The disaster relief exercise ‘Exercise Rahat’ will be demonstrated in Jaipur, Kota and Alwar in Rajasthan on Feb 11-12. The important aspects related to the ‘Exercise Rahat’ are:
On behalf of the Indian Army, Jaipur based Sapta Shakti Command will conduct the Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise, Exercise Rahat. Exercise Rahat is being conducted in coordination with NDMA to synergise efforts for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. The joint exercise will see participation from Armed Forces, National Disaster Management Response Mechanism (NDMRM), State Disaster Management Authority of Rajasthan and District LMAs. The exercise will be conducted simultaneously in three places, beginning at Jaipur in the form of a tabletop exercise and at Kota and Alwar. During the exercise, on-ground capability and coordination amongst various stakeholders will be demonstrated. As a prelude to the exercise, a curtain raiser has been organized at Jaipur Military station on 4th February 2019.
Iran successfully test fires Hoveizeh Cruise Missile
Iran announced the successful test flight of Hoveizeh long-range cruise missile on February second which marks the 40th anniversary of 1979 Islamic revolution. The Hoveizeh Cruise Missile is part of the Soumar family of cruise missile and has a range of over 1,350 km (840 miles). It is designed to use against ground targets. The Hoveizeh missile needs a very short time for its preparedness and can fly at a low altitude and is manufactured by the Aerospace Industries Organization of Israel.
1979 Islamic Revolution
The democratically elected prime minister in Iran was thrown out and the Shah was restored to the throne with the help of American CIA. In the times of cold war, the US wanted to keep the Shah in power as a bulwark against the Soviet Union. Iran was reaping enormous benefits from oil production and the gap was widening between the wealthy and the poor. The recession in 1975 led to tension between the classes. In October 1977, the son of the Shia cleric Ayatollah Khomeini died of heart attack and the rumours spread that he had been murdered by the SAVAK secret police. Shah was battling for life due to cancer at the time. Shah had his Information Minister published an article in the leading newspaper that slandered Ayatollah Khomeini was a tool of British neo-colonial interests and a man without faith. This angered people and the theology students in the city of Qom exploded in angry protests. To suppress the protests the shah came down heavily on the protestors and what followed as a massacre at Qom. Further, there were series of protests across Iran against the misadventures of Shah and his administration which culminated in the revolution of 1979 where the monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was overthrown and his government was replaced with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt.
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
India has deeply regretted the failure of the Fourth Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (RevCon) to adopt a report by consensus and reiterated its determination to persist with efforts to bring countries together and bridge differences.
Need for review- challenges ahead: There are daunting challenges ahead such as the discovery of new toxic chemicals, advancements in deployment and dissemination techniques. There is an increasing threat of use of chemical weapons by non-state actors such as IS and other terror outfits. The growing complexity of the global security environment calls for greater vigilance and continued efforts by both OPCW and the member states towards achieving general and complete chemical disarmament. Despite best efforts, there has been an increase in allegations and incidents of use of chemical weapons in different parts of the world such as Malaysia, UK and Northern Ireland, the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq.
OPCW: The OPCW is an independent, autonomous international organisation with a working relationship with the United Nations.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997. The organisation was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”. The OPCW Member States share the collective goal of preventing chemistry from ever again being used for warfare, thereby strengthening international security. To this end, the Convention contains four key provisions: Destroying all existing chemical weapons under international verification by the OPCW. Monitoring chemical industry to prevent new weapons from re-emerging. Providing assistance and protection to States Parties against chemical threats. Fostering international cooperation to strengthen implementation of the Convention and promote the peaceful use of chemistry.
The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits:
Developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, or retaining chemical weapons. The direct or indirect transfer of chemical weapons. Chemical weapons use or military preparation for use. Assisting, encouraging, or inducing other states to engage in CWC-prohibited activity. The use of riot control agents “as a method of warfare.”
Clean Sea-2018: Indian Coast Guard conducts Exercise at sea off Port Blair
Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has conducted Regional Level Marine Oil Pollution Response Exercise titled ‘Clean Sea– 2018’ at sea off Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar (A&B) Islands. The objective of exercise was to ascertain preparedness of IGC, resource agencies and other stakeholders in responding to major oil spill in line with provisions of National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP). ICG ships Viswasth, Vijith, Rajveer, Rajshri, 4 interceptor boats and its air assets Dornier and Chetak helicopters participated in the exercise. Great Channel between Nicobar Islands and Northern Sumatra that leads into Malacca Straits is marine drive of high seas. Almost 200 ships cross 160-km wide Straits daily making it among busiest sea routes of world. Considering, high intensity of oil tanker traffic through this route, the area is highly vulnerable to oil spills. So there is need for robust national system for oil spill response is critical.
Highlights of Clean Sea-2018
The exercise was planned to evaluate preparedness for Response Operations for any such oil pollution incident in highly sensitive area of A&B islands. The exercise was conducted in two phases for synchronizing support and cooperation provided by all stakeholders for combating oil spills in such ecologically sensitive areas. The exercise saw participation of ICG Pollution Control Vessel and integration of ICG Dornier/Chetak aircraft into Oil Spill Disaster Management System for aerial assessment and delivery of Oil Spill Dispersant for mitigation of spilled oil.
Anti-tank Missile Helina Flight Tested
The Helicopter-launched anti-tank missile Helina was successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur in Balasore district of Odisha.
Features of Helina-Anti Tank Missile
The important features of the Helicopter-launched anti-tank missile Helaina are:
Helina is the indigenously designed and built missile system.
Helina is the air-launched variant of the Nag, a fire-and-forget ATGM with an estimated range of 4 kilometers.
Helina’s range is estimated at between 7 to 8 kilometres.
Helina is guided by an infrared imaging seeker (IIR) operating in the lock-on before-launch mode and helps in further strengthening the defence capabilities of the country.
The infrared imaging seeker (IIR) technology is also indigenously developed and has been demonstrated in the NAG anti-tank guided missile system.
Helina is launched from twin-tube stub wing-mounted launchers on board Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH).
Helina is one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world. The production and induction of the Helina missiles are likely to happen in 2019.
Exercise Cutlass Express:
It is an exercise designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security in East Africa as well as information sharing, planning and operating. Sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and is conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa. The aim of the exercise: To improve law enforcement capacity, promote regional security and progress inter-operability between the armed forces of the participating nations.
Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the second indigenously developed ‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)’ propulsion based missile system. Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR): It is a missile propulsion technology jointly developed by India and Russia.
Significance: It will help both India’s surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles to perform better and enhance their strike range, making them more lethal. With it, India can have fastest long-range missiles in two categories, providing full-fledged and multi-layered aerial protection from hostile attacks. Its successful use in missiles will mark India’s entry into select club of nations that use next-generation missile technology against manoeuvring targets, compromising effectiveness of conventional missiles.
What is ramjet?
Ramjet is a form of air-breathing jet engine that uses the vehicle’s forward motion to compress incoming air for combustion without a rotating compressor. Fuel is injected in the combustion chamber where it mixes with the hot compressed air and ignites. A ramjet-powered vehicle requires an assisted take-off like a rocket assist to accelerate it to a speed where it begins to produce thrust.
Defence Innovation Hubs
The Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework under the Defence Ministry is envisaging setting up of independent Defence Innovation Hubs (DIHs) where innovators can get information about needs and feedback from the Armed Services directly and create solutions for India’s major defence platforms. Defence Innovation Hubs are aimed at attracting more innovators to work for the defence sector in India.
Guidelines for Setting up of Defence Innovation Hubs
The Framework to Fund Defence Innovation Hubs under iDEX has been approved by the Board of Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO). The framework prescribes the following minimum criterion for setting up Defence Innovation Hubs: Any Central Government recognized Incubator including but not limited to:
Department of Science and Technology (DST) recognized Incubators.
Atal Innovation Mission, NITIAayog created Atal Incubation Centers (AICs) and Established Incubation Centers (EICs).
Ministry of MSME recognized incubators.
Any other incubator recognized or funded through any Central government scheme.
The incubator located in districts mentioned in the list of SME clusters hosted by the Ministry of MSME in collaboration with UNIDO.
Incubator / Hub promoted by local industry associations.
The Defence Innovation Organisation set up under iDEX has announced setting up of two DIHs in Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore) and Maharashtra (Nashik).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_incubator – cite_note-2Defence Innovation Organisation
Defence Innovation Organisation is a not for profit company under section 8 of the Companies Act. The Defence Innovation Organisation is funded by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The headquarters of the Defence Innovation Organisation is located at Bengaluru.
Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme
Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme aims to create an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Startups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs. The Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) functions as the executive arm of the Defence Innovation Organisation.
DRDO’s ‘Dare to Dream’ contest:
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched ‘Dare to Dream’, a contest to encourage startups and individuals to come up with innovative defence and aerospace technologies. Applicants are invited to send innovative, workable proposals that can impact various related domains. The winning entries, which should specify the plan of executing it into a prototype, stand to get one of five prizes ranging from ₹3 lakh to ₹10 lakh in two categories. The military R&D organisation has asked for solutions in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems, Cybersecurity, Hypersonic Technologies, Smart Materials, Quantum Computing, and Soldier as a System.
Cobra Gold Military Exercise:
The United States and Thailand are hosting the multi-nation Cobra military exercise this year. The exercise is taking place in the northern Thai province of Phitsanulok. This is the 38th edition of this exercise. This is a Thai-American initiative with an aim to improve coordination between the armed forces. It is one of the Asia-Pacific region’s largest multinational military exercises that is held in Thailand every year. It was first held in 1982 and its headquarters is in Bangkok, Thailand. India joined this exercise for the first time in 2016 while China was admitted for the first time in 2015 but was only allowed to participate in humanitarian assistance training.
Indigenous attack helicopter crosses milestone
Indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) successfully fired air to air missile at moving target. Light Combat Helicopters are developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). LCH is first helicopter in country to successfully pass test of firing air to air missile at moving target not done before by any military helicopter. Now, LCH has successfully completed all weapons integration tests and is ready for operational inductions. Defense Acquisition Council has approved initial acquisition of 15 LCHs – 10 LCHs for Air Force and 5 LCHs for Army but demands are 65 and 114 respectively
Features of LCH: LCH is only attack helicopter in world capable of operating at altitude as high as siachen glacier. LCH is equipped with helmet mounted sight and forward looking infra red sighting system which can detect and destroy any target on ground or in air without need to turn helicopter. LCH is inducted with fire and forget missile system which is effective against all types of aerial threats
EXERCISE VAYU SHAKTI-2019:
EXERCISE VAYU SHAKTI-2019 was held recently in Rajasthan. Vayu Shakti is held by Indian Airforce. It demonstrates the IAF’s ability to strike targets on the ground such as enemy convoys and tanks, radar stations, railway yards and military headquarters.
It is a “state-of-the-art” domestically produced Iranian submarine capable of firing cruise missiles. It was unveiled recently in Bandar Abbas. It is Iran’s first submarine in the semi-heavy category. The underwater-vessel weighs nearly 600 tonnes and is equipped with torpedoes and naval mines in addition to cruise missiles. The submarine can operate more than 200 metres below sea level for up to 35 days. It has subsurface-to-surface missiles with a range of about 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles), making it capable in reaching Israel and U.S. military bases in the region.
Maiden ‘Regional Maritime-Safety Conference’:
Maiden ‘Regional Maritime-Safety Conference’ is being held in Mumbai. The Conference is being organized by India for the first time.
Theme: ‘Regional Maritime-Safety Conference’.
The objective of the conference is to deliberate on issues related to assuring maritime safety in the India-ASEAN sub region, safeguarding our shores and promoting trade along the sea routes. The conference will address a wide range of issues that affect regional maritime safety, including transport safety, maritime law, ship building, transportation of hazardous goods, marine oil spill, pollution and environmental safety.
The inaugural edition is being organised by the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) in coordination with the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of External Affairs.
Military Space Force
President Trump has signed a directive- Space Policy Directive-4 (SPD-4)- to create a Military Space Force. Accordingly, the Pentagon will establish the Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States military, to go along with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. However, the challenge ahead is that the Congress must approve the creation of any new military branch.
US Military Space Force:
The main goal of the Space Force is to secure and extend American dominance of the space domain. The Space Force would initially reside within the Department of the Air Force, much as the Marine Corps is part of the U.S. Navy. S. Space Force will organize, train, and equip military space forces. Eventually, the aim is to push the Space Force out from under the Air Force’s wings and make it a stand-alone organization.
Why it is not a “good idea”?
Another military arm would only compound the organisational challenges facing the U.S. armed services. It could undercut ongoing missions. It could very well increase budgetary allocations in the future. A space corps could undermine American efforts in the domain of joint warfare.
Why it may not feasible to have a space force?
The fundamental difficulty of a space corps is that the physical environment of space is not conducive to the conduct of military operations without incurring serious losses in the form of spacecraft and debris. And despite efforts to make spacecraft more fuel efficient, the energy requirements are enormous. The technical demands of defending assets in space make the possibility of dominance and space as a domain for war-fighting a sort of chimera.
A new space force is not merely a brand new service; it potentially increases greater organisational uncertainty within the U.S. military. Notwithstanding these concerns, Washington’s headlong rush is the by-product of a strong commitment to preserving American advantages in space.
Why space has become so important?
space is a “war-fighting domain” and global powers like Russia and China are already treating it as such. Besides, the stakes are high. Much of our 21st-century economy and lifestyle — from bank transactions to weather forecasting to television service to the GPS directions — depends on satellites functioning round the clock and without interruption. The military depends on them too. In 2007, China shot down one of its own satellites — mission accomplished in its own right, it also littered orbit with potentially destructive space debris. Many saw the operation as a veiled display of military power.
As its name suggests, SPD-4 is President Trump’s fourth space policy directive. The first SPD directed NASA to get humans back to the moon as a stepping-stone to Mars. The second streamlined regulations for the commercial space sector, and the third dealt with management of space traffic.
Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG)
Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has unveiled its new product, the Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG), an innovative solution to meet the ever-increasing need for drinking water worldwide, today at Aero India 2019.
The Atmospheric Water Generator is being manufactured by BEL in collaboration with CSIR-IICT and MAITHRI, a start-up company based in Hyderabad.
How it works?
BEL’s Atmospheric Water Generator employs a novel technology to extract water from the humidity present in the atmosphere and purify it. It uses heat exchange for condensing the atmospheric moisture to produce pure, safe and clean potable water. The AWG comes with a Mineralisation Unit, which is used to add minerals which are required to make the water potable. The AWG is configurable in static and mobile (vehicular) versions and is available in 30 litres/day, 100 litres/day, 500 litres/day and 1,000 litres/day capacities.
Aero India 2019 inagurated at Bengaluru
The Aero India 2019 was inaugurated by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru. The Aero India 2019 will be held for 5 days from February 20 to 24 and each day of the five day air show would have a special theme. Day one would be Inaugural Day, the theme for day two and three is Start-Up Day and Technology Day respectively Day, Day four would be Women’s Day and day five Public Day.
Aero India 2019
The Aero India 2019 has a tagline “The Runway to a Billion Opportunities” and has a logo inspired by the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The Ministry of Defence has planned following events as per the theme of the day during the Aero India 2019:
The Start-up day would witness a start-up showcase event on February 21 to tap into the highly motivated entrepreneurial talent pool of the country. The showcase event is aimed at providing the platform for interactions between the domestic and international start-up community, key policymakers in the Indian defence sector, and CEOs of leading Indian and global start-ups.
Women’s Day would be organised On February 23 to showcase achievements made by women in the aerospace sector on February 23. The Women’s Day would witness felicitation of women achievers, unveiling of the brochure highlighting achievements of women, experience sharing by leading women in Aero-Space Sector and flying display by women pilots, paratroopers etc.
Drone Olympics provides an opportunity for all the UAV manufacturing enthusiasts to showcase the capabilities of the Drones they are manufacturing.
Technology Day/Students Day
Technology Day would be observed on February 22 to provide an opportunity for the students involved in the aerospace sector, both civil and defence to showcase their projects.
A Photography contest would be held on the theme ‘Flying Objects’ for the general public during the closing day.
Missing man formation
Three aircrafts Jaguar, Tejas and Su-30 Mki flew past in the missing man formation to pay tribute to the Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi who lost his life while carrying out a practice sortie for the Aero India 2019.
Defence Acquisition Council (DAC):
To counter corruption and speed up decision- making in military procurement, the government of India in 2001 decided to set up an integrated DAC. It is headed by the Defence Minister.
Objective: The objective of the DAC is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces, in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.
Functions: The DAC is responsible to give policy guidelines to acquisitions, based on long-term procurement plans. It also clears all acquisitions, which includes both imported and those produced indigenously or under a foreign license.