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Friday, March 23, 2012

Taking Stock Of China’s Airpower Build-up In Tibet

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) seems to have taken serious note of India’s determination since 2007 to beef up its force projection capabilities along the arc stretching from eastern Ladakh all the way up to the India-Nepal border adjacent to the southwestern portion of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and in turn is now proceeding to counter India’s moves by undertaking its own build-up of offensive airpower capabilities in the same area. 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 (against forward-deployed Indian ground forces) 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); B) such rocket artillery-based weapons would be employed for the ‘deep battlespace’ 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; C) while increased use will be made of NLOS-BSMs and tactical ballistic missiles (TBM) to neutralise the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) offensive airpower generation capacities that would be located in Jammu & Kashmir (J & K), the PLA Air Force’s (PLAAF) manned combat aircraft backed up by AEW & C platforms would be employed for blunting/neutralising any localised ground offensives (during the contact battle phase) that could be mounted by the Indian Army.
Presently, the IAF’s Western Air Command (WAC) can deploy some 150 combat aircraft of various types within air bases located inside J & K, these being Adampur (capable of housing Mirage 2000Hs, MiG-29B-12s and Jaguar IS), Awantipura (MiG-21 Bisons, MiG-29B-12s and Jaguar IS), Pathankot (MiG-21 Bisons and MiG-27UPGs), Srinagar (Su-30MKIs, MiG-21 Bisons and MiG-27UPGs), Udhampur (MiG-21 Bisons), Leh (MiG-29B-12s and Su-30MKIs) and Thoise (Su-30MKIs). WAC by early 2002 had firmed up plans for phase 2 of its transformation process along the northern front and in mid-2003 a solitary Su-30MKI Mk2 did a trial-landing at the IAF’s Leh (located at 10,680 feet ASL and having a 9,000 feet-long runway) and Srinagar air bases. This was preceded by the Su-30MKI pilots during a few route-check flights and runway overshoots with MiG-29B-12s to familiarise themselves with the overall sortie pattern, weather conditions and the operating terrain. It was only after this that the four Su-30MKI Mk3s from the Barielly-based No24 Squadron along with 12 pilots landed at Leh on September 16, 2008 (in two phases of four each) for a 10 day-long deployment that also saw the Su-30MKIs each logging up to four training sorties per day and also doing overshoots of the runways at Srinagar and Thoise air base (located 10,066 feet ASL and hosting a 10,000 feet-long runway). Thoise is the acronym for Transit Halt of Indian Soldiers Enroute. Prior to this historic deployment, was another pathbreaking achievement on May 31, 2008 when after a 44-year break, an IAF An-32B tactical transport aircraft landed on the 2.3km-long sandy airstrip (now lengthened to 3km) at the 12,037 feet-high advanced landing ground (ALG) in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) in the sub-sector north (SSN) area of Ladakh at 6.17am. This was followed by another An-32B landing at the refurbished ALG at Fukche (at 14,200 feet ASL) on September 24, 2008, with the Nyoma ALG, south of Chushul, at 13,400 feet ASL being activated on on September 18, 2008. The 3,400 feet-long ALG at Dharasu at an altitude of 2,950 feet in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi hills bordering China was made operational in the second half of 2010 without much fanfare. All these ALGs facing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) will eventually have a 3km runway length and will be used for aerial logistics support.
According to the PLA’s appreciation, these air bases and ALGs will be ideal targets for the PLA Army’s NLOS-BSMs and TBMs, which have already 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.
However, when it comes to interdicting the supply lines of India’s forward-deployed ground forces in both eastern Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the PLA plans to employ a combination of massed fire-assaults from heavy-calibre MBRLs as well as battlefield air interdiction sorties carried out by Su-30MK2s and J-10s, with the Su-27SKs being employed along with the ZDK-03 AEW & CS platforms for defensive counter-air and airborne battle management taskings. And it is exactly for engaging in such scenarios that the PLA conducted its first joint expeditionary Army-Air Force live-fire exercise on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau (at an altitude of 15,420 feet, or 4,700 metres) between July 27 and August 9, 2010 that involved an infantry battalion of the PLA Air Force’s (PLAAF) XV Airborne Corps and six Su-27SKs drawn from the 97th Regiment of the Chongqing/Baishiyi -based 33rd Fighter Division (95661 Unit). Preparations for this exercise began in March 2010 and by May a train loaded with combat support equipment like ZBD-03 armoured infantry fighting vehicles had arrived in Lhasa using the Qinghai-Tibet railroad, the first time ever that the GLD’s Military Transportation Department had made use of this railroad.
In addition, for the second year in a row, the PLA Army and the 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.
PLAAF elements again deployed in 2011 Shigatse air base between last August and November, these being six Su-27SKs and three Su-27UBKs from the Chengdu Military Region’s (MR) Chongqing/Baishiyi-based 33 Fighter Division’s with 98 and 99 Air Regiments, and three J-10s from the Mengzi-based 44 Fighter Division’s 131 Air Regiment (based in Luliang). While some of the Su-27SKs engaged in defensive counter-air sorties, others were armed with 122mm S-13 and 266mm S-25 air-to-ground rockets for straffing runs. The J-10s on the other hand were armed with PL-11 beyond-range and PL-8 within-visual-range air combat missiles for air superiority taskings, and also took part in daytime precision strikes by dropping LT-2 laser-guided bombs (LGB), which were guided to their targets in both daytime and at night by man-portable laser target designators. And in another first for the PLAAF, a detachment of four J-10 MRCAs from 131 Air Regiment began a two week-long deployment at Shigatse starting January 21 this year, 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. And last February, a detachment of four J-10s from the 131 Air Regiment practiced the dropping of LT-2 LGBs (which were guided to their targets in both daytime and at night by man-portable laser target designators) and gravity bombs. 
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 JL-3D-90A long-range airspace surveillance radar, a Battery of HQ-12/KS-1A MR-SAM air defence system and a combination of FN-6 MANPADS, LD-2000 point-defence systems, and SmartHunter low-probability-of-intercept radars. During hostilities, Shigatse, falling under the Lanzhou MR, could also receive reinforcements from 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.
Since all types of combat aircraft to be operated over Tibet have to fly at the critical limit of their respective flight envelopes with reduced safety margins, and since the unpredictable weather there calls for a high level of flying skills (veteran pilots’ oft-repeated warning is: “you can take chances with the hills, you can take chances with the weather, but it is suicidal to take chances with the weather and the hills at the same time”.), it will be interesting to see in future whether:
·  The PLAAF initiates the development of rocket-powered LGBs (like the AASM from SAGEM) for its Su-27SKs and J-10s, since such PGMs offer distinct advantages over their gliding counterparts when used for hitting targets located at high altitudes.
·  The 106, 107 and 108 Air Regiments are equipped with newly-built H-6K bombers that are capable of launching CJ-10K air-launched cruise missiles.
·  The PLAAF deploys its H-6U aerial refuelling tankers in support of its future periodic deployments of Su-27SKs and J-10s (each of which are equipped with four external fuel tanks during their ferry flights and two during battlefield air interdiction sorties) to Shigatse.
·  The PLAAF accelerates the development of conformal fuel tanks for its J-10s—Prasun K. Sengupta


ASHISH said...

Prasun my question is when will Indian army going to replace Insas assault rifle if it does so then 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?

Anonymous said...

Interesting article could you please post practical and effective Indian counter-measures for each of these deployments.
In the rare event that India deploys all the required systems and formations in time all I could forsee should hostilities breakout is stale mate for both the sides. Neither side will be able to gain any depth. China will show restraint in using the N bombs even at tactical level and so will India, like you predicted it would be a Limited time high intensity conflict.

Or is there any chance for the India to gain or re-occupy parts of Aksai Chin (break up the Sino-Pak land route link permanently)? I highly doubt that Indian Political Class will have the "will" even if military has the means.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
what do u make of letter to Mr Antony casting doubt on performance of Rafale

Anonymous said...

One more example of misguided and uniformed Journalists.

30 Division of Chinese troops can be deployed against in India under 30 Days !!!!

Anonymous said...

I never knew or thought they could deploy sukhois from Thoise. Learn something new every week on your blog.

Previously you mentioned about China taking on India around Aksai Chin and Uttarakhand. From what I have read they seem to have already taken everything they claimed in this sector bar demchok and may be chushul.

But with the NE you hear about chinese noises every other day. They are determined to make an issue of it, an emotional one and this is dangerous. Also one does get the impression that Indian rapid force deployments and logistics is weak over here. You would expect Elite units to be based around the western and northern sector but not here.

What if they open up on the NE sector, does the GOI have the will to counter by opening up a sector that is to their advantage.

In chess if you have a defensive/reactive mindset you can never win but will most probably loose. Can the same be said for the GOIs warfighting strategy?.

F said...

1. Why would the Chinese bother to even place F-6 MANPADS there went any attacking aircraft will most certainly be using stand off munitions and will be operating above 10,000 feet?

2. How are the PLAAF's and PLAN's Air Regiments organised - into several squadrons?

3. What is stopping China from buying off the shelf ASTER 15s and 30s from France and reverse engineering them, to operate with existing locally made SAMs?

Anonymous said...

Any progress on the front of indigenous helicopter programs like LOH, MRH, LCH etc? The former 2 hadn't been in news since 2009..Are they in limbo or work in progress?

Also, given the Chinese moves along LAC, has the army got approval to raise its own desired aviation arm or is it still plagued by IAF's adamance?

Can Indian efforts like Saras or RTA be modified to small/medium military transport planes to complement/replace An-32 etc?

KSK said...

What is happening ????

Anonymous said...

What kind of artillery power especially MBRL and NLOS-BSM does Indian Army possess in Leh/Ladakh area, HImachal & Uttaranchal areas, Sikkim and Arunachal areas ???

What are the future plans for NLOS-BSM even if its on paper ??? How many more Brahmos regiments are planned ??? Any interest from IA for Shaurya and Prahaar missile or any Prahar like missile from international manufacturer ???

More AWACS procurement ??? I meant in turboprop as it can land in small strips in the northern areas.

Also i am interested in the present and future radar and SAM coverage in these areas alongwith any future plans for procurement of ISR aircrafts like Airborne Standoff Radar (ASTOR) to keep a constant vigil in the HImalayas ???

AGT said...

what is the status of yudh abhyas wih us.
Learned from reports that abrams wud be fielded.How is it performing with indian arjun.

Nobody has reported yet on this..

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ASHISH: INSAS assault rifles will not be fully replaced for at least another two decades. The new-generation rifles being sought have to be compatible with the F-INSAS network of the Army & even the Tavor does not fulfil this prerequisite. Therefore, the best thing to do is develop an indigenous assault rifle that is fully compatible with the F-INSAS, something that only Indian OEMs can do.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.01PM: Let’s get the basics right first before crystal-ball gazing into the future. Firstly, the problem between China & India regarding the LAC is political, and therefore cannot be resolved militarily by EITHER side. China realised this way back in 1962 and accordingly crafted its limited offensives into Indian territory and has since held on what it considers of absolute strategic importance—Aksai Chin—whilst unilaterally withdrawing from NEFA/AP. China’s demand is a simple & elementary one, which most Indian citizens are not exposed to: redefine the LAC in eastern Ladakh on a mutually acceptable & just basis (i.e. a win-win situation for both sides) and stop hosting the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile & Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile at Dharamsala, which is a legitimate demand of Beijing that’s consistent with the Panchsheel Agreement inked by India at Bandung in 1955. China has no grouse with the Dalai Lama residing in India as a religious/spiritual refugee, but it rightly views India’s hosting of the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile & Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile at Dharamsala since 1960 as a gross violation of international law. While on one hand India officially and endlessly recognise the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) as being an inseparable part of China, she then contradicts herself by hosting the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile & Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. This was the first cardinal error committed by Jawaharlal Nehru & V K Krishna Menon since 1960. Had this not been done, then there would have been no limited border war between the two countries in 1962. After all, more than secular India, it should have been the two countries where Buddhism is the state religion—Sri Lanka & Thailand—that should have hosted the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile & Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, but they both chose not to. Therefore, it is high time India faced up to reality and questioned the existence within India of the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile & Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile when no one else in the world even recognises these bodies. If India wakes up and takes the right decisions consistent with international law, then 90% of the Sino-Indian animosities will quickly disappear. If India fails to take such logical decisions, then I’m afraid she would only be exacerbating matters and will be forced into a corner from which, even militarily, she won’t be able to extricate herself, since the might of India’s military-industrial infrastructure cannot match that of the PRC even over the next 30 years. As far as Aksai China goes, I don’t foresee China letting it slip from its hands under any circumstances & Beijing will go all-out to defend what it has held on to since the mid-1950s. Therefore, I for one will prefer not to be drawn into dreaming up unrealistic scenarios about a future round of China-India military hostilities. Both Jawaharlal Nehru & V K Krishna Menon had dared to make such grossly erroneous conclusions in the late 1950s/early 1960s when they brazenly ‘ordered’ the Indian Army to ‘throw out’ the PLA from Indian territory while not realising that the incipient Indian Army was being asked to dislodge an Army that had singlehandedly taken the entire combined might of the UN in Korea and pushed down the UN military forces from the banks of the Yalu River up north right down to the DMZ in a matter of months.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.23PM: It will be an utter waste of the Indian taxpayer’s money to initiate investigations just because a blithering idiot had some suspicions that are as yet unsubstantiated.

To Anon@1.26PM: These blithering journalistic idiots are actually spoon-fed all such disinformation by the ‘seminar/conference’ circuits in Delhi by retired senior Indian military officials taking part in such seminars/conferences where there’s free breakfast & luncheons & evening banquets, all paid for by ‘visiting’ foreign think-tanks, and as a result of all this hype, several foreign weapons manufacturers/OEMs are tempted to often their marketing offices in Delhi, and who gets lucrative job offers for sales rep or consultants? These very same retired military officers & some high-level ex-bureaucrats. And the Delhi-based press corps is ever willing to paint utterly indefensible worse-case scenarios in the mass-media and potential countermeasures against such imagined threats, which in turn help the various military publications to get advertisement revenues. It is a self-serving & self-balancing vicious circle out there in the National Capital Region.

To Anon@4.43PM: If you were to talk to senior Chinese negotiators and even senior Indian military officials (as I have), they all are of the view that China’s claims on AP or even the Tawang Tract is just a ploy to get India to disown the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile & the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile for good. But Aksai Chin is non-negotiable. In both the central & eastern sectors (from Sikkim to Arunachal Pradesh), the Indian deployed forces actually far outnumber their Chinese counterparts and India’s defences are organized in-depth. Furthermore, the terrain in the north-east favours India in all seasons and consequently, an PLA operations there will only be a feint that won’t be vigourously sustained. The actual build-up of military capabilities by the PLA is taking place in and around eastern Ladakh for obvious reasons.
There’s no reason for acquiring an offensive or defensive mindset against China. What is required is an admission of fact that India had committed historical mistakes (that I’ve outlined above) and enlightened supreme national interest demands that the truth be acknowledged, and the correct lessons be drawn. For as long as India does not do so, India will be seen to be proceeding along a path that’s unsustainable & indefensible. Maybe that’s why it is said that truth is always a bitter pill to swallow.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.51PM: Why should anyone even dream of modifying the Saras or RTA to small/medium military transport planes to complement/replace An-32 when the UL-214 MRTA is being developed to replace the An-32s in future?

To Anon@10.57PM: Everyone knows abour the kind of MBRLs is service with the Indian Army. As for NLOS-BSMs, one will have wait for the Prahaar & BrahMos-1’s Block 3.

To AGT: No Abrams MBT for this Yudh Abhyas.

To FARIS: Hari ini kau mabuk ke? MANPADS like FN-6 are multi-purpose weapons used not only for engaging manned combat aircraft, but also loitering UAVs & anti-radar drones. In China, Air Regiments are equivalent to squadrons. As to what’s stopping China from buying Aster 15/30, Rafale, EF-2000, Gripen NG, F-35 JSF, F/A-18E/F etc, and instead stick to only Russia-built weapons imports since 1989, the answer is the EU arms embargo imposed against China after the mid-1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, which remains in place till this day.

To KSK: Since this is anecdotes time once again (NR, do take note), this is what really happened: The collision between INS Ranvir & INS Kuthar took place at a time when the then CNS, Admiral Sureesh Mehta was making his farewell calls prior to handing over command to the present-day CNS Admiral Verma. A board of enquiry was immediately established and it was decided that a ‘Note of Displeasure’ be issued to the officer directly implicated in this disaster, an officer by the name of Ashok Kumar who is now a Rear Admiral & and is the Flag Officer Sea Training at Navy HQ. However, the then CNS Admiral Sureesh Mehta decided not to immediately issue this ‘Note of Displeasure’ to the officer as the latter was soon due for his next promotion, and therefore this ‘Note of Displeasure’ was issued AFTER this officer had been promoted. Therefore, if anyone’s to be questioned about ‘not releasing information about this incident’, it should be the former CNS Admiral Sureesh Mehta, and not the present CNS.
Have such incidents happened in the past? Of course, one that comes to my mind was a collision of INS Rana with INS Deepak in 1985, which too hushed up by Admiral Nadkarni at that time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

As you mentioned india s constructing S-2, S-3, S-4 and S-5 SSBN, Are there are additional pans for constructing SSN attack submarines.

Technology wise how does these subs compare to Chinese subs

Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing wonderful insights and information related to defense and strategic issues.Most of the forums and blogs linger around gossips and news( which are already available on public domain) with patriotic emotions. But your blog provides information which is clear and straight forward.

Once again may thanks for your efforts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing wonderful insights and information related to defense and strategic issues. Most of the blogs and forums linger around news and gossips with patriotic emotions running high. But your blog provides which is clear and straight forward.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.10AM: S-2 is the Arihant, while S-3 & S-4 will be identical to the Arihant. S-3’s modules are now being fabricated at the Vizag-based SBC, while component-manufacturing work on S-4 is now underway. The S-5 will be of greater displacement & its PWR will be a brand-new design. This is still in the design stage. And what you must bear in mind is that NO ONE, not even India, can rest on only a fleet of SSBNs. Because only SSNs can provide undersea protection to SSBNs ad therefore if a country has a fleet of SSBNs, then it has to acquire SSNs as well. If one has only SSBNs, then its entire fleet of SSBNs is vulnerable to attack by hostile SSNs. As to where India will acquire the technology for fabricating SSNs, the only plausible answer is France. Technology-wise, the Arihant-class SSBNs—being derived from the Soviet Delta-1 SSBN design, do no compare favourably with the existing Chinese Type 094 Jin-class SSBNs that are based on technologies similar to those on the Soviet-era Delta-III SSBNs. And the S-5 SSBN too, technology-wise will be similar to the Delta-III SSBN, since the ATV Project Office’s Russian ‘consultants’ do not want to see India having a qualitative advantage over China. This is Russia’s way of preserving the military balance-of-power in South Asia.

To Anon@3.34AM: Very many thanks (VMT).

SherKhan said...

Only a foolish army doesn't adapt to changing needs...thats why tacticals are part of the planned response. If the mindset is defensive then explain the kargil incident to me? What the pak general staff thought and did is pretty well know...don't believe me just look at the comments from US generals. What did pak get out of kargil, give a bloody nose...and oh a small matter of Point 5353:

I do however like the way you think....out of the box...i especially liked the story about zardari, gilani, baluchistan and kashmir. Wonderful imagination :-)

On a serious note the military wants the civilians to take the lead as a whole not random decsions by Zardari...just see what is happening over the border now or watch it on the TV. The nation is united against a common foe.

Again look at the independent surveys by eg Pew, you will note Pak Civilians have moved more to the right in the last 5 years. Pak civilians are far more rightwing than most soldiers and this includes vast majority of the elites too.

My point is that tacticals are defensive in nature and they will only be used if pak is attacked. They will be used to eliminate the threat. Guess where that threat will the form of strike formations? If the formations are near Delhi, not a problem. If however they are 50 Km from pak border, they will be fried. Pak have said many times that they will not fight with one hand tied behind their back. If you follow track II, you will know what keeps those gents up at night. It is not that PA will use tacticals on its soil.

thats it, from me on this....

Anonymous said...

Hi prasun,

This is Anon@3.10AM. Thanks for the reply regarding attack submarines. I remember some time ago you were discussing that france is providing inputs to india regarding the construction of nuclear submarines which will be similar to Barracuda class submarine.

So will the attack submarines you mentioned will be similar to that of Barracuda class submarine( which is the latest class in france)?

if they are of french Barracuda design , how come the french provide its design which will undermine their advantage against Indian navy?

Unknown said...

Hey Prasun,

How many C-17 do you think the IAF will end up operating? I'd say 16 was certain but I have seen reports the IAF could go as high as 24/5.


LEE said...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.37AM: Why not? After all, is France by any stretch of the imagination undermining the advantage the French Air Force has over the IAF by selling the Rafale to India?

To Unknown: It can go up to 30. But 16 is already confirmed as of now.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

SherKhan: O yaar what is it that you don’t understand about OP Badr? Is it not a fact that the Pakistan Army refrained from even initiating contact battles with its Indian counterpart? Is it not a fact that only the NLI battalions (which then were NOT part of the Pakistan Army’s ORBAT) were committed to waging the battles? Is it not a fact that the PAF did not retaliate in any manner against the shooting down of the ATL-2 by the IAF? What more proof does one need about the Pakistan armed forces’ extreme reluctance to lock horns with their Indian counterparts?
As for the ‘story’ about Zardari, Gilani, Baluchistan and Kashmir, only time within the next four years will prove whether this ‘story’ is in fact a well-choreographed sequence of events, or is it just a figment of my imagination, rest assured. And as for the Pakistan military establishment wanting the civilians to take the lead, all I can say is: sawaal hi paida nahin hota. Yes, the civilians are in the driver’s seat, but who’s seated in the backseat giving the driver the instructions to drive to the desired destination? The military, of course—this again being the conclusions of the various Pakistani TV talk shows—and not my out-of-the-box imagination running wild. As for the thought processes of the average Pakistani civilian (as opposed to those feudal politicians and Jaghirdars—they’re just a bunch of ‘begharaits’ from whom even the element of self-esteem has been sucked out, this again being the conclusions of various Pakistani TV talk shows. And why not, since there’s virtually nothing left of any substance within the country—even rail tracks are being stripped off and stolen in broad daylight, and maybe that’s why almost all the top military leadership, feudal politicians and Jaghirdars have stashed away their wealth abroad. So, in the end, what exactly left inside Pakistan worth defending? And as for tactical nuclear weapons being fired against hostile military formations 50km away from Pakistan’s border, this will only invite massive retaliatory strikes and consequently, both the Pakistan Army & its Chinese counterpart have concluded that given the nature of international opinion about resorting to nuclear first-strikes in foreign soil no matter what the provocation (especially in the post-Cold War era, where opposing NATO & Warsaw Pact warfighting doctrines/postures don’t count any more)), it is far better to use low-yield tactical nuclear weapons in one’s own territory against hostile warfighting forces. And Pakistan’s feudal politicians and Jaghirdars—teamed with their ‘Western’ asylum-providers and aid donors—too know about this and are therefore determined more than ever to prevent the Pakistan Army from defending the indefensible, and it looks like they’re succeeding, given the fact that no one from Pakistan’s armed forces even uttered a word of protest against President Zardari’s declaration three years ago that Pakistan will never subscribe to a nuclear first-strike doctrine.
However, let’s get serious and perhaps you could throw some light on this issue: why did the US secure 400 multiple-entry visas issued by Hussain Haqqani in a single day and what exactly were these 400 persons—Raymond Davies being one of them--supposed to be doing inside Pakistan? Were they scouting around for preparing a target-strike list of 382 ‘targets’ spread throughout Pakistan? Mind you, this again is not my imagination running wild, but is part of an on-the-record written deposition made to Pakistan’s Supreme Court by Sheikh Rashid last May.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
This is Anon@4.37AM.Thanks for the reply.

I have a question. Pardon my ignorance if this looks silly.

As you said, Yes india is buying Dassault Rafales from france. But these are not strategic platforms as Barracuda SSN. Rafales are sold to make profits from the investment done for development. So they must be sold.

But Strategic platfotrms like Barracuda SSN which where few countries in the world operate, Does it will not undermine france advantage?

I am assuming Barracuda SSN as a strategic national platform of france. Stragetic platforms are made not to make profit but to rule the seas in which they operate. Once again pardon me if this question looks silly.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

You said that SSN's role is that of protection/escort of a SSBN. SSBNs can protect itself the way SSN can and it can hunt down adversary. Do their larger size made them vulnerable to detection by enemy submarine which the SSN is supposed to take care off? Please educate us with a scenario how SSN/SSBN combination works in an operation.

By the way, I along with other readers are waiting to hear what happened on the deck of INS Delhi during LIMA'97.



Anonymous said...


The British press has an article on the Rafale 'enquiry'.

Do you think that this could complicate matters or are the British hoping for too much?

Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,
VMT for this excellant article.

By the way,is this the 2nd part of your article on PLA you promised??

From your articles,it seems that PLA is heavily deploying NLOS BSMs in TAR-then don't you think that DRDO should be told to start developing something similar to Iron dome and David's sling??

When can we expect the Barak 2 MRSAM and ERSAM to enter service??And can't the AAD be modified to a long range anti aircraft missile??

Indian naval ships are fitted with AK 630 or Gsh 630 rapid fire gatling guns-then can't they be deployed on land along LAC to use against incoming NLOS BSMs,gunships and even PLA troops??

IA is importing 145 ultralight howitzers-don't you think this number is a bit low??

And lastly,I've heard that in 1967,there was an intense artillery battle between IA and PLA in Nathu La in which several PLA bunkers were destroyed-is that true??I haven't come across a single chinese article on the net about this incident though there is plenty of chinese articles on 1962.That's why I wanted to ask if this Nathu La incident of 1967 really happened or not??And it it's true,then which side was able to gain the upperhand??

PLEASE try to reply.
THANX in advance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anonymous said...

When you say 'redefine the LAC in eastern Ladakh on a mutually acceptable & just basis',are these details in the public domain or does anyone know what compromise they are looking for?

if India were to disband the Tibetan govt in exile and acknowledge Aksai Chin as part of China. Should it not insist full recognition by China of the rest of Kashmir being part of the Indian state. This would obviously include POK.

In this case it would really be a win-win situation as China gets recognition of Aksai Chin as part of China. Indias right on the rest of Kashmir is acknowledged and both militaries can happily draw down their spending on this long border.

Anonymous said...

Whats the progress on Heavy lift helicopter competition ??? Who is the favorite, Chinook or Mi26 ??? 15 is a small number, is it gonna increase ???

Anonymous said...

Speaking of nukes you have mentioned that India keeps them in dismantled state. If Pak uses a nuke against many days does it take to retaliate ? A week at-least, maybe more......who's to say more nukes won't follow on any n all suspected nuke storage sites. Rendering them inactive.(lets forget about the third leg of SLBMs which god only knows when they become available)

Pak is already suspected to have more nukes than India and even has the means to deliver them thanks to likes of North Korea and China.

China might control few nukes in Pak but not all of them. The ever India obsessed Pak Army won't be naive to let China control all of the Nukes.

If China launches Pak located Nuke against India then who will we retaliate against Pak or China.

If and when the Indian Third Leg of SLBM's become active will they carry fully assembled nuclear warheads like the western counterparts or just conventional war heads.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Actually India can not successfully make any satisfactory compromises with Red Dragon China or Pak666. This so because their desires and ambitions are endlessly infinity. If we are really weak, then we have to patiently wait till the Jin colloids with something.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.46AM: Why can’t the Rafale become a strategic platform? In France it is armed with ASMP supersonic tactical nuclear missiles, so it does become a strategic platform. That apart, France is already helping Brazil build nuclear-powered submarines based on designs derived from that of the Barracuda. The same would apply to India as well, since both France & India have been strategic partners since 1998 and therefore there’s no element of one-upmanship between the two countries.

To NR: As per undersea warfare rules of engagement, even though a solitary SSBN is capable of defending itself, it always helps to have extra backups in the form of accompanying SSNs, especially since the SSBN represents the only survivable leg of the nuclear triad that is capable of launching retaliatory strikes with a high degree of success. Therefore, there will be at least two SSNs protecting the flanks of any SSBN on patrol during national emergencies. And that’s because SSNs always function as hunter-killers in packs of two or even four. For instance, a US Navy Carrier Battle group is always accompanied by two SSNs, while for China the plan is to deploy at least four SSNs per aircraft carrier-based battle group.
Will post the sequel to the INS Delhi-in-Langkawi anecdote defore dawn tonight.

To Anon@9.19AM: It is all about the perennial rivalry between the Anglo-Saxons & Gauls. In addition, since India too has acted ingloriously in the past aka Bofors & HDW scandals, so there’s a tendency in the Western press to always stereotype any major Indian decision to procure military hardware as being mired in corrupt practices. But such efforts by the British press this time will not have an effect, rest assured.

To Anon@3.48PM: Details on demarcating the LAC in Aksai Chin are indeed in the open domain and are based on the time-tested & universal watershed principle. Indian negotiators too broadly agree with this concept. Before urging China to accept J & K as an integral part of India, what India needs to do is define what are its realistic expectations about the territorial boundaries of J & K. For instance, present-day maps show J & K as being inclusive of India-administered J & K + Aksai Chin, POL and the Northern Areas. In Pakistan’s definition, J & K comprises only India-administered J & K and POK or Azad Kashmir. Pakistan does not recognise the Northern Areas as being part of J & K. On top of that, in 1972 in Shimla India had reportedly agreed to make the LoC the eventual international boundary between India & Pakistan, meaning she was willing to let go of POK & Northern Areas. Realistically speaking, while the eventual map of India’s J & K state could include India-administered J & K and POK (under an umbrella agreement between India and Pakistan) in future, I don’t foresee any prospect of Pakistan surrendering the Northern Areas to India, UNLESS there’s widespread popular uprising in the Shia-dominated Gilgit/Balistan areas. Alsop, the Northern Areas are of strategic importance to Pakistan since its nuclear weapons launch/storage areas & related command-n-control bunkers are all located there in the lower Hunza Valley & Deosai Plains.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.44PM: The favourite is of course the CH-47F Chinook, no doubts about it. Numbers can always go up to as high as 36.

To Anon@10.40PM: Assembling a ready-to-launch nuclear weapon takes between 24 hours and three days, max, depending on what kind of weapon is being readied for launch. SLBMs cannot and will not be in a disassembled state. They will always be in a ready-to-fire mode the moment they’re loaded on to their silos in the SSBN. Regarding Pakistan’s suspected nuclear arsenal, irregardless of what the international press and so-called non-proliferation experts have claimed, my informed assessment is that:
1) By May 1998, Pakistan had only 10 nuclear warheads of Chinese origin.
2) By 2008, in response to India’s arsenal of 60 deliverable nuclear weapons, Pakistan had 25 nuclear warheads of Chinese origin.
3) All these Pakistani warheads will be delivered only by ballistic missiles.
4) The Babur, Ra’ad & Nasr are NOT equipped with nuclear warheads, and instead contain unitary conventional warheads and sensor-fuzed munitions.
5) Only ballistic missiles like the Abdali are equipped with low-yield unitary tactical nuclear warheads.

Anonymous said...

Which SSk has the maximum diving depth ???

Whats the production plans for P75I ?? I heard two will be made foreign vendor, 3 by MDL and one by HSL. Is it true ??? What is it that IN is looking for in her new generation SSK other than AIP ???

Anonymous said...

Also is the design of P17a finalised yet ??? If yes then is it available for public eye ??? And when the work is gonna start on this damn FFG because we should not forget that indian shipyards take 3 times the time than chinese shipyard to produce similar warship ???
Also how much time will be saved with the introduction of modular shipbuilding ???

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Thanks for the previous reply. My next question is about submarine hunting/watching (!). Suppose in an anticipated hostile situation with her neighbors, India wants to keep track of the whereabouts of her adversaries submarine (conventional). We know that a conventional submarine can sustain an operational mission period of 40 days. Suppose satellite picture picks up 2 submarines being launched and its anticipated that their activity/presence will be around western coast of India. Does India has the capability and naval asset to continue a search and track those submarine for say 35 days (24 X 7)?
The following questions are more general and not related to the above scenario.

Which is the best way to search and track submarine - another submarine, surface ships and their on board helicopters or fixed wing maritime surveillance airplanes like P-8Is?
If a submarine location is identified can it be tracked for days?



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article "Taking Stock Of China’s Airpower Build-up In Tibet". As usual very informative. My observations are as follows please comments.

Future conflicts between China and India will be short and intense where both forces will rely on direct/indirect artillery fires with MBRLs and NLOS-BMS. Now given the above and also given that China will start the hostilities, a defensive strategy may be considered by India. India instead of beating back will try to deny China of the degree of the damage it wants to inflict on India. Towards that, India has the right hardware/system (planned and yet to be implemented) - Barak MR/LR missiles, Akash, EL/M-2084 MMR, Groundmaster family of radars. As you have commented David's Sling/Iron Dome type of system can be set up around El/M-2084 MMR which Indian armed services are inducting.
Infrastructure development has been planned and money has been allocated, but yes when comes to implementation, India (or the Indian system) is disappointing.

So is it correct to say that Indian planners anticipated the threat, planned a reasonable effective strategy but failed(struggling) to implement those plans?

Much appreciated,


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.05AM: The P-75I project is now on hold….not enough money available. In addition, one has to prioritise what one needs most and therefore the SSN project—involving up to nine vessels—requires far greater priority. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the P-75I programme ultimately morphs into the SSN production programme. If additional SSKs are required, then additional Scorpenes can always be acquired (up to another 6), but to me it would be an utter waste of resources if a second production line is to be created for building an entirely different SSK design. Far better therefore to invest the precious resources into the SSN programme. That’s what logic dictates.
Design of the P-17A FFG should be finalised before this October. Indian shipyards like those of L & T and Pipavav can churn out frigates within 14 months since they can have their workforce working in three shifts, so that hull fabrication progresses non-stop. But the MoD-owned shipyards? They need to be woken up from a deep slumber.

To NR: The type of persistent satellite-based tracking capabilities required for monitoring an enemy’s submarine fleet will not be available to India for even the next two decades. Only the US & to a certain extent Russia have them at this point in time. The best way to get alerts about any kind of underwater intrusion in or around vital on-shore installations is to have a network of seabed-based sonars (like the US SOSUS network) and the NPOL & NSTL are already developing such a network for fielding by late 2014. Without such a network, the shore-based facilities where India’s SSBNs and SSNs are to be homeported (like Project Varsha) will be highly vulnerable to various types of undersea threats. The best way to monitor hostile submarine activities around suspected locations (like the Maldivian trenches) is always by deploying one’s own SSKs or SSNs in the hunter-killer role and backing them up with LRMR/ASW aircraft. Warships equipped with towed-array sonars shipborne helicopters equipped with MAD, sonobuoys & dunking sonars are only used for providing ASW screens for task forces or carrier-based battle groups when they’re on the move, or for constantly guarding the approaches to naval bases in wartime.

Anonymous said...

So the next line of SSKs that will enter in IN will be indegenous ??? Thats good...I always thought its now time for MDL to make their own submarine. Does India has the facility to test the design of a SSK ???

National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding, Kozhikode was inaugurated by Defense Minister last year. How does this change India's capability to design warship and submarines ??

What did we got in the offset from Project 75 (Scorpene) ??? Also as you said 9 SSN are sanctioned, so when is the work on SSN gonna start ?? I mean i hope we are not gonna wait till all SSBn are finished. Also is MDL gonna assist HSL in SSN project, considering SSN project is so big ??? Are we building some new rector for SSN or the same design of Arihant will be used ??

Anonymous said...

DCNS was offering to equip the last two Scropenes with AIP. Has IN and MOD shown interest ??? Will the follow on order (if ever placed) will be equipped with AIP ?? Is India considering equipping the present fleet of SSK with AIP considering all of them are being modernized and some of them have already been ??

abs said...

with reference to your above comment to anonymous @12.01 PM
" Let’s get the basics right first before crystal-ball gazing into the future. Firstly, the problem between China & India regarding the LAC is political, and therefore cannot be resolved militarily by EITHER side.......... "
are you trying to say that if there is a war in the near future we are doomed to failure no matter what???
its surprising coz based on the little knowledge that i had, i thought a war would end in a stalemate with reasonable chances of INDIA winning.

abs said...

^^ *Otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to install AIP on SSK during mid-life upgrades ?

The Scorpene SSK manufactured by MDL lacks AIP so can a AIP module be refitted in future during the mid-life upgrade.

Indranil said...

One question. Is the INS Chakra only a training and familiarisation platform or is it armed. I mean, can India take it to war?

KSK said...

Any guess what the object is?

Shree said...

Why did we allow Govn n Parliament of Tibet in India??
Cas it was the right thing to have to know that it is not just Govn n Parliament of Tibet we are hosting but also its culture and way of life which are being erased IN chini occupied Tibet.

"China has no grouse with the Dalai Lama" ????
They termed him a terrorist !!!

And you are speaking about international law should be followed ... when did chini ever bother about it, not letting its currency appreciate whole world has cried foul for years...and are you forgetting tinamin square , sharing nuclear tech with pak.,aiding military juntas around the world...

(AT To Anon@12.01PM
Both Jawaharlal Nehru & V K Krishna Menon had dared to make such grossly erroneous conclusions in the late 1950s/early 1960s when they brazenly ‘ordered’ the Indian Army to ‘throw out’ the PLA from Indian territory while not realising that the incipient Indian Army was being asked to dislodge an Army that had singlehandedly taken the entire combined might of the UN in Korea and pushed down the UN military forces from the banks of the Yalu River up north right down to the DMZ in a matter of months. )
chini were impressive they r not alone such stories hold true for many other countries at far worse conditions ... achievements of such magnitude are absent with us cas we never faced such situation or had such opportunity, that does not make us any less capable.
And the only cardinal sin we did before 1962 was not preparing our troops psychologically n materially and not employing IAF n hitting with everything we have..the results would have been different.

And you saying we must accept our mistake and agreeing for so called winwin with chini is comical .

My humble opinion.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

TO ABS: What I’m stating is that there is a strong realisation on both sides of the LAC that ‘incidents’, whenever they do happen, must not be allowed to get out of control and every effort must be made to NOT climb the escalatory ladder. There are eight steps required to be claimed before full-scale hostilities break out and therefore there’s always room for cooler heads to prevail and pragmatic decisions to be taken. Even during OP Parakram in 2002, both India & Pakistan had climbed only six of the eight steps and therefore all-out war was prevented from having taken place.
However, for catering to worse-case scenarios, what’s required to be done are the following:
1) Create border road/railway/air base infrastructure (which should have been done in the 1980s) on the Indian side on a war-footing, since an Army only marches on its stomach. It is no use raising additional mountain divisions if those formations can’t be brought to bear upon the battles whenever they’re reqd.
2) Install a network of early-warning sensors like Aslesha & Bharani radars and LORROS optronic sensors (to be operated by the IAF, Army & even ITBP & SSB) that will enable India to accurately monitor India’s airspace and landscape all along the LAC.
3) Equip several of the Army’s Dhruv Mk4 helicopters (powered by Shakti/Ardiden-1H) with airborne LORROS sensors to monitor activities of the PLA’s Border Defence Regiments along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand & Sikkim). LORROS is reqd since neither sided is allowed by law to approach the LAC to within 10km by any means, be it by land or by air.
4) Create a network of pre-surveyed missile launch sites in eastern Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand & Sikkim from where NLOS-BSMs like the BrahMos-1 Block-3, Prahaar & Shaurya can be launched.
5) Develop low-yield tactical nuclear warheads for the Shaurya TBM.
6) Resolve the ownership tussle between the Army & IAF over who should operate and maintain such Shaurya TBMs.
7) Lastly, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, acquire a fleet of at least four regional jetliners like the EMB-145 that can be fitted with belly-mounted inverse synthetic aperture radars for battlespace surveillance, which can look up to 300km deep into Chinese territory across the LAC. As it is, the ISRO-developed RISAT-1 SAR-equipped overhead recce satellite is four years behind schedule (and India’s sole SAR-equipped satellite—RISAT-2/Polaris/TecSAR—is owned by the NTRO and the armed forces have nothing to do with it), while China already has four SAR-equipped satellites in orbit.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.44AM: Who said anything about a next-line of SSKs and whether or not they would be indigenous? Why are you jumping to such conclusions? What I had explained above is that in today’s world it is financially suicidal to build and operate two DIFFERENT types of SSKs. Show me any other country that’s implementing such an indefensible programme. What India ought to do is scrap all plans for acquiring a second type of SSK (thereby doing away with the erroneous practice of the 1980s under which both the Class 209/Type 1500 and Type 877EKM SSKs were procured, much against the Indian navy’s wishes & operational reqmts) and instead spend the money on acquiring an additional six Scorpenes fitted with MESMA AIP modules, and on developing a lifelong pressurised water reactor (PWR), based on the experience gained by the Kalpakkam-based S-1 ‘half-boat’ programme. At the same time, just like what the Brazilians have done with France, India ought to tie up with DCNS under which up to nine Barracuda SSNs should be licence-built in India, with the PWR being supplied by India’s Dept of Atomic Energy (DAE). And needless to say, such a SSN’s combat management system, sonar suite, integrated platform management system & battle damage control system too will require to be imported, since no one in India is technologically or industrially capable of producing such solutions indigenously. Even for the Scorpene, all these systems are being imported off-the-shelf.
As for National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding, Kozhikode was inaugurated by Defense Minister last year and how does this change India's capability to design warship and submarines, it will take at least a decade (up till 2021) before a dedicated pool of naval designers/architects emerges from this Institute.
What did we got in the offset from Project 75 (Scorpene)?-----DCNS wanted to give everything from A to Z, but it was India’s industries that were unable to absorb all that was offered. Therefore two years after signing the contract, MDL asa the prime Indian contractor had no option but tp place orders for off-the-shelf procurement of most of the sub-systems and components, and it was only for this reason that the Scoepene’s delivery schedule got delayed. One cannot commit the folly of expecting too much from a country like India whose manufacturing sector accounts for only 24% of the country’s GDP. As for when will work begin on the SSN, the paperwork already began the day the Rafale won the M-MRCA contest. In all probability, MDL teamed with Pipavav will undertake this activity and the first SSN is likely to be launched by 2018. L & T and HSL will focus on the SSBN programme.

To Anon@9.26AM: I don’t think there are any plans for equipping the first six Scorpenes with MESMA AIP. For the follow-on six Scorpenes (if they’re ordered) the MESMA is likely to go on-board as standard fit.

To INDRANIL: The new INS Chakra/Akula-3 will be an ARMED training and familiarisation platform just as the previous INS Chakra of the late 1980s was. But its rules of engagement are such that it will NOT be used as an operational platform during wartime. It is now confirmed that INS Chakra will arrive in Vizag on March 31, and will be formally commissioned into service on April 5.

Unknown said...


When dp you see the IAF signing the deal for the long pending PC-7 MKII deal?? And when will deleveries start?What's the hold up? Also whats the status of the Apache and Chinook deals? when can we expect signing of deals?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shree: Your ‘humble opinion’ regrettably comes across as sentimental rants/gibberish. A few examples are called for:
1) How did India do the right thing by on one hand officially recognising China’s sovereignty over Tibet and on the other hosting the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile & Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile? If one is taking a principled stand, then it must either of the two, and not both, since in the eyes of international law such a step makes a mockery of India.
2) If ‘culture & way of life’ are the prime reasons why the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile & Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile ought to be hosted, then it is Sri Lanka or Thailand that—as Buddhist states—have a far greater right over secular India to host such Tibetan institutions. The mere fact that they’re not doing so, or even hosting Tibetans in large numbers as refugees, proves my point.
3) Determining the value of a country’s national currency is the sovereign right of that country only, and does not run counter to any binding international law.
4) Regarding sharing of nuclear weapons technologies with Pakistan, here too China adopted the wrong policy in ETHICAL terms, but was never in breach of any binding international law. Look at the chronological timelines about China’s accession to the NPT and you’ll realise the truth. Similarly, China’s and North Korea’s non-adherence to the MTCR is not any breach of international law, since MTCR is a collective regime that is NOT universally applicable under international/UN resolutions/conventions/treaties.

Unknown said...


what deals (indian mainly) do you expect to be signed during Def Expo 2012 (if any)?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Unknown: These deals will be signed in FY 2012 for sure. And mind you, the PC-7 Mk2s are meant not just for the IAF, but for the IN too. In India, deals are not normally signed during any such expo.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANURAG: Let’s not overburden the DRDO with additional projects, for elements of Iron Dome/David’s Sling are already being procured, such as the EL/M-2084 Arudhra multi-mode active phased-array radar by the IAF, and this very radar will also be the critical part of the Barak-8 LR-SAM, which should be available from 2016. The Tamir missiles too can be procured faster and cheaper directly from Israel to counter any threats posed by long-range MBRLs. Rapid-fire Gatling-type cannons will be useless against inbound MBRL rockets or artillery rounds. The best way to intercept the NLOS-BSMs is to deploy the Barak-2 MR-SAMs and Barak-8 LR-SAMs in depth. The contract for the 145 LW-155s has not yet been cleared by Army HQ, since according to an article in THE WEEK, the present Army Chief is vigorously opposing any deal that was cleared and finalised by the previous Army Chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor. That’s why even the Javelin ATGM contract can’t proceed, it seems. Regarding the intense artillery battle between IA and PLA in Nathu La in 1967, yes, it is very much true. The non-stop barrage lasted for nine hours. After this incident, the PLA till today has never tried to get dirty with the IA in that sector.

Anonymous said...

David's Sling will be the perfect answer to the problem you mentioned in your article as David's Sling is mean meant for Long range rocket and cruise missiles upto the range of 300 km.

Shree said...

Your argument surprises me,

(1) How did India do the right thing by on one hand officially recognising China’s sovereignty over Tibet and on the other hosting the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile & Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile? If one is taking a principled stand, then it must either of the two, and not both, since in the eyes of international law such a step makes a mockery of India.)


(2) If ‘culture & way of life’ are the prime reasons why the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile & Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile ought to be hosted, then it is Sri Lanka or Thailand that—as Buddhist states—have a far greater right over secular India to host such Tibetan institutions. The mere fact that they’re not doing so, or even hosting Tibetans in large numbers as refugees, proves my point.)

Read that point again.
So what other countries refuse to host Tibetans that is even more of a reason for SECULAR India to do it.

My points where neither sentimental nor rants ...
your take that India should accept its mistake to a country that does so many UNETHICAL(your words)things is not well thought.

Anonymous said...

Funny idiots !!!!

Anonymous said...

do u have info abt the night vision equipment PVS 10 which was bought instead of PVS 29 which is far better

curious said...

Push for India to buy BAE jets

Do you really think that the Brits are being serious about their chances or are they just going through the motions?

Anonymous said...

Do u think BrahMos is too expensive for what it does. Spending $3 million to deliver a 200 kg warhead seems excessive when there are so many other cheaper alternatives available. The one area where BrahMos is valuable is as an anti-ship missile, which is what it was originally designed for.

What other platforms can we use in place of Brahmos?

Anonymous said...

they look very good and will be useful in war

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Anon@6.15AM: While David’s Sling will be able to neutralise long-range MBRLs, air-defence against LACMs will still require systems like the SpyDer-SR.

To Shree: More rants & gibberish, yet again. Kindly compare the chronological timelines of events, like who first started housing, arming & training the Tibetan refugees inside India since the mid-1950s for waging insurgency inside Tibet, and when exactly did China begin supporting the insurgencies of northeast India. Like I said earlier, don’t lose sight of objectivity and don’t surrender to xenophobic nationalistic tendencies.

To Anon@9.55PM: I fully concur.

To Anon@9.58PM: No.

To Curious: As Anone@8.55PM said: Funny idiots!!!!

To Anon@10.42PM: What other supersonic alternatives are available? If at all there was an operational reqmt for land-attack cruise missiles, the HAL-developed PTAE-7 turbojet could easily have been used to power DRDO-developed subsonic ALCMs like SCALP/Storm Shadow. For mysterious reasons, such options were never explored.

To Anon@11.15PM: The tracked variant will be very useful over flat land and locational deserts of the type found in Aksai Chin.

F said...


Since there was mentioned of Tibet, I was wondering if you had read this book - The CIA's Secret War In Tibet'?

I was in touch with the author a few months ago, he is writing a book about Cambodia, which will have details of military training Cambodians received in ASEAN countries during the Vietnamese occupation.

Would be grateful if you could provide some details on what happened aboard INS New Delhi when she was at Langkawi in 1997 and the RMN crews at Cherboug in 1973, the night the Israelis arrived to snatch their embargoed FACs.

dame said...

hello prasun, my question to you is, how many ssbns has been sanctioned to be constructed. I feel that S-2,S-3 and S-4 does not provide enough deterrence against china because of their combat load- 4 k-4 slbms.Only the S-5 which carries more slbms of icbm range with MIRV can provide a credible nuclear deterrence, so India needs atleast two more ssbns based on the s-5 design don't you think?For a solid second strike capability!

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