Defence Current Affairs And Updates 30 July 2020

Induction of Rafale In Indian Air Force

  • The first five Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale aircraft have arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala. The aircraft got airborne from Dassault Aviation Facility, Merignac, France on the morning of 27 Jul 20 and reached India this afternoon with a planned stopover en-route at Al Dhafra airbase in the UAE.
  • The ferry was planned in two stages and was undertaken by IAF pilots. The aircraft covered a distance of nearly 8500 km from France to India. First stage of the flight covered a distance of 5800 km in seven and a half hours.  French Air Force (FAF) Tanker provided dedicated Air-to-Air Refuelling support during the flight. The second stage of the flight covering over 2700 km was carried out with Air-to-Air Refuelling by IAF Tanker. IAF deeply appreciates the proactive support provided by the French Government and Industry in France to ensure timely delivery. The tanker support extended by French Air Force during the ferry was crucial in ensuring that the long haul flight was accomplished successfully and in a time bound manner.
  • The aircraft will be a part of 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”, which was resurrected on 10 Sep 19.  The Squadron was originally raised at Air Force Station, Ambala on 01 Oct 1951. 17 Squadron has many firsts to its credit; in 1955 it was equipped with first jet fighter, the legendary De Havilland Vampire. In Aug 1957, the Squadron became the first to convert on to a swept wing fighter, the Hawker Hunter.
  • A formal induction ceremony of Rafale aircraft in 17 Squadron is scheduled to be held in the second half of Aug 2020. Details of the ceremony will be intimated in due course.

Naval Communication Network Training Lab Inaugurated at Southern Naval Command, Kochi

  • A  training Lab  equipped with modern IT infrastructure to impart training on state-of-the-art Naval Communication Network (NCN) envisioned to provide digital supremacy to Indian Navy through smart network infrastructure was inaugurated by Vice Admiral AK Chawla Commander in Chief, Southern Naval Command, at Kochi yesterday.

Indian and Turkish shipyards close contract for building FSS ships for the Indian Navy

  • Indian and Turkish shipyards close contract for building FSS ships for the Indian Navy
  • The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is going ahead with Turkish shipyard partner M/S Anadolu shipyard after signing a contract with them for technical collaboration for enabling the shipyard to build five fleet support ships. Confirming this, a senior official said that “The total initial estimated project cost is about Rs 10,000 crore for the 45,000-ton fleet support ships (FSS) for the Indian Navy. The contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is expected to be inked within the next 6-8 months.”
  • “Though the contract is between the two shipyards, it is a good sign that the Defence ministries of both countries are onboard for this `Make in India’ project.”
  • In the initial stage, seven global companies had responded to the Request for Proposal (RFP) and these included Italy based Fincantieri, Navantia from Spain, Rosoboronexport (ROE) from Russia, the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), and Turkey’s Anadolu Shipyard. The RFP was for the construction of five ships under the FSS project and was estimated to be at a cost of $2.3 billion.
  • At the end of talks and negotiations, only three companies were shortlisted, and these were TKMS, ROE and Turkey’s Anadolu Shipyard.
  • The contract between the two shipyards was inked after the detailed analysis was done of the technical and financial aspect. There were a series of discussions related to price and ensured that all requirements were met before the contract was inked between the two yards recently.
  • This is the first time at a shipyard from Turkey is participating in a defence contract in India. The Anadolu Shipyard is part of TAIS industrial group. And the discussions were with the shipyard and not the TAIS group.
  • What will the Turkish yard do? – This shipyard will be giving the ship design, provide technical assistance and also supply the key machinery equipment (KME). And, the HSL will be providing the latest technology which will include the pre-outfitting and the modular construction. Also, HSL will follow the best shipbuilding practices.
  • More about the project? – All the components onboard the ships will be made locally in India and the construction of five ships of about 45,000 tons full load displacement will help in giving a fillip not only to HSL but the local small and local companies will be playing a critical role in this huge project. Even the steel used in the shipbuilding will be from India. The local industries of cable laying, zonal painting and blasting as well as related small-scale industries will get a lot of work.

US, Australia see key role for India in Indo-Pacific security

  • The matter figured in a meeting between US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and defence secretary Mark Esper and their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Linda Reynolds in Washington on Tuesday, with a joint statement issued by the two sides making several references to India’s role in the Indo-Pacific.
  • The US and Australia also expressed serious concerns about China’s “recent coercive and destabilising actions across the Indo-Pacific”, and the two countries said the Covid-19 pandemic has “created incentives for some actors to pursue strategic gains in ways that undermine the rules-based international order and regional stability”.
  • The development comes at a time when India is set to include Australia in the Malabar naval exercise that it conducts with the US and Japan, and against the backdrop of the months-old border standoff with China.
  • The US-Australia joint statement said the Indo-Pacific remains the focus of their alliance and that two countries are “working side-by-side, including with Asean, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Five Eyes partners, to strengthen our networked structure of alliances and partnerships to maintain a region that is secure, prosperous, inclusive, and rules-based”.
  • On the issue of regional coordination, the two countries said they are committed to “trilateral dialogues with Japan and Quad consultations with Japan and India”, and were looking forward to further ministerial meetings of these forums.
  • The Quadrilateral security dialogue or Quad, which includes India, Australia, Japan and the US, was upgraded to the ministerial level last September. China has often expressed its opposition to the group, though India has said it is not aimed at any country.
  • The US and Australia also referred to bilateral defence cooperation such as the joint naval activity by their warships in the South China Sea, and said they are committed to “pursue increased and regularised maritime cooperation in the region, as well as the Indian Ocean, bilaterally and in concert with other likeminded and regional partners”.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is going ahead with which Turkish shipyard partner after signing a contract with them for technical collaboration for enabling the shipyard to build five fleet support ships?
  2. Inebolu Shipyard
  3. Anadolu shipyard
  4. Su Marine Yachts Shipyard
  5. Gölcük Naval Shipyard

ANSWER: B

  • The “Quad” includes:
  • Japan, Australia, UK, USA
  • India, Japan, USA, UK
  • India, Japan, USA, Australia
  • USA, UK, Australia, Japan

ANSWER: B

Hemanth Kasturi

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

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