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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sorry State Of Affairs

Just as I had predicted a few months ago, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be receiving another 42 Su-30MKIs (these being the first to be built to Super Su-30MKI standard by Russia’s IRKUT Corp) under a contract to be inked on October 10, 2012. This will bring the number of aircraft ordered from the Su-30MK family for the IAF to date to 314. Ever since the contract for procuring the Sukhoi Su-30MKIs was inked on December 28, 2000, the order-book has comprised the first 50 Su-30MKIs that were delivered off-the-shelf in successive tranches of 32 and 18 between 2002 and 2009, the licenced-production of 140 aircraft that is now underway, the supply of another tranche of 40 aircraft in completely knocked-down condition (ordered in 2007) between 2008 and 2009, the supply of another tranche of 42 aircraft in completely knocked-down condition (ordered in December 2011) due between 2012 and 2014, and now the first 42 Super Su-30MKIs that too will arrive between 2014 and 2018. The 40 + 42 IRKUT Corp-built Su-30MKIs + the 42 IRKUT Corp-built Super Su-30MKIs will be inducted along with 189 Rafale M-MRCAs as replacements for the 40 MiG-27UPGs (presently equipping three squadrons), 105 MiG-27Ms (presently equipping two squadrons), MiG-21 Bisons (presently equipping nine squadrons) and MiG-21Ms (presently equipping two squadrons), since the MiG-27UPGs, MiG-27Ms, MiG-21 Bisons and MiG-21Ms will all be decommissioned from service by 2017. There are also plans to locally upgrade the first 100 Su-30MKIs (the first 50 that came from IRKUT Corp + the first 50 to be delivered by HAL between 2004 and 2008) to the Super Su-30MKI configuration.

Another piece of good news is that 11 of the 17 US-origin QRT patrol boats are now operational with the Indian Army at the Pangong Tso Lake in eastern Ladakh. I had reported this development last year (see: and it appears that finally the ‘desi’ mass-media has got wind of it.

However, regretably, the entire DRDO-led programme to develop home-grown AEW & CS platforms seems to have got off on a wrong footing. This is how matters should have proceeded: Firstly, the DRDO’s Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) should have been instructed to acquire the expertise to design AESA radars operating in the L, S and X-bands. In fact, when the L-STAR radar programme was first conceived, it was meant to operate under L-band (so says the Indian MoD’s annual report for 2002-2003 on page 63), but it subsequently morphed into the present-day S-band radar. Secondly, CABS should have been mandated to develop the chosen S-band AESA radar into two distinctive variants: one for AEW & C, and the other for maritime reconnaissance/surveillance (MR/MS). Thirdly, CABS should have been authorised to develop an X-band AESA antenna for battlefield surveillance that ought to have been capable of being belly-mounted.

Subsequent detailed feasibility study phases of all three types of AESA radars to be developed would then have clearly identified a single type of airborne platform that could be suitably modified to mount all three types of mission-specific AESA radars. Only then competitive bids from Boeing, Airbus Military and Embraer should have been called for. Had this process been followed since 2005, then a wide-bodied airframe would have been selected from the outset (my personal preference would have been for either second-hand but refurbished A310-300 or B.767-300ER). Following this, CABS should have been authorised to procure a pre-owned airframe (whichever was selected) and use it as an airborne integrated testbed for not only validating in a sequential manner the two versions of AESA radar fitments (one atop the airframe for AEW & C & MR/MS roles and the belly-mounted one for airborne battlefield surveillance), but also optimising the two different internal mission management suites. Only after all this had been completed should the authorisation have been given for procuring larger number (at least 30) of the selected new-build airframe-type for series-production of the AEW & C, MR/MS and airborne battlespace surveillance platforms. Of these, 12 would be AEW & CS, 12 for MR/MS and six for airborne battlefield surveillance.
By not adhering to such a schedule, the CABS is now saddled with developing three EMB-145I AEW & CS technology demonstrators (a very expensive way indeed of carrying out technology demonstration-driven R & D), with the IAF being the final arbiter on whether the project is successful or not. That’s the reason why only three—not the much-hyped-about figure of 15—EMB-145I platforms have been ordered, and why the DRDO is now seeking funds for developing a next-generation AEW & CS that will be make use of a larger, wide-bodied aircraft sourced from either Boeing or Airbus Military, and will accommodate a 360-degree multi-mode radar similar to what is now operational with the IAF’s three A-50I PHALCON AEW & CS platforms. The IAF, therefore, has clearly stated its requirements: it swears by its three A-50I PHALCONs and it wants six more AEW & CS platforms with similar capabilities.
And to make matters far more worse, no one is even exploring the idea of further developing the existing S-band AESA designed by CABS into a MR/MS system, nor is there any meaningful effort to leverage the L-STAR programme for developing theatre-level airborne battlespace surveillance systems.

Why this sorry state of affairs? This is exactly what happens all the time when hardware/capabilities requirements are not viewed from the consolidated tri-services prism. This is also the reason why there’s the IAF-centric LCH, but no Army-centric LAH, and why there’s been plenty of talk of the DRDO attempting to indigenously develop futuristic 155mm/52-cal field howitzers for the Army, but no talk at all about developing 155mm/52-cal naval main guns for the next generation of principal surface combatants.


kattayikonan said...

well said prasun.. why IAF cannot lobby for their requirements

Anonymous said...

Sadly MOD's civilians cannot digest this simple recipe ...
recently even SC said " GOD help this Country " ... only US , China , Pakistan and GOD can help this country indeed .

Anonymous said...

plz send this link to mr Saraswat :)

Anonymous said...

Sir , Is IAF placed orders for 19 Thales GS-400 radars and 9 additional EL/M 2083 aerostat mounted Airstar radars to add to the 2 already inservice .

rad said...

HI Prasun

You mentioned that india has the object codes for the phalcon awacs . In that case is it not easy to use the same codes that contain propriety algorithyms that has been developed by israel and perfected , rather than trying to do the software by our selfs. The same could apply to the green pine radar system , where we hear reports that the software program is ours etc. This seems hard to believe. Please explain. Morover there seems to be reports that we are developing a superior version of the green pine?.true ?

abs said...

another super duper of an article prasunda throwing light on the areas where no one does, and thats why this is my favourite defence blog.
With regards to your previous reply, then does it mean that with the IAF possessing no long range strike PGMs or other conventional strike weapons like shaurya. It would be our Army, with limited long range target acquisition capability who would be tasked with precision strikes of high strategic value to a range of 550-600Km inside TAR due to its brahmos block3 LACMs? especially when prudence would suggest that it be the IAF who should procure 550-600 km CALCMs as well as conventionally armed Shauryas,just like what the 2nd artillery is doing? If so then all i can say is we ave been limited to an effective strike range of at max 200km inside TAR which is totally inadequate. Just think of it this way, while the 2nd artillery will have at its disposal long range LACMs and IRBMs and MRBMs to target our air bases and other war sustenance infrastructures, we would be having none to target major PLAAF air bases and war sustenance infratructure that are present in the deeps.

abs said...

apropos to your article, its a sheer waste of opportunities, when we could have got the entire golden egg all we are instead going for is the egg white and not the yolk.
So are there any R&D project that are being initiated in a stand alone way for developing an X-band battlespace surveillance radar and an MR/MS radar???
perhaps the DRDO would spring to action only when the IAF/IN goes for ordering such platforms, and in the process will try and scuttle the efforts of procuring such valuable KBW tools then. Very sorry state of affairs.

rad said...

HI Prasun

Does our emb-145 awacs down link data for exploitation like the swedish ones or is it a self contained battle management system

Anonymous said...

Sir , I have a few queries .
1. IAF has ordered another 2 Phalcon. Will they be mounted in Il-76 or some other platform ?
2.Does IAF wants to procure more Phalcon AEW&C ?
3. Can Phalcon AESA be used for survellience,tracking of ground trgets ?
4. When wil IAF buy its four RISTA platforms for persistent ground survellience , monitoring troop movements , troop buildup.
5. Does Hal license assemble Su-30mki from CKD kits or license produces from imported raw materials ? What s the Su-30 priduction rate perannum.
6. A new production plant of HAL is coming up at Chellagata besides Bangalore airport . Will this new plant fastrack the production of Tejas , Su-30,Rafale ?
U.IAF can procure terminally guided standoff tactical PGM like JSOW, Popeye , AASM for its upgraded fighters as many wil have MMR radar suporting SAR , gmti modes.

Mayur M Manapure said...

cant be this AESA be miniaturised to fit in LCA Mk2 or AMCA or Even FGFA.........puchhne me kya jaata hai....thanks in advance

Anonymous said...

Is the a321 good enough or too small?

Gessler said...

1. Does any force in India looking to buy the Airbus A400M?

2. Does Shaurya have top-attack capability?

3. What are the missiles (cruise, ballistic, SAM etc.) in India supposed to be canisternised?? Can you give me a complete list?

4. What are the advantages offered by the Prahaar NLOS-BSM vis-a-vis the NASR or similar chinese systems?

5. What's the progress on F-INSAS programme? What has materialised so far?

6. What radar will the naval MIG-29Ks of IN use? Zhuk-ME PESA?

7. What's the progress on the IAC-1 carrier?

8. Any plan for quadpacking missiles on the P-15A or P-15B DDGs?

9. What are the different types of OPVs, and other patrol vessels of IN being developed by private shipyards?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da
Few queries:

1)Recently there were media reports abt Indian army various req. for military vehicles.Among them one req. is for Light armoured multipurpose vehicles.Can u thro some light abt this and which will be the likely contenders
2)Also for the 2500s infantry mobility vehicles, which are the likely contenders
3)Seems the desi media has got it wrong again..There are many reports abt the upcoming contract for 40 super sukhois when putin visits india, But media is constantly telling that the total no. of Sukhois will go to 270- 272 incl. this 40.But as I see it will go to 311 if these addtional 40 SS are considred..Ur thoughts pls

Kindly reply..VMT

sathead3 said...

Rafale delivered with an AESA radar -
So I assume India gets it as well?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To kattayikonan: VMT

To DASHU: It could well be that God too decided to opt for a transfer of residence & has since forsaken the country. That could perhaps explain why the Akash SAM’s Rajendra BLR was not initially developed as a weapons locating radar (WLR). One is aghast at the sheer lack of basic knowledge on theoretical/applied physics on the part of the Rajendra BLR’s designers and developers. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realise that a precision target acquisition/engagement radar can always be gainfully employed as a WLR with ease. Consequently, what the DRDO should have done was to first develop the Rajendra as a WLR since the early 1990s, since R & D work on the BLR was meant to be far more complex, since it involved the development of & integration with other components of the Akash SAM system, mainly the Rohini early warning radar, Battery Control Centre & the missiles themselves. Of course, this approach was never adopted & as a result the Indian Army is still awaiting the arrival of the ‘Swathi’ WLR (derived from the Rajendra BLR).

To Anon@11.16AM: No.

To RAD: The reason why Object Codes are provided is that one can easily & constantly update & enhance the on-board EW threat library WITHOUT seeking recourse to the Source Codes. The same applies to the EL/M-2080 ‘Green Pine’ LRTR. The software developed in-house by the DRDO wasn’t meant for the Green Pine, but for the Tadiran Electronic Systems-supplied TMD simulator, details of which are available at:
Superior version of the ‘Green Pine’??? How can the DRDO build a ‘superior’ version when it did not even build the basic version in the first place?
The EMB-145Is will have SATCOM uplinks & downlinks for transmitting the air situation picture in real-time to air bases on the ground.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: The CALCMs to be procured by the IAF for Su-30MKIs & Rafales will be 600km-range versions, & not the MTCR-limited 300km-range versions. Thus, all PLAAF air bases located within Chengdu & Lanzhou MRs will be within the IAF’s reach. The PLA has made use of the 2nd Artillery Corps’ arsenals of conventionally armed MRBMs and IRBMs for targetting India because the PLAAF does not have the desired network of air bases along TAR. Had such air bases existed, then the PLA wouldn’t have used conventionally armed IRBMs & MRBMs to target strategic installations within India.
Presently, there’s no project in India for developing indigenous airborne SAR systems. No one is even trying to integrate the EL/M-2060P SAR in a belly-mounted configuration with any existing regional jetliner or medium-lift helicopter, which, if done, would have produced cost-effective & easily-developed airborne battlespace surveillance platforms. Only the Su-30MKIs have the pod-mounted version of EL/M-2060P.

To Anon@5.15PM: 1) Bids were received by the MoD from Rosoboronexport/Beriev Aircraft Co & IAI/ELTA for supplying another two A-50I PHALCONs, but the deal never went through. 2) The IAF wants to procure a total of nine PHALCON-type platforms. 3) Not at the moment. 4) Not too soon, maybe in 2014. 5) Su-30MKI licenced-production from imported raw-materials is now in progress. 6) That facility will be dedicated for the Rafale M-MRCAproject, in all probability. It has nothing to do with Su-30MKI (whose final assembly line will never move out of Nashik) or Tejas Mk2.

To MAYUR M MANAPURE: Which AESA radar are you referring to? L-band? S-band? Or X-band?

To Anon@9.25PM: It is a narrow-body aircraft. The reqmt is for a wide-bodied aircraft.

To GESSLER: 1) No. 2) No. 3) BrahMos-1/2, Agni-4, Agni-5, Shaurya, Prahaar. 4) Prahaar is NLOS-BSM, The Nasr isn’t. The Prahaar will have an active terminal guidance SAR sensor. The Nasr uses GPS & FOGs for terminal guidance. 5) Only laboratory-level tests of various components have been carried out. Prototypes haven’t been fabricated as yet. 6) All MiG-29Ks of IN use the slotted-array Phazotron-built ZHUK-M2E. 7) The IAC-1’s hull sub-sections & various internal fitments—all from Russia—are now arriving in Cochin for fitment. 8) None whatsoever. 9) No private shipyard is designing or developing any OPVs. Such yards only fabricate IPVs & CPCs, all of which are of imported designs.

To Anon@12.20AM: The reqmt is for JLTV-type vehicles. The usual list of suppliers will include German, French, US, Italian, British & Russian OEMs.

SATHEAD3: Why are you assuming. Everyone since 2007 knows this to be a fact of life.

Anonymous said...

Any updates on LCA ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

The No. for SU30MKI is confusing.
You have mentioned a total of 314 ordered incl. 42 SS contract to be signed today??But all reports suggest that the contract for 42 SS wre signed in Dec 2011 when Manmohon visited Moscow.CCS had cleared this deal in Nov. 2010 but the contract was signed 1 year later in Dec 2011 when Manmohon visited Moscow becoz IAF wanted this 42 to be the SS.And what abt the 40 additional SS to be signed when Putin arrives here next month??Also IAF has handed over 18 Su30 from the first lot back to Russia which are reported to be sold to Belarus.Kindly give the No. of total Su family to be operationl with the IAF finaly and also the No. of Super Sukhois to be ordered finally...Thanks & Regards

Mr. Ra 13 said...

>>That could perhaps explain why the Akash SAM’s Rajendra BLR was not initially developed as a weapons locating radar (WLR). One is aghast at the sheer lack of basic knowledge on theoretical/applied physics on the part of the Rajendra BLR’s designers and developers. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realise that a precision target acquisition/engagement radar can always be gainfully employed as a WLR with ease.<<

Obviously it had to be. One of my longtime friends was among the basic designers of this object and now he is a big and successful businessman. Lol...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.28AM: The 42 aircraft ordered in December 2011 were Su-30MKIs, not Super 30s. The 18 Sukhois acquired in 1996 were Su-30Ks, & were not part of the Su-30MK family. The rest of the figures are all mentioned above in the first paragraph.

To Mr.RA 13: That explains it all (LoLz)!

rad said...


Anonymous said...


rad said...

HI Prasun
Please explain the diff between the super 30mki amd the su-35.apart from the aesa radar
Will some of the tech be on the su 35 as it seems china is going to get some

Anonymous said...

Sir, Hats off to you for providing correct info from a standoff time.

1. Sometime ago you said that IAF had already ordered two more PHALCON . This order has now been cancelled ??

2. When will the rest 6 more PHALCON be ordered ? Before 2014 ?

3.42 Super Su-30 costs 3.5 billion dollars. How can it be ? Is there any other things included in this package like WVR,BVR AAM,AGM ?

4. Apart from 100 Su-30mki wont the rest be upgraded with AESA MMR, IDS , uprated engines , reduced RCS ?

5. THE HAL facilty that is coming up at Chellaghata , is it the only facility where Rafales will be manufactured Or are there other facilties where Rafale will be manufactured , assembled and this one is an expansion of Rafale production capacity .

6.What is the selected platform for IAF's RISTA platforms ?

7.U.IAF can procure terminally guided standoff tactical PGM like JSOW, Popeye , AASM for its upgraded fighters as many wil have MMR radar suporting SAR , gmti modes.

Anonymous said...

Sir what are the updates on AURA UCAV ?

S.Daguppati said...

Hello Mr. Prasun Sengupta,

We are a small company in Vizag that develops exercise for law enforcement, first responders, to deal with counter terrorism . If we have to introduce our services to the Home Ministry in Delhi will you please advice how we should proceed.

Many thanks for your time.


sathead3 said...

The Russian foreign minister's trip to India postponed due to pressing engagements at home. Is there more than meets the eye here?

Anonymous said...

So the CABS AEW&CS will provide background to IAF parade tomorrow. Prasun it looks like it will be inducted in the stipulated time i.e. 2014. IAF has never done this with any other tech demonstrator they haven't yet it the LCA, IJT-36 or even the LCH...and the IAF chief mentioning 5 DRDO AWACS during his presser...i definitely think something big is afoot here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da
Some out of topic questions,PLs bear with me

Very passionate abt defence and Want to join a pvt. defence company.Mechanical Engg 2009 batch..working for an IT company presently. Want to move to defence industry... can u guide and suggest some defence company where I can apply..

Onek upokrito hobo jodi ektu help krte paro...VMT

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: Attending & covering aerospace/defence expos is a 27/7 effort for the duration of such events. There is hardly any spare time left for socialising for folks like me, unless one’s sole agenda is to have free luncheons at various hospitality chalets during daytime, or hang around at the press-centre where lunches/beverages are supplied & digested free-of-cost, & gatecrash into banquets held in five-star hotels in the evenings.
The Super Su-30MKI will have nose-mounted AESA-based MMR & wing-mounted L-band AWESA T/R modules, plus an uprated AL-31FP turbofan with 20% more thrust than what is available now. Then there’s the underbelly-launched BrahMos-1. All this isn’t available on the Su-35, which still carries the Irbis-E PESA MMR. The only design aspect that is common to both the Super Su-30MKI & Su-35 is the pilot’s cockpit layout, which incorporates twin panoramic AMLCDs instead of the earlier 3 AMLCDs. The WSO’s cockpit on the Super Su-30KI will maintain the three AMLCDs.

To Anon@6.35PM: 1) The LoI for procuring two more A-50I PHALCONs was ready, but was never issued. 2) No more PHALCONS will be ordered. Instead, alternate platforms offering performance parameters SIMILAR to the PHALCON are planned for procurement. 3) US$3.5 billion is not the cost of just the first 42 Super Su-30MKIs, but is the overall programme cost for acquiring 142 Super Su-30MKIs in tranches of 42 + 100 in this decade, as I’ve explained above. 4) The remaining Su-30MKIs will be upgraded in successive tranches in the following decade. 5) The HAL facility in Chellaghata will be the final assembly line for Rafale. Components for the Rafale will be produced by existing divisions of HAL. 6) Bombardier Aerospace of Canada’s Bombardier 5000.

To Anon@7.22PM: None that I know of.

To S DAGUPPATI: Before approaching the Union MHA, your firm will be reqd to approach the various state-level MHAs within India in order to have a proven track-record of conducting businesses. Only then can one qualify to be treated seriously by the Union MHA.

To SATHEAD3: The 12th meeting of India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC), which was due to be held on October 3, has now been postponed till October 10 due to Russia’s internal commitments. The same happened with Putin’s visit to Pakistan, which was originally scheduled for October 3. There’s nothing to suggest that there’s more than meets the eye here.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.50PM: Reading your comment really makes one believe that God has indeed forsaken the country that you’re residing in, & consequently virtues like sanity & logical reasoning are in severe short-supply there. For instance, in India, the IAF’s anniversary parades are always held on October 8 (& not today as your remark says) at Hindon air base. All that the IAF’s CAS said & confirmed is that the IAF wants a total of 15 AEW & CS platforms, inclusive of the three A-50I PHALCONs already delivered. The figure of 5 is someone’s imagination running wild, since only 3 EMB-145I platforms have been ordered so far. As for service induction of the EMB-145I, it is not the IAF’s CAS, ACM N A K Browne, who gave the date, but the DG of DRDO, Dr V K Saraswat, who jumped the gun when he stated that ”the AEW & CS will be inducted into the Indian Air Force in April 2014”. If indeed the IAF had high confidence in CABS’ ability to deliver the three CEMILAC-certified EMB-145Is on time & within fixed-cost parameters, then it would have placed orders for at least six to nine such platforms—something that hasn’t happened. Therefore, there’s no on-the-record statement from any official from either the MoD or the IAF which confirms the service-induction dates of even the 3 EMB-145Is.

To Anon@2.54AM: Try Larsen & Toubro or The Kalyani Group, or Punj Lloyd, or Mahindra Defence, or Ashok Leyland, or TATA Power SED.

Anonymous said...

I'm the anon@11:50 pm.

I had read about the parade being held in CNN-IBN article yesterday. The article too has since been corrected.

The air chief clearly says here that "In the long-term, we will have 15 aircraft with surveillance radars, including five on AWACS India platform to meet the security needs of our large country whose interests extend beyond borders to Car Nicobar islands."

Isn't AWACS India DRDO's 360 system?? That's the point I was trying to make!

rad said...

HI Prasun
regarding the meet in aero 2013 Point taken.

rad said...

HI Prasun
There is a dumb def journo
whose report in a national newspaper claims that the engine on the nirbhay cruise missile is russian !. You have reported that we have already developed an engine as it would attract MCTR.could the report have ramifications . please explain

Gessler said...

Prasun da,

1) What will the S-5 SSBN be like? Tonnage? Will it be a copy of the abandoned Delta-V of USSR?

2) Does India have any plan for acquiring SSGNs ?

3) Any plan to lease a 2nd Akula SSN?

4) When could the first Arihant be commissioned? Second one is called Aridaman, when will that come? What will the 3rd and 4th ones be called? Any news about their names?

5) Does IN have any plan for 45 additional MiG-29Ks? Bringing up total figure to 90 ?

Mayur M Manapure said...

S-Band AESA radar i asked abt in previous Qs.......

Anonymous said...

Sir from where did the Mazagon Dock guys learn the designs of Shivalik FFG ?? The ship is an extremely mature design and is just simply outstanding,,,,considering this was India's first stealth ship, the design is excellant !

Anonymous said...

Sir a few questions -

1. What is India's progress on developing indigenous frameless canopies with colored polycarbonate tints? You have stated that Tejas Mk-2 could have such a canopy.

2. Why has the LCH been designed with stealth features? I mean, was reduced RCS part of the requirement placed before HAL? It has perpendicular surfaces on the sides that deflect radar waves.

3. What is the real missile-storing capacity of Arihant?

4. Is there any plan to replace TATRA trucks in IA service in the near future with indigenous alternatives?

5. How many Block-III BrahMos have been deployed on the china border so far?

6. Why hasn't Shaurya been inducted as yet?

7. What really is the "loitering capability" of cruise missiles?

8. What are differences between the BrahMos and Yakhont? How different are they?

Anonymous said...

Sir, I have a few queries.
1. Will there be no other final assembly line for Rafale except the one at Chellaghata ?
2. Has HAL raised the no of Rafale to be produced and delivered per annum ? Are there any chances of seeing HAL expanding its production facilties for faster delivery ?
3.When EL/M 2084 has a 480 km instrumented range against fighters how can PHALCON has a 400 nm range ?
4. ADM missile , which one is it ? Now being developed ALCM ? Will it have a conventional warhead ?
5.The internal EW jammer of Sukhoi-30mki , is it EL-8212 or a Russian one ?
6.Does the airbases housing Sukhoi squadrons have enough hangars, storm shelters so that all the Su are not exposed to sun, elements ,rain .
7.Is HAL successfull in reducing emptyu weight of Su through incorpration of composite structures ?
8. How is the conversion of 54th infantry divison to an air-mobile division going on ?Will these soldiers be paratroopers like the ones of US 101ST airborne divison .

Anonymous said...

Prasun is India building an air launched 600km cruise missile called the "air launched article"? Both Aroor and Unnithan have reported about this. Is this correct?

Sayan said...

Sir , IAF to induct first killer drones.

IAF has already inducted HAROP drones . Is this the procurement of Delliah missiles , additional HAROP ?

What is all this about ?

S.Daguppati said...

Hello Mr.Parasun Sengupta,
Thanks for your answer . Actually we have sold our services to the State Govt.of Kerala , Gujarat and West Bengal.I just need to know from you that should we approach the Union Home Minister's office direct ( if it is at all possible) or should we go to security agencies like NSG first ?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.31AM: When any senior official is quoted in India, it is always best to go to the original source of the quote, instead of relying on totally unreliable buffoons masquerading as news reporters. In this case, the source of both the IANS & CNN-IBN reports is this DRDO press release ( in which this is what is said about the IAF CAS’ visit: “Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Chief of Air Staff, Indian Air Force was the chief guest in the function in which the aircraft was formally received in CABS. Speaking on the occasion, he said he was personally very satisfied with this significant milestone in the programme which was not, and still is not, an easy programme. He said the AEW & C programme is the starting point for much larger, more complex projects such as AWACS India programme.”
You will by now have realised that nothing was ever mentioned about induction schedules for the EMB-145I AEW & CS. Nor was anything said about the total number of AEW & CS platforms to be acquired. In addition, as for the term ‘AWACS India programme’, it is used to describe the term ‘more complex projects’ & therefore is not indicative of any specific platform-size or shape. If one speculates, then the term ‘AWACS India’ programme can be interpreted as being either a brand-new platform, or the networking of EMB-145Is with A-50I PHALCONs. If at all it is the former, then I give full credit to the IAF’s CAS for talking utter baloney, since the term AWACS is specific to only all members of the E-3 Sentry & B.767 families of AEW & C platforms. Lastly, giving the element of doubt to the IAF CAS’ credit, the term ‘AWACS India’ could very well have been a press release drafting error on the DRDO’s part, since such errors are made almost on a daily basis. For instance, in this DRDO press release (, the S-band AESA antenna meant for the EMB-145I is described as being a “10m x 1m x 0.5 m Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) weighing 1600kg. In reality, the antenna is 8.24-metres long, as noted by Air Vice Marshal P P Katarki during his Aero India 2011 presentation (see: ... 19#t=1180s). What all this proves is that neither the ‘desi’ news reporters nor the DRDO’s Dept of Public Interface is telling the truth. Both are an equally confused lot & they end up presenting the wrong picture to unsuspecting & gullible news-consumers like you, all of which consequently has led me to conclude that reason & sanity are extinct qualities inside India now, perhaps due to the fact that the Almighty has already fled from ‘Bharat Mata’.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: VMT. Very good observation. Kindly allow me to clarify matters further. There are in reality TWO (02) dumb news reporters employed by THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS. The first one has written this ( Now, let’s dissect what this weirdo has dreamed up: that the Nirbhay has a range of about 1,000km, can travel at a speed of 0.7 Mach, is a medium-range cruise missile capable of flying at different altitudes ranging from 500 metres to 4km, is approximately 6 metres long and 550mm (0.550 metres) in diameter, & is integrated with ring-laser gyro-based high accuracy navigation system (RLG-INS) and a radio altimeter for the height lock.
Now compare this with the following: Ukraine’s Korshun LACM (from which the Babur & CJ-10 are both derived), first unveilled in early 1995, had a length (during launch) of 6.3 metres, wingspan of 3.1 metres, diameter of 0.514 metres, launch weight of 1,090kg and a 500km-range. The Raduga-developed Kh-65SE LACM (first displayed in August 1992), had a wingspan of 3.1 metres, length of 6.3 metres, diameter of 0.514 metres, mass of 1,090kg, and a 600km-range when carrying a 500kg warhead. The Babur has a length of 7.2 metres, diameter of 0.52 metres, wingspan of 2.67 metres, and a 450kg HE blast/FAE warhead. The Babur has a cruising height of 1km (that drops to 200 metres in the terminal phase), speed of 880kph and a range of 700km. China’s 1,200km-range Cháng Jiàn-10 has a length of 7.5 metres, launch mass of 1,350kg, warhead mass of 300kg, and cruise speed of 0.75 Mach. Both Babur & CJ-10 make use of the DSMAC technique for navigation & terminal guidance, under which digitised images of the areas to be overflown are mapped and then inserted into the on-board mission computer. During cruise flight the missile will verify that the images that it has stored correlates with the image it sees below itself through an optronic sensor. Based on comparison results the missile's RLG-INS is updated and the missile corrects its course.
From the above one can conclude the following: A) this weirdo ‘desi’ journalist has not seen my earlier thread ( in which I had reproduced the scanned copy of HAL’s brochure that describes the Nirbhay’s turbofan. B) He does not realise that a 6-metre-long LACM can never have a 1,000km-range. C) radar altimeter is never on-board any LACM since an active electromagnetic emission will be easily detected & tracked by ground-based passive surveillance systems like Pakistan’s Vera-E, China’s DWL-002 & India’s ‘Divya Drishti’. D) No respectable LACM will cruise at a height of 4km ASL & neither will it have a minimum height of 500 metres in its terminal phase. In fact, the missile ought to cruise between 100 & 200 feet ASL at the terminal stage (even after this some TLAMs were shot down in early 1991 by Iraqi Roland SHORADS).
The 2nd infamous ‘desi’ reporter is the one who had shamelessly claimed last April in her newspaper that Rheinmetal of Germany was supplying the Arjun MBT’s 120mm cannon. What she did over the past 48 hours ago was to draft a report (see: whose 7th paragraph is a virtual cut-and-paste job of the 3rd paragraph of my report (at She has next uploaded her story (at whose 3rd paragraph contains the same cut-and-paste data.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To GESSLER: Regarding S-5, see the last para on this thread:
Any country procuring SSBNs has to procure SSGNs as well, for if one is procuring a sword, then a shield is also reqd. A 2nd Akula-type SSGN looks like a remote possibility right now. If one believes what India’s officialdom had wrongly stated in July 2009, then the Arihant was due for commissioning two years later in 2011. The reality is that the commissioning won’t take place until 2015 at the earliest. Since it took 10 years to build the Arihant, the 2nd unit (S-3) will be floated only by 2017, as hull fabrication work began only in 2010. Don’t know what S-4 & S-5 will be called. Presently, there are no plans for ordering a third tranche of MiG-29Ks.

To MAYUR M MANAPURE: You’re not serious, are you? Any airborne multi-mode radar destined for any combat aircraft must operate in only X-band. No one in this world has even dreamt of developing S-band AESA-MMRs for combat aircraft.

To Anon@7.48PM: Most of these queries were answered long ago. 4) No immediate plans. 5) None. 6) What’s the use of inducting something whose peacetime storage areas are not yet available? 8) BrahMos has a DRDO-developed navigation system. The rest is all identical to Yakhont.

To Anon@8.22PM: 1) That’s right. 2) No. 3) EL/M-2084 is not the same as ELW-2090. 4) ADM is LRCM. It will have a unitary tactical nuclear warhead. 5) Virgilius, the same as that on Tejas Mk2 & MiG-29UPG. 6) Not yet. 7) No. 8) The restructuring hasn’t even been finalised yet.

To Anon@8.26PM: That’s the ADM/LRCM.

To SAYAN: Service-induction of HAROP will take place next year. Orders were placed in mid-2009. Delilah is a tactical ALCM, not a loitering drone.

To S. DAGUPATTI: In that case you ought to directly contact the HQs of NSG, CRPF, CISF, ITBP, BSF & Assam Rifles.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.35PM: Who has ever said, claimed or confirmed that MDL designed the P-17 Shivalik-class FFG? The FFG was designed by the IN’s Directorate of Naval Design (or Naval Design Bureau). MDL was only the ship fabricator.

KRRao said...

hi Duagupatti,
It does not matter whether you have sold anything to states govt. Only thing, at preset, what matters is whether you are paying any bribes or not. From your name I guess you are from AP. Mr. Raju, who is Minister of States, DoD, from AP. I heard he takes a lot of kick backs. May be wrong. Approach some of his courtiers.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KRRAO: If the Andhra/Telugu nexus is to be exploited, then approaching M M Pallam Raju, the Raksha Rajya Mantri (RRM), makes sense, since he can easily write a letter of recommendation to the current Union Minister for Home Affairs, Sushil Kumar Shinde. But I haven't yet come across a single case of the RRM accepting any kind of kickbacks. His predecessor, Rao Inderjit Singh, however, was heavily involved with some Delhi- & Punjab-based SMEs that were seeking sub-contracts for the Arjun MBT programme. This Rao Inderjit Singh has since disappeared from the face of this earth, it now seems.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: By the way, Nirbhay will cost much more than US$2 million per unit. A single Brahmos costs more than US$4.4 million.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

Your thoughts reg the V22 osprey in the context of Indian armed forces.What benefits this platform can provide to our 3 armed land, sea and high altitude??India has shown interest and I think some contract could be signed in 2014 or so...VMT

When u will post some article reg FINSAS??Very curious...

sntata said...

Dear Prasun, when do you think Tejas Mk-1 will get FOC? Have you any information how it is faring in weapon-trials?

spanky's Blog said...

Hi Prasun,
From what you explained to RAD abt Nirbhay, I conclude that it will be a 600km range LACM (Provided the dimension stats provided by Indian express is correct).This doesnt make sense. We already got LACM,Brahmos block III which has a range of 550KM. Why we need any subsonic cruise missile of same range?

I think the nirbhay is of 1000 km range but the dimensions mentioned by the stupid Indian Express is completely worng. Nirbhay mite have larger dimensions. Whta do u think.


Anonymous said...

1. When will hangars,storm shelters , sun shelters to protect Su-30mki from the elements will come up at the required bases ?
2. Has orders for such shelters , hangars been placed ? You said that they were rapidly coming up.
3.You said that transformation process of 54 th infantry divison into an airmobile divison has already begun. If not yet when transformation will begin ?
4. Was checking in Google maps , Kalaikunda AFS. There are 6 HAS in the South West portion of the base. It seems to be entrances to an underground bunker. your views pls.

S.Daguppati said...

Hello Mr.Prasun Sengupta,

Many thanks for your valuable insight. I too hear about arms dealer in Delhi who decide whether a deal will go through or not . So I thought it would be better to get your expert views on this.

Thank You KRRao for the feedback .


rad said...

HI Prasun
. Thanks for the long explanation. I thought the pak and chinese cruise missile were based on the american tomahawk, when the paki`s collected many intact rounds that crashed into pakistani territory during the initial cruise missile salvo that was fired against Osama bin Laden . I believe they transfered them to their masters. could you describe the tech that they would have gleaned from that.
Is dsmac a big tech hurdle , personally i think we can do it as one of our strengths is software and more over we have our on recce sats with optical capability to have data base . There were reports that the israeli help was sought , can you detail them .I believe that the missiles should travel at a optimum height to use dsmac as travelling at tree top would make it difficult for the dsmac to work given that the rush of images and processing demands.

you say that the babur has a cruise alt of 1 km , dont you think flying so high into indian territory is a risk , does it need that height to use its DSMC?

rad said...

Hi Prasun
I fail to appreciate the israeli radar killer drones like the harop , that we have , that are low speed prop driven . They cud be easily brought down by cannon and missile fire during the terminal stages,as every radar site is going to be guarded by pak oerlikon ahead canons .What is their flight profile and how effective are they .

Sayan said...

Sir , Has IAF chief said anything like , 'the primary contract would be only for 126 aircraft, and that the 50 per cent options clause (63 additional aircraft) had not been decided on yet. ' What are the chances that another 63 acs are ordered ?
Now that Russian airforce has placed orders for IL-476 and the prototype is up and flying , will IAFupgrade its IL-76 fleet to 476 standards ?

An Indian said...

Prasun da,
Not sure why India has not opted for Israely CAEW type options which provides 360' awareness ,while having better flight characteristics (even at difficult environments)..than opting for A-50I (older US design approach)...and EMB-145 with Saab Erieye type antenna on top of the aircraft.

India should either select Bombardier-5000 or EMB-190 family aircrafts and build S and L band antennas around the fuselage (like CAEW),which gives good flight stability compared to the older top mounted antennas, the only issue could be the cooling...but i think Israelis have already developed a liquid based cooling system for these kind of AESA antennas.

Performance of the CAEW is that, it can fly at a maximum speed of 1,084km/h. It has a range of 12,501km and a maximum endurance of nine hours and around 450+ KM range in all-around 360' hemisphere.

What do you say ?


Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

Today IAF cheif Browne told that IAF plans to add 14 squadrons of Sukhoi 30mki in near future.14 squadrons=some 250-260 fighters.Now Can you confirm your Estimation of 312 sukhois to be inducted overall??...VMT

Anonymous said...

Sir, I am anon at 11:11 AM. While viewing many airbases in Google maps, most notably Jodhpur, Halwara , I came across two different types of HAS type. In one type a pathway enters the HAS, and another leaves it. There is a embankment on one side of one pathway. In another one a pathway is coming from main runway and in definite intervals there is a HAS like stucture on either side of pathway with only one a single entrance .Are these hardened aircraft shelters ? Are they constructed with mud or are they of concrete and can withstand bombs of 250 kg class ?
Are they big enough for Sukhois ?

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun, Can you pls mention and give details about what IAF chief said today in his speech . There are various reports from media about this & it seems very confusing .

Priyabrata Gupta said...

Hi Prasun,

I have made some indepth notes of the security scenario in Arunachal viz a viz China and have also put forward a few suggestions as to how we can improve certain aspects . Is it possible to come to Delhi and meet the Defence Minister direct? Do they give appointments to private citizens ?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.58AM: The V-22 Osprey is too expensive a platform to acquire at a time when there’s a pressing need for inducting Mi-17V-5s & CH-47Fs in far larger numbers than what’s already been committed to.

To SNTATA: FOC will be attained in only in late 2015. Will explain it all later today in a new thread.

To SPANKY’s BLOG/SWAROP: Let’s try to clear the confusion created by these ‘desi’ journalists & their erroneous reportage. Starting from the project’s origins, it was the Indian Navy (IN) that first stated & articulated its requirement for a 1,500km-range nuclear-armed SLCM way back in early 2002. At that time, the Indian Army & IAF were nowhere in the picture regarding such a weapon. However, the civilians within the MoD & DRDO were adamantly opposed to the SLCM & instead forced the IN to go for the Dhanush. It was only after March 2005 (after the Babur’s & Ra’ad’s debuts) that the IA & IAF joined the IN to clamour for a strategic (i.e. nuclear-armed) long-range cruise missile. That’s why & how the Nirbhay project took off. The R & D project was awarded to ADA because ADA at that time was developing a successor to the Lakshya target-drone that would act as a cruise missile-simulating drone & be powered by NPO Saturn-built 36MT turbofan.
Now, fast-forwarding to today, here’s what we know for sure, based on irrefutable evidence: 1) it will be 1,000km-range nuclear-armed ALCM cruising at Mach 0.7, & whose carrier will be the Su-30MKI (see CEMILAC’s posters at; & 2) it will be powered by a HAL-developed turbofan (see that will be turned on in mid-air within 6-8 seconds after ejection. So far, no rocket booster has been developed by HAL or GTRE, meaning that the Nirbhay’s GLCM or SLCM variants are not yet under development. Consequently, since the Nirbhay’s ALCM version does not require a rocket booster, it means that the Nirbhay ALCM will be a single-stage missile, & NOT two-stage as claimed by the ‘desi’ news reporter. It can thus be safely inferred that a 6 metre-long ALCM without any rocket booster will easily be able to fly out to 1,000km.
When it comes to nuclear-armed GLCM or SLCM versions of the Nirbhay (which are reqd as well, but have not yet been developed), the total length will definitely go up by at least another 1.7 metres to cater for the expendable solid-rocket booster & increased-volume internal fuel tank. That’s why I had yesterday given comparable data on other cruise missiles like the Babur & CJ-10 ground-launched LACMs.
The ‘desi’ journalist went wrong or got confused when he misreported the dimensions of the ALCM as being those of the GLCM, apart from his ignorance about the fact that not a single new-generation tactical/strategic cruise missile ever makes use of any EW-emitting avionics like a radar altimeter for the reasons I had explained yesterday. BrahMos can’t be compared to the Nirbhay since the former is conventionally armed. The nuclear counterpart of the BrahMos (in terms of range) will be the 500/600km-range supersonic air-launched ADM/LRCM.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.11AM: 1 & 2) They will come up in a steady manner. Rapid does not mean overnight or even a week or month. 3) Transformation will begin only after the doctrinal issues have been finalized & frozen. 4) That’s the hardened underground command-and-control centre.

To S. Dagupatti: VMT.

To RAD: That scenario of intact TLAMs being found in Khost in 1998 for subsequent reverse engineering is only meant for Hollywood blockbusters (& in future for copycats in Bollywood). In reality, just look at illustrations of any crashed aircraft & you’ll realise that no air-launched/delivered munition/weapon, after crashing over hard-soil & containing unexploded warheads/ordnance, remains in a pristine manner. The crash wreckage is always in a tangled mess of metal & wire, plus broken avionics/optronic sensors incapable of being reverse-engineered. In case of the crashed TLAMs in 1998, their turbofans had stalled in mid-air due to their inability to cruise over the high-altitude areas of Afghanistan, & this led their airframes to go into a steep uncontrolled dive (due to gravity) & crashed nose-first, meaning the DSMAC optronics were crushed & beyond retrieval. Furthermore, in the history of warfare thus far, no weapon containing live but unexploded warhead/s has ever been successfully retrieved, leave alone being reverse-engineered. Such weapons are therefore always rigged with explosives & destroyed, just like unexploded mines/cluster munitions.
The fact remains that after the Korshun cruise missile made its debut in Ukraine in early 1995, it was withdrawn from Ukraine’s weapons exports directories by mid-1998 & was last seen in a poster in only October 2001 (by me at an aerospace expo in Langkawi, Malaysia) & by 2002 no Ukrainian official was willing to acknowledge the existence of such a cruise missile. The questions to be then asked are: why did Ukraine remove the Korshun from its weapons export list when it could well have marketed it as a 300km-range tactical cruise missile (like what China has done with its C-602 ASCM)? Was it because it subsequently sold all intellectual property rights of the Korshun along with the production-engineering know-hows/know-whys to a buyer with big pockets (like China)? Answers to these questions will reveal to everyone the linkage between the Korshun & its Babur/CJ-10 iterations. Babur’s service ceiling is 1km, & not its average cruising height, meaning when flying over Indian soil it will cruise at altitudes ranging from 200 metres to 200 feet.
HAROP is not meant for use against hostile radars. HARPY is. Will explain all later today in a new thread.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAYAN: What he said was that the first contract to be inked will be for 126 Rafales. As for the follow-on 63, they could well be ordered as part of a supplementary contract at a later stage, exactly like how the Su-30MKIs have been & continue to be ordered in successive tranches.

To AN INDIAN: The G-550 CAEWS from IAI/ELTA is a better option than the EMB-145I, but not against the A-50I PHALCON, simply due to large swathes of airspace that require monitoring within the subcontinent. For this, there’s definitely a reqmt for a bigger, widebodied aircraft & not the EMB-145. If Russia can now guarantee the on-cost/on-time delivery of the recently-unveilled IL-476, then my personal view is that the MoD should grab this opportunity & order six more A-50I PHALCONs.

To Anon@8.47PM: That’s not what he said. He had stated that the present number of 9 Su-30MKI sqns would in the near future (meaning until October 2013) increase to a total of 14 Su-30MKI sqns. Mind you, he said ‘near future’, & not ‘distant future’, meaning that he never said anything about the total projected number of Su-30MKI sqns based on the present-day order-books for Su-30MKI.

To Anon@8.56PM: No, that’s not HAS.

To RAHUL: Will do that later today.

To PRIYABRATA GUPTA: You can certainly try & seek an appointment with the RM. As a rule, though, in any parliamentary democracy, the Cabinet Ministers at the state-level/federal-level, being also MPs & MLAs, generally have just about enough time to interact with only those citizens hailing from the MPs’/MLAs’ respective constituencies. In other words, a serving Minister is not expected or required to directly interact with just any citizen of India, since he/she is not accountable on a daily or routine basis to any private Indian citizen, but is accountable ONLY to Parliament/State Legislature & VIA Parliament/State Legislature.

Anonymous said...

sir ,
if IAF has presently oly 9 su 30 sqns operaational..than how can it add 5 sqns in just a year ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.44AM: Which clearly means that the IAF's CAS was not talking about four fully-equipped Su-30MKIs being commissioned within a year, but was actually referring to the commencement of the process of flight conversion of the four Su-30MKI squadrons, which can get underway with just six to nine aircraft delivered to each squadron, with the balance following over the following 18/24 months. That's why from the time any squadron begins converting to a new aircraft-type, it takes at least two years for the squadron to reach its full strength & attain full operational capability.

Anonymous said...

Sir , While viewing many airbases in Google maps, most notably Jodhpur, Halwara , I came across two different types of HAS type. In one type a pathway enters the HAS, and another leaves it. There is a embankment on one side of one pathway. If not HAS what are they ? Entrances to haedened underground shelters ?

And what are this ?In another one a pathway is coming from main runway and in definite intervals there is a HAS like stucture on either side of pathway with only one a single entrance .Are these hardened aircraft shelters ?

spanky's Blog said...

Thnaks Prasun for the detialed explanation!!!! So this Dec we will seethe indigenous ALCM unveiling.
After this the logical next step is GLCM and SLCM. Hope DRDO starts researching on them too!!!


joydeep ghosh said...

1@prasun da

a few things

1. as is clear 1000 km Nirbhay is not a loitering drone, the first variant will be air launched, confusion is if it supposedly has wings wont that create problems when launched from ship

2. is the 600 km ALCM exclusive for air launch part of the K missile family as reported on web

3. can the ship launched version of solid fueled single stage Prithvi 3/Dhanush ever be inducted inti navy as it is now or converted into anti ship ballistic missile

4. can 3 Phalcons AWACS networked with 3 AEWCS each be enough to gouard our frontiers

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

Reg. the existing IL 76 aircraft with IAF..Is not best to go for retrofit life cycle extension similar to the AN 32 progrm..Or IAF should go for the new IL 476..VMT

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun da

few things more

4. can 3 Phalcons AWACS networked with 3 AEWCS each be enough to guard our frontiers, means 3 AWACS and 9 AEWCS

5. any updates IJT 36 and HTT 40


Joydeep Ghosh

Gessler said...

1. Sir how many nuke subs does In want ultimately?

2. Has the K-4 SLBM been tested from a pontoon yet?

3. When will Arihant launch the first K-15 SLBM ? Will the event be reported to media or kept under wraps?

4. When could the Akash Mk-2 missile be tested ?

5. Is there anything special regarding the latest launch of Dhanush missile yesterday? I learnt it has a different color scheme/coating, is it for increased resistance to higher temperatures during re-entry?

6. How does the Sagarika K-15 compare with Chinese JL-1/2 ? What are the advantages it envisages?

Anonymous said...

Sir you have given in your October 2011 thread "Why is this DRDO official in Moscow" (regarding Dr. Avinash Chander), this picture of a nuke SSBN -

Is it a pic of the Russian Projet-667 or is it Arihant ?

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun , Waiting patiently for your new thread . When are you going to post 3 part thread on China .

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

You have told in one of your earlier thread that VirgiliusEW suite which will go on-board the Tejas Mk-2 makes use of ELT-568 directional jammers. What directional jammers do the SPECTRA EW suite uses?
You have also told in one of your earlier thread that EL/M-2222 self-protection jamming pods will be procured for the Rafale.Why so when the Rafales will have the SPECTRA EW suite? Are directional jammers and self-protection jammers different?

Will the IN float tender for short range anti-missile systems for the Project 17A FFG & Project 15B DDG to supplement the medium range Barak-2 MR-SAM in place of Barak-1 system? If yes then out of RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM),VL MICA & VL IRIS-T which system has greater chance of winning? Will MBDA’s Sea Ceptor be given the chance?

When will the RFI for SR-SAM for the IAF will be floated? Which among the three SPYDER-ER, VL MICA & VL IRIS-T has a greater chance of winning?
Please reply,

Thank you

buddha said...

sir need explanation of these pictures...bit confused..

Thanks & Regards

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da,

I have developed a mini UAV that has excellent Reconnaissance abilities. If I want to market it do you feel it is a good idea to approach the NSG, BSF , CRPF etc and give them a demo at their HQ in Delhi ( though I live in Kolkata) ?

As always will be grateful to you for your insights.


sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
1.You have said in another thread that only the guidance system of Brahmos is Indian, all the rest is Yakhont. But Brahmos is the only supersonic cruise missile in operation today. No other country is having supersonic cruise missiles. So the ram-jet engine must be quite different from Yakhont. Only the air frame takes after Yakhont.
2. If Brahmos had to be modified by making it smaller and lighter for the air-launched version, then how can a 1000 km range LRCM with bigger range and bigger warhead (tactical nuclear warhead) be fitted to Su-30 MKI or Jaguars?
3. Why are we persisting with liquid fuel Dhanush when we can easily make solid fuel missile of the same range with all the expertise we have in rockets?

Anonymous said...

Sir , Which has a greater aperture area , RBE-2 on Rafale or APG-80 in F-16 block 52?

Gessler said...

Sir also BrahMos is reported as the only cruise missile to do a supersonic steep dive so far. How come no other russian cruise m did it before?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SPANKY’s BLOG/SWAROP: VMT. That’s right, based on the evidence that’s come up so far. Hopefully, the ALCM will be followed by the GLCM & SLCM.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: The loitering drone under development will be powered by GTRE’s Laghu Shakthi turbofan. Nirbhay will have retractable wings just like those of the TLAM, Ra’ad, Babur, CJ-10, 3M14E, 3M54E. The wings will remain folded & will be deployed only AFTER being ejected from their launch-pylons (when air-launched) & AFTER the missile exits its canister or silo. 600km-range ramjet-powered, nuclear-armed supersonic LRCM has nothing to do with the K-family of ballistic missiles. There isn’t any solid-fuel version of either Prithvi-1/2 or Dhanush. They’re all using liquid-fuel. Networking of all ground-based and airborne sensors is mandated under the IASF’s IACCCS project. Lastly, A-50U PHALCON is not AWACS, but is an AEW & C platform. The term AWACS is presently used by only the air forces of US, France, UK, Japan & Saudi Arabia for their E-3s & E.767s.

To Anon@3.03PM: The existing 24 IL-76MDs & six IL-78MKIs are all eligible for undergoing a a deep upgrade, which will bring them up to IL-476 standard.

To GESSLER: Read the previous threads dealing with the IN & you will get your answers. The reqmt is for three SSBNs & nine SSGNs. K-4 SLBM has not yet been tested from a submerged pontoon. K-15’s launch from Arihant is still three years away. Nothing special about Dhanush, except that the IN never wanted it & developing it was a sheer waste of money & human resources. K-15 is not Sagarika. The term Sagarika is for the DRDO’s Project Office responsible for developing the K-family of ballistic missiles, including the Shaurya. K-15 is a TBM, while the JL-2 is an intercontinental-range SLBM. All ship-launched & SSGN-launched supersonic ASCMs do step dives in their terminal stages. That’s why their typical cruising altitudes vary from 10km to 13km.

To Anon@6.41PM: That’s the S-5 SSBN. But the design is slightly deceptive, since the S-5 will have 12 SLBM launch-tubes.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.32PM: Spectra EW suite’s AESA-based directional jammers don’t have any particular designation, unlike the ELT-568. Spectra EW suite & Virgilius are meant to protect the aircraft from BVRAAMs. EL/L-8222 pod on the other hand protects the aircraft from SHORADS. Presently, the IN feels that the Barak-2 MR-SAM working in conjunction with EL/M-2246 MF-STAR radar is good enough to defeat incoming ASCMs. Short-range VL-SAMs are, however, required for the three Batch 2 Project 1135.6 FFGs & four Project 28 ASW corvettes.

To BUDDHA: The first pix shows a Su-30MKI armed with 250kg OFAB 250/270 HE-fragmentation gravity bombs. The 2nd pix shows the Tejas Mk1 armed with practice bombs.

To VIKRAM GUHA: Yes, by all means, do write to these CAPFs & make them an unsolicited technical offer.

To SNTATA: There are several other cruise missiles in operation, like the Novator 3M54E Klub-S, Tactical Missiles Corp’s Kh-31A, & Raduga’s 3M-80E & Kh-41 Zubr. The ramjet made by Russia’s Ekatarinburg-based NPOM is common to both BrahMos-1 & Yakhont, as is the SGH synthetic aperture radar from Russia’s Granit JSC. The air-launched BrahMos-1 will be lighter not because it has to be modified, but because it will not have a first-stage rocket booster, which is reqd only for the warship-launched & land-launched versions of BrahMos-1. It is the subsonic Nirbhay that will have 1,000km range and a boosted-fission warhead, not the supersonic LRCM. The ramjet-powered LRCM, due to arm the upgraded Mirage 2000H/TH (and not the Jaguar), will have range of up to 600km & will be armed with a tactical nuclear warhead. All liquid-fuelled Dhanush missiles being fired were produced close to a decade ago & need to be test-fired so that its stocks are depleted. The liquid-fuelled Dhanush was never reqd by either the SFC or the IN. Producing it was a sheer waste of resources & money. And until the arrival of the S-5 SLBM & 4,500km-range K-4 SLBMs, India won’t have a credible & survivable nuclear 2nd strike capability. The Arihant-class S-2/3/4 SSBNs will therefore have to be armed in future with 1,500km-range nuclear-armed SLCMs derived from the Nirbhay ALCM’s design.

To Anon@11.53PM: The RBE-2 does. But in terms of hemispherical coverage, both RBE-2 & APG-80 are inferior to the Vixen 850 & Vixen 1000 AESA-MMRs.

Pierre Zorin said...

Hi Prasun just a saw a video of the mi-17 V5 which NDTV claimed was designed by India, incorporates Western technology and made in Russia.How much Indian design does it have? the helicopter itself a Russian design so can't understand what is designed by India.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PIERRE ZORIN: Spectacularly laughable, isn’t it? That only goes to reinforce my persistent criticisms of the ignorance of the mainstream ‘desi’ mass-media entities in such matters. Factually, in terms of design inputs, the Indian contribution to the Mi-17V-5 is ZERO. In all probability, based on my first-hand experience of how such factual misinterpretation routinely takes place, here’s what most likely happened: what was told by the IAF to the ‘desi boyz’ of NDTV was that the Mi-17V-5 was ‘customised’ to meet the IAF’s unique ASQRs like the incorporation of MIL-STD-1553B glass-cockpit avionics compatible with NVGs, up-armouring of the cockpit-bay area, and the twin external fuel-tanks—all of which are available options originally devised by the Mil Design Bureau & implemented by Tatarstan-based Kazan Helicopter Plant & the Ulan-Ude Aviation-Industrial Plant. But the ‘desi boyz’ completely misunderstood all this & consequently, erroneously concluded that the IAF-specified ASQRs tantamounts to the Mi-17V-5 being redesigned/re-engineered by the IAF!

Anonymous said...

Sir, What is the ballistic tolerance of Mil Mi-17v5 body,engines,cargo bay , main rotor and tail rotor assembly ? Where is the armour plates around the cockpit ?

Vikram Guha said...

Thank You Prasun Da.

If I am successful I will post it in this blog of your's .


Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Why does the US want to gang up with the EU on common China policy(taking common stands on issue in the china sea against China which the EU has refused to do till now )Is it that the US cannot go it alone in confronting China in various issues like IPR,economy,currency?

Why does the EU FM want the weapons ban on China lifted when US is dead set against it?- is it just for pleasing visiting Chinese officials?
Seems the overland trade routes China seems to develop through C.Asia to Europe(road,rail links) which would leave the US out(US Navy in vital points across Asia)and its ability to get it involved in mediation in disputes is very clever and not to mention control over the infrastructure(China plans and finances the eurasian rail liks) . This wud mean EU and S.E Asia trade b/w themselves and also energy links develop which would b out of US influence. Is this why the US is going ahead with the New silk road initiative to make sure it keeps China in check and EU does not act step out of US guidance?

Awaiting ur C.Asian article.


Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

So many contradictory media reports are coming on IAF aircraft aquisition.Reg. FGFA earlier reports came 214 aircrafts to be inducted form 2017/18.Then reports came aircrafts to be inducted after2020.Now indiastretegic reported that 144 sigle seater FGFA aicrafts would be aquired.Now I dont know what to beilive.Can u make the pictute more clear.Few days back it was reported that IAF will raise total of 14 squadrons of SU30MKI.Now indistretgic reported 16 squadrons.Seems both tanker and heavy lift choppers bid wre opened in Sept.Now they it will take months to find the L1 bidder.Why does it take months to calculate the price of 15 helicopters??Is the IAF cheif giving contradictory statemnets r it is desi media shear nonsense?.kindly share your info to make the picture clear.Also How many aircrafts 1 IAF SU 30 mki aquadron has?..Thanks&Regards

Rahul said...

Hi Prasun, The pilots who fly Su-30 mki are they fresh graduates from airforce academy at Hyderabad and who have completed all the stages of training or are they veteran pilots who have logged some hours in MiG-21,29 ?

How many Brahmos launchers does Rajput class destroyers have ? Are there any launchers at the back of the ship ? Pls post details about IAF Chief's speech .

Sayan said...

Sir , I have recently visited HAL site. In there payload of Tejas is given as 5.3 t. HAL FGFA bears no resemblance to PAK-FA. It seems to be an entirely different aircraft. In DARIN 3 upgrade of jaguar , integration of radar is mentioned. Wat do you think of these ?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

If you travel back in time to 01/01/1961 and find yourself to be the most popular Indian PM, then what different arrangement you could have done especially regarding the Indo-China war of 1962.

Anonymous said...

hi prasun, what is the status of kaveri engine program. Are the details on your blog at still valid?

Shaurya said...


Take a look at this-

“But it’s not about the brick itself or who manufactured it,” explains Igor Leonov. “The work done to fit it inside the boilers was of poor quality. We discovered this back in July, when we began to run speed trials and started raising the temperature in the boilers to maximum values…”

It seems you are bang on target. Problem is with the glue material, how the bricks were attached to the boilers, NOT with the bricks.

It says "Work has now begun on dismantling the equipment; the materials required have been ordered, including heatproof bricks." May I ask what are the equipment need to be dismantled except the firebricks from the boiler?

Also whats your thought about the part, "This summer, with the boilers not working at full capacity, we were getting 28–29 knots. And when we lift the limitations we had to impose, Vikramaditya will add another two or three knots ". is it really true? Is just 1-2 knot speed that much significant? By the way, am still puzzled why the navy agreed to retain the steam turbine in first place? Would it be that much cstly to replace it with gas turbine??

Also I would like know, although IAC-1 is using LM-2500 gas turbine still is it using any kind of heat insulating material and if yes then from where they are sourced?! (Please ignore my complete lack of knowledge in this case)

Thanks & Regards

Shaurya said...

Also I have ONE major complain against you.
Sometimes, it is really hard & painstaking for me to prove that I'm not a robot, specially when using a mobile. Phew!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.37PM: The military variants of the Dhruv ALH & Mi-17V-5 both adhere to the following FAR/MILSPEC standards:
US Army Aeronautical Design Standard-33E (ADS-33E) Flaw-Tolerant Rotor System: FAR/JAR 29.571,
AM 29-28Crashworthy Fuel System: FAR/JAR 29.952,
AM 29-35Flaw-Tolerant Drive Train with Over Torque Certification: FAR/JAR 29.952, AM 29-28
Turbine Burst Protection: FAR/JAR 29.901, AM 29-36
Composite Spar Main & Tail Rotor Blades with Lightning Strike Protection: FAR/JAR 1309(h), AM 29-40
Engine Compartment Fire Protection: FAR/JAR 29.1193
Redundant Hydraulics & Flaw Tolerant Flight Controls: FAR/JAR 29.571, AM 29-28
Aircraft-Wide Bird Strike Protection: FAR/JAR 29.631, AM 29-40
Crashworthiness Standard: FAR/JAR 29.561, AM 29-38
Crashworthy Seats Conforming to MIL-STD-1472B
Cockpit Instrumentation Lighting Conforming to MIL-STD-85762A
Avionics Databus: MIL-STD-1553B
Autopilot Accuracy: MIL-F-9490D
Embedded MIL-STD-188-141B ALE Link Protection
Embedded MIL-STD-188-110B data modem

To VIKRAM GUHA: VMT. Wish you all the very best.

To Anon@5.47PM: If at all any weapons export ban against the PRC is to be enforced, it just can’t be done alone by the US because almost all Europe- and Scandinavia-origin weapons contain US-origin components. Therefore, if the export ban is to be effective, then the US & EU along with Scandinavia have to speak with one voice. And both the EU & Scandinavia have no other choice but to adhere to the US’ diktat, since they know only too well that the PRC will sooner than later reverse-engineer everything it can lay its hands on, just as it has done with Russia-origin weapons since 1991.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.57PM: There have been no changes to the IAF’s projections for procuring have 166 single-seat and 48 two-seat FGFAs (totaling 214 units). Total number of projected Su-30MKI squadrons is 17, with 18 per squadron. Selection of L-1 bidder can be done within 90 days, but processing the offsets pledges & ensuring their implementation takes a long time, since the India-based vendors & subcontractors have to now comply with various mandatory industrial security provisions that were recently insisted upon by the Union MHA.

To RAHUL: They are all experienced pilots from existing operational squadrons. Each Kashin-2 DDG has eight BrahMos-1 in VLS cells mounted aft just before the helicopter hangar.

To SAYAN: DARIN-3 avionics installed on Jaguar IMs will include the EL/M-2032 radar. The artist’s conception of FGFA is by no means indicative of the FGFA’s final design configuration.

To Mr.RA 13: The foremost task then would have been to sit down with the PRC & agree upon a package deal under which the undemarcated borders between India & the PRC would be demarcated as per the universally accepted watershed principal (under which three-quarters of the Aksai Chin are would go to the PRC) while the PRC at the same time would have reciprocated by renouncing its claim over NEFA. Had this proposal of the then Chinese Premier Chou en-Lai been accepted by the then GoI, there would never have been a war between China & India in 1962.

To Anon@12.31AM: No, there have been several updates since then. Now, negotiations are underway with SNECMA Moteurs to further increase the Kaveri’s maximum thrust by incorporating modular new-design hot-section components. If such components were to be supplied by SNECMA Moteurs, then the definitive Kaveri turbofan for Tejas Mk2 will be available earlier. However, if GTRE wants to continue further R & D on its own without any external inputs, then the definitive Kaveri won’t be available for at least another decade.

To SHAURYA: VMT. Whatever needs to be dismantled now will be permanent write-offs, since those firebricks can’t be recycled for further usage. Therefore, new-build firebricks will have to be ordered. For attaining sustained cruise speeds at 25 Knots in the high seas, the boilers don’t work at maximum steam generation levels. It is only when one is required to cruise at maximum ‘attack’ speed of 30+ Knots for almost eight hours without any break that the insulation materials/processes need to work as specified. Regarding alternate powerplant options, the best option would have been an all-gas turbine solution similar or even identical to that specified for IAC-1/INS Vikrant. In case of INS Vikramaditya, the problems arose because Russian naval architects & Russian Navy personnel never carried out shore-based validation of the chosen/specified solutions (primarily in order to cut down the developmental cycle), while the IN was reduced to being a mere bystander since January 2004 when it should have played a pro-active role & insisted on a propulsion solution similar to the one worked out for IAC-1. COGAG propulsion systems using only marine industrial gas turbines do not require the kind of heat-insulation that steam boilers do.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: Remember me lobbying for the mass-production of at least 60 tandem-seat Tejas Mk1s for use as lead-in fighter-trainers (LIFT)? Looks like certain vested interests that are hand-in-glove with certain 'mischievous India-based bloggers & magazine publishers, are now canvassing for the Yak-130 to be selected as the LIFT, when the Yak-130 was originally designed as an AJT-cum-close air suppoort aircraft for certain African air forces, & was never designed to function as a LIFT.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Yes, I remember it very well and now understand it.


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