HAL Current Affairs - 2019

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Light Combat Helicopter Completes Weapon Trials

The indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) of India has successfully carried out air-to-air missile firing. It was for the first time in India that a helicopter had carried out air to air missile engagement.

The LCH developed by HAL has completed all weapon integration tests and is ready for operational induction. The operational trails of LCH with 20 mm Turret gun and 70 mm rockets had been completed last year itself.

Features of the LCH

The LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world which is capable of operating at altitudes as high as the location of Siachen glacier. The LCH is mounted with a helmet mounted sight and a forward-looking infrared sighting system. This enables the pilots to detect and destroy any target on the ground or in the air.

This advance sighting system will enable the pilot to launch a missile onto any target without having to turn the helicopter. The trails showed that the fire and forget missile was effective against all types of aerial threat, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and microlight aircraft.

The LCH is capable of operating from dispersed locations and flying at ultra-low levels. This provides for a protective umbrella from all aerial threats.

Supreme Court gives Clean Chit to NDA Government over Rafale Deal

Supreme Court has given clean chit to Modi government for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter Jets. The three Judge bench headed by Ranjan Gogoi, find nothing wrong on the purchase of 36 fighter jet instead of 126 from France.  The court gave clean chit on three aspects – Purchasing of 36 Rafale jets instead of 126. Pricing of Rafale jets and Selection of Indian offset partners.

Key Facts

The bench consists of Ranjan Gogoi as chairman and other two members S K Kaul and K M Joseph, gave clean chit on issue of procurement of Rafale jets from France. The litigation had questioned the deal on the ground of pricing mechanism, commercial favoritism and procurement of less number of fighter jets. The petition was first filed by Advocate M L Sharma. The petitioners demanded CBI to register a FIR for the said irregularities in deal.  The apex court rule has two main points – (1) It finds no evidence of commercial favoritism (2) It is not the job of court to deal with comparative pricing mechanism.

Rafale Deal

Dassault Rafale won the MMRCA competition in January 2012 to supply 126 Jet aircraft with additional 63 aircraft to Indian Air Force. First 18 aircrafts were to be supplied by Dassault and remaining were to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Dassault refused to ensure the quality of aircraft produced by HAL. In 2014 the price of deal increased to $30 billion. This created the price issue on the deal and deal couldn’t be signed. Then after Modi government the deal was confirmed with the 36 multirole fighter aircraft of Rs. 58000 crores from France’s Dassault Aviation. The deal has been in controversy since its inception and supreme finally gave clean chit to government.