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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Air Search Radar For IAC-1 (INS Vikrant) Ordered


Anonymous said...

Prasun going by the impressions you have posted, it appears that RAN-40L would be the volume search radar while the Israel EL/M-2248 would be the multifunction fire control radar. I may be being conservative but do you necessarily need that level of redundancy on our carriers? Wouldn't it have been better just to put a volume search system and go for the two-radar set-up on air defense escorts.

Anonymous said...

but sir you said that the israeli radar wud be selected !?

N Nair said...

How good is this radar compared to the air search radar of western navy or Russian Navy or Japan, China and SK Navy?
I do not understand why India needs to buy from Italy, whereas French or probably Germany could offer better radar because of the experience in air defense radar.

OR Is it because of the connection of our "Ind-alian" madamme?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.10PM: The reason for the redundancy is that the IAC-1 (or for that matter the INS Viraat or even INS Vikramaditya) will always be the nerve centre (for command and control) for the entire aircraft carrier-based battle group. Secondly, since none of these aircraft carriers will have on-board fixed-wing AEW & C platforms capable of providing sectoral AEW & C coverage, and will instead only avail of the tactical area AEW coverage provided by the on-board Ka-31s, the entire architecture of the carrier-based battle group’s air defence identification zone will have to be centered around the aircraft carrier’s volume search radar. For battle group-based air-defence/anti-cruise missile defence operations therefore, a multi-tier system will be put in place, with the Type 15A Kolkata-class DDGs providing the outermost layer of defence for the battle group through the Ka-31/EL/M-2248 MF-STAR/Barak-2 MR-SAM combination.

To N Nair: The RAN-40L radar working in conjunction with the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR is on par with the best there is in service with the large displacement warships of the navies of the US and Japan. The Chinese, Russians, French and South Koreans don’t have this kind of radar combination as yet. This same type of radar may well also end up on the Indian Navy’s planned fleet of four LPHs. The shipborne radars from Germany do not even come close when having to operate in conjunction with new-generation active phased-array radars like the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR. THALES Nederland and ELTA Systems were the most immediate competitors, but I guess Selex Sistemi Integrati finally emerged as the lowest (L-1) bidder simply because this radar is now under production for the Italian aircraft carrier, the Cavour, and Italian companies are also fast emerging as reliable ‘technology providers’ to India. It must be noted that in the late 1990s when there was no one to fabricate the Tejas LCA technology demonstrators’ all-composite wings, it was Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica who came to ADA’s rescue. Similarly, for the IAC-1’s propulsion systems design, Fincantieri of Italy has helped the Indian navy’s Directorate of Naval Design & HAL quite extensively. And this same company is also helping the Naval Design Bureau & Mazagon Docks to further modify and upgrade the Project 17 FFG’s design into the Project 17A FFG. You just have to step inside the two Fincantieri-built fleet tankers to see for yourself how advanced Italian naval architecture is when it comes to even designing and fabricating crew-rest bunks & cabins. Compare this to what the Indian Navy has on its latest warships built either in Russia or in India, and you will notice a 20-year technology gap! And all this has nothing to do with Mrs Sonia Gandhi, rest assured.

SSG said...

Prasun, Navy will most probably have a "Flush Deck" and stealth mast design for the 17A FFGs. 15As will feature stealth mast not the cluttered superstructure of the 17 class and 15B for the first time will have a Flush Deck along with it.

Also it is very possible for the Navy to stretch the hull for the 17A FFGs to accommodate a larger number Barak-8 along with Barak SAM. Also it will be great if it carries 16 550km range Brahmos.

But those are my guesses and I am waiting to hear from the horse's mouth.

N Nair said...

Thanks very much indeed.
If Fincantieri can build world class ships, then why should India go to Russia to build Talwar class frigates instead to Italy?

I have another query on Malaysia. I may be wrong. It seems to me that Malaysia is more closer to Pakistan than to India, mainly because of Dr. Mahatiar Muhd who wanted to have much better relationship with Pakistan than with India. And it was a open secret that he disliked Hindus just because of their faith. Whereas Indonesia is more closer to India in diplomatic arena. I heard some rumors that when Malaysia sent its fighter pilots to India to train in Su-30MKI, there were couple of people who looked more like Pakistanis than Malay. Even their Malaysian accent looked very much different. More over, India needs Indonesia's help rather than Malaysia's in case there is any problem between India and China. So in that case, why India should help Malaysia than Indonesia?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

According to IN Admiral the future warships of IN will be very stealthy and they will even include trimaran design. Can you throw some more light on trimaran designs for IN ? Can we expect trimaran in P17a FFG or P15b DDG or P28a corvettes or new 16 guided missile corvette whose contract will be signed by 2014( according to you )?

I heard MFSTAR is also on IAC 1, is it true ?

IN's FFG and DDG will only contain a 300 km range missile and no smaller or medium range cruise missiles ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun did you read that IA will be returning more than 50 % of the funds allotted to them for procurement ? Why wouldn't IA place any any orders there are so many orders ?

Has IA conducted trials for light tanks and tank destroyer ? Any favorites ?

Can IA purchase transport chopper like Mi17 or they still lie within IAF jurisdiction ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SSG: The superstructure of the Project 17A FFG will not be a radical alteration of the existing Project 17 FFG design, but yes, it will be stretched to accommodate the vertically-launched Barak-2 MR-SAM and BrahMos ASCMs (this being similar to what’s on the Project 15A DDGs). 16 BrahMos for a FFG is a bit too much, and so one will have to live with eight vertical launch cells. But most importantly, Fincantieri will play a big role in advising both the Naval Design Bureau & Mazagon Docks Ltd on ways to reduce the weight of the superstructure through large-scale incorporation of composites-built structures—an area in which Fincantieri excels and one in which Indian shipyards (barring GRSE) have no home-grown expertise. Two clutter-free masts will also go on board, since the clutter was earlier usually associated with hardware/sensors of Russian origin. Deck space for crew-bunks will also be far more spacious than is now the case.

To N Nair: The issue of procuring Talwar-class FFGs was closely related to the resolution of Russia’s outstanding debt owed to India as a result of the Rupee-Rouble payment mechanisms prevailing during the Soviet era. Since post-USSR Russia was unable to pay back India in cash, it was decided to pay back in kind. Even the leasing of the Nerpa/Akula-3 SSGN is part of this debt resolution mechanism.
Regarding Malaysia, I don’t think that country is closer to Pakistan than it is to India. Malaysia-Pakistan relations have a history & I had touched upon this in an earlier thread (see: ). Yes, Indonesia is a far more influential country as it straddles the international maritime channels like the Malacca Straits & the Sunda/Lombok Straits and is also the largest member-state within ASEAN, but as far was weapons procurement goes, Jakarta is increasingly turning towards China, Russia and South Korea for its requirements, and going by the lessons of history, can at any time cause destabilisation in Southeast Asia due to some sort of internal political turmoil. Therefore, in order to guard against such trends in future, countries like Singapore and Malaysia will be seen by India to be playing the role of a counterweight. Now, with regard to the Su-30MKM, all your fears are unfounded, as there are adequate safeguards and firewalls built into the Su-30MKM procurement contract between Russia & Malaysia. Leave alone Pakistan, even the Australians and US are denied access to these heavy-MRCAs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.36AM: Not trimaran, but catamaran-designs for the fleet of six oceanographic survey vessels, which the Navy requires and which will be built by a private shipyard. It is these vessels that will be used for mapping the seabed of those areas where the Navy-operated SSBNs and SSGNs will be deployed in future on operational patrols. P-17A FFG & P-15B DDG contracts should get inked by this year, as will the contract for a follow-on three Scorpene SSKs. The rest will have to wait till 2016, at least. Only the four LPHs may be squeezed in by 2014. The EL/M-2248 is the MF-STAR (as I had stated above). It is also clearly visible in the two drawings of the IAC-1 I’ve posted above. Medium-range cruise missiles will be carried by the shipborne 10-tonne helicopters.

To Anon@2.40AM: It is not up to the IA to place orders for major weapons procurements. It is always the MoD and MoF that together place orders. When orders are not placed it means that either the MoD or the MoF has not accorded approval for contract signature. In India all weapons procurement contracts are inked by the MoD, with the MoF in attendance. The three armed services have nothing to do with contract signature. There is not a single signature that originates from any of the three armed services. No user-trials have been conducted to date of any light tanks. Only limited mobility/firepower demonstrations have been witnessed abroad. The Army’s AAC wants to procure Mi-17 utility helicopters, but the IAF objects to this and the MoD shies away from being the final arbiter and prefers to sit on the sidelines. This has been going on since 1986, when the then govt headed by Rajiv Gandhi had promised to the Army that it would eventually get its own fleet of attack and utility helicopters. Arun Singh as the then Minister of State for Defence had given this undertaking in writing to the then COAS Gen K Sundarji. Now, all this has been forgotten and those who are now the decision-makers have all developed mass-amnesia.

Anonymous said...

How does China's new MBT compare against Arjun Mk1/2 in terms of performance/protection/firepower/speed/cost etc? Are they cheaper than Arjun? Is the APS in chinese mbt indigenous? Will Arjun Mk-1/2 sport an APS in future?

Also, what exactly is the bone of contention b/w IA and IAF regarding the LCH? IAF wants it in anti-UAV role and IA wants it as attack helicopter..So can't the LCH be tailored to meet each of their needs? I mean even Druv has been tailored into several versions as per requirements from different service wings and the same goes for brahmos..So what's the big deal with LCH? How does it bother IAF if IA gets its much needed attack helicopter as long as IAF gets its own version?

sbm said...

Prasun, how many Iglas are held respectively by the army, navy and IAF ?

When they say that naval vessels carry Iglas (such as the Koras and the Car Nicobars) how many do they carry ?

Did you get the photo of the Strela fixed launcher that I sent you ? What was that and on what ship ?

Anonymous said...

Though nothing can be confirmed at this point, there are rumours that the AAD interceptor of the Indian BMD can be modified and pushed into service as Ashwin ER-SAM and can be mounted on Project-15B class of destroyers. Is it true ?

In the 2nd phase of BMD program there will be two new intercepts AD-1 and AD-2, what are their ranges and their speed ?

Is the 1500 km range Swordfish radar ready if not then by when its gonna be ready ?

Presently in the 1st phase there's new longer range (150 km) PDV interceptor with higher speed which will replace present PAD interceptor. Whats the progress of this missile and what the speed of this interceptor ?

Anonymous said...

Instead of EL/m-2248 may be a navalized version of Super Green Pine gives a larger picture to the command and control on IAC. It can certainly accommodate such heavy radar. As fixed wing AEWC are not present. The 15A destroyers equipped with EL-2248 can give the outer layer coverage you mentioned. What to you think ?

Anonymous said...

Whats the maximum range of MFSTAR Radar (everywhere its written >250 km)?

Which one is better, SAMPSON radar on Type 45 destroyer (400 km range) or MF STAR radar on Kolkatta class (>250 km range ) ?

What can you tell us about Ashvin SAM which will use AAD interceptors ?

Is the deal for procurement of new multi caliber assault rifles and CQB carbines for IA delayed ? Its an important deal when are expecting it to be signed ?

Also whats the progress of induction of new BP jackets, ballistic helmets and NVGs ? How many of these are been procured ?

Can you post the picture of arjun mk2 turret (only turret) ?

When will you post the FINSAS thread ?

Anonymous said...

Also which one is better, IAI EL/M-2238 L-band STAR used on Kolkatta class or BAE/Thales S1850M radar on Kolkatta class ?

You wrote the combination of sensors on indian warships is better but i doubt this, according to what i know both radars on Type 45 is way way better than than what we are using on Kolkatta class unless i am missing something...

Anonymous said...

from where Iran gets solid fuel missile?

is it Pakistan or china origin?

will in future Pakistan buy/develop missile having range that can attack Israel?

Anonymous said...

Which trainer do you recommend on the basis of only performance ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.13AM: In terms of mobility, turret protection & propulsion system, the ZTZ-99A2 MBT scores over the Arjun Mk1. It is also cheaper as it is being produced in far larger numbers than the Arjun. The APS is indigenous. The Arjun MBTs will in future have the IMI-built Iron Fist APS. Yes, the LCH can be modified into the LAH, but this is not the end of the story. If the Army’s AAC gets to operate attack helicopter assets like the LAH, then logically the IAF would also have to transfer its attack helicopters to the AAC, and also relinquish control of the tactical airspace over the battlefield to the AAC. Consequently, this would mean a lessening of the IAF’s control and influence over the doctrine of offensive airpower usage. Therefore, it is nothing but a needless and illogical turf-war.

To SBM: The total tri-services inventory of Iglas/Iglas-S is about 4,500 launchers and 12,000 rounds. Only the principal surface combatants, LST-Ls, submarines and fleet replenishment tankers carry such MANPADS. FACs & MCMVs don’t. Each naval vessel’s Igla stock holding includes two launchers and up to four rounds per launcher. The SSKs have only one launcher & four rounds. The fixed-base rotating launcher is on the Shardul-class LST-Ls.

To Anon@10.28AM: Why does anyone in India require the kind of LR-SAM (like S-300 or S-400) that will only come in handy against lumbering bombers like the B-52? After all, such LR-SAMs are hardly likely to be used by anyone in the world against bombers like the B-1B, B-2 or Tu-160. And since neither China nor Pakistan possess such bombers, why should anyone in India even bother about acquiring LR-SAMs? The longer-range LRTR has been ready since 2006 in Israel. But the PDV interceptor is not yet ready for its maiden test-firing, which was promised to be conducted last year by the DRDO. There are still several technological hurdles to be overcome for both the PAV and the AD-1/AD-2 interceptors.

To Anon@12.42PM: A navalised Green Pine would have made sense if the IAC-1 was employed for theatre ballistic missile defence. But since this is not the case, the RAN-40L makes perfect sense.

To Anon@4.32PM: The EL/M-2248 MF-STAR is superior to the rotating Sampson & Heracles in terms of both performance and reliability, and most importantly is fully compatible with the Barak-2. Sampson & Herakles are on the other hand interfaced with only the Aster-15/30. As I’ve explained above, there’s no requirement in India for long-range SAMs based on BMD interceptors.

To Anon@4.38PM: Have already explained matters above.

To Anon@5.43PM: From China.

To Anon@10.43PM: Most definitely the Aermacchi M-346 LIFT. After that comes the T-50 LIFT from KAI.

Anonymous said...

Can they deliver?

KSK said...

What do you think man ..can the MOP take out the Iran Nuclear facility??

sbm said...

Prasun - thanks again. It is appreciated.

To take the PAD and AAD-1 as they stand:

Right now they have demonstrated SRBM /MRBM intercept capability against single targets at:

1) a 75 km ceiling in the case of PAD
2) a 16km ceiling in the case of AAD-1.

I believe in both cases the slant intercept ranges were around 30-40km.

One would assume that aircraft interception would be feasible with these two weapons (if of course aircraft flying at 75km were around!) as they stand with some minor ECCM modifications.

While this is not a practical state of affairs, would you not agree it does represent what the Indian BMD project has acheived to date in terms of its BMD and aircraft intercept capability ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.53PM: Of course it will be delivered on time this time around. The ship is already seaworthy as of now and sea trials will commence from this March. And when INS Vikramaditya arrives, it will be homeported in Mumbai (and not in Kochi or Karwar as is being speculated by the usual nerds). A customised berthing facility and dry-dock for accommodating this aircraft carrier has already in built at the naval dockyard in Mumbai by the consortium of Ballast Nedam of Holland & Redecon of Australia.

To KSK: Yes, the MOPs can be employed for physical destruction of hardened underground nuclear-industrial inbtallation as part of surprise air-strikes sustained over a period of 48 hours. Present-day Iranian air-defences are woefully inadequate to counter the B-2s and other stealthy airborne platforms in service with the USAF.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: As of now, based on off-the-record admissions from veteran missile R & D controllers of the DRDO, neither the PAD nor the AAD have ever conclusively demonstrated SRBM/MRBM intercept capability against any inbound targets. All test-firings conducted thus far have been near-misses. That is the very reason why the DRDO was instructed to junk the PAD & AAD interceptors and instead demonstrate the effectiveness of the re-engineered PDV, AD-1 & AD-2 interceptors equipped with far more reliable imaging infra-red seekers. Of these three futuristic interceptors, the AD-1/AD-2 missiles can qualify to be called LR-SAMs PROVIDED they're equipped with active radars for terminal guidance. But then again, the question that will arise is: against what kind of threatening airborne targets will they be employed?
In my personal view, the aims and objectives of the DRDO’s BMDrelated R & D efforts were wrong right from the outset, and blame for this goes to those successive governments that have singularly failed to articulate both India’s nuclear deterrence doctrine as a firm and clear-cut policy in clear & transparent terms (and not just mere ‘drafts’ that can be conveniently sacrificed or disowned via spineless plausible deniability), as well as articulate India’s BMD posture. And this state of affairs prevails simply because none of the three armed services have even been asked by the Cabinet Committee on National Security to present their nuclear threat assessments, either in a combined manner or in their individual capacities. If such assessments go missing, then how can one even contemplate devising countermeasures or deterrent postures? Are the civilian bureaucrats dabbling in national security affairs & DRDO technocrats fully knowledgeable about enemy threat postures & capabilities?
Rather than making tall claims about acquiring capabilities for intercepting MRBMs or IRBMs—something which may already been leading to a regional nuclear arms race between China, India & Pakistan--the need of the hour is to focus on acquiring BMD capabilities that will not result in the proliferation of nuclear warheads & their delivery means in India’s neighbourhood. In terms of what is achievable, I for one would like the DRDO to focus more on the AD-1/AD-2 projects that will specifically target offensive weapons like TBMs and NLOS-BSMs to begin with, followed by increasing emphasis on directed-energy weapons for neutralising long-range MBRL-launched rockets armed with sensor-fused munitions. Because these are the immediate threats (from massed rocket-based fire-assaults) that are most likely to be encountered in fourth-generation limited wars against a nuclear backdrop.

sbm said...

Prasun, thanks for the views.

However, the inbound vehicles were brought down by proximity-fused warheads.

This is not ideal.

However, within their limits, they work.

I do not agree necessarily with the impact of the BMD program to date.

However, I do agree on the need for the future PDV and AD-1 and AD-2.

What I mean is now, a certain basic intercept capability - albeit not hit-to-kill has been established.

sbm said...

Prasun, just to add that I agree with the need to get the AD-1 and AD-2 going.

I do not think they are likely before 2015-2016 as demonstrators.

Now, on to the PAD and AAD, my reading of the material (and other things) leads me to conclude that:

1) The PAD and AAD do employ terminal guidance

2) That the said terminal guidance serves only to bring the missiles into proximity fuse range (4-6m) before detonating.

3) That intercepts have been successful (using the proximity fuse distance a guide) at 75km for the PAD and 16km for AAD.

4) That both systems have some capability against aircraft and SRBMs and MRBMs within their engagement envelopes.

As operational systems, the limitations make them unsuitable other than as "proof of concept" demonstrators.

Separating the rhetoric from reality, if DRDO would simply say that within their limitations they have created something useful (if not fully viable) they would be accurate.

The strange thing is that from day 1 when DRDO and BARC were talking about India's nuclear warhead capability, they were realistic despite the TN hiccup, the boosted-fission viable yield of 200kt was well within the capability demonstrated and not an exaggeration.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: The world has been led to believe that “the inbound vehicles were brought down by proximity-fused warheads.” The reality, in the words of veteran DRDO R & D controllers, was totally different, since there was never any conclusive evidence presented by anyone within the DRDO to the MoD about even the effectiveness of the proximity fuze-activated warhead detonations. In fact, this was the one & only reason why urgent course-correction was resorted to and it was decided by every DRDO decision-maker that active radar-based terminal seekers & proximity fuze-based warhead activation mechanisms would henceforth be junked in favour of a ‘hit-to-kill’ solution. Then the question which arises is: how exactly did the inbound Prithvi surrogate targets get blown out of the sky? Were they equipped with a ground-activated self-destruct mechanism? When this question was asked in private, all that one got was smiles and shaking heads! Then there’s the issue of exactly how realistic the target simulation process was. Here I’m afraid unless a solid-fuelled ballistic missile is employed as the target, everything else remains futile. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone, especially within the DRDO-led scientific/engineering community, to sustain a claim that even a basic TBM intercept capability has been established. It remains to be seen if the DRDO—whenever it is ready to conduct the maiden test-firing of the PDV—will make use of something like an Agni-1 as the targeted TBM.
Regarding successive DRDO pronouncements about the aims and achievements of its BMD-related R & D programme, I for one wouldn’t blame the DRDO at all, since it is for the Govt of India, and not DRDO HQ, to evolve credible and sustainable BMD-related employment/deployment policies and the consequent R & D goals. In the absence of all this, what one gets saddled with are mere technology demonstration projects minus any operational underpinnings (in terms of what are the clear-and-present threats that need neutralising), which to me is a waste of time & effort, & this is turn leading to the DRDO being maligned even more in the eyes of the public.
The same goes for evolving the nuclear weapons design & employment architectures, with credible n-warhead yields being only one component. What, for instance, will be the nuclear weapons crossover points and against which adversary? What are the adversary’s nuclear weapons crossover points? Only after deliberating upon such critical issues can one then proceed to the next stage, i.e. coming up with a balanced arsenal of warhead-types, their appropriate delivery means and their requisite deployment patterns/protocols. It is here at this most critical stage that the country’s armed forces need to come in and their inputs appreciated & absorbed. Regretably, this has NOT happened till this date since May 1974. Acquisition & possession of technologies/capabilities for fabricating n-warheads & their delivery means is side of the coin, the other side being a credible & deliberate demonstration to put such capabilities to good use with maximum strategic effect—a task in which the country’s successive decision-makers have repeatedly failed to either comprehend, or demonstrate. Consequently, folks like me wonder at all times if some day India is ever subjected to a nuclear first-strike and the time of reckoning dawns upon the country’s decision-makers to order a retaliatory strike, can these decision-makers be expected to possess the steely resolve & cold-bloodedness reqd for taking the right decisions, or would they look upon such decisions as being un-Gandhian or being totally contrary to the tenets of non-violence? Evidence on the ground thus far leads me to believe that the decision-makers will not decide until totally pushed to the wall (as was the case in mid-1999), or will just decide to forget the incident & demand no payback (as was the case with 26/11).

sbm said...

Just for the record, my sources do suggest a slightly different outcome per the BMD tests (not pre-detonation from the ground).

All we know at this stage, therefore, is that the target was launched, the interceptor was launched.

The interceptor came close to the target, there was an explosion and the target was destroyed.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: I have reasons to remain highly optimistic about the operational effectiveness of both the AD-1 & AD-2 interceptors not just against the conventional TBMs deployed around India, but also against the steadily proliferating types of NLOS-BSMs in India's neighbourhood. I also believe that one needs to devise some ingenious solutions (either hit-to-kill missiles or directed-energy weapons) ASAP to neutralise the growing threats posed by 300mm/120km-range MBRLs capable of delivering sensor-fused munitions.

sbm said...

Prasun I concur - it is when will we see the AD-1 and AD-2 ?

What are to the the engagement ceilings of the AD-1 and AD-2 ? And the slant range ?

Same for the PDV ?

My basic point is not so much what more needs to be done but to establish what has been done.

I would point out that I do not consider Israel's air launched targets sufficiently realistic to simulate IRBMs or MRBMs and believe Israel should try it on a Jericho.

I accept that there is a very long way to go but from all the available evidence - even accepting the "near misses" we can at worst conclude the following:

1) PAD has an ability against a liquid fuelled MRBM of 600-900km range to intercept it at a 75km-80km altitude with a proximty fused warhead with some reasonable chance of success.

2) AAD can do the same at an altitude of 16-30km.

The systems, within their limits have demonstrated some capability against missiles (and one would assume aircraf would be easier to intercept) at altitudes of 75km and 16km respectively.

What we must also acknowledge is that should these systems be deployed they would be inadequate to the task.

That is why I say that they are "proof of concept systems".

I put them overall in the category of Arrow-1/-2 without the upgrades to the guidance systems and warheads enabling hit to kill.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: The AD-1/2 will be visible only by 2016. As for engagement parameters for PDV & AD-1/2 I’ve already given them at:
Israel’s BMD capabilities would not be an appropriate yardstick with which to compare the DRDO’s efforts since Israel has benefitted from the US technological umbrella, a much sought-after luxury not available to India until recent times. As for the PAD, it has already been consigned to the dustbin (rightly) in favour of the more-capable (on paper, as of now) PDV. Liquid-fuelled MRBM threats of the type faced by India are not being counted as part of the ‘nuclear blackmail’ calculus, since such conventionally armed missiles are most likely to be employed as ‘terror’ weapons against populated areas like cities like Delhi & Mumbai. Therefore, in terms of priorities, the immediate task cut-out for the DRDO is to develop a two-tier BMD network comprising the PDV & AD-1 for these two cities only, for starters. That also explains the reqmt for rather limited-in-scope ground-based early warning systems like the Green Pine LRTR & Master-A MFCR, whose employment/deployment architectures aimed at combating liquid-fuelled MRBMs and solid-fuelled TBMs are ready as of now (this being the only undisputed success story of the DRDO’s BMD-related R & D efforts to date). The next major stage of R & D reqd for neutralising threats posed by solid-fuelled MRBMs against targetted Indian cities involves not only the PDV & AD-1/2, but the most crucial early warning element—the missile monitoring system comprising a constellation of four early warning satellites, and the resultant network-centric command & control/battle management elements of the terrestrial BMD network . It is in this area that US technological cooperation is being sought (and that’s also the principal reason why the Govt of India invested much effort in having entities like ISRO removed from the US State Dept’s embargo/sanctions list when it comes to seeking high-tech joint R & D ventures with US aerospace entities like Boeing, Lockheed Martin & Raytheon. Therefore, contrary to popular perception, neither India nor the DRDO have ever sought solutions like PAC-3 or THAAD. For getting access to high-tech terminal seekers and related sub-systems for the PDV & AD-1/2, the US is already reconciled to let Israel play the role of principal supplier/technology provider.

sbm said...

Appreciate everything you're saying. Completely.

My track is to say and I believe I am correct that PAD and AAD achieved some degree of interception against the specified target at the altitudes claimed.

I am not contradicting - indeed I agree - with the way forward.

Isn't it the case that no PAD test has taken place since 2009 ?

Again, my point is, against the target specified - though it is no longer part of the threat - the PAD and AAD achieved a degree of success.

That said, AAD is going to lead to the AD-1 and AD-2 and I have been advised that the 2011 test was a pretty good result (as was the PAD 2009 test) {they were not direct hits though}.

It does not deviate from the very valid point you are making that the PAD and AAD are not systems that can serve effectively against anything but the most basic SRBM and MRBM threats.

Would you not concur ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...


sbm said...

Right so can I summarize our to-and-fro as follows:

1) The PAD and AAD were proof of concept systems.

2) The definitive BMD system for India will comprise the PDV and the AD-1 and AD-2 systems.

3) That the said systems will not emerge in a viable form until 2016.

4) That PAD and AAD demonstrated an ability to intercept SRBMs and MRBMs at 75km and 16km ceilings respectively.

5) That whatever capability was demonstrated was insufficient to proceed further with the PAD because of inherent desing limitation.

Concur ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...


Anonymous said...

Hi PRASUN, the Spyder system currently in service with the IA & IAF are SR SAM though they are haveing a logistics base of a MRSAM. Will it not be better if there was 8 launchers per TEL or even 6 like the OSA-AKM , the system which Spyder replaces . Can the IA & IAF replace it 4 round SR TEL with the 8 round TEL like that of the Spyder MR? Also what about the tender of purchasing MR-SAM by the IAF, Has the IAF come to a decision regarding this? When will the 196 Light helicopter deal be signed by the IA? Is there any plans of replacing the Kh-29 & AS-30L with a longer ranging standoff air-ground missile ? If so will the guidance of this missile be laser guidance or IIR / mmR? Will the French standoff AASM be purchased in bulk by the IAF and are they to be used by only the Mirages or other ac like the Su, MiG-27 , Jaguar ?

Anonymous said...

Has the IA purchased the IMI APAM round for the T-72,T-90? What are the different 155mm &130 mm shells? Are these shells in license production in India? In most of the MBT like the M1A1/2/3 Abrams, Challenger 2, Leopard 2 the sides of the tank are protected by thick slabs of armor may they be composites or conventional steel. As a result these tanks are well protected from the sides. But on case of T-72 and T-90 there is only a thin sheet of metal above the tracks and on the sides. In the T-90 there are 3 metal plates of very low thickness in the front portion of the sides. Why aren't our tanks heavily protected like the rest on the sides with additional laminate armour . As a result they are very vulnerable on the sides. Is anthing been done to overcome this problem? Pls reply.