Defence Current Affairs 2018

MPATGM: DRDO successfully tests low-weight indigenously developed man-portable anti-tank guided missile

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted first successful trials of indigenously developed third generation Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM). Two rounds of missile were flight tested in operational configuration in two days from Ahmednagar range in Maharashtra.

About Test

The two tests were intended for two different ranges. After its launch from platform, the missile tracked target all through its trajectory and destroyed it with high precision. The missile performed as expected during the test by meeting all mission objectives successfully and validated its maximum range capability. Apart from stand alone and warhead testing, the missile also had undergone series of tests including integrated static trial to characterise trust vector control.

MPATGM weapon system

MPATGM is third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) indigenously developed by DRDO. It is best in its class in the world. It is yet to be formally named. It is expected to replace second generation French origin anti-tank guided missile Milan and Soviet semi-automatic wire-guided missile Konkur, which are in service with Indian Army.

This missile is considered as major boost to Make-in-India initiative. It has strike range of 2.5 km. It weighs around 14.5 kg to maintain man portability. It is capable of being fired from shoulder and can be used during day and night. It has minimum lateral centre and gravity offset.

It is fitted with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead. It works on fire and forget principle and is known for its top attack capabilities. It is effective against both stationary and moving targets. It will be deployed in infantry and parachute battalions of Indian Army. Its development was necessitated after armed forces sought low-weight and man portable weapon systems as per battle ground requirements. At present, India Army has indigenously developed third generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) Nag in its arsenal but it is not portable to meet its demand.

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Mt Everest Friendship Exercise: Nepal and China conducts second joint military exercise in Sichuan province

The second edition of Nepal-China joint military exercise named Mt Everest Friendship Exercise-2018 (Sagarmatha Friendship-2018) commenced in China’s southwestern Sichuan province. The 12 day long joint exercise will focus on combating terror and disaster management trainings. Sagarmatha is the Nepali name for Mt Everest, which stands in between both the countries.

Mt Everest Friendship Exercise

This will be the second time that Nepal Army will participate in joint military drill with People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China.  The first such exercise was held in April 2017 at Nepal Army’s Para Training School in Maharajgunj in Kathmandu (capital of Nepal). This joint exercise is aimed at promoting military relations and enhance interoperability between armies of Nepal and China. In second edition of exercise, 12 military personnel from Nepali Army will visit China. It will mainly focus on anti-terrorism activities. Besides disaster management training will also be imparted in this edition of exercise.

Comment

The joint training with China marks the Nepal’s extension of military diplomacy. Nepali army has long been conducting joint military drills with countries like India and United States. This exercise does appear unconventional as Nepal has been conducting battalion-level exercises named ‘Surya Kiran’ with the Indian Army for last 13 years, engaging some 300 personnel from both sides (It is largest exercise in terms of troop’s participation in series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries). Besides, Nepal’s bilateral military engagement with China does not violate India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship (1950) which permits free movement of people and goods between the two countries and a close relationship and collaboration on matters of defence and foreign affairs

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