Weekly Defence Current Affairs Digest: 8 July -14 July 2018

In this weekly digest, we cover all the hot topics that happened in the Indian defence from 8 – 14 July 2018.

  1. 6 Bidders Come Forward To Sell Fighters For The IAF:

6 combat aircraft manufacturers have responded to the MoD’sl request for information (RFI) for acquisition of 110 multirole fighter aircraft for the IAF.

These are the premier vendors from all over the world – Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Russian Aircraft Corporation, Dassault, Saab and Eurofighter GmbH.

All 6 aircraft from these manufacturers had participated in the IAF’s 2007 tender for 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), which was scrapped in April 2015 in favour of the IAF directly importing 36 Dassault Rafale fighters.

The defence ministry will now process the acquisition under the provisions of the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 (DPP-2016). The RFI leaves the door open for an Indian private sector firm to co-manufacture the selected fighter in India.

  1. Indian Army and State Bank of India Signs MoU on Defence Salary Package:

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and SBI on the Defence Salary Package on 12 July 2018. The signing-in ceremony was chaired by the Director General (MP&PS), Lt Gen SK Saini and was attended by top officials of SBI headed by Shri Ranjan Kumar Mishra, CGM (PB), Corporate Centre, State Bank Bhawan, Mumbai.

SBI inks Deal With Indian Army
SBI Inks Deal With Indian Army

The first MoU between SBI and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was renewed on 23 Feb 2015. The revised MoU is tailor made to suit the requirements of serving soldiers, pensioners and families. A number of additional facilities have been incorporated in the revised MoU which include free personal accident death cover, free permanent total disablement cover and other accidental benefits to the deceased soldier and family. This MoU will benefit a large number of serving and retired Army personnel who are having their accounts with SBI. The MoU will be valid till 03 Jan 2019 and continuation thereafter will be subject to review/renewal.

  1. Shwet Ashwa Reaches Delhi En-Route Drass Expedition

Shwet Ashwa, the elite motorcycle display team of the Corps of Military Police, commenced a motor cycle expedition from Bengaluru to Drass on 2nd July 2018 as a tribute to the soldiers who laid down their lives during the Kargil war. After a gruelling ride through the Western Ghats and encountering heavy rains at Mumbai and Jaipur, the expedition reached New Delhi on 13th Jul 2018 from where it will be flagged off for Drass on 16th July 2018 by the Adjutant General Lt Gen Ashwani Kumar, AVSM, VSM.

The expedition is being undertaken by five highly experienced riders of the Army’s Shwet Ashwa Motor Cycle Display team and will travel a distance of more than 3250 km across eight states before they reach Drass on 24th July 2018.  At Drass, they will participate in the Vijay Diwas celebrations to commemorate India’s Victory in the Kargil war and pay homage to the 527 brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives during this operation. The riders on their 200cc TVS Apache RTR bikes have already covered approximately 2500 km and will now commence the most treacherous phase of their ride while they pass through Manali, Sarchu, Leh and Drass.  They will face the most challenging terrain and weather and both man and machine will be put to the ultimate test of endurance during this phase.

  1. NCC Boys Expedition team to Mt Saifee Flagged-In By DGNCC

DG NCC Lt Gen PP Malhotra flagged-in the NCC Boys Expedition to Mt Saifee on 11 July 2018. He congratulated the boy cadets and the support staff for their splendid effort and demonstration of grit and courage to overcome the challenges of rugged terrain and hostile weather conditions in their bid to summit the peak. The expedition was launched on 01 June 2018.

NCC Boys Expn to Mt Saifee
NCC Boys Expn to Mt Saifee

The expedition team left for Mt Saifee Peak on 04 June 2018 from Delhi lead by Expedition Leader Col Dhirendra Singh, Dy Leader Major Neeraj Singh Mann along with 15 PI Staff and 20 boy cadets.  All the cadets were given mountaineering training in NIM, Uttarkashi for 10 days.

The Expedition Leader Col Dhirendra Singh shared his experience and the challenges faced by the expedition team during their difficult attempt.

Mt Saifee is situated in the beautiful Gangotri National Park and the Garhwal Himalayas. The peak is knows as Mountaineers Paradise. The successful summit of the peak by 18 NCC Cadets on 30 Jun 2018 gave them an exposure to the mountainous conditions and hones their spirit of adventure.

  1. INS Tarangini Visits Sunderland to Participate in Tall Ship Races – 2018

INS Tarangini arrived at her 7th port, Sunderland in the UK, during her Lokayan-18 voyage and also to participate in the prestigious ‘tall ship races – 2018’. The ship is part of the first Training Squadron based at Kochi, under the Southern Naval Command of the Indian Navy.  The name ‘Tarangini’ is derived from the Hindi word ‘Tarang’ meaning waves; thus, Tarangini means ‘the one that rides the waves’.

INS Tarangini
INS Tarangini

INS Tarangini is the first ship of the Indian Navy to have circumnavigated the globe in the year 2003-04 and has participated in tall ship races conducted around the world in 2007, 2011 and 2015. This beautiful ship, in her 21st year of service, is once again ready to create history with Lokayan-18. Lokayan is a combination of two Sanskrit words: ‘Lokya’ meaning worldwide and ‘Yana’ meaning travel, thus literally meaning, ‘travel around the world’.

  1. Nigerian Navy Chief Visiting India From 16 to 19 July 2018

Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, Chief of the Naval Staff, Nigerian Navy is visiting India from 16 to 19 July 2018 along with a four member Nigerian Navy delegation. The visit aims to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and Nigeria, as also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.

Nigerian Navy Chief With Adm Sunil Lanba
Nigerian Navy Chief With Adm Sunil Lanba

During his visit, the Chief of the Naval Staff of the Nigerian Navy will hold bilateral discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff and other senior officials of the Indian Navy. The Nigerian Navy Chief is also scheduled to meet with the Chief of the Air Staff and the Chief of the Army Staff.

After New Delhi, the Admiral is scheduled to proceed to Mumbai, Kochi and Goa where he will hold discussions with the Commanders-in-Chief of Western and Southern Naval Commands and Flag Officer Goa Area respectively. The Admiral is also scheduled to visit various naval units, including Indian Naval training schools during his visit to Mumbai, Kochi and Goa. Shipbuilding issues would be pursued during the Nigerian Admiral’s visit to M/s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited and M/s Goa Shipyard Limited at Mumbai and Goa respectively.


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