Mi-24 Attack Helicopters To Afghanistan


Why is it in News?

India on 16th May handed over two Mi-24 attack helicopters to Afghanistan. These helicopters are a replacement for the four attack helicopters gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015. Two more will be supplied to the Afghan Air Force (AAF). The helicopters were purchased from Belarus.

The Agreement:

  • The Mi-24 helicopters shall boost the capability of the AAF and enhance the effectiveness of the Afghan National Defence and Security Force in combating terrorism.
  • Under a tripartite agreement, India has agreed to purchase the attack helicopters from Belarus and supply them to Afghanistan.
  • Earlier, India had gifted four Mi-24 attack helicopters drawn from the inventory of the Indian Air Force and three Cheetal utility helicopters manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • India has been one of the largest donors to Afghanistan and has committed $3 billion in aid since 2001.

Varuna Exercise


Why is it in News?

The first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise, Varuna 19.1, conducted off the Goa coast from 1st to 10th May 19.

About Varuna Exercise:

  • The bilateral naval exercise initiated in 1983 and christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001, form a vital part of the Indo-French strategic partnership.
  • The Varuna exercise aims at developing interoperability between the two navies and fostering mutual cooperation by learning from each other’s best practices to conduct joint operations.
  • The exercise underscores the shared interests and commitment of both nations in promoting maritime security.
  • The exercise will be conducted in two phases. The harbour phase at Goa would include cross-visits, professional interactions and discussions and sports events. The sea phase would comprise various exercises across the spectrum of maritime operations.
  • The second part, Varuna 19.2, is scheduled to be held at the end of May in Djibouti.

 

Source: PIB

International Fleet Review 2019


Why is it in News?

INS Kolkata and Shakti were scheduled to arrive at Qingdao, China from 21 to 26 April to participate in the International Fleet Review as part of 70th Anniversary celebrations of PLA (Navy).

About International Fleet Review (IFR) 2019:

  • International Fleet Review (IFR) is a parade of naval ships, aircraft and submarines, and is organised by nations to promote goodwill, strengthen cooperation and showcase their organisational capabilities.
  • IFR also serves as an ideal platform for world’s navies to showcase their prowess and indigenous ship designing and ship building capabilities in a global/ international arena.
  • The Indian Navy would be represented in the IFR at Qingdao by indigenously built stealth guided missile destroyer INS Kolkata and fleet support ship INS Shakti.

INS Kolkata and INS Shakti:

  • INS Shakti- INS Shakti, a replenishment ship, is one of the largest tankers displacing over 27,000 tonnes and capable of carrying 15,000 tonnes of liquid cargo and over 500 tonnes of solid cargo including victuals and ammunition.
  • INS Kolkata- INS Kolkata is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to address threats in all dimensions of naval warfare.


Source: PIB, TH, IE