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Friday, April 20, 2012

L & T’s Re-Engineered NAMICA Troop Commander Vehicle versus NORINCO’s GT-6 ATGM TEL

The photo above is from DEFEXPO 2012 and shows the NAMICA troop commander’s vehicle equipped with a raisable mast-mounted panoramic optronic suite for target acquisition. Contrast this with the photos below of the GT-6 TEL from NORINCO, which can fire up to eight AKD-10 laser-guided ATGMs.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please tell me IA's NAMICA will carry more than 2 Nag missile because otherwise why we even need a NAMICA ? 2 missile can be fitted on every BMP troop carrier. What happned to earlier NAMICA which carried 8 missiles ??/

Anonymous said...

Also is there a front view of this NAMICA ??

There are some news reports that came after Agni 5 which talked about a 10k km range Agni 6. Do you know something about this ?? Also could you tell us about this new satellite launching mechanism that DRDO is developing for quick launch of military nano and micro satellites ?? How much good a nano satellite be for military purpose ?? You can't even put a decent SAR on it...

Also i hear A5 can carry 3 warheads ?? Is it true ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.24AM: I see some problems emerging from the re-engineered NAMICA. For instance, the missile launch turret will have to be repositioned well ahead of the raisable mast so that the turret can be rotated 360 degrees. In the present configuration, this is not possible. Secondly, the number of ready-to-fire missiles inside the turret must be at least eight, plus another eight rounds stored as reloads inside the vehicle. The turret is still being re-engineered.
The GT-6 design, on the other hand, is quite innovbative, since the raisable mast housing both the ATGM and target acquisition/illumination sensors can be rotated 360 degrees. Also note that the ATGM launchers of the GT-6 are the same as those of the ZW-10 attack helicopter, an idea the NAMICA could do with as well.

To Anon@5.28AM: No one ever said anything about using the Agni-5 for deploying nano-/micro-satellites. Instead, low-earth orbiting satellites like the SAR antenna-equipped TechSAR/RISAT-2 will be launched. I had explained it all in the previous thread last night.

abs said...

@prasunda
hey prasunda long time, hope you are doing good :)
i have a question for you
1) what do u make of gen kayani's proposal of demilitarisation of siachen??
is it part of a grand strategic plan?

Anonymous said...

"No one ever said anything about using the Agni-5 for deploying nano-/micro-satellites. Instead, low-earth orbiting satellites like the SAR antenna-equipped TechSAR/RISAT-2 will be launched. I had explained it all in the previous thread last night."
Well DRDO is saying this on all their interviews and press releases. Although no mention of SAR to be on those satellites. Also A5 is not that big to carry a larger satellites.

Please through some light on IAF's new RFI on 9 COMJAM/SIGINT Aircraft (COMJAM=7 , SIGINT=2) although the platform will have to be the same. Please throuw some light on this new development.
I remember IAI has pitched the AISIS special mission aircraft and Raytheon are pitching ASTOR.

spanky's Blog said...

Hi prasun,
Thanks for your replies in the last thread.

BTW a new report

http://livefist.blogspot.in/2012/04/indias-long-range-cruise-missile-test.html

About Namica,Isnt IA only wanted it based on BMP-2.Knowing the IA, any other design may not even be considered for trial.Moreover with NORINCO's design I don't think it will be useful for operation in Indian deserts.

MPatel said...

Are these likely to serve in PA's combat brigades for cold start?

Anonymous said...

http://indrus.in/articles/2012/04/18/russian_engine_for_the_indian_air_force_meets_the_customers_requirem_15504.html

u said the sitara ijt will die ..then wats this?

Anonymous said...

sir ,
wud u not say again that it wud have been better to buy more MRTAs or C130j to fulfill the new IAF requiremnt of 9 COMJAM/SIGINT aircraft

Shaurya said...

Prasun,
They have re-engineered and reduced the no. of ready to fire missiles from 8 to 2!! Why? Seriously why on the earth? And regarding the position of the raisable mast, i think it has to be placed in the middle of the turret and the between the twin launcher, otherwise wherever you place it it will block the launcher at some particular angle. Isn't it?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I think the basic design concepts of NAMICA and the GT-6 TEL from NORINCO are entirely different and NORINCO may be the latest. Pl reply.

Shaurya said...

Also, if only the commander's vehicle going to have the feature of raisable mast, doesn't it need some APS too?

Anonymous said...

The Namica is any day better because it can launch 2 missiles in fire and forget fashion against two different targets. The Chinese one is worse because it can engage only 1 target at a time with SACLOS laser guidance.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.29PM: DRDO is free to say & claim whatever it wants, and the ‘desi’ press is free misinterpret all that’s being said, but the fact remains that nano-/micro-satellites have no major operational applications as of now, but only for scientific applications. Smaller versions of TechSAR/RISAT-2-type satellites capable of low-earth orbits are presently available for launch on short-notice.
Regarding the airborne COMJAM/SIGINT platform, I had already written about it at: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2011/04/rista-platforms-sought-for-persistent.html
The reqmt for these platforms is for the NTRO & RAW’s Aviation Research Centre (ARC). The IAF is acting as only the procurer of such aircraft and will be supplying the aircrew for operating them, but ownership and command-and-control of these aircraft will be shared by both NTRO & RAW. The only problem is regarding the periodic overhaul and servicing of such aircraft, since they can’t keep going abroad every three or six months for servicing (because if they do, then the entire mission avionics suite will have to be dismantled and taken off the platforms prior to their departure (this is what’s being done since the 1980s with the Learjets & Gulfstream-3s of ARC, whenever they have to go to Taiwan-based MRO service provider Air Asia (which was originally created and owned by the CIA for servicing the Air America assets in Indo-China). Therefore, if the MRO reqmts of these COMJAM/SIGINT platforms is reqd to me done in-country, then the selected platform must be one that’s already in service within India and for which localised MRO capabilities exist. Therefore, by a process of elimination, there are only two such aircraft—Embraer’s EMB-145 or ERJ-140 Legacy—that fit this bill and consequently are likely to be acquired for accommodating the COMJAM/SIGINT suites that could be supplied by Lockheed Martin or IAI/ELTA.
There is a totally separate reqmt by the IAF (for four RISTA platforms) for battlespace surveillance, which would be reqd to be fitted with belly-mounted SAR radars plus ELINT/SIGINT suites of the type found on the SEMA from IAI/ELTA or Lockheed Martin’s Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory, or Raytheon’s ASTOR. Therefore, don’t get confused (as some other bloggers already have) between the airborne COMJAM/ELINT platform reqmt and the RISTA platform reqmt.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MPatel: What Cold Start? There’s no such thing as Cold Start, there never was, and thus far the Govt of India has not approved any of the Indian Army’s doctrines for waging high-intensity limited war against any of India’s adversaries.

To Anon@10.41PM: If you would have read the article properly, then you would have reached the same conclusion as I had a long time ago. This is what the article says: “The HJT-36 developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a reliable aircraft, is India’s national pride. It is the first aircraft made by Indians. The basic parameters of the engine meet the customer’s requirements and it flies well. There have been no engine-related accidents or problems, so we are also proud of it. We have executed two contracts; research and development work has been completed. Four engines have been delivered to India and will soon be installed in aircraft”, Fedorov said. The engine was developed and built in a record time of only three years. As part of the contract with HAL, research is now under way with a view to increasing the service life of the AL-55I to 300 hours. A new batch of 10 engines is currently in production – these engines were contracted to be delivered in 2011–2012. “It is no secret that the contract will be continued”, the Saturn head told ITAR-TASS.
Now, let’s compile the errors of this story. Firstly, the HJT-36 is not the first aircraft made by Indians. Secondly, if the AL-55I has a service life of only 300 hours (when the fvar more complex AL-31FP has a TTSL of 2,000 hours), then this engine truly needs to be junked. Thirdly, even though the 10 AL-55Is are now being built, where will they be used? After all, there’s only one HJT-36 prototype left and that too has been grounded since March 2011, while no new prototype has been rolled out in the same period. So, what does all this indicate to you? It appears that the Russian writer of this story shares quite a few traits with the ‘desi’ journalists of the type (from CNN-IBN Live) that never tire of misquoting. For instance, while former CNS Admiral (Ret’d) Arun Prakash had said yesterday that India’s next challenge will be to develop a submarine-launched intercontinental-range ballistic missile, CNN-IBN Live interpreted this to mean putting the Agni-5 ICBM inside a SSBN, when in reality the Admiral said no such thing. The same goes for BROADSWORD, who blandly claimed that the Agni-5’s third stage splashed down somewhere between the southern tip of Africa and Australia, when the DRDO’s own official statement said that the three stages of propulsion dropped and fell at appropriate intervals into the Bay of Bengal.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MPatel: What Cold Start? There’s no such thing as Cold Start, there never was, and thus far the Govt of India has not approved any of the Indian Army’s doctrines for waging high-intensity limited war against any of India’s adversaries.

To Anon@10.41PM: If you would have read the article properly, then you would have reached the same conclusion as I had a long time ago. This is what the article says: “The HJT-36 developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a reliable aircraft, is India’s national pride. It is the first aircraft made by Indians. The basic parameters of the engine meet the customer’s requirements and it flies well. There have been no engine-related accidents or problems, so we are also proud of it. We have executed two contracts; research and development work has been completed. Four engines have been delivered to India and will soon be installed in aircraft”, Fedorov said. The engine was developed and built in a record time of only three years. As part of the contract with HAL, research is now under way with a view to increasing the service life of the AL-55I to 300 hours. A new batch of 10 engines is currently in production – these engines were contracted to be delivered in 2011–2012. “It is no secret that the contract will be continued”, the Saturn head told ITAR-TASS.
Now, let’s compile the errors of this story. Firstly, the HJT-36 is not the first aircraft made by Indians. Secondly, if the AL-55I has a service life of only 300 hours (when the fvar more complex AL-31FP has a TTSL of 2,000 hours), then this engine truly needs to be junked. Thirdly, even though the 10 AL-55Is are now being built, where will they be used? After all, there’s only one HJT-36 prototype left and that too has been grounded since March 2011, while no new prototype has been rolled out in the same period. So, what does all this indicate to you? It appears that the Russian writer of this story shares quite a few traits with the ‘desi’ journalists of the type (from CNN-IBN Live) that never tire of misquoting. For instance, while former CNS Admiral (Ret’d) Arun Prakash had said yesterday that India’s next challenge will be to develop a submarine-launched intercontinental-range ballistic missile, CNN-IBN Live interpreted this to mean putting the Agni-5 ICBM inside a SSBN, when in reality the Admiral said no such thing. The same goes for BROADSWORD, who blandly claimed that the Agni-5’s third stage splashed down somewhere between the southern tip of Africa and Australia, when the DRDO’s own official statement said that the three stages of propulsion dropped and fell at appropriate intervals into the Bay of Bengal.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.19PM: No, for in the case of COMJAM/SIGINT aircraft, the reqmt is for a jetliner capable of cruising at high altitudes and at far higher cruise speeds.

To Shaurya & Mr.RA 13: Let’s start with the basics. If the idea is to develop an ATGM-carrying tracked tank destroyer that can survive on its own against hostile infantry forces equipped with manportable ATGMs & RPGs, then the choice of the BMP hull to serve as NAMICA is plain wrong. Why? Just look at the Russian counterpart of the NAMICA, the BMP-T Terminator. Therefore, what’s required is not a re-engineered NAMICA, but a NAMICA of a totally new design. For instance, one needs to do away with the BMP as the carrier-vehicle and instead adopt the T-72M1 (powered by a 1,000hp engine) hull that is adequately protected on the front and sides with appliqué armour tiles on the outside and composite armour panels on the inside. Secondly, a new-design low-silhouette armoured turret needs to be developed. Such a turret ought to be capable of 360-degree rotation in azimuth. The rear of this turret should house the raisable mast-mounted optronic target search/acquisition thermal imaging sensor. The front half of the turret should have eight pylon-mounted ready-to-fire Nag ATGMs (inside sealed all-composite canisters) in twin clusters of four. Each such cluster can be easily mounted under a pylon that’s attached to a stub wing-type structure (attached to the turret) whose design can be derived from that already developed for the LCH’s latest prototype. All this can be done provided the CVRDE, ARDE and HAL (representing the vehicle designers and weapons providers) join forces to interact with L & T (as the platform fabricator & systems integrator). APS can be considered as an option. At the same time, the 7km-range version of the Nag should be used by such a tank destroyer, since the it doesn’t make any sense to use a 4km-range Nag when the mast-mounted target search/acquisition sensor can easily look out to a distance of 8km. Only the DRDO knows why on earth the NAMICA-launched Nag’s range was limited to 4km, when the Indian Army since the 1980s and recently has had the BMP-2-launched 4km-range Konkurs & Konkurs-M ATGMs.

To Anon@2.04AM: The NAMICA can have an advantage ONLY if it were the first to acquire its targets for engagement. But that’s not the case, since the existing NAMICA’s target search/acquisition envelopes are quite inferior to that of the GT-6, whose AKD-10 ATGM has a range of 8km and this ATGM can be launched from a pylon located 10 metres above the ground.

sbm said...

Prasun what do you make of the Chinese expert claiming that Agni-5 has a max range of 8000km and that the "over 5000km" range was given primarily for political reasons ?

We all know that missile ranges can be varied by altering trajectories and that this is employed to simulate longer ranges at shorter tested distances.

On paper, Agni-5 should be able to get to 8000km with its 1500kg warhead given known knowledge of Indian existing rocket fuel and re-entry tech and guidance systems. So could it be that the Chinese expert is dead on with his suggestion of the true range of A-5?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Spanky's Blog: If the DRDO is now labelling the Nirbhay as a LRCM, then this needs to be matched with the DRDO slide
uploaded three years ago by LIVEFIST in which the supersonic LRCM was described.
Regarding the NAMICA, it is meant for deployment with recce & support battalions of the mechanised/motorised infantry that are deployed throughout the plains of Punjab and Jammu, i.e. operating over built-up and riverine areas.

To SBM: The Chinese appreciations are highly credible, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

>>To Anon@2.04AM: The NAMICA can have an advantage ONLY if it were the first to acquire its targets for engagement. But that’s not the case, since the existing NAMICA’s target search/acquisition envelopes are quite inferior to that of the GT-6, whose AKD-10 ATGM has a range of 8km and this ATGM can be launched from a pylon located 10 metres above the ground.

You are totally missing the point of the Namica.

The Namica only needs to see 4 km out same as a tank and take them out with a low profile (which means even the mast should not be too high or visible over the horizon) and with fire and forget Nags which the Army usually trains for in firing sequentially at two separate targets. The Namica then retreats to defilade/reverse slope, reloads and repeats. This is how the Namica fights. Its a R&S tool with significant "break the back of the enemy armour" capabilities intended to support R&S units which were hitherto armed with a mix of equipment across formations, but commonly seen as vulnerable if they ran into heavy armour. The Nag/Namica combination was designed for this, and for also supporting infantry formations lacking organic armour. Its not uncommon practise in Indian Army to use independent infantry brigades with limited engineering/air defense assets to assist other formations or even achieve their own objectives. In these cases, the conventional Konkurs armed BMPs and Milan armed Jongas were insufficient. Their rate of fire & capability against massed armour attacks left a lot to be desired. In contrast a handful of Namicas can literrally take out a squadron/troop of the best Pakistani Armor in one salvo before reloading. The smokeless propellant, and LOBL methodology has the Namica safe. In contrast, the Chinese design the launcher has to remain exposed throughout the engagement, with the laser painting the target so that the missile hits it. If the launcher is detected and engaged, the missiles are useless.

I'd take the Namica any day over the Chinese design, which based on a typical truck, is next to useless also if it were to accompany fast moving formations in the Thar. The BMP is perfect for that, wherever tanks can go, it can. And also ford canals etc.

Last, I don't find any need for a terminator style vehicle for Indian forces unless they plan to siege and fight in close urban combat. If it has to come to that, India fighting in Lahore etc, we'd have crossed a bunch of redlines and we'll be busy trying to avoid the nuclear war issue. In short, not going to happen. For fire support, the use of Nag is a bad idea. Its an expensive specialized missile for a role which you can use the cheaper less capable missiles like the Chinese one. Basically SACLOS beam riders or wire guided systems, coupled to the vehicle mounted high rate of firing cannon - with suitable elevation and depression of the cannon. Add ERA and cage armour as well, plus that dinkly CPS for the Arjun MK2 and you'll have a decent system. Even the expensive upgraded Shilka will rock in such a role. Though the VSHORAD missiles will be useless and the radar is better replaced by optics or a radar meant for infantry - such as the BFSR.

Anyways, point I was making is that the NAMICA/NAG combination works very well in Indian conditions. Unlike the Chinese missile which desparately needs to avoid its laser getting attenuated/blocked by terrain features, it does not need such a high, observable from long away, mast as well. In fact, DRDO made a special variant of a sliding bridge for the Army with L&T - the reason being that the original bridge when deploying used to go up into the sky, which an alert infantry guy can spot from many km away using decent optics whicht they have.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Another thing, the Namica is top attack. That makes it more deadly than these laser beam riding systems which impact the front armor. The tandem warhead has to go through the heavy ERA plus heaviest base armor. Whereas for the top attack the ERA + thin top armour is a given easy choice. Plus the ammunition inside the turret is a good target. This makes Nag more lethal than the Chinese missile or even the Milan/Konkurs wire guided systems.

Usually the acquisition sensor on the platform will be able to detect the target for missile cueing, a couple of km before the missile, per memory, last I checked. Also, the Namica does not have to be heavily armed to fight against infantry etc. As a R&S vehicle, it will mostly accompany groups of BMPs which "screen" the terrain ahead of the advancing T-72/T-90/Arjun force. As mentioned earlier, it can be detached and fielded in other formations but it will always be protected. Its a very potent anti armor asset. Some 200 Namicas and 7000 Nags are planed. Going forward I am certain DRDO will probably put a mast mounted BFSR on the tank (small profile of a quickly retractable single array will help) and deploy a MMW seeker on it. They already had a breakthrough there. It'll be interesting to observe.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i know i am offtopic but am curious to know. I was reading an old article, T-90AM , better late than never . I also read all of your comments. In one of your replies u said that almost all the military hardware India procured from USSR were already in service with the Soviet military. This was also the case of the T-72 s . Has this also occured with the T-90 fleet? I was of the opinion that Russia did away with the practice of supplying downgraded versions of the same equipment it had. Are the T-90 s in IA service not similar to the ones in Russian service or are downgraded versions. How does the T-90S/M fare against the Al Khalid 1,2 in terms of armour protection , crew comfort , firepower and onboard fire control system. Pls ans.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.01AM: The battlefield scenario you’ve described applied to the 1980s and up to a decade ago, and doesn’t apply today, which is precisely why the Indian Army has specified ‘deep’ changes of the NAMICA’s design. Today there’s no question of any type of Indian motorised/mechanised infantry formation ‘suddenly’ running into concealed or unknown/hidden massed hostile armoured formations, especially in desert terrain, thanks to the large-scale employment of MALE-UAVs and ground-based long-range surveillance systems like the road-mobile STENTOR MR-BFSR & LORROS. The same also applies to R & S units deployed over built-up terrain. And the ‘enemy’ too has such battlefield surveillance tools at its disposal, which increases the vulnerability to the NAMICA as it now exists. When fighting future wars no Indian tracked/wheeled AIFV or ICV will ever be employed as recce/scout vehicles for screening the terrain ahead of friendly advancing armoured formations—this practice was done away with by the late 1990s itself as the very survivability of such vehicles cannot be assured anymore. Instead, what will be required is a platform that can survive hostile ATGM hits, as well as engage hostile manoeuvring armoured targets from standoff distances if at least 7km. The Indian Army perfectly understands this, and consequently has asked for radical modifications to the NAMICA. And that’s the reason why no bulk orders have been placed by anyone in India for the NAMICA, leave alone 200. The same goes for the existing Nag ATGMs, since only an initial order for 600+ 4km-range ATGMs has been placed. The DRDO-led MMW seeker R & D project, running since 1987, too has been terminated and imported solutions are being sought. Lastly, laser-guided ATGMs like the Hellfire & AKD-10 are top-attack weapons. And I never advocated the usage of BMP-Ts for urban combat, but for operations in and around built-up terrain. There’s a big difference between FIBUA & MOUT.

Anonymous said...

There's just one problem with the GT-6 TEL from NORINCO. The missiles are quite exposed. No protection from sniper fire & shrapnel, although that may change with a different type of a missile.
Also that may no be the best platform for rough terrain/ deserts etc.

Shaurya said...

Prasun,
Thanks a lot for all those info. I have a few more questions about Nag and NAMICA.

a. You said in last thread that the modification asked by IA for NAMICA is for only commander's vehicle i.e. one in evry four namicas. So the remaining 3/4th NAMICAs will be in present configuration or army has asked any other changes for remaining vehicles.

b. When completed reengineered NAMICA, bulk of NAGs will be inducted in present form? Or army has asked sone changes in NAG too?! I too feel range of NAG should be increased to atleast 7-8kms. Has the army ever asked for it?

c. Do you have any pics of BEL modified NAMICA? I mean how it is different from the L&T version?

d. And in the present scenario, where battlefield communication and realtime monitoring has improved a lot from the last decade then why they are developing NAMICA as a standalone system? Cant the UAVs or even helos do the job of like target acquiring & feeding those infoemation to commander's vehicle instead of using the raisable mast for this role?

Waiting eagerly for your rply. Also I agree with you to the point that if indeed NAMICA's role will be a dedicated standalone tank killer, then it should be much more protected than the current BMPs can offer, t-72 hull with better armor and APS will be a far better option for that.

Thanks in advance.

Shaurya said...

Prasun,
Thanks a lot for all those info. I have a few more questions about Nag and NAMICA.

a. You said in last thread that the modification asked by IA for NAMICA is for only commander's vehicle i.e. one in evry four namicas. So the remaining 3/4th NAMICAs will be in present configuration or army has asked any other changes for remaining vehicles.

b. When completed reengineered NAMICA, bulk of NAGs will be inducted in present form? Or army has asked sone changes in NAG too?! I too feel range of NAG should be increased to atleast 7-8kms. Has the army ever asked for it?

c. Do you have any pics of BEL modified NAMICA? I mean how it is different from the L&T version?

d. And in the present scenario, where battlefield communication and realtime monitoring has improved a lot from the last decade then why they are developing NAMICA as a standalone system? Cant the UAVs or even helos do the job of like target acquiring & feeding those infoemation to commander's vehicle instead of using the raisable mast for this role?

Waiting eagerly for your rply. Also I agree with you to the point that if indeed NAMICA's role will be a dedicated standalone tank killer, then it should be much more protected than the current BMPs can offer, t-72 hull with better armor and APS will be a far better option for that.

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

>>>o Anon@7.01AM: The battlefield scenario you’ve described applied to the 1980s and up to a decade ago, and doesn’t apply today, which is precisely why the Indian Army has specified ‘deep’ changes of the NAMICA’s design.

Au contraire the scenario I described remains highly relevant and is what the IA trains for today.
There have been no deep design changes sought...all the Army asked for is a CPS added to the Namica with inputs to fire control.

>>>Today there’s no question of any type of Indian motorised/mechanised infantry formation ‘suddenly’ running into concealed or unknown/hidden massed hostile armoured formations, especially in desert terrain, thanks to the large-scale employment of MALE-UAVs and ground-based long-range surveillance systems like the road-mobile STENTOR MR-BFSR & LORROS.

Prasun, I presume you are talking of the US Army because in short both the Indian and Pakistani army, especially the latter remain very short of adequate R&S assets which are prioritized. In fast moving thrusts and back and forth scenarios, the possibility of running into enemy forces which too are highly mobile are very relevant today and tomorrow. In fact, CIDSS is just being deployed, and it will take till a decade till BMS et al become operational. Basically ARMY is strengthening local formations to be as autonomous as possible - Namica type assets are hence prized in that role.

>>The same also applies to R & S units deployed over built-up terrain. And the ‘enemy’ too has such battlefield surveillance tools at its disposal, which increases the vulnerability to the NAMICA as it now exists.

NAMICA is not meant for built up terrain in Punjab per se, more for the armoured thrust in Rajasthan to accompany the armour

>>When fighting future wars no Indian tracked/wheeled AIFV or ICV will ever be employed as recce/scout vehicles for screening the terrain ahead of friendly advancing armoured formations—this practice was done away with by the late 1990s itself as the very survivability of such vehicles cannot be assured anymore.

Thanks for telling me this because guess what, even today the Army practises exactly this, and so do the Arty boys (they screen the R&S force with both direct and diversionary fire)...just came back from a dinner where this very same thing was discussed and yes, it remains valid today

>>>Instead, what will be required is a platform that can survive hostile ATGM hits, as well as engage hostile manoeuvring armoured targets from standoff distances if at least 7km. The Indian Army perfectly understands this, and consequently has asked for radical modifications to the NAMICA.

No radical modifications asked my friend. Air Launched HELINA is 7km not GB Nag..

>>And that’s the reason why no bulk orders have been placed by anyone in India for the NAMICA, leave alone 200. The same goes for the existing Nag ATGMs, since only an initial order for 600+ 4km-range ATGMs has been placed.

Actually the Army is planning bulk orders for the Nag, implemented in phases..


>>>The DRDO-led MMW seeker R & D project, running since 1987, too has been terminated and imported solutions are being sought.

No, it has not. The RF project is up and running and the project guys from the Army side are very happy with the progress made

>>Lastly, laser-guided ATGMs like the Hellfire & AKD-10 are top-attack weapons.

Hellfire can be a top attack weapon when fired from a helicopter as it achieves a paint on top of the turret. Unless your mast paints the top of the turret, it won't be top attack. In contrast, the Nag is an autonomous top attack weapon. It seeks out a target's top and hits it, based on image classification.

>>>And I never advocated the usage of BMP-Ts for urban combat, but for operations in and around built-up terrain.

Thats not what the Namica is needed for

>>>There’s a big difference between FIBUA & MOUT.

As mentioned, not what the Namica is needed for.

Anonymous said...

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/article2707196.ece
HYDERABAD, December 12, 2011

The mmW seeker was developed by scientists of Research Centre Imarat

In a breakthrough in indigenous seeker technology for missiles, an RF (radio frequency) seeker was successfully flight-tested in anti-tank Nag missile in the Army ranges at Ahmednagar in Rajasthan on Sunday.

While the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation had so far developed Imaging Infra-red (IIR) seeker, this was the first time that a millimetric Wave (mmW) seeker, having all-weather capability, was tried for a 2,000 metre range in a successful mission.

Chief Controller R& D, (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO, Avinash Chander, told The Hindu: “this is a breakthrough for seeker capability in the country.” This would provide solutions for applications in surface-to-air missiles, air-to-air missiles, anti-tank missiles and air-to-surface missiles. It would also provide the technology base for changing to dual-mode seeker in future.

The mmW seeker was designed and developed by scientists at Research Centre Imarat (RCI), one of the key laboratories of the DRDO's missile complex here.

IN ELITE CLUB

RCI Director S.K. Ray said very few countries possessed the technology to develop mmW seeker.

Nag Project Director S. S. Mishra said that in Sunday's flight, the seeker's capability to track the target in a ‘Lock-on-Before-Launch' method, right from the missile's firing and throughout the trajectory, was successfully demonstrated. In future, the seeker would be used in a system in ‘Lock-on-After-Launch' mode for extension of the range.

DELIVERABLE VERSION

The production of the third generation hit-to-kill Nag missile is expected to commence after the final user trials with deliverable version of missile carrier NAMICA are conducted next summer. Modifications and improvements have been carried out in NAMICA as per the Army's requirements.

The four-km range Nag missile has top-attack capability to nullify the explosive reactive armour of a modern battle tank.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shaurya: The Indian Army originally wanted to redesign the entire NAMICA vehicle, but this was cost-prohibitive and therefore as a compromise formula, it was decided to redesign only the troop commander’s vehicle. L & T was awarded the contract for redesigning the NAMICA, and not BEL. Now here’s the problem: when the NAMICA was conceived in the late 1980s, it was designed like the French Army’s MEPHISTO that carried HOT ATGMs and was assisted by the French Army’s Army Aviation Corps (ALAT) for target acquisition—this being an integral part of the French mechanised forces’ combined arms tactics. In India’s case, this formula is not applicable till now since the AAC has only forward observation helicopters in support of MBT formations of Brigade-level and upwards, as well as for field artillery regiments, meaning that unless and until the AAC has attack helicopters/helicopter gunships operating as both attack platforms and target acquisition platforms, the Army will never be capable of fully implementing combined arms warfighting tactics in the battlefield. And this is exactly what was borne out during OP Parakram. However, since the AAC since then has been nowhere near to acquiring its own fleet of attack helicopters or even armed LOHs, a compromise solution had to be arrived at in order to salvage the NAMICA project. Consequently, for early warning and long-range target acquisition out to a distance of 30km, a raisable mast (out to 50 metres above ground) mounted on a TATRA vehicle and hosting LORROS optronic sensors & a Stentor BFSR-MR was developed post-OP Parakram, while for short-range target acquisition, it was decided to redesign the NAMICA’s troop commander’s vehicle by incorporating a raisable & 360-degree rotating optronic sensor. Once the BMS network is activated later this decade, the NAMICA will be equipped with secure data-links for receiving real-time imagery directly from tactical/MALE-UAVs. But the raisable mast is still reqd for NAMICA since the targets acquired will then have to be fed into the Nag ATGM’s on-board IIR for the lock-on-before-launch mechanism to take effect. That’s where things now stand. But that could well change in future if the MoD decides to be decisive and finally authorises the AAC to have its own fleet of attack helicopters & armed LOHs. Because once that happens, the Indian Army will have no choice but to revisit and radically overhaul its existing armoured warfighting doctrine and tactics. When that happens, it will not only have a profound effect on the MBT fleet’s ORBAT, but also on the role and capabilities of mechanised forces. It will then emerge that rather than fielding NAMICA-type vehicles, it will be far more economical and effective to deploy up-armoured tracked AIFV/ICVs that are also armed with no less than eight ATGMs (four ready-for-launch & four more as reloads) like the Kliver turret-equipped BMP-2Ks, or TATA’s FICV, or a BMP-T-style ICV. For tomorrow’s battlefield, the existing BMP-2s, even when equipped with BUSK-type armour panels, will still be quite vulnerable to manportable ATGMs, and will therefore be have to be protected by vehicles like the BMP-T, with the LOH or a tactical UAV flying ahead for pinpointing the hostile infantry’s dugouts & manportable ATGM launch locations (i.e. screening the areas where the contact battles will be fought). All these issues are still being debated upon at HQ Army Training Command, and that perhaps explains why the Army has decided to go slow in terms of ordering either the NAMICA or the Nag in its existing form.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.37AM: There are four distinct changes that the Indian Army has asked for incorporation to the existing NAMICA, not just the CPS. When it comes to R & S assets, the ‘latter’ is actually far better equipped in quantitative terms than the Indian Army. Talk to entities like CETC of China or even the GOC-in-Cs of India’s Southern, Western, South-western & Northern Commands and they’ll confirm this elementary fact, which had been published almost a year ago and is now open-source material. Both BMS & BSS have been operational for the past four years, though not to the full extent envisaged. CIDSS’ operational deployment got underway in late 2004 & it was first validated in November 2005 during EX Desert Strike. Yes, the Indian Army is strengthening local formations to be as autonomous as possible, but NOT with NAMICA, but by upgrading the BMP-2 ICVs to accept the Konkurs-M ATGM instead of the earlier Konkurs, and eventually planning to equip them with Kliver turrets. Air-launched HELINA with 7km-range does not exist today nor is it likely to exist before 2015, at the very least. All firing-trials of the HELINA till to date have involved firing 4km-range missiles. And that is precisely why the Army went ahead and evaluated the PARS-3LR last year. And IF the DRDO indeed succeeds in developing a 7km-range ATGM, it will make the Indian Army look pretty stupid if it were to place bulk orders for a 4km-range ground vehicle-launched ATGM at a time when the 4km-range Konkurs-Ms are being inducted in bulk. Regarding MMW seekers, an imported seeker is being sought for integration with the HELINA missile. The MMW seeker was never meant for the Nag as nobody in the Army ever asked for it. As for top-attack ATGMs, the Hellfire or AKD-10, even when fired from a surface-based/shore-based fixed launcher, operates in the top-attack mode.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

These days the PAKISTANIS are whining a LOT about the JF 17 BLOCK 2 and the J 10 B delays

In fact some are saying that J 10 B
is NOT happening at all

If you have any updates PLEASE SHARE

Anonymous said...

Hi, the IAF lacks a JSTAR aircraft. Cant the Sukhoi -30mki fitted with the Elta 2060p ISAR pod act as a JSTAR. The Elta 2060 pod is a standard all weather survellience radar pod. Its provides high resolution SAR, ISAR mapping from huge standoff distances( as far as i know) . Can u pls tell the range of the pod? A sukhoi fitted with this pod and cruising at 60000 ft can map and recon huge tracts of land. A sukhoi flying in the northeast near the LAC can look deep into Tibet and provide real time imagery. Has the IAF been doing this? Is it because of this that the MiG-25 strat recce ac has been retired? How many Elta 2060 pods in service with the IAF? PLS ANS.

Anonymous said...

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/2/4/2/2095242.jpg

MiG-29UB UPG Aircraft...
why is it painted yellow allover??

by how many years will its life be extended??

what r the upgrades for the engines?

y no AESA on it?

Anonymous said...

Prasun do you know about a missile named "Air Launched Article" ?? It comes under K-series (like k-4, k-15 etc.). It is an air-launched hypersonic nuclear capable missile with a range of 200km and is meant for Su30 mki. Its first prototype is supposed to come in 2012.

Anonymous said...

So in short regarding NAMICA...
First prototype was made by CVRDE and drdo. It was tested and then rejected by IA. Then IA made some changes and this time LnT made the second prototype. This is also cancelled and IA has made some more changes and a third prototype will come a couple years or this LnT design is the final prototype??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.23PM: The JF-17 Block 2 is the second batch of 50 aircraft that will be delivered by China’s CAC to PAC Kamra for final assembly. The FC-20 M-MRCA too is a done deal.

To Anon@8.04PM: The SAR-equipped EL/M-2060P pod is at best suitable for tactical recce over a particular swath of territory and that too for a very limited period, but it must be noted that its antenna size is quite limited and is therefore unsuitable for frontage-wide surveillance and that too persistently. For this, one needs a SAR-equipped aircraft with long endurance (capable of staying airborne till 12 hours) and with the ability to do this persistently. The Su-30MKI can’t do all this, nor can any other combat aircraft equipped with EL/M-2060P. Therefore, the only other options are to procure JSTARS-type aircraft, or SAR-equipped HALE-UAVs, or a network of SAR-equipped overhead recce satellites.

To Anon@11.38PM: That’s only the primer following airframe refurbishment and modification. Airframe life will be extended for a 20-year service period. Engine is the RD-33-3. Why no AESA-MMR? Very good question, one that IAF HQ & A K Antony ought to answer, since the Zhuk-AE has been available since 2007.

To Anon@2.28AM: That’s the LRCM and it’s supersonic, not hypersonic, and there’s only one such missile integrated with the Su-30MKI and it’s called NIRBHAY. Already wrote about it last January or February.

To Anon@2.41AM: There’s no third prototype of NAMICA. Right now, only two versions exist: one developed by DRDO and another by L & T. Let’s wait and see what the Army next says, since it now appears that for meeting the 4km-range ATGM reqmt, the Army is ordering in bulk the Konkurs-M, and has already evaluated the PARS-3LR for the Dhruv Mk4/Rudra helicopter gunship. If I were the buyer, I would not waste my money on buying two types of 4km-range ATGMs (Konkurs-M & Nag). Instead, I would do a comparative analysis of the performance parameters of the two ATGMs and would end up ordering the best of the two. For if indeed the Nag has ‘superior’ top-attack capabilities when compared to the Konkurs-M, then the MoD and Army HQ should by now have ordered the Nag in large numbers for installation on board those BMP-2 ICVs already upgraded with TISAS digital hunter/killer fire-control systems, as well as on those that are earmarked for upgradation to BMP-2K standard. Why such an option has not yet been exercised defies all imagination!

Unknown said...

Prasun,
can you tell me is the IN raising their own abpghibous infantry force (an Indian "Marine corps") to deploy on its future LPD/LHD fleet? It seems a little counter-intuitive to have an IA brigade/force responsible for such actions and is certainly not how most of the world does things. Even very small nations have Marine infantry. Surely the IN would do well to have a separate force with its own training institutions, fighting ethos, budget and weaponry?

Anonymous said...

Prasun can you tell me the known speed of A2,A3, A4 and A5 missiles ??? According to Wiki and some other sources...
A2 = 11.4 Mach
A3 = 14.7 to 17.6 Mach
A4 = ????
A5 = Mach 24

Are these values correct ??? It can't be....

hoods said...

how does our project 15A/B class destroyer rate against Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers.I mean taken at face value 15A/B seems to lightly-armed especially against air threats.In your posts you have told that 15A/B will have combat management suit+radar comparable agies+SPY,but what about the missiles themselves.Is the barak 8 comparable to Sim 3(this is the missile on it,right?).

Rahul said...

Namica is supposed to move with mechanised/armour formations and i don't how a truck mounted system fits into that. However if you are talking only about swivel erector-launcher then i agree. With proper modification, erector and swievl mount of ROHINI 3D CAR can be used for the purpose.

http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/1853/1ir2716241.jpg

Anonymous said...

Why is India purchasing Shinmaywa US-2 ?? This is likely to cost twice than the similar aircrafts. Why are purchsing such an expensive aircraft ? Whats so special about this aircraft ?? Why aren't we going for Be200 ???

Unknown said...

Prasun, can you tell me are regular PARAs (non-SF) equipped with the Tavor yet or will they down the line?

Anonymous said...

Earlier Mig29s suffer dark black smoke from engine has it been rectified?
r the engines being completely replaced by HAL Series 3 ones?

IAF Mig29 doesnt have FBW FCS right??any upgradation to FCS??

will it have an all glass cockpit n helmet mounted display?

WAT IS UR NEST POST ABT? N WEN??

Anonymous said...

sir an article on India's ballistic and cruise missile( developed & developing) will be awesome ...if you please get time

Thanks & Regards
buddha

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To UNKNOWN: If I’m not mistaken, this issue was covered last January. The 15,000-strong Sagar Prahari Bal is already being raised, for starters, and before 2020 (by the time the LPHs arrive) the naval infantry force of reinforced brigade-strength will be up and running. All Para formations are getting the Tavors & Galils & Negevs.

To Anon@7.57AM: I wouldn’t know the figures.

To Hoods: If you were to examine the silhouettes of the P-15A/B DDGs, you will realise that they both continue to have CODAG propulsion, which is totally unnecessary. While it was understandable for the P-15 DDGs to have such a propulsion system (using both Ukrainian gas turbines and Bergen diesel engines), the P-15A & P-15B DDGs should gone for only gas turbine-based propulsion systems (either Ukrainian or the LM-2500) and the space/volume thereby saved should have been utilised for installing additional universal vertical launchers capable of firing BrahMos anti-ship/land attack cruise missiles or Prahaar NLOS-BSMs. Only then could the P-15A & P-15B DDGs have emerged as formidable multi-role platforms capable of having a deep impact even on land battles. For area air defence, the Barak-2 MR-SAMs will more than suffice, but for close-in anti-missile defence, the Barak-1 should have been replaced with more lethal IIR-guided missiles like the VL-Mica or VL Python-5 or VL-ASRAAM. The SM-3 has assured effectiveness due to the US Navy’s network-centric cooperative engagement capability, which includes ballistic missile launch early warning inputs from DSP satellites. The Indian navy does not have such a capability as yet and therefore a one-on-one comparison between the Barak-2 or even Barak-8 LR-SAM and the SM-3 cannot be made at this stage.

To RAHUL: A motorised swivel erector-launcher for ATGMs like the GT-6 will be far more effective in only over flat terrain and hard soil like that of Aksai Chin. For deserts and agrarian terrain, a tracked vehicle housing a swivel erector-launcher for ATGMs will be more effective.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.27AM: The issue is far greater and beyond just amphibians like the SS-2, and involves the turf war between the Navy & ICGS. Such state of affairs is indeed regretable, since this kind of a mindset has been responsible for the stunted growth rate of the ICGS since the early 1980s. Take, for instance, the issues concerning MRMR platforms and amphibians. The ICGS has been asking since 1986 for MRMR platforms but it is the Navy that has prevented their procurement. Right now, it is a given that the Navy ought to have are more LRMR/ASW platforms (at least 24 P-8Is), but instead, the 'feudal' mindset prevailing within Navy HQ wants to have the whole cake and eat it as well, under which the Navy and not the ICGS will get MRMR platforms as well as amphibians for SAR. All this is indicative of a dysfunctional appreciation of the concept of regional maritime security as opposed to coastal/EEZ security. This is where the MoD and MHA need to step in to clearly draw the lines and mandate that while the Navy will operate LRMR/ASW aircraft, it is the ICGS that will operate MRMR platforms and a fleet of amphibians for SAR, with the IAF operating a much smaller fleet of amphibians for combat SAR. The Navy has nothing to do with maritime patrol/SAR within India’s EEZ and should therefore keep out of such areas.

To Anon@11.08PM: Yes, ALL MiG-29UPGs will have RD-33-3s, FBW-FCS & glass cockpits almost identical to those on the MiG-29Ks, plus TopOwl-F HMDS.

hoods said...

According to you,is there more to the 2 billion+ deal to upgrade mirage 2000.because going by news reports, it looks like a waste of money and time but I refuse to believe that IAF HQ is filled with idiots. There has to be more to this deal!!!

How effective are shivalik/talwar class of "multipurpose" frigates against mass missile(C803)attacks and as anti air frigates with their 24 shtil 1 missiles.

Anonymous said...

http://www.defenseworld.net/go/defensenews.jsp?id=6872&h=Indian%20Army%20To%20Issue%20US$%20285%20milion%20Weapons%20Locating%20Radar%20RFP-%20BEL%20To%20Participate

how many r required .... and wat happened to 1 in development?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: In case you're still interested in the Siachen issue, then I suggest that you read these two pieces at:
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/244533/doable-siachen.html

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/244273/facts-siachen.html

To Hoods: The only other plausible explanation is that several if not all Mirage 2000s will be heavily modified as tactical nuclear weapons delivery platforms, probably for launching the LRCM. As for anti-cruise missile effectiveness of the Project 1135.6 FFGs and Project 17 FFGs, I would personally prefer IIR-guided missiles over RF-guided ones like the Barak-1 and those of the Kashtan-M. But Shtil-1 is not meant for anti-ship missile defence, but for area air defence against manned combat aircraft.
By the way, if you've already downloaded the MoD's annual report for 2011-2012, then kindly go to page 46 & see with your own eyes the MoD's definition of Su-30MKI and that of portable all-weather maintenance shelters. Do rest assured that after you've seen it with your own eyes, you won't stop laughing until your trouser falls off!

To Anon@11.17PM: The article itself says 29 units are reqd. The one being developed by BEL is the Swathi WLR, the one that Dr A P J Abdul Kalam had claimed would be developed within 2 years starting 1997. Everyone's still awaiting it.

dashu said...

that's really funny calling MKI shelter but showing something else inside the shelter.btw that shelter looks strange