Defence Current Affairs 2017

Muntra: India’s first unmanned tank rolled out by DRDO

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has rolled out Muntra, India’s first unmanned, remotely operated tank at its Chennai lab.

It has been launched in three variants Muntra-S, Muntra-M and Muntra-N for surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance in areas with nuclear and biological threats.  It is also likely to be used in Naxal-hit areas.

Key Facts

Muntra-S is the country’s first tracked unmanned ground vehicle (tank) developed for unmanned surveillance missions. Muntra-M is for detecting mines and Muntra-N is for operation in areas where there is nuclear radiation or biological weapon risk.

The Muntra variants have surveillance radar, an integrated camera along with laser range finder which can be used to spy on ground target 15km away – heavy vehicles or crawling men. This unmanned, remotely tele-operated tank has been successfully tested and validated at Mahajan field firing range in Rajasthan under dusty desert conditions.

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Reliance Defence launches first two Navy ships Shachi and Shruti

Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) launched the first two Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPVs) — Shachi and Shruti at their shipyard in Pipavav, Gujarat.

These two NOPVs are the first warships to be launched by a private sector shipyard in India. These ships are part of a five-ships being constructed for the Indian Navy under the P-21 project.

About NOPVs

The NOPVs are primarily patrol ships to undertake surveillance of the country’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). They also undertake operational tasks such as anti-piracy patrols, maritime security of offshore assets, fleet support operations, coastal security operations, and protection of shipping lanes.

The five NOPVs constructed by RDEL are armed with a 76 mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) system along with two 30 mm AK-630 guns, which provide medium range and short range offensive and defensive capabilities.

The armaments of these vessels are remotely controlled through an electronic fire control system. They are also fitted with 20,000 KW diesel engine-driven propulsion systems and can deliver speeds up to 25 knots.

Background

RDEL, subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure is the first private shipyard in India to obtain defence production licence and sign a contract for defence ships in 2011. It is also engaged in construction of one training ship and 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard.

Previously, RDEL also had built ships for varied clients including offshore support vessels for ONGC, ice bulk carriers for a Norwegian company and offshore deck cargo barges for NPCC-UAE. It also has repaired and retrofitted commercial and defence ships as well as mobile oil drilling platforms for international clients.

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