Indian Navy gives updates on Vaccination and Covid operations
The officials of Indian Navy stated that all the personnel of Indian Navy have received first dose of the corona virus vaccine. About 70% of the personnel have also been vaccinated with the second dose, and the remaining ones will be covered soon. Now, the Navy has shifted its focus to vaccinate the dependents of the personnel, defense civilians, ex-servicemen and their families. As per the Navy’s documents, 10,000 people of the above mentioned groups across the country have been vaccinated. During the pandemic, 3,604 personnel tested positive for the corona virus, and 2 deaths were reported. The death count was lowest among the three defence forces of the country.
The Navy is now extending help to the civilians, looking at the outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic. It has identified unused capacity, which will now be utilized by the civilians as treatment and quarantine centers. Navy is utilizing its ships and assets to supply the medicines and oxygen in the coastal regions. The covid hospitals at Patna, New Delhi and Muzaffarnagar are already receiving the services of Indian Navy in handling the covid treatments. Under Mission Sagar 1, 2 and 3, the Navy extended the help and supplied medicines, foods and other essential commodities to more than 10 countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
HSTDV to undergo longer duration tests
Defence Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO’s) scramjet-powered Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) is being prepared to be tested for longer duration. The Hypersonic missile achieved 20 seconds of sustained flight in last year’s trial and covered 40 km before plunging into the Bay of Bengal. This time DRDO aims the missile to achieve 12 minutes of sustained flight at Mach 6 speed, that will cover 2 km per second so that missile can achieve desired goals of the 1500 km range over the next few years. The first trial was highly successful and the data collected has encouraged the DRDO to push the trial for 2-5 minutes and slowly increase the range and duration. Hypersonic missile will be ready in next 5 years for bulk production. It will be used as an Anti-Ship Hypersonic Cruise Missile or as land-based Hypersonic Cruise Missile that can attain the speed of 6 Mach making it nearly impossible to defend against.
Defence Minister reviews preparedness of Armed Forces against COVID-19
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the preparedness of Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces to deal with the spike in the COVID-19 cases in a virtual meeting. He was briefed about the measures taken by the AFMS, DRDO, Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and National Cadet Corps (NCC) in providing aid to civil administration. A COVID care centre has been established by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bengaluru. DPSUs are trying to buy oxygen plants so that they can produce oxygen cylinders at a faster pace. The Defence Minister asked the organizations to work on war footing to provide oxygen cylinders and extra beds to civil administration and state governments. He also directed the Armed Forces and other stakeholders to procure critical medical requirements under emergency powers of procurement. A COVID-19 facility developed by DRDO in New Delhi has been made functional and number of beds will be increased soon from 250-500. In Patna, the ESIC Hospital was converted to COVID Hospital that has started working with 500 beds. Soon a COVID hospital will be made functional in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Work is on war footing to set up hospitals in other cities also. Based on the On-Board Oxygen Generation Technology developed for LCA Tejas, a 1000 litre/minute capacity oxygen generation plants technology has been given to the industry and the Uttar Pradesh government has also placed orders for five such plants. DRDO Chief told the Defence Minister that SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) based supplemental oxygen delivery system developed for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas can be provided to COVID patients. The product will soon be available in the market. AFMS has mobilized its resources and manpower in various military hospitals to deal with COVID patients. The Defence Minister suggested to utilize the services of vaccinated retired Armed Forces personnel to assist the civil administration and the state governments. He also stressed on COVID appropriate behavior at the work place and to strictly follow COVID protocols to contain the spread of the virus among the Armed Forces personnel.
AMCA jets to be produced by two private sector companies
A consortium company with majority stakes by two private sector companies and minority stake by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will develop the prototypes of the AMCA jets. The Two Next Generation technology Demonstrator (NGTD) has completed Phase-I stage and will act as a technology demonstrator for India’s 5.5th Generation fighter jet called AMCA. The project will be pushed through the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) route wherein two Indian private companies will be granted up to 75% of government funding in the form of ‘Grant-in-Aid’. The remaining 25% of the project cost will have to be borne by the private entities. The initial task will be to produce Prototypes of the AMCA in the Phase-II stage of the project. It is being estimated that the NGTD-1 rollout will happen in 2024 followed by NGTD-2 in 2026. These two will be manufactured by the HAL.
Army disposes 1600 tons of unexploded ordnance
The Southern Command of the Indian Army disposed of 1600 metric tons of unexploded ordnance in Mumbai and several other locations. In Mumbai, over 800 tons of Unidentified Explosive Objects (UXO) having explosive content of over two thousand kg of RDX/ TNT was disposed of. The operation was named Operation ‘Visphotak Mukt Bandargah’ to ensure the safety of people living in these areas. A Bomb Disposal team from the Central Ammunition Depot, Pulgaon carried out “survey, segregation and disposal” of unexploded ordnance.