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Defence Current Affairs And Updates 20 August 2020

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh asks Naval Commanders to deliberate on key focus areas; Addresses Naval Commanders’ Conference 2020 Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh addressed Naval Commanders on the inaugural...

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh asks Naval Commanders to deliberate on key focus areas; Addresses Naval Commanders’ Conference 2020

  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh addressed Naval Commanders on the inaugural day of the Naval Commanders’ Conference on 19 August 2020. He complimented the men and women of Indian Navy for their role in protecting the maritime interests of the nation and expressed confidence in the Indian Navy’s preparedness to meet any challenge through a proactive response in deploying its ships and aircraft.
  • Speaking on the unprecedented challenge posed by Covid-19 pandemic he congratulated the Indian Navy, on the conduct of the biggest ever repatriation operation “Operation Samudra Setu”, which has contributed extensively to the national interest. Despite the difficult sea conditions and the challenges of dealing with an unseen enemy in the form of the Corona virus, the Navy was instrumental in bringing home almost 4000 people from neighbouring countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Also, under ‘Mission Sagar’, medical aid was provided to the countries of South West Indian Ocean Region (Maldives, Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles and Madagascar). He also lauded the efforts of all Naval Commands in setting up of the quarantine facilities to aid the civil administration in managing Covid-19.
  • Shri Rajnath Singh said inspired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has effectively carried out Mission Based Deployment to protect maritime interests by deploying naval ships and aircraft at major and sensitive locations. Since the commencement of Mission Based Deployment in June 2017, these deployments have facilitated enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), provided swift Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) to the Indian Ocean Region littorals and security to the international maritime community.
  • Speaking on the dynamic changes taking place in the armed forces, Raksha Mantri highlighted the creation of the post of CDS and Department of Military Affairs/MoD (DMA) as major milestones in bringing more synergy amongst the three services, especially in training, procurement and staffing and bringing jointness in operations.
  • Raksha Mantri said accepting the challenges arising out of the Covid 19 situation in the current financial year Indian Navy has continued to progress the operational, administrative and modernization efforts. Notwithstanding these fiscal challenges, the government has invoked the Emergency Powers to meet the emergent requirements of the services, he added.
  • Speaking on Indian Navy’s proven commitment towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in consonance with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government, Raksha Mantri appreciated that the Navy has been at the forefront of the indigenisation process. He also stated that it is important that we keep pace with the successes which have been achieved so far. The recently inaugurated NIIO (Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organization) is one such step.
  • Wishing success to the Conference, Raksha Mantri expressed confidence that the key focus areas and strategies would be deliberated threadbare.
  • On arrival, Raksha Mantri was received by Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff and was briefed on the innovations carried out by Indian Navy in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. These included various equipment developed/designed by the Navy, being effectively utilised by various agencies.

Molecular Biology Lab commissioned at MH Jodhpur

  • Military Hospital, Jodhpur, Konark Corps, commissions its Maiden Molecular Biology Laboratory. The laboratory is authorised by ICMR to conduct both Rapid Antigen test and confirmatory RT PCR tests for the diagnosis of COVID-19.

German military hardware major Rheinmetall to invest in UP Defence Corridor

  • German military and security hardware/technology major Rheinmetall is looking to invest in the Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridor, for which memorandums of understanding (MoU) with 23 private companies entailing investment of Rs 50,000 crore have been signed so far.
  • Rheinmetall Group is Europe’s foremost supplier of defence and security ware and is a partner of the armed forces of Germany and its NATO allies. It is gradually transforming into a global player with a series of acquisitions and setting up of foreign subsidiaries.
  • As part of the ‘Invest UP’ theme, UP investment promotion and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) minister Sidharth Nath Singh held a virtual conference last evening with Susanne Wiegand, CEO of Rheinmetall Electronics Division, and Fabian Ochsner, CEO, Rheinmetall Air Defence, in view of their proposed investment.
  • Singh assured the German Group that the Yogi Adityanath government would provide full support to potential investors in conducting business in the state, while highlighting the ‘abundant investment’ avenues in UP, availability of modern infrastructure, skilled manpower and incentives.
  • Last week, Indian Navy had also signed an MoU with UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) for setting up a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in the UP Defence Corridor to promote research and innovation in the defence sector.
  • Meanwhile, the state government agreed to share information on the investible locations through Google map, land bank details, infrastructure availability and expressways/airports along the UP Defence Corridor and the defence manufacturing policy incentives.
  • According to the state government, Rheinmetall officials reaffirmed interest in the Defence Corridor and said the company would consider the proposed sectors of investment discussed in the virtual conference.
  • UP additional chief secretary, MSME, Navneet Sehgal said the UP Defence Corridor spanned more than 5,000 hectares spread over six nodes. He mentioned the fast progress made in acquiring land for the project and the presence of a robust defence production ecosystem in UP with five ordnance factories and three Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) plants.
  • Since India has envisaged $5 billion worth of defence exports in the next 5 years, the Adityanath government is aiming to become a hub of military hardware and aviation manufacturing by promoting the Corridor to investors, including foreign majors.
  • Interestingly, the state had planned to host a Global Investors Summit in October-November 2020, for which roadshows in major foreign countries, including the US, the UK, Russia, UAE, Canada, France, the Netherlands etc were also proposed, before the global covid-19 lockdown put a spanner in the works.
  • The Defence Corridor is among the flagship projects of the Adityanath government apart from Purvanchal Expressway, Bundelkhand Expressway, Gorakhpur Link Expressway and Ganga Expressway.
  • On February 5, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated India’s largest ever Defence Expo 2020 in Lucknow and set the target of defence export worth $5 billion.

India, China expected to hold another round of diplomatic talks today

  • India and China are expected to hold a fresh round of diplomatic talks today to carry forward the disengagement process to resolve the over three-month-long border stand-off in eastern Ladakh, people familiar with the developments said.
  • The virtual talks are scheduled to be held under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs, and both sides are expected to deliberate on ways to ensure early implementation of the disengagement process, they said.
  • The Indian delegation at today’s talks is likely to be led by Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the External Affairs Ministry, they said.
  • In the last round of WMCC talks on July 24, the Chinese side was headed by Hong Liang, director general of the department of boundary and ocean affairs under the Chinese foreign ministry.
  • After the talks, the Ministry of External Affairs had said both sides agreed that an early and complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in accordance with bilateral agreement and protocols was essential for overall development of bilateral relations.
  • Following the diplomatic dialogue, armies of the two countries held the fifth round of Corps Commander-level talks on August 2 with an aim to expedite the disengagement process.
  • However, the disengagement of troops from the friction points in eastern Ladakh has not moved forward as expected by India, according to military sources.

India building new road to Ladakh for troop movement

  • In an effort to rush troops and tanks to the Pakistan and China front in Ladakh without being observed by the enemy, India is working on making a new road from Manali to Leh, which will provide the third link between the high altitude mountainous Union Territory (UT) and the rest of the country.
  • India is also working on providing alternative connectivity to the strategically important Sub-Sector North including the Daulat Beg Oldi and other areas there for the last three years and work has already started from the world’s highest motorable road Khardung La pass.
  • “Agencies are working to provide alternative connectivity from Manali to Leh through Nimu-Padam-Darcha axis which will help in saving a lot of time in comparison with the existing routes passing through Zojila pass from Srinagar and the other route from Manali to Leh through Sarchu,” government sources told.
  • The road will save almost three to four hours journey time while travelling from Manali to Leh and will also not leave any scope for the Pakistanis or other adversaries to monitor the movement of the Indian Army while deploying troops and heavy weaponry like tanks and artillery guns to the Ladakh area from other locations, they said.
  • The route mainly used for transportation of goods and men is the one from Zojila, which passes through Drass-Kargil axis to Leh. The same route was targeted heavily by the Pakistanis during the Kargil war in 1999 and was subjected to frequent bombarding and shelling by their troops from positions in high altitude mountains alongside the road.
  • Sources said the work has already started on this project and the new road will connect Manali with Leh near Nimu where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently visited during the ongoing conflict with China.
  • Likewise, to provide alternatives to the strategic Durbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi road, India is working on further developing the old summer route on which caravans used to reach eastern Ladakh areas from the western side.
  • The new road will travel from Leh towards Khardungla and then move through glaciers including the Sasoma-Saser La-Shyok and Daulat Beg Oldi axis.
  • Senior sources said that the 14 Corps was given the responsibility of finding an alternative to the DSDBO road and check the road coming from near the Siachen camp towards the DBO area, and one unit was sent through there on a trial basis.
  • The Army unit travelled from Sasoma to Saser La in vehicles and the rest of the area on foot, on the route which is full of bones of double-humped camels which were used to ferry cargo, through the very rough Shyok river during the summers. The new route was earlier used by the Army also to maintain the Sub Sector North.

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd helicopters in rescue operations at Mauritius Reef

  • State-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Tuesday said its indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv and Chetak helicopters are being deployed for rescue and oil-spill clean-up operations at Mauritius Reef.
  • They have been pressed into service to rescue people and extricate skimmed oil from the Japanese owned cargo ship MV Wakashio, HAL said in a release.
  • The ship was on its way from China to Brazil but ran aground on the reef at Pointe d’Esny, Mauritius recently.
  • Thanks to the Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard and Mauritius police, the helicopters flew nonstop dawn to dusk till all the survivors on board were safely rescued, HAL said.
  • A total of 210 cargo operations and 270 winch operations were undertaken by HAL choppers towards salvage and rescue missions so far.
  • The Chetak helicopters were used primarily for winching survivors, it said.
  • The ALHs flew continuous missions to get the international salvage team on-board the ship to contain the spill, the release said adding the HAL made helicopters have flown till now 110 hrs and rescued 600 people from and to MV Wakashio.
  • “Time and again the indigenous Dhruv helicopter has proven its capabilities.
  • Our helicopters were extensively utilized for search and rescue operations in the past as well,” HAL CMD R Madhavan said.

US and South Korea begin joint military drills after delaying due to coronavirus

  • South Korea and the United States began annual military exercises on Tuesday following a coronavirus delay, with the drills likely to infuriate the North which has long considered them rehearsals for invasion.
  • The drills come as tensions remain high between Seoul and Pyongyang after the North blew up an inter-Korean liaison office on its side of the border in June and threatened military measures.
  • The nuclear-armed North — which attacked its neighbour in 1950, triggering the Korean War — has regularly been angered by military exercises between the US and the South.
  • The Combined Command Post Training will run until August 28 and “focus on the maintenance of the combined defence posture” between the two countries, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
  • The decision to proceed was made “after taking into consideration related circumstances, such as the COVID-19 situation, comprehensively,” it added.
  • Seoul and Washington had initially planned to start the exercises Sunday but pushed back the date due to the coronavirus pandemic, as a burst of new cases in the South sparks fears of a major second wave.
  • The South reported 246 new infections on Tuesday, taking its total to 15,761, the fifth consecutive day of triple-digit increases after several weeks with numbers generally in the 30s and 40s.
  • Relations between the two Koreas have been at a standstill since the collapse of a summit last year between the North and the United States in Hanoi over sanctions relief and what Pyongyang would be willing to give up in return.

In a first, Chhattisgarh gets defence category industry to manufacture bulletproof jackets, helmets

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Chhattisgarh government and the Atmastco Ltd on Monday for establishing the first unit of defence category industry that will produce bulletproof jackets and helmets in the state.
  • The unit to come up at Birebhant village in Durg district, about 45-km from Raipur, will manufacture one lakh bulletproof jackets and helmets each during the first phase.
  • According to the official statement, the agreement for setting up of the industry was inked between the state industry department and multidiscipline engineering company Atmastco Ltd, that earlier had entered into contract for defence technology, acquiring the permission, under the license and agreement with the government of India.
  • “The bulletproof jackets and helmets to be produced at the upcoming industry in Durg are meant for the Indian armed forces besides the paramilitary troopers and the state armed units”, the statement added.
  • “Defence category has been enlisted as among the top-priority category in the new industrial policy of Chhattisgarh government”, said principal secretary (industry) Manoj Kumar Pingua, who signed the MoU on behalf of the state government.
  • Atmastco Ltd will investment Rs 87.50 crore for the upcoming project that is expected to generate employment of around 150 people.

Kreeri Baramulla encounter ends; 3 terrorists killed; 5 security personnel martyred

  • The operation against terrorists in Kreeri Baramullah concluded on Tuesday (August 18) with the killing of a third terrorist. The ultras had shot dead two CRPF jawans and a policeman on Monday.
  • In the Kreeri Baramullah anti-terror operation, which began on Monday, three terrorists have been killed while 5 security personnel have also been martyred- one from JK police, 2 CRPF, and 2 army soldiers.
  • The security forces recovered 2 AK 47 rifles and 3 pistols, along with a large quantity of ammunition from the encounter spot.
  • Dilbag Singh, DGP, Jammu & Kashmir, said: “Ongoing operation since yesterday morning at Kariri Baramulla concluded after about 36 hours with the killing of 3rd most wanted and LET commander Usman Bhai of Pakistan who was involved in the killing of Sh Wasim Bari his father and brother at Bandipora on 8/7/20.”
  • “He was an accomplice of Sajad @ Hyder of Sopore a Burhan Wani style terrorist who was responsible for a large-scale civilian killings and attacks on Security Forces apart from radicalisation of local youth and their joining terrorist ranks over the past one year. He was wanted in a large number of terror crimes and active in North Kashmir for the past many years,” the DGP added.
  • Earlier on Monday, security forces had chased the terrorists after the attack and killed two of them, including Sajad Haider -a top commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror outfit in north Kashmir. Another was killed on the second day of the operation.

#KnowYourAirForce – No. 15 Squadron Raising Day

  • On 20 August 1951, No. 15 Squadron of Indian Air Force was raised at Ambala under the command of Squadron Leader B Dhatigara.
  • The Squadron motto is ‘NIHANTAVYA SHATRAVAHA’ meaning ‘Annihilation of the Enemy’. The Squadron was equipped with Spitfire Mk-XVIII aircraft.
  • Initially known as ‘Fighting Fifteen’, the Squadron actively participated in 1962, 1965 & 1971 War. In 1973, Squadron was presented the crest on behalf of the President of India.
  • The Squadron symbolises heroism & valour, hence the Squadron took the name ‘Flying Lances’. Currently the Sqn is  equipped with Su-30MKI aircraft & continues to make the Nation & IAF proud.


  1. Which German defence company is looking to invest in the Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridor?
  2. Diehl Aerospace
  3. Rheinmetall
  4. Dynamit Nobel
  5. Deutsche Babcock


  • ‘Nihantavya Shatravaha’ is motto of which IAF squadron?
  • No. 13 Squadron
  • No. 14 Squadron
  • No. 15 Squadron
  • No. 16 Squadron


  • No. 15 Squadron IAF currently flies which aircraft?
  • Sukhoi Su-30 MKI
  • LCA Tejas
  • Mikoyan MiG-29
  • Antonov An-32


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