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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Highlights Of Aero India 2013 Expo: Part-1

BrahMos Aerospace has used this expo to unveil a scale-model of the hypersonic BrahMos-2 multi-role cruise missile. Also being shown for the first time is a full-scale model of the launch pylon for air-launched BrahMos-1.
Above is a graphic displaying all the Indian vendors involved in the BrahMos-1 series-production programme. The slides below depict the proposals by two competitors--Alpha Technologies Pvt Ltd and Data Patterns Pvt Ltd--for developing and producing an indigenous X-band terminal guidance sensor for the BrahMos-1.
Also being showcased (below) is a mock-up of the Tejas Mk1 MRCA shown with RAFAEL-supplied Derby BVRAAM and Python-5 BVRAAM.
Also being shown for the very first time is a full-scale mock-up of the Astra Mk1 BVRAAM.
The DRDO’s DARE has already completed all R & D work on installing MSWS and countermeasures dispensers suites on both the IAF’s Mil family of helicopters and the An-32B tactical transport aircraft. Also posted below is the DARE-designed EW suite for the Tejas Mk1 MRCA.
Posted below is the latest design configuration of the Rustom-2 MALE-UAV.
ISRO’s booth, which is much better this time when compared to its pathetic showing two years ago at Aero India 2011 (but is still a far cry from being labelled as a space pavilion as claimed earlier), for the very first time displayed posters of the GAGAN GPS-based airborne navigation system, as well as that of the IRNSS constellation of GPS navigation satellites.
And then there is this bizarre poster being displayed at the booth of Bharat Dynamics Ltd that shows a BDL-built Varunastra heavyweight torpedo zeroing in on an Akula-2 SSGN (presumably the INS Chakra)!!!
Although Aero India is an aerospace exhibition, this did not prevent companies like the MoD-owned Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL) from exhibiting its products and services. It can now be confirmed that user’s sea trials of the first of three Project 15A DDGs will get underway at last this March, and its commissioning ceremony will take place anytime between this May and August. Meanwhile, bulk-fabrication of modules for the first of four Project 15B DDGs is now well underway.
Below is the definitive design configuration of the Indian Navy’s GSAT-7 fleet communications satellite, which is expected to be launched before this June by Arianespace.
Below are two posters from TATA Power SED regarding its air-defence artillery business successes.
Although the ‘Swathi’ weapons locating radar (below) has successfully completed its user-trials, BEL has yet to receive a formal production contract for 28 units, since the Indian Army now wants to mount this WLR on a new 8 x 8 truck, instead of the existing TATRA 8 x 8.
Posted below is the DRDO’s integrated radar-cum-EW systems testing range at Chitraguda.
Posted below is all relevant data on the WRCE engine for futuristic DRDO-developed UAVs.
Below is the antenna-array design of the Ashwin AESA-based low-level ‘gapfiller’ radar now being developed by LRDE. This radar will be used in conjunction with the SR-SAM that will be co-developed by the DRDO and MBDA.
Below is the cannisterised twin-launcher meant for the MBDA-built PARS-3LR ATGM, which has been designed and fabricated indigenously by an India-based SME. This launcher, if selected, will go on board the Rudra helicopter-gunship.
Below is the panoramic commander’s sight meant for use by the NAMICA vehicle. The sight has been designed and developed by VEM Industries Pvt Ltd. VEM has also fabricated the PDV exo-atmospheric interceptor’s Ka-band RF seeker (see below).
Meanwhile, Bharat Forge Ltd, the flagship company, of India’s Kalyani Group, and Elbit Systems Land and C4I Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd, on February 7, 2013 announced a strategic cooperation under which a new Joint Venture Company (JVC) will be established, to address India’s Ministry of Defence and other potential Indian government customers’ requirements for the most advanced artillery and mortars systems solutions. The JVC will offer solutions in the field artillery howitzer and mortars segment based on Elbit Systems’ cutting edge technologically advanced products operationally used worldwide, such as the ATHOS 155/52 Towed Gun System, the ATMOS 155/52 Mounted Gun System and the upgraded 130mm M-46 to a 155/45 howitzer (Project KARAN). The JVC will also role out a range of futuristic products like the Advanced Indian Gun System. The JVC will bring together Elbit Systems’ cutting edge technology and system integration capabilities and Bharat Forge’s advanced capabilities in the areas of design, engineering, manufacturing, testing and validation. “The Strategic Cooperation between Elbit Systems and Bharat Forge, and specifically the JVC, will address Indian defence requirements with operationally proven systems from Elbit Systems that have been customised and adapted for Indian conditions and manufactured at the world-class manufacturing facility for end-to–end solutions for artillery systems and armoured vehicles upgrades  established by Bharat Forge recently in India,” said Baba Kalyani, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Forge Ltd. Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, Elbit Systems’ Executive Vice President – President and CEO Designee, and formerly General Manager of Elbit Systems Land and C4I Division, noted: “We are proud to combine Bharat Forge’s systems integration and manufacturing expertise with Elbit Systems’ proven technology. We believe that offering innovative solutions, based on our combined vast operational experience and technological capabilities will position the JVC as a leading supplier to India’s Ministry of Defence and other potential Indian government customers".
Shown below is the full-scale mock-up of the gearbox for the LUH. The gearbox was designed within an 18-month period. Critical components of the gearbox, however, will be imported.
Data Patterns Pvt Ltd is offering an IIR sensor (below) developed by SELEX ES for the HELINA ATGM.
Posted below are other brief updates:

1) The HTT-40 basic turboprop trainer’s (BTT), full-scale mock-up that is being displayed by HAL has tandem-seat glass cockpits supplied by HALBIT Avionics and HAL intends to use the Pratt & Whitney Canada-built PT6 engine. However, the CAS of the IAF this afternoon publicly stated that the IAF has no need or requirement for the HTT-40. 

2) The SR-SAM project, although running behind schedule by six years (due to the DRDO’s pool of scientists and engineers being pre-occupied with the Barak-2 LR-SAM project since 2006), is expected to gain some steam later this year. The SR-SAM will have a maximum range of 25km. 

3) Selection of vendors for supplying various EW sub-systems for the Tejas Mk2 MRCA will take place by this October.<!--[endif]--> 

4) Powerplant for the HAL-developed LUH will be the Turbomeca-developed Ardiden-1U.
5) The IAF’s procurement contracts inked since 2005 have to date generated US$3 billion in terms of direct/indirect industrial offsets, a figure that is set to rise further after the outstanding 14 contracts are inked in future.

6) Preliminary design phase of the FGFA/PMF will be completed next month, and now the product development phase is commencing. During this phase, three airworthy FGFAs will be shipped from Russia to HAL between 2015 and 2018 to enable the DRDO and HAL to commence mission avionics/sensors installation and their integration. Following this, the three FGFAs will be flight-tested by the IAF to determine the aircraft’s performance parameters and its optimum weapons load. If all this works out as planned, series-production of the FGFA/PMF will commence in India by 2022.

7) Despite the IAF’s snub, HAL continues to claim that there is a role to be played by its proposed HTT-40 BTT, stating that since the PC-7 Mk2s cannot be armed (as per Swiss regulations, although countries like Myanmar have successfully skirted such rules), the HTT-40 can be employed for light attack-related flying training. The IAF and the IN on the other hand have asserted that their respective flying training curriculums have no room for such a flying training regimen.

8) The HJT-36 IJT has completed its sea-level and night-flying trials. Thus far, it has completed 647 developmental test-flights, inclusive of 180 being completed last year and 25 last month.

9) The two LCH technology demonstrators have each logged in more than 85 test-flights. TD-3 will feature a shorter crew cabin and fuselage, while the THL-20 gun-turret will be relocated slightly backwards. All three TDs feature imported glass cockpit avionics and automatic flight-control systems, but the projected two LSP models of the LCH will have indigenous substitutes.

10) Textron Systems has lent a few demonstration units of its Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS) to both the BSF and CRPF for field trials.

11) Hyderabad-based TATA-Lockheed Martin Aerostructures had begun fabricating C-130 empennage structures and centre-wing box structures as part of Lockheed Martin’s 30% offsets obligations that are related to the IAF’s acquisition of its first six C-130J-30 Super Hercules transports.

12) The Indian Navy had last June requested information from Bell Boeing about the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor’s ability to fly non-stop from shore-based establishments to the Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar island chains with aerial refuelling. The V-22 is capable of flying out to 1,600km while cruising at a speed of 282 Knots.

13) The first prototype of the Rudra helicopter-gunship meant for the IA’s Aviation Corps, which was formally handed over to the Indian Army today, will now be used for weapons qualification and certification over the next two years, following which CEMILAC will grant it an airworthiness certificate. Between now and 2015 the Indian Army will provide valuable feedback to HAL to further fine-tune the Rudra’s performance while cruising at high altitude. Interestingly, the Rudra incorporates a pintle-mounted 7.62mm medium-machine gun. The Indian Army will use the Rudras for the following 10 years in order to acquire the necessary skills, expertise and ground-based support infrastructure that are required for acquiring integral and effective attack helicopter capabilities. Only after this will the IAF-owned attack helicopters be handed over to the Army. The Indian Army presently owns and operates about 270 helicopters, and is staffed by 280 officers and other ranks.

14) Annual production of the Dhruv ALH is now stabilised at 24 units per annum, with this figure set to rise to 30 in future.

15) Although the IAF had planned for a 12-unit AEW & C fleet by the end of the 12th Plan (1012-2017), it will receive only eight units (five A-50I PHALCON AEW & CS and three EMB-145Is) by 2017.  

16) The IAF is in the process of installing a Su-30MKI fixed-base full-mission simulator at each of its existing and projected air bases that house/will house the Su-30MKIs.

17) By next moth the 512 Sensor-Fuzed Munitions built by Textron Systems will begin arriving in India. Raytheon meanwhile has already begun installing 126 Munitions Control Units on the IAF’s Jaguar IS interdictors. The MCU is a small interface device that easily fits into an aircraft’s avionics bay and utilises the existing weapons-related wiring to communicate with the SFWs.

18) The six Airbus A330-200 MRTTs will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 turbofans.

19) All 80 Mi-17V-5s on order for the IAF will be delivered by the year’s end, while deliveries of an additional 71 Mi-17V-5s (ordered in December 2012) will commence in April 2014.

20) Both the first of eight P-8I LRMR/ASW aircraft and 10 C-17A Globemaster III strategic transporters will be delivered to the Indian Navy and IAF by the first quarter of this year. Five C-17As will be delivered to the IAF this year, while the remaining five will follow in 2014. A total of three P-8Is will be delivered to the Indian Navy this year.

21) The Indian Coast Guard has a requirement for procuring 16 shipborne light/medium-twin helicopters and 14 shore-based medium-lift helicopters, for which Eurocopter is proposing its AS.565MBE Naval Panther and the EC-725 Cougar.

22) THALES Avionics has been selected by HAL for supplying the autopilots for 86 SEPECAT/HAL Jaguars that will be subjected to the DARIN-3 avionics suite upgrade programme.

23) Deliveries of all 12 AgustaWestland AW-101 VVIP transport helicopters will be completed by July 2013.

24) By this July, the IAF will have received 14 of its 75 PC-7 Mk2 BTTs on order, with the remaining following and continuing through to 2014. The IAF, whose annual intake of pilots is 450 at present, will be increasing this figure to 750 in the near future.

25) The 40 Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainers on order for the IAF will be based at Kalaikunda AFS.


Mridul baruah said...

Dear Prasunda: Now that LCA has failed high altitude tests in LEH and full operational clearance postponed to 2015. What do you think would be its future? Why does it have to clear high altitude tests in Leh which Su-30MKI also finds hard...when IAF has planned the squardon to placed at Sullur? Does it mean there will delay LCA MK2?

Gessler said...

LCH TD-2 seems to have undergone many improvements/changes since the last time I saw it.

> Bulging roots of stub wings
> Refined gun pod mounting
> Cover for front wheel's horizontal hydraulics (I think this development happened earlier).

Nice. When is the TD-3 gonna fly? Any info what other changes it may come with?

Rahul said...

Thanks for pics. But want more especially of LCA MK-2.

BTW ASTRA Mk-1 looks way refined that expected!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MRIDUL BARUAH: Firstly, kindly note that Tejas Mk1’s LSP-7 is being subjected to right now are still airworthiness certification flight-tests (after which the aircraft’s technical & maintenance manuals will be drafted), all of which is CEMILAC's & not the IAF's responsibility. Once the CofA is awarded by CEMILAC, the LSP-7 & in future the LSP-8 will be heading to Gwalior where the IAF’s Tactics & Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) will use these two aircraft as well as the first 20 SP-series aircraft (to be delivered by late 2015) for drafting the aircraft’s operational usage manuals for air combat & precision ground-strike. ONLY AFTER this is completed by 2017 will the IOC phase begin. IOC can’t even commence unless all the four manuals I’ve mentioned above are ready for dessimination. IOC & FOC are all about an aircraft's aircrew & ground crew & related ground-based squadron-level MRO facilities acquiring a degree of proficiency that will enable the aircraft to be employed in wartime on a sustained basis. Therefore, all talk of IOC-1/2/3/4 etc & FOC is highly premature to even talk about at this stage, something which the 'desi' journalists & the 'desi' Defence Minister of the MoD as well as the IAF’s CAS ought to understand & stop taking the gullible public for a ride to nowhere. As for CofA-related flight-tests in Leh, even the MiG-21 Bison could not pass them, only the MiG-29B & Su-30MKI could due to their higher-thrust turbofans. The Tejas Mk2 powered by GE-built F414 turbofan will be able to succeed in taking off from & landing in Leh for sure.

To GESSLER: LCH’s TD-3 will have the same looks as that of LCH TD-2 but will have the multi-sensor warning system fitted (same as that on the Rudra) along with countermeasures dispensers. TD-3 will be flying by next month. But the stub wings definitely can’t carry a quad-pack of four HELINAs.

To RAHUL: No one will talk about Tejas Mk2 unless & until all outstanding design challenges pertaining to the Mk1 have been overcome.

Arjun said...

Will the BrahMosII also be limited to within 300km as per Missile Technology Control Regime?
Is there significant technological knowhow required to extend the range to above 300km or we can do it on our own if the need arises?

Arjun said...

Is it true that the GPS is a lot more accurate for the military intentionally degraded for civilian use?
By when will GAGAN be fully operational?

G said...

The HAL Rudra role is Anti-Infantry and anti-armour (CSAR?? )

Q: From the pics posted online of the Rudra... there is limited space in the other than the role mentioned above... is it capable to carry any troops?

Arjun said...

Is it true the LCH has a service ceiling of 6.5 km, so its beyond range of all the current Man portable surface to air missiles?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ARJUN: The maximum range of BrahMos-2 will be 300km as of now. Since is being developed as a JV with Russia, the question of bypassing Russia for the sake of increasing the missile’s range envelope doesn’t arise. For GPS-based navigation there are two types of accuracy-based codes that are available: the civilian C-code where high-level accuracy is not required, while the Py-code is encrypted & offers the highest level of accuracy. GAGAN will be fully operational by 2014. The LCH will be vulnerable to MANPADS if the missile is launched from higher altitudes, as was done by the Stingers in both Afghanistan & Kargil.

To G: So far, the Rudra’s only prototype that’s being shown at Aero India 2013 is shown armed with only 2.75-inch unguided rockets, a 20mm THL-20 cannon & twin Mistral ATAM air-to-air missiles. Neither the HELINA nor PARS-3LR nor Spike-ER have been shown at the expo as potential ATGMs destined for the Rudra. Consequently, based on what’s being shown right now, the Rudra remains only an anti-infantry platform that can also be used for CASEVAC, but not for trooplift.

Anonymous said...

may be that varunastra pic meant for displaying how well akula-2 can fool a heavy weight torpedo .. :)

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DASHU: Good point! Will point it out to BDL tomorrow & ask them what is it they're marketing: the Akula-2 SSGN's survivability or the Varunastra's impotency!

Kshitiz Kumar said...

sir were u present at trials of MSMC if not then how do u know it is being trialled

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Kshitiz Kumar: Were you present in Delhi on August 15, 1947 & did you see with your own eyes the transfer of power? if not, then what led to believe that India became independent on that day?

Mridul baruah said...

Dear Prasunda..thank you for the information. It is really sad to know...almost all indigenous defense projects during the technical demonstration phase works fine...and when it comes to finalizing turns the other way round. Hopefully I will see LCA-MK1 and and MK2 serving in the air force in my life time. I have left hopes on I am very confident that it won't see the light of the day at least in my life time.

Anonymous said...

Sir, Since you are in Aero India, will you pls confirm from DARE officials whether MAWS jointly developed bu DARE & Cassidian for Super Sukhoi will be pylon mounted or will be embedded in the airframe like Su-30MKM ?

When will the super upgrade program commence ? What are the new sensors that were included in the list ?

HAL FGFA is an exact copy of PAK-FA externally .Will the IAF FGFA have circular nozzle engines ?

What were the latest problems with the Tejas engine during high altitude trials ? What has to be modified ? What problems were faced by Su-30 turbofans in Leh ?

During the last 3 years were any new batches of R-73E ordered from Russia ?

Whose radome and antenna dia is larger Tejas or Rafale ?

What are the new procurement contracts to be signed during this expo ?

Will Tejas mk1 have MAWS ?

What is the reason behind MoG-29UPG not having MAWS or MSWS ?

Will IAF Rafales have higher thrust engines unlike French ones and up rated RBE radars.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
1. Brahmos-2 looks very much like DRDO's HSTDV. Is the Scramjet engine for both the same?
2. Will Rustum-2 be powered by Laghu Shakti engine?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon211.05PM: 1) That was confirmed during DEFEXPO 2012 & that’s why the visuals of the design configuration were shown at that expo. No one prepares such visuals unless it is a done deal. 2) The project will commence by 2014. Nothing new to be added other than those that were already identified & confirmed in 2011. 3) Both the scale-models of FGFA/PMF & AMCA as shown by HAL & ADA are of third-class quality. For instance, the FGFA’s scale-model at HAL’s pavilion does not even show the rear-mounted IRST sensor that is now already flying on the T-50 PAK-FA. That’s how stupid HAL is!!! The same goes for the AMCA’s model. 4) The only problem is that the F404-IN20 turbofan of Tejas Mk1 is underpowered when taking off from such high-altitudes. Only two countries—China & India make use of such high-altitude airports & air bases. The US, France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Russia & Israel do not. Therefore, none of these countries make turbofans or on-board oxygen generation systems that offer the kind of performance parameters that China or India want when operating out of such high-altitude locations. 5) Not that I’m aware of. 6) Both have more or less the same dimensions. 7) None so far. 8) No MAWS for Tejas Mk1. 9) Only the IAF can answer that. 10) They will be of the same standard as that of the latest production-model Rafales now being supplied to the French Air Force.

To SNTATA: No, the scramjet's dimensions are quite different as are the airframe designs. All scramjet designs worldwide closely resemble each other. The various experimental scramjet designs shown at successive MAKS exhibitions since 2007 bear a close resemblance to what's on board the BrahMos-2. 2). No, the Rustom-2's visual uploaded clearly shows it being equipped with twin propellers.

Vikram Guha said...


First of all many thanks for the wonderful coverage of Aero India 2013.

I just need to know from you that is Cassisian developing the MAWS for the Sukhoi aircrafts in house in India or doing the work in Europe and integrating it here in India at DARE's facility ?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Regarding Brahmos-2, which type of device will be used to accelerate the speed from zero to supersonic before the scramjet takes the power in its own hands to hypersonics?

Kshitiz Kumar said...

1.if tejas mk1 gets FOC will it reduce testing time of Tejas mk2?
2.What happened to LSV that indian army was buying(the one having Mahindra axe and others competing)?
3.By what time LCH will come to induction stage

Kshitiz Kumar said...

4.sir,by what time rustom be inducted?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRAM GUHA: The MAWS was developed by CASSIDIAN in the previous decade. All that is now being done is integrating it to the various airframes, both fixed-wing & rotary-wing. This work is being done by DARE.

To Mr.RA 13: There will be a rear-mounted solid rocket booster for that purpose.

Rahul said...

What engine will go into Rustom-2?

Anonymous said...

"Both the scale-models of FGFA/PMF & AMCA as shown by HAL & ADA are of third-class quality. For instance, the FGFA’s scale-model at HAL’s pavilion does not even show the rear-mounted IRST sensor that is now already flying on the T-50 PAK-FA."
Common man. They are like wind tunnel models. They are not meant to show those stuff. They are only meant to show the air-frame.

Any info on HSTDV ? DRDO was suppose to launch it this year. Also anything on AURA ?

DRDO is planning to showcase missiles during aero india. Any new missile displayed ?

Any progress on the deal signing for LCA mk2 ? I read an article from an israeli on defence update. Is El/m 2052 aesa going on LCA mk1 and mk2? Its on display during aero india.

What is Japan showing ? and What new product US government has cleared for Indian purchase especially MALE and HALE UAVs ?

Any update on amphibious and MRMR aircrafts ? Also anything on IAF's ASTOR like aircraft for which i think you said Bombardier G5000 was selected ?

Also any update on air dfence front especially like RFI/RFP are issued in every catgory from different arm of armed forces ? Especially air defence gun especially after blacklisting of Rhienmetall and VSHORADS.

News are coming about armed forces again seeking info on various versions of V22. Any chance of procurement ?

Anonymous said...

Isn't Brahmos 2, alot like US X-51 ?

Anonymous said...

expecting more updates from Aero India 2013

Vikram Guha said...

Thank You PrasunDa .

Re the Self Protection Suite for the MI 17 and the MI 17 1V why did the IAF go for the suite designed by DARE and not PRESIDENT M EW suite uded by the Russian AF ?


Akhil Suri said...

Hi Prasun ,

UAC is saying that the Indian FGFA will use Russian avionics.

Previously the Indian media had reported that the Indian FGFA would use Israeli and EW avionics .

Please share your views.


Anonymous said...

Is there any truth to that Turkish Panter howitzer's currently made under licence in pakistan? that it prooved to be far better than chinese and they choose this after turkey gave them 12 free as gift and they really liked it?

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
If Rustum-2 is going to be powered by twin turboprop engines [which engine, the same one as Rustum-1?], then is Laghu Shakti meant for an entirely new MALE UAV? If so in which way it will differ from Rustum-2?

Anonymous said...

Sir, would you please furnish me with some useful info on night vision devices & their structures.
I need them for preparing my seminar presentation.
I surfed for it on net, but if you shall provide me with some more info and colourful pics, will help make my presentation more attractive and informative.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Kshitiz Kumar: Rustom-1 was promised for delivery by DRDO for user-trials by late 2012, but that hasn’t happened. The Rustom-2 is now being promised for user-trials by 2016.

To RAHUL: The same engines that power the single-engined Rustom-1.

To Anon@8.12AM: 1) If that’s the case, then India is the exception to the global norm by exhibiting wind-tunnel models. Even scale-models of airframes shown by the world’s major OEMs are highly detailed. 2) No one is displaying anything about HSTDV or AURA, not even a poster. 3) No new missiles of any type is being displayed by DRDO. 4) EL/M-2032 MMR is on Tejas Mk1. No decision has been taken for the MMR for Tejas Mk2. 5) Japan is showing only the SH-3 amphibian. 6) No HALE-UAVs have been offered by the US to India. No one from the Indian Armed Forces has made any official request for classified briefings or marketing presentations on the V-22 Osprey. Just because Boeing is displaying a scale-model of the V-22 doesn’t imply that the V-22 is being sought by any prospective end-user.

To VIKRAM GUHA: It makes both financial & operational sense to standardise on one systems architecture for MAWS wherever possible.

To AKHIL SURI: Of course there will be Russia-origin avionics on the FGFA, like the AESA-MMR, distributed AESA arrays & IRST sensors. But there will be other sub-systems of non-Russia origin as well.

To SNTATA: The same type of engines now powering the Rustom-1 will also find application on the Rustom-2. Laghu Shakthi is for a loitering MALE-UCAV.

Mridul baruah said...

Dear won't be wrong to say that none of the major indigenous defense projects have ever met the dead line or the time frame. The only thing consistent has been delays and increase in expenses. Is DRDO really serious about its projects. Especially LCA Tejas, which have been dragging on and on; why no one has yet been held accountable? According to you what should be done to finish our projects in given time frame with fruitful results.

Anonymous said...

Prasun could you elaborate a bit on the new ardiden engine for the LUH, is it better than the shakti? There are no specs on the internet.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
Thank you very much for your clarifications. Sorry to bother you again. So two UCAVs are under development, one loitering UCAV powered by Laghu Shakti and another named AURA powered by modified Kaveri?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MRIDUL BARUAH: The root cause of this malaise is the mindset of discredited Nehruvian socialism that prevails till this day. It is this very mindset that has today paralysed India’s economy as well. For instance, the DPSUs that were created in the 1950s, 1960s & 1970s should have been converted into financially sustainable publicly-listed companies between 1980 and 2000 & today such companies should have taken the lead in product development & systems integration, & should also have first mentored the private-sector companies to become sub-contractors, & eventually implement projects on risk-sharing basis. But look what has been happening instead: the DPSUs are loathe to compete, thrive in protectionism, & hardly undertake any in-house R & D. Similarly, successive Govts of India have encouraged greater governmental involvement in running businesses & industries & have perpetuated subsidisation across-the-board in the hope that this will all lead to job creation & alleviate poverty. What has instead happened is that while jobs have been created, the human resources of the DPSUs have been prevented from becoming productive, while large-scale economic subsidisation has only led to the existence of high levels of poverty, with the poor being led to exist as happily contented poor! Unless such structural contradictions are removed, India will continue to miss deadlines, be it in road construction or military R & D, & will always remain a laggard in most spheres of geo-economic activity. As for accountability, it should be a top-down affair, which it isn’t at the moment due to the inclination of all political parties of India to engage in vote-bank politics for short-term gains. Therefore, for the politicians, concepts like nationalism, socialism etc have only a five-year shelf-life. That’s why the country’s Planning Commission cannot plan beyond a five-year period. The consequences of all this will indeed be most terrible & devastating for India in the next 10 years, especially in the arena of energy security, mark my words. As for the Tejas Mk1’s R & D running behind schedule, it must be noted that ADA missed a decade of activity from 1991 due to the financial crisis during that decade, & actual R & D got underway only after 2001.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.39PM: The Ardiden-1U is presently being developed by Turbomeca specifically for the LUH. Therefore, its certified specifications & performance parameters won’t be available until the year’s end. Presently, all that can be said is that it will be an uprated version of the Ardiden-1H/Shakti.

To SNTATA: That’s right. But the loitering MALE-UCAV powered by Laghu Shakthi will be something like the present-day Predators & Reapers. The AURA USAV on the other hand will be more advanced like the NEURON, i.e. it will feature more intelligent flight-controls that will enable it to undertake terrain-hugging flights & engage in terrain-masking as well as undertake evasive manoeuvres & use defensive electronic countermeasures systems, with only ordnance release involving real-time human intervention. In other words, while the loitering MALE-UAV will enable India to ‘walk and jog’ as far as acquiring UCAV-related technological proficiencies go, the AURA will enable India to ‘run’.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the reply.
So i take it they have resolved the problems they had with the french as per this article:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Looks like I have been joined by another person who sees the writing on the wall & shares my views on the HJT-36 IJT & AMCA. For instance:

“On Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT): If we get sufficient Pilatus trainer and Hawks, then we will not have space for anything else.”

“On Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA): With the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) in the pipeline, the need for AMCA is debatable.”

Read this:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.13AM: Those ‘problems’ were in fact the mere ‘station position’ of any party prior to commencement of negotiations. Only when both parties sit together & conduct serious negotiations that the ‘stated positions’ always give way to give-and-take on a mutually beneficial basis. That is also how contracts are negotiated worldwide & how deals are struck between countries. Therefore, the report you’ve highlighted was highly speculative & ill-informed at the time it was written.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

That’s why the country’s Planning Commission cannot plan beyond a five-year period. The consequences of all this will indeed be most terrible & devastating for India in the next 10 years, especially in the arena of energy security, mark my words

We would like you to elaborate as we can see a lot of activity in this area

PM wants Nuclear power adopted in a big way and did a Nuke deal.Nuke reactors being bought from Russia/west

TAPI is happening for getting gas from Turkmenistan

National gas grid coming up.

Thorium being researched upon.

India-US co operation in the shale gas also under sea bed.

The energy scarcity will only cause prices to go up for oil/gas we import. We still have the dirty COAL resources we can burn for decades.

Also you mentioned it as only one arena. The others apart from the economy?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

In the widespread clouds of the dark, your collections of the presentations and their proper explanations provide a glorious aura of the light.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1AM: Despite the enthusiasm for nuclear power generation, the fact remains that barring Russia, other potential solutions like what the French & US are offering are quite expensive, costwise. From a financial standpoint, therefore, the only alternatives are gas from offshore sources & coal. For both of these, there are plenty of national reserves available & one won’t need to resort to imports at all, PROVIDED the existing Indian entities like COAL INDIA & ONGC are allowed to ink production-sharing contracts with their foreign counterparts, something which is not happening at the moment. Experienced foreign MNC companies have the necessary technologies reqd for deep-sea hydrocarbons exploration & coal-mining that COAL INDIA & ONGC does not presently possess & therefore the bulk of India’s national reserves of gas, oil & high-quality coal still remain unexploited. There’s no need to as far as Turkmenistan or Qatar or the US for securing gas supplies: just initiate offshore oil/gas exploration options ASAP in & around the Andaman & Nicobar island-chain & further offshore adjacent to the Krishna-Godavari Basin & all of India’s gas-related demands can be easily met for the next 50 years at least. This alone will lead to tremendous foreign-exchange savings & enable the Govt of India to invest such saved financial resources into the transportation & education infrastructure areas, without which the country’s economy won’t be self-sustaining in the long run.
Likewise, structural reforms such as strategic divestments of up to 49% in all existing DPSUs, encouraging them to team up with global OEMs will be of great help in terms of stimulating India’s economy & maximising job creation opportunities across-the-board. As I had frequently stated before, the need of the hour is the emergence & display of visionary national leadership & statesmanship that can take difficult decisions without any difficulty & this is the ONLY way forward implement the concept of decisive & purposeful national governance.

To Mr.RA 13: VMT. There will always be a ray of light after darkness, provided one doesn’t suffer from tunnel-vision by doning blinkers.

Anonymous said...

watch this video, very interesting.

Anonymous said...

"If that’s the case, then India is the exception to the global norm by exhibiting wind-tunnel models. Even scale-models of airframes shown by the world’s major OEMs are highly detailed."
Yeah they are but none of them are exactly the same because its not possible. Secondly each model when displayed has something to show and that something is highlighted. Here the highlight was airframe which showcase stealth.
In FGFA and AMCA's defence right now not much is cleared. Yeah they have said that AESA will be there and so will the EW suit, IRST etc. But there's alot unknown. IAF might decide not to go for second IRST or they might go for Chin mounted IRST or something new is learned from PakFa and that new placement is decided for IRST. My point being there's alot unknown about these projects and as the project progress alot is gonna change. So hoping for the projects which are still on the drawing board to be shown as a exact replica of what the final project or even the first protype will look like is alot and unnecessary as the model shown in next aero india will itself differ from this one and will be more refined.
In short they were giving us the first glimpse of what India's future 5th gen fighter jet will look like, just calm down and wait for the next aero india.

"No one is displaying anything about HSTDV or AURA, not even a poster."
Thank you. What about those lecture series ? Can you still ask someone about the progress on these projects ?

"No one from the Indian Armed Forces has made any official request for classified briefings or marketing presentations on the V-22 Osprey."
I just asked because i read the news reports.

Prasun, we heard ACM about Avro replacement and it looks like we are going ahead with purchase and production but your point of the number being too small is also right. Should we get the license production rights like we have for Dronier for this aircraft or is there a possibility of increasing this order ?

"“On Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA): With the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) in the pipeline, the need for AMCA is debatable.”"
In my opinion both AMCA and FGFA are important if we want our research labs and support industries to be at the standard of world. We have developed a pool of talent which needs a continues research so as to keep climbing the stairs. Now we can make AMCA as tech demonstrator but it will only help the researchers and not the industries which need more grooming and we cannot abandon FGFA because there's huge gap between LCA and AMCA and we need one more step in the form of FGFA.
Also procurement of AMCA by both IAF and IN will give encouragement to the LCA scientists which are not too happy because of continues criticism by everyone. They need encouragement and a feel of success which will come by clearance of the project and then later procurement by the services in large number.

Anonymous said...

"But the loitering MALE-UCAV powered by Laghu Shakthi will be something like the present-day Predators & Reapers."
Any mention of this UCAV like atleast a picture of this mysterious UCAV will be highly appreciated.
Who is building it ? Which lab ? Because most of UAV specialised labs are busy in Rustam, MAVs and AURA.

Anonymous said...

There's anything new from SAMTEL, HALBIT ?

Anonymous said...

// " On Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA): With the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) in the pipeline, the need for AMCA is debatable. " //

now, isn't it logical that the AMCA will have lesser capabilities than FGFA, In any case, they have their use, just like the f-22 and f-35 are being used in USAF. The F-22 was procured in smaller numbers for just air superiority, this role in IAF will be done by FGFA , however the role of FGFA will not be just restricted to air superiority, and for other missions it will be f-35 and here in IAF it will be AMCA.

Shiv Aroor posted this pic on his blog, the pic very clearly shows the intended roles of both FGFA and AMCA, it was also said that AMCA would replace all older Mig's, and FGFA was completely different,and was not meant as any replacement but enhancement of capabilities.

here is the pic // " " //

If AMCA goes into development stage, any idea which engine it might use and what would be required thrust of it?

Kshitiz said...

1.if tejas mk1 gets FOC will it reduce testing time of Tejas mk2?
2.What happened to LSV that indian army was buying(the one having Mahindra axe and others competing)?
3.By what time LCH will come to induction stage

Anonymous said...

// " Below is the antenna-array design of the Ashwin AESA-based low-level ‘gapfiller’ radar now being developed by LRDE. " //

what do you mean by low level gap filler?

the other day, i read an article which said India does not have long range radars, and it said that this will hinder any India's move to put anti ballistic missiles systems to intercept long range missiles.In such a scenario, how are we going to intercept ballistic missiles of longer ranges, and how the DRDO is planning the test of PDV in absence of long range radars.

Anonymous said...

Prasun check this picture out.

Is it P17a FFG ?

Anonymous said...

Hello Prasun sir,

1) What is the status on ISRO's RLV-TD? Did they said anything about it during the show?

2) Any info regarding rocket-powered Sudarshan bomb?

3) Are all the X-band seekers on all BrahMos variants indigenous?

4) When will Nirbhay be tested?

5) Can Tejas Mk-2 carry the 750-km conventionally-equipped Nirbhay?

6) Is it true Pakistan is developing a nuclear submarine? If not, will China give them it?

7) What ballistic missile programmes is Pakistan currently working on? Can you list them out and their ranges?

8) Can Arjun Mk-1 or Mk-2's frontal armor be strong enough to defeat a hit by Pak Army DU rounds and the ATGMs fired by Al-Khalid?

9) Can Al-Khalid's armor defeat a hit by CLGM launched by Arjun?

10) Finally, do you think India's defence industry and preparedness/capability will take a turn for the better if Narendra Modi becomes PM in 2014?

rad said...

hi Prasun
the later version of the astra displayed near the twin seater has huge wings , for a layman there seems to be no contemporary missile looking like that , seems to create a lot of drag though with an advantage in lifting surface. All others like the amraam , sd-10, aa-12 , meteor have small wings ,any the closest to resemble it is the mica with similar stakes and smaller wing , may be they have taken a thing out of it , can you explain the rationale.?

Abhijit said...

Looks like lot of your predictions are coming true. HTT-40 almost on verge of cancellation and deal of 197 light helicopters being put in cold storage and instead army opting for Cheetal. Kudos :) Looking forward for much detailed and unbiased news from you as always.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.17AM: Twin IRST installation on FGFA/PMF for 360-degree situational awareness was confirmed during Aero India 2011 itself by the then CAS of IAF ACM P V Naik. AURA is still in the systems definition stage. So far, only the powerplant has been confirmed (i.e. Kaveri turbofan). HS-748 Avro’s replacement will not go ahead unless & until the MoD approves foreign OEMs for taking 49% stake in JVs meant for realising the replacement programme, identical to the JV established between HAL & Russia’s United Aircraft Corp (UAC) for the IL-214 MRTA & the BrahMos Aerospace JV. What no one can explain logically is why is the Govt of India against the emergence of JVs (involving both the DPSUs & the private sector) with 49% foreign equity holding when precedents have already been set since February 1998, i.e. creation of the BrahMos Aerospace consortium & more recently the HAL-UAC consortium for the IL-214 MRTA. Such type of knee-jerking is downright embarrassing & reduces the MoD’s decinion-making processes to a spectacular farce.

To Anon@8.20AM: The MALE-UCAV is being co-developed by ADE & NAL, plus GTRE & DARE. In all probability, HAL & BEL will be the production authorities.

To Anon@8.25AM: Both SAMTEL & HALBIT are bidding for supplying the cockpit avionics for the LUH.

To Anon@8.29AM: AMCA is being projected as the successor to existing MiG-29UPGs, Mirage 2000UPGs & Jaguar IS/IM AFTER 2035. Its powerplant will have to be the successor to the Kaveri turbofan that GTRE will be required to develop.

To Anon@8.51AM: The Ashvin will be used in conjunction with the SR-SAM. For the PDV, use will be made of ground-based LRTRs that will receive early warning from the geostationary orbit-based Missile Monitioring System, i.e. satellites equipped with IR sensors.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.52PM: 1) Are you kidding? The ISRO booth was manned only on February 6 for only half-a-day & since then the booth has been unmanned & no one from ISRO or Antrix Corp is in sight. 2) Nothing. 3) Not yet, but they will be. 4) Hopefully this month. 5) Yes. 6) Not true on both counts. 8) Yes, if equipped with ERA panels or APS suite. 9) Arjun MBT will launch the CLGM against helicopters, not other MBTs. 10) Can’t say for sure.

To RAD: The Astra Mk1’s design configuration merely illustrates the fact that the DRDO is still very much involved in climbing the learning curve in this arena. Therefore, further airframe design refinements can be expected in future, i.e. the Mk2 version of Astra.

To ABHIJIT: VMT. It merely illustrates the fact that my arguments about the RSH/LUH project were based purely on common sense & logic. However, it is highly surprising that there are so many decision-makers in India who do not see the writing on the wall. It therefore now appears that financial constraints have finally forced these decision-makers to think & act more prudently. Hopefully, this will also result in the Tejas Mk1’s tandem-seat operational conversion trainer being adopted in the near future as the IAF’s & Indian Navy’s new-generation lead-in fighter trainer.

Anonymous said...

i have been following your blog for the last one and half years. your blog is very informative and what makes it stand out is that its owner is always there to clarify.
all that is being said and done about indias defence industry i want to ask ultimately what is the worth of it.
india as great democracy(BANANA REPUBLIC) standing up for (IN)EQUALITY SICKULARISM etc, how many years is india as a union going to last.
i have many muslim friends but i am sorry to say many of them follow the KATTAR BRAND OF ISLAM .
so what is stopping them as of when they can for asking for indias division AGAIN

i will just provide an analogy

Anonymous said...

prasun, what do you say about this

// " India rejects OIC suggestion to allow mission to J&K " //

// " " //

Vikram Guha said...

Hi Prasun Da,

I heard that in Aero India IAI is showing the EHUD pod configured in an R73 air to air missile .

Did you get a chance to take any snaps of it ? Will really appreciate if you can provide some images for us , your readers .


raw13 said...

Polluted water == kills
Corrosive acid == burns

it is people like you that will be the CAUSE of split. Its not you but your(indian) mentality. What happens when you doubt your wife/sister is sleeping with the neighbour?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.13PM: The biggest problem is that the term ‘fundamentalism’ is always mis-used & mis-interpreted & it is from this that ill-informed & uncalled-for hatred & intolerance emanates. For, the sad truth is that if only both communities had adhered to the fundamentals of their respective religious philosophies, then there would have been no cause whatsoever for all the ill-will that presently persists. The reality therefore is that if true religious fundamentalism (i.e. adherence to the fundamental tenets of religious philosophies) is given a chance to be practiced, then all the poisonous mindsets now prevailing will immediately cease to exist. It is this simple, elementary, common-sense formula that sadly continues to evade humanity at large.

To Anon@7.22PM: How can India be expected to accord any legitimacy to the OIC when it was the OIC itself that prevented India from being one of its founding members?

To VIKRAM GUHA: Not the EHUD encased within a R-73E WVRAAM, but rather an EHUD pod that is electrically re-wired to be compatible with the R-73E’s underwing launch pylons, thereby obviating the need for a separate internal MCU installation.

Anonymous said...


// " it is people like you that will be the CAUSE of split. Its not you but your(indian) mentality. What happens when you doubt your wife/sister is sleeping with the neighbour? " //

tell this to your mother,she might have slept with everyone in the town.

your leaders slept with Americans , Europeans and Chinese and other mullah nation in hope to counter India, and now, a Pakistani whose mother doesn't even have a clue as to who is the real father of the child is talking about sleeping with some one else. a Pakistani talking about ethics eh???

Anonymous said...

// "19) All 80 Mi-17V-5s on order foe the IAF will be delivered by the year’s end, while deliveries of an additional 71 Mi-17V-5s (ordered in December 2012) will commence in April 2014. " //

a slight correction prasun, make it 'for' instead of 'foe'.

Anonymous said...

sir ,
i have a couple of questions..
1) Around 150-200 OFFICERS pass out of the AFA every 6 months..half of them are from the flying branch..
i.e a total of not more than 200 pilots a year..but u mention a figure of u say this..
2) shouldn't the IN & ICG go for the same type of helicopters for same role..only the avionics need to be different given the different roles.. isn't it ?
2)why would 40 hawk AJTs be located in kalaikunda..when the AFA is in hyderabad..?

Anonymous said...


While we see a much failed take off of our society and looking back we point fingers at our leaders. But in this aspect we miss some of the important decisions taken by these leaders. I see Pundit Nehru as a visionary, since at the time of our independence it was onus on us to show the world (and to herself) that India can stand as a single country instead of the 600 princely state. I read somewhere that the real intention of Military parade on a republic day started with the intention to show to own public that atleast miliatrily we have a certain strength and it is possible for us to stand united as a country (and that too at a time the peace lovers were in demand). I think for a country which had atleast 30 crore hungry stomachs, to initate with an idea of nuclear energy, weapons research, fundamental research (undoubtedly we have/had some success in this area, though not sustained) and above all a feigned non aligned stance, it was as you say 'a difficult decision taken with (out?) much difficulty'. It took a Deng xiaoping to turn around China which was the closest look alike of us, and sorry we lacked a Deng. Socialism and populism were not a decision taken but were the mildest alternative to a sure communist take over. Of course the erstwhile princlings and feudals had deep pockets to keep it at bay, but with out the cloak of socialism it would not have been possible. Sure it became outdated, but why blame it on Nehru, it was the failure of the successive governments to adapt to and adopt what is happening in the world. We started with a vision, but instead of adopting future we adopted gap filling of the mistakes of past and alas that is going on (good simili in BTT-40). So if some one is to be blamed, it is we ourselves, for not opting for leaders who had vision but instead chose leaders who shared our myopia. I am sure you will be able to win an election if you promise (and not deliver) free laptops (wonder where the money comes from!) for every one, even though public knows you are con. It is easy to sell crazy dreams in Bollywood and it is more easy to sell utopian dreams to our Common man.


Anonymous said...


ADA official gives hint that AMCA will be in similar class of F 35 II Lightening. But instead of single engine (with ~190 KN force with after burner) it will have two engines (each producing some where between 90 - 100 KN force which sums up to ~200 KN force). Empty weight of AMCA is calculated at 12 Tons (where as 13.5 Tons for F 35II). Loaded weight is calculated at 20 Tons for AMCA (Where as 22.5 Tons for F 35II). So in all case the MTOW of AMCA will be some where near 32 Tons (Where F 35II MTOW is also at 32 Tons). In all possible scenario, the actual weight of the aircraft will be slightly heavier than the envisaged design weight in CAD drawings. So considering enough tolerance into consideration each engine (Going to be developed by GTRE with a development partner) of AMCA will be producing more than 100 KN of Force to cater to the weight anomaly that may add up? VMT in advance...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.22PM: Done. VMT.

To Anon@11.52PM: 1) Not all air warriors are AFA graduates. 2) Not necessarily. QRs of the In are quite different from the QRs of the ICGS. 3) That’s because these 40 Hawk Mk132s will be employed as LIFTs to replace the existing MOFTU.

To Sreenivas: The problem in the 1950s as I see it was not the adoption of socialism, but the kind of socialism that was adopted, especially during the 1956 Avadi Session of the Congress. It was then that the seeds of the licence raj were sown, due to which India totally lost out in the 1960s and 1970s, instead of emerging as one of the ‘Tiger’ economies of the type witnessed in East & Southeast Asia during the same period. Lack of strategic visioning resulted in India stubbornly refusing to become one of the founding-members of ASEAN, & not initiating nuclear weaponisation immediately after May 1974. The only conclusion one can draw from such instances is that India’s political decision-makers have been & will continue to avoid making tough decisions until they have their backs to the wall & have nowhere else to go but forward, i.e. being reactive instead of becoming pro-active.

Anonymous said...

Also when one designs an aircraft which is going to compete with an existing fighter like F 35II, it is obvious that the new design will take into consideration the short comings of the existing design and how best our design can outperform an existing design (In similar weight class at-least) in a possible engagement scenario. So in all cases AMCA should at least carry more armament inside its belly in a stealth combat scenario to out score its opponent which directly leads to more internal space to be accommodated for more air to air missiles (Or at least enough missiles to match and out perform a more formidable opponents like F 22 or PAK-FA/FGFA). So is it going to be logical that it will be more heavier than F 35II Lightening aircraft??? which will be designed to out perform its opponent in its LO, Super cruise, Armament, Sensors to an extent to score more points against it... ??? VMT

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Please see:

Do they really mean it to be developing the Agni-6 or are they just confusing with the futuristic SLBM with MIRV.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
Thank you so much for your elaboration on the two UCAVs under development and thank you for a feast of information on Aero India show.
1.Delighted to learn that another of your valuable suggestions to use upgraded Cheetal as LUH. In fact IA has already ordered 22 Cheetals from HAL in Dec 2012. It will be excellent stop gap arrangement till the arrival of HAL-LUH, if more cheetals are inducted and a huge saving in IAF's budget. I think Cheetal holds the world record in high altitude flying at 24,000 ft. Was it upgraded with HAL/Turbomeca Shakti engine? Is the Turbomeca's Ardiden-IU engine to be used in LUH same as Shakti?
2.Glad to learn that Swathi WLR has passed user trails. Is there no TATA 8x8 truck available?
3. About IJT-36 you have said "Thus far, it has completed 647 developmental test-flights, inclusive of 180 being completed last year and 25 last month". Last year's and last month's tests must be with NPO Saturn's AL-551 engine. What is wrong with the engine, then?
Thanking you once again.

Anonymous said...

what impact would induction of HQ-16A & B have on IAF? There are reports PA are looking to transfer a manufacturing plant over. One battery (12 launchers) from china, the rest made in pakistan. They carried out testing last year and apparently very very happy.

Unknown said...


Will the defence budget of FY2013-14 be down on the FY2012-13 defence budget?Or will the defence budget of 2013-14 once again be higher than that of the one before?

Technology, Photograpy and Travel said...


new year wishes and my first Q this year,
1. it is good that IAF is making LCA through the grind, i wish our DRDO's and other labs esimilate all this, are they doing reviews for this failures,

2. and RCS wise what would be LCA's performance

3, BrahMosII what would be its range, I percieve that it would be good asset for Land attack against the Missile launching sites of china and pak,

Are we developing the propulsion for this or only guidence

4. till now what is stock pile for BrahMosI version

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.38AM: In my view, it will be a fallacy to view the AMCA as a competitor to the F-35 Lightning JSF, for by the time the AMCA makes its debut sometime after 2025, both the F-35 & China’s Shenyang J-21 will have been procured by several of the world’s air forces in large numbers. Furthermore, the superiority of platforms like F-35, J-21 & AMCA will be determined not by LO-shaping/looks or offensive payload capacities, but by the sophistication of sensor fusion technologies & network-centric technologies & the terrestrial/extra-terrestrial platforms that will be required for optimally exploiting the available sensor fusion technologies & network-centric technologies. Consequently, I will once again reiterate that it will be a fallacy to compare the AMCA with the F-35 or J-21 purely in terms of platform-centric parameters like turbofan performance, MTOW, weapons-carrying capacity, LO airframe shaping, etc.

To Mr.RA 13: Your hunch is right, since there’s no such approved on-going project known as Agni-6 for sure. The only MIRV-armed ballistic missile that will have a greater range than the Agni-5 ICBM will be the SSBN-launched 6,500km-range SLBM.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA: 1) The IA will eventually acquire up to 80 Cheetals powered by Turbomeca-built TM-333-2B engines, which were developed exclusively for the Dhruv Mk1/2 ALH. The Ardiden-1H/Shakti for the Dhruv Mk3/4 is an uprated derivative of the TM-333-2B, while the Ardiden-1U will be an uprated version of the Ardiden-1H/Shakti. In other words, the TM-333-2B continues to be subjected to pre-planned product improvements in line with emerging requirements. In future, the TM-333-2B on Dhruv Mk1/2 will be replaced by the Ardiden-1H/Shakti & all existing Dhruv Mk1/2s will also be equipped with glass cockpits. 2) Alternate 8 x 8 trucks are indeed available from TATA, Ashok Leyland as well as from foreign OEMs hailing from Russia & Sweden. In all probability, a competitive bidding process will be initiated by the IA for selecting the optimum platform. 3) There was never a problem with the AL-55I’s performance parameters. The challenge was to integrate the AL-55I with the HJT-36’s airframe, which has to be modified in order to cater for the AL-55I’s higher thrust-levels. To this end, HAL has enrolled the consultancy services of BAE Systems.

To Anon@2.03AM: It is the LY-80E MR-SAM that will be acquired to replace the existing Raytheon-built MIM-23B Improved Hawks.

To UNKNOWN: In real terms, due to high inflation levels, the FY 2013 defence budget allocation will not surpass that for FY 2012. But there’s nothing to be worried about, since there’s plenty of room left for belt-tightening & right-sizing of the armed forces.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.31AM: VMT. 1) Of course it is a good thing to do, since there are no other alternatives. The only option therefore is to take the way forward. 2) It will be similar to what’s been achieved with the JAS-39 Gripen. 3) 300km. Propulsion system has been developed by Russia’s NPOM. 4) More than 200 units.

Vikram Guha said...

Thank You PrasunDa for providing the insight .

I read that India is coming up with a tender for Air Defense Systems and Russia is pitching the S 300 V .

Is this news true ?

Thank You

Akhil Suri said...

Hi Prasun ,

Two questions :

(1) Has the Indian army finalized any APS for the T 90 ?

(2) Is the Indian army going to buy the BMP-3? Is it going to be the BMP-3M or something else?


Anonymous said...

There are reports that Israeli Stunner has caught everybody's attention. We all know RFI will be issued but the question is, is there a need for David's Sling Indian version, is i actually been pursued or just rumours and if pursued in the future, is US gonna allow the purchase ?

According to specs, Stunner is no doubt gonna be an incredible interceptor. Also it fits India's defence against NLOS-BSm and long range MBRLs that our neighbors have in plenty. Now some say Indo-Israeli MRSAM/LRSAM can do the same but its just a speculation, you have to test it before claiming that it could be used against NLOS-BSM and MRSAM and cruise missiles. The fact is MRSAM/LRSAM status is just like DRDO's BMD, claims are made but nothing no data to prove them.

Mridul baruah said...

Dear that the DRDO has claimed that the AMCA will by only by 2020...which I seriously doubt. And looking at the progress in developing 5th Gen fighters, countries like China,Japan, South Korea, Iran, Turkey 2020 they might already be operating such fighters or may be in the later phase of induction process. Won't it be wise for the DRDO to go for a ensure that there wont be any delays.

Anonymous said...

Sir, Why isn't there any IR jammer in DARE developed IADS suite for Mi-17 ? Which IR jammer will be incorporated in this suite ?
Who has developed maws of the MSWS suite of Mi-17 ? Those white UV maws don't seem to be AAR-60 maws from Cassidian ?

How many Mi-17 v1 , An-32 will be fitted with this IADS suite ? When all airforces are shifting towards DIRCM why is IAF zeroing in on Adros 3T-0U jammer for An-32 ?

What will be the exact comparison in size of radar antenna size of Tejas mk1 and Rafale ?

When you see a Rafale taxing on the runway from the front you will find that it has got the smallest radar among its contemporaries like Typhoon or similar class fighters like MiG-29 . Rafale's small nose is a huge deficiency .

In a BVR duel between MiG-29UpG and Rafale , MiG-29 would certainly have the upper hand.

When MMRCA contract would be signed in 2013, Typhoon would have mature multirole capabilities. Why can't we go for it then ?

French AF have no need for a higher thrust 20000lb version of M88 . For it the air intakes needs to be enlarged by 1.5 cm. you have previously said that IAF wants higher thrust M88.

Why is a new seeker needed for Brahmos Alcm ? Why can't Russian Granit seeker be used ?

Who will provide RF seeker for Nirbhay cruise missile ? Why doesn't DRDO develope seekers ? Which seeker is better , one from Alpha tec or Data patterns ?

IAF chief has said that IAF has no interest in Iron Dome . But you said that talks were going on between Drdo and Rafale for developing a customised version of Iron Dome to suit our needs .

Is IAF going to procure Stunner missile defence system ?

What is there in developing FGFA by HAL technocrats ? FGFA has already been fully developed and is undergoing flight testing in Russia . What more to develope ?

Anonymous said...


But The Hindu claims Agni 6 is 20 m long, 2 m dia. This is too long for an SLBM. So, one of the following possibilities.

1. a new MIRVed ICBM is indeed being developed by DRDO of its own initiative with the hope that GoI will clear the project for testing and deployment.

2. It is a Tech. Demo. for MIRV so as to minimize tech. risks for the SLBM, which will be developed in the next decade.

3. the figure of 20 m length and 2 m dia is disinformation, the real length being shorter and dia being larger.

Also, if North Korea tests a high yield weapon in the near future, wont it become necessary for us to confirm higher yield (150 kt or so) boosted fission/TN weapons by doing a Pokhran 3 to avoid nuclear inferiority vis a vis Pakistan (which is hand in glove with North Korea) ?

Kshitiz Kumar said...

1.if tejas mk1 gets FOC will it reduce testing time of Tejas mk2?
2.What happened to LSV that indian army was buying(the one having Mahindra axe and others competing)?
3.By what time LCH will come to induction stage SPYDER sam inducted in IA/IAF,if yes what happened to the scam? the newly procure bofors 45 cal or 52 cal.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRAM GUHA: Not true at all. Neither the Antey S-300 nor the Antey V-2500 will be acquired by the IAF or IA.

To AKHIL SURI: The LEDS-150 APS from Saab was selected way back in 2009 for installation on board the first 310 T-90S MBTs. Nothing has been finalised as yet regarding the FICV, i.e. whether it will be indigenous or imported.

To Anon@2.13PM: Just wait till this August & one will get to witness the in-country firings of Barak-2 against a variety of threats. A Stunner-type interceptor will be the ideal solution against NLOS-BSMs. But what is also clear is that the Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptors will be totally ineffective against 300mm MBRL rockets. For cruise missile defence, the answer is the E-SHORADS, & not MR-SAM or LR-SAM.

To MRIDUL BARUAH: The AMCA will not surface till 2030 at best. Therefore, the DRDO will be well-advised to first finish what it has already embarked upon, i.e. deliver the tejas Mk1 & Tejas Mk2, plus the LCA (Navy) Mk1 & LCA (Navy) Mk2.

To Anon@5.35PM: 1) Russian IR jammer is already installed on Mi-171s & Mi017V-5s. 2) MSWS suite for Mi-17 was developed by a group of Ukrainian OEMs. None of the existing medium-lift helicopters of NATO have standard DIRCMs. Only those CH-47 heavylift machines used for special operations have DIRCM. 3) Diameter of the antenna arrays of both RBE-2 & Caesar are the same. Both were shown in full-scale form at Aero Indua 2013. 4) As I had already explained several times before, the EF-2000 is far too expensive when compared to the Rafale, something even the UK’s National Audit Office has stated. 5) Why ever should the IAF be interested in Iron Dome? Why ask such stupid questions in the first place to the IAF’s CAS? Anyone with common sense will realise that the Tamir interceptors of Iron Dome are meant for use against MBRL-launched rockets, meaning if anyone in India is supposedly interested in the Iron Dome, then it will be the Indian Army, & not the IAF.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.55PM: THE HINDU’s sources regarding such issues have frequently proven to be wrong & way off the mark. I therefore wouldn’t bother about such discredited news-reports. The Agni-5 itself can carry MIRVs, so where’s the need to develop another ICBM that can launch MIRVs? As of now only two missiles are being developed with MIRV launch capabilities: Agni-5 & the 5,000km-range SLBM.Noosted-fission warhead designs were tested by India way back in May 1998 & all the necessary data obtained can be easily applied for developing n-warheads with up to 500kT yield.

To KSHITIZ Kumar: 1) To a certain extent, yes. 2) Read the latest INDIA TODAY for more details on this. 3) By mid-2017. 4) SpyDer-SR has already been inducted. 5) 45-cal.

Anonymous said...

How credible is the claim of a boosted fission design upto 500 kt when all that was tested in 1998 was an approx. 20kt boosted fission wpn (which was the successful primary of a TN design whose secondary failed) ?

It is time they tested again to validate a thermonuclear design, especially when Pak will eventually get such designs from North Korea, which will soon schieve such capability through sustained testing...

That will leave Pak with a nuclear superiority in Quantitative or qualitative terms or both...such a sitn shld not be allowed to develop by GoI.

KSingh said...


The IAF has the SPYDER-SR system. Are there any plans for the IA to aqcuire any such units for themselves and will hte IAF be ordering more?

Also is India looking at the SPYDER-MR system? If not what is it looking at as an alternative to the SPYDER-MR?

Vikram Guha said...

Thanks PrasunDa .

So is India contemplating buying any other SAM system ? There were news that India is interested in the Arrow 3 system but US vetoed that deal .

Thanks again ,

abs said...

A few questions
1)Has the IAF formalised the ASQRs for the AMCA and has it been handed over to the ADA?
2)V.K.Saraswat claims that India is working on an indigenous cruise missile defence system. Could you throw some light on this?
3)If the IA/IAF is interested in the Stunner missiles for NLOS-BSM defence, then what would be the roles of the Barak MR-SAM AND LR-SAMs? I believed that these were going to be procured for CMD as well as TMD?
4)Any news as to when works on the LAH would get started?
5)When could we expect the definitive NAG ATGM, HELINA and Astra MK-2 to emerge?
6)On a lighter note do look at this, will certainly make you burst into laughter :)

Akhil Suri said...

Thanks Prasun .

So has LEDS APS already been installed on the T 90 or is there a possibility that IA will opt for the TROPHY since it is being contemplated for Arjun MBT as well ?


Anonymous said...

prasun aur photowa nahin hain kaa..bahut wait karwa rahen ho humwa!

Bhaswar said...

OT question Prasun Sir,

The F-35 has been criticized for its low combat radius among other things. While it could carry fuel tanks while flying over friendly airspace and then jettison them once it infiltrates enemy airspace- the pylons used to carry the fuel tanks will remain and will add to the RCS of the aircraft, which is a threat given that the F-35 is a LO aircraft rather than a full aspect- multi-spectrum LO one. Can this be solved by developing jettison-able pylons which can be jettisoned along with the fuel tanks in order to bring back the RCS of the F-35 back to the one it has in a clean configuration?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.49AM: For n-weapons designs, up-scaling & down-scaling is the easiest part, for as long as the physics behind the fissile core & the mechanics of the triggering mechanism are both validated beyond reasonable doubt—something that was achieved in May 1998. While there exists a strong case for follow-up tests of thermonuclear devices, the fact that a scsalable boosted-fission warhead option has already been tried, tested & fabricated now provides both credible n-deterrence & WMD stability.

To KSINGH: The Army too has acquired the SpyDer-SR. All eyes are now focused on the 25km-range Maitri SR-SAM (E-SHORADS) project & the 40km-range Akash Mk2 project, both of which have been approved by the Defence Acquisition Council. Therefore, exhibits of E-SHORADS & MR-SAMs like the SpyDer-MR, BAMSE, VL-IRIS, Buk-2ME etc are all last-ditch attempts by foreign OEMs to secure ‘interim’ orders, i.e. short-term solutions to plug the immediate gaps prior to the commencement of efforts to plug such gaps in the medium- and long-terms through bulk procurements of Maitri & Akash Mk2 SAMs.

To VIKRAM GUHA: The only off-the-shelf purchases being contemplated are those for VSHORADS/ MANPADS (for which MBDA’s Mistral is the frontrunner), & short-term purchases of small numbers of E-SHORADS pending the arrival of the Maitri SR-SAM.

To ABS: 1) Not ASQR, but just a PSQR for only prioritising the ADA’s R & D objectives. 2) He was referring to the Maitri SR-SAM & its Ashvin AESA-based multi-mode radar. 3) There are different categories of NLOS-BSMs ranging from 40km to 480km, all of which require different interception solutions. Consequently, solutions like Stunner & Barak-2 will both be required. 4) No one from officialdom is ready to even utter the term ‘LAH’. The IA’s AAC first wants to cut its teeth with the Rudra & armed LUH prior to examining the prospect of acquiring LAHs. 5) Not before 2016 at best, given the R & D challenges that lie ahead. 6) Wonder what’s next: proposing mini-submersibles for the Army’s SF (Para), I guess!!!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AKHIL SURI: APS competitive trials were conducted way back in late 2008 & by February 2009 the APS was selected. But no orders have been placed thus far because the mid-life upgrade of the first 310 T-90S MBTs, which was to have commenced in late 2009, is now running more than 3 years behind schedule, with no solution being in sight.

To Anon@9.58PM: are babua, do hazaar se ziada photwa hum ne khichwaya hai. Thoda aur sabar karna, kyunki sabar ka phal jaruur meethaa hoga. Ab tak toh sirf baaraa-se teen ka show aap logo ne dekha hai…teen-se-che, che-se-nau aur nau-se-baraah ka show ab bhi baaki hai!

To BHASWAR: That’s not how offensive air campaigns will be waged by the F-35 JSF. In the opening phases, LO-regulations will be strictly observed when implementing the DEAD-based sorties. Only after sufficient degradation of the enemy’s hierarchical integrated air-defence networks has been achieved, will the JSF be equipped with external underwing pylons for dropping more ordnance or for carrying drop-tanks. Pylons are far more expensive than drop-tanks & are therefore non-jettisionable.

Anonymous said...

sir ,
u said not all air warriors pass out of AFA..then can u plzz elaborate a little from do they pass out..450 annual intake of pilots is too high for IAF..when the sanctioned strength of pilots in IAF is arnd 3000 or may be like 37-3800(read something like this..don't remember now)..

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The IAF's official website gives all the relevant info regarding recruitment patterns & reqmts. What must be noted is that one should not mix up the term 'pilot' with the term 'aircrew'. Also to be factored in is the increasing aircrew reqmts as a consequence of tandem-seat Su-30MKIs being inducted into service in increasing numbers.

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