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Thursday, May 2, 2013

What China Really Wants And Why

Obviously China is in breach of all the agreed-upon confidence-building measures (CBM) that have been inked with India since 1993. Everyone knows that only too well. However, what has not yet been reported is what exactly has so far gone on during the three flag-meetings at Chushul off Spanggur Gap between Indian Army (IA) officials and their People’s Liberation Army (PLA) counterparts. Information has come in bits and pieces and the ‘desi’ press corps’ penchant for splashing out ‘BREAKING NEWS’ has only caused further confusion among the masses. Here is what really happened over the past two weeks:
Unlike the Indian system under which military officials are not authorised to raise or discuss political issues, the PLA is authorised to do so, since the foremost decision-making body of China on national security is the Central Military Commission (CMC). Once the CMC gives the go-ahead, all organs of the government, be it civilian or military, fall in line and speak with one voice. Unfortunately in India, this has never been the case and therefore, instead of politico-military diplomacy taking place (i.e. either the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CCSC) or the yet-to-be-appointed Chief of the Defence Staff leading all negotiations with his Chinese counterparts), one is today witnessing the sad spectacle of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs taking the lead in discussions and negotiations on subjects it has no expertise or proficiency. Making matters worse is the fact that not even once has India's Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) asked the CCSC for a full-fledged briefing on the theatre-wide options and countermeasures available. 
THIS IS A FUNDAMENTAL COMMUNICATIONS-BASED DISCONNECT that is now working against India. For instance, while the Senior Colonel (a political commissar) representing the PLA contingent at the Flag Meetings over the past two weeks freely and openly raised political issues, his Indian counterpart, an IA Brigadier, was aghast and speechless simply because he had never been exposed to such negotiating tactics and procedures anywhere else within India. What the PLA’s Senior Colonel said was that despite China’s repeated requests for the past two years at the highest levels (i.e. Defence Minister-level) to India to conclude a comprehensive package of CBMs dealing directly with a freezing of military force-levels on both sides, China's Ministry of National Defence (MND) is of the view that India not only continues to drag its feet regarding progress on such issues, but is also undertaking hectic military force expansion activities all along the LAC for no meaningful reason, and that too at a time when China has never undertaken any such India-specific military activity.
For India, it will be extremely difficult to come up with meaningful counter-explanations because, rather stupidly, when India began upgrading her transportation infrastructure in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, they were all labelled as being military-specific and that too targetted against China. At no stage did anyone in India even think about relating such efforts to the spill-over effects that would be of enormous benefit to the resident civilian populace in these states. Exactly the opposite holds true for China within the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), where, officially, mega-projects on transportation infrastructure have been launched and completed since the 1990s primarily for spurring regional economic growth and promotion of international tourism. Whatever military-specific infrastructure developments that have been undertaken thus far by the PLA within TAR, is therefore defined as being the ‘minimum required for protecting China’s economic investments within TAR’.  
China’s India-Specific Ground Forces For Aksai Chin
The PLA has, since the late 1990s, raised 23 customised, Brigade-sized rapid-reaction forces (RRF, or kuaisu fanyin budui), also better known as ‘Resolving Emergency Mobile Combat Forces (REMCF), three of which can be deployed anywhere within the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) within a 15-day period. The peacetime staging areas for these heliborne REMCFs are located within TAR at Hoping, Pangta, Kong Ka, Lhasa Nage Huka, Ali, Naqu, Lokha and Shigatse. To support the rapid deployment of its REMCFs anywhere within southwestern TAR, the PLA in 2007 completed the construction of two major heli-bases and a massive ELINT/SIGINT station in Aksai Chin to conduct early-warning and border surveillance missions that could, potentially, threaten Indian Army positions in Sub-sector North and Sub-sector West and the Saltoro Range. The two heli-bases are the biggest in the world at 16,000 feet and could accommodate up to 100 medium-lift air-mobility helicopters, light armed aeroscouts and attack helicopters at a time. Added to this is the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF) ability to deploy within TAR a Division-sized rapid-reaction formation drawn from its 15th Airborne Army. The 15th Airborne also includes elements of the PLAAF’s 13th Transport Division, and is directly under the CMC’s control (and not under the PLA’s General Staff Department).
While the 15th Airborne, under the PLAAF’s operational control, can be deployed anywhere on China’s peripheries within 10 hours of mobilisation, and would be used for independent strategic missions, limited power projection and deep strike manoeuvrability (for occupying strategic points in the enemy’s rear, destroying the enemy’s key communications infrastructure  hubs, and prevent hostile supporting forces from reaching the front). In addition, adequate air-assault assets like Mi-171E, Mi-17V-5 and Z-8KA utility helicopters have been inducted into the TMD to ensure the simultaneous transportation of up to three special operations ‘Fist’ Battalions (each with 1,200 troops) that are trained to fight behind enemy lines, and engage in sabotage, reconnaissance and other unconventional operations.
Strategically, the airborne troops are considered to be a reserve force, yet in tactical terms they can be deployed as an advance force. As of early 2012, it can also be reconstituted as an air-mobile REMCF, after the CMC raised a special command, known as the National Defence Mobilisation Commission (NDMC)—to coordinate civilian assets in air, land and sea transportation during both peacetime and wartime. On March 26, 2012 the NDMC demonstrated its readiness with a strategic mobilisation exercise involving the deployment of a few thousand troops of the 15th Airborne to TAR. While the PLA has conducted massive airlifts before, most noticeably in March 1989 to Lhasa and in June 1989 to Beijing, this was the first time that civilian airliners were used to transport both men and material (like the ZBD-03/ZLC-2000 airborne ICVs belonging to the 134th Regiment of the 45th Division of the 15th Airborne) to TAR. However, the premier formation responsible for leading san offensive ground campaign against India in Aksai Chin is the Xinjiang-based 6th Highland Mechanised Infantry Division (the PLA’s first fully Mechanised Infantry Division to be deployed for high-altitude warfare).
The Xinjiang Military District controls formations like 4 Highland Motorised Infantry Division (and its 52 & 53 Mountain Infantry Brigades), 6 Highland Mechanised Infantry Division, 8 Infantry Division, 11 Highland Motorised Infantry Division in the trans-Karakoram Tract, 1 Independent Regiment, 2 Independent Regiment, 2 Artillery Brigade, one AAA Brigade, 3 Helicopter Regiment, and 9 Engineer Regiment. On March 17, 2010 the PLA for the first time in its history deployed MBTs in the Tibet Military District, or TMD, these being ZTZ-96G MBTs, accompanied by Type 86G ICVs, which are with the 12th Armoured Division of the 21st Group Army (GA) under the Lanzhou MR. Overall, it is estimated that the PLA can mobilise (within three weeks), deploy and sustain up to three Division-sized formations for conducting a single-theatre campaign in Aksai Chin.
The TMD commands formations like the 52 Mountain Brigade, 53 Mountain Brigade, 54 Mountain Brigade, a Signals Regiment, plus the 9 Border Defence Regiment, 10 Border Defence Regiment, 11 Border Defence Regiment and 12 Border Defence Regiment, all spread over the Military Sub-Districts of Shannan, Shigatse and Nyingchi. 12 BDR is opposite Tawang.
Supplementing the ZTZ-96G MBTs (which will be used for defensive blocking operations inside TAR) are about 120 ZTZ-99A1 medium tanks, which will be used primarily for limited-in-depth offensive operations in areas facing eastern Ladakh. The ZTZ-99A1s arrived in TAR by rail in mid-2012.  
The structure of the 6th Highland Mechanised Infantry Division follows the standard PLA triangular organisation, comprising three mechanised infantry or armoured Platoons to a Company, three Companies to a Battalion, three Battalions to a Brigade and three Brigades to a Division. The Division comprises three Mechanised Infantry Brigades, one MBT Brigade (equipped with ZTZ-96G), one Field Artillery Brigade equipped with SH-1 155mm/52-calibre motorised self-propelled guns, plus WS-2D, WS-3 and PHL-03 300mm MBRLs (the 400mm WS-2D has a range of 400km, and one payload features three “killer unmanned aerial vehicles, while the 200km-range WS-3 uses navigation satellite guidance to achieve a 50-metre/164 feet circular error probable), one AAA Brigade, one Helicopter Regiment, and a Logistics Brigade. The Division HQ comprises a Combat Engineer Battalion, an EW Battalion, a NBC Defence Battalion, the Company-size Division HQ Staff, an integral air-defence unit equipped with FN-6 VSHORADS, and a quick-reaction Infantry Company.
There are a total of 351 Type 86G ICVs in this Division (to be replaced in future by the ZSD-89), which are supported by a Field Artillery Brigade of 20 P-50 tracked 122mm MBRLs and 52 PLZ-07 122mm tracked howitzers, and a MBT Battalion of 99 ZTZ-96Gs. Type 89 tracked armoured command vehicles are liberally provided throughout the Division down to the Company-level to provide command-and-control capabilities. The Type 86G ICV sports a one-man universal turret containing a 30mm chain gun. The turret also has greater depression and elevation to enable individual windows and mountainsides to be engaged. The Battalion’s Fire-Support Company includes one Mortar Platoon (armed with 10 W-99 82mm mortars mounted on 4 x 4 vehicles and to be replaced in future by PLZ-05A tracked 120mm breech-loading mortar carrier), an automatic grenade launcher (AGL) Platoon with two 4 x 4 vehicles each equipped with two QLZ-04 35mm AGLs, one ATGM Platoon of two WZ-91 4 x 4 armoured vehicles each armed with eight HJ-9 ATGMs. There are 18 WZ-91s in each Brigade, providing 72 anti-tank guided missile launchers in the Division.
There is also an AAA Platoon of three PGZ-04As that are also armed with four FN-6 VSHORADS launchers missiles per vehicle for a total of 12. The Division has 27 motorised air-defence vehicles and has 108 VSHORADS launchers that come under the operational control of the AAA Brigade, which includes one Battalion of 24 towed 57mm anti-aircraft guns and one Battalion of 18 towed twin 35mm PG-99 ‘Giant Bow’ anti-aircraft guns, PGZ-04A tracked gun/missile systems, Yi Tian SHORADS, LY-60D SHORADS and HQ-12/KS-1A MR-SAMs. An Air-Defence Platoon of six PGZ-04As and one Yi Tian firing unit are attached to the Field Artillery Brigade. The Helicopter Regiment has with one attack squadron of six Harbin Z-9WE helicopters and one transport squadron of six Mi-17V-5 utility/air-assault helicopters.
Operational logistics are provided assets that are attached to the REMCFs as required. The 8 x 8 and 4 x 4 all-terrain vehicles and weapons (built by NORINCO, Yongkang ADBTEV Vehicle Co Ltd in Zhejiang, Chongqing Yonghui Technology Development Co Ltd, Chongqing Jinguan High-Technology Group, and Shaanxi Baoji Special Vehicles Manufacturing Co Ltd) are much lighter than those in other PLA Army mechanised units, reducing their logistical footprint and providing tactical mobility, allowing for more roads and bridges to be used during operations. In addition, a wide range of wheeled light specialist vehicles have been inducted into service. These vehicles can be armed with weapons that include the NDM-86 7.62mm sniper rifle, PF-98A 120mm RCL, PF-89A 80mm RCL, QJG-02 12.7mm HMG, Type 88 5.8mm sniper rifle, QBU-09/Type 89 12.7mm sniper rifle, and the QLZ-04/Type 91 35mm AGL.
Long-range artillery fire-support for these formations will be provided by the PLA Army’s NLOS-BSMs, which have been stockpiled in both Xinjiang and Aksai Chin. To date, 13 tunnels dug into the mountains have been built at Xiadulla, 98km from the Karakoram Pass between Ladakh and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, while another similar NLOS-BSM storage facility is located at Qizil Jilga, 40km off the LAC in eastern Ladakh near the Western Tibet highway 219. It is believed that the NLOS-BSMs located in these areas will be employed against the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) existing air bases and Advanced Landing Grounds (ALG) in both Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
NLOS-BSMs of Chinese origin are presently being marketed by two state-owned entities: China National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corp (CPMIEC), and Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co Ltd (ALIT). The latter’s latest product is the P-20. Capable of striking targets between 70km and 270km, the all-weather capable M-20, with a Mach 3 cruise speed, comes armed with both a 200kg unitary high-explosive (HE) blast-fragmentation warhead for engaging high-value and time-sensitive targets, as well as a sub-kiloton yield tactical nuclear warhead. Two P-20s housed inside cannisters are mounted on a 8 x 8 transporter/erector/launcher (TEL). For navigation purposes, use is made of a RLG-INS coupled to a GPS receiver (for receiving high-accuracy navigational updates in secure PY-code from China’s ‘Beidou’ constellation of GPS satellites), and an infra-red sensor for terminal homing that gives the missile a CEP of less than 10 metres.
CPMIEC’s 2-tonne B-611M missile is designed to attack supply lines, warehouses, ballistic/cruise missile launch sites, SAM batteries, command-and-control centres, air bases, road/railway transportation hubs, and area targets in urban surroundings. Armed with a 480kg HE warhead, the B-611M has 280km range. Up to two cannister-mounted B-611Ms can be carried by a wheeled TEL. Another NLOS-BSM from CPMIEC is the P-12, which made its public debut in November 2006. Up to two P-12s are carried in an enclosed compartment mounted on a 6 x 6 TEL. The P-12 has a range of 150km, and it comes armed with either a 300kg HE blast fragmentation warhead, or a cluster warhead containing 19 anti-armour sub-munitions. Both the B-611M and P-12 have a CEP of about 2 metres when using a RLG-INS coupled to a GPS receiver, plus an optronic sensor for terminal homing. CPMIEC’s latest NLOS-BSM offering is the vertically-launched joint attack rocket & missile (JARM) system, which can fire both the 280km-range BP-12A and the 200km-range SY-400 from a common launch platform. The JARM, which made its public debut in November 2010, makes use of combined GPS-RLG-INS navigation systems to achieve a CEP of 3 metres  A typical JARM Battery comprises ten 8 x 8 TELs housing either 80 SY-400s or 20 BP-12As, or a combination of both.
For providing localised air-defence for these NLOS-BSM launch sites, the PLA last year began deploying 40km-range LY-80E MR-SAM Batteries along with the LD-2000 SPAAG.
In recent years, China has built and converted two large dual-use airports near the Sino-Indian border. Shigatse Pingan airport, 3,782 metres above sea level, has been operational since October, 2010, while Ngari Gunsa Airport—serving the town of Shiquanhe in Ngari Prefecture, is only 90km away from the northern section of Aksai Chin. It became operational on July 1, 2010, becoming the fourth civil airport in Tibet after Lhasa, Nyingchi, and Qamdo airports. Situated at 14,022 feet above sea level, Gunsa Airport enjoys the best takeoff and landing conditions of TAR. The runway length is 4,500 metres.

PLAAF elements falling under the Lanzhou MR include the Yinchuan AB-based 6 Fighter Division with 16 (Su-27SKs and Su-27UBKs), 17, 18 and 139 Air Regiments; Wulumuqi AB-based 37 Fighter Division comprising 109 (J-8Fs at Changji), 110 (Urumqi South) and 111 (with J-11s at Korla-Xinhiang) Air Regiments; and Wugong AB-based 36 Bomber Division with its 106, 107 (Lintong) and 108 (Wugong) Air Regiments, and the 93942 AAA Missile Brigade.
Shigatse is now being upgraded into Tibet’s first all-weather air base capable of sustaining high-intensity offensive air sorties, and is now protected by the JL-3D-90A long-range airspace surveillance radar, a Battery of LY-80E MR-SAMs and a combination of FN-6 MANPADS, LD-2000 point-defence systems, and SmartHunter low-probability-of-intercept radars. During hostilities, Shigatse, falling under the Lanzhou MR, could also receive reinforcements from the Yinchuan AB-based 6 Fighter Division with 16 (Su-27SKs and Su-27UBKs), 17, 18 and 139 Air Regiments; Wulumuqi AB-based 37 Fighter Division comprising 109 (J-8Fs at Changji), 110 (Urumqi South) and 111 (with J-11s at Korla-Xinhiang) Air Regiments; and Wugong AB-based 36 Bomber Division with its 106, 107 (Lintong) and 108 (Wugong) Air Regiments, and the 93942 AAA Missile Brigade.
PLAAF elements deployed in 2011 Shigatse air base between August and November, these being six Su-27SKs and three Su-27UBKs from the Chengdu MR’s Chongqing/Baishiyi-based 33 Fighter Division’s with 98 and 99 Air Regiments, and three J-10s from the Mengzi-based 44 Fighter Division’s 131 Air Regiment (based in Luliang). While some of the Su-27SKs engaged in defensive counter-air sorties, others were armed with 122mm S-13 and 266mm S-25 air-to-ground rockets for straffing runs. The J-10s on the other hand were armed with PL-11 beyond-range and PL-8 within-visual-range air combat missiles for air superiority taskings, and also took part in daytime precision strikes by dropping LT-2 laser-guided bombs (LGB), which were guided to their targets in both daytime and at night by man-portable laser target designators. And in another first for the PLAAF, a detachment of four J-10 MRCAs from 131 Air Regiment began a two week-long deployment at Shigatse starting January 2, 2012, during which tactical airspace dominance exercises were conducted in coordination with the PLAAF’s ground-based airspace surveillance radar stations deployed within the TMD. And in February 2012, a detachment of four J-10s from the 131 Air Regiment practiced the dropping of LT-2 LGBs (which were guided to their targets in both daytime and at night by man-portable laser target designators) and gravity bombs.
Since all types of combat aircraft to be operated over Tibet have to fly at the critical limit of their respective flight envelopes with reduced safety margins, and since the unpredictable weather there calls for a high level of flying skills (veteran pilots’ oft-repeated warning is: “you can take chances with the hills, you can take chances with the weather, but it is suicidal to take chances with the weather and the hills at the same time”.), it will be interesting to see in future whether:

1) The 106, 107 and 108 Air Regiments are equipped with newly-built H-6K bombers that are capable of launching CJ-10K air-launched cruise missiles.

2) The PLAAF deploys its H-6U aerial refuelling tankers in support of its future periodic deployments of Su-27SKs and J-10s (each of which are equipped with four external fuel tanks during their ferry flights and two during battlefield air interdiction sorties) to Shigatse.

3) The PLAAF accelerates the development of conformal fuel tanks for its J-10s.

Regarding land-based transportation infrastructure, there are three highways that presently link with Lhasa:
1) The 1,154km central highway connects Gormo with Lhasa by a Class 50 road, which has a capacity to transport 3,320-tonne load each day. This highway remains closed for an average 40 days a year on account of bad weather. A railway line between Gormo and Lhasa has since been completed and it has 34 stations and can transport a 600-tonne load each day.
2) A 1,080km oil pipeline between Gormo and Lhasa has a designed capacity to deliver 5,00,000 tonnes of oil annually.
3) The eastern highway from the Chengdu MR to Lhasa is a 3,105km-long Class 18 road, which remains closed for an average 90 days each year, and has a capacity to transport 800 tonne-loads each day.
4) The 3,105km western highway is a Class 18 to Class 50 road and runs northwards along the LAC about 150km in-depth towards Leh. This highway is closed for about 60 days annually, has many well-built feeder roads towards India’s side, and can transport up to 800-tonne loads daily.
India’s Build-Up
If one were to compare the terrain on the LAC’s two sides in Aksai Chin, the terrain on the Chinese side is flat and open, whereas on India’s side the terrain friction is very high. The extreme cold, broken terrain and fast changing weather on the LAC plays havoc with electronic equipment. Tactical net radios in the HF/VHF/SHF ranges work erratically, seizure of equipment and weapons due to cold arrest is common, while siting of equipment is a problem in terrain where visibility is poor and unpredictable. However, India’s field artillery assets have an edge over those of the PLA, as the latter suffers from across-the-board restricted high-angle capability, considering that up to 90% of artillery targetting is with high angle fire. The infantry firepower with direct-fire application compares favourably with both sides. The rough mountainous terrain will force both sides to use anti-tank recoilless guns, rocket propelled grenades, LAWs, flamethrowers and automatic grenade launchers in direct-fire application during advance as the field artillery’s mass would lag behind or get diluted because of inadequate deployment space. IA commanders would be forced to either allot troops to guard rear-logistics maintenance areas or emplace corps reserves nearby.
To appreciate the critical role played by the IAF's enhanced aerial logistics capabilities, one has to understand the operational-level posture of the Indian Army’s Leh-based III Infantry Division, which has committed forces against Pakistan for the Siachen area of operations, and Sub-Sector North (SSN) against China, stretching from DBO to Demchok—a frontage of 1,150km. Supplementing the Division’s three Brigades (with the 102 Brigade being deployed solely for Siachen and the remaining two Brigades being earmarked for support and back-up) are five Battalions of the ITBP(F), Vikas Battalion and Ladakh Scouts that are thinly spread. As a consequence, there are no Army reserve forces available at SSN and what further complicates matters is that SSN as a whole has not road connectivity. Therefore, the deployed troops undertake foot patrols in batches of 15 or 20 and have often come across intruding patrols of the PLA’s Border Defence Regiments (BDR), with each such patrol comprising up top 400 personnel riding on all-terrain wheeled vehicles. And when a faceoff ensues, the Indian Army along with the ITBP(F) and Ladakh Scouts are strictly forbidden to enter into any verbal or armed altercations, and instead seek a flag meeting of the respective sector commanders. And when this happens, no cohesive, coordinated or united response is forthcoming from the Indian side, since the Indian Army reports to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the ITBP(F) reports to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Such administrative mis-matches notwithstanding, the Indian Army and the IAF have, since 2003, devised several innovative measures for the flexible switching or redeployments of combat assets throughout the northern theatre of operations facing Aksai Chin. 
It was in mid-2003 that a solitary Su-30MKI did trial-landings at the IAF’s Leh (located at 10,680 feet ASL and having a 9,000 feet-long runway) and Srinagar air bases. This was preceded by the Su-30MKI pilots during a few route-check flights and runway overshoots with MiG-29B-12s to familiarise themselves with the overall sortie pattern, weather conditions and the operating terrain. It was only after this that four Su-30MKIs from the Barielly-based No24 Squadron along with eight pilots landed at Leh on September 16, 2008 (in two phases of four each) for a 10 day-long deployment that also saw the Su-30MKIs each logging up to four training sorties per day and also doing overshoots of the runways at Srinagar and Thoise air base (located 10,066 feet ASL and hosting a 10,000 feet-long runway). Thoise is the acronym for Transit Halt of Indian Soldiers Enroute. Prior to this historic deployment, was another pathbreaking achievement on May 31, 2008 when after a 44-year break, an IAF An-32B tactical transport aircraft landed on the 2.3km-long sandy airstrip (now lengthened to 3km) at the 12,037 feet-high ALG in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) in the sub-sector north (SSN) area of Ladakh at 6.17am. This was followed by another An-32B landing at the refurbished ALG at Fukche (at 14,200 feet ASL) on September 24, 2008, with the Nyoma ALG, south of Chushul, at 13,400 feet ASL being activated on September 18, 2008. The 3,400 feet-long ALG at Dharasu at an altitude of 2,950 feet in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi hills bordering China was made operational in the second half of 2010 without much fanfare. All these ALGs facing the LAC will by 2015 have a 3km runway length and will be used for aerial logistics support for the deployed ITBP(F), Vikas Battalions, Ladakh Scouts, and for the now-being raised independent armoured brigade (to be composed of one mechanised infantry regiment and two armoured regiments) for the Karu-based 3rd Infantry Division under XIV Corps) to cover the flat approaches from Tibet towards India’s crucial defences at Chushul.
India’s trumpcard, however, remains the IAF’s vastly superior offensive airpower projection capabilities, which include the following:
1) The IAF’s air bases in Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh enable its Su-30MKIs and MiG-29UPGs (plus the Mirage 2000UPGs, Tejas Mk1s  and re-engined Jaguar IS/DARIN-3 in future) to takeoff with their maximum permissible weapons payloads and enter Chinese airspace by stealth by utilising their terrain-masking capabilities—something not possible to be achieved by the PLAAF due to the flat terrain at much higher altitudes prevailing within TAR.
2) The PLAAF lacks the IAF’s experience (since 1999) of undertaking sustained high-altitude offensive air campaigns.
3) The IAF presently possesses superior intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities, thanks to the usage by the Su-30MKI of ELTA Systems-supplied ELM-2060P SAR pods and their ground-based real-time and land-mobile imagery exploitation stations, plus the RAFAEL Advanced Defence Systems-supplied RecceLite pods (meant for Su-30MKIs) and their related ground-based imagery exploitation stations.
4) Most critically, none of the PLAAF’s combat aircraft have on-board oxygen generation systems (OBOGS), the consequence of this being the Su-27SKs, Su-30MKKs and J-10s will either be forced to fly at medium altitudes not exceeding 14,000 feet, or fly for very limited durations at higher altitudes due to the very limited number of compressed liquid oxygen bottles that each such aircraft can carry. The IAF’s Su-30MKIs, MiG-29UPGs, Mirage 2000UPGs, Tejas Mk1s, Jaguar IS/DARIN-3s and Rafales, on the other hand, will suffer from no such restrictions since all of them have to will have integral OBOGS installations produced by Larsen & Toubro. Consequently, during dissimilar air combat engagements—both within visual range and beyond visual range—the Su-30MKIs, even without airborne battle management cues being provided by A-50I PHALCON platforms, will, with the help of ground-controlled intercept (GCI) cues, be easily be able to outperform and outmanoeuvre any of the PLAAF’s existing combat aircraft assets.    
5) The PLAAF has been able thus far to deploy its KJ-2000 AEW & CS platforms to only Lhasa-Gonggar Airport with little success, meaning the KJ-2000 has been discovered to suffer from endurance deficiencies and the PLAAF has therefore concluded that instead of the KJ-2000, the smaller turboprop-powered ZDK-03 AEW & CS platforms would be more suitable for deployment throughout TAR, but ONLY IF their engines are uprated and their cabin pressurisation systems are upgraded as well--tasks that are unlikely to be completed before 2016. 

6) Finally, the PLA's existing range of tactical UAVs, including the ASN-229A, have been found out to have very limited endurance levels when flying above-ground-level, and are totally not flightworthy over Aksai Chin. Efforts are now underway to develop the CH-4B MALE-UAV version of the existing CH-4A Wing Loong Pterodactyl UCAV in order to overcome such tactical airborne reconnaissance and surveillance limitations. By 2017, the PLAAF plans to induct into service the turbofan-powered Xianglong Soar Dragon HALE-UAV for dedicated reconnaissance and surveillance missions over northwestern TAR. 
Challenges For The Eastern Front
The PLA’s Chengdu MR comprises the Chongqing-based 13 Group Army (GA), Kunming-based 14 GA, and the Tibet Military District (TMD). 13 GA comprises 2 Army Aviation Regiment in Chengdu (flying Mi-171Es, Mi-17V-5s, S-70C-2 Black Hawks, Z-8Ws and Z-9WEs), 37 Mechanised Infantry Division (in early March 2011, the 1st Tank Battalion of the 348th Mechanised Infantry Regiment of this Division commissioned the ZTZ-96G MBT into its ORBAT, marking it the third Type 96G MBT-equipped unit in the western mountainous region opposite northeastern India), 149 Highland Mechanised Infantry Division at Emei in Sichuan, one Artillery Brigade, one Armoured Brigade (with a Battalion of ZTZ-96G MBTs and two Battalions of Type 86G ICVs), one AAA Brigade, one Special Operations Group (‘Falcons of Southwest’), a Combat Engineering Regiment, a Signals Regiment, and one EW Regiment. The TMD commands formations like the 52 Mountain Brigade (equipped with a Battalion of ZTZ-96G MBTs and two Battalions of Type 86G ICVs), 53 Mountain Brigade, 54 Mountain Brigade, a Signals Regiment, plus the 9 Border Defence Regiment, 10 Border Defence Regiment, 11 Border Defence Regiment and 12 Border Defence Regiment, all spread over the Military Sub-Districts of Shannan, Shigatse and Nyingchi. PLAAF elements falling under the Chengdu MR include the Chongqing-based 33 Fighter Division (95661 Unit) with its 97, 98 (Su-27SKs and UBKs at Chongqing-Baishiyi AB) and 99 Air Regiments; Mengzi-based 44 Fighter Division with its 130, 131 (based in Luliang with J-10) and 132 Air Regiments, and the Lhasa Command Post (39177 Unit).
To realise its strategic objectives at the operational-level, the PRC has, for the past two decades, placed heavy emphasis on ensuring superior border management, border dominance via military means, and create superior transportation and logistics infrastructure throughout the TAR. Special attention has been paid to operational logistics, as a result of which several innovative solutions have been implemented for sustaining high-tempo but limited duration (not more than 14 days) integrated land campaigns along the eastern sector of the LAC. For instance, the TMD hosts six ‘Logistics Brigades’ that are responsible for stockpiling and supplying war-wastage expendables like food, ammunition and fuel/lubricants, with up to two Brigades being attached to a Group Army (Corps-sized formation). Secondly, unlike India, which has four separate Army Commands that are expected to conducts their respective ground campaigns simultaneously against the TAR, the TMD functions as a single integrated command with its integral components hailing from the PLAAF, from the Chengdu MR and Lanzhou MR, and the 2nd Artillery Corps. In peacetime, the TMD plays host to six motorised PLA Army Divisions in-depth, out of which two Divisions can be mobilised within 48 hours for internal security, civilian pacification and humanitarian relief operations. In addition, there are six Divisions of the PLA’s infantry-centric Border Defence Regiment (BDR), and eight independent BDR Battalions that are deployed along the LAC and provided with integral infrastructure construction and tactical air transport assets. For instance, opposite Sikkim, China has three Companies (350 troops) of its BDR, though it has accommodation facilities for seven Battalions in the same area. There is also enough stockpiled equipment for the BDRs to construct black-top roads at a speed of 45km within 90 days. On the other hand, the Brigade-strength 2 BDR Regiment facing Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, which is located 40km away at Tsona Dzong, features several flat barren drop zones in-depth for Mi-171E and Mi-17V-5 utility helicopters in between its defensive positions. Overall, it is estimated that the PLA can mobilise (within three weeks), deploy and sustain three Highland Mechanised Infantry Divisions (having their peacetime locations in the eastern half of the TAR), plus a 15,000-strong airborne Division hailing from the PLAAF—all for conducting a defensive theatre campaign comprising simultaneous engagement of a given attack frontage in its entire depth, lateral spread, encirclement from all directions, and achieving tactical air superiority inside TAR. While an Airborne Division, under the PLAAF’s operational control, can be deployed anywhere on China’s peripheries within 10 hours of mobilisation (as was the case during the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake), and could be used for independent limited power projection.
Overall, there are three distinct advantages that the PLA presently enjoys over India in the eastern sector: Firstly, nature favours the deployed PLA troops in the TAR, for unlike Indian troops which need to gradually acclimatise above the height of 10,000 feet to man forward defences and fight the PLA in the mountains (spending six days for Stage 1 at 10,000 feet, followed by four days for Stage 2 at 12,000 feet and four days for Stage 3 at 15,000 feet), the PLA forces on the TAR do not face such a problem and are always acclimatised. Secondly, considering that the TAR is open, flat, barren, and has a gradual gradient—all favouring mechanised operations—the PLA can easily deploy its armoured, mechanised and rocket artillery formations both in-depth and in a widely dispersed manner, thereby severely complicating and stretching India’s ISTAR assets. Furthermore, the Indian side of the LAC is always vulnerable to landslides, especially during the annual monsoons. Thirdly, the PLA’s BDRs enjoy a tremendous psychological advantage over their Indian counterparts. For unlike India’s defensive mindset-induced posture (which mandates that every inch of the LAC is to be held and defended at all costs), the BDRs are under no instructions to maintain 24/7 forward vigil. Consequently, BDR force-levels along the LAC are inversely proportional to those of their Indian counterparts, and the BDRs instead rely on state-of-the-art tactical networks of surveillance sensors like LORROS, battlefield surveillance radars, ground movement sensors and hand-held thermal imagers.
While it is indeed true that in some sectors along the LAC, the deployed Indian armed/paramilitary forces actually far outnumber their PLA counterparts, the principal problem is that of the acute lack of road/rail transportation infrastructure along most of the LAC (i.e. leading right up to the LAC) due to the indecisions of India’s Ministry of Environment & Forests, meaning that in times of crisis, rapid deployment of forces required for border domination will not be that rapid, since forward deployments will be heavily reliant on the IAF’s availability of its limited fleet of medium-lift utility helicopters that's available from its Central & Eastern Air Commands. No less than 60 Mi-17V-5s and CH-47F-type helicopters are required for full-time deployments with these two IAF Commands.   
When it comes to the dynamics of India-PRC politico-military relations, they are best evident in Sikkim, where India has the highest concentration of troops anywhere in the world against a virtually non-existent adversary. India’s entire XXXIII Corps and elements of Assam Rifles are pitted against meagre BDR detachments. In terms of numbers, India has allocated nearly 40,000 troops for Sikkim, of which 8,000 are now physically holding forward positions against about 400 BDR personnel located 20km away from the LAC. The Indian Army has thus adopted a defensive posture, with the unsaid political directive that every inch of Indian territory must be guarded. The consequent Indian military posture against China is to maintain full strategic defence with minor tactical offensive capabilities. Given the politico-operational compulsions, difficult terrain, and the PLA’s track record, it is clear that the Indian Army is doing an onerous task. Sikkim has an area of approximately 8,000sqkm, measuring 113km north to south, and 64km from east to west with heights rising up to 28,000 feet. Militarily, the state is divided into north and east Sikkim. Due to a central massif, north Sikkim is further divided into the Muguthang Valley in the west, the Kerang Plateau in the east, and north-east Sikkim. The Lachung, Lachen and Muguthang Valleys in north Sikkim prevent any lateral movement. Of the 14 passes along the 206km-long Sikkim-TAR border, six are all-weather, implying that these are open throughout the year. Three each of these passes are in north and east Sikkim, these being Kongra La, Bomcho La, Sese La, Nathu La (at 14,438 feet in east Sikkim), Batang La and Doka La. Unlike the passes in north-eastern and eastern Sikkim, the passes on the watershed border in north Sikkim are fairly wide and motorable. Being windswept, they remain relatively free from snow and are open throughout the year. The watershed and the adjoining Tibetan Plateau are devoid of any cover. The terrain in north and north-east Sikkim is more difficult, rugged and formidable, with the altitude rising suddenly and steeply (one can travel from 5,000 feet to 14,000 feet in just about 60km) than east Sikkim, where surface communications are better developed due to its proximity to the north Bengal plains. India’s 435km-long border with Nepal includes a 125km border between Nepal and Sikkim, of which about 50km is most inhospitable.
Sikkim’s strategic importance is thus underlined by the following facts:

1) It adjoins Tibet in the north and east, Bhutan in south east and Nepal in the west.

2) It provides depth to the Siliguri corridor, which is 180km by 75km, with the neck of the corridor being 20km. The corridor comprises four districts in West Bengal—Dinajpur, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. If China were to sever this corridor, probably with support from Bangladesh, India would lose contact with Assam and other north-eastern states.

3) It outflanks the Chumbi Valley of Tibet in the east. The width of the Valley in the north is 25km and tapers down to 4km in the south. The Chumbi Valley has well-defined roads and tracks, which terminate in passes. As the Valley has a restricted deployment area, it favours offensive operations. Towards the southern tip of the Valley, China snce 1993 has claimed the area of Doklam Plateau in West Bhutan.

4) It projects into the Tibetan plateau.
Given the strategic importance of Sikkim, the Indian Army has identified three levels of threats from the PLA. The first is PLA’s border management posture, which is wholeheartedly offensive in nature. With little territorial claims and designs in the TAR, the Indian Army has adopted a defensive border management posture, which has two elements: to hold those passes that are likely ingress routes round the year, and to undertake regular internal patrolling to ensure that there are no intrusions made by the adversary. For example, with the Singalia mountain range and huge massifs in west Sikkim, the PLA’s intrusions in the adjoining Muguthang Valley of north Sikkim will be resource- and logistics-intensive, and therefore are unlikely. However, in the Kerang Plateau, Giaogang and Dongkya La provide the key to the Lachen and Lachung Valleys. Therefore, the Indian Army has ensured by its presence that these launch-pads are denied to the PLA. Similarly, the threat in north-east Sikkim comes from Tangkya La, Phimkaru La and Gora La in the same order, as these provide the shortest routes to Chungthang, a prominent town on the North Sikkim Highway (NSH), which links up with Gangtok in the south. In the mountains, the likely ingress routes are along the rivers, which are the Teesta, running from north to south, and the Dongkya La Chu in north-east Sikkim. In east Sikkim, the Indian Army holds all passes except Jelap La, which is held by the BDR. However, the dominating shoulders of this pass are with the Indian Army.
According to the Indian Army, the PLA, as part of a short border war campaign, could launch a limited offensive to ensure the security of Chumbi Valley, or capture areas in north and north-east Sikkim to deny launch-pads to the Indian Army. This would require the PLA to deploy two Highland Mechanised Infantry Divisions. On the other hand, a theatre-level campaign aimed at severing the Siliguri corridor, and capturing the important towns of Gangtok, Rhenok, Rangpo or Siliguri, would require the PLA to commit 20 Divisions. Moreover, the PLA could capture areas in west Bhutan, which it has claimed since 1989. Even as such a scenario looks improbable in the foreseeable future, and it has been assessed that adequate warning (of at least two weeks) would be available before it materialises, there is unease over PLA’s border management posture, which could easily snowball into a localised threat. The Indian Army’s deployments in Sikkim are primarily meant to thwart such localised conflicts. Considering that the Govt of India would be extremely reluctant to open a military front against China, the PLA’s shenanigans in Sikkim, if not checked in time, could well become a political and diplomatic embarrassment. Moreover, as the PLA is known to have transgressed the LAC in nearby Arunachal Pradesh on many occasions, a determined action by the Indian Army there could encourage the PLA to open a second military front in Sikkim to release pressure. The XXXIII Corps HQ, therefore, has an added responsibility to monitor the development in the more active IV Corps HQ in Tezpur (which is Arunachal Pradesh-centric). The defensive operational taskings of XXXIII and IV Corps are thus intertwined. For this reason alone, suggestions that with limited military activity in Sikkim, the Army could dispense with XXXIII Corps HQ make little military sense.
All these apart, roads remain an endemic problem in Sikkim, which is compounded by the twin assault of weather and terrain. There is only one main artery, the National Highway 31A, that links Gangtok with Siliguri in north Bengal. Jawaharlal Nehru Marg (JNM), named after India’s first Prime Minister, who converted the dirt-track into a metalled road in 1958, connects Gangtok with Nathu La. Though single-lane roads, these two are the only ones which seem to resist the vagaries of weather. But movement on the JNM is impeded by heavy fog and low-hanging clouds, which in monsoons reduce visibility to less than 10 metres. The other crucial passes in the east are connected only through unmetalled roads. The sparsely-populated and vulnerable north Sikkim is connected through a North Sikkim Highway (NSH) from Gangtok to Giaogang via Chungthang, which is also the confluence of River Teesta and Lachung. From Chungthang another road goes east via the Lachung Valley towards Zadong in the Kerang plateau. Currently, the NSH is the only lifeline that connects Gangtok with north Sikkim and consequently the plateau region. Essentially a Class 30 road, militarily the weakest link on this is a Class 12 bridge. However, the weakest link on this road is the impact of weather, which renders the road non-existing in parts. Innumerable waterfalls and springs run across the road, which in monsoons make driving dangerous. Steep ascends and descends through sinking soil, shooting rocks and landslide-prone slopes and gushing streams make this road a nightmare even on a good day. To cheer the frazzled driver, the BRO and the state government has placed thoughtful messages all along the road: ‘You have seen the Niagara Falls, now drive through Myanchhu Falls’, ‘Tasted Coca Cola? Now see Lantha Khola,’ and so on. Lantha Khola, incidentally, is not a Sikkimese soft drink. It is a highly precarious stretch which was closed for traffic for 63 days in 2011 following severe slides. The problems are compounded by the fact that this is also a single-lane road, which implies that every time you see an oncoming vehicle, you have to either veer very close to the mountainside or balance precariously on the ridge side, hoping that the road does not sink below your tyres, to let the other vehicle go by. The responsibility of maintaining this road rests with the Indian Army, which is reluctant to invest too much money in it. It reasons that the lifespan of the road is over. Either it needs to be abandoned completely, or major reinforcements are required to make it motorable. To tide over the monsoon mania, the Indian Army has posted monsoon detachments all along the road, which carry out temporary clearing and repair work in case of a landslide or retrieve vehicles that slip down the edge. But these are temporary means, what the Army needs are solutions. Hence the Army has proposed to build an Alternative NSH, taking over the existing track from Singtam in south Sikkim to Dikshu and then to Sanglang. From Sanglang, the road goes towards Toong covering a distance of 42km, of which 30km is completed and after that it will culminate in Chhaten, about 70km short of the plateau, where the existing NSH finishes. The ambitious road-building project, however, is stuck at two places at the moment. The state government is reluctant to give up its stretch of Singtam and Dikshu to the Army as it plans to develop it on its own. Besides, beyond Toong, the road will have to traverse a few portions inside the Kanchenjunga Reserve Forest. Once the state government objected, the Army appealed in the Supreme Court, which directed the disputing parties to sort out the issue by carrying out joint surveys. But Sikkim is against the Alternate NSH and does not see any reason for that. A road has to be economically viable. Even today, there is hardly any traffic on the existing highway and the Army can easily repair that road, according to Sikkim. What neither says is that the alternative highway will probably not be open to civilian population, which is why it does not suit the state government. But if the Army were to repair and relay the existing road then it will also help tourism in north Sikkim. And therein hangs the road.
However, throughout the LAC in the North-East, the Indian Army’s field artillery scores over that of the PLA, since the latter suffers from across-the-board restricted high-angle capability considering that up to 90% of artillery targetting is with high-angle fire. The infantry firepower with direct-fire application compares favourably with both sides. The rough mountainous terrain will force both sides to use shoulder-launched recoilless guns, flamethrowers, shoulder-launched LAWs and AGLs in direct-fire application during a ground offensive, since as the field artillery’s firepower  mass would lag behind or get diluted due to inadequate deployment space. The Indian Army’s ground commanders would be forced to either allot troops to guard rear-logistics maintenance areas, or emplace Corps reserves nearby.
The PLA elements deployed opposite Arunachal Pradesh are drawn from the Kunming-based 14 GA (nicknamed Forest Tigers), which is part of the 2nd Field Army and specialises in jungle warfare. 14 GA comprises the 40 Specialised Jungle Infantry Division based in Dali/Yunnan that in turn comprises the 110 Motorised Infantry Regiment, 118, 119, and 120 Infantry Regiments, and the 18 Artillery Regiment; 31 Mechanised Infantry Division in Dali/Yunnan that includes the 307 AAA Regiment; 32 Motorised Infantry Division (this being a reserve formation); 49 Mechanised Infantry Division headquartered in Kaiyuan, Yunnan; 149 Highland Mechanised Infantry Division at Emei in Sichuan; the 4 Artillery Brigade headquartered in Kunming/Yunnan; one Armoured Brigade in Kunming along with one Engineering Regiment; one Communications Regiment; one Reconnaissance Unit; one Transportation Regiment; one EW Battalion; one NBC Battalion; and the People’s Armed Police’s 38 and 41 Divisions.
There are two main areas where the PLA’s Light Mechanised Infantry (LMR) differs from its Motorised Infantry:

1) Compared to the latter, the former enjoys increased overall mobility, especially enhanced air mobility, enabling rapid vertical envelopment over mountainous, jungle, and desert terrain.
2) Compared to the latter, the former has increased organic firepower.
In addition, command-and-control is another area where the LMR differs from other PLA Infantry Regiments. While the latter is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel, a Colonel commands the LMR. Each Battalion within the LMR has a large headquarters staff with PLAAF liaison officers, digital satellite telecommunications equipment (both manpack and vehicular for two-way voice/data transmission/reception), live-feeds of UAV imagery, and the unusual authority to make all tactical decisions. A small Regimental HQ exists for only administrative and logistics purposes. Within the LMR, tactical formations are task-organised Groups instead of the traditional 3 x 3 structured organisations. Groups are Battalion-sized formations assembled for a specific mission-tasking. Digital messaging in the form of ‘Call-for-Fire’ is standard norm, along with an automated situational awareness protocol. In a style of warfare where the ‘shock-and-awe effect’ really matters, the impact of an LMR overrunning hostile command-and-control nodes and logistics centres could truly be devastating. While a full PLA Infantry Regiment normally consists of three manoeuvre Battalions, in the LMR only one Manoeuvre Group exists. At the heart of the LMR is its Light Mechanised Infantry Companies (LMIC), which combine the flexibility of dismounted infantry with the mobility of motorised forces without having a significant logistics tail. Unique to the LMIC is the fleet of 8 x 8 ATVs. It routinely carries six infantrymen: a squad leader, gunner, driver, and three others that form a dismounted fire-team. Each APC is also equipped with a winch, tactical radio, GPS receiver, and tactical data terminal. It is capable of negotiating very rough terrain and with a quick modification, is amphibious. The ATV can be armed with either a QJZ-89 12.7mm heavy machine-gun (HMG) or a W-87 35mm AGL, or one 82mm mortar. The ATV also has a provision for mounting the QBB-95 5.8mm squad automatic weapon on a pintle at the front-left of the ATV. 
Augmenting the already formidable firepower of the LMIC is the Fire Support Company (FSC). The mainstay of the FSC are the 4 x 4 ‘Brave Warrior’ and ‘Iron Eagle’ families of fast attack vehicles (FAV), comprising the SX-1 and XZ-AT-400 models, that have been in service with the PLA’s airborne and special operations forces for some time. For direct fire-support, one XZ-AT-400 FAV mounts a Type 87 25mm single-barrel cannon, while for indirect fire-support this FAV comes armed with the W-99 82mm mortar (similar to the Russian 2B9 Vasilyek). Several air-defence versions with a secondary direct fire-support role are armed with the Type 87 twin-barrelled 25mm cannon and dual FN-6 VSHORADS, or HJ-8L ATGMs and 35mm W-87 AGLs. The FAVs, unlike the ATVs, cannot be loaded inside a tactical transport helicopter, but with all FAVs featuring prominent sling-points they are sling-load compatible. Also within the FSC is one Sino-Mab Group Industries-Built XZ-AT-400 4 x 4 FAV that carries a sniper team with a QBU-09 12.7mm sniper/anti-materiel rifle. Another novel formation embedded within the LMR is the Artillery Battery, which replicates the tube, rocket, and anti-tank Batteries of a typical PLA Artillery Battalion in a microcosm. The Artillery Battery comprises a Platoon of PP-87 82mm mortars carried in BJ-2020SJ 4 x 4 jeeps, and a Platoon of 8-tube 107mm MBRL launchers mounted on 6 x 6 ATVs. The PTL-02 105mm 6 x 6 assault gun provides anti-tank firepower. The Reconnaissance Platoon comprises three BJ-2020SJs and two SX-1 FAVs. While one BJ-2020SJ carries the command-and-control element and two FN-6 missiles, and also tows a small cargo trailer, two BJ-2020SJs each mount a 12.7mm HMGs and two HJ-8L ATGMs. Two sling-load capable SX-1 FAVs carry another reconnaissance element armed with PF-89 80mm RCLs. 
Specialised heliborne air-assault credentials of the LMIC make it ideally suited for sub-conventional warfare scenarios, while offering greatly increased tactical flexibility (in terms of pickup, insertion, and extraction of forces) when performing special operations against hostile air bases, POL sites and ammunition storage warehouses. There is no requirement to carry slings on a mission, no specialised sling-load training is required for the troops, and no time is spent in the ‘combat ineffective’ mode while the vehicles are rigged for under-slinging. Furthermore, for the utility helicopters there is no airspeed reduction while en route, nor any manoeuvring restrictions at the landing zone due to the pendulous sling-load. Logistically, the LMIC has a small footprint. All ammunition consumed by the LMIC does not require material handling equipment to move, and can thus be internally loaded within helicopters. Fuel consumption for an entire LMIC during a 450km march is estimated at a modest 225 gallons (846 litres) of diesel. Resupply of an inserted LMIC is easily accomplished via medium-lift utility helicopters like the Mi-171E, which is routinely capable of carrying two 242-gallon (915 litre) internal fuel tanks for ferry-flight purposes and these fuel-tanks can be re-configured for refuelling vehicles.
All these advantages make the LMIC a superb tool for executing the lightning fast air-assault raids. While dismounted air-assault forces traditionally land on their objective, the added mobility of an LMIC allows it the option of being inserted a terrain-feature away from the objective. By inserting the LMIC away from the defenders instead of on top of them, the most vulnerable phase of an air-assault operation is thereby avoided. Land, unload, form up, orient leaders, and then advance toward the objective is the typical sequential mission protocol that’s followed. While some surprise may be lost, the tremendous tactical mobility of the LMIC adds an element of deception as its actual objective is not obvious.
Regarding TAR’s land-based transportation infrastructure, over the past five years, China has poured more than US$10 billion into TAR for financing 188 infrastructure projects. Presently, all counties within TAR are already connected with the existing network of national highways, with the road networks being increased to 58,000km. Plans to increase black-topped roads by another 70,000km are now on the anvil. In addition to these, a 1,080km oil pipeline between Gormo and Lhasa (Qinghai-Tibet), built by the PLA’s General Logistics Department (GLD), has a designed capacity to deliver 5,00,000 tonnes of oil annually, but currently transports 1.25 million tons per year, given the limited demand within TAR. The electrified 1,142km railway line between Gormo and Lhasa that was completed in June 2006 has 34 stations. Its assessed capacity is eight trains (one-way) per day and 3,200 tonnes of cargo per train. In November 2009, the Lanzhou MR completed its first digital survey and GIS mapping of all the railroads within and leading into TAR (from the Chengdu and Lanzhou MRs), which involved the surveying and mapping by satellite for 518,000 basic points and 110,000 key points along the 1,142km-long track line. To undertake this mission, the PLA’s surveyors had developed a temperature-preserving and wind-avoiding satellite-based surveying and mapping track vehicle, which was used to realise the dynamic measurement of the altitude, longitude and latitude along the railway route. The error in measurement precision was only 0.3 metres. Soon after that, the PLA’s surveyors successfully tackled more than 50 technological difficulties, innovated 12 operational methods, and accomplished the accurate measurement of 518,000 sets of 3-D coordinates and 110,000 sets of key-point data. Once this was done, the GLD moved in to equip all railway stations within TAR with military transportation facilities aimed at enhancing the PLA’s strategic power projection capabilities. The facilities included materials loading and unloading infrastructure and construction of customised military platforms.
In addition, two new railway lines connecting Lhasa to Yatung (a major trading town just about 30km from the LAC) and to Linzhi (about 80km from the border) will be completed by 2017. Yatung is situated at the mouth of the Chumbi Valley and is connected to Sikkim via the Nathu La pass. Work on two other railway lines from Lhasa to Khasa near the China-Nepal border and Kashghar above Jammu & Kashmir will begin soon. The rail link to Khasa will be aligned with the Friendship Highway from Shigatse to Khasa, and further on till Kathmandu. Work has also begun on building six new railway tracks that include one from Lhasa to Nyingchi (directly above Arunachal Pradesh, with the 253km-long extension costing about $2 billion), one from Lhasa to Shigatse (half of this line, or some 115km will be laid in tunnels or on bridges, and the ultimate goal is to extend the railway line to Dali in Yunnan province), three tracks that will originate from Golmud in Qinghai province and run to Chengdu in Sichuan province ( due to be built over an eight-year period at a cost of $7.9 billion and spanning 1,629km, 650km of which will be in Sichuan, with the trains due to travel at a maximum speed of 200kph and will taking only eight hours to reach Lhasa), Dunhuang in Gansu province, and Kuerle of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The last railway track will link Xining, capital of Qinghai, with Zhangye in Gansu province. The Lhasa-Nyingchi-Dali route is significant as it runs in an east-west direction almost parallel and quite close to the LAC along Arunachal Pradesh, and will enable the Kunming-based 14th GA and its combat formations at Dali, Kaiyuanand and Kunming to rapidly move westwards from Sichuan province into TAR by rail. In addition, formations of the 13th GA from their peacetime locations in Chengdu will be able to make use of this railway network to deploy to the TAR.

Going hand in hand with the on-going rail/road infrastructure enhancement activities are efforts to expand the capacity of existing air bases within TAR. A total of five new air bases are being built alongside existing airports in Nyingchi (north of Arunachal Pradesh), Ngari (north of Uttarkhand/Himachal Pradesh), Lhasa/Gonggar, and Chamdo in eastern Tibet. The latest to be commissioned is the one at Shigatse’s Jiangdang Township, which was inaugurated on November 1, 2009. Built at a cost of $79.7 million, this air base is located 3,782 metres above sea level. China is now building the world’s highest airport at Nagchu in central TAR at a cost of $280 million. The airport, at an altitude of 4,436 metres (14,553 feet) will be 102 metres higher than the current highest airport in Chamdo. The airport, designed to cover an area of up to 267 hectares, is expected to open next year. Nagchu is located approximately 250km north-east of Lhasa. Against this backdrop, the PLA conducted its first joint expeditionary Army-Air Force live-fire exercise on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau (at an altitude of 15,420 feet, or 4,700 metres) between July 27 and August 9, 2010 that involved an infantry battalion of its 15th Airborne Army and Su-27SKMs drawn from the 97th Regiment of the Chengdu-based 33rd Fighter Division. Preparations for this exercise began in March 2010 and by May a train loaded with combat support equipment like ZBD-03 ICVs had arrived in Lhasa using the Qinghai-Tibet railroad, the first time ever that the GLD’s Military Transportation Department had made use of this railroad.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Watch this:

The ex-COAS of the IA, Gen V P Malik, said EXACTLY what I had explained two days ago regarding the bizarre command-and-control mechanism involving the IA & ITBP(F) in the DBO sector.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Day before yesterday US-based General Atomics gave an official presentation to the Indian Navy on the EMALS-based carrier aircraft launch-and-recovery system for IAC-2.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Interesting debate:

AJ said...

Hi Prasun! Great article. I wanted to know if RAW covert activities have resumed or were they not re-activated after IK Gujral stopped them.

Anonymous said...

you agree or not but the fact is that time has come to act militarily in in this area to forcefully evict them.

Anonymous said...

but one this is clear this kind of bizarre comparison one would get only from a minister like comparing kargil with this situation. what a shit head he is !! and he is our Phoren minister

Anonymous said...

The Chinese are fools if they think that they can armtwist India into signing a so called Border defence
cooperation agreement

No CBM ; No agreement is worth the paper it is written on

China needs to be told clearly that we will never trust you and yes all
our preparations are for you because you are our enemy

Anonymous said...

Art of War emphasize "Disguise" and your current thread and previous thread perfectly captures Chinese Disguise viz CBM not adhered, why aggressive patrolling etc etc....

Crux of issue is what is the game plan. This incursion is copy book incursion from strategy doctrines prepared and gamed much much in advance. Only what would have been decided recently would have been the timing.

So what's the game plan and reason for occupation of this piece of land and reason for disguise.

Karakoram Highway - the new energy pipeline to the mainland, just in case malacca strait is choked or economic emargo's imposed. This highway is strategic. This is also reason why Pakistan is witnessing relatively peaceful election and transition to military led but democratic civilian Govt.

Firstly, Prasun you have been wrong to suggest that Chinese will return back in fact they are using heavy transport now. Secondly, you are wrong to suggest that this is coercion in order to bring India to negotiation table for force level agreement etc. Both arguments are perfect disguise.

Therefore, if IA has balls - Act now by 3/4 May use Special Forces to choke Karakoram Highway. By 8th May stage link-up and resupply. Salman will be in Beijing on 9th. His negotiation power will multiply if this happens. Secondly, plan for escalation all throughout border and use opportunity of Chinese Premier visiting India as opportunity to play hard ball diplomacy where you negotiate by balls and chest thumping rather diplomatic niceties.

There is time for soft power and there are candidates for using soft power. Neither this is time for soft power nor China is candidate that will be dissuaded by our soft power.

For China, I can only say that WW2 Germany behaved exactly the same. If you intend to be on that path, so be it, your choice. The more you use your hard power, the more soft power you lose in the end. For there will be time when Chinese will desire diplomacy to work and it won't because all neighbors would be rather prepared militarily, rather than to respond diplomatically.

To Sonia & Manmohan - Please for Christ sake, stop sipping from treasury. Now even enemy has got wind of it. Please there is no point in being pseudo-socialist and pseudo-secularist. I am sure you have made enough to ensure that your party and your kinsman will be back to power by buying electorate in next general election. So request at least now stop plunder and start investing on country's defenses.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AJ: Regretably, after 1997 the covert direct-action counter-strike missions were all terminated unilaterally by India across all fronts.

To DASHU: There are several military options available that can be undertaken with climbing the escalatory ladder. But before that, India needs to get her act together. Decisive action should have been taken latest within the first 48 hours of the transgression. Instead, the ding-dong went on between the MHA, MoD & MEA, resulting in sheer wastage of response-time. Had there been a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in India, such matters would have been immediately given the attention & response that it deserved. Even in the absence of the CDS, the present IAF Chief, who is also the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS)--the CAS of the IAF--should have been the one to brief the Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS), as per institutionalised guidelines of the Govt of India. For it is the CJCS who is empowered to present a unified tri-services contingency action plans. Yet, why only the IA’s COAS was the one to brief the CCNS? Why are the country’s institutionalised structures & procedures being subverted by the Govt of India? As for the MEA Minister, he is simply not proficient to deal with such politico-military matters at this crucial juncture, because China will be calibrating its responses based on what’s the official response of India. In the latest case, it is now clear that valuable time was wasted because the ITBP(F) reported this incident to MHA, then MHA fot in touch with the MoD & then the MoD with IA HQ & CCNS.

To Anon@9.39AM: The CBM inked in 1996 was NEVER implemented/put into practice by either party. Luckily, the snows have now melted & it will be easier for India to mobilise & mass troops & supporting indirect fire-support hardware with a high degree of safety, since Indian posts are located on higher ground, whereas the PLA concentrations are much lower in the plateau & are therefore vulnerable to Indian fire-assaults.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.55AM: Leave alone the Karakoram Highway, even the Karakoram Pass will not be interdicted since there’s no way of logistically sustaining any such expeditionary capability by either land or air. The PLA encampment is still not deploying any heavy equipment, just 4 x 4 ATVs for logistics support. There are several other offensive options available that will not escalate matters beyond hand & I will detail them all later tonight.

Arup said...

Sir, Although the exact dimensions of E-CAPTOR has not been disclosed how are you able to say that both have exact same aperture areas. WFoR repositioner doesnt occupy much volume .

IAF is facing a real shortage of acs which is going to be more acute in the coming days. Why isnt IAF and CNC wrapping up negotiations quickly ?

Does Rafale employ a diverterless intake ?

While going through Su-30MKI upgarde thread of your blog I learnt that aas part of these upgrades new uprated engines with greater intake area will be installed. But new AL-31FP have already started arriving from Russia for fitment into Su-30 after completion of their 2000 flying hours. Are these the uprated turbofans you spoke about and having 6000 hr TTSL ?

Force multipliers like Phalcon AWACS , IL-78 doesnt have MSWS, DIRCM lathough they are force multipliers .

Targetting soln for a hostile ac can be provided by the rear facing IRST just as the frontal IRST is used for acquisition and engagement of acs in BV domain and effecting a R-27TE1 shot. There is no need of HMDS here . Northrup Grumman has already demonstrated this concept with their DAS EOS on F-35 .

Is there any version of CAESAR with an automated cahrge and ammunition handling system like Soltam Atmos ? Besides we are going for C-17 . two such truck mounted howitzers can be transported by it.

Is OLS-30 of Su-30mk and OLS of MiG-29UPG capable of detecting and tracking ballistic missile launches? Does FSO-NG posses this feature ?

You havent told whether AN-32RE have chin mounted FLIR sensors for navigation in white-out conditions .

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir we should ; first of all
burn their vehicles which are parked NEAR the Tents

Second step is to fire at the truck which brings in their supplies

And then later we can cross over to their side

ITBP is also well equipped
we should not under estimate them

Meanwhile ITBP should deploy its mortars and MMGs to prevent any human wave attacks

Finally one thing is absolutely clear

This situation will NOT be resolved

The Chinese WANT a showdown

Iceman said...

How many T-90 tanks do India have? Last year it was reported that some 300-350 tanks will be ordered by the Indian army during the russian president visit for the china border

Pierre Zorin said...

DAshu with due respect let me quote from a movie I saw a long time ago": don't think with your dick and don't screw with your brain. Do you really believe India has the clout, international support Or economic strength to take on China? Do you realise the devastation that will cause to India's fledgling economy and infrastructure? Can you see the wartime profiting wrecking lives of millions of Indians? All the progress India made over the years will only be thrown away by acting stupid. China is NOT taking any land because India is GIVING them land. If it is stupidity on part of the ministers why make taxpayers fund for their idiocy? India would have had a lot to gain if the political cards were played right. No - they sit on their hands and then try and raise a fist when opportunity is lost even though the fist is numb from the weight of the bum on it. Be real man- this ain't a playstation game.

raw13 said...

The issue with India is that their Army also does all sorts of things on the border (violations) but are not reported in Indian media. When the opposition responds (which is guranteed), there is a mighty huw and crying.

What has happened over the last 10+ yrs is that the world has gotten used to it and they know the crying game. In a way this is how IA controls the agenda in Indian politics/media. It also reminds the public that irrespective of all the bad news about the corruption in the army etc, they still need them.

Anonymous said...

The reality is becoming clear:

rad said...

Hi Prasun
does the r-73 have a data link?.The aim-9x seems to have one.what about about the python -5 and asraam.
What is the most crucial element of an asat system?. We seem to have all the elements, ground radar, the missile, active radar for the missile,C4I with the israeli radar etc. Is there an a black program on those lines going on?.
Please give us more info on the latest version of the r-73 missile r-74?. and another medium range active radar missile in lieu of the r-77. Are these missiles going along with the su-35 to china?Or are they exclusive for the PAKFA.

Anonymous said...

It may sound crazy but frankly speaking how much land China wants. The Chinese say that entire state of Arunachal is a part of China. So will they be only satisfied by ladakh or will they demand entire J&K. If that is the case then entire uttarakhand,sikkim,HP should also belong to china. Can anyone tell me upto how much is claimed by the chinese or from chinese point of view what is the actual border.

abs said...

While I agree that the CBMs should be signed, caution should be practised and all the nitty gritties of the CBMs properly evaluated before the signature. India should not give up on force accretions and modernisation or infrastructure creation. Nor should India give up any tactical or strategically advantageous position we hold. Its high time we negotiate from a position of strength as China seems to be on the weaker position now especially given its apprehensions of India's military accretions.

Chethan said...

Hi Prasun,
Thanks for answering my queries regarding Tejas.
There is a photo doing rounds in some of the forums. It appears to be of K-9 track mounted howitzer from south korea proposed by L&T/Samsung JV and the photo is taken on bangalore chennai highway near krishnagiri.
Has this been requested Army already or is this planned for user trials?
I had high hopes for the proposal put forward by Kalyani artillery group.Has the Kalyani artillery been rejected?

Thanks & Regards,

AK said...

Hi Prasun, Dont you think that GoI should adopt an aggresive posture towards Chinese incursion. We have already lost our man and now we are going to lose our land. GoI must wake up from its deep slumber.

MBDA has already developed the core technologies of SR-SAM like RF seeker, TVC, solid rocket motors. These are already in production for Mica VL. So, how come it will take another 5 yrs to develope and induct Maitri ?

Is akash sam able to neutralise cruise missile threats such as terrain hugging LACM,ALCM ?

Are we gonna deactivate DBO airstrip in accordance to PLA's wishes ?

All recent Su-30 and its derivatives have Khibiny ESM and internal radar emission jammer. Why doesnt new build HAL Sukhoi dont possess such an internal EW suite ?

What is the principal offensive jamming pod of Su-30 , Jaguar , Mirage 2000 ? Does IAF envisage procuring new generation EW support jammer pods or more pods of an existing one ? How many EL/M-8251 pods were acquired ? Is the present no of pods sufficient for tactical interdiction missions into enemy territory ?

Does IAF plan to procure Deliah loitering AGM for use in the Western sector and MALD type decoys which can simulate a variety of aircrafts ?

Degrading the enemy's in-depth radar coverage,destruction or degradation of its SAM assets is of paramount importance in any conflict. Only after such air defense networks are neutralised can interdiction of enemy logistics and reinforcements take place in an effective manner without any attritional losses.

Anonymous said...


Don't you think that India will develop only if it is split into a number of smaller states because states like Bihar , UP are merely adding to the population without making any contribution to the growth of the country's economy . Infact this huge Bihar , UP population is spilling across India and is the source of many social /economic tension . It is a well known fact that Biharis & UPs are reproducing only to increase the size of their own caste so that their community can become a majority .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ARUP: How? By looking at two full-scale AESA antenna-arrays in 3-D. M-MRCA negotiations can be wrapped up within 90 days if necessary, but the problem India is now facing is paucity of financial resources. No divertless air-intakes on Rafale. AL-31FPs now being delivered for Su-30MKIs have same thrust-levels as those that had gone to Russia for TBO-related MRO. Force multipliers never fly anywhere close to hostile airspace & therefore don’t require such self-defence suits. IRSTs are used only for target detection & tracking, not for providing fire-control solutions, even for the F-35 JSF & that’s why HMDS is worn even by F-35 pilots. Automated charge & ammo handling system is there only on the Bofors ARTHUR. For ATMOS, a five-man crew is reqd. Neither Russian nor French not European IRSTs can track ballistic missiles. No FLIR turrets on the An-32RE.

To Anon@10.55AM: You ought to suggest this idea to a Bollywood scriptwriter to plan a sequel to SHOOTOUT AT WADALA & call it SHOOTOUT AT RAKI NALA! Matters are a helluva lot different in real-life, which you’ll understand first-hand once you become a mature adult.

To ICEMAN: Presently, about 800 units.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.10PM: That’s the reality as perceived by a certain person, not the real reality as such. The real reality is that India has for the past two years been receiving IAEA-sanctioned & supervised cheap uranium supplies for fuelling India’s existing PHWRs & this practice will continue for the 12 x 700mW PHWRs that are now coming up in successive tranches. The reality is that India has very limited skilled human resources available for manning & running n-power reactors of different designs & therefore feel secure & confident only when operating NPCIL-designed PHWRs & off late the first two Russia-supplied PWRs. It will take India at least another decade to master the French FBR technology & therefore acquiring such n-reactors ASAP makes no sense. The best import solutions are therefore two or four more 1,000mW PWRs from Russia, followed by four 1,000mW PHWRs from South Korea, since the South Korean design & that of India’s indigenous 700mW PHWR are both derived from the original CANDU design.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: Nope. IIR-guided WVRAAMs don’t have any command-guidance data links. For any ground-launched ASAT system, one requires precision X-band tracking radars of the type not yet possessed by India. New-generation WVRAAMs & BVRAAMs from Russia are meant for FGFA & T-50 PAK-FA, not for Su-35. Meanwhile, do read this:

A glass-like material based on technology found in an ancient Sanskrit text that could ultimately be used in a stealth bomber (the material cannot be detected by radar) has been developed by a research scholar of Benaras Hindu University. Prof M A Lakshmithathachar, Director of the Academy of Sanskrit Research in Melkote, near Mandya, told Deccan Herald that tests conducted with the material showed radars could not detect it. “The unique material cannot be traced by radar and so a plane coated with it cannot be detected using radar,” he said. The academy had been commissioned by the Aeronautical Research Development Board, New Delhi, to take up a one-year study, ‘Non-conventional approach to Aeronautics,’ on the basis of an old text, Vaimanika Shastra, authored by Bharadwaj. Though the period to which Bharadwaj belonged to is not very clear, Prof Lakshmithathachar noted, the manuscripts might be more 1,000 years old. The project aims at deciphering the Bharadwaj’s concepts in aviation. However, Prof Lakshmithathachar was quick to add that a collaborative effort from scholars of Sanskrit, physics, mathematics and aeronautics is needed to understand Bharadwaj’s shastra. The country’s interest in aviation can be traced back over 2,000 years to the mythological era and the epic Ramayana tells of a supersonic-type plane, the Pushpak Vimana, which could fly at the speed of thought. “The shastra has interesting information on vimanas (airplanes), different types of metals and alloys, a spectrometer and even flying gear,” the professor said. The shastra also outlines the metallurgical method to prepare an alloy very light and strong which could withstand high pressure. He said Prof Dongre of BHU had brought out a research paper Amshubondhini after studying Vaimanika Shastra and developed the material. “There have been sporadic efforts to develop aeronautics in the country’s history. There has never been a holistic approach to it. Vaimanika Shastra throws up many interesting details that can benefit Indian aviation programme,” the director added. Prof Lakshmithathachar rubbished the tendency among certain scholars to discount such ancient Sanskrit texts and said, “Why would our scholars want to cheat future generations? Unless it was important, nothing was written in the old days. The fact that there exists manuscripts indicates the significance.” The academy has also embarked on other projects including ‘Indian concept of Cosmology’ with Indian Space Research Organisation, ‘Iron & Steel in Ancient India—A Historical Perspective’ with the Steel Authority of India Limited, and ‘Tools & Technology of Ancient India.’

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.32PM; China is not an expansionist power, but it is not a status-quo power either. Will explain more about this later. Suffice to say that this present standoff is not about territory, but it has all to do with how scared China was & is about India’s offensive airpower projection capabilities over western Tibet. Will explain all that is detail later tonight for sure.

To ABS: China is really scared & shocked by the IAF’s ambitious airpower projection plans & existing capabilities. Will explain all that is detail later tonight for sure. This will once & for all disprove the popular Indian perception (enhanced no doubt by several Delhi-based arm-chair specialists & self-styled think-tanks that make a living by conjuring up all kinds of threats emanating from China) that the Chinese are nine feet-tall.

To CHETHAN: That’s the Samsung Techwin K-9 Thunder 155mm/52-cal tracked SPH on its way to Chennai Port for being shipped back to ROK. Kalyani Group had never ever proposed any tracked self-propelled or motorised 155mm field artillery howitzer solution.

To AK: India has adopted aggressive posture against China in the past. In 1986 during the Sumdorong Chu incident & again in 2010 when 27,000 Chinese workers were expelled from India. Maitri SR-SAM is just about the missile, but the entire system inclusive of its command-and-control element, plus target detection-cum-engagement radar, this being the ASHVIN ASEA-based system now being developed by DRDO. Akash Mk1 can neutralise cruise missiles over barren flat terrain devoid of terrain clutter. No ALG will be deactivated as this is not what China has demanded. There’s a very good reason why the Su-30MKI does not have an internal jammer & I’ll dwell upon it tonight. For Su-30MKI the EW pod is ELTA’s EL/L-8222. For the 17 tandem-seat Jaguar IS, the EL/L-8222 is internally mounted while for the single-seat Jaguar IS & MiG-27UPG the EL/L-8222 is used. EL/M-8251 pods will be for the Jaguar IS/DARIN-3, Super Su-30MKIs & Mirage 2000UPGs. For Mirage 2000 the BAREM jamming pod is used. Normally, one EW pod must be acquired for every two combat aircraft, but this is not the case with the IAF. IAF has gone for HAROP loitering drones instead of DELILAH. MALD-type decoys can easily be developed in-country.

To Anon@12.48AM: Bihar is alright now, but UP needs to be broken into four smaller states for greater administrative efficiency. A state’s population does not explode only when schemes like universal education & mid-day meal schemes for schoolchildren are in place. South Indian states are great examples of such schemes being run successfully. Population explosion has nothing to do with caste-based demographic domination, but has everything to do with illiteracy & existential insecurity.

Sayan said...

Sir, Russia expected to place order for MiG-35. Snice Russian AF is itself going for MiG-35 will the IAF show any interest towards it ?
Will all RuAF have the current model Zhuk-AE with 576 TR elements ? Will it be possible to install a downscaled variant of MIRES AESA on MiG-35 ?
Stealth and Tejas.- ADA hasnt yet been able to operationalise Tejas 1 and now it is crying out for a stealthy Tejas mk3 ?

AESA (Aisa) Radar Aur Kaha Milega!!!- Typhoon's aesa will be ready by 2015. What unique benefits will Rafale deal bestow upon Indian airforce ?

What advantages RBE2 aesa has over captor aesa which coaxed the IAF officer to make such a remark ? Selex Galileo is a renowned radar manufacture with decades of experience .

Iceman said...

1.arjun mk2 was supposed to be powered by the Indigenous engine, but still it is running on a german engine. can you shed some light on it?
2.when will Astra be test fired on board Su-30mki?
3.what is the exact range of meteor missile?
4.what is the status of two follow on phalcon AWACS to be ordered by the IAF?
5.are there any plans to tweak LCH's to carry upto 8 helina missiles?
6.does the construction of Project 15B destroyers and Project 17A frigates have started?
7.what about the status of DRDO developed assault rifle for the Army?
8.what about the status of prahaar missile? is it rejected by the army or DRDO making some changes in it?
9.what about the status of HELINA missile? there any plans now to upgrade the entire fleet of SU-30mki's with AESA radar,IRST.MAWS and EW systems?
11.will indian army go for Arjun mk3 or FMBT, because army is showing some interest in Arjun tank and also to reduce it's crew from 4 to 3
12.Does OFB makes indigenous artillery shells?

ArupM said...

Regarding Sukhoi upgrade , is this a confirmed and pucca news - "All Su-30MKIs will eventually be upgraded to Super Su-30MKIs under which AESA-MMR, panoramic AMLCD-equipped cockpits, twin IRST sensors for frontal & rear hemispheric coverage, internal AESA aperture-based RF jammers and a multi-sensor warning system will be installed. " Whereas some & not all will get L-band AESA arrays in the wings.

I go through your comments every single day. I am pretty confused with EW suite of su30mki . Way back in 2008 in one of yours Sukhoi related threads, it was mentioned that su has an internal el 8212 pod for self protection.

Again in one of your comments you answered that int ew suite of mki is a generation ahead and far more advanced than khibny ESM.You once again replied the follwing To Anon@6.02PM: in Highlights Of Airshow China 2012 In Zhuhai Part-2 :

"10) Internal jammer for countering BVRAAMs is of Russian origin. The Tarang Mk23 RWR gives warning of inbound BVRAAMs."
The related ques is .'10.What internal EW jammer does Su-30 has now ? How do the pilots get warning of an incoming missile now ?'

Now u r saying there is no internal jammer.
I am not contradicting you or opposing you. I wanna know the truth. After going through all these I find it very confusing and misleading.

Waiting patiently for the follow up part of your god thread.U r the nly person who has ever claimed Chinese to be afraid of our AF's ambitious offensive power plans and our existing capabilties and needless to say am JOLLY HAPPY about it.

Another thing that has crossed my mind recently is what provides defnsive RF jamming against air-borne X-band fighter radars, break lock-on , decoys active radar guided incoming missiles for our su30. Elta 8222 is meant for jamming hostile SHORADS,E-SHORADS atrget engagements radars. Su30 are our primary air-superiority & air dominanace fighter and right now they are vulnerable against active BVRAAM.

Anonymous said...

//it has all to do with how scared China was & is about India’s offensive airpower projection capabilities//
1)i think some months ago chinese sent 2 jets to intercept our su30MKI's in AP! Do u think IAF spooked(like using EW or other means) the chinese?
2)any news on jaguar engine upgrade(like how many upgraded?,etc.)

Technology, Photograpy and Travel said...


I have gone thru the link in youtube

What is ur take on it ?


AK said...

Hi Prasun,

EL/L-8222 is a defesnive jamming pod used to suppress,jam ground based survellience snd specifically enagement radars of SAM. How is a Sukhoi pilot, WSO jam hostile airborne emitters during a BVR enagement and break RF missile lock ?Hope all Su-30mki gets ELT-568 as part of their deep upgrade.

What dedicated escort jammer pod Su-30 uses ? Arent EL/M-8251 jammers already in active service ?

Mirage 2000UPG will get Thales PAJ-FA pods. So, what will happen to the inventory of Barem and Remora jamming pods ? Will they be decommisioned ?

PLA & PLAAF are scared of IAF's existing power projection capabilties. It seems the table has turned. PLA has massive stockpiles of NLOS-BSM , TBM , LACM in hardened shelters in TAR close to LAC.They can be employed in massed fire assaults against IAF air bases in NE , Northern sector. Also PLAAF has got MRSAM deployments in all its major airbases , supply depots, military garrisons in TAR. Our strike jets ahve to expand considerable ordance,ARM in order to neutralise them.

Ordering just 10 Harop drones isnt enough. Besides Deliliah can be air-launched and is more flexible.

How many Kh-31P ARM are in active service ? Is it enough for any moderate offensive air campaign against a country having Soviet style layered IADS. Does the IAF envisage aquiring state of art ARM from Russia to arm its Su-30 fleet ?

Does IA,IAF plan any midterm QR-SAM procurement for addressing immediate operational needs. SR-SAM wont be ready till 2018. All major IAF bases in NE, NW ,N sectors need some modern C-RAM air defense systems for last line defense and neutralise the leakers that have managed to sneak past MR-SAM .

Will Akash mk2 able to intercept cruise missiles in all sorts of terrain, flat, or mountaineous ? Will there be in any improvements in Akash's engagement and surveillience radars as part of whole mk2 upgrade ?

I have heard numerous chit-chats in many defense forums that Spectra employs active cancellation technologies. As far back as 1997 some Thales scientists belonging to Spectra program claimed that Spectra is beyond conventional jammer. It can saturate a wide variety of emitters simultaneously in LPI and can make Rafale disappear from the SAM radar screen literally . By now Thales must ahve mastered this technology . What do you think ? Is ithis technique incorporated in current Spectra suites ? This would be of huge benefit to IAF.

AJ said...

Hi Prasun! Thanks for your answer. I am surprised our succeeding NDA and UPA govts have not reactivated covert action. This is more criminal than 2G Scam. At this point Pakistan has more balls than our political leaders. Chanakya Niti should be a the hand guide for our PM and Defense Minister. Thoughts?

Arup said...

Sir, VMT. I may have used the term incorrectly but by automated charge and ammo handling system, i was referring to the one present in Denel/TATA motorised howitzer and Army LH7739 cal. On customer's request can such a system be installed in CAESAR?

If AL-31FP now being delivered ahve the same thrust levels as the previous ones then when will sukhoi get the uprated engines with 6000 TTSL as you told previously. Will you pls briefly explain here.

Watch this:
It will clear your doubts about a wvr engagement without using HMDS in the rear hemisphere using IR missisles without having the host ac to turn back.

EF Typhoon uses a variable intakes. This ensures a smooth supply of air to the engines at high altitudes approaching 50000 ft and at mach speeds .This is intended for high altitude intercepts , engagements . Rafale is also meant for air superiority missions like Typhoon. Why does it use fixed air-intakes then ? Or Dassault has come up with an alternate arrangement that does away with variable air-intakes all the while mainting smooth air supply to the engines in all flight envelopes .

Only 20 percent of the entire contract value needs to be payed during contract signature. Doesnt MoD doesnt even have this. ?

Barring the first 18 jets which are to be bought off the shelf , if the rest are to be produced by HAL from raw material stage or even license assembled from SCKD kits , then the per unit ac cost will rise up. It will be beneficial for MoD if more no of jets were to be bought off the shelf and some license assembled by HAL.

GoI can raise additional money the WB way like our beloved CM is doing. Sales tax on cigarettes, alohols and other addictions can be raised by 20%.Some of this extra money can be spent in the rafale deal and the majority can be distributed among the states to be spent for promoting literacy by adopting measures aimed at encouraging children to attend school by introducing mid-day meal... This in turn will help to arrest population growth and in the long term provide some relief to the laready over burdened public services like transportation, medical facilities , etc and help to uplift this country's economy.

Will IA go for tracked SPH, armoured wheeled howitzers. Sometime back you metioned that army was showing keen interest in automated 120mm mortar systems that can be mounted on BMPs. If it be so, can it be expected for army to procure considerable no of such systems.

Sometime back you also mentioned that Rafale was customising Iron Dome to intercept longer ranging MBRL for meeting IA's needs. Are we buying Iron Dome batteries for protecting troop deploymenst and other military facilties close to the border.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
"A glass-like material based on technology found in an ancient Sanskrit text that could ultimately be used in a stealth bomber (the material cannot be detected by radar) has been developed by a research scholar of Benaras Hindu University."
Great news if it can be used as coating on fighter planes and missiles. Prasun, please give us updates on this material.

Jai said...

Bullies like china demand respect,they don't give it.

Unknown said...


When do you expect the Rafale deal to be signed?

I have just read an article by an Indian defence journo and he is saying the deal will now either be scrapped in the next 2 months OR the deal will be signed post 2014 elections so most likely in 2015 or 2016 but he expects the deal will be scrapped altogether.

Is there any truth to his comments? Is the Rafale deal really this fucked? I was under the impression the deal would be signed in the next few weeks/months.

Also the IAF now has a well equipped and well equipped SF in the Garuds, but are there any pplans to procure specilised HELOS for them? Specifically in their CSAR roles the Garuds need specilised helos with winches, FLIR, self-protection suites and possible IFR probes ie the HH-60G PAVEHAWKS employed by the USAF's PARARESCUE men or PJs as they are called. Does the IAF have any plans for such a helo procurement?

Also when will the Indian army get a future combat system along the lines of the system the IN's MARCOs are procururing?

And I have heard some interesting rumurs on the IN's marine infantry force the SPB, is there any chance you could do an in-depth right up on them sir?

Vivek said...

Prasun da
How much more will one have to wait for this post to be concluded and you finally telling us in detail that what is it that made China do all this and what is it that it really wants ?? Chinese perception/image in India is deteriorating day by day basis what one hears and sees everyday and the day is not far when China becomes our no. 1 enemy in the eyes of even common Indians and not just people like George fernandez and Mulayam singh.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAYAN: Let’s see when the MiG-35 contract is inked by Russia. Folks from Russia have been claiming this for the past 3 years. CAPTOR-E is still under development while the RBE-2 is already in service. That’s the big difference. Both these radars were born out of the common European AMSAR AESA-MMR R & D programme.

To ICEMAN: 1) That’s the Arjun Mk1A. Arjun M2 is still undergoing development, while Arjun Mk3 will be the 70-tonneFMBT. 2) Maybe by the year’s end. 3) 120km. 4) Will be ordered this fiscal year. 5) No. 6) Only P-15B’s construction has begun. 7) Still undergoing development. 8) Still under development. 9) Still under development. 10) That’s the plan. 11) Arjun Mk3 is the FMBT. 12) Yes.

To ARUPM: 1) Yes. 2) There was internal space available for EL/L-8222 EW suite but the IAF wisely decided to wait for the arrival of ELT-568 AESA-based EW jammer & instead, decided to utilise the available internal volume to install the OBOGS (see above). All other non-IAF Su-27s & Su-30s have Russia-origin internal EW jammers. It is almost impossible to jam airborne multi-mode X-band monopulse pulse-Doppler radar. Su-30MKIs are NOT vulnerable to BVRAAMs, since the on-board RWR gives adequate warning time for the countermeasures dispensers to be activated. Target lock-on can be easily broken by fly out of the hostile airborne MMRs’s field-of-view.

To ADITYA: VMT. Will go through it later today & revert back.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AK: It is almost impossible to jam airborne multi-mode X-band monopulse pulse-Doppler radar. Su-30MKIs are NOT vulnerable to BVRAAMs, since the on-board RWR gives adequate warning time for the countermeasures dispensers to be activated. Target lock-on can be easily broken by fly out of the hostile airborne MMRs’s field-of-view. ELT-568 will go on board Super Su-30MKI as well as on Tejas Mk2 & LCA (Navy) Mk2, rest assured. EL/M-8251s have been acquired for Jaguar IS/DARIN-3 & Mirage 2000UPGs. BAREM & REMORAs will be retired from service. As I’ve explained above, NLOS-BSMs have to be fired from pre-prepared launch sites, which can be easily monitored in peacetime by recce satellites. In wartime, these sites can be targetted & rendered useless by pre-emptive air-strikes using air-launched cruise missiles. That’s why only the ALCM version of Nirbhay is being developed, since GLCMs won’t be able to operate optimally when launched from high-altitude areas. ALCMs on the other hand can offer more more flecibility in terms of launch & targetting option against high-altitude targets. Same goes for long-range MBRLs, which can be detected & targetted while they’re en route by road to their pre-surveyed deployment sites. The type of ARMs available have proliferated. IAF has both Kh-31Ps & Harpy loitering drones. Akash Mk2 will like the Akash Mk1 be able to intercept cruise missiles over flat terrain. Active cancellation technologies are still being worked upon in both France & Russia. SPECTRA doesn’t feature them as yet. SPECTRA works exactly like the ELT-568.

To AJ: To initiate such actions, one requires balls, audacity & cold-blooded ruthlessness in the supreme enlightened national interests—the kind shown by leaders of the US, Israel, Russia, France & the UK. Present-day leaders of India do not have such qualities in them, regrettably.

To ARUP: The CAESAR already has such an ammo handling system. Uprated engines for Su-30MKI will be available from next year & that’s when the Super Sukhoi upgrade programme will commence. Rafale was never meant to intercept targets at 50,000 feet as France never faced a threat from high-flying Soviet bombers like Tu-22M3 or Tu-95. But the UK & Germany did in the North & Baltic Seas. WB can raise enough money for its development if it: fines people for spitting anywhere outside their homes; fines people for pissing on the street-sides & road-dividers; fines people for taking pity on stray dogs & stray cats in every nook & corner of the streets & lanes of the city & its suburbs; fines motorists for illegal parking & driving without headlights on; fines political parties for holding roadside political rallies; & fines motorcyclists for riding without helmets & for malfunctioning headlights. Elements of Iron Dome like the EL/M-2084 Arudhra MMR are already being inducted into service. The Tamir rockets will be useless against salvo-fired long-range MBRLs. IA will most probably go for motorised 155mm/52-cal howitzers. Kalyani Group has also proposed to develop a motorised version of the upgunned M-46 155mm/45-cal howitzer.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasan,
//now-being raised independent armoured brigade (to be composed of one mechanisedinfantry regiment and two armoured regiments) for the Karu-based 3 rd Infantry Division under XIV Corps) to cover the flat approaches from Tibet towards India’s crucial defences at Chushul//
when it will be raised? At what time it will be completed?

Anonymous said...

excellent update on this article.............really good.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

PLEASE answer my question

Have we neglected our defences in LADAKH Because of being focussed on Arunachal ; Tawang and Sikkim

However I think that If China was as strong as people think they are they would HAVE ATTACKED by now

Ie a A FULL scale invasion by NOW

And Indian Army is NOT so helpless
as we think while seeing PICTURES of Chinese roads

The terrain on India's side is really very bad and add to it the weather in North east due to which our roads are washed away

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasunda,

What about the re-engineered GHN-45 155mm/45-cal TGS now being developed by the Kalyani Group with the help of ELBIT Systems.
Is OFB made Fh-77b 155mm/45-cal Gun is better than re-engineered GHN-45 155mm/45-cal Gun? Why the OFB made Gun is selected?
Any news about TRAJAN 155mm/55-cal Gun?

Pintu said...

Prasun Da, Very many thanks for your youtube links regarding Anomaly and proof of alien activity(es) in Moon & Soviet UFO retrieval. Those links prove that there is infinite amounts of phenomenons in this universe those remains to be explored or lying unanswered. Actually your blog, works as 'Knowledge Server' or Encyclopedia for me, and hats off to you, please continue your great work !

Prasun Da, will there be any Tejas Mk. 3 ? If affirmative, any specs available ?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PINTU: VMT. There will be a Tejas Mk3 & Mk4 as well, but these will be mid-life upgrades of the Tejas Mk2 in the years to come. Tejas Mk3 won’t be an all-new airframe design.

To Anon@9.07AM: Raising began six months ago.

To Anon@10.25AM: VMT.

To Anon@10.34AM: To a certain extent, yes. The ground transportation infrastructure could certainly have been improved much more since the year 2000. The Ladakh region could have been repopulated by according citizenship to tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees hailing from both TAR & Nepal, instead of treating them as refugees who cannot lead a normal life & are otherwise considered as unproductive assets. There’s no way the PLA’s MBTs can just coast into Ladakh due to the friction of the terrain as I’ve explained above. Consequently, what this means is that all the armoured forces that the PLA can possibly mass inside TAR will be used primarily as blocking forces, i.e. deployed & used in a defensive mode only, with no offensive options being left on the table. This is what the PLA has been practicing in various exercises over the past 2 years. For India too, the Independent Armoured Brigade will be used pretty much like how the AMX-13s were used at Chushul in 1962, i.e. as a blocking force used primarily against any coordinated & massed infantry-led PLA attacks, with the IAF providing close air support. Long gone are the days of the swarm tactics of the PLA that were employed in 1962. It can no longer be implemented & both sides know it only too well. But the IAF’s offensive airpower will be the game-changer here as it will make it much easier for the Indian Army to develop some very viable offensive options for tactical gains in Aksai Chin, since for the IA it will be easy to go downhill, while for the PLA it will be extremely difficult to climb uphill. However, there are still certain deficiencies that the IA still faces, about which I will elaborate later tonight.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.10PM: The re-engineered GHN-45 from Kalyani Group WILL NOT be ordered for the IA. Instead, the 155X45 model from OFB will, since it features commonality with existing Bofors FH-77Bs & it will be available quicker than Kalyani Group’s offer. Consequently, the Kalyani Group can only offer to further re-engineer the GHN-45 into a 155mm/52-cal ATAGS on the lines of what the DRDO has proposed. TRAJAN is most unlikely to be ordered.

Vivek said...

Prasun da,
Thanks for the details and excellent post

3 questions - first, so for us the game changer is IAF, but what Chinese manage to make our iaf bases and ALGs non-operational by a massive nlosbsm strike, what will be our plan b then, will the indian army be able to hold its own or even make some gains without iaf.
Secondly, where does brahmos block 3, aakash, pinaka, prahaar fit into all this ?
Thirdly, that question still remains, what does China really want ? Surely they dont expect us to stop IAF strengthening or stop infra build up, so why this intrusion, what do they want ?

Iceman said...

Sir, told that arjun mk3 is the FMBT which weighs 70 tonne but army wants a tank below 55 tonnes like T-90?
2.Which aesa radar will go on board super sukhoi, is it BARS aesa radar or Phazotron zhuk aesa radar or AN israeli aesa radar?
3.What about the status of FICV tender? is it scrapped?

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun Da,

From this video below it seems that the Russians have found a dead alien in SIBERIA .


AK said...

Hi Prasun, How is it possible for Su-30mki ,MiG-29UPG to engage in terrain masking flights on our side of LAC ? Unlike Rafale's RBE2 N011 and Zhuk-ME doesnt have terrain following modes and will not provide any navigational clue to the pilot.

OLS of MiG-29 and Su-30 doesnt have air to ground imaging options like FSO or PIRATE . So, no infrared raster imagery of the terrain in the flight path of the acs will be avialable for nav of the pilot in white-out conditions which frequqently prevail in these areas. IAF lost a MiG29B-12 due to loss of situational awarness of the pilot while flying between the valleys at nightime in 2011. After this incident , it will be foolhardy for IAF to employ MiG-29 in terrain following missions.

Further these acs dont have holographic HUD where raster scan imagery of FLIR sensor can be displayed .Again , no terrain follwing sensors like LANTIRN is in service with IAF.

Jaguar DARIN3 upgarde will not have internal IRST, holographic HUD , its EL/M-2032 most probably doesnt have a terrain following mode.

Mirage 2000 is the only ac which qualifies as a low level terrain masking interdictor in IAF inventory.

So, how do you think Su-30mki, MiG-29UPG ,Jaguar UPG conduct stealthy incursions into TAR using terrain masking. ?

PLAAF is ahead in the are of low level interdiction. Chegdu J-10 mk2 will have holographic HUD and CETC is developing a LANTIRN analogue.

While it will be possible for Su-30 aircrew to get early warning of an incoming active BVRAAM , no such warnings will be possible for a passive BVRAAM or SAM shot. The pilot will be unable to know of the exact position of the missile.This will get remedied on upgradation to UPG standard. Will it possible to install MSWS, ELT-568 on all Su-30mki on one go quickly as an emergency measure. Super upgradation will take a pretty long time to complete and for that long a huge chunk of Su-30 fleet will remain moderately vulnerable.

How can a targetted ac escape out of the field of view or engagement zone of a hostile MMR in clear skies and oer terrain devoid of hills, and other obstacles ?

Then theres the added concern of wide proliferation of MR-SAM deployments and 150 km slant ranged HQ-16 , a Chinese copy of S-300. These are highly mobile shoot and scoot systems. Hence their destruction is a bit difficult. Further IAF has yet to acquire a 200 km range ARM like Kh-31PD which will keep the SEAD , DEAD ac outside of the engagement envelope of HQ-16 type sam.

The IAF must possess a sizable no of standoff PGM with a range of atleast 55 km. Possessing 100-150 such PGM will not suffice. Bypassing enemy IADS is better than resource intensive SEAD,DEAD missions .

PLAAF Su-27,Su-30MKK,J-11 can take off with an appreciable load of AAM from airfields in TAR. So, IAF will be facing stiff resistance. In order to prevent attrition losses and main an edge over PLAAF , IAF needs to be proficient in electronic warfare like Israelis. Without internal jammers, Su-30 will be pretty vulnerable.

Can EL/L-8222 be used to prevent and brake missile lock. ?

abs said...

Thanks for your very enlightening analysis.
The procurement and deployment of SR-SAMs as well as fielding of systems like the Iron Fist and Barak MR-SAMs should be done expeditiously to ensure IAF's air superiority over the PLAAF stays that way.
At the same time infrastructure creation especially the last mile linkages should be done ASAP.
The fielding of NLOS-BSMs like Prahaar and Prithvi 3 along with CALCMS and adequate tube and rocket powered artillery would act as effective deterrents. Along with the above Indian Army should carry on raising the 2 Independent Armoured Brigades and also pitch for the creation of an "MSC" with maximum amount of shared resources with the IAF, as war in this region is likely to be attrition oriented due to the terrain and weather conditions.
Looking forward to your concluding post.

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

a few things

just heard after setting up extra tnets PLA has started armed patrols around that 'f****d' tent area. Looks like we are staring at pre 1962 scene when in 1959-60 skirmishes (a 1959 incident led to commemoration of National Police Day) grew and led to war.

I will also say in case of hostilities IAF must take initiative and as per your case in point (like OBOGS/high flying exp./capable radars/BVR&WR weapons) i believe IAF will be able to create air dominance fairly quickly over TAR.

How about IAF doing sonic booms around the tent area daily, surely it will create a scene the PLA cant ignore.

Most importantly (i have said about it earlier too) its high time we merge ITBP into IA & make it part of MSC along with some specialized SFF elements.

I believe there is something serious coming up since the journalist whom you say tAlks in favor of F35 has been writing too much of late. (m,at be he is part of track 2 diplomacy & privy to some info). I say so as whenever somethings is coming up he write a lot. no offence to him.

However i differ from you on Tajes Mk3. as i read that Tejas Mk3 will be a possibly new design body with upto 70% CFC conent for maximum reduced RCS as well as special intakes & exhaust.

one thing is sure longtime ago i had said India will have 3 Gen 5 a/c the 30 ton plus FGFA, the 20 ton plus AMCA & the 10 ton plus Tejas Mk3. Its different matter all 3 are in pipeline just hope they dont remain pipe dreams.


Joydeep Ghosh

rad said...

HI Prasun

The glass
like material has got stealth like capabilities, is it theoretical studies or is there a program going on.
You had mentioned that the navy had rejected the drdo sonars but the refurbished kilo subs seem to have the UHUS sonar.
Please name a few Xband airborne radars.
Is the elt and spectra EW jammers better than the israeli 8222 becasue of their AESA antennas?
I am surprised that Israel being in the forefront of ew tech s still not come up with a aesa based jammer, is there one?

sasi said...

Prasun da,
1)Did we see the same 1962 pattern here?
2)any update on jagur engine upgrade?
Finally "i am happy" to hear abt upcoming armoured brigade in ladakh and our some offensive capability(still work in progress).
Thanks for replying,

sasi said...

when r we going to sign apache, chinook and Bae howitzer deals?

Anantz said...

As always a very informative and enlightening article. Do keep them coming.

KSingh said...


Where do you see this crisis going then? A return to the status quo brought about through talks? Or will india have to esclate this in some way?

Also will the IN be procuring FireScout and M4-QC BAMS UAVs in the near future? Coupled with the P-8I and the IN's advanced systems these products could be great additions to the IN.

abs said...

I was going through your lovely analysis once again and something hit upon me. Do you envisage AEW&CS and RISTA type platforms playing any role in a future limited war scenario along the LAC? I thought of this because you mentioned "offensive air power projection" by the IAF. Do you also foresee the usage of similar chinese force multipliers?

Technology, Photograpy and Travel said...

Hi Prasun da,

After going through the video and understanding what the designers of f16 wanted to and achieve, i have realized the importance of LCA in its present state ... and can not stop laughing at desi media who say most in negatively abt Tejas, i can see now what IAF is expecting out of LCA and why they are pushing HAL and ADA for its short commings to be filled.
I failed to see what u wanted to convey in comparing Tejas with JF17 and Chengdu J-10.
I wish to see Tejas Mk2 asap

Anonymous said...


Has the IA purchased any RPG 29 and RPG 32 ?


Gessler said...

Hi Prasun,

1) Where can I get any pictures of the KALYANI Group-fabricated version of the GHN.45 on the net? Is is known by a different name or just the same GHN.45?

2) Whats the status of the P-15A DDGs and P-28 corvettes? It looks like they're gonna take forever to be built!

3) Has construction of the first P-17A FFG begun yet?

4) Whats the status of the MCW and other FINSAS projects?

5) Any time frame specified for Nirbhay's 2nd test launch yet?

6) Any updates related to Arjun Mk-2 or Tejas Mk-2?

Thanks in advance.

ArunM said...

Sir, A wonderful article indeed.

1.What tanks and icv will the newly raised Independent armoured brigade be having ?

2.Do the recently ordered Bombardier 5000 for ARC feature IAI MARS2 suite ?

3.Which assault rifle is leading in the army contender for ppurchasing new gen assault rifles ?

4.Is the 3rd Brahmos blk3 cruise missile regiment having a range of 550 km operational in North East.

5.Is Nyoma ALG being transformed into an all weather full fledged military base ?

6.Will the Iranian mod allow Russia to analyse the downed RQ-170 Sentinel ? If Russia gets to reverse engineer this UCAV , will it in any way advance Russian UCAV tech and help in finetuning stealth techniques ?

7.Any progress on Tejas front ?

Arup said...

Sir, I havent come across any pic of Caesar which shows an ammo handling crane. Nexter specs cite a firing rate of 6 rounds in 2 mins . Denel mounted howitzer ,ATMOS has a burst fire rate of 3 rounds in 17 secs.

Is IA showing any interest in automated 120 mm mortar systems that can be mounted on BMP ?

Why doesnt IA introduce ATV into its inventory ?PLA has a variety of 4X4 ATV as is evident from your thread.

Is there any dedicated EW test range,facility where IAF fighter jets hones their ew skills, practises active jamming of a variety of ground based survellience and aquision radar, engagement radars of SHORADS,MR & LRSAM;learning and finetuning the skills of breaking an active BVRAAM , SAM missile lock. Does the IAF have a pool of EW specialists who tests the jamming perforamnce of the various Israeli,french jamming pods against real life threats , radar systems deployed with PAF and PLAAF; come up with new ideas and techniques of jamming , decoying advanced emitters and BVRAAM. Almost all of PLAAF BVRAAM uses the same Agat seeker that is there in R-77,R-27 or clones of that. Has IAF ever conducted any tests or drills to find out whether the Su-30 pilots are able to effectively counter such threats in different scenarios, whether EL-8222 can jam the active radar aseeker or the datalink of semi-active BVRAAM ?

Can the IA hold up against a PLA offensive in SSN ? How does IA plans to use its Brahmos LACM assets against PLA & PLAAF in TAR ?

What additional features SPECTRA possess that make it superior to ELT-568 ? Spectra has LPI jamming modes. MR-SAMs and AAM having lock on jam modes will be rendered useless with Spectra. Is it true that M88 uses two cooling channels and Rafale having the least IR signatures of contemporary jets ?

Doesnt IA have any ELINT/SIGINT facility like the one in Aksai Chin ?

Will it be possible to take out most of the launch pads , TELs simultaneouslycosidering the very small no of standoof PGM like Popeye, Kh-59,Brahmos we possess ? When will Prahaar NLOS-BSM enter into the scene ?

Vivek said...

Prasun da,
2 news items today, saraswat has said that arihant to be operational in 2 weeks, secondly Salman Khurshid said that India will invest 100 million dollars in chabahar port
Your views pl

Mr. Ra 13 said...

China has surely the idea that they have made an incursion in to an area, which India sincerely thinks to be of their own. China is on the way to succeed in to what he wants.

It is a secondary question as to what India shall or will do now. But the primary question is that what China thinks that India will do. Simply speaking India should do something else.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIVEK: The best way of neutralising the NLOS-BSMs is to destroy their launch sites & TELs, which can be done with tactical ALCMs as well as b y standoff PGMs like Spice 2000, provided the ISTAR capabilities are comprehensive. Will dwell on that later tonight, along with what’s required for making BrahMos-1 Block 3, Prahaar NLOS-BSM & Prithbi-3 NLOS-BSM effective enough. It is quite evident now that China has been highly rattled by the on-going force modernisation efforts of the IAF & IA in Ladakh & in the North East & therefore wants to formalise the 1996 CBMs that were never agreed upon by both sides. China has been asking India since late 2011 to come to the table to ink such an agreement, but India should now stand her ground & forcefully ask China’s President Xi Jinping to prove his sincerity in terms of seeking comprehensive & everlasting peace with India by agreeing to exchange maps of the western & eastern sectors of the LAC & after this, commence negotiations in earnest to permanently demarcate & delineate the two countries’ international boundaries. The time is now ripe for laying all cards on the table & not holding back, for if this is not done, the future will be bleak for both countries, but China will end up as the bigger loser.

To ICEMAN: 1) Army HQ has already changed its mind. The 50-tonne GMBT & 55-tonne FMBT are both history. 2) Tikhomirov NIIP’s MIRES AESA-array integrated with the existing back-end of the No-11M/RLSU-30MK radar. Phazotron’s Zhuk-AE was never designed for any member of the Su-27/30 family. 3) No tenders were ever issued for FICV. Only Express-of-Interest document was released.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: It seems these creatures are genetically-engineered humanoids, not exactly humans.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AK: You’re getting confused between terrain-masking & terrain-hugging/terrain-following. The two are completely different. Terrain-masking flight profiles are possible for any combat aircraft whose pilot is equipped with NVG, or with a HMDS showing the IR imagery of the terrain ahead that is derived from the IRST sensor. That’s exactly what was being practiced by the MiG-29B-12 & Su-30MKI when the former crashed due to absence of HMDS & the need to look into the CRT display for viewing the IRST’s imagery, all of which made the MiG-29 pilot lose his situational awareness & he got disoriented. Read this:
Even Mirage 2000UPG won’t have terrain-following mode. Only the Super Su-30MKIs & Rafales will have this mode, since they both will have AESA-MMRs. Any PLAAF combat aircraft will have minimal offensive payloads when taking off from anywhere within TAR. Even for defensive counter-air operations, J-10s have been carrying only for AAMs. Passive BVRAAMs too require mid-course guidance from fire-control airborne radars. Advance warning therefore is always available. Every airborne MMR has a field-of-view. One just has to stay clear of this FOV & target lock-on will therefore not be possible. MR-SAM & LR-SAM deployments are always in fixed/static sites & they’re never deployed in any other areas. Therefore, such sites can be easily targetted with standoff PGMs & ALCMs. The conventional 700km-range version of Nirbhay can easily be modified to incorporate a radar-homing seeker in its terminal flight phase. Even the LRCM now under development can become an ARM. EL/L-8222 is only meant for jamming ground-based air-defence systems.

To ABS. VMT. The prime deficiency now is the lack of ground transportation infrastructure, without which matters could well get worse. Another deficiency is in the area of ISTAR, about which I will be uploading the concluding section tonight.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: Matters are likely to be resolved by May 15, since by that time the area of Raki Nala will be extremely wet due to the melting snow from the Himalayan glaciers. That entire area becomes uninhabitable then. ITBP(F) has useful roles for the China-Sikkim border area, but not along the LAC for sure. Merging it with IA makes sence, but it still won’t solve the problem, since the Biharis, Tamils, Haryanvis etc all do not know Ladakhi language or culture & will therefore not be able to do a proper job. The only alternative therefore is to increase Ladakh’s population density by resettling all the Tibetan refugees now camping in India over there, after granting them Indian citizenship & then using this human resource to double the strength of the Ladakh Scouts from the present 5 battalions. And as for the self-styled Delhi-based ‘desi’ F-35 JSF marketer, his track-2 diplomacy sojourns involve just all-expenses paid trips for gulping kebabs & biryanis, & thus the nature of his writings, which take the form of travelogues. Has anyone from India ever bothered to find out what are the TOEs & ORBATs of the opposing countries? Have they ever attended any defence/aerospace expos in these opposing countries? Have they ever bothered to figure out the mindsets of such countries? Of course the answer is a firm NO! That’s why one never comes across any write-ups & analysis by them of military exercises conducted in India’s neighbourhood. In short, these ‘desi’ entities are all gasbags who are titally detached from reality. Of course he has to write a lot whenever something comes up, for that’s his livelihood. The question, however, is: does such writing make any sense or is it illuminating or informative? Tejas Mk3 a new design? Where’s the money for it? Who has sanctioned it? If ADA is having financial problems with the AMCA project, how can one justify R & D funds for a Tejas Mk3 venture when even the Tejas Mk2 hasn’t yet seen the light of day?

To RAD: It started with theoretical studies & has since evolved into a firm R & D project. I had said the DRDO’s low-frequency sonars like NAGAN & MIHIR have been rejected by the IN. USHUS is a mid-frequency sonar. APG-63, APG-65, APG-73, APG-79 Zhuk, Zhuk-M, NO-11M, NO-10M, EL/M-2032, EL/M-2034, KLJ-7, PS-05A are all monopulse MMRs. ELT & SPECTRA are used for jamming BVRAAMs, while EL/L-8222 is used against ground-based SAM fire-control radars.

To SASI: Nope. This is totally different from 1962. No comparisons at all. The F125 turbofan from Honeywell has already won the competition & now it is just a matter of signing the procurement contract. LW-155 155mm/39-cal air-mobile howitzer contract should be inked this fiscal year. The others will have to wait for next fiscal year.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSINGH: Neither side can afford an escalation & that’s why the Chinese Foreign Ministry too has been adopting a conciliatory approach for the past two weeks. This is just a mind-game involving psychological endurance. Firescout, maybe yes, but BAMs, no. ADE is already designing a HALE-UAV like the Talarion that will be powered by two GTRE-developed Laghu Shakthi turbofans.

To ADITYA: I never said anything about comparing Tejas’ performance parameters with those of J-10 or JF-17. The JSF project was expensive due to two reasons: First, two contracts were awarded for developing competing turbofans to Pratt & Whitney & GE Aero Engines. This could have been avoided. Second, developing three versions of the JSF at the same time was extremely challenging & perhaps foolhardy. What ought to have been done was to first develop only the conventional takeoff version of the F-35—the one with the greatest export potential. The STOL & VTOL versions could well have come at a later stage.

To Anon@9.34PM: Nope.

To GESSLER: 1) There are none. They haven’t yet begun building the GHN-45. Consequently, there’s no name for it so far. 2) I already stated so many times before that the first P-15A DDG will be commissioned anytime between this month & August 2013. 3) Not yet. 4) All gone into hibernation due to paucity of funds. 5) Nope. 6) Nothing new to add.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ARUNM: VMT. 1) T-90S & BMP-2. 2) No, an ELBIT Systems-supplied ELINT/COMINT suite. 3) None. 4) How can they be operational anywhere when the roads required for deploying them don’t even exist? 5) Not yet. 6) It is always possible. 7) None.

To ARUP: Ammo handling carne by no means increases a howitzer’s MRSI or burst-firing capability. The IA’s GH-77Bs already have such cranes. There is a DARE-developed rangeless EW system deployed at Gwalior. Of course, because the IA will get wind of such an offensive almost 14 days in advance. There’s no ELINT/SIGINT station in of India Aksai Chin.

To VIVEK: What Dr Saraswat had said was that the PWR will go operational in two weeks’ time after criticality is achieved (meaning fuel-loading has already begun), not the Arihant itself. Following this the Arihant will undergo at least 18 months of sea-trials, maybe more. The decision to invest in Chah Bahr Port is a wise one as it will open a direct trade route for India from Iran & through Afghanistan to Central Asia.

To Mr.RA 13: Neither side can afford an escalation & that’s why the Chinese Foreign Ministry too has been adopting a conciliatory approach for the past two weeks. This is just a mind-game involving psychological endurance. But what is inescapable is that China has been really spoofed by the IAF’s on-going force modernisation efforts. And there’s more to come, since by next week the first P-8Is are due to arrive at Dabolim & the IN’s first MiG-29K squadron will be commissioned on May 9.

Kimran Singh said...


1)Any updates on the F-INSAS? When will it be implemnted?

2)When do you expect the Rafale deal to be signed?

I have just read an article by an Indian defence journo and he is saying the deal will now either be scrapped in the next 2 months OR the deal will be signed post 2014 elections so most likely in 2015 or 2016 but he expects the deal will be scrapped altogether.
Is there any truth to his comments? Is the Rafale deal really this fucked? I was under the impression the deal would be signed in the next few weeks/months.

3)the IAF now has a well equipped and well equipped SF in the Garuds, but are there any pplans to procure specilised HELOS for them? Specifically in their CSAR roles the Garuds need specilised helos with winches, FLIR, self-protection suites and possible IFR probes ie the HH-60G PAVEHAWKS employed by the USAF's PARARESCUE men or PJs as they are called. Does the IAF have any plans for such a helo procurement?

4)when will the Indian army get a future combat system along the lines of the system the IN's MARCOs are procururing?

5)I have heard some interesting rumurs on the IN's marine infantry force the SPB, is there any chance you could do an in-depth right up on them sir?

KSingh said...

Prasun, VMT for your reply

1) Will the IAF's MIG-29UPGs be coming with TOPOWL/TOPSIGHT HMDS like the one already in use with the IN's MIG-29Ks? I have yet to see evidence of such.

2) Will the crews of the MI-17V5s and ALH in IAF/IA service be given the QuadEye NVGs anytime soon? IIRC you had mentioned somthing along these lines a while back.

3) Will the IAF take any steps to address the cancellation of the RED FLAG exercise this year? Ie conduct their own large-scale war-simulation exercise or the like? And will the IAF now wait another 5 years to go to RED FLAG or will they go the next time it is held?

4) do you have info that you can share on Special Group (the Special unit of the SFF manned almost entirely by Indian SF operators)?

KSingh said...

5) when do you expect the IA to finalise its selection of a foreign assualt rifle for which trails have been conducted and induction is supposed to take place in mid-2014?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KIMRAN SINGH & UNKNOWN: 1) F-INSAS’s service-induction phase will begin by next year, when a trials Infantry Division of the IA will begin the process of accepting some of the haredware & networks into service. 2) Preliminary contract for Rafale M-MRCA should be inked by this September. 3) There’s a reqmt for 12 12-tonne CSAR helicopters for which the AW-101 & EC-725 Cougar Mk2 are the frontrunners. 4) FCS is part of the F-INSAS project. 5) Not in the immediate future.

To KSINGH: 1) No. The IAF MiG-29UPGs will use the same Sura-M HMDS that’s now being used by the Su-30MKI aircrew. 2) Colour Anvis NVGs from ELBIT Systems are already operational with the aircrew of Dhruv Mk3/4 & Mi-17V-5. 3) The large-scale Iron Fist air exercises just got over. They were far more bigger in size than RED FLAG. 4) It is an all-Indian SOF formation that was known as Establishment 22 & was created at the same time as the Special Services Bureau (SSB, which is now the Sahastra Seebma Bal) & the Into-Tibetan Border Force. SFF is no different from the SF (Bara) Battalions. Foreign assault rifles are reqd for only select units of the IA like 50 Independent Para Brigade, SF (Para) Battalions & 54th Airmobile Division & will not replace the existing INSAS throughout the IA. The imported hardware should start flowing in through successive tranches by 2015. INSAS will be replaced throughout the IA by the Multi-Calibre Weapon that is now being developed by ARDE.

AK said...

Hi Prasun, VMT for such a lucid explanation.

What are the difference in functionalities between ELL-8251 having SSA and TWT transmitters ? Are both these variants in service with IAF ? Can Su-30mki carry such pods ?

Can this escort jammer pod jam and confuse LY-80E MR-SAM & KS-1A engagement radars, LD-2000 point defense systems and the long range airspace survellience radar at Shigaste. How will the above IADS elemsnt neutralised,destroyed ? They are a;; protected by LD-2000 and other point defense systems which are most likely to shoot the ARMs out of the sky ? What does IAF envisage to degrade and destroy such a indepth layered defense network?

Can BARS detect and track CJ-10K ALCM from a considerable distance away and can R-27 or R-77 be used to intercept and dsetroy such ALCM?

Dont you think chaff have become a bit outdated for decoying modern active BVRAAM with built in sophisticated ECCM features ?

Can Barak-8ER successfully intercept all the mentioned NLOS-BSM and MBRL especially Mach 3 capable P-20 ?

How will SR-SAM fare against these missiles ?

Isnt there an acute need for immediate procurement of MR-SAM,QR-SAM with considerable anti-missile capabilties to address the current operational needs. Once Barak-8 is ready, they must be deployed en masse to all the critical military infrastuture and airbases. Nothing should be left to chance.

When conducting offensive air ops over TAR , what will IAF strike acs employ ? Dumb iron bombs with no standoff range as wasdisplayed during Iron Fist firepower demonstration exercises or standoff PGM like Spice 1000,2000 , AASM , Popeye , Kh-59 ?

Are any steps being taken by IAF for building up stocks of such standoff PGM to an optimum level ?

What is the closest equivalent in IA of 15th airborne? How can the Fist battalions be countered ? Once they land in Indian soil they are sure to cause havoc .

What caused IAF HQ to opt for a non-holographic HUD for Super Su-30mki , Jaguar DARIN-3 ? Will Mirage 2000 UPG have OSF optronic suite ?

How effective will be CBU-97 armed jaguars against the varied concentrations of SP,MBRL,tanks, ICV, ATV in TAR ? Isnt a long range version of this weapon available ?

Can IA Brahmos blk3 be used to target PLA rear area supply depots, helipads, logistics and supply nodes. At present PLA seems to have the upper hand in both tube and rocket artillery , mechanised assets and area and point air-defense over IA along all the length of LAC ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Please answer my question

Because of this CURRENT EMERGENCY of this Chinese Incursion will India have to go for EMERGENCY PURCHASES of arms and ammunition as was done in Kargil conflict

OR our existing stocks are good enough

Sayan said...

Sir, NIIP Phazotron has distributed a leaflet in Aero India 2011 which claims that the production variant of Zhuk-AE aesa of MiG-35 is going to have a 688 mm antenna over the current 600 mm. As a result the detection range in air-to-air mode against air space has increased from 130 km to 160 km for the targets with 5 sq.m RDS. Approaching aircraft can be detected against the ground at 150 km range. The radar with full size array can select up to six most dangerous threats to attack out of a total of 30 simultaneously tracked targets. It is also able to identify target type as well as a number of aircraft in the group target.

Sir, you attended this expo. Can you confirm this news. If MiG-35 had won the mmrca competition would this 688 mm dia Zhuk-AE been fitted ?

Is INS Vikramaditya going to have 6 Kashtan CIWS ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

The IAF has said PUBLICALLY that RAFALE is absolutely crucial for IAF

This was said after the LIVE WIRE exercise recently which was a exercise for TWO front war

So now will DASSAULT become more demanding seeing India's DESPERATION

KSingh said...


that 12 12 tonne CSAR helos, is this specifically for the IAF?

And surely the competiton has ground to a halt as a result of the VVIP AW-101 issues at the very least the AW-101 has almost 0 chance of being ordered now and we all know how much the MOD hates single-vender competitions so this procuremnt is null and void now, right?

If not when can we expect the outcome and order placed?

Iceman said...

1.Do Indian army plans to replace the INSAS rifles with a foreign made one?
2.what about the status of Brahmos to be deployed in arunachal pradesh?
3.will India go for PAK fa before its own FGFA inducted into service?
4.does IAF plans to replace the R-73 missile with a python missile?
5.How many T-90's are ordered for Indian army?
6.What is LRCM? is it Nirbhay?
7.will rustom-2 will be an armed drone?
8.when will the brahmos mini will be tested?
9.who will supply cockpit for SUPER SUKHOI's? there any chance that the Indian navy going for follow-on scorpenes?
11.what is the status of QR-SAM competition?
12.does Rustom-1 flies on an Indian made engine?
13.are we developing our SSN in collaboration with DCNS?

rad said...

HI Prsun
I remember that previously said that the mig-29k of the navy would be using the top owl ,and now you say it is the Sura HMS.
wiki says the same .
Our main threat seems to be the NLOS missiles using rlg and gps , cant we have a UAV or an ac patrolling our skies and jamming the bieudo chinese gps so that the missiles are inaccurate?.

abs said...

I agree with you that for precision strikes against Chinese fixed and mobile tactical, strategic and war sustenance infrastructure installations IA and IAF must have sound and formidable ISTAR platforms. Do you think the Bombardier-5000 platforms to be acquired jointly for the IAF and Aviation Research Wing (or was it NTRO?)could provide precision targetting cues for air to surface and surface to surface missiles?
Do you think that India's present UAV's would be able to provide enough ISTAR options for both the IA and IAF spreading from the tactical battlespace to the theater level?
Also do you think the PLAAF's aew&cs assets as well as IAF's aew&cs assets would be put into action? Please elaborate.

abs said...

Also what role, if any, do you see for IA/IAF's special forces?

Anonymous said...


is it true that ARDE produced a heavy 185 mm gun, but that never entered service because the army was not interested then.WHY?

Pakistan Army ,U.S Army,Russian Army,Israel Defence Force ,ROK all have heavy guns like M115 Towed Gun,M110,M107 & 2S7 Pion Self-propelled artillery etc.

Why there is no need of a heavy Gun?

ArunM said...

Sir , Lots of thanks.

1.Hindustan times and TOI reported that Bombardier 5000 would be able to look upto 180 km into enemy territory , will be fitted with radars and electro-optic sensors.Then there was also reports that Elta had won a 300 miilion dollar deal for supplying sensor suites of the two Bombardiers. These all points to MARS2 suite.

2.There were talks of IA raising a brigade sized air-assault force for vertical envelopement missions. What is its status ?

3.Are LORROS optronic sensors in service with our airforce ?

4.When will the final contract after which Rafale aircraft delivery will take plac expected to be signed ? When will the 1st batch of Rafales arrive ?

5.When will contract signature of Honeywell F125 , EL/M-2032 radars for Darin3 upg , BAE M777 howitzers ,A330 MMRT , 6 more C-130J ,4 more P-8I, batch 3 of Talwar class frigates take place ?

6.From 2014 can HAL Bangalore supply 8 Tejas SP per annum ? All the QA/QC issues relating to series production, were they sorted out.

7.Arent all 8 Tu-142 of Navy upgraded with EL/M-2022V multi mode radar ?

8.Why isnt there any news on IA field artillery modernisation program ?

9.Those Mi-17 tasked with providing logistics support to the army troops deployed along LAC, do they carry IR jammer ?

Anonymous said...

Sir, I have one request for you . The Chinese have withdrawn. But this doesnt mean the situation is over. Pls upload the concluding part of your super duper thread . Will be waiting for the rest of the part.

Vivek said...

Breaking news
Standoff is over and both sides have withdrawn the troops

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the answer Prasun . But don't you think that the IA should purchase RPG 32 instead of expensive and dysfunctional weapon like Javelin . There are a number of shortcomings in the Javelin like :

(1)Only able to perform a diving top attack profile against an armoured vehicle with its engine running and a good IR signature to lock onto. In Afghanistan it has been used mostly in the manually guided role

(2)Javelin can be only employed in urban or mountainous choke-points ambushes and, also here, only from well covered/camouflaged firing positions.

(3)If the enemy is equipped with Kornet E / EM , Javelin/Spike does NOT stand a chance

(4)The tandem shaped warhead of the Javelin can only penetrate from the top which means it needs a lock, which means a Tank with its engine turned off is completely safe, and one fitted with APS is also safe.

(5)Jammers like SHTORA can negate the Javelin as it has no back up tracking system.

(6)A major drawback of the Javelin system is the reliance on a thermal view to acquire targets , meaning until the refrigeration component has cooled the system the thermal views will not operate . This may take more than 2 minutes if you intend to use it in hot & humid conditions (as prevalent in INDIA).

Obviously the manufacturers are NOT going to disclose all these shortcomings .


Arup said...

Sir, Do Su-30,Mirage 2000,Jaguar pilots practise hostile emitter jamming,decoying and the various techniques of EW warfare at the rangeless facility at Gwalior ?

IAF was looking to purchase ground based ELINT and ESM systems to complement the active radar coverage of IACCCS network like the Czech Tolchuga ?

What additional features SPECTRA possess that make it superior to ELT-568 ? Spectra has LPI jamming modes. MR-SAMs and AAM having lock on jam modes will be rendered useless with Spectra. Is it true that M88 uses two cooling channels and Rafale having the least IR signatures of contemporary jets ?

What caused PLA to withdraw ? Did IA dismantle its forward observation posts ?

How does T-90S fare against ZTZ-96G ?

The thinly armoured BMP-2 are no match for the Chinese Type-86G ICV. BMPs are more like tin cans to them.

Do your para brigades have their integral armour, SPH and mechanised battalions ?

Do Kolkata class DDG have ultra low frequency TAS ?

Anonymous said...

Prasunda, the stand-off is over and both sides have withdrawn.But,what is the story behind it?If India has dismanteled survellience systems from the strategically located chumar sector as demanded by the chinese?If so, what will India gain in exchange with it?If not, then what was the formula for this deescalation? With regards, UJJWAL

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AL: 1) The EL/L-8251’s brochure at IAI’s website explains it all. The pod with SSA is in service with IAF. 2) PESA engagement radars of KS-1A & LY-80E are impossible to jam with just a solitary jammer. One will require Growler-type dedicated platforms for jamming such radars. 3) LD-2000 isn’t able to shoot down Kh-31P Krypton-type supersonic ARMs. 4) NO-11M BARS can’t detect cruise missiles of any type. 5) Chaff & flares will never become irrelevant for as long as motion-detection sensors are not introduced on AAMs. 6) Barak-8 will indeed be able to supersonic NLOS-BSMs. 7) SR-SAM will be effective against subsonic land-attack cruise missiles, not NLOS-BSMs. 8) There’s a huge backlog for all three armed services in terms of procurements & one cannot induct everything in one go. 9) For destroying ground-based air-defence systems, only standoff PGMs will be used, not gravity bombs. 10) 15th Airborne Army is a unique formation & there are no equals in India, not even in the US. They can’t enter Indian airspace unless the PLAAF totally defeats the IAF. 11) Not everyone makes holographic HUDs, not even Russia or Israel. 12) No OSF for Mirage 2000UPG. 13) For BrahMos-1 Block-3, targetting data will have to come from ISTAR assets.

To Anon@10.55AM: This type of ‘bania’ attitude must be avoided. Things today are not as bad as they were in mid-1999.

To SAYAN: No such pamphlets were given out by Phazotron JSC. Data on Zhuk-AE is available at:

No Kashtan-M on INS Vikramaditya.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.17PM: How can Dassault Aviation be more demanding when it has already agreed to all terms & conditions of the contract by submitting its response to the RFP in such a manner that it complies with all rules & regulations stipulated in the RFP? Not everyone has a ‘bania’ mentality.

To KSINGH: For whom else can it ever be? Has the IA or IN ever undertaken CSAR operations? The CSAR competition never ground to any halt because there was nothing to halt in the first place. How can a competition begin if no RFP has ever been issued for this competition? And who says the MoD hates single-vendor situations? BrahMos Aerospace was established without any competitive evaluations. FGFA & IL-214 MRTA were selected without any competition. Mi-17V-5s were ordered with any competition. Upgrade contracts for MiG-28UPG & Mirage 2000UPG were inked without any competition. 6 Project 1135.6 FFGs have been procured without any competition. F125 turbofans will be acquired without any competition. MiG-29Ks, Ka-31s, Ka-28PLs & INS Vikramaditya were vacquired without any competition. OFB-developed 155X45 towed howitzers are being acquired sans any competition.

To ICEMAN: All those questions were answered several times before.

To RAD: MiG-29K/TopOwl is not the same as MiG-29UPG/Sura-M.

To ABS: The two Bombardier Global 5000 SIGINT/COMINT platforms are for R & AW’s Charbatia-based ARC. They don’t carry any belly-mounted SAR. The IAF therefore has a reqmt for seven additional airborne platforms capable of housing SAR & related mission management systems & ground data reception centres. NTRO’s mandate is only to operate within the country & strictly for defensive purposes. NTRO does not even recruit any cyber warrior. Will deal with ISTAR challenges & role of SOF personnel in a b rand-new thread later this week.

To Anon@8.12PM: Yes, it’s true. Developing such a 185mm howitzer is only half the story. Who will develop its ammo & charge bags? Besides, the majority of the world at that time was embracing the 155mm/39-cal howitzers & therefore India could not be the exception to the norm. Pakistan’s 203mm field guns are not operational anymore.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

ARUNM: 1) ELBIT Systems won that contract, not ELTA. The entire contact was compromised by Abhishek Verma, who in turn supplied all this data to C Edmond Allen in the US & then Allen sent this data back to the CBI & MoD & from there someone leaked all this data to the INDIAN EXPRESS. Welcome to ‘Incredible India’! 2) Not Brigade-sized nor air-assault, but the 54th Airmobile Division. 3) Not IAF, but IA. 4) Difficult to say with certainty. 5) Difficult to say with certainty. 6) Not by 2014, but a year later. 7) No. 8) Because nothing much has been happening. 9) Yes.

To Anon@9.20PM: Will do.

To Anon@11.06PM: LAWs have totally different applications from guided-ATGMs. Javelin-type ATGMs are never used on a battlefield where Kornet-E-type ATGMs are in use. For any ATGM, it is mission accomplished when a MBT is either completely destroyed or is rendered immobile by either disabling its tracks or setting its rear-mounted external fuel tanks on fire. Shtora is forward-facing & is totally ineffective against attacks from the side or rear. As for cooled thermal imagers, the same limitation also applies to IR seekers of MANPADS. It doesn’t mean that the weapon is useless. Te way to go around it is to adapt one’s combined arms weapons employment tactics.

To ARUP: 1) Of course they do. 2) They’re nown as passive surveillance systems. Only RFIs have been issued, no RFPs. 3) ELT-568 b& SPECTRA possess similar capabilities. No one is superior to the other. 4) There was a tradeoff & that’s what led to the mutual withdrawal. No observation posts were dismantled. 5) T-90S & ZTZ-96G are comparable. 6) IA’s Para formations are strictly infantry, with no integral armour or artillery assets. 7) No, only LF TAS.

To UJJWAL: Obviously there was a tradeoff & that’s what led to the mutual withdrawal. No observation posts were dismantled.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Have uploaded above some more photos on MBRLs & NLOS-BSMs, along with similar stuff on the ZTZ-99A1 medium tank, plus data on PLAAF's AEW & CS and UAV platforms towards the bottom. Concluding section on the Eastern Front will be uploaded later tonight, while whole new thread on 'Lessons Learnt & What More Needs To Be Done' will be created later this week.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

By the way, Dr V K Saraswat has confirmed that 1) there is no such missile known as Agni-6, & there were UFOs sited over Ladakh. Of course, he never explained what those UFOs were all about, which means no one knows for sure what those airborne intelligently flying luminous objects were.

Watch this:

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

If you were to interview the DRDO chief what questions would you ask?

Anonymous said...

India China War has ONLY been postponed

The Chinese are EVIL by nature

If we become complacent by this Tactical Withdrawl then we will suffer very badly in future

India must build up its infrastructure and its armed forces ASAP

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.49AM: Why would I want to interview him? What for?

To Anon@10.42AM: Not evil, but avid practitioners of Zhuge Liang’s 36 Strategems. Indian elites on the other hand are increasingly becoming ‘self-ingratiating baniyas’ (see: & becoming prone to ‘memory loss’ on national security matters as well, as will be borne out in my following thread later this week.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.42AM: Read this:

See what I mean? After Nepal there will be Bangladesh, then Myanmar, then Maldives & perhaps even Bhutan one day. But so what....let the 'Chalta Hai' syndrome prevail, since Hindutva propagates the belief that no matter how backward one's material existence is, it is the spirit (soul) that's always ahead of everything else!!!

ArunM said...

Sir, VMT for your replies.

1.How many Tu-142 have IAI EL/M-2022V maritime survellience radars ?

2.Just like IL-38 were upgraded with SeaDragon suite, with what mission sensor suite were the Tu-142 fleet upgraded ?

3.How does T-90M fare against ZTZ-99A MBT ?

4.Besides Harpoon ashm ,how many and what weapon were ordered from US for P-8I ?

5.What is the status of 54th Airmobile division ? When will it be operational ?

6.Will VSHORADS contract signed this year ?

7.Are Orders for el-2032 mmr for Jaguar DARIN3 upgrade placed?

8.Is the Elbit comint,elint suite as sophisticated as IAI MARS2 ?

9.Cant el-2060p provide targetting cues to Brahmos blk3 ?

10.What will be the additions to armed forces in 2014 ?

11. Besides EL/M-2082,EL/M-2083,EL/M-2084,EL/M-2102 ,Green pine what are the other ground based radars from IAI that IAF,IA fields ?

12. What were the tradeoffs between IA & PLA ?

Anonymous said...

What positive affect would this India-China 'stand-off' have on India's procurement plans/delays ??

Would we, at least, now go in for (a)the 145 M-777's ? /order more ?? (b) Chinooks ?? (c) the light helicopters/Fennec's ?? (d) More Spyders to defend the AF Bases/ALG's ?? (e) More Radar's (f) Jaguar Honeywell engines/Darin III ?? (g) More Brahmos III's/Prahaar's ?? (h) LBG's ?? (i) The to be raised Armd Brigades/Mtn Divn's ?? (j) the 2 Phalcons ??
..............I hope Chidambaram loosens his purse strings............

rad said...

HI Prasun
I have to congratulate you on your correct prediction about the chinese staying there only for a week or 2 and going back, i guess commercial interest gained the upper hand , i still feel we should take this opportunity and cut trade imbalances by terming them as an aggressor and hence cutting unnecessary import of things like junk electronic toys clothes etc in fact i think that is the area where we are loosing to them rather than military.
Why are we allowing them to gain an upper hand cant we act citing national interest.I think this stand off has given indians who think that the chinese a re 9 ft tall a good perspective and confidence .
Why are we not engaging countries like myanmar and vietnam , philipines, malaysia etc in space or defence treaties? is it because the politicians have not bothered or something else. Is thailand more close to china> they seem to be getting lot of arms from them.or we not engaging them.

rad said...

HI Prasun
There is a pic where there are a stick of 4 chinese soldiers , with comms and a tough note book .Is this a special ops unit or a propaganda pic , have we inducted such comms and note books. What ever happened to the hand held display sathi, tetra for the army that was inaugurated by kalam and hyped with much fan fare , tech problems ? or some thing else.
It makes me mad why on earth we dont a have a cyber warrior force when we have the biggest IT manpower , china encourages hacking by universities and they have leapt ahead in that area using their manpower. Politicians are busy in coal , telecom and a million things to earn money and keep themselves seated rather than the interests of the country.

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da,

Did you read this news that the AF had to wind up their air defence exercise at a test facility as three trials of the five attempts made to engage aerial targets by a Russian surface-to-air missile (SAM) failed .


joydeep ghosh said...

prasun da

a few clarifications if possible

just read Gripwn, LCA Tejas mk 2, F16 comparison with other similar jets

Gripen, Tejas mk2 use almost the same engine with same dry & max thrust of 62 & 98 kn but Gripen & Tajas mk2 combat radius is 800 km & 1200 km, how ?

but the F16 with smaller wing area than Gripen & Tajas mk2 & combat radius of just 500 km carrying 7 ton payload (max of all 3)and dry & max thrust of 85 & 143 kn looks more powerful, is it just bcoz of the engine, how is it that there ia so much variation in thrust than Gripen & Tajas mk2 ?

Anonymous said...

kimonaache prasun da..

1. After so much nautanki and bewakufiat the chinese moved from raki nala.... What do u think sir the moto behind this...?
2. Have india issued rfi or rfp for lpd..? What do u think will india select as its lpd..?
3. Can p8 work as a full awacs in emergency...?
4. Has india chosen any icv or lav and atlav.. For army....?
5. What about mmrca deal...? When would it be signed...?
Could u explain me why govt shows such a rheothetic behaviour while spending for armed forces....? Plz some body tell them ki ye unki ghar ke protectn jaisa nai hai...guard pasand nai aiya toh hata diye.....

chethan said...

Hi Prasun,
Regarding the super sukhoi upgrade, has the improved AL-31-FP engines by Ilyuka with digital FADEC been released?
does the following link talk about improved AL-31FP?

Also in the recent takeoff magazine, the Tikimorov NIIP head mentioned that the delivery of MIRES radar for super sukhoi will only start after India has payed the money in cash for FGFA radar. Is it true?
When can we expect the first squadron of super sukhois?
Thanks & Regards,

Anonymous said...

Sir, Why does head of NIIP say that contract signature for MIRES AESA for IAF Su-30 upgrade has yet to take place . But you have said that the contract signature has already taken palce, money has started flowing into NIIP and it is now customising PAK-FA AESA to suit Su-30 MKI . What is actually happening behind the scene ? Pls explain.

Bhaswar said...

Peasun Sir,

Did we dismantle the outpost in Chumar? Reports seem to be hinting towards in asking as to whether we made some concessions..if so then what exactly were these concessions?

Anonymous said...

The MMRCA deal ie RAFALE is in Deep


The French are simply going back on all the initial promises that they made before the selection was made

Anonymous said...

Sir, There may be some inconsistencies in the data provided by you. Pls confirm them.

1. N011M Bars is able to detect and track cruise missiles.

2.Production variant of Zhuk-AE has an increased diameter 688mm AESA . Zhuk-AE on MiG-35 displayed at aero india 2007 had a 575 mm dia antenna. The former is termed FGA-35 by Phazotron JSC. The latter is termed FGA-29. The production variant Zhuk-AE has a T/R count slightly greater than 1000. It has much more air to air range. Go through -

Indian aspect article

3. Not a single variant of OLS-30 feature terrain imaging mode to aid in navigation.

4. MiG-29B-12 OLS doesnt have any such modes.

You can visit Ural Optical and Mechanical plant official website and check out for yourself the various operating modes of OLS.

5.Vikramaditya indeed has Kashtan-m missile gun systems for self protection along with RBU-6000.

abs said...

What kind of trade-off led to the mutual pullback of PLA and IA troops?

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,

"In a $100 million move to counter China, India to upgrade Iran's Chabahar port."

Do you think India can go through with the project despite American opposition?

Arup said...

Sir, After P-8I get inducted into IN, will Tu-142 be retained in service or will they be phased out ?

If MiG-35 really have Zhuk-AE with 68o mm organic dia & >1000 TR elements , wont it be superior to Rafale in BVR ? Rafale RBE2 AESA has a dia of 550 mm. If all the other parameters remain same , the aesa with greater aperture area will have greater detection and tracking range.Phazotron claims that with this new radar, MiG-35 will have a 200 km detection range. Rafale has 868 TR elements. MiG-35 also have a good EW suite comprising Virgilius jammer, MAWS . Although it doesnt has a holographic HUD and no terrain follwing modes, it is superior to Rafale in air to air combat. MiG-35 can engage in terrain masking during interdiction missions. It is also cheaper than Rafale.Further MiG-35 engines will feature TVC. If Rafale deal doesnt materialise , it will be a good fall back option.

Will Tejas mk1 employ triple ejector racks ? So far has ADA been successful in increasing AoA of Tejas in subsonic, supersonic flight regimes beyond present 26 degree ?

As Mirage 2000UPG wont be having OSF, will each of them be installed with Thales Navflir sensor for terrain following and navigation in whiteout conditions ? Navflir is incorporated in a pylon and doesnt take up a hardpoint.

Does P-28 ASW corvettes have ultra low frequency TAS ?

Are there any plans to refurbish and upgrade IL-76 to 476 standards ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Is the vimanashastra and the rest of the technological know how lost forever in india?
Or is it possible some rishi-muni on th banks of ganga river has all the knowledge
How did the US lay its hands on such ancient texts and could they have gathered some more of it which we do not even know exists?

Bhaswar said...

Prsun Sir,

Seems we have given the Chumar post up, three cheers to the eunuchs leading the country- wait a minute lets be gender neutral here- cowards and pusillanimous fools would be a better description.

Your comments?

Iceman said...

1.what is the status of drdo aew&c system?
2.will IAF go for follow on c 17 globemaster because the c-17 production line will be closed by next year?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ARUNM: 1) None. 2) None. 3) Both are equally comparable. 4) Mk54 lightweight torpedoes. About 50+. 5) It is only in the planning stages. 6) Nope. 7) Nope. 8) Much better. 9) Yes. 10) Can’t tell now. 11) Nothing more. 12) Read this:

To Anon@1.08PM: Purse-strings will remain tight for this fiscal year.

To RAD: VMT. Firstly, do read this:

Secondly, ASEAN today is totally divided. Vietnam & Philippines are on one side opposing China & all the rest are with China. The Photo is that of a PLA heliborne SOF unit.

To VIKRAM GUHA: It only the fact that some systems are being flogged & retained in service far beyond their service lives.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: Combat radius calculation depends on several factors like the kind of flight profile (hi-lo-hi or lo-lo-lo), maximum offensive payload capacities, & the ability to either carry a limited number of external tanks or in-flight refuelling capability. Only after these parameters are factored in as constants will one be able to calculate realistic combat radii envelopes.

To MAYANK RAJ: 1) Read this:

2) Not yet. 3) Yes it can. 4) Not yet. 5) Union Ministry of Finance wants negotiations stretched for as long as possible due to extremely tight purse-strings. However, the contract will be inked this year itself. 6) Check out my explanation below.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To CHETHAN & Anon@6.36PM: Yes, but thrust-levels stay the same. Only reliability has been improved. With dealing with the Russians, there are multiple levels of contracts, unlike the prevailing system in the West. Thus, like in the case of FGFA & IL-214 MRTA, there are contracts like preliminary systems configuration contract, prototype developmental contract, & finally series-production contract. In case of MIRES AESA-MMR, the first two contracts were inked a few years ago & now only the third & last contract awaits signature.

To BHASWAR: read this:

And also read my explanation at the bottom.

To Anon@7.30PM: It is highly surprising that an institution like IDSA will resort to such cheap & totally erroneous analysis. Very sad state of affairs. Shit happens! But the stark fact is that the Union Ministry of Finance wants contractual negotiations stretched for as long as possible due to extremely tight purse-strings. However, the contract will be inked this year itself.

To Anon@7.24PM: 1) No existing airborne PESA-MMR or airborne monopulse Pulse-Doppler MMR is calibrated for detecting or tracking targets that possess the same RCS as that of a subsonic TLAM-type cruise missile. 3) Any IRST, Russian or Italian or French, is an airborne enhanced situational awareness system that can produce surrounding terrain imagery. One can clearly see this in brochures of OSF & Skyward IRSTs that I had uploaded at:


Even the 13SM & OLS-30 IRSTs have such features, as do helmet-mounted NVGs & HMDS. For instance, TopOwl HMDS of MiG-29K displays the IRST imagery directly on the visor of the HMDS instead of showing it on a head-down AMLCD panel. In fact, thermal imagery or TV imagery from LDPs can today be superimposed directly on HMDS’ visors & that’s why for aircraft like the F-35 JSF & F-15SG/K/SE one doesn’t require holographic HUDs anymore. 5) RBU-6000 yes, but definitely no Kashtan-M. Tha much is evident from photos of the vessel that were released during its limited sea-trials last year.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA: Firstly, the project was never meant to counter China, but rather to provide Russia & India with an alternate trade transit corridor through which the Eurasian and central Asian landmass could be connected to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. Secondly, there are no US sanctions against such projects as yet. Lastly, if you can understand Urdu, then do watch this:

To ARUP: 1) Yes, the Tu-142Ms will likely be phased out by 2020. 2) Antenna aperture matters only for slotted-array antennae. The same principle cannot be applied to AESA-MMRs due to the latter’s directional beam-steering capability. Rafale deal will materialize because the entire warfighting doctrine of the IAF is based on the acquisition of such M-MRCAs. Question of having a fall-back solution doesn’t even arise. TopSight HMDS of Mirage 2000UPG can superimpose the thermal imagery or TV imagery from a LDP directly on to the helmet-mounted visor. NAVFLIR was an interim solution prior to the advent of such HMDS-LDP fusion techniques. There are no ultra-LF sonars wityh the IN for any vessel so far.

To Anon@1.12AM: Not lost, for institutions like Benares Hindu University are actively studying such ancient manuscripts with the financial assistance of DRDO, practice that was initiated when Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was heading the DRDO. Ancient rishi-munis never gained knowledge or wisdom by the banks of either the Ganges or the Amu Darya in present-day Tajikistan. Instead, the rishi-munis used to gather annually in the now-submerged landmass of Kumari Kandam, as per the Sangam literature scriptures.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Meanwhile, here are a few ‘desi’ analysts who have totally missed the woods for the trees yet again:

This self-styled China specialist fella doesn’t even know that the Ladakh sector is the responsibility of the PLA’s Lanzhou MR & not of Chengdu MR!
This fella is totally off-the-mark for sure!

In this day & age of guided-missile warfare when one can hit targets thousands of km away, why would anyone even dream of physically encircling an adversary???

“In contrast, the PLA can bring an entire motorized division to the area within a day, driving along a first-rate highway,” says Major General Sheru Thapliyal, also a former 3 Division commander.---------------What this bloke doesn’t bother to say is that the two-lane Aksai Chin Highway has never been resurfaced since it was completed in 1957 & only now a project has begun to resurface it & broaden it. Secondly, this former Maj Gen is attributing a logistical feat to China that even the US-led multinational coalition could not achieve in early 1991 during OP Desert Storm despite the availability of excellent 4-lane motorways in northwestern Saudi Arabia!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS, RAD, MAYANK RAJ & BHASWAR: What had transpired over the last two weeks was the application of one of the classic 36 stratagems that govern China’s statecraft & which were all pioneered by Zhuge Liang. The meticulously planned objective & fully calibrated implementation process was never to force India to make any unilateral concessions, but rather to create an end-state under which there would be only winners & no losers. That’s why from Day 1 there was no vociferous clamour for concessions from Beijing (unlike the case with Senkaku Islands). The LAC was never made an emotive issue by Beijing nor were there any animated discussions on this issue in China’s state-controlled print/electronic media & social media sites, i.e. the authorities in China were never interested in ratcheting up either domestic emotions or adverse international reactions from countries like Russia. That’s the reason why from Day 1 China’s Foreign Ministry spokespersons repeatedly & steadfastly stated without fail that ‘both countries were equally capable of resolving this issue amicably on a bilateral basis’ & ‘both countries had the wisdom to resolve such issues expeditiously’. Now what did all this mean? It meant that it was not an issue worth internationalising or getting paranoid about, & most importantly the reason Beijing was being so patronising toward India was actually to ensure that the door was always left half-open for India to have a face-saving getaway after reaching an understanding on the LAC issue with China. In fact, China had to adopt such an conciliatory attitude so that India never got too worked up & neither did China’s domestic audience. In many ways therefore, this was a test-case by China to measure India’s self-confidence & maturity as an emerging world power & all indications are that India passed the test, based largely due to the present Indian NSDA Shiv Shankar Menon’s deep understanding of the Chinese psyche. For the Chinese side, especially the all-powerful CMC & its PLA organs, it was gratifying to see that India did not resort to panic-hysteria & go running around to China-baiters like the US, EU & Japan for trying to create some kind of anti-China alliance. Consequently, now all organs of the CMC & the State Council (Cabinet) have no option but to fall in line with President Xi Jinping’s 5-point formula for enhancing bilateral ties with India. But the genesis of this 5-point formula lies in the year 1986 & immediately after the May 1998 Shakti-2 n-explosions & what has successively transpired then in the Indian subcontinent & Central Asia—all of which I will explain in great detail by filling in the blanks in a brand-new thread later this week. In the meantime, do read this well-thought-out analysis & so far this writer is the only one who shares my perceptions:

China’s intention was never to make any symbolic or tactical military gains against India, but rather to stage a tactical ‘incident’ in pursuance of unraveling much wider strategic implications on which rests the chances of success for Xi Jinping’s 5-point formula, or China’s ‘Look West’ policy.

Arup said...

Sir, If antenna diameter matters only for slotted planar array radars and not AESA, then why is the new variant of Zhuk-AE having a 700 mm dia and an increased TR count of 1014 comapared to the previous 680 ? The greater the aperture the greature is the peak power and the greater the range. MR-SAM locking on to these high power emissions simply doesnt arise as most AESA mow feature LPI in detection and tracking modes. Besides Phazotron is claiming a 200 km detection range against a average fighter sized target . Thales has claimed a max 180 km detection range.

EF Typhoon journal has repeatedly criticised Rafales's small nose .

Given that MoD is facing an acute paucity of funds, wont it be better to opt for MiG-35 MMRCA ? It comes cheap, its 200 km radar range lands it in an air-superiority class. Thales Recos NG , Damocles , AASM , Spice can be easily integrated into MiG-35 due to its open architecture avionics.

You must admit that MiG-35 is superior to Rafale in air-policing, offensive air ops, defensive counter air ops.

A few days ago you replied to my question regarding uprated AL-31FP that the uprated engines will start arriving from 2014. Are you super duper sure about it ?

Given the acute paucity of funds, will the series production contract of MIRES AESA signed this year ? If it is delayed Su-30 upgrade program will go haywire. When do you think the first Su-30 with MIRES aesa and other upgraded mission sensors and avionics rolls out from 11 BRD ?

You have comapared both the 1:1 3d models of E-Captor and RBE2AA and they have exactly the same aperture area. Does this mean that E-Captor has a smaller area than Zhuk-AE .

In one of your earlier threads you talked about a deep upgrade of the mission managemant and avionics suite of IN Tu-142 . What happened to it ? Tu-142 were inducted from 1986. They are relatively new. They can remain in service for another 10 years. What will be the net result if Tu-142 are replaced with P-8I ? It will not result in force augmentation.

Cant Finance ministry raise money through other additional means and speed up the urgently required procurements ?

Is IA considering strengthening its presence all along the LAC so that such incursions dont see the light of the day in the future.

Waiting patiently for the concluding part of your thread.

Anonymous said...

Whatever excuses... This was an eye opener for India. As if there was a need for one after 1962.
Be prepared and don't trust the Chinese.

Arup said...

Sir, One more thing when countries like Syria,Libya can purchase and field advanced area denial SAM of S-300 and 400 family what is stopping MoD to go for similar procurements for IA and IAF ? We face a much bigger impending threat than these two countries.

Zhuk AE has a peak power output of 6 kW.What is the maximum pw of RBE2 and E-CAPTOR. Europeans are ahead of Russians in the field of semi-conductors , transmit receive modules and production engineering of these. If Zhuk-AE has a power output of 6KW, it translates to each of the 1000 modules having a power rating of 6 watt. If the power rating of each RBE2 T/R element is 7.5 kW , for 800 TR elements , total power output becomes 6 kw and match Zhuk-AE. Dont you think Thales TR element has a higher power rating ? Quantity has a quality of its own. A combo of them is absolutely delightful.

abs said...

The moment the news of mutual troops pullback were announced, the conventional Indian media started flashing triumphal things.
1)Is it the Indian's who gave the Chinese a face saving exit? or was it the Chinese? Especially because India always knew that the PLA encampment wasn't about to stay there for long.
2)I hope none of the planned infrastructure developments are stopped and also there is no force reduction that takes effect.

abs said...

please provide your thoughts on these

spanky's Blog said...

Hi Prasun,
here is another piece from your favorite desi journo :)lol

He rightly claims that Indian desi media went hyperbolic on the Chinese incursion and there was no chance of real escalations.
One thing he forgets that he himself was a part of that hyperbolic desi media which went berserk.

abs said...

Pending replies to my above post, let me also discuss with you about the after-effects of this stand off
It seems that the right noises have been sounded out in the South Block.
2)Now that its clear that a Mountain Strike Corps is set to be raised, what do you think would its main role be? "Capturing shallow enemy territory"? in the Western and Eastern sectors of the LAC may be? Do you foresee any attack in the TAR by this proposed MSC?
3)The GOI had asked for a tri services joint planning to be fed into the army's MSC and its subsequent posture. What are the revised plans for the MSC then?
It seems no concession has been made by India, which perhaps vindicates your views. However what do you reckon was the "trade-off"?
A careful look at the Chinese foreign ministry's spokesperson's words would go a long way in clearing doubts about the Depsang Valley incident and must say I can't help but agree with your views on the subject.
6)"Meanwhile, sources said there is a possibility of India re-adjusting its deployment plans in the Chumar area of Jammu and Kashmir, where Indian troops are in an advantageous positions and can look deep into the Chinese territory.

China has been demanding in the flag meetings that India should dismantle its infrastructure built there including some key forward bunkers, where Indian Army had moved in recent times. However, it is not clear as to what extent India agreed to its demands."
Could you elaborate on this? If we can look deep into Chinese territory then why are we going for a "re-alignment"?
7)It seems that the people who were making a lot of guesses as to how the Chinese chose the Depsang Valley to secure the Karakoram Corridor and also make India's defences at Aksai Chin and Siachen vulnerable were very wrong from the outset. I believe had the PLA stayed put in the Depsang Valley, given the strategic dimensions of Aksai Chin and Siachen, India would have been forced to take up a harsher tone and in no way the Chinese would have been allowed to stay put in Depsang Valley. What are your views?
8)Its high time you post your conlcuding part of this thread :).

Iceman said...

Regarding aesa radar for FGFA do India contributes some technological inputs for the development of the radar like TR modules,software etc?

Vivek said...

Prasun da
How much more waiting needed? Everyone's eagerly awaiting your info on eastern front and concluding piece on what needs to be done including info on our nlos bsm use
Pl also try to cover info on what infra development etc do you see India finally doing at china border in future, do you see the pace slowing down or projects like strike corps being shelved for now?
On the ufo sightings in ladakh piece, any possibility of those flying objects being some intelligence gathering uav etc of china?

Gessler said...

Well Prasun, our nation is again the butt of all jokes. All thanks to a bunch of cowards in the govt., a bunch of loony lawmakers and a bunch of crazy mediamen.

The whole world now thinks India has surrendered it's sovereignty of a part of it's land just to make a small PLA contigent leave us alone. The world now think India is just a clay doll and China can beat us into shape as they want, whenever they want.

Although the truth may actually be something else.

Anonymous said...


1. UOMZ official site doesnt say anything about terrain imaging features of OLS-30. Did Russian officials or any other personnel involved in such projects gave you this data ? Could you give url of any site where terrain imaging mode of OLS-30 is given.

2.I am not disagreeing with you reagrding air-surface modes, terrain imaging features of osf,pirate irst . They are clearly mentioned in their respective brochures.

3.You have been saying for quite sometime that PAK-FA has a rearward facing IRST just aft of cockpit. It is not an IRST . As far as the 1st four prototypes are concerned it is actually an IR jammer, most likely a DIRCM. Infact PAK-FA will be the first fig to have a dircm. Go through this :

T-50. What we learnt of it at MAKS-2011. Read pg 58.

Now I am not very sure about this but UOMZ may replace this DIRCM with a rearward facing IRST at the customer's request.

Can you know more about this from your Russian friends ?

As far as 360 degree spherical situational awarness with electro-optical sensor, pak-fa lags by quite some margin behind f35. The small planar rectangular apertures distributed throughout the airframe which is termed 101KS-U are plain UV sensors for maws purposes. they arent like Rafale DDM-NG or F35 AAQ-37 DAS which areimaging IR sensors using FPA .

4.Although no airborne MMR is calibrated for detection of low RCS TLAM but in principle they can. Vympel openly states that its R-77 can suucessfully intercept cruise missiles, and even surface to air missiles like Patriot.First, the MMRV has to detect , track a cruise missile and then provide the required targetting soln to the missile.So indeed MMR can track missiles. As R-77 is the principal beyond visual range of Flanker series

5.What is your view of FGA-35 version of ZhukAE ?

6. It is speculated that pak-fa will have sideways looking aesa. NIIP claims that radar electronic suite of PAK-FA will consits of five active arrays. The MMR,L-band skin aesa arrays, X-band aesa in the tailboom. Where is the fifth aesa aperture ? If you consider the side looking aesa antenna in the nose , then it adds up to six.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Chinese are like Han German Nazis and they know the best whether they want to make India as their Italy or France.

Bhaswar said...

Prasun sir,

The military itself is reporting that we conceded to their demand to dismantle the bunker in Chumar. Disputed territory I can understand but lets see of the day ever comes when we can not bow our heads in shame due to such incidents.

What now?

AK said...

Hi Prasun, Can a EL/L-8251 jammer pod operated in conjunction with another or a 3rd jammer ? Does IAF Su-30mki , Jaguar practise jamming against MR-SAM engagement radars of HQ-9,KS-1 ? Can a combo of EL/L-8251 jam effectively Rohini and engagement radar of Akash mk1 ?

PAJ-JA is a defensive RF jammer for Mirage 2000 UPG. What is the French analogue to Elta-8251 jammer for Mirage 2000.

IAI official video shows elta-8222 as being capable of jamming airborne RF emitters. What do you say ?

What is the approx no of Kh-31P ARM that is in active service with IAF ? It has a 110 km range. Many new variants of Kh-31A ARM have been developed and has entered or nearing series production.They have improved wideband passive homing seeker and a 200+ km range. Do you think IAF envisages to order them in nos from Tactical missile corps in considerable nos after the economic situation improves ?

Regarding Su-30mki,MiG-27, air to ground ordance, does IAF currently have in actve service RBK-500 SPBE-E cluster bomb , RBK-500U BETAB-M anti runway,RBK-500U OAB 2.5RT (fragmentation bomblet) ,RBK-500U PTAB anti tank munitions,RBK-500OFAB 50.

Bazalt has developed a standoff SFW similar to Textron CBU-97. It has a range of 50 km.A single
CBU packing such submunitions can knock
off up to six armoured vehicles – both those emitting in the infrared part of the spectrum and those emitting nothing. The SPBE-Ks canbe applied against enemy tanks in close-range armoured free-for-all, since it has the identification friend-or-foe (IFF) capability.Do you think IAF will purchase such AGM for its entire Su-30 fleet ? It will be less costly then CBU-97.

Is its previous variant SPBE-D which also has homing munitions in service with IAF for its Russian origin ac. There have been no reference of this weapon in any media coverage.

Many improved variants of Kh-59 have also been developed like KH-59M2E,MK with improved seeker sensitivity , improved range. Will they be ordered in succesive tranches as a standoff weapon for Su-30 ?

So far, IAF hasnt made any AAM procurement for the latest batche of Su-30mki and the one before that. Do you think IAF will go for latest Russian AAM like RVV-SD, 200 Km range RVV-MD, improved R-73 variant ?Will such a deal be signed after 2014 ?

Isnt there an acute need for immediate procurement of MR-SAM,QR-SAM with considerable anti-missile capabilties to address the current operational needs. MoD last year released RFP for procuremenst of 4 regiments of QR-SAM for IA ? Which has emerged as the leading contender ?

Do you think there is any requirement for Mi-38 in the Armed forces ? Mi-38 will enter production from 2014. Instead of follow-on batch of 71 Mi-17V5 , IAF could have opted for Mi-38.

After the Chinese incursion, will CCS approve the formation of mountain strike corps and quicken up the process of raising 54th airmobile infantry divison ?

Maitri SR-SAM will be techically at par or better than VL-MICA. MBDA claims Mica to be capable of intercepting supersonic ashm. If it be so, QR-SAM will also be capable of intercepting supersonic LACM and ALCM

As part of IA's deep upgrade of its ICV fleet's armamnet, fire-control systems , will there be any uparmouring done using composite laminate armour from MKU or DRDO and incorporation of BUSK armour ? Which ATGM will they receive as part of upgrade .

Pls post theconcluding part tonight.Its a wonderful thread offering in-depth analysis of the situation and what needs to be done. A must read for IAF and IA generals and our Shri Ak Antony.

Government sources claim that no concessions were made to the Chinese but many desi media are claiming that IA bunkers at Chumar were dismantled. What actually happened ?

Anonymous said...

1. It's now being confirmed that India has or is going to dismantle the bunkers in Chumar. So now how much possibility remains that India will enhance its infrastructure near LAC & what will be the future about raising mountain strike corps. It will not be surprising if some day the Chinese asks us to dismantle any security estabilishment in Andamans or Lakshadweep or any other location inside India.

2.Also do we expect that govt. will take some quick decision regarding howitzer,rafale or submarine keeping this recent incursion in mind or the same callous decision making will prevail. As it has always been seen that chinese incursions proved to be 'blessing in disguise' for India, so this time also can we have some mature effort from the govt.

dushyant hardaha said...

sir why india have all burden of socalled "viswa santhi" why indian leaders are so spineless and coward and don't have any self respect.local politics become more important than national intrest?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ARUP: Airborne radar volume & dimensions are dictated strictly by the airframe that houses it, & the centre-of-gravity factor. Therefore, one cannot say that what holds good for a MiG-29 also holds good for Rafale. And like I said, no radar manufacturer has to date given any accurate count of their AESA-MMR’s T/R count, irregardless of what appears in magazines. Having long-range detection for AESA-MMRs makes no sense at all & is totally irrelevant, since any combat aircraft like MiG-29 or Rafale is not expected to function as an AEW & CS platform & neither are there 200km-range BVRAAMs for such aircraft. Aurborne battle management is today done by AEW & CS platforms or is aided by ground-controlled intercept controllers, not by combat aircraft. The MiG-35, at best will only be 15% cheaper than Rafale & even then it will still be expensive for India’s Union Finance Ministry to approve it. If the MiG-35 was that great, why isn’t the Russian Air Force acquiring it? Why has Moscow only made unsubstantiated statements about acquiring them, but has not yet released any money for ordering them for the Russian Air Force? Why didn’t Indonesia or Algeria or Sudan acquire them, since they have lots of money to spend? E-Captor’s antenna has the same size as that of Zhuk-AE. Tu-142M is getting more expensive to maintain with each passing year & therefore even a deep-upgrade of only mission management system won’t solve such problems. Hence, the IN wants to retire them from service ASAP & acquire more P-8Is. Each P-8I can perform the job of a Tu-142M at price-levels three times lower. How can Union Finance Ministry raise more money? From where? The only way to do so is to eliminate all existing subsidies. Did S-300s & S-400s prove useful in avoiding civil wars in Libya & Syria? Did such SAMs prevent Israel from carrying out surgical air-strikes against Syria last week?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: Here are my observations regarding &

The writer fails to explain why the CBMs of 1996 were never implemented. He also fails to mention that China never agreed in 2005 to India’s suggestion about territories with settled populations not being traded during future negotiations about permanent boundary demarcation. Thirdly, he fails to mention the fact that China had in 2009 itself asked Pakistan to ascertain the legal status of Gilgit-Baltistan & there wasn’t even a murmur from India on this issue. Fourthly, question of China surprising India in the Tawang Sector doesn’t even arise since IA has, since 1986 been maintaining a constant & heavy forward presence along both Sikkim & AP & has now greatly beefed up its ISTAR capabilities through MALE-UAVs & the IAF’s Su-30MKIs equipped with EL/M-2060 SAR recce pods. Lastly, I don’t think the writer has even the remotest clue about how exactly the PLA & IA deployments have been made since 1986.

Here are my observations regarding

This is a more balanced analysis, but it still fails to highlight the degree of importance that China attaches to not only the Aksai China landmass, but also to the surrounding airspace & what significance this has to China’s plans for achieving connectivity with Afghanistan & some Central Asian Republics.

Here are my observations regarding

This is total conspiracy-oriented hogwash, especially when the writer only selectively quotes what Xi Jinping said at the BRICS Summit last March. For instance, the writer claims that the Chinese perhaps want India to halt its much delayed infrastructure development now in progress in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. That’s totally untrue. China has since late 2010 been clamouring ONLY for military force-level freezings & re-deployments along the LAC (i.e. by implementing the 1996 CBMs), which clearly means that it is not against development of transportation or accommodation infrastructure by India along the LAC. And the reasons for this are obvious: long gone are the days when xenophobic nationalism used to be the rallying call for China’s masses in pursuit of achieving national objectives. Ever since Deng Xiaoping stated that “to be rich is glorious” the Mainland Chinese, just like their global Chinese diaspora, have wholeheartedly embraced Confucian ethics & consequently today crave for material gains. Now, just imagine how this must be affecting the PLA’s human resource recruitment patterns. Today the PLA has to pay daily allowances for any of its personnel who are posted to inhospitable areas & high-altitude areas. All this greatly impacts the force modernisation budget of the PLA, since for the past 13 years, it is the PLAN that has been receiving 53% of the annual defence budget allocations. Consequently, the PLA would much rather freeze its force accretions along TAR. But it cannot do so in southeastern TAR because the IA & IAF heavily outnumbers the PLA in these areas, thanks to the IA’s forward deployments in Sikkim & AP. In fact, even without a Mountain Strike Corps, the IA has enough forces in theatre to mountain limited offensive campaigns through the Chumbi Valley corridor & as many as 10 different scenarios have been wargamed by the IA’s Eastern Command & IAF’s Eastern Air Command.

cont'd below....

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Now, turning to, the writer forgets that China’s claim on AP is the weakest link, since it is the Chinese themselves contradicted their claims on AP five decades ago when Beijing recognised the legality of the McMahon Line & on that basis itself it demarcated its border with Myanmar. Secondly, contrary to his belief, AP too is thinly populated, with a hamlet there comprising only 250 families. Thirdly, His Holiness The Dalai Lama has already checkmated Beijing by saying that after this present life, he will be reborn once again but this time inside India & not inside Tibet. Backing up His Holiness is now the Karmapa who also resides in India & it was his flight in December 1999 to India via Nepal’s Mustan province that caused Beijing to erect fences along the entire stretch of China-Nepal border!

Regarding Indian surveillance of China-admninistered Aksai Chin from the Chumar observation post, it is just a static LORROS system mounted inside a tin-shed standing on wooden stilts—and not inside a bunker by any stretch of imagination. That’s why I said yesterday that the PLA’s demand for dismantling & relocating this observation point was merely ‘symbolic’, & the real intent of the April 15 incident was to press upon India the urgency of implementing the 1996 CBMs—the pros & cons of which I will detail in a new thread.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SPANKY’s BLOG/SWAROP: This frequently happens when such ‘desi’ entities suffer from selective amnesia! (Lolz!). Let’s now turn to facts: Beijing has NEVER stated that India freeze its infrastructure development activities along the LAC, but only wants a mutually agreed-upon & verifiable freezing of military force-levels. Infrastructure, after all, is a dual-edged sword, meaning it can be put to equally good use for tourism & economic development purposes—something China of all countries will be hard-put to argue against. Secondly, contrary to his beliefs, India has since 1954 foreclosed all her options on Tibet & in 2011 when His Holiness The Dalai Lama stated that he would be only a spiritual leader of the Tibetans & that he would be reborn inside India & not Tibet, he clearly meant that he would no longer be a political figurehead to be reckoned with & that he had effectively embraced India as his motherland. And at around the same time it was the Govt of India which had suggested to China that there could be some positive modifications of India’s Tibet policy (in an effort to dissuade China from treating the entire state of J & K as a disputed territory) & when that carrot didn’t work to India’s favour, India then started wielding the stick & expelled 27,000 Chinese workers from India. Only after that did Beijing started seeking greater military-to-military exchanges with India. Now, what does this tell us? It tells us this: ever since Deng Xiaoping stated that “to be rich is glorious” the Mainland Chinese, just like their global Chinese diaspora, have wholeheartedly embraced Confucian ethics & consequently today crave for material gains. Therefore, if someone wants to harm, China, then he/she can do it best by adopting an asymmetric strategy—attacking China economically & not militarily. Had India adopted such an approach last month & had announced a limited package of punitive economic sanctions, a swifter PLA withdrawal from Raki Nala would have taken place.
Another point that has not yet been ‘investigated’ by the ‘desi’ press-corps is the extent of penetration by China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) of the Tibetan refugee populace inside India. Following initial investigations by HP Police about the unaccounted cash reserves found at the Karmapa’s temporary residence, it has since emerged that the MPS has, since 2008, been pumping huge amounts of cash via Nepal to at least 40 Buddhist monasteries spread between Ladakh & Tawang—this beinbg done in order to buy over & turn over the great majority of India-based Tibetan refugees.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ICEMAN: Not for radars & IRST sensors, but for cockpit avionics, multi-sensor warning systems, jet fuel starter, & OBOGs.

To VIVEK: Infrastructure development works will not slow down because of China. For instance, Trans Arunachal Highway (TAH), PM Dr Manmohan Singh’s dream project for AP, is practically stopped; SRK Construction Pvt Ltd, the executing agency has decided to halt the ongoing project for an indefinite period due to repeated attacks on its employees. Though this highway, linking the district headquarters of AP is not directly under IA supervision, it nevertheless shows the difficulty of undertaking any infrastructure project in the State. The roads under the Army (the Border Road Organisation or BRO), particularly the axis Tezpur-Tawang, do not fare better; the slow pace and BRO’s disorganisation are the laughing stock of the local population. However, despite such shortcomings, the IA & IAF heavily outnumbers the PLA in these areas, thanks to the IA’s forward deployments in Sikkim & AP. In fact, even without a Mountain Strike Corps, the IA has enough forces in theatre to mountain limited offensive campaigns through the Chumbi Valley corridor & as many as 10 different scenarios have been wargamed by the IA’s Eastern Command & IAF’s Eastern Air Command.
Regarding the UFO sightings, there were by no means UAVs or any such platforms, but genuine luminous intelligently-guided objects, since they can’t even be tracked by radars even when they’re visually visible. Such sightings usually occur in places & at times when WMDs are being tested or deployed in such areas, going by past experiences of similar incidents taking place in the US, Russia & UK. These objects are known to have originated from an underground base around Lake Mansarovar in TAR opposite Uttarakhand.

To GESSLER: That will be a baniawallah’s appreciation of what & how matters transpired. But there’s a lot more to it than has come out so far. I’ll try to throw more light on this aspect ASAP.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.29PM: 1) Of course one can’t expect the OEM to state the obvious! 2) IR jammers are also positioned at the front & rear in a downward facing position, since that’s where the threats come from; there’s no top-attack BVRAAM or WVRAAM in service yet. At MAKS 2011 both frontal & rearward IRST modules & their locations were clearly shown by their OEMs & I have all their photos. 3) F-35’s chin-mounted IRST sensor can’t look rearwards. 4) R-77’s surface-launched Vityaz E-SHORADS can shoot down only subsonic cruise missiles. For a MMR to track cruise missiles it has to first know what flight-route the cruise missile will take. If it does not know where to look, it will be next to useless to deploy such radars for searching for cruise missiles. 5) Where’s the FGA-35 & MiG-35? Who has ordered them so far? Proof of the pudding always lies in its eating. 6) two in wing-roots, two in vertical tail-fins & one nose-mounted.

To BHASWAR: Regarding Indian surveillance of China-admninistered Aksai Chin from the Chumar observation post, it is just a static LORROS system mounted inside a tin-shed standing on wooden stilts—and not inside a bunker by any stretch of imagination. That’s why I said yesterday that the PLA’s demand for dismantling & relocating this observation point was merely ‘symbolic’, & the real intent of the April 15 incident was to press upon India the urgency of implementing the 1996 CBMs—the pros & cons of which I will detail in a new thread.

To Anon@12.28AM: Regarding Indian surveillance of China-admninistered Aksai Chin from the Chumar observation post, it is just a static LORROS system mounted inside a tin-shed standing on wooden stilts—and not inside a bunker by any stretch of imagination. That’s why I said yesterday that the PLA’s demand for dismantling & relocating this observation point was merely ‘symbolic’, & the real intent of the April 15 incident was to press upon India the urgency of implementing the 1996 CBMs—the pros & cons of which I will detail in a new thread.

To AK: Dedicated EW platforms like Growler can indeed jam radars like Rohini. EL/L-8251 can also jam such radars provided the required power-source is present. French have yet to come up with jammers like EL/L-8251. Internally-mounted EL/L-8222 can jam RF emitters. The 17 HAL-built tandem-seat Jaguars of the IAF delivered a decade ago have such EW suites. About 100 Kh-31Ps are in service. None of those bombs are in service.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Dushyant Hardaha: Are you kidding??? Just the day before yesterday morning in Delhi the three armed services chiefs were playing golf together & were in high spirits. What does all this indicate? Don’t forget that last March it was China’s armed forces that came calling to Delhi in a sign of desperation & pushed for the implementation of the 1996 CBMs. In many ways, all the signs & indications have been & are still there in front of your eyes, but you have been unable to connect the dots & therefore have not yet been able to look at the big picture.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Regarding the Russian expertise in electronics, the internet says they have a domestic capability on the microprocessor,cpu and memory from the soviet union times building IBM mainframe clones though they still lag behind.
Why have they not exploited their civilian potential?
Do you think they can participate in the race against western firms in new generation avioinics for FGFA?Do you see they going into joint ventures with say france/israel to overcome this deficiency in defence electronics?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.20AM: It's all about business volumes. Is the domestic Russian market big enough to justify such investments in the semiconductor sector? If that was the case then by now they would have had their own customised alternative to Microsoft WINDOWS. In my view, once the USSR ceased to exist, Russia's human resource limitations began to show up in a big way & that's why today it is importing UAVs from Israel & LPDs from France. Acquiring industrial manufacturing capabilities is the very easy part; possessing the scientific manpower & skilled/experienced human resources required for business innovations is an entirely different challenge. In bith areas, Russia today is decades behind even Israel, leave alone the West. Russia today is just a nett exporter of hydrocarbons & has nothing else to be proud of. Exactly how many Nobel Prizes in physical sciences or applied mathematics has either the USSR or Russia won to date? Therein lies your answer.

Anonymous said...

Whatever be the status of LAC now, what could one conclude from these incidents?
China will never ever give up its claim on Aksai Chin. They will not say "ok, let's solve this border issue for ever. We both share the AC. No heavy weapons around 50 KM of LAC..." This is not going to work with China.
So did this particular incident actually push India towards Japan-US anti-China access?
If China really wants peace with India, should not China be the one who should give some concessions to India? In that way, India can feel trust. This will boost Chinese companies to invest in India.
I think India should have stopped the high deals with China during this stand off in retaliation against Chinese occupation by giving clear message. That will send a clear message to China- no-nonsensical bargain with us. What do you think?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.03AM: Whether China's claim over Aksai Chin is justified or not is entirely dependent on the map produced by India in 1950, which I had uploaded above last week itself. Is there a solution? Of there always is, based on a mutually agreeable formula. As to what caused this latest incident, do read this, which ties in with my earlier assessment of the ground reality:

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

You mentioned that India does not have any submarine design capabilities at present. What effort is being made to ameliorate this situation? How can DRDO design the Arihant follow on without any experience?

Thanks in Advance

Iceman said...

In 2010 it was reported that the Indian scientists are working on developing the anti gravity technologies in Pune is it true?

Anonymous said...

Superb update of the article.........detailed. and excellent photo's........

What does India have to oppose them (ORBAT and equipments ??)

The Chinese have really really upgraded themselves in the last 10 years with a single minded focus...makes one feel like a stumbling/bumbling dodo in front of them.............(and, don't blame it on Democracy !!)

Do take a little time out and tell us what we have to counter the Chinese...........would make us sleep better at nights hopefully !!! (or deeper nightmares ????)


Dear Prasun,
from your words, now I am very much certain that India is no match for China. China will end the war in 10 minutes. Also how much time China will take to fit on board oxygen generation system in its aircraft? Only by relying on IAF India can't survive against China.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.43AM: Who ever said that the S-3 & S-4 vessels of the Arihant family and the follow-on S-5, S-6 & S-7 vessels will have to be designed by DRDO? Those designs were all bought by the Govt of India back in the late 1990s from Russia. By no means are they state-of-the-art designs. DRDO never did & does not employ any naval architects or marine engineers, only the IN’s Naval Design Bureau does, but there too no one is qualified for submarine designing. Unlike warship-designing, submarine-designing is a very tightly controlled area whose expertise is very carefully guarded. That’s why only a few countries worldwide can design & build submarines.

To ICEMAN: Yes, it is true. The physics of quantum electro-gravitics have been known since early 20th century. However, to convert them to engineered solutions takes a certain degree of industrial might & financial muscle of the kind possessed by the likes of US-based GE & Westinghouse Electric.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.05AM: VMT indeed. What I’ve endeavoured to produce is the best ever consolidated & illustrated analysis of the deployed military balance of power across both sides of the LAC. Such an analysis had never been done before & is unlikely to be done by anyone else in future, unless someone else decides to clone this thread. As for ORBAT & equipment of the Indian side, I plan to consolidate them into a single thread in the very near future that also details the required infrastructure demands to support the Indian forward deployments. As for the required conventional deterrence tools, they’re the very same that are required for the western sector, however, some specific hardware accretions are urgently required & I’ll detail them as well in the new thread.
But you’re absolutely right about democracy NOT BEING the excuse for India’s backwardness in certain niche areas, although such excuses are frequently forthcoming. In Ladakh & Arunachal Pradesh, the two most thinly populated states where land acquisition is hardly a problem, transportation infrastructure could have been upgraded a long while ago had there been a single-minded sense of purpose. However, this has always been absent & instead, especially in the North East, tribalism/parochialism tinged with a strong dose of crony capitalism have always acted as the principal saboteurs. Consequently, democracy certainly cannot be blamed for Pawan Hans being prevented from resuming its helicopter shuttle operations to & fro Arunachal Pradesh 3 years after the last helicopter crash that killed the then CM of AP. Democracy or NREGA cannot be blamed for the BRO’s snail-like progress in road construction activities in either Ladakh or AP.

SOUBHAGYA: You seem to be one of those who see the Chinese as being 10 feet-tall. Even if OBOGS is developed by the Chinese, the tyranny of the terrain in TAR prevents them from using airpower for offensive air campaigns. So yes, defensive counter-air operations can & will be mounted by the PLAAF in a decent manner, but forget about sustainable offensive options. At best, even a massed artillery fire-assault against forward-deployed Indian Army ground formations will result in only a prolonged war of attrition, & not guarantee decisive military or territorial gains.

spanky's Blog said...

Hi prasun,
Thanks for your earlier reply. As usual it was crystal clear and factual. BTW just saw this report:

This claims that Tejas can't fly without continuous ground support even today. Is it true? I remember Tejas doing continuous sorties during Aero India 2013 and Iron fist 2013 with minimal ground support.

Anonymous said...

"Four Commands" facing one single "Consolidated Command" goes against all tenets of Warfare....don't we learn from History/Tactics ?? Specially in Ladakh with 3 Commands on a single frontline.......asking for big trouble..........

Why are we so messy/disorganized, when things can be so simple and focused............

Looking forward to your article on India's ORBAT/Equipments and needs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Spanky’s Blog/SWAROP: Of course it ain’t true. It is utter rubbish, trash, boulderdash & baloney.

To Anon@12.19PM: “Why are we so messy/disorganized, when things can be so simple and focused”……

Well, things are much worse than that. Imagine the country’s Strategic Forces Command being the controller of the country’s ballistic missiles/gravity bombs, but the custodian of such weapons being the IA’s Directorate of Field Artillery, & the authorities responsible for assembling & integrating the warheads with these missiles/gravity bombs being a joint team of DRDO & DAE. Can things get any more worse? If the country’s ruling civilian political elites can’t trust the men in olive green, blue & white with fully operational n-warhead-equipped ballistic missiles/gravity bombs, how the hell can an IN-commandeered nuclear-powered SSBN ever be authorised to go on operational patrols in the high seas with fully armed SLBMs by these very same ruling political elites? And they expect the whole world to buy this nonsensical lemon/chirade of India soon possessing a nuclear triad that includes a credible sea-based deterrent!!!

Do read this scathing but highly objective analysis of India’s nuclear deterrence posture or the lack of it:

Arup said...

Sir , Will Su-30 get uprated AL-31F turbofans with 6000 hr TTSL from 2014 ?

E-CAPTOR aesa aperture is same as which Zhuk-AE aesa 575 mm or 680 mm ?

Thales claims RBE2AA TR element has a peak power output of 9.6 watt. If this be true, RBE2AA will have a greater peak power output over Zhuk AE 688 mm and hence more air to air and air to ground range . Longer range will help in standalone air combat and in detecting low RCS targets.

Is M88 able to supercruise ?

Can PLA fighter jets take off with their full complement of AAM and drop tanks for defensive counter air ops from TAR ? How does IAF Su-30mki plan to engage PLAAF J-11,Su-27SKM,J-10 in BVR combat ?PLA fighter jets have both chaff,flares and RF jammer for breaking missile lock while IAF Su-30 will have to rely only on chaff and sheer high g turns to break a missile lock.

Will it be possible for IAF to fit all its Su-30 with MSWS suite including Virgilus jammer in one go from 2014 in a very short amount of time even before thay receive AESA and other upgrade components.

Will production contract for MIRES AESA be signed by MoD this year so that the Super upgrade can commence from next year as per schedule.

Why do you think IAF possess an inventory of just 100 Kh-31 arm for Su-30 fleet ? The coalition AF expanded nearly 1000 ARM during 1st Gulf war to destroy,degrade Iraqi IADS. PLA , PLAAF has also such an IADS in place in TAR. They have many radar stations, many air-defense radar guided AAA, MR-SAM, SHORADS. To neutralise them willwell require more than 500 ARM.

What is IA's answer to PLA LMIC ?How can they be prevented from coming into Indian territory.?

In case PLA launches a shallow offensive operation involving its infantry , mechanised regiments and armour brigades, how does IA plan to contain them . Infantry alone is not enough aginst such heavy cavalry.For neutralsiing such heavy concentration sof troops,ICV,ATV,tanks,SPH SFW equipped NLOS-BSM like Prithvi , cluster warhead equipped MBRL and air launched standoff cluster munitions and sfw needs to be deployed.

Dont you reckon that the need of the hour is for IAF to gradually build up its air to ground stocks with modern all weather standoff PGM. IAF fighter jets alone can blunt , halt such offensives and dstroy their POLs,ammo depots , war fighting assets with AGM . Popeye,Kh-59 can be employed against POL, ammo depots, logistics bases,C3 facilities, vital road and rail bridges, cluster fragmentation weapons can be employed aginst thinly skinned vehicles like IFV,APC,ATV,LAV,TEL and aginst airfields, helipads radar stations. SFW and anti tank cluster munitions can be employed against IFV,artillery,tanks,etc. If all these are employed from a standoff distance , our acs will remain outside the reach of their SHORADS, MR-SAM . After IAF have crippled their war-fighting assets , IA can launch a limited offensive and neutralise the remaining threats.

Does IAF contemplate building such an air ground inventory and engage in an effects based operation uing ISTAR assets and standoff PGMs? IAF has yet to have such a cpabilty. It still employs iron bombs with no range extension kits as was evident in Iron Fist 2013 firepower demo. Such ordance needs to be deployed after few days from the beginning of war when critical air-defense elements have been paralysed.
What is your opinion ?

Prahaar NLOS-BSM deployments must be made in Sikkim , in N Ladakh where there are flat terrain that allows a mechanised intrusion.

By the way VMT for such a descriptive and well written thread . Its the best I have ever come across. Will be waiting for your new thread on ISTAR challenges and whats required to be done.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

China is a so-called communist working rapidly on the lines of so-called capitalism. The whole world has no earlier example of the implications of such a phenomenon. Accordingly it is not exactly possible for anybody to tell as to what are the aims and objectives of China whether local or global or what is its real modus operandi except perhaps for the 36 stratagems. As such whatever China does can be theoretically branded as Han revolutionary.

Unfortunately it was only Nehruji, who could have given Tibet to China. Now all external problems are a forerunner to that. This error has been rightly called as the mother of all errors.

In just one go, with his masterstroke China has conveyed to India and Russia, that now it alone is superior to both India and Russia combined. Just like 1962 Cuba crisis, China has repeated this event exactly when USA is feeling itself too weak enough to intervene even in Syria and Russia is also preoccupied with their thoughts of the lost honeymoon with Syria.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Even the Chinese are going to be surprised by reading your article.

Iceman said...

1.What is the status of DARE-Cassidian IDAS suite?is it still under development?
2.Regarding LCH FLIR pod, is it developed indigenously by India or in collaboration with Israel?
3.whether all su-30mki will be upgraded to super sukhoi standard or only a particular number of aircraft will be upgraded?

Anonymous said...

Ahhh after all the tension time to relax and watch the IPL cheerleaders dance the show away!Seriously can anyone tell me where are they from? I know RCB ones are south African but the rest? If IPL can be so entrepreneurial why can't the GOI be such to attract more investment and give the stuttering economy a full on go?

Kshitiz said...

any coments on this site sir

says archer won truck mounted compt?

Bhaswar said...

Prasun Sir,

Tin shed or bunker, its in our territory- even if it be our perception of it. We are supposed to ENFORCE that perception on the ground. trade offs and compromises occur at the table NOT on the ground itself. Why have we dismantled our tents..why have we not stayed a bit longer..even if it be symbolic. Its our land, how can we withdraw from our own land?

Whether their demand for dismantling the outpost was symbolic or not how does it matter? Its ours and on our land- WHY HAVE WE CAPITULATED? EVEN BANGLADESH DOESN'T CAPITULATE SO EASILY- HELL IN 2011 THEY KILLED 15 OF OUR BSF JAWAANS FOR SUCH AN INTRUSION.

Why are we trying to window dress this, they came- they intimidated and we shamelessly capitulated. Now lets go build a temple in Ayodhya and preserve the Ram setu, that's all we're good for as a nation!

Bhaswar said...


Mr. Ra 13 said...

50 Chinese soldiers achieved more in a standoff than our 700000 soldiers could achieve during 2002.

It was highly uncalled for to break our own outpost within our own borders. Let China would have gathered more soldiers therein or started any skirmish we would have retaliated to.

Obviously additional economic sanctions would have served best to have been settled at BRICS.

Anonymous said...

apart from all these I heard a new term today from SC "caged parrot" .
wonder why they took so long to realize this elementary fact about that organization

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Read this:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.17PM: They’re mostly from SA, Eastern Europe & Ukraine.

To KSHITIZ: All the contents of that sight are bunkum.

To BHASWAR: By May 15 that entire area will be uninhabitable for everyone. No one can take on & triumph over Mother Nature.

To DASHU: Why they took so long to realise this elementary fact? It is elementary….because common-sense isn’t commonly available or applied anymore within the subcontinent.

Sayan said...

Sir , Why is IAF upgrading the old Avro HS-748 ? They have exhausted their TTSL ? Arent they to be replaced with 56 C-27J Spartan or EADS C-295 ?

What are the Indian private and public sector companies that are bidding for SPH tender ? What are their respective sph .After initial order of 100 SPH,are more likely to be ordered ?

Is Super 30 upgrade on schdule ? When will the first upgraded ac take to the skies ?

Any updates on Tejas mk1, AD-1,2 ,PDV ?

Anonymous said... letter of swami vivekananda to tesla clearly indicate swami ji had deep knowledge of quantum physics.sir can we use vidas to built extraordinary weapons and war machines ?

dushyant hardaha said...

sir you taken my comment in different point of view."coward and spineless" i used for political leadership not for miltary

Vivek said...

Prasun da,

Great article indeed, one of the best I have ever seen, never seen so much data on China on any other Indian blog, infact most other blogs are good just for reporting missile tests etc, no brain no analysis no data points.

Just 1 request, pl try to cover even more data/info on indian deployment details in ur next thread on what needs to be done.
On the UFO, any particular reason why they would be sighted after wmd tests/deployment, whats the connection?
Similarly, base at lake mansarovar can't be just coincidental, any link with Shiv ji?
Saw a recent Hollywood movie whose theme was American soldiers in Afghanistan getting consumed by triangle shaped vimanas, was it just fiction or something more to it? Any info?

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,
" you wrote If China were to sever this corridor, probably with support from Bangladesh, India would lose contact with Assam and other north-eastern states. "

Why would bangladesh do that. We have given them freedom from pakistan.I am from the gulf...I never meet any bangladeshi who spoke againt india. But, Nepali's yes they just hate indian they are the one we should kick out of india.
Filthy Beggars....

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da ,

In the text that you have provided you make an important point . That China can cut off the North Bengal corridor with help from Bangladesh.

An important thing to remember is due to large scale illegal immigration most of Sikkim is now populated by Nepalese . Even North Bengal is now largely overtaken by Nepalese . Therefore, is it not possible for China to use this large Nepali population to cut off Bengal from Assam ?


Bhaswar said...

Prasun Sir,

I guess we must move on now.

Could you elaborate upon the current situation in depsang?

When will your post about infrastructural needs come up. How are we going to counter those light tanks..the two armored brigades we're supposed to bring for the 14th corps and 1 for the new mountain strike corps in the NE? What is going to be the composition of these brigades?

How is it that we can't even design modified and advanced turrets incorporating vectronics and optics for our BMPs? Since the IFV program is pretty much dead...again if DRDO develops a 52 cal gun then can't we quickly design a turret for it on the arjun chassis for a tracked- self propelled howitzer...after all we've already got the ballistic computer and what not?

Anonymous said...

Prasunda, what is the latest news about the indegenous 155mm 52caliber gun under development by drdo?What is the reality and feasebility of the proposed electro rheological recoil management system in it?what would be the role of private industries in this project? With regards, UJJWAL

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

i have a rather silly many aircraft (i have seen them only propeller transport and antisub aircrafts) there is a thin wire running all the way from vertical fin to near cockpit (AvroHs748,Breguet Alize etc). I searched in the net for the same, but could not find the name/reason for the wire. It cannot be a lightning arrestor, is it something of communication?.

thanks in advance,

Anonymous said...

Sir, How does ADA intends to solve the Tejas AoA problem which was discovered once Tejas was equipped with 1000lb bombs ? By reducing the total weight of the ac ? By rewriting the FBW control logics which would a few months more?

What is the status BMD Phase 2? Dr VK Saraswat had claimed in Dec 2012 that there would be a hit to kill test of an enemy ballistic missile in January 2013. After that he mentioned many times it will be performed in the coming months. But there hasnt been test firings seen ? What is the developement status of PDV ?

Are there any firms plans of MoD to deploy BMD shield phase 1 around NCR aand Mumbai ny 2014 ?

How much complete is SSGN 2 of Arihant class ?

IAF had plans to retire non upgraded MiG-27 out of service from 2013. Is the plan being implemented or kept on hold ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAYAN: Are you kidding? There’s plenty of TTSL left in the HS-748 just as there is on even World War-2 era DC-3s & C-47 Dakotas. For as long as there are spare parts available at economical rates, any aircraft can be maintained in airworthy condition. For the SPHs refer to my DEFEXPO 2012 show reports of last April. Super Su-30MKI’s R & D activity continues & any schedule slippages are only to be expected.

To Anon@11.33PM: Of course it can be done.

To VIVEK: VMT. Regarding UFOs, there’s no linkage with Shiva. Since these UFOs are located at underground bases, any WMD-related activity like underground tests & underground storage sites naturally arouses the interest & concerns of those that have such underground UFO sites, i.e. purely a safety issue. By the way, if Shiva was said to have sported uncut & unkept hair, then logically he should also have sported a moustache & beard. Wonder why then these idiotic Indian soap operas always show Shiva in clean-shaven form. Rather odd, don’t you think? Triangle-shaped Vimanas was spotted & photographed by hundreds of Belgians in the town of Upen during the Belgian UFO wave in the late 1980s. The US has two triangle-shaped spacecraft using electro-gravitic propulsion systems—the Venture Star that can reach Mars in 29 hours, & the smaller TR-3B.

To Anon@12.11AM: India never gave freedom to Bangladesh. India merely defeated Pakistan in detail in East Pakistan & then passed it on to the East Pakistanis & it was they who created Bangladesh. Those Bangladedhis hailing from the Chittagong & Noakhali areas are die-hard Razakars & supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami & they’re now created havoc within Bangladesh. As for the Nepalis, there are two distinct types in existence: those close to the India-Nepal Terai region who are close to India & constituted until recently the ruling elite & intelligentsia of Nepal, & those Nepalis who hail from the mountainous regions & are extremely poor & illiterate & have therefore been totally brainwashed by the China-supported Maoists by being told that India has traditionally been plundering Nepal’s natural resources. These Nepalis are the ones that constitute the majority of workers abroad & they’re most likely the ones to have migrated to India in droves as well. Another recent problem has been the migration of several Bangladeshis via India to Nepal & the consequent steady rise in the number of madrassas in Nepal’s Terai region.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRAM GUHA: That’s absolutely true. And when you connect this with China’s efforts to turn over the India-based Tibetan refugees through large-scale money laundering channels through 40 Buddhist monasteries between Ladakh & Tawang, this could well become a worst-case nightmare scenario to affect the sanctity of the Siliguri corridor & also the internal security situation in both Sikkim & northern West Bengal.

To BHASWAR: If you look at the maps I’ve posted above, you’ll realise that MBTs & Tank Destroyers will be used by both sides only defensively, i.e. to block enemy ingress from the passes dotting Ladakh & Sikkim. There’s no chance of using such armoured assets on the offensive since they will be easy targets for ATGM ambushes & for close air support aircraft & attack helicopters. There will be no mountain strike corps as such. Instead, there will be an independent airmobile division under the direct command of Army HQ & under the new Corps HQ at Panagarh at least two Mountain Divisions will be given offensive taskings, for which 10 scenarios have been wargamed thus far. And as I had explained several times before, the tyranny of the terrain is such for both sides that no large-scale offensive operations are ever possible for either side. FICV project isn’t dead, but merely postponed due to budgetary constraints. New-design turrets for BMPs have already been designed by ALPHA Design Technologies in collaboration with ELBIT Systems. And DRDO’s much-publicised 155mm/52-cal towed howitzer is at least a decade away. Don’t expect too much out of it. Instead, ask why the DRDO has failed to develop far less sophisticated weapons like lightweight disposable LAWs, 40mm automatic grenade launchers, & flamethrowers (which the PLA will use in large numbers in order to destroy the enemy inside bunkers). Let the DRDO produce all these first before making tall promises & giving false hopes about howitzers.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To UJJWAL: DRDO’s much-publicised 155mm/52-cal towed howitzer is at least a decade away. Don’t expect too much out of it. Instead, ask why the DRDO has failed to develop far less sophisticated weapons like lightweight disposable LAWs, 40mm automatic grenade launchers, & flamethrowers (which the PLA will use in large numbers in order to destroy the enemy inside bunkers). Let the DRDO produce all these first before making tall promises & giving false hopes about howitzers.

To SREENIVAS: HF radio antenna for both communications & for long-range navigation (LORAN).

To Anon@7AM: Simple solution. Take out the 1,000lb LGBs & replace them with smaller LGBs like 150kg & 250kg LGB. Regarding BMD’s Phase-1/2, I’m afraid Dr Saraswat will have to carry away those lofty promises he had made over the past 12 months with him when he retires on May 31. Instead, he should be asked why the DRDO hasn’t yet designed (forget building one, since he himself had officially stated that India does not have the required industrial infrastructure for building components for such a system) a ground-based X-band precision-tracking early warning radar. MiG-27UPGs will be decommissioned by 2017.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Read this:

Sangos said...

Thanks for the great info. Question - Is Brahma Chellany factual or false for ex. in this article?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SANGOS: He is dead wrong for sure, because for his own professional reasons he is a China-baiter & draws his living from spreading such paranoia.

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