Defence Current Affairs 2017

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IAF launches Aviation Turbine Fuel Digital Issue and Payment

Indian Air force has formally launched web based e-billing system Aviation Turbine Fuel Digital Issue and Payment (ATF DIP).

It was unveiled by Chief of Air Staff (CoAS), Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa in New Delhi and it will be implemented from April 1, 2017. 

Key Facts
  • The web based e-billing system was launched in line with the Union Government’s flagship Digital India programme.
  • It has been developed for the speedy accounting and clearance of Aviation Fuel bills of Oil Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
  • The aviation fuel management in the IAF involves over 2 lakh transactions per year. The new platform will streamline the ATF bill payment system.

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Indian Navy de-inducts TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft

The Indian Navy has de-inducted TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft after 29 years of dedicated service to the nation and 30,000 hours of accident-free flying.

The aircraft was formally de-inducted at a ceremony held at INS Rajali naval air station in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu. Now its role will be taken on by the newly inducted Boeing P-8I aircraft.

Key Facts
  • TU-142M was inducted into the Indian Navy at Dabolim Goa from the erstwhile USSR in 1988. Later it shifted base and made INS Rajali its permanent home in 1992.
  • It was the fastest turboprop aircraft in the world. It had four powerful engines, contra-rotating, slender fuselage and swept wings.
  • Since its induction, it was the mainstay of maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare operations of the Indian Navy.
  • It had participated in all major naval exercises and operations such as operation ‘Cactus’ in Maldives, , Operation Vijay (1998), Operation Parakram (2002) and anti-piracy operations from 2011 to till date.
  • It also had played important role in transforming aspects of maritime reconnaissance and airborne anti-submarine warfare of Navy with its enhanced endurance, speed, long range weapons and sensors.
  • TU-142M aircraft squadron was awarded Unit Citation by the Chief of Naval Staff in 2002 and was adjudged the Best Frontline Squadron on numerous occasions over the years.

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Government approves Shekatkar Committee recommendations to reform military

The Union Defence Ministry has approved most of the proposals of a committee of experts, headed by Lt. Gen. D.B. Shekatkar (Retd) to bring host of reforms in the military and improve financial management.

Around 90 recommendations have been of the committee were approved. Most of these recommendations are measures to increase coordination among the three Services and cut down flab in Army to make it lean and agile.

Some recommendations of Committee
  • Capital expenditure: Roll-on defence budget must have enough capital expenditure available for modernisation.
  • It must be against the present practice of surrendering unspent capital budget at the end of each financial year.
  • Performance audit: It must be conducted of non-combat organisations under the Defence Ministry.
  • It must include those dealing with defence estates and accounts, Director- General of Quality Assurance, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and National Cadet Corps (NCC).
  • Downsizing or rationalisation of manpower: It will lead to significant savings.
  • Joint services war college: It must be established for training middle-level officers.
  • Reduce deployment of active-duty soldiers in avoidable postings: They will be replaced by retired officers and jawans in the running of NCC.
  • Comprehensive reforms in the running of NCC: Transfer of NCC out of the Defence Ministry to the HRD Ministry: NCC can be run by re-employed or on-contract ex-service personnel.

Implications

If recommendations of committee are implemented over the next five years, government can save up to Rs. 25,000 crore from the current defence expenditure.

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