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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weekend Musings

If all goes as per plans, then India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) should be able to ink the contract for the Dassault Aviation Rafale M-MRCA and related hardware by December 15, 2012, thereby enabling the present CAS of the IAF, ACM Norman Anil Kumar Browne, to present the M-MRCA contract to the IAF as a return gift on his birthday. Presently, the MoD’s Contracts Negotiations Committee (CNC) led by Ranjan Ghosh—Joint Secretary (Air) at the MoD—is fine-tuning five main components of the contract:

1) The acquisition cost of the 126 Rafales, including the initial 18 Rafales in flyable condition, inclusive of 12 single-seaters and six tandem-seaters; the 108 Rafales to be licence-built in India that includes 74 single-seaters and 34 tanden-seaters of which 11 will be built from semi-knocked down (SKD) kits, 31 will be built from completely knocked down (CKD) kits, and 66 made from indigenously manufactured kits (IMK).    

2) The acquisition and establishment costs of creating intermediate-level and depot-level maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities for the Rafale fleet.

3) Acquisition costs for ‘unilateral upgrade’ capabilities for the Rafale fleet, which will enable the IAF to carry out in-country mid-life upgrades of the Rafale’s open-architecture avionics suite and weapon management systems, primarily with the help of operational source codes provided by Dassault Aviation and THALES Avionics for both the mission avionics suite and the fly-by-wire flight control system. It must be pointed out here that this is for the first time ever that the IAF will be the recipient for such source codes for not only the Rafale, but also for the upgraded Mirage 2000H/TH fleet, since even for the Su-30MKIs, Russia’s Rosoboronexport State Corp has refused to share the source codes with the IAF.

4) Acquisition costs for the weapons package, inclusive of beyond-visual-range air combat missiles, CALCMs, anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-radiation missiles and standoff PGMs, all to be supplied by MBDA and SAGEM.  

5) Acquisition costs for two Rafale-specific full-motion tactical simulators, two fixed-base cockpit procedures trainers, two avionics part-task trainers, one aircraft systems maintenance simulator, one navigation-and-attack system maintenance simulator, and one engine maintenance simulator.

When the first 18 Rafales begin arriving 36 months after contract signature, they will be home-based at Ambala AFS.

Also being negotiated concurrently by the CNC with Dassault Aviation, THALES Avionics and SNECMA Moteurs are the terms and conditions and the cost of the direct/indirect industrial offsets, representing 50% of the total contract value and to be implemented over a period of 13 years (the time taken to licence-build the 108 Rafales). The direct offsets have been sub-divided into three levels, with the first level dealing with major assemblies and systems integration, the second level dealing with sub-assemblies and components, and the third level—constituting the biggest chunk in terms of both financial value and work effort—comprising the rotables and consumables like lubricants, washers, filters, connectors, adapters, cables and wiring harnesses, brake-pads, drag chutes, landing gear tyres, and weapons ejector racks.   

The transfer-of-technology (ToT) component of the total quantum of direct industrial offsets has been sub-divided into five distinct categories:

1) Transfer of production engineering and manufacturing documentation by the French OEMs to their Indian counterparts for fabrication, assembly and testing of those items associated with the CKD kits and IMKs. For this category, the French OEMs are contractually required to give 60% ToT.

2) 60% ToT for items produced by the French OEMs’ authorised Indian sub-contractors based on engineering documentation provided by the OEMs to their Indian counterparts.  

3) ‘Built-to-specs’ ToT to the extent of 25% that includes the development and production of items on the basis of ‘procurement specifications’ sub-contracted by the OEM to various authorised Indian vendors.

4) 25% ToT for ‘bought-out items’ procured as ‘fully furnished items’ from the standard item parts catalogues of the OEMs.

5) Not beyond 15% ToT for proprietary items such as components for the RBE-2 AESA-MMR, fly-by-wire flight control system, and modules for the M88 turbofan.
 (to be concluded)


Anonymous said...

sir, what do u mean by '‘Built-to-specs’ ToT' and 'ToT for ‘bought-out items’ procured as ‘fully furnished items’ from the standard item parts catalogues of the OEMs' please try explaining with example
thanks in advance

sbm said...

Prasun what about the "inquiry" instigated at the behest of the TDP MP (who otherwise is known to be a pretty decent guy) ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.11AM: The first one refers to the rotables & consumables that I've highighted above. The other one refers to the training equipment like simulators & test-benches and MRO toolings/instrumentation required for depot-level MRO and intermediate workshops for avionics, instrumentation, and accessories.

To SBM: Known by "whom" to be a pretty decent guy? If such guys were really decent then they would have first furnished undeniable proof of any wrongdoing, rather than pointing fingers due to mere uncorroborated suspicions, as folks like Dr Subramaniam Swamy do. If he's so decent then why doesn't he take on the case of commissions associated with the Scorpene SSKs, which I had explained in very clear and legally undeniable terms two threads ago? Why instead go around fishing in areas where there is no fish to catch?

Yawn said...

Prasun, have you seen these two pieces-

Essentially a hypothesis that the contest was rigged in favour of the Rafale from the start. There seems to just too much discomfort at the fact that Dassault got the contract.

dashu said...

" Why instead go around fishing in areas where there is no fish to catch? "- bingo sir this is precisely the reason they wont go fishing where they know they will get lot of fish and cannot eat them . Silence of this so called crusader mr Subramaniam Swamy regarding Scorpene SSK commissions validates he is working for NDA and targeting Italians in India on behalf of RSS and BJP

Anonymous said...

Hi, when will the MoD sign a deal regarding purchase of 9 Barracuda SSN ? Will these 9 SSN be exact Barracudas or will feature modifications according to the requirements of the Navy. Some time ago in one of ur comments u said that the IN wants to have a fleet of 5000 t class SSN whereas the MoD wants the SSN to have larger displacement of 9000 tons. So a compromise was reached and the Navy will have 7000 ton SSN. Are the Barracudas we will purchase have a heavier displac, have 6 533 mm tubes instead of 4 present on the current SSN. Will it have VLS for the Brahmos missiles or the Klub-S? Will it have a double hull. Will some Barr be purchased off the Shelf from Dcns ? Pls reply. I asked about it in the previous thread. Pls give the reply. Very eager to know.

Rudra said...

I personally don't think any MOD will do such a stupid thing. MOD has nothing to gain by this. I think it looks more like these firms are guilty and MOD is trying to protect the culprit by not answering anything because this might end up haunting Saint Antony or the UPA government as a whole. Media will stop asking questions in a month or two and the whole matter will cool down thereby protecting the government.
Don't you think this is more logical ?
What you think DM has lost it or he blacklisted these firms because he was having a bad day ?
I also doubt IMI is gonna challenge this verdict of MOD as they by now know how things work in India. They will try to find a resolution govt. to govt. or find a loophole in the verdict which i bet will be many.

Anonymous said...
in this news report its saying
'The deal for the PGMs is expected to be worth around Rs500 crore'
is cleared by CCS, according to my information deal worth over 1000cr only will go to CCS.So is it a reporting error or they are under valuing it?

Anonymous said...

Prasun thanks for the informative article, waiting for the follow-on.

I wanna know about that 120 km MBRL that you wrote in one of your comment in the last thread. When is it gonna be tested ??? Will it have guided munition and Cluster munition ???

Prasun you said IA is purchasing Skyranger. Are you sure ??? I mean when was the trials conducted ?? Who were the other contenders ?? I am asking this because i never heard of these trials and secondly look at this article that came today...

It looks like there's a need and Tata is offering Rheinmetall's Skyranger but IA hasn't selected any gun yet and it could be any other gun. Also IA's requirement according to article is for 30mm while Skyranger is 35mm.
What you think ???

If you are right and IA has in-fact conducted all the trials and finalized Skyranger then is this process being expedited after General's letter made it into the media ??? When can we expect the first one to come in and what will be the rate of production and cost of procuring these guns and total number in all the 3 armed services ??

Which IA deal can we expect this year to clear especially after Gen.'s letter to PM ??? Are we gonna induct more regiments of Pinaka and Smerch ??? I am asking because we are suppose to induct more of these MBRL in this five year plan...

Is there a ship to land version or ship to ship version or land to ship version of Shaurya missile planned ???

Can you tell us the speed of Agni 5 because its suppose to be faster and lighter and longer range (we know that) ???

Anonymous said...

Since we are all waiting for the Agni V launch here are a few related questions for you Prasun:

a) How many Agni missiles are in India's arsenal ? how many Agni 1s, Agni2 and Agni3 have we produced and deployed ?

b) There are conflicting reports on Agni V having MIRV capability. Since India possesses multiple satellite launch capability how far are we from a MIRV Agni ? Is it only a target for Agni Vi ?

c) For the Arihant and follow on SSBN the 700KM K15 may not be an adequate deterrent against China. So what is the time frame and progress towards a 3000 - 5000 KM SLBM ? I assume this maps to the K4 project

Anonymous said...

So scorpene will have only 533mm black shark torpedoes .....

was the under development F21 considered???

does it have any missile launching capability?

Shaurya said...

Thanks for your rply! But you didnt answer my query regarding the Russian use of Nerpa after the lease period. Also a few more questions-

a. If the role of Chakra is indeed of a stalker, to accompany SSBNs, then what will be her rules of engagement, if she find out any other sub(be it US or chinease) indeed lurking into the atv trial.

b. What about the other most imporant component part of the ATV trial, procurement of DSRVs. Is it already acquired? If not then shouldnt it be Navy's top most priority(even befire SSN). Is the AUV being developed by DRDO has any use of DSRVs?

c. About the recent NAMAICA trial, what changes army is looking for in the vehicle? What is the difference between BEL designed NAMAICA and the L&T designed one in terms of configuration.

sbm said...

the question Prasun is what impact will this MP's actions have on the deal ?

KSingh said...

Prasun, I don't know if you've had a chance to Jon Lake's article on the Rafale's selection by India. But some issues he raises of the Rfale vs the EFT - the lack of an integrated HMDs, the slow pace on a new electro-optical system and the low thrust of the M-88 engines. Are measures being taken to resolve these issues fr when the Rafale enters service with the IAF?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To YAWN: Terribly flawed hypothesis, to say the least. Will dwell upon it in detail with a point-by-point rebuttal tonight.

To RUDRA: My information suggests that RAD, IMI and STK will indeed approach India’s judiciary to seek legal redressal, something that ought to be welcomed by one and all since this will once and for all put an end to the discredited practice of corporate blacklistings based on uncorroborated and unsubstantiated allegations. And if indeed there was an impropriety on the part of any of the companies, then the matter should go for international arbitration and financial damages be paid (in case commissions were paid in return for securing contracts), and life must go on. This is exactly what happened between Taiwan and THALES after the former obtained compensation worth US$900 million from the latter (following international arbitration) regarding the six-unit Kang Ding FFH procurement scandal.

To Anon@1.16PM: All those questions were discussed and answered several months back.

To Anon@3.15PM: SM-39 Exocets are already on order for the Scorpenes.

To Shaurya: In all probability the K-152 Nerpa’s lease will be renewed after 10 years. Rules of engagement presently forbid the INS Chakra from being used as an operational war machine in times of war. In peacetime, the SSGN is free to launch as many torpedoes and Club-S missiles as it wants to for training purposes. AUV is for shallow-water operations, and can’t even remotely mimmick DSRV operations. The DSRV procurement has not yet been initiated, and neither has the reqmt for a new-generation submarine tender been met. About the NAMICA, the end-user (Army) wants one in every four such vehicles to be equipped with a panoramic and raisable commander’s sight for battlespace surveillance and independent target acquisition, something similar to that found on the NORINCO-developed GT-6 tank destroyer. The NAMICA’s present configuration is almost identical to that of the French MEPHISTO, with the only difference being that the MEPHISTO is aided by the French Army Aviation’s LOHs for battlespace surveillance & target acquisition, while in the NAMICA’s case, it is expected to function as a standalone weapons platform devoid of any surveillance support from the AAC’s LOHs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: If the MP’s actions are mere unsubstantiated allegations, then what the MoD will do is forward the allegations to the CVC for investigations. If the CVC cannot unearth any credible proof of any kind of wrongdoing, then the file will be marked as NFA and be sent to rot in the MoD’s archives.

To KSingh: Both the Rafale & upgraded Mirage 2000s will come with THALES-built TopOwl-F HMDS, the same one that’s already operational with IN MiG-29Ks. Slow-pace of R & D for any follow-on system (like IRST or turbofan) isn’t of any consequence, since the existing systems are more than sufficient (in technological terms) to meet the IAF’s ASQRs (all of which were validated during the in-country test-flights/evaluations) and projected upgrades can always be introduced during the Rafale’s future mid-life upgrades. The fact remains that the EF-2000 is a horrendously expensive platform (thanks to the nature of the four-nation industrial consortium that’s producing it) that can only be affordable in small numbers for the likes of Arab sheikhdoms who in any case are more inclined to procure strike platforms like F-15SA, and often tend to use the EF-2000 as only a bait so that Uncle Sam can be tempted to release the really sought-after goodies.

KSK said...

*What do u make of the F-35A,B,C?

*Is US right in trying to develop the ALL IN 1 fighter that has been never done before?

*How high would u rate the success of the program?

A post on this would be good.

KSingh said...

Prasun, on a site there is a kid saying that he has a freind in CRVDE who says Arjun Mk.II will have NO APS and certainly not Iron Fist but they are looking at maybe Trophy at a later date. Now I find this hard to believe because of all the sources saying the opposite. Can you guarentee this guy is wron and Arjun Mk.II will have Iron Fist from the outset when it is first indicted by IA?

Anonymous said...

Prasun : This is following up on the questions by Anon@1:16 PM .

I am not sure you have precisely answered his questions. Can you point out where you discussed the arsenal numbers ?

the article you refer to for a few months back is perhaps this one :

while it has some discussion that covers topic it certainly does not comment on the specifics of the current arms stable.

if you have a more precise answer that would be helpful even if its based on assumptions. How many missiles do we produce of each type and what is the current inventory by type ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSingh: Just look at the absurdity of the assertions of this ‘kid’. Firstly, the responses to the RFP asking for APS installation on the second and third tranches of T-90S have already been received. Secondly, the RFP now being prepared for upgrading the second tranche of 700 T-72M1s will also specify the installation of APS. Therefore, if we’re to believe this ‘kid’, then that leaves out the existing Arjun Mk1s and projected Arjun Mk1As and Arjun Mk2s as being the only frontline MBTs devoid of APS. Is such a scenario even conceivable? Not to me. All the Arjun Mk1As will have APS once they’re delivered by 2016. By that time the Arjun Mk2 will be ready for production, following the mandatory four years of field-testing of the 1,500hp Cummins India powerpack.

To KSK: Neither the F/A-22 Raptor nor the F-35 JSF were ever meant to be ‘all-in-one’ combat aircraft solutions. Instead, the quest was for developing a network-centric (not platform-centric) air supremacy solution using fifth-generation manned combat aircraft. The Raptor and Lightning will only be as effective as the network-centric enabling environment that’s furnished in support of these platforms. This means that a country that does not have the capability to field such a network-centric enabling environment will never be able to fully exploit the JSF’s capabilities, thereby making it an under-utilised and cost-prohibitive manned air combat platform.

To Anon@1.35AM: The numbers of Agni-1 and Agni-2 (12 of each) were mentioned quite a long time ago, as were the numbers of Agni-4s reqd (about 30). There are as yet no figures available for Agni-5 deployment patterns nor are there any corresponding figures available for MIRVs required, be it for the Agni-5 or for the projected 8,500km-long SLBM. The estimated number of nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles in Pakistan’s inventory is reportedly 25.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.57AM: The only outstanding reqmt for air-delivered PGMs for the IAF concerns deep-penetration hardened underground bunker-bursting LGBs of the type made by RAFAEL.

Anonymous said...

You didn't heard. Lockheed Martin received and order for bunker bursting PGMs but its for Jaguars only (INR 100 crore deal).

Anonymous said...

Prasun CCS cleared 6 OPV for ICGS yesterday and GSL is suppose to make it. Is the design of this OPV gonna be same as NOPV (GOA is making 4 NOPV for IN)??? Also is this 6 OPV order different from the one mentioned last year in MAy (For ref. read the article below)??

Its said at the end that GSL has recieved an order for 6 OPV for ICGS but this is last year's news and CCS cleared an order for 6 OPV for ICGS yesterday and it went to Goa. SO i am asking again, are these two the same or GSL has an order book of 12 OPV for ICGS and 4 NOPV for IN ???

Anonymous said...

Prasun is there any discrepancy with the IAF selection of Pilatus trainer aircraft as claimed by the KAI.

Performance wise is there any major differences between the both.

sbm said...

Prasun, two simple questions:

1) Will the Rafale deal go through despite this last ditch sabotage attempt ?

2) Does the KT-1 have a realistic prospect of ousting the PC-7II or will the latter still go through ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.33AM: The Paceway-2 LGBs are totally different from what’s going to be ordered from RAFAEL. They’re two different procurement programmes.

To Anon@10.13AM: This is a new order and therefore the total no of OPVs ordered since last year from GSL now stands at 12. It must be noted that the ICGS’ OPVs ordered in the 1980s are already being decommissioned and so there’s a large outstanding reqmt (at least 36) for OPVs for the ICGS. It’s been covered last year under the thread “Good News & Bad News”

To Anon@11.24AM: There’s no discrepancy at all. And there are major differences in design/performance parameters. It’s all explained below.

To SBM: The Rafale deal will go through because there are other higher “strategic” factors now coming into play, like the issue of Barracuda-type SSNs for the Indian Navy--a reqmt that cannot be satisfied by any of the four countries that make up the Eurofighter consortium (just take note of the fact that the Barracuda SSN was prominently showcased at DEFEXPO 2012).
The KT-1 is overpriced simply because it exceeds the ASQRs of the IAF. It must be noted that the KT-1 was developed to compete with the Super Tucano-type of aircraft which will not only be used for basic turboprop training, but also be employed as armed counter-insurgency platforms to replace the Rockwell OV-1 Broncos worldwide. Therefore, for those countries wishing to acquire a 2-in-1 solution (for flying training & close air support for counter-insurgency operations) the KT-1 and Super Tucano are perfect competing solutions. However, when there’s only a flying training reqmt through usage of unarmed basic turboprop trainers—as is the case with the IAF—the PC-7 Mk2 is the optimum cost-effective solution. It is indeed most tragic that HAL’s HTT-35 BTT proposal was shot down by both the MoD & IAF HQ in the mid-1900s.

Anonymous said...

" The Paceway-2 LGBs are totally different from what’s going to be ordered from RAFAEL. They’re two different procurement programmes."
Whats the difference between bunker bursting LGB and Bunker bursting PGM ???? Is LGB not a PGM ?? What are we exactly ordering from Rafael ???

Anonymous said...

Indian Army to acquire new air defence system

What does this mean ?? Actually i wanted to know how IA reached to the decision of purchase of Skyranger ?? There had to be some RFI/RFP and then field trials ?? But i don't think i ever heard any such field trials. Also according to the article IA's requirement is for 30mm guns while Skyramger is a 35mm. Is it possible that IA tried Skyramger in the field and liked it and Tata is providing it in India but nothing else is confirmed ? If thats the case then unless and RFI/RFP are issued and other contenders are tested and their offers being evaluated, Skyranger is not the winner. Or you are saying IA is going to purchase thousand of 35mm and then its also gonna purchase 30mm air defence guns ???

Anonymous said...

Will u pls ans the queries regarding the IN's purchase of 9 Barracuda class SSN. Pls reply .

Anonymous said...

Hi Iam anon 11:24.

You have stated KT-1 to be in the league of Super Tucano. But from online info KT-1 seems a competitor for PC-9, with which it even shares the same P&W PT6A-62 engine 950 Hp. Where as Super Tucano uses a uprated PT6A-68 1600 Hp engine.

I do not have any in-depth knowledge about these aircraft's but to me it looks like KT-1 and PC-9 can be called equals. Super Tucano is superior than both.

Anyway for only flying training reqmt PC-7 is the ideal one as you mentioned. But that brings the question india also has insurgency issues in many forms like PAK infiltrated insurgents in J&K, ULFA etc in north east, PWG-Maoist mix in Central & Southern India.....why isn't this being taken into consideration. IAF clearly refused to use offensive air assets against Naxalites since after-all they are also Indians. The same cannot be said for North and North-East states.
What are your views

Anonymous said...

Sir I have a few ques regarding the selection of Rafale. In Jon Lakes's article that the Rafale was not the better option. Many days ago I read an article on the selection of MRCA for Swiss Air Force. In Jon 's article it is said that the Rafale scored over the EF2000 in all domains. Jon blames that it happened because the test was conducted 4 years ago and now the EF has matured. But in that report if was also taken into account the various upgrades and enhancements both the ac would get after 2013 and there also the EF failed to score.

The problem of HMDS has been solved as the Rafale would feature the Topsight just like Mirage. Regarding the EO suite all the Rafales from 2013 onwards will have an improved FSO which will feature an IRST. The current version of FSO doesnot feature an IRST and all IAF Rafales will feature this improved FSO. Regarding low thrust turbofans , u yourself said that all IAF Rafales will get an updated M-88 having wet thrust of 22250lbf. Am I right regarding this? Also u said that the ac may feature 34000lbf turbofan. So the problem if lower thrust engines has also been solved. The iAF Jets will also have new IR MAWS, laser emission warner and an improved SPECTRA. So the IAF has got all of it's problems solved. Pls ans.

Anonymous said...

Hey, the IAF is facing a dire shortage of combat acs. Nowadays it is suffering from quality as well as quantity. The IAF chief has said that for every two aircraft retired a new jet is inducted into service . The CAG report has stated thy very soon the IAF will lose it's numerical superiority over the PAF. So why aren't the aquisition process of the MMRCA not being fasttracked? Why can't initial delivery take place from 6 months of contract signature instead of the present 36 months? The French were ready to supply us with 40 Rafales for the SFC on a very fast basis had we wanted it. So why isn't the MoD and the IAF going for induction as early as possible especially when we are facing a dire shortage. U said that 76 Rafales or something like that will be fully built by HAL whereas some will be supplied by Dassaukt in completely and semi knocked down kits and assembled in HAL. Hal can produce Raf s at the rate of 14 per annum. So why the heck it will take 13 yrs. Also why will the first Rafale roll from HAL from2015 onwards when it HAL could produce Rafales from 2013 onwards. The IAF top brass should request the MoD to fast track the aquisition and delivery process. Also the MoD should cancel funding of some DRDO projects which has started many years back and are not yielding any red. The MoD should instead spent those money on HAL to expand it's production faciuktis.

Anonymous said...

Is there any Medium machine gun underdevelopment by India with Poland?
(claimed in some forums)

what type of LGM,MGN,HMG are in inventory of IA ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.35PM: The difference lies is the type of bunker one is targetting for destruction. There are over-ground and underground bunkers, there are hardened aircraft shelters, and there are command-and-control bunkers buried deep underground (up to 150 metres deep). Consequently, there are various types of PGMs/LGBs required for destroying such targets, since there’s no one-in-all solution.

To Anon@10.01PM: Not every weapon system to be acquired is subjected to in-country field-trials. Many a time, overseas firing trials are conducted, as was the case of the Skyranger and its peers between 2002 and 2005. Thereafter, the Skyranger emerged tops after a competitve RFP evaluation process and there was a JV between TATA & Rheinmetal Air Defence’s Oerlikon Contraves subsidiary to offer the Skyranger. The reqmt for Skyranger is totally different from the 30mm AD gun reqmt. The former is a tri-services reqmt for mainly the IAF and Army, while the 30mm AD reqmt is ONLY for the Corps of Army Air Defence and the winner will eventually replace the existing ZU-23s.

To Anon@10.59PM: The PC-9 is no longer in production and has been replaced by the PC-21. You must check the specs of the KAT-1, and not the KT-1, to compare it with the Super Tucano. As for using armed aerial platforms for counter-insurgency, the Indian Army’s rules of engagement during low-intensity counter-insurgency operations expressly forbids the usage of armed LUHs or helicopter gunships, and instead restricts the usage of offensive firepower to only small arms and disposable LAWs. Helicopters are to be used for only command-and-control, observation & CASEVAC purposes. For tackling ULFA or Naga or Maoists insurgents what’s reqd is the availability of road/rail/aerial transportation infrastructure throughout India’s northeastern borders, so that the BSF & ITBP can undertake border dominance operations. For as long as the borders are porous, insurgents will find it very easy to both infiltrate and exfiltrate to-and-fro India. Just look at how speedily and efficiently the Chinese have fenced their borders with India, Bhutan and Nepal and how electronic counter-infiltration grids have been set up, while in India there are many in Delhi who lament that Nepal could get pissed off with India if India decides to erect fences all along the India-Nepal border. So, one has a choice: either be pragmatic like the Chinese, or become a bleeding liberalistic sentimental entity that’s always at the receiving end of terrorism.

To Anon@11.56PM: Nope.

Anonymous said...

Yeah i remember the types...
So which bunker bursting PGM we are purchasing from Rafael ??? Is there a PGM for destroying the command-and-control bunkers buried deep underground (up to 150 metres deep) ?? Do we have them ?? Also IAF have the requirement of anti-radiation missiles, any progress for that ?? I think for MMRCA we might be purchasing anti-radiation from MBDA but for other aircraft platform also IAF wants anti-radiation missiles.

Prasun is there a ship to land or ship to ship or land to ship version of Shaurya missile ?? I mean can we expect Shuarya to go on future DDG or FFG or missile boats ???

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.29AM: The LGBs from RAFAEL will be used for targetting the deep-buried underground bunkers. The Paveway-2s for the Jaguars are for targetting HAS and above-ground bunkers housing radars/comms hardware. As for ARMs, the Rafales, Jaguars & Mirage 2000s will be equipped with ALARM. There's no ship-to-land or ship-to-ship or land-to-ship version of Shaurya missile under development. No one in the world is developing such a ballistic/depressed ballistic trajectory missile for maritime strike purposes. All talk about the Chinese DF-21D anti-aircraft carrier missile were pure speculative rumours. Instead, the tactic to be employed by the PLA Navy against hostile carrier battle groups calls for using swarms of WJ-600 UCAVs.

sbm said...

Prasun, the question regarding the PC-7/KT-1 is whether the KT-1 can sneak in by getting the PC-7 disqualified for misrepresentation.
Will the IAF's pressure work this time given the need for the type ?

The IAF and MOD scuttled the Indian aviation industry by not allowing projects to build on the Marut to proceed. Their decision on the HTT-35 or even the HTT-34 is not surprising.

I get the feeling, though, that the whole mood has changed for the better and may lead to better things?

What does the future hold for the Skyranger AAA system and India ? Will TATA be able to force the decision in its favour ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: We're well beyond that stage, since the CVC itself has given the PC-7 Mk2's selection process the clean chit. Therefore, there's no undue pressure required from anyone in the IAF. The mood and mindset especially within the MoD is now totally different, since the hangovers of the Cold War era have at last been dispensed with. Therefore, the MoD now realises that mistakes made in the 1980s (like opting for the role-specific MiG-23BNs, MiG-27Ms and MiG-29B-12s instead of the do-it-all Mirage 2000) need to be corrected, if not publicly acknowledged. Regarding the Skyranger, the future looks extremely good simply because there's no other viable competitor left. Consequently, under the DPP's Buy-and-Make category, the Skyranger will be acquired. For from a legal standpoint, one must remember that the Skyranger's OEM is Oerlikon-Contraves of Switzerland, which just happens to be a subsidiary of Germany's Rheinmetal Air Defence. An since the MoD's blacklisting statement makes no mention of Oerlikon-Contraves or 'Rheinmetal Air Defence's subsidiary company', it is as good as a done deal for the Skyranger. Pardon me for being rather esoteric in my explanation, but years of experience in dealing with contractual termns, conditions and clauses, especially when related to the Indian procurement scene, leads me to believe that my deductions, based purely on logical reasoning & legal grounds, will stand the test of time. There's therefore no need for TATA to apply force on anybody, rather, just follow the law of the land as it appears in black-and-white (LoLz!!!!).

Pierre Zorin said...

With so much emphasis on N-arsenal, no one mentions any developments in thermobaric weaponry.Is it not better to develop thermobaric warheads and bombs because they are the most destructive non nuclear weapons available and can be used in conventional conflicts?Russians just tested one recently.Just wondered.

Anonymous said...

Are we thinking about new Russian origin Anti-Radiation missiles like Kh-31PD (range = 250 km) and Kh-58UShKE (range = 245 km) for Su30 mki and Mig29 ?? Also are going to go for new generation of missiles that Russia is building for its Su35BM and PakFa for our Super Su30 mki ?? Also what happened to KS-100 AWACS Killer ?? I again read about possible Indian collaboration for this missile on one forum.

Is the procurement process of Skyranger fasten after Gen's letter ???

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Pierre Zorin: The ARDE is developing a family of FAE-based glide bombs.

To Anon@6.34AM: Those misisles are standard fit for aircraft of Russian origin. KS-172 AEW & CS killer is not a practical proposition. The best way to neutralise AEW & CS is to embark upon a counter-base campaign with the help of NLOS-BSMs and CALCMs to render the air bases housing such AEW & CS platforms inoperable.

KSingh said...

Prasun, seriously when are we going to see the signing of the PC-7 Mk.II deal? And is the delay of the deal as serious as has been reported, there defeinelty seems to be a concerns among Indian media that this deal is th eye all and end all and seems to be the go to stick to beat the MoD with. Along with the PC-7 Mk.II induction and induction of BAE HAWKs what steps are IAF/IN taking to improve health safety and training of pilots? Also will the M2Ks tht have been lost be replaced in any way or will a few extra Rafales be purchased instead (seems like a weird way to address this as these obviously wouldn't go into the M2K SQDs and so wouldn't really address the shortfall). And after the M2K UPG what kind of service agreement and warranty have Thales/Dassualt agreed to?

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to know ...

" Also what happened to KS-100 AWACS Killer ?? I again read about possible Indian collaboration for this missile on one forum. "

Also why do you think best way to destroy an AWACS will be to destroy the airfield that houses AWACS ??? Normally airfields have all sorts of SAMs, air defence guns, SHORADS deployment. As far as NLOS-BSM are concerned they can only have some range, i mean what are you gonna do if the AWACS is stationed 700 km away ?? While when its in the air apart from a couple fighter jet escort it doesn't have much of defensive measures. Why can't you destroy an AWACS with an Air-to-air when its range is 350+ km ?

Anonymous said...

To Anon@April 16, 2012 8:43 AM

That's because the countermeasure (jamming and other evasive action)will make the missile miss the target. Needless to say the escorts that will be accompanying the AEW&C platform/plane. Besides in all likelihood the plane will be flying 100 of KM inside the border of the country owning the AEW&C platform/plane. If there is a missile attack and/or threat of an attack the AEW&C platform/plane will fly still further inland. Thats the reason a much more effective solution will be to destroy the airfield and possibly the planes that hosed the AEW&C platform/planes.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Can the gap created by IJT Sitara be fulfilled by the combination of Pilatus and BAE Hawk?

Your suggestion for 60 Tejas trainers is excellent and also cost and life saver. Hope they really do it.

Anonymous said...

Prasun all of us are waiting for conlcusion of the article...

Anonymous said...

Prasun right now GSL is making 4 NOPV and Pipavav 5 NOPV for IN. Are there any other OPVs made in any other shipyard for IN ???

Anonymous said...

Sir ,
the indian navy recently raised its 3rd operational UAV squadron..
i read somewhere that each quadron has 4 aircraft & 62 personnel..
does it mean the total no. of UAVs available with the indian navy is just 12 ?
isn't it far too low ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: Let’s start from the beginning in order to put things into perspective. In the early 1980s, the IAF had identified a reqmt for both BTTs and AJTs. By then, HAL had already developed the HPT-32 piston-engined side-by-side seating primary trainer as well as the HTT-34 side-by-side seating turboprop trainer. While the HPT-32 was inducted into service, the HTT-34 wasn’t, since the IAF wanted the BTT to be tandem-seater like the Tucano, PC-7 & PC-9 (incidentally, the first air force to order PC-7s and PC-9s in bulk was the neighbouring air force of Myanmar in the 1980s). At the same time, since India then had put all its eggs into the Soviet basket & was buying MiG-23BNs, MiG-27Ms and MiG-29B-12s in large numbers from the USSR, there wasn’t any money left to either give to HAL for developing the HTT-35 tandem-seat BTT, or acquire the Hawk AJT. Consequently, the IAF adopted the practice of using the HPT-32 for primary training, HJT-16 Kiran for basic jet training, & MiG-21U & Hawker Hunter for advanced jet training. This is where all the mistakes began and have consequently brought India to today’s state. Despite this, HAL’s HTT-35 BTT was ready for flight-testing by 1994, but was mysteriously shot down by the MoD. The second colossal mistake made in the late 1990s was to develop the HJT-36 as an IJT, instead of an AJT featuring swept-back wings and glass cockpits (of the type that were already being developed then for the Tejas Mk1, and all that was reqd to be done was to get ADA & HAL to talk to one another and begin cooperating, instead of engaging in futile turf-wars). Had both the HTT-35 and the HJT-36 (the latter as an AJT & not an IJT) been developed throughout the late 1980s and the 1990s, the IAF wouldn’t have had the need to import the Hawk Mk132 AJTs and PC-7 Mk2 BTTs. The big blunder therefore made by the MoD (on the IAF’s advice) was to authorise HAL to develop the HJT-36 IJT to replace the HJT-16s EVEN WHEN it was known all along that the IAF’s projected fleet of flying training aircraft (the plans for which were prepared in the early 1980s itself) will only comprise BTTs + related simulators, AJTs + related simulators, and eventually a LIFT + related simulators, with no room left for the IJT. And that’s what has eventually happened—almost—after the Hawk Mk132 was selected as the AJT and now the PC-7 Mk2 as the BTT. Therefore, the HJT-36 IJT has become totally irrelevant, as will the HTT-40 BTT in future (let’s not waste money by developing another BTT and forcing the IAF to operate two types of BTTs for doing the same job!). The only viable option left is for HAL to shelve the HJT-36 and HTT-40 projects altogether, and instead focus on developing a LIFT tandem-seat variant of the Tejas Mk1 MRCA, which can be produced in fairly large numbers.

To Anon@5.35AM: No, no one is making any other OPVs for the Navy. GSL is making some more for the ICGS, while GRSE is making one for Mauritius.

To Anon@10.29AM: Its 6 Searcher Mk2s and 6 Heron-1s per squadron.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: What I’m trying to explain is let’s not re-invent the wheel, which will only push up the IAF’s product support expenditure to prohibitive levels. After all, for one’s daily commuting purposes one doesn’t require two automobiles with identical performance parameters but from two different OEMs when all that one requires is only one automobile. Likewise, the HTT-40 BTT project must be axed, and so should the project to acquire LOHs/LUHs of imported origin. HAL, given the financial support, can definitely develop a 2.5-tonne (and not a 3-tonne) single-engined helicopter within the next 24 months that can be used as both LOH and LUH by all three armed services. In the meantime, both the Army’s AAC and IAF should go for the upgrade packages for both the SA.315 Lama/Cheetah & SA.316 Alouette III/Chetak, which were ready for service introduction as far back as 2005 (the re-engined Cheetal & Chetan options). Even during Aero India 2011 & DEFEXPO 2012, companies like ALPHA Technologies Pvt Ltd were showcasing their engineered upgrade options for these helicopters that now include lightweight glass cockpits, upgraded TM-333-2B engines, plus RWRs and MAWS fitments. The Cheetals & Chetans can thus operate without any trouble for at least another decade, by which time the HAL-developed LOHs/LUHs can begin being mass-produced.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, u said that a second tranche of 700 T-72 s are to be upgraded . 692 T-72 has already been upgraded by OFB and they are now referred to as CIA. This brings the total no of T-72 s to 1392. But India procured around 2414 T-72 from Soviet Union. What about the rest of the T-72s. Some T-72s were lost in action but the amount is very small. Wikipedia reported that there was 1900+ T-72 in Indian Army. Can u pls tell the current no in service and why the rest of the fleet aren't to be upgraded?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Huge organisations have been running on beaten tracks without any proper visions and on adhoc philosophies, leading to nowhere. Just because they do not have more than five years plans and one year budget approvals and just because they are not privates.

I sincerely hope that some deciding authorities look in to your opinions and formulate policies that are suitably and critically optimized accordingly.

Your explanations and understandings on Arjun Mk1/Mk1A/Mk2, T-90, Tejas Mk1/Mk2, Rafale, Trainer aircraft's etc are astounding and that perhaps shows that you are only a singular man and again not any organization. Lol...

Anyhow I am a bit happy to see that at least during the last few years India has started moving on a faster pace with some solid footwork.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The BEML-TATRA truck scam is only the tip of the iceberg. There are several more skeletons in the closet awaiting exposure. For instance:
1) Why did it take the IAF six years to finalise the MiG-29 contract in the 1980s?
2) Why was the DRDO unable to develop armoured recovery vehicles (ARV) for the fleet of T-72M/M1 MBTs when far more complex hardware like BLT-72 armoured bridgelayers were developed in-house by the DRDO & Larsen & Toubro? Was it because BEML was the sole nominated "agent" for procuring hundreds of ARVs from both Poland & the Czech Republic?
3) Why doesn't anyone ask Admiral (Ret'd) Vishnu Bhagwat (everytime he contributes soundbytes on national TV channels) why he had consistently insisted on a financial-cum-technical audit of the ATV project till the time he was dismissed?
4) Why were the 125mm FSAPDS rounds developed by the ARDE & TBRL for the T-72 and T-90S MBT never inducted into service by the Indian Army?
5) Why has Dr A P J Abdul Kalam never been held accountable for his bombastic claims of the DRDO being able to develop an indigenous WLR within a two-year period (from 1997 to 1999)?
6) Why is there no independent authority in India till this day to do a design/performance audit of all the warships designed by the Indian Navy's Naval Design Bureau (NDB)? Is this the reason why the design of every warship emanating from the NDB never gets frozen and consequently the MoD-owned shipyards spend more time on trying to modify an already fabricated section of the warship's superstructure? Is this also the reason why the NDB realised only too late that the first two Project 28 ASW corvettes were overweight by design? Is this also the reason why the maintenance aisles of the Project 17 FFGs' propulsion system compartments are far too narrow and are now being heavily criticised by the Navy? And what is being done to correct this glaring deficiency of the NDB?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Continued from above:
7) After all these years, why does the Indian Navy not have a dedicated 'Trials Vessel' platform to test out and fully integrate the shipborne combat management system and weapons suites? Why is MDL only now trying to set up a shore-based integration facility for such purposes?
8) Why is the track-width mine plough designed and built by US-based Pearson Engineering Inc been selected for the Arjun Mk1A/Mk2 MBTs? Is it because BEML is representing Pearson Engineering in India? Why was the DRDO unable to develop even so simple an accessory afer all these years?
9) Was the Barak-1 SAM ever test-fired by the Indian Navy against high-subsonic sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles? Is it not true that the Barak-1 was originally develop to intercept only non-sea skimming anti-ship cruise missiles like the Termit/Silkworm? Would it not have been more appropriate to 'import' anti-missile defence systems like the VL-MICA or co-develop with RAFAEL an anti-ship cruise missile interceptor variant of the Python-5?
10) On what grounds was Sweden's Ericsson selected by BEL in the early 1990s to upgrade the 200+ Super Fledermaus fire-control systems of the Bofors L-70 AAA guns? Why was the OEM of the Super Fledermaus--Oerlikon Contraves of Switzerland--never approached by BEL as its technology partner for this upgrade project, which ultimately failed and was never accepted by the Indian Army?
11) Why have the NPOL/NSTL been told to stop all work on developing the Nagan active/passive low-frequency towed-array sonar and the Mihir low-frequency dunking sonar? In fact, why were they even developing such LF sonars when the Navy since the past decade has been asking for ultra low-frequency sonars? Is this the reason why BEL has now been nominated as the Indian distributor for supplying to the Navy the LFATS ultra-low frequency active/passive towed-array sonar developed by US-based L-3 Ocean Systems?
12) Why are the IAF’s MiG-29UPGs not being equipped with Zhuk-AE AESA-MMRs? And why are the Mirage 2000s awaiting upgradation not being fitted with RBE-2 AESA-MMRs?
I could go on and on, all based on what I've seen & experienced first-hand, but will rest my case for the time-being.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: Very many thanks. By the way, do read these:

In fact, let me explain what is this hoo-haa about the Indian Army’s ammo stocks running so low. It is actually all about the existing practice of digging into the Army’s war wastage reserves and using them to equip the newly raised formations or newly converted formations (like existing armoured regiments using older MBTs that are converting to the T-90S, etc). What should have been ‘normally’ done was to procure the complete range of ammunition stocks for each such regiment at the same time the regiment was converting to/inducting new-build MBTs. But this procedure was never put into practice since the early 1990s, and hence the war-wastage reserves have dipped to dangerously low levels. Consequently, the Indian Army today remains totally unprepared for dealing with crisis situations that could/may emerge out of a sudden.

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.

Anonymous said...

Prasun - Did you ever fear that this syndicate that govern or rather rule India (shammed DEMOCRACY) could harm you? My question to you this, why on earth do you want all this to be dug out, While you very well know that this money minting syndicate can harm you.

I still remember you were first to raise BEML-TETRA stink 2 year ago. Desi media just got wind of it now, because of sound bytes of COAS.

Nevertheless, you are doing a great service to the Nation. So far, with information available to me, I can term this as a selfless service.. so keep it up!!! and stay safe and stay sharp as always.

dashu said...

I sincerely hope those wise minds listen to you regarding Tejas Mk 1 LIFT.
But how could they keep doing these blunders.
Am sure you can go on after these 12 points.
You the 1st one to disclose this TATRA scam here and now you came up with another 12.

Sir I want to know more about your 3rd & 5th point
3) Why doesn't anyone ask Admiral (Ret'd) Vishnu Bhagwat (everytime he contributes soundbytes on national TV channels) why he had consistently insisted on a financial-cum-technical audit of the ATV project till the time he was dismissed?
5) Why has Dr A P J Abdul Kalam never been held accountable for his bombastic claims of the DRDO being able to develop an indigenous WLR within a two-year period (from 1997 to 1999)?

KSK said...
Is this the ideal choice??

And "skeletons in the closet awaiting exposure"
Can CBI dig into all these ????

Anonymous said...

Hi, can u pls tell the status of our BMD? When will it enter operational service?

KSK said...

where did this come all of the sudden ... 60 aircraft thats a big order... c-27 spartan is a good choice .. same engine as C-130J

Anonymous said...

did India pay the additional 100million$ demanded by Russia for the 2nd batch of talwar class frigates?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.40AM: VMT. It all has already been dug out. In the days to come, the ARV scandal too will hit BEML quite hard, rest assured.

To Dashu: You need to read the following:
1) The book SACKED OR SUNK! ADMIRAL VISHNU BHAGWAT. This book, published in India, was banned by the NDA govt.
2) INDIA TODAY’s April 23, 2012 issue, pages 26-28.

To KSK: The reqmt is quite large to replace the HS-748s. Either the C-27J or C-295.

To Anon@11.59PM: Nope.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Dashu: The 12 developments that I’ve flagged above is only the top of the iceberg, rest assured. There are hundreds more.

Anonymous said...

sir ,
y do we need C-27J or C-295 to replace the avros..when we r already inducting c130j super hercules & also developing MRTA with russia..
cant we simply buy more of these aircraft to replace will ease logistics as well. ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun this new contract for 60 transport aircraft for the replacement of Avro, why doesn't we go for Ukrainians ?? I mean they can help us establish a complete aerospace industrial hub in India, they have huge knowledge and experience base why don't we tap into that ?? China has been doing it for more than a decade now...

ALso according to the recent reports a 4th regiment of Brahmos (Noerth Eastern sector) has been approved or its purchase will be cleared this and two regiments of Pinaka also will be cleared this year. Also the attack helicopter request from IA will be reviewed. I just don't understand why isn't there any mention of ATGM and air defence in these meetings ?? In short can we expect any procurement in air defence and ATGMs ???

KSK said...

Hey Prasun,
1 What might be the actual range of Agni5 ?
2 When will the serial production start ?
3 How many will be produced ?
4 Will the TEL be bought from Russia?

THINK TANK said...

Y No Updates Yet....

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Congrats for the Agni-5 ICBM/IRBM.

spanky's Blog said...

Hi Prasun,
Lots of usefull posts from u of late. Thanks for all of them.

1 thing, u said that u have taken 2500 pics in DEFEXPO. I know its not possible to put all of them but at least try to put around 100-150 pics.Its a humble request to u.

Abt AGNI-V launch, I have few queries:
1. The AGNI-V is a very heavy missile (~ 50 tons).The Chinese DF31 missiles just weigh ~25t.Y r Indian missiles so heavy? Is that a disadvantage? Or is it that our technology is still not mature?
2. DRDO claims that AGNI-V is a road mobile system. But it was tested like all other missiles from a rail road launcher. Why the AGNI-V was not tested from road launcher? Will DRDO test the AGNI-V from road mobile launcher? Does this means that road launcher is still under development and is not available?


Mr. Ra 13 said...

With decreased payloads, can the range of Agni-5 be enhanced beyond 10000 Km and then how its accuracy, controls and CEP will be affected.

KSK said...

1)20% imported what r they?
2)Is Agni5 as mobile as DF-31?
3)50tons is very heavy(chini media) y does it weigh so much?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I went to your previous blogspot, Tritshul. I was viewing an article of May , 2009 about the paris airshow.
 1.There u statd that the deep upgrade of the Jaguar IS fleet will include fitment of an Aesa in the nose. But for sometime u have been telling that that the deep upgrade will not include a radar. It all seems a bit confusing.
Pls clarify. 
2. Why hasnt the deep upgrade program of Jaguar not yet taken off? Is it because that IAF hq has not decided what the deep upgrade will comprise off : whether to include and nose radar and IRST. Or IAF has been thinking of cancelling the upgrade and insted aquire new fighters.  CAN U PLS TELL WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE UPGRADE AND WHETHER THE IAF IS THINKING OF FITTING ANY RADAR IN THE NOSE?( NOT POD MOUNTED RADAR).
3. Will Hal zerolift the entire airframe, fuselage and wing subassemblys. Will the no of hardpoints be increased on the wings and fuselage? Will the weapon carrying capacity be increased? 
4. Will the Jaguar be fitted with MAWS, and internal phased array jammer?
Pls clarify .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.21AM: The C-130J-30 Super Hercules transports are optimised solely for flying over unfamiliar terrain and that too in all weathers, and especially at night. This in turn means that they will be used for only providing airlift to special operations forces, and for tactical airlift (like transporting ammunition and weapons like ultralightweight LW-155 howitzers and motorised 155mm/52-cal howitzers) over mountainous terrain. The tactical transport meant to replace the HS-748s will be used for solely daily/routine tactical airlift purposes not just for the armed forces, but for the CAPFs as well. Logically, the IL-214 MRTA’s R & D should have been accelerated to ensure speedy induction so that imported aircraft like the C-295 or C-27J are not required. But, given the fact that shit happens, and since even respected former civil servants of India are of the way that everything is honky-dory since there’s a unique way of doing things in India even though one muddles through, we are unlikely to see logical reasoning being applied and therefore the IL-214’s service induction will indeed be delayed so that imported alternatives can be sought.

To Anon@8.09AM: Why import such platforms in the first place, when the IL-214 MRTA is being developed with Russia? Why can’t the IL-214’s R & D process be speeded up? Regarding the approval of additional BrahMos NLOS-BSM & Pinaka MBRL Regiments meant for deployment over mountainous terrain, just think about this elementary point for a moment: what’s the use of acquiring such arsenals when in the first place the supporting road/rail transportation infrastructure in the north and northeast will not be in place before 2022? Aren’t we putting the cart before the horse? Should it not be the other way around, i.e. developing the reqd road/rail transportation infrastructure on a war-footing first? Regarding the setting up of another so-called empowered committee to analyse global trends in army aviation, this is just a sheer waste of time and money, since all that the MoD has to do is go back to 1986 & examine the written report prepared by the then Minister of State for Defence Arun Singh regarding the formation of the Army Aviation Corps (which was established in 1986), and it is very clearly written there that the IAF’s attack helicopter assets will, in due course, be transferred to the AAC. So why deliberate now yet again over an issue that was already decided upon in 1986? If the present Defence Minister fails to grasp even so elementary an point of fact, then I’m afraid he’s totally unfit to hold the office of RM. Regarding ATGMs, the Konkurs-Ms are being imported in bulk now, since BDL is unable to ramp up its industrial production, and supplementary contracts have also been inked with MBDA under which Milan-2Ts in fully knocked-down condition will be supplied to BDL for final assembly. Procurement of air-defence artillery cannons, however, remains an unresolved issue thus far.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Spanky’s Blog (Swarop): Have been quite busy for the last five days at the Defence Services Asia 2012 expo in KL, Malaysia.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSK, THINK TANK. Mr.RA 13 & Spanky’s Blog (Swarop): Regarding Agni-5, these are my observations:
1) The entire event looked more like a media showcase, since this was the very first time that the country’s broadcast media was allowed to film even the final structural integration process of the Agni-5-01 prototype prior to its maiden test-firing. Clearly this is not the way for any self-respecting institution to acquire either respect or recognition and is instead reflective of the level of low self-esteem prevailing upon the DRDO’s top decision-makers. I don’t think any other country in the world has to date replicated such a ‘media tamasha’ involving strategic weapon systems while under development.
2) The maiden test-firing was ONLY meant to prove multiple stage-separation and synchronised performance parameters of the on-board flight guidance/flight navigation systems during powered flight and successful re-entry of the third stage. This it did with ease, since re-entry of the warhead section and performance of on-board avionics was already validated earlier by the Agni-3 and Agni-4 test-firings. A total of three test-firings are reqd to validate multiple stage-separation and synchronised performance parameters of the on-board flight guidance/flight navigation systems during powered flight and successful re-entry of the third stage, meaning two more test-firings are left to be done, during which the maximum flight envelope (of 5,500km) will be attained in stages. The missile’s existing design easily allows it a reach of 7,000km.
3) Based on what was shown by network TV broadcasts of the radar-plotted trajectory of the Agni-5 (as appearing on the AMLCD screens at Wheeler Island), it appears that the missile was never set to attain the range of 5,500km, and instead may have gone only as far as 3,500km.
4) Contrary to wildly speculative reporting by a particular ill-informed blogger about the third-stage “splashing down between the southern tip of Africa and Australia”, splashdown actually happened over a pre-defined 10 sq km area, which is clearly demarcated in the NOTAMs issued by the DRDO a week before the test-firing. One doesn’t need to be a genius to figure exactly how many ships equipped with X-band monopulse tracking antennae will have to be deployed to track a target that will splash down anywhere between the southern tip of Africa and Australia. Do you now see how the ‘desi’ media never tires of oversimplifying matters?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

5) Again, contrary to what the ‘desi’ media has said, the Agni-5 missile per se does not weigh 50 tonnes. It is closer to 23 tonnes. In fact, 50 tonnes refers to the all-up weight of the TEL on which the cannisterised Agni-5 and its launch-control system vectronics will be mounted (even the Agni-4 will be cannisterised).
6) Regarding this quote by Dr V K Saraswat :” We will also start working on different variants of the Agni-5, including MIRVs, anti satellite systems, and on making the Agni-5 capable of launching military satellites on demand”, this is what he ought to have said in layman’s terms: There will be no Agni-5 deployed with unitary warheads, since the Govt of India has only mandated the development of Agni-5 equipped with MIRVs. Secondly, each Agni-5 is reqd to have three MIRVs, plus an equal number of decoys. Thirdly, while ASL had already done its homework on designing MIRVs (work on this began in 2008 as per Dr Avinash Chander’s own assertion), the terminal guidance seeker technologies and the compressed gas-based ejection-from-cannister technologies have not yet been perfected and it is here that ‘imported’ options (both Israel’s and Russia’s help have been sought) are reqd. Once acquired, at least three more test-firings of the Agni-5 will be required to be conducted in an operational road-mobile cannisterised version, whose R & D will take at least another six years. At the same time, a variant of the Agni-5 will be developed to ‘launch-on-demand’ low-earth orbit overhead recce satellites like the TechSAR/RISAT-2.
7) There is an imported content within the Agni-5, primarily associated with ruggedized microprocessors used by the on-board flight guidance & navigation avionics, and by the launch-control vectronics to be mounted on both the missile cannister & the TEL.
8) AS for the TEL, the well-known OEMs specialising in this field are already in India, like KAMAZ-VECTRA teamed with BEML, & URAL India.

F said...

Prasun, the first time we met in 1998 I remember asking you if the RMAFs Fulcrums were armed with R-77 Adders. And over the years there has been much speculation - but now we know that the RMAF never had Adders. A contract was signed in DSA for 35 missiles to arm the MKMs. Something else intresting, found out via a former East German pilot that Russian missiles are stored in sealed plastic wrappings. These are taken out for use or for testing and are then resealed again.

Another bit of DSA news, I find it a bit strange that RUAG and not POF has been awarded a contract to deliver RPG-7 rounds. I didn't even know that RUAG manufactures RPG-7 rounds! Have you heard about the Scaneagle contract awarded by CTRM?

Also, how accurate do you think this report is?,20120412-396484,uk.html

Anonymous said...

Sir, is it possible to use A5 to launch military satellite???... because in recent launch of N.Korean satellite which uses Ballistic missile tech was against the UN norm to use missile tech in launching satellite...

Anonymous said...


Please read Prasun's post @ April 20, 2012 12:12 AM.
He answered your question in point 6.

Anonymous said...

sir ,
regarding the transport aircraft to replace the avros..u mean to say that development of MRTA would be intentionally delayed to buy an imported aircraft & thus gain kickbacks from the deal ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: The supplemental procurement contract for 35 R-77 BVRAAMs has been ready for signature since early 2009. The RMAF never had R-77s for the MiG-29s or up till now even the Su-30MKMs. However, procurement of such BVRAAMs will not improve matters much since, in the absence of AEW & C platforms for airborne battle management, fire-and-forget BVRAAMs will have best only 50% success rate. The effectiveness of fire-and-forget BVRAAMs increases manifold when air superiority campaigns are waged with the help of AEW & C platforms. Regarding RUAG, it produces RPG rounds that are compatible with the RPG-7’s launcher. The Scaneagle tactical UAV reqmt was a longstanding one. The Indonesian Army is very likely to go for ex-German Leopard-2A4 MBTs—that’s a given. It now remains to be seen if some of the FNSS-supplied AV4 8 x 8s are configured for tank destroyer roles by equipping them with a turret capable of firing MBDA-built PARS-3LR ATGMs. Once the Indonesian Leopard 2A4s begin arriving, the Malaysian Army will have no choice but to acquire 4km-range ATGMs, and no matter how hard the Russians might try to sell the Kornet-E, I can state with a credible degree of predictability that the probability of the PARS-3LR being ordered by MINDEF remains very very high indeed.

To Anon@1.41AM: It would certainly appear to be the case, since discussions for co-developing the IL-214 MRTA have been ongoing since the past decade!!! And when the agreement was inked, why was HAL involved as the only Indian industrial party? Why was a combined DPSU-private sector consortium not created in order to ensure the accelerated development of the MRTA? Why has the Govt of India only been mentioning the IAF as being the sole customer for the MRTA? Why couldn’t this MRTA become a platform for the AEW & CS and instead why was the EMB-145 chosen? Why can’t the MRTA be developed as a medium-range maritime patrol/ASW aircraft? Above all, why can’t the MRTA also be developed as a regional commuter jetliner, especially since the airframe of this aircraft is being designed and optimised for STOL operations, which is ideal when operating in and out of existing Tier-3 airports in India? Like I had said yesterday, I can indeed go well above the 12 points I had flagged earlier regarding past stinks/scandals.

Anonymous said...

sir ,
may be right now the authorities are only concentrating on developing the tactical transport variant of the MRTA..& later might develop the other variants..if these aircraft development negotiations & development takes decades..then how can there be nexus among so many official who obviously would have transfered , retired in such a long time..

PS - Sir , do you think any military deal signed by india is corruption free. ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.04AM: Things don’t proceed along those lines. Before any co-development contract is inked, there’s a project definition document that’s prepared that charts out the detailed roadmap for the future evolution of the product that is to be co-developed. In this roadmap itself, all future evolutions of the product are mentioned in some detail. For the IL-214 MRTA co-development contract’s project definition section, there’s no mention of any other variant of the IL-214 to be developed, other than the tactical STOL transport.
The deals signed after August 2006 are corruption-free due to the insertion of the ‘integrity clause’ in every procurement contract inked since then. Other than that, barring those contracts inked with the US under the US Foreign Military Sales channel since 2002, almost every contract inked by the MoD since the late 1970s hasn’t been corruption free. The payoffs/commissions paid by the USSR to various involved Indian parties in the 1980s has been extensively documented by various Russian writers post-1991, the ‘Mitrokin Archives’ being just one of them.

F said...


The AV8 will include an anti-tank variant that will be armed with Ingwe. It's been no secret that the Ingwe was chosen even before the Pars was. Personally, i think the best move would be not to mount any ATGWs on the AV8 or any vehicle, but provide the infantry with lots of Javelins. Given the terrain, that would be the best move.

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun Da , it was stated that IAF has laid 600 technical parameters for the selection of the MMRCA . Any idea what these 600 technical parameters are ? Ashley Tetliss talks about a fe of them in an interview but not all of them.