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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Moscow Warms Up To Islamabad

Word from Islamabad is that the Pakistan Army’s Chief of the Army Staff, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, will be visiting Moscow in the coming days, following which Russian President Vladimir Putin will make a two-day official visit to Pakistan starting October 2, during which Putin will meet his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari during talks that are part of a quadrilateral summit to be hosted by Pakistan on October 3 in which Afghanistan’s and Tajikistan’s Presidents will also take part. The credit for initiating high-level dialogues between Moscow and Islamabad goes to Pakistan’s former President-cum-COAS Gen Pervez Musharraf, following his state visit in February 2003. Next to visit Moscow was President Asif Ali Zardari, who paid a three-day official visit to between May 11 and 13 this year. During this meeting, Islamabad had sought Russia’s financial-cum-diplomatic support for the Iran–Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline (for which Germany-based ILF has completed detailed engineering design and according to the interim feasibility report, the cost of the project is between $1.2 and $1.5 billion) after both the US and Saudi Arabia played spoilt-sports last March and forced the world’s largest ban--Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC)—to roll back its plans for syndicating funds for the Pakistani side of the IP gas pipeline. Last year, Pakistan’s own state-owned National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDC) had walked away from the project last year fearing US sanctions. Faced with no other alternative, Islamabad has turned to Moscow for financial assistance for continuance of the IP gas pipeline project.
Interestingly, Moscow has signalled its readiness to warm up to Pakistan’s overtures with the proviso that Pakistan accommodates Russia’s concerns regarding the regional security scenario in Central Asia, given the fact that Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa belt is separated from Tajikistan by Afghanistan’s narrow Wakhan Corridor, and that this belt of Pakistan also borders the Kashgar prefecture of China’s troubled Xinjiang province. To this end, Russia is reported to be willing to extend a sizeable quantum of security assistance to Pakistan, which is likely to include up to 12 new-build Mi-171 helicopters (to be built by the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant) and hundreds of RPO-A Shmel (Bumblebee) shoulder-launched thermobaric rockets, items which the Pakistan Army urgently requires for its upcoming counter-insurgency campaign in North Waziristan.
While in Moscow, Gen Kayani is also likely to canvass for the Kremlin’s approval for three crucial projects: creation of an engine overhaul facility in Kamra for the 84.4kN-thrust Klimov RD-93, whuch powers the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) JF-17 ‘Thunder’ MRCA; another overhaul workshop for the 12  RD & PE Zvezda JSC-built UPAZ-1 aerial refuelling pods in service with the PAF’s four IL-78MKP MRTT transports; continued product-support for the four IL-78MKPs; and most importantly, the export approval for 132kN-thrust AL-31FN turbofans required for powering the initial 40 FC-20 (36-single-seat and four tandem-seat) M-MRCAs that the PAF wants to procure from China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corp (which is also producing the JF-17).


anand said...

As India turn towards US, Pak goes to Russia :)

Anonymous said...

Sir , I have a few queries.

1. Why is Moscow warming up to Pakistsan in such a manner

2.Is the supply of 12 Mi-17v1 and hundreds of RPO rocket launchers a closed deal ? For sure PA will use these rockets against Indian Army bunkers,fortifications along the LOC.

3.In the name of security aid they get various military hardware which will eentually used against us .

4. Will Kremlin clear the sale of 40 AL-31 turbofans and setting up of overhaul faciity for RD-93 ? After this will they sale other high tech stuff to Pakistan army. Airforce ? Why isn't the GoI protesting ?

5. How many FC-20 is PAF procuring? So the no of combat jets is increasing while in our case its the opposite . This time state of the art jets are being bought.

6. Which dickhead in our country ame up with the brillant idea, that everytime anbarmy unit s raised it will be equipped with war wastage reserves instead of brand new equipment being procured ? When will this practise be abolished .

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Thank you very much for all this important information

Some time ago I had written here that
J 10 is held up because Russia is NOT allowing AL 31 engine reexport

Thanks for confirming this

I believe India should NOW pull out its money bags and buy mare goodies from Russia in order to SCUTTLE the AL 31 engine deal

madhup said...

what is the empty weight,loaded weight,mtow,combat radius range,ferry range n service ceiling of tejas N jf 17 .______________________*
tejas mk 1 with dEbry or jf 17 with sd 10 Whch is mre vulnerable ????
Is der any update on r95 aam ??????

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , Mi-17v1 can carry 6 rocket pods. Why can Mi-17v5 carry only four ? With a payload of 50 & 26 soldiers for Chinook and Mi-17v5 what is the max altitude at which they can fly ? When will the airborne divison be operational ? What will be their response time ? How quickly can they go to war ? When will APC,IFV,tank destroyers for the two new mountain divisons be procured ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

interesting article.
Will the IPI be built and if so wat r its consequences for IndiA and also why does the US object to it ?is it bcoz it will integrate IRAn as an energy supplier in Asia leaving the US/West out and China will in turn dictate the Asian energy scene with pipelines crisscrossing the chinese mainland to southeastern countries like some news report suggest(later on from Pak pipeline is supposed to be built to china)? India too would benefit if it joins this proj with Iran at 2007 willing to sell gas in preferntial terms to India.Will india take a second look at this pipeline?Also seems China is working on liquifying technology to liquify gas in iran and to transport it to china/world markets as west refused to share the tech in iran.

Also why would Russia another gas supplier which dreams of supplying to asia be interested in this proj?

Why did the chinese bank back out? The chinese banks are not sposed to have major operations in the US?
Is it a case of extracting something in return?

akash said...

hello prasun,the ak630 guns used by indian navy are manually operated or automatically ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun Da, In Miscellaneous Jottings you have said that MH-60 is not competing for 16 10 tonne ASW helicopters. But in Indian Navy Swears By Its Tavor Family Of Small Arms & Its Four Upgraded Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs you had said the following In the 10-tonne category, the competition is between the Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk and MH-60R, and Eurocopter’s NH-90 .The IN is presently on an overdrive to procure an initial 16 ten-tonne ASW helicopters and 14 twelve-tonne multi-role helicopters to replace the existing 31-year old AgustaWestland Sea King Mk42As and 29-year old Kamov Ka-25s. 16 1O t choppers will replace Ha-25. Now that Ka-28 and Seaking wont be upgraded who will replace the fleet of Ka-28 ?now the no of 12 t helos to be bought is 24. 14 will replace Seaking 42a. Another 18 42cC will be left. 10 12 t will replace them. but theres a requirement for another 8. As for tactical ASW missiles what are to be bought for the 10 and 12 tonne helicopters .

Anonymous said...

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has asked Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to provide Pakistan with the attack/transport Mi-35 helicopters along with Mi-17s in Dushanbe (SCO meeting)

Anonymous said...

if i am not wrong PA dont operate RPO-A Shmel

Anonymous said...

PAF's IL-78MK are powered by the PS-90A turbofans or older D-30K engines???

Anonymous said...

May 12 (RIA Novosti) - A manufacturing plant in southwest China has started to assemble Russian-designed Mi-171 transport helicopters, one of Russia's key arms exports, the Russian business daily Vedomosti said.

is this true???

if yes this will give pak get unlimited no of mi17s from china

Sayan said...

Sir, After the Pechora SAM were upgraded, didnt they have a 32 km range ? performance wise the Pechoras and Akash mk1 are very similar. Infact Akash is a modified Kvadrat SAM. Are there any chances of Akash 2 having an active seeker ?
What is actually Nirbhay ? An uav or a subsonic ground launched cruise missile or an air launched cruise missile ?

Anonymous said...

Is RPO-A Shmel in service with Indian Army ? Is there any overhaul facility for Mig - 29 RD-33 turbofans in India ? What about the sukhoi planes that have been sent to Russia for Level-4 maintenance .

Anonymous said...

eHi Prasun da

1)Desi media is at the MMRCA again. a Leading Mag. defence industry daily has reported that MMRCA is in deep trouble, and India may retender it.It refered to an Indian editor article for Daily pioneer that Dassault has failed tos submit Final documents in time..It went on to say that Cost has gone up to 26 billion USD....Now I dont know whats going on
2)Do u think there is any need for the S 400 SAM in India.Looks a very good SAM..Seems that no aircrafts can escape it......VMT

Anonymous said...

A massive Disaster for India to say the least .

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Peoples said that the WWIII occurred with fickle and shifting alliances before and in between the event.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.23AM: There’s nothing wrong in Moscow warming up to Islamabad for as long as Mpscow gets what it wants with regard to ensuring that the Central Asian Republics are safely insulated against the kind of warlordism that prevails in Afghanistan. The Shmels will be used in North Waziristan, as will the Mi-171s. The Pakistan Army is no condition for going on the offensive against India & this will be so for the next six years at least. Why should GoI protest the sale of Russia-made weapons to Pakistan when it never protested the sale of equally advanced weapons by Russia to China? PAF is procuring only an initial 40 FC-20s. In future it may acquire up to 120. The idea of digging into the war-wastage reserves was born in the early 1990s when the country wasn’t strong financially. After 1999 that policy should have been discarded but for some strange reason it hasn’t. The situation is much worse now, since procurement decisions are extremely hard to come by, thanks to the administrative paralysis that has afflicted the MoD.

To Anon@11.50AM: How can India buy many more goodies from Russia when such goodies are not available from Russia in the first place? The main problem is that from the Indian side, things are either moving extremely slowly or not at all. Just look at the mess of the MRTA & FGFA projects!!! Till this day, HAL has not even been able to come up with the team of Indian designers that are supposed to take part in co-design of the MRTA & FGFA!!! In both these major joint R & D projects, it is India that is responsible for consistently missing the project deadlines!!! In my view, this is all due to India’s insistence on projecting HAL as the principal Indian R & D party at a time when only ADA has all along had the reqd pool of skilled designers. Consequently, A K Antony will in future make a statement in Parliament to confirm that just like many other projects, the FGFA’s & MRTA’s deliveries too will get postponed!!!

To Anon@12.06PM & Anon@12.19PM: For heaven’s sake, just forget about Pakistan, & focus more on India in case you’re an Indian citizen. Pakistan is in a mess today precisely because all Pakistanis were conditioned to always think only about India & Afghanistan 24/7, as a result of which they forgot to think about the welfare of their own country. So don’t fall into that trap. Zaroorat se ziada thekedari mat karna.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MADHUP: Those figures are easily available & you need to indulge in a google-search to get such data. The Tejas Mk2 (not Mk1) with Derby/R-73E/Python-5 AAMs will be more potent than the JF-17/SD-10A/PL-9C combination since the former comes with superior mission avionics/sensor suite.

To RAHUL: It all depends on what kind of rocket pods the Mi-17V-5 is equipped with. Iy can carry two, four or even six rocket pods. Max service ceiling figures are easily available on the OEM’s website. IA is not raising an airborne division, only an air-assault division & it won’t be ready till 2018.

To Anon@7.46PM: Chances of the IP pipeline being built are extremely slim, to say the least, no matter what Russia or Pakistan may think about its prospects. Any bank that’s dealing with US$ or Euro will be subject to sanctions from the US and EU, be it Chinese or Russian. And since China did not want to face crippling financial sanctions, it backed out. It’s that simple. Why should India import gas from Iran when she has more than enough gas reserves in the seabed off the Andaman & Nicobar islands??? If countries like Myanmar can extract gas from the Andaman Sea & export it, why can’t India do so as well? Kindly ask this to question to the GoI.

To Akash: The AK-630Ms are manually commanded & controlled. Their operations are automated.

To Anon@9.22PM: Eurocopter earlier this year decided not to offer the NH-90 as it was expensive & has since decided to offer the AS.565 Panther. The Ka-25s & Sea King Mk42As were withdrawn from service a long time ago. Only 18 Mk42Bs & six Mk42Cs remain. Breakdown us as follows:
56 Light twin-engined LUHs tendered out for replacing existing SA.316B Alouette IIIs. Bell 429 and A-109Power are in the fray.
16 x 10-tonne MRHs tendered out. 32 more to be procured in successive tranches. Contenders are S-70B & AS.565 Panther. MH-60R & NH-90 are not in the fray.
24 x 12-tonne MRHs for which RFIs have been issued. MH-92 Superhawk & AW-101 are the only two contenders.
Avionics upgrades for Ka-28PLs & Sea King Mk42Bs cancelled. Ka-28Pls will be replaced by 10-tonne MRHs while the Sea King Mk42Bs & Mk42Cs will be replaced by 12-tonne MRHs.
As for ASCMs, the NSM from Norway’s Kongsberg & Sea Marte Mk2 are on offer.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.50PM: It doesn’t. But it wants to.

To Anon@10.01PM: D-30Ks.

To Anon@10.12PM: The licence is only for assembling the Mi-171s supplied from Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant & is strictly for domestic use, & nor for export.

To SAYAN: The S-125 Pechora upgrade covered only the fire-control system & not the missile rounds. Akash Mk2 won’t have active seeker, nut only a higher energetic propellant for increased range. Nirbhay will be a nuclear warhead-armed ALCM as per my findings, which include official data from HAL on its powerplant, & a CEMILAC poster confirming Nirbhay’s integration with Su-30MKI. In future it may well evolve further as a GLCM-simulating drone or even SLCM.

To Anon@11.12PM: No, Shmel is not in service with IA, since the IA prefers the C-90 from Spain’s Instalaza (first bought during OP Vijay in 1999). RD-33 family of turbofans are overhauled in HAL’s Koraput facility. No Su-30MKIs have been sent to Russia for Level-4 maintenance. Only the AL-31FPs have been sent after attaining their mandatory TBO figures.

To Anon@12.51AM: Just malicious rumours at the behest of the defeated contenders. Escaping from or avoiding the S-400 is far more easier than escaping from a SHORADS or E-SHORADS, rest assured. There’s no need for the S-400 or even S-300 or even V-2500, since the Barak-2 LR-SAM is in the pipeline for service induction by 2014.

To DASHU: No, it is not. But this is:
The IN has been using Narcondam Island since the 1970s for shore bombardment practice & even then the Hornbills haven’t become extinct. So now, how can the construction of a coastal surveillance radar for the ICGS on the island make such birds extinct or pose any grave danger to their natural habitat? Do you now see how stupid the GoI’s Ministry of Environment & Forests is?

Sayan said...

Sir ,
Isnt Barak-2 a MRSAM with 70 km range and Barak-8 a LRSAM with 120 km range ? Are both systems in the order book for IAF ? Isnt IAF only buying Barak-8? And what about Army ? Are they buying Barak-2 , Barak-8 ? Whats the operational date of Barak-8? Performane wise and spec wise Kvadrat seems to be better than Akash mk1. The former has a semi active seeker .,r:11,s:12,i:147&biw=1366&bih=497

it shows a S-300 command post vehicle. So is S-300 operational with Airforce ? Can you pls give the no of Barak-8 & 2 ordered by IAF & IA .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAYAN: How can a S-300 command-post vehicle have a Garpun-BAL radar in front of it? Those photos are of the 4K51 Rubezh coastal defence weapon system.

Sayan said...

Sir, So is the 4K51 Rubezh coastal defence weapon system in service with Indian Navy ?

Isnt Barak-2 a MRSAM with 70 km range and Barak-8 a LRSAM with 120 km range ? Are both systems in the order book for IAF ? Isnt IAF only buying Barak-8? And what about Army ? Are they buying Barak-2 , Barak-8 ? Whats the operational date of Barak-8? Performane wise and spec wise Kvadrat seems to be better than Akash mk1. The former has a semi active seeker .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAYAN: Of course it is. It has been in service since the 1970s. The Barak-2 MR-SAM is for the Navy, while the Barak-8 LR-SAM is for the IAF. By 2015 the Barak-8 will be ready for delivery. The Army doesn't need LR-SAM & is waiting for the Akash Mk2. If the Akash Mk2 doesn't arrive on time, then the Barak-2 MR-SAM will be considered for procurement. Both Kvadrat/Kub & Akash missiles employ the same command-line-of-sight guidance principle.
The confusion on the Barak-2/8 always arises due to faulty publication of data by the MoD's successive annual reports. In some reports the Barak-2 is referred to as MR-SAM for the IAF & in some as LR-SAM for the Navy. This should not be surprising at all, since the annual reports have frequently misguided many, for instance, by claiming that the DRDO was developing 4-D Arudhra MPRs!!! Similarly, the LSTAR was earlier referred to as an L-band radar, when it ultimately turned out to be an S-band radar.

Sayan said...

Sir, How many such Rubezh systems are currently operational ? What anti ship missile does it use ? Which part of the coast does these systems protect ? When will Akash mk2 be delivered to Army . Any news on it. DRDO promised to complete R& D on it by 2012.

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun, Why will the 54 infantry divison take such long time to convert into an airborne divison ? Upto how long will IA war wastage reserves persist ? After VK Singh' letter to thePM was leaked to the media, the MoD initiated an emergency procurement of vital ammo supplies including tank ammunition. Around 10000 tank rounds were ordered . Has the deliveries started ? Besides every ammo has a shelf life. The ammo & tank riunds that were purchased in 1990s and during op Vijay needs to be replaced . Has that been taken care of ? Are new airburst state of the art rounds for carl Gustav recoilless rifles in production by OFB. Their site doesn't show one. IMI has been blacklisted. Now from where will IA procure their tank rounds nd other ammunition. It needs to be lifted .

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da...

I was going thro SAAB India site...Found this "Saab has offered the anti ship missile, RBS- 15 in response to Navy’s requirements for Mobile Coastal Missile Systems as well as for the inter-services requirement of a land attack cruise missile with capability to be launched from land, sea, and air platforms"
Link: "

There is some contest going on to replace those obsolete P15 Anti ship missile as shown in those Pics in Mumbai for a new coastal missile system..Saab also offered RBS 15 with Saab 2000 MPA to IN ...

Can u thro some light on these and who are the other contenders...VMT

Anonymous said...

Prasun need your insights on Chinese Def Min dolling out INR100,000 hangpo to IAF pilots. Was it token of appreciation or was he teasing us? They say do in Rome what Romans do - so Def Min should have appreciated IAF pilots as they are treated in India.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAYAN: There are less than 10 4K51 Rubezh systems presently operational along the western & eastern seaboards & they use the old P-20 missiles. There are no updates emerging on the Akash Mk2.

To RAHUL: I repeat once again, that the 54th Infantry Division WILL NOT be an airborne outfit like the PLA’s 15th Airborne Army. Instead, it will be an air-assault formation. None of its personnel will be qualified parachutists. Restructuring & re-equipping an existing formation takes time anywhere, not just in India. On paper WWR is supposed to last for 30 days. After the March 11, 2012 letter, all that the MoD did was to authorise its Finance Division to mobilise the financial resources reqd for issuing RFPs for urgently reqd hardware like the 16,000 rounds of 125mm MBT ammo. After 90 days, once the RFPs are received they will be opened & the L-1 bidder will be issued the contract after another six months. If brand-new stocks are ordered, they will be delivered only two years later. If existing stocks with 7 years of shelflife are ordered, then the deliveries can take place in 90 days. OFB has miserably failed to indigenize some types of rounds for the 84mm Carl Gustav & therefore they’re still being imported from Sweden. 125mm rounds are available from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovakia & China.

To Anon@6.22PM: The RBS-15 Mk3 is being offered as both an air-launched & surface-launched ASCM jointly by Saab & its local Indian representative, Pipavav Defence & Offshore Ltd. The idea is to integrate the to-be-acquired truck-mounted (motorised) Mobile Coastal Missile Systems (for replacing the 4K51 Rubezh) with the now-being-installed Coastal Surveillance System (with a range of 35nm), which also is a SaabTech product. The other ASCM contenders are the famous container-mounted 3M25 Uran-E from Russia’s Rosoboronexport State Corp/Tactical Missile Corp JSC, MBDA’s MM-40 Block-2 Exocet, & Kongsberg’s NSM. The BrahMos was never considered as it would be an over-kill.

To Anon@9.26PM: It was a genuine token of appreciation, no doubt about that, but the resident Chinese Defence Adviser (DA) based in India should have advised the visiting Defence Minister way in advance about the sensitivities attached in India to such cash handouts. After all, the visiting Defence Minister’s travel itinerary plus related travel/accommodation details within India were all finalised at least a month ago with the help of inputs about Indian military protocol from the Chinese DA. Therefore, had the Chinese DA properly briefed China’s Minister of National Defense about all this, then the visiting Defence Minister would have exercised discretion & would have returned the favour in kind by extending to A K Antony or any other Indian defence minister the same privileges on a reciprocal basis when the latter goes to China in future.

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , it's just a writing mistake . I know that it's an air assault division . But everytime I go to write it , I write airborne instead . IMI tank rounds are the best among all those on offer . Aren't they ? Even Bosnia produces tank ammo . Other than Russia does IA procure tank ammo from these countries ? Are they any good ? The tank ammo that were procured in the aftermath of Op Vijay and during Op Parkram have already reached the end of their shelve lives . Won't new rounds be procured to replace them ? Is the very latest round for Carl Gustav in the orderbook for Army ? All the various types of ammo that reach the end of their lives , does the Army periodically replace them or old ammo are still in use . Is the tardy procurement process and blacklisting affecting this process . This is very essential for operational prepardns.

Is the Tejas mk2 project on track ? Why isn't IAF going for Vixen 1000 instead of 850 . And why isn't IAF preferring SABR or RACR or RBE-2 ? Regarding towed RF decoy which system is going on board ? And are the various AoA related proba if Tejas mk1 solved ?

Ajai said...

Hello Prasun ,

Are you aware about the specs of Barak-8 ,we know it got a range of 70 km but what about its minimum and maximum altitude of interception , its top and average speed.

It seems the Naval Barak-8 lags in range compared to Aster-30 110 km and Russian 9M96E1 at 120 km.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAHUL: The 125mm APFSDS rounds from Israel & Russia are the best at the moment. The 16,000 new rounds being sought are replacements for those bought in 2002. Then there’s the DRDO also wanting to develop new-generation 125mm & 120mm APFSDS rounds. The latest Carl Gustav rounds will be procured directly from Sweden. The Tejas Mk2 is on track & delivery of the F414 turbofans will commence by the year’s end. The Vixen-850 has been designed specifically for fitment inside the Tejas Mk2’s nosecone & compatibility with the Honeywell-built ECS. In terms of performance the Vixen 850 is superior to the RACR, SABR & RBE-2, as the Vixen 850 has a much wider field-of-regard & comes as a package along with the Skyward IRST sensor, a feature which other AESA-MMRs from the US & Israel lack. As of now, no towed-decoy has been selected for the Tejas Mk2. AoA issues with the Tejas Mk1 remain unresolved. The RecceLite pod too has not yet been integrated.

To AJAI: The 70km-range Barak-2 has a minimum range of 2km & max range of 70km & altitude ceiling of 20km. Minimum engagement altitude is 3 metres. Top speed will be Mach 3+. Lateral acceleration is 80 G, length is 4,550mm, diameter is 225mm & weight is 276kg. The 120km-range Barak-8 will have an extra booster rocket attached, but in-flight performance with sustainer rocket will be the same as Barak-2. MBDA’s counterpart to the Barak-2 is Aster-15, while the Aster-30 should be compared with the Barak-8.

F said...


If stored in proper conditions, where there is a minimum of humidty, what are the shelf lifes of most shoulder launched weapons? I've been told that Russian made RPG-7s rounds have been known to work, even after being stored for 20 odd years, is this true?

Have you seen the latest Tempur? It seems the Malaysian army bought 10,500 RPG-7 rounds from Romania, which has a diametre of 70mm, rather than 80 mm, on most RPG rounds. Why buy from Romania, instead of Pakistan [like in the past] or Russia? Contracts were also signed for the Nammo M72A9 [ASM] and RPG rounds from Ruag.
And why this sudden need for additional shoulder launched weapons to add to the Carl Gustav, C-90 and the 20,000 odd RPG-7 rounds from Pakistan?

Is it true that way back in 2002, the Armour Directorate had recomended the KMDB T-84 and that the PT-91M was not even in the running?

Any possibility of Nizni Tagil performing upgrade work on the Pakistan army's T-84s, rather than KMDB?

What are the pros and cons of buying FAE warheads like Schmel, for FIBUA/anti-bunker use, as opposed to stuff like Bunkerfaust and the Nammo M72A9 [Anti-Structure Munition]? Wouldn't FAE warheads produce a much better blast effect?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: Typically, the rounds will have a 10-year shelflife, if stored as per specifications. Concerning RPG-7 rounds, the Romanian & even Bulgarian rounds are cheaper than what POF produces & the RPG-7 rounds from POF are fast approaching the end of their shelflives & therefore need replacement. There are different types of RPGs for different missions. While the 84mm Carl Gustav comes with a variety of rounds (anti-personnel, anti-bunker, anti-armour), it is more useful for regular infantry forces for whom a reusable launcher is more utilitarian. The RPG-7 too follows a similar design/operating philosophy. The C-90 is a disposable LAW, whose launcher cannot be re-used. Typically, such LAWS are much more lighter & are therefore used mainly by special operations forces (like RGK & Paskal) & those infantry forces specialising in high-altitude warfare. In this case, between the Shmel & C-90, the latter scores higher because in the rarified atmosphere at high altitudes, FAE-based warheads aren’t effective at all, as discovered by the Indian Army in 1998 when it conducted competitive firing trials in northern Kashmir between the Shmel & C-90. In the plains or a sea-level, FAE warheads work much better & are more effective for FIBUA-type scenarios.
In 2002, the T-84 was not even under consideration as it had failed a crucial mobility test in 2000 (while negotiating marshy terrain) & had to be towed out (perhaps because it uses an air-cooled engine as opposed to a water-cooled engine of the PT-91M & T-90S). Between the T-84 & T-90S at that time, the T-90S had emerged as the clear victor. The Pakistan Army has T-80UDs, not T-84s. For their upgrading, KMDB will be doing the work. Nizhny Tagil if I’m not mistaken went bankrupt a long time ago. Today, Uralvagonzavod JSC is the only surviving MBT manufacturer in Russia.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

Out of the four contenders u mentioned for coastal missile system....which do u think is best for india??Keeping the L1 bidder in mind

Mr. Ra 13 said...

The data as available for FC-20 makes it look formidable. It could have been a comfortable competitor even for the Indian MMRCA tender. So Russia providing the engines of FC-20 for Pakistan as end users can be detrimental to the Indian interests at least in the short and medium run. Kindly provide your valued opinion in this regard.

F said...


Did a quick search. It seems Uralvagonzavod JSC is based in the town of Nizhny Tagil.

Did the RTA actually sign a deal for the Oplots from KMDB?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.49AM: Te Russian bidder will surely emerge as the L-1 bidder. But in terms of what's the best offer, both the NSM & RBS-15 Mk3 are evenly matched. The NSM is of course stealthier & it too could emerge as L-1 IF the same missile is selected for the IN's shipborne MRH.

To FARIS: You're right. I got confused between Nizhny Tagil & Omsk (which went bankrupt). The RTA is indeed the launch export customer for the Oplot MBT & BTR-4 APC.

To Mr.RA 13: The FC-20 will be superior to the Block 52 F-16C/Ds in terms of weapons carriage capability, but will still be inferior to the F-16C/D in terms of mission avionics/sensors. Mind you, China has yet to develop even passive phased-array radars for combat aircraft, leave alone AESA-MMRs. Even the J-20's two prototypes are now flying with slotted-array radars. Overall, therefore, in technological terms the FC-20 will be quite far behind the IAF's Rafales by almost a decade. The only advantage the FC-20 enjoys over the PAF's F-16C/D is that it can be refuelled by the PAF's existing four IL-78MKPs, whereas the F-16C/Ds & even JF-17s cannot (since the IL-78MKPs don't have the rear-mounted probe-and-drogue system). And the PAF's F-16s & JF-17s are not equipped with external fixed probes for receiving fuel in mid-air.

rad said...

Hi Prasun

As you mentioned the at the FC-20 -s equal to the F-16 in performance dont you think GOI of india should apply all types of pressures to the russians to stop t he sale of engines to the ac, after all we are in a deep partnership with them for the pakfa-subs-warships etc leading to 50 Billion $ plus trade and they are back stabbing us for 100mil worth engines? .We are in the driving seat and could dictate terms to them when done tactfully.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da
From anon@1.49 am

The Russian BAL E/Uran is a little old system and has range of only 130 Km.Range will be important thing in such coastal missile system..I guess.Unless the Russians offer the latest Club M coastal missile system...I dont think the Uran will be good choice.So far I have not heard abt Konsberg NSM launched from helicopters.Its the penguin missile...NSM is better in performance..Recent and latest missile...but price tag might hurt its prospect..seems the SAAB RBS15MK3 is the one...its operational for long time..Range more then 250 KM...Ur thoughts pls

AK said...

Hi Prasun , As the IAF begins inducting into service AESA equipped Rafale,Tejas mk2 & most importantly Su-30MKI, will the current way of engaging ground targets that has been preent since the 1990s remain. Nowadays IAF has acces to a wide variety of PGM of various types and ranges. With the advent of SAR,GMTI modes in radar the very method of striking ground targets has changed. IAF should employ the approach where huge tracts of territory of interest will be scanned and mapped with SAR,ISAR from a great distance ( about 70+ km ). The AESA based MMR are capable of mapping from an even greater distance and that too in a good resolution . Non aesa radars are also able to achieve the 70 km mark. Once an area has been mapped , possible targets should be picked out. If it is to be engaged modern wing equipped or rocket powered or surface to air missiles with terminal seekers should be employed .The target pic should be fed to the PGm along with its coordinates. Using inertial nav , GPS the PGM will make its way towards its target. Once near to it the onboard comp will correlate the stored pic with that obtained from mmR or IIR seeker and then strike the target with pinpoint accuracy. All this is to be done from a great distance. In this type of bombing, weather cannot provide any hindarance. And all impediments to the mk1 eyeball shall be of no consequence as everything is being accomplshed with radar or passive iir seeker.

IAF must entirely do away with iron bombs and replace existing stockpiles of them with standoff pgm .Various sorts of PGM needs to be procured - 1. with a 50km+ range % employing terminal seeker, inertial nav. 2.100 + km munitions such as Popeye, JSOW , MUPSOW , SDB. 3.Then theres 150-2OO km range missiles such as JNSM , RBS-15MK3 ,Kh-59. After this is very long range ALCM in 300-500 km category.

iron bombs should be replaced with AASM or a similar type weapon. Upranged AASM having a 120 km range ar also required. Laser guided bombing techniques should be put aside and be used to a very small extent. The moment you discared this technique and adopt the newr practises the moment you become invulnerable to adverse weather and poor visibilty over the tactical battlefield. Iraqis deliberately made large bonfires from discarded tyres , crude oil to protect it vital assets. Laser emissions are unable to pass through such smoke. All the existing stockpiles of 10-20m km range AGM such as KKh-29, AS-30L needs to be replaced with longer ranged missiles with 80+ range & having iir/mmw seekers . AASM can effectively take on the role of these munitions.

Such muntions are very much required for staying outside the engagement envelope of enemy air defense systems & attcking HVT. Attrition replacements will also be null if such techniques are employed. Its very very difficult to escape from present gen MR-SAM, SHORADs. Using such munitions will also enable to neutralise a target with a less amount of bombs as they are deadly accurate thus reducing the no pof sorties to be taken and freeing air assets fot other vital tasks.

Loitering munitions like deliah needs to be procured in bulk for hunting out enemy LACM,TBM,IEBM launchers , mobile air defense platforms.

Almost all of IAF fighter jets equipped with such radars can undertake this bombing techniqe. MiG-29 will be able to do so from relatively short distances- around 40-50 km due to its slotted planar radar. AESA mmr , irst equipped Jaguars can also do this very effectively.Su-30, Tejes mk2, Rafale , M2000 will be able to employ this technique to the fullest .

Anonymous said...

Is the requirement for M-MRCA 126+63= 189 or 220 ?

Anonymous said...

Sir , I have a few queries .

1. what will be the per annum delivery of Rafale ? I have read that HAL is setting up facilties for manufacturing 14 aircrafts per annum. While according to u and RFP it calls for producing 20 acs per annum .

2. In the near future will HAL expand its production facilities to produce more than 20 acs.

3. The 4 new infantry divisons being raised , are they also being equipped with equipments from Army reserves ?

4.Are jeep mounted 105 mm RCl rifle still in active service with IA? Does IA operate BMP-1. In Nat Geo Mission Army BMP-2 was showed but not BMP-1.

5. When will Javelin missile deal for 3000 missiles be signed?

6. Do regular infantry use C-90 or are they reserved for special forces ? How many are in service as of now ?

7. What is the status of the C-27J deal for 6 such acs for IAF ?

SK said...

I agree with RAD. GOI should put more pressure on Russia to stop supplying the AL-31 engines for the FC-20. I wouldn't mind Pak acquiring the problem prone RD-33/93 Engines for the JF-17. Unlike China, Pak is not a big market....something which Russia can ignore for the sake a long term partner like India.

When will the MRO facility for the AL-31 engines take-off in India ?

Anonymous said...

Sir , RISTA Platforms Sought For Persistent Vigil

Are the 4 RISTA platforms for IAF or NTRO ? Are both IAF & NTRO procuring 4 each ? What platform has been selected ? Can you pls specify the its sensors payload in brief . Recently 3 Bombardier jets were also purchased. What are they ? Besides 2 ASTRA , to be acquired RISTA , what are the other intelligence gathering air platforms of RA&W . Pls tell in brief the inventory .

Pls dont mind if i am off topic. Pls reply .

Anonymous said...

in the story it saying about one diplomat Ghulam Rasool Baloch.Is he is an indian mole

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , Besides APFSDS there are also other tank rounds such as HE , HE-FRAG , anti-infantry , APAMS rounds. Won't orders be placed for replacing the previous stocks and augmenting the present level . Rounds procured during op Parakram have already expired their lives . Does Russia allow the export if it's latest tungsten based and most advanced APFSDS ?

Besides AoA problem , there is another problem fced by Tejas. When a 1000 ld bomb or other heavy weaponry is fitted , the centre of gravity shifts. When will all the problems be sorted ? Ultimately will te designers have to get back to the drawing boards ? Won't this affect R&D of Tejas mk2. Tejas mk2 is also facing a similar problem .

VMT for answering .

Mr. Ra 13 said...

The 84.4kN-thrust Klimov RD-93, whuch powers the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) JF-17 is not considered to be any superior engine. However any Russian help to Pakistan in this matter may bring at least some quantitative changes to the balance of equations. I have read somewhere that Pakistan’s target is to amass 250 Nos of JF-17s. If this is correct or otherwise, how this affects the changes in balance.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD & SK: Just try to look at it this way: the PAF’s F-16A/B MLU F-16C/D projects are structured in such a way with so many contractual limitations on their usage that the hardware cannot be effectively employed against India for offensive purposes. Nor are EF-2000 & Rafale available as they are cost-prohibitive. Only the JAS-38 Gripen NG is available, but again it is powered by G414s, giving the US a leverage over this aircraft. Therefore, the PAF has no choice but to ask the PRC to export the FC-20. The PRC agrees, & so does Russia. But the downside is that the PAF will be devoid of access to the latest Western technologies in the arena of mission avionics/sensors, as has been the case with the JF-17. On top of that, the PAF will have to henceforth become dependent on Russia for spares supply for the RD-93 & AL-31FN. And as we all know, the Russian track-record in these areas is erratic at best, especially when it comes to smaller aircraft fleets like those of the JF-17 & FC-20. Nor will Russia agree to ToT for locally producing engine spares in either the PRC or Pakistan. Therefore, the way I see it, the PAF, should it choose to increase its dependence on Russia, will become a let loser. It therefore makes no sense for India to oppose such weapons sales to Pakistan in any way. Furthermore, it is not India, but Russia who is better-positioned to tighten the screws against India because India has been steadily faltering on its commitments made for the MRTA & FGFA projects, as I’ve already commented above. Just watch how Vladimir Putin next month arrives in India & gives a mouthful to the Indian leadership about all such issues.

To Anon@11.55AM: Range will not be important at all due to two factors: the nature of the threat; & the need to integrate these coastal ASCM Batteries with the now-being-installed coastal surveillance system (which can look out to only 50nm). As far as the threat perceptions go, long-range becomes necessary ONLY IF hostile carrier battle groups or task forces are seen as primary targets. In Pakistan’s case, for instance, the threats will not be any principal surface combatant at all, since the PN will prefer to use its C-602s to attack from its side of Sir Creek against maritime targets along the Rann of Kutch. Likewise, only the PN’s Qing-class SSKs will be in a position to attack any other port in either the western or eastern seaboard of India with sub-launched Baburs. As for the PLA Navy, the OTHR system in southeastern India will, once operationalised, be more than enough to give advance warning of hostile fleet movements to shore-based BrahMos MALs. The NSM is already certified for use by the NH-90 & it can easily be integrated with other shipborne MRHs, if reqd. Also to be noted is that coastal ASCM Batteries often operate in a standalone mode without any real-time inputs from LRMR/ASW aircraft & therefore cannot benefit from over-the-horizon targeting cues. Therefore, long-range ASCMs are unnecessary when it comes to coastal defence.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AK: SAR (purely for navigation purposes) & GMTI (for land-mobile/manoeuvring target acquisition) modes of operation will be used only for nighttime strikes. And for locating targets during both in daytime & by night, the RecceLite pod from RAFAEL has already been acquired & is in service with the Jaguar IS/DARIN-2. In fact, during daytime, it is these RecceLite pods that provide target acquisition/location cues to a mobile ground-station & it is based on this that the IAF’s Mi-25/35P attack helicopters (which don’t have any AAMs for self-protection) & MiG-27UPGs are then scrambled to attadck the hostile manoeuvring targets. That’s why till this day, in every major Army exercise, one has never seen the IAF’s attack helicopters flying over & ahead of the IA’s advancing armoured formations. Simply put, the IAF operates independently of the IA when it comes to locating & attacking hostile armoured formations. To me, this is a wrong approach as it prevents coordination & synergy with the IA’s existing SA.315B Cheetah/Lama light observation & recce helicopters & in future the Rudra helicopter-gunship. Till today, the IAF’s radio communications systems are incompatible with those of the IA, & therefore instead of waging an integrated & seamless AirLand Battle campaign, both the IA & IAF wage their own standalone campaigns. Consequently, even if one armed service acquires PGMs, it won’t result in any huge tactical gains in the battlefield for as long as there’s no integration between the IAF & IA.

To Anon@12.55PM: Yes. It is 189.

To Anon@1.19PM: 1) It is 14, but I very much doubt HAL’s ability to deliver more than 12 per annum. 2) That too looks doubtful, since HAL has between 2000 & now failed to keep up with even the Su-30MKI’s production schedules. 3) Yes, very much so. 4) 106mm RCL & BMP-1s are still active, since the OFB continues to produce 73mm ammo. 5) No one can tell. 6) C090s are only for Mountain Divisions of the IA & for SOF of IA & IN. 7) 6 x C-27J not for IAF, but for BSF. Nothing’s finalised as yet.

To Anon@6.27PM: The 4 RISTA platforms are exclusively for the IAF. R & AW’s ARC will procure two additional platforms. The Global 5000 from Bombardier Aerospace will be common to both fleets.

To Anon@6.46PM: I don’t think so. Maybe over-enthusiastic, but he’s no traitor.

To RAHUL: All other 125mm rounds except the APFSDS-type are already being produced by OFB since full ToT has been received from Russia. Therefore, there’s no need to import them. Russia has offered its latest APFSDS rounds to India. If there are problems faced by Tejas Mk1 regarding 1,000lb bombs, then might as well as carry 500ln LGBs. As it is, Tejas Mk1 will be produced in minimal numbers & therefore it won’t be able to make any meaningful contribution in any future air campaign. It is therefore better to await the arrival of Tejas Mk2.

To Mr.RA 13: I don’t see the PAF going beyond 120 JF-17s. An the way things are headed for in FATA & Baluchistan, the Pakistan Army will be fully engrossed in a counter-insurgency campaign for at least another decade & will be unable to undertake any kind of conventional offensive campaign.

rad said...

HI Prasun

The chinese subs and babur combination is a deadly weapon as they can stand off in international waters and fire the missiles which will have a range of 1000km so they can hit the hinterland installations as well which is a night mare . All vital installations have to be protected by Shorads adding to the cost .We can do the same thing and fire the nirbhay missiles , but it should take 5 years plus to operationlise them .
You are saying that we have a OTHR radar ?! where and what make is it please explain details, thats great news!!
I thought russians were the ones dragging their feet in the MTA deal , please explain?.
China and pakistan will know that russians can prevent spares to pakistan so they will definitely order a huge excess war reserve spares and even in that situation China will step in and provide spares in war time as they have the same engine and should carry enough stocks.I wont be surprised if they have already reversed engineered the spares as they are good in that.

Anonymous said...

Sir , I have a few more queries .

1. In the introductory portion of RFP of M-MRCA, it is stated that the delivery of MMRCA , Rafale to IAF must be at the rate of 20 per annum so as to arrest the depleting squadron levels. So, if HAL cant deliver why cant Dassault supply more Rafales off the shelf or in knocked down condition for license assembly by HAL every year ?

2. Why cant MoD and IAF combined ask HAL to ramp up its production rate to 20 aircrafts or more ?MoD can spend more money on HAL to expand its production facilties. This along with supply by Rafale will make the delivery faster .

3. IAF is the end customer. So when HAL cant deliver on date why doesnt it say anything ? For so many years Su-30 production is behind schedule ?Isnt there any solution to this ? Will the situation improve in future.

4. Why isnt MoD abolishing the existing practise of equiping new divisons with war wastage reserves ?

5. Is the current production rate of Akash 500 missiles per annum ?

6. When will deep upgrade of T-90S to T-90AM begin ? Cant DRDO modify the armour package with Kanchan composite armour along with the Russian new armour package and Relikt era ?

7. Is there any plans of up-armouring BMP-2,1 with add-on composite armour slabs such that they can take 20 mm hits all over the its body , fitting new turrets with new sensors and modern weaponry ?

8. When will IA buy light weight tanks for fielding in hilly terrain ?

Thanx .

Anonymous said...

Sir, I am anon at September 8, 2012 6:27 PM.

Can you pls tell what RISTA platforms are being procured for IAF & RAW and what will be their ELINT,SIGINT, radar suite ? Are the same platform been selected for IAF & RAW ? Whats the difference between Litening and RecceLite pods? Whats the maximum standoff ditance from where RecceLite can take its photos ?

Pls reply to the above 3 ques .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: It is pretty obvious that the IAF will have to procure a few coastline-based EL/M-2258 MF-STAR radars along with Barak-2s in order to intercept any incoming SLCMs. The OTHR facility WILL come up as part of Project Varsha along India’s southeastern seaboard. It is not the Ruskies, but India that has unable to assemble the design team for both the MRTA & FGFA. HAL is lagging far behind schedules. Worldwide, no one OEM produces or stocks up aircraft-related spares beyond a three-year demand schedule. Spares are always delivered AFTER an indent for quantities not lasting beyond three years is placed.

KSK said...

How hard is it to do a little research before publishing ... it is embarrassing for such big papers do such idiotic errors :(

AK said...

Hi Prasun , I am focusing on the need to aquire and engage targets from a large standoff diatance and also being able to scan,map the area of interest from a very large distance which conducting a surface strike mission during an offensive air campaign . And there is also the need to engage ground targets both day,night and in all sorts of weather conditions , even during zero visibility. Present bombing techniques requires the attacking aircraft to come very close to the target and expose itself to a wide range of sams- SHORADS,MANPADS,AAA,MR-SAM. It is for such reason that PAF has begun inducting in huge nos H-4 standoff PGM . So there is a paramount need for IAF to place huge orders of AASM type smart PGM to replace conventional iron bombs as well a wide variety of AGM with inertial nav, terminal seekers . Acquiring targets from a huge distance is the domain where SAR radars along with GMTI-T comes into play. Radar waves are able to pass through cloud,fog and other visual obscurants. SAR,ISAR is of herculean importance in conducting knowledge based ground attack . To overcome the various shortcomings faced with laser guided bombs and the asscociated bombing technique, Americans came up with JDAM. Then they came up with a wing equipped version to increase range and now most of their surface attck munitions come equipped with terminal seekers whether mmw or iir .

Why for target acquisition during daytime Recelite pod is used ? It can also perform at night. It’s an all weather pod. Does it enable the pilot to conduct tactical recon from a good standoff distance or it requires the jet to be positioned vertically above or a km or two from the target .
Why does AASM has a range on 55 km whereas Boeing small diameter bomb , JSOW,H-4 have ranges more or less around 120 km ?

F said...


Would like to get you opinion on this idea I have. Given that land warfare in certain countries will take place in urban or semi-urban conditions, rather than in broad, open places such as the north European plains or the deserts of the Sinai, how useful would 'independent' tank hunting teams be? I'm thinking along the lines
of a combination of the Chechian model - which saw small anti-tank teams, armed with RPGs, and Dragunovs and LMGs to protect RPG gunners, operating on foot - and Hezbollah anti-tank teams armed with ATGWs.

What I have in mind are platoon size teams - operating on 4x4s and motorbikes - which can be broken down in 2-3 teams. Each would be armed with ATGWs for engagements up to 3-4 kilometres and for closer engagements would rely on shoulder launched weapons. Tactics would call for the silmultaneous attack on targets, to increase the chances of a penetration, as was done by the Chechians and Hezbollah and off course full use would be made to achieve surprise and take advantage of the terrain.
Other members of the teams would include sharpshooters to protect the AT gunners and light machine guns and AGLs to provide supressive fire against enemy infantry.

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , I have visited OFB official site . Saw the HEAT , HE tank rounds that OFB at present is producing . These are vintage rounds that are meant for T-72. Can you pls specify some T-90 specific rounds or more aptly the rounds that have been purchased as part of T-90 package. State of the aret sophisticated HEAT,HE,HE-FRAG,anti-infantry rounds are not manufactured by OFB. There are 3000 tanks in IA. Why only 16000 APFSDS ? A minimum of 10 per tank will require 30000 rounds . APAMS tank round needs to be procured .

In Tejas mk2 can the ADA engineers & technocrats solve the various probs pertaining to Tejas mk1. In Rafale the Front Sector Optronics does it employ any IR based search & track device ? Didnt see one. The bigger the aperture for IRST the greater the range. But in case of Rafale two small spherical surfaces are present above the nose .

Like you said to RAD that IAF has to procure a few EL/M-2258 to intercept any incoming SLCM. Is IAF fielding enough MF-STAR / Barak-8 combination to protect all military , military - industrial facilties , weapons production centres , troop garrisions , storage areas of tanks, APC,IFV ., airbaes , C3 ?

Anonymous said...

In ur reply To RAD & SK: Just try to look at it this way: the PAF’s F-16A/B MLU F-16C/D projects are structured in such a way with so many contractual limitations on their usage that the hardware cannot be effectively employed against India for offensive purposes. ...

If this is the case it (contractual limitations) might be applicable to India also hence India should stay away from US arms in anycase .isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Sir , pls ans .

Anonymous said...

Hi , Has France sold MICA AAM , AASM PGM to PAF ? Does PAF wants to procure these weapons ? Will France export ? Will there be a multi spectral Imaging InfraRed mode in Thales FSO ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7PM: 1) Ultimately, that will have to be the case, just like what’s happening with the Su-30MKIs now. 2) There’s no more money to be spent on HAL by the GoI. The only other option is for the MoD to disinvest its shares of HAL, which is what I have been saying for years now! There’s simply no more financial resources available from the GoI. 3) IAF has no say or control over HAL. It is the MoD. Situation will only improve AFTER the MoD makes HAL a public-listed company. When will this happen? No one knows. 4) Because the civilians at the MoD are unable to understand the nitty-gritty of WWR & do not bother to even find out about them. 5) No, it can’t be that high. 6) Deep-upgrade plans for T-90S won’t begin until the present series of user-trials are completed by early next year. Rather than make the T-90S any more heavier with additional add-on armour, it is best to go for the same APS for both Arjun Mk1A & T-90S. 7) For BMP-2K, only BUSK is being applied. TISAS fire-control & sighting system is already being installed. 8) Light tanks in hilly terrain will be shot like tin-cans by ZRZ-96G MBTs now being deployed along Uttarakhand & eastern Ladakh. The best weapon to counter this is the tank destroyer, specifically the BMP-T Terminator.

To Anon@7.13PM: RISTA platforms optimised for battlefield surveillance are for the IAF only. ARC’s RISTA platforms are fir border surveillance & SIGINT/ELINT. The Bombardier Aerospace-built Global 5000 is the chosen & ordered common platform for both IAF & ARC.

To KSK: Apparently, it’s quite hard for these ‘desi’ mediapersons! It sure seems that way. And that’s also why none of these ‘desi’ experts have so far even bothered report about or analyse Gen Kayani’s forthcoming visit to Moscow & what transpired during the Chinese Defence Minister’s recent visit to Delhi!

To AK: RecceLite can perform at night from standoff distances, but the end-users of such imagery on the ground (IA) & in the air (IAF) are not yet able to achieve clear-cut distinction between friend & foe at nighttime & the IAF on the other hand has yet to sort out real-time inter-services communications channels with the IA (for avoiding blue-on-blue engagements). That is also the reason why the DRDO has developed IFF transponders for all frontline MBTs of the IA. These transponders are now undergoing user-trials. H-4 & JSOW are like tactical cruise missiles & can’t be compared with the AASM, which is a rocket-powered LGB.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: ASfter the Chenchan & southern Lebanon experiences, no army in the world will try to mount assaults on built-up terrain since this will only incur casualties. Instead, leaflets will be air-dropped asking the civilians to withdraw from such areas & then the assaulters will mount pulverizing field artillery fire-assaults to flatten the area, just like the Israelis did to several villages in southern Lebanon in 2006.

To RAHUL: The OFB’s website doesn’t contain the latest information on HEAT & HE rounds for T-series MBTs. The total reqmt for 125mm APFSDS rounds is 66,000, but the orders are being placed in tranches, starting with the first 16,000. The DRDO has promised to develop similar rounds & undertake ToT for the OFB to produce the balance. APAM round is also being developed by DRDO. The Tejas Mk2 will in all probability be successfully developed. The Rafale’s OSF IRST does have an IR sensor now. It is too early to speculate about the number of EL/M-2258 MF-STARs to be acquired for the IAF. Achieving comprehensive coverage of all Vas & VPs will take more than 15 years.

To DASHU: No, that’s not the case, since Pakistan is getting all its military hardware that’s fully financed by US financial aid. When this happens, the US has a say on when, where, how & against whom such weapons ought to be employed. The same is the case with Egypt & Israel. For those countries that obtain US military hardware at market prices (& not as aid) & pay for them out of their own pockets, such US restrictions don’t apply & have never applied. The US after 1962 applied restrictions only on those types of US-origin hardware that were supplied to India as US fully-financed military aid after the Sino-Indian war. On all other weapons that India fully paid & acquired, there were no restrictions whatsoever between August 15, 1947 and today. Folks in India engage in generalities & tend to ignore the fine print & therefore they tend to lump all eggs into one basket, leading to disinformation & ill-informed conclusions being reached.

To Anon@11.06PM: No, none of them have been sold to Pakistan, nor has Pakistan asked for them. The OSF is already multi-spectral—TV & IIR modes are present.

rad said...

HI Prasun
Its hard to believe that pak wont use t he F-16 and amramm missiles on india. Nor will they hesitate to use the p-3c and harpoons when push comes to shove.Are we under the same rules regarding US weapons?

rad said...

HI Prasun
Comming to think of it in a conventional war pak know that it cannot carry deep intediction missions as far as the airforce is concerned like before and thus have heavily invested in stand off missiles .So it is high time we think of a dedicated networked Low level anti cruise missile system like the JLENS . Its better we have land based radars off el-2084 family with AESA networked to barak or iron dome systems. MAy i suggest that we develop a Ericson giraffe type mast mounted radar with the help of israel and use aesa radar on top of that, that would be state of the art and easily networked as all the latest radars seems to be israeli.

Anonymous said...

Sir! what kind of modification is currently going on in Pinaka system?

Anonymous said...

"On all other weapons that India fully paid & acquired, there were no restrictions whatsoever between August 15, 1947 and today."

But aren't there restrictions on how INS Jalashwa can be used.

Sayan said...


Following a lengthy period of promotion by suppliers, including EADS defence arm Cassidian, a proposal to add new equipment to boost the type’s multi-role credentials finally gained traction at the Farnborough air show in July.

What are the various enhancements , upgradations to be applied to EF Typhoon ? Can you give details as to what new is going on board , what are the changes to engines , sensors , avionics ? Will this upgrade give Typhoon an upper hand over Rafale in BVR combat , surface attack capabilties , stealth ? What is Dassault doing in response to this to further upgrade Rafale ? If a customer wants can EADS increase EF's weapons payload from 7.5 to 9 t or 8.5 t ?

Unknown said...

Prasun, will all BHRAMOS regmts orderd by IA use the TATRAs are launch vehicles? Or will TATA be used in this role also?

And when is the M-777 deal actually going to be signed? And what truck will be used to tow the M777? Will they be US-supplied trucks or TATRAs?

Also when will the deal for LUHs and Chinooks be signed?this FY?

Anonymous said...

Sir , VERY VERY THANX .RISTA platforms optimised for battlefield surveillance are for the IAF only. What belly mounted SAR are fitted on the respective platforms for IAF & ARC ? By detecting hostile troop movements and intercepting communications and radar transmissions, the airborne RISTA platforms, by processing wide varieties of data from multiple sensors (radar-, SIGINT- and optronic-based) will process and dessiminate in real-time fused tactical pictures and bring deadly massed fire assaults down swiftly on adversaries in a non-linear battlefield with devastating effect. So what SIGINT, optronic sensors are there on IAF Bombardier 5000 jets .? Does those meant for ARC have EL/I-3001 SIGINT suite ?

IAF is buying 4 jets . How many is ARC buying ? 2 ? Will not these jets be packed with modern comprehensive ids?

AK said...

Hi Prasun ,
Can Litening-3 pod be used for target aquisition and engagement at nightime from a standoff distance ? When used at night from a good distance does it provide good res imagery so as to enable the pilot to differentiate targets ? Whats the standoff distance in case of RecceLite ? Are any ELta 20600 RTP in service with Jaguar IS ? Why havent IAF specified SAR radar + IRST combo for Jaguar deep upgrade ?

Why isnt any H-4,JSOW tactical cruise missiles in service with IAF ? Does it have any intent on procuring any such standoff munitions ? PAF well knows it is better to use such weapons than to have attrition losses by sending its acs close to its targets .

IIR guided all weather AASM is also available which is a fire and forget type weapon which the LGB variant is not . Boeing SDB also has a range of 120 km.IAF needs to spend heavily on standoff PGMs. IAF has not yet been able to understand the importance of long range PGMs like JSOW.After Typhoon undergoes its various planned upgrades what additional capabities is it going tyo have . What constitues this deep upgrade ? Then, with its newly gained multi role abilties can it overtake Rafale ?

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , What is the use of a TV sensor in FSO of Rafale ? According to your expert opinion which system is superior in terms of modes, arw aircraft detection range ? PIRATE has a large aperture. So its supposed to have a longer range compared to FSO .

What is the progess on procurement of Irone Dome & David's Sling systems. As RAD has said there is a glaring need for a complete CMD system as well as one which is able to intercept NLOS=BSM,TBM.

What are the chances of Russia exporting MIRES AESA radar to PLAAF . If PLAAF is able to get its hands on one of these these it will reverse enginner it & come up with its own version within a short period of time. Chian can ask Russia for more Sukhoi-30 built to the latest standard & featuring this radar .How long will there be sanctions on China which is preventing it from exporting high tech stuff from EU & Uncle SAM ?
How does Spectra compare against ALQ-214 ?
VMT for replying .

Anonymous said...

Sir, A few more queries.

1. It is neccesary to uparmour T-90S to T-90AM. Compared with Type 96,99 it is lagging behind in terms of protection and armour. After uparmouring an APS can be fitted. APS is planned to be fitted - LEDS-150.

2. When will this upgradation of T-90S to AM standard commence ?

3. Will IA proceed with Tank EX option for upgrading its fleet of T-72M1 ?

4.In BUSK upgrade are any new addon armour fitted to hull, frontal hull and turret ?

5.When will the 70 ton bridge problem be solved. Absence of such bridges are forcing IA from fielding more Arjun tanks ?

6. When will Arjun mk2 make its debut ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun sir, what are the advantages that the MF-STAR radar on P-15A Kolkata DDG offers vis-a-vis the Type-348 AESA on China's Type-052C DDG?

What's the range of Barak-8 and the Barak-8ER? Can they intercept ballistic missiles in terminal stage? Can both these missiles fit into the same VLS cell onboard P-15A? Does the Kolkata DDG have universal VLS?

Is there any possibility for India quadpacking missiles in universal cells? Plz let me know...

Anonymous said...

Hi ,you have repeatedly said that NH-90 is not in the deal for 16 10 t helicopters of Navy ? But .

Anonymous said...

Sir , pls ans .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: Like I’ve explained above, if Pakistan does not use its weapons the way they were intended to be, then the US sanctions will immediately follow suit. For India, no such sanctions will apply since the terms & conditions governing the procurement of weapons of US-origin are totally different, because these weapons are not be acquired under any US-sponsored financial aid package. As nfor conventional war between India & Pakistan in future, I don’t foresee any such possibility since Pakistan is surely headed for a debilitating period of civil war for at least the next 10 years. Karachi is all poised to become another Beirut of the 1980s and this is now being admitted by all Pakistan-based analysts. Sectarian strife is increasing by leaps & bounds inside Balochistan & Gilgit-Baltistan. To top it all, while Pakistan needs to stabilise & dominate its western frontier, NATO is hell-bent on de-nuclearising Pakistan & above all, both China & India are finding areas of convergence when it comes to the issue of Pakistan. That’s why, the recent visit of the Chinese Defence Minister was EXTREMELY significant & crucial. But the details of this visit have yet to emerge for the ‘desi’ journalists’. I will very soon dwell upon all this plus the new emerging ‘Great Game’ that will soon engulf the subcontinent as well as Central Asia. And all this has enormous repercussions for India’s armed forces, since it will call for the creation of warfighting capacities of a totally different nature, as opposed to what’s being debated & planned now.

To Anon@3.44PM: Increasing the range from 37.5km to 40km.

To SAYAN: You can find out all about this in the ‘Eurofighter World’ magazine’s July 2012 issue in PDF format in Eurofighter’s website.

To UNKNOWN: All BrahMos MALs will use BEML-TATRA trucks. M-777s are not being bought, but LW-155s. M-777 is only for the US armed forces. LW-155 is the designation for export customers. Any existing truck of Indian origin can be used for towing them. Right now there are severe financial constraints & therefore signature dates for future procurement contracts are not known.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.23PM: AR will get two platforms. The sensor suite is from ELBIT Systems/Elisra.

To AK: Yes, both Litening-2 & Litening-3 can. RecceLite’s performance is the same as it uses the same optronic sensors as Litening. RTP is not yet being sought for the Jaguar IS. SAR radar & IRST combo were not available when the DARIN-3 package was finalized by 2007. There’s an on-going competition for acquiring tactical CALCMs,.

To RAHUL: All IRST sensors have a TV camera for daylight target acquisition. IR sensor is used only at nighttime. The developmental curve of the OSF is a few years ahead of that for the PIRATE, but in terms of performance, both are evenly matched. There’s interest in only Iron Dome, not David’s Sling. Russia won’t export any PESA-MMR or AESA-MMR to China at least for the next decade. Both Spectra & ALQ-214 are evenly matched.

To Anon@11.09PM: Up-armouring of existing T-90S MBTs is not desirable if APS is acquired. Nothing has been decided about up-armouring the T-90S into T-90AM. Russia’s proposal only calls for delivering 300 T-90AMs off-the-shelf from Uralvagonzavod JSC. That’s why the IA is going slow in ordering follow-on T-90S from HVF Avadi. For BUSK upgrade, no additional add-on armour will be applied on either the hull or turret of BMP-2K, since the powerpack remains the same & therefore increasing the weight of the BMP-2K is not an option.

To Anon@12.34AM: No one knows for sure if the Type 348 radar is AESA or PESA. Your other questions were all answered earlier.

To Anon@6.15PM: That’s why the NH-90 is out of the race. The most likely winner will be the S-70B Seahawk. NH-90 was earlier competing against the MH-60R.

F said...


Please have a look at this pic. Is the gunner's sight a panoramic sight?
It sure looks like it.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: No, that's not exactly the gunner's sight. It is a universal panoramic sight used by the AIFV commander to locate targets following which there is a target handover by the commander to the gunner in order to engage the target, at which time the sight cannot be slaved in azimuth . Once that is done, control of the sight and its movement reverts back to the commander.

rad said...

HI Prasun
What would be the ideal cruise missile defence india can acquire in the given circumstances,my bet would be to go for an israeli system, I wonder why the cong GOI has to give 10 mil$ to palestine, kissing arabs arse?? I wonder if they support us in the arab league .

rad said...

please explain the capability of the enhanced Pinaka. Is it not worth collaborating with france to develop a stealth ac based on the neuron UAV?.I think as we have struck a deal with them they would be more open to it rather the tall claims of local stealth capability

Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia the first P-15A was supposed to be commissioned in September 2012, but I received that it was delayed. When will the ship be inducted finally?

SK said...

Between NH-90 and S-70B Seahawk. I recall that once you said NH-90 is more advanced then S-70B and hence more expensive. IN doesn't need the fly-by-wire machines for its shipboard operations.
Did NH-90 lost purely for commercial reasons or was it found to be deficient performance wise ?

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

a few things

1. you say the Pinaka test is to extend the range from 37.5 to 40 km, how; with a lighter payload or extra fuel??

2. I think the Pinaka Mk2 will have a range of 80 km and Mk 3 (possibly based on 6 barrel Smerch M)will have 120 km range, whats your take?

3. your answer to RAD on Chinese Def. Min. visit to India, Is that your assumption or you got find of something about to happen?

4. By the looks of your views, dont you think you can be a better NSA? :-))


Joydeep Ghosh


Hi Prasun da,

Are there any plans to induct the sea variant of the Rafale by the Indian Navy ? If not will they purchase the sea variant of the EF 2000 or the F 35 ?


Anil Kumar said...

Hi Prasun,

Did the Chinese Defence Minister come to India because China feels that the US is encircling China with the help of India & a few other SE Asian countries ?

Anil K

AK said...

Hi Prasun , After DARIN 3 upgrade package was finalized in 2007, why is the upgrade taking place now? When it is taking place now, why cant IAF go for SAR , GMTI/T and IRST combo when it is now available. This will increase Jaguar IS's combat potential by many folds. the architects of this upgrade must be flexible and must include such sensor suite. This will permit the non carriage of RTP , free up a weapons store , make Jaguar a ll weather strike platform and make Jaguar a modern state of art combat jet .

Can you mention the tactical cruise missiles that are taking part in the competition ? How many are to be procured ?

Can Litening-3,reccelite be used to take imagery from a standoff distance of 50 km in a fairlygood resolution ?

Tornado GR4 is the main ground attck and strike aircraft of RAF? Does it carry a radar in its nose ? Is this a MMR ? Are ground targets acquired,tracked and engaged with this radar using SAR,ISAR,GMTI modes ? If not so with what it is performed ?

Anonymous said...

Sir , I have a few queries.

1. How many T-90 have been ordered to date. Hasnt MoD ordered around 1600 T-90 to date of which some have beeb supplied off the shelf and others are being produced by Ofb.

2. There is both a requirement of uparmouring as well as fitting an APS. T-90AM armour is not adequate and considerably poor compared to Wetern standards. Recent PLA tanks have heavy armour . Their armour protection is well above T-90S standards.

3. All T-90S of IA needs to brought to T-90AM standards as well as being fitted with APS. Without either of these they will not stand a chance against PLA MBT, Al-Khalid-2 . What happens if a well placed .50 sniper shot destroys the APC. ?

4. In T-90AM: Latest Avatar Of The T-90 MBT. U have repeatedly stated that IA T-90 will be upgraded to T-90AM standards. "A delegation of India's Ministry of Defence will be departing later today to take part in the Ural Arms Expo in Nizhny Tagil later this week, and while there it will officially hand over to Rosoboronexport State Corp a restricted RFI which calls for the first 310 imported T-90S MBTs to be subjected to a 'deep upgrade', which will be designed and implemented by Uralvagonzavod JSC. These MBTs will be almost 10 years old by the time their mid-life upgrades are due to carried out from early 2013 onwards." Again another point of contradiction .

5.Will IA proceed with Tank EX option for upgrading its fleet of T-72M1 ?

6. BMP-1,2 hull armour is so thin and of such poor quality that a 7.62 armour penetrating round can ,ake its way through. .50BMG shots can at ease penetratre any part of BMP. This is not a very good thing. All Western IFV have all round protection to 2Omm shots. At least they can sustain .50 shots all around and 20 mm shots on the hull and glacis.

7. The recent Arjun tank that was revealed by DRDO. Isnt it mk1a. At many sites it is labelles as mk2.


Sayan said...

Sir , Read about P1E enchanements going on EF Typhoon. I am very grateful to you for providing the link. Didnt know about the EF Typhoon publications uptil now. I have gone through the latest issue and have found something very disturbing.

"The true discriminator instead is looking at what will not be achieved in a given design, at any time, because of its in-built limitations. For example Rafale will never be able to have a big AESA radar antenna because of its small frontal section.And even more impossible to have it mounted
on a swivel mechanism, so as to increase
its scan volume and consequently the fighter combat effectiveness. The propulsion shortcomings is another well recognised critical area where changes are extremely expensive and so far have proven fruitless. "

So , compared to Captor-E AESA variant , does RBE-2 have a smaller aperture due to small diameter nose of Rafale. Greater the aperture and peak power per T/R module greater is the overall range in all operational modes. Another shortcoming is the lack of swivelling aperture. Captor-E’ introduces a Wide Field of Regard AESA capability
with a Mechanical re-positioner and has a scan angle of 200 degress.If a mechanical repositioner is added to RBE-2 now, then aperture dia will further come down leading to a small radar unless the nose section i enlaged.

Is all of this correct ? What can Dassault do to counter this? What is Dassult's ans to this? Will a larger frontral section be introduced in Rafale to accomodate a bigger nose cone. EF consotium also claims Rafale to be underpowered and hints at Dassault's inabilty to come up with a higher thrust engine.

Dassult must come with a bigger nosed Rafale .

Rafale also has a shorter wingspan. So the hardponts are not well spaced for carrying air surface munitions although weapons payload is 9.5 t.

All of these are disturbing.
Whats your take on this.

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , Both Pirate & FSO are products of Thales. So even if FSO is two years ahead tech used in it can migrate to PIRATE.Pirate doesnt have a TV sensor . How can you tell that both are evenly matched ? Which of the two has a larger apertue for IRST ?

How is SPECTRA compared to DASS ?Are there any plans of TRD in Rafale ?

How many Iron Dome systems are required by IAF ? How many Spyder launcher have been ordered by IAF to date ?

Why cant OFB obtain ToT for IAI APAMS round & manufacture them indigenously ?

Rajesh said...


Do you think IAF made the right decision in going for the Rafale or should they have instead purchased the EF 2000 or F 18 ?


Anonymous said...

I will very soon dwell upon all this plus the new emerging ‘Great Game’ that will soon engulf the subcontinent as well as Central Asia. And all this has enormous repercussions for India’s armed forces, since it will call for the creation of warfighting capacities of a totally different nature, as opposed to what’s being debated & planned now.

WOOOOOOOOW can't wait

Anonymous said...

Sir! Is Meteor missile is in the package of MMRCA or not?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

If the canards would have been mounted on the Tejas from the very inception, do you think its most of the problems would have been resolved by now.

Anonymous said...

Sir, pls ans.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Rafale will use DDM-NG new gen MAWS, Not MILDS-F. Wanna know something. How many weapons stores does Rafale has ? Wiki and Daasult official site gives the no of hardpoints to be 14. Is this inclusive of multi-ejector racks that are mounted on the hrdpoints or no of hrdpnts itself.Each multi-ejector rack is able to carry 3 weapons. Uptil now i have not come across a single pic of Rafale having more than 9 hrdpnts. When racks are used the no becomes 13. Pls carify. If so Typhoon has more hrdponts.

Anonymous said...

Hi, In air superiority role, Typhoon can carry 6 BVRAAM,2WVRAAM,3 drop tanks whereas Rafale can carry 3 drop tanks and 6 AAM. Typhoon is clearly superior. ??

Anurag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anurag said...

@Prasun Da,how are you old pal??Hope you are fine.I have some questions to ask.

1.What do you think were the reasons behind Indian Army's defeat in 1962 war at the hands 0f PLAGF??(pardon my ignorance.I haven't read any book on 1962 war.So L don't have any clear idea about what happened.)

2.Do you think IA really had any chance of winning against PLA??

3.Why do you think IAF was not allowed to attack PLA targets in 1962 war??And had they been allowed do you think that the result could have been different??

4.Can you PLEASE specify a few books on 1962 war??

5.What is the situation now at present??Can we expect IA to hold off a PLA attack in present days or in near future??

6.Can we survive a two front war in present day or say in 2015-20??And if not,then what step Indian armed forces should follow as per you??

7.Don't you think that present passive IIR seeker of Nag atgm should be completely dropped in favor of the mmw seeker??(since Infra red signature can be camouflaged with comparative ease now a days and IIR seekers have lesser all weather capability)

8.And lastly,the range of Kornet E atgm is stated to be 5 km and it has got no top attack capability.I was wondering,then Nag should have linear range of more than 6 km if we follow the simple geometry:22/7X2=6.33 km (more if Nag follows hyperbolic flight path which is more likely).And both are heavy atgms,so Nag shouldn't have any trouble dealing with MBTs if Kornet E doesn't.

Will be eagerly waiting roe replies.

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

sntata said...

Dear Prasun, in your Tejas Mk-2 article you have said that the DRDO is developing air-to-ground PGMs like Sudarshan LGB family, Nirbhay cruise missiles & the supersonic ALCM. I am curious to know more about this ALCM. Is it same as LRCM? Is it a JV/collaboration with Israel? Does it incorporate ram jet technology. Please furnish details.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: land-mobile SHORADS constitutes the best CMD weapon. The SpyDer-SRs being acquired by the IA & IAF are pretty good tools for CMD. Enhanced Pinaka rockets only contain a higher energetic propellant to increased the rocket’s range to 40km from the existing 37.5km, which is what the DRDO had promised in the first place. Like it or not, the DRDO will have to team up with a foreign OEM for developing a stealthy UCAV, since domestically there’s no technological competency available for developing such a vehicle.

To Anon@12.37PM: First P-15A DDG won’t be inducted before March 2013.

To SK: The NH-90, though an advanced flying platform, is not necessarily the best host for the kind of mission management system and sensors. That’s where it does not compare favourably with the S-70B Seahawk. Specifically, the IN wants a shipborne MRH that can fire stealthy ASCMs like Kongsberg’s HSM, & also carry ultra low-frequency dunking sonars like the HELRAS. While the S-70B offers all this, the NH-90 does not.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: The Enhanced Pinaka uses higher energetic propellant, just like the Akash Mk2 SAM round, to achieve a range of 40km. Payload stays the same. The 60km-range MBRL & 120km-range MBRL won’t be called Pinaka. They will have different names. No one in DRDO is working on any 5-barrel MBRL launcher. I don’t assume anything about visits by foreign dignitaries or about anything else, since I’ve always believed in the dictum: assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups. And lastly, do you mean the Indian NSA-type, who is only authorised to dabble in strategic nuclear matters? The post of NSA in India has yet to fully mature, by the looks of it.

To VIKRAM GUHA: Both the naval Rafale & naval FGFA are being evaluated for the IN’s reqmt, which at best will emerge only after another 15 years. A navalised FGFA will be far more potent than a Rafale, or EF-2000 or even F-35.

To ANIL KUMAR: The Chinese Defence Minister’s visit was overdue since 2008. It had nothing to do with alleged US efforts to either encircle or contain China.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AK: The Jaguar IS’ DARIN-3 yphrade package was finalised in 2007, but was realised in only 2010, especially in terms of systems integration. Had the IAF & HAL accepted BAE Systems’ proposal way back in the early 1980s to develop a fly-by-wire flight control system for the Jaguar, then there would have been enough internal volume available for equipping the Jaguar US with a MMR & IRST today. In the existing Jaguar IS, there is just no space for inserting all such enhancements. Nor will it be easy & cheap to redesign the Jaguar IS’ avionics bulkheads. Tactical ALCMs under consideration are the Delilah, SLAM-ER & Taurus KEPD-350. About 150 are planned for procurement. No sensor pod can take high-resolution imagery of targets at a distance of 50km. Tornado GR4 carries only a terrain-following radar inside its nose. There are no SAR,ISAR,GMTI modes. Targets are acquired by Litening LDPs.

To Anon@7.20PM: 310 + 330 + 347 T-90S MBTs have been ordered so far. 310 & 330 came directly from Uralvagonzavod JSC. The rest are being supplied by HVF Avadi. All these MBTs ordered so far require APS & APU. Upgrading them to T-90AM standard is an option now under discussion.

To SAYAN: Even if a AESA-MMR lacks a swivelling aperture, there are other options available, like conformal AESA arrays in a distributed manner, like what’s planned for Super Su-30MKI & FGFA. Therefore, there’s no need to redesign the Rafale’s nose-section. No one till today has claimed that the Rafale is underpowered. Nor has any customer complained about shorter wingspan.

To RAHUL: The OSF is a THALES/SAGEM product. The Pirate is primarily from Cassidian & Selex Galileo. Apertures don’t matter for IRSTs when one is only focusing on the forward field-of-regard & that too aided by AEW cues from friendly airspace surveillance platforms. What matters more, instead, is the sensors’ sensitivity & ability to ‘visually paint’ the target in order to guarantee its identification, an area where the OSF is ahead of the Pirate by a few years. No one will offer or part with the kind of ToT reqd for indigenously producing either APAM or APFSDS rounds.

Why cant OFB obtain ToT for IAI APAMS round & manufacture them indigenously ?

To RAJESH: Yes, the IAF made the right decision in going for the Rafale.

To Anon@12.32AM: It will be, AFTER its completes its developmental cycle.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr. Ra 13: Not at all. The problems are not design-related at all. Instead, it is all about deriving & validating the flight-control logic of the aircraft’s digital flight control computer, which is a labourious process since all such R & D activity is being undertaken in India for the very first time. That’s why I keep on going back to the golden opportunity the IAF & HAL had in the early 1980s when BAE Systems had offered to jointly develop with HAL the Jaguar IS’ fly-by-wire flight control system—an offer that was not taken up by India to her eternal regret. It was a lost opportunity for which ADA & HAL are paying the price. Now, ADA has no other choice but to figure out solutions on its own the hard way for a fourth-generation MRCA, while HAL is unable to even figure out solutions for a far more simpler platform like the HJT-36 IJT. See the irony here: two distinctly separate aircraft R & D institutions working in isolation, with one trying to arrive at cutting-edge solutions & the other trying to figure flight-control laws that it (HAL) could well have mastered in the 1980s itself!!!

To Anon@12.18PM & 12.36PM: Read the M-MRCA RFP regarding MILDS-F. Hardpoints is not the same as weapons stations. There are 9 hardpoints, but 13 weapons stations. EF-2000 may well have more hardpoints, but it is still not yet a true multi-role platform. Furthermore, the Rafale is already qualified for carrying conformal fuel tanks, whereas the Typhoon isn’t as yet.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANURAG: VMT. The reasons for the 1962 debacle are many. Firstly, the MoD then was being run only by the then RM Krishna Menon along with a few Joint Secretaries & these folks never accepted the ideas & solutions put forth by the IA. Secondly, the then GoI persistently refused to accept the credible intelligence inputs received by the IB. Thirdly, as a consequence of the first two points, dunds were never made available for improving border transportation infrastructure like roads, railways & airports/air bases. All in all, apex-level decision-makers of India then had blinkers on & were busy offering free advice to everyone else on how to make this world a better place (via NAM & Bandung Declaration & Panchsheel) without first looking inwards & making things better inside India. Therefore, India never stood any chance of prevailing over the PLA, especially given the fact that then the PLA’s morale was extremely high since it had singlehandedly prevailed over even the combined might of the UN during the Korean War of 1950-1953. The IAF was not allowed to enter the war because the IAF then never had the kind of network of forward air bases & related logistical facilities reqd for sustaining either an offensive air campaign or a theatre-wide aerial logistics support campaign. There are several books on the 1962 war, including one by Brig John Dalvi, which is the best of all others so far. Then there’s a documentary in Mandarin as well, which is quite informative & factual & has English subtitles. I don’t think it is available inside India, though, & I had bought this movie way back in 1999 in Singapore. Presently, the IA can definitely hold off a PLA attack. I don’t foresee either a two-front war or a single-front war in this decade. Pakistan definitely is not in favour of war against India since it is seeking strategic (the old doctrine of securing strategic depth inside Afghanistan has been discarded) space inside both India & Afghanistan for its very own survival. That is what explains all the overtures Pakistan has been making since 2010 for normalising bilateral ties with India. Regarding target acquisition sensors for ATGMs, a MMW radar is definitely superior to an IIR sensor, but since beggars can’t be choosers, the existing IIR sensors from THALES (for both the NAMICA & Nag) will have to make do. Yes, the Nag’s linear range will be beyond 5km & its hit probability & penetration performance are both as good as that of the Kornet-E. But one needs to get rid of the Nag’s thruster rockets (for flight-path stabilisation) & come up with alternatives. Such thruster rockets can easily give advance warning at night of such ATGMs being fired.

To SNTATA: The supersonic ALCM is the LRCM. They’re one & the same. And yes, it is a JV/collaboration with RAFAEL of Israel & it incorporates ramjets. It will have a range of about 600km & will carry a tactical nuclear warhead.

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun Da

1. To one of my question you said 'No one in DRDO is working on any 5-barrel MBRL launcher' i was actually referring to making Indian version of air mobile 6 barrel Smerch M or 9A52-4 Tornado ideal for use by MSC

2. Yes i was referring to India NSA

3. Are you aware of stories doing round that a US agent accepted planting a bomb on plane that killed Homi Bhabha

4. Any news on Prahaar or Shuarya missiles?

5. Last time you said AMCA is a dead project but new design scematics show work is on full swing.

6. Its said the only time NSG was tasked to guard a terrorist code name 'Jack' was in 1988, know something about it??

7. Do you see Arihant going operational in next few months?

8. You also said BMP-T would be ideal for use in mountains, is India going for it?

hope to get responses


Joydeep Ghosh

abs said...

hey,prasunda, im posting after a long time with a few of my questions
1. with the IA going for the Rudra gunships, what do you think would be the LCH's fate as far as the IA is concerned?
2.How does the IAF plan to use the LCH and how would its functions differ from the heavy attack choppers which are preferred for deep rear interdiction purposes?
3.When can we hope the Prahaar NLOS-BSM and Shourya missiles to be operationalised?
4.What is the IA's plan to counter the heavy MBTs that are being fielded by the PLA along side the north and north-eastern boundary?
5.When can we get to read your concluding thread on the INDIA-CHINA war,which you had promised?

Anonymous said...

Sir I have learnt that the max G-stress tolerence of the Barak-8 is 80G and that of SpyDer quick-reaction SAM is around 76G. Is there any info pertaining the max G-stress tolerence of the Chinese HHQ-9 (based on Type-052C DDG) and the US RIM-67 Standards/SM-2ER that forms part of the US Navy AEGIS system??

Please let me know...:D

Anonymous said...

Hi, Firstly DDM-NG is more than a maws. Its is very much an Irst. It will not only detect and track incoming missiles from a long range but also help to increase the situational awareness of pilot. It is much better than MILDS-F. So when a superior system is available why is AF going for MILDS-F. Secondly, Rafale has 13 hrdpoints exclusive of weapons stores. In Google images I found many images of rafale with 13 hrdpoints. In wiki it is also given that it has 13 hrdponts. So , in this respect Rafale is evenly matched. Thirdly, with the ongoing enhancements of Typhoon it will be a truly multi role aircraft. Fourthly, when it is fitted with a big E-Scan radar it will be better than Rafale in BVR combat and surface strike .

Mr. Ra 13 said...

What were the reasons/logic forwarded then, for not accepting the golden opportunity in the early 1980s when BAE Systems had offered to jointly develop with HAL the Jaguar IS’ fly-by-wire flight control system.

rad said...

HI Prasun

you have suggested many times the the thruster rockets on the nag would be a dead give away as the enemy can see the rocket flame , but then every anti tank missile has a thruster firing some time of the flight , so tell me how you can avoid it.
you have suggested the spyder for cruise missile defense , dont you think it is quite expensive and we should be going in for cheaper iron dome missiles specificaly tailored to take out cruise missiles.

Sayan said...

Sir ,Even if a AESA-MMR lacks a swivelling aperture, there are other options available, like conformal AESA arrays in a distributed manner . But has Dassauli planned anything like this. Selex galileo will also fit conformal AESA arrays into Typhoon. But Thales eng cant fit a larger sized radar into Rafale.
CAN YOU TELL EXACTLY HOW MUCH LARGER IS CAPTOR-E AESE 'S ANTENNA COMPARED TO RBE-2 AESA OR ARE THEY THE SAME SIZE. If EF has a bigger radar it will have dominance over Rafale in BVR combat in absence of AWACS.
In air superiority and dominance, Typhoon is superior to Rafale with higher thrust to wing ratio , larger wing area , low wing loading.

Regarding IRST, PIRATE doesnt have a TV mode. So theres no use of it in OSF.Pls tell which has a longer detection range .

Rafale has a more hardpoint and two t more weapons payload than EF . But its shorter wingspan prevents it from carrying more no of heavy ground attack munitions.

There is only one customer of Rafle , ie French air force. If Typhoon had been cheaper , would IAF go for typhoon . Its lacking in ground attack and it will compensted with P1E upgrades.

Anonymous said...

Sir , I have a few queries.

1. 310 + 330 + 347 T-90 tanks have been ordered. What about the rest 670 tanks? 1657 T-90S were ordered.

2.2418 T-72 were ordered. How many have been decommissioned? How many are in service. Have any tanks been sold ?

3.Since September of last year , discussions for upgrading to AM standard is going on with no contracts so far ?

4. What about Tank Ex ?

AK said...

Hi Prasun , I am not talking about cruise missiles with 250km+ range. I am talking of 90-120 km range standoff PGM such as JSOW,H-4,H-2,MUPSOW. 150 ALCM seem to be too small a no. Good things always require money, hard work. So is the case with Jaguar. Money may be needed to redisn the avionics bay for an AESA MMR,IRST bit if it is done Jaguar will be converted to a formidable fighter. As BAE systems have provided all the documentation HAL can accomplish the task of redesigning the nose.How many AASM are to be procured ? AASM should be the bread and butter in surface to air munitions and bomb inventory .

Sayan said...

Sir, Typhoon has a 75 cm radar diameter. EADS is repetedly saying that the Rafale fighter design is lacking in many basic design areas. EADS has designed Typhoon to have a huge frontal sec from the beginning and taht it possess attributes of a thorough bred high performance fighter. The Rafale on the other hand is not such a fighter.

Gessler said...

Prasun bhai,

1. How many Akash SAMs have been built and delivered so far? Wikipedia says 3,000! Is that believable??

2. How many Akash missiles in how many batteries are ultimatley planned to be deployed on the China front?

3. Can the Akash be an effective system against contemporary Chinese fighters like J-10 and J-11?

4. Can IAF with Su-30MKI secure Air-Superiority against PLAAF's J-10s and J-11/Su-30MKKs? I think there are some 35 MKIs permenently stationed in NE border,is there any scope of increasing that number further in the coming years? (considering only permenently stationed squadrons)

5. How many BrahMos missiles have been built so far for Army & Navy combined?

6. How significant is the recent
decision to base IAF's fleet of Ilyushin Il-78MKI refuellers in WB to increase strike range of MKIs? Does this mean IAF is finally looking at the prospect of deep-penetration strikes into China?

7. Is the Shaurya missile supposed to be deployed on the NE border? Will it be more difficult to intercept than BrahMos? I've learnt from you earlier than China plans to use the LY-80E surface-to-air missile as an answer for incoming PJ-10s,,,will the same system also be capable of taking down Shaurya??

Anonymous said...

Sir , Are you a DRDO scientist ? Are you an aeronautical or mechanical engineer from JU/BESU,NIT? Dr V S Arunachalam, and former Chief R & D Controllers like Dr Prahlada, both of whom have known me since 1987 and have worked with me on various projects. You are not a young aged person like Aroor. You must be a middle aged man ,50+ with lots of experience in aeronautics, with a deep passion in defense related matters and of course an engineer.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: The existing Smerch-Ms too will be air-transportable by C-17As. But how do these Smerch-Ms get to their staging areas when there are no roads or railway lines available in the Northeast & Northwest? Once these are available, existing Smerch-Ms will be easily deployable as will other medium field artillery assets. There’s no need to decrease the firing barrels from 10 to 6 just to make the MBRL air-transportable. Regarding the late Dr Homi Bhabha, I do not give much credence to conspiracy theories. Prahaar NLOS-BSM has yet to undergo at least nine more firing trials, while the Shaurya’s production can’t begin until the mountainside tunnels in J & K, Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh have been built. Design schematics don’t mean much, as both you & I too can come up with such schematics. The truth about the AMCA will emerge once the scale-models for wind-tunnel testing emerge & it is also disclosed where the wind-tunnel tests are to be carried out (like how the LCA’s tests were carried out in France using ONERA’s wind-tunnels in the mid-1980s). Am not aware of any ‘Jack’ the terrorist. Could be, may be, who knows! The Arihant won’t get operational till 2015, rest assured. Regarding the BMP-T, what I had said earlier was that the IA, instead of looking around for light tanks, should adopt a two-pronged approach: 1) upgrade & re-engineer the existing 800 T-55 & 800 T-72M hulls into BMP-T-like tank destroyers & equip them with mast-mounted LORROS-type sensors & NAG ATGMs. 2) Mass-produce the TANK EX. For both these options, home-grown technological solutions, hardware components & military-industrial engineering capacities are already available in-country & should therefore be highly cost-effective solutions.
There is also a need to field medium-lift battlefield surveillance helicopters (like a Mi-17V-5 equipped with a 360-degree X-band SAR radar) that will act as airborne command/ground battle management posts for advancing armoured formations & for the accompanying Rudra helicopter-gunships & LOHs.

To ABS: The IA has not yet placed an indent with HAL for procuring any LCHs & consequently, the LCH remains an IAF-specific product. Believe it or not, the IAF wants to use the LCH primarily for shooting down UAVs with Mistral ATAMs. And since the IAF is dead-seat against the IA’s AAC acquiring any more rotary-winged teeth reqd for close air support, the IA is being prevented from tasking HAL with the development of a dedicated attack helicopter variant of the LCH that can carry at least eight ATGMs. The Rudra at most will carry only four ATGMs. A very sad state of affairs indeed, all due to needless inter-services bickering!!! Prahaar NLOS-BSM & Shaurya TBM will both be operationalised, hopefully by 2016. The PLA’s Type 96G MBTs & ZBD-08 tracked ATGM carriers can be gainfully deployed & used only in eastern Ladakh & western Uttarakhand. To counter them, the IA needs to: 1) upgrade & re-engineer the existing 800 T-55 & 800 T-72M hulls into BMP-T-like tank destroyers & equip them with mast-mounted LORROS-type sensors & NAG ATGMs. 2) Mass-produce the TANK EX. For both these options, home-grown technological solutions, hardware components & military-industrial engineering capacities are already available in-country & should therefore be highly cost-effective solutions. As for your P.5, it is a three-part treatise. Am still waiting for the opportune moment to upload it.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.23PM: Regretfully, I don’t have comparable data on them.

To Anon@2.02PM: If the DDM is very much an IRST, then why are the US, Russians, Chinese & Europeans all fielding dedicated IRST sensors? They should all have fielded DDM-type sensors instead. And you are assuming that the Captor-E’s antenna aperture is greater than that of the RBE-2.

To Mr.RA 13: The reasons were financial paucity, since the GoI-of-the-day was busy planning the procurements of role-specific MiG-23BNs, MiG-23MFs, MiG-27Ms & MiG-29B-12s on one hand, and Mirage 2000H/TH MRCAs on the other (when the Mirage 2000 could have easily performed the roles of close air support, tactical interdiction & air superiority for which the MiG-23BNs, MiG-23MFs, MiG-27Ms & MiG-29B-12s were being acquired!!!). Had the GoI then had procured only the Mirage 2000H/TH in large numbers (at least 180) instead of the four types of MiGs, then there would have been sufficient funds available for re-engineering & upgrading the Jaguar IS’ airframe, & also for undertaking two specific force multiplier R & D projects that were then accorded the highest priority by IAF HQ then: development by ISRO of an airborne X-band SAR that was to be mounted inside the bomb-bay of a Canberra bomber; and development of an AEW & C platform using the HS-748, which was modified with BAE Systems’ help to house a rotodome, which also was fabricated & given to CABS by BAE Systems. However, both these R & D projects were hardly funded and were therefore scuttled by the early 1990s.

To RAD: They can be avoided in the very same way the PARS-3LR & AGM-114 Hellfire & Kornet-E avoid them. For trajectory control, control-fins instead of thruster rockets ought to have been made use of. Iron Dome was developed not for shooting down cruise missiles, but MBRL rockets. For CMD, SHORADS emerged as the ‘proven’ solution in early 1991 itself, when the Iraqi ROLANDs shoot down a few TLAMs.

To SAYAN: Yes, Dassault Aviation & THALES are doing R & D on conformal/distributed AESA arrays just like the Russians have. The Captor-E’s radar aperture is NOT greater than that of the RBE-2. BVR combat is never without any external target cueing. In almost all cases, BVR combat takes place with either GCI cues or cues from AEW & C platforms. It is inconceivable for any air force acquiring combat aircraft like Rafale or EF-2000 or Su-30MKI to send them into harm’s way without AEW & C support. As for manoeuvrability, combat aircraft don’t engage in agile manoeuvres any more, since the combination of WVRAAMs & HMDS has taken over that responsibility. OSF’s TV-mode comes in handy during fair-weather conditions at medium altitudes when the IIR sensor isn’t reqd. Today & in future, what’s reqd is the ability to carry a small number of PGMs, instead of a large number of unguided munitions. That’s what effects-based operations is all about.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.28PM: 1,657 T-90S MBTs were not ordered. What was acquired was the licence to procure 1,600 T-90S in successive tranches. It is up to India whether or not to exercise the right to order the successive tranches. None of the T-72Ms have been decommissioned, but several have been re-engineered to serve as various types of carrier vehicles for Akash Mk1 SAM system; plus for experimental purposes.

To AK: What after all, is reqd for developing a tactical cruise missile? A turbojet or turbofan, & the navigation-and-attack avionics inclusive of a RLG-INS, IIR sensor, digital flight control computer & flight management computer. All of these were developed in-house by the DRDO in the previous decade. So, the question that arises is this: why can’t the DRDO’s ADE develop an air-launched CALCM when a) it has already developed PTAs like Lakshya that is capable of simulating the flight-path of terrain-hugging aircraft b) it is already developing strategic ALCMs, & c) when it has access to missiles like the decommissioned Sea Eagle ASCM, which can be easily re-engineered & upgraded. So, why hasn’t all this been done so far? Was it because the DRDO was too pre-occupied with its technology demonstration projects that usually have long gestation periods? Or was it because there was no one to mentor a degree of convergence between the DRDO & armed forces in order to realise the development of such PGMs?

To GESSLER: The number of Akash Mk1 rounds to be procured will be more than 3,000. What has been delivered so far is less than 300. All existing IAF air bases plus the ALGs in the northeast & eastern Ladakh/Uttarakhand will be protected by Akash Mk1s. SAM effectiveness does not mean shooting down hostile aircraft. Rather, if the SAM network successfully forces a hostile offensive air sortie to be aborted, then the network is seen as having done what it was supposed to do. There’s no reason to assume that the Akash Mk1 can’t achieve such a feat. In an age of PGMs like cruise missiles & NLOS-BSMs, the chances of IAF & PLAAF combat aircraft engaging in direct clashes are highly remote. More than 200 BrahMos missiles have been delivered since 2004. IL-78MKIs were relocated from Agra for two reasons: firstly, to make way for the C-130J-30 fleet, which will increase in size in future; & 2) to support the long-distance navigation flight training sorties mounted by Su-30MKIs by day & night operating out of Kalaikunda & heading for the west or south. Kalaikunda is thus being turned into a major air base for temporarily hosting all those IAF squadrons that are reqd to specialise in long-distance offensive air sorties against any perceived enemy, not just China. To intercept Shaurya-type missiles, one requires PAC-3-type or even THAAD-type interceptors. Shaurya & Prahaar are planned for deployment in J & K, Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh.

To Anon@10.10PM: Am NOT a DRDO scientist, nor am an aeronautical or mechanical engineer from JU/BESU,NIT; nor am I above 50.

Anonymous said...


What are the differences between capabilities of INS vikramaditya and varyag?Which will be superior?How does the mig-29k compare against shenyang j-11(su-33 copy)? what are the SAMs fielded on both of them.

Do INS vikr be deployed in western pr eastern naval command?

KSingh said...

Prasun are any IAI SPYDER systems in use in India and if so haw many? Also what truck are they mounted on? TATRAs or TATAs? I have seen the system mounted on both in pics.

And how many will India get in total including follow-ons?

AK said...

Hi Prasun , Why isnt IAF procuring 120 km range PGM such as JSOW,H-2,H-4 ? Why will only 150 long range cruise missiles will be bought ? The present range of AASM is only 50 km. Why can Sagem install swept back wide area wings like JSOW,JDAM, diamond back wings like SDB to increase its range to 90-120 km . JSOW doesnt even have a rocket booster or sustainer. Even then it has a 110-120 km range when launched at altitude ?

What is the standoff range of DRDO developed glide bomb ? If MBDA diamond back kit is fitted to ordinary bom bodies then what will be ths standoff range ?

What is the max standoff range from which Litening 3 pod is able to take med-high res pics and paint a trget with laser for LGB delivery .

Anand said...

Hi Prasun,

The below article says that Brahmos II will have an InfraRed seeker with Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM).

Is that true?Has the seeker been finalized as yet?what is the current seeker used in Brahmos I? Can't the DRDO indigenously make seekers for missiles like Brahmos,Prahaar etc??



Anonymous said...

Sir, China has unveiled another stealth fighter named J-21. It loolks like an exact copy of J-20. How cn they do so when they are struggling with J-20. Is this a hoax or real ?

abs said...

thanks for you lucid explanations :)
regarding the IAF's plans to use the LCH as an UAV shooter, it beats me as to how the IAF could go for such solutions. This is a total no brainer.

Anonymous said...

Sir I would like to that that your assertion of the NSM having an edge over rbs15 in the coastal defese role as being misleading.

Firstly, both greatly differ in range as rbs15 has a range in excess of 250 km while NSM of a range substantially lower than 200 km.

Secondly and most importantly NSM has an IR seeker whereas rbs15 has an RF seeker. IR seekers are not an optimal choice for an anti-ship role especially in misty and humid conditions prevalent in tropical waters. On the other hand rbs15 has an RF seeker that was developed and subsequently refined and upgraded for the anti ship role over the last 2.5 decades.

Thirdly the point with regards to "stealthy shape" does have a much weight as rbs15 although being a traditional missile airframe, is a true sea skimmer.

So in my eyes it is a case of comparing apples and oranges.

Anonymous said...

Sir I would like to point out that target detection by an IRST is only done in IR mode and has nothing to do with day or night. TV mode is not used for target detection.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Thanx for the excellent replies!

Unknown said...


Will the P-17As have the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR?

Anonymous said...

Prasun, some comments on below link please

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSingh: The IAF refers to the Spyder-SR as a low-level quick reaction missile (LLQRM), while the Army calls it quick-reaction surface-to-air missile (QR-SAM). The MoD’s DAC approved the IAF’s requirement in July 2008, and a $293 million contract for the supply of an initial 18 launchers mounted on TATA Motors trucks (making up one squadron) was signed December 2008. Deliveries began early this month and will be concluded by August 2012. The Army received the green light to procure four regiments of the Spyder-SR in August 2009, and the $900 million contract was inked later that year. No follow-on orders have been placed since then.

To AK: A tactical ALCM can be used for target engagement between its minimum range & maximum ranges. Thus, there’s no need for acquiring different types of ALCMs with different target engagement envelopes. Only one model will do. The Sudarshan LGB can glide out to a distance of 12km depending on its launch altitude. Diamond Back-type kits can propel a bomb out to 20+km. Litening-3’s target acquisition optronics can be used from a distance of more than 20km.

To ANAND: No, that’s not true. The BrahMos-1’s three block variants all use the SGH X-band SAR seeker imported from Russia’s Granit JSC. An indigenous X-band SAR seeker is now being developed by the DRDO for Prahaar & Data Patterns Pvt Ltd is involved in this project as well. Had uploaded its photo in the DEFEXPO 2012 thread.

To Anon@3.16PM: The Chengdu J-20 will be an air dominance combat aircraft like the F-22 Raptor, while the Shenyang J-21 is meant to be a tactical interdictor like the F-35 Lightning JSF. There is another twin-engined stealthy aircraft being developed by HAIG, which will be a derivative of the Hongdu L-15 Falcon LIFT aircraft. This model will be used by PLA Naval Aviation as a maritime strike aircraft.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: I totally concur. In fact, let’s go a step further. As far back as the year 2000 itself, the GoI should have undertaken a strategic divestment of HAL & ought to have carved out its helicopter division as an autonomous, publicly-listed subsidiary. Had this happened, then this new company would have attracted investments from not only India’s financial institutions, but also from the world’s established OEMs like France’s SAFRAN Group, SAGEM, ELBIT Systems, etc. If all this had occurred, then by 2005 at the latest the single-engined LOH/LUH derivative of the Dhruv ALH would have made its maiden flight & production deliveries would now have been underway, while the LCH would have morphed into two versions: a heavier version for anti-armour attack, and a lighter version to satisfy the IAF’s obsession for UAV-hunting.

To Anon@11.04PM: Firstly, long-range is not a decisive factor at all when choosing a shore-based ASCM for coastal defence. Long-range matters only for island-based ASCMs & that’s why India has opted for BrahMos-1 Block-1 for such a role, while Vietnam has gone for the Bastion. Secondly, IIR seekers are far more reliable than RF seekers especially when it comes to seeking out targets amidst heavy clutter. RF seekers have the benefit of receiving mid-course targetting updates from their launch platforms (especially airborne) that have the tools reqd for over-the-horizon target acquisition & tracking. For coastal defence systems, no over-the-horizon target acquisition tools are available, just early warning about a target’s presence in a specific area. This is when target discrimination capability becomes crucial in order to avoid blue-on-blue engagements close to the coastline, especially like those of India which are always heavily congested. Lastly, a passive IIR seeker does not alert the targetted vessel about an impending attack, whereas in the case of ASCMs using RF seekers, sufficient warning time is made available to the targetted vessel to activate its self-defence systems.

To Anon@11.09PM: Yes, that applies to an IRST, but NOT to an optronic fire-control system which contains a daylight TV, low-light-level TV & an IR sensor. Together, these three make up the optronic FCS. And it is for this very reason that both the Russians & French do not make use if the term IRST, be it for airborne applications or for shipborne or land-based applications.

To Mr.RA 13: VMT.

To UNKNOWN: Of Course. The visuals of the P-17As silhouette shown during DEFEXPO 2012 confirm that.

To Anon@1.46AM: Hilarious, to say the least!

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, Can you give us pie charts on how much PLA, PLAAF and PLAN can commit to the Tibetian border in a conflict with India without making themselves vulnerable on their other borders. At the moment every neighbor of China is in defensive mode but may play offense if US steps in and US is busy looking for lead proxies. Among the Chinese neighbors, who can we have raise the border stakes to keep Chinese occupied with or without US instigation

Bottom line is we could be in a 2 front situation, but China may not be in a multi-front situation putting us at a disadvantage

Vikram Guha said...

HI Prasun da,

In reply to a question you stated that - "All these MBTs ordered so far require APS & APU". I just need to know that will the APS be ARENA ?


Sayan said...

Sir , Shenyang J-21 is an exact copy of F-22 Raptor with minor differences like the inlets which has been borrowed from F-35. A bit smaller version of F-22. Chinese engineers are folllowing American steath concepts and VLO shaping in their designs. As a result the VLO performance of these aircrafts will be superior to that of PAK-FA,FGFA.

Why cant the Russians do the same. Why cant they adopt a similar wing planform & VLO shaping ? PAK-FA looks much like a space plane than a high performance jet. In it, the vertical tail fins are so far apart, a small wing but very big LERX, no canards, small frontal cross section , cockpit so close to nose unlike Su-30, F-22 Raptor. Sukhoi-30,27 has a certain appeal and charm to it. They are indeed beautiful . F-22 also looks good. It is not as ugly as PAK-FA.

How can Chinese manage so many stealth projects? Has all the R&D problems pertaining to J-20 been solved ?

One more thing. What is the empty weight, wing loading , service ceiling of Su-30mki. In wikipedia they are given to be 18.4 ton , 401 , 56400 ft. But Sukhoi can fly at 62000+ feet with combat load and its empty weight is 16.5 ton.Wikipedia is not to be trusted .besides there was a program by HAL to reduce the weight of Su-30mki by icorporating composite built structure. Has there been any progress in it.


Anonymous said...

Prasunds, when will the first Project-28 Kamorta corvetts be commissioned? Everything get's delayed with these state-run shipyards!

Anonymous said...

Sir, I have a few queries.
1. Previously u have said that IA had bought 3 Spyder SR regiments. Now you are telling 4. So which is the correct figure.
2. How much progess has been made on the tunnels now being constructed in Jammu , Sikkim ,Arunachal Pradesh ?
3. Any news on more T-90 orders or upgradation to AM standard.
4. Brahmos is being manufactured since 2004. So at least 500 ought to havr been priduced by know.
5. When will series production of Shaurya TBM start ?
6. What is the status of phase 2 of BMD ? When will phase 1 BMD shield be deployed in Delhi and Mumbai .
7. All those IAF airbases housing Su-30 mki such as Kalaikunda, do they have eniugh storm shelters such that th acs are not exposed to the elements.

Unknown said...

Dear Mr. Prasun

your depth of knowledge and understanding of the defence sector is amazing..hats off to you..

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun, In a first, Indian tank brigades to defend China border. Indian army wants to raise six new armoured regiments. What is all this about ? When will ths plan be carried out ?As a result it needs 348 more tanks. What is the likelihood of MoD ordering 670 T-90 to bring up the total to 1657 tanks. Ajai Shukla has reported that 657 T-90 were bought but isn't the figure wrong . What is the significance to obtain license to produce 1657 tank if thw while no isn't ordered. Four new mechanised battalions are also being raised. BMP-2 for them will come from exusting stocks or be newly purchased. This time instead if goung for BMP-2 , BMP-3 or other Western IFV can be purchased . This is indeed a great news.

abs said...

worst is yet to come, because i dont see the GOI cutting on its fiscal deficit by undertaking bold reforms rather than piecemeal incremental stuff, due to which there would be a leash on the amount released for the armed forces and lesser so for entities like HAL. Prudence would have suggested disinvestment and public listing, but then our MOD would prefer to remain sitting ducks at the hands of the unions who would be dead against such a move,thereby making a mockery of our national security. As far as the disinvestment and public listing is concerned i believe not only HAL but all DPSUs should be subjected to such things ASAP.

abs said...

stealth is only an aspect of the aircraft, you will also have to factor in avionics and engines.
As well as consider the fact that aerial battle of the future would be Network Centric with AEW&CS and AWACS providing cues of enemy aircrafts to friendly forces by means of ELINT/SIGINT way early. Also given IAF's operational plans where direct engagement with PLAAF won't happen, its futile to compare the aircrafts only based on stealth.

AK said...

Hi Prasun , if armoured & mechanised formations are deployed in Ladakh & NE , then there is also a need for capable MR-SAM , LRSAM systems for shooting down hostile TBM,NLOS-BSM,LACM as well as gun & missile based C-RAM systems to deal with those threats that have penetrated through this defensive layer and for intercepting MBRL rounds. During hostilities PLA will first resort to massed fire assaults with their abundant and superior rocket,missile artillery-TBN,NLOS-BSM to pulverise and inflict a heavy attrition on these strike formations and then will send in thier ground troops, mechanised and armoured units.Both IA & IAF must be ultra careful to field such assets alongwith armoured forces.

Can IronDome shoot down ALCM,LACM,NLOS-BSM,mortar,artillery rounds although it is meant for countering MBRL.

Priyabrata Gupta said...

Hi Prasun,

We Indians talk about India becoming an economic/military superpower however fact is that we have completely failed in dealing with our enemies. Apart from China & Pakistan who hold on to large tracts of Indian territory even banana republics like Nepal send illegal immigrants to create Gorkhaland & Bangladeshis send illegal Muslims to create an Islamistan . Just my opinion but would be eager to know your point of view.


Anonymous said...

What is all this fuss about INS Vikramaditya malfunctionig during trials. Do the boilers need to be changed ? Do asbestos need to be used instead of frbrick.

Anonymous said...

Sir, In Force magazine Covering fire article Atul Chandra has written , "The IA has ordered a total of 1,657 tanks of which 1,000 will be built at Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) Avadi. Approximately 200 T-90S tanks have been assembled at HVF till date and production is expected to be ramped up to 100 units a month over the next couple of years. This will mean that the IA would have inducted its entire fleet of T-90S tanks only by the end of this decade. "Why he keeps on saying that 1657 tanks has been ordered.

Anonymous said...

is US supplying design details to China under the table?? look at this new Chinese Fighter it looks exactly same as f35 I cannot believe the skills of Chinese people . they are pretty quick ..

Gessler said...

Thanks for your replies Prasun bhai!

A few more questions popped up in my head -

1. What is China's progress on it's indigenous aircraft carrier? People say the Varyag (Shi-Lang) will be ready by end-2012. Is that possible? From what I know, Varyag hasn't even begun trials with jet aircraft as yet. Is there any chance of Varuag getting operational (inducted into service atleast) before Vikramaditya arrives? What was that trouble with Vikky's boilers? Will that cause further delay? :(

2. Is the Flanker an efficient aircraft for carrire-borne ops? I heard Russian Navy is gonna throw away the Su-33s from Kuznetsov and replace with the other hand, PLAN wants J-15 (Su-33 copy) for Varyag. What problems will PLAN face coz of this decision? Will the MiG-29K from Vikky be more productive in combat than J-15 from Varyag? Is there any possibility of sortie rate and maintenance being effected by the large size of J-15 vis-s-vis Mig-29K?

3. Does IN have any plans to implement quadpacked VLS/VLUS cells for misssiles for destroyers like P-15A/B ?

4. Is there really a ship-launched version of Nirbhay in the offing?

5. The chinese forthcoming Type-052D destroyers have 64 VLUS cells, carrying 256 missiles (I think quadpacking), is it feasible that India is looking at similar systems with Universal missile-launching capability?

6. When will the construction of the first P-17A FFGs begin? Last I heard, funds were alloted for 7 ships, 4 at MDL Mumbai and 3 at GRSE Kolkata.

7. What is the progress on GSL-built 4 x Saryu-class OPVs? I've known that the follow-on tender for 5 more ships was won by Pipavav, how ready is this shipyard to undertake this they have a track record to deliver things on time?

Waiting for your views...:D


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.05AM: My personal appreciation says that a two-front limited war/conflict is unlikely for at least the next nine years. India’s western frontier will be peaceful since the Pakistan Army will have to deploy no less than eight infantry divisions for both high-intensity combat & for holding the grounds throughout FATA. As for the PRC, there will be a leadership change later this year & no new leadership dispensation wants a festering problem to become highly ugly. Therefore, let us not get carried away by needless speculation in this matter.

To VIKRAM GUHA: Neither the Arena nor Zaslon APS will be acquired. It will most probably be a runoff between the trophy & LEDS-150.

To SAYAN: To become a developed country within a timespan of 25 years, every country, inclusive of China, has made tremendous investments in the education sector. For all countries that have achieved developed nation status, the first 25 formative years are the most crucial. After that, all that they do is shake their legs & live on returns from their investments in the education and industrial sectors. India missed this bus way back in 1956 when the fatal decision was taken to adopt the Soviet model of economic development. As a result, neither Russia nor India are developed nations today. As for China, its heavy industrial development process kicked off in the late 1970s, two decades ahead of India. Therefore, there is nothing to be surprised about when it comes to China’s industrial achievements. Lastly, no combat aircraft flies with full combat load right up to the service ceiling, since the on-board oxygen generation system does not permit it. Max service ceilings are attained only for once or twice for setting altitude records during the experimental phases of a combat aircraft’s development. For flying daily or during wartime, such service ceilings are never attained.

To Anon@5.01PM: Next year. Shit happens!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.09PM: The correct figure is the one stated above, as well as on the thread on air-defence uploaded last year. BrahMos’ annual production rate is less than 20 per annum. How can any BMD shield be deployed anywhere in India when all that the DRDO has done is engage in a technology demonstration project? Following this, prototype development & production engineering development is supposed to be dealt with, but no such decision has been made so far by anyone in India. Instead, now it is being claimed that the DRDO’s technology demonstration results will be compared with those for the PAC-3 & THAAD before a final call on procurement is made. Storm shelters are now coming up very fast.


To RAHUL: Of course the T-90S procurement figures are wrong. But what else can you expect from a ‘desi’ journalist who claims that:
1) additional air bases (are) coming up in Jorhat, Guwahati, Mohanbari, Bagdogra and Hashimara.
2) The LoC, or Line of Control, is the unsettled, 776-kilometre de facto border with Pakistan (distinct from the settled 2,308-kilometre border from Gujarat to Jammu). Then there is the AGPL, or Actual Ground Position Line, which is the 110-kilometre long de facto border between India and Pakistan in the Siachen sector.
AS for P.1, all those air bases have been existing for a long time. And as for P.2, there are four types of boundaries between India & Pakistan: international boundary (IB), working boundary (WB), LoC, and AGPL. The IA’s plan is to raise two independent armoured brigades modeled around the independent battle group concept, which was proposed way back in 2007 for the Sino-Indian front. Each such armoured brigade will have two regiments of MBTs (116 units) + one mechanised infantry battalion of ICVs (60 units). The rest will be war-wastage reserves. New-build BMP-2s will come from OFB Medak, while the 348 T-90S MBTs will be transferred from existing stocks, the IA wants them replaced (for the western front) on a one-for-one basis with new-build T-90AM/MS that will come directly from Uralvagonzavod JSC. A statement to this effect will likely be announced during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India early next month.

To ABS: I fully concur.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AK: The IA is presently woefully short of both field artillery assets & battlefield air-defence assets on both fronts (against China & Pakistan). It is no use raising new armoured formations if they are only to be left exposed crushing massed fire-assaults from vastly superior field artillery assets of the PLA. Urgent efforts therefore need to be made to procure air-defence systems capable of countering NLOS-BSMs & long-range MBRLs. Iron Dome can’t counter NLOS-BSMs. One requires something similar to the PAC-3.

To PRIYABRATA GUPTA: The main question that arises is, why in the first place were such enemies created? Why did India consistently between 1951 & 1962 refuse to redraw the McMahon Line at a time when Beijing was still amenable to the very same package deal that is now being sought by India but being denied by China? Why did India not make a decisive push for end to hostilities with Pakistan when negotiating the 1972 Shimla Agreement? Why did India not bother to settle its boundaries with Bangladesh by 1973? Why no one in India care to craft a geo-strategy under which both Nepal & Bangladesh would become India’s permanent vassal states? Why did India have to pursue the discredited policy of benign neglect when it came to Nepal, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka? Why did India not ink Free Trade Pacts with Bangladesh & Nepal in the early-/mid-1990s when it was common-sense that such pacts will turn these countries into mere extensions of India (as both these countries once wanted and also reportedly suggested that such an economic integration could well be labeled as ‘United States of India’)? It is therefore obvious that India missed the boat several times in her post-independence history, purely due to an acute lack of strategic visioning, which persists till this day.

To Anon@9.06PM: That’s absolutely true. This is what happens when one stubbornly persists with steam boilers instead of opting for a gas turbine-based propulsion system.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To GESSLER: The PLAN’s aircraft carrier Liaoning (pennant no 16) will be commissioned into service later this year, perhaps just on the eve of the top leadership changes. But commissioning it into service does not mean that it will from that day on become a full-fledged operational platform. The PLAN will take at least a decade to have an experienced cadre of personnel who are qualified for carrier operations, and who can function as part of an integrated battle group. As for INS Vikramaditya, one will have to pay the price for retaining the steam-boiler propulsion package. Gas-turbine propulsion system should have been specified at the very outset. The Su-33/J-15 will obviously be far more superior to the MiG-29K due tio the latter’s superior flighty endurance & payload-carrying capabilities. For the IN’s 3 x P-15A/4 x P-15B DDGs & 7 x P-17A FFGs, all Barak-2 SAMs & BrahMos-1 Block 1 ASCMs will be inside VLS cells. Ship-launched Nirbhay? NO. Submarine-launched Nirbay? YES. All data on the Type 052D DDG that’s floating around is highly speculative & unsupported by factual evidence. Construction of the first P-17A at MDL won’t begin this year, that’s for sure. GSL too is far behind schedule for the Saryu-class AOPV project. As for the five NOPVs, while Pipavav is ready, IN HQ has not yet finalised the NOPV’s design & is still haggling with Russia’s Severnoye Design Bureau regarding the price to be paid for the design licence, & as a back-up is also negotiating with a US-based naval ship designer for buying the design rights.

Millard Keyes said...

I fully agree Prasun your views on how and why India is now surrounded by hostile states.It is easy to sit and whinge "why does this happen to us? "but it might be a better option to sit and work out yes why DID it happen to us.If the Indian leaders were patriotic they would have by now formed a de facto USI, thwarted any Chinese antagonism and freed resources towards educational and industrial development.Even though some attempt is made to woo the neighbours, it is far too little and too late.Just buying arms and weapons and creating a library like stockpile doesn't make one a super power.The Book of Proverbs says, "where there is no vision, the people perish". All the Indian leadership has done since independence is put on their reading glasses, safeguard their own political interests and save up inheritance.That continues on even this day.No need for foreign invasion, just live the country to the ad hoc policy making of the leaders and an implosion is very possible in the future!

Vikram Guha said...

HI Prasun da,

Are the TU 22M still in service with the Indian Navy ? Are there any plans to lease strategic bombers like TU 160 ?


Anonymous said...

Sir have any of India's ballistic missile been canisterised as yet? From what I think, Agni-3/5 were designed with canisterization in mind, has DRDO developed the required canisters as yer??

What truck will the canisterized Agni-III and V be mounted on, surely a TATRA can't pull that. Is a Tata/Ashok Leyland 8 x 8 in the offing?

AK said...

Hi Prasun, Thats exactly what i have been saying. It is no use raising armoured formations with no means of protecting now. Right now it can be said with absolute certainity that all military assets( armour formations, airbases , radar stations) in NE, Ladakh and in proximity to China border are at the mercy of PLA .Once hostilties start everything will be subjected to massed fire assaults. It many happen that before Su-30 mki can tyake off from Chabua, Tezpur they are destroyed. indian military also faces such a threat in NW from Pakistan albeit to a lesser degree. So emergency procurements must be made of LRSAM,MRSAM capable of defeating NLOS-BSM,TBM,MBRL,ALCM,LACM. Apart from this there must be C-RAM systems based on dual gun and missile as last ditch defences. MoD has not yet realised the grave danger India is facing. Its protectors need protecting.

To anon at September 18, 2012 3:08 PM. S-400,PAC-3,Stunner are different systems. S-400 is a all capable air defesne system capable of dealing with MRBM,TBM,NLOS-BSM, cruise missiles. It has various missile rounds . Now a 150 km class missile has come which allows the user to pack 12 missiles per launcher and gives the same level of capablity. It is 150 km ranged missile, with active seeker+datalink,TVC. PAC-3 is a low cost system specialising in shooting down TBM,NLOS-BSM,cruise missiles It has a arnge of 15 km and is used ti thwart off saturation attacks as 16 missiles are there per launcher. Stunner is Israeli solution to PAC-3 albeit with a longer range .

abs said...

three queries
1. How does the IAF plan to use the 9 special mission a/cs that its looking to procure during wartime and during peacetime(2 of which would go to the ARC)? what are its specs and the systems that would go on board these 7 a/cs?
2. What about the 4 RISTA platforms? what purpose would they serve? during wartime? and how does the IAF plan to use them operationally?
3.Regarding the Integrated Armoured Formations for the chinese front, how would they be put in action during wartime and what would be their objectives? Don't you think that such IBG type formations also require dedicated aerial support, in the form of attack choppers? so in that way are the formations sufficient? Will the IAF provide any kind of support to these formations? And when do u think these formations would come up?? thanks

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , When will the two independent armoured brigades be raised & fielded ? 116 tanks for war wastage reserves. Its a huge no. Is this the prcatise followed by other armies like US Army,PLA Western nations and Russia ? A total of 120 ICV are needed for these two brigades . Why is IA agin going for BMP-2. It is the most 3rd class,retrograde IFV in the world. just look at the armour protection which can be penetrated by even a 7.62 ap round. IA ought to go for BMP-3 with better armour package, CV-90.
With an order of 348 T-90AM, another 322 needs to be procured to bring the total no to 1657. Whats the likelihood of that ? Has any progess been made for upgrading the existing T-90S to T-90AM standards and fitting them with AMAP like armour package ?Can HVF Avadi manufacture 100 T-90 per month ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Why has the US invited China to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC).How significant ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Waiting for the central asian article about the future of Afghanistan and C.Asia.

What do you think of the curent hurry the Russian president is showing in the Eurasian community project in terms of CSTO and eurasian economic region and possible common parliament(like EU parliament)
Now how will moscow create this common economic sppace since it has gained access to WTO?
Also Russia was to partnerthe chinese in keeping C.Asia out of US's hands. Where is china in this?
Now if China is ale to build a trans continental railway linking eijing to london through C.Asia and roadways (transport infrastructure u mentioned earlier in another thread)it would bring enormous benefits to the region through trade and energy linkages but seems moscow is not interested (because of diff gauges and pobably eliminate rival lines through kazakhstan to trans siberian route moscow is modernizing to b completed 2014)
which is surprising.Your thoughts on the economic devlpmnts in C.Asia

Thanks in advance

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRAM GUHA: India never acquired any Tu-22Ms. Nor are there plans to lease any strategic bombers from anywhere.

To Anon@4.19PM: None of India’s ballistic missiles have been cannisterised as yet. R & D work in this area is still in progress. As for TELs, 10 x 10-type vehicles will be required, which are not available from Indian OEMs.

To ABS: The RISTA platforms of the IAF will, during peacetime, be used for border surveillance & monitoring the military activities (like exercises) along the borders. In wartime they will be used for battlefield surveillance & improvement of situational awareness (in order to try to remove the fog of war), i.e. graduating from the present-day estimates-based warfare to knowledge-based warfare in future. The IA’s two independent armoured brigades will come up only after another three years, since new MBT replacements must first arrive before the T-90S MBTs are redeployed from their present-day locations in the west to their new locations due north.

To RAHUL: 116 is not just for war-wastage reserves, but also includes operational reserves. The BMP-2K will be quite sufficient, since the PLA too has fielded its copy of the BMP-2, the Type 86G ICV. I don’t think the last tranche of 322 T-90s will be procured. Instead, the IA will probably go for a total fleet of 300 Arjun Mk1As. HVF can produce only 120 T-90S per year.

To Anon@10.32PM: Why not? These are all part-and-parcel of regional CBMs.

KSingh said...


My vid for Indian SOFs

What do you think?