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Friday, November 29, 2013

Regional Naval Updates

Since the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004, the landing platform dock (LPD) and the amphibious assault ship (LPH) have emerged as an instrument of soft power, with their on-board fleets of multi-purpose utility helicopters, landing craft, and air-cushion vehicles; plus their command-and-control capabilities and cavernous holds proving to be invaluable for disaster relief, small-scale policing or mass civilian evacuation operations. At the same time, the LPDs and LPHs have today emerged as invaluable tools for undertaking asymmetric warfare (against pirates in the high seas), expeditionary amphibious campaigns (such as those undertaken by the Royal Navy in 1982 to retake the Falklands Islands), and low-intensity maritime operations involving vertical envelopment tactics, which the Indian Navy (IN) calls “effecting maritime manoeuvres from the sea”.
It was in the September 2004 that I had penned an analysis on the need for the IN to urgently begin planning for acquiring a modest fleet of no less than three LPHs for it to undertake both humanitarian relief operations within the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) whenever required, as well as prepare for the prospects of undertaking power projection-based expeditionary amphibious campaigns with its own integral naval infantry assets (as opposed to the still existing flawed practice of transporting a mere mechanised battalion of the Indian Army (IA) on board large landing ship tanks (LST-L). It, therefore, came as no surprise almost four months later when Navy HQ, headed at that time by Admiral Arun Prakash, the Chief of the Naval Staff, directed the Directorate of Plans & Operations to begin preparing the NSQRs for procuring a fleet of LPHs with a great sense of urgency. However, matters did not move swiftly enough on the procurement front, despite the articulation and unveiling by Navy HQ of its doctrines for effecting maritime manoeuvres from the sea though joint amphibious warfare operations. This, however, did not deter the Navy from setting up—on June 24, 2008—its Advanced Amphibious Warfare School and Fleet Support Complex--in the enclave that will come up along the beach road on the outskirts of Kakinada, about 500km from Hyderabad, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is here that the Navy is quietly but progressively raising its first of three naval infantry battalions (to eventually become a Brigade-strength formation), which will be trained and equipped to undertake both amphibious and vertical envelopment air-assault operations.
On the procurement front, matters began to move only in October 2010 when the Cabinet Committee on National Security accorded approval to Navy HQ to begin drafting the Request for Information (RFI) regarding the acquisition of four LPHs and related hardware under the ‘Buy and Make Indian’ clause of the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP-9). Under this clause, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) can invite proposals (based on a capability definition document) from those Indian shipbuilders from both the public sector and private sector that have the requisite financial and technical capabilities to enter into joint ventures with foreign shipbuilders and together undertake indigenous construction of the warships. In early December 2010, the Navy HQ issued its RFIs to Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Company Ltd, Cochin Shipyard Ltd, Mazagon Docks Ltd, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Larsen & Toubro Ltd, and the Vizag-based Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL). These shipyards were required to forward a Detailed Project Proposal outlining the roadmap for the development of design and construction of the LPDs. After the RFI responses were submitted by March 7, 2011 the Detailed Project Proposal, thereafter, was examined by a Project Appraisal Committee (PAC) constituted by the MoD’s Acquisition Wing to verify the credentials of the foreign partners, together with confirming the acceptability of the respective joint ventures between the Indian shipyard and its foreign collaborator. By September 2011, the Indian shipyards shortlisted for issue of the RFPs were intimated. The Request for Proposals (RFP), however, was issued earlier this month.
Foreign shipbuilders offering LPH solutions include DCNS of France with its Mistral-BPC 21,300-tonne LPH, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems with its 20,000-tonne MHD-200 LPH (with two separate heli-decks on two levels), Fincantieri of Italy with its 20,000-tonne Mosaic LPH design, South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries & Constructions Co with its 18,800-tonne Dokdo-class LPH, and Navantia of Spain with its Athlas 21,560-tonne LHD. The favourite contenders are expected to be Navantia and Ficantieri.
A separate RFP will be issued in future for licence-building high-speed air-cushioned vehicles from either US-based Textron Marine and Land Systems (LCAC) or Hanjin Heavy Industries & Constructions Co (LSF-2), LCMs (with designs being offered by Navantia and Hanjin Heavy Industries & Constructions Co), or high-speed catamarans, for which France’s CNIM is likely to offer its L-CAT catamaran.
A detailed analysis of the RFP for the LPH requirement brings out several interesting indicators about both the overall configuration of the desired vessel and its performance/operational capabilities. For instance, the RFP has specified that the length of the vessel should be 213 metres; the draught should not exceed 8 metres; the endurance at sea must be for 45 days; the propulsion system of should be of the integrated full-electric propulsion (IFEP) type; the vessel must have a suitable well-deck for carrying amphibious craft like LCMs or LCACs and LCVPs on davits and should have the capability to launch these craft when underway; the vessel must be able to house combat vehicles (including main battle tanks, infantry combat vehicles and heavy trucks on one or more vehicle deck; and the vessel should be able to undertake all-weather operations involving heavylift helicopters of up to 35 tonnes MTOW. Weapon systems and mission sensors to go on board the projected four vessels will all be pre-selected (known also as customer-furnished or buyer-nominated equipment). Such hardware will include the point-defence missile system (PDMS), close-in weapon system (CIWS), anti-torpedo decoy system, countermeasures dispensing system and 20mmmm heavy machine guns. In addition, each of the four vessels will be required to have one E/F-band combined air-surface surveillance radar, one C/D band air surveillance radar, and an integrated marine navigation system employing X- and S-band navigation radars.
The IN has finally zeroed in on integrated full-electric propulsion (IFEP) systems, starting with the four projected LPHs to be procured (one directly from a yet-to-be-selected foreign OEM, and three to be licence-built by a MoD-owned shipyard in cooperation with a private-sector shipyard). Present-day warships worldwide utilise a combined-diesel-and-diesel (CODAD), combined-diesel-and-gas (CODAG), combined-gas-and-gas (COGAG) or combined-diesel-Electric-and-gas (CODLAG) propulsion configurations. At cruising speeds a CODLAG system employs diesel generators to supply electricity to the electric motors that drive the propeller shafts. When high speeds are required, gas turbines engage the shafts via cross-connecting mechanical transmissions (gearboxes). In an IFEP system-equipped warship, on the other hand, there is no mechanical connection between the prime mover and shaft. Instead, both the gas turbines and diesels are configured as electricity generators. While the diesels provide the vessel’s base load electrical supply, including low-speed propulsion, the turbines are switched in for peak power. The benefits of IFEP include: flexibility in locating machinery (only the propulsion motor needs to be coupled mechanically to the shaft-line); fuel efficiency (when the warship is operated at part load); low noise and vibration; built-in redundancy (electrical machines may have more than one set of windings, fed from different sources, so power is still available if one set fails); reliability (a mean-time-between-failures of more than 100,000 hours); reduced maintenance costs (due, for instance, to the absence of gearboxes); and the scope for increased automation and reduced crew complement.
The IN’s LPHs will also employ fixed-pitch propellers. Controllable-pitch propellers and their associated complex hydraulics are not required since the motor, and thus the shaft, can be electrically reversed. However, the IN is against the procurement of podded propulsion systems—a point that could well go against the Mistral BPD-class LPH that DCNS of France is offering for the IN. It is thus widely expected that the IN will zero in on an IFEP system developed by UK-based but GE-led Converteam industrial consortium.
Coming now to the weapons suite, the IN has a choice of combinations to choose from, including the SeaRAM and Phalanx Block 1B from Raytheon, Sadral from MBDA integrated with OTOBreda of Italy’s twin-barrel 30mm/82 Compact or the Goalkeeper from THALES Nederland, the combination of Phalanx Block 1B and Barak-1 from Israel Aerospace Industries, and the combined Palma PDMS/CIWS from Russia’s Tulamashzavod JSC. It is believed that the Phalanx Block 1B/Barak-1 combination is the Navy’s preferred choice. The Navy’s shipboard decoy control and launching system of choice is the Kavach, which has been developed by the DRDO and is being built by Mahindra Defence. The combat management system and ELINT/EW suites will be procured off-the-shelf as standard fitment along with the LPHs.

Helicopters For LPHs
Initially, when the IN was in the process of drafting the RFP for the four LPHs, it also wanted to draft a separate RFP for procuring 44 heavylift utility helicopters as well. This, however, was opposed by the Indian Air Force (IAF), which then insisted on having a decisive say on finalising the QRs for such helicopters, since it is believed that the IAF wanted to be the one undertaking the vertical envelopment/replenishment roles. As matters now stand, it is most unlikely that the IAF will be allowed to take over such roles because A) the IAF does not possess any heavylift helicopter configured for shipborne operations. B) none of its Mi-17V-5s are equipped with emergency flotation systems (which is mandatory when flying over water). C) the IN and IAF have totally divergent air traffic management (ATM) protocols, and since it will be the IN that will be the sole provider of ATM services for the tactical airspace below which amphibious assault operations will be undertaken by the Sagar Prahari Bal (whose sanctioned strength is 15,000-strong), logic demands that the IN raise its own dedicated fleet of shipborne heavylift helicopters as well. If the IN’s views prevail, then the potential contenders could include the AgustaWestland AW-101, and Sikorsky’s S-92 Super Hawk or CH-53K Super Stallion.

Fleet Replenishment Tankers
For supplying the IN with five fleet replenishment tankers, RFPs have been issued to Indian shipbuilders only, who are now scouting for suitable designs from foreign shipbuilders. These five vessels will supplement the INS’s two relatively new fleet replenishment tankers—INS Deepak (A50) and INS Shakti (A57)—built by Fincantieri of Italy in a record period of two years as per the terms of the 139 million Euros contract signed between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Fincantieri in October 2008. Built at Fincantieri’s Yard 6186 at Muggiano, the first double-hulled tanker was launched on February 12, 2010 and was commissioned into service on January 21, 2011. The second tanker—INS Shakti—was commissioned on October 1, 2011. As part of the direct industrial offsets package for the first fleet tanker, Fincantieri had in 2008 placed an order worth 14.3 million Euros with Bharat Electronics Ltd for the supply of a composite communications system, versatile communications suite, ESM system, and an optronic fire-control system.
Each of the two tankers is 175 metres long, 25 metres wide and 19 feet high, and has a displacement at full load of 27,500 tonnes. Each of them are powered by two 10,000kW diesel engines that drive the twin adjustable-pitch propellers. The tanker can reach a maximum speed of 20 Knots, can refuel four warships at the same time, has a hangar to accommodate a 10-tonne helicopter, and can provide accommodation for 250 personnel, including its crew complement. The tankers’ construction programme at Muggiano involved three different shipyards of Fincantieri, using state-of-the-art ship construction methods and concepts with extensive parallelism and concurrent engineering to deliver them in a challenging timeframe of two years. The double-hull configuration provides greater safety against accidental oil spillages in accordance with latest MARPOL regulations.
However, the acquisition of these two tankers had its share of controversy, when the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India criticized the acceptance of inferior-grade steel used in the manufacture of the two fleet tankers, saying that it amounted to according “undue favour to a foreign vendor in the procurement of fleet tankers”. The CAG also saw a problem with the excess provisioning of spares worth more than Rs300 million (US$6 million) and under-realisation of industrial offsets benefits to Indian industry’ under the Rs9.36 billion ($200 million) contract. The CAG’s report revealed that the original RFP had a mandatory stipulation requiring the use of ‘DMR-249A or equivalent grade steel’ in the construction of the two fleet tankers, which it said is almost double the cost of ordinary steel. The report added that in order to maintain its approved force levels, the IN’s Shipbuilding Plan had envisaged the addition of two fleet tankers by 2008 and 2011, respectively. Accordingly, a RFP was issued to 12 firms in November 2005. In response to the RFP, only three firms responded—Russia’s Rosoboronexport State Corp, South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Ltd (HHIL), and Fincantieri. Out of them, only Rosoboronexport offered a technical proposal for using DMR-249A or equivalent steel. HHIL’s proposal was rejected due to non-compliance with the RFP’s provisions, which included non-usage of DMR-249A steel. Fincantieri’s proposal was stated to be compliant with the RFP conditions. However, the firm proposed usage of DH-36 steel instead of DMR-249A. The justification offered by Fincantieri for selection of DH-36 to the MoD’s Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) included problems in sourcing DMR-249A steel, the normal use of ordinary steel for tankers and an explanation on why the high-resilience performance of DMR-249A was not necessary for the tankers. This was despite Fincantieri’s own admission that DH-36 has less weight and less resilience when compared to DMR-249A, and the chemical compositions of DH-36 grade steel and DMR-249A steel being different and therefore they cannot be treated as equivalent to each other. The prices of these two grades of steel are also different, since DMR-249A is more expensive than DH-36 grade steel. “Nonetheless,” said the CAG, “the TEC opined that DH-36 was equivalent to DMR-249A and accepted Fincantieri’s technical bid without taking due cognizance of the competing offers made by Rosoboronexport and HHIL. The Technical Oversight Committee too ruled in favour of Fincantieri after the commercial bids were opened, since Fincantieri emerged as the lowest bidder with a quote of Rs7.23 billion. The offer of Rosoboronexport was rejected as it was costlier, being based upon the prices of DMR-249A or equivalent steel”.

Resolving The CM-400AKG Supersonic ASM Conundrum
Let us begin with what is available to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Pakistan Navy (PN) in terms of maritime strike capabilities. The PAF’s No8 ‘Haiders’ Squadron operating out of Karachi’s Masroor Air Base presently operates only two Dassault Aviation-built Mirage-VPA3s, each of which can be armed with two MBDA-built 55km-range subsonic AM-39 Exocet ASCMs. They will be replaced in the near future by six JF-17 Thunder MRCAs, each of which will be able to carry two IIR-guided CM-802AKG subsonic anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) plus one data-link pod for man-in-the-loop guidance (a configuration identical to what the PLA Navy has adopted for its JH-7A maritime strike aircraft and which is similar to the RAFAEL-built Popeye PGM/Pegasus data-link pod combination). 
The CM-802AKG, 40 of which have been ordered by the PAF, has a range of 230km, weighs 670kg, and comes with a blast-penetration warhead weighing 285kg.
The PN, on the other hand, has at its disposal 120 C-602 ASCMs of which along with 40 8 x 8 transporter-erector-launcher vehicles, three Agosta 90B and two Agosta 70B SSKs that can be armed with subsonic Boeing UGM-84A Harpoon ASCMs, plus six Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion LRMR/ASW aircraft armed with subsonic AGM-84A Harpoon ASCMs, along with several ship-launched subsonic AGM-84A Harpoons and 180km-range subsonic C-802A ASCMs. 
The C-602 is a conventional cruise missile design, with mid-body wings that deploy following launch. The fixed ventral air inlet is mounted slightly forward of the cruciform tail fins. The missile is 6.1 metres long (without the 0.9 metre-long launch booster), and weighs 1,140kg. The solid propellant booster weighs an additional 210kg. 
The C-602 has a cruise speed of Mach 0.6, carries a 300kg HE blast-fragmentation warhead, is powered by a small turbojet, and has a stated range of 280km, with the missile flying at an altitude of 30 metres during the cruise phase of an engagement. In the terminal phase, the missile descends to a height of seven metres, and it can be launched from truck-mounted launchers, from warships as well as from medium multi-role combat aircraft.
It is evident that when both the PAF and PN are already in possession of formidable sea denial capabilities, it makes little sense to go for a supersonic ASM that is claimed by its Chinese OEM to have an IIR terminal seeker. Incidentally, all existing operational supersonic ASCMs to date, like the 130km-range, Mach 2.3, 1.5-tonne, 225kg self-forging fragment warhead-armed Hsiung Feng-3/Brave Wind-3 of Taiwan; Russia’s 4.15-tonne, Mach 3, 120km-range Raduga Kh-41 Zubr armed with 320kg HE warhead; Russia’s Novator 3M54E Klub-S/N, India’s BrahMos-1; and Japan’s 200km-range, Mach 2+ Mitsubishi ASM-3, all make use of on-board active radar seekers for terminal guidance, simply because no supersonic ASCM-based IIR sensor has the kind of target detection/lock-on range of up to 26km.
The 910kg/2,000lb CM-400AKG, possessing a claimed engagement envelope of 240km (130nm) a maximum cruise speed of Mach 4, airframe diameter of 0.4 metres, and 200kg blast-penetration warhead, has apparently been designed to be launched when the JF-17 reaches cruise speeds of between 750kph and 800kph at altitudes of between 26,200 feet and 39,400 feet. While its on-board RLG-INS offers a CEP of 50 metres (164 feet) during the mid-course navigation phase, the CEP reportedly gets reduced to 5 metres when the IIR seeker is activated during the terminal guidance phase. 
If it is imperative that the JF-17 attain an altitude of either 26,200 feet or 39,400 feet in order to launch its two CM-400AKGs in ripple-fire mode, the element of surprise will be lost very early since the missile is not sea-skimming and will be detected by warship-mounted active phased-array volume search radars like the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR, while the airborne JF-17 will be easily located and tracked by AEW platforms like the Ka-31 AEW helicopters while the JF-17s are still 250km away from the IN’s targetted carrier battle group. And lastly, the JF-17 will have to continue cruising at medium altitudes so that the underbelly data-link pod can continue to maintain line-of-sight contact with the CM-400AKG’s (and even that of the CM-802AKG) on-board IIR imagery transmitter. Incidentally, neither during the Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai last November nor during the recently concluded Dubai 2013 Airshow was any data-link pod displayed by Chinese OEMs like CETC International. 

Countering The ASCM Threats
The IN today is sufficiently well-protected against subsonic ASCMs, thanks to the combination of indigenously developed shipborne jammers and RAFAEL-built Barak-1 CIWS, which will in future be supplemented by the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR/Barak-2 LR-SAM combination, along with IAI/ELTA Systems-supplied EL/M-2222S NAVGUARD, which is an active phased-array radar-based missile approach warning system (MAWS) that automatically detects, classifies and verifies incoming threats, and consequently  triggers the targetted warship’s hard-kill/soft-kill self-defence systems.

How China’s CH-3 UCAV Has Become Pakistan’s Burraq UCAV
On November 25, 2013, Pakistan’s ISPR announced that the Pakistan Army and PAF had inducted the first batch of ‘indigenously developed’ strategic UAVs, namely the Burraq and Shahpar UAV Systems, into the Pakistan Army and PAF. It was claimed that the Burraq has been developed by Pakistan's state-owned NESCOM. 
However, a closer examination of the photo of the Burraq released by the ISPR clearly proves the fact that it is merely a NESCOM-assembled CH-3, which has been developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC) and AVIC Defense as a multi-purpose medium-range UAV system suitable for battlefield reconnaissance, artillery fire adjustment, data relay and electronic warfare. The CH-3 can be armed with twin laser-guided AR-1 anti-armour missiles, has a cruising speed of 220kph, 12-hour maximum endurance, and a 200km line-of-sight communications radius.

How Will The IN Face-Off Against The PN In Future
It is fairly evident now that while on one hand the IN—with its Project 1241RE FAC-Ms armed with P-20 ASCMs, Project 1241REM FAC-Ms armed with Uran-E ASCMs and Project 25/25A corvettes armed with P-20/Uran-E ASCMs—will not be able to replicate the kind of successes in scored on its western seaboard on December 4, 1971 with its Project 205 FAC-Ms firing P-15 ASCMs, the PN too will not be able to replicate what it had achieved on September 6, 1965. And it can also be inferred that in the event of future conventional hostilities between India and Pakistan, the three armed services of both countries will fight their own set-piece battles as per their individual war-plans, and not according to a single operational war-plan aimed at the attainment of strategic objectives through synergistic and synchronised warfighting efforts. Furthermore, it has been the case since mid-1998 that future wars in the subcontinent under a nuclear overhang will be of the limited, high-intensity-type and not all-out conventional wars. Consequently, in the event of the Indian Army’s (IA) HQ Northern Command adopting a pro-active warfighting posture and deciding to launch a limited, pre-emptive ground offensive across the LoC, the IAF’s Western Command can be expected to help the IA increase its operational tempo by lending close air support and achieving tactical air superiority, but the IN will be forced to remain a mute, non-participating spectator since 1) it will lack the wherewithal and tools (like long-range warship-launched/submarine-launched/air-launched long-range cruise missiles) required for making meaningful contributions to the land battle; and 2) India’ apex-level civilian decision-makers—being risk-averse by nature—will not be in favour of vertical military escalation. Thus, the IN will be unable to put into motion its much-touted ‘effecting maritime manouvres from the sea’ warfighting plans.    
The IN’s inability to gain sea control and battlespace superiority during the first 72 hours of an all-out conventional war between India and Pakistan was convincingly demonstrated during a wargame (shown in the slide above) that was played out in Delhi in 1986 when EX Brass Tacks was in full-swing. At that time, it was convincingly demonstrated that the PN and PAF of that time could easily create and sustain a ‘cordone sanitaire’ measuring 266km in depth, which in turn could easily neutralise any kind of threat posed by an IN carrier battle group.  
Matters did not improve at all by mid-1999 when OP Vijay and OP Safed Sagar were launched. At that time, while the IN’s sole aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, was undergoing one of her periodic refits (thereby denying the IN’s combined Western and Eastern Fleets the element of battlespace air superiority), the Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) did not issue an operational directive to the IN simply because India had then not formally declared that she was in a state of war with Pakistan and therefore, both OP Vijay and OP Safed Sagar were both classified at best as an Air-Land counter-insurgency campaign, not even limited war. Consequently, the IN at best only mobilised itself in a limited manner and under OP Talwar, deployed out to the northwest portion of the Arabian Sea for the purpose of conducting missile-firing drills (see slide above). Thus, bravado aside, the IN was denied the chance to demonstrate its sea-control and sea-denial capabilities. This state of affairs was again repeated in 2002 during OP Parakram.
Coming now to present-day matters, the IN’s war-planners are faced with 1) the PN’s formidable, multi-tier sea-denial capabilities (already explained above) throughout Pakistan’s coastline; and 2) the steady growth of the PN’s elite undersea warfare arm, now comprising three MESMA AIP module-equipped Agosta 90B SSKs and to be joined in future by two upgraded Agosta 70B SSKs and up to six Type 032 Qing-class SSKs equipped with Stirling Engine-type AIP modules. 
As the slide below illustrates, any CBG of the IN will be extremely hard-pressed to launch any kind of credible, sustained expeditionary power projection campaign against the PN. The only viable offensive option for the IN remains its fleet of eight Type 877EKM SSKs (each of which will in future be able to launch four Novator-built 3M-14E Klub-S LACMs while staying submerged 100nm away from Karachi), if one assumes that the PN’s principal surface combatants and FAC-Ms will be bottled-up within their respective homeports during a future round of hostilities since they will be targetted for sure by the IN’s AGM-84L Harpoon ASCM-armed P-8Is as well as by the IAF’s Jamnagar AFS-based 10 Jaguar IMs (armed with AGM-84L Harpoon ASCMs) and six MiG-29UPGs armed with Kh-35UE ASCMs.   
If at all the IN wants to wage credible, offensive AirLand campaigns, then there are only three available options that need to be exercised:
Firstly, while it is agreed that a big aircraft carrier is vulnerable and its steep construction and operating costs are good reason for possessing an aircraft carrier fleet with smaller vessels like INS Vikramaditya and Project 71/IAC-1/INS Vikrant, the problem one will discover later is that such aircraft carriers, even if fractionally smaller then the big flattop, cause the effectiveness of their air-wings to rapidly decease, while their vulnerability to mission-kill or loss exponentially increases, and their lifetime maintenance cost (primarily due to their dependence on fossil fuels) becomes much higher over 30+ years than that of a 65,000-tonne big-deck nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Moreover, while being vulnerable to attack, the big-deck nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is still arguably one of the toughest warships to sink. Furthermore, if it takes 4 tonnes of LGBs to accomplish a strike mission regardless of inclement weather conditions, then the IN will be required to deploy against such a target at least three MiG-29Ks armed with LGBs and LDPs, plus another two MiG-29Ks for tactical offensive air superiority and at least four MiG-29Ks configured as aerial refuelling tankers. 
Sustaining such daily air taskings for a 7-day period (assuming three such strike sorties are launched daily) easily translates into a requirement for at least 60 MiG-29Ks. Incidentally, initial operational training for the five pilots who would each fly a MiG-29K for 1,700 hours during the life of the aircraft conservatively cost US$2 million. Fuel, spare parts and maintenance cost $60 million over the life of the MiG-29K, leading to an estimated total life-cycle cost of $120 million each. On average, a MiG-29K squadron has to annually fly some 500 hours, or about 32.5 hours per pilot, to maintain warfare readiness, and that is just during the 12-month home-cycle. Once deployed at sea, squadron flight-hours will increase to approximately 650 per month, or 38 per pilot. One-third of these hours are expended for maintaining the currency and qualifications of the pilot. In the end, over the full extent of its airframe TTSL, the average MiG-29K will log just 20% of its mandated flight-hours in combat. Much of this time will involve transiting to and from the operating area, with 30 minutes per flight, at most, being dedicated to the operational mission. The effectiveness of such missions can best be measured in ordnance expended. For instance, to achieve the same returns on investment as a long-range Nirbhay-type LACM (costing no more than $3.5 million), a MiG-29K will need to fly nearly four times the number of sorties.
Which then brings us to the second option: invest big-time on long-range warship-launched, air-launched and submarine-launched LACMs. While an air-launched BrahMos-1/A ASCM makes sense for land-based Su-30MKIs and MiG-29Ks, carrier-based MiG-29Ks require three types of air-to-ground PGMs: lightweight 700km-range LACMs, 300km-range cruise missiles containing runway-cratering sub-munitions, and 500lb LGBs. Concurrently, the IN’s future principal warfare combatants (like DDGs) that are still on the drawing boards do need to be equipped with silos containing no less than 24 vertically-launched, 1,200km-range LACMs armed with conventional warheads.
Lastly, initiate without any further delay the development of a 5,000-tonne SSGN that can operate as both a self-seeking hunter-killer as well as a submerged launcher (from its torpedo-tubes) of no less than eight 1,200km-range LACMs armed with conventional warheads. While AIP-equipped Scorpene SSKs are up to the task of providing ASW screens around vital naval and economic coastal installations, when it comes to cruising submerged at high speeds while escorting CBGs or even when operating alone inside hostile waters, the SSGN has no equal. 


Anonymous said...


From Navantia, which model is the contender, Juan Carlos I class or Athlas LPD?

There is major difference between the two and you have mentioned the latter one. However, if competition with Dokdo and Mistral is considered, Athlas does not stand a chance. Even Australian Canberra class is the Juan Carlos I.

Please clarify.

Chris said...

Anon above,

You have mixed up ship classes. Athlas is the name of whole family of Navantia amphibious ships while Juan Carlos is one ship of that class (Athlas 26000t).


Is it okay if I use some of your arguments in my academic papers? If you need me to attribute the arguments to you, how do I refer? Through the blog?

Thanks and best regards

Anonymous said...


For referencing:
Professionals use harvard Referencing:

So many western Unis use this and recommend this;
a simple google search retrieves one of the result:

Raman said...

Nice............detailed/segmented/informative...very nice...(hope it gets concluded !!)........and all these RFI's/RFP's fill us with hope !!!!

But, alas.........when will these and all the earlier ones...... (so numerous.....selected/down-selected/negotiated/still-long-drawn negotiated etc)......ever get converted to "Orders".....

Maybe, IF our FM was the RM something would have happened...........

(also......see the way US reacted (B-52's !!!) to the 'acne' on the Chinese pretty face in the South China Sea........I think this is the sort of language that should be resorted to if anyone crosses the line (of actual control ).....)

rad said...

Hi Prsun

Is the active seeker on the barak 8 an AESA type or planar antenna, I remember that you mentioned that it is a dual mode seeker , I am unable figure out the concept of that as there is no contemporary missle with that specs
I believe japan has made an AAM with a aesa seeker and i would rate it more than the amraam.

indian 11 said...

sir ,
1) what is the DIFFERENCE b/w an lph & lhd ??
2) will our ship be a lph or lhd ?
3) in one of your previous posts(in 2011) u mentioned that lph carries 6 heavy helo..but istral being an lph(amphibious assault ship) carries 16 heavy helos..then why it isn't qualifies as a LHD ?
4) how many helos will our ship required to carry..& what type of helos..can u pleae give the breakdown in terms of no. of heavy/mid/light helos onboard ?
5) are the 3 battalions being raised in kakinada different from sagar prahari bal ?
u said these 3 battalions will be anhanced into an brigade..but the end strength of spb is pegged at 15000..??
& sir , when do we see this ship contract signed & when will the first ship be delivered ?

6) in the last the comments section u mentioned about some documentaries in IA being made by foreigners but not indians..can u please provide youtube link of those documentaries..??

what device is being talked about here ??
the same hhti for which rfp were called for a few days ago ??
if yes then why only 500 devices..u said atlest 3500/3800 devices will be procured?

Vikrant said...

I have a lot of naval questions
1)Has the DSRV from Russia arrived?when do you think arihant's sea trials begin?
2)sir what is the role of the Indian navy in war according to the cold war doctrine?is it defined clearly?
3)can Pakistani navy effectively perform sea denial against Indian navy?Can Indian navy enforce a naval blockade of pak?
4)What is the status of INS Kadamba expansion?
5)AS far as i remember the abhay class ASW corvettes were upgraded
will they even along with the Kamorta class be enough to provide the cover required for our massive fleets?
6)With time the eastern fleet is being bolstered will the Indian navy,if push comes to shove successfully bloke the choke points such as Malacca?

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da ,

Defense IQ recently published their forecast of the Global Armored Vehicle Market . You can find the details here .



Hey Prasun, some naval Qd for you:

1) Will the AW-101 now be a no-go as far as the IN's plans for heavy-lift helos for their LPHs (in the light of the ongoing IAF AW-101 saga)?

2) When will the SPB force be revealed to the world? As it stands it seems not a single Indian or foreign source has even acknowledged such a force is being rasied. The significane of such a force is HUGE (possibly more so than the heavily covered Mountain Strike Corps of the IA) and yet the media seems ignorant to the whole thing?

3) When will the IN's RFIs for heavy-lift helos go out?

5) news has just come out that the Arjun Mk2 faced some issues with smoke getting in the driver's compartment and that dleiveies of the Mk.2 have been pushed back to late 2015/early 2016- is there any credibilty behind this news??


"So When and Where Did India Go Wrong???"

What about this conclusion in the last thread??? Plz. conclude it. Desperately waiting for this. Plz.

Gessler said...

Hi Prasun, VMT for your previous explanations. More questions for you -

1) You have said AW-101, S-92 and CH-53K are vying for naval helos tender. Which one do you think could be the victor? Does IN have any preferences?

2) What is the name of this DCNS fleet replenishment vessel?

Which are the other replenishment tanks vying for IN's plans to acquire 4 such vessels?

3) Will the SPB be equipped with it's own land-based all-terrain vehicles, APCs & IFVs? And also light artillery?

4) What type of uniform do you think Indian Army will adopt in future as the standard issue? Some people talk of a MARPAT-based version, others speak of a completely new digital camouflage. What does your information say?

VMT in advance.

Chris said...

Well Soubhagya you might have to live with the Dourbhagya of PKS not being able to fulfil your request!!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To CHRIS: Be my guest & go right ahead.

To RAMAN: VMT. And yes, I have uploaded the concluding part. I could not upload the concluding part of the previous thread because the narrative has to be updated with data gathered from the Armoured Vehicles conference that was held in Delhi earlier this month. I will upload that concluding part in a new thread early next month.

To RAD: It’s an active phased-array sensor for terminal guidance.

To INDIAN11: The difference is clearly visible when you compare the PLA Navy’s Type 081 LPH with the Type 071 LPD. 2) LPH. LPDs can carry only four helicopters. The IN’s LPH is reqd to have 11 helicopters as per the RFP. 3) Vessels with 16 helicopters on board become LHDs. 4) Only 12-tonne heavylift helicopters of the type already mentioned above. 11 per LPH. 5) Nope. Those three battalions will hail from the Sagar Prahari Bal & will be naval infantry owned & operated by the IN. 6) No one can accurately predict when the contract will be inked. 7) All kinds of devices, ranging from LORROS to HHTIs to LRTIs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRANT: 1) Yes. Arihant’s sea trials will begin once the sea conditions in the Bay of Bengal stabilise & become calmer. 2) Nope. It’s not defined. In the event of hostilities, each of the three armed services will have their own OP-PLAN & they will be implementing their OP-PLAN in an uncoordinated manner, very much the same as what had transpired in 1971. 3) Of course the PN can. A total naval blocade is not an option for the IN at all, even with two CBGs. Had the IN had 3 SSNs, only then a total naval blocade would be possible to enforce. 4) Such infrastructure projects always progress at a glacial pace. 5) Abhay-class & P-28 ASW corvettes won’t be used for providing ASW escort for naval task forces. Instead, they will be used only for guarding the maritime channels leading to the IN’s principal naval bases like Karwar, Vizag, Kochi & Mumbai. 6) How can the Eastern Fleet be bolstered when it is still operating from Vizag? It is very easy to bottle up the entire fleet in Vizag by thus planting mines or sinking just any vessel inside the narrow navigation channel leading to Vizag. What the Eastern Fleet requires is a deep-water port like INS Kadamba.

To VIKRAM GUHA: VMT. I had obtained such data from the seminar on Armoured Vehicles itself earlier this month.

To TRUTHSEEKER: 1) Let’s wait & see. Nothing of this nature can be foretold. 2) It was revealed way back in 2009 to the media. If the media refuses to take note of such developments, then only the media and not the IN can be blamed for such a sorry state of affairs. 3) There’s still time. RFIs can be released even in late 2014. Helicopters can be built faster than LPHs. 5) That’s due to the combustible cartridge housing the DRDO-developed CLGM. A re-engineered combustible cartridge will solve the problem.

To SOUBHAGYA: It will come, rest assured. I could not upload the concluding part of the previous thread because the narrative has to be updated with data gathered from the Armoured Vehicles conference that was held in Delhi earlier this month. I will upload that concluding part in a new thread early next month.

To GESSLER: 1) There are never any preferences when global RFPs are being floated. If there were any preferences, then only a sole-source contract would have been specified, instead of competitive evaluations. 2) It is just a design concept which is up for sale & any shipbuilder can buy its IPRs. Fincantieri & Hyundai are also in the fray. 3) Of course. 4) Digital camouflage-type.

Raman said...

Thanks.............really well written...(Again !!)......the note on the Pakistani Sea Denial capability (PAF and PN) is excellent...

Amit said...

Has Construction of Project-17(A) Frigates Started ?

Ashwin said...

Dear Sir

Is the Mig 29 K and IN KA 31 Helicopters capable of PREVENTNG
the JF 17 from coming close to IN ships OR

DO We need MORE Su 30 MKI and AWACS so that PAF JF 17 can be destroyed before it comes close to IN ships

Sir in the past you have said that
the Best tactic is to attack the airbase first and foremost to disrupt the enemy's efforts

So sir we will have to use Dhanush Brahmos and Prithvi 3
extensively to neutralise PAF airbases and Land based ASCM batteries

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,i'm reading your blog for the first time and I must app. the pay you answer ques,here are some more for u

Q1-Is the ATV supposed to be an SSGN(due to its specifications),and is it based on yasen class subs(according to some Russian media reports),also the former Russian ambassdor has said it is based on Akula class submarine?

Q2-Is there any possiblity of Pak buying J 31 from China and leasing or developing Nuke subs?

Q3-How many Tejas mk 2 will the AF procure,is there any export potencial?

Q4-Which missiles will arihant carry-Nirbhay,k 15 Sagarika,Shaurya or Brahmos,are there 6 533mm or 4(533)+4(650)mm torpedo tubes?

Q5-How will the Tejas mk 2 turn up against J 10B?

Vikrant said...

VMT sir
1)So what possibly would the IN's objectives be in case of cold start scenario?the 'desi' idiots talk of a naval blockade?
2)Could you tell us about he 'riposte' doctrine of the pak army?How does it intend to use the TNW which pak claims to counter the cold start doctrine?
3)What is this project Varsha on the eastern coast?Is it an SSBN only base or similar to INS Kadamba?
4)If P-28 is for litoral ASW around bases why does it displace 3000 tonnes?
5)when do you see barak-2 entering service?
6)besides sea denial how would the PN undertake offensive action?through thier submarines?

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da ,

I read in Livefist that DCNS is proposing the direct sale of 2 Scorpene Subs to IN

I have 2 questions in this regard

(1) Will the IN be able to procure 2 Scorpene Subs given the Financial constraints of GOI ?

(2) Will you please explain what technical issues are bogging down the development of DRDO's Air Independent Propulsion (AIP)



raw13 said...


Nice article, very informative indeed!

raw13 said...

Just a small correction "No9 ‘Haiders’ Squadron" is actually No 9 Griffins equipped with F16s. Haiders is actually No 8.

Anonymous said...

1) when could we expect delivery of CABS AEW&CS ?
2) I read an article about Op Leech some sources say it was done to please Myamarese Military Junta, othera say its done to set an example for other rebels (previously assisted by India) to never even think of harming India, what you say ?
3 ) When shall we expect the current economic sluggishness to end its effect on India, are the recent knee-jerk reactions by Dr. MMS working or failing ?
4) On a news channel , I heard Ms. Lekhi ,spokesperson of BJP replying on a comment that "her party in not Indian Army, which can be whacked without repercussions", is there any mechanism she can be sued for this statement by a common citizen like me ?
waiting for your reply

Anonymous said...

Read this article
Is this a correct step to give a halt to the aspirations of Miltary of Imported system and give preferences to sub-optimal Indian ones. Are they really serious of giving private sector a chance this time in big projects. In my opinion why waste valuable forex in acquiring rafale and more Su-30's instead order more tejas , it will save a lot of forex ,moreover our both neighbours are going in for JF-17 & J-10 which have comparable performance to Tejas . Why shall we always aspire for world's best when we are not going to fight one of the best.
PArdon me if I 'm wrong.....

Anonymous said...

Sir, what could be the possible situations in which IAC-1 as well as INS Vikramaditya could be employed so that the huge investment in them seem worthwhile. As it will be unable to enforce a naval blockade of Pakistan and, for choking straits of Mallaca a battery of brahmos on Car Nicobar will more than suffice.
I read on Indian Navy site about its operations in 1965 war , how a major part of its fleet was pesitioned in East to cater from threat of Indonesia, is it possible that Indonesia could become a similar threat in future.

Anurag said...

@Prasun da,I'm commenting after quite some time,was busy with my studies.But I'll definitely try to be more regular from now on.By the way THANX for this nice and informative post.

1.I remember there was an article in 2012 about a pulsejet powered UAV by DRDO-does it mean we might expect a pulse jet powered version of Sudarshan LGB kit in future??

2.By when do you think that Nag and Helina ATGMs will be inducted??

3.In every account I read on net about IPKF intervention in SL,some points are common that-
a.It was a disaster for IA and they got kicked out by LTTE.
b. IPKF lost that war to LTTE
do you believe the same that IPKF performed poorly and LOST the war??

4.It's on the NSTL poster that they have developed a pumpjet propulsion system for the heavy thermal torpedo-then why don't they start work on bigger version of that system for future nuke subs??The pump jets are much more quite than conventional props.

5.And lastly,any update on the supersonic Air Launched Cruise Missile??

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

Iceman said...

1.What happened to the IAI-HAL NRUAV programme? and there are some reports about unmanned dhruv.can you shed some light on it?
2.why is there a delay in issuing RFP for project 75i subs? DRDO developing armed rustom UAV?
4.when will the indian navy SSN project will get started?
5.can you shed some light on sagar prahari bal?some reports say it is only for the coastal security?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Seems the chinese are hacking the US defence companies and are stealing data that includes weapon designs for black hawk,v22,f18,missile defence.Even though you feel w/o the production engineering this data is of no use to the chinese but this hepls them in avoiding the trial-error and shorten the learning curve and catch up to the US defence capabilities in terms of weapon systems by duplicating/working out countering them since they get the know hows in design data. We should be worried by this trend.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
1. India seems to be lagging far behind to even Iran in UAV development. There seems to be no urgency either by DRDO or MoD to speedup things. How is the cooperation between DRDO and Honeywell coming up for Rustum-2? What about Rustum-1?. When do you expect it to be inducted? What about Aura? Is it still in design stage?
2. Hearty congrats to ISRO for achieving escape from earth orbit for MOM and entering Mars Tranfer Trajectory. It is a great first-time achievement. Now we all have to wait for ten months to know whether the next critical manoeuvre will succeed in placing it in Mars orbit and it a first for an Asian country.



what happened to the Jet blast deflectors that I thoight would be on the Viky? I've not seen them present on the Viky in any of the pics/vids recently and so it appears they're not there. Surely this is a major design flaw?

WIll the IAC-1 and IAC-2 have Jet blast deflectors?



Ha ha ha...ho ho ho

Atul said...

when will Novator K-100 enter service with IAF ?

Anonymous said...

Lot of info on JF-17 in the soft copy of "Air International" for those interested:

just scroll down to messgae #1884

Anonymous said...

excellent news !!! when GOI will throw them out of the country..

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DASHU: I concur, but which other country will accept such societal rejects??? I very much doubt if anyone will. Meanwhile, do read this:

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasun,

Do you have any info on Rupee-Rouble Agreement? What are the provisions in this agreement?

RD said...

Regarding Bangladesh decision to buy 2 subs from China I don't see any abnormality. As an independent nation they can purchase any submarine or aircraft carrier from any country. Instead Indian navy should be more worried about its own depleting sub forces & delays in sub acquisitions. Its very much possible that Pakistan in near future if needed 'will eat grass' to acquire nuclear sub, which India can't stop. Infact Pakistan is also planning to buy same class subs with aip from China and same may be followed by Lanka later. As counter preparedness India should order more P8i s.

abs said...

A few questions.
1)When the British arrived in India, they realised that the Indian civilisation was far older than what the Bible had mentioned as the first advent of humans. They also realised that the Indian Civilisation was the only ancient civilisation to survive. However they were quick to see that the Indians had more or less forgotten their heritage and hence this was the time to introduce certain fractures in the Hindu civilisation to serve the ends of "divide and rule" as well as to create an artificial sense of "inferiority" among us Indians.
Therefore we had the introduction of Aryan Invasion theory when it has been proven by DNA and Gene sequencing that all the Indians right from the North till the south have the same DNA and Gene traits. Secondly the Western Indologists began misinterpreting Our Holy scriptures on which the foundations of our civilisation were based. Therefore going by the translations of these Western Indoloigists in collusion (I daresay) with the Christian Missionaries, who had a hidden agenda to show Vedic culture in poor light, one would find several contradictions in Vedic scriptures as well as the fact that "Vedic culture worships Satan".
Looking at the past, I see in the Hindu civilisation all the traits of modernity(democracy,liberty,human rights,woman rights,animal rights,advanced technology,education,peace,etc.), besides a level of spiritual progress that the prsent West is totally devoid of.
Its sad these days that most of us Hindus and Indians are not aware of our "richer than thou" heritage and culture. If a renaissance of such thoughts and practices are brought about then we can truly see a unification in the Indian mainland unlike ever.
The Communist, Christians and Islamists are hand in glove in trying to degrade our cultural values and this has been going on since ages.
What could be the solution?
2)As far as China providing Bangladesh with 2 subs are concerned. I don't understand what need Bangladesh has to acquire subs. I believe the Chinese would use this to their advantage by using Bangladesh as a proxy to keep tabs on the Indian SSBNs and SSGNs, as well as monitor Indian maritime movements.

abs said...

^^ Infact if I can add to what I said above in my first question,
The alternative solution to the world's progress in finding eternal peace would be the Indian Hindu way.
Many unbiased Western Thinkers have also vouched for the above. Alas, we Indians and Hindus do not know of such things at all.

Raman said...


Refer your reply to Vikrant (30/11 at 7.56am)..........OP-Plans uncoordinated !!!!!! that really possible in today's day and age ?? Surely there must be some over-all "Joint Plan" to take on Pak/China/Both....without support for each other - it would be unmitigated disaster........

Even in 1971..........there must have been some coordination between Operation Trident and the was it pure luck that the IAF hit Masroor PAFB(then Mauripuri) and Kemari Oil Tanks at Karachi during the totally unexpected daylight raids with as many as 3 sorties of 4 aircraft each on 4th Dec before INS Nirpat hit the Kemari Oil Storage Tanks again on 4th Dec night 2330hrs..........(Most of the IAF sorties on 4th Dec were 4 a/c with very few repeated until the 5th Dec) ...4 Hunters of 122 Sqdn hit Mauripuri first; followed by 4 more Hunters hitting Kemari Oil.....then 4 Maruts HF-24 ( No 10 Sqdn or was it No 220 Sqdn ??) hitting Talhar (??).......

And, virtually the total of the PAF (as the IAF) were the Navy could egress...IAF hit again on the 5th December onwards...(after all Masroor/Mauripuri was PAF 2nd biggest base...)

For the future........I presume (and hope !!)that the IN and IAF would have a detailed/coordinated Joint Plan to take on (or Take out !!) the PN and it's bases at Karachi/Mehran and Jinnah/Ahsan........

Anirban Guha said...

hi Prasun da,what is the current status of LRSAM?Please let us know.

aMoron said...


sorry, don't know what you have been reading. You completely have no clues on genes, dna and gene markers.

abs said...

I indeed have been reading from several sources. Apart from gene and dna sequencing, there are certain western historians who have been reaching the same conclusions.
Besides the Vedas in great detail list the Indian geography and so do other Vedic literatures, thus debunking the Aryan invasion theory.
None of the texts that stretch from the ancient times till the modern times list such an "invasion" not in Vedas or other Vedic literature, Buddhists or any other literature.
This invasion theory has been the favourite of the Communists, Islamists and Britishers, as well as the southern "Dravidian" parties and Dalits, to cry victimisation by some so called "upper castes"(read Aryans).
This is a serious threat to India's Hindu culture and heritage and national unity.
I suggest you do some basic research yourself, before jumping the guns and reaching "aMoronic" conclusions.

abs said...

I forgot to add Tamil literature and Jain literature.

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da ,

Trust you are doing good .

Finally India can take some credit for Edward Snowden's brilliance ;)


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAMAN: VMT. Have uploaded a new section towards the bottom of this thread.

To AMIT: Not yet.

To ASHWIN: 1) Yes. 2) A-50I PHALCON & Su-30MKI will never operate along with IN’s aircraft. 3) Dhanush & Prithvi-2 were never ordered by India’s armed forces. The 300km-range anti-airfield weapon—a cruise missile equipped with runway-cratering munitions—is being developed by DRDO. BrahMos-1 Block-2 & Prithvi-3 are for destroying strategic installations like bridges, powerplants, radar installations, railway yards, etc.

To Anon@10.44AM: 1) S-2/S-3/S-4 will eventually morphe into SSGNs. They have nothing in common with Yasen-class SSGNs. 2) Not at the moment. Neither PN nor PAF have any nuclear weapons. Only the Pakistan Army has. That is also why Pakistan’s newest CJCS was also selected from the Pakistan Army. 3) The number has not yet been finalised. 4) It will carry the K-15 SLBM. Only 533mm torpedo-tubes are present. 5) Let’s wait & see. ADA is extremely tight-lipped about both Tejas Mk2 & LCA (Navy) Mk2 for obvious reasons.

To VIKRANT: 1) Have already explained that above in the last portion of the thread. It is impossible to enforce a naval blocade without SSNs or SSGNs. 2) It is all total hogwash. There’s no riposte at all. For God’s sake, that country only has just about enough forex reserves now to last for only a month’s import bill. 3) It will be like INS Kadamba. Existing base in Vizag which was designed by the USSR & it helped build this base as well is highly vulnerable due to its narrow navigation channel. Any hostile SSK can close this channel merely by laying mines, as the PNS Ghazi had tried to do so in December 1971. 4) Explained above in a diagram. P-28 vessel is overweight due to wrongly calculated usage of composites-based structures. 5) Next year. 6) Explained above in a diagram.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRAM GUHA: Not true. What DCNS has always proposed is the increase of the present order for 6 Scorpenes to be hiked to 8. By the time MDL finishes building the 6 Scorpenes, it will have built more Scorpenes than DCNS itself, meaning the skills proficiency of MDL’s human resources will me much more than those of DCNS. What DCNS has proposed is that either its MESMA AIP module be selected for the last two of the six ordered Scorpenes, or the IN make up its mind on what type of AIP system ought to go on board. The IN has already stated that it wants a proven AIP solution, meaning something that is at least a decade-old. Neither the MESMA nor the fuel cell-based solution from DCNS live up to this standard. Same goes for the DRDO-offered technology demonstrator. Just see how long Germany, Sweden & France took to develop their own AIP modules & how Navantia is still struggling with its ethanol-based AIP solution. Russia has totally failed in this area. So how can one even expect the DRDO’s solution to produce any swift results at a time when the DRDO does not even have its own submarine testbed on which such a plug-in can be subjected to sea-trials? It’s like asking for the impossible. This was the writing on the wall since 2011.

To RAW13: VMT. Have updated the narrative. Have also corrected the typo-error on No8 Sqn.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SIDDHARTH: 1) Not before 2016 at the earliest. 2) It was for both reasons you’ve mentioned. There were two such operations in 1997 & 1998. 3) When there is a govt devoted to decisive & purposeful governance in power. 4) Reflects the typical regressive mindset of an average Indian politician, to say the least. 5) The MoD’s desire to give more business to the country’s private sector is terribly half-hearted at best. Imagine inviting the private-sector for only expediting the upgrade of MiG-29Bs & An-32Bs. No one in their right mind will even consider this a worthwhile business prospect unless & until the private-sector is also awarded through-life product support contracts for such aircraft. Business investments in the aviation MRO sector are highly capital-intensive & require a minimum of 20 years for the project amortisation objectives to be attained. That is the very reason why no one in India is interested in licence-building only 56 transport aircraft as replacements for the HS-748 Avro. Tejas Mk1 MRCA is STILL NOT YET a certified operational platform. Therefore it cannot be compared to the likes of J-10, JF-17, Rafale or Su-30MKI. 6) No ASEAN member-state is likely to pose any kind of military threat to India in the years to come, rest assured.

To ANURAG: VMT. 1) Not pulse-jet, but a Wankel engine. 2) Nag’s R & D-related challenges have already been overcome, while HELINA is still another 2 years away from user-trials. 3) IPKF’s performance was indeed found wanting in the in initial stages since it was dispatched to Sri Lanka when configured as a peacekeeping force, & not a peace-making force it was later told to perform as. Consequently, any army not trained to operate under FIBUA conditions & configured to engage in only positional warfare over flat terrain will fare badly. Only after the IA deployed select mountain divisions specialising in counter-insurgency & jungle-warfare did the IPKF begin performing as per expectations in the peace-making role. That the IPKF succeeded in successfully organising the provincial polls in northeastern Sri Lanka is proof that the IPKF completed its assigned task with great success. Winning the war against the LTTE was never the IPKF’s authorised mandate. 4) Everything’s possible, provided the annual amount of money allocated for R & D on such areas is increased by a factor of 9. It’s that simple. 5) Nothing of any significance.

To ICEMAN: 1) That project was cancelled in late 2009 itself. 2) Because there are far more critical projects that require funds. 3) No chance in hell, as of now. 4) Your guess is as good as mine. 5) If that’s the case, then why is the IN establishing its own amphibious warfare school in Kakinada? For fun?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA: 1) Not exactly true. The principal problem is the lack of adequate project funding. Everything’s possible, provided the annual amount of money allocated for R & D on such areas is increased by a factor of 9. It’s that simple. Honeywell has been contracted for supplying a RLG-INS coupled to a GPS & integrated with a Honeywell-supplied automatic flight-control system.

To TRUTHSEEKER: Such kits aren’t required & consequently it isn’t a design flaw. Furthermore, no photo or video has been released as yet showing a MiG-29K taking off with its full, certified offensive warload.

To ATUL: IAF never wanted such a LRAAM.

To Anon@8.51AM: That agreement expired after the demise of the USSR & all outstanding money payable to India by Russia was paid by 2004.

To RD: Bangladesh Navy will be acquiring second-hand Type 039 Song-class SSKs that are rather noisy. Pakistan Navy will acquire the newer Type 032 Qing-class SSKs with Stirling Engine AIPs. In Pakistan, there will never be any kind of nuclear triad. Only the Pakistan Army will remain the sole custodian of all of the country’s nuclear arsenals. That’s why the new CJCS of Pakistan also hails from the Army, as has been the practice since 1998. Even the 18,000-strong Defence Security Corps, raised to protect the nuclear arsenals & their storage sites, is Army-manned.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: When the Brits entered India, the latter was already in a state of regression & decadence. Every nation goes through 3 distinct stages of existence: barbarism, civilization, & lastly decadence/destruction. Aryan invasion theory was propogated by Caucasian & brown-skinned Indologists who had refused to acknowledge the existence of the continental Kumari Kandam. But not all Caucasians were like that, especially those settled down in Bengal & even married local natives & all their records are still available at the Asiatic Society in Kolkata. It is these Caucasians who in fact rediscovered the Vedas long before any Indian of that time. However, India’s pre-Aryan civilisation existence was much more glorious & this Dravidian component was left un-rediscovered for a long period of time & hence many anthropologists could not explain how Hinduism spread to Southeast Asia & Indo-China. Even today, you will be surprised to know that many ex-Indian Navy officials seem to believe that the oldest navy on earth was that of Spain, when historical evidence suggests that even the Maurya & Chola dynasties had ocean-going navies & marine corps!!!

To RAMAN: It is indeed possible in this day & age. There cannot be any such joint plans from any of the three armed services UNLESS THEY’RE DIRECTED to do so by the MoD. And one very well knows what A K ‘Saint’ Antony’s retort will be to such a query: “I’ll leave it to the three armed services to resolve their differences through internal consultations.” So why blame the armed services when the executive branch of the Govt of India is abdicating from its constitutionally mandated responsibilities??? In 1971 there was absolutely no coordination between the IN & IAF. Neither the PAF nor the IAF was totally night-blind in 1971. They had Canberras for undertaking night-strike sorties. Even during the helicopter-based humanitarian relief efforts in Uttarakhand earlier this year there was no coordination between the IA & IAF. Each of them had their own unique air-traffic control/airspace management protocols & this caused much confusion. Had joint service protocols been put into effect, an IAF A-50I PHALCON AEW & CS would have been deployed to handle all ATC/ATM functions, like what the PLAAF did this time (by deploying a KJ-200 AEW & CS platform) when another earthquake hit Sichuan province earlier this year.

To ANIRBAN GUHA: It is in the final stages of developmental validation. LR-SAM deliveries will begin from the first quarter of next year, rest assured.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Only a refusing-to-develop-country can take 40 years to build a bridge:

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasun,

You are giving a contra-opinion to the existing discourse. The rupee-rouble agreement was done to settle the money which "India owed to Russia" not the vice-versa which you say.

Even till 2007, India owed about USD 2 billion to Russia. See

The text of this argument was sought by some guy through PIL which GoI has refused to give. Some say that the debt of Russia will be paid by India till 2017.

So can you please clarify your answer a bit more and back it up with some evidence?


Raman said...

Superb update.......really.....getting to finally look at the 'forest' rather than the 'trees'....

and, I stand corrected on the 1971 night flying capabilities of the PAF and the IAF.....I had actually meant night flying against the IN returning after Op Trident.........

and..........guess, then it was just a coincidence that the IAF hit Masroor/Karachi hours before the IN sent in the Styx's !!! Talk about Luck !!

3rd ~ EyE said...

Can you please provide some info on arjun catapult ?

joydeep ghosh said...


Prasun da

Here is something you are very passionate about, i think this must be part of every companies CSR.

BTW a few querries

1. Why do you prefer LPHs over LPDs

2. You always say IN concern is IOR but 4 LPH, 3 Carriers, 12-15 US2 planes, 6 tankers, over a dozen crafts like LCACs, over dozen LRMR P8i, dozen SSKs, not to mention the 15000 strong SPBs, total 6 SSBN/SSGN, total of figures look to be more for IOR.

3. dont you think instead of wasting money on NMRL AIP or Arjun catapult or CLGM its more prudent to develop indegenous artillery fuse


Joydeep Ghosh

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun Da ,

Is it true that in the Indian Navy there is absolutely no standardization in combat management system,Marine search radars, inertial navigation systems among other things ?

For example if one destroyer has radars from one company another destroyer is fitted with similar radars from another company .

If this is true, how can this be possible since it's the MoD that eventually makes the purchases ?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: VMT. 1) Not me, the IN prefers them because LPHs are far more versatile than LPDs. That’s why everywhere else too several navies are procuring LPHs, not LPDs or LHDs. 2) Believe you me, those figures you’ve quoted is just a drop in the ocean. Much more is reqd. 3) Of course. Very much so. Spend all that money instead on developing a 190mW PWR that can be used by both future SSGNs & the IAC-2.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: Yup, that’s very much true & I had highlighted this sometime back. However, standardisation of a rather crazy kind is taking place. Originally the three Project 15A DDGs were to be armed with Russia-supplied 100mm naval guns (of the same type as those on board the 3 Project 15 DDGs). Three such guns were ordered as well for the 3 Project 15A DDGs. But midstream, the IN realised that product-support for these guns was extremely poor from the Russian side & therefore it was decided that the IN would use the very same OTOBreda-supplied/BHEL-assembled 76/62 SRGMs that are on the 3 Project 17 FFGs on the 3 Project 15A DDGs as well. Consequently, the three 100mm naval guns ordered from Russia will be cannibalised for spares for supporting the 100mm guns on board the 3 Project 15 DDGs. And if I’m not mistaken, the IN will soon have the dubious distinction of being the only navy in the world to operate DDGs armed with 76mm naval guns, when everyone else in the world is arming their DDGs with 100mm, 127mm, 130mm or 155mm naval guns! Unbelievable ‘nautanki’/’tamasha’, isn’t it? (Lolz!)

Prasun K. Sengupta said...


I’m sure everyone knows what the requirements are. Problem is, no one within the Govt of India quite knows how to meet the requirements & solve the problem!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.31AM: Am I? You’re quoting a 2007-vintage report & are assuming that what’s written there is the gospel truth. The fact of the matter is that by late January 2004 (leave alone 2017) the matter was already settled & the money which you allege was owed by India to Russia was invested by India in the DRDO-run ATV & Sagarika project offices. And that is exactly why anyone who files an RTI request to access data on this Rupee-Rouble Agreement won’t get any answer from any organ of the Govt of India. And it is for this very reason also that I can’t share any evidence with you on this matter.

To RAMAN: VMT. The IN’s & IAF’s maritime/air strikes were indeed a coincidence & there wasn’t any inter-services synchronisation of offensive taskings. There’s another interesting anecdote about how exactly the Project 205 FAC-Ms armed with P-15 ASCMs were successfully towed. You see, the IN realised quite by accident back in late 1970 & early 1971 (when the FAC-Ms were first shipped from Vladivostok to Kolkata) that the then traditional ropes built of coconut coir would quite often shear apart when being towed by tugboats during their ferry voyage from Kolkata to Madras. Some bright young IN officers all of a sudden recalled that nylon towing ropes were already being used at that time by private shipping companies like Chowgule Shipping. The IN immediately ‘borrowed’ such nylon ropes from Chowgule Shipping & successfully tried them out during the ferry-voyage from Madras to Cochin & thence to Bombay. These very ropes were used for towing the FAC-Ms to their final missile-launch destinations during the 1971 hostilities.

To 3RD-EYE: Yes, I indeed can, for I was present at that Armoured Vehicles Conference in Delhi last month. What I can confirm to you is that the Indian Army is NOT AT ALL interested in this technology demonstration project of the CVRDE, as stated during that conference by officials hailing from the IA’s Directorate of Field Artillery & Directorate of Mechanised Forces. Moreover, IA HQ never issued either any PSQR (leave alone GSQR) for such a weapon system. Therefore, this 130mm Arjun Catapult is a pure technology demonstration project of the CVRDE, & is a sheer waste of money & time since no one in India is interested in buying it. I told the CVRDE officials that if the CVRDE is so optimistic about such a solution, then it ought to export it to countries like Afghanistan. Now, whether the Govt of India will authorise such exports is another matter altogather. The IA remains on track to induct only 155mm howitzers of various types, & not anything else.

I can also tell you that Army HQ has still not drafted its GSQR for a FBMT & despite this, the CVRDE is proceeding with the design of a 45-tonne FMBT, about which the Directorate of Mechanised Forces is not at all happy.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To 3rd-EYE: CVRDE is now developing a 53-tonne Arjun ARRV operated by a 3-man crew. BLT Arjun has already been accepted for service induction & an initial order for 12 units has been placed.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Interesting report:

And that report was corroborated 48 hours ago from Pakistan at:

Sujoy Majumdar said...

VMT Prasun Da .

It's an absolute shame the manner in which the armed forces are doing business . I am not expecting any lateral thinking on their part but at the very least they can look around and see what's happening around them.

What do they expect to do if they are faced with Chinese ships armed with 130 mm or 155 mmm guns ? Fight them with their 76 mm ? Just disgusting .

Most of the recommendations of the Kargil Committee have not been implemented yet . This is the state of things .

Take a look at the RFP for surface surveillance radar/ LPI radars . The first batch of these radars were procured from Terma .So logic demands that the next trance should also have been procured from Terma to save on MRO .However they have send out a new RFP to Indian companies who are tieing up with foreign vendors . End result no one knows who will get the contract and when these radars will arrive .

Thanks again .


RD said...

Surely not a good time for Indo-Bangladesh relations.

Can u please explain why there is sudden change of stance regarding teesta treaty by WB govt.

Also,why some parties r opposing the land border treaty regarding enclaves. Though more land will be going to bangladesh but still it will be gain for india. AFAIK currently India is respecting the sovereignity of bangladeshi enclaves(teen bigha corridor) present in India but no such arrangement r present in Indian enclaves situated in Bangladesh. In short India has no authority to either enclaves.

Lastly, what effect in relations can be observed with Modi & Khaleda coming to power in 2014.

abs said...

Very Many Thanks and a great job done in outlining what the IN be doing if it is to come any good during a future hostility against Pakistan.
A few questions,
1)If I have got you right, the India of yore, comprised of not only the present sub continent but also a land mass of Kumari Kandam. The native people of this giant land mass comprising present sub continent and Kumari Kandam are the people who ACTUALLY led the Vedic way of life and to whom the Vedas and other Vedic texts were revealed.Hence these people formed the basis of the "Hindu" civilisation.
Rolling down, there were the in flux of Caucasians who came to inhabit in India. These people also later on got moulded into the Vedic way of life.
Is it correct?
2)Probably then Sanskrit and Tamil were both derived from another language in which the Vedas were written? I don't believe in the notion introduced by certain Western Indologists that Sanskrit was the language of the "Aryan" races while Tamil that of the "Dravidians". There are many historical as well as literary and liguistic evidences to the contrary.
3)Did the Valmiki's Ramayana speak of Vanara Sena (Sena of monkey men) or Van Nara sena (sena of people of the forests)?
4)Where can I get unadulterated version of Valmiki's Ramayana?

As far as Bangladesh is concerned, I would like to ask you 2 things,
1)What need does Bangladesh have of acquiring diesel submarines from China? I strongly suspect, this might mean China trying to use these as a proxy to keep an eye on Indian SSBNs and SSGNs.
2)Do you see an eventuality where India's influence in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is usurped by China?

Anonymous said...

the link says:

“If they had busted those [Pakistani] networks,” he said last week, “Iran would have no nuclear program, North Korea wouldn’t have a uranium bomb, and Pakistan wouldn't have over a hundred nuclear weapons they are driving around in vans to hide from us.”

Iran had no means to advance its nuclear desires without Pakistan’s help, he said. “It would have been impossible. The Iranians lacked the technical, scientific, and engineering capabilities to develop or manufacture centrifuges or nuclear weapons on their own. They were trying, but they were getting nowhere. It made the impossible possible.”

BUT this guy is wrong! You keep telling us pakistan has only 10-12bombs and under chinese control. Both of you cannot be correct?

Atul K said...

Dear Prasun,

Many thanks for all this hardware related information. My question is as follows:

1. In last few days, I have heard a lot of debate - legal/academic, over India's Nuclear Liability Law of 2010. As per its article 17(b), NPCIL will have recourse to compensation from the plant manufacturer. we are trying to ensure that the companies who build reactor, stick to safe design and there should not be a repeat of Bhopal Gas Tragedy. Whereas, MNCs from outside are saying that they do not want responsibility/liability after a limited amount. What is government planning to do now? Will it modify the law or repeal it against massive left-NGO combined resistance or kill the budding nuclear power industry right at the outset?

2. Why is India importing nuclear reactors left, right and center? We took VVER-1000 from Russia, PHWR from Canada while developing our own PHWR, PFBR and AHWR. Now NPCIL is getting into multiple agreements and planning to import ESBWR from GE-Hitachi, AP-1000 from Westinghouse, EPR from Areva, KCPR from Korea and another few VVER-1200 from Russia. Why can't NPCIL stick to 2-3 proven designs and build proficiency to the level where it can export them in future, like Koreans did with PHWR or Chinese did with AP-1000? Why so much of mish-mash? And during all these imports, are they going to get any technology transfer?

3. Can you please clarify why BARC is using sodium coolant in its PFBR? Most countries which used sodium, faced one or two explosive accidents. Why can't they use the lead based coolant which Russians have done? Any reasons for this over-confidence?

4. I keep finding morons after morons who keep howling that Arihant has a reactor with power rating of 190MWt with energy rating of 85 MWe. As far as I have checked so far, the reactor is not rated above 90 MWt and hence, if a third is its energy efficiency, it won't be able to give power beyond 35 MWe. If Arihant's reactor was already 190MWt then why is India so desperate to get a better naval reactor technology? Can you please clarify this issue? Moreover, what is your opinion, can we build a 190MWt reactor in-house? with whose help?

5. Any comments or reasons for this Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone?

Thanks very much in advance. Hope its not too much.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: I share your anguish as well over the dysfunctional state of affairs. By the way, do read this:

To RD: Things are not what they are being made out to be. A more balanced analysis of Bangladesh-India relations appears here:

What I can say with certainty is that it has been India that has been dragging her feet all along on this issue & Bangladesh took the right step forward by approaching the ICJ. India has also totally screwed up the issue about New Moore Island (it is only a sandbank now). The only saving grace now is about WB’s decision to give the green light to the Teesta Waters treaty. And this has happened because 1) the Centre has won the first round against WB by carefully calibrating the heat emanating from the Gorkhaland agitation (i.e. political blackmail) & 2) the centre has begun releasing funds for several central schemes due for implementation in north & northwestern WB, like the Army’s massive infrastructure development projects related to the recently approved XVII Corps. I don’t see the BNP-JI combine emerging victorious in Bangladesh’s forthcoming general elections next January.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: VMT. 1) Absolutely correct. 2) Correct again. 3) Yes. 4) from Benaras Hindu University.

1) China held great sway over Myanmar and its natural resources since 1989. But since Myanmar’s reform-minded President Thein Sein took office, and sanctions were suspended, China’s influence is being thrown off balance. It is for this very reason that China has decided to supply advanced weaponry that is being sought by Bangladesh. It is by now a proven fact that both Bangladesh and Myanmar are now engaged in an arms race, with Bangladesh being interested in becoming militarily superior to Myanmar and consequently, building up the firepower of its three armed services just in case the two countries in future get involved in limited border clashes in either Teknaf or around St Martin’s Island, or get entangled in a border war involving the Rohingyas of Myanmar’s Arakan province. Therefore, Bangladesh’s on-going force modernisation efforts are neither India-centric neither are they anti-India. After all, being hemmed in by India on all three sides & remaining heavily dependent on India for river-waters as well as for large numbers of smuggled cattle on a daily basis, Bangladesh simply cannot affors to antagonise India.
2) In Nepal that has already been the case. But never in Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. Sri Lanka emerged victorious from the civil war only because of the FTA it had with India since the late 1990s. Without it, the Sri Lankan economy would have suffered a meltdown a long time ago. In some arenas, there’s no substitute to geography & China will consequently never enjoy some of the strategic leverages which India enjoys throughout the southern Indian Ocean.

To Anon@8.16PM: Of course he’s wrong, as you yourself have stated. That leaves only me as the correct one, doesn’t it? So where’s the confusion? This guy was out of the intel loop since the early 1990s by his own admission & consequently, he evidently has no idea about the evolution of Pakistan’s strategic forces after May 1998. The same goes for Iran as well, since he’s fixated on only uranium enrichment & is least bothered about Iran’s 10mW PHWR at Arak that will produce plutonium as a byproduct. No one since the 1960s has developed nuclear weapons using HEU. Everyone has adopted the plutonium route since the 1960s. And the DPRK & Pakistan are no exceptions either. If Pakistan had gone for HEU-based WMDs, then it would not have had the need to construct four unsafeguarded plutonium-producing PHWRs at Khushab, would it?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ATUL K: 1) Bhopal gas tragedy happened due to hardware failure caused by criminal negligence, just like the Chernobyl disaster. In none of the cases was hardware failure due to intrinsic design flaws. No one in this world will sell or buy faulty N-reactors, period. Even in Fukushima, the disaster happened due to the incoming Tsunami, which caused all the workers & technicians to flee the n-reactor site & due to this the redundant safety systems could not be activated, i.e. the n-reactor from Westinghouse wasn’t to blame at all. Govt of India has no choice but to modify the Act since it does not stand the test of logical reasoning. 2) Except for the Russian VVER-1000s, none of the other imported n-reactors will arrive too soon. The VVER-1000s too took a very long time to fructify, since the deal was inked way back in 1989! At best, therefore, another four VVER-1000s will come up at Kudankulam while another six from France will come up in Ratnagiri. The US-origin n-reactors will come up only in the following decade. There’s no to import any more from Canada or ROK since their PHWRs are all based on the CANDU design, which India has already mastered & modified. There won’t be any ToT for any of the imported n-reactors. 3) No idea. Only the DAE can answer that. 4) It isn’t a 190mW PWR, period. The Govt of India itself clarified this way back in 2010. 190mW PWR & its all-critical heat exchanger can be built & fabricated in-house, no doubt about that. Russian expertise is reqd only for certain reactor safety/stabilisation systems that are unique to submarines. 5) It’s just posturing. ADIZ isn’t the same as surveillance of sovereign airspace & does not involve any violation of any kind if someone chooses to ignore it. Nor can China legally enforce it because ADIZ does not enjoy any international legality anywhere.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Please read Shrikant G. Talageri for a complete refute of the Aryan Invasion Theory.

Messenger said...

Dear Prasun,
Through UPSC, GOI is managing the HR needs of our country; be it IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS, IFS and so on..
They are getting raw candidates and training them through various institutions through put India.

Once trained these people never go to private companies until they get retired because the training GOI providing them is at field level and no degrees are awarded for them for the training they have gone through.

Why doesn't DRDO, ISRO, HAL and various other institutions follow the same rules?

They can take Polytechnic students or some pre-university students and teach/train them for 5 years as apprentice/interns/ on the job training (5 years equivalent to Bachelors + Masters) so that these guys become technically stronger than their counter parts yet to always serve our institutions.. Is my suggestion sounding good?

On the contrary GOI is heavily subsidising the education for IITs and other various central institutions and providing them with B tech and Mtech just to help them find a job in the west or for western/ private companies there by severely denting the public institutions...

In this process is it not a good idea to take some of the IITs and IIMs and bring them under DRDO/ISRO/HAL etc similar to the training centres of UPSC candidates?

Your Views Pls..

Pierre Zorin said...

The IN you say may be the only navy in the world opting for 76mm gun. But why is this? Surely they liaise with other navies and understand what is required in modern warfare. 76mm gun might be a great weapon on an OPV but destroyers? Have they not watched Gulliver's Travels movie and seen the little arrows?

Kris said...

Dear Prasun,

1. What is the larger truth here? The news seems hiding something...

2. Col Shukla was very excited a few days ago, and posted several analytical pieces on Indian appointment of Chief of COSC. Yesterday, Manu Pubby mentioned on Twitter that MoD has mentioned that status quo would be maintained. Now its true that C-COSC if not CDS, is urgently needed but expecting this act from St Anty is too much, especially now.

Come to think of it, in India a program like the one, extremely popular in Australia, called "media Watch" is urgently needed.

What do you say?


joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

looks like i was not wrong about the below, you remember I did raise it

1. Why PA want IA to vacate Siachen when everyone knows if we do they will cut off northern area leaving Ladakh undefendable and for PLA to stroll in.what do you say

2. IN wants IAC2 nuke powered but if it has to be launched by 2020 either the same ice breaker nuke powerhouse design will have to put in as it is or a lot of modification will have to be made in which case i dont think IAC2 will happen before 2030, what do you say

3. sometime back i heard RUAG wants newer Doniers from HAL any news on that, or for that matter Chetan & Cheetal helos. btw i remember you said Chetan & Cheetal with composite rotors can easily serve for 15 more yrs, are their any takers of it.

4. You say CVRDE is trying its hand on 45 ton FMBT when IA has decided anything about it (presuming IA is looking to induct more Arjuns), why on earth CVRDE is work on something nobody wants

5. I have a feeling the unfinished slava cruiser that Russia is finishing now will be handed over to India just like 2nd unfinished Akula sub, your views

6. Lastly you say '5,000-tonne SSGN' i think you are talking about the SSN, in that case either its a typo in last paragraph, or 6000 ton INS Arihant will remain a SSBN for its term


Joydeep Ghosh

AniOne said...


You mentioned that Pakistan has 10-12 nuclear weapons & that too under Chinese control.
That takes us to the question of nuclear test done by pakistan in 98.
Does it mean China gave the go ahead to Pakistan for Nuclear Test.
But doesn't it makes Pakistan nukes safe since China has the command & can pull the plug in case of any eventuality if terrorist are suppose to take control of pakistani nuclear arsenal.

Lastly, I would to refer to you the scenario of DRAGON FIRE by BBC reporter HUMPHREY HAWKSLEY which is a follow on to his previous novel DRAGON STRIKE & results in a 2 front war of India with Pakistan & China.
My question is, IS THAT SCENARIO practically feasible?

Thanks & Regards

Anonymous said...

chris = kris = krishna

DefenseandAerospace said...

Hi Prasun ,

(1) Which Indian shipyards have been shortlisted for the LPH RFP ? I suspect there has to be at least 5 such shipyards because as you said that RFP was sent out to 5 foreign companies .

(2) Which Indian shipbuilders have been issued the RFP for Fleet Replenishment Tankers ?

(3) If war does break out between Bangladesh & Myanmar do you think China will support Bangladesh and India will support Myanmar ?

Thank You

Anup said...

Dear Sir,

Which company provide shelter to IAF for it's aircraft?

Any update 2 more phalcon AWACS and DRDO Awacs ?

Vikrant said...

VMT sir.
1)Arihant class(as SSGNs)would be vital for our navy with LACMs but what is your assessment of the Arihant in a hunter-killer role?
2)how would the PN submarines likely be use like OP Dwarka and PNS Ghazi at Vizag?
3)What is the IN's view on the barracuda class SSN and E-2D Hawkeye?
4)what about the largely ageing capital ships of PN they cant use them for combat far away from shore and yet cant keep them bottled up in Karachi?

Anonymous said...

Hi prasun,

Some good news finally...

LCA to be inducted on Dec 20.

whats your view on this? Is it really been added to IAF means finally IOC has been given to it or there is sonething more to it

Amol Gupta

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
I am sure that China is all bent on becoming a replica of Nazi Germany, with Pakistan and N. Korea becoming its allies [as Japan and Italy were to Nazi Germany] Do you think that an alliance between India, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam [and, hopefully, S.Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Mongolia also} with the active blessings and participation of USA, on the cards? Do you visualize our weak-kneed and pusillanimous leaders ever contemplating such alliance?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MESSENGER: What you’ve proposed makes sense in theory, but in practice, the prevailing market forces won’t allow this to happen. The only way out of this rut is for the DRDO & the three armed services to have their own R & D institutes & polytechnics that are focused strictly on cutting-edge applications-based research. Concurrently, such institutes & polytechnics should also leave the door open for corporate endowments & sponsorships. As for the IITs & IIMs, it’s high time the Govt of India stopped subsidising them (except for those new ones coming up in the North East) & these institutions of excellence ought to raise money through donations from their alma mata, wherever they may be—in India or elsewhere.

To PIERRE ZORIN: That’s what makes India ‘Truly Incredible’, doesn’t it?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KRIS: 1) The truth? In this day & age when even critical surgeries inside the operating theatre are directed in real-time by specialists sitting tens of thousands miles away & are watching the surgery on-line, why should someone have to travel all the way to a remote border outpost to see things for himself? Can’t the BSF or local administration officials just record with a digital camera & send the data & imagery & videos through a VSAT uplink all the way to Delhi? WTF is wrong with these Delhi-based bureaucrats? Still living in the 1980s, I guess. Or is it another way of wasting public funds & collecting daily per diem allowances for outstation trips? Your guess is as good as mine. 2) If matters are to be made right through well-meaning structural/administrative reforms, then there must be no compromise & consequently, the only logical option is to create the post of a four-star CDS, & not C-COSC. The latter will be completely counter-productive. In any case, the BJP has demanded a say in this issue, meaning such reforms will not take place overnight & perhaps may be postponed till next year when the new govt will have to take a call in this pressing matter. In any case, I personally believe that such matters should be thoroughly debated in Parliament so that India’s taxpayers at least get to understand what this issue is all about & this should be followed by a White Paper on such long-overdue administrative reforms that also address the wider issue of MoD-Services HQ integration.

Not many Indians may know that whenever any weapons procurement project is initiated by the MoD’s Defence Procurement Board, there are TWO PARALLEL files created, instead of an unitary file which is the global norm. One file, raised by the armed services, is called the SERVICES FILE & deals with all technical & operational aspects of the procurement exercise, like GSQRs, comparative performance parameters & conclusions of the technical evaluation committee. The other file is known as the MoD FILE, which is out-of-bounds for the armed services, i.e. no uniformed officer even gets to lay his/her eyes on this file. This file contains notations by bureaucrats & ministers & such notations are NEVER shown to any uniformed personnel. This file obviously is much thicker since it also includes all the data from the SERVICES FILE. Ultimately, it is the MoD FILE that makes it to the final stage of procurement, i.e. constitution of the price negotiations committee, which is almost entirely an all-civilian affair. Within the MoD, while the contents of the SERVICES FILE are drafted & periodically updated quite speedily,. It is the MoD FILE’s contents that take far longer to process & digest & constitutes the main impediment to a speedy procurement effort. Therefore, the need of the hour is a speedy administrative reforms exercise within the MoD under which the SERVICES FILE & MoD FILE should be merged into one unitary file & this can only be done if the MoD’s civilian bureaucrats (all the various Joint Secretaries & Financial Advisers) and the armed services’ procurement project officers ALL SIT TOGETHER & FUNCTION TOGETHER under one roof in a single UNITARY PROCUREMENT DIRECTORATE. Until & unless this happens, weapons procurement procedures will take terribly long to register progress, & they will remain opaque, which in turn will only promote & sustain corruption since interested OEMs, Indian & foreign, will always be curious to know the contents of the MoD FILE & will go to any lengths to acquire photocopies of such files, which is exactly what the likes of Abhishek Verma excelled in.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: 1) That isn’t the real reason. And n any case, no one is sitting or occupying the Siachen Glacier per se. IA troops are perched atop the Saltoro Ridge overlooking the glacier below. 2) Once the DAE has mastered the science & art of designing & fabricating the 83mW PWR for S-2/S-3/S-4 SSBNs, achieving a similar feat for a 190mW PWR isn’t a daunting challenge at all. The only requirement now is for adequate R & D funding for not only the PWR, but also for its related critical units like heat exchanger, turbines, generators, transmission shafts, etc. 3) The Do-228MPAs recently acquired by Bangladesh Navy were built by HAL & shipped to RUAG who in turn outfitted them with mission sensors & ferried them to Bangladesh. Cheetals are already being ordered in phases by both the IAF & IA (it is for this reason that the MoD & the IA & IAF no longer are in a hurry to procure foreign origin RSHs/LOHs). The Chetan can easily be offered to the NDRF & CAPFs. Haven’t got a clue as to why HAL hasn’t approached the MHA or the PMO with this money-making idea. 4) That’s because there is a regressive mindset prevailing within the entire DRDO since the 1960s which promotes the proliferation of technology-demonstration projects & discourages the proliferation of value-based innovations. That’s precisely the reason why labs like ADE & CVRDE have been extremely unsuccessful in developing a family of simulators for major weapon systems. 5) No chance in hell. 6) 5,000-tonne SSN can easily launch ASCMs & LACMs from torpedo-tubes, like the Royal Navy’s Astute-class boats, which in essence make such submarines SSGNs. For Russian nuclear-powered submarine designers, an SSGN is one which must have either inclined or vertical missile launchers, meaning the missiles cannot be launched from torpedo tubes. The ONLY EXCEPTION is INS Chakra, whose torpedo tubes can launch Novator 3M54E & 3M-14E missiles. But then, INS Chakra is not for sale. Consequently, the IN has the choice of going for the Barracuda-class SSN & arming it with ASCMs or LACMs like 3M54E or 3M-14E or even the Nirbhay, which will make this boat an SSGN.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANIONE: Of course that’s exactly what happened. That was the reason China was dead-set against the introduction of a statement drafted by the US for the UNSC between May 13 & May 28, 1998 & when the statement’s final draft was ready on May 27, China asked for a 48-hour delay in its introduction to the UNSC citing the need for some minor modifications. But on May 30, China told the UNSC that that no modifications were required to the statement & it could be issued by the UNSC in the very same form that it was ready on May 27. In other words, China was buying time for the retaliatory Pakistani nuclear weapons testing to be undertaken & completed in Chagai. And of course Pakistan’s WMDs & their delivery systems are safe. Others may have & do tend to disagree with me, but I have steadfastly held on to my conclusions about the safety of Pakistan’s WMD arsenals since 1998. Regarding the two scenarios you’ve highlighted, in my view they’re impractical since they’re based on the faulty premise that WMDs are military weapons, while in reality they’re political weapons.

To DEFENSE & AEROSPACE: 1) The way matters are headed, it looks like the first unit of the yet-to-be-selected LPH design will be built by the foreign OEM, while two will be built by Vizag-based Hindustan Shipyard & one by Larsen & Toubro at Kattupalli. It appears that NAVANTIA will get the contract. 2) All interested Indian shipyards have received the RFP for fleet replenishment tankers. Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering is teaming up with Germany’s TKMS, while ABG Shipyard has teamed up with Canada’s Alion Science & Technology Corp, GRSE has selected DCNS, while MDL has chosen Fincantieri. L & T has stuck to Hyundai. But all indications are that this contract will go to a private-sector shipyard. 3) No. War won’t break out that easily. Instead, only minor border skirmishes could take place. Both China & India will then close ranks to work together in order to prevent matters from getting out of hand.

To ANUP: Details on aircraft shelters is available in the DEFEXPO 2012 thread of last year. Follow-on A-50EI PHALCON orders have yet to materialise.

To VIKRANT: 1) As a hunter-killer it is not an ideal choice since its cylindrical-array bow-mounted sonar isn’t up to the mark. 2) Like I stated above in the narrative, re-enactment of such operations in future are unrealistic & uncalled for. 3) Favourable. 4) They will be bottled up in Karachi in the worst-case scenario.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AMOL GUPTA: Who will induct the LCA on that fateful day? The IAF? According to A K Antony’s dictionary of definitions, the LCA was inducted way back on February 9, 2011, the day from which the IOC-1 phase began. So why the need to re-induct the LCA again? Is A K Antony suffering from some kind of memory-loss relapse? Or is it a fabrication by the ‘desi’ media agencies? And what’s all this talk about “Group Captain Suneet Krishna, flying the Tejas aircraft commanded an infra-red seeker missile through the fire-control radar of the aircraft to lock on to the target.”??? Since when have missiles with IIR seekers been vectored to their targets by airborne multi-mode fire-control radars? Does it mean that the DRDO has achieved a feat which no one else in the world has achieved—that of modifying an EL/M-2032 MMR to enable it to transmit fire-control cues to a heat-seeking R-73E? In that case the DRDO should immediately apply for being awarded the Nobel Prize for physics!!!!!!

To SNTATA: A coalition of the willing is always possible & this has been achieved before. But a formal alliance is not on the cards. Neither will countries like Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia & Thailand opt for such a coalition or alliance.

Nitin said...

Will INS Arihant carry Klub Missiles ?

Anonymous said...

lolz... DRDO for the Nobel Prize for physics award.
I always love your comical but to the point reply to some questions .

3rd ~ EyE said...

Hi Prasun,

Has Tejas ever been tested for BWR engagement ? if not is there any plans for testing R-77 range missiles ?

3rd ~ EyE said...

i dunno if this question is valid... but ... Can Astra missile be modified to SAM to compliment akash's engagement envelope ? something like MIM-72 Chaparral ? given that successful ground testing was done for Astra ... if yes .... then what is the need of Barak 8 or the likes ?(if astra can engage long range targets)

Atul K said...


Has TEMPUR magazine closed down? Every time I try to open, it gives server error.

Please clarify.

rad said...

HI Prasun

regarding the LCA, could it be that the elm-2032 radar cued the seeker of the r-73 missile in the right direction before the IR seeker got a lock on , and then the missile locked on after getting closer. This would be a lock on after launch scenario instead of the lock on before launch. I remember reading about this capability pertaining to the ASRAAM missile!.
If that is true then i will give them credit for integrating a russian missile with a western radar! comments please

AniOne said...


VMT for the previous explanation.

Finally able to make sense of complex china pak relationship.

My next query is regarding a new type of A2A named as K-77M missile developed by Russia. They are claiming this is the best missile developed till date since it uses Active Phase Array Antenna in its seeker which makes it first to use this technology.

But then again they claim that Patriot SAM uses a similar type of technology put me in a bind. If US has such technology in existence & if such is the accuracy of this missile then why didn't US used this tech in AIM 120 AMRAAM.

What is your opinion on this Sir? Can this be termed as a game changer considering the potential of this missile? & finally can it tackle stealth of F22s & F35s?????

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To NITIN: No. But INS Chakra does.

To DASHU: Comical statements issued from time to time by those within the corridors of power deserve an equally comical rebuttal, don’t they?

To 3RD EYE: So far, no BVRAAM has been type-certified for the Tejas Mk1 built to the IAF’s ASQR. The Navy on the other hand has already specified the Derby/Python-5 combination for the LCA (Navy) Mk1. Regarding Astra Mk1/2, I’ve already stated innumerable times since 2011 that it can easily be modified to become both a SR-SAM as well as an ARM. However, when launched from the surface, Astra Mk1 will have only an 18km engagement envelope. Therefore, it can’t be compared to Barak-2.

To ATUL K: Maybe the host server is malfunctioning.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: That again is a physical impossibility. Lock-on-after-launch mode for WVRAAM doesn’t work against manoeuvring airborne targets in real-life air combat. It works only for IR-guided BVRAAMs like the R-27T1/ET1. What happened off Goa was that after the Lakshya PTA got airborne, it was detected by the EL/M-2032, which enabled the pilot to vector the Tejas Mk1 towards the Lakshya & get close enough (about 11 miles since that’s the limit of the Mk1 eyeball/naked eye & since the Tejas Mk1 doesn’t sport an IRST sensor) to get a visual authentication of the Lakshya. Following this, the R-73E was activated by the pilot by selecting the required mode of engagement which in turn commanded the weapons management computer to A) transmit the inertial navigation cues from the Tejas Mk1 MRCA’s RLG-INS to the R-73E’s FOG-based inertial navigation system; & B) to activate the R-73E’s IR sensor & align its field-of-view (FOV) with that of the Targo HMDS. Once perfect alignment was achieved (this being made known to the pilot via audio cues), the pilot clicked the appropriate button on the aircraft’s stick, which resulted in, first, missile ejection from the APU-73 pylon & secondly, 2 seconds later activation of the R-73E’s rocket motor. Thus, as you can now see, the MMR does not even enter the equation as far as issuance of fire-control commands to an IR-guided WVRAAM is concerned. It is only the synchronisation of the HMDS/IR seeker’s FOV that matters, since any HMDS has a much wider FOV compared to that of the missile’s IR seeker. Check out any official literature on the R-73E & it will be mentioned there that target designation data for the R-73E’s IR sensor is supplied by the HMDS, be it Targo or Sura-1/M or TopSight, etc etc. In conclusion, therefore, the DRDO’s press-release drafters need to get their physics right. After all, not every other Indian citizen has the same IQ as the country’s present-day RM does, & who can easily be fooled by the DRDO’s technocrats with increasing regularity by enacting the IOC-1/IOC-2/IOC-3/IOC-4 tamashas!

To ANIONE: Not Patriot, but THAAD. AESA-based terminal seekers are now available, but will still take more time to become mature from a reliability standpoint. Such seekers can’t as yet be termed as gamechangers, since AESA-based airborne active jammers like ELT-568 too are maturing by the day.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
1.BJP has swept the assembly polls in four states and decimated a corrupt congress under constant bullying by coalition partners. Raul Gandhi as the leader of congress party and its future PM came out as a damp squib. The trend is likely to continue in Lok Sabha polls and BJP will form Govt at center with absolute majority with Narendra Mody as PM. This appears to be a foregone conclusion. I am sure this will be a big boost to the Defence of the country and also to economy. After all it was a BJP govt at center under Vajpai that took a bold decision to turn India into a N-power, that won the grudging respect of USA and the world. Many more such bold decisions are needed to safe-guard India from a very assertive China, which is increasingly showing symptoms of a Nazi-Germany type of world domination,with Pakistan as its chief sidekick. Hope you will throw some light on the emerging political scenario.
2. Even if India is willing to sell Brahmos missiles to Vietnam, will Russia concur?

rad said...

HI prasun
Please give latest info on astra Bvraam , ie regarding the flight carriage trials etc .Now when drdo talks of fitting the astra on every fighter like the mirage 2000 , mig-29 , su-30mki etc
how on earth are they going to integrate it with the various radar fire control sytems and also the data link etc , are they talking nonsense? .Will the french and the russians give us access to the codes so that we may do that? I guess not.
I still dont understand why the IAF wants to go in for the older tech missiles like the r-73 when we can easily field far superior IIR missiles like the Python -5 , asraam, iris-t etc?if it is cost then it is the most stupid decision.

Kris said...


There are two issues where I have been reading confusing reports. Would be lovely if you could clarify the confusion:

1. Barak-2 LR SAM: See this piece of news.

I have found similar stories doing rounds since INS Viki was inducted.One piece in Indian newspaper was arguing that St Anty was deciding whether to accept it or not because of some corruption/blacklisting issues. This one says that India cannot digest this technology because it does not have enough engineers. You had once mentioned that a fight was going on between BEL and NOVA integrated system for the production.

So what is the story? Will we ever induct it? Who is going to produce it who is responsible for the delay?

2.Where are we in terms of the aero-engines? Is Kaveri ever going to perform like GE F404 or M88-2 or AL-31FP even? The def journalist one time say we are going to collaborate with SNECMA and get a better engine. Then they say DRDO is still looking for partner. Ukrainians have been selling their technologies to China in droves. Can't we collaborate with Motor Sich and get the SCB technology?

What exactly is the story?

Thanks and best regards

rad said...

hi Prasun
What are the DRDO guys speaking when they talk of a astra mk2 with 100km range ? is it a ramjet version or an optimised version of the same missile with improved motor etc.If it is too much why cant we do a brahmos type of collaboration with the ruskies to field the ramjet verison of the r-77 which i believe has been flight tested and shelved . what is this talk of a new missile that is coming with the pakfa! any details. Is it a souped up version of the r-73 and r-77 or some thing new?

Rajeev Chaturvedi said...

Hello Prasun,

Let me commend you first on your terrific work, which you have been doing through your blog. Single-handedly, not only you have improved the quality of debate on Indian defence but are also training an army of young readers who are making life hell for other Indian bloggers and especially, Indian defence journalist. So many thanks for that.

Now I want to ask one question, if you are not already flooded.

India has already bought INS vikramaditya from Ruskies and there is also a one year maintenance contract with Sevmash. There are reports that Sevmash is coming to negotiate a contract for next 40 years of maintenance.

Since CSL is already building the INS Vikrant, can't it handle the maintenance of INS Vikram also? Or is it compuldory for India to go for Ruskie options? Please elaborate.

rad said...


joke of the day

The LCA mk2 will have an indigenious
AESA radar. As reported by mr shukla.

It is reported that the MFD`s are going to be changed for bigger ones. I have to admit the jf-17 MFDs look great . Does this entail a battery of test flights as well due to this. Please explain if they are indigenous by samtel or imported . Is there going to be changes in the cockpit layout?.What about the HUD , looks rustic by todays standards

Vikrant said...

VMT sir,
1)Can you tell us more about the Barracuda proposal from DCNS in a later thread.
2)Is a new Akula class submarine(Iribis) being negotiated over to be leased to india?If yes if and when can this boat enter service?
3)Is it true that the Trisonics squadron flew over and broke the sound barrier above Pakistan using foxbats ?
4)Which are the new ALGs that IAF wants to build along the china border?
Thanks and Regards.

Vikrant said...

1)Sorry sir but had a laugh seeing our 'Honorable' RM antony being in a fools paradise along with all other journalists talking about induction of HAL Tejas whereas this is just 'IOC-2'.BTW what exatly is going on or at least what is the spin this time?

abs said...

Very Many Thanks.
What are your views on the present elections results?
The way I see it, there is a huge anti-Congress emotion across the nation. And as can be seen from earlier elections, whenever there is such unanimous support for change, people come out in droves and vote for the opposition. Moreover, the people of India are slowly beginning to realise that NaMo as PM would bring about huge changes in governance and economic policymaking of India. Perhaps he is the only man who can bring about systematic changes in India's economic policies as well as governance and corruption prevalent in the system. Therefore this realisation could mean that BJP get a huge number of votes well in excess of 200. What are your views on this?
BTW how do you think India's poor and other lower castes would vote? this has been INC's fertile constituency since ages.
I feel a state like UP and Bihar holds the key.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Very much Thanks for replying. But my question's answer was not that 'Saint' Antony knew it or not that he inducted the aircraft already.

But instead i wanted to ask if IAF 'really' inducted the aircraft this time or not. Last time there was this IOC 2 tamasha and IAF didn't induct the aircraft. So want to know if this time will it be inducted or will there be new nautanki of IOC-3 or something like that?

Pardon any ignorance.

Amol Gupta

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,
Assuming that NaMo will become India's PM next year, what decisions he should take in order to build a world class indi
ginous defence industry which would not only fulfills majority of our needs but also competes and win major defence contracts worldwide.

Anup said...

Dear Sir,
Afer TsunamiIN lauch project to acquire LPH / LPD. Some on in MOD or IN leak any kind of information to Ficantieri. If you see Ficantieri web site all content match IN req.
What about tanker isn't possbile to built in India.We are building Air Carrier.

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasun,

US Navy is going to decommission USNS Bridge and Rainier in 1-2 years. These ships are 8-10 years old and quite useful. See this:

Would it not be a better strategy to buy at least one of them or both, at cheaper prices and use them instead of going for another billion dollar enterprise for two oilers? These ships would be much beyond any oiler inducted by our Navy. Moreover, Indian Navy is familiar with them as they have participated in several Indian Ocean exercises with Indian Navy. End user issues also have been solved by the umbrella agreement now.

What do you say?


Dear Prasun,
I am exasperated with the stupidness called IOC-1/IOC2; but I want to know how much tejas Mk 1 will be able to fulfill the requirements of the IAF since IOC hasn't been started yet. And again how Pakistan/China can develop JF-17 in just 8 years of time??? Have gone through all the tests required to certify an aircraft air worthy and can go to a fight??? Have they undergone the processes called IOC/FOC. How the tejas will perform against similar aircraft from Pak and China. Plz. clear ALL my doubts. Moreover, Prasun I want to know about your academic background (It's just my curiosity; plz. don't take otherwise).

Thanks in advance.

RD said...

Indian navy currently have mainly 4 replinishment oilers(deepak,shakti,jyoti,aditya). Apart from these how many more such oilers is needed considering 2CBGs & 4 LHDs to be fielded in future. Is it better to stick with deepak class oilers or go for some spanish Cantabria class combat supply ship (CSC) which also carries ammunitions,fresh water,equipment apart from oil.

Just going through this video-

The Navy should have such specifications for building future SSNs/SSBNs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon @ Dec 9, at 6:16 PM
This is a long post.

Even if Modi, Rahul or any demigod become the PM of India, nothing will change regarding the Indian defense industry or forces. Why?

In order for a country to have world class high-tech defense forces, there must have committed educated people involved in different area of research and developments. For that to happen, there must have world class big institutions or universities.

In India, education is not given any importance. It is just for some crude degree and to make workers. It is not that India doesn't have any talents. India has enough talents to develop the country into a developed country, but our leaders since independence screwed up the education in India for their own benefits.

If you talk about a congress fellow, Gandhi family (or Nehru family) comes first to him. Similarly other parties; Communist parties - a total waste (an ex-comminist friend of mine said, "as long as there are poor people, Communism will survive in India. So for the survival of communism and communists, the comrades make sure that there are poverty all over of India).

BJP may be better; some of the guys have Nationalistic mind set. But many do not have. So the question is will the majority (and leftist intellectuals) allow the minority nationalists (in BJP) to give importance to National importance than the party? That is a BIG question.

The present Congress scion is useless. Jethmalani Saheb said, "he will not appoint prince even as his office worker." He is not even worth for a cleaner who cleans the loo.

Congress parties too had some nice leaders such as Rajesh Pilot, Madhavrao Scindia, etc. Now look at their sons - chaparasi of Gandhi scion.

Even if one succeeds and improves the education, it will take India at least 50 years (if one starts right now) to have a world class university system. But the Good thing is, India has the potentials. We have brains, we have talents, we have atmosphere, we have people, we have money (if we stop 50% of current level of corruption, then better). Only thing we miss is we don't have committed leaders.

Education makes a country prosper and become good in national security. USA achieved this super power status in the last 60 years because of talented people involved in research and development for the beneficial to the United States. The Harvard type universities have been there for more than 200 years.

Before the world war II, most of the research were done by Europeans, but Europeans like Hitler and Mussolini and the communists in USSR screwed up the entire Europe, and talented people moved to USA, where one have the freedom to think and liberty to work for the beneficial of the country.

Similarly, Europe is developed because of they still have good universities (look at the difference between different universities and standard of living with respect to Eastern and Western Europe). Japan is developed because they have world class universities.

RR Nair

Anonymous said...

Part II

Our education system is made in such a way that we generate "coolies" to the developed countries.

Countries like Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Finland, etc have their education in their own language and learn English as a separate language for those who needs it. If one doesn't need why should he or she learn English, that was the question I was asked when I interacted with some of the people from these countries. Now a days it a fashion for the people in India to put their kids in "English Medium" schools. In 80s and 90s, the matrimonial ads in Kerala were like this: "girl educated in English Convent School ...." The fact is that more than 50% of such girls were much more dumper than the girls educated from non-missionary schools.

In 2012 PISA tests, (India didn't participate because in 2009 India was last one out of 75 countries), most of the top countries have education system in non-English medium.

My point is we need to learn English (just like Europeans learn English), but language of Indian education should not be in English. Why? We think first in our mother tongue than in English. Remember a story of Birbel in Akbar's court? English is "slow" language compared to Indian languages, Eastern Languages and some of European (Indo-European) languages. It will take at least another 400 years for Indians to think in English so that the whole India will think like "an English Man." So which one one would prefer? Wait for 400 years to think like a English Man or 60 years to have a world class education system?

Once we have education system that is oriented towards the development of country and its problem, then we will have a world class defense system.

But I doubt that will happen because any changes in education will result in minority outrage, especially Christian community because states like Kerala, Delhi and North East, they control and/or own more than 75% of educational institutions - from primary schools to universities.

RR Nair

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA, ABS, Anon@6.16PM & RR NAIR: What I can share with you are the following:
1) The ‘shock-n-awe’ in Delhi is not just about the BJP sweeping the four states, but about the AAP’s stunning success in Delhi. Realisation has set in that ‘Sonianomics’ NO LONGER casts a magic spell on India’s masses, who are increasingly yearning not for financial dole-outs, but sustainable economic/job security, which can only come about if industrial development is allowed to take place unabated. What Indian citizens have to realise is that funds released for central schemes by the Centre DO NOT WORK if the recipient state, especially if opposition-ruled, has other priorities & will therefore not implement such schemes.
2) In my personal view, UPA-2 started losing its battles from 2010 when A) it tried to brush off allegations related to the CWG by stating that these are just like the usual hiccups associated with a typical ‘monsoon wedding’ & matters will get resolved in the usual way, i.e. brushed aside. B) When PM Dr MMS in a televised press conference stated that he was unable to be firm & decisive “due to the compulsions of coalition dharma”. C) When Rahul Gandhi decided to parachute himself into Niyamgiri & recklessly focussed solely on highly questionable tribal grievances, instead of industrial infrastructure growth. It was a combination of these that made India Inc totally despondent & when Coalgate is added, all this spelt the end of India’s growth story. The INC’s coalition partners like NCP have realised all this & are now increasingly deadest against Rahul Gandhi being named as the UPA’s PM candidate for 2014. And neither Sonia nor Rahul will now dare to project themselves as national leaders after the severe drubbing the INC received in the four states.
That the BJP’s NaMo will emerge as the favourite PM candidate & will prevail next April is no longer an issue. But what makes a party successfully operate at the Centre is a Team, i.e. the Union Cabinet, & not just one person as the PM. Previous experience suggests that during the NDA’s reign from 1998 till 2004, the NDA’s Union Cabinet had several rotten apples who were totally unproductive, brazenly revisionist (thereby making India a laughing stock in the world’s eyes, as I had myself witnessed several times), & were quite regressive as well. Contrary to popular perceptions, corruption, especially from weapons procurements, actually increased during the NDA’s rule. Middlemen who have been operational since the early 1980s know only too well how to grease all parties & the NDA too was taken care of by the likes of Lt Cdr (Ret’d) Suresh Nanda. While INDIA TODAY in 2008 gave a partial glimpse of this agent’s business operations (, the real story never came out.

Cont’d below)

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

I can now confirm that under the deal between Suresh Nanda’s Crown Corp & Russia’s Rosoboronexport State Corp in the previous decade, it was decided that if the Admiral Gorshkov was sold to India after refurbishment, then Crown Corp would get 10% permission & if the sale didn’t go through, the Crown Corp would buy this vessel at scrap-value & then have it scrapped at a yard in India & get to keep all the profits from this deal. It is now alleged that after January 2004 (when the contract for INS Vikramaditya/MiG-29K) was inked, Crown Corp received Rs200 crore from Rosoboronexport & that this money was later allegedly distributed among both the BJP & INC. Similar has been the case concerning follow-on purchases of Su-30MKIs in successive tranches of 40 & 42, plus the two tranches of three Project 1135.6 FFGs each & also the first 310 T-90S MBTs. Payoffs have reportedly been made for each tranche since none of these deals had the mandatory ‘Integrity Clause’ & were treated as supplementary contracts of the original contracts inked in 1998 & 2000. Based on the above, it can be reasonably inferred that the procurement of INS Vikramaditya in early 2004 was highly questionable & instead the money should have been allocated for speedier implementation of Project 71/IAC-1/INS Vikrant. Likewise, despite the availability of a golden opportunity after 1999, the NDA miserably failed to initiate localised production of both the FH-77B 155mm/39-cal towed howitzer & Class 209/Type 1500 SSK. As for the UPA-1/2, it totally failed to draw the correct lessons from such past faux pas & consequently the IN is unable to order follow-on Barak-1s while the IAF is denied the AW-101s. I had already suggested several times before what the obvious solution is, i.e. continue the procurements while allowing the CBI/Italian investigations to carry on & depending on the final legal verdict, negotiate through arbitration a settlement figure for liquidated damages payable to the MoD by the foreign OEM. Another area where both the NDA & UPA have failed is to establish a semiconductor foundry in-country. Both have also failed to make the DPSUs cost-competitive. Today, one faces the sad prospect of acquiring indigenously-assembled/-built warships whose project costs have overshot by a whooping 150%, making them far more expensive than imported solutions. And why is this so? Because the skilled workforces of all MoD-owned shipyards REFUSE to work productively during working-hours & are only ‘seen’ to be working’, while the real work starts only after working-hours so that overtime can be claimed!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA: Of course Russia will concur, since Russia too benefits financially through a BrahMos-1 export sale.

To RAD: Of course the DRDO is talking nonsense, since orders have already been placed with MBDA for the Mica family of BVRAAMs for the Mirage 2000UPG, just like R-73Es & R-77s have been procured for Su-30MKI & MiG-29UPG. On top of that, the Ruskies haven’t shared the source-codes with the IAF for Su-30MKI & MiG-29UPG. For the Tejas Mk1/2 MRCA family, the obvious solution is the Python-5/Derby combination. BrahMos Aerospace’s business mandate can easily be expanded to include co-development of LRAAMs like the RVV-AE-PD or RVV-AE-ZRK for the FGFA. Astra Mk2 won’t be ramjet-powered. It will only have a higher energetic rocket-motor & an indigenous X-/Ku-band active terminal seeker to replace the Agat JSC-supplied 9B-1348E that the Astra Mk1 now uses. Regarding Tejas Mk2, ELBIT Systems’ Cockpit NG has already been specified by the IAF. What ADA wants or promises to do doesn’t matter anymore. SAMTEL DISPLAY SYSTEMS is a JV with THALES Avionics. No one in India locally produces any raw materials for AMLCDs. They’re all imported.

To KRIS: 1) Corruption/blacklisting concerns the Barak-1, not Barak-2. Originally, it was the TATA-IAI JV called NOVA integrated Systems that was to undertake co-production of all elements of Barak-2 LR-SAM. But this was overruled by the MoD, which instead wanted BDL & BEL to do this job. Once this happens, one knows only too well how long such DPSUs take to buy land for establishment of greenfield production facilities (at least a minimum of seven/eight years). Consequently, project implementation delays take place. This is CLASSIC CASE of how India’s private-sector OEMs, despite the DRDO’s wholehearted support, were taken for a ride by the MoD, for which protection of a DPSU’s corporate interests was deemed far more important than meeting the country’s national security reqmts. 2) It’s not about SCB technology at all. Far more complex to master is the technology for designing & fabricating the engine core. It’s here that India is decades behind the OEMs based in the US, UK, France, Russia, Japan, Ukraine & China.

To RAJEEV CHATURVEDI: VMT. The 182 SEVMASH personnel accompanying INS Vikramaditya are meant to service the one-year product warranty period. Following expiry of this period, Rosoboronservice India will take over the through-life product support/spares supply responsibilities. All Russia-based OEMs dealing with the IN have to go through Rosoboronservice India, period. Shipyards like CSL can offer dry-docking facilities only for SLEPs. For periodic refits & MRO, the existing dry-dock at MDL (visible on GoogleEarth) built by Dutch OEM Ballast Nedam is more than enough. Vikramaditya will never have to go all the way back to Sevmash for its repairs/upgrades.

To VIKRANT: 1) Will try. 2) No. 3) Yes, in 1996. 4) Long list of them in AP, Sikkim, Uttarakhand & Himachal Pradesh. 5) It’s just the IOC-2 phase, whatever that might mean.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AMOL GUPTA, VIKRANT & SOUBHAGYA: So let me get this right: what happened on January 5, 2011 in Bengaluru (the so-called IOC-1) was a total farce & the ‘real’ IOC-1 will get takeoff on December 20, 2013 after CEMILAC & ADA hand over the ‘Release to Service Document’ (RSD) to the IAF? And in A K Antony’s parlance, does IOC immediately kick in the moment the IAF has officially decided to induct the Tejas Mk1 MRCA into service? Is he unable to distinguish between service-induction & attainment of initial operational clearance? How can RSD even be passed on to the IAF when the Tejas Mk1 hasn’t yet been certified with its on-board internal EW jammer suite & BVRAAMs—all of which were mandatory as per the IAF’s ASQR? Even after awarding of the RSD, where are the SP-series tandem-seater Tejas Mk1s, without which operational conversion can’t even begin? How can initial operational conversion (leave alone FOC) of an entire IAF sqn (No45) commence if only four SP-series Tejas Mk1s are to be delivered by HAL next year? Why has the ADE-developed cockpit procedures trainer & full-fight tactical simulator for Tejas Mk1 not yet been certified & delivered, since without these two aids, no pilot will be permitted to fly the actual aircraft? And how can any air force, leave alone the IAF, ever begin the process of operational flight conversion when its operational service manuals haven’t yet been drafted/certified? Unless TACDE drafts & certifies such manuals, how can No45 Sqn even commence the process of familiarising itself with the Tejas Mk1’s air combat/precision strike capabilities? If the Hon RM can seek answers to the above-mentioned queries, plus read what I’ve already exhaustively explained (, then & only then will the truth set the ‘Saint’ free.

Bottomline: RSD will not even result in commencement of flight conversion, leaved alone attainment of any kind of operational capability.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Interesting Read:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Excellent analysis of Pakistan’s faultering foreign policies & the future of Afghanistan-India-Pakistan ties:

Anshuman Chakravorty said...

WOW that video was really excellent. Sir whats your view in this. Is all this possible? Can pakistan really talk with India reagarding anything else but kashmir.

Anonymous said...

Thanks prasun,

Thanks for replying. You are the only person who answer our queries.

VMT again.

Amol Gupta

AniOne said...


VMT for replying.

The next query is about a scenario which includes China, Japan & US over the implementation of ADIZ over Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands.

This article published in tries to predict how will the dogfight between Japan & China will go & how US will respond by bringing F-22s into the theatre.

Here is the link to the article:

The query is based on the article, now since F-22 doesn't have IRST sensor so will this mean that F-22 will have to rely completely on their AN/APG-77 AESA radar & will operating their radar make F-22 vulnerable to fighters such as J-11 & J-10 armed with long range PL-12 & short range PL-9 AAMs.

Can a BVRAAM be directed to its target with only IRST sensor while keeping the radar system switched off?

In your opinion will F-22 suffer from the absence of IRST sensor or was it a conscious choice while making the F-22?

Do we see in future IRST sensor of F-35 appearing on F-22?

Once we see F-35 maturing, do we some of the technologies transferring to F-22 like An/APG-81 AESA radar whose hardware is based on AN/APG-77 in future upgrades.

abs said...

Indeed that is very true of both the national parties. However given the changing nature of polity, one could assume a NaMo led BJP government would fare better and in fact can bring about systematic changes in various aspects leading to not only economic empowerment but also democratic empowerment.
I,however, remain pessimistic about any reforms in defence, as understanding strategic affairs requires a totally different kind of knowledge and understanding. Unless someone is made the RM, who understands strategic affairs as well as the economics behind creating military industrial infrastructure, I don't foresee any radical changes in India's military affairs.
One must understand that politicians are neither bad nor good, they are NOT sworn to serve the nation but they are sworn to do anything that would get them to power. With changing demands of the youth and a burgeoning middle class thereby resulting in changing nature of the polity one can only expect "Sonianomics" to be trumped in favour of "NaMonomics" where governance is facilitated by reforms.
The key factor would be winning 200+ seats with AIADMK and others chipping with the rest of the 72 seats required.
In this context, how many votes do you foresee BJP garnering in UP,Bihar and Maharashtra?
Very Many Thanks again.

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun Da ,

(1) I was reading this recent article on Russia India Report and it states that the US is trying to sabotage India's GSLV program . Any truth in it ?

(2) During the 1965 India Pakistan War, Indonesia dispatched naval warships to Pakistan to fight against India.
If the NDA comes into power next year Pakistan will definitely step up terror activities in India . If war breaks out between India & Pakistan will the Islamic countries provide support to Pakistan ?

(3) If time permits , please do read this analysis of India China relations done by a Chinese researcher based in Australia . It states that China only has contempt for India . Do you think the author is correct in his assessment ?

Thanks ,


Vikrant said...

VMT sir,
A good discussion on Afpak-India situation. Najam Sethi as always brilliant.
1)What exactly was the incident when FOXBATS broke the sound barrier over Pak.
2)When does the K-4 SLBM enter service?

Heberian said...

@ Sujoy Mazumdar

Based on my work with the Chinese, I feel that the writer has got it right and that the Chinese analyst he wrote of did in fact speak out a widely held perception of India in Chinese circles.

Forget the Chinese, should'nt we do some honest introspection? As Prasun often says, we are a "Refusing to Develop" country. Again echoing Prasun, dont you think that we do have a problem if more than 50% of our brethern dont have access to toilets? And which government building doesnt have pan stains on stairway corners? And, how many of our banks or universities are in the global top 50? How many of our village schools have teachers who go to class?

Of course the Chinese have disdain for us. Because they have moved mountains since 1977 and look where the country is now. But they got here with an autocratic government led by technocrats that consistently planned and executed developmental steps that moved almost 500 million people out of pverty. It has been the fastest and greatest economic development of any nation in history.

So it is not surprising that they are shocked to see our development and progress, DESPITE the complete lack of visionary leadership in our country. And how can they punderstand or respect or give equal status to a country that is rising, without any sort of leadership or guidance while being lead by a bunch of visionless and selfish kleptocrats of different political hues?

As for us, a nice book to read is :

Boris Kuzhkov said...


You seem to be passing lots of conjectures as your judgments. I don't think you have any evidence against Suresh Nanda and party or against the deal of INS Vikramaditya. If you had, you could have passed it on to Indian CBI or any other department. You may be making your conclusions based on few facts but rest are only speculations.

So it would be better if you insert that in your response.You should say that you read it like this ....not that you can say with evidence.If you have any evidence, show it to the world.

It is true for all of your conjectural statements..

1. Your judgment on INS vikramaditya, T90, Su-30MKI follow-ons have no basis..if you have, show them.Follow on orders are common and now IAF is planning to go for more Pilatus fighters. Will here again IAF should go through competitive bidding? For what? Same goes for Sukhoi or other follow on deals.

2. You claim that LCA Mk2 design was given by GE to DRDO. Another rubbish. as if they are not capable of designing anything on their own. Do you have any evidence or any reference to it or you can show the GE design, since you keep claiming that you know the top guys all around.

3. You claim that Indian SSBN S-5 will be Delta III design as India and China both have bought these designs from Russia. Another rubbish. Why didn't India buy Akula design when it is leasing it? Will it be hard for Indian designers to find out the design of Akula class when the boat is in India and base its new boat designs on it?

4. Indian PM defended the Barak-1 deal but in your post you give an implicit opinion that there was bribery in that deal. What happened in that case? Did anything come out?

5. You are the one who was first preferring Gripen fighter in 2008 for IAF MMRCA deal. Then you shifted to F-18 in 2009, F-16 in 2010 but were always against Rafale.Now you are singing poems for Rafale and claiming that SNECMA, THALES and DCNS are sitting with open heart to embrace India's Kaveri, AESA and SSN project, the moment Rafale deal is signed. What kind of rubbish is that? Nowhere Indian government has indicated any willingness to consider them as offsets. What is the basis of your statements??

6.You keep harping on the suggestion that LCA Mk1 should be produced as LIFT trainer. What is the need for another trainer when AJT Hawk is already there? AJT is also LIFT trainer and you can see in air forces around in US, UK and others where they use AJT for LIFT work.

7. You have claimed so many times that MiG 29K and MiG 35 will never be produced or inducted in Russian military. I hope you now know that Russia is inducting both these fighters in its services. So your bias against Russia has no foundation.

I would urge you to not mislead your audience, especially when young people seem to be frequenting your blog here. You are misinforming them which is worse than ignorance.

Hope you will understand.

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Hi Hiberian ,

To be sure , I agree with your observations and thanks for sharing . Indians do not have the single minded determination that the Chinese have . Our politicians have only taught us how to divide one another on the basis of community , caste , creed etc . at the end of the day we got a Govt. that we voted for . So if we complain about the mediocrity of our Govt. it only exposes our hypocricy .

About the Chinese it is said - they hate the West , have contempt for India and fear for Japanese .

But then what we do / or do not do within our borders should not be the business of the Chinese . So in a way their contempt for India is just an extension of their ego .



Anonymous said...

humm so it is now clear that this blog is being constantly surfed not only in India but from other countries also.
But mr Boris Kuzhkov whatever, my experience from this blog I can say with conviction that the revelations made my the owner of this blog going to be backed by evidence if required at appropriate place too.
And most of the times his predictions are knowledge based not speculation based .

Heberian said...

@ Sujoy Majumdar:

Thank you for writing back. I agree and disagree with you on some counts.

- I do not agree that Indians do not have single minded determination. I believe Indians are very good, especially when unbound by the various effects of being in India. You will find many 1st generation Indians heading global companies, but not many 1st generation Chinese.

However, the Indian political system sucks.. to put it mildly. That is the root cause of our societal and economic problems.

As for voting for the government, what options do we really have? My aged father says that he feels that the political parties in our country prefer our people to be illiterate so that they can be easily manipulated and conned. I dont believe for a minute that Modi will be the messiah he portays himself to be...

As for the Chinese... they dont "hate" the west... they are extremely envious of the west and feel they were wronged by the west (Of course they forget that all conquering countries including the dynasties of China behaved in more or less the same manner when they conquered other regions) . Their word for the USA is "meiguo" which can be both "beautiful land" and also "land of gold".... that shows what they really think about the USA.

Japan; they hate and also seem to have a sublimnal fear.

India : They feel we are just not single minded enough to ensure our civilizational history and greatness has any effect on our behaviour today.So why should they respect a nation that does not rise up to its own potential? They are aware of the many historical

Also, dont we all judge others by looks? If a neighbour of ours has a house that is constantly stinky and shabby, wont we look down on them?

I agree about the massive Chinese ego, but at least they have a lot of development to show for it... but then we too are guilty of massive ego without much to show for it. Witness our stupid old "India Shining" campaign... what shining?

As a nation we havent introspected, understood our deficiencies, planned development and executed it... we do "NATO" => No Action Talk Only.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANSHUMAN CHAKRAVORTY: It’s merely a reiteration of all that I had proposed in some earlier threads on my blog several months ago.


To ANIONE: That scenario is flawed on several counts since it is just an honest attempt by a fan-boy. In reality, the JASDF today relies more on its Boeing E-767 AEW & CS (not the E-2C) & Mitsubishi/Lockheed Martin F-2s (which was the world’s first MRCA to make use of an AESA-MMR as well as AESA-based internal jammers developed by MELCO since the mid-1990s). Secondly, for beyond-visual-range air combat in a network-centric environment, the mode of operation that’s most critical is the non-cooperative target recognition mode (NCTR), which offers far more advantages in terms of ‘detect-first, shoot-first’ & that too without activating the MRCA’s on-board MMR & IRST sensors. It is this NCTR mode that makes any US-origin MRCA far more lethal than anything else out there.

To ABS: Let me repeat once again, that it is the TEAM that matters more than just one individual. If the team includes revisionist retards like Murli Manohar Joshi, then one is doomed. If, on the other hand, it includes folks like Jaswant Singh & Arun Shourie & likeminded personalities, then there’s some hope. Also to be noted is NaMo’s non-appearance thus far in the North East. Such abject neglect of this strategically vital region cannot be condoned. To get the country kick-started again, first & foremost one has to secure energy security on a long-term basis. Do read this:

Secondly, to get a good kaleidoscopic idea of what more needs to be done, do read this book titled REIMAGINING INDIA by McKinsey & Company. As for the regional political parties using the identity-based plank, one will have to be careful. While the likes of BJD, AIADMK, NCP & TMC can easily be enticed, the ones far more stubborn will be the ones now calling the shots in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar & UP. If the YSR Congress can attract several defectors from the Congress, then Andhra Pradesh could well tilt the balance in favour of the NDA. Remember, it was the fucked-up performance of the TDP that led to the NDA’s demise in 2004.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: 1) Absolutely true & I had explained it all in the previous thread. 2) 2014 will bring about a host of new internal turmoils within Pakistan & since that country’s economy is already in ICU, it will be impossible for Pakistan to sustain even a limited high-intensity conflict against India. Most of the Islamic countries today are embroiled in their own internal instabilities & are therefore unlikely to import any more troubles from outside. The GCC grouping is already India’s single largest trading partner, point that ought to be noted. The Sunni Ummah is already shell-shocked by the US/EU rapproachment with Shia Iran, while Iran, India, Russia, the US & China all want a stable & peaceful Afghanistan post-2014 & will not tolerate anything else. And for pacifying Central Asia, the keys lie with Iran, India & Russia & to some extent with China. 3) That analysis was true till the late 1970s for as long as Mao Zedong was alive, since Mao being a revolutionary believed, to a certain extent rightly so, that India did not gain independence through revolutionary means (like the one which Subhas Chandra Bose’s INA & the Azad Hind Govt HQed in Bangkok had fought for), but was granted independence through the ‘Transfer of Power’ arrangements between colonial UK & India’s British-trained & educated politicians, bureaucracy & armed forces—something corroborated later by the Late Lord Louis Mountbatten. This led Mao to suspect for long that post-independent India was actually a stooge of the West, despite all pretensions about being non-aligned. Secondly, the East India Company had made large-scale use of armed Indian mercenaries to brutally quell the Boxer Rebellion & capture Hongkong two centuries ago—a development that is psychologically extremely humiliating even till this day to an average Chinese academic. But China’s perception of India underwent a transformation since the mid-1990s with the onset of economic liberalisation, primarily because when viewed through China’s disciplined, regimented optics, socio-economic upliftment is impossible in an environment characterised by political liberalism/plurality. I have on several occasions come across senior Chinese bureaucrats & PLA officials who have marvelled at India’s ability to grow economically over the past 20 years despite the lack of national consensus on several issues & the emergence of identity-based politics. The PLA officials in particular are envious about the quality & depth of bottom-up intellectual debates occurring within India’s apex-level civilian & military hierarchies concerning future force modernization, unlike in China where once the CMC takes a call, everyone else has to fall in line & no one can question the CMC’s intellect.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

TO VIKRANT: 1) It was sometime in 1996 when the IA was unable to track down the location of a particular PA Brigade in the Mangla/Gujranwala area & the IAF’s MiG-29R was then employed to locate & pin down all PA formations deployed in that area during peacetime. 2) Not until 2020 at the latest.

To HEBERIAN: VMT & extremely well-put. But, apart from Mainland China, even Japan, the ROK & RoC (Taiwan) can be credited with the art of successfully mobilising the masses & empowering them to achieve evidently enviable feats on the socio-economic front, all thanks to leaderships endowed with strategic visioning skills. Sadly, in India one has to often resort to the discredited spectacle of ‘indefinite fasting on to death’ in order to achieve certain objectives ( a k a psychological blackmail). What such practicing folks don’t realise is that one does not need a Jan Lokpal to eradicate corruption. There are already more than enough laws, regulations, institutions & agencies reqd for curbing corruption. What is reqd is just a disciplined mindset that commits these institutions & agencies to enforcing the existing laws/regulations relentlessly & without fail.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BORIS KUZHKOV: May I return the compliment back to you by stating firsthand that assumption is always the mother of all fuckups & consequently, all your rants against my assertions are illogical & mala fide, since you don’t know anything about me, or my activities, or my dealings or my associations. And furthermore, your rants are a blatant attempt to oversimplify matters due to your ability to read but the inability to absorb the data, hence your tendency to miss the woods for the trees.

1) You’ve obviously failed to grasp the fact that none of the deals struck between 1993 & 2013 for buying Russia-origin hardware have had integrity clauses inserted within the procurement contracts. Therefore, comparing such contracts to that for the PC-7 doesn’t cut any ice. The issue therefore is not about competitive bidding, but including the integrity clause within follow-on supplemental contracts.

2) Never have I claimed that. What I had said was that the redesigning of the Tejas Mk2’s air-intakes was offered by GE Aero Engines to ADA. Here again, your rants are totally hogwash.

3) This again is pure rubbish from your end, since no Delta-3 SSBN has 12 VL silos for SLBMs. Project 667BDRM SSBNs have 16 SLBM silos. Beggars can’t be choosers & consequently India can’t buy any submarine design that she craves for from anyone. Operating any piece of hardware does not automatically translate into availability of that hardware’s design. Does anyone get access to the design-related technical data package for a particular automobile the moment that automobile is purchased from its distributor? So, do apply elementary logic before revealing your abject ignorance on such matters.

4) Almost everything has come out in the open the moment the CBI raided the Claridges Hotel in Delhi in 2008. Whether any follow-up action was taken or not is my responsibility.

5) Contrary to some ‘desi’ news-reporters or strategic analysts, I never took sides for any vendor/OEM. Rather, I’ve only reported on developments as they evolved. If only you had read all the Op-Eds published since 2008 in leading Indian/international military-industrial magazines that were authored by leading French & Indian diplomats & bureaucrats & senior military officials (retired, of course), you would have known about the history of India-France military-industrial relations & the offers that were made since the early 1970s & those that are now on the table. I can’t be blamed if such literature remains out-of-bounds for you & you’re consequently in the dark on such issues.

6) It’s elementary. Lobby the IAF & IN to stop using the term AJT & adopt the term LIFT & if you succeed, then I’ll rest my case. Until then, you’ll have to accept the fact that the air forces of the US, Turkey & Brazil use upgraded F-5A/Bs as LIFT while the ROKAF uses the T-50 as LIFT while using the Hawk Mk67s as AJTs.

7) It’s not about bias, but about reality & objectivity. Let’s wait & see when exactly the MiG-35 & MiG-29K are inducted into service by Russia. Until then, do reserve your uncorroborated & slanderous rants.

Hope you understand.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DASHU: VMT. Regretably, common-sense is no longer a commonly endowed virtue (LoLz!!!) & hence the proliferation of such oversimplified assumptions from the likes of BORIS.

Heberian said...

Hello Prasun!

Thank you, and many thanks for explaining more of the outlook many countries have towards India's development to Sujoy.

I enjoy how you use "elementary" in ripostes..reminds me of "elemntary my dear Watson" !! Those simple joys.

Anonymous said...

Compiling various observations, I reached a conclusion that the INS Vikramaditya and IAC-1 are for fleet air defence, rather than power projection. Their tasks will be :-
1. They will provide air cover to friendly fleet.
2. They will perform sea denial using anti- ship strike on high seas.
3. They will go for strike missions within the EEZ (or territory) of adversary for only a limited duration.
4. Go for strikes against PLAN (in alliance with the US).
Thus the conclusion is that there still no formidable platform for navy to project power on foreign lands from the sea.
This then brings us to INS Arihant which will be better utilised when armed with Nirbhay missiles.
What are your views about my observations. Please correct me if I 'm wrong.
Sir, The navy plans to arm INS Arihant with Brahmos or Nirbhay & how many missiles INS Arihant could carry.
Will the SFC permit the navy to keep active warheads, or will the ATV be manned by Navy but under command of SFC.
Waiting for your reply......

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To HEBERIAN: VMT indeed. I guess the esteemed Sherlock Holmes, by saying “elementary my dear Watson” wanted to tell Watson that the devil always lurks within the detail, which most, if not all bloggers, fail to grasp. By the way, here’s some interesting analysis on the ASIZ issue from ASIA TIMES:

The whole drama is far from being just about a few islets and rocks that China calls Diaoyu and Japan Senkaku, or the crucial access to the precious waters that surround them, harboring untold riches in oil and natural gas; it concerns no less than the future of China as a sea power rivaling the US. Let’s start with the facts on the sea. Meiji-era documents prove without a doubt that the Japanese government not only admitted that these islands were Chinese (since at least the 16th century) but was also plotting to grab them; that is exactly what happened in 1895, during the first Sino-Japanese war, a historical juncture when China was extremely vulnerable. After the Japanese occupation of China and World War II, Washington was in control of the territory. A document signed by the Japanese promised the return of the islands to China after the war. It was never fulfilled. In 1972, the US handed over their ‘administration’ to Japan—but without pronouncing itself about who owned them. A gentlemen’s agreement between Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka was also in effect. It was also ignored. Tokyo ended up buying the islands from a private landowner, the Kurihara family, nationalising them in September 2012 only a day after a summit between then Chinese President Hu Jintao and Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda, and this after Hu had told Noda not to change the status quo. Recently, to make matters worse, the Obama Administration issued yet one more of its absurd ‘red lines’, affirming it would support Japan in the event of a war revolving around the islands. Geo-strategically, it is even more complex. Virtually all of China’s sea trade flows through choke-points whose borders are either controlled by close US allies or countries that are not exactly allied with China. Imagine yourself as a Chinese naval strategist. You look at the seascapes around you and all you see is what strategists call the First Island Chain. That virtual arc goes from Japan and the Ryukyu islands and the Korean Peninsula, in the north, moving southwards via Taiwan, The Philippines and Indonesia towards Australia. It is your ultimate nightmare. Assuming any serious confrontation along this arc, the US Navy will be able to move its aircraft carriers around and seriously compromise China’s access to its oil transported via the Straits of Malacca.

Cont'd below.....

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Territorial disputes are the norm in the East and South China Seas. In the East China Sea the focus is on the Diaoyu/Senkaku. In the South China Sea it is the Spratly Islands (China opposed to Taiwan, The Philippines and Vietnam) and the Paracel islands (China opposed to Vietnam). Not to mention other disputes now on the backburner with Malaysia and Brunei. So from the point of view of our Chinese naval strategist, what is deployed is a sort of Reverse Great Wall, an expression, by the way, immensely popular in circles such as the US Naval War College. It is like an invisible sea wall from Japan to Australia that can in theory block China’s access to the Pacific. And if—and that’s a major, long-term if—there ever would be a US blockade, with its sea trade lanes closed, the Chinese economy would be in tremendous trouble. They know it in Beijing, and they are wiling to do anything to prevent it. What the Obama Administration, not to mention US corporate media, is not telling world public opinion is how, for Washington, this has a lot to do with Okinawa—the key hub from which the US is capable of projecting power west of Japan. It is as if Okinawa was the US’ Hadrian’s Wall. In reverse, Okinawa is also essential for Japan to remain indispensable to the US. It is as if Tokyo was employing the Pentagon as mercenaries—as much as the Pentagon uses mercenaries in its global shadow wars. Talk about a low-cost/high-return business model. Japan thus keeps its annual defence spending at 1% of GDP (yet it is now rising while for most countries this may be at 3% or more). Were Beijing to actually enforce for good its aerial jurisdiction around the Diayou islands, that would be the beginning of the breach of this aquatic Hadrian’s wall. For the moment, though, ADIZ is a message to Washington, part of the much-vaunted xinxing daguo guanxi—the ‘New Type of Great Power Relations’ being implemented slowly but surely by President Xi Jinping. Beijing may be right on principle and certainly does want to create facts on the sea. What happened was essentially a PR disaster—an inability convincingly to ‘sell’ the ADIZ to world public opinion. Absolutely nothing will convince any Chinese administration that this is not about Japan encroaching upon a territory and sphere of sovereignty that have been Chinese for centuries. Instead of the usual ritualistic pilgrimages to revere ‘heroes’ in shrines accused of committing hair-raising massacres, Tokyo could easily defuse the problem by admitting to its appalling imperial adventures in Asia. Tokyo could also redefine its role in Asia by behaving like an Asian power—and not some obedient Western appendix, as it is perceived by millions across the continent, and not only by the Chinese. Ultimately, the only way to defuse the Diaoyu/Senkaku/ADIZ problem would be for Beijing and Tokyo to sit at the table and work out a security treaty for these East China Sea lanes - ideally arbitrated by the United Nations. The problem is Tokyo simply does not admit there is a problem. Now Beijing’s strategy is to force the Japanese to do it. Perhaps Beijing should consider hiring an American PR agency, like everyone does.

Cont'd below....

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The US has a military interest in making sure that both claimants in this dispute, and particularly China, accept and respect UNCLOS provisions when defining and negotiating their claims. The US is rightfully concerned that, contrary to UNCLOS, China will use its nine-dash line (literally a nine dash line it put on a map of East Asia to define its maritime claims) and an expansive interpretation of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) rights to push US military forces out of the East and South China Seas and eventually out of East Asia into the Pacific. China’s new ADIZ may do just that. If it were respected and expanded, US military assets could essentially be barred from entering the East China Sea. It runs counter to UNCLOS Article 58 (1), which protects freedom of military navigation through EEZs, because it requires aircraft simply flying through the ADIZ (not just those landing, which is the international norm) to identify themselves. As EEZs comprise 40% of all ocean space, it is imperative that China’s UNCLOS interpretation–that the rights of coastal states to manage their waters are stronger than the freedom of transit–not be allowed to stand unopposed. Were the Chinese interpretation to become the norm, other coastal states could apply this interpretation, severely constraining the US military’s power projection and force mobility capabilities.

Plus, do read this:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SIDDHARTH: You’re right about Points 1, 2 & 3. But Point 4 is an impossibility. Power projection will be possible ONLY AFTER the IN acquires adequate terrestrial & space-based ISTAR assets capable of operating 24/7. S-2/Arihant, S-3 & S-4 submarines will require BrahMos-1 only when the targets are hostile carrier battle groups. Nirbhay’s SLCM variant will be employed for overland strikes. Up to 12 VL Nirbhays can be carried by Arihant. All SSBNs the world over carry ready-to-fire SLBMs & the IN won’t be any different. All SSBNs & SSGNs will be IN-manned & operated. But when it comes to SLBM launch authorisation, the SFC, directed by the National Command Authority (NCA), will issue the launch orders. The NCA, on the other hand, will be guided by expert appreciations emanating from the National Security Adviser & the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The CDS’ tri-services Secretariat will be the present-day HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) & the Secretariat will be headed by the present-day Chief of IDS (CIDS), who will be designated as the Vice-CDS. Word from New Delhi’s corridors of power is that the Govt of India, through an executive order, will announce the creation of the post of CDS on January 26 next year & Gen Bikram Singh will be the first CDS. The existing CIDS will then become the next COAS, while Vice Admiral Cheema will become the next CIDS.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

I hope Modi gets time and inclination to read your blog.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: I don't think he personally will due to time constraints, but probably his principal staff officers will do so. They always do so & draw the necessary inferences.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To GESSLER: Here’s some interesting videos on Stargate Wormholes & time travel:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Justice expedited is justice served:

Heberian said...

Hello again Prasun...

Thanks for the excerpt. I had read the artice but not this excerpt.

Interesting analysis indeed. Also have a look at this in case you haven't already:

Do share what you think is evolving here, please.

Ranjan said...

Dear Prasunda,

Following are few facts which I have derived from your posts:

1. India will have 6 Scorpene submarines eventually. They would be enough for coastal defense.

2. India requires 6 more scorpenes with AIP like Stirling AIP. Either this option or S-80 from Navantia would be suitable for future requirement.But these subs are extremely costly - near about a billion each.

3. In this post on LPH, you mention that only Indian kilo-class with Klub missiles can hit Pak by reaching closer to its shore, scorpenes can't. So what will replace kilo-class once they are phased out?

4. SSN/SSGN for IN is not visible in near least till 2015-17. Even Arihant would be a technology demonstrator only.

Now, we know that when the INS sindhurakshak exploded, it was better that it had double hull because the damage to nearby ships was minimal. The double hull Qing class SSK of Pakistan would become a deadly threat to India, when it becomes available, because of its quietness, long reach and missiles.

So why should India acquire more Scorpenes or its derivatives when they are not useful for its ORBAT?

What is harm in developing double-hulled kilo class subs when the expertise is there and they are versatile while being dirt cheap. Vietnam decided to go for Kilos and not for Scorpenes or any other.

What do you say?

abs said...

Indeed I would love to read the book once my exams are done with by the 28th.
About India's present decision making archotecture prevalent, indeed a lot can be done.
What has been seen, especially off late, is that individual ministries try and push its own agenda ahead of others. Therefore there are huge tussles that happen , and often a well meaning policy fails to get implemented. The example of the NMIZs and the subsequent land acquisition bill is a pointer.
The proper way to go would be to have a coherent and comprehensive vision encompassing all of the policy makers.
Even the opposition should be involved in a very active manner about the vision of India and the policies that need to be taken. This will ensure no good policies are reversed as and when the opposition comes to power.
This will take a good deal of care about India's executive.
Legislature and Judiciary shold also be reformed in such a way that brings about speedy judgements and laws enactement.
Lastly I feel India should adopt the direct representation system of voting for LS,RS as well as Municipal elections.
And one major reform would be to ensure that the "parliamentary committees'" recommendations be made compulsory to be executed.
This would go a long way in empowering India, and would lead to a level of economic growth that would be unprecedented the world over.

rad said...


Who would you like to be the defence minister in the bjp led gov?.
If no one gives us he source codes to integrate to the platform ie mirage-sukhoi where will we mount the astra missile?. Did we get source codes for the elm-2032 radar at least.
I am given to understand that the air force software development lab is the one designated to integrate the astra with the sukhoi. Is that true .
Coming to the astra, the later version seems to have a huge mid body wings which obviously will create more drag while giving more lift and turn ability . But contemporary missiles like the amraam and the sd-10 all have small mid body wing , where did we go wrong.
You said the next astra will have local active seeker , do we have that kind of r&d to do it without help ?.


Dear Prasun,
As far as I know Tejas is going through many turbulence. Do you think that Tejas Mk 1 will be comparable to its family of air-crafts belonging to other countries especially Pakistan, China???

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Tomorrow will be quite hectic for me in Delhi:


Welcome Remarks: Maj Gen Dhruv C Katoch, SM, VSM (Retd), Director, CLAWS
Keynote Address: Shri Jaswant Singh, MP & Former Cabinet Minister

SESSION I: Preparation and Run up to the War
Chairperson: Brig KP Singh Deo, AVSM, VSM, Former Rajya Raksha Mantri

Politico-Strategic Developments: Dr. Srinath Raghavan, Senior Fellow Centre for Policy Research

Military Preparation: Brig Gurmeet Kanwal (Retd), Former Director CLAWS and Distinguished Fellow SAISA

Creation of Mukti Bahini: Lt Col Sajjad Zahir (Retd), Swadhinata Padak, Bir Protik, Project Director Bangladesh Army History project

Pre-War Operations: Brig OS Goraya (Retd) & Maj Chandrakant Singh, VrC (Retd)

SESSION II: The Operations
Chairperson: Maj Gen Dhruv C Katoch, SM, VSM (Retd), Director CLAWS

Role of Mukti Bahini: Lt Col Sajjad Zahir (Retd), Swadhinata Padak, Bir Protik, Project Director Bangladesh Army History project.

Role of Indian Air Force: Wg Cdr Vinod Neb, VrC* (Retd)

Role of Indian Navy: Cmde Ranjit B Rai (Retd)

Ops in Eastern Bangladesh: Lt Gen SS Mehta, PVSM, AVSM*, VSM (Retd), Former GOC-in C, Western Command

Crossing the Meghna - Helicopters & Boats: Maj Chandrakant Singh, VrC (Retd) & Wg Cdr Unni Kartha (Retd)

Ops in North & West Bangladesh: Maj Gen LS Lehl, PVSM, VrC (Retd)

SPECIAL ADDRESS: Lt Gen JFR Jacob, PVSM (Retd), Former GOC-in C, Eastern Command, former Governor of Goa and Punjab

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasoon,
plz read this.... and ur views plz


Pierre Zorin said...

Just because someone uses a name doesn't mean they are genuinely from a particular country e.g. I can be Wickremasinghe or Veeranyeke or Alexandr Takashvilli or Dmitri Kouros - but that won't mean I am Sri Lankan, Georgian or Greek. Boris Kuzhkov is a name not a real Russian because clue "harping "is a word that is usually used by English, Indians, Australians - to a lesser extent by other English speaking people but a careful study of the writing style, phrases, verbs and non blogger identity tell me more than likely it is a person who has either in the past used Anon handle OR someone from BR or the like using that name. By the way forget my blogger ID - consider this message is from a Gennady Kharkovski or even Oleksandr Kramarenko! Got it?

rad said...

Hi Prasun
It took nearly half a decade for St Anthony to realize that shortage of the barak missile was detrimental to nations security and crew . If a war broke out and we lost some ships due to lack of anti missiles
anthony will own responsibility?? so will the f---ng bureaucrats siting and get a fat pay and and farting in delhi.
After all their children are not going to die in a missile strike on ship!

Bhaswar said...

There seems to be a certain amount of dissonance between India and America wrt the upcoming Bangladesh elections. Kerry apparently called up Hasina for some urgent matter and the Americans and the west at lage seem to be getting fed up of the Awami league. How do you predict that AL will come back to power given that BNP is refusing to even take part in the election, if BNP sticks to its decision then it will probably not be recognized as a fair election which could lead to foreign intervention in BD and general chaos in BD which might open up opportunities for unsavory elements and the ISI, NO? Now they've hung Mollah yesterday, how do you see things panning out in BD?

Also was the result of latest Maldivian election with Yameen winning instead of Nasheed favorable for us? What can we expect from Yameen, will he serve our interests as well as Nasheed, how close is he to China?

If Navantia wins with the Athlas then we still won't be seeing more than 1 LCAC being deployed per ship, I don't think the IN will plan to go your way and cut down on the heavy vehicles hangar to make more space for the well deck. Not to mention that in terms of volume the well deck is already large enough to accommodate 2 LCACs but the partition starting from the steel beach (the fixed ramp which separates the heavy vehicles hangar from the well dock) and extending nearly up till the middle of the well deck makes the storage of two LCACs impossible (the said partition is clearly visible in the cut-out pic of the Canberra LHD you've posted). Unless the said partition is removed even enlarging the well deck won't do any good in that regard since an LCAC's width at 14+ meters will make it an impossible fit. Under the current design it will be able to carry one LCAC and two LCM-1Es or four LCM-1Es. If the partition is removed then the existing dimensions of the well deck (which is larger than the Mistral's well deck, which can carry 2 LCACs) will be enough. So what do you think the IN will decide upon?


Hi Prasunda,
I have been scratching my head with two things for a long time.

1.all our strategic missiles are big and bulky with short range almost half or quarter of the western and Russian contemporaries. even if we say drdo is understating the actual range the size doesn't make sense. all other missile with double the range are of less than 12m. is our propellant tech is so bad?

2.what is purpose of the nose cap motor on the sagarika slbm. except R-39 (SS-N-20) SLBM non of the slbm's have nose cap motor. Buluva doesn't have it so are the US and French missiles. are we lacking some thing and sticking to old technology.


Anonymous said...

1)when will the next space segment of IRNSS be launched.
2)the nomenclature 'IRNSS-1A' indicates the class i.e. satellite A of type 1 (means the next satellite will be called IRNSS-1B)
it represents th position of satellite i.e. location 1 of A plane (means next satellite could be 1B or 2B so that initial calibration tests could be performed, as 1A will be near to 1B and 2B rather than 2A).
3)How many recon satellites will be required to perform smoothly in area of acquiring land based targets in Pakistan.
waiting for your reply

rad said...

Hi Prasun
I dont understand the logic of sticking on to the r-73 missile tejas when there are far superopir misisles like tjhe python , asraam iris-t etc. Are we waiting for the russian eqaul of the python . it dosent make sense putting a 3rd gen missile on a 4th gen platform. please comment

Kris said...

Dear Prasunda,

There are reports coming out from inside the IAF that in the hurry to get IOC-2 by 20 Dec, they are again compromising on some key parameters??

Can you plz elaborate?

DefenseandAerospace said...

Prasun ,

To put it mildly , India's FICV competition is in suspended animation . The Indian Army as per media reports have rejected the BMP 3 offer from Russia .

(1) Do you think it makes more sense for India to get involved in Russia's Kurganet FICV project ? The agreement could be the same as the one in the PAK FA / FGFA .
(2) Do you expect any Major NEW defense deals to be signed before 2015 ? If yes, can you please state which ones ?


Vivek said...

Hi Prasun da,
Najam Sethi's interview posted by you was hopes that what he said actually's good to see that such intelligent and balanced voices exist in pakistan, I used to think that Pakistan was all about hating india only, all about Taliban/let/jem etc only.......hope such voices grow stronger

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da ,

Two interesting links and one question .

(1) BBC did a documentary on A Q Khan , here is the link

(2) According to this latest report (link below) from Washington Post Islamic Fundamentalism is widespread in Europe . I suspect this is the reason why Neo Nazis and Right Wind parties are gaining ground in Europe . I do fear for Indians living in Europe though , because there have been incidents when Indians were mistaken as Arabs/ Muslims and racially attacked . Not that our Government keeps us any safe but still Indians living/travelling to Europe have reasons to worry .
Such right wing sentiments are gaining popularity in the US as well . Last September when an Indian woman was crowned Miss America she received a thousand racial abuses and threats.

(3) Is India purchasing the Slave class Cruisers from Russia ?



Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun Da ,

Last week the IN Vice ADmiral said that 46 warships are currently being designed across India

That sounds too many . Can you please state which warships is he talking about ?

Thanks ,

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da ,

Another interesting link .

Satellites pick up image of a "secret" UCAV in Russia .

Seems like the Ruskies have modelled their's based on the X 47B

Bhaswar said...

Well we both signed the BDCA and now again the PLA entered Indian territory and detained Indian porters near the Chumar post. If it was all going to stay the same then why sign the deal in the first place?

Pintu said...

Prasun Da,

It validates your point about the IOC of HAL Tejas only be given on coming 20th December,and it seems so called IOC -1 & 2 are nothing but some tamasha created by some 'Desi Journos' misleading the common public.

However I have four questions, pondering in my mind :


Is the prior permission needed to be obtained from the MoD by the any in-service Higher Officials of either of three services, while accepting any foreign award, irrespective of Civil or Military ? Or Media trying to make 'non-news' to 'news' ?


apart from Times of India,report, which has stated that detained were actually porters,is the reported incident about 'inadvertent transgression' by Indian porters searching their runaway mule or by some 'Nomadic Shepherds' from Indian side ?

c)What is the reason behind Iran's Government owned TV channel Press TV's unabated India bashing which is sharp contrast to that of IRNA's ? Can it be countered effectively ?


Any progress about ISRO's above mentioned Rendezvous and Docking (RVD) experiment ? When can we expect a test-flight ?

---Thanks in advance.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To HEBERIAN: Yes indeed, it is just the beginning. I concur with the analysis.

To RANJAN: 1) Not necessarily. More follow-on orders could well follow. 2) As per the IN’s original plans, all six P-75 SSKs were to be equipped with AIP. P-75I was meant to be the SSN as per the IN’s original long-term perspective plans. The entire plan went haywire when the MoD in 2005 ordered the six Scorpenes under Project 75 minus their AIP plug-ins. 3) The eight existing Project 877EKM SSKs won’t be phased out, but will be retained in service for at least another decade after a forthcoming round of upgrades, as I had stated & predicted several months ago. 4) One SSN or SSGN can do the job of 3 Type 877EKM SSKs. It’s all about economics. Therefore, in the long-term, SSNs & SSGNs are far more cost-effective to operate than SSKs.

To RAD: The MoD, MoF, MEA etc all need to be managed by technocrats, not average politicians who are lawyers by profession. And why should the Astra MRAAM go on board the Su-30MKI in the first place? Astra Mk1/Mk2 MRAAMs are being developed primarily for the Tejas Mk1/Mk2 MRCA & therefore all the IAF’s MRAAM requirements for its Su-30MKI fleet have already been acquired from Russia & Ukraine. So the ELEMENTARY $10 million question is: why are no Tejas Mk1 PVs/LSPs being used for testing the Astra??? Since the IAF has large R-73 WVRAAM stockpiles, it was decided very early on to adopt this missile for the Tejas as well. The Navy on the other hand had substantial stocks of Dervy & Python-5 & therefore decided to stick to them.

To SOUBHAGYA: What turbulence? These are normal ups & downs during any R & D endeavour. Of course, what has made matters far worse is the totally unproductive project management structure that has evolved since the mid-1980s. But as of now, with what has been achieved despite all shortcomings, the Tejas Mk1 is a state-of-the-art LIFT platform that can easily be exploited as such by the IAF.

To GOURAV: VMT. Many of the conclusions are debatable & I will touch upon them later.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BHASWAR: Historically, that patch of landmass known today as Bangladesh has always been unruly, chaotic & ungovernable. That’s why civilization never flourished there during any period of history & consequently one cannot expect this trend to be overturned. Fact of the matter is Bangladesh is still a very much confused country since there’s no national consensus on what constitutes their true/official history & consequently no one there has a fit-all definition of what that country is all about, i.e. a secular or an Islamic country—a prediction made by the US DIA way back in 1969 itself!!! Unfortunately, India chose to adopt a policy of benign neglect of Dhaka since March 1972 & this led to the further isolation & alienation of Bangladesh much to India’s discomfiture. Maldives is totally different since, like Sri Lanka, it is totally dependent on India for trade, supplies of essential commodities & medical assistance. No matter how hard China tries, it can never counter India’s advantage of geographical proximity. NAVANTIA IS NOT offering the ATHLAS design to the IN. A customised design specific to the IN is being offered.

To NAGARAJAN: 1) The ‘bulky’ ones are the Agni-1/2/3. The long-term land-launched strategic deterrent will therefore be the Agni-4/5, both of which will be cannisterised & far lighter. 2) That jettisionable nose-cap’s ToT was provided by Russia for the SLBM programme THROUGH the BrahMos Aerospace JV. Sagarika isn’t the name of any SLBM. It instead is the name of the DRDO’s Project Office that is developing the SLBMs, just as the ATV is the name of the Project Office that’s developing the SSBNs.

To SIDDHARTH: 1) By early next year. 2) Next one will be IRNAA-1B/C/D/E/F/G. 3) At least six SAR-equipped satellites at the very least.

To KRIS: What will happen on December 20 is just a symbolic ‘service induction’, following which the process of operational flight conversion will begin & last till 2016. After this process, the commissioning process of No45 Sqn will get underway & last for another 3 years. Therefore, in the true sense, IOC will get underway only after 2016 & FOC will follow by 2019. Anyone else who is blabbering about IOC-1/2 & FOC-1-2 just doesn’t know how the service induction-to-commissioning process works for a homegrown weapons platform, rest assured.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DEFENSE & AEROSPACE: How can any India-based OEM ever even dream of developing a home-grown FICV when it has no captive vehicles testing range or firing range? All existing firing ranges are MoD-owned & so far there has been no policy document detailing how & under what conditions the in-country R & D infrastructure will be made to these India-based OEMs. That was precisely the reason why the TATA/DENEL-developed 155mm/52-cal motorised howitzer has to date not been evaluated by the IA. The same goes for all other India-based OEMs like Kalyani Group who want to get into the business of developing homegrown 155mm howitzers. Now do you realise why I have repeatedly stated that the various DPPs unfurled by the MoD since 2005 have all been a pure waste of time as far as indigenous weapons development goes? Either the MoD’s officials have been instructed by the RM to adopt such dysfunctional tactics in order to favour only the DPSUs, or the MoD officials are simply incapable of tackling the core issues while focusing upon only the peripherals. The reqmt for FICVs is not time-urgent & can wait for at least another 2 years. In 2014 the Rafale deal, LW-155 deal, follow-on P-8I/C-130J-30 deals & CH-47D deal will all be inked, along with project to co-develop a customised version of the Javelin ATGM that is optimised for high-altitude warfare conditions.

To VIKRAM GUHA: VMT. No, no such cruiser will be acquired for the IN.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: The figure of 46 includes vessels to be built in future as well, like the 16 shallow-water ASW vessels. Hence the high figure.

To BHASWAR: That’s not what the news-report says. According to this news-report, it was the Indian porters that strayed across the Indian claim-line in search of the missing mules.

To PINTU: 1) Yes, prior permission is reqd, this being part of the MoD’s discredited efforts to micro-manage the HQs of the three armed services. 2) Yes, that’s true. This time, it was the Indians that fucked-up & strayed across India’s LAC claim-lines. 3) Of course it can be countered. Just feed some anti-Iran data & visuals to CNN-IBN or HEADLINES TODAY or NDTV & start coming up with a counter-narrative & the message will be driven home to Teheran.

Anonymous said...

Best thought expressed by ex Navy chief regarding Naval working conditions. Must read once.

Sanchun Yaton said...

Hi Prasun,
Indeed, favouring Navantia could be a relevant way to try to get the best value for money... Given its current financial situation, the Spanish shipyard could be incline to lower its price so as to get a contract it desperately needs to get out of the crisis. I hope the Indian Govt will know how to take advantage of that.

rad said...

hi Prasun

Reports say russia is making the PAK-FA to a RCS of .01 to 1 m2. This is hardly stealth and can only be termed as low observable at the most. Is this only for public consumption ?. We should get an equal to the f-35 RCS other wise we will be at a big disadvantage.
The nozzles dont look stealthy at all compared to the shaping of the f-22 nozzle.We should get a better deal and not get ripped off like the vikramaditya . In your opinion will we get a compromised one or something to our satisfications?

rad said...

Hi Prasun
comming to the SRE-1 ie Space reentry exp vehicle that was successfully test flown in 2007 , i dont understand why the re entry orientation of the capsule was the tip of the cone entering the atmosphere rather than the other way around as in normal practice by the americans in the gemini capsules etc. To me it means that the astronaut will be be facing the earth, face forward rather than the back of his body as normal practice. The blunt side of the capsule affords aerodynamic deceleration , Pics show that the capsule landed in the water with the blunt side on top with the flotation system deployed.Pse explain

Anonymous said...

the google earth photos you posted showed USN and US Dept. of State Geographer markings. did u put together those pics, or were those from some slides presented by US during some internal assessments from observing the exercises?

if they are theirs, my 2nd Q - does India observe and keep tabs on other powers and 2 what extent?