Defence Current Affairs And Updates 7 August 2020

COAS visits Gajraj Corps

  • General MM Naravane COAS visited Gajraj Corps of Eastern Command and reviewed the operational preparedness & prevailing security situation.
  • He exhorted all ranks to keep working with same zeal and enthusiasm.
  • The IV Corps (also known as the Gajraj Corps) is a military field formation of the Indian Army, created in 1961.

Lieutenant General RP Singh visits Vajra Corps

  • Army Commander, Western Command, visited formations and units of Vajra Corps and reviewed the operational preparedness.
  • He exhorted all ranks to keep working with the same zeal and enthusiasm.
  • The XI Corps (nicknamed Vajra Corps) of the Indian Army is based in Jalandhar and is a part of Western Command. XI Corps was raised to take command of the formations in the Punjab as India reorganised its post-1947 army to meet the threats of Pakistan.

Celebration of the 74th Independence Day will be marked by the musical performances of the Bands from Army, Navy, and Indian Air Force

  • The Military Bands are, for the first time, celebrating Independence Day by displaying their performances across the country, during the fortnight beginning 1st August 2020. The performances are intended as gestures of gratitude and appreciation of the nation towards the Corona warriors who have been steadfastly fighting to stop the spread of the Coronavirus in the country even at the risk of their lives.
  • The bands of Army, Navy and Police have performed at Porbandar, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Raipur, Amritsar, Guwahati, Allahabad, and Kolkata so far. The Military and Police Bands have performed in the afternoon of 5th August 2020 at Vishakhapatnam, Nagpur, and Gwalior.
  • Eastern Naval Command organised a live performance of the Navy Band as a tribute to  the Corona Warriors at Bojjana Konda heritage site in Sankaram Visakhapatnam on 05 Aug 20. The hour-long performance featured a wide selection of music ranging from Martial, English Pop music to some soul stirring songs of Patriotic fervor. The performance included popular and evergreen songs ‘Suno Gaur Se Duniya Walon’ and ‘Aye Mere watan Ke Logon’ and culminated with the rendition of the Tri-Services songs providing a fitting finale to the occasion. DD Hyderabad had live streamed the band performance on DD Saptagiri and DD Yadagiri.
  • On 7th August 2020 Military Bands are scheduled to perform in Srinagar and Kolkata. Tri services Band will be giving three performances in Delhi, one each at Red Fort, at Rajpath and at India Gate on 8th, 9th, and 12th August 2020, respectively. Military and Police Bands will also perform in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Shimla and Almora on 8th August 2020; in Chennai, Nasirabad,  ANC (Andaman & Nicobar Command) Flag Point and Dandi on 9th August 2020 and in Imphal, Bhopal and Jhansi on 12th August 2020. The final performance of the series will be held on 13th August 2020 in Lucknow, Faizabad, Shillong, Madurai and Champaran.
S.No. Date of Event Event Band Event Location
1. 1st to 4th August 2020 Bands of Army, Navy and Police Porbandar, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Raipur, Amritsar, Guwahati, Allahabad, and Kolkata
2. 5th August 2020 Eastern Naval Command Bojjanna Konda, Visakhapatnam
Military and Police Bands Vishakhapatnam, Nagpur, and Gwalior
3. 7th August 2020 Military Bands Srinagar and Kolkata
4. 8th August 2020 Tri services Band Red Fort
Military and Police Bands Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Shimla and Almora
5. 9th August 2020 Tri services Band Rajpath
Military and Police Bands Chennai, Nasirabad,  ANC (Andaman & Nicobar Command) Flag Point and Dandi
6. 12th August 2020 Tri services Band India Gate
Military and Police Bands Imphal, Bhopal and Jhansi
7. 13th August 2020 Final performance of the series Lucknow, Faizabad, Shillong, Madurai and Champaran
  • The Military Bands across the country are, for the first time, celebrating Independence Day by displaying their performances across the country from 01 Aug onwards, as gestures of gratitude and appreciation of the nation towards the Corona warriors who have been steadfastly fighting to stop the spread of the Corona virus in the country even at the risk of their lives.

Defence Institute of Advanced Technology wins first prize in Smart India Hackathon-2020

  • Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) Pune, an autonomous organization under the Department of Defence Research & Development, DRDO, won 1st prize in Smart India Hackathon (SIH)-2020, where Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi interacted with the participants in a live event.
  • The SIH-2020, the 36-hour non-stop digital product building competition was a national level competition for software edition organized jointly by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) held during 1-3 August 2020 at Noida Institute of Engineering & Technology (NIET), Uttar Pradesh.
  • The DIAT student team “Age of Ultron” which comprised of six members under the guidance of Dr. Sunita Dhavale, won the 1st Prize of Rupees 1 Lakh for solving problem statement MS331 in the category of software posed by the Madhya Pradesh Government. The team provided the solution titled “DRISHTI” for the face, expression and gesture recognition using Artificial Intelligence.
  • Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO, Dr G. Satheesh Reddy has congratulated the DIAT Team on winning the award for a consecutive second time.

Lockheed to supply low frequency sonars for Danish and Indian MH-60R Seahawks helicopter

  • Under a $181.74 million contract modification from Naval Air Systems Command, announced on 4 August, 24 sonar systems will be provided to India and 7 ALFS to Denmark, in addition to 8 ALFS for the US Navy, into MH-60R Seahawk aircraft, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement today.
  • India is buying a total of 24 helicopters under a $2.1 billion deal confirmed by the country in February this year. For the record, the Indian Navy MH-60R weapons package is expected to include Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile in its helicopter launched variant (known as NSM-HL).
  • The contract award comes after the government of Denmark announced in April this year it had ordered torpedoes, ALFS and sonobuoys for its nine MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.
  • All work under the contract is expected to be completed by December 2024.

About the AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonar :

  • The AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonar (ALFS) is the primary undersea warfare (USW) sensor of the MH-60R multi-mission helicopter. This integrated dipping sonar system enables the MH-60R to accomplish the assigned ASW missions of submarine detection, tracking, localization, and classification. It also performs missions relating to acoustic intercept, underwater communications, and environmental data acquisition.
  • The AN/AQS-22 is the only in-service dipping sonar with the multi-frequency operation. This capability enables the AN/AQS-22 to adapt its performance to varying environmental conditions. With a rapid search rate, the AN/AQS-22 identifies and neutralizes threats sooner, enabling it to cover a larger area. The AN/AQS-22 also permits a longer detection range over a wider area, reducing the number of helicopters required to perform active anti-submarine warfare (ASW) screening.

About the MH-R helicopters:

  • The MH-60Rs are in service with the navies of the United States, Australia and Denmark, and are used to perform search and rescue, troop transport, medical evacuation, ship-to-ship replenishment, and humanitarian relief operations, in addition to their primary mission of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.
  • The U.S. Navy is the main operator of the MH-60R with 289 units in its fleet. It is the primary anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare helicopter in the fleet.
  • The MH-60R combines the features of the SH-60B and SH-60F aircraft. Its sensors package includes an MTS-FLIR, the AN/APS-147 multi-mode radar/IFF interrogator, an advanced airborne fleet data link, and a more advanced airborne active Low-Frequency Sonar (ALFS). Offensive capabilities are improved by the addition of new Mk-54 air-launched torpedoes and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.

Pakistan hints at rival Islamic bloc if OIC does not meet on Kashmir

  • Pakistan’s foreign minister warned on Wednesday that if the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) did not convene a meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers on Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad would call a separate meeting of Muslim nations.
  • Speaking on a talk show on ARY News, Shah Mehmood Qureshi was quoted by Dawn as saying, “I am once again respectfully telling OIC that a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers is our expectation. If you cannot convene it, then I’ll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiris.”
  • Qureshi made the comments on a day when Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments marked one year of the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir by holding various protest events. Pakistan had been seeking international pressure on India ever since August last year, with little success.
  • “Pakistan has been pushing for the foreign ministers’ meeting of the 57-member bloc of Muslim countries, which is the second-largest intergovernmental body after the UN, since India annexed occupied Kashmir last August,” Dawn reported.
  • Responding to a question on the talk show, Qureshi declared Pakistan “could not wait any further” on the issue of a meeting of Islamic nations. Qureshi had previously claimed a meeting of OIC foreign ministers was needed to send a clear message from the Ummah (community of Muslims) on the Kashmir issue.
  • Saudi Arabia, considered to be one of the most influential members of the OIC, had been reluctant to support Pakistan’s call for a meeting of OIC foreign ministers. In December last year, Imran dropped out of a meeting of Islamic nations organised in Kuala Lumpur by then Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. The leaders of Iran, Turkey and Qatar attended the meeting, which was touted as being an ‘alternative’ to the Saudi-dominated OIC. At the time, there were reports that Imran dropped out owing to pressure from Saudi Arabia.
  • On Wednesday, Qureshi acknowledged Imran skipped the Kuala Lumpur summit on Saudi Arabia’s request and added “Pakistani Muslims are demanding of Riyadh to show leadership on the issue [of Kashmir]”.
  • “We have our own sensitivities. You have to realise this. Gulf countries should understand this,” Qureshi was quoted as saying by Dawn.
  • In June this year, a contact group of the OIC discussed the Kashmir issue, leading to criticism from India, which asserted the grouping had “no locus standi on matters strictly internal to the country”.
  • In March 2019, Qureshi boycotted a meeting of OIC foreign ministers after India’s then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was guest of honour at the organisation’s summit in Abu Dhabi.

US looking to ramp up arms sales to India, including heavy-lifting drones: Report

  • The US is looking to ramp up arms sales to India, including those of armed drones that can carry over 1,000 pounds of bombs and missiles, said a media report, noting the “new push” comes following the violent clashes in June between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh.
  • Twenty Indian army personnel were killed during the clashes with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15. The Chinese side also suffered casualties in the clashes, but it is yet to give out details.
  • The number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35, according to a US intelligence report. “The Trump administration is looking to ramp up arms sales to India in the wake of the country’s deadly border clashes with China, opening a new front of tensions between Washington and Beijing,” the Foreign Policy magazine reported based on interviews with US officials and Congressional aides.
  • Quoting the officials, the magazine said the US in recent months has laid the groundwork for new arms sales to India that “go above and beyond what previous administrations considered, including longer-term weapon systems with higher levels of technology and sophistication, such as armed drones”.
  • President Donald Trump has officially amended rules that restrict the sale of military-grade drones to foreign partners like India, it said, adding that prominent among them being the recent announcement by the Trump administration changing its interpretation of the Missile Technology Control Regime.
  • This will allow the US to consider the sale of armed drones, which had previously been restricted because of their speeds and payloads, to allow them to be considered alongside surveillance drones, the news report said.
  • “They are going to want to provide India with armed [category-1] Predators,” a Congressional aide familiar with the matter told Foreign Policy, while referring to MQ-1 Predator drones that can carry more than 1,000 pounds of bombs and missiles.
  • The aide, according to the magazine, said the State and Defense Departments had been pushing for a transaction.
  • “Part of the calculation behind the policy change was to free themselves up from the international and multilateral constraints so they could increase the sales pitch to India on [drones],” the aide told the magazine.
  • Simultaneously, a legislative move has been made to bring India at par with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies when it comes to sale of arms by the US.
  • Friends of India in the Congress hope that their efforts go through the National Defense Authorization Act this year. One of them being by senators John Cornyn and Mark Warner, who are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus, according to Foreign Policy.
  • US’ defence sales to India has jumped from near zero in 2008 to over $20 billion this year. Some of the recent and significant prior defence sales are to include the MH-60R Seahawk helicopters ($2.8 billion), the Apache helicopters ($796 million), and the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure ($189 million).
  • India was the first non-treaty partner to be offered a Missile Technology Control Regime Category-1 Unmanned Aerial System – the Sea Guardian UAS manufactured by General Atomics.
  • The US is advocating for the Lockheed Martin’s F-21 and Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-15EX Eagle as part of India’s future fighter aircraft acquisitions.
  • The potential selection of any of these platforms would enhance India’s military capabilities, increase US-India military interoperability, and protect shared security interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Since 2015, the US also authorised India over $3 billion in defense articles via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) processes, which licenses the export of the defence equipment, services, and related manufacturing technologies controlled under the 21 categories of the US Munitions List (USML).
  • The top DCS categories to India during this period were military electronics (USML category XI); fire control, laser, imaging, and guidance equipment (category XII); and aircraft and related articles, it stated.
  • In 2016, the US designated India as a Major Defense Partner.
  • Understanding with this designation, in 2018, India was elevated to Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 1 status, which allows it to receive licence-free access to a wide range of military and dual-use technologies regulated by the Department of Commerce, a top Pentagon official had earlier said.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. IV Corps also known as the
  2. Vajra Corps
  3. Chetak Corps
  4. Konark Corps
  5. Gajraj Corps

ANSWER: D

  • XI Corps nickname:
  • Vajra Corps
  • Chetak Corps
  • Konark Corps
  • Gajraj Corps

ANSWER: A

  • The Smart India Hackathon – 2020 was a national level competition for software edition organized jointly by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and _____.
  • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
  • All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
  • None of the above

ANSWER: B

  • SIH-2020 was held during
  • 1-3 August 2020
  • 1-3 July 2020
  • 4-6 August 2020
  • 4-6 July 2020

ANSWER: A

  • SIH-2020 was held at
  • Noida Institute of Engineering & Technology, Greater Noida
  • Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research, Mumbai
  • Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune
  • Various Nodal Centres all across the country

ANSWER: A

  • Which country was the first non-treaty partner to be offered a Missile Technology Control Regime Category-1 Sea Guardian UAS manufactured by General Atomics?
  • Ukraine
  • India
  • France
  • United Kingdom

ANSWER: B

  • In which year, the US designated India as a Major Defense Partner?
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

ANSWER: C

  • In 2018, India was elevated to_____, which allows it to receive licence-free access to a wide range of military & dual-use technologies regulated by the US Dept. of Commerce.
  • Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 1 status
  • Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 2 status
  • Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 3 status
  • Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 4 status

ANSWER: A

Hemanth Kasturi

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

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