Defence Current Affairs And Updates 28 December 2020 – 08 January 2021

India signed $200m deal for Israeli SPICE Bombs

  • India has signed a secretive $200 million deal for assorted Israeli materiel, similar to innumerable defence-related procurements it has previously sourced from Tel Aviv following the establishment of formal bilateral diplomatic relations between the two countries in early 1992.
  • Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems declared that it had concluded a contract with India to provide bomb guidance kits, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and software-enabled radios, but declined to identify its customer or further elaborate.
  • Rafael’s contract involved providing (SPICE)-2000 bomb guidance kits to the IAF and 300-odd Spike-Long Range (LR) ATGMs and BNET broadband Internet Protocol (IP) tactical radios to the Indian Army (IA).
  • The delivery of all three items would be completed by early 2021.

ISRO developing ‘Green Propulsion’ for Human Space Mission Gaganyaan

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Sivan said the space agency was developing ‘green propulsion’ for its ambitious human space flight mission, ‘Gaganyaan’.
  • Even in the rocket propulsion, ISRO is developing green propulsion for its human space flight mission. In future, all the propulsion stages may adopt green propulsion.”
  • Green propulsion is a technique opposite to the conventional chemical propulsion that uses hydrazine propellants for a variety of applications, including next-generation launch vehicles and spacecraft.
  • The less toxic and high-performance technology would be used in the 2021 mission that marks India’s first attempt at sending a human being to space.
  • ISRO had previously made space-grade lithium-ion batteries to promote green energy.

South Korea to Push for SPADGMS, minesweepers deal with India

  • The $3 billion Self Propelled Air Defence Gun Missile System (SPAD-GMS) deal is expected to be part of discussions between the Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane and the top brass of South Korea.
  • Both countries have elevated their bilateral relations to Special Strategic Partnership in 2015. India and South Korea have been in discussions for several military platforms and weapons, especially naval shipbuilding.
  • South Korea’s Hanhwa Defence had emerged as the lowest bidder beating the Russian competitor.
  • The Indian Army had floated a requirement for five regiments of SPADGMS.
  • South Korea considers India as a serious power and a key partner within the region and India looks at South Korea a major partner under the `Act East Policy’. Both countries have last year inked a logistics agreement, which is going to help the Indian Navy while operating in the Indo-Pacific Region and in interoperability.

DRDO facility developed Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG)

  • DRDO facility based in Mumbai has developed QRNG.
  • It can detect random quantum events and convert those into a stream of binary digits.
  • The facility has developed a fiber-optic branch path based QRNG.
  • Random numbers have essential roles in many fields, such as Quantum Communication, cryptography (key generation, key wrapping, authentication etc.), scientific simulations, lotteries and fundamental physics experiments.
  • The generation of genuine randomness is generally considered impossible with classical means.
  • Quantum Mechanics has the inherent potential of providing true random numbers and thus has become the preferred option for the scientific applications requiring randomness.           

Cabinet Approved Export of Akash Missile System

  • In a major move to boost domestic defence manufacturing, the government approved the export of indigenously-developed surface-to-air Akash missile system and set up a high-level committee to authorise the sale of major platforms to various countries.
  • Akash is a Surface to Air Missile with over 96 percent indigenization.
  • It has a range of 25 km. The missile was inducted in 2014 in IAF and in 2015 in Army.
  • Interest is shown in Akash missile by many friendly countries during International Exhibitions/Def Expo/Aero India.
  • The export version of Akash will be different from System currently deployed with Indian Armed Force

GRSE delivered eighth landing craft utility ship to Indian Navy

  • Defence PSU GRSE has delivered to the Indian Navy the last of the eight landing craft utility (LCU) ships manufactured by it, providing a major boost to the country’s defence preparedness.
  • The amphibious ships are going to be based in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Ships are specifically designed to undertake landing operations in most difficult beaching areas. Apart from troops, each ship can accommodate main battle tanks, personnel carriers and other Army vehicles.
  • The LCU ships, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, were developed in-house with 90 per cent of its parts indigenously manufactured.

US blocked USD 63 million funds of global terrorist groups including Pakistan-based LeT and JeM

  • The Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is the leading US government agency responsible for implementing sanctions against the assets of international terrorist organisations and terrorism-supporting countries.
  • The US blocked USD 342,000 in funds of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), USD 1,725 of the Jaish-e Mohammed (JeM) and USD 45,798 of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen-al-Islami.
  • All the three groups are Pakistan-based terror outfits. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen-al-Islami is a jihad group operating primarily in Kashmir.
  • Another Pakistan-based Kashmir centric terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has USD 4,321 blocked by the US in 2019 as against USD 2,287 the previous year.
  • The US continues to block USD 580,811 in funds of the Sri Lanka-based Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which has remained the same for two years — 2018 and 2019.

US Congressman introduces bill to terminate Pakistan  

  • The bill was introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Arizona State Congressman Andy Biggs to terminate the designation of Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally on the first day of the 117th Congress.
  • According to the bill, the US President cannot issue a separate designation of Pakistan as a major NATO ally unless a presidential certification that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are contributing to significantly disrupting the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani network in Pakistan.
  • The bill noted that Pakistan has taken steps to demonstrate its commitment to preventing the Haqqani network from using any Pakistani territory as a safe haven and that the Pakistan government actively coordinates with the Afghanistan government to restrict the movement of militants, such as the Haqqani network, along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
  • Non-NATO ally status: It is a status that allows for various benefits such as access to excess US defence supplies and participation in cooperative defence research and development projects.

India forms committee to support exports of ‘military platforms’.

  • The government of India has established a committee to support exports of military platforms.
  • The new committee will provide “faster approvals” for international sales of “major military platforms” including coastal surveillance systems, radar and air platforms, and the Akash surface-to-air missile system.
  •  Its aim is to “improve the country’s defence products and make them globally competitive”.
  • The committee comprises of Defence Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and National Security Advisor.
  • The committee’s responsibilities will be to authorise exports of major indigenous platforms and to explore various options in facilitating such trade including bilateral government accords.

India plans deployment of nuclear-capable Agni-V

  • India plans to deploy its longest range most potent nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V this year.
  • With the 5,000-plus km range missile in its arsenal, India is the eighth nation in the world to have ICBM capabilities.
  • The long range of the Agni-V, reported to be around 5,000-8,000 km, enables India to bring all important Chinese cities, including Beijing, under threat.
  • The canisterised Agni-V gives the forces the requisite operational flexibility to swiftly transport.
  • Although the defence strategists had planned an early induction of Agni-V compared to its medium and intermediate range siblings, the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has fast-tracked the proce
  • The missile is equipped with highly accurate ring laser gyro based inertial navigation.

Iran tests drones in military exercise

  • Iran launched two-day exercises featuring a wide array of domestically produced drones in central Semnan province.
  • These are to test combat drones used as bombers, interceptors and in reconnaissance missions.
  • Iran and the regional forces it backs have increasingly relied in recent years on drones in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.
  • Beyond surveillance, Iranian drones can drop munitions and also carry out a “kamikaze” flight when loaded with explosives and flown into a target
  • Iran has developed a large domestic arms industry in the face of international sanctions and embargoes that bar it from importing many weapons.

DRDO Celebrates 63rd Foundation Day

  •  The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) observed the 63rd Foundation Day of its establishment on January 01, 2021. 
  • DRDO was established in 1958 with just 10 laboratories to enhance the research work in the Defence sector. At that time, it was tasked with designing and developing cutting edge defence technologies for Indian Armed Forces.
  • It was tasked with designing and developing cutting edge defence technologies for Indian Armed Forces.
  • DRDO is working in aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, electronics, instrumentation, engineering systems, missiles, materials, naval systems, advanced computing, simulation, cyber, life sciences and other technologies for defence

India readying to sign major agreement with France

  • This is major agreement that is being signed after we signed BECA with US before.
  • The Indian government has already cleared the decision that will lead to closer information exchange between India and France
  • It will lead to closer information exchange between Indian and French Navies and other vital defence cooperation.
  • The exchange can be at ‘ship level’ and during difficult times like conflict, the exchange can prove to be crucial.
  • The new agreement comes just before the visit by Emmanuel Bonne, the diplomatic advisor to the president of France for discussions. It is also another sign of international support for India as the face-off with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in East Ladakh continues.

QUICK REVIEW

  1. With which country India has signed $200m Deal for SPICE Bombs?
  2. USA
  3. France
  4. Israel
  5. Russia

ANSWER:  C

  • For which mission ISRO is developing Green Propulsion?
  • Gaganyaan
  • NISAR
  • Mangalyaan 2
  • Chandrayaan 2

ANSWER: A

  • Self-Propelled Air Defence Gun Missile System (SPAD-GMS) is a system used by which country?
  • USA
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Russia

ANSWER: C

  • Which of these companies has recently delivered the eighth landing craft utility ship to the Indian Navy?
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust
  • Hindustan Shipyard Limited
  • Mazagaon Dock Limited
  • Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers

ANSWER: D

  • Which country has recently blocked funds of global terrorist groups?
  • USA
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Pakistan

ANSWER: A

  • US Congressman has introduced bill in the Congress to terminate which country as a non-NATO ally?
  • China
  • Iran
  • Pakistan
  • Russia

ANSWER: C

  • India has formed a committee to support:
  • Imports of military platforms
  • Exports of military platforms
  • Both A and B
  • None of above

ANSWER: B

  • The committee to support the exports of military platforms does not consist:
  • Defence Minister
  • Foreign Affairs Minister
  • Home Minister
  • National Security Advisor

ANSWER: C

  • Range of Agni-V missile
  • Around 5,000 to 8,000 kilometers
  • Around 6,000 to 9,000 kilometers
  • Around 7,000 to 10,000 kilometers
  • Around 8,000 to 11,000 kilometers

ANSWER: A

  1.   Maximum speed of Agni-V missile:
  2. Mach 8
  3. Mach 16
  4. Mach 24
  5. Mach 32

ANSWER: C

  1.   Number of stages in Agni-V missile:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4

ANSWER: C

  1. DRDO celebrated 63rd Foundation Day of its establishment on:
  2. 01 January 2021
  3. 31 December 2020
  4. 30 December 2020
  5. 03 January 2021

ANSWER: A

Hemanth Kasturi

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

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