A recap of Defence sector

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Defence sector

The Army, Navy and Air Force continue to accumulate sophisticated weapons, arms, missiles, fighter jets and launch ships. Moreover, technology has been integral to military weapons. Indian Armed forces are advancing in upgrading their arms and ammunition at breakneck speed. From warships to drones India’s military tech proliferated in 2018.

Highlights

In October 2018, India ordered five S-400 missiles from Russia. The S-400 missile can simultaneously launch 72 missiles to destroy up to 36 targets at a time. The missiles will be deployed along the border so that they can detect and destroy hostile missiles, drones and jets.

Indian Navy has procured Barak-8 for installing in the Navy’s seven destroyers ships. Barak-8 is an Long-Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) which was jointly developed by DRDO and  Israel Aerospace Industries. In 2017, the Indian Army had procured Barak-8 MRSAM which is the land version of the missile system.

The US State Department has cleared the way for India to buy nearly $1 billion worth of Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and associated weapons, sensors, mission systems and simulators. Boeing is approved to sell India six Apaches, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

In June 2018, the US government has approved a deal with Boeing for delivering the most advanced versions of  AH-64E Apache and the CH-47F Chinook to India.  CH-47F is an advanced multi-mission helicopter with a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system. The AH-64E is nicknamed as Apache Guardian is the latest attack helicopter.

In September last year, the Indian Coast Guard has got the first batch of  Air Cushion Vehicle(ACV). These vessels are more advanced and superior to conventional boats. ACV can travel at very high speeds over sandbanks, mudflats, swamps and shallow water.

India and Russia are finalising the deal for making six lakh Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles in India for the Indian security forces. The guns will gradually replace the existing INSAS and AK-47 rifles.

The Indian Navy is setting up the Information Fusion Centre(IFC) at the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurgaon, Haryana to enhance the maritime security and Information exchange for the Indian Ocean Region. The IFC will be established .

In December, the Indian Navy has inducted a Submarine Rescue System with a Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV). The system has a side scan sonar for locating the position of the submarine in distress at sea, providing immediate relief. The Indian Navy’s DSRV is the latest regarding technology which can rescue personnel from a depth of 650 meters from a distressed submarine.

Lockheed Martin entered with a joint venture with Tata Defence and Tatas to manufacture F-16 wings in India. Lockheed Martin is offering India the best upgrade possible with India specific F-16 Block 70 Viper. There are likely chances that Indian Airforce procures F-16, though the US rename them and offer as  MMRCA 2.0  instead of F-16.

The DRDO started producing the Rustom-II Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and would be ready for use by 2020. In February this year, the UAV was successfully tested at the Aeronautical Test Range at  Chitradurga in Karnataka. The Rustom-II UAV will be deployed to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance operations. These UAVs can fly at the height of near 22,000ft with 20-hour flight time.

In February, the Southern Naval Command inaugurated the ‘Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS) at INS Garuda. INS Garuda is the fourth air station to get this integrated system.  IAAMS is another ambitious project of the Indian Navy that aims to modernise  meteorological infrastructure of the nine Naval Air Stations. The system will play a significant role in aviation safety through automation of weather monitoring process.

In January, the Ministry of Defence signed a deal with the Bangalore based Alpha Design Technologies Limited to procure indigenous simulators for gunnery and missile firing from BMP II vehicles. The Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty II is a Soviet made infantry fighting vehicle.

INS Karanj the third Submarine of the first batch of six Kalvari-class submarines for the Indian Navy was launched on January 31 last year.  INS Karanj is a Scorpène class diesel electric attack submarine.  Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders built it with the help of French naval defence and energy group DCNS. The new submarine is named after the old INS Karanj, which was retired and decommissioned in 2003.

In August, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) sanctioned the procurement of six indigenously manufactured Next-generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPV) for the Navy at the cost of Rs 4,941 crore. These Vessels will protect offshore assets, maritime interdiction operations and search and seizure operations, surveillance missions, and counter infiltration operations.

In January, Defence Ministry has approved the procurement of Low-Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System (LICEWS) from Bharat Electronics Limited for Rs 470 crore. This system will upgrade the Indian Army’s communications technology, and will helps effectively dealing with terrorist groups. The LICEWS communication system is supposed to be deployed along the line of control(LoC ) in Jammu & Kashmir.