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Dornier Aircraft formally inducted into 41 Otters Squadron

Indian Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria has formally inducted the light utility aircraft Dornier into the 41 “Otters” Squadron, during a ceremony at the Palam Air Force Station.

The IAF in 2015 had signed a contract to purchase 14 Dornier aircraft, which are flight inspection system planes, for Rs 1,090 crore from state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The first aircraft was delivered on November 19, the second is expected to be delivered in early 2020.

The Dornier-228 aircraft is a multi-purpose, fuel-efficient, rugged, lightweight twin-turboprop aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear. This aircraft has been exported to Seychelles and Mauritius.

Five high-tech DRDO labs inaugurated by PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 5 new scientific laboratories of DRDO in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad, which will employ only scientists under the age of 35 to develop cutting-edge and futuristic technologies for military weaponry.

A committee, chaired by the Principal Scientific Advisor to the government, K Vijay Raghavan, has selected the directors of these laboratories. Each lab is working on key advanced technology of importance to the development of futuristic defense systems.

Research in the area of rapidly evolving artificial intelligence will be carried out at Bengaluru. The all-important area of quantum technology will be based out of IIT Mumbai. The future is dependent on cognitive technologies and IIT Chennai will house the lab embarking in this area of research.

New and futuristic areas of asymmetric technologies, which will change the way wars are fought, will be based out of the campus of Jadavpur University, Kolkata. The research in hot and critical areas of smart materials and their applications will be based out of Hyderabad.

“US Space Force” officially launched

United States President Donald Trump has signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. With the signing of the act, US has authorised the establishment of US Space Force. The US Space Force will become the 6th branch of the armed forces. 

The Space Force would become the youngest US military branch, and the first new service since the establishment of the US Air Force back in 1947. It would be a part of the Department of the Air Force and will be funded by an initial $40m for its first year. It will be led by Air Force General Jay Raymond.

Wipro partners up with HAL to make 3D-printed aircraft parts

Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Wipro 3D, the metal additive manufacturing business of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, have partnered to develop 3D-printed components that could potentially be used on aircraft manufactured by state-run HAL. Wipro 3D is the first Indian company to locally develop an industry-grade metal-additive 3D-printing machine, jointly with the Indian Institution of Science.

As part of the memorandum of understanding, HAL and Wipro 3D will jointly design, develop, prove out, manufacture and repair aerospace components using metal 3D printing technology. This initiative between HAL and Wipro 3D will create a unique synergy of capabilities that can accelerate the adoption of metal additive manufacturing in aerospace in India. Metal 3D printing has the potential to play a significant role in the success of national aerospace and defence platforms including HAL’s own needs. Globally, the aerospace industry has been one of the foremost adopters of metal 3D printing.

Lucknow: PM Modi to inaugurate Defence Expo 2020

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that ‘Defence Expo-2020’ will be held in Lucknow in February this year. Defence Expo 2020 will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 5. The theme of the Defence Expo India – 2020 will be ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’ and focus will be on ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’.

Uttar Pradesh will become a destination for defence manufacturing and aerospace manufacturing. This is only the second time that the biennial event will be held outside Bengaluru. In 2018, Chennai hosted the biennial show for the first time ever. A number of foreign defence firms will bring their top-tier products to the Def Expo. The event offers an opportunity for Indian firms to get engaged in Business-to-Business (B2B) interaction with foreign companies.

India-Oman will conduct bilateral naval exercise ‘Naseem Al Bahr’

India and Oman will conduct 12th edition of bilateral maritime exercise ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ in Mormugao Port, Goa. ‘Naseem-Al-Bahr’ (or sea breeze) is a naval exercise between the Indian Navy and the RNO, being conducted since 1993. Indian Navy ships Beas and Subhadra and Oman Navy ships RNOV Al Rasikh and RNOV Khassab are participating in this exercise.

1st ‘Maha-Navy Connect 2020’ started by Indian Navy in Mumbai

Indian Navy starts its 1st Maha-Navy Connect 2020 Tri-Dimensional Expedition started from Mumbai, Maharashtra. The aim of the expedition is to promote the maritime heritage of India and spread awareness about Coastal Security amongst the coastal communities in Maharashtra.

The tri-dimensional expedition consisting of yachting, running and cycling teams of 50 naval personnel. This expedition will cover more than 555kms from Maharashtra’s northernmost fort Arnala to its southernmost Sindhudurg fort.

India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’ to be commissioned by 2021

The manufacturing of the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is currently under phase three which involves setting to work of machinery and other equipment and it is likely to be commissioned by early 2021. This carrier is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi.

Currently, phase three of the construction of Vikrant is under progress, which involves setting to work of machinery and equipment, like power generation and propulsion machinery. The third phase of construction will go on till acceptance of harbour and sea trials.

Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on December 3 had stated that Vikrant will be fully operational by 2022 and it will have a fleet of MiG-29K. The first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant complemented with MiG-29K aircraft will be showcased as part of the Navy’s tableau during the ceremonial parade on Rajpath on the Republic Day.

Indian Navy to continue with ‘Operation Sankalp’ in Gulf region

Indian Navy launched Operation Sankalp in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to reassure Indian flagged vessels transiting through the area following the recent maritime incidents in the region.

INS Chennai and INS Sunayna have been deployed in the region to undertake maritime security operations. In addition, aerial surveillance in the area is also being done by IN aircraft. The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region of the Indian Navy is also keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region.

The operation has been launched in the wake of escalating tension in the Gulf of Oman, where two oil tankers were attacked last week. The incident has since heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington. It remains unclear who was responsible for the attacks but the United States has put the blame on Iran, which, in turn, has denied the allegations.

INS Vikramaditya deployed in Arabian Sea amid “Sea Guardians”

India has deployed its aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in Arabian Sea. The aircraft carrier was deployed amid the Pakistan-China naval exercise “Sea Guardians” taking place in North Arabian Sea. Top officials of the Naval headquarters were on board the aircraft carrier when it was deployed in the strategic mission earlier this week.

exercise ‘Sea Guardians’ is taking place in the midst of heightened tension between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. Key platforms of both China and Pakistan, including submarines, destroyers and frigates are part of the exercise.

Russia to deliver five S-400 air defence systems by 2025

Russia has started production of S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile systems for India. All five units will be delivered to India by 2025. The S-400 air defence missile systems are among the best in the world and it would serve well for Indian security.

India signed a USD 43-billion deal with Russia for the purchase of five S-400 systems during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi on October 5, 2018, for long-term security needs.

Rs 5,000 cr approved to promote indigenization of defence equipment

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved procurement of equipment worth over Rs. 5000 crore from indigenous sources to promote indigenization. They include sophisticated Electronic Warfare Systems for the Army manufactured locally by the Indian industry and designed by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

The systems will provide comprehensive Electronic Support and Counter Measure capabilities to the field formations in both communication and other aspects of Electronic Warfare. The systems will be used in deserts and plains. The DAC headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met to consider a number of new and ongoing proposals for procuring critically needed platforms and equipment for the Armed Forces.

The council also approved prototype testing of trawl assemblies designed by DRDO for T-72 and T-90 tanks providing an important indigenous de-mining capability to the Army. The DAC also accorded approval for inclusion of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) in Defence Procurement Procedure.

Indian Navy signs MoU with Geological Survey of India for offshore data

Indian Navy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Geological Survey of India (GSI) for ‘Sharing of seabed sediments data, products and expertise for Naval Application in Meteorology and Oceanography’. The MoU was signed on 21 January 2020 between Commodore AA Abhyankar, who heads Indian Navy’s Oceanology and Meteorology Directorate and Shri N Maran, Deputy Director General of GSI.

GSI’s Marine and Coastal survey Division based at Mangaluru has mapped most of India’s 2.1 Million square km Exclusive Economic Zone and has a vast repository of offshore data. This data collected using GSI’s state-of-the-art oceanic research vessels Samudra Manthan, Samudra Kaustubh, Samudra Shaudhikama and Samudra Ratnakar, will now be used by Indian Navy’s rapidly growing blue water fleet for reliable and accurate oceanographic modeling to support their expansive maritime operations in the Indian Ocean region.

Avadi Ordnance Factory doubles the manufacturing capacity of Battle Tanks

The engine manufacturing capacity for the battle tanks in the Indian Ordnance Board’s Engines Factory near Chennai has been more than doubled to 750 per annum to meet the increasing demand of the Indian Army. It was earlier fixed at 350 engines per year, as stated by the Board Chairman, Hari Mohan.

The new system is the first to be installed in any of the Ordnance Factories in the country to help increase productivity. The Engine Factory at Avadi is the only unit in the country dedicated to manufacturing fully indigenized engines for the Army’s Main Battle Tanks.

Anti-Submarine warfare corvette INS Kavaratti to be delivered to Indian Navy

Defence PSU Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) is set to deliver anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette INS Kavaratti to the Indian Navy. INS Kavaratti is 104th warship constructed by GRSE. Kavaratti is the last of the four Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) stealth corvettes built by the GRSE for the Indian Navy under Project P28.

Under Project P28, ASW stealth Corvettes delivered to Indian Navy are ‘INS Kamorta’ in July 2014, ‘INS Kadmatt’ in November 2015 and ‘INS Kiltan’ in October 2017.All these four corvettes are named after islands of Lakshadweep and Arabian Sea. Five warships have been delivered to Indian Navy by Defence PSU between March 2019 to December 2019

Joint military exercise of India-Bangladesh at Umroi from Feb 3

Indo-Bangladesh

A 14-day Indo-Bangladesh joint military training exercise, Sampriti-IX, will be conducted at Umroi, Ri-Bhoi, Meghalaya from 3rd of February. Command Post Exercise (CPX) and a Field Training Exercise (FTX) will be conducted during joint military exercise.