Defence technology : news and updates


Work begins on “Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates”

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The Vice-Chief of the Naval Staff has inaugurated the construction of the second frigate of the Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates. These are being built with technology transfer from Russia by Goa Shipyard Ltd(GSL).

About Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates:
  • Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates are a series of frigates and guard ships (patrol boats) built in the Soviet Union, primarily for the Soviet Navy since 1970.
  • Purpose: They are primarily used to accomplish a wide variety of naval missions. Such as finding and eliminating enemy submarines and large surface ships.
  • Indian Navy currently operates six Krivak class frigates weighing around 4,000 tonnes in two different batches. Such as
    • The Talwar class
    • The upgraded Teg class.
New Procurement of Krivak class stealth Frigates:
  • In 2016, India and Russia had signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement(IGA) for four Krivak or Talwar stealth ships.
  • Among four, two are to be procured directly from Russia and the other two will be built by the Goa Shipyard Ltd(GSL).
  • Features: The four ships to be built will weigh 300 tonnes more than the earlier ones. Apart from that, it will also be armed with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.

Source: The Hindu

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged

“iDEX-DIO” – Defence Minister Approves Budgetary Support

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The Defence Minister has approved the budgetary support of Rs 498.8 crore for iDEX-DIO (Innovations for  Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation) for the next five years.

About IDEX Framework:
  • Innovations for Defence Excellence(iDEX) was launched by the Government of India in 2018.
  • Aim: It aims to create an ecosystem to promote innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace. For that, it will attract industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes & academia.
    • It will also provide grants/funding and other support to them to carry out R&D. However, R&D should have a good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.
  • Objectives of IDEX:
    • Facilitate rapid development of new, indigenized, and innovative technologies for the Indian defence and aerospace sector in shorter timelines.
    • Create a culture of engagement with innovative startups, to encourage co-creation for defence and aerospace sectors.
    • Empower a culture of technology co-creation and co-innovation within the defence and aerospace sectors.
  • Nodal Body: iDEX will be funded and managed by Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO).
About Defence Innovation Organization (DIO):
  • Defence Innovation Organisation(DIO) is a not-for-profit Organisation, incorporated under Section 8 of the Companies Act.
  • Founding Members: Its two founding members are Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) & Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) – Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
  • DIO will provide high-level policy guidance to iDEX. However, iDEX will be functionally autonomous. The CEO of both DIO and iDEX will be the same. It will facilitate coordination and separation of functions also without any conflicts.
Read Also :-Significance of Citizen-led Fact-Finding Missions

Source: PIB

 

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Hydrographic survey ship “INS Sandhayak” decommissioned

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Indian Navy’s oldest hydrographic survey ship INS Sandhayak was decommissioned at Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam after serving the nation for 40 years.

Note: Hydrography is the science that measures and describes the physical features of the navigable portion of the Earth’s surface and adjoining coastal areas.

About INS Sandhayak:

Read Also :USSR-era “INS Rajput” decommissioned

  • INS Sandhayak was the lead ship of the Sandhayak class of survey ships.
  • The ship operated as a hydrographic survey ship in the Indian Navy, under the Eastern Naval Command.
  • Purpose: The ship conducted shallow coastal and deep-sea hydrographic surveys. The ship also collected oceanographic and geophysical data.
    • In addition to conducting surveys, it also assisted as military transport and casualty-carrying vessels in times of war and natural disasters.
  • Developed by:
    • The ship was conceptualised by the then Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India, Rear Adm FL Fraser.
    • The ship was developed by Garden Reach Ship Builders Limited(GRSE), Kolkata.
    • The ship was then commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1981.
  • Operations: The ship has been an active participant in many significant operations such as
    • Operation Pawan (assisting the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka in 1987) and
    • Operation Rainbow (rendering humanitarian assistance in Sri Lanka post Tsunami of 2004).
  • The ship also participated in the maiden joint INDO-US HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) exercise ‘Tiger-Triumph’ in 2019.

Source: The Hindu

“INS Viraat” – SC ordered a status quo on dismantling

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

DAC approves building of 6 conventional submarines under “Project-75I”

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Defence Acquisition Council(DAC) headed by the Defence Minister has approved a Request For Proposal(RFP) for the construction of six conventional submarines under Project-75I.

About the Construction of Six Conventional Submarines:
  • The six submarines under Project-75I will be built under the strategic partnership model.
    • Strategic Partnership Model is a part of the Defence Procurement Procedure. The model envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian strategic partner. Indian partner will collaborate with a foreign original equipment manufacturer(OEM) to set up production facilities in the country.
  • Part of: The submarines are part of the 30-year submarine-building programme approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in 1999.
  • Features: The submarines will be equipped with air-independent propulsion(AIP) systems that will enable the vessels to stay underwater for longer periods and enhance their combat capabilities.
  • The first submarine built under the project is likely to be delivered by 2030.
  • Two Indian companies shortlisted as strategic partners are Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and Larsen & Toubro.
  • The foreign manufacturers selected for the project are French Naval Group, German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, Russia’s Rubin Design Bureau, Spain’s Navantia and South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Company.
  • Significance of this Project-75I:
    • This is the first project to be approved under the Strategic Partnership Model.
    • This would be one of the largest ‘Make in India’ projects. It will create an industrial ecosystem for submarine construction in India.
    • From a strategic perspective, Project-75I will help reduce current dependence on imports and gradually ensure greater self-reliance.
About Submarine:
  • A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It is the quietest military platform and extremely tough to detect.
  • Their main cover is their ability to move stealthily underwater and keep an eye on the enemy movement of vessels.

Source: The Hindu

What is Monetary Policy Committee?

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged

2nd “Positive Indigenisation list” Notified by Defence Ministry

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The Defence Ministry has notified the second negative import list of 108 items. These items can now only be purchased from indigenous sources as per Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. The list has now been renamed as the ‘positive indigenisation list’.

Note: The first positive indigenisation list of 101 Defence Items was announced in August 2020. This means that the second list takes the total number on the list to 209.

What does Positive Indigenisation List mean?
  • Positive indigenisation list essentially means that the Armed Forces—Army, Navy, and Air Force—will only procure all of these 209 items from domestic manufacturers.
  • The manufacturers could be private sector players or defense Public Sector Undertakings(DPSUs).
Why was the Positive Indigenisation List announced?
  • India has been one of the largest importers of weapons in the world for over a decade.
    • As per Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India was the second-largest importer between 2014 and 2019. It imported weapons worth US$ 16.75 billion during this period.
  • Hence, the government wants to reduce the dependence on imported items in defense.
  • Further, the list encourages Indian Defence Industry to step up and manufacture the items mentioned in the Negative List for the needs of the forces.
  • Moreover, the list is also in line with the government’s target to reach a turnover of USD 25 billion by 2025 through indigenously manufactured defence products
What does the Second Negative list contain?
  • The second list lays special focus on weapons and systems which are currently under development/trials and are likely to translate into firm orders in the future.
  • It comprises defence items such as complex systems, sensors, weapons and ammunition like helicopters, Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) systems among others.
Implementation of the List:
  • Firstly, this second negative list is planned to be implemented progressively with effect from December 2021 to December 2025.
  • Secondly, the government of India has also bifurcated the capital procurement budget for 2020-21. It is between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes.
    • Out of Rs 1.35 lakh crore allocated for capital acquisition for defence in this year’s budget, the government has reserved more than 60% for domestic procurement.

Source: The Hindu

 

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NSA commissions offshore Patrol Vessel “ICGS Sajag”

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The National Security Advisor(NSA) has commissioned the Offshore Patrol Vessel(OPV) ICGS Sajag. (ICGS- Indian Coast Guard ship)

About ICGS Sajag:
  • Firstly, Goa Shipyard Limited has indigenously designed and built the Indian Coast Guard Ship Vessel “Sajag”.
  • Secondly, Purpose: The ship is fitted with advanced technology equipment, weapons and sensors. It is also capable of carrying a twin-engine helicopter and four high-speed boats.
  • Thirdly, Significance: The ICGS Sajag is the third in a series of five offshore patrol vessels under Samarth Class.
About Offshore Patrol Vehicles(OPVs):
  • Offshore Patrol Vehicles(OPVs) are long-range surface ships. They are capable of operation in maritime zones of India including island territories with helicopter operation capabilities.
About Indian Coast Guard(ICG):
  • Firstly, the Indian Coast Guard was formally established through an Act of Parliament in 1978. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.
  • Secondly, Purpose: It is the maritime law enforcement and search and rescue agency of India. They have jurisdiction over territorial waters including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.
  • Thirdly, Origin: The concept of forming the Coast Guard was conceived after the 1971 war. It was when it was assessed that maritime borders are equally vital as land borders.
  • Fourthly, Committee: The blueprint for the formation of the Indian Coast Guard was conceived by the Rustamji Committee.
  • Fifthly, Significance: Indian Coast Guard has emerged as the fourth largest in the world with almost 160 ships and 62 aircraft.

Source: The Hindu

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USSR-era “INS Rajput” decommissioned

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Indian Navy has decommissioned the INS Rajput at Naval Dockyard at Visakhapatnam after 41 years of service.

About INS Rajput:

  • INS Rajput was a guided-missile destroyer and the lead ship of the Rajput class of the Indian Navy. It was built by the erstwhile USSR (now Russia).
  • The missile destroyer was commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1980. It was also the first destroyer of the Indian Navy.
  • Purpose: The ship is capable of attacking land targets as well as fulfilling anti-aircraft and anti-submarine roles as a task force or carrier escort.
  • The destroyer ship participated in several important missions over the years including:
    • Operation Aman off the coast of Sri Lanka to assist the Indian Peace Keeping Force during Srilankan Civil War
    • Operation Pawan for patrolling duties off the coast of Sri Lanka
    • Operation Cactus to resolve hostage situation of the Maldives and
    • Operation Crowsnest off Lakshadweep.
  • Moreover, the ship has also served in the several missiles trials:
    • The ship was used as a trial platform for the BrahMos cruise missile.
    • A new variant of the Prithvi-III missile was test-fired from Rajput in 2007.
    • The ship also tracked the Dhanush ballistic missile during a successful test in 2005.

Source: The Hindu

 

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Israel’s “Iron Dome” is successful in intercepting rockets

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Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ System has been successful in intercepting the continuous barrage of rockets targeting Israel.

 About Iron Dome:
  • Iron Dome is a short-range, ground-to-air, air defence system. Israeli manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems developed it with support from the United States.
  • Purpose: It is used for countering rockets, artillery & mortars (C-RAM). It will also counter aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles fired from distances of up to 70 kilometres.

How does Iron Dome work? The Iron Dome has three main systems. These systems will work together to provide a shield over the area where it is deployed, handling multiple threats:

  • Firstly, it has detection and tracking radar. It tracks any incoming threat into Israel
  • Secondly, it has a battle management and weapon control system (BMC). It predicts the incoming rocket’s trajectory
  • Lastly, the information picked by the system is then used to guide Tamir interceptor missiles. These missiles are fired vertically either from mobile units or a static launch site. This will detonate the incoming rocket in the air by producing explosions in the sky.
Other key Features of Iron Dome:
  • The missile can be used in all weather conditions, including during the day and night.
  • Israel claims the system has stopped thousands of enemy launches from hitting targets, with a success rate of more than 90%.

Source: Indian Express


 

Iran Nuclear Deal

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U.S. Clears Sale of “P-8I Patrol Aircraft” to India

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The US State Department has approved the proposal for the sale of six P-8I patrol aircraft and related equipment to India. According to the estimations, the deal have cost India around $2.42 billion.

About P-8I patrol aircraft:
  • P-8I is a long-range, multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft. US-based manufacturer Boeing developed this aircraft.
  • The aircraft is based on the Boeing 737 commercial aircraft and India is its first international customer.
  • Features: The design of the aircraft is such, it protects the vast coastline and territorial waters of India. It can also conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), intelligence, maritime patrol and surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
  • Significance: As India has signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) foundational agreement with the US, the aircraft will come fitted with encrypted systems.
Orders and Deliveries of P-8I patrol aircraft:
  • In 2009, the Indian Government selected Boeing to supply eight P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft to the Indian Navy. The contract also included an option for four P-8I aircraft.
  • The first P-8I aircraft was delivered to the Indian Navy in December 2012 and the remaining aircraft were delivered between 2013 and 2015.
  • In 2019, the Defence Acquisition Council(DAC) provided its approval for the procurement of six additional P-8I aircraft for the Indian Navy.

Source: The Hindu

 

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“Python-5” air-to-air missile – Tejas aircraft permitted to carry

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What is the News?

Indigenously-developed Tejas Aircraft has been cleared to carry fifth-generation Python-5 air-to-air missile as part of its weapons package. This move would significantly enhance the combat prowess of the Tejas Aircraft.

About Python-5:
  • Python-5 is a fifth-generation air-to-air missile(AAM) manufactured by Israeli Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
  • The Python-5 Missile was first used in the 2006 Lebanon war. During the war, it destroyed two Iran made UAVs.
Key Features:
  • Firstly, the missile can be launched from very short to beyond-visual ranges with greater kill probability and excellent resistance.
  • Secondly, Python-5 is capable of “lock-on after launch” (LOAL). The missile also has a full-sphere/all-direction (including rearward) attack ability.
  • Thirdly, the missile also features an advanced seeker with an electro-optical and imaging infrared homing seeker. This seeker scans the target area for hostile aircraft, then locks on for the terminal chase.
About Light Combat Aircraft(LCA) Tejas:
  • It is a single-engine, fourth-generation, multirole light fighter aircraft designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).
  • Developed by: It was developed in collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) for the Indian Air Force(IAF) and Indian Navy.

Click Here to Read more about LCA Tejas

About other Israeli Missile (Derby):
  • Derby is a beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile (AAM) developed by Israeli defence company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
  • The integration of missile can happen onto a variety of fighter aircraft such as F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mirage.
  • The missile is capable of engaging aerial threats from short ranges and near-beyond visual range.

Source: The Print

 

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India’s “Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel” Joins Search For Submarine

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What is the News?

The Indian Navy sent its deep submergence rescue vessel(DSRV) to support the Indonesian Navy in the search and rescue efforts. Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala went missing with 53 personnel aboard.

Note: Indian Navy had received an alert through the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office(ISMERLO) regarding the missing Indonesian submarine.

About Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel(DSRV):
  • DSRV is a type of deep-submergence vehicle used for the rescue of downed submarines and clandestine missions.
  • India is amongst the few countries in the world capable of undertaking the search and rescue of a disabled submarine through a DSRV.
  • Features: The Indian Navy’s DSRV system consists of:
    • Firstly, Side Scan Sonar: It can locate a disabled submarine up to 1,000-metre depth using side-scan sonar and remotely operated vehicle.
    • Secondly, Submarine Rescue Vehicle: It links with the submarine to rescue the trapped personnel. Thus, it can also provide emergency supplies to the submarine.
    • Third, Diver Decompression Chambers and hyperbaric medical equipment: It can decompress submariners, after rescue from a sunken submarine.
      International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office(ISMERLO):
  • ISMERLO aims to facilitate an international response for distressed submarines. The office also aims to improve the ability to respond to a call for assistance, through coordination.
  • Established by: NATO and the Submarine Escape and Rescue Working Group(SMERWG) in 2003.
  • Reason: The office was established following the disaster of the Russian submarine K-141 Kursk.
  • Significance: Although established by NATO, the Office supports all nations and pursues the involvement of global submarine-operating nations.

 Source: The Hindu

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DRDO develops “Advanced Chaff Technology” to safeguard naval ships

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What is the News?

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Advanced Chaff Technology. It will safeguard the naval ships against enemy missile attack.

About Advanced Chaff Technology
  • Chaff is a passive expendable electronic countermeasure technology. It is used worldwide to protect naval ships from enemy’s radar and Radio Frequency (RF) missile seekers.
  • Significance: Under this technology, a very less quantity of chaff material deployed in the air acts as a decoy. It will deflect the enemy’s missiles for safety of the ships.
About the Advanced Chaff Technology Developed by DRDO:
  • Defence Laboratory Jodhpur(DLJ), a DRDO laboratory has indigenously developed three variants of this chaff technology namely:
    • Short Range Chaff Rocket(SRCR)
    • Medium Range Chaff Rocket (MRCR) and
    • Long Range Chaff Rocket(LRCR).
  • Indian Navy has already conducted the trials of all three variants in the Arabian Sea on Indian Naval Ship and found the performance satisfactory.

Source: PIB


Defence technology : news and updates

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“Indian Coast Guard Ship Vajra” commissioned

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Indian Coast Guard ship ’Vajra’ commissioned formally into service. It is the 6th offshore patrol vessel to enhance coastal security.

About ICGS Vajra:
  • Larsen and Toubro Shipbuilding Ltd  has indigenously designed and built the Indian Coast Guard Ship Vessel “Vajra”.
  • Moreover, ICGS Vajra is the sixth in the series of seven Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).
Key Features of ICGS Vajra:
  • Firstly, it is a 98-meter ship equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. It is designed to carry one twin-engine helicopter and four high-speed boats.
  • Secondly, the vessel can also be used in Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, and Maritime Patrol.
  • Thirdly, the vessel is also capable of carrying Pollution Response Equipment for oil spill response at Sea.
What are Offshore Patrol Vehicles(OPVs)?
  • Offshore Patrol Vehicles(OPVs) are long-range surface ships. They are capable of operation in maritime zones of India including island territories with helicopter operation capabilities.
  • Further, their roles include coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.
About Vikram Class offshore patrol vessel(OPV)
  • Vikram Class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) is a series of seven offshore patrol vessels (OPV). L&T Shipbuilding for the Indian Coast Guard(ICG) is building them.
  • The seven OPVs are: 1) ICGS Vikram 2) ICGS Vijaya 3) ICGS Veera 4) ICGS Varaha 5) ICGS Varad 6) ICGS Vajra and 7) ICGS Vigraha.

Source: AIR

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Relevance of India-Philippines Brahmos Deal

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Synopsis: India’s Brahmos deal with the Philippines is very important. India’s aspiration to become Atma Nirbhar in defense exports and emerge as a key regional security provider in Indo-Pacific will depend on it.

Background
  • In March 2021, India and the Philippines signed the “Implementing Arrangement” for the procurement of defense material and equipment procurement.
  • The agreement lays the groundwork for sales of defense systems including the highly advanced Brahmos missile. The sale will be through a government-to-government route. 
About Brahmos Missile:
  • It is a cruise missile manufactured by BrahMos Aerospace limited. It is a joint venture of India’s DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia.
  • The research for the missile began in the 1990s. It became the first supersonic cruise missile to enter service.
  • It has a speed of 2.8 mach (almost 3 times the speed of sound) and a range of 290 km. A new version has a range of 400 km.
    • The high speed makes its interception very difficult and allows it to easily target fighter jets like the Chinese J-20 fighter aircraft.
  • The naval and land variants of the BrahMos were inducted into service by the Indian Navy in 2005 and the Indian Army in 2007. Later, the air variant was tested in 2017 thereby giving the missile a dominating presence in all three domains. 
  • India is now trying to build a superior version having hypersonic speeds (at or above Mach 5) and a maximum range of 1,500 km.
The relevance of Deal for India
  • It would boost the export potential of India. 
  • It would help in attaining the target of $5 billion in defense exports by 2025. More orders are expected to come from countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, etc.
  • Furthermore, It would elevate India’s stature as a responsible regional superpower.
  • This would also boost India’s economic, soft, and hard power profile in the Indo-Pacific region.
The relevance of Deal for the Philippines
  • It would be helpful in protecting geopolitical and strategic interests, especially in the South China Sea. The sea has been a zone of frequent conflict between China and the Philippines. 
  • The deal would make the Philippines the first country to buy BrahMos. Thereby it will strengthen bilateral relations in the defence sphere. 
Geopolitical relevance:
  • It would act as a deterrent to China’s aggressive stance in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Further, other vulnerable countries of the region would come forward and induct Brahmos into their defense arsenal. This would protect their sovereignty and territory in the region.
Challenges in exporting Brahmos:
  • It may attract sanctions from the US under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
    • The act aims to sanction individuals and entities who engage in a “significant transaction” with a listed entity under CAATSA.
    • Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia is one of the listed Russian entities. That is why a threat of sanctions looms over the Philippines and other countries. Further, the US has maintained ambiguity over the Brahmos deal.
    • Turkey and China have been penalized under CAATSA for purchasing the S-400 Triumf air defense systems from Russia.
  • The cost of the Brahmos package comes around 2000 crores. This huge cost has discouraged purchase orders from many willing countries especially post the pandemic era. 
    • India has offered a $100 million line of credit to the Philippines that has enabled it to purchase Brahmos with minimum components.
Way Ahead:
  • India should engage in proactive talks with the US in order to obtain a waiver for the Brahmos deal. This seems possible as the deal would help contain China in the Indo-Pacific.
  • India should offer a rational line of credit to potential buyers to give them flexibility in buying the missile.

Source: THE HINDU

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“SIPRI Report” – India Remains the 2nd Largest Arms Importer

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What is the news?

Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI) released a report titled “Trends in International Arms Transfers Report”. It presents global trends in arms exports and imports.

What are the key findings of the SIPRI report?

SIPRI Report on India:

  1. Second Largest Arms Importer: India remains the second largest arms importer after Saudi Arabia.
  2. Decrease in Arms Imports: However, India’s arms imports have decreased by 33 % between 2011-15 and 2016-20.
    • Reason: The decrease in arms imports is mainly due to complex and lengthy procurement processes. Also, India is attempting to reduce its dependence on Russian arms by diversifying its network of arms suppliers.
  3. India’s Arms Imports: India’s top three arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%), and Israel (13%).
    • The US was the 4th largest arms supplier to India. Its imports to India reduced by 46% between 2016-20.
  4. India’s Arms Exports: India accounted for 0.2% of the share of global arms exports during 2016-20. It makes the country the world’s 24th largest exporter of major arms. Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Mauritius are the top recipients of Indian military hardware.
Other Global Findings of SIPRI report:
  • Firstly, the volume of international transfers of major arms in 2016–20 was 0.5% lower than in 2011–15 and 12% higher than in 2006–10.
  • Secondly, the five largest arms exporters in 2016–20 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany, and China.
  • Thirdly the five largest arms importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia, and China.
  • Lastly, the arms import by Pakistan between 2011–15 and 2016–20 decreased by 23%. China accounted for 61% of its imports in 2011–15 and for 74% in 2016–20.

Source: The Hindu

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“INS Karanj” – the Scorpene-class submarine inducted into service

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What is the news?

Indian Navy inducted INS Karanj into service. It is a 3rd Scorpene-class conventional diesel-electric submarine.

About INS Karanj:

  • INS Karanj is a part of Project-75I. It is the 3rd submarine of the first batch of 6 Scorpene-class submarines under the project, for the Indian Navy.
  • Designed by: French naval defence and energy group.
  • Manufactured by:  Mazagon Dock Limited, an Indian shipyard in Mumbai.
  • Earlier Version: The previous INS Karanj (a Russian-origin submarine) was commissioned in 1969 at Riga in the erstwhile USSR. It served the nation for 34 years up to 2003.

Key Features of INS Karanj:

  • INS Karanj is equipped with the best sensors in the world. Furthermore, it is fitted with an integrated platform management system to provide centralised propulsion and machinery control.
  • The powerful diesel engines can quickly charge batteries for a stealthy mission profile.
  • It is also fitted with a permanent magnetic synchronous motor. It makes it one of the quietest submarines in the world.

What are Scorpene-Class Submarines?

  • Scorpene-class submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world.
  • Features of Scorpene Submarines:
    • They have superior stealth features, such as; advanced silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, and the ability to attack with precision-guided weapons on board.
    • They can also launch crippling attacks on the surface and underwater enemy targets.
  • Purpose: The Indian Navy intends to use these submarines for missions such as area surveillance, intelligence gathering, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and minelaying operations.
  • Speed: They can travel at a maximum submerged speed of approximately 20 knots and have the ability to remain submerged for 21 days. It has a diving depth of more than 350m.

About Project 75I:

  • The Project 75I is a program by the Indian Navy for building six Scorpene-Class attack submarines.
  • Six Submarines:
    • The first submarine is INS Kalvari. It was commissioned in 2017
    • The second is INS Khanderi. It was commissioned in 2019.
    • The fourth and fifth submarines are INS Vela and INS Vagir. They are undergoing sea trials.
    • The sixth is INS Vaghseer. It is in an advanced stage of outfitting.

 Source: Indian Express

 

“INS Viraat” – SC ordered a status quo on dismantling

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ISRO launches DRDO’s “Sindhu Netra Satellite”

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What is the News?

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launches the ”Sindhu Netra Satellite”. It was a part of ISRO’s PSLV-C51 mission.

About Sindhu Netra Satellite:

  • Developed by: Students of Bengaluru based PES University under a contract by  Research Centre Imarat, which is a part of the DRDO.
  • Purpose: The satellite is capable of automatically identifying the warships and merchant ships in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • Significance: The satellite enhances India’s surveillance capabilities on land borders with China and Pakistan.
  • It will be useful to identify suspicious movements of sea-faring vessels close to India’s maritime borders.
  • Furthermore, It will also be helpful in carrying out surveillance in areas such as the South China Sea or the pirate-infested areas near the Gulf of Aden and the African coast.

Source: Outlook

[Answered] The growing role of the private sector in space, demands India to move quickly towards a new model for India’s space activity. Explain with illustrations.

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DRDO successfully conducted the launch of “VL-SRSAM”

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What is the news?

Defence Research & Development Organisation(DRDO) has conducted the successful launch of Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM).

About VL-SRSAM:

  • The missile has been indigenously designed and developed by DRDO for the Indian Navy.
  • Purpose: The missile will be used to neutralize various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.
    • Sea skimming: It is a technique of flying as low as possible (always below 50 meters from sea level). This will make it hard to detect the flying object by radar, infrared detection techniques in ships. Further, it will reduce the probability of getting shot down while approaching a target. Many anti-ship missiles and some fighter or striker aircraft use this technique to avoid getting spotted.

Key Features of the VL-SRSAM:

  • Range: VL-SRSAM has a strike range of about 40 km.
  • It is an all-weather air missile system. It can provide point and area defence against various aerial targets like jets, fighter aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.
    • Point defence: defence of a single object or a limited area like an airfield, a harbour etc. It can achieve by short-range missiles
    • Area defence: defence of a specific area or location. It requires medium to long-range missiles.
  • The missile has a canister-based state of art weapon system that can identify, track, engage and destroy the target with a high kill probability.

Source: PIB

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DRDO conducted successful trial of “Anti-tank missiles Helina and Dhruvastra”

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What is the news?

The government recently conducted successful user trials for Helina and Dhruv Astra Missile Systems. The tests were carried out from the Advanced Light Helicopter(ALH) platform in desert ranges.

About Helina and Dhruv Astra Missile Systems:

  • These are third generation fire and forget Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM). Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) indigenously designed and developed these missiles.
  • Helina (Helicopter-launched Nag) is the army version of the missile, whereas Dhruva Astra is the air force version.

Key Features of the Missiles:

  • The Missiles operate on lock-on-before launch mode which helps extend their strike range.
  • Top Attack Mode: The missile is required to climb sharply after launch. Further, it travels at a certain altitude, then plunge on top of the target.
  • Direct Attack Mode: The missile travels at a lower altitude, directly striking the target.
  • The missiles have all-weather day and night capability. They can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as with explosive reactive armour. 

Click Here to Read about NAG missile

 Source: PIB

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What is the “Arjun Main Battle Tank” MK-1A?

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What is the news?

Prime Minister has handed over the indigenously developed Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Indian Army. The ceremony was held in Chennai.

Arjun Main Battle Tank:

  • It is a third-generation main battle tank. Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) initiated this project in 1972.  The Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment(CVRDE) is its lead laboratory in this project.
  • However, The Indian Ordnance Factory’s production facility in Avadi, Tamil Nadu began its mass production only in 1996.
  • Objective: This state-of-the-art tank created to provide the Indian army with superior firepower, high mobility, and excellent protection.
  • Named after: The tank is named after Arjun, the archer prince. He is one of the main protagonists of the Indian epic Mahabharata.

Features:

  • The main feature of Arjun tanks is its ‘Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS)’ ammunition and 120-mm calibre rifled gun.
  • It also has a computer-controlled integrated fire control system. This system has a  stabilised sighting that works in all lighting conditions.
  • Tank has secondary weapons including, a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun for anti-personnel and a 12.7-mm machine gun for anti-aircraft and ground targets.

How is Mk-1A different from earlier versions?

  • It is a weapon platform with superior firepower, high mobility, excellent protection and crew comfort.
  • However, the biggest achievement of the latest version is, it is made up of 54.3% indigenous content. It is 41% in the earlier model.

Source: Indian Express

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“INS Viraat” – SC ordered a status quo on dismantling

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What is the News?

The Supreme Court has ordered status quo on the dismantling of the Navy’s aircraft carrier, INS Viraat. The Navy decommissioned INS Viraat from service in 2017.

Facts:

 What is the issue?

  • “The decision to dismantle INS Viraat was taken after holding due consultation with the Indian Navy,” said the Government in the Parliament in 2019.
  • However, a firm (Envitech Marine Consultants Pvt. Ltd) has filed a petition in the Supreme Court. The firm seeks to convert INS Viraat into a maritime museum and a multi-functional adventure centre.
  • So, the apex court has issued notice to the Centre and others. In that notice, the court sought their responses on a plea filed by the firm. Apart from that, the court ordered status quo on the dismantling of the INS Viraat.

INS Viraat:

  • INS Viraat is a Centaur class aircraft carrier. It had served in the British Navy as HMS Hermes for 25 years (from 1959 to 1984). After refurbishment, it was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1987.
  • Motto: Its motto was (in Sanskrit) – “Jalamev Yasya Balmev Tasya” (One who controls the sea is all-powerful).
  • Achievements:
    • It played an important role in Operation Jupiter in 1989 during the Sri Lankan Peacekeeping operation. In the operation, the ship sent Indian peacekeeping forces to Sri Lanka
    • The ship also performed blockading Pakistani ports, primarily the Karachi port as part of 1999’s Operation Vijay
    • It was also deployed in Operation Parakram during 2001-02 following the terror attack on the Indian Parliament.
    • The ship is nicknamed as the “Grand Old Lady
    • The ship has also participated in various international joint exercises. Like Malabar (with US Navy), Varuna (with French Navy), Naseem-Al-Bahr (with Oman Navy) and has been an integral element of annual Theater Level Operational Exercise (TROPEX).
    • It is the longest-serving warship in the world. The ship also holds a Guinness Book of World Records for the same.
  • Decommissioned in: The aircraft was decommissioned in March 2017.
  • INS Viraat is the second aircraft carrier to be dismantled in India. In 2014, INS Vikrant was dismantled in Mumbai.


Source:
The Hindu

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“Ka-226T utility chopper”

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What is the News?

According to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the total indigenous content of the Ka-226T utility helicopters is between 27%-33%. These helicopters are to be locally manufactured with the Transfer of Technology(ToT) from Russia. However, the final deal is held up.

Facts:

 India-Russia Deal on Ka-226T

  • In 2015, India and Russia had concluded an Agreement for at least 200 Ka-226T twin-engine utility helicopters. The estimated cost was over $1 billion. Among them, 60 helicopters to be directly imported and the remaining 140 manufactured locally.
  • The helicopter is meant to replace the ageing and obsolete Cheetah and Chetak fleet of the Army and Air Force.
  • However, the final deal is held up as the Russian proposal of 62% indigenous content in assembled helicopters falls short of the tender requirement of 70%.

 Ka-226T:

  • Ka-226T is a design of Russia’s famous Kamov design bureau. It is a light helicopter with a maximum take-off weight of over 3.5 tonnes. It can carry a payload of up to 1 tonne.

Key Features of KA-226T:

  • It uses coaxial rotors. It means it has two sets of rotors mounted one on top of the other and typically no tail rotor.
    • Coaxial rotors give improvements in lifting and payload capacity over conventional choppers.
    • This is particularly beneficial in high-altitude environments. Because in high altitudes aircraft’s performance at take-off tends to diminish due to the lower air density.
  • It also has a unique, detachable ‘mission’ compartment instead of a conventional cabin.
    • This allows the helicopter to be adapted for different roles such as surveillance, cargo delivery etc.

Source: The Hindu

 

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Indigenisation of defence -Explained

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Indigenization of the defence sector is one of the foremost targets for Indian government since Independence. Recently, Asia’s biggest Aero Show AeroIndia 2021 was conducted in Bengaluru. During the show, Defence Minister highlighted India’s growing presence in designing and developing indigenous weapon systems. Let’s see, how India is performing in indigenisation of defence despite the challenges.

Present status of Indigenisation in India:

  • Millennium Aero Dynamics and Cochin Shipyard jointly developed and produced the INS Vikrant. It is the first aircraft carrier built in India completely.
  • BARC and DRDO jointly developed India’s first indigenous nuclear submarine Arihant.
  • HAL along with Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Limited (TAAL) is developing Dhruv multirole helicopter, Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Rudra armed helicopter. They are also manufacturing Tejas Light Combat Aircraft in India.
  • DRDO is currently working on an indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle named Nishant.
  • Under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), India developed 5 missiles in India namely
    • Akash (surface-to-air)
    • Prithvi (surface-to-surface)
    • Nag (anti-tank)
    • Trishul (the naval version of Prithvi)
    • Agni Ballistic missiles having different ranges – Agni V has given India an  ICBM (Intercontinental ballistic missile) status in 2013.

Need for indigenous defence sector:

First, reducing India’s Fiscal Deficit: Currently, India’s defence sector imports stand at 70%. This makes India the 2nd largest arms importer in the world, only next to Saudi Arabia. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in 2019, India became the third-largest defence spender in the world. So, indigenisation of the defence sector is necessary to reduce the Fiscal Deficit.

Second, national security at risk: India shares porous borders with hostile neighbours. Currently, imported equipment in India are creating multiple challenges related to their Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) due to non-availability of spares and assemblies. These equipment without proper MRO can put India under major risks mainly during the war like situation. For example, recent military standoff with China. This will put India’s national security at risk. So indigenisation is necessary.

 

Third, generation of employment: Defence manufacturing is one of the very few sectors that will lead to multiplicity of employment benefits. As per the government estimates, just 20-25% import reduction will directly create 100,000 to 120,000 additional highly skilled jobs in India. Apart from that, it will lead to large scale innovation, a huge number of spin-off industries and start-ups etc.

Fourth, boosting Indian exports and generating forex reserve. The SIPRI data mentions India as the 23rd largest country in terms of defence exports. This shows under-performance considering the fact that, India spent $71.1 billion in the defence sector in 2019 alone. India can export indigenously produced defence technology and equipment to the neighbouring nations. Like space and nuclear research, R&D in defence sector will increase the focus on both civil and military economy.

Fifth, indigenous equipment will increase the trust and confidence of the Indian defence forces. It will also strengthen India’s image in the global arena.

Government initiatives to boost indigenisation in defence sector:

First, India introduced the Defence Procurement Policy to focus on self-reliance. The policy allowed the (DAC) Defence Acquisition Council to “fast-track” ways to acquire weapons. The policy aims 2025 to be the year to become self-reliant in 13 weapons platforms. These include missiles, warships, tanks, aircraft, and artillery. These comprise the bulk of Indian imports.

Second, the establishment of E-Biz Portal. It is an online portal to process applications for Industrial Licences (IL). The Government also set up Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework. It aims to create an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace.

Third, removal of annual capacity restriction criteria for defence industries. This is to facilitate more number of startups in the defence sector.

Fourth, the government also approved the Strategic Partnership Policy. This is to promote Joint Ventures (JV) between global defence majors and the indigenous private sector. Under this, the government will designate certain private players a status of Strategic Partner (SP). That SP will have long term relationships with global defence majors to learn the technology and also to build the capacity at the local level.

Fifth, the change in FDI policy. The government earlier allowed 49% of FDI under the automatic route. But in 2020 the government increased this to 74%. This will act as a major boost to the defence sector as it will not only increase FDI but it will also increase the number of startups.

Sixth, recently the government imposed a ban on 101 import items in the defence sector to boost indigenisation. These include high tech weapons like artillery guns, sonar systems, assault rifles, radars, transport aircraft, etc. As a result of this, now the defence forces will procure these equipment only from the domestic manufacturers.

Challenges in indigenisation of defence sector:

First, private sector participation is very low. Currently, India depends on DRDO and defence PSUs for the majority of its needs. There is an issue of land acquisition in India. This, coupled with non-availability of Permanent arbitration committee to settle disputes in India leads to lower private participation.

Second, manufacturing and procurement-related delay. There are bureaucratic and political hurdles in India. Indian defence suppliers also take more time to complete the projects. There is also a problem of delay in the delivery of the projects. This hurts India’s image as a trusted supplier.

Third, conflict between the manufacturers & defence forces. Defence forces being on the ground of the battlefield, know that the border areas demand some specific design and characteristics of the equipment. But there is a conflict between the manufacturers and defence forces in India regarding the  design, capacity etc of the defence equipment. All this leads to inefficient coordination between the military, academy and industry.

Fourth, most of the Indian defence budget goes towards salaries, retirement benefits, perks and benefits, MRO of equipment etc. This limits the government capacity to focus on long-term budgeting towards the defence sector.

Suggestions to improve indigenisation:

First, the government can implement the Shaketkar committee recommendations on the closure of Army Postal Establishments and Military Farms in peace locations swiftly. Apart from that government can also consider the Chief of Defence Staff opinion. He mentioned increasing the retirement age to improve government spending on other relevant activities.

Second, boosting private sector participation is the need of the hour. This can be achieved by creating a permanent arbitration cell, ensuring level playing field for private companies like that of PSUs.

Third, the government can provide an autonomous status to DRDO. It will improve the number of sub-contracts to the private sector and also instil the confidence to private sectors.

Fourth, the government have to improve the in-house design capacity like that of Naval Design Bureau. This will reduce the conflict with manufacturers in design and capacity. Shaketkar committee recommended transformation of ‘The Military Intelligence School’ at Pune into ‘tri-service intelligence training establishment’. 

According to SIPRI,  India’s military expenditure in 2019 was 2.4% of its GDP. It was higher than the combined expenditure on health(1.5%GDP) and research (0.7% of GDP). The government needs to improve the indigenization in defence sector at the war pace as it has many benefits such as reducing Fiscal Deficit, improvement in manufacturing etc.

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HAL completes “Sukhoi Aircraft” order

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What is the News?

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.(HAL) has manufactured the last two of the 272 Su-30MKIs aircraft. It will deliver them to the Indian Air Force.

Facts:

  • Sukhoi Su-30MKI: It is a twin-jet multi-role air superiority fighter developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and built under licence by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • The aircraft has been modified to carry the air-launched version of the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos.

Additional Facts:

  • BrahMos Missile: It is a supersonic cruise missile. It is a joint venture between the Russian NPO and India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
  • The name BrahMos was formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
  • Key Features:
    • It is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster as the first stage and liquid ramjet as the second stage.
    • Versions: Various versions of the BrahMos are developed. It can be fired from land, warships, submarines, and Sukhoi-30 fighter jets.
    • Range: The range of BrahMos has been extended to around 400 kilometres as compared to its initial range of 290 kilometres. More versions of higher ranges currently are under development.

Source: The Hindu

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Akash NG (New Generation) Missile

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What is the News?
Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) has conducted the successful maiden launch of Akash-NG (New Generation) Missile. It was launched from Integrated Test Range off the coast of Odisha.

About Akash missile

  • Akash-NG Missile: It is a new generation Surface-to-Air Missile meant for use by the Indian Air Force.
  • Purpose: It will be used to intercept high-maneuvering low radar cross-section aerial threats.
  • Features: It is an advanced variant of Akash missile. It comes with an Active Electronically Scanned Array(AESA) multi-function radar that features all three functions – search, track and fire control in one platform.
  • Range: The earlier variant has a maximum range of 30 km while Akash-NG can strike targets up to 70 km.

Source: The Hindu

 

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Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW)

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Why in News?

Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) has conducted a successful trial of the indigenously developed Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) off the Odisha coast from the Hawk-I jet of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL).

Facts:

  • Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon(SAAW): It is a long-range precision-guided anti-airfield weapon developed by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) Hyderabad.
  • The weapon is designed to strike ground targets, especially adversary airfield infrastructure or similar strategically important installations.
  • The weapon is capable of engaging ground enemies airfield assets such as radars, bunkers, taxi tracks, and runways up to a range of 100 kilometres.

Additional Facts:

  • RUDRAM: It is India’s first indigenous anti-radiation air-to-surface missile for Indian Air Force(IAF). The missile is integrated on SU-30 Mk1 fighter aircraft.
    • Purpose: It is designed to detect, track and neutralise the adversary’s radar, communication assets and other radio frequency sources which are generally part of their air defence systems.

Source: Indian Express

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged

 S-400 long-range Air Defence System 

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Why in News? 

Indian military specialists will soon undergo training courses on the S-400 long-range Air Defence System in Russia. 

 Facts: 

    • S-400 Triumf Missile: It is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system(SAM) designed by Russia. 

Key Features: 

      • Supply of S-400 missiles is one of the flagship projects in the Russian-Indian military and military-technical cooperation 
      • The S-400 is an air defence systemThe missile can destroy airborne targets within the range of 250km and also capable of destroying fast moving targets such as fighter aircraft.  
        • It is capable of firing three types of missiles to create a layered defence. 
        • The system can engage all types of aerial targets including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles(UAV) and ballistic and cruise missiles within the range of 400km, at an altitude of up to 30km. 
        • It can track 100 airborne targets and engage six of them simultaneously. 
      • Concerns for India: India is concerned that the U.S would proceed with Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act(CAATSA) sanctions against India over the S-400 purchase from Russia. 
        • CAATSA: It is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. It includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors. 

Article Source

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India’s first Indigenously Developed 9mm Machine Pistol

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News: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed the country’s first indigenous machine pistol ASMI.

Facts:

    • ASMI: It is a 9mm Machine Pistol jointly developed by DRDO and the Indian Army. The weapon is aptly named “Asmi” meaning Pride, Self-Respect and Hard Work.
    • Range: The machine pistol can fire at a range of 100 metres and is in the class of the Uzi series guns of Israel.
    • Design: The machine sports an upper receiver made from aircraft-grade Aluminum and lower receiver from carbon fiber. The 3D Printing process has been used in designing and prototyping various parts including trigger components made by metal 3D printing.
    • Applications: The weapon has huge potential in the Armed forces as a personal weapon for heavy weapon detachments, commanders, tank and aircraft crews, drivers/dispatch riders, radio/radar operators, counter insurgency and counter-terrorism operations among others.
    • Significance: The pistol will pave way for self-reliance and it is expected to be inducted by the Services and Paramilitary Forces (PMFs).

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Cabinet approves procurement of 83 Light Combat Aircrafts (LCA) ‘Tejas’

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News:  Cabinet has approved procurement of 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 Trainer aircraft.

Facts:

  • LCA Tejas: It is a single-engine, fourth-generation, multirole light fighter aircraft designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). Tejas was developed in collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) for the Indian Air Force(IAF) and Indian Navy.
  • LCA Tejas Mk 1A is an advanced version of LCA Mk1. It is a supersonic fighter at all altitudes for air combat which can carry a payload of 3,500 kg and it is best suited for offensive air support.
  • Key Features: This Mk 1A is equipped with critical operational capabilities of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile, Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite and Air to Air Refueling(AAR).
  • Significance: It is the first “Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)” category procurement of combat aircrafts with an indigenous content of 50% which will progressively reach 60% by the end of the programme.

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IIT Hyderabad sets up ‘TiHAN-IIT’ testbed for autonomous navigation systems

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News: Union Minister of Education has virtually laid the foundation stone of ‘TiHAN-IIT Hyderabad.

Facts:

  • TiHAN: It is India’s first Technology Innovation Hub for Autonomous Navigation Systems and Data Acquisition Systems setup by IIT Hyderabad.
  • Focus: The hub focuses on addressing various challenges hindering the real-time adoption of unmanned autonomous vehicles for both terrestrial and aerial applications.
  • Funded by: It was sanctioned and funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).
  • Sectors: The hub’s focus sectors include Intelligent, Autonomous Transportation and Systems, Agriculture, Surveillance, and Environmental & Infrastructure Monitoring.
  • Who can use it? The hub will be available for use by industries, R&D labs, academia conducting research and development in the broad areas of autonomous navigation.

Additional Facts:

  • Cyber Physical Systems(CPS): It is a new class of engineered systems that integrate computation and physical processes in a dynamic environment. It encompasses technology areas of Cybernetics, Mechatronics, Design and Embedded systems, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) among others.
  • National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS): It was launched in 2018 by the Department of Science & Technology for a period of five years.
  • Aim: To create a seamless ecosystem for CPS by coordinating and integrating nationwide efforts encompassing knowledge generation, human resource development, research, technology, innovation and commercialization.
  • Key Objectives of the Mission: The mission implementation would develop and bring:
    • Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and associated technologies within reach in the country,
    • adoption of CPS technologies to address India specific National / Regional issues,
    • produce Next Generation skilled manpower in CPS,
    • catalyze Translational Research,
    • accelerate entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem development in CPS,
    • give impetus to advanced research in CPS, Technology development and higher education in Science, Technology and Engineering disciplines, and
    • place India at par with other advanced countries and derive several direct and indirect benefits.
  • Features of the mission:
    • The mission aims at establishment of 15 numbers of Technology Innovation Hubs(TIH), six numbers of Application Innovation Hubs(AIH) and four numbers of Technology Translation Research Parks(TTRP).
    • These Hubs & TTRPs will connect to Academics, Industry, Central Ministries and State Government in developing solutions at reputed academic, R&D and other organizations across the country in a hub and spoke model.

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Maiden Flight Trial of Sahayak-NG, Air Droppable Container

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Source: PIB

News: Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) along with Indian Navy has conducted the successful maiden test trial of ‘SAHAYAK-NG’.

Facts:

  • Sahayak-NG: It is India’s first indigenously designed and developed Air Dropped Container from IL 38SD aircraft (Indian Navy) off the coast of Goa.
  • Developed by: It has been developed by two DRDO laboratories i.e. NSTL, Visakhapatnam and ADRDE, Agra along with industry partner M/s Avantel for GPS integration.
  • Key Features:
    • The container can enhance Indian Navy’s operational logistics capabilities and provide critical engineering stores to ships which are deployed more than 2000 km from the coast.
    • It also reduces the requirement of ships to come close to the coast to collect spares and stores.
    • The GPS aided container also has the capability to carry a payload that weighs up to 50 kg and can be dropped from heavy aircraft.
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Cabinet gives approval for Akash missile export

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Source: The Hindu

News: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the export of the Akash Missile system. It also approved the high-level committee formed to expedite clearance of such exports.

Facts:

  • Akash Missile: It is an indigenously developed short range Surface-to-air missile with multi-target engagement capability.
  • Developed by: The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The Missile has been inducted and is operational with the Indian Air Force(IAF) as well as the Indian Army(IA).
  • Key Features:
    • The missile has a strike range of 25 km.It can reach an altitude of 18 km and can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms.
    • It has a large operational envelope from a low altitude of 30 metres to a maximum of up to 20 km.
    • The system can simultaneously engage multiple targets in Group Mode or Autonomous Mode.
    • It has built-in Electronic Counter-CounterMeasures(ECCM) features.The entire weapon system has been configured on mobile platforms.

Additional Facts:

  • In August 2020, the Defence Ministry has issued a draft ‘Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020’ for public feedback with the aim to achieve a manufacturing turnover of $25 bn or ₹1,75,000 crore, including exports of $5 bn in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025.
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India successfully conducts tests of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM)

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Source: The Indian Express

News: India has successfully conducted the first launch of the Army version of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile(MRSAM).An unmanned air vehicle(UAV), ‘Banshee’, was first flown into the air which was hit by the MRSAM.

Facts:

  • MRSAM: It is an Air and Missile Defence system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with the Israel Aerospace Industry(IAI).
  • Purpose: It has been developed to neutralise airborne threats like jets, missiles and rockets, including projectiles launched simultaneously.
  • Key Features:
    • The Missile consists of a command and control post, multi-function radar and mobile launcher system.
    • It has a strike range of nearly 100 km, weighs around 2.7 tonne and can carry a payload of 60 kg.
    • The missile has a speed of Mach 2 and possesses high degrees of maneuverability at the target interception range.
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Super Hornet fighter jets being tested for Navy use

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Source : The Hindu

News: Boeing has announced the successful demonstration of the compatibility of its F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets with the Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers as part of its pitch for the Navy’s fighter procurement.

Facts:

Super Hornet fighter

  • Super Hornet Fighter Jet: It is the world’s most lethal, advanced, combat-proven, multi-role frontline fighter-jet.
  • Developed by: The jet has been developed by US Aerospace Company, Boeing.
  • Key Features
    • Multi-role Superiority: Capable of tactical strikes, air reconnaissance, air defense, and maritime roles.
    • Cutting-edge Technologies: Enhanced computing and data link, advanced cockpit system, signature improvements
    • Lifecycle Affordability: Lowest cost per flight hour among all U.S. tactical fighters in production.
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India looks at integrating more countries into coastal radar network

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Source: The Hindu 

News: India is in talks with Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh to set up coastal radar stations as part of efforts to further expand the coastal radar chain network meant to enable real-time monitoring of the high seas for threats.

Facts:

  • Countries already integrated in the Coastal Radar Network: Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka have been integrated into the country’s coastal radar chain network.

Other Developments:

  • Information Management and Analysis Centre(IMAC): It was established in 2014 and is the nodal centre for maritime security information collation and dissemination.
    • Location: Gurgaon, Haryana
    • Operated by: It is jointly operated by the Navy and Coast Guard.
  • White Shipping agreements: It refers to exchange of relevant advance information on the identity and movement of commercial non-military merchant vessels.
    • Indian Navy has been authorised to conclude white shipping agreements with 36 countries and three multilateral constructs. So far agreements have been concluded with 22 countries and one multilateral construct.
  • Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean region(IFC-IOR): It was set up in 2018 within the premises of the IMAC to coordinate with regional countries on maritime safety and security and act as a regional repository of maritime data.
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Defence Minister hands over DRDO systems to Armed Forces Chiefs

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Source: PIB

News: Defence Minister has handed over three indigenously developed Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) systems to Army, Navy and Air Force.

Facts:

What are the three indigenously developed systems?

  • Indian Maritime Situational Awareness System (IMSAS): It is a state-of-the-art and high performance intelligent software system that provides Global Maritime Situational Picture, marine planning tools and analytical capabilities to Indian Navy.
    • Developed by: Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), Bengaluru and Indian Navy has jointly conceptualised and developed the product and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bengaluru has implemented it.
  • ASTRA
    • Astra is the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM).
    • The BVRAAM technology enables fighter-pilots to shoot precisely at the enemy targets which are beyond their visual range.
    • The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
    • The missile has a range of over 70 km.It can fly towards the target at a speed of over 5,555 km per hour.
    • The missile has a 15-kilogramme high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead and the missile is also capable of engaging targets of different ranges and altitudes.
    • Further,Astra missile also has some highly advanced features like Electronic Counter-Countermeasures or ECCM.This feature enables Astra missile to overcome defensive measures put forth for the target by the enemy.
    • The ASTRA Mk-I Weapon System integrated with SU-30 Mk-I aircraft is being inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • Border Surveillance System(BOSS): It is an all-weather electronic surveillance system successfully designed and developed by Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE), Dehradun.
    • Purpose: The system has been deployed at Ladakh border area for day and night surveillance and facilitates monitoring and surveillance by automatically detecting the intrusions in harsh high-altitude sub-zero temperature areas with remote operation capability.
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What is CAATSA? Why U.S. imposes CAATSA sanctions on Turkey?

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News: The United States(US) has imposed Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defence system.

What is Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)? 

CAATSA is a US federal law enacted in 2017 that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia.

  • Purpose: The CAATSA Act empowers the US President to impose sanctions against countries that engage in a significant transaction with Russian defence and intelligence sectors.

What type of sanctions will be imposed under CAATSA?

a) Prohibition on loans to the sanctioned country.

b) prohibition of Export-Import bank assistance for exports to sanctioned persons

c) prohibition on procurement by the United States Government to procure goods or services from the sanctioned person among others.

  • Implications for India: India could also face similar US sanctions for purchasing high-value military defense items, in particular the S-400 Triumf missile defense system from Russia under the act.
What is S-400 Triumf Missile?

It is a mobile, modern long range surface-to-air missile system(MRL SAM) designed by Russia.

It is considered to be most advanced system than the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system (THAAD) developed by the United States

The system can engage all types of aerial targets including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles(UAV) and ballistic and cruise missiles within the range of 400km, at an altitude of up to 30 km. It can track 100 airborne targets and engage six of them simultaneously.

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GRSE-built stealth frigate ‘INS Himgiri’ launched

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News: INS Himgiri, the first of the three Project 17A ships was launched by the Indian Navy.

Facts:

  • INS Himgiri: It is an indigenous stealth frigate being built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited(GRSE), Kolkata under Project 17A for the Navy.

Additional Facts:

  • Project 17A or Nilgiri-class frigate: It is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy.A total of seven ships are being built, four at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited(MDL) and three ships at GRSE.
  • Significance: P17A ships are the first gas turbine propulsion and largest combat platforms ever built at GRSE.
  • Project 17A ships are sourcing 80% of the material/ equipment required for the project from indigenous vendors and with employment generation for over 2000 Indian firms and MSMEs within the country.
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Upgraded Akash missile successfully test-fired

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News: Indian Air Force has successfully test-fired the Akash Missiles at Suryalanka test firing range in Andhra Pradesh.

Facts:

  • Akash Missile: It is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited(BDL).
  • Used by: It is an indigenously made missile inducted into the Indian Army and Air Force.
  • Range: The missile has the capability to engage aerial threats upto the maximum range of 25 km and up to an altitude of 18 km operating at a speed range of 1.8 to 2.5 Mach.
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