Current Affairs  >  March 2018 - Defence News

March 2018 - Defence News - Current Affairs

DAC approves procurement of weapons costing over Rs. 9000 crore

On February 28, 2018, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave approval to Capital Acquisition Proposals of the Services and Coast Guard valued at approximately Rs. 9435 crore which includes procurement of 41000 Light Machine Guns and over 3.5 Lakh Close Quarter Battle Carbines.
75 percent of the above mentioned quantities will be procured through Indian Industry under ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ category and balance 25 percent through Ordinance Factory Board.

Bharti Defence Delivers C 162 Interceptor Boat to Coast Guard

On March 1, 2018, Bharati Defence and Infrastructure Ltd (BDIL) delivered an interceptor boat, C-162 – to Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in Mangaluru, Karnataka.

It is the Sixth in a series of 15 high speed interceptor boats being procured by Indian Coast Guard.It is 28m-long and has an aluminium hull. It weighs about 60 dead-weight tonnage (DWT) and can attain speeds up to 35 knots.The vessel is propelled by two engines of 1650 KW each and can accommodate 11 crew.

Indian Navy sailboat INSV Tarini arrives in Cape Town, South Africa

On 2nd March 2018, the all-women Indian crew circumnavigating the globe on the Indian Navy Sailing Vessel (INSV) Tarini arrived at a port in Cape Town in South Africa.
This expedition by the all-women Indian crew is named Navika Sagar Parikrama. It has reached Cape Town in South Africa during the last phase of its voyage.Captain of the vessel is Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi.

Indian Navy concludes gruelling two-month long war games "ENCORE"

On February 28, 2018, Indian Navy concluded a gruelling two-month long War Games.
The War Games were conducted on both, the Western Seaboard of India which is codenamed Exercise Paschim Lehar as well as the Eastern Seaboard,code name was ENCORE extending from the Northern Arabian sea off the coast of Gujarat to the Southern Indian ocean off the Sunda Straits near Indonesia

India-US team test-fires M777 ultra-light howitzers in Pokhran

On March 5, 2018, officials from India and the United States were at the Pokhran firing range (Rajasthan) to test-fire M777 ultra-light howitzers.
In May 2017, Indian Army took delivery of two M777 ultralight howitzers from BAE Systems, US under a contract signed between Indian and US Government in 2016. It has a modular design; due to which it can be easily towed through narrow and treacherous mountain roads prevalent along India-China border and India-Pakistan Border in Jammu & Kashmir

First ever multi-nation naval exercise at sea begins in Andaman

MILAN 2018’, a multinational naval exercise hosted by Indian Navy began on March 6, 2018 at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Objective behind MILAN 2018 is to expand regional cooperation and combat unlawful activities in critical sea lanes in Indian Ocean region.Theme of ‘MILAN 2018’ is 'Friendship Across the Seas'.
Total 28 warships including 17 from India and 11 from Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand are participating in MILAN 2018

Israel, US organised "Juniper Cobra" exercise to counter missile threats

Israeli and American troops train together through "Juniper Cobra" exercise in Israel.It is aimed to train for very complex scenarios like simultaneous attacks from enemy countries and militant groups. Israel faces potential threat from Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Iranian forces.Juniper Cobra comprises field training, computer simulations and live-fire drills of sophisticated missile-defence systems.

First ever ‘crime-free zone’ along India, Bangladesh international border

On March 9, 2018, Director Generals of India’ Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) declared an 8.3 km stretch of the Indo-Bangladesh border as a 'crime-free zone' that covers the Gunarmath and Kalyani Border Out Posts (BOPs) in India and the Puthkhali and Daulatpur BOPs in Bangladesh.

Russia test-fires 'ideal' hypersonic missile

On 11th March 2018, Russia announced that, it successfully launched a hypersonic missile.

i. The high-precision Kinzhal (Dagger) missile was launched from a MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jet from an airfield in the South Military District in southwest Russia.
ii. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that, the speed of the missile is 10 times the speed of sound. He said that, it can overcome air-defence systems.
iii. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that, the MiG-31 supersonic jet that will carry the missile has also been modernized.

Multilateral HADR Air Force exercise "Samvedna" begins off Kerala Coast

Multilateral Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Air Force exercise, ‘Samvedna’ began off the coast of Kerala on March 12, 2018.

i. In Hindi, Samvedna means 'Empathy'. ’Samvedna’ is being conducted by Indian Air Force (IAF) in association with South Asian Region nations.
ii Representatives from air forces of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are participating in this exercise.

Coast Guard commissions interceptor boat C-437 at Porbandar

On March 17, 2018, Indian Coast Guard commissioned C-437, an interceptor boat at Porbandar.
The boat is 27.80 metres long, has displacement of 106 tonnes and can attain a maximum speed of 45 knots.C-437 will not only strengthen the security umbrella of the West coast but will also help augment patrolling to prevent illicit activities such as smuggling, infiltration and illegal fishing.

Indo-French joint naval exercise Varuna 2018 began on March 19, 2018 in Goa

On 19th March 2018, Phase I of Varuna 18, an Indo-French Naval Exercise, began in Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) in Goa.

i. The phase I of Varuna 18 will be conducted till 24th March 2018. Second and third phases will be conducted in April 2018 and May 2018 in Chennai and La Reunion Island respectively.
ii. Varuna 18 will be conducted in 3 sea areas: the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and South Western Indian Ocean.
iii. First phase of Varuna 18 will be conducted in the Arabian Sea. French Submarine and frigate Jean de Vienne and Indian Naval Ship (INS) Destroyer Mumbai, frigate Trikand with internal helicopters participate in phase I of Varuna 18.
iv. INS Kalavari, P8-I and Dornier Maritiem Patrol Aircraft and Mig 29-K fighter aircraft also take part in this exercise.

About Varuna:
♦ Type - bilateral maritime exercises between Indian and French navies
♦ Started – 2001

Military drill "Gulf Shield 1" begins in Saudi Arabia

Gulf Shield 1 Joint drills, organised by Saudi Arabia's Defence Ministry, started in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia from March 18, 2018.
i. Military forces of Saudi Arabia and 23 other countries are participating in this month-long drill.
ii. Objective of this drill is to enhance coordination and cooperation, modernise joint mechanisms and raise military readiness of participating countries.

BrahMos supersonic cruise missile successfully test-fired from Pokhran in Rajasthan

On 22nd March 2018, India successfully test fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with an indigenous 'seeker' at Rajasthan's Pokhran test range, enhancing the country's capability to hit enemy targets at a range of up to 400 km.
It was for the first time that the missile, capable of travelling at speeds of up to Mach 3.0, or three times the speed of sound, was tested with indigenously developed 'seeker' technology. The seeker - developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad, in collaboration with other DRDO labs, - determines the accuracy of a missile by guiding it to the target It was developed in a joint-venture between India and Russia.
This missile has been named after the rivers Brahmaputra of India and Moskva of Russia.

Navy warship INS Ganga decommissioned in Mumbai

INS Ganga, an indigenously built frigate of the Indian Navy, was decommissioned in Mumbai on March 22, 2018.Commissioned on December 30, 1985, INS Ganga is a Godavari-class guided-missile frigate of the Indian Navy.
Vice Admiral A K Bhal, who served on INS Ganga as crew member from 1989 to 1991 was the Chief Guest for the ceremony, while Vice Admiral (Retd.) K K Kohli, the first Commanding Officer of INS Ganga was the special Guest of Honour.

Three Minesweepers Decommissioned By Indian Navy

Three Minesweeper ships of Indian Navy, INS Konkan, INS Cannanore and INS Cuddalore, were decommissioned in a ceremony at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam on March 23, 2018. 

i. INS Cannanore was commissioned on December 17, 1987, INS Cuddalore was commissioned on October 29, 1987 and INS Konkan was commissioned on October 8, 1988. ii. Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral M S Pawar was the Chief Guest on the occasion and three retired commissioning Commanding Officers of these minesweepers were the guests of honour.

Centre clears plans for IAF base close to Pakistan border in Gujarat

On March 21, 2018, Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Indian Air Force (IAF) plan to set up a forward fighter base close to Deesa in Banaskantha district of Gujarat.
i. CCS has sanctioned Rs. 1000 crore for setting up this base, which would include extending the runway and building necessary administrative facilities.
ii. Once operational, this strategic base will plug the critical air defence gap between the Barmer (in Rajasthan) and Bhuj air bases and will thereby enhance IAF’s ability to respond swiftly in case of any hostilities in India’s western skies.

Sri Lanka Navy receives second India-built patrol vessel

On March 22, 2018, India has handed over a second advanced offshore patrol vessel (AOPV) to the Sri Lankan Navy.
i. Construction work of this AOPV commenced in 2014 at the Goa Shipyard.
ii. The vessel was officially handed over to the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy Rear Admiral Neil Rosayro in presence of Sri Lankan High Commissioner in India, Chithrangani Vagiswara and Chairman and Managing Director of the Goa Shipyard Ltd. Rear Admiral (Rtd) Sheker Mithal.

Sri Lanka Navy sinks ship used by LTTE

On March 26, 2018, Sri Lankan Navy sunk a ship used by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the western seas.
The LTTE vessel, A522 named 'We Ling" was taken by Sri Lankan Navy following the conclusion of the conflict and since then it had been anchored near the Colombo harbor under the Navy's custody.The sunk ship will become home to a number of aquatic animals and corals. Sri Lankan Government is also considering plans to make the location a diving/tourist destination.

U.S- India hold naval training

On March 25, 2018, Indian Navy’s Talwar class frigate INS Tarkash carried out a greeting and training exercise with the U.S. Navy’s Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG).

i. As a part of this exercise, INS Tarkash sailed in formation with aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and the guided-missile destroyers USS Preble, USS Halsey and USS Sampson.

Russia tests new nuclear ICBM Sarmat

On March 30, 2018, Russia successfully tested its latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Sarmat.

i. It will replace the Soviet-era Voyevoda, which is known as "Satan" in the West which is the world's heaviest ICBM.
ii. ICBM Sarmat weighs 200 metric tons and has a greater range than ‘Satan’.
iii. ICBM Sarmat not only carries an array of warheads capable of dodging missile defences, but also carries a bigger number of nuclear warheads, thus making it more powerful than ‘Satan’.

Pakistan successfully test fires Submarine Launched Cruise Missile BABUR

On March 29, 2018, Pakistan successfully test fired indigenously developed Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) BABUR. SLCM BABUR has a strike range of 450 KMs and is capable of delivering various types of payloads.

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