Defence Current Affairs 2017

Recent Current Affairs of 2017, 2016 related to India’s Defence, Indian Armed Forces, Defence Production, Defence Acquisition and related matters.

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Indian Navy successfully test fires Barak missile from INS Vikramaditya

Indian Navy successfully conducted maiden test of short range surface-to-air Barak missile from country’s sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. 

The test was conducted in the Arabian Sea in which missile was fired against a live, low-flying, high-speed target. The missile successfully engaged and destroyed the target, validating operational readiness inspection of the Western Fleet of the Indian Navy.

About INS Vikramaditya

  • INS Vikramaditya is the country’s sole aircraft carrier (after retirement of INS Viraat in March 2017).
  • It was built in 1987 and had served the Soviet navy (named as Baku). It was later renamed Admiral Gorshkov under the Russian navy.
  • The Indian navy purchased the vessel in 2004 and commissioned it in November 2013 at Severodvinsk in Russia.
  • The Kiev-class vessel weighs 44,500 tonne. Its overall length is 284 meters and has maximum beam of about 60 meters
  • It can carry over 30 aircraft comprising MiG-29Ks, Kamov-28s, Kamov-31s, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters. It was retrofitted with a Barak missile system under joint development with Israel.

INS Vikramaditya,

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India, Russia ink long-term support pact on Sukhoi Su-30MKI

India and Russia have signed two long-term support agreements for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet, covering around 57,000 spares and components related to the aircraft.

The agreements were signed by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) with Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation at the first India-Russia Military Industrial Conference held in New Delhi.

Background

India has contracted 272 Su-30 fighter jets from Russia in various batches and has so far inducted over 230 jets. However, their serviceability rate has been an issue of constant concern. Over the last couple of years, the serviceability rates had dropped below 50% and at one point it had improved to over 60%. 

Key Facts
  • These pacts provides for an upgraded schedule for delivery of spares from Russia for Su-30MKI, local manufacturing of parts and a proposed logistics hub for the fighter jets in Bengaluru (Karnataka) by HAL.
  • Pacts were also signed for maintenance and life-cycle support for other Russian-origin platforms, such as MiG-29K aircraft, Mi-17 helicopters, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks.
  • They will address a long-lasting concern of India with respect to Russian-origin military equipment and also address issues of life-cycle support and maintenance.
Need for such Agreements

India has the third largest armed forces in the world and one of the largest importers of defence equipment. Since most of India’s defence platforms and weapon systems are of Russian-origin, their maintenance and life-cycle support is extremely important from the point of view of our defence preparedness.

Comment

The deal follows a Russian legislation permitting its companies to enter into direct agreement with foreign companies for long-term support agreements. Currently, procurement of spares is a long and cumbersome process as India cannot deal directly with the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) but has to deal with designated intermediaries. India is also exploring the possibility of Russian OEMs allowing licence manufacture of the spares locally by Indian vendors under Make in India initiative

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BrahMos missile successfully test-fired

The land-attack version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with an extended range increased from 290 km to 450 km was successfully test fired.

The missile was test fired from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha. It met its mission parameters fully by achieving 100% results. 

About BrahMos missile

  • BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has been designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture of India and Russia.
  • It name has been derived from the names of two rivers, India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River.
  • Features: It has top supersonic speed of Mach 2.  It is two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant.It is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kilogram, both conventional and nuclear.
  • Range: Its earlier strike range was 290 km. But after India’s induction into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 2016, missile’s range has been increased beyond 300km in the same configuration.
  • Another version of the missile with a strike range of 800 km is under development.
  • Deployment: It has already been inducted into the Indian Army and Navy, while the Air Force version is in the final stage of trials. Navy’s first version was inducted in 2005 on INS Rajput.
  • The Indian Army is already equipped with three regiments of Block III version of Brahmos missiles. Now, it is fully operational with two regiments of the Army.

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