Total Pageviews

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

China’s HQ-9/HQ-16N LR-SAMs Profiled

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) late last September formally disclosed that the HQ-9 (export designation FD-2000) and HQ-16 new-generation long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) systems had been inducted into service by the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) and the PLA Navy (PLAN), respectively. Developed by the China Academy of Defence Technology (also known as CASIC’s 2nd Academy), the HQ-9 and HQ-16N have a range of 100km. The HQ-9’s cannisterised missiles are carried in groups of four on the back of wheeled TAS-5380 8 x 8 transport-erector-launcher (TEL). Target prosecution is handled by the HT-233 passive phased-array radar system, mounted on a wheeled 8 x 8 chassis. Firing trials of the HQ-9 were conducted at the Shuangchengzi SAM test range located in north-central China in 2008. The HQ-9’s and HQ-16N’s series-production is presently taking place at a facility located southwest of Beijing. A typical HQ-9 site includes a raised central berm for the HT-233 engagement radar, surrounded by four prepared pads upon which the LR-SAM’s TELs are deployed. A pad is located next to the HT-233’s berm for housing power-generators and command-and-control facilities. A circular path surrounds the main complex, containing the TEL pads and the engagement radar position. A second raised berm is situated outside this circular path to mount a JL-3D-90A early warning radar.
The HQ-9’s two-stage HQF-91 missile is ‘cold-launched’ vertically from a tubular launcher. The missile’s first stage has a diameter of 700mm while the second stage has a diameter of 560mm. The total launch mass is 2 tonnes, while the missile’s length is 9 metres. It is armed with a 180kg HE fragmentation warhead and has a maximum speed of Mach 4.2. Also operational on board the PLA Navy’s two Type 052C guided-missile destroyers (DDG 170 Lanzhou and DDG 171 Haikou, plus six more under construction) as part of the HQ-16N, the HQF-91 has a slant range of 125km and a service ceiling of 30km. The missile’s proximity fuze has an effective range of 35 metres, which goes active when the missile is 35 metres away from its target. A total of 48 HQF-91s are housed in and launched from eight 6-cell vertical launch systems (VLS) on board each of the two DDGs. The HQF-91’s guidance mechanism comprises initial inertial navigation, radio command mid-course correction, and active terminal guidance. When in range for an effective lock-on with the on-board X-band monopulse radar, the terminal guidance phase, lasting 20km, gets underway. The HQF-91 has been developed to specifically counter incoming intermediate-range /tactical ballistic missiles and supersonic anti-ship missiles, and is therefore not cost-effective if deployed to counter only manned combat aircraft. For naval target tracking and engagement, the Jiangsu Province-based Nanjing Research Institute of Electronic Technology (NRIET, but also more commonly known as the 14th Institute) has developed the shipborne Type 348 S-band multi-function passive phased-array radar with four distributed antenna arrays, each of which has a maximum range of 450km, a maximum resolution of 0.5 metres, and can  scan a 0-120-degree arc in azimuth and 0-90 degrees in elevation, with a peak power output on 1mWe.
To reduce the HQ-9’s vulnerability to anti-radiation precision-guided munitions, the China National Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp (CPMIEC) has developed an innovative solution, called FT-2000, which employs a passive homing-all-the-way variant of the HQF-91 LR-SAM, which operates in conjunction with a ground-based DWL-002 passive surveillance system (PSS), which has been developed by CETC International Co Ltd. The FT-2000 is launched from an 8 x 8 TEL carrying four missile tube launchers. The missile can home on the target autonomously at 1,200metres/second while sustaining a 14 G overload. The FT-2000 has a built-in inertial navigation system, so that whenever it has acquired a lock-on, it will continue towards the target even if the emitter is shut down, although the missile's accuracy would seriously degrade in this case. The DWL-002 uses four ground-based ESM sensor posts, each of which are mounted on 6 x 6 wheeled vehicles and can together track 50 airborne targets simultaneously. The ESM sensor posts are deployed at a distance 30km from each other and 80km ahead of a deployed HQ-9 Regiment, while the FT-2000’s missile launchers are deployed near the central ESM sensor station at a distance of 150 metres. The moment a hostile airborne standoff jammer is detected and localised in near-real time by the DWL-002, a single FT-2000 launcher (carrying four vertically-launched HQF-91 LR-SAMs equipped with a passive anti-radiation homing seeker) launches a missile, whose on-board seeker has already been locked-on to the jamming source prior to missile launch. This missile thus acts as a ‘homing all-the-way killer’ and dramatically increases the engagement footprint of a LR-SAM-based air defence network by a factor of 2.5, or 25,000 sq km. Consequently, when employed along with the FT-2000, the HQ-9’s kill probability shoots up to 98% especially if two HQF-91s are ripple-fired against an airborne target (that is, if it survives a direct hit from the FT-2000’s LR-SAMs).
Accompanying the land-mobile HQ-9 LR-SAM SAM batteries are the RWE-1 radio-frequency band active missile approach warning system (MAWS) and CETC-built TS-504 tactical digital troposcatter communications systems. The MAWS is used for protecting LR-SAM batteries from attack by high-speed anti-radiation missiles, and is employed to trigger emitter shutdown and activation of active emitting decoys. The MAWS has a detection range of 40km/21.6nm. DF capability is via amplitude comparison between channels, providing 10-degree DF accuracy, adequate for cueing decoys, or cueing point-defence weapons to acquire, track and engage the inbound missiles. The TS-504 tactical digital troposcatter communication system is deployed extensively to support LR-SAM batteries by providing digital connectivity to the integrated air defence network.
For point-defence of the HQ-9 battery, the Yi Tian wheeled self-propelled very short-range air defence system (VSHORADS) is employed. The system uses the WMZ-551 6 x 6 wheeled armoured fighting vehicle on which there is a mast mounted Type-120 rotating planar-array low-probability-of-intercept (LPI) radar. Against a helicopter or non-stealth attack aircraft the radar provides surveillance out to 18km, tracking at 12km, and engagement at 10km. Against an inbound cruise missile the surveillance range drops to 8km. with the missile firing at 6km from an oncoming target. The eight SAMs are carried by a 4 x 4 vehicle carrying two square quad box launchers each containing a FB-6A short-range missile, plus a fire-control system comprising a CCD day/night sight, thermal imaging sight, and a laser rangefinder. The FB-6A can intercept a target with a maximum speed of 400 metres/second (1,440kph) and the reaction time is given as 8 seconds. A Yi Tian air-defence battalion comprises a battalion headquarters and three self-supporting air defence companies.—Prasun K. Sengupta


Anonymous said...

MBDA has proposed arming the eurofighter (if selected by the IAF) with up to 6 Marte-ER anti-ship missiles to deal with threats like the HQ-9. Do you think this is a viable proposition or would the IAF/IN stick with the conservative heavy missiles (Exocet/Harpoon/KH-35).

They could also consider the versatile NSM missile from Norway's Kongsberg.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.11AM: Why would one require anti-ship missiles to deal with threats like the land-based HQ-9? Or do you mean the HQ-16N shipborne LR-SAM? And finally, why should an IAF M-MRCA engage in anti-ship strikes? Why not leave that to the Indian Navy to deal with, especially since it will have an expanded fleet of both MiG-29Ks & LCA (Navy) Mk2s plus several LRMR/ASW & MRMR/ASW aircraft just not on the aircraft carriers, but also on naval air bases along India's western & eastern seaboards? MBDA should instead be proposing all these weapons for the Navy's existing and future fleets of combat aircraft, shipborne helicopters & land-based LRMR/ASW & MRMR/ASW aircraft.

Anonymous said...


I used HQ-9 since that's what was referred to in the Aviation Week article. It's also the designation fo the SAM that a lot of sites refer to as being carried on their Type-052Cs.

About why the IAF is interested in it, I guess that's a question that should be left to them. I'd assume it would have do with maintaining a minimal capability in that domain.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Off topic,
What is ur opinionon the National e-Governance Plan by GOI at various levels of implementation? Do u think after it becomes fully operational,
all govt arms will function better and effeciently,effectively ? Will greatly reduce corruption in major Govt offices/agencies? Or are not all the agencies covered under this plan?

SherKhan said...

China is willing to share these types of new technology with Pakistan which will make people in the CAR more interested in Pak and India has a lot to loose besides a war!

Anonymous said...

Prasun any information regarding the IAC-2. Its said to be around 65K Ton. Is any firm selected as design consultant for this carrier. Has any work started (Study & Design) on it. Can the Cochin Shipyard accommodate the construction of such higher tonnage ship.

Anonymous said...

Is IA currently operating Spyder QRSAM ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.54AM: The naval variant of the HQ-9 is known as the HQ-16N. In fact, it was the HQ-16N that was first developed, and later it was made adaptable for land-based air defence. For the IAF it makes no sense at all to acquire such ASCMs since, for target detection at sea, the IAF will have to rely on the Navy's LRMR/ASW & MRMR/ASW aircraft, all of which would in any case also be armed with ASCMs. It is therefore logical that both the target detection and target engagement roles are both performed by a single platform owned by a single service, instead of trying to share the cake via complicated communications procedures. It makes no sense to maximise spending just to acquire minimal capabilities.

To Anon@11.51AM: If it is implemented across-the-board, it will tend to greatly reduce corruption.

To SherKhan: China wonlt share any such technologies, but will be more than ready to sell such hardware/capabilities for financial gain. However, countries like Pakistan have already decided to forego the procurement of LR-SAMs in favour of MR-SAMs.

To Anon@3.11PM: Right now only conceptual design work has been initiated on the IAC-2. Detailed designing won't begin before 2016.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.39PM: SpyDer-SRs have already arrived in-country fgor both the Army & IAF and are in the process of being fully operationalised.

Anonymous said...

Who's gonna assemble and produce LRSAM and MRSAM in India ?

Also according to you around 2000 Skyranger will be acquired by IA and IAF, who's gonna produce them in India ? Is it possible some private company might be selected for this ?

Can you post the picture of L&T built NAMICA ? Is it better than drdo built one ?

BEL-Rafael tie-up for seeker, when is it gonna be signed ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun I am Anon@3.11PM: Will it be feasible to go for a Queen Elizabeth (CVF)class carrier. There were some news reports in 2009 that India was offered the second carrier but India refused.
As IAC-2 planned size is similar to the CVF may be same or modified design can be adopted depending on IN requirements.Indian shipyards can produce some segments there by speeding up the construction process. Will this make a expensive
proposition ?

Anonymous said...

What did IA purchased in 2011 and which deals we can expect to get signed in 2012 ?

Which deal are IN gonna sign in 2012 and what did they signed in 2011 ?

I talked about trimaran designs for the future IN warships in your previous thread. Look at this video :
Also is the warship shown in the video is the P17a design ?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Is there any missile with India (say Barak-II 120km LR-SAM for IAF) which is comparable to or better than this Chinese missile.

Anonymous said...

Can you share with us about all the major radar acquisition plans by Indian armed forces ?

How many aerostat radars will be inducted by various services in indian armed forces ?

Shaurya said...

In your earlier post about IN you said that the personnel wid TAVOR in digital camo are not MARCOS. They applied for the MARCOS, but not succeded & now part of the naval infantry/SPB.

But I have seen some recent pics person wearing that distinct camo & MARINE COMMANDO badge attached with it. Does it mean the camo is for both MARCOS & SPB. Also about the camo, is it just imported for trail basis or its a standard issue now. Any light on this??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.28PM: NOVA Integrated Systems Pvt Ltd, the Hyderabad-based risk-sharing JV between TATA & Israel Aerospace Industries, will produce and supply ALL elements of the Barak-2/8 MR-SAM/LR-SAM system. It will be uneconomical to produce 100% of the Skyranger within India. However, critical items like the cannon barrels, armoured panels and hydraulic/electrical systems and turret stabilisation systems will be built 100% in India, most probably by TATA, which will also supply the heavy-duty motorised vehicles for the IAF version. The Army version of the Skyranger will be atop a BMP chassis. The DRDO did not build the NAMICA. It only designed and developed the NAMICA and passed on the engineering production drawings/data to L & T, which then fabricated the NAMICA. The BEL-RAFAEL JV is already in place and it is not about two things: production of flight navigation & terminal navigation avionics for the projected nuclear-capable ALCM; and for after-sales through-life product for the seekers of the Python-5 & Derby missiles of both the SpyDer SR-SAM as well as for those missiles in service with the Indian Navy’s Sea Harrier LUSH.

To Anon@7.23PM: Right now, the Indian navy has not yet decided the final design configuration of IAC-2 and this will be done sometime after 2014. There are two choices available: either stick to the IAC-1’s design parameters, or go for something slightly larger than INS Vikramaditya, i.e. something displacing less than 48,000 tonnes. It makes no sense for the Indian Navy to go for 65,000-tonne carrier designs since such carriers are tailor-made for operating as part of NATO-led multinational coalition fleets. The Indian Navy’s concept of waging expeditionary naval warfare is quite different from that practiced by NATO member-states. In addition, the type of carrier-borne aircraft also plays a big role in choosing & accepting a carrier design. Since the Indian navy has already gone for the MiG-29K and LCA (Navy) Mk2 in large numbers & in future is most likely to go for a navalised FGFA, it will be far better for the Naval Design Bureau to adopt an indigenous, customer-specific design for IAC-2.

To Anon@8.26PM: Your first two questions will be covered in a future write-up later this month. The Indian Navy won’t go for any trimarans, but catamarans. In the video the CADs are not of the Project 17A FFG, since design work on this FFG has only just begun.

To Mr.RA 13: It won’t be fair to compare the HQ-9/HQ-16N LR-SAM with the Barak-8 LR-SAM since the two LR-SAMs have totally different roles to play. The former is optimised for usage against lumbering B-52-type bombers & turboprop-powered LRMR/ASW aircraft, while the Barak-8 is meant to counter bombers like China’s H-6K, LRMR/ASW aircraft like the P-3C Orion and most importantly, supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles like the Kh-41 Zubr. The navalised Barak-2 MR-SAM on the other hand can neutralise both manned combat aircraft as well as subsonic cruise missiles.

To Anon@10.07PM: I will indeed share ALL this & MUCH MORE (including information posters) in the early hours of next Monday (before daybreak, IST) in a detailed write-up highlighting progress achieved thus far in Phase-1 of IACCCS. Before that I will post an update on the ‘Swathi’ WLR project, + photos.

To Shaurya: That’s right. Both SPB & MARCOS personnel wear digital camo outfits, and is standard issue now. Such outfits come from a distributor based in Hongkong SAR and yes, the OEM is indeed based in Mainland China. Who therefore can now deny that “Hindi-Chini” are “Bhai-Bhai” (LoLz!)

Anonymous said...

How good is the APS being developed by drdo and whats its progress ? (drdo is developing an APS, i read in many blogs and even on drdo newsletter)

Any naval aesa radar planned ?

New torpedoes project ? ( After india took that USSR era torpedo testing facility in central asia, i thought there must be some new projects lined up for testing over there )

Whats the progress of indegenous AIP system and how good is it and is someone helping us in this field ?

What the hell is going on with aesa and kaveri project ? Is anybody interested in completing them ?

I heard Brahmos hypersonic design was fixed last year, can you post the pic of how Brahmos 2 will look like ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Well, if the DRDO is developing an APS, then we all would have to wait until it is readied for testing and validation first before judging it to be good or bad, wouldn’t we? Naval AESA? What do think the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR to be? PESA? Dude, countries don’t go around ‘taking’ torpedo-testing facilities in other countries, like Kyrgyzstan. There are plenty of torpedo-testing facilities within India itself. That was not the reason why India struck the JV with Kyrgyzstan. The ‘indigenous’ AIP system too is under development and until it has been subjected to field trials AFTER being integrated with a submarine’s hull, no living soul will know whether it is good or bad. And there are no available spare submarines which can be ripped open to accept such an AIP module, and even if an already ripped open submarine like the INS Sindhukirti is available with Hindustan Shipyard Ltd in Vizag for a decade, no one in India knows how to reassemble this submarine and make it seaworthy once again. That’s also the reason why the submarine-launched BrahMos continues to be shown all over the world in only scale-model form since early 2001. AESA & Kaveri? You will know something definitive about them only in the following decade. BrahMos-2’s design was not fixed last year, its design has existed since the late 1980s. What’s happening now is that the dust accumulating from the Soviet era is now being wiped off the design so that prototype development can begin.

Anonymous said...

Its Anon@7:23 again. Thank u for your answers. Your answers raised a few more questions. When IN went for Vikramaditya between the choice of Su-33 & MIG-29K it choose MIG-29K as it has smaller cross-sectional area and therefore occupies lesser space.The more capable Su-33 would have occupied more space leading to fewer aircraft on the carrier.

If IN ultimately plans to induct the navalized FGFA then >48000 Ton IAC-2 won't be large enough to carry sufficient no of aircrafts. Its ofcourse given fact unlike the Modified Gorshkov the IAC-2 will be better optimised for space but the argument is still valid. Unless IN is planning to equip the IAC-2 with MIG-29K and Naval-LCA-MK2. As you rightly pointed out Carrier Borne aircraft will play a large part in choosing the design.

Am I right in saying that if FGFA equipped then IAC-2 of 65000 ton seems ideal or if MIG-29K & Naval LCA-mk2 equipped then >48000 ton IAC-2 is ideal

Anonymous said...

Has india played any part in the development of MFSTAR ? I meant is india planning to be build radar similar to MFSTAR or some upgraded version planned for india like we always do ?

If india has torpedo testing facility then why we test our in Russia ?

Why India formed JV with Kyrgyzstan for that facility ?

How is drdo planning to test indigenous AIP and Brahmos in future ?

Does hyper-sonic Brahmos looks the same ? If not then can you post the pic of this one or the name of the russian version ?

Can you post some literature on USSR era hypersonic studies ?

Shaurya said...

First of all thanks for the information.

Second, coming to the TAVORs, do u think its an ideal choice for navy! Read somewhere navy was in favor of a different gun, but actually was forced to buy this, just to have coomonality with army & thereby reducing cost! Secondly TAVORs used by both army & NAVY(from your pics) is different from the original isreali version, sports a longer barrel than normal one(although the sight in navy versn looks different from army version, navy version looks same as Isreali version). But recently a saw a pic in CRPF main website, where a group of COBRAs holding TAVORs with shorter barrel and original sight mounted on it, same as isrealis commandos' MICRO-TAVORs. Why this difference. Any light on this?!

Shaurya said...

Also does IA have any recent plan to switch to digital camo? Or still they are happy with whatever they have.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.25AM: While the INS Vikramaditya will have only MiG-29Ks, Ka-28PLs & Ka-31s on board, the INS Vikrant (IAC-1) will have MiG-29Ks, LCA (Navy) Mk2s, Ka-31s and probably the S-70B Seahawks. For the IAC-2, it is planned to have the FGFAs & LCA (Navy) Mk2s as fixed-wing assets. Even if this vessel has the same displacement as that of INS Vikramaditya, its flight deck and hangar will easily be able to accommodate up to 12 FGFAs and 12 LCA (Navy) Mk2s. Therefore, the Navy is not too anxious to go for a 65,000-tonne IAC-2.

To Anon@12.39PM: No. All R & D related to MF-STAR was done by IAI/Elta Systems. Within India, there are no plans to re-invent the wheel by trying to build something similar to the MF-STAR. Who said India is testing its indigenous torpedo designs in either Russia or anywhere else outside India? Unlerss there’s an available submarine whose pressure hull can be ripped apart & reassemble again, there’s on hope/chance of either the DRDO’s AIP or the BrahMos being installed on any submarine. Of course the hypersonic BrahMos-2 making use of scramjet will look totally different.

To Shaurya: Of course it is an ideal choice. If it wasn’t, then by now alternatives would have been procured. There are various versions that make up the TAVOR family of assault rifles & SMGs, and it is up to the Navy or any other end-user to pick up the optimum variants. IA has been experimenting with pixelated camo since the 1990s, especially on its MBTs and ICVs. Procurement of pixelated camo field clothing & camo nets is well underway.

Shree said...

It seems all the information you have given is just data...
What we want to know is how reliable and accurate are their radars,target acquisition mechanism etc are....did they conduct any live exercises and can anyone know what their successful hit rate is

Shree said...

In terms technology related to SAM are they completely self-sufficient??? Or does china import any subsystems from anyone??

Also are there any AESA radars operational in china??
are they developing them?

Shree said...

According to Russia HQ-9 is a clone of S-300PM2(acquired by India too) terms of tech which one is more reliable and mature??

what is Indian S-300 range?????????

How many Launchers and missiles of S-300 does India have ... and are they on par with HQ-9??

Anonymous said...

What aesa programs are going on in india ?

What is the progress of various version of LRCM (air launched, submarine launched or IA version) ? When can we expect the first flight ?

Is Pinaka 2 ready ? When can we expect the trials ?

Shaurya is a hypersonic quasi ballistic missile, is there some other similar missile with longer range planned ?

I heard Brahmos 2 will be lighter and smaller than Brahmos 1, is it true ?

Is FICV project put on hold or something ? The decision of finalist was to be made by the end of 2010 but 2012 has started and i haven't heard anything yet.

An-32 said...

We will be getting a lot of TOT from MMRCA and Project 75I....what I am eager to know is how efficient are our DPSUs and Private companies in absorbing all that Tech???

We can all agree that DRDO and its associates achievements are few .... so is there any substantive organizational changes (Such as Armed Forces personnel at the Helm ) being made?....
I think this is very important as we dont want drain of TOT like Type 209 Subs and Bofors guns and T-72 tanks .....

Maybe you could write a article on changes needed in DPSUs :)

Anonymous said...

And is there any TOT to IN from the MFSTAR AESA ? Will any sub systems be produced in India or will entire radar come fully built ?
What is its Range and are IA and IAF interested in land based variants if available ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shree: Reliability and accuracy figures are always theoretical in nature, and even actual firing trials are always conducted against UAVs that in any case aren’t equipped with airborne jammers. Be it the HQ-9 or Akash or S-400, in-country trials and evaluations are always conducted under controlled conditions and therefore the real proof always comes out only during actual combat. For instance, all firing trials of the Barak-1 conducted by the Indian navy thus far have been against target drones, and not against any inbound cruise missile, be it the P-18/Termit or the Sea Eagle, the 3M54E/3M14E or the Kh-35 Uran-E. If this is indeed the case, then how sure can one be that in wartime the Barak-1 will be able to neutralise inbound C-802As or Harpoons or SM-39s? The same goes for the Vulcan Phalanx or Kashtan-M. To date, all that the Vulcan Phalanx has done is engage Otomat Mk2 missiles that are used as surrogate targets by the US Navy and EVERYTIME the inbound Otomats were never destroyed!
China began importing S-300PMU/S-300PMU1/S-300PMI2 from the former USSR in 1989, as well as the Shtil-1. But it has since re-engineered the Shtil-1 into the LY-80E, while the S-300PMU’s missiles have been re-engineered into HQ-9/HQ-16N. No one in India has acquired any member of the S-300 LR-SAM family. Of course several R & D programmes are now underway in China for developing a family of AESA radars. But presently, all radars associated with the HQ-9/HQ-16N & LY-80E & KS-1A SAM systems are PESA-types.

To Anon@12.27AM: The only AESA programme that has seen the light of day in India is the S-band LSTAR radar for the AEW & CS project.

Anonymous said...

Can V-22 be configured into AEW&C

Anonymous said...


Which UCAV will be our future...JV with which country is better?

Anonymous said...

Hi.......what news of the various procurements pending........all gone quiet.........

PC-7 Trainers; 2nd batch of C-130's; 2nd batch AE-50 AWACS; additional Spyders; Javelins; LW Howziters M777's............

AKA and gang gone to sleep or to busy with VKS age episode......

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun

Good day. In the latest edition of Tempur, you mentioned that Malaysia will gradually receive 2 Ground Master radars from ThalesRaytheonSys. Is it really 2? Only 1 radar was procured for Kuching SOC, there has been no such news for a follow-up order. Can you verify about this? Thank you.

Mike, MY

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mike, MY: The second Ground Master was ordered sometime in 2010 for airspace surveillance in southern Sabah.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.38AM: Of course it can.

F said...


What is the rationale for placing a radar in Kuching - to provide coverage over the South China Sea? And why is the 2nd Ground Master going to southern Sabah when it would be more useful providing coverage further north, over the Sulu Sea or the Celebes Sea, near Ambalat? As Alenia has previously received orders for radars I was surprised that Thales Raytheon got the order for 2 radars.

Unknown said...


You have already stated that the new DigiCam is the standard camo for both MARCOs and SPB now but as both are now issued with the Tavor and MARCOs very rarely wear any insignia in ops how are we to tell the difference between MARCOs and SPB? Also do you have any idea when the 9mm Sten carbine is going to be replaced amongst IN VBSS teams? It is just pathetic and impractical for these guys still to be using these ancient weapons, and what would they most likely be replaced by?

Also any updates on the RFI by IN for sniper rifles for their airborne crew chiefs/gunners operating in Anti piracy ops? (note- not for MARCOs)

And any insights into the training of MARCOs/SPB, much is reported about SEAL (even PARA SF) training but very little s known of MARCOs training (it would also be interesting how SPB are trained and by whom).

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: Radars like the Ground Master are employed for both airspace surveillance as well as ground-controlled intercept/battle management. Consequently, the radar at Kuching is for peacetime deployment and can be forward-deployed to Labuan if reqd. The Ground Master is for covering the southeastern portion of Sabah inclusive of the Ambalat area. There is still an outstanding reqmt for a third Ground Master, this too for Sabah during emergencies, but is to be located at Bintulu in peacetime. All the Martellos, RAT-31SL & RAT-31DL are now in permanent locations in Peninsular Malaysia, along with the two TRML-3D gapfiller radars. Four more radars of this type are reqd for Sabah & Sarawak.

To Unknown: No one wears any insignia during actual operations. New Tavor-based SMGs for regular naval ratings are already under induction. The sniper rifles will are of US origin. Training of SPB is done at Lake Chilka. MARCOS elements train all over the country in varied terrain. All training for MARCOS & SPB is conducted in-house. No foreign specialists are reqd.

buddha said...

is there anychance india buying Russia's Sukhoi Su-35A-3 fighter
if not will super su30MKI be better than that

sbm said...

Given all the shortcoming and problems faced, how come the Indian armed forces perform creditably whenever needed ?

F said...


The TRML-3Dsare used by GAPU for target alerting, for the Jernas and various MANPADS, not as gap fillers. Another requirement that will emerge soon is a replacement for the Hughes HADR, based at Butterworth as part of MADGE.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Buddha: Where's the need for a Su-35 when the Super Su-30MKI & FGFA projects have already been confirmed?

To FARIS: Gapfiller radars are used by GAPU for target-alerting for Jernas SHORADS & Starburst/Igla/Anza Mk1/FN-6 MANPADS. In fact, these radars are co-deployed with the larger airspace surveillance radars since the latter has a surveillance void from the ground-level up to 500 metres. The HADR was replaced long ago (by 2004) by the RAT-31DL at Butterworth. The RAT-31SL is in Senai, Johor.

To SBM: India’s armed forces do and have performed creditably whenever the need arose and that too against all odds. Remember the then COAS Gen V K Malik’s famous statement in mid-1999 during OP Vijay, when he said that “we will fight with whatever we have” Also, post-Tsunami in December 2004, the Indian Navy rose up to the humanitarian relief challenges in record time, thanks to the coordinated pro-active approaches taken at that time by both the then NSA J N Dixit & CNS Admiral Arun Prakash. All this apart, the prevailing problems persist due to institutional paralysis & total lack of strategic visioning displayed by the executive branches of the Govt of India since 2001. It is due to this that at the operational level, India’s armed forces are fully geared-up for waging third-generation warfare, while Pakistan has since the late 1990s excelled in waging fourth-generation warfare, while Mainland China is perfecting its fifth-generation war-waging skills & expertise (I will dwell upon all this in greater length in a separate narrative in the near future). How else does one explain the totally foolish recent statement by Naresh Chandra, Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, who is also heading a taskforce on reviewing the country's security architecture, in which is has reportedly claimed that “challenges rising from Pakistan would remain the most serious security test for India over the next decade”. In the meantime, will upload the IACCCS narrative & related visuals/charts later tonight—this being something ‘positive’ that you may perhaps relish. Cheers!

sbm said...

Let me be the one to ask the inevitable dumb question (I know the answer but humour me please):

Does this mean China and Pakistan can easily defeat India and occupy all India's disputed territory destroying all India's armed forces because we are two generations behind ?

Shaurya said...

Although yet to see any SPB badge with d digicamo are defintly some photos @ internet where the badge attached to the uniform clearly shows "marine commanfo" written on it. u cn google it.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: No, it doesn't mean that at all. Rather, it is all about degrading India's national (i.e.political) will to pre-empt or retaliate in kind to the adversary's machinations. For instance, Pakistan's concept of fourth-generation warfare calls for using irregulars of the type employed in 1999 (like the then paramilitary NLI & Mujahideen) to wage positional warfare in a limited area with limited objectives, with the Pakistan Army waiting in the sidelines and not committing itself to full-scale frontal warfare. Consequently, India's regular armed forces were forced (politically) to respond with full military might against the irregulars, were severely constrained in operational terms as they were not told to cross the LoC, and consequently incurred high losses. China's fifth-generation warfare guidelines call for winning the war even before the battles have commenced. We're now seeing this unfold in the South China Sea against the ASEAN grouping. In other words, before undertaking any policy initiative, the first question a neighbouring ASEAN member-country is always compelled to ask itself is: what will China think about it and what will Beijing's response be. Something similar to what the MEA & PMO most of the time ask everytime border transgressions along the LAC take place. In conclusion, in an era in which even countries like China are engaging in force modernisations to just cater to futuristic high-intensity 'limited border wars', India remains fixated on the prospect of waging all-out war and that too along two fronts. From doctrinal and operational standpoints, therefore, urgent course corrections are reqd.

sbm said...

In other words in a real sense 4th and 5th gen warfare involves winning the war of the mind without firing a shot.

The nation is not threatened or its forces degraded but its strategic space compressed and constrained.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: Precisely. It means taking well-calculated risks, calling off the enemy's bluff and having enough psychological resilience and self-esteem so as not to be the one's that blinks first.

abs said...

Hey prasunda here is an article that in a way bears out your assertions (atleast hints to them) as to how INDIA and France are going to use this deal for a tighter 'strategic' relationship involving even high profile SSGNs. The first para however throws up something interesting where it says "Paris will now be looking to enter into a new era of relationship with New Delhi encompassing intelligence sharing, nuclear enrichment and reprocessing and even joint production of sub-theatre range missiles." do you know anything about what and how these sub theatre missiles could be???? thanks

abs said...

^^ oops i forgot to paste the link.... here it is