Defence Current Affairs 2017

Indian Navy’s second LCU Mark IV L52 ship launched by GRSE

Indian Navy’s second LCU (landing craft utility) Mark IV L52 ship built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata, was formally launched in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The LCU Mark-IV vessels are designed for multipurpose amphibious operations jointly carried out Indian Navy and Indian Army to ensure maritime security of Andamans and Lakshadweep islands. LCU L52 ship is the second in series of the eight Mark IV LCU vessels built by GRSE for Navy. The first ship of the series was commissioned in 2016.

Key Facts

LCU L52 ship is 62.8 meters long and 11 metres wide. It has 90% indigenous content. It has endurance of around 1,500 nautical miles at 12 knots. It is fitted with 2 x CRN-91 indigenous 30mm Guns.

It is capable of carrying two tanks or four special vehicles and 160 troops for landing at remote beach heads. It can be deployed for multiple activities like operations for landing troops ashore, humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations and evacuation of personnel from distant islands.

During sea trials, L52 had registered a speed of 15 knots. It also has successfully completed Weapon & Sensor trials prior delivery to the Navy. It has also been delivered with zero shipbuilders’ liabilities.

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Government empowers Army to procure weapons systems for short intense wars

The Union Government has empowered the Army to directly procure critical weapons systems and military platforms to maintain combat readiness for short duration intense wars.

The purpose of this new scheme is to maintain an optimum level to fight short intense wars following critical voids in capabilities of Army.

Need

The Army faces severe shortage in ammunition, mainly for artillery guns, air defence, tanks and certain infantry weapons. This shortage may make it very difficult for Army to fight a short intense war that lasts for 10 to 15 days. To overcome this issue, Army was pressing the government for ensuring speedy procurement of key military platforms citing evolving security challenges.

Key Facts

Under the new scheme, Vice Chief of Army has been given the full financial powers to procure ammunitions. Army has been empowered on a routine basis to review the optimum holding state and maintaining it on a recurring manner.

The new procedure will be part of revenue procurement of the Army for in-service equipment and weapons. As part of it, the Army has been allowed to procure 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 different types of weapons systems.

The new revenue route for procurement of in-service equipment will not require going through numerous procurement stages which often cause inordinate delays. Earlier it was necessary to take permission from Defence Acquisition Council (headed by defence minister) or the Cabinet Committee on Security (headed by Prime Minister), for procuring such critical equipment. Thus, new scheme will ensure that the time taken in procuring such equipment is reduced.

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