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Monday, October 8, 2012

Clearing The Mist

The customary press conference given by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) every year on October 5 on the eve of Air Force Day (which falls on October 8) by and large targets contemporary issues on the state of airpower in the subcontinent and the more glamorous and glitzy issues regarding the IAF’s on-going force modernisation efforts and future plans. However, issues regarded as ‘esoteric’ by the mainstream ‘desi’ media in India are very rarely raised and explored, primarily due to their lack of knowledge about various subject matters.
Take, for instance, the on-going confusion concerning the Tejas Mk1 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA). During the IAF CAS’ press-conference, one was simply aghast at the lack of basic knowledge on the part of the band of ‘desi’ journalists who were unable to draw distinctions between ‘Certificate of Airworthiness’ (CofA)—also erroneously referred to by the ‘desi’ journalsists as IOC-1/IOC-2—and ‘squadron-level Full Operational Capability (FOC)’. It should have been evident to all that since the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) hasn’t even reached the stage of awarding the Tejas Mk1 a CofA, therefore the FOC issue doesn’t even arise. In order to acquire the CofA, the Tejas Mk1 has to demonstrate its maximum angle-of-attack (AoA) in fully loaded configuration, something that has not yet been demonstrated. Furthermore, the RAFAEL-built Derby BVRAAM has yet to be test-fired from Tejas Mk1, nor has the RecceLite pod been integrated. It is now expected that by September 2013 all these pending tasks will be concluded. The LSP-series of Tejas Mk1—specifically LSP-2, LSP-3, LSP-4, LSP-5, LSP-7 & the yet-to-be-delivered LSP-8—are presently being used for flight certification/weapons qualification purposes only by both the Aeronautical Development Agency’s (ADA) National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) and the IAF’s Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE). Two other LSP aircraft—LSP-4 and LSP-5—built to comply with the IAF’s specifications for the ‘Tejas’ Mk1—have been located at the NFTC for realising the flight certification/weapons qualification objectives. Of these, only LSP-7 and LSP-8 along with the tandem-seat PV-5 are being used only by ASTE for drafting the Tejas Mk1’s flight operations and maintenance manuals, an exhaustive process that is expected to be completed by mid-2013. For achieving CofA, LSPs 7 and 8 are now being subjected to a tedious certification-cum-flight envelope extension process that will involve field-tests for each and every component and validation of their performance parameters, such as drop-tank ejection, stores integration and ejection, airframe flutter, pitot tube performance, airborne fire-control radar’s modes of operation, and robustness of the digital, quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control system, navigation-and-attack system, stores management system, and the defensive aids suite. Also explored are the aircraft’s ability to sustain increased g-force levels, higher AoA, and improved instantaneous and sustained turn rates. 
Only after all this is completed will the initial 20 SP-series aircraft (16 single-seaters and four tandem-seaters) will begin being inducted into service by the IAF. The first two production-standard aircraft--SP-1 and SP-2—were due to be handed over to IAF by July 2012, with SP-3 and SP-4 following by the year’s end, but SP-1 and SP-2 are now only expected by the year’s end. These four SP-series Tejas Mk1s, powered by GE-built F404-IN20 turbofans, will be deployed at Gwalior with the IAF’s Tactics & Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) by mid-2014 and will be used for articulating the Tejas Mk1’s tactics for operational employment in both air combat and precision ground-strike. This process will last till late-2015. In the meantime, the IAF’s No45 ‘Flying Daggers’ Sqn—presently located at Naliya AFS, flying MiG-21 Bisons, and part of 12 FBSU—would have received all its 20 Tejas Mk1s (from the SP-series) by late-2015 from the MoD-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and by late-2016 the squadron will attain full operational capability. The 20 SP-series Mk1s will thus be the final production-standard aircraft that will be part of the IAF’s operational fleet of frontline combat aircraft. The IAF-specific LSPs will then become the property of ASTE. As of now that’s how the timetable stands. For the IAF-specific Tejas Mk1 the LSPs 7 and 8 are due to be tweaked and fine-tuned by both the NFTS and ASTE, after which the SPs 1/2/3/4 will give the TACDE the much-needed hands-on experience for devising operational squadron-level combat employment tactics. The Navy-specific NP-1 prototype will, however, require more structural refinements with the help of inputs from highly experienced ex-US Navy aviators/engineers from the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, who have been hired as private consultants. 
 
The there is the issue concerning the IAF’s combat aircraft fleet modernisation. According to the IAF’s CAS, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, barring the 63 MiG-29UPGs, all other existing MiG-21 and MiG-27M variants will be decommissioned from service by 2017. For the record, the MiG types that have already been decommissioned include the 205 MiG-21FL Type-77s (acquired between March 1965 and 1972) that were decommissioned by 2006, 158 MiG-21M Type-88s (acquired between February 1973 and November 1981), 150 MiG-21bis Type-75s that were acquired between 1977 and 1984, 95 MiG-23BNs that served between January 1980 and March 2009, 46 MiG-23MFs that served between July 4, 1983 and March 20, 2007, and 10 MiG-25Rs (8 MiG-25Rs and 2 MiG-25Us) that served between August 1981 and May 2006.
 
The ones still in service include 123 MiG-21 Bisons, about 30 MiG-21M Type 96s, less than 20 MiG-21U Type 69Bs, 40 MiG-27UPGs, 105 MiG-27Ms and less than 10 MiG-23UBKs. Their present dispositions are as follows:  

Ambala AFS: 7 Wing’s 3 Cobras sqn with MiG-21 Bison

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

Halwara AFS: 34 Wing’s 22 Swifts sqn with MiG-27UPG

Hashimara AFS: 16 Wing’s 222 Tigersharks sqn with MiG-27M and MiF-23UBK

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

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

Pathankot AFS: 18 Wing’s 26 Warriors sqn with MiG-21 Bison, 108 Hawkeyes sqn with MiG-21M Type 96

Naliya AFS: 12 FBSU’s 45 Flying Daggers sqn with MiG-21 Bison (due to convert to Tejas Mk1s after re-locating to Sulur in Coimbatore in future) & 101 Falcons sqn with MiG-21M Type 96

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

Phalodi/Suratgarh AFS: 35 Wing’s 23 Panthers sqn with MiG-21 Bison

Uttarlai AFS: 5 FBSU’s 4 Oorials sqn with MiG-21 Bison
Most of the MiG-21 Bison and MiG-27M squadrons will, by 2016, be converting to the Su-30MKI. The dispositions of the present-day inventory of 162 Su-30MKIs are as follows:

Bareilly AFS: 15 Wing’s 8 Eight Pursoots (since mid-2007) & 24 Hunting Hawks sqns with Su-30MKI (since late 2003, and since early 2009 four of its Su-30MKIs have been tasked with strategic reconnaissance along the Sino-Indian LAC with EL/M-2060P SAR pod)

Bhatinda AFS: 34 Wing’s 17 Golden Arrows sqn with Su-30MKI since June 2012

Chabua AFS: 14 Wing’s 102 Trisonics sqn with Su-30MKI since March 8, 2011

Halwara AFS: 34 Wing’s 220 Desert Tigers sqn with Su-30MKI since September 25, 2012

Jodhpur AFS: 32 Wing’s 31 Lions sqn with Su-30MKI since October 1, 2011

Pune/Lohegaon AFS: 2 Wing’s 20 Lightnings sqn (since September 27, 2002) & 30 Rhinos sqn with Su-30MKI (since March 21, 2005)

Tezpur AFS: 11 Wing’s 2 Winged Arrows sqn with Su-30MKI since June 15, 2009
The above squadrons will in future be joined by: 

Bhuj AFS: 27 Wing’s 15 Flying Lancers Sqn to begin converting to Su-30MKI in December 2012 and four Su-30MKIs will be tasked with strategic reconnaissance along the India-Pakistan borders with EL/M-2060P SAR pod

Sirsa AFS: 45 Wing’s 21 Ankush sqn (now with MiG-21 Bisons, will convert to Su-30MKI by the year’s end and four of its Su-30MKIs will be tasked with strategic reconnaissance along the India-Pakistan borders with EL/M-2060P SAR pod

Kalaikunda AFS: 5 Wing’s 18 Flying Bullets sqn will begin converting to Su-30MKI by June 2013

Hashimara AFS: 16 Wing’s 222 Tigersharks sqn will begin converting to Su-30MKI by June 2013

In addition to the above, an all-new Su-30MKI squadron will be raised for deployment to Thanjavur by 2015, and will be followed by the raising of three more Su-30MKI squadrons, leading to a grand total of 17 squadrons equipped with Su-30MKIs.
When it comes to deciding the fate of its flying training aircraft assets, the IAF is now between the devil and the deep-blue sea due to two reasons: the need to find a viable excuse for shelving the need for an intermediate jet trainer (IJT); and the pressing requirement for a lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT). The IJT was a valid requirement for as long as the IAF was devoid of a basic turboprop trainer (BTT). Now that the 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mk2 BTTs are due for arrival by next year (and will hopefully be followed by 106 HAL-developed HTT-40 BTTs), there is an urgent need for restructuring the IAF’s three-stage pilot training curriculum, which ideally ought to comprise Stage-1 on the BTTs, Stage-2 on the 123 Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainers, and culminate in Stage-3 on a new-generation LIFT. It is therefore high time that the IAF’s IJT requirement for 12 LSP-standard HAL-developed HJT-36s and 73 SP-standard HJT-36 is given a quick burial, with HAL being allowed to continue developing the single-engined HJT-36 for exports markets only. The HJT-36 was due for receiving its CofA in July 2011, followed by service induction by June 2012. HAL, however, has so far missed all such deadlines, since the HJT-36’s flight-control logic, engine performance parameters (of the NPO Saturn-built AL-55I turbofan), certified weight envelopes, and in-flight stall and spin characteristics all await validation. Even though HAL has built four flyable AL-55I-powered HJT-36s, arrival of the CofA is not expected for at least another two years.           

The most urgent need-of-the-hour, however, is for at least 60 LIFTs, for which the tandem-seat operational conversion variant of the Tejas Mk1 powered by a F404-GE-IN20 turbofan is the obvious choice. This is because the IAF does not possess the kind of LIFT that is required for training two-man aircrew teams that are required for the steadily expanding Su-30MKI fleet and in future will also be required for the initial 40 tandem-seat Rafale M-MRCAs and 48 FGFAs. This is a huge flying training void that needs to be filled ASAP. The Hawk Mk132, being only an AJT meant for training rookie pilots (destined for frontline single-seat combat aircraft) the art of mission management in a glass cockpit environment, is clearly not up to the task of LIFT-related flying training. The transonic Hawk Mk132 is thus used for empowering a trainee pilot for flying single-seat air combat aircraft. That is why the Hawk Mk132’s tandem-seat cockpit has been designed to accommodate only a pilot and his/her flight instructor, and not the pilot and weapon systems operator (WSO). A LIFT, on the other hand, is configured to accommodate the pilot and his/her WSO. Presently, there is no dedicated airborne platform available to the IAF for training pilot/WSO teams to undertake interleaved cockpit taskings and consequently, all such training has to be carried out on actual Su-30MKIs (and in future on the tandem-seat versions of the Rafale and FGFA), which will only reduce the total technical service lives of these operational combat aircraft. Therefore, just as the USAF employs its T-38s for training pilot/WSO teams destined for the F-15Es, the IAF requires a tandem-seat Tejas Mk1 configured as a LIFT (capable of accommodating the pilot/WSO team and also being fitted with a low-cost AESA-MMR and IRST sensor), as opposed to just a tandem-seat Tejas Mk1 operational conversion trainer that can only house the pilot undergoing operational conversion to the single-seat Tejas Mk1, plus his/her flight instructor. Given the fact that AESA-MMR-equipped aircraft like the Super Su-30MKI, Rafale and FGFA will all be capable of interleaved aircrew operations/taskings, logic demands that the IAF acquire a fleet of LIFT-configured Tejas Mk1 tandem-seaters as well.

Control Of Rotary-Winged Assets
Coming now to the issue concerning the Indian Army’s longstanding demand (since 1986) for raising its own integral fleets of dedicated attack helicopters, helicopter-gunships and armed medium-lift utility helicopters, ACM Browne revealed on October 5 that while in May 2011 the IAF had offered to surrender its sovereignty over dedicated attack helicopters, this was not acceptable to the Army, which at that time also insisted on raising its integral Combat Aviation Brigades (for conducting vertical envelopment air-assault operations) equipped with armed medium-lift utility helicopters—something which the IAF objected to. In the IAF CAS’ own words, “We can't have these little air forces growing and doing their own things”. When asked why the IAF unilaterally renounced its custodianship of attack helicopters, his response was that attack helicopters have a dual-role and are used not just for destroying armoured vehicles, but also for taking down enemy combat aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

In making such remarks, what the IAF’s CAS highlighted was his own ignorance about what is transpiring in India’s immediate neighbourhood. For instance, in neighbouring Pakistan, it is the Army’s Aviation Corps that has as its integral assets the fleets of AH-1S HueyCobra helicopter gunships, AS.350B3 armed light observation helicopters and Mi-171 medium-lift utility helicopters. In China, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) already boasts of five helicopter-based ‘Cavalry Brigades’, with another nine in the pipeline. Each such Brigade comprises a Battalion of 16 Z-9WE attack helicopters, a Battalion of 16 medium-lift Mi-171/Mi-17V-5 utility helicopters, and a Battalion of 16 Z-8WG heavylift helicopters. These Cavalry Brigades, attached to the PLA’s Highland Mechanised Infantry Divisions of the Chengdu and Lanzhou Military Regions (MR), are employed as Corps reconnaissance and screening forces, provide flank protection, and act as air-assault forces to seize high-value targets in cooperation with Division-sized formations (hailing from the PLA Air Force’s 15th Airborne Army) equipped with ZBD-03 tracked airborne infantry combat vehicles. Such Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) are specifically tasked to fight as independent battle groups on mountainous and urban terrain of the type prevalent in Xinjiang and Tibet. In one such exercise conducted in early June 2011, a Group Army of the Lanzhou MR for the very first time carried out a synchronised combined arms exercise in three different areas of northwest China. In Tengri Desert, a special operations detachment on board armed Mi-17V-5s penetrated into the enemy’s rear, while in the hinterland of the Qilian Mountains, a mechanised formation with its integral field artillery assets passed through a minefield and carried out a combined arms assault. By the Weishui River, a Brigade of the 2nd Artillery Corps fired its NLOS-BSMs in support of Corps-level offensive ground campaigns.

The Indian Army’s in-house think-tanks, which after OP Parakram in 2002 have been hard at work aimed at turning the lumbering Army into an agile, lethal, versatile and networked force capable of matching the PLA’s on-going force-modernisation efforts through re-organisation, restructuring, force development and relocation (all these being based on 13 transformation studies carried out so far), had by 2011 come up with a firm plan whose five main elements were:

1) Creation of integral Combat Aviation Brigades (CAB) for each of its three Strike Corps and 10 Pivot Corps over a 15-year period between (2007-2022), with each CAB attached to the Strike Corps comprising two squadrons each with 12 attack helicopters, one squadron with 10 ‘Rudra’ helicopter-gunships (for tactical battle reconnaissance and casualty evacuation) and five single-engined light observation helicopters. The CABs attached to the Pivot Corps were to comprise two squadrons with 24 ‘Rudra’ helicopter-gunships and one squadron of 15 Mi-17V-5 helicopters configured for Battalion-level armed air-assaults and casualty evacuation.  

2) Raising of a rapid-deployment ‘Airmobile Division’ (this being the 54th Infantry Division), an idea that was first mooted by the Indian Army in 1986, and has since been further fine-tuned to now include the existing 50th Independent Parachute Brigade (making use of the IAF’s fleet of strategic transportation aircraft like the IL-76MD, C-17A Globemaster III and even C-130J-30s) and an existing Infantry Brigade converted into a quick-reaction Air-Assault Brigade.

3) Raising four new Mountain Divisions to add to the 10 existing ones, which would result in 10 of the 14 Mountain Divisions being China-specific (these including the 2 Mtn Div in Dinjan, 5 Mtn Div in Tenga, 17 Mtn Div in Gangtok, 20 Mtn Div in Rangiya, 27 Mtn Div in Kalimpong, 56 Mtn Div in Zakhama, 57 Mtn Div in Leimakhong, and 71 Mtn Div in Missamari, plus two more that are now being raised). The plan also included raising THREE Independent Armoured Brigades (each to be composed of one yet-to-be-raised Mechanised Infantry Regiment and two Armoured Regiments): one in Jammu & Kashmir’s Ladakh region (for the Karu-based 3rd Infantry Division under XIV Corps) to cover the flat approaches from Tibet towards India’s crucial defences at Chushul, and the other in Uttarakhand. The third Independent Armoured Brigade was planned for to supplement the existing sole Armoured Regiment now facing Bangladesh along the Siliguri corridor in West Bengal. Primary mission of this Independent Armoured Brigade was to cover the approaches from Sikkim to the plains due south and one of its Mechanised Infantry Regiment was earmarked for being permanently located on the flat, 17,000-feet-high North Sikkim plateau. Therefore, altogether, six new Armoured Regiments equipped with 348 T-90S MBTs (58 per Regiment, including war-wastage reserves) were to be raised along with three Mechanised Infantry Regiments equipped with BMP-2Ks.

4) Undertaking infrastructure development projects along India’s northern borders at a budgeted cost Rs24,312 crore; with upgrades of storage facilities for ammunition costing another Rs18,450 crore; construction of suitable habitat for soldiers deployed in high-altitude areas like Kargil, Siachen-Saltoro Ridge and Ladakh (which includes insulation, dome and fibre-glass shelters) costing another Rs6,000 crore; and acquiring 23,216 acres of more land in Uttarakhand and constructing helipads at Almora, Banbasa, Dharchula, Dehradun, Dharasu, Charmagaurd, Chhiyalekh, Gunji, Ghatoli, Ghansali, Auli, Haldwani, Pantnagar and Pithoragarh. The infrastructure accretions due for coming up in areas under the Army’s Eastern Army Command was planned to include 5,572 permanent defences and bunkers along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, as well as major helicopter and UAV hubs at Missamari, Kumbhigram and Lilabari in Assam, and at Pasighat, Ziro and Vijaynagar at a cost of Rs9,243 crore. The idea was to link all these helicopter/UAV hubs with the IAF’s advanced landing grounds (ALG) at Pasighat, Mechuka, Walong, Tuting, Ziro and Vijaynagar in Arunachal Pradesh.

5)  Undertaking new all-weather rail-connectivity projects (thereby reducing the Army’s dependence on the IAF for weather-dependent air-maintenance) like Missamari (Assam) to Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh), North Lakhimpur (Assam) to Along (Arunachal Pradesh) and Murkongselek (Assam)-Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh). To the north, the key rail-connectivity projects envisaged included Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch, Rishikesh-Karanprayag and Tanakpur-Bageshwar (Uttarakhand).

The above-mentioned plans were also the result of lessons drawn by the Indian Army from the Sumdorong Chu crisis of late 1986. Sumdorong Chu is in the Thagla Ridge area of Kameng District in Arunachal Pradesh from where the 1962 war started. After the Chinese unilateral withdrawal in 1962, Beijing had warned India not to enter certain areas evacuated by them. The routine of India’s small Intelligence Bureau (IB) detachment at Sumdorong Chu that left its border checkpost at Le for collection of salaries and rations was monitored by the PLA’s BDRs. One day in June 1986, when the IB personnel got back to the post after collecting supplies from a point near Nymjang Chu, the main river in North Kameng, they found it taken over by a PLA detachment that had built permanent barracks there and constructed a helipad which was then being used by the PLA’s newly acquired S-70C Black Hawks. This minor incident triggered off what came to be known as the Sumdorong Chu crisis between India and China. The Indian Army immediately retaliated by using the IAF’s newly-acquired Mi-26T helicopters to airlift troops and occupy a parallel ridge, known by the peaks Lurong La, Hathung La and Sulung La. In addition, two forward posts, Jaya and Negi, were set up across the Nymjang Chu river just below the ridge and only 10 metres from a Chinese forward post. At the peak of the Sumdorong Chu crisis in late 1986, three Mountain Divisions of IV Corps were pushed to the McMahon Line in Arunachal Pradesh. Two Divisions were deployed in Kameng District to defend Tawang, and a better part of the third Division was in Lohit District to defend Walong. Tawang was designated as the IV Corps’ vital area, which had to be defended at all costs (as per the political directive). Extremely strong field artillery elements—especially the just-arrived Bofors FH-77Bs, were placed in support of the troops in Tawang. The then COAS, Gen K Sundarji, under OP TRIDENT, ordered airlifting of field artillery ammunition estimated at hundreds of million rupees to be stockpiled in the forward areas. The field artillery units deployed near Tawang commanded the complete zone over which PLA re-enforcements would come in case of a crisis. Gen Sundarji also used the IAF’s new air-lift capabilities (thanks to the IL-76MDs and Mi-26Ts) to land a Brigade in Zimithang, north of Tawang, and a makeshift helicopter-base close to Sumdorong Chu.  Indian forces also took up positions on the Hathung La ridge, across the Namka Chu River, where India had faced a humiliating defeat in 1962. By October 1986, eight reinforced Division-sized formations of the PLA hailing from the Chengdu MR, which took up to 20 days to travel non-stop by road from Chengdu via Lhasa, were facing two Indian Mountain Divisions deployed in a holding role to secure Tawang. HQ IV Corps deployed a total of three Mountain Divisions on the line with formations of HQ III Corps acting as reserves. To cater for an escalation of hostilities, vital areas and vital points which form the framework of a border conflict with China received very heavy deployments catering for the entire border length, especially in North Sikkim. However, sensible people in Delhi and Beijing reckoned that nothing worthwhile would come out of the conflict, and the situation was sought to be eased through back-channel diplomacy. Yet, a clear message had gone to China: India had the political will and the military muscle to defend itself. Once OP TRIDENT was completed, Army HQ ordered the then GOC-in-C Eastern Command, Lt Gen V N Sharma, to forcibly evict the PLA garrisons from Sumdorong Chu. This is when the shit hit the fan, as Lt Gen V N Sharma asked Gen Sundarji for instructions on follow-up actions in case the PLA, in retaliation, would decide to employ tactical nuclear weapons. Both Indian Army HQ and the then Govt of India were totally unprepared for this scenario (since India had not yet embarked on a nuclear weaponisation programme) and were therefore faced with an enormous debacle. Consequently, there was no other option for India, but to blink first. Subsequently, liaison channels between R & AW and China’s Ministry for Public Security were activated for arriving at a mutually acceptable de-escalation/draw-down schedule. But Sumdorong Chu was permanently lost to the PLA without even a bullet being fired in anger by India.
Fast-forwarding to the present-day, while it will be highly unreasonable for the Indian Army’s Aviation Corps (AAC) to insist on claiming ownership of all existing utility helicopter assets of the IAF, the past and present-day developments around India’s immediate neighbourhood makes it imperative for the AAC to have its own integral inventories of heavy attack helicopters, helicopter-gunships and utility helicopters (both medium-lift and heavylift) for its projected CABs and the rapid deployment Airmobile Division. It is high time the IAF realised that assets like AH-64Ds, Mi-17V-5s and the LCH will be optimally utilised more by the AAC than by the IAF. As a compromise, the IAF should be allowed to maintain a credible fleet (about 30 units) of FLIR pod-equipped Mi-17V-5s configured for combat search-and-rescue, as well as the 15 heavylift helicopters that ought to be dual-qualified for both high-altitude heavylift utility and special operations missions in support of the IAF’s offensive air-taskings. 
(to be concluded)

226 comments:

1 – 200 of 226   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Sir, you said that some MiG-21 bis are kept in reserve by IAF. They has not been decommisoned. What about them ? Sukhoi 30 is replacing so any fighters .

Anonymous said...

Sir , A few queries
1.What acs have replaced 205 MiG-21FL,150 MiG-21 bis , 158 MiG-21 M in IAF service ?

2. Uptil now I thought 162 Su-30MKI has phased out 141 MiG-23 + 10 MiG-25. This is acceptable. But replacing 654 MiGs of various types with just 162 Sukhoi - 30 is not very justifiable .IAF HQ must be thinking about replacements when it phased out so many MiG-23MF,BN , MiG-21 bis .

3.The present 123 Bison + 30 MiG-21M + 145 MiG-27 are to be replaced with 148 Su-30mki + 126 Rafales . Am i right?

4.MiG-21 bis still has some life left in it along with bisons. Bis ought to have been replaced on a one-on-one basis.

5. The other addition will be 40 Tejas mk1. Tejas mk2 is still many years away. So it will not add up to the nos.

6. IAF had an all time high inventory during 1990s when all the MiGs were operational barring the older MiG-21FL alongwith 51 Mirage 2000, 120 Jaguars . At that time there was almost 50 squadrons.The no of squadrons have
been decresing since then with no immediate replacements .

7. Wont 40 MiG-27 UPG also be phased out alongwith MiG-27M as the desi media has reported .

8. How many EL/M 2060 pods have been procured till date by IAF ? Can the present no of 4 Su tasked with strategic recon be increased in the near future ?

Pls reply.

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun,
Who will impart intermediate jet training to pilots after Kiran mk1/2 are phased out ? Though Pilatus is a turbpprop trainer, it still is a propeller driven basic . Isnt it neccesary to impart some intermediate jet traing before pilots commence to Hawk AJT . Pilots destined for tandem seat fighters will only go through LIFT trainers .
What happened to the four slant launchers of P-15 Styx ASHM in the front ?

Thanx for the replies.This indeed is a great thread.Its worth the wait.
THANX PRASUN.

kattayikonan said...

you said "Su-30MKIs will be tasked with strategic reconnaissance along the India-Pakistan borders with EL/M-2060P SAR pod". how far these aircraft can sneak (i mean look into) into pakistan?

Anonymous said...

I see you have not mentioned anything about LSP 6. Is this
- ready and being tried out, or
- has it being abandoned or
-it is still under development?

Anonymous said...

Hi, How can MiG-27 , Jaguar pilots be allowed to fly Su-30 mki . These pilots have only flown ground attack,interdiction sorties. They havent flown any air superiority,dominance and counter air missions. They dont have any dogfighting skills and little or no clue about air combat. Whereas Su is optimised for air dominance missions . What happened to ab initio training in Airforce ?

dashu said...

very informative .

dashu said...

Hope IAF goes for Tejas LIFT

Anonymous said...

How many full motion flight simulator that can simulate the entire flight envelope of a fighter has been procured for Sukhoi-30 jets ? Can Tejas LIFT be used as operational fighters during hostilities or they are meant for training only ? When will Level 4 MRO for Sukhoi-30 be establishrd.

Sayan said...

Sir , HAL is struggling with Indigenous Aircrafts
Is there some real problem with LSP-8 ? It hasn't taken to air yet.

that SP-1 and SP-2 aircrafts will be handed over to Indian air force for their own evaluation and assessments and Actual handing over and first flight of this aircrafts may take place only next year and handing over to IAF in mid of next year. As you reported LSP-7 is already being extensively flight tested . Another error on the part of desi media .

Hasn't fabrication of Tejasmk2 already commenced ? HAL can produce more LSP and various test can be carried on these acs in parallel thereby speeding up the process.

Can't IAF procure a handful of second hand but refurbished T-38 for LIFT purposes from States ?

With induction of various simulators for Su-30 hasn't the usage of Su-30 come down ? Why can't aircrews acquire the various skills of interleaved ops on the course of operation sorties ?

If asbestos had been used instead of firebricks are there any chances of the topspeed going up from 30 knots.

KSK said...

Is IAF Or MoD interested or trying or atleast aware that Tejas Mk1 can/must be converted into LIFT.
Who is carrying this idea ahead and who is against it?

Air Chief said that 1962 would have been different if IAF offensive was used...do u concur..I do cas at the time IAF was better trained n equipped than CAF .

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun wouldn't it be better to scrap the IL-76s instead of upgrading them? Apparently someone has told Ajai Shukla that the current fleet has reached an availability level around 25% because spare part reserves have reached critical levels. Is this why India isn't buying more phalcons?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.49AM: The MiG-21bis airframes kept in reserve are for spares cannibilsation & that’s why they’re not in airworthy condition.

To Anon@2.15PM: 1) Force modernisation & inventory replacement never takes place on a per-unit basis. 2) The MiGs already replaced were never MRCAs. The Su-30MKIs being multi-role, are capable of doing a lot more than role-specific MiG-23BNs, MiG-23MFs, MiG-25Rs & MiG-27M/UPG. 3) 149 more Su-30MKIs are due for delivery along with 126 + 63 Rafales. 4 & 5) Airpower employment is no longer a numbers-based game, but more to do with effects-based operations. 6) The IAF never attained its sanctioned strength of 42 combat squadrons. Serviceability levels of MiG-23MFs & MiG-23BNs were quite low even in the 1980s. 7) If the Rafale M-MRCAs & Tejas Mk1s don’t start arriving by 2016, then the 40 MiG-27UPGs will be required to stay in service till at least 2020. Pods like EL/M-2060P, Litening-2 & 3, EL/L-8222 have not yet been acquired in adequate numbers. Only 30% of the required numbers have been acquired. The same goes for the part-task trainers required for becoming proficient in the launch & guidance of PGMs.

To RAHUL: Intermediate-level training is reqd only when one starts ab-initio training with piston-engined aircraft. When turboprop-powered BTTs are used, the transition to AJTs is smooth and that’s why the great majority of the world’s respected air forces use BTTs & AJTs only. In the IAF’s case, development of the HJT-36 IJT was sanctioned at a time when procurements of BTTs & AJTs were nowhere in sight. Turbofan-powered flying training aircraft are used primarily for training rookie pilots for taking off & landing at higher speeds. In this context, the gap between a piston-engined trainer like HPT-32 & AJT like Hawk Mk132 is much more than the gap between PC-7 Mk2 & Hawk Mk132. Had the IAF persisted with its HPT-32s, then the HJT-36 would have had a role to play. Since that is no longer the case, the IJT has become redundant. A LIFT on the other hand is a double-edged sword, since it can be used for both flying training as well as actual combat.

To KATTAYIKONAN: From an altitude of 40,000 feet, the EL/M-2060P can map a swathe of territory that is up to 300km in depth.

To Anon@4.16PM: LSP-6 is being used as an airworthy experimental airframe solely for increasing the Tejas Mk1’s maximum AoA.

To DASHU: VMT. I sure hope so.

To Anon@10.32PM: Only two so far, against a total reqmt for eight Su-30MKI full-motion simulators. The same goes for fixed-base cockpit procedures trainers.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAYAN: The problem is HAL’s inability to come up with the type of state-of-the-art airframe final assembly infrastructure that’s required for producing new-generation MRCAs. Why should an imported LIFT solution be sought when an indigenously developed solution is available immediately? The deficiency of all types of simulators (for flying training & weapons part-task trainers) is a cause for serious concern. It is a cultural problem, since the IAF for decades now has been used to flying Soviet-origin combat aircraft without recourse to any flight simulator. Only now, with the induction of C-130J-30s & in future the C-17As, AH-54Ds, AW-101s & Rafales will the usage of simulators register an increase.

To KSK: As of now, I’m the only one that’s been lobbying for making use of the Tejas Mk1’s tandem-seat conversion trainer as a LIFT. If you look around, others have recently begun speculating about considering an AJT like the Yak-130 as an IJT, which is a retrograde idea, to say the least. As for 1962, the IAF was indeed in a position to deliver effective close air support only in eastern Ladakh, since the air base infrastructure in northern & central India was more than sufficient to support a sustained tactical air campaign. In the north-east, on the other hand, the entire ground-based infrastructure for both the IA & IAF was totally inadequate for supporting tactical air superiority & close air-support air campaigns. So, if the IAF had gone on the offensive in 1962 in eastern Ladakh, it could well have prevented the PLA from capturing Aksai Chin. In fact, the IA even succeeded in deploying AMX-13 light tanks in Chushul & used them with devastating effect. Had the IAF been called in to lend aerial logistics support, then much more could have been achieved by the IA in terms of deploying light armoured & mechanised infantry forces & using them with devastating effect against a PLA that had no such armoured/mechanised infantry forces available in Aksai Chin.

To Anon@12.50AM: Spares shortages always arise ONLY FOR engines, cockpit instrumentation, avionics & accessories,but NEVER for airframes. That is the very reason why Ulyanovsk-based AVIASTAR along with Ilyushin Finance Corp have decided to retain the IL-76’s airframe, while changing virtually everything else on the IL-476. Therefore, the IL-76MD & IL-78MKI airframes are good-to-go for another 40 years provided they are re-engined with PS-90A turbofans, & are equipped with a fly-by-wire flight control system & a glass cockpit avionics suite—all of which are now available on the IL-476. But what has Ajai Shukla got to do with all this?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Your logic's on the requisite group of trainer aircraft's (Pilatus and Hawk) along with the LIFT (Tejas-Mk1 with tandem seat) are quite justified. It will be very risky and difficult to find any flaws with it or to propose alternate solutions which have been already well interdicted by you. Hope someone good understands all them well and saves enough time, money and efforts.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: VMT for your kind & thoughtful observations. By the way, do take a look at the latest advertisement from Boeing India that appears in this week's India-based newsprint media. While the location (eastern Ladakh's locational deserts near Aksai Chin) is quite apt for those with an eye for detail, I reckon it would have been better if the Ad showed not just the CH-47F Chinook hovering above, but also an AH-64D LongBow Apache as well (LoLz!).

Anonymous said...

When will LSP 6 and 8 start flying?

sathead3 said...

The Israelis took down the intruding UAV with Python missiles. That's good news, I imagine, for India, as far as the Python's effectiveness is concerned. Great article by the way.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun, your suggestion to convert Tejas Mk-1 Tandem-seat into LIST configuration by adding an AESA-MMR & IRST sensor is very logical, very cost-effective and and requires very little time frame & RD effort. Since you are the only one to think about this simple solution to a complex problem, will you not actively campaign for it with HAL, ADA and MoD babus? You owe it to the nation. We all(the Defence Blogging BUffs)will be solidly behind you. By the by, has HAL developed into a white elephant? Already a lot of heart searching is going on in Govt about HAL. Why not place HAL under DRDO, ADA to be more specific?

Anonymous said...

How many hardpoints are going to be added on Tejas Mk2.7 seem to be inadequate,I believe one to two hardpoints under the belly of tejas for fuel tank or 2 BVRAAM would have given it a greater punch.

abs said...

@prasunda
recently the LTIPP of the Armed forcess was cleared. Given the circumstance that the LTIPP entailed the following stages
1)National Security Strategy.
2)Defence Planning Guidelines.
3)Defence Capability Strategy.
4)Defence Capability Plan
5)LTIPP(which would have been an extension of the DCP)
so in light of the above does it mean that all the above strategies and guidelines have also been finalised and notified to every one concerned for implementation??
2)Would the IN go for seperate SSNKs and SSGNs??
3)When would the tactical CALCM for which HAL has already developed a turbofan see light of the day??
4)Don't you think the figure of $35billion for the FGFA project is a bit ambiguous, and consequently the figure of eventual FGFA procured would be way more than 214?? Is the IAF also going to procure a few PAK-FAs???

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

There are reports that India has upgraded the Brahmos missile with new navigation system from the Russian KH555 cruise missile.The new Brahmos missile will have 500 km range..But what abt MTCR?U r thoughts pls...

Unknown said...

Prasun,

At IA, IAF and IN bases who handles the QRT responbilites? Is it DSC? Is it the military police? And are they trained and equipeed to repel a Mehran-type of attack?

Anonymous said...

Sir , VMT for the detailed answers.

1. What exactly is stopping IAF HQ from ordering the requisite nos of mission pods, EL/M-2060P,jammers,LDPs ? Why isnt CAS raising his voice over this matter and demanding immediate procurement of these critical equipment ?

2. EL 8222 has become old and so is Litening -2,3 LDPs. Cant IAI come up with some new aesa based jamming compact jamming pods as replecements for EL-8222 as well as updated versions of Litening 3 and IAF should order them.

3.Are more full motion flight simulators on order by IAF ? Or the no is limited to 2. Eight was the requirement for 270. Now as more Su-30 mki are being ordered the nos should go up. The more the merrier. Are other types of simulators on order ?

4.In 1990s Hawker Hunter , Canberra were also there. So 42 squadrons should have been attained .

5.If 60 Tejas LIFT are ordered will the 83 Tejas mk2 that IAF intends to procure will this no go down or it will remain as it is along with 40 Tejas mk1.

6. When will Tejas mk2 first fly ? The problem with centre of gravity that Tejas mk1 was suffering from when carrying 1000 lb bombs has it been rectified ? Now can it carry such ordance ?

7.LSP -6 is being used for improving AoA .This means R&D work is still going on Tejas mk1 for improving it. These improvements will go on seris production acs .

8.Why dont u lobby for procurement of Full motion simulators, adequate no of sensors pods, jammers , standoff PGM with terminal guidance like Pak H-4 .

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

When will the follow-on orders of SPYDER-SR system for the IAF be issued? Which is a better SHORAD system the SPYDER-SR or the MBDA VL-MICA or the VL-IRIS-T systeM specially for neutralizing high sub-sonic cruise missiles?

Does the MBDA VL-MICA has a chance of being selected for the SHORAD system for the IAF?

Thank you.

Sayan said...

Sir , The decision makers at HAL doesnt have the aplitude to understand that modern state of the art assembly lines, manufacturing facilties as aare present with Boeing,EADS,Lockheed are needed to produce modern MRCA . When will HAL upgrade its present assembly lines/maunfacturing facilties to modern standards or build new such facilties ? Does Sukhoi production line is also similar to the one of Tejas or it is as specified by Irkut and state of the art ?

IAF must be stubborn and not accept sub standard poorly made products and ask HAL to implement modern assembly lines and construction techniques .

Hasn't fabrication of Tejasmk2 already commenced ? HAL can produce more LSP and various test can be carried on these acs in parallel thereby speeding up the process.

If 60 Tejas tandem seaters configured as LIFT are ordered will the present 83 no of Tejas mk2 be acquired .

If asbestos tiles were used instead of fireproof bricks as thermal insulation more heat can be generated , consequently more power can be produced and so the top speed can be increased .

During VK Singh's era anti aircraft ammunition for ZU-23-2 weer ordered from a Bulgarian firm. But rounds for ZU-23 are being produced by OFB. So why order rounds from a foreign firm .

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Hi Prasun Da,

Is it true that the presence of SOviet nuclear submarines in the Bay of Bengal during the 71 war prevented the US & UK from launching an attack against India ?

Regards,
Sujoy

Jagadish said...

Hi Prasun,

Is the IA purchasing any precision guided artillery shells like the American Excalibur ? The Russian version of the Excalibur called Krasnopoll is a lot cheaper . Any insights if IA plans to procure such shells.

Thanks,
Jagadish

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Is it true that India is proceeding with the purchase of Apache and Chinook. If yes, then in how many numbers.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun, while browsing through DFI website I came across an item dated yesterday that India upgraded Brahmos missile with GPS-GLONASS navigation system and that the range of the missile is 300-500 km and it can carry a nuclear warhead. The news item was reported from Moscow oct 09 (Rio Novosti) The original news item is from - en.rian.ru/military_news/20121009/176500812.html I am sure this is a very important improvisation in terms of range, accuracy and nuclear capability. Please furnish your valuable openion.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SATHEAD3: For shooting down UAVs even a R-60T AAM will do, leave alone the Python-3/4/5. However, it seems the IAF has rather expensive tastes in a selective manner, and that would perhaps explain why the IAF insists on acquiring platforms like the LCH just for shooting down UAVs.

To SNTATA: There’s no need even for a AESA-MMR on a LIFT at this stage. The existing EL/M-2032 will be perfectly fine along with the low-cost Skyward IRST sensor. As for lobbying, that’s not what I indulge in. I’ve proposed a pragmatic solution with high returns on investment & it is up to the decision-makers to take a call. At the same time, what needs to be probed is why did the IAF not express any serious interest in the HTT-35 basic turboprop trainer project of the early 1990s (see: http://trishulgroup.blogspot.in/2009/10/bottoms-up-not-top-down.html). For had the HTT-35 been developed by the mid-1990s, the today there would have been no need for the HTT-40. The problem, therefore, is not with HAL, but with the MoD & IAF HQ. It was the MoD that authorised the creation of ADA in the early 1980s, & the direct consequence of this is that today ADA & HAL are poised with daggers drawn against one another. ADA should long ago have become a part of HAL’s Aircraft R & D Division. Today, everything’s being duplicated, since ADA is involved with the Tejas & wants to call the shots for the AMCA, while HAL wants its FGFA to prevail over the Tejas Mk2 & AMCA. Then there’s the problem of attracting, nurturing & sustaining the required number of skilled human resources, without which there will be persistent QC/QA problems even with existing product-lines, like that of the Dhruv ALH. Just look at the number of times the DGCA & CEMILAC has had to issue mandatory airworthiness directives in order to correct the Dhruv’s design & production-engineering shortcomings! This means that despite the passage 19 years since the Dhruv’s first flight, the helicopter’s design has not yet been perfected. That is the only probable reason why HAL has been unable to secure EASA airworthiness certification for the Dhruv ALH, something it had promised to obtain on July 25, 2005.
. The airborne Glonass-K receiver integrated with the RLG-INS & related small-diameter airborne data-link for the air-launched BrahMos-1 were developed completely in-house by ASL. In fact, not just the BrahMos-1, but also the Shaurya & Prahaar are likely to have these elements as well. They have nothing to do at all with the Kh-55 & neither will the BrahMos-1 be nuclear-armed. But as you may recall, I was the first one to state in a much earlier thread that the range of BrahMos-1 Block-3 is being increased from 290km to 550km.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.42PM: Seven hardpoints are more than enough. What needs to be done is do away with underwing & underbelly fuel tanks whenever aerial refuelling support is available, & also certify the Tejas Mk2 for carrying lightweight laser-guided PGMs & LGBs, instead of the bulky 1,000-pounders.

To ABS: LTIPP in the Indian context deals with only military force-modernisation issues, & not the higher directions for war or higher defence management. To get a better idea of what I’m saying, do read this: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/joining-forces/1013766/0
As for the IN, SSGNs & SSBNs are a must. HAL-developed turbofan is for the Nirbhay, & not for any CALCM. Any financial figure being touted for the FGFA project is highly speculative at this stage. No PAK-FAs will be acquired. Instead, the FGFA’s first prototype is due for rollout in 2014 for fatigue tests, followed by another in 2017 and one in 2019.

To Anon@5.02PM: That’s utterly outrageous & totally false. The airborne Glonass-K receiver integrated with the RLG-INS & related small-diameter airborne data-link for the air-launched BrahMos-1 were developed completely in-house by ASL. In fact, not just the BrahMos-1, but also the Shaurya & Prahaar are likely to have these elements as well. They have nothing to do at all with the Kh-55.

To UNKNOWN; For the IN it is MARCOS & Sagar Prahari Bal, while for the IAF it is Garud. For IA, regular infantry-sourced personnel make up with ‘Ghatak’ QRT teams.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.13PM: What’s stopping the IAF? That’s quite easy to answer: it is the IAF’s rather avoidable expensive tastes, like that for LCHs for shooting down UAVs, for starters. You must be the only person in the world to classify the EL/L-8222 & Litening-2/3 as old!!! I had already explained yesterday that one cannot go big-time for all types of simulators unless & until there’s a change of the prevailing mindset. 42 sqns will be arraigned only by the 13th Plan (2017-2022). The figure was 39.5 sqns by the early 1990s & 29 sqns by 2005. In 1990s Hunters & Canberras were only for trng & photo-recce purposes. Why should the no of Tejas Mk2s go down? Tejas Mk2 will not be LIFT, but an operational MRCA, whereas the Tejas Mk1’s tandem-seater is being proposed by me as LIFT. Since only 40 Tejas Mk1s are due for procurement, it makes no sense to procure the Tejas Mk1 in such limited numbers. Therefore, it is better to convert the order for Tejas Mk1 single-seaters into one for tandem-seat LIFTs & then procure 6 sqns of Tejas Mk2s, instead of the four projected thus far. F414-GE-IN56 turbofans for 83 Tejas Mk2s & 46 LCA (Navy) Mk2s have not yet been ordered. Why should Tejas Mk1 be reqd to carry 1,000ln LGBs when far more lightweight LGBs are available? Lastly, I’m not a professional lobbyist. I leave such endeavours to professionals who are paid by the likes of Lockheed Martin to lobby for products like F-35 JSF!!!

To SAYAN: Everything starts with a change of mindset. After this only will there be an intention & will to change. For as long as HAL & all other DPSUs remain as state-owned entities with very limited accountability, this sorry state of affairs will continue until it is unsustainable, and then these DPSUs will have only scrap-value. Change must come from the very top, i.e. the GoI & its MoD. The IAF & HAL will then automatically follow suit. Su-30MKI production line today at Nashik resembles the one the UK had in the 1960s for the Hawker Hunter! Hull-fabrication of Tejas Mk2 cannot commence until the arrival of F414-GE-IN56 turbofans, which have not yet been ordered. Only the turbofan’s selection was announced last year. With or without asbestos, the amount of max heat generated by the boilers remains the same. Consequently, the max cruise speed rating will also remain the same as specified. The only reason why ZU-23-2’s 23mm rounds were procured from Bulgaria was because the OFB’s rounds had QC/QA deficiencies.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: Neither the US Navy nor the Royal Navy had any instructions from their respective HQs to initiate military hostilities against India in 1971. They were only instructed to proceed to the Bay of Bengal & standby for follow-on instructions for evacuating US & British citizens who were stranded in East Pakistan at that time. The Soviet Navy’s Pacific Fleet had only dispatched a SSN for shadowing the carrier battle groups of the USN & Royal Navy.

To JAGADISH: After procuring 10,000 155mm Krasnopol-Ms, no other artillery-launched PGMs were procured. However, it is likely that Excalibur rounds will be procured for the 145 LW-155 ultralightweight 155mm howitzers that will soon be ordered.

To Mr.RA 13: An initial 22 AH-64D LongBow Apaches will be ordered along with an initial 15 CH-47F Chinooks. Total projected reqmt is for 60 AH-64Ds & 45 CH-47Fs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

By the way, those of you who can, kindly read pages 26-35 of the latest issue of INDIA TODAY, where there’s a pretty good report on the rampant gun-running activities underway in Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur & Nagaland. Such activities, along with kidnapping & extortions, are being undertaken by the 11,000+ armed insurgents that have, since 1997, been housed in 63 designated camps in these states. In fact, conclusive evidence has surfaced to prove that the insurgents who killed 86 people in Kokrajhar between July & August hailed from three such Assam-based camps. Small arms of US, Belgian, Austrian & Chinese origin can be easily procured from neighbouring Myanmar’s Kachin & Shan states.

sathead3 said...

Unrelated question here - I often see pictures like this one - http://marketingconversation.com/wp-content/uploads/flarechaff.jpg - about chaff and flare dispensers. It always looks like another aircraft flying behind is shooting flares/chaff at the aircraft that's actually dropping them. I have always wondered - why does it appear like that? Does this stuff drop straight down from the aircraft and then ignite and follow the aircraft, sort of? It just never appears that the aircraft itself has dropped them.

Jagadish said...

Thank YOu Prasun.

In your assessment do you rate the Excalibur as a better precision guided artillery shell than the Krasnopol-Ms . The US in all likelihood will not transfer technology related to the Excalibur to India . Also compatibility with Indian 155mm can be an issue .

Thanks,
Jagadish

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
Thank you very much for elaborate answers as only you provide, among all defence blogs. But a few doubts remain. Regarding Brahmos being a clone of Yakhont, in the Russian website quoted in my above question, it has been mentioned that Brahmos is based on 3M55 Onyx (NATO - SS-N-26). Regarding your clean chit to HAL, after all the decades of licence producing a wide variety of transport aircraft, fighter aircraft and helicopters of various types, both of Russian origin and Western origin, it cannot produce a IJT or HTT or LUH or a helicopter engine. Tejas is an ADA R&D. The cutting edge technologies of Tejas like Digital Fly by Wire Technology etc. are developed by ADA, in spite of sanctions by U.S. after Pokhran-2. HAL would have abandoned LCA project after the sanctions. Stubborn patriotic souls like Abdul Kalam and Kota Harinarayana took the decision to do it alone. Thus we have today a working, credible Tejas Mk-1 & we are confidently proceeding to Tejas Mk-2 & AMCA. DRDO approach their projects in dedicated mission mode. HAL is a lumbering bureaucratic PSU . Of course I fully concur with you indictment of MoD &IAF.

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun da , thanks for your answer. Regarding the India Today report - "Armed & Dangerous In Ceasefire Country" I just wanted to make a few observations . My dad was transferred to Shillong in 1981 from Durgapur,WB and we moved with him. I grew up in the North East during the turbulent 80s & 90s when militancy was at it's peak . This story in India Today mentions only a few organizations in Nagaland, Assam & Manipur . Like every other family who had moved in to the North East from other parts of India we lived under constant threats & harrasments from the locals who often extorted money from people like us the so called "outsiders" also described by derogatory terms like Dakhars ( Shillong) , Mayangs ( Manipur) , Bahirot Manuh(Assam) etc etc . The report in India Today should have stated that a mojority of terrorists are actually full time members of various students bodies across the North East . For example HNLC in Meghalaya openly recruited from KSU ( Khasi Students Union) . The entire cable TV business in Asam is run by SULFA . I remember a few local classmates of mine used to bring live AK 47/ M16 rouns to class . More often than not they had procured these from the local police force. One more important thing to mention here is that the unbrideled spread of the CHURCH has not helped matters either .

I did however find solace in another India Today article that states - "Intelligence Agencies Are Brain Dead" . No wonder arms and contraband smuggling flourishes in the North East .

Very sorry for this long post .

Regards,
Sujoy


Anil Kumar said...

Hello Prasun,

Given the fact that India is increasingly purchasing more weapons from the US & Russia of late is turning towards Pakistan do you think that the Chinook will win the contract ?

Thanks,
Anil Kumar

SherKhan said...

Simulators have their uses no question about it...but they are by themselves not a means to an end. Just ask PAF aka JF17. A mordern LIFT on the otherhand is a very important if not critical (especially outside the first world). LCA as Prasun rightly suggested can fit into this role nicely and you never know, could even generate export orders too if priced correctly, with the American engine.

abs said...

@prasunda
a few more queries
1)In a future limited war scenario with China, do you think in a joint air-land campaign(the kind of arrangement that would evolve in the future) do you think the IA and IAF would formulate active defence and take the fight to the enemy territory??? Consequently or otherwise could the Indian armed forces be expected to seize or occupy shallow territory on the opposite side of the LAC??? Im talking a time frame of 5-10 years??
2) What happened to the plans for acquiring long range and medium range(50-120Km) standoff PGMs on the IAF's part?? The present level of inventory is woefully inadequate i reckon. Is the DRDO developing such PGMs??
3)Do you think the present senior level officers including the Service chiefs are professionally and in terms of military acumen at par with that of the west and USA??

Anonymous said...

You said regarding CofA "by September 2013 all these pending tasks will be concluded." So does that mean the SP series will be delivered before this happening - as you said they will be delivered by this year-end.

abs said...

^^^^
4)What are the projected numbers of DDGs and FFGs that are expected to be inducted in service by the IN by 2020-25?? the current projected figures are woefully inadequate and speaks of a defensive mindset.

Sayan said...

Sir,
How does Sukhoi-30 production line of HAL Nashik compare to the ones of IRKUT corp and Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association ? When we are license producing Sukhois isnt it mandatory to set up production facilties,final assembly line as specified by OEM ?

How can Su-30mki produced by HAL pass the stringent QC/QA of IAF if they are manufactured in an outdated manufacturing facility? Does all the Sukhois produced so far are exactly similar ?- They have the same dimensions to mm,the corresponding parts of one Sukhoi is interchangebale with the other ? Are they manufactured with high levels of precision ?

When will LSP-8 appear ? You once said that Tejas are being manufactured with 2nd gen manufacturing techniques instead of 4. Some thing needs to be done or else IAF will not take delivery and the progran will get delayed .

When will Sukhoi deal get signed ? For how many days will the meet of the Intergovermental commission take place ? What product deals have been signed in this ?

Anonymous said...

Sir, Thanx again for the replies.

1. I didnt knew so much. I did a google search and came to know about them. EL-8222 is 10 years old. I wanted to know that in these 10 years many advancements in radars, transmitters , softwares has taken place. So are these improvements incorporated into the pods as block upgrades

2.MSP-410 Omul is specifically built for Sukhoi-30 series acs. So why doesnt IAF buy some Omul pods ?

3. How many EL/M 8222,8212 pods have been ordered or are there in IAF inventory roughly ? Do u know if more are to be ordered ?

4.Isnt EL/M-8222 a powerful version of 8212 ? Can this jammer blind , confuse Croatle engagement radars,S-300 radars and HQ-9 radars ? How is this pod compared to Omul ?

5. Is this pod capable of crosseye jamming ?

6. Are there any EL-8251 ,MSP-418K in IAF service ? Are any to be ordered ?

7.LSP -6 is being used for improving AoA .This means R&D work is still going on Tejas mk1 for improving it. These improvements will go on seris production acs .

8. Even if Tejas is not required to carry such ordance has the related problem been successfully resolved .

9.Desi media has reported that 17 Il-76 are in IAF service. But arent they wrong. 24 are in service of which 23 are with IAF and one is with ARC .

9.The last one is a bit personal. You said about India based blogs. So arent this an Indian blog & arent you an Indian by birth or an Indian ?

abs said...

@prasunda
apropos to my previous queries I would like to add a few more
5) So don't you think that the FGFA numbers to be procured would be way larger than what has been said(214)?? And this would be inspite of the accretions of other M-MRCAs that could happen along the way.
6)If there is no CALCM related turbofan(for Nirbhay's CALCM version/LACM)? Then how come you had mentioned of such a turbofan existing for a tactical cruise missile/version of nirbhay in here http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2012/06/clearing-mist-on-indias-small-turbofan.html

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

You have earlier written in one of your columns that HAL has developed a turbofan for powering both a strategic missile (supposed to be air-launched and submarine-launched) as well as a tactical cruise missile that will have performance parameters similar to the Taurus KEPD-350 CALCM. This turbofan, which will also be powering a cruise missile simulating drone, is presently undergoing its flight certification tests under the guidance and supervision of CEMILAC.
But now you have written to one of the queries that HAL-developed turbofan is for the Nirbhay, & not for any CALCM. So what is true?Please explain.

Please answer these queries too.
When will the follow-on orders of SPYDER-SR system for the IAF be issued? Which is a better SHORAD system the SPYDER-SR or the MBDA VL-MICA or the VL-IRIS-T systeM specially for neutralizing high sub-sonic cruise missiles?

Does the MBDA VL-MICA has a chance of being selected for the SHORAD system for the IAF?

Thank you.

abs said...

@prasunda
about the Arun Prakash penned article, I fear such things won't be happening till INDIA faces a humiliating defeat at the hands of an enemy.Everyone knows the Indian policymakers are reactionary and not proactive. So lets pray for the next crisis to come so that these Gandhi followers can be sprung into action.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

There is lot of confusion reg. the total no. of Su 30mki.Thre were reports reg the signing of 40 more Sukhois during Putins visit.Now after Russian def.minister landed today in india,there are reports that 42 SuperSukhois are actually being sought, taking the total No to 272(this being said by the Russian defence minister himself as being claimed by media).But I thought that this new contract will take tota no of Sukhois to 312.can u clarify pls..VMT

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SATHEAD3: The deployment pattern of dispensed flares as seen visually depends on where the dispensers are located within the airframe: on the wing-roots, on the sides of the fuselage or at the bottom (belly) of the airframe. Consequently, flares are never dispensed in any one manner.

To JAGADISH: Krasnopol-M is laser-guided, while the Excalibur is GPS-guided. GPS navigational updates are available on a global scale, while laser illumination of targets is available from two limited sources: airborne laser designation pod or man-portable laser designator, which may not be always available whenever reqd. Therefore, in terms of constantly available navigational updates, GPS navigation has the upper hand & therefore becomes a much cheaper option as well. There’s no reqmt from India for securing any ToT regarding Excalibur. All that one requires is the synchronising of the Excalibur’s built-in GPS receiver with the GPS signals emanating from India’s projected IRNSS GPS satellite constellation. This synchronisation can be pre-set by the receiver’s OEM & then embedded within the Excalibur round.

To SNTATA: The BrahMos-1 is indeed derived from the Yakhont. The propulsion, airframe & SGH terminal guidance SAR radar is common to both BrahMos-1 & Yakhont. But the inertial navigation system—comprising the ring laser gyro-based INS integrated with a GPS receiver—is all-Indian because the GPS navigational updates are projected to come from India’s own IRNSS satellite constellation, and availability of GPS updates from Glonass-K are only a temporary arrangement pending the deployment of IRNSS. Regarding ADA versus HAL, had HAL been given the same type of financial resources as ADA, it would have produced similar results. The HTT-35 BTT was a stillborn child because the MoD & IAF refused to fund the project. Had the HTT-35 been produced since the late 1990s, there would have been no reqmt for the HJT-36 IJT since the IAF had by the mid-1980s zeroed in on the Hawk as its future AJT. Regarding the Tejas, it must be borne in mind that almost its entire avionics suite continues to be of imported origin. The fly-by-wire flight-control system was developed by Lockheed Martin, not ADA. That’s why ADA is still finding it extremely hard to optimise the aircraft’s flight-control logic. Only the hardware (LRUs) have been designed & fabricated in-house by DARE, the airframe design was optimised by ONERA of France, while both Dassault Aviation & SNECMA Moteurs have been deeply involved in airframe weight-budgeting areas. Therefore to give full credit to ADA for designing & developing the Tejas would be a grave fallacy. On the other hand, had HAL been bestowed with management & financial autonomy since the early 1990s, then the productivity of HAL by today would have been no lesser than those of TATA or L & T.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: I broadly concur with your assessments & conclusions. The problem in the North East is not that of lack of intelligence. Everyone in authority knows what’s happening. The problem is that no one is willing to take the bull by the horns. Decades of neglect have led to an acute lack of viable socio-economic infrastructure today and it seems that the inhabitants of the North East are caught within a time-warp from which there’s no escape. Those who want to embrace modernity migrate to other areas of India while the great majority want to live where they were born for fear of suffering from culture-shock in case they ventured out. If only proper transportation connectivity had been established since the 1960s, then the situation would have been different, since there would have been economic activities generated there & consequently there would have been very few empty minds functioning as devils’ workshops. The sad fact of life is that decision-makers in Delhi rarely take any interest in upgrading road/rail/air transportation infrastructure throughout the North East & consequently such areas remain remote & are not subject to the writ of the Indian State (highly similar to the situation prevailing in Pakistan’s FATA). It is therefore up to the Centre to reach out to the North East & make it a region viable enough for human habitation to prosper within a civilised setting. Endlessly treating the local inhabitants there as tribals will only encourage tribalism. The Bodos, for instance, are no longer tribals but have become settled communities & therefore should not be given any special tribal rights/privileges. The same goes for all others that are no longer wandering tribes & have settled down. One cannot perpetuate a system of treating such communities as anthropological/tribal preserves, since this will only create ever-increasing demands for ever more ‘traditional’ rights despite human evolution ensuring that Sanskritisation has indeed taken place over the years. Hard-nosed, game-changing decisions therefore are the need of the hour in order to change existing mindsets, which, if not exercised, will only create a perception among the NE’s inhabitants that India is a soft & cushy state with a bleeding liberalistic attitude that can be subjected to wanton blackmail anytime.

To ANIL KUMAR: The quantum of weapons of Russian origin (both in terms of numbers & financial figures) still continues to be quite large & will remain so for the next 50 years. Procuring weapons of US-origin in future like AH-64Ds & CH-47Fs will not change this reality.

To SHER KHAN: VMT.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: Presently, as things stand, there won’t be any joint AirLand campaigns. Each armed service will be left to fight its own wars. Joint campaigns can only be fought if there is a joint theatre HQ agreeing upon a single plan of action. This doesn’t exist now, hence the growing calls within India for the creation of Joint Theatre Commands. Without such Commands, future wars will be fought in only a piecemeal manner. This will also affect the type of weapons (like PGMs of all types) to be acquired by each armed service. Therefore, without first sorting out the integrated command-and-control hierarchy, it is impossible to plan for any credible force-modernisation for the future. The armed services chiefs are no doubt professional, but according to the existing laws & conventions framed by successive GoIs, the chiefs remain mere operational players, and not strategic players. Consequently, they have been reduced to being reactive players & not pro-active and therefore when it comes to articulating India’s defence posture & higher directions of war (when, where & how), the armed forces chiefs have NO say whatsoever. That’s why after 26/11, when the armed service chiefs were called to meet the PM, nothing meaningful emerged, since the national security decision-making set-up itself was totally flawed, as shown in the earlier thread on OP Parakram.
As for DDGs & FFGs beyond 2020, no one from IN has articulated anything in writing beyond the P-17A FFGs & P-15B DDGs. The projected total figure of 214 FGFAs should more than suffice, considering that there will be 311 Su-30MKIs, 189 Rafales 125 Jaguar IS, 51 Mirage 2000UPGs, 63 MiG-29UPGs & more than 150+ Tejas Mk2s. I had never mentioned anything about an active R & D programme to develop a subsonic CALCM, either tactical or strategic (see http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2012/06/clearing-mist-on-indias-small-turbofan.html). All I had stated was that HAL had developed a turbofan for powering the nuclear-armed Nirbhay, while GTRE, with the help of Russia’s NPO Saturn, is developing the ‘Laghu Shakthi’ turbofan for a loitering MALE-UAV now being developed by the DRDO. What I did say was that the HAL-developed turbofan can now be easily modified, if reqd, to go on board a CALCM similar to the Taurus KEPD-350.

To Anon@4.27PM: Final assembly of the first 20 SP series of Tejas Mk1 is now underway & will hopefully roll-out from this year. But roll-out doesn’t mean that these SP-series aircraft will be fully operational from that day onwards. Unless the flight-control logic of Tejas Mk1 is fully validated, CofA won’t come for the SP-series Tejas Mk1s.

To SAYAN: The Si-30MKI production facilities of HAL & IRKUT Corp are almost identical. The Su-30MKI’s airframe doesn’t require a lot of machined parts; most of it is riveted. The FGFA’s airframe on the other hand will be totally the opposite. Therefore the final-assembly lines in India & Russia for the FGFA will be of a totally new generation. LSP-8 should emerge before the year’s end.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.02PM: No standalone airborne jamming pod meant for combat aircraft can jam the engagement radars of MR-SAMs & LR-SAMs. For such missions, one requires dedicated jamming aircraft like B-52s or Tu-16/H-6, since the power generation reqmts will be huge.

To Anon@8.14PM: I had never mentioned anything about an active R & D programme to develop a subsonic CALCM, either tactical or strategic (see http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2012/06/clearing-mist-on-indias-small-turbofan.html). All I had stated was that HAL had developed a turbofan for powering the nuclear-armed Nirbhay, while GTRE, with the help of Russia’s NPO Saturn, is developing the ‘Laghu Shakthi’ turbofan for a loitering MALE-UAV now being developed by the DRDO. What I did say was that the HAL-developed turbofan can now be easily modified, IF REQD, to go on board a CALCM similar to the Taurus KEPD-350. No follow-on orders for SpyDer-SR are expected, unless it wins the on-going tender evaluations. For neutralising subsonic LACMs all the contenders are comparable. But technologically, the VL-IRIS is the latest, followed by the SpyDer-SR.

To Anon@10.34PM: The figure of 272 was reached when the last tranche of Su-30MKIs was ordered on December 16, 2011 in Moscow. Anything beyond that will take the orders to 314.

ashi jain said...

prasun sir
what is the status of india developing uav copter with israel. & Mairty missile with france....
and which defence deals india will sign with russia when putin visits india....
prasun sir please give answer of this queries....

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun Da , thanks a lot.

-Sujoy

abs said...

@prasunda
so then the IA-IAF would not be able to fight a joint air-land campaign along the LAC or even the Pakistan front, as long as the creation of theatre commands is not done. Which is absolutely true. Thereby what i suspect is the IA and IAF are planning their own mode of operations which are highly unrelated to each others operational plans.Very sad to say the least.
Given the above anomalies, I would still like to know
1)if the IA,along the LAC(in its usual standalone manner), is planning or/and capable of taking the fight to the enemy territory in future wars and will be capable of seizing shallow territory in the TAR???
2)Does the IAF plan and /or is capable of going inside enemy territory and launch punitive air strikes against the PLA logistics and transportation infrastructure as well as use CALCMs to neutralise PLAAF air bases and other war sustenance infrastructure and also provide air interdiction and support to the IA formations advancing inside China territory?
2)IF so, UNLESS the IAF is also synchronised to this operational strategy then I doubt if such an objective could ever be achieved.Though given the level of tactical air superiority it enjoys over the PLAAF, it should not be very difficult, however for a successful campaign it should invest heavily on a)Air defence b)precision strike capability(especially in the 50-120km range along with CALCMs). These two are the most important capability that could make or break.
c)NCW by fieldig force multipliers like AEW&CS and RISTA platforms for strategic targetting and providing accurate target acquisition for the IA.
while the IA should field modern field and tube artillery assets along with prahaar1/2 NLOS-BSMs and LACMs. These are all achievable within a 5-10 years time frame provided the MOD wakes up from its deep slumber.
3)Regarding the Interior lines of communication related problems on the western front for effective fielding of the Arjun MK1/1A/2 has anything been done??

abs said...

^^^^
4) whats the current status of the 5 point plans that you have mentioned above??? Barring perhaps the 1st point which is well known now to all of us. I hope the three Independent armoured brigades and the air assault brigade along with the Air mobile division comes up latest by 2016-2018. Also could tell us about the progress opn establishing the railway links and developing the UAV stations and helicopter bases?

abs said...

^^^
5)Are these Highland IBGs of the PLA part of their REMCFs???
6)Why doesn't the IA and IAF including SOFs perform exercises of the level of the ones that are held in the Western Front???
7)Is the figure being of Rs.60000 crore being cited by the 'Desi' media, inclusive of the costs of developing infrastructures such as the UAV/ helicopter bases, bunkers, shelters and also the costs for raising airmobile division and air assault brigade and the Integrated Armoured Brigades and their supplement of tanks and BMPs and rocket and tube artillery assets and also Rudra gunships and LOHs?

Unknown said...

Prasun,

will the Apache and Chinook deals come with the same comprehenive infrastructure ans support packages as the C-130Js? Such as ground support vehicles,simulators,hangers,pressure washers etc? At $1BN each you'd expect they would.

Gessler said...

Prasunji...

1. You have told me previously that a 2nd Akula SSN is likely, but are we going to stop at 2 SSNs then? Any plan for indigenous SSNs?

2. How many S-5 SSBN will be built?

3. How many Dhruvs has HAL produced so far for all kinds of operators (military/civil, Indian/foreign)?

4. How many Rudra gunships are on order? Is is 72 ? How many can be ultimately ordered?

5. How many C-17As does IAF totally want? 10+6 or more?

Sayan said...

Sir ,
India commits $6 bn for developing stealth jet with Russia.

ndia has committed an initial $6 billion for jointly developing a fifth-generation stealth combat jet with Russia, a project that will eventually cost the country $30 billion and envisages the manufacture here of 144 aircraft.

The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, told in an interview on the occasion of the IAF’s 80th Anniversary Oct 8 that all these aircraft would be single seaters, the same which the Russian Air Force will have.

Will all the FGFA be single-seaters ? Uptill now IAF was clamouring for tandem seaters . will the figure be 144 ?

Why has the initial induction date been postponed to 2020. Russian airforce will be inducting these jets from 2015. What is the reason for this delay ?

When will IAF accept IA's proposal for raising its combat aviation brigades ? Can you pls tell what is the status of implementation of pts 2,3,4,5.

When will orders for 348 T-90AM , Mi-17v5 be placed ? Are there any plans of upgrading IL-76 to Il-476 standards ?

Abhijit said...

Hello Prasun i wish to share a link of blog written by Pakistan Air force `s Air Commodore(Ret) Kaiser Tufail titled Kargil conflict and Pakistan air force. pls read I here http://kaiser-aeronaut.blogspot.in/2009/01/kargil-conflict-and-pakistan-air-force.html
These are excerpts from that blog "Thereafter, Lt Gen Mehmud took over and broke the news that a limited operation had started two days earlier. It was nothing more than a ‘protective manoeuvre’, he explained, and was meant to foreclose any further mischief by the enemy(read India), who had been a nuisance in the Neelum Valley, specially on the road on our(read pak) side of the Line of Control (LOC)."
Prasun can u pls tell What kind of activities was Indian army involved in neelum Valley prior to kargil war?

Nikhil Dey said...

Hi Prasun,

Is the IA considering the Russian Coalition SG Self Propelled Howitzer since the IA intends to purchase howitzers. The Coalition SG is double barreled and is quite advanced in it's class.

Thanks,
Nikhil

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun, A great post. Waiting for more. To be concluded keeps intriguing me .
When at the earliest can the rapid-deployment ‘Airmobile Division’ be fielded ? Has the raising process started ?Will its troops sport the obsolete INSAS rifles ?Whats the size of quick reaction Air-Assault brigade ?

The troops of the four mountain divisons now being raised will they be receiving new equipment ?
What will be the Rs18,450 crore upgrades to ammunition storage facilties ? When will the 5,572 permanent defences and bunkers along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China be in place along with the mentioned upgrades ?

With 0nly 1500 garud personnel are their enough protection for all IAF airbases housing fighter sqadrons,transport squdrons,PHALCON ?

A thing i have observed. Panagarh airbase as well as the Central ordance depot there lies in close proximity to a state highway. Less than 1 km distance from the road to them. Then theres a town nearby. If someone creeps up, assembles a 81mm mortar or some small artillery piece for indirect fire at close proximity of the highway and fires a few shell there is a good probabilty of the ammo supplies getting destroyed as well as the assets based at Panagarh. Are there anything for preventing such a scenario.

Sir the two para battalions , one SF battalion of 50th Independent Parachute brigade are they from 8 SF battalion,3 para btns of IA Paracommandos or separate units ?

Anonymous said...

Sir ,
i have a few ques..
1) If IAF offered to surrender its sovereignty over attack helos in 2011..
then why did it again object now..where is this proposal held now..what does IAF
need in return ??
2) Will there be no medium lift or heavy lift assets in strike corp CABS ??
& WILL IT ONLY HAVE 5 LOH..u mention only 39 helos for an entire corp..
& that too w/o any utility helos..has the IA gone insane..or have u missed something ?
3) & again sir..u say that each of the 10 pivot corp will have 15 med lift helos..how are
15 helos enough for an entire corp..& will these pivot corp have no recce assets ??

sir , don't u think something is amiss in the CABs..how can 39 helos support an entire corp ?
the us army CABs have more than a 100 helicopters & they have a CAB for each division..

don't u think..each Indian CAB should have attack helos , rudras , utility , recces , & csar helos..
depending on the corp these CABs are supporting theie numerical strength could be adjusted..though i think all of these helos
are req. by each corp in atleast some quantities..

hope u reply sir.. :)

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
I beg to defer from your statement that Lockheed Martin fully developed the fly-by-wire flight-control system fully. Mid way through the joint program, the sanctions were imposed. (Post Pokhran-2) and the Indian engineers who were working with Lockheed Martin were asked to 'pack up and get out'. ADA had to take a tough decision to complete it on their own.
Nirbhay is supposed to carry 24 different warheads for different missions, as per earlier news items. Is a nuclear warhead one of these 24? Or it carries only a single Nuclear warhead?

AK said...

Hi Prasun, If Army gets its own dedicated heavy attack helicopters,helicopter gunships,armed utility & observation choppers can the no of tanks in IA service , the projected no of tanks as of now , can the no go down and the tank fleet downsized ?

Anonymous said...

Sir, I have a few queries. U have answered a part .U havent answered all of my queries.
1. I wanted to know that in these 10 years many advancements in radars, transmitters , softwares has taken place. So are these improvements incorporated into the pods as block upgrades
2..MSP-410 Omul is specifically built for Sukhoi-30 series acs. So why doesnt IAF buy some Omul pods ?
3.How many EL/M 8222,8212 pods have been ordered or are there in IAF inventory roughly ?
4.Are there any EL-8251 ,MSP-418K in IAF service ? Are any to be ordered Do u know if more are to be ordered ? In some earlier thread u said that some pods have been ordered for Jaguar IS. In another thread regarding EW suites of Tejas you gave a pic of this pod . Why ?
5."Separately, in an interview to The Times of India, Russia’s deputy premier, Dmitry Rogozin, said, “Russia is the most consistent Indian partner and the Indian share in sensitive Russian military exports amounts to 30 per cent. In our military cooperation, we have never been driven by political ambitions or expediency. We have never supplied weapons to India’s opponents. From 2001 to 2010, contracts worth more than $30 billion were signed with over 20 inter-governmental agreements inked.”" But recently Moscow is warming up to Islamabad.Kayani will visit Moscow. So are Russians now selling arms and other military equipment to them .

I dont have any other place to satisfy my doubts and ask ques about defense matters. U are the only person. So I keep on asking you. So pls try to answer. And they keep on publishing wrong info at the media. So cant trust them to ans my doubts. Nd am grateful to u for answering all the IAF fighter nos rltd ques.

Shaurya said...

Prasun,
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/18/facebook1701853830.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/441/2roie.jpg/
Are those MAWS fitted with ALH Rudra. When they will feature in LCH?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ASHI JAIN: The NRUAV project involving development of a shipborne UAV version of the SA.316B Alouette-3 was scrapped about three years ago. Maitri SR-SAM is now in deep hibernation. Next month, the contracts for 42 Su-30MKIs & 57 Mi-17V-5s will be inked.

To ABS: The IA wants to acquire offensive capabilities to seize tactical objectives like commanding features in order to secure more depth in areas like the space between eastern Sikkim & western Bhutan, as well as areas to the north-east of Uttarakhand. Since speed will be of the essence during high-tempo operations, the vertical envelopment concept of operations involving airmobile & air-assault forces this therefore deemed as being the best option. The IAF’s plan is the same as that of 1962, i.e. interdicting advancing PLA ground forces ahead of the various passes leading into India from TAR in eastern Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh. For tactical strikes against fixed-base infrastructure like bridges, helicopter bases, ammo dumps & higher formation HQs, the IA’s BrahMos & in future Prahaar NLOS-BSMs will be employed. For fixed targets between 200km & 60km away from the LAC, CALCMs will be employed by the IAF. The problem now is that the IA & IAF do not have the comms facilities available for real-time exchange of recce data & therefore battlespace operational synergy is still not possible. Only after the three armed services acquire their own respective telecommunications satellites will sufficient bandwidth become available for the seamless exchange of critical imagery & data between various airborne force-multipliers. On the western front, the issue of improving the interior land-lines of communications cannot be handled by the IA, since road transportation infrastructure is a State-level subject. The Centre cannot do much, except for directing the Ministry of Railways to expedite its projected route expansion plans. Of all the five points, the most difficult ones to implement will be those that involve land acquisition, since the Union Ministry for Forests & Environment is loathe to accord approvals. The PLA’s IBGs are part of REMCF. Exercises in the eastern front are routinely carried out, but are not publicised. The figure of Rs.60,000 is only related to infrastructure development projects, and not for acquisition of military hardware.

To UNKNOWN: Yes, they all most definitely would. That’s the beauty of such FMS deals, as they’re always a fully packaged solution. One doesn’t get to pick & choose as is the case with commercial deals. In an FMS deal, either one takes it all, or one doesn’t get anything at all. And the best part is that the entire deal is transparent, with all paperwork about any contract being available for public consumption at the US Library of Congress!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To GESSLER: The three Arihant-class SSBNs S-2, S-3 & S-4 will eventually become SSGNs armed with 1,200km-range nuclear-armed LACMs. Three S-5-type SSBNs will be built. Total reqmt for Rudras will be more than 72. AS for C-17As, the total reqmt now stands at 10 + 16.

To SAYAN: Of the 214 FGFAs to be procured, 144 will be single-seaters. The FGFA’s turbofans will be different from those on the initial tranches of PAK-FA. The IAF wants the definitive AL-41F to power the FGFAs. Development of the AL-41F is proving to be the most challenging R & D task for Russia. It is not up to the IAF to say yes or no to the IA’s plans for raising CABs. It is up to the MoD to issue the necessary directives for restructuring & reorienting the armed forces. 348 T-90AM/Ms MBTs could well be ordered next month when Vladimir Putin visits India, although the contract signature has yet to be confirmed. Now that Russia’s Ulyanovsk-based AVIASTAR has flown the first IL-476 prototype, I reckon the IAF will seriously consider the prospects of upgrading the existing IL-76MDs to IL-476 configuration.

To ABHIJIT: Since 1996 the IA had carried out incessant shelling of the Neelam Valley in order to interdict Pakistan Army’s logistics pipelines leading to Dansum & other areas in Gilgit-Baltistan. There were also reportedly some surgical operations undertaken by the Indian Army’s SOF formations in the Chorbat Las area, plus massed fire-assaults (especially by SOLTAM-made 160mm mortars that were flown from Uri on Mi-26Ts to Ghumri) against some NLI Battalion HQs, which caused heavy casualties on the Pakistani side.

To NIKHIL DEY: No, the Coalitia tracked SPG is not under consideration.

To RAHUL: The paratrooper-element of the Airmobile Division will be ready by 2017. The QR Air-Assault Brigade will be 2,700-strong. They will use Tavors. As for ground-based infrastructure upgrades, it all depends on how quickly clearances can be obtained from Union Ministry of Forests & Environment. Most of the hardware reqd for the four new Mtn Divs is being sourced from existing war-wastage reserves. Like I stated before, barring advance warning or actionable intelligence inputs, there is nothing to prevent a suicide bomber/terrorist from achieving his/her objective. The 50th Independent Para Bde is different from existing SF (Para) Battalions.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.32PM: 1) That’s because the IA not only wanted attack helicopters, but armed Mi-17V-5 utility helicopters as well. Obviously the IAF won’t part with its assets unless a compelling counter-argument is made by IA to the MoD, which will have the final say. 2) I already stated above that the CABs have been designed to have medium-lift Mi-17V-5s. 3) Recce assets will be MALE-UAVs. 39 utility helicopters like Mi-17V-5s is more than enough, since the CABs will be operating under the Integrated Theatre Command (ITC), which is still under experimentation & deliberation. Consequently, the CABs of each Corps will not function in a standalone manner and there will be plenty of scope for simultaneously or sequentially employing more than 1 CAB for any given operation/campaign. I had already stated in an earlier thread that each CAB ought to have at least two Mi-17V-5s equipped with retractable SAR radars for real-time battlespace surveillance, especially for GMTI purposes.

To SNTATA: You’re right about the 1998 US sanctions hampering R & D work on the FBW flight control system. That is precisely the reason why the Tejas’ flight-control logic has still not been finalized & validated. It was Lockheed Martin that introduced ADA to the world of FBW-FCS & taught ADA the do’s & don’ts. As for Nirbhay, since it has been deemed as a strategic weapon, it will be armed with ONLY a single nuclear warhead. I can’t recall any other instance in human history of an air-launched or submarine-launched long-range cruise missile having the option of being armed with 24 different types of nuclear warheads.

To AK: That’s a given. It will be inevitable. Only then will it become possible to make the quantum of financial investments reqd for raising several regiments of top-end MBTs like Arjun Mk1A/Arjun Mk2 equipped with state-of-the-art vectronics suites self-protection systems, and finally get rid of medium battle tanks like T-72s & T-90S. The T-72s & T-90S units could then be modified into tank destroyers like BMP-T, or could also be equipped as full-width mine-plough carriers.

To Anon@10.53PM: Block upgrades are a routine affair. The rule-of-the-thumb is that thre’s one EW pod & one LDP for every two aircraft. Since only 30% of this reqmt has been acquired, all you have to do is the math to figure out what’s the fleet-wide requirement & what’s the availability of such pods. The EL/L-8251 RTPs are due to be ordered for Jaguar IS’ DARIN-3 upgrade programme. For the Tejas Mk2, this pod is only an option. For Su-30MKIs, the DARE-developed SIVA pod is used. Gen Kayani returned from Moscow last week. There’s no harm in Russia selling equipment like Mi-171s & a few RD-93s and AL-31FNs to Pakistan, since the JF-17s & FC-20s will be used for replacing the PAF’s existing fleets of Mirage IIIs & Mirage Vs.

To SHAURYA: The roof-mounted installations comprise (from front) the Tarang Mk3 RWR & MILDS-F MAWS. The twin mounts below the cockpit windscreen contain the SaabTech-supplied laser warning system. A similar fitment exists for the Rudra’s rear-section as well. The RWR, MAWS & LWR together constitute what DARE calls the multi-sensor warning system (MSWS). This same MSWS will go on the LCH, EMB-145I AEW & CS & AW-101. The Rudra’s re-engineered base of the FLIR pod houses the liquid cooling element for the pod.

AK said...

Hi Prasun , By how much will the tank fleet be downsized. Now it has a strength of 1800 T-72 & 720+ T-90S with 124 Arjun mk1 + 124 Arjun mk1a ordered . PLA has 5 cavalry brigades. But they also have a large no tanks. They have not downsized their fleet and so hasnt Pakistan . IA must also follow suit . Once transportation infrastructure is beefed up in North West in rajasthan,Punjab IA will order a substantial no of Arjun . Wont T-72 be upgraded to Tank ex ?

abs said...

@prasunda
very fulfilling answers, Thanks a lot for them.
1)Is there any opposition to the concept of Joint Theatre Commands?? If not then why is the IA/IAF/IN dithering??? Is it the lack of political will?? then all i can hope is for CDS to be created ASAP who would perhaps set things right.
2)Do you think that there are nno active terror sleeper cells in West Bengal? Why are terror attacks missing from the state of Bengal? I would wanna bet that Bengal is a safe haven for militants who enter INDIA from Bangladesh and holes up inside Madrasas, in and around the districts of Malda and Murshidabad as also near the Bangladesh border.
3)Do you have any detailed reference on the Army-IAF exercises carried along the Eastern Front?
4)Shiv Aroor claims that the AMCA(if and when it emerges) will be having an internalweapons carrying payload of 2tonnes with 2 80Kn thrust engines.If at all then would the IAF be going for such low thrust engines??

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
Thank You very much for answering all our (some times silly) questions with patience and elaborate details. Here are a few more, which are worrying me.
1.China is racing ahead in space-war & cyber-war technologies. What are India's plans/projects in these two futuristic fronts?
2.What is the present status of IAF's AFNET & IACCS?
3. When is ISRO going to launch dedicated satellites for IA,IAF &IN?
4. When are we going to have loitering missiles for Army's advance recon?
%.When Isro will launch the first of the six IRNSS satellites for precision-guidance of our strategic and tactical missiles? In the mean while what is our contract with Russia for using GlONASS?
Thanking you once again.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the sumdorong chu crisis - why was it that the GOC-in-C came up with the what If regarding tactical nukes. How could a general not take/fail to take into account all this in devising a grand strategy or plan. Surely he and his advisers could not have missed it or, could it be that it was always just posturing and the will to take sumdorong chu back by force was really never there. In short did the chinese call their bluff?.

Akhil said...

Hi Prasun,

There as this talk of Russia setting up a munition plant in India. Where are they setting up this plant & what munitions will they produce . Also, by when will it become operational.

Thanks,
Akhil

Anonymous said...

Sir , Very very thanx for answering my queries .
1.Block upgrades are a routine affair. That means that EL-2032 radar now is a lot different from the one 10 years back with better performance and more modes.
2.Are EL-8222 EW pods in service with Jaguar,MiG-29. If MiG-21 Bison and Su-30mki are considered then around 50 such pods are in service.
3.You ahve got me a bit wrong regarding EL-8251. Its an escort jammer pod. EL-20600p is a RTP. Has this EL-8251 pos in service with IAF and if so in what nos.
4.Will Tejasmk1 carry EL-8251 pod ?Does jaguar IS carry this pod ?
5.AAC will get 72 Rudra helicopter gunships. Will this lead to a reduction in tank strength of T-72 ? PA,PLA have got a lot of tanks despite having attack
choppers.
6.Has contract signature for RD-93,AL-31 for Pakistani JF-17,FC-20 already taken place ? Has Russian government cleared the export of these turbofans to Pakistan ?
7.Why doesnt IAF procure MSP-410,418K pods ?
Pls ans .

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , Airmobile unit that is being raised is a divison . So it ought to have 16000 troops. How many troops will be there in the paratrooper element of Airmobile divison ?

If IAF & IA were to install C-RAM systems such as land based variant of Phalanx CIWS,static version of Rheinmetall Skyranger cannon at all such places,facilties then the problem of sudden attack with indirect artillery,mrta fire could have been mitigated. IAF ought to procure these weapon systems . Some C-RAM systems are operational in Afghanistan .

Whats the logic behind using LCH for shooting UAV? Most UAV-MALE,HALE will fly above the service ceiling if LCH 20000 ft or above. Such UAVs can be easily shot down by SHORADS,MR-SAM.

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun, Just had an idea about protecting central ordance depots,IAF hangars . If an artificial roof,ceiling of flat grilles made from high strenght steel-slat armour used in lightly armoured APC,IFV for protecting from RPG is placed at a considerable distance from the original ceiling (about a floor ), then if someone attacks with light artillery,mortar ,the rounds will prematurely detonate when they strike the bar,slat armour. As the original ceiling would be some distance away, the shochwaves will dampen away and the building will be protected just like APC. Slat armour can be inclined from the artficial ceiling to ground level for protecting the sides. For facilties being constructed the roof can be cast in V-shape for deflecting the shock waves. This way few rounds can be damaged before it becomes obvious from where the rounds are coming and QRT can be then deployed to neutralise the threat. This can be a cheap alternative to C-RAM .

manoj joshi said...

Apparently the government has conveyed its decision Thursday evening that all future attack helicopter acquisitions will go to the Indian Army. Presumably this includes the Apaches as well. The medium lift issue remains open or, I presume, there is no change in the status of such helicopters.

sntata said...

Dear Prsun,
1.Very good news that MoD at last agreed to Army's persistent demand for a mini air force of its own and decided to place all future attack helicopters under Army. Does it mean that not only Rudras but LCHs and also Apaches will be under Army now?
2.What is the operative ceiling of Apache Longbow? I don't think it can operate with full weapon load at the heights at 18,000 to 20,000 ft.
Have Rudra and LCH been tested at 18,000 to 20,000 ft altitudes?

Anonymous said...

Sir , Wikipedia states that 99 GE F414 engines was ordered in October 2010.

EL/M-2032 radar used in LSP-3 has a detection and tracking range of up to 150 km in air-to-air mode, the air-to-ground mode generates high resolution radar imagery of locations at up to 150 km. Is it possible for such a small radar to obtain sar imagery of places loacted at 150 km.
Are the above mentioned data correct ?

What is the SAR range of NO11M Bars radar of su-30 mki .What is Sukhoi,s empty weight ? 16.5 t or 18 t

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AK: In terms of credible armoured firepower, the IA’s core assets include the T-90S & Arjun Mk1s. which will in future be joined by the T090AM/MS & Arjun Mk1A, totaling some 1,550 units. Supplementing them will be some 700 upgraded T-72s about which very little progress has been made so far. If the Tank EX offer from CVRDE is accepted, then the upgrade of up to 900 T-72s (instead of 700) will offer a potent medium battle tank optimised for both mountain warfare, as well as on the plains of Jammu & Punjab. I would even go to the extent of saying that instead of procuring the T-90AM/MS, it will be far better & more economical to procure Tank EX & some 500 additional Arjun Mk1As. AS for the remaining T-72s, they can either be converted to tank destroyers like the BMP-T, or be modified into full-width mine-plough carriers. Adding to all this is the impending acquisition of rotary-winged anti-armour assets liked the Rudra helicopter-gunships & possibly the LAH version of the LCH (these being used for flank protection of advancing armoured formations). Therefore, all in all, one will then have a formidable anti-armour capability comprising not only MBTs, but also tank destroyers, minefield clearing vehicles, & attack helicopters + helicopter gunships.
While it is true that the PLA has a much larger MBT inventory, it must be noted that most of these are facing Mongolia, North Korea, the Central Asian Republics & Taiwan. Therefore, at best, the PLA can deploy no more than six Armoured Brigades against India in eastern Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand & Sikkim. And that too these Armoured Brigades, in order to break out & go on the offensive against India, they will have to negotiate chokepoints like the Lanak La, Kongka, Rezang La, Chang La & Jara La passes in Ladakh, passes in Uttarakhand like Mana, Niti, Kungri Bingri, Darma, and Lipulekh, & the Shipki pass in Himachal Pradesh. Therefore, for as long as one is sitting on dominating heights as is the case with India now, accurate & massed field artillery fire-assaults can be brought to bear against an advancing enemy armoured formation & this can be supplemented by PGMs fired from the IAF’s tactical strike aircraft.

To ABS: Of course there is plenty og opposition to the concept of Joint Theatre Commands. That’s what turf wars are all about & that’s the reason the transformational studies conducted by the IA never included any formal inputs from either the IAF or IN. Unless there’s seamless institutional synergy, there will be no operational synergy. And institutional synergy can only be mandated & insisted upon by the MoD when there’s an institution like the CDS & his secretariat, the IDS, is there to advice the MoD on how to proceed forward. Right now, the CDS is non-existent, thereby reducing the IDS to a headless chicken.
In West Bengal there are no viable ‘soft targets’ of high financial or economic significance worth hitting & that’s why the state is used more as a logistics base or exfiltration area by terrorists en route to or from Nepal or the North East. Personally, I don’t reckon that WB is used as an entry point by foreign terrorists, but it is an escape route for those headed for Nepal, Bangladesh & Myanmar. And since WB is the nearest financial hub for all northeastern states, money transactions for gun-running deals & IED production always takes place in & around Kolkata, be it for terrorists or Maoists.
There are no published detailed reference materials for exercises involving Indian armed forces along the eastern front. Finally, all available data pertaining to the AMCA is highly speculative. At the very least, more reliable data will not emerge before next year’s Aero India expo.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA: In the arena of cyber warfare, all three armed services have evolved their standalone strategies, which is in the public domain, but sadly this is yet another area where the three armed services need to work in unison & achieve operational synergy—both of which have been lacking thus far. Since fibre-optic cable-based landlines are required for networks like AFNET, progress on such networks depends directly on what BSNL can deliver & at what speed. Sadly, BSNL continues to lag far behind what it originally promised to deliver. IACCCS is now into Phase-2. The IN’s GSAT-7 should be the first to be launched, hopefully before the year’s end. Following them will be the ones for the IAF & IA. Turbofan-powered loitering cruise missiles or loitering UAVs will make their debuts only after 2015. The first IRNSS satellite is also due for launch by the year’s end.

To Anon@4.28PM: The GOC-in-C came up with the ‘what if’ simply because that was his job. He had to plan for the worst-case scenario. There was no grand strategy or plan at that time & that’s why the escalations by both sides, based on estimations of intent & capabilities reached a point when it was time for India to blink & accept the end-state & exit strategy crafted by China. Even if there was a will to wrest Sumdorong Chu from the PLA, there was no assured WMD capability within India then to help translate the will into credible reality.

To AKHIL: It’s for the licenced-production of MBRL rockets for the Smerch-M. Already covered that in a previous thread.

To Anon@6.14PM: EL/L-8222 pods are used by MiG-27UPGs, Su-30MKIs & MiG-21 Bisons. Even the Sea Harriers use them. Jaguar IS will use EL/L-8251 AFTER the DARIN-3 avionics suite has been introduced. MiG-29UPGs too will use this pod, as will the Tejas Mk1/2. No deals were signed during Pakistan Army COAS’ recent visit to Moscow. Only consultations were held. Any deal will be inked only once the Russian President visits Islamabad in future.

To RAHUL: The same number of personnel making up 50 Ind Bde (Para) will be retained for the airmobile brigade. Sudden attacks by hostile artillery only take place against fixed installations/bases that are within hostile territory. Therefore, acquiring WLRs or C-RAM-type systems for countering hostile mortar-fire against bases/installations well inside India’s hinterland makes no sense. They would make sense only for frontline installations very close to the border, like ammo dumps or formation HQs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MANOJ JOSHI: Very Many Thanks. That’s great news indeed & it could well explain the IAF CAS’ rather crass remarks made on October 5 about his opposition to the emergence of ‘mini-air forces’. Guess he already knew by then what was in store/to come in the future. The present COAS, Gen Bikram Singh, had recently made some logically compelling presentations for the Army Aviation Corps’ future growth plans to not only the MoD but to directly to the NSA as well. The question that now arises is this: since the AH-64D Apaches were evaluated along with the Mi-28NE against an IAF-drafted ASQR, does it mean that the Indian Army will accept the evaluation results & embrace the Apache as well, or will the Army now have to draft its own GSQR & re-evaluate both contenders? Also, will HAL at last receive the go-ahead for developing a LAH variant of the LCH? In all probability, the LCHs will go to the IAF to satisfy its penchant for shooting down tactical UAVs. Here’s another issue that will now require attention: since the AAC will in future be operating attack helicopters for close air support, there’s the need for the Indian Army now to control the tactical airspace immediately above the areas where the contact battles will be fought. For this, the Army’s Air Defence Control & Reporting System (ADC & RS) was conceived after OP Parakram & a contract with BEL was inked in March 2008 & was due for completion by the end of the 12th Defence Plan. However, this project is running 3 years behind schedule, with the first integrated test-bed due for being subjected to user-trials sometime early next year.

To SNTATA: Yes, it is good news indeed, & my prayers too seem to have been answered. The Rudra anti-armour helicopter-gunships will go to the AAC but the LCHs will probably remain with the IAF since the LCH is, strictly speaking, not an attack helicopter. The LongBow Apache being a heavy attack helicopter, it won’t be reqd to operate at such high altitudes since no one will deploy armoured forces at such altitudes, to begin with. The same goes for the Rudra. LCH’s prototypes are still being fine-tuned on the ground & to date no high-altitude flight-tests have been conducted.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

It must be surprising to many, the way almost in a single handed manner you are presenting your visions, missions and bold opinions on plethora of objects and subjects with the minimum possible of CEP. Apart from high and updated knowledge you must have acquired the India Jugaddu knowledge in tandem with deep critical analysis and a humble motivation to excel. In India such peoples generally tend to be a failure, so obviously you must have chosen somewhat different background somewhere. Please correct me wherever I am wrong.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

Some people seem happy after the news abt combat choppers going to the army.But i fail to understand if the choppers were under IA command and control,what diff does it make,only to be flown by army personnel??IAF had a valid point:IA will take years to develop a stable capability to fly those choppers..Is this nt a loss of time..Revaluating AH64 D with Mi28N is utter follishness and a waste of time ..The contract is running 3 yrs behind schedule, like other projects in India.If some people are thinking of such follish idea..then "God only can save this cuntry"

KSingh said...

Prasun,

Not too long ago there was news the IAF/IA were interested in electric Gatling guns mounted on the ALH and MIL-17 and that trails had already commenced. Haqve you any updates?

Battle Axe said...

Prasun Da,
There is an interesting thing that I want to tell you. When ever India underwent an astrologically bad time period, this country had faced great difficulties. When ever these two things happened simultaneously, India has suffered-
1. Antardasha of Rahu, AND
2. Transits of Rahu or Saturn in Zodiac sign Cancer (which is India’s Zodiac sign).
Astrologically the Rahu antardasha and Rahu or Saturn transit in one’s sign simultaneously is regarded as a very bad time period. Rahu and Saturn are the most malefic planets.

Since Independence, the above two things have happened three times simultaneously.
In the first case, when India was going through Rahu antardasha and Rahu transit of Cancer, debacle of 1962 happened.
In second case, Rahu antardasha and Saturn transit in Cancer happened from 1975 to 1977 and emergency was imposed all over India.
In Third case, Rahu antardasha and Rahu transit of Cancer happened in 1999 and we had to fight the Kargil war.

Although, all the wars that India has fought since independence didn’t not happened in astrologically bad time period (Read 1965 & 1971 war). But every astrologically bad time period had brought great difficulties to this country. The 1948 war happened in another bad period when Saturn antardasha and Saturn transit of Cancer was happening from 1948 to 1949.

Next time the Rahu antardasha and transit of Rahu in Cancer will take place in 2017 to 2018.
After it, in year 2033 to 2035, Rahu antardasha and Saturn’s transit of Cancer will happen.

So, there is a strong connection between an astrologically bad time period and the wars that India fought. So please keep in mind years 2017-2018 and years 2033-2035 as we may again face difficult times again.
Please do reply about your thoughts in this regard.

AK said...

Hi Prasun, DRDO has developed SPADE M1 armour steel as a substitute for Russian 42CM armour steel . Is SPADE M1 steel more ballistically tolerant than Russian steel & offers better protection ? What are its other advantages ? DRDO has also develpoed Kanchan composite armour as a substitute for Russian Textolite armour for T-72 tanks. Does this mean that T-72 tanks in IA have composite Kanchan fitted on it ? What is this Textolite armour ? These two armours are being produced at industrial scale . Read them all in DRDO Techfocus April 2011 issue .
VMT for the nic xplanation .No decisons have yet been taken by COAS regarding the tank issue .

abs said...

@prasunda
congratulations to you and everyone in here, after much bickering and wastage of precious time the MOD has understood the IA's concerns and directed all future attack helos to be procured to go to the IA.
A few points come to my head
1)Does this directive also cover the medium and heavy utility helicopters of the IAF/to be procured?
2)So after long last will the plan of having 12 SAR equipped battlespace surveillance helicopters see the light of the day?
3)I think the IAF would still maintain a sizable inventory of the LCH and may acquire more for shooting down UAVs and hostile rotary winged assets.
4)What of the armed LOHs for battlefield surveillance?
5)You have spoken of how certain challenges might arise for the IA to cater for the contact battlespace air defence. Could you elaborate further and tell us about the components and sub-components of the ADC&RS including the aerial and ground based assets for effecting such a network?
6)In an earlier reply you had mentioned of loitering UAVs and Loitering cruise missiles with turbofan engines surfacing around 2015. Which are these that you are talking about?
7)What do you reckon of the Chinese state run People's Daily's rebuttal at the IAF chiefs earlier assertions, citing that the usage of air power by INDIA offensively, would have had a massive counter attack from the PLAAF and hence our PM Jawaharlal Nehru, of the time, was scared to have used IAF in such a way. I reckon its pure jingoism on part of the state run media.

abs said...

^^^
considering the unintegrated plans of the IA,IAF and IN in fighting the menace of cyber operations the planned Joint command would be a welcome initiative, along with the one for space and SOFs.
btw talking about strategic usage of space
7)When can we expect the launch of the IN specific satellite and when would the IAF and IA specific satellites be launched? Besides are there no plans to launch SAR recce sats anymore than what has been done? If so when could we expect them to be launched?

Unknown said...

Prasun,

If the Apache were to be handed over to the AAC would plans for follow-on APaches go out the window or would the plans for future Apache numbers remain unchanged?

Anonymous said...

Sir, Has IAF scaled down its requirements of FGFA from 214 to just 144 as reported by Shiv Aroor and India STRATEGIC ? Has CAS said so in his speech ?

abs said...

@prasunda
once again something that dwelled upon me while reading numerous materials regarding the IAF-IA tussle over the deployment of rotary winged assets for close/direct support during the Kargil War, is the fact that the IA hardly understands or has got much knowledge regarding the operational terms and conditions of such assets. It would take several years for the IA to learn what the IAF already knows and perhaps the best option would be to transfer the IAF's rotary winged pilots and engineers to the AAC.Barring which it may take not 5 but 10 years for IA to gain that kind of operational knowledge.Give you views kindly.

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , If a terrorist or a hostile special forces team creeps up ,assembles a mortar & throws in some rounds on central ordance depots,IAF bases like the ones at Panagarh besides a highway,closely populated area. So WLR,C-RAM systems are needed for such installations . Is IAF,IA considering procuring C-RAM systems for deploying at frontline installations close to border ?

If Iron-Dome is procured where are they to be fielded? IA,IAF is currently eveluating this syatem. When are orders for this to be placed ?

DRDO has developed anti radar paint for fighters. Is this paint there on Su-30mki,Tejas ?

What is now being done with the five prototype vehicles of Tejas ?

Recently IAF floated out a tender for light standoff PGM . Can you throw some light on that ?

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
IAF decided to acquire only 144 single seater version of Indo-Russian FGFA, the same plane Russia will be inducting. No two-seater India-specific version. The only Indian components in the fighter will be the mission computer and a few other things. May be because the delivery date is already shifted to 2020 and design changes for two-seater version takes longer time. May be because two-seater will weigh more and more powerful engine may be needed and development of which may further delay delivery time.
What do you think is the reason for this? A two-seater version of FGFA would have been unbeatable.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I think two seater version of FGFA would be developed and ordered later on, because it should be on a normal and further line of development.

Anonymous said...

Sir ,
1.When will SLEP of 3 P-15CDDG and 10 P-1241RE corvettes start ?
2.What sensor changes have been specified for P-15 DDG ?
3.When will batch-3 of Talwar class frigates be ordered ?
4.How many Shtils do Batch-1,2 carry each ?
5..Block upgrades are a routine affair. That means that EL-2032 radar now is a lot different from the one 10 years back with better performance and more modes.
6.Block upgrades are a routine affair. That means that EL-2032 radar now is a lot different from the one 10 years back with better performance and more modes. Am i right or wrong ?
7. About 96 EL/L-8222 are in service .
8.When will vendor selection for Tejasmk2 major subsystems,mission sensors commence .

Very very thanx for replying .

Anonymous said...

Hi ,
EL/L - 8251 has already been bought when barrage jammer project of MiG-27 was cancelled .

KSK said...

http://idrw.org/?p=14892

Whom to believe Prasunji.
Give a definite conclusion.

rad said...

hi prasun
Please explain the reports about a super brahmos that has a range of 500km and that it has been fixed with a glonass nav system from an advanced russian cruise missile , is it true?.

rad said...

Hi prasun

Please explain what is going on with the MTA deal.it seems they have signed it after decades of procrastination , what is the reason and will it be a success compared to the brazillian 390.Whats the point in making another c-130 equal

Hunt said...

Hi Prasun this link here (http://livefist.blogspot.in/2012/10/iaf-scales-down-fgfa-numbers-by-third.html) says the FGFA requirement is scaled down from 214 to 144 aircraft. Is it so? And will all the FGFA aircraft will be produced in India?

Hunt said...

It is also very well documented that the side which is having a superior air force would be key in winning the war. In this sense why India is hesitating in increasing its military budget to increase its fighter squadrons and push armed forces to spend their allocated funds in R&D along with DRDO for developing future and effective platforms like AMCA and future concept platforms which will result in creating a great push to a home grown industry (Which also ensure security).

Gessler said...

Hehehe...Prasunji I'm back with a lot of more questions for you :)

1. Is there any possibility that the Akula-class SSNs of IN maybe fitted with BrahMos missiles in future?

2. It is now open that the range of BrahMos has been increased to 500-550km (as you had already stated in your blog here), does this apply only to the land-launched land-attack Block-3 or is there any chance that the ASCM Block-1 may also have undergone (or plans to undergo) a range increase as well ?

3. What is the status on the three P-15A DDGs and four P-28 ASW corvettes? Will the first P-15A INS Kolkata be delivered by March 2013 or could it take longer?

4. What is the progress on the TATA/Mahindra's offers for the FICV project?

5. When could the first P-51 Saryu-class OPV be delivered by GSL ? Will Pipavav start construction of the follow-on 5 ships only after GSL has delivered the first 4 ?

6. In your opinion, what is the better frigate - P-17 Shivalik or Type-054A ?

7. What are the projects that Mahindra Aerospace is currently working on? - Other han NM-5 and GA-10 ac ?

8. Why isn't IAF considering the Mahindra NM-5 as its BTT, its going for the PC-7 and HTT-40 instead.

Its amazing how you take the trouble of answering every single question thrown at you by ruthless netizens:D I admire that quality of your's, you're a great buddy if ever there was one...

Sayan said...

Sir,
Hsnt IAF procured 3 full-motion simulators for Sukhoi-30mki ?

Russia rules out arms sale to Pakistan. What is this all about ? Does this mean that RD-93,AL-31 turbofans,Mil Mi-17 will not be sold to PAF ?

F said...

Prasun,

Which companies supplied the RWRs on the Su-30MKM and MkI?

Also, many years ago you wrote in ADJ that the RMN bought Marconi ATM-101 switches. What is this object for, is it a comms device?

Thank you.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA `13: VMT for your incisive thoughts. I tend to regard myself as being the exception to the norm. Hence, I’m both emotionally & financially satisfied whenever I aim for the moon but succeed in reaching only the rooftop. Perhaps it does pay to live one’s life as a pessimistic optimist.

To Anon@2.21AM: If at all the existing Mi-25s & Mi-35Ps of IAF are under the IA’s command-and-control then why did the IA have to seek the IAF’s permission to deploy them for OP Vijay in 1999? After all, these helicopters were to be used INSIDE Indian airspace (since the GoI of the day had then mandated that no Indian military personnel or hardware would go across the LoC)? Things are not what they seem to be & you therefore need to do your homework before reaching ill-coinceived conclusions.

To KSINGH: I’ve never come across any such news. The only bit of info that was stated on the IA’s official website was that the Rudra will be armed with a three-barrel rotary cannon built by Lockheed Martin. This, as we now know, is patently false since only the chin-mounted Nexter Systems-built 20mm single-barrel cannon has been fitted.

To BATTLE AXE: I’m no die-hard believer in astrology, but for the moment I will take your word for it. VMT for your observations.

To AK: The Russian-substitute armour was developed by DRDO for the TANK EX project, as well as for possible application on those T-90S MBTs that are being licence-built by HVF Avadi. Hence their industrial-scale production. You may recall that Russia had refused armour-related ToT for those T-90S MBTs that were to be licence-built.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: AS stated above 48 hours ago, the directive covers only attack helicopters. Battlespace surveillance helicopters haven’t even been talked about by any official. Armed LOHs for battlefield surveillance will be for the AAC. The IAF requires no brand-new LOHs or even LUHs or ALHs. It’s LUH reqmts can be easily fulfilled by Cheetals & Chetans, as I had stated in an earlier thread. Read this: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iaf-to-procure-12-choppers-for-siachen-operations/1016584/
Not just the ADC & RS, even the Tac3CI, BSS, BMS, ACCS, CDISS, EWS & ELINT components will have to undergo deep changes since the entire spectrum of close air support within the tactical battle area (TBA) is now the Army’s domain. The TBA now extends from the contact battle area right up to the deep battle area that lies another 100km ahead & BrahMos-1 Blocks-2/3 will be used for neutralising static/fixed targets, while land-mobile targets will have to be engaged by both attack helicopters & NLOS-BSMs, for which SAR-equipped battlespace surveillance helicopters & turbofan-powered loitering UAVs cruising at altitudes of 30,000 feet over friendly airspace will be prime prerequisites. Without these force-multiplier assets, attack helicopters & air-assault forces will be usable only at sub-optimal levels. Therefore, the need of the hour is to invest human/financial resources on developing such practical battlespace surveillance platforms, instead of toying with technology-demonstrators for AMCA or AURA. Will dwell more upon that in the near future. Back in 1962 the PLAAF was not in any shape or size ready for going on the offensive from either Tibet or Yunnan or Sichuan.
Regarding usage of medium-lift utility or attack helicopters, the IA understands more than the IAF about the ways & means of employing them & that’s why in 1999 Army HQ was pressing IAF HQ for heliborne close air-support. Ultimately, it was the IAF, not the Army, that made the mistake of deploying unprotected Mi-17s for straffing runs. The IAF knew by May 21, 1999 that the intruders were armed with FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS (which was used against an IAF photo-recce Canberra PR.57) & should therefore have used Mi-17s equipped with flare dispensers as well as used pilots equipped with NVGs. This never happened & till today no one has asked exactly who should be held accountable for such a basic lapse: the then CAS ACM A Y Tipnis or the then AOC-in-C Western Command AM Vinod Patney.

To UNKNOWN: Plans for follow-on AH-64Ds remain unchanged as of now, i.e. at least 44, if not the desirable 60. A lot now depends on whether the LAH variant of the LCH will at last be developed. It depends on whether Army HQ will at long-last place an order with HAL for 114 re-engineered LAHs that will enable the LAH to carry at least eight medium-range ATGMs like the PARS-3LR or Spike-MR.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.33PM: No, FGFA orders have not been scaled down. Don’t forget that the same magazine which has published such erroneous data was the very same publication that had claimed in an interview with the previous IAF CAS, ACM P V Naik, that two more A-50I PHALCONS had already been ordered, which we all know now was factually incorrect. All that the IAF CAS says in the present interview is that 144 single-seat FGFAs would be procured. He hasn’t said that the order for tandem-seat FGFAs has been cancelled. Had it been cancelled than the IAF CAS would have stated that all 214 FGFAs would be single-seaters. But he hasn’t said this. Secondly, one cannot link the HAL-built FGFA’s single-seat scale-model (for wind-tunnel tests) with the IAF CAS’ statements, since even in 1987 when the Tejas LCA’s scale-model was fabricated for wind-tunnel testing by France’s ONERA, it was that of a single-seater. But as we all know, this did not mean that the Tejas’ tandem-seater would not exist.

To RAHUL: There are no plans at the moment to acquire either C-RAMs or rapidly-deployable WLRs. If procured, a system like Iron Dome will be fielded in areas considered most vulnerable to strikes like long-range MBRLs, such as eastern Ladakh, Uttarakhand & Sikkim. DRDO-developed radar=absorbent paint is now applied on all operational combat aircraft. The standoff PGM will arm the to-be-upgraded Jaguar IS, MiG-29UPG, Mirage 2000UPG & Su-30MKIs.

To SNTATA & Mr.RA 13: FGFA orders have not been scaled down. Don’t forget that the same magazine which has published such erroneous data was the very same publication that had claimed in an interview with the previous IAF CAS, ACM P V Naik, that two more A-50I PHALCONS had already been ordered, which we all know now was factually incorrect. All that the IAF CAS says in the present interview is that 144 single-seat FGFAs would be procured. He hasn’t said that the order for tandem-seat FGFAs has been cancelled. Had it been cancelled than the IAF CAS would have stated that all 214 FGFAs would be single-seaters. But he hasn’t said this. Secondly, one cannot link the HAL-built FGFA’s single-seat scale-model (for wind-tunnel tests) with the IAF CAS’ statements, since even in 1987 when the Tejas LCA’s scale-model was fabricated for wind-tunnel testing by France’s ONERA, it was that of a single-seater. But as we all know, this did not mean that the Tejas’ tandem-seater would not exist.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.35AM: I too have had similar feedback. The DARE-developed Tusker EW pod was never delivered to any end-user. The EL/L-8251 now equips the MiG-27UPG.

To KSK: FGFA orders have not been scaled down. Don’t forget that the same magazine which has published such erroneous data was the very same publication that had claimed in an interview with the previous IAF CAS, ACM P V Naik, that two more A-50I PHALCONS had already been ordered, which we all know now was factually incorrect. All that the IAF CAS says in the present interview is that 144 single-seat FGFAs would be procured. He hasn’t said that the order for tandem-seat FGFAs has been cancelled. Had it been cancelled than the IAF CAS would have stated that all 214 FGFAs would be single-seaters. But he hasn’t said this. Secondly, one cannot link the HAL-built FGFA’s single-seat scale-model (for wind-tunnel tests) with the IAF CAS’ statements, since even in 1987 when the Tejas LCA’s scale-model was fabricated for wind-tunnel testing by France’s ONERA, it was that of a single-seater. But as we all know, this did not mean that the Tejas’ tandem-seater would not exist.

To RAD: Had already explained it above in this very thread to SNTATA. The airborne Glonass-K receiver integrated with the RLG-INS & related small-diameter airborne data-link for the air-launched BrahMos-1 were developed completely in-house by ASL. In fact, not just the BrahMos-1, but also the Shaurya & Prahaar are likely to have these elements as well. They have nothing to do at all with the Kh-55 & neither will the BrahMos-1 be nuclear-armed. But as you may recall, I was the first one to state in a much earlier thread that the range of BrahMos-1 Block-3 is being increased from 290km to 550km. AS for the IL-214 MRTA, the detailed design stage is now in motion. I don’t think it will be in a position to compete with Embraer’s C-390, since the IL-214 won’t be certified by either the FAA or EASA, but only by the military airworthiness authorities of Russia & India. Perhaps the OEMs of these two countries are too dumb to realise that Embraer will make a killing by offering the civilian version of the C-390 to commercial airfreight companies like DHL, FEDEX & UPS. Consequently, whatever military orders for the C-390 flow in will only be the bonus.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To HUNT: FGFA orders have not been scaled down. Don’t forget that the same magazine which has published such erroneous data was the very same publication that had claimed in an interview with the previous IAF CAS, ACM P V Naik, that two more A-50I PHALCONS had already been ordered, which we all know now was factually incorrect. All that the IAF CAS says in the present interview is that 144 single-seat FGFAs would be procured. He hasn’t said that the order for tandem-seat FGFAs has been cancelled. Had it been cancelled than the IAF CAS would have stated that all 214 FGFAs would be single-seaters. But he hasn’t said this. Secondly, one cannot link the HAL-built FGFA’s single-seat scale-model (for wind-tunnel tests) with the IAF CAS’ statements, since even in 1987 when the Tejas LCA’s scale-model was fabricated for wind-tunnel testing by France’s ONERA, it was that of a single-seater. But as we all know, this did not mean that the Tejas’ tandem-seater would not exist. AS far as making additional financial investments go, one must remember that India does not have pockets as deep as China’s, & India suffers from a severe lack of highly skilled human resources in the aerospace domain. Furthermore, R & D facilities presently available with most Indian universities are of 1970s-standard, while most of the students enrolled into IITs etc come straight from the coaching-class ‘mandis’ for whom creativity is least expected.

To GESSLER: Only 3M54E Klub-S will go mon board the INS Chakra. Only BrahMos-1 Block-3 has 550km range. All P-15A DDGs & P-28 ASW corvettes are lying alongside at MDL & GRSE. Looks like the first P-15A DDG will be handed over to IN next March for sea trials & be commissioned by the end of next year. Competitive offers for FICV are still under evaluation. Saryu-class NOPV delivery schedule has gone haywire. Pipavav has not yet been told by the IN whose NOPV design has been selected—the one from Russia or another one from the US. P-17 FFG has more firepower & advanced mission management sensors/suite than those of the Type 054A FFG. Is the NM-5 powered by turboprop engine? The BTT is reqd to be powered by turboprop engine.

To SAYAN: Not three full-motion simulators, but 2, & 3 cockpit procedures trainers. Pakistan wanted items like S-400 LR-SAM. That has been refused. Mi-171s are approved for sale.

To FARIS: RWR & MAWS for Su-30MKM came from SA’s Avitronics. For the Su-30MKI it is the locally-developed Tarang Mk3 RWR built by BEL. ATM-101 was supplied in the late-1990s for the tactical comms network of the RMN for linking all the shore-based establishments.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The following should be interesting reads regarding the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict:
http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282579

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282572

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282574

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282592

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282591

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282595

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282571

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282573

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282578

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282577

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282575

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282576

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282589

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282594

KSingh said...

Prasun,

Here is the news on the multi-barrele machine guns for MIL-17s and ALHs, seems this is not for WSI but ti be used as side gunners like the Western helos do.

http://www.adminmysite.com/D7/kyrgyzstan-localization/blogs/entry/lebron-james-2011-shoes-Indian-invite-public-bidding-purchases-airborne-multibarrel-machine-gun-the-requirement-is-compatible-print-net-of-sina-of-_-of-military-affairs-of-ammo-_-sina_16792


http://www.defence.pk/forums/indian-defence/160886-india-bidding-requirements-airborne-multi-barrel-machine-gun-ammunitio.html



It says the trails have already started.

F said...

Prasun,

Grintek via SAAB, supplied the Missile Approach Warning System -200 and the Laser Warning System - 210. There is a good chance that the RWR is Russian made.

Do the MKIs have a MAWS?

Anonymous said...

Sir , Pls provide in brief the military hardware that Pakistan wanted from Russia ? Will RD-93,AL-31 turbofans be exported to Pakistan ?
If Pakistan can go for S-400, why cant we ? IAF doesnt has a LRSAM and barak-8 LRSAM is still some years away .

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , By how much does the DRDO developed radar absorbent coating reduce RCS of Sukhoi-30mki,Tejas, ? Is it a high tech material like the coatings of F-22 ?

Previously IAF was clamouring for tandem seater versions of FGFA with a pilot and his WSO . Now why has it gone for a single seater version ? Is it due to increasing developement costs if IAF had gone for this version ?

Where does procurement of Irondome now stand ?

abs said...

@prasunda
"To SNTATA: In the arena of cyber warfare, all three armed services have evolved their standalone strategies, which is in the public domain, but sadly this is yet another area where the three armed services need to work in unison & achieve operational synergy—both of which have been lacking thus far. Since fibre-optic cable-based landlines are required for networks like AFNET, progress on such networks depends directly on what BSNL can deliver & at what speed. Sadly, BSNL continues to lag far behind what it originally promised to deliver. IACCCS is now into Phase-2. The IN’s GSAT-7 should be the first to be launched, hopefully before the year’s end. Following them will be the ones for the IAF & IA. Turbofan-powered loitering cruise missiles or loitering UAVs will make their debuts only after 2015. The first IRNSS satellite is also due for launch by the year’s end."
1)What are these turbofan powered UAV or loitering cruise missile that you have mentioned in the above reply? I think the Harpy or the Harop are not quite cruise missiles and they also don't happen to have turbofan powered powerplants.
2)Could you please dwell on the components and sub components of the ADC&RS?? It would be very kind of you
3)If the Army did not quite factor in the attack choppers in their planned NCW architecture, then only the army is to be blamed considering they had ground infrastructure up and running as well as operational plans up and running for factoring in the future implications of usage of such rotary winged assets. Very sad indeed.
4)I was going through extensive literature on the PAK-FA/FGFA. The things that stand as of now shows the PAK-FA to NOT be an all aspect stealth system like the F-22As. While the Chinese have got a head start by developing an excellent stealth shaping for the J-20.
So in light of the above could we see significant RCS reduction in the final production variant of the PAK-FA, especially in the air intakes,ventral sections and engine exhausts?? Would the same go for the FGFA?? And though AEW&CS based platforms would be able to give advance detection capability for such stealthy aircrafts,stealth does help in drastically reducing the detection ranges. The advent of long ranged AWACS Killer missiles could further restrict ideal of usage of AEW&CS platforms in thre future, while IRST acts best from the rear. Given the above emerging realities, full aspect stealth like that of F-22A becomes of paramount need, as also extreme agility to counter incoming BVRAAMs and WVRAAMs and in the future LRAAMs for establishing air superiority.

very many thanks for your previous replies, I remain ever so grateful and awed at your expertise.

sntata said...

To Anonymous Oct 15, 9-36AM
Here is another news item from India Srategic, published September, 2011 wide:
http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories1200_ALH_touches_20000_feet.htm

"Bangalore. The armed version of India’s Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) touched 20,000 feet in a test flight early August while two Cheetals performed a daring rescue at 23,000 feet a few weeks later.

The ALH test flight was conducted by Army’s ace test pilot Brig Amardeep Sidhu in Leh while the two Cheetals were taken to this height by ace pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to rescue a stranded foreign mountaineer.
The armed version of the ALH, designated Rudra by the Army Aviation Corps which operates them, is still under various tests before its induction by end-2011. But so far, according to Chairman and Managing Ashok Nayak of HAL, which manufactures the helicopter at its Bangalore facility, all the required tests, undertaken step by step, have been successful.
Rudra has also cleared the air to- air and air-to-ground missile firing tests at the Interim Test Range at Balasore in Orissa and now, combined missile, rocket and gun firing tests, day and night, would be conducted later this year. Pilots also have Helmet mounted cueing systems to ensure precision attacks."
Please read the entire story from above URL

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
Here is another piece of very good news. India is planning to procure helicopter-borne early warning systems for the Army, according to Indian Express story, wide:
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=19715
Wow, another force-multiplier for IA, what do you think?

rad said...

Hi Prasun
There has been various reports that the KS_172 long range missile is under development, in various internet sites , what is the actual position and is it a very secret project that not much is known.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSINGH: Those are erroneous reports. No such weapon systems were ordered or are to be ordered.

To FARIS: Grintek was never a OEM for self-protection systems. Avitronics was. Grintek is OEM for only communications systems & is now known as Saab Grintek. Read this: http://saabgrintek.com/aboutus.html
Avitronics is now known as Saab Avitronics. Read this from the Su-40MKM’s OEM: http://www.irkut.com/en/news/press_release_archives/index.php?id48=252

To SNTATA: Looks like that ‘desi’ news reporter has, expectedly, got it all wrong. Firstly, the Dhruv ALH being a 5.5-tonne helicopter does not have the endurance reqd for an airborne surveillance platform. Such platforms require having a MTOW of 12 tonnes and endurance of at least four hours, something like the Mi-17V-5. Secondly, as I had stated earlier, the reqmt is not for AEW helicopters, but airborne battlespace surveillance helicopters like the Horizon. Read this: http://www.army-technology.com/projects/as532-horizon/

Sayan said...

Sir , Pls provide in brief the military hardware that Pakistan wanted from Russia ? Will RD-93,AL-31 turbofans be exported to Pakistan ?
If Pakistan can go for S-400, why cant we ? IAF doesnt has a LRSAM and barak-8 LRSAM is still some years away . S-400 is a good area-denial weapon with 200 km range . Barak-8 has a range of 120 km .

Army to buy copter-borne early warning systems. What helos does IA want an in what no ? When will RFPs be issued ?

MOUNTAIN CORPS IS ON : General Bikram Singh. What is this about ? Two mountain infantry divisons are already operational.

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun da,

How many UAVs do the Indian Armed forces ( Army, Air Force, Navy) have & which ones do they have ? Also, how many more UAVs do the Indian Armed Forces intend to purchase in the near future.

Regards,
Sujoy

Anonymous said...

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-CIA-Burglar-Who-Went-Rogue-169800816.html?device=other

this article i got from BR.You are having any information regarding which asian country they are talking?
Is RA&W is running this kind of unit?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Mostly it has to be the Indian embassy in Tel Aviv.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

TO SAYAN: Already replied@5.21PM. The reqmt is for battlespsce surveillance helicopters for Corps-level battlespace surveillance, not AEW helicopters. I had already discussed this reqmt a few months & weeks ago. The IAF will be responsible for theatre-level battlespace surveillance with RISTA aircraft. Divisional-level battlespace surveillance is conducted by MALE-UAVs like Heron-1 of the Army, just like the Falco MALE-UAV is used by the Pakistan Army.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: See this: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2011/10/highlights-from-uv-asia-2011.html

To Anon@10.18PM & Mr.RA 13: It was probably the Pakistan Embassy in the UAE.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

MMRCA(Rafale) probably will be signed by march 2013...But one thing always concerns me..The First rafale will come in 2015..By that time the US will have operational F 35.Rafale is indeed a good aircraft..But still a 4+ gen..But F35 a fifth.No dought France will deliver more industrial benefits that what US can offer..But do u think that the IAF could wait 2 more years, to get a 5th Gen F35.F35 current cost is high, but will come down after 2016 after series prod. begins.Your thoughts Pls on pros and cons of F 35 for IAF??

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Many Thanx for the replies.

KSingh said...

Prasun,

Why do you say these are erronous reports? They seem pretty specific wrt hte type of mult-barrel gun on offer.


+Will F-INSAS incorparate a new camo? A digicam perhaps?

Sayan said...

Sir , You havent answered a part .Pls provide in brief the military hardware that Pakistan wanted from Russia ?
Mi-17 v1 has been cleared for sale. Has RD-93,AL-31 turbofans also been cleared for export to Pakistan ?

Focus on enhancing operational capabilities: IAF chief :

"Air Force officials said the focus of the conference is on critical Electronic Warfare Systems required by the force." Are these jammer pods both self defensive and support that are currently present in small nos . What is it about .

Jagadish said...

Hi Prasun ,

By the end of this decade how many Super Sukhois does the IAF plan to have ? Will all the SU 30 MKI be converted into Super Sukhois by 2020 ?

Thanks,
Jagadish

Anonymous said...

Sir,
1.IA has plans for raising 4 China specific infantry mountain divisions.2 infantry divisons are already operational. These are part of pivot or holding corps and are tasked with holding land in casde of PLA incursion. Another 2 are on the pipeline which would be more strike oriented in nature. They will counterattck and occupy Chinese land in case of an incursion. Is the desi media all confused and referring to this as Mountain strike corps ?

2.When will SLEP of 3 P-15CDDG and 10 P-1241RE corvettes start ?Has any progess made in this field ? Is it also lagging like IAC-2 ?

3.How many Shtils do Batch-1,2 carry each ?

4.Block upgrades are a routine affair. That means that EL-2032 radar now is a lot different from the one 10 years back with better performance and more modes.

5. About 96 EL/L-8222 are in service .IAF has at last well understood the pressing requirement of EW systems .

6. Why is Tejas mk1 using Derby as its only BVR missile. MICA RF can be used. El-2032 has all the traking range required to initiate such a launch.

Pls reply.

Hunt said...

Thank you for your replies. One more question. In recent conversations you've highlighted the short comings of Indian Embrarer based AEW&C platform which only composed of back to back S band radars (As opposed to Isreal's phalcon system with greater L band and shorter X band frequency radars along with S band radars). But recently India had launched Risat 2 and TecSar satellites based out from an Israels X band Antenna (which is reported to be one of most sophisticated spy satellites capable of achieving resolutions up to few inches). When such a sophisticated system is in place DRDO can always reverse engineer (as project Devil) the technology and develop similar systems to be deployed on airborne platforms. It is documented that X band radars are critical system components as they work in very small frequencies and provide high accuracy (compared to L and S bands).

Subho said...

Slightly off topic but there is news on the IAF Jaguar reengining project today. TOI is confirming that the single vendor RFP for the powerplant upgrade for the Jaguar has been issued to Honeywell ( makers of the IN125 engine) !
There's also news that the Rafale has just concluded a round of testing with the Meteor BVRAMs earlier this month, following closely on the heels of the roll out of the first Thales RBE2 AESA equipped Rafale !
Great news all around for both platforms I think.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: Harpy & Harop are drones, not UAVs. The loitering UAV will be a MALE system to be used for target acquisition by NLOS-BSMs. The Army cannot be blamed for factoring in attack helicopters back in 2001 when the NCW architecture was adopted, since at that time there was no guarantee of the attack helicopters being given to the Army. Even the F/A-22 & B-2 do not feature all-aspect stealth, both can be easily detected by IRST sensors or ground-based optronic fire-control systems.

To RAD: The KS-172 has already been developed & was available since 2007 for export along with Su-30MK family members.

To Anon@2.16AM: No one can guarantee what the scene will be like in 2016, especially with regard to per-unit costs of combat aircraft like the F-35. And if the F-35 is deemed as being superior to the Rafale or EF-2000 or Gripen NG, then the producer-countries of all these aircraft would themselves have acquired the F-35, since no one wants to compromise on technological superiority.

To KSINGH: Till to date, no such ordnance has been tested or even certified for use by the designers & manufacturers of the Mi-17 family of helicopters. A simple check with Mil Design Bureau & Kazan Helicopter Plant will reveal this simple & elementary fact. Secondly, where exactly will such a cannon be mounted on the Mi-17’s airframe, especially when the helicopter has pylons on both sides of the airframe for carrying ordnance & which severely limit the field-of-regard for any weapon that’s mounted inside the airframe? F-INSAS is a network, not a weapon system.

To SAYAN: I already mentioned the S-400. Mi-17 is not a weapon system, but a means of transportation. All Mi-17 deliveries to date to Pakistan have been unarmed. The same goes for RD-93 & AL-31FN turbofans. They’re powerplants, not weapons. Regarding the IAF CAS’ comments on EW systems, all that I can say is either he’s reading this blog, or reading my thoughts.

To JAGADISH: By the end of this decade, there will be 42 Super Su-30MKIs. Not all Su-30MKIs will be upgraded to Super Su-30MKI standard, but all Su-30MKIs will be equipped with AESA-MMR & MAWS, plus new glass cockpits featuring panoramic AMLCDs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.31PM: There’s no holding or strike formations in the North East. All Mountain Divisions are equally capable of going on the offensive provided they’re provided with adequate field artillery fire-support & medium-lift utility helicopters. The proposed Mountain Corps HQ in Panagarh will be employed for undertaking limited tactical offensives by venturing up to 20lm or 30km inside that portion of Tiber that straddles the borders of Sikkim & West Bhutan. SLEP plans for 3 P-15 DDG and 10 P-1241RE corvettes is still in the planning stage. For the Tejas Mk1, the on-board fire-control system associated with the EL/M-2032 is perfectly compatible with the Derby, since the Derby’s selection. Therefore, MICA-RF can’t be used by either the Tejas Mk1, or Su-30MKI or even the Mirage 2000H/TH.

To HUNT: Israel’s G-550 CAEW & CS uses L-band & S-band AESAs, not X-band. RISAT-1’s SARE antenna was indigenously developed by ISRO, while the TecSAR (Risat-2) belongs to NTRO. DRDO therefore had no access whatsoever to such satellites.

To SUBHO: Since it was a single-vendor situation, the F125IN’s selection was a given. It was therefore not about if, but when. Meteor BVRAAM works best only when mid-course navigational updates are available from an AEW & C platform & not from the launch aircraft. Therefore, whether an AESA-MMR has small or big aperture makes no difference at all for BVRAAMs like Meteor.

sasi said...

Hi,prasan 1. Are we going to keep jagaur upto 2030-2040? Is it worth,i mean an old air frame. Even british moved to typhoon.
2. Is lca a multirole? I mean isn't its range is too low(850km excluding external tanks) to perform that role. Thanks,pls reply

abs said...

@prasunda
heres something off topic,
which country do u reckon will emerge as a larger n better economy in the end??India or China??

sasi said...

To abs, Which country has better leadership and vision for its people do u think?
Prasun,1. Any news on astra? 2. I think prahar should have atleast 250km range to use it as a meaningful tactical weapon. Wht do u think? Thanks

rad said...


HI Prasun
You mentioned that you would explain the attack profile of the harpy harop ,drones previously.
I feel they are slow small prop driven drones that are likely to be shot down in an attack on a air defence radar as they will def be guarded with oerlikon 35mm ahead canons with Pak.

The ks-172 was never fully qualified as per internet reports, they say that it is under development with indian assistance

Hunt said...

Hi Prasunji,

Thank you for all the patience you show for each question. The Vixen radar looks likely to be having a combination of Mechanical + electronic steering of the signal which is providing enhanced degrees Field of View (Coverage, which as you highlighted gives a fighter to move away after firing a BVRAAM still guiding it). But If HAL buys this system will the source code and the completely technology will be transferred? similar to RBE2 package along with MMRCA deal. And can this technology be achieved in house with combined Israeli participation? According to you how much of this technological gains will help DRDO to achieve self reliance (In developing) in all future high power Land/Ship/Airborne surveillance/Fire Control platforms?

abs said...

to sasi,
Ultimately the major positive for a democratic society is the fact that the political and government elite also ultimately has to shift to what the greater nation wants.
Currently thats not happening and the reason is that our political and ruling elite caters to the "garibi" part of INDIA referred to as "Bharat" and thinks only populism and showering of freebies will ensure them the votes. However little do these people realise that with a more younger profile of citizens throughout INDIA, they have increasingly begun demanding "access". Access to free market for better upliftment, access to better English education, access to mobility and infrastructure. Even now a substantial part of INDIA reels under poverty, near about 20%, so such politics and policy making isnt out of vogue yet.But we can certainly hope for a huge change by 2020-25 IF INDIA keeps growing at 8-9,as that would also change a lot of people's mondsets.
However just look how the UPA let govt. has done a compromise on growth from 10% to 8% just cuz their leader feels that high growth is anti-social and will not let them get re-elected.
While INDIA has all the dynamics required to grow at double digits plus once the global economic system recuperates, which perhaps could have happened 2-3 years back if there were no recession.

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , By how much does the DRDO developed radar absorbent coating reduce RCS of Sukhoi-30mki,Tejas, ? Is it a high tech material like the coatings of F-22 ?

Previously IAF was clamouring for tandem seater versions of FGFA with a pilot and his WSO . Now why has it gone for a single seater version ? Is it due to increasing developement costs if IAF had gone for this version ?

Where does procurement of Irondome now stand ?

AK said...

Hi Prasun , Currently there are many critical problems as well as huge capability gaps that IAF is facing. It needs to iron out various issues .

1. Jaguar IA is being re-engined. BAE systems has supplied all production , maintenence & allied documentation of Jaguar to HAL.Now it is the best time to modify Jaguar's nose portion to accomodate an AESA radar & an IRST. AESA will provide SAR,DBS,ISAR,GMTI/T modes & these along with IRST will completely transform Jaguar IS into a modern advanced & lethal strike pltform. Radar has its own advantages when compared to LDP,optronic pods for target aquisition.
2.When JaguarIS wings are being relifed , an extra hardpoint per wing can be built into to carry more AGM . Extra hrdpnts are also possible on the fuselage .
3.As you said only 30% of EW self-defense jammer pods are present. So more such pods along with standalone support jamming pod needs to be procured. Adequate EW resources is the key to winning a war by preventing attrition losses in the hands of enemy SAM,AAA,BVRAAM. More EL/L-8222,EL/L-8251 as well as other modern jamming pods.
4. ALL combat acs,transport acs,medium lift helicopters needs a good IDAS. AN-32,IL-76 must have RWR,MAWS,DIRCM along with chaff and flare dispensers. Mi-17 also needs to have such a suite. WIthout MAWS the aircrew wont be knowing from which direction the missile is coming. Flares arent enough for defeating modern gen MANPADS . Mirage 2000,MiG-29 are to be fitted with Virgilius RF jammer and thats good enough .
4. Enough ARMs are not there in IAF inventory. ALARM , Kh-31 p needs to be procured. Some Kh-31p are already present. IAF doesnt have dedicated SEAD,DEAD acs. In case of any hostilities, the 1st thing that an airforce must accomplish is to neytralise,destroy enemy's radar , sam network as UAF did in Op Desertstorm 1,Kosovo war,Enduring freedom. Thousand of anti radiation missiles were fired. IAF doesnt have ARM to such a degree. Su-34 is an ideal platform for SEAD,DEAD ac. It can be fitted with full coverage high power jammers of Israeli origin. Such acs needs to be procured. It has a good payload along with long endurance.
5. With PLA 2nd artillery corps fielding a huge no of India specific IRBM,MRBM,TBM,NLOS-BSM in TAR , IAF as well as IA needs to invest heavily on BMD systems as well as CMD systems tomprotect from RAAD,Babur like S-400,THAAD/PAC-3 combo to protect vital military installations,IAF assets like fighter jets,force multipliers from massed Chinese fire assaults. Without them the whole military war machine will get pulverised. Investing in shield is not enough. One should also have a good sword. So tactical ALCM, good standoff range 80-120 KM PGM with terminal homing lie JSOW,Raptor,H-4,popeye needs to be purchased in quantity. AASM needs to be procured in quite large no. It should replace iron bombs , LGB with no range in IAF . Every attck must be madw iwth these weapons of precision and that too from a dustance. AT the same time loitering missiles like Deliah must be bought to hunt and destroy shot and scoot TEL of lACM like Babar & IRBM,MRBM,NLOS-BSM launchers.In these type of hunting ops radars with SAR,ISAR,GMTI/T modes will ahve a huge role to play .

Anonymous said...

Sir, Arent all Sukhois will also be fitted with Virgilius jammer, Ariel active RTD ?

Anonymous said...

Sir,
1.You once said that there were 15000 LGB in IAF service along with 200 AS 30L. Does this hold true even now ?

2.From what range does laser designation of a ground target begins with LDP-2? At what range from target is LGB dropped ?

3.What is srtike corps HQ ? I thought that it is a place where the commanding officer of a corps sits along with his support staff , secretary . How can they capture land ?

4.Will Jaguar have a radar ? In many sites , blogs installation of radar is mentioned . Is this correct ?

5. Reenging of Jaguar will be completed by 2022-23 ? Isnt this wrong ? How can it take 10 years ?

6.MICA RF have been ordered for Mirage 2000.

Anonymous said...

To abs,
(sasi)I fully agree with u. I am okay with freebies for needy,but it has to be limit. Not for corporate house-2g and coal people. Again i am saying,a ship sailing without knowing its destination is at risk. A leadrship with vision is must.( Not a 5 YEAR vision to RULE )
China has. India- ?:-(

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SASI: The re-engined Jaguar IS with DARIN-3 avionics can stay in service for another 20 years. As I had explained earlier, the problem is never with airframes, but with engines, avionics, instrumentation & accessories. Since all of these are being produced within India to a large extent, a mere re-engining project with F-125IN turbofans will enable the Jaguar IS to give trouble-free service for the years to come. The same could have been done with MiG-27Ms had they been re-engined with AL-31F turbofans. As for the Tejas, 850km-range is an appreciable figure, since external tanks are usually used during ferry flights from the peacetime home base to the wartime forward air bases. As a tactical MRCA, a combat radius of 400km is pretty good.

To ABS: The answer is pretty obvious, isn’t it?

To RAD: Harpy is always launched in swarms against tactical air-defence radars to overwhelm the ground-based air defences. In Pakistan’s case, the 35mm AAA isn’t employed for protecting such radars, but for the larger 3-D airspace surveillance radars near major air bases. Harop is meant for use against ground-launched cruise missile launchers/NLOS-BSM launchers. KS-172’s development was completed in the previous decade without any Indian inputs.

To HUNT: No one is parting with any source-codes or production-engineering know-how for local fabrication of any type of radar, be it the Vixen 850 or RBE-2. It is simply uneconomical to insist on ToT when such AESA-MMRs are ordered in small quantities (i.e. less than 200 units). Therefore, no one in the world will agree to such ToTs. And like I had stated numerous times before, unless India creates semiconductor foundries required for the local manufacture of micro-processors, achieving self-reliance in the design or production og any high-end military electronic product will always remain a pipedream.

To RAHUL: RAM-related performance parameters are a closely-kept secret. But by no means they’re as high-end as those developed in the US. Iron Dome’s procurement process has not yet begun in India.

To Anon@8.45PM: Virgilius jammers yes, Ariel towed-decoys, no.
Anonymous said...

To Anon@11.14PM: No more. Stocks were severely depleted after OP Parakram in 2002. AS-30L’s service life has already expired. Lasing of targets begins at around 20km. LGBs are dropped about 12lm away from target. Jaguar IS/DARIN-3 won’t have any airborne MMR. Jaguar IS’ re-engining will be completed within six years, since the F-125IN has been designed for drop-in installation & does not require any changes to the airframe.

Anonymous said...

Sir, But you said that IAF had insisted for a Western component Ariel TRD for its Sukhoi-30 upgrade . They will go on all Sukhoi UPG apart from Super Sukhoi. Pls explain.

rad said...

HI Prasun
You say that no one will give TOT for aesa radars , but we are given to understand that, that is precisley what we have asked for regarding the rbe-2 rafale aesa radar.
please explain

Anonymous said...

Sir , You said in 2009 that 15000 LGB were there in IAF inventory alongwith 200 AS-30L. If the service life of AS-30L has expired , then which new air-to-ground missiles is IAF purchasing to replace them . There can't be a gap . Stocks must be replenished with new more advanced missiles .

Hunt said...

Hi Prasunji,

IAF opting for Su 34 Fighter Bomber (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-34) for Deep strike (Because of its huge range and heavy payload making it possible for IAF plan versatality in planning attack/strike paths which PLAAF will not be anticipating) leaving air superiority/dominance to FGFA, AMCA, Su-30 MKI, Rafale rafale Multirole fighters. Since they share common features with Su 30 MKI, It can also be easily manufactured in good numbers in India. Considering its superior capability, It can become super escort for future P 8I poseidon surveillance platforms and can also provide enhanced strike combinations for Navy ships carrying high precision weapons and operation from bases located deep inside Indian region. With single Air refueling it can almost cover huge distances which is not possible with current aircraft. What is your opinion on this prasunji. :)

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
1. What is the present status of Pinaka-2 & 3? Is there any R&D going on for giving unguided MBRLs better guidance like GPS guidance or Laser Guidance or Sensor-fused warheads?
2. What is the present status of development of 3D AESA-FCR radar by DRDO's LRDE? Are AESA-FCR & Active Phased Array Radar (3D APAR) same or different. If different what are the functions of 3D APAR?

Sayan said...

Sir, What is Invar missile 's range, guidance which is fired from T-90 gun barrel ?

Where is LCA – Tejas Project heading?
Tejas not yet has cleared Air to Air (A2A) roles yet and aircrafts are currently been getting up-gradation (Radars and avionics and BVR and WVR missiles integrations) on older aircrafts (PV and LSP). But R-73 missile firing are over .

 Flight envelope has been opened up, but nothing to write about says sources, since Target has not been achieved. What was this target ? Does this mean that Tejas is not capable of 9G maneuver , doesn't has high AoA and sustained and instantaneous turn rates .

many aircrafts (LSP) are not identical in terms of Avionics and structural changes (ex, Optimization of APU intakes and different pilot avionics layout in latter variant). Leading to delays in upgrading of older aircrafts with current changes. Why is this happening ? When will the production related problems be solved ?

In Brahmos aerospace website there is a poster in which Brahmos is following a low level terrain following flight at it's terminal stage . Is this true for land attack Brahmos ? Is this done for surviving defenses around target .


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.03AM: The Super Su-30MKI upgrade programme is divided into 2 types: the full-standard deep upgrade & the selective upgrade standard. At least 100 of the Su-30MKIs will be upgraded to the former standard (inclusive of the Ariel TD & wing-mounted L-band AESA array) while the rest will undergo selective upgrades, for which AESA-MMR, Virgilius, MSWS & upgraded glass cockpits will be mandatory.

To RAD: In the Rafale M-MRCA’s case, ToT for the RBE-2 will include the object codes for updating the on-board EW threat libraries as well as those for Spectra, & the establishment of local product-support & MRO facilities for the RBE-2, OSF & Spectra. All the M-MRCA contenders had made similar offers.

To Anon@4.02PM: AS-30Ls have already been replaced with LGBs & Popeye-Lite.

To HUNT: Firstly, airborne maritime recce/ASW platforms don’t require combat aircraft escorts. P-8Is are perfectly capable of working in a standalone manner. Secondly, the combat radius of the Su-30MKI is the same as that of the Su-34. The same goes for flight endurance with or without aerial refuelling. Thirdly, the Su-30MKI when upgraded to Super Su-30MKI standard will be far ahead of the Su-34 in terms of mission sensor sophistication. Consequently, acquiring Su-34s is a ridiculous proposition.

To SNTATA: Presently, only the Enhanced Capability Pinaka MBRL with 40km-range is nearing service induction. But since a policy decision has been taken in favour of doing away with BEML-TATRA TELs, a competitive evaluation process is now on for selecting new wheeled TELs for not just the Pinaka, but also for BrahMos-1 & Prahaar. The 37.5km-range Pinaka Block-1, 40km-range Pinaka Block-2 & 85km-range Smerch-M will in future be joined by a new 120km-range MBRL that is now under development by the DRDO. This MBRL’s rocket will be able to deploy GPS-guided sensor-fuzed anti-armour munitions. 3-D AESA FCR & 3-D AESA-APAR are one & the same. It is the ‘Ashvin’ radar that is being developed for the ‘Maitri’ SR-SAM project. By the way, I've noticed that your routine queries raised in some other blogs go unanswered. Very irresponsible those blog-owners are, I'd say.

To SAYAN: Invar’s effective range is 5km, same as that of LAHAT. When one is developing a new-generation combat aircraft from scratch, delays are inevitable & must be accepted as a fact of life. That is the price one must be willing to pay in order to obtain core technological competencies in the long run. High-G manoeuvres are no longer necessary since the AAMs themselves can pull off such manoeuvres when cued to their targets by HMDS. In BrahMos-1 Block-1/2’s terminal stage (the last 20km), the cruising altitude falls down to 200 metres ASL.

Anonymous said...

Sir, I want to know a few things.

1. What is the use of long cylindrical portion portuding out between the two nozzles. What does it contain ?

2. BARS radar of Su-30mki have SAR,DBS,and other surface mapping modes. They were mentioned in the pic slides of Selected literaure on Russian radars at your blog. Ami right or wrong ?

3. OLS-30 of Su doesnt present a pic of surroundings in IR spectrum like Pirate,FSO . So it cant be used as a navigation toll during adverse weather conditions and terrain following .it also cant land on its own without the help of air controller.

4.How many Harop and Harpy systems have been ordered to date. if enough drones are not there then a well guarded target cant be attcked in swarms .

5.A Russian institue has developed RAM for Sukhoi. Has Russia transferred ToT for this material to India ? Is this RAM there on IAF Su-30 mki.

ALH said...

Hi Prasun, is no of hardpoints on Rafale 13 or 14 ? Some pics are there of Dassault showing 13 hardpoints & these are from Dassault . Pls tell .

dashu said...

u said -" But since a policy decision has been taken in favour of doing away with BEML-TATRA TELs, a competitive evaluation process is now on for selecting new wheeled TELs for not just the Pinaka, but also for BrahMos-1 & Prahaar."

now is it a wise thing after buying so many TARTAs .

ravindran said...

Now the attack helios will be Army's property. That is a good news. However, I wonder what the IAF pilots and the supporting staffs who work on these helicopters would do now? Will they be absorbed into Army Aviation OR Army will train new personals for these regiment? If the 2nd option is favored, there will be too much of delay & money wastage, etc. If the 1st option is favored, then there will be many bureaucratic hassles, right?

In one of your previous threads, you said that you will explain the reasons for the delay by Cochin Shipyard in building Aircraft carrier. According to you, what are the reasons for this delay?

I heard from my source who is an employee in Cochin Shipyard that, the work on AC is almost NIL. Workers come, chit chat, play cards, watch cricket, etc; this is the daily routine. The work ethics in Kerala is one of the worsts, and CS is an excellent example.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I vaguely remember that during 1985-88 a pioneer and new factory perhaps near Mettur in Tamilnadu was burnt down under mysterious circumstances. Was it concerned with semiconductors and pure Silicon. Is this true. I could not find any links.

BTW, I know least about electronics.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.54PM: 1) On the Su-30MKI it contains the two drag-chutes as well as LRUs for the twin rear-facing Tarang Mk3 RWRs. 2) Yes, these modes Are present on Su-30MKI Mk3-standard aircraft. 3) Su-30MKI’s cockpit is NVG-compatible. For takeoff & landing by night in the absence of runway lights, the Su-30MKI aircrew can easily make use of NVGs. With ATC control, there’s no takeoff, leave alone landing. But Su-30MKI can land on its own without cues from ATC, since it has both an autopilot as well as VOR/ILS receiver. 4) Only 10 Harops have been ordered. 40 Harpys were ordered in the late 1990s. 5) All RAM coatings on IAF & IN aircraft are of Indian origin.

To ALH: There are 9 hardpoints: 2 under each wing, two on wingtips, one centerline & two belly-mounted. Each wing can accommodate two triple-ejector racks.Thus, the Rafale can carry up to 12 AASMs, 4 Mica BVRAAMs & one Litening-3 LDP.

To DASHU: Let me state what’s not wise: BEML’s inability to set up in-country depot-level MRO facilities for the 7,000-odd TATRA vehicles that have been acquired since 1986. Consequently, selecting a TEL with right-hand drives & with locally available MRO facilities & spares distribution centres (which means a local model from either TATA or VOLVO) will definitely be a wise step.

To RAVINDRAN: There will no cross-transfers of aircrew since the existing Mi-25s & Mi-35Ps will be retained by the IAF till such time that these helicopters are decommissioned from service by 2020. Until then, the Mi-25s & Mi-35Ps will be used for CSAR. The following are the troubles facing CSL: 1) lack of financial autonomy for the shipyard’s management, which has resulted in delayed indenting by Navy HQ of raw materials reqd for IAC-1’s hull construction, since Navy HQ has to seek approvals from the MoD’s civilian bureaucracy for such mundane matters. 2) Delays in finalising the IAC-1’s design by the IN’s Naval Design Bureau & Directorate of Marine Engineering. 3) The consequent delayed orders for interior fittings of Russian origin for the IAC-1’s hangar/maintenance bays. 4) The truck mishap in 2010 at Wartsila’s Khopoli-based facility which delayed the arrival of the gearboxes. 5) As a result of all this, hull fabrication simply cannot take place since those hull modules through which electrical wiring & air-conditioning ducts will pass cannot be welded, nor can anti-corrosion paint be applied. Add all this up & what one then gets is a gigantic delay. I therefore do not blame the unionised workforce of CSL at all for the delays. Everything starts & ends with financial autonomy & freezing of the vessel’s design. That’s the prevailing international norm. Anyone that does not adhere to such a roadmap & instead gets subjected to ridiculous amounts of micro-management in a brazenly uncommercial manner will suffer the same fate as that of CSL, MDL, GRSE, HSL & GSL.

To Mr.RA 13: I don’t think so, since there never was any semi-conductor foundry in existence in India. There would have been, had the GoI in the early 1950s allowed TIFR & the Indian Statistical Institute to continue developing digital supercomputers since 1951. Regretfully, the then bureaucrats within the Union MoF in their all-knowing wisdom stopped allocating funds for such pioneering R & D activities, and consequently all then then ground-breaking R & D efforts were terminated & can be seen even today at TIFR’s in-house museum in Mumbai.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

You are correct. There is no semiconductor foundry or fab in India so far.

http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/Why_does_India_lack_fabs-nid-57557-cid-2.html

F said...

Prasun,

Apologies for asking this again, I know you've covered this question in the past.

Internal airborne EW jammers are intended to deal with ground based radars and pod mounted EW jammers are intended to deal with the seeker heads of air to air missiles and airborne radars - is this correct?

On the wingtips of the MKM and the MKI are what appear to be a jammer or is it a self protection ECM device?


http://media.defenseindustrydaily.com/images/AIR_SU-30MKIs_lg.jpg

Anonymous said...

The hotmail inventor Sabeer bhatia was all about setting up semiconductor fab facilities and leased some land around Hyderabad,
but then finally settled in airline business and now cribbing about unfair competition from forever loss making Air India being propped with govt. dole in direct contradiction of fair market access, but I digress, what happened to his initial idea and instead chose a 'safer' business?

Hunt said...

Hi Prasunji,

MOD owned Hindustan Shipyard Limited is equipped with slipways that can handle warship construction of 80000 and 100000 long tons. This capability is far greater than the requirement for IAC-2 (65000 tons). Even the shipyard is blessed with Vizag Steel (Under SAIL) Plant which is very near to the shipyard which can provide high strength steel (A/B Grade) for warship construction. Why Indian Navy is again opting to CSL for IAC-2 when it is having such a facility like HSL. HSL (As per the the official website) is also having slipways which can handle two 30000 tons and one 15000 tons which can be useful in constructing P 15A and P 17A class warships. What is the reason for not using such facility?

Hunt said...

Hi Prasunji,

If that is the case with Su 34 capability. Then why Russian Airforce (Having accepted Su 35 which is said to be More/Equally capable to Su 30Mki) is formally accepting an inferior platform such as Su 34 which is also in good numbers (More than 160). What could be the general Idea behind such decision?

Technology, Photograpy and Travel said...

Prasun da

FCS in LCA and FBW was not done our team ADA?
Any idea on how efficient is the FBW in LCA

Then how come they have the confidence to alter the Airframe for LCA MK2

Anonymous said...

Sir,
1.SAR,ISAR,DBS and other surface mapping modes,arent they present in BARS mk1 ?

2.is there GMTI-T mode in BARS radar ?

3.Is their NVG for each and every Su-30 ?

4.With NVG landing and takeoff can be performed but low level terrain avoidance flight cant be performed since the landscape ahead and the surroundings cant be seen. NVG are good for seeing at night what the human eye can see at day.NBG wont be useful in bad weather,fog. OLS-30 cant be used a FLIR for viewing terrain like PIRATE and so is the optical system of MiG-29.

5.What are the improvements of Su-30 mk3 over mk1. Can you pls tell a bit. All the previuos Sukhoi that were delivered in mk1 , earlier standards have they been upgraded to mk3 standards ?

6.The cylindrical portion of Su-27,35 do they house the drag chutes like Su-30 . In MiG-29 where is this drag chute housed ?

7.As part of upgrade will Su-30, mig-29 get new OLS having modes available in PIRTAE and able to function like FLIR .

8.As part of upgrades wont Su-30 will get some VLO enhancements,RAM coatings thet are present on Su-35 . Su-35 has Khibiny ESM . Why does IAF sukhoi doesnt have one ?

Thank you for answering.Hoping to get answers to these. Happy Puja.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
Very irresponsible indeed. That is why Trishul-Trident has become the 'Court of Last Resort' for all doubts and informations regarding defence matters for the likes of us. Thanking you once again and wishing you happy Dasara and Durga Puja.

Mayur M Manapure said...

sir, certain queries by a school going kid...
1) what went wrong with kaveri and lca?
2)why do you think lca mk2 will be a game changer?
3)what are the real achievements of ada and drdo wrt lca?
4)why do you think all baabus and netas of CCS will give a shot to AMCA?
5) is tata is a suitable development/production partner for same...?
6)regarding AE&WC....cant the aesa radar of it miniateurised (X-band) for fighter ac applications.....?
thanks in advance

Gessler said...

Hello Prasun bhai, I'm back again...

1. What will be the max range of the air-launched land-attack variant of BrahMos from Su-30MKI?

2. Is pakistan really looking to buy the chinese Z-10 or the T-129 Mangusta to replace their old AH-1S/Fs?

3. Who has developed the Universal VLS cells on the P-17 Shivalik and the Talwar-class frigates respectively? Was it L&T?

4. I've heard that Kirloskar was looking to enter into a JV with French Pielstick to locally assemble the P-16V turbine engines for warships, how far has this gotten?

5. What is the progress on the marine version of the Kaveri engine? Does it power any of IN's ships right now? What ships does it plan to power?

6. Bizarre question but...IF India
were to be involved in a hypothetical war in the Falkland Is. against the Argentine forces, how would we fare? Will we be able to mobilise MARCOS/SOFs, Army troops and send them to fight so far off? Does our forces possess such a capability to wage wars so far away from homeland?

7. Finally, how many Agni-series missiles do we have in our inventory right now?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: It’s the other way around. Internal airborne EW jammers are intended to deal with BVRAAMs while pod-mounted EW jammers are intended to deal with ground-based radar illuminators of SHORADS. Su-30MKM uses twin wingtip-mounted SAP-14 jammers for self-protection. Su-30MKI DOES NOT use such wingtip-mounted pods & instead the wingtip-mounted pylons are used for carrying R-73Es.

To HUNT: HSL does not as yet possess any goliath cranes reqd for modular hull construction, while CSL does. Ideally, HSL should be appointed as the lead yard for building three of the four LPHs that are reqd for the IN. As regards the Russian Air Force, it is accepting the single-seat Su-35 purely for air superiority operations, while the Su-34 will be employed for deep interdiction, which calls for interleaved operations by its two-man aircrew. That’s why long-range BVRAAMs like Novator’s KS-172 are always shown arming only the Su-35, & not the Su-30MK or Su-34.

To TECHNOLOGY, PHOTOGRAPHY & TRAVEL: ADA in the mid-1990s had sub-contracted the development of FBW-based FCS for the Tejas to Lockheed Martin. The entire FBW-based FCS was flight-tested & validated first on Lockheed Martin’s F-16 VISTA platform. ADA’s website confirms this. As for the fire-control system, this is still being developed with the assistance of IAI/ELTA. Whatever has been learnt so far by ADA from the Tejas Mk1 project will be applied on the Tejas Mk2, which will be available only by 2018.

To Anon@1.56PM: Already answered Pts 1, 2 & 3 above. 4. It can be performed with NVGs. The USMC’s Harrier-2s frequently do it. Any Russia-origin IRST’s imagery can be used for low-level terrain flying FOR AS LONG as the FLIR imagery is shown in a holographic HUD. MiG-29s, Su-27s & Su-30s don’t have such HUDs, while the EF-2000 & Rafale do. All IAF Su-30MKIs are now Mk3 standard. Only the first 50 Su-30MKIs from IRKUT Corp were of Mk1 & Mk2 standards & they have all been upgraded to Mk3 standard. All drag-chutes for Su-27s & Su-30s are in the rear cylindrical portion. Same goes for the MiG-29. The integrated EW architectures of IAF-owned aircraft like Su-30MKI, Super Su-30MKI & MiG-29SMT are a generation ahead of what Russia can offer.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA: VMT & wishing you the very same as well.

To MAYUR M MANAPURE: The only thing that went wrong was that adequate financial & human resources were not invested in the R & D programme. Tejas Mk2 won’t be a game-changer since by the time it becomes available, the fifth-generation FGFA & Super Su-30MKis with far greater capabilities will also be available. The real achievements of DRDO & ADA are in areas dealing with the creation of several laboratories & test centres without which component-level testing of tens of thousands of items would have been impossible. AMCA is a pipedream that should be terminated. Instead, all focus should be on developing turbofan-powered UAVs & UCAVs. TATA Advanced Materials Ltd is already heavily involved in supplying all-composites airframe sub-structures for Tejas Mk1 & Mk2. Such expertise should also be sought for UAVs & UCAVs. I had already explained earlier why only L-band & S-band AESA antennae are used for AEW & C purposes. X-band AESA with Doppler beam-sharpening is more suited for airborne fire-control, ground moving-target indication & ground mapping. Had the DRDO developed L-band AESA antennae for the EMB-145I AEW & CS instead of S-band, then such L-band AESA antennae could also have been mounted on aerostats, for which India has a reqmt for some 70 units for ballistic/cruise missile defence purposes. This is yet another glaring example of the DRDO failing to look beyond the horizon in terms of technological spinoffs.

To GESSLER: Air-launched BrahMos-1 will have 290km-range. Pakistan Army will probably end up with the Z-19 attack helicopter. VLS cells for P-17 FFG’s 3M54E Klub were imported from Russia. Only those VLS cells meant for BrahMos-1 Block-1 ASCMs have come from L & T. Kirloskar was licenced by SEMT Pielstick in the late 1990s itself to produce diesel engines. Kaveri’s marine industrial gas turbine is still undergoing product life-cycle tests & is therefore still in the experimental stage. It is still another six years away from entering series-production. India’s armed forces do not possess the kind of power projection capabilities or experience reqd for conducting expeditionary warfare. Agni family of missiles number no more than 30.

F said...

Thanks Prasun!

You mentioned pod jammers are meant to deal with VSHORADs - so only specialised EW platforms like the Growler would carry gear to deal with ground based radars? And can pod jammers deal with other AD systems apart from VSHORADs?

ALH said...

Sir, Dassult website shows Rafale has 14 hardpoints.For Mirage 2000 they show 9 stores stations. Mirage 2000 has 9 hardpoints. There are 3 hardpoints per wing plus a wing tip missile launcher. There is a center line pylon. Another 2 are there on the sides of the fuselage on each side at the place where the wing is joining .

Anonymous said...

Sir,
1.Pls tell the improvements of mk3 over mk1.

2. How can NVG be used to see through fog and other adverse weather conditions . Pls tell a bit .

3. As N011M supports a variety of surface mapping modes Sukhoi aircrews can map in high resoltion n area of interest from a distance if +70 km. Targets can be identified , their data can be fed to a missile, smart bomb which has a IR sensor or radar seeker.The bomb is released,it flies the target which is +50 km distance away. This seeker will use the aircraft radar image to correlate and identify the target and attack it. Is such a surface attack way used by IAF and are sych missiles , bombs with the range in IAF ?

Thanx. Subho Sashti.

Anonymous said...

Sir what is the max G-stress tolerence and max AoA of Mk-1 LCA and what would it be for Mk-2?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: Not VSHORADS, but SHORADS & radar-directed AAA cannons. For IR-based VSHORADS flares will suffice & they don’t require electronic jamming. EA-18G Growlers fitted with multiple escort jamming pods are used for jamming the powerful radar illuminators of MR-SAMs or LR-SAMs that are either ground-based or shipborne. Escort jamming pods like ALQ-99 are different from self-protection pods like ALQ-131 or SAP-14.

F said...

Prasun,

With regards to the question by GESSLER as to whether India can perform an expeditionary type Falklands operation, I think it can rapidly deploy by air light units [as it did in the Maldives] but deploying larger heavy units and keeping them supplied for extended periods would be a major problem due to a lack of sea-lift, which the RN had no shortage of in 1982.

Wouldn't you agree?

Anonymous said...

Sir, How any Popeye Lite have been procuredto replace AS-30L ? Is this in addition to 100 Popeye missiles already procured ? Are the Popeye Lite in service with mirage 2900 ? What escort jamming pod like ALQ-99 do we have ? How many Popeye were bought for su-30 .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: Only after the 10 C-17A Globemaster IIIs & four projected LPHs arrive will it be possible to launch some credible form of expeditionary campaign.

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da,

Subho Sosti . Have a great Durga Puja ahead.

Reagrds,
Vikram

Pawan said...

Dear Sir,

What is total requirement of c-130 planes for Indian defence forces. ?

Also how many Mi-17V5 india may end up buying eventually?

Regards
Pawan

Gessler said...

Sir,

1. What does the armament suite of the P-15A DDG consist of?

16 x BrahMos cruise missiles
64 x Barak-8 SAM
32 x Barak-1 SAM
180 x AS rockets in 2 x MRLs
4 x AK-630M CIWS guns
1 x AK-100 multipurpose gun

Total 112 missiles.

Is this correct? Will it have only the 70-km Barak-8 or will it also have the 120-km Barak-8ER ?

How does this ship fare off against Chinese DDGs like Type-052C and Type-052D ?

2. I've heard that P-17 Shivalik carries 8 x cruise missiles and also 40 SAM missiles (24 x Shtil-1 and 16 x Barak-1), is that right?

3. How many Block-III BrahMos are currently deployed on the Chinese border? How many will ultimately be deployed?

4. What sort of weapon-release exercises will LCA do in LiveWire-2013 in upcoming February?

5. How different will the Indian FGFA be from the T-50 we see now? Will there be any structual changhes?

6. Can we expect to see an Agni-5 launch from a canister next year?

7. When will Agni-6 be tested? In 2014?

8. What will the armament packages of P-17A and P-15B be like? Can you give a breakdown list like the one above if you have any info regarding that?

Thanks in advance.

Gessler.

buddha said...

Thanks for your elaborate analysis.
I have learnt so many things from you.
No question now.Only to wish you a Happy Puja.

Sayan said...

Sir, Though AoA is not so important now a days, but there should be a minimum capability. Has Tejas attained the manever parameters,agilty benchmarks which was kept in mind when planform of Tejas was developed and designed .

At many sites including Brahmos it is stated that Brahmos comes down to 10 feet ASL at its terminal stage .

Can Brahmos block 3 fly very close to terrain at its terminal stage and avoid obstacles,terrain faetures it its flight path on its way to target .

bradshaw said...

Hi Prasun Da,

I have observed in several videos of Sukhoi 30/35's with the color of the engine flame as yellow or orange. But Indian Su 30 MKi's,always shows blue flames from the engine. Why is dis difference. Is MKI's burn some special kind of FUEL ??

Also how many Mk-54 torpedoes have been ordered by the Indian Navy and is true that Mk-54 can be launched from a height of 40,000 ft with a drag chute?? I wonder how the aircraft will detect submarines from that height.

Anonymous said...

Prasunda what could be the new deals to be signed during Putin's upcoming visit to India?

Hunt said...

Hi Prasunji,

When it comes to Microprocessors used in India's space missions, ISRO is already using Indian made Microprocessors in its Launch vehicles. This I remember very much as it's said during the launch of PSLV C-17 rocket. Below are the links.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/article2230383.ece

http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories1089.htm

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2009-07-14/news/28451144_1_chinese-telecom-networks-semiconductor-policy

Can we assume these same Indian Microprocessors will be on-board the Mission computers and Radar computers on all future platforms developed/In development by our research institutes.

Hunt said...

Hi Prasunji,

Can Hawker Beech Craft procurement by Mahindra Aerospace can boost Indian Aerospace sector. Hawker 4000 aircraft's air frame is said to be using very high degree of composites. Even the T-6 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-6_Texan_II) is a basic trainer built by this organization which is used by USAF. Can it be a lot of knowledge gain for Mahindra Aerospace and a possible boost for Indian Aerospace (Which is struggling to build NAL Saras for many long years).

http://idrw.org/?p=15035

Anonymous said...

ah prasun i jst need 2 ask u onethng. hw d **** d chinese r claiming devlopng aesa fighter radars!!!!! is it correct or jst anothr wet dream. n wht is ths new z-19 thing. it seems chinese r in a hurry 2 show off.

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun Da,

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Durga Puja .

Regards,

Sujoy

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , Will NIIP MIRES use back end components of Snow Leopard Irbis radar? BARS ha a simgle 8 kW TWT whereas Irbis has two 20 kW TWT. So the emitted power is more and hance the range is also more. MIRES AESA will have a linger range if back end components,TWT of Irbis is uesd.

Wishinh you and your family a Happy Durga Puja & a great Mahaashtami.

Technology, Photograpy and Travel said...

Prasun da,

How good the LCA's FCS and FBW system and the avionics !!

I am not looking for comparisions .. what i am trying to understand is in an war senario can it sustain with present set of War birds in possesion with Pak and china panda

Regards
Aditya

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Looking in to the harsh realities on the Chinese front, I think the 9Km Mortar as earlier suggested by you, is the most fruitful ground weapon.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I think India has not purchased even a single piece of 2S9 Nona.

However an advanced and more practical design is here:

http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product3210.html

I think earlier you have provided reference to this or some similar design.

Anonymous said...

Happy durga ashtami and dussehra prasun for you and your family.I think celebrations will be in full swing as it is bengalis favourite festival

Regards,
Karthik p

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