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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Updates From 12th Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA 2013) Between March 26 & 30

 
Watch the following three displays of the Rafale during LIMA 2013:
 
 
 
State-owned China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC), a subsidiary of the Shanghai-based China State Shipbuilding & Construction Co (CSSC) last week showcased the very same three products that it had earlier unveilled at the IDEX 2013 expo in Abu Dhabi, these being a landing helicopter dock (LHD), a multi-role guided-missile-frigate (FFG) for littoral warfare, and the S-20 diesel-electric submarine.
The LHD features a displacement of 22,000 tons, length of 198 metres, beamwidth of 21.80 metres, and a maximum cruising speed of 22 Knots). Its top-deck can host up to four heavylift helicopters, while its internal hangar can accommodate another eight such helicopters, or 700 fully-equipped soldiers, or 50 armoured amphibious vehicles. The LHD’s armaments suite includes twin bow-mounted 76mm main guns, twin stern-mounted FL-3000N (each with 18 missiles) surface-to-air/anti-missile missile systems, and twin Type 730 30mm CIWS units located forward and aft on the LHD’s island.
The new-generation FFG, whose superstructure is derived from that of the Pattani-class OPVs that were delivered by CSOC to the Royal Thai Navy almost a decade ago, has a displacement of 3,500 tons, length of 135 metres, beamwidth of 15.3 metres, maximum cruise speed of 28 Knots, and a crew complement of 110. The FFG comes armed with 32 VLS cells housing 40km-range surface-to-air missiles, one H/PJ-26 76.2mm main gun, twin H/PJ-13 30mm CIWS, twin 12.7mm manned machine guns atop the main bridge, eight C-802A anti-ship cruise missile launchers, and one FL-3000N ) surface-to-air/anti-missile missile system atop the helicopter hangar. Strangely, no on-board ASW torpedo tube launchers were shown.
The S-20 SSK is an export version of the PLA Navy’s Type 041 Yuan-class SSK and it has a submerged displacement of 2,200 tons, length of 66 metres, beamwidth of 8 metres, maximum draught of 8 metres, maximum submerged cruise speed of 20 Knots, crew complement of 40, and six 533mm torpedo tubes.  
In another development, the MoD’s DRDO has loaned a complete HUMSA-NG shipborne sonar suite on a no-cost no commitment basis to the Bangladesh Navy for evaluations.
Work has also begun at last at Cochin Shipyard Ltd on installation of the integrated propulsion system on board Project 71/IAC-1 (INS Vikrant).
Meanwhile, it is almost a done deal for Germany’s ATLAS Elektronik in terms of bagging the contract for supplying 96 Sea Hake heavyweight torpedoes for the Indian Navy’s six Scorpene SSKs.

169 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sir, You once said that Bars radar of Su-30 has been brought to the same standard as Irbis radar, no of transmitters increased to two and peak power increased to 20 kW. Now , both Bars and Irbis must be at par .

PLAAF Su-27 SK has internal RF jammers. Why doesn't IAF Su-30 mki doesn't have such internal jammer ?

Which EW suite has been selected for Tejas mk2 ? Selection was to be completed by March.

Saturn Lyuka is providing HAL with AL-31 FP engines . Are these engines of the same standard as the previous ones or boasts an improved TTSL ?

After so many flight tests still why is AoS limited at 20 degree.

When will Arohant sea trials begin ?
Pls ans sir.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Already answered them all several times before.

Anonymous said...

hi,

had a few questions:

1- the HUMSA-NG given to BN for evals - is it the sameone being installd on IN ships or slightly watered down export versions? if same - is there a chance of these systems being somehow compromised (pak sympathetic officers in BN)?

2.- due to budge cuts stateside, rapid modernization of PLAN, progress of ATV and IAC-1, and basically the general sense of insecurity being seen in caucasian populations (some of them at least), do you see aussies going for nuclear attack subs from americans?

3- do you see any future role for the australian cocos island ? how should India feel if the states establish a presence there? if it starts heading in that drection (leasing to the states), is there a way to thwart that - maybe by bringing aussies closer in and leasing it ourselves?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.16AM: 1) It is a standard HUMSA-NG. No changes to either hardware or operating software. They can get compromised only if the software’s encryptions are compromised, which is an impossibility for any user/operator to achieve.

2) No, I don’t see such a possibility at all since such options are extremely cost-prohibitive for Australia. The RAN will rather rely upon the SSNs of the US Navy & the Royal Navy.

3) Any military presence by anybody on Cocos Island will first & foremost piss off Indonesia, which neither Australia nor the US want to do. For the US naval logistics chain, the Cocos Island is not a desirable island to lease. Ideally, the US would want an island in the South China Sea & another in the southern Indian Ocean between The Maldives & Mauritius.

Bhaswar said...

What are the chances that we will actually be able to design and build a 180MW+ reactor for nukeboats? Will it be "indigenous" or will we still depend upon Russian help. The current Arihnat reactor, even if its design was borrowed, did we manufacture- nuts and bolts and absolutely everything else- ourselves?

When will see firm images depicting the design of the P-15B since apparently work on the hull has already started?

Unknown said...

Prasun,

Do you see any likelihood in the IN jointing hands with the Brits and getting Type 26 frigates as the UK has said it would like to do?


Also when will the IN start using contemporary CIWS? The AK-630 the IN uses on almost every platform is a 60+ year old design! When will the IN start using contemporary systems like the Goalkeeper or Phalanx?

Has the IN even shown interest in inducting such systems? I mean the cost of these is minimal when compared to be total costs of somthing like the P-15A.

And when will the IN's selection of LHD/LPD begin in earnest? When can we expect to see induction of these ships?


Am I right in thinking the first 2 will be built abroad and the remaining 4 in India under ToT/JVs?

Anonymous said...

"Ideally, the US would want an island in the South China Sea & another in the southern Indian Ocean between The Maldives & Mauritius."
Maldives and Mauritius ? Its not gonna piss of India ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BHASWAR: The DAE has already officially stated that it will be able to design & develop an 180mW PWR entirely on its own, but it will require 15 years to do so. As for the Arihant’s on-board propulsion system, the entire system’s design was imported, but it was fabricated totally within India, including the PWR, its heat-exchanger, turbine & transmission. As for the Project 15B DDG’s design, I’m absolutely sure that it will be revealed during the forthcoming keel-laying ceremony of the first vessel. In fact, the vessel’s illustration will be displayed on the poster to be hung on the main Dias on which the ceremony will be conducted at MDL.

To UNKNOWN: No way. The UK was proposing the Type 26 FFG as a substitute for the projected seven P-17A FFGs to be built by MDL. But now that the contract for building the seven P-17A FFGs is now under final negotiations, the Type 26 FFG has no future in India. As for CIWS, the AK-630M is still a very potent weapon despite its age. There is also the option of going for the AK-630M-2 Duet that is even more potent & offers double the firepower of either the Goalkeeper or Phalanx. But to expect such weapons to neutralise supersonic ASCMs will be a great folly & therefore the Barak-2 is still the best bet as far as anti-supersonic ASCM defences go. Tenders for four LPHs will not be released before late 2014 at best.

To Anon@6.32AM: Why should India get pissed off? The Cold War era ended in 1991 & all forms of pseudo anti-US perceptions & postures of India too died in that same year.

ram kumar said...

sir, what do u meam by '' it is almost a done deal for Germany’s ATLAS Elektronik in terms of bagging the contract for supplying 96 Sea Hake heavyweight torpedoes for the Indian Navy’s six Scorpene SSK ''...as u posted in past that the torpedo deal was to be cancelled because of bribery allegations on Finmeccanica...?

Bhaswar said...

VMT Prasun Ji,


How far are we into designing that reactor out of the 15 years it will take to build one, does that time frame include all the relevant dry runs and on land testing? Isn't the yet to be decided Arihant follow on sub to come along by 2022?

When shall the keel laying ceremony be held by your estimate? You shall cover it sir?

Did we also build the submarines hull and manufacture the required grade of steel and materials ourselves?

Anonymous said...

sir is pakistan navy importing above s20 sub?sky jump on iac1 completed or ll simultaneously go on?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, I've been a keen and avid follower of your blog for some time now. It's like my morning coffee, when I get to work, I first check your blog for updates and then start my work! I really admire your knowledge and patience in answering all those questions. Hats off to you!!

I've been a silent follower thus far, but today I have a question that has been bugging me for a number of years. I was wondering when planes like the MIGs and tanks etc. are De-commissioned / retired, can they not be re-furbished and sold to African countries at low prices instead of selling them as scrap? Not only will it fetch some money, it will help our defense ancillary industries and also help our technicians and engineers gain experience in upgrading such platforms and pave the way for future markets and contacts in that region. Are there any restrictions from the original vendors or is it plain laziness and lack of initiative on our part? Your thoughts on this please.

Gessler said...

Hi Prasun da.

1. I've heard we are supplying same HUMSA-NG sonar to Myanmar for their F11 and F12 frigates?

2. Any export prospects for Barak-2/8 to third party countries?

3. Where is LCH TD-3?

Gessler.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAM KUMAR: You’re getting confused between the German Sea Hake & Italian Black Shark torpedoes.

To BHASWAR: R & D work got underway in only late 2011 & the complete R & D cycle will last for 15 years. Fabrication of S-5 SSBN will get underway in the following decade. Keel-laying of first P-15B DDG will take place at the same time as the commissioning of the first P-15A DDG anytime between May & August this year. All steel-based materials for construction of warships & submarines nowadays come from ESSAR Steel.

To Anon@11.13AM: No, not S-20, but the Qing-class SSK. Ski-ramp for IAC-1 has already been pre-fabricated & is ready for fitment on the superstructure.

To Anon@2.31PM: Whenever any military hardware is decommissioned, it only has scrap value. That’s the international norm. It is then up to a potential customer for such hardware to refurbish them & extend their service lives, if necessary. However, this happens in only the rarest of rare cases, since the original end-user certificate also covers such wares & any transfer or upgrade of such decommissioned hardware without the OEM’s approval constitutes a violation of the contractual commitments of the hardware’s existing owner. The only known re-export of decommissioned hardware took place in the late 1970s when decommissioned Indian Army Centurion & AMX-13 tanks were offered for sale on an as-is-where-is basis & some India-based arms dealers then bought them all & re-sold them to South Africa & Singapore.

To GESSLER: 1) Not yet. First, the Bangladesh Navy wants to evaluate the product before making a procurement decision. 2) Of course there are, but this will have to be jointly decided & approved by Israel & India, just like the BrahMos-1’s export prospects being jointly determined by Russia & India. 3) Still in the workshop & it won’t roll out before November.

Anonymous said...

hellow sir,
in previous blog i asked you about updates on rustom 1 uav .
plz do reply...
thanks in advance...

Bhaswar said...

VMT Sir,

But I had heard somewhere that initially part of the delays in IAC-1 were caused by difficulty to import the required grade of steel, did we find a local supplier after all?

Any chance we will see pictorial representations of the firm design of the P-17A anytime soon?

What exactly is the use of the LDPs in the hands of the IN, we have not been very keen on a marine infantry capability in the past?

KSingh said...

Prasun,

do you not think the IAF then needs somthing like the A400 to bridge the gap (which is quite sizable) between the MTA/Avro replacement and the massive C-17? The IAF wi have the ability to lift 70+ tons and ~19 tons but nothing really in between (discounting the small number if C-130Js the IAF will operate as they are primarily for Spec Ops support and are not really part of the IAF's mainstream transport fleet). The A400 with a lift capacity of 45 tons would be ideal IMHO. Around 25-30 are the required number IMHO.

Any serious likelihood of seeing A400s in IAF service?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BHASWAR: The problems initially arose due to SAIL’s inability to supply the reqd quantities of steel on time & after SAIL admitted defeat, ESSAR Steel stepped in & now there are no such problems. There will be no pictorial representations of P-17A, only the silhouette drawing, a copy of which I had uploaded in April 2012 as part my DEFEXPO 2012 show report. By the time the LPHs enter service, the IN will have a 15,000-strong Sagar Prahari Bal force.

To KSINGH: The C-130J-30 fleet will grow in size to at least 18 & in my estimation, even more after both the MoD & the IAF realise that it is sheer madness to acquire 56 replacements for the existing HS-748 Avros. It is a folly to categorise the C-130J-30s as being meant solely for SOF support. The Super Hercules is a versatile platform that can even be configured with ease as an aerial refuelling platform for helicopters like the CH-47F. Thus, there’s no need at all to increase the variety of transport aircraft at the IAF’s disposal. After all, even the existing six IL-78MKIs are multi-role transports whose aerial refuelling kits can be easily offloaded if at all the need arises & can be easily configured as transports in less than 2 hours.

Bhaswar said...

Prasun Sir,

apologies for the repetitive posts with question.

1) What are the sensors that the IAC-1 will employ? I believe that the Selex RAN40L is one, there were talks of the MF-STAR going on boars. The latter was a bit dubious. Could you please provide the details?

2) Exactly what role will India play in the Indo-Rus MTA? Will we build those birds in country?

3) What is the status of the ELF facility under construction? How come the PLAN doesn't have one?

4) What is the significance of the solid state SST-1 tokamak which has come up in Gandhinagar after the Aditya tokamak? What are its future uses?

5) Any updates on the IAF IACCS you had elucidated upon in great detail earlier? How much of it has been implemented, I believe a few Medium range radar options were still undecided back then, which one got selected? When will the IAF AF-NET come online?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BHASWAR: 1) Project 71/IAC-1/INS Vikrant will have both EL/M-2248 MF-SRAR & RAN-40L radars.
2) The entire airframe of IL-214 MRTA will be built at HAL’s Kanpur & Lucknow facilities. Only the engines will be imported.
3) ELF facility will go on-line by 2015. ELF is reqd by those navies whose undersea warfare assets are on operational patrols far away from friendly shores. As far as the PLA goes, its fleet of SSBNs & SSNs have never gone beyond the East China & South China Seas & hence they make do with only VLF communications.
4) All the info you need is in the following links:

http://www.dae.gov.in/ni/nijan03/page6.htm

http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/PDFplus/fusion-20-preprints/FT_3-4Ra.pdf

http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/PDFplus/fusion-20-preprints/FT_3-4Rb.pdf

http://www.nifs.ac.jp/itc/itc12/Saxena.pdf

http://www.igcar.gov.in/events/inde2007/INDE%20presentations/J.Govindarajan-Fusion_IPR.pdf

5) There are no new updates as far as IACCCS goes. The AF-NET has been operational for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

// " ELF facility will go on-line by 2015 "//

what do you even mean by this, India is building a facility to have extreme low frequency communication setup?

Isn't this a huge technological and economical challenge that India can barely undertake.Only the Russians and Americans have this system,how come India-leaving other powers-is going for such a system?

Any details,links,articles, descriptions on this system being developed?

Anonymous said...

What about the X-band radar that India wanted to acquire,is this already in place bought secretively?

or is there any effort to build indigenously?

Unknown said...

Prasun,

How well trained and equipped will this "15,000-strong Sagar Prahari Bal force" be?

And where are they being trained?

I've not heard anything along the lines of the IN rasing their own Marine-infantry unit only the SPB where to protect vital IN installations and numbered 2,000.


Now they are a Marine infantry unit?


Will they have their own artilliery peices, ICVs, MBTs, aviation elemants, training centres, combat engineers etc?


Can you do a full write up on the Sagar Prahari Bal? This is a big moment in Indian military history if true, to date the Indian military has had nothing of the sort other than a few IA btns stained,somewhat, in amphibious landings but ill-equipped to do so by modern standards.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

How much your idea of Tejas-Mk1 Trainer as LIFT has cut through the real armours.

Anirban said...

Prasun Da,

Can you clarify on the Sea Hake torpedo bit? I thought this was a contest between the White Shark and the Sea Hake, and the White Shark had won this contest. Whats the real deal here please?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.32PM: Here’s the link: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2012/03/elf-comms-facility-coming-up.html

To Anon@11.34PM: Such items are not for sale or for export.

To UNKNOWN: The SPB’s total sanctioned strength can’t be raised in three years or even six years. Training is done in Orissa & Kakinada. SPB’s sanctioned strength is clearly mentioned in the MoD’s official gazette issued two years ago. I had already explained this back in late 2011 & had outlined the future plans for SPB’s hardware reqmts. I had drafted a confidential paper & related PowerPoint presentation for HQ Integrated Defence Staff in mid-2011 on the SPB, but & NCND regulations prevent me from disclosing the contents of such presentations.

To Mr.RA 13: It is still a ‘work in progress’. Takes time to cut through some very thick skins, but as Dr MMS the Great had once said, “no one can stop an idea whose time has come”.

To ANIRBAN: Am not aware of any torpedo called White Shark. I know of only the Black Shark heavyweight torpedo’s existence, but after the competitive bidding process last year, ATLAS Elektronik’s offer of the Sea Hake was declared L-1 (lowest bidder).

Bhaswar said...

VMT Prasun Sir,

Recently our indigenous cry engine was tested in the High Altitude Test Center, this test center was missing in 2010 so how did we build one so quickly?

How can we fabricate the hull and the body of the INS Arihant but have issues doing the same for scorpene? Can India today build a conventional sub if it wished to?

For what purpose is the Sagar Prahari Bal being deployed? As in how do you see them operating in the future and towards what goal?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BHASWAR: Building a high-altitude test-facility for any type of rocket engine isn’t that complex. All that is reqd is to set it over mountainous terrain & cater for range safety regulations. It is not as complicated as building a fully instrumented engine test-cell for testing turbofans at high-altitudes. Fabrication of any type of submarine is easy for as long as one has the design blueprints. Incase of the Arihent, the blueprints came from Russia, while for the Class 209/Type 1500 & Scorpene SSKs the blueprints came from Germany & France. India has been building SSKs since the late 1980s. SPB is initially being employed for the protection of all shore-based operational naval establishments. It will eventually grow into a full-fledged 15,000-strong naval infantry force capable of staging amphibious assaults.

Kshitiz Kumar said...

sir which would be better tank when T 90 is pitted against T 84 oplot M

rad said...

Hi Prasun
Regarding the replacement for avro , getting c-130 instead of the eads transport makes sense. But will the US let us modify structurally the ac?, i doubt that .We would need the transport to be modified as an awacs or avionics test bed or something which will never happen if we get the c-130. I think it is a price we have to pay.
It seems the MTA Il-214 ac sits squarely in the c-130 bracket. . The gov seems to be thinking 100cr or 20mil $ is costly for the IAF to attend red flag every year. But it dose not seems so when the crooks like kanli mozhi,sports minister, and raja swipe billions, or the gov throws lacs of crs for Don quixote type of econimic decision that has never been don in any any country to buy votes like MNREG ! free tv , grinders.
mixe , sarees , gold and what not!! Pse comment.

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance to see those composite radar masts on Indian ships.

Jagjit Singh said...

Prasun Ji,

Two questions :

(1) If US Marines instead of Italian Marines would have killed Indian fisherman in Indian waters do you think GOI would have prosecuted US marines in India or let them go under US pressure ?

(2) Are you seeing the violence in Kolkata because a young boy was beaten to death by police in police station . Do you think Bengalis will now vote for the BJP as neither Marx nor Mamata have delivered?

Thanking You,
Jagjit Singh

Anonymous said...

hi prasun,
Can you update us about red flag excercise IAF going to participate in?
VMT in advance
Gourav

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSHITIZ KUMAR: The to-be-upgraded 310 T-90S after completion of the upgrade will be better than T-84 Oplot-M.

To RAD: The IAF has no such plans for upgrading or modifying the C-130J-30s. But what needs elaboration here is the fact that over the years, the IAF’s Base repair Depots have had a rather poor record in undertaking MRO activities for aircraft & helicopters, primarily due to the lack of skilled manpower, which prefers to join the country’s growing commercial air transportation sector. Therefore, it is best for the IAF to minimise as much as it can the prospects of inducting varied types of aircraft into service. Hence, the need to consolidate & that’s why I’m opposed to the IAF acquiring a new aircraft--type to replace the HS-748s. Instead, up to 40 C-130J-30s ought to be acquired & the size of such a fleet will be more than enough incentive for the country’s private-sector to set up depot-level MRO facilities within India in cooperation with Lockheed Martin. If this doesn’t happen, then within a few years one will see the IAF’s C-130J-30s heading out to Singapore for depot-level MRO.

To Anon@11.39AM: Of course, there always is.

To JAGJIT SINGH: 1) Such an incident already took place last year off the UAE & no one from Indian officialdom even raised a murmur about it. Secondly, USMC personnel are never pre-positioned or deployed on board commercial merchant marine vessels. They’re far more smarter than the stupid Italians.
2) This is all part of a bigger malaise that affects WB & cannot be resolved by any political party, be it the BJP or Congress. Will dwell upon it in greater detail later tonight.

To GOURAV: Can’t say much until the exercises get underway.

Bhaswar said...

Prasun Sir,

Is there any link whatsoever between tokamaks and building Hydrogen bombs apart from the fact that the soviet scientists who designed the soviet H-bomb also came up with the tokamak?

Does making or simply being given a tokamak have any relation, howsoever remote, to building/designing a Teller Ulam design bomb? A detailed reply would be much appreciated sir and perhaps links to any material on this subject which you might have.

Anonymous said...

sir,dont u think der is no need of p75i another diff. sub type but an upgraded scorpeone with an AIP and little modifictn to carry nirbhay slcm.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BHASWAR: There are no direct links, apart from the fact that for both endeavours, one requires nuclear physicists.

To Anon@8.34PM: The S-80 from Spain’s NAVANTIA is, in fact, an upgraded & expanded Scorpene with an optional AIP plug-in.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Looks like the JANE’s Group has incorporated this blog on its ‘Watch List. Just read what it says here (http://www.janes.com/products/janes/defence-security-report.aspx?ID=1065976790) & compare it with what had appeared here: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2012/03/elf-comms-facility-coming-up.html

But it must be admitted that the ‘firangees’ still have a lot of catching up to do with latest developments. For, all hardware for the Indian Navy’s VLF communications facility at INS Kattabomman was supplied by US-based Continental Electronics (http://www.contelec.com/lf_vlf.htm) in the mid-1980s.

KSingh said...

Prasun,

I understand you are bound by certain restrictions to keep silent on certain specific details. But can you please share some of the most general details wrt the SBP.

Will they be well equipped and well trained for their role?


What will be their standard issue assault rifle?

Given the fact the IA is upgrading itself wrt FINSAS, will the SPB have similar tech and provisions?

Is the MoD taking the raising of SPB seriously? Are the IN going to raise them "properly" is wih sufficient funds and training?

Also will they have the requisite logistical elements is engineers, EOD, arty, EME etc?

Will the UCM camo and Tavor be the standard "look" of the SBP as you have speculated in the past?

When can we expect the SPB to be at full strength?


Do you not agree the raising of this force is a signifcant moment for India?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSINGH, O yaara, of course they will be well-armed & adequately equipped, as is the case with every other fighting unit of India’s armed forces. They certainly won’t go to war with bamboo sticks or batons on bicycles. Tavor family of assault rifles & cerbines along with Galil LMGs have already been issued. SPB will have its own version of FINSAS, i.e. the integrated combat system, for which the RFI was released last year. Of course the MoD is taking such issues seriously. If not, then it would not have officially gazzetted the official sanctioned strength of SPB at 15,000. But realising this figure takes a long time since this requires a quantum expansion of existing shore-based & offshore training facilities (like the ones now coming up in Kakinada), firing ranges, accommodation for personnel, etc. By 2018, it is estimated that the SPB will reach its full-strength in terms of both manpower & firepower, plus its various logistical elements minus the four LPHs.

The concept paper for the SPB was ready in 2004 itself & by 2006 had been refined & frozen by IN HQ & was sent to the MoD & Union MoF for approval. However, it was finally approved as a matter of urgency after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

KSingh said...

Cool stuff Prasun!

But what I meant was well armed and trained relative to the likes of comparative units in the West. Say if you look at the standard IA soldier right now and his US counterpart. Whilst India might consider their Jawan well equipped, by international standards it is pitiful. I know the F-INSAS effort will go some way to address this though.

And how will the SPB protect against a 26/11 type attack in the future? If they are being raised along the lines of the USMC then they are an expeditionary fighting force.

Also who are training these guys? MARCOs?


Also does the IN then have more ambitious plans for the SPB's future expansion adding not just numbers but also capabilities like MBTs, ICVs, artillery,snipers, combat engineers etc?

Also why has the raising of this force been comedy ignored by the Indian media, I mean this is HUGE news and is going to bring capabilities to India we could only dream of in the past.

KSingh said...

And sir, whilst you may have mentioned these guys in breif in the past I was wondering if you could do a full and detailed write-up on the SPB is about its roles, training, cabilities, future capabilities etc? I would LOVE to know more on these guys.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSINGH: No one can claim to be on an even par with US soldiers. Nor is it necessary to always make the US the measuring yardstick. The fighting unit of today hailing from the Indian Army is a far cry from what was seen by all during OP Vijay in 1999 or OP Parakram in 2002, even with FINSAS. It is nopt the SPB’s mandate to provide protection for civilian areas under 26/11-type attacks. As the name suggests, SPB is an expeditionary warfighting force throughout the seas. That’s the literal translation of the term SPB. And why should MARCOS train the SPB? The roles & missions of MARCOS are totally different from those of the SPB.

Just read this: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2011/12/indian-navy-swears-by-its-tavor-family.html & go to sub-section: Required: More Teeth For Sea Warriors

As for why the ‘desi’ mass-media has failed to report about the SPB in detail, I guess the ‘desi’ news-reporters are too lazy to read up the official Govt of India gazettes that are routinely published & are available for sale in any Govt-owned bookshops throughout the country.

However, the concept paper for SPB, titled “Effecting Maritime Manoeuvres From The Sea” remains out-of-bounds for the time-being.

Anonymous said...

Hi sir,this is the first interactive defense blog I had seen .I live in kakinada and here I see Marines getting trained in a sports authority swimming pool to which I go too.Its great to watch them.
Apart from that is there anything interesting to look out for in kakinada?

JAGJIT SINGH said...

Thanks Prasun Ji.

Just as I thought . India is slowly but steadily becoming a US slave state just like Australia, Canada etc.

Re West Bengal I think that political parties especially the CPM has completely viciated the education system and no where in the country are educational institutes more poloticized than they are in Bengal.

Thanks,
Jagjit

Anonymous said...

Prasunji,

The French CVN Charles De Gualle aircraft carrier is almost capable of housing around 35 rafale fighters. Its full load is around 42000 tons. Where as INS Vikramaditya weight at greater tonnage (around 45000 tons) is only housing 16 Mig 29K fighters. Can the number of fighters be increased to 40? by making more space for housing fighters inside hangar? VMT.

Anonymous said...

Prasunji,

In some media interviews the Russians (the ship building yard officials) claim the INS Vikramaditya as a modern aircraft carrier. How is this justifiable considering we are buying a 30 year old (originally a battle cruiser) ship that is refitted/modified to house Ski Jump facilities. What are the parameters based on which this ship can be claimed as a modern aircraft carrier? and How modern it is compared to Charled De Gualle CVN? VMT

Anonymous said...

@prasun
// " Looks like the JANE’s Group has incorporated this blog on its ‘Watch List. Just read what it says here (http://www.janes.com/products/janes/defence-security-report.aspx?ID=1065976790) & compare it with what had appeared here: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2012/03/elf-comms-facility-coming-up.html

But it must be admitted that the ‘firangees’ still have a lot of catching up to do with latest developments. For, all hardware for the Indian Navy’s VLF communications facility at INS Kattabomman was supplied by US-based Continental Electronics (http://www.contelec.com/lf_vlf.htm) in the mid-1980s. " //

good eye prasun, yesterday I picked that article from JANE'S after a little search in google when you provided the link to your article about ELF facility. I did a bit of research and found that piece of article in JANE's, amazingly, as i was a going through the article in JANE'S, i could notice the similarity with your article,even i did feel that the article in JANE's was picked from a different source.I just copied the article from JANE'S and opened a thread on 'militaryphotos.net' over the article.But, one guy on 'militaryphotos.net' grasped the essence and pointed that this ELF was to change the entire dynamics of the region.

Funny experience to see 'what goes around comes around', what started as a simple question on your blog (" Annonymous @April 3, 2013 at 11:32 PM "),lead me to JANE'S,while JANE'S picked the article from you, and back again, you picked the article from JANE'S.

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

the news regarding delays in rafale negotiation and hints that it was due to the OEM insisting separate contract for off shelf and licence built(HAL).
I guess if this indeed is true, i am doubting the wisdom of dassault. MoD will definitely like to see that HAL (a PSU) is equally involved in the contract and definitely benefited by the deal whether or not the country is benefited. Also a report in IDRW, mentioned that Dassault expressed doubts over the capability of HAL to produce such advanced jets. I will say if they indeed did that i would recommend some management lessons for these guys. As always pointed by you this is the usual love of MoD and its children (PSU). If the OEM is so naive that it cannot see the love and hit the MoD where it hurts most, then i am sure the OEM is only going to suffer.
Also given the economic situation these delays are nothing but blessing in disguise for the MoD and gives it a good bargaining position. Either OEM is stupid or there is more than what meets the eye.
Your take on this please...

Srinivas

Anonymous said...

hi sir,
1) instrumented engine test-cell for testing turbofans at high-altitudes being built with help of U.S when it will be completed and how it will help drdo to escalate kaveri program.
2) why is indian navy purchasing heavy weight torpedo when drdo NSTL is developing similar torpedoes . by the time scorpion subs will join navy it will be ready...
3) for F-INSAS project drdo is developing family of small arms?
if yes please name them ...
4) drdo was going to hand rustom 1 uav for user trails ?? but as usual delayed it...now when it is supposed to be completed???

KSingh said...

Prasun,

Do you not think it is right for anyone in any field to compare themselves to the best? As such it is healthy to compare the Indian military to the,currently, most advanced and capable military on earth- the US military. Just look at the standard kit the US grunt carries on ops and compare it to the average Indian jawan, it is quite sad. Yes of course this is only possible because the US are by far the largest spenders on their military on the planet but even smaller nations with smaller budgets than India have very well equipped soldiers. The IA's issue is its size, stretching their large budget to peanuts for ever soldier.

Having said that, I have no doubt in my mind, the IA is one of the best trained armies on the face of the earth.


I just hope F-INSAS goes a long way to bridge the gap between Western armies and the IA. I feel that the way the Indian military goes about its business is far more Western than Asian/Eastern and as such professionalism and superior training is a solid foundation for which the entire Indian military is built on.


And I agree the MARCOs are not the ideal trainers for the SPB, but then who is training this force? The IN,other than in the MARCOs, does not have any of the requisite skilled instructors in expeditionary warfare or amphibious assault. This knowledge has to come from somewhere to impart on the SPB. Has the IN then hired foreign consultants from the like of the US or France?


And is the IN then looking at procuring a heavy-lift helo to transport the SPB? Is this where all the IN's interest in the V-22 comes into play?




Is it true there is a large amphibious training school coming up for these guys down in A&N islands?


Thanks sir.

Anonymous said...


Pervez Musharraf nomination papers rejected

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22041982


General Pervez Musharraf has a terrible itch in his groin, he started kargil and went back it casaulties more than combined casaulties of 65 and 71 war, I have seen one of ur reply in earlier posts saying India put pressure on uncle sam to stop the war, but as per the video uploaded here and also by yyou earlier, it was mushy who begged for cease fire, pls listen to what raja zafarful haq said at 10.36, I quote "If theyy say this, say this, If they say that, say this" and u still think India put pressure on US to stop the war, where as it was Mushlets pants that were on fire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypUKe-T1Xio

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.20AM: VMT. Kakinada will in future become one of two integrated amphibious warfare training centres of the Indian Navy, with the second one coming up along India’s southwestern seaboard around Ezhimala.

To JAGJIT SINGH: If two countries have growing convergences on several issues, it does not make one a slave of the other. At best it can become a coalition of the willing between two strategic partners, or just a warm friendship. Back in the 1980s, when the Indian Navy selected the combat management system built by US-based Singer Librascope (now owned by Lockheed Martin) for its four Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs & selected a US-built VLF communications system for its undersea warfare assets, that did not turn India into a slave of the US. Likewise, when throughout the 1960s onwards, when the IAF sent its aircrew to the US & UK for becoming qualified experimental test-pilots, that did not make the IAF a slave of either the USAF or the RAF.
Regarding the educational institutions in WB, you’re absolutely right about the present-day situation. In fact, I’ll go a step further to say that there should be no room for organisations like the SFI or ABVP at all. After all, the students throughout India are not going to various academic institutions to acquire a unionised mindset at the cost of all the hard-earned money of the parents of such students. Politiking should be made a strictly out-of-bounds practice for all students. Once they become earning adults they’re free to do whatever they want to, but for as long as they’re dependent on their parents & relatives for financial support, they should NEVER become a member of either a union or any political party.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.17PM & 2.35PM: INS Vikramaditya can easily accommodate up to 28 MiG-29Ks on-board as well as eight helicopters (four Ka-28PLs & four Ka-31s). In terms of modernity, the sensors on board INS Vikramaditya are a full two generations behind what’s going on board Project 71 IAC-1/INS Vikrant. In fact, the NDA government—in my view—made three disastrous decisions as far as weapons procurements go: 1) It decided in favour of large-scale acquisition s of T-90S medium battle tanks instead of according priority to the Arjun main battle tank’s R & D programme. 2) It decided to acquire INS Vikramaditya from Russia instead of accelerating the R & D activity on Project 71. 3) It deliberately delayed the procurement of Hawk Mk.132 AJTs & by doing so, it gave birth to the still-born programme to develop the HJT-36 IJT, which no one now wants.

To Anon@2.40PM: VMT. But the Anglo-Saxon Caucasians still have a lot of catching up to do as far as information in this domain (undersea warfare capabilities of India) goes.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SRINIVAS: Allright, let’s set the record straight. For starters, there were two spectacularly erroneous reports emanating from the ‘desi’ press-corps yesterday. They were:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/dassault-wants-hal-role-separated--20bn-combat-aircraft-jet-deal-hits-airpocket/1098016/0

&

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/chinese-nulcear-submarines-in-indian-ocean-send-alarm-bells-ringing/1/260806.html

Both these reports have clearly failed to go into the detail, which is where the devil always lurks. Let’s now dissect the first report, which merely states that Dassault Aviation’s intransigence is causing delays in contract signature for the Rafale M-MRCAs. The REAL ISSUE is all about PRODUCT LIABILITY & which party is made accountable for this issue—something which these totally fucked-up ‘desi’ crackheads cannot seem to comprehend. Dassault Aviation has correctly learnt its lessons very well from all such similar product liability issues the Su-30MKI programme that have cropped up between over the past decade between India & Russia & are still cropping up. Furthermore, one must take note of the fact that after serving for 13 years with the IAF with the best flight safety record, members of the Su-30 family, since April 2009, suddenly started crashing, with four Su-30MKIs being lost so far. And whenever the IAF-instituted Board of Enquiry concludes its investigations, the search is always on to find lasting fixes in order to avoid such incidents in future. And inevitably, the issue of product liability comes in when it comes to fixing responsibility & accountability. Now, historically speaking, while very few of the past aircraft crashes/write-offs have been attributed to the IAF’s flawed or deficient flight safety practices, the bulk of the crashes/write-offs have been attributed to HAL’s deficient work culture & poor human resource management. And many a time, this has led to avoidable acrimony between the Russian OEMs & the Indian prime contractor, i.e. HAL. Therefore, what Dassault Aviation is now stating is that it will be fully answerable & liable for any design/manufacturing defect/flaw that may crop up within the first 18 Rafales supplied off-the-shelf, but it will not be held responsible for all those Rafales that are either assembled or produced by a team of contractors/vendors led by HAL. The issue can only be resolved if the MoD adjudicates & comes up with a mechanism under which product liability will become a shared issue between Dassault Aviation, THALES & SNECMA Moteurs on one hand & HAL & its authorised vendors on the other. After all, Dassault Aviation THALES & SNECMA Moteurs are all publicly-listed entities that have a global reputation to protect, while HAL is accountable to only the MoD, & not even to the IAF, its principal customer.

Continued below…

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

TO SRINIVAS: This then brings us to the 2nd infamous news-report about the PLA Navy’s undersea warfare assets allegedly patrolling in the Andaman Sea & the Indian Ocean. Firstly, this discredited report claims that “22 such Chinese operations have been recorded, one as recently as February, 2013” & then this assertion is contradicted by another claim about an “Indian Navy report to the Defence Ministry that says 22 unknown submarine contacts were detected by Indian and US sonar in the Indian Ocean”. Then there is another ridiculous claim that “The assessment is that China is the only other navy capable of operating in the area”. The truth can be easily gauged by taking just one look at the world-map: the only submarines that can reach the Indian Ocean or the Andaman Sea while staying fully submerged are those that arrive in such regions either from the Red Sea or from the southern African continent, or from the Western Pacific. This is because as per the laws of UNCLOS, for a PLA Navy submarine to arrive in the above-mentioned areas around India, it will have to stay fully surfaced while transiting either the Starits of Malacca, or the Sunda Straits or the Lombok Straits. The same rule also applies to the submarines of the US, UK, Russia & France. For the PLAN’s submarines, therefore, they just can’t stay hidden underwater while heading out to either the Andaman Sea or the Indian Ocean. Consequently, there are only two options: either these unidentified underwater contacts were SSNs of either the Royal Navy or the French Navy that arrived either from the Horn of Africa or after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, or they were US Navy SSNs that set sail from Yokosuka in Japan & headed south for Western Australia & then adopted a westerly route headed for either the Andaman Sea or the Indian Ocean.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.18PM: 1) Hopefully it will ready by mid-2015. An in-country high-altitude instrumented engine test facility will greatly accelerate the validation of the engine’s running life-cycle for one. This in turn will greatly reduce the time taken for making an engine flight-qualified, be it the Kaveri or the Laghu Shakthi. 2) I had already stated before that the DRDO-developed Varunastra heavyweight torpedo has already failed to attain its maximum cruise speed & maximum operating depth so far. 3) Multi-calibre weapon. 4) DRDO had promised to deliver the Rustom-1 by 2012. Now, it will probably be offered for user-trials by next year & will enter service not before 2016.

To KSINGH: It is not about right or wrong, but about being realistic or unrealistic. That’s why, if you look at the kind of kit carried by an average Rashtriya Rifles jawan & compare that to any US soldier deployed in Afghanistan, you won’t notice any difference at all. And if one is talking about the Parvat Ghataks of the IA, neither the US Navy, nor the US Army nor the USMC has any equivalents, in fact nothing even coming near it. As for SPB’s training-related issues, the IN has for almost a decade now been sending its officers as observers to various amphibious training exercises conducted by PACOM throughout East Asia & the Western Pacific, & a lot has been learnt from such activities. One therefore doesn’t require foreign consultants. 12-tonne MRHs & LCACs will come along with the LPHs. Kakinada will in future become one of two integrated amphibious warfare training centres of the Indian Navy, with the second one coming up along India’s southwestern seaboard around Ezhimala.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Interesting read:

http://news.yahoo.com/us-sub-sinking-50-years-ago-led-safety-063033693.html

And here’s a documentary on undersea warfare operations during the Cold War at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy8l3Flqj_g

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Interesting research:

http://www.ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Fighters-of-LeT_Final.pdf

Anonymous said...

hi prasun,

Thanks for the youtube links for wonderful videos about nuclear submarine warfare. i have been assuming that nuclear submarines are for ballistic or attack purpose only. But the ultimate power and influence these complex machines hold in increasing countries stature and achieving countries foreign policy objectives.

I am happy that we are going for nuclear submarines but it will surely take decades to reach ultimate masters of this warfare(US & Russia).

1)Do our wicked step brotherly neighboring country(pakistan) also goes our path as it is does always?
2)Do it have the resources to develop, sustain and maintain nuclear submarines? 3)Do china provide some of its old nuclears submarines to pakisan(as our good friend russia provided to use) in near or far fture?

4)Some of thepakistani fanboys are claiming that their country was developing nuclear submarines and working on nuclea fusion reactors ( claiming submission of papers by their scientits) or this was like a miage in desert ?

5)How to do our nuclear submarie generations are compared to china?if lagging ,do we able to surpass or reach them by end of this decade?

5) How does the french and british nuclear submaries compare with russian?

6) French with their mecinary atitude( anything for money) provide nuclear submarine tecnology to china in near future?


Thanks,
Karthik

Pierre Zorin said...

Looking at how things are done, organised and showcased in other countries even smaller countries like Malaysia makes you wonder if India does deserve to aspire to be a super power! I kind of left the country due to sheer frustration. Not that politicians don't make stupid laws and policies in other countries but the extent of such and to borrow Prasun's phrase "Chalta hai" attitude in India outshines anywhere else in the world barring comparable places such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and the rest of the subcontinent.Instead of using their strategic and intellectual advantage and having their fingers in the pie, too many Indian leaders have their fingers in the proverbial. It is high time they pulled their fingers out and earn respect on behalf of the 1 billion people! Don't you think this is true Prasun?

Vikas Johari said...

Prasun , How will the sale of Su-35 and Amur submarine sale to China by Russia impact India ?

Does the China-Russian axis is a long term threat to Indian security and we should join US lead alliance against China and Russia for our own good.

Russia is no longer the USSR of past and it is better we move away from them as earliest as possible , Do you think so ?

rad said...


HI Prasun
The rafale being a hi tech weapon sytem is going to be difficult for chalta hai HAL to produce it under correct quality controls,They dont have any clue to the work manship and dedication standards needed to produce such AC. There is bound to be quality control issues when produced in india unless it is done by private industry. I realy feel that the best option is ask dassault to deliver them ready made with clauses that ensure our intrests are taken care of and get the AC as soon as possible .
In my opinion to build the rafale, a brand new plant with latest CNC machines and experienced personel under private leadership is the only way .we may end up producing the rafale at 170mil$ apiece likethe suhoi -30 mki

rad said...

HI Prasun
What happened to the IIR project in collaboration with the Israelis? and the active seeker project as well. Has the SR -sam project taken of and when is it due

Anonymous said...

Prasunji,

Does the Sensor package of INS Vikramaditya is not part of the upgrades? It is costing $2.3 billion dollars to refit it with modern facilities(Compared to Euro 3 billion for Charles De Gualle CVN). Arjun is not a mature platform during 2001 - 2004 period when T-90S is ordered as a stop gap measure to counter T-84 (How can one back up research when one is trying to engage in a conflict). Even opting for INS Vikramaditya during that time is to quickly acquire it as soon as possible (which never happened) for a price less than $ 1 billion. VMT

Kshitiz Kumar said...

1.sir which gun is better 120mm or 125mm for tanks.any plans for a longer gun for arjun?
2.Is Shivalik multimode grenade inducted,does it have any advantage?
3.The APFSDS developed by DRDO,is it comparable to DM 53?if not is further R&d taking place?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I think it was your opinion that all the 126 or more Rafale shall be manufactured in France and the ToT need not to be there.

In any case what is your revered opinion on this matter and why.

AKHIL SURI said...

Hi Prasun,

With the Republican majority Congress & Senate in the US completely against Non White immigration into the US & Indians finding it increasingly difficult to find a job in the US , do you recon that the Indian Govt & Pvt Sector can lure some Indian scientists who work in the Defense , Aerospace & Space industry in India ?

Thanks,

Anonymous said...

Sir,
The IN is opting for many diff types of missiles, like
Harpoon for P-8I,
Exocet for Scorpene,
Klub for P17 & P1135.6, P28,
Kh-35 for P16A, P15, MiG29K,
Brahmos for P17A, P15A&B, P-61,
Will this diversity help the navy, or create logistical problems, as each platform needs specific support staff for maintenace.

Vivek said...

Hi Prasun da,
Your comments above regarding rashtriya rifles and ghatak units and how they r better equipped than US marines is very interesting, I am unaware of this, can u pl elaborate and give some details/comparisons

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KARTHIK: That will be most unlikely, since that would mean sharing the ultimate source of military power between the three armed services of Pakistan, something which no Chief of the Army Staff of Pakistan will ever attempt to implement. Therefore, what has been historically the trend will continue to remain so, i.e. the COAS of PA & his supporting GHQ will have absolute & indivisible control over all WMD assets within Pakistan. To really understand why such is the case, one has to delve into & understand the prevailing feudal mindsets of the various corridors of power within Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan will neither seek to acquire n-powered submarines or SLBMs or n-tipped SLCMs, nor will China be asked to supply all these. Consequently, all those clamouring for Pakistan to acquire such sea-based assets are only deluding themselves.
As for comparing the S-2, S-3 & S-4 Arihant-type submarines with their Chinese counterparts, the former is more advanced due to India’s ability to acquire the best from both the Russians & the West, a choice China does not have. Submarines of French & British origin have superior on-board sensors & safety management systems, compared to what the Russians have been able to come up with. France is most unlikely to provide any kind of hands-on assistance to China with regard to developing newer generation undersea warfare assets, since France is already doing that for India.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PIERRE ZORIN: It is all absolutely true. For instance, take the issue of the Henderson-Brooks Report in the aftermath of the 1962 Sino-India border war. While any level-headed leader would have accepted responsibility for the disaster & would have instituted reforms aimed at preventing such disasters in future, exactly the opposite was done & continues to be perpetuated till this day! History repeated itself again in mid-199 after OP Vijay & OP Safed Sagar, when the drafters of the Kargil Committee Report were told to only go into ‘what went wrong’ & not ‘why things had gone wrong’! And now, this same history is being repeated yet again (read this: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-04-05/india/38305553_1_inter-service-doctrinal-three-service-chiefs-chandra-task-force)

Although there are some well-meaning politicians & technocrats who have already seen the writing on the wall (for instance, read this: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/chidambaram-for-reviewing-fdi-ceiling-in-different-sectors/article4588474.ece), they by themselves constitute only ‘islands of excellence within a sea of mediocrity’ since they’re not backed up by decisive & purposeful leadership plus visionary statesmanship. In other words, there is yet to arise a leader who can take difficult decisions without any difficulty.

There is also a deeper malaise that continues to haunt India, which is her inability to trace back her roots through indigenous sources/means. Consequently, till this day we have the Anglo-Saxon Caucasians & White Men from elsewhere who continue to take the lead in discovering & publicising all that which ought to have been re-discovered by Indians themselves. A prime example is that of Shaolin martial arts, which was perfected & propagated by a Buddhist monk of Indian origin 1,500 years ago, & yet in India today there is not a single Buddhist monastery that’s preserving or practicing such ancient arts. Just watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPVUn6rQfPo

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKAS JOHARI: They will have no impact whatsoever against India since all these assets will be deployed only facing the Taiwan Straits & within the South & East China Seas. There is no China-Russia axis in existence as such. On the contrary, the China-Russia bilateral ties are of a strictly mercantile nature. And nor can China afford to open a third front against India, given its heavy preoccupation with maritime disputes in the East & South China Seas & the tenuous situation in the Korean peninsula. It is therefore not surprising to me that for the very first time a Chinese President (Xi Jinping) recently stated that the China-India border dispute is resolvable. This was an unprecedented statement, since all previous Chinese leaders had stated that such issues should be left for resolution by the future generations of both countries. I’m therefore terribly surprised by the ostrich-like attitudes adopted by India’s strategic community & the ‘desi’ press-corps & still cannot fathom why such a ground-breaking admission by China’s President hasn’t yet been picked up, analysed & dissected by the various ‘desi’ hyperventilating current-affairs TV news channels.

To RAD & Mr.RA 13: Firstly, it will be much cheaper to import all 189 Rafales off-the-shelf. Consequently, procurement costs will be reduced. Secondly, ToT ought to be secured for only ensuring that the IAF enjoys full operational sovereignty over the Rafale fleet, i.e. guaranteed through-life serviceability & product support. This can be easily achieved by setting up intermediate-level & depot-level MRO facilities under a joint venture business formula between a consortium of Dassault Aviation, THALES Group & SNECMA Moteurs on one hand, & the RELIANCE Group & its team of India-based vendors & sub-contractors (responsible for supplying indigenously made rotables, consumables, lubricants, greases & additives). Creation of this JV will result in the IAF doing away with the concept of creating its own aircraft type--specific Base Repair Depots (BRD), which in any case will be difficult to establish given the severe manpower shortages presently prevailing within almost all of the IAF’s existing BRDs. Thirdly, given the fact that HAL presently has an order backlog worth Rs70,000 crores & has Rs.24,000 crores in terms of immediately available liquidity reserves, the latter ought to be well-spent on creating state-of-the-art aircraft production facilities & final-assembly lines for products like the Tejas Mk1 tandem-seat LIFT, Tejas Mk2 MRCA, the FGFA, the IL-214 MRTA & the LUH. In addition, HAL should immediately begin examining the prospect of developing a commercial air transportation/air cargo version of the IL-214 MRTA & ensuring its service entry EVEN BEFORE the military version of the IL-214 heads for service induction. This will result in saving all the money that would otherwise be wasted if someone hoodwinks the Govt of India into allocating funds for NAL’s proposed 70-seat regional airliner.
If the above-outlined formula is adopted & implemented, then India’s aviation manufacturing sector will attain greater heights within a minimum timeframe. But if things continue as they are, then one will only be developing a deadly cocktail whose end-result will only be financial disaster.

To RAD: The IIR sensors for the AD-1/AD-2 endo-atmospheric interceptors & the dual-mode active RF/IIR sensor for the PDV exo-atmospheric interceptor is still under development.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.11PM: The sensor package of INS Vikramaditya is of 100% Russian origin & India was not allowed to pick & choose such sensors from non-Russian sources—that was the deal proposed & insisted upon by Russia. That’s why I has stated that it would have been a far better option to ditch the INS Vikramaditya in 1998 itself & focus entirely on the homegrown Project 71 IAC-1. The Arjun Mk1 was a fully mature product in terms of design. What was required was the maturation of indigenous production-engineering capacities, which could have been achieved by 2002 had the Govt of India of the day back in late 1998 had decided to commit to a minimum firm number (at least 500) of Arjun Mk1 MBTs to be acquired. This is a classic case of leadership failure at the apex-level & pressing the panic-button in favour of importing the T-90S when it was totally unnecessary to do so. This is what happens when one loses one’s self-esteem & self-confidence. There are indeed valuable lessons to be drawn from such fiascos for India’s future political leadership.

To KSHITIZ KUMAR: 1) Both are only as good as their gun-control systems. A larger calibre 120mm smoothbore cannon for the Arjun Mk3 FMBT is a must. 2) Yes. If it had no advantages, it would not have been inducted into service. 3) The DRDO-developed APFSDS rounds capable of penetrating 600mm RHA will be better than what’s available from foreign sources at the moment.

To AKHIL SURI: Do rest assured that those scientists & technocrats from anywhere—not just India—that are gainfully employed in the US will never be discriminated against by any US authority. Only those working in the services & tertiary sectors will be affected, like taxi-drivers & those engaging in manual labour.

To Anon@1.19AM: All such missiles are stored in hermetically-sealed canisters & pose no problems in terms of storage & usage.

Anonymous said...

Prasunda,

read a titbit in a ToI news report that the next Agni V test will be in Nov/Dec this year. Are things going to be that delayed ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIVEK: It’s not just about the Parvat Ghataks, but about high-altitude mountain warfare as a whole in which India’s armed forces have no other equivalents from anywhere else in the world. Couple of years ago at a seminar on high-altitude aerial logistics that I was attending, there were some army aviation pilots from Austria, France, Germany & Switzerland who stated their definition of high-altitude helicopter logistics meant going no higher than 9,000 feet ASL. In contrast, I told them that an average everyday helicopter sortie for IA or IAF pilot involves takeoff/liftoff at 10,000 feet ASL & going up to an altitude of 21,000 feet on a 24/7 basis! And the only other country now gearing up to acquire similar capabilities & capacities is China, not even the US.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.42AM: Nope. It will take place probably sometime this month, & definitely before this June.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

As expected your reply was on the best possible logical lines. Yes, the hard earned expenditures and resources shall be diverted towards the the most fruitful tracks for effective utilization and not towards the non-productive and non-repetitive routine works just for the technical fun.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: VMT.

Kshitiz Kumar said...

sir,u said that vikramaditya was a generation ahead of liaoning,and u said that iac 1 is also a generation ahead vik,therefore iac 1 would be 3-4 generations ahead of liaoning?

2.by what time iac 1 will be inducted

Magicbullet said...

Sir ,
I have been a lurker on Bharat rakshak for more than a decade now , but now i got addicted to ur blog ...u make every thing so simple and connect the dots so well ...lastly the lively interactive nature of the blog makes it a pleasure for aam junta like me

Anonymous said...

Prasunda,

Wo'nt Pakistan have a high altitude warfare capability comparable to ours (even if on a smaller scale) ?

rad said...

hi Prasun
regarding IIR seeker and the active seeker for the ABM, are we doing it alone or with the help of some one . China seems to be the forging ahead in putting IIR seekers into all sorts of weapons . Is the bark anti missile missile better than the rolling air frame anti ship missile ?.
There has been a spate of reports of chinese submarine contacts in and around our seas, what would be the best way to counter them.
Your idea that the Il-214 should be made into a civilian ac before being inducted into the forces is a good idea , but i believe it is more difficult to achieve FAA or JAA certification

Anonymous said...

Prasunji,

Amid after spending $2.3 billion IN seems is acquiring a substandard ship? Then why were we paying such a huge amount for an old ship? Can we sense another corruption scandal from current incumbent government? (Since the price hike for the modification took place during current government's rule). Also russins established themself's as world leaders in submarine technology? so their technology supposedly be much advansed than that of western technology? VMT

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasunda,

M-46 Upgradation by Kalyani group by which way ?

With the help of the late Dr Gerald Bull’s upgrade kit
or
With the help of SOLTAM Systems (owned by ELBIT Systems)

AK said...

Hi Prasun, Is the maximum no of AASM that can be carried by Rafale just six when Typhoon and other contemprary fighters can carry 12 such similar AGM ? Can this no go up ?

Dassault Avaition site says Rafale C has 14 hardpoints but in almost all the pics it is seen with 10 hardpoints. 3 per wing and four below fuselage . What is the use of 9.5 t of weapons payload if you dont have enough hardpoints ?

If higher thrust tirbofans are installed on Rafale the unit cost will go up. Rafale will become costly. Typhoon already comes with high thrust engines thast make it suitable for high alltitude airfields like Leh.

HAL is struggling with LCA Tejas production. For manufacturing such an advanced fighter new facilties has to be set up and adequate skilled human resources are required. It will be far better to have tghem imported off the shelf.

Dassault Aviation produces only 11 Rafales per year. So wont it take a long trime to complete delivery ?

Most of aviation related sites including Rafale unofficial blogs[pot puts no of TR elements to 894 a good 200-300 less than E-Captor. Why does Thales keep on claiming it has 1000 T/R elements ?

cSpice 2000 and 1000 are just add-on kits that can convert an ordinary iron dumb to a smart standoff PGM. Why doesnt IAF procure them in bulk for its Su and Mirage fleet > 500. They are not so expensive .

Is Barracuda MCS operational with Arjun tanks ? What MCS T-90 uses ?

Anonymous said...

Sir, what's the status of Prahaar TBM , its off-air for quite a long time and haven't been heard about since July,21 2011. Is it possible that the project could have been shelved or work is on to remove some major glitch or the end user may not be interested in this system.
I believe it to be a game changer system in a tactical arena.

Anonymous said...

sir,how good iz the drdo 51mm light mortar system?iz der possibility of bae helping hal in tejas production line ?iz canard in case of hal tejas mk3 possible?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSHITIZ KUMAR: The Liaoning is configured as a training platform & still has a long way to go to become an integral part of a naval task force or a carrier battle group. IAC-1 will be inducted into service sometime in 2019.

To MAGICBULLET: VMT.

To Anon@11.20AM: Not quite. The highest the Pakistan Army can go to its around 16,500 feet at Dansum.

On another note, it appears that Articles 62 & 63 of Pakistan's Constitution are finally wreaking havoc across the country's political spectrum. Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhQbfOApiws&feature=player_embedded

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: IIR & dual-sensors for BMD interceptors are being co-developed with Israel. RAM can’t neutralise supersonic ASCMs, while the Barak-2 can. Have already commented above about allegations of PLAN submarines in waters around India. For IL-214 MRTA, securing FAA & JAA certification should not be a problem since a Greenfield project will be undertaken for setting up its production facility in Lucknow & Kanpur. The problem with the Dhruv ALH lack of FAA & JAA airworthiness certification stems from HAL’s inability to secure such certifications for its production facilities, which are not up to internationally recognised standards.

To Anon@4.25PM: If one is talking about corruption scandal involving the INS Vikramaditya, then the fault will have to laid squarely at the doorstep of the NDA govt for having made the wrong procurement choice in the first place. Neither the Soviets nor the Ryssians were or are world leaders in undersea warfare technologies/products/services.

To Anon@8.22PM: With the help of the late Dr Gerald Bull’s upgrade package. ELBIT Systems’s contribution concerns the supply of digital ballistics computer, muzzle velocity radar & inertial navigation system. In addition, the SOLTAM Systems subsidiary of ELBIT Systems has also designed a motorised (truck-mounted) version of this upgraded & upgunned M-46.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AK: 1) Rafale can carry up to 12 AASMs mounted on triple-ejector racks. By hardpoints, one means one launch-pylon carrying a single weapon. With triple-ejector racks, the number of available hardpoints go up. 2) Rafale’s per unit acquisition cost as quoted to the MoD is inclusive of higher-thrust propulsion systems & therefore there won’t be any cost increases. 3) Most of the components of the final assembly lines for either the Rafale, or Tejas Mk2 or FGFA or IL-214 MRTA will have to be imported. 4) Dassault Aviation, THALES Avionics & SNECMA Moteurs can all easily ramp up the Rafale’s production delivery schedules since all their skilled human resources have acquired high degrees of proficiencies over the past 15 years in producing such aircraft. 5) No OEM of any AESA-MMR has to date clearly specified the exact number of T/R modules present on such radars. 6) The guidance kits for Spice 1000/2000 are quite expensive. 7) Barracuda MCS is already operational with both Arjun Mk1 & T-90S MBTs.

To Anon@10.37PM: No glitch, just a bit of re-engineering being done to make the missile round a little more compact. Compare the size of the missile & then compare the size of its cannister on a TATA-built TEL as shown during DEFEXPO 2012 & you’ll notice the difference.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Interesting read:

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?284804

I guess, metaphorically speaking, those who live by the tube, tend to die by the tube as well.

Anonymous said...

The Ajai Shukla mentioned in the report was Ret. Col Ajai Shukla, the host of Broadsword?

What do you think about Ret. Chief Justice of India Katju? I was wondering what happened to his tongue when he was the CJI? Licking the &*^% of somebody?
His statements are just irritating. 90% of Indians are fools. May be he forgot to tell that he was the top in the list.
Now he says Pakistan was a conspiracy by Britishers. Britishers do want Hindus and Muslims to be divided, but the idea of Pakistan was by the rich Muslims who afraid that they will lose everything in a democratic unified India. Only Britishers put some fertilizer to the idea.

Anonymous said...

Prasun,

What's your take on the Wikileaks allegations about Rajiv Gandhi's role in the Saab Viggen offer in the 70s? Is it more hot air than anything?

rad said...

HI Prasun
tnxs for clarifying, my heart is always on IIR as it seems there is no real countermeasure apart from DIRCM to stop IIR missiles and it seems that Fighter mounted dircm is still a far way of . I t would be a great day when we ask the israelis to modify the barak 2 into a IIR long range AAM silent kller. My wishfull thinking has further gone up due to the fact that the elm-2032 is on board the LCA and integration problems would not be there. I really wonder how a derby missile can match up against he ammraam or the chinese sd-10 . What are we going to do as both sides have AWACS to vector them. Pse comment.

raw13 said...

Could it be that IAF have realised that actually they don't need Rafale. That ordering another say 120 Su30's makes more sense! Is there anything that Rafale does today that Su30 would not be able to do in 2015-8(induction time of Rafale)? It will make their supply chain simpler and all the added value of commonality....from training to maintenance.

Anonymous said...

After the shambles of the Operation Parakram. IA realised that if they had arjun. It would take even longer to get to the front. No one could even put a time line on it and they still cant, the logistics. Building new bases near the border is even more expensive and costly. Also T-90 has more locally produced content than arjun does. There was a question of realiability, soldiers prefer to face their enemy with something that is average but realiable than have a super duper equipment that is un-realiable. Arm chair pundits don't fight real wars and never get this realibility thing.

Anonymous said...

A very interesting article:

http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2013/04/08/us-smells-around-if-uzbek-kebabs-are-burning/


As Pakistan managed to completely side-line india wrt CARs?

it has the following two sentenses:

Indeed, when Russia and China decide to jointly ‘coordinate’ their Afghan policies with Pakistan’s, make no mistake that all bets are off.

But if Russia and China move so smartly to augment Pakistan’s ’strategic autonomy’ for the sake of encouraging it to negotiate harder to the point of being recalcitrant, with the US, why should Washington not pay back in the same coin?

KSingh said...

Prasun,

I just read this from a member on a defence forum:

News from SEVERAL sources in New Delhi in MOD and media are suggesting that indians are having a MASSIVE CHANGE OF HEART on the whole MMRCA project/saga for the IAF.

NEGOTIATIONS between the winners Dassult/rafale and the MOD in New Delhi have actually ceased for over week

Intially it was cited that there was DIFFERENCES in who shares the work load and TOT absorbtion between HAL & DASSULTS preferred indian partner AMBANI RELIANCE industries.

TODAY THE NEWS indicates that the INDIANS have several misgivings

1. THE TOTAL price could be as high as $26 billion ($6 billion for weapons alone)
2. FRENCH are not willing to share 100% TOT as was previously suggested
3. FRENCH want to control production as they see FIT
4. timescales ARE CLASHING with proposed INDUCTION OF FGFA IN 2019-2020

coupled with FINANCIAL DEFENSE CUTS coming into EFFECT the indians ARE READY to ditch this hyper expensive deal.

THIS DEAL WAS SCHEDULED TO BE CONCLUDED in Dec 2012 THEN summer 2013.

all contracts communication currently IS ON HOLD

Source: http://www.defence.pk/forums/indian-defence/244415-mmrca-may-scrapped-year-end.html#ixzz2PrmFTU6B



I AM TELLING YOU NOW IAF will scrap this deal. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY both TYHOON & USA TEEN SERIES will not be invited BACK.

THE WHOLE MMRCA is to be crapped

IAF will rely on SU30MKI until FGFA come in 2020

looks russians wil remain IAF PREMIERE air defense partner AFTER ALL

WAT A TAMASHA

FOR THOSE INDIANS or indeed posters LET ME MAKE IT PLAIN

INDIAN MOD CANNOT afford the estimated $25 billion that is required to make this happen & THE MOD/IAF are worried about timecales taking too long APPRENTLY IT WILL TAKE HAL/RELIANCE 54 MONTHS IE 4.5 years to start license production.

far too long and too CLOSE FGFA time lines

Source: http://www.defence.pk/forums/indian-defence/244415-mmrca-may-scrapped-year-end.html#ixzz2PrmXMl9O



Is there any truth to any of this??

Anonymous said...

KSing,

That is an interesting source. Its interesting how many indians actually post on the defence.pk. I go there often, they actually allow debate.

Whilst on there i came accross this interview with Janes:

http://www.defence.pk/forums/jf-17-thunder/68207-jf-17-thunder-multirole-fighter-thread-4-a-666.html

Its seems JF17 jas been pitted against PLAAF su27s, for DAC. IT came out favarably and the pilots are just discovering its full envelope....it could be one of the reasons PAF have decided not/delay to go for J10 and F16s.

What do you think parsun sir?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.07AM: That’s right. The one & the same person. Justice Katju was never a CJI but just one of the sitting judges of the Supreme Court.

To Anon@11.30AM: Aha! Looks like some elements of the truth are at last coming out & let’s now see whether the truth about the infamous espionage case involving the Larkins Brothers too now surfaces at long last, for this will give out the true picture. As for the JA-37 Viggen, though it was pitted against the Mirage F-1 (and not the Jaguar IS), it was defeated in the competition ultimately by the MiG-23BN, a total outsider & this later resulted in the procurement of also the MiG-27M. I do hope all details of such cases eventually come out as they will reveal how the AMX-40 MBT offer was ditched in favour of the T-72M, & how the decision to procure MiG-23MFs & MiG-29B-12s forever scuttled the IAF’s earlier well-conceived plan for procuring up to 170 Mirage 2000s. This is all good news indeed! Couldn’t have asked for a better way to commence the new week!!!

To RAW13: A most interesting question indeed & I will answer in detail later tonight.

To Anon@3.42PM: The answers are all contained here: http://www.frontlineonnet.com/stories/20130419300700400.htm

To KSINGH: O yaara, I had already posted all the explanations about the negotiations for Rafale M-MRCA above some 2 days ago. There’s nothing more to it & the rest is all speculation, as proven by the IAF’s official statement released earlier today. So, do chill out & don’t let your BP rise.

KSingh said...

Prasun,

what did this IAF statment say? Must have missed it, got a link?



Yes, I'm sure it is just BS speculation but I wanted to hear it from someone as informed as yourself.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSINGH: Here it is: "Apropos a report in a certain section of the media indicating IAF will opt for Sukhoi-30 if Rafale deal falls flat as on 08 Apr 2013. The IAF strongly denies such report. The CNC (Contract negotiations committee) process for acquisition of 126 MMRCA is underway and there is no thought process for any procurement as a ‘back up’ as reported."

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSINGH: And here's more about the AW-101 deal:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/todays-newspaper/antony-pressured-chopper-deal-stays.html

Things are proceeding exactly as I had predicted.

KSingh said...

Prasun,

haha! "SAINT" Antony jumped the gun to cover his own ass now has to go back on his showboating stance!


You called it Prasun sir!

So will the IAF now receive the remaining 9 as IIRC the GOI had said deliveres were halted.


+ are we still looking at a JUNE/JULY 2013 signature for MMRCA?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSINGH: Everything's on track, be it the remaining AW-101s awaiting delivery, or the initial 126 Rafales, do rest assured.

KSingh said...

Prasun,

increasingly you are the only (if not one of the few) who speaks sense and factually wrt Indian defence matters. You really should try and expand your presence on the Indian defence reporting scence.


All these other "desi" journos are getting it consistanlty wrong and making India look a fool to the rest of the world as the international press picks up these erroneous and malicious reports and runs with them. India is undermined and belittled again and again because of these assholes. You are a solitary voice in a industry full of loud-mouth idiots.


once again i thank you Prasun for your excellent service to your nation.




Anecdotally I am always brought back to one specific example that highlights the sheer level of incompetence of the Indian journalists:

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/34-warships-sent-from-us-for-obama-visit-64459

These stupid fuckers claimed the USN was sending 10% (yes 10%!) of the entire USN surface fleet to the coast of Mumbai to protect Obama during his 2010 visit along with 40,000+ US Marines and the entire cost was going to cost ~£1BN a day.

This story was quckly picked up by the international and specifically US press but soon enough the "proper" and studuied US press refuted every single one of these claims and the end result was the Indian media was belitlled and maligned for their BS work and this reflected on india too.


I guess this was my first real exposure to the nonsense these "desi" journos are prone to spewing out.




KSingh said...

Prasun,

where can I find the source of this IAF statement (on the MMRCA/MKI)? Were was it made? I have been searching but have not found it anywhere.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Notwithstanding being the best in its category, the Rafale had been most unfortunate for not having exported anywhere so far. So the French and Indians both shall realize this factor and move ahead towards a most balanced and amicable solution perhaps in line with the thoughts of PKS. Otherwise India may be left with the only solution of importing the most upgraded version of the Su-30 MKI, which may be brandished perhaps with the name of Su-39.

Vikram Guha said...

Hi PrasunDa,

Have you noticed the tremendous amount of anti India feelings that does the round in Australia ? There is a very strong feeling that INDIA is going to take over northern parts of Australia alongwith Indonesia . Please take a look at the link below . It says that India will take control over North Australian airspace by 2020.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/3/5/politics/stephen-smiths-11th-hour-flight-option?opendocument=&src=idp&utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=229558&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt=commentary

Self styled aviation experts like Carlo Kopp further lends credence to the anti India lobby in Australia .

Thanks,
Vikram

Anonymous said...

I feel that some wise ones in MoD are selectively putting tits and bits of news in media so as to put pressure on Dassault to be more flexible in negotiation. After all negotiation requires some hard bargaining too. And what a better way to put pressure on OEM by selective information to the highly imaginative Indian media. Acquiring Su-30 is a plausible reality which even Dassault would be worried, especially since after putting in so much hard work they would not want an effort of this scale go waste and also since the fighter has not found any international takers so far. I wish what i am thinking is true, let us squeeze most out of our money.

Sreenivas

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To K SINGH: VMT. Actually, with the latest revelations of WIKILEAKS, an altogether new pandora’s box has just opened & hopefully this will lead to further revelations about how the two successive Congress-I govts of the 1980s manipulated all major military hardware procurement decisions that drove India to bankruptsy by the late 1980s. And believe you me that there are still plenty of nerds & psychos who believe that it is a good decision to buy two types of the same weapons platform from different OEMs at the same time, like buying Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs on one hand & Type 877EKM Kilo-class SSKs on the other. It took almost 30 years for such erroneous presumptions to be rubbished when the present-day CNS of the IN finally stated extremely clearly on December 3 last year that buying two different designs of SSKs—from originating from the West & one from Russia—no longer makes any sense. Similarlt, the latest WIKILEAKS revelations will finally help reveal what exactly the Larkins Brothers espionage scandal was all about in the mid-1980s & how ALL the ‘desi’ print-media of that time had got it all wrong (in assuming that the espionage case was all about NATO versus the USSR) as far as their sources of information were concerned. Truth, as they say, has its own way of finally emerging.

Here’s the link: http://livefist.blogspot.in/2013/04/negotiations-for-rafale-on-track-no.html

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: The Rafale M-MRCA deal will prevail & won’t be sabotaged. The news-reporter of THE PIONEER got it all wrong & mixed up two separate issues, for I had already stated since 2007 that the IAF will eventually operate some 350 Su-30MKIs, with further orders being placed in successive tranches.

Meanwhile, here’s the IN’s RFI seeking information for the supply of 5 new-build fleet replenishment tankers: http://tenders.gov.in/viewtenddoc.asp?tid=del559005&wno=1&td=TD

And here’s the RFI for the IN’s requirement for laser-guided bombs, airborne laser target designators & manportable laser target designators: http://tenders.gov.in/viewtenddoc.asp?tid=del563398&wno=1&td=TD

And here’s the Indian Army’s RFI for the requirement on SR-UAVs: http://tenders.gov.in/viewtenddoc.asp?tid=del559880&wno=1&td=TD

To VIKRAM GUHA: The Aussies indeed have a very sick way of justifying their military hardware procurement requirements & that explains the sorry state of the ADF, for, realistically, a navy like the Republic of Singapore Navy will take less than 20 minutes to sink the entire RAN fleet close to Sydney Harbour.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Sreenivas: It is just a simple issue about fixing accountability & responsibility on contractual clauses related to product liability & claims on liquidated damages. The matter ends there & there's nothing else to it, rest assured. Those who are speculating & chasing shadows haven't got a clue about how contentious these issues have been even with regard to the Su-30MKI & Hawk Mk.132 procurement programmes.

Kimran Singh said...

Prasun,

Do you think the BRAVE CLASS joint support ship will compete in the IN's 5 replenishment ship tender?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Interesting read... The navy asks are LGB's gps jam proof.... Where IN doesnt ask for it for UAVs.... I thought UAVs are more prone to gps jamming/ spoofing than LGB.... After all they are designated by the Laser... Your comments please...
Vmt in advance.
Gourav

Ni8 Dweller said...

An interesting analysis of the korean crisis..

http://www.informationdissemination.net/2013/04/from-pacom-playbook-to-pacoms-plan-bmd.html

So will it defuse just like old times? or mini-firework would happen this time?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KIMRAN SINGH: By the looks of the RFI, it appears that the IN wants something similar to the two fleet replenishment vessels it has already procured from Fincantieri, but it wants the new vessels to be armed.

To GOURAV: It is probably a RFI drafting mistake, for LGBs & their targetting pods don’t require GPS navigational updates. The interesting part is the IN will welcome LGBs with glide-kits as well as with rocket propulsion with extended range. The prime contenders will be the Griffin-3 LGB/Litening-3 LDP package, Paveway LGB family along with Sniper LDP, & SAGEM’s AASM family/THALES’ Damocles LDP.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Ni8 Dweller: It will undoubtedly diffuse, especially since China has already issued a stern warning to DPRK & Beijing doesn’t want any unauthorised adventurism at a time when it busy flexing its naval muscles in both the South China & East China seas against ASEAN & Japan. In addition, there’s no evidence of any large-scale mobilisation of ground forces on either side of the DMZ. If at all any mini-fireworks take place, it will involve the DPRK launching an MRBM or two into the sea & the navies of US & Japan will try to intercept them with shipborne BMD systems.

AK said...

Hi Prasun, Does Griffin-3 LGB come with a glide kit like Spice-1000,2000 ?

What is the total requirement of Spice-1000 of IAF ?

It will take HAL,Reliance combo another 4.5 yrs to start license production of Rafale . Wont it be prudent for MoD to go in for all off the shelf imports ?

No radar manufacturer has ever claimed the no of T/R elements but E-CAPTOR is definitely a bit bigger which translates into more T/R elements. Dont you agree ?

Rafale Malaysia site shows a slide of Rafale having 4 hardpoints per wing. Will it be there in IAF Rafales too ?

Can the Rafale be configured to carry 4 SCALP-EG ?
Are all Rafales fully EMP- hardened ?

Rafale uses just two DDM-NG spherical IR apertures in the tail-fin as MAWS. They have field of view of the upper hemisphere . There is a blind hole underneath the jet.

How does RBE2 compare to APG-79 in terms of aperture area and performance ?

Has the Kolkata class DDG started its sea trials ?

The BMD interceptor test which DRDO is going to conduct in the coming months will it be PDV or the previous AAD ?

Will the production capicities of major OFB most notably HVF Avadi be enhanced in MoD’s massive Rs 15,000 cr upgrade for ordnance factories ?

Can IAF , IA still go for Rheinmetall Skyranger AAA systems ? If not what is the possible replacement ?

Ni8 Dweller said...

@Prasun Da: VMT

Anonymous said...

hi prasun,
thanks for detailed reply.
what about UAV being made gps jamproof spoofproof?
That is a new attack vector on UAVs. Isnt it? Vmt in advance
Gourav

Unknown said...

Prasun,

I was under th impression the IN already used LITINING LDP on their MiG-29Ks? But apparently not as there is a tender for LDPs

Does this mean right now the IN MIG-29K pilots are not receiveing any such LGB delivery training?


When will this deal be sealed as the VIKY ACC is goming within the next 18 months so will MIG-29Ks be operating off them with no LGBs and LDPs?

Anurag said...

Hey there old pal,how are you doing??I have a few questions in mind:

1.Do you think Prahar NLOS-BSMs and Shaurya TBMs will be operated by the Indian Armed forces in near future??And by when do you think that these two systems could enter operational deployment??

2.The present Rheinmetall DM 63's estimated armor penetration value stands at between 680-750mm of RHA/High Hardness Steel at 2000 meter-so don't you think that it would have been logical to ask the Germans for a ToT of the L/55 smooth barrel gun and penetration rods for this ammo and then fit them with Indian produced sabots and semi-combustible cartridge cases for Arjun MBTs (until ARDE rounds come online)??There shouldn't have any problem as the Germans also supplied ROK and Turky.

3.There was a report that IA was looking for a foreign made GPMG-are the trying to replace the PKMs and FN MAGs or the Bren LMGs??

4.I read somewhere that 50% of IPKF casualties happened during the first 4-6 months of deployment and then the casualty rates were slowed down and the IPKF gradually turned the table eventually gaining the upper hand and pushed back the guerrillas in the northern and north eastern jungles-is it true??
Besides,both in NE and J&K,IA jungle warfare units and Rashtrya Rifles units performed remarkably well against militants but the Cobras and CRPF is seemed to be lacking and suffering heavy casualties against Naxalites even after so many years-what do you think may be the reason??Is it lack of training compared to IA jungle warfare units/Rashtrya Rifles or lack of adequate equipments or both??
Yet the Gray Hounds of AP has been much more effective even this very same threat in similar type of terrain-why such disparity when actually the factions fought by the Army such as LTTE,ULFA and other NE terrorist grups were more well equipped than the Naxalites with the LTTE having access to mortars,howitzers,recoilless guns and even APCs!!

5.Any idea when the Rustom 2 MALE UAV might be entering service and will it be a jet powered system??

6.What's the status of the FICV project??

Hope to see your replies.

THANX in advance....................................................................................

Kimran Singh said...

Prasun,

Will the ARJUN MK2 and MK3 come with a APS and will the IA's T-90S be given an APS anytime soon? And would the TANK-EX proposal that you say has gainded liklihood of entering service come with APS?

Vikram Guha said...

PrasunDa,

Did you watch Narendra Modi's sppech in Kolkata today ? Obviously he is trying to sell himself but what's the harm in doing so . Mamata Banerjee should join the NDA as the Congress led Govt is know to be biased against non Congress states. But Mamata' huge Muslim vote bank means she cannot join the NDA or else the CPM will come back to power.

Thanks,
Vikram

Kimran Singh said...

Prasun,

You said the IA is looking to get Israeli cooling suits for their tank crews. Will these come with helmets also that are based on the Western design (ie like fighter helmets) with mics buit into the helmet replacing the existing Russian style cloth helmets with throat mikes?

Anonymous said...

IPKF after the first 4months simply hunkered down. IA forces are used to fighting with overwhelming odds in their favour. Nothing wrong with this, it is just the way they train and fight. Their small unit actions are rather poor and normally results in high losses.

For comparison purposes PA was not much different. They have had no choice but to adapt. Unlike IA they do not and cannot afford to have the numbers. The result of this is that IA will suffer when it comes up against the PA. PA are an evolving force(led by the mid to lower level officers). I have heard IA are trying to adapt but there as many for it as are against. Only way to force it to evolve is to reduce its size. This is what US, UK and Israel have managed to do very successfully. From the comments i have seen from Prasun, it is some he would agree with.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AK: 1) Griffin-3 comes without glide-kit. 2) About 200. 3) Licenced-production makes no sense any longer for the Rafale M-MRCA, as I had explained earlier. It will be a sheer waste of time, money & effort. 4) E-CAPTOR’s antenna aperture is not bigger at all than that of RBE-2. 5) There are 3 wing-mounted hardpoints out of which two of them can be used for housing triple-ejector racks & dual-ejector racks. The 4th hardpoint is not wing-mounted, but is wing-root mounted. 6) Yes. 7) Mission-dictated EMP-hardening exists on all modern combat aircraft. No aircraft can be 100% EMP-hardened. 8) Additional MAWS fits can always be housed within the rear-section of a hardpoint. 9) RBE-2 & APG-79 are comparable. 10) Sea-trials began late last year. 11) PDV & AD-1/AD-2 are still under development. 12) Hopefully. 13) Not until 2021. IA can always buy additional ZU-23-2s & upgrade them locally.

To GOURAV: UAVs can be made GPS jam-proof through incorporation of customised encryption algorithms within both the transmitter & receiver of both the UAV as well as on the GPS satellite constellation concerned.

To UNKNOWN: Not tender, just an RFI. Whenever a combat aircraft is procured, the weapons package is always procured subsequently under a supplementary contract. There’s still plenty of time left since the Vikramaditya won’t be declared battle-ready at least until 2017. It takes a long time for naval aviators to acquire combat proficiency when operating from aircraft carriers.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANURAG: 1) Not in the near future, but in the latter half of this decade, since it takes a long time to first build the road/rail infrastructure reqd for ferrying all the heavy engineering hardware & raw materials reqd for constructing the storage silos & their hardened command & control centres. 2) Nobody in the world does ToT for either MBT cannons or their APFSDS KE penetrator rods. Barrels for ROK & Turkish MBTs are supplied directly by Rheinmetall. 3) IWI-made 7.62mm GPMGs (Negev?) are already in service, along with 5.56mm INSAS LMG. 4) IPKF casualties were initially high because in-theatre deployment was done in a great hurry solely for peacekeeping & there was no recce or terrain appreciation conducted for high-intensity guerrilla warfare. The reason why Assam Rifles & RR have performed better is simply because of a) superior terrain appreciation/familiarisation b) superior intelligence-generation assets/capabilities & c) availability of the right tools at their disposal for performing the tasks of counter-infiltration & counter-insurgency. CAPFs like CRPF are neither well-trained nor well-equipped for counter-infiltration & counter-insurgency tasks. The key element reqd for such tasks is & will always be superior intelligence generation, i.e. if you forestall, then you win. Be it the Greyhounds, or even the anti-Naxalbari operations after 1971 carried out by the WB police, they were highly successful only because of superior intelligence generation, i.e. any gathering of more than 10 persons at any time within any disturbed area must become known to the internal security force s & subsequent follow-up must be initiated in terms of who were involved in such gatherings, what was discussed & what was agreed upon. Had this same formula been adopted against the SFI’s leadership in Delhi, then Delhi’s police forces could have easily prevented yesterday the utterly shameful & despicable assault by SFI anarchists against WB’s finance minister. ULFA & other terrorist entities in the North East don’t have any super-duper firearms, just M-16s & AK-56s along with some UBGLs. And during the IPKF’s stint in northeastern Sri Lanka, the LTTE never had access to any APCs of field artillery. Only after the IPKF’s departure was the LTTE able to capture all such weapons from the Sri Lanka Army in the latter half of the 1990s. 5) Rustom-2 is still some 5 years away from service-induction. It won’t be jet-powered. 6) FICV project is now in deep hibernation, thanks to the MoD’s indecisiveness & total confusion prevailing within both IA HQ the MoD’s procurements wing. The bloated bureaucracies within both these is the only cause of all delays. Don’t even get me started on narrating some of the related horror stories!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRAM GUHA: It is not about the TMC allying itself with NDA, but whether NDA regards the TMC as a liability as well! Just imagine the WB CM’s outbursts yesterday in Delhi after the dastardly assault against Amit Mitra! Was such an outburst really reqd, or was the priority to identify the SFI’s anarchists from TV footages & then have them charged & convicted for assault? Goes without saying these SFI anarchists only resorted to terrorising innocent civilians yesterday & only served to further blacken the already tarnished reputation of WB’s educational institutions. What the TMC should therefore have done yesterday was to take full moral advantage of such a situation & turn the tables against both the SFI & its Left Front patrons, instead of threatening to mobilise & ferry 10 lakh protesters from WB to Delhi. The TMC yesterday lost a golden mass-propaganda opportunity, for had I been the aggrieved party, I would have gone on the offensive using my brains, instead of spewing out unwanted decibels.

To KIMRAN SINGH: Such helmets are already being built in India & supplied by MKU Helmets. Gradually these will also be supplied to all T-90S regiments as well.

MR said...

Dear Prasunda,

What's your take on the following news item?

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/germans-may-find-it-hard-to-sell-their-subs/article4599258.ece

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
I am a Regular reader of your blog. I have one suggestion that your reply will shows below the Question or use any new format for better reading.

Thank you sir.

Vikram Guha said...

PrasunDa,

Venezuela has approved the purchase of S-300VM Antey-2500 and Buk-M2 9K37M2/9K317 .

http://datadance.info/browse.php?u=%2BFHbwuX3ebs0LWSa1ysV4SGN3GwAvAGC%2BUjl8dRdNL56YfSNEU51VMDck9HHm21u45%2FELj89Qu58NCurckXacdVB33qbhUx37i2a3Q71EtMVGaHuMR4wkoyoXXvzr1dAFMdxSj5DtWUJl6f9HVnmAOvJgVW%2FJ1Isqsm4Hw%3D%3D&b=5

Seems like even they will have an Air Defense better than India.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MR: This news-report conclusively proves my point (which I had made last year itself) about the unsuitability & complexity of fuel cell-based AIP systems—a point of view shared by the Indian Navy as well. That is why the IN wants a proven & in-service AIP system with demonstrated reliability & the only one that’s on the table right now is the Stirling Engine-based AIP system. I will even go to the extent of predicting that the L & T-led industrial consortium of 13 companies that are now fabricating the shore-based fuel cell-based AIP system for the DRDO will face failure on both technical & cost grounds. The IN will find it cost-prohibitive to establish shore-based support facilities for such fuel cell-based AIP systems at naval bases of the Eastern Naval Command, Southern Naval Command & Western Naval Command. Furthermore, the IN will have to make one of its six Scorpene SSKs available as a testbed if the DRDO’s fuel cell-based AIP system is to be qualified for installation on board SSKs—a luxury the IN can’t afford no matter what any IN official says or claims.

To VIKRAM GUHA: Procurement of such advanced systems does not automatically translate into proven operational might. Such systems are extremely manpower-intensive & require enormous investments for ensuring their serviceability & operational availability, something which Venezuela will be hard-placed to provide in light of the country’s poor economic situation. In all probability, therefore, such hardware will be showcased only during national day parades & for the rest of the periods, will be consigned to storage, much like all the advanced hardware that had been procured & stored by Libya under Col Gaddafi.

Gessler said...

Hi Prasun sir,

1) Is there any military vehicle called Tata-Land Rover 1515F? Wikipedia says so but a Google search didn't yield any result.

2) So Rafales shall not be license-built in India now?

3) Is any date been specified yet for Nirbhay's 2nd launch?

4) The MSMC seems to be a revolutionary gun as far as Indian industry is concerned. From what I know it has become very popular among even video gamers of games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

Any export prospects for this gun? I've heard the Kyrgyz military checked it out?

Hope MCW turns out to be equally successful and popular.

5) How far has IA come regarding procurement of digital camo for infantry units?

6) Any update on Tank-EX?

7) Which APS do you think will finally make it to Arjun Mk-2? Trophy or Iron Fist?

8) When can we expect Agni-4 and Agni-5 to be test-launched from canisters?

9) Is Tata developing something like JLTV for IA? Other than the known LSV models?

10) Eagerly waiting for your thread on F-INSAS. When is it coming?

Thanks in advance,

Gessler.

Nevidimka said...

Prasun, IS the Malaysian gov gonna take the Eurofighter deal that is being handed out by BAE? or are they gonna get the cheaper gripen or the superhornet's? I think it would be a mistake to get the typhoon's as this is another platform from another country which will again increase the logistics train for our inventory. While the SUperhornets would be compromised as its technology would be compromised by US to its allies in any event of war. So Malaysia would need Big Uncle Sam's premission to know who they can shoot or not shoot with it. I feel that RMAF should sell the Mig's and Hornets and get the SU 34 as a strike platform, and later on trade in the flankers and get the PAK FA in 10-15 years time.
Secondly, seeing that the chinese are displaying their helicopter carriers, is the RMN seriously looking at these chinese boats as they should be much cheaper than the korean alternative, and are they a good platform comparable to the Dokdo?
Also will Russia in future be willing to sell the PAK FA to Malaysia once it is available to export? or is there only a strict list of countries that they would sell the plane to?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To GESSLER: 1) Dunno. 2) Of course they will be. Don’t expect the MoD to suddenly discover the miracle of common sense. 3) Not yet. Forensic analysis of the first vehicle’s wreckage is still underway. 4) Kyrgyzstan’s market for military hardware has already been monopolised by China. A mere photo of the Kyrgyz Defence Minister checking out the MSMC does not translate into any form of ‘serious interest’. 5) Those will be tested out as part of the F-INSAS trials. 6) Not yet. 7) Iron Fist is out of the reckoning for good till 2021. The Trophy APS is the next best option now. 8) Maybe over the next two years. 9) No. 10) Not in the immediate future, perhaps by next month.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

TO NEVIDIMKA: Your question reminds me of an incident involving Tun Dr Mahathir’s private visit to the UK when he was still PM in 2002. During this visit, organised by Tan Sri P Arumugam, the PM made a private visit to BAE Systems’ EF-2000 Typhoon production facilities & a marketing presentation was given to him. At the end of it, he simply shook his head & told BAE Systems that the EF-2000 was far too expensive for Malaysia, therefore something ‘cheaper’ ought to be proposed by BAE Systems. It was after this observation of Tun Dr Mahathir that BAE Systems teamed up with Saab to offer the JAS-39 Gripen along with the Saab 2000 AEW & CS. To the best of my knowledge, it is this package that is still the most preferred option for both the ruling elite of Malaysia as well as for the RMAF/TUDM.
At the same time, it is an utter fallacy to think about the US compromising the vital operational secrets of all US-built weapons supplied thus far to Malaysia. I don’t know from where all such delusional speculations emerge & which country will be more favourable for the US than Malaysia as far as regional disputes go. The problem with Russia-origin hardware in Malaysia is that they are far too few in number & therefore their in-country product-support facilities cannot be set up, meaning be it for the MiG-29N or Su-30MKM, the RMAF/TUDM will forever have to be heavily dependent on IRKUT Corp & RAC for through-life product support. The same will be the case with PAK-FA as well. And needless to say, the RMAF/TUDM does not like such a situation at all, since it has been groomed & trained since its inception by the West, i.e. the UK & the US. Between these two, the US’ FMS system for product-support is just too good for the RMAF/TUDM to give up, since this involves the US Navy & USAF doing all the homework & legwork, while the RMAF/TUDM does not have to bother about setting up expensive in-country product-support facilities. Ask any serving or retired RMAF/TUDM Chief of Air Force & he will tell you off-the-record that the US’ FMS system of through-life product support has always been light years ahead of what the Russians have ever been able to provide. No one understands this better than the present PM of Malaysia, since has was also Defence Minister for close to a decade as well & therefore after he became PM, Russia’s misfortunes in Malaysia began, starting with losing the Nuri helicopter replacement contract, which forever sealed the Mi-17V-5’s fate inside Malaysia.
As for LHDs, the RMN/TLDM is not interested in them since the reqmt is for a LPD built to civilian specs (for cost reduction purposes) & the present-day Defence Minister of Malaysia is determined to upgrade the status of his electoral constituency of Bagan Datoh through the LPD procurement programme by setting up some sort of shipbuilding facility in Bagan Datoh.
Lastly, for as long as the presently serving PM remains in power, the door to Russian & Chinese weapons exports to Malaysia will stay closed.

Anonymous said...

Hi prasun,
Some questions are arising in my mind....

1. Is it good to procure rafale, this way in 2020 iaf will have a hell lot of aircraft in its kitty and logistics will be huge problem, won't it be?

2. Is there any slight possibility that in the view of dassault's reluctance to share technology, this contract be cancelled or number of aircraft reduced to say something 55-65 and more no of tejas mk2 could be procured instead of this? As for their(tejas mk2) development that could be made speedier. Would the above option help or not... in my view such a move could help Indian defence SME's.

3. Was there some kind of secret deal signed with Russia during the ins chakra deal(old one) to help India in r&d of ATV/arihant? If so could there be one more secret deal in charging the exorbitant price for vikrmaditya, that is coming for the same price as the newly built vikrant, which is full generation ahead of the former?

Ok maybe some of the questions have been answered before in that case please provide me with the link for those.

VMT in advance.

Regards,
A G

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,
thank you for your detailed replies.
i have a doubt regarding the fleet replinshement ships. Going by the RFI the ships are quite huge and is similar to Jyoti class ships. But 5 numbers is quite huge given that already we have 2 of deepak class, 1 jyothi class and 1 adithya class (all comparatively young fleet)as per wiki. Do you think this is a sign that IN is going to be more visible outside our home waters than present as a power projection.

Sreenivas

Nevidimka said...

HI Prasun, thanks for your time to reply me. Your replies have put a huge dampener in my hopes. I dont think the Gripen is a good choice for Malaysia. They are another added logistics train, and the planes are too lightweight and short ranged. I dont belive they are effective for a country that has 2 landmass seperated by sea and looking towards a future of operations in spratly's when china starts moving their carrier fleet into the south china sea. Plus these planes are single engined and are not stealthy.
A Su 34 platform coupled to the brahmos of russian AShM, can be deadly in the south china sea's against the chinese fleet, in a similar manner the backfires were used by the Soviets against American carrier grouping. I dont belive Malaysia can look at meeting chinese carrier groups with our own carrier groups, as this is ridicuso we must look into alternate ways to deal with the growing chinese threat. Which is Why I prefer long legged and stealthy platform's in the Su 34 and Pak FA platform's. The gov has been riddled with corruotion in defence contracts with millions going into kickbacks and middle men that benefits the ruling elite, and yet they feel its costly to build up local support infrastructure for these planes. Regarding the compromise of the US technology. If Malaysia suddenly becomes hostile to Australia, and seeks ot use the hornets agisnt AUstralia, would US leak out certian codes, that would allow The Australians to take out the hornets? I've seen these kind of allegations in the past and even in some other nation countries, which I cant recall that used American hardware.

Vikram Guha said...

Great explanation PrasunDa .

The point I was trying to make is that at least Venezuela is making efforts to protect it's airspace unlike India .

We don't have any S400 or THAAD , no BUK 2 , no one knows when the VSHORADS will be inducted and the Prithvi BMD and the AAD are at best half baked technologies . Not a single layer of the Indian airspace is defended .

The Indian airspace is therefore wide open to compromise .

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

I am a avid reader of your Blogs. When will your next thread start?

Vikram Guha said...

Also PrasunDa, Russia has announced that it will begin working on a new interceptor to replace the MIG 31

http://www.lenta.ru/news/2013/04/11/newinterceptor/

Maybe , India can join this project as well if it is viable.

Regards,
Vikram

Anonymous said...

Prasunda, if ofb nalanda factory started bulk production of bimodular charge system for 155mm guns? Want a new thread with extensive coverage on Indian Army's artillery procurement. Regards, Ujjwal

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AG: 1) Procurement of Rafales is an absolute necessity since the MiG-21 Bisons, MiG-23BNs & MiG-27Ms all will require replacement from 2017. 2) No one from the French side is unwilling to engage in any ToT that has been specified by the MoD & IAF. 3) No such deal was inked. All agreements related to S-2, S-3 & S-5 submarines were inked between 1989 & 1998. But there were cost escalations in the ATV programme just as there have been such cost escalations of the Scorpene SSK licenced-production programme.

To SREENIVAS: The 5 more fleet replenishment/support tankers/vessels are required for sustaining the IN’s growing regional commitments like the on-going anti-piracy patrols in the Horn of Africa, increasing tempo of power projection exercises in peacetime & the growing number of principal surface combatants, plus future UN peacekeeping missions within the Indian Ocean Region.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To NEVIDIMKA: The RMAF/TUDM wants a new MRCA to replace its F-5Es/Fs. Consequently, the reqmt is for a light MRCA & not a heavy MRCA like Su-34 or even M-MRCAs the EF-2000 or Rafale or Super Hornet. Combat radius/endurance deficiencies of the JAS-39 can be easily resolved by aerial refuelling. Adding to all this is the fact that the Su-34 is not approved for export by Russia. And most importantly, Malaysia no longer recognises the PLA Navy as a threat & that’s why there was not even a murmer from either Wisma Pertahanan or Wisma Putra or Putrajaya earlier this month when a PLA Navy task force conducted exercises just 90km away from East Malaysia’s shores. The reality of today is that barring Vietnam, Singapore & The Philippines, all other ASEAN member-states have been bought over by China & all these member-states are in no position to object to China’s future aspirations for the South China Sea. Nor do I believe that Malaysia & Australia will ever cross swords against one another. That’s why Sarawak’s ruling Chief Minister has thought it fit to invest the billions of his ill-gotten wealth throughout Western Australia (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0ROcvIbmmI).

The YouTube link above is an excellent illustration of how folks can go around existing laws & launder money. I recommend this as a must-watch for all those interested in replicating such ‘acts’ anywhere in Asia.

To VIKRAM GUHA: There are plenty of assets available within India for layered air-defence & they’ve been upgraded since the early 1990s with Polish assistance. But the arrival of Akash Mk1s were delayed by a decade, primarily due to the financial crisis of the 1990s. There’s plenty of Igla-S VSHORADS available in-country. Bit India’s doesn’t require S-400s simply because India does not consider high-altitude bombers like B-52s as threats.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To UJJWAL: The Indian Army cannot wait for OFB Nalanda to come on-line anymore since the Nalanda factory was depending on IMI's industrial ToT. Since IMI has been blacklisted, OFB Nalanda's plans too have gone kaput. Therefore, the Indian Army last year procuring locally developed (by HEMRL) 105mm, 130mm & 155mm bi-modular charges that are now being bulk-produced by two private-sector companies--one located in Delhi & one located in Pune. Had written about them last April in my DEFEXPO 2012 show report threads, which also contain photos of such hardware.

Anonymous said...

VMT prasun,
you are the sole point for clearing doubts, nowhere else to go....
A G

Vikram Guha said...

Many thanks Prasunda .

Just one last question .

Do you know of any defence industry-specific networking site ?

Thanks,
Vikram

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AG: You're welcome.

To VIKRAM GUHA: For that you'll have to register yourself with CII or ASSOCHAM. They have several publications available on defence offsets, industry players, financiers, etc, & they also organise scores of seminars throughout India every year on such subjects.

Anonymous said...

Pradunda,VMT for your kind reply.Regards,Ujjwal.

F said...

Prasun,

I would beg to differ with your statement that Malaysia ''does not see PLAN as a threat''. The reason Malaysia has kept quiet so far is because Chinese maritime ships have kept largely away from Malaysia's 5 reefs in the Sptratleys and Malaysia has traditionally gone out of its way not to offend Beijing by issuring any statements that annoy the Chinese.

With regards to the Gripen, I'm aware off your view that the Gripen will be selected due to the RMAFs requirement for a 'lightweight platform and because of its price tag. However there are 3 things to bear in mind here - 1]. The Gripen has strong political ''pull' several years ago when it was frst offered to the RMAF 2] The main reason for getting new MRCAs is to replace the Fulcrums not the F-5s. Only about 4 F-Es are still flying and these are mainly used as escorts for the 2 RF-5Es and for pilots to maintain proficiency. 3]The RMAF is still very undecided about getting a single engine platform.

In 1993 nobody would have guessed that Malaysia would be in a position to afford Hornets and more recently, we were surprised when Malaysia ordered the ''uber'' expensive and unproven A400M. Given that logic doesn't play a big part in Malaysian procurement plans, I will not be surprised if funds are allocated from a special budget to pay for Rafale or Typhoon.

Nevidimka,

Of all the countries that Malaysia has relations with, it is Australia that she shares the ''closest'' defence ties with. There is an RAAF officer in charge of the IADS HQ at Butterworth and Butterworth is the only permanent base Australia has on foreign soil.

F said...

P.S.

1]The Gripen has strong political ''pull' several years ago when it was first offered to the RMAF several years ago but not anymore. For reasons of ''prestige'' and ''face'' the Malaysians will narrow down on the Typhoon or Rafale not the cheaper Gripen which off course is much cheaper to operate and mantain than its 2 engine compettitors. My hunch is that the British will try to regain the position they lost to the French and make Malaysia an offer she can't refuse. There was a report about a year ago that BAE Systems had offered Malaysia 10 Tranche 1s for free if a similar number of Tranche 2s were ordered. This offer was reportely frowned upon by the other Typhoon partner nations but more recently, countries in Eastern Europe have been offered something similar.

Vikram Guha said...

Many thanx PrasunDa

Nevidimka said...

Hi, Prasun and F, like F said, the stated requirement for MRCA is not to replace F5's but rather the MIg's, and I dont believe Gripen would be a good choice seeing that it is single engined and lightweight. And lets say the RMAF invest in Gripen, are they gonna invest on more gripens in say 20 years down the road with the Gripen NG? Coz it would be the loogical step to ensure commonality. But by then, the threat would have become bigger with china, and probably indonesia buying better fighters, and the economy would have grown and the gov would probably afford more money for their defence, and then i dont think the gov will look at more gripens but more capable fighters. Thats y I advocate some continuity in their procurements.
To F:
I am not saying we should be hostile with Australia, I wish we can be freinds as usueal, but it was just a scenario. Cause last time when RMAF 1st got their R 77 Adders, the Australians were clearly not happy about it, and again when we got the SU 30 MKM, again they were not happy about us having a superior platform, and want to rectify the balance. I find that odd, when they claim to be our allies are given an outpost for their air force.
As for China, I belive the gov wanna delay any amrs race with the chinese as they feel they could not compete with the chinese, and hence trying to build a freindly face with them for now. I seriously doubt Malaysia will surrender their Spratly's claim to China just to avoid a fight.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS & NEVIDIMKA: Let’s deal with hard facts when speculating about the RMAF’s projected MRCA reqmt.
1) Long gone are the days of high GDP growth rates within ASEAN barring Vietnam & Indonesia. Consequently, what now dictates military procurements post-2007 is the availability of financial resources. Specifically, in Malaysia’s case, the topmost projected priority prucurements have been two LPDs, four AEW & CS, & a follow-on batch of six Su-30MKMs. That none of them have been acquired so far proves my point about the scarcity of financial resources, thanks to the appreciation of the Euro post-2007 & the enormous burdens posed on the Malaysian exchequer due to the progress payments made for the Scorpene SSKs & A400Ms & now the EC-725s.
2) Fiscal prudence has therefore dictated that the RMAF/TUDM look at cost-effective procurement solutions based on life-cycle costs & it is here that the package of JAS-39 Gripen/Saab 2000 AEW & CS has proven to be unbeatable. What has also caught the RMAF’s/TUDM’s attention is the MiG-29UPG upgrade programme, something that was not on the table till last year. And the fact that Malaysia has made enormous financial investments for sustaining in-country MRO support facilities for the existing MiG-29s cannot be wished away.
3) Life-cycle costs for operating F/A-18Ds are a lot lesser thanks to the FMS programme-based product support, under which in-country depot-level MRO facilities are not reqd at all, with exactly the opposite holding true for the MiG-29s & Su-30MKMs.
4) Taking life-cycle cost calculations as the point of departure, solutions like MiG-29UPG & JAS-39 are totally far more appealing to both MINDEF & the RMAF/TUDM, compared to similar figures for the EF-2000 Typhoon & Rafale. Acquisition costs for EF-2000 Typhoons may well be low or nil (if the aircraft is offered for free), but the life-cycle costs will be absolutely unbearable, especially for a small fleet of just 1 squadron, thus making such acquisitions mere unserviceable white elephants.
5) And as for the Aussies being unhappy about the entry of Su-30 family of heavy MRCAs & their related weapons within ASEAN, all I can say is that the Aussies have traditionally has an extremely sick way of justifying their own force modernisation programmes, i.e. trying to engage in an ill-imagined regional arms race when in reality no such thing exists.

F said...

Nevidimka,

Australia's policy has always been to maintain a military edge over countries in South East Asia, irregardless of whether they are ''friends'' or not. The simulated launches by the RMAF - at Air Churinga 1996 - of R-77s was bound to get the attention of the RAAF.

Prasun,

FMS aside, the long term operating costs of the Fulcrum - compared to the Hornet - is higher due to the TBO and MTBF hours of the Russian built components like the engine, landing gear, radar, etc,. Correct?

I realise we don't have the figures at hand but would you agree that the hourly operating costs of the Rafale and Typhoon should be lower than the MKI and MKM, agreed? The RAF has stated that the Typhoon is more expensive to operate than the Tornado F3 and the USAAF has stated that the F-22 will be the most expensive aircraft - to fly per hour and maintain - that it has ever operated.

BTW, I agree with most of the points you brought up but based on that reasoning the Malaysian goverment should never have bought the A-400M and should have launched an upgrade programme for its 14 C-130Hs and perhaps should have ordered 2 C-130Js - this would have been the more logical and cost effective solution. Same goes with the MKM - which not only was customed built to the RMAFs requirements and had air to air and air to ground ordnance that wasmostly unproven. Logic would have dictated that an order be placed for 18 Super Hornets in 2002, after all the Super Hornet was fully integrated and was proven in combat conditions, unlike the MKM.

Lastly, if cost wasn't an issue, would you agree that the perfect choice for the RMAF remains the Super Hornet, due to FMS and interoperability?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: Vympel R-77s were delivered in only 2010. Prior to that there were only R-27Rs & R-27Ts for the MiG-29Ns. Direct operating costs (DOC) for the MiG-29N are higher than those of the F/A-18D, but the situation gets reversed when the MiG-29UPG enters the equation. What Russia has done is take the basic MiG-29 & equip it with systems it had had before, i.e. fly-by-wire flight controls, glass cockpit, RD-33-3 turbofans, extra internal fuel tanks, new-generation mission avionics & extended-life airframe, i.e. an existing MRCA becomnes even more lethal but with greatly reduced DOC & greatly increased reliability & serviceability.
DOC for the Rafale & EF-2000 will be higher to those of the Su-30MKM simply because the former two have a lot more on-board mission avionics & sensors than on the Su-30MKM. This then translates into a greater quantum of required skilled human resources/specialised ground crew & a greater number of automated test equipment being required to be stockpiled at those air bases housing such M-MRCAs.
The Super Hornet would have been the right choice back in 2003 had the Su-30MKM not been procured. In fact, the Super Hornet could have in one stroke been used for replacing both the F-5s & eventually the Hawk Mk208s. However, after the arrival of the Su-30MKMs, the equations have changed & hence the search is now on for a light fourth-generation MRCA, as opposed to a M-MRCA like Rafale or EF-2000.

Nevidimka said...

Hi Prasun and F,
I posted somethign of a reply, but not sure y its lost. Anyways, my post was about, agreeing with Prasun, that the right way right now should be upgrading the Mig29's to UPG standard, which is a low cost option together with reduced operating cost since we already have an inhouse MRO. Use the remaning funds to try to clean up the house by equipping the remaining loopholes, like the AEW&CS, LPD's, Nuri replacement, etc2. RMAF can think of replacing their fighters in another 20 years time.
Secondly, I do not agree with the term not battle proven labelled on russian weapons, because these weapons were first tested before they were accepted for service with the russian army, and if we are to doubt them, then why should Malaysia itself try to have a weapons industry and try to market products, seeing that Malaysia never gets involved in any battle or war effort?
Finally, Prasun, You speak malay?

F said...

Prasun,

Apparently simulated R-77 firings were performed during Air Churinga 1996 by the RMAF and wiring for the R-77 was fitted as part of the upgrade the Fulrums received at ATSC the year before. Any idea why the RMAF waited for more than a decade to get its R-77s? Part of the reason could have been due to cash issues faced by Vympel that led to teasting delays.

Nevidimka,

Compared to the ordnance offered for sale for the Super Hornet, how many of the Russian missiles have actually been fired in anger?? They were tested, sure, but not in real life combat situations. There is no better way of knowing how weapons/systems will actually perform than actually using them in anger. As for upgrading the Fulcrums, bear in mind that from 'Day One', the RMAF never wanted the Fulcrums!! It was Mahathir's descision....

Prasun has a pretty good command of BM, after all, here was here in Malaysia for more than a decade :].

Nevidimka said...

I would not say the final straw to justify the weapons being effective just because they were used in combat. Saying that, russia did test their weapons when they were involved in the Afghanistan conflict, Chechnya and the recent Gerogia conflict, not to say their weapons designers are designing them blindly.
Regarding the Mig29 upgrade, I dont think it matters now weather the RMAF wanted them in the first place or not. Its a cheap upgrade to brign the planes in line with being top line multirole at the same time eliminating its drawbacks and reding its life cycle cost. Its a win win situation for RMAF considering they dont have the money for anythign right now, and according to the russians, the Malaysian delegation will be visiting Russia in the summer to evaluate the UPG upgrade programme.
Also I suspected he knew malay when he could spell the malay words correctly..lol.

F said...

Nevidimka,

I was referring to air to air/air to ground ordnance that is offered with the Su-30 - compared to was it offered for U.S made fast movers. The R-77, KH-31, [to mention just a few] have impressive paper specs but have not been fired in anger]. And off course the real test of any system is how it performs in actual combat. There is a profound difference between simulations, live tests and actual usage in real life situations.

As for the Fulcrum, the point I was trying to make is that the RMAF is not interested in any upgrades, never was and will not lobby for an upgrade. In 1997 we got an offer to upgrade the Fulcrums to SMT standard, we were not interested. Whilst theRMAF would welcome funding for an additionnal 6 MKMs, it does not want anything with a ''Made In Russia'' tag.

BTW, I'm STURM in 'DT'.

Nevidimka said...

Back when SMT was offered, the gov was probably still dreaming of a big ticket purchase, but now, the reality has sunk in, and it looks like they dont have the funds anymore.
According to this article, the malaysian delegation is interested in the UPG upgrade, and will be sending people over to evaluate it this summer.

http://rbth.asia/business/2013/03/29/lima_2013_indonesia_to_set_up_maintenance_centre_for_russian_aircraf_45643.html

Oh ic, and I'm Nevidimka in DT.. hehe

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: Right up to 2009 the MiG-29Ns could fire only the R-27Rs & R-27Ts which were quite formidable at that time, especially when fired concurrently against opposing hostiles. What had happened was that the initial MiG-29Ns were equipped with the older Phazotron NO-10 monopulse pulse-Doppler radar that could detect & track only one airborne target & by 2001 these were all replaced by the Topaz-M radar that could detect & track four airborne targets simultaneously. At the same time, the original RD-33s with 350-hr MTBF were replaced with newer versions of the RD-33 with 700-hour MTBF—all this being told to me by the former Panglima of RMAF/TUDM Tan Sri Abdul Gnani Abdul Aziz. R-27Rs & R-27Ts along with R-73Es were used in actual combat by the Ethiopians & Eritreans during the early & mid-1990s by Ethiopian Su-27s flown by Russian mercenary pilots & Eritrean MiG-29s flown by Ukrainian mercenary pilots. But yes, it is true that the RMAF/TUDM never wanted MiG-29s (15 Mi-35Ps were also part of the original Russian offer as part of the MiG-29 package) & was in favour of having an all F/A-18C/D fleet from the outset. The RMAF/TUDM never even wanted the Hawk Mk208s.

To NEVIDIMKA: The existing MiG-29Ns, which are capable of only air superiority missions, can become potent MRCAs if the MiG-29UPG upgrade package is chosen, since this package is much better than the original MiG-29SMT package. However, the RMAF/TUDM should not make the same mistake as done by the IAF, i.e. select the Phazotron Zhuk-M2E multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar. Instead, the RMAF/TUDM ought to specify the Phazotron Zhuk-AE AESA-based multi-mode radar for installation. That will bring the MiG-29UPG on par with the RAAF’s F/A-18F Super Hornets as far as air superiority goes.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS & NEVIDIMKA: By the way, just be careful about what comes out from the mouth of Viktor Komardin, deputy head of the Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport. Back in 2007 when I was in the departure hall of the airport in Langkawi, I met Komardin & asked him what were the prospects of Russia winning the Nuri replacement contract (by that we all knew that the EC-725 Cougar would bag the deal). To my utter surprise, this chap proudly stated that Russia would not only bag the Nuri replacement contract, but would also win similar contracts for supplying additional Mi-17s to the Bomba & the Army Aviation Corps. When I conveyed this to the local Malaysian agents for Rosoboronexport & Kazan Helicopter Plant, even they stated that they always shuddered to the point of embarrassment at the brazen over-condidence displayed by Komardin!
BTW, first the RMAF/TUDM & then the TNI-AU both flirted with the idea of ordering spares for Su-27s & Su-30s from China & when it did not yield any results, they both had no other choice but to revert back to Rosoboronexport State Corp. Now, it seems someone is leading the Indons down the garden path by promising the moon from Russia in the form of new-generation weapons & dedicated MRO centres. However, as we all know now, the TNI-AL’s first & last launch of the Yakhont failed to hit its intended target in 2010 & the remaining three Yakhonts are now rotting in Surabaya.

F said...

Prasun,

In the Ehttopia/Eritria war, the Alamo did not perform well. Whether this was due to the age of the missiles or its design is unclear. The first air to air kill of a Fulcrum was by a Cuban example which destroyed a Cessna, but the missile might have been an Aphid.

The Russians over the years have been making a lot of false claims. In tha late 1990's they claimed that Malaysia had ordered a follow batch of Fulcrums and more recently they claim that Malaysia is ''interested'' in the PAF FA!!!

Yes the Chief of RMAF mentioned about 3 years ago that there was interest in obtaning ''help'' from China but as the spares are not from the OEM, in event of a crash, who is liable?

With regards to an upgraded RMAF Fulcrum, what will really bring it on par with RAAF Super Hornets is when the RMAF gets a common data link and an AEW platform. IMO, the Fulcrums should be binned and the surviving 16 Hawk 200s should get an AESA and a new avionics package.

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