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Monday, August 22, 2011

Update On INS Satpura & Related Maritime Security Matters

INS Satpura (F-48), along with INS Shivalik and the three existing Project 15 Delhi-class DDGs, three Project 16 Godavari-class FFGs and three Project 16A Brahmaputra-class FFGs have all been fitted with  the 1000Xi long-range acoustic hailing device built by US-based LRAD Corp. In addition, INS Satpura comes equipped with the BEL-built and DRDO designed Ellora ESM/EW suite, plus the DRDO-developed and OFB-built Kavach offboard countermeasures dispensing system, which makes use of spin-stabilised ammunition (including chaff and infra-red payloads) for defence against sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles. The ammunition, customised for use by Wallop Defence Systems Ltd India, includes seduction, confusion and distraction spin-stabilised chaff rockets and  infra-red decoys operating in the 3-5 micron and 8-14 micron wavebands, all configured to meet the Indian Navy’s operational requirements. For providing over-the-horizon targetting for the eight on-board Novator JSC-built 3M54E Klub-N supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles (with 220km-range), INS Satpura will have on board a Ka-31 helicopter, along with a SA.316B Alouette III (Chetak) light helicopter for search-and-rescue.

The above-mentioned warships are also being fitted with Elbit Systems-built DCoMPASS FLIR systems, for which a US$20 million procurement contract was awarded on August 17. This contract follows Elbit Systems’ award, approximately three months ago, of another $20 million contract, to supply CoMPASS FLIR systems for fitment on the Do-228 maritime patrol aircraft of both the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. ELBIT’s Micro CoMPASS FLIR systems, on the other hand, are being procured for fitment on to the Navy’s waterjet-driven fast attack craft (WJ-FAC) and the 15 fast interceptor craft now being delivered by France’s Chantiere Navale Couach, plus on the Indian Coast Guard’s seven 270-tonne extra-fast patrol vessels (XFPV) and twenty 260-tonne fast patrol vessels (FPV).—Prasun K. Sengupta


Anonymous said...

1. Does India have any LCS type swing role vessel on cards other than P-28 ships?

2. DRDO has reportedly developed an AIP system. Do u think its a leap towards our indigenous Sub design capability? When shall be the 12 subs of indigenous design out of the 24 subs plan on boards?

3. Is there any progress on Shaurya viz Conventional cruise missile variant, Tomahawk type sub launched LACM variant etc? Or is it just a tech demo?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
I think we need alot of droniers for both IN and ICG. How many droniers will be inducted in both the services in this decade?

What is happening with Saras ? I heard somewhere that it will replace dronier. Any report on this ?

There were various chopper tenders in the recent years by IN. Can you list the number and type required by IN ?

What is IN doing for the chopper requirement for the new aircraft carriers and LPDs ?

When is the work on 4 LPDs is going to begin and is there any indication on winner and the respective indian shipyard ?

When is the first P28 corvette inducting in IN ?

When exactly the work on P17a will start ? If MDL is busy, will GRSE start the first frigate or they will wait for MDL to delay the project even before it starts ?

Whats the status of P75I ? Is there any favorite among IN and MOD? How is the chances of L&T or any other shipyard winning this contract except MDL ?

Can you show us the pics of the design of the naval OPVs proposed by Pipavav for which they have bagged the order ? Will it be stealthy like Govind OPVs ?

Any indication when the work on 4 project 15b destroyer going to start ?

Anonymous said...

1) Can you tell us about NTRO ? I mean what are the future techs they are getting ? How much is there budget and how get they are considering they are newbie in this business?

2) IA recently issued RFIs for hand held laptops, palmtops,GPS and multi caliber assault rifles for infantry man in the beginning of 2011. Whats the progress and whats the size of these contracts ?

3) Whats the progress of induction of new BP jackets and helmets in the IA ? How many more are going to purchase and how many are already in the service ?

4) Is Indian army going to carry on the much delayed artillery program for which competition was again opened and in which BAE at beginning said they won't participate again or they have given up and put all their hopes on DRDO (I am not talking about M777)?

5) I have heard that number of M777 is going to increase to 400. Is it true ?

6) Whats the progress of new NAMICA ? How many of them will be built and will there be wheeled variant also ?

Anonymous said...

i notice u always put really cool posters for foreign products but posters uploaded for indian products are dull and low quality. hopelsss...

buddha said...

Can Indian Navy consider Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey for its future Vikrant class aircraft carrier and LPD or LHC
if America offers it to India

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun Sir,the Arjun Mk1 turret looks very similar to the Leopard 2A4 turret except the bulges on both side of the turret on Arjun turret.What are these bulges for??Extra armor or anything else??Can you please confirm??
THANX in advance....

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.01AM: The Project 17 FFGs along with the Project 16 Godavari-class FFGs and Project 16A Brahmaputra-class FFGs, along with the three existing Project 15 Delhi-class FFGs are all swing-role vessels. All future principal surface combatants like the Project 17A FCFGs and Project 15A/15B DDGs too will be swing-role warships. The DRDO is still in the process of developing a fuel cell-based AIP module as a technology demonstrator. As for the 12 indigenously designed SSKs, they will materialize sometime in the following decade since the Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design as yet does not have the expertise required for designing SSKs. The Govt of India has not yet sanctioned the production of the land-launched Shaurya. The only two cruise missile technology demonstrators which the DRDO is tinkering with are a subsonic cruise missile with a 1,000km range and the supersonic air-delivered munition.

To Anon@4.42PM: Given the size of India’s coastline and EEZ, merely increasing the size of the Do-228 fleets of both the IN and ICG will not boost the country’s maritime surveillance capabilities. What is required is a fleet of medium-range maritime patrol aircraft like the C-295MPA or the Bombardier Q-400. AS for the Dornier fleet, I have already given the figures at:
The Saras is a product designed and built by scientists of NAL, and has only minimal engineering inputs, due to which it is overweight. That being the case, its direct operating costs per flying hour will be quite high and therefore uneconomical to operate. That’s why it will never be able to compete with the Do-228-211. The reqmt for MRH helicopters in the 10-tonne category for the FFGs sought by the Navy include the Sikorsky S-70B2 and NH-90. For the destroyers and LPH the helicopters being looked at are the AW-101 from AgustaWestland and Sikorsky’s CH-148 Cyclone. Construction ork on the four LPHs will begin by 2014, with the first two being built abroad and the latter two being built by Hindustan Shipyard Ltd in Vizag. The first Project 28 ASW corvette will enter service by late 2015. MDL will build the Project 17A FFGs as their construction will begin after the four Project 15B DDGs have been fabricated. Regarding P-75I SSKs, the fronrunners are DCNI’s SMX-22, Fincantieri’s S-800, Thyssenkrupp’s Dolphin-class, and Navantia’s S-80. The IN wants a fuel cell-based AIP module, which is available for only the S-800 and Dolphin-class. From a design standpoint, the SMX-22 is most revolutionary but doesn’t yet come with a fuel cell-based AIP module, unless DCNS were to negotiate with Russia’s Rubin Central Design Bureau to make use of the Russian fuel cell-based AIP module (which is also being offered on the S-80). The NOPV design from Russia’s Severnoye Design Bureau is a conventional design, and not stealthy. The Govinf vessels are corvettes, not OPVs. Keel-laying of the first Project 15B DDG should take place by the year’s end.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.49PM: The NTRO will be exactly like the US NSA. Its annual budget is now Rs8,000 crore. The Army’s RFIs for such gadgets are all related to the F-INSAS programme, which will commence with a pilot project for equipping an infantry battalion, and later a brigade. The field artillery rationalisation programme is a must but the scale and scope of the project is still under conceptualisation as the Army has not yet firmed up its requirements for implementing its pro-active warfighting strategies in the plains. It is therefore highly likely that given the demands of manoeuvre warfare, the requirement for towed 155mm/52-cal howitzers will be severely custailed in favour of larger inventories of motorised and tracked swelf-propelled 155mm/52-cal howitzers. For mountain warfare, there’s no other option but to go for the BAE Systems-built LW-155 UFH, with up to 400 to be acquired in successive batches. Regarding NAMICA, the DRDO is still in the process of integrating a suitable panoramic sight for the vehicle’s commander, after which user trials will be held.

To Anon@5.04PM: Could you kindly be more precise? Which Indian product posters are you referring to?
To Buddha: Why not? I had already written about it in the past at:

To Anon@11.08PM: Yup, extra add-on armour as well as for carrying spares and service tools.

Anonymous said...

Thanx for the reply...

I thought all the LPDs will be built within the country under the buy and make category. When did thid changed ?

Is HSL even capable of building such vessels ? Why are they waiting for 2014 ?

First P28 corvette was launched in 2010. How come it will take a small vessel like corvette 5 years for induction ?

From what you are saying the Project 17a will start by the end of this decade because kolkatta class (project 15a) destroyer themselves will be inducted by 2014 and then according to you fabrication of next 4 destroyer will start. Am i right ?

Why GRSE is not starting the project if MDL is busy ? What is stopping them ?

When did DCNS offered us SMX-22 ? Every news agency and even MDL is saying they offered us a bigger version of Scorpene so where did this offer came from ?

Also can you tell us what is the cost of one SMX-22 ?

Also last i heard Germans were offering us U214. Is this confirmed that we are getting Dolphins from them ? Also again how much one dolphin cost because last i heard it was one of the most expensive SSK ?

Whats the difference between S800 and S1000 submarine ?

How good is S80 submarine?

What happened to Amur ? Is IN not considering it ?

DCNS is offering us AIP for the last Scorpenes and the bigger scorpenes which they are offering us, so why they need to go to Russians for that ?

Also Govind class comes in smaller OPV version also.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Prasun for your reply...

1) How good are NTRO people ?

2) I just wanna know what will be the size of those contracts for which army issued RFIs early this year ?

3) NAMICA, as far as i know is a track vehicle and i wanted to know where there will be wheeled vehicle also for carrying NAG ?

4) Also after almost a decade the IA still don't know what they want and how much they want ?

Rehan said...

What's this supersonic air delivered munition? The same as 600 Km LRCM that appeared on Livefist? That was too overweight and had high RCS to be used for SEAD or surgical strikes.

Anonymous said...

So the side bulges on Arjun Mk1 turret are indeed extra armor.Thanx for replying.So does that mean Arjun Mk1 has more protection from side than the Leopard 2A4??Besides the Leopard 2A4 was introduced in early 80's and Arjun Mk1 in 2008.So do you think that Kanchan armor on Arjun Mk1 is more advanced than the Leo2A4??Because the material science has come a long way since early 80's.Please try to reply and clear my doubt.
THANX in advance....

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.09AM: What made you think all four LPHs will be built in-country? Read this:
HSL is not even capable of putting back the Type 877EKM Kilo-class SSK that it ripped apart in the mid-1990s! Rejuveniting HSL is the Govt of India’s way of taking care of M M Palam Raju, the Minister for Defence Production & Supplies. Regarding INS Kamorta, it does incorporate several new-generation systems of imported origin, whose ‘screwdriver production’ technologies took longer to absorb (by Walchandnagar & Kirloskar), basically the same thing that has happened with the Scorpene SSK production programme. Hence the delay in the fitting-out stage. Work on Project 17A has already started in terms of paperwork. But from there, approval has to be sought from the MoD’s Defence Acquisitions Council and only after that are RFIs and RFPs issued, after which a two-year competitive tendering process comes into play. All this takes time. It can be reduced, but no one seems to be bothered to do so, citing due process. GRSE has got its hands full with the Project 28 corvettes, plus construction of six new OPVs for the Coast Guard and one OPV for the Mauritian Coast Guard. MDL is not that busy. Afterall it concurrently built the three Project 17 FFGs and three Project 15A DDGs and can therefore handle the Project 17A and Project 15B construction effort at the same time. There is no such thing as a bigger version of Scorpene coming from DCNS. The only bigger derivative of the Scorpene is the S-80 of Navantia. The Scorpene has only a smaller derivative called the Marlin. The SMX-21 and SMX-22 were offered to India for co-development and this is byfar the best offer which will enable India to learn how to design new-generation submarines. The rest of the offers from Italy, Russia, Sweden and Germany are all for already-designed submarines that only require screwdriver technologies to be transferred by the OEM—they don’t involve ToT for transferring design technology/design validation expertise. At the moment, ONLY DCNS is offering this to India. Fincantieri’s S-1000 is a bigger derivative of the S-800, which itself is derived from the Amur 950. I’m sure the S-80 will be a good SSK as it is derived from the Scorpene, but it uses an AIP module making use of ethanol, instead of fuel cells as the Indian Navy has mandated. The MESMA AIP module does not make use of fuel cells.

To Anon@10.15AM: The NTRO folks are all right AFAIK.

To Rehan: Yes, it is the air-launched LRCM supposedly un der development by the DRDO, although all indications are that its development is being ‘outsourced’. It was never meant to be used for SEAD or surgical strikes, as it is being developed only as a nuclear-capable weapon system.

To Anon@1.05PM: No existing Indian MBT can beat or match the Leopard 2A4. Period.

Anonymous said...

Thanx for the answers,

Regarding DCNS offering bigger scorpene bigger because it can carry AIP and here is the article that was published a few days back...

Is that offer of Joint development of SMX-21 and SMX-22 still there ?
Also i heard about SMX-23 and SMX-24. Are they also offered to us ?

Also if the 4 corvettes of project 28 going to take so long, when will the work on next 8 corvettes of P28A going to start?

Anonymous said...

One more articles on france offering us bigger scorpenes.$5-billion-indian-submarine-order.html

Anonymous said...

Bigger Scorpene is due to additional module for AIP.
Refer to

Scorpene's AIP is not based on fuel cell technology which India wants as per RFI for Project 75I. Its based on MESMA (Module d'Energie Sous-Marin Autonome), is based on a closed-cycle steam turbine.

Crocalah said...

Whilst the govt of India is too concerned about stealth in its submarine fleet, inertia and rapid obsolescence are becoming more obvious to everyone in the world!Seeing Indian made submarines are not on any cards for the next 10 years, why not buy 4 AMUR class with at least some ToT and opportunity to include Indian software? This will stall the fleet depletion till the western lines come to the foray.Why also sudden reluctance to do anything with Russia in the areas of self propelled howitzers and howitzers? Rusaaians have always had superior fire power plus with Denel out of the picture no point languishing.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.21PM: The HINDU article has got the reporter confused. While the CMD of MDL is talking about the need to acquire existing Scorpene SSKs, while the reporter is assuming that these additional boats will be of a larger dimension. The bigger Scorpenes can only be offered by NAVANTIA of Spain (the S-80), which of the course the HINDU's reporter seems to be unaware of. France is willing to co-design and build with India the SMX-21 or SMX-22 or even the SMX-24, whichever design the customer desires. France is also willing, on record, to assist India with the construction of nuclear-powered SSNs. This offer for the SSNs was made as far back as 2004.

To Crocolah: Setting up a parallel line for SSK construction of an entirely new design like the Amur 1650 (as has been suggested elsewhere) will only complicate matters and raise the overall procurement cost for no good reason. Just show me any developing country that can afford the luxury of having such parallel production facilities. One must not forget that the disastrous decision in the 1980s to acquire two different types of SSKs (Class 209/Type 1500 and Type 877EKM Kilo-class) not only annihilated the Navy's planned conceived plans for acquiring the expertise for designing conventional SSKs, but also made the country bankrupt (you can read more about it at: I will soon be posting an update on this huge controversy and detail how exactly the Govt of the day in the 1980s effectively sabotaged the Navy's indigenous SSK design/development plans, the price for which the country is paying today. That will put the entire issue into perspective and only then one will be able to conclude that setting up two parallel SSK production lines for different SSK designs is not only madness, but suicidal.

Crocalah said...

Prasun I actually did not mean setting up a new line - buy outright with some room for indigenous fitment of software and the like to minimise some cost purely to offset the rapid decline in numbers.Economically it is not wise for sure; in fact, I think if France is willing to assist with SSNs I can't see why in that area they can't be the sole "mentor"if I may say so.Buying different things are fine until it comes to maintenance and this is where expertise, parts and labour prove to be too expensive.Like the episodes of Yes Minister, India seems to always had a policy NOT to have a policy about defence - procurement or development.It seems the bureaucrats'idea of a blue water capability is simply buy a lot of blue dye and dump them in the ocean!

Anonymous said...

IS NTRA budget is part of defense budget? Or is it separate?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I mean NTRO budget

Anonymous said...

One can see the benefit of sticking to a single line of submarine, had India stuck with Type 204, it could have been economical and efficient to scale up to Type 212 and Type 214 and benefited from economics of scale and in house expertise (screw driver technology none the less). If India can learn from that past mistake then she should expand the Scorpene (and its derivatives like SMX - 21/22/24).
Prasun what do you say about SMX-25 (
It brings in another dimension of engagement with its characteristics. It can scan the sky.

Anonymous said...

On a related note, I revisited your earlier blog ( As usual very informative.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Crocalah: Wouldn't it be better to just increase the Scorpene licenced-production order to 10 units, instead of procuring three or four SSKLs of an entirely new design for which in-country refitting facilities will have to be set up at great cost?

To Anon@11.11AM: No, NTRO's budget comes under that of the Union Cabinet Secretariat.

To Anon@11.48AM: Many thanks. Actually, India bought out the entire design package for the Class 209/Type 1500 SSK in 1981 just as it did with the design package for the Leander-class frigate in 1961. Which means only India can build and operate the Type 1500 SSK, and no one else. The plan--which was really visionary--was then to master the design and then build upon it by modifying it to later carry ASCMs like the Club-S, and also equipping it with fuel cell-based AIP modules. But this entire plan was hijacked by the subsequent HDW scandal. Even now, this plan can be revived as MDL and the Naval Design Bureau have this entire design package with them. A Class 209/Type 1500 SSK equipped with Siemens' fuel cell-based AIP system and Club-S ASCMs/LACMs will be the most potent SSK operating in the Indian Ocean Region. But do the civilian 'blind men of Hindustan' sitting at South Block have the knack of embracing such visionary concepts? Alas, most unlikely.
Regarding future SSK designs for Project 75I, the Navy wants a single-hulled SSK with AIP, and if the decision is made to buy out its design package, then the SMX-22 will be the best bet (the SMX-25 is far too futuristic). However, when it comes to fitment of long-range guided-missiles, I would rather go with the Club-S (3M54E and 3M14E) than the BrahMos. This is because the BrahMos was originally designed for fitment on to SSGNs and that's why even in Russia till this day no conventional SSK has even tried to test-fire this missile. The scale-models that one sees of the Amur 1650/950 fitted with VLS cells for BrahMos are in reality a myth, according to Rubin Central Marine Design Bureau. It will be far more realistic for a SSGN derived from the Arihant SSBN's design to have BrahMos on board, but not on any SSKs.

Crocalah said...

Prasun I fully agree with you.My concern is what is the stop gap measure meanwhile?In about another 5 years the Navy will catch up with half a dozen decommissioned subs and will not gain anything.The full benefit should be in about 10-12 years by then China will probably treble its capability and Pakistan will be beyond reach - that is never ever the Karachi style attack will be possible and certainly it will make no difference if the Eastern fleet enter the Western command as Pakistani subs will ensure India suffer a significant loss.Add to this China courier delivering various advanced weaponry and you got an aspirant nation with paws but no claws.I guess some leaders are banking on IPL style Cheergirls to distract the sentries on the other side to have any chance of making in roads!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Crocalah: Regretably, the stop-gap measure will have to be what was happened before: flog the existing submarines well beyond their operational lives till the end of this decade. Karachi-style attacks need not be re-enacted in future since today there are standoff PGMs like BrahMos to conduct such strikes from anywhere in the Rann of Kutch or Rajasthan. In a future round of hostilities, the role of the Pakistan Navy’s Agosta 90B SSKs will be to mine the approaches to Indian ports along with west coast and monitor the movements of the Indian Navy’s western fleet. To neutralise the former, all that India needs is a fleet of eight to 12 ASW corvettes backed up by sufficient numbers of medium-range MR/ASW aircraft and shipborne ASW helicopters. But under no conditions will a fleet of three Agosta 90Bs and two upgraded Agosta 70s give severe headaches to Indian Navy HQ. The principal naval threat to any Indian carrier battle group will emanate from the six Qing-class AIP-equipped SSKs that will carry on board the CJ-10K long-range LACMs or anti-ship cruise missile variants of this missile. The only way of countering this threat is by investing in a modest fleet of five SSGNs each displacing some 6,000 tonnes submerged. This again is one area where the Navy has been let down by successive Govts of India, with the MoD in cohorts with the DRDO insisting on first building SSBNs without the Navy’s concurrence. This is why I’ve repeatedly stated that India’s strategic deterrence plans have been conceived, dictated and implemented—with total disregard for operational reqmts—by civilian bureaucrats, scientists and technocrats. It is such state of affairs that has created an aspirant nation like India with paws but no claws. How else does one explain why a country with 1.6 million personnel-under-arms and 1.3 million strong central paramilitary forces, and boasting of the third largest standing army, fourth largest air force and fifth largest navy still continues to be totally vulnerable to urban terrorist strikes?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun!

What's you take on recent revelations about the Indian Army's new mountain strike corps? Thanx.

Crocalah said...

Agreed.Sadly no one stands up to stupidity and year after year prepared to take loads of bureaucraps!The day we would see "India to... "eliminated and "India has... "is the day we would know for sure words are indeed replaced by action.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.54AM: That's old news. This is what FORCE's September 2009 issue had written: "The Indian Army is raising two new Divisions--41 Mountain Div (based in Binaguri, West Bengal) and 56 Mountain Division (in , Nagaland, during the 11th Defence Plan (2007-2012)). Due to this, an extra 55,000 personnel will be recruited and their support costs will be a nett addition to the MoD's sanctioned establishment costs. By 2011, III Corps (now being restructured as the offensive Corps) will comprise 56 Mtn Div, 41 Mtn Div and the Rangla-based 2 Mtn Div (presently under IV Corps). From then on, the XXXIII Corps in Sukhna for the Sikkim sector, III Corps in Dimapur and IV Corps in Tezpur will be 100% China-centric, with all three possessing adequate capabilities for launching offensive operations beyond the LAC into the Tibetan Plateau. To cater to the airmobility and aerial logistics replenishment reqmts of these three Corps, an additional 50 Mi-17V-5s will shortly be ordered for the IAF over and above the 80 already ordered. Also, 12 Heron 2 UAVs are being procured by the Army for these three Corps-sized formations. The remaining two holding Corps under HQ Eastern Command will each have one rapid-reaction airmobile infantry Brigade for localised contingencies along the Bangladesh and Myanmar fronts."
Dunno why that fella Ajai Shukla from BROADSWORD is making such a big deal about this by claiming: "Business Standard has been aware of this development since 2009, but has refrained from reporting on it after requests from top-level MoD officials."
As far as I can recall, no one from the MoD ever told anyone in FORCE to refrain from making the above revelations. So why do some of these so-called 'desi' journalists thrive on such self-imposed censorship practices that are totally uncalled for? For acquiring some gratifying feeling of self-importance? Beats me. Maybe they're smoking something which I'm not.

Anonymous said...


Heard the 3 new Talwar Class frigates delayed by a year each !!


What news of the various procurements that were virtually closed ??

Basic Trainer Pc7 ?? 6 more C-130's ? LUH/Eurocopter ?? the UL How ?? Attack Heli's ?? Heavy Heli's ?? the list is so long and getting longer ??

Anonymous said...

why govt & army is not that much interested to allow Shuraya missile (land version) in massive numbers against china .

As per you when it will come to play.

Anonymous said...

What are the progress in Kaveri Engine? Do you think that India can design a world class 100-120 kN engine on its own by coming decade even if the foreign collaboration deals don't strike? The C-17 deal supposedly includes setting up of WT facilities and High altitude testing facilities. Will these developments boost India's Turbine R$D capabilities?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

defence budgets are likely be cut across the globe.How much will india matter to foreign arms companies?
Any possible future foreign sources in defence arena supplying products,joint development for the Chinese?Where will they look for joint tech programmes when no western govt is relaxing their ban on weapons export to china?
Is thtere a chance the ban could be overturned in some of those countries?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.25PM: Foreign collaboration with an established engine manufacturer like SNECMA Moteurs is a must, not just for learning the art of engine design, but also learning the various production processes and acquiring metallurgical R & D expertise.

To Anon@10.08PM: In the Asia-Pacific there is not going be an decrease in defence/internal security spending levels for the foreseeable future. As for China it has already acquired enough highly skilled human resource expertise from the former Soviet Republics since the early 1990s. Furthermore, the arms embargo imposed on China by North America and the EU applies only to fully developed weapon systems and specific MIL-STD technologies and components. That's why till this day the latest marine diesel engines from SEMT Pielstick and air conditioning/internal communications systems on board the latest PLA Navy warships continue to be outsourced from France and Germany.

saurav jha said...

Hi Prasun,

Now that Akula is being rumored to join IN this year, Will it not advantageous to ask L&T and HSL to keep working with Russians and French ( if possible ) on SSBNs,SSGNs and SSNs while MDL and another shipyard to work on SSKs and keep churning out SCORPENEs and SMX-2X ( as you have reported )..
IN can not really hope to become a force in Indian Ocean region without sufficient no. of Nuclear powered hunter submarines especially when every country is acquiring submarines in the region in huge numbers.

What are your thoughts on collaboration ( if possible ) with Japan for SORYU clas..? seems a capable enough design..


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Saurav Jha: In an ideal world, that's exactly what should be happening. But we don't live in an ideal world and therefore, the officials at the MoD have have their own crazy ideas for rehabilitating loss-making DPSUs like HSL and giving additional businesses to DPSUs instead of awarding them to private shipyards. For instance, GRSE should be given the LPH licenced-construction programme since GRSE has to date been the only one to have built ships of such size (the Magar-class and Shardul-class LST-Ls), while MDL shoulf continue building DDGs, FFGs and SSK submarines. L & T should continue building SSBNs and SSNs, while HSL concerns itself with only the periodic servicing and refits of the SSBNs and SSNs. That's the kind of market segmentation which ought to be practiced. But nobody in the MoD seems to care about such concepts.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Saurav Jha: No matter how much one may like the Soryu design, Japan's post-World War-2constitution totally bans the export of both weapons and weapons-related technologies.

saurav jha said...

One last query ..SMX-22 ( as you said ) will have two independent Modules with it. Now going by the records of MDL , do you think they could complete this in the time frame..?
It seems a very innovative concept but i have my share of doubts.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Saurav Jha: The delays at MDL concerning the Scorpene SSK all related to the usual resource mobilisation processes following contract signature. Now that a steady momentum has been generated, the idea is to sustain it and this can be done if future production orders are placed without any further delay. Another vital point to be noted that unlike Western and Russian shipyards, Indian shipyards very rarely work in three-shifts. If the shipyards employ the workforce in three shifts, the vessel fabrication time will be drastically reduced, as is the case with private shipyards. The 'desi' newsmedia agencies, it seems, have not yet touched upon this subject.