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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Indian Navy Poised For Further Expansion

If we are to believe what the outgoing Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy (IN), Admiral Nirmal Verma, said on August 7 at his farewell press conference, then it is virtually certain that the six conventional submarines (SSK) to be procured for the IN under Project 75I will most certainly be a larger derivative of the DCNS-designed CIM-2000 Scorpene SSK, six of which are presently being licence-built by the MoD-owned Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai for delivery between 2015 and 2018. Admiral Verma had stated yesterday that the IN HQ had already completed its part of the drafting of the RfP, which is now awaiting release by the MoD. He added that of the six SSKs to be procured, the first two will be acquired off-the-shelf from the yet-to-be-selected foreign OEM, to be followed by three to be licence-built by MDL, and one by the Vizag-based and MoD-owned Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL). Late last year he had stated that the IN wants to go for a proven and mature SSK ocean-going design for Project 75I, inclusive of a proven air-independent propulsion (AIP) system. If one were to join the dots between what he had stated late last year and what he revealed yesterday, it would thus appear that the S-80 derivative of the Scorpene SSK, being proposed by NAVANTIA of Spain and dubbed as the ‘Super Scorpene’, is reportedly by far the IN’s preferred choice, as opposed to Russia’s Amur 1650 SSK offer (which has been rejected by even the Russian Navy), and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany’s Type 216 SSK, which as of now is just a paper design.
As far as AIP systems go, the IN is believed to be favouring the Stirling Engine option, which is available from Sweden’s Kockums AB in a modular configuration, is being offered for licenced-production in India (similar to the arrangement between Kockums and Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries), and can easily be accommodated within a 9-metre plug-in hull compartment. According to the IN, the Stirling Engine is the least risky and most cost-effective of all other available AIP options. The S-80 ‘Super Scorpene’, whose design has been derived from the CIM-2000 Scorpene (which was jointly developed by DCNS and NAVANTIA), features substantial commonality with the CIM-2000 and its licenced-manufacturing will therefore pose far fewer risks and challenges for MDL, when compared with those associated with the construction and fabrication of an all-new SSK design. The customised version of the S-80 for the IN will also most definitely retain the same SUBTICS combat management system as that on the CIM-2000 Scorpene. It will have an overall length of 71.05 metres, hull length of 51.76 metres, hull diameter of 7.30 metres, submerged displacement of 2,426 tons, surfaced displacement of 2,198 tons, 9.5% floatability, 360 battery elements, crew complement of up to 40, submerged speed of 20 Knots, and an endurance of 50 days.
In addition to the six SSKs, Acceptance of Necessity for 43 more warships has been obtained by the IN from the MoD. These include four water-jet FACs to be built by Kolkata-based Garden reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), a second sea cadet training ship to be built by ABG Shipyard, two GRP-hulled minehunters to be built by South Korea-based Kangnam Corp and another six to be licence-built by Goa Shipyard Ltd, one Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) to be procured off-the-shelf, four LPHs of which two will be built abroad by the OEM and two by HSL, 16 shallow-water ASW patrol vessels of a foreign design (being proposed by Thyseenkrupp Marine Systems, DCNS and Rosoboronexport State Corp) to be built by two as yet unidentified two shipyards, one locally-built survey training vessel and two diving support vessels, three Project 1135.6 FFGs (Batch 3) from Russia, and two more Arihant-class SSBNs (S-3 and S-4) and the first of three projected 20,000+ tonne displacement SSBNs (S-5, S-6 and S-7)—all to be built by Larsen & Toubro.
A few concluding points: Firstly, it is difficult to fathom a logical reason for HSL being chosen to fabricate just one SSK, as this will only increase the overall procurement costs for Project 75I. Secondly, not a word was mentioned about the IN's future coastal security-centric aircraft procurement plans, like that for procuring SAR amphibians, for which Japan's SS-3 amphibian built by Shin Maywa Corp is the front-runner (see the slide below & observe how Japan portrays the state of Jammu & Kashmir).
Thirdly, the outgoing CNS, after his retirement, is likely to be appointed as the Lt Governor of Andaman & Nicobar islands. Fourthly, the present Chief of HQ Integrated Defence Staff (CIDS), Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, is likely to be appointed as the new FOC-in-C Western Naval Command to replace Vice Admiral Devender Kumar Joshi, who will succeed Admiral Verma as the CNS on August 31. Vice Admiral S P S Cheema, presently the Deputy Chief at HQ Integrated Defence Staff (perspective planning and force development), is tipped to take over from Vice Admiral Sinha as the new CIDS.

134 comments:

saurav jha said...

Hi Prasun,

Interesting observations. One question though. Does IN really need a 20,000+ Ton SSBN..? and jumping from Arihanth class to such a big submarine is not a giant leap..?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

I thought S1000 was propsed by Navantia aling with Rubin design of Russia.The superscorpene was proposed by DCNS.But here u ar saying S80 superscorpene by NAVANTIA is prefered choice.
1)Is the S80 superscorpene ,a Navatia or DCNS proudct(Which one is the OEM)
2)Why do u think the Amur class is not a good option..

Kindly reply...Thanks in advance

SK said...

Prasun,
Two LPH to be manufactured by HSL ???? Like the SSK this is a very surprising and bad choice. I have been to HSL in the past, to say the least there you a find a lot be desired.
MDL is too occupied with other ventures that only leaves Pipapav or L&T (Katupalli) shipyards who are more appropriate for the LPH manufacturing.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAURAV JHA: Yes, jumping from S-2/3/4 to S-5/6/7 is a big leap, but what has to be noted is that with just a solitary limited lifespan PWR on board S-2/3/4 a maximum sustained submerged speed of no more than 20 Knots can be attained, which is clearly too little. Furthermore, 6,500km-range SLBMs cannot fit on board these SSBNs. Hence, the reqmt for a much larger SSBN with two lifelong PWRs & at least six 6,500km-range SLBMs is reqd, which will have a maximum sustained submerged speed of some 25-30 Knots.

To Anon@9.22AM: You’ve mixed up Fincantieri’s S-1000/S-800 SSK offer with that of NAVANTIA’s. For the S-80, NAVANTIA is the OEM. How can the Amur-1650 even be considered when the Russian Navy itself has rejected it? Furthermore, the fuel cell-based AIP of the Amur-1650 still has several shortcomings & has not yet been qualified on any SSK. In fact, all fuel cell-based AIPs require a hige shore-based support infrastructure, which is all right for those navies that have only a single homeport for such AIP-equipped SSKs. But for those navies that require such SSKs to be based in more than 1 naval base, a fuel cell-based AIP becomes more of a liability than an asset, from both financial & operational standpoints. Therefore, the IN, like its Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean & Swedish counterparts, has rightly zeroed in on the Stirling Engine option, which is not only cheaper to maintain & support, but also offers operational flexibility.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SK: You’re absolutely right. But one must note the fact that HSL’s selection is politically motivated, most probably due to the influence of the present-day Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju. It is similar to how some of the DPSUs like BEML & BEL, plus BrahMos Aerospace have set up manufacturing/assembly facilities in Kerala during the tenure of A K Antony as Defence Minister. Lastly, what is most surprising is that for Project 75I, the MoD is resorting to the needless & time-consuming process of issuing global RfPs, when logic demands that (since the S-80 being only a stretched Scorpene SSK) only a supplementary contract be inked with NAVANTIA (as prime foreign contractor) & DCNS (as the main foreign sub-contractor) for enabling MDL as prime Indian contractor to undertake the S-80’s licenced-production. Otherwise, the danger is that other competing OEM shipbuilders, who by now know that the P-75I project is being taken up to ensure that MDL remains gainfully employed (if not, then the MoD would have selected another DSPU shipyard as the main Indian contractor for byulding a new-design SSK), will refuse to submit their bids, thereby leaving NAVANTIA as the sole bidder, & this consequently will lead to the RfP being cancelled for re-issuance once again. I can only hope the mandarins at MoD have done their homework well enough in order to foresee this eventuality, which can still be forestalled if the MoD junks the competitive bidding process in favour of the supplementary contract route.

rad said...

HI Prasun

Could you explain the advantages of a stirling AIP over the Hydrogen based AIP viz a viz efficiency , saftey cost, tech absorbtion etc.There ere reports the DRDO was also doing some work on AIP . please explain.

bradshaw said...

Well isn't the next six submarines supposed to be built by Russian design ?? i heard that Amur 1650 is much quiter than its western peers and russians are ready to integrate brahmos with it. As of AIP , indians can always source any good western AIP and put that in AMUR + sonars and sensors can be procured from anywhere in the world making it an AMUR 1650 MKI :)

i heard that AMUR is just half the cost of other western subs.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir, It is almost for certain that your statement that 2 out of the 4 LPH/LPD's to be sourced directly from OEM's will NOT be the case.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

As described in your last article, China seems to have amassed large quantities of quality weapons in Tibet. Accordingly and as already suggested by you since long, I think India should procure weapons like latest Tanx-Ex and Caesar-155 etc.

Anonymous said...

what about the 7 P-17B Frigates and the 4 P-15B Destroyers ??????

spanky's Blog said...

Hi Prasun,
Interesting counter args to last month BMD article in India Today. kindly go through the link:

http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/sauravjha/2976/63777/guest-post-2-the-indian-missile-shield-nothing-to-be-baffled-about-by-mihir-shah.html

let me know your comments.

Thanks
Swarop

rad said...

HI Prasun

The P-8 asw ac seems to have a good radar by raytheon , and it seems to have an air to air mode as requested by india ,If so what stops us from asking the US to add a pylon or modify one to accept the AMRAAM missile .This would be a great idea as the ac need not have a fighter escort all the time and it could take care of it self from enemy fighters.Of course there would be development time and costs but i think ultimately that is a good idea.please comment

Anonymous said...

Hi , why isnt there any mention about SSN in CNS's speech. There was a projected requirement of 9 SSN by the Navy. Has this requirement been scrapped in favour of 6 P-75I conventional subs? The procurement of SSN should be made a priority by MoD. Why purchase diesel-electric subs when u can have a nuclear powered sub. The SSN will be required for providing escorts to the SSBNs . They have much more improved capabilties especially underwater performence in terms of speed , endurance. If SSK are purchased instead of SSN , it would be disastrous. Will the 6 Scorpenes replace any sub in navy inventory ?

Unknown said...

Prasun,

wrt the Naval-LUH RFP sent out recently. Who exactly is in the fray (which exact helos and manufacturers) and when can we expect induction?


And wrt LHD/LPD which exact plastforms are in the hunt and when will we see a descion made on which one has one and when will we see the first one enter IN service?



Also what is the status of the Marine brigade of the IN that is supposedly being raised?

Rahul said...

Hi PRASUN , thanx a lot for replying . As of now , IA has 3 SPYDER SR regiments in place . Both IA and IAF needs 40 SHORADS regiments each. But only 8 are scheduled to be bought . When will the rest be purchased ? Are the 3 Spyder regiments replacing older AD systems such as OSA-AKM , Kvadrat , SA-9 Gaskin regiments or are they being purchased to bolster air defense capabilties ? In addition to this will not IAF & IA purchase SPAAG like Rheinmetall Skyranger or SA-21 Panstir .

The earth's curvature plays a big role in defining the SAM's line of sight . But earth's curvature becomes evident only at a distance of 30-40 km whereas RBS-70 has a range of 6-8 km . Either Pak opeartoes didnt fire or had fired but missed its target. SAAB describes the missile as being unjammable.

Are BMP-1 , BTR series of APC still in active IA service or are phased out.

Anonymous said...

prasun Sir i want to ask will india buy more phalcon awacs build on il-76.....& sir what is the status of drdo awacs.....

Anonymous said...

Sir ,

http://idrw.org/?p=13209#more-13209

1.What is exactly done in relifing ? Replacing damaged parts of aircraft, the parts which have worn off , those parts of the airframe which has suffered excessive fatigue , replacing the aircraft skin which have become too old , overhauling and rebuilding the engines ?

2.Helicopters are subjected to a series of tests to determine if they are fit for life service extension . This is unlike combat aircrafts such as fighter jets which are subjected to service life extension when they go for mid-life upgrade ?? .During service life extension , everytime are airframe & wings zero lifted ?

3. When a new fighter aircraft is purchased does it come with a service life of 35-40 yrs or the service life increases each time the aircraft goes through life extension ?

4. How many times have Jaguar IS ; MiG-27,29 ,21 ; Mirage 2000 gone through life extensions?

5. Whats the total no of MiL mi-8 in IAF? How many of them are to be relifed? Thses helos were meant to be replaced by MiL mi-17. And Mi-17 have been ordered as MiL Mi-8's replacement. So the total MiL mi-8/17 nos will go up . Is this the 1st time that Mil Mi-8 are being relifed ?

6. 500 hrs of engine life extension for AN-32 engines. Isnt it too short ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir Sometime back you had said that CHINA can deploy MAXIMUM
SIX Squadrons of Fighter Planes
in Tibet at One Time

But in case of a WAR with India
dont you think that Given the HUGE size of PLAAF it can very well deploy MANY MORE squadrons even if the FIRST SIX squadrons are destroyed

What PREVENTS PLAAF from sending
NEXT SIX squadrons of J 10s J 11
in case a conflict with India gets prolonged

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir
Please answer my question

Why the PRAHAR missile has NOT been TESTED again

Is the PRITHVI MISSILE USEFUL against CHINA or do we need ONLY Brahmos and Shaurya missiles

bradshaw said...

Has Indis selected the Korean Chiron missile for vSHORADS ??

Wiki says " India plans to acquire Shin Gungs from LIG Nex1 Co. with a cost of 1.4 trillion won (US$1.28 billion) by 2014 "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiron_(missile)

Purbayan Roy said...

Hi Prasun , DRDO as well as Dr Pillai of Brahmos aerospace said that Brahmos ashm performs some sort of manuvear on approaching close to hostile ship to defat the ship's defenses. various 3rd party sorces claim that 3M-54E has a 2nd stage kill supersonic kill vehicle which performs a zig-zag move in its terminal stage. If Brahmos does fly straight and is like other supersonic anti-ship missiles , why doesnt the IN go for cheaper 3M-54E which has 220 km range. Why cant Barak-1 intercept Brahmos , Moskit if it does fly straight .

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

Few questions;
1)For IA VSHORAD ,which one do u think is better and cheaper(as contract will go to L1 vendor)
2)Heard that Navy has released RFP for 56 LUH...Which are the contenders?...and which one do u think is better
3)For IN MRH tender for a totao pf 76 helicopters.Which one do u think is better for the navy(From NH90, S70B and also MH60R).Lockhhed M has stated that it will participate in the tender with MH60R...

Thanks in advance..

AK said...

Hi Prasun ,, can u pls go to wiki and see the Indian Army article, there are two pics of tanks , one of them named Barchha at Ludhiana train junction . For sure they are T-72 .Is it T-72M1 or any other variant. T-72 M1 has a thicker armour. If such thin turret armour it has , no side skirts . Either army go for deep upgrade of T-72 fleet .( not like the DRDO one with only ERA fitted ) but a turret & hull add on composite armour package ,belly armour, thick glacis armour , new engines and optronic systems for commander and gunner OR god help the armored corps during any battles- both tank and infantry support ops. Or they can be replaced on a one on one basis with Arjun .

ShivaD said...

Prasun,

Did you get the news that the US sold us billions of dollars of defense equipments that consists of dud parts . I am enclosing here the NDTV report done by Sudhi Ranjan Sen.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/has-us-sold-india-defence-equipment-with-dud-chinese-parts-252834

KSK said...

*Even 6 SLBMs seem less?
*Australia has requirement for similar ocean going SSKs.Will any combined procurement be a possibility?
*As IN SSBNs are China specific and keeping in mind the 6500Km range where would be the optimum place in ocean for SLBMs to be launched?
*Could you post abt the chini SSBN .. like how good are theyand wen can we catch up?

dashu said...

I guess Japan's perception of the state of Jammu & Kashmir is well accepted by all the nations as well as our useless netas especially this mummy like PM and his Akka ms Sonia the real power house of India . I guess this would be the final map of India unless something (unexpected) happen in NE

dashu said...

6 SLBMs seem really less that too of only 6500 km atleast 8000+km SLBM required to be safe.
S2 S3 S4 might be converted to SSN after getting s5 s6 s7.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: I already did that yesterday in my reply@11.42AM. The DRDO too is working on fuel cell-based AIP concept. The APS-143 aft-mounted radar on the P-8I is not a fire-control radar, only a search radar & that too for acquiring surface & airborne targets & passing on their coordinates to combat aircraft like the MiG-29K. The APS-143 was never designed to function as an airborne MMR.

To BRADSHAW: No one from any organ of the Govt of India or MoD ever said that Project 75I will involve a Russian SSK design. In fact, in 2003 itself it was decided by the MoD to stick to only one line of SSKs. The only SSKs that are presently the quietest are those operational with Stirling Engine-based AIPs on board, a fact confirmed by the US Navy, which itself holds annual ASW drills with a leased Kockums-built SSK equipped with Stirling Engine-based AIP. And that’s also the reason why the navies of Japan & China too have gone for Stirling Engine-based AIPs. An Amur-1650MKI is an impossibility simply because the Russians themselves have long ago rejected such an option. Furthermore, since the Russian Navy itself has rejected the Amiur-1650, if it is still acquired by India then its procurement costs may well be 50% cheaper, but its life-cycle costs will be six times more expensive than its Western counterparts. As for VSHORADS, the Mistral is expected to be procured, as it offers commonality with the Mistral-ATAMs on board the Rudra & LCH.

To Anon@3.11PM: What about them? They have already been sanctioned & therefore where’s the need for invoking the Acceptance of necessity clause for them???

To Anon@6.53PM: The SSN issue is still under discussions with France & therefore it would have been premature on the CNS’ part to disclose any firm data. The Scorpenes are replacements for the older Foxtrots that have already been decommissioned.

To UNKNOWN: The usual contenders like AgustaWestland, Euriocopter & Bell Helicopters are expected to respond to the RfP. And the winner will be a single-engined model, not a twin-engined one as alleged by some ‘desi’ journalist. The LPH issue was dealt with at: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2011/07/who-will-supply-4-lpds-and-other.html
The Marine Bde is now the Sagar Prahari Bal. The Navy has yet to secure access to the shore-based training facilities at Kakinada, which the IA is refusing to vacate.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAHUL: I’ve no idea when the rest will be purchased. Tey will repace the OSA-AK & Strella-13M. The Kub/Kvadrat will be replaced by Akash. SPAAG is not an urgent reqmt & if reqd more Tunguska-M1s can be procured. Earth’s curvature for radars becomes evident at 50km, but for the Mk1 eyeball the curvature is way much close in undulating terrain, since terrain gradients also play a role there. Therefore, the RBS-70 firing post will have a tough time trying to detect an airborne target, leave along tracking it, since Pakistan’s RBS-70s do not come with low-level target acquisition radars. That’s why even on the flat Rann of Kutch, the RBS-70s missed the IAF’s Mi-17s.

To Anon@7.49PM: Relifing means extending the TTSL of the entire aircraft, or missiles, or helicopters. During SLEP nothing is re-lifed, since the platform is not totally stripped down. On the other hand, the IAF’s MiG-29Bs are now being relifed & SLEPed into MiG-29UPGs. About half of the IAF’s 40-odd Mi-8Ts are being re-lifed, while the 40 Mi-171s are undergoing SLEP. SLEP does not result in extension of TTSL. Jaguar IS, Jaguar IM, MiG-27M & Mirage 2000 have all undergone only one SLEP.

To Anon@8.24PM: How can China ever deploy all its combat aircraft assets against India if A) there aren’t enough air bases to accommodate them in Tibet and B) Can China afford to leave its airspace portions opposite Japan, South Korea & Taiwan unguarded? In the event of another war between China & India would you expect the IAF to use all its combat aircraft against the PLAAF & leave absolutely none to guard the airspace against Pakistan?

To Anon@8.27PM: Obviously the first test-firing of Prahaar revealed some deficiencies that need rectification, that’s obvious, isn’t it? Any version or form of Prithvi surface-to-surface battlefield support missile will be a liability of used against China, since this weapon has an extended logistics tail—something anyone would like to avoid on the Indian side along the Sino-Indian LAC were there’s totally inadequate road/rail infrastructure. On the other hand, it will be far easier & simpler to deploy canister-mounted missiles like BrahMos & Shaurya on totally self-contained motorised TELs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PURBAYAN ROY: If you check out any DRDO/BrahMos Aerospace poster showing the flight-path of BrahMos, nowhere is it shown negotiating a zig-zag terminal manoeuvre. It is always a straight flight-path. After all, one cannot change the laws of physics. Till to date, there no ASCM or LACM—subsonic or supersonic—that is capable of such evasive manoeuvres in the terminal stages of flight. Barak-1 was never developed to intercept supersonic ASCMs & till today, the Barak-1 hasn’t been tested against BrahMos, Kh-41 Zubr or 3M80E Moskit, so one wouldn’t know whether or not the Barak-1 is effective against such ASCMs.

To Anon@9.37PM: The MBDA-built Mistral is the best bet because it comes in three versions for all three services: Mistral for land forces, Mistral-ATAM for attack helicopters of air forces, & the Sadral version for warships. In India, since the Mistral-ATAM has already been ordered for the Rudra helicopter-gunship & LCH, MBDA stands the best chance of emerging as the L-1 bidder. The Chiron is just a re-engineered version of the Igla-1 & mounted on a pedestal derived from the Mistral. For the 56 naval LUHs, the two main contenders will come from Eurocopter & Bell Helicopters. For the MRH reqmt, the Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk will be the best bet both operationally & cost-wise, since it comes fitted & integrated with the HELRAS ultra-low frequency dunking sonar (which the IN favours), whereas the AS.565 Panther from Eurocopter, NH-90 & MH-60R all come equipped with the THALESRaytheon FLASH low-frequency dunking sonar.

To Mr.RA 13 & AK: The best deep upgrade option for the T-72M1 is the TANK EX option, both in terms of performance & financially. And since the DRDO has at last succeeded in uprating the 740hp V46-6 engine to produce 1,000hp, all that’s now reqd is an automatic transmission. After this, the upgraded turret of the Arjun Mk1A (minus the stupid & ill-conceived sloping ERA tiles on the turret-front) can easily be integrated with the T-72M1’s hull. Finally, add the Combat Identification of Friend or Foe (CIFF) for reducing the blue-on-blue fratricides and enhancing the target strike rate. When all this is done, one will have a superlative TANK EX. I can tell you with certainty that when it comes to manoeuvre warfare by night, it is almost impossible to visually tell a T-72M1 from a Type 85IIAP, or an Al Khalid from a T-90S. But a TANK EX will be easily distinguishable from the Al Khalid or Chinese ZTZ-96G with kind of thermal imagers now on board the Arjun Mk1A’s gunner’s/commander’s sights.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SHIVAD: Now, you have to be careful here, for the NDTV report does not state that the US has sold India military hardware containing fake China-sourced components. It only asks the question. Therefore it will be highly mischievous on any one’s part to accept it as the gospel truth.

To KSK: In fact, according to the S-5 design drawing from NPOL that I had uploaded sometime back, the S-5/6/7 SSBNs will EACH house 12 SLBMs. If the DRDO is able to come up with only 6,500km-range SLBMs, then the SSBNs will have to be located somewhere around the Andaman & Nicobar islands. If the DRDO can come up with the desired 8,500km-range SLBMs, then it will be possible to park the SSBNs along the deep-sea trenches around the Maldives or Mauritius. The PLA Navy’s SSBNs are similar in technology to the Russian Project 667BDRM SSBNs of the 1980s. Indeed the S-80 Super Scorpene is one of the top contenders for the RAN’s SSK reqmt & if it wins that competition as well as the Indian one, it will be extremely hard-pressed to undertake any kind of hull construction within Spain, meaning it would be far more amenable to the bulk transfer of licenced-production technologies in far more attractive financial terms to both India & Australia. Combined Australian/Indian procurement is out of the question since the RAN would insist on the substantial incorporation of US-origin sub-systems & weapons on-board, while India would prefer to maximise equipment commonality with the six Scorpenes on order.

To DASHU: Not SSNs, but more like SSGNs, when armed with BrahMos ASCMs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SPANKY’s BLOG/SWAROP: Do you really want me to dignify the ill-informed rants, which amount to nothing but a malicious hatchet job that vainly tries to convert either circumstantial or flawed incidental reports into firm, hard-rock evidence? Well, if you insist, I’ll oblige you.
Firstly, the ill-informed writer alleges that there are “multiple credible sources in the public domain that attest to the fact that the entire BMD system has been subject to full-up tests, in its "final user configuration". For starters, he himself not only fails to mention even a single so-called credible source, he also fails to comprehend that ‘full-up tests in final-user configuration’ cannot be the term to describe something which is nothing but an end-to-end simulation laboratory for theatre missile defence (TMD). Check out any DRDO issued poster or presentation on BMD & one will easily see with one’s own eyes all the Israel-origin hardware that make up the Mission Control Centre (the DRDO term for what’s clearly a scaled-down TADIRAN Electronic Systems-supplied Battle Management Command, Control, Communication & Intelligence Centre) & the Launch Control Centre (supplied by IAI’s MLM Division). Only those who have not seen all this with their own eyes will continue to indulge in pathetic self-delusion. Most importantly, a conventional weapon system like a BMD network on the eve of being operationally deployed will surely find mention in either the Indian MoD’s annual report or in the report of a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence. The fact is, it doesn‘t, & one can’t ask for a more credible confirmation of the absence of any existing R & D project (which is progressing in mission-mode & which is on the verge of service induction) than these two GoI reports.
Secondly, the writer alleges that “as long as the in-bound re-entry-vehicle comes in at the correct angle and terminal velocity, it matters not for a terminal phase BMD system whether it was launched from 2,000km away or 70km away. And there is no reason a Prithvi's trajectory cannot be modified to mimic that of an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) in the terminal phase.” He does not deem it important to ask the DRDO about the reasons for its high confidence in being able to accurately gauge the angles of re-entry & terminal velocities of ballistic missiles/NLOS-BSMs of Chinese/Pakistani origin. For without such data, it is next to impossible to modify the Prithvi’s trajectory to mimic than of any type of missile, leave alone an IRBM. In the rest of the world, those countries that have developed TMD/BMD systems have always resorted to the use of X-band active phased-array tracking radars (both ground-based & shipborne) for monitoring TBM/IRBM/MRBM/NLOS-BSM launches of interest, solely for the purpose of indigenously developing surrogate targets that mimic the flight trajectories/terminal velocities of such missiles. In the DRDO’s case, such tracking radars are non-existent. So how on earth can the DRDO be expected to modify the Prithvi’s trajectory to mimic than of any type of ballistic missile or NLOS-BSM, leave alone ensuring a successful target interception under operational & uncontrolled conditions? Under these circumstances, how can any well-meaning prospective end-user/operator repose any degree of faith in what the DRDO has been claiming thus far? And if at all cost is an issue (about using a cheaper Prithvi instead of a costly Agni), then why not just test the missile-interceptors against successive computer-simulated threats, UNLESS the DRDO has a substantial inventory of Prithvi-2s that are now redundant, since the IAF had in 2007 refused to induct them into service & are now therefore just gathering dust?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

continued from above.....

Taking the example of Israel’s Arrow project, which was aided substantially by the entire might of the US aerospace industry, its first full system interception test (AST-4) was held on November 1, 1999 during which the Arrow system located, tracked and intercepted a TM-91C target missile simulating a 140km-range 9K79 Tochka NLOS-BSM, launched on a very steep trajectory from a ship located offshore, and only after this was the first Arrow-2 Battery declared fully operational in October 2000. And on July 29, 2004, a further upgrade of the Arrow-2 was jointly tested by Israel and the NAS Point Mugu Missile Test Center in California, during which an authentic R-17E SCUD was successfully intercepted. In the DRDO’s case, it has yet to carry out a first full system interception tests against near-authentic ballistic missile/NLOS-BSM targets, since by its own admission, both the PAD & AAD have not lived up to expectations, which consequently gave rise to the need for developing the PDV & AD family of interceptor-missiles.
Thirdly, the writer displays a spectacularly skewed understanding of how nuclear deterrence works out globally through his bizarre example of ‘virtual attrition’, which I guess is a byproduct of his compulsively utopian netherworld. For, the reality today is that it is far cheaper to deploy different types of nuclear weapons (ballistic missiles, NLOS-BSMs & air-/submarine/-ground-launched cruise missiles) with a varied mix of crossover points than it is to deploy TMD/BMD/CMD defence networks-in-depth—something both China & Pakistan are engaging in right now. It is therefore very clear in whose favour the economics of the competition are loaded. Therefore, having regressive daydreams about inflicting virtual attrition on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is most likely to result in a quantitative increase by China of its India-specific nuclear weapons vectors, and if India then decides to expand its BMD coverage to counter China, this will only result in an arms race in which India will most certainly emerge as the nett loser.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Fourthly, there’s this absolutely wild supposition as opposed to hard evidence: “Surely, a user team from the Indian Army, present at Wheeler Island at the time of the test, got to examine the operation of the entire system in more detail than a few foreign satellites observing a Chinese test? In fact given that both Air Marshal Barbora and Maj Gen Saxena were present at this particular test on July 26, 2010, it is quite possible that the shield will be operated by a joint Army-Air Force team under the direct command of the SFC.” One, the ITR & Wheeler Island is not an exclusive DRDO preserve, but is constantly used by the armed forces for live-fire proving/validation & it is not at all surprising to see three-star or two-star military officials present at Wheeler Island dropping by at the DRDO’s launch control centre to become ‘incidental guests’ during any DRDO-led missile test-firing activity. This is precisely what happened on July 26, 2010, & also on February 10, 2012, when the DRDO test-fired the AAD-05 in its final deliverable user-configuration mode. And who were there from the armed forces to witness it? According to the DRDO’s own press release (http://www.drdo.gov.in/drdo/English/dpi/press_release/AAD_DRDO_Press_release_10022011.pdf), “the mission was also witnessed by the senior officials of three armed forces”—these ‘senior’ officials being so senior that the DRDO did not think it worthwhile to mention their names and ranks! Contrast this with the DRDO publicising the names & ranks of those armed forces officials every time a nuclear-capable ballistic has been test-fired 05 in its final deliverable user-configuration mode. What does that tell us? Two, only an ill-informed person can engage in wild speculation about the operational charter, functions & responsibilities of both the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), and the type of command exercised over a particular weapon system. For starters, the SFC ONLY has operational control over the deployment & usage of India’s nuclear arsenal. Ensuring continental air defence—especially high-altitude air defence—against all types of airborne threats in various theatres of operation has always been the IAF’s preserve & will continue to be so for logical reasons. Two, no weapon system can ever be operated or maintained by a joint services team, for this is the very anti=thesis of a functional & hierarchical command-and-control system.
Lastly, there’s the utterly wrong assumption, this being “Now with the Pakistani economy in doldrums, wouldn't it make sense for India to "destabilise" the strategic equation by forcing Pakistan to pour more money and resources into an arms build-up it cannot afford?”----------It is Pakistan’s civilian economy that’s in doldrums, not its self-sufficient military-run economy that has already been described in Parliament by no less a person than the former Pakistani PM Yousuf Raza Gilani as being a ‘state within a state’. Therefore, for an armed force that receives a total of 70,000 barrels of crude oil totally free on a daily basis from both Saudi Arabia & the UAE, sustaining an arms build-up against India is the least of its worries.

Anonymous said...

Nice article Prasun.

So in short IN will be procuring 16 shallow-water ASW patrol vessels, 4 + 8 (proposed) Project 28 ASW corvettes being built by GRSE, 20 guided missiles corvettes for which Visby and MEKO CSL are the finalist (http://trishul-trident.blogspot.com/2011/12/indian-navy-swears-by-its-tavor-family.html).
Am i right ?
Are we gonna produce just 3 20000 ton SSBN or orders for more in the next 5 year plan will be placed ? Also is thew money for these SSBN alloted or we will have to wait ? When the work on these 3 SSBN will start as the hull of s1,s2,s3 is completed and even the hull of s4 might also be completed by the end of 2012 ?

Is there a separate line for SSN is gonna be planned or the line for SSBN and SSN will be the same ? Its important because if its one and the same then IN will have to wait for SSN until all the SSBNs are finished and lets just be honest our shipyard doesn't like to complete any project without atleast 3 years of delays.

Till now drdo has only talked about 6000 km SLBM. Is there officially any plan for longer range SLBM ? I am asking this because i totally agree with your idea of IN having 8000 + km range SLBM.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.11AM: The Project 28 ASW corvette programme has been capped at four units only. There won’t be any additional 4 project 28A corvettes. The CNS’ farewell speech made that pretty clear. Procurement of 20 guided-missile corvettes has also been postponed. Orders for S-5/6/7 SSBNs will be placed ONLY AFTER the DAE has completed developing a 200mW PWR. Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) does not mean the money has started flowing. AoN only means that funding for the programme will pledged, but not released. And who said that hulls for S-3/4 will be completed by 2012? Don’t forget that keel-laying of S-2 took place in 1998 & the hull could only be completed by 2009. This means that S-3 will be completed only by 2015 at the latest, and S-4 by 2018. It is still early to talk about SSNs since only preliminary negotiations are underway. As of now, the SBC in Vizag is the only place where nuclear-powered submarines are fabricated. There are no plans to build any other such facility elsewhere. Regarding SLBMs, it is the IN that has stated that it wants a 8,500km-range SLBM. Whether nor nir the DRDO can develop it is another matter altogether.
Yesterday, at a seminar organised by the OBSERVER RESEARCH FOUNDATION in New Delhi, & titled “Enhancing the Maritime Capacity of India”, many more details emerged about the problems of India’s shipbuilding industries & the reasons for the delay in launching IAC-1. There are a lot more reasons why the IAC-1 is getting delayed to as far as 2018. Will update the narrative of this thread later tonight.

KSingh said...

Prasun, you say the SPB is now the defacto Marine force of the IN, does this mean they will be trained in the full spectrum of amphibious assualts and will their "eliteness" be equivilent of say the USMC? Also what will the eventual size of this force be exactly?

If it is true the SPB is now an assualt Marine expedtionary force why has there been 0 mention of this in the media?


And does this mean the entire future marine force will be equipped with Tavorsm US UCM camo, side arms, kevlar helmets, hands-free comms, good boots right from the outset? As you have said recent pics of IN guys with Tavors at INS Sadhryi induction a few weeks back WERE defiantly SPB and NOT MARCOs.


Who will train them and what will their training consit of?


Surely down the line they will need dedicated helos, ICVs and tanks?

Shaurya said...

Prasun,
Why such a drastic measure to cap the P28 corvettes at 4 units only?! I agree that they have some design deficiencies, heavier. But to overcome these the modular construction, building the 3rd & 4th unit of composite material had been finalised and for these help has been sought and received from foreign shipyard. Isn't it? What happens to the expertise gained in those technologies if there is no followon contracts?

Thanks

Ranjit Rai said...

Some one wanted to know details of AIP.
FUEL CELL German and used by Italians also in S212 TODARO class means heat created by 02 plus H2(Methanol) with Anode water producing electrical energy to run the submarine motor. GOOD

FUEL CELL Russians claim KRISTAL & DRDO at DMRL at Ambernath claims it has small trial unit and L&T helping with special fuel. DCNS has seen the place. HINDU has details.

MESMA ..France. Generates steam via special Ethanol to turn Turbines closed loop like nuclear loop. S 80 Spain sightly different uses Bio Ethanol so better as easily available .But cumbersome ask Pakistan Navy. India Navy has option on Scorpenes

STERLING ENGINE Closed cycle up and down engine to give propulsion designed by MAN TECHNOLOGIES long ago and sold to KOKUMS Sweden. I met inventor ...its good and easy. Full details of AIP in some issue of India Strategic and will put up on www.indiadefenceupdate.com
RR

AK said...

Hi Prasun , can u pls visit Indian Army article and identify the tanks named Barchha . and another both at Ludhiana junction .Are these T-55 ,T-72 ,T-72M1 ?
How can TANK EX option be the best ? So many Arjun mk1a turrets need to be produced and this only will take a lot of money . Fitting composite armour tiles, blocks on upper & lower glacis , turret,belly and on hull sides would be far more cheap and will provide excellent protection from almost all sectors . Rheinmetall can be asked to provide with AMAP customised for T-72M1. OR Russians can come up with a good composite armour package . And it would be better to go for whole Arjun tank than hybridising the T-72. The tanks in those pics in wikipedia are also in a very poor condition . They with such thin armour & poor condition are battle unworthy .

Can you pls tell what are the armour mprovements in T-72 CIA apart from ERA blocks? In T-90 , are there any ERA blocks present in the turret rear and sides apart from the clam shaped ones in front.Are there any composite armour present between ERA blocks and base armour in Army T-90 .

Anonymous said...

Sir , "The SSN issue is still under discussions with France & therefore it would have been premature on the CNS’ part to disclose any firm data ." If the discussions doent go well ,where will MoD go for SSN ? Does the IN have firm plans for aquiring 9 SSN ?Is procurement of SSN lists among IN's top priorities. The Scorpenes are meant as replacements of Foxtrots. Only 2 of them were in service but they have now been decommisioned . So IN'S submarine fleet will consist of 9 Kilo class , 4 Type 209 & 6 Scorpenes. Media had stated that Scorpenes will replace older Sindhugosh class. Another mistake by desi journos. What will replace Kilo , Type 209 ? Or they have many more yeras of service left .

Anonymous said...

Sir , I am anon at 7:49 PM.

1. TTSL means extending the technical life of airframe , engines , etc . In this the entire aircraft is stripped out. All TTSL extending procedures consits of zerolifing. Am i right .

2. What is SLEP ? Is it upgrading the avionics , sensors and various systems of the aircraft so that it remains contemporary and not becomes outdated . Pls tell about SLEP . Whats the difference between SLEP and upgrades?

3.You havent answered , When a new fighter aircraft is purchased does it come with a service life of 35-40 yrs or the service life increases each time the aircraft goes through life extension ?

4. Up till now , Mirage 2000 ; Mig-27,29 ,Jaguar IS & IM had gone theough SLEP but not TTSL . Now during mid-life upgrade of Mirage 2000 will it be zero-lifed , have its TTSL extended ?
Haveny nly 40 MiG-27 been upgraded.

5. Did IAF only bought 40 Mi-8 from USSR ? Or more nos have been procured? Whats the total no MiL Mi-17V1 in IAF service barring the V5 that are now arriving ?

6. Are any new weapons , pods being bought from Russia as part of MiG-29 UPG upgrade package like MICA for Mirages .

Anonymous said...

Sir ,
http://idrw.org/?p=13313#more-13313

How much ordance & ammunition is stored in these depots? Do they store only ammunition for small arms such as insas , AK-47 or ammunition for the entire war machines of Army such as tank ammo , howitzer ammo , surface to air missiles , cannon shells for air defense guns ? Are they the facilities where Army stores ammo for its day to day operations , war reserves ?
Loss of money is not so damaging as the loss of vital ammunition supplies . are the losses of various ammo , war reserves replenished or there is a shortfall ? Do these dpots have mrsam & shorads cover as they will be attractive targers for air strikes during hostilities .

Anonymous said...

prasun sir
i want to ask following question from u
1- which fighter will be carry by vikrant class(new) aircraft carrier..
2- indian army getting light tanks for deploying them near china border, if yes then which tanks are contenders for this...
3- which selfpropelled artillery will be deployed by indian army & what is the status of bhim self propelled artilery , is bhim project has been canceled by drdo or indian army...

sir please give answer of this.....

Rahul said...

Hi PRASUN , the present 3 Spyder SR regiments are replacing OSA-AK ,Strella or it will be the 8 more regiments that will be replacing these legacy assets.

What do you mean by mk1? RBS-70 mk1 ? Akash mk1? Will Apaches have laser emission warner and laser jammer ?

Cant Rudra carry 8 ATGM. HAL official brochure says it will be able to carry 8 ATGMs. It will be equipped with advanced defensive suite & IR jammer according to HAL. What IR jammer has been selected? HAL can go for DIRCM instead of IR jammer. Can IR jammer and dircm be fitted and operated on same platform . Cant HAL strenghten the stub wings to carry 8 atgms or 16 if it presently can carry only 4 atgms.

Anonymous said...

HiPrasun,

How much of a threat do u think the Chinese would think of say the stuxnet kind of worm (buit by the American alliance) w.r.t their military network

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSINGH: The USMC was never classified as an ‘elite’ corps by anyone. It has specialised detachments within it, but there’s nothing ‘elite’ among them. In the US’ scheme of things, when it came to unloading boots on the ground, it was always the USMC that acted as the first responder, but that never made it ‘elite’ in any manner. Unlike the USMC, the SPB will not be employed for expeditionary warfare for overseas invasions, but will be equipped for undertaking amphibious assaults aimed at recapturing India’s lost island-territories in case they’re lost to the enemy. A reinforced amphibious brigade will not number more than 5,000. All this has already been published in some magazines in the past. I had written about it since 2005. Since the SPB’s marine expeditionary brigade will be equipped for waging land warfare, equipment like helicopter-gunships & light tracked/wheeled armoured vehicles, plus breech-loading mortar-equipped APCs & APC-mounted MBRLs will be procured in future. Training is being conducted in-house.

To SHAURYA: Ideally, only procuring a minimum of six vessels of any type makes financial sense. But, as you may be aware, India’s officials from the Navy or the MoD are not exactly savvy when it comes to such issues and therefore, ill-conceived and uncommercial decisions are routinely taken, resulting in prohibitively expensive locally-built warships being procured. The expertise gained by GRSE from Kockums AB in using composites-built structures will be applied for the three P-17A FFGs that will be built in future (this being yet another uncommercial & financially disastrous decision).

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AK: Those are T-72Ms. Trying to upgrade an existing T-72M1 without incorporating a totally new-build redesigned turret will be a futile & money-wasting exercise. No one in the world, the Russians included, is interested in developing AMAP for T-72s. There are globally only two viable options for upgrading the T-72—one is the TANK EX option, & the other is from Israeli’s ELBIT Systems, which also does away with the existing turret. What needs to be done is this: A) transfer all the moulds, jigs & tools associated with the T-72’s production engineering processes to a private-sector company (preferably L & T), so that the T-72’s existing hull can be modified & upgraded to accept a 1,000hp engine that’s been developed by DRDO out of the V46-6, plus a RENK-built automatic transmission. B) Authorise HVF Avadi to produce 1,000 turrets of the Arjun Mk1A (minus the stupid ERA tiles) & have them shipped to L & T’s facilities for integration with the upgraded hull. This will make L & T the prime contractor for the TANK EX’s production, with HVF acting as the prime sub-contractor. C) Award a contract to TATA Advanced Materials Ltd (TAML) to come up with composites-based AMAP package for the turret & frontal hull, while the HVF can supply the slat-armour for the MBT’s engine & rear sections.
This is the ONLY viable option for upgrading the T-72M1s in a way that maximises local content & also enables the HVF’s Arjun production facility to stay afloat. In case you’re not aware of the troubles plaguing the Arjun MBT programme, read this: http://forcenewsmagazine.blogspot.in/2012/08/pressure-on-ground.html

To Anon@7.36PM: The nine Type 877EKMs will be replaced by the six P-75I SSKs. By 2015 the first three Type 877EKMs will have to be decommissioned. After undergoing refurbishment & upgrading, the Type 877EKMs have only an extra 10-year lifespan. The four Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs will be in service till 2022.

To Anon@8.01PM: TTSL is not the same as relifing. TTSL in the specified lifespan of a product. SLEP & upgrades are the same. Not all aircraft come with 40-year TTSL. The Russian TTSL figures are four times lesser than their Western counterparts. Mirage 2000s are NOT being zero-lifed. Their TTSL stays the same. They’re only being upgraded with new avionics suite. The airframe & engine stays the same. The IAF procured 60 Mi-8Ts in the 1970s & 60 Mi-17s in the 1980s. 40 Mi-171s were acquired in 2000 & it is these that are being upgraded with new avionics suites. Armaments for the MiG-29UPG will be the same as those for the MiG-29Ks.

To Anon@10.15PM: Central Ordnance Depots store all kinds of ammunition. War reserves have not been replenished after 2002, that’s what caused the acute shortages. Obviously such Depost have air-defence cover.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.31PM: IAC-1 will have on-board support equipment for ONLY MiG-29Ks. If IAC-1 were to have similar hardware for the LCA (Navy) Mk2, then IAC-1’s commissioning will have to be postponed to 2030. No one knows what kind of on-board support equipment will be reqd for the LCA (Navy) Mk2 unless & until the LCA (Navy) Mk2s are based on the IAC-1. Only then will the LCA (Navy) Mk2’s product support & fuel consumption/armaments dispensing patterns will become known. If sich data is not available now, how can one plan to deploy any other combat aircraft other than the MiG-29Ks on board IAC-1. No light tanks are being acquired for deployment along the LAC, simply because the PLA Army itself has begun deploying heavy MBTs on its side of the border. What’s therefore reqd is the deployment by India of TANK EX-type MBTs & the urgent upgrading of road/rail transportation infrastructure all along the LAC, especially in eastern Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh. Bhim SPH was cancelled by the MoD, & not the DRDO or IA.

To RAHUL: The eight planned regiments will replace the existing OSA-AK & Strella-13M. Mk1 eyeball in aviation parlance means ‘human eyes’ (aankhein). The Block 3 Apaches will have laser warners, but not jammers. Rudra can carry 8 ATGMs, but not 8 HELINAs. There’s no IR jammers on the Rudra, only IR countermeasures dispensers. Worldwide, no helicopter-gunship has IR jammers or laser jammers. For attack helicopters, lightweight IR jammers are available from HALBIT Avionics & are likely to be installed on the LCH & on the VVIP AW-101s.

To Anon@12.56AM: No threat at all. Because all computerised hardware procured by China is built indigenously & has no import content that can hide any kind of malware.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

I read on the internet that Now Indian SU 30 MKI has the MARK 3 VERSION of BARS Radar and this Mark 3 version has also got Indian Inputs

could you PLEASE give some more details about HOW GOOD is the MARK 3 version of the BARS radar

Anonymous said...

prasun sir is combat improved ajeya is gud enough to tackle with chinese and pakistani tank and sir why indian army not inducting tank Ex to its arsnel...is this tank is only technology demonstrator....& sir did u think mig29 k is realy gud fighter for indian navy can we compare it usnavy .f18 superhornet and above all sir thank u for giving answer iac1 fighter

Anonymous said...

prasun sir
in present situation what is the use of mig 27 & jaguar in IAF , are these fighter are comparable to Usaf A10 or russian airforce su 24 and su 25, or this fighter become obsolete for today's warfare situation...if yes then why IAF upgrading these jets....

Anonymous said...

The following article mentions limitations pertaining to Arjun Mk2 hence the army not going in for substantial numbers for the same.

Arjun Mk2.

Request you to clarify the same

rad said...

hi Prasun

there was an article in another blog where it clearly states the we indian keep shooting ourselves by banning companies like IWI etc, do you think the gov will act or St antony will go his own way. I t also says t hat civilian defense analysts would be consulted , would you get a chance to serve the nation?. Or because you speak bluntly, will they keep you out.what is the qualification to be a defense advisor .I think chamchas will only be hired.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

Reg. the Indian army procurement of 8 regimentd of QRSAM...Though it is still in RFI stage..Do u you know abt the prbable vendors?

Thanks

Shaurya said...

Prasun,
Couple of questions-
P28 capped at just 4 unit & no follow on orders or program like P28A, also missile corvette orders on hold, whats IN upto? They want to leave all the ASW operation in the hands of P8Is?! Lets forget about financial point of view but is it even operationally viable? To cover the huge area of coastal shallow waters, also to provide ASW cover for CBGs, how many P8Is then we will need?!


Regarding the article on Arjun, also couple of doubts-
1. I always believed that the current version being used by IA is Mk1, the one is in trial is Mk1A and the future version will be Mk2, followed by Mk3(just like Merkava), as said by you. But DRDO & every other source of information always classify them as Mk1, Mk2 followed by FMBT? Is it something with IA's mindset that DRDO wants to change by claiming FMBT will be a totally new design?

2. Regarding the weight issues of Mk1A, when IA itself has asked for the improvements(NOT redesign) over the Mk1,then they must have been aware that adding more armor, APS & other equipment will result more weight of Arjun. Don't tell me that they didn't think about it then!

3. And regarding FMBT, why on earth a 50-55 ton tank will require a 1800hp engine. Isn't a 1500hp more than enough? Shouldnt they invest more time in fuel efficiency("kitna deti hai"), better transmission and engine reliability?

4. Last of all, is it even viable to think of developing a FMBT of 50-55 tons. When rest of the world is going ahead with heavy tanks and in future we are expecting to see addition of more sensors, armor and armaments than the current tank(like the current decade we saw the addition of APS). How much realistic it is even with the best metallurgical technology available currently? Only tank of recent design comes close to this is JSDF Type-10 of close to 50 tons weight that too without APS, heavy tank skirt & with only 1200 hp powerpack!


Thanks in advance!(& please ignore my lack of knowledge)

Anonymous said...

sir a couple of points that are in the force article is contradicting what you have said before...they are...

1- the tank is trials was a mk2 and not arjun mk1a...and they were army trials and not cvrde/drdo mobility-firepower trials...

2-the mk2 will have the same 1400hp engine of the mk1



SIR I ALSO WANTED TO ASK THAT 'WHY OUR JOURNOS ARE CONTINUOUSLY COMING UP WITH BS PROPAGANDA' THAT

1 "ARMY IS SAYING THAT ARJUN IS TOO HEAVY"

2 "AS A RESULT IT CANT BE USED IN DESERTS..ETC.ETC"

WHILE THEY ALWAYS FAIL TO PROVIDE CREDIBLE SOURCES THAT PROVES THEIR CLAIMS...

SIR ALSO I WANT TO BRING IT TO YOUR NOTICE THAT LIVEFIST IS USING THIS FORCE ARTICLE....AND ADDING SOME SERIOUS FALSE CLAIMS AND BS STUFF ON ITS OWN THAT IS CERTAINLY NOT PRESENT IN THE FORCE ARTICLE....PLZZ SEE INTO THIS...

CUZ ALOT OF PPL SEE THIS STUFF AND AND OBVIOUSLY THEN TEND TO HAVE A VERY NEGATIVE VIEW TOWARDS INDIAN DEF-PROFUCTS...

Anonymous said...

Sir what are the weights of arjun mk1 and mk2 tanks with and without mine plows ??

is there any way fh 77b howitzer's caliber be increased to 52cal instead of the 45cal drdo is currently aka slapping the metamorphous 45cal on fh77...??

what solutions are being looked regarding the acquisition of the artilerry..plz post the link if already discussed..

will the mk2 55cal cannon be imported or will be it of indigenous design ??

Anonymous said...

what is the weight of indian t 90 tank with without mine plows ??

what is the engine power of the t90 ??

is it 1000hp or 1250hp ??

Anonymous said...

Is there any update on R95 aam?
Any news on the cft's for tejas mk2?
what is the mtow,internal fuel capacity,max speed,range,ferry range & combat radius of tejas mk1 & jf 17?

Rahul said...

Hi PRASUN , Why cant HAL designers strenghten the stub wings of Rudra so that it can carry 8 ATGM including HELINA. The HELINA is overweight at 50 kgs. 8 Helina will weigh 400 kg. The normal Druv has a payload of 2600 kgs. So cant it carry 8 HELINA. Whats the big deal in strenghtening and redigning the stub wings. Why does HAL beochure show it will have IR jammer ? What will be the ballistic tolerance of its body , rotors?

No helicopter gunships carry IR jammer. But Apache carries one. RAF Lynx carries IR jammers. Cant both IR jammer as well as DIRCM be fitted onn a helicopter ? Why doesnt Apache block 3 have DIRCM?

If IA requires more SPPAG cant it procure SA-21 Panstir instead of M1 Tunguska .When will RFP for 3 more SHORADS regiments be issued? Why cant IA place orders for 8 regiments all at once for faster delivery instead of breaking the orders .

Anonymous said...

Sir , Why will 6 P-75I replace 9 Project 877 subs ? What about the other three ? India purchased the 1st Kilo class submarine in 1986 , the same time it inducted into service the 1st Shishumar class. If Shishumar class subs can stay in service upto 2022, why cant the Russian ones? Will P-75I boats be as quiet as Kilo class ? They were nicknamed black holes in oceans by NATO. How do the Scorpenes , S-80 compare to Project 87 boats in terms of diving depth , submerged max & sustained speed ,armament, sonar & ESM suite .

Anonymous said...

Hi , Does IA have any T-72B model ? Whats the difference between T-72 M & M1 ?Do our T-72 have composite turret and hull filler just like Soviet supeer Dolly Parton . ?

spanky's Blog said...

Hi Prasun,
Thanks for the reply! That piece really confused me. Thanks for clearing the things up..

swarop

Anonymous said...

Sir , I am anon at 8:01 PM.

1. You got me a bit wrong . I am saying about extending TTSL and not only TTSL. All TTSL extending procedures consist of zero-lifing .

2.When will Mirage 2000 undergo TTSL extension procedures? Why isnt its TTSL being extended during SLEP ? Will this be carried after the whole fleet undergoes SLEP ?

3. Why only 20 out of 60 Mi-8T are being relifed ? Are the rest decommisioned ?

4. When will 60 Mil Mi-17 that were procured in 1970s go through SLEP and TTSL ? When deliveries of newly ordered Mi-17 are completed will IAF fleet have 60+40+40+40 Mi-17 and 20 Mi-8 ?

5.When will IAF procure standoff ground attack missiles, glide bombs , anti -radiation missiles. The IAF has absolutely no standoff PGM. If present , they are in very small nos .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.21AM: The Mk3 version of the Su-30MKI’s NO-11M ‘Bars’ PESA MMR is in fact the HAL-assembled the 660kg RLSU-30MK, whose two radar data processing computers (RC-1 & RC-2) + 27 PESA antenna arrays are of Indian origin. You can see the photos at: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2011/05/super-su-30mki-from-air-dominance-to.html

To Anon@10.54AM: The IA’s T-72CIA can at best hold out on its own against the original Type 69IIMP, Type 85IIAP & Al Zarrar MBTs of the Pakistan Army. But once the Type 69IIMPs & Type 85IIAPs have been upgraded (this is now in progress), the T-72CIA loses out. Against the Chinese ZTZ-96G too, the T-72CIA comes out poorly. There is also an as-yet undesignated MBT designed specifically for operations along the LAC which began arriving in Tibet earlier this year. Hence the need for undertaking a deep upgrade of the T-72M1s, & the TANK EX option is the best available option at the moment. Both the Al Khalid & T-80UD can easily match up to the unmodified T-90S, but once the upgraded T-90S (now being subjected to user-trials in Pokhran) becomes available, they will be able to upstage the existing Al Khalids & T-80UDs. But what will happen when the Al Khalid is upgraded in the very near future? That’s where the Arjun Mk1 comes in, since the basic hull & turret of the Arjun has much greater upgrade potential than that of the Al Khalid.
MiG-29K with Zhuk-M2E slotted-array radar cannot even come close to the Super Hornet, be it for beyond-visual-range combat or standoff precision strikes. MiG-27UPG is today used just like the Jaguar IS, i.e. for tactical interdiction when equipped with Litening-2 LDPs & BGL/Paveway-3 LGBs. A-10As & Su-25s are dedicated tank-busters and therefore cannot be compared with the MiG-27UPG & Jaguar IS. The Su-24 is like the USAF F-111 & JH-7A of China. The Jaguar IS, unlike the MiG-27UPG, will stay in service till 2030 at least & the forthcoming deep-SLEP (inclusive of re-engining & new DARIN-3 avionics suite) will ensure this.

To Anon@3.18PM: Yes, there are several clarifications that need to be made, since the articles do not present a total perspective of the entire situation. I will elaborate further on this on a new thread that will also disclose the on-going MBT force modernisation efforts of China & Pakistan, & what needs to be done on India’s part.

To RAD: I will upload the exact picture of the present-day mess in procurements, particularly naval procurements, later tonight. That will give everyone a bird’s eyeview of what exactly is at stake, & what needs to be done.

To Anon@3.28PM: Probable vendors for both the IA & IAF include Raytheon’s SL-AMRAAM, Russia’s Vityaz, BGT Defence/Diehl’s IRIS-T-SL, MBDA’s VL-MICA, BAE Systems’ Jernas/Rapier 2000, & the SpyDer-SR.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SHAURYA: What it all amounts to is the adoption of an ad-hoc approach to fleet force modernisation—plain & simple. Will update the narrative above later tonight, which will explain everything. But even with additional ASW vessels, the total envisaged reqmt for P-8Is stands at 32, if one does away with the MRMR/ASW platform reqmt & standardizes on a single LRLR/ASW platform-type.
Regarding the Arjun MBT saga, the Mk1A is the upgraded version of Arjun Mk1 & that’s what’s being subjected to user-trials right now. The Mk2 version features a redesigned hull to accommodate the US-based Cummins’ QSK-38 liquid-cooled, direct-injection engine coupled to the ESM-500 automatic transmission. This development goes back to late 2008 when Germany’s RENK and Austria’s AVL refused to provide consultancy for the indigenous development of the automatic transmission & 1,500hp engine. It was at that time that the Cummins/SESM package was selected & it was also decided to go for an imported autoloader (the one that’s on the LeClerc MBT) & DRDO officials during AERO INDIA 2011 confirmed this & this info was then published by THE HINDU. For unknown reasons, the redesigned Arjun Mk2’s existence continues to be kept secret by CVRDE, perhaps due to fears that the FMBT’s R & D’s future prospects may be jeapordised if the CVRDE continues to harp about the Arjun MBT’s future growth prospects. Now, coming to the FMBT, no one in the world except the CVRDE is talking about developing a 50-/55-tonne (inclusive of track-width mine-plough) MBT. Instead, everyone, including the Russians & Ukrainians & Germans, are talking about their respective FMBTs becoming even more heavier than what they’ve developed up till now, & being powered by 1,800hp powerpacks. Therefore, if either the CVRDE or the Indian Army are contemplating the procurement of 50-/55-tonne FMBTs powered by 1,500hp powerpacks, then this is at best a pipedream that will be impossible to achieve. And why the need for a 1,500hp powerpack for a 50-/55-tonne MBT when a 1,400hp powerpack is considered more than enough for even a 58.5-tonne Arjun Mk1? To me, therefore, it appears that the CVRDE is very confused because it isn’t receiving any definitive GSQR from Army HQ regarding the FMBT (i.e. whether to develop a heavier Arjun Mk3 powered by 1,800hp powerpack, or whether to design a FMBT around the 1,500hp QSK-38 engine coupled to ESM-500 automatic transmission + an autoloader for the 120mm smoothbore cannon.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Continued from above...
And Army HQ is confused about its future MBT reqmts/force structure simply because the root-problem, which is that the MoD, after OP Parakram in 2002, has not yet authorised any of the three armed forces to formally adopt much-reqd new warfighting doctrines against an adversary against a nuclear backdrop. It’s a matter of common sense that first, one needs to know what needs to be done, and only then can only equip oneself with the tools (hardware) & intellect to do what’s required. It is the MoD that has to spell the higher directions of war & only then will the armed forces know exactly what the warfighting goals/objectives are & how best they are to be met & with what kind of hardware is reqd to attain those objectives. Since all this has not happened, the armed service HQs are only condemned to second-guessing what’s on the minds of India’s civilian political decision-makers, who on their part have clearly demonstrated that they don’t have the stomach for waging even limited high-intensity theatre-level conventional war against adversaries like Pakistan (hence the political directive in mid-1999 during OP Vijay/OP Safed Sagar of not venturing beyond the LoC, even when India’s Parliament had already passed a resolution saying that POK/Azad Kashmir & Northern Areas are integral parts of India). Therefore, to play it safe, the armed forces have since 2003 all decided to focus on capability-based force modernisation issues involving futuristic weapons procurements, instead of focusing on immediate & medium-term threat perceptions. Consequently, immediate force modernisation priorities like the Arjun Mk1A & Mk2 have become the scapegoats.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.59PM: My comments above to a large extent also address your concerns. I will elaborate further on this on a new thread that will also disclose the on-going MBT force modernisation efforts of China & Pakistan, & what needs to be done on India’s part.

Anonymous said...

From Anon @3.28PM

Hi Prasun da

Thanks for your update.First time i am hearing about the Russian vitiyaz.It seems it will replace the S300 in Russia.THe system Looks cool.Can u provide more data reagarding this SAM and the missile or can u give some link where I can get some credible info..And which SAM do u think suits best for IA ?

Thanks in advance

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Just Google for MSAM-MRADS-Vityaz & you'll see a PDF file which you can download & read. But in terms of performance, both the SpyDer-SR & BGT Defence/Diehl’s IRIS-T-SL are expected to be the best offers. The latter, in reality, offers a capability that is better than the projected Akash Mk2, but is far less bulkier & is air-transportable.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SPANKY’s BLOG/SWAROP: The reality is best described by Dr Sanjay Badri-Maharaj, who has stated the following:
1) DRDO has demonstrated a BMD simulation system where interceptors have successfully intercepted targets under controlled conditions at ceilings of 15km to 75km.
2) There were 6 successful intercepts of targets simulating SRBMs and MRBMs with no RV intercepts. However, this does not make a BMD system that is anywhere near operational.
3) Rather it is a technology demonstration (TD) system that cannot be considered for an IOC but now lessons need to be taken and used in the PDV/AD-1/AD-2 system.

To Anon@5.09PM: There appears to be some discrepancies being quoted around as far as weights go. To give a breakdown, the fully loaded Arjun Mk1 minus the CVRDE-designed track-width mine plough (TWMP) weighs 58.5 tonnes. With the CVRDE-designed TWMP the weight goes up to 62 tonnes. The Arjun Mk1A minus the TWMP weighs 61.5 tonnes, primarily due to the new internal ammunition containerisation system & stowage capacity for LAHAT missiles, & the 0.50-cal remotely controlled weapon station. The TWMP, this time a lighter hardware imported (by BEML) from US-based Pearson Engineering weighs only 1.5 tonnes. The Kontakt-5 ERA tiles weigh only 1.5 tonnes. So, all-up weight of the Arjun Mk1A should be 64.5 tonnes. If one generously adds in another 1 tonne of SLAT armour for the MBT’s rear portion, the weight would reach only 65.5 tonnes as claimed elsewhere. If the ERA tiles are done away with & an APS suite is installed, the weight would come down to less than 65 tonnes. ERA tiles do not offer sustained protection, while the APS does.
For details on field artillery, kindly proceed to the earlier threads on DEFEXPO 2012 & Eurosatory 2012.

To RAHUL: I don’t think the HELINA will be available anytime soon & that’s why the PARS-3LR & Spike-ER have been evaluated. The Rudra’s stub-wings can definitely be redesigned & strengthened (like those on the Eurocopter AS.565 Panther) to carry eight ATGMs. A miniaturised IR jammer called C-MUSIC, if reqd, is easily from HALBIT Avionics Ltd & the same will also be on board the LCH. The Apaches too can incorporate them. But DIRCMs are way too big for such helicopters. SPAAG is not an urgent reqmt, since the IAF is well-equipped to guarantee localised tactical air superiority. Cash-flow is the main reason why all eight Regiments cannot be ordered at once for the IA.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.06PM: It is believed that the S-2/3/5 SSBNs will eventually be used as SSGNs. Russian Type 877EKM SSKs have a far shorter lifespan. Furthermore, they’re no longer in production, since they have been superceded by the Type 636 SSKs of the type in service with China & on order from Vietnam. All SSKs, when running only on battery power, are ultra-quiet, not just the Type 877EKMs. The S-80 Super Scorpene’s hull integrity & construction materials are all similar to those for nuclear-powered submarines & therefore they will be superior to the Type 877EKM in every respect.

To Anon@7.10PM: No T-72Bs were supplied to India by the USSR/Russia. T-72M has 740hp engine & T-72M1 has 820hp engine.

To Anon@10.50PM: TTSL extension programmes are quite rare, as every airframe manufacturer wants to sell new-build aircraft. Only those in dire need of business, like RAC-MiG, therefore undertake TTSL extension programmes for aircraft like the MiG-21, MiG-27 & MiG-29. For Mirage 2000s there’s no TTSL extension programme available. SLEP for the IAF’s Mirage 2000s involves only an upgrade of the avionics suite, & not a deep upgrade like that of the MiG-29UPG. Yes, the bulk of the Mi-8Ts have been decommissioned. The 60 Mi-17s of the 1970s will be decommissioned as well progressively once all 80 Mi-17V-5s are delivered. EDventually, the IAF’s Mi-17 fleet will comprise 80 + 59 Mi-17V-5s & 40 Mi-171s. The IAF has Kh-59ME & Popeye standoff PGMs. Next to come will be the Taurus/KEPD-350-type ALCM & the longer-range Nirbhay & LRCM. The Sudarshan LGB is a glide-bomb of sorts, & a rocket-powered version of this LGB (like the AASM Hammer) is now under development.

KSingh said...

Prasun, do the IAF/IA have systems like the US "bird bath" that is used to clean SUPER HERCs and other a/c to clean all their a/c from transports to fighters to helos?




+ will the entire SPB force be equipped like we have seen with US UCM, Tavors (with UGBL), kevlar kelmets and side arms? Also will they also be used in shipe borne tasks like VBSS ( I know IN has dedicated VBSS teams) as in the Gulf of Aden many nations like US,UK and France have deployed their respective marine infantry units such as USMC and Royal Marines.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSingh: Yes, similar systems are with the IAF, though they do not feature the levels of automation as seen on Western systems. But they will slowly find their way through into the IAF. The SPB force will have detachments of specialised personnel for various tasks, but those earmarked for amphibious assault operations will be as well-equipped as the regular Army infantry units, such as being equipped with 81mm & 120mm mortars, AGLs, sniper rifles, Tavor assault rifles & SMGs, etc. VBSS is essentially a constabulary function that does not require heavy firepower. Therefore, VBSS teams worldwide make use of only small arms, carbines, hand-grenades & night-vision goggles. But those marine infantry forces of the US, France & the UK that are operating in the Horn of Africa are combat units on standby for littoral warfare (both on-shore & offshore) & therefore are equipped with anti-materiel rifles, sniper rifles, and handheld AGLs. The PLA Navy’s VBSS teams, on the other hand, are equipped with anti-materiel rifles, sniper rifles, and handheld AGLs, something which the IN’s VBSS teams lack at the moment.

rad said...

hi prasun
there is a depressing report of the arjun mk2 in another blog , is the weight so crucial that it can bog down the tank which seems the main issue. Why is army going in for the t-90 when it has been proven to be an under performer compared to the arjun in all aspects ?, wouldnt a tanker prefer the arjun to a t-90 in battle.
More over they keep forgetting the BMS systems and net centric connectivity of the arjun not found on other tanks.

Pawan said...

Dear Prasunji

Read the article about Mk2 Arjun appreciating its all qualities except weight which could limit its actual use by IA.

My query is that given weight of Markava, Leopard and Abraham and its use in difficult terrain by users like Israel, USA, Turkey is it such a difficult thing to operate Arjun in Panjab, Rajasthan Gujurat.

Regards
Pawan

Anonymous said...

parsun sir did u think mig 29upg ,mig 29k ,mig 27 & jaguar are potent fighters to encounter any threat comes from china & pakistan....is iaf maintaining this fleet only to maintaining the minimum aproved strength of squardons......& is il 38sd & tu 142 are gud maritime patrol aircraft in current warfare scenerio...

AK said...

Hi Prasun ,
Why would trying to upgrade an existing T-72M1 without incorporating a totally new-build redesigned turret will be a futile & money-wasting exercise. Whats the harm in it ?
No one in the world, the Russians included, is interested in developing AMAP for T-72s. 1000 T-72 M1 needs to be upgraded. Not 60-70 tanks. then why wouldnt Rheinmetall & Ashok Leyland develope a composite armour package for T-72 or customise AMAP to it .It is ahuge order.

Your option of upgrading to Tank-Ex is also a good one.At the same time the hull has to be up-armoured .What is the problem of replacing T-72 with Arjun mk1 on a one on one basis .?

The upgraded T-90AM is superior to AL- Khalid, AL-Zarrar at present . If Leopard 2A4 composite armour blocks are employed in T-90 AM-it would be clearly superior to the upgraded ones. If a combo of composite armour - AMAP, Russian composite armour or Kanchan & Relikt ERA blocks and panels are used together ,it would be best. Composite armour being placed above base armour & ERA blocks can be placed on it.

When will IA subject its tanks to Tank-ex upgrade or other deep upgrades. The Army should take progess of the improvements in Pa's armoured corps & focus on immediate & medium threats rather than go for capabilty based modernisation .

Pls post your thread on tank upgrades by China & Pakistan .

Anonymous said...

Sir , I am anon at 10:50 pm . A lot of thanx for your replies .

1. Mirage 2000 like other Western fighters have a 40 year TTSL . The Mirage 2000 fleet has just reached its mid-life. It still has 20 yrs of service left . So there is no need of life extension unlike Soviet and Russian jets. Am i wright or wrong ?

2. You stated that 60 Mi-17 were procured in 1980s. Not 70s.Why are they being decommisoned so soon ? Why cant they be relifed ?

3. Why cant IAF go for Mil Mi-38 instead of Mi-17 ?

4.IAF has Kh-59ME and Popeye. Bur arent both these missiles have TV seekers which means they cant be used in poor weather , poor visibilty conditions , and if smoke , fog and other obscurants are present over the target area? Dosent IAF posses any radar or IR equipped standoff land attack missiles?

5. IAF has only a 100 Popeyes and a similar no of obsolete Kh-59ME. Dont you think this is very very very small considering the neighbours we are up against . Leave the PLAAF aside. It just has too many standoof PGMs. Pakistan also has a considerable no of them . They are license producing a 60 km & 120 km version of Denel Raptor standoff missiles and both are equipped with IIR seekers. There are no counterparts in IAF inventory . And PAF possess enough nos suc that all strikes on haevily protected areas will be made with them from a standoff range to avoid SAMs thus preventing attrition . IAF still resorts to simple iron bombs launched just above the target . Even LGB ahve to be launched from close to the target both within the engagement zones of point defense sams. This in turn means huge attrition .

6. IAF has lot to learn from PLAAF & PAF in terms of offensive warfare. DRDO should develope PGMs such as Raptors with long standoff range .

Anonymous said...

Dear Prashun,

First of all thank you for your sincere work and pragmatic approach always underlined by national interest.

I have a question regarding the naval surface fleet (I have given up on the sub situation) till 2020. Assuming the life of a ship is 20/25 years and Indian jugaad can take that up to 30/35 years we have a huge problem coming up.

Rajput, Ranjit and Rana will have to be decommissioned by 2015 at all costs. Ranvir and Ranvijay can sail on till 2020 by when the first of P15B ships should start coming in. So we will have a max of 8 destroyers at any time till 2020 and a max of 10 by 2025.

All Godavaris will have to go 2015/2018 (assuming 30 years life as they are not as robust as the Rajputs). P17A will not start before 2014 and assuming 7 years for the first ship to come in we will not get any till 2020. So we will have only 12 frigates till 2020 - 6 Talwars, 3 Brahmaputras and 3 shivaliks.

That gives us 8 Destroyers and 12 frigates till 2020 best case scenario assuming no major production disruptions etc.

Coming to corvettes atleast 2 of the Khukri class corvettes will need to be decommissioned between 2015 and 2020 and atleast 5 of the Veer class. That gives a deficit of 7 till 2020 alone and more after that.

And we have no construction program to replace them...P28 has no anti ship capability at all and P 28A is not happening.

Is this analysis correct? Do you have any hopes for the situation improving?

Anonymous said...

Hi , Both the Spyder-SR & Iris -SL are supposed to be best offers.What about MICA-VL ? Isnt it any good? Spyder-SR , Mica-VL , Iris-SL have ranges of 16,20,20 km respectively. Iris & Mica have an upper hand in range. What is the best missile among these three in terms of seeker performance , agility ? What is the best buy ?

Almaz Vityag is also a good system. It offers 2 different missiles . It is being marketed as a replacement for S-123 sam complex. Why doesnt IAF procure Vityags in large nis instead of Akash mk1? They would be a better replacement for IAF S-123 batteries than Akask mk1 unless the IAF decides to have them replaced with Barak-2 .Vityaz is also better than Akash mk2.9M100 missile is designed specifically to intercept cruise missiles, NLOS-BSM, ARM , PGM. A single launcher can pack 32 such missiles. Also available is 9M96 missiles with 40 km range. Vityaz will come cheap & 8 regiments can be purchased at once .

The best option is IRIS-SLS with a range of 30 km but having a logistic base of Spyder -Sr system .

Purbayan Roy said...

Hi Prasun , Does all Su-30mki in IAF have NVG compatible cockpit instrumentation/avionics ? Are there enough NVG for Su-30 pilots that whenever they fly in dark , they wear NVGs ? With only NVG, the pilot gets to see the image he would see with his own eyes in a light intensified manner .This only increases situational awarness. But with NVG can the pilot make out the surrounding terrain features & navigate through it. Isnt a FLIR required for this purpose ? The maginfied images from FLIR sensor can be presented in NVG or HMD or HUD or HDD and this together with NVG will enable the pilot to obstacle rough terrain and have similar visibilty as during day .Thats why USAF came up with LANTIRN .An-32B tactical transports, which will be logging the bulk of the night-flying sorties to and fro the ALGs, there is an urgent need to equip such IAF-operated aircraft with enhanced flight vision avionics (EFVA) of the type presently on board the C-130J-20 Super Hercules transports and to be available on the C-17A Globemaster III. Also they need to be equipeed with chin mounted optronic sensors. The IAF is a very slow learner . Only after an accident with AN-32 UPG will AF HQ understand the importance of such sensors.

Arch Angel said...

Hey sir,my question may seem to be awkward to you but still I would like to have a reply.OK,here it is:

How good do you think Indian Army infantrymen and officers fare compared to other armies like US Army,PLAGF etc in terms of combat performance and professionalism in the wars it fought??

And how our special forces like Para SF,SFF and Ghatak fare compared to the likes of US Army Delta Force,Green Berets,Russian Spetsnaz GRU,Pakistani SSG etc?
A reply from you will be highly appreciated. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sourav said...

Hey AA,Ghataks are not special forces AFAIK.They are highly trained infantrymen.You can call them 'Special mission capable force'.Hey Prasun da,is there any any equivalent force to Ghataks in the US Army or other NATO armies?

And by the way,what is SFF?Never heard of any IA unit by that name!Can you please clarify?

Unknown said...

Prasun, products like the Tejas and Arjun are made for Indian forces by public players so when they sell a tank or fighter jet to an Indian force are they selling at cost price or do they make a profit?

Addtionally can we assume any export products would be priced higher than they price they were sold to Indian forces?

Anonymous said...

Sir , The Mk3 version of the Su-30MKI’s NO-11M ‘Bars’ PESA MMR is in fact the HAL-assembled the 660kg RLSU-30MK . Is RLSU-30MK a completely different radar or is an advanced variant of Bars radar ?

Will Super Su-30 mki have TsNIRTI-developed expendable active electronic decoys ? From where will they be launched? Will they be carried in pods mounted in hardpoints ? How many will be carried per ac .

Will upgraded Sukhois have reusable fibre-optic ABRL active radar towed-decoy using suppression, deception and seduction techniques ? Or this will be cancelled in favour of Ariel reusable active radar towed decoy ? Or both will go on board ?When will the upgrading process start ?

Anonymous said...

What is the total no of MiG-29 in IAF service at present ? 15 have been lost but why there has been no attrition replacements ?

When will ammo & other war reserves be replenished ? Is the MoD nuts ? It is very eager to blacklist various companies whose products form a quintessential part of our armed forces and they don't place orders for more ammo to replace the used ones . This is utter madness. Why hasn't the new Army chief said anything about this ?

Anonymous said...

Hey , USN P-8 A will have directional infrared countermeasures . Then why will the IN ones be devoid of them ?

Anonymous said...

Boeing official sites states , P-8I will have a time on station of 4 hrs. Isn't it very less compared to Tu-142 & Il-38 ? How did P-8 A meet IN qualitative requirements for a long range ASW aircraft ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD & PAWAN: The ‘alleged’ cock-ups that have been highlighted recently about the Arjun MBT family are not what they seem, but they’re being perceived as performance deficiencies of the MBT, when they’re clearly not. Add to this the misconceptions that are arising due to the inability of the writers of such reports to convey the true operational picture. Kindly allow me to explain it all in layman’s terms:
India’s MBT fleets during peacetime are stored in the hinterland far away from their wartime staging areas close to the border. This means to get to the border areas the almost all MBTs have to be transported by railways, this being known as exterior lines of communication. Once these MBTs arrive by rail in their respective theatres of operation, they then have to disembark & be re-loaded on road-mobile motorised trailers in order to reach their respective staging areas, typically 40km/70km away from the border, and this type of road connectivity is known as interior lines of communication. It is this transfer of lines of communication (from exterior to interior) that is time-consuming, as witnessed during OP Parakram.
Within the interior lines of communication, most of the roads & bridges are not MLC-70-class, meaning while they can cater for loads of up to 50 tonnes (which augurs well for MBTs like the 46-tonne T-90S & 38-tonne T-72M1s), they cannot cater for loads for heavier MBTs like the Arjun. There are two logical options for overcoming the above-two limitations.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Continued from above...
One calls for prepositioning a substantial number of MBTs closer to the border so that they do away with the need for using exterior lines of communication & make use of only interior lines of communication. Secondly, within the interior lines of communication, all bridges & roadways ought to be upgraded to MLC-70 standard. Now, in both cases, this calls for acquiring real estate (land) from state governments for establishing several new Army cantonments containing warehouses & workshops for mechanised & motorised vehicles & their spares inventories, plus housing quarters, along with the commencement of a massive road transportation upgrade programme. It is THIS that is the main hurdle that is extremely difficult to overcome, since land is a state subject & therefore the states & the Centre tend to spend years haggling with each other before the land can be acquired by the MoD. For upgrading the interior lines of communication too, it is the state’s responsibility & if the state is unwilling to spend money, then there’s very little that the MoD can do. Therefore, it makes no sense for the IA to acquire any state-of-the-art heavy MBT if such MBTs are not able to be deployed at short notice whenever & wherever they’re needed. This is what the problem is all about, & it has nothing to do with any performance parameter (like battlefield mobility) of the Arjun MBT. In case of a future round of hostilities between India & Pakistan with a nuclear backdrop, the traditional areas for the clashing armoured forces will be the Thar/Cholistan deserts & the Chhamb area within the Shakargarh Bulge (Chicken’s Neck area), both being areas devoid of any man-made obstacles like ditch-cum-bundhs (DCB) & irrigation canals. The Arjun MBT has therefore been optimised for operating precisely in these areas & the IA has no complaints about it at all. But at the same time, the Army finds both its hands tied behind its back when it comes to the improvement of interior lines of communication in states like Rajasthan, Punjab & J & K, simply because it is totally helpless & can’t do anything at all to make things better. Only the Centre, its MoD & the concerned state govts can offer solutions, which they’re not willing to at the moment. Therefore, if anyone is to be directly blamed for sabotaging the Arjun MBT programme, it is not IA HQ, but the Centre & state govts. It is these two entities that are seen to be conspiring to condemn the IA to live with & operate lighter underperforming tanks like the T-72CIA & T-90S, instead of going for the best that the country’s military-industrial entities have painstakingly developed.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.03PM: The MiG-29K/UPG & re-engined Jaguar IS with DARIN-3 avionics will be potent platforms, & the MiG-29K/UPG could have become even more potent had the IN & IAF gone for the Zhuk-AE ASEA-MMR instead of the slotted-array Zhuk-M2E (after all the Zhuk-AE was ready by 2007 & available since then). Had the IAF accepted United Aircraft Corp of Russia’s proposal for extending the TTSL of the MiG-27Ms & re-engining them with AL-31Fs, this aircraft too would have become a potent & cost-effective tactical interdictor. Unfortunately, thus option wasn’t exercised by the IAF, most probably due to paucity of funds (since it suspected that this would only lead to further postponement of the M-MRCA programme). The IL-38SD is a good maritime recce platform, but is devoid of air-launched ASCMs or lightweight torpedoes. The Tu-142M’s airframe requires upgradation, but so far no TTSL extension programme has been offered to the IN, & like the IL-38SD it too is unarmed.

To AK: The Ruskies themselves are offering a new-build redesigned turret for their T-72 upgrade package from Uralvagonzavod JSC. And externally the Russia-upgraded T-72 has the same raised silhouette as that of the T-90S. In other words, Russia can upgrade existing T-72M1s to only the T-90S standard. AMAP has now being developed for the T-90AM & can also be incorporated into the T-72, but as of now this option has not been given by Russia to India. Consequently, the TANK EX option suddenly becomes much more viable since, firstly, it offers a far superior turret installation containing new-generation vectronics, & secondly all the human resource, engineering & industrial expertise reqd for churning out TANK EX in large numbers within a short timeframe exists within India. Financially, therefore, this is an option that can’t be refused. Ashok Leyland teamed with Krauss Maffei-Wegmann, or TATA Advanced Materials Ltd (TAML) teamed with RAFAEL can both easily offer customised AMAP packages for T-72s, T-90S & Arjuns. It is therefore a great mystery why CVRDE never thought to adopting this approach. In addition, APS suites like the LEDS-150 from SAAB can easily be incorporated into these MBTs, thereby completely doing away with ERA tiles. ERA tiles can protect only against a single shot, whereas APS can be reloaded as many times as one wants & can therefore offer sustained guaranteed protection. That’s why the manufacturers of the Leopard 2 & Merkava always prefer to mount AMAP & APS instead of the bulkier ERA tiles of limited utility. CVRDE ought o have followed these examples.

To Anon@2.32PM: On P.1 you’re right. The Mi-17s have already reached the end of their TTSLs & there’s no TTSL extension package available from Mil Design Bureau. Mi-38 is still under development & isn’t ready yet for serial production. Popeye has an IIR seeker. The DRDO failed to include CALCMs into the IGMDP in the mid-1980s. That’s why the ‘Nirbhay’ project was born, but too late. In addition, the HELINA minus those aft-mounted thrusters should have been developed as a family of PGMs—like a helicopter-launched ATGM with 9km-range & an aircraft-launched PGM with 16km-range.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.51PM: Yes, there indeed is a huge problem looming ahead with regard to fleet obsolescence. This is because the IN has always been placing orders for locally-designed/built warships in a piecemeal manner. For instance, the IN knows very well that orders for a class of warships should always have six units (that’s why then the Leander-class FFG programme began, it comprised six units), & yet when it came to orders for the next batch of FFGs, it was broken down to 3 Project 16 vessels & 3 Project 16A vessels, with a long interval in between. The same goes for the P-25/P-25A corvettes, Project 15/15A/15B DDGs & the 3 Project 17 FFGs. Had six P-17 FFGs been ordered from the ourtset, today there would have been no need for importing the third batch of Project 1135.6 FFGs from Russia. Therefore, in terms of macro-planning of its fleet strength, the IN comes out badly when compared to the PLA Navy. The same goes for the Project 28 ASW corvettes. Why order only 4, when the requirement was for 12 units (four for the A & N islands, two for the Krishna Godavari Basin, four for the Western Seaboard’s offshore oil exploration blocks, plus 2 as reserves)? Alternatively, the P-28’s hull could have been slightly modified to also serve as an NOPV (nine of which are reqd), resulting in hull standardization. Instead, some crackhead decided to order only 4 P-28s, then proceeded to import the design of the Dutch SIGMA corvette & turn it into an NOPV (five units being built by GSL) & then get Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering to built another four NOPVs of an imported Russian design! This is a classic example of shooting oneself on his foot. Can things get any more bizarre than this? And this same ‘besharmi nautanki/tamasha’ will continue when the IN selects one design for its shallow-water ASW vessel reqmt, & another design for its littoral warfare guided-missile corvette reqmt the following decade, when common-sense dictates that a common hull design be adopted.

To Anon@6.50PM: VL-MICA too is a good option, without doubt, but in terms of engagement envelopes, the IRIS-SLS offers better performance parameters (closer to the SL-AMRAAM), while the SpyDer-SR will be more cost-effective, since it has already been ordered for the IA & IAF. For naval shipborne reqmts, the VL-MICA & the Sea Ceptor from MBDA are being looked at for the IAC-1, Batch-2 & Batch-3 Project 1135.6 FFGs & the four P-28 ASW corvettes.

To PURBAYAN ROY: Yes, the Su-30MKIs, MiG-27UPGs, MiG-29UPGs, Mirage 2000UPGs & Jaguar IS/DARIN-3 all have NVG-compatible cockpit avionics/instrumentation. Gen-3 IR-NVGs are freely available from HALBIT Avionics Ltd. For those aircraft with IRSTs on board, the HMD’s visor shows the TV or FLIR imagery. FLIR pods can’t show magnified imagery on the HMD, only on the HDDs for TV-based or laser-based PGM guidance. Magnified imagery is not reqd at all for the pilot for situational awareness, only 1:1-scale imagery is reqd. The upgraded An-32Bs as well as those Mi-17V-5s, upgraded Mi-171s & Dhruv/Rudra ALHs all have NVG-compatible cockpits, but for the An-32Bs the EFVA is a far better option.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Arch Angel: To me they’re second to none in terms of professional & combat-provenness. Parvat Ghataks are not SOF, they’re more like Rangers, but are more specialised for high-altitude mountain warfare. SFF is more Force Recon-oriented.

To SOURAV: Parvat Ghataks are unique to India. None of the Western armies, or even those of China or Russia have the balls/testicles or wherewithal to operate in altitudes the Parvat Ghataks are reqd to do & that too in sub-zero temperatures. Even the Green Berets, SEAL teams & SAS/SBS shy away from such high-altitude battlefields. Special Frontier Force (SFF), or Establishment 22, isn’t part of the IA’s ORBAT. It comes under the exclusive control of R & AW. Both the SFF & the SSB (Special Services Bureau) were set up after 1962 by the IB with direct assistance of the CIA & Green Berets. SSB has since come under the MHA as the Sahasra Seema Bal.

To UNKNOWN: Only modest profit-levels are charged for such products. Export price quotations will be higher.

To Anon@9.39PM: It is an upgraded NO-11M BARS MMR with gimbals to ensure antenna movement in azimuth & elevation. Super Su-30MKI will have about eight internally-carried expendable active radar decoys. The Ariel active towed-decoy has been selected. Structural modifications on a Super Su-30MKI have already begun at HAL’s Nashik facility. Following prototype tests & flight certification, the upgrade is expected to get underway after 2015.

To Anon@11.01PM: DIRCM is an optional item that can be retrofitted anytime in future, since the P-8Is will come hardwired for accepting this retrofit. Time-on-station is different from total flight endurance. 4 hours of loitering in a particular area is extremely impressive. Total flight endurance can go up to 10 hours & extra internal fuel tanks or external underwing fuel pods can always be installed. This makes the P-8I far more versatile than the IL-38SD & Tu-142M.

KSingh said...

Prasun, it is being reported that the Russians are offereing the IN the optionto purchase a ACC that could be gas-turbine or nuclear powered. Do you see any chance the IN will exercise this option? I myself find it hard to belive the IN would go for this option considering past issues with Russians and price escaltaion and delivery delays.

Also it was reported that BAE would be seriously interest in selling one of the Queen Elizabth ACCs to the IN and actually India had shown a degree of interest in the offer. Is there any truth to this and do you see this becoming a reality in the future ie a QE ACC in service with the IN??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSingh: The Russian offer is for a gas turbine-powered version of INS Vikramaditya plus the usual complement of MiG-29Ks, Ka-28PLs & Ka-31s. The idea is basically for securing the funds for IAC-2, which will begin flowing only by the next decade should it be decided that the IAC-2 will be locally built. But I don’t foresee any future deals involving off-the-shelf acquisitions of aircraft carriers, be it the Russian or British QE 2-class vessels. For the IN, raising a skilled pool of human resources reqd for manning two carrier battle groups centred around INS Vikramaditya & INS Vikrant itself is a huge challenge, and this will be compounded when procurement of the four planned LPHs get underway. Therefore, there’s zero possibility of the IN undertaking a dramatic expansion of its carrier battle group inventory beyond the two that’s already in motion.

rad said...

HI Prasun

I was wondering why cant we put a el-2032 radar in the nose of a jaguar like the IM models and presto we get a multi role fighter with SAR -aam- and all other benefits the LRMT work can be taken over by the litening pod , adding a derby missile can be a great as well. As we have alreadt done the integration it shouldnt be a problem, they wouldnt need unnecessary fighter cover as well.

Purbayan Roy said...

Hi Prasun , For those aircraft with IRSTs on board, the HMD’s visor shows the TV or FLIR imagery.But arent the IRSTs on Su-30mki and MiG-29 have only air-air modes.They are used for detecting and tracking other aircrfts in passive mode. But are they able to see the terrain in front of the jet in IR spectrum to a high degree of resolution just as FLIR , IIR seeker and this pic is displayed in HDD so as to enable the pilot to navigate his way over undulating terrain at night and other zero visibity conditions. Are the IRST in Su-30mki & MiG-29UPG capable of generating images of terrain for purpose of navigation. The Skyward is also an ideal fully passive IFR navigation solution for those helicopters and fixed-wing transport aircraft that are optimised for all-weather special operations. If so , then these jets wont be needing FLIR or LANTIRN type pods.

All of the upgraded AN-32B will have NVG compatible avionics/instrumentation ..But wont they have any chin mounted low cost IRST or FLIR or an optronic turret for navigation under poor visibilty conditions & at night . Most of the ALGs have weather induced bad visibity conditions. The same is true for North East .So, when will IAF install such sensors in its AN-32UPG fleet . ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun sir
I want to know that IA ,IAF ,IN current equipments can stand toe to toe with china or pakistan armed forces equipments.....

Anonymous said...

Hi , whats the max range , engagement envelope of SL-AMRAAM. It falls behind the others in terms of agilty. It doesnt possess thrust vectoring . Among Spyder sr, VL- Mica, Iris-sls which is the best ?

You havent said anything about :
Almaz Vityag is also a good system. It offers 2 different missiles . It is being marketed as a replacement for S-123 sam complex. Why doesnt IAF procure Vityags in large nis instead of Akash mk1? They would be a better replacement for IAF S-123 batteries than Akask mk1 unless the IAF decides to have them replaced with Barak-2 .Vityaz is also better than Akash mk2.9M100 missile is designed specifically to intercept cruise missiles, NLOS-BSM, ARM , PGM. A single launcher can pack 32 such missiles. Also available is 9M96 missiles with 40 km range. Vityaz will come cheap & 8 regiments can be purchased at once .

Isnt Vityaz a good buy for replacing Pechoras ?You have always said that S-300 and other long range sams can be easily escaped by ducking beneath the engagement zone of its engagement radars. How will this be accomplished? All such radars have engagement envelopes ranging from 200 ft to 80000ft AGL.

Delhi class, Kolkata DDG should also be fitted with VL-MICA Sea Ceptor .

Anonymous said...

prasun Sir what is the use of bmp1 ,Bmp2 & bmd 2 in IA
& sir is namica is potent tank destroyer

Anonymous said...

prasun sir i have seen wikipedia and there they showing that there may be possible sale of pza loara & Ahs krab To Ia is that true sir..& what is the status f-insas & will india buy mahindra axe & is it gud vehicle.....

Anonymous said...

http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/RAJ-JPR-indian-army-gets-battle-ready-on-jaisalmer-border-3644833-NOR.html

Anonymous said...

Sir , I am anon at 2.32PM.

1.Dont we possess many relifing and rebuilding facilties ? Why cant Mil Mi-17 be relifed locally in India instead of sending them over to Russia ?

2..IAF has Kh-59ME and Popeye. Kh-59ME has TV seekers which means they cant be used in poor weather , poor visibilty conditions , and if smoke , fog and other obscurants are present over the target area? In this regard upto what extent I am right ?

3.I am not exactly talking about cruise missiles like Tauras , Storm Shadow. I have been talking about smart standoff bombs such as AASM ,JSOW .When PAF can license produce Denel Raptor with IIR seekers and spawn a no of variants from it why are we still sticking to iron bombs and non-standoff weapons?

4.What is needed is a 55, 60+km and 120km type PGM with mmw or IIR seeker coupled with inertial nav.How can IAF stand still when PAF have been procuring such weapons in massive nos.

5. And PAF possess enough nos suc that all strikes on haevily protected areas will be made with them from a standoff range to avoid SAMs thus preventing attrition . IAF still resorts to simple iron bombs launched just above the target . Even LGB ahve to be launched from close to the target both within the engagement zones of point defense sams. THIS MEANS HUGE ATTRITION.

6. DOES IAF STILL POSSESS ONLY 100 POPEYES OR THE NO HAS INCREASED. Can you give an approx no .

7. WHEN WILL IAF PROCURE SUCH STANDOFF WEAPONS LIKE RAPTOR... TO PROCURE EACH AND EVERY OF ITS STRIKE AIRCRAFTS.DRDO MUST COME UP WITH SUCH A WEAPON.

AK said...

Hi Prasun , will the Russian developed AMAP armour package make it's way into T-90 AM? Will it feature a combo package of composite armour package + Relikt ERA ? When will T-90 AM mk2 make it's debut appearance ? This version will be offered to IA & Ruskies will agree to upgrade the T-90S into T-90AM mk2.

Arch Angel said...

VMT Sir for your reply.I would like to ask some more questions,hope you will reply.
1.How would you compare the performance of US Marines in Vietnam and IPKF in Sri Lanka??Who among these two performed better according to you considering both were fighting jungle warfare away from homeland?

2.Between Viet Cong and LTTE-which organisation do you think was the more dangerous considering both used similar tactics and terrain (atleast I think so)?

3.Talking about the LTTE,one incident came to mind-what went wrong in that fateful night of Oct 12th,1987 when an entire platoon of Sikh LI was gunned down by the LTTE rebels!Was it lack of training or something else?!How could some insurgents gun down an entire platoon of trained personnel with that much ease?

4.How do you think our army fared against the PLAGF in 1962?Here I am asking about individual performance of Indian Army infantrymen and JCOs/NCOs and not the higher command.And why do you think IAF was not used and do you think that use of IAF might have turned the tide infavour of India?

5.Do you have any idea about the numbers of KIAs of PA in Kargil?

6.How do you think our infantrymen fare against their Pakistani and Chinese counterparts in terms of training,performance and combat effectiveness?I have recently come across many Pakistanis who till tis day think (or want to think) that 1 PA soldier equals to 3 IA soldiers-wonder what they teach them in madrassas in Pakistan!

7.And lastly,I think the reason why Russian/American soldiers don't come to operate at such heights like Parvat Ghataks do may be due to lack of necessity than lack of balls or am I missing something here?

Please try to reply sir.I know that these questions of mine are in no way relevant to this thread but I am very eager to learn more about these things.I could have asked these questions to some member in B.R but the answers would have definately been too much biased as there is no one neutral like you who is never ashamed to admit the misdoings of our own.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

If I remember correctly, you have earlier rightly suggested that Arjun is a Heavy Main Battle Tank, whereas the T-90/T-72 are Medium Main Battle Tanks. So these fall in entirely different categories and as such their requirements and applications may be different. So, any one of them can not exactly replace the other. India requires both of these sets of tanks, the only thing has to be decided about their numbers for inclusion in the IA. I think India should procure between 600 to 1000 Nos. of Arjun Tanks. Kindly furnish your opinion in this matter.

SVK said...

Hey sir,since Mr Archi is asking about history of IA these days,I'm also tempted to ask a question bothering me for years.Here is it:

After going through many articles,I found that IA soldiers directly assaulted Paki positions in Kargil conflict which often led to huge casualties.I want to ask why didn't they use Anti material rifles and Carl Gustavs from stand off distances instead of frontal charges??Was it not possible??
Thanks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anonymous said...

German U series submarine uses a water ram expulsion system for launching torpedoes. Does the Indian Scorpene's have any similar advanced systems ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD@10.42AM: Far better than the EL/M-2032 will be the PICO-SAR miniaturised AESA radar, for it is small more smaller & compact, & being an AESA-MMR, it has a high MTBF, thereby reducing support costs.

To PURBAYAN ROY: All IRSTs can show imagery of surrounding terrain as well.

To Anon@1.40PM: SL-AMRAAM-ER max range is above 35km. It is an E-SHORADS, like the IRIS-SLS. Why should any SHORADS or E-SHORADS possess agility? After all, such missiles are used for engaging aircraft flying at low-level, where it is impossible to engage in high-g manoeuvres. Only at mediyum-altitudes can an aircraft safely undertake agile evasive manoeuvres. Vityaz too is an E-SHORADS & because of this it poses a serious competition to the Akash Mk1/2 & is therefore unlikely to be procured. That’s why even the SL-AMRAAM-ER & IRIS-SLS, even though they’re very good, are likely to be ignored.

To Anon@5.34PM: Relifing can be done only in those facilities that are authorised/certified & equipped by the Design Bureau to carry out such activities. Such facilities are absent within India.

To AK: The AMAP package is already available on the T-90AM/MS. There’s no Mk2 version of this MBT. Just take a close look at the T-90S MBTs of the Indian Army & you’ll see that they are devoid of laser warning systems, IR jammers, air-conditioners, influence mine jammers & APUs. In addition, tracxk-width mine ploughs increase the T-90S’ weight to close to 50 tonnes. If you add all this to the T-90AM/MS, it means that this MBT will require a 1,400hp engine in order to maintain an appreciable power-to-weight ratio, ground pressure & top cruise speed of 70kph. But, such an engine is not available from Russia so far. Therefore, in the final analysis, even a T-90AM/MS will not offer any greater value. The best option, therefore, is to go for TANK EX powered by a 1,200hp engine (which is available from Russia & Sebia). The main problems associated with the T-72 & T-90S are their ammunition stowage arrangements, & virtually no space in the turret for vectronics enhancements. All this can be easily overcome by replacing their existing turrets with that of the Arjun Mk1, & instead of AMAP or ERA tiles, equip them with APS (LEDS-150 or Trophy).

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ARCH ANGEL: Will answer them later in the week, as I’m off to attend the MAKS-2012 expo in Zhukovsky, Russia.

To Mr.RA 13: It is a very simple formula to be adopted: upgrade the existing roads & highways in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab & Jammu & Kashmir (i.e. enhance the interior lines of communication) with the help of additional funds provided by the Union Ministry of Surface Transport through NHAI over the next four years, make supplementary allocations for the annual railway budgets for the next four years for some rail lines to be extended up 50km near the border, & seek land from the state govts on a 99-year lease for the Army to set up at least seven new cantonments (like the one at Jaisalmer) where all the hardware reqd by the eight Integrated (division-sized) Battle Groups can be stationed along with pre-positioned combat hardware assets (like the US has done in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar & UAE). If such a method were to be adopted with immediate effect, then you will see the Army HQ change its present stance vis-à-vis the Arjun MBT/BLT Arjun overnight, & bulk orders will start flowing in for not only the Arjun Mk1A MBT (at least 800) & BLT Arjun (at least 150), but also for TANK EX (at least 1,000) & its related BLT-72 (at least 250). The ONLY PROBLEM is the present stance of the Govt of India: the fact that it has SINCE 2004 NOT authorised the upgradation of border transportation infrastructure only proves the fact that it is TOTALLY AGAINST the implementation of the Army’s Pro-Active Strategy (Cold Start doctrine) & it does not have the stomach for even initiating limited high-intensity conventional war against Pakistan in the years to come. This is how sad the state of affairs are.
Will try to obtain more updates at MAKS 2012 from the visiting IAF Chief (who is now in Russia to attend the expo) about future IAF force modernisation plans.

To SVK: Anti-Materiel Rifles, lightweight 40mm handheld AGLs, lightweight LAWs like the C-90 (procured from Spain’s Instalaza during the conflict), hand-held thermal imagers (HHTI) would all have made a critical difference. Carl Gustavs are far too heavy & C-90-type LAWs came in much more handy when they were first used at high altitudes. Usage of HHTIs would have allowed Indian infantry to accurately gauge the firing positions/lines of fire of the enemy from safer distances, thereby avoiding casualties from hostile direct-fire weapons as well as mortars.

Anonymous said...

prasun sir i m anon 1.20pm &2.38 pm & 2.53pm 13 aug sir i ask u several questions so request u to give answer of it........

rad said...

hi prasun

Pico sar does not seem to have an a aam mode , more suited for UAV ground work and the range is small ie 20 km usefull?. Has the asraam been selected for the jaguar?. Please post a lot of pics from zhukovsky

Ramesh D said...

Hi Prasun,

Be careful in Russia . I hear Neo Nazis openly roam the street and target anyone who is not White.

Regards,
Ramesh .D

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Thanx for the simplest but best reply.

Anonymous said...

http://idrw.org/?p=13337

Prasun can you throw more light in the Middle East and Indian involvement. In past you said how UAE Airforce closely operates with PAK and navy operated with Indian Navy.
What are Saudi Arabia, Qatar,Jordan etc stance now with India and in retrospective with Pakistan.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20120213/171286237.html

KSingh said...

Prasun,


Is HAL/GOI/MEA making any preperations for an agressive export marketing campaign for defence products like Bhramos,ALH,LCH,Arjun,LCA etc? As it strikes me that many indigenous products are incredibly hi-tech and the best "bang for your buck" out there considering that it is like getting a Western product for third world/Soviet prices and not that shitty Chinese knock-off rubbish.


Is there an awareness among the GoI or the OEMs like HAL for incresing exports? ANd if we are told that projects like Arjun/LCA need larger numbers to make them profitable and cheaper because of economies of scale surely exports would significantly help in this regard.



And in a somwhat related note- is HAL undertaking projects to expand productive capcity for the production of fixed wing and roatry wing products like ALH,LCH,LCA,MKI? As the ALH seems to be being produced too slowly as does the MKI, is there a move to increae the numbers of all these being made each year??


Also of the 159 order of ALHs currently being delivered will there be a follow-on order and what size will it be and when will deliveres of this order begin? And what will be the eventual number of ALHs in Indian service be at the end of all deliveries??




When do you expect the order forn the addtional 22 BAE Hakws for the IAF's Surya Kiran be placed and do you expect this order to be made in India by HAL or in UK as has been speculated by UK media to save jobs there and speed up the delivery as there will be simultaneous production.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prashun,

For ASW, Indian ships are completely dependent on asw helicopters which can cause issues in bad weather conditions apart from longer response time (facing a agosta with a long range AShM). The anti-sub rockets (RBU family) seems to be of very limited range (less than 6 KMs). Why isn't India buying longer range anti-sub missiles like 91 RE/RE2 (ranges of 40-50 km). Is it because the detection range in shallow water conditions are very limited?

Thanks a lot.

Purbayan Roy said...

Hi Prasun , if all IRST can show imagery of surrounding terrain as well , then why did the MiG-29 pilot had crashed into a mountain range into Himalayas (CFT) ? Then Su-30 mki as well as MiG-29 can fly above any sort of terrain , harsh undulating terrain in zero visibilty conditions & at night by seeing the terrain imagery from IRST . Then they even dont need gen 3 NVGs. Also they wont need any LANTIRN type pods. How can existing IRST in Su-30mki,MiG-29 be used for obtaining high-res terrain imagery like Pirate, Skyward IRST when the former have been designed using 80's tech.

Can OLS-30 in Sukhoi obtain terrain imagery of quality as Skyward(in 3rd pic in OSF And Skyward IRST Sensors posted in Monday, May 30, 2011 ) ?

Will MiG-29 UPG have a new more capable IRST as Pirate?

All of the upgraded AN-32B will have NVG compatible avionics/instrumentation ..But wont they have any chin mounted low cost IRST or FLIR or an optronic turret for navigation under poor visibilty conditions & at night . Most of the ALGs have weather induced bad visibity conditions. The same is true for North East .So, when will IAF install such sensors in its AN-32UPG fleet . ? Pls ans.

And looking forward to new posts and good news regarding Airforce from MAKS 2012.

Anonymous said...

"see the slide below & observe how Japan portrays the state of Jammu & Kashmir". Are you referring to this image on your site -
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rbGcQS1conw/UCH9Lem_YRI/AAAAAAAAByE/Oilf3PRGhkY/s320/SS-3+Amphibian's+poster.jpg .

I have yet to find a nation that depicts Aksai chin as part of India or even disputed. But at least POK should always be shown as disputed or is this the reality we now have to live with - "the legacy cost of India's great leadership".

Abhinav S said...

Hi Prasun,

Did you take a look at this recent report from the US that reflects how Pakistan is increasing it's nuclear stockpile to counter India ? This is all due to China.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_pak-swelling-nuclear-arsenal-to-counter-india-says-us-report_1725981

Anonymous said...

Sir , 1..IAF has Kh-59ME and Popeye. Kh-59ME has TV seekers which means they cant be used in poor weather , poor visibilty conditions , and if smoke , fog and other obscurants are present over the target area? In this regard upto what extent I am right ?

3.I am not exactly talking about cruise missiles like Tauras , Storm Shadow. I have been talking about smart standoff bombs such as AASM ,JSOW .When PAF can license produce Denel Raptor with IIR seekers and spawn a no of variants from it why are we still sticking to iron bombs and non-standoff weapons?

4.What is needed is a 55, 60+km and 120km type PGM with mmw or IIR seeker coupled with inertial nav.How can IAF stand still when PAF have been procuring such weapons in massive nos.

5. And PAF possess enough nos suc that all strikes on haevily protected areas will be made with them from a standoff range to avoid SAMs thus preventing attrition . IAF still resorts to simple iron bombs launched just above the target . Even LGB ahve to be launched from close to the target both within the engagement zones of point defense sams. THIS MEANS HUGE ATTRITION.

6. DOES IAF STILL POSSESS ONLY 100 POPEYES OR THE NO HAS INCREASED. Can you give an approx no .

7. WHEN WILL IAF PROCURE SUCH STANDOFF WEAPONS LIKE RAPTOR... TO PROCURE EACH AND EVERY OF ITS STRIKE AIRCRAFTS.DRDO MUST COME UP WITH SUCH A WEAPON.

8. Now, as u are in MAKS 2012, where u will get to meet IAF COS, can you ask him the following -
1. When will the follow0on contract of 63 Rafales be signed. Apart from Rafales how will the IAF fill the nos gap created by phasing out of entire MiG-21 and MiG-27?

2. How many more Sukhoi-30 are to be ordered? How many Tejas mk2 are to be ordered?

3. When will IAF'S CMD and TMD be deployed? What LRSAM,MRSAM,SPAAG are to be procured to implement phase 2 of IACCCS?

4.When will level 4 MRO for Su-30mki come up ? When will IAF procure weapons procedure , tactical stimulator for its Su-30 & MiG-29upg fleet ?

5.When will substantial quantites of standoff PGM , modern anti-radiation missiles, new Russian WVRAAM and BVRAAM will be procured?

Pls tell him about the various acute problems faced by IAF and the various defiencies in its war-waging capabilties.

AK said...

Hi Prasun , Have the Ruskies incorporated their indigenously developed AMAP armour on T-90AM ? If it is currently fitted then why are the side skirts so thin & not like that of Leopard 2A4M? Are the upper and lower glacis also fitted with this composite armour or only ERA blocks. What is the extent of coverage of the AMAP armour ?

The main impediment to the IA's deployment of large no of Arjun tanks, uparmouring of T-72 to TANK-EX is their heavy weight which doesnt permit them to use the bridges in Rajasthan, Punjab . Why cant IA MES lay their own bridge across the various obstacles,rivers for these tanks. The IA 's engineers department has various bridge laying hardware other than those for alying and clearing minefields, fortifications. During wartime they would be called for laying bridges over rivers deep inside enemy terrain in case of deep thrust within enemy territory. So, they can easily buid such RLC-70 bridges for these tanks .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: Why should the Jaguar IS require a MMR with AAM mode when it will always be escorted by air superiority combat aircraft? All it requires is a radar with SAR mode & GMTI mode. The AIM-132 ASRAAM was selected for the Jaguar IS as far back as 2007, but orders have yet to be placed.

To RAMESH D: VMT, but they’re not neo-Nazis, but neo-fascists who mainly target Africans & Central Asians & Georgians and that too mostly in the suburban ghettos.

To KSINGH: Export prospects will increase for Developed-in-India military hardware only if the Indian armed forces first order them in bilk, & secondly, if they’re benchmarked against their international counterparts. For instance, HAL should first get the Dhruv ALH certified by Europe’s EASA airworthiness authority or the US FAA & only then can a meaningful export-oriented marketing campaign get underway. But despite promises since July 2005 to obtain such certification, we have yet to see any result in this area. Beats me as to why. The only production capacity addition for fixed-wing aircraft will be for the Rafale & FGFA, because of the terms & conditions of the contract, which stipulate high-tech shopfloor & lab-level security through the compulsory installation of CCTV cameras to monitor all industrial activities not only at such HAL-owned facilities, but also within the facilities of ALL SMEs affiliated with HAL through the Rafale & FGFA ToT programmes. There won’t be any increases in the rate of production of the Su-30MKIs from HAL. But deliveries are being expedited through the supply of 40 + 42 Su-30MKIs from IRKUT Corp in semi-knocked-down condition. As for total number of Dhruv ALHs to be delivered, it all depends now on whether the IA can convince the MoD on the need for acquiring Rudra helicopter-gunships in large numbers (at least 120). Given the present financial constraints, orders for the last batch of 22 Hawk Mk132s may get delayed.

To Anon@12.14PM: The SM-39 Exocet of the Agosta 90B SSK is not a long-range ASCM, but the C-802A for the projected six Qing-class SSKs is. In shallow waters, even with low-frequency active/passive hull-mounted/towed-array sonars, a submerged threat cannot be detected for more than 10nm. Only with ultra-low frequency sonars can submerged threats be detected out to 25nm. Therefore, procuring long-range anti-submarine rockets doesn’t make much sense.

To PURBAYAN ROY: If the IRST or FLIR pod imagery is displayed on a holographic HUD, then the situational awareness is excellent. But on the MiG-29B, MiG-29UPG & Su-30MKI, for bizarre reasons, the IAF did not select such HUDs, but only wide-angle HUDs, which are unable to display FLIR imagery. Therefore, the pilots of such aircraft have no choice but to look up the imagery in their head-down AMLCDs, which greatly affects their situational awareness since they constantly have to look outside & then inside the cockpit. This causes disorientation & that’s what happened with the last MiG-29B that went down in Uttarakhand. Therefore, in the absence of holographic HUDs, the only other tool available for visible night-time navigation is the NVG. The performance of MiG-29UPG’s IRST won’t exceed that of the EF-2000’s Pirate. As of now there are no plans for usage of IRSTs by An-32Bs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABHINAV S: This was bound to happen sooner or later, since there’s no such thing as minimum credible deterrence. Such concepts only exists in the minds of WMD-illiterate politicians. And what’s making things far more worse is the total lack of any explanation by the Govt of India about the aims & objectives of the much-touted DRDO-led BMD technology demonstration project.

To Anon@10.08PM: PGMs like Kh-59ME & Popeye need not be used in poor weather conditions or poor visibility conditions, since they’re never meant to be used for striking at time-urgent targets. Instead, only static land-based targets are meant to be engaged by such PGMs. Any PGM which is laser-guided or too cannot strike in bad-weather conditions. The same goes for GPS-guided PGMs. No of Popeyes procured stays the same. IAF will never have the kind of budgets necessary for arming each of its combat aircraft with PGMs. Follow-on contracts for the Rafale can be signed anytime for as long as the Rafale production stays open for the next 20 years.

To AK: On the T-90AM/MS it is not AMAP armour, but just conventional add-on armour plates & ERA tiles. If AMAP-type armour plates are to be installed on this MBT, then the overall weight will increase so much that the existing 1,150hp engine will have to be uprated to 1,300hp, which has not been done. For Russia’s future MBT, 1,800hp engine will be used, meaning the Russians unlike the CVRDE are not under any illusions about the future advent of 50-tonne MBTs. This means that even after incorporating active protection systems, the FMBT will weigh almost 70 tonnes, for which the 1,800hp powerpack is an absolute necessity. Therefore, in my personal view, the CVRDE will be well-advised to stop turning itself into a laughing stock by claiming on one hand that India’s FMBT will weigh between 45-50 tonnes & on the other that such an FMBT will be powered by a 1,800hp powerpack. The CVRDE should instead say that either its FMBT will weigh close to 70 tonnes & be equipped with a 1,800hp powerpack, or that the FMBT will weigh only 50 tonnes & have a 1,500hp powerpack. Secondly, the CVRDE should focus on developing smoothbore cannons of either 135mm or 140mm barrel diameter. Thirdly, it ought to devise indigenous solutions for coming up with modular AMAP armour fittings for existing Arjun Mk1s & Mk1As & get rid of the ERA tiles option. Fourthly, competitive evaluations of Saab’s LEDS-150 & RAFAEL/IAI’s Trophy APS offers should be conducted ASAP. Inside Indian territory, there’s a need for permanent MLC-70-standard roadways since the heavy MBTs like Arjun will make frequent use of them in peacetime for various exercises. They therefore cannot be temporary MES-constructed assault/combat bridging structures. There will never be any deep armoured thrusts by the IA in any future wars involving India, simply because of the nuclear weapons factor. Instead, thrusts will made only as far as 30km inside enemy territory & for this, assault bridges will be constructed only over canals, & not wide rivers.

Shankar SenGupta said...

Prasun,

Is the Embraer EMB 145 that has been handed over to India recently using an AESA designed by Centre for Air Borne Systems ? Why didn't India choose more potent AESA radars that are available worldwide ? Also how does the Embraer EMB 145 compare with other aircrafts in it's class? IAF is already saying that the payload that it can carry & the altitude that it can reach are both LIMITED .

Thanks,
Shankar

Vikram Guha said...

Hi Prasun da ,

I understand India is using extensively the tethered aerostats with Elta radars for gap fillers. There was also a command and control /communications (datalink) program that was considered part of this issue, and on top of all, the organization of the interceptor fighter units in existing/new bases. Any update on this .

Regards,
Vikram

Purbayan Roy said...

Hi Prasun , Existing MiG-29 in IAF doesnt possess AMLCD. They only have a monochromatic TFT which serves as a radar scope. All radar contacts are displayed by means of dots & other symbols. It has a low resolution & cannot display IRST or FLIR imagery. This may have been the reason of the recent crash of Mig-29. The Sukhois have AMLCDs and here such imagery can be displayed. Why is it so difficult to only look at AMLCD and fly without having a look at the HUD or the airspace.
FLIR imagery from MiG-29 IRST , Su-30 IRST can be projected in NVG in a 1:1 ratio along with pilot's view. Then such crashes can be avoided & the planes can fly in visibiliy conditions .
Will upgraded Su-30 & MiG-29 UPG have holographic HUD ? Will they have new IRST or the existing ones . How does OLS-30's terrain imagery fare with that of Skyward IRST or Litening 3 FLIR imagery .

Very many thanx for replying & looking firward to new threads .

Jain3530 said...

Sir in future did u think india will buy su 34 & did india have tu 22m & sir what is the difference between su 30 mki & su 35 bm & which is best fighter among this??

SK said...

http://idrw.org/?p=13384

Someone, somewhere in MOD or DRDO has accidentally started using their brains. Hope the Govt implements this idea in time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Your views on the indian NeGP(eGov)where in gov services are to be hosted on the cloud.u think next the whole government will be computerized and paperless day-to day functioning happen or as usual gov punes oppose it? How gud is the initiative since it will leadn to future where 'file missing' scenaios will not happen and every documentation traced. How will this realistically change governance in india?

Also wat do u make of CAG's allegations?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shankar SenGupta: Yes, it is the CABS-designed S-band radar that will be eight-feet long. The EMV-145’s choice was dictated by Embraer’s experience in integrating such radars externally with the aircraft’s barrow-body fuselage. In terms of internal volume, however, Bombardier Aerospace’s wide-bodies Global Express would have been a better choice. In terms of operating altitude, the EMB-145 at 40,000 feet is quite alright for the IAF’s reqmt.

To VIKRAM GUHA: Not extensively, since only two EL/M-2083 L-band aerostat-mounted radars were acquired by the IAF. In future, the AESA-based EL/M-2084 MMRs will be aerostat-mounted & R & D work on this is in progress, following which orders will be placed.

To PURBAYAN ROY: Both MiG-29Ks & MiG-29UPGs each have three AMLCDs. Even the existing CRT-based display on the MiG-29B-12 can display FLIR imagery. One cannot do two things at the same time, i.e. looking inside the cockpit & maintaining one’s flight profile, especially at night and within a valley. It’s like trying to drive while only gazing at the dashboard ahead instead of looking out through the windscreen. For both the MiG-29UPG & Su-30MKI, HMDs like the TopFlight (on the MiG-29K) or TARGO (on the Tejas Mk1) need to be acquired so that the FLIR imagery from the IRST sensor can be displayed on the pilot’s visor. If I’m not mistaken, the Rafale will be the first IAF combat aircraft to sport a holographic HUD.

To JAIN3530: No one in India will procure either the Su-34 or Tu-22M, as there’s no need for them. Su-35BM is a single-seater whose pilot is incapable of undertaking the kind of interleaved flight/mission operations that a Su-30MKI’s two-man crew can undertake.

To SK: These plans are all running years behind schedule.

To Anon@12.35AM: Of course a paperless environment will go a long way in performance deliverance/improvement, especially for crucial matters like obtaining documentation like passports, re-validated driving licences, land records, medical data, etc. But things can move much more faster if the Govt of India introduces the biometric national identity card (NIC) system. With this one identification card, one can do away with others like voter’s identity card, PAN card, ration card, driver’s licence, etc. Right now there’s a dysfunctional & manipulative system prevailing with multiple identity cards being issued to a single person. The NIC should be a one-stop solution under which the NIC no, the driving licence no & passport no should all be the same. This will greatly facilitate the maintenance of a secure & structured national database on India’s citizenship records.