September 2017 -Defence News Notes - Current Affairs

Current Affairs: September 2017 -Defence News Notes - Current Affairs

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Defence News – September

India hands over off-shore patrol vessel Varuna to Sri Lanka

On 5th September 2017, India handed over an off-shore patrol vessel, Varuna, to Sri Lanka as a part of stepping up co-operation between the two coast guards.

Handing over of the off-shore patrol vessel:

  1. The ship (Varuna) was decommissionedwith traditional honours on August 23 to facilitate the handing over at Kochi.
  2. The ship has been allocated pennant number SLCG-60 by Sri Lanka Coast Guard and will be commanded by Captain Neville Amara Ubayasiri.
  3. Rear Admiral SS Ranasinghe, Chief of Staff, Sri Lanka Navy was also present during the ceremony.

India and Sri Lanka begin Joint Naval Exercise SLINEX 2017 at Visakhapatnam

On 7th September 2017, the seventh edition of India-Sri Lanka joint maritime naval exercise SLINEX 2017 started near Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh in India on the Bay of Bengal. It will last till 14th September 2017.

SLINEX 2017:

  1. SLINEX 2017 focuses on fleet work, seamanship, communication, replenishment at sea, Visit Board Search and Seize (VBSS) operations and helicopter operations.
  2. Sri Lanka Navy’s offshore patrol vessels,SLNS Sayura and Sagara participate in this edition of biennial exercise.
  3. The ships left home shores from Trincomalee in Srilanka after a formal farewell in the presence of senior Naval officers including Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Nimal Sarathsena and Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Fleet, Rear Admiral Kapila Samaraweera.

Joint India-Nepal army exercise begins in Saljhandi, Nepal 

Nepal India Joint Military Exercise Surya Kiran has launched and it is to be held from September 3 to 16. This is the 12th edition of the exercis
Key Points

i.Joint military exercise, Surya Kiran Nepal Army Battle School at Saljhandi.

ii.It will have around 350 troops from each side, focusing on counterinsurgency and counterterror operations.

iii.Surya Kiran series of exercises are held alternately in India and Nepal.

iv.The aim of this exercise is to conduct battalion level joint training with emphasis on Counter Terrorism in mountainous terrain.

Ashok Leyland, ELCOM ink defence pact with Russian firm

Ashok Leyland Defence Systems (ALDS), Russia’s Rosoboronexport and ELCOM Group have signed a cooperation agreement in defence business announced on 6th of Sept. 

i.The MoU has signed on the sidelines of the International Military Technical Forum Army, held at Kubinka, near Moscow.

ii.Rosoboronexport is the only state organisation in Russia for export of the entire range of military products and technologies.

Swedish defence giant Saab, Adani join hands for defence manufacturing

Swedish defence giant Saab and Indian conglomerate Adani group has announced a collaboration in defence manufacturing announced on 1st sept 2017.

Key Points:

i.The project would encompass design, development and production of Gripen jets for India in line with the Make in India initiative.

ii.The collaboration would include projects, programmes and sharing of technologies of national importance with India.

iii.The collaboration will combine the technical and product excellence of Saab, along with the industrial engineering, system integration and mega project execution capabilities of Adani with the intention to manufacture defence systems locally in India.

DRDO successfully flight tested Anti Tank Guided Missile – NAG

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight tested India’s indigenously developed third generation Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) ‘Nag.
Key Points:

i.The missile was tested in a desert in the western sector of Rajasthan on 9th Sept. 2017.

ii.According to the reports, ATGM Nag successfully hit both targets under different ranges and conditions with very high accuracy as desired by the armed forces.

SpaceX launches US Air Force’s super-secret mini-shuttle

SpaceX has launched the US Air Force’s super-secret space shuttle announced on 7th Sept. 2017 & a technology tester capable of spending years in orbit.
Key Points:

i.According to a SpaceX launch controller The Falcon has safely landed.

ii.An unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

iii.It’s the fifth flight for one of these crewless mini shuttles, known as the X-37B Orbital Test 

Elon Musk shows off SpaceX first full body spacesuit

On 8th September 2017, CEO of SpaceX Billionaire Elon Musk shared a picture of his space exploration startup SpaceX’s first full-body spacesuit on Instagram.

The SpaceX first full body spacesuit:

  1. The spacesuit is designed to protect astronauts when they are in the space capsule and while moving over to other vehicles like the International Space Station (ISS) under pressurised conditions.
  2. It is a pressure suit, to be worn by astronauts while riding inside the ‘Crew Dragon’ spacecraft.

Reliance Energy launched digital assistance robot-ELEKTRA 

Reliance Energy has launched a digital assistance robot named ELEKTRA. This system provides automated responses to customers for their queries and requests.
Key Points:

i.It is powered by Artificial Intelligence.This robot comes into action whenever a customer logs in to Reliance Energy’s Facebook page or website.

ii.This digital assistance robot takes help of SCADA and GIS systems to provide real-time responses to the customers.

iii.The introduction of this digital assistance robot has made bill payments, registering complaints and requests for new connections quick and hassle free.

FSSAI launches online platform “FoSCoRIS” for food inspection & sampling

On 11th September 2017, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched an online platform named ‘FoSCoRIS’, in New Delhi.


  1. FoSCoRIS is an online web-based platform where data related to inspection, sampling and test result data would be shared by all the officials.
  2. The purpose of this project is to be bring transparency in food safety inspection and sampling.

 PayU partners with IRCTC, provides online payment services to IRCTC users

On 11th September 2017, Payment gateway provider PayU announced its collaboration with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), in New Delhi.

Partnership between PayU and IRCTC:

  1. PayU and IRCTC have joined hands to provide users a safe and secure option to make payment for rail tickets booked on the IRCTC website.
  2. Now PayU is available as a payment option under the Multiple Payment Services or MPS 
  3. 'option on the IRCTC website at the payment page.

 Eastern Fleet Ships departed for Overseas Deployment to East and South-East Asia

In accordance with the India’s ‘Act East Policy’, two Indian Naval Ships departed for deployment to East and South-East Asia.
Key Points:

i.INS Satpura and INS Kadmatt departed from Visakhapatnam on 8th of Sept. 2017 to visit 12 

ii.The deployment aims to strengthen existing bonds between India and the regional countries.

iii.The ships will visit Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia and Brunei to celebrate the 25th anniversary of India-ASEAN dialogue.

iv.The two ships will be deployed for more than 3 months away from home port.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharam flags off INSV Tarini at INS Mandovi

The Indian Navy’s woman team has embarked on a circumnavigation of the globe, with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 10th of Sept. 2017.
Key Points:

i.The Indian Navy calls it a “historic” day for the country.

ii.Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba were also present on the occasion.

iii.The minister flagged off the first such expedition by the Indian Navy, ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’, at a ceremony at the INS Mandovi naval training base, Panaji Goa.

iv.The six-member women crew will circumnavigate the globe on an India-built sail boat, INSV Tarini, which is being captained by Lt Commander Vartika Joshi.

v.The circumnavigation is to be covered in about 165 days at sea. The first stop would be in Free-Mantle in Australia, New Zealand and then to Falklands before reaching their last stop in Cape Town in South Africa.

“Sweden hosts huge war games exercise “Aurora” with NATO

Sweden hosts huge war games exercise with NATO. It is biggest military exercise in more than 20 years with support from NATO countries.
Key Points:

i.Sweden is not a member of NATO but the exercise, called “Aurora”, involves 19,000 troops and will replicate an attack from the east on the Baltic island of Gotland, near the Swedish 

ii.Around 1,500 of the military personnel are from the United States, France, Norway and other NATO allies.

China, Pakistan air forces launch joint exercise

The air forces of China and Pakistan has begun a joint training exercise and deployed their latest fighter jets and AWACS aircraft.
Key Points:

i.The exercise will run until September 27 in China.

ii.China has dispatched J-11 fighters, JH-7 fighter-bombers, KJ-200 AWACS aircraft and ground forces including surface-to-air missile and radar troops.

iii.AWACS is Airborne Warning and Control System, a mobile, long-range radar surveillance and control centre for air defence.

iv.The Chinese navy’s aviation troops are also participating in the training.

v.Pakistan has sent JF-17 Thunder fighter jets and early warning aircraft to join the exercise, named “Shaheen VI”.

IAF completes development trials of Astra air-to-air missile

On September 15,2017 the final Development Flight Trials of Astra – Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) were successfully conducted over the Bay of Bengal, Off the Coast of Chandipur, Odisha .A total of seven trials were conducted against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully.
About Astra:-

i. The Astra (throwing weapon)is an active radar homing beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and IAF (Indian air force)

ii. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon 

Indigenous artillery gun ATAGS sets new record in range – 48KM

On September 15,2017, An indigenous artillery gun Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the private sector has set a new world record in range by hitting targets at a distance of 48 km.

About ATAGS :-

i. ATAGS is a 155mm, 52 calibre towed artillery gun being developed in mission mode by DRDO as a part of the Army’s artillery modernisation programme.

ii. The development is being done through a consortium based model, similar to that adopted for the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launch system.

iii. It was designed by DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune. In addition, Bharat Forge Limited of Kalyani Group, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Mahindra Defence Naval System from the private sector are involved in a big way along with the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

Indian Naval units of Western Naval Command on Long Range Deployment

On September 20 2017, two Navy ships, a submarine and two Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft of the Western Naval Command (WNC) are presently on deployment to the Western Arabian Sea and the southern Indian Ocean.

i. After conducting a series of exercises en-route Indian Naval Ship Mumbai and submarine Shishumar entered Duqm, Oman as part of this deployment.

ii.The Naval units are on a month long deployment for surveillance and cooperation with the Arabian Sea rim nations. Another ship, INS Kochi which is also a part of this deployment, is proceeding to the southern Indian Ocean.

IDF, US Army inaugurates first American military base in Israel

The US Army and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) inaugurated a permanent base In Israel.

i. This is the first time that a permanent American base has been opened in the Middle Eastern 

ii. The base represents the long-standing partnership, the strategic commitment between the armies and the militaries of the United States of America and Israel. iii. Several dozen American soldiers will be stationed at the base in Israel’s south.

India & US armies begin ‘Yudh Abhyas 2017’ military exercise in Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington

On 14th September 2017, The Indian and U.S. armies started the 13th edition of their ‘Yudh Abhyas’ series of joint military exercises.
Yudh Abhyas 2017:

i. The exercise began on 14th September 2017, at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington, United States.

ii. The exercise will be continued till 27th September 2017.

Iron Union 5: Joint military exercise of US and UAE started in Abu Dhabi

On 16th September 2017, The US and UAE’s joint military exercise began in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Iron Union 5:

i. The joint military exercise is named as Iron Union 5.

ii. It is carried out in order to maintain bilateral relations and exchange training and military expertise between the two countries.

iii. The focus of the exercise is to upgrade and boost the readiness of the UAE’s armed forces and to improve both the armies’ international co-operation.

Joint Sea-2017: China, Russia joint naval drills in Russian port city, Vladivostok

On 18th September 2017, China and Russia started the second stage of their “Joint Sea-2017” naval exercises in Vladivostok, Russia.
Joint Sea-2017:

i. The exercises took place in Sea of Japan and the Okhotsk Sea.

ii. For the first time Naval forces from both countries conducted joint submarine rescue exercises and joint anti-submarine exercises.

iii. The Chinese fleet has missile destroyer “Shijiazhuang”, missile frigate “Daqing”, comprehensive supply ship “Dongpinghu”, submarine rescue ship “Changdao”, a deep submersible rescue vehicle, two ship-borne helicopters and marines.

Exercise Panda-Kangaroo 2017: Chinese, Australian conducted 1st joint drills in China

As per the defence ministry the small training maneuvers “Exercise Panda-Kangaroo 2017” were the first joint drills between China and Australia held in China.
Key Points:

i.Chinese and Australian soldiers have ended a series of military exercises in the mountainous terrain of southwestern China.

ii.According to the official Xinhua news agency ten soldiers from each country’s army participated in the exercise, which lasted 10 days.

iii.The training in Yunnan province included mountainous marches, moving through natural obstacles and field survival.

Turkey hosts NATO naval exercise” Dynamic Monarch”

Turkey was holding naval exercises with NATO members at a time of crisis in relations with several alliance states and controversy over Ankara’s plan to purchase weapons from 
Key Points:

i.The NATO exercises, focused on submarine rescue operations and called “Dynamic 

ii.It will take place in Turkish waters in the Mediterranean Sea off the resort city of Marmaris.

iii.The naval exercises involved 1,000 personnel and nine countries including France, Britain and the United States.

Indian Navy commissions INS Tarasa, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft at Mumbai

On 26th September 2017, INS Tarasa, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (FAC) was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command at the Naval Dockyard, in Mumbai.

i.INS Tarasa is 50 m long.It is powered by three water jets, with speed more than 35 knots (65 km/hr).It is equipped with a 30 mm main gun and several light, medium and heavy machine 

ii.INS Tarasa was built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.This is the last Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (FAC) built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).

iii.The first voyage of INS Tarasa was from Kolkata to Mumbai.In spite of rough weather, the ship performed well.The commissioning Commanding Officer of INS Tarasa is Lieutenant Commander 
Praveen Kumar.

vi.INS Tarasa was built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE),

Kolkata.This is the last Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (FAC) built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE). 

New interceptor boat V-409 launched

A new interceptor boat (V-409) which is built by Bharathi Defence and Infrastructure Limited (BDIL) waslaunched at a function held at the Mangaluru Coast Guard yard on 24th Sept. 2017.
Key Points:

i.Pavitran Alokkan, President and Head, BDIL, Mangaluru, said that by launching the new interceptor boat the company had a live order book of various defence vessels.

ii.It includes interceptor boats for Indian Coast Guard and auxiliary vessels for the Indian Navy.

iii.The 28-metre long, V-409 interceptor boat has aluminium hull and fitted with new generation of Arneson Surface Drive (ASD) which is drive by two powerful diesel engines of 1650 KW each.

iv.Coast Guard has released that Rs 18 crore vessel would be inducted into Coast Guard service by mid-October 2017 and join four other vessels delivered by the shipyard earlier.

DRUZBA 2017: Pak, Russia holds joint military drill in Minralney Vody, Russia

Pakistan and Russia will hold a two-week long military exercise which mainly focuses on counter-terrorism operations. It enhances defence ties between the two countries.

i.The joint exercise DRUZBA 2017 between special forces of Pakistan and Russia Armies started in Minralney Vody, Russia.

ii.The joint exercise will focus on counter-terrorism operations, hostage and rescue, cordon and search operation.

Pakistani Navy successfully tests anti-ship missile

On 23rd September 2017, Pakistan Navy successfully test-fired an anti-ship missile from a helicopter in the northern Arabian Sea.

Anti-ship missile test:

i. The anti-ship missile was fired from Pakistan Navy helicopter Sea King into the open 

ii. The missile hit its target placed in the sea successfully.

iii. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah monitored the missile firing demonstration.

Coast Guard commissions 2 high speed interceptor boats

On 20th September 2017, The Indian Coast Guard commissioned two high-speed interceptor boats fitted with 12.7 mm machine gun at the Dighi Port, in Mumbai.
High Speed Interceptor boats:

i. The high speed interceptor boats C-433 and C-434 boats were built by L&T Shipbuilding in Chennai.

ii. The length of the ships is 27.42 m.

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