Siachen Glacier Current Affairs - 2020

Light Combat Helicopter Production inaugurated in HAL Bengaluru

On February 27, 2020, the Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh inaugurated Light combat Helicopter production at the HAL complex in Bengaluru. The project is a part of the “Make in India” initiative.

Light Combat Helicopters

The Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) were completely designed by HAL. It has 2 engines and several latest technical features. The helicopters are to be deployed at the Siachen base which is 4,700 metres above the sea level. It has the capacity to carry 500 kg of load.

Significance

India has been taking several steps to strengthen the Indian Air Force and also to increase Defence Exports. India has set a target of achieving Rs 35,000 crores of Defence Exports by 2024. Manufacturing of the Light Combat Helicopter will help India achieving the above goals.

Background

The need for the production of Light Combat Helicopters came from Kargil war. The LCH is a derivative of HAL Dhruv that was developed during 1990s.

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India’s highest bridge inaugurated

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the highest bridge in India. The bridge was named after the “Lion of Ladakh” Col Chewang Rinchen. It stands at 14,650 feet across the Shyok river.

Features of the bridge

  • It is located at 45km from India’s border from China.
  • It connects Leh’s Darbuk with Daulat Beg Oldi. The bridge is said to reduce the travel time by half-an-hour.
  • The bridge is an all-weather permanent bridge. Some bridges in the Ladakh, Siachen regions become inaccessible in winter.
  • It is located in the Sub-Sector North
  • The super structure of the bridge is called “Extra Wide Bailey Bridge”.
  • The bridge has been built in a span of 15 months.
  • Micro piling technique has been used in the construction of the bridge. The technique is used in India for the first time.
    • Micro piling is a technique used to transfer the load to the ground. Micro piles are small diameter piles constructed by drilling process and are keyed into rock.
  • The bridge is 4.5-metre-wide and is designed to support 70 tons class vehicles. Thus, it is expected to facilitate the movement of Indian battle tanks like T-90 that weigh 48 tons and are 3.5 metre wide.

Colonel Chewang Rinchen

The Lion of Ladakh is a recipient of Maha Vir Chakra twice. In 1948, the Pakistan tribal raiders had captured Kargil and set their eyes in Leh. The region was defended by Lt Col Prithi Singh with just 33 men under him. When he raised the tricolor flag and sought for help, Rinchen was the first person to respond at the age of 17 years. He then recruited 28 of his friends forming the “Ladakh Scounts” and won eventually. For his bravery, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra in 1952

He was awarded with Maha Vir Chakra again in 1971 for his heroic act in freeing nine enemy points located in Ladakh’s Partapur sector.

Shyok River

  • The River originates from Rimo Glacier, Karakoram Range and is called the “The River of Death”
  • It is a tributary of River Indus
  • It is also known as Sindhu
  • It is a transboundary river flowing through China (Tibet), India and Pakistan. Originating in China, the river joins the Indus river in PoK.
  • Chang Chen Mo River, Galwan River, Nubra River and Saltoro River are the tributaries of Shyok river.
  • The river holds several Quatenary period (2.58 million years ago) depositions that help Geologists to learn more about evolution of the earth.

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