil cooperation CNOOC and deep-water explorer Skyrison which develops military equipment.
  • CNOOC acts a bully for the People’s Liberation Army to intimidate China’s neighbours, and the Chinese military continues to benefit from government civil-military fusion policies for malign purposes.


  1. Sri Lanka has revived port deal of which harbour with India, Japan to develop a deep-sea terminal?
  2. Port of Colombo
  3. Port of Hambantota
  4. Port of Point Pedro
  5. Port of Galle


  • Which Indian firm has inked agreement with Thales to work on air defence system?
  • DRDO
  • Bharat Dynamics
  • L & T
  • Tata Group


  • Combat Air Teaming System (CATS) Project involves
  • Swarm drones
  • Swarm missiles
  • Air Defense Software
  • Suits and safety gear


Hemanth Kasturi

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

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