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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Supreme Court gives Clean Chit to NDA Government over Rafale Deal

Supreme Court has given clean chit to Modi government for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter Jets. The three Judge bench headed by Ranjan Gogoi, find nothing wrong on the purchase of 36 fighter jet instead of 126 from France.  The court gave clean chit on three aspects – Purchasing of 36 Rafale jets instead of 126. Pricing of Rafale jets and Selection of Indian offset partners.

Key Facts

The bench consists of Ranjan Gogoi as chairman and other two members S K Kaul and K M Joseph, gave clean chit on issue of procurement of Rafale jets from France. The litigation had questioned the deal on the ground of pricing mechanism, commercial favoritism and procurement of less number of fighter jets. The petition was first filed by Advocate M L Sharma. The petitioners demanded CBI to register a FIR for the said irregularities in deal.  The apex court rule has two main points – (1) It finds no evidence of commercial favoritism (2) It is not the job of court to deal with comparative pricing mechanism.

Rafale Deal

Dassault Rafale won the MMRCA competition in January 2012 to supply 126 Jet aircraft with additional 63 aircraft to Indian Air Force. First 18 aircrafts were to be supplied by Dassault and remaining were to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Dassault refused to ensure the quality of aircraft produced by HAL. In 2014 the price of deal increased to $30 billion. This created the price issue on the deal and deal couldn’t be signed. Then after Modi government the deal was confirmed with the 36 multirole fighter aircraft of Rs. 58000 crores from France’s Dassault Aviation. The deal has been in controversy since its inception and supreme finally gave clean chit to government.

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HAL developed Light Utility Helicopter achieves important milestone of flying at 6 km altitude

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.

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