News Analysis 17 Aug, 2022

17 Aug, 2022


1. Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)
2. Him Drone-a-thon
3. New-Start Treaty.

1. Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)


The Made-in-India Howitzer joins the ceremonial 21-gun salute on Independence Day 2022.


About ATAGS :

  • 155mm, 52-caliber heavy artillery gun.

  • Jointly developed by Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), the Pune-based laboratory of DRDO, in partnership with Bharat Forge and Tata Group.

  •  Range : 45 km

  •  Most consistent and accurate gun in the world.

  •  Capable of the shortest minimum range at high angle and fast mobility in desert and mountain terrain in addition to autonomous mode firing capability and wireless communication.

  • Designed to fire all in-service ammunition with a fully automatic ammunition handling system with all electronic drives.

ATAGS features

  • The armament system of ATAGS mainly comprises barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm caliber ammunition held by Army with a longer range, accuracy and precision and provides greater firepower.

  • The ATAGS is configured with all electric drive to ensure maintenance free and reliable operation over a longer period of time.

  • It has advanced features in terms of high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night firing capability in the direct fire mode.

  • During its test at Pokhran, the maximum ranges of 38.5 km and 48 km, with boat tail and extended range full bore types of projectiles, were achieved.

  • During the same trials, a minimum range of 4.7 km was achieved from the systems meeting the critical parameter of minimum range at high angle

  • The specialized gun system is compatible with C4I (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) systems like the Artillery Combat Command and Control System (ACCCS) called Shakti for technical fire control, fire planning, deployment management, and operational logistics management of the Army.


2. Him Drone-a-thon


The Indian Army in collaboration with the Drone Federation of India has launched the ‘Him Drone-a-thon’ programme in August 2022.


About ‘Him Drone-a-thon’ 

  • Pan India sustained connections between all stakeholders including industry, academia, software developers and drone product manufacturers.

  • This initiative in line with Atmanirbharta in defense manufacturing is aimed to catalyze and provide focused opportunities to the Indian drone ecosystem to develop path-breaking drone capabilities for meeting requirements of frontline troops.

  • The Indian Army’s support to the indigenous drone ecosystem is based on the principle that ‘good available indigenously’ is better than the ‘best available globally’.

  • However, gradual enhancement in technology demanded by defense forces is likely to incentivise manufacture of better and more capable drone products.


What are Drones?

  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are aircraft with no on-board crew.

  • It relies on a system of sensors and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) detectors to calculate its movement.

  • It can fly at a controlled level of height and speed for a long period of time.

  • New Drone Rules 2021: ‘The Drone Rules, 2021’ replaced the erstwhile Unmanned Aircraft System Rules 2021 (“Prior Rules”), to regulate the use and operation of Drones or Unmanned Aerial System (“UAS”) in India.


3. New-Start Treaty.


Russia is inclined to talk with the United States on nuclear arms control even as Moscow and Washington have remained locked in a tense stand-off over Russia’s moves in Ukraine.

New Start Treaty

  • The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) pact restricts the number of deployed nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers and was due to expire in 2021 unless renewed.

  • The treaty limits the US and Russia to a maximum of 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, agreeably below Cold War caps.

  • It was signed in 2010 by former US President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

  • It is one of the essential controls on the superpower deployment of nuclear weapons.



Background of US-Russia Nuclear Relations

  • The US formally QUIT the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF)

  • The deal obliged the two nations to eradicate all ground-based missiles of ranges between 500 and 5,500 km.

Various Treaties Between US and Russia

  1. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks-1(SALT):
    It began in 1969, Under the Interim Agreement, both sides pledged not to construct new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silos, not to increase the size of existing ICBM silos significantly, and capped the number of Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) launch tubes and SLBM-carrying submarines.
  2. Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty-1 (START):
    Signed in 1991, the agreement required the destruction of excess delivery vehicles which was verified using an intrusive verification regime that involved on-site inspections, the regular exchange of information (including telemetry), and the use of national technical means (i.e., satellites).
  3. Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty-2:
    Signed in 1993, called for reducing deployed strategic arsenals to 3,000-3,500 warheads and banned the deployment of destabilizing multiple-warhead land-based missiles.
  4. Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT):
    Signed in 2004, under which the United States and Russia reduced their strategic arsenals to 1,700-2,200 warheads each.
  5. Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START):
    Signed in 2010, a legally binding, verifiable agreement that limits each side to 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on 700 strategic delivery systems (ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers) and limits deployed and nondeployed launchers to 800.

Implications Of The New Start Treaty

  • The 2011 New START lapsed in 2021. It may fulfill the fate of the INF Treaty.

  • The 2018 NPR envisaged the growth of new nuclear weapons, including low-yield weapons.

  • China is preparing to utilize its test site year-round with its objectives for its nuclear force.

  • CTBT requires ratification by the US., China, Iran, Israel and Egypt and observation by India, Pakistan and North Korea. It is doubtful to ever enter into emphasis.