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Monday, May 30, 2011

OSF And Skyward IRST Sensors

The above visual gives some data on the OSF infra-red search-and-track (IRST) system developed by THALES of France for the Rafale M-MRCA. It definitely has more advanced performance features than what’s offered by the OLS-30 IRST sensor developed by Russia’s Urals Optical & Mechanical Plant.

The visuals below profile the Skyward IRST sensor developed by Italy’s SELEX Galileo. A lightweight derivative of the Pirate IRST sensor found on the Eurofighter EF-2000, it is an ideal item for installation on board both the Tejas Mk1 as well as its Mk2 derivative.

The Skyward is also an ideal fully passive IFR navigation solution for those helicopters and fixed-wing transport aircraft that are optimised for all-weather special operations. Tactical transport aircraft like the C-130J-30 and An-32B, which are required to operate in and out of remote, high-altitude advanced landing grounds (ALG), will find a low-cost variant of the Skyward IRST a most valuable all-weather navigational tool, especially when operating over mountainous and jungle terrain of the type found in northeastern India.—Prasun K. Sengupta 


Anonymous said...


Skyward IRST is the smaller,compact version of the PIRATE IRST.So does it mean that it's detection range is less than that of the PIRATE IRST.PIRATE IRST has the highest detection range of all the contemporary IRST available today.Is it true? While OSF IRST has the advantage of a TV mode.Since OSF IRST can guide the IR version of the MICA BVRAAM,it means that it has a detection range of >60 kms.Am i right?

Tejas mk-2 being the smallest of all the 4.5 gen fighters with judicious use of composites in it,s airframe and RAM coatings,and S-duct air inlet, i think it will have the smallest RCS in clean configuration.What do you think? How much of it is compromised when fully loaded? What steps should be done that RCS is not so compromised even if fully loaded? Like semi-recessed pylons in Typhoon and conformal weapons on the F/A-18E Super Hornet. Can such things be done on the Tejas mk-2?

How do you see Tejas mk-2 as an air-to-air platform? Will it be able to defeat the PAF F-16 Block 52 and the J-10A?How agile will it be compared to the Typhoon and Rafale?

Anonymous said...


Who do you think will win the contract to upgrade the Project 15 DDG? I think it should go to the Israelis just because of better packages, AESA based MF-STAR,Barak-2 LR-SAM etc to name a few. What do you think?Will Brahmos be part of the package? When will the X-band+S-band MF-STAR will arrive?Will it be part of the new Project 15B DDG?

When will the Project 17A FFG contender be finalised? I think it should go to the DCNS or MEKO concept builders(eg. F124 class FFG)

Who do you think will win the contract to build Project 75A class submarines?I think it should be either DCNS/Armaris with Super Scorpene or German HDW with it's Type 214 just because they are technologically superior to Russian Amur and others like S-1000, and morever Scorpenes subs are being built so no need of new infrastructure while IN finds the Type 209 SSK to be very good to operate and the Mazgaon docks has experience of building them. What do you think ? Morever both DCNS and HDW that Brahmos can be integrated on them.

Qamar said...

Prasun K. Sengupta let me first say that it is pleasure to see you new blog up and running. I have been a regular visitor to you old blog

You wrote at livefist that Pakistan is getting AASM PGMs and Damocles LDP for its mirages. i thought it was just a Pakistani request which was not approved. Any numbers about the AASM PGMs and Damocles LDP??

Secondly can you calrify if MIG-19K uses PESA or AESA?

New pictures of J-10B appeared does it use AESA or PESA and what are its origins?

What is schedule of 50 JF-17Thunders? Will it be a semi stealth version you predicted years ago or simple one?

Will it have Italian radar or Chinese one?

Any news on Chinese J-15?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.45PM: The Pirate’s detection ranges are still classified, but whenever anyone claims to have a maximum detection range, it is always under fair weather conditions. Inclusion of a TV mode isn’t an advantage under Indian weather conditions and instead a multi-spectral imaging infra-red mode is far more ideal. As for the stealth features of the Tejas Mk2 we will all have to wait and see how the prototype takes shape and what will be its definitive configuration once it rolls out. Whether or not the Tejas Mk2 will be able to take on the F-16 Block 52 or J-10A or JF-17 all depends on the kind of airborne battle management system to be deployed by the IAF. Air warfare is no longer platform-centric, but network-centric.

To Anon@10.35AM: The Project 15 DDG upgrade should get underway by next year. But it’s doubtful if the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR/Barak-2 combination will go on board these three DDGs, simply because the Indian Navy would first like to validate and certify the performance of the Israeli package on the Project 15A DDGs first, a process that will take another two years at least. Therefore, in all probability, the Russians will get the contract. BrahMos will be part of the package as well. The S-band EL/M-2248 MF-STAR/Barak-2 combination will also go on board the Project 15B DDGs. The shortlisting for the Project 17A FFG contract was already been done and it is now a competition between DCNS and Fincantieri. As for the Project 75A SSKs, here too the competition is between DCNS and Fincantieri, while HDW is trying to get in as a late entrant. Both DCNS and Fincantieri are offering revolutionary solutions. All four Indian Navy Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs have already been upgraded to accommodate the ISUS-90 combat management system and CSU-90 sonar suite (the same as that on the Class 214 SSKs). But since the Indian Navy has specified a fuel cell-based AIP for the Project 75I SSKs, it looks like Fincantieri’s offer of the S-800 submarine (a re-engineered version of the Amur 1650) could emerge as the frontrunner. Another series competitor is HDW, which is now about to deliver two new Dolphin-class SSKs (a design derived from the Class 209/Type 1500 SSK) to the Israeli Navy. These SSKs, when equipped with fuel cell-based AIP systems, will be extremely potent. I personally am against the installation of BrahMos missiles on such SSKs, as the principal job of a hunter-killer submarine is to stealthily approach its targets (both warships and submerged submarines) and engage them with torpedoes and sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles (launched from torpedo tubes) like the Novator Club-S or a sub-launched derivative of the MM-40 Block 3 Exocet or a sub-launched MBDA-built Scalp. Installation of BrahMos on a SSK will only complicate matters as the entire sub marine will have to be redesigned and then certified, which for just one export customer, is financially cost-prohibitive. That’s why even the Russians have so far been unable to conduct test-firings of the BrahMos (or the Yakhont) from any conventionally-powered SSK.

To Qamar: Many thanks. The Pakistani weapons package has already been finalised and all payment terms and conditions have been agreed to. The MiG-29K uses the Phazotron JSC-built Zhuk-MFE radar, the same as that on the MiG-29UPG. It is neither AESA nor PESA. The photo of the radar on the J-10B clearly shows a monopulse flat slotted array antenna equipped with IFF dipoles. It is not an AESA-based MMR. The 50 new JF-17 Thunders will be in the same configuration as that of earlier delivered JF-17s. No prototypes have been built to date of a stealthy JF-17. The radar on board the JF-17s are all built by CETC of China.

Indranil said...

Hi Prasun.
Cant India armtwist/ bargain with the french for concessions on the Mirage upgrade deal while negotiating for the MMRCA contract?

buddha said...

if India can make nuke sub
so why not conventional

Qamar said...

Thanks Prasun Sir,

Its always a great pleasure to hear from you

What are your views about the pictures of Chinese E-2 AEW&C type? and current status of PL-10? (Chinese A-Dater?)

I read both of your pieces on the Pakistani missiles so i wounder what is you take on Hataf-IX Nasir and its capabilities and origins?

Also is PN getting QING SSK or Yuan SSK?

I think that U-214SSk is the best SSK out there and India should jump on it after PN failed to finalize the contract.

Any Indications of India going for Aegis radar systems? It can offer ABM capability to India

Anonymous said...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The 50 new JF-17 Thunders will be in the same configuration as that of earlier delivered JF-17s.

No you seems to be wrong as New avionics package is from Italy

Arms race between India and Pakistan takes to air

The new warplanes would carry an Italian "avionics package" that is far superior to the Chinese technology installed on the 30 aircraft currently being acquired by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), military officials close to the project said.

It would be a disaster to go for another type of submarine IN should stick with France now

Anonymous said...


Skyward IRST sensors cover long and medium wave IR but not short wave, so it wouldn't be fully ideal for Indian weather.What do you say?

Can you post an article on what type of frigates DCNS and Fincantieri will offer for the Project 17A FFG contract?How stealthy they will be?

Will HDW offer the Class 214 SSK or the Dolphin-class SSK? What are the chances of HDW winning the submarine contract? Which among the three is the most stealthier submarine? Why do you say the Dolphin-class SSK is more potent than the Class 214 SSK?
What are the differences between the two Scorpenes and also between the S-800 and the Amur 1650?

Will the S-800 or the Class 214 SSK/Dolphin-class SSK be able to fire the Russian Novator Club-S cruise missile since it is the only supersonic cruise missile that can be fired from torpedo tubes?

Is it true that 2 out of the 4 Indian Navy Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs will be fitted with fuel cell-based AIP? Why can't these submarines fire missiles from their torpedo tubes?


Anonymous said...


Will the S-band EL/M-2248 MF-STAR/Barak-2 combination and Brahmos go on-board the Project 17A FFG ?Will Barak-2 MR-SAM(120 km) be part of any ship? Which radar band S- or X- band AESA based multi-function radar will be useful in Indian Ocean. APAR is a X-band radar while MF-STAR is S-band.

How stealthy( silent ) will be the Arihant class SSBNs? Is seven-blade propeller technology is used? Is the high-temperature
gas-cooled reactor (HTGR)propulsion technology used?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Indranil: The need for arm-twisting won’t arise because it is the French who have proposed to IAF HQ (and the IAF has bought this argument) that the Mirage 2000H/TH deal be scrapped in favour of acquiring additional Rafales at an accelerated rate of production.

To Buddha: An excellent question indeed. Which leads one to another question: what exactly was the Indian industrial manufacturing component for the Arihant? Exactly how much of this SSBN built in India? Or were the pre-fabricated hull-sections just assembled by L & T after they arrived by ship from Russia? But one thing is for sure: it is at the insistence of the Russians that both the DRDO and the Indian Navy have so far refrained from releasing any photos of the Arihant.

To Qamar: I personally feel that the E-2-type AEW & C platform’s photo is a photoshop job. I say this because the Chinese have also developed an AEW variant of the Z-8 helicopter and are acquiring nine Ka-31 AEW helicopters as well. Therefore, logically, it would appear that the PLA Navy has already decided to use the helicopter as a shipborne/carrier-based AEW & C platform.
Both the PL-10 and PL-21 are still under development and maybe in next year’s Airshow China some more data on these two missiles will be available.
The Hatf-9/Nasr is in fact the P-20 surface-to-surface battlefield support missile (equipped with a tactical nuclear warhead) developed by China’s ALIT. It is something like the Russian Iskander-E missile. The Pakistan Navy will get the Qing-class SSK equipped with a fuel cell-based AIP system developed by China.
Left to me, I would, for the Indian Navy, still prefer to go for the HDW-built Dolphin-class SSKs equipped with fuel c ell-based AIP system. The Indian Navy has decided to forego the Aegis system and has instead decided to stick to the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR/Barak-2/8 combination, which will also provide ABM and anti-cruise missile interception capabilities.

To Anon@7.32PM: The Italian avionics package will not go into the JF-17 Thunder simply because the aircraft is still being built in China (and only being assembled from knocked-down condition by PAC Kamra) and since China is covered by an EU arms embargo, Italy will not be able to supply any avionics suite to China for integration with the JF-17’s airframe. At the same time, PAC Kamra does not have any indigenous avionics integration expertise nor does it have the extensive technological infrastructure required for flight-testing and certifying any new avionics package for the JF-17. All such work will have to be done in China and as I explained above, this cannot be done due to the EU arms embargo. That then leaves us with only one option: will Pakistan pay Selex Galileo to integrate in Italy the Vixen 500e AESA-based MMR with the JF-17’s existing nav-attack system and then start supplying PAC Kamra with the installation kits, as was done before with the Grifo-F radar for the PAF’s F-7Ps and F-7PGs? To me this appears to be a more viable option, i.e. only installing a new AESA-MMR on the JF-17, instead of asking the Italians to supply an entirely new avionics suite for the JF-17.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.13PM: Regarding the FFG offers from DCNS and Fincantieri, kindly go to:
The Indian Navy for Project 75I wants an ocean-going SSK larger than the Scorpene and therefore the Dolphin-class SSK makes more sense, instead of the Class 214. The S-800 is a re-engineered Amur 1650 with technological upgradations from Fincantieri. The S-800 will use a fuel cell-based AIP system while the French Scorpene will use the MESMA AIP system. The Spanish S-80 Scorpene, on the other hand, will use an ethanol-based AIP system. All SSKs equipped with torpedo tubes can fire the Novator Club-S. None of the four Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs will be fitted with AIP systems. The Indian Navy evaluated and rejected this option five years ago. Their torpedo tubes can fire anti-ship cruise missiles, but the Navy has decided against installation of this capability on these SSKs.

To Anon@9.04PM: Yes it will. The Project 15B DDGs will be able to fire the Barak-8 LR-SAM, but the Project 15A DDGs will be able to fire only the Barak-2 MR-SAM. The S-band MF-STAR has been adjudged by the Indian Navy to be the optimum choice. Regarding the Arihant, all your queries will be answered once the vessel puts to sea for sea trials, for that is the time when some good-quality photos of the submarine will become available. It does have a seven-blade high-skew propeller. It has one 160-190mW PWR using 20% enriched uranium fuel, one turbine (47,000hp/70mW), one shaft, estimated speed of 12-15 Knots surfaced and 30-34Knots submerged, and a diving depth of 300 metres ( 984.2 feet). The full crew complement has yet to be decided, but will not exceed 95. The vessel displaces about 6,500 tonnes, has a length of 100 metres (328 feet), beamwidth of 15 metres (49.2 feet), draft of 9 metres (29.5 feet) and was built at a cost of Rs3,000 crores. All these figures are from an 8-page booklet published by the Indian Navy to coincide with the launch of the Arihant on July 26, 2009.

Qamar said...

Thanks for Quick reply Sir,

The Reason i asked for Qing-class SSK was that BR forum calls it a Photoshop and Chinese forums call Qing-class as SSB a replacement for Golf class.

In pictures Qing-class SSK looks to be the largest SSK atleast to me, I wounder what is the purpose of such a large size? Extra weapons?

Why Choose HDW-built Dolphin-class SSKs instead of U-214 SSK isnt U-214 newer then the HDW-built Dolphin-class SSKs

Qamar said...

Is there any data available for the P-20 surface-to-surface battlefield support missiles?

What are the configuration estimates for both the missile and TEL and support vehicles.

lastly Can China even produce something like Russian Iskander-E missile? I mean it will terminal guidance and single digit accuracy and ability to avoid ABM systems. Seems to be outside china's reported capability

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Qamar: The Qing-class looks bigger since will also be able to launch Babur-type land-attack cruise missiles from specially-modified torpedo tubes. The PLA Navy does not require diesel-electric SSKs (like the Golf-class)to launch ballistic missiles since it already has Type 094 Jin-class SSBNs in service.
If one were to compare the Class 214 SSK with the Dolphin-class SSK, the former, being smaller, is optimised for littoral warfare in shallow waters. The Dolphin, two of which will be delivered to the Israeli Navy later this year, is an ocean-going SSK. The two SSKs (Class 214 and Dolphin) are meant to operate in totally different maritime environments. The Dolphin also has customised 650mm torpedo tubes meant for launching land attack cruise missiles.
The P-20 was first unveilled last March at the IDEX expo in Abu Dhabi. Two such missiles can be carried by a single wheeled TEL. China already acquired the technologies of the Iskander-E from the former CIS and Central Asian Republics way back in the late 1990s. It also now has up to six Yaogan overhead recce satellites equipped with synthetic aperture radar antennae for accurate strategic targetting. And the Russian company which provided such SAR antennae to China was NPOM, the very company which created BrahMos Aerospace with the DRDO in February 1998. You can obtain more data on these satellites at:

Qamar said...

Thanks You

But babur is nuclear capable missile, wouldn't it be against some kind of MTCR agreements to provide PN with a lunch platform?

This kind of arrangement could mean that PN can field Nuclear capability at sea as soon as India operationalize Arihant class submarines.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Qamar: MTCR is a regime, and not a UN-mandated international treaty. It is therefore up to China to decide when to adhere to MTCR guidelines and when not to. China is thus not violating any international law by giving Pakistan Babur-type cruise missiles.

Anonymous said...


What do you think which design has the highest probability to be selected for the Project 17A FFG? I think the IN should go for the FREMM design since it is more modern and stealthy.

How will India counter the Hatf-9 and the Babur missiles and also the M-9 and the M-11 missiles?
How will the IN counter the Qing-class SSK?Are they as silent as the Kilo-class SSK?

Do you know which is the most silent SSK?The IN doesn't have any LACM that can be fired from torpedo tubes, will it in future have any?

Anonymous said...


How many Virgilius AESA based EW antennas will be put on a single Sukhoi and on the Tejas?

Will CFTs be available on the Rafales if selected? How good is Rafale in air-to-air combat?

Anonymous said...

says India is third largest Military Expenditures - 2011
at $92,000,000,000

Anonymous said...


How will the IN tackle the anti-ship missile that the PLA is building based on their DF-21 MRBM? Even the US with it's technological development will find it extremely difficult to counter it and protect their carriers. The IN carriers will be sitting ducks against such missile.How come PLA be able to attain such sophisticated technology, even the Russians don't have such missiles in their armory?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.30AM: Both designs—from DCNS and Fincantieri—are equally good as they’re both derived from the ‘Horizon’ FFG programme. But Fincantieri may have the upper hand due to its strong military-industrial cooperation with Mazagon Docks Ltd, HAL and Cochin Shipyard.
The Babur and Natf-9/Nasr missiles can be easily neutralised by the Barak-2/ELM-2248 MF-STAR configuration should the Indian Army’s Corps of Air Defence Artillery wish to deploy it. The Qing-class will be MORE silent than the Type 877EKM/Type 636 Kilo-class SSKs. To counter such SSKs, the DRDO has since 2005 been working on developing a network of seabed-mounted sonars (like the SOSUS network of the US) along the Indian coastline and around the Andaman & Nicobar islands. The most silent at the moment is the Japanese MSDF’s Soryu-class submarine. The Indian Navy has had Novator-built 3M14E Club-S LACMs for over six years.

To Anon@8.11PM: Up to 4 antennae. Of course CFTs will form part of the Rafale package. How good will it be in air combat? It all depends on how good the pilot’s combat proficiency is.

To Anon@9.09PM: The DF-21 ASBM is not exactly an anti-ship strike weapon. Instead, it will be used against aircraft carriers. How good will it be? No one knows for sure, since even the PLA Navy has not yet conducted any operational tests of such a missile.

Anonymous said...


Which among the contenders for the PROJECT 75A SSK is milent than the others and which among these has the best sonar to detect the Qing class SSK?

Has Barak-2 LR-SAM has the ability to neutralize Pak M-9 & M-11 missiles if early warning is given by satellites or AWACS?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

For the Project 75I reqmt, the Dolphin-class SSK equipped with a fuel cell-based AIP mobule will be the best bet--this being my personal opinion. Since the Indian Navy has mandated that it will only procure SSKs (under Project 75I) incorporating fuel cell-based AIP systems, this rules out the French Scorpene/MESMA, SSKs built by Kockums and powered by Stirling engine-based AIP, and the Spanish S-80 Scorpene powered by an ethanol-based AIP system. That leaves only the S-800 from Fincantieri, Dolphin-class SSK from HDW, and the Amur 1650 from Russia as the main contenders. If these three, the best available sonar suite/combat management system comes from Germany's ATLAS Elektronik (the ISUS-90/CSU-90 combination, which is already operational with the Indian Navy's four Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs).

The Barak-8 LR-SAM will be able to intercept the M-9/M-11/Shaheen-1/Ghaznavi TBMs.

Anonymous said...

Fincantieri S-800 submarine (a re-engineered version of the Amur 1650). What is it? Submarine in paper only...i'll take years to finish R&D.