Daily Current Affairs: January 13, 2017

Submarine Khanderi launched

Khanderi, the second Scorpene class stealth submarine that has superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack with torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles whilst underwater or on surface, was launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited on January 12, 2017.

Highlights:

  • It can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine, i.E anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, etc.
  • The submarine is designed to operate in all theatres, including the tropics. All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval task force.
  • The first of the class submarine, Kalvari is presently undergoing sea trials and likely to be commissioned into Navy by Mid-2017. These submarines, post induction, would form the core of Navy’s conventional submarine arm.
  • Project 75 Kalvari is a key milestone in self-reliance and indigenisation for the country.
  • The state-of-the-art features of this Scorpene class submarine include superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapon. The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface.
  • Khanderi is named after the Island fort of Maratha forces, which played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century. Khanderi is also the name for Tiger Shark.
  • The construction of six Scorpene submarines is presently in progress at Mazagon Dock Shipyard Limited (MDL), under Project 75 with Transfer of Technology from M/s DCNS, France as the collaborator.

Successful Test Firing of Guided Pinaka

The Pinaka Rocket converted to a Guided Pinaka was successfully test-fired from Launch Complex-III, ITR, Chandipur. The Pinaka Rocket Mark-II, which evolved from Pinaka Mark-I is equipped with a navigation, guidance and control kit and has been transformed to a Guided Pinaka.

Highlights:

  • This conversion has considerably enhanced the range and accuracy of Pinaka.
  • The test-firing has met all mission objectives. The radars, electro-optical and telemetry systems at Chandipur tracked and monitored the vehicle all through the flight-path.
  • The Guided Pinaka is developed jointly by ARDE Pune, RCI Hyderabad and DRDL Hyderabad. ITR Chandipur provided the range and launch support.
  • Raksha Mantri, Shri Manohar Parrikar has congratulated the DRDO, industry and the Armed Forces for the successful flight-test.
  • Shri P.K. Mehta, DG (ACE) and Dr. S. Christopher, Secretary, Deptt. of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO, also congratulated all the teams that participated in the successful test firing.

UN FAO report on World food prices

World food prices fell for a fifth straight year in 2016 as losses in cereals, meat and dairy outweighed rises in sugar and vegetable oils, the United Nations food agency said on January 12, 2017. Prices remained stable in December from the month before, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) main food price index, which has edged up steadily after hitting a seven-year low in January.

Highlights:

  • The full year 2016 logged a 1.5 per cent annual drop in the index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar.
  • December’s reading of 171.8 points versus 171.9 points in November resulted from strong gains in vegetable oils and dairy largely offsetting falls ;in sugar and meat, the FAO said.
  • Sugar prices rose by about a third across the year, despite an 8.6 per cent dip in December that mainly stemmed from a weaker Brazilian real against the dollar and an expected jump in production in Brazil’s main sugarcane-growing region.
  • Cereal prices steadily declined during the year, ending 39 per cent below their 2011 peak.
  • Vegetable oil prices reached their highest since July 2014 in December. Palm oil rose on low global inventory levels and tight supplies, while soy oil quotations were boosted by the prospect of rising use for biodiesel in North and South America.

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