India-Russia Current Affairs - 2019

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Cabinet approves ISRO Technical Liaison Unit at Moscow

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved setting up of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Technical Liaison Unit (ITLU) at Moscow, Russia. It is mandated to collaborate with Space agencies and industries in Russia and neighbouring countries for mutually synergetic outcomes. It will enable effective technical coordination for timely interventions on diversified matters with Russia and neighbouring countries for realization of the programmatic targets of ISRO.

Note: This will be third such Technical Liaison Unit. Department of Space (Dos) already has instituted technical Liaison Units, namely ISRO Technical Liaison Units (ITLU) at Washington, Untied States and Paris, France with prime objective to liaise with various Government and space agencies in US and Europe, respectively

ISRO Technical Liaison Unit (ITLU) at Moscow

Implementation of ITLU Moscow office: It will be managed by ISRO Scientist/Engineer who will be designated as Counsellor (Space) on deputation. He/She will be deputed from ISRO and will be supported by staff locally sourced.

Liaison Officer: Will be deputed at ITLU from ISRO to provide technical information about developments in research and technology and inputs arising from their meetings with researchers, government agencies and industries in the respective countries.

Benefits: ISRO will be able to collaborate with Space agencies/industries in Russia and neighbouring countries for mutually synergetic outcomes. It will provide required technological support to ISRO’s Gaganyaan programme which requires development of some of the key technologies and establishment of specialized facilities essential to support life in space. It will support ongoing bilateral programmes of cooperation in space technology and act on behalf of ISRO.

Significance

It is prudent for IRO to avail technical cooperation from International space agencies, who have already demonstrated their technical capabilities in specific areas keeping in view 15th August, 2022 timeline for realization of Gaganyaan human space programme,

Russia is one of the space faring nations, thus it is envisaged to collaborate with Russia extensively in various fields of relevance. They also support ongoing bilateral programmes of cooperation in space technology and act on behalf of ISRO on the matters referred.

ISRO’s Gaganyaan programme (India’s maiden human spaceflight programme) requires development of some of the key technologies and establishment of specialized facilities, which are essential to support life in space.

India signs deal to acquire R-27 Air-to-Air Missiles from Russia

India has signed Rs.1,500 crore deal to acquire R-27 air-to-air missiles from Russia for equipping Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet of the Indian Air Force and for boosting its capabilities in beyond visual range warfare.

Key Highlights

R-27 air-to-air missiles have been acquired under 10-I projects which mandate all the 3 services (Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force) to maintain critical weapon systems and spares for a specified minimum period called as War Wastage Reserve (WWR).

In almost past 2 months Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed deals worth over Rs.7,600 crore for acquiring equipment under emergency requirements provisions approved by Union Defence Ministry in aftermath of Pulwama Attack. These Rs.7,600 crore has been spent by IAF in procuring missiles like Spice-2000, Strum Ataka ATGMs and a large number of spares under emergency procurement route.

Emergency Powers: After Pulwama attack in which 44 CRPF personnel were killed, Central government had given emergency powers to 3 services to buy whatever equipment is required by them for safeguarding borders with Pakistan. Under these powers given, security forces can buy equipment of their choice within 3 months at cost of up to Rs.300 crore per case.

About R-27 Missile

It is a medium-to-long-range air-to-air missile.

It is developed by Russia for its MiG and Sukhoi series of fighter jets.

These Russian missiles with an extended range would give an added capability to Sukhois to take on enemy aircraft at long ranges.