Defence Current Affairs

Defence Current Affairs of 2018-19 related to India’s Defence, Indian Armed Forces, Defence Production, Defence Acquisition and related matters for SSC, States Civils, UPSC and Other Competitive Examinations.

Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020: Overview

During the global pandemic when the country is drifting towards self-reliant India “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” The Ministry of Defence (MOD) published a draft on ‘Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020’ for public feedback which the ministry awaits till 17th August 2020.

About

In the DPEPP 2020, the ministry aims at achieving a manufacturing turnover of $25 bn or ₹1,75,000 crore, which includes exports of $5 bn in aerospace and defence goods and services by the end of the year 2025. The draft aims at providing a structured and significant push to the country’s defence production capabilities for self-reliance and exports. Currently, in overall India’s defence procurement the share of domestic procurement is just about 60%. The ministry aims at doubling the current domestic procurement from ₹70,000 crore to ₹1,40,000 crore by the year 2025.

How it will be done?

DPEPP 2020 lays a framework for Defence Attachés on increasing defence exports, stating further the policy mentions that Defense officials have been mandated and are supported to promote export of indigenously manufactured defence equipment abroad. Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU) which would work as export promotion agencies will help in promoting export of defence products abroad. The DPSU for certain selected countries would help these countries with earnings linked to success fee however, subject to strategic considerations. The policy also lay guidelines for promoting these domestically manufactured defence products through Government to Government agreements and Lines of Credit/Funding.

Aerospace Industry

The guidelines also talk about various opportunities in the aerospace industry which have been classified under the following segments – helicopters, aircraft Maintenance, aircraft build work, line replaceable units, engine manufacturing and MRO work, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and upgrades and retrofits. As there is a long timeline involved in the whole process of defence procurement therefore, a Project Management Unit (PMU) will be set up with representation from the Services. The main work for PMU will be to estimate the specifications of life cycle costs and maintenance requirements of platforms, equipment and weapon systems, development and production lead times and also the various technologies involved,

Major Shift

Shifting from licensed production ministry will now own the design rights and Intellectual Property (IP) of the systems. All this will be done through a Technology Assessment Cell (TAC) which would be created to assess the industrial capability with the major industries in the country for design, development and production, including re-engineering for production of major systems such as fighter aircraft, helicopters armoured vehicles, submarines, and radars. As announced earlier by the government, the policy states that a negative list of weapons and platforms will be notified with year-wise timelines for placing an embargo on the import of such items from those dates.

Induction of first set of five Rafale fighter Jets 

The first set of five Rafale aircrafts landed in Ambala air base on July 29 to join IAF’s team. Section 144 CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) imposed in 4 adjacent villages of Ambala air base. Public gathering on roofs and capturing any kind of photography of landing approaches was strictly prohibited. Jodhpur air base was taken as an alternate option in case of any kind of emergency.

Highlights

On 27th July, five Rafale jets took off from Merignac airbase in Bordeaux, France to join the IAF. The Indian Ambassador to France Mr. Jawed Ashraf had a discussion with the pilots of the fighter jets. The aircrafts were refuelled by two French Air Force tanker aircraft mid air (One of them is carrying ventilators and test kits with a team of 10 health experts to support India to combat against Covid-19). The fighter jets covered a distance of about 7,000 km from France to India and took a single halt throughout the journey in an airbase in the UAE. The Rafale aircraft will be made fully operational with immediate effect.

Rafale: Technical Specifications

Rafale is a multi-role Combat Fighter jet. It is capable of conducting any type of sortie mission i.e. interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, air supremacy, close air support, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions.

  • Fuel capacity: 4,700 kg for single-seater and 4,400 kg for double seater.
  • Combat range: 1,850 km
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.8 (Mach number is the ratio of the speed of an aircraft to the speed of sound).

Rafale Deal

The Government of India had signed a €7.87 billion Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Dassault Aviation of France in the year 2016 demanding 36 Rafale fighter jets.