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Saturday, February 11, 2012

How China Will Fight Future Border Wars

Should a limited but high-intensity border conflict break out between China and India over the next five years, how exactly will the battles be fought? And where? The most likely answers to these two questions came from none other than Beijing’s People’s Daily Online, which on November 15 last year, while commenting on the Indian Army’s China-centric future force modernisation-cum-expansion plans due for implementation in the 12th Defence Plan, stated: “In an era when precision-guided weapons are developing rapidly, everyone with common sense knows that concentrated troops could be eliminated easily”. Translated for the layman, it means that A) the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will realise its tactical objectives on the ground by resorting to massed fire-assaults delivered by a numerically superior deployed force comprising tactical non-line-of-sight battlefield support missiles (NLOS-BSM) and long-range multi-barrel rocket launchers (MBRL) capable of firing rockets equipped with sensor-fuzed munitions (SGM), and B) such rocket artillery-based weapons would be employed in tactical areas that are ideally suited for deployment of such weapons, i.e. the flat, locational deserts around eastern Ladakh and the foothills opposite Uttarakhand State. And it is exactly in these areas that, for the second year in a row, the PLA Army and the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) last year conducted Brigade-level live-fire exercises on the foot of the snowcapped mountains on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at an altitude of more than 5,000 metres. Though the exercises, dubbed as Integrated Joint Operations (IJO), were conducted under the command of the Tibet Military District, which comes under the Chengdu Military Region (MR), a few select field artillery and armoured formations belonging to the Lanzhou MR also took part in the combined arms exercises, which got underway last July and lasted till last October.
Weapon systems deployed by the PLA for the very first time in the exercises included the NORINCO-built 300mm PHL-05 MBRLs, Type 90 122mm MBRLs, PLZ-07 122mm tracked self-propelled howitzers, Type 95 PGZ-95 self-propelled air-defence artillery systems, Type 96G main battle tanks, Type 86G tracked infantry combat vehicles, Type 704 weapons locating radars, FN-6 MANPADS, and Mi-17V-5 assault helicopters capable of transporting special operations detachments. PLAAF elements deployed this time at Shigatse air base between last August and November included six Su-27SKs and Su-30MK2s and three J-10 combat aircraft. Shigatse is now being upgraded into Tibet’s first all-weather air base capable of sustaining high-intensity offensive air sorties, and is now protected by the HQ-12/KS-1A MR-SAM air defence system and a combination of FN-6 MANPADS and SmartHunter low-probability-og-intercept radars. And in another first for the PLAAF, a detachment of four J-10 MRCAs from the Chengdu Military Region began a two week-long deployment at Shigatse starting January 21, during which tactical airspace dominance exercises were conducted in coordination with the PLAAF’s ground-based airspace surveillance radar stations deployed within the Tibet Military District.
Also deployed for exercises were the PLA Army’s NLOS-BSMs, which have been stockpiled in both Xinjiang and Aksai Chin. To date, 13 tunnels dug into the mountains have been built at Xiadulla, 98km from the Karakoram mountain pass between Ladakh and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, while another similar NLOS-BSM storage facility is located at Qizil Jilga, 40km off the LAC in eastern Ladakh near the Western Tibet highway. It is believed that the NLOS-BSMs located in these areas will be employed against the Indian Air Force’s existing air bases and Advanced Landing Grounds in both Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
NLOS-BSMs for the PLA Army have been developed two state-owned entities: China National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corp (CPMIEC), and Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co Ltd (ALIT). The latter’s latest product is the P-20, which has been exported to Pakistan, where it known as the Hatf-9/Nasr. Capable of striking targets between 70km and 270km, the all-weather capable M-20, with a Mach 3 cruise speed, comes armed with both a 200kg unitary high-explosive (HE) blast-fragmentation warhead for engaging high-value and time-sensitive targets, as well as a sub-kiloton yield tactical nuclear warhead. Two P-20s housed inside cannisters are mounted on an 8 x 8 transporter/erector/launcher (TEL). For navigation purposes, use is made of a ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system (RLG-INS) coupled to a GPS receiver (for receiving high-accuracy navigational updates in secure PY-code from China’s ‘Beidou’ constellation of GPS satellites), and an infra-red sensor for terminal homing that gives the missile a CEP of less than 10 metres. CPMIEC’s 2-tonne B-611M missile is designed to attack supply lines, warehouses, ballistic/cruise missile launch sites, SAM batteries, command-and-control centres, air bases, road/railway transportation hubs, and area targets in urban surroundings. Armed with a 480kg HE warhead, the B-611M has 280km range. Up to two cannister-mounted B-611Ms can be carried by a wheeled TEL. Another NLOS-BSM from CPMIEC is the P-12, which made its public debut in November 2006. Up to two P-12s are carried in an enclosed compartment mounted on a 6 x 6 TEL. The P-12 has a range of 150km, and it comes armed with either a 300kg HE blast fragmentation warhead, or a cluster warhead containing 19 anti-armour sub-munitions. Both the B-611M and P-12 have a CEP of about 2 metres when using a RLG-INS coupled to a GPS receiver, plus an optronic sensor for terminal homing. CPMIEC’s latest NLOS-BSM offering is the vertically-launched joint attack rocket & missile (JARM) system, which can fire both the 280km-range BP-12A and the 200km-range SY-400 from a common launch platform. The JARM, which made its public debut in November 2010, makes use of combined GPS-RLG-INS navigation systems to achieve a CEP of 3 metres  A typical JARM Battery comprises ten 8 x 8 TELs housing either 80 SY-400s or 20 BP-12As, or a combination of both.
These NLOS-BSMs and MBRL rockets armed with SFMs are all equipped with micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) developed by China’s Kotel Micro Technique Co Ltd. The set of components manufactured include up to three SAK01-03 acceleration switches that interactively operate with one another and provide pressure and acceleration data that are then fed into the flight-guidance system, FKZD-01 vibration sensor, and the INS-M100 MEMS, operating at an RS422 bit-rate, measuring only 120mm x 120mm x 120mm, and using GPS data for its targetting system. This same company also supplies optronic terminal guidance sensors for the Fei Teng (FT)-1 and FT-3 precision-guided bombs developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), and for the Leishi (LS)-6 extended-range glide bomb and the (Leiting) LT-2 laser-guided bomb developed by the Luoyang Optical-Electronic Technology Development Centre (LOEC). In addition to such components, China’s NLOS-BSMs also reportedly make use of MEMS-based guidance equipment supplied by Norwegian electronics manufacturer, Sensonor. One such piece of hardware, the STIM202 Butterfly gyro, is a 55-gram miniature module that replaces previous-generation fibre-optic, ring-laser and mechanical gyros. The STIM202 is based on single-crystal silicon technology, can be configured in one-, two- or three-axis capability, and offers 24-bit resolution plus an RS422 bit-rate. The STIM202 is so small and light that the designers of a missile system can use two of the modules to provide the weapon’s on-board guidance module with back-up redundancy, which was never a possibility with previous-generation guidance components.
In addition to deploying NLOS-BSMs and MBRLs in greater numbers, the PLA Army is also increasing the deployed strength of its main battle tanks (MBT) and infantry combat vehicles (ICV) that are attached to select formations within the PLA’s Chengdu and Lanzhou Military Regions (MR). In early March last year, the 1st Tank Battalion of the 348th Mechanised Infantry Regiment of the 37th Motor Infantry Division of the 13th Group Army in Chengdu commissioned the Type 96G MBT into its ORBAT, marking it the third Type 96G MBT-equipped unit in the western mountainous region opposite northeastern India.  The first two units are the 149th Mechanised Infantry Division and the 52nd Mountain Brigade, all presently based in southeastern Tibet. Earlier, on March 17, 2010 the PLA had for the first time in its history deployed MBTs in the Tibet (Xizang) Military District, these too being Type 96G MBTs, accompanied by Type 86G ICVs (improved Turret), which are with the 12th Armoured Division of the 21st Group Army under the Lanzhou MR. The Type 96G MBT, built by NORINCO’s First Inner Mongolia Machinery Factory, weighs 42.8 tonnes, has a three-man crew complement, is armed with 125mm smoothbore cannon, comes powered by a 1,000hp diesel engine, has a power-to-weight ratio of 21hp/tonne, and has a range of 600km. The Type 86G ICV with a 30mm 2A72 automatic cannon has a three-man crew, is amphibious, is powered by a 6V150 4-stroke water-cooled diesel engine with a standard power of 292hp, carries 40 rounds (20 HEAT and 20 HE) in the turret, and has an infra-red searchlight, periscopes, and sights for night operations. A rail launcher for the NORINCO-built 3.6km-range HJ-73 wire-guided ATGM is located above the gun.
The Chengdu MR comprises the Chongqing-based 13 Group Army (GA), Kunming-based 14 GA, and the Tibet Military District. 13 GA comprises 2 Army Aviation Regiment in Chengdu (flying Mi-171s, Mi-17V-5s, S-70C-2 Black Hawks, &  Z-9Was), 37 Motorised Infantry Division, 149 Highland Mechanised Infantry Division at Emei in Sichuan, one Artillery Brigade, one Armoured Brigade, one AAA Brigade, one Special Operations Group (‘Falcons of Southwest’), a Combat Engineering Regiment, a Signals Regiment, and one EW Regiment. 14 GA comprises 40 Motorised Infantry Division and its 18 Artillery Regiment, 31 Mechanised Infantry Division and its 4 Artillery Brigade, one Armoured Brigade, one NBC Defence Regiment, and the People’s Armed Police’s 38 & 41 Division. The Tibet Military District commands formations like the 52 Mountain Brigade, 53 Mountain Brigade, 54 Mountain Brigade, a Signals Regiment, plus the 9 Border Defence Regiment, 10 Border Defence Regiment, 11 Border Defence Regiment and 12 Border Defence Regiment, all spread over the Military Sub-Districts of Shannan, Shigatse and Nyingchi. The Yunnan Military District commands and controls the 9, 10, 11 and 12 Border Defence Regiments. PLAAF elements falling under the Chengdu MR include the Chongqing-based 33 Fighter Division (95661 Unit) with its 97, 98 (Su-27SKs & UBKs at Chongqing-Baishiyi AB) and 99 Air Regiments; Mengzi-based 44 Fighter Division with its 130, 131 (based in Luliang with J-10) & 132 Air Regiments, and the Lhasa Command Post (39177 Unit).
 
The Lanzhou MR comprises two Group Armies (Baoji-based 21 GA and Lintong-based 47 GA), plus two People’s Armed Police (PAP) formations--7 Division and 63 Division—deployed throughout Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu and Shaanxi, and lastly, formations of the Xinjiang Military District. 21 GA comprises the 61 Infantry Division, 12 Armoured Division (84701 Unit at Jiuquan in Gansu), 19 Artillery Brigade, an AAA Brigade, one Special Operations Group (‘Tigers of the Night), a Signals Regiment, an EW Regiment, a Combat Engineering Regiment, and a NBC Defence Regiment. 47 GA comprises the 55 Mountain Infantry Brigade, 56 Mountain Infantry Brigade, 139 Mechanised Infantry Brigade, one Armoured Brigade, one Artillery Brigade, one AAA Brigade, one Signals Regiment, and a Combat Engineering Regiment. The Xinjiang Military District controls formations like 4 Highland Motorised Infantry Division (and its 52 & 53 Mountain Infantry Brigades), 6 Highland Mechanised Infantry Division, 8 Infantry Division, 11 Highland Motorised Infantry Division in the trans-Karakoram Tract, 1 Independent Regiment, 2 Independent Regiment, 2 Artillery Brigade, one AAA Brigade, 3 Helicopter Regiment, and 9 Engineer Regiment. PLAAF elements falling under the Lanzhou MR include the Yinchuan AB-based 6 Fighter Division with 16 (Su-27SKs and Su-27UBKs), 17, 18 & 139 Air Regiments; Wulumuqi AB-based 37 Fighter Division comprising 109 (J-8Fs at Changji), 110 (Urumqi South) & 111 (with J-11s at Korla-Xinhiang) Air Regiments; and Wugong AB-based 36 Bomber Division with its 106, 107 (Lintong) and 108 (Wugong) Air Regiments, and the 93942 AAA Missile Brigade.—Prasun K. Sengupta

70 comments:

KSingh said...

Interesting article once again Prasun. Any idea when your article on the IAF/MMRCA will be published as you mentioned before in previous comments?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSingh: Very many thanks (VMT). Am still awaiting some clarifications regarding the integration between the IACCCS & ASTROIDS, i.e. total connectivity solutions now being worked upon to have in place by the end of this decade the "integrated network of networks". And consequently, how are these declared objectives shaping the future fleet and effects-based of the IAF in terms of waging knowledge-based warfare. That's what the analysis will be all about, rather than merely focussing on plastform-centric issues.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Replying to Anon@12.47AM from Previous Thread: The PLA’s border dominance posture took a more visible and aggressive form since 2004, and is likely to increase further due to the on-going disturbances in both Tibet and Sichuan provinces. The area now being reinforced with counter-infiltration grids now is the China-Nepal border and from there stretching out westwards all the way up to Aksai Chin. Beijing’s Public Security Bureau believes that Tibetan separatists are using the India-Nepal and China-Nepal borders for both infiltration & exfiltration. Regarding J & K being labelled as a disputed area by China, this is a well-orchestrated and well thought-out strategy of Beijing to pressurise India to expedite the solution to the J & K problem with Pakistan, the contours of which had already been agreed to by both India and Pakistan as far back as 2007. According to this agreement, the entire J & K state will become a demilitarised zone, while only Azad Kashmir/POK will be administratively united with J & K. In return, Pakistan will convert the Northern Areas into its fifth province, i.e. it will not become part of J & K state. Consequently, the creation of a demilitarised J & K state will translate into two things: 1) the absence of any Indian military threat to the Northern Areas—a sensitive area since that’s where Pakistan’s China-origin nuclear warheads and their ballistic missile-based delivery means, plus the nuclear command-and-control centre is located; and 2) India will not have any theatre-based military dominance over China (which it is now trying to establish) in the Aksai Chin area. If all this goes ahead (especially surrendering her claim to the Northern Areas), then India will forever lose its option of having a common frontier with both Afghanistan & Tajikistan (since Pakistan is unlikely to grant any transit facilities through a Pakistan-administered & controlled Northern Areas). So what then are India’s options? There are three cards India can play: firstly, build-up the capability for waging high-intensity limited border battles against China in Eastern Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim. 2) Reach out to the Shias of Northern Areas now under the umbrella of the ‘Balwaristan Liberation Movement’ and encourage them to demand a plebiscite from Islamabad about the Northern Areas’ secession from Pakistan and accession with India. 3) Continue with financial support for those Baluchistanis who want to secede from Pakistan, until Pakistan agrees to make the Northern Areas an integral part of a demilitarised J & K state.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.17AM from Previous Thread: The order for 166 Dhruv ALHs can be broken down to: less than 60 Rudra ALHs for the Army and the rest for the IAF. The IN operates less than 10 Dhruv ALHs. The rest are for BSF, ONGC, and exports to Maldives, Mautitius, Ecuador, Israel & Nepal.

To Anon@11.12PM from Previous Thread: SD-10 is semi-active. SD-10A has active terminal seeker.

To Anon@11.23PM from Previous Thread: For as long as the PGMs don’t have any WMD-based warheads, the MTCR can be subject to varying degrees of interpretation by various countries. Secondly, since PGMs like the Taurus & BrahMos are employed strictly for surgical strikes, they’re not classified as ‘terror’ weapons like conventionally armed ballistic missiles.

To SSG from Previous Thread: The MIRES AESA-based MMR’s weight will not exceed 200kg for the FGFA. But for the Super Su-30MKI, the existing 660kg NO-11B ‘Bars’ (RLSU-30MK) PESA-MMR will not be completely replaced by the MIRES. Instead, what will be done is to integrate the AESA antenna with the existing back-end avionics LRUs of the RLSU-30MK. HAL has already tried to incur weight savings for the bulkheads located in the nose-section by fabricating them with composites, but the weight reduction has not been in appreciable numbers. The existing AL-31FP turbofans will be upgraded to produce 20% more thrust by replacing certain existing modules (especially the hot-section/engine core). For the Jaguar IS, the F-125 turbofan is an excellent option.

To Anon@12.04AM from Previous Thread: Of course all kinds of conspiracy theories will abound. And how could the EF-2000 have scored higher than the Rafale when A) Unlike the Rafale the EF-2000’s Captor-E AESA-MMR has yet to be ordered by an existing EF-2000 operaror; and B) the direct acquisition costs/flyaway price of the EF-2000 is indisputably higher than that of the Rafale? Even if Eurofighter GmbH or BAE Systems agree to reduce the EF-2000’s procurement costs, what has to be borne in mind is that they will only offer to reduce the per-unit direct acquisition costs/flyaway price, and realise their profit margins by marking up the product-support/spares supply costs. And who is this politician and retired Maj Gen who have alleged ‘rigging’ the M-MRCA competition? Do they have names?

To Anon@1AM from Previous Thread: If indeed some’Western’ powers are behind the anti-KKNPP campaign, then logically they should also have successfully penetrated the corridors of power of the state administrations of Tamil Nadu & West Bengal as well! I say this because not only does one have to contend with the anti-KKNPP campaign, but also with the govts of these two states as they’ve vehemently opposed the Russia-origin PWRs at both Koodankulam & Haripur. To me, it is all about Chennai & Kolkata seeking generous financial assistance from the Centre and going all out—including resorting to blackmail—to secure such funds. It’s that simple and there are no grand conspiracies being hatched by anyone else.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS from Previous Thread: The ‘transformation’ being debated within Army HQ is not just about the Division-sized IBGs, but also about doing away with the existing geographical Command-based structure in favour of adopting the ‘Integrated Theatre’ concept under which even Corps-sized formations will be easily swapped/exchanged between such ‘Integrated Theatres’ without complications. Right now, this is not possible because the GOC-in-Cs of the Southern Command, Western Command, Southwestern Command and Northern Command are all tasked to formulate battle plans strictly according to their geography-determined areas of operations, meaning that transferring an Armoured Corps from one command/area of operation to another is highly complex and cumbersome. The Indian Army has found it quite difficult to swap its Division-sized and Corps-sized formations between the various Commands, while Pakistan has had no such complications (largely due to its elongated geography, which greatly facilitates transportation along interior lines of road/rail communication) and therefore, unlike its Indian counterpart, the Pakistan Army’s ground operations are not undertaken under geography-based Commands, but directly by the GHQ in Rawalpindi acting in concert with Army HQ and issuing orders to the Corps Commanders. During OP Parakram in 2002, it took the Indian Army 3 months (February-April) to redeploy an armoured division from the plains of Punjab to the Thar Desert. Consequently, it was discovered that undertaking such movements on a massive scale is uncalled-for, especially when future wars in the subcontinent will not last beyond 10 days. But for the concept of ‘Integrated Theatre Command’ to be effective, several administrative reforms are reqd, including the creation of a unified joint operations command structure in which the Army and IAF commanders will to sit side-by-side and synchronise their war-plans. Once this has been achieved, the ‘Strike’ & ‘Pivot’ Corps will have to give way to newly configured formations, all of which are now being debated upon, but which are years away from implementation.

Pierre Zorin said...

So would it be fair to say that whilst China and Pakistan militarily are preparing themselves for a practical way to deal with any likely confrontation, Indians on the other hand are relying on individual bravey, sacrifice and ad hoc response?It appears the Indian side is bogged down in bureaucracy with no farsight and on the other hand dreaming in la la land with some futuristic go go gadget obsession and tall claims?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

What do you make of the news that PN is developing a nuclear sub with chinese help?

Anonymous said...

@Prasun that looks like a massive shock and awe force to India's north.
I have two questions below.

Without compromising anything by going into too much detail, can you also list out abstractly what India would need to counter this threat Or, can India even contemplate countering it effectively without going bankrupt?

Also If as most say tanks are ineffective in mountain warfare, then why this ramping up of tank forces by china.

Could there be only one possibility that if they attack, their offensive formations will be battling Indian forces not in the mountains but in the "plains of Assam".

Black Hawk said...

I think it would be very informative, or should I say very revealing, if you could give an assessment of how India plans to fight a future border war with China and with what tactics and weapons?

Black Hawk said...

What do you think will be China's aims in a future war? Will it be to capture Tawang? Will China mount an offensive in the Siliguri (Chicken Neck) area to sever the North-East from the rest of India? Can China break through Indian defences in Ladakh and threaten our supply lines to Siachen?

Anonymous said...

like blac hawk said above please post how india will handle chini during the scenario you describe in this post.

Anonymous said...

Could the number of missiles on SPYDER increased from 4 to 8?
How many will be on next batch of SRSAM of which RFI was issued?

Anonymous said...

How long will IN Sea Harriers be in service??

Dont you think on average they were more accident prone than Mig-21?

dashu said...

so far whatever R&D I have done on Indian defence preparedness. India cannot match PRC, a humiliating defeat is inevitable for India in case of any kind of war whether limited or full .

Shree said...

What is the status of the cryogenic engines for GSLV?

It was failed the last time to launch successfully....when can we expect next attempt?

chini long march are now considered reliable..wonder when we can achieve that instead of relying on Russia..

Anonymous said...

http://telegraphindia.com/1120206/jsp/frontpage/story_15098135.jsp

France was indeed an ally to India when needed ..... but cooperation in future will be even more significant...

When production line is shifted to India ...will the cost of next 63 Rafales (if ordered) be reduced??????????

Anonymous said...

Why didnt Schema M-88 compete for LCA Mk2 engine???????????It would have been common with Rafale and Kaveri(to some extent)..

http://ajaishukla.blogspot.in/2012/02/where-is-indias-light-fighter.html

He did not consider the TOT that can be poured into LCA from Rafale...

And when will LCA mk2 be operational? And what is the IAF quantity requirement?

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun,
Considering $2.5B was agreeable for upgrading 51 mirages....Do you know How much UAE was asking for the 40 Mirage 2000-5 India sought to buy , where price was too high??????

Mr. Ra 13 said...

For retaliating and fighting a war with china and/or pakistan, we will have to develop the spirit of North Vietnam and I am sure India can rise even above that. All other technicalities, strategies and tactics may well follow the suit in compliance.

Anonymous said...

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a56f733c0-43e8-445b-a75d-174fac18e1e9&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

Earlier you said that Brazil would be happy with Gripen but this could change that...

Anonymous said...

india is ready for nuclear battel with china or not?

KSK said...

http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000723182&fid=1725

Hope its for the Tejas.....will it be bought off the shelf or be assembled in India????

KSK said...

And why the Secrecy?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Pierre Zorin: Yes, to a large extent, primarily to due a mismatch in the decision-making processes of China & Pakistan on one hand, and India on the other. In China, the State Council (like India’s Union Cabinet) representing all ministries, and the Central Military Commission (CMC)—representing the PLA and the Ministry of National Defense—all work in unison. In Pakistan too, it is the GHQ that calls the shots and the Parliament and Federal Cabinet are all rubber-stamp institutions. Therefore, both the CMC and GHQ are strategic players and whatever they decide to act upon, gets done and doesn’t get derailed. In India’s case, the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) is not yet fully integrated with the Integrated Defence Staff HQ, and the COSC is not a permanent member of the Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS). Consequently, the MoD, represented by civilians at CCNS meetings, is never able to articulate India’s national defence strategies, and consequently, the first casualty is always the articulation of national military postures. What this has meant on the ground-level is that while the MoD in February 2009 for the very first time in its history issued a written directive to the three Indian armed services HQ to be prepared for waging a two-front war, what was missing was the detail: will such conflicts be all-out wars, or will they be limited wars? Will they involve the usage of tactical nuclear weapons? If so, then how exactly will the nuclear escalatory ladder be climbed by both India and her adversaries? Unless these questions are answered with total clarity by the MoD, India will forever languish in a state of strategic instability. For no matter what the armed services may ‘presume’ to be the probable threat perceptions, unless these perceptions are officially recognised by the MoD, the armed services HQs—unlike their Chinese and Pakistani counterparts—will forever exist as mere operational players, and not strategic players. Another consequence of this is the national decision-making process, which will not be all-inclusive, meaning that whatever the MoD wants will be opposed and stalled by, for instance, the Ministry of Forests & Environment.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.28AM: Utter crap.

To Anon@8.38AM & Black Hawk: The true shock-and-awe emerges only when sees with one’s own eyes the state of transportation infrastructure existing across both sides of the LAC. Will upload the concluding part of my narrative on this thread by tomorrow.

To Anon@2.58PM: They will be airworthy till 2020.

To Shree: This is exactly what happens when innovativeness is treated as a crime in India, like how Antrix Corp’s deal with Devas Multimedia was scrapped and is now needlessly headed for international arbitration.

To Anon@10.42PM: Rafale’s production will never be shifted to India. The final assembly line in France will remain. Instead a brand-new final assembly line will be built from scratch in India for HAL.

To Anon@10.55PM: The Snecma M88 was never considered by ADA for powering the Tejas Mk2. Just for benchmarking purposes, the EJ-200 was evaluated, but was never seriously considered for procurement. The Tejas Mk2 will be rolled out by 2016 and will achieve IOC hopefully three years later. Since only 99 GE414-IN56 turbofans have been ordered, and since the Navy wants 46 LCA Navy Mk2s, the IAF will likely end up with some 40 Tejas Mk2s.

To Anon@11.09PM: The UAEAF’s Mirage 2000-9s had some customer-specific modifications/enhancements which India did not want for fleet inter-operability reasons. As for the high cost of upgrading the IAF’s Mirage 2000s, it must be noted that the cost would have been much lower had the entire upgrade programme been carried out in France. It is of no operational benefit to the IAF if HAL carries out the upgrades. In addition, the upgraded Mirage 2000UPGs will be retrofitted with the Spectra EW suite & OLS IRST sensor.

To Mr.RA 13: Not just the spirit of Vietnam, but most importantly a unified decision-making process, as I’ve tried to explain above to Pierre Zorin.

To Anon@11.51PM: What the Brazilians are interested in is data for their own competitive benchmarking processes. If you read the concluding remark of the Brazilian Defence Minister, everything becomes clear.

To Anon@11.55PM: NO. Absolutely not. Will expand upon this issue in the concluding part of my narrative in this thread. This will be uploaded before dawn tomorrow.

To KSK: It is for the Sri Lanka Air Force’s Kfir C-7s. It can’t be for the new-build Tejas Mk1 or Mk2, since the statement clearly says that the radars will be installed as part of a general upgrade, i.e. on to already existing operational combat aircraft.

Pierre Zorin said...

Whilst not disputing that democracy is better than trigger happy military dictatorships as in North Korea and China and military states like Pakistan,would it not be a good idea to adopt the US model in India when it comes to foreign policy and military acquisitions?they go through the debating process but never procrastinate.Also, Israel calls India their friend in the East, so what sort of equipment do they supply China full well knowing that if they give it to China then automatically it passes on to Iran and Pakistan? Do they offer only basic items as opposed to better offensive equipment/software to India? Or are they like any other arms dealers - playing the two sides?

Heberian said...

Hello Prasun-

Yes, please give us some details for Pierre Zorin's question about the nature of Israel's arms/technology supply relationship with China vis-a-vis with us. I have often wondered about that.

I have another question, if you please. What kind of NLOS-BMS do we have in the the Ladakh and North East sectors? I ask this because I fully agree with the Chinese assessment of the effectiveness of NLOS-BMS saturation attacks as opposed to merely air-dominance and boots-on-the ground. A first strike can effetively take out our ALG's and other air strips.. and can also decimate our army.

What do we do then? Is there a plan backed by assets?

I have seen in person some of the transportation infra in TAR, and yes, it truly felt like shock and awe. Especially since I was familiar with our own roads in the North East. Shock and awe indeed. And I also felt terribly sad.

I look forward to your answers!

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

how many indian missile deployed against china?

SK said...

Prasun it was reported that India will go for another 3 Krivak III / Talwar frigates after the delivery of the current ones under construction by Russia. Is this true ?
Why isn't India looking beyond the Krivak.....say for example the Project 22350 Gorshkov Frigates which have better RCS design.

Anonymous said...

Hi , I have few things to say. Why is the radome portion of the FGFA smaller than that on the Sukhoi 30 MKI? By how much is the radar aperture area of the MIRES smaller than the BARS? By increasing the radar aperture area the no of TR modules can be increased and hence the range can be increased. I think the nose portion of the production ready FGFA will be bigger. This is because: 1. The existing FGFAs are just prototypes. They donot represent the actual aircraft. The existing prototypes have been built for the purpose of testing the planform design , airframe and basic fluid dynamics of the ac. 2. A lot of things need to be refined and developed. The VLO shaping of the forward fuselage will give the FGFA required stealth performance reaching that of the F-35 not exceeding it. The backend portion of the FGFA has little stealth shaping. It will not offer any stealth performance. So work has to be done on the aft fuselage . Further the FGFA will have internal weapons carriage bay besides the engine nacelles. The prototype doesn't have so. 3. The FGFA has been designed from the very onset to meet Russian requirements of an anti-RAPTOR jet capable of defeating the F-22 in BVR and WVR combats. The F-22 has a 3rd gen AESA. It has a very high no of TR modules and the peak power per module is greater than 40 W. On the other hand the NIIP is striving hard to make the peak power 15+ Watt. So to have greater range the no of TR modules should be high with less power. So the radome will be increased in the future. Many more airframe changes will also be applied. After all the FGFA will primarily serve as a heavy air dominance fighter . Pls comment.

LEE said...

Here are article on IAF modernization plan;
http://bacajela.blogspot.com/2012/02/limits-in-modernization-of-indias-air.html

Shree said...

The Antrix-Devas deal was grossly undervalued ... get this 1000Crore for S-Band Spectrum for a period of 12 years...come on its too low a price..
Also in a report it was said that the Devas company was formed by the heads of Retired ISRO employees just before the deal......well issues in court truth will come out soon...

Any way anyword on Indian Cryogenic on GSLV..When?????

Shree said...

Since India may order 126+63* Rafales ..will France order the originally planned 250 for Airforce and 84 for Navy??

Will India expect them to do so???

Anonymous said...

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,druck-640426,00.html

We know Eurofighter has problems because of above articles....why cant we find such posts on Rafale ...they cant be so perfect??
As they purely French do they hide any faults in the fighter??

Anonymous said...

Is Prahaar NLOS-BSMs has benn ordered by nay of our armed services?????

Who will order how many???
Will its range be extended??

Will Prahaar employment reduces the number of 155mm artillery needed?

Anonymous said...

What sought of "Smart Bombs" do IAF currently possess?

Could Sudharshan be considered as smart bomb?

Are there any R&D projects to develop Smart bombs to employ after IRNNS comes into play?

Did DRDO produce systems that can turn dumb bombs to PGMs like chinese did??

Anonymous said...

is jaguar is engine replacement still stuck in single vendor situation?
when can the order be expected?

Anonymous said...

Do we have any similar systems as RQ-11 Raven and Puma AE?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcDlVWdVddY&feature=player_embedded

Anonymous said...

http://www.strategypage.com/military_photos/20120203102342.aspx

Fantastic looking ship
does India need to buy any of these?I wish they do cause these ships are sexy,,

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Heberian: Right now, there are no NLOS-BSMs deployed by India against China. As for your remaining queries, will answer them in my following thread, rest assured.

To SK: There are no plans for importing a third batch of Project 1135.6 FFGs from Russia, since design work on the seven Project 17A FFG has picked up steam.

To Anon@5.56PM: Why is the radome portion of the FGFA smaller than that on the Su-30MKI? BECAUSE THE FGFA has been designed from the outset to have AESA-based MMR, whereas the Su-30MKI’s design is of 1980s vintage and was originally meant to have mechanically-scanning slotted-array antenna.
By how much is the radar aperture area of the MIRES smaller than the BARS? SMALLER BY AT LEAST 50%.
By increasing the radar aperture area the no of TR modules can be increased and hence the range can be increased. THE FGFA WILL HAVE a distributed AESA-MMR array, just like what will go on the Super Su-30MKI. So where’s the need to increase the size & volume of the nose-section?
I think the nose portion of the production ready FGFA will be bigger. This is because the existing FGFAs are just prototypes. They do not represent the actual aircraft. WRONG. Airframe changes are made from technology demonstrators to prototypes, and NOT from prototypes to production-standard aircraft.
The backend portion of the FGFA has little stealth shaping. It will not offer any stealth performance. So work has to be done on the aft fuselage. NOT NECESSARY. Active cancellation technologies like those possibly available from both the SPECTRA & ELT-568 active phased-array jammer-based EW suites can easily enhance the aircraft’s stealth characteristics.
Further the FGFA will have internal weapons carriage bay besides the engine nacelles. The prototype doesn't have so. WRONG. All the prototypes can be clearly seen with belly-mounted internal weapons bays.
On the other hand the NIIP is striving hard to make the peak power 15+ Watt. AGAIN, you need to calculate the total peak power available to all the AESA-based distributed arrays, and not just of the nose-mounted MIRES ASEA-MMR.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shree: How can the Antrix-Devas deal be undervalued when there was no one else in the world that was offering what Devas was? How can an innovation be undervalued? An offer can only be undervalued when there’s a competing offer as part of a competitive bidding process and only then can a techno-economic benchmarking be done. In this case, there were no other competing offers available from anyone. Are you suggesting that innovation-based solutions be subject to competing evaluations? If so, then how will the other competitors know what exactly is the innovation being proposed by the first/original proposer? As for France’s projected procurement plans for the Rafale, it has no bearing on India’s procurement plans.

To Anon@9.30PM: One can’t compare apples with oranges. As the article clearly states, the problems are all due to multilateral R & D programmes associated with equipment like the A400M & EF-2000. The Rafale was on the other hand the outgrowth of a national R & D effort limited to a single country. Naturally, as a consequence of this the decision-making process for the Rafale’s development was much swifter and smoother.

To Anon@10.09PM: The Prahaar has yet to be ordered, but when it is, the Army’s four Artillery Divisions (three existing and one more to be raised) will each have a Regiment of the Prahaar. The Indian Navy too visualises a role for the Prahaar. The Prahaar’s range can easily be extended to up to 280km should the need arise. But such NLOS-BSMs are meant for the ‘deep battles’, meaning they will target the enemy;s rear-areas housing ammo/POL supply dumps and follow-on operational reserves, whereas weapons like the 155mm howitzers are meant to be used for the ‘contact battle’, meaning the formations that are the first to launch an offensive.

To Anon@10.49PM: What sought of "Smart Bombs" do IAF currently possess? MBDA’s BGL, ELBIT Systems’s Opher, Raytheon’s Paveway-3.
Could Sudharshan be considered as smart bomb? DEFINITELY.
Are there any R&D projects to develop Smart bombs to employ after IRNNS comes into play? OF COURSE. JDAM-type PGMs are on the cards.
Did DRDO produce systems that can turn dumb bombs to PGMs like chinese did? NOT YET.

To Anon@11.13PM: No, the F-125s will be bought through the FMS channel.

To Anon@11.16PM: The Skylark-1 from HALBIT is being acquired.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Pierre Zorin: As far as security-related hardware procurement by China from Israel goes, it is limited to border surveillance systems like LORROS, and SWAT-related hardware. Even if attempts are made by China to procure any kind of high-tech military hardware/technologies from Israel, both the US and Japan will object to such transfers and make sure they never happen. So, India need not worry about that.

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun i heard indian armed forces recently purchased skylark I. Is it true ???

Is there an artistic impression of how Super Sukhoi will look like ? Are we gonna try to integrate Brahmos on Rafale ?

What is happening with the various micro uav programs carried on by drdo ? when are they going to enter in the service and how many ?

You said P17a project has gathered the pace. Is there any artistic impression of the model ?

Anonymous said...

For me LCA mk2 could be a great chance to try out various tech that we will be using on AMCA mainly basic stuff like composites, serpentine shaped air-intakes,RAM coating, internal weapon bay etc. Can we expect LCA mk2 to have any of these ? I mean internal weapon bay might be tough but we can atleast try to use S-shaped air-intakes and extensive use of new and new composites...

Anonymous said...

when advanced Laser Guidance Bomb
kit ‘Sudarshan’,will be inducted into IAF

abs said...

prasunda
very well informed article. very well done :)
so after reading this article what I understand is, the PLA would start the hostilities at a time and place of its own choosing by mobilising their RRFs supported with its own integral air assets and artillery as well as the PLAAF to quickly try and break INDIAN defences and capture tawang.while simultaneously resorting to use of NLOS-BSMs and artillery both tube and rocket as well as cruise missiles to neutralise IAF bases and forward ALGs and important c&c installations as well as logistics bases and important infrastructure nodes besides using their SOFs to destroy all of the above as well as SAM sites and SSM sites.
this simultaneous action would result in INDIA not being able to use its air assets effectively, and cutting off the defending forces from the other parts of the country so as to not facilitate any reinforcements. Thereby achieving victory in a short span of time. it is quite likely that the same approach would be used capture or engage other parts of INDIA facing China and who knows the PLA might also use its presence in POK to open another front against INDIA.
what we are eagerly waiting for is 1)how the INDIAN armed forces is planning to counter them???
2)incase we are able to stop the first set of mobilised RRFs,how would we be looking to stop the other arriving RRFs???
3)how are we going to tackle the EW and IW and cyber warfare capabilities of the chinese??
4)I strogly believe that INDIA's traditional stance of a defensive defence would not help, rather we should switch to Active Defence,wherein as and when the PLA mobilisation is spotted through means of HUMINT and other intelligence inputs, we should look to deploy our NLOS-BSMs, cruise missiles and shaurya missiles to immediately bring down the infrastructure in the TAR that facilitates speedy mobilisation of troops of the PLA, simultaneously we should look at destroying the air bases present in the TAR as well as the TBM launch sites and c&c nodes and logistics bases. apart from all this we should try and launch a counter attack, sufficiently backed by TBMs,cruise missiles and artillery as well as air power, into the enemy territory to tie down PLA's resources. and should the PLA choose to open another front in POK and aksai chin INDIA should be careful and launch surgical pre-emptive strikes in these areas without attacking pakistani installations and ensuring minimum collateral damage.
This way we would be able to significantly gain a foothold vis-a-vis the chinese and pbviously for all these to happen a multi layered Air Defence is required, besides imparting sufficient air defence assets to the field formations of the army.
now a point to note is china might not like even a status-quo as it might have so many ramifications for china as far as its strategic goal is concerned, so it might choose to escalate the war by striking deep within INDIA by using its TBMs and LACMs besides using sophisticated cyber attacks to destabilise the INDIAN economy, if so, then i believe even we should look to acquire deep strike capability using steep dive cruise missiles to target PLA's mainland air bases and LACM launch sites.PLAN might resort to using their SSNs to attack a few INDIAN cities in southern INDIA, what is to be asked is if our ASW capability is good enough to stop such a thing???
its very much possible given how the chinese doctrine advocates such 'key points strike' to break the enemy early on and seize the initiative.
your views and answers are eagerly awaited :)

abs said...

^^^ having said all that the chinese ASAT capability is also ominous for us and im clueless as to how INDIA would respond should its satellites be destroyed???

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_space_agencies

According to this list the budget of chinese space program is just a little more than that of India's.
But their success is a lot more ...how much do they really invest in their program?

Anonymous said...

http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/item/51037-india-has-made-powerful-enemies-by-selecting-dassault.html

What do you make of this article..it says that since MMRCA was choosed based on only technical parameters .India cant expect ant strategic benefits(SSGN,kaveri Etc) from france....it could be true...what do you say?

Anonymous said...

There are lot of figures like $15,18,20B for MMRCA contract..what do you say the penultimate figure would be...

Anonymous said...

The $20 Billion Dogfight for an Indian Air Force Contract

Quantity VS Quality ...which should have been chosen .. Rafale definitely has quality but F-18EF would have been too..and it could also could be good for quantity.

Shree said...

Could you detail what innovations were proposed by the Devas in the Antrix-Devas deal ?Info regarding this very limited

Acc to reports certain ISRO officials colluded Davis of Mauritius to get the S-band spectrum for cheap...how can such a fact could be overlooked in hope that "innovations" were promised..

As you said if there were no competitive bidding process,there would have been no competition so price of deal should have been comprehensive...

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/226556/antrix-devas-deal-govt-may.html

Shree said...

On another issue-
How does 2012 Maldives coup differ from the 1988 Coup?

Why didnt Maldive president sought Indian(Diplomatic or Military) help ?

I think Indian response during and after the situation was a bit weak...what can/did India do and should have done?

Anonymous said...

http://pakmr.blogspot.in/2012/02/pakistan-to-develop-nuclear-submarine.html

really do they have any experience whatsoever in that?

LEE said...

http://bacajela.blogspot.com/2012/02/sea-power-and-chinese-state-chinas.html

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I think that against the china mostly the elements that go for some balance in favor of India are the nuclear deterrent, hostile environment in Tibet Republic and distances of Indian borders from the mainland china.

Anonymous said...

Prasun,
The follow on order for 2 more AWACs has been placed/comfirmed with Israel or is file still with the babus at MOD?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun,
Have you seen the supposedly artistic impression of AURA UCAV on Livefist ? What do you think ? WhaT is the progress of the AURA project ? Is the design finalized yet ? Has the wind tunnel model being tested yet ?

Has drdo finalized the engine for UCAV ? Is it Kaveri K-9 or K-10 ?

An article on AURA UCAV will be appreciated by all of your friends ?

Have you read the recent press release from Rosoboronexport ? They said Ka228t is going to win indian LUH copetition ?

You said these LUH will also provide aerial support to the armored vehicles and MBTs. I don't think Ka228 could act as a light attack helicopter. What do you think ?

I here russian offset offering are very good. What is eurocopter offering ?

Unknown said...

Hey,

There are reports the Ka-226 has won the LUH competition which i doubt. What are your thoughts? Who do you see winning this competion? and when are we likely to see the winner of this drawn out competition and the first bird in service in India?

Sk said...

Prasun in terms of IR seeker performance which one is better between MICA IR, IRIS-T & Python

Anonymous said...

According to news reports the recent test of the AAD missile was in user config. Does this mean that AAD test phase is over and the missile is ready for production?

Anonymous said...

Hi PRASUN , has the Brahmos mk3 with 550 km range entered service with the IA? Has the Shaurya missile been inducted into the IA? The IA can use these missiles to strike vital PLA and PLAAF assists deep within TAR such as airbases, supply areas, ALG, forward basing areas. Also these missiles will be difficult to intercept using existing PLAAF Sam systems. Also to protect against massed fire assaults both the IA and the IAF should guard their assets with large no of Barak 2 & LRSAM respectively.Also a QRSAM like the VlMica , Mica, or Panstir , TOR or similar such systems to protect against air launched smart PGMs and also anti radiation missiles which will target the Barak 2 radar systems. Are any such systems to be procured?

KSK said...

What spin-offs of the MMRCA offset are being planned?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Sudarshan is it available only as LGB or GPS/INS versions have been developed?

What is its range?

SSG said...

Prasun, does India fudged the Mica nos ? I think we ordered 490 IRs and another 490 EMs which the govt is trying to pass as 490 IR/EM deal. Otherwise $1.2b for just 490 missiles seems to be too much.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Will answer all of the above queries later tonight. Got to cover several new developments arising out of Singapore Airshow 2012, hence the paucity of time.

Unknown said...

What are the plans on the INdian side (if there is any)? Could you please detail those as well? I know the army is raising some brigades and the IAF is deploying SU-30MKIs. But is that all they are doing?

Ravi said...

Thank you for your hard work, Prasun. You've done detailed research.

Technically, 54 IB is actually a regiment, not a brigade and oriented for internal security. 52, 53, and 54 Divisions used to be part of PLA 18th Army, a long-time resident of Tibet till PLA began downsizing. if China is to reinforce Tibet with its mechanized formations, these can only be used for counteroffensives on the Plateau, after Indian forces have crossed the mountain ranges. They cannot be used offensively except a regt or two would be handy in the Demchok and Chusual (to the east of Pangong Lake. Armor can, of course, be used in the Chumbi Valley to a limited extent. With India having stationed T-72/BMPs in Ladakh for many years, and with an armored brigade expected (I have no clue when), plus an armored brigade for XXXIII Corps (again no idea when), China's armor exercises can be seen as a precaution. Of course, Beinhing knows very well India will not attack, which is why it defends Tibet so lightly.

Anonymous said...

This article is enough to give me a heart attack and sleepless nights.

Will govt learn anything from it and improve our indigenous defence?

Anonymous said...

what u said is really true .. we lack non line of sight weaponry.. we should induct more brahmos regiments .. increase range of pinnaka indigenous MBRL .. mass produce and induct them in more numbers.. buy greater range (possibly russian ) MBRLs .. as was said by one commentator .. increase Prahaar range and induct them in 100s ..