Defence Current Affairs And Updates 22nd May 2020

DPSU, private sector integration need of the day: Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria

  • The focus on Make in India and its big acquisition programmes will give a boost to the indigenous industry in this hour of need, says Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria. He says even programmes with foreign content, like the acquisition of 114 medium combat jets, will evolve to maximise technology transfer and localisation. Here are his words:
  • On defence production reforms and FDI limit increase:

The increase in FDI limit should be seen along with the fact that MSMEs are being supported. The 49% cap did not have the kind of impact desired but this (the new 74% limit) will create a big impact. The challenge, I see, is for DPSUs to integrate with the private sector. The whole of industry has to work together.

  • On procurement priorities:

The order for 83 LCA Mk1A is a very big priority for us. It will naturally fit into the new regime and despite the issue of budgets, it is something we would want to go ahead with and, I am sure, it will get finalised soon. It will help HAL, the MSMEs as well as the private sector. Our focus is on this order for many reasons—the first 40 LCAs on order are more or less through and we need to have the order for continuity. We need to take the LCA programme to its max potential and for that, we are already launching the Mk II programme as well. The other priority is the HTT 40 basic trainer that is close to getting finalised. This is an area in which we want to work to quickly finish. It is a priority as we have closed the issue of procuring additional Pilatus trainer, so it is important that these aircraft come.

  • On acquiring 114 medium combat aircraft and transport planes:

The 114 project is work in process but there would be a substantial shift towards moving the entire manufacturing to India. This will be totally under Make in India and we need to address issues so that an entire transfer of technology takes places. The manufacturing capacity of this class of aircraft has to be brought into our industry. Capability wise, this is an important project for the air force. We will follow it up after the LCA order. The contours of the programme will change and align with current directions and the need of the hour.

  • The C 295 (transport plane programme with Tata-Airbus) is at the final stages. It is under process in the acquisition wing of the ministry of defence. In the transport stream, it is again an important Make in India project and from the industry perspective, it will bring in manufacturing capability in this segment.
  • On managing budget constraints:

We are targeting a bit of saving in the revenue side and re-prioritising capital spending as well. This year, a lot of training (and foreign exercises) have been put off and that will help save something. We will also have to stagger procurement projects and we want to help and support the indigenous industry in this hour of need. The challenge is to find new ways of tackling budget concerns and the industry also needs to find innovative solutions. If upfront advances and milestone payments can be reduced, it is as good as staggering payments for later years.

  • On Rafale delivery and other fighter purchases:

There has been an impact on Rafale production as well as on the training side. We expect the first batch to come by the end of July and in terms of production, there would be some impact but as we go along, it will get mitigated. The Su 30 MKI upgrade programme is also being processed as HAL will soon be out of work at its production facilities. Along with that, the MiG 29 project (purchase of 21 aircraft from Russia) is also on.

Indian Air Force restructures $17 billion fighter jet program

  • The Indian Air Force is overhauling its plan to induct 114 medium-weight multirole fighters; the aircraft will be built in India with significant foreign technology transfer and no foreign procurement.
  • The effort will cost about $17 billion under the Make in India economic policy.
  • The Air Force officials said the project is very much alive, but that the “final nitty-gritty have yet to be worked out, and that will take time because it will require manufacturing capability building in the country.”

Indian Air Force ready for help in Amphan Crisis

  • Transport aircraft & helicopters including C130-J, An-32, Mi-17V5 & ALH are standing-by for a quick response at nodal centres for rescue effort.
  • Crisis Management Cell has been activated at Air Force HQ. Active coordination with civil administration and NDRF is being undertaken.

USA Deports Al Qaeda Terrorist Mohammad Ibrahim Zubair To India

  • Mohammad Ibrahim Zubair has studied from Hyderabad. He later moved to the US and also acquired American citizenship. He later joined Al Qaeda terrorist group and became an ally of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a key leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. According to US officials, he is responsible for recruiting terrorists into Al Qaeda and specializes in planning of terrorist attacks.
  • According to indictment order of USA court, “Mohammed Ibrahim Zubair Provided material support & resources to Awlaki to wit, currency and monetary instruments, tangible property, services and expert advice and assistance, knowing an intending that they were to be used in preparation for and in carrying out ‘violent Jihad’ against United States and United States military in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world.”

India Never Accepts Nepal’s Artificial Enlargement of Territorial Claims

  • Nepal has even issued a new map including the areas and its Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had made belligerent remarks about a virus from India that’s more lethal than China’s.
  • Asked about the matter today, the foreign ministry said the Nepal government’s “unilateral act is not based on historical facts and evidence”.

U.S. Marine Corps conduct mass air training mission

  • Utilizing three separate flying platforms, Marine Aircraft Group – 24 successfully launched seven CH-53E Super Stallions, seven MV-22B Ospreys, and two UH-1Y Venoms, conducting the mass air mission to increase proficiency through integrated training to produce readiness and project power.
  • Training events and combat operations aren’t much different. Both require a massive “behind-the-scenes” effort that includes command and control, maintenance, logistics and training.
  • The mass launch is not just for show, the majority of these aircraft go out and conduct tactical training after their launch.
  • The MV-22B Osprey was first procured in 1999 and has been a cornerstone of the MAGTF ever since. What makes this aircraft unique is its ability to combine the vertical flight capabilities of helicopters with the speed, range and endurance of fixed-wing transports.
  • The other aircraft in MAG-24’s arsenal is the CH-53E Super Stallion. The Super Stallion is the only heavy lift helicopter in the DoD rotorcraft inventory. Weighing 37,500 pounds, the Super Stallion can carry more than 30 Marines or over 32,000 pounds of cargo more than 110 nautical miles.

U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers fly over Sweden for first-time

  • The U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces has announced on Wednesday that two B-1B Lancers from the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, fly over Sweden for first-time.
  • The service said B-1s have flown over Sweden to integrate with Swedish Jas 39 Gripen fighter jets while conducting close-air support training with Swedish Joint Terminal Attack Controller ground teams at Vidsel Range.
  • Sweden is not a NATO member but is a partner country. In 2014, Sweden signed a host country agreement with NATO allowing for the allied forces to conduct joint training exercises in the country.
  • During the flight, the B-1s were escorted by Royal Air Force Typhoons over the United Kingdom.
  • As Barents Observer reported, Norway’s Defense command says Wednesday’s exercise is “one of the largest of its kind, and several allied and partners trained along with the U.S. B-1B.”
  • The B-1B bomber is one of the three types of US strategic bombers. The two others are the B-2 stealth aircraft and the B-52.
  • Norwegian F-35s were flying together with the B-2 in March this year in Icelandic airspace and over the North-Atlantic. Last November, Norwegian F-16s followed three U.S. B-52 bombers all north to the Barents Sea.

Raytheon awarded $10.5 million for new towed mine hunting sonar

  • The AN/AQS-20 is a towed, mine hunting and identification system for program executive office, unmanned and small combatants.
  • Also noted that this option exercise extends the period of performance and allows for continuing support including but not limited to: repair; overhauls and other scheduled maintenance; hardware and software maintenance; tracking and resolution of obsolescence issues; technology improvements; reliability and maintainability improvements; development and incorporation of change notices and engineering change proposals; test support; engineering services; spares and repair parts; design efforts and hardware upgrades to improve system performance, sustainability, reliability, and other activities in support of the program. Work is expected to be complete by May 2021.

China Furious with The US Over Torpedo Sales To ‘Renegade Province’ Taiwan

  • The US recently approved the sale of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan valued at approximately $180 million, drawing sharp reactions from China.
  • China lodged a protest after the US State Department approved this.
  • China demands Washington to respect one-China policy as well as the three China-US joint communique, Zhao said. The State Council Taiwan Affairs Office also expressed firm opposition to the sale on Thursday.
  • Ma Xiaoguang, the spokesman for the office, said Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party authority randomly wastes taxpayers’ hard-earned money on US arms, which will only threaten peace and security across the Taiwan Straits and hurt the interests of the people.
  • China strongly opposes to any form of official exchanges between the US and Taiwan, including military contact, he said.
  • The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency released a statement about the weapons sale on Wednesday, the latest example of the US showing support to Taiwan, which has further strained already deteriorated China-US ties.
  • The statement came the same day that Taiwan leader Tsai Ingwen was inaugurated to a second term as president of the ‘renegade province’, which Beijing claims to be a part of mainland China.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. Raytheon awarded $10.5 million for which new towed mine hunting sonar?
  2. AN/AQS-20
  3. AN/APS-20
  4. AS/AQN-20
  5. AS/APN-20

ANSWER: A

  • Recently, the U.S. Marine Corps conducted mass air training mission. Which among the following is not a part of it?
  • CH-53E Super Stallion
  • MV-22B Ospreys
  • UH-1Y Venom
  • AH-64 Apache

ANSWER: D

  • USA Deported which Al Qaeda Terrorist to India?
  • Mohammed Atef
  • Mohammad Ibrahim Zubair
  • Ayman al-Zawahiri
  • Ahmed Ghailani

ANSWER: B

  • Which among the following aircraft/helicopters is not declared to be one assisting under the Amphan Cyclone crisis?
  • C130-J Hercules
  • Antonov An-32
  • Boeing 707
  • MI-17V5

ANSWER: C

Hemanth Kasturi

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

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    1 Comment

    1. Imaran Ansari

      Please give more practice questions

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