IAF Current Affairs - 2019

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India sign Rs.200 crore deal with Russia to acquire Strum Ataka

India has signed Rs.200 crore deal with Russia for acquiring Strum Ataka anti-tank missile for its fleet of Mi-35 attack choppers of Indian Air Force (IAF). This deal comes in wake of an IAF’s attempt to keep itself battle-ready in situations like post-Balakot aerial strikes.

Key Highlights

This Rs.200 crore deal for Strum Ataka anti-tank missile would give an added capability to Mi-35 attack choppers of IAF to take out enemy tanks and other armoured elements.

Mi-35s are set to be replaced with Apache gunships being acquired from United States (US) and slated to be delivered from August onwards.

Emergency Clause: For more than a decade India has been trying to acquire Russian missiles but the deal has been signed under emergency clauses through which missiles would be supplied within 3 months of contract signing.

What is Emergency Clause?

Within few weeks after 14 February Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, emergency powers were given to Indian Defence forces and India started increasing vigil at borders with Pakistan.

Under, emergency powers given to three services, they can procure equipment of their choice within 3 months at a cost of about Rs.300 crore per case.

IAF has emerged as front runner in terms of weapon acquisition under emergency procurement, followed by Indian Army.

Under emergency provisions IAF has acquired also acquired Spice-2000 stand-off weapon system along with a number of spare and air to air missile deals with multiple counties to equip itself for sudden war.

Kharga Prahar: Army training exercise concludes

The “Kharga Prahar”, a major training exercise conducted by the Indian Army in Punjab from 27 May 2019 concluded on 4 June 2019.

Key Highlights of Exercise

  • Kharga Prahar exercise was undertaken in plains of Punjab by various units and formations of Army’s Kharga Corps.
  • The exercise was successful in validating latest operational concepts which are designed to deliver a swift punitive blow to India’s adversary.
  • The exercise brought out valuable lessons and also reinforced a high degree of operational preparedness of the Kharga Corps.
  • Joint Training: The exercise setting also incorporated joint training aspects as Indian Air Force (IAF) components also participated. As part of training para drops from IAF aircraft were carried out and simulated battlefield air strikes were conducted in support of ground forces.

About Kharga Corps

  • The Indian Army’s II Corps, based in Ambala is known as Kharga Corps. It has been stationed at Ambala since 1985.
  • If conflict or war breaks out between India and neighbouring Pakistan, in such case it has a mandate to launch offensive attack.
  • Kharga possesses 50% of Indian Army’s offensive capabilities and on integration with multiple military formations it has proved an effective weapon in various wars.
  • In 1971, Bangladesh Liberation War Khara Corps was positioned in West Bengal and helped in division of Pakistan. During the Kargil conflict in 1999 this elite force was deployed somewhere in the desert sector.