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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why Is This DRDO Official In Moscow?



About 11 months ago I had posed several questions about both the future of India’s sea-based survivable nuclear deterrence posture and capabilities, as well as about the projected Agni-5 ICBM. These were:

1) How exactly will the most survivable element of India's strategic nuclear triad (starting with the ‘Arihant’ SSBN and its on-board complement of either twelve 10-tonne, 10-metre long K-15 750km-range SLBMs or four 3,500km-range K-4 SLBMs) provide credible deterrence when the SLBMs have a range of no more than 5,000km? Why is the DRDO unable to develop an SLBM with a range of 8,000km, as mandated in the so-called ‘classified’ report prepared by Admiral (Ret’d) Arun Prakash in 2006 for the then National Security Adviser M K Narayanan?

2) How will the 10-metre long, 1.3-metre wide and 20-tonne K-4 and its follow-on 12-metre long variant boasting of a 5,000km-range be made to fit into the 10-metre diameter pressure hull of the ‘Arihant’ SSBN?

3) Will both the Agni-5 ICBM and K-4 SLBM use a three-stage rocket propulsion system and if so, will its first two stages use solid propellants while the third stage uses liquid propellants for high manoeuvrability?

4) How could the Defence Research & Development Organistion’s (DRDO) Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) have developed and flight-tested (eight times) the submarine-launched K-15 (known as PJ-08) within a four-year period starting 2004, when it has taken the ASL about six years to develop far less complex land-launched ballistic missiles like the 2,500km-range Agni-2 and 3,500km-range Agni-3, and is likely to take nine years to develop the 5,000km-range and 22-metre long Agni-5 ICBM (whose R & D processes began in 2007)?

5) Who will validate the results of the combination of the K-15/K-4 SLBMs and the ‘Arihant’ SSBN in terms of vessel stability/buoyancy and personnel safety? The DRDO or the Russian ‘consultants’ attached to the both the ATV Project Office and Sagarika Project Office?

6) What are the technical glitches being experienced with the ‘Arihant’ SSBN? Do they concern the on-board pressurised-water nuclear reactor and is that the reason why the n-reactor has not yet received its consignment of n-fuel rods? Or is it is a design problem since the n-reactor design provided by Russia was originally meant for a nuclear ice-breaker, and not for a SSBN? Is the Dept of Atomic Energy (DAE) therefore now facing some previously unforeseen but fundamental design/containment problems?

7) Will the DAE and DRDO be able to develop completely new MIRV-based n-warheads for the SLBM, since existing unitary warhead designs meant for the Agni-1/2/3 family of ballistic missiles will be totally unsuitable for the K-4 SLBM as well as the MIRV-equipped Agni-5?

8) Consequently, won't the MIRV-based n-warheads require additional testing--aka Shatki-3 series of tests?

9) Lastly, will India’s ruling political elite have the guts to authorise a standalone, ready-to-fire nuclear arsenal to proceed on operational patrols in peacetime and wartime into the deep waters of the Indian Ocean at a time when it insists on keeping the land-based ballistic missiles’ n-warheads and their plutonium-based cores under the DRDO’s and DAE’s custody, and not with the Strategic Forces Command, which is left with only an inventory of warhead-less ballistic missiles?
It now seems that the veil of secrecy surrounding on-going R & D projects involving the K-4 SLBM and the Agni-5 ICBM is slowly being lifted in a deliberate and well-calibrated manner by both Russia and India, although significant firewalls—mandated by Russia—still remain in place. First, there was the first publicised (and the eighth) test-firing of the K-15 ‘Shaurya’ cannistered SLBM from a land-based missile silo on November 12, 2008. This was followed by the launch ceremony of the ‘Arihant’ SSBN on July 26, 2009, following which India and Russia on signed an agreement to share high-precision Py-code signals obtained from Russia’s GLONASS constellation of GPS navigation satellites. The latest revelation came on October 4, 2011 in the form of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) press release that not only gave details about the to-be-held 11th Meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation(IRIGC-MTC) in Moscow on the same day, but also disclosed the names of top officials representing the Indian side which, in addition to Defence Minister Arackaparambil Kurien Antony, included Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma; Secretary Defence Production Shekhar Aggarwal; Lt Gen M S Buttar; Air Marshal R K Sharma; Vice Admiral N N Kumar; Director-General Acquisition Vivek Rae; Chairman & Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Ashok Nayak; and most notably, the DRDO’s Chief Controller for Missiles & Strategic Systems & ASL Director, Dr Avinash Chander—the official who is directing and supervising the R & D efforts of the K-4 SLBM and Agni-5 ICBM.   
While the likes of Dr Avinash Chander and his boss, Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat have over the past five years spoken extensively in public forums about the indigenous R & D efforts initiated by the ASL for the Agni family of ballistic missiles, both of them have never uttered a word about any kind of progress on the K-4 SLBM front—strongly indicating that the information-denial firewalls mandated by Russia applied not only to the in-country fabrication of the ‘Arihant’ SSBN and its two larger follow-on variants (each of which will be a scaled-down version of the Project 667BDR SSBN designed by St Petersburg-based Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering, and will carry eight SLBMs), but also to the Russian ‘mentoring’ of the K-4 SLBM’s R & D efforts. That may well explain why, on one hand, Dr Avinash Chander first disclosed to the BUSINESS STANDARD newspaper in October 2009 that the ASL was indeed working on multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles, or MIRV for the Agni-5 (he had said: “We have made major progress on the MIRVs in the last two years”), while on the other, Dr Saraswat had emphatically stated in March 2010 that the DRDO was NOT developing any kind of MIRV-based warheads for any missile. And neither of them have so far said anything about the K-4 SLBM being armed with MIRV-based warheads.  
But here’s what can be inferred from various bits of official revelations/disclosures since the late 1990s. Firstly, it was the creation of the BrahMos Aerospace Ltd joint venture in February 1998 between the DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia that paved the way for ASL to develop—with Russia’s mentoring—a range of avionics and vectronics required for developing both land-launched ballistic missiles and SLBMs. These include the ring-laser gyro-based inertial navigation system (RLG-INS), along with its miniaturised GLONASS GPS receiver incorporating a 12-channel selective availability anti-spoofing module receiver and using digital RS-422/485 databus interfaces, the inertial measurement unit (IMU) utilising an RS-485 digital databus interface, and the on-board digital computer (which have since been built by the DRDO’s RCI). For the road-mobile transporter-erector-launchers, RCI has built a lightweight land navigation system called FINGS (for providing position and north-pointing information) that makes use of three fibre-optic gyroscopes (weighing less than 1kg), three micro-machined silicon accelerometers and a microprocessor. The system senses acceleration and rotation about three orthogonal axes and outputs temperature compensated incremental angles and incremental velocities. Russia’s JSC Concern Granit-Electron continues to supply the BrahMos Block-2 supersonic land-attack cruise missile’s synthetic aperture radar (SAR), which makes use of scene correlation and navigation (SCAN) algorithm for locating and zeroeing in on the target in top-attack mode. Source codes provided by JSC Concern Granit-Electron to BrahMos Aerospace has enabled the latter to upload SAR imagery (obtained from either overhead reconnaissance satellites like the TecSAR or from EL/M-2060P recce pod) of the target on to the missile’s fire-control system. Also provided by Russia (via NPO Mashinostroyenia) is the technology for fabricating hermitically sealed cannisters made of maraging steel, which can ‘cold-launch’ missiles weighing up to  50-tonnes (like the Agni-5).
 Secondly, while the ASL has successfully developed all-composite weight-saving solid rockets for both the K-4 and Agni-5 (and the DRDO/HEMRL’s in-house Advanced Centre for Energetic Materials or ACEM was commissioned on June 30 this year at Nasik for producing composite propellants for solid rocket motors), when it comes to the hypersonic MIRV warheads and their terminal guidance sensors for both missiles, there exists no other option for ASL but to import them off-the-shelf, or—depending on Russian generosity and its willingness to be economical with its commitment to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty—fabricate them in-country but with Russian mentoring. When it comes to delivery of the MIRVs, accuracy is crucial, because doubling the accuracy decreases the needed warhead energy by a factor of four for radiation damage and by a factor of eight for blast damage. Another area that for sure requires Russian R & D inputs is in the area of 16 x 16 wheeled mobile autonomous launchers capable of housing the cannistered Agni-5. Consequently, if we are to believe that the Dr Saraswat-led DRDO will stick to its promise of conducting the maiden test-firing of the Agni-5 by this December (16 months behind schedule, if one goes by what Dr Avinash Chander had promised on February 10, 2010), then this visit by Dr Avinash Chander to Moscow as part of RM A K Antony’s official entourage could be nothing but a stock-taking exercise aimed at expediting the Agni-5’s joint R & D efforts.—Prasun K. Sengupta

128 comments:

Anonymous said...

is this the best looking man in india

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Thanx for providing the clue:

"Therefore, importing APFSDS rounds from Russia is the only option. If India were to buy such rounds from Ukraine, then the Russians would get pissed off and India does not want to do this. And Why? Take a guess, but I will give you one clue, though: why is the DRDO’s Chief Controller for Missiles and Strategic Systems & Director of the DRDO’s Advanced Systems Laboratory, Dr Avinash Chander, included in RM A K Antony’s entourage to Russia at this moment? What will he be discussing or asking for while in Moscow?" and etc.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

We must manage the various T-90 rounds in India with TOT etc, otherwise it may be a too high running cost. We have already purchased high nos of these tanks.

Anonymous said...

@ Mr.Ra 13

I think we should just make an exception and purchase the round from Israel, i mean we are already screwing with our DPP policy.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: I'll give you all another clue. This DRDO official (Dr Avinash Chander) is heading the R & D of both the Agni-5 ICBM and K-4 SLBM. True to my form, I'll give the 'desi' journalists the chance to draw first blood and am giving them another eight hours to 'break' the news--that is if they can fathom it--and even allow them to claim that they've known about this since 2009 but decided to engage in self-imposed censorship for reasons best known to them. If they still don't get it, then I'll do the honours. So, kindly do bear with me until then.

To Mr.RA 13: No one in India can do that, simply because the design parameters of the cannon have not been shared with India. Without that, no one--not even Israel--is in a position to derive the ballistics computations and range tables that are reqd for designing the ammo rounds. And as for OFB, the less said the better. A friend of mine who had in the not-too-distant-past once tendered for renting commercial cranes to an OFB factory for a finite period of time, was told by OFB officials that just for examining the cranes on-site prior to deciding on the winning tenderer, the concerned OFB officials were demanding an amount of Rs5,000 to be paid as bribe!

Anonymous said...

in moscow to collect kickback??

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Atomic Energy ,Space and DRDO scientists have been visiting Russia
for AGES .

Nothing new here

Infact It was RUSSIA which impressed upon India way back in 60s to have Strong R and D Base in these Three Critical sectors and strive for Self reliance

Therefore Today India has achieved Decent success in these three cRITICAL sectors ie Atomic Energy Space and Defence

Of course we have still a long way to go

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Yesterday You wrote that during Op Parakram we Imported 125 mm Tank APFSDS rounds from Israel

So were these for T 72 or T 90

AND the press report of yesterday is a bit confusing

CAN IMI of Israel help us in T 90 AMMO or RUSSIAN imports are the ONLY option

Austin said...

Avinash Chander to take a guess he is Agni guy so perhaps some help on Agni-5 MIRV or help on strategic nature of ICBM/SLBM project

Austin said...

Good Write up on T-90AM on FORCE magazine although some points , the T-90AM weight 48T and not 49T , another point the Bhishma is 46.5 T and AM was mentioned as 1.5 T heavier than T-90S/Bhishma.

http://gurkhan.blogspot.com/2011/09/90_7886.html

What ever happened to your MAKS show report and FGFA details you were suppose to carry this month on FORCE ?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I think, It must be MIRV for Agni-5 ICBM and K-4 SLBM.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

BTW, sorry I temporarily forgot 125 sized T-90 rounds from Israel.

I am surprised if the design parameters of the cannon, the ballistics computations and range tables required for designing the ammo rounds can not be reworked with test firing of multiple and variable test rounds within standard set conditions and then interpolating and extrapolating the results by computers with desired iterations.

Now I think the variables parameters may be so many and nos of variable test rounds required so high, that it must be cheaper to go in for import or TOT whichever suits better.

Anonymous said...

Prasun,any idea about the new pakistani Special armor on Al khalid which they are boasting so much and claiming to be immune against even Rheinmetall L55!!!!Don't know where did they find a L55 from.
Please try to throw some light.
Thanks.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.28AM: Nothing of that sort, for sure.

To Anon@10.54AM: The quantum of visits is not the issue here, but the cause for the visit.

To Anon@11.01AM: The IMI-built rounds were for the T-72 MBTs.

To Austin: You’ve come very close indeed. Will post the narrative tonight, but in a nutshell, despite two years of R & D, the DRDO has been unable to develop the terminal guidance system for the MIRVs and is therefore now knocking at Russia’s doors. Secondly, there’s the issue of R & D support concerning the TELs for the Agni-5. The FGFA & MAKS 2011 write-ups will appear in the November issue of FORCE. Now, regarding the Army’s AAA force modernization, the requirement for seeking replacements for the Bofors L-70s was drafted about six years ago and since then, the Army has zeroed in on the Skyshield. And that’s precisely why Rheinmetall Defence Systems two years ago offered the Skyshield coupled to a BMP hull to the Indian Army and has even advertised this product several times in some India-produced military-industrial magazines. Two years ago TATA Motors teamed up with Rheinmetall to offer the Skyshield on one of its heavy-duty vehicles (see: http://www.defencesolutions-tatamotors.com/pdf/tata-8x8.pdf) and also (http://www.defencesolutions-tatamotors.com/tactical/high-mobility.html). I’m pretty sure as anyone else is that TATA Motors wouldn’t have wasted money on developing such a solution had an operational reqmt not existed. As for the L-70’s Oerlikon Contraves-built Super Fledermaus fire-control radar upgraded with help from Sweden’s Ericsson, this upgrade package was rejected by Army HQ way back in 2001, while an alternate upgrade solution devised indigenously by the Army’s Corps of EME was rejected by the MoD (!) back in the early-1990s when Sharad Pawar was the Defence Minister. Smell something fishy here now?
Lastly, about the AL-31FP, Russia is supplying all the alloys related to the engine’s turbine blades and HAL has only obtained the machining technologies reqd for converting these raw materials into single-crystal turbine blades, which were shown at Aero India 2011 last February. For the Kaveri turbofan too, a similar arrangement is likely to be worked out with SNECMA Moteurs. In addition, the Kaveri’s core will be redesigned by SNECMA Moteurs and GTRE, but its in-country fabrication from externally-sourced raw materials remains a very big question mark since industrial production of such critical sections for a mere 200-odd engines is cost-prohibitive and commercially unwise. To give you an idea of how cost-prohibitive such technologies are, HAL has already told the Indian Navy that it cannot establish two separate engine intermediate overhaul centres for the LM-2500 turbines powering the Shivalik-class FFGs in both the western and eastern seaboards, as desired by the Navy. Therefore, unless there are a sufficient number of such vessels serving with the Eastern Fleet, all such vessels will have no choice but to go to the Western seaboard (for the periodic engine inspections and servicing) where a solitary engine intermediate overhaul centre now exists. The situation would have been different had both the Eastern and Western Fleets each had no less than six Project 17 FFGs.

To Mr.RA 13: Yup, importing 125mm rounds off-the-shelf from Russia for the T-90S MBT is the only logical and sensible option left.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.04PM: They're flying kites, resorting to hoodwinking and hoping no one will call their bluff.

Anonymous said...

Thanks buddy,I suspected the same too.They're also claiming that the 125 Naiza DU can penetrate the frontal turret armor of Leopard 2A7+!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Seems ur wish for airstrikes in Pakistan is not coming true.But India has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan and is likely to befriend Iran if Mr MK bhadrakumar's latest article is to be believed in a possible strategic defiance of the US.
Iran may become Delhi's silk road starting point.While Delhi also props up the Karzai regime,Pak will try to push India out.

Question is what is India's strategy towards Central Asia and why has it arrived late on the scene? what does it want there (a secure trade route? Oil&mineraal wealth? US wants the oil and to make sure it flows to Europe rather than Asia.how preposterous!!!)Your thoughts?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.55AM: I can’t remember if at any time at all I had expressed a wish for commencement of US/NATO airstrikes in Pakistan. On the ither hand, such airstrikes—albeit by Predator and Reaper UCAVs—are taking place on almost any given day, irregardless of what I wish for! Injdia’s decision to become a pro-active player in Afghan affairs cannot be construed as ‘strategic defiance’ of the US, since India herself has stated several times that the US-led NATO military presence in Afghanistan should be maintained and should not be reduced. And of course Pakistan is petrified about the emergence of a strong Afghanistan—with or without India’s help—simply because Afghanistan has always been Pakistan’s first and original enemy (from the time it opposed Pakistan’s birth in 1947 at the UN) and a strong and stable Afghanistan will always insist on redrawing the Durand Line (whose 100-year validity period had expired in 1996), which in turn will lead to the further balkanisation of Pakistan. It’s that simple. Today, Pakistan dreads this prospect more than anything else and therefore does not want either India or Iran to make any kind of contribution aimed at stabilising Afghanistan.
The reason why India took time to evolve a strategic approach to Central Asia was two-fold: firstly, the post-1990 Indian domestic political scene was volatile and lacked coherence and stability till 1995. Secondly, the Central Asian states themselves were in a state of cultural shock for almost a decade since they awoke to see the USSR die a sudden death, and at the same time they were not accepted as being part of the CIS. Looking to the future, given its civilisational legacy, India of course would like to re-establish its cultural and trade links with the CARs, something the CARs also are bound to relish.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

It is a wait and watch situation at present.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/27/pakistan-on-brink-as-imams-call-for-jihad/?test=latestnews#ixzz1ZFj8T600

The Pakistani scholars have urged the Pakistani government to end the country’s role in the war on terrorism and to try to establish a new international bloc made up of China, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan."

So at least the idea of another Grand Alliance is on the cards. And Iran can be expected on all such lists.

These fools are hoping that the Turkey can either control or pacify the Northern Alliance of Afghanistan and China can open its road to Iran and Arab through POK.

The real deciding factor is to see whether US is willing to withstand the existing pressure or not. On its own peoples front at home and the economy and the home politics, this all may not be fully conducive for their prolonged stay. Their will to stay stems only from a singular factor that they are a superpower and have some commitments to this cause and to the world, whatever it means. So actually they seem to be choosing the middle path as a measure of self compromise i.e. partial and gradual withdrawal. Actually at this juncture any such proposal sends a wrong signal to the Taliban and its proponents for further consolidating their strengths and areas of operations.

I think if Pakistan happens to survive this imbroglio, then it is certainly going to be more powerful and dangerous.

Afghanistan minus Taliban is generally on the side of India. The killing of Rabbani has put a stamp to it. The situation is such that India has to come up in a cool and assertive way and take initiatives with all positively concerned powers like US, Russia, CIS, CAR, borders states etc to curb the pro paki Talibans. Otherwise with any Talibani victory, India is finally going to get surrounded from all the sides on the lands in a strangulation mode.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: Well analysed indeed. It will be well nigh impossible for the Turks to play a decisive role, since Iran is quite capable of overcoming any kind of Turkish influence. In addition, Iran steadfastly remains focussed on any kind of duplicity to be engaged in by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-Islamic Republic of Pakistan combine. For the Mullahs of Pakistan it is always about the triumph of Sunni-led Jihad and this is where they will be decisively defeated not just by Iran, but also by an alliance of convenience between the various Central Asian Republics, albeit prodded by the likes of Russia and India. For the US, I don’t see it retreating or disengaging admidst a strategic stalemate in Afghanistan, for if it were to do so, then an emboldened ‘coalition of the Sunnis’ will definitely to stage a 9/11 redux on US soil. If pragmatism prevails, as I believe it will, the US—just like what it did after 9/11—will acquiesce to an Iran willing to play a decisive role along with a coalition of the CARs, Russia, India and an Afghanistan-minus-Taliban, thereby ensuring a satisfactory if not perfect end-game inside Afghanistan. And knowing the Chinese, they will only look at developments through their mercantile eyes. In addition, if the Saudi-Pak combine were to triumph and facilitate Chinese access to Central Asia and West Asia, then India will be forced to engage the US in a much tighter embrace (as persistently advocated by the Japanese and some ASEAN member-states), which will make China extremely uncomfortable and weary. In conclusion, therefore, the China-Pak-Saudi combine is likely to be outmanoeuvred, both quantitatively and qualitatively—a prospect the Chinese—given their Confucian ethics—will never entertain.

Austin said...

@Parasun:

On SCB: If the alloys are imported from Russia and HAL using machine from OEM makes SCB then why cant they make SCB for Kaveri using the same process why do we now need to go to french for SCB technology when we have paid and procured the technology , BTW why alloys need to be imported cant they be procured from locally sourced raw materials?

Another related question is how does TOT works in general and how does TOT help/benefits other projects and defence industry in general ?

On LM2500 : I think the key problem here and generally speaking with the indian armed forces is lack of standardisation , the Navy uses LM series engine for some indian design frigates ,all destroyers and russian frigates uses Ukraine/Russian engine and when you end up with multiple types there is hardly any incentive to build over haul centers at two location as its cost prohibitive.

Some how indian forces have shyed away from standardisation i fell hence we end up with multiple types of BVR,WVR,A2G Missiles ,dumb/smart bombs , naval missiles etc etc the list is never ending. Many people generally find it cool that we use stuff from East and West but in the end with such an approach you end up spending more on procuring,maintaining,training,spares,life cycle support etc and with the budget we have we get far less then what we could have got with standardisation. As an example I am fairly certain not even the richest airforce in the world operates the number/types of BVR we do which eventually will see R-77,MICA,Derby and Astra for different types of aircraft we operate.

BTW why do you think we are now ordering far more number of single seater PAK-FA/FGFA compared to twin seater as confirmed by Air Chief ,all reports so far indicated the number of twin seater will be far higher and single seater will be in token numbers and now its reversed ?

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun,

Thanx for the interesting article.

I just read an article about a new uranium enrichment facility which is shown in google earth pics. What is the status of our enrichment facilities ? How much warhead we can produce annually and how much we are producing?

How big is this new enrichment facilities ? I also heard somewhere that we have bigger facilities but we are not utilizing them fully, any comment on this ?

Also i read a report on our thorium reactors according to which it would generate a large amount of weapons grade nuke material and that the testing facilities in TN and BARC are already generating them. Any truth in this ?

How many SSBN and SSN sanctioned by GOI ? Are all the 3-4 subs in Arihant class of the same size or later ones will be bigger ?

Any chances of us developing 8000 km range SLBM getting sanctioned by GOI? Is there a secret longer range Surya ICBM project ?

Is India going to develop ASAT tech ?

Whats the progress of IAI/DRDO UAV project based on chetak helicopter ?

Anonymous said...

Are we building some UAV or UCAV with Russia ?

Are we also building some second medium or light category 5th gen fighter with Russia ?

Has India shown some interest in the new gen helicopter projects in russia like Ka90 or Ka92 ?

Whats the progress of indigenous fighter jet based aesa radar ?

Recent reports shows we don't have radar coverage in NE and air defence capabilities are also weak in NE. Any plans to solve this problem ?

Will Pipavav and L&T be able to get the pie from scorpene project, 7 P17a frigate or 4 P15a destroyer or ATV project ?

Will there be tie-up of private companies with GRSE and CSL ?

Is IA purchasing Skyshield ? If yes What are they replacing ?

Is India ever going to purchase kevlar jackets and helmets for our soldiers ?

Anonymous said...

how good is SD-10/PL-12?

Anonymous said...

how good is KJ-2000 when compared to Indian AEW&C

Anonymous said...

Prasun K. Sengupta any details about this ??

http://www.forceindia.net/Octimages/1,500%20tonne%20stealth.jpg

What kind of SAM is it carrying?

Is it carrying 30 SAM ?

Anonymous said...

After reading this article, it seems russia is the father of the indian nuclear deterence/technology. How is this different to chinese help to pakistan? Is the difference in price Prasun? The great SSN seems to have been a still birth, the fan fare using russian fireworks. Its like developing a car with no engine, no suspension, ummm.

It seems asia will continnue to get more and more dangerous. Pakistani news leaks also point to MIRV technology being pusued for the past 3-4yrs. And the fact that they are likely to purchase the double hulled chinese subs which will be able to fire 2k range cruise missiles. Which will be more potent? and cheaper?

Another point which is interesting, it seems that india to this day still cannot make the 125mm round for it fleet of tanks but POF not only make those but export them as well.

China and Russia are both making serious money from pakistan and india respectively. Who is getting the better deal and really upping their capabilities?

saurav jha said...

http://russianplanes.net/images/to56000/055905.jpg

Seems like a new Picture of Mig-1.44.
Is the project still ON ..? Any chance of ADA and Mig collaborating for AMCA ..?

xoxo said...

^^ just a joke above.

On a serious note, I remember asking before in your old blog and you told me that a reactor for the nuclear ice breakers would work perfectly fine as the design is the same, only the mounting and re-circulation system would need some modification which Russia is making anyway. But now you seem to suggest otherwise when you say that fuel rods are yet to be loaded.

Do you at this juncture that Arihant would become an operational SSBN/SSKN/SSN with the Navy, a departure from your earlier stand of it being a technology demonstrator?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

sir i Have few questions to ask u
1.Is India Planning to keep Mig-29 UPG or MI-17 Helos in Ayni airbase in Tajikistan or has india already kept some special forces there. There are lot of confusing reports appearing in indian media.And that considering Hon. defense Min on trip to Russia did visit there imply that there are indian military personnel active there?


2. Why is it That all of the successive chief of army staff NC Vij,JJ Singh,Deepak kapoor and VK singh are all the alumnus of NDA. I mean why IMA is no where in picture when it comes to this top post. Interestingly almost all the COAS were from in 1990 were from IMA. why so ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AUSTIN: The quest for SCB can be divided into two parts: acquisition of the alloy as raw material; and obtaining the finished product through machining processes. In terms of what HAL has received from Russia, both the alloy (raw material) and machining equipment are, contractually, meant only for the AL-31FP and RD-33-3 turbofans. Neither the alloy nor the machining hardware can be diverted for any other usage. The engine cores for both Russian turbofan types are coming directly from Russia as off-the-shelf components for final assembly. These are the terms and conditions of the contract between India’s MoD and Rosoboronexport State Corp. Consequently, employing any kind of Russian resources—hardware or intellectual property—for the Kaveri project doesn’t even arise. Coming now to the GTRE-SNECMA Moteurs alliance for developing the 98kN-thrust Kaveri for the Tejas Mk2, the same types of terms and conditions (as applied for the Russian turbofans) will apply, i.e. any production-engineering technology applied on the Kaveri will not be allowed to cross-over to any other turbofan R & D programme, unless the same industrial alliance is involved. Therefore, this amounts to nothing more than ToT of just screwdriver tec hnologies that are specific to a particular end-product, and are therefore not universally applicable. No one in this world will every willingly part with cutting-edge technologies like development and production of alloys for SCB and engine cores. The only way to break free of such limitations is to enhance one’s own R & D base through allocation of far greater resources than the peanuts now being invested by MIDHANI, GTRE, etc. How ToT works in general? I’ve already explained that in: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.com/2011/05/dassault-aviations-tot-offers-for.html
On the LM-2500 issue, things could have been better had the Indian Navy ordered a total of six or even nine Project 17 FFGs to achieve economies of scale in terms of product-support. Production of just three such warships actually is a loss-making exercise, since the sunken R & D costs will never ever be amortised. In terms of standardisation of hardware, the HQ IDS is trying hard to implement some innovative proposals regarding common-user items, such as the procurement of Akash E-SHORADS for both the Army and IAF, and the Barak-2/8 MR-SAM/LR-SAM for all three armed services. I agree that procurement of differing BVRAAMs for each aircraft-type is a wasteful exercise and is reflective of Cold War-era thinking. Regarding the order-book for 166 single-seat FGFAs and 48 tandem-seaters, it is indicative of the IAF’s preference for dividing the orders between ‘swing-role’ and ‘dual-role’ variants, i.e. although the single-seaters will be capable of air combat and air-to-ground precision strikes, they will be tasked with a single role during a particular sortie, whereas the tandem-seaters will be tasked with performing either both roles in a single sortie or performing multiple roles in a single sorties, like acting as tactical command-and-control/airborne battle management platforms for a particular mission. Therefore, a typical strike sortie could include six FGFAs of which three could be armed with air-to-ground PGMs, two with BVRAAMs, and the sole tandem-seater—also armed with BVRAAMs—acting as the mission commander and tactical air controller. In fact, this model will also be applied to the M-MRCAs procurement programme as well as for the Super Su-30MKI programme. For the latter, while all Su-30MKis will be equipped with X-band AESA-MMRs, only up to 70 Su-30MKIs (flying as mission commanders and tactical air controllers) will incorporate the wing- and tail-mounted L-band AESA radars.

Austin said...

Thanks for your detailed response and clarification on TOT issue.

Regarding standardisation I have yet too see some one take series view on this barring few exception , standardisation some to be the exception not the rule , so the fascination is to acquire the latest and greatest weapons out there and if its end up standardising as a bi-product of the decision made then well and good.

Probably one of the few disadvantage of buying from multiple vendors is that you are some how forced to use some of their weapons BVR is one example.

What about the other naval ships like NOPV , P-28 and Coast Guard vessel havent they been standardised on LM2500 considering they could have a good beginning out of it.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.25PM: India’s uranium enrichment facilities are only meant for producing the fuel for the country’s projected fleet of nuclear-powered submarines (up to three SSBNs and up to nine SSNs). AS for the FBRs using thorium, they won’t be used for n-weaponisation purposes. The follow-on SSBNs will be larger in size, as I’ve already said above. Check out the third pix from top. If credible survivable sea-based n-deterrence is to be sought, then there is no other option but to develop a 8,500km-range SLBM as publicly stated by former CNS Admiral (Ret’d) Arun Prakash. Development of BMD and ASAT technologies are going hand-in-hand. The HAL/IAI project to develop the NRUAV exists on paper and so far no tangible progress has taken place, maybe due to HAL’s financial and human resource constraints.

To Anon@2.30PM: No, no one in India is building any UAVs or UCAVs with Russia’s help. The same goes for any second Gen 5 combat aircraft. No interest either in the Ka-90 or Ka-92. Nothing is happening about the indigenous AESA-MMR, since a strategic risk-sharing foreign industrial partner has not yet been chosen by the DRDO. It remains to be seen if the AESA-MMR on board the selected M-MRCA will also go on the Tejas Mk2 & LCA (Navy) Mk2 as part of an indirect industrial offsets package. There is long-range airspace surveillance radar coverage over the North East. What’s missing are the gapfiller radars and these THALES-built GS-100 radars have already begun arriving from France. Pipavav is already acting as a subcontractor for the six Scorpene SSKs being assembled by MDL. Depending on which private-sector company is allowed to team up with which DPSU shipyard, the benfits will flow from the P-15A, P-17A and LPH construction programmes. Even GRSE, GSL and CSL will be allowed to choose their private-sector shipbuilding partners. The Skyshield, if procured, will replace the existing L-70/Super Fledermaus AAA system.

To Anon@3.31PM & 3.32PM: You tell me!

To Anon@3.37PM: That’s the 1,500-tonne stealth corvette which is likely to be procured for the Pakistan Navy from China. It will have the 35km-range vertically-launched LY-80N E-SHORADS.

Austin said...

Prasun , I am fairly certain a single crew can still do the dual task of Air Defence and Ground Attack if required to do in a single sortie and all modern fighters like Rafale,Su-35,JSF , Typhoon have single seater option and most of the procured variant in case dual seat is available too has been single seater.

A dual seater is probably more useful for long sortie lasting for couple of hours where stress of long flying and fighting can take its toll a reason why tactical bombers like F-111 and Su-34 have dual seater and so goes for other sem-strategic and strategic bombers.

For most task performed by multi-role fighter performed these days for most of time i think a single seater would suffice hence they are mostly opted by air forces.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.52PM: If one’s talking of the genesis of India’s n-weapons programme, then it is the US and Canada, and not the former USSR or Russia that’s the ‘father’ of India’s nuclear-related expertise in any field. It all starts with a) creating and nurturing a trained pool of skilled human resources, and b) providing the means for securing the raw materials and final machined end-products like fissile cores. And since all these were achieved between the 1950s and 1970s, neither the former USSR nor present-day Russia could have played a big role during that timeframe. Pakistan’s case is altogether different since it has resorted to wholescale importation of fully developed end-products, thereby bypassing the raw materials processing/procurement stage. The ‘Arihant’ isn’t still-born, a fact which I’ll explain below a bit later. And it is not Pakistan that’s pursuing the development of MIRV technologies; all that it is pursuing is negotiations with its principal OEM and supplier for equipping its M-18/Shaheen-2s with MIRV warheads AND ALSO getting these missiles cannisterised. India’s OFB has been producing 125mm rounds for the T-72s for almost 20 years. POF exporting 125mm rounds or offering to export them? Who are the buyers thus far?

To Saurav Jha: It may well be a new picture of the MiG-1.44, but had it been the subject of cooperation between ADA and RAC-MiG then that aircraft would have been inside a hangar at a flight-test facility, instead of basking under Russia’s autumm sunshine, don’t you think?

To Xoxo: When I said “that fuel rods are yet to be loaded”, I had also stated that this was the situation prevailing 11 months ago! Right now, there are no problems with the PWR and there was never any problem with it in the first place. The most challenging and complex portion of the n-propulsion system is not the reactor, but the heat-exchanger and its related piping. If at all the ‘Arihant’ is to proceed on n-deterrent patrols as the lead boat of a class of SSBNs, then it will have to be armed with decent ALBMs like the K-4, and not the K-15. And so far, there’s no evidence of any sort to indicate that the K-4 will be available for deployment before 2016. Consequently, until then at least, the ‘Arihant’ will stay on as a technology demonstrator.

To Anon@11.45PM: The Ayni air base will house about three Mi-17s that will be employed for casualty evacuation from the military field hospital at Farkhor. There’s no reqmt for basing any kind of combat aircraft at Ayni. So of course Indian military personnel (from the Army and IAF) will be at both Ayni and Farkhor. If I’m not mistaken, even after graduating from the NDA, an officer has to proceed to IMA.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AUSTIN: Gas turbines are usually employed for high-speed cruise of the kind not done by AOPVs, logistics vessels, and coastal ASW patrol corvettes. FFGs, DDGs, aircraft carriers and high-speed hovercraft are more suitable for using gas turbines. Regarding dual tasking of air superiority and precision ground strike by a single aircrew, yes it is possible if done sequentially, but not simultaneously or concurrently. Aircrew of the F/A-22A Raptor who’ve flown the F/A-18F Super Hornet have already explained in great detail how interleaved missions (air superiority, precision ground strike and airspace situational awareness monitoring for SEAD missions) are possible with the latter, and not with the former, given the obvious biological limitations. In addition, the growing density and sophistication of ground-based air-defences imposes an additional responsibility on the aircrew, which a single pilot will not be able to cope with. Even for tactical missions against a densely defended target, both precision strike and SEAD/DEAD operations are best done concurrently by a tandem-seater, which is why only the tandem-seat Rafales are armed with SCALP ALCMs. The four European air forces on the other hand have chosen another formula—employ single-seat EF-2000 Typhoons that are role-configured, i.e. in a particular sortie some are tasked with precision strikes only, while others are tasked with air superiority or SEAD/DEAD. The game-changer has always been AESA-based MMRs and distributed-array AESAs—areas in which the US, French and the Russians have been the pioneers. Therefore, if one has access to aircraft configured with distributed AESA arrays (as in case of the FGFA & Super Su-30MKI), a tandem-seater can do much more in a single sortie than a single-seater, which consequently translates into a lesser number of aircraft being committed for a mission.

Anonymous said...

Thanx Prasun for the reply.

I wanted to know whether Pipavav or LnT will be given chance to make atleast 1 warship or submarine in Project 17a, Project 15b or Scorpene ?

Will the Super Sukhoi be having lesser RCS ? How less ? Any plans for internal weapons bays or internal weapons like in F15 silent eagle ?

Any news on how new NAMICA looks ? Is it still based on BMP2 or platform is also changed ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

That depends on how the MoD frames its policy on joint-sector shipbuilding. No one can say now who will team up with whom. The Super Sukhoi will indeed have RCS reduction features much like what will eventually end up on the FGFA. Internal weapons bays in the belly section are a possibility. The NAMICA is still using the BMP platform.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Complications for multirole fighter aircraft are increasing so rapidly, that instead of putting three seated pilots, they are opting for zero seated pilots for the sixth generation crafts. Lol...

Anonymous said...

Should India in future/near future think of nuclear powered aircraft carrier? If yes, would it make sense for Nimitz class carriers which may be decommisioned by US Navy because of budget cuts in defence?

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

i would like to give my assertions to some of the points

1. VK Sarawat & Avinash Chander are intentionally creating a ambiguity about the K-4/Agni 5 as well as MIRVs, while a certain lady is quietly taking the project ahead, its only matter of time before K-4 is tested and its logical to think that first let K-4 happen then we can talk about the 8000 km K-4 II

2. I think they will have to create a hump behind the coning tower just like Project 667BDR SSBNs

3. Whether liquid or solid stages, I believe the Agni 5/K-4 will be designed along the lines of Agni II Prime

4. For the last 2 points it all depends on which political party would like to bell the cat

just one question if India can develop its own TELs for Prahaar then is there a problem for doing the same for Agni/K4

hope to get replies

thanks

Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...

Did defence minister talked about purchase of new t90AM ?

What did they really talked about regarding t90s ?

What are the new purchases in radars and SAM ?

Any news on the purchase of assault rifles and laptops, palmtops etc. for indian army as part of FINSAS ?

Any news on FINSAS ?

And please post the arjun mk2 pics as soon as you are allowed...

Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,
I heard that IN has plans to field 6-8 SSBNs by 2025 or so.Is that true??
Besides,do you expect the Arjun MkII to be inducted into IA panzer corps in large numbers??
Don't you think that the AAD and PDV should now be tested against the Agni I MRBMs??That way the DRDO can also check if the Sword Fish MkII is able to track and engage the solid fueled ballistic missiles that enjoy much higher terminal velocity or not.What's your take on that??

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Ur take on a possible Syrian war.

Russia and China joining hands(more energy/military)after Putin is elected.

Your view on the Eurasian union?and its ability to act against EU and US

Anonymous said...

What are the chances of IN going for a 60-65 kT design for IAC-2,3? ..Are there any plans to upgrade existing yards or collaborate with private companies like Pipavav to build AcC?

Secondly what is the use of Kaveri if Tejas are not going to use it at all and MCA is not on the cards? Are they (IAF/MoD) serious about this engine or is it just a placebo of the DRDO?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.49AM: If the Indian navy dercides to go for super-carriers displacing above 60,000 tonnes, then nuclear-powered aircraft carrier would make sense. However, present-day thinking in Navy HQ is that the bIndian navy does not require aircraft carriers displacing more than 44,500 tonnes and as such these vessels could easily be powered by four gas turbines.

To Joydeep Ghosh: After what I’ve posted above (my narrative), I very much doubt if there’s any ambiguity about wither the K-4 or Agni-5. The disclosure of Dr Avinash Chander’s inclusion in RM A K Antony’s delegation was neither a mistake nor an oversight. Rather, it was deliberate and intentional by all accounts. And the one taking the projects ahead is not a lady, but the present NSA P Shivshanker Menon, to whom the likes of Dr V K Saraswat (from DRDO) and Srikumar Banerjee (from the DAE) report. The first and second stages of both the K-4 and Agni-5 will be powered by solid-propellant rockets, but the third and terminal stages will be powered by liquid-fuel rockets for greater manoeuvrability. Political parties as such have no differing approaches when it comes to such issues. As for TELs, the one for the Prahaar is an imported TATRA vehicle that is licence-assembled by BEML. As of now, there’s no indigenous technological solution available as far as 16 x 16 mobile autonomous launch vehicles go. Therefore, foreign R & D support or mentoring is imperative. While the likes of BEML could consequently produce such vehicles, the hermetically sealed cannisters and their electro-hydraulic erection mechanisms could come from the likes of Walchandnagar Industries.

To Anon@6.55PM: The upcoming T-90S upgrade and future T-90AM MBT procurements were both decided upon three years ago and that’s why Indian Army & MoD officials were invited early last month to get a first-hand feel of the T-90AM. Check out the following px:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eAIXcuWrOGk/TnDtqx01aMI/AAAAAAAAAbU/KE73igbrqcU/s1600/%2528110912131407%2529_IMG_3063.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-q_b8B4ENTgU/TotaqvW9kPI/AAAAAAAAAvw/iWtIKqTOJjU/s1600/DSC_4081.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-L4670uUjHVE/TotarTVpN_I/AAAAAAAAAv0/l6HmuqmvvrM/s1600/DSC_4248.jpg

Other than cooperation on strategic weapon systems, the principal topic of discussion was the joint development of the IL-214 MRTA, whose progress has fallen behind schedule due to various bureaucratic hiccups on both sides. There are no new purchases of radars and SAMs. Palmtops and ruggedised laptops have already been procured in large numbers from both local OEMs and foreign vendors, but they will be networked only after the operating protocols of the F-INSAS project are put in place.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anurag: I have already posted a new visual above (taken from a UPA govt pamphlet published last year) that says that only up to four SSBNs will be built (although only three have been financially sanctioned thus far. But, interestingly, for protecting the SSBN fleet while at sea, the Navy will also be acquiring up to nine SSNs and my informed guess is that the design for these will be derived from that of the Project 885 Yasen-class SSGN. The only difference will be that the Yasen-class SSGN will be armed with P-800 Oynx (Yakhont) missiles, while the Indian version of the SSGN will have on board the BrahMos. Regarding the Arjun Mk2, present plans of Army HQ call for a projected fleet of 600 Arjun Mk2, PROVIDED everything goes ahead as planned with the user-assisted field trials/evaluations. But the variant that is likely to be procured in far larger numbers will be the Arjun Mk3 FMBT. The growth version of the ELM-2080 Green Pine LRTR has been available since 2008. What now needs to be tested are the PDV and AAD-2 versions of interceptors equipped with imported imaging infra-red terminal guidance sensors.

To Anon@11.42PM: No, I don’t foresee a civil war breaking out in Syria. As for Russia-China relations, they will continue to be of a mercantile nature. The traditional mistrust between the two still persists and that’s why both the Russians and Chinese continue to develop and field ever heavier MBTs, for instance. Afterall, Russia itself has stated that it longer faces a conventional threat from NATO (thanks to the CFE Treaty) while China too does not regard Japan as its mortal enemy. If that’s the case, why are both Russia and China beefing up their respective ground forces with heavy MBTs and long-range field artillery systems like MBRLs and NLOS-BSMs? This much is also sure: Russia-China military-industrial cooperation too has registered a steep decline, and is unlikely to go on an upward curve in future. And as for the proposed Eurasian Union, this is much easier said than done, since Russia has a lot more to do in terms of improving its transportation infrastructure in its Far East and until that happens, Russia cannot label itself as a Eurasian power, despite possessing a Eurasian landmass. What Russia ought to do as a first step is to help the Central Asian Republics to stand on their own feet, possibly in cooperation with India and Japan, before unveilling the more ambitious agenda of a Eurasian Union. In addition, the Russian economy will be far too dependent on Europe and North America for the next 50 years, and its ethnic, cultural and religious ties to Europe remain as strong as ever, and therefore to even think of a Eurasian Union being set up to compete against the US and EU is preposterous, to say the least.

To Anon@11.42PM: Have already answered your first question above. As for the existing Kaveri turbofan, there are several potential uses for it. It can be used as a marine industrial gas turbine by ONGC and other oil exploration companies, it can also be used for powering locomotives and warships of various types (from FFGs to DDGs and guided-missile corvettes), it can also be used as a multi-fuel engine for captive powerplants in remore regions of the country, especially after natural calamities, and lastly, it can be used for powering HALE-UAVs and UCAVs, for which there will be huge demand from India’s armed forces for the next two decades.

Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,many thanks.By the way,are you a former Indian Army private or an officer??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anuragt: None of the above. But have had combat experience.

Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,
Great!!Where....in Sri Lanka??Man you should post some stories of your exploits!!
By the way,how is your helicopter transport project going in NE??Wishing you best of luck on that pal.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

HiPrasun,
Strayingg off topic again.Would like to know from ur imagination the possibilities the Russian federation and Iran have with respect to acting as a land bridge b/w Europe and Asia(India,china,Midle east)and the benefits they will enjoy.Some of the prereqs will be improving Rail, road infra(Guage conversion, Russian Rail already implementing IT solns from IBM(mainframes) i read 2yrs back)Apart from tat customs reforms could do a lot.Why did not the Soviets think of this? An underground bridge from shakalin to Hokkaido to connect Japan. Rail link through NK to S.Korea

The US obviously sees this as a threat and siince it cant stop this happening,wants to control this 'silk route'and wants o extract concessions elsewhere in letting this happen.

Brighter prospects for China and Russia,turkey,iran if trade through land routes(shorter journey time cmprd to shipping)and movement of ppl b/w asia and EU(High speed trains) would bring great economic growth here while the US is left oout.

Dont u AGREE?

soumyadip said...

^^^^
hmmmmmm...maybe you r from some intelligence department.the kind of info u provide(considering they r accurate)needs good connections.....well sir...keep up the good work

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Please clarify a parameter/data which baffles me during comparison of Mig-27 Vs Jaguar.

I mean why the Mig-27 with 1.7 times more power than Jaguar has the lower Hardpoints capacity of only 4000 Kg as compared to 4500 Kg capacity of Jaguar.

If this is related to the different empty weights, even then it may not solve the puzzle and then what is the use of higher empty weight. Kindly reply your opinion.

Mig-27:
Empty weight: 11,908 kg (26,253 lb)
Loaded weight: 20,300 kg (44,800 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 20,670 kg (45,570 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Khatchaturov R-29B-300 afterburning turbojet
Dry thrust: 78.5 kN (17,650 lbf)
Thrust with afterburner: 112.8 kN (25,360 lbf)
Maximum speed:
at sea level: Mach 1.10 (1,350 km/h, 839 mph)
at 8,000-metre altitude (26,250 ft): Mach 1.77 (1,885 km/h)
Hardpoints: One centerline, four fuselage, and two wing glove pylons with a capacity of 4,000 kg (8,800 lb)

Jaguar:
Empty weight: 7,000 kg (15,432 lb)
Loaded weight: 10,954 kg (24,149 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 15,700 kg (34,612 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca Adour Mk 102 turbofans
Dry thrust: 22.75 kN (5,115 lbf) each
Thrust with afterburner: 32.5 kN (7,305 lbf) each
Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 (1,699 km/h, 917 knots, 1,056 mph) at 11,000 m (36,000 ft)
Hardpoints: 5 total: 4× under-wing and 1× center-line pylon stations with a capacity of 10,000 lb (4,500 kg)

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anurag: Not exploits in the real sense of the term, but yes, there are several tri-services special operations that were mounted from late 1987 that have yet to be revealed, in addition to the following: what exactly was Mrs Indira Gandhi's elaborate contingency plan for military intervention in Sri Lanka, who were the strategic and operational planners, what went wrong (the disconnect) when Rajiv Gandhi was the PM, what really happened during Ex Brass Tacks and at Sumdurong Chu in 1986-1987, how the Indian Army has scripted its OP-PLAN for a two-front war as far back as 1987 (which was to have culminated in EX BRASS BOARD), and what was the role played by the Indian navy which led to the ultimate defeat of the LTTE.
The utility helicopter charter service project is now awaiting the FIPB's approval. VMT and I too wish you all the very best in all your future endeavours.

To Soumyadip: No, I'm not in the payroll of any such dept, domestic or foreign, although from time to time they have knocked at my doors, mostly for help in figuring out the obvious because, as you may be well aware, common sense and logical reasoning have become the rarest of the rare virtues. Take, for instance, the visit to Moscow of Dr Avinash Chander. All I did was not reveal any state secret, but just explained how to connect the dots.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: My dear ol'chap, you may have overlooked the fact that the MiG-27M has a six-barrel rotary cannon which, when fired, causes the MiG-27M's cruise speed to be reduced by as much as 22 Knots! The MiG-27M, like the MiG-23BN, was conceived as a tank-killer way before the advent of the Su-25and was therefore required to survive dense AAA fire-assaults. And that was precisely the reason why pilots of the MiG-23BN and MiG-27M were seated inside a cockpit compartment that has been likened to an 'armoured bathtub'.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.21AM: To me it appears that Russia is likely to remain for Euro-centric for the foreseeable future, while China will be more anxious to build the railway-based land bridge via Iran and up to Turkey. But all kinds of transportation systems face some kind of threats and a land bridge is no exception. China is also very much interested in building a land transportation corridor linking the Persian Gulf, and especially Iran, with the Chinese mainland, especially since Baluchistan continues to be in a highly volatile state and maybe that’s the reason why Chinese investments in Gwadar have slowed down. The US is unlikely to see all this as a threat to its national security, unless China in future provides WMDs off-the-shelf to Iran just as it did to Pakistan.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

"But have had combat experience"- I guess that is in the realm of verbal combat? I ean a pen is mightier than a sword!Lol

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Mr.Ra 13: No, real blood-n-guts combat, not verbal combat.

Anonymous said...

Whats the progress on expansion of IA aviation wing ? I heard IAF wants full control of SPACE COMMAND in return of giving its monopoly on choppers, i think its a nice deal.

Is there a K-5 missile in k series ? Also is there a Surya ICBM ?

Is home ministry thinking of purchasing transport and surviellance chopper or they will stay dependent on IAF ?

Any new info on AMCA and AURA projects.

Anonymous said...

sir when we will get to about the mmrca winner....some media reports are saying that it will be out any time....!!!???

sir any progress on the indian multirole helicopter....??

sir why isn't india going into a jv with russia for heli like ka 92 ng choppers ??instead going for development for slower and lesser range rbs limited helis...

i guess we are going for something that is even inferior than the mi17sv5 that we are getting now since OAF has asked for 3.5 paylaod capacity heli for the imrh...

Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,
Dada,ki korle!!lolzz!!
Now the Pakistanis are getting our head off in every defence forum.
'India uses russian junks','India can't make anything'and what not!!
Khub baje kintu still you are great.
Regards.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Thanx for your kind explanation regarding Mig-27 Vs Jaguar for heavy cannon and 'armoured bathtub'.

soumyadip said...

sir....

off the topic question but since u mentioned it....that is the role played by indian navy in defeating ltte......i recall reading somewhere(can not recall exactly where)there was one episode where a ltte logistical support ship was detected and its movement was tracked sixteen hundred miles away off the coast of Australia.....and since Srilanka do not have that kind of surveillance capability......do you think it was the indian navy who helped them extensively in the field of intelligence gathering........

soumyadip said...

sir....

i meant sixteen hundred miles away from srilanka...close to Australia

Anonymous said...

Anurag,

Your super Arjun MBT has already been stripped here....

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?203498-Arjun-lining-up-to-be-world-s-most-expensive-tank!!

So why don't you come over here and share your expertise and prove that Arjun MK1 is superior.

Also bring along any solid data that can confirm what all kinds of ammo was used to test the Kanchan armor.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Prasun, can you please explain why Tata / Ashok Leyland cannot develop an 8x8 vehicle? All we need here is an uprated cummins engine (That Ashok Leyland already manufactures) and the necessary hydraulics, which as you said is manufactured by Walchandnagar Industries. Infact Walchandnagar even does gearboxes. Backup generators for the hydraulic lift system, if required can come from Kirloskar Industries. I don't understand why do we need MAZ trucks from Russia.

SK said...

Prasun on completely different track. I constantly read reports that during winters in Kashmir Highways are closed due to snow fall (Even after 60+ years of independence). Considering the today's available construction technology why doesn't the IA construct tunnels ? Not just the Jammu-Srinagar Highway but also at vulnerable points as well.(I have never been to Kashmir,so my topographical knowledge is amateurish at best) I understand there will be considerable challenges with mountains & valleys + seismic activity thrown in. Cost involved will also be high. But in the long term I feel its certainly worth it. A highway open 365 days,immune from Artillery shellings, covering military movement from any spy sat's or HALE UAVs. Even in worst case scenario should a nuke be used then there reinforced tunnels can act as fallback shelters. The project can be taken up in Phased manner like the Delhi Metro, reusing the TBM's etc to save cost. And in open valleys where bridges are present IA can easily go for a combination of Skyshield and Iron Dome. It might take 10 years or more but the bottle neck will be permanently removed. Same can also be done in Arunachal Pradesh. Whats your view on this.
Secondly any info on the status of IA's requirement of light tanks for the north-east ? It was said the Swedish CV90 is a good contender. If and when acquired how many will be acquired ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.25AM: The Indian Army’s Aviation Corps is not being expanded, but upgraded. The Aerospace Command should be a tri-services command, with the IAF and Navy accounting for ther bulk of this Command’s human resources since these two armed services have much more experience than the Army when it comes to over-the-horizon communications and targetting capabilities. Call it K-4 Mk2 or K-5, the targetted goal is to develop a SLBM with 8,000+km range. Union Home Ministry’s BSF already has about Mi-171 helicopters, and may well get some of the medium-range twin-turboprop transports that will be acquired to replace the existing HS-748 Avros of the IAF. But what the BSF, SSB, ITBP, CRPF and CISF require most urgently are mini-UAVs and MALE-UAVs.

To Anon@10.14AM: If all goes well, then by this December one will come to know about the M-MRCA winner. There’s been no progress on the IMRH. It would make sense to co-develop such a helicopter with a foreign strategic partner and the Ka-92 is a futuristic design definitely worth looking into. But, as you may be aware, HAL being a MoD-owned DPSU, crucial decisions take a long time to be taken. Thus, till today, HAL has been unable to deliver versions of the Dhruv ALH equipped with fly-
by-wire or fly-by-light flight control systems. Such variants could easily have been developed in partnership with India’s private-sector aerospace companies. The same goes for the LCH, which should have had a fly-by-wire flight control system from the very outset.

To Anurag: Really? If indeed India was buying Russian junk then by now Pakistan would not have been struggling to maintain strategic parity with India at all costs; instead Pakistan would have dominated India in every sphere of military affairs and would have stopped calling India a regional bully a long time ago. And if indeed what Russia is exporting is ‘junk’ then what about all the RD-95 turbofans (for the JF-17) and Mi-171s bought by Pakistan so far? Are they also not junk? The RD-95 turbofan is a piece of junk in reality, and belongs to the same generation of turbofans which powered the MiG-29B-12s of the IAF. Therefore, in reality, while the IAF is now replacing such ‘junk’ with new-generation RD-33-3 turbofans on the MiG-29UPGs, this very ‘junk’ is now entering service with the JF-17s! Add to that the several performance deficiencies associated with the Ukraine-supplied air-cooled diesel engines powering the Al Khalid and T-80UD MBTs, and you’ll realise which country—India or Pakistan—is inducting ‘junk’ hardware.

To Soumyadip: The Indian Navy indeed put to good use its long-distance strategic SIGINT capabilities (thanks to its Heron UAVs) to locate the dispositions of the LTTE’s eight floating bases (cargo vessels stocked with arms and ammo and prepositioned in an arc in the southern Indian Ocean) and gave the OPVs/AOPVs to the Sri Lanka Navy for destroying all eight of the LTTE-owned cargo vessels. Once the weapons resupply network of the LTTE was destroyed in detail, then it was only a matter of time before mopping-yp operations could commence on the ground. But prior to that the Indian Navy had by late 1987 virtually decimated the LTTE’s Sea Tigers and related naval vessels in a 2-week long operation that has not yet received any publicity thus far.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: of course either TATA Motors or Ashok Leyland can develop and produce 8 x 8 or even 16 x 16 vehicles. But for what? That’s the question to be answered, especially since there are PSUs like BEML that will perpetually demand special favours from the MoD and therefore both TATA Motors and Ashok Leyland will be given step-brotherly treatment even despite a competitive tendering process! That’s probably the reason why the DRDO folks went to Moscow and sought ToT from the Russian automotive OEMs, and the result will be a Russia-designed TEL licence-assembled by BEML and be falsely touted as an indigenous product, exactly like what BEML has been doing with the TATRA family of heavy wheeled vehicles!!! In fact, even in the early 1980s, had the MoD encouraged the development of indigenous solutions by asking both TATA and Ashok Leyland to bid competitively for supplying such heavy wheeled vehicles, then today we wouldn’t have to see the shameless spectacle of left-hand drive TATRA vehicles being paraded along Rajpath during successive Republic Day parades and being touted as indigenous vehicles. But, thanks to the prevalence till this day of the licence raj mentality, indigenisation in the real sense of the term is being deliberately discouraged via a discredited state policy.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SK: What you're suggesting is logical, and what you ought to take note of is that logical reasoning doesn't go fown well with the MoD. Had logical reasoning prevailed, then OP FALCON, conceived by Army HQ when Gen K V Krishna Rao was COAS in 1980 and which was immediately approved by Mrs Indira Gandhi, would have been completed by 1990 and today India would have had a first-class border roads infrastructure from Turtuk in J & K right up to the India-Myanmar-China tri-junction! But for unexplained reasons, OP FALCON was abruptly terminated when Rajiv Gandhi was in power in 1988 and what this UPA Govt is now trying to do is merely re-invent the wheel. On top of that, the MoD has failed miserably in terms of upgrading the BRO's tunnelling skills over the past 20 years. Ideally, as in the case of the Nordic countries, such all-weather underground highways should have been built decades ago to connect J & K with the rest of the Indian landmass. As for light tanks, there's been no progress at all, apart from BEML teaming up with a Polish OEM to offer the Anders light tank, while BAE Systems & Mahindra Defence have joined forces to offer the CV-90-120. However, these vehicles, in essence, are not light tanks, but tank destroyers. If at all a light tank is desitred, then the best thing to do is develop the TANK EX as the ideal solution, especially since the IAF will now have on hand the C-17A Globemaster IIIs that will be able to transport the TANK EX to any theatre, be it in J & K's eastern Ladakh or even in the North East.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Your light tank as TANK EX with the C-17A Globemaster IIIs in J & K's eastern Ladakh/the North East is a brilliant solution.

However can this be a real possibility under the existing environment.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: The Tank EX in its present form won't do, but if it were to be re-engined with the latest 1,130hp engine available from Russia, and the Arjun Mk2's turret be integrated with an up-armoured T-72M1 hull, then even at 49 or 50 tonnes the Army will have a bloody good MBT capable of being deployed at higher altitudes and taking on the likes of China's upgraded Type 96G MBT.

Anonymous said...

Thanx Prasun for answering all the queries.

Do you know anything about the offers from Dassault and Eurofighter Consortium ?

How much money both of them are asking for 126 MMRCA ?

What kind of ToT they are giving ?

In what form they will be investing in India, like for example Boeing was building a state of the art wind tunnel facility for DRDO ?

Any indication the options for purchasing extra fighter jets being used right now only ? Or is this number of 126 increasing right away ?

Any interest from IN for choosing the same jet as IAF or they will take their time and do their own tests ?

Anonymous said...

@ Prasun

Whatever happened to the Jeep/Gypsy replacement trials that were being held. IIRC, Mahindra ACE and TATA LSV plus some more were contenders.

Austin said...

Parasun ,so finally the news that you broke first is even carried by main stream newspaper.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/pioneer-news/todays-newspaper/11724-with-russian-help-india-to-join-icbm-big-league-soon.html

Mr. Ra 13 said...

So speaking about license raj, Mahindra developed AXE, a desi-hummer for the Army. Have there been any takers thus far?

AMARDEEP said...

HELLO SIR,

decision on mmrca is on track. according to you which is best among rafale and typhoon and why u think ur choice is best ?

SK said...

Prasun thanks for the earlier reply , again on a different track can you throw any light on the IAF infrastructure and hardened airbases ? I had a chance to see couple of Canadian and American air bases. They always followed standard established layout such as twin runways either "A" layout or in some cases "X" layout. With very wide full length taxiways which themselves can double up runways should the main runways be damaged. And I came across the articles such as this which showed the Levels Chinese went with their bases.

http://ausairpower.net/APA-2011-01.html

Where do we stand ? Most of the IAF bases i see are just Single runways....and I don't think the taxiways are strong enough to handle aircraft. Many taxiways are not even full length w.r.t to runways. I agree that some of them are in mountainous terrain where building multiple runways are not possible but what about the rest ? Does the current IAF airbase up-gradation programs include underground or hardened shelters ? We are investing lot of money in assets such as Su-30 MKI, MMRCA, PAK-Fa but does IAF have the underground or hardened infrastructure to guard them...(Halwara has some) IAF does follow the classic Teardrop taxiways - shelters among others at many bases but few correctly targeted missiles at the entry/exit points can deny the fighters runway access. They need multiple points of entry/exit taxiways but most lack them (From what I saw from google maps) I never visited any Indian airbases so please give some info.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.21AM: Regarding ToT for the M-MRCA, I’ve already given some details at: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.com/2011/05/dassault-aviations-tot-offers-for.html

The Indian Navy is not interested in acquiring new M-MRCAs apart from the MiG-29K and LCA (Navy) Mk2. However, it remains deeply interested in a carrier-based version of the FGFA.

To Anon@10.03AM: Nothing decisive has come up as of now.

To AUSTIN: Many thanks for bringing it to my attention. Four days after this thread was created, only now the ‘desi’ news reporters wake up to the reality! Looks like the sensor-to-shooter gap is still quite wide!!! BTW, for real-time missile flight-tracking, two Indian Navy AOPVs are presently equipped with C-band and S-band precision monopulse tracking radars developed by L & T’s Defence & Aerospace SBG’s HED-Weapon Systems & Sensors Division. While the C-Band radar can track the missiles in transponder mode, the S-Band radar tracks the missiles in skin mode.

To Mr.RA 13: No takers thus far. The AXE, though, cannot be compared to the much heavier HUMMER.

To AMARDEEP: Between the two the Rafale is much more evolved technologically, but the Eurofighter consortium has far greater financial clout than Dassault Aviation and therefore from an industrial offsets standpoint, the consortium retains the edge.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Are the selectors considering some revised industrial offsets policy for MMRCA. If so, the Rafale may stand good chances here also.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SK@5.44PM: Twin runways are an extreme rarity in China, India and Pakistan. Just like the Canadian & US runways that you have seen, as far back as 1976 I had seen the then Imperial Iranian Air Force’s bases in Mehrabad and Shahrokhi which hosted broad runways capable of launching four aircraft in line-abreast formation for simultaneous takeoff! As for HAS, yes, quite a few principal air bases do have them, but most of them still have just blast-pens and storm shelters. There are no known underground MRO/parking facilities at any base as of now. I do admit that any present-day air base must have multiple points of entry/exit taxiways, but even these aren’t enough to prevent air base closure due to enemy air strikes since in future the enemy will employ ALCMs (like the MUPSOW, H-4 & Ra’ad) equipped with dispensers for launching anti-runway cluster munitions. The best solution therefore is prevention of such counter-base sorties, something which can be achieved only by creating a layered, hierarchical and in-depth air-defence system.

To Mr.RA 13: No, not revised. The offsets proposals were delivered in sealed form more than a year ago and that’s how they’ve been since then.

Anonymous said...

Like EA-18G Growler, is there a EW version of Su30 mki or is it planned for future ? I am saying this because a EW version of Su30 mki with Russian, Israeli and French help could be the best EW version in the world.

I thought MOD was going to decide on the finalist of FICV, what happened ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

No, there isn't yet any dedicated airborne escort jammer like the EA-18G Growler, but the Su-30MKIs, MiG-27Ms and MiG-21 Bisons can be equipped with ELTA's EL/L-8222 and DRDO/DARE-developed 'Tusker' self-protection EW pods, while the Su-30MKIs and Jaguar US can be equipped with the ELTA's EL/L-8251 escort jammer pod. All three pods are in IAF service, while the EL/L-8222 is also in service with the Indian Navy.

Anonymous said...

If I were the Def Minister, I will negotiate with Dassault (Raffale) and EU Con (Typhoon) with something else. I will say, "Guys, you are beggars now. And we are giving you a lot of money through this MMRCA purchase. $12 billion is not small amount. Tell me if we decide on any one of you, what will you give me in addition to this fighter plane?"
I will negotiate with a ToT/sketch of a SSGN. Whoever is ready to give the secret of SSGN, that firm will get the MMRCA deal...
But I know this will not happen. Indian MoD will be negotiating with Dassault and EU Con about the money each firm is going to give. Within 3 years Parliament election is coming. Already the UPA is in soup and in order to win, the UPA govt needs money. SO "kick-backs" are the only way to fund the election.

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun da

I think you didnt understand what i was trying to tell about Agni 5/K 4 being similar to Agni 2 Prime.

My assertion is that all Agni missiles have welded scaffolding between stages, though its ok for IRBM/MRBM as that will help the stages to sheer off quickly but with missiles like the Agni-5/K-4 that will travel long distance (<5000 km)welded scaffolding wont be a good idea as the aerodynamic drag caused may rupture missile or affect its speed.

Agni 2 Prime doesnot have that welded scaffolding. That is why i said Agni 5/K 4 should be similar to Agni 2 Prime.

BTW jusit got news that Agni 5/K 4 both with 17.5 meters the height same as Agni 3 and not 22 meters as said by you earlier.

Thanks

Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...

## No takers thus far. The AXE, though, cannot be compared to the much heavier HUMMER. ##

So are they looking in the global market ? What about US JLTV ? Is anybody in IA and MOD even interested in purchasing new vehicles ?

IA also inducted Pajero in Sikkim.

Any progress in DRDO's artillery project ?

AMARDEEP said...

hello sir,

what is the weapon package for rafale and typhoon? is India gonna buy SCALP ALCM ? why India opted for MR CA...it may buy More SU 30MKI its cheaper nd more powerful than the shortlisted contenders!!

Industry Spokesperson said...

the reason Tata/AshokLeyland does not develop a 8x8 or 16x16 vehicle has nothing to do with capability but rather economics of scale. The government is not going to buy more than 100 of such units, so does it make commercial sense to invest millions in the development of such vehicles? Of course private majors would oblige if government injects the development cost but with PSUs will never let such a thing happen, as they never ever want to share the cake.

Anonymous said...

@Industry Spokesperson
You are right about 16x16 but our defence PSUs have produced more than 5000 8x8 and 6x6 Tatra vehicles.

Brahmos, Akash, Verious radars like weapn locating radar, Pinaka 1, Shaurya, Smerch etc. etc. all use the same vehicle.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Joydeep Ghosh: Firstly, the question to be answered is this: why is welded scaffolding between stages required for the Agni-2 and Agni-3? Is it because they’re not cannisterised and therefore are kept in a disassembled state in peacetime, and they can be assembled quickly during an emergency? Find the answer to this and you will realise why such missiles are designed like this, unlike the Agni-5, K-4 and Shaurya. And how can the Agni-5 and K-4 be 17.5 metres long when the height of the Agni-3 itself is 17 metres? Afterall, it was Dr Avinash Chander (and not me) who himself said that the Agni-5 will be 22 metres long. Read this: http://livefist.blogspot.com/2010/02/5500-km-agni-v-takes-off-in-year.html

To Anon@10.42AM: Yes, the reqmt is for an ATV that is heavier than the AXE, something like the JLTV or the Sandcat. And which artillery project are you referring to?

To AMARDEEP: The Scalp, Storm Shadow and Taurus KEPD-350 are all on offer, but their ranges will be capped at 300km.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Are missiles using Electromagnetic pulse as a means to fry electronics in enemy platforms which you earlier stated was perfected by india operational?(to be used against PAK awacs)

What abt Airborne lasers?I think former Airforce chief had earlier in an interview in the HINDU talked abt Indian BMD system, and by 2020 aquiring LASER to shoot down missies? Is the Indian Govt taking this seriously?

How good are the Americans with this?Read reports of US navy and airforce having testedd chemical lasers successfully over short ranges.

Any info on Soviet tests in this field? and if Russia is going ahead with its laser systems?
Lastly, any info on chinese advancements in this field?

Pawan said...

Dear Prasun ji
I was just reading some of your old article and found you mentioning about France proposal of DCNS tie up with IN to build 55K tonnes CVN. Can you provide any further update on that.
One more thing noticed that you are article are really in depth & your interaction with readers commendable. Please keep it up because for defense enthusiastic like me you are only hope, for other defense blogger answer my queries as you do

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.36PM: Present-day AEW & C platforms can easily detect and track any inbound LRAAM and therefore EMP warheads carried by such LRAAMs will not be effective. The best option therefore still remains the decapitation of the air base housing such AEW & C platforms. As far as directed-energy weapons like airborne lasers go, they are quite expensive but are well-suited for BMD. Both the US and Russia have developed such systems and Israel is even developing such systems mounted on HALE-UAVs. Laser-based anti-missile defence systems (for neutralizing MBRL rockets, land-attack cruise missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles) too have been developed in the US (Raytheon’s THEL) and are being developed by Russia, Israel and China. The DRDO too has begun working on such futuristic systems.

To Pawan: Many thanks. The French marketing forays are like those of the Russians. They prefer not to go for competitive bidding processes and instead prefer to sign government-to-government agreements under which French companies and the potential customers can then embark on long-term military-industrial cooperation projects. That is one of the main reasons why Dassault Aviation has not be to publicity-savvy in competitions in India and the UAE, while in Brazil it has done some high-profile marketing. Regarding the CVN, since the Indian Navy Chief has already stated that nuclear propulsion for aircraft carriers is quite an expensive proposition, any French offers in this area are not being entertained by the MoD.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, from your above comments do you assert that the Agni-V will not have its stages connected using welded steel tubes as done in the previous Agni versions?

Do you assert that such a construction is primarily for facilitating a policy of quick assembly when the missile is needed, i.e. during an emergency?

May I also ask whether India has rail bogey launching assets for the Agni group of missiles? In the Walchandnagar website we see pictures of of a rail-launcher boasting the hydraulics built by them. But in reality does the army possess them and do they train on operating/launching from such railcars?

Thank you.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.17AM: That's right (for your points 1 & 2). Regarding railcar-based launchers, the launch mechanisms for the Agni-2 are very similar to what the Chinese had revisewd for their DF-3 and DF-4 ballistic missiles, i.e. railcars that are towed out of their tunnel-based storage depots in mountainous areas and then prepared for launch.

dashu said...

excellent blog. am following this blog for quite a long time but am writing for the 1st time .
It's for you we are getting valuable insights of our so called indigenous development(read DRDO) .

dashu said...

livefist & Broadsword are breaking news blogs, but this is the blog which gives thorough info about every subject. Most pleasing part is your active interaction with the comments given by various bloggers .

Anonymous said...

hey dude, why not you do an article on Agni-5? i'm sure that's what everyone is wanting... i mean we like the "intelligence" news, those not covered by other journos / broadsword / tarmak / livefist etc - i.e. all the other dry blogs... like this article was perfect. honestly most of your readers have little interest about what happens in malaysia and singapore... i hope you're not demoralized by the Prahaar blunder and quickly do one on Agni-5!!...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Dashu: Very many thanks.

To Anon@7.39PM: Dude, what more is there to say about the Agni-5 or K-4? I’ve already spelt out all that’s to be said about them. Now it’s up to you to read up about missiles like the Topol-M ICBM and Bulava SLBM and figure out how exactly will the Agni-5 and K-4 match up, and what kind of price will the Russians exact from India in return (for instance, will Russia insist that the Amur 1650 SSK be selected for the Project 75I submarine programme?). I also need to clarify that what goes on in Southeast Asia does affect India s great deal more than what appears in the print and electronic media. Lastly, why should I be demoralised by blunders made by others regarding the Prahaar NLOS-BSM? All I had said was that the Prahaar will be akin to the EXTRA but with Indian characteristics. Now, if people misinterpret my statement and erroneously assume that the Prahaar was meant to be an identical clone of the EXTRA then that’s hardly my blunder, is it?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Are Topol & Bulava already based on the similar lightweight materials like our Agi-5/K-4 are expected to be.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

A new missile loosely based on Topol-M and equipped with multiple re-entry vehicles (MIRV) is called RS-24. In January 2009 Russian sources hinted that the production of the mobile Topol-M missile would be shutting down in 2009 and that the new MIRVed RS-24 version would replace it.

In December 2010 the missile division in Teykovo received its second delivery of RS-24 missile systems. In total 6 missiles are deployed by the end of 2010. 3 more mobile missile systems were deployed in July 2011 and then the first regiment was operational.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Bulava is both lighter and more sophisticated than the Topol-M. The two missiles are expected to have comparable ranges, and similar CEP and warhead configurations.

The missile has three stages; the first and second stages use solid fuel propellant, while the third stage liquid fuel, to allow high manoeuvrability during warhead separation. The missile can be launched from an inclined position, allowing a submarine to fire them while moving. It has a low flight trajectory, and due to this could be classified as a quasi-ballistic missile. The missile possesses advanced defense capabilities making it resistant to missile-defense systems. Among its abilities are evasive maneuvering, mid-course countermeasures and decoys, and a warhead fully shielded against both physical and Electromagnetic pulse damage. The Bulava is designed to be capable of surviving a nuclear blast at a minimum distance of 500 meters.

The Bulava's advanced technology allows it to carry up to 10 hypersonic, individually guided, maneuverable warheads with a yield of 100–150 kt each.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: Yes indeed they are. But I very much doubt if the Russians will part with their latest. What can be expected from them is an earlier-generation version and hence my suspicions have fallen on the Topol-M. The Bulava is a different story as this is the first solid-fuelled SLBM to emerge from Russia and therefore will take a few more years to mature.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I think it is reported that Topol-M has all the three solid stages and Bulava has the liquid third stage for finer controls ability. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I too understand that if India is to get anything, it may be only from Topol-M and least likely from Bulava or RS-24.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: I fully concur. The Bulava has not yet matured as much as the Topol-M or RS-24. The safest bet therefore is to settle for the Topol-M as the base design.

Pawan said...

Dear Prasun Ji

You mentioned that Russia is & will share tech for ICBM like Topol-M & SSBN so can i safely assume that it will also share technology for Nirbhay & some other long range Cruise missiles & if so then why Brahmos which has very limited range was chosen for development when it is not as per Indian armed forces's ORBAT.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

any idea on the status of the upgradation of air bases/ALGs along the LAC - Nyoma, DBOldie et al...(extent of work completed, if any of them are already fully upgraded)

also are Chabua and Tezpur housing full SU30 squadrons already or are these being progressively fielded as and when new aircraft are delivered to IAF (would also like to know the number of SU30 inducted to date)

Anonymous said...

you yourselves pointed out the limiting factor in an ICBM regime. The targetting as we lack access to overhead satellites. Will Glonass alone will do the job (with accuracy of 5meters currently). will the russians give access to military satellites. and if they do will it not come along with their own strings like Nerpa. Given that Russia is much more strict adherent to MTCR and proliferation regimes, will they risk this far?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PAWAN: That depends on what exactly the Nirbhay is all about. In all the DRDO briefings and presentations made to date, no DRDO official has come forward to describe through audio-visual presentations what exactly the Nirbhay is all about and why should India acquire long-range subsonic cruise missiles when it already has supersonic cruise missiles like the BrahMos. And if Russia is indeed believed to be supplying the NPO Saturn-built 3M36 turbofans for such cruise missiles, then why should the GTRE be developing indigenous mini-turbofans like the ‘Laghu Shakti’? The BrahMos as it now exists can be easily made to carry extra internal fuel for attaining a range of up to 500km. Will this happen? Will Russia grant its approval to BrahMos Aerospace for extending the Block 2 land-attack missile variant’s range to 500km? Or has approval already been accorded? Only time will tell.

To Anon@11.26AM: The upgradation of ALG is a multi-pronged step. Firstly, there’s activation of the airfield and resurfacing/extending the runway for accepting flights at daytime, and building of tarmacs for aircraft parking. That’s followed by installation of night landing aids and mobile air traffic control towers. Only after all this—depending—on the availability of asphalted roadways, will heavy construction & engineering equipment be mobilised for constructing hangars/storm shelters, blast-pens, administrative buildings, living quarters and underground fuel tanks. It is a long drawn-put process involving at least six years of work at high-altitude places like DBO, Nyoma and Thoise. In the North East, the problem is of a much higher magnitude due to the mountainous terrain and utter lack of roadways/railways. In the plains in places like Chabua and Tezpur the problems are lesser. Presently, the principal Su-30MKI air base is at Kalaikunda and it is from there that the Su-30MKI detachments will be sent to Chabua and Tezpur for extended deployments lasting no more than 2 weeks. In other words, Chabua and Tezpur are being made capable of accommodating and housing detachments of Su-30MKIs, but not on a permanent basis, as there isn’t the kind of airspace and firing range available in the North East. Therefore, it makes sense to develop Kalaikunda as the principal home-base for those Su-30MKIs that are flying under the IAF’s Eastern Air Command. And that is also why the IAF is creating a new operational commander’s post (to be headed by a three-star Air Vice Marshal) in Kalaikunda who will report directly to the AOC-in-C Eastern Air Command and will retain control over those Su-30MKI assets earmarked not only for the Eastern Air Command, but also for the Andaman & Nicobar Command.

To Anon@12.21AM: Of course there vwill be strings attached, because the Russians definitely want a big share of India’s future force modernization-related defence expenditure. And the two biggest procurement programmes in future will be the six SSKs for Project 75I, and the construction of up to nine SSGNs. Since the Russians have already supplied the design for the Arihant’s nuclear propulsion system, it will be logical to assume that this same design will also go on board the projected SSBNs and SSGNs in future.

Anonymous said...

DRDO has recently said after the artillery program restarted that they will build 155 mm howitzer for our armed forces. Whats the progress ? Will they be building tracked, wheeled and light howitzers ? Is Bhim program restarted ?

Is IA going to purchase Abhay IFV ?

According to FINSAS program :
The helmet is an integrated assembly equipped with helmet mounted flash light, thermal sensors & night vision device, video cameras and chemical and biological sensors. The visor is intended to be integrated and to act as a heads-up display monitor equivalent to two 17-inch computer monitors.
Has IA placed some orders for helmets and visors ?

Anonymous said...

According to FINSAS program :
The personal clothing of this soldier of the future would be lightweight with a bullet-proof jacket. The futuristic jacket would be waterproofed yet breathable. The new attire that will enable the troops carry the extra load and resist impact of chemical warfare.Uniform will also carry solar chargers for charging Palmtop and other electronic equipments attached it also contain external oxygen supply respirator providing protection against CS and CN gas and smoke. Flame retardant carbonized viscose undergarments. Fire proof knee and elbow pads. bullet-proof armoured waistcoat designed to stop a round and also absorb its kinetic energy. ceramic armour plates covering the front, back and groin. Armoured helmet able to stop a 9mm round at close range. The new uniform will have vests with sensors to monitor their health parameters and provide quick medical relief.
Whats the progress in this front ? How is providing this ? Is drdo working on this ?

Anonymous said...

Last time I inquired about Kaveri's future, you answered me about the derivatives like marine gas turbine, drones and locomotive engines. I guess you misunderstood me. I was speaking about the actual jet engine which was supposed to power manned fighters. Does that engine have any future or is it wrapped up?

Also, it seems that ADA has finally started formal and serious work on AMCA
http://www.ada.gov.in/apt.htm

So it seems Kaveri's story is not yet over..May be it will evolve into a 100-120kN engine as desired by IAF for amca??

Secondly, MoD had ordered a study on J-20. Shiv Aroor promised to post the report once it comes out a long time back. But nothing of that sort happened. So has the official report been published?

Anonymous said...

^^^
The Kaveri and Aesa project are on hold because now they will be made as per the requirement of a 5th gen fighter jet. Earlier program were meant as per tejas which is a 4th gen fighter jet. According to earlier specifications both the engine and aesa would be outdated if used on a 5th gen fighter jet. Its good thing and in 1 or 2 years both these deals will be signed.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.49AM: The DRDO’s proposal for developing any kind of field artillery howitzers is not being entertained by any of the armed services, as they rightly believe that the DRDO does not have the core technological competencies reqd for designing such weapon systems. The Abhay was only a technology demonstrator and as such it will not be committed to production. As for the F-INSAS, all such hardware will be utterly useless unless and until the final configuration of the F-INSAS network is finalized and field-tested. Right now that cannot happen since bandwidth availability is a big problem, given BSNL’s inability to lay the fibre-optic cables, without which the MoD cannot surrender its existing bandwidth allocations.

To Anon@12.54PM: If you’re just speaking about the turbofan meant for combat aircraft, then producing a mere 200 such engines is totally impossible as it will be a cost-prohibitive exercise. For producing such cutting-edge turbofans, economiesa of scale need to be achieved and therefore, without the other spinoff applications of such a turbofan, the definitive turbofan—be it for the Tejas Mk2, LCA (Navy) Mk2 or even the AMCA—will never see the light of day. The same goes for AESA-based MMRs. Regarding the IAF study of the J-20, it was completed by last March and it was never meant for publication.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.54PM: Regarding the AMCA page at ADA's website, don;t you think it would have been more appropriate if instead of the Tejas Mk1's background photos, illustrations of the AMCA of the type displayed during Aero India 2011 should have been used? It is by making such elementary mistakes that the DRDO many a time reduces itself to a laughing stock in the eyes of the world!!!

Anonymous said...

prasun, you probably missed one point. The background LCA Mk1 is uniform for all the pages of ADA. it looks more like a page under cosntruction (virtual reality and radar coating pages have insignficant pictures). Truely it does look typical of a government website. even a nut bolt manufacturer will have better web page. Hope they deliver with where it is needed (the aircraft) hence can forgive this ad page.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes!! But I guess presentation and advertisements had never been DRDO's cup of tea. Thankfully they didn't place F-22 or F-35 in the background..Last time they had posted pictures of Abrams, INS Chakra and Flag raising at Iwo Jima among national achievements!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

do you have any update on astra BVRAAM,Rutom and AEW&CS programs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Regarding China,now that economically it may not be able to sustain growth rats of even 7 percent from now on and the property bubble building there may burst,the US intent on punishing China for currency manipulation,demonstrations against govt, do you think democracy in china is inevitable?If so a two party sys or a multi party one and also if not ,why do you think so?
If it does not transition to democracy, it will be clubbed with iran and N.korea now tat the US is going on the offensive(looks like it as B.Obama needs a bad guy to bash explain economic deperssion)
Wat abt the next 5 gen leader xi jinping?
What is china's long term plan for its democracy project?How long will it put off the question of governance.When getting to know of ur high regard for chinese govt's confusious mercantile,pragmatic approach to various geopolitical issues, Then they cannot ignore this question.After all democracy does not mean weakness,if Singapore is taken as an example.

Why is Turkey being kept out of the EU apart from the fact tat it is a muslim country ?

Anonymous said...

to anon 7:10 PM,

who said u that china PRC wont sustain 7 % growth !! for ten yrs it gonna sustain growth more than 8 % because of its massive manufacturing nd expanding service sector. regarding its property bubble the CPC can better handle it !! USA's currency bill will harm both PRC and USA and maybe it helps china to project yuan as its global currency.

turkey is one of the fast growing economic power in world and have largest GDP in whole muslim diaspora.if EU include turkey then its useful for EU because turkey is in position to buy euro bonds

thanks

Pawan said...

Today there was article in ToI classiying Nirbhay as UAV rather than cruise missile?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PAWAN: Really? Can you kindly post the weblink?

Pawan said...

Dear Prasun ji

THe article was in ET and not in TOI as i mentioned so apologies for that. Article was about a company Data Patterns in which writer mentioned Nirbhay as UAV or Drone.

The weblink to scanned copy of article is : https://rapidshare.com/files/1238831298/NIRBHAY.pdf

Anonymous said...

hey pawan, where's the thing on nirbhay being uav in times of india?

Leonuh1 said...

To Anon 11.45 PM who asked why recent Army Chiefs are alumnus of NDA and not IMA.

With due respect, this is shocking military illiteracy! All cCadets training at NDA go to IMA (and AFA, Naval Academy as the case maybe) where they become GCs or Gentlemen cadets after completing their NDA training.

So by definition every army officer who has passed out from the NDA has also passed out from the IMA.

A simple Wiki search would have clarified this!

Akshay kapoor

Anonymous said...

Where did u get the figure that beam od arihant is 10m wiki pedia says 15m

Cheers

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon^^^: I said the pressure hull DIAMETER is 10 metres, whuich has nothing to do with the hull's beamwidth. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

sir i think apart from addition of 3rd stage Agni 5 also uses new propellant which is more powerful and lighter. and what do you think about the technology DRDO found and patented in 2008 which increases missile range by 40%? i would love your views on my post.