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Monday, April 2, 2012

DEFEXPO 2012 Highlights

Posted below is a photo of the full-scale model of the X-band active radar seeker for the PAD exo-atmospheric interceptor vehicle developed by the DRDO. The more advanced PDV interceptor vehicle's R & D process has not yet ended since it was decided back in 2010 to develop a dual-mode terminal seeker for the PDV by employing sensor-fusion techniques. Consequently, the PDV interceptor will be equipped with both the active radar seeker, plus an imaging infra-red seeker that is already being developed for the AAD-1/2 endo-atmospheric interceptors.   
Posted below is the first available artist's conception of the naval AOPV that is now being built by Pipavav Shipyards for the Indian navy. This AOPV was designed by Russia's Severnoye Design Bureau. 
Posted below are images of BEML's involvement with the Arjun MBT programme.
Details of IMI's involvement with the Arjun MBT programme are posted below. Apart from the Iron Fist APS, IMI is also supplying the WAVE-300 RCWS.
The good news is that it is almost a done deal for the Indian Navy to procure up to six Shin Maywa-built SS-3 amphibians for maritime patrol and search-and-rescue. This deal enjoys the political blessings from both India and Japan, and is most likely to be fast-tracked.
As for the P-75I submarine construction project, just as I had expected and speculated earlier, the Indian Navy is far more interested in acquiring up to nine SSNs instead of a second type of SSK of imported design. To this end, the only candidate left on the plate is the Barracuda SSN from DCNS, which was showcased at the expo as well. Meanwhile, for acquiring replacements for its existing nine Type 877EKM Kilo-class SSKs, a follow-on batch of four Scorpenes will be ordered to add to the six already on order. In a related development, the Indian Navy has undertaken an exhaustive evaluation of all AIP suite contenders and has concluded that the Stirling AIP pack from Kockums AB (now owned by Germany's Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, or TMS) is the best and most cost-effectove solution, especially since fuel cell-based AIP suites will require the creation of extensive shore-based support infrastructure facilities (at all three existing submarine bases and two new projected ones), this indeed being a cost-prohibitive proposition. Therefore, the first SSKs to be equipped with Stirling AIP packs will be the four existing Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs and the four to-be-ordered Scorpenes.

By the way, here’s what really happened with the original Scorpene contracting process. The story goes back to the period of the NDA government between 2001 and 2004, when the requirement for a SSK like the Scorpene first arose. At that time, a Rajya Sabha MP was reportedly acting as the go-between and consultant and had allegedly received some commissions in order to facilitate the Scorpene’s choice. However, when the UPA-1 government came into power, it wanted a bigger share of the commissions pie (reportedly running up to US$1.5 billion), for which the services of Abhishek Verma were allegedly sought and obtained. At that time, it was perceived and reported by some ‘desi’ journalists that due to a contracting blunder, stemming from the MoD’s propagation of a myth that significant parts of the Scorpene SSK were to be built from Indian OEM-built components, the acquisition costs of the Scorpene were to be far higher than originally envisaged. But this was not the case at all. For all along, the idea was to acquire the Scorpenes at an inflated price-level, so that elements within the UPA-1 government too would become financial beneficiaries from follow-on commissions. Therefore, under an elaborate scheme, when the contract for the Scorpenes was inked in October 2005, the contractual value was based on REM pricing values, as opposed to being a fixed-price contract. To implement this, the MoD  deliberately created a special category called Mazagon Procured Materials, or MPM, agsinst the advice of the Indian Navy. Of the total project cost of Rs18,798 crores, some Rs4,700 crores (700 million Euros) were set aside for MDL to contract directly for Scorpene-related materials. But the impression created--by giving MDL a budget for locally procuring materials and systems from multiple vendors--was false, since at Naval HQ, everyone from the Directorate of Warship Building & Construction to the Directorate of Materials knew that no India-based OEM at that time was capable of supplying such materials and components and consequently, everyone in Naval HQ knew that the bulk of the MPM budget (representing the fixed-price component of the Scorpene contract) would ultimately (by 2007) have to go straight to both DCNS and THALES and it was from there that the commissions were reportedly paid to elements of the UPA-1 government. This then clearly explains why the MoD originally preferred the REM pricing route over the fixed-price contract—an ingenious scam aimed at obtaining a greater share of commissions years after the original procurement contract for the SSks had been inked! And our ‘desi’ journalists along with the CAG and CVC are still groping in the dark and have yet to make such an elementary and logical discovery!!!
By the way, two of the DRDO's low-frequency sonar development projects involving the Nagan active/passive towed-array sonar and the Mihir dunking sonar have been terminated and instead, the MoD has authorised BEL to team up with L-3 Ocean Systems to offer the LFATS ultra low-frequency active/passive towed-array sonar (which was shown at the BEL pavilion) and the HELRAS ultra low-frequency active/passive dunking sonar (shown at the L-3 booth). This is indeed very good news.
For field artillery modernisation programmes, foreign OEMs have resorted to a novel way of bypassing all kinds of blacklistings: do not take the lead; rather, team up with an Indian OEM to offer solutions so that only the Indian OEM's name figures. Consequently, Bharat Forge, owned by the Kalyani Group, has teamed up with SOLTAM Systems (owned by ELBIT Systems) to offer the 100% Made-in-India M-46 155mm/45-cal towed howitzer. The Kalyani Group has also acquired the entire howitzer manufacturing plant of Austria-based NORICUM (formerly known as Voest Alpine), which had developed the GHN-45 155mm/45-cal howitzer and had subsequently exported the GHN-45 to Thailand, and had also developed a composite upgrade kit with the help of the late Dr Gerald Bull aimed at upgrading China's NORINCO-built M-46 clones to 155mm/45-cal standard. This highly successful programme, done in partnership with NORINCO, was last year introduced for Pakistan's NORINCO-built M-46 clones as well. Punj Lloyd has similarly teamed up with Serbia's Yugoimport SPDR to offer a similar package for the M-46 upgrade. All indications are that the Indian Army's stalled M-46 upgrade programme will be restarted, with both the Kalyani Group and Punj Lloyd being the two principal contenders. The Larsen & Toubro/Nexter Systems proposal is just a paper design, while those from the Kalyani Group and Punj Lloyd are already proven solutions.  

TATA Power SED & TATA Motors have teamed up with DENEL Land Systems to offer a motorised 155mm/52-cal howitzer and I'm told this system is most likely to be sold in the very near future to Indonesia. L & T has teamed up with NEXTER Systems to offer the Caesar 155mm/52-cal howitzer in various versions: a motorised version, as well as a M-46 upgrade proposal that makes use of the M-46's existing gun cradles. But this towed howitzer will be a 52-cal system.  It is believed that motorised howitzers will eventuallty prevail over the tracked SPH proposition (being promoted by both BEML and a partnership of L & T and South Korea's Samsung Techwin), and up to 1,800 155mm/52-cal motorised howitzers could eventually be acquired.

In a related development, in response to a global RFP issued in August 2008 by Army HQ for upgradation of an initial 100 of the existing 360 155mm/39-calibre FH-77Bs, the Jabalpur-based GCF has proposed a modification package under which a new-design 155mm/45-cal barrel (which was originally developed for the OFB’s in-house developed M-46 Metamorphosis variant), breach mechanism, muzzle-break, loading trough, recoil system, and elevating and traversing cylinders will be developed and offered for series-production. The competing proposal has come from the $21.25 million joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and BAE Systems (which was created in December 2009 as a land systems-focussed, joint venture defence company, based in Faridabad, with the company’s equity split being 74% Mahindra and 26% BAE Systems), which has proposed its FH-77B05L52 package that includes BEL-built components, along with a ToT offer that will enable GCF to receive via ToT all drawings and production-engineering data required for locally producing the 155mm/52-cal barrel, breach mechanism, muzzle-break, loading trough, recoil system along with the elevating and traversing cylinders, with the redesigned gun-trails and gun-carriages being built by the Mahindra-BAE Systems JV at Faridabad and being supplied to GCF for final assembly and systems integration. India’s Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju confirmed on March 1, 2012 that the Indian Army has already placed orders for an initial 100 new-build FH-77B05L52s with OFB, for which the Mahindra-BAE Systems JV at Faridabad will supply the gun barrels and gun cradles, both of which were shown at DEFEXPO 2012. Consequently, what is eventuially likely to happen is that while the Indian Army will in future receive 100 FH-77Bs featuring 45-cal barrels, while the remaining 260 FH-77Bs will be upgraded to FH-77B05L52 standard, and another 400 new-build FH-77B05L52s will be supplied by GCF with the help of the Mahindra-BAE Systems JV.
TATA has designed with the help of Rheinmetal DeTec both a tracked FICV as well as a wheeled AIFV.
For the Arjun Mk1A and Arjun Mk2 MBTs, ELBIT Systems' solutions on offer in the above poster. TATA Power SED has developed the new digital hunter-killer FCS for both the Arjun and T-90S MBTs, while OIP of Belgium (a subsidiary of SAGEM of France) will be supplying the Arjun's new-design panoramic commander's sight, which can also handle fire-control functions for the LAHAT ATGM.

The poster below depicts what kind of ammunition Israel's IMI is supplying for the Arjun Mk1/Mk1A, T-72CIA and T-90S MBTs.
And here's what Ukraine is proposing for the Arjun MBT.
As expected, DCNS was showcasing its Barracuda SSN (above), while ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (which also owns Kockums AB) displayed a conceptual derivative of the VISBY corvette as a prospective replacement for the Indian Navy's existing Veer-class and P-25/P-25A-class corvettes.
MDL for the very first time showed both the accurate silhouettes of both the Project 15B DDG and Project 17A FFG. Note that just like the Project 15B DDG, the Project 17A FFG hosts the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR radar, and both will also have bow-mounted panoramic sonars, as opposed to hull-mounted sonars. For these two projects, MDL has already appointed Fincantieri of Italy as its 'technology provider' under which both new-design warships will be designed. While MDL will build the first four Project 17A FFGs, GRSE will supply the remaining three FFGs.
For the Prahaar NLOS-BSM, the TEL is now coming from TATA Motors, and not from BEML/TATRA. Posted below are posters pertaining to the Agni family of 'strategic' ballistic missiles.
My prayers for storm/sun shelters for aircraft like the Su-30MKI have at last been answered, as a private company in India has at last come up with innovative solutions that are now in great demand from the IAF for the Su-30MKI, MiG-29UPG and Mi-17V-5, to begin with.
Lastly, the DRDO for the very first time showed off its DISHA passive surveillance system, developed originally as part of the Samyukta project. However, the IAF has now placed orders for DISHA, while the naval variant is called VARUNA. Do take note of the increased signals acquisition sensitivities of the new ESM sensors, which have now increased by a factor of two (or 200%) over what was originally available for the Samyukta. 

INS Kamorta will commence her wet-basin trials next March, while INS Kavaratti will be launched this May. INS Kolkata is ready for her wet-basin trials at MDL, but this will get underway only this September, as the Indian Navy has not yet finalised the DDG's crew complement, this being due to the fact that the Navy is presently facing shortages of skilled and trained manpower.

Below are posters concerning the integrated EW system being jointly proposed by TATA and L & T. The sub-systems are all imported from Germany (Rohde & Schwarz) and the UK (Ultra Electronics).
Posted below are two rather interesting exhibits.
Plenty more to follow later. Only God therefore knows why some folks have described this DEFEXPO as being the dullest ever!!!


spanky's Blog said...

Hey Prasun,
Cool man!!!! nice scoops..hoping for more.Can you write a detailed article on the SU-30MKI storm shelters.Looks interesting.Also finally IAF is waking up to proper maintainance of front line fighters..

BTW the question is not why ppl called the DEFXPO dull but it was dull in which respect?Mayb this time there was no junkets or foreign trips for our esteemed desi guys...tht would certainly make it dull

buddha said...

was waiting eagerly for your article.
thanks for your in-detail inspection and observation.
waiting for more to come
thanks again sir

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Spanky's Blog & Buddha: Rest assured, there's plenty, plenty, plenty, plenty....plenty more to come tonight. Will post all of them in this thread itself.

Anonymous said...

What does Saraswat mean when he says Arihant will be ready in the next few months. Is it 2,3,24 or 48 months?.

Sometimes one gets the feeling they were waiting for the nerpa just to move that reactor onto the Arihant.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

He means another six months. Altogether, I counted about 30 companies, private- and public-sector, that openly publicised their involvement with the Arihant.

saurav jha said...

"The Kalyani Group has also bought, knocked down and transported to India an entire operational artillery gun factory from Swiss company RUAG "

Is this true ..?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Saurav Jha: Yup, very much true. It's the former NORICUM factory that made the GHN-45. But one must note that Kalyani Group/Bharat Forge's M-46 upgrade proposal was originally drafted for NORICUM by the late Dr Gerry Bull and this very upgrade package was first mass-produced in the mid-1980s by NORINCO of China, which last year began a similar programme for Pakistan. In my view, it is better to go along with L & T/Nexter Systems' upgrade proposal since it offers the 155mm/52-cal upgrade solution for existing M-46s.

Anonymous said...

hey prasun,
will you reply to the comments in the previous post?

Anonymous said...

First of all Thanx alot...

1. Was there any update on various procurement programs for LCA mk2 like procurement of radar, irst etc.

2. Any picture or model of arjun mk2 ??? I really wanna see how it will look.

3. When is the program for developing new missile boats and guided missile corvettes will start ?? And by whom ??? Is this Kockum designed being considered ??

Prasun my friend went to Defexpo, he asked MDL about P17a, they told him they are designing it, GRSE is the one who is designing P17a because they have a better design team and they have learnt alot of new things from P28 corvette (may be because of Kockum). I don't think the poster shows the design of P17a...

Anonymous said...

Prasun i just read India is six to eight Northrop Grumman MQ-4C BAMS (Broad Area Maritime Surveillance) for high-altitude reconnaissance. Any of this happened in Defexpo 2012 ?? Is it true ??? IN wants to keep 24X7 surveillance 365 days a year. What is the actual requirement of IN for such systems ?? Will IN be able to achieve 24X7, 365 days surveillance with just 6-8 UAVs ??

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
EXCELLANT work man,eagerly waiting for more to come.

By the way,can you PLEASE reply to my quaries on the previous article??Will be greatful to you.

PLEASE try to reply Sir.

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

Anonymous said...

Prasun LnT has also tied up with Samsung-Techwin for Korean “K9 Thunder” Self Propelled Howitzer, which is the largest and most successful of the 155mm / 52 Calibre Self Propelled Artillery Systems in the world today.

Mallu said...

Hi Prasun,
Great pics and waiting to hear your over all comments on DefExpo 2012.

To become a journalist in India one needs only 2 qualifications- How to Write & Speak in English and how to lick the a*& of politicians/bureaucrats. In India, hardly any of these journalists has journalism degree. Everyone wants to speak English just the way English and American do. Hardly 1% of present Indian Journalists have true work ethics. None of these journos believe in the truth of the article. Everybody wants sensational news. For me, TOI is just the same as "ACP" (Ass Cleaning Paper).

Coming to Defense Journos, None of the so called defense journos have any idea about science, engineering and technology behind a weapon system. And they run Indian Defense Blogs claiming "India's Best Defense Blog." If the readers ask questions, they hardly answer, & if they answered the answer will be awkward. If one questions them, they become bully. Only quality they have "write in great 'Inglish', thanks to their education in Convent/boarding schools.

BTW, I heard that Dassault did not come to DefExpo 2012. I wonder why? Are they in a dilemma to celebrate too early?

sbm said...

Prasun, here's the real question - how many of those artillery upgrades will come through ? Proposals are one thing but reality is another ?

What's your take on the alleged combat ineffectiveness of the Indian army ?

soumyadip said...

hello sir,

as always excellent post...

my only question is....what are the chances of tata ficv/aifv becoming a reality in India.........

thanks .....

Anonymous said...

Nice Picturesque depiction of Defexpo 2012...

Last i heard, TCS project was given to BEL, but according to latest reports LnT; Tata Power SED; and HCL have joined forces to bid together for this project. Also the whole TCS project will work like ficv project, two finalist will be selected and then their prototype will compete to win the project. Any update on this project ???

Prasun have you saw the future soldier of MKU and Tata ?? Why didn't army purchase this package and then integrate the systems in the FINSAS, BMS, TCS etc. networks ??

WHat do you think about Tata FICV ?? For me personelly it looks like India entered in this business a little late. I mean even if this project would have started a decade ago, the same design would have come, there's nothing futuristic about this unless it works on solar or electric power and runs at a speed of 130-150 km and has no IR signature.

Unknown said...

Hi Prasun, Thanks for the post, am very much looking forward to more write ups on the EXPO.

1) Do any of these points raised adversely affect the now long overdue foreign LUH/LOH helo aqusition which looks lely to go to Eurocopter? If not when are we to see the completion and awarding of this program?

2) what platform will the SPYDER system for IAF be mounted on? As I was led to believe it would be the TATRA but you are saying it will be the TATA 6x6. And how many of the TATA 6x6 (pictured) are on order for all 3 services. And with the current controvsy are any more TATRA orders likely?

3) How do you see the aqusition of arty in IA now? Is it finally getting back on track or are the IA still in for a world of woe? And what is the status of the M777 ULH procurement? When are we to see this deal being signed and what are the likely numbers to be procured?

4) could the COAS looking to make waves before he leaves inadvertently affect the tenure of the next COAS and the next phase of IA procurement?

5) Is production of the OFB's UBGL for the INSAS now in full swing (as reported) as I am yet to see a SINGLE pic of it in service/active duty with IA in any field/ex/unit and if so what is the rate of production and acceptance into IA?

6) The RFI for carbines, what weapon is likely to be the one selected? And will any of these find their way into SF hands or is this purely for regular IA?

7) it seems these days the IA SF has got a much freer leash for aqusitions in relation to rifles and personal kit to what extent is this true and what goodies can SF expect in the future?

8) also what is the status of the F-INSAS (I know you must be sick of being asked this) but it does seem we are all heading for a massive let down (is this true?) in terms of the program collapsing on itself and becoming yet another protracted over budget defence mess. When will we see the first unit issued with even the most basic aspects of this program? As the 2011 deadline for such as long since past with nothing coming to light and no explanation. For such a huge program there is a suspicious lack of information that is released.

9) what date will we see the entire F-INSAS completed?

10) are RR in JK being upgraded with adequate gear to keep with the times eg ballistic eyewear/shields, NVGs, knee/elbow pads etc?

11) and do regular PARA use the Tavor?

Thanks a lot friend.

saurav jha said...

Hi Prasun,

As per this L&T and Samsung have formed a JV to produce K-9 and K-10 in India.

Has L&T formed JVs with both Nexter systems and Samsung Techwin and are proposing two systems..? And if this is the case then which one is better suited ..?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.39PM: Yes, yes…it will all be done in this very thread.

To Anon@10.59PM: Tejas-related updates will be available only during AERO INDIA expos. DEFEXPO is only for land and naval systems. Arjun Mk2 is still work-in-progress. At best, the photos will be available by 2014. Photos of the Mk1A variant will be available by this June. Your third question was answered by me last December. Regarding P-17A, it is MDL that has signed up Fincantieri as its technology provider (I had already mentioned this last November) and it is MDL that is the lead yard for this project. GRSE isn’t, and therefore GRSE cannot do any detailed designing for anything meant for the P-17A FFG.

To Anon@11.13PM: Nothing of this sort is happening. The only UAS the Indian Navy will received from Northrop Grumman will be the VTOL UAS.

To ANURAG: Will soon post all replies to the queries from the previous thread in this thread.

To Anon@11.54PM: It has yet to be decided whether or not to procure tracked 155,,/52-cal SPHs. In my view, motorised 155mm/52-cal solutions are far better, cheaper and easier to deploy.

To Mallu: As I’ve posted above, the ‘desi’ journos can’t even grasp elementary matters, leave alone technical/performance parameters. During the expo, I saw all these ‘desi’ journos only interested in following the BEML/TATRA scandal and that too only the political angles. No one even bothered to ask anyone from BEML/TATRA why was there not a single product support facility/service centre for these trucks within India for the past 26 years, which is all that the Indian Army’s COAS had asked in the TV interview. The same also applies to the scandal on commissions obtained for the Scorpene SSK programme, which I’ve explained for the very first time above.
Dassault Aviation takes part only for aerospace expos like AERO INDIA, and has never taken part in land/naval forces expos like DEFEXPO.

To SBM: Have already updated the narrative above on field artillery. Regarding the second question, will send you an update, but all this has been known since the time of previous COAS Gen Deepak Kapoor. What happens is that these ‘desi’ journos’ pick and choose on what to write/report, especially after the detailed press briefings given by the armed service chiefs on the eve of Army/Navy/Air Force Day celebrations. And they do this because they’re not well-versed in such matters. If one doesn’t know what to look out for, one will never find the solutions. That’s why the complete story NEVER comes out. Regarding the parlous state of India’s land-based air defences, the entire issues was outlined threadbare by the previous CAS of the IAF during both Aero India 2011 & on the eve of his retirement.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Soumyadip: Chances are quite high, since both Mahindra Defence & Ashok Leyland failed to show anything concrete like scale-models or even illustrations during DEFEXPO. Therefore TATA also confidently displayed a poster (which I’ve posted above) publicising its active cooperation with the DRDO for both the tracked and wheeled FICV solutions.

To Anon@2.05AM: All ‘future soldier’ conceptions are provisional and nothing will be finalised until the F-INSAS programme’s and BMS programme’s systems architectures are finalised and frozen. After all, it is no use buying car accessories if the vehicle on which they’re due to be fitted/mounted itself hasn’t yet been chosen.

To UNKNOWN: Will give detailed answers later today in this very thread, rest assured.

To Sourav Jha: L & T has teamed up with Samsung Techwin for the tracked SPH project, and with Nexter Systems for the motorised howitzer (Mounted Gun System) reqmt. But Army HQ is still undecided over whether to go for motorised or tracked SPH solutions, while the wheeled howitzer reqmt has been junked in favour of motoirised howitzers since the motorised howitzer can be easily transported by transport aircraft for rapid deployment, and doesn’t require the kind of field workshops and railway wagons asasociated with tracked SPHs. It’s all about simplified field logistics and ease of transportation and maintenance in an era of manoeuvre warfare and rapid deployment.
By the way, I met this ‘esteemed’ journalist at DEFEXPO on March 31 and saw him sporting a pair of earrings. Don’t ask why.

Anonymous said...

Prasun there's poster in which Tata is showing a towed 155mm gun. Which artillery is this ???

Also i heard a week ago that P75I will be practiced IN asked for atleast the first two sub to be built abroad, 3 in MDL and 1 in HSL. It was reported everywhere on the web while nobody heard about this follow on order of 4 Scorpenes (No offence intended).

Have you seen any design or any information on ALCM/LRCM cruise missile both air launched and sub launched ??? Also what about Nirbhay cruise missile and UAV projects ?? It was suppose to be tested this year, so there must be a model or poster of Nirbhay...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Sourav Jha: After all that's been posted above, does anyone still believe that this DEFEXPO was one of the dullest ever??? And I haven't even posted 1/10th of all that's come out from the expo!
And it is also about time that those nitwits & morons from BRF and their affiliated 'senior Army' officials (reproducing obsolete 'analytical' stories in India-based military publications) stopped having wet-dreams about the Army's 180 or 440 M-46s already having gone through the OFB-led upgrade programme. For as the above-uploaded posters clearly reveal, the Army's M-46 upgrade programme involving the OFB & SOLTAM Systems was abruptly terminated at 40 units (which I had revealed way back in 2007) and that's precisely the reason why companies like L & T, Punj Lloyd & Kalyani Group are now bidding for a revival of the stalled M-46 upgrade project. At the end of the day, emperical evidence and logical reasoning always triumphs over ill-informed, misguided, sentimental chest-thumping of the type often witnessed in easily discredited forums like BRF.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.20AM: Where's the weblink to that poster? Regarding P-75I, it was MDL that has prevailed over the MoD to continue with the Scorpene SSK procurement programme by ordering four additional Scorpenes fitted with AIP, most probably the Stirling (already in service with the SSKs of Sweden, Singapore & Japan). This is very similar to how MDL--using logical reasoning--prevailed over the MoD last year to derive the P-17A FFG's design from the original P-17 FFG design, instead of seeking competitive offers for a brand-new FFG design which will take years to mature. In the 21st century, no self-respecting Navy acquires more than one type of SSK to do the same job. Those days did prevail in the 1980s and India's successive govts at that time did make disastrous mistakes throughout that decade, but no more. Enough is enough. For the time has now come to make urgent investments in SSN construction, because if this does not happen, the country's nuclear-powered S-2, S-3 and S-4 SSBNs will be sitting ducks for hostile SSNs. The writing is therefore on the wall, & all that I'm doing is stating the obvious. This is the only way forward and there aren't any other options on the table.
Any info on ALCM/LRCM will be available only during Aero India expos. The only related info on this topic came from BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd about plans for the BrahMos-3, a lightweight derivative for the MiG-29K and MiG-29UPG.

Anonymous said...

Sorry i meant the fourth image from the top in this article only. In that image tata is showing a towed howitzer, which one is it ????

Unknown said...

Hey Parasun, regarding the shortage of trained manpower in the IN, are steps being taken to address this serious issue? The fact a ship's launching is being stalled due to this issue is absurd, does the IN not plan ahead? Is this going to be resolved or get worse over time?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
can u please highlight the my following questions
1.The SU-35 had the max speed of 2.5 mach and more range than that of Rafele, what difference does it make in air dominance in India's view since china(and will be cloned and sold to pakistan)is stated to be buying SU-35.

2. Is the aircraft deal of Rafele final or will there be any change in selection?
3.What impact will India have due to sale of SU-35 to china, since many of its subsystem are to be installed on T-50/FGFA.
4. Please do post your comparison of T-50,J-20,F-35.
5. When the USA offered India F-35, why they did not offer F-22 to India or any other country, can you give any specific reason?

Hope you reply.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir Many Many Thanks for all
these wonderful news and pictures

PLEASE tell us What will be the RANGE
of the NEW LONG RANGE Pinaka Rockets

THINK TANK said...

Dada Kindly go through this link...all will know how indigenous Chinese force is.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.25AM: That’s the TATA/Denel Land Systems’ 155mm/52-cal motorised howitzer. It is not towed, but truck-mounted.

To Unknown: Of course steps are being taken to overcome such shortages. That’s why the new naval academy at Ezhimala has been established. Long-term perspective planning is not just about the Indian navy, but also about the MoD & MoF synchronising their activities/practices. This has obviously not happened not just for the Navy, but for the two other armed services as well, as revealed by the Army COAS’ letter to the PM.

To Anon@3.33PM: The range stays the same at 38km, until the arrival of the Pinaka Mk2 rockets with higher energetic propellants to boost the range to 40km.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, in India Today I saw that under the field artillery modernization programme, the IA was to procure 5 different artillery systems. Tracked, wheeled, mounted, towed and ultralight. The mounted ones are the ones in which a howitzer is fitted on to the back of a high mobile 6 by 6 truck such as the Nexter CAESAR and the Soltams ATMOS. The wheeled ones are armored versions of the mounted ones. They offer more moblity andorra protection such as the Archer, Zuzana. Why isn't the IA going for the Archer. It is highly mobile and has self loading and MRSI capability. It can be attached to the strike corps . Does any of the motorized / mounted systems have self loading feature which enable them to shoot faster? Also if the M-46 is upgunned to 155 mm then what will happen to the IMI built 130 mm rounds in the inventory . Also u havent posted any info on our indigenous BMD system. Also pls reply to the queries of the previous thread.

sbm said...

Prasun, I look forward to that update on army readiness. Shortages of equipment I can understand but most ammunition is procured through the revenue budget and that gets spent in full each year.

Regarding the upgrade of the M-46,in parliament, Anthony indicated 9 regiments had been upgraded.

Realistically, what contracts have been signed and what is likely to be signed soon ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.34PM: That INDIA TODAY article is outdated. Like I explained above, the 'desi' journalists do not have a penchant for updating their databases, and NONE of them have so far written anything about the Field Artillery Rationalisation Programme AFTER the conclusion of DEFEXPO 2012.

To SBM: Clarifications are reqd for the following:
“most ammunition is procured through the revenue budget and that gets spent in full each year.”-----That’s not the issue at all. The issue is about the TYPE of ammunition required. The OFB-built 125mm APFSDS rounds, for instance, have consistently been rejected by the Army for the past six years at least. This consequently means that such ammo and related 125mm ammo has to be imported every year from Israel & Russia. Though such imports have been taking place since 2002, they’ve not been taking place consistently and a huge backlog of 60,000 rounds has piled up. And as for air-defence artillery, the reqmts will be met only by 2022. Now, coming to the M-46, the weblink you gave does not say anything about nine M-46 regiments having been upgraded. And also, upgraded does not translate into upgunned. The upgrade being talked about is probably about equipping these nine regiments with elements of the Shakti ACCCS. No contracts were signed at DEFEXPO since such procurement contracts are never inked during expos.

sbm said...

Thanks. Why only for the last 6 years - older technology ?

The AD requirement - that means new guns and Akash does it not and the MR-SAM and Spyder ?

Aren't the existing guns - though old - reasonably viable with the Reporter, Super Fledermaus and Flycatcher radars ?

This is the full text of my intended press release:

CAG Report on Acquisition of Artillery Guns
"The CAG report for the year 2011-12 (Defence Services) has made certain observations that modern technology Artillery Guns could not be made available to Artillery troops for certain reasons as explained in its Report.

As part of modernization, the Regiment of Artillery has been equipped with PINAKA Rocket Systems, Smerch Rocket Systems and BrahMos Missile Systems in the past 7-8 years. Nine Regiments of 130mm guns have already been upgraded in keeping with Artillery profile 2027. Various other gun systems are also at different stages of procurement. The modernization of Artillery is a continuous process and is being given priority to ensure that Artillery remains equipped with modern weapon systems

This information was given by Minister of Defence Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri A.A. Jinnah in Rajya Sabha today"

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: Not older technology, but unable to meet the GSQRs, following which the consignments were rejected. For air-defence, only the Schilkas, Tunguskas & Zu-23s are viable. The L-70s were due for decommissioning a decade ago. The Skyranger is the only viable alternative and this too is being offered by TATA, and not directly by Rheinmetal. SpyDer-SR's follow-on orders have NOT materialised, and Akash's deliveries based only on orders already placed will take until 2018 to be delivered. Regarding the part on M-46 guns, the CAG's statement proves my point about the difference between upgrading and upgunning. Ask any of the contenders like L & T, Punj Lloyd and Kalyani Group and they all will give the same answer as I did above.

SSG said...

Prasun, thats the best Defexpo digest I have seen so far and eagerly awaiting for more as you promised.

When we are settling for FH77BOL52 for towed what role will the Kalyani Group play ? Also is there any possibility of revival of Bhim T6 via TATA since they have a tie up with Denel?

Also it is great to know about the Barracuda.

sbm said...

Will the Skyranger be ordered or will it fall victim to the Rheinmetall ban ?

sbm said...

A couple of questions about the posters in the post:

1) I don't think anything about the Agni missiles as alluded to in the text has been posted.

2) Regarding the storm shelters - the photographs of the single and the multiple shelters - are these IAF photos ? I know the system has been deployed already but do not know if this is the type or manufacturer.


hoods said...

just read that IAF ordered about 100 paveway 2 LGB bomb after almost 1 YEAR of procedures,testing and negotiations.

after such an effort just 100 bombs seems too low a number considering the amount of laser guided bombs and other munitions spend in the recently concluded libyan air campaign.

And if tomorrow IAF needs more LBGs it will have to wait for 1 year again for the negotiations to conclude.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SSG: VMT. Thus far, only the existing FH-77Bs will be upgraded in successive tranches to FH-77BOL52 standard by a team of OFB’s GCF Jabalpur & Mahindra/BAE Systems. Kalyani Group/Bharat Forge has nothing to do with the FH-77Bs, and is instead only focusing on the M-46 upgrade/up-gunning programme, as are Punj Lloyd/Yugoimport & L & T/Nexter Systems. There are no plans at present to resurrect the Bhim SPH programme, since the priority is to get the FH-77Bs and M-46s upgraded/upgunned, and concurrently accelerate the acquisition of motorised 155mm/52-cal howitzers in large numbers (up to 1,800 units).
But what is astonishing is that no one in this thread seems to have commented thus far on the elaborate scam that I’ve highlighted above with regard to the Scorpene contract. Maybe the netizens of India are reconciled to such a state of affairs under the umbrella of a ‘chalta hai’ attitude. Very sad state of affairs indeed.

To SBM: The Skyranger will indeed be ordered, but via TATA Power SED. After all, the MoD’s ban applies to only direct dealings between Rheinmetall & the MoD and MoD-owned entities, and in no way stipulates that private-sector Indian military-industrial entities are also banned from dealing with Rheinmetall. And that’s precisely why Rheinmetall is acting as principal design consultant-cum-industriual partner of TATA for the wheeled/tracked FICV programmes. The law is there in black-and-white and there’s no room for subjective interpretations of the law. Therefore, what TATA & Rheinmetall are doing is going strictly by the laws of the land.
Regarding Agni missiles, yes, they’re not mentioned in any of the posters of TATA Power SED for obvious reasons. The photos of storm shelters are indeed those in service with the IAF and the OEM is an India-based private company that has also supplied similar shelters for MiG-29s and Mi-17V-5s, and also for naval dry-docks.

To Hoods: Alas, that’s how the procurement system works in India. And that’s precisely the reason why the US embargo hit the Indian Navy’s inventory of Sea King helicopters badly after the May 1998 nuclear weapons tests. For had the Navy adhered to the time-honoured practice of maintaining a spares inventory for catering to a three-year period of flight operations, the embargo would have had no effect whatsoever. The same thing happened during OP Parakram, when almost ALL the naval warships had only 50% of the spares required for normal fleet operations.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the picture of what elbit system is contributing in Arjun mk2. That means both APS (we all know iron fist) and turret redesigning is done by IMI ???

ALso the engine provided by Ukraine, are they any good ?? Is IA/DRDO considering these engine for t72/t90/arjun ???

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, regarding airdefense artillery what are the GSQR requirements? Aren't the ZU -23 s , L-70 automatically laid and controlled by the Reporter, Super Fledermaus and Flycatcher radars unable to shoot down their targets such as hostile low flying jets, helos, LACMs? And the no of Tunguskas in IA is very small at only 100 units. When the IA could have a tank inventory of over 2500 tanks , then why did it go for only 100 such systems? Atleast 600 such units should have been bought. Are we considering buying the SA-22 Panstir which is a direct replacement of the Tunguska? Also will the the Skyrangers ever be ordered and will they be bought in sufficient quantities? Pls reply.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't the IA going for the Archer. It is highly mobile and has self loading and MRSI capability. It can be attached to the strike corps . Does any of the motorized / mounted systems have self loading feature which enable them to shoot faster? Also if the M-46 is upgunned to 155 mm then what will happen to the IMI built 130 mm rounds in the inventory . Also u havent posted any info on our indigenous BMD system. Pls reply.

Anonymous said...

Hi the IA is facing critical ammunition and war reserves shortages. There is a shortage of anti tank rounds, rockets for Smerch, and other critical ammo shortage. Also the General is claiming that the Army air defence inventory is obsolete. So are anything is taken on an emergency footing to solve these problems. The general has said that the IA now is impoverished to face the modern armies of Pakistan and the PLA. Are we purhasing immediately anti tank rounds from IMI. Also are we purchasing any MR-SAM to replace our existing inventories of SAMs. The general masses are afraid are afraid as to we will not be able to fend off an immediate attack and now we are lying defenseless.

sbm said...

Let's see if I understand this artillery situation:

100 new build FH77BO2L52 are on order.

A slew of companies are competing for the M46 upgrade - no trials or contracts yet. Will something happen or is something happening ?

Upgrade of the FH77BO5 to L45 is in progress.

New build FH77Bo5L52 new orders will depend on success of first 100 ?

The Skyranger deal has been talked about for a long time, how far away from an actual contract is it ?

KSK said...

Sir I cant thank you enough for your posts...reading them is a interesting as playing CrysisWarhead in my PS3

KSK said...

weren't you talking this should happen instead of 5 year plan.
Hope they also follow the same route for R&D .

(Note : the website used a chini icbm .. idiots!!! )

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.51PM: Not for the Mk2, but the Arjun Mk1A. The offers from Ukraine are just proposals.

To Anon@10.54PM: The L-70s are not of the continuous rapid-firing type. The Skyranger is. India never acquired 100 Tunguskas. Only 24 were acquired. Each costs almost US$30 million and therefore procuring them in large numbers is out of the question. There’s no need for the Pantsyr since the SpyDer-SRs are being procured.

To Anon@10.59PM: The Archer is too advanced for India and the Indian Army can do without such a high degree of automation. In addition, the Archer is far too heavy and bulky to be loaded on tyo a C-130J transport, whereas the lighter Caesar can easily be transported by a C-130J. In future battlefields, strike corps-type formations will be of no use since the Indian Army after mid-2002 found out that such formations were more of a liability, especially when deployed against Pakistan. As for 130mm rounds, well, they’ll have to be junked at the end of the shelf-lives.

To Anon@11.11PM: Even on an emergency footing, all the shortages will be overcome only by 2022. And where’s the prospect of any kind of immediate attack? The Pakistan Army is busy battling insurgencies to the country’s west and south and will find it impossible to mount any kind of offensives against India at least for the next five years.

To SBM: Yes, 100 new-build FH-77BO2L52s are on order. Another 300 will be ordered as well in future. Upgrade of the FH-77BO5 to L-45 is NOT in progress. Only two prototypes are being subjected to firing trials now. IF successful, then the existing inventory of FH-77B05s will be upgraded/upgunned. It is VERY VERY LIKELY that the M-46 upgrade/upgunning contract will be awarded to the Kalyani Group before this year ends. Altogether, 800 M-46s are to be subjected to the upgrade/upgunning. The Skyranger deal could be inked by next fiscal year, but definitely not this fiscal year. The contract for motorised howitzers will be inked by 2014.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSK: Looks like India functions optimally only under severe crisis & duress of the types imposed by the likes of Gen Musgarraf in mid-1999 and of late, Gen V K Singh. I for one can't thank them enough. Approval of the LTPP should now be backed up by a similar policy-level commitment from the Union MoF, for without such a commitment, the LTPP will remain as just another piece of detailed documentation.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

An excellent and elaborated article.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: Also, do take note of the self-sufficiency achieved now in the field of BMCS bulk-production. HEMRL has already undetrkane ToT to two private firms, one based in Delhi and the oither in Pune. Both are now collectively producing 240,000 packages of such BMCS.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: VMT. So I guess this year's DEFEXPO wasn't that dull after all, don't you think?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Yes, this year's DEFEXPO wasn't that dull after all. This has been amply made clear by your above elucidations.

Anonymous said...

"everyone from the Directorate of Warship Building & Construction to the Directorate of Materials knew that no India-based OEM at that time was capable of supplying such materials and components and consequently, everyone in Naval HQ knew that the bulk of the MPM budget (representing the fixed-price component of the Scorpene contract) would ultimately (by 2007) have to go straight to both DCNS and THALES and it was from there that the commissions were reportedly paid to elements of the UPA-1 government."


I had a question regarding above information. I read some where that as no indian companies are able to absorb the tecnologies for scorpene development, DCNS established a company known as DCNS-INDIA which with its resources will help the india absorbs the technology.

But i understood from your statement that the DCNS and THALES will have leverage of deciding the profits they reap from the project and sharing the technology that a 3rd world country like india deserves by the mask of DCNS INDIA?

So what is the use of building subs in india if it does not help the indian industries to benefit?

As your article mentions indian industries are not able to absorb scorpene technology? Is it justifiable of making these excuses of omitting indian industries. Absorbing tech will not be done in days or months? It is a learning process which the indian inds should be allowed. If they miss this opportunity, how will they learn?if this happens by 2030 india will be 3rd largest economy who does not know to build a modern sub(diesel electric), a fighter, civilian aircraft.

Regarding the SCAM involving this project, Only god knows who will bring this to lime light ? Some body should have guts like VK singh in Indian navy or a investigative journalists like those who unearthed BOFORS scam. But that should not be done by suspending the projects as SAINT antony does , but parallel investigation should be done and harsh punishments should be given by the law and public(elections like BOFORS) so that no body in the future dare to do any irregularities in matters related to national security.

But due to side effects of 21st century,it is difficult to find persons or media(news paper and electronic media) who have the traits of the honesty and responsibility to bring the scams of this nature in to lime light. Media had the time to discuss about porn in assembly or Some yuvaraj visiting huts , drinking tea in a a dabha, having a bicycle ride etc but no time for matters that affect national security.

Until then i have only the comfort of memorizing those scams with a sad heart.

pardon me for the long comment.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

"But what is astonishing is that no one in this thread seems to have commented thus far on the elaborate scam that I’ve highlighted above with regard to the Scorpene contract. Maybe the netizens of India are reconciled to such a state of affairs under the umbrella of a ‘chalta hai’ attitude. Very sad state of affairs indeed."

Perhaps the wise men concerned with national defense do not want to create another Ouroboros like Bofors. ...Lol...

SSG said...

Prasun, thanks for your reply.

So the near future scenario will be like this :

100 Bofors gun will be upgunned to 45 cal.

260 Bofors gun will be upgunned to 52 cal.

100 Bofors gun will be made with 52 cal.

400 Bofors gun will be ordered next again with 52 cal.

40 M46 was upgunned by Soltam.

800 M46 will be upgunned for which Bharat Forge and Pun. Lloyd in fray.

How many M46 were upgunned by the OFB with its own tech as they claim on their site ?

Any news of production of BMCS rounds in mass scale in India ?

Regarding Scorpene, all I knew that both the BJP and Congress made 2000cr each. They have skipped tot for vital parts like the front section with torpedo tubes etc. I dont know if there will be any further order of Scorpene.

SSG said...

Prasun, sorry I missed your update on BMCS. Thanks again.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.44AM & MrRA 13: The scam was all about NOT concluding a fixed-price contract in the first place. What should have been done was to ink a fixed-price contract for the first three Scorpenes with DCNS/THALES under which these three SSKs would be delivered directly from France. At the same time, another contract should have been inked concurrently under REM pricing schemes for which ToT should have been made mandatory for the follow-on three Scorpene SSKs to be built by MDL, with an option for MDL to build another four Scorpenes. Had this been done from day 1, then ToT from French companies to their Indian counterparts would have been a smooth and gradual process. All this is only possible if a long-term perspective planning roadmap (lasting 15 years) for the armed services is backed up by a non-lapsable defence modernisation fund covering a 20-year period. Only such commitments will give the confidence to Indian military-industrial entities to approach the relevant financial institutions for seeking the kind of industrial financing that’s required for absorbing cutting-edge ToT packages. Regretably, what happened was that the non-lapsable defence modernisation fund devised by then Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh with the help of technocrats like Arun Singh in early 2004 was done away with in unusually great haste by the UPA-1’s first Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who kept insisting at that time that the annual capital account budgets were more than enough to sustain the Indian armed forces’ force modernisation efforts. Maybe he now doesn’t recall his own words, but he for sure was responsible for scuttling all the well laid-out roadmaps that were articulated by the MoD and MoF in early 2004, and we all are now seeing first-hand what a mess such reckless arbitrariness has brought about. If I have to blame someone for this mess, it is not A K Antony, but only Pranab Mukherjee.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SSG: So the near future scenario will be like this:
• 360 FH-77B05s will be upgunned to 45 cal by OFB if the present firing trials are successful.
• 400 FH-77BO2L52s will be built by OFB & Mahindra Defence/BAE Systems.
• The M-46H upgrade/upgunning done by OFB & SOLTSAM Systems was terminated at 40 units.
• 800 M-46s will be upgunned most probably by Kalyani Group/Bharat Forge.
• 1,800 motorised 155mm/52-cal howitzers will be procured.

Anonymous said...

Sir does sweden have the blessings of USA for offering Stirling AIP pack from Kockums to india (Because US evaluated the system for three years) How does this AIP compare with the other types of API.
I read that china is also Qing class subs with Stirling AIP? Hwo does the two Stirling mechanisms compare( regarding efficiency, performance)

sbm said...

Prasun, what other contracts have recently been signed or what other developments have been noteworthy on the Indian defence front especially with a view towards enhanced capabilities and self-sufficiency ?

I think the artillery developments are a major step towards establishing some degree of local capability.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.28AM: The US has no need to give any blessings to either Sweden or India for Stirling AIP.

To SBM: All that's been notewqorthy on the procurement front has already been the subject of several threads on this blog. On-going developments in the arena of field artillery are of course most welcomed as they're long overdue. The ones that are yet to overcome all hurdles are the BMS, F-INSAS, CNR & Tac3I projects, without which it will be next to impossible to engage in knowledge-based warfare. The projected launch of the Navy's dedicated GSAT-7 fleet communications satellite will be a tremendous asset addition, and this should be followed by another MILSATCOM for the land forces. However, the delays associated with the launch of RISAT-1 are quite worrisome. In addition, the Indian navy is clearly suffering due to the Govt of India's reluctance to ink with the US the communications interoperability and security memorandum of agreement (CISMOA) and basic exchange and cooperation agreement for geo-spatial cooperation (BECA). For without these two agreements being inked, the Indian Navy is having a really tough time when it comes to guarding India's western seaboard against pirates and non-state actors. And without CISMOA and BECA, India will not be able to be the predominant naval power in the Indian Ocean Region and even now is unable to exploit the full extent of maritime cooperation capabilities even with the navies of Japan and Singapore due to the pig-headed and illogical opposition to CISMOA and BECA.

Anonymous said...


There seems to be alot of gap in Air defence. Considering IA's BArak 2 version will be delayed, IA issued RFI for MRSAM. Raytheon, MBDA, Russian SAM, Spyder MRSAM etc. are participating. Any updates on this project ?? I think this deal will be signed quickly to plug the gaps as by by 2015-16 Barak will start entering the service i suppose. What do you think ??

Similary IA has issued RFI for QRSAm and VSHORAD also. Any information about these deals during Defexpo ???

Also you said IA will be procuring light tanks/tank destroyer ??? But when ?? They started forming mountain strike force in NE.

You also talked about huge procurement of UAVs by all the three services. Any progress ???

Any new information about IA's selection of C4I equipments from Raytheon and Gen. Dynamics ?? Like when the deal will be inked and what will be the size ?? How many batallions will be equipped with this ???

You said IN will be purchasing Japanese amphibious aircraft, IAF also has the similar requirement, are they gonna purchase similar aircraft or they will go for something else ??? I think ICG is also looking for similar aircrafts.

RFP will be soon issued for IN's MRMR aircrafts and it looks like ICG's requirement for MRMR will be clubbed with IN's deal.

Unknown said...

Hi Prasun,

Could you please answer my Qs above from April 3, 2012 6:02 AM. I appreciate they might have got overlooked, thanks.

Unknown said...

Prasun, can you tell me if the IAF has any plans to replace the kit removed from C-130s because of refusals to sign CISMOA with Israeli/Indian kit.

Anonymous said...

1. Any update on FGFA, AMCA, AURA, Super Su30mki, IMRH projects ?? Is that new cockpit from HALBIT for FGFA ??? Is there gonna be some change in design of FGFA and Super Su30 especially because second one is also gonna be stealthy but how ??

2. I hear a couple important changes will be made on LCH. A powerful engine will go on it and load carrying capacity will be increased. It looks like they are going for your version, the light attack version. Is it true ?? Also arre they thinking of putting Fire Control Radar on LCH like in Apache ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Unknown: The way things are going for the LOH/LUH, it appears highly likely that yet another round of evaluations will have to be undertaken. This is because of the Eurocopter-Vectra linkages, and more than that, the revelations of Bell Helicopters about how there was no fairness & transparency about the earlier round of evaluations. And like I explained earlier, the Army is quite happy to accept the upgraded Cheetals and use thewm as LOH/LUH until the arrival of the HAL-designed LOH/LUH. The photo in the previous thread clearly shows the SpyDer-SR on the TATA truck. TATRA-BEML is no longer the preferred supplier of heavy-duty trucks & even the DRDO has junked them in favouir of TATA-made TELs for the Prahaar. Field artillery force modernisation is slowly getting the priority that it deserves, and the LW-155’s procurement is guaranteed. It is not the COAS that is making waves, but the ‘desi’ broadcast media that going overboard. What the COAS has thus far said are all facts, and not opinions. OFB's UBGL for the INSAS now in full swing and production rates are picking up to some 3,000 per annum. As for carbines, the RFP has already been issued and field trials will begin this June. All SF formations generally have a much freer leash for aqusitions in relation to rifles and personal kits. F-INSAS has made significant progress and the first ‘pilot’ battalion to be equipped with all related kits will be ready for field deployment by 2014. The entire R & D phase for F-INSAS programme will be completed only by 2018 as the F-INSAS will have to be interfaced with BMS, Tac3I and CNR. Regarding the IAF C-130Js, what exactly were the kits that were removed?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.01AM: The most glaring gaps are in the areas of SHORADS and air-defence guns. The induction of SpyDer-SRs needs to be accelerated, and the acquisition of Skyranger cannons ought to be fast-tracked. Induction of aerostat-mounted EL/M-2084 Arudhra active phased-array radars too needs to be fast-tracked for both the IAF and Navy. For the VSHORADS reqmt the frontrunner is the Mistral from MBDA. Orders should be placed this fiscal year. AS for wheeled/tracked light tanks/tank destroyers, there’s been a rethink in Army HQ and now the priority is to upgrade several BMP-2s to the BMP-2K configuration and equip them with TISAS hunter-killer fire-control systems and the Kliver turret containing Kornet-E ATGMs. Another option being seriously examined is to equip the BMP-2 with the HITFACT turret. That’s why this time BAE Systems did not bring along for DEFEXPO either the CV-90 or the CV-90-120. As for amphibians, these should ideally go to the ICGS and not the Navy. And the Navy should also do away with the MRMR/ASW aircraft reqmt and instead should standardize on the P-8I and acquire a total of 24 such platforms. The ICGS on the other hand should be given at least 36 Bombardier Q-400 medium-range MPAs.

Anonymous said...

Did you hear about Lockheed winning contract for providing LGB for Jaguar ?? I mean what happened to the DRDO's LGB ?? I heard it was working fine...and why not Paveway 3 or 4 were selected ??

Whats the progress of Jaguar upgrade ?? When is it gonna be finished ??

Anonymous said...

I don't know why folks at BRF at so anti Prasun Sengupta.. you seem to be most knowledgeable and to the point Indian origin defense reporter ... kudos for the great work Prasunda

hoods said...

check this out

conspiracy about army coup.Is this actually possible

Anonymous said...

For VSHORAD, is US made Stinger and UK Starstreak also on offer ?? Stinger is very cheap and Starstreak is the best.

Is the OFB offer of wheeled BMP considered by IA to fill the gap for the time being till FICV arrives ??

No progress in MRSAM deal ??? I thought if the deal wouldn't be signed soon the deliveries will also be delayed and then by the time the MRSAM will enter the service, Barak will also be ready.

Regarding Spyder SRSAM, has IA inducted any ?? Has they have any Spyder on order ?? Will there be any new Spyder deal to be signed for IA ??? If yes then how big the order will be and when it will be signed ?

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,
I have a few question to ask.

1.As per current Army Chief Gen V.K.Singh,the army is critically short of Air defense ammunition-WHY so when OFB is producing air defense ammo of every caliber like 23mm,30mm and 40mm ammo as per their official website??!!

2.The army chief also told that early warning sensors of IA is 97% obsolete-then why can't we induct customized versions of Sword Fish LRTR??

3.LRDE is still struggling with its Arudhra MPR.Can't they produce a scaled down version of Sword Fish antenna and fit them with the same S band T/R modules of the DRDO AWACS??Isn't it feasible??

4.As per recent DRDO reports,they have mastered active radio frequency seeker technology-then can't they fit such seekers on Akash Mk2??

5.On the OFB official website many optical sensors like red dot reflector sight,passive infrared sights are mentioned-are they developed by OFB??

6.Will the Arjun Mk IA be fitted with the redesigned turret or is it for Mk II??And do you have any picture or that redesigned turret??

7.And lastly,IA is testing various assault rifles to completely replace INSAS assault rifles-Why so??I thought INSAS was fine when compared to other ARs chambered for 5.56X45mm NATO ammunition!!

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

Anonymous said...

Did AW119 participated in LUH program ?? If yes, how was it in comparison to fennec and Ka229 ??

I hear a couple important changes will be made on LCH. A powerful engine will go on it and load carrying capacity will be increased. It looks like they are going for your version, the light attack version. Is it true ?? Also arre they thinking of putting Fire Control Radar on LCH like in Apache ??

WHat has been done regarding the shortages of critical ammunition in IA ?? ALso what happened to up-gradation of T72 ?? Any chance of tank-ex project getting revived ??

LEE said...

Anonymous said...

Prasun can please highlight the advantages and disadvantages of India signing the CISMO and BECA

SSG said...

Prasun, what will happen now to OFB Nalanda ?

Also for me it is not the "chalta hai" attitude but the bitter experience of the Bofors and HDW deal. The IN will suffer the most if the scam comes out in the open. At least they are getting a capable platform with some serious tot so in this case i prefer to just grin and bear it. Not a single politician or bureaucrat was punished in the HDW deal scam.

Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,One thing I forgot to ask.
There is a poster or IMI 120mm and 125mm ammo.Have they already sent them and operational in Arjun MkI and T 90S or just advertising them????

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

Anonymous said...

Hi , 1. According to some earlier reports the field artillery rationalization programme consists of buying 400 towed howitzers off the shelf and another 1200 will be manufactured by OFB, 100 tracked SPH, 160 wheeled armored gun systems, 814 mounted systems. U said that the IA wants to have 1800 motorized howitzers. Will the IA not purchase any towed gun systems. Also our adversary Pakistan has spent enough on tracked howitzers. The Pakistan army has around 400+ M109 Paladin SPH. So why we are not going for any tracked howitzers such as the Pzh 2000 which is the best SPH on the planet. 2. Among the motorized gun systems, which system has self loading features and possess multiple strike simultaneous impact capability. From the posters , the 155/52 cal offered by Tata and Denel offers self loading feature as it is written that 3 rounds cam be fired per 18 sec. Does the Nexter CAESAR and the ATMOS 2000 has self loading features? 3. Is there any chances of buying more than 145 ultralight howitzers? Pls reply.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, will the IAF buy an extra 63 or more Rafales or stick to the original 126 units. The IAF is facing a dire shortage of quality acs fir both offensive as well as defensive operations. A previous CAG report has sited that IAF is losing it's edge over the PAF at Avery fast rate. Sobwhy aren't the MoD doing anything for fast tacking the acquisition as well as production and delivery process of the Rafales?

Souvik said...

tHay Prasun Sir,do you know if the AOPVs being built by Pipavav have any anti ship and air defense missiles or not?

By the way,in which role the is Akash gonna be used?

sbm said...

Prasun, let me understand something - the IAF (not CADA) has placed orders for and is in the process of inducting over time:

10 Akash squadrons
9 LR-SAM squadrons
3 SPYDER squadrons

Additional Akash squadrons will be ordered as will the MR-SAM being developed for the navy.

Furthermore, it has selected the Skyranger as its AAA system and will, along with the other services select the Mistral.

Is this an accurate picture so far or am I missing things ?

CADA on the other hand is still to select a SPYDER class system, has placed orders for 2 regiments of Akash and will probably select the Mistral and the Skyranger AAA system.

I see Eurofighter has taken heart from the "inquiry" into the Rafale - any chance of the Rafale losing out ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sir ,

Regarding Scorpion scam do you really think culprits can be brought to justice. We all know the CBI , don't we?.once CBI comes into picture it's a guarenty no politicians would ever get convicted. Dont we have plenty of examples (Bofors).

Anyway for me this news is not a surprise.

buddha said...

sir is this picture of yours with INS Chakra?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.34AM: As of now it appears highly unlikely that the LCH’s design/performance parameters will be changed, because if they are then the entire procurement plan will be terribly delayed. Only a radical redesign can convert the LCH into the LAH.

To Anon@5.02AM: The DRDO’s Sudarshan LGB kit is still under development and won’t be available till 2014. The Paveway-2s are thus a stopgap measure. The Jaguar’s deep upgrade involving the installation of Honeywell’s F125 turbofans & DARIN-3 avionics suite has yet to take off.

To Anon@5.34AM: VMT.

To Hoods: Another ill-conceived and mischievous spin cooked up by ‘desi’ journos. How can two battalion-level Army formations outside Delhi mount a military operation against the National Capital Region that hosts nine combat units (numbering more than a Division) from the Army & IAF?

To Anon@10.22AM: The Mistral has several advantages over its competitors, namely it has already been selected for the Rudra & LCH helicopters. Secondly, it comes in various versions, like the SADRAL for the Navy. Since the Indian reqmt is for a tri-services weapon system, the Mistral package comes out as the best. The wheeled ‘Chakra rath’ BMP-2 is a joke and does not offer the kind of protection that’s offered by mature 8 x 8 AIFVs. Regarding the MR-SAM, it now all depends on whether the DRDO is able to develop the 40km-range Akash Mk2 as promised. If not, the 70km-range Barak-2 is the fallback option. The Army has already inducted the SpyDer-SRs.

To Anurag: The COAS never wrote about air-defence ammo stocks running low. He wrote about the low stocks of 125mm APFSDS rounds & 125mm APAM rounds. The Army’s early-warning sensors are not long-range radars like the LRTR (which is meant for the IAF), and the reqmt is for aerostat-mounted EL/M-2084 Arudhra radars. One cannot compare the LRTR with the Arufhra, since they’re for entirely different purposes. DRDO’s expertise in active terminal radar seekers is presently limited to only the PAD interceptor missile. For the Astra BVRAAM, Russia-supplied seekers are used. The OFB-made optical sensors were developed by the DRDO’s IRDE. The Arjun Mk1A’s turret will resemble that of the Arjun Mk1, but will incorporate some major internal modifications to accommodate the integrated vectronics suite. The Arjun Mk2’s turret will feature sloped armour tiles on the outside. INSAS assault rifles will remain in service for at least the next 20 years. The IMI posters about 120mm and 125mm rounds are about those ammo that are already operational within the Indian Army since 2002.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.51AM: The AW-119 was disqualified at an early stage and was never flight-tested in India.

To Anon@1.31PM: In a nutshell, by signing to CISMOA and BECA, India’s armed forces will get access to the ‘passwords’ that will enable them to hook-on in real-time to US-generated situational awareness data like GIS maps & grids whenever multinational coalition operations (like the on-going anti-piracy patrols in and around the Horn of Africa, and for humanitarian relief operations) are required to be mounted at short notice and time is not available for generating one’s own intelligence inputs.

To SSG: The OFB facility in Nalanda will still go ahead and that’s where the high-energetic propellants for the Pinaka rockets and other rocket-assisted projectiles (like the Prahaar NLOS-BSM) will be mass-produced. About procurement scams, the poinbt I wish to make is not about selecting sub-standard products (since the FH-77B & Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs were never inferior by any chance), but about getting the procurement procedures right in such a way so as to promote the larger objectives/goals of indigenous military-industrial industrialization and concurrently usher in long-term financial discipline by re-introducing the non-lapsable defence modernisation fund that was unveilled by Jaswant Singh in early 2004. This type of approach at that time was undertaken with the active support of HQ Integrated Defence Staff with all the good intentions, but was deliberately sabotaged by UPA-1 in a blatant act of political vindictiveness. And all this talk of critical equipment shortages that one comes across nowadays is all due to such shortsighted myopia!!!

To Anon@5.32PM: Tracked howitzers suit Pakistan because of the country’s elongated size and its reliance on interior lines of communication when it comes to forward deployments. The exact opposite holds true for India and therefore motorised howitzers are more suited for India. All such howitzers have MRSI capability. For ultralight howitzers, 145 is deemed sufficient (reqd only for deployment over hilly terrain of the type prevailing in eastern ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh) only if India develops the kind of border roads that will facilitate the movement of motorised howitzers.

To Anon@5.50PMN: The RFP for the M-MRCA very clearly states that a follow-on order for an additional 50% of the 126-aircraft order will be placed. Procurement of such weapon-systems cannot be fast-tracked and that’s why even HAL has not been able to accelerate production of the Sy-30MKIs. If the production of such combat aircraft is to be fast-tracked, then additional money has to be pumped in for expanding the production facilities of HAL and since the MoD does not have such deep pockets, the one and only viable option is for DPSUs like HAL to become wholly public-listed companies so that it can raise capital from the financial markets whenever reqd.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SOUVIK: Being AOPVs, they won’t have any ASCMs, but will have something like the MBDA-built SADRAL for close-in air defence. No naval variant of the Akash is being developed.

To SBM: There are a few missing items, like CADA’s order for the SpyDer-SR. The VSHORADS—Mistral—will be acquired by all three armed services. What follows are the details that I had uploaded last May in a separate thread.
Running in parallel are efforts by both the IAF and the Army to replace their existing inventories of OSA-AKM and ZRK-BD Strella-10M SHORADS with RAFAEL of Israel’s Spyder-SR system. The IAF refers to the Spyder-SR as a low-level quick-reaction missile (LLQRM), while the Army calls it a quick-reaction surface-to-air missile (QR-SAM). The MoD’s DAC approved the IAF’s requirement in July 2008, and a $293 million contract for the supply of an initial 18 launchers (making up one squadron) was signed in December 2008. Deliveries began early last month and will be concluded by August 2012. The Army received the green light to procure an initial four regiments of the Spyder-SR in August 2009, and the $900 million contract was inked later that year. Also underway are efforts to upgrade and enhance the firepower of the Army’s Corps of Air Defence Artillery by upgrading the fire-control system of 48 ZSU-23-4 Schilka self-propelled air-defence guns (this work being done by BEL teamed up with IAI/ELTA). Once this is achieved, the Schilkas will complement the thirty-six 2S6 Tunguska-M1 gun/missile-equipped self-propelled air-defence guns, 12 of which were acquired in 1993, followed by 24 more worth $400 million in 2006. At the same time, both the Army and IAF have zeroed in on the Rheinmetall Defence-built Skyranger 35mm gun, which can be mounted on lightweight wheeled or tracked armored vehicles. For the IAF, the Skyranger turret will be mounted on a TATA Motors-built 8 x 8 high-mobility vehicle, while the Army variant will comprise the Skyranger turret being integrated with the hull of a BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle. The unmanned turret comes equipped with a 35mm revolver gun, which has a dual feeding system to give the operator the choice of two types of ammunition. This air-defence system is optimised to fire AHEAD (advanced hit efficiency and destruction) self-programming ammunition, which release a cloud of sub-projectiles just ahead of the target, thereby greatly increasing the probability of a kill. A typical engagement sequence consists of 24 rounds with 4km effective range. The Skyranger is also effective against ground targets and can be used as a direct fire-support weapon. For this, use is made of frangible armour-piercing discarding sabot (FAPDS) rounds with an effective range of 5km at a firing rate of 1,000 rounds per minute. It is also capable of firing mini-bursts or single shots. A total of 220 rounds are carried within the turret for the gun. The turret also has an optronic tracking sensor suite that includes an infra-red camera, TV camera, and laser rangefinder. Other components of the Skyranger include a command post vehicle fitted with a reconnaissance radar and command-and-control system, which provides battle management capabilities. Up to 2,000 units of the Skyranger will be acquired by both the Army and IAF.
The Rafale is here to stay with the IAF and no amount of manoeuvring by Eurofighter GmbH will reverse this.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Dashu: I don’t see either the NDA or the UPA taking the trouble to uncover the scam, since both political alliances were the beneficiaries of the commissions. The former Chief Financial Officer of DCNS is himself on record as having said that commissions were paid for the Indian Scorpene deal. It can’t get any more clearer or specific than that, wouldn’t you agree?

To Buddha: Are you kidding??? That’s the in-country lobbyist for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning JSF. I’ll be the last person to have myself photographed & publicised in this manner. Of the 2,100+ photos I took at DEFEXPO 2012, I don’t feature in even one of them.

Anonymous said...

HI Prasun, 1. U said the Skyranger system have been zeroed in by the IAF and the IA. When will this system be ordered and will the magnitude of the order be around 2000 ? Such a high quantity when the IA ordered only 50 Tunguskas for providing mobile air defence? Also will the Skyranger turret feature any SAM or it will house only the gun component? Why can't the Skyranger turret have two revolver cannons fitted on the side with a tracking radar mounted on the front of the turret and a search radar on the top just like the Tunguska ? The Skyranger turret only features a single radar which performs both track and search. As a result the detection range will be inferior to that of the Tinguska. Why didnt the IA go for the SA-22 Panstir which features for gun and missile component unlike the Skyranger and also costs less? 2. What will be the range of the upcoming Akash mk2 sam? 35 km or 40 km? Also will it feature an active radar seeker?
3. U said that the IA ordered 4 regiments of Spyder SR back in 2009. Are all the regiments in service with the IA at present? What is the composition of a Spyder-SR regiment? Also in this thread to your replies to an obsolete air defence system for the IA u said that follow on orders of the Spyder have not materialized and that the acquisition needs to be fast tracked. So does this mean that more orders of the Spyder SR system are to be placed other than the 4 regiments already ordered. 4. If the IA wants it can ask IAI to fit 8 launchers per TEL as they had done with the MR variant. This would increase the firepower per TeL and also save money by reducing the no of TELs. Then will the IA do so? 5. The Mistral has a very short range in comparison to todays MANPADS. The latest variant of the Igla offers a range of 10 km. The PLA and the PLAAF are having indigenous MANPAD with a range of 10 km. The Pakistani army and airforce are license producing this weapon. So if our adversaries are having a longer range SAM then why are we going for the 5.3 km Mistral? In todays world the greater the range the better it is. Or are we purchasing a longer range version of the Mistral. Pls PRASUN ANS.

Anonymous said...

Hi, what is the BMP-2K? Is it an upgraded version of the BMP-2? Does it feature a new turret having greater firepower and does it provide more ballistic protection. Has the original base armour of the BMP-2 been upgraded? Has the DRDO fitted appliqué composite armour blocks on the BMP-2K to increase it's protection. Why is the IA still having the BMPs in it's inventory? Why is it not going for the CV-90 ? Afterall it is a very good IFV providing good firepower and excellent armour protection. The BMP-2 can carry only 7 soldiers. It has very thin armour. The glacis was designed to provide protection against 20 mm rounds. The side and rear provide protection against .50 cal bullets. But a lot has changed. Many new rounds have emerged with improved ballistic performance. Now the front as well as the turret can be penetrated by .50 sabotted anti armour round whereas the side and rear provide protection from only 7.62 mm rounds. The CV-90 on the other hand provide all round protection from 20 mm rounds. Has the IA looked into the situation. The only way the BMPs can be made to survive in the modern battlefield is by fitting them with addon composite armour blocks like the ones offered by IMI. So are they being fitted on the BMP-2 ks? By the way what's the Klicer turret and BUSK? Pls reply.

Anonymous said...

Hi PRASUN, u said the Jaguar IS and the MiG-27 are used for battlefield interdiction and fir engaging moving targets in the deep arena. But they don't have any inbuilt radar. As a result target detection and engagement will have to be carried manually by the pilot . In adverse weather conditions these aircrafts will not be able to fly over harsh terrain. Also they donot have any IRST. All these factors means 1. The MiG-27 and Jaguar will not be able to engage ground targets in hostile weather conditions and from standoff ranges as the pilot has to visually quite the target. These means they're useless in the modern battlefield. U said they are IAF's low level interdictors and they will be used to engage moving targets such as enemy armored formations in the deep battle. But in reality they will not be able to detect and track hostile targets let alone engage them. 2. They will not be able to fly at low level over complex terrain and also in poor weather conditions. 3. The modern battlefield is crawling with various types of SAM systems and MANPADs. With very sparse EW defensive equipment and lack of a MAWS and IR jammer will prove deadly. In fact there is great doubt whether they will survive the first day of war. The presence of 2 MiG-27 squadrons in Hasimara is highly ironical as the weather in the NE is bad and provides poor visibility conditions. Also during a war there targets will be in the mountainious terrain of Tibet and will mosat probably include PlA forward logistics and PLAAF airbases but they will be incapable of doing so. What the IAF should do is to fit the  MiG-27 and Jaguar IS with a multimode radar offering good SAR and ISAR modes coupled with GMTI and also offering terrain following mode, an IRST, and a comprehensive IADS as fitting the Jaguar and the MiG-27 with Litening 3 for target id and engagement and the Elta 8222 pod for RF protection will reduce the no of Hardpoints to 4 and 5 on these ace respectively ad as a result they will not be able to carry much less payload. Also the no of hardpoints on the wings can be increased with little modification. They should also be fitted with higher thrust engines. All these must be carried out if they are to remain non obsolete in the modern battlefield. I'd the IAF taking any steps on this issue. Pls reply .

Anonymous said...

Hi PRASUN , can u pls tell why HAL is not raising money to expand it's production capabilities in the way u listed. Shri A.K. Antony has asked the Army to streamline is acquisition process. Special financial grants will be given if it is needed for speedy acquisition . I think this goes for the IAF also. And even if the MoD doesn't have enough money then why isnt us directing the HAL to collect additional money in the way u said and fasttrack the production process. Does the CAG report is of no importance to the MoD? Also we can purchase more Rafales off the shelf from France while simultaneously producing them at HAL to fasttrack delivery. Also the MoD should introduce three shifts in its shipyards such as MDL , GRSE to fast track delivery . At least two shifts can be introduced if there is a shortage of skilled manpower. Another way to mitigate the problem would be to award more contracts to L&T and Pipav where u said they have three shifts. Are the MoD taking any measures in this direction .

Anonymous said...

Sir, why doesn't the T-90 tanks in service with the IA feature Shotra passive protection systems when they are standard fit on Russian T-90s. Also will the fleet of T-72 be fitted with addon Kanchan composite armour blocks that the DRDO developed for the Arjun tank. If a layer of the composite armour is added over the entire tank - upper and lower glacis, turret front - rear -sides as well as on the side skirts it will greatly increase protection unto 2 folds. The Kontakt ERA blocks can then be placed on top of them before the contact battle. Are there any plans of doing so? Also are there any plans if fitting the T-72 with an active protection suite like the T-90s? Pls reply . Thanx in advance.

sbm said...

Thanks Prasun. Will there be follow-on IAF orders for SPYDER ?

Also, I noticed lots of optical sights, holographic etc for the INSAS and the MSMC - what types of orders have been placed to date for rifle and LMG sights - reflex, optical, night, red-dot - by the Indian armed forces ?

Did TATA get anywhere with that L70 upgrade ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.12AM: The Tunguska cannot be compared to the Skyranger since the former is meant to be accompanying the manoeuvring land formations like integrated battle groups. The Skyranger will primarily be replacing the L-70s, meaning they will not be required to be on the move all the time and will be employed for protecting fixed installations and strategic industrial sites. Any AD regiment has the standard three batteries. Every MANPADS has an effective range not exceeding 6km. Only navalised versions of the MANPADS have an additional booster to increase the range to 10km, like the FL-2000N.

To Anon@1.25AM: BMP-2K will feature an uprated powerpack, add-on composite armour tiles and a new KBP-built Kliver turret housing the 30mm cannon, 30mm AGL & Up to 4 Kornet-E ATGMs. All such features are not available with the much more expensive CV-90. BUSK is BMP Urban Survival Kit.

To Anon@1.31AM: For battlefield air interdiction roles the radar will never be used for target acquisition. Instead, passive sensors mounted on laser designation pods like LITENING will be employed. Targets in the deep battle areas can be easily detected and localised by overhead recce satellites as well as MALE-UAVs equipped with ISAR sensors. Hostile AAA emplacements can always be neutralised by SEAD/DEAD sorties. For attacking fixed targets like air bases, use will be made of CALCMs, and not combat aircraft.

To Anon@1.55AM: There’s no need for Russia-built passive/active protection systems for the Indian T-90S since they’re already being fitted with LEDS-150 APS. For the T-72M1s, add-on armour tiles like the ones on the BMP-T Terminator tank destroyer are required, along with an APS suite.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: Both the IAF & IA are now committed to placing additional orders for the SpyDer-SRs for replacing their OSA-AKs & Strella-10Ms. Various types of optical sights for various types of in-service small arms and long-calibre rifles are in series-production since 2010 by both the OFB and provate-sector firms. The TATA-devised L-70 upgrade began way back in 2007 and is still under implementation at various EME workshops.

Anonymous said...


Can you tell us if there was anything about Tata and Urban Aeronautics UAV based on Fancraft technology like AirMule, X-Hawk ??? I think there were few successful flight of this really cool UAV in israel. Has Tata and Urban Aero. has informed IA about these tactical UAVs and if yes then is IA interested ??

Anonymous said...

How did MSMC performed in the trials ??? Is IA interested ??? Somebody told my friend that Trichi assault rifle got accepted by paramilitary forces....Is it true ??

Also how many bofors L60/L70 does IA operate ??

Anonymous said...

Any information about IA acquiring Light armored vehicles like HUMVEE ??? What AI not interested in changing vintage jeeps ?? ALL launched COLT range of tactical vehicle during Defexpo, one more addition to the long list of LAVs being produced by indian automakers.

sbm said...

Prasun - let me thank you for all your responses and answers, not to mention the posts themselves.

On the BMD front, one thing the seeker suggests is that the PAD while not a viable combat system was a useful "proof of concept" vehicle and it served its purpose.

So have any additional SPYDER contracts been signed ?

As far as the optical sights go, how large are the orders to date ?
I remember back in 2007, 15000 red-dot sights were ordered from zeiss but heard nothing more.

So the L70 upgrade is going ahead with the thermal imagers etc. ? That will give some degree of viability, though the feed - clips does artifically slow down the rate of fire.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.10AM: None of those UAVs were shown this time.

To Anon@3.22AM: LAVs or MRAPs are available aplenty, but how many of them have been packaged as the Sandcat? That’s what was absent at DEFEXPO 2012. Till now, no one from India has demonstrated or even designed a vehicle capable of housing a mini-UAV, ATGM launcher + reloads, LAWs, AGL, HMG or LMG, FLIR turret, and a portable laser designator. That’s what the IA is on the lookout for.

To SBM: Yes, the PAD was a necessary stepping stone that taught a lot of valuable lessons, for without it, the PDV would never have materialised. The same goes for the AAD and its projected AAD-1/2 variants. No additional/follow-on SpyDer-SR contracts have been inked for the past three years and that was one of the points raised by the COAS in his now famous letter to the PM. As for optical sights, the orders are now steadily pouring in in successive tranches not just for the armed forces, but for the CAPFs as well. The L-70 upgrade is also progressing smoothly and would have taken off a decade ago had it not been for BEL’s disastrous attempt in the early 1990s to upgrade the 200-odd Super Fledermaus FCS with Ericsson’s help. While Army HQ itself is to blame for its institutional deficiencies that have caused projects like the F-INSAS and BMS to get delayed, BEL, acting in cohorts with the MoD’s dept of Defence Production & Supplies, has been instrumental in delaying several projects, the most notable of them being the Tactical Communications System (TCS), which has even pissed off the DRDO and consequently, the DRDO is strongly favouring the joint proposal from L & T, TATA & HCL.

Anonymous said...

Hi prasun,

i have a question regarding defense PSUs.

a) what does the advantages the private players provide in place of defense PSUs? Does they reduce the cost of acquisations?

b) By allowing opportunities to private palyers with FDI equities (present 26%) do the national security be at risk? The reason for this question in case a war with Pakistan or china does the foreign players (FDI investors) starve the indain armed forces in spares and support to nullify the Indian aggression against Pakistan for their own interests?

c) Does increasing the FDI % in defense sector poses serious threats?

d) Does reforming(practices, processes, quality etc) defense PSUs is better than allowing Foreign players?

The reasons for asking these questions is i think that unearthing of TARA-BEML scam at a time when the UPA-II days are numbered shows the initial step of defaming defense PSUs. There are bigger arms lobbies which include Foreign players, political parties , MOD officials , some service officials who want the defense PSUs to have a slow death.

I agree that TATRA-BEML scam is serious issue which should be investigated, i see a bigger picture of destroying defense PSUs by powerful arms lobbies.

Please comment ur views..


Anonymous said...

Was NAMICA there in Defexpo 2012 ??? I heard IA asked the NAMICA makers to make some changes especially with sights in 2010...

Any update on the progress of HAL's LUH and IMRH program ??

Has drdo shown their new generation clothing for future soldier ?????
The personal clothing of this soldier of the future would be lightweight with a bullet-proof jacket. The futuristic jacket would be waterproofed yet breathable. The new attire that will enable the troops carry the extra load and resist impact of chemical warfare.Uniform will also carry solar chargers for charging Palmtop and other electronic equipments attached it also contain external oxygen supply respirator providing protection against CS and CN gas and smoke. Flame retardant carbonized viscose undergarments. Fire proof knee and elbow pads. bullet-proof armoured waistcoat designed to stop a round and also absorb its kinetic energy. ceramic armour plates covering the front, back and groin. Armoured helmet able to stop a 9mm round at close range. The new uniform will have vests with sensors to monitor their health parameters and provide quick medical relief.

Also some information on MUNTRA Unmanned Tracked Ground Vehicle from DRDO will be highly appreciated.

Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,
NO amount of THANX can be enough for the time and pain you took to reply to the questions of myself and fellow bloggers.Sometimes I wonder why are those BRF and PDF guys so much pissed off against you!!You seem to be the much more knowledgable and generous than other blog runners who don't even bother to answer to the questions of the readers.PLEASE carry on the good job.:-)

By the way,
1.You told that DRDO has been pissed of by BEL.So who will now produce the TCS and ACCS??

2.Can't the DRDO develop a belt fed ammunition supply system for our Bofors L70S??That way we can increase the rate of fire and won't be needing to procure Rheinmetall Skyranger.What do ya say??

3.So the IMI 120mm FSAPDS rounds are operational with Arjun MkI-really happy to know.But how are we managing to fire these rounds from the rifled gun??These rounds were developed for the L44 smooth barrel guns.

4.Again good to know that INSAS will remain in service.But then why IA is testing the foreign assault rifles and has deceided to manufacture the winning model under licence??

5.THANX for the FINSAS update.So good to know that it's running smoothly.I would like to ask one thing here-who is developing the sub systems of FINSAS and the adjasent BMS,CRN and TAC3I systems??Is it DRDO or any foreign company??

6.Do you if our BMs and NLOS-BSMs like Shaurya or Prahaar are fitted with GLONASS transceivers for terminal guidance or not??And did the Russians agree to supply the miniaturised SAR modules for our BMs and NLOS-BSMs??

7.Do you have any idea by when Arjun MkII with that redesigned turret will be ready??And was there any poster showing that planned turret in the DefExpo??

8.And lastly,regarding Sword Fish and Elta El/M 2084-I think I couldn't make my point clear.I was just asking about a possibility.I know that in present form LRTR and Arudhra are different system.That's why I asked if it was possible to scale down the antenna of the LRTR to El/M 2084 and then fit that scaled down antenna of LRTR with same S band T/R modules used in DRDO AWACS since the Arudhra is also a S band radar??This radar can be used as a replacement for 3d CAR of IA and IAF and can be a great export possibility as a cheaper AESA radar.
Besides,the S band modules should also be used to replace the PESA antenna of Rajendra and Swati BLR-What do you think??Isn't this a viable option??

PLEASE reply.

THANX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anonymous said...

" LAVs or MRAPs are available aplenty, but how many of them have been packaged as the Sandcat? That’s what was absent at DEFEXPO 2012. Till now, no one from India has demonstrated or even designed a vehicle capable of housing a mini-UAV, ATGM launcher + reloads, LAWs, AGL, HMG or LMG, FLIR turret, and a portable laser designator. That’s what the IA is on the lookout for. "
So there's a requirement and for that IA is looking globally ??? How big is the requirement and has IA got some finalists ? Any chance of joining JLTV ??

"Tactical Communications System (TCS), which has even pissed off the DRDO and consequently, the DRDO is strongly favouring the joint proposal from L & T, TATA & HCL."
I also think it will be the best option but i doubt it will be selected unless the defence minister himself is changed by the time of selection, then its possible.

Any chance you know about the RFP for new BP jacket, helmets and assault rifles ??? I read the interview of czech defence minister according to him the IA's RFP eliminates everyone except 3 rifles, first is the czech CZ 805 BREN, then beretta and last is IWI tavor and czechs are confident about their victory. Is it true ???

Do you about IA's RFP about medium range loitering missile ?? Have you seen Fire Shadow during defexpo. its on offer to IA from MBDA for this particular RFP ??

Also i guess there wasn't any model or picture of the new Nirbhay or ALCM cruise missiles or else you would have posted.

saurav jha said...

According to this, 9 MRMR planes are being considered for IN. Is this true or, another example of Desi reporting ..?

LEE said...

Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,
Again I forgot to ask one thing-When IRDE has developed every kind of gun sights (like day sight,passive nvg,Mars,red dot etc),then why IA is importing them from Karl Zeiss??

And what's the need to conduct trials of foreign assault rifles??

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

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, am a bit confused. In the current edition of India Today. Read an article on the Akula. The article is " Special Report Navy. Dragon Slayer " by Sandeep Unnithan. " The induction of INS Chakra, a Russian built Akula 2 attack submarine will substantially alter the navy's ability to project power into the Indian Ocean. It is the single biggest force multiplier India has acquired to counter the entry of the Chinese navy into the Indian Ocean.... For instance, it will allow the navy to rush the submarine to vital chokepoints in the IOR and to stalk hostile surface ships, aircraft carriers and submarines. THE NEW SUBMARINE IS FREE FROM CRITICAL RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY THE ERSTWHILE SOVIET UNION ON AN EARLIER NUCLEAR SUBMARINE NAMED CHAKRA..... THE OLD CHAKRA COULD NOT BE USED IN WAR. THE NEW ONE CAN." U on the other hand said that the IN couldnt use the sub in war.It doesnt have full operational sovereignty over the sub. Which to believe? The IN can purchase the sub instead of leasing it. Also there was a report many days ago that after leasing it for ten yrs, the IN can purchase the sub . What about that. Pls reply.

Anonymous said...

HI Prasun, 1. U said the Skyranger  is meant ti protect static installations and other high value  strategic targets. Prasun pls tell will the Skyranger turret feature any SAM such as the Mistral, Stinger or even the 9M311 Tunguska missiles or it will house only the gun component? Why can't the Skyranger turret have two revolver cannons fitted on the side with a tracking radar mounted on the front of the turret and a search radar on the top just like the Tunguska ? The Skyranger turret only features a single radar which performs both track and search. As a result the detection range will be inferior to that of the Tinguska. Why didnt the IA go for the SA-22 Panstir which features for gun and missile component unlike the Skyranger and also costs less? 2. What will be the range of the upcoming Akash mk2 sam? 35 km or 40 km? Also will it feature an active radar seeker? 
3. U said that the IA ordered 4 regiments of Spyder SR back in 2009. Are all the regiments in service with the IA at present? What is the composition of a Spyder-SR regiment? Also in this thread to your replies to an obsolete air defence system for the IA u said that follow on orders of the Spyder have not materialized and that the acquisition needs to be fast tracked. So does this mean that more orders of the Spyder SR system are to be placed other than the 4 regiments already ordered. 4. If the IA wants it can ask IAI to fit 8 launchers per TEL as they had done with the MR variant. This would increase the firepower per TeL and also save money by reducing the no of TELs. Will the IA exercise such an option? PLS PLS PLS reply PRASUN .

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun. regarding the BMP-2K u said that it features Kliver turret packing a lot of firepower which is not present on the CV-90. But what CV-90 offers is adequate crew and soldier protection from upto 20 mm rounds. Will the new BMP-2K offer the degree of protection as CV-90 offers. I mean to say whether the BMP will provide all round protection from 20 mm rounds. Who are supplying the composite armour tiles? Is the BMP-2K upgrade being done on the whole fleet of BMP-2s? Other than 4 Kornet rounds will it not carry any reloads? Pla reply.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am Anon at 1:55 am. Is the IA considering an upgrade of it's T-72 M1 comprising of a layer of addon composite armour blocks over the base armour. Over over them Kontakt-5 ERA blocks can be fitted. Also the LEDS-150 APS should be fitted. Instead of just upgrading the T-90 to T-90 AM which feature an improved Relikit ERA, IA and DRDO should first add a composite armour layer and then add the Relikt ERA blocks. Also the sides of the T-90 should have thick composite blocks. What do u think?

Anonymous said...

All these so called JVs between Indian Pvt Cos and MNCs means another party to the lucrative defense contracts and inflation of the cost of the final product. This is nothing but another form of theft in the name of "defense". The quality of our Army Chiefs are a pointer to the rot in the system. Under the congress party India is fast resembling one of the despotic and kleptocratic African countries.

hoods said...

There are reports going around that India might lease another akula soon.

I was under the impression that India bought the first akula for training purpose.

Isn't Ins ckakra enough for that.why do we suddenly need another akula for,especially if it can not be used in combat?

Anonymous said...

Prasun will you be posting more ?? I yes then please open new thread. Just adding a couple photos or adding a paragraph makes it difficult to read because you to find the new addition in the whole article.

Please share with us any information on micro and mini aerial vehicles from drdo. Any inteest from armed forces or they are gonna purchase these kind of UAvs from abroad ??

Also was there any interest from indian forces on Hermes 900 and also any update on unmanned helicopter from HAL-IAI ????

Mr. Ra 13 said...

MSMC looks to be from foreign. Thanx it is not.

Anonymous said...

I just read the article showing the priority set by COAS for the modernisation program. IA is now giving maximum priority to Air defence. Does this mean all the air defence deals will be prioritized ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.32AM: The main advantage the private-sector has over MoD-owned DPSus is financial and management autonomy. Whenever a new weapon system has to be developed, the private-sector firms are free to strike industrial alliances with their foreign counterparts and devise win-win methods of not only developing the reqd weapons containing the technologies that are desired by the end-user, but also ensuring through-life product support by always maintaining a guaranteed supply of spares and after-sales service capabilities for a finite period of time (usually up to 20 years). All this is possible only because the private-sector (inclusive of public-listed companies and privately owned firms) have the total freedom to raise capital and funds whenever they want from the stock markets. In contrast, DPSUs have to always approach the MoD for funds and financial assistance, all of which has to come from the annual defence budgets. And since India’s planning process is limited to 5 years, one cannot undertake business/production expansion beyond that period. Add to that the bureaucracy within the MoD’s Dept of Defence Production & Supplies whose job it is to micro-manage these DPSUs. This is precisely the reason why the DPSUs fail to perform as the playing field is not level. It is for this reason that I’ve always advocated the strategic divestments from these DPSUs, so that these DPSUs can become fully public-listed companies and consequently are free to raise funds from stock markets worldwide in order to offer the most competitive solutions in a time-bound manner, while at the same time posing a much lesser strain on the annual defence budgets. The issue of FDI is a non-issue, since even companies like L & T and TATA & Reliance are all public-listed and foreign institutional investors own shares in these companies, and yet there hasn’t been any instance of these companies being sabotaged by such foreign shareholders. In today’s globalised world it is impossible to exclude foreign investors in strategic industries, and even in Russia and China such industries are publicly listed in stock markets worldwide.
Coming to the BEML-TATRA issue, the scam began in the 1980s during the days of the licence raj when DPSUs were nominated by the MoD to enjoy total monopolies in defence equipment supplies. It is this very process of nominations that constitutes the scam in an era when competitive bidding has become the norm. Technologically, there’s nothing wrong with the BEML-TATRA vehicles & they’re not inferior. But the negative aspect of this whole issue is that despite the MoD’s assertion that ToT was involved, in reality this wasn’t truly the case, since all these trucks are left-hand drive vehicles and there’s been no creation of in-country service centres for these vehicles. Which means successive governments since 1986 have been lying to the citizens of India on the issue of ToT for such vehicles.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.10AM: NAMICA wasn’t shown at DEFEXPO. Even Cochin Shipyard Ltd didn’t participate in the expo for unknown reasons. The same goes for Bharti Shipyards. There’s been no update on the LUH programme and the IMRH and HJT-36 programmes are dead, only the official announcement to this effect is now awaited. DRDO didn’t display any new clothing, only its new range of MREs was showcased. Will upload the Muntra’s specs in a new thread.

To ANURAG: The TCS will most probably be supplied by the L & T/TATA/HCL combine. And whosoever wins this contract will also stand a greater chance of winning the BMS, BSS & F-INSAS contracts, because these three all have to rely on the TCS for networking and functioning. The L-70s are bulky old and it makes to develop a belt-feed ammo supply system for a gun that cannot be installed on a truck or AIFV or warship. The Skyranger, on the other hand, can. For the 120mm rounds, IMI has devised a special base-plate for the rounds that makes them compatible with the rifled bore cannon. New-generation assault rifles are being tested for service introduction later this decade for eventually replacing the INSAS. No one can replace an entire family of rifles, carbines & LMGs for the Indian Army within 5 or 10 years. Series-production takes time, just as it took almost the same time to equip the entire Indian Army with INSAS. Your 6th question was already answered by me months ago in the thread on Prahaar and the posters I’ve uploaded there very clearly give the answers. There was nothing shown at DEFEXPO on the Arjun Mk2 and its definitive prototype won’t be visible until 2014. The LRTR cannot be scaled down by anyone in India since it is an Israeli design and all its hardware components also come from Israel, as I had explained last year (by quoting Dr V K Saraswat) in the thread on DRDO’s BMD. 3-D CAR/Rohini is a radar for an entirely different purpose that cannot be modified into an active phased-array radar. It is far more cheaper to procure an active phased-array radar like the EL/M-2084 Arudhra. And developing a ground-based active phased-array radar doesn’t make any sense especially the IAF is already committed to acquiring the EL/M-2258 MF-STAR for the Barak-8 LR-SAM. The PESA configuration of Rajendra BLR & Swati WLR are more than adequate for the tasks envisaged, and the EL/M-2084 Arudhra, being a multi-mode radar, can perform several tasks concurrently, meaning there’s no need to buy a purpose-specific radar for each task. About gun sights, compare the timelines of the availability of IRDE-developed gunsights and the period when the imported sights were acquired.

To Anon@10.52AM: The JLTV-type ATV reqmt for the Indian Army runs into the hundreds. AS for loitering missiles, it is not just the Fire Shadow, but also the MSOW from IMI & Taurus/KEPD-350 & Storm Shadow that are in the fray. There was nothing anywhere mentioning Nirbhay this time.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Saurav Jha: Not for the IN, but the ICGS. IN only wants to acquire a follow-on four P-8Is and six SS-3 amphibians, although the total projected reqmt is for 24 units of P-8I.

To Anon@5.28PM: Like I have never tired of explaining, these ‘desi’ journalists are not only themselves screwed-up, but also try to screw-up their readers with disinformation. Take for instance, this statement: “It is the single biggest force multiplier India has acquired to counter the entry of the Chinese navy into the Indian Ocean. For instance, it will allow the navy to rush the submarine to vital chokepoints in the IOR and to stalk hostile surface ships, aircraft carriers and submarines.”-------In reality, the PLA Navy first sent its Type 091 Han-class SSNs to the Indian Ocean way back in 1985 and is now all over the Indian Ocean & the Horn of Africa. So does INDIA TODAY mean to say that only now India has woken up to this fact and all of a sudden decided to take ‘pangga’ with the PLA Navy? Most ridiculous proposition, to say the least. During the Chakra’s induction ceremony in Vizag, no one from the Navy ever said anything about this SSGN being used in wartime. Everyone, including the RM, said that this SSGN will serve as a training platform for those naval personnel that are destined in future to operate India’s homegrown fleet of SSBNs and SSGNs. Nor are such imported SSGNs for sale; there are international treaties/conventions in place that prevent the sale of such submarines. If it was indeed possible to buy them off-the-shelf, then India wouldn’t have wasted money on trying to build SSBNs like the Arihant, and would have imported them from the former USSR/Russia a long time ago.
The reality is this: There’s a connection between the delayed sea-trials of the Arihant and the arrival of the Chakra. Since the Chakra can operate at the same submerged depth as the Arihant, the Chakra will be used primarily to escort the Arihant out to sea and keep the area of the sea-trials under constant surveillance so as to give advance warning of other SSNs (from the navies of the US, or China, or the UK) that may be interested in monitoring the Arihant’s sea-trials. Later on, as the Arihant after its commissioning heads out into deeper waters into the southern Indian Ocean or into the Arabian Sea, the Chakra again will be accompanying the Arihant. Therefore, the principal role of INS Chakra will be to act as a stealthy stalker, always on the lookout for hostile or interested undersea objects that may be in the immediate vicinity of the Arihant.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.53PM: I had also said that the BMK-2s will feature add-on composite armour tiles.

To Anon@6.04PM: All those T-72M1s designated for upgrading will have add-on composite armour tiles & APS.

To Hoods: If the plan is to have S-2 (Arihant), S-3 & S-4 SSBNs before the end of this decade, then there will definitely be a need for at least two SSGNs. This is because there’s a connection between the delayed sea-trials of the Arihant and the arrival of the Chakra. Since the Chakra can operate at the same submerged depth as the Arihant, the Chakra will be used primarily to escort the Arihant out to sea and keep the area of the sea-trials under constant surveillance so as to give advance warning of other SSNs (from the navies of the US, or China, or the UK) that may be interested in monitoring the Arihant’s sea-trials. Later on, as the Arihant after its commissioning heads out into deeper waters into the southern Indian Ocean or into the Arabian Sea, the Chakra again will be accompanying the Arihant. Therefore, the principal role of INS Chakra will be to act as a stealthy stalker, always on the lookout for hostile or interested undersea objects that may be in the immediate vicinity of the Arihant.

To Anon@1.21AM: This is nothing new. The previous CAS of the IAF too had said the same thing at the press conference on the eve of his retirement. Unless there is a non-lapsable defence modernisation fund, acquisitions will have to queue up and await their turn. The only other option is to undertake strategic divestment of the DPSUs, which will free up substantial amount of funds within the defence budget, which can then be spent on military hardware procurements. The writing has already been there on the wall since the beginning of the last decade, and yet the decision-makers stubbornly refuse to observe & take heed of what’s been there in front of their eyes all along. There are the so-called ‘Blind Men/Women of Hindustan’.

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun, is Indian amry considering a track platform for their version of Spyder QRSAM ? And when can we expect any deal being signed by indian armed forces for David's Sling or Iron Dome ? If any such deal is signed, how big is it gonna be ?

Did you heard IAF might purchase Raytheon's ASTOR (Airborne Stand-Off Reconnaissance system) for surveillance job ? Do you know how many aircrafts will be purchased by IAF ?

I also wanna know if Indian needs BMP-1 or BMP-2 as a platform for something like for example mortar carrier or NAMICA or NBC recce vehicle or unmannned vehicle or air defence gun etc. and they don't wanna convert the vehicles already present in the service so they will have to purchase from Russia or Ukraine or they have the license to produce them without like asking Russians ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.26AM: Why should there be a tracked platform for SpyDer-SR, when the TATA-built truck can can traverse all types of terrain? Furthermore, the upgraded ZSU-23-4 Schilka has twin Python-5s mounted in cannisters. It was shown at DEFEXPO 2012.
The Iron Dome was shown at DEFEXPO. Its Tamir SAM has a range of 10km. If acquired at least six Regiments will be required.
The BMP-2 is already operational with the Indian Army in all the variants you've mentioned. The BMP-2 has been under licenced-production since the late 1980s and since it is licence-produced, its Russian OEMs are very much aware of the nos produced so far, since the 30mm cannons have always been imported and have never been indigenised. After all, you cannot licence-produce something without the authorisation of the OEM. If you do that, then it is no longer the licenced-production of the original design, but a clone.

Anonymous said...

Prasun if i am not wrong then, Goa shipyard is also making OPVs. Is that design similar to the ones being made by Pipavav ?

Anonymous said...

Your comment "The issue of FDI is a non-issue, since even companies like L & T and TATA & Reliance are all public-listed and foreign institutional investors own shares in these companies, and yet there hasn’t been any instance of these companies being sabotaged by such foreign shareholders."

In the case of foreign funds investing they do not have a decision making member on the board. In the latter case when direct FDI is pumped into a new company or, for a controlling stake in an existing one, they will have such board members in the Team. I think this in turn obviously creates a difference in corporate vision and India's strategic interests.

That said I am for disinvestment but to the Indian Private sector.

In fact 100% FDI should be allowed, but only for cutting edge areas where India has zero or near zero expertise[and there will be lots of these]. Otherwise FDI up to 49% should not be an issue.

Anonymous said...

" Not for the IN, but the ICGS. IN only wants to acquire a follow-on four P-8Is and six SS-3 amphibians, although the total projected reqmt is for 24 units of P-8I."
Good for IN but MOD is purchasing 9 MRMR for Indian Navy whether they like it or not and as we all know the final decision is of MOD so 9 MRMR will be be inducted in IN.

Anonymous said...

Tata built trucks can operate in deserts of Rjasthan and marshes of Kuchh ??? If thats true then i think we should all congratulate Tata...
Also why was there a need to have track platform for Akash ???

How many OPVs and NOPVs on order for ICGS ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.54AM: Not only TATA-built trucks, but also trucks made by M & M and Ashok Leyland can operate in the deserts over undulating sand dunes, as well as in the Rann of Kutch. The tracked platform for the Akash was selected in early 2001 when such heavy-duty wheeled vehicle solutions were not available in-country.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.28AM: Pipavav's OPV design is of Russian origin, whereas the design of OPVs being made by GSL is of Dutch origin.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.32AM: 49% FDI has been allowed since February 1998. That's how BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd came into being. As to why only one such company was allowed with 49% FDI while others are still being restricted to 26% is anyone's guess. Such ludicrous corporate inconsistencies need to be dispensed with ASAP, lest they turn India in to a laughing stock.

Anonymous said...

Prasun how good is ??? Because there's an article on this website thats saying Trophy is the APS that will be used in Arjun MBT.

Also Rafaels new tie-up with Mahindra is going to sell Spike and SPyder SAM in INdia. SO any future orders of Spyder can be on any truck, not necessarily Tata's.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, in relation to the BMP-2K upgrade thats not what I wanted to say. What I wanted to ask is a. After fitting the composite armour tiles will the BMP-2 offer all round , ie, from sides, rear and the frontal section protection from 20 mm rounds? b. Is the upgrade been done in the whole fleet of BMP-2s of the IA? c. Who is supplying the composite add on armor. Pls reply.

Anonymous said...

Hi , I am Anon at 5:42 pm regarding the army air defence. It will be kind enough of u if u pls those questions. Have been waiting in vain for u to ans those ques. U answered part of the ques. U said the Skyranger cannot be compared to Tungunska. WHAT I WANT TO ASK IS THAT WHEATHER THE SKYRANGER TURRET AND THE SKYRANGER SYSTEM FoR THE IA AND IAF WILL HAVE ANY SAMs SUCH AS TUNGUNSKA AND SHILKA and if so how many are to be fitted? Pls ans this and the rest.

LEE said...

Anonymous said...

Prasun Da,

If I were a Pakistani or a Chinese I would be frightened with your pictures only..

Alas nothing comes up on ground. Indian arms industry has become a favourite joint for pseudo journalists, arms dealers and wheelers, spkookies, Babu Gosa and kickback operatives.

Fauj is left high and dry !!

Anonymous said...

Hi, when will the Sukhoi-30 Super upgrade programme take off? Will the upgraded Sukhoi feature a MAWS, a laser emission Warner , an IR jammer and the Virgilus AESA jammer? Will the MiG-29 UPG have a MAWS and a laser emission Warner? What standoff weapon and tactical air- surface ground weapons are the IAF purchasing for increasing it's offensive capabilities ? What is the present no of Kh-59 and IAI AGM-142 in the IAF inventory? I think the no is not more than 100 each. We are already lagging behind the PAF. They have the H-2/ H-4 glide bombs which enable their jets to attack targets outside the range if our existing MR and QRSAM such as Spyder SR , Akash mk1 and mk2. The IAF on the other hand has no such standoff weapons. Instead it is still relying on LGBs . Also no efforts are being made to develope standoff weapons or purchase them offshelf. Then how re IAF jets going to engage static and moving targets in deep battle. Also we donot possess subsonic terrain hugging cruise missiles like the Babar and Raad to strike enemy airbases , supply depots. So it's left to the IAF . Is the IAF purchasing any standoff weapons such as glide bombs, tactical missiles? Will the IAF order the AASM in bulk ( in thousands ) and use them on the Sukhoi-30, MiG-29, Jaguar and MiG-27 other than Rafale and Mirage 2000? Also are we purchasing the Taurus KEPD 350, Storm shadow ALCM in bulk to increase and enhance our offensive capabilities ? Any news if purchasing MBDA Brimstone? Also can the Kh-31 be used for attacking high value land targets in high clutter environment . Pls reply and pls tell about IAF's standoff ground munitions aquisition program PLS ANS.

Anonymous said...

Prasun how is US new XM1203 NLOS-C ??? Is IA considering getting this turret ??

hoods said...

recently read somewhere that OFB truck mounted 105mm SPGH displayed at defexpo was being targeted at BSF(FINDING THIS HARD TO BELIEVE).do shed some light on this.

also saw BEML showcasing a tracked and wheeled SPGH on one of their posters named "ZUZANA" AND "ARZU".can you give some info on this.

sbm said...

Prasun, if India is ever faced with an embargo, could a concerted effort on the part of the DPSUs, DRDO and the private sector keep the armed forces going, given investment and some time ?

I have been advised that indigenization of spares has been a priority but as a pilot project to see if it could be done in the event of a problem rather than as import substitution.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.31AM: RAFAEL never even showcased the TROPGY APS at DEFEXPO 2012. The Mahindra-RAFAEL tie-up is not about guided-missiles. Rather, it is about using RAFAEL’s optronic sensors & composite body-armour on a range of MRAPs. For guided-missiles, RAFAEL has tied up with BEL.

To Anon@12.44PM: No armoured vehicle offers guaranteed all-round protection. The composite add-on armour for the BMP-2K is being supplied by MKU Pvt Ltd and a poster to that effect was on display at DEFEXPO 2012 at MKU’s booth.

To Anon@12.57PM: The Pantsyr & Tunguska are air-defence systems for manoeuvring forces on the battlefield. The Skyranger is not. For protecting static installations a distributed weapons deployment architecture has to be adopted using standalone weapons and therefore there’s no need for the Skyranger to have built-in VSHORADS. It is better therefore that the Skyranger or even the L-70s and the Igla-S/Mistrals are separately deployed and are physically apart. No one in the world uses the Pantsyr or Tunguska for the air-defence of fixed/static installations.

To Anon@1.04PM: There’s a lot coming up on the ground, and one only has to look for it to find out. The fact that most don’t doesn’t mean that nothing’s happening.

To Anon@3.07PM: No, it is not on offer to India as yet.

To Hoods: Several towed 105mm IFG Mk1/2 have been serving with the BSF for more than a decade. It is therefore perfectly logical that these guns are modified into motorised 105mm howitzers. BEML is indeed OMNIPOL’s in-country agent and is offering these howitzers.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: Could a concerted effort on the part of the DPSUs, DRDO and the private sector keep the armed forces going, given investment and some time? Out of the question. Why? Sheer economies of scale. IF BEML could achieve only 60% indigenisation of the TATRA family of vehicles over a period of 26 years, that says a lot about the so-called will to pursue indigenisation of spares. What is being accorded priority is not the indigenous production of spares, but indigenisation of servicing/maintenance/repair/overhaul capabilities and capacities. The sheer number of private-sector companies that took part in DEFEXPO 2012 to showcase just these capabilities was phenomenal. In fact, these companies are doing so well that, for instance a company that’s being in the business of servicing a range of naval mechanical/electrical systems is now seriously thinking about buying out any existing shipyard in India and converting in into a one-stop MRO facility like what Hyundai has in Busan. To me that’s the real military-industrial revolution that’s taking place within India.

sbm said...

OK- thanks for that. But what of ammunition ? New facilities seem to be coming up all the time and the capacity of the OFB is underutilized.

If a sober assessment of the combat capability of the Indian armed forces is to be made - neither alarmingly pessimistic nor jingoisticaly optimistic - would it be accurate to say that the Indian armed forces are capable of defensive operations in the event of a short-medium duration conflict with limited offensive potential ?

Would it also be accurate to say that the Indian armed forces are not combat ineffective but rather not optimally effective given their size and expenditure ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: I would not characterise any operation as defensive or offensive, since in any military operation there are both defensive and offensive components. Rather, future wars in the subcontinent will be waged as either full-scale high-intensity ones not lasting more than 10 days (in the west), or as high-intensity limited conflicts up north and northeast. Between these two, the former is highly unlikely over the next five years at least, while the latter is unlikely as well for the next four years, since the PLA has begun familiarising itself with the areas of operations for waging ‘localised border wars’ only since 2010. I therefore would not be too perturbed about the present level of stockpiles of fast-moving ammunition, since a steady stream of orders have been placed since 2010 and deliveries are now underway. The principal war-waging deficiencies of India are not about the availability or non-availability of arms and ammunition, but about institutional deficiencies like the standalone war-waging postures of the three armed services, as opposed to the single integrated operational plans wholeheartedly adopted by the PLA. And no transformational studies have as yet been undertaken to address this challenge, and the armed service HQs continue to pit themselves against one another in needless turf wars. Unless there is seamless integration of all three services at the theatre-levels, and until the arrival of the Chief of Defence Staff, any kind of prevailing contingency war planning will be designed to produce at best a military stalemate, as opposed to winning decisively. That’s why on November 29, 2008 when the three service chiefs attended the CCNS meeting and were asked to brief the PM, each of the three service chiefs gave their own assessments of the prevailing military balance and none of them advocated any kind of military option.

sbm said...

Good point and well taken.

What orders have been placed since 2010 to correct the shortcomings in munitions supplies and is any of it from local production ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: The orders were most placed with Russian & Israeli ammo providers. Local production of 155mm rounds of various types from both private-sector & OFB, plus BMCS is now in full swing.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: The drama now being enacted at Raisina Hill over shortages in supplies/ammo is the decisive battle that will decide the fate of the stranglehold of the DPSUs that has been there since the 1970s. The arms lobbysts that one hears about in various Indian TV talk shows is not about the foreign lobbysts, but about the intense lobbying being done by these DPSUs with the connivance of the MoD's Dept of Defence Production & Supplies. Things have now reached a breaking point because everyone now realises that the days of obtaining hardware at friendship prices from countries like the erstwhile USSR are long over and in future one has to do more with much less. Hence the cries for higher efficiencies than what the DPSUs can offer. In the coming days, the Dept of Defence Production & Supplies will receive a massive hammering from all corners, rest assured. Even the DRDO has had it with them and is far more comfortable when dealing with the private-sector players simply because the private sector--given their financial autonomy--are much quicker to develop functional prototypes and submit them for field evaluations. It's that simple.

sbm said...

Is there any local production of FSAPDS ammunition ?

When the Barak LR-SAM/MR-SAM enter production, how much of the munitions and the guidance systems will be manufactured in India ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The 120mm APFSDS for Arjun Mk1 and 125mm APFSDS rounds for the T-72CIAs & T-72M1s are being produced locally. Rounds for the imported T-90S are being imported, while the rounds for licence-built Bhishma MBTs are being imported from Israel. For the Barak MR-SAM/LR-SAM, the navigation and guidance systems will be imported, while the rest will be locally produced.

sbm said...

Thanks again. Given your comments on the DPSU/private sector issue, is it likely this time that a decision would be made in favour of the private sector ?

If I am not mistaken, they already contribute to enhancing serviceability in the three services with spares, maintenance and servicing facilities.

The other thing is let us take Mine Protected Vehicles. Mahindra and TATA have invested heavily in these but what orders have the armed forces placed ? The army has a requirement for 1400, but as far as I know they bought 250 from the OFB and 255 from South Africa - were there any other orders ?

For the CAPFs and the State Police, small orders like 6 from Jharkand cannot encourage TATA etc or are there orders we don't hear about ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: Orders for new MPVs from Mahindra Defence have been placed in fairly large numbers for the CAPFs and future orders in successive tranches are assured from the MHA. The Army is not in the market for MPVs anymore except for UN operations, and the reqmt is now for JLTV-type MRAPs. TATA & Ashok Leyland invested in MPVs primarily for the export markets like those in North and West Africa and they've been quite successful.