Why in the discussion?
Following the ‘Act East Policy’ in India, there have been high level talks and agreements between India and Singapore in recent days, which has further strengthened the mutual relations between the two countries.
- In addition to bilateral negotiations between India and Singapore, more than 20 arrangements have been made for joint exercises and other bilateral cooperation, which are implemented every year. In November 2015, these relations were made into a strategic partnership between the two countries.
- In June 2018, India and Singapore, other than Shangri La Dialogue, signed a number of agreements for mutual cooperation in many areas other than defense and strategic partnership.
- The most important agreement in this was the implementation agreement between the Indian Navy and Singapore Navy, which relates to the maintenance and logistics of mutual coordination, naval ships, submarines and naval aircraft.
- With the implementation of this agreement, both countries are sharing their naval resources with logistics and services through each other.
- Through agreement, India and Singapore have agreed to joint exercises regularly with their associate countries in their shared maritime area.
Army fire power gets booster shot
Why in the discussion?
Recently, the US M-777 Ultralight Howitzer gun and South Korean K-9 Vajra cannon were officially included in the Indian Army fleet. In addition, a gun tower was also included in the army.
- For the last time in the early 1980s, an artillery system – Bofors gun was purchased from Sweden by the army. Since then no progress has been made in the purchase of new guns.
- In the presence of Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, both types of three artillery were included in the army. Overall the Army will get 10 K-9 guns this year.
- In addition to this, the third device to be included in the army is the common gun tower, which is 6×6 vehicle with cross-country capacity. Manufactured by Indian company Ashok Leyland, this vehicle is suited for carrying medium-range guns.
- In April 2017, Indian Engineering Group Larsen and Toubro (L & T) and South Korean Hanwa Techwin signed a contract to make K-9 Vaj-T cannon.
- After the extensive tests, this cannon was recently included by the army. The deal is worth Rs 4,500 crore for 100 guns.
- The K-9 Vajra-T is 155 mm, 52-caliber self-propelled guns, which have a maximum capacity of 40 km. Its fire control system has been optimized for desert situations.
- Under this agreement, the first 10 guns will be imported from South Korea and will be manufactured by L & T in the rest of India. The first regiment will be deployed till July 2019 and all the 100 artillery will be received by 2020.
Howitzer deal with the US
- India signed a $ 737 million deal with the US in November 2016, under the Foreign Military Sales Program for 145 M-777 Ultralight Howitz Guns.
- Twenty-five guns will be imported under this agreement and the rest will be made in India in partnership with Mahindra Group. The distribution of these will be completed by the middle of 2020.
- The M-777 is a 155 mm, 39 caliber manned cannon. Due to only being four tonnes weighing it can be done by helicopter.
- According to Army’s Field Artillery Rationalization Scheme 1999, it is envisaged to include 3,000 different types of guns for 220 Artillery Regiments.