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Monday, December 5, 2011

Dissecting The Speech Of The IN’s CNS

Without any doubt, it can be safely stated that both Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials and the three armed services chiefs are spectacularly notorious for dabbling in generalities or denials during official media briefings, while scrupulously avoiding getting into the details, where the devil always lurks. The press briefing given by the Indian Navy’s Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Nirmal Verma, on December 2—which incidentally was to be his last such briefing--was no exception. To prove this, let us first gloss over the official text of the speech in its entirety.
December 2,  2011

Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. At the very outset, I would like to thank all of you for being here this afternoon to attend this year’s press conference. I am glad to see that all forms and sections of media are well represented, which provides us with an opportunity for comprehensive interaction. I also avail this opportunity to compliment all of you for your valuable contribution in keeping the nation informed of our defence needs and imperatives.

2. It is not without reason that Mark Twain had remarked that only the Sun and the Press can carry light to all corners of the globe. Of course, he was talking about the Associated Press, but I think our own media has done well in carrying defence-related news and views to all parts of the country.

3. I will make some opening remarks, after which I will take your questions. As you are aware, we celebrate Navy Day on December 4 every year. It is an occasion to remember our war heroes as well as to rededicate ourselves to the service of the Nation. On this occasion I would like to specifically remember one of my illustrious predecessors, Admiral Oscar Stanley Dawson, who passed away last month. He was the Director of Naval Operations in 1971 and one of the architects of the events of December 4, 1971.                             

4. Today the world has acknowledged India’s economic prowess and future economic potential. As the country continues to progress on the path of sustained economic growth, there is a growing acceptance of the fact that the maritime domain is the prime facilitator of our economic growth. More than 90% of our trade by volume and 77% by value is transported over the seas. Over 97% of our energy needs of oil are either imported or produced from offshore fields. Consequently, our economic growth is inextricably linked to the seas.

5. It is in appreciation of these security and economic imperatives that we have adopted this year’s theme, for the Navy Day--‘Safe Seas and Secure Coasts for a Strong Nation’.

6. The role and responsibility of the IN to protect our maritime interest will grow with the requirement to safeguard our expanding economic interests, as also the expectations associated with being a mature and responsible regional maritime power. Therefore, whilst the Navy is prepared to meet any form of traditional threat, it is also in the process of acquiring capabilities and realigning its operational ethos to meet emerging security challenges in our maritime domain.

7. Accordingly, during the last year the Navy has maintained its momentum towards enhancing maritime security and safeguarding our economic and strategic interests. Today, the Navy stands committed towards contributing to stability in our area of primary interest, that is the Indian Ocean Region.    

8. It is, therefore, with good reason that the tempo of naval operations in 2011 was substantially higher. The Navy has been dealing with low-intensity threats on a regular basis wherein securing our coasts and safety of the merchant marine require focussed attention. In addition, our preparedness to deal with eventualities across the spectrum of operations has been maintained at a high level through sustained deployments, regular exercises as well as cooperative security initiatives with regional and international navies. We have commenced induction of assets and manpower and setting up of infrastructure to consolidate our coastal security organisation. Further, indigenous development of naval armament and equipment has been a focus area of the Navy and I am happy to state that there has been significant progress in this field.

Capability Building
9. Perspective planning is the key to building and maintaining a force structure, owing to the dynamics of a constantly changing geo-strategic environment and threats evolving thereof. Force Level Planning is thus an iterative process. An implementable Perspective Plan is particularly critical to building an indigenous navy. I am glad to note that earlier this year, we have formulated the Maritime Capabilities Perspective Plan and formalised the naval component of the 12th Defence Plan for 2012-2017.  

10. The Navy is acutely conscious of the need for optimal utilisation of allocated monetary resources. Within the budget projections, the Navy is aiming at building a multi-dimensional capability, congruent to our increasing responsibilities as well as challenges. Our preferred choice of inducting ships and submarines has been through the indigenous route and of the 49 ships and submarines presently on order, 45 are from Indian shipyards. 

11. The Navy’s quest for indigenisation has resulted in our Defence Public-Sector Shipyards (DPSU) being given an unprecedented number of orders for warship and submarine construction. Significantly, for the first time, DPSUs and private shipyards were involved in competitive bidding. This has resulted in price discovery in some cases and two private shipyards have been awarded contracts for construction of Offshore Patrol Vessels and Training Ships for the Navy. With larger number of shipyards participating in warship building, a larger number of deliveries are expected in the medium–term.

12. As I reiterate our firm commitment to the continued development of our indigenous warship-building capability I must also add that we are keen that the capability of both public- and private-sector shipyards be scaled up to deliver state-of-the-art warships that meet our future needs in time frames that match global standards.

13. In this context with the aim to enhance synergy between the Navy and the industry, we have compiled a Naval Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap, to keep the industry informed about the future requirements of the Navy in terms of technology and desired capability. This document will be hosted on the MoD website and I hope that the initiative will help boost the participation of the private sector in the defence production process, particularly with regard to naval systems.

14. We hope to build upon some of our successes in this regard, such as the indigenous Combat Management System (CMS), which is currently at various stages of integration in our new induction platforms.

15. The induction programme is continuing apace and over the next five years we expect to induct ships/submarines at an average rate of 5 ships per year provided the yards deliver as per contracted timelines. This year we have concluded eight important contracts which include contracts for four destroyers, five Offshore Patrol Vessels, two Cadet Training Ships, eight Landing Craft Utility and Fast Interceptor Craft for coastal security duties. We are also looking forward to soon concluding contracts for mine countermeasures vessels (MCMV) and Project 17A guided-missile frigates (FFG).

16. Amongst the major projects, under construction in Indian shipyards, are the three ships of Kolkata-class (Project 15A guided-missile destroyers, or DDGs), four Project 15B DDGs, which are an advanced version of the Kolkata-class DDGs, and the six Project 75 Scorpene submarines, all at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai. Four Project 28 anti-surface warfare (ASW) corvettes are being built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. In addition, nine Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPV) are under construction at Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and a private shipyard. Construction of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is also progressing.

17. We expect to induct one Project 17 Shivalik-class FFG—INS Sahyadri--one Offshore Patrol Vessel, one Kolkata-class DDG, one P-28 ASW Corvette, three Catamaran Hull Survey Vessels and 25 Fast Interceptor Craft (these being a mixture of the 15 Chantier Naval Couach’s FIC-1300s and 80 FICs from Sri Lanka-based Solas Marine and for the Sagar Prahari Bal) over the next one year.

18. Amongst the overseas projects, the refurbishment of Vikramaditya is progressing on track and the ship is expected to be delivered in December 2012. The three follow-on FFGs of the Project 1135.6 Talwar-class, under construction at Russia, are likely to be delivered between 2012 and 2013.

19. Our maritime surveillance capability is a critical component of maritime security, both in times of peace and conflict, and plays a crucial role in the security of the Maritime Zones of India, as also of our vast coastline. The planned induction of twelve P-8I Poseidon LRMR/ASW aircraft to add more teeth to this capability, is on schedule. The first flight of the first P-8I for the Indian Navy took place on September 28 this year and this signals that the programme is well on track.  The first aircraft would arrive in India by January 13.  Acquisition of Medium-Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft is also being progressed concurrently.

20. The delivery of 16 carrier-borne MiG-29K multi-role aircraft, as per the initial contract will be completed by the end of the year. We have also signed a contract for 29 more aircraft, the delivery of which is likely to commence from April next year. The Naval version of the LCA is under development and two main engine runs of the first prototype have been carried out. The naval variant differs from the Air Force version due to its requirement to operate from the deck of the aircraft carrier. The prototype is expected to do the much delayed first flight by the first quarter of 2012. Once successful flight trials are completed, we intend to go ahead with a Limited Series Production (LSP) of the aircraft, in preparation for future inductions.

21. Further, the induction of Hawk Mk132 AJT commencing 2013 would facilitate advanced training of our young pilots in developing requisite flying skills over sea prior to graduating to deck-based combat aircraft.

22. The mid-life upgrade of existing Sea King Mk42B and Kamov Ka-28 helicopters, aimed at upgrading their weapon and sensor package would be undertaken in the 12th Plan period (2012-2017). Further, efforts are in hand for acquiring multi-role helicopters, additional airborne  early warning helicopters and utility helicopters. The field evaluation for procurement of 16 multi-role helicopters was concluded recently and the contract negotiations should commence by early 2012.

23. The Indian Navy recognises the superior persistence and surveillance capabilities of unmanned assets and has factored their induction. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) squadrons on the West Coast are fully operational and a new squadron on the East Coast is planned to be commissioned early next year. The technological advancements on the unmanned platforms incorporating improved sensors would enhance the coverage of the Area of Operations and such features have been factored as future drivers of growth.

24. In addition, we are in the process of procuring a number of weapons such as heavy machine guns, assault and sniper rifles, close-quarter battle carbines and infantry weapons training simulators, to bolster our personnel protection capabilities.

25. Concurrent with the procurement of assets, development of infrastructure, is essential for balanced capability enhancement. We have therefore accorded high priority for creating supporting infrastructure for our new inductions.

26. Phase I of the Naval Base at Karwar, under Project Seabird, has been completed this year. The last major milestone was the inauguration of the Defence Civilian Township by the Hon'ble RM on May 21. We are now progressing the case for Phase II A of the project, which over the next eight to ten years would substantially enhance the operational, technical and administrative facilities and other infrastructure in the naval base. In addition, the Navy is also in the process of setting up Operational Turn Around (OTR) bases, Forward Operating Bases and Naval Air Enclaves along the coast which would enhance the reach and sustainability of our surveillance effort.

27. This year the Navy has provided a renewed impetus and focus towards creation of operational and administrative infrastructure in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands. These islands are the country’s strategic outposts and augmentation of the facilities would enhance our reach and enable extended presence in the area.

28. Moving on to operations.  We have maintained a high level of training and preparedness consistent with our peacetime stance, through regular exercises at the Fleet level. We have also honed our skills in joint operations through the year. For instance, this year’s Operational Readiness Exercise, TROPEX 11, which was conducted in February, was marked by significant participation by both the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force with a focus on amphibious operations, amongst other issues.  We also conducted another annual exercise which was aimed at addressing possible contingencies off the coast of Gujarat.

29. We have undertaken extensive overseas deployments in consonance with our foreign policy and operated extensively in the Indian Ocean as also in the Western Pacific. The nature of the maritime challenges, that we are faced with, necessitates engagement and cooperation with other Navies. Consequently, engagement of friendly navies on transnational maritime security issues, to develop a shared understanding and interoperability, has been a focus issue. Through such overseas deployments, the Indian Navy has been improving its operational and combat capabilities. This year, bilateral exercises were held with the navies of France, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, UK, USA, following exercises with Brazil and South Africa, last year. We have reinitiated a biennial series of naval exercises with Sri Lanka titled SLINEX, the most recent one having been undertaken in September this year.

30. Indian Navy ships have also engaged in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. Most notable amongst them was the deployment for evacuation of our citizens from Libya in March this year as part of Operation Blossom. Occurring in close wake to our Operational Readiness Exercise, TROPEX 11, that I had mentioned about earlier, OP Blossom demonstrated the efficacy and agility with which our units can transit from an exercise environment into operations.  In another disaster relief operation, our units participated in the flood relief efforts in Odisha in September this year.

31. Piracy off the coast of Somalia has grown steadily over the years. While 217 attacks were reported off Somalia and in the Indian Ocean in 2009, they increased to 219 in 2010. The number of incidents have already reached 228 for the current year till November 2011. However, due to sustained efforts of navies and the shipping community, the success rate of piracy has dropped from 38% in 2008 to 11% this year.

32. Piracy in the region has a direct bearing on our economy as a large percentage of India’s trade including oil and fertilisers, also passes through the Gulf of Aden. The Ministry of Shipping has estimated that Indian exports and imports through the Gulf of Aden route are valued in the range of over US$100 billion. The safety and unhindered continuity of maritime trade, through ships that use this route, is, therefore, a primary national concern.  About 24 India-flagged merchant ships transit the Gulf of Aden every month. Additionally, a large number of foreign flagged vessels with Indian crew also sail on these waters.

33. Consequently, the Indian Navy commenced anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden from October 2008 to protect India-flagged ships and Indian citizens employed in sea-faring duties. Close to 1900 ships have been escorted by Indian Navy ships in the Gulf of Aden of these the foreign flagged ships are close to 1,700. During its deployments for anti-piracy operations, Indian Navy ships have prevented 39 piracy attempts on merchant vessels.

34. As a result of resolute naval action in the Gulf of Aden by several countries, piracy shifted to new areas, including the East Arabian Sea by end 2010. In order to counter this new trend, the Indian Navy substantially increased its anti-piracy deployments in the East Arabian Sea, including areas off Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands. As a result of these deployments and actions against four pirate mother ships this year, the threat of piracy attacks has sharply reduced in this area. Over a hundred pirates were apprehended and 73 fishermen and crew were rescued during anti piracy operations by the navy in the East Arabian Sea this year.

35. Coastal security, as you may be aware, is a complex issue which requires not only seamless coordination across numerous organisations but also the setting up of significant technological infrastructure.  Towards this end, our objective has been to increase the synergy between various agencies by ensuring better sharing of information, and coordination of actions. While there has been the odd aberration, in other instances swift coordinated action brought success. 

36. In this context it is pertinent to highlight that, there has been an increase of about 70% in naval ship deployments and a 100% increase in aircraft deployments towards coastal security tasking. Surveillance of the Offshore Development Areas has also been enhanced. Integration of fishermen, as one of the stakeholders of maritime security, has been addressed at grass-root levels, and so far, 361 awareness campaigns have been conducted in the coastal states by naval and Coast Guard teams. This is an ongoing endeavour and will be continued in the years ahead.  Our fishermen are our ‘eyes and ears’ in our coastal security matrix.

37. Considerable progress has also been made in augmenting coastal security infrastructure. The recently raised Sagar Prahari Bal has commenced operations with the induction of the first lot of FIC-1300s at Mumbai in June. As I mentioned earlier, a contract for another 80 additional fast interceptor craft was also signed in August. Static sea surveillance radars will be installed all along the coast by next year. A chain of Automatic Identification Systems will also come up along the coast by mid-2012. The pilot project for fitment of transponders on fishing vessels less than 20 metres of length, is planned for implementation in Gujarat and Maharashtra. After the initial trials this will be implemented in other coastal states. This measure would enhance the capability for tracking fishing boats in high density areas.

38. The Navy is setting up the National Command Control Communication Intelligence or (NC3I) Network envisaged for coastal security which would be an independent network and interlink all the Coastal Stations with the Joint Maritime Operations Centres and the Headquarters of Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. Further, as part of NC3I network, an Information Management Fusion and Analysis Centre for fusing all maritime  information is being set up, with a view to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and a common operational picture of the relevant sea and ocean areas. Once commissioned, this will be an important force multiplier.

39. Better inter-agency coordination has been one of the positive outcomes of the progress made in last few years. This has been facilitated by the conduct of regular coastal security exercises and operations conducted with all maritime stakeholders. While the coastal security architecture has been strengthened considerably, to further improve the capacity and capability for coastal security, a case for Phase II of Coastal Security augmentation has been initiated. Under this initiative, additional assets such as patrol vessels, helicopters, UAVs, manpower, special forces, forward operating bases, etc. have been proposed. The utility of these assets will not be limited to coastal security alone.

Maritime Cooperation
40. It is natural that India’s growing stature there will be expectations from the Indian Navy, which is the largest Navy in the region, to maintain good order and security at sea. To achieve its mandated tasks, the Indian Navy is enhancing its capabilities, as well as cooperation and inter-operability with regional and extra-regional navies. Naval forces, with their many attributes including access, mobility, sustenance, reach, flexibility and versatility, are ideally equipped to play an active part in furthering diplomatic efforts, in keeping with national priorities.

41. We have a well-established material and training assistance programme in place with Indian Ocean Region countries to assist them in capacity-building and capability-enhancement. The Indian Navy also provides assistance by deploying its assets like ships and aircraft to undertake surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the littorals from time to time, based on requests made by friendly countries.

42. In the current strategic scenario, wherein a myriad of global security challenges confront all nations at large, training cooperation is vital for fostering mutual trust and inter-operability. Training of personnel from friendly navies therefore, has been the cornerstone of our Foreign Cooperation Initiatives.  It is aimed to increase training opportunities to Indian Ocean Region littoral countries, especially the island-nations and ensure that India remains their first preference for ab-initio and mid-career courses. We presently train personnel from 21 countries.

43. The Navy has institutionalised a number of bilateral exercises with other navies. These exercises have continued to expose our Navy to the best practices followed by others, develop inter-operability, showcase our indigenous shipbuilding capability and strengthen naval diplomacy initiatives. A number of bilateral exercises are accordingly scheduled in 2012 as well.

44. The Indian Navy has been actively involved in cooperative engagement with several friendly countries across the globe.  The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium is one such initiative of the Indian Navy, which addresses common maritime security concerns and other such issues of mutual interest amongst the 35 member-states.

Human Resource Development
45. I firmly believe that human resource is our most precious asset. Our uniformed and civilian personnel derive their strength and motivation from the finest traditions that we have inherited from our predecessors. Yet it is a reality that the Navy is facing a shortfall in both uniformed and civilian personnel. Civilian personnel form the backbone of our maintenance force and have longstanding expertise, which we can ill afford to lose. We are making all efforts in conducting special recruitment drives to make good the shortfalls. Shortage of service personnel are also being progressively reduced through additional recruitments. In spite these efforts, there is a shortfall of uniformed personnel, which we hope to address in the coming years through focussed initiatives to engage the youth of our country. In this context, I am optimistic that Cabinet approval would be accorded in the near future for expansion of the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala.

46. Towards addressing our functional requirements and the aspirations of our sailors, a cadre restructuring proposal termed Review of Career Profile of sailors was approved by the Government in October 2010, which was aimed to enhance the functional efficiency of our units as also to promote greater professional satisfaction. The implementation has commenced in a phased manner and would reduce the timeline for promotion to the rank of Petty Officer to less than 15 years in all branches; i.e. within their initial contractual period. Another recently approved initiative is the Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme that has bolstered our efforts to provide better remuneration to compensate for the difficult working conditions in the Service.  This scheme entitles each sailor assured growth through his career wherein he gets a financial up gradation at 8, 16 and 24 years of service or on spending 8 years continuously in a Grade Pay.

47. I would also highlight the special emphasis we place on ensuring that the family members of the personnel who lay down their lives in the Service of the Nation, continue to be provided support and succour through lifelong association with the Navy, for which, the Naval Regimental System, provides a very proactive mechanism with representatives down to the unit-level. We have a moral obligation towards providing support to naval widows and our initiative to set up a hostel for them, on land that was recently allocated for this purpose in Delhi, is a manifestation of our commitment.

48. Another recent initiative, the Navy–IGNOU Community College Scheme, Sagardeep, is a distinctive HR measure that will empower sailors, irrespective of entry-level qualification, branch or trade.  The signing of the MoU this year between the Indian Navy and the Indira Gandhi National Open University has been a landmark event that will facilitate higher education amongst our sailors, thereby benefitting the Navy whilst significantly equipping our personnel for their second innings.

49. We have also accorded a lot of importance to providing quality accommodation to our personnel, this is an important aspiration that we are committed to address. Phase I of Married Accommodation Project or MAPS is largely complete. We have obtained approval for Phase II of the project and it is already under construction. Once implemented there will be a substantial increase in the availability of dwelling units for our personnel on completion of the second phase. Additionally, the Navy is also progressing issues related to upgrading hospital and school facilities for our personnel and their dependents which would contribute to our overall sense of well being, satisfaction and pride.

Sports and Adventure
50. It is a matter of great pride for me to state that the Indian Navy’s sportsmen have consistently done the country proud in the International arena. 32 Naval sportsmen have so far represented the country at various International sports events during the current year and have won 01 Gold, 02 Silver and 05 Bronze medals. Cdr Dilip Donde was awarded the Tenzing Norgay Adventure Award for his exemplary feat of successfully completing the maiden Solo Circumnavigation by an Indian citizen, on board the sailing yacht ‘Mhadei’ in 2011, Suranjoy Singh, MCPO II PT of the Navy Boxing team has been bestowed with the prestigious “Arjuna Award” for excelling in boxing for  the year 2010-11. Sanjeev Rajput, MCPO II QA 3 of the Navy shooting team has qualified for the London Olympics 2012 in 50 Metres Rifle 3 Positions event. Ashok Kumar, Chief ME, Omkar Singh, Chief Petty Officer and Samarendra Singh, Leading Steward, have won medals at the international-level in wrestling, air pistol shooting and canoeing, respectively. We are extremely proud of the achievement of our sports persons and the Navy would continue to nurture young men and women who have the potential to bring laurels to the country.

51. Let me conclude by stating that we are committed to create and sustain a combat-ready, technology-enabled and networked force, capable of safeguarding our maritime interests and projecting combat power across littorals. We seek to evolve relevant conceptual frameworks and acquire the warfighting capabilities to operate across the full spectrum of conflict on sustained basis. Ensuring combat readiness will therefore remain our primary focus. We will also be prepared to undertake benign and humanitarian tasks in our region, whenever required. Our operational endeavour shall be underpinned by continuous upgradation of our human skills and a willingness to transform as required to meet the challenges of the future.

52. The Navy Day is an occasion for me to avail the opportunity to express my appreciation, to each and every service and civilian member of the Navy, for their service to our nation, as also, my acknowledgment of the contribution by their families.

53. And finally, on behalf of the naval fraternity, I place on record, our deepest gratitude and respect to our martyrs and our veteran community who have built the strong edifice and traditions of the Indian Navy. In their recognition, year 2012 has been dedicated as the ‘Year for the Ex-Serviceman’.  

Thank you very much.

What It All Means, Or Implies
Let’s start with Para 10, in which it is stated that “of the 49 ships and submarines presently on order, 45 are from Indian shipyards”. Would it have hurt the CNS if he had given a simplified breakdown of this order by mentioning the numbers of principal surface combatants (DDGs, FFGs, corvettes, submarines, MCMVs, auxiliary/utility vessels, and various types of fast attack craft?  In Para 14, when he refered to the indigenously developed CMS (this being the EMDINA) “which is currently at various stages of integration in our new induction platforms,” does it imply that the CMS suites on board the two already-commissioned Project 17 FFGs have yet to undergo functional integration? And would it have hurt anyone if the CNS were to dwell very briefly on the challenges involved in naval systems integration and which were the naval establishments/directorates and DPSUs that have risen up to the challenge? In Para 16, by describing the Project 28 corvette as an “anti-surface warfare (ASW)” vessel, was the CNS claiming or confirming that these vessels will not be optimised for anti-submarine warfare, but will instead be armed with anti-ship cruise missiles and be configured for attacking hostile surfaced targets? In Para 19, where he stated that “the planned induction of twelve P-8I Poseidon LRMR/ASW aircraft… on schedule,” was he confirming that the contract for a follow-on four P-8Is had already been inked? In the same para, where he disclosed that the “acquisition of Medium-Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft is also being progressed concurrently,” would it have hurt if he had identified the potential platforms that had been shortlisted, whether they were turboprop- or turbofan-powered, how many platforms are planned for acquisition and why was the abbreviation ‘ASW’ not attached to the description of this platform? In Para 20, when referring to the LCA (Navy), why didn’t the CNS quantify the “Limited Series Production (LSP) of the aircraft” that the IN plans to procure? In Para 21, why did the CNS fail to give the number of navalised Hawk Mk132 lead-in fighter trainers being procured? In Para 22, while revealing that “efforts are in hand acquiring multi-role helicopters, additional airborne  early warning helicopters and utility helicopters,” why did he not identify the helicopters being considered for procured by their names/model designations/tonnage, and which helicopter-type would go on board which vessel? In the same para while the CNS confirmed that “the field evaluation for procurement of 16 multi-role helicopters was concluded recently and the contract negotiations should commence by early 2012,” what was there to lose were he to identify the helicopters that were evaluated and shortlisted? In Para 23, where it was stated that “a new (UAV) squadron on the East Coast is planned to be commissioned early next year,” was the CNS implying that this would be based at the Behala airfield in south Kolkata, or would it be the squadron that was earlier earmarked for deployment in Port Blair, but will instead be based at Arakkonam in the near future? In Para 26, where the CNS disclosed that “the Navy is also in the process of setting up Operational Turn Around (OTR) bases, Forward Operating Bases and Naval Air Enclaves along the coast,” was he referring to India’s entire coastline, or just the western seaboard? And where exactly would these bases and enclaves be located? In Para 36, where it was mentioned that “there has been an increase of about 70% in naval ship deployments and a 100% increase in aircraft deployments towards coastal security tasking,” why was it not highlighted that coastal security  operations during peacetime are constabulary functions that are best handled by the Indian Coast Guard Service (ICGS), why has the Navy been undertaking such operations, what effects would all these have on the technical service lives of the warships involved, and lastly, have such operations prevented the Navy from honing its warfighting skills post-26/11? In Para 38, why did the CNS not reveal the targetted commissioning dates of the   National Command Control Communications Intelligence or (NC3I) Network and the Information Management Fusion and Analysis Centre? Is it because both the terrestrial NAVNET (using fibre-optic cables) and the project to deploy GSAT-7 fleet communications satellite in geo-stationary orbit are running way behind schedule? In Para 39, in which the CNS spoke about the initiation of Phase II of coastal security augmentation through the proposed acquisition of additional assets such as patrol vessels, helicopters, UAVs, manpower, special forces, forward operating bases, etc., was he referring solely to the Navy’s future force modernisation plans, or was he also talking about those of the ICGS?

During the question-and-answer session when the CNS described the IN as being “a brand new multi-dimensional navy with reach and sustainability” that “is in the offing with over 150 warships and close to 600 fighters, maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters and drones by the latter half of the following decade, what method of calculation did he employ when giving such figures? Did he factor in the list of warships to be decommissioned between now and 2027, which include four FFGs, five DDGs, one aircraft carrier, nine SSKs, eight MCMVs, one LPD and two LST-Ls, 19 corvettes and five AOPVs? Lastly, while the CNS stated that development work on the Arihant SLBM is on track and the vessel will be sailing out from Visakhapatnam for sea trials in the next few months, why did he not give out any projected or estimated commissioning dates for this vessel, especially since he had disclosed a year ago that when the Arihant is put to see in two years (i.e. 2012), it will be on deterrent patrol with strategic weapons on board?

Now that I have identified the blanks above, the concluding part on this thread will dwell upon filling up the blanks.


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Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ajai Shukla's new piece, this time touting the Gripen NG. It seems more like an advertising piece that a critical deconstruction of the MMRCA

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon^^^: What else can be expected from one who can't even distinguish between the IAF's DPSA & TASA reqmts of the late 1970s and early 1980s? That's what made him pit the Jaguar against the Viggen, like apples versus oranges. Also, how can one believe his assertion about the US embargoing the delivery to India of the Viggen's GE-built J-79 turbofans when the Reagan Administration had at the same time approved the export of GE-built F404-F2J3 turbofans for the Tejas LCA? Guys like him are just too lazy to do their homework.

Anonymous said...

Sir, When Akash (2 reg. for Army) and 8 squadron for IAF, 18 system of SpyDer, Maitri and Barak for Airforce and navy will be inducted ?? sir, Please throw some light on Future of Indian SAM/air defence. Regards.

Anonymous said...

prasun da, Are we planning to Buy Hawkeye or any AEW for Navy ?? It's been never confirmed. What AEW IN is looking ?? More order on P8i possible ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.23PM: Already done that at:

To Anon@3.53PM: Present plans call for only increasing the number of Ka-31 shipborne AEW helicopters. Kindly wait for further updates tonight in the concluding part of my narrative on this thread. By reading the CNS' speech, it would be logical to conclude that the follow-on four P-8Is have already been ordered.

SherKhan said...

Hold on, are you telling us that Tejas has been in the offing since the days of President Reagan? wow that is over 22+ years...not sure that Reagan would allow the engines to india (offer by the company is one thing authorisation another)...he had scant regard for it, as at the time you guys towed the bears tail and supported the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan and slaughter of its people.

Anonymous said...

Well sir, you can ask why this why that. The fact is this was a press speech given by the man and is he obligated to spell out in explicit detail each and every thing? In that case he might still be half-way through it!

I think we can also ask the following questions to the 1st para going by your reasoning:

At the very outset, I would like to thank all of you for being here this afternoon to attend this year’s press conference. I am glad to see that all forms and sections of media are well represented, which provides us with an opportunity for comprehensive interaction. I also avail this opportunity to compliment all of you for your valuable contribution in keeping the nation informed of our defence needs and imperatives.

The problem is: Why didn't he identify which sections of the media are represented? or; Who is the "all" that he compliments? or; Would it hurt to spell out exactly what were the "contributions"....

He also said that IN trains personnel from 21 countries. I think you forgot to include in your analysis why did it hurt to name all 21 (Maldives, Mauritius, Qatar, Oman ... ...)

Then in regard to your comment on Arihant/ATV: he not give out any projected or estimated commissioning dates for this vessel, especially since he had disclosed a year ago that when the Arihant is put to sea in two years - But he didn't give out any exact or projected dates for anything during that Q&A session sir! Furthermore, regarding the "two years" statement, it again was shrouded with uncertainty from then, let me reproduce his statement: "INS Arihant will be inducted into the Navy in two years or so"!! I ordered a car some months back and they couldn't even tell me with certainty when it would be ready for collection (it ended up being delayed about 2 weeks from the "indicative date")! Although they were very certain in wanting the deposit paid within 4 days. Oh and mind you, it was no hand-built-in-England Rolls Royce or Bentley that I booked. Just an ordinary Jap.

I mean you can pick on and question just about anything if that's your aim. Again I repeat this is a press conference speech not a deposition!!

I have great respect for you and I'm an avid reader of your blog having credited you many a time. But it's just that I cannot agree with this "analysis". If you remember, I once requested that you completely ignore those who engage in needless and plain stupid ill-talk of you (e.g. Chor and other idiotic comments). But I believe what I put forward here forms part of a constructive argument for which I look forward to hearing from you.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SherKhan: Maybe you were not born by 1982 and that may account for your ignorance about the birth of the Tejas LCA project and how the contract for the first 11 F404F2J3s was inked in 1987. Not only that, Textron Systems-built hydropneumatic suspensions were fitted on to the Arjun Mk1 MBT's prototypes at around the same time. This MBT's original meteorological sensor too was of US origin and since the mid-1980s, the AGT-1500 gas turbine engine was offered for powering the Arjun.
And as for "at that time you guys towed the bears tail and supported the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan and slaughter of its people", I appreciate your sheer ignorance on this subject, since you were obviously nowhere near to the Delhi-based AIIMS where an exclusive ward had been created specifically for according medical treatment to the wounded Mujahideen belonging to the forces of Ahmed Shah Massoud. That's right, India's symbiotic relationship with the Northern Alliance began way back in the 1980s. And as to to how exactly the wounded Mujahideen were evacuated to India in those days, keep guessing.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.34PM: This was no ordinary press conference, but more like an annual report card (and very so a deposition) listing out the performances and activities of the Indian Navy in diverse areas, and all the queries that I've raised could have easily been answered within an extra 15 minutes, provided the press-conference began at 10am and not 11am. With regard to training naval personnel from friendly countries, yes, I did miss that out, but the detailed breakdown appears in successive annual reports of the MoD. About the Arihant's projected commissioning date, there was a need for clarity simply because of the CNS' earlier remarks in 2010 about such a vessel proceeding on deterrent patrols after its service induction. The question that subsequently arises is this: what kind of SLBM will be on board that SSBN which will ensure nuclear deterrence against China? Will it just a couple of 700lm-range SLBMs? And most importantly, how long will the sea trials of the SSBN last? A year? Three years?

MPatel said...

From the land of the warriors:

A great article written by an indian diplomat:

KSK said...

100 Subs and only 200 Million Dollars per Sub....WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can chini compete with the french,german and dutch in building subs????????????

Anonymous said...

I read and article today regarding Bell-Boeings presentation requested by MOD and IN for their V22 platform. How many platform will be purchased ? Apart from Airborne Early Platform which In requested, are we gonna purchase V22 for Special Operations and Disaster Relief also ?

I also read an article regarding IN wanting to have a fleet of 24 P8i LRMR aprt from 6 MRMR. Is it true ? Will it get approved by MOD and FM ?

How many MRMR is IN planning to induct ? I mean yeah we all know initial number is 6 but like most of the time IN's follow on order are bigger...

How many ATGM launchers is India planning to purchase ? We know the number of missiles will be huge but i am asking about launchers.

Also how many VSHORADS are planned for induction in indian armed forces ? Which one is most likely to win ?

SherKhan said...

Cheers Prasun for the info...appreciate it! What happened, why didn't india take up these potentially (now in hindsight off course) good offers?

...and no i didn't know the birth of LCA...was almost 3 decades ago. One thing i have never understood...why didn't you guys go with a russian engines? The plane could have been a perfect launchpad for your aerospace industry.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

"Will a Pakistani-Chinese axis lead to further military adventures? Alas, in its current state of financial helplessness the western world may have neither the resources nor the will to confront the Pakistani-Chinese juggernaut."

Hmmm... He too is talking about the evil axis of the Red Dragon with Pak666. At least by now this will be taken more seriously. Lol...

Anonymous said...

sir , can u plzz elaborate on "how the mujahideen were evacuated to india " come the soviets didn't know abt this ?or did they know ??
or ca u plzz give links to some literature concerning the same or name of some books ?

Anonymous said...

IN navy loves the JF17

Anonymous said...

Its a Freudian Slip my dear. IN really wanted the JF17 but somehow ended up with the LCA. Cant blame them can one?

Anonymous said...

the 2 anons above -- stop sockpuppeting stupid

Anonymous said...

Any india's move on E-2D Hawk eyes, which is shown interest by india earlier

Shree said...

How effective is the 5.56×30mm MINSAS cartridge ....when compared to others???

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun are we still going to buy MQ-8B Fire Scout ?

Is IN looking towards the new rotor UAVs that are coming like little bird UAV or Unmanned K-MAX helicopter or Northrop's new Fire-X unmanned helicopter or the new designs that are coming in response to USN's unmanned, high-speed, ship-based vertical take off and landing ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MPatel: Since the days of Zia ul-Haq Pakistan has eyed Central Asia and its natural resources, and has hoped to employ religious sentiments in order to gain influence. However, it never had the financial resources reqd for mobilization. This has now come from China and now Pakistan is acting as a subservient state to further China’s objectives in the Central Asian Republics.

To KSK: Yup, they do come cheap, but in terms of quality they’re decades behind what Europe and Scandinavia can offer, especially in areas pertaining to combat management systems, integrated sonar suites, integrated platform management, battle damage-control systems and communications gear.

To Anon@9.31PM: The V-22 presentation invitation does not automatically translate into a serious or firm interest in that product. Visiting VVIPs from India have always been known to extend such invitations to vendors in return for the vendors graciously showering their hospitality on the visiting VVIPs at their chalets during such expos. As for MRMR platforms, the reqmt is for six, but since these platforms are for coastal security only, in my view these should go to the ICGS, and not to the Navy, which is responsible primarily for maritime security. Regretably, the Navy post-26/11 has, voluntarily or otherwise, has been sucked into the coastal security role, which will have severe negative repercussions in future, including the emergence of a defensive mindset. ATGM launchers of all types for the Army will not exceed 9,000. VSHORADS launchers/rounds will be about 200/3,000.

To SherKhan: Of course the offers were taken up. If not, then how would they be on board India-built platforms. The Soviets/Russians in those days of the Cold War, did not have a policy of facilitating the development of hybrid weapon systems by anyone. Secondly, everyone in India knew that Soviet weapons-related technologies were years behind those of their Western counterparts.

To Mr.RA 13: The forthcoming trilateral meeting in Washington DC between officials from the US, Japan and India are a consequence of such developments. Australia and some ASEAN member-states too may soon be roped in for such ‘consultations’.

To Anon@4.50PM: Not any more. The Ka-31 AEW platform is deemed to be quite satisfactory for present and future projected reqmts.

To Anon@9.23PM: The Fire Scout is ineed the most viable option for meeting the IN’s immediate UAV reqmts. For the long-term I personally would like to see HAL and IAI teaming up to co-develop a UAV/UCAV version of the LUH.

SSG said...

Prasun, there are some talks going on regarding Bhim. It seems that India has cloned / reverse engineered the T6 turret except the barrel. The hunt is on for a barrel. They have zeroed on Konstrukta for TOT of a 155/52 calibre barrel under some offset deal.

Also a 45 calibre Bofors gun will roll out from the OFB which will be the mainstay of IA's artillery.

Army is not interested with the M46 Metamorphosis upgrade anymore cause it is "useless".

Please throw some light on the artillery front. Regards.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SSG: The turret is inclusive of not just an armoured cab, but the barrel, recoil absorber, breech, flick rammer, gun elevation mechanism and ammo reloading mechanism. Without all this the barrel just cannot be chosen or fitted and developing ALL these components has to be done all at the same time and by the same entity. One cannot develop different components and then try to make it all come together with a foreign-sourced barrel. It's against the laws of ballistics-related physics and metallurgy. Therefore, even for a second I wouldn't believe anyone claiming to have developed all these and now awaiting only the barrel's arrival.
Secondly, Konstrukta of Slovakia has yet to produce 52-cal barrels. What it has is only a 45-cal barrel on the Zuzana, which it tried to push in vain with BEML for India. On the other hand, Serbia has already produced and exported 155mm/52-cal barrels to Myanmar in a motorised howitzer configuration.
Thirdly, OFB has neither the design nor the expertise for producing 155mm/45-cal barrels. It can't even produce 155mm/39-cal barrels and is only now trying to explore the possibility of producing 155mm/39-cal barrels. Coming up with a functional prototype will take another six years, PROVIDED BAE Systems authorises the OFB to clone the original 155mm/39-cal barrel of the FH-77B. After all, what the MoD paid for and what the OFB received was just the design data package for licence-producing the FH-77B. The IPR owner of the package is still BAE Systems and for every such barrel or even the entire FH-77B that the OFB wishes to build, a royalty fee will have to be paid by the OFB to BAE Systems. There's no escape from this reality. It must be understood that the OFB or MoD never purchased the entire design/production rights for the FH-77B, but only the right to licenced-produce. Consequently, BAE Systems still remains the lawful IPR owner of the FH-77B's design and so, like it or not, the OFB will have to secure BAE Systems' formal approval whenever it wants to produce the FH-77B and will have to pay the royalty fee for every such howitzer that is to be built.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Have you seen any TV interviews OF
ARMY Chiefs

Whenever an ARTILERRY SHORTAGE question is put there is a WRY SMILE on the General' FACES

I have seen TV interviews of GEN .JJ SINGH GEN Kapoor and GEN V K SINGH

Gen V K Singh said with a smile

" It is not that we Dont have sufficient artilerry but we are looking for more modern artilerry"

Then we have the latest statement by Defence minister A K Antony
who said LOUDLY that there is NO SHORTAGE of Arty Guns

So this arty shortage is JUST a HYPE AND DRAMA

Anonymous said...

Will you pls clarify what is the weapons payload of Typhoon? Is it 7.5 ton or greater than that? When will the aesa variant of Captor E enter service? Is the DASS system on board the typhoon capable of providing info of hostile ground emitters for SEAD missions and for Sade navigation. Will India purchase any SPAAG for the counter PGM role such as the TOR M2 or the PANSTIR s2 systems as IAF donot posses any such systems at present for protection of airbases and vital installations against PGM . What about the QRSAM systems tender that the Army has issued. Recently the IAF issued an RFP for quick purchase of MR SAMs. What's the status of this project? When will the Barak - 2 enter service?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Today in IDRW .ORG there is an article
" Army inches closer to change the way it goes to battle "

In this article there is a sentence
that SOME NEW equipment NOT YET disclosed in the public DOMAIN is being tested

So this just kind of proves the way GOI works

We the common people NEVER get to KNOW the REAL strength and capabilities of our Armed forces
because it is ALL secret and HIDDEN

But our TWO enemies Know our strength

So they are keeping quite and have NOT DARED to ATTACK together


Shree said...

How effective is the 5.56×30mm MINSAS cartridge ....when compared to others???

Mr. Ra 13 said...

"To Mr.RA 13: The forthcoming trilateral meeting in Washington DC between officials from the US, Japan and India are a consequence of such developments. Australia and some ASEAN member-states too may soon be roped in for such ‘consultations’."

Right step in right direction.

Anonymous said...

If the IAF is to purchase the aircraft with lowest price tag & other allied costs between Rafale & Typhoon, why didn't it go for the Super Hornet which was much cheaper than the present two contenders. Also in the domains of EW & sensors particularly radar, the Hornet is having an appreciable lead over the other two. The APG-79 is mature and more advanced than RBE-2 AESA variant and the now being developed Captor aesa variant. According to estimates the APG-79 is having 1500 TRM. I don't know hw many TRMs the RBE-2 has but it is not anywhere close to 1500 as the aperture is much smaller than the APG-79 . What the Eurofighter has to offer is still unknown. Boeing also agreed to hand over all the technologies for inhouse radar production. Also the super hornet is having one of the most advanced and proven EW systems from northrup grumman.

Ra 13 said...

Which if any of the MMRCA contender aircrafts failed testing at Leh?

Qamar said...

A very nice piece on Karakoram Eagle

Good works sir,

Qamar said...

just one correction,

First ZDK03 is already in Karachi, Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

sir will you be coming to the 2012 def expo ??

Do they allow cameras inside for regular visitors ?? If no is there any way to take one i can accompany you as a photographer for your force magazine lol.....i can pull off some good ones.....

Black Hawk said...

Is is that difficult for India to make its own howitzers? Don't we have the requisite skills in metallurgy to produce such a gun?

If we can build nuclear reactors for subs, surely our metallurgy skills shouldn't be that bad. When countries in eastern Europe can make howitzers, why can't we?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Just went through your old blog and read the posts related to the ATV project.
You had said that 2 akula class submarines will be leased, is it still true.
Also what is the current status of Indian SSBN and SSGN
Would appreciate if you can write a post for the same as lots of changes have happened since your last post.

Anonymous said...

Dear prasun,
When do you think there will be announcement of the MMRCA winner.
Also heard that US wants to provide the weapons for the aircraft which is selected, is it true and if yes then what are the weapons that will go in.

In either case if rafale or eurofighter gets selected will brimstone be available on both the aircraft??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.18PM: Of course there’s a dire shortage of field artillery assets. Anyone who utters anything to the contrary (like A K Antony) needs to go for a psychiatric evaluation. This applies especially to A K Antony, since he too is opposed to FDI in the retail sector and has gone against his own PM in the Union Cabinet. And after he’s declared medically unfit to remain as the RM, he ought to be shunted out.

To Anon@12.26PM: All your queries were answered eons ago.

To Anon@12.38PM: New hardware is always tested during such exercises and Ex Sudarshan Shakti is no exception. One of the products being tested now is the EL/S8994RT RICENT, which is described at:

To Shree: No idea. Haven’t fired them as yet.

To Anon@2.35PM: My point, exactly. In addition, the Super Hornet International Roadmap version that was demonstrated at Aero India 2011 last February was far more advanced than what the Rafale or EF-2000 will be even by 2016. I’m told the US was not only offering this to India, but was also offering several more technologies derived from this Roadmap for direct and concurrent incorporation into the Tejas Mk2, meaning not only the F414 turbofan, but also an identical glass cockpit fitted with panoramic AMLCDs, IRST sensor, Raytheon’s RACR AESA-MMR, and tactical self-protection jammers. The proposal was done in such a way that the offer would translate into direct offsets aimed at fast-tracking the R & D of Tejas Mk2 and LCA (Navy) Mk2, and at the same time drastically reducing the life-cycle costs of both the Super Hornet & Tejas Mk2. But alas, logic doesn’t always reign supreme, and consequently, shit happens. So now, the Union Finance Ministry has already informed the MoD that contracts for big-ticket items like the M-MRCA, Navy’s LPH and Project 75I SSKs will ALL have to be deferred by at least two years, since there’s no money left in this year’s fiscal budget. Only smaller items like the follow-on six C-130J-30 Super Hercules, seven Project 17A FFGs and certain foreign vendor-supplied procurement contracts pertaining to the F-INSAS programme will be inked before next March. That’s the BIG STORY of the day today. As for F-INSAS programme, I will next week upload the latest developments (at last!!!).

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MrRA 13: None of the M-MRCA contenders failed anything as such. It’s just that some contenders took a longer time to undertake an engine-change demonstration—a task which is very subjective and depends on the ground-crew’s vocational proficiency and its ability or inability to get acclimatised to the prevailing high-altitudes within a restricted window of opportunity that prevails at Leh in winter-time.

To Qamar: Which one are you referring to? Is it this:
Or this:
Anyway, VMT.

To Anon@9.03PM: I’m sure there will be public days for non-trade visitors to go visit the expo. Of course cameras are allowed, as are cellphones.

To Black Hawk: Yes indeed it is. What India lacks is skilled human resources dedicated to R & D on metallurgical processes. Just show me how many of the DPSUs are involved in fundamental R & D? Is there any DPSU-owned counterpart of the TATA Institute of Fundamental Research? Don’t forget that the manufacturing sector accounts for only 15% of India’s annual GDP. Try comparing this figure to those of Israel and eastern European countries. You must also take note of the fact that the seeds of military industry-based heavy industrialisation in eastern Europe were sown by Nazi Germany since the late 1930s, whereas India began doing something similar only after 1962. And yes, L & T, Walchangnagar Industries & BEML have all been able to make n-reactor vessels, generators and heat-exchangers for nuclear-powered submarines, but NOT WITHOUT foreign mentoring. As I had explained several times before, the Russians were there every step of the way, from supplying technical design data to specialised testing/validation processes and software for ensuring QC & QA. Likewise, like it or not, if the FH-77B or its FH-77B05L52 derivative is to be built by OFB, then there’s no other choice but to do it in cooperation with BAE Systems & Mahindra Defence.
In many ways this is like the BrahMos programme, in which 67% of the missile comes readymade from Russia. That’s why what you have in Hyderabad is known as the BrahMos Integration Complex (BIC), where only final assembly/installation takes place. Only components made in India are the cannisters, missile nose-cone shield (which separates after missile liftoff and is the same as that on the Shaurya), the missile’s inertial navigation system, the ground-based fire-control/SATCOM communications system, and the TEL from BEML. By the way, second BIG NEWS of the day is that the range of the BrahMos Block-3 has been increased to 550km, based on a recent bilateral agreement struck between India and Russia. Range of the BrahMos Blocks-1/2 stay capped at 290km. That’s why I had been hinting for the past 90 days both in this blog as well in my articles in FORCE magazine that the original range of BrahMos was meant 550km. I can now finally confirm that this much-awaited change is now taking place.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.49PM: Only one Akula-3 SSGN is being leased. It will come armed with Novator 3M54E Klub-S 220km-range anti-ship strike missiles.

To Anon@10.51PM: There’s a severe financial crunch now, thanks to the exchange rate between the Rupee & US$. No big-ticket deals are likely to be inked during this fiscal year.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

"By the way, second BIG NEWS of the day is that the range of the BrahMos Block-3 has been increased to 550km, based on a recent bilateral agreement struck between India and Russia."

It is an excellent breaking news.

Qamar said...

Prasun K. Sengupta said, " To Qamar: Which one are you referring to?"

Sir i am talking about you latest article Titled "Karakoram Eagle" in the ForceIndia.

How many operator consoles ZDK03 have?

Anonymous said...

Finally you are posting updates on FINSAS...thanx in advance.
Also 550 km range news is very good.

How much the range of Brahmos can be increased ?

I heard today that IA's imaging software which is used in something related to spy satellite imaging capability, is facing some problems. How serious is it ? How advanced are these IA's military intelligence and NTRO's soft-wares for image processing ? Aren't these softwares more prone to virus since they available in open market ? Is DRDO developing some software for this ?

What is happening with IN and IAF's requirement for amphibious aircrafts ?

Looks like you are a great admirer of F18 international roadmap.
How much this new gen F18 would cost if purchased considering F/A-18E/F Super Hornet itself cost around 70-75 million $ ? Also when will it be ready ?

Rafale's plus point is Dassault is willing to give 100 % source code for Rafale which will give IAF operational independence, they can use Rafale for whatever role they want and wherever they want and against anyone they want while US is only giving us radar which everyone is giving but this hinders IAF's operational independence which is very crucial for us. I know US Radar is the most advanced one but if you won't be able to utilize the features of a radar then who cares how advanced it is...
Also not to mention Captor-E which is second generation aesa of Euro-radar consortium while RBE2 is just the first generation aesa from Thales are actually very advanced and are not too far from AN/APG-79 aesa.
As far as panoramic AMLCDs is concerned its not a necessity its a luxury and Samtel and drdo are building such stuff for AMCA don't worry by 2016 we will have it and if Rafale is selected we could very easily use it and i don't think EF would also object much.
Rest of the things are available in Rafale also and some are even better than US counter-parts.
Not to mention US has already said they will only give limited ToT while both EF consortium and Dassault have agreed on full tot.

I would go for F18 if US offers us the same deal like Dassault, no control, full tot and specially full source codes of the whole aircraft, otherwise i would suggest the non-aligned India to stay away from US jets.

Anonymous said...

In regard to your second breaking news about the next generation BrahMos' range being stepped-up to 550KM, how does the "bilateral agreement" you mentioned manage to circumvent Russia's long-held line as far as MTCR is concerned? By managing to circumvent MTCR, does it also mean that your earlier assessment on the "Nirbhay" being merely a UAV could be incorrect, since that assessment was almost exclusively based on the fact that Russia cannot supply a micro turbofan to power an (offensive) missile since it's against that very same MTCR. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

T0 Anon@12:28 PM
Prasun is talking about Brahmos block 3 not Brahmos 2...

Hey Prasun i read somewhere that range of Brahmos 2 (Hypersonic version) will be 600 km. Is it true ?

Is there plan to make longer range cruise missiles other than Nirbhay UAV because its subsonic ?

Anonymous said...

What about the PC-7 Mk2 Trainer ?? THe MICA missiles ?? The LUH Helicopters ??

are they also postponed ???

Anonymous said...

Sir can you tell me in details about Indian Army reserve forces..There are over 1.5 million reserve force AFAIK, but what use is this of? US Army which has almost constantly been under deployment since WW2, presently has only a fraction of our reserves. So why do we need 1.5 million reserves? How much money is spend annually to maintain this figure and what role do they play?

And what is the importance of military reserves (in terms of men) in modern age, given that conflicts are increasingly becoming swift and technology intensive.

Ravi said...

Dude is Indian army using trucks to transport personnel instead of armored personnel carriers...???

I have this doubt bocz we have few or no armored carriers like m113.

I think using trucks may be efficient if roads are available, low cost maintenance, more payload than m113...But can trucks move in desert, marshy land with the advancing forces...???

Shree said...

Do you agree with the four reasons given ???

Shree said...

Also what do you think of the V-22 Ospreys as an AEW platform???

Anonymous said...

What do you think is the reason for Russian Navy not buying Brahmos????????

Anonymous said...

Quoting verbatim,the last sentence by Stephen Trimble-"India is rumoured to be set to announce tomorrow the outcome of the competition for the medium multi-rote combat aircraft (MMRCA), with only the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon still in the running. "

Prasunji, is there any basis to this?

Anonymous said...

Will you pls clarify what is the weapons payload of Typhoon? Is it 7.5 ton or greater than that? When will the aesa variant of Captor E enter service? Is the DASS system on board the typhoon capable of providing info of hostile ground emitters for SEAD missions and for Sade navigation. Will India purchase any SPAAG for the counter PGM role such as the TOR M2 or the PANSTIR s2 systems as IAF donot posses any such systems at present for protection of airbases and vital installations against PGM . What about the QRSAM systems tender that the Army has issued. Recently the IAF issued an RFP for quick purchase of MR SAMs. What's the status of this project? When will the Barak - 2 enter service?
Pls reply to this. Pls PRASUN.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Shall it not be named as Brahmos-1A, Brahmos-1B, Brahmos-1C and Brahmos-2 to eliminate the possible discrepancies if any.

SSG said...

Prasun, thanks for your reply. Acquiring 155mm artillery is far off.

But what is happening with the Scorpene project. It is facing delay after delay. Also some Russian press reports that the Scorpenes will be equipped with Brahmos. Then what will be the dimension of the subs ? It cannot even be fired through 650mm tubes so VLS is a must.

Eagerly waiting for your view.

Anonymous said...

hi Prasun,
What does the RQ-170 sentinel shot down over Iran mean for iranian,chinese and russian Aerospace industries.What are the most likely technologies to be gleaned from this UAV?

Anonymous said...

When are you posting FINSAS article ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Qamar: The ZDK-03 has nine operator’s consoles, one mission commander’s console, one ESM operator’s console, and one communications management console. Total of 12 consoles. See this photo:

To Anon@11.41AM: Not just Dassault Aviation, everyone involved in the M-MRCA bid was offering access to both source codes and object codes. And it’s the other way around. Development of the RBE-2 AESA began a long time before that of the Captor-E under the AMSAR project. And SAMTEL or DRDO are no way near to developing PAMLCDs. The PAMLCDs for the AEW & CS are coming from Belgium’s BARCO. I don’t recall anyone from the US claiming that only limited ToT inflows will be permissible for the M-MRCA programme. It simply isn’t possible, considering both the US & Canada gave India access to far more sensitive ToT schemes since the 1960s, for instance training and mentoring the Indian DAE’s human resources on various nuclear technologies and even supplying the unsafeguarded 40mm Cirus CANDU-type n-reactor. Had all this wouldn’t have been supplied, then India would still be twiddling its thumbs by May 1974, trying to figure out how to achieve n-deterrence. You therefore need to shed your myopia regarding ToTs emerging from the US & take a more objective and balanced view of developments over the past few decades.

To Anon@12.28PM: The MTCR being a regime and not a binding international treaty, it is up to individual countries as participatory members of that regime to derive various interpretations of the regime’s guidelines. Secondly, the question that first needs to be answered is, is there an operational requirement for a long-range subsonic land-attack cruise missile? Against whom will it be employed, since Pakistan’s elongated geography ensures that a 290km-range supersonic LAC M (like the BrahMos Block-2) will more than suffice, and since India’s offensive war options against China are limited strictly to the Tibet Autonomous Region and that to up to a depth opf no more than 500km—something the BrahMos Block-3 can easily cover? Thirdly, so where exactly will be subsonic LACM—which is usable only over flat terrain over the plains (and not over mountainous terrain, given the dismal performance of the TLAMs over northern Afghanistan in 1998)—be likely employed by India and against whom? Fourthly, has anyone bothered to draw a linkage between the respective timelines of the commencement of the Barak-2’s R & D activities, and that concerning the Nirbhay’s R & D commencement date? Find the answers to these questions and the reality of the Nirbhay will be staring at you.

To Anon@12.58PM: The BrahMos-2 too will be available as two distinct variants: a 290km-range ship-launched and land-launched version, as well as a 550km land-launched version. Concerning other cruise missiles, don’t forget that the n-armed supersonic 600km-range air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) is under development.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.24PM: The PC-7 Mk2 BTT deal will go ahead as planned. The others can wait. There’s no urgency for that.

To Anon@5.28PM: Let me quote from a reply from Dr Sanjay Badri-Maharaj: As far as I know, there is definite liability for 5 years and a more theoretical liability until age 50-55.That might add up to 1.5 million. But, other than rifles and old machine guns (and some very old artillery), the utility of such personnel is limited to watch and ward duties. Although, about 300,000 might be useable.In 1971, there was a full mobilization but only around 60% showed up (excluding the TA which did much better).

To RAVI: Both tracked and motorised vehicles are available for tactical and strategic land transportation. Trucks of today can indeed negotiate desert or marshy terrain with ease.

To Shree: The V-22 is too expensive a platform to operate from an Indian perspective. A much cheaper and more realistic option would be to develop a HALE-UAV powered by a Kaveri K-9 turbofan, and atop this UAV mount a triangular antenna array inside which there should be an AESA-based antenna. Two such HALE-UAVs deployed over a theatre would then be able to engage in air-surveillance operations while operating in bistatic mode. To me that’s a far more achievable and cost-effective solution rather than going for the V-22.

To Mr.RA 13: That is a viable and logical option. However, as we well know, logic and the MoD don’t gel together many a time.

To SSG: All the issues relating to the Scorpene SSK have already been sorted out and are out in the public domain. The delays being talked about today are those pertaining to the follow-on Project 75I programme, which is likely to be further delayed due to the adverse foreign exchange ratios now prevailing. In the end, what is perfectly feasible is a follow-on order for another four Scorpenes. There’s simply no need to fit the BrahMos on board a SSK like the Scorpene. Furthermore, the BrahMos has yet to be qualified on board any submarine. No one till today has test-fired a BrahMos from any submarine. This test-firing-cum-validation schedule alone will take another four to six years, that too if a submarine is made available as a test-launch platform. A far more realistic option, therefore, would be to qualify the Novator 3M54E supersonic 220km-range Klub-S missiles on the Scorpene.

To Anon@10.29PM: It is obviously an intelligence bonanza for whosoever gets to lay its hands on this UAV.

To Anon@12.54PM: Next week. Do stay alive till then, or at least give it your best shot (LoL!).

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shree: I agree with the four reasons given by Dr Kanti Bajpai. But it needs to be noted that when it comes to offensive airpower, China has the upper hand in terms of launching tactical ballistic missiles and subsonic land-attack cruise missiles against targets in northeastern India from its launch-pads in the Sichuan and Yunan provinces, while India has the upper hand in retaliating with Su-30MKIs against targets located within Tibet and located north of Sikkim and Nepal. There is thus a standoff in terms of opposing airpower projection capabilities.

Anonymous said...

Hi..........if i may ask.......what are the "Deals" likely to be finalized and closed before the end of this financial year ???????

75 PC-7 MkII; 6 C130J; 145 M777ULH; FG148Javelins.................

what else ????

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The PC-7 Mk2s, C-130J-30s & LW-155s will go through. The javelin ATGM deal may not. It all depends on how much money is left unspent in fiscal 2011 and is likely to be surrendered. Depending on that, the final call will be taken by late February next year. If there's something left, then an initial tranche of Javelins may scrape through, but definitely not the M-MRCA.

MPatel said...

What kind of radar does the ZDK03 carry? What kind of endurance does it have? How is it a joint project with Pak, what did they contribute? Do you think the quoted price they paid is correct or was that the joint part of it?

This means Paf will have 8+ AEW systems along our western border. There are rumurs that saudi's will donate the two saab2000 AEW's they ordered to paf as well. Also PN is looking for three platforms too. How will this impact IAF's operational doctrine and its objectives in a war?

Abhijit said...

Prasun This news of MMRCA being put on hold was very happily given out by Russians. And even Saab was expecting something of that sort. Are there any chances of these aircraft's to get back in race considering these were cheapest of all the platforms. In first week of November Dassault n Euro consortium submitted bids, And the rate of rupee to $ on that day was taken into account. So even if we sign aggrements after 2 years will we have to shell out 50 odd Rs per dollar or there will be rebidding or revaluation as such by the MoD? And Air chief had declared that the results would be out in Mid December even those suspended for two years??

Abhijit said...

Its really Unfortunate and outright depressing that in name of paperwork IAF has simply consumed a lot of time. Had all the process fast tracked and completed during start of 2011 and getting done contracts signed IAF could have easily avoided these economic hurdles its facing now. Any person keeping an eye on economic front could have easily predicted a big fiscal deficit looming however vayu Bhavan failed to sense this. And with more complicating Euro zone crises, depressing data from US and top of that all this Utter stupidity Of GoI to bow down in front of stupid demands of Mamta and freezing reforms i don't think Fiscal deficit could be under control till 2014-2015 and till then MMRCA could be well put on back burner. May be a good chance of tejas to hit back.

Anonymous said...

What about 197 LUH deal, Heavy attack chopper deal ? Also have we placed follow on order for 4 P8i and 2-3 Phalcon AWACS ?

" It is obviously an intelligence bonanza for whosoever gets to lay its hands on this UAV. "
Do you think India is in this line ?

KSK said...

Recently Seychelles has asked China to establish a military base in the Seychelles if China will help keep Somali pirates away.....

What will this mean for India??

KSK said...

India pledged $5 million in other military aid for the Seychelles AND
India had offered to give Seychelles a Dornier 228 and two Chetak helicopters for anti-piracy duty.

So why did they invite chini not India???

Anonymous said...

What is the unrefueled endurance of the Indian DRDO's EMB 145 AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning & Control) jets

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MPatel: The ZDK-03 houses a rotodome housing a rotating UHF-band mechanically scanning antenna capable of electronic beam-steering—similar to the APY-9 radar developed by Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors for the aircraft carrier-based E-2C Hawkeye 2000 AEW & C aircraft. Such a radar has a range beyond 400km and is optimised for detecting and tracking targets with highly reduced cross-sections, such as land attack cruise missiles. Electronic scanning enables the radar to function both as a rotating beam generating 360-degree coverage, and as a multi-pulse staring beam that can track stressing targets. In the enhanced sector scan mode, the radar makes use steerable electronic scanning technology, while in the enhanced tracking sector mode, pure electronic scanning, geographically stabilised or following a target, provides enhanced detection and tracking in a selected sector.
How to counter the ZDK-03 & Saab 2000 AEW & Cs? Very simple. Just disable their air base runways with LACMs like the BrahMos Block-2.
The Saudis will not part with any of their warfighting assets since if they do, then all the gloves will come off and the Indian Navy will retaliate by enforcing a full maritime blocade of Pakistan, something the Indian Navy wanted to, but was allowed to do so in both 1999 and 2002.

To Abhijit: The M-MRCA will be a twin-engined platform, and all single-engined platforms are out of the reckoning for good. In every draft contract there’s always a financial value escalation clause to deal with currency fluctuations. Fixed-price contracts take effect only AFTER contract signature, and NOT after platform selection. The M-MRCA selection process is NOT due to any delays caused by the IAF, but the MoD’s moribund bureaucracy. It was the MoD that took a far longer time to evolve and draft a comprehensive industrial offsets policy. Just look at the ad hoc manner in which it still continues to evolve. At the very outset, an umbrella policy ought to have been drafted that even catered to other hardware procurements, like warships, armoured vehicles etc. Since this wasn’t done, the MoD had to go back to the drawing board to draft a separate policy regarding industrial partnerships between the private-sector shipyards and the MoD-owned DPSU shipyards. Such compartmentalised bureaucratic functioning only delays project implementation, thereby causing severe notional loses to the exchequer.

To Anon@10.10PM: The four follow-on P-8Is and two A-50Is have already been quietly ordered. LUHs & attack helicopters will be put on hold.

To KSK: Seychelles has only offered to China the usage of its naval logistical facilities, just like what Singapore does. It only means warships of different countries can replenish their supplies of fuel and rations (perishable commodities) while docking at a designated port of Seychelles. India too must adopt such a policy of offering such facilities to the navies of friendly countries such as China, the US, Japan, Singapore & Australia. Warships from these countries could easily replenish at Kochi. It’s good business in economic terms for the mnlocal economy and it also contributes
to naval diplomacy. Seychelles did not invite India because India is already there, while China isn’t.

To Anon@11.36PM: Same as that of the EMB-145 regional jetliner.

Anonymous said...

To Anon@11.36PM: Same as that of the EMB-145 regional jetliner.

Seems unlikely with all the modification, i asked because figures as low as 5 hours has been reported

EMB-145I's Active Array Antenna Unit (AAAU) seems to smaller when compared to the ERIEYE radar used on EMB-145 Erieye AEW&C.

Anonymous said...

:It is obviously an intelligence bonanza for whosoever gets to lay its hands on this UAV.

HI Prasun,

Even ur vivid imagination is always welcome by most forum members here!!!!
(as I see it also and not 2 frgt any speculative on ur personal beliefs on how this tech transfer to china or Russsia might happen)Now ur statement on India even being aided by the Canadian reactor (This is explosive)

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.24AM: The endurance depends on the aircraft cruising altitude. An endurance of 6 hours or 5 hours is possible when the aircraft is flying along commercial air routes between 10,000 feet and 25,000 feet. But when cruising at an altitude of 41,000 feet, the endurance goes up.

To Anon@1.13AM: The Iranians can be expected to share this 'intelligence bonanza' with both China & Russia, the only two other world powers that are friendly to Iran and which can make sense of the technologies on board the RQ-170. In fact, the Chinese already have a similar-looking UAV now undergoing flight-tests.
And as for my statement on India even being aided by the 40mW Canada-supplied CIRUS reactor or US-mentored human resources, there's nothing explosive to it since all this has been extensively documented since the mid-1970s. Furthermore, just read through the CVs of various senior n-physicists from the DAE over the years & you'll see for yourself that all their overseas academic stints/sabbaticals took place in Western institutions. NOT ONE of them ever set foot in any such institution in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War era.

Anonymous said...

Please post the FINSAS article soon...

Anonymous said...

sir there is news over the web that navy wanys to go for "24"p8i's yes 12 + 12 !!!

is this true ??

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quick reply..........

Sad about the m-mrca being 'postponed' (ala FDI)......can they not identify a specific aircraft and have a long drawn out negotiation process (ala Mirage 2000 upgrade)..........How i wish they had kept the F-18 in the running/fallback....

By the way, good to see your articles in the lastest Force magazine.....looking forward to some "new" ones in the next issue....

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun i just wanna correct an information you gave on number of VSHORAD to be purchased by IA (launchers/rounds = 200/3,000).

This information just came from MBDA. The IA's VSHORAD program is huge. It is a INR 27,000 crore (USD 5.4 billion) in which IA will be procuring 800 launchers and 5,000 missiles.

Please post FINSAS article soon...

Anonymous said...

''n-armed supersonic 600km-range air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) is under development.''

You mean Shourya(hypersonic) or any name !!!

Anonymous said...

To @Anon 11:15 AM
Prasun is talking about a new cruise missile. Its also called LRCM...

Anonymous said...

sir how our drdo aewcs compare with pafs eriye and new zdk 03.....

what is the max endurance of this emb 145 without mid air-refueling at the best possible altitude....??

how much when we count in mid air refueling....

sir its true that the endurance does inc at higher altitudes cuz of reduced drag and inceased engine performance but i guess this optimum performance is achieved at 25000-30000ft....or is it like the higher one goes the more the efficient it gets...

plus i read somewhere that the service of emb 145 is 37000ft so we really can't go 41000ft...

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun,
Did you heard the latest article from Shiv Aroor about the testing of valved pulsejet engine on a scale down version of Rustom-1 ?

What were they trying to achieve ?

I don't think we will be using a pulse jet engine in a uav. Also if we intend to use a pulsejet engine in original Rustom UAV, how big the engine will be ? How much noise it will make ? And what will be the endurance of the UAV if we use pulse jet engine ?

Have they started the work on the prototype of Rustom-H UAV ?

Where are they on using weapons as payload ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.48AM: No one has as yet confirmed that a total of 24 P-8Is will be procured, although that is the long-term reqmt.

To Anon@9.52AM: VMT.

To Anon@10.44AM: The figure I gave pertains to only the IA’s VSHORADS reqmt. The Navy & IAF too have VSHORADS procurement plans that together will push up the numbers much much higher.

To Anon@12.32PM: The EMB-145 AEW & CS can cruise at a higher altitude than the ZDK-03 and therefore its beyond-the-horizon airspace surveillance capabilities will be far greater, even if the EM B-145 is cruising at an altitude of 37,000 feet. With mid-air refuelling the EMB-145’s endurance is doubled to about 12 hours, which is enough for a two-set mission crew (with each set of aircrew/mission crew operating for six hours).

To Anon@1.36PM: The Rustom-1 is just a carrier vehicle for the experimental pulsed-jet engine. Such engines are usually used by subsonic air-launched decoy drones and glide-wing equipped PGMs. The DRDO has been working on air-launched decoy drones and standoff PGMs since 2006 and this pulsed-jet engine is meant for such applications.

soumyadip said...


to be honest with you,thanks to your interactive approach,a greater amount of info comes out from the comment section than your original post........

what i want to ask is that back in 2007 i found from the internet that DRDO was devoloping an IIR seeker for nag missile and also for our BMD missiles...has it been achieved...or is it yet to be achieved or has it been abandoned

and secondly,maybe land launched LRCM is not required but why not a sub-launched hypersonic far as i know,DRDO claims to have successfully conducted missile launch from under water(sagarika).........thank you

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Soumyadip: Many thanks. The IIR seeker you’re referring to is a joint R & D project between the DRDO & Israel’s RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems. While the seeker for the Nag has already been co-developed, that for the BMD’s PDV & AAD-2 interceptor missiles is still under development. Submarine-launched LRCMs are not reqd simply because SSBN-launched ballistic missiles like SLBMs can do the job. As far as the Indian Navy is concerned, the ship-launched supersonic BrahMos & supersonic 3M54E Klub-M and the submarine-launched supersonic 3M54E & subsonic 3M14E Klub-S cruise missiles are more than enough for the functions entailed in the Navy’s warfighting doctrine. The supersonic ALCM (capable of being armed with both conventional & nuclear warheads) now under co-development between the DRDO & a team of RAFAEL/IAI will also be capable of being launched by MiG-29Ks, Jagyar IS, Mirage 2000s, Su-30MKI and the FGFAs. All this gives several available options. In future, a sub-launched version of the ALCM too is a distinct possibility, especially this type of missile will be much more lighter & smaller than the BrahMos. The present-day DRDO activities regarding sub-launched ballistic missiles concern the Shaurya (which is merely a test vehicle), and the projected K-4 SLBM.

soumyadip said...


many many thanks for the quick reply....
another question thats going around in my head for quite sometime now is regarding anti satellite weapons....
shooting down your own satellite whose position and path is known to you shouldn't be difficult considering that you can track it and intercept it with long range can you track a hostile satellite in its can you pin point its location....considering the number of satellite at various orbit how can you know which ones is long do you think it will take America or china too develop a credible anti satellite weapon or have they developed it already....considering my very limited knowledge regarding satellite related technology do forgive me if the question seems childish......thank you

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The satellites typically targetted by ASAT weapons (missiles or laser beams) are all in low-earth orbit (about 180km above earth) and it is fairly easy to track them, even in India's case, with ground-based tracking radars. The US has already demonstrated the use of air-launched anti-satellite missiles and airborne lasers to shoot down such satellites, while Russia & China have capabilities for ground-launched interceptor missiles. In India's case, the PDV missile, which will be able to reach altitudes of 200km, will have ASAT capabilities.

Anonymous said...

Its good that India is focusing on supersonic cruise missiles. But why there is no program to develop Tomahawk like missiles which can be used for deep strike from seas. For firing a 500-600 km LACM the ship/sub needs to move very close to enemy coast. But if you have a 2000 Km missile you can safely fire it without giving away your positions to enemy radars.

Also, I thought Shaurya is under production (last time it was test fired, they claimed the missile was from production lines)..You say that its just a test vehicle.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

The supersonic ALCM (capable of being armed with both conventional & nuclear warheads) now under co-development between the DRDO & a team of RAFAEL/IAI, in what manner this may be different than the air launched version of the hypersonic Brahmos-2.

Will they have different payload capacities or whether the air launched version of hypersonic Brahmos-2 will not be made at all.

It must be highly appreciable that the supersonic ALCM can be launched by variety of aircraft like MiG-29Ks, Jaguar IS, Mirage 2000s, Su-30MKI and the FGFAs.

Ravi said...

hey in the below link a retd brig has acknowledged 5 imp surprising things

1.Increasing range of 122mm Grad MBRL from present 20 to 40 km by new rockets developed by DRDO

2.Agni 3 will be manned by Artillery people. So its not a TD but will be inducted.

3.There is indeed a project called Surya ICBM which in future will be manned by artillery.

4. Increasing Brahmos range from block 1 to block 2 to block 3...and terrain hugging capabilities...

5. Here he mentions that GSQR weight of Mounted artillery system should is 17 this will leave Casear as only eligible candidate and ruling out archer sysytem....

Plz need you view on this...

Anonymous said...

sir i heard this from an ex IAF fighter pilot - that the empty weight of tejas which is said to be 6.5 tns by almost each and every online source is actually wrong because all the tejas pv's and lsp's have this telemetry and some other test equipment which will not be on the standard production fighters , plus the given figure is also inclusive of the two wmr missiles...all of this weighs nearly 600kgs and thus the actual empty weight wud be around 5800kg (which was said by him)

is this any true....??

will the aura ucav be a male or hale??

will it even a long endurance uav or just a strike ucav ??

is drdo developing gps guided bomb ??

is it extension of sudarshan lgb ??

will it be in the form of add on kits ??

will it be applicable only on 500kg class bombs or on smaller bombs as well ??

sir u had said drdo is developing a gps guided artillery round/pgm......but what i wanted to ask is whether this will be an all new round or an add on/screw on guidance unit for existing in order to convert them into pgm as well ??

will be an

Shree said...

Hey Prasun,Dolphin class submarines of Israel have both 650 and 533mm torpedo tubes.
Since 533mm tubes could be used for Sub-Harpoon missiles and US refused to sell Tomahawk .......
what do you think Israel uses 650mm tubes for ..... can it be for nuclear delivery????

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.02PM: Even if you have a 2,000km-range cruise missile, the launch vehicle can be easily detected by LRMR/ASW aircraft, friendly maritime forces as well as over-the-horizon-backscatter radars from as far as 6,000km away. Therefore, the idea is to develop and acquire select capabilities required for India’s regional threat perceptions. Unlike India, the US has global threat perceptions and therefore feels the need to deploy long-range LACMs that can be salvo-fired. In India’s case, the threat appreciation does not feel the need for acquiring such cost-prohibitive solutions. Regarding the Shaurya, yes it is under production, but only for test-firings and not for mass deployment by the hundreds as yet. The same goes for the Agni-3 and now that the Agni-4 is on hand, production of both the Agni-2 and Agni-3 will cease. In future, the Agni-1, Agni-4 & Agni-5 will form the triad of land-launched strategic ballistic missiles.

To Mr.RA 13: Well, no one has as yet confirmed whether the hypersonic BrahMos-2 will be land-launched, sea-launched or air-launched. But it can be safely deduced that it will be available in both ship-launched and land-launched versions. If an air-launched version is developed, then the only viable carrier aircraft will be the Super Su-30MKIs equipped with higher thrust turbofans. The n-capable supersonic ALCM now under development will closely resemble the French ASMP in both looks & capabilities, and will also be available with a tactical nuclear warhead, a capability that India presently lacks.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Ravi: It is indeed sad when a ret’d Brigadier gets his facts all mixed up. For instance, it isn’t true that the last major acquisition of towed gun-howitzers was that of about 400 pieces of 39 calibre-155mm FH-778 Howitzers from Bofors of Sweden in the mid 1980s. In reality, close to 900 pre-owned M-46 130mm towed howitzers were procured from Russia and the Czech Republic in the 1990s and of these, only 40 (not 180) were upgunned to 155mm/45-cal standard. Also untrue is the assertion that the two British 45-calibre 155mm howitzers that competed for the US contract for a similar howitzer some years ago – the UFH (Ultralightweight Field Howitzer) and the LTH (Light-weight Towed Howitzer). In fact, these were 39-cal howitzers. The total reqmt for the BEL-built ‘Swathi’ WLR is 41 units, but none of them have as yet been delivered. Nor is the radar’s carrier vehicle made indigenously by BEML. The vehicle is imported in fully knocked-down condition and is licence-assembled by BEML and that’s why all TATRA vehicles in service in India have left-hand drives. Furthermore, BrahMos is not a terrain-hugging missile as claimed, but has a cruising altitude of 13km, as per brochures available from BrahMos Aerospace. Contrary to one’s assertions, Chile, Kuwait, Malaysia and South Africa have NOT shown any interest in acquiring the BrahMos, simply because none of these countries possess the kind of LRMR/ASW aircraft reqd for over-the-horizon targetting. The only country showing some interest is Indonesia, and that too after one of its four Yakhont missiles failed to hit its target during its first test-firing off Sumatra earlier this year. The 122mm Grad MBRL’s rockets were NEVER developed by the DRDO, but by the OFB (which designed and built a new rocket and its warhead) and IMI of Israel (which supplied the high-energetic solid propellants). Also, none of the Prithvi missiles of the Indian Army are nuclear-tipped, simply because it is against all laws of physics to arm a 150km-range missile with fission-based or boosted-fission warheads, as the missile’s launch area close to the border will be easily detectable once the order is given to mobilise. That is precisely why the Agni-1 was quickly developed between 1999 and 2001. Lastly, as you all are aware, the DRDO, which is always over-eager to publicise its R & D achievements, has NEVER said a word about developing a missile called Surya. Therefore, in light of all of the above, I’m afraid the Brigadier needs to upgrade his information archives.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shree: Yes, the 650mm tubes are for launching a sub-launched RAFAEL-built Popeye missile equipped with a turbojet and an extra rocket booster.

To Anon@10.38PM: Those figures don't mean anything anymore as they apply only to the Tejas Mk1, which is any case will be used mostly for flight conversion training. For operational conversion the Tejas Mk2 will be available and by 2016 there will be plenty of lightweight laser-guided and millimetre-wave radar-guided PGMs that will be as effective as the heavier Paveway-3/2/4 LGBs. A Tejas Mk2 will therefore be able to carry as many as 12 such PGMs during tactical strike/battlefield air interdiction missions. Therefore, once and for all, please stop worrying about the maximum external payload capacity of the Tejas Mk2 or even the Tejas Mk1. The AURA UAV will be similar to the NEURON UCAV.

Austin said...

Hi Prasun , had some questions for you , hope you are fine , I was looking forward to your article on FGFA in Force this month didnt see it though.

Some questions.

1 ) What do you make out of Ajai report on Russia delaying transfer of technology for T-90 , is it true ?
2 ) Did OFB developed the Gun for T-90 as they says indiginous T-90 gun.
3 ) Was Transfer of technology for Barrel , Armour and ERA was on the table for T-90 and did the Russians backed out of it.


Anonymous said...

As an offset in MMRCA...Will the entire production line of the aircraft built in India???

What other benefits will Indian industry gain from the venture???

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Austin: Many thanks & hope you’re well too and hopefully you’ve by now fully digested the excellent piece on INS Vikramaditya which appears in this month’s issue of FORCE and which for the first time ever reveals the reasons behind the cost-escalation of the vessel’s refurbishment. And this is not just peculiar to the Gorshkov, but to ALL other vessels as well when they go for mid-life refits because it is only AFTER cutting open the inner sections of the hull that the real extent of the reqd structural and electrical refits become evident. This happens routinely in every Indian MoD-owned shipyard and I hope once and for all the armchair specialists (like Ajai Shukla/BROADSWORD) who never tire of taking a dig at Russia’s military-industrial entities now, at last give it a rest. This uncalled-for episode has been in many ways similar to other myopic conclusions reached about so-called poor Russian after-sales support, when in reality (as I had explained and revealed in an earlier thread) the problem lies with the MoD-owned DPSU HAL, whose joint venture with Rosoboronexport & UAC (the Nashik-based IRAL) is at fault. On the other hand, Rosoboronservice India has been giving excellent after-sales support for all naval equipment of Russian origin and that’s precisely the reason why you will never see any RFIs being issued by the Indian Navy asking for quotes for spares of Russia-origin hardware (like Ka-29PLs or Ka-31s, or Project 1135.6 FFGs, etc), not even for aircraft tyres!. The FGFA article is not time-specific and will therefore not perish until next February to coincide with DEFEXPO. Now, to give straight answers to your straight questions & then put them in context:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

(continued from above)
1) In all my 24 years of dealing & negotiating with both the Soviets & Russians, I have NEVER come across a situation where they first offer something on the table & then take it away. The Russians are pretty straightforward just like the Germans and are upfront on ALL issues. Regarding the T-90S MBT’s licenced-production programme, the ToT for the 125mm 2A46M-2 version of the Rapira & for the armour tiles not just for the turret, but also for the hull’s frontal glacis and side panels, were not on the table. Also excluded was the source-code reqd for gaining access to the algorithm that was used for computing fire-control solutions based on pre-programmed ballistics charts/tables & data derived from the turret-mounted meteorological sensor. In other words, the digital ballistics computer was out-of-bounds and had to be imported off-the-shelf. There are two sound reasons for this: Firstly, the Russians wanted to avoid the situation prevailing since the early 1990s when several T-72 clones from Serbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland & Ukraine were being offered for export, with Russia losing out on royalty fees. This time around, the Russians, being wiser, decided not to part with their most crucial and prized elements/components (like the cannon barrel and armour panels) and not make any exceptions, even for India. Secondly, Russia—in deciding to withhold the secrets of its ballistics computations—also ensured that no one else could produce ammo for the 2A46M-2, thereby ensuring that only Russia-produced ammo was compatible with the 2A46M-2.
2) Consequently, what did the Indians do? Rather than go the expensive way of trying to figure out the know-how & know-why of the 2A46M-2, the CVRDE & HVF chose the least expensive option of integrating the OFB-built 2A46M barrel of the T-72 with the turret of the T-90S, thinking that this ‘fix’ would suffice. What was overlooked was the incompatibility of this cannon with the ballistics computer of the T-90S. There was also another reason why this ‘fix’ was chosen: when in early 2001 the Indian Army tried to fire the OFB-built 125mm APFSDS rounds & IMI-supplied CL-3254 & CL-3579 APFSDS rounds from the 2A46M-2, it emerged that these rounds fell well short of their targets, since these rounds were all optimised and calibrated for compatibility of the maximum chamber pressure of the 2A46M (a cannon that is available from several sources for a song and therefore its ballistics parameters can be easily programmed into any ballistics computer), and NOT with that of the 2A46M-2 (a cannon that is not available outside Russia and therefore companies like IMI, for instance, cannot develop suitable 125mm rounds optimized for this cannon). And since inventories of these OFB-produced and IMI-supplied were steadily increasing, it was decided to use the 2A46M cannon on the OFB-built T-90S units. So now, what’s happening is that the 310 + 347 T-90S MBTs are using Russia-supplied 125mm rounds, while those 300 T-90S MBTs being built by the HVF are meant to use OFB-/IMI-supplied rounds.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

(continued from above)
3) Now, turning to statements like: “We developed the tank gun indigenously in Central Ordnance Depot, Kanpur, and the turret armour component in CVRDE (Combat Vehicles R&D Establishment), Avadi.” Firstly, how can a certified ammuntion stockpiling warehouse (a depot is a warehouse in my understanding, please correct me if I’m wrong) possibly develop a 125mm cannon, for which only R & D labs like ARDE, HEMRL & PXE have the requisite in-house testing/validation infrastructure and skilled human resources? The same goes for the armour panels as well. CVRDE may well have come up with alternate indigenous solutions based on the Kanchan, but to claim that CVRDE has come up with an identical indigenous solution to what exists on Russia-origin T-90S MBTs is pure baloney and hogwash. What, however, would make MORE SENSE, is if M S N Rao, GM of HVF Avadi, were to say that ALTERNATE INDIGENOUS SOLUTIONS have been devised and developed. Therefore, in my assessment, BROADSWORD misquoted or misinterpreted M S N Rao’s remarks by claiming/stating that 100% perfect indigenous clones of the 2A46M-2 cannon & armour panels have been developed by Indian entities.
In conclusion, all I can state (this being my personal opinion) is that the decision to undertake licenced-production of the T-90S was dead-wrong, simply because no other country in their right mind will even dream about concurrently producing two types of MBTs. If at all the idea was to series-produce the Arjun MBT family in a staggered manner (something which I support wholeheartedly), then from the very outset it would have been much better and far cheaper if some 900 or 1,200 T-90S MBTs were imported off-the-shelf from Russia in response to immediate threat perceptions, with the option of upgrading them to T-90AM/MS standards under a mid-life upgrade programme, and this being done by HVF by only setting up an indigenous MBT Rebuild Facility and a related private-sector vendor development roadmap using SMEs. And the money saved should instead have been ploughed into the Arjun MBT programme’s further evolution (i.e. for the Mk2 & Mk3). The way I see it, the decision to licence-build the T-90S was not based at all on national security-driven operational factors, bit purely for the sake of creating cushy jobs for additional unionised central govt employees.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.24PM: In what way will India benefit if even 40% of the selected M-MRCA is to be built in-country? In what way has India benefitted by building the Su-30MKI with progressive Indian content from the raw material stage (only restricted to the airframe thus far)? If one is procuring an imported aircraft, then there is only a need to indigenise its through-life product-support infrastructure. One doesn’t to build the entire imported aircraft within one’s country. Just look at the ‘indigenous’ combat aircraft manufacturing capabilities of countries like Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Israel, The Netherlands, Norway & South Africa. All of them have had to close shop. Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel, might as well as allocate the precious financial and human resources to develop indigenous solutions, like the Tejas Mk2, LUH & LCH. It is only by doing this that one can develop an entire range of R & D institutions and industrial entities that will develop and support such solutions from the cradle to the grave.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Austin: There's also an as-yet untold story behind efforts to synchronise the 2A46M cannon with the T-90S' ballistics computer. Let's first give the 'desi' investigative reporters a chance to dig out what really took place. If nothing emerges within a week, then perhaps I could throw some light on this issue. Cheers!

Mr. Ra 13 said...

The decision to undertake licenced-production of the T-90S was dead-wrong >> if some 900 or 1,200 T-90S MBTs were imported off-the-shelf from Russia in response to immediate threat perceptions >> upgrading them to T-90AM/MS standards.

What a consolidated conclusion! Naturally this was the central error which created an array of other errors.

Obviously now those 300 T-90S are the best candidates for up-gradation to T-90AM.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: Actually, the first batch of 310 T-90S MBTs to be imported a decade ago ought to be now upgraded to T-90AM/MS standard, since it is these 310 MBTs that have already approached their half-lives and are therefore ripe for being subjected to a mid-life upgrade programme.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Unfortunately during the T-90 agreement, Russia was under the 'Once bitten twice shy' state and India was perhaps under the state of undesired 'ToT'.

I think it is high time that India should replace the thought of ToT with DoT (Development of Technology).

ToT can be justified only for the products which can be amply sold in the open markets or which have real futuristic growth potential. I think this shall be critically justified even in the case of MMRCA.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Thanx for correction. You mean those 300 T-90S with T-72 like guns and OFB/IMI shells are OK with ballistics considerations .

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir WHEN will the MMRCA ANNOUNCEMENT be made

Anonymous said...

Common Sir, now post some new article...

Anonymous said...

Once the 310 T-90S tanks are upgraded to T-90AM/MS standard will they be able to fire OFB/IMI manufactured rounds?

Can you can tell us India's capability/progress so far in building tactical nuclear warhead?

Anonymous said...

what i wanted to ask was that whether drdo aura will be recce/surveillance drone or a hardcore strike ucav ?? or both ??

sir when is the thread on f-insas expected ??

Col Jitendar Vyas said...

Hey in the ongoing EX-Sudarshan several media (print and video) have quoted saying that the army can destroy targets at 120km by rocket artillery...!!!

Is this true...If true how can it be bcoz Indian Army only has pinaka and smerch which can reach 37 and 90km max respectively...!!!

Are they suggesting that India as silently inducted the longer version of Pinaka which was in development. which has a stated range of 120 km.

Abhijit said...

Last year US Ambassador to India raised doubts on HAL`s capability to manufacture 4.5++ Gen A/C..
Pls Check out this video (Do watch all 5 parts). Do u think HAL will be able to maintain or have such a high and sophisticated standard of production? Are such production standards maintained in HAL Nashik?

Anonymous said...

Came across this article....

Does India have any plans to develop or acquire such hugely flexible systems in coming future. How does the current systems developed by DRDO weigh in comparison.

Austin said...

Prasun , Thanks for your detailed response to my query, Yes I did read Vladimir Karnozov article on Gorshkov and it is the most detailed and comprehensively updated one i have seen yet , we need more gems like that from Force.

I am bit petrified why would OFB use a 2A46M gun of T-72 origin on T-90 tanks which is of lower ballistic performance.

Why cant we simply get the source code of ballistic computer or module that would allow the 2A46M-2 gun to fire Israel round ?

I do agree reverse engineering the 2A46M-2 barrel wont be an easy task for OFB and at the least they would need DRDO/DMRL and all to do the task , plus there is no gurantee it would succeed.

What do you make out of this MOD statement

The Russian side agreed to deliver the specification of T-90 gun barrels by December 2008.

What sort of specification was russia hesitant to give ?

How do you compare the performance of Russian 3BM42 rounds and the IMI 125 mm Mk1 and Mk2 rounds that we make ?

I do agree getting armour ,ERA technology is something no country would give since it would tell them a lot about it composition plus how to effectively deal with it ,I am fairly certain DRDO wont supply the Technology or Know How for Kanchan armour to any one.

On Ajai I am a bit surprised he would post stuff that far from truth , specially so when the Russian Ambassador clearly says what he wrote was false , not sure why he would do that and i think thats something best he can answer, he was an army office once leading a T-72 tank regiment .

Anonymous said...

Indian Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Crashes in Rajasthan , Pilot Safe

SSG said...

Thanks again Prasun for your reply.

But what is going on in the name of P-75I ? $10 billion for just 6 diesel electric sub.

And what will be our future SSBN ? Will it be a Borei clone with Indian manufactured reactor ?

And is there any possibility of acquiring Yasen class SSN from Russia ? IIRC there was a talk of getting 3 SSN from Russia. And what help the French are giving in the Nuke sub programme.

Looking forward to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

Is all this true??

Does India has anything similar to W88???

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: No, I meant the first batch of 310 T-90S MBTs procured off-the-shelf from Russia that requires the mid-life upgrade.

To Anon@12.22PM: Only A K Antony & Pranab Mukherjee can answer that.

To Anon@1PM: No, the T-90AM/MS will be able to fire ONLY Russia-built 125mm rounds. Tactical nuclear warheads have already been fabricated, but require actual testing.

To Anon@2.52PM: AURA will be a UCAV, and not just a UAV.

To Col Jitendar Vyas: And pray, how is that possible (destroying targets a mere 120km away) when the Army has already inducted into service the 290km-range BrahMos Block-2? The longer-range Pinaka Mk2 rocket will have a max range of 40km, as opposed to the Pinaka Mk1 rocket’s 37.5km. The 120km-range MBRL will not be called Pinaka. It will have another name.

To Abhijit: You asked: Do u think HAL will be able to maintain or have such a high and sophisticated standard of production? Are such production standards maintained in HAL Nashik? The answer to both these questions is: NO. The present-day hangars of HAL at any of its facilities resemble more like warehousing depots and less like final assembly lines.

To Anon@8PM: India already has such radars operational. And the radar is the EL/M-2084 Arudhra MMR from IAI/ELTA Systems.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Austin: You’re right about the lower ballistic performance of the 2A46M, but the fact remains that the OFB-/IMI-built rounds can be fired from only this cannon, and not from the 2A46M-2. The Russians, who got extremely pissed off when India first began experimenting with firing Israel-origin rounds from the T-72Ms/T-72M1s as well as the T-90S from early 2000, therefore refused at the very outside to part with the source-codes for the T-90S MBT’s ballistics computer (there’s nothing surprising & if I were to be in Russia’s shoes, I would do the same). Russia was never hesitant to give anything, and it instead stated upfront what it was willing to part with and what it wasn’t. It can’t get any more clearer than that. So the question of Russia going back on its word doesn’t even arise. And that MoD statement you’ve referred to is as erroneous as the recent statement by A K Antony on November 28, 2011 in which he said that the OFB has been manufacturing the major components of the gun, such as barrel, breach mechanism, muzzle break, loading trough, recoil system along with the elevating and traversing cylinders, and supplying to the army as spares. In reality, what has been happening since July 1999 is that the OFB has been importing such components from BAE Systems/Bofors AB and then re-routing them to various EME workshops under the OFB tag. It is just like the Stallion truck, which as everyone knows is fully built by Ashok Leyland, but is sent to OFB Jabalpur in semi-knocked-down condition where it is assembled, then the company logo of Ashok Leyland is removed from the truck’s forebody and the tag “Manufactured by OFB Jabalpur’ is pasted. Therefore, the kind of frauds being perpetrated by the MoD on the Indian public never ceases to amaze me!!! The IMI-built 125mm Mk1 and Mk2 rounds are procured directly from the OEM. No one in India makes them locally. As I explained earlier, these rounds work well only with the 2A46M cannon, and not with the 2A46M-2. Regarding Ajai Shukla’s motives, let’s not speculate on this as we all have our own conclusions to draw. But I’m surprised he’s still walking around as a free man when he ought to be hauled up & prosecuted under the OSA for reproducing the confidential Military Secretary's Branch letter regarding the present-day COAS’ DOB (see: & (

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SSG: If the decision is taken for acquiring a follow-on batch of four Scorpene SSKs—as it increasingly appears to be—then the Project 75I programme could well be postponed indefinitely, and instead the long-overdue SSGN project—which the Navy had always preferred over the SSBN—could at last take off. And to make the SSGN programme (encompassing the construction of no less than six units) financially feasible, the design would have to be a derivative of the Arihant, albeit with a lifelong n-reactor instead of the present one with only a 10-year lifespan. It, however, remains to be seen if the DAE will be up to the task of delivering such a pressurised water reactor, since institutions like the DAE & DRDO, in concert with the civilian bureaucrats and technocrats entrenched within the high corridors of power in Delhi have historically been averse to accepting well-intentioned advice from other professionals, especially from the Indian Navy (like former CNS Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat & former Capt B K Subbarao, both of whom were fixed for good by the over-jealous civilians). To date, the Russia-India agreement for n-submarine construction stays limited only to SSBNs. It could well be that the DAE & DRDO may in future prevail upon the Govt of India to expand such cooperation to include SSGNs as well and if so, then locally-built lookalikes of the Yasen-class SSGNs can be expected. Another possibility is that of the cake being shared between the Russians and French, in which case a derivative of the Barracuda-class SSN—the Navy’s preferred option—could emerge as the Indian SSGN. Right now, anyone who is willing to share the design know-how of lifelong PWRs with the DAE has the upper hand. The ball is now in the court of the Indian National Security Adviser P Shivshankar Menon, who is the sole point of contact and influence when it comes to giving shape and form to such futuristic strategic weapon systems, and the recent flurry of visits to India by high-ranking but less glamorous French Defence Ministry officials suggests that something big is happening or is being crafted behind-the-scenes.

To Anon@10.45PM: Yup, it’s all true.

Shree said...

Taking into Geographical locations of India and chini whose Aircraft Carriers will be more effective against each other???

Also which Aircraft Carrier is more capable INS Vikramaditya or chini varyag???

KSK said...

"India too must adopt such a policy of offering such facilities to the navies of friendly countries such as China, the US, Japan, Singapore & Australia."

Did you term china as friendly?
Hope you typed it by mistake....

SSG said...

Thanks Prasun for the details you shared.

But the problem is Indian government is challenged in the logical department. There is no logical reason to have two DE sub design - one western another eastern when we are already making nuke sub with eastern design philosophy. But since it is GOI it will probably happen. Also due to this reason EFT will be our MRCA. Going for Rafale will be indeed logical. But hey this is GOI.

Anonymous said...

1. How is the base package of T-90 differ from that of the T-72 apart from the unbuilt kontakt-5 ERA? Does the armour is made from a more ballistic tolerant alloy? Does the upper and lower glacis & the frontal , rear & side turret armor feature a composite layer having ceramic components? Do the IA T-90 feature Shotra passive protection system and if not then why? 2. Will it be not more better if the T-90 Ms have a thin to moderate thickness appliqué light modern composite armor and then the Relikt Era be placed on them. Any era block, once it has been hit by a projectile, it bursts off and that place is unprotected. This is best exploited by using tandem warhead equipped ATGM but if the above is done the tank will be better protected. 3. How many BM-21 Grads are there in Ike inventory of Army?
4. What is the operational date of the Nirbhay , ALCM being codeveloped with Rafale/IAI and Barak 2? Why is Su Sonia cruise missiles unsuitable for use over mountainous terrain? Will the Nirbhay and ALCM have a terminal seeker for accurate terminal homing? 5. Is there any underground superhardened basing at the IAF Barmer base as highlighted by the press during Op Sudarsan. Also is there any hardened underground facilities for maintenance and storage of fighters at AFS Kalaikunda? Are there more IAF bases featuring underground facilities? 6. In f-16 net it was mentioned that the nose diameter of F-16 block50/60 is 660 mm while that of Rafale is 600 mm. Considering this the air- air detection range, SAR range of the N . Grumman APG-80 will be better than the Thales RBE2 Aesa variant. Pls clarify which one is superior to the other.

Anonymous said...

In V.K. Saraswats most recent revelations, DRDO is working on robotic mule for IA to replace real mules. Do we need this ? Isn't it more expensive to use robotic mule ? Also IA uses alot of mules and to replace them IA will need a lot of robotic mules which will be expensive.

Also he said BEML is working with a foreign firm to develop a tracked 155mm/52 calibre tracked gun. Please throw some light on this project. Which company and is Bhim project back on track ?

I read somewhere that IA has selected Force Motors Trishul vehicle for IA's lsv requirement. Is it true ?

Anonymous said...

can you possibly post the full FORCE article on Vikramaditya on your blog.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shree: Actually, none. Because for an Indian aircraft carrier to go to the South China or the Western Pacific it will first have to pass through the Malacca Straits—a classic chokepoint. The same applies to a PLA Navy aircraft carrier trying to proceed towards the Indian Ocean and beyond. The PLA Navy’s plans for acquiring aircraft carriers is driven by the doctrinal need to have a three dimensional warfighting capability in only the Western Pacific (notably alonf the Sea of Japan) and South China Sea. As such, India need not worry about such capabilities at least for the next two decades. The INS Vikramaditya will be more capable for the next decade at least since the PLA Navy will take at least that long to have an operational on-board fleet of J-15 combat aircraft.

To KSK: Well, officially, China is still considered a friendly country by India since it has not ouvertly taken any anti-India stance as yet, unlike another neighbouring country that has trained and sent terrorists to bomb Indian cities and kill civilians in cold blood without any remorse. That is why at a recently-concluded exposition on internal security in New Delhi last week, the number of Chinese companies taking part and showing off their wares far outnumbered those companies hailing from Europe, the US, Israel & Scandinavia.

To SSG: Well, history can always repeat itself, considering that in the 1980s the Navy was told to go for both the Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs & Type 877EKM Kilo-class SSKs, along with Sea King Mk42B & ka-25/Ka-28PL helicopters, when all along all that the Navy wanted was to acquire only one type of platform.

To Anon@1.04AM: You will find most of the answers at:
Nose diameter or antenna diameter alone does not determine the max range of any MMR. It is the emitted power of the transmitter that is the crucial determining factor.

To Anon@1.18AM: The robotic mules are being developed by DRDO for usage on the plains. The biological mules you’ve referred to are used over mountainous terrain. You’ve to ask Dr Saraswat what exactly he means by the term ‘mule’. Is he being inspired by the usage of similar terms by the US & Israelis? BEML is not developing any such howitzer, rather, it nis the local ‘agent’ or ‘middleman’ for Slovakia’s Konstructa, which is offering the 155mm/45-cal Zuzana.

To Anon@1.34AM: Can’t do that.

Anonymous said...

sir u said that the newer block 3 brahmos has a range of 550 km....what i wanted to is that can the existing block 1 and 2 brahmos can be upgraded to this block 3 standard.....??

why on the earth we are going for 2 luh platforms ??

what happened to mahindra axe , tata lsv and others ?? is that program for aquiring new lsv's cancelled ??

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Which of the two old tanks ie T 55
and Vijayanta have been COMPLETELY

There were reports that T 55 tanks were given to INFANTRY divisions
to BOOST their fire power SINCE the
105 MM gun was quite useful AND
also we have invested lot of money
on their upgradation

Anonymous said...

Dear sir

Will India retire 122 MM D 30 Howitzer or can it be upgraded like 130 MM guns

HAS the India Russia friendship been DAMAGED by T 90 Quarrells and Disputes
and will we stop FURTHER production of T 90

Isnt it BETTER to CONTINUE manufacturing T 72 tanks AND Arjun MK 1 tanks and THEN UPGRADE them RATHER than being
CONSTANTLY worried and harassed
by the Russians ;over the T 90 tanks

Also the AFSPDS rounds of T 72 is indengious ly manufactured

Anonymous said...

"BEML is not developing any such howitzer, rather, it nis the local ‘agent’ or ‘middleman’ for Slovakia’s Konstructa, which is offering the 155mm/45-cal Zuzana."

Well you may be right but Zuzanna is also now available in 155mm/52-cal and may be thats what Dr. Saraswat was talking about. The new version Zuzanna 2 is very good. full 360-degree turret traverse, a new armored cab and further reduced crew of 3 enabled by automation. It has passed Slovak Army trials in december 2009. The new version is claimed to possess Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) capability.

As far as robotic mule is concerned. I saw a fully demonstrated version of automated sedan in 2010 being able to operate in an urban area. If what you are saying is the requirement then all drdo has to do is change the platform to a jeep and it can carry alot of things for army even in difficult terrain.

Anonymous said...

Please as your fan, i just want to say its getting boring here. Please post a new article.

SherKhan said...

On the contrary, these comments sections are extremely informative and interesting. One can learn a lot here.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

In this Current Article Paragraph 16
It is mentioned that Four ANTI SURFACE warfare Corvettes are being made by GRSE

I think it should read as Anti
SUBMARINE warfare Corvettes

Please clarify

Thanks and Regards

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Sometime back Army Chief General Kapoor and Lt General Lamba
Chief of Army training Command made a PROVOCATIVE statement that

RAWALPINDI will Quieten the Pakistanis "

Considering the Terrain on the LOC at Which PLACE do you think
Indian Army can START this Thrust

Anonymous said...

^^^ Those READERS Who DO NOT Believe
my STATEMENT Type these Words into GOOGLE

" General Lamba Massive Armored thrust Rawalpindi " and SEE the

Anonymous said...

Hey man,
what do does this mean????

And where do their claims stand??

KSK said...

Well shit happens!!!!!!!!
Even the best will fail sometimes......
Reason for DRDO to smile...):

KSK said...

Since IAF chose Spyder from Israel I feel Army will follow them.......OR does MBDA have a chance..?
And which system is better and costs less????

Anonymous said...
Is this the actual pic or some mock up....if it is real then how come the entire air frame is intact without any damages. Unless the UAV actually landed at some airstrip. I have seen few belly landed aircrafts their fuselage received substantial damage. In most cases there were cracks in the wings, fuselage etc. Please give your view.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.18AM: The existing BrahMos Blocks 1/2 can be subjected to range increases only after the missile rounds have been re-lifed and fitted with the enhanced propulsion system that exists on the BrahMos Block-3. And why is India going for two separate LUH platforms? Beats Me for sure, as it is a senseless decision. The Mahindra AXE LSV is useful to SOFs like the IAF’s Garud as it can be easily tucked inside a Mi-17 & An-32B. It is also an excellent choice for base air defence/perimeter security elements of the Garud. The AXE’s drawback is its size & endurance in terms of accommodating an appreciable amount of weapons. The TATA-built LSV, on the other hand, can be transported by C-130J-30s, has an appreciable endurance, and can accommodate a host of on-board weapons like either a Milan-2T/Konkurs-M ATGM launcher with up to six reloads, 0.50-cal HMG, a 40mm AGL, plus a mini-UAV like the Skylark-1. Therefore, in my view, the TATA-built LSV is more suitable for the Army’s Para (SG) elements. The LDV programmes are by no means cancelled, and some initial procurements of these vehicles on a pilot basis have already taken place in the configurations described above.

To Anon@11.03AM: The 400 Vijayantas have already outlived their usefulness as MBTs and it will be far better to export them to countries like Afghanistan. The other option is to retain the 800 upgraded T-55s by upgrading their fire-control systems & target acquisition systems (by fitting them with the TISAS suite from ELBIT Systems, which is already on board several BMP-2K ICVs) and using them for armoured recon tasks. The older T-55s, if at all any of them remain, could be easily converted by the DRDO into remotely-piloted ‘mules’ and be equipped with anti-mine ploughs.

To Anon@11.11AM: Believe me, an erroneous report by a lone guy cannot hold Indoa-Russia relations to hostage. There is therefore no question of the bilateral relations being damaged. The D-30s can easily be retired as India has plenty of 130mm M-46 towed howitzers that can now fire cargo munitions designed by IMI and now being licence-built by the OFB. In future, 130mm laser-guided rocket-assisted projectiles too are a possibility if the DRDO can get its act together. Russia has never caused any harrassment to India regarding the T-90S. Rather, it is the bureaucrats of India in their all-knowing wisdom that has made matters worse. As I had explained before, instead of rtying to indigenize the licenced-production of the T-90S, efforts should have been made to allocate more financial/technological resources into the Arjun MBT Mk2/3 programmes under what Mr.RA 13 had earlier called the DoT option. Up to 1,000 T-90S MBTs could have been supplied directly by Uralvagonzavod JSC much quicker and cheaper to meet immediate operational reqmts between 1999 and 2005. The MoD also should have committed itself to buying at least 1,000 Arjun Mk2/3s (powered by the Cummins India-built 1,500hp powerpack, optronic sensors from SAGEM & THALES, & ELBIT Systems-supplied all-electric turret traverse/stabilisation system) as far back as 2007. The T-72Ms & T-72M1s, on the other hand, could have been progressively modified into tank destroyers like the BMP-T Terminator (by fitting them with Kornet-E ATGMs & an ARDE-developed 40mm cannon).

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.35PM: The Zuzana A1 & Zuzana 2 are claimed by Konstrukta of Slovakia to have 155mm/52-cal barrels. Their brochures are at:
However, instead of procuring them as they now exist (since they’re quite heavy & therefore unsuitable for mountain warfare), efforts ought to be made by BEML to integrate either of their turrets to the hull of a T-72, which has been fitted with a 1,000hp V-92S2 four-stroke V-12 diesel engine. If this is done, then the Army’s tracked SPH reqmt can be satisfied. However, the DRDO can act as a spoiler by insisting on the more expensive option under which it insists on integrating the turrets with the hull of the Arjun Mk1 MBT.

To SherKhan: VMT

To Anon@7.05PM: Yes, that was the error made by the person who drafted the CNS’ press-briefing notes.

To Anon@7.13PM: Prior to May 1998 such a possibility may have existed. But now & for the future, this possibility no longer exists.

To Anon@9.15PM: As far back as 1988, the DRDO had come up with a directory (or printed compilation) of various products that it had come up with, one of which was this miniaturised millimetre-wave seeker. I guess the Research Centre Imarat (RCI) has at last succeeded in developing a functional miniaturised MMW radar for the air-launched Helina version of the Nag ATGM. The IIR seeker for the ATGM launched from the NAMICA tracked launcher is definitely from Israel’s RAFAEL. While the helicopter-launched Helina is expected to have a 8km-range, it remains to be seen if an aircraft-launched version (like the Brimstone) will be developed as well and by when.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSK: The Indian Army has already begun receiving its SpyDer-SRs, just like the IAF. As for the SR-SAM to be co-developed by MBDA, it is most likely another fraud being perpetrated in the name of indigenisation. A far better option would be to develop a vertically-launched or even a slant-launched E-SHORADS variant of the Astra BVRAAM. After all, if both the Python-5 & Derby (both AAMs) can be adapted for ground-launch (for the SpyDer), why can't the Astra BVRAAM too be made adaptable as a ground-launched SAM? Raytheon has done so with the AIM-120 AMRAAM while Russia too has followed suit with the R-77. So why not the DRDO? Why try to develop from scratch a brand-new SHORADS?

Anonymous said...

Is there any underground superhardened basing at the IAF Barmer base as highlighted by the press during Op Sudarsan. Also is there any hardened underground facilities for maintenance and storage of fighters at AFS Kalaikunda? Are there more IAF bases featuring underground facilities? Also u said that IA has started receiving it's Spyder SR. Now when did the IA order Spyder-SR? How many systems are being procured? Why didn't we go for the MR version. Are these Spyder systems part of QRSAM purchase by the army?

Austin said...

Prasun , Journos do have some previlages so they can get away posting so called confidential information ;)

If India is keen to use Israel Rounds of Mk1 and Mk2 type i guess that leaves it with 2A46M gun , not much choice there.

There are new Russian Rounds much better then 3BM42 but unfortunately their MOD is adamant on not giving export right inspite of export agency lobbying with MOD for past 2 years , as 3BM42 is now nearly 2 decades old APFSDS and the world have moved on with better rounds.

Although I was still looking at penetration performance of Israel rounds of Mk1 and Mk2 type we use.

A 3BM42 round gives a guranteed penetration of 450 mm at 0 degrees and an average of 500 mm at the same angle , similar performance if available of Israel round will be helpful.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.13AM: You can see for yourself the GoogleEarth imagery showing the southwestern end of the air base at Barmer/Uttarlai. Underground basing and maintenance workshops are a must for all those air bases that are exposed to the desert heat and that have to host new-generation combat aircraft that are sensitive to extreme temperature vairations. But not so in Kalaikunda.

To Austin: The IMI-built APFSDS rounds were imported in bulk starting last quarter of 1999 for the T-72s at a time when the T-90S had not yet arrived and the OFB-produced 125mm APFSDS rounds were still in low-rate production. During OP Vijay in mid-1999 the Russians could not supply adequate numbers of moderately new-build 125mm APFSDS rounds, but they did supply whatever they could in terms of 130mm artillery rounds, and the officer who singlehandedly coordinated that entire series of emergency airlifts out of Russia was then Maj Gen Mrinal Suman, who presently regularly writes for FORCE. Then came OP Parakram in late 2001-early 2002 when again IMI-built 125mm APFSDS rounds were imported in great bulk for the T-72s. But since they were not expended in great numbers, a huge stockpile remained throughout much of the previous decade. Although new-build APFSDS rounds of newer designs comparable to IMI-built rounds (in terms of armour penetration effectiveness) were supplied along with the 310 & 347 T-90S MBTs (in fact, I myself saw them & photographed them being used in mid-2000 in Malaysia during the T-90S’ firing/mobility trials in that country and they were not the 3BM42 for sure), someone within Indian Army HQ wanted to make comparative analyses of newer Russia-supplied and IMI-supplied 125mm APFSDS rounds when fired from the 2A46M-2 barrel and when these took place it was discovered that the IMI-built rounds weren’t even compatible, leave alone being effective. However, when fired from the 2A46M, the IMI-built rounds were effective against targets simulating the T-80UD, Type 59D & Type 85IIAP out to a distance of some 800 metres. Consequently, since the Army is now overstuffed with both IMI-built & OFB-built 125mm APFSDS rounds (which are compatible with only the 2A46M), a decision was taken to make use of these cannons for the OFB-built T-90S Bhishma (or is it Bheeshma, not quite sure since both names have been seen in previous Republic day parades and clearly Army HQ needs to come clear on this as well!), even though the option of importing the 2A46M-2 barrels was and is always available, provided only Russia-built 125mm APFSDS rounds are imported & used.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Austin: By the way, can you or anyone else explain why should the Indian Coast Guard Service (ICGS), which has been in existence since the late 1970s, should finally get its own Training Academy only by 2015? And why does the DG of the ICGS continue to hail from the Indian Navy? Can't the ICGS have a four-star DG from its own ranks? Are these the reasons why the Indian Navy is now saddled with the task of providing coastal security at the expense of maritime security? Why does the Navy require coastal patrol aircraft like Do-228s and MRMR aircraft, both of whioch should ideally be only with the ICGS? Why is the sanctioned strength of the Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) pegged at 15,000 and why are Indian Navy sailors being made to undergo a compulsory 2-year deputation with the SPB? Is this the naval maritime equivalent of the Army's land-based Rashtriya Rifles? And if yes, then to what extent will all this usher in a defensive mindset among the Navy's rank-and-file? It seems that no one from the Indian Navy is willing to offer any on-the-record explanations or justifications regarding such questions.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Austin & All: And by the way, The Maldives has for the past two years been requesting India to set up a naval academy/training establishment on one of its islands, but to date no one from either the MoD or MEA has even bothered to give this request the seriousness that it deserves. This being the case, wouldn't it then be justified on The Maldives' part to invite either China or Pakistan to set up such an academy?

Anonymous said...

India has a defensive mindset and not offensive. so having a strong navy will not go well with political mindset. I guess that is why Navy is still saddled with coastal security and why the coast guard head is from Navy. It is like making some sense of investing billions in water. I dont think many in echelons like the terms like Blue water navy, and marine expeditionary force (the same reason why officially the missile ranges are capped at 5000km above which it will be widely considered as an offensive ICBM in just name). Even for the IAC it was officially named ADS long back so that the aircraft carrier tag was not used so that airforce cannot claim that maritime interdiction can be done by them!. Like it or not the Indian policy is always coccooned to EEZ and mainland. so the Navy is perhaps ingeniously trying to use the saddle of pirate defence and coastal security so that funds and men are provided by government for Navy (surprisingly the major arm which can turn the course of war at far away distance is given the lowest funding among all the major forces). This is what i guess...may not be true even to salt.

sbm said...

Prasun, if I might be permitted to offer a viewpoint, I would suggest we draw a distinction between coastal defence and surveillance aimed at furthering that task and the role of a Coast Guard which is tasked with Coastal Protection and SAR.

The SPB is aimed at the protection of naval assets and as such I do not think a tenure in it would necessarily create a defensive mindset and it might improve awareness among officers and men as to the vulnerability of vessels and installations to attack from enemy operatives. It will also lend itself to improved weapons skills as navies worldwide (just like airforces) neglect personal weapons refresher training to a certain extent.

The Indian Coast Guard is not suited for any kind of serious combat - 3 of the 4 76mm gun mounts are giving trouble (reputedly unserviceable). It is a coastal police force and emergency response force.

If the Indian Coast Guard equips its weapons lockers the same way the USCG does, then it is probable that personal weapons are only available for 60% of a ships complement.

Both the navy and the Coast Guard have a role to play in coastal security and I do not view the current efforts as necessarily leading to a diminution in the "offensive" mindset of the navy.

What I do notice is that in the fight against terrorism, smuggling and piracy, the Coast Guard is not sufficiently armed or trained for the task. It might be useful to consider the establishment of a special operations group within the Coast Guard - a coast guard Force One.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

There is a report in that
MMRCA Tender is AT Contract Negotiation(S) Stage

Does This mean that BOTH planes have NEARLY Identical Costs and Hence we are Negotiating with Both Companies
AND the Final deal will HAPPEN Depending on WHO Offers the Best Deal

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

I read on the Internet that ISRAELI 120 MM Mortars weigh ONLY 250 KG and HAVE a range of 9 KM

Indian army has preferred these over the Indian OFB mortars which WEIGH 500 kg and have a range of 10 KM

Does this ALSO mean that NOW the OLD 75/ 24 MOUNTAIN Gun is going to be retired

Anonymous said...

must watch true face of isi

Anonymous said...

Any news regarding INS Arihant???

Shree said...

Sad to hear about Su30 crash thank god the pilots are safe is the 3rd one right?

Do we have Advanced flight simulators for Su30 fighters and Mig-29(IAF),Mig-29K(IN),Mirage,Jaguar,Bae Hawks(AJT)??

Are Advanced flight simulators a requirement in MMRCA contract???

On average how frequently will a Su30 takeoff for a sortie...and how long do they last???

In a sortie will it have any weapon load???

Shree said...

Austin said...

Prasun on the training part not sure may be on economic ground the CG was not a big force and they could have trained with the navy for most task while the remaining would have been hands on with ICG Training Ships.

Well both the IN and CG have fared not too well as far as coastal security goes , look at 1993 mumbai blast and 26/11 and both end blaming each other for it.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: Indeed a distinction should be drawn between coastal defence and surveillance aimed at furthering that task, and the role of a Coast Guard, which is tasked with coastal protection and SAR, since it is a paramilitary force and emergency response force. And I also agree that the SPB is essentially tasked with the responsibility of providing a layered defence against both shore-based and offshore island-based naval establishments. But that was not the point I was trying to make. What I was trying to question is how come or why the ICGS’s growth over the past three decades been allowed to be so stunted? Why was even a Western seaboard-centric sea surveillance system not put in place along the coastlines of both Gujarat & Maharashtra even after the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts? What prevented the ICGS from establishing its own dedicated training academy since the early 1980s? And why is the Indian Navy still insisting that the post of DG ICGS should continue to be an active three-star Vice Admiral on secondment from the Navy? If the ICGS was allowed to have its own training academy way back in the early-1980s or even early 1990s, then by today the various Marine Police units now springing up would have had access to far better training and logistics facilities than is the case today. In other words, I’m talking about the need to undertake a long-overdue organisational/administrative overhaul that will free the Navy from much of the peacetime coastal security tasks that it is now struggling to fulfil, especially within India’s territorial waters and the EEZ. While a couple of quick-response groups within the ICGS is desirable to tackle the threats of maritime piracy & terrorism, these too will be largely ineffective unless & until the ICGS—and not the Navy--is made the ultimate authority to man and operate the countrywide sea surveillance system that’s now coming up. Right now, that does not appear to be the case, since the Navy insists on being the umbrella institution that supercedes the ICGS when it comes to commanding, controlling and coordinating peacetime coastal security functions & operations.

To Anon@12.09PM: How can one proceed to the contract negotiations stage when even the price negotiations phase has not yet been concluded? Only after the winning bid has been selected will contract negotiations begin.

To Anon@12.13PM: No, they won’t be retired so easily. But the lighter 120mm mortars & armoured vehicles equipped with breech-loading 120mm mortars are preferred by the Army.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shree: The Su-30MKI’s tactical simulators & cockpit procedures trainers are now in place. However, no orders have yet been placed for the MiG-29UPG simulators. Simulators for both aircrew training/conversion & for ground maintenance crew are included in the M-MRCA package. Typically, a newly converted Su-30MKI aircrew will have to log in at least 25 flight-hours per month for at least the first two years. Whether or not a Su-30MKI flies out equipped with live weapons depends on the kind of sortie being flown: whether it is just a routine route familiarisation or dissimilar air combat sortie, or whether it involves delivery of live ordnance/training ordnance as part of combat proficiency skills maintenance.
The latest Su-30MKI crash incident is an interesting one. If one were to assume that technical errors related to the flight control system were responsible, then one can narrow down the probable possibilities. One can safely rule out simultaneous engine failure of both turbofans or suffering of catastrophic bird-hits, and one can also rule out loss of electrical power to the digital fly-by-wire flight control system, since the system can function without electrical power for a good 40 minutes (as was the case with the first Su-30MKI crash). The only two other ways a digital fly-by-wire flight control system can malfunction or cease to function is if the aircraft is struck by a bolt of lightning, or if there is internal wire-chafing, caused primarily by deficient QA at the shopfloor-level during the aircraft’s final assembly.

To Austin: It all boils down ultimately to turf wars, with the Navy insisting on treating the ICGS as its kid-brother and preventing its further evolution and expansion until the burden becomes unbearable. As I had observed a few times before, establishment of a sea surveillance system along the coastlines of Gujarat & Maharashtra should have been undertaken immediately after the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, instead of scrambling after 26/11. And now another ‘tamasha/nautanki’ has begun with regard to the MRMR selection process, with some within the Navy insisting that the Navy go for either ATR-72s or C-295s or Q-400MPAs or Falcon 900MPAs or EMB-145MPAs, while the Coast Guard stays content with ATR-42MPAs or CN-235MPAs.

sbm said...

Prasun, I agree that the navy is treating the CG like a step-brother.

I do believe that CT ops and harbour defence/surveillance should be naval.

I agree wholeheartedly that the CG needs its own academy and to forge its own identity.

However I also believe that it needs to put its own house in order.

Since 2006 it is reported that 2 SGRM mounts on the AOPVs are unserviceable and a 3rd since 2009 with the last being only partly serviceable.

The CG should be moving heaven and earth to do everything it can do with what it has.

After that we can talk about autonomy etc.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: Regretably, even if the ICGS succeeds in realigning heaven with earth, it will still be knocking its head against an unbreakable wall that's reinforced by both the MoD & the Dept of Public Enterprises' 'navratna' PSUs like BHEL, HAL & GSL. Unless through-life product support is extended by these PSUs, the ICGS is totally powerless to do anything to improve its fleet serviceability levels. As the latest CAG report on the ICGS reveals, the fault lies squarely with the PSUs & DPSUs. And I wouldn't be surprised at all if the IAF's BoI regarding the latest Su-30MKI crash arrives as the same conclusion as mine.

sbm said...

Prasun, the DPSUs have a lot to answer for. However, to my certain knowledge, the navy while having its own complaints has kept its weapons systems working. The SGRM systems in naval service actually work.

I would bet that many of the problems the ICGS is encountering are largely of a minor nature which they lack the means to repair at the local level.

Anonymous said...

Could a Ballistic Recovery System-BRS prevented the crash (Total loss of the aircraft) of Su-30. The BRS was developed for civilian market . With IAF high rate of a/c crashes never mind the cause technical,pilot otherwise.It would be prudent to invest & develop a BRS for our fighter planes. It will add weight to aircraft but like a pilot ejection system a essential one. It won't help in all cases as it requires some minimum height to deploy. BRS can be enabled only to deploy in friendly airspace where the aircraft can be recovered, in hostile environment only the pilot ejects and the lets the plane crash. It not right to let a 200 Crore plane to crash with-out any means recover or minimize the damage.
Is this feasible ?

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

a small querry

do you think that the russians will replace this downed sukhoi as they replaced the previous 2 downed one


Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...

Indian Air Force Su-30 MKI fighter jet Crash Site Images

Anonymous said...

Hilarious video .....MAKE LOVE NOT WAR......

Anonymous said...

Also u said that IA has started receiving it's Spyder SR. Now when did the IA order Spyder-SR? How many systems are being procured? Why didn't we go for the MR version. Are these Spyder systems part of QRSAM purchase by the army? It would have been better if IA would have gone for the Russian TOR or the Panstir s1 Sam systems. Also the no missiles per TEL is only 4 which is a great shortcoming as less no targets can be engaged per TEL also it would have to be loaded more often. What type of 130 M-46 shells did India procure in bulk from Russia? What 130 M-46 shells did we procure from Israel ? Also all the rounds have a lifetime after which they will be unusable . Will then IA restock it's former inventory of the shells?

sbm said...

Prasun, this Su-30 incident as depressing as it is should not cloud the fact that the aircraft has a pretty good record.

Over 140 are currently in IAF service (99+ HAL built).

At present, 93 Rafaels have been produced out of 180 ordered and 3 have gone down.

Compare and contrast !

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.01PM: No, a BRS wouldn’t have helped at all and that’s why even the Russian OEM has not developed such a system for this type of aircraft.

To Joydeep Ghosh: Why not? For as long as the customer (India) is willing to place orders for attrition replacements, new-build aircraft will be supplied by the OEM IRKUT Corp.

To Anon@11.33PM: Read this:

To SBM: I’m afraid the comparison & contrast between the Su-30MKI & Rafale will not hold due to the different generations of aircraft design and performance parameters involved, especially in terms of the airframe/engine/accessory TBOs and TTSLs. Firstly, it remains to be seen from which batch of aircraft deliveries the crashed Su-30MKI came. If it came from those batches which have had to undergo TBOs after clocking 1,000 flight hours, then the practices & processes of the concerned BRD that is undertaking such post-1,000-hour inspections will have to investigated. If the aircraft hails from a batch that is yet to undergo such inspections, then the IAF’s squadron-level maintenance practices & hangarage-related infrastructure will have to be investigated. In either case, even if technical error is found out to be the case, it will in all probability have to be human resource-induced technical error. Presently, the air base infrastructure even at major IAF air bases in deficient when it comes to hosting aircraft like the Su-30MKI & Hawk Mk.132, and in future the upgraded MiG-29UPGs, upgraded Mirage 2000H/THs & upgraded Jaguar IS. For instance, in none of the existing IAF air bases hosting the Su-30MKIs, there are tarmac-based or ramp-based aircraft storm-shelters of the type that have come up in other air bases around the world that host export-model Su-27s & Su-30s (as in Algeria, China, Indonesia, Malaysia & Venezuela).

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: And in Vietnam as well.

Anonymous said...

Ayni air base

Kindly share your opinion on the Ayni air base.
What are the strategic implications?
Will Indian military be permitted to operate from the air base in case of a war scenario?

sbm said...

And yet somehow IAF flying hours and use of the Su-30MKI is higher than in the other countries. I wonder if that could be an additional problem ?

IAF aircraft tend to clock a lot of hours quickly as such putting additional pressure on the infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

please see my below copy/past from some source .
What he is talking about ??

Anonymous said...

When I say the new Chief of Air Staff, N. A. K. Browne, is a CIA-RAW man, I mean he literally sits at CIA-supplied terminals to participate in crimes against India. More than a thousand Indian Air Force aircraft have crashed since 1970, the vast majority of the crashes caused by microwaves from U. S. satellites which can hack into and operate any digital equipment. In his first week in office as Chief of Air Staff, Browne caused two Indian Air Force fighter planes to crash with microwaves from satellites, to give a boost to his bid to buy worse than worthless foreign aircraft for several tens of billions of dollars of which he will get a hefty cut along with the Defence Minister and the Italian woman who gets the largest cut. The Sukhoi crash on Dec. 13 '11 and the grounding of the Sukhoi fleet has been caused 2 days ahead of the purchase decision as the purchase was made impossible by my opposition to it. See IndianAirForcePilotsMurderDOTblogspotDOTcom . //I said on October 11 '11 ( GaddafiCrimeDOTblogspotDOTcom ) that the 'suicide' of the chief test pilot Baldev Singh was murder, to facilitate the claim of the fraudulent 'delay' in inducting the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, being used to justify the worse than worthless purchase abroad. India builds Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft from raw materials; why do you need to buy fighter aircraft from abroad? [At this, A. K. Antony said on November 23 '11 that the Sukhoi-30 MKI assembly line can only make 16 aircraft per year. Why couldn't you set up another assembly line? As soon as I asked this question, the report in Deccan Herald was changed by RAW to eliminate the reference to assembly line limitation and a reference to a Sukhoi-30MKI crash in April '09 -- its first ever -- was inserted instead, having him say that the Indian Air Force will continue to use the Sukhoi-30MKI despite the crash along with the new aircraft to be bought from abroad and the Light Combat aircraft. The Sukhoi crash on Dec. 13 '11 has been caused 2 days ahead of the purchase decision as the purchase was made impossible by my opposition to it.] N. A. K. Browne, A. K. Antony and the Italian woman should be booked for the murder of Baldev Singh along with the head of RAW. All former heads of RAW should be booked for the murders of hundreds of Indian Air Force pilots. //Integrated Circuit chips made in the United States are required to provide for access to the United States National Security Agency so it can monitor and take control of their operations at will. Components and electronic equipment from the United States should be absolutely "haram"; far from lamenting 'technology denial', equipment from the United States should be rejected even if it is offered on a platter and free of charge as I have said. India's bought-up Defence, Atomic Energy, Space and other officials deliberately close their eyes to this threat. This also applies to U. S.- made civilian aircraft, for example. There are two hundred thousand Indian engineers and scientists working in Research & Development for foreign companies in India but instead of putting its money in Research & Development ( in my letter dated January 5, 2004 to the press -- see my blog -- I had suggested one million Research & Development workers in India in government-sponsored projects), India's CIA-RAW government buys foreign equipment in all fields to keep India poor, weak and enslaved. India's government lends hundreds of billions of dollars to the U. S. government in exchange for worthless U. S. paper but seeks foreign investment and World Bank loans for projects in India, giving ownership and control of India to

Anonymous said...

India's enemies, despite the unlimited capital available to India by simply printing the money; see 'How India's Economy Can Grow 30% Per Year Or More' in my blog; as is described there, the United States has been applying my proposal about money by stealth and now also openly but Manmohan Singh refuses to do so because this bugger -- a CIA appointee -- does what serves the United States', not India's, interests. //When Atal Behari Vajpayee was prime minister, he had once gone to Bombay and spoken to the stock exchange about applying my proposal about money to India's economy, after which he had to abort his flight back to Delhi for fear his plane will crash. The murders of several politicians by air crash have been accomplished by microwaves from satellites. A recent example was the murder of the Andhra Pradesh chief minister by air crash. In my blog I have described how Indira Gandhi when prime minister in 1980 went to her kitchen with the then U. S. Vice President and former CIA Director, George Herbert Walker Bush, to arrange for the murder by air crash of her son Sanjay Gandhi who had taken to slapping her in the presence of others under my influence and the then CIA Director, Frank Carlucci, publicly claimed credit for that air crash via a letter that appeared in National Review. //In a press release dated January 10, 2011 I said: Stealth or no-stealth, 5th generation or 4th generation, fighter aircraft are as obsolete for India's defence as bows and arrows. They can be used against neighbors such as Pakistan and China but the United States is EVERYBODY'S neighbor. It has already invaded and occupied Afghanistan, a part of traditional India and will expand its occupation to the rest of the subcontinent. I am India's expert in strategic defence, the father of India's strategic program including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and the world's greatest scientist (my biography is in Marquis' Who's Who in the World, 2011 and earlier editions). The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan means the coast-to-coast destruction of the U.S. by India; see my blog titled 'Nuclear Supremacy for India Over U.S.', which can be found by a Yahoo search with the title, for what India needs to do. Russia and other white countries are U.S. allies. These are the enemies to destroy. All other enemies will be taken care of automatically. Conventional arms are worthless for destroying the United States. Nuclear arms to destroy the United States with a FIRST STRIKE -- this is the key -- are cheap and easy to produce with technology India already has. All the money earmarked for fighter aircraft etc., and more, must be pumped into research, development and production of missiles able to deliver India's nuclear warheads -- in the thousands -- to the continental United States. India's missile scientists & engineers should have tested such missiles to their full range decades ago -- everything else, including short and intermediate range missiles and missile defence, is secondary and tertiary -- but have not done that because of prohibitions by India's C.I.A.-controlled governments. This must be done on a war footing; the first step is to destroy RAW through which the C.I.A. rules India; see my blog. Producing such weapons in the thousands and very quickly is important. This means that the vast majority of them must be land-based, including road and rail-mobile, missiles rather than submarine-based which take a long time to produce. //Satish Chandra

Anonymous said...

Pls , Dasu may I ask on what grounds u can say that microwaves from satellites caused all the aircraft crashes including the latest Sukhoi crash? What proof do u have regarding that the present Air Marahal is a CIA puppet and is deliberately causing the crashes?

Anonymous said...

Interesting article....what do you think of it??

Anonymous said...

Common Sir, there has been too much dissection of this article, now its time to move on. Please post the next article...

Anonymous said...

dear mr anonymous .
I don't know the facts. that is why I copy/past it to get a clarification from Prasun.
These are not my words someone called Satish Chandra wrote this on a forum

Yawn said...


Satish Chandra is an example of fellow who has too many grey cells, too little to do but with too much time on his hand.

Anonymous said...

What type of 130 M-46 shells did India procure in bulk from Russia? What 130 M-46 shells did we procure from Israel ? Are they special purpose laser guided shells?Also all the rounds have a lifetime after which they will be unusable . Will then IA restock it's former inventory of the shells? The Anti tanks shells we have purchased from Israel during the standoff with Pakistan during 2001 will reach the end of their shelf life somewhere between 2014-15? Then what will be done with the shells?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Have 2 requests.
1) Please post a new article it been long since we had this post.
2) Please update us if there is any info on the MMRCA winner or any other related news.Also want to went will it be officially announced.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Just curious to know if you have any picture of the latest IAF MI17 which india received from russia. or atleast how it should be looking

Anonymous said...

Dear PRASUN , will u pls tell if it is possible to shoot down a fighter aircraft by sending microwaves from a satellite directed towards the aircraft to disrupt it's avionics . Pls throw some light on this matter. I have seen your article plugging air gaps. Will u pls tell why didn't the Army go for the MR variant. Now are the OSA-AKM batteries are being retired. Will u also pls throw some light on whether the Skyranger SPAAG is being purchased or not?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.36AM: The Ayni air base in Tajikistan is being used by the IAF purely as a logistics hub. Wounded Northern Alliance fighters evacuated from Farkhor by Mi-17s & are brought to Ayni from where they’re loaded on to IAF IL-76MDs and from there these aircraft proceed towards Iran and from there to Jamnagar & ultimately to Delhi. Ayni was never intended to be used by the IAF for an kind of combat missions. That was never the idea or intent.

To SBM: Logging more hours on the Su-30MKI can means two things: logging 40% conversion/proficiency time on cockpit procedures trainers & tactical simulators; & logging the remaining 60% as flight hours. Regretably, the tactical simulators began arriving in India in only the first quarter of 2009, which is reprehensible. Such full-flight simulators should have arrived by 2002 itself, just like the Navy’s MiG-29K flight simulator was commissioned in Dabolim BEFORE the arrival of the actual MiG-29Ks. Consequently, for the IAF, an enormous number of flight hours have had to be logged in on actual Su-30MKI flights, which means there will be a strain on ground-based maintenance practices, since only synthetic CBTs were available for training the ground crew. In my view, the 30.9% of MiG-21 Bison losses attributed to human error could have been totally avoided had MiG-21 Bison flight simulators been acquired. The same goes for the MiG-27Ms & MiG-29B-12s. Even till this day, the IAF has not yet contracted for such flight simulators for the MiG-29UPG. A sad state of affairs, indeed. But regarding the latest Su-30MKI crash, catastrophic malfunctioning FBW-FCS or malfunctioning autopilots are now totally ruled out, and what is being strongly suspected is either premature component failure or component failure caused by negligence of ground maintenance crew.

To Dashu: Just forget this guy, for he is under the influence of something or someone that is best avoided.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.27PM: This is yet another glowing example of a discredited analysis by someone who is definitely a China-baiter. Sadly, this is the kind of trash that’s being churned out by the likes of IDSA think-tanks. And these folks will never spell out the truth, which is that Ari Lanka first approached India for building the commercial port at Hambantota, but it was India that let Colombo down. Similarly, The Maldives has been requesting India for the past two years to help in setting up a naval academy in the island-nation. But it is the all-knowing mandarins in Delhi that are still in deep slumber and refuse to take a pro-active stance.

To Anon@3.42PM: Have been busy on two fronts lately: start-up air cargo transportation operations in Arunachal Pradesh; & a closed-door symposium organised by certain authorities in India on China’s new-generation air-defence systems.

To Anon@3.59PM: Is it possible to shoot down a fighter aircraft by sending microwaves from a satellite directed towards the aircraft to disrupt its avionics? No, no one in their right mind will do mso, especially microwave air-burst devices capable of generating destructive EMPs are available as both air-launched bombs as well as guided-missiles . Why didn't the Army go for the MR variant? The OSA-AKM Batteries are being replaced by the SpyDer-SR, while the Pechoras & Kvadrats are being replaced by the 25km-range Akash Mk1 and eventually the 35km-range Akash Mk2. The Skyranger SPAAG WILL BE purchased.

sbm said...

So Prasun, it brings me to the ultimate question - what's flight time like in the IAF ?

My guess would be 240/yr per pilot for the Su-30s and 180-200 for the others.

Anonymous said...

@Prasun, Is this a good time to spend so many billions on a new fighter when the economy looks like it is about to go through a recession.

I think the planes are neccessary but economically in the current situation does it make sense?

Considering the two sides: 'nations cash reserves' versus a 'depleting IAF strength' which side would you lean towards.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Can you please write a detailed article on the indian UAV program.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: Annual flight hours to be logged in depends on two factors: operational conversion & proficiency flying; and the type of aircraft combat aircraft flown. Operational conversion sorties are the most gruelling, with pilots being reqd to log in 25 flight-hours a month for the first six months (this is now being reduced to about 18 hours in case of the Su-30MKI as more cockpit procedures trainers & tactical flight simulators become available). Thereafter, proficiency flying takes over, which averages about 18 flight-hours every month in case of MRCAs like MiG-21 Bison, Mirage 2000H/TH (& in future the MiG-29UPG) & Su-30MKI. There is scope for further reducing the 18-hour figure to about 15 hours for the Su-30MKI if adequate numbers of tactical flight simulators & weapons part-task trainers are located at the hub air base of each Wing. For aircraft like the Jaguar IS & MiG-27M, proficiency flying per month averages about 16-18 flight-hours. While the Jaguars & Mirage 2000s have come with cockpit procedures trainers & tactical flight simulators, those for MiG-21 Bison, MiG-29 & MiG-27M are non-existent.

To Anon@6.11PM: It’s all about how one spends the money, and not the amount of money being spent. One ought to spend more on DoTs & not on mere ToTs. Depleting squadron strength of the IAF should not be equated with depleting airpower/firepower capacities. This is because the air campaigns in future wars will be effects-based & knowledge-based, and not on the amount of offensive tonnage dropped or waging estimates-based warfare. What will matter more is not the sheer number of aircraft deployed, but the ability to mass concentration of airpower when & where it is needed most by employing force-multipliers like AEW & CS platforms & network-centric, SATCOM-based communications networks. In future, long-range precision-strike weapons like BrahMos, Prahaar, Shaurya & supersonic ALCMs will be able to attack a host of targets which in the 1990s could be done only with deep interdictor/strike aircraft. Likewise, ATGMs (ground- and air-launched by attack helicopters & tactical strike aircraft) & MBRLs like the Smerch-M & Pinaka can severely reduce the number of close air/battlefield air interdiction sorties to be flown by manned combat aircraft. In future, the first weapons to be used in the subcontinent during hostilities will be missiles likes the BrahMos & armed UAVs like the Harop, followed by attack helicopters. More financial resources therefore need to be allocated for fielding & developing such precision-guided weapons.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.11PM: Most importantly, in order to totally do away with estimates-based warfare & fully embrace knowledge-based warfare concepts, force multipliers like AEW & CS platforms as well as real-time battlespace surveillance platforms like ISTR aircraft will be reqd to enter service with the IAF, while ISTR sensor-equipped MALE-UAVs will have to be deployed with the Army in large numbers.

sbm said...

That is a hell of a lot of flight time. It averages to 196-216 hours being clocked per year per pilot.

The strain on the aircraft will be high.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Yo SBM: The average clocked-in flight-hours during the 1970s and 1980s was even higher, at some 225 to 250 flight-hours. Right now it is much lower, thanks to the increasing use of flight simulators. The airframe lives of presently operational aircraft--barring the MiG-21 Bison & MiG-27M--are fully certified to accommodate this flight regime. Even the original MiG-29B-12, whose airframe could accommodate only 120 flight-hours per annum, will now be able to accommodate far more flight hours in its MiG-29UPG avatar, thanks to an airframe life-extension programme being implemented. But it must not be assumed that the entire fleet of combat aircraft is being subjected to this type of flying schedule, since the attrition reserve aircraft of a Wing/Squadron will not be exposed to the regular flight-hours.

sbm said...

But every operational pilot flies those hours at present.

The aircraft are one thing but the number of flying hours clocked by the pilots is very impressive by any standard.

sbm said...

Another thing, by my calculations, the Su-30MKI squadrons are currently fielding (including reserves) about 21 aircraft per squadron. 16 unit establishment, 2 trainers and 3 reserves.

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
How are you doing and how is your transport service going??Hope fine.I had few questions to ask.
1.Do you know what's the present status of Akash MkII??
2.IS there any plan to use some new kind of composite armor on Arjun MkII like the HEMRL developed Hybrid armor??And will this armor be used in license assembled T 90S as well??
3.Is there any new FSAPDS ammo under development for Arjun MkII as it was stated several times that Arjun MkII will have enhanced main gun armor penetration??
4.In January this year,during annual address,DRDO chief Dr VK Saraswat had stated that they had developed silo mounted shaped charge warheads that can destroy incoming anti tank projectiles via a 'shot gun type effect'.So does that mean that Arjun MkII will get an indigenous APS??
5.Recently it was reported that a mmw seeker was tested on Nag ATGM-is it developed by RCI??And is it true that current IIR seeker of Nag was codeveloped with Rafael??
6.What's the present status of Nag ATGM-has the IA accepted it?? When it's expected to enter in service and in what numbers??
7.And lastly,recently it was reported that CVRDE along with BEML was developing a new active transmission and a 1500 hp turbo charged engine (which will be smaller than MTU 1400 hp engine) for Arjun MkII to replace the Renk system-is that true??
Please try to reply.
THANKS in advance.

Anonymous said...

Prasun can you shed some light on the recent waiver of "Cold Soak Test" by MOD for the LUH. If there are no helipads above 5000 mtrs then why was the clause included in first place. If i am correct the LUH category choppers doesn't have a APU for keeping the engines warm, so how do they restart at such heights without external power. Any idea

Anonymous said...

Do you think this can really happen????

Anonymous said...

And did IAF get it right....I mean which is better aircraft Korean or Swiss???????

Anonymous said...

Sir, According to various news (We have around 150-160 Sukhoi 30MKI (99 by HAL till few months back and 50 which we bought direct from Russia in starting). So that means we must be operating around 9 squadron with 16-18 each ?? But it was said we only operating 7 squadron. How many we are squadron we are operating actually and how many we will be inducting in next 1-2 years. Sir, Kindly reply.

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