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Monday, January 23, 2012

Full Dress Rehearsal For RDP-2012

All photos courtesy of PIB, Govt of India & DPR, MoD


sachin_sathe said...


Does that the pic of prahar launcher show the final production version? Does that mean it is being readied to take-over TBM role from Prithvi 1 &2? At what lvl wil this unit work corps. or division?

what is the IA take on this project as it was an internal project of DRDO?

Anonymous said...

Can INDIA do this in south chini sea?

KSK said...

Britain’s Taranis UCAV, Russia’s MiG SKAT which one will be operational at the earliest??

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

Will US offer Boeing’s X-45 Phantom Ray, and the US Navy’s X-47 UCAS-D to India?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Excellent photos. BTW why Arjun/T-90 are not there.

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear that Trichy rifle will be produced in large numbers ..are any prototypes present..have any tests been conducted...I heard that it is a reverse engineered variant of a german gun is it true?...
What are the chances of army selecting this gun??

Anonymous said...

Does India have papers like US does ????

Anonymous said...

Excellent article to read ..

Will the location of IACCCS be underground in hardened bunkers??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SACHIN SATHE: Yes, that’s the final engineered design of the Prahaar’s TEL. The Prahaar, once inducted in service before 2015 (following three more test-firings in future), will indeed replace the Prithvi-1s (Prithvi-2 was never inducted into service) in far larger numbers, since the Indian Army has a stated need for such PGMs to counter the steady proliferation of similar PGMs by both Pakistan & China. Up to 1,500 rounds of the Prahaar are expected to be procured. As the Prahaar will be deployed as part of India’s three existing & one more planned artillery division, they, along with the BrahMos-2/3, Smerch-M & Pinaka will all be Divisional assets and will be used for delivering massed fire-assaults in support of the eight planned Division-sized integrated battle groups that will be used for commencing offensive operations inside Pakistani territory, all as part of the Indian Army’s pro-active strategy. The Prahaar & BrahMos-3 NLOS-BSM will also be deployed in large numbers in both J & K (against both China & Pakistan) and Sikkim, something which wasn’t possible earlier with the Prithvi-1 due to obvious logistics-related complications. In addition, the OFB and IMI are now co-developing a family of sensor-fuzed anti-armour top-attack munitions for both the ‘indigenised’ rockets fired from Smerch-M MBRLs and Pinaka MBRL. Also, some of the technologies of the imaging infra-red terminal seeker now being co-developed by the DRDO for the AD-1/AD-2 BMD interceptor missile and Israel’s RAFAEL will also end up on the Prahaar.

To Anon@10.44PM: India can, but won’t (and should not) do this because the offshore oil/gas exploration activities of ONGC Videsh are being conducted inside Vietnam’s EEZ anf therefore it is up to Vietnam to provide offshore security.

To KSK: AS I had stated earlier in an earlier thread, both France and Sweden are best-suited for entering into strategic industrial partnerships with India for developing such UCAVs. There could thus well be significant degrees of convergence between the NEURON & AURA projects. But before that, the Rustom-2’s R & D ought to be accelerated so that it could emerge as a MALE-UCAV when armed with PGMs like AASM or Sudarshan LGB.

To Mr.RA 13. Very good question. Maybe they’ve already been showcased far too many times (with conflicting names like BHISHMA or BHEESHMA). Love the Agni-4’s Volvo tractor-trailer.

To Anon@11.30PM: The Trichy SLR, if fully developed within the prevailing time-constraints, has a glorious future with India’s Special Armed Police Forces, the Navy’s Sagar Prahari Bal, the ICGS, and various Marine Police agencies, all of which will collectively order them by the millions. Therefore, let’s not worry about any prospective orders from the Army.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.49PM: Underground hardened bunkers, of course.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.45PM: They do exist and are produced by various think-tanks, both private and govt-owned. But there's no such document for public consumption emanating from the MoD, which clearly identifies the threat perceptions and the consequent national defence strategy.

Anonymous said...

Mr Prasun,
As usual you have been excellent with your posts, info and depth in the mater…which normally lacks in the desi defense journalism. I Really love to read your response for the questions.
I do have a question. In one of the replies, you have responded with the following.
“The T-90AM MBts are earmarked for procurement and the numbers are still being finalized”.
T90AMs may be good compared to the earlier versions but, Why do we still have to import or license produce more of these T90AM’s, when we have Arjun MK-1 being good and MK-II is on the way. If at all we need more we can have our own more arjuns then bankrolling Natasha companies.

Yawn said...

Prasun @ 11.52pm,

About UCAVs, do you think that technology for the Neuron would be a reasonable quid pro quo for buying the Rafale?

It's the last week of January and supposedly the final (of many such) laps of the MMRCA competition-why do you think the announcement is being delayed or is it just that the media and various interests have spread rumours early on? Can we expect something this week. I remember that the shortlist was declared on a tuesday in April 2011!!

Anonymous said...

It is reported here that Rafales Domacles Pod is experiencing problems is it true...if we select Rafale can they be mated with Litening 3 or Sniper Pod ..
Which pod does Typhoon have??

and which is the best T Pod available ????

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12.28am,

The Damocles is just a system which may be purchased with the Rafale. The French were reportedly considering buying the Sniper pod though the Damocles is being upgraded, so there is no reason why India would be compelled to buy it.

The Typhoons of the Royal Air Force use the Litening while the Saudi variants use the Damocles.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12.28am,

The Damocles is just a system which may be purchased with the Rafale. The French were reportedly considering buying the Sniper pod though the Damocles is being upgraded, so there is no reason why India would be compelled to buy it.

The Typhoons of the Royal Air Force use the Litening while the Saudi variants use the Damocles.

Shaurya said...

Excellent pics. Regarding Agni 4 is it the final version of the missile, is it not gonna be cannisterised like Agni 5?!
And for Vovlo trucks, till now we use them only to carry Agni 3 & Agni 4? They are ordered any sizeablr numbers(like Tatra) & possibly in future could replace some tatras or they are just for trial purposes.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.15AM: VMT. There are very good reasons to believe that the Arjun MBT continues to make great progress in its continuing evolution as the country’s private-sector companies and SMEs are also upgrading their innovative design/engineering/manufacturing skills in certain core areas like suspensions, metallurgy, ballistics and simulation solutions. Consequently, it is imperative that this momentum be maintained and further nurtured by the MoD announcing firm commitments about a PROJECTED fleet of Arjun MBTs, comprising the present-day Arjun Mk1 (124 in delivery) the modified Arjun Mk1A (124 on order), and at least another 600 Arjun Mk2s with the Cummins India-built 1,500hp engine. Concurrently, the MoD should also formalise plans for a projected fleet of no less than 600 FMBTs, comprising the Arjun Mk3 armed with smoothbore 120mm cannons (instead of the utopian 50-tonne FMBT powered by a 1,800hp powerpack, avtive suspensions and what not!!!). Only if such a long-term industrial roadmap/force modernisation plan is agreed upon will the country’s R & D institutions and military-industrial entities be able to deliver as guaranteed. But regrettably, this cannot happen because defence planning & expenditures all have five-year tenures, and there’s no equivalent from the MoD or MoF for the three armed forces’ long-term perspective plans. Unless this jinx is done away with, unless defence-related planning/spending process periods are modified to at least a 15-year span (fixed for 10 years, and the last five years being of a rolling nature), and unless the country’s apex Planning Commission’s goals are radically altered, India’s R & D institutions and military-industrial entities will never be able to deliver, despite the best intentions. Consequently, the end-user—the Army—has no other choice but to resort to ‘AD HOC’ procurements from abroad (like the T-90 MBTs in different versions and successive tranches) in order to maintain the reqd force-levels.
Drawing up the architecture of India’s projected fleet of MBTs is also incumbent upon certain finite and conclusive conclusions needed to be drawn about how exactly will the Indian Army fight its future wars (especially armour versus armour) and against whom.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

(continued from above)
Therefore, it is not just about MBT fleets, but also fielding support elements like at least 80 armed LOHs and 180 LAHs (apologies for harping on this issue concerning the Army Aviation Corps), tank destroyers accompanying the armoured and mechanised infantry formations (like the 1,000+ T-72M1s which can be easily converted to something like the BMP-T, but armed with either Kornet-E or Nag ATGMs and also with raisable optronic sensors), several hundred T-72Ms with FWMPs, and field artillery howitzers and MBRLs capable of delivering sensor-fuzed anti-armour munitions. In most of these cases (barring the LOHs and field howitzers), indigenous solutions can easily be fielded by 2015 (like the LAH, if the MoD brushes aside the IAF’s discredited opposition, the T-72M1s, which can easily be modified into tank destroyers by contracting L & T to develop a customised turret housing both ATGMs & imported optronic thermal imaging sensors, and sensor-fuzed anti-armour munitions for which work is already at an advanced stage within India). That’s the kind of warfighting transformation that should be discussed, deliberated upon and articulated. But right now, what’s happening is that the Army is just trying to reduce its logistics tails and claiming that war-mobilisation period for the projected eight Division-sized integrated battle groups will be severely reduced. What is not being revealed the targetted mobilisation period can be brought down to 72 hours ONLY if these battle groups are home-based close to the India-Pakistan border, and for this to happen new cantonments with related personnel accommodation facilities, logistics bases, ammo storage shelters and equipment storage areas will have to be built. And all this cannot be built in two years or even five years. They will be available at best only by 2020, PROVIDED the MoD agrees to all these proposals coming from Army HQ. Right now, there’s nothing to indicate that the MoD is even seized of this matter.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To YAWN: There’s a lot on the platter being offered by France, including the technological spinoffs from the Barracuda SSGN programme, joint development of the Kaveri turbofan for the Tejas Mk2/LCA (Navy) Mk2, and the Neuron UCAV. As for expecting some announcements this week, all I can say is ‘Inshaallah’.

To Anon@12.28AM: What’s the nature of the problem? In any case both the Rafale & EF-2000 have a plug-n-play open architecture avionics suite, meaning if the IAF wants, it can integrate any other type of LDP with the nav-attack system of the concerned aircraft.

To Shaurya: The cannisters for both the Agni-4 and Agni-5 are still under development, as are their final configuration TELs. AS for the trucks, one ought to prefer the right-hand-drive Made-in-India Volvos anyday over the left-hand-drive TATRAs, don’t you think?

Shaurya said...

Yes, its pathetic to see that PSU people not even bother to develop left hand drive version even after so many years of manufacturing them. Forget about R&D, almost all the right hand driven vehicle are modified(although sportscar, but i guess even those trucks can be modified too without too much trouble) in dubai before coming to Indian black market, so why cant our PSUs atleast financially they are in a better position. Equally surprisin is that army didnt even complain too much about it, atleast so called 'journos' never reported too much about it. Thats why I asked by any chance in near future can we see those TATRAs r being replaced with made-in-india volvos!
And thanx for your rply as alwyz. :)

Shaurya said...

Apology. I have misplaced left and right hand. :D

Anonymous said...

OMG are those war-fighting rockets or Faber-castle crayons!!Our enemies must be so scared to see them!!...

But great to see Prahar in its military configuration..It looks formidable..

Sir, what happened to the FICV project? Has any design been finalized? Are private firms still working on it or DRDO would do it? Are they going to be on the lines of Ruski BMPs (like Abhay) or American ones?

Unknown said...


It is Jan 24th and still no news of MMRCA winner, despite numerous reports it would be this day the winner was announced. When do you expect we will hear the winner's name?

No doubt you will do an in-depth piece on the winner and offsets?

Anonymous said...

Why is t72 modernization program stopped ? What is upgrade 2 ? How MBTs come under that program ?

Is it possible that IA will select the whole soldier modernisation suite rather than selecting individual equipments like from France (FĂ©lin) or Italy (Soldato Futuro) or Israel or wait for drdo's FINSAS ? Finmeccanica is offering their system and so is Thales for Indian FINSAS...

Also i was looking at Italian Soldato Futuro system (italian version of Future Soldier) and Beretta's ARX-160 was equipped with a key pad. What is that keypad for ?

Are our paras equipped with MAVs like skylark or RQ-11 Raven or honeywell's t-hawk (trial was ocnducted by IA) ?

Shaurya said...

Little bit off topic question. There is no recent development in light tank acuistion programme( only issue of RFI), right?
Dont you think those t-54/55s gonna be good enough if we upgrade them(similar to JAGUAR prototype) & use them on mountaineous region. Even not permanently atleast as a stopgap measure, untill newer acquistion is made. Is it not worth of the money?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.05AM: They aren’t Faber-Castle crayons, but sugar-coated lollypops! And how can the FISV’s design be finalised so fast, even when the winning prime contractor has not yet been chosen? The scope of work is such for the FICV that more time and effort will be spent on the vehicle’s vectronics, and less on the structural aspects of the vehicle (like the hull, turret, armament & powerpack). All this takes a lot of time, since the FICV’s vectronics suite will have to be synchronised with other network-centric components like the futuristic tactical radio net, battlespace surveillance system, battlespace management system, and F-INSAS. Only after this will it be possible to adopt the optimum self-protection suites like integral armour & optional add-on armour, and a suitable armaments suite, including the main gun (35mm or 40mm) and new-generation anti-armour guided-missiles. The DRDO’s ‘Abhay’ FICV technology demonstrator was a total waste of time and money. The time and money would have been much better spent had the DRDO concentrated on concerting the existing T-72M1s into tank destroyers like the BMP-T ‘Terminator’, which the Army is in favour of. I don’t think the tracked FICV will be like the BMP-2/3; rather it will be something like the new-generation FICVs coming out of Germany & the UK.

To Unknown: What’s the rush? Both you and LIVEFIST seem to be characterized by growing impatience. It’s already a festive mood in the Capital, plus the low temperatures have resulted in several near-frozen balls & testicles. So just sit back and relax, sip your cappuchinos and enjoy the Shiv Aroor-anchored exposes on the UID (what a fuck-up!!!)!

To Anon@8.37PM: The Project Rhino Batch 2/T-72M1 modernisation has been rightfully stopped since there’s a serious evaluation underway in Army HQ about the need to undertake such deep upgrades for MBTs whose half-lives have already been completed. Instead, as I have explained above, a more viable option now being favoured is to convert these T-72s into BMP-T tank destroyers. The days of all-out war are long over and the need of the hour is to have potent & highly manoeuvrable firepower availability for high-intensity limited wars that will last for less than 10 days. For the F-INSAS, individual modules are likely to be imported.

To Shaurya: The T-55s can be modified or upgraded radically only if there are engineering designs of this tank available in-country. The fact is, since the T-54s and T-55s were all imported off-the-shelf, their engineering design data is not available, unlike those for the T-72M1. Therefore, those T-55s nearing the end of their total technical service lives have to be decommissioned. Light tanks as such won’t be able to survive in any future battlefield around India’s periphery, since the PLA and its Pakistani counterpart have already begun fielding MBRLs and long-range mortars capable of firing sensor-fuzed anti-armour top-attack munitions. Therefore, what one needs is a large number of tank destroyers like the BMP-T, which have adequate armour protection and yet, have 1,000hp powerpacks in order to wage manoeuvre warfare over high-altitude flat terrain like the locational deserts of Aksai Chin. By now I would have expected the DRDO to have come up with a suitable solution by modifying the Indian Army’s existing T-72M1 into a lethal tank destroyer like the BMP-T. Most of ther R & D work can easily be done in-country & a full-scale prototype can emerge within 36 months.

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun da

from what i can gather what you said about Project Rhino upgrade is correct and we may get to hear something inthe next few weeks possibly.

By the way going by the trend i think Prahaar 2 with possible 200+ km range and heavier payload is on the cards commensurate to Prahaar acceptance by IA and IAF.

Whats your say


Joydeep Ghosh

abs said...

dont you think with INDIA's increasing global profile and strategic areas of interests along with a PLAAF having 3 times as large a number of aircrafts as the IAF. we should go for accretions in out fleet of combat aircrafts. i think the current number of aircrafts is grossly inadequate to fight a two front war successfully, the numbers should be in excess of 1500. what do you think?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Joydeep Ghosh: NLOS-BSMs are best employed for up to 300km. However, in the Indian Army's case, the engagement depth of the battlefield is dictated by the availability or un-availability of battlefield surveillance sensors. Thus, the Army, which now has only Heron-1 and Searcher Mk2 UAVs, is quite happy to have the Prahaar with 150km range and BrahMos Block 3 with 550km-range, while the IAF is more inclined towards the Shaurya instead of the Prahaar, since the IAF will possess long-range surveillance assets in future like the airborne RISTA platforms. The Indian Navy too is interested in the 150km-range Prahaar for precision land-attacks launched from the high seas.

To ABS: Actually, the majority of China's combat aircraft assets from both its air force and Navy are deployed against Taiwan, and there are few assets that are trained to operate throughout the Tibetan plateau. The IAF therefore enjoys tactical superiority at the theatre-level against China. China knows this very well and will therefore prefer to use assets like NLOS-BSMs, long-range MBRLs and land-attack cruise missiles against India.

Bhaswar said...

Just one question, in your previous article "Here Comes The ‘Prahaar’…At Last" ( dated July third 2011 hadn't you stated that the Prahaar's TEL would only carry three missiles? Indeed you had defended your claim in quite an obdurate manner.
Although you are right about the PLAAF units having had little experience in operating over the Indo-Tibet region in the past, that has changed in the last 5 years. There has been a change in the outlook towards Taiwan with cross-strait relations swinging even further in the PRC's favor, the ROCAF is in a deep quandary as its fleet levels deplete, they are yet to receive a single F-16 Block-52 which they have repeatedly asked for, although there will be some good cheer among them regarding the 2011 September 21st announcement regarding the US's agreement to a 5 billion dollar deal to upgrade their f-16 fleet and the successful tests of their F-CK-1 C/D Hsiang Sheng (their IDF upgrade plan). The only reason the PRC even considers them a matter of concern is because of the Mirage-2000-5EI/DI and 145 F-16s that are in operation with the ROCAF along with their recently upgraded E-2C Hawkeye 2000 AEW and their PAC-2 batteries with the GEM missiles along with the PAC-3 batteries. But such numbers are not nearly enough to deter the PRC, which continues to maintain the status quo out of sheer cold pragmatism rather than any perceived threat from the ROC. One must remember that the fact that the F-16 block 20 was operational with the ROCAF in the late 90s was a severe headache for the PLAAF which was yet to emerge as the behemoth it is today, that alone was the reason for their fixation with massive deployment of air assets against Taiwan and the resultant neglect with respect to India. This was coupled with the fact that the region of the PRC that borders India denied them the luxury of setting up effective jump points for massed armored (heavy) and mechanized infantry divisions in the past, which serve as the spear of any army, thus creating a severe problem with regard to initiating any real war against India where the PLA'a massive numbers could be brought to play. Such a scenario relegated the positioning of substantial air assets against India firmly into the category of unnecessary not to mention the fact that back then India itself lacked the ability to conduct any significant and deep air operations against the PRC (not so today with the MKI flying high, Chinese SAMs and air defense notwithstanding) . But the shifting US policy in the Pacrim and South China sea and various speculative holds on defense sales to Taiwan (due to pressures from the ever-growing PRC) have changed said scenario. With the emergence of the PLAAF as a major player towards the middle of the 2000s (indeed an extremely rapid rise) their attention shifted towards us in conjunction with the fact (which you rightly pointed out and explained) that they reached the conclusion that positioning a large no. of NLOS-BSM was their best option for increasing the amount of firepower which they could throw at us. Even today it would require an epic amount of effort to launch a proper large scale war across the Himalayas (although the PLA has been gaming VERY hard in the snow in the recent years) but their ability to inflict severe damage to our infrastructure in that region of our country has reached an all time high. It is a worrisome development indeed.