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Friday, December 30, 2011

Indian Navy Swears By Its Tavor Family Of Small Arms & Its Four Upgraded Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs

As far as orders already placed for new-build vessels go, four 6,700-tonne Project 15B guided-missile destroyers (DDG) will be built by Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL) as will seven Project 17A guided-missile frigates (FFG) and all these 11 warships will be using LM-2500 marine industrial gas-turbines for propulsion, two 110-metre cadet-training ships are being built by ABG Shipyard at a cost of Rs9.7 billion (under a contract signed in June 2011), five 2,500-tonne offshore patrol vessels (OPV) to be built by Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Ltd, eight Landing Craft Utility (LCU) to be built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers under a Rs23 billion contract inked in September 2011, 80 fast interceptor craft (FICs, to be imported from Sri Lanka’s Solas Marine) and 15 FIC-1300s (being imported from Chantier Naval Couach of France). The FICs are small high-speed boats for harbour and offshore oil rig and counter-terror patrols, meant for use by the Sagar Prahari Bal, post-26/11, and hence have no relevance to any traditional naval blue- or green-water operations. A contract to import two and indigenously built six South Korea-origin minesweepers (derived from Intermarine of Italy’s Lerici-class GRP-hulled minehunter, but re-engineered by Kangnam Corp) is also to be signed soon. RFPs for the indigenous construction of four 20,000-tonne LPHs under a Rs170 billion contract have been issued and all the responses have been received, with the frontrunner being DCNS of France’s Mistral BPC design. The MoD-owned shipyard expected to win the contract for licence-building the latter two of the four LPHs is Vizag-based Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, which is likely to enlist the services of Larsen & Toubro as its strategic shipbuilding partner. Construction of the first locally built LPH is expected to commence by 2015. Also awaiting approval from the MoD is a proposal for a dozen ocean-going AOPVs. Meanwhile, the first 37,500-tonne Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC)—INS Vikrant—has just adhered to its ‘float-out’ schedule. Its keel had been laid in February 2009 after hull-fabrication work began in November 2006. It was then estimated then that the vessel would be ready to float in two years. The formal launch now is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2012. The MoD has committed Rs32.61 billion for the first phase of the IAC. The delays were caused last year when a heavy-duty vehicle motorised vehicle transporting the marine reduction gearboxes and propellers from Wärtsilä’s factory at Khopoli suffered a fatal road accident. In another development, GRSE has successfully re-engined the first of three 57-metre long 589-tonne Project 1241.2 Molniya-2 ASW corvettes (INS Abhay, INS Ajay and INS Akshay) of the IN. Sea trials of the re-engined INS Abhay have been successfully completed, with work involving the replacement of Russia-made M504 radial engines with high-power-to-weight MTU-1163 engines. Work is now underway to procure through competitive tendering three sets of ultra-low-frequency towed-array sonars (from either ATLAS Elektronik of Germany or US-based L-3 Communications/Ocean Systems) for installation on board these three ASW corvettes.

Depleting Undersea Warfare Capabilities
The IN’s 30-year Submarine Construction Plan, which the apex Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) had approved in July 1999, was crafted purely by the MoD’s bureaucrats and the DRDO’s technocrats, and both of them never even bothered to consult the IN or seek the Navy’s vital inputs on operational requirements. The 30-year plan for constructing three SSBNs, and 24 conventional submarines (SSK) to be built in two simultaneous construction ventures: one building six SSKs (these being the six Scorpenes now being fabricated by MDL) and another building six new-generation Russia-designed SSKs (as the thinking in 1999 was that since the Larsen & Toubro-led Indian industrial consortium was engaged in building the three projected SSBNs in cooperation with their Russian counterparts, this same model of bilateral industrial cooperation could also be extended to encompass the licence-building of six Amur 1650-class SSKs). Consequently, based on the experience gathered in fabricating SSKs of both Western and Russian origin, India could acquire the expertise required for building another 12 SSKs of an indigenous design. This plan, to say the least, was outrageously flawed on several counts, as was the decision in the early 1980s to procure a mixed fleet of SSKs, with six single-hulled SSKs being of German origin and eight double-hull SSKs of Soviet origin. When the IN was forced to go for two types of SSKs, it rightly requested the MoD to not only acquire the first two single-hulled SSKs off-the-shelf, but also insisted that the MoD licence-build at least another four of them at a custom-build facility to be set up by MDL and—most importantly, the selected SSK’s entire design package be bought over by the MoD, meaning only MDL would be able to build this SSK design and the IN would be the sole operator of such SSKs. The MoD agreed and consequently, four 1,810-tonne Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs (two built by Germany’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, or HDW) were commissioned between 1986 and 1994, while at the same time eight double-hulled 3,076-tonne Type 877EKM Kilo-class SSKs were procured off-the-shelf from the USSR between April 30, 1986 and July 19, 2000. The contract for procuring four Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs was inked on December 11, 1981 and the first two SSKs (S-44 Shishumar and S-45 Shankush)--built by HDW--were inducted into service on September 22 and November 20, 1986, respectively. The remaining two (S-46 Shalki and S-47 Shankul) were licence-built by MDL and entered service on February 7, 1992 and May 28, 1994. Earlier, plans for building another two such SSKs were put on hold in 1987 an innocuous telegram from India’s Ambassador in Germany, inquiring if the 7.5% (of the per-unit contracted value) sales commission was to be paid for the 5th and 6th SSKs as for the first four, set in motion a CBI witch-hunt and subsequent political cover-ups, all of which finally died a natural death only in 2006.

However, till this day, no satisfactory explanation has been given by the MoD about the reasons for not resuming the construction of additional Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs post-1994, especially since the MoD, through MDL, remains the legal owner of all IPRs relating to the Class 209/Type 1500 SSK. If it was possible for all four Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs to undergo mid-life refits and upgrades from 1999 to 2005 (which have extended their operational lives to between 2016 and 2024) and be retrofitted with ATLAS Elektronik-supplied ISUS-90 suites (comprising new-generation combat management systems and new sonar suites), then why was the option to series-produce at least six more such SSKs not exercised? Had these six SSKs been built, then they could even have been fitted with customised fuel cell-based AIP plug-ins that were developed by the German Submarine Consortium as far back as 2000 specifically for the Indian Navy and have been on offer for the past decade.

However, since the decision was made in 2005 to go for six single-hulled Scorpene SSKs—under Project 75—for replacing the eight remaining Type 877EKM Kilo-class SSKs between 2015 and 2018 (the Kilos have been due for decommissioning since 2010), it now makes perfect sense to order at least another three Scorpenes, which, along with the fifth and sixth Scorpenes now being fabricated by MDL, will in all probability be equipped with the DCNS-developed Module d'Energie SousMarine Autonome (MESMA/Autonomous Submarine Energy Module), which along with its shore-based support infrastructure, should cost $80 million per unit. Boats of this type will be known as ‘Super Scorpenes’.
The programme to acquire six new-generation single-hulled SSKs under Project 75I, expected to reach the contract negotiations stage only by 2014, now calls for the procurement of boats fitted with a ‘proven’ air-independent propulsion (AIP) system. Initially (between 2006 and 2011), the IN evaluated offers from Sweden, Germany, Russia, Spain and France. Kockums’ A26 SSK, an improved version of the Gotland-class SSKs; will displace 1,930 tonnes, and use a Stirling engine-based AIP system (which is already operational with the SSKs of Japan, Singapore and Sweden) that uses diesel and liquid oxygen and is coupled to a 75kW generator to recharge the SSK’s batteries. Another notable feature of this SSK is its relatively light manpower requirement of up to 26 personnel, which helps to keep running costs down. The A26 has also been engineered to have a high degree of resistance to shock and underwater explosions, along with a highly stealthy design in terms of radar and acoustic signatures. Germany's Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, which has developed two types of AIP systems developed by Siemens (the proton exchange membrane hydrogen fuel-cell powering the Type 212 SSK and the polymer electrolyte membrane hydrogen fuel-cell for the 1,680-tonne Type 214 SSK), is offering the latter, which can dive down to more than 400 metres and has a range of 22,224km. Navantia of Spain’s 2,426-tonne S-80 SSK makes use of an ethanol-based AIP system, while the 2,700-tonne Amur 1650 SSK (with a maximum diving depth of 300 metres and a crew complement of 35) is being proposed with the Kristall-27E AIP system using oxygen-hydrogen fuel-cells. It has since emerged that the IN has now shortlisted only three prospective candidates for Project 75I: the ‘Super Scorpene’ equipped with MESMA, the A26 with Stirling engine, and the Type 214 SSK, which is already operational with the navies of Greece, Portugal and South Korea and in future with Turkey. From a technology maturity standpoint (which the IN insists upon), it would therefore appear that while the MESMA and Stirling AIP systems along with Siemens’ AIP system (based on two polymer electrolyte membrane 120kW fuel-cell modules driving a Siemens Permasyn Type FR6439-3900KW low-speed permanently excited electric motor) meet the IN’s qualitative requirements (QR), the Kristall-27E and the indigenous AIP system being developed (since 2002 and due for sea trials by only 2013!) by the DRDO’s Ambarnath-based Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL), along with the Kochi-based Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), don’t qualify.

In the end, therefore, the Project 75I contest is likely to be between the ‘Super Scorpene’ and the Type 214 SSK. 

The IN’s first of three projected SSBNs—Arihant—continues to remain berthed under a shed at the Ship Building Centre (SBC) near the Naval Dockyard in Vishakhapatnam. Once its PWR goes critical by next February, and will undergo all the standard harbour and sea trials common to all nuclear-powered submarines. The vessel has already completed several trim dives alongside, an operation that requires very detailed trim calculations for the first of the class. This is a very critical operation for flooding and de-flooding the ballast tanks by the on-board pumps. SBC has all the facilities to produce external steam and power for the Arihant. With external steam and power, the SSBN’s propulsion, steering gear and associated systems, electronics and generators can be set to work and tested during harbour trials. When all the systems are expected to be cleared by the Submarine Overseering Teams over the next 65 days, the full ship’s complement will join the boat for very detailed safety and emergency training. This will be a very critical part of the commissioning, and will be overseen by a specialist submarine-qualified Vice Admiral responsible for nuclear propulsion safety from Naval Headquarters (NHQ). After all the harbour trials are completed, the Arihant’s on-board PWR will go critical at low power and be gradually worked up to higher power to enable the hull to go to sea. When this happens, INS Arihant will report ‘Underway on Nuclear Power’. The next phase of trials and evaluations will include sea trials on surface at various speeds, and when the confidence of the crew complement rises, the SSBN will carry out its first shallow dive by the latter half of next year, going deeper progressively at various speeds. On return from every diving trial, several mandatory structural checks on the hull and PWR performance will be carried out by specialists, and the final deep dive to maximum operating depth will culminate in the SSBN embarking upon Phase 3 of its sea trials schedule, this involving weapons-firing trials. Only after all three phases of trials are completed will the Arihant be commissioned sometime before 2014. However, should something go wrong, the IN will require the services of a Deep Rescue Submarine Vessel (DSRV), which remains elusive despite efforts to acquire a few from either the US or Canada. Instead, it is relying on a diving support vessel with a decompression chamber, and has also contracted the US Navy to fly in a DSRV and deploy it to the site of the accident.
The DSRV’s absence will also be felt by the crew complement of the K-152 Nerpa (the Seal), a Project 971A Shchuka-B (Akula-3) SSGN, which was commissioned as the INS Chakra on December 29 at Bolshoi Kamen in Russia’s Primorye region. Obtained on dry-lease for a period of 10 years (with an option to increase it by another five years) the K-152 Nerpa (the Seal), a Project 971A Shchuka-B (Akula-3) SSGN whose keel was laid down in 1986. The Letter of Intent for leasing the SSGN under ‘Project India’ was inked on February 8, 2002 in New Delhi during the 2nd session of the IRIGC-MTC between the then Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov and the then Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes. On November 24, 2002 final price negotiations for the lease began took place during Klebanov’s visit to New Delhi. Rosoboronexport officials then stated that fabrication of the two SSGNs will resume after India pays the first tranche of $100 million as per the contract. The final lease contract for only the Nerpa for the time-being, valued at US$920 million, was inked in New Delhi on January 20, 2004. The Nerpa is the 15th SSGN and the second Akula-3 built under project 971 (codenamed Shchuka) and was designed by the St Petersburg-based Malachite Marine Engineering Bureau under Chief Designer Georgy Chernyshev who, after his death in 1997, was succeeded by Yuri Farafontov. While the Severnoye Machine-Building Enterprise has to date built seven Akulas, the Amursky Shipbuilding Plant has built eight. The Akulas built by the former have been named after land-based beasts of prey, while those built by the latter bear the names of fish and other marine animals. The latest version of the Akula SSGN is the Akula-3 and its dived displacement is 13,800 tonnes, full dived speed is 33 Knots, operational diving depth is 520 metres and maximum diving depth is 600 metres. The SSGN can carry up to 40 weapons ranging from supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles to torpedoes to sea mines. The Akula-3 comes with a two-stage noise supression system and all compartments are shockproof, which results in a five-fold reduction in the level of acoustic fields when compared to the Akula-1. Both the Nerpa and its sister vessel, the K-335 Gepard, are the first‘3+ generation’ nuclear-powered submarines of Russian origin that have a centralised integrated platform management system (IPMS) and a combat management system (CMS), all of which have resulted in the crew complement being reduced to only 73. The IPMS is called ‘Molibden-1’ and has been developed by the Krylov Central Research Institute, while the CMS was developed by the St Petersburg-based Aurora Research & Production Association FSUE, which has also supplied the 15-module submarine monitoring-cum-data recording system. The integrated sonar suite has been developed by Morphyspribor Central Research Institute and Akvamarin JSC, and built by FSUE Taganrog Priboy Plant. The Nerpa’s most visible distinguishing features are the more elongated and slightly pugged barriers (to its port and starboard) for retractable gear and a more aft-mounted compact gondola mounted on the aft vertical fin, which houses a low-frequency thin-line towed-array sonar suite.

INS Chakra is due to arrive in late January next year at Vizag, HQ of the IN’s eastern Naval Command, after undertaking a ferry voyage through the Western Pacific and entering the Bay of Bengal after transiting through the Malacca Straits. In January 2007, work began on modifying (at a cost of $135 million or Rs5.4 billion) the SSGN to accept on board up to 18 Novator 3M53E/3M14E multi-role cruise missiles as well as TEST-71ME and TEST-71ME-NK torpedoes (built by Russia’s DVIGATEL FSUE and Region State Research & Production Enterprise) that will be fired from the SSGN’s six 533.4mm and four 650mm tubes. The hull will feature twin flank-array sonars for being used as a torpedo approach warning system, and a stern-mounted distinctive ‘bulb’ on top of the rudder housing a low frequency thin-line towed active/passive sonar array. INS Chakra’s crew complement will be all-Indian. Some 300 IN personnel, comprising three sets of crews, have for the past five years been extensively trained and type-rated to man the SSGN at a specially built secure facility in the town of Sovnovy Bor near St Petersburg. The IN will be using this SSGN for the following:
·Undertaking anti-submarine patrols along the southeastern and southwestern parts of the Indian Ocean.
·Establishing a series of restricted submarine patrol sectors in far-flung areas of the Indian Ocean to allow persistent undersea warfare operations unimpeded by the operation of, or possible attack from, friendly or hostile forces in wartime; and without submerged mutual interference in peacetime.
·Perfecting the art of communicating with submerged SSGNs using VLF, UHF SATCOMS, SHF and EHF frequencies, and using maritime surveillance/ASW aircraft as mission controllers for the SSGNs.
·Exploring ways of evolving a robust and nuclear first strike-survivable two-way communications system comprising shore-based, airborne and submerged elements to ensure that the SSGN’s commander receives explicit rules of engagement and strategic targeting data.
· Analysing the pros and cons of having either a decentralised C³ network for certain types of missions, or a tightly centralised network by developing command automation via network-centric warfare strategies.
· Trying to achieve submarine internet protocol connectivity and working on solutions that will deliver a reduction in time latency, increased throughput and the ability to maintain communications at speed and depth. One technology demonstrator already developed by the DRDO by still classified comprises a submarine- or air-launched recoverable tethered optical fibre (RTOF) buoyant 450mm diameter buoy which, upon reaching the surface, deploys a low-frequency acoustic projector to a preset depth, enabling reach-forward from the Fleet Command’s SSGN operating authority via a built-in SATCOM antenna. A pager is then activated via SATCOM and paging and target cueing messages are sent to the submarine at a data rate of 2.4 kb/second. Consideration is also being given to the use of a swimming communications device, such as an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), which would surface to exchange data via SATCOM via a repeatable 32kb/second communications window, and then return to the host SSGN for download. A prototype AUV for undertaking such operations has already been developed by the DRDO.
· Use of RTOF buoys, which provide data rates of around 32kb/second while the SSGN is cruising at 8 Knots and is more than 244 metres underwater. The IN’s longer-term network-centric vision includes the use of distributed undersea networks, offering the submarine a network of known underwater nodes to be used to download large amounts of information, while remaining at depth. The concept calls for a field of acoustic sensors, UHF local area network-linked platforms and SATCOM buoys.
· Establishing a protocol for undertaking deep-sea crew rescue and salvage operations using the IN’s yet-to-be-acquired remotely operated rescue vehicles (RORV) and related launch-and-recovery system (LARS) and a fully integrated self-contained emergency life support system (ELSS) package.
However, it must be noted that the acquisition of INS Chakra will by no means give India the long-awaited third leg of the nuclear triad. Neither will the SSGN come under the tri-service Strategic Forces Command. Simply put, the Akula-3 SSGN will be armed with Club-S anti-ship/land attack cruise missiles which, along with the on-board torpedoes, will give the SSGN a formidable sea-denial capability along a 200nm arc contiguous to India’s coastline as well as in the Indian Ocean Region. Russia, which adheres to the Missile Technology Control Regime along with the NPT and START-2 treaties, is obligated to ensure that INS Chakra does not carry any nuclear weapon whatsoever. Furthermore, the SSGN’s employment in wartime too will be highly restricted and its rules of engagement will have to be cleared with Moscow, thus limiting India’s operational sovereignty over the SSGN. In fact, it is due to this very reason that Navy HQ has been insisting since the early 1990s that the DRDO accord greater priority to developing indigenous SSGN solutions (for protecting the projected fleet of three deployed SSBNs) to ensure that India’s nuclear deterrent, in the long run, remains effective, enduring, diverse, flexible, and responsive to the requirements of credible minimum deterrence.

Naval Aviation Fleet Accretion Plans
Given the sheer size of the IN’s maritime awareness domain footprint—stretching from the Strait of Hormuz and Horn of Africa in the west, the Indian Ocean Region, and the Malacca Straits and southern South China Sea to the east—the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm ought to ideally possess no less than 24 long-range maritime reconnaissance/anti-submarine warfare (LRMR/ASW) aircraft, which should be backed up an equal number of medium-range maritime reconnaissance/ASW (MRMR/ASW) platforms. To realise this long-term objective, the IN seven years ago invited requests for information (RFI) for both types of platforms. For the LRMR/ASW aircraft requirement, the selected platform had to undertake the following primary naval missions:
* Monitoring of littoral approaches
* Support to the IN’s fleets in the high seas
* Anti-submarine warfare (ASW)
* Anti-surface unit warfare (ASuW)
* Over-the-horizon target acquisition and reconnaissance (OTHTAR)
* Intelligence gathering
In light of the above, prudence demanded that the selected LRMR/ASW platform be based on a new-generation turbofan-powered airframe that could accommodate comprehensive maritime recce and attack capabilities, thereby allowing a smaller inventory of aircraft to provide high responsiveness for its three main roles (ASW, anti-surface warfare or ASuW, maritime recce, and search-and-rescue, or SAR), adaptable capabilities in maritime reconnaissance and attack operations, and high endurance (with provision for two sets of mission crew on-board) with a smaller support infrastructure. Though turbofan-powered MR/ASW platforms are most economical at high/medium altitudes and less economical at low altitudes, the transit to the operational area can be made at high-altitude and in a turbofan-powered aircraft this is not only economical on fuel but fast as well, compared to turboprop-powered aircraft. After transit, such platforms rapidly descend to the patrol area while using both turbofans for cruise flight, but as fuel is used up and the platform’s weight gets reduced, one engine is closed down. This allows the remaining turbofan to be run at an efficient RPM rate, rather than running both turbofans at less efficient RPMs. A special ‘rapid start’ system should be fitted should the closed-down turbofan has to be started quickly again. Instead of relying only on airspeed for re-starting the turbofan, compressor air from a live turbofan could be used in a starter turbine, which rapidly accelerates the engine being started. For transit back to base, the closed-down engine can be re-started and the aircraft regain its high-altitude flight profile. The IN also wanted to induct into service a new-generation synthetic training suite that would allow the aircraft operator to transfer training from the aircraft to a ground-based training system. This, consequently, would increase aircraft availability for operational missions while optimising flight and mission crew performance and capabilities. To perform such functions, the selected platform was required to takeoff with maximum engine power and climb to a cruising altitude of 42,000 feet, have a maximum rate of descent at more than 10,000 feet/minute, engage in tactical manoeuvres at the not-uncommon maritime reconnaissance altitude of 200 feet, and accomplish a wide range of tasks within a single sortie, including submarine search-and-destroy missions, monitoring sea traffic, launching anti-ship cruise missile attacks on naval or land targets as required, and engaging in communications relays and electronic signals intercepts. Land-surveillance missions were also a distinct possibility.

In December 2005, the IN floated an RFP for an initial eight new LRMR/ASW aircraft. Bids from a variety of contenders were submitted by April 2007. The plan was for price negotiations to be completed in 2007, with first deliveries to commence within 48 months. The competitive bidding process involved two principal contenders: Boeing Integrated Defense Systems’ P-8A Poseidon Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) and Airbus Military Aircraft’s A319 MPA, with the latter being offered with the EADS/CASA-developed FITS mission management system that in turn integrated an ELTA Systems-built EL/M-2022V(A)3 multi-mode search radar from Israel. Boeing on April 13, 2006 submitted its first detailed proposal to develop and deliver the P-8I LRMR/ASW aircraft for the IN. The proposal called for developing an India-specific variant of the P-8A Poseidon. Boeing pitched its eight P-8Is for $2.01 billion. The MoD in early January 2007 began negotiations with the two bidders so that the contract could be finalised before the next financial year ended in March 2009. The selected platform was required to operate for more than 15 years, fly at a speed of more than 200mph, and carry a multi-mode radar that can track 80 airborne and an equal number of surface targets, along with an IFF transponder, ESM/ELINT/SIGINT suite, EW suite for self-defence, chin-mounted optronic sensor operating in the 3-5 micron bandwidth, air-to-surface cruise missiles and torpedoes, sonobuoys, secure data links, and a tail-mounted magnetic anomaly detector. Between the two competing offers, the Boeing offer appeared to be more flexible and tailor-made as it accommodated the IN’s peculiar operational requirements in terms the platform’s weapon systems and network-centric mission avionics suites. But most importantly, the proposed P-8I could simultaneously engage in long-range surface search and target tracking, remain capable of periscope detection in high sea states, undertake warship-imaging and classification using the high-resolution inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) mode of operation (for imaging and classifying small, fast-moving vessels that operate close to the shore), and use the spot-synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode for overland surveillance, ground mapping (via multiple resolution strip-map), identifying moving overland targets, conducting battle damage assessment, and provide real-time over-the-horizon targeting cues for anti-ship/land-attack cruise missiles. By January 1, 2009, India had picked its aircraft: the 737-derivative P-8I under a $2.1375 billion direct commercial sale contract inked with Boeing, thus becoming Boeing’s launch export customer for this type of platform. First deliveries will take place in early 2013, followed by service entry before 2015. A follow-on batch of four P-8Is has already been committed to, with contract signature expected by next year.

Capable of extended broad-area and littoral MR/ASW operations for ten hours at a stretch, the P-8I uses Boeing’s B.737-800 airframe, is powered by twin CFM56-7 turbofans each rated at 27,300lb of takeoff thrust, and its wings will feature commercially proven raked or backswept wingtips. The P-8I will be equipped with a mission avionics/sensor suite comprising:
· Northrop Grumman’s electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) sensor, the directional IR countermeasures system, electronic support measures system, secure data link, and mission-planning support hardware.
· Raytheon’s upgraded APY-10 maritime surveillance radar and signals intelligence (SIGINT) solution; a GPS anti-jam, integrated friend or foe, and towed decoy self-protection suite; a broadcast information system (BIS); and secure UHF SATCOMS capability.
· Smiths Aerospace’s flight-management and stores-management systems.
· Griffon Corp subsidiary of Telephonics Corp’s AN/APS-143Cv3 OceanEye aft-mounted multi-mode radar, whose maximum range is 200nm against larger targets, with the standard clutter rejection features and a default set of search, weather, beacon, and small target detect modes. Options include land-looking ISAR and strip-map SAR modes, range profiling, and an integrated Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogator.
· CAE of Canada’s AN/ASQ-508A integrated magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system that will provide the capability to detect, locate, and confirm submerged targets by identifying magnetic variations or anomalies, such as those caused by a submarine, in the Earth’s magnetic field.
· Avantel’s mobile satellite communications system.
· Bharat Electronics Ltd-built IFF interrogator and Data Link II system.
· Electronic Corporation of India Ltd-built speech secrecy system.
· Maini Global Aerospace’s fuel-cell structural components.

Along with the P-8Is, Boeing, under a $200 million package, will also supply the IN with 21 AGM-84L Harpoon Block 2 anti-ship cruise missiles, five ATM-84L Block 2 training missiles, captive air training missiles, containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, and related contractor support. In the near future, the IN will place orders for about 200 Raytheon-built 324mm air-launched Mk54 lightweight hybrid torpedoes equipped with Lockheed Martin’s high-altitude anti-submarine warfare capability (HAAWC) self-contained wing adaptor kit. The IN has also decided to exercise its options for procuring an additional four P-8Is at a cost of $1 billion.

In a recent significant decision, the IN has decided to upgrade the mission management system and mission sensors of its existing eight Tu-142ME LRMR/ASW aircraft by installing on each of them the Novella (Sea Dragon) suite, developed by St Petersburg-based Leninets Holding Company and already operational on board the IN’s five existing IL-38SD MRMR/ASW aircraft. Once completed, the upgraded Tu-142MEs, each armed with torpedoes as well as up to four 3M54E supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, are expected to remain in service until 2024.
For fulfilling its MRMR/ASW aircraft requirements, the IN has shortlisted two platforms for evaluations: Bombardier Aerospace’s Q-400MPA (fitted with a mission management system-cum-sensor suite supplied by ELTA Systems), and Airbus Military Aircraft’s C-295MPA. The C-295MPA is being proposed with the FITS mission management system and built EL/M-2022V(A)3 multi-mode search radar. The Navy’s RFI, released in October 2010, specifies that the selected platform should be capable of ELINT, EW (with a jamming pod), plus maritime patrol and SAR within a 350nm (650km) operational envelope, as well as a patrol endurance of at least three-and-a-half hours. It should also be armed with at least two anti-ship cruise missiles, and be able to accommodate India-origin equipment such as IFF transponder, Link 2 two-way data-links, and speech secrecy systems. Though this looks impressive on paper, the MRMR/ASW platform requirement ought to be done away with, and instead greater priority ought to be accorded to the procurement of additional P-8Is to eventually increase the fleet strength to 24 LRMR/ASW platforms, thus achieving fleet standardisation and ensuring simplified inventory logistics. If this is done, then the domain of MRMR or maritime patrol throughout India's EEZ could then be the sole responsibility of the Indian Coast Guard Service (ICGS). It is therefore high time the IN focussed exclusively on maritime security, with the ICGS being the sole provider of coastal security & surveillance, as well as SAR. 
In another development, the IN has firmed up plans to acquire 12 amphibians capable of undertaking tasks like SAR, maritime surveillance-cum-reconnaissance of island-based territories along India’s eastern and western seaboards, and supporting special operations directed against seaborne pirates and terrorists. Incidentally, the IN did operate a modest fleet of amphibians in the 1950s, when it ordered 10 modified Shorts Sealand Mk1Ls in 1952 (these being the naval fleet air arm’s very first post-independence aircraft acquisitions) from the UK for its Fleet Requirement Unit (which on January 17, 1959 became Indian Naval Air Squadron 550) at INS Garuda, in Cochin. All ten aircraft were delivered between January and October 1953, but were withdrawn from service 12 years later. For the IAF’s requirement, the only logical contenders at the moment are Beriev Aircraft Company of Russia’s Be-220EI twin turbofan-powered amphibian, and Shin Maywa Corp of Japan’s US-2.

Between these two, the US-2, from a geo-political standpoint, is expected to be the preferred candidate. And here again, it must be stressed that such maritime patrol and SAR functions are best left to the ICGS, and not the IN. It is high time the ICGS grew out of the shadows of the IN, and the ICGS' four-star Director-General (DG) should be appointed from within its own ranks, and do away with the outdated practice of 'borrowing' a three-star Vice Admiral from the IN and appointing him as the DG-ICGS.  


The IN is presently on an overdrive to procure an initial 16 ten-tonne ASW helicopters and 14 twelve-tonne multi-role helicopters to replace the existing 31-year old AgustaWestland Sea King Mk42As and 29-year old Kamov Ka-25s. Presently, less than 40% of ASW helicopters and less than 60% of the special operations/utility helicopters are operationally available to constitute Unit Establishment (UE) of the respective squadrons of the Navy. In the 10-tonne category, the competition is between the Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk and MH-60R, and Eurocopter’s NH-90 (to go on board the three Project 17 Shivalik-class FFGs, four Project 28 ASW corvettes and the seven planned Project 17A FFGs), while in the 12-tonne category the main contenders are AgustaWestland’s AW-101 and Sikorsky’s CH-148 Cyclone (to go on board the three Project 15A Kolkata-class DDGs, the follow-on four Project 15B DDGs and the INS Vikrant). The Navy is also going ahead with plans for upgrading the mission sensor suite of 18 of its AgustaWestland-built Sea King Mk42B multi-role, medium-lift, shipborne helicopters and 28 Kamov Ka-28PL ASW helicopters. For the existing Sea King Mk42Bs and Ka-28PLs to be upgraded at a cost of Rs6 billion and Rs8.5 billion, respectively, the only ultra low-frequency dipping sonar being offered for the selected helicopter is L-3 Communications/Ocean Systems Division’s HELRAS DS-100, while low-frequency sonars being offered are THALESRaytheon’s FLASH and the DRDO-developed/BEL-built Mihir. Tactical anti-ship strike missiles being proposed include MBDA’s Marte Mk2/S and Kongsberg Marine’s 55km-range Penguin Mk3. The belly-mounted search radar is widely expected to be the ELTA Electronics-built EL/M-2022H(A)3, while an ELTA-built optronic turret is favoured as a chin-mounted installation. The mission management suite likely to be selected is Galileo Avionica’s (part of Finmeccanica) ATOS-LW, which will also function as an acoustic signals processor. The 18 Sea King Mk42Bs will each have an all-glass cockpit similar to the one on board the Dhruv ALH, and its mission sensor/weapons suite will be the same as that on board the 16 to-be-acquired shipborne helicopters.

The IN is also going in for five more 12.2-tonne Kamov Ka-31 airborne early-warning (AEW) helicopters worth Rs2.75 billion each, to add to the 11 Ka-31s already inducted between 2003 and 2007. It may be recalled that the IN ordered its first four Ka-31s in August 1999, followed by a further five in February 2001. These were procured for US$207 million. Three more Ka-31s were ordered in January 27, 2004 along with three more Ka-28PLs, all of which have been delivered and are operational with the IN’s INAS 333 and INAS 339 squadrons. While six Ka-31s have been earmarked for the three in-service Project 1135.6 Batch 1 and three Project 1135.6 Batch 2 FFGs, another eight have been earmarked for the 44,500-tonne aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, which is expected to be commissioned into service in 2013. There exists another requirement for eight additional AEW helicopters for going on board the 37,000-tonne Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant (due for commissioning by 2014), plus another four for the refurbished existing aircraft carrier, the 28,700-tonne INS Viraat, which will remain in service till 2020. For flying training purposes, delivery of 17 Hawk Mk132 lead-in fighter trainers will commence from 2013 and is expected to be completed by 2016.

To be inked in future are contracts for procuring 40 single-engined helicopters (for both light utility and flying training) as replacements for the existing SA.316B Alouette III/Chetaks, 10 Pilatus PC-7 Mk2 basic turboprop trainers, and up to 20 stealthy guided-missile corvettes, for which the MEKO-CSL and VISBY designs are expected to be the frontrunners. The selected design will be replacing the IN's existing fleet of 12 Tarantul-1 guided-missile corvettes, four 1,350-tonne Project 25 Khukri-class guided-missile corvettes and  four Project 25A Kora-class guided-missile corvettes.

Required: More Teeth For Sea Warriors
Although once considered little more than a nuisance and a force protection issue for overseas troops, terrorism will remain the top priority of India’s national security strategy for the foreseeable future. Regardless of the form in which a terrorist threat manifests itself, be it a state-sponsored global group, decentralised extremist cells, or just rogue individuals, India can no longer ignore stateless actors who have the ability to inflict serious harm on her citizens and economy. As the lethality and effectiveness of individual terrorist attacks grows, the ability to take down individual leaders or their networks becomes an increasingly urgent mission set for the country’s armed forces. Manhunting--finding and neutralising high-value individual targets--is now an integral part of irregular warfare operations supporting the Global War on Terrorism. These types of precision terrorist targetting operations have proven effective in ongoing counter-insurgency campaigns in Colombia, The Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and in Iraq. Terrorists seek refuge in terrain that allows them to stay undercover from conventional targetting methods. These under-governed areas may include rugged mountainous, jungle, and coastal environments, or urban terrain where they can hide among the population. Given the nomadic nature of terrorists and the proximity of many potential targets (within India) to the sea, distributed maritime forces are a natural player in manhunting efforts. Though the IN has several warships and aircraft and several hundred special operations trigger-pullers who can put ordnance on a target to finish off a terrorist, getting those shooters to exactly the right place and time is a significantly more complex and time-consuming endeavour than capturing or killing a terrorist. Additionally, do not let the funny, politically incorrect name fool you: the emerging threats to both the IN and Indian Coast Guard Service (ICGS) are improvised mini-submarines, swimmer-delivery vehicles of the type employed for recreational scuba diving, remotely operated vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles of the type already in service with the navies of Iran, Myanmar and Pakistan (all having procured them from North Korea). As has been amply demonstrated by the navies of North Korea and Iran, these small vessels make good platforms for ambushes even at submerged depths of 150 feet, enough room for the midget submersible to manoeuvre. Any submersible that weighs less than 150 tonnes is called a midget. They cannot travel too far on their own, and depend on support vessels to extend their range. In shallow waters, where sonar returns are cluttered, they can prove quiet and sneaky. Often this means they can lay mines or insert commandos on beaches. Attacks from midget submersibles can also include torpedoes armed with 250kg warheads. Two things heighten the risk of an ambush by midget submarines against Indian warships: the complex sonar picture of shallow water where these small submersibles can operate, and the absence of a network of seabed-mounted sonar transducers dotting the Indian coastline.

Find, fix, finish, exploit, and analyse (F3EA) is a targetting model that facilitates the integration of operations and intelligence to counter terrorist networks and the primary framework for today’s manhunting operations. Counter-terrorism has been a ground-centric mission area of the Indian Navy’s MARCOS special operations forces for years, but there is a growing realisation post-26/11 that maritime forces are the most vital strategic enablers to manhunting, and India’s naval assets are fully capable of conducting the full-spectrum F3EA cycle alone or in conjunction with other friendly forces like the ICGS. Naval platforms combine operational and tactical mobility to deliver counter-terrorism operators like the MARCOS near a dynamic enemy, the ability to sustain persistent intelligence collection and monitoring to find and fix the terrorists, and the ability to finish them with rapid and precise fires. The MARCOS can thus bring an adaptive set of capabilities to move and sustain manhunting assets and staging special operations characterised by operational flexibility and strategic surprise. For example, advanced offshore patrol vessels (AOPV) used as afloat forward staging bases can support special operators, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms (manned or unmanned), and smaller tactical special warfare vessels for long periods. A long-endurance vessel like a landing platform dock (LPD) equipped with up to four medium-lift IFR-capable helicopters like the AgustaWestland Sea King Mk42C and vertical takeoff-and-landing unmanned aerial vehicles provides a robust operating base in a low-visibility manner that avoids a large footprint on the ground. In addition to staging tactical platforms, these afloat bases can provide extended logistical, maintenance, and medical sustainment for the MARCOS’ special operations warriors on the ground and sea. ‘Finishing’ is the piece of manhunting that the IN traditionally does best (as proven during Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s). The ability to put precision-guided ordnance on a time-sensitive target is critical to counter-terrorism operations. The wealth of ‘finishing’ capabilities that the IN can today bring to the fight is impressive, ranging from precision deep-strike assets such as BrahMos multi-role supersonic cruise missiles and tactical aviation (with the MiG-29K), to more responsive but shorter-range offensive punch such as naval gunfire or MARCOS detachments conducting direct action. The ability to operate safely and quietly well offshore is also an advantage of naval fires in a counter-terrorism role.

Although ‘finish’ operations most often occur in a limited time window, high-value targets require time to fix; and forces operating independently on the ocean can provide persistence for this mission. Current and future demands for intelligence collection resources in support of manhunting in areas far away from the Indian landmass--such as full-motion video surveillance/transmission and seamless over-the-horizon communications--greatly outstrips supply at the moment. Though the IN and ICGS can both provide manned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms that are both persistent and clandestine to meet some of this demand, they have yet to make investments in acquiring a decent fleet of shipborne long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles and medium-range maritime surveillance aircraft. The lack of such direly-needed capabilities was graphically illustrated twice in November 2010: in the first such case of its kind in recent times, pirates took control of the Panama-flagged 24,105 tonne MV Hannibal II about 540nm away from India’s western coastline (east of Longitude 65° and north of Latitude 15°, putting this piracy activity placed very well to intercept traffic leaving Mumbai and heading for the Red Sea) while it was travelling from Malaysia to the Suez Canal ferrying vegetable oil. The second such incident took place in the evening of November 11 about 450nm West of Mumbai, when the merchant ship MV BBC Orinoco with a crew of 14 reported being attacked by pirates. The crew locked themselves in the ship’s engine room and the steering compartment and communicated with their Dubai-based agents, UK MTO Dubai, via e-mail. After the agents had intimated the IN for assistance, the Navy promptly launched an IL-38SD medium-range maritime surveillance/ASW aircraft to locate the distressed vessel, forward-deployed INS Veer (a Tarantul-1 guided-missile corvette) to intercept the distressed vessel, and also sailed the guided-missile destroyer INS Delhi with an embarked MARCOS team to take part in the anti-piracy operation. The ICGS too responded by adjusting all its routine aerial surveillance deployments to keep one or more Do-228-201 short-range coastal surveillance aircraft on hot standby, besides asking their IOVs on already-assigned mission to be also on stand-by. However, by daybreak, when the Navy’s warships had arrived at the scene, the pirates had already escaped and have since remained untraceable. The singular lesson learnt from both these piracy-related incidents is that integrating the find, fix, and finish capabilities onto a single platform like MALE-UAVs and medium-range maritime surveillance aircraft (of the type long sought by both the IN and ICGS, but which are still elusive) offers unprecedented speed and flexibility of action.

When it comes to the application of on-land F3EA targetting models in support of homeland security, the IN again is uniquely poised to become the dominant counter-terrorism force—a fact which was amply demonstrated during 26/11 when the first responders to the rapidly unfolding crisis in south Mumbai were the MARCOS detachments. In response to a frantic call made at around 11.30pm by the then Maharashtra Chief Secretary Johnny Joseph to the then FOC-in-C Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Jagjit Singh Bedi, 45 members of the MARCOS divided into two teams were rushed from INS Abhimanyu, the Navy’s MARCOS base in Karanja just off the coast of Mumbai. It took the two MARCOS teams an hour to reach the Taj and Trident hotels in south Mumbai, as their base was 6nm away and they were lacking the kind of tactical airlift and sealift equipment (like the Sea King Mk42C helicopters and high-speed rigid-hull inflatable boats) required for rapid deployment. Despite such shortcomings, the MARCOS teams had, between 2am and 9am on November 27, 2008 held their ground and successfully isolated the 10 Pakistani terrorists. Not only were the terrorists forced to leave behind two rucksacks, one of which contained four grenades, seven AK-47 magazines, spare ammunition and plastic explosives, the MARCOS also prevented them from reaching 180 potential hostages at the Trident hotel. Meanwhile, at the Taj hotel the MARCOS had successfully evacuated 300 guests. Had a Sea King Mk42C been made available to the MARCOS, then a third MARCOS quick-response tactical squad could have taken off from INS Shikra at nighttime on November 28, 2008 and abseiled onto the roof of the five-storey Nariman House to take on the third group of terrorists that was holed up there.

Post-26/11, the Navy has learnt some hard lessons,  as a result of which a quick-response section (QRS) comprising MARCOS personnel is now permanently positioned at Lions Gate, less than 1km away from some of the luxury hotels in Colaba and Mantralaya. It goes without saying that in the event of another terrorist attack in south Mumbai in future, the MARCOS will again become the first responder, especially since the paramilitary National Security Guards counter-terrorist detachment are located in faraway Kalina, about 20km from Colaba, and the Force One counter-terrorist unit of the Maharashtra Police has its hub located even farther in Goregaon, about 35km from south Mumbai. Given the greatly expanded role of the MARCOS post-26/11, it is only logical to ask for the sanctioned strength of MARCOS to be increased from the existing figure of 1,500 personnel. Presently, there are three main MARCOS groups detached to the three naval commands; Mumbai (West), Kochi (South) and Vizag (East). INS Abhimanyu is where most of the specialised training is now done. Each of the three main MARCOS groups now has a platoon-sized QRS (specialising in counter-terrorism operations in urban terrain) embedded within them. Efforts are now underway to equip these QRS units with rapid deployment tools like high-speed rigid-hull inflatable boats of varying sizes, fast interception craft, and tactical hovercraft.

Infrastructure Developments
As per present plans, the IN’s mammoth Project Sea Bird (INS Kadamba, which was designed by a consortium of companies comprising Redecon Pty Ltd of Australia and Dutch firm Ballast Nedam) will be spread over 4,480 hectares and executed on a 23km-long stretch between Karnataka’s Bingy Bay in the north and Bhavikeri in Ankola taluk in the south. It will be almost sandwiched between National Highway 17 to its east and the Arabian Sea to its west. The sprawling base is being built in three phases. The first phase, which got underway in 1985 and concluded in 2005 (costing some Rs150 billion, included the construction of a deep-sea harbor; two breakwaters (the northern breakwater--a 1.3km-long road--running between the mainland and Anjidiv Island, while the southern breakwater--a 3.2km-long road--running between Round Island and Arga village); jetties for the simultaneous berthing of 12 to 15 warships (including the INS Vikrant, while INS Vikramaditya will continue to make use of the naval dockyard in Mumbai); a synchrolift-equipped shipyard (for repair and maintenance work); a township to house 3,500 personnel; a hospital; and a Dockyard Uplift Centre (technology centre). A naval air base, a DRDO-developed VLF communications facility, over-the-horizon radar-backscatter (OTHR-B) station, and a naval research centre are now coming up at Alageri village near Ankola.
As far as naval air bases for the IN’s Searcher Mk2 and Heron-1 MALE-UAVs go, there are presently two operational air bases, these being the ones at Porbandar, Gujarat, for housing INAS 343, and INS Parundu at Uchipuli, Tamil Nadu, for INAS 342 (which was previously based at Kochi). Additional MALE-UAV squadrons are now being raised for deployment at Behala, West Bengal, and at the naval air station now coming up near Ankola. Earlier plans for deploying such MALE-UAVs at Port Blair and Kavaratti have since been shelved, purely due to the adverse wind conditions prevailing in these island-territories. Being mulled now is the prospect of building an air enclave on Great Nicobar Island—a proposal that had first been tabled as far back as 1971. This enclave will be capable of housing naval LRMR/ASW platforms as well as Do-228-201 coastal surveillance aircraft of the ICGS. Elsewhere, naval enclaves capable of berthing ASW corvettes are coming up at Paradip and Tuticorin in Odisha and Tamil Nadu, respectively, while a new floating dry-dock has been sought for deployment around Port Blair to add to the one now in service.
But by far the most ambitious shore-based infrastructure development programme of the IN after INS Kadamba is Project Varsha, which is now being implemented at a site spread over 5,000 acres and located 50km south of Visakhapatnam between Rambilli and Elamanchili mandals, in Andhra Pradesh. Project consultancy for this venture has been done by Redecon Pty Ltd of Australia. It is here that the futuristic IN-operated fleet of SSBNs and SSGNs will be homeported and serviced, and this site will also house a 3,000km-range over-the-horizon radar-backscatter (OTHR-B) now being developed by the DRDO. The submarine base’s VLF communications facility, however, is now coming up at a 1,400-acre site at Pudur, some 60km from Hyderabad.—Prasun K. Sengupta

143 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sir ,
r these the marcos or the normal naval infantrymen ?

dashu said...

at least these are (Tavor) look like gun unlike INSAS , horrible look.

dashu said...

looks wise US guns are best

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun its good to see that you finally returned back...

Should we expect an article attached to these photos ??

Can you throw some lights on submarine modernization program ? Are Kilo class also been upgraded ?

Should we expect defence purchases to slow down in this remaining financial year or some deals we will sign by march 2012 ?

Whats the point in waiting in MMRCA ?
I mean right now INR is weak i know that but if wait the vendors won't extend the same offer again, now they will issue a new offer after 31st dec and considering the raise in the cost of military aircraft every year this time we won't be getting 2009 price, this time we will get the price of 2012 which might even increase the cost of procurement more than what it will cost us if we sign the deal right now till the offer is valid. Correct me if i am wrong...

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Has IN made the purchase of midget submarines ?

What happening with the IAF's and IN's requirement of amphibious aircraft's ?

Are India and Japan in talks for a JV in defense sector ?

Pawan said...

They are Marcos in desert camouflage, imported from USA on trail basis as told to me by one these guys.
I met they on their way back from a place in Rajasthan to Mumbai. One of them told me that they were practicing deep penetration and sabotage in enemy area. I do not want reveal more as that guy told me many things in good faith.

Anonymous said...

I hear USA is off loading lots of old equipment from the iraq. India is keen to purchase anything american. So why not the uniforms and boots as well. It will make them look bit more professional...

soumyadip said...

annon @ dec 30,2011 4:37pm

India will make defence purchases according to their operational needs
american, Russian, Israeli or even indigenous.....source doesn't matter....however i do expect prasun sir to give you a much more fitting reply...thanks

Anonymous said...

Regarding the MiG-27 M, i agree with your point that Synthetic aperture radar overcome the shortcomings of laser designated bombing techniques by enabling all weather target aquisition. So, integrating a modern MMR with terrain following mode will increase its combat effectiveness. the MiG-27 may be used foe tank busting but SAR radar will enable it to detect,identify & engage tanks in all weather and from a standoff range. U said integrating a radar ino the MiG was useless as battfld survellience is performed by JSTARS/ISTAR but the IAF doesnt possess any such assets like the USAF. ALSO u said an integrated EW suite is not necessary as in a strike mission it will accompanied with SEAD ac. also the IAF doesnt possess any dedicated sead, dead ac. Pls tell me the IAF uses the Jaguar IS as a deep penetration strike ac and for tac interdiction and then why doesnt it possess a MMR radar and an internal EW suite. Will u pls tell me what avionics does the MiG-27,Jaguar IS carry in the nose?

Anonymous said...

In your FORCE magazine article A Twist to T-90 u said that the T-90S & T-90M are not able to carry long rod KE penetrator. so does that mean they are not able to carry the IMI CL series APFSDS?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.59AM: Not truly MARCOS. Will explain in my detailed write-up that will be uploaded tonight for sure, along with the latest naval updates that I had promised almost a month ago.

To Anon@12.02PM: Even if the M-MRCA's final selection is announced it doesn't mean that a huge chunk of money will immediately start flowing out. Contractual payments are always made on a progressive basis.

To Anon@12.05PM: Kindly await the updates & additional illustrations to be uploaded tonight.

To Anon@4.37PM: There's a whole lot more that's rarely revealed during conducted press tours/briefings. For instance, the Joint Operations and Information Room (JOIR) of a Corps HQ was never revealed by photos during EX Sudarshan Shakti.

To Anon@5.55PM: The nose-mounted sensors of the Jaguar IS & MiG-27M are laser rangefinders. SAR sensors are available both in poded configuration (EL/M-2060OP)& on board UAVs of the IAF. The upgraded Jaguar IS/DARIN-3 will have internal integrated EW suites. The MiG-27Ms equipped with EL/L-8222 EW pods & anti-radiation missiles do function as SEAD platforms.

To Anon@6.69PM: The reason the T-90S & T-90M are not able to carry the IMI CL series APFSDS is because these rounds are qualified for only the 2A46M barrels of the T-72, and not for the 2A46M-2 barrels of the T-90S/M.

Anonymous said...

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=8673505&c=ASI&s=ALL

What JVs could India be interested with them....maybe AMCA????

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,I don't think it's because of the gun barrels.Both 2A46M AND 2A46M2 are 125mm L52 smooth barrel guns with difference of only maximum sustainable chamber pressure between them.So it can't be due to the barrels.
I think proclem lies with the FCS ballistic computer of T 90S which is not calibrated for the IMI CL series rounds and HVF doesn't have the source codes of the ballistic computer to adjust it for IMI rounds.In this circumstances,I think we can never use the IMI rounds with T 90S even when we are mounting 2A46M guns on our T 90Ss.
I would like to know your views.

Anonymous said...

"No, the specs will be different. The RAN wants ocean-going SSKs, while the Indian Navy wants SSKs capable of operating in littoral waters. "
Which are more capable and cost more??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.57PM: The only thing Japan now wants to export to India is its four-engined US-2 amphibian from Shin Maywa. There's no room for joint R & D projects at this stage as the laws haven't been modified to cater to such prospects with non-US companies/entities.

To Anurag: Fire-control computations are based on chamber pressure differentials and obtained meteorological data. Since neither the 2A46M-2 barrels or the meteorological sensor are being built indigenously, it will be impossible to indigenously reprogramme the ballistics computer even if the source code is available.

To Anon@12.18AM: Both are capable but of course the larger ocean-going SSKs will cost more.

Anonymous said...

when are uploading your article me waiting for last 2 hours...at least tell the time about when r u uploading...

Unknown said...

Hey Prasun,
Any idea when you will be uploading the article regarding the Tavor-Wielding IN guys (who are not MARCOs according to you)?

+ any idea when we can spect news on the IN MRH contract? Will it be the S-70B/MH-60R the IN will get? (I assume these are the helo that would win). And when will we be hearing about LUH/Heavy lift helo? And when will Apache deal actually be signed?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Unknown: They're not MARCOS, but naval infantry personnel who had previously applied for inclusion into MARCOS but could not qualify. It is these personnel that now form the nucleas of the Sagar Prahari Bal and are also deployed at all naval dockyards as quick-reaction teams.
MRH contract is still a year away and hopefully the S-70B will be selected over the MH-60R. NH-90 is proving to be too expensive. LUH & attack helo contracts have been postponed, but the heavylift helo contract for the CH-47F will likely go through by mid-2012.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.11AM: Will upload it by 5AM IST.

Unknown said...

Hey Prasun,

Thanks a bunch for getting back to me. Interesting that these guys are part of SSB. I had doubts when I saw these pics that these guys were MARCOs. Great to know they are getting good gear from the off. Any insights into their training?


+ why have the LUH and attack helo deals been postponed? And to when? These are both urgently (especially LUH) needed. I suspected these deals would still make it before the end of this financial year.

Anonymous said...

If there are IN vessels and ICG, why create a SPB force as well?By the way it took me a while to realise that the Bal is is to be pronounced as Ball meaning force and not as in Bal Thackeray which is a Hindi swear word!

Anonymous said...

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=289597871092739&set=a.120819164637278.22389.116696045049590&type=1&ref=nf

What exactly is the rifle in this pic? Is it the same rifle in this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ADvl2WJb8g

Some reports say that this rifle would go into production from Jan-2012..

Also, does India have plans to raise a dedicated Marine Corps like US - ie with IFVs, tanks, aircrafts etc?

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun,
A couple months back you said DCNS SMX-25 is the favorite now you haven't even mentioned its name, what happened ?

Are you saying that some of the Sagar Prahari Bal is also now armed with Tavor ?

You said 16 corvettes are planned, but as far as i know 4 Project 28 and 8 Project 28A are planned and they are ASW corvettes, not guided missile. Can you give us some more information as to how the number planned is 16 and are these 16 guided missile corvettes are different from P28 and P28A corvettes ?

Also i want to clear one more thing, are you saying if we place follow on order for 3 Scorpenes, they will cost $80 million per unit or fitting of AIP alongwith infrastructure will add 80 million $ cost per submarine ?

Is India going to go for SSN or SSGN or both ? Are there any indication that simultaneous development of these submarines will takes place because if not then i think to build 10-15 nuke subs Indian shipyards will take around 30-35 years...

Whats the difference between OPV and NOPV and AOPV ? You said MOD is also going to approve 12 AOPV, can give some more information on these vessels like how much they will weigh, their design , what kind of operations they are meant to perform ?

Also whats the idea behind awarding 11 billion $ for the purchase of next 6 P75I submarines ? I mean most of them are the same submarines which were offered to us in P75 like S1000, U214, Amur 1650 ...
Italians are offering 6 S1000 are offered around 3 billion $ for P75I and LnT has some kind of tie-up for this sub and also we won't have to worry about infrastructure of LnT as its their headache, U 214 will also cost something around 3 billion $ and Scorpene around 4-5 billion $ and Russian & Swedish subs might be least expensive. I don't see any reason as to why we should spend so much when even vendors don't expect so much money ? It looks like we want to give money to vendors...

Anonymous said...

Can you throw some light on the recent 155mm artillery development ? OFB Kanpur said they made a gun named P-1 (55) and they start production by 2012 and in fact MOD and OFB board has discussed the issue and have decided to make 414 such guns...
They are telling its better than bofors and it can fire eight rounds/minute with a range of 30 km and can be extended to 40 km...

Anonymous said...

I just read about new German submarine offered to India for P75I on IN's request, its called Type 216 sub, its bigger than 214. Australia is also eyeing this...
Any information that you can share on this ?

Also is DCNS offering SMX-25 or Super Scorpene ?

Thanx in advance...

Unknown said...

Hey Prasun,

Could I comment on some of your claims?

1) it is very surprising there wasn't a single serviceable IN Sea King in Mumbai (the HQ of the Western command) to transport the MARCOs.
2) Also the numbers of MARCOs you have mentioned (45) seems far more than what has previously been reported (<20).
3) Also the only reason MARCOs were first on scene was because they happend to be based in the same place that the terrorists struck. So counting on them being first responders again and hence having a QRS attatched to every command seems flawed.


+ any idea how the QRS differ from standard MARCOs operators (training/equipment)?

Anonymous said...

Awesome article

Anonymous said...

prasun, i guess you are favourably disposed to IN :). the picture you have given is much bright than i thought. when ever you write about other forces (IAF and IA) there is always scathing critisism, which is lacking (not ignoring the previous article, but I am talking about the current one). Any way thanks for such enlightening article
and Wish you a Happy NEW YEAR and we wish far more enlightening articles from you this year.

Unknown said...

Hey Prasun,
Regarding the helo acquisitions. Can you tell regarding the 12 ton helo, is this the helo that was to have a2a refuelling capabilty and to be used for supporting SOFs in SOARs?

Also regarding the Sea King upgrade- has this process already started? As I have seen a few pics recently of IN Sea Kings with EO/FLIR pods and AC units in front of the engine air in- takes.

Also why have you made no reference to the "diet" P-8I that was supposedly going to take part in the IN MRPA program to supplement the "full" P-8I already discussed and to be LRMPA. Surely the "Diet" P-8I would be an ideal candidate and would dramatically reduce the inherent maintenance headache for IN of operating multiple platforms.

And could you put a timeline on all these purchases? The ASW/utility helos, the MRPA, the amphibians, the FACs for SSB etc

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Unknown: Every pending procurement plan is urgent, but there are always times when one has to prioritise, given the paucity of financial resources. Had there been a non-lapsable defence fund for funding capital purchases, this sorry state of affairs wouldn't have existed.

To Anon@6.48AM: There was always a naval requirment for the SPB for protecting shore-based naval establishments and there is an equally greater need for raising a special intervention force under the ICGS, which in turn will train and mentor the various Marine Police agencies now springing up.

To Anon@9.09AM: The Navy does have plans for raising a Brigade-strength dedicated naval infantry force especially trained for undertaking expeditionary warfare and being transported by either helicopters or amphibious air-cushion vehicles. A dedicated force like this is a far better option instead of relying on the Army's infantry formations that are not trained for undertaking expeditionary naval warfare.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.55AM: As I had explained earlier, the IN wants a proven SSK design with proven & demonstrated AIP systems on-board. That automatically disqualifies the SMX-25 & S-800/S-1000 & A26. SPB & MARCOS are armed with all types of reqd weapons, be it the AK-47, AK-101, Tavor or INSAS or SIG family of small arms. Regarding the corvettes, kindly read that section again, as I have updated it. The financial figure is that of the MESMA AIP module alone, & not for the entire SSK. Any nuclear-powered attack submarine is nowadays a SSGN as well, since they can launch land-attack or anti-ship cruise missiles, be it the SM-39 or 3M54E or 3M-14E. From a doctrinal standpoint, the Navy wants no less than nine SSGNs and it has always wanted the SSGNs AHEAD OF SSBNs. But sadly as such decisions are made by MoD bureaucrats and DRDO technocrats, the Navy’s operational reqmts in this matter have never been given the importance it deserves. 1,500-tonne OPV is for coastal patrol on littoral waters, while the larger 2,500-tonne AOPV is better suited for the high seas and oceans. As for Project 75I, this again is a wishful creation of MoD bureaucrats and DRDO technocrats. The Navy has always craved for standardising on a single-hulled SSK design and that was precisely why the Govt of India in the early 1980s accepted the Navy’s request for buying over the entire design & IPRs of the Class 209/Type 1500 SSK, meaning it could be modified as the Navy chose, and could be equipped with whatever type of weapons and sensors the Navy wanted. Had all this gone as planned, the IN would today have had a fleet of no less than 16 such SSKs, and this design could have further evolved for incorporating AIP modules as well, which were available from the year 2000. So now do you see how disastrous was the decision of the mid-1980s to split the SSK orders between the Class 209/Type 1500 & the Type 877EKM?

To Anon@2.46PM: I wish the OFB the very best as far as its unsubstantiated claims go. All that it has been doing since July 1999 is ordering the 39-cal FH-77B’s kits in semi knocked-down condition and assembling them. And if the OFB is indeed capable of churning out fully locally-built and assembled FH-77Bs, then why is the DRDO clamouring to be in the driver’s seat for developing a 45-cal 155mm towed howitzer from scratch? Wouldn’t it be far more easier and cheaper to just upgrade the existing FH-77Bs to 532-cal standard with the help of BAE Systems? So whom do we believe? The OFB or DRDO?

To Anon@5.23PM: The S-80 along with the Super Scorpene are being offered for RAN. Am not aware of the Class 216, though it may well exist on paper as of now.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Unknown@6.14PM: That’s right, the MARCOS personnel numbered less than 20 but were beefed up by armed naval ratings/seamen. The QRS element is a mandatory reqmt for every naval command HQ and performs various functions, ranging from rapid interventions in response to terrorist/hostile SOF attack to providing proximate security for senior-level naval officials. The QRS is thus land-/shore-based. The MARCOS on the other hand are trained for engaging in all-terrain unconventional warfare, but mostly or overwhelmingly in hostile territory/waters.

To Anon@7.09PM Very many thanks (VMT).

To Anon@8.24PM: It is not about being positive or negative, but being objective. I’m not predisposed to training my guns at the armed services as they’re mere tools at the hands of the Govt of India. If told to choose, I’d rather train my guns at the civilian decision-makers, bureaucrats and technocrats who are overwhelmingly responsible for the mess that’s often been created.

To Unknown@8.36PM: The 12-tonne helos will go on the LPHs and may also end up on the Project 15A & Project 15B DDGs. The Sea King Mk42B/Mk42C upgrade has not formally taken off as yet. The FLIR pod installations are retrofits to cater for anti-piracy/counter-terrorist operations. Have already re-written the sections on MRMR/ASW & amphibian platform reqmts. It’s not possible to even put estimated timelines now due to the prevailing fluid financial situation. Timeline for the FACs was given in the previous thread.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Wishing everyone & all their loved ones a joyous, prosperous & productive new year.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.46PM: It should read "52-cal standard", & not 532-cal.

Unknown said...

Hey Prasun,
Thanks for getting back to me with your response.

Do you have any plans in the future to do a full write up on the SPB/VBSS teams. Regarding their training and operations. Be great for similar work on MARCOs but that's p***ing in the wind. Would be brilliant.

Have a great new year.

Anonymous said...

words from oem country:-In fact, General Staff chief Nikolai Makarov announced the very next day that the T-90 tank was riddled with defects and that the military had no plans to purchase it.

Read more: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/how-kgb-friends-and-tanks-will-save-putin/450569.html#ixzz1i8zsGrdi
The Moscow Times

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.27AM: Read this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-fix-for-russian-science-isnt-taking-hold/2011/11/28/gIQAMJD99O_story.html?wprss=

Anonymous said...

sir ,
once in a previous ans to me u said that , the xisting strength of marcos is not more than a batallion..now u mentioned that the sanctioned strength is 1500..does that mean that the marcos is short of personnel..
& do we seriously need marcos for anti piracy ops..can't the VBSS teams do that(i.e if the indian navy has one)..
can u elaborate on their training from basic till finishing..!

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Wishing you a happy new year.

Anonymous said...

You said a PSU is likely to win the contract for 4 LPHs but you only talked about the later two, who is gonna build the first two of these 4 LPHs ?

Anonymous said...

Happy new year to everyone...

When is the deal for 20 guided missile corvettes gonna be signed ?

And who will build them ? How big they will be ?

Are the 12 ASW corvettes under P28 (Kamorta Class) and P28A different from these guided missile corvettes ???

Also Thank you for your reply...

Unknown said...

^^^ absolutely agree, MARCO's sanctioned strength badly needs to be increased, possibly doubled. But conducted in a phased manner so quality of the operator's training and final proficiency isn't compromised.


Hey Prasun,

Any idea when you will be posting the conclusion to your brilliant article? Especially the info on the SPB (pictured) and your encounter with them.

Ayatanvan Bhavati said...

@Dear Prasun..FN SCAR seems to be a natural replacement for Army’s FAL (assuming insas were a stopgap).Whay say ?.I came across a paid (seemingly) article (By Israelis off course cos they want Tavor/Zittara to hit the jackpot) in DNA criticizing the MODs recent tender which fits (like a glove) to FN SCAR. Zittara too had an option for interchanging barrels but MOD wants a minimum 16 ‘’..oops ..Eagerly waiting for your Force mag Article on FINSAS.

Ayatanvan Bhavati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wishing you a happy new year.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.154AM: SOF battalions & their support elements are quite different from regular infantry battalions. For anti-piracy operations, depending on the environment and scenario, MARCOS or even regular VBSS detachments are reqd.

To Anon@9.14AM: The first LPHs two will be built by the OEM.

To Anon@1.38PM: The contracts for 20 futuristic stealth corvettes will be inked only in the latter half of this decade, after 2016. How big they will be? Just look at the uploaded MEKO-CSL’s photo. The Project 28 Kamorta-class corvettes are ASW platforms for only patrolling the approaches to naval ports and are totally insuitable for undertaking offensive anti-ship cruise missile strike-oriented operations.

To Unknown: I don’t have anything specific to add about the SPB or MARCOS. However, the SPB has been discussed in some detail in the previous thread. The concluding part of this thread will be uploaded later tonight.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Ayatanvan Bhavati: Excellent observations indeed! Exactly the kind that I relish and eternally welcome! Yes, the FN-SCAR comes pretty closest to meeting the reqmt. But kindly note that my F-INSAS write-up will focus more on the evolving battlespace internet/intranet solutions being worked upon and their interfacing with the battlespace surveillance system (BSS), battlespace EW systems, and the futuristic tactical communications network. In other words, it won’t be assault rifle-centric at all. Now, turning to your valued observations, here’s my take:
1) I had the chance to meet with and discuss a few matters with Brajesh Mishra since 2001 and I must say that he never came across as a chap with well-endowed wisdom. He may well have excelled as a Principal Secretary to the PM, but as a National Security Adviser, I continue to have grave reservations about his abilities, especially in the aftermath of OP Vijay, IC-814 hijack incident, and OP Parakram.
2) Regarding Project 75I, if indeed the decision goes in favour of the MESMA-equipped ‘Super Scorpene’, then the Barracuda-class SSGN could well become a reality, that’s a given. Of course, there were middlemen involved in the first Scorpene SSK deal (for as I have explained above, the Class 209?Type 1500 SSK could have easily been put to series production a decade ago, but the powers-that-be decided to procure new-design SSKs), but only Abhishek Verma (allied to the NDA regime) has been formally identified, while the middleman drawing strength from the UPA regime continues to roam around freely, although I’m sure that person’s time-to-account too will eventually come.
3) For the M-MRCA, left to choose between the Rafale & Eurofighter EF-2000, the Rafale will assuredly be a far more safer and credible choice/bet, from both operational and financial standpoints.
4) For the much larger IAC-2, the tussle is between competing offers from Russia and DCNS of France. From a technology standpoint, DCNS’s aircraft carrier design undoubtedly comes out tops. But, (there’s always a ‘but’ in such matters), the Indian Navy wants to play technology leapfrog here by deploying fifth-generation M-MRCAs on board IAC-2. From this flows the reality (yet to emerge and be officially spelt out by Navy HQ, although I have been writing about it for almost a year now) that the FGFA’s naval variant, and not the yet-to-be-selected fourth-generation IAF-centric M-MRCA, will go on board the IAC-2. If that indeed were to be the case, then Russia’s offer of consultancy services for designing and building the IAC-2 will gain prominence.
5) Pallam Raju will display practicality for only as long as his constituency-related interests are well-protected, meaning that if HSL teamed up with L & T bags the LPH contract and also gets to produce the Barracuda SSGNs, then the MoS for Defence will remain highly contended for the rest of his living life. But make no mistakes, for such politicians will always be favourable to the DPSUs.
6) The Russians are being professional, and not being spoilt sports, this being my personal opinion. For, given the choice between a fourth-generation Rafale or EF-2000 going on board the IAC-2, I’d rather go for the combination of navalised FGFA and fourth-generation LCA (Navy) Mk2. The Russians now have much more to chew than they actually can, given the fact that three SSBNs and their complements of SLBMs will all have Russian DNA and signatures. In addition, the hypersonic BrahMos-2 and scramjet-equipped reusable hypersonic space shuttle are all long-term collaborative ventures that will ensure Russia’s dominance (in financial terms) of the Indian market. It’s therefore time now to give the French a peace of the pie, for they too have been helping India in certain strategic sectors (for instance, the atomic clocks on board the projected seven GPS navigation satellites of the IRNSS constellation have all been supplied to ISRO by France).

Pierre Zorin said...

Anonymous @ 2:46 - where did you read or hear about the OFB Kanpur's claims? There is no news on their website.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Why are you ONLY writing articles on NAVY these days

Secondly Sir dont you THINK that
the Navy which gets ONLY 20- 25 PERCENT of ALLOCATED RESOURCES is the ONLY BRANCH of the armed forces WHOSE Acquisitions are KNOWN or REVEALED to the PUBLIC

NOW this means that the ARMY and Air force ACQUISITIONS are
ALL SECRETLY Done

While we the people ONLY hear the
PERPETUAL WHINING
Such as NO artilerry
NO Fighter planes left

Anonymous said...

Hi PRASUN, the internal volume of the nose assembly of the Jaguar IS & MiG-27 is large. So why only a laser rangefinder is fitted when a 4 th gem FLIR, a laser designator, a low light CCD camera can all be fitted. Also will u pls throw some light on the standoff ranges of the various air-ground modes of Elta 20600 radar pod. Also I heard there are plans of fitting the Super Kopyo radar pod on the MiG 27. Pls clarify.

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
1.Is there any bigger class of SSBN planned after Arihant class??
2.Do you know the exact number of SSGNs planned for IN??Which shipyard will construct them??Don't you think it would be better to go with the design of Akula 3 or the Yasin class instead of Baracuda??
3.The 20 futuristic corvette you mentioned-will they be constructed under P 28A??And will they be designed in India or any foreign design will be used??
4.And lastly,recent Broad Sword article suggests that DRDO is still developing a 50 ton FMBT.What's your say in this??
PLEASE try to reply.
THANKS in advance..........................

Anonymous said...

Whats the range of BMD developed by India ? Like Russian S-300 have range upto 300km...

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU

first of all it took me a lot of time to read your post, your post forced me to ask a few querruies expect a few answers

Q1. You make no mention of the FICs MoD is set to buy from a US company, why?

Q2 The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC)— INS Vikrant is actually 40000 tons and on full load may reach 43000 tons, close INS Vikramaditya; whereas you say it as 37500 tons why?

Q3 The MoD is set to order 3 more Scorpene subs after the first 6, does it mean that IN will have 5 AIP equipped Scorpene subs?

Q4 You say 'IN has now shortlisted only three prospective candidates for Project 75I: the ‘Super Scorpene’ equipped with MESMA, the A26 with Stirling engine, and the Type 214 SSK' does this mean Amur 1650 SSK is out of contention, but heard the Russians were pressurizing IN to take the heavy Amur 1650 SSK

Q5 Is it true like project 75, Project 75I will also have 9 units (all AIP powered)

Q6 Is it true 4 missile tubes of INS Chakra (Akula 2 and not 3 as you say, only 1 Akula 3 was made and its in Russian service)are blanks and the ship cant remain at sea more than 65 days per year during its lease to India?

Q7 Some say work on the 2nd Akula 2 that was 60% complete is set to start next year, how much true it is?

Q8 Follow on Boeing P8I order is for 6 as per report, whats correct?

Q9 Boeing had submitted B737-800 based MRMR proposal for commonality but how come Bombardier entered it and got shortlisted?

Q10 INS Viraat is very much battle worthy and fit for service for next 15 years, as Harriers are to retire by 2014 wont it prudent to use it as a helicopter carrier till 2025?

hope to get answers

thanks

Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...

Prasun can u pls tell what long range radars are the IAF purchasing to replace it's ageing THS 1955 radars. Also pls tell the no of Elta 2083 aerostats in service with the IAF. The OSA-AKM of the IAF are being replaced by what sams. Is the range of the upgraded Pechora missiles 32 km. Once the Akash mk2 completes development will the existing stocks of Akash mk1 of the army and airforce be brought to mk2 standards. Also will u pls tell me when everybody is building longer ranging sams be it intended for medium range applications then why are we making the range ok mk2 35 km. It should be made atleast 50 km. What glide bomb with terminal guidance is in service with the IAF? Are there of any chances of purchasing the Raytheon JSOW in large nos fir equipping the MMRCA, Sukhoi-30,Mirage 2000?

SSG said...

Hi Prasun,

The reason Scorpene design was favoured because it is the upgraded conventional derivative of the Rubis class and can be used as the base design for a future homegrown SSGN.

Also the Type 209/1500 SSK uses the same design principle of the first post WW2 German sub.

IN was not keen on HDW because of that. And also there were no German equivalent of MM-40 SLCM. The only chance the Germans have if they offer a bigger Type 212 sub armed with sub launched Taurus. Otherwise the French will win this deal if the Russians are not allowed. And that way Barracuda indeed will be the reality.


BTW, there are a new design from the Germans being developed for overseas market called Type 216 deplacing 4000 tonne (http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=264).

Hope to hear from you soon and a write up on the proposed Super Scorpene will be great.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Joydeep Ghosh: Most of the queries you've asked are already answered in this thread. The Nerpa/INS Chakra is the second Akula-3 built under project 971 (codenamed Shchuka) The Akula-3’s most visible distinguishing features are the more elongated and slightly pugged barriers (to its port and starboard) for retractable gear and a more aft-mounted compact gondola mounted on the aft vertical fin, which houses a low-frequency thin-line towed-array sonar suite. The photo I've iploaded is that of the Nerpa and the Akula-3's distinguishable features are clearly visible. And the FICs you've talked about are for the MHA, not the MoD. Will answer all other queries later tonight.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
I learnt recently that the IN and MOD has come to an agreement for a 7000 ton SSGN rather than the IN's hated 5000 ton baracuda class and IN's favored 9000 ton Akula class with parts from Granny class and MOD has cleared 45000 cr to induct 4 SSN between 2022-28 and the deal will be signed by 2014 and who will execute the project considering HSL is also in the fray for P75I.
Is all this true ????

Anonymous said...

Prasun why is the navy so keen to aquire single hull subs under P75i. Double hull subs have better protection and hull integrity against mines,depth charges and torpedoes. Ofcourse it will be heavier and therefore costlier.

Currently is there anyone in the international market who is offering a Double Hull SSK

Will it be possible to install a VLS cell in the Scorpenes or U214

Anurag said...

to Anon 7.43: did you get that info from DMLA of PDF??
@Prasun da,as you stated,IN can't mount nuke tipped missiles on Nerpa due to Russia's obligation to NPT.So how can we mount nuclear weapons onboard our Su 30MKIs??Won't there be any problem due to NPT??
Please try to reply.
Thanks in advance.......................................................

KSK said...

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/12/179777.htm

will the F-15SA be more advanced than the F-15SG????

Anonymous said...

I have one doubt why didnt the RQ-170 self destruct upon landing.
Do you think it was crashed deliberately.

Anonymous said...

And some people are saying that it does not have advanced stealth and the sensors worth stealing??

WHO WOULD YOU THINK IRAN WILL ALLOW TO EXAMINE THE DRONE RUSSIANS OR CHINI?

Anonymous said...

Prasun Visby and MEKO CSL seems to complement each other, instead of competing. Both of them are in different weight class. 700 tons and 2500+ tons respectively.
Can IN go for both.

Anand said...

Hi Prasun,

It was reported today in TOI that INS Arihant's PWR went critical last year.is that true?And goin by the timelines given in the article,it seems the sub will be inducted by end 2012..

Anand...

Ayatanvan Bhavati said...

@Dear Prasun. Thanks for your insightful reply. I had to delete my earlier comments as I felt that they were little insensitive (unfair) to the gentleman I quoted.
1. With reference to Mr Mishra- I agree with you to a certain extent, but for a certain generation of diplomats he is the godfather, the Teacher and the Hawk .Mr Mishra got the Hawk status because of his shrewd political trouble-shooting /management (along with pramod mahajan)for the Vajpayee govt. What made him the cult were his interventions/inputs in between. Mr Jaswant Vs Talbort negotiations. He was severely criticized by Subu (k subramanayam) on all three incidents you stated but he will be remembered as a hawk by many (those) who were under his aura.

Ayatanvan Bhavati said...

2. I too was (as u stated) referring to Q E class AC ‘design’ with help (consultancy) from DCNS. Its matter of F35 or Rafale .. INs wish for FGFA on IAC2 will certainly be a tech leapfrog but it’s a long shot and India will have to (again) fund the Russian research from scratch without getting any ownership(reasonable share) or expertise(sensitive) over the end product. I would rather prefer progressive approach of 2 ACs with mig 29k +2 ACs with Rafale +2 ACs with FGFA( i.e. 6 AC by 2027).We can take up this challenge after 2020 as by then we will be having a reasonable expertise in AC building and some amount of maturity(confidence) on FGFA platform ...Not sure which path IN/MOD will take.

Anonymous said...

My last post didn't get posted. Why is navy going for only Single hull subs under the P75i ? Double hull sub can survive mines, depth charges and torpedoes. Though on heavier side. Single hulls with their lightweight are more suitable for littrol operations. Navy already is getting Scorpene which is single hull.It can aquire more of them for littrol operations.
Acquiring a double hull SSK for deep-sea operations seems more sensible.

Ayatanvan Bhavati said...

3. I am all for Rafa as it seems to be a relatively mature and more reliable (safer bet) platform than the EFT. But Indian Air force is in a catch 22 situation .643 parameters of the Trials favour EF ( on agility, high degree of automation, future growth prospects,A2A performance etc ) but there is uncertainty over maturity, price and independence( The Most Important factor for IAF)..I am not sure where MMS, Menon, Antony, Def Secretary will put their finger upon. MMSs US/UK/Germany love (pressure) is well known hence I feel that EF has a (60/40) chance on this one.

Ayatanvan Bhavati said...

4. In my opinion Russians look reasonably professional when they want funding on projects in which India wants to partner like FGFA, Arihant, Brahmos etc, but they turn unreasonably unprofessional when they want India to FUND for their research and survival (Mig29k or Mig35 or T90), PAY for their facility MODERNIZATION ( Krivak shipyard ) or DUMP their Junk (second Akula) as an obligation in return to the historic favours. We can never thank them/favour them enough but we need to strike a balance, for good...Neways...Many Many thanks for your informative posts and excellent forthcoming replies. We (you and your followers) share an electronic and emotional bond. I hope it remains as wonderful and interactive as it is. Wishing you a very happening and fulfilling 2012(I forgot yesterday)...
Sorry for these very long comments above , I hope you won’t mind.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@21.01PM: That’s not true. Time permitting, whenever possible I do try to upload matters/write-ups that are topical or worthy of further analysis. Procurement-reelatred matters of the Army & IAF are routinely highlighted by both the MoD’s statements as well as OEMs from time to time.

To Anon@3.35PM: The internal nose-are bulkhead volumes of both the MiG-27M or Jaguar IS aren’t sufficient enough to house all those sensors that are normally carried in a podded configuration. Hence the Litening-2/3 pods are specified for these aircraft. There are no plans to fit the Super Kopyo on to any IAF MiG-27M. Depending on the flight altitude, the EL/M-2060P SAR can look out to 300km inside hostile territory.

To Anurag: No, there isn’t any plan to go for something bigger than the Arihant-class SSBN. The no of reqd SSGNs is nine & HSL along with L & T are preferred by the MoD to build them. The Akula-3 or Yasen-class SSGNs are designed to engage hostile aircraft carrier battle groups of the type used by the US Navy. The Indian Navy’s concept of undersea warfare is totally different as are its targeting priorities. As such, the main envisaged job of the reqd nine SSGNs will be to protect the three planned SSBNs, i.e. purely hunter-killer operations. For such missions, the smaller the SSGN (like the Barracuda-class) the better. A single Barracuda-class submarine armed with 3M54E Klub-S type of supersonic ASCMs will make such submarines the most potent in the Indian Ocean Region. The 20 planned guided-missile corvettes will be of a foreign design since the IN’s Naval Design Bureau lacks the capabilities reqd for coming up with such futuristic stealthy designs. This programme will not be under Project 28A, but will have a different project designation.
Lastly, regarding the FMBT, pray explain to me why on earth should a 50-tonne MBT be powered by a 1,800hp engine???? It would have made sense if a 75-tonne FMBT were to be developed and powered by such a powerful engine, but a 50-tonne FMBT being powered by a 1,800hp or even a 1,500hp powerpack? Ridiculous, to say the least. Whosoever is dreaming of such machines & whosoever is publicising such totally bizarre concepts are both delirious, to say the least. And that is precisely why the Indian Army, totally unwilling to buy anymore of the tall claims & empty boasts of the DRDO, has refused to issue GSQRs for such a fancy FMBT, and has instead insisted on the introduction of steady incremental improvements into the existing Arjun MBT design, so that there’s a Mk1, Mk1A, Mk2 and Mk3 version of the Arjun. Thus, it is the Arjun Mk3 that will finally emerge as the FMBT and it will have the Cummins India-developed 1,500hp powerpack, have an IMI-designed autoloader, and a fully integrated vectronics suite using the MIL-STD-1553B digibus. Had a 1,800hp powerpack been an operational necessity, then don’t you think the US, the UK, the Germans, the French & even the Russians would have already developed such powerpacks for their heavy MBTs?
Regarding nuclear weapons carrier-platforms, there’s a difference between the acquisition of the Akula-3/Nerpa/Chakra & the Su-30MKI. While the Su-30MKIs are sovereign Indian property, the SSGN is being leased and will return back to its sovereign owner—Russia—after the lease period ends. India owns the Su-30MKIs, but will not own the SSGN. That’s the difference.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.55PM: Only 80km at present, though the intention is to increase it to 180km.

To Joydeep Ghosh: The total displacement of the IAC-1 will depend on what and how much of what it eventually carriers on board. As of now, the Naval Design Bureau has capped the figure at 37,500 tonnes. If the IN decides to go for the MESMA-AIP then the last two SSKs under Project 75 & the additional three Scorpenes to be ordered (as an extension of Project 75) will be AIP-powered. The Amur 1650 is definitely out of contention since the Russian Navy itself does not want it, and the IN wants a proven and operational solution. Therefore, the Amur 1650 gets automatically disqualified. Under Project 75I only six AIP-powered SSKs are planned for procurement. As I had explained earlier, the INS Chakra will come armed with Novator’s 3M54E supersonic ASCMs and therefore those missile-launch tubes meant to launch bigger missiles like the Granit will remain empty. The Nerpa/Chakra/Akula-3 will be able to spend at least 260 days at sea per annum, and not 65. There are no plans for leasing any more Akula-3 SSGNs. The follow-on order for P-8Is is for 4 units, although the total reqmt is for 24 units. Bombardier’s Q-400, C-295, ATR-72MP, EMB-145 & Falcon 900MPA are all being offered for the MRMR/ASW reqmt. The INS Viraat could well serve up to 2022 as a LPH.

To SSG: The Scorpene cannot be used as a base design for any homegrown SSGN simply because the Scorpene’s design has never been released to India or anyone else. All that MDL is doing is fabricating the Scorpene’s hull. The SUBTICS CMS and IPMS & sonar suite are all being imported off-the-shelf. None of these items are being built anywhere in India, and without these no SSK will become an operational SSK. To further complicate matters, there’s no design authority/agency/bureau in India that has any hands-on experience in designing SSKs or SSBNs or SSGNs and therefore, mentoring a group of naval architects specialising in such matters alone will take more than a decade. Therefore, just as the Arihant was never a homegrown design, so will the SSGN will an imported design. The Class 209/Type 1500 SSK’s design was the best out of the Class 209 family, and therefore even South Africa tried to obtain its design in the late 1980s (during the Apartheid era) via industrial espionage. The IN was always keen on obtaining additional Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs, but the successive political establishments of India since the early 1990s have not. Integration of ASCMs of non-German origin is not a problem at all, since India owns all IPRs related to this SSK and can therefore easily integrate the 3M54E Klub-S in cooperation with Novator & other Russian OEMs. The Type 216 SSK is a double-hull design that may well suit the Australians, but the IN wants a single-hull design for Project 75I.

To Anon@7.43PM: Have already explained above.

To KSK: The F-15SE will be stealthier than the F-15SG.

To Anon@9.53PM: The MEKO-CSL’s design is modular, and therefore its displacement figures will vary based on its chosen operational configuration. The IN won’t go for both designs, but will have to choose between the VISBY & MEKO-CSL.

To Anand: The PWR will go critical only this year, following which at least three years of sea trials will follow, until 2015. Then there’s the issue of the SLBM being made available and this is estimated to arrive only by 2014 and be fully certified by 2016. Only after this will the Arihant be able to carry out live-firing sea trials with the on-board SLBM. This process will take another two years. Therefore, all in all, the Arihant is unlikely to be commissioned as an operational deterrent platform until 2018.

KSK said...

Brazilian Scorpènes which do not have AIP at 2000 tons are significantly larger than Indian ones(1536 tons) ...why is that??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Ayatanvan Bhavati: Vey many thanks indeed for your compliments. Always appreciate them. Regarding the Russian dependence on India for R & D funds, yes that was indeed the case until 2005, but things have signed significantly for the better since then, rest assured. Today, the kind of cutting-edge joint R & D going on regarding the scamjet-equipped BrahMos-2 or the scramjet-equipped reusable hypersonic space shuttle may perhaps have not yet been fully revealed in the public domain, but they are nevertheless extremely significant and therefore I for one will be extremely disinclined to write-off India-Russia collaboration into the frontier areas of military-scientific R & D as an insignificant affair. And by the way, the Akula-2 is a junk by today’s standards, but not the Akula-3/Nerpa, which is a substantial improvement over the Akula-2, especially in areas like the combat management system and integrated platform management system. Armed with Novator 3M54E Klub-S supersonic ASCMs, it will be the most potent undersea warfare platform in the Indian Ocean Region for at least the following decade.

KSK said...

"The F-15SE will be stealthier than the F-15SG."

Hey man I was asking abt the F-15SA recently bought Saudi Arabia not Silent Eagle.

So,are F-15SA more advanced than F-15SG???

KSK said...

"In the 10-tonne category, the competition is between the Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk and MH-60R, and Eurocopter’s NH-90"

There is no S-70B Seahawk but MH-60R Seahawk which is a multi role varient.
So both are just varients.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSK: The F-15SAs will not be in the same league as the F-15SG. The RSAF will never be allowed to acquire US-origin combat aircraft that are more advanced than what the IDF-AF has. Regarding the Seahawks, the photo I've uploaded is that of the S-70B. There are significant differences in terms of mission sensors between the S-70B & MH-60R & that's why Singapore & Thailand both opted for the S-70B and not the inferior MH-60R.

KSK said...

And why did India rejected the FMS route to buy Seahawks???

I taught it would have been cheaper and they are more proven than the NH-90s...

Buying the Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone and MH-60R will be cost effective and easy on logistics and training .. but one problem is that CH-148 Cyclone are not operational yet...

KSK said...

That was a fast reply thank you and Happy 2012......

Anonymous said...

Why isnt Eurocopter EC725 being considered?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSK: The problem was that the MH-60R was being proposed by the US DoD under the FMS scheme, whereas the MoD wanted to go for the S-70B, simply because the S-70B comes equipped with ultra low-frequency dunking sonars like the HELRAS, while the MH-60R is offered with the low-frequency FLASH dunking sonar. The S-70B will thus be the ideal choice from both performance and financial standpoints and also due to the fact that the helo-decks of both the Project 17 Shivalik-class & the follow-on P-17A FFGs can accommodate only two 10-tonne helicopters. The heavier 12-tonne CH-148 will be more well-suited for the helo-decks of the Project 15A & Project 15B DDGs, as well as on the IAC-1 and the four projected LPHs.

To Anon@12.30AM: It was considered, but wasn't found to be to to the mark as far as shipborne multi-role platforms go.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Regarding comparison between EFT and Rafale, the higher future growth potential of EFT if any may not be needful to India. Such growth can be left to FGFA, AMCA and UCVs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: The IAF has stated that it wants the chosen M-MRCA to undergo at least two successive mid-life upgrades during the aircraft's 35-year operational lifespan. Such upgrades will include not only the availability of higher-thrust turbofans (capable of being subjected to modular upgrades), but also the avionics suite and accompanying mission sensors. In case of previous-generation MRCAs like the MiG-29 or Mirage 2000, only one mid-life upgrade was necessary and that's what underway now. I reckon even the Su-30MKI will see another round of upgrades in the latter half of the following decade after the Super Sukhoi-based upgrades have been achieved.

Anonymous said...

To Mr Ra @ 1.46am and Prasun @ 2.28am,

I think a lot of people are looking at the Eurofighter's size and customer base and claim that it has greater upgrade potential while we have seen virtually nothing concrete on any modernisation, let alone full upgrade paths. Everything including engines, integration of AG munitions and AESA radar seems contingent on India selecting the type. Which is a pain in the neck for us.

The Rafale despite only having one customer is already unveiling a major iteration, the F-3 04T standard, which is the full multirole variant offered to India and others. The French have even detailed plans for another upgrade after 2020 with plans for thrust vectoring engines and greater networking. On this count alone, the Rafale makes more sense-lower risks and lower costs despite the PR from Eurofighter.

Anonymous said...

So does INdia has a plan to make Longer range SAM like S-300/400/500 which have ranges till 600 km ? Or will India become partner in these Russian SAMs or license produce them ?

Do you know MHA plans for induction of various choppers and fixed wing air-crafts ?

Also whats the plans for various agencies and forces under MHA for induction of various UAVs and how many UAVs of various kinds ?

Which agency is performing the role CDC (US) in India ? How good is our preparedness in case of any such attack ?

Is there gonna be a carrier based and maritime version of Rustam-H ?

Kib said...

Hi Prasun,

Big fan of your blog, Thank you for keeping me occupied on a dull day at work ; )

My question is regarding the Brahmos missile: It seems quite obvious that the missile is capable of more than 290Km in its current form. International non-proliferation experts have voiced concern about it before (guesstimates from the size and specs). The Brahmos company people who man the stall themselves say that its range can be extended with no modifications to the missile - I’m guessing by increasing the fuel as space is already available with no need to reduce the warhead load. It’s capped only by non-proliferation obligations. Can you shed some light on this? Is the Indian Gov. really naive enough to artificially cap the range, and what is the ‘real’ (classified) range you think?

abs said...

prasun da tumi khub bhalo kaj korcho.... please keep it up
and a request, while u put up your thread on the F-INSAS programme, please try and explain to us what all the network centric processes and systems on development for the INDIAN ARMY is meant to do or achieve operationally and their objectves, by which im talking about ACCCS,BMS,BSS,ASCON,ASTROIDS,TAC3I ETC.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.27AM: I fully concur.

To Anon@9AM: The Barak-2 LR-SAM with 120km-range and the PDV capable of intercepting inbound IRBMs at an altitude of up to 180km should be more than enough for India’s needs.

To Kib: Very many thanks. The BrahMos Block-1 for anti-ship strike has a 290km range while the BrahMos Block-2 for land-attack will have a 550km-range. This issue was extensively discussed and analysed in the previous thread.

To ABS: Very many thanks. That is exactly how I will be drafting the F-INSAS write-up, rest assured.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, the doppler beam sharpened air - ground mode,the SAR ground mapping mode of the BARS radar on board the Sukhoi-30MKI which has a large aperture and also a high transmitting power is 60-70 km whereas the Elta 20600 pod has a SAR range of 300 km. the pod is cylindrical with a small area of crossection. then how can it have such a long range? It is impossible. and if this true then it will man that the groundmapping range of the pod is even geater than nosebuilt MMR radars such as Elta 2032, APG-68. also is there any bombing technique in which using the SAR mode of the radar a high resolution map of the target is created and then this data is fed to a PGM having an IIR or a millimetic wve radar seeker. This bomb is released at a standoff range. it navigates to the target area usung inertial navigation and GPS and then using the seeker it creates a map of the target, correltes with the onboard picture and if it matches, attacks the target. Is such PGMs in use by the IAF? Does the IAF follow this technique. Does the MiG-27M carry the Elta pod for deep strike missions. Is there any onboard IR jammer on the MiG-27? Also accordng to many websites , the MiG-27 caries an electo optical system and an infrared camers in its nose. Pls clarify.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.47PM: Presently, the BARS MMR has neither the Doppler beam-sharpening mode nor the ground moving target indication (GMTI) mode nor the SAR mapping mode, based on what I’ve read from the BARS’ technical manual in mu possession. These modes will be available with the Zhuk-2ME on the MiG-29UPG. The radar antenna of the EL/M-2060P is far more in length that that of the BARS. You can see the photo I’ve uploaded at http://trishulgroup.blogspot.com/2008/10/su-30mkis-specified-warload.html
The kind of real-time targetting you’re referring to is only possible with an AESA-MMR. The EL/M-2032 & APG-68 have Doppler beam-sharpening & GMTI modes. The MiG-27UPG can carry EL/L-8222P EW pods when it is acting as an escort aircraft as part of a strike package for either tactical interdiction or SEAD/DEAD sorties. There’s no on-board jammer. The only mission sensor carried on its nose is the KLEN laser ranger marked target seeker (LRMTS).

Anonymous said...

watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWRhsenRZUI


see how advance was India and by copying the Indian tech help the British in becoming world leader.

Anonymous said...

Hi PRASUN , very very thanx . What I wanted to ask was that whether the MiG 27 can carry the Elta 2060 pod for all weather target identification and engagement during deep penetration and battlefield interdiction. In a strike package comprising MiG-27 s , only the ac acting as SEAD will carry the Elta 8222 pod. What about the others? If any of the other ac have a missile lock on it, then it will not be able to jam it due to absence of jammer. Also recently on DRDO website I saw that there are plans of having an integrated EW suite comprising a RF jammeron MiG-27M. The BARS radar is the second most advanced radar ever built by the Russian defense industry . Only the Irbis/ Snow Leapard is more advanced than this. The BARS has been specifically built for multi role applications for the Su-30 MKI. And accordingly it must possess a variety of air-ground modes such as SAR, ISAR, DBMS, GMTI. It has evolved from a long line of Flanker radars and marked the transition of the Flanker as a multirole combat aircraft. Also according to Wikipedia and airpower Australia it has the above mentioned nodes . Can the Elta 20600 be used for real time imaging? Also why can't the non AESA radars such as Zhuk ME and RDY2 be used for real time target imaging and be used for bombing in the way mentioned in my previous comment. Does the IAF possess enough no of Elta 20600 fir simultaneous deployment over it's entire fleet of Sukhois and Jaguars ?

Anonymous said...

Hi PRASUN , in your 2008 article Akash mk1 explained, u said that the army and the airforce are not keen on accepting it due it's 25 km range which is a serious shortcoming for protecting VA & VP from multiple cruise missile strikes. Then why did the IAF & IA ordered so many squadrons and regiment respectively? Also u said that the mk2 version will have a longer range of 40 km. So what IA the range, 35 or 40 km? Also the P-8 will supplement or replace the Tu-142 fleet?

Anonymous said...

Prasun Sir,

The Mica deal has been cleared for the Mirage-2000. That's one pretty expensive purchase-do you think this could give the Rafale a leg up over the EF?

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/north/mirage-jets-get-new-missiles-123-bn-deal-897

Anonymous said...

Prasun da can you elaborate on the NMRL/DRDO fule cell and its Features.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.11PM: The MiG-27UPG is not certified to carry the EL/M-2060P, onlky the Su-30MKI is. The MiG-27UPG is used only for battlespace air interdiction, and not deep penetration. There are two types of EW pods in usage: the EL/L-8221 which is for self-protection like the Barem on the Mirage 2000H/TH, and the EL/L-8222, which is an escort jamming pod. Any strike package requires only two escort jamming pods. And neither Wikipedia nor Airpower Australia has access to the technical manual of the BARS MMR, hence their ignorance of the operational modes available. Any SAR system can be used for real-time imaging PROVIDED there is an operational data-link available on the carrier-aircraft and on the ground receiving stations.

To Anon@1.32PM: The Army & IAF ordered the Akash Mk1 in sizeable numbers simply because the DRDO has promised to replace the 25km-range Akash Mk1 missiles on a one-for-one basis with the Akash Mk2 missile in future, probably by 2014. While the desired range of this new missile is 40km, 35km will be acceptable, according to the end-users. The Akash Mk2 will thus become an E-SHORADS, while the 70km-range Barak-1 will become the MR-SA, and the 120km-range Barak-8 will become the IAF’s LR-SAM. The P-8Is will supplement the upgraded Tu-142MEs till 2024, and after that, will completely replace them.

To Anon@8.39PM: The buzz in Delhi today is that the Rafale has already been chosen ‘in principle’ by the Cabinet Committee on National Security. The fact remains that whatever weapon system is ordered for the upgraded IAF Mirage 2000s will also be cross-qualified for the Rafale, thus ensuring that both aircraft types have access to a common inventory of guided-munitions, which in turn will greatly simplify operational, storage and maintenance logistics and reduce the related fleet inventory establishment costs.

To Anon@10.25PM: Already did that in 2008 that in my earlier blog at: http://trishulgroup.blogspot.com/2008/10/aip-for-ssks.html

Anonymous said...

Prasun can u pls tell what long range radars are the IAF purchasing to replace it's ageing THS 1955 radars. Also pls tell the no of Elta 2083 aerostats in service with the IAF. The OSA-AKM of the IAF are being replaced by what sams. Is the range of the upgraded Pechora missiles 32 km. Once the Akash mk2 completes development will the existing stocks of Akash mk1 of the army and airforce be brought to mk2 standards. Also will u pls tell me when everybody is building longer ranging sams be it intended for medium range applications then why are we making the range ok mk2 35 km. It should be made atleast 50 km. What glide bomb with terminal guidance is in service with the IAF? Are there of any chances of purchasing the Raytheon JSOW in large nos fir equipping the MMRCA, Sukhoi-30,Mirage 2000? Pls reply PRASUN .

Anonymous said...

Prasun pls tell as to why the DRDO is not extending the range of Akash mk2 by 40 km & not 35 km. What is the problem in going the extra 5 km. Also u told that the Barak 8 will become the chief MR-SAM of the IA. Will this Sam be brought in the same bulk quantity as the Akash mk2?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

It is pleasing to know that presently Rafale seems to be ahead in the MMRCA race.

Anonymous said...

To Prasun @ 11.04pm,

The Buzz about the Rafale should be big news if proven true-it's kind of surreal that India may well be the first to sign up for the Rafale after almost a dozen near misses!! When can we know about a formal announcment. I had an inkling that this would be linked to the Rafale or the government would have had to prepare the 'MBDA' scam if these weapons were only for the Mirage. I don't think even this government would be that foolish.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.33PM: The new long-range airspace surveillance radars to replace the THD-1955 are the ADARs from IAI/ELTA Systems. There are only two EL/M-2083s with the IAF. The OSA-AKs are beinf replaced by SpyDer-SRs. The existing solid propellant of the Akash Mk1 will be replaced with a newer higher-energetic propellant and this will go on the Akash Mk1s when they’re re-lifed after eight years. Why should the Akash Mk2 have a 50km-range when the 70km-range Barak-2 MR-SAM is becoming available? JSOW is useless without the PY-code of accuracy obtained from the US’ Navstar constellation of GPS satellites. Since India is not using the Navstar constellation (since it has refrained from the signing the global inter-operability agreements with the US), but the Glonass-K constellation and later the IRNSS constellation of GPS navigation satellites, it is better that India develop its own JSOW-type of PGMs, or make use of the AASM-type PGMs from France.

To Anon@11.39PM: That’s because the Akash Mk2 round will have to be of the same size and weight as the Akash Mk1, so that the TEL of the missile stays the same. This means that only the propellant-type has to be changed to obtain a greater range, instead of developing a wholly new missile round & trying to make it compatible with the existing TEL. In such a situation it is therefore cost-effective and faster to develop an Akash Mk2 missile with 35km-range. Both versions of the Barak—Barak-2 MR-SAM & Barak-8 LR-SAM, will be bought in fairly large numbers by the IA & IAF.

To Mr.RA 13 & Anon@1.35AM: I concur.

Arun said...

My gut instinct with regards to the MRCA competition between Typhoon & Rafale says that the Typhoon is going to win. Why I say
1. India clearing $2.2 billion Mirage 2000 up grade & orders worth over $1 billion for mica missiles. (Maybe the defence planners decided to expidite the above too before a winner is announced & that the French companies would charge more once the found that the Rafale has lost).
2. By purchasing the Typhoon we gain geo political kudos with 4 or more European military powers.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Arun: Four more European military powers? You mean Italy, Germany & Spain included? What matters most is the relationship with one permanent member of UN Security Council out of the four-nation consortium, and that's the UK. But unlike France, the UK has nothing more to offer, compared to what France can in other vital strategic sectors. The UK in turn is saddled with a begging bowl today that was already turned away by India when it came to deciding the fate of India Project 17A FFG. Too bad all the canvassing by the likes of BROADSWORD (see: http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/2011/09/british-surge-to-india-london-reaches.html) was all in vain (LoL!!!).

Anonymous said...

Arun,

While it is still too early to speculate who will win, I think you need to remember two factors-

1. Sure the French could have charged more if they lost. But do remember that like all deals, it would need to be vetted by the finance ministry and MOD over here. If the Rafale is not chosen, what possible explanation can the government give to choosing a very expensive missile for one class of fighter when the cheaper Israeli Derby missile is being used by the LCA, Sea Harrier and is also being purchased in the SAM role. I don't think a government would make a decision in isolation given such factors.

2.If Kudos was all we needed, we could have gone to the Americans who had more mature and cheaper fighters to offer. And kudos from the US, leads to kudos from Australia, Japan, South Korea and a host of others. Among the two EF consortium nations, two (Spain/Italy) are nearly broke.

Again, what you need to look at here is individual dynamics, not collective relationships-what exactly would Spain or Italy gain from this deal? Awarding a frigate or LPD contract to Italy or Germany would bring them greater foreign exchange and jobs than winning a contract as part of a consortium. The Eurofighter's biggest problem is that it is seen as a liability by its own producers.

SSG said...

Is it just only Mica or a comprehensive package of missiles and munitions of the upgraded M2K ?

950 million Euro for just 490 missiles a bit excessive. And which variant are we acquiring ? EM or IR ?
Both of them are highly capable.

And not but the least what offsets are we getting ?


Thank in advance Prasun.

abs said...

hey prasunda, off late there has been a lot of buzz in the conventional media channels about how the INDIAN army has concludedd on having their own dedicated rotary winged assets to aaid them in their operations. however i have also been reading how the INDIAN army is also planning to add to their rotary winged assets by acquiring fixed wing assets for FGA roles and also some assets for EW and RISTA roles. could u throw some light on such planns of the INDIAN ARMY????

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun,
I was just reading your older articles and came across the ADM article, according to which DRDO is making 700km and 1,200km supersonic air-delivered munitions with israel's help.
Which project is this ? How is the progress ? Please share some more information on this project.

http://trishulgroup.blogspot.com/2008/11/adm-detailed.html

Anand said...

Hi Prasun,

Are operations CIT-X n CIT-J still goin on?I heard they were revived during NDA's tenure.Does RAW possesses the capability to effictively carry out these kind of operations in Pakistan.And what about RAW's capability in China?

Regards,
Anand..

abs said...

^^ continuing from above... i forgot to mention about the acquisition plans of ELINT,COMINT and SIGINT based aerial assets for the army. kindly also throw some light on these.

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun one more question...

You posted the SSGN design from IMDS 2005 for IN in one of your old articles which you said is of the size of baraccuda class. Is this design still the same or changes have been made ?
http://trishulgroup.blogspot.com/2009/07/ssgn-design-for-indian-navy.html

I heard IN wanted 9000 ton SSGN based on Akula 2 but MOD rejected and a 7000 ton design was made. Is this the same design ?

You also talked about a SSGN-launched nuclear warhead-carrying cruise missile being co-developed by India and Israel. Can you throw some light on this like What the range of this cruise missile, name , speed, project progress etc. ?

Will this cruise missile be used by our SSKs also ?

I heard money is cleared only for 4 SSGN or thats wrong and all 9 SSGN are sanctioned by MOD ?

Whats the progress on Nirbhay missile ? Will there be a submarine launched version also ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

What do u make of the 'Israel's war with Iran' in 2012?
How long would the US eections be brought on as an excuse for this?

Anonymous said...

Hi PRASUN , there is no Elta 8221 pod. I have checked the IAI official website. The Elta 8222 is not a escort jamming pod but a self protection jammer pod. So in a strike package comprising the MiG-27M , each aircraft will carry a self protection pod in addition to the escort jammer pod which is carried by the SEAD MiG-27M. Also will u pls tell the difference between the Elta 20600 and Elta 2060 pod. Which provides more features, more angular coverage , more standoff range and better resolution? The Sukhoi carries the Elta 2060 whereas does the Jaguar IS carries the 20600 ? Will u pls mention the air- ground modes of BARS radar? As it doer not have SAR mode , does the Sukhoi-30 mki always carry the EL/M 2060 whenever it is executing an air- ground mission? Does the MiG-27 M carry the 20600 pod during tactical interdiction mission? Does the Jaguar IS does the same during deep penetration missions? Pls clarify.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SSG: Both MICA-IR & MICA-EM missiles will be procured for the upgraded Mirage 2000s, along with related weapons launch pylons, test equipment & special warehouses for storage. The AASM family of PGMs from SAGEM will also be acquired. Efforts are also on to integrate the MICA-IR with the to-be-upgraded Jaguar IS interdictor/strike aircraft, since it will make very little sense to procure AIM-132 ASRAAMs for just these aircraft. This will form part of the offsets package, as will a JV for designing and qualifying the weapons integration package.

To ABS: The Indian Army concluded its detailing planning for its own aviation corps equipped with LOHs, LUHs and attack helicopters as far back as 1986!!! But the IAF has always lobbied against it. I’ve already covered this issue with detailed explanations in a previous thread. The FGA, EW & RISTA roles will continue to be that of the IAF. ELINT. COMINT & SIGINT roles are easily performed by the Army’s Searcher Mk2 UAVs.

To Anon@1.41PM: The ADM is the same as this: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_o_no4M2xEPY/TINGv0Xs0qI/AAAAAAAALMk/Lw0ODttFnl8/s1600/Guess_Livefist_SLIDE.jpg
The flying prototypes will emerge by 2013.

To Anand: If indeed these are covert operations then there’s no one to confirm or deny the existence of such operations. RAW’s capabilities in Pakistan are pretty good, and the exact opposite is the case when it comes to China’s whose espionage activities in India’s North East have dramatically increased since 2005.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.22PM: That SSGN design from IMDS 2005 was a smaller version of the Akula-3 and it is still being proposed by Russia, but for all intents and purposes both the Govt of India & the Navy favour something like the Barracuda. The Indian Navy always favoured smaller SSGNs like the Barracuda since these are perfect hunter-killer platforms reqd for protecting the larger SSBNs. The projected reqmt for such SSGNs is nine, which will be ordered in phases, starting with the first four. The submarine-launched cruise missile will be a version of the ALCM now under development. More on this ALCM is at: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_o_no4M2xEPY/TINGv0Xs0qI/AAAAAAAALMk/Lw0ODttFnl8/s1600/Guess_Livefist_SLIDE.jpg

To Anon@10.48PM: I don’t think the Israelis will unilaterally attack Iran. At most, if the Iranians object to the US Navy’s deployments in the Persian Gulf, then the US Navy will likely carry out limited surgical strikes against Iranian offshore & coastal oil terminals in order to strangulate the Iranian economy.

To Anon@11.09PM: It’s the 8111 pod, not the 8221 pod, but even this pod has been superceded by the 8222 pod. The escort jamming pod in service with the IAF is the 8251 pod, which only the Jaguar IS can carry, while the MiG-27Ms carry the 8222 pod (which is also used for SEAD). The 20600 is a RTP—very much like the SIVA pod developed by DARE for the Su-30MKI. The 2060P pod carries a SAR system. No one in India is operating the 20600. For air-to-ground strikes, the Litening-3 pods are used.

Anonymous said...

From previous two ADMs with 700km and 1200 km range now we have a single ADM with a 600 km ? Or we still got two ADMs ?

Is the range of submarine version more ?

So is the design of SSGN fixed or we are getting Baracudda design for sure ?

Justin P. said...

Prasun @ 4.09am,

If the Micas are also to be integrated on the Jaguars, wouldn't the numbers need to be increased given the number of Jaguars we operate? And will this also be seen as a sign in favour of the Rafale.

In an earlier post, you said that the government has decided in 'principle' to buy the French plane-what did you mean by the quoted part?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

On another forum I read that Mirage 2000 UPGRADE will make the plane the BEST Mirage 2000 EVER BETTER than Mirage 2000- 9

It will be like a Mirage BODY with RAFALE Avionics especially RDY 3 radar

Secondly something called Integrated Counter measures System ie ICMS MK 4 will also be ADDED to Mirage 2000

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Could you please CLEAR this mystery
Once and for all

Many people question the need for MMRCA when we have Su30 mki

IS SU 30 mki BETTER than or not
AS compared to Eurofighter and Typhoon

Anand said...

Hi Prasun,

I met an Army soldier in Assam.He was a Boro(tribal).He told me that he is posted in Bhutan n that his company frequently patrols mountaineous areas of Bhutan-china border carrying lots of baggage.Does IA maintain infantry and artillery support in Bhutan?If in case China attacks Bhutan,will IA come to help?

Regards,
Anand.

spanky's Blog said...

How true do you think is d information mentioned here:

http://www.ekhabar.in/enews/156-india-news/15062-indian-army-blinded-by-controversial-equipment.html

Thanks

SSG said...

Mica for Jags perfectly makes sense.

Also possible that Mica will serve the Navy as shallow launched air defence missile for Scorpene subs.

And do you have any information on the proposed Super Scorpene ?

BTW what are the customisation for Indian Scorpene subs ? Are we getting the same variant the Chileans and Malaysian received ? The Brazilian version and the Spanish S-80 are of a different dimension.

Bharat Karnad in his book claims that the Scorpenes will be armed with Brahmos which makes no sense.
But if is true then the Indian Scorpenes will deplace nearly 3500 tonnes.


I would like to hear from you. TIA Prasun.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.34AM: The ADM/ALCM can easily modified as an anti-ship cruise missile or a land-attack cruise missile that can be launched from warships or submarines. It is being developed as a multi-role supersonic cruise missile just like the BrahMos continues to evolve.

To Justin P: Of course, the numbers will increase, since such munitions are always ordered and procured in successive tranches, and not all in one go. ‘In Principle’ means a decision taken now that will be formalised in future.

To Anon@1.30PM: The Su-30MKI as it is now cannot compete with the Rafale, as the latter’s avionics suite is much more advanced and versatile. It will be more appropriate if the Super Su-30MKI is compared with the Rafale or Super Hornet.

To Anand: That baggage you refer to comprises perishables like food, fuel and ammo stocks, since the border roads reaching right up to the international borders, especially along the LAC, are non-existent. At least a qeek or two’s trekking is reqd before the Indian border patrol parties can reach the LAC.

To Spanky’s Blog: Every story has two sides. What’s emerged is only one side. Therefore, the conclusions of the story are erroneous.

To SSG: The proposed Super Scorpene will incorporate the MESMA AIP system. Customisation for India involves the EW threat library & related hostile acoustic signature library, which will be uploaded by the Indian navy into the SUBTICS. There won't be even a single BrahMos in any of the Scorpenes for India, and that's precidelty why 36 SM-39s have already been ordered.

Unknown said...

Hi Prasun,

I was wondering if you knew when the ALH WSI (RUDRA) was to be inducted as I thought it was meant to be back in Dec '11 but have heard nothing on this front.

Also regarding the IA aviation brigade request, are they asking for their own heavy attack helo like the Apache? And if so would they be getting their own helos separately to the IAF and thus both the IAF and IA operating Apaches simultaneously or are they asking for the IAF Apaches to be given to them. (I know the IA currently, and most likely in the future will, have operational control of IAF's attack helos but with IAF crews flying them).

And any info when we can expect to see the Apache in Indian armed forces? It seems this process has stalled, no ewes has come out for some time in this regards

Justin P. said...

Prasun @ 6.29pm,

So would it be fair to say that it a Rafale win is confirmed? When can we expect a formal announcment.

Anonymous said...

Hi, can u pls tell the range of IAI Popeye when it is launched from altitude and when it is released at low altitude? What are the different versions of the Popeye in service with the IAF? How many such missiles have been purchased by the IAF? Can it be fitted on every IAF aircraft? Which missile forms the bulk of IAF air- ground arsenal? Also is there any glide bomb type PGM equipped with a terminal seeker, inertial navigation and having a 100 + km range. Is any such PGM is in developement by DRDO? Also what about the light ER-PGM tender floated by the IAF to procure glide bombs? Also in a 2008 article of yours I read that the no of Elta 2083 to be purchased is 6? What about that. Does the Elta ADR provide greater range than the THD 1955?

Anonymous said...

The Sukhoi-30 's BARS radar doesnot provide SAR & other variety of advanced air- ground modes. So does it carry the Elta 2060 pod for SAR imaging from standoff ranges for identifying and engaging ground targets in all weather conditions during air- ground missions? Also the Elta 2060 pod's radar antenna is facing sideways and is not forward facing. Does it mean that it can only map terrain on the side of the aircraft and not in the direction of the motion of the motion of the ac. And what is the standard EW pod carried as a self- protection jammer by MiG-27, 29UPG, Sukhoi-30 MKI?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun , why is the IN & MoD not purchasing the Akula 3 SSGN instead of leasing it? Then we would have full sovereign control over it. Also why does th IN want a single hulled P75 sub when it can go for the double hulled design which offers much more protection, battle damage resistance and greater diving depth. Does any of the Scorpenes on order feature AIP? When will the first P-8Ienter service and when will the entire nos will be delivered? Which subs are the Scorpenes destined to replace in the IN fleet?

Anonymous said...

Prasun,
As the caption of the story suggest, the article has something to tell about small arms of the navy personnel/marcos/ spb, bt cannot find a single instance of mentoining about tavor or any other firearms in the whole episode. Am I missing something??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Unknown: Induction of the Rudra/Dhruv Mk4 is still four years away since the ATGM (between the Spike-ER & PARS-3LR has not yet been selected. After ATGM selection will come in-country systems integration & firing trials and only after all this will service induction take place. Indian Army HQ believes that ALL attack helicopter assets, be it light, medium twin or heavy—should be under its ownership and not under the IAF. But the IAF opposes this and is therefore also opposed to the Army acquiring such heavy attack helicopters. Having operational control doesn’t mean anything at all for as long as functional control is not acquired. Simply put, in peacetime therefore the IAF’s heavy attack helicopters will take part in coordinated (not joint, despite what the IAF persistently claims) operations with the Army during one or two exercises every year, instead of taking part in as many as six exercises per annum had such helicopters been fully integrated with the Army’s ORBAT. Therefore, the less frequently such coordinated exercises are held, the lesser prepared the IAF’s attack helicopter squadrons will be for real war. On the other hand, acquisition of armed helicopter gunships like the Rudra will not serve any purpose unless and until there’s total synergy established between such helicopters & the armed LOHs, since both are reqd to symbiotically function as hunter-killer teams. The ideal solution from my standpoint is for the Indian Army to totally refuse any kind of anti-armour close air support from the IAF for the contact battles, and instead the Army Aviation Corps should lobby the MoD for acquiring up to 150 Army-customised versions of the LCH which can be armed with up to eight ATGMs. Such LCHs along with up to 60 armed LOHs can be constituted into an Independent Air-Assault Division capable of attacking a hostile armoured divisional-level formation by itself (something very similar to the French ALAT). The 80-odd Rudra/Dhruv Mk4s on the other hand, supported by about 40 armed LOHs, can be attached to the Army’s mechanised infantry-centric Divisional ‘Pivot’ formations in order to boost their offensive anti-armour capabilities. I say this because I sincerely believe that in the Indian context, the days of massed armoured battles—be them against China or Pakistan—are a thing of the past and given the increased emphasis being placed on rapid mobilisation and conduct of high-intensity conflict for only limited periods (not more than 10 days) in future, a tremendous premium will be placed on speed of mobilisation (within 96 hours, something which will never be possible with land-based armoured vehicles) and maintenance of the battle tempo, for which only aerial firepower rises up to the task. Slow-moving & manoeuvring armoured vehicles like MBTs, ICVs, AIFVs and APCs will be sitting ducks in future for sensor-fuzed weapons which can now be swiftly delivered by both MBRLs and NLOS-BSMs as well as field artillery howitzers. The only viable gamechanger, therefore, from both the speed of deployment & firepower perspectives, are massed air-assaults mounted by attack helicopters & LOHs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Justin P: It would be fair to draw such an assumption. The announcement can come up any time now.

To Anon@10.54PM: Popeye’s range exceeds 100km. It is always launched from medium altitudes. The IAF has only the Popeye version. About 50 such rounds were procured. Only the Mirage 2000s & Su-30MKIs are qualified to use this missile. The EL/M-2083 is meant to be purchased in future in far greater numbers by both the Army & Navy.

To Anon@10.59PM: Yes it does. Standard SP jamming pod is the EL/L-8222.

To Anon@11.09PM: The Akula-3 SSGN was never for sale to India. Double-hulled SSKs for littoral operations are a liability & are also maintenance-heavy. That’s why Vietnam will later regret buying the six Type 636 SSKs, while Indonesia will reap the benefits of the Class 209/Type 1400 SSKs to be supplied by the ROK. The last two of the six Scorpenes on order MAY feature the MESMA AIP system provided the MoD places the order ASAP. The first P-8I will enter service in 2013. All eight will be delivered before 2016. The Scorpenes will replace the Type 877EKM Kilos.

To Anon@11.35PM: Yes, regretably you are, and that is….a solitary picture itself is worth a thousand words.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Anything at anytime can come out of an spilling ocean of knowledge. Lol...

Unknown said...

Hey Prasun,

Thanks for your reply regarding the ALH WSI however according to this report:
http://www.defencenow.com/news/291/indian-army-to-induct-weaponized-advanced-light-helicopter-rudra-soon.html

the IA will be getting ALH WSI before "March 2012". 2014 is a long way away.


And concerning IA be given dedicated heavy attack and lift capabilities this seems like it is a long time off and to get there it will require A LOT of arm twisting of MOD by IA and the IAF having a significant mindset change.



Also your article makes the Tavor prominent in the title but no/ very little mention is made to them in this article.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Unknown: What the report should have said was that the first production-standard prototype of the Rudra will be rolled out by next March. Only then will it be possible to begin weapons qualification for the 20mm cannon, Mistral ATAM missiles and the yet-to-be-selected ATGM. The weapons qualification process alone will take three years to complete. Only after all this has been done will service induction follow and series-production of the Rudra get underway. It thus appears that the 'desi' journalists have erroneously presumed that rollout of the first Rudra/Dhruv Mk4 automatically translates into service induction. The reality is totally different.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Your article in FORCE magzine on INSAS is not available

Has it been published or not

And what is the RANGE of Mistral
ATAM missile

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

The website IDRW.ORG is saying
that EUROFIGHTER TYPHOON is being
said to have WON the MMRCA competition

Anonymous said...

Hi PRASUN. the IN is transforming itself into a blue water navy. It is also expanding it's capacity to project influence and power throughout the entire Indian Ocean region. So what the IN needs are ocean going SSKs & not SSKS designed for coastal warfare and littoral missions. What it needs is a heavy ocean going SSK capable of staying at sea for quite many days. Why the IN wants single hulled designs? Also 8 of the Kilo SSK in IN are Type 636 while the other two are Type 877 EKM. All these subs are relatively new. So why should they be replaced? Also the no of P-8 I ordered are 12 and not 8. Also can u pls tell what are the characteristics , special features of the Scorpene ? Why did the IN & MoD select the Scorpene when other better subs were available in the global market?

Anonymous said...

Why do the IAF such small no of standoff range precision guided Popeye AGMs when they are very useful foe attacking a variety of targets such as C3, airbases, ammo depots, bunkers, bridged and other nodal points if communication from standoff ranges? Also what guided AGM having a good range and comparable to the Popeye are present in bulk with the IAF? Will the IAF order more Popeyes?Also is there any glide bomb type PGM equipped with a terminal seeker, inertial navigation and having a 100 + km range. Is any such PGM is in developement by DRDO? Also what about the light ER-PGM tender floated by the IAF to procure glide bombs? Also in a 2008 article of yours I read that the no of Elta 2083 to be purchased is 6? What about that. Does the Elta ADR provide greater range than the THD 1955? Pls reply.

Anonymous said...

Also there are 4 subclasses of the Scorpene? Which is being built at the Mazagaon Dicks? Also the IAF are purchasing only 22 Apaches Block 3. Is there any possibility of ordering a follow on batch ? Also will a greater no of Apaches will be ordered by the IA as it needs a heavy attack chopper.

Anonymous said...

Prasun,

There's a pretty convulted article on IDRW claiming that the Typhoon has won-

http://idrw.org/?p=6276#more-6276

Mr. Ra 13 said...

It also clearly states that those are the rumors.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.41PM: You’re overlooking one fact, and that is the IN wants SSGNs for ocean-going patrols. The IN does not have a single Type 636 SSK and eight of the 9 Type 877EKMs in service are of the 1980s vintage. The contract for the follow-on four P-8Is has not yet been inked.

To Anon@5.47PM: Popeye AGM of the type in service with the IAF is to be employed for only attacking leadership targets.

To Anon@5.58PM: There are only two versions of the Scorpene in existence, the Scorpene from DCNS & the S-80 from Navantia. The total no of attack helicopters reqd by the IAF is 40. If the 22 AH-64Ds are ordered, then there will be follow-on orders.

KSingh said...

Hey Prasun,

Do you have any idea when we would/could be hearing news regarding the IN acquisition of the FireScout and MQ-4C Global Hawk UAV? As reports, some time back, we're the IN was VERY interested in both platforms and had been briefed on both. The FireScout would be a great addition to the IN as the attempts to convert Chetaks into UAVs with Israeli help seem to have fallen through. And the MQ-4 would be a great compliment to the P-8I and I believe the MQ-4C is designed to be operated from a -8 platform and at a time when maritime survellience is being emphasised again and again by GoI/MoD/IN it seems to be ideal for long range patrols.


You don't seem to have made reference to either platform for a while regarding the IN.

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