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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Maiden Test-Firing Of India’s Nirbhay Strategic Subsonic Cruise Missile A Moderate Success

With the maiden test-firing yesterday of the indigenously-developed, 1,200km-range subsonic Nirbhay (Fearless) nuclear-armed cruise missile (which will eventually be available in both air-launched and submarine-launched versions), India took the first significant baby-steps toward fielding what will eventually—by 2017--become a family of multi-role subsonic cruise missiles available to both the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian  Navy (IN). The maiden test-firing was conducted at 11.50am and what followed was a flawless liftoff, with its first-stage solid-rocket booster separating from the missile-body after attaining a height of 500 metres at a distance of 1.5km away from the launch-point. Thereafter, the missile’s sustainer powerplant, a turbofan, successfully came on-line and took the missile out to an altitude of 4km while cruising at Mach 0.7. However, some 10 minutes after liftoff, after the missile had travelled a distance of 200km and cruising at an altitude of 4km along a southwesterly flight-path skirting India’s eastern seaboard coastline, a deviation from its pre-programmed flight trajectory was observed due to a suspected navigational waypoint pre-programming error, following which it was decided by mission controllers located at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-Sea to abort the flight-test to ensure coastal safety by cutting off the missile’s engine power, which led to the missile safely gliding down and crashing at the coastline of Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district. This should not be surprising at all, since this has been a global norm in the history of long-range cruise missile R & D. For instance, the maiden flight-test of Pakistan’s 800km-range Hatf–VII (Babur) could fly out to only a distance of 17km on August 12, 2005, while its second test-firing saw the Babur attain a range of only 22km on March 22, 2007.
Despite this temporary setback, a number of mission objectives were achieved from this maiden test-launch of Nirbhay. Firstly, the robustness of the missile’s airframe and that of its two-stage propulsion system was proven beyond doubt, as was the reliability of the inertial navigation system and flight-control system. Secondly, this was the first time in the history of the MoD-owned Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) that a real-time, combined RF/optronic flight trajectory-cum missile health tracking system was successfully employed for the Nirbhay's maiden cruise flight. This was done by equipping an IAF Su-30MKI chase-aircraft (out from Kalaikunda AFS) with a centreline pod containing tele-command guidance avionics (designed and developed by the Defence Avionics Research Establishment) that was responsible for receiving health-monitoring inputs from the Nirbhay’s specially configured on-board flight management avionics (these being located in the forward-mounted bulkheads designed for housing the digital terrain profile matching sensor and the warhead), and also for relaying flight termination commands in case of mission abort. In addition, the Su-30MKI also carried a FLIR sensor-equipped Litening-2 LDP for real-time visual tracking and monitoring of the Nirbhay’s cruise flight.
There are still nine more planned flight-tests of the Nirbhay through to 2017. The first two are meant for validating the robustness of the missile’s airframe and that of its two-stage propulsion system (and hence are not equipped with digital terrain profile matching sensor and warheads. The next two, also to be conducted from ITR, will seek to validate the Nirbhay’s flight management system, inclusive of the digital terrain profile matching sensor (an X-band SAR). The following two will involve the fully integrated missile being test-fired (one over land & one over the sea) from a Su-30MKI, which will be followed by two SLCM versions being test-fired (one over land and one over the sea) from a submerged SSBN, the S-2/Arihant. The final two test-firings will involve fully integrated Nirbhays armed with live conventional warheads, with one being launched from a Su-30MKI and the other from the S-2/Arihant.
The Nirbhay’s nuclear warhead-armed ALCM version (minus the solid-rocket booster) will be qualified for use by 20 specially customised Su-30MKIs, while the nuclear warhead-armed SLCM variant (incorporating the solid-rocket booster) will go on board the S-2, S-3 and S-4 SSBNs. The air-launched and nuclear-armed Nirbhay will have a length of 6 metres, diameter of 0.55 metres, wingspan of 2.7 metres, launch mass of 1,200kg, cruise speed of Mach 0.7, and a 250kg warhead-section. Its cruising altitude over water will be 10 metres (33 feet), while its cruising altitude over land will be 30 metres (98 feet). The MoD-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s (HAL) Bengaluru-based Engine Test Bed Research & Development Centre (ETBRDC) has developed a turbofan for powering all members of the Nirbhay cruise missile family. A hybrid inertial navigation system using a ring-laser gyro (RINS) coupled with a GPS receiver and a digital radar altimeter (all developed by the DRDO’s Research centre Imarat, or RCI, and integrated jointly by the Advanced Systems Laboratory, or ASL, and the Aeronautical Development Establishment, or ADE) will provide a CEP of 20 metres. All on-board avionics, inclusive of the ones mentioned above, plus the mission computer and missile interface unit, have been developed as spinoffs from the BrahMos-1 supersonic multi-role cruise missile’s R & D cycle, which lasted between 1998 and 2005.

While the ASQRs and NSQRs for the nuclear-armed Nirbhay were drafted by 2005, hands-on R & D work began in only 2007, with all R & D-related activity due for completion by late 2017. Following the entry into service of the nuclear-armed Nirbhay’s ALCM and SLCM versions, India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) will have at its disposal four distinct types of highly survivable nuclear warhead delivery systems that will be optimised for retaliatory nuclear strikes, these being the 4,500km-range SLBM now under development, the 600km-range air-launched supersonic LRCM that is also now under development (for delivering tactical nuclear warheads), plus the Nirbhay’s ALCM and SLCM versions, both of which will be able to deliver boosted-fission nuclear warheads.
A spinoff from this programme is the development of a smaller, conventional warhead-armed air-launched variant of Nirbhay with a range of 750km, which will be qualified for launch from combat aircraft like the Su-30MKI, DARIN 3-standard Jaguar IS as well as Rafale M-MRCA. Presently, there are no plans for developing submarine-launched or surface-launched versions of this missile, which will have a length of 6.2 metres, diameter of 0.6 metres, launch mass of 1,350kg, a 400kg HE blast-fragmentation warhead, cruising altitude of 20 metres over land, cruise speed of 240 metres/second, target aspect angle of +/-180 degrees, and a launch altitude varying between 500 metres and 11,000 metres. The hybrid inertial navigation system will ensure autonomous navigation via at least 15 waypoints, while for terminal guidance, use will be made of a noise-immune guidance system that will employ an X-band monopulse SAR radar similar to the one now being developed for both the BrahMos-1’s Blocks-2/3 and the Prahaar NLOS-BSM. The conventionally-armed ALCM variant of Nirbhay will thus be procured in large numbers (exceeding 700) by both the IAF and the IN.
Lastly, here is a revelation for those congenital retards hailing from India’s ‘desi’ print/electronic media who had claimed recently that 36MT turbofans or HAL-built PTAE-7 turbojets would power the Nirbhay cruise missile. Guess what! The two slides below from NPO Saturn clearly state that the 36MT turbofan was never meant to power long-range cruise missiles and neither does it power cruise missiles like Novator’s 3M14E or 3M54E.


Anonymous said...

Nice article Prasun.

I wanna know now when everyone is trying to build supersonic and hyper-sonic cruise missiles why is India taking a step back after jumping several step forward in the form of Brahmos ?

Is there something new in Nirbhay as compared to other subsonic missiles around the world ?

People are talking about loitering. How much is the loitering time ?
One crackhead even misunderstood and said it can drop bombs like aircraft... :)

Was this missile necessary to check what learned from Brahmos project(as its 50:50) can be fully implemented by them ?

Is it possible that nirbhay can just be a tech demonstrator seriously because by 2015 Brahmos 2 will begin testing ?

Why ADE is the lead lab in this project unlike in other missiles where ASL takes the lead ? ADE always had part in every other missile but never led the project.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The answer is simple: BrahMos-1/2 being the products of a JV with Russia, these missiles can never be armed with nuclear warheads due to Russia’s adherence to MTCR guidelines, UNLESS India too were to become a member of the MTCR (recognised by the UNSC’s P-5) in future. There’s nothing new within Nirbhay that is not already existing within other strategic cruise missiles like Babur, CJ-10 or Tomahawk. Nirbhay is not loitering & none of the strategic cruise missiles are of the loitering-type. Loitering cruise missiles are those like Delilah & Taurus KEPD-350 that have on-board optronic sensors & man-in-the-loop target acquisition/designation avionics, which are used for acquiring mobile high-value targets of opportunity by visual means (i.e. by the loitering cruise missile’s on-board optronic sensors), such as motorised TELs of ballistic/cruise missiles or land-mobile/rail-mobile logistics convoys. Loitering time for such missiles is not more than 60 minutes, but in return their standoff range decreases with each passing minute of loitering time. Cruise missile like Nirbhay, Babur, CJ-10 & Tomahawk on the other hand are capable of long-range autonomous navigation & active terminal homing because their flight-paths are pre-programmed prior to missile-launch, meaning that their targets are fixed/static in nature & therefore they don’t need to loiter in order to acquire their targets. The DRDO got its first crack at the intricacies of subsonic cruise missile design & performance parameters AFTER the arrival in India of the naval Novator 3M-14E LACM. Nirbhay-type long-range strategic nuclear warhead-armed cruise missiles were sought after by both the IAF & IN way back in 2002. Consequently, Nirbhay will not be just another technology demonstrator, but a multi-platform strategic weapon deemed extremely critical for India’s retaliatory 2nd strike nuclear doctrine. Therefore, its future operational induction is assured & guaranteed. AS for lead R & D labs, ASL’s core technological competencies lie in the area of ballistic missiles, while ADE has acquired the core technological competencies necessary for long-range/low-level subsonic autonomous navigation and related flight management & flight-controls, thanks to the Lakshya pilotless target drone project. Hence, ADE was the logical choice for being nominated as the lead R & D agency for the Nirbhay cruise missile family’s R & D efforts.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Part-1 of a very interesting debate between the former intelligence chiefs of Afghanistan & Pakistan on how both countries perceive each others' national security perceptions, at:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Technological challenges associated with R & D work on cruise missiles, as explained by a 'desi' journalist in his all-knowing 'assumptive' wisdom!

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
Very thorough coverage! If the deviation is due to navigational waypoint pre-programming error [software error?],then it is very easy to rectify it in its next flight. It appears to me that, in a decade from now, DRDO will emerge as atop class defence RD center, second to none.

Anonymous said...

"Consequently, Nirbhay will not be just another technology demonstrator, but a multi-platform strategic weapon deemed extremely critical for India’s retaliatory 2nd strike nuclear doctrine."
Thanx but it still doesn't explain why subsonic because by the time it will enter in service its possible a few systems will become capable of intercepting them. All i am saying its too late to have a missile like Nirbhay when by end of decade india will have hypersonic cruise missile.
Nirbhay should have been supersonic.

"AS for lead R & D labs, ASL’s core technological competencies lie in the area of ballistic missiles, while ADE has acquired the core technological competencies necessary for long-range/low-level subsonic autonomous navigation and related flight management & flight-controls, thanks to the Lakshya pilotless target drone project."
Fair enough...

"Loitering cruise missiles are those like Delilah & Taurus KEPD-350 that have on-board optronic sensors & man-in-the-loop target acquisition/designation avionics, which are used for acquiring mobile high-value targets of opportunity by visual means (i.e. by the loitering cruise missile’s on-board optronic sensors)"
I thought the same but we do have the requirement of loitering missiles. Are we gonna build it or we gonna export it ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA: VMT. In fact, there was a very good reason why this test-flight mission was aborted by switching off engine power & enabling the missile to glide down to the sandy coastline, instead of employing an in-flight explosive self-destructive mechanism: the ADE's scientists & engineers wanted to have access to the missile's on-board miniaturised health & usage monitoring system (mounted in the missile's forward section in the space that would later house the mission sensor & warhead) for post-flight diagnostics & fault rectification, if reqd. Even if the missile would have reached its final destination some 700km away in a text-book cruise flight, this same manoeuvre was to have been adopted so that all relevant flight management data could be securely obtained for post-flight analysis. Now, as it turns out, ADE's risk-management calculations & efforts were spot on for this aborted mission, thereby saving a lot of time, effort & money in terms of speedily identifying the problem area/s & coming up with quick fixes.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.18AM: Somewhere down the line there always has to be a treadeoff. If range increase and supersonic cruise flight is desired, then the missile-body's dimensions will have to be increased & once that happens then the launch platform too will have to become bigger, a choice that India doesn't have since she won't be able to procure strategic bombers like B-1B & Tu-160. Therefore, the compromise is to go for a smaller & lighter subsonic cruise missile that remains stealthy due to its terrain-hugging/terrain-masking flight-profile & one that is capable of navigating via several waypoints so as to avoid static & mobile AAA systems. As for loitering air-vehicles that carry PGMs, the GTRE's Laghu Shakthi turbofan now being co-developed with NPO Saturn will indeed be used to power an UCAV now on ADE's drawing boards.

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

looks like India has cracked open a seroius Chinese online espionage trail and reportedly recovered massive data that has been pilfered

Also if i am not wrong you support India going for Iron Dome from Israel, take look

reportedly Postol is the man who proved Patriot was a failure in gulf war.

do you still think India should go for Iron Dome ?

Your opposition to AMCA is known but then FGFA/PAKFA is meant to eventually replace Su30 and Tejas/Rafale are meant to replace Mig 21/27 as such AMCA reportedly is meant to replace Mig 29/Jaguar.

If we dont go for AMCA by 2035 we might well be left with 3 class a/c inventory, the PAKFA/FGFA, Rafales, Tejas, dont you think we need 4th option in AMCA

You once said Indias actiual SSBN will be 20000 ton, do you really believe India needs such big SSBN after the Arihant class are designated SSGN, and we start work on the our version of French Barracuda SSN (probobly this was hidden in Scorpene deal)

I believe a 12 or 14000 ton SSBN will be ok powered by a reactor which is a enlarged version of the current one to power Arihants. I say so bcoz if India goes for any bigger sub a more powerful reactor is needed, like the type of one refill to last lifetime. India doesnt have the tech or time or money to spend on such complex things.

Btw what happened to your report on Project Sanjay and can you explain the silence on Shuarya & Prahaar missiles.

sorry if took up a lot of your time


Joydeep Ghosh

Technology, Photograpy and Travel said...

I still do not understand indian media's brains .... man if launch and flight has been achieved for cruise missile ,,, in first test(supposed to be) .. and it has traveled 20 % of its intended range, i thinks its a achievement .. Prasun da ... if ur words abt su 30 mki following the missile are true and all the play load for the mki is working as expected .. prasun da are u giving us morals a nice hint of some nice developments...


Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Please tell us what happened to PRAHAR missile

And why is the ARMY not interested in
surface launched Land attack version of Nirbhay

When Nirbhay can be launched from a submarine then why not from Land

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Please answer my questions regarding SOME OLD equipment of Indian Army

1 Are we STILL Manufacturing T 72 TANKS or now only T 90 Tanks made in Avadi

2 Is the PRITHVI still being MADE or its production has ended

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasun

Thanks for the info. Great write up as usual. What i've been wondering since u first posted on the Nirbhay some time back is - why not develop a land-based version for the army as well??


Gessler said...

Prasun thanks for the beautifully written article. Yes, that explains many things nicely.

Hats off again for quality blogging

1) So when can we expect the 2nd test-firing? Possible human error would not take much time to rectify, right?

2) You have stated Rafale/Su-30MKI can carry 4 x conventional Nirbhays, so how many can Tejas Mk-2 carry?

2 or 3?

3) Was Babur ever tested out to maximum range of 750km?

4) Any updates on P-15A DDGs?

5) What truck was carrying the Nirbhay launcher in the test? Tata or Volvo?

6) What are the advantages offered (if any) by the unique shape of the air inlet on Nirbhay? It resembles that of Klub.

Congrats again for the brilliant article. Keep up with it!

Anonymous said...

well written......simple, straight and balanced...........

Sayan said...

Prasun sir,, Will there be no conventionallay armed surface launched version of 1200 km range Nirbhay that was tested yesterday for the Army for use in a similar fashion like Tomahawk,Babur, DH-10 . Conventionally armed version of Babur exists and so does DH-10 of PLA. So why not use this Nirbhay both as a strategic as well as a conventional cruise missile ?

Why is its cruise speed only 0.7 M when that of Tomahak and other contemporary cruise missiles is 0.8 to 0.85 M ?

Anonymous said...

Tomahawk and Nirbhay have similar weight and dimensions. But the Tomahawk has twice the range and twice the payload of the Nirbhay. Why is this so?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: Are you surprised by the penetration of China’s espionage agencies inside India? If so, then kindly allow me to refresh your memory by quoting equally devastating security breaches in the past:
1) Place: Delhi. Year: 2006. Official Involved: Ravind Sistala. Designation: Centre Director (missile monitoring division) of Organisation National Technical Research Organisation. Incident: Laptop goes missing from his car. Secret Data Lost: Presentations on Indian efforts to monitor missiles of neighbouring countries, Details on the capabilities of the nuclear delivery systems of Pakistan and China, Response options available to India’s nuclear forces (Strategic Forces Command), Deployment of radars to counter incoming missiles, Vulnerable points in India’s air defence network. Action taken: None. Laptop not recovered. Official transferred to DRDO in a more sensitive position.

2) Place: Washington DC. Year: 2008. Official Involved: Arun Dixit. Designation: Centre Director (atomic devices division) of Organisation NTRO. Secret Data Lost: Defence nuclear programmes of neighbouring countries, nuclear proliferation in Asia, dirty bombs being made in neighbouring countries. Action taken: None. Laptop not recovered. After probe, errant official retained in the same organisation.

3) Place: Delhi. Year: 2003. Organisation: DRDO. Incident: 53 computers go missing; later found with hard disks removed. Secret Data Lost: secret coding of all communication used by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R & AW), the defence forces, and the paramilitary forces, including Border Security Force, Logs of intercepted Pakistani communications. Action taken: Case still unsolved. None of the hard disks have been recovered. DRDO has practically closed the case.

4) Use of Chinese processors in an encryption system for ground mobile SATCOM terminals for use by the NTRO was considered a breach of security for which ‘Project Sampark ‘was scrapped on the directions of the National Security Council (NSC) in 2009.

Continued below…

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Continued from above….

Unless & until India acquires industrial capabilities (i.e. semiconductor foundries) for designing & fabricating her own microprocessors & chips, India will continue to be an easy target for foreign espionage agencies. Regarding MBRL & NLOS-BSM interceptors, there’s a difference between missile interception & warhead destruction. Interceptors like Iron Dome’s Tamir rockets can indeed intercept inbound MBRL-fired rockets with great accuracy, but this does not mean that the MBRL-fired rocket’s warhead section (which detonates under impact) too is rendered useless during an interception. This is what Dr Postol is saying WRT the Iron Dome’s effectiveness when used to protect civilian soft targets. In India’s case, the reqmt is for a system that can intercept inbound MBRL-fired rockets equipped with air-burst warheads or sensor-fuzed munitions at a standoff distance away from a targetted area within the battlefield, so that battlefield assets like troop concentrations or armoured vehicle concentrations are not directly hit by mass salvoes of MBRL-fired rockets. Consequently, once the targetted environment changes, the effectiveness measurement matrix too will change. Therefore, while nothing’s wrong with the Iron Dome’s operational architecture, what requires enhancement is its interceptor rocket’s warhead lethality, i.e. a heavier & more destructive warhead.
WRT to AMCA, I would rather have only one type of MRCA in the IAF’s inventory instead of varied aircraft types. That’s because no one has to date been able to explain what exactly will the AMCA be able to do/deliver which the FGFA won’t be able to. Regarding SSBNs, if one wants a credible survivable sea-based n-deterrent, then there’s no other option but to acquire SSBNs with a decent complement of long-range SLBMs. In India’s case, therefore, a SSBN carrying 16 SLBMs is a very modest capability indeed, considering the strategic targetting priorities & quantitative options. If someone comes up with a SSBN design that can house 16 SLBMs & yet displace only 14,000 tons, I’ll be the first one to support its induction. But the reality is that no one in the world will be able to come up with such a solution even over the next 50 years.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ADITYA: VMT, but employment of chase-aircraft like Su-30MKI for real-time monitoring & tracking of cruise missiles in flight is nothing new. The Indian Navy regularly uses its combat aircraft assets for real-time recording & tracking of subsonic ASCMs during annual test-firings, with the aircraft making use of a pod-mounted LOROP camera kit for such purposes.

To Anon@10.49AM: Prahaar is still in the process of being fine-tuned. 2nd launch of Prahaar is due by this August. Of course Nirbhay can be launched from motorized MALs just like BrahMos & Prahaar, that’s not the issue. The issue is: does the Army need to hit targets 700km or 1,2300km away when it is more interested in acquiring NLOS-BSMs capable of influencing the contact & deep battles ONLY WITHIN a tactical battle area whose depth will not exceed 80km at best?

To Anon@10.57AM: 1) No T-72s, only T-90S. 2) Production ended in February 2009.

To GESSLER: VMT. 1) At least six months later. 2) Tejas Mk1 isn’t designed for carrying such PGMs. For carrying two underwing conventionally armed Nirbhays the wings of this MRCA would require structural strengthening. The optimum standoff PGM for Tejas Mk1/2 & LCA (Navy Mk1/2 will be Taurus KEPD-350 type tactical cruise missiles. 3) Yes, in China five years ago. 4) Commissioning due this August & will coincide with keel-laying of first P-15B DDG, whose bulkheads are already being fabricated. PNC for seven P-17A FFGs was formally constituted last January. 5) VOLVO. 6) Aerodynamic advantages, primarily, due to less drag from a protruding air-intake structure. VMT again.

To Anon@12.44PM: VMT.

To SAYAN & Anon@1.13PM: Conventionally armed Nirbhay will be acquired by the IN & IAF but not by the Army, because the Army does not need to hit targets 700km or 1,2300km away when it is more interested in acquiring NLOS-BSMs capable of influencing the contact & deep battles ONLY WITHIN a tactical battle area whose depth will not exceed 80km at best. Conventionally armed CJ-10s & Baburs have a range not exceeding 800km. Cruise speed & range or payload can always be increased by a change of fuel, i.e. replacing kerosene with high-octane ATF. But is it really reqd?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Anon@11AM: VMT. Conventionally armed Nirbhay will be acquired by the IN & IAF but not by the Army, because the Army does not need to hit targets 700km or 1,200km away when it is more interested in acquiring NLOS-BSMs capable of influencing the contact & deep battles ONLY WITHIN a tactical battle area whose depth will not exceed 80km at best.

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasun,

This is the first time I'm commenting on your blogs and I would say very impressed the way you answered to the question.

I too have a question. Is it correct Brahmos 1 (not block 1) range has been increased to 500 Km from 300 Km (originally). Ria Novosti has reported this news.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of effort being put into babur and its versions. A LR version will be used by the PN and PAF. But this is due to the fact that this is a weapon of choice to strike targets in India. Current dev is around making it more stealthy and extending the range out to 1500km (LR version).

rad said...

Hi Prasun
Fantastic coverage of the nirbhay. It should whet the appetite for buffs like me yearning for more.
you have correctly pointed out that the nirbhay was influenced by the club cruise missile. I was so happy to note that the intake was unique till i realised it is the same as the club missile. In the video by the fat journalist who
claims that the missile can "hover"
I noticed that the wings were positioned under the body and came out like a scissor in flight. In the video a technician flips out the wing.This is contrary to the norm where the wings are folded in the mid body and flip out in either side, Please explain the true config.
I also noticed 2 holes in the side of the booster rocket section which is rather long. i am guessing those are exhaust for the turbine which starts spooling just before the booster is ejected.
The finish is quite crude on the model on the floor with scratches and protruding screw heads all along .
Are there any other western fighter ac that carry tomahawk cruise missiles?. Dont you think that t he optical DSMAC type of homing will be better than x-band SAR for terminal homing ,as it would give away its position Please comment

Sujoy Majumdar said...

PrasunDa, did you read this

Pentagon says in a real combat F 35 has no chance.

Good that India did not buy it.


joydeep ghosh said...

please ignore the previous one

@Prasun da

2 things

Firstly you say the reactor design of Arihant class is based on Arktika ice breakers which had 2 @ 171 MW each, it means the design of Arihant reactor was squeezed and halved to 83 MW fit into a 6000 ton sub.

In the same way we can assume that the original 171 MW reactors (double of Arihant will be 166 MW) can modified to fit into sub, and thats how i say we can have a 14-16000 ton SSBN

Secondly the Chinese espionage case you talk about may not have been conclusively carried out by Chinese spies and the reference of news i gave talk about data being recovered, is that anyway possible to retrieve the info.


Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...


1. Is the 4500 km SLBM the K-4 ? Will it carry MIRVs as well ?

2. Will these projects (incl. Agni V and its MIRVed variant) survive the coming economic downturn ? Also, will any govt post 2014 push them irrespective of political party ?

3. Is'nt 250kg too small a warhead for Nirbhay ? What yield will it have ? If we had tested thermonuclear weapons, we could have possibly got 300 kt or more for such a weight.

Anonymous said...


"Each F-35 fighter jet is valued at $238 million". This cost is way higher than the $170 - 180 million a piece for F-22A Raptor. F-35 is designed to be cheaper alternative for F-22A. But if the statement is correct then is it a set back?

Anonymous said...


Even after induction of Rafale MMRCA from Dassault, the Su-30 Mki remains the most formidable aircraft in IAF (It also costs more than Su-30Mki). Then why did IAF is going ahead and procuring Rafale when at the same time it can procure more formidable Su-30 Mki platforms (which even costs less than rafale fighter) at even greater numbers. So what is the reason behind IAF's thinking to procure Rafale fighters in such large numbers. What exactly are the additional capabilities that Rafale fighter is going to offer which the formidable and cheaper Su-30 Mki is not going to offer? VMT

Anonymous said...

Why is that NDTV given access and telecast coverage to Agni 5, K15, Nirbhay exclusively? Not even to DoorDarshan?

3rd ~ EyE said...

Hi Prasun,

Does india have any project like the HAARP ? any Rail Gun research? or any such projects that is cutting edge and revolutionary that it may mature to weaponisation may be in a decade or two ? :) just out of curiosity

KSingh said...


The indian Battlefield monitoring system for missiles is suspected to be radar based for Ballistic missiles and no system exists yet for cruise missiles. including this true?

Are the pakistanis ahead at this point because they use the Beidou satellite system to monitor their strategic missile tests?

KSingh said...


This is what a Pakistani has said:

"But is there any way of knowing if the missile followed correct path and actually hit the target? In battlefield? As telemetry isnt possible in too resource intensive.

Such system has been developed and in use with Babur and Raad...
So that if the missile strayed off coarse or was intercepted mid flight,a second missile could be launched via different increase survivability.

Radio optronic system is even more restricting.....
Such as used by DRDO.
Things migt change later with the job designated to a satellite

DRDO has developed a radio optical system for monitoring the flight path of the missile.

On Babur the missile path is mainly monitored via Beidou satellite."

Sure india has acsess to satillites to control its missiles that pakisrtan can only dream of, there's no way the Pakistanis are ahead in this field?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

The news report Joydeep pointed to says top secret DRDO missile programs have been found in chinese servers. Is it safe to conclude, that technical and performance data too were were more likely to have been stolen? you have pointed to various officials losing nuclear programs data of our neighbours.What were the officials doing with it in the USA? If such sensitive matters get stolen, how can the govt be casual?
Is it bcause indian ministers believe the chinese will not use the data to launch attacks on india?

The report also mentions data abt the US institutions.Since it is the US which sells china the n/w, cmputers,and chip manufacturing happens in the US/Taiwan is China not vulnerable against the US espionage agencies?

If the Chinese have access to defence secrets, how the defence chiefs sleep at night?

Rahul said...

Good article. Thank you!

KSingh said...

What is India's equivalent of Pakistan's
Fully Automated Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS)

that should be a system of monitoring,targeting,re-targeting all Indian missiles,not just nirbhay....

Anonymous said...

"That’s because no one has to date been able to explain what exactly will the AMCA be able to do/deliver which the FGFA won’t be able to."
very nice point. But we here have much bigger problem. IAF can manage 2 types of MMRCA when not just a few years ago it was operating one aircraft for each role.
Here the problem is scientist community and iaf belives that the step that india took with Tejas program has not been fully able to give us the fruits of the efforts made. We need one more critical step where in this case will mean apply what learned from tejas and here AMCA comes.
Now one can counter that you can just make tech demonstrator for that but the thing is its not just about the labs but the whole small and large industries that have emerged from tejas and other similar projects, they also need grooming so as to make india independent in the field of aerospace.

I accept, drdo with its track record might not be able to make it, it will be expensive and it will be difficult for iaf to operate and maintain a 2nd 5th gen aircraft but what we will gain with AMCA is much more important than these issues. I really hope this time GOI support the spirit of research for whatever reason they wanna do it.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.43PM: Not 500km, but 550km, & this blog was the first to report this development way back in early 2012.

To Anon@3.49PM: Total baloney, pure hogwash & utter boulderdash! In Pakistan, the command-and-control of nuclear WMD assets will never be de-centralised, i.e. it is only Army HQ led by the PA’s COAS & his Rawalpindi-based GHQ that will have command & control over all such weapons during both peacetime & during wartime. For, the simple truth is that whosoever controls such assets remains the centre-of-power in Pakistan & therefore no Pakistan Army Chief will ever relinquish control over such assets to either the PN or PAF, or to any other Corps Commander or to any civilian authority. Therefore, neither the Babur SLCM nor the R’aad ALCM will ever be nuclear-armed, while the Babur GLCMs under total Army command-and-control, as will ballistic missiles & MBRL-fired rockets like Shaheen-1/2, Ghaznavi, Abdali & Nasr. In fact, the PA has devised the command-and-control system & procedures for employment of ballistic & cruise missiles—both conventionally armed & nuclear-armed--in such a manner that the PA does not even need the cooperation of the PAF or PN for initiating long-range artillery fire-assaults deep into enemy territory; it is totally self-sufficient in such respects with its arsenals of Baburs, Ghauris, Ghaznavis, Abdalis & Nasrs. Divide-and-Rule or strategic de-centralisation was never the norm in Pakistan nor will it ever be when it comes to WMD employment. And as for stealthy attributes of any cruise missile, such attributes are not platform-centric, but are centred around the mission-planning & mission execution aspects.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: VMT. Firstly, as a matter of principle I’m against the policy of authorising ‘conducted picnic tours’ of any journalist in any missile development laboratory or missile integration complex prior to a missile test-firing. This is because, without any exception, the end-product always portrays India in a very bad light. For example, photos of Nirbhay’s test-models being fabricated inside a laboratory give the impression that such work is being conducted in some garage workshop! The same goes for photos of the missile integration complex at the ITR. Nowhere else in the world will one get to have access to such areas, leave alone video-recording or photographing them. There is therefore a definite need for both the DRDO & the MoD to clamp down on such photo-ops for those selected TV news-channels & bloggers, which mercifully this time did not record the ‘havans’ that the DRDO’s top-honchos have been shown to have performed prior to maiden test-launches. In an age of information dominance & information warfare, letting in a couple of intellectually retarded journalists into any R & D-related facility can be pretty disastrous & send exactly the wrong signals to their intended receivers.
True configuration of the Nirbhay’s airframe structure is exactly what you saw in the film-clips. And as I had said yesterday, it was a perfect liftoff & a text-book launch, as shown at:

The finishing & paint-work are both crude because the initial four ready-to-fire missile-rounds and their inert models used for missile-launch rehearsals have all been laboratory-level fabrications & also because all these missile-rounds had to undergo the mandatory structural integrity tests prior to deriving the final airframe configuration. It is ONLY AFTER the first four test-firings that the Nirbhay’s airframe design & those of its internal bulkheads will be frozen, by which time the airframe will have machined & co-cured structures made of aluminium & carbon-composites & there will be a corresponding decrease in externally visible rivetting as well. This is what continuous pre-planned product improvement is all about & all this will become evident when series-production on an industrial scale gets underway.
As for combat aircraft carrying cruise missiles, of course Tomahawks can be carried by aircraft like the F-15E, F/A-18D/F, Rafale or EF-2000, should the need arise. Optical DSMAC & TERPROM are navigational techniques, not pieces of hardware. For either optical DSMAC or GPS navigation to be functional, one requires depth, i.e. a 3-D image co-relation that cannot come from any optronic sensor (like FLIR or IRST) capable of storing only pre-programmed 2-D imagery & showing only 2-D imagery in real-time. Therefore, for both DSMAC & TERPROM, what’s reqd is a 3-D sensor for imagery acquisition & that can only come from an active sensor like SAR, which is used for BOTH en-route navigation & terminal homing. These are low-probability-of-intercept sensors whose emissions are extremely difficult to detect, leave alone tracking.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: The news-report is disingenuous because it blames it all on the F-35 JSF platform, instead of examining the entire weapon system & its support elements, especially the vital training aids whose absence seems to be the real problem. The Pentagon clearly says it all, when it states that: “The training management system lags in development compared to the rest of the Integrated Training Center and does not yet have all planned functionality” .
As for “The out-of-cockpit visibility in the F-35A is less than other Air Force fighter aircraft,” & “the head rest is too large and will impede aft [rear] visibility and survivability during surface and air engagements. “Aft visibility will get the pilot gunned [down] every time” in dogfights, this also applies to ALL contemporary combat aircraft as well & that’s why four rear-view canopy-mounted mirrors are found on aircraft like the Su-30MKI as well.
As for “Aft visibility could turn out to be a significant problem for all F-35 pilots in the future”, this is a problem even for the F/A-22, EF-2000 & Rafale & Gripen NG & F/A-18E/F & J-10, and can only be resolved by mounting a rear-looking IRST sensor as the Russians have done for the PAK-FA & FGFA/PMF.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: You’re attributing statements to me that I have never made before. I have repeatedly stated both to you & others that the S-2 Arihant SSBN’s PWR is a single KLT-40C reactor (originally designed, developed & built by Afrikantov OKBM) delivering 23.5 propeller mW from the 82.5mW reactor. It is all documented in my earlier write-up at:

For the S-5 SSBN, the IN has already stated that it requires two 190mW PWRs of the type that CAN/COULD even go on board the planned IAC-2 aircraft carrier.

As for the compromised data from India-based servers, it was an act of data theft that was stolen by suspected Chinese hackers. Data is not the same as physical objects that can be recovered or retrieved. Once data is accessible to someone else, it means the data has been compromised & needs to be discarded, since it is now known that such data was accessible to certain hostile interested parties. Data can never be retrieved or returned back, that should be obvious.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSINGH: Not true. There’s also the ‘Divya Drishti’ passive surveillance system in place, while the armed forces have issued RFIs for procuring imported passive surveillance systems. Beidou is not a surveillance satellite constellation, it is used only for navigational updates. What the Pakis are talking about is overhead recce satellite using SAR antenna, four of which are now operational with China & the company that supplied SAR antennae for these satellites is the very same company (NPOM) that partners India under BrahMos Aerospace. India now has similar satellites like RISAT-1 & the RISAT-2/Polaris-A. As for your other queries, you may find the answers at:

To Anon@12.28AM: For national security applications, China long ago syopped using US-built servers, networks & chips. Today, Chinese companies like Huawei are totally capable of producing such hardware. India’s decision-makers had no difficulty in going to sleep even in the 1980s when the then Govts of India were openly manipulating the country’s military hardware procurement processes, so why should they lose sleep now?


To Anon@1.25AM: 1) It won’t make any difference.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.33PM: 1) Yes. 2) Of course. 3) The same yield as any tactical nuclear warhead, ranging from 15kT to 150kT. All such n-warheads are of the air-burst type, meaning they are typically detonated between 30km & 15km ABOVE the target for maximum destruction.

To Anon@9.24PM: It’s all about not putting all of one’s eggs into a single basket, hence the need to diversify the sources of procurement. Things would not have been as they’re now had the Tejas Mk1 MRCA been operationalised in the previous decade. But since the Tejas Mk1 & Mk2 MRCAs have yet to be operationally inducted, a stop-gap measure was necessary. This is where the Rafale comes in, albeit as an M-MRCA.

To Anon@10.29PM: Maybe because certain interested parties with vested interests want to deliberately show the DRDO in a very bad light, & therefore the logical option would be to invite those ‘desi’ TV news-channels that have an abundance of blundering news-reporters who are never ashamed of portraying themselves as certified morons by claiming that Nirbhay is powered by turboprops or propfans, or that the Nirbhay can drop bombs or even carry bombs on-board for self-destruction! Shit happens within Incredible India as a matter of routine, wouldn’t you agree!!! Just look at the comedy of errors & on-hoinh nautanki & dhakosla involving the two Italian Marines. It was known last January itself that the Italians wanted a Supreme Court-directed fast-track special court for the trial process to get underway. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision, the Govt of India’s Shipping & Law Ministries were engaged in infighting over the past two months over which of the two Ministries ought to finance the functioning of the mandated fast-track special court. Therefore, a frustrated Italy decided to opt out of this arrangement by rightly stating that justice would be served a lot faster if the case is referred to the ICJ in The Hague without any further delay. Legally, India is on a very weak ground here since the crime took place in international waters & India never had the legal right to detain, arrest & put to trial the two Italian Marines on Indian soil.

To 3RD EYE: Not that I’m aware of. But some serious R & D is underway in areas of directed-energy weapons & EMP-generation PGMs. Can't tell anyone more about it due to my NCND commitments.

Anonymous said...

sir ,
i guess the italian marines shot the fishermen in the indian waters..not in the international waters..the incident took place 20 miles off kerala coast..

Kshitiz Kumar said...

1.Why has India not secured a permanent seat in Security council,despite support by so many members?
2.this article if u c says that we r a member of MTCR group,doesn't it allow us to import critical tech from other members
3.what avenger system u were talking about sir any links?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.31AM: You're wrong. Check the records of court proceedings. Incident took place OUTSIDE the 12nm territorial water limit in international waters, what is known as contiguous zone as per UNCLOS regulations.

rad said...

HI Prasun
Rightly said that there should not be selective tv channel journos to be invited and it is quite shocking that a journo with a video should be allowed into the premises of a nationally important weapon system. NDTV is a famous arse kisser of the congress as known to all.
I think one of the reasons to allow this fatty was that they were very sure of the success of the missile as DRDO has always been known as a failure organisation and they were desperate to prove themselves at the cost of national security.
coming to the missile it seems all the worlds top cruise missile have tercom and DSMAC IR homing system , please correct if wrong.Does it need to take 8 months to repeat a test?. after all they would have made several other missile in a batch and can fire after rectification.
I have never seen tomahawks carried by fighter ac in pics, do give me a link.
Please explain what is NCND and explain if possible.

Anonymous said...

Prasun Da,

Is there any plan to introduce Multicam camouflage for the indian army. Is it the part of the F-INSAS program?

Why does our army still use organic camouflage?!!!

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Many thanks PrasunDa .

Two quick questions :

(1) Will the Super Sukhoi be able to carry 2 BRAHMOS missiles externally & 2 miniature BRAHMOS missiles ( that are now being developed) internally ?

(2) Regarding the Italian marines case , I think India can no longer take a stand as the Families of the bereaved have already accepted "blood money" . And once you accept money you no longer hold the moral high ground.Shouldn't the marines therefore be absolved of wrongdoings ?


Dhruv said...


Please bear with this newbie. I have a query regarding India deficeincy in setting up Semi Conductor Fabrication Units by Private parties of Govt. undertakings. Even our Parallel Supercomputers use Microprocessors available off the shelf from foreign manufacturers. After the SCL Chandigarh unit was gutted in a fire, no major effort by the Government was shown to set up silicon or Gallium Arsenide based Micro-processor units. In face a certain NRI technocrat, Mr. A. Bhattacharya who tried to set up a FAB unit was actively discouraged repeatedly and finally ended up setting up the same in another Asian country, Is this an International Conspiracy to stymie our growth or just dumb / corrupt Indian bureaucracy?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSHITIZ KUMAR: 1) The questions to be asked are these: A) Is India worthy of becoming a permanent member of the UNSC? B) Does India have the huts, spine, backbone & balls to take the kind of tough, ruthless & cold-hearted decisions that is expected from a permanent member of the UNSC? 2) That article you’ve weblinked does not say anywhere that India has secured entry into the MTCR. In fact, it was only last year that the Indian Foreign Secretary formally applied for membership into MTCR. 3) Avenger from Rheinmetall Air Defence.

To RAD: This idiotic Fatso does not even realise that designated missile test-firing zones can never be a top-secret affair, since prior to such tests, notices or NOTAMs are issued to the civil aviation authorities of all countries via ICAO as well as to all merchant marine agencies in which the no-fly zone/maritime exclusion zone is clearly demarcated by precise GPS coordinates & the duration of the exclusion is also precisely mentioned—all for ensuring flight safety & maritime safety as mandated by international laws. Despite this, this Fatso was selling a lemon to the Indian public by claiming that the actual site from where the K-15 SLVM was last fired was top-secret!!! Must definitely be a ‘BHEJA-FRIED’ fella in the guise of NDTV’s science & technology correspondent! And so are those DRDO honchos thirsting for such cheap publicity. I will shortly be formally writing to the DG of Defence Intelligence Agency at Integrated Defence Staff HQ to put an end to all such ‘nautankis’ for good.
Coming to TERCOM & DCMAC application, the sensor used is an RF-based sensor, not IR & that’s why one never sees an IR aperture-mounting on the noses of such cruise missiles. Only those missiles with man-in-the-loop guidance like Taurus KEPD-350, Delilah, Popeye & Spice-1000/2000 have visible IR apertures mounted on the nose. Following the maiden test-flight of Nirbhay, an exhaustive enquiry process is now underway to determine the exact causes of in-flight failure & this can be quite time-consuming since all the recorded data has to be extracted & interpreted before reaching empirical conclusions & making suitable modifications to the missile’s on-board systems. Therefore, 6 months is the baseline minimum period reqd for such fixes to be put in place. NCND stands for non-circumvention & non-disclosure—a mandatory clause in all contracts of a military-industrial nature.

To Anon@11.47AM: Of course. Organic camouflage has already been done away with for selected armoured & mechanised infantry formations meant for deployment along the western border.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: Only a single BrahMos-A will be carried by the Su-30MKI’s centerline hardpoint. The BrahMos-1 Mini is meant for fitment on to the MiG-29K’s centerline hardpoint. Therefore, only 1 BrahMos-1 Mini will be carried by both MiG-29K & Su-30MKI. BrahMos-1 Mini will never be wing-mounted on any combat aircraft.
Regarding the Marines, they definitely should not be absolved of any wrongdoings because neither Indian nor Italian law recognises the concept of blood-money being paid as compensation, meaning the only way blood-money can be accepted as compensation is through an out-of-court settlement. This whole incident has been a comedy of errors. Firstly, the Italian vessel’s Captain was extremely stupid in being bullied by the ICGS. As the vessel was in international waters, there was no need for the Captain to take heed of the ICGS’ instructions & any attempt by the ICGS to force the Italian vessel to change course would have tantamounted to a clear violation of the freedom of international maritime navigation. Secondly, after this first mistake, the Italians made the second mistake of trying to seek legal redressal through the Indian courts when, at the very outset, they should have demanded a trial by the ICG at The Hague since the crime was committed in international waters. Thirdly, the ‘BHEJA-FRIED’ Indian Babus of the Union Shipping & Law Ministries—thanks to turf wars—delayed the setting up of fast-track trial court for this particular case. Fourthly, India’s Additional Solicitor-General, a guy named RAWAL, had no coherent argument to make in the Supreme Court as the govt Prosecutor & for two days in a row all he could say was that the two Italian marines ought to stand trial in an Indian court just because they had killed Indian fishermen. And every time Harish salve, who was the defendant’s lawyer, got up to say rebut by saying that since this incident happened in international waters India had no legal claim to try this case & pronounce any judgement & instead Salve rightly suggested that the Govt of India should instead file this case with the ICG in The Hague & seek justice there. And all this while the Union Law Ministry was totally impotent & failed to see the writing on the wall. In hindsight, what the Ministry should have done from day 1 was to collect all the evidence & ought to have pro-actively decided to file the case at the ICJ. Now, thanks to the perennial ‘BHEJA-FRIED’ attitude of India’s civilian officialdom, a massive global embarrassment is staring at the country’s face.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: Anyway, there’s some good news after all these days: the new DPP 2013 due for release later this month by the MoD will at last authorise 49% FDI in India-based & India-owned military-industrial entities. Looks like Saint Antony has finally been blessed with some common-sensical wisdom by the Holy Virgin Mother Mary, with some well-intentioned mortal prodding by P Chidambaram!

To DHRUV: No international conspiracy whatsoever, but vested interests within Indian officialdom itself that waits in vain for any DPSU or an ECIL or a CEL or a KELTRION to come forward & propose a JV with either an Israeli or South Korean semiconductor foundry. The shit-and-dirt therefore lies within the country & this is what has been perpetuating a regressive industrial mindset among all decision-makers of successive Govts of India.

Anonymous said...

Can u throw some light on this ?

"Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Migdal Haemek, Israel) had previously announced that it is in a consortium with IBM and Indian firm Jaypee that has been shortlisted by the Indian government to build and run a 300-mm wafer fab in the country."
I don't know much about semiconductors but whats a significance of 300mm wafer fab plant ?

Sayan said...

Sir, How much time will it take to develope MBDA SR-SAM or has it already been developed ? When will it start entering service ?

What is the status of Akash mk2 ?

Can SRSAM intercept or is it being designed to intercept NLOS-BSM, supersonic and subsonic TLAM,ASCM ?

When will test firing of PDV take place ?

Are any serious R&D going on in making radars, C3 facilities , fighter jets EMP hardened from EMP gen weapons ?

Wasnt Rheinmetall AD offering IA Skyranger system as you had mentioned previously in one of your threads ? Has MoD removed Rheinmetall AD from black listing ?

How many Spice-1000/2000 glide wing PGM are to be bought from IAI ?

Nirbhay's RD cycle began 8 years after Babur and 15 years after Tomahawk . So why doesnt it employ a steathy falcted airframe design instead of the present cylindrical one ?

Anonymous said...

in my view the Italian Marine's case was badly handled from the beginning. In the very first week it was clear that the firing occurred in the contiguous zone outside territorial limits, but still could be a case in our courts as per our law (i guess it is against the UNCLOS). From first itself Italy was telling they could try the marines in their court or even the ICJ ( a very easy diplomatic way) but some how we didnot agree to it.
But I think what Italy has done now is a real crime, by running away from the guarantee of returning the Marines. The Ambassador personally guaranteed for their return. I guess if he didnt have the diplomatic immunity he would have been in jail for that action.
These precedents are always bad since next time any foreigner caught will have trouble for even legitimate reasons.
I personally think Italy has to answer its sovereign pledges it itself broke. Great nations should not stoop to the level of con men.
I am not saying that we were doing things right but that is no reason to take us for a ride.

Sujoy Majumdar said...

PrasunDa many thanks for the great explanation . Also, thanx for sharing the news about the 49% FDI .

Do you think that Indian SME's in the Defense sector will benefit from this decision as most SME owner tell me that coz of GOI's No Cost No Commitment policy they are unable to showcase their hardware to the MoD as the cost of conducting trials tends to be high and GOI does not bear any cost .

Also , PrasunDa I believe that GOI should lay a roadmap clearly stating that they intend to purchase from the Pvt sector , what they intend to purchase & when. Unless they do this no Pvt sectoe company will make investments in Defense .


Anonymous said...


Last year when Dmitry Rogozin came to India he had proposed that India & Russia jointly develop advanced weapon .

Is India showing any interest in this proposal or is India not interested in joint development projects with Russia ?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

This article on maiden test firing of Nirbhay missile allays all doubts about the test.

Anonymous said...

what is going on here ?

The most authoritative non-governmental assessment of world nuclear forces has revealed that India's nuclear capabilities are seriously lagging behind those of its putative adversaries, Pakistan and China. The evaluation by Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists called "Indian nuclear forces, 2012", reveals that for New Delhi, the principal means of weapons delivery remains fixed-wing aircraft like the Mirage-2000 and the Jaguar.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.19AM: Where have you been all this while??? What then is the BrahMos-2 hypersonic missile all about???

To Mr.RA 13: VMT. To be test-fired for a second time in the very near future will be the Agni-5 ICBM. By the way, at last the ‘desi’ print/electronic media is getting a hold on what I had been saying all along about the AW-101 affair (about the former CAS of the IAF ACM S P Tyagi being deliberately framed by the Italians so that the real culprits involved in money laundering & corporate fraud could go scot-free). Just have a look at this:

And also read this:

To Anon@2.37AM: What is going on is that a couple of ill-informed & self-styled nuclear weapons non-proliferation lobbyists have endeavoured to produce a totally discredited appreciation of India’s WMD-related R & D/production activities. A cursory look at the bibliography of this report conclusively proves my point. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists is no longer what it used to be.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.31PM: To cut a long story short, without such facilities, it is impossible to indigenise any avionics or vectronics item. That’s the A to Z of the issue. Presently, all such components used for microprocessors are being imported by India from China, ROK & Israel.

To SAYAN: 1) About five years. 2) Still under development. 3) Only subsonic cruise missiles. 4) Not this year. Only Agni-5 ICBM will be shortly test-fired for the second time. 5) All existing LACMs worldwide feature cylindrical shapes. Faceting isn’t required for the reasons I had explained above.

To Anon@5.40PM: Kindly view this:

This will conclusive demonstrate that the Govt of India has tied itself up in knots & it is due to this that it will not be able to enforce the Supreme Court’s order.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: Regretably, the new DPP 2013 will still not be able to answer the core questions: what exactly is required by India’s armed forces for their force modernisation over the next 15 years & what's the consequent military-industrial roadmap required to achieve the procurement objectives? Without such a roadmap, no military-industrial complex anywhere in the world will be able to produce tangible results. Immediately after May 1998, when it was evident that the days of waging all-out conventional warfare had become a thing of the past, the MoD should have initiated a Strategic Defence Review aimed at defining India’s future national security & military postures, which in turn should have led to new combined services warfighting doctrines being drafted & approved, following which the respective armed services should have drafted their long-term force modernisation roadmaps & related weapons procurement priorities. Only if all this was done in a sequential manner would it have been possible to enlist the financial & human resources support of the country’s private & public sectors & the DRDO in terms of coming up with indigenous solutions, especially those requiring bulk production. Had this been done, along with structural reforms within the MoD aimed at ensuring a level playing field between the country’s private & public sectors, then even SMEs would have been assured of a captive market & they would therefore have felt confident in applying for loans from financial institutions or for issuing IPOs for raising funds from the capital markets for the sake of financing their in-house R & D & product innovations. All this is not happening & will not happen for as long as the chronological/sequential steps I’ve outlined above are not implemented. Consequently, what is happening today is ad hocism when it comes to force modernization, i.e. arming without aiming, akin to first buying a toolbox without determining in advance what needs servicing & where & how. This is the CORE problem facing the country today.

Anonymous said...

as usual you are excellent .
on a side note you should start lobbying for the sake of this country India.

Anonymous said...

"To cut a long story short, without such facilities, it is impossible to indigenise any avionics or vectronics item. That’s the A to Z of the issue. Presently, all such components used for microprocessors are being imported by India from China, ROK & Israel."
Is this what India has been looking for, to be independent in the field of electronics or we need a few more foundry ?

Everybody knows how important this project is. Is there a timeline set by government or companies because we clearly needs it as soon as possible.

Is it also gonna help the consumer electronics market ? I am asking this because according to recent reports from GOI our electronics import by the end of decade might surpas our petro bill.

Akhil Suri said...

Hi Prasun,

Are the Project 15B destroyers of the Indian Navy as capable as the Project 21956 destroyers of the Russian Navy .


Indian said...

Prasun da,

What is this image ..seems a engine with air intake..and some foreign cos are associated with development ??

Or is this underwater ASUV ??


Anonymous said...

Anon@1:36 PM
It's kaveri engine.....when it was to be tested on IL-76 in russia.

Anonymous said...

prasun da i have 3 querry:
1. Pakis were saying that their f16 block 52 have radar detection range of 160 km for 2m square target. And they were saying su30mki has actual range of 140km for 5m square with 5kw transmitter.
2. Is it possible to reduce rcs of mki by applying ram on edges.
3. How far indian rcs reducing paint or technique is effective against f16 block 52.
4.lca has lowest wingloading amongst the contempory fighter so can we make it more manuverable by adding more thrust.

josep stalin said...

sir i have seen youtube video that link which is provided above. I have one question that in that interview mr. Saleh accuses directly pakistan that they are providing sanctuary to alqaeda leader ship in quetta shura. Is it really true.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Just out of curiosity, what implication does 49% FDI have for Bharat Electronics. What is your opinion of BELs technical abilities and where do you see this company headed given the scope in MMRCA, missile programmes and radar, C4I requirements...

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Outstanding explanation PrasunDa.

I sincerely hope that MoD/GOI is reading your observations .

Big bang ideas almost inevitable comes from SMEs and this principle is not just confined to the defense sector .

Unfortunately , the only policy that our policy makers care about is how to ensure that this country goes to the dogs.


Vivek said...

Hi Prasun da,

Any news on ur promised atv/arihant update, am eagerly awaiting

Also there are so many SAM either developed or being developed, one almost gets confused on the exact need/enduse of each one, any post of yours on details of India's eventual SAM force that I can refer to

Any update on agni slbm version, will it have mirv, once developed will they be on board s2 class or s5 type


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DASHU: VMT. No need to lobby, for as long as the literate & discerning decision-makers of India have access to this blog.

To Anon@9.40AM: Such critical industrial infrastructure will first & foremost usher in enormous benefits to the country’s electronics manufacturing sector, which presently continues to languish. Profit margins for such industries will always be dictated by the civilian demands, since the military requirements are much smaller in terms of volume. As for timelines, such facilities should have been acquired way back in the late 1990s. India is way behind in this respect. And to expect timebound schedules for implementation of such strategic industries from the Govt of India tantamount to asking for the impossible from ‘Incredible India’.

To AKHIL SURI: Far more capable.

To Anon@3.21PM: The F-16 Block 52’s radar can’t detect anything smaller than a 5 sq metre airborne target. Secondly, its detection range is 100km & tracking range is 80km. Thirdly, it is a non-monopulse system & therefore its false target detection rate is much higher. Fourthly, due to all this, even the Phazotron Kopyo MMR of the MiG-21 Bison is far more capable & dependable than the Northrop Grumman-built MMR on any F-16.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JOSEPH STALIN: Quetta Shura means that the Taliban’s leadership led by Mullah Omar is located in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

To Anon@5.52PM: It will enable DPSUs to set up joint venture companies in which 49% shares will be held by a foreign OEM or a group of foreign OEMs. For starters, OEMs like THALES & IAI/ELTA can easily create such JVs with BEL. Presently, BEL is only capable of producing the hardware that you’ve mentioned, but is incapable of developing on its own such products.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: VMT. It seems to be the age-old problem of post-independent ‘Incredible India’—the acute dearth of leaders who can take difficult decisions without difficulty.

To VIVEK: The previous threads dealing with air-defence in 2011 & with IACCCS in 2012 will provide you with all the data on VSHORADS/MANPADS, E-SHORADS, MR-SAM & LR-SAM. SLBM will not be part of the Agni family & it will have its own name. It won’t go on the S-2, S-3 or S-4, but on the S-5.

Anonymous said...

@anon 3.16 and interested bloggers,
when you have picture and want to know what the picture is or whose the picture is, google has an option to upload that image and search the image as such. it will bring the closest equivalent with the attributes of the picture (use the camera type of button in the google image search for doing this). It is a good tool, but many of us might not know.
I just thought this info might be useful for beginners, or not tech-savvy people, who might visit this blog.

sorry for off-topic.


Anonymous said...

1) Just to reveal a bit of information about micrroprocessor foundry. Back in late 80s Vinod Khosla tried to bring Sun's foundry into India for producing Sun micro processors. But our babus have unanimously decided after a lot of "research" that such micro processors are going out of fashion and this NRI business man was trying to cheat gullible resident indians. In the end the foundry went to China. Thats the end of story.

2) 10 years later, Intel tried to build Indian research center and a foundry later on thinking that resident Indian talent pool is same as the Indian origin pool in USA. Apparently the quality fell far short, they moved an entire clean room used for semicondutor devlopment lock stock barrel to Israel. At one time, four guys were fired for cheating the company with fake expense bills. These guys were already getting paid in lakhs a decade ago. Still they can't change the habits.

3) Then you may all know about the AMD foundry story.:(

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

When you say Agni-V will be tested for a second time very soon do you mean before June ?

rad said...

HI Prasun
India has taken delivery of 2 global express 5000 ac .Are they for ASTOR type radar or a sigint ecm type .They seem to be delivered to Israel . Israel has not made a dedicated ac for sentinel type of ac but i dont doubt their capability . What are they for?

Anonymous said...

Prasunda,many thanks for the wonderful explanation.What is the current status of FICV project?

KSingh said...


I have heard that retd ACM Tyangi and his cousins have been raided by the police/CBI, do you still belive that he is 100% innocent? I'd like to belive you but the way the CBI/POLICE are acting seems to completly contradict what you have been saying on his innoncence.

If he is innocent then the media and CBI don't seem to see it.

When will the truth of his innoncence come out? Right now it seems he is very guilty and if this is all just malicious lies from the Italians he has a genuine case to pursue legal damages because he and his familiy have been throughly dragged through the mud.

Also what is the latest news on the AW-101 deliveres? Will they go ahead or is the entire deal still headed for the scrap heap with the 3 delivered being returned?

Also do you think Augusta Westland and Fincimniea will be blacklisted?

++ when will the Apache,Chinook, N-MRH (S-70B) and M777 deals be signed by India? Next FY?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSINGH: Just have a look at this:

It conclusively proves what I have been claiming all along. India has no choice now but to accept the remaining AW-101s & pay for them as well, for failure to do so will constitute contract violation on India's part. Blacklisting cannot take place unless it is conclusively established by eithger the CBI or the Italians that wrongdoing of any kind was committed by any party. All those deals you've mentioned will be procured in FY 2014.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: They're meant for R & AW's ARC & are fitted with ELINT/SIGINT sensors plus a belly-mounted SAR for terrain-profiling.