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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JF-17 Fighter Jet: delivered to PAF by China

China has delivered the first overhauled multi-role JF-17 Thunder fighter jet the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The delivery was part of a project undertaken by two nations more than a decade ago for development and manufacture of the aircraft.

Key Highlights

Background:

  • In recent years JF-17 has become a mainstay of PAF when after US has restricted its sales of F-16 war planes post 1990 arms embargo imposed on Pakistan under Pressler Amendment. Pakistan is reported to have over 100 JF-17 planes with more in pipeline.
  • More than a decade ago China and Pakistan had begun joint development and manufacture of single-engine light JF-17 jets. In 2007 Beijing delivered its first batch and a number of them were later commissioned by PAF. After over a decade of use, it was time for first JF-17s to undergo overhauls and first overhaul started in November 2017 after a contract was signed between two nations in 2016.

About:

  • The JF-17s jet were reassembled and delivered to its Pakistani client by Changsha 5712 Aircraft Industry Co Ltd under state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) in March. This is also the first time that AVIC has overhauled a made-for-export third generation fighter, or fourth generation fighter.
  • Although standard, regular maintenance could be done by military itself but due to higher complexity an overhaul generally needs to be conducted by designated and more capable supplier.
  • Pakistan sent some of its trainees to China, who built close communication with their counterpart and it was observed that since standards and procedures for overhaul were already established so future overhauls on other JF-17s could be undertaken by Pakistani personnel itself.
  • Overhaul Includes: major maintenance, features repairs and replacement of old components and also includes airframe and engine. A Block 3 variant of JF-17 is also under development which is expected to be much more powerful than the previous two blocks due to newly developed active electronically scanned array radar by China.

Significance:

  • This overhaul marks an important milestone in the ‘JF-17 project’ undertaken. This is because it represented trial-and-error phase of project and also provided desired experience in establishing standards for other JF-17 overhauls in nearby
  • Under framework of China-Pakistan cooperation Pakistan’s aviation industry will continue to develop.

Importance

  • Such an overhaul can ensures flight safety even after years of use. It might also equip aircraft with newer technologies that enhance its capability, or prolong lifespan of aircraft.

Way Forward:

  • Though China has made significant strides in avionics and developed new range of war planes including stealth fighters, it is yet to develop engines for its planes, including JF-17 and mostly rely on Russian supplies.
  • JF17 is part of close China-Pakistan defence cooperation which China has become a major supplier of arms to Pakistan. China is also currently building four new modern naval warships for Pakistan.

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Charter of Affiliation: signed between Assam Rifles and ICG

The Director Generals of Assam Rifles and Indian Coast Guard signed a ‘Affiliation Charter’ between 3rd (Naga Hills) Battalion of Assam Rifles and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Ship ‘Shaurya’ at a ceremony held at Laitkor, Shillong. It aims to enhance inter-armed forces cooperation between two and utilise each other’s assets for training and sports.

Key Highlights

  • Objective: to promote bilateral cooperation between the ICG and Assam Rifles in field of exchange of information and personnel and to build-up camaraderie for training in sports, adventure and sustainable development.
  • Significance: This affiliation charted will facilitate the ‘Sentinels of the North East’ (Assam Rifles) to interact with ‘Sentinels of the Seas’ (Indian Coast Guard) on professional as well as social platforms and share their rich experiences and best practices.
  • Importance: The two Armed Forces will benefit from motivating one another towards common goals. Assam Rifles personnel will be able to understand oddity of Maritime Service (ICG) and role played by them in guarding and intercepting anti-national forces and non-state actors who are detrimental to maritime and coastal security. Similarly, ICG personnel will be able to understand the operational ethos of Assam Rifles while working along the Indo-Myanmar border.

About Assam Rifles

  • It is India’s oldest Para Military Force. It has a rich history of valour, courage and tradition. It has 46 Battalions deployed at Indo-Myanmar border and for countering the insurgency in north east states.
  • 3rd (Naga Hills) Battalion Assam Rifles: is oldest battalion of the Para Military force. It was raised in 1835 as ‘The Cachar Levy’ for guarding Eastern Frontier of Assam from Brahmaputra river to Cachar Hills and comprised of 750 personnel of all ranks. At present, the battalion is developed at Kohima (Nagaland capital) where in past it bravely fought against Japan in World War-II and stopped their advance into India.

About ICG Ship ‘Shaurya’

  • Indian Coast Guard is one of youngest Armed Force under Ministry of Defence and is responsible for safeguarding the maritime interest of India. It has 142 ships & 62 aircraft in total.
  • The ICG Ship ‘Shaurya’ is built indigenously at Goa Shipyard Limited. It is a modern state-of-the-art 105 mtrs long Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) which was on August12, 2017 and is based in Chennai.
  • The word ‘Shaurya’ means courage. This is thus a projection of ICG’s commitment ‘To Serve & Protect’ maritime interest of the country.
  • It is extensively developed for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard charter.

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