HCS Exam Yearly Current Affairs 2020: Defence Affairs-I
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HCS Last One Year Topic Wise Current Affairs: Defence Affairs Part-I
Haryana Civil Services Exam
CURRENT AFFAIRS YEARLY 2020
Last one-year Current Affairs For HCS Exam: Defence Affairs Part-I
1. The Defence Research Development Organization Chairman G. Satheesh Reddy has recently flagged off the first Varunastra, the heavyweight torpedo.
- The torpedo was designed and developed by the Bharat Dynamics Limited, Visakhapatnam Unit of Indian Navy.
- In June 2019, the Indian Ministry of Defence awarded a contract worth ? 1,187 crores (US$170 million) to the company to mass-produce the torpedo for the Indian Navy.
- BDL is also the production agency for the Astra Air- to- Air Missile System and has commenced manufacturing of these missiles.
- The Varunastra (Sanskrit) is the water weapon (a storm) according to the Indian scriptures, incepted by Varuna, the god of the hydrosphere.
2. Indian Navy is hosting the 27th edition of India -Singapore Bilateral Maritime Exercise SIMBEX-20 from 23 to 25 November 2020 in the Andaman Sea.
- The SIMBEX series of exercises between the Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), being conducted annually since 1994, are aimed at enhancing mutual interoperability and imbibing best practices from each other.
- The scope and complexity of these exercises have increased steadily over the past two decades to include advanced naval drills covering a wide spectrum of maritime operations.
- The 2020 edition of SIMBEX will witness participation by Indian Navy ships including destroyer Rana with integral Chetak helicopter and indigenously built corvettes Kamorta and Karmuk.
3. The Indian Navy is participating in the two-day trilateral maritime exercise SITMEX-20 in the Andaman sea along with the navies of Singapore and Thailand.
- Indian naval ships, including indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare corvette Kamorta and missile corvette Karmuk, are participating in the 2nd edition of the trilateral exercise
- The first edition of SITMEX, hosted by the Indian Navy, was conducted off Port Blair in September 2019.
- The SITMEX series of exercises are conducted to enhance mutual interoperability and imbibing best practices between IN, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), and Royal Thai Navy (RTN).
- The 2020 edition of the exercise is being hosted by RSN.
4. The 30th Indo-Thai CORPAT was held between the Indian Navy and Royal Thai Navy from November 18, 2020, to November 20, 2020.
- Indian Naval Ship (INS) Karmuk, an indigenously built Missile Corvette and His Majesty's Thailand Ship (HTMS) Kraburi, a Chao Phraya Class Frigate along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both the navies are participating in the CORPAT.
- As part of the Government of India's vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has been involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region with EEZ Surveillance, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), and other capacity building and capability-enhancement activities on their request
5. India, US, Japan and Australia will participate in the second phase of the Malabar naval exercise in the Northern Arabian Sea from November 17 to November 20.
- It is the first time in over a dozen years that the four countries are participating in such a large naval exercise.
- The first phase was conducted earlier this month off the Visakhapatnam coast.
- The four countries also form the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, and their coming together for a major wargame sends a strong message to China at a time when India and China are involved in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh.
6. The Indian Navy has launched the fifth Scorpene submarine “Vagir” at Mazagon Dock of south Mumbai.
- The submarine is capable of taking missions such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, mine laying, intelligence gathering and area surveillance.
- Vagir is a part of six Kalvari class submarines that is being built in India.
- These submarines were designed by French Navy. The six submarines were built under Project-75 of Indian Navy.
- Vagir has been named after Sand Fish. It is a deep-sea predator in the Indian Ocean.
7. The Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) conducted a three-day joint services exercise code named ‘Bull Strike' at the remotely located Teressa Island.
- Indian Army’s Parachute Brigade, Marcos and Special Forces were part of the exercise that happened between November 3 and November 5 2020 at the remotely located Teressa Island, in the strategically important Nicobar Group of Islands.
- The major training activities included combat free fall and paradrop from strategic lift aircraft C-130 by a company of Para Commandos from the mainland, action by MARCOS of Indian Navy and Special Heli Borne Operations (SHBO) by Indian Army Ghatak platoons.
8. Indian Navy Missile Corvette INS Prabal has recently launched an anti-ship missile.
- The missile launched somewhere from the Arabian Sea homed in on its target - an old ship - and hit it with deadly accuracy at its maximum range.
- AShM launched by Indian Navy Missile Corvette INS Prabal, homes on with deadly accuracy at max range, sinking target ship.
9. The Indian Navy has got ready its first batch of three women pilots for Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) missions on Dornier aircraft.
- Lieutenant Divya Sharma, Lt Shubhangi Swaroop, and Lt Shivangi are now ready to take on all MR missions on Dornier aircraft.
- They have been “operationalized (mission-ready) on Dornier aircraft” by the Southern Naval Command (SNC)
- The three women pilots were part of the six pilots of the 27th Dornier Operational Flying Training (DOFT) Course, who graduated as Fully operational Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) Pilots at a passing out ceremony held at INS Garuda.
10. The Eighth Edition of annual Indian Navy (IN) – Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX-20 is scheduled off Trincomalee, Sri Lanka from 19 to 21 October 2020.
- The Sri Lanka Navy will be represented by SLN Ships Sayura (Offshore Patrol Vessel) and Gajabahu(Training Ship) led by Rear Admiral Bandara Jayathilaka, the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Sri Lanka Navy.
- Indigenously built ASW corvette Kamorta and Kiltan under the command of Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, will represent the Indian Navy.
- In addition, Indian Navy Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Chetak helicopters embarked onboard IN ships, and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft will also be participating.
- The previous edition of SLINEX was conducted off Visakhapatnam in September 2019.
11. The constellation of maritime surveillance satellites for the Indian Ocean Region, will be jointly launched by India and France.
- It will be able to trace illegal spillage of oil by ships.
- In August last year, CNES and ISRO committed to developing and building a constellation of satellites carrying telecommunications and radar and optical remote-sensing instruments, constituting the first space-based system in the world capable of tracking ships continuously.
- The monitoring center will be based in India.
- It will also be able to detect oil slicks and trace their origin.
- The main purpose of this is to trace illegal spillage of oil by ships. The Indian Ocean Region has several Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC) and is used by many ships every day.
- The satellites will be operated jointly by France and India to monitor ships in the Indian Ocean.
12. The Indian Coast guard Vessel Kanaklata Barua was commissioned at Kolkata on September 30, 2020, through video conferencing.
- The ICGS Kanaklata Barua is one among the five Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs)
- It has been built by Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).
- The vessel was delivered in June 2020.
- This is the 105th vessel delivered by the defense PSU shipyard.
- These ships can achieve speeds exceeding 34 knots with an endurance of 1,500 nautical miles or more.
13. The Indian Space of Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch its Venus
- Mission in 2025 along with participation from French Space Agency CNES (The National Centre for Space Studies).
- Shukrayaan-1 is a proposed orbiter to Venus by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to study the surface and atmosphere of Venus.
14. BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired from the Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai, hitting a target in the Arabian Sea.
- The missile hit the target successfully with pin-point accuracy after performing high-level and extremely complex manoeuvres.
- BrahMos as a ‘prime strike weapon’ will ensure the warship’s invincibility by engaging naval surface targets at long ranges, thus making the destroyer another lethal platform of Indian Navy.
- The highly versatile BrahMos has been jointly designed, developed and produced by India and Russia.
- Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, BrahMos and Indian Navy for the successful launch.
- BrahMos missiles will add to the capabilities of Indian Armed Forces in many ways.
15. India will be delivering a Kilo Class submarine INS Sindhuvir to Myanmar Navy as part of defence cooperation.
- This will be the first submarine of the Myanmar Navy.
- Briefing media, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, cooperation in the maritime domain is an important part of India's enhanced engagement with Myanmar.
- It is in accordance with India's vision of SAGAR and in line with build capacities and self-reliance in all the neighbouring countries.
16. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed Rustom-II medium altitude long endurance drone.
- The prototype drone achieved eight hours of flying at an altitude of over 16,000 feet at Karnataka's Chitradurga.
- The drone is expected to achieve 18 hours of continued flying at a height of 26,000 feet by the end of 2020 itself.
- The indigenously developed drone is capable of carrying varied combinations of payloads, including synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence systems and situational awareness systems. It also boasts of a satellite communication link to relay vital information on a real-time basis.
- The DRDO is developing Rustom-II drone to match the specifications of the Israeli Heron unmanned aerial vehicle which is already being used by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy.
17. Wings India 2020, the biennial civil aviation and aerospace event was launched at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad.
- The event is being organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation along with the Airports Authority of India and FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry).
- The theme of Wings India 2020 is ‘Flying For All’
- Wings India 2020’ is a platform for all stakeholders to come together to work towards ensuring the growth of the sector.
18. The Indian Navy conducted a joint patrol with the French Navy from the Reunion Island in February.
- The patrol was conducted by a P-8I aircraft with French Navy personnel onboard.
- This shows India’s intent to engage with friendly foreign partners in expanding its footprint on the Indian Ocean
- France is also the first country to deploy a liaison officer at the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre (IFC-IOR) as part of efforts to improve maritime domain awareness (MDA).
- Réunion Island is a French department in the Indian Ocean.
- It is known for its volcanic, rainforested interior, coral reefs and beaches
19. US Marines and UAE Emirati forces conducted the biennial exercise, named Native Fury at Abu Dhabi.
- The biennial exercise, called Native Fury, shows the close ties between American forces and the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula home to Abu Dhabi.
- The exercise saw 4,000 U.S. troops from the Army, Marines, and Navy position armoured vehicles and other equipment from Kuwait and the island of Diego Garcia in al-Hamra using a portable pier system.
- The forces seize a sprawling model Middle Eastern city, a drill conducted amid tensions with Iran and despite the new coronavirus pandemic.
- It also comes after the U.S. killed Iran’s most prominent general in a drone strike in January, and Tehran retaliated with a ballistic missile attack on American forces in Iraq.
20. DRDO has successfully flight-tested (SMART) Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo, was successfully flight tested from Odisha.
- All the mission objectives including missile flight upto the range and altitude, release of Torpedo and deployment of Velocity Reduction Mechanism (VRM) have been met perfectly.
- SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo System for Anti-Submarine Warfare or ASW operations far beyond Torpedo range.The launch and demonstration are significant in establishing Anti-Submarine warfare capabilities.
- A number of DRDO laboratories including DRDL, RCI Hyderabad, ADRDE Agra, NSTL Visakhapatnam have developed the technologies required for SMART.
21. India has successfully test-fired the Rudram – an Anti-Radiation Missile on October 9, 2020.
- Rudram is the country's first indigenous Anti Radiation missile for Indian Air Force, being developed by DRDO, and is integrated on SU-30 MkI fighter aircraft as the launch platform, having the capability of varying ranges based on launch conditions.
- Anti-radiation missiles are designed for use against enemy's radars.
- The missile was test fired from its primary test platform Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft off the east coast.
- It has been designed for suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD).
- It has the capability to destroy enemy surveillance radars, tracking and communication systems.
- The missile is the first-of-its-kind air-to-ground missile developed by DRDO for the IAF arsenal. Similar missile named BrahMos is there but it was jointly developed by India and Russia.
22. ITBP Director-General, S S Deswal has been given the additional charge of counter-terrorism force National Security Guard (NSG) as its incumbent chief A K Singh is going to retire on September 30. This is the second time that Deswal, a 1984-batch Indian Police Service officer, has been directed to lead the NSG in an additional capacity.
23. The second edition of Indian Navy and Bangladesh Navy Bilateral Exercise Bongosagar is scheduled to commence in the Northern Bay of Bengal on 03 October 2020.
- Exercise Bongosagar, whose first edition was held in 2019, is aimed at developing interoperability and joint operational skills through conduct of a wide spectrum of maritime exercises and operations.
- In the upcoming edition of Exercise Bongosagar, ships from both navies will participate in surface warfare drills, seamanship evolutions and helicopter operations.
- This exercise will be followed by the 3rd edition of IN - BN Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) in Northern Bay of Bengal from 4 to 5 October 2020, wherein IN and BN units will undertake joint patrolling along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
- The conduct of CORPATs has strengthened understanding between both the navies and instituted measures to stop the conduct of unlawful activities.
24. Indian aerospace start-up AgniKul Cosmos has signed a memorandum of agreement with Alaska Aerospace Corporation to test-launch their Indian-made Agnibaan rocket from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island in the United States.
- The launch from Alaska is expected to take place from 2022 onwards.
- They include the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch licensing, US export control, and will comply with export laws & regulations in India to receive necessary clearances from the Indian authorities as well.
- The aim is to define launch vehicle-spaceport interfaces, related procedures, and conduct at least one test launch from PSCA.
25. Military Exercise “Kavkaz 2020”
- India has withdrawn its participation from the multilateral Military Exercise “Kavkaz 2020” to be held in Russia between 15th to 26th September 2020.
- Russia and India are privileged strategic partners. At Russia’s invitation, India has been participating in many international events.
- However, due to COVID-19 and consequent difficulties in exercise, India has decided not to send a contingent this year to Kavkaz-2020.
- Kavkaz 2020 would be held in Astrakhan province of Southern Russia where member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Central Asian countries would be participating.