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India and Saudi Arabia to hold first bilateral naval exercise:

The first bilateral naval exercise between India and Saudi Arabia is to be held in 2020. The countries also plan to collaborate in research and acquisition of military hardware, which will help broaden defence cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia. 

Aim:

The exercisewill strengthen the position of the Indian Navy that spans from the Strait of Malacca to the Straits of Hormuz. The bilateral engagement aims to promote measures to ensure the safety and security of waterways in the Gulf region  and Indian Ocean region from threats that might affect the countries.

Bilateral Naval exercise:

Regarding the exercise, India and Saudi Arabia held a meeting in Riyadh in November. It is also expected that the countries are to hold another meeting in India in December. In the meeting, they will discuss to decide the contours of the naval drill that has been scheduled to be held in the first half of March 2020. The participants of the exercise is yet to be decided though both sides are expected to field several warships for it.

MoU between GAMI and MoD:

On 29 October 2019, an MoU was signed between Saudi Arabia`s General Authority of Military Industries (GAMI) and the Department of Defence Production, the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The MoU aimed at the collaboration of GAMI and the Department of Defence Production in the military acquisition, industries, research, development, and technology. Both sides signed an agreement in the civil aviation sector also. India is the fourth country with which Saudi Arabia has signed an agreement on strategic partnership. The other three countries are the UK, France, and China.

 

The MoU covers collaboration in the military acquisition, industries, research, development, and technology. In August 2019, a delegation from GAMI travelled to India and visited companies engaged in making military equipment, including Bharat Forge, Ashok Leyland, and L&T.

 

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Indian Army to get 18 indigenously upgraded Dhanush artillery guns:

The Indian Army will have the first regiment of 18 indigenously upgraded Dhanush artillery guns in place by March 2020. It is expected that it will get all 114 guns to be completed by 2022. In April, the Ordnance Factory Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur, from the Army on February 18, OFB handed over the first batch of 6 Dhanush guns. The received the Bulk Production Clearance to manufacture 114 guns 2019.

Dhanush Artillery Guns:

Indian Army officially inducted the Dhanush Long-Range Artillery Guns in April 2019. It is developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata. The guns are manufactured by the Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur on the basis of Swedish Bofors Haubits FH77. It was imported by India in the 1980s.

Features of Dhanush Artillery Gun:

These guns are equipped with auto-laying facility, onboard ballistic computation, inertial navigation-based sighting system, and an advanced day and night direct firing system. It has a caliber of 155mm x 45mm and a range of 36km. The self-propulsion unit on Dhanush allows the gun to negotiate and deploy itself in mountainous terrains with ease. Dhanush has been electronically upgraded to enhance firing accuracies, laying speeds of the existing gun. It will also provide compatibility with various kinds of ammunition as well. 

Ordnance Factory Board (OFB):

Founded on: 1712

Headquarters: Kolkata, West Bengal

Director-General and Chairman: Saurabh Kumar

OFB is engaged in testing, marketing, research, and logistics of a comprehensive product range in the areas of air, land, and sea systems. It functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Shripad Naik inaugurates DRDOs Igniter Complex at HEMRL, Pune:

Union Minister of State for Defence (MoSD) Shripad Naik inaugurated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Igniter Complex at the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune on 5 November 2019. 

The building is installed with remotely controlled sophisticated equipment such as Sieve Shaker, Planetary Mixer, Granulating Machine, Pelleting Machine, etc. The complex will also have design, modeling and simulation laboratory, assembly, and testing centre.

HEMRL:

Established in: 1960

Location: Pune, Maharashtra

♦ HEMRL is DRDO`s premier laboratory. It is responsible for developing Rocket and Gun Propellants, Pyrotechnic Devices, High Explosive Systems, and synthesis of high energy molecules.

♦ HEMRL has created a facility for design, processing, and evaluation of ignition systems. It consists of process, assembly, and storage buildings and a design centre. 

♦ HEMRL has developed various fuel or oxidizer based igniter compositions using organic binders. 

 

♦ It has also developed an ignition system for Agni, Akash, Nag, Prithvi, Pinaka, Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM), etc.

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