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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

IAF's In-Country Operational Combat Aircraft Deployments

Adampur AFS: 8 Wing’s 47 Black Archers sqn & 223 Tridents sqn with MiG-29B-12s
Ambala AFS: 7 Wing’s 3 Cobras, 5 Tuskers & 14 Bulls sqns with MiG-21 Bison & Jaguar IS
Bareilly AFS: 15 Wing’s 8 Eight Pursoots & 24 Hunting Hawks sqns with Su-30MKI

Bhatinda AFS: 34 Wing’s 17 Golden Arrows sqn with Su-30MKI

Bhuj AFS: 27 Wing’s 15 Flying Lancers Sqn with MiG-21 Bison

Gorakhpur AFS: 17 Wing’s 16 Black Cobras sqn & 27 Flaming Arrows sqn with Jaguar IS

Chabua AFS: 14 Wing’s 102 Trisonics sqn with Su-30MKI

Gwalior AFS: 40 Wing’s 1 Tigers sqn, 7 Battleaxes sqn & 9 Wolfpack sqn with Mirage 2000H/TH

Halwara AFS: 34 Wing’s 22 Swifts sqn with MiG-27UPG & 220 Desert Tigers sqn with Su-30MKI

Hashimara AFS: 16 Wing’s 222 Tigersharks sqn with MiG-27UPG

Jamnagar AFS: 33 Wing’s 6 Dragons sqn with Jaguar IM & 28 First Supersonics sqn with MiG-29B-12

Jodhpur AFS: 32 Wing’s 10 Winged Daggers sqn, 29 Scorpions sqn & 37 Panthers sqn with MiG-27UPG, 32 Thunderbirds sqn with MiG-21 Bison & 31 Lions sqn with Su-30MKI

Kalaikunda AFS: 5 Wing’s 18 Flying Bullets sqn with MiG-27M

Pathankot AFS: 18 Wing’s 26 Warriors sqn with MiG-21 Bison, 108 Hawkeyes sqn with MiG-21M & 125 Gladiators HU with Mi-25/Mi-35P

Pune/Lohegaon AFS: 2 Wing’s 20 Lightnings sqn & 30 Rhinos sqn with Su-30MKI

Naliya AFS: 12 FBSU’s 45 Flying Daggers sqn with MiG-21 Bison & 101 Falcons sqn with MiG-21M

Sirsa AFS: 45 Wing’s 21 Ankush sqn with MiG-21 Bison

Srinagar AFS: 1 Wing’s 51 Sword Arms sqn with MiG-21 Bison

Phalodi/Suratgarh AFS: 35 Wing’s 23 Panthers sqn with MiG-21 Bison & 104 Firebirds HU with Mi-35P

Tezpur AFS: 11 Wing’s 2 Winged Arrows sqn with Su-30MKI

Uttarlai AFS: 5 FBSU’s 4 Oorials sqn with MiG-21 Bison
The above accounts for 3 Sqns with MiG-29B-12, 9 Sqns with MiG-21 Bison, 2 Sqns with MiG-21M Type 88 (due for decommissioning later this year, following which the squadrons will convert to Su-30MKIs), 4 Sqns with Jaguar IS, 1 Sqn with Jaguar IM, 9 Sqns with Su-30MKIs, 3 Sqns with Mirage 2000H/TH, 3 Sqns with MiG-27UPG, 2 Sqns with MiG-27M, making a total of 36 squadrons. Although the sanctioned strength of the IAF is 42 combat aircraft squadrons (which is due for increase to 50 squadrons by 2024, at least on paper), the IAF’s operational strength till 2005 stood at 39.5 combat aircraft squadrons.

Presently, 470 combat aircraft, inclusive of reserves, belong to the MiG family, including 122 MiG-21 Bison, 40 MiG-27UPGs, 105 MiG-27Ms and 63 MiG-29B-12s now being upgraded to UPG standard. Su-30MKI deliveries now stand at 162 units. Add to that the 120 Jaguar IS that will undergo a deep upgrade, plus 51 Mirage 2000H/THs that too will be upgraded, plus the 10 existing Jaguar IMs and two Tejas Mk1 squadrons with 40 aircraft, and one derives a total of 916 units. To be ordered are another 40 Su-30MKIs, 189 Rafales, 83 Tejas Mk2s and 214 FGFAs. Consequently, by 2020, the projected IAF fleet of combat aircraft can be estimated to include 311 Su-30MKIs, 54 Rafales, 63 MiG-29UPGs, 51 Mirage 2000UPGs, 120 Jaguar IS(UPG), 40 MiG-27UPGs, 10 Jaguar IMs, 40 Tejas Mk1s, 24 Tejas Mk2s and 24 FGFAs, making for a grand total of 737 units, which will be just enough to equip 40 squadrons.
The shortfall could well have been minimised had the IAF in 2005 decided to undertake a deep upgrade for its 145 MiG-27Ms by re-engining each of them with AL-31F turbofans and equipping them with DARIN 3-type mission avionics, which would have extended their service lives by 20 years. This alone would have ensured that the IAF would, by 2020, have 46 combat aircraft-equipped squadrons.


Anonymous said...

whats the point of giving all this information... ???? couldn't understand.... pls enlighten shiv sir

Anonymous said...

Sorry wrote wrong name in previous comment... whats the point of giving all this information... ???? couldn't understand.... pls enlighten prasun sir

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.28AM: Count the number of squadrons listed above & compare it with what's being told/written about the IAF's squadron depletion rate.

Anonymous said...

This particular info is available on the net from a long time. A simple link would have sufficed in your posts to make a point instead of new thread.

KSingh said...


In the light of attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan are IAF AFB/AFS and IN air bases secure from such attacks even the rear based AFS/AFB not too close to borders? Are there QRTs,CCTVs,High walls,Armed guards etc??

And will you get to replying to the comments on the PLAAF UAV thread?

CFlier said...

Prasun I need your take on the following story.

I know somebody who is/was a member of the CABS EMB-145I team. He had let slip to me (during Aero India 2011!!) that DRDO had initiated studies to build a 360 degree system awacs onboard a widebody from either Airbus or Boeing.

Obviously I took it with a pinch of salt given the regular amount of pompous BS that flows out of DRDO and forgot all about it until i read about this project recently on the internet.

Now here's the interesting part:

I met the same gentleman last week while I was in Bangalore. We exchanged pleasantries, and then got talking.

Grosso modo here's what I was able to milk out:

1. DRDO put out some feelers (he called it "banter") for info about readily available platforms in the market. Some "documents" were exchanged and based on the requirements, Airbus offered its A330-200 and Boeing, the 767-xxx (I forgot which model).

2. Il-76 is not being considered, which is understandable.

3. IAF & GoI strongly favored the American platform i.e the 767.

4. Bollywood style twist in the story: Boeing has "very, very recently" pulled out the 767 and is now offering the 787 instead!

5. IAF now feels that the 787 hasn't flown enough hours to be considered a reliable twin engined AWACS platform. (They cited numerous incidents where the 787 engine had lost power etc).

My Questions:
1. Why such animosity towards Airbus given that IAF wants to induct their MRTT. IAF could also make huge savings by having an all Airbus fleet (AWACS & MRTTs).

2. Why would the USA fly MRTTs based on 767 and offer us 787. A quick google search revealed that the 787 is at least 20% more efficient than the 767.

3. Why is the government showing favoritism? Why not have a competition like the MMRCA and openly invite bidders from both companies? Could it be American pressure tactics?

I'd like to know what do you think of this and what would be your ideal platform for the AWACS India project.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.01AM: The weblink you’ve highlighted needs updating as far as combat aircraft dispositions go.

To KSINGH: No installation is safe from determined suicide attackers in any country.

To CFLIER: A330-200 is too big for becoming an AEW & C platform. On the other hand, A310-300s & B.767-300ERs are available aplenty & can be zero-lifed & modified to serve as AEW & C platforms. More than a decade ago, Raytheon & IAI/ELTA had teamed up to offer the PHALCON package on the A310-300. IAI is also approved & authorised by Boeing to customise members of the B.767 family of airliners into MRTT transports & can therefore easily mount the PHALCON mission sensor/mission management package on the B.767. The B.787 ‘Dreamliner’ is too new (and consequently too expensive) to serve as an AEW & C platform, notwithstanding the fuel efficiency. In case the IAF wants the same PHALCON package as that on its three existing A-50Is, then the best way out is to have a competitive bidding process between Airbus Military & Boeing. While Raytheon is definitely to bid along with IAI with the A310-300/PHALCON package, Boeing’s participation remains questionable since it would be more interested in offering a Wedgetail-like package under which the B.767-300ER or B.737NG could be proposed along with Northrop-Grumman’s AESA. In case the IAF insists on mounting the PHALCON package & refuses to even entertain the joint Boeing/Northrop Grumman offer, then Boeing is left with only two options: B.767-300ER or the B.787.
If it is the DRDO that’s calling the shots in terms of developing an all-new, customised mission avionics/mission management system with 360-degree airspace surveillance/airborne battle management capability (thereby doing away with the PHALCON package), then the ballgame changes completely & will likely involve a competitive bidding between airframe suppliers Airbus Military & Boeing, or Airbus Military & IAI (since the latter can customise B.767 airframes).

Anonymous said...

why do they need to do it in secret?? Why not invite Airbus or Boeing openly? I think congress is negotiating its mota maal lol. what if they buy american and then after they slap sanctions on us? Isn't the phalcon follow-on deal dead?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.32AM: It is not a secret effort, but is known as a restricted tender, as opposed to a global tender, meaning only those OEMs invited to present their bids may do so. And as I have repeatedly stated before, the US slaps sanctions only on those deals that are 100% funded by the US, such as those destined for the likes of Egypt, Israel & Pakistan & in case of WMD proliferation. For those US-origin weapons that have been bought at commercial rates & fully paid for, US sanctions don’t apply. That’s how China has been able to keep its 24 S-70A Blacks Hawks airborne since 1986. In India’s case, therefore, prospects of unilateral US sanctions being imposed in future are almost nil, and secondly, if the US really wants to hurt India it can always do so by forcing the EU to simultaneously impose sanctions as well, as has been the case with Iran. The follow-on PHALCON deal isn't dead, for the IAF will find it extremely uneconomical to operate a small fleet of only three A-50Is.

CFlier said...

@ Prasun

I too have been told, that Antony has made it clear to IAF that no more Phalcons will be imported. This episode even led to an ugly tirade between some south block bureaucrats and ex IAF chief PV Naik. Naik was pushing hard for 2 Phalcons on IL-76s on a fast track procurement basis and another four to be bought from Israel at a later date but on a different platform.

Anthony scuttled this process last year. There have been murmurs that this was done at the behest of DRDO. I hear multiple voices saying no more phalcons will be imported, which is a shame really.

The new chief (Browne) comes across as more "obedient", and has since agreed to wait for DRDO's AWACS(I). That's all I know about the situation although i may be proved wrong.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To CFLIER: I have absolutely no doubt that the EMB-145I AEW & CS' systems integration & flight certification process alone will take six years, i.e. until 2018. Now, if RM A K Antony & his Chief Scientific Adviser Dr V K Saraswat are hell bent on screwing up the IAF even further by refusing to induct even two more A-50I PHALCONs, then it's no use blaming a China or a Pakistan for creating military imbalances!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Prasun,
How to calculate the number of squadron from your list. My knowledge is 0 in this.

Anonymous said...

Thats why I keep telling that AK Antony is a highly inefficient and an idiot.He has no brains...He was always busy managing his party s Defence is 2nd priority for him..IAF wanted 3 more phalcons..But got approval for 2.Even that hangs today in air.DRDOs so called AWACS india project will take another 10 years to induct..Even then it will be inferior to Phalcons.Things are so bad that AK Antony sat for 2 years knowing that IA tank ammunition reserves wre out after IMI blacklist and he did nothing..Perhaps he thought tanks were meant to participate in a race competion with pakistani and chinese tanks...Antony cannot even talk properly...Suxh is the mess in MOD ...PLs dont blame our armed forces if there is any civil military dispute..for it the politicains that are responsible.Its a pity that we have Antony as RM

CFlier said...

@ Prasun

There's one thing though, how did PV Naik manage to find two new IL-76s for conversion?

On the other hand, I think DRDO knew that its AWACS project could be canned if more phalcons had been imported that's why Antony is forcing IAF to play with EMB-145s until the 360 system comes online.

My gut feeling is that we won't see a 360 system from DRDO during this decade.

abs said...

thanks a lot for your insightful thoughts and views and suggestions, goes a long way to make the lay men aware of the realities that the mainstream media don't provide us with :) For this I shall always forever remain grateful to you :)
Here are a few more queries
1) There have been recent reports of the 'Mountain Strike Corps'(the namegiven by the desi-media for the Army's new offensive formations accretions) have been shelved, while I read somewhere that the IA General has said its not been shelved but its undergoing a process of "validation". What is it thats exactly happening in this? Do you know?
2) Prasunda after having read your recent comments about how the Nirbhay would not be used for any conventional role and ditto with the TNW armed ALCM now being developed, it beats me as to how the DRDO and MOD COULD ARRIVE AT SUCH CONCLUSIONS. Isnt it sheer duplication of efforts and wastage of money? In the light of the above I would like to ask you
a)as to how then do the IA and IAF plan to use CALCMs in a conventional strike scenario?
b)What happened to the conventional supersonic ALCM that was being developed with Israel with a lesser range as compared to its Nuclear armed counterpart?
c)All these years I had been reading reports as to how the Nirbhay would be a conventionally armed Cruise missile? So are there any chances that in the future the CALCM version of the Nirbhay would be made available?
3)I hope by the time the Rustom 1 and 2 are ready for production the airspace management issues and the spectrum issues are sorted out between the Services so that it can pave way for large scale induction of Tactical UAVs for the IA like the Skylark-1E and MALE-UAVs for the army's Division sized formations as well as for the Corps, while the IAF can induct HALE-UAVs. In the meantime development of UCAV versions of the rustom-2 should be commenced along with Rotary winged UAV/UCAVs for the IA to provide it with integral BAI capability and direct fire support capability in the plains, deserts and high altitudes, along with other versions being developed with SAR and GMTI payloads and EW payloads to act as potent recon and target acquisition platforms for the armoured and mechanised formations as well as the UCAV version of the rotary winged UAV and rudra gunships. I hope the LAH variant of the LCH gets developed ASAP to give the IA unparalleled capability to wage EBO in the tactical and contact battles.
4)Given what you said the siliguri corridor is of prime importance for INDIA. So I would like to ask you if the sikkim-siliguri corridor is well defended against any such designs of the PLA to capture it?If not/if so what are the plans that are being looked into/implemented tocater to such contingencies as and when they arise.I think the PLA might use heliborne assault forces to try and capture this corridor which would be after a barrage of rocket based massed assaults in this region to destroy fixed army and IAF installations to soften INDIAN defences.

abs said...

5)regarding the plans for the setting up of the Joint Cyber Command?
what would be its roles and functions?
would we see the induction of offensive Cyber Warfare capabilities or would it be solely for defensive purposes? Would not it indulge in cyber based espionage like what the PLA's cyber army is knwon for?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

Reg Indian army air defence...Recently DAC cleared procurement for QRSAM for 8 regiments..Is there any more RFI for Short range SAM..Are these 2 different competions ??Does IA want to procure 8 regments of QRSAM and How many more for SRSAM

Anonymous said...

my count is 37 sqns ...

Anonymous said...

out of these total 37 sqns
13 sqns of MiG-21 and 9 sqns of
Su-30MKI ...
may be no of AC not at full strength per sqn

IDFchiclover said...

Good correction Anon 12:25. That's the price you pay copying and pasting same questions shopping for answers :) If you didn't understand that information you have not been following the threads. People always ask Prasun IAF strengths and deployment - he ie merely pointing that out.

Anonymous said...

@IDFchiclover... this is anon 12:25 .... i am indeed new to this blog...

@Prasun sir ... thanks for replying ... got it

Anonymous said...

Sir ,
1. A long time ago u had yourself stated that the eight Tu-142 MPA of IN have all been fitted with EL-2022V3 radars. Now you are sying only one has been fitted with it.In Fair winds and smooth sailing in calm waters you have claimed, "Let us begin in the New Year with some wonderful, positive updates. We start off with the Indian Navy, whose eight Tu-142M long-range maritime reconnaissance/ASW aircraft have all been fitted with ELTA-supplied EL/M-2022(V)3 multi-mode search radars. The last two of the eight aircraft were declared operational with the new belly-mounted radars last month and as a result, these eight platforms will remain in operation until 2016 at least. " If you now say a different thing , which one will we believe ? It is all contradicting. We the layman dont know what to belief .

2.Some time ago you have stated that a modified Sea Dragon suite comprising of AESA radar will be fitted on the Tu-142 during their upgrade. Now agin you are saying that the same mission management and sensor suite of IL-38 will go on board.

3. In another instance you told that RAM would not be a very good system for protecting from supersonic missiles. But you have placed it in he same league as VL-MICA, VL-IRIS-T.

4.Arent seven Sukhoi- 30 mki squadrons operational with 2 more being raised .

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun, Do all these squadrons except the Jaguar IM squadron has 18 aircrafts ? How many aircrafts are there in each of Jaguar , MiG-29 , MiG-27 squadron. Su-30mki squadrons must have 18 acs each. Can you give the total no of MiG-29,MiG-27M,MiG-21, Jaguar-IS,IM in service. At present does the IAF have about 650 fighter jets in these squadrons. The no of squadrons is lower then 1990s level. After MiG-21 Bisons are pahsed out in 2017 the no of squadrons will decrease greatly .
Does the IAF's planning envisages adequate LR-SAM,PAC-3,THAAD-anti NLOS-BSM,cruise missiles,TBM,IRBM counter on all the mentioned bases plus those which house yransport ac assets, force multipliers .

Anonymous said...

@CFlier you should not have revealed such sensitive info on the internet..I wonder who's more stupid, you or the idiot who revealed such classified information to you. No wonder an organization like DRDO is made up of such imbeciles.

@Prasun, there are bits of info floating around that DRDO has promised to deliver the 360 degree awacs within 36 months. Is it true??

How can they promise such an ambitious deadline when the Embraer version itself has not been inducted yet???

SK said...

Anon@9:15 PM.
"CFlier you should not have revealed such sensitive info on the internet..I wonder who's more stupid, you or the idiot who revealed such classified information to you. No wonder an organization like DRDO is made up of such imbeciles"

Whats is exactly sensitive in this information ? AEW&C aquistion plans and restricted tenders are not exactly Nuclear state secrets. And in any case our neighbors have similar platforms in greater numbers maybe less capable than ours.

Grow up & learn how to interact in informative exchanges. Just because if others don't agree with you makes them stupid, idiots ??? While you post "Anonymously"
Wow...really mature.

Anonymous said...

Prasun, I was the person who asked how to count the no of squadrons from your list. I got it from other source and compared with you. Sorry for this layman's stupid question.

What do you think about the recent attack on Camp Bastion in Helmand province by Taliban? The attackers were wearing US military uniform. Videos show the attack was very meticulously planned and executed. I wonder why could not the US UAVs pick up the training.
Consider this kind of meticulous attack, I feel that, it could not have been done without the active support of certain countries military advisors. You can guess where I am pointing my fingers.
Of course the blame will go to Haqani network. But is that all? Is the "so called advisors" are too much smarter than the US & NATO forces?
Such kind of attacks can happen in India also; so the question is whether India is capable to defeat such attacks?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

Few queries reg. ur division of IAF aircrafts:

311 Su30MKI..??But we all heard final 272 nos.Defence news reported today that another 40 Su30MKI (super sukhoi)contract will be signed when Putin arrives here taking the "total SU30MKI to 272.nos"..But is not only 42 super sikhoi s will be acquired for IAF..And as far I saw in media reports that a contract for the same has already been signed when Manmohon Singh was in Russia at the begining of this year.So is this a totally new contract for another 40 Super sukhois taking the total No. to 311 (as shown by you)to be signed when Putin arrives next month??Kindly confirm....VMT

KSingh said...


will all MKIs in IAF service eventually get AESA radars? Whilst not all will under go the "deep upgrade" to SUPER standard will the enitre fleet atleas all be AESA equipped? And what other upgrades will be fitted for the non-SUPER upgraded MKIs?HMDS?Towed decoy?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To CFLIER: It is true that the IAF had projected fleet of nine A-50I PHALCONS—this being a reqmt for waging 24/7 offensive air campaigns against just one front non-stop for a period of up to 3 weeks, assuming that one A-50I takes two hours for its ferry-flight to arrive at its intended destination & then conduct eight hours of operations, which boils down to 12 hours of endurance with the help of aerial refuelling. The A-50I PHALCON’s 360-degree airspace surveillance capability is a pre-requisite for carrying out THREE crucial functions in an interleaved (simultaneous) manner: airspace surveillance, air traffic management, and airborne battle management in both friendly & hostile airspace. Thus, the A-50I PHALCON constitutes a 3-in-1 solution. The EMB-145I AEW & CS, on the other hand, is being developed to perform only two sector-specific functions: airspace surveillance & airborne battle management, meaning that at any given time the EMB-145I AEW & CS will be able to vector no more than two separate offensive air campaigns in only a particular sector, leave alone a theatre (this is primarily because the EMB-145 regional jetliner is a narrow-bodied aircraft that does not offer sufficient internal cabin volume required for hosting adequate numbers of flying/mission crew). Therefore, the ideal solution would have been to have up to three EMB-145Is reporting to a single A-50I during the first crucial 96 hours of a future conflict scenario. In other words, an AEW & CS platform fleet comprising 9 A-50Is and 15 EMB-145Is would have been the optimum solution, although my personal choice as far as the smaller AEW & CS platform goes, would have been a wide-bodied solution like an ERJ-190, B.737NG or Airbus A320. Therefore, in theory at least, a hi-lo mix of platforms should have been acquired, instead of an either-or solution. But now, since the DRDO is trying to secure funds for developing an A-50I-type technology demonstrator at a time when the EMB-145I’s flight certification hasn’t even commenced, a dangerous situation is indeed developing, since it involves three distinct processes: selection of an airframe (either Boeing or Airbus); selection of a proven supplier of the overhead radome (which can come from only Boeing in case the B.767-300ER or B.787 Dreamliner is chosen, and from BAE Systems in case an Airbus-built airframe is chosen); & development of a triangular fixed AESA-based antenna array, for which the DRDO does not possess any locally available airframe for testing the antenna array’s structural integrity. Which means that without first perfecting the third process, the first two processes cannot be proceeded with.
As for acquiring new-build A-50I-type or IL-76/78 airframes, this is no problem at all since Uzbekistan’s TAPO can produce them any time for anyone except for Russia (due to some bilateral tiff between Moscow & Tashkent). India therefore can place the contract with TAPO for the airframe & with Rosoboronexport State Corp for the PS-90A turbofans in Phase-1. Both these items would then be known as customer-furnished equipment (CFE). After the airframe & engines have been mated & the aircraft is airworthy, the airframe would then be flown to Beriev Aircraft Co’s facility in Taganrog, Russia, where the overhead radome would be installed under another supplemental contract inked between India & Rosoboronexport under Phase-2. Thus, with India dealing separately with Uzbekistan & Russia under the CFE scheme, the A-50I airframe can be acquired in any numbers. This is exactly how the first three A-50Is were procured.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.03PM: QR-SAM & SR-SAM are one & the same. The difference is between QR-SAM (Army) & SL-QRM (Air Force).

To Anon@7.08PM: By early 2009 there was a plan for equipping all eight Tu-142Ms with EL/M-2022(V)3 search radars, but by 2010 this had been shelved & presently, Russia’s offer of the ‘Sea Dragon’ suite is being seriously evaluated. The same ‘Sea Dragon’ suite is on the IL-38SDs, so where’s the confusion? All existing anti-missile systems, be it the RAM or IRIS-T or VL-MICA can’t intercept supersonic ASCMs, but they have proven their capabilities against subsonic ASCMs. For intercepting supersonic ASCMs, only two known new-generation systems are being developed: Barak-2 MR-SAM & MBDA’s Sea Ceptor.

To RAHUL: Of course, the IAF's planning envisages adequate LR-SAMs, MR-SAMs and other anti-NLOS-BSM/cruise missile defence solutions for both Vas & VPs.

To Anon@9.15PM: There was nothing secretive or revealing at all in what CFLIER said. Such information can never be classified simply because in every contract there will be a winner & loser. While the winner is inclined to keep his/her mouth shut due to NCND commitments, the loser is under no such limitation. Therefore, contractual details can only be classified as restricted, but not secret. The real secret is only & always the operational war-plan or OP-PLAN.

To Anon@11.03PM: As I had said earlier, only actionable intelligence can thwart a determined suicide attacker. It’s that simple.

To Anon@11.36PM: Yes, the latest order for 40 to be placed next month will be addition to the 42 + 40 placed earlier.

To KSINGH: Yes, all Su-30MKIs will be fitted with AESA-based MMRs as the years go by, since the work involves retaining the back-end of the existing NO-11M ‘Bars’ PESA & only replacing the front-end LRU (existing PESA array) with the active phased-array antenna.

Anonymous said...

Could it be that DRDO is planning to field a bigger radome than the Phalcon? That would explain why the bidders are offering such big platforms. If you check on wiki the dimensions of the a330 and 787 are nearly identical. I think DRDO's radar will have more T/R modules than the Phalcon so that would explain why they have requested such big platforms?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

If that were to be the case, then the DRDO would have first consulted the radome manufacturers before asking the airframe manufacturers for suitable options. But since the airframe manufacturers have already been approached, it means that the baseline designs for radomes already flight-certified for use with airframes built by Boeing & Airbus have already been selected. Which in turn means that a triangular three-piece fixed AESA array will have to be designed in such a way so as to fit into existing radome structures. There’s no need to have extra T/R modules, since even the existing T/R module architecture of the A-50I remains underutilised as of now, and this in turn has led the IAF to use the A-50Is for generating early warning cues for hostile ballistic missile launches.

Anonymous said...

wow seems DRDO is on fire nowadays. They haven't even received full clearance and yet have already started work selecting platforms. I truly wish they succeed..a desi awacs will make my heart burst with pride.

i prefer the 787 it has more range but a330 is not bad also.

Anonymous said...

why airbus offered A330 instead of A400M (4 engines)...this doesn't make sense.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.14AM: Why do you want 4 engines when the same job can be done by two?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.08AM: Do tell them to be careful when playing with fire, and let's hope it doesn't self-destruct through spontaneous combustion!

abs said...

i was hoping to get answers to my queries above.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

So according to you 42(signed in 2011) +40(to be signed next month) =82 super sukhoi s ....taking the total toll to 311 to be inducted by 2020..Is that correct?Pls confirm....VMT

Anonymous said...

Arrey shubh shubh bolo, i was just happy to see that things are developing at a fast pace. A desi phalcon type machine would be absolutely amazing for the country.

Unknown said...

So prasun do you see the IAF being allowed to procure anymore than te 3 A50Is in service? Will the figure of 9 ever be reached or even 6?

And when do you see DRDO coming out with their 360 degree AWACS ready to enter service?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: It is not a Mountain Strike Corps, but just a new Corps HQ to cater to the command-and-control reqmts for the two new Mountain Divisions that are now being raised. The tyranny of the terrain on both sides of the LAC along Sikkim & AP is such that neither side will be capable of capturing huge chunks of territory on either side. At the most, certain dominating hill features can be captured by either side but that too after massed artillery fire-assaults of the type witnessed during OP Vijay in 1999. The only option to seize territory, therefore, is that of vertical envelopment using heliborne air-assault forces or air-mobile forces like paratroopers. The Siliguri Corridor today faces such a prospect from the PLAAF’s 15th Airborne Army provided the PLAAF can guarantee tactical air superiority, which is unlikely till 2015. That is why the IAF is accelerating the deployment of Su-30MKIs & Akash Mk1 SAMs in Assam & West Bengal. Tactical CALCMs will be used by the IAF against transportation nodes like bridges and railroads located up to 600km inside Tibet. Nirbhay-type CALCMs armed with conventional warheads are therefore not reqd. Only the nuclear warhead-equipped supersonic ALCM is being developed, since its conventional warhead will be quite small in size & therefore will be of no use for conventional strikes except against warships. As for cyber-warfare capabilities, today, the total available manpower addressing the cyber security issue is limited in India. The reqmt is for 4,00,000 skilled people to address this, whereas currently, there are just about 32,000 skilled people.

To Anon@1.38AM: Yes, that is correct.

To Anon@1.41AM: Where exactly is the ‘fast pace’? In dreaming? All that’s been decided so far is to develop three EMB-145I AEW & CS technology demonstrators. Where are the confirmed orders for 15 platforms? The so-called ‘desi’ PHALCON will be ‘desi’ only in name, since the airframe, the radome & all the T/R modules & integrated defensive aids components will have to be imported, just as is the case with the EMB-145I. The DRDO itself has stated several times that the total absence of semi-conductor foundries inside India means that all microprocessors & MMICs having military applications have to be imported. So if you still utter “arrey shubh shubh bolo”, then better say it with regard to installing the IAI/ELTA-developed PHALCON mission sensor/mission management suite on six additional wide-bodied platforms like the A310-300 or B.767-300ER, instead of expecting miracles from the DRDO.

To UNKNOWN: If the MoD continues to fall for the DRDO’s machinations, then I don’t see the arrival of six more PHALCONs in this decade. Instead, I see a repeat of what happened with the Swathi WLR (awaiting its arrival since 2001). Logic demands that instead of the A-50I platform, the A310-300 be selected as the platform for mounting the PHALCON package.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To UNKNOWN: Do read this:

By the way, the Russian President has postponed his visit to Pakistan, which was earlier due to take place next month.

abs said...

and how would the PLAAF acquire such air sueriority? I think the IAF has got far better aerial combat platforms and those with substantially higher payload than that of the PLAAF, besides the IAF has greater expertise in effective BVRAAM air combat, with the AWACS it could further tilt the balance in IAF's favour along with NCW operations of the IAF and by 2015 an IADS with formidable ground and aerial surveillance would have begun surfacing.

abs said...

and if the new corps HQ is BEING raised NOW then what is this much ado about it being sent for "validation" or it being "shelved" by the PMO on fears of angering China???

Anonymous said...

1. The Sea Dragon suite of IL-38SD doesnt have a AESA radar. A few weeks ago u said that Tu-142 will be fitted with a new updated SeaDragon suite comprising of AESA radar. This is exactly what i am talking about. If same SeaDragon suite of IL-38 is fitted, there will be no aesa radar.

2. Why has IN discarded the option of upgrading with EL-2022V3 radars. They are indeed very good surface search radars with high res SAR modes.

3.There are only 2 squadrons of MiG-27M but 105 MiG-27M. It looks awkard. How can 40 MiG-27UPG make 3 squdrons ?

4.What thought process was going on in the minds of IAF planners when they decided to upgrade only 40 MiG-27 to UPG standard and not re-engine thw whole lot. Why did they do so ?

5.Presently, 470 combat aircraft, inclusive of reserves, belong to the MiG family, including 122 MiG-21 Bison, 40 MiG-27UPGs, 105 MiG-27Ms and 63 MiG-29B-12s now being upgraded to UPG standard. The nos add up to 330. Where is the rest ?

6.From 2010 to now, 3 MiG-29 have been lost to accidents. So at present is there 63 MiG-29 left or 63 is inclusive of the crashed oness .

7.Will the follow on deal for 63 Rafales be signed along with the contract for 126 Rafales ?

8.Will 122 MiG-21 Bison , 105 MiG-27 M will be replaced by 126 Rafales, 40 Tejas mk1 and 83 Tejas mk2 ?

9.Why isnt Bagdogra AFS in ypur list. It also fields a squadron.

10.Why will 51 Mirage 2000 upgrade take 10 years ? Just 51 jets.

Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,
1.You wrote that by 2020,IAF will have 40 Mig 27UPG. But what about the rest of the fleet of MiG 27s??Won't they be upgraded??

2.Do you have any rough estimation about the number of IA soldiers deployed in NE??And how many PLAGF troops are garrisoned on the other side of the LAC in NE??

3.You earlier had rightly said that beggars can't be choosers (which you can't be more right) about the IIR seeker of Nag atgm.But what about the mmw seeker under development by DRDO??IIRC they even tested the seeker successfully on board Nag-can't that be fitted on Nag??

4.Don't you think that instead of just SFC,IAF and IA also need to induct conventionally armed Shaurya missiles into its arsenal in large numbers (say 800-1000 total)??This missile is ideal for deep battles against PRC and can wreck havoc on enemies??And is there any plan to fit combination of GLONASS and SAR seekers into Shaurya??That way it can be used for precision strikes against targets deep into enemy territory.

PLEASE try to reply.

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

D.Khanna said...

Hi Prasun,

Was a witness to huge Muslim protests in Kolkata yesterday . My question is , are these illegal Bangladeshi Muslims supported by TMC who were protesting outside the American Center . It is well known that Muslim votes decide who rules Bengal.


abs said...

You have said that the Nirbhay would be used only with a nuclear warhead,I was going through a few articles on the as of yet mysterious 'Nirbhay' ALCM and found out that the ALCM would have loitering capability, IF so THEN I doubt if the Nirbhay would be used solely in its nuclear armed configuration. For the ADM/strategic role the Supersonic ALCM would suffice, while the Brahmos 550Km ranged version should be good enough as supersonic CASLCMs, however I think there is an urgent need for lighter CALCMs and perhaps this is where the import option would come into play.

Anonymous said...

Can you please shed light on the reliability of the Su-30MKI?
What kind of a sortie rate can be expected from them?

Anonymous said...

sir, pls clear 1 query
nag missile is not ready yet but drdo
successfully test fired helina from rudra recently and it is soon going to be armed with it .... hw come helina be ready so soon and nag is repeatedly failing its user trials ???????????????

AK said...

Hi Prasun , Why is the IAF deploying most of it's squadrons close to Pakistan border in Western command . In Jodhpur five squadrons are based. Don't you think it is not correct to base so many squadrons near the border . Less warning time will be available for any pre-emotive missile strikes and this base as well as many bases are within range of TBM and NLOs-BSM .
Isn't it justifiable that IAF is decommissioning it's MiG-27 M fleet and replacing them with Rafales . The former doesn't have a RWR , chaff and flare dispensers and no radar and IRST . MiG-27M will be dependent in other aircrafts for target detection and tracking . Any aircraft without a radar and IDS is obsolete and as good as nothing . IAF needs to order more Tejas mk2 to fill up the gap caused by the phasing out of MiG-21 Bison , MiG-27 M as well as speed the production induction of Rafales . Isn't 42 more Su-30 are to be procured instead of 40 .
Pls tell the no of PAC-3 MSE that can be mounted per TEL ? Is the no same as PAC-3 . Eagerly waiting for Nirbhay's first flight . Want to see this missile and know whether it is q Tomahawk type subsonic missile .

Nair said...

Former NSA, Mr. Brajesh Mishra has passed away. Prasun, you had had some bad remarks on Mr. Mishra. Was he really bad? If he had done something good, could you pls to us?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

TO ABS: The PLAAF along with the 2nd Artillery Corps do have the means to mount an aggressive counter-base campaign by firing TBMs and land-attack cruise missiles, following which the PLAAF’s 15th Airborne Army could well launch an air-assault operation in the North East. There are also heliborne SOF elements available for launching pre-emptive attacks against static IAF installations. You will be able to read all about it next month after I’ve uploaded a three-part analysis of all such scenarios. And as I had explained earlier, it is the Army’s ambitious plan for restructuring the 54th Infantry Division ad an Air-Assault Division that is under the Union MoF’s scrutiny, and has nothing to do with any Mountain Strike Corps. Regarding long-range strategic ALCMs like Nirbhay or Tomahawk, none of them have any loitering capability, nor are they powered by turboprops, or ducted-fans or prop-fans as alleged by several ‘desi’ journalists. The 1,000km-range can’t be compared to the 500km-range air-launched supersonic LRCM.

To Anon@12.41PM: The IL-38SD’s Sea Dragon mission/mission management suite presently does not have a multi-mode AESA radar, but after another five to seven years, the radar’s front-end will be upgraded to incorporate the AESA antenna array. On the Tu-142M, should the upgrade be undertaken, the AESA radar would be available for immediate service introduction. The upgrade will also include an extension of the airframe’s TTSL & the ability to carry six underwing Kh-35E ASCMs. Right now, even the IL-38SDs cannot be armed with Kh-35Es. Regarding the MiG-27Ms, as I had explained a couple of threads earlier, there is an acute shortage of spares for the R-29B turbofan & therefore the majority of MiG-27Ms remain grounded, although there are in fully serviceable condition & can be made airworthy ONLY IF the engine spares start arriving. This, however, is unlikely since the R-29B’s production line was closed in the mid-1990s itself. Therefore, the IAF should have taken up RAC-MiG’s offer in 2005 to have the MiG-27Ms re-engined with AL-31Fs. Somebody within the IAF HQ & MoD therefore definitely screwed up nig-time on this issue. The figure of 470 includes 120 MiG-21bis Type 75s and several MiG-21Ms that are retained as reserves. As for MiG-29B-12s, 80 were acquired, of which 16 have crashed. Of the remaining 64, one airframe was a write-off as it was sent to NAL for fatigue-testing (reqd for TTSL extension) while the remaining 63 are being upgraded. Follow-on contract for 63 Rafales will be inked seven years AFTER the main contract for 126 Rafales is inked. The existing MiG-21 Bison & MiG-21 sqns will all convert to Su-30MKI. Bagdogra & Sulur AFS are presently not hosting any operational combat aircraft assets, that’s why they were not listed above.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

TO ANURAG: Nope. It is a very sad fact of life that the IAF never took up the Russian offer of developing an upgraded MiG-27M that would feature new-generation mission avionics & defensive aids suite, plus the AL-31F turbofan. Presently, at least 200,000 troops are deployed throughout the North East. Facing them are less than 30,000 soldiers. The MMW seeker is being developed for the longer-range (7km) HELINA, and not for the Nag, which will retain the IIR seeker. Even if equipped with GPS receivers, missiles like Shaurya cannot be classified as PGMs and therefore are best utilised as nuclear counter-force weapons against hostile nuclear weapons storage/launch sites. Once the network of underground tunnels becomes operational in J & K, Sikkim & AP, nuclear warhead-equipped Shauryas will be procured for the SFC. Next week, I’ll be uploading a lot of historical data pertaining to the 1962 war & its aftermath.

To D KHANNA: Those are all perfectly legal Indian Muslims. Kolkata & its suburbs have always hosted a large Muslim population. In fact, even three days after independence in 1947, no one in Kolkata knew whether the city would go to India or East Pakistan. And the very first incidents of organised communal violence in the Indian subcontinent took place in Kolkata at that time, & only after that did they spread to other areas of East Pakistan like Noakhali, etc.

To Anon@7.38PM: What kind of sortie rate fits your definition of being an acceptable rate? One per day for a period of 7 days, two per day for a period of 96 hours?

To Anon@8.01PM: Nag ATGM has not failed any user-trials. It is the prospective user that has not attained proficiency relating to the Nag’s usage. That is precisely why I always keep on harping about first procuring simulators before the actual weapon, so that all aspects of the weapons usage can be well-rehearsed, understood & absorbed. Had a NAMICA simulator been developed (similar to the platoon gunnery simulators acquired for Arjun Mk1 MBT from US-based CAE), then we would not have witnessed all the problems. The missile fired from the Rudra is the HELINA, not the Nag. HELINA hasd a MMW seeker, while Nag has IIR seeker. The HELINA firings are not user-trials, but just trials to validate the weapons release components.

To AK: These are all peacetime deployments. During emergencies, the aircraft will be redeployed to the hinterland as far as possible. There will always be adequate warning time (at least 14 days) before the commencement of any hostilities. If the MiG-27M was to be re-engined & upgraded extensively, it would have been an excellent tactical interdictor just like the Jaguar IS. It is impossible to order an aircraft like Tejas Mk2, which has yet to emerge & take to the skies. A TEL can accommodate the same number of PAC-3 MSE as those for PAC-3.

TO NAIR: Not bad remarks, but factual observations to prove that professionally he wasn’t up to the mark as India’s so-called first NSA.

Anonymous said...

Sir, What ac and in what no will replace 105 MiG-27M ? Still IAF HQ can consider the reenging and avionics upgradation offer . MiG-21 bis have been decommisioned. Now they are placed in reserves which means they can be use in times of hostilities. Will the same be done with MiG-21 Bison . ? Why isnt IAF aquiring attrition replacements for MiG-29 like Mirage 2000. Contract for upgrading 66 ac may have been signed. Lastly why will 51 ac tahe 10 years to upgrade. This is highly bizzare as well as upgrade .

Anonymous said...

If 105 MiG-27M would have remained in service, wouldnt IAF had gone for 126 Rafales and its intent to procure 83 Tejas mk1. IAF planners must have thought something as a n alternative when they declined the upgrade offer of its MiG-27M.

Sayan said...

Sir, If 105 MiG-27 are given a deep upgrade likethe Jaguar IS , then are there any chances of airforce going for more 63 Rafales, 83 Tejas mk2 .? OR these are being ordered keeping in mind that 105 MiG-27M are to be phased out .

The MiG-27 has hardpoints under the wing, fitted with swivelling pylons. .
The MiG-27 has nine hardpoints.

Centrline x 1
Wing Glove X 2
Fuselage x 4
Wings X 2 (for ferry tanks)
Is this a correct and is its payload a mere 4 tons.

CFlier said...

To Anon @September 27, 2012 9:15 PM

That information isn't classified. He wouldn't have told me if it was..that's a no-brainer.

I usually wouldn't have bothered to reply to posts like yours but here's some advice nonetheless; if you believe that "kosher" information only comes out via newspapers, then you should stick to newspapers and avoid visiting blogs like this one & FYI officers of India's armed forces tend to have a very demeaning opinion of the Indian media!

@ Prasun
There's some more information trickling in concerning the AWACS. I spoke to a couple of senior air force officers yesterday.

1. The air force wants brand new airframes & not refurbished ones.

2. confirmed that "platform will most probably be either Airbus or Boeing"

3. When asked which one they said "studies are being carried out by joint teams, we're looking at a number of platforms"

3. The IAF absolutely adores the Phalcon. When asked about the follow on project they said they haven't heard anything on that front for a long time (this confirms the project is indeed dead!).

4. Is DRDO capable of building something in the league of the Phalcon? "we'll see".

5. Best bit: a phalcon flying over Agra can track PAF fighters well inside Pakistan!! Infact their training sorties are monitored on a routine basis. (This means the 400km range reported by the press is hugely understated. Did you know about this??).

6. In the words of the seniormost guy "The Phalcon is our golden goose. It is a wonderful machine, a great asset for IAF."

Anonymous said...

To CFlier.
Are you an AF officer ? How can you get access to all the seniormost officers .? Kindly ask them next time you see them

1. What about the follow-on 2 Il-76 Phalcon ?
2.What do they plan to do with 105 MiG-27M. With which platforms are they to be replaced ?
3.Will Rafale production and induction be fast traked to arrest depleting squadron levels.

I am also asking you Prasun da about this.

abs said...

then all i can hope is the DRDO develops an CALCM and Tactical GLCM(both supersonic and subsonic) ASAP for the China front as was mentioned in your post
Can't wait for your 3 part treatise though also kindly try and tell us about the INDIAN responses in the 3 part treatise :D :D :D

SK said...

In one of your previous replies to my question you have stated logically a G550 based Phalcon would be the most suitable follow-up order.

So why is DRDO hell bent on re-inventing the wheel ? Especially when most of the content for the AEW&C's come from outside. This wasted exercise will only delay the aquisation process. Does IAF stand to gain anything by going for a Boeing or Airbus airframes compared with Gulfstream G550.

Boeing/Airbus may have a higher
endurance but as you pointed out due to human limitations each aircraft can provide about 8 hours
of onsite coverage. So what advantages will these bigger airframes bring to the table ? Bigger Antennas, Consoles ?

CFlier said...

To Anon @12:47 PM

No i'm not but I know many serving officers. The company I work for deals with the Air Force on a daily basis and the nature of my job requires me to fly into Bangalore quite a bit.

Most officers are very tight lipped about their stuff (rightly so!) and have uncanny ways of letting you know that questions (from outsiders) are not encouraged. When you start hearing conflicting versions of stories from different people, that's usually your cue to shut up.

That's one reason I don't post about things I hear or come across. I've been in this business for many years now but have interacted with senior officers only a few times.

This is my last post on this blog but rest assured I remain an avid visitor.

Anonymous said...

Does Saraswat have so much power to block AWACS sale? sounds far fetched!

Anonymous said...

To Anon@4:45 PM

So how would you explain IAF chief saying he would buy 5 DRDO AWACS (which hasn't even received clearance yet) and did not even mention Phalcon buy?

I dont think ACM Browne has even mentioned Phalcon awacs durng any of his press conferences.

i think cflier is right, i don't see any more Phalcons for IAF now.

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , Instead of transforming 54 divison into a heli borne air-assault brigade, tw would be better if they are also trained as paratroopers. Helicopters will be exposed to MANPADS, AAA fire while ferrying troops. Transport acs like C-130, IL-76 can fly in a relatively high altitude , drop the troops and fly away from the dropzone fast. Is the transformation smoothly taking place ? When we will have a airborne army like that of PLA .
GOI will decide which BMD system is best for IAF,IA . But it is the IAF,IA who are the end users. They should select .
IA will be calling a tender for assault rifles to replace its INSAS rifles. Will the rifles be multi barrel capable ?

Gessler said...

Sir will Tejas Mk-2 have frameless bubble canopy?

Anonymous said...

Sir , How many EL/M 2084 MPR have been contracted by IAF ? 24 or 34? 24 was reported in IAF’s Multi-Phase IACCCS Being Enhanced. 34 was reported in Arudhra MPR Is EL/M-2084 MMR: Seeing Is Believing.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.42AM &7.44AM: Replacements will take place on a first-come first serve basis. Presently, since Su-30MKI deliveries are underway, the Su-30MKI will be the first to replace the MiG-21Ms & MiG-27Ms. The Rafale, once it starts arriving, will begin replacing MiG-27UPGs & MiG-21 Bisons. MiG-21bis Type 75s have not been decommissioned. One cannot decommission aircraft that are meant as reserves. Decommissioning means total withdrawal of that aircraft-type from service, both operational & reserve. The entire force-modernisation plan has gone awry because of delays in the Tejas LCA programme & the MoD’s refusal to accept the reality. By 2005 itself it should have become evident that the Tejas Mk1 was not the final intended solution & since there was no other alternative but to develop the Tejas Mk2 at a later date, the decision should have been made in 2005 itself to upgrade another 60 MiG-21bis units into Bison-standard & undertake a deep upgrade of the entire MiG-27M inventory, considering that the M-MRCA was not meant to enter service until after the latter half of the following decade. No one is procuring 83 Tejas Mk1. Only 40 are being procured & will be followed by 83 Tejas Mk2s.

To SAYAN: Check out my explanation above.

To CFLIER: In case of new-build airframes, only the A350 & B.787 Dreamliner fit the bill. Personally, to me this is a waste of resources since refurbished & zero-lifed airframes like those of the A310-300 & B.767-300ER are far more cheaper to acquire & have established reliability & MRO pracrtices. The PHALCON’s target detection range is 400nm, & not 400km.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SK: What I can state with certainty is that the DRDO WILL NOT be able to develop an AEW & C platform capable of 360-degree airspace surveillance till 2025. This fact of life is well-known to the IAF, but not to the civilian decision-makers at MoD & that’s why the DRDO has so far been able to disrupt the armed forces’ force-modernisation efforts. In many ways, this reminds me of the WLR saga that began in 1997 when the DRDO scuttled the Army’s efforts to acquire TPQ-37 Firefinder WLRs, and we all have been waiting since then for the DRDO-developed & BEL-built Swathi WLR to surface. By 2004 the IAF had therefore conceived of a well thought-out plan for boosting its PHALCON AEW & C inventory by acquiring five units using the A-50I platform + another four units using the B.767-300ER platform (which is also used by Japan’s ASDF). By 2009, however, IAI/ELTA had come up with the G-550 AEW & CS that promised a far cheaper but more versatile option, but by then the DRDO had already succeeded in cornering the funds reqd for the first three EMB-145Is, & has since then been lobbying for another 12 EMB-145Is to be funded. It would therefore appear that the funds being sought for these 12 EMB-145Is will be the very funds that the IAF was earlier seeking for both procuring the additional two A-50Is & initiating work on adapting the PHALCON package on to Western airframes. Bigger airframes like the A310-300 & B.767-300ER have a time-on-station of 8 or even 10 hours (backed by aerial refuelling), whereas the EMB-145I, backed up by aerial refuelling, will have a time-on-station of no more than 6 hours.

To Anon@4.45PM: Yes, the civilians have far more powers. When Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was Secretary DRDO in 1997 he had blocked the IA’s efforts to procure TPQ-37 Firefinder WLRs & a year later had blocked the IN’s bid to acquire the Barak-1. Sadly, the memoirs of such retired scientists do not bother to shed any light on such matters!

To RAHUL: The plan is for converting the 54th Infantry Division not strictly as an air-assault division, but as an airmobile division that is capable of being transported by both fixed-wing & rotary-winged aircraft. Therefore, the 54th Division will neither be an air-assault division, nor an airborne division, but an airmobile division, meaning the present-day 50 Independent Bde (Para) could well be an integral part of the 54th Division.

To GESSLER: I sure hope so.

To Anon@10.54PM: 24 have been contracted for so far, & another 12 have been optioned for. Options will be exercised in the latter half of this decade.

negi said...

"What I can state with certainty is that the DRDO WILL NOT be able to develop an AEW & C platform capable of 360-degree airspace surveillance till 2025."

The IAF chief has gone on record saying DRDO will build 5 AWACS for IAF. So by your logic he's crazy enough to wait until 2025 to take delivery? I think you're the one blowing too much hot air!

negi said...

& whats with the 550 kilometer Brahmos farce? Since when Russia owes so much to India that it would go against the MTCR?

What's with this stupidy of yours trying to mislead people? Have some shame and go plagiarize some article from Janes or AW&ST...or have you run out of brochures?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To NEGI: You do seem to have a penchant for viewing the world upside down, that much I will acknowledge! FYI the present-day IAF Chief is likely to give too-hoots about what gets delivered to the IAF beyond his tenure (be it 3, 5 or 15 AEW & CS platforms), just as the previous CNS of the IN had confidently stated that INS Arihant would proceed on operational deterrent patrols by 2011! In addition, the term AWACS is specific to the USAF, so no one with brains will ever claim or state that the DRDO will deliver 5 AWACS to the IAF. Are you so stupid so as not to understand this simple fact??? Therefore, by all means take your hostility & baloney rants to that infamous forum where they’re appreciated, & stop farting here.

Unknown said...

Prasun, are the Indian military bases fire fighting systems up to scratch? With the forces inducting ever larger and equipment especially the IAF air bases and IN air bases wrt the C17 and P-8 there is surely a need for comparable fire fighting infrastructure as seen at major airports in India with dedicated airport fire figthin units (ARFFs) with high-tech high mobility tenders such as the 6x6 panther from Rosenbaurg.

Sayan said...

Sir , I have read your replies to anon. I wanted to know the scenario that would be prevailing if IAF HQ had re-engined and extensively upgraded MiG-27 fleet .
A. Had the MiG-27 fleet been extensively upgraded , it would remain in service for another 20 years. At the same time IAF would get 311 Su-30 . So thr no of squadrons would have been super duper high. As u-30 is replacing MiG-27 M & MiG-21 M, the no is naturally low.
B. IAF intends to procure 83 Tejas mk2 , 63 Rafales. Are this been done keeping in mind that MiG-27 M fleet will be phased out.
C.There are 40 upgraded MiG-27M. They should remain inservice for anither 2 decades.

Pls pls tell me what would have happened in terms of procurement , the scenario if Mig-27 fleet were ti be extensively upgraded. Has Iaf proclaimed out tht it is going to phase out its MiG-27 fleet. Some decision regarding Mig-27 needs to be taken.

rad said...

HI Prasun
Your take that it would take another 5 years to induct the emb-145 awacs is correct as it seems that even the rafale aesa radar took 5 years to certify . More over india is a newbie in awacs and aesa so i wouldnt be surprised if it took longer ,as they need time to perfect the algorithyms. Please confirm if we have the source codes of the IL-76I phalcon awacs as part of the deal?

abs said...

1) Dont you think we need 2 Air-mobile divisions considering there are 2 fronts?
2)In the case of hostilities during when and which situation would the Air Mobile Division be brought into the fray? And what would their objectives be?
3)What are their envisaged structure? Would they be also acting as the IBGs in having integral firepower and heliborne assets as well as AAA and armoured and mechanised formations including an SOF arm?
4)I think Prasunda that the Dhruv MK4s if equipped with long ranged el-op sensors can do an excellent job of border surveillance and reconnaissance. Are there any plans for arming the Dhruv Mk4s in such a way especially for the SINO front given the conditions prevailing in there where UAVs can't be used optimally as the ones IA and IAF possess?
5)Are there any plans to equip Dhruv-MK4s or any other such rotary winged assets with X-BAND SAR radars for providing valuable surveillance, reconnaisance and Target Acquisition to the IA in the tactical battlespace not opnly for the china front but also for the Pak front?? While the IAF can have RISTAs or the EMB-145I aew&cs(for whom GMTI algorithms are being put in place) for theater level Battlespace surveillance??
I remember you mentioning the need to field such SAR equipped Dhruvs along with the Independent Armoured Brigades.
6)Would the Independent Armoured formations have mast mounted LORROS?
7)When can we see the tactical GLCM version of the LRCM and is there a possibility/plan of such a conventional ALCM variant to be developed for the Nirbhay?
8)Will the IAF look at mig-27M deep upgrade along with re-engining to tide over the shortage in a/cs??
hope for your kind informative replies :)

Anonymous said...

Sir, In "Arudhra MPR Is EL/M-2084 MMR: Seeing Is Believing", u stated 'I've updated the narrative above. Total no of EL/M-2084 MPRs ordered in three versions for the IAF now stand at 34, with all deliveries being completed by 2016.' Now you are saying that 24 have been contracted for so far, & another 12 have been optioned for. Options will be exercised in the latter half of this decade. WHy do you CONTRADICT yourself always ? This means what you are saying now will be subject to change after some time .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.12PM: Quantity of products that are ordered are always subject to change, since no orders are placed in one go, except for the initial order that is inclusive of units that are optioned for. Successive orders are always placed as part of supplementary contracts and therefore the number of confirmed units & optioned-for units continue to vary as time goes by. This is what is reflected in successive threads that deal with a particular product. The changing quantum is thus not a contradiction, but the latest available update.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: The IAF doesn’t possess the source-codes, but the object codes, which enable the PHALCON’s on-board EW library to be updated as & when reqd.

To UNKNOWN: In terms of firefighting units & emergency response capacities, the mandatory guidelines from aircraft OEMs relating to equipment/capability enhancements are always implemented by the IAF.

Anonymous said...

Sir , Pls reply .

sntata said...

Dear Prasun, what is the present status of scram-jet engine development in India. It appears that both DRDO and ISRO as well as Brahmos corporation are developing scram-jet technology independently. Isro's project is called HSTDV or re-usable launch vehicle. DRDO's project is called Hypersonic missile and Brahmos corporation's project is Brahmos-2. Is it not prudent for the the organisations to pool their combined resources?

Anonymous said...

Hi prasun,
why DRDO and ISRO jointly develop projects for missiles and rocket launches

nag said...

dear parsunda. AGNI5 missile specs are always a puzle to me. a 50 tone missle with just 5500km range?
either our R&D is too bad or DRDO is hiding the real range. this is my first post and i have become an adict of this blog. egerly awaiting your comment.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAYAN: The scenario would have been much better had another 60 MiG-21bis been upgraded to Bison standard & if 145 MiG-27Ms had upgraded to UPG standard. This would have catered for the delayed arrival of the Tejas Mk2 & at the same would have arrested the decline in numbers of the IAF’s combat aircraft fleet. In addition, while the Su-30MKIs would then have replaced the MiG-21Ms & MiG-23MFs, the Rafales would have replaced the MiG-23BNs & older Jaguar IS & MiG-27Ms.

To ABS: Possessing two air-mobile divisions is a luxury India cannot afford. As I had explained earlier, a single such formation can be best employed for vertical envelopment operations to threaten the enemy’s rear. The exact structure is still being debated upon. Presently, there are no plans for equipping Dhruv Mk4s or Mi-17V-5s with airborne battle surveillance radars. Rotax engine-powered MALE-UAVs like the Searcher Mk2 or Heron-1 that don’t make use of SATCOM-based flight controls cannot be used for monitoring the tactical battlefield’s depth & therefore the choice boils down to two possible platforms: medium-lift helicopter, or turboprop/turbofan-powered MALE-UAVs equipped with self-defence hardware like chaff/flare dispensers that can be employed for aerial battlefield surveillance at the tactical level. The medium-lift helicopter makes much more sense for India at the moment since this solution is a viable one & can be immediately implemented best on the Mi-17V-5 platform (this is my personal suggestion & I’m not aware of either the IA or IAF ever having evaluated such a prospect). If such cost-effective solutions are implemented, then one won’t need land-based LORROS-type sensors. Conventional variant of Nirbhay-type subsonic cruise missiles is more suited for those countries that routinely seek resort to expeditionary warfare campaigns & have access to specialised platforms like long-range bombers & warships/submarines capable of firing such cruise missiles. Since this type of warfare has not been embraced by India, the reqmt is not yet there for a conventional long-range subsonic cruise missile. It is now too late for the MiG-27M’s ‘deep upgrade’ to get underway. The window of opportunity was between 2005 and 2007.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA: Logically, what you’re suggesting is correct. But in essence there are only two R & D projects dealing with scramjets: the one led by ISRO that is for civilian applications in which Israel Aerospace Industries is a partner; and the other led by DRDO in which Russia is a partner. This is a military-specific project. The BrahMos-2 R & D is a component of the latter.

To NAG: Till today, no one from the DRDO has officially confirmed the total launch weight of the Agni-5. All figures being quoted by ill-informed ‘desi’ journalists are therefore totally wrong. These are the very ‘desi’ journalists that had previously claimed that the Nirbhay cruise missile would be powered by a turboprop!!! The definitive Agni-5’s TEL, comprising the missile encased within a canister, along with the electro-hydraulic mechanism for deploying the canister, plus the launch-control station, will totally weigh 50 tonnes. The missile itself will not weigh more than 22 tonnes at most. Having said that, it must also be noted that the DRDO itself makes contradictory remarks many a time that turns it into a laughing stock. For instance, in its Newsletter dated October 2012, it states that for the EMB-145I, “CABS has designed, developed and tested a 10 metre x 1 metre x 0.5 metre active electronically scanned array (AESA) weighing 1,600kg.” This statement is factually incorrect since the antenna with such dimensions is the L-STAR technology demonstrator, & not the actual AESA antenna, which will be only 8 metres long, as confirmed by the DRDO’s own literature issued during DEFEXPO 2012!!!

Anonymous said...

Are you an Indian citizen ? Or are you from a foreign country .

nag said...

Parsunda thanks for clearing the doubt. after seeing your blog im taking all the reports of our DESI journos with a pinch of salt. too much hype and sensations.

I am fustrated to see why our industries are not able to produce decent small arms. OFB prodly displays their 1903 vintage design HI-power pistol and illegally copied FN FAL. Producing a desent pistol is not rocket science. OFB can do it in house. We are running gunfactories form the british era still we are importing samll things like small arms. even countries which many of them not heard are producing various modules either by reverse engg or by their own design. its discusting a country of 1billion+ cannot do it on their own and we are derreming of becoming super power. God help my country.

abs said...

VMT, very lucid andsimple explanations as always.
1)Prasunda could you tell us as to why the assault rifle to be selected for the F-INSAS program should be compatible with the F-INSAS system?
2)Its very unfortunate that a certain Army HQ barred you from posting your articles in Force. It was cuz of the net national security threat assessment of the DGMI and its conclusions that differed from yours. Could you throw some light on what the Net National Security assessment of the DGMI was?
3)Regarding the Air Mobile division are you trying to mean that such a division would not be tasked with seizing enemy territory or air heads or some other strategic heads during the course of a battle and would only be used as a counter offensive force to attack the flanks and rear of an enemy's rear and flanks that is engaged in the contact battle with the friendly forces? If its the latter then smaller elements taken from this division can perform their roles but if its the former then the whole of the division size is preferable for carrying out such tasks inside enemy territory.
4) Prasunda this is a very humble request from me, If, after having done your 3 part treatise on INDIA-china war and INDIAN responses to it, you could upload a lengthy detailed article on the NCW operations that the IN,IA and IAF are gearing u for, and also mention the Individual Network sub components of the IA,IAF and IN as well as the hardwares that are going into the IA's F-INSAS like the one you had uploaded about Israel during the DEFEXPO.
thanks again :)

Anonymous said...

I was under the.impression that you were from Paschimbanga. That's why I mentioned JU , BESU.

Gessler said...

Troubling you again with another set of questions Prasun bhai, -

1. Other than the Super-MKI, what other IAF fighter ac are planning to use the AN/AAR-60 MILDS-F MAWS system?

2. What's the reason a single real pic of Nirbhay ALCM hasn't come out yet? Given the way how DRDO boasts about stuff, they should have given out many impressions or presentations of it by now.

3. When would the LRCM supersonic LACM be tested?

4. What is the "Air-Launched Article"?? Is it a missile? a PGM like JASSM/JSOW? or what?

5. When could possibly the Rudra gunships be inducted? Within or after 2012?

6. When is the next scheduled test of Agni-5 ICBM?

Sayan said...

Sir , From what i am able to gather from your comments is that even if MiG-27M were to be extensively upgraded and a nother 60 MiG-21 bis was upgraded to bison standard, these aircrafts wouldnt have supplemented the fleet of Rafales, Tejas mk2 once they are inducted. If they had been upgraded , they would have maintained a healthy no of squadrons till all those acs are inducted. Am i right regarding this .

You said IAF will induct 20 new built Jaguar IS . What about that ? When will they be inducted ?

What is Boeing Ground based mid-course defense ? It can intercept almost every type of ballistic missiles fielded to date . Why cant we go for this system instead of BMD phase 2 .

VMT for the replies . You are my man. Waiting for your new posts.

abs said...

and 3 more queries
1) I hope,but then its more of a question of, WILL the Shaurya to be inducted by the IAF would be armed with both TNWs and Conventional warheads.
2) How would the re-engined LUH cheetal carrying 4ATGMs and chaffs and flares dispensers be used by the IAF? Or did i get noth the LUH and the services wrong?
3)V.K. Saraswat had claimed that "every year you would see 1 or 2 MILSATs going up", when and where is this happening?

AK said...

Hi Prasun , THAAD stands for Terminal high altitude area defense. So , if it is deployed at a particular point, what is the max radius of are in form of circle with the point being the centre that it can protect . Will Aegis Ashore be a better option for protecting military airbases, supply depots , ammo dumps, vp & va from massed IRBM,MRBM,TBM strikes than THAAD. It can also protect a much larger area. Any more news on AD-1,2 , PDV ? Can Arrow 3 effectively intercept threats like IRBM .

When will IAF initaiate a massive standoff pgm procurement to uplift the offensive capabilties of IAF .

Anonymous said...

@ Prasun
I think Airbus should have offered a321 instead. It is still in production today. Can DRDO force them to offer a321 instead of a330? Who will be responsible for re-engineering the platform into AWACS?

how many T/R modules does the Phalcon have?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: The F-INSAS is part of a networked solution of which the new-gen assault rifle will only be one component. The idea is to introduce a new-gen assault rifle at the same time as the F-INSAS network is introduced. My three-part nett assessment that will be uploaded this week will fully explain what exactly is in store for India in the years to come. The proposed airmobile division will most likely be tasked to undertake vertical envelopment operations similar to how the USMC’s expeditionary forces & the US Army’s 101st Air-Assault & 82nd Airborne Divisions are trained & equipped for. The idea, though first conceived in 1986, is still the subject of debate within Army HQ. The Shaurya TBM will be inducted by the Strategic Forces Command, with the IAF being its primary custodian. It will be armed with a boosted-fission nuclear warhead, and not a sub-kiloton tactical nuclear warhead. The Cheetal proposal has not yet been accepted by the IA. The IAF on the other hand is interested in acquiring the unarmed version of Cheetal for high-altitude SAR. By MILSATS, the DG of DRDO is referring to the GSAT-series of satellites for the three armed services as well as the seven-unit IRNSS constellation.

To GESSLER: The MILDS-F will go on the Super Su-30MKI, Rafale, to-be-upgraded Jaguar IS & Rudra helicopter-gunships. As for why no photo-release of Nirbhay, to date the DRDO has never released artist’s conceptions of any weapon system that is strategic in nature. The weapon system becomes visible only after the first test-firing. R & D work on the LRCM began in the latter half of 2008 and it should become ‘visible’ by 2014. The LRCM & air-launched article are one & the same. Rudra helicopter-gunships should be inducted by 2014, provided the ATGM is selected by the IA by this year.

To SAYAN: The new-build Jaguars have all been inducted into service. VMT.

To AK: You’ll find all info on THAAD as well as on the TMD simulation system imported by the DRDO from Israel at:
Pay close attention to this poster as well:
Procurement of PGMs is closely related to the procurement of mission sensors like laser designator pods (LDP). Between 1997 and now, procurement of such LDPs along with procurement of simulators like PGM part-task trainers has proceeded along a snail’s pace.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.42AM: You will find your answers in the following thread.

Anonymous said...

To the best of my knowledge, No.17 still flying Mig-21. It has not converted to Su-30MkI.


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