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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tejas Mk1’s Future Prospects

It has cost India Rs140.47 billion—spent over a period of 29 years—to acquire the core technological and industrial competencies required for producing a home-grown medium multi-role combat aircraft (M-MRCA) like the ‘Tejas’. In the process a total of 40 laboratories owned by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), 25 academic institutions, 300 public-/private-sector companies, and a combined design/engineering team made up of 600 personnel had to be roped in to realise the national dream of developing a fourth-generation M-MRCA for both the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy (IN). The entire R & D programme was divided into 1,200 packages, while for flight certification purposes, the aircraft was categorised into 17 major systems with 346 line-replaceable units (LRU) and 33 software-embedded systems. Additionally, in order to bridge the technological and infrastructure gaps of two generations, critical ground-based facilities like the National Flight Testing Centre (NFTC) were built over the past decade.
Yet, despite all these, the ‘Tejas’—designed by the DRDO’s Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA)-- still incorporates a substantial amount of systems, sub-systems and components of foreign origin, notable the turbofan and key components of the navigation-and-attack system and the airborne multi-mode radar (this being the Israel Aerospace Industries-built EL/M-2032 for the ‘Tejas’ Mk1). Principal foreign vendors associated with the ‘Tejas’ Mk1 and its Mk2 variant include Intertechnique SA and IN-LHC ZODIAC of France; US-based GE Aero Engines, Hamilton Sunstrand, EATON Aerospace, MOOG, and Goodrich Aerospace; UK-based CHELTON Avionics, Penny + Giles, and Martin Baker (supplier of Mk 16LG zero-zero ejection seats); Italy’s Secondo Mona; and Germany’s Cassidian and Faure Herman. UK-based Cobham is in discussions with IAF HQ about retrofitting a retractable refuelling probe. Indian companies involved include Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Tata's Advanced Materials Ltd (TAML), Data Patterns Pvt Ltd, Government Tool Room and Training Centre (GT & TC), and SLN Technologies Pvt Ltd.
The programme for indigenously developing the ‘Tejas’ light combat aircraft (LCA) was initiated in August 1983, when India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) sanctioned an interim development cost of Rs5.6 billion for carrying out the project definition phase (PDP). After completing the PDP, the report was submitted to the MoD and a proposal to build seven LCA prototypes was made. The MoD consequently split the programme into the Technical Development Phase and Operational Vehicle Development Phase. The Full-Scale Engineering Development Programme Phase-I (LCA FSED Phase-I) was sanctioned in April 1993 at a cost of Rs21.88 billion (including the interim sanction of Rs5.6 billion given in 1983). The scope of FSED Phase-I was to demonstrate the core technology competencies in areas such as airframe design and development, digital fly-by-wire flight control system and the navigation-and-attack system, so that a decision could be taken to build operational prototypes at a later stage. Under FSED Phase-1, two ‘technology demonstrator’ aircraft were built without any adjustments for inflation or foreign exchange appreciation, even though the US$ had shot up from Rs26 to Rs47 during that period. The forex component of Rs8.73 billion should have been adjusted to Rs16.42 billion. LCA FSED Phase-I was completed on March 31, 2004. While Phase-I was in progress, the MoD decided to concurrently go ahead with the building of operational prototypes. The scope of FSED Phase-2 was to build five IAF-specific prototypes, including a tandem-seat operational conversion trainer, and two naval prototypes (a single-seater and a tandem-seater) and also to build the industrial infrastructure required for producing eight LCAs per year and build eight limited series production (LSP) aircraft. The MoD sanctioned FSED Phase-2 of the programme at a total cost of Rs 33.02 billion on November 20, 2001. Phase-2 was consequently split into two phases, namely, initial operational clearance (IOC) and final operational clearance (FOC). The design and performance parameters of ‘Tejas Mk1’ LCA’s operational version were finalised in 2004 to meet the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) requirements and overcome obsolescence, since the original design was of early 1990s vintage). This in turn contributed to additional time and revised cost schedules for Phase-II.  The governing body of ADA in its 41st meeting held on November 22, 2007 made a detailed review of the R & D programme and deliberated on achievements vis-à-vis objectives of the FSED Phase-2 programme, and recommended the extension of FSED Phase-2’s likely date of completion till December 31, 2012 (IOC by December 2010 and FOC by December 2012), with GE-F404-IN20 turbofans being used to power the Tejas Mk1 LCA, and to develop and productionise the aircraft’s Mk2 variant, and also recommended the constitution of a cost revision committee (CRC) to assess additional requirements for R & D funds.
The need for extending the PDC for FSED Phase-2 was due to:
·  Complexity of the systems design and very high safety standards, which required extensive testing to ensure flight safety.
·  Incorporation of configuration changes (for example the Vympel R-60 close-combat air-to-air missile was replaced by the R-73E, which required design modifications) to keep the aircraft contemporary.
·  Non-availability of the indigenous Kaveri turbofan, due to which design changes were carried out to accommodate the GE-F404-IN20.
·  Change in the development strategy of the airborne multi-mode radar (which was then being developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd) and associated changes on the aircraft.
·  Major development activities concerning the mission management avionics suite and defensive aids suite had to be undertaken in order to make aircraft contemporary, which took time but yielded results (for example, the development of an obsolescence-free open architecture avionics system).
·  US sanctions imposed in May 1998 also led to delays in importing certain items and developing alternate equipment, since vendor identification and development to production-cycle took time.
The need for revised FSED Phase-2 funds sanction was mainly due to:
·  Neutralising the effect of inflation/delivery point cost against the sanctioned level at 2001 and the increase in manpower cost of HAL.
·   To meet the programme management expenditure due to extended timeline till December 2012.
·   Maintain and operate 10-15 prototype vehicles and LSP aircraft for four years up to 2012.
·  To maintain and upgrade the design, development and test facilities up to 2012.
·  To complete the activities, which were not costed in the original estimates.
The CRC, after careful consideration of the projections made and taking into account the increase in the cost of raw materials, manpower, additional activities to complete the IOC and FOC, maintenance of industrial facilities and expanded scope of the R & D programme, recommended an additional fund of Rs24.75 billion for completing FSED Phase-2 activities for the ‘Tejas’ Mk1 with a projected date of completion (PDC) of December 2012, Rs24.32 billion for developing the IAF-specific ‘Tejas’ Mk2 with an alternate, more powerful F414-GE-400 turbofan (under the LCA FSED Phase-3 programme) and Rs3.95 billion for its technology development programme (all totaling at Rs53.02 billion), plus Rs19.21 billion for developing trhe Navy-specific Tejas Mk2. The recommendations of the CRC were accepted by the MoD and in November 2009, sanction was accorded for continuing full-scale engineering development of the ‘Tejas’ Mk2 till December 2018. FSED Phase-3 has since been launched concurrently with the on-going FSED Phase-2 programme. Thus far, ADA has spent Rs60.51 billion on developing the IAF-specific ‘Tejas’, out of the Rs79.65 billion allocated thus far. Additionally, Rs7.46 billion (of the sanctioned Rs17.29 billion) has been spent on developing the the naval, aircraft carrier-based variant of the ‘Tejas’. Both the IAF and Indian Navy are respectively funding 40% of the Tejas Mk2’s R & D expenditure, with ADA picking up the rest of the tab. Thus, by 2012, the total development cost for the IAF-specific and Navy-specific ‘Tejas’ variants will total Rs96.90 billion, another Rs43.53 billion will be spent on developing the Tejas Mk2, bringing the total cost to Rs140.47 billion.
Presently, the IAF is gearing up to form the first ‘Tejas’ Mk1 squadron--No45 ‘Flying Daggers’ Sqn—which will initially be first raised in Bengaluru before relocating to Sulur in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu in 2013. Two LSP aircraft—LSP-7 and LSP-8—will be used for flight evaluations (for achieving full operational capability, or FOC) by the IAF’s Bengaluru-based Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) starting June last year and led by the IAF’s Wg Cdr Paranjal Singh (experimental test pilot) and Wg Cdr Manish Kumar (flight-test engineer). Two other LSP aircraft—LSP-4 and LSP-5—built to comply with the IAF’s specifications for the ‘Tejas’ Mk1—have been located at the NFTC for realising the flight certification/weapons qualification objectives. For achieving FOC, LSPs 7 and 8 will both be subjected to a tedious certification-cum-flight envelope extension process that will involve field-tests for each and every component and validation of their performance parameters, such as drop-tank ejection, stores integration and ejection, airframe flutter, pitot tube performance, airborne fire-control radar’s modes of operation, and robustness of the digital, quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control system, navigation-and-attack system, stores management system, and the defensive aids suite. Also explored will be the aircraft’s ability to sustain increased g-force levels, higher angles of attack, and improved instantaneous and sustained turn rates. Logically, ADA should have been able to achieve all these objectives prior to handing over the first two ‘Tejas’ Mk1s (LSP-2 and the tandem-seat PV-5) to the IAF on January 10 last year. However, ADA’s inability to complete the flight certification process on time, coupled with the ‘Tejas’ Mk1’s (unforeseen) increased takeoff weight has resulted in the IAF now shouldering the burden of completing the aircraft’s flight certification/weapons qualification processes. The issue of overweight has also resulted in the aircraft’s earlier GE-built F404F2J3 turbofans (11 of which were acquired for powering the TDs and PVs) now being superceded by the 85kN-thrust F404-GE-IN20 turbofans on board the IAF-specific LSPs and the 40 production-standard ‘Tejas’ Mk1s on order, and the consequent redesigning of the production-standard ‘Tejas’ Mk1’s fuselage to accommodate the engine, as well as incorporate larger air-intakes for catering to increased air-flow requirements.
The first two production-standard aircraft--SP-1 and SP-2--will be handed over to IAF by July, with SP-3 and SP-4 following by the year’s end. The first 20 of 40 SP models are now being assembled by HAL in four custom-built hangars that can presently handle an annual production run of eight aircraft. The airframes of these aircraft will incorporate 13 major composites-built structures fabricated by TAML, which was awarded the contract after the state-owned National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) expressed its failure to deliver the structures on time. Structures being produced by TAML for each aircraft include a rudder assembly, fin assembly, 60 carbon-fibre reinforced (CFC) wing spars, 38 wing fuselage fairing skins, 20 wing fuselage fairing blocks, 41 CFC centre fuselage components, two forward undercarriage doors and two aft undercarriage doors. Earlier, HAL on February 16 last year ordered an additional 24 F404-GE-IN20s worth US$100 million to power the first ‘Tejas’ Mk1 operational squadron. This follows an initial February 2004 purchase of 17 F404-GE-IN20s engines worth $105 million to power a limited series of LSP and production-standard aircraft, and two naval prototypes. The F404-IN-20 has to date completed more than 350 hours of accelerated mission testing, which is the equivalent of 1,000 hours of flight operation. Last year, HAL and ADA commenced weight reduction work on the flightworthy LSPs under a two-pronged approach. Firstly, the removal of on-board telemetry instrumentation has reduced the ‘Tejas’ Mk1 LSP-7’s weight by 400kg. Secondly, by re-engineering several of the cockpit-mounted AMLCDs and related sub-systems, another 300kg in weight savings will be achieved on LSP-8. These in turn will result in the ‘Tejas’ Mk1 having a total weight of 10.5 tonnes with full internal fuel tanks and two R-73E within-visual-range air combat missiles. The maximum projected weapons payload (distributed among seven pylons) is 3.5 tonnes, while the maximum takeoff weight is targetted by the IAF at 13 tonnes.
Systems integration work for the ‘Tejas’ Mk1 has been an area of both enormous challenge and missed opportunities. For instance, the indigenous X-band multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar (with a mechanical scanning antenna) remains highly overweight, and has still not been fully developed by HAL. Secondly, the IAF HQ mandated six years ago that the original Honeywell-built H-4524L ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system be replaced by the SIGMA-95N (built by SAFRAN of France), which was followed in 2008 by the selection of ELTA Systems of Israel’s EL/M-2032 multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar for the ‘Tejas’ Mk1. All this involved a total redesign of the aircraft’s fire-control and navigation-and-attack systems, and writing new software algorithms for the DRDO-developed open-architecture mission computer. Consequently, it was only on April 23, 2010 that LSP-3, equipped with the EL/M-2032, took to the skies. It was only after this milestone that work on full-scale weaponisation of the ‘Tejas’ Mk1 got underway. For air superiority missions, the ‘Tejas’ Mk1 will use the Vympel-built R-73E and the 50km-range Derby beyond-visual-range air combat missile, the latter coming from  Israel’s missile RAFAEL Advanced Defence Systems Ltd. The IN’s ‘Tejas’ Mk1 variants, on the other hand, will use a combination of RAFAEL-built Derby and Python-5 air combat missiles. However, both the IAF and IN have decided to use RAFAEL’s Litening-3 laser designator pod for all-weather air-to-ground precision strikes, and Elbit Systems of Israel’s TARGO helmet-mounted display/cueing system.Prasun K. Sengupta

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

So you are calling it a "medium multi-role combat aircraft (M-MRCA) like the ‘Tejas’" not a Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)?

Anonymous said...

So SP1 and SP2 will be inducted in July 2012 ?

dashu said...

tejas is a M-MRCA ??? good to know that . Btw are you coming to Hyderabad for aviation expo.this month.

LEE said...

Awesome pics of J-20.
http://bacajela.blogspot.com/2012/03/awesome-pics-j-20.html

buddha said...

sir
Do you think the air launched Bramhos will have a range of only 290km?,,,or 550km
what is the projected range of Hyper-sonic Bramhos in future

joydeep ghosh said...

dear

prasun da

though is not a relevant topic but this should answer the suspense behind nirbhay missile

http://idrw.org/?p=9000#more-9000

thanks

Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
A really nice article....

1) " Elbit Systems of Israel’s TARGO helmet-mounted display/cueing system."
What kind of HMD is TARGO ?? Its like a racing helmet and there's a racing helmet named targo also. Is it good ?? Why we didn't go for Topsight ?

2) It looks like LCA suffered alot of delays because of change of requirement as because of single requirement change alot changes are made in the aircraft. Should we expect similar delays in Tejas mk2 or this time IAF and IN are purchasing the equipments according to their requirement right from the beginning ? How is the coordination between various DRDO laboratories and IAF/IN now ?

3) Can the engines of LCA mk1 be replaced with Kaveri in the future ? I am asking this because Kaveri will be more powerful and will require some structural changes.

4) Any deal finalized in Tejas mk2 like selection of AESA, targeting pod, EW system etc. yet ? Should we expect all these deals to be finalized this year itself ?

5) What new steps will be taken in Tejas mk2 to reduce RCS and what other 5th gen technology will be used on Tejas mk2 ? Are there any plans to use tejas as a testbed for 5th gen technologies of future aircrafts ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun at some places on the web its written the HMDS on Tejas is DASH and not TARGO ? Whats correct ?? Is it DASH ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun, although a frivolous request:
what do you thing the best package of Tejas MK2 should be?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Thanx for an excellent article.

Is it that Tejas was originally conceived as a LCA, but due to the ever changing objectives and technology, it is getting culminated in to a MMRCA. Anyhow it should be lauded as a good development.

Shaurya said...

Prasun,
TARGO HMDS is for both Mk1 & Mk2 or only for Mk1? Elbit website says TARGO is a new generation HMDS specifically designed for trainer aircraft(already ordered for M-346). Does that mean all the Mk1s will be used for LIFT role? Is somehow TARGO better than the latest gen of DASH?

sntata said...

Dear Prasun, I have three questions for you to please clarify.
1. Nirbhay was supposed to have been tested by Dec last. But no testing so far. When is it going to be flight tested?
2. Why are you calling LCA as M-MRCA?
3. I have read some where that Indian built AESA radar has gone into India's AWACS on Embraer jet. Is it true?

KSK said...

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/232395/mod-raises-objections-over-rafales.html

"Prioritize your purchases " says MOD ...well what will IAF Prioritize?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.35AM: Yes I am. And why not? If the Gripen IN & F-16IN can qualify as M-MRCAs, then why not the Tejas Mk1? Just monitor the various DRDO press-releases on the Tejas & you too will see how the term LCA is no longer in use. The reality is that there’s no such thing as an M-MRCA or light-MRCA or heavy-MRCA. Every fourth-generation or new-generation combat aircraft today is an MRCA. The confusion in terminologies arose in 2005 when it was decided that not just single-engined MRCAs, but also twin-engined MRCAs would be allowed to compete for the IAF’s reqmt for a fourth-generation MRCA. Therefore, in order to broaden the competitive bidding fray, the term M-MRCA was conceived just to accommodate the Super Hornet, Rafale, MiG-35 & EF-2000.

To Anon@8.49AM: Delivered to the IAF, not inducted into service. Formal induction will take place only after the fully-equipped squadron achieves FOC.

To DASHU: Regretably, I will have to give that expo a miss.

To Buddha: The air-launched BrahMos will have a 290km-range. Hypersonic BrahMos or BrahMos-2 will have a range exceeding 500km.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.12AM: This is how ELBIT Systems describes the TARGO: “Based on DASH legacy helmets and other Elbit Systems HMD technologies, Elbit Systems developed Targo™, a Helmet Mounted Avionics technology that provides all the benefits of prior HMDS including helmet visor projected imagery and symbology, precision head tracking and cueing, and also provides avionics upgrade for new existing capabilities. In addition, the system provides upgrade of avionic capabilities such as navigation, audio and video recording, training, simulation and mission management. These capabilities come with minimal hardware modifications and lower cost while maintaining safety. Targo can be uniquely tailored to each customer’s aircraft needs. Applications include fighters, trainers and cargo platforms as well as paramilitary, SAR, police and other emergency services.” The TARGO has now superceded the Dash Mk3 in ELBIT’s product range. The TARGO was first displayed at the HALBIT (JV between HAL & ELBIT) booth at Aero India last year.
Yes, the R & D process of Tejas Mk1 & LCA (Navy) Mk1 have suffered from delays, simply because the R & D expertise (especially skilled human resources) & corresponding military-industrial infrastructure were both lacking, and had to be built up from scratch. That’s the real reason why I’ve uploaded the various posters of ADA & BEL to just give you all in idea of what exactly had to be developed in order to come up with a fourth-generation MRCA. For each individual component, not only in-house designs, but also laboratory test-benches & simulating facilities, plus their manufacturing lines had to be catered for and all this takes a lot of time for anyone who’s trying to develop such a product for the very first time. For the sake of comparison, things haven’t been much better or faster for China’s J-10 either. For the tejas Mk2, however, there won’t be any major R & D obstacles to be overcome, since the core scientific/technological competencies now exist within the DRDO, and HAL and its private-sector vendor supplier base. However, it will take two years—from 2014 to 2016—to validate the larger new-design air-intakes of the IAF-specific Tejas Mk2 & from 2016 to 2018 for the LCA (Navy) Mk2. As for the avionics suite, the challenges will be lesser if the EL/M-2052 AESA-MMR is selected, since this will only involve replacing the front-end of the existing EL/M-2032 with that of the EL/M-2052, with the back-end avionics LRUs (like the programmable signals processor, exciter, receiver, ECS module) all staying the same.
For all operational Mk1 models (40 for the IAF and 19 for the Navy), GE-built F404-IN20 turbofans will be used, while the 83 Tejas Mk2s & 46 LCA (Navy) Mk2s will have F414-GE-IN56 turbofans. An orders for the Tejas additional to this will PROBABLY be powered by the Kaveri K-10. I say probably because the long-awaited joint R & D agreement between GTRE & SNECMA Moteurs has not yet been formalised and announced. I expect that by June this year, all the off-the-shelf components & sub-systems being sought from abroad will be selected. The EW suite has already been finalized & will include the Tarang Mk3 RWR, MILDS AR-60V2 missile approach warning system (MAWS) and Elettronica Spa’s ELT-568 AESA-based internal EW jammer (like the Spectra from THALES). These AESA-based active-array jammers can also engage in active cancellation techniques, whuich is a very promising R & D arena as far as active stealth goes.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.12PM & Shaurya: This is how ELBIT Systems describes the TARGO in a statement last year during Aero India: “Based on DASH legacy helmets and other Elbit Systems HMD technologies, Elbit Systems developed Targo™, a Helmet Mounted Avionics technology that provides all the benefits of prior HMDS including helmet visor projected imagery and symbology, precision head tracking and cueing, and also provides avionics upgrade for new existing capabilities. In addition, the system provides upgrade of avionic capabilities such as navigation, audio and video recording, training, simulation and mission management. These capabilities come with minimal hardware modifications and lower cost while maintaining safety. Targo can be uniquely tailored to each customer’s aircraft needs. Applications include fighters, trainers and cargo platforms as well as paramilitary, SAR, police and other emergency services.” The TARGO has now superceded the Dash Mk3 in ELBIT’s product range. The TARGO was first displayed at the HALBIT (JV between HAL & ELBIT) booth at Aero India last year.

To Anon@7.48PM: By “best package” what are you referring to? Mission avionics suite or weapons package? If your queries are specific, then I will be able to oblige you with specific answers.

To Mr.RA 13: The Tejas Mk2 will, by all accounts, be a full-fledged M-MRCA, especially after it gets the critical in-flight refuelling capability.

To SNTATA: When will Nirbhay be flight-tested? By all accounts it already has on the Su-30MKI, as evidenced by the CEMILAC poster I uploaded in an earlier thread last month. But has it been test-fired in an operational configuration and has it been validated for operational usage? Not yet, and I expect this process to commence in the latter half of this year. Regarding the Tejas, even the DRDO’s press-releases have stopped labelling it as an LCA. The LRDE-designed S-band AESA radar for the CABS-designed AEW & CS will be installed on the EMB-145 aircraft only after the EMB-145 arrives in India before this June. Only after its arrival will all mission sensors be installed on-board for the flight certification process to begin.

Anand said...

Hi Prasun,

U mentioned SP1 n SP2 will be handed over to IAF by this year.So it will form part of the 1st squadron.Are LSPs 7 n 8 same as SPs 1 and2?Also if IAF does not certify(partially some systems) or requests changes in LSPs 7 and 8 will it affect the SPs 1 and 2 also? When do u expext the 1st 20 aircrafts to become fully operational?

Regards,

Anand.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

I'm Anon@7.48PM: By “best package” what are you referring to? Mission avionics suite or weapons package? Both.
I believe readers like me will find it an interesting read if you can draw a future capabilities that may be included in Tejas keeping in mind current and future operational needs of the platform. When I say platform I believe it will work in an integrated network environment along with other airborne/spaceborne/ground assets, the way India is planning her combat aircraft modernization.
Who knows given your knowledge and insight your thoughts may pick someone's mind in some head quarter!

Thanks in advance.

NR

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anand: LSPs 7 & 8 will not be the same as SP-1 & SP-2. The LSP-series of Tejas Mk1—specifically LSP-2, LSP-3, LSP-4, LSP-5, LSP-7 & the yet-to-be-delivered LSP-8—are presently being used for flight certification/weapons qualification purposes only by both ADA’s National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) and the IAF’s Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE). Of these, only LSP-7 & LSP-8 along with the tandem-seat PV-5 will be used only by ASTE for drafting the Tejas Mk1’s flight operations and maintenance manuals, an exhaustive process that is expected to be completed by early 2014. Only after this is completed will the 40 SP-series aircraft (36 single-seaters & four tendem-seaters) will begin being inducted into service by the IAF. The first four SP-series aircraft now under final assembly will be deployed at Gwalior with the IAF’s Tactics & Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) by mid-2014 & will be used for articulating the Tejas Mk1’s tactics for operational employment in both air combat & precision ground-strike. This process will last till late-2015. In the meantime, No45 Sqn would have received all its Tejas Mk1 (from the SP-series) between later this year & mid-2015 and by mid-2016 the squadron will attain full operational capability. The 40 SP-series Mk1s will thus be the final production-standard aircraft that will be part of the IAF’s operational fleet of frontline combat aircraft. The IAF-specific LSPs will then become the property of the IAF’s Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment. As of now that’s how the timetable stands.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To NR: I've already covered those areas before at:
http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2011/04/tejas-mk2-m-mrca-crunch-time-for-ada.html
&
http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2011/07/tejas-mk2-mrcas-r-d-effort-gathers-pace.html
Bweyond that, all I can add is that:
1) The lack of in-flight refuelling probe and an IRST sensor on the Tejas Mk1 is a deficiency that needs to be corrected. Between these two, the IRST sensor is too critical a sensor to be done away with. For an IAF already used to employing IRSTs on its MiG-29s and Su-30MKIs and in future on the Rafale & FGFA, the IRST sensor on the Tejas Mk1 will be sorely missed.
2) The tandem-seat operational conversion variant of the Tejas Mk1 needs to be produced in greater numbers, in my view to at least 60. This is because the IAF does not possess the kind of lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) that's required for training two-man aircrew teams that are reqd for the Su-30MKI fleet and in future will also be required for the Rafales & FGFAs. This is a huge flying training void that needs to be filled ASAP. The Hawk Mk132, being only an AJT meant for training rookie pilots (destined for frontline single-seat combat aircraft) the art of mission management in a glass cockpit environment, is clearly not up to the task of LIFT-related flying training.

Anonymous said...

I thought the article was going to be continued...

1. Is Super 30 project include reduction of Su30 mki RCS ?? If yes then by how much it will be reduced and by what means ???

2. What is happening with FICV project ?? Can we expect some development in Defexpo 2012 ?? What is Mahindra and ALL offering considering Mahindra has tie-up with BAE and ALL with KMW and Paramount ??

3. According to recent reports IAF wants to monitor borders with Airborne Standoff Radar (ASTOR) aircraft and Raytheon ASTOR is considered to be favorite. Is this deal a priority ?? If yes then by when is this deal likely to be closed and how many such aircrafts will be purchased ??

4. How many Spyder SAM is being used by IA ? I am asking this because other than IAF's 18 system there's no where mentioned about IA's purchase of Spyder. Also you said in one of your previous statements that since 2010 more Spyder units were ordered by both IA and IAF. How many more units were order by both forces and how many more will be ordered in future ?? I am asking this because there's a RFP issued for QRSAM and SRSAM last year alongwith VSHORAD and MRSAM of IA.

5. When the hell are we gonna sign ATGM, LUH and M777 deal ?

6. According to Mr. Pallum Raju, the artillery modernisation program is opened again thia year. THat means all the deals for tracked, wheeled SPG, towed artillery and ultra light artillery will be opened. Now why these deals are opened again ?? Does IA wants to purchase them from outside ? Is MOD interested or they are just making IA happy and then in a couple years cancel the whole project again ? Should we expect some new developments in Defexpo on artillery front ?? Is M777 better than SLWH Pegasus because ST Kinetics claim otherwise ???

Anonymous said...

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/11/world/meast/israel-iron-dome/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Is the 'Tamir' missile has anything similar to Barak 8/NG?

Wiki says it has technology which is part of SPYDER system.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.28AM: The Tamir SAM will be an effective neutraliser of inbound MBRL rockets of the type used by the likes of Smerch-M (& their Chinese clones) & Pinaka Mk1. It has nothing in common with the SpyDer and uses the EL/M-2084 radar (the same used for the Barak-2/8) for early warning & target engagement.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Prasun.

So this type of missile defense s required given the possible scenario that you have illustrated in your last postings.
Will Barak-2/8 be able to play that Iron Dome is playing?
What is the difference between Barak system and Iron Dome?

Thanks,

NR

spanky's Blog said...

Hi Prasun,
Awesome article.probably the 1st one to describe the entire development and system integration in such details for Tejas. I don't think there are any such article currently on net similar to this.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To NR: I think you're getting mixed up with two different types of air-defence systems. The 'Iron Dome' system is for combatting both MBRL rockets & inbound cruise missiles & therefore makes use of the Tamir & SpyDer, while 'David's Sling' system is about anti-aircraft defence & BMD and makes use of Barak-2/8 MR-SAM/LR-SAM. Check out the systems configuration diagram of both these systems that I had earlier uploaded at: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2011/11/singapores-spyder-sr-iron-dome-air.html

To Spanky's Blog: VMT. Kindly note the estimated induction/delivery timetables plus the reqmt for a LIFT variant of the Tejas Mk1, both of which I've explained in comments above at 1.02AM & 2.04AM.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To NR: And as you rightly pointed out above, given the need to combat the massed fire-assaults which could be mounted by the PLA forces under the Lanzhou MR facing eastern J & K, I would say yes, there's definitely a need to acquire battlefield air-defence systems like the Iron Dome & its Tamir/SpyDer-SR elements. The David's Sling system, on the other hand, will come in handy for combatting the threats posed by NLOS-BSMs.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

"2) The tandem-seat operational conversion variant of the Tejas Mk1 needs to be produced in greater numbers, in my view to at least 60. This is because the IAF does not possess the kind of lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) that's required for training two-man aircrew teams that are reqd for the Su-30MKI fleet and in future will also be required for the Rafales & FGFAs. This is a huge flying training void that needs to be filled ASAP. The Hawk Mk132, being only an AJT meant for training rookie pilots (destined for frontline single-seat combat aircraft) the art of mission management in a glass cockpit environment, is clearly not up to the task of LIFT-related flying training. "

Excellent conclusion.

The design and production capabilities of Tejas shall be fully exploited and utilized for such utterly useful purposes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

You had given a very interesting answer to what the American operative captured in Pak was doing there.Could you also let us know where the US military is now w.r.to operations in Pak and what plans they have in Pak? Also what has the US achieved in Afghanistan now that US President has announced withdrawal in 2014 and stressed it?I think the US may have made a deal with the Taliban for protection to the oil pipelines that may come up in Afghanistan else they usually do not talk abt the subject.

Anonymous said...

Nice article...

Is The F-35 Strike Fighter The Military Chevy Volt?

http://news.investors.com/article/602484/201202271859/f35-joint-strike-fighter-problems-mount-.htm?ven=OutBrainCP

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
GREAT article as always man.

1.What is the difference between Tarang Mk2 and Mk3??

2.A few years ago it was reported that DARE was developing an AESA based barrage jammer and a prototype was being tested onboard a Mig 27-What's the status of that project sir??

3.Do you know by when Helina ATGM would be ready for induction and will it be fitted with LCH??

4.Is there and inhouse project by DRDO to develop laser/GPS-INS guided ammunitions for 155mm artillery guns and MBRLs??

5.Why Tejas is using an imported RLG-INS?? Couldn't the RCI have developed one like it did for Agni missiles??

6.Do you know if our missiles like Agni,Shaurya,Prahar etc have been fitted with the GLONASS guidenece modules or not??
7.And lastly,has the Russians agreed to transfer the technology for the miniaturised SAR modules used for terminal guidence of ballistic missiles??

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

spanky's Blog said...

Hi Prasun,
yes I did saw the estimated induction schedule.So If I am not wrong the Tejas MK1 would be up and gunning in front line service by 2016-2017.As for Tejas Mk2 I think it should be inducted by 2018.here I am assuming that most of the tech challenges will already have been dealt with in Mk1.Also by then the IAF will hopefully have been familiarized with the machine.Whats ur view?

As for the LIFT requirement can you kindly explain why it is so much necessary? The hawk AJT can also be used for the same.As far ur comment that it will be used by rookie pilots dont u think the exp pilots can do the same i.e. use hawks?Plus the every squadron have at least 2 trainer aircraft for aircraft specific training.So wldn't it be better if we tweak the Tejas MK1 and convert it into supersonic AJT. hoping to get ur perspective on this.

Thanks
Swarop

Anonymous said...

To NR: And as you rightly pointed out above, given the need to combat the massed fire-assaults which could be mounted by the PLA forces under the......

In other words, there is nothing in Indian inventory to defend against a Chinese assault of MBRL which Pakistan also posses. Not that I'm aware of any near future planned procurement to counter this threat. The only available option is preemptive actions - destroying them before they are put into use. But give the range of those MBRLS ~ 130 KM, odds are high. If what I have said above is true, I'm sure you have added them in the China related analysis that you are preparing/prepared.

Appreciate your response.

NR

Anonymous said...

Prasun any idea whats this ?

http://tarmak007.blogspot.in/2012/03/releasing-soon-any-idea-whats-coming-up.html

Is this the to be launched Agni, its diameter seems to be larger than ISRO's PSLV upper stage.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.10AM: It has continued and was concluded in the comments section, with my replies at 1.02AM & 2.04AM. As for the rest of your queries, they will get answered by the first week of next month in the aftermath of DEFEXPO 2012.

To Mr.RA 13 & Spanky’s Blog aka Swarop: For the IAF-specific Tejas Mk1 the LSPs 7 & 8 will now be tweaked and fine-tuned by both the NFTS & ASTE after which the SPs 1/2/3/4 will give the TACDE the much-needed hands-on experience for devising operational squadron-level combat employment tactics. Therefore, going now from here on will be smooth without hiccups. The Navy-specific NP-1 will, however, require more structural refinements with the help of inputs from highly experienced ex-US Navy aviators/engineers from the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, who have been hired as private consultants (as opposed to what BROADSWORD was falsely claiming to be the case two years ago, when he claimed that Lockheed Martin had landed this contract, & that’s when I began strongly suspecting for the very first time that this guy was lobbying for the above-mentioned company, which has now been proven with his die-hard rants in favour of the F-35 JSF).
For the IAF-specific Tejas Mk2, the ADA faces challenges in two main areas due to IAF-mandated standard fitments: firstly, incorporation of AESA-based MMR & IRST sensor; and secondly, a more user-friendly cockpit display suite that can enable the pilot to undertake interleaved operations for both air combat and precision strike. While procuring the reqd hardware is the simplest part, the most challenging part will be working out the systems interfaces & mission management procedures—both of which will call for new systems integration solutions. It is thus hoped that in such areas, THALES’ or IAI’s assistance as technical consultant/mentor will be sought & obtained.
Coming now to the LIFT issue, the transonic Hawk Mk132 AJT is used for empowering a trainee pilot for flying single-seat air combat aircraft. That’s why, the Hawk Mk132’s cockpit has been designed to accommodate only a pilot & his/her flight instructor, and not the pilot & weapon systems operator (WSO). A LIFT, on the other hand, is configured to accommodate the pilot & his/her WSO. Presently, there’s no airborne platform available to the IAF for training pilot/WSO teams to undertake interleaved cockpit taskings and consequently, all such training has to be carried out on actual Su-30MKIs (and in future on the Rafales & FGFAs), which only reduces the airframe lives of these operational combat aircraft. Therefore, just as the USAF employs its T-38s for training pilot/WSO teams destined for the F-15Es, the IAF requires a tandem-seat Tejas configured as a LIFT (capable of accommodating the pilot/WSO team and also being fitted with a low-cost AESA-MMR & IRST sensor), as opposed to just a tandem-seat Tejas operational conversion trainer that can only house the pilot undergoing operational conversion to the single-seat Tejas, plus his/her flight instructor. Given the fact that AESA-MMR-equipped aircraft like the Super Su-30MKI, Rafale & FGFA will all be capable of interleaved aircrew operations/taskings, logic demands that the IAF acquire a fleet of LIFT-configured Tejas tandem-seaters as well.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANURAG: Tarang Mk3 has a greatly expanded EW threat library, thanks to the usage of latest COTS-type on-board processors. The barrage jammer project has been terminated & ELL-8251 escort jammers have been procured. Helina/LCH will be available for induction by 2015. DRDO is developing GPS- guided ammunition for 155mm artillery guns. And for MBRL rocket’s terminal guidance it is the Trajectory Correction System (TCS), and not GPS. RCI/ASL-developed RLG-INS (on the BrahMos, Agni-4 & Prahaar) is of the use-and-throw type, and are not reusable. Therefore, the locally available RLG-INS cannot be compared to the imported ones like SAGEM’s Sigma-95N (on the Su-30MKI, Tejas Mk1 & MiG-29UPG/N & Mirage 2000UPG) & THALES’ Totem on the MiG-21 Bison. The answer to your 6th query lies in the second photo from the top at: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2011/09/prahaar-nlos-bsm-explained.html
As for the 7th query, the answer for now cannot be either confirmed or denied.

To NR: There are always future planned procurements to counter such threats. That’s why the IAF has already begun the accelerated induction of EL/M-2084 Arudhra multi-mode radar which is common to both the Iron Dome & David’s Sling systems, while the Indian Army too will begin receiving such radars once it firms up its orders for the Barak-2 MR-SAM. After that, it’s only an issue of procuring the Tamir launchers & missile rounds. Interestingly, the full-scale version of the EL/M-2084 displayed by IAI/ELTA during Aero India last year wasn’t the rectangular-shape grey-colour version meant for the Dabid’s Sling, bit was instead the square-shaped olive-green colour variant used with the Iron Dome. That should give you enough indications of where things are headed.

To Anon@9.19PM: GSLV Mk3, also known as LVM-3. Only the stages of satellite launch vehicles are assembled/painted in vertically stacked-up configuration. Ballistic missiles, especially cannistered ones, are always assembled horizontally.

Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,
VMT for your reply.
Sir,perdon my ignorance but
Can you PLEASE explain why does an aircraft or missile need INS when there is GPS??
And how does the INS help the vehicle to nevigate and correct its course without any external aid??

THANX in advance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anonymous said...

Prasunda,
It'll be really nice if you can kindly write a detail comparative study report regarding Tejas in it's current configuration vis a vis JF-17 or any other aircrafts of it's class, same also goes for MBT Arjun.
Always eagerly looking forward to read your informative analysis.
Thanks in advance...........
regards,
Dutta

Yawn said...

Prasun,

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/north/antony-tells-mod-probe-rafale-deal-744

following a complaint from some little known TDP MP-

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/hyderabad/rafale-aircraft-shunned-all-countries-708

The Headlines and the fact that these articles appear in the same paper makes the Indian media look absolutely pathetic, literally whoring themselves for anyone.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anurag: Between RLG-INS navigation & GPS navigation, RLG-INS is far more reliable, while GPS is more accurate. RLG-INS is reliable because it is tamper-proof and cannot be spoofed, whereas GPS signals can be spoofed. In addition, GPS is highly unreliable when used in bad weather conditions or in mountainous/jungle terrain under thick foliage (the same problems with DTH TV signals that one encounters during the monsoons).

To DUTTA: Such exhaustive analyses are best explained by performance parameter charts and graphs that are normally highly restricted (since they’re prepared by the likes of TACDE in case of combat aircraft), but not TOP SECRET in terms of circulation/dessimination. But in case of the Tejas Mk1, such data won’t be available until the IAF’s TACDE gets the chance to fly this aircraft. The same goes for the JF-17 Thunder, whose weapons employment envelopes are still being tested.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To YAWN: Put simply, Telugu Desam MP M V Mysoora Reddy’s membership of India’s Parliament needs to be revoked, since he does not understand even the basics of law. Firstly, no inquiry into any evaluation process can be initiated due to mere allegations or circumstantial evidence on manipulation of the decision-making process. Secondly, WTF does he mean by claiming that “the Rafale aircraft has not been sold to any country…..why should India buy a combat aircraft that no other country has purchased?” Doesn’t he know for how long France has been operating the Rafale? And this is most hilarious: “In Libya, in the war against Gaddafi, the Rafale had failed in precision bombing and finally the Typhoon was inducted. The UAE too has rejected the Rafale.”
What this utterly disgraceful, shameless & totally ignorant MP needs to be told is that if he can’t produce within 30 days any incontrovertible evidence of any form of wrongdoing by any IAF or MoD official, then he should publicly admit his mistake & quit as an MP. In addition, he ought to read the leaked evaluation report of the Swiss Air Force, which has placed the Rafale in pole position. And by the way, here’s some info on the Libyan campaign:
The French operation was codenamed ‘Opération Harmattan’ and it involved five Rafales and one Harfang UAV based at the Sigonella air base in Sicily, while based at La Sude air base in Crete were six Mirage 2000-Ds, four Mirage 2000-Ns, four Mirage F1 CRs, an E-3F AWACS and a C-135 aerial refuelling tanker. The participating aircraft flew a total of 27,000 flight hours in 5,600 sorties. These were broken down into 3,100 offensive sorties, 1,200 reconnaissance sorties, 400 air defence sorties, 340 airspace control sorties, and 580 mid-air refuelling sorties. These sorties accounted for 25% of the coalition sorties, 35% of the offensive missions and 20% of the strikes-- including the one which led to Col Muammar Gadaffi’s death on October 20. About 4,200 men and women from France’s air force, navy and army were involved. At sea one fleet replenishment tanker, three guided-missile frigates and one nuclear-powered attack submarine accompanied the BPC Mistral class LPH and its air mobility group (18 helicopters). These helicopters accounted for 90% of the coalition strikes. They undertook about 40 raids during which 450 targets were destroyed. The French helicopter strike group always included two Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters and then a combination of six to eight other helicopters chosen from the four SA.330 Pumas, eight SA.342 Hot ATGM-equipped Gazelles, two cannon-armed Gazelles and two Mistral-equipped Gazelles.
The UK spent around £160 million on its involvement in the military campaign in Libya, with weapons replenishment costs estimated at £140 million. From the start of operations in Libya until October 24, UK military forces had employed around 1,420 precision-guided munitions, around 110 direct-fire weapons, around 4,100 rounds of direct fire 30mm cannon rounds, and around 240 high-explosive or illumination rounds from 4.5-inch naval guns. The weapons expended included MBDA-built dual-mode Brimstone ATGMs and Storm Shadow land-attack cruise missiles, and Raytheon-built Enhanced Paveway II laser-guided bombs and Tomahawk long-range land-attack cruise missiles. Unlike France, the UK did not break down the figure more precisely. At the peak of operations, 32 aircraft were involved, including 16 Tornado GR-4s, six Eurofighter Typhoons, five AgustaWestland WAH-64Ds, one Raytheon Sentinel R1 ASTOR battlespace surveillance platform, three Boeing E-3D AWACS and two VC-10 aerial refuelling tankers. Of the coalition’s total sortie of more than 26,320 missions, including 9,658 strike sorties, the UK logged 3,000 sorties of which 2,100 were counted as strike missions, striking around 640 targets successfully.

spanky's Blog said...

Hi prasun,
Thanks for the very lucid description.That cleared many of my doubts.

On the other front, the Arjun tank recently gt a indigenous video tracker approved for it. The media reports aren't very clear. what exactly it is?will it be fitted to Mk1A or Mk2.
Thanks
Swarop

Anonymous said...

Your reply @4:01 am is the sort of stance the government should take. Prove the processes followed are inaccurate or resign. These pollies have really started holding the nation to ransom. Possibly the poor souls aka deccan chronicle and the TDP are posturing themselves for "British Aid".

What some people say is so true, nobody needs to fight to conquer India, just create a situation where they cannibalise each other.

Anonymous said...

I am the anon @3:55 pm
Just wished to add if Eurofighter does come into the fray we will be negotiating with Eurofighter gmbh and the British tabloid media along with their parliamentarians.

And we got a taste of their condescending attitude and behaviour when their planes were rejected in favour of the Rafale.

I just wish that if it is not to be rafale then let it be a homegrown plane. Definitely not the eurofighter.

Anonymous said...

Hey PRASUN , as you said the IA and the IAF should procure a battlefield defence system to protect against massed NLOS - BSM fore assault . In your previous thread u had said that the Spyder SR system can be used for intercepting H-4 glide bombs. But isn't it inconvenient ? Each F-16 can carry about 6-8 glide bombs. As a TEL carry only 4 rounds this will require 2 TELs. Also the Spyder SR is not suited for countering massed fire assaults both by NLOS-BSM as well as those using air launched PGMs since only 4 rounds per TEL is a greater disability which means the TELs have to reloaded mire frequently. The IAF and the IA should employ a counter PGM Sam system which will include both gun and missile components . Has the IAF and the IA made any decision about procuring such systems. Will the Iron DOme system be purchased? The IA and IAF must also order the David sling system. The Barak 2 has most hardware common with the David sling. What IAF should do is to integrate the STUNNER missile of the David sling into it's own Barak system . Also will the IAF order the Skygyard system ? Thus system can be effectively used as a counter PGM with a SAM component . So at present what is the IAF and the IA doing to protect their respective resources from manslaughter by massed fire assault from the air and ground apart from fielding a large no of Elta 2084. Also has the IAF projected the requirement of a counter PGM system? Pls pls reply.

Anonymous said...

Hi iam Anon@9.19PM: Do u have any information regarding the cryogenic stage of the GSLV Mk3. Its supposed to be Indian made CE-20. Did ISRO finally master the technology considering the previous failure on 15/4/10.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun, can you please tell whether GSLV mk-2 (with Indian cryo engine) and GSLV Mk-3 (with Indian cryo engine) are going to be flight tested this year?, if so when likely?"

Anonymous said...

Prasun look at this image :

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8MPHNhvE_WQ/T1865PVssgI/AAAAAAAAO6Y/8OPQtN9sd54/s1600/Fire%2Bsupport%2Bbeing%2Bprovided%2Bduring%2Bthe%2Bexercise-759978.JPG

Is the guy standing on the jeep is Indian ??? If yes then is he wearing his own gears ??

KSK said...

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/02-Mar-2012/brig-ali-planned-attack-on-ghq-with-f-16-plane

Has 1 ever seen a country so unstable?
No1 believes them n they dont trust there own...

Anand said...

Hi Prasun,

So what u e basically saying is only when LSPs 7 n 8 complete their filght certification by IAF, which will be somewhere in early 2014, Tejas will finally acheive FOC?

Regards,

Anand.

Anonymous said...

The Navy variant of Tejas will be only MK2 ones right?

KSingh said...

Hey Prasun, good article mate!


What do you think the likelihood of IA going for the Stryker is? As I had heard a while back the IA were very interested in it and the US certainly seem to be making a strong sales pitch for it. Given the number of variants and mobility it seems ideal for IA (even if only for some units). Especially as F-ICV is nowhere in sight.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Spanky’s Blog/Swarop: The video tracking technique is the same as that used by optronic fire-control systems & IRST sensors. In this case, both the commander’s panoramic thermal imaging sight & the gunner’s thermal imaging sight will be able to automatically keep the acquired target fixed on its cross-hairs even when the target is manoeuvring/on the move, thereby lessening the workload of the gunner. A new commander’s panoramic sight has been produced by BEL & its tests have begun this very month on a T-90S MBT. This same sight will also be on the Arjun Mk1A & Mk2 MBTs.

To Anon@4.16PM: That’s why I’ve made the case above for acquiring the LIFT variant of the Tejas Mk1 in large numbers, since such homegrown solutions are indeed reqd most urgently. However, will such advice fall on deaf ears? This is likely to happen, just as the governments of the day prevented HAL from fully developing the HTT-35 basic turboprop trainer in the mid-1990s and never bothered to instruct HAL to develop the HJT-36 as a swept-wing advanced jet trainer in the late 1990s. Consequently, the imported Hawk Mk132s and PC-7 Mk2s are now the only solutions. Such wasted opportunities!!!

To Anon@5.03PM: There are at least six TEL in each SpyDer Battery, so the number of TELs reqd for engaging gliding PGMs is not an issue. For NLOS-BSMs, as I’ve stated earlier, the SpyDer isn’t the solution. What’s reqd is a mixture of Barak-2 MR-SAM & AAD-1/2 hypersonic interceptors. Elements of David’s Sling & Iron Dome are already entering service, like the EL/M-2084 Arudhra multi-mode active phased-array radar, the SpyDers and in future the Barak-2 MR-SAM & Barak-8 LR-SAM. The gun component will be the SkyRanger, not the Skyguard. Eventually, the Tamir missiles too will have to be procured if the intention is to neutralise the threats posed by long-range MBRL rounds carrying sensor-fused munitions.

To Anon@5.52PM & SNTATA: ISRO’s flight-test & satellite launch schedules have of late missed their targets, incudling those of the GSLV Mk2 using an indigenous cryogenic rocket, and the RISAT-1 remote-sensing satellite using a synthetic aperture radar. Both projects are two years behind schedule.

To Anon@9.50AM: No they’re not Indian soldiers. They’re probably taking part in EX Yudh Abhyas.

To ANAND: No, not like that. Flight certification only validates the flying & maintenance practices to be followed. Only after this will the IAF’s TACDE begin receiving the aircraft for exploring ways of using the aircraft for operational missions. It is a step-by-step process. Therefore, it will take two years to flight-certify the Tejas Mk1 and another two years to make it a fully operational weapon system, i.e. by 2016.

To Anon@11.33PM: No. The Navy will get 19 Tejas Mk1s, of which one is the NP-1 technology demonstrator, eight more (four single-seatets & four tandem-seaters) to follow as LSPs & the remaining 10 will be SPs. Following this, 46 LCA (Navy) Mk2s will be procured.

To KSingh: The FICV will be tracked, not wheeled. Stryker-type AIFVs are more suited for areas featuring hard-soil & flat-land of the type found in the locational deserts of eastern Ladakh & Aksai Chin. For areas like the Thar/Cholistan deserts and the plains of Punjab, tracked vehicles are preferred.

Anonymous said...

looking at the less than successful attempts by the various indian defence establishments, it is better if our forces buy their products from abroad. They don't have the focus of say PAF, who have their own k-8's, Mushaks, JF-17's.....all serving and upgradable locally.

Anonymous said...

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WkC51wxroWg/T109-mur3wI/AAAAAAAAOQY/nQad7sswW7E/s1600/1331477822_89228.jpg

When will such sights be seen in India?

Anonymous said...

Compared to Israeli Risat-2. The Indian Risat-1 is much heavier. Does this mean it has far more capability than the Risat-2 ? Did ISRO get any help from Israel for Risat-1. Together what features will they bring to the armed forces.

Anonymous said...

Is any country developing anti electronics weapons like the US Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP). Does IAF have plans to develop or acquire similar weapon.

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun do you any information on the new light weight Modular Bullet-Proof Vests that IA was supposed to be testing last year and purchase this year ?? There are supposed to be two jackets low threat perception” mission, the jacket will weigh less than 4 kilograms and have a trauma pad with a soft armour plate all around it and a high threat mission jacket which will weigh 10.5-11.5 kilograms with hard armour plates all around it. Unlike the conventional bullet-proof jackets, these vests can be taken off part by part depending on the mission of the soldiers.

An article about the various procurements that are going on and that are planned in the near future for upgrading individual soldier and SFs like new BP vests, helmets, communication and situational awareness devices, NVGs, hand held or wearable portable computers, new guns and their sights would be highly appreciated by all your fans ...

Anonymous said...

Hi PRASUN ,, 1. U said the defence forces are procuring elements of the Iron dome and David Sling systems such as Elta 2084 but are we purchasing the missiles associated with it? 2. Aren't the IAF purchasing any counter PGM system? To effectively defeat all threats the IAF should deploy a 2 -layered Sam network- the outer layer should consist of the Barak-2/ LR-SAM and these should intercept hostile aircrafts, UAVs, NLOS-BSM, TBM and more specifically terrain hugging cruise missile and supersonic cruise missile . The inner group should consist of C-PGM system which should provide protection from massed fire assaults , air launched PGM such as LGB, glide bombs , tactical strike missiles, anti radiation missiles and also cruise missiles and NLOS-BSM. Shooting down air launched PGM with the Barak-2 or the Spyder Sam is not a feasible option as the interceptor will cost much much more then the target. Now the IAF and the IA are conscious of the cruise missile threats and will deploy the Barak-2 in large nos. What about the inner layer? The most logical choice would be to use the a modified form of the Iron dome. What is the range of the Tamir missile ? The Tamir missile can be modified to increase it's range and make it suitable for the anti PGM role and also to increase it's target envelope to include hostile ac. Along with these a gun element like the Skyranger system should be included. It's radar directed revolver cannot firing programmable air burst ammunition is very effective in shooting down any air threat except ballistic missiles. If the Skyranger turret also includes sone missiles it will be great. The Skyranger system is already veins developed to fit into the C-PGM and C-RAM role by Rheinmetall.3. Prasun , u are a great analyst. U also know about many of our weapons developement and procurement program. So will the IAF and the IA purchase any C-PGM system? Will the IAF procure the Tamir missiles? Has any firm orders for the Skyranger system been placed? 4. Can u pls give the no of Spyder SR rounds( both Python-5 and Derby) purgased by the IA? 5. The Python is a IR homing missile. Since a subsonic cruise missile like the Chinese DH-1/2/3 , Tomahawk has a very low heat signature and air launched PGMs have no heat signature, the Python round cannot be used against them or can it be used? Pls reply.

Anonymous said...

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/article2995336.ece?ref=wl_opinion

This article claims that EADS has presented a new price package for the Typhoon. Do you think that it will have relevance for the MMRCA negotiations at this stage?

Unknown said...

Hey Prasun,

You said the Stryker AIFV is not ideal for some terrains in India but does that mean IA will. It get any? As I have heard many rumours the IA is highly interested and maybe thats why the US keeps bringing them to India.


Also when do you think we will see the M777 deal to be signed? It has been pending for a while and reports recently have said we are close to seeing the deal go through.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

The question is about ways of engaging airborn threats (missiles/ rockets etc.). I can think of the following scenarios.

Case 1: Threat was tracked and a single missile is fired. Tracking continues until the target is destroyed. If the threat persists due to anti-missile missing the missile/rocket another missile is fired.

Case2: Threat was tracked and couple (or more) of missiles are fired increasing the chance of destruction - if one misses another will engage and so on.

In Case 2, its obvious the risk factors are high if the anti-missile missile misses, it leaves with less time to engage the inbound missile with anti-missile. In case 2, the obvious question is how many is optimum. But I guess in case of high value targets the second case is more probable.


How things proceed in case there are multiple inbound missile?
Is there any difference in tactics between engaging missiles in land and in sea?

Appreciate your reply.

NR

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.56AM: Never, because neither the Indian Navy nor the MoD-owned shipyards requires such transportation vessels or floating drydocks. The question to be asked is: why can’t such SSKs proceed on their own power from Wuhan to Shanghai?

To Anon@3.43PM: The RISAT-2 has low-earth orbital path, while the RISAT-1 will have polar-earth orbital path. Read more about them at: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2011/04/indias-milsat-deployments-on-rise.html

To Anon@7.57PM: No. But the Russians & Chinese are at it.

To Anon@9.40PM: Jackers can always be locally-made. The hi-tech elements are the trauma pads & armour-plate inserts (either made of composites or the much heavier Kanchan armour-plates that I had made use of in the mid-1980s during operations). Armour-plate inserts are being imported from Honeywell. Other stuff like helmets etc are being supplied by MKU Pvt Ltd.

To Anon@10.11PM: No one ever claimed that the Barak-2 will be used for shooting down PGMs like GPS-/laser-guided guided artillery rounds. Nor can guns/cannons or missiles counter such PGMs. The only effective counter is a directed-energy weapon, like a tactical laser. Tamir-type missiles are only useful against MBRL rockets, while the Barak-2 is optimised for intercepting subsonic and supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles & NLOS-BSMs. The Barak-8 LR-SAM will be more effective against NLOS-BSMs. For countering land-attack cruise missiles, both the Derby & Python-5 are highly effective and in early 1991 the Euromissile ROLAND shot down a few Tomahawk T-LAMs outside Baghdad. No land-attack cruise missile can have heat signatures as low as -73 degrees Celsuis, for that is cool the seeker of the Python-5 is, meaning even a target with a heat signature of -60 degrees Celsius will be acquired & intercepted by the Python-5. All present-generation IR-guided AAMs & MANPADS have such seekers. Therefore, if acquired by such seekers, no land-attack cruise missile (air-launched or surface-launched) will ever be able to escape or survive.

To Anon@11.10PM: Absolutely no relevance at all. Because if were to be accepted, Dassault Aviation too must be allowed to come back with a revised proposal. In reality, such baniya-type bargaining does not happen. There has got to be a cutoff point.

To Unknown: Only when the Stryker AIFV is subjected to in-country trials over varied types of terrain and altitudes will its relevance to India be established. IA has never been ‘highly interested’ in such vehicles per se, but more on what’s on board the Stryker in terms of comms gear and battlefield networks connectivity solutions, since that’s what the F-INSAS & BSS, Tac3I & TCS project are all about & the IA consequently has been highly interested in the US’ Land Warrior concept so that the relevant systems architectures of such networks can benefit the FICV project.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To NR: In terms of operational tactics, even against a solitary airborne combat aircraft, missiles like the Akash or KS-1A or LY-80E have to be fired in a two-round salvo pattern in order to increase the chances of interception/hit probability to more than 90%. For intercepting NLOS-BSMs and cruise missiles, the one-shot one-kill principle applies since these missiles don’t have any on-board active countermeasures and these are mostly single-stage missiles without detachable terminal-stage warhead sections. The same goes for Tamir-type missiles when intercepting inbound rockets fired from MBRLs. But the gamechanger here is the advent of AESA-based air-defence/weapon locating radars like the EL/M-2084 Arudhra radars that are capable of simultaneous multi-taskings. That’s also the reason why new-generation WLRs like the COBRA & TPQ-47 are all AESA-based.
For intercepting the warheads sections of multi-stage ballistic missiles, however, the interception challenges are far higher and therefore to play it safe (i.e. go a higher guaranteed chance of successful interception) two interceptor vehicles need to be launched—one for interception at exo-atmospheric stage, and another for interception at endo-atmospheric stage. In the maritime domain in the high seas, there’s a clutter-free environment which facilitates successful interceptions of ‘swarm attacks’ by anti-ship cruise missiles PROVIDED a ‘comprehensive threat picture’ becomes available from a multitude of early warning/surveillance systems like passive ESM, AEW platforms equipped with AESA-based search radars & the warship’s own volume search radars. Only then can a prioritised & synchronised anti-missile air-defence operation be conducted. This is what the US Navy’s Cooperative Engagement Capability’ (CEC) is all about.

Anonymous said...

" Only when the Stryker AIFV is subjected to in-country trials over varied types of terrain and altitudes will its relevance to India be established. "
In 2009 Yudh Abhyas IA specifically said they want Stryker and it was also reported that India intends to be part of JLTV project.

Have you seen Yudh Abhyas 2012 pictures. It looks like IA has acquired some new gears.

Also is it true that some features of india's future network soldiers is been tested in JnK since 2010 ?? Some soldiers are even wearing BEL made mini computers on their body and they get full real time information on those wearable computers.

Is there some change in government's point of view in IA's modernization because it looks like IA is not getting anything ??

"Jackers can always be locally-made. The hi-tech elements are the trauma pads & armour-plate inserts (either made of composites or the much heavier Kanchan armour-plates that I had made use of in the mid-1980s during operations). Armour-plate inserts are being imported from Honeywell. Other stuff like helmets etc are being supplied by MKU Pvt Ltd."
Indian Army has reworked the General Staff Qualitative Requirements(GSQRs) for six months and zeroed in on expensive modular jackets. It has identified potential foreign suppliers. According to reports The Indian Army will be equipped by these modern bullet-proof jackets by 2012. Apparently, over ten companies have elicited their interest in supplying these modular jackets and the Indian Army’s tender indicates that 150,000 bullet-proof jackets will be inducted in the first phase and another 180,000 will be acquired in the second round.
I just wanted information on this deal, is it on track or like always delayed ? If you can get information about it, it will be highly appreciated.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon Above: The hardware being used by RR in J & K are all SWAT-type gear, and are unrelated to F-INSAS. I saw the Yudh Abhyas photos the day-before-yesterday, BEFORE anyone else released them. Check out my reply at 2.35AM above.

Samuel Diaw said...

I really do appreciate the efforts of HAL-ADA in this venture a lot! I do not mind GOI spending another $1 billion usd for completion of LCA MK2, MK3, MK4 and AMCA projects at all.. A country like ours DOES NOT need to purchase fighter aircrafts from foreign soils at billions of dollars! It's Better, WE Indians take the time, effort, patience and of course billions of dollars of Indian tax payers expenses, and develop these technologies ourselves in-house. LCA MK1 will cost no more than $25 milln. a piece i.e., if HAL can outsource most of the sub assemblies manufacturing to Indian private companies- who are already suppliers to the armed forces, and build at least 500 nos for IAF. A similar aircraft will costs us NOTHING LESS THAN $60 mln apiece from the cheapest vendor overseas! Foreign vendors will usually rip us off on the spares, maintenance, upgrades and pilot training costs- it is the standard method of selling- in order to cover their own development life cycle costs! Take the example of the Mirage 2000- costed GOI $30+ mln apiece to procure and now, Frenchies want $45 mln apiece to upgrade to the latest 2000-5 standard! Total rip-off I say! Rafale will costs us around $140 mln for over 10 years period apiece.. LCA MK2 when properly developed and mass manufactured in India, will not costs us more than $35+ mln apiece- I am willing to bet my last dollar on this aircraft! It will create more entrepreneurs in India [retired HAL ADA management can start-up pvt manufacturing companies on SMB Govt. loans] & Adds jobs to the Indian market! It will be comparable to J-10, Grippen or even the F-16 Block 60 series fighters- it will have AESA radar, some 5th gen stealth features and a full glass 5th gen cockpit- I will promise the IAF on the same features! Let us raise a Strong hand to support the valiant efforts of our beloved scientists & engineers of the DRDO's in these efforts and not criticize them unecesarily! Just see how ISRO has grown & matured into a world-player in the satellite launch business. ISRO has been more successful than even Japan, Brazil and Israel's space industries.. NaMo Jai Hind!