Defence exports Current Affairs - 2020

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200 fighter jets to be acquired by Indian Air Force

The Government of India will acquire around 200 aircrafts. Of these 200, 83 fighter jets are LCA Tejas Mark 1A and are to be procured from HAL. The rest are to be procured based on Request for Proposals.

Highlights

The design of the fighter jets was finalized by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited). HAL will start manufacturing 8 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas Mark 1A per year and will slowly increase the count to 16 per year. The LCA Tejas recently became the first indigenously made aircraft to make arrested landing on INS Vikramaditya.

LCA Tejas

The LCA Tejas was designed by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) and ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) in 1980s. It replaced India’s MiG-21. So far, LCA Tejas is operating only in India. However, Egypt and Sri Lanka have shown interests in the aircraft. This will help India achieve its Defence exports targets of Rs 35,000 crores by 2024.

India has plans exports Tejas Mark 1A and not its advanced version Tejas Mark 2.

Tejas Mark 2

Tejas Mark 2 has increased internal fuel capacity of 3.3 tonnes. Also, it is equipped with an artificial intelligence-based cock pit that is optimally manned. It has provisions for the ground stations to take control when the pilot falls unconscious or is injured. The alert signals of unconsciousness of the pilot will be generated by his helmet.

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GoI new scheme: Rs 400 crores for testing MSME Defense products

The Government of India is planning to launch a new scheme to test defense products manufactured by MSMEs. In order to achieve this, the Ministry of Defence has allocated Rs 400 crores.

Features of the scheme

The test units that are to function under the scheme will be installed in north and south defence corridors. Under the scheme, 75% of the cost of equipment for the testing units will be provided by the Central Government. The first test facility is to be launched for drones.

Significance

Government is working to increase its defence exports. This is being done to achieve the set target of Rs 90,000 crore by the end of 2019-20 financial year. To achieve this, several initiatives are being launched. To mention some, recently DRDO offered free access to its 450 patents.

The launch of new scheme will help in achieving the target. It will also aid the startups entering defence production.

The announcement was made in the Quality Assurance-Industry Conclave that was held in Chennai on November 23, 2019. In the conclave, L&T was provided with the “Green Channel Status” under the Green Channel Policy.

Green Channel Policy

The policy was launched by the Ministry of Defence. The policy provides eligibility criteria for firms to obtain Green Channel Status. It also defines the constitution of green channel committee, defect investigation, submission of bank Guarantee, etc.

The nodal agency implementing the policy is Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D)

Under the policy, when a firm gains the “Green Channel status” it can self-certify its products for their quality.

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