February 2020 Defence News



  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the new Light Combat Helicopter(LCH) Production Hangar at Helicopter Division in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Complex at Bengaluru, Karnataka on February 27, 2020. 

    LCH is a 5.5-tonne class combat helicopter designed and developed by HAL. It is powered by two Shakti engines and inherits many technical features of the Advanced Light Helicopter. LCH has the distinction of being the first attach helicopter to land in Forward Bases at Siachen, 4,700 mts above sea level with 500kg load.



  • The Indian Coast Guard's Offshore Patrol Vessel ICGS Varad has been commissioned on February 28, 2020. It was inducted into service in the Chennai Port. The ship Varad will be based at Paradip in Odisha, under the operational control of the Coast Guard North Eastern Region. 

    About ICGS Varad :
    1.) The 98 meter long vessel has been designed and built by the L&T at its yard at Kattupalli near Chennai, as per the specifications of the Coast Guard. 

    2.) The ship is fitted with modern navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machinery. 

    3.) It is equipped with 30 mm and 12.7 mm guns. 

    4.) It has special onboard features like the Integrated Bridge System, Platform Management System, Automated Power Management System and High Power External Fire-Fighting system.

    5.) It can carry a twin engine helicopter and four high speed boats for swift boarding operations, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol. 

    6.) The ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment for oil spill response at sea.



  • The 5th edition of Joint Military Exercise "Ajeya Warrior 2020" concluded at West down Camp, Salisbury Plains Training Area, UK. 

    The exercise was held between India and the United Kingdom. Brigadier Tom Bewick, Commander of UK 7 Infantry Brigade and Brigadier Gavin, DefenceAttache of the UK in India attended the closing ceremony of the event. 

    The exercise was aimed to conduct company-level joint training with an emphasis on counter-terrorist operations in urban and semi-urban areas.



  • The 6th Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV-6) 'VAJRA' was launched on 27 February at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. 

    About VAJRA:
    1.) The 6th OPV VAJRA will strengthen the efforts of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) to secure over 7500 km of vast coastline.

    2.) The vessel will secure the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) that covers over 20 lakh sq km and more than one lakh merchant ships transiting per year through Indian waters for global trade.

    3.) 6th OPV will enhance the Operation, Surveillance, Search & Rescue of ICG.

    4.) The vessel was delivered by M/s L&T Shipbuilding under the Make in India policy.

    5.) The ship will be used for day and night patrol or surveillance along with anti-terrorism and anti-smuggling operations in EEZ and Coastal Security.

    6.) The OPV is equipped with two Navigation Radars with ultra-modern technology, Sophisticated navigational, and latest communication systems.



  • A five-day training course on Vessel Search Technique being organized by the Indian Coast Guard jointly with the Australian Border Force began on February 24, 2020 in Chennai. The Defence Ministry said, the course by the Mobile Training Team of the Australian Border Force is being conducted for the Indian Coast Guard personnel, Customs officials and Coastal Security Group members of the Tamil Nadu Police. 

    The programme is set to bolster efforts of both the countries for realizing the common national maritime objectives of ensuring safety and security at sea. Indian Coast Guard Eastern Commander Inspector General S Paramesh, Australian Consul General in Chennai Susan Grace, Australian Border Force Counselor Tim Sheppard and officials from the Indian Coast Guard, Customs and the Coastal Security Group of the Tamil Nadu Police participated in the inaugural function.


  • Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh laid the foundation stone of the Army Headquarters new building “ThalSenaBhawan” in Delhi Cantonment. ThalSenaBhawan, the multi-storeyed complex adopting Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA-5 rating) norms, designed like a “rising sun” and spread over nearly 39 acres. 

    Key Points :
    i.) The Army Headquarters is currently housed in the iconic South Block at Raisina Hill, Delhi.
    ii.) At present, the Army headquarters is split into 8 pockets across New Delhi such as South Block, SenaBhawan, Hutments Area, R.K.Puram, Shankar Vihar etc., and the new building accommodates Army headquarters in one place ensures that they can work under one roof.
    iii.) The newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) will be headed by the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General BipinRawat.
    iv.) Nearly 1,700 officers (both military & civilian) and 1,300 sub-staffs will be accommodated in the new building and the cost of the project will be in excess of Rs 700 crore and will be constructed within 5 years.



  • Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat on February 17, 2020 said there are plans to create a Peninsula Command with Navy’s Eastern and Western Command under it. General Rawat said India is looking at setting up two to five theatre commands. He said Air Defence command will be rolled out by beginning of next year and peninsula command will be rolled out soon.



  • The United States Government has approved the sale of Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IDWS) to India. The US has approved this deal of USD 1.9 billion (about Rs. 13,000 crores). Earlier, the US government expressed its displeasure when India signed an agreement with Russia to buy five S-400 air defense systems for five billion dollars (about 35000 crore rupees). 

    Integrated Air Defence Weapon System (IDWS) consists of five AN / MPQ-64 F1 Sentinel radar systems, 118 AMRAAM -120 C-7 / C-8 missiles, three AMRAAM Guidance sections, four AMRAAM control sections, and 134 Stinger FIM-92 L missiles. It also included 32 M4 A1 rifles, multi-spectral targeting system-model A.


  • Indo-Bangladesh joint military exercise SAMPRITI-IX is held from 03 February to 16 February 2020 in Meghalaya. The exercise was aimed at strengthening the military relations between the two countries, which allowed the two armies to understand each other's tactical drills and operating techniques. The exercise provided an ideal platform for the personnel of the two countries to share their experiences on counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism operations and providing aid to civil authorities for disaster management especially in the jungle and semi-urban terrain. 

    SAMPRITI series of the joint exercise is a very important military & diplomatic initiative between both the nations and the edifice of the trust and friendship between India & Bangladesh which has been nurtured with the sweat and toil of Officers and soldiers of contingents participating in each edition. 

    Besides training, both contingents also participated in a number of activities including friendly volleyball and basketball matches. A magnificent parade and the customary exchange of mementos marked the successful completion of Indo-Bangladesh joint exercise. The joint exercise was undoubtedly an unprecedented success. Besides promoting understanding and interoperability between the two armies, it further helped in strengthening ties between India and Bangladesh.




  • President Ram Nath Kovind presented President’s Colour to Indian Navy’s INS Shivaji in Lonavala, Maharashtra on February 13, 2020. The President’s colour is the highest honour bestowed upon any Indian military unit. 

    The President’s colour was presented to INS Shivaji during a ceremonial parade comprising 130 officers and 630 sailors including 150 Guard of Honour. INS Shivaji is commanded by Commodore Ravnish Seth. The honour was received by Nishan Adhikari on behalf of the military unit. On the occasion, a special cover marking INS Shivaji’s platinum jubilee was also released by the President. 

    Established in 1945, INS Shivaji is one of the leading training establishments of the Indian Navy. The naval unit mainly imparts training to the officers and sailors of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 11th edition of the DefExpo-2020, a flagship biennial event of the Ministry of Defence in Lucknow, UttarPradesh on February 5, 2020. The theme of the Expo is "India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub". The Expo promises to bring new technologies, technological solutions, where Defence manufacturing companies from India and abroad showcase their products and services in the Defence arena, on a single platform. 

    40 Defence Ministers were part of total 70 foreign delegations that visited Lucknow. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath termed the DefExpo as Defence Kumbh, which witnessed presence of more than 3,000 foreign delegates, 10,000 Indian delegates and 12 lakh visitors and laid a strong foundation for the development of UP Defence corridor. 

    Innagural Speech by Govt of India :
    1.) Prime Minister invited global defence majors to set up their manufacturing units in India. Mr Modi said, there is an infinite opportunity in defence manufacturing in India. He said, there is demand, democracy and decisiveness in India. 

    2.) Prime Minister said, India also offers talent, infrastructure, favourable policy initiative and security of investment. Mr Modi said, lack of proper policy initiatives in the last several decades has made India the biggest importer of defence platforms. 

    3.) Prime Minister said, his government has taken a series of policy initiatives to cut the country's dependence on arms imports and promote domestic production. Mr Modi said, India is significantly boosting its military might and even increasing presence in outer space responsibly. 

    4.) Defence Minister Rajanath Singh said that the creation of two defence corridors in India is a result of prime minister's vision of leading India to become a technological powerhouse. He said that the nation will benefit from the defence industrial ecosystem being setup and developed using cluster development. 

    5.) Chief Minister of UttarPradesh, Yogi Adityanath said the defence corridor being setup in Uttar Pradesh will create a world-class defence ecosystem that will cater to the technological needs of the defence companies. 

    Lucknow Declaration :
    India and African nations adopted the ‘Lucknow Declaration’ during the first India-Africa Defence Minister’s Conclave on February 6, 2020. The conclave was held on the sidelines of the 11th edition of the biennial defence exhibition, DEFEXPO India 2020.

    The ‘Lucknow Declaration’ was adopted in the presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his counterparts from 12 African nations and heads of delegations from 38 other African countries. Overall, 50 African nations signed the declaration along with India at the conclave, which was organized for the very first time. 


    Bandhan ceremony :
    The ceremony tilted Bandhan aimed at forging and renewing partnerships for innovative collaboration, and transformation of the Defence manufacturing in the country. They were signed by representatives of various DPSUs, Indian private Defence companies and foreign companies in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow.

    Bandhan ceremony witnessed more than 13 product launches, 124 MoUs between DPSUs, private and global defence manufacturing companies. 23 MoUs were signed between the UP Government and private companies. 



  • In a first, advanced Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) will be manufactured in India, with leading aeronautical entity Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) set to formalise a partnership with an Israeli firm that specializes in autonomous weaponry. The advanced Heron TP, which belongs to the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class with endurance of over 36 hours, will be manufactured to cater both to Indian requirements for a combat UAV and possibly exports to third nations in the future as well.



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 11th edition of the DefExpo-2020, a flagship biennial event of the Ministry of Defence in Lucknow, UttarPradesh. The theme of the Expo is "India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub". The Expo promises to bring new technologies, technological solutions, where Defence manufacturing companies from India and abroad showcase their products and services in the Defence arena, on a single platform.


  • India and African nations adopted the ‘Lucknow Declaration’ during the first India-Africa Defence Minister’s Conclave on February 6, 2020. The conclave was held on the sidelines of the 11th edition of the biennial defence exhibition, DEFEXPO India 2020. The ‘Lucknow Declaration’ was adopted in the presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his counterparts from 12 African nations and heads of delegations from 38 other African countries. Overall, 50 African nations signed the declaration along with India at the conclave, which was organized for the very first time. 

    African Union’s theme for 2020 is "Silence The Guns: Creating conducive conditions for African Development”. The main vision is to achieve conflict-free Africa, prevent genocide and rid the continent if human rights violations, violent conflicts and humanitarian disasters.



  • The ninth edition of Indo-Bangladesh Joint Military Exercise SAMPRITI-IX commenced at Umroi, Meghalaya. The main focus of this edition of the fourteen days joint exercise is on Counter-Terrorism Operations in mountainous and jungle terrain. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen and broaden the interoperability and cooperation between the Indian and Bangladesh’s armies. And to strengthen and expand the aspects of mutual cooperation between both armies.


  • Ministerial-level Defence dialogue between India and South Korea was held in New Delhi on February 4, 2020. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of National Defence of South Korea Jeong Kyeong-doo held the meeting. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General Manoj Naravane and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh were also present in the meeting.


  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on February 4, 2020 held talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Affairs of Qatar Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah. Several subjects pertaining to deepening bilateral defence cooperation were discussed during the talks.



  • Defence Ministers of nearly 40 countries participated in the biennial Defence Expo 2020 which began in Lucknow on 2nd February 2020. Defence Ministers of Czech Republic, Mexico, South Korea, United Arab Emirates are among those participating including ministers from 14 African countries. For the first time India-Africa Defence Conclave will be held during the DefExpo.


Last Updated on: 29/02/2020

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