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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ELF Comms Facility Coming Up

The Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, Admiral Nirmal Verma, will tomorrow lay the foundation stone for an ELF communications station that will come up over the next three years at a site not too far from the Koodankulkam nuclear powerplant in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district. Construction of this station, coming under the ambit of the DRDO’s ATV Project Office, will be carried out by Larsen & Toubro in a turnkey basis. Expected to be commissioned by 2015, this ELF communications station, complete with nuclear-hardened underground bunkers (able to withstand pressures of 10,000 psi), will bear a close resemblance to the Russian 82Hz ZEVS facility (see: located at the Kola Peninsula northwest of Murmansk. Needless to say, Russia is closely associated with the R & D for such a facility, with minimal DRDO inputs. When completed, India will be the third country after the US and Russia to host an ELF communications station.

The ELF communications facility constitutes the third leg of a triad of projects being implemented by the DRDO’s ATV Project Office, with the other two being construction of the S-1 ‘half boat’ at Kalpakkam and the S-2, S-3, S-4 and S-5 SSBNs; and development of the 750km-range K-15/B-05, 3,500km-range K-4 and eventually the 8,500km-range SLBM, which in the past had been mistakenly referred to as Agni-6. The ELF communications facility will be specifically employed for communicating with both the Indian Navy’s projected fleet of SSNs and SSBNs while they are on undersea patrols in and around the Maldivian trenches deep within the southern part of the Indian Ocean, a fact I had highlighted way back in 2009.Prasun K. Sengupta  


dashu said...

sorry to be off topic but see the below para from the Lockheed martin lobbyist
" Saraswat cited several new development projects that demanded immediate funding, specifically the short-range surface to air missile; the Arjun Mark II tank; the Tejas Mark II fighter; and the Agni-5 and Agni-6 nuclear-capable, long-range, ballistic missiles. “We request the honourable RM (raksha mantri) to consider higher allocation of funds for DRDO,” said Saraswat." ---
What is this Agni 6 all about ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DASHU: The Agni-6's mention has been inserted by the author of the report, most probably a 'desi' reporter like BROADSWORD. As you will realise, it does not form part of the quote directly attributed to Dr V K (bhagwan aur vigyan ka pujari) Saraswat. Therefore, always be on the guard against such fifth columnists, for such tricks are often made use of by them for disinformation purposes, I bullshit you not.

joydeep ghosh said...


regarding your reply to @Dashu let me tell you that i did see a DRDO newsletter which talked about ASL chief working on Agni 5&6, it was hurriedly replaced with a new newsletter that had only Agni 5.

BTW the news about requirement of 5000 Pinaka rockets forces me to ask questions

1. It mean atleast 5 regiments of Pinaka system will be operationalized, true

2. The report also says Pinaka can operate in -10 to +55 tempreture, if this is so and if I am not wrong Pinaka will be filled in the cold mountainous west, middle and east sector in large no. where tempreture are mostly mostly in +20s at highest and -40s at lowest. So will Pinaka will be suitable.

BTW a question about the ELF com facility

1. Only US, Russia have ELF facility as their subs go into icy regions, does this mean India nuke subs will also make trips to poles in INS Chakra (personally i dont think so).

2. Nuke sub oerators like France, China, Britain dont have costly ELF facility, can & should India afford this?

Hope to get answers


Joydeep Ghosh

Mr. Ra 13 said...

The ELF communications station is an excellent news for India.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Joydeep Ghosh: As I’ve explained above, the SLBM project had been mistakenly referred to in the past by several, even the DRDO (I’ve seen that DRDO newsletter, as being the Agni-6. The fact is that the 8,500km-range SLBM will be co-developed by the DRDO & its Russian ‘consultants’ so that a SSBN operating in the southern Indian Ocean (and that’s precisely why the ELF comms facility is being sited at Tirunelveli) can launch it while remaining submerged.
Regarding the Pinaka Mk1, only three Regiments have been operationalised thus far with the Army’s three existing Artillery Divisions. There’s room & scope for three more Regiments. Regarding operations in sub-zero temperatures, this is not a major problem or challenge, since only de-icing systems will have to be installed on-board the TEL, especially for the fire-control & land navigation vectronics.
Regarding the ELF comms facility, the Russian ZEVS facility is sited in the Kola Peninsula since Russian SSBNs are tasked with launching their SLBMs while remaining submerged under the polar ice caps. The US facility on the other hand caters to communications with submerged SSBNs in the Western Pacific. It is nothing to do with communications in icy regions. The Indian ELF comms facility will be communicating with SSBNs submerged within the Maldivian trenches in the southern Indian Ocean. SSBNs of France & the UK make of SATCOM systems for communicating with submerged SSBNs, while China had no need for such systems since its SSBNs are reqd to launch their SSBNs from within their hardened undersea silos located at both Xiaopingdao Submarine Base close to Dalian, and the Yulin Submarine base in Hainan Island on the South China Sea.
By the way, your desperate prayers in another blog for the ‘kabutar/panchi’ to take flight (for the NP-1) may also be required for the HJT-35 ‘Sitara’ IJT, since A K Antony yesterday in Parliament virtually confirmed that the IJT is for all intents and purposes now a dead duck. What a gigantic waste of R & D effort!!!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: I concur. By the way, the nitwits at BRF are going apeshit about this news. What a sore bunch of losers!!! Especially after engaging in wild fantasies about Indian Navy Tu-142MEs averaging only 150 flight-hours per annum.

Anonymous said...

how effective is our naval ship against pakistan and china's cruise missile?how effective our Barak 1 SAM against them

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Yes! I saw the requisite astonished BRF discussions. They still seem to be puzzled about the size of earth as antenna.

BTW, how Tu-142ME are concerned with this matter or is it some different story.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.27AM: The Barak-1 is quite effective against P-18/P-22 Termit-type and C-602 anti-ship cruise missiles. But against sea-skimming high-subsonic ASCMs like the C-802 or Harpoon? No one really knows, since to date the Indian Navy has not test-fired the Barak-1 against such sea-skimming ASCMs.

To Mr.RA 13: Some nitwit at BRF a few days ago was comparing the flight-hours logged by the Tu-142ME with that for the Boeing P-8I and claimed that the Tu-142MEs log in only 150 flight-hours per year. That nitwit does not realise that in peacetime, neither MRMR/ASW aircraft nor LRMR/ASW aircraft engage in maritime reconnaissance or ASW sweeps as a matter of daily routine. Such platforms are always flown in peacetime ONLY in response to specific intelligence inputs gathered about hostile or ‘interesting’ surface or undersea targets that need to be monitored or identified. Therefore, the flight-hours of such maritime recce/ASW platforms always vary, since unlike combat aircraft, the mission crews of such maritime recce/ASW platforms do not need to engage in actual flight for maintaining their mission proficiencies.

By the way, by next week expect some photos of INS Chakra to emerge from the Australian/Western press, since the INS Chakra will be photographed while it is transiting the Straits of Malacca fully surfaced (which is mandatory by law whenever any submarine makes use of any international waterway for navigation) by a Royal Australian Air Force P-3C Orion MRMR/ASW aircraft flying out of Butterworth air base off Penang Island in Peninsular Malaysia. These RAAF and Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3Cs are always based at the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s Butterworth air base as part of the ANZMIS commitment to FPDA. And if I’m not mistaken, the CO of INS Chakra is the son of former CNS, Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat.

Anonymous said...

What a great article.....thanx

(1) " eventually the 8,500km-range SLBM, which in the past had been mistakenly referred to as Agni-6 "
Is this 8500km range SLBM confirmed because i also read about Agni 6 in DRDO newsletter, Also distance between Shanghai to Baa Atoll, Maldives is around 5800 km ??? When can we expect the first test of this missile ?? Will any of these S-2, S-3, S-4 and S-5 be able to use this 8500km range missile ?? If not then are we building larger SSBN ??

(2) Is this missile gonna be ballistic missile or a nuclear capable long range cruise missile ? If not a cruise missile then are we thinking of building nuclear capable long range submarine launched cruise missiles so that our planned SSGN can also launch long range strike from far away areas ?

(3) How much money is India pumping in this facility ??? Till were we can communicate with this facility ?? Whats the frequency of communicating waves of our facility ? This appears to be a a great ToT from Russians, don't you think ???

(4) Russia is bringing the new T90AM in Defexpo 2012. Is IA interested or they will wait for the new MBT (most likely T95) that is coming in the next couple of years and will replace Russian MBT fleet ?? I mean if India chose this new MBT, it will also cost less considering it will be procured in huge numbers.

(5) I heard recently that Russia is offering full support in helicopter business especially part in future Russian designs (don't forget future russian designs are Ka-90, Ka-92 etc.) if we chose russian choppers in various deals. Is this news true and is it effecting the decision on the results because earlier it looked like Fennec was going to win but according to recent reports Russians are way to confident about their win ?

(6) What else is going on secretly with Russia ??? Also whats going on with Frenchs considering they are our new high level tech provider alongwith Russia and Israel, after the MMRCA deal ??

(7) Any news about FICV project ?? Tata, LnT, Mahindra and OFb were suppose to give detail presentation to MOD in the last quarter of 2010 and then MOD would select two companies from these 4 and these two were suppose to make prototypes which would be fielded against each other and then final design was suppose to be selected. Any development ?

(8) According to recent article in, OFB has made a new generation of modular assault rifle with even a computer chip in it (don't know why) and its production will start in 2012. Have you heard anything about this ?? Is OFB fielding this gun against others in the IA's assault rifle contract ?? Whats the use of this new 6.8mm that OFB is building ??

(9) Does IAF or IN have any operational requirement for long range Bombers like tu160 ??/

Thanx in advance ...

Pierre Zorin said...

Just so PKS gets to take a break from repitition may I answer Al Anon above on some points?
4)All T-90 tanks would be gradually modified to AM standard and the ones to be acquired will already be the AM / AS model.India has no plans to join new tank development in Russia - at least at this point.
6)If deasl were going ahead secretly how could people have a knowledge of these secret deals?It would be an open business won't it? :)
9)No because India has a different threat perspective.Su-30MKI and Mirage 2000 can be modified to carry out any N mission.

I don't like this Anonymous business because it confuses everyone and makes one keep looking at the time!Please folks atleast use a handle. And all the answers above were in fact given by PKS in earlier posts I just summarised.Don't know anything about the rest so won't claim false wisdom - let PKS do his fab job!

dashu said...

u rocks as always... the fact is I do visit other blogs but I always keep this blog as my base reference .

Anonymous said...

how you are ensuring while you are giving answer it is not effecting our national security?because you just given out information about 8500 SLBM

Anonymous said...

Is this video from an earlier Defexpo? What happened to this gun and the wrist-tab that this man is displaying? Never saw it again..Has it been tried/tested/refused/accepted?

F said...


RAAF P-3s make 16 weeks deployments to Butterworth. Are there always P-3s in Butterworth continuously or are there periods when none are there? Also, it has been reported that RAAF P-3s, in addition to anti-piracy patrols in the Melaka Straits, also venture further afield, to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea to do ELINT on China and India. Does the Malaysian government have to be notified on these 'activities' as the P-3s originate from Butterworth?

Unknown said...

Hi Prasun,

Thought you might like this vid of recent Yudh Abhays 2012:

Can you just tell me did any PARA/PARA SF contingent take part in this ex as I have not seen any reports as of this but some of the guys in the vid do look like SF/PARA ie the ones with Tavors. Or are these Ghataks of the infantry battalion taking part? And if these aren't Ghataks exactly how well are Ghataks armed these days?

Anonymous said...

What does India have that can perform duties of JSTARS of USA ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, using NVG the pilots of the Jaguar IS and the MiG-27 can fly at nighttime and they will have situational awareness about their surroundings but not in great depth the terrain forward. How will the Jaguar IS and the MiG-27 fly low level missions over conplex topography in adverse weather conditions and in situations of zero visibility . This is not possible with a NVG. This requires deducted IR equipment. So are the MiG-27 and the Jaguar IS fitted with integrated IR camera? Also the LANTIRN pod belongs to US. Has the IAF procured the LANTIRN pods? Also what TFR pods are in service with the IAF which these ace carry. Does the MiG-27 and the Jaguar carry a MAWS? The IAF describes the Jaguar IS as a deep penetration strike ac. Then why doesn't it has a nose mounted radar for adequate id and engagement of ground targets and why it has only 5 underwing and 2 hardpoints and why it lacks a sophisticated IADS? Pls reply.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.43AM:
(1) “Is this 8500km range SLBM confirmed”---It is now, given the fact that the site of the ELF facility is directly related to the undersea patrolling position of the SSBNs (i.e. in the southern Indian Ocean.
(2) When can we expect the first test of this missile ?---Not before the end of this decade.
(3) Will any of these S-2, S-3, S-4 and S-5 be able to use this 8500km range missile ?-------No the S-2/3/4. But the S-5 should.
(4) Is this missile gonna be ballistic missile or a nuclear capable long range cruise missile?----have you ever come across anyone else in this world so far that has developed 8,500km-range cruise missiles?
(5) How much money is India pumping in this facility?-----Not more than Rs300 crore.
(6) Till were we can communicate with this facility?---Calculate the distance between the ELF facility and the Maldivian trenches.
(7) This appears to be a great ToT from Russians, don't you think?----------Not ToT, but indirect industrial offsets attached to the Koodankulam n-plant deal of 1989 & adjustments for Russian debts to India under the Rupee-Rouble trading scheme practiced until the breakup of USSR.
(8) Russia is bringing the new T90AM in Defexpo 2012.----Who said that? One Russian news agency only says that ‘Russia will roll out a modernized version of its T-90 tank at the Defexpo India 2012’, while its heading says ‘Russia to Showcase New Tank Modification’. No one has said that the T-90AM is being physically being brought to DEFEXPO 2012. For all you know, only scale-models & posters of this MBT could be displayed. And in case a real T-90AM is brought in, then after the expo one can expect this MBT to be subjected to three months of mobility & firepower trials in the Mahajan firing ranges in Pokhran.
(9) I heard recently that Russia is offering full support in helicopter business especially part in future Russian designs (don't forget future russian designs are Ka-90, Ka-92 etc.) if we chose russian choppers in various deals.----Every OEM promises the heaven to prospective customers.
(10) What else is going on secretly with Russia?-------I’ll be the last person to know of any such ‘secrets’, rest assured.
(11) Also what’s going on with Frenchs considering they are our new high level tech provider alongwith Russia and Israel, after the MMRCA deal ?..........All that has already been discussed & debated before in previous threads.
(12) Any news about FICV project ?.............None.
(13) According to recent article in, OFB has made a new generation of modular assault rifle with even a computer chip in it (don't know why) and its production will start in 2012. Have you heard anything about this?------------Nope.
(14) Does IAF or IN have any operational requirement for long range Bombers like tu160?......Nope.

To Pierre Zorin: I completely concur.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Dashu: VMT.

To FARIS: The P-3C deployments from Australia & NZ are on a rotational basis but there are scheduled in such a manner that at least one P-3C is always available in Butterworth. It is the job of these P-3Cs to patrol the Melaka Straits, Andaman Sea & southern Indian Ocean & the South China Sea under the Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia Intelligence Services (ANZMIS) commitment to the FPDA. Therefore, Malaysia is always in the loop. But sometimes the RAAF P-3Cs do tend to go overboard, like the ugly ‘incident’ involving INS Delhi in December 1997 when it was en route to take part in LIMA 97.

To Unknown: Not just the SF (Para), but several regular ‘Ghatak’ infantry detachments—especially those attached to RR formations—make use of the Tavors, especially when carrying CQB or MOUT. For Yudh Abhyas, no SF (Para) units were involved.

To Anon@10.20PM: Nothing.

To Anon@11.39PM: So are the MiG-27 and the Jaguar IS fitted with integrated IR camera?------No.
Has the IAF procured the LANTIRN pods?-------------No.
Also what TFR pods are in service with the IAF---------No.
Does the MiG-27 and the Jaguar carry a MAWS?------------No.
The IAF describes the Jaguar IS as a deep penetration strike ac.-----------Not since 2007.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.52PM: The reqmt for a 8,500km-range SLBM has been known since 1989 to those interested in & involved with this subject. Perhaps you were still in the waiting list & therefore were not ushered into this world in the 1980s and if that's the case then your ignorance is understandable.

Anonymous said...

there was a report that the VLF facility of Navy is getting delayed due to land intrusion and hightension wires somewhere off the coast of AP. it was said that it is being relocated to elsewhere in south of AP. does it mean ELF and VLF facilities co exist at a same area (south). since as of i understand VLF is for communication upto periscopic depth and for conventional subs and given that our subs operate currently more towards western side. How does navies of nation without VLF facility communicate with submarines. do they always maintain two way radio silence. my question is with respect to countries operating AIP subs, but at the same time lacking VLF facility.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.30AM: VLF comms stations are totally different from ELF stations. They’re for different purposes and at different locations. The western seaboard already is catered for by an existing VLF station, while that for the eastern seaboard will be catered for by the facility in AP state. The ELF comms facility is ONLY meant for communicating with n-submarines at far greater depths than SSKs & that’s why the ELF station is always nuclear-hardened & its operations rooms are buried deep underground, unlike the VLF stations. For communicating via VLF, submarines, whether powered by AIP or not, don’t have to surface at all. The same applies for comms via SATCOM. All that any SSK has to do is launch a recoverable antenna strapped to a buoy which can then surface for initiating & receiving SATCOMS signals. That’s how countries lacking VLF stations communicate with submerged SSKs & SSBNs & SSNs.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Where exactly and under what circumstances can Jaguar and Mig-27 be used against China/Pak.

F said...


According to an ex-RAN officer in a forum, the P-3 was actually investigating something else [which he wouldn't elaborate on]and the INS Delhi was just an ''accidental tourist'' [in his words]. Do you know anything about this?

This is the first time I've heard about the Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia Intelligence Services [ANZMIS]but as the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand have a longstanding agreement to share sensitive intel, I doubt very much if any intel collected on Chinese activity might be shared with Malaysia. And as Malaysia is going out of its way to mantain good ties with China it is doubtful if the Malaysian government were to allow RAAF P-3s flying from its soil to engage in too much mischief over the South China Sea.
For many years New Zealand maintained an ELINT station in Singapore but after the NZ army battalion withdrew, I'm not sure what happened to this facility.

Anonymous said...

sir , u say that this elf facility will be used to communicate with submarines till maldivia trenches..
but how do u communicate with your submarine when they are farther like atlantic or pacific(for any purpose..say exercises) that too in a secure way ?

Anonymous said...

What does this mean? what flexibility does IA have?

NEW DELHI: Pakistan is focusing on building low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons which it can use in case of skirmishes at the border with India. After disclosures that Pakistan is building its fourth reactor at the Khushab military facility, fresh estimates made by security and intelligence officials here suggest that Pakistan now has the capability to add 8-10 such weapons in its kitty every year.

The figure is likely to go up considerably once the new reactor becomes operational in less than two years. Latest satellite images revealed recently that Pakistan has expedited work on the fourth reactor, a plutonium producing facility.

The news is a surprise, if not shock, to the government here. Its belief, based on assessment by top scientists, was that Pakistan was unlikely to undertake this sort of expansion as it did not have enough uranium.

Pakistan is internationally acknowledged to have a nuclear arsenal of 100 weapons but the recent focus on low-yield, also known as tactical, weapons has become a source of worry for India.

Former chief of joint intelligence committee S D Pradhan, who has closely followed Pakistan's nuclear-weapon program, says Pakistan's desire for such weapons is one of the main reasons for the acceleration of its nuclear program.

"They are following the Chinese model of having low-yield nuclear weapons. Pakistan believes these weapons will provide it a flexible response in case of an escalation with India and allow it to dominate," says Pradhan.

Officials and experts believe Pakistan will use it only in the case of any incursion made by Indian forces into Pakistani territory or what is known as India's cold start doctrine. In the event of another Mumbai-like terrorist attack, there is going to be real pressure on India to mount such an incursion and strike some of the terror camps.

Indian officials said the manner in which Pakistan has carried out work on the fourth reactor, of which there was no trace as late as 2009, suggest a constant supply or uranium and that this could only have been made possible by China. "The cost involved is too high and then, of course, the amount of uranium required. It's too much for Pakistan to achieve without support from China," said a senior government official.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: Today, for deep-penetration strikes against fixed targets like bridges railroad junctions & strategic military industrial & economic installations, there’s a wide variety of PGMs available to the IAF and Indian Army like BrahMos & turbofan-powered Kh-59MEs & rocket-powered Popeye missiles launched from Su-30MKIs. Consequently, manned airborne platforms will be increasingly employed for striking moving targets in what is known as the ‘contact battle’ and ‘deep battle’ arenas. In layman’s terms this means the enemy’s forward-deployed armour and artillery concentrations & ammo dumps, as well as rear-area logistics facilities like freight trains, motorised convoys, divisional- & Corps-level HQs. Therefore, what this means is that for the contact battle, the sorties undertaken by MiG-27UPGs, Mirage 2000s & Jaguar IS will be known as battlefield air interdiction (or close air support), while for the deep battles, the sorties will be called tactical interdiction.
By the way do read this:
It sort of ties in with what I had written earlier about PLAAF J-10s making unusual deployments to Shigatse air base late last November and again last January & last February (which was shown on China’s CCTV-7 news channel two days ago).

To Anon@3.01AM: You do need to read up all about ELF comms facilities in Russia & the US. After all, I can only guide a horse to the pond, but I can’t force the horse to drink water from that pond.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: What really happened on December 2, 1997 is this: the RAAF P-3C was conducting a routine sweep on the approaches to Langkawi when its on-board ESM/ELINT sensors picked up air-search radar scans emanating from the INS Delhi’s Fregat radar. At that time the ESM operator’s EW threat library never had a database on this radar being operated by any navy anywhere in or around Peninsular Malaysia. Matters were compounded by the fact that nobody (especially Western navies) had seen or monitored the INS Delhi before since that warship had been commissioned only 15 days ago and was on its maiden operational voyage while en route to Langkawi (thanks to a last-minute call from Tun Dr Mahathir to his then Indian counterpart requesting an Indian naval presence for the LIMA Maritime expo! Therefore, intense curiosity took over the P-3C crew & they decided to investigate this ESAM/ELINT contact in the hope that this would be some Russia-built warship on its delivery voyage to China, which somehow may have slipped beneath the intel radar. As it turned out, as the P-3C established visual contact with INS Delhi, it appeared in every sense a warship equipped with Russia-origin weaponry, the only exception being the Indian flag that the warship had hoisted. By then it was too late for the P-3C and in a spate of over-enthusiasm it actually overflew the INS Delhi, which in naval rules of engagement was a violation of Indian airspace and therefore INS Delhi had no other option but to activate her air-defences in a text-book reaction. According to international maritime law, the P-3C was reqd to maintain a horizontal distance of at least 200 feet from that warship at all times, but it did not do so. Subsequently, India lodged a diplomatic protest with Australia and the matter ended there. More on what transpired later on-board INS Delhi during LIMA’97 will be narrated tomorrow.
ANZMIS isn’t talked about in the open domain (except in this blog) for obvious reasons. But the P-3Cs out of Butterworth do not venture out as far as Hainan Island or over the Spratlys in the South China Sea, and therefore this has nothing to do with Malaysia offending China. But Malaysia like Vietnam, The Philippines & Taiwan closely monitors all the offshore construction activities undertaken by the PLA Navy in and around the Spratlys, especially the construction of concrete emplacements like bunkers, which are very easy to find out using commercially available SAR imagery from Canada-owned satellites.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.44AM: What this means is that Pakistan will burn up more China-supplied natural uranium so that this burnt fuel can then be re-processed an plutonium obtained. This plutonium will then be shipped to China, where n-weapons cores will be machined and fabricated for installation on board low-yield tactical n-weapons of the type launched by NLOS-BSMs. Why such low-yield tactical n-weapons? Because such weapons are meant to be used by the Pakistan Army INSIDE Pakistani territory in case the Indian Army’s Division-sized Integrated Battle Groups venture deep inside Pakistan in either the Cholistan Desert area or the Shakargarh Bulge below Jammu. That is why in these areas there is no large Pakistani settled population till this day and this gives the Pakistan Army the chance to use such low-yield n-weapons inside its own territory and then claim that since such weapons were used in a defensive manner and inside Pakistani territory, India has no legal or moral right to undertake a retaliatory n-strike targeting Pakistan. Now why would the Pakistan Army not even blink before using such weapons on Pakistani soil? For that you have to understand the Pakistan Army’s mentality. According to the military establishment in Army House & GHQ, the citizens of Pakistan are not the country’s strategic assets that are worth protecting and are therefore dispensible. The only assets worth protecting with nuclear weapons is Pakistan’s Army, since the marshalling slogan of that Army is: carrying out Jihad (not against India, but on a global scale) in the name of Islam. This slogan was first conceived by the late Gen Zia ul-Haq after 1976 and it remains the Army’s official slogan till this day. When asked back in the 1980s why such a slogan was coined, Gen Zia made his then famous remark: “without such slogans, what would Pakistan be known as, just a second-rate clone of India?” If you are a regular watcher (as I am) of present-day Pakistan TV talk-shows in various private channels, this is the reality that one hears about in almost every such programme.

Anonymous said...

You are an interesting guy full of anecdotes. Talking about which - I guess in one of your blog comments you told how two newly acquired Indian transport aircraft (Il-76?)were lost in a strange circumstances (shot down by American fighter).I may be naive, but can't help asking, is there any truth to this?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To NR: VMT. What can I say, except that I've been extremely lucky to be at the right place at the right time, and am now in position to share most of these. More anecdotes will follow tonight on the INS Delhi's maiden vovage, in case you're interested.

The loss of aircraft concerned not IL-76MDs, but the first two An-32Bs that were on their delivery voyage home and were on their final leg of their journey from Oman to Jamnagar. As they were heading towards Jamnagar they flew into a no-fly zone enforced by a US Navy battle group (mind you, those were very tense days during the Iran-Iraq war) and since no one had seen an An-32B before, the US Navy's F-14s qere told to identify these two IAF transports visually. As this identification process was on, a fatal mid-air collision took [lace resulting in the loss of the IAF's first two An-32Bs & an F-14. That's what it was all about.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To NR: No HQ-9s are deployed anywhere in Tibet. The MR-SAMs now being deployed in and around Shigatse are KS-1As with 57km-range. I very much doubt if the IAF's PHALCONs would be so naive so as to intrude so deep into Chinese airspace so as to be engaged by MR-SAMs.

spanky's Blog said...

Hi prasun,
do you agree to DRDO's view here?


Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, u said the Javelin and the Spike SR were being purchased for the IA SF . So are the no of Javelins alone is 3000 or the combined no is 3000. The IA's ATGM inventory consists of 2nd gen missiles like the Kornet, Konkurs and the Milan. Why are we not replacing the SACLOS missiles with 3rd gen fire and forget miails like the Javelin and the Spoke MR? Can u pls give the no of Kornet in service with the IA? Also some days ago it came out that the IA had a shortage of 44000 ATGM. Has this shortage been met with? Pls reply.

KSK said...

What the hell was USA doing when all this was happening ???

Any info on the Xian H-8 bomber?

Anonymous said...

The British r trying to replace the Sea Wolf missiles .. will they consider something similar to the Barak2 system ?

Should India participate in the Global combat ship program?

Anonymous said...

So Arihants will be stationed near Maldives with the weapons like k-15 and k-4 ?? This will make K-15 useless considering distance between Pakistan and Maldives itself is close to 2500km. I don't think any missile other than this new 8600 km missile will be useful to IN if our SSBNs will be stationed near the equator. What do you think ?

Also k-15 is almost done. K-4 has been tested atleast once may be even twice. In the next 2-3 years i think we will see k-4 also enetering the service and then i think by 2015-16 the work on this new dream missile can start making it operational (if everything goes right) by the end of decade. What do you think ? (I am said kept this timeline because Russians are testing a similar missile since 2004 and in 2010 after alot of success and failures it was produced). I think if we will get Russian help and if russians will share the lesson learnt by them from Bulava tests we can make this missile in less time.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Noshir Gowadia seems to have earned too little of money in this episode. So either he may not be involved or he may be too small a fly in the ointment. As the objective of the operation was stealth technology for China, so only a deeper Paki network could have done it most suitably and so successfully.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Spanky’s Blog/Swarop: Regretably, what Dr Saraswat is proposing is to make segmented improvements within an overall flawed system and predictably, it just won’t work. For the flaws are systemic, and the foundations of India’s military-industrial infrastructure are extremely shaky. Therefore, attempting perfections within a structurally imperfect environment is deemed to fail. The following need to be realised and accepted:
1) At the macro-level, everything boils down to finances and their availability. And the Govt of India definitely does not have the kind of deep coffers required for nurturing or sustaining cutting-edge R & D levels. Why? Because any Govt of the day has to make allocations for socio-economic objectives which are not self-amortising projects and therefore require heavy financial subsidies. Secondly, at a time when one is expected to achieve more with less by creating lean-and-mean military forces & CAPFs, the exact opposite is happening and consequently, the pension bills are rising at an unsustainable rate, simply because in the federal structure, the States are all living on subsidies and incurring unpayable debts, instead of being budget-surplus states. Therefore, the quantum of money being spent by the Centre on internal security is increasing and imposing a heavy financial burden on the fiscal budget with every passing year. As a consequence of all this, the amount of money available in future for capital procurements will steadily decrease, and the absence of any real-term increases in the DRDO’s budget is only the beginning.
The one and only way out of this morass is to go for strategic divestments in almost all existing DPSUs. I just don’t see any other way for these DPSUs to have themselves upgraded for developing & producing cutting-edge indigenous military hardware. Had, for instance, HAL had been a publicly-listed aerospace industrial entity, then by the mid-1980s, it could well have teamed up with BAE Systems to develop a version of the Jaguar IS equipped with fly-by-wire flight control system (FBW-FCS) and this experience would have come in handy for developing the FBW-FCS for the Tejas; by the mid-1990s the HTT-35 basic turboprop trainer would have been ready for service induction; and the HJT-36 could have been developed from the very outset as a swept-wing advanced jet trainer. Instead, what we are witnessing today are rivalries between wholly govt-owned institutions, like ADA versus HAL in terms of developing the AMCA & FGFA, with both duplicating efforts & working in parallel for developing similar product-lines. The Dhruv ALH whose EASA CofA was promised by HAL as far back as July 2005 has yet to surface, and its fly-by-light FCS, under development since 2005, has not yet surfaced. And when asked to give details about the IAF’s flying training aircraft reqmts, A K Antony on March 19 on the floor of Parliament mentioned only the procurement efforts related to the PC-7 Mk2 & Hawk Mk.132, and NOT A WORD about the HJT-36 IJT. You’re of course free to draw your own inferences on what all this means.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.46PM: The reqmt is for 3,000+ Javelins alone. The older combined inventory of 44,000 Milan-2 & Konkurs is being replaced by Milan-2T & Konkurs-M. Kornet-E is for both SF (Para) in motorised configuration & for those mechanised infantry BMP-2s equipped with TISAS sighting/fire-control systems. The upgraded BMP-2Ks will get the Kliver turret with Kornet-Es as well.

To KSK: Nothing new on the H-8. The H-6K is now in series-production.

To Anon@10.33PM: The VL Seawolf will be replaced by MBDA’s CAMM, a navalised VL variant of the AIM-132 ASRAAM.

To Anon@10.34PM: The K-15 should be modified into the Shaurya NLOS-BSM configuration for the Army, similar to what China has done with the DF-11 & DF-15s. The K-4 SLBM should suffice for Pakistan. The 8,500km-range SLBM will be ready for series-production only in the following decade, if one goes by the rate in which the DRDO is progressing on the SLBM front, even with Russian ‘consultancy’.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Thanx for the kind information reg Jaguar and Mig-27.

If confirmed, India shall actually shoot them down with Igla or fire at them even with small arms.

Daaku said...

Hey, chorgupta. Bahut mazaa le raha hai na, chutiyapa answers likh khe.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: There are two things that can be done. Firstly, immediate deployment of the Bharani, which is a two-dimensional L-band gapfiller system now in series-production for the Army. It has a range of 40km and can track up to 100 airborne targets. To date, 16 Bharanis—meant to be used in conjunction with Igla-S VSHORADS/MANPADS—have been ordered, with deliveries beginning this March. Secondly, the IAF could also deploy the Aslesha, which weighs 250kg and uses low-probability-of-intercept frequencies to look out for terrain-hugging tactical UAVs over mountainous terrain out to 50km. The IAF has to date ordered 21 of them, and first deliveries took place in January 2008.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.03AM: Asli mazaa toh mujhe tab ayega jab tere jaise badniyat aur baddayanat jaanwar ka huliya apne haaton se badal dunga. Lega pangga mujhse?

SherKhan said...

I can assure you that you have almost no comprehension of what pak army thinks of its people. Look at the what pak people think of their army compared to what indians think of their army, in international surveys (eg Pew) may open your mind! In pak going to the army is considered the most honorable of professions and most officers come from middle class. Speak to any soldier or officer, they have this deep desire to take the fight to the indians in india (bombay/ kargil).

If you think that the low yield tacticals will be used on pak soil then why bother with NASR/ RAAD/ BABUR?

Kargil/Bombay (and now afghanistan) show Pak will never be cowed by india, infact paks don't even know the meaning of the word...just ask USA. Hence these systems are not for show. They point to the fact that the tacticals will never be used on pak soil. When the decision is made to use them it will be on indian territory...your chiefs and ministers are well aware of this.

They are also well aware that paks response now includes a tactical delivery on division sized formations just like NATO's response was tobe to WARSAW pact and they have war gamed this endlessly. The result is always the same...


To SherKhan Only a shameless paki will be proud of committing terrorist act in Mumbai since your army cannot fight us face to face.In kargil your troops were slaughterd by our bofors.Your army was so shameless that they refused to take their dead soldiers bodies and every one knows about 1971 wars 93000 paki soldiers begged infront of indian troops not to kill them.

ashish said...

Prasun my question is why doesn't Indian army adopt tavor as its standerd assault rifle. We can get license production rights from the Israelis why do we have to go through lengthy process of designing a completely new rifle?Pakistanis are producing good quality g3.

Anonymous said...

Sher Khan,

I believe you are a proud Pakistani and I respect it. If you go back to Prasun's comments you'll find that its a clever move of Pakistan's strategists. But please apply your mind than your heart.

The stage of a possible tactical strike is sparsely populated and in case of an Indian army occupying the territory, local population can be evacuated. I presume you don't appreciate how the opinion (pressure
) of others(UN and other countries of the world) play a role in such situation.
Also what Zia had told is based on his view and you don't have to subscribe to it.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SherKhan: Your response appears to be that of a ‘maskshudah’. For no matter what you’ve stated, I only stated above a statement of fact: that this is what’s coming out of Pakistan from Pakistani citizens on Pakistani TV channels. I don’t know how many Pakistani military officers you have spoken to, but the 100+ officers I have spoken to since the mid-1990s—and most of them are from the Army with ranks between Col & Lt Gen—have ALL stated in clear terms that: after 1971 the Pakistan Army has acquired a defensive mindset; that’s why Gen Zia ul-Haq got petrified about EX Brass Tacks in 1986; that’s why EX Zarb-e-Momin was planned as a riposte and not like the grandiose Ops Grand Slam & Gibralter of 1965; that’s why the Pakistan Army did not enter into direct combat with its Indian counterpart during mid-1999; and that a conventional all-out war against India is unwinnable in every conceivable scenario.

Another point you’re missing very dearly is the fact that Pakistan’s ruling-class—no matter how much you may curse it—clearly realises the above facts and is not interested anymore in bringing Pakistan any further ruin from all the ‘grand designs’ being planned out of GHQ in Rawalpindi. That’s precisely why at Sharm-el-Sheikh the issue of Indian involvement in Baluchistan was brought up & India welcomed it. But not many in either India or Pakistan realise why this was brought up & unfortunately many saw this as an Indian sellout to Pakistan. Actually, it was the other way around, since for the very first time, Pakistan’s wily politicians (aka Zardari & Gilani) made Baluchistan an international issue with the full consent & agreement of India. Why? Because both Zardari & Gilani wanted to drive home the point to the Pakistan Army that if the mere signature of the Khan of Kalat (representing the minority Baloch tribes) is good enough to ensure the legality of Baluchistan’s accession to Pakistan in 1949, then by the same token the Pakistan Army cannot contest or question Maharaja Hari Singh’s/J & K’s accession to India either. Now do you see how the politicians from both India and Pakistan have outflanked and checkmated the men in Khaki? Not only that, Zardari & Gilani have seen to it that Gen Musharraf’s 4-point formula for the J & K dispute resolution is not only confined to the dustbin, but it will now be Pakistan’s civilian leaders & not the Pakistan Army, that can rightfully claim full credit for resolving the J & K dispute. So, kindly desist from sentimental rants about Pakistanis willing to embrace ‘shahadat’ whilst in the process of invading other countries, be it Afghanistan or India. Apne daereh mein rehana.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To NR: What Zia had remarked is NOT based on my view, but a statement of fact that has been quoted in M J Akbar’s book, titled TINDERBOX.

Anonymous said...

I understood.
My intention was to tell Sherkhan not to dwell on Zia's opinion.


Zulfiquar said...

regardless of the sabre rattling, I think the current Pakistan government is the closest to actual democracy Pakistan has ever seen or will ever see.Pak democracy can be only achieved when they dismantle their army and start fresh.The enemy is within not without and the PA uses its own citizens to achieve something that is meaningless.If one doesn't have citizens who is one protecting?Plus anyone with sane mind will tell you that a nation of 2b people can not be overrun.Also on another point isn't Sherkhan a character in the Jungle Book? Hmm a creation of a British writer Rudyard Kipling...much like the formation of the PA /ISI by CIA.

F said...


You never cease to amaze me :}. I had no idea that such a thing as ANZMIS even existed. 2 things come to mind -1]Will Australian really share sensitive intel with Malaysia? 2]What can Malaysia contribute to ANZMIS as it does not operate any SIGINT or ELINT stations and the only means od collecting ELINT it has are the ESMs on various navy ships? Perhaps as part of the upgrade on 2 Beechcraft, which saw the receive AMSACOS, they also received an ESM?

During the INS New Delhi incident. did the RAAF P-3 drop any sonabouys to record the acoustics sifnature of INS New Delhi?

Anonymous said...

Hi Faris,
To answer your question on INS Delhi and P3-Orion, pls click the link

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I do not know why the link didn't appear. Resending the comment.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: I still remember telling you & Tony way back in 1998 at the ADJ office about ANZMIS. Any Defence Adviser/Attache posted to either Singapore or Malaysia will know about ANZMIS, since the Aussies & Kiwis are quite open about it, as it is an integral part of the FPDA alliance. As ANZMIS is a cooperative venture, all countries party to it share the very same intel that each gathers. Malaysia offers its sovereign territory (in TUDM Butterworth) for ANZMIS. What greater contribution can anyone ask for? The RMAF B200Ts after the upgrade have the AMASCOS suite, comprising the Ocean master radar & DR-3000 ESM/ELINT system—both from THALES. DR-3000s were first installed in the late 1990s on the Perdana-class & Spica M-class FAC-Ms. I plan to write an account some day of how the RMN crew complement of the Perdana-class FAC-Ms in DCNI’s Cherbourg facility witnessed with their own eyes the MOSSAD team arriving one night in Cherbourg to commandeer the embargoed Combatante-class FAC-Ms of the Israeli Navy just prior to the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
Sonobuoys are NEVER dropped near any principal surface combatant by anyone. A sonobuoy is just a tool for localising the position of a submerged man-made object, and it cannot record any acoustic signature because—just like a dunking sonar--it is an active emitter, & not a passive listener. Only those sonars that operate in the passive listening mode can record acoustic signatures of submerged undersea vessels.

Anand said...


Is the Indian navy better than the Aussie navy?When can we expect the IN to be the most dominating navy in the IOR?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anand: Of course it is. At the moment, the IN is the most dominating navy (after that of the US Navy, of course) in the IOR.

MikeS said...

Regarding the ELF facility near the Kundankulam nuclear facility, isn't that located at INS Kattabomman (23 Km NNW of the nuclear facility)?? And is it truly an "ELF" facility, or an upgraded VLF facility. ELF, I think, doesn't use towers. VLF on the other hand uses very high towers, which Larson & Toubro are working on, best I can tell.