Defence Current Affairs 2018
Defence Current Affairs of 2017, 2018 related to India’s Defence, Indian Armed Forces, Defence Production, Defence Acquisition and related matters.
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Indian Army inducted three major globally combat proven artillery gun system viz. M777 A2 ultra light howitzers (ULH), K-9 Vajra-tracked self-propelled guns and ‘Composite Gun Towing Vehicle’ at Deolali Field Firing Range in Maharashtra. These are first artillery gun systems to be inducted by Indian Army in three decades. Last inducted was Bofors artillery gun system procured from Sweden in early 1980s.
M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzers : It is 155mm, 39 Calibre ULHs towed artillery gun, with maximum range of 24-30km procured from US. It being versatile and light weight can be heli-lifted, thus providing employment flexibility in different terrains.
It will be procured under India-US deal signed in November 2016 for 145 M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers. Under it, 25 guns will be imported and rest will be assembled in India by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defense.
Deliveries will be completed by mid-2021. The gun systems induction gives a major impetus to Make In India initiative. It will bring new level of capability to artillery unit by offering rapid deployment and extreme accuracy.
K9 Vajra guns: It is a 155-mm, 52-calibre self-propelled gun with maximum range of 40 km. It will be imported from South Korea. It is customized version of original K9 Thunder artillery gun for desert conditions. Total 100 units will be procured by Army, and first 10 will be imported in semi knocked down form from South Korea and assembled by L&T in India and rest 90 will be manufactured in India. The first regiment of K9 will be equipped by July 2019 and all 100 guns will be delivered by November 2020.
Common Gun Tower: It is 6×6 field artillery tractor is indigenously developed by Ashok Leyland. It with has cross country capability and will replace ageing fleet of artillery gun towing vehicles.
India and Singapore will hold 25th joint naval exercise SIMBEX, acronym for Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise from November 10 to 21 in India off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. SIMBEX 2018 will mark silver jubilee of exercise and will be largest edition since 1994 in terms of scale and complexity.
It will witness diverse range of exercises at sea such as live weapon drills including multiple missile firings, heavy weight torpedo (HWT) and medium range gun and anti-submarine rocket firings; advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises, submarine rescue demonstrations; integrated surface and anti-air warfare (AAW); unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations and cross deck helicopter flying among others.
The initial first harbour phase of the exercise will be held at Port Blair followed by Sea Phase in Andaman Sea. Second harbour phase will be held at Visakhapatnam. Final sea phase will be held in Bay of Bengal. The number of missiles and torpedo firings in this exercise will be largest ever undertaken by Indian Navy with any foreign Navy till date. It will also witness highest numbers and variety of platforms fielded by both sides.
Indian Navy for this exercise will be deploying Ranvir class destroyer — INS Ranvijay, two Project 17 multirole stealth frigates — INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, Project 28 ASW corvette — INS Kadmatt, Project 25A missile corvettes, INS Kirch, OPVs INS Sumedha and INS Sukanya, Fleet Support Ship, INS Shakti, Sindhughosh Class submarine, INS Sindhukirti, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol and ASW aircraft from INAS 312, Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol aircraft from INAS 311, Mk 132 Hawk AJTs from INAS 551 and integral helicopters such as the UH3H, Seaking 42 B, Seaking 42C and Chetak utility helicopters.
Singapore Navy will be deploying represented by two Formidable Class stealth frigates — RSS Formidable and RSS Steadfast, two Missile Corvettes, RSS Vigour and RSS Valiant, one Littoral Mission Vessel — RSS Unity, Archer class Submarine, RSS Swordsman, ‘Swift Rescue’ Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle (DSRV), Fokker F50 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, embarked S70B helicopters and Scan Eagle unmanned aerial systems.