Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2018

Type 001A: China’s first indigenous aircraft carrier begins sea trial

China’s first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier known only as “Type 001A” started sea trials from Dalian port in Liaoning province. The ship’s engine, propulsion and navigation systems will be tested at sea for first time, a year after it was officially launched. The name of the carrier was not revealed at the launch ceremony, but it is speculated that it will be named Shandong after province of same name.

Key Facts

The Type 001A carrier was constructed by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation in Dalian. Its design is based on the Soviet Union’s Kuznetsov class and refined and advanced version of Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier constructed from incomplete Kuznetsov-class vessel. It is expected to be commissioned by 2020.

It measures about 315 metres long, with displacement capacity of about 55,000 tonnes (70,000 loaded). The ship is powered by conventional oil-fired boilers driving eight steam turbines, a design copied from the Soviet TB-12 engines used by its sister ship. It is capable of carrying 38 to 40 aircrafts.

Comment

The Type 001A was built as part of China’s ambitious plans to modernise its navy as it presses its claims in disputed regional waters. It will give China second aircraft carrier as it asserts its claims in South China Sea and seeks to deter any independence movements in Taiwan.

The possession of home-grown aircraft carrier places China among few military powers with such vessels, including United States, Russia and Britain. China’s sole operational aircraft carrier, Liaoning is a repurposed USSR (Soviet) ship bought from Ukraine, which went into service in 2012.

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IMD to deploy 30 more doppler radars across India

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is planning to add 30 more doppler radars in the next two-three years across the country. 14 will be located in the northeast, four in Jammu and Kashmir and three each will be Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Background

The first Doppler radar in India was installed in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 2002. Its need became more compelling after 2005 Mumbai floods. There are currently 27 Doppler radars in the country. The hilly states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and J&K had witnessed erratic patterns like thunderstorms and heavy rains and snowfall, so do north eastern states. In 2013, erratic cloud burst in Uttarakhand had caused flash floods killing hundreds.

Doppler radar

Doppler radar is an observational tool used for precisely monitoring and predicting severe weather events such as hailstorms, thunder storms, cyclones and tornados. It uses Doppler effect by bouncing microwave signal off desired target to produce velocity data. This data helps in analyzing object’s motion by altered frequency of returned signal. It mainly gives information about wind velocity and precipitation.

Doppler radar has radius of 250 km and helps in issuing forecasts two-three hours prior to severe weather conditions. It can provide area specific rain and storm warnings which are beneficial for disaster management and emergency response, aviation and related services. It can be used for wind speed measurements during cyclones and thunderstorms which is not possible in conventional weather radar.

India Meteorological Department (IMD)

IMD is the principal agency of Government of India responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology. It functions under Ministry of Earth Sciences. It is headquartered in New Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica.

IMD is one of six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres of World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It has been entrusted with responsibility for forecasting, naming and distribution of warnings for tropical cyclones in Northern Indian Ocean region, including Malacca Straits, Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf.

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