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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

DEFEXPO 2020 Expo Highlights-1

The slides above explain the new avionics architecture of the projected Super Su-30MKI. The two principal elements of this new architecture are the addition of a digital map generator, which is required for presenting navigational cues when the aircraft cruises in terrain avoidance mode with the help of the AESA-MMR (this has already been applied to the Jaguar IS/DARIN-3 aircraft as well); and the new-generation weapons management computer, which will enable the Indian Air Force (IAF) to domestically integrate all kinds of weapons with the Su-30MKI. For those who are unaware (and there are many, including the ‘desi’ and ‘videshi/Caucasian’ patrakaars’), the Su-30MKI’s existing weapons management computer is of Russia-origin (operating via a GOST-standard digital databus) and therefore its source codes are unavailable to the IAF or anyone else in India for any subsequent modification of the weapons integration software. Therefore, adoption of the HAL-developed weapons management computer operating via a MIL-STD-1760 databus interface will offer all the required source-codes for domestic integration of varied types of weapon systems. Hence, all talk since 2007 about the Su-30MKIs being sought to be armed with weapons like the AIM-132 ASRAAM or Meteor BVRAAM is pure Bakwaas (baloney)! Incidentally, the two Su-30MKIs modified to carry the BrahMos-A anti-ship ALCM are the first ones to make use of the HAL-developed weapons management computer. And for those interested in finding out more about what avionics architecture is all about, the following three slides explain it all.
To date, money has been sanctioned for fabricating only four flying prototypes of this MRCA, plus one for structural fatigue-testing. Meanwhile, expertise has been sought from the Nashik-based Indo-Russian Aviation Ltd (IRAL) for integrating the GSh-23 cannon with the airframes of both the Tejas Mk.1 and Mk.1A L-MRCA aiframes. A first round exploratory firing trials from a ground-based Tejas Mk.1 LSP airframe was concluded last month, and this will be followed by further such firings, to be followed by an intensive phase of airborne firing trials lasting 12 months in order to develop the required HUD symbology for weapons-aiming.
The slides below are those of the radome-mounted S/L dual-band active phased-array radar for the A330 AEW & CS now under development. While the vertically-stacked TRMMs denote the S-band primary surveillance radar, those that are horizontally-stacked along the edges of the radome operate in the L-band as a secondary surveillance radar and also serve as transponders for IFF.
The all-composite radome is being fabricated by Goa-based KINECO Pvt Ltd.
The ISTAR platform (below) closely resembles a Bombardier 5000A airframe. The primary belly-mounted sensors will be twin X-band synthetic aperture radars, one for battlefield surveillance and the other for maritime surveillance.
Efforts are now underway to make the Nirbhay cruise missile compatible with the Larsen & Toubro-built universal vertical launcher (for warships) of the BrahMos-1 cruise missile, and with 533mm torpedo tubes for submarines. While the Indian Navy has a stated requirement for 200 Nirbhays (to eventually replace a similar number of existing Novator 3M-14E Club-S cruise missiles), the IAF wants more than 1,000 of them as air-launched variants. 
However, the continued unavailability of the GTRE-developed turbofan (above) is preventing the placement of confirmed production orders for the Nirbhay.
An Elaborate Con-Game Unravelled
The biggest embarrassment at DEFEXPO-2020 was the showcasing of three different types of ‘desi’ third-generation anti-armour guided-missiles: the DRDO-developed MPATGM, the Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL)-developed Amogha-3, and the VEM Technologies-developed ASI-BAL.
The reasons they are embarrassing is because they are all of the third-generation-type and are over-sized, while MBDA along with Larsen & Toubro (via the 51:49 joint venture (JV) company named L & T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd, or LTMMSL that was created  in 2017 and under it a missile integration facility was created on February 3, 2020 in a Special Economic Zone in Coimbatore across an area of 16,000 sq. metre for undertaking assembly, inert integration and testing) are offering the fifth-generation MMP (below).
RAFAEL of Israel is offering fourth-/fifth-generation variants of the Spike (through Kalyani RAFAEL Advanced Systems Pvt Ltd, which is spread across an area of 24,000 square feet in Hardware Tech-Park close to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport) in Hyderabad), while the Javelin JV (JJV) partnership of Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are offering both fifth- and sixth-generation versions of the FGM-148 Javelin ATGM and to this effect, on February 6 inked an MoU with the Hyderabad-based DPSU BDL to explore co-production of the FGM-148 Javelin ATGM. Interestingly, one news-report, published on September 1, 2016 ( had even gone to the extent of claiming that TATA Power SED had teamed up with the JJV for licence-producing the Javelin ATGMs!
This then qualifies all the interested foreign ATGM manufacturers to offer their products under the Indian Designed Developed & Manufactured (IDDM) category, since this category contains a dubious clause that mandates only a minimum 40% locally-built material content, with the remaining 60% being permissible for imports! Consequently, we can safely conclude that IDDM is nothing else but a new 21st century definition of ‘licenced-manufacture’, thereby having nothing to do with the goal of achieving self-reliance in military-technical/military-industrial R & D. Only this can meaningfully explain why DPSUs like BDL are teaming up with foreign OEMs while at the same time making false claims about having the capability to develop and produce the so-called homegrown ATGMs like the MPATGM and Amogha-3.
Furthermore, while all foreign-origin manportable ATGMs being exhibited at the expo were shown along with their manportable command launch units (CLU), none of the two India-origin ATGMs being exhibited (MPATGM and Amogha-3) were shown (by either the DRDO or BDL) with their manportable launchers and integral fire-control units, simply because they have not yet been developed.
The Milan-2 and Milan-2T ATGMs both make use of dangerous substances like radioactive Thorium (watch this report:  
Believe it or not, the main reason why the service-induction of the Project 71/IAC-1 has gotten delayed was that the Indian Navy's Naval Design Bureau had done more than 6,000 changes to the detailed design of the vessel! As a result, the final flowchart required for the sequential placement of orders for long-lead items had to be constantly changed, due to which fitting-out processes were severely disrupted. Consequently, the incomplete vessel had to be launched and kept afloat alongside at Cochin Shipyard Ltd and this in turn led the superstructure to being exposed to the corrosive salt water environment and this in turn led to an extra six-month period of internal inspections having to be carried out between last June and December back at the drydock, without which no internal wiring work could be carried out for the Russia-supplied carrier aviation complex and the UK-supplied elevators.
The above two slides show the exact location where the DRDO-developed and Larsen & Toubro MAREEM AIP-module will be installed on the IN-operated CM-2000 Scorpene SSKs.
Project 17A FFG & Its EW Fitments
The surface search radar is the X-band Scanter-6002 from TERMA of Denmark, replacing the earlier Russia-origin Garpun Bal-E.
Looks like both OFB and BEML have bought into my idea (that was suggested back in 2016 in an earlier thread) of the AK-630M six-barrelled anti-aircraft gun being developed as a viable motorised AAA solution (below). All that is now required is its integration with the DRDO-developed and BEL-built Atulya FCR, or the BEL-made Lynx-US FCR.