Indian Air Force Current Affairs - 2020
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On January 20, 2020, the 222 Squadron of Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets was inducted by the Indian Air Force in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The squadron has been named “Tiger Sharks”.
The squadron has been inducted with modified Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets that are modified to carry BrahMos missiles.
The 222 Squadron of Sukhoi-30MKI squadron called the Tiger Sharks was first raised in Ambala, Haryana in 1969. It also took part in 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. In 1985, Tiger Sharks were the first squadron to be equipped with MiG-27.
In 2018, during the Gagan Shakti-2018 Indian Air Force Exercise, the capabilities of the aircraft were demonstrated at large scale.
So far there are 12 squadrons of Tiger Sharks inducted in India including the one recently inducted in Tamil Nadu. The other 11 were deployed in Pune, Halwara, Sirsa, Jodhpur, Tezpur, Bareilly, Chabua.
Why Tamil Nadu?
The Squadron is being inducted in Tamil Nadu to check the fast-expanding strategic footprint of China in the Indian Ocean Region. China had established its first military base in Djibouti in the region surrounding Horn of Africa. In fact, the base at Djibouti was the first overseas army support base established by Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The squadron will help to check China’s fast-growing footprint in Indian Ocean.
China’s Malacca Dilemma
China has been constantly finding ways to reduce its dependence on Straits of Malacca. This is to ensure long term energy security policy as piracy in the route is increasing. This policy of China seeking alternate routes is called “Malacca Dilemma”. It was introduced by President Hu Jintao in 2003.
Malacca Dilemma’s alternate routes
China on the lines of Malacca Dilemma has opened oil and gas pipelines in 2013 between Port Sitwe (in Myanmar waters) and Chinese Kunming in Yunnan province. Also, China is developing Gwadar port of Pakistan on the side lines of BRI initiative. A proposal to construct a canal across Isthmus of Kra is still under consideration.
Tags: BrahMos • Djibouti • Gagan Shakti • India-China • Indian Air Force
The Indian Army recently conducted the largest air borne exercise called the Winged Raider. Around 500 troops participated in the exercise. The exercise was conducted in the north-eastern theatre.
The exercise was conducted to demonstrate the operational readiness of the paratroopers and air warriors. The C-130 Hercules, Dhruv Helicopters and C-17 globe master transport aircraft participated in the exercise.
The exercise was telecasted live. It focused on encountering China in the border region. The exercise also included capacity building programmes and habitats. It also focused on moving certain advanced weapon system to the eastern side.
The Army is preparing itself to act against threats posed by China. Indian Army is also developing infrastructure in the Eastern borders. These exercises help to self-assess the readiness of the troops. The exercise will also help army to rebalance its western and northern fronts.
Similar exercise called Him Vijay was conducted in Arunachal Pradesh in October 2019. It was a mountain combat exercise. The exercise tested the Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) in Indian army. The IBG consists of tanks, infantry, air defence, logistics and signals. The IBG is a restructure combat tactics of Indian Army. This helps to meet emerging threats in the Eastern borders.
The exercise also helped the Indian Army to learn lessons. According to the feedback of Him Vijay exercise, communication skills of the army should be developed