Current Affairs - September, 2018

Nomadic Elephant 2018: India, Mongolia joint exercise held in Ulaanbaatar

India, Mongolia joint exercise Nomadic Elephant 2018 commenced at Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) Five Hills Training Area in Ulaanbaatar (capital of Mongolia). Nomadic Elephant is annual bilateral military exercise started in 2006. It is designed to strengthen partnership between Indian Army and Mongolian Armed Forces.

Nomadic Elephant 2018

This year it is thirteenth edition of exercise aimed at developing mutual understanding and respect between armies of both countries and facilitate in tackling the world wide phenomenon of terrorism. The 12 days long joint exercise will be conducted from 10 to 21 September 2018.

This exercise will seek to improve tactical and technical skills in joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in rural and urban scenario between both countries under United Nations mandate. Indian contingent is represented by contingent of 17 PUNJAB Regiment while Mongolian contingent is represented by Unit 084 of Mongolian Armed Forces.

During the exercise, armies of both countries will jointly train, plan and execute series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario. Moreover, experts from both sides will also conduct detailed discussions to share their experience on varied topics for mutual benefits.

Month: Categories: Defence Current Affairs 2018

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First wet mid-air refuelling of LCA Tejas successfully carried out using IL-78 MKI tanker

Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully carried out first ever mid-air refuelling of indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas MK-1 over Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. With this, India joins in elite group of countries which have successfully developed air-to-air refuelling system for military aircraft.

LCA Tejas mid-air refuelling

It was first wet mid-air refuelling of LCA Tejas (LSP8) carried out by transferring 1,900 kg of fuel from IAF’s Russian-origin Ilyushin-78 (IL-78) tanker at altitude of 20,000 feet. This operation had refueled all internal tanks and drop tanks of LCA Tejas.

Before this wet contact trial, IAF had successfully conducted ‘dry-air refuelling contact trials’ where drogue (basket) extended from tanker aircraft IL-78 by fuel hose, which was only tracked and plugged into using LCA’s Tejas’ refuelling probe without transfering fuel.

Significance

With this first trial of air-to-air refueling, LCA gets much closer to important battle-ready tag, called final operational clearance (FOC). Besides, air-to-air refuelling capability for LCA will be force multiplier for IAF as it enhances potential of aircraft to stay airborne for much longer periods of time, thus increasing its range and endurance. It will also enable IAF options to exploit operational potential of LCA as well as to participate in international exercises without having to stop or stage through several locations enroute.

Background

IAF currently operates nine LC Tejas fighters built to Initial Operating Clearance (IOC) standard built indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited. These jets are being flown by No. 45 Squadron named Flying Daggers (It is first LCA Tejas Squadron) based at Sulur Air Force Station in Tamil Nadu. IAF has placed ordered of 123 LCA Tejas variants at cost of Rs 70, 000 crores to Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL). Among the 123 planes on order, 20 each are in IOC and more advanced final operational clearance (FOC) configurations, while remaining 83 are in Mk-1A configuration that comes with additional improvements

Month: Categories: Defence Current Affairs 2018

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