Union Ministry of Defence Current Affairs - 2020

Defence Ministry Approves Purchase of 33 new Fighter Jets and Upgradation of existing 59 MiG-29 Aircraft

The proposal to acquire 33 new fighter aircraft was approved by the Ministry of Defence on 2nd July 2020. This will help the Indian Air Force in addressing the long-felt need for increasing its fighter squadrons. Along with the purchase of 33 new fighter aircraft, the existing 59 MiG 29 aircraft will also be upgraded. The entire purchase and up-gradation will cost Rs 18,148 crore.

Among the 33 new aircraft, procurement of new 21 MiG-29 aircraft and up-gradation of 59 existing MiG-29 aircraft will be done by Russian Aircraft Corporation ‘MiG’ (also called Mikoyan) at Rs 7418 crore.

At Rs 10730 crore, 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft will be procured from state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Since the 2017 Rafael deal, this combined 33 fighter jets will be first to be ordered for the Indian Air Force. India has purchased a total of 36 Rafael fighter jets from French company Dassault Aviation at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore.

MiG 29 Fighter Jets

Indian Air Force has already three Squadrons of MiG 29 fighter aircraft in service. Russian company Mikoyan is the manufacturer of MiG 29 aircraft. All equipment and radar of the newly procured fighter jets will be as per the latest standards.

Su-30 MKI

Russian Company Sukhoi designed Sukhoi Su-30 MKI is under license manufactured for the Indian Air Force in India by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). At Present the Indian Air Force has a total of 260 Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft in service. The 12 Su-30MKI fighters will be manufactured at the Nasik, Maharashtra facility of the HAL.

Boost to ‘Make in India’

Apart from the 12 Su-30 MKI fighter jets to be manufactured by HAL, the Bengaluru based Indian state-owned company is likely to get the biggest ever Make in India project for an order of 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft Mk 1A this year. The order is estimated to be valued at around Rs 38,000 crore.

Def Connect: Ministry of Defence showcases the innovations of iDEX initiative

Ministry of Defence (MoD) is organizing the “Def Connect” event on November 11, 2019. The main objective of the event is to showcase the accomplishments of iDEX-Innovations for Defence Exellence.

Highlights

  • The event will bring together several stakeholders such as MoD selected startups, nodal agencies of Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, Industrial Associations, DRDO, Defense PSUs, etc.
  • The iDEX portal and the DISC-Defense India Startup Challenge are to be launched during the event
  • More than 350 startups are to participate in the event

Significance

  • The event will help bridge the gap between stakeholders. It will act as a precursor to the forthcoming DefExpo 2020 that is to be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in 2020.
  • The event will also help in achieving the defense production target of Rs 35,000 crore by 2024.

iDEX iniative

  • It was introduced in 2018 by the Ministry of Defense
  • The initiative aims at creating an ecosystem that will encourage technology development in the Defense sector
  • The iDex will be operated by the DIO-Defense Innovation Organization. The main functions of DIO includes
    • Check the reports submitted by iDEX
    • Provide high level policy guidance
  • The Ministry had also set the Technology Development Fund alongside to hasten the initiative.