Flashback 2018: Major Defence Developments of the Year


2018 was a major year for the Indian Defence Sector, many game-changing deals and developments were made throughout the year to maintain peak efficiency and effectiveness in the Defence of our nation. There are several important developments which are worth recalling now that the year is coming to an end.

S-400 Triumf Missile System

A deal worth $5.43 billion (around Rs. 39.000 crore) for five S-400 Triumf Air Defence Systems was signed with Russia. The S-400 Triumf Missiles are extremely efficient to track and hunt down combat aircraft, even stealth planes at unprecedented ranges. Its Radar can not only detect and track up to 300 targets within a proximity of 600 kms, but can also engage 36 targets at once.

K9 VAJRA Self Propelled Gun

The K9 VAJRA-T 155mm/52 calibre gun is a tracked self propelled howitzer made by the Hanwha Techwin of South Korea. The first 10 guns have been imported in a semi-knocked down state and have been reassembled by L&T in India. The VAJRA offers a high rate of fire at a long range and is compatible with Indian and standard NATO ammunition.

M777 A2 ULH

The 155mm 39 calibre ULH (Ultra Light Howitzer) have been procured from the USA under the Government to Government Foreign Military Sales and will be assembled in India by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence.

BMD (Ballistic Missile Defence) Program

India successfully conducted PDV (Prithvi Defence Vehicle) interceptor missile test off the coast of Odisha. DRDO achieved a major milestone in developing indigenous two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence System.

MP-ATGM Tested Successfully

The indigenously developed 3rd Generation MP-ATGM (Man Portable Anti Tank Guided Missile) was successful in trials conducted by the DRDO at Ahmednagar Range in Maharashtra.

DAC Approves procurement of 155mm ATAGS

The DAC (Defence Acquisition Council) approved the procurement of 150 indigenously designed and developed 155mm ATAGS (Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System) for the Indian Army at an approximate cost of Rs 3,400 crores.

First Deterrence Patrol completed by INS ARIHANT

India’s first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant successfully completed its first deterrence patrol. This means that India has now become a dependable Nuclear Triad. India is now capable of firing nuclear weapons from Land, Air and Sea. This three-pronged capability is crucial for India’s declared NFU (No First Use) Policy for nuclear weapons.

Procurement of training solution for P-8I

The Defence Ministry approved the procurement of training solution for the P-8I (Poseidon Aircraft) of the Indian Navy. The training solution simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems. It will help the Indian Navy to train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircrafts, at the fraction of the cost of live aircraft training.

MANPADS Deal with Russia

A deal valued at $1.5 billion with the Russians for MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defence System) missiles. These come under the SAM (Surface to Air Missile) category. The new Russian Igla-S system will replace the old Igla-M systems being used since the 1980’s.

Tejas Mid-Air Refuelling

The first ever mid-air refuelling of the indigenously developed LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas was successfully carried out. With this, India joined an elite group of countries which have successfully developed air-to-air refuelling system for military aircraft.

GSAT-7A COMSAT

GSAT-7A (Geo Synchronous Satellite) COMSAT (Communication Satellite) is a communications satellite designed specifically for military operations. A part of the GSLV-F11 (Geo Synchronous Launch Vehicle) launch mission. It is the 35th Indian Communication Satellite. It will provide communication in the Ku Band over the Indian region. Ku band will enable superior or real time aircraft-to-aircraft communication.

AGNI V Successfully Tested

The nuclear capable ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile) AGNI V was successfully test fired. It can carry a 1,000 Kg payload of high explosives and its range has been publicly presented as 5,000 Km. This means China is well within reach and it’s going to be a big deterrent to China and other nations.

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