Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: Defence Technology

Get top class preparation for competitive exams right from your home: get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of your exam.

Defence Technology

Ultra Light Howitzer (ULH) Guns

  • The M777 howitzer is a towed artillery piece manufactured by BAE Systems USA (HQ-UK) .
  • The Indian Army will soon acquire 145 ultra-light howitzers (M777 155mm 39 calibre towed gun) from the US.
  • The Indian Defence Acquisitions Committee (DAC) has taken a decision to pursue the foreign military sales (FMS) route and the deal is expected to be to the tune of $ 647 million.
  • The ultra-light howitzers are for the mountain artillery divisions of the Indian Army to be used in high-altitude frontiers. They can be transported slung from some helicopters.
  • Trials were held by the Army in the hilly terrains of Sikkim and Jammu and Kashmir. The guns, each weighing some 4,200 kg, can be transported over the mountains slung under helicopters. The government had paid for bringing the gun for trials.
  • In news: Trial report leaked. Probe ordered.

C − 130J Super Hercules

  • The Indian Air Force inducted the tactical airlift transport C − 130J Super Hercules aircraft at the Hindon Air Force Station Ghaziabad.
  • After phasing out the Super Constellation in the mid 1970s, the IAF had inducted an American military aircraft.
  • The C − 130J is a four-engine turboprop aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin. It can be used for troop deployment, special operations, air-to-air refuelling, disaster relief and humanitarian aid operations.
  • Its technology and configuration enables the aircraft to perform precision low-level flying, airdrops, and landing in blackout conditions.
  • Equipped with night vision imaging, the C − 130J is capable of airdropping personnel and material even in complete darkness. It can also land on unprepared or semi-prepared landing strips and has self-protection to operate in hostile environments.
  • The aircraft is capable of undertaking low-level air-to-air refuelling that enhances its range and rapid forwardbasing of personnel and equipment in emergent situations.
  • The contract for the six aircrafts was signed in 2008 at an estimated cost of under $ 1.2 billion under the Foreign Military Sales programme.


  • The DRDO Nishant is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by ADE (Aeronautical Development Establishment) a branch of DRDO for the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Nishant can be used in roles such as battle field reconnaissance (day and night) , surveillance, target tracking and localisation and correction of artillery fire.
  • the system consisted of the air vehicle supported by ground control station ‘equipment mounted on Tatra vehicles and has up to four-and-a-half hours’ endurance.
  • It requires rail-launching from a hydro-pneumatic launcher and recovered by a Parachute System.
  • Nishant is one of the few UAVs in the world in its weight-class capable of being catapult-launched and recovered by using parachute, thus eliminating the need for a runway as in case of conventional take-off and landing with wheels.
  • Status: The Army successfully conducted the flight trials recently ahead of taking delivery of a set of four Nishant-UAVs, together with ground systems


  • NETRA is a completely autonomous hovering Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ideal for short range missions.
  • Designed specifically for anti-terrorist and counter insurgency operations.
  • UAV has been designed to carry out surveillance in an area of 1.5 KM Line of Sight (LOS) and has an endurance capacity of 30 minutes of battery charge.
  • ‘netra’ is a collaborative development project between one of Defence Research and Development Organisation՚s Pune-based labs, Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) (R&DE) Pune and ideaForge, a company by Mumbai IITians.


  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is in the process of developing an integrated costal defence system under its Project Nayan.

GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri Engine

  • Being developed by DRDO՚s Gas Turbine research Establishment (GTRE) , the Kaveri was initially being developed for the LCA Tejas programme but now it will be used on the fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) , which is expected to be ready by 2016 − 17.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle-150

AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) -150 is an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) being developed by

Central Mechanical Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI) scientists, Durgapur, West Bengal. The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Earth Sciences and has technical assistance from IIT-Kharagpur.

The vehicle was built with the intent of coastal security like mine counter-measures, coastal monitoring and reconnaissance. AUV 150 can be used to study aquatic life, for mapping of sea-floor and minerals along with monitoring of environmental parameters, such as current, temperature, depth and salinity. It can also be useful in cable and pipeline surveys. It is built to operate 150 metres under the sea and have cruising speed of up to four knots.

The AUV has hybrid communication channels. It uses radio frequency while on surface, but switches to acoustic communication when submerged. The AUV has its own power, propulsion, navigation and control systems.

The National Institute of Ocean Technology NIOT, Chennai, earlier developed a Remotely Operated Vehicle ROV with the capability to dive much deeper. AUV-150, however, is different in that it is not remotely operated from a control station ashore. It has an onboard computer that can be pre-programmed to carry out specific tasks, which makes it a smart vehicle endowed with the ability to devise its own stratagems to execute a mission.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)

An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is a robot which travels underwater without requiring input from an operator. AUVs constitute part of a larger group of undersea systems known as unmanned underwater vehicles, a classification that includes non-autonomous remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) controlled and powered from the surface by an operator/pilot via an umbilical or using remote control. In military applications

AUVs more often referred to simply as unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) .

AIP (Air Independent Propulsion)

  • Air-independent propulsion (AIP) is a term that encompasses technologies which allow a submarine to operate without the need to surface or use a snorkel to access atmospheric oxygen.
  • DRDO is building this technology for Indian navy.

NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle

  • BMP-2 Sarath based NBC (nuclear-biological-chemical) reconnaissance vehicle. Externally very similar to the basic vehicle but fitted with all kinds of sampling, testing and marking systems. The NBCRV was developed by DRDO and VRDE.
  • Developed for the Indian army.
  • Status: Recently handed over:
  • BMP-2 Sarath (Chariot of Victory) :
  • Indian license-produced variant of BMP-2, built by the Ordnance Factory Medak.
  • BMP-2
  • The BMP-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, infantry combat vehicle) is a second-generation, amphibious infantry fighting vehicle introduced in the 1980s in the Soviet Union, following the BMP-1 of the 1960s

Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA)

  • To be developed by HAL and Russia՚s Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi.
  • would be called Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF)
  • advanced features such as stealth, super-cruise, ultra-manoeuvrability, highly integrated avionics suite, enhanced situational awareness, internal carriage of weapons and network centric warfare capabilities.
  • production and joint marketing of the aircraft to third countries. India joins the race to develop unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) independently
  • UCAV was basically a fighter bomber without pilot and would have the ability to launch bombs, missiles and rockets on ground-based commands. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) mostly carries surveillance payload, travels at subsonic speed and remains airborne for a long time, while the UCAV will fly for a few hours, undertake manoeuvres at high speed and perform a combat aircraft՚s role.

Rustom 1

Rustom 1, is a medium-altitude and long-endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) , developed by DRDO for the three services, Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force of the Indian Armed Forces.

Unlike the other UAVs, which used to have a free fall with parachutes after executing their tasks, Rustom will carry out copybook style landing.

Current status: Successfully test-flown recently.

Rustom 1 followed the two other UAVs developed by the ADE Lakshya and Nishant. While Lakshya a drone that is remotely piloted by a ground control station provides aerial sub-targets for live-fire training, Nishant is a surveillance aircraft primarily tasked with intelligence gathering over enemy territory.

Agni-II Prime

Agni-II Prime, earlier called Agni-II + , is a modified version of the nuclear capable Agni-II strategic missile to fill the gap in the range between Agni-II and Agni-III. It would have a higher range (about 2,500 km) , higher performance, with respect to the thrust and weight ratio than Agni-II, which has a range of 2,000 km.

The two-stage, surface-to-surface missile is capable of carrying nuclear warheads of one tonne.

Status: Maiden launch failed.

Samudra Prahari

Indian Coast Guard Ship Samudra Prahari, the 1st pollution Control Vessel (PCV) of its kind in the entire South East

Asia was built indigenously by private company M/s ABG Shipyard Limited, Surat. The Ship was commissioned at

Mumbai in Oct 2010. The Ship is equipped with the most advanced and sophisticated Pollution response and control equipment for mitigating oil spills in the Indian EEZ.

Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircrafts being bought in India

Following the fresh request for proposals, Boeing has also joined the fray with Airbus Military and Russia՚s United

Aircraft that manufactures the Il-78.

Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)

The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) , formerly known as the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) , is a twinengined 5th generation stealth multirole fighter being developed by DRDO՚s lab ADA.

LCA to Have ILSS

The integrated life support system (ILSS) ensures uninterrupted oxygen supply to the pilot even as it protects him from adverse effects of high altitude flying and extreme gravitational forces acting on his body during high-speed combat maneuvers.

ILSS which has an on board oxygen generation system, or OBOGS, which continuously supplies oxygen to the pilot without fears of being exhausted

OPV Vijit

Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Vijit, the second in the series of 90-metre Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) was commissioned recently.

Orion is UAV of Aurora Flight Sciences, USA.

Hataf-V, Ghauri

  • It is a nuclear capable medium-range (1500km) ballistic missile (MRBM) developed of Pakistan

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India