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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Indian Army officer appointed Commander of UNMISS

Indian Army’s Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar was as appointed the new force commander of UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) by UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

About Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar

  • He is a decorated Indian Army officer who has had over 34 years of long distinguished career with Indian Armed Forces.
  • Defence Service: In 1983, he graduated from Indian Military Academy (IMA). From year 1996 to 1997, he served in United Nations Angola Verification Mission III (UNAVM-III) and from 2008 to 2009, in United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMISS).
  • In between 2012 and 2017 he also commanded a division, a recruit training centre and a brigade. Later from 2017 to 2018 served as the Additional Director General of Military Operations (ADGMO) at Army Headquarters. Since 2018 he was serving as Commandant of the Infantry School.
  • He holds a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Defence and Strategic Studies from The University of Madras.
  • Awards: He has won the Sena Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal for his service to Indian Army.
  • UNMISS Appointment: The 57-year-old Lieutenant General Tinaikar succeeded Lieutenant General Frank Kamanzi of Rwanda who completed his assignment on 26 May 2019. He will command over 16,000 peacekeepers with about 2,400 from India, in South Sudan in UNMISS.

India and UNPKF

  • India is the fourth largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping missions (blue helmet) throughout the world.
  • At present India contributes more than 6,400 military and police personnel to UN peace operations in the Middle East, Lebanon, Abyei, the Western Sahara, Haiti, Cyprus, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

About UNMISS

  • It was created in July 2011 when South Sudan gained independence from Sudan. It is the second biggest peacekeeping operation.
  • Until now over 67 UN peacekeepers have died while serving in mission.
  • As of March 2019 UNMISS has deployed 19,400 personnel with it.
  • India is second highest troop contributing country to UNMISS. India contributes about 2,337 Indian peacekeepers second only after Rwanda with 2,750. In addition to this India currently contributes 22 police personnel also.

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IAF’s AN-32 Aircraft Certified to Operate on Indigenous Bio-Jet Fuel

The Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) AN-32 aircraft was formally fleet certified to fly on blended aviation fuel which contain up to 10% of indigenous bio-jet fuel.

Key Highlights

About: The Russian made AN-32 aircraft is IAF’s formidable workhorse. It received the approval certificate for flying on blended aviation fuel at the aero-engine test facilities at Chandigarh.

Background:

  • The indigenous bio-jet fuel was first produced in 2013 by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) lab at Dehradun, but due to lack of test facilities in the civil aviation sector it could not be tested or certified for commercial use on aircraft.
  • Later in July, 2018, Chief of Air Staff (COAS) Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa formally announced Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) intention of permitting use of all its resources for testing and certifying the indigenous fuel. Since then, The IAF’s engineers and flight test crew have undertaken a series of tests for evaluating the performance of this indigenous fuel against international standards.

Significance:

  • In last one year IAF undertook a series of evaluation tests and trials with this green aviation fuel. The scope of these evaluation tests and checks was in consonance with international aviation standards. The approval granted is an acknowledgement of meticulous testing using indigenous bio-jet fuel by IAF.
  • The recent certification is a huge step towards promoting the ‘Make in India’ mission as this bio-fuel would be produced indigenously from Tree Borne Oils (TBOs) which will be sourced from tribal areas and farmers and will further augment their income substantially.

About Bio-Jet Fuel: This indigenous bio-jet fuel is made from Jatropha oil sourced from Chhattisgarh Biodiesel Development Authority (CBDA) and then processed at CSIR-IIP, Dehradun.

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