Defence Current Affairs - 2019

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.

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Government announces Free Air Travel for Paramilitary Forces to Kashmir

The government has issued an order approving the entitlement of air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu sectors to all the personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) which includes their journey for joining duty, transfer, tour or going on leave.

The facility till now was available officers in the rank of Inspectors and above has been now extended to the ranks of constable, a head constable and assistant sub-inspector. This decision will benefit approximately 7.8 lakh paramilitary personnel.

Now the jawans and sub-officers can book tickets in regular commercial flights and claim reimbursement from their organisation or force for this travel to and from Kashmir.

The decision is an extension to the existing air courier services for CAPFs where an entire aircraft is booked for the force personnel from either Delhi or Jammu to Srinagar and back. For the Jammu and Kashmir sector, an air courier service was already available for CAPFs jawans and this was extended in December 2017 to cover more routes like Delhi-Jammu, Jammu-Srinagar, Srinagar-Jammu and Jammu-Delhi.

Why the decision has gained significance?

During the February 14 Pulwama attack, 40 personnel of the CRPF were killed when an explosives-laden vehicle was blown off by a JeM terrorist, near the force bus that was plying between Jammu-Srinagar as part of a convoy. Questions were raised on why the troops were not allowed to travel by air so that the risk and threat of travelling on road, in large convoys in the Kashmir Valley, is eliminated.

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Lockheed Martin unveils new F-21 Fighter Jet

US defence giant Lockheed Martin unveiled the F-21 multi-role fighter jet at Asia’s biggest air show Aero India-2019. Lockheed Martin will manufacture the plane in collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems under India’s flagship programme Make in India.

F-21 Fighter Jet

  • The company states that the F-21 fighter jet is specifically configured for the Indian Air Force and will strengthen India’s path to an advanced airpower future.
  • F-21 would fulfil the Indian Air Force’s unique requirements and integrates India into the world’s largest fighter aircraft ecosystem with the world’s pre-eminent defence company.
  • The F-21 provides “unmatched” Make in India opportunities and strengthens India’s path to an advanced airpower future together with unrivalled industrial opportunities and accelerates closer India-US cooperation on advanced technologies.

India’s RFI for 110 fighter jets

India had floated Request for Information for procuring 110 fighter aircraft for its air force. Six global aviation majors which have responded to the RFI are Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-21 Fighting Falcon, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab’s Gripen and Russian United Aircraft Corporation’s MiG-35.

The RFI mandates that the procurement of the 110 aircraft should have 15 per cent aircraft in flyaway condition and the remaining 85 per cent to be made in India by a Strategic Partner. Lockheed has teamed up with Tata Advanced Systems for the F-21, and Boeing has teamed up with Hindustan Aeronautics, India’s state-run aerospace company, as well as Mahindra Defense Systems for the local manufacture of the Super Hornet.

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