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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Air-Sea Battle Concept Explained

It was on November 9, 2011 that the US Department of Defense announced the creation of a new office to integrate air and naval combat capabilities in support of emerging US national security requirements. In the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had directed the US Navy, US Air Force and US Marine Corps to develop a comprehensive concept to counter emerging anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) challenges, primaril;y of Chinese origin. The US armed services consequently collaborated to develop the Air-Sea Battle (ASB) concept. On August 12, 2011, US Navy Admiral Jonathan Greenert, US Marine Corps Gen Joseph Dunford, and USAF Gen Philip Breedlove established the Air-Sea Battle Office (ASBO), thereby creating a framework to implement the ASB concept. The ASB concept will guide the US armed services as they work together to maintain a continued US advantage against the global proliferation of advanced military technologies and A2/AD capabilities. ASB will leverage military and technological capabilities that reflect unprecedented US Navy, Marine Corps and USAF collaboration, cooperation, integration, and resource investments. The ASBO will oversee the concept implementation by facilitating coordination among the US armed services, influencing tri-services war-games, fostering development and integration of air and naval capabilities, and collaborating with the joint forces. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps will each dedicate a minimum of two field-grade officers or civil service equivalents to the ASBO. Implementation of the ASB concept by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps will endeavour to foster positive changes in the institutional relationships among the services, the integration of acquisition strategies, and the conceptual approach to warfare. The ASB concept is a natural and deliberate evolution of US warfighting to counter emerging A2/AD threats that include conventional ballistic missiles, long-range precision cruise missiles, advanced integrated air and missile defence systems, electronic and cyber warfare capabilities, submarines, surface combatants, and modern combat aircraft. According to the US Defense Department, ASB will also enable the projection of force in defence of US interests and those of its allies and by sustaining stability and freedom of access throughout the global commons.
At a recent seminar organised in New Delhi, it was explained by visiting US officials that ASB initially was conceived as a way to increase inter-operability between the USAF and US Navy through increased training and improved technical interoperability. Given the overlaps in their strike capabilities, especially in aircraft, it makes perfect sense for the two most technical services to work closely to ensure inter-operability. But like its progenitor, AirLand Battle (ALB), ASB has progressed to an operational concept to address a specific military problem. While ALB was conceived to counter the Soviet Union, ASB is billed as the answer to growing anti-access/area-denial capabilities generically, but as everyone knows, specifically the People’s Republic of China. ALB and ASB are different in that ALB required the integration and inter-operability of two distinct domains, ground and air. Because of the overlap between USAF, US Marine Corps and the US Navy in strike assets, and because ASB is focused on strike (kinetic, electronic, cyber), the integration required for ASB is far more limited than that required for ALB. Additionally, ASB assumes that a confrontation between two great powers (US and China) can be resolved with only half the nation’s military assets. It is the first conception, since early advocates of nuclear warfare, that envisions no or extremely limited use of ground forces. This has no precedent in the history of conventional warfare and should in itself give one pause. ALB posited an asymmetric approach in relation to the erstwhile Soviet Union. ALB would attack all echelons of the Soviet forces with aviation and long-range fires because NATO was badly outnumbered on the ground. In contrast, ASB is symmetrical, pitting US precision strike against Chinese precision strike. Since ASB is by definition an away game, how can the US be expected to build sufficient expeditionary naval and air forces to counter Chinese forces that possess a home-court advantage? Is it prudent to expect the weapon magazines of an entire industrial nation to be smaller than those of the US Navy and USAF deployed more than 3,000 miles from home? What happens when the vertical-launch systems of US warships and the bomb bays of USAF aircraft are empty? From a strike perspective, one therefore must consider China’s ground-based strike and intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance systems a seamless extension of its navy. One cannot simply compare its navy to the US Navy; one must compare all relevant combat power applicable to an anti-access/area-denial fight. Just on the face of it, one should recognise the need for an asymmetric approach to counter China’s growing war-waging capabilities. The US simply can’t afford to outgun China symmetrically. ASB’s symmetrical approach is also highly escalatory given China’s shore-based “fleet-in-being”. The US cannot close its naval and tactical air forces into theatre without striking the Chinese mainland. Surely, given the nuclear weapons China possesses and its growing irregular warfare and economic assets, one should question very seriously any operational concept that requires extensive strikes on the Chinese mainland. There are alternatives, after all.
China is surrounded by littoral nations interested in balancing China’s new assertiveness. The US should therefore look for ways to establish co-binding relationships with these countries to assure sovereign access to the region beyond the more easily challenged access to the commons. The threshold for China to strike these sovereign countries is certainly higher than the threshold to attack US warships in the commons. The US should make use of this advantage by encouraging the use of “dual-use” infrastructure that would improve their port facilities for commerce but would also facilitate the use of these ports for basing or periodic use by US sealift and combatant naval forces. For example, a large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship from a maritime prepositioning squadron would show commitment while offering tangible benefits for humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief missions in the host country or the region. A military confrontation with China would be the biggest national security challenge since World War II, yet ASB advocates suggest that it can be handled by just two of the four services. To the outside observer, this is astonishing; to the insider skeptic, it is absurd. Many ASB advocates follow the logic that the US will never conduct a land war in China, therefore long-range precision strike is the only practical alternative. What is missed in this line of thinking is that there are other, more fundamental choices that also don’t require a land war in China. It would thus appear that there is an unstated assumption by many that conflict with China must include a race across the Pacific to defend Taiwan; many war-games over the past decades have solidified this point of view. Unfortunately, this assumption is outdated. Chinese capabilities now, but especially 10 years from now, simply preclude a rush to Taiwan and would require a very deliberate campaign similar to that described in the a CSBA report to gain access. Without ground forces and with limited magazine capacities, what happens once the US gets there?

A few questions can help elucidate some of the most glaring ASB fallacies. If the US is concerned by the costs and escalatory aspects of a land war, why are substantial precision strikes on the Chinese mainland less costly and less escalatory than using ground forces in peripheral areas, key choke-points or the Indian Ocean to control vital Chinese sea lines of communication? Why must the US be so conventional and symmetrical? Another alternative to deter or shape a confrontation would be to use ground forces to backstop regional allies. This would be far less escalatory than placing vulnerable surface combatants into a kill zone, where the threshold for a Chinese strike would be significantly lower for attacking a surface combatant in the commons than a ground force in the sovereign territory of a neighbour. Even more fundamentally, the US should certainly think hard before entering a shooting war with China. One should likely ask the same question Caspar Weinberger and Colin Powell recommended we ask: Is a vital national security interest threatened? An additional question might be warranted as well: Is the challenge serious enough to warrant the application of the full range of conventional and special operations forces? If the answer is no, then it is unlikely the issue is of vital national interest and the US should find alternative means of resolution.
In the final analysis, it appears that ASB is essentially ‘shock-and-awe’ expanded from an opening act to a complete campaign approach. The US should work to improve Navy and Air Force inter-operability through increased training and experimentation, but as with many bureaucratic initiatives, ASB has escaped its banks and threatens to unduly influence the composition of the joint force and distort critical relations with an essential trading partner by solidifying a symmetrical arms race the US is structurally committed to losing. The US therefore needs to put ASB back in its tactical riverbed and develop a more comprehensive and winnable strategy for dealing with peer and near-peer competitors.


Anonymous said...

Is this the one Indian army is buying?

Anonymous said...

Are there any positive steps taken since this article?

Or will this continue?

Then what will the haalat of offsets from MMRCA and others such deals?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Here id another tall claim by PSU

Do they intend to develop latest tech or something others have better versions of?
Do you think they will deliver?
And what is the time frame??

Anonymous said...

And Why the hell is IAF doing this??????
Hope not under russian pressure..

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.36PM: Yup. That’s the one.

To Anon@12.10AM: Let’s tackle the inaccuracies in the article first. For instance the claim that “China's conventional weapons imports show a steady decline. In 2009, except for a few helicopters from Russia and France, Beijing did not buy any major systems.”---------That is totally untrue. China continues to import vast amounts of sub-systems and components that are dual-use items, such as heat-exchangers (from DCNS), diesel-electric engines (from Wartsila), shipborne internal communications systems (from Rohde & Schwarz), gas-turbines (from Ukraine), RD-93 & AL-31FN turbofans from Russia, plus buy-outs of entire weapons design packages from Ukraine and the Central Asian Republics.
“Why can't India do the same for its domestic economy? Why shouldn't it create its own MIC—a giant web of major factories that work as system integrators; numerous small and medium industries that supply specialized parts; a cutting-edge military research agency; the armed forces to say what they will need in the future; several layers of supervision and coordination and the government funding it all.”--------------This is already happening, especially with regard to the strategic missile production programmes and the Su-30MKI licenced-production. If one were to compile a list of private vendors (both public-listed and private SMEs) for these programmes, it will be evident that more than 700 non-DPSU industrial entities are heavily involved.
“It's thought that on average, 5% commission is paid on every defence deal. That would mean a few hundred crores for a deal worth, say, $2 billion.”-------------------------This is untrue in case of weapons imports through the US FMS channels. Not even a single paisa is paid as commissions for these deals. The same goes for weapons imports from all countries (like France, the UK, Sweden, etc) that have already ratified the OECD anti-bribery convention. The grey area exists only with regard to procurements from Russia, since Moscow shies away from the ‘integrity clause’ that is now mandatory for all competitive procurement contracts. That’s the reason why the procurements of the follow-on three Project 1135.6 FFGs, the FGFA deal, the MRTA deal, the ATV deal, and the Mi-17V-5 deal were all sole-source contracts, where the integrity clause goes missing. And who benefits from the as-yet-undisclosed Russian commissions? Your guess is as good as mine. All I can say is that the book titled THE MITROKIN ARCHIVES had well-documented anecdotes of how business was conducted during the days of the USSR and who were the Indian financial beneficiaries.
Now, coming to what’s hampering the growth of India’s indigenous MIC, it all boils down to the lack of long-term financial commitments. For instance, how is it possible to develop a MBT or MRCA over a period of 15 to 20 years when the money pledged is only for a five-year period? If one is drafting long-term perspective plans with a 15-year lifespan, then financial availability too should be committed for a matching period. That’s the reason why in February 2004 the then Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh came up with the non-lapsable defence modernisation fund after extensive consultattions with the armed forces and DRDO. But the succeeding UPA-1 govt in its all-knowing wisdom hurriedly sheloved this fund for good!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.21AM: That’s surprising, since Germany’s ATLAS ELEKTRONIK has already tied-up with L & T to produce such composites-based structures for the Project 15A DDGs, while for Project 28 ASW corvettes, a UK-based firm is supplying them off-the-shelf. My guess is that this news item refers to the Project 15B DDG programme, since the three Project 15A DDGs are already being outfitted, meaning that the hull-mounted panoramic sonar suite has already been installed.

To Anonm@12.23AM: Again, the story is erroneous, since it won’t be 166 PAK-FAs and 48 FGFAs, but would instead be 166 single-seat FGFAs and 48 tandem-seat FGFAs.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Obviously CSBA is neither in need of any help from India nor does it foresee any role for India, that is why in their maps it is showing sovereign parts of India within the boundaries of Pakistan and China.

They will never improve. Now China is holding all their money and bonds, so the Red Dragon China is their real master. As such they will go along with the chained Red Dragon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Read abt news report of English PM ms Margaret T not being happy over Eaat and West German reubification.This came from KGB archives from Mitrokin released maybe in 2006.Then soon after in west siberia,there were news reports of an FSB archival division's office meeting with a fire accident and lots of archives being destroyed. could this have been be the west's sabotage as they did not expect the soviets to recoed everything tat was said by head of govt in private meetings with soviet leaders? News articles mentioned tat the west reqested the scribe to stop noting down watever was spoken but the soviet guy did his job

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,

Do you have any idea about the possible CEP of Agni I,Agni III and Agni IV?
How do they fare against Pakistani Shaheen I/II and Chinese DF 21/31?
Various articles have suggested that Agni III was equipped with INS,GPS and a SAR area correlation combo for terminal guidence.Is that true?I mean is the SAR scene correlation system already operational or will be operational in future?Does the PRC have the radar scene correlation system?
As per DRDO officials Shaurya missile's maximum flight altitude is no more than 40 km which means it never leaves the atmosphere-so does that mean Shaurya missiles do not need RV or they do?
And lastly,can the Shaurya be turned into an aircraft carrier killer by implementing a terminal radar seeker similar to Brahmos AShCM and sattelite guidence??
Please try to reply.
Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Whats today's status for India's Titanium production. Considering the fact that India sits on huge ore reserve and this exotic metal is used from fighter air-frames to Ultra- light weight howitzers. Russia is known to master all forms of metallurgy of titanium, and i recall reading some where that India has gone in for JV to develop this. Whats the status of this venture. I still find that India is sending its titanium ore to Russia to get it processed into casts etc.
I believe if and when Indian developed titanium becomes available its price will be significantly lower than the world market price. Is the GOI taking any steps to accelerate this ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun, can you shed some light on this new 'rabbit out of the hat' LCA delay?.

I always thought after IOC in Jan, there would be an FOC in 2012. I have now read somewhere that there will now be an IOC-2 next year and then an FOC 2 years later.

Hopefully the story is erroneous or else here we go again, giving our neighbours and detractors a chance to point at us while ROFL.

One of the reasons for the delay was heavy rains??!!. Apparently HAL was caught by surprise and went "Monsoons huh?? whats that?."

Black Hawk said...

what do you think about this?????

Anonymous said...

PKS does IAF have any older versions of S-300. Wikipedia reports IAF has 6 batteries (unconfirmed) of older versions is this true.Also IA chief said they will eventually induct Arrow-2 is there any ongoing discussions with the Israeli's.

Pawan said...

Dear prasun ji
I was reading a article on PLAN emerging as big naval power. Keeping its plans what you think is ideal strength of indian FFG, DDG, SSBN & SSN

though it is subjective question, the answer will help me making my opinions.


KSK said...

Here HMS Astute is very near to surface during Tomahawk launch...

Is it normal for all launches by SSN and SSBNs?

Can it be done while SSBN is on move?

What is the max depth of any SSBN when it launches Ballistic or cruise missiles?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Lion Air of Indonesia has signed a deal with Boeing for 230 aircrafts.Why cant they leverage this deal for better offsets package(WTO rules?)Such a deal to say manufacture parts in Indonesia will help domestic industry.

KSK said...

I thought all FGFA will be tandem seat like Su30MKI...

What will be the difference between single-seat FGFA and single-seat PAK FA????

Since all R&D has been done by Russia related to Airframe and FBW ... what can India gain from rest of development???

Did they develop any internal weapons?

And why does it cost 35 BILLION $ ????????

Anonymous said...

Regarding Tehelka
“There were no charters or rulebook spelling out what to do. We had freedom in choosing our targets, attacking them and passing on the information to superiors. We were a young team engaged purely in tactical work and almost every day we were snooping into systems of unfriendly nations and gathering valuable information,” says, an OSD with NTRO.

I dont know if its good that they have freedom or lack of administration..

Where do you think we are at regarding a Cyber warfare capabilities?
Do we have any Doctrine?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.50AM: The most valuable archives of Russia are the Kermlin Archives, and not so much the FSB’s archives. All G-to-G agreements are stored in the Kermlin Archives.

To Anurag: The SAR correlation system is presently operational with only the BrahMos Block-2. Regarding the Shaurya’s maximum altitude, it all depends on the flight trajectory, i.e. either a full ballistic and re-entry trajectory or a depressed ballistic trajectory. The PRC does have radar scene correlation sensors for its ballistic/cruise missiles as well as SAR radars for reconnaissance. Lastly, for targetting aircraft carrier-based battle groups, why use the Shaurya in the first place when the BrahMos is already available? Thus far, no one has demonstrated through actual firing the successful usage of a ballistic missile for anti-ship strike purposes. Nor will China make use of such missiles, since it has already developed long-range cruise missiles like the CJ-10K that are launched from the new Qing-class SSKs equipped with AIP.

To Anon@1.26PM: India has been exporting titanium ore to both the US and the erstwhile USSR since the late 1970s. And the GoI has been quite happy with this arrangement.

To Anon @4.38PM: Why does one need to get frustrated at all with the Tejas Mk1 programme’s IOC and FOC schedules, when it is the Tejas Mk2 that will be the definitive version of the 4th generation MRCA? The Tejas Mk1 for all intents and purposes will only serve the needs of R & D for both ADA/HAL and the IAF, and will not be of any major use as an operational platform. Therefore, just don’t bother about the Mk1 and instead stay focussed on the Mk2 versions for both the IAF and Navy. And in the meantime, if the DRDO has any innovation left in it, then it should immediately obtain a certification of airworthiness for the Kaveri K-9 turbofan with Russian help and begin an accelerated R & D project to design a HALE-UCAV version of the Rustom-2 powered by such a turbofan. If need be, the help of IRKUT Corp can be sought as a design partner for this project, since IRKUT had proposed exactly such a JV a few years ago. One such UCAV armed with up to six 150kg-class laser-guided PGMs like IAI’s MLGB or Lockheed Martin’s SCALPEL small-diameter LGB will be far more devastating than the Tejas Mk1, since the HALE-UCAS will be able to spend far more time in the air than the Tejas Mk1. Such a UCAV can be readied by 2013, provided the necessary political will is demonsrated by the GoI. In addition, a maritime surveillance version of this HALE-UCAV equipped with a synthetic aperture radar payload is urgently required by both the Navy and Coast Guard. Altogether, I estimate a reqmt for more than 60 such units, meant to be used for peacetime maritime patrolling/surveillance/recce. This will free up the Navy’s existing warships and L/MRMR/ASW aircraft from the monotonous constabulary duties that they’re now being forced to perform post-26/11.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Black Hawk: That’s the reality.

To Pawan: If one were to make an objective assessment of the PLA Navy’s conventional capabilities, one will realise that it continues to suffer from block obsolescence and would suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of Japan’s MSDF if war were to break out tomorrow. On top of that, the PLA Navy has to contend with the likes of the Indian Navy, South Korea’s ROK Navy, the Republic of Singapore Navy and the US Navy’s deployed assets under the 7th Fleet. When combined, the collective strength of these navies, all of which view China with suspicion, presently puts the PLA Navy at a severe disadvantage. As for the Indian Navy, the only viable weapon that can venture as far out as the South China Sea and serve as a true deterrent is the nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSGN), and not the SSBN. Logic therefore demands that the GoI expedite the Indian Navy’s plans for inducting home-built SSGNs—at least six of them.

To KSK: SSGNs and SSBNs do not fire their missiles when on the move due to buoyancy-related and safety-related reasons. Only torpedoes can be fired as the submarine is manoeuvring underwater.

To Anon@12.01AM: Lion Air is a private entity and therefore its acquisition of airliners in large numbers has no bearing on any industrial offsets policy, unless Lion Air is in the aerospace manufacturing business. Things would have been different have a GLC or govt-owned airline had acquired such airliners in such numbers and another govt-owned aircraft manufacturing entity like Bandung-based Indonesian Aerospace (formerly IPTN) been nominated as the direct beneficiary of any kind of direct/indirect offsets.

Anonymous said...

If 20 Indian Dhruv will find buyers in Russia

Did Russia even consider buying Dhruvs ...
They are just ungrateful people and a little lower side on ethics.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSK: There are several aspects of the FGFA JV that have not yet been formally spelt out. Like the avionics architecture, or the Indian Navy’s intention to go for a carrier-based variant. Lastly, the figure of US$35 billion is pure baloney and no one knows from where this figure sprang up. There are many things a tandem-seat aircraft (like the Super Hornet) can do which the single-seat aircraft (like the FA-22 Raptor) can’t. Raptor pilots have been known to be envious of the Super Hornet’s ability to engage in real-time interleaved operations (thanks to the availability of two human brains, two pairs of eyes and two pairs of hands). Internally-carried weapons for the FGFA were displayed as far back as MAKS 2009. In some areas, like HMDs, the Ruskies are behind the West and Israel, but for India the Dash Mk5 (selected for the Tejas Mk2) will be an excellent force-multiplier. In addition, the internally mounted AESA-based Virgilius directional jammer (from Italy’s EDlettronica) that will go on the Tejas Mk2 and MiG-29UPG will also be an integral component’s of the FGFA’s EW suite (which will also include the MAWS being co-developed by DARE and Cassidian). Where are the Russians are ahead is in the area of multi-band distributed AESA arrays (X-/L/-S-band) which, when mounted on the FGFA or even on the Super Su-30MKI, can enable a tandem-seater to become a tactical AEW & C platform that can act as a command/battle management centre for directing a particular offensive air campaign that could include up to eight strike aircraft and four air superiority aircraft. Therefore, imagine what will be the result if eight such platforms are simultaneously engaged in eight strategic offensive air campaigns all at the same time, both by day and night. 16 such offensive air campaigns per day deep inside hostile airspace conducted over a period of 72 hours (three days), prior to which the bulk of the enemy’s ground-based airspace surveillance radars would have been destroyed by loitering PGMs like the HAROP UCAVs or even by the BrahMos, and you have an enemy that will suffer from a paralytic decapitation fairly soon. That’s airpower-related hyperwar.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.49AM: India has taken only baby-steps in the arena of cyber warfare. If a country like the US can have 26 acres of NSA-run underground facilties stacked with supercomputers for monitoring the cyberspace and global communications traffic, imagine what will be the demands of a country of 1.2 billion people where the tele-density and internet usage density will be far more than what it is now in the US, in the years to come. That should give you a pretty good idea of the enormity of the challenges facing India.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.02AM: Before blaming Russia have you considered asking HAL if it has tied up with any Russian aviation firm as its JV partner, similar to what companies like AgustaWestland have done?

Anonymous said...

prasun came across a old article.

Does this LACM discrepancy still exist in the MTCR today. If yes, then India can seek a higher range Brahmos from Russia with out problems.
Please elaborate. With regarding to your answer to Anurag. Shaurya has a longer range then Brahmos, and it's speed is greater then Brahmos so it will give greater reach & punch to navy. Unlike China we don't have any 1500+ range cruise missiles so we can risk developing a maneuverable terminal stage for anti-ship role. DRDO already has a great fetish for technology demonstration projects.

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
Thanks for your reply.But you forgot to mention the possible CEP of Agni I,III and IV.
So again,please give some idea about the possible CEP of the above mentioned ballistic missiles??
And how does our Agni family of BMs fare with Shaheen I and II with regard to CEP??
Is there any multi calibre assault rifle and body armour under development in India for FINSAS project??
Please try to reply.
Thanks in advance.

dashu said...

dear Prasun,
regarding ur response to someone pertaining to tejas -"HALE-UCAS and Such a UCAV can be readied by 2013" . Why armed forces are not forcing on this requirement to MOD or DRDO .
they are still stuck in MALE UAV that too with already developed air-frame

dashu said...

and did DRDO get the seeker tech they are looking for from Russia . How successful Dr Avinash's visit to Russia .which armed wing is more prepared to face adversary in current state of affairs . Navy seems to lack in SSBN,SSGN,SSK. IA lacks in artillery fir power. we don't have a long range cruise missile and least to expect from submarine lunched capabilities (cruise or ballistic).Only IAF looks in some kind of shape

buddha said...

Why can't the AMCA be developed together with mitsubishi??? like FGFA/PAK-FA..... Instead of AMCA and ATD-X a hybrid can be made with the best of all worlds

SOUVIK said...

Hey Mr Sengupta,can you please throw some info about the Chinese KJ 2000 AWACS?What's the maximum detection range?
In many occations,chinese has claimed that the KJ 2000 is better than Phalcon AWACS-is that true?

Ra 13 said...

India protests US depiction of Kashmir as Pakistani territory:

India Monday protested to the US after the State Department website depicted parts of Jammu and Kashmir as Pakistani territory and strongly reaffirmed that the entire border state is an integral part of India.

KSK said...

"Again, the story is erroneous, since it won’t be 166 PAK-FAs and 48 FGFAs, but would instead be 166 single-seat FGFAs and 48 tandem-seat FGFAs."

Given all the advantages of Tandem seat FGFAs why is IAF deciding to buy 166 single-seat FGFAs and only 48 tandem-seat FGFAs.

Anonymous said...

Do you think India can develop/produce C-130 type MRTAs based on its indigenous turbo-prop/jet designs of civilian planes that NAL is working upon? Also can PVT industries team up to make something like that?

Anonymous said...

What exactly is this KALI? Can it be used as weapon/missile shield in future?

Anonymous said...

give a rudra (hal dhruv wsi) + arjun tank comparability with cobra + t-84 (al-khalid) and ws-10 + type 96 in actual war.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.53AM: The MTCR is a regime, and not a binding treaty and it is up to the individual members of the regime to interpret the rules and regulations as they deem fit. Regarding the Shaurya being used as an ASBM, the principal limiting factor is the terminal seeker. To date, no one in the world has demonstrated the successful usage of such missiles in the anti-ship strike role, not even China.

To Anurag: The reason I did not give any CEP figures regarding the Agni family of ballistic missiles is there does not exist any such figures that have been released by the DRDO to date. The DRDO has to date only released the CEPs of the Prithvi-2 and Prahaar missiles, apart from the BrahMos. For the rest, there is no verifiable source for the CEPs. Pakistan, on the other hand, released the CEPs of its ballistic/cruise missiles as far back as 2002 and 2004, respectively. Unless and until the DRDO releases the CEP figures for its Agni family of missiles, doubts will continue to persist about the terminal accuracy of such missiles. And that is precisely why India’s armed forces have always clamoured for a technical audit of the R & D activities involving such missiles.

To dashu: Irregardless of what the armed forces desire or want, the DRDO has its own scheme of doing things and we all can see the consequences of such a policy. The main problem lies in the decision-making levels, which are totally dominated and monopolised by scientists, technocrats and bureaucrats. The armed forces have no say at all in these areas. In China and Pakistan, it is the total opposite, and consequently, the results emerge much quicker. Regarding terminal seekers of Russian origin, it is highly unlikely that Russia will part with its state-of-the-art technologies for strategic weapon systems. That’s why even for the ATV project Russia gave India the technical data/design package pertaining only to a pressurised water reactor meant for nuclear ice-breakers, and not that meant for a nuclear-powered submarine.

To SOUVIK: The KJ-2000 uses the same technology as that of the Russian A-50 of the 1980s. The Chinese have only improved upon that by adding SATCOMS data-links. But the ESM suite is not as advanced as that of the IAF’s A-50I PHALCON and because of this the A-50I is way superior when operating in the non-cooperative target recognition (NCTR) mode.

To KSK: Simply due to techno-economic reasons. After all, a tandem-seater will cost more than a single-seater.

To Anon@7.57AM: NAL has neither the capacity nor the capability to design MRTAs featuring twin-turboprops or twin-turbofans. That’s why the GoI approved the plan for co-developing the IL-214 MRTA by HAL and IRKUT Corp/Ilyushin Finance Group. I’m sure the private aerospace industry of India will take part in producing the IL-214 MRTA.

Anonymous said...

Any info on when LSP7 will fly and what is delaying it.