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Saturday, November 12, 2011

(Updated) Naval Updates

As part of its efforts to undertake 24-hour surveillance and patrolling of the Pangong Tso Lake in Eastern Ladakh, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) recently inked a contract with US-based Tampa Yacht Manufacturing (TYM) under which the Indian Army will from next year begin receiving 17 TEMPEST 35-SPC high-speed armed patrol interceptor craft from the US-based shipbuilder. The 35-SPC is fully customisable, with featured enhancements and modifications for enhanced domain awareness that include, state-of-the-art navigation equipment consisting of GPS, sonar, echo-sounder and compass, 360-degree pan and tilt infra-red night-vision camera, gun mounts for 12.7mm and 7.62mm crew-served weapons, and threat level NIJ Level III and Level IIIA ballistic protection. The vessel’s cockpit includes a helmsman and engineer helm stations with shock-mitigating seats, and side-seating for 10 armed squad members.

Under another contract, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered a total of 50 fast interception craft from TYM for use by the Border Security Force for riverine patrolling. Designed for coastal and offshore operations in varying sea and weather conditions, the 44-FCI fast interception craft is capable of achieving a maximum speed of 55 Knots, with a minimum sustained cruising speed of 38 Knots. With a minimum range of 225 nautical miles at wide open throttle and a cruising range of 300 nautical miles, the fully-outfitted 44-FCI is powered by a pair of inboard MAN R6-800hp electronic controled turbo-diesel engines. Each engine is fitted with a 1.12:1 gear ratio TwinDisc MGX gears for low-speed manoeuvrability and Arneson ASD-11 surface-drives for optimum performance.

Meanwhile, two recent RFIs issued by the Indian Navy (IN) deserve assessments. The first RFI deals with C/D-band (old L-band) three-dimensional air-surveillance radars for warships displacing 3,000 tonnes and above. This means that the UN is on the lookout presumably for new-generation radars (since the RFI states ‘state-of-the-art’) that are of the active phased-array type and which can be installed on board warships like the to-be-built four Project 15B guided-missile destroyers (DDG), the seven to-be-built Project 17A guided-missile frigates (FFG), and the three Project 15 Delhi-class DDGs, whose mid-life upgrade (or stepped life-extension programme, or SLEP) us already running four years behind schedule, and has yet to take off. It is thus evident that the IN at last wants to go beyond the THALES Nederland-developed and BEL-assembled RAWL-02 (PLN-517) radars that continue to faithfully serve the IN’s frontline warships like the five Kashin 2-class DDGs, three Project 15 Delhi-class DDGs, three Project 16 Godavari-class FFGs, three Project 16A Brahmaputra-class FFGs, and the sole Leander-class FFG—INS Taragiri. For the four Project 15A DDGs, the THALES Nederland-built Smart-L (its S-1850M variant equipping South Korea’s Dokdo-class LHDs) would undoubtedly be the frontrunner, while Selex Sistem Integrati’s Kronos-3D NV would fit the bill for the seven Project 17A FFGs. On both these warship types, the IN has already pre-selected the E/F-band (old S-band) Israel Aerospace Industries/ELTA Systems-built EL/M-2248 MF-STAR liquid-cooled active phased-array radar (which has also been selected in a four-array configuration for INS Vikrant as well as for the three Project 15A Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyers, and may well be retrofitted on to the three existing Project 15 Delhi-class DDGs in the near future). Judging by the present-day pace of procurement-related activity within the Ministry of Defence (MoD), it can be expected that a final selection and the consequent procurement contract will be inked by 2013.

The second RFI—issued by the IN’s Directorate of Special Operations & Diving—deals with the procurement of an integrated combat system (ICS) that will integrate the special operations sea-warrior’s capability of day/night surveillance, ballistic protection, communications and firepower through an integrated network at individual and group levels. The essential requirements for all components of ICS would include lightweight, military ruggedness and water proof/resistance for operations in coastal and marine environments. The RFI states that the ICS should provide enhanced capabilities including tactical awareness and fighting ability in hostile environments, while its network should enable Group Commanders to remotely monitor and control operations and synergise their combat power for maximum effectiveness and successful execution of the mission. The ICS is thus essentially required for effective command, control and information-sharing in the age of network centricity to maximise individual and group combat capabilities while engaging the enemy. The RFI adds that the ICS should significantly improve the intelligence, identification, designation and engagement capability of the individual sailor.

What this means is that the IN does not want to make the same mistakes as the Army has done with its F-INSAS programme and has therefore decided to proceed with its own, customised and tailor-made version of the F-INSAS. Individual components of ICS-related hardware being sought include modular integrated communications helmet; diver’s electronic beach reconnaissance aid fitted with an electronic compass, Doppler velocity log and GPS receiver; digital laser rangefinder; power management kit; full-range Oxygen gas system; drysuit; standalone hydrographic mapping unit for clandestine hydrographic reconnaissance; software-defined multi-band inter/intra team radio; long-range beyond-line-of-sight communications systems using a rugged VSAT terminal and  fourth-generation tactical booster amplifier; 4G wireless smartphone; and day/night gunsight. Companies—majority of them US-based—that are expected to take part in the RFI exercise include BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin Advanced Development & Ventures Business Development, Natick Soldier Systems, MSA, THALES, Harris Corp, L-3 Communications, Motorola, ITT Defense, Carl Zeiss Optronics Inc, Raytheon ELCAN, Aimpoint Inc, Trijicon Inc, and Rockwell Collins.—Prasun K. Sengupta


Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
Great article.
So does that mean the 5 Rajput(Kashin 2)class and 3 P15 Delhi class DDGs,3 P 16 and 3 P 16A FFGs-all 14 warships will get the 3d AESA radars??
Can we expect Brahmos missiles being fitted onboard these warships under this MLU programme??
Lastly,will the Elta El/M 2084 will go onboard the 7 P 17A FFGs and 3 P 15A DDGs along with the Elta El/M 2248 MF STAR??I'm asking this because the Elta El/M 2084 will act as the fire control radar for Barak 8 MRSAM and Barak NG ERSAM of IAF.
Please try to reply.
Thanks in advance.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anurag: No, only the three P-15 and four P-15B DDGs and seven Project 17A FFGs can be expected to get such 3-D active phased-array radars. The others with RAWL-02 radars won't be touched.
No EL/M-2084s will go on any warship. Target illumination for the Barak-2s will be done by the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR. The new-build DDGs and FFGs will all have BrahMos on board. The three P-15 DDGs would in all probability also receive the BrahMos.

Anonymous said...

I cannot understand the use of hypersonic version of BrahMos.
I think instead of more speed , the range should be increased to 500 kms ....
Is Shaurya hypersonic..??
When will it be inducted and in what numbers??

Anonymous said...

is a batallion of MARCOS enuf for a country of india's size..?..internet generally is full of info that MARCOS is arnd 2000 in strength..
what do u have to say about their operations in the gulf of aden ..r they MARCOS or normal VBSS teams of the navy ?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

These RFIs are a strong step towards modernization.

Anonymous said...

Prasun Sir,

Does this mean that the IN is going down the route of the European navies which use two separate radar systems for volume search and target tracking?? Is a BMD function possible with the new arrangment-Raytheon has already developed a datalink for the Smart L to be used for the SM-3 BMD system.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.48AM: Hypersonic missiles are definitely the way to go for the future and even companies like MBDA last June formally unveilled such concepts as future replacements for the existing Exocets and land-attack cruise missiles (air- and ground-launched). But such hypersonic missiles are meant to be LOITERING munitions that go in hypersonic mode only after positive target acquisition has been achieved--probably--by airborne or space-based targetting assets. That is what Dr A P J Kalam had referred to a few months ago, put the press reporters wrongly interpreted this as being a reusable BrahMos missile and consequently everything was misconstrued. After all, how can a missile be re-usable when it has already destroyed its target/s and in the process it too has suffered from catastrophic destruction?
Shaurya is altogether in a different category and is a quick-reaction land-attack weapon when equipped with either conventional HE warhead or even a tactical nuclear warhead.

To Anon@3.18AM: Of course it is not enough. MARCOS should have a strength of at least two battalions to cater for India's eastern and western seaboards. The elements now being used for anti-puracy operations are a mix of MARCOS personnel and naval seamen, similar to what was deployed by the Navy in the initial hours of 26/11.

To Anon@8.15AM: It would appear to be so. And with the Barak-2 shipborne LR-SAM it will be possible to intercept tactical ballistic missiles.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: Yes, they are, provided all the other elements also fall in place, like the certification of the Barak-2 MR-SAM and LR-SAM variants, which will not be possible if this ITR Chandipur issue is not resolved. I always wonder if the decision-makers sitting in Delhi ever bother to sort out even such fundamental and elementary issues such as constructing a permanent missile-test range, instead of perpetually hoping that through an act of God the I in the ITR will somehow become a P for permanent.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I think Orissa or Odisha or Odessa should be given enough compensation to change that particular spelling.

After all, they seem to be very fond of changing the English spellings.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

It is quite common knowledge that
Navy's share of the Defence Budget is JUST 20 percent

And yet the Navy's expansion and modernisation programmes look to be going on smoothly

While ALL that we HEAR is WHINING
when it comes to the Modernisation of IAF and Indian Army

My question is that IS nt all the news about Artilerry SHORTAGES and DEPLETING Number of Fighter Squadrons Deliberately
FAKED so as to keep our enemies

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
Thanks for your reply.Is there a way to buy the Printed version of the FORCE magazine online??Or is it available by post??
Thanks in advance.

Anurag said...

and how much does it cost??

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun thanx for the article...

Can you tell us which ICS system is the best ? Are we going to purchase the whole system from single vendor or we are gonna purchase the India specific equipments from various vendors ? Is israel not part of this project ?

Is IN will be only equipping the MARCOS with this or VBSS is also going to get such upgrades ? How big will be this ICS order and how much it will cost ?

Is there any plans to increase the number of garuds and marcos ?

Is IAF also planning similar ICS system for Garuds ?

I heard NSG and drdo are developing there own system (like finsas), how many such system will be there in indian armed forces ?

India recently send a RFI to Raytheon regarding ISTAR ? What is this anyway ? I mean how is it different from AWACS ? How big this deal will be and what are the equipments involved in this ? Where ISTAR will be used ?

Will IA and IN also go for similar kind of system ?

How many rustam 1 are planned for induction in indian armed forces ?

Whats with this M777 deal ?

Anonymous said...

Whats going on with midget submarine procurement ? How many and at what cost ?

Anonymous said...

what is the problem in india in creating a special operations command?
& can u pleasse provide more information about the special frontier force.
& abt the numerical strength of the indian special operatons community & y r ppl in general r against army expanding its special forces ?
isn't it right ?

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
Is the Nalanda based ordnance factory (which was to manufacture 155mm artillery rounds)operational??
Though I found what kinds of 155mm artillery ammo are in production on the OFB site,I couldn't find how many ordnance factories are manufacturing 155mm rounds.Can you help with that??
And lastly,any idea about the total capacity of the ofb to manufacture 155mm artillery ammunitions per year??
Thanks in advance.

Shree said...

*Are Russians eager to see what Tech does we get through MMRCA?

*And can we incorporate technologies from MMRCA into our FGFA similar to Su30MKI and in future in AMCA?

*Will the europeans agree if we do that?

*Could you round up the technologies where europeans are ahead of russians...and vice-versa?????

Anonymous said...

Any update on various helicopter competitions and the fire scout & global Hawk for IN ?

Whats update of LUH competition of IA ? Are we going ahead with the deal or its again stalled ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.56AM: The Navy’s procurement programmes too are victims of late decision-making by the MoD. The communications satellite project, the P-75I SSK procurement programme, plus the staggered expansion of INS Kadamba are but a few examples. The modernisation of the Army’s field artillery, air-defence artillery and Signals Corps are the reasons why the Indian Army could not go to war with Pakistan in 1990, 2002 and after November 2008. As for the IAF, the most glaring capability gap exists in the area of ground-based air-defence. Combine all these together and you will realise why India’s armed forces are unable to flex their muscles when they’re required to.

To Anurag: You will get all the imformation about FORCE from its website at

To Anon@3.16PM: The best ICS package of course comes from the US. AS the MARCOS was raised with the help of the US Navy’s SEALs, Indian Navy HQ will be more inclined to select a majority of the required hardware from the US. The ICS is not only for the MARCOS, but also for the Sagar Prahari Bal and the naval infantry units now being raised. Plans always exist for force expansion, be it for MARCOS or GARUD. The IAF has decided to wait and see the progress of F-INSAS before making a decision on its ICS reqmts. In any case, the GARUDs are not involved in out-of-area contingencies and therefore their ICS reqmts are simpler and smaller in size. As for the NSG and other central armed police forces, their ICS hardware reqmts are more of the WAT-type, which do not require a high degree of MIL-STD ruggedness. But all such hardware is being imported as well. Neither DRDO or BEL can deliver such hardware. DRDO will probably deliver only life sciences-based products, i.e. MREs. Regarding RISTA reqmts, read this:
IA and IN already have tactical RISTA platforms like the Searcher Mk2 and Heron-1 UAVs. How many Rustam-1s? Only the DRDO knows. Will it be able to deliver the all-singing-and-dancing Rustam-1s? Only the DRDO knows, since it is always the DRDO that makes tall claims about what it will do and when, and the end-users often have to wait for decades for the promises to be kept.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6PM: What’s the problem with the creation of a tri-services special operations command? Very simple. The three armed forces are not thinking jointly and are often working at cross-purposes when it comes to the Air-Land battlespace scenario. And the institutions that are responsible for ensuring that the armed forces think, act, fight and exist jointly—the MoD and Parliament—are just not interested in understanding such matters and consequently, the necessary legislations are not enacted by Parliament, while the MoD led by the Defence Minister continues to shy away from its core responsibilities and obligations. The Defence Minister (Raksha Mantri) is therefore engaging in gross derecliction of his duties and is violating his oath of office. As I had explained earlier, if the IAF and Indian Army are unable to agree on the future size and shape of the Army Aviation Corps, then it is the responsibility of a neutral third party, i.e. the MoD to adjudicate and reach a logical conclusion. But the Defence Minister instead throws the ball back at the court of the armed services by asking them to reconcile their internal differences! If this is what a Defence Minister does, I’m afraid he’s unworthy of the monthly salary + related perks he’s receiving at the moment. And why should the IAF require a twin-engined high-altitude cruising LCH capable of shooting down UAVs when the single-engined LUH armed with air-to-air missiles or gunpods can go far higher than the LCH can or will ever be able to, and do both a better and cheaper job of shooting down UAVs? Shouldn’t then the LCH instead be optimised as a medium-lift anti-armour helicopter equipped with eight ATGMs, something the Army desperately needs but cannot get? Why isn’t the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence not focussing on such crucial areas? Why is this Committee not calling for the need to create a non-lapsable fund for defence force modernization similar to the one created by the then Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh in February 2004—a demand that the armed forces have been making since the 1980s? And why did the UPA-12 govt by June 2004 abruptly terminate this well thought-out fund with lightning speed? Was this a classic case of political vindictiveness gaining precedence over national security concerns?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anurag: Presently, only OFB Badmal in Bolangir, Orissa, produces about 230,000 rounds of 155mm ammo rounds of all types. The Nalanda facility was supposed to produce bi-modular charges for 155mm rounds since 2003. But again, in a classic case of vindictive politics, the UPA-1/2 govts have gone slow on this project since this project was the brainchild of the NDA govt and Nalanda/Rajgir happens to be the constituency of George Fernandes. The Indian Army has been waiting for 9 years for this facility to go on stream, and it continues to wait.

To Shree: Whatever technologies are found in the M-MRCA will also be on the Super Su-30MKI. But the FGFA and Super Su-30MKIs will have predominantly Russia-origin mission avionics and AESA-MMRs. But of all three, the FGFA will be the most advanced as, for instance, it will have dual IRST sensors for giving 360-degree situational awareness, and both supercruise and super-manoeuvrability. On the M-MRCA, it is still not known which of the two contenders will deliver on super-manoeuvrability, since so far only the Eurojet consortium is developing thrust-vectoring nozzles. Only supercruise has been promised by both Dassault Aviation & Eurofighter GmbH. In terms of European technological superiority over Russia at present, the areas include AESA-MMRs, AESA-based directional jammers, operational data-links, virtual-reality design capabilities, integrated defensive aids suite (for both ESM and EW), and far more reliable turbofans.

Anonymous said...

I have to ask these questions again,

Any update on various helicopter competitions and the fire scout & global Hawk for IN ?

Whats update of LUH competition of IA ? Are we going ahead with the deal or its again stalled ?

Whats going on with midget submarine procurement ? How many and at what cost ?

Is IN or ICG also interested in Protector Unmanned Naval ? If yes how many of these will be procured ?

How big will be IAF's ISTAR project ? according to the article from Raytheon, IAF wants to monitor the whole border and secondly since they want coverage 24X7 hours round the week, that means 2 aircrafts will be needed at each place so that at all times one will be in air. What will be other equipments like ground radar etc ?

Any news on FICV finalist ?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

"And why should the IAF require a twin-engined high-altitude cruising LCH capable of shooting down UAVs when the single-engined LUH armed with air-to-air missiles or gunpods can go far higher than the LCH can or will ever be able to, and do both a better and cheaper job of shooting down UAVs? Shouldn’t then the LCH instead be optimised as a medium-lift anti-armour helicopter equipped with eight ATGMs, something the Army desperately needs but cannot get? Why isn’t the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence not focussing on such crucial areas?"

Worth consideration by the concerned.

SOUVIK said...

Sir,I would like to know your views about this following article:
Please read it and let us know your views.

Anonymous said...


1. What does FFG and DDG stand for?
2. How can hypersonic missile loiter at the same time?


Anonymous said...

From my limited understanding in these matters, to achieve hypersonic speed, a missile burns more fuel, while for high endurance loiter, the missile needs to fly at subsonic economical speeds like the predator or similar drones. To loiter at hypersonic speeds will require carrying enormous amounts of fuel. How does anyone plan to carry this large fuel weight in a missile and expect it to be carried on a ship or aircraft?


SOURAV said...

Hey PKS,
From last thread,
Currently the best tank in PA armored corps is T 84 OplotM and the best mbt in IA Panzer corps is Arjun MkI.Which of these two will get the uperhand in a potential confrontation as per your openion?
Hope to see your views.

KSK said...


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.47PM: There are no further updates on those queries.

To Souvik: My views were uploaded in 2008 at:
Furthermore, it makes no sense to develop subsonic cruise missiles when efforts are already underway to co-develop and co-produce hypersonic cruise missiles. After all, why should one first develop an automobile and then begin developing a bicycle?

To Popeye: DDG = Guided-Missile Destroyer. FFG = Guided-Missile Frigate. No one is saying that a loitering munition will be hypersonic throughout its flight profile. R & D is now underway to develop a stealthy mother vehicle that will be loitering at subsonic speeds and inside this mother vehicle there will be up to three hypersonic cruise missiles each with a range of no more than 200km.

To Sourav: The Pakistan Army hasn’t yet inked the contract for the Oplot-M MBT. It presently has only the T-80UD medium tanks from Ukraine. The crew comfort levels, ergonomics, and digital fire-control system of the Arjun Mk1 are a full generation ahead of that on the T-80UD.

To KSK: No, I don’t buy that argument in its entirety. While the weapon systems for the J-20 have almost been developed, the fire-control systems haven’t yet been fielded. For instance, the AESA-based MMR and integrated helmet-mounted sights are absent, as are the missile approach warning systems. The only pieces of J-20-specific hardware shown publicly thus far are the panoramic AMLCD-based cockpit displays, holographic HUD, and radar warning receivers. China will continue to churn out the J-10 and its J-10A/B/FC-20 derivatives in large numbers in the years to come as replacements for its existing J-7 variants. The J-11 clones on the other hand will replace the 1989-vintage Su-27SKs. These Made-in-China aircraft will have reverse-/re-engineered helmet-mounted displays and IRST sensors whose Russia-origin technologies are of the 1990s vintage.

Anonymous said...

/* R & D is now underway to develop a stealthy mother vehicle that will be loitering at subsonic speeds and inside this mother vehicle there will be up to three hypersonic cruise missiles each with a range of no more than 200km. */

Are you talking about HSTDV vehicle or something else? I hear it will be ready by 2015. Is it true ?

dashu said...

from KSK link I got some idea how deadly these Mig 21-bisons are . I always used to wonder why IAF is holding on to these bis despiteof lot of crashes . I think people are unfair to brand these deadly birds as flying coffin.

Prasun could you please clarify, those jamming pods are of which origin Russian or Israel.

Shree said...

"R & D is now underway to develop a stealthy mother vehicle that will be loitering at subsonic speeds and inside this mother vehicle there will be up to three hypersonic cruise missiles each with a range of no more than 200km."

Very Interesting and unique
I think it is too ambitious because we and also russians dont have UAV that can carry that much load ...
anyway who are other partners in development???

*Is there any progress to the IAF Tanker deal???

Shree said...

*Does both fighters in MMRCA have HMDs?

*In what tech are russians superior to europeans????

*And MMRCA(One promised by the manufacturers) Vs Super Su-30MKI...
Your Take??????

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Is it true that the our new Mi-17v5 helicopters comes fitted with old TV3-117VM engines rather than the new more powerful VK-2500 engines?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.23PM: I’m talking about the R & D activities now underway in Russia, the US and Europe concerning futuristic hypersonic weapons and their subsonic loitering mother vehicles. The HSTDV is totally different.

To Dashu: It is not the MiG-21 Bisons that are deadly, but the employment tactics that make them deadly. Even the Tejas Mk2 will be as deadly when employed in this manner. In the ultimate analysis, it is not the sophistication of hardware that makes a combat aircraft deadly, but years of planning for the initial 80 minutes of an offensive airpower campaign, good intelligence about the enemy, flexible and centralised control of the combat airpower assets, and skilled execution. For offensive airpower to be successfully exploited, it must master the principles of surprise, deception, and concentration of forces need to be mastered. This is what airpower theory promises, provided the available (and not state-of-the-art) technology provides the necessary capability, and the pilots are able to exploit this capability in their employment practice. Only after all this is in place can a balanced and optimum Airpower Trinity emerge for conducting successful air campaigns. Israel’s IDF-AF had planned for 16 years to achieve the optimum Airpower Trinity during the 1967 6-day Arab-Israeli War, and planned for 12 years to again achieve the optimum Airpower Trinity during the 1982 war over Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. If we remain focussed on just the sophistication of hardware, then statistically it can be proven that in all the air warfare engagements during and after the Cold War, the most decisive air combat weapons have been the internal cannon and within-visual-range air-to-air missiles (WVRAAM), while BVRAAMs have had a dismal performance thus far. Lastly, we must take note of the fact with utmost seriousness that a future air war over the subcontinent will be unlike anything the world has ever witnessed. In this future round of hostilities, there won’t be significant technological asymmetries, since both warring parties will have AEW & C platforms, helmet-mounted displays and new-generation BVRAAMs and WVRAAMs, as well as precision-guided munitions like ground-/air-launched land-attack cruise missiles. And the side that will ultimately prevail will be the one is able to come up with the most balanced Airpower Trinity. The self-protection EL/L-8222 jamming pods of both the IAF and Indian Navy are from IAI/ELTA.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shree: That’s the kind of loitering munition that’s being researched upon by the Russians and Indians under the umbrella of BrahMos Aerospace. No progress yet on the aerial refuelling tankers. Both the Rafale & Eurofighter EF-2000 have HMDs, as does the Tejas Mk1, MiG-21 Bison, Su-30MKI, MiG-29K and in future the MiG-29UPGs, Mirage 2000s and Jaguars after they’ve been upgraded. All presently available WVRAAMs require HMDs. In terms of technologies, the Russians are trying to play catch-up with the Europeans because, just as the 1970s was the ‘lost decade’ for India in terms of industrial liberalisation and educational upliftment and the 1990s was the lost decade in terms of declining defence spending, so was the case of post-USSR Russia in the 1990s, when several military R & D projects were either buried permanently or were shelved.

To Anon@1.26AM: The TV3-117VMs don’t offer the kind of hot-and-high performance parameters that were sought by the IAF from the Mi-17V-5.

Anonymous said...

Then why IAF choose TV3-117VM engines instead of VK-2500 engines for their brand new Mi-17V-5?

SOURAV said...

I Know that PA uses T 80UDs but their T 80UDs are equipped with the same turrets of T 84 OplotMs with bustle mounted ammo stowage and blow out panels.That's why I asked if our Arjun MkIs will be able to defeat them or not.

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
Thanks for the earlier reply.So,is only one production facility enough??
And few years ago it was reported that IMI would help OFB to set up more 155mm artillery ammo production facilities.What's the status of that project??Is it still on cards??
Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

What different research are going on hypersonic missiles in India other than brahmos 2 ?

Is there a cruise missile project based on scramjet engine ?

Does india have project on glide bomb or is there plans to have one ?

What are the future plans for torpedo development in India after refurbishing that testing facility
in Kyrgyzstan ? Any world class projects ?

Also whats the progress on Brahmos 2 hypersonic version ?

Please any update on AURA and AMCA project will be highly appreciated. Any new tech developed for these projects ?

I also have to ask, is SAAB our partner in AMCA or just technical consultant ?

Is someone helping us in AURA like french or israelis ?

Anonymous said...

"Furthermore, it makes no sense to develop subsonic cruise missiles when efforts are already underway to co-develop and co-produce hypersonic cruise missiles. After all, why should one first develop an automobile and then begin developing a bicycle?"

This might be true for IAF but what about Indian Navy? Doesn't it need long-range Ship/sub-launched LACMs like Tomahawk/DH-10? Brahmos LACM has a range of only 290 Km which means the ship would have to move very close to the enemy coast to launch an offensive. Is there any plan to develop 1500-2500 Km range LACM for the navy?

Anonymous said...

Prasun, speaking about cruise missiles, the following link ( NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=16621) says:

"Looking to add more lethal firepower to its arsenal, India is planning to test fire its latest 1000-km range sub-sonic land attack cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ early next year.

Nirbhay will be a terrain hugging, stealthy missile capable of delivering multiple warheads as per mission requirements.

"We are looking to test-fire the new sub-sonic cruise missile in the first quarter of 2012. The Nirbhay will be a new state-of-the-art missile," DRDO officials told PTI here.

With its range of 1,000 Km, the missile has longer reach than Pakistan's Hatf-7 Babur missile, which claims to have a range of 700 km.

The missile is being developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory under the DRDO.

Sources said the missile will be sleeker than other similar weapon systems that are operational with different countries.

The Nirbhay will be India's second cruise missile after the 300 km range BrahMos, which is a supersonic system. The missile can be launched from multiple launchers and will be inducted into all the three services."

You think it's legit ot balooney?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Chinese JF-17 Thunder crashes in Attock, pilot killed:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anurag: That was for producing only 130mm cargo rounds and bi-modular charges for 155nn rounds.

To Anon@11.05AM: For the Navy a ship-launched version of the 600km-range supersonic ALCM will more than suffice.

To Anon@11.59AM: Of course it is baloney, just as the report sometime back about Dr A P J Abdul Kalam urging the DRDO to develop reusable hypersonic cruise missiles.

To Mr.RA 13: Looks like the JF-17's RD-93 turbofans have started giving problems.

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
Thanks for replying.So is that OFB facility with IMI help operational and has it started building bi modular charges for 155mm guns??

Mr. Ra 13 said...

"Looks like the JF-17's RD-93 turbofans have started giving problems."

That is why I was always thinking that why Russia did not object to its sale to third and fourth nations. Either Putin or some of their high official commented that instead of objecting, it should be better to let them manage with old inferior type of engines.

Anonymous said...

You promised an detailed indigenous artillery post..Remember??? Please post it soon...I am longing to know the state and capabilities of Indian R&D in this regard..

Anonymous said...

sir , u say for the navy a ship launched variant of the 600km ALCM is enuf..
y don't we develop & put tomahawk kind of missiles on our ships..
more the range of the missile..farther the indian ships can stay from enemy shores(&thus be safe) & still target the enemy..

Anonymous said...

why India is not sending LCA to air shows??????????

it will be good PR

I thought Nirbhay was target drone type of a UAV not cruise missile

is Pakistan purchasing long range SAM?

Anonymous said...

What is the status of the Akask mk2 project?w
What is it's range and guidance system? Is it equipped with an active radar seeker? Is it capable of intercepting c
subsonic cruise missiles like the Babur and also hypersonic cruise missile like the Brahmos? When it will enter operational service? Once this missile has been developed will the existing fleet of Akash mk1 be rebuilt to mk2 standards? In case of a ful scale war with Pakistan what are the measures and the hardware available to the armed forces for shooting down Baburs , Raad ALCM and nasrs before they reach their intended targets? When will the Skyranger systems be ordered? Isn't the Panstir S2 system more capable than the Skyranger? Is the DRDO developing infrared hammers and DIRCM for both fixed and rotatary wing aircraft?

Anonymous said...

Can you throw any light on the capabilities of the Marlin SSK. How will it fare when compared with other SSK like S-80, Amur-1650

Shree said...

Situation in Manipur is quite bad..
whats wrong there man?
How serious is it?
I have a friend there who told me that basic materials are hard to come by...and liter petrol costs 350/- after 2 days wait and soap for 50/-....
and as there are only 2 national highways connecting Imphal the blockade cannot end any time soon..

*Why is no one in media making any fuss about it...may be they are busy covering Ash's baby birth????

*Why is it so difficult to remove the blockade physically?

*Why not send the bare necessities by air, are airports and helipads available ???

If this is the way our government handles issues in N-E no wonder they will again support the insurgents and separatists .....

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anurag: Do read the two following CAG reports:,b317b35a&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=ntZK4EegrJueA870fT_uFA--


To Mr.RA 13: If we assume that the JF-17 crash took place due to a technical malfunction, then the preponderance of probability suggests that either there was something wrong with the RD-93 turbofan, or the engine malfunction was caused by catastrophic failure of the on-board lead-acid or NiCad batteries. Chinese aircraft batteries are notorious for their premature failures and have a guaranteed life of only eight months, against corresponding India-made batteries that have a 1-year lifespan.

To Anon@7.57PM: Am still working on it. But for starters, do read the two following CAG reports:,b317b35a&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=ntZK4EegrJueA870fT_uFA--


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.33PM: It all depends on who your enemy is and how far away from the enemy you are. For the US, the concept of expeditionary warfare means something totally different from that of India. For instance, if the US wants to attack China with T-LAMs then it will launch such missiles from the air and sea from Guam in the Western Pacific. For India, the missile launch areas will be very close to the LAC. Secondly, even for countrywide strategic targetting purposes, the India-Pakistan border will offer several missile launch-pad options and given Pakistan’s elongated geography a missile with a range of 300km will more than suffice. Whereas for the US, such missile strikes will inevitably have to be launched from the sea and hence the T-LAMs will have a far longer route to travel.

To Anon@11.07PM: Sending any product to any event like an aerospace show is not PR, but a marketing exercise. Sending aerobatic teams of an air force to take part in such events is PR. And in any case, no one in India has as yet formulated any export-oriented marketing plan for combat aircraft like the Tejas (either Mk1 or Mk2). And since the IAF itself has formally stated that the Tejas Mk1 is deficient in terms of performance parameters (and this is the reason why the Tejas Mk2 is now being developed), why should any other air force be interested in even throwing a glance at the Tejas Mk1? It would therefore have been a sheer waste of money and effort if the Tejas Mk1 were to be sent abroad to take part in any air show. All these issues have to be taken into account and absorbed before anyone starts ranting and blandly exclaims ‘Bah!’
Pakistan is indeed most likely to acquire the HQ-9 LR-SAM from China.

To Anon@12.04AM: The Marlin is a dead-duck. The only Scorpene-derivative now being looked at by the Indian Navy is the S-80 Super Scorpene. But the problem here is that the S-80 is being offered with an ethanol-based AIP, whereas the Indian Navy prefers the fuel-cell AIP solution. The DRDO too is working on a fuel-cell AIP design, although only God knows when it will see the light of day. The Amur 1650 is also being offered with a fuel cell-based AIP, and the Russians prefer to team up with L & T for offering it to India, since L & T and the Russian naval designers and submarine manufacturers are already working together on the SSBN programme. My personal opinion, however, is that it is far better to immediately go for another four Scorpene SSKs, and instead of buying more SSKs under Project 75I, the Navy ought to expedite its SSN procurement efforts.

To Shree: News, like food, is always a perishable commodity with very limited shelf-life. The issue of Manipur has been covered by both TIMES NOW & HEADLINES TODAY in their primetime news segments since the past month. But why should there be a blockade in the first place? Where is the civil administration? What is the Army doing about it? Why is India hell-bent on accommodating and perpetuating tribalism, instead of making all-out efforts to abolish it? Is it because of this 20th century concept of non-violence, which prevents one from adopting the righteous course of action by resorting to Dharamyudh? I leave it to you all to deliberate and decide about this intellectual dichotomy and philosophical dilemma.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I think a separate district shall be made for the Kukis and at least by now the blockade should be lifted by force, whatever it means. Actually no such blockade anywhere shall be allowed to enter in to its fourth day. Then the agitators must have to understand that either they have to withdraw or continue with other simpler peaceful democratic means. Meanwhile Meiteis have suffered a lot.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

The pilot unfortunately could not come out safe, so this may indicate that there would have been at-least more than one problem with the JF-17s system and/or flight envelope and/or human error.

Nair said...

Hi Prasun Ji,
I am a regular reader to your blog. I really enjoy reading your articles and your feedback to readers.

I happened to see this news ""

Any idea what the Chinese are upto?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

With LIMA '11 is around the corner, what do you think will be procured by Msian Mindef come December? SGPV seems a possible deal IMHO, together with supplementary contracts for AV-8 (turret etc). thank you.


Anonymous said...

Wat is new about Agni-2Prime/4 that's not there in agni-3?? Isn't it strange that after a 35000km missile (that never went into production) we are testing 3000km derivative of an earlier missile? Has Agni-3 been rejected by the users and how exactly does Agni-5 depends on this missile..

SK said...

Diesel Vs Gas Turbine Engines

In your current Force "Enter The Arjun Mk3" article at the end it seemed you kind of favor gas turbine over Diesel (Honeywell LV-100). Won't that be a costly mistake ? Its agreed GT's have better power to weight ratio and are smaller in size compared to diesel engines of same power, but they are expensive to maintain, repair, and they guzzle more fuel. LV-100 kind of made improvements on fuel and moving parts but still it has other inherent problems.

Gas turbine tend to get more damaged/wear-out in high dust environment should the air filters fail.

Why not go for the EuroPower pack MTU-883 V12 Diesel for the Arjun MK3 with suitable gearbox ? It has higher horsepower (1650 Hp). Germans stayed under the 70 Ton weight restriction using diesel engine. So whats stopping us.

Are there any hybrid engine under-development for tanks anywhere?

Hoping to see your detailed dissected assessment

Mr. Ra 13 said...


Appears to be the marked rocky strips for bombing and targeting practices. Actually by looking in to the sizes of the craters, the specialists may be able to tell the sizes of the bombs.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Agni-IV (Agni-II Prime) launched successfully:

Sheshan said...

Some comments exist about the Agni-4 which I hope Prasun sheds some light on. I also add that it surprisingly does not seem to adopt the steel structure jointed final stage, which is the mainstay design of a of the Agni family of missiles. Could this be a single stage missile?

Anonymous said...

to Nair,

such strange types of markings were earlier observed in google maps, especially ones belonging to Great Britain. Some people suggest that they are some sort of correction/caliberation system for high resolution earth observation satellites or GPS satellites.
Since China is trying to make the Beidu navigation system, this could well be a caliberation system.

It could be also some bombing target as some one else mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Eurofighter with Marte missiles,

Prasunji, you might have seen this Integration On Typhoons Eyed For India

I would appreciate your comments on this-EADS deserves credit for working their way around the Typhoon's perceived weakness in heavy strike with an innovative concept like this. Something like this matches, if not exceeds most tactical aircraft equipped with heavier systems like the Harpoon or Exocet.

Anonymous said...

Armored Vehicle India 2011 has started in New Delhi. Any news will be appreciated.

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
Thanks for the links.I have few more questions to ask.
1.Will the P 15B DDGs be also constructed by using composite materials like P 28 corvettes and P 17A FFGs??
2.Do you think the Brahmos 2 AShCM and Barak NG ERSAM will be ready by the time the P 17A FFGs and P 15B DDGs are completed??
3.And lastly,will the Brahmos and Barak 8 MRSAM launchers onboard the P 15A DDGs be able to hold the Brahmos 2 and Barak NG ERSAM when they get ready??
Hope to see your reply.
Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Is Barak 8 or Barak 2 or Barak NG are the same or not ?

buddha said...

i want to about AGNI2prime/AGNI4 reaching 900km hieght--is it a step to make sattelite killer vehicle.

what is the difference between AGNI2prime/AGNI4 and AGNI3

KSK said...

Can Indian Companies make weapons this good?????????

Or any of these
1) Heckler & Koch HK416 (Germany)
2) Barrett REC 7 (USA)
3) Heckler & Koch XM8 (Germany)
4) FN SCAR (Belgium)
5) Bushmaster ACR (USA)
6) Heckler & Koch G36K (Germany)
7) Colt M4 (USA)
8) Steyr AUG (Austria)
9) SIG 552 (Switzerland)

All we get is this crap

It looks worse than WW2 Guns..

Prasun, are any world class guns under development by us???????

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: The JF-17 operational con version programme is quite complicated for its pilots, since there does not exist a tandem-seat operational conversion trainer variant of this aircraft. On top of that, only a fixed-base cockpit procedures trainer has been developed by CATIC/AVIC thus far, while full-flight tactical simulators have not.

To Nair: Well, it seems that the geeks and nerds in the US have never heard of a place called Lop Nor, and that’s why these punters have assumed that they’ve stumbled on something earth-shattering. Anyone who knows about Lop Nor will be able to explain everything about what’s been shown on those GoogleMap images. Will upload an analysis of those photos along with what’s to be expected in future north of Aksai Chin later in the day.

To Mike@2.07PM: I don’t expect any big ticket procurement announcements on the SGPV at LIMA 2011. But some things regarding the progress on the MRSS front can be expected. Regarding the AV-8 APCs, read this:

To Anon@3.35PM: Firstly, the Agni-4 will be cannisterised and hence externally it looks like a single-stage missile, while in reality it is not. Secondly, the Agni-4 is designed to replace the Agni-2s that are now nearly a decade old and need to be replaced.

To SK: The fuel-guzzling gas turbines were a story of the previous decade. Technological advances over the past decade have now given us the option of acquiring not only more fuel-efficient gas turbine-based powerpacks, but also ones running on hybrid fuel like bio-diesel, etc. There is therefore no harm in giving such emerging options a serious look. But if conservatism prevails and the decision is made to stick to piston-based diesel engines, then it will be much less riskier to stick to the Cummins India-developed 1,500hp powerpack for the Arjun Mk2/3, rather than going for any other imported alternatives.

To Sheshan: The Agni-4 will be cannisterised and hence externally it looks like a single-stage missile, while in reality it is not. Secondly, the Agni-4 is designed to replace the Agni-2s that are now nearly a decade old and need to be replaced. Thirdly, large-scale incorporation of composites-based structures aimed at reducing the missile’s weight augurs well for the Agni-4 when mounted on a road-mobile TEL.

To Anon@9.11PM: There was never any doubt that the Eurofighter EF-2000 is a multi-role platform with future growth potential. But whether the IAF will continue its crazy practice of clinging on to the maritime strike mission option is a big question, especially since the Indian Navy will have more than enough MiG-29Ks, P-8I LRMR/ASW aircraft and Ka-31s to undertake coordinated and well-orchestrated maritime strike missions. The IAF on the other hand will find it virtually impossible to undertake such missions with only M-MRCAs equipped with anti-ship strike weapons.

To Anurag: Yes, whatever will be applied on the P-17A FFGs will also go on the P-15B DDGs. BrahMos Block 2 is already here, while the Barak-2 MR-SAM will be available from 2013. The Barak-8/Barak-NG LR-SAMs will be available by 2015. All these will go on board both the P-15A and P-15B DDGs, & on the P-17A FFGs.

To Buddha: That depends on what kind of orbiting satellite one is targeting: low-earth orbit, or polar sun-synchronous or geo-stationary. Agni-4 is cannisterised, while Agni-2 and Agni-3 are not.

To KSK: No, right now no one in India can make such weapons, although some have been reverse-engineered like the Milkor 40mm grenade launcher and NTW-20 anti-materiel rifle. But OFB’s finishing touches are almost non-existent.

Anonymous said...

your argument that the aiforce handover or reassign the ASh role has a demerit. The IAF has airbases operating in different parts of the country, where as Navy basically operates from a few bases and enclaves. So in times of hostility IAF has more resources to act than the Navy with comparatively less resources (read a squadron each with two carriers). So if a strike group of ships reach in threatening distance, the Navy will find itself too far away to act, where as IAF can act from any of the bases. Agree that less than two squadrons of maritime strike fighters is virtually nothing, but it can be counted as last defence. Also i read somewhere in a thread that the jaguar pilots were able to 'sink' a us carrier in a simulated attack, where as Naval fighters are still years away in the learning curve. wouldnt it be better if the maritime strike fighters are kept in a combined command of Navy-IAF (admitting the poor inter service relations) and in case of necessity as a last option these fighters be activated? Also one has to remember that in a war our carriers may be unavailable as they might be the prime targets of enemy. so counting on the airbases in country cluttered around is a safer option.

your take, and apologies for ignorance...thought to put my 1 cent of thought.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon^^^: The shore-based deployment footprint of any aircraft operator would be irrelevant since the LR/MR/ASW aircraft engaged in surveillance sorties will be the first to get an inkling about any approaching maritime threat, especially naval task forces or a battle group. Furthermore, targetting such formations at sea requires coordinated strikes that include synchronised salvo-launches of anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), which a sole shore-based IAF maritime strike squadron will never be able to achieve. Instead, Indian Navy warships will be required to undertake such tasks. In order to sink a US Navy aircraft carrier with the help of manned combat aircraft, one will first have to penetrate the CAP of airborne US Navy combat aircraft and E-2C Hawkeye AEW & Cs, following which the ASCMs will have to contend with the area air defences and point air defences of not just the aircraft carrier, but the entire battle group. I don’t even the entire squadron of 16 Jaguar IMs each armed with a single Harpoon ASCM will ever be up to such a task. Even the Russians have stated that to successfully attack such a battle group, one will need 24 Raduga-built Kh-41 Moskit supersonic ASCMs to be launched in near-simultaneous salvoes. It is therefore no surprise that the PLA Navy has acquired a total of four Type 956E DDGs, each armed with eight Kh-41s.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

By the way, the day before yesterday the Indian Navy had organised a day-at-sea on board INS Viraat fir the 'desi' journos. Wonder why not one of them has as yet filed any report about this trip.

Anonymous said...

sir, that will be near impossible since our current frigate/destroyer strength will be too diffuse to ward off threats like that...also carrier groups will take away a few of the assets. with such a long coastline, and open ocean, we may have to depend on shore based defences. Ofcourse the LRMR and reco should be from Navy/satellites. But the real action could be from strike aircrafts. it will take atleast till 2016 to get 3 squadrons of strike fighters for navy and if it is deployed along carrier groups many of them will be unavailable.

also please see an old link (ofcourse i read it with a fistful of salt)

will IN strikers be able to acheive this in near future?

i guess the Jaguars may remain with IAF in ashipping role till their life.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.33AM: That won't be possible in a warlike scenario. During such friendly exercises the entire complement of warships to make up a US carrier battle group is often absent, and only three or four warsahips participate. Furthermore, for the Indian Navy there's no operational scenario that calls for planning an attack against a US Navy carrier battle group. Against a Chinese carrier-based battle group, the scenario totally changes since the Chinese carrier-based battle group would have to pass through the Malacca Straits in order to enter the Indian Ocean and when it does so (during hostilities) it will be highly vulnerable to BrahMos-equipped warships (or even from shore-based BrahMos launchers) lying in wait for the ambush around the Andaman & Nicobar island chain.

SK said...

How many more tests are required for the Agni IV to enter production and whats the likely operational date.
Agni IV is supposed to be cannisterised missile but then why was is tested normally with-out a canister. Won't canister launch is required for evaluation.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SK: A total of five test-firings are reqd. The cannisterised version will be tested in future as well. Right now, all missiles which will eventually be mounted inside cannisters--like the PDV, AAD-1 and Prahaar, have not yet been test-fired from cannisters.

Anonymous said...

What is the status of the Akask mk2 project?w
What is it's range and guidance system? Is it equipped with an active radar seeker? Is it capable of intercepting c
subsonic cruise missiles like the Babur and also hypersonic cruise missile like the Brahmos? When it will enter operational service? Once this missile has been developed will the existing fleet of Akash mk1 be rebuilt to mk2 standards? In case of a ful scale war with Pakistan what are the measures and the hardware available to the armed forces for shooting down Baburs , Raad ALCM and nasrs before they reach their intended targets? When will the Skyranger systems be ordered? Isn't the Panstir S2 system more capable than the Skyranger? Is the DRDO developing infrared hammers and DIRCM for both fixed and rotatary wing aircraft? Pls PRASUN pls ans.

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
Hats off to your patience for replying to our quaries.I enjoy reading your blog very much.Keep up the good job.
By the way,few years ago it was reported that DMRL had developed a 'path breaking'drag resistant Chromium alloy that could increase the range of ballistic missiles by 35-40% without decerasing the payload.Is it true??What's the current status of this project if true??
Is there any plan to develop any laser/GPS guided 155mm artillery shell in house by DRDO??
What's the status of FICV project??
And lastly,wouldn't it have been better to give the designe and development work of the FICV to CVRDE instead of an inexperienced private company as CVRDE had already developed all the necessary technologies via the Abhay technology demonstrator project??I think by giving the work to CVRDE,they could have cut down the time.What's your take on this??
Hope to see your reply.

Shree said...

Which Indian satellites are comparable to Yaogan reconnaissance satellite of China.

*And how many Spy satellites do we have in orbit ??
*How many are required to cover all Asia??
*And how long will it take to guide our missiles using IRNSS??

Shree said...

DRDO listed many new technologies that they have tested in AGNI2Prime or Agni4 launch recently.....

*How significant are they ... in terms of accuracy,mobility

*How mobile is it??does it use TEL???

*Is it MIRV compatible,how many??

*How does Agni4 compare with DF-21c and 31A ??????????

*DF31A is designed to carry a single 1,000kt thermal nuclear warhead....So,how much max yield can Indian nuclear warheads produce???

Anonymous said...

Did India buy anything from them?I think we have better jammers from Israel

KSK said...

Did we make a mistake?????

Shree said...

Here's an amazing video of Su

Prasun look at maneuver at .53 and 1.43sec ..its mind boggling....Hats off to the pilot

Hope Indian pilots in MKI's can perform like this too..
Can they??

an32 said...


are the engines and propellers are being upgraded in An32

does the upgrade in any way increase the payload or range of An32?

i heard that engines and propellers of a27 spartan can be fitted to An32

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I think in Su30 MKI, the combination of canards and TVC can make it much maneuverable.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anurag: That alloy-based material constitutes the outer warhead casing and is applicable to the Agni-4 and the Agni-5 as well. Regarding GPS- or laser-guided 155mm artillery rounds, the ARDE is working on one such project, but this will take time since such rounds cannot be optimally used until the IRNSS constellation of GPS navigation satellites is operationalised. The Navy too wants to acquire ERGM-type PGMs. The FICV project is on but the role of the private sector will not be just technology development (which has been the CVRDE’s role), but development of production-engineering processes. Most of the technologies on board the Abhay FICV tech-demonstrator were imported, these including the all-electric turret stabilisation/traverse system, and the powerpack. The engine was a Greaves Cotton-built one, but the transmission came from US-based GDLS. The vectronics suite was not developed by anyone in India and has yet to be designed and developed. What was built and tested was just the hull, turret, gun-control system and the powerpack.

To Shree: The one that comes nearest is the Polaris (Usraeli TecSAR) that is with the NTRO. Once the RISAT-1 from ISRO goes into orbit, then India will have something similar to the Yaogan. I’ve described the Yaogan at:
For more about Indian satellites, go to:
Regarding the Agni-4 and things on-board like MINGS, FINGS, etc all those are versions of those used on the Prahaar. Their photos are at:
Agni-4 compares favourably with the DF-21C, but for the DF-31A we will have to wait for the Agni-5. Presently, Indian ballistic missiles carry only boosted-fission unitary warheads of 150kT yield. MIRV will come only with the Agni-5 and the K-4 SLBM.
Regarding such mind-boggling aircraft manoeuvres, they were tried with much less manoeuvrable aircraft like the Mirage III and F-4D Phantoms as far back as the 1960s and early 1970s. You need to watch the HISTORY Channel series of DOGFIGHT programmes.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.46PM: Not that I know of.

To KSK: I don’t think India made any mistakes. On the other hand, if the Rafale were to be chosen as M-MRCA, then there would be a lot to gain from Dassault Aviation’s NEURON UCAV programme and thre DRDO’s Aura UCAV programme could end up being a beneficiary. Let’s face it: what Boeing and Lockheed Martin are trying to do is offer 5th-generation MRCA solutions off-the-shelf (cash-and-carry), while countries like India or South Korea are more interested in evolving such solutions through an expanding national R & D effort and aerospace industrial base. Therefore, such countries would be more receptive to ideas like those put forward by Eurofighter GmbH, which has offered to develop a 5th-generation MRCA with South Korea based on a design derived from the MAKO lead-in fighter trainer.

To Mr.RA 13: The TVC is the critical factor on the Su-30MKI. But presently it is only a two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzle and hopefully the Super Su-30MKI will have all-aspect TVC (similar to the one on the MiG-29OVT).

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To An32: The engines and propellers have not been upgraded or uprated. Here's more on the subject:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.50PM: What is the status of the Akash Mk2 project? It is still under development. It will incorporate newer high-energetic propellants to increase the range envelope from 25km to 35km.
What's the guidance system? Same as that of the Akash Mk1.Is it capable of intercepting subsonic cruise missiles like the Babur and also hypersonic cruise missile like the Brahmos? No. When it will enter operational service? Hopefully before 2015. Once this missile has been developed will the existing fleet of Akash Mk1 be rebuilt to Mk2 standards? All missiles can only be re-lifed, not re-built. In case of a full-scale war with Pakistan what are the measures and the hardware available to the armed forces for shooting down Baburs , Ra’ad ALCM and Nasrs before they reach their intended targets? Nothing at the moment, except for the SpyDers and EL/M-2084 Arudhra radars. Once the Barak-2 comes in things will get better. When will the Skyranger systems be ordered? No idea. Isn't the Panstir S2 system more capable than the Skyranger? No. Is the DRDO developing infra-red jammers and DIRCM for both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft? No, only MAWS.

Chintan said...

More on the mysterious patterns seen in China's desert. Lop Nor revisited?
Apparently they are satellite calibration patterns.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Here’s Dr V K Saraswat going ‘retro’ again: “Asked by Business Standard whether the Agni-4 was qualitatively in the class of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles (the Shaheen and the Ghauri), Saraswat responded, “Agni-4 compares with what is available (globally) in its class of missiles like the Pershing (US missile)… I am talking in terms of technology, not in terms of range, as Pershing missiles have a higher range… they meet global standards.” Saraswat may have mixed his facts, since Pershing II, the US ballistic missile he likened the Agni-4 to, is a decommissioned 1980s missile with a range of just 1,800 kilometres. But his claim, as evident from his other remarks, was that the Agni-4 met global benchmarks.”

To Chintan: It's much much more than what's visible on the ground. The vast underground facilities equipped with nuclear powerplants and cooling towers are highly indicative of some kind of directed-energy weapons-related R & D activities taking place there. It is like the erstwhile USSR's Kapustin Yar facilities.

Anurag said...

DRDO had increased the range of BM 21Grad rockets from 22 km to 40 km by using higher energy propelants.So can't they use the same propelants to increase the range of existing Pinaka MkI rockets from present 38 km to 60 km or so?Isn't it viable?
Any idea if DRDO is developing something similar to LM 2500 gas turbine engines or not?
And what are the MINGS and FINGS navigational systems used onboard Agni 4?How do they work?What's their components?
And lastly,how much these MINGS and FINGS improve accuracy and what's the possible CEP of the Agni IV?
Please throw some info.

Anonymous said...

eanwhile, during a press conference on the successful test-firing of the Agni-4 missile, DRDO Chief V K Saraswat said the sub-sonic cruise missile Nirbhay will be test-fired in the early part of 2012.

Anonymous said...

Is the DRDO developing any standoff PGM such as wing fitted , rocket boosted INS/GPS guided bomb such as Sagem AASM? What about the tender IAF has issued for purchasing standoff weapons?

Anonymous said...

In the following article there is a mention of alternative engine for JF-17.

What is your opinion about the engine and would it make a material difference to the JF-17 aircraft.

SK said...

You have stated that Skyranger is better than Pantsir system. Can you elaborate. Pantsir has both Guns and Missiles so is it a Jack-of-all-trades but expert in neither ? Skyranger has a bigger better gun which is given but no missiles. So will Skyranger be able to intercept multiple targets at the same time ? For that matter can Pantsir engage multiple targets due to its Gun/missile combo ?
Can US Phalnax C-RAM be used for the same role ? Can any of the above systems be used for both C-RAM and Anti-air role.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Pershing-II is said to be having a CEP of 30 Meters. Can Agni-IV be expected having similar CEP.

Anonymous said...

Shree said...

Hi Prasun you replied to me once that Type 052C destroyer of chini were less advanced than Kolkata DDG as they have PESA .
Type 348 is reportedly an AESA radar. Is it true???

Also its ASM C602 has over 400Kms range and HQ-9 SAM has 200Kms range ....... and most importantly 2 of them are operational .....
and it looks quite stealthy

when can expect P 15 s to be operational????????

Can Brahmos onboard ships be used for both Ship ans land attack???

Anonymous said...

Here's something we dont get see often...

"The winner was adjudged on the basis of size of patent portfolio, success rate, extent of globalization and influence of innovation as the analytical parameters." From article

SAY WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"The organisation has been consistently making efforts at innovation and creating an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) culture as an integral part of research and development, which resulted in an IPR portfolio of about 1400 patents, copyrights, designs and trademarks."

WHERE ARE THE RESULTS????????????????

Anonymous said...

do we manufacture bullets of our guns or they too are imported????????

Anonymous said...

for anon at 11.26pm....

by that way we should first invent fire...then wheel and then go to other inventions.

man what we require is what technology which is not avaialble open, not to develop paper clips, pencil tips etc. Also what is very costly can be brought to terms is acceptable.

are we capable of high end manufacturing? I dont know!... but that should be our aim...not to recreate the cycle balls.

sbm said...


Let me ask you this - what will be the armament and sensor fit for the 17 patrol boats being ordered by the army and the 50 for the MHA ?

Some issues ago, Force had a single photo of some sailors on a patrol boat with a single 12.7mm forward and two LMGs. They wore normal naval uniforms and the boat had the pennant number W 201 I think.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anurag: Firstly, the BM-21 Grad’s range expansion programme had nothing to do with the DRDO. Ut was a trilateral venture involving the MoD-owned Ordnance Factories Board (OGB), Rosoboronexport State Corp, and Israel Military Industries (IMI). While the Russians sold OFB the design of this new MBRL rocket, IMI supplied the high-energy propellants, which are also to be used for the Pinaka Mk2 rockets. For ballistic missiles, however, higher-energy propellants of greater sophistication are reqd, such as those for the Agni-4/5 and also for PDV missile interceptors. As for marine gas-turbines, the Kaveri-derived KMGT is under development, although its clearance for mass-production is still a few years away, maybe another five years. Regarding MINGS & FINGS, it was all explained at:
Furthermore, I had uploaded a poster explaining it further. This poster is at:
For ballistic missiles, FINGS coupled to a GLONASS GPS receiver is used by the TEL for autonomous land navigation. The missile’s on-board inertial navigation system is the ring-laser-gyro-based inertial navigation system. For terminal guidance of the warhead/s, one requires a scene correlation matching system using the SCAN algorithm (which is made use of by the missile’s on-board SGH synthetic aperture radar) similar to the one employed by the BrahMos multi-role cruise missile (MRCM). And it is this technology that is being sought by the DRDO from Russia (and that’s why Dr Avinash Chander was in Russia last October. Only if this is available from Russia will one be able to achieve CEPs similar to what was achieved by the US Pershing-2 IRBM.

To Anon@4.57PM: That’s the glide-bomb which is being developed by the ARDE. It will make use of FINGS for tactical navigation.

To Anon@5.40PM: How can this solution go on board a single-engined aircraft like the JF-17? Two such turbofans power the Hongdu L-15 lead-in fighter trainer.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SK: The Pantsyr-S1 is good for those countries that do not have E-SHORADS or SHORADS. In India’s case, since the SpyDer-SRs are already being procured by the IAF and Indian Army, having a combined gun/missile-based air defence system won’t make much sense. Phalanx C-RAM is for naval defence against anti-ship cruise missiles and is not in the same league as the Pantsyr-S1. It will be better to compare the C-RAM with Russia’s Palma & Kashtan.

To Mr.RA 13: As I explained above, everything depends on acquiring the seeker technology for the n-warheads for terminal-stage navigation. Without that, greater CEPs will be the consequence. But then again, going by the great Dr V K Saraswat’s recent utterances, one really doesn’t know what to make of them. Sample this: “Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V.K. Saraswat on Wednesday said the country makes missiles in order to meet security as opposed to competing with the latest technologies launched by other countries. On the issue of comparison with China and other countries, Saraswat responded saying that India was competing with only itself and praised Agni IV's capabilities. "See, our potential is for ourselves and whatever missiles we have made are in accordance to the level of threat we face. We do not think about what our adversaries have, it does not affect us because we are making these missiles for our own security," said Saraswat.
What exactly does all this mean? On one hand he’s talking about benchmarking the Agni-4 against the Pershing-2, and on the other he’s saying,” We do not think about what our adversaries have, it does not affect us…”. I reckon it’s high time such utterances are banned from being made public by the Raksha Mantri with immediate effect, for it is such utterances that tend to show the DRDO in very bad light.

To Shree: There are no AESA-based radars operational with any branch of the PLA as of now. The radars on the Luyang-class FFGs are derivatives of the HT-233 target engagement radar used by the KS-1A/HQ-12 MR-SAM system, as are the radars for the HQ-16 naval LR-SAM and HQ-9 land-based LR-SAM. These LR-SAMs don’t have 200km-range, but less than 100km. The LR-SAM round is just a fattened and re-engineered version of the Russian 9M317M MR-SAM that is used by the naval Shtil-1 system and land-based Buk-M1. And the shipborne C-602 has a 300km-range. P-15 DDGs have been operational since 1997. Yes, BrahMos is a supersonic MRCM and it can be used for both maritime strike and land-attack.

To SBM: Apologies for being unable to reply earlier. The fixed armament for the TEMPEST 35-SPC will be a 12.7mm machine gun from Belgium’s FN. The ones for the MHA will have OFB-built 7.62mm LMGs. The naval PC (W-201) you’re reminiscing about is the Chantier Naval Couach-built FIC-1300 for the Sagar Prahari Bal. It too comes with an LMG-fit + hand-held 40mm AGLs from South Africa’s Milkor. Will send you the photo. It was taken during the commissioning ceremony of INS Satpura.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Looks like the HEADLINES TODAY news anchors and correspondents have this time really gone overboard with the much-overhyped Chinese naval threat to the A & C islands and Indian Ocean. Just look at the GoogleEarth photo posted by LIVEFIST of Great Coco Island. While the photo does show an airstrip with an asphalted runway, what the blog-owner has done--deliberately I presume--is to crop the dateline of the photo, which is 1/2/2006! BY spending just US$3,000 the management of HEADLINES TODAY could have easily obtained the latest 1-metre resolution imagery from either ANTRIX Corp or even DigitalGlobe, which would have revealed the truth to all, which is: there are no SIGINT facilities or air-defence installations there. All that there is is one terminal approach radar for the runway (for enabling IFR operations by India-supplied BN-2 Islander coastal MPAs) and an S-band sea surveillance radar atop a lighthouse off the island's southern tip. So much for investigative journalism!!!

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Thanx for the replies and clarifications.

sbm said...

Thanks Prasun. But why an FN HMG and not the Prahari 12.7mm guns fitted to the SPB vessels ? I mean I am seening thosw Prahari 12.7mm guns in many places: I think even the Headlines Today report showed one on the stern of the FAC on patrol and I believe the Super Dvoras have 1-2 along with 2 20mm guns. How many vessels does the SPB have at present ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: It all boils down to the vessel’s seaworthiness certification criteria. The SPB’s interceptor craft are now equipped with OGB-built 7.62mm LMGs, not 12.7mm. The Army’s new acquisitions come built-in with soft-mounts for the 12.7mm HMG that also incorporates a mount for an integral thermal imager. The SPB’s gun-mounts don’t have these. Instead, separate HHTIs have to be carried by the on-board personnel. For more on the SPB’s future plans, the following links should suffice:

sbm said...

Thanks Prasun.

However it seems that the SPB vessels still have a single HMG forward plus two LMGs on the bridge roof.

How many FN HMGs is the army looking to procure ? Will the numbers proceed beyond the 17 needed for the boats or will the FN fill the HMG requirement that the army put out in its RFI ?

On an unrelated point, since 2008 what new inductions of equipment have been made in the NSG ? More holographic sights for the MP-5s ? More SiG rifles ?


SK said...

On a different note with Pak inducting the Nasr-7 with Tactical Nukes in it, what steps is IA taking to prevent them from using against its armored formations ?

Can the point defense Skyranger or Tungaska/Pantsir will be able to intercept them reliably. Will the SpyDer system able to distinguish the NASR from other MBRL rockets and engage them ? Won't a mobile version of the Israeli IronDome/David Sling provide better defence ?

DRDO is developing the ABM but Does it have any project to stop such Short range Rockets and artillery. Praahar is a offensive rocket with greater range but I am asking about defensive system.

In the last question I was talking about comparing the land version (truck mounted) of the Phalnax C-RAM with Skyranger

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: The number of FN-developed HMGs in Indian Army service will go up in the coming years as the Army has zeroed in on it for its overall force midernisation efforts. As for the NSG, this pretty much sums it up:

To SK: The Skyranger will be employed for point-defence of vulnerable areas and vulnerable points--all static installations. It has already been integrated on-board a TATA heavy-duty truck as well as on a BMP hull. For mobile air defence for the Army, the BMP-mounted Skyranger along with the upgraded ZSU-23-4 Schilkas & Tunguska-M1s will be employed. For air-defence against NLOS-BSMs like the Hatf-9/Nasr, the Barak-2 MR-SAM will have to be employed. Iron Dome/David's Sling are employed against MBRLs/MLRS and cruise missiles, not NLOS-BSMs or TBMs.

Anonymous said...

Prasun,regarding the coco island airstrip. Is it then untrue then that the PLA use the island as an observation facility regularly or irregularly?.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon^^^: Totally untrue. There's no such thing happening there. In today's world where 1-metre resolution photos can be acquired at short notice at affordable costs by anyone, it would surely have come out into the open domain by now had any such thing took place. That is precisely why Indian news agencies and broadcast media never bother to spend money on acquiring sych satellite photos. Because if they do, they will realise that they're just engaging in tall claims, scaremongering and giving out disinformation. Consequently, they wonlt have a story to tell at all. So, better to disregard any form of documentary evidence and just go ahead and belch out false propaganda.

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