Current Affairs 2017 (July)

18th Kargil Vijay Diwas observed

The 18th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas was celebrated across India to commemorate the success of Operation Vijay and remember brave sacrifice of Indian soldiers during the 1999 India-Pakistan Kargil War.

India-Pakistan Kargil War

The war took place between May and July of 1999 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil district. It began with the infiltration of both Pakistani troops and terrorists deep inside Indian territory in strategic positions that overlooked the only road link between Srinagar and Leh.

The conflict is believed to have been orchestrated by the then Pakistan army chief General Pervez Musharraf without the knowledge of the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Based on information from local shepherds, Indian Army was able to ascertain the points of incursion and launch “Operation Vijay”.

The Army declared the mission successful on July 26, 1999. Since then the day has been celebrated annually as Vijay Diwas. The victory came at a high price. The official death toll on the Indian side was 527, while that on the Pakistani side was between 357 and 453.

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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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