PLA Current Affairs - 2019
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Two Indian Navy ships INS Kolkata and INS Shakti carried out a six day long ‘Group Sail’ (starting from 3 May and ending on 9 May) with naval ships of USA, Japan and Philippines in South China Sea (SCS).
About ‘Group Sail’
- Objective: It was aimed at deepening existing partnership and fostering mutual understanding among participating country’s navies.
- Participants: four countries namely, US, India, Japan and Philippines.
- Naval Ships: six combatants from participating countries included India’s INS Kolkata (Guided Missile Destroyer) and INS Shakti (Fleet Support Ship), Japna’s JMSDF Izumo (Helicopter Carrier) and JMSDF Murasame (Guided Missile Destroyer), Philippines’s BRP Andres Bonifacio (Frigate and offshore patrol vessel) and USA’ USS Williams P. Lawrence (Arleigh Burke Class guided Destroyer).
- Exercise Included: formation exercises, communication drills, passenger transfers, cross-deck flying, replenishment runs, and exchange of Sea Riders.
- Importance: It showcased India’s commitment to enhance interoperability with like-minded countries for ensuring safe maritime environment.
- Indian Navy ships (INS Kolkata and INS Shakti) were on return passage from their deployment to South and the East China Seas as part of annual Eastern Fleet Overseas Deployment (in pursuance of India’s Act East policy) during which they visited Vietnam, China and South Korea.
- In China, ships took part in International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of 70th anniversary celebrations of China’s People’s Liberation Army, PLA (Navy).
- Later on departing from South Korea, ships participated in Opening Ceremony (Phase I) of Maritime Security (MS) Field Training Exercise (FTX) under aegis of ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-PLUS).
Tags: ADMM Plus • ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plu • BRP Andres Bonifacio • China’s People’s Liberation Army • Eastern Fleet Overseas Deployment • IFR • India • India’s Act East policy • INS Kolkata • INS Shakti • Japan • JMSDF Izumo • nternational Fleet Review • Philippines • PLA • SCS • South China Sea • US • USS Williams P. Lawrence
The People’s Liberation Army launched a Dongfeng 31-B from the Wuzhai Missile and Space Test Centre also known as the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi province. The intercontinental ballistic missile has a range of 10,000 kms and can reach US and most of European countries.The test was done to mark its National Day and reinforce its nuclear deterrant. The D 31-B is said to be an updated version of 31-A and signified the second launch of PLA ‘s Second Artillery Corps in the last 3 months.
The military experts in China believe that the test is done to prove and reiterate China’s military might to the world. It is also seen in the light of improving China’ nuclear threat which becomes even more imperative in the current environment where USA has garnered a huge coalition in Western Asia to combat extremist build-up.
The experts feel that they are not aiing to target US but feel a grave need to conduct such military tests as the current situations are not good for Beijing. Other media reports also suggest that the USA’s Asia’s pivot had thereby plan to send 60% of its military to the region has created enough conditions for pressure build-up on Beijing to pull its nuclear strings. The Chinese media is also stating that China will soon roll-out Dongfeng 41 which will have a range of 12,000 kms and allow Beijing to be able to attack anywhere in US soils.
It is believed that the new warhead has a capability of carrying multiple warheads as against the single warhead capability of D 31-A.