Defence & Security 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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AKASH-1S Missile: test fired by DRDO

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired Akash-1S surface to air defence missile system from Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore off the Odisha coast. This is the second successive successful missile test by DRDO in last two days.

About Akash-1S

Background:

  • The Akash missile is a medium range multi-target engagement capable missile that was developed as part of Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). Other missiles under IGDMP are Nag, Agni, Trishul, and Prithvi missiles. The missile system was formally inducted into the Army on May 2015 and in the IAF on July 2015. Later in September 2015 the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared seven additional squadrons of the Akash missile for IAF.
  • After a 2017 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report stated that 30% of these missiles failed when tested and in 2017 itself the Army too agreed that missiles did not meet its operational requirements because of their higher reaction time.

Features

  • It is a supersonic surface to air missile with multi-target engagement capability.
  • Akash-1S is an upgrade version of existing Akash missile fitted with an indigenously developed seeker.
  • The new Akash weapon system has combination of both command guidance and active terminal seeker guidance.
  • Range: The missile has a range of about 25 km and altitude range of 18,000 metres (18km).
  • It is capable of neutralizing advanced aerial targets and in striking down enemy fighter jets and drones effectively.
  • Missile system uses: high-energy solid propellant for booster and ramjet-rocket propulsion for sustainer phase thus is said to be highly mobile.
  • Variants: include Akash MK1, Akash-MK2. They have improved accuracy and higher ranges are under development by the DRDO.

Way Forward

  • India taking certain steps to slowly fill the holes in its air defence elements such as by developing advanced surface-to-air missile called ‘Medium Range Surface to Air Missile’ (MRSAM) in collaboration with Israel.
  • Besides MRSAM, India is also procuring five regiments of renowned S-400 air defence system from Russia whose delivery will begin in 2020.

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IAF pay homage to Kargil War Martyrs during Operation Safed Sagar

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal (ACM) B.S. Dhanoa visits Air Force Station in Bhisiana and Sarsawa to pay homage to the air warriors who made supreme sacrifice during Operation Safed Sagar at Kargil.

Key Highlights

  • Background: On 28 May 1999 the Indian Air Force lost a Mi-17 helicopter after successfully attacking the enemy in Drass sector (J&K). On this day 1999 Squadron Leader Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja who was at that time the Flight Commander of 17 Squadron laid down his life along with Squadron Leader R Pundhir, Flight Lieutenant S Muhilan, Sergeant R K Sahu and Sergeant PVNR Prasad who also died in action in that Mi-17 helicopter during the Kargil conflict.
  • About: The Chief of the Air staff (CAS) B. S. Dhanoa paid tribute to Late Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja and other fallen heroes who lost their life 20 years back during the Kargil war.
  • CAS B.S. Dhanoa flew the ‘missing man’ formation flypast in a Mig-21 aircraft. He was accompanied by Air Marshal R Nambiar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command in the ‘missing man’ flypast organised at Air Force Station in Bhisiana in Bhatinda to honour the valour and supreme sacrifice of men killed in action during Operation Safed Sagar at Kargil, J&K.
  • On 28 May the CAS visited Air Force Station Sarsawa and fly in a Mi-17 V5 ‘Missing Man’ formation flypast to commemorate the Kargil martyrs.

About The ‘Missing Man’ formation

  • It is an aerial salute accorded to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms. It is basically an Arrow Formation, with a gap between two aircraft in a way that the formation depicts the Missing Man.

About Operation Safed Sagar (or “Operation White Sea”)

  • It was the code name assigned to Indian Air Force’s (IAF) role in acting jointly with Ground troops of Indian Army during the Kargil war in 1999.
  • It was aimed at flushing out Regular and Irregular troops of Pakistani Army from vacated Indian Positions in Kargil sector along Line of Control (LOC).
  • Since 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, it was the first large scale use of Airpower in Jammu and Kashmir region.

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