Defence Current Affairs 2018

Defence Current Affairs of 2017, 2018 related to India’s Defence, Indian Armed Forces, Defence Production, Defence Acquisition and related matters.

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Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) inaugrated in Gurugram

The Defence Minister of India formally inaugurated the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) Indian at the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram on 22nd December 2018. The IFC for Indian Ocean Region has the primary objective of jointly monitoring the vast Indian Ocean Region.

The Indian Ocean which is increasingly becoming the bone of contention between different countries, also suffers threats from natural disasters, piracy, terrorism and trafficking. IFC-IOR will provide a way to tackle these challenges through collaborative and cooperative efforts.

The Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram was sanctioned in March 2012 and became operational in November 2014. Nationally, the IFC-IOR at the IMAC obtains primary inputs from India’s coastal radar network. Internationally, India has White Shipping Agreements with 36 countries, and three multinational agencies which provides details of all commercial ships passing through the ports in their region. IMAC also gathers information inputs from long range identification and tracking mechanism under the International Maritime Organisation. Such diverse and complex data is fused together by a software to produce into a “common operating picture”. Currently, the software used for IMAC is procured internationally, but soon it will be replaced by a BEL-developed indigenous software called “Sangraha”.

Initially, virtual means like telephone calls, faxes, emails and video conferencing over internet will be used to exchange information at the IFC-IOR. Soon, the IFC-IOR would host Liaison Officers from partner countries for better coordination and interaction.

The fact that more than 75% of the world’s maritime trade and 50% of global oil consumption passes through the Indian Ocean Region proves the significance of guarding the IOR.   Keeping in mind the scale of the challenges in the Indian Ocean Region,  collaborative efforts between different countries is essential.

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‘Hand-in-Hand’ counter-terrorism military exercises concluded

India and China concluded the ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military exercise on 22nd December 2018 in China’s Chengdu city. This was the 7th edition of the ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military exercise. The  ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military exercise did not take place last year due to prevailing tensions between both sides after 73-day military standoff at Doklam

This year’s exercise, which began on 11th December, focused on urban terrorism in which Indian and Chinese armies conducted the drills while living and dining together to build up a sense of camaraderie. The exercise included live firing and demonstration of driving skills to rescue hostages held by terrorists in an urban environment. The previous edition of ‘Hand-in-Hand’ that was held in 2016 in Pune had focussed on counter-terrorism drills in non-urban areas.

The exercises and the concluding ceremony were live-streamed by China’s state-run TV channel CGTN highlighting their importance. The exercise seeks to improve the relations between the two countries drills keeping in spirit of this year’s Wuhan summit.

Wuhan Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of  China Xi Jinping had held their first Informal Summit in Wuhan on April 27-28, 2018. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange views on overarching issues of bilateral and global importance and to elaborate their respective visions and priorities for national development in the context of current and future international situation.

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