Defence Current Affairs 2017

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Indian Navy’s Theatre Level Exercise TROPEX 17

The Indian Navy’s Annual Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) 2017 is being conducted off the Western Seaboard.

The month long exercise will see participation of ships and aircraft of both the Western and Eastern Naval Command and also assets from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard.

Key Facts
  • TROPEX 17 exercise is aimed at testing combat readiness of the combined fleets of the Indian Navy, and the assets of the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard.
  • It seeks to strengthen inter-operability and joint operations in a complex environment. It assumes special significance in the backdrop of the current security scenario.
  • TROPEX 17 exercise will be conducted in various phases, both in harbour and at sea encompassing the various facets of war-fighting and combat operations.
  • It will see participation of major surface combatants and air assets of the Indian Navy including the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, nuclear submarine Chakra, Landing Platform Dock (LPD) Jalashwa.
  • It will also see participation of recently commissioned destroyer Chennai, the P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
  • The assets of Indian Navy will operate alongside SU-30 MKI, Jaguars, AWACS, IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft of the Indian Air Force and Infantry units of the Indian Army.
  • The last edition of TROPEX exercise was conducted in January 2015 and since its launch it has grown in scale and complexity over the years.

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India, France sign pact on maritime information sharing in Indian Ocean Region

India and France have signed White Shipping agreement to enable information sharing on maritime traffic and maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The agreement was signed in New Delhi after both countries held their second dialogue on maritime cooperation for the IOR.

Key Facts
  • The agreement will enable navies of India and France to coordinate their roles in stabilising Indo-Pacific region.
  • It will enhance Indo-French maritime security cooperation in the region. It will be implemented over the next few months.
Background

India and France firmed up cooperation on sharing of radars in the Indian Ocean during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Paris in 2015. India is setting up a grid of coastal surveillance radars in the IOR that will enable it to monitor increasing Chinese presence in the area, France has shown interest in sharing data from surveillance systems on its Indian Ocean territories in the region that includes Mayotte, besides military bases in UAE and Djibouti.  Both countries in the last couple of years are coordinating their naval movements and surveillance in the IOR. France retains interests and assets with territories like Reunion Islands in the IOR.

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Improved Guided Pinaka rockets successfully test-fired for 2nd time

Improved Pinaka rockets, with a guidance system and an enhanced range were successfully test-fired for the second time from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.

The guided version dubbed as Pinaka mark-II, has been evolved version of Pinaka mark-I. Its first successful test flight was conducted from the same venue on January 12, 2017.

Key Facts
  • The earlier Pinaka version was an unguided one, now it has been transformed into guided version with a navigation, guidance and control kit developed by the DRDO’s Research Centre, Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad.
  • It was developed jointly by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune, RCI, and the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad.
Significance
  • The conversion into improved guided Pinaka rockets has helped in enhancing the range and accuracy of Pinaka. The earlier range was 40 km, but now it is more than 70 km.
  • The success of the guided Pinaka also has reinforced the technological strength of India in converting the unguided systems into weapons of high precision.

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