Aircraft Current Affairs - 2020

US approves missile sales to India

On April 14, 2020, the United States approved missiles sales to India. They are the Torpedoes lightweight missiles and Harpoon air-launched missiles. The missiles are being sold at 155 million USD

Highlights

The cost of Harpoon missiles is 92 million USD and that of Torpedoes is 63 million USD. The missiles will help India to improve its capability against threats from enemy weapon system. The lightweight Torpedoes will be used to in anti-submarine warfare missions.

The Harpoon is an anti-ship missile used to attack an enemy boat or ship. The torpedoes is an underwater missile that can be launched below or above the water.

US benefits

According to the US, the missiles will help the United States to strengthen one of its major defence partner. Also, it will help in bringing peace, political stability and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific region.

Indian Benefits

India will use the missiles strengthen its homeland defences. Also, these missiles are completely compatible with India’s p-81 aircrafts and therefore, there are no difficulties for India to absorb these systems in its armed forces.

Regulations of Drones in India hastened

On January 13, 2020, the Indian Aviation Ministry announced that registration of all drones in the country is mandatory. The Ministry has given January 31, 2020 as deadline for the users to register their drones.

Highlights

Every drone is to be provided with a Unique Identification Number (UIN) under the scheme. GoI has opened an online portal called “digital sky” for the users to register their drones. Upon registration, the users will be provided with UIN, Unmanned Aircraft Operator Limit (UAOP), ownership acknowledgement number and Drone acknowledgement number.

Legislation

The drone owners failing to register their drones will face actions under the Aircraft act, 1934 and Indian Penal Code. The aircraft act governs aviation in India.

Significance

According to the FICCI committee on drones, there are 50,000 to 60,000 illegal drones in the country. Also, the latest drone tragedies across the world has forced the GoI to hasten its actions towards regulation of drones.

In December 2018, the world’s second busiest airport, the Heathrow airport remained closed for 3 days after multiple rogue drones were seen flying over the perimeter. Around 1000 flights were cancelled. Major General Soleimani was killed by the US military drone fired missile in Baghdad airport in January 2020.