Defence Current Affairs 2017

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India becomes first country to successfully test fire underwater supersonic cruise missile

With the successful test firing of the over 290 km-range submarine-launched version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in the Bay of Bengal, India became the first country in the world to have an underwater supersonic cruise missile.

Ship and ground-launched versions of the BrahMos missile have already been successfully tested and inducted into service with the Indian Army and the Navy.

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Shanti Prayas-2: Joint military exercises of Nepal, US Army

The armies of Nepal and the United States will jointly conduct military exercises , named Shanti Prayas-2 or Peace Initiatives, later this month which will also involve several other countries including India. The exercises will be conducted in Panchkhal, situated 50 km east of Kathmandu.
The Nepal Army, the US Army and several other countries have announced their participation in the drill which is the latest in a continuing series of exercises in the Asia-Pacific region designed to promote regional peace and security and enhance the peacekeeping capabilities and capacity of nations participating in the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI).

What is GPOI?
GPOI is a G8 nations’ initiative to enhance peace support operations capabilities worldwide.

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Fact Box: Operation Lal Dora

image India planned ‘Operation Lal Dora’ in 1983 to prevent coup in Mauritius

India, during the regime of Indira Gandhi in 1983, had planned top secret military intervention-“Operation Lal Dora” to help the then Mauritian Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth fight off a challenge from his radical rival Paul Berenger which New Delhi feared might take the form of an attempted coup. With this operation India wanted to ensure an Indian-origin Prime Minister remained in power there.

As per Operation Lal Dora, Indian Navy and Army were to land troops to the island nation to thwart any possible coup. The plan also included the deployment of major naval assets including as many as six destroyers with Alouette helicopters and MK 42C Sea Kings for slithering operations.
However, Mrs. Gandhi put on hold the military part of the operation due to differences between the the Navy and the Army over who would lead the intervention. Instead, she chose to task the Research and Intelligence Wing’s then chief, Nowsher F. Suntook, with supervising a largely intelligence-led operation to reunite the Indian community whose fracturing along ideological and communal lines had allowed Mr. Berenger to mount a political challenge. India’s overall intervention became successful and Anerood Jugnauth stayed as PM for more than a decade.

Though eventually aborted, Operation Lal Dora has a special significance today because of the Indian strategic community’s focus on promoting the Indian Navy’s role in the wider neighborhood, especially the Indian Ocean.

India’s other military interventions in the India Ocean:

  • ‘Operation Flowers are Blooming’: India’s first military intervention in the Indian Ocean, first with INS Vindhyagiri helping to abort a coup in the Seychelles in 1986
    ‘Operation Cactus’:  In 1988 when commandos and naval ships were rushed to the Maldives after Sri Lankan Tamil militants sought to remove the then President, Abdul Gayoom.

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