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Monday, August 29, 2011

Home-Grown Anti-Missile Shield For New Delhi By 2014? Sheer Unabashed Jingoistic Kite-Flying By DRDO, Period!

Is there an operational requirement for a ballistic missile defence (BMD) system for India? Since the PDV two-stage exo-atmospheric and two-stage AD-2 endo-atmospheric interceptors are being developed to destroy inbound tactical ballistic missiles (TBM) and intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBM) with ranges of up to 2,000km and medium-range ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 5,000km, which necessarily will be nuclear-armed, the two interceptors will also have to be nuclear-armed as well (since conventional high-explosive fragmentation warheads have a small kill radius). It will thus have to be a ‘blue’ nuclear bullet versus a ‘red’ nuclear bullet. But, in the real world, is it possible that the Indian Ministry of Defence’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) can deliver a fully-functional BMD network by 2015, considering that the DRDO took 21 years to design and develop a simple 50hp Wankel engine? To appreciate this, let us first understand how the DRDO-conceptualised BMD system works. The DRDO’s proposed BMD system is based on two physical phenomena. Firstly, the trajectory of a re-entry vehicle after it is released by the ballistic missile is entirely pre-determined and therefore, if one can observe an early position of it, the rest of the trajectory can be predicted very accurately and destroyed by the interceptor. Secondly, a nuclear detonation in outer space (as all ballistic missiles go outside the atmosphere in their powered phases after which their re-entry vehicles come back into the atmosphere and has a free-fall) can destroy a re-entry vehicle and a nuclear detonation inside the atmosphere can deflect or damage a re-entry vehicle such that its nuclear warhead will not explode.
The BMD system will have five essential components. Firstly, there’s the early warning system that is capable of signalling the launch of hostile ballistic missiles. This system will comprise both airborne early warning & control (AEW & C) aircraft as well as a satellite-based missile monitoring system (MSS), which according to Dr V K Saraswat—Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister & Director-General of the DRDO—will go into deployment mode by 2015. Secondly, there’s the 1,500km-range variant of the L-band active phased-array EL/M-2080 long-range tracking radar (LRTR)—to be supplied by Israel Aerospace Industries—(IAI) with long wavelength to spot the re-entry vehicles as they rise above the horizon (while they are still 5,000km or six minutes away) and provide range, velocity and angular discrimination of the targets. Thirdly, there is the multi-functional fire-control radar (MFCR) using the already-delivered THALESRaytheon-supplied S-band Master-A short-wavelength 350m-range radar to determine the position of each re-entry vehicle with precision and guide the interceptor. Fourthly, there are the two interceptor vehicles for exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric kills, both presently equipped with 9E49/DB-100N dual-plane monopulse two-channel X-band terminal guidance radars (which can lock on to a 0.05 square metre RCS target from a distance of 16.2nm) imported from Russia, but are due for replacement in future with an imaging infra-red seeker of Israeli origin. Lastly, there’s the IAI-designed battle management, command, control, communications and intelligence (BMC3I) centre for commanding, controlling and coordinating the entire two-tier interception process. The operational sequence would play out as follows: Once the AEW & C platforms or MMS detects a hostile ballistic missile launch, it passes on the target vectors via SATCOM channels of the Indian Air Force’s IACCS network to the BMC3I, which in turn alerts the appropriate LRTR to acquire the inbound hostile ballistic missiles (TBMs, IRBMs or MRBMs), the transporter-erector-launcher vehicles housing the exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric interceptors will be activated on ‘hot-stand’ mode, ready to be fired within 40 seconds. Once in range, the Master-A MFCR—capable of detecting airborne targets with a RCS of 0.3 square metres at 350km range—would take over. The command line-of-sight guidance computation will take another 15 seconds, following which the exo-atmospheric interceptor missile will be fired. The missile’s on-board strap-down inertial navigation system (SDINS)—comprising a ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation sensor—will provide mid-course correction updates for trajectory shaping until the on-board terminal guidance sensor finally takes over. The definitive PDV exo-atmospheric interceptor will be cruising at Mach 5 but will attain a peak terminal speed of Mach 11—made possible by the divert thruster placed on top of the second-stage. The divert thruster will generate high lateral acceleration for the ‘end-game’. Both the warhead and divert thruster will be fired simultaneously towards the target once they are within the acquisition range of the yet-to-be-made-available on-board imaging infra-red seeker (all PAD and AAD flight-tests have thus far used the 9E49/DB-100N X-band monopulse terminal guidance radar of Russian origin), following which the next three seconds will result in the targetted re-entry vehicle being intercepted in the ‘hit-to-kill’ mode at an altitude of over 200km—all this being done within 150 seconds. Unlike the definitive Mach 8 AAD-2 endo-atmospheric interceptor, whose flight trajectory will be shaped through aerodynamic control out to an altitude of 35km, the exo-atmospheric interceptor uses a reaction-control system using auxiliary motors and flex nozzles, and has minimal manoeuvrability of 2 G. The endo-atmospheric interceptor will use a two-stage solid-propellant rocket motor for intercepting 5,000km-range ballistic missiles, and will have excellent manoeuvrability and will be able to sustain up to 30 G, thereby making the interceptor unstable.
All of this is of course a simplistic view of the proposed BMD system, and the reality of what has been achieved thus far is a different story altogether, comprising largely of unkept promises, making false declarations and setting totally unattainable R & D targets. For instance, at a press conference on December 12, 2007 given by the by the DRDO’s then Chief Controller R & D (Missiles & Strategic Systems), Dr V K Saraswat, it was disclosed that the DRDO would have developed all the building blocks for Phase 1 of a two-layered fully integrated BMD system in place by 2010 (work on this began in 1997). In Phase 1 the DRDO set for itself the goal of developing a BMD system capable of intercepting TBMs and IRBMs at an altitude of 100km with the help of a PDV two-stage exo-atmospheric interceptor using solid rockets motors and an imaging infra-red terminal seeker (which was due to be tested in late 2010), with the Mach 5 AAD-1 endo-atmospheric interceptor (also using an imaging infra-red terminal seeker) serving as a back-up for intercepting the hostile re-entry vehicle at an altitude of 20km. This interceptor stands 7.5 metres tall, weighs around 1.3 tonnes and has a diameter of less than 0.5 metres. The 2010 deadline was of course not adhered to and in its place a new deadline of 2013 was proclaimed by Dr V K Saraswat at a press conference on March 21, 2010, in which Dr Saraswat also disclosed that the DRDO’s commitment was to complete all Phase 1 flight trials of the PDV and AAD-1 interceptors by 2011, with initial systems deployment getting underway by 2013. He, however, never clarified whether or not the DRDO had acquired the necessary political sanction from the Cabinet Committee on National Security to place bulk production orders for various elements of the BMD system. But what he did say was that in the absence of AEW & C platform-based early warning, the Phase 1 BMD system had 120 seconds available to it between the time of missile launch detection and its interception. As for Phase 2 of the DRDO’s BMD system’s developmental roadmap, this would be completed by 2015, and would include the development of a new type of hypersonic endo-atmospheric interceptor—AD-2—capable of intercepting re-entry vehicles at an altitude of 35km. The third opportunity for Dr V K Saraswat to move the goalposts yet again came after the March 6, 2011 AAD-1 test-flight, when he announced that, “one more interception will be done to intercept a 2,000km-range incoming ballistic missile at an altitude of 150km. With this test, which will be done in 2011, the BMD system’s  Phase 1 will be over”. Saraswat then confidently added that “India’s plans for putting in place the first phase of the two-layered ballistic missile defence shield by 2012 and the second phase by 2016 are on course”. He was referring to the long overdue PDV test-flight.

Factors Contributing To Capability Immaturity
There are several reasons why the DRDO’s track-record thus far--as far as BMD systems development goes—is highly questionable. Firstly, there’s the choice of using the liquid-fuelled Prithvi missile as the target (in all the interceptions done so far). Barring the Ghauri IRBM, its slow speed during both the boost phase and the terminal phase does not in any way mimmick the flight profiles of the solid-fuelled TBMs, IRBMs and IRBMs presently operational with both China and Pakistan. The DRDO would therefore be well-advised to demonsrate the effectiveness of the PDV and AAD interceptors against the indigenous 700km-range Agni-I TBM and 2,000km-range Agni-II IRBM. Secondly, given the fact that the PDV and AAD interceptors are armed with conventional warheads, there is the need to demonstrate simultaneous exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric tests, so that if one misses the target, the other should be able to kill it. This has not yet been done. Thirdly, the DRDO has never published any conclusive flight-test data to prove whether or not all the flight-tests conducted thus far had resulted in direct hits. In fact, there’s strong reason to believe that these tests ended up in failures and it is for this very reason that the switchover of terminal guidance systems is being made from active radar to imaging infra-red seeker. Fourthly, there’s been no demonstration of the operational configuration of the launch vehicles of both the PDV and AAD family of interceptors, nor has there been any R & D effort initiated for housing such missiles inside sealed cannisters and developing cold-launch techniques (under which the interceptor is ejected from its cannister by a gas-powered piston).
Then there’s the issue of making false claims about indigenisation of the hardware components of the BMD system. For instance, in an exclusive interview given to FORCE magazine in March 2010, Dr Saraswat stated on page 10: “We are planning to enhance the detection range of the existing (LRTR) radars (two were ordered in 1998 and delivered in 2001). The exact range is classified. However, considering that we now have the capability and the capacity to build all elements of the state-of-the-art radar, the range enhancement will more or less be an indigenous effort”. Yet, in the same interview, Dr Saraswat made a contradicting remark about the LRTR’s indigenous content by saying: “…for this reason, it is important that the range of the LRTR be more than 1,000km. We have started work on this and it will take up to three years. When I say that this will be indigenous, it means that design and development will be done here, while computers and certain other essentials like T/R modules will be procured from outside. You know that it is neither possible nor desirable to make everything within the country”. What exactly are we to make of such contradicting remarks coming from someone who heads the DRDO?

Lastly, there’s the yet another pair of hair-raising and ridiculous statements attributed to Dr Saraswat. On February 10, 2010 he claimed that India’s BMD programme is more advanced than China’s. “This (BMD) is one area where we are senior to China. We knew they had acquired the building blocks for BMD when they shot down a satellite in 2007. But we have been working on this programme since 1999”. When asked by FORCE for a clarification about this remark, he stated on the record that he had been quoted out of context, and what he had instead said on February 10 was that “I do not know when the Chinese actually started work on BMD”.  I would hereby like to recommend this weblink ( as well as this ( to Dr Saraswat, both of which give a chronological account of China’s BMD-related R & D activities and achievements since March 23, 1964. Let us all hope that he never again makes the kind of remarks which reduce us Indians to a laughing stock in the eyes of the world. And finally, there’s absolutely no need to build the various BMD blocks and publicly gloat about it, especially since the informed opinion of India’s armed services is that instead of going for BMD systems, it would be much better if the country’s money, energy and indigenous R & D capabilities are focussed on the speedy development and deployment of cannisterised TBMs, MRBMs and SLBMs like the Shourya, Agni-5 and K-4.—Prasun K. Sengupta


Anonymous said...

Hope you post the narrative this time.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon Above: And so let it be written, and so let it be done.

Anonymous said...

Agni V... no where to be seen... MOD min has asked to get it ready... to sarawat... still he is doing babudom... to hide behind... non delivery... its time... for change.. before india's sec is put in jeopady...

Heberian said...

To Prasun -

If the state of DRDO affairs was not so pathetic, I'd laughing reading the listing of Dr Saraswats proclamations. The punchline was "You know that it is neither possible nor desirable to make everything within the country"... I did not know self-reliance was not desirable at least as a goal.

China is way ahead in both BMD and SAM deplpoyments, and I remember Dr Saraswats proclamation about our being ahead in BMD technology cringing with shame at our usual proclivity to "NATO" (No Action Talk Only), which is based on wishful thinking at best.

Will this ever change?

Anonymous said...

The PEOPLE of India would TRUST the DRDO and the Governement RATHER than You Mr Prasun SenGupta

Anonymous said...

Prasun K. Sengupta wrote:
"Regarding Sagarika or Shaurya, none of them have entered series production, and Sagarika was never the name of a missile, but the name of the DRDO Project Office responsible for developing sea-launched missiles like the BrahMos and the SLBM."

Another lie of Prasun exposed

"The K-15 missile, which will form part of the arsenal of nuclear-powered submarine Arihant, is already under production. It has a range of 700 km."

Anonymous said...

To Anon @August 30, 2011 7:18 AM: You are so correct. May be 3 years down the line, CAG will produce an elaborate report on this and "The PEOPLE of India" will be either scratching their balls/pussies and/or picking our nose while drinking tea.

To Anon @August 30, 2011 9:36 AM: Have "DOUBT", its as good as having vitamins, proteins and other good things.

Anonymous said...


IF you are educated in science or engineering THEN PLEASE JOIN DRDO

Because Mr Sengupta YOU are THE GREATEST scientist this WORLD HAS ever produced

Mr Sengupta CAN ALONE and SINGLE handedly ACHIEVE more THAN ALL DRDO scientists

Anonymous said...

Perfect article parsun , great going.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
First of all i think India can develop a BMD system. I am saying this because of the incredible success rate in the test results of BMD which is way better than US and Russia's success rate. Also i think we are pretty good in missiles.

Is there a chance that IA might go for S400 or Patriot or Arrow ? I am saying this because from time to time this kind of news has come to light specifically for patriot and S400.

What happened to arjun mk2 competing against Singapore's Leopard this summer ? Please tell us how is army reacting to the performance of this new MBT ? Is their a possibility of further order of arjun mk2 ?

When is the order for LRSAM and MRSAM (barak for IA and IAF) will be placed (considering IN version will enter in service in 2012) and how big will be the order ?

CCS recently cancelled the proposed plan for new strike force in NE. Any indication that this plan will be given green signal in the next plan ?

When the result of FICV going to come ?

Austin said...

@Prasun,The present AAD has a peak speed of Mach 4.5 and not Mach 5 as stated.

Indeed the complexity of even basic missile defense system can be mind boggling and the variable are just too many for any country to test it.

Good Luck to DRDO in this endeavor.

BTW why do you say the new interceptor will need nuclear warhead , so far DRDO has not said it would be arming ABM with nuclear warhead , that comes with its own set of problems.

Are you aware of the unit cost of present T-90 as of 2011 ? And consequently why will be the cost of the upgraded T-90M ?

Anonymous said...

I am happy that people like you make leaders like this accountable for putting out such rubbish deadlines. No more tall stories DRDO of what we will have 3 years hence and then postpone it by another three years in three years time.

From your previous posts you seem to have a healthy respect for DRDO itself, just not the way it functions. So do you feel with the right prodding/direction from MOD things could move along much better?.

I ask because though pointing out mediocrity is important, it is also easy. Ultimately it is also important to put forth a solution when we know things are getting rotten within.

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

i will make a few points

1. The ABM missile presumably called 'Pradyumna' has never been actually tested against an IRBM/MRBM of Agni class, all the tests have been carried out with 'Prithvi' missiles simulating as hostile IRBM/MRBM which can never be equatted with IRBM/MRBM, as 'Prithvi' are single stage missiles and IRBM/MRBM are always 2 stages. right or wrong?

2. All the ABM tests have been carried out from ITR Chandipur and near by with the hostile 'Prithvi' also fired from with Odisa, so how can these be termed as successful. If a missile fired from Andamans was intercepted then only these would have been a success, right or wrng ?

3. The effectiveness of ABM shield would be best judged by using both the PAD endo atmospheric ABM and Pradyumna exo atmospheric ABM on a single trail. Right or wrong?

4. Till now no test of ABM or any any other missile has been done at night to test the effectiveness of the tracking and launch system, the only time it was done it failed. Also except for 1 Prithvi in 1990s no missile has been test from the west, these do not help is assessing the effectiveness of the missiles. right or wrong?

With so many doubts how can we say the ABM is effective


Joydeep Ghosh

Mr. Ra said...

The technological environment when USA and USSR were developing their missiles and BMD was very limited and constricted. Now it has gone through sea change especially due to inclusion of Israel and China as a new players. Obviously now the objectives can be achieved within lesser time and with lower numbers of tests.

So hopefully India can achieve the desired targets with help from Russia and Israel notwithstanding some problems.

I feel that deterrence shall have prime priority but the role of BMD also can not be ruled out.

Anonymous said...

There is a sea of difference between what CAN be acheived and what NEEDS to be acheived. Ofcourse complex technologies as missile defence cannot be acheived over a few years, nor any one can claim a foolproof BMD (one of the reasons why both US and USSR decided not to develop such extensive and costly technology which will for sure be outsmarted) especially since the missiles themselves evolve as per the BMD.
How is one going to tackle Depressed trajectory missiles, manouverable warheads and MIRVs and never mind that standalone nuclear attacks will be done by only a foolish general, it has to be massive.

But that said is no argument to say BMD is not required. It will be like saying that all computer viruses cannot be prevented by any anti virus so lets not develop antivirus atall.

BMD is more psychological weapon than that of practical value, that you fire a nuclear missile to a key city there is a chance that it will be intercepted and the object fails hence the threshold for nuke attack is raised.

Also unlike what you mentioned the interceptors so far has not been nuclear armed and all had the interceptor destroying the targets using the gimballed rods. and indeed a few times they have given the proof of actual destruction (which was published in the Hindu)

of course the antimissile sheild cannot be provided by middle of decade, but it is work under progress and should be encouraged.

I donot agree that the counter to any adversary is having mushrooms of ballistic missiles (which has the danger that any rogue element can mount an attack on an enemy country starting a real war, which almost brought us near a dooms day not once but twice, one at the cuban crisis, and other after the shooting down of korean airlines by USSR, but saved by none other than destiny) also such militarization will make opponents also to militiarize heavily (just like in the BMD case) and practically the same dangers at an increased height will exist.

I donot understand how a rational person like you missed these points and is trying to score points of DRDO claiming their inefficiency.

If you wish for the moon you might end up getting the slice of the moon, if you wish for a chapathi you might get a slice of chapathi...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Heberian: As they say, nothing lasts forever and I’m sure the state of affairs will change, but whether it be for the better or worse, that no one can say. All I can say is the following: when conducting comparative analysis and benchmarking the various available systems (like the Russian Antey S-300V or V-2500 and Israel’s Arrow-1), the DRDO should have immediately realised three things: one, to attain very high cruise velocities the exo-atmospheric missile had to be powered by solid-propellant rockets (and not liquid-propellant first-stage as is the case with PAD); two, the interceptor missile had to be conical-shaped for aerodynamic optimisation; and three, the missile monitoring system’s deployment had to be accorded greater priority. I’m sure you’ll agree that one need not be rocket scientist to come to certain conclusions that are not only logical, but are also based on scientific/engineering precedents. And yet, look at how wastefully money has been on the PAD programme and at what avoidable cost has the DRDO since learnt to develop the PDV while doing away with the PAD? One can only be horrified by such intellectual/academic incompetency emanating from the principal national defence R & D establishment of India. Yet another example is that concerning the technology competency of the S-band AESA system for the indigenous AEW & CS. Has anyone within the DRDO even given thought to developing a shipborne variant of this radar (instead of acquiring the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR), or developing a ground-based version for future versions of the Akash SAM? The answer is an undisputed NO. Why? Only the likes of Dr V K Saraswat can answer that. By the way, you can read my previous thread on the Super Su-30MKI at:

To Anon@7.18AM: Thank goodness those people, which presumably includes yourself, are now becoming an extinct/endangered minority species, as evidenced by the events at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi over the past two weeks.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.26AM: Abe andha insaan, there are various types of production, like trial-batch production, low-rate initial production and bulk production. Both you and THE HINDU reporter are obviously unable to understand such distinctions. For instance, the bulk production of PRITHVI ceased in January 2009 by which time all components of a few PRTHIVI-2s had already been built. It is these PRITHVI-2s that are periodically assembled and test-fired from the ITR. So does that mean the PRITHVI-2 is under production? Also, the MoD’s annual report for 2010-2011 makes no mention at all of the Shaurya missile being produced. Furthermore, the Arihant submarine hasn’t yet got the ‘INS’ prefix, and will not for the next several years, since it will remain a technology demonstrator for at least the next four to six years. You can read all about it at:

To Anon@1.48PM: My qualifications? Better pose that question to the likes of former DRDO DGs like Dr V S Arunachalam, and former Chief R & D Controllers like Dr Prahlada, both of whom have known me since 1987 and have worked with me on various projects. Suffice to say that I’ve seen more Indian and Israeli scientists and engineers walking down the aisles of ASL since the days when you were still unable to twiddle your testicles.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.53PM: The question is not whether or not India is able to develop a BMD system, but is my opening sentence of this thread—what kind of system is required and has the systems developer ever bothered to ask the end-user/operator what exactly is the type of system it wants? Has any high-ranking official of India’s three armed services made any comment about what the armed forces need by way of a BMD capability? As for your remark on “the incredible success rate in the test results of BMD which is way better than US and Russia's success rate”, that is what makes anyone and everyone highly suspicious about the DRDO’s public gloatings without any independent confirmation. It is like India developing an F-1 car model that on its very first trial runs outperforms a Ferrari or McLaren. I can only feel sorry for anyone who will be so gullible so as to buy this possibility. This is a stated operational requirement for ONLY interceptors optimised for neutralising conventionally armed TBMs, and not IRBMs or MRBMs. This is because both Chinese and Pakistani airpower doctrines call for using such TBMs and cruise missiles on a large-scale against hostile air bases/installations, strategic civilian installations (like the petrochemicals complex in Jamnagar) and transportation nodes (railroads and roadways) close to the border. And that is the only reason why both the IAF and Indian Navy are financially committed to the Barak-8 LR-SAM and Barak-2 MR-SAM projects, and that is also the reason why, after 2005, India’s armed forces brought out an operational reqmt for a cruise missile-simulating target drone, and that is exactly why the DRDO is now developing the Nirbhay (to be powered by NPO Saturn of Russia’s 35MT turbofan). After this happens (hopefully by next year), the GTRE will be able to develop the ‘Laghu Shakti’ turbofan to replace the Nirbhay’s 36MT turbofan with an indigenous one and only after this will the Govt of India decide whether or not to develop and deploy subsonic cruise missiles.
Regarding the Arjun Mk2 versus the Leopard 2A4 at the Mahajan Range, it is already happening and has been underway since last June. The Indian Army will get to acquire the full range of firepower/mobility test data only by June 2013 and following that a decision will be taken on further follow-on orders to add to the 124 already ordered. I’m told if all goes well, then a total of 400 Arjun Mk2s will be ordered.
CCNS never cancelled anything, but is only seeking clarifications for the figure to be spent. No idea how many LR-SAMs and MR-SAMs are on order and no further updates on the FICV project either.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Austin: Unless and until the DRDO provides any kind of independent confirmation (especially from the armed forces) on any performance parameter concerning both the PDV or AAD, any discerning person ought to desist from embracing any kind of data the DRDO may have already presented or is likely to present. The complexity of a nationwide BMD system (terrestrial or extra-terrestrial) can indeed be mind-boggling, but that does not apply to theatre-level BMD systems optimised for usage against TBMs and cruise missiles. As I’ve stated in my comment above, the ONLY existing operational requirement is for a BMD network aimed against Chinese and Pakistani cruise missiles and TBMs, and consequently, the Barak-2/8s and the Land-Based Multi-Function Surveillance, Track & Guidance Radar (LB-MF-STAR) produced by the MBT Division of IAI's Missiles, Systems, and Space Group, have been ordered to date. I never stated that the DRDO is or will be developing nuclear warheads for the interceptors. What I had meant was that if the DRDO wants a truly effective exo-atmospheric interceptor offering a high probability of success, then nuclear warheads will have to be considered (as they were by the US, Russians and Chinese throughout the 1960s and 1970s). Lastly, am not aware of the 2011 cost figures for the T-90S+ or T-90M MBTs.

To Anon@4.55PM: You got it right! As I have tried to explain above, a simple paper-based comparative analysis of prevailing BMD systems should have indicated as far back as 1997 to the DRDO that a liquid-fuelled exo-atmospheric interceptor and a liquid-fuelled target missile will never achieve anything realistic at all. Why then did the DRDO persist with developing the PAD, instead of going straight to the PDV? The armed forces had very clearly told the DRDO that the reqmt was for a road/rail-transportable BMD system capable of intercepting only TBMs and cruise missiles (and this is exactly why both the US and Russians have been offering the Patriot PAC-3 and S-2500 systems, and they’re not fools to waste time on marketing efforts in the absence of any credible operational reqmt), and yet the DRDO has stubbornly clung to a self-righteous attitude that purportedly claims to be developing interceptors for usage against MRBMs and IRBMs, when no one in India has even expressed an operational reqmt for such interceptor-types! As far as the Strategic Forces Command is concerned, development of such interceptors will totally eliminate the Mutually Assured Destruction-based nuclear balance-of-power doctrine that now exists in the sub-continent, and will in turn lead to an unsustainable nuclear armed race (as opposed to a strategic restraint regime that had been agreed upon in principle by both India and Pakistan way back in February 1999) with catastrophic consequences. The solution: create the post of Chief of Defence Staff ASAP who can brief the entire Cabinet Committee on National Security on a regular basis on strategic matters, and also challenge the all-knowing wisdom of the DRDO’s civilian scientists and technocrats, i.e. conduct technical audits of various R & D programmes. Right now the civilians within the executive branch of the Govt of India—in the absence of specialised military input-based briefings--are certifiably clueless about the bigger picture and for sure can’t tell the difference between a TBM and a MRBM.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Joydeep Ghosh: 1) right, except that there’s no such thing as Pradyumna or Ashwin or Prachi. 2) Right, and that’s why the DRDO wants to build a floating range. 3) Right. 4) Daytime or nighttime is irrelevant, since the interceptions will be controlled by ground-based radars. To ensure foolproof photographic effectiveness of an exo-atmospheric interception one will have to deploy a missile monitoring system, which has not yet been done. Until that happens I for one will not invest even a single ‘khota sikka’ on the present DRDO-led BMD-related R & D effort.

To Mr RA: Yes, deterrence based on the MAD doctrine for ensuring the nuclear balance of power. The BMD should be developed only to counter conventional warhead-carrying TBMs and cruise missiles that could be used against India.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.58AM: I believe I’ve already clarified most of the issues raised by you in terms of what CAN be done and what NEEDS to be achieved in response to a stated operational requirement. In addition, I never stated anywhere that nuclear warheads are being developed or will be developed for an interceptor vehicle. Nor did I make any claims of BMD being a non-reqmt, and my explanations/clarifications above will make that amply clear. As for THE HINDU or FRONTLINE, none of them have ever published any photo showing a successful interception by either a PAD or AAD, either within the atmosphere or beyond it. Nor has any photographic evidence ever emerged in the public domain about any kind of post-interception floating missile debris. Nor will any such photographs ever emerge, at least not until India deploys a constellation of DSP-type missile launch early warning satellites (the so-called missile monitoring system reportedly under development by ISRO). Publishing mere two-colour radar track plots on a graph of a stage-managed event under controlled conditions is not conclusive proof of a successful interception.

Mr. Ra said...


Anonymous said...

prasun, MAD will work only with reasonable genuine states, and not like rogue elements which especially is on Pakistan. Whether or not we develop further weapons Pakistan will for sure keep the pace of nuke development since having the geographical disadvantage and no immediate SLBM available and India being geographically diverse, they will have to have thousands of nuke weapons to have MAD (as was the case of USA ans USSR who together had 60000 nuke warheads)

It is senseful to say that the BMD will alter the nuke balance, but most often nonsense prevails in international arena.

countering TBMs and cruise missiles in my view is more tactical while countering longrange missiles are strategic. My question is can you secure Bombay, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore by having anti TBM missiles? If you can then we rather go for such tech.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.41AM: What is your definition of a reasonable genuine state? China, which has stockpiled more than 1,500 TBMs for potential usage against Taiwan? And what’s your definition of a rogue state? Pakistan? Strategists like Zhuge Liang, Sun Tzu and Kautilya/Chanakya all agree on one point: know your enemy and to know your enemy, appreciate your enemy’s mindset. Just labelling the enemy as a rogue element out of sheer disdain is indeed a grave folly. And such folly is getting reinforced by the day by both the hyperventilating Indian broadcast media channels as well as by the average ‘desi’ journalist. Let me give you a few instances:
1) Both Pakistan and India agreed to a strategic restraint regime as far back as February 1999 and Pakistan still stands by this offer. It is due in large part India’s public gloating about her dubious successes on the BMD-related R & D front and her as yet officially unsanctioned (thank God!) plans for deploying a national BMD network that is now causing Pakistan to increase its stocks of fissile materials.
2) Does anyone know or has any Indian journalist explained why exactly was the ISI Chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha attended the Iftar hosted by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad on September 10, 2009? And what transpired over there? Has anyone yet disclosed that the ISI Chief was there to convey an official message via the then Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal to South Block about Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s willingness to make an official visit to India and perhaps be the keynote speaker at the National Defence College in Delhi—-if invited by India’s MoD or by Indian Army HQ-–during which he would make some announcements about the way forward to a logical conclusion of the peace process initiated between Indian PM Dr Manmohan Singh and former President Gen Pervez Musharraf? Has anyone from India explained why Gen Kayani wanted to and still wants to visit India so desperately? The answer is simple: he wants the Pakistan Army (and not the present-day civilian government in Islamabad) to take all the credit for full-scale normalisation of ties with India by concluding a mutually agreeable resolution of the Kashmir dispute—the contours of which had already been agreed upon by Dr Singh and Musharraf. And has anyone asked why the Govt of India is unwilling or unable to extend such an invitation to Gen Kayani till today? And how easy it would have been for India to extend such an invitation had India had a CDS with full political authorisation to discuss matters at the strategic level, like the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen did with the Chinese Communist Party and PLA leaderships just over a month ago in Beijing?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Continued from above......
3) Why are some of these ‘desi’ and foreign journalists/think-tanks endlessly speculating about the Pakistan Army Chief delegating/releasing authorisation of the usage of nuclear-armed ‘Nasr’ NLOS-type missiles by Pakistan Army Corps Commanders inside Pakistani soil in case the Indian Army stages deep thrusts into Pakistan? Don’t they know about the geography of Pakistan and India and the existence of major urban/rural human settlements spread throughout the border areas on both sides and why therefore the prospects of usage of the so-called tactical nuclear weapons on Pakistani soil by the Pakistan Army are totally nil?
4) If it was that easy for Pakistan to deter a conventional strike by Indian forces (through usage of tactical nuclear weapons) then why are Pakistan's armed forces still engaged in procuring conventional weapons from the US, Europe and China?
5) Don’t these ‘desi’ journos and think-tanks know that the security and sanctity of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals is what guarantees the existence in office of any Pakistan Army Chief, and therefore no Pakistan Army Chief and his GHQ in Rawalpindi will ever allow any unauthorised rogue element to gain control of Pakistan’s nukes, nor will he ever authorise the usage of such weapons by any of his Army’s Corps Commanders, since such authorisation will only create a competing power-base within the Army?
Let’s get real, stay objective, and stop dehumanising the enemy. Instead, take heed of logical reasoning. Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru will never be attacked with conventional TBMs and cruise missiles, but will be targetted by nuclear-tipped IRBMs and MRBMs, but since strategic nuclear deterrence is in place on both sides, such weapons will be political weapons only. However, civilian economic and military infrastructure targets in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and J & K will be logical targets for Pakistan-launched TBMs and cruise missiles, and the only way to neutralise them is by deploying theatre-level BMD networks of the type using Barak-2 MR-SAMs and Barak-8 LR-SAMs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

ID Mubarak to all Janaabs and Mohtarmaas in the subcontinent, & Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin to all my Muslim friends and wellwishers along the Malay archipelago in Southeast Asia.

Heberian said...

Hi Prasun-

Apologies if you have answered my question elsewhere. Please let me have the link if you have.

Where will the French proposal for scrapping the M2000 upgrade deal (in favor of more Rafaels) leave the current Mirage inventory? Are they proposing a buy-bak like that of the UAE AF?

Thank you!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Heberian: Here it is:

joydeep ghosh said...

@ Prasun da

what you say can be held there worth of coin only with the MoD & DRDO listens, sigh!! these 2 never listen to anybody so spending so much time on 'baa-ki-khaal' analysis may not be worth it.

However people must be made aware of the various discrepancies in the claims by the nodal agency for defense.

What you say about Arihant is true but any news on INS Sindhukirti, its still sitting on Vizag drydocks, when it will be back in operation.

Any details about the next test of Sagarika/K-15/B-05 or even Shaurya.

Can we safely say the development of K-4 SLBM which will be presumably called Agni 4 is in final stages


Joydeep Ghosh

Austin said...

Prasun some good and valid points you have made regarding ABM development and deployment and potential advantage and pitfalls.

One of the most dreaded scenarios that a NWS faces viz a viz ABM is the advancement of potential first strike capability by Nuclear nations that possesses advanced ABM system.

Any country that has ABM can potentially strike first with Nuclear weapons and then use its ABM to defend against enemy surviving assets.

I am sure the Pakistani Generals might be thinking on similar lines as one possible scenario and the only logical response is to reduce the Nuclear Threshold as it will be a case of "Use It or Loose It"

China with its potentially much larger strike capability wont be too concerned about India's ABM developments.

Though India has declared a No First Strike option but these are self declared intentions and like any General would think if capability exists to potentially nullify Pakistan nuclear advantage with First Strike options then intentions can change over night.

Heberian said...

Thank you very much Prasun.

I did not know that you had started writing again, as I was a few points NE of India in the recent past; and so have not had a chance to catch up on all you have written yet.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Austin & Heberian: many thanks.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Here's my take on the AWOL LCA components: Are yeh toh ek na ek din hona hi tha. Pichle 15 saalo se hamare netao ne Aero India expo ke dauraan lagataar ailaan karta raha ki yeh sabhi cheezeh swadeshi hain. Sabhi deshvaasiyon ko gumraah aur dishabhool (Anna hazare-patented term) kar rahe thein. Akhir main haqeeqat bahaar nikal ayaa. Ise kehetein hain kudrat ka karishma. Akhir mein sach ki hi jeet hoti hain. Pichle 63 saalo se aisa hi hua ata raha hai aur agle kuch saalo tak aisaa hi chalta rahega. Lekin zyada chinta ya fikr karne ki avvashakta nahin, kyoki Bharat Maa ke paas BrahMos se bhi zyada khatarnaak hatyaar hai aur woh hai Baba Ramdev ka Brahmastra, jiski tasweer hamare pyare aur priya mitre aur paseene-se-latpat Shiv Aroorji ne li thi kuch haftoon pehelein aur jiske baadh kisi jaahil janvaar ne Shivji ka SoniErcisson cellphone Ramlila Maidan se chura liya. Are agar cellphone hi churana that toh Amar Singh ya Anil Ambani ya Digvijay Singh ka cellphone churaya hota, Shivji jaisa ek honhaar aur nyay paalan karne waleh nagrik ka cellphone churane ki kya avvashakta thi? Aur FIR darj karne ke baawajoodh aaj tak naa Delhi Police aur naa hi NTRO ke guptcharoon aur Heron UAV ne chor to na giraftaar kar seka aur na hi uska pataa laga sakaa. Aisaa hai aaj desh kaa buraa haal. Khair, jo hua so hua, aaj Id hai aur aaj raat main ek khoobsoorat Mohtarmah se sath ek 5-star Hotel ke discotheque mein jaaungaa jahaan Ladies Night hogi, aur jashn manaaunga. Aur Prahbudeva jaisa nachne ka taraana hoga yeh: Muqaabalah Subhanallah Laila…O Laila! Aap sabhi ko Id Mubarak Ho!

Anonymous said...

Thanks prasun for replying @4:19pm - about the solution.

I may not have understood it completely, but from your posts in previous articles it feels like this CDS would have access to the cabinet, direct access to the PM and, as you have mentioned later on this forum even engaging in a political dialogue with the top dog from across the border.

In fact this post could become a rival power center, being the head of the armed forces and also being in touch with major decision making bodies/individuals of the government.

This may not play out very well in the Indian parliamentary context and, could complicate matters as such wide ranging powers can be dangerous for a democracy.

What is your take on this.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.22PM: I'm afraid you've misunderstood the concept of CDS. The CDS is ONLY an adviser, with no executive authority to command any troops or military formations, which will come under the command of respective armed services HQs. The CDS will have full access to the PMO and CCNS to serve as a single-point military adviser and a single-point liaison between the Union Cabinet and the three armed forces HQs. And since he will have a fixed three-year tenure, the question of a rival power-centre does not arise at all. In conclusion, a CDS with only advisory powers and with no executive authority to command any troops and will not constitute any threat whatsoever to the Parliamentary form of democracy. Right now it is the National Security Adviser and the C-in-C Strategic Forces Command who are both together administering, operating and managing the country's strategic arsenals, but that has not made them into rival power centres. In the same way, the CDS will not become one either, but will serve to strengthen the Govt of India's military diplomacy options, which presently are lying totally unutilised.

Heberian said...

To Prasun -

Absolutely tongue-in-cheek and incorrigible!!! Literally LOL about the explanation of AWOL LCA components :)

The CDS post is excellent, but to me, seems like pearls before swine. Which IAS person will let any suggestion like that proceed? Terrible for the country, but good for the babus.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Heberian: Actually, it no longer a question of 'if', but 'when', since the Group of Ministers (GoM) had as far back as 2001 recommended to the GoI the necessity of creating the post of CDS. It was only after this that the office of HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) created to serve as the Secretariat for the CDS, and once the CDS is created then the Chief of the IDS will become the Vice-CDS. So, the wheels have already been set in motion, and all that remains to be done is to accelerate the process of formation of the post of CDS.

Anonymous said...

Prasun Sir,

Any news on the MMRCA downselect since it's almost September.

Anonymous said...

I am anon@5.41AM
And here are my views to each of your points (in quotes)
To Anon@5.41AM: What is your definition of a reasonable genuine state? China, which has stockpiled more
1) “Both Pakistan and India agreed to a strategic restraint regime as far back as February 1999 and Pakistan still stands by this offer…..”
Well then what exactly started the khushab reactor (which China informed the NSG that the decision was taken before 2004, and well in the end of last decade and beginning of this decade) even while the BMD was in conceptual phase. Yes exactly, learn about the enemy and do not undermine any possibilities (infact friends too). How ever by rogue I didn’t mean any nation (hence used the term elements). A nuke warhead falling into hands of a fanatic (can happen in India too) could trigger an all out war. But infact on second thoughts I feel the rogue state may indeed be applicable to Pakistan (who else whould have sheltered Bin Laden and played a hide and seek game with US). Well it would be better if I donot write too much into the merits and demerits of whether Pakistan will fit into that definition. Your logic that Pakistan is accelerating its nuke delivery systems because of Indian BMD is actually not viable. If, as you put it, the BMD is failure will Pakistan have no idea about our capabilities, and they will invest in nukes just for failed BMD, which will never materialize? If we say tomorrow that we have a Maharishi effect , will they invest more on nuke delivery? I guess one need not be Kautilya to understand where it is heading.
Rogue state is one which doesnot follow any code of international conduct (the any stressed), the Somalia, Afganistan are best examples of recent times and North korea and Iran in my view are not. China could become if the CPC loses grip, but it is highly unlikely. 1500 TBMs agains a country supported by the worlds mightiest nation is peanuts, and it would have to check fengshui to see the best times 

2) “Does anyone know or has any Indian journalist explained why exactly was the ISI Chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha attended …”
If that were true, It would have been certainly a boon to the right wing fanatics here. When the shock of the Mumbai attack was not yet over, the chief of an institution responsible for an organization which had role in the execution is sure unwelcome here. Prasun, I am surprised you too think like this, you do really think that Pakistani Army would ever want resolution on Kashmir (except freedom), you are disappointing me. And India being democracy, will be least willing to give credit to an army which has everlasting grudge against us, while discounting a puppet civilian leadership. engaging our neibour for any talks is fine, and we should go may be an extramile for that, but it should not be on the chest of dead jawans/innoncents and it should never in the backlight of a blackmail. We have heard the story of peace and normalcy of Ind-Pak releations so often that I say, zzzz next please

3) “Why are some of these ‘desi’ and foreign journalists/think-tanks endlessly speculating about the Pakistan Army Chief delegating/releasing authorisation of the usage of nuclear-armed ‘Nasr’ NLOS-….”
Don’t know you are the best person in this field to tell.

Anonymous said...

continued from above

4) “If it was that easy for Pakistan to deter a conventional strike by Indian forces (through usage of tactical nuclear weapons) then why are Pakistan's armed forces still engaged in procuring conventional weapons from the US, Europe and China?”
Very simple, why was and is USA or Russia continuing to produce conventional weapons when they sit with a combined stock pile of 35000 nuke bombs after the fallout of whose only cockroaches will remain. It is not like stopping the forces with tactical nukes, but it is about lowering the threshold which the Pakistani ministers many times at kargil war blackmailed us.

5) “Don’t these ‘desi’ journos and think-tanks know that the security and sanctity of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals is what guarantees the existence in office of any Pakistan Army Chief…. “

Pakistan is a country which witnessed several army coups, How the army chief will make sure his trusted lieutnent is not his nemesis. How easily fanatics are getting into the Pak naval complex, Army headquarters. How long the generals keep things secure from footsoldiers many of who are willing to die for the fanatical cause? Exactly for the same reason I used the term rogue elements and said genuine states will never have country men vying for standalone nukes to cleanse the enemy.
Yes, lets be real, we should NEVER dehumanize our enemy, but always be there for a surprise that dehumanized enemy is possible .Also I will say the other way TBM nuke attacks will be impossible, since even single nuke attack will have the danger of starting a massive retaliation, not to mention the international condemnation. No sane country will ever dare to use NUKE TBMs just like laxmibombs of diwali, without strategic attack TBMs will be only counter productive that the opponent country will get cheap excuse for massive retaliatory strike. Strategic nuclear deterrence as I know (I am an admirer of your knowledge in the field and all apologies due) is never a fixed line, it is more dynamic, and one who follows Kautilya will certainly never say that since enemy agreed on a deterrence we will freeze our sid

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To All: Apparently the missing LCA components hailed from MOOG Inc. Here's the website:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.13PM: Here care my clarifications:
1) The bilateral strategic restraint regime MoU exchanged in Lahore in February 1999 applied to the deployment of nuclear weapons delivery systems, and not the stockpile of fissile materials. As such, production centres/reactors for producing fissile materials were not included in the strategic restraint regime MoUs. The Khushab issue relates to the on-going multilateral deliberations concerned with the proposed Fissile materials Cutoff Treaty.
2) As for the prospect of a nuclear warhead falling into hands of a fanatic in either India or Pakistan in the foreseeable future, it is a distinct impossibility, in my personal view, which in turn is based on discussions I’ve had thus far between the senior military officials of both India and Pakistan.
3) In my view, the term ‘rogue state’ is apt for countries like China and Pakistan if one is talking about blatant proliferation of WMDs. However, giving shelter to either OBL or Mul;lah Mohd Omar can hardly classified as a rogue act, especially if realpolitik is involved. By the same token, the US too could be labelled as a rogue state simply because it gave shelter to hundreds of Nazi scientists and engineers under OP Paperclip after World War-2. But as we both know, no one bothers to label the US as a harbourer of individuals accused of crimes against humanity.
4) 4) Regarding Gen Kayani being issued an official invitation to visit India, what’s so unbelievable about it? Wasn’t Gen Musharraf officially welcomed in India after he became the President, despite being the architect of OP Badr in mid-1999? Irregardless of what fanatics on both sides of the border may think, hard-core realities have to take ascendency when one is grappling with regional and national security issues. That’s why even the erstwhile USSR made peace with both Germanies after WW-2 even though tens of millions of Soviet citizens had been killed during WW-2. Such cold-blooded decisions are what distinguish statesmen from both bleeding liberalists and bleeding die-hards. Regarding J & K, the issue was NEVER about either territory or religion, but always about securing Pakistan’s sources of water supply from the rivers flowing though both J & K and Punjab. Almost all officials dealing with national security affairs in both India and Pakistan have agreed on this point since the mid-1990s during various Track-2 negotiations and discussions. And yes, a final mutually agreeable resolution of the J & K issue was within reach up to 2007, but could not be taken to its logical conclusion due to internal political developments within Pakistan. And if one is now thinking about taking a tough stand (as opposed to a pragmatic stand) against such resolutions in the aftermath of 26/11, then it is too late now because China is now already inside POK and on top of that China has since 2009 regarded the entire state of J & K as disputed territory, which has terrible implications not only along the LoC, but also along the LAC. In my view therefore, India lost a golden opportunity between 2007 and 2009 to solve the Kashmir problem by directly dealing with the Pakistan Army and its GHQ.
5) Like you I too was amazed by the daring and audacity of the 26/11 attacks, but rather than putting the entire blame on Pakistan, I would prefer to put my own house in order by initiating criminal proceedings against those successive Maharashtra state govt officials who were criminally negligent in attending to the coastal security concerns of that state since the 1993 Mumbai blasts. These officials had 15 years to secure Mumbai against such terrorist attacks and yet they did not, and till this day no one asks for any accountability from these officials. Instead, they’ve been rewarded with Union Cabinet berths.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Continued from above:
6) One cannot compare the regional India-Pakistan or India-China nuclear balance of power with that between the US and Russia, which is of a global nature. Furthermore, Russia after 1991 has struggled to even defeat localised insurgencies in the Caucasus till this day and was found wanting in several military respects during its border conflict with Georgia. Suffice to say that its conventional war-waging might has diminished to such an extent that today it just like an Upper Volta with WMDs.
7) Regarding TBMs and cruise missiles, I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood what I had said earlier, which was Pakistan’s offensive airpower doctrine calls for the large-scale usage of conventional warhead-equipped RBMs and cruise missiles. I’ve never ever said that such TBMs and cruise missiles will be armed with WMD warheads.
8) Lastly, strategic nuclear deterrence in terms of capabilities WASN’T a fixed line during that period of the Cold War era between 1947 and the early 1980s. But the rapidity with which RMA was taking strides made both the US and USSR realise that a dynamic continuum was not only financially unsustainable, but was also futile. Consequently, both of them began engaging each other seriously through instruments like the START and CFE treaties. One can therefore only hope that a similar type of level-headedness will prevail among the subcontinent’s decisionmakers in the years to come.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.13PM: One last clarification. Yes, Pakistan has witnessed several military coups, but all of them were staged against prevailing civilian govts. There is not a single instance of a coup being staged by one military leader against another (as used to be the case in South Korea between the 1960s and 1980). The way in which the armed forces of both India and Pakistan function ans the administrative nature of the chain of command is such that the top man's most trusted lieutenant will NEVER become his nemesis. And that is the very reason why today Gen Kayani is the Pakistan Army Chief, as he was handpicked by Gen Musharraf to succeed him, and since Musharraf always fully trusted and continues to trust Gen Kayani to deliver whayever has to be delivered (including Musharraf's lifelong immunity from prosecution by any Pakistani civilian regime, both at present and in future. Don't forget that Gen Kayani was the Army's Director-General of Operations during OP Parakram (December 2001-October 2002) when India blinked and was the first to demobilise its forces deployed along the India-Pakistan border. Following this, Gen Kayani was made the DG of ISI and in the entire history of the Pakistan Army, he is the only Army Chief who has held the post of DG of ISI. Before him, no one who had served as DG of the ISI had ever become the Army Chief.

Anonymous said...

am Anon@8.13PM

1 thing for sure we agree to disagree on most points except the maharashtra (where we were to be blamed) and misconception of your earlier comments that attacks by TBMs are tactical nukes....

let us discuss on forthcoming topics, GN

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon Above: It is always enriching to have healthy discussions that taxes the mind, and there are no heard or fast rules about agreeing or disagreeing. Afterall, perceptions of reality do differ. And if folks agree to disagree, that's really cool by me. No worries. At least there's someone here who has bothered to read, absorb and reply in detail to my thoughts and musings. Haven't yet come across too many individuals doing that.

Austin said...

Prasun indeed you are spot on when you say had the coastal security been improved after 93 Mumbai blast things would have been different , considering they then used the sea route to bring in all arms into Mumbai.

They appointed some committee etc and nothing happened since then , the Navy blames CG , the CG blames Navy , then they all blame intelligence and it keeps going around in circles.

Not sure if thing have actually improved after 26/11 coz recently we had a cargo ship entering Mumbai without any body knowing about it so much for coastal security.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Austin: Actually, the malaise runs deeper. Soon after 1993 it was decided that a Marine Police Wing and a vessel traffic monitoring system (VTMS) would be established. Had only these two components been in place, then acts like 26/11 would never have happened, forget about all other grandiose plans revealed subsequently by the Navy and Coast Guard. However, it is indeed pathetic for a maritime trading country like India to have--to date--ONLY TWO VTMS systems operational, one of which is in the Andaman & Nicobar islands and the other in the Gulf of Khambatt. Going back further, way back in the late 1970s when the Coast Guard was created, at that time itself State-level marine Police agencies should have been established throughout the country's coastline, i.e. adopt the crawl, walk and run evolutionary build-up of capabilities. Instead, subsequent to 26/11 all the steps adopted thus far tantamounts to putting the cart before the horse and as a result although the VTMS system had long been approved for Mumbai, implementation on the ground is ZERO (0) because of on-going turf wars between the various agencies (like the Coast Guard, State-level Marine Police & the Mumbai Port Trust) over retaining operational control over the VTMS. This story has not yet broken out as the 'desi' journos continue to mistake the woods for the trees, as they say. So all that will happen the next time another seaborne terror attack takes place is the following: the usual jurisdictional blame-game, massacre of innocents, and the likes of Prasoon Joshi composing yet a few more poetic couplets and redaing them out on national broadcast channels!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Prasun @6:11 PM, I agree that as a pure advisor there would be much to offer the GOI.

Anonymous said...

am anon@1:17 AM

thanks Da,

your blogs are very detailed, and very thoughtful, a privilege reading them. will be delighted to join you in discussions for later posts though my knowledge in these tech matters are rudimentary.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon Above: Many thanks and you're always most welcome.

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