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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Updated: RIP HTT-35, HTT-40, HJT-36 & LUH, Thanks To The Grifters' Long-Cons

The above three photos graphically illustrate both the missed opportunities for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to deliver new-generation basic turboprop trainers (BTT) to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy (IN) almost two decades ago. The first photo is that of the long-forgotten HTT-35 advanced turboprop trainer, in particular its full-scale mock-up, which was designed and fabricated in-house by HAL in the late 1980s and rolled out in the early 1990s—all in all a four-year effort. The objective at that time was to team up with a global avionics supplier (most probably THALES) and co-design the semi-glass tandem cockpits and offer the aircraft for evaluation by the IAF by 1998. However, after 1994 the HTT-35 disappeared, literally! One can only speculate on what exactly happened to this full-scale mock-up, or on why did the MoD or IAF HQ develop a coordinated ‘memory loss’ on the need to series-produce the HTT-35 almost a decade ago! For it was realised as far back as 1998 that the induction of fourth-generation combat aircraft such as the Su-30MKI, and the impending induction of Rafale medium multi-role combat aircraft (M-MRCA), Tejas Mk2 MRCA and the fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) would force the IAF sooner than later into undertaking a critical revision of its flying training practices that included primary/basic flying training, advanced flying training, and lead-in fighter training (LIFT). Despite this, the HTT-35 BTT was scrapped, and instead of calling for the development of the HJT-36 as a swept-wing advanced jet trainer, the IAF in its all-knowing wisdom wrongly decided 14 years ago to have the HJT-36 as an intermediate jet trainer (IJT), a decision it is now regretting and that perhaps explains why the IAF has, since 2008, been maintaining sustained silence over HAL’s inability to develop the HJT-36.
And now that a precedent has been set by the MoD with the HTT-40, a similar fate now looks set to befall HAL’s single-engined Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) project as well, since logic will henceforth dictate that it is indeed unwise to operate fixed fleets of aircraft that are intended to perform the same mission, UNLESS the MoD cancels the on-going tender evaluation process for off-the-shelf procurement of 197 single-engined reconnaissance-and-surveillance helicopters (RSH) from abroad and instead authorises HAL to upgrading almost 80 of the Army Aviation Corps’ and IAF’s existing SA.315B Lama/Cheetah LOHs into the Cheetal RSH configuration that will see such helicopters being equipped with glass cockpits, FLIR turrets and defensive countermeasures suites. The Cheetals will thus be able to serve for at least another decade, thereby giving HAL enough time to complete development of its homegrown LIH/RSH platform.
The MoD, which has a stated requirement for 384 LUH/RSH units, has split the order between a global tender for 197 2-tonne helicopters (of which 60 will be procured off-the-shelf and the remainder to be licence-built) worth US$550 million, and has asked HAL to develop and build 187 LUH/RSH units by 2017, which itself is an impossible target to achieve. The global tender is mired in uncertainty, with the MoD cancelling and re-issuing it more than once. Of the 197 LUH/RSH machines, 64 are for the IAF, and 133 for the Army. However, it is fairly logical to conclude that the MoD will sooner rather than later reach the same conclusion as that reached for the BTT project: it will be far cheaper to acquire only one type of LUH/RSH platform (i.e. procuring all 384 units from the chosen foreign OEM), instead of splitting the orders between an imported solution and an indigenous one.
Presently, HAL’s in-house Rotary Wing R & D Centre (RWRDC) is going full steam ahead with fabrication work on the 3-tonne LUH/RSH’s first prototype, which will be powered by a single Turbomeca/HAL Shakti/Ardiden 1H engine. Rollout of this prototype is targetted for late 2013, almost a year behind schedule, with flight-tests commencing a year later and deliveries beginning in early 2017 and lasting till 2019. While the RWRDC is designing the main rotor, tail rotor, gearbox, transmission and weapons-launch systems, the fuel control/supply system, environment control system, hydraulics/accessories and cockpit avionics will be outsourced from local and foreign suppliers. On paper, the LUH/RSH will feature a roof-mounted stabilised optronic turret housing an integrated long-range observation system comprising a thermal imager, laser rangefinder and daylight TV.

What needs to be noted is that HAL, by being a wholly-owned MoD military-industrial entity, cannot undertake any R & D project aimed at producing an indigenous weapon system or sub-system without receiving authorisation from the MoD. What this means is that HAL’s management has neither the financial nor managerial autonomy to develop even a single product that is not required by any Indian end-user. Therefore, when HAL took up the task of developing the HTT-35 BTT, it was only after being instructed by the MoD to do so at the IAF’s behest. For it was a fairly well-known fact since the early 1980s that the HAL-developed piston-engined ab-initio primary HPT-32 ‘Deepak’ was not what the IAF wanted and HAL consequently had been mandated to develop the HTT-34 turboprop trainer with side-by-side seating, and a flying prototype was indeed built. The IAF then changed its mind and asked HAL via the MoD to develop a tandem-seat BTT (probably after watching the advent of Pilatus PC-7As and PC-9As, and Embraer/ShortsTucanos since the mid-1980s), to which HAL responded with the HTT-35. What happened next is that sometime in 1995, HAL was instructed by the MoD at the IAF’s behest that this project was not a priority and was told to cease all further R & D activity, probably due to India’s reduced defence spending-levels in the period 1989-1999 (the so-called ‘lost decade’) as a result of the 1990 financial crisis.

Similarly, HAL began developing the HJT-36 IJT in 1997 after being told by the MoD to do so at the IAF’s behest, since no one from the IAF was expecting any Govt of India to have the guts to recommence significant military hardware procurements from non-Russian OEMs after the unearthing of Bofors and HDW scams. Consequently, the IAF, faced with the prospect of not receiving its long sought-after AJTs, instead settled down for an IJT as part of a compromise formula. It was only in March 2004 that the initial 66 Hawk Mk132 AJTs were ordered (to the IAF’s utter surprise) from BAE Systems and when this happened, the IAF realised that the requirement for IJTs had become totally irrelevant and what had become more important was the procurement of BTTs and LIFTs, with deliveries commencing by 2010 (this being expected by IAF HQ in order to have a three-stage flying training curriculum comprising BTTs, AJTs and LIFTs, as is the universal norm). This is where things got very murky, since even by 2004 no one from the MoD or IAF HQ asked HAL to resurrect the HTT-35 project and complete its R & D cycle. Had this been done, then by 2007 a few HTT-35 prototypes would have been airborne for flight-tests. Instead, six more years were allowed to go waste before IAF HQ refloated its requirement for a BTT (even though the HPT-32 was found unsuitable since the early 1980s!) and given the urgency of requirement, the only option then left on the table was the direct importation route. Therefore, someone or some party who/that is obviously adept at doing the math and is a grifter beyond match when it comes to playing the long-con, came up with a plan that would, on the surface, seem great, but in reality would be totally ludicrous (and thereby be a self-defeating and financially unviable exercise), i.e. splitting the BTT procurement exercise into two by importing a little less than half of the requirement (75 units) and developing an indigenous alternative for the rest (106 units). Now, imagine a fleet of PC-7 Mk2 BTTs powered by PWC turboprops/Hamilton Sunstrand propellers having to co-exist with a fleet of HTT-40 BTTs powered by Honeywell (Garrett) turboprops/Hartzell propellers, which will only serve to double the BTT fleet’s annual MRO budget for the IAF’s Training Command. Therefore, it was a known fact since 2009 that there can be only one BTT in service and at the same time (June 2011) that the PC-7 Mk2 was selected by the IAF as its BTT of choice, the BTT-40 project should have been terminated. In fact, I’m highly surprised that both the MoD and the IAF took such a long time to come clean by admitting that the project to develop the HTT-40 was, after all, just a con-job.


In order to get down to the bottom of this rip-off/con-job, the MoD’s archives need to be declassified so that one can get to the root of the decision-making process prevailing in the period 1992-2010. Only after this is done will one be able to zero in on the true culprits/wrongdoers within both the MoD and IAF HQ. However, there are strong indications that the HTT-35 project was terminated by 1995 at the IAF’s behest, with the MoD having a minimal say in this matter. One must also note that it is not just the IAF that will be procuring the PC-7 Mk2 BTTs, but also the IN (which requires 30 BTTs), just as both the IAF and IN have also procured the Hawk Mk132 AJTs. However, between the two armed services, the IN seems to have come out as the wiser one since, unlike the IAF, it never got involved in the con-job of supporting either the HJT-36 IJT project (despite the fact that the IN too has been using HAL-built HJT-16 Mk2 basic jet trainers) or the HTT-40 BTT project.

And the same type of long-con is now being played out for the RSH procurement project (for the Indian Army and IAF) and thus it is only a matter of time before HAL’s LUH R & D project too will meet the same fate as that of the BTT. For, in today’s world of competing priorities for defence funding allocations (given the ever-increasing costs of procuring new-generation platforms), even countries like China or India cannot afford the luxury of procuring two almost-identical platforms for doing the same job—that’s the elementary and cold-blooded truth. Those who choose to believe otherwise are only deluding themselves and residing in a make-believe world.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

prasun,
How much do you believe this to be true?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwUpPwyyvLw

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Now is the time that India shall move ahead with the development and production of Tejas-(LIFT) aircrafts.

Anonymous said...

Sir,
1. Why is IAF not very eager in buying TsNIIRTI developed DRFM based wingtip jamming pods for Su-30 series of aircrafts ? Russian aerospace industry also offers a variety of support jamming pods.

2. When in-country evaluations of all MMRCA has taken place, did IAF conduct a thorough analysis of all MMR PESA & AESA and their performance ? Does IAF know how many TR elements are present in these radars and what are their peak powers ?

3.Why did Ak Antony recently commented that no upgradation of Su-30mki is currently planned ? All Sukhois are to be upgraded to Super standards.

4.Why there is a requirement of 1000 Al-31F engines ?

5. Are the figures of acs of various airforces correct in World airforces 2013 book ?

6. Were any defensive, support jammers ordered from IAI , or any company after the IAF commander's on the need and deficiency of critical EW systems ?

7.What happened to tank modernisation , artillery upgunning, Sanjay thread ?

F said...

ulfntst 1380Prasun,

Would you agree that just like the T-90AM, the Leopard 'Revolution' is the limit as to upgrades with the Leopard 2 design? Do you think the applique armour on the turret of the 'Revolution' has made the tank largely impervious to non-top attack ATGWs like Kornet, Konkurs and Ingwee?

Are you aware of any development/joint cooperation currently taking place between Indonesian and Chinese companies with regards to developing a land attack cruise missile?

Are all the Scorpenes made of the same HLES 80 high-yield steel or only the INs?

When ATSC was formed in 1998 was there original plans for it to perform overhauls on the RD-33 engines? Are you aware of the RMAF ever sending its RD-33s to Russia for overhauls?

The IAFs MKis will of course be fitted with a 2 way datalink to link them with AEW assets but will the same data link also go on other existing fighters that have an air defence role/tasking?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.13AM: There’s a fair bit of circumstantial evidence to indicate that there was indeed something going on in the Antarctic immediately after World War-2. That’s why even the US Navy sent an expeditionary warfare task force there.

To Mr.RA 13: Not only the Tejas Mk1 LIFT, but also extend the service-lives of existing Lama/Cheetah helicopters by another 10 years, which will give enough time for HAL to come out with its indigenous LUH/RSH. All this will obviate the need for importing 197 LUH/RSH units. Amazing how such a simple & elementary formula was not even thought of as far back as 2009, just as all concerned decision-makers deliberately sabotaged the HTT-35’s R & D process in the mid-1990s!!!! Either the decision-makers are imbeciles, or there are traitors in their midst. I cannot come up with any other probable causes for such self-defeating decision-making processes.

To Anon@12.55AM: 1) IAF is right in standardising its inventories of self-protection & escort-jamming pods. 2) During any in-country flight-test evaluations of combat aircraft lasting just two weeks, it is impossible to conduct performance evaluations of on-board mission-sensors—a task that normally takes up to 90 days to complete. 3) RMs have been known throughout the past to make mis-leading statements. 4) It is more than 1,600 AL-31FPs, because the TTSL of each AL-31FP is only 2,000 hours. 5) Of course not. 6) No. 7) All are still line-up in queue.

To FARIS: Not quite. More powerful engines of up to 1,800hp, plus 48-cal cannons of 140mm diameter, plus new-generation APS suite options can still find their way on to the existing Leopard-2 MBT. Despite the application of appliqué top-armour-plating, the turret-top area is still the most vulnerable against top-attack ATGMs & it is here that APS solutions will come in handy the most. Indonesia wants the C-705 ASCM (already acquired for the TNI-AL & TNI-AU) to be re-engineered as a ground-launched LACM. All Scorpene SSKs worldwide are made of HLES-80 steel. All Level-4 overhauls of RD-33 turbofans were meant to be conducted in Russia. There were premature failures of at least six RD-33s by 1997 & replacements were procured from Russia. Yes, the two-way Operational Data-Link (ODL) will be standard fit on all MRCAs of the IAF since they need to communicate with the A-50I PHALCON AEW & CS platforms.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Here are some of the unpardonable mistakes made by India’s apex decision-makers since the early 1990s:
1) Failure to undertake indigenous production of 1,000 FH-77B 155mm/39-cal towed howitzers since the early 1990s despite the OFB coming in possession of complete technical data packages required for series-production on an industrial-scale of such howitzers.
2) Failure to undertake indigenous production of up to eight additional Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs between the mid-1990s & 2005 to add to the four procured, despite MDL procuring the complete technical data packages and intellectual property rights required for series-production on an industrial-scale of the Type 1500 variant of the Class 209 SSKs.
3) Failure to mentor & financially support HAL between 1991 & 1998 to complete R & D work on the HTT-35 BTT, due to which the IAF & IN will in future be forced to procure & operate Pilatus PC-7 Mk2 BTTs.
4) Failure to mentor & financially support HAL to develop the HJT-36 as an AJT & not IJT between 1999 & 2007, due to which the IAF & IN will in future be forced to procure & operate BAE Systems-developed Hawk Mk132 AJTs.
5) The MoD’s & IAF’s combined failure to authorise ADA to develop the Tejas Mk1’s tandem-seat operational conversion trainer as a lead-in fighter-trainer (LIFT), more than 80 of which are required for both the IAF & IN.
6) Decision to opt for 1,000 T-90S MBTs at a time when the DRDO’s Arjun MBT project & TANK EX project both needed financial support & long-term industrial commitments in order to ensure guaranteed amortisation of financial investments that were sought from several Indian private-sector military-industrial companies. Had both the MoD & Army HQ thrown their combined weight behind both these projects, then by now the IA would have had the most potent inventory of MBTs in South Asia, & the obsolescence of the existing fleet of T-72M1 MBTs would have arrested & reversed almost a decade ago.
7) Failure to develop a naval PESA-based volume-search radar variant for installation on board principal surface combatants.
8) The IN’s failure to acquire a dedicated ocean-going vessel that could be used as a trials vessel used for testing out & validating the fitment & systems integration of various on-board mission sensors, mission management systems & propulsion systems PRIOR to their installation on board operational principal surface combatants.

And here are some of the mistakes now in the process of being made:
1) The DRDO’s on-going project to develop a 155mm/52-cal towed advanced towed artillery gun system (ATAGS), while totally forgetting the IN’s future reqmt for turret-mounted 155mm/52-cal naval main guns.
2) HAL’s failure thus far to optimise the Rudra helicopter-gunship’s design, especially its integrated defensive countermeasures suite & its stub-wings, both of which visually appear to be poorly engineered.
3) The MoD’s & Army HQ’s failure thus far to authorise HAL to develop a LAH variant of the LCH.
4) Failure thus far to develop a vertically-launched short-range SAM variant of the Astra Mk1 BVRAAM.
5) Failure thus far to develop an air-launched anti-radiation missile variant of the Astra Mk1 BVRAAM.

Gessler said...

^^Nice analysis Prasun saheb,

1) Indian Army has now officially decided to scrap the 50-tonne FMBT project in favour of a ~70tonne Arjun Mk-3. This is something you said IA should do long ago - well, congrats on hitting it on the spot.

(...atleast they did 1 thing properly...)

Can you give me some comprehensive numbers of Arjun-type tanks that IA could end up with in the overall (including Mk-1, Mk-1A, Mk-2 and Mk-3)??

2) Whats the status of the Tank-EX project? Is IA still intersted? If so, how many T-72M1s could possibly be upgraded to this standard?

3) Do you think beside the deals for - 42 Super Su-30MKI, 1600 AL-31FP engines, any other deals could be signed? Like the purchase of T-90MS MBTs?

4) Is any Indian armed force interested in the Kamov Ka-60 "Kasatka" helo from Russia?

5) Whats up with the MLH/IMRH medium-lift helo projects?

6) What, in your opinion, should the Arjun Mk-3 be like? Its weight, gun, armor, crew, operation, capability etc.?

7) Is there anything special regarding the 4th T-50 prototype that flew recently?

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
1.You have expressed opinion on a number of occasions that LCH should be morphed into LAH. But we are already developing Rudra, a LAH. Why unnecesserily duplicate? Why not retain LCH's good air-to-air capabilities and modest anti-ground capabilities and add a few more electronic packages for advance surveillance and recon?
2. Why not morph 5-seater NM-5 aircraft, designed by NAL and developed by Mahindra and now undergoing successful trials in Australia, into a basic turbo-prop trainer, with tandem seats? It can be easily accomplished by NAL and Mahindra in no time.

Anonymous said...

I thik one of the failures that now gonna happen is in :

1) MOD's decision to not go for first two warships of Project17A to be build in foreign shipyard is gonna cost us because both MDL and GRSE has never worked with modular shipbuilding. Thing with modular shipbuilding is that it reduces the development time drastically but if you make mistake you are screwed.
MDL has told MOD that they can do it but everybody except MDL and MOD knows they can't.

2) MMRCA manufacturing will be a mess, and infact it will be the biggest mess that HAL is gonna make.

Previous mistakes :
1) Trishul or MAETRI QRSAM were important project and should have been made by now.

2) NAG ATGM should from the start be the one used by infantary.

3) The shortage of ammunition was a serious matter.

4) India should have to purchase Assault rifles, carbine etc. when even country like Myanmar has built one of its own. OFB should get it right.

5) IAF spend billions on PGMs and air-to-air missiles. DRDO and IAF should have built PGMs and within visual range missiles. India shouldn't have to purchase PGMs and missiles like Python.

6) Indian armed forces will now be spending 5-6 billion S and possibly more on VSHORADS and self propelled guns. DRDO should have build them.

I think drdo, HAL, armed forces and MOD should sit down and considering capability of our defence sector should atleast point down projects which are achievable like trainers, helicopters, PGMs, within visual range A2A missiles, ATGM, VSHORAD, SPAGs, assault rifles, pistols and carbines, artillery keeping in view the requirement of all 3 services. Right now india is building SSBNs, ACs, FFGGs, DDGs, fighter jets, ICBM, SLBM, BMD, cruise missiles, military satellies, AMCA and AURA project. India shouldn't be building AMCA or AURA simply because we are not there yet and we shouldn't be spending billions on stuff which could have been build by our labs and companies without much trouble and of-course little support from outside.

India doesn't want to depend on any country but IAF purchase all its weapons from outside.

God's Favorite Son.. said...

Prasoon would you care to elaborate on the news report that has come out citing CAG's audit stating failure of the RWR (Tarang most probably) as a functioning system ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

Won't the uprated Lyulka AL-31FP turbofans have a total technical service life of 6,000 hours, instead of the present 2,000 hours as written by you in the heading
"Super Su-30MKI: From Air Dominance To Air Supremacy".
So why order more than 1,600 AL-31FPs with TTSL of only 2,000 hours when the IAF can wait for the new uprated Lyulka AL-31FP turbofans with TTSL of 6,000 hours?

Will the new-generation Super Su-30MKIs have distributed array of IRSTs like that developed for the MiG-35 so that one IRST sensor is scanning the airspace while the other (belly-mounted) is displaying the surrounding terrain?

Will the Su-30MKI’s existing wide-angle HUD be replaced with a holographic HUD (like what China has done with its J-10 & J-11B)on Super Su-30MKIs so that the infra-red imagery can be superimposed on the HUD for terrain-following navigation by night?

Thank you.

accidental loser said...

hey prasun,
while HELINA is roughly equivalent 2 hellfire or pars-3lr in terms range,weight,warhead,guidance & application(@least on papr), y nt devlop an upgraded 1 using same airframe minus those 4 side thrusters & use them aboard LCH,LOH/LUH,ALH as well as frm fixed wing platforms as standoff anti-armour weapon instead of procuring any foreign equivalent. it's really possible & quite viable also.

accidental loser said...

also wht advantage except of range wud an 155mm naval gun wud provide???

SherKhan said...

Hi Prasun,

What your article highlights is that HAL are by no means dummies. They knew what they were doing here. Question I have is, what stopped them developing these fully? Can they only develop approved projects or do they have their own budget? If its the former then it means they are always playing catch-up and can never really win. If they had developed these, then India would have the option of exporting.

Anonymous said...

Sir,

The photographs of HTT 35 shows a well thought effort from some good people inside HAL. The way it was not taken forward clearly shows that it is a clear intention of breaking the legs of any potential Idea of HAL and Indian Aerospace Industries when ever it tries to stand on its own feet (By pushing armed forces to procure from European manufacturers and further supporting and developing their industries by injecting more funds).

ken said...

sir, what is your take on the 'TRIBUNE INDIA' report saying that radar warning aystem is an failed project of BEL. i was under the impression that BEL is one of the most successful agencies. also that radar warning recever is a drdo project.

Unknown said...

Prasunn have you seen this:

http://chhindits.blogspot.in/2012/12/su-30-mki-aircraft-fleet-not-been-put.html


The writer is contradicting themselves at every turn and can't seem to grasp the simplest of concepts such as the difference between discussions and work starting.



+ Prasun are you still hopeful of the signing of the MMRCA by March 2013 despite recent reposts the deal will be scrapped?

Anonymous said...

Sir,
1. What is the use of again buying Al-31FP engines. Item 117 engines of Su-35 offer a 6000 hr lifespan .Al-31FP engines will again have 2000 hr lifespan.

2. The present Al-31FP engines will be upated to new standards with a new core and fan . ThenAl-31 FP will get a fresh lease of life. You once said that Russian OEM may certify AL-31FP to 3000 hr operation based on Indian conditions.

3. A distributed electro optical aperture system has een developed for PAK-FA. It consists of a rearward facing IRST and other small optical apertures distributed throughout the ac that function as MAWS. Will this go on upgrded Su-30.
4. For defeating mono-pulse RF seekers of BVRAAM, cross-eye jamming is required where in the jammers need to be at the two extremes of the aircraft. Russian kNIRT defensive pods for sukhoi support this. How can EL/P-8222 support this jamming mode for defeating BVRAAM ?

5. Does Indian Su-30 have the sophisticated Khibny ESM ?

6.In the NE airbases which houses Su-30 , are there enough storm shelters for protection of the acs from the weather elements. What is done when it rains ?

7. Is there really any Nazi super secret base under Antartica ? USN and Russian submarines have visited these areas many times. Whole of Antarctica has been mapped. The video was a Russan one. If the Russians were so eager themselves why don't they conduct an operation to see if the base exist ?

8. Is it true that many Nazi WW2 submarines approx 100 and many scientists,technicians were missing and not dead.

9. Are Israeli jammers both defensive and support as advanced as the Russian ones ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To GESSLER: VMT. 1) The only confirmed figures to date are for 124 Arjun Mk1 & 118 Arjun Mk1A MBTs. In my personal view, the number of Arjun Mk2 MBTs to be procured SHOULD BE at least 600, while the number of Arjun Mk3 FMBTs to be ordered SHOULD BE at least 1,500. 2) Since much time has been lost since the TANK EX’s debut, it is now time to upgrade the TANK EX offer by including a 1,200hp multi-fuel engine, APS installation + all those defensive countermeasures systems & optronic fire-control/gun-control systems now found on the Arjun Mk1A’s turret. In my personal view, at least 1,500 units of such MBTs ought to be procured. 3) 1,600 AL-31FPs were ordered way back in 2000 when the Su-30MKI deal was inked. Ordering T-90MS MBTs will be a great folly, in my view. 4) There’s no reqmt for such a helicopter. 5) Those contracts will be inked next year. 6) Arjun Mk3 should be powered by a 1,800hp engine, should not weigh more than 70 tonnes, have a 140mm/49-cal smoothbore cannon, & have an integrated vectronics suite + an integrated countermeasures suite, both using MIL-STD-1553B digital databus. 7) Nothing special.

To SNTATA: The Rudra is not an attack helicopter, but a helicopter-gunship, meaning it still is a 10-seater that will be used for several types of missions like CASEVAC, provision of aerial logistics, & armed escort, & hence its ability to carry only four medium-range ATGMs & no AAMs (if AAMs are to be carried then the ATGMs will have to be sacrificed). The LAH, on the other hand, will be a dedicated attack helicopter that will make use of battle surveillance helicopters (equipped with SAR radars) for target detection & RSH helicopters for target localisation within the tactical battle area. Consequently, the LAH ought to carry at least eight medium-range ATGMs & four AAMs.
Regarding NM-5, firstly, it is not turboprop-powered m& uses a piston engine instead. Secondly, the morphing of NM-5 from a 5-seater to two-seater & equipping it with a turboprop will require redesigning of the airframe, which will make it an expensive & time-consuming affair for any OEM.

To Anon@9.20AM: Both MDL & GRSE have indeed undertaken modular shipbuilding since the 1970s. Bit what has not yet happened is the integrated hull integration due to the absence of shore-based shipbuilding facilities/goliath cranes & wet-basins of adequate size. Then there was the issue about warship designing, with the IN’s Naval Design Bureau (NDB) insisting in the past that shipyards do not get involved in detailed designing of warships. This created an enormous bottleneck of workload since the NDB has only some 50 naval designers/architects. Has the MoD-owned shipyards been authorised to do all detailed-design work, things would have been easier far more easier. Therefore, the fault lies squarely with the MoD & IN HQ for not giving enough financial/work autonomy to the shipyards over the years.
Maitri QR-SAM/SL-QRM was doomed to fail from the outset since MBDA was proposing the SR-SAM, which was nothing but a re-engineered & vertically launched Super 530D with an active X-band radar for terminal guidance. It was the DRDO that failed to make use of the Astra Mk1 BVRAAM’s missile-body for the Maitri SHORADS.

To GOD’s FAVOURITE SON: Firstly, the Tarang family of RWRs wasn’t developed by BEL at all. The R & D authority was the DRDO’s DARE, while BEL was only the production authority. The RWRs suffered from performance deficiencies due to non-adherence to QA/QC practices within BEL’s workshops & final-assembly facilities. Those units that were non-performing were sent back to BEL for rectification & that’s now a closed chapter since the deficiencies have been rectified.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.31PM: 1,600 AL-31FPs were ordered way back in 2000. At that time there was no programme for uprating the AL-321FPs. It was only by 2008 that the uprating programme was taken up for full-scale development within Russia. Super Su-30MKIs will have twin IRST for forward & rear hemispheres only for visual airborne early warning, & not for terrain profiling below. The existing ELBIT Systems-supplied Type 967 wide-angle HUDWAC will be replaced by an indigenous HUDWAC now being developed by CSIL in Chandigarh.

To ACCIDENTAL LOSER: It is possible & viable, yes. But all this is doable only over a 5-year period at the very least. And the Rudras & LCHs cannot wait for five years & lie around unarmed. Thus, imported ATGMs will have to be acquired & since these ATGMs have a 10-year shelflife, it’s no use ordering HELINA ATGMs for at least another nine years. That’s how the armed services HQs do the math. The only other option is to initially use the HELINA as an ICV-launched ATGM by integrating it with the upgraded BMP-2K ISVs.
Apart from range enhancements, a naval 155mm/52-cal gun will ensure standardisation of ammunition-type reqmts & their modular-charge reqmts between the Army & IN, thereby resulting in greatly reduced acquisition costs of such ammo & bimodular charges.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SHER KHAN: What needs to be noted is that HAL, by being a wholly-owned MoD military-industrial entity, cannot undertake any R & D project aimed at producing an indigenous weapon system or sub-system without receiving authorisation from both the MoD & IAF HQ. What this means is that HAL’s management has neither the financial nor managerial autonomy to develop even a single product that is not reqd by any Indian end-user. Therefore, took up the task of developing the HTT-35 BTT only after it was instructed by the MoD & IAF HQ to do so. It was a fairly well-known fact since the early 1980s that the HPT-32 was not what the IAF wanted & HAL consequently had been mandated to develop the HTT-34 turboprop trainer with side-by-side seating & a flying prototype was built. The IAF then changed its mind & asked HAL via the MoD to develop a tandem-seat BTT (probably after watching the advent of PC-7As, PC-9s & Tucanos since the mid-1980s), to which HAL responded with the HTT-35. What happened next is that sometime in 1995, HAL was instructed by the MoD at the IAF’s behest that this project was not a priority & was told to cease all further R & D activity, probably due to India’s reduced defence spending-levels in the period 1989-1999 (the so-called ‘lost decade’).
Similarly, HAL began developing the HJT-36 IJT after being told by the MoD to do so at the IAF’s behest, since no one from the IAF was expecting any Govt of India to have the guts to recommence significant military hardware procurements after the unearthing of Bofors & HDW scams. Consequently, the IAF, faced with the prospect of not receiving its long sought-after AJTs, instead settled down for an IJT as part of a compromise formula. It was only by 2005 that Hawk Mk132 AJTs were ordered (to the IAF’s utter surprise) & when this happened, the IAF realised that the reqmt for IJTs had become totally irrelevant & what was more important was the procurement of BTTs & LIFTs, with deliveries commencing by 2010 (this being expected by IAF HQ in order to have a three-stage flying training curriculum comprising BTTs, AJTs & LIFTs as is the universal norm). This is where things get very murky, since even by 2005 no one from the MoD or IAF HQ asked HAL to resurrect the HTT-35 project. Had this been done, then by 2007 a few HTT-35 prototypes would have been airborne for flight-tests. Instead, five more years were allowed to go waste before IAF HQ refloated its reqmt for a BTT (even though the HPT-32 was found unsuitable since the early 1980s!) & given its urgency of reqmt, the only option then left on the table was the direct importation route. Therefore, someone or some party who/that is obviously adept at doing the math, came up with a plan that would, on the surface, seem great, but in reality would be totally ludicrous (& thereby be a self-defeating & financially unviable exercise), i.e. splitting the BTT procurement exercise into 2 by importing one-half of the reqmt & developing an indigenous alternative for the other half. Now, imagine a fleet of PC-7 Mk2s powered by PWC turboprops/Hamilton Standard propellers having to co-exist with a fleet of HTT-40s powered by Honeywell (Garrett) turboprops/Hartzell propellers, which will only serve to double the BTT fleet’s annual MRO budget of the IAF’s Training Command. Therefore, it was a known fact since 2010 that there can be only one BTT in service & at the same time that PC-7 Mk2 was selected by the IAF, the BTT-40 project should have been terminated. I’m surprised that both the MoD & IAF HQ took such a long time to come clean by admitting that the HTT-40 project was after all just another con-job.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

continued from above.....
And the same con-job is now being played out for the RSH project & thus it is only a matter of time before HAL’s LUH project too will meet the same fate as that of the BTT. In today’s world of competing priorities for defence funding allocations, countries like India or even China cannot afford the luxury of procuring two almost-identical platforms for doing the same job—that’s the elementary & cold-blooded truth. Those who choose to believe otherwise are only deluding themselves & residing in a make-believe world.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.04PM: It’s not that simple an argument, as I’ve explained above to SHER KHAN. In order to get down to the bottom of this rip-off/con-job, the MoD’s archives need to be declassified so that one can get to the root of the decision-making process prevailing in the period 1992-2005. Only after this is done will one be able to zero in on the true culprits/wrongdoers within both the MoD & IAF HQ. However, this time there are strong indications that the HTT-35 project was terminated by 1995 at the IAF’s behest, with the MoD having a minimal say in this matter.

To KEN: Firstly, the Tarang family of RWRs wasn’t developed by BEL at all. The R & D authority was the DRDO’s DARE, while BEL was only the production authority. The RWRs suffered from performance deficiencies due to non-adherence to QA/QC practices within BEL’s workshops & final-assembly facilities. Those units that were non-performing were sent back to BEL for rectification & that’s now a closed chapter since the deficiencies have been rectified.

To UNKNOWN: The ‘desi’ writer is a total dickhead who can’t distinguish between ‘what has not yet been done’ & ‘what will be done in future’. The RM is absolutely right in stating that not a single Su-30MKI has been subjected to an upgrade programme as yet, since the Super Su-30MKI project involving Russia & India will officially kick-off on December 24 after the inking of a bilateral military-industrial contract under which the first 42 Super Su-30MKIs will be delivered off-the-shelf by Russia’s IRKUT Corp, while the first 50 Su-30MKIs of the IAF (delivered between 2002 & 2004) will be upgraded (between 2014 & 2018) ONLY AFTER HAL’s new custom-built MRO facility at Nashik gets commissioned by next year.
One must also note that it is not just the IAF that will be procuring the PC-7 Mk2 BTTs, but also the IN, just as both the IAF & IN have procured the Hawk Mk132 AJTs. However, between the two armed services, the IN seems to have come out as the wiser one since, unlike the IAF, it never got involved in the con-job of supporting neither the HJT-36 IJT project (despite the fact that the IN too has been using HAL-built HJT-16 Mk2 basic jet trainers) nor the HTT-40 BTT project.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

India’s reduced defense spending-levels in the period 1989-1999, was it due to collapse of USSR and their techno-economical crash.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: A most excellent question indeed, for no one in India has as yet examined this issue in-depth, nor given it the importance that it deserves. Firstly, the period 1980-1990 saw India making record-breaking military hardware procurements in terms of financial value. More than 80% of such procurements were made from the then USSR. The then Govt of India’s strategy since 1982 was to embark upon large-scale economic liberalisation in phases & embrace globalisation. At the same time, a well-articulated politico-military OP-PLAN was devised for keeping developments in Sri Lanka in check & under a tight leash. Unfortunately, after the demise of Mrs Indira Gandhi, the successor leadership, though it brought about a generational change in the then-ruling political circles, it failed to ensure continuity in national policy-making. Consequently, even though large-scale internal administrative reforms were enacted, the process of enacting structural economic reforms got paralysed due to an unfocussed political elite led by then PM Rajiv Gandhi, which in turn led to economic stagnation. To make matters worse, there was no continuity of policy-making when it came to the impending Sri Lankan civil war, with the nett result of all this being India getting dragged (in the form of IPKF) into the civil war as a reluctant peacemaker. And finally, the straws that broke the camel’s back were the Bofors & HDW scandals, which resulted in near-total administrative paralysis & internal political turmoil, which in turn ushered in a period (1989-1991) of indecisive national governance, financial mismanagement and mounting debts. All of these collectively led to the emergence of the Indian financial crisis. Finally, add to all this the steadily worsening internal security situation in Jammu & Kashmir between 1989 and 1995, which resulted in greater funds being allocated for internal security purposes and correspondingly lesser funds for both military-industrial R & D and military force-modernisation. And to make matters worse, Russia, the successor-state of the USSR, was unable (until 2004) to resolve the outstanding issues related to the Rupee-Rouble exchange mechanism (under which India had emerged as the nett creditor while Russia had become the nett debtor) & was instead insisting on hard-cash payments in either US$ or the Euro currency. Therefore, in the final analysis, it was the financial crisis & the breakup of the USSR that collectively was responsible for wreaking havoc upon India’s military-industrial R & D and military force-modernisation plans for almost a decade between 1989 & 1999.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

UNKNOWN: Being the pessimistic optimist that I am, I’m still hopeful of the M-MRCA contract being inked by March 31, 2013.

To Anon@11.12PM: 1) Who ever said of again buying 1,600 AL-31FPs? They were bought in 2000. 3) No. 4) I said a number of times before that EL/L-8222 EW pod was meant for self-protection against SHORSADS, not BVRAAMs. 5) No. 6) They’re being built now. 7) Your guess is as good as mine. 8) That’s what is generally believed to be true. 9) They’re far more advanced.

Anonymous said...

"Both MDL & GRSE have indeed undertaken modular shipbuilding since the 1970s. Bit what has not yet happened is the integrated hull integration due to the absence of shore-based shipbuilding facilities/goliath cranes & wet-basins of adequate size. Then there was the issue about warship designing, with the IN’s Naval Design Bureau (NDB) insisting in the past that shipyards do not get involved in detailed designing of warships. This created an enormous bottleneck of workload since the NDB has only some 50 naval designers/architects"
Thats interesting considering now MOD listens to MDL. The fact of the matter is that, what happened in the past has happened and the troubling fact is we are not even ready to admit the faults and the mistakes made forget about learning from them.
I don't what are you talking about 1970s, both MDL & GRSE has never built any warship using modular shipbuilding and thats the reason why IN was insisting that first two warships should be build by a foreign shipyards and our shipyards can learn and meanwhile modernize their shipyards as per the international standards but also at that time there were thoughts going for an international design for P17a project.

I also don't see HAL manufacturing MRTA. But its an important project and we had to be part of this project for the sake of our aerospace industry.

Can you throw some light on the LASER projects that India is carrying on with Israel and Russia ?

Israel and India will be starting some new RnD projects. Any idea if some projects that India wants israel to be part of ?

ALso any progress on the front of joint projects with Japan ?

Has the trials for the IA's new assault rifle already started ? It should have started in early 2012 ?

IA was suppose to purchase some LSVs, APCs, light tanks etc. Are they gonna be purchase before the end of this financial year ?

saurav jha said...

Hello Prasun,

What do you think of this news item..?

Russia To Nudge India Toward Buying BMP-3s

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121220/DEFREG03/312200004/Russia-Nudge-India-Toward-Buying-BMP-3s?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE

Anonymous said...

when dhruv wsi is in place and carries same armament as LCH then what is the need of having LCH.The LCH being a dedicated attack copter does not even carry 8 anti tank missiles along with the rocket pods.
Idealy a dedicated attack copter like LCH should carry 8 anti tank missiles.

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

Will the indigenous HUDWAC now being developed by CSIL in Chandigarh for the Super Su-30MKIs be a holographic HUD so that the infra-red imagery can be superimposed on the HUD for terrain-following navigation by night?

What belly-mounted IR device will then be present on the Super Su-30MKIs for terrain profiling below?

Thank you.

SherKhan said...

Thank you Prasun.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.59AM: Sections of hulls are always built in various modules & are then lifted by cranes on to the final-assembly area for integration. Following this, the warship is launched in an adjacent wet-basin for final outfitting & installation of weapons & sensors. This is what integrated warship construction is. In case of all MoD-owned shipyards, the hull-module fabrication is done in one area, while the final-assembly area is located somewhere else. Therefore, although modular hull sub-section fabrication indeed has taken place, it still did not translate into integrated warship construction of the type being undertaken by L & T and Pipavav. The only time MDL engaged in integrated warship construction was when it fabricated the two Class 209.Type 1500 SSKs. The S-2, S-3 & S-4 SSBNs too have been/are being subjected integrated warship construction processes at the Vizag-based SBC. As for principal surface combatants, the first warships to be built using integrated warship construction techniques in India will be the seven Project 17A FFGs & four Project 15B DDGs. Therefore, modular hull construction is totally different from integrated warship construction. HAL will indeed produce the MRTA from the raw materials-stage.

To SAURAV JHA: Going by operational reqmts, there’s indeed an urgent reqmt for 900 new-build tracked ICVs for ferrying fully-equipped infantry soldiers to the tactical battle area. Such ICVs are reqd for accompanying the existing T-90S & Arjun Mk1 MBT regiments. However, there is also a parallel reqmt for some 300 tank-destroyer-cum-armoured recce tracked vehicles. Originally, the NAMICA was supposed to fulfil this reqmt, but due to persistent R & D delays involving NAMICA, the Indian Army is giving serious thought to procuring the BMPT ‘Terminator’ off-the-shelf from Russia. Therefore, what Russia is proposing are two solutions to plug the IA’s urgent capability gaps: BMP-3 ICV for use as battle taxis, & BMPTs as substitutes for NAMICA.

To Anon@11.25AM: Dhruv WSI/Rudra is meant for the Army, whereas the LCH is meant for the IAF. LCH will never be a dedicated attack helicopter, but a combat helicopter meant to seek out & destroy UAVs. That’s the LCH’s primary mission.

To Anon@12.59PM: No, it won’t have holographic display capabilities. It will be a conventional wide-angle HUD. Super Su-30MKI won’t have any belly-mounted IR sensors.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Read This: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/now-spring-to-defence/1048295/0

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

Will the Rafales to be exported to India have belly-mounted IR sensors? Will the IAF go for conformal fuel tanks on the Rafales?

Why didn't the IAF go for holographic display capabilities on the Super Su-30MKIs HUD? The Rafales has them and in future the FGFA will have them along with belly mounted IR sensors.

Rafales cockpit is so advanced, easy to use by the pilot and the IAF Sukhois even after up-gradation won't have such advanced cockpit. Why didn't the IAF go for next-gen cockpit such as the HALBIT's Cockpit NG? Will the FGFA have such next-gen cockpit such as the HALBIT's Cockpit NG?

Thank you.

Jai said...

I regard 17.6 crore muslims living in india as the greatest primary threat to our country.Tell me whether my views are correct or not.

Anonymous said...

Sir,
1.Do IAF Sukhoi-30 airframe and subcomponents have sufficient anti-corrosion protection for tropicial weather operations. This is not required in Russian Su-30 s .

2. What jams and decoys the monopulse RF seekers of BVRAAM in Su-30 ?

3. You have previously said that the first 50 Su were sent to Russia for repair and overhaul. After they start arriving from Russia, will they be subjected to deep upgrade at newly built MRO facility at Nasik?

4.What ESM system do IAF Su-30 possess? What will be the annual MRO capacity of this Nasik facility ?

5.Do IAF MiG-29UPG have SOLO LWR in the wingtips like MiG-35 ? Why didn't IAF go for the SOAR MAWS of MiG-35 to be fitted in our MiG-29 during the upgrade .

6. Is it true that SOAR Maws can detect AAM from a distance of 30 km and SAM from a distance of 50 km? Why not fit this system onto Su-30 ?

7. Is it possible to count the no of TR elements of an exposed antenna of RBE2 AESA. Many are claiming that it has 840 TR elements.Is there any substance in this claim ?

8. IA now needs about 1200 IFV cum APC. BAE CV 90 is a good well protected IFV. Why again buy thinly protected BMP series IFV ? Were there any improvements in armour protection of modern BMP-3 over previous BMP-3.

8. Are there same levels of QA/QC maintained at HAL Nasik Sukhoi-30 final production line as maintained in Irkutsk .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.07PM: No belly-mounted IR sensors are available on the Rafale. CFTs will be on some IAF tandem-seat Rafales. Holographic HUDWACs are useful mostly for single-seat interdictors for reduced pilot workload. On tandem-seat aircraft like Su-30MKI there’s an entire rear cockpit dedicated to the WSO, while the pilot has ample space in the front to navigate by using both NVGs & IR imagery obtained from the LDP. Therefore, holographic HUDWAC will be far more useful for single-seaters like Jaguar IS & Tejas Mk2 MRCA. The Cockpit NG has a holographic HUDWAC & therefore it is likely that Tejas Mk2 & LCA (Navy) Mk2 will both have holographic HUDWACs. FGFA’s cockpit will be as advanced as the Cockpit NG.

To JAI: You’re absolutely wrong. Hatred can only result in self-destruction. The greatest primary threat to India remains the kind of mindset that is enmeshed with bigotry & cult-worshiping of various shades, all of which prevents one from achieving spiritual & intellectual enlightenment & grasping the essence of various religious philosophies.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.28PM: 1) Of course they do. 2) Internal jammer. 3) I had stated that this was the plan. I never claimed that the plan had been put into motion. 4) Tarang Mk3. 12 aircraft. 5) No LWRs on MiG-29UPGs. 6) Not true. 7) No way. 8) CV-90 ICV is far too expensive. BMP-3 ICV has been upgraded over the years with add-on appliqué armour as well as ERA. 9) On paper, yes.

Anonymous said...

Sir, Thanx for the replies.
1.You had many times stated that the first Su-30 were shipped to Russia and are now undergoing MRO. If they havent been sent to Russia, they are currently in active service now with IAF.

2. There is plenty of land available in HAL Ozar. Why not build another MRO hangar for increased annual MRO capacity.

3.Arent there any IAF inspectors or Russians in HAL Ozar to oversee that QA,QC are adhered to ?

4.Presently for terrain follwing and navigation in white-out conditions do Sukhoi pilots use infrared imagery of forward terrain of OLS-30 ?

5.How many approx TR elements Dassault claims is there in RBE2AA ?

6.Tarang mk3 is a RWR not ESM .

7.What are the differences between PAK-FA 3rd and 4th prototype ?

8.PAK-FA uses rivetted construction which is not adequate for 5th gen fighters.PAK-FA's empty weight is 18.5 tonne.

9.Is IA interested in BMP-3 ?

Anonymous said...

Today India test fires Astra missile in orisa, any input regarding this

sntata said...

To Anonymous-7.02 PM,
Yes, Astra has been successfully test fired from ITR, Chadipur today. Please read: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=19830

KSK said...

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20121217.aspx

These chaps seem to be very unimpressed with the PAK-FA(T-50)..which has has not yet been thru prototype stage....wat r ur views on their views?

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

Thanks for the reply.

So no belly-mounted IR sensors are available on the Rafale. Will it in future have such system for all-round situational awareness along with rear-mounted IRST?

It is claimed that the Super Hornet employs the most extensive radar cross section reduction measures of any contemporary fighter, other than the F-22 and F-35. Is it true? The F/A-18E/F also uses perforated panels that appear opaque to radar waves at the frequencies used.Does Rafale employ such measures to reduce radar cross-section. How stealthy is Rafale compared to the Super Hornet?

Can the Rafale super-cruise at the moment with the enhanced M88-4E turbofans? If yes, then how many weapons can it carry while super-cruising?

Does the Rafale has an all aspect missile and laser warning, in the same fashion as the F-35?

Thank you.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.02PM: 1) The first 18 Su-30MKIs delivered in 2002 have been ferried to Russia for airframe/engine TBO inspections. They will return to service only next year with No20 Sqn. While at IRKUT Corp, these aircraft won’t be upgraded to Super Su-30MKI standard. 2) The IAF-devised upgrade programme caters for only 12 units every year & therefore there’s no need to increase the MRO capacity. 3) They are stationed there on-site. 4) Su-30MKIs never engage in terrain-following flights, since they’re air-dominance MRCAs. 5) Neither Dassault Aviation nor THALES has as yet revealed the number of T/R elements or modules present on the RBE-2. 6) Tarang Mk3 RWR is the only ESM component that is now available on operational IAF combat aircraft. 7) Not known. 8) Of course.

TO KSK: It is a highly speculative report, since almost all the mission sensors for the PAK-FA were shown during MAKS 2011. Indian FGFA’s empty weight will be 18.5 tonnes while that of the PAK-FA will be 24 tonnes, since the FGFA will feature greater usage of composites on the airframe, while PAK-FA will make use of titanium-alloys. Furthermore, the FGFA will have superior situational awareness compared to the F/A-22 Raptor thanks to its twin IRST installations (nose-mounted & to the cockpit’s rear) that will confer superior & fully passive non-cooperative target recognition modes of operation during dissimilar air combat. As for stealth characteristics, the FGFA & PAK-FA will both make use of active noise cancellation techniques (similar to those destined for the Rafale in future) as well as plasma stealth technologies. As for per-unit acquisition costs of FGFA, they will be lower simply because of increased production volumes, this is because several avionics/mission sensors developed & destined for the FGFA will first find application on board the Super Su-30MKIs. The only technological challenge/hurdle yet to be overcome for both PAK-FA & FGFA is the AL-41F turbofan, which has yet to make its debut.

To Anon@10.55PM: 1) Nothing like that is planned for right now by either Dassault Aviation or THALES. But a rear-mounted IRST is possible. 2) Rafale is definitely more stealthy than Super Hornet. Super-cruise is not possible with Rafale as of now. All-aspect MAWS & laser-warning will be available on IAF Rafales.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Read this: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/china-mulls-buying-russian-submarines/473437.html#ixzz2FYSS2Ypu

That should finally put to rest all speculation regarding India procuring P-75I SSKs from Russia.

DAshu said...

I can guess ur anguish from the last para. The way you have wrote those lines is very touchy .

DAshu said...

may be cleaver middle men (arms dealers)are doing this

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

China buying 4 Amur Subs from Russia...Bad for India..

Why is russia selling such weapons to China..In past Russia has sold many weapons to China..Does Russia never listen to India s concerns?

Do u think India had given a vibe to russia about not selecting the Amur Sub in favour of S 80..prompting Russia to sell them to china..India is yet to make a final desicion on P75I sub selection.

And Reg the existing BMP s in service with IA(about 2000)..Cant they be upgraded instead of going for FICV or BMP 3...

F said...

Prasun,

Very confused about the data links...

Wouldn't the ideal solution be to provide IAF and IN assets with a common data link? I would imagine there would be a scenario where say the INS New Delhi would be required to share radar feed with an AEW platform or a scenario where IN MiG-29Ks during joint operations would share radar feed with IAF Su-30MKIs?

The KA-31 AEW helos - why are only a handful of IN vessels fitted with data links that are compatible with the ones fitted on the KA-31?

Also, as the RTN Super Lynxs and their parent vessels are fitted with Link Y, how will they 'communicate' with the RTAFs Gripens and Eriye which are fitted with Link 11? Would the solution be to fit both Link Y and Link 11 to the RTN vessels?

In terms of servicibility and operational readiness rates, how to current generation Russian SSKs compare to Western boaats? Are the Russian boats more maintenance intensive?

On the MKM/MKI, is it accurate to say that the back seater operates almost all the air to air and air to ground ordnance with the exception of the IR WVR AAMs, unguided rockets and free fall bombs?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DASHU: Anguished? Me? Whyyyyyyyy? On the contrary, we should all rejoice at this news, since it is one less contender for the forthcoming P-75I SSK contest & will translate into less paperwork for the IN’s evaluation team & this consequently will result in a quicker tender evaluation process. Above all, this development will finally put an end to all the longstanding & ill-conceived rumours about India procuring two different types of SSKs (of western & eastern origin). You may recall that a Delhi-based ‘desi’ journalist had raised this issue on December 3 & this ‘desi’ journalist was chided by the CNS at the Navy Day-eve press conference for resorting to ill-conceived speculation. Therefore, in conclusion, I’m not anguished for sure, but an extremely elated.

To Anon@12.12AM: Why should India feel bad or scared or be concerned? Such SSKs after all will be usable only in the South China Sea & East China Sea. If the Russians are shrewd enough & are able to resort to logical reasoning, then by now they must have been convinced that India will definitely opt for NAVANTIA’s S-80 Super Scorpene SSK for Project 75I. About 350 BMP-2 ICVs have already been upgraded to BMP-2K standard & another 600 BMP-2 ICVs will be upgraded in the near future. But there are only limited upgrade options available for BMP-2 & hence the need for heavier ICVs with enhanced self-protection features. The indigenous FICV will take at least another seven years to emerge as a prototype, irregardless of whoever gets the contract. Therefore, to meet urgent operational reqmts, both BMP-3 ICVs & BMPT tank destroyers will have to be imported off-the-shelf.

F said...

Prasun,

You mentioned that Su-30MKIs never engage in terrain-following flights
as they're air-dominance MRCAs. That may be true but the MKIs also have an air to ground tasking don't they?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: Why the confusion? Common operational data-links (ODL) are useful only when there is a single integrated operational plan that is put into effect by all three armed services. For joint operations, a common ODL is not necessary since the operations will be synchronised & sequential in terms of implementation, & will not be conducted concurrently. Presently, all principal surface combatants of the Indian Navy have ODLs to communicate with both KA-31s as well as Heron-1/Searcher Mk2 MALE-UAVs. For the RTN-RTAF scenario, the common ODL is the only answer, which can be made possible by inducting into service software-defined radios (SDR) & IFF transponders. This is the only way that ‘legacy’ systems like LINK-Y & LINK-11 may be able to communicate with one another. The present-generation single-hulled Lada-class/Type 1650 Amur-class SSK compares favourably with its Western counterparts. On the Su-30MKI & Su-30MKM the WSO is responsible for ground strike ordnance management & release, ground target acquisition & tracking via LDP for laser-guided PGMs, activation of jammers for self-protection & escort & conducting SEAD/DEAD missions by acquiring ground-based RF-emitting targets & launching ARMs like Kh-31P. Of course Su-30MKIs have ground strike taskings, but from standoff ranges. For terrain-hugging interdiction missions, Jaguar-IS is used, & in future the Rafale too will be employed for low-level interdiction.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Read This: http://dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/Pakistan/150168-Pak-Navy-successfully-testfires-long-range-missil

Looks like the C-802A ASCM was test-fired.

F said...

Prasun,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my queries.

Some very impressive pictures here and is one reason why Uncle Sam remains the only super or 'hyper' power.

http://blogs.defensenews.com/intercepts/2012/12/home-for-christmas-9-flattops-at-norfolk-dec-20-2012/

BTW Prasun, if you recall we were discussing a while ago why Avibras had yet to develop a guided round for ASTROS. Funds have been allocated for what is ASTROS 2020 that will have a guided round with a 300km range.

accidental loser said...

Hey prasun, u also left d distributed multi band AESA chapter in ur comment on fgfa/pak-fa. It too is quite an addition 2 d already exceptional sit-awarness capabillity of d T-50 against d f/a-22. BTW i also share d same kinda doubt as with 'Faris'. U see, as d navy's set to use link 2 in almost all platforms(seriously in doubt abt it's intigration aboard fighter jets lyk mig29,lca navy,etc...considr a reply on it too) wht kind of steps d IAF & IA gonna adopt 2 maximise fleet commonality & joint ops compatibillity on their aerial as well as ground assets respectively. Wud d israeli origin data links b replaced by data link 2 ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: Awesome! VMT.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ACCIDENTAL LOSER: You're right about the distributed AESA T/R modules on PAK-FA & FGFA. LINK-2 is the SATCOM-based ODL only for communicating between warships & between warships & shore-basded fleet HQs. This will get fully operational only AFTER the IN's dedicated GSAT-7 telecommunications satellite is launched early next year. IN's carrier-based MRCAs will use a Navy-customised ODL with embedded voice/data encryption of the kind on board the P-8I LRMR/ASW platforms now in delivery. Simultaneous joint operations involving IN & IAF aerial assets is still a long way away & won't be possible for as long as the three armed services don't embrace the concept of single integrated operational plans. As of now, all three armed services will be fighting their own standalone wars in the foreseeable future.

accidental loser said...

Huh... I thut i wud see an SU-30MKI firing waves of standoff anti-armour weapon with constant targeting input frm an AAC gunship pretty soon :-(.

accidental loser said...

Btw wht change wud b done 2 d mission computer of d sukhoi-30mki with d super-sukhoi upgrade. Can u provide d exact parameters of d indigenous 1 tht's goin aboard.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ACCIDENTAL LOSER: That scenario will never be realised. In any case, AAC’s attack helicopters & helicopter gunships will receive target coordinates within the tactical battle area from RSH helicopters & MALE-UAVs while the Jaguars, Su-30MKIs & Rafales will make use of EL/M-2060P & RecceLite pods for striking targets way beyond the Army’s tactical battle areas at far greater depths.
The DARE-designed mission computer for Super Su-30MKI will feature IMA architecture, mitigation from LRU to LRM, design for re-use, ARINC-653 S/W standard, VPX back-plane, high-speed serial I/F, will drive the HUD (thereby doing away with the weapons aiming computer), will power five QUICC-III processors, & have reduced weight & reduced power consumption.

Kaushik said...

Hi Prasunda
Is the MoD decision on HTT-40 final, or is there a way for HAL to come back on the issue and renegotiate the prices? Also, does India have any plan/program to develop indigenous turboprop engines?

Thanks and Regards
Kaushik

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasunda, I have been reading your articles and find them very informative. All I want to ask is that, why aren't people serious about the LCA. It seems like a cow which people have milked for their benefit and have neglected it completely. Another serious thing that I always hear about DRDO is regionlism or regional lobby. I know some good engineers who have left DRDO and joined MNC's like GE and Boeing...and they always complained that their works were always neglected as they didn't belong to the majority people down there. What do you have to say??

Anonymous said...

What the C government looks for is defence deals with foreign OEMs so that swiss accounts can be filled conveniently. Thats why no indigenous weapon system has ever been made. God help us with such rulers in power

Rahul said...

LUH's civilian potential makes it all but different from BTT. Given its weight class it even has export potential. And yes it would be nothing cynical to say HAL won't go for FAA like ALH.