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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Indigenously developed Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has achieved important milestone of flying at 6 km altitude in Bengaluru, capital of Karnataka. The test was critical requirement towards certification of LUH. Its first flight was carried in September 2016 and second Prototype was flown in May 2017.
The recent flight test was carried out under envelope expansion tests and helicopter exhibited satisfactory performance and handling qualities. With the completion of this milestone, LUH can now undertake high altitude cold weather trials planned in January 2019.
Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
It is 3-ton class new generation helicopter designed and developed by indigenously Rotary Wing Research and Design Center (RWR&DC) of HAL. It will replace ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters used by Indian Armed Forces.
It is capable of flying at 220 kmph, with service ceiling of 6.5 km and range of 350 km with 400 kg payload. It is fitted with Glass Cockpit and powered by TM/HAL Ardiden 1U/Shakti 1U single turbo shaft engine with sufficient power margins to cater to demanding high altitude missions.
It will meet requirements of both military and civil operators. It can be deployed for reconnaissance, surveillance roles and as light transport helicopter. HAL has in principal order for 187 LUH that includes 126 for Indian Army and 61 for IAF.
Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL)
HAL is state-owned aerospace and defence company based in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It is governed under the management of the Union Defence Ministry. It pursues high-end research and development to create the country’s future aircraft and aeroengine technologies HAL has already developed four highly popular models of helicopters under its belt. Its product range includes, Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), multi-role seven seater Chetak Helicopter, Light combat helicopter (LCH) Cheetah and Lancer, anti-insurgency, close air support chopper.
Nuclear capable surface to surface Agni-5 ballistic missile was successfully test-fired from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast. It was user associated trial of missile undertaken by strategic force command along with DRDO scientists.
The missile was launched with help of mobile launcher from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Dr Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal. During this trial, the flight performance of the missile was tracked and monitored by radars, tracking instruments and observation stations.
It was seventh trial of the indigenously-developed surface-to-surface missile. The first test was conducted in April 2012, second in September 2013, third in January 2015 and fourth in December 2016. The fifth test was held January 2018 and seventh was held in June 2018. All the trials were successful.
Agni-5 ballistic missile
It is three-stage solid propellant nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is about 17 metres long, 2 metres wide and has a launch weight of around 50 tonnes.
Agni-5 is latest and most advanced variant in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine in Agni series of missiles. It has strike range of over 5,000 kilometres and can carry nuclear warhead of 1.5 tonne. Thus, it can hit most northern parts of China and other parts of Asia, Europe and Africa.
Unlike other missiles of Agni series, Agni-5 is most advanced missile having new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine. It is also a fire and forget missile, which once fired cannot be stopped, except by interceptor missile which only US, Russia and Israel have.
It carries Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV) payloads. A single MIRV equipped missile that can deliver multiple warheads at different targets. It is also incorporates advanced technologies involving ring laser gyroscope and accelerometer for navigation and guidance. It has not yet inducted into the Services.