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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Blind Leading The Blind

This is what ‘desi’ broadcast TV channels like HEADLINES TODAY have been practicing over the past 48 hours. For instance, certain news-anchors of this channel have claimed that “all existing Type 877EKM Kilo-class SSKs are in a decrepit state, they are not seaworthy, that most of their 25-year shelf-lives and life-cycles are over,” and therefore they are all “floating coffins”. Facts, however, tell another story altogether. For, it is downright criminal to claim that these SSKs are using batteries with expired shelf-lives. In the case of INS Sindhuratna S-59, which recently underwent an unscheduled short-refit, it was using the 240 units of batteries (costing Rs.11 crores in all and possessing 40% of residual life) that had been removed from INS Sindhukesari S-60 since the latter is presently undergoing a short-refit.  
To date, all eight surviving Kilo-class SSKs use batteries made by EXIDE Industries and such batteries, in production since the early 1990s, have also been exported to Algeria and Iran. EXIDE also supplies batteries for the four IN-operated Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs. 


About five years ago, another India-based battery manufacturer—HBL Power Systems Ltd (see http://www.hbl.in/defence.asp)--which by then was already supplying batteries for IN-owned torpedoes of Russian and Italian origin as well as for all DRDO-developed tactical and strategic missiles, approached Indian Navy HQ and requested it to certify its newly-developed submarine batteries for usage. When IN HQ refused, HBL filed a case in the Delhi High Court against the IN. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) then told Justice Katju (who was then hearing the case) that since the IN already had a long-term contract with EXIDE for procuring submarine batteries, it will not consider a competitive procurement scenario. Furthermore, since the IN had only a single set of batteries on hand that was meant for installation on board INS Sindhurakshak S-63 (which was then due to proceed to Zvezdochka State Machine-Building Enterprise at Severodvinsk for her medium-refit), it could not spare this set for the sake of holding competitive field evaluation trials along with the set of batteries built by HBL. Justice Katju, however, stated that this was simply not on and consequently ruled in favour of HBL. The MoD then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court’s ruling and argued that any delays encountered in the delivery of batteries meant for INS Sindhurakshak will only severely compromise national security. Fortunately for the MoD, the Supreme Court quashed Justice Katju’s earlier ruling and delivered a verdict in favour of the MoD, much to the IN’s relief.  

Coming now to the present-day state of the eight surviving Type 877EKM SSKs, Russia’s Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering has confirmed to me that the authorised total technical service life of each such SSK is not 20 years or 26 years as has been claimed by several retired IN officials over the past few days, but 35 years. Furthermore, each such SSK undergoes only one medium refit (inclusive of a mid-life upgrade) once after completing 13 years of service, and on its 26th year in service, it will undergo a service life-extension programme (SLEP) or a long-refit (inclusive of further upgrades) so that it will remain in service for a total period of 35 years.  
INS Sindhughosh S-55, whose keel was laid on May 29, 1983, was launched on July 29, 1985 and was commissioned on November 25, 1985 and it was subjected to a medium-refit and was also upgraded to Project 08773 standard between 2002 and 2005. INS Sindhudhvaj S-56, whose keel was laid on April 1, 1986, was launched on July 27, 1986 and was commissioned on November 25, 1986. INS Sindhuraj S-57, which was commissioned on September 2, 1987, was subjected to a medium-refit and was also upgraded to Project 08773 standard between 1999 and 2001. INS Sindhuvir S-58, which was commissioned on December 25, 1987, was subjected to a medium-refit and was also upgraded to Project 08773 standard between 1997 and 1999. INS Sindhuratna S-59, which was commissioned on August 14, 1988, was subjected to a medium-refit and was also upgraded to Project 08773 standard between 2001 and 2003. INS Sindhukesari S-60, which was commissioned on October 29, 1988, was subjected to a medium-refit and was also upgraded to Project 08773 standard between 1999 and 2001. INS Sindhukirti S-61, which was commissioned on October 30, 1989, has been declared as a writeoff. INS Sindhuvijay S-62, which was commissioned on October 27, 1990, was subjected to a medium-refit and was also upgraded to Project 08773 standard between 2005 and 2007. INS Sindhurakshak S-63, which was commissioned on October 2, 1997, was subjected to a medium-refit and was also upgraded to Project 08773 standard between August 2010 and January 2013INS.  Next in line for a medium-refit and upgrading to Project 08773 standard by the Zvezdochka State Machine-Building Enterprise is INS Sindhushastra S-64, which was commissioned on May 16, 2000.
Between 1997 and 1999, INS Sindhuvir was retrofitted with the LAMA-EKM AICS integrated console and the PIRIT control system, along with a loop antenna for VLF communications that was sourced from France’s NEREIDES. These were also installed on board INS Sindhuratna between 2000 and 2002, in addition to the Apassionata-EKM.1 integrated navigation system (using SAGEM's SIGMA 40 RLG-INS) and the Calibre-PLE fire-control system associated with the Club-S family of precision-guided munitions (3M-14E land-attack cruise missile and 3M-54E anti-ship cruise missile). 
Between 2002 and 2005, INS Sindhughosh incorporated all of the above, plus the DRDO-developed and BEL-made USHUS cylindrical-array bow-mounted sonar, CCS Mk2 composite communications system and a SIRS radiation monitoring system). Between 2005 and 2008, INS Sindhuvijay incorporated all of the abov e-mentioned enhancements along with a DRDO-developed and BEL-built ‘Porpoise’ ESM suite, MCA external antenna, York-built cooling machines, WAAS-built C-310 torpedo countermeasures and their BDL-built dispensers, and Sulzer-built high-pressure air compressors). An identical fitment was carried out on INS Sindhurakshak (containing 12 India-origin systems installed) between 2010 and 2013 by Zvezdocka, which deployed more than 200 workers in three shifts to complete each of the refits in two years. 
Thus, of the five Type 877EKM SSKs upgraded so far to Project 08773 standard at an aggregate cost of Rs1,560 crore (or an average of US$156 million per unit), four of them were armed with 3M-14E and 3M-54E missiles.
For helping the IN’s naval dockyards to undertake the periodic short-refits, SUDOEXPORT has facilitated and overseen the ToT to several India-based MRO companies, some of which are highlighted below.
INS Sindhukirti was ripped open in 2004 without Russian approval/licence by the Vizag-based Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL). While that was the easy part, putting it back together was far more complex and beyond the capability of HSL. By 2008 the INS Sindhukirti had become the IN’s ‘dry-dock queen’. HSL had signed a contract on October 3, 2006 with IN for the medium-refit plus upgrade of this SSK. In this regard, contracts were concluded with Rosoboronswervice India and SUDOEXPORT for material supplies as well as for turn-key modernisation works. As per the planned schedule, HSL was to have: completed the SSK’s degutting by May 2007, completed blasting on the entire hull structure for defect survey by February 2008, completed the removal of hard-patches from all six compartments, commissioned two pipe-bending machines, completed qualifying HSL’s welders to take up repairs on hull structures, and receive all related technical documentation from Russia by May 2008. Officially, INS Sindhukirti, for whose medium-refit plus upgrade the IN had already paid Rs650 crore, was to re-enter service back in 2010. But till this day the medium-refit work—where the SSK is stripped of all equipment, her hull inspected for wear-and-tear and machinery replaced—awaits completion and the IN therefore has classified this SSK as a permanent writeoff.
As part of the SLEP for the remaining eight Type 877EKM SSKs, the IN in future plans to equip them with thin-line towed-array sonars as well as new-generation optronic periscopes.
The IN’s Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs were ordered on December 11, 1981. The first two SSKs (S-44 Shishumar and S-45 Shankush) were built by HDW and were inducted into service in September and November 1986, respectively. The remaining two (S-46 Shalki and S-47 Shankul) were licence-built by MDL and entered service in February 1992 and May 1994.
All four SSKs subsequently underwent mid-life refits from 1999 to 2010 during which they were equipped with ATLAS Elektronik’s ISUS-90 combat management system, CSU-90 cylindrical active/passive bow-mounted sonar, passive planar flank arrays and intercept arrays (for providing warning against approaching torpedoes), passive ranging array, a three-dimensional mine and obstacle avoidance sonar; along with Alenia Sistemi Subacquei’s C-310 submarine-fired torpedo decoy dispensers and a self-noise monitoring system. The hunt is now on for reelable thin-line towed-array sonars, optronic periscopes and anti-ship cruise missiles to be installed on board the four SSKs when they undergo SLEP so that their service-lives will be extended for enabling them to remain in service till 2025.
Thus, while the IN will by 2018 be able to muster eight Project 08773 SSKs and retain the last of them in service will 2027, the last of the four Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs will remain in service till 2029.  
Let us now turn to the issues of SSK availability by factoring in the SSK deployment-cycles that are equally divided between periodic repairs at port, sea-trials and actual operational patrols. It is estimated that of the 13 submarines presently available to the IN (inclusive of the INS Chakra SSGN), no more than eight are available during peacetime as of now. This is woefully inadequate when one takes into account the steadily increasing operational tempo of the IN’s undersea warfare arm since the late 1990s. For, till the early 1990s, the SSKs—aided by LRMR/ASW platforms like the Tu-142M—undertook patrols only for: monitoring the twice-a-year naval exercises conducted by the navies of Pakistan, monitoring the movements of out-of-area naval warships belonging to the US and China, and taking part in twice-a-year naval exercises conducted by the IN’s eastern and western fleets. Since the late 1990s, however the scope of surveillance missions to be undertaken have increased manifold in order to monitor: the supply of WMD-related hardware by sea from China and North Korea to Pakistan and Iran, the movements of the PLA Navy’s various task-forces that have been deployed to the Horn of Africa for conducting anti-piracy escort missions since 2007, and the annual exercises conducted by the expanding navies of Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan. In addition  to all this the IN’s submarine arm has to be committed to various annual bilateral exercises that it now routinely conducts with the navies of the US, France, the UK, Indonesia, Japan and Singapore and on top of all this are the two of the IN’s own exercises conducted every year. To cope with all this is clearly beyond the capabilities of the eight SSKs that can be spared for such a hectic operational schedule. And this is why the IN desperately the six Scorpene SSKs and in the longer term, no less than 12 SSNs.

Now, coming to yet another piece of unresearched and highly speculative report from HEADLINES TODAY and TIMES NOW about the MoD asking the CBI to investigate certain activities of Rolls-Royce and what possible repercussions this might have on the Indian Air Force and IN, the fact of the matter is that this has nothing to do with powerplants meant for aircraft. Instead, it concerns only marine industrial gas-turbines destined for India’s oil-and-gas sector. ONGC, which is due to order some new-build deep-sea offshore drilling rigs from a consortium of Singapore-based companies, is interested in procuring new-build marine industrial gas-turbines for not only these rigs, but also for some existing rigs that use the much older Rolls-Royce Allison 501K and Avon Mk1535 gas-turbines. Consequently, for this contract from the ONGC, Rolls-Royce is competing against the MoD-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd—which is offering the LM-2500 marine industrial gas-turbine that it builds under licence from US-based GE Aero Engines. That’s what this is all about and it has nothing to do with either military aviation or HAL’s corporate governance and all this will ultimately be borne out in future by the CBI enquiry, rest assured. 

105 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG!, are these journalists gone crazy to report these stories on national television without due verification.

VMT for clarification and exposing these idiots.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Of course they're a crazy & deluded lot. And that's why they can script dramatic concoctions based on heresay contained within an e-mail whose author does not want to be held accountable or stand the test of scrutiny. Even whistleblowers who wish to remain anonymous are reqd to furnish proof in support of their allegations. By lending credibility to such e-mails, these 'desi' journalists are only implying that the IN pays scant or no attention to OEM-prescribed MRO procedures/protocols--which in reality is patently untrue.

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

is that the ripped open INS Sindhukirti, it indeed looks rusting hulk now.

that INS Sindhuratna was unfit to deploy was revealed by the younger brother of a deceased who was told by one of the dead officers that the submarine was unfit to go to sea.

Btw as i predicted looks like arrest of Sudhir & his son has cast a shadow on all Rolls Royce related deals that have been put on hold by MoD.

US is threatening Russia with sanctions over Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, looks like its just a matter of time before we dive back to cold war depths. I hope it doesnt affect us.

thanks

Joydeep Ghoosh

GOOGLER said...

Prasun,

wrt the Rolls-Royce issue that is playing out right now. SO you can confirm that these ongoing buinsness won't affect the after-sales support for the engines on the HAKW MK.132 AJTS or C-130J-30s of the IAF?

We're not going to see RR blacklisted?


And what is the MoD doing to stop these sort of allegations from rearing their heads every other bloody week seemingly? It is clear that losers of contracts simply throw a spanner in the works as a parting shot even if there is no base to these foundations it ends up in massive delays for the Indina Mil. This needs to be addressed because perfectly good deals are being delayed for too long as a result.....

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: Nope, that’s not the Sindhukirti shown above. In fact, what’s shown above is a Type 877EKM being subjected to a medium-refit at Severodvinsk. Of course INS Sindhuratna was unfit to deploy & that’s precisely it was being subjected to a series of shakedown trials in the seas off Mumbai PRIOR to obtaining final clearance for proceeding on operational patrols. The accident took place durig one of these trials. The arrest of Sudhir & his son concerns deals not made in India, but in countries like Indonesia.

To GOOGLER: None of the aircraft fleets of the IAF & IN powered by R-R engines will be affected in any way, rest assured. The ‘desi’ journalists don’t realise that R-R powerplants are the only ones authorised for platforms like the Jaguar IS/IM, Sea Harrier, Hawk Mk132, C-130J-30 & Sea King Mk42B/C. So why should R-R engage in corrupt practices when it is the sole supplier of powerplants for such platforms? Only if there been a competitor for supplying alternate powerplants would R-R have felt the need for exploring all other options for securing the powerplant supply contracts. Therefore, R-R will not be blacklisted, just as IAI & RAFAEL haven’t been blacklisted as yet. Contracts have been waiting to be inked since 2008 primarily because 1) A K Antony has the sickening habit of initiating enquiries based merely on allegations made by anonymous letters, 2) A K Antony lacks the necessary administrative & managerial skills required for running the MoD’ & 3) the Union Ministry of Finance has been tightening its purse-strings since FY 2012 for the sake of dolling out various subsidy packages in the first quarter of 2014 prior to the general elections. There’s virtually nothing that A K Antony can do if Dr MMS & P Chidambaram join forces to drastically curb the MoD’s fiscal spending-levels.

sumit sen said...

prasun da according to you which ssk should indian navy select for project75i..?? Type214 or the russian amur??

DefenseandAerospace said...

Prasun ,

According to this report India has finally sealed a work share agreement with Dassault Aviation for building 70 per cent of the Rafale fighters

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/10155/India__France_Agree_On_Rafale_Work_Share#.UxWhpOOSzZF

Is this report true ?

VMT

abs said...

@Prasunda
Do give your views on this and the questions raised in this article at the end
http://www.niticentral.com/2014/03/04/demographic-danger-why-muslim-population-growth-is-alarming-195759.html

Rajeev Chaturvedi said...

Prasunda,

1. When we are buying more than 10 VVER reactors from Russia, why can't we also buy the OK 650 (190 MWT) submarine reactor from them? Or if French are ready, why can't we buy the K-15 reactor from them? Has there been any attempt so far?

2.Which size of SSN India is looking at? Virginia is 8000 ton while Barracuda is 5300 ton. They both are said to be very good. However, Akula is 12000 ton submerged, so is it equal to them? What size would be adequate for India?

3. All present day attack subs are moving towards incorporating VLS tubes. Barracuda does not have them but Virginia, Los Angeles both have them and British and French are thinking about them. VLS is also necessary for Brahmos and other missiles. So is India looking at options with VLS tubes?

4. It seems that the price of nuclear attack boats is only a little more than diesel subs. Why are these diesel subs which are much smaller and less capable, also so costly?

5. Project 75I is being projected at 10 billion plus deal for only six subs? Its astronomical. If India buys Scorpenes, that would be more than 200% price increase. When India is producing sub steel indigenously, can the price come down, otherwise can India afford that sub?

7. Has India contacted Japan for improved Soryu boats which Japan, Australia are considering with VLS? Or will it buy more Project 636 Kilos for gap filling?

Please enlighten.

Vikrant said...

Those 'desis' truly hit this one for six didn't they,well to be honest when you listen to sailor's personal stories,it really hits you that THEY WERE WILLING TO SACRIFICE THEIR TODAY FOR OUR TOMORROW ,ALAS THEIR LIVES ARE LOST IN THE CACOPHONY OF THE GREAT INDIAN 'SYSTEM'.
Sir like always many thanks for posting a good thread on matters navy and clearing the mist on something that should have been done a long time back.
1)Sir I suppose Sindhukirti at HSL is a permanent loss isn't it but has it generated any benifit for our shipbuilding or this thing a total loss?
2)Sir what is the state of P-15B DDG and since they aren't significantly different from P-15A along with modular shipbuilding build times should be considerably less as well.
3)Sir pakistan has gone over to the saudi camp in the iran-saudi cold war and is willing to send weapons to syrian rebels it is a matter of time iran and india come closer isn't it?

Sourav Paul said...

sir,
i have some questions
1)what is the current status of INS Sindhukirti.? Can it be returned to service?
2)if it is unservicable..what coould be the possible reason as it commisioned in 1990
3)what could be the possible reason for the terribly slow pace of indian shipbuilding..? the first scorpenes might enter service in 2016 taking an average of 7 years each to complete whereas malaysia took only abaout 4 years to complete similar scorpenes.
4) it is being reported that dassault and MOD have reached a concensus on the rafale deal and it would be signed later this year..are such rumours true?

Vikrant said...

@Rajeev Chaturvedi you literally posted the same queries i had mate.Cheers.
@Prasun sir,
Could in future some light on the INs SSN & SSGN plans be given?

As somebody from the northeast it does pain me that the MHA and the GOI is largely ignorant about hte region even though most of the people are staunchly pro-india
and have a visceral hatred for the freedom fighter/extortionists,but is peace in this part of the union not a priority for our nation.

AK said...

Prasunda,

You have rightfully punctured the Navy's ego balloon with your facts and brought the entire debate back to the right course. Now gradually and uncomfortably everyone is coming to this line of argument even though Naval retired community is still singing its separate tune.

The question is whether some journalists would check facts before reporting or equate news with rumours and hearsay? And why are they doing it with the ferocity of a propaganda? This same Headlines Today journalist was recently on tour to DCNS facility in France and once back, was advocating submarine purchase from DCNS ASAP.

What is happening to media?

SUVO said...

PRASUN DA,
Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which has tied up with South Korean company Samsung, and state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML), which has partnered with Slovakian company Konstruckta, are competing with Russia’s Rosoboron export for the tracked gun tender.
What is the status of the trial.Which is the best tracked spgh according to you.

Sami said...

Prasunda,

New angle from the same Headlines Today journalist:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/veterans-lash-out-at-navys-submarine-in-chief-rear-admiral-soonil-v.-bhokare/1/346821.html

Is he doing someone's bidding? He seems quite insider expert !!!

Ranjit said...

Prasunda,

In the Scorpene submarine contract, every Navy Admiral keeps talking about delay in decision making by Indian government. One even claimed the delay was happening when the price was increasing one crore per day.

What was the reason and how long the delay took place? How did it end?

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun Da ,

Entire transcript of the US defense budget .

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/defense.pdf

China today announced a 12.2% increase in it's own defense budget .

Regards,

Sujoy

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUMIT SEN: That question can be answered ONLY AFTER analysing the present-day & future roles & missions during both peacetime & wartime of the IN’s submarine arm (silent service)—something that former IN officials & veterans should have explained it all over the past week, but have miserably failed to do so, thereby doing a great disservice to the citizens of India. I will contextualise it all later today & this will also explain in the narrative above why the IN’s submarine arm continues to be upgraded & what more needs to be done to cope with the future challenges.

To DEFENSE & AEROSPACE: This was already a known fact, since I have been stating for almost the whole of last year that all the so-called pre-contractual irritants were in essence delaying tactics adopted by the MoD at the behest of the Union MoF just for the sake of buying time.

To RAJEEV CHATURVEDI: 1) Off-the-shelf sale of such PWRs as powerplants for SSNs, SSGNs & SSBNs is expressly prohibited under the NPT. In any case, there’s no need to procure them from abroad at all since the indigenised 83mW PWR is already available as are its reactor physics/reactor engineering expertise & can easily be upscaled to 190mW. This is no longer a technological challenge that requires mastering. It is now all about the financial support required to achieve production-scales on an industrial scale. 2) For purely SSNs, a 5,000-tonne version of the S-2/Arihant will be more than sufficient. This is what the Russians proposed last year & is byfar the most viable option available to the IN from technological/industrial & financial standpoints. 3) VLS tubes are already available on S-2/Arihant & once the larger S-5/S-6/S-7 SSBNs become available in the following decade, the S-2/Arihant, S-3 & S-4 boats will become SSGNs armed with VL-ASCMs like BrahMos-1. 4) Because of what’s inside them & the cost of procuring various shore-based training aids. 5) Those figures are all highly speculative & do not present the true picture. 7) The SSKs operated by Japan’s MSDF are not available for export to either Australia or India, period. Nor does India require them.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRANT: The same can be said even about those personnel working for Indian Railways or the BRO or even an ordinary school-teacher or postman who fall victims to terrorist acts in any corner of India, especially in the North East. One doesn’t become more loyal/patriotic/nationalistic merely by wearing a military uniform—something these ‘desi’ journalists cannot fathom. 1) Nothing of the kind. The unilateral ripping apart of the Sindhukirti SSK did not serve any purpose & instead, it only caused this SSK to be written off as a permanent loss. And those responsible for this—the then top hierarchy of the IN & the then Defence Minister, the then Defence Secretary & the then Secretary for Defence Production & Supplies—have all yet to be brought to book for such criminal negligence. 2) The timescales for rollout of the four P-15B DDGs should be far lesser than those of the three P-15A DDGs. 3) That is already the case & that’s why the Iranian Foreign Minister was in Delhi last week.

To SOURAV PAUL: 1) Nope, it is a permanent writeoff. 2) Extensive corrosion of the hull as well as the inner sections of the SSK after it was ripped apart in 2004. 3) Will explain it all in the narrative above later today. 4) Of course they are. Have already explained it above.

To AK: VMT. Not just the ‘desi’ journalists, but even several retired senior IN officials have failed to explain in layman’s terms what exactly are the challenges facing the IN’s silent service & what’s the way ahead, especially with regard to future acquisitions like SSNs & SSGNs. Will explain it all later today by expanding this thread’s narrative & will also detail all the upgrades carried out on the four Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs.

To SUVO: As I’ve persistently explained & stated, procuring motorised 155mm/52-cal howitzers (MGS) is always the preferred option, since MGS costs far less than tracked SPH from both acquisition & life-cycle cost standpoints. Therefore, standardise on the MGS & cast aside the option of procuring tracked or towed 155mm/52-cal howitzers.

To SAMI: This is a classic example of ‘inventing’ a story when there’s nothing else available. It also tantamounts to putting the cart before the horse. In other words, contextualisation is missing. If at all problem-fixing & blame-fixing is required to be done, then these broadcast TV networks should make a beeline for interviewing the Defence Secretaries & Defence Production & Supplies Secretaries who had failed to take the crucial procurement decisions (concerning new-build replacement batteries) over the past 2.5 years. The IN cannot be blamed for paucity of replacement hardware since their provisioning is the exclusive responsibility of the Defence Secretary & the Secretary for Defence Production & Supplies.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RANJIT: The delays took place because the then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee in 2005 had miserably failed to learn lessons from the experience of licence-producing the two Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs in the late 1980s. Had he drawn the correct conclusions, then the first two Scorpene SSKs would have been built jointly by DCNS & Navantia (under the then ARMARIS industrial consortium) while Indian ToT/licenced-manufacturing beneficiaries like MDL & other vendors would have been able to scale the learning curve in a far more gradual manner & consequently there would have been a far lesser extent of QC/QA failures of the licence-built ‘first articles’. This was the time-proven practice adopted for the two MDL-built Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs & there was no reason at all to abandon it in case of the Scorpene’s licenced-manufacturing programme. Since this practice wasn’t adhered to, it was obvious in 2005 itself that eventually most of the sub-systems & components related to the Scorpene’s superstructure that were meant to be licence-built would be rejected due to QC/QA failures & finally, MDL would have to revert back (by 2009) to the France-based & Spain-based OEMs for supplying such sub-systems & components. This is exactly what has happened, thereby resulting in missed production deadlines. And of course, those civilian decision-makers within the MoD who took the disastrous decision in 2005 to licence-build all six Scorpenes did so despite persistent warnings from Indian Navy HQ. What this therefore means is that the MoD’s then civilian decision-makers deliberately & purposefully made the wrong choice—not out of ignorance—but out of deliberate intent. And the only motive for doing so is only one: ill-gotten monetary gains. That’s the simple, ugly & plain truth. Even DCNS’ Chief Financial Officer of 2005 later said in a written deposition to French investigators (who were investigating the Malaysian Scorpene deal) that he could not guarantee that the Indian order for six Scorpenes was corruption-free. These depositions are all available on-line & everyone concerned knows about it all.

Sourav Paul said...

thank you for the clarification sir..
i had a few other questions as well.
1) the P-8A used by the US Navy has been deemed ineffective by them as per some media reports emerging from the US.Has there been any such reports from the Indian Navy as well regarding the P-8I, which is an export and probabaly downgraded version of the P-8A.
2)What was the need for IN to go in for a system which was not yet in production when the deal was signed?? we could well have upgraded the TU-142s or brought some second hand from russia which incidentally was retiring sme airframes back then due to lack of funds to operate them.given that b-52s are supposed to serve till 2040s , i beleive that such a structural upgrade would also be possible for the bears.
3)as far as i know the proposed MMRCA is supposed to be an interim aircraft to fill up the gap bateween retiring MiGs and the tejas' commisioning.If the aircraft that we actually want is the tejas then why are we spending such an overwhelming amount of money that is nearly 15-20 times the total program cost of the tejas on a mere 7 squadrons.?? wouldn't it make more sense to pump a few more billions into tejas programme itself to speed up developement and production.?
3) What could be the maximum production rate of rafale by HAL. given that they intend to produce tejas at 8 a year , we cannot expect a faster production rate for rafale.that woul stretch the production to nearly 2015, by which time we expect tejas mk2 to be ready for induction , which voids the entire idea of buying the rafale.

i would be grateful if you would provide your thoughts on the topic
also ,sir i must say that i was very much impressed by your piece on the indian and korean defence industries, where you had promised you would write a separate piece on the downfall of indian defence industry.
i am eagerly waiting for that
thank you.

Mayur M Manapure said...

Sir What is status of S-3,S-4.S-5.....And is India's Underwater Arm in that seriuos trouble as these nincompoop brazenly state on National Tv...Thnks in Advance..

SOUBHAGYA said...

Dear Prasun,
1. Is it meaningful to purchase Rafale at the when Tejas Mk2 like aircraft is in development. Mk2 version could be potent like Rafale although a MRCA not MMRCA.

2. Is Akash SAM a good missile in its class. Is its induction good for fulfilling the requirement of IAF and Army? What was the motto behind the recent trials of Akash SAM? Will Army accept it heartily or being imposed as usual???

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SOURAV PAUL: 1) All sensors of the P-8I except the IFF transponder are of US origin. Only degradation is the SAR resolution of the Raytheon APY-10 multi-mode radar. But for the IN< this radar has an interleaved weather mapping/airspace surveillance mode & the rear-looking Telephonics APS-143 search radar can do air-search as well as surface search. This radar is not on board the P-8A. All in all, I terms of sensor-fitment, the P-8I is SUPERIOR to the P-8A. Uploading & updating of the P-8I’s EW threat library is now in progress. Therefore, when operating within the IOR, the P-8I will easily outperform the P-8A. 2) Tu-142M’s TTSL has already expired & it has also undergone a SLEP. By 2016 the entire Tu-142M will have to be decommissioned. Its spares are no longer available from Russia at economical rates. 3) M-MRCA was NEVER an interim reqmt. Its need was felt as far back as 2001. Tejas Mk1 & Mk2 will take a long time to reach FOC as indicated in the table I had uploaded two threads earlier. 4) At best, HAL will be able to produce 12 Rafales per annum.

To MAYUR M MANAPURE: S-3 will be floated/launched in only 2017 & S-4 by 2022. India’s Undersea Warfare Arm (silent service) is not in any serious trouble. It is all explained above through the latest additions to the narrative that I’ve just uploaded above. You will find most of the answers there.

To SOUBHAGYA: 1) Already answered that just above. 2) Akash Mk1 SAM’s Air Force version is good enough for ensuring base air-defence. What was recently subjected to field-trials was the Army version of Akash Mk1 for battlefield air-defence & yes, it will be inducted into service.

Kapil said...

What's this story in the Indian Express that the Mumbai Harbour has not been dredged for 4 years? Will the Vikramaditya ever come in to the Harbour .

Vikrant said...

Sir,
VMT for your replies,A few queries
1)how would you rate the USHUS sonar?
2)IS Pipavav building NOPVs for the IN similar to saryu class?
3)How many ships does the IN intend to send to the horn of africa for anti-piracy ops,isnt a talwar class for this an overkill?
4)If life cycle costs are considere then S-80 or scorpene calss seems to be the best option for P-75i,isn't it better to just give a follow on order for more scorpenes(with MESMA AIP)?
5)What is this tamasha being played out in Pak with TTP airstrikes,ceasefire,and then suicide attacks?

rad said...

hi Prasun
You have said that the performance of the apy -10 radar is degraded on the p-81 , why so is it because we did not sign the agreement ?. why did we not ask for a radar of other origin.
Now this raise another question of whether they allowed us to use our own data link from the sensors , in that case they would have to provide us with some sort of interface to the sensors for a datalink?
Talking about the new engine for the jag , what on earth happened to the proposal, has the garrett engine been selected or confined to the files of the MOD by ST anthony.


JEET SINGH said...

Any image or data about DRDO developed corner-shot ?

Jaidev said...

Prasunda,

1. What is the main role of French Crotale system and how effective it is today? Who are its competitors and how do they rate against it?

1A. When China can easily copy, reverse engineer and export these weapons (crotale, D-20/30 guns, BMP-3 IFV, fighters, ships, submarines, you name it); what stops India to do the same? Is it moral dilemma or we simply can't even reverse-engineer weapons?

2. You mentioned that HAL is making LM-2500 engine. But HAL was also developing KMGT with GTRE so what happened to that project? How much of LM-2500 is it making?

3.How is it possible that HAL is making a heavy fighter Sukhoi-30MKI, a light fighter LCA and now also would be making a medium fighter Rafale? In addition it also makes Dhruv, LCH, LUH, WSI, Dornier and other platforms. It may even make HTT, IJT, MTA, RTA and other aircrafts in future too. Its quite unique in the world for one company to make so many platforms, from such variety of OEMs? Has anyone did performance analysis of this company? Is there any possibility for an additional line of production coming up by a different company in India?

4. Pakistan was trying recently to buy the latest design of sniper rifles from DESERT Tech in US. There are also new versions of UBGL like X-25 and new version of assault rifles coming up? What stops Indian government from equipping its soldiers with best weapons in the world. When Pakis can buy it, can't we get it from the same source? Have you seen that in many instances, Paki forces have better weapons than Indian troops?

5. Is it possible to separately incorporate OFB companies into four separate specialist companies:
a. ammunition maker,
b. guns and rifles maker,
c. heavy vehicles maker
d. ancillary maker

Will India ever take this mammoth OFB head on and do some needful restructuring, instead of wasting more money on their "so called" modernisation, now being suggested by BAE?

Please enlighten.

AK said...

Prasunda,

1. How much an additional order of 6 Scorpenes would cost to India?

2. When the need is bigger, instead of going ahead with full order, why do we give piecemeal orders when we can get economy of scale and better prices for full order?

I read that we need 24 minesweepers but have ordered only 8 so far, even then the deal is not signed yet. We ordered Talwar class frigates in two batches with different prices. We want six subs now with different price and then will again go for another six with higher prices. Same case with naval helicopters.

Can't we estimate and place the full order and get good price with economy of scale?

Anonymous said...

http://imgur.com/a/DyZpK#11

sir could u please take a look at this ,this hacked documents claims problems with Su-30 MKI's MFD and HUD .

SUVO said...

Prasunda ,
How good the Kestrel 8x8 armored personnel carrier is.Chinese ZBL-09 Snow Leopard armored personnel carrier was developed by NORINCO have many variants like-105-mm fire support vehicle,122-mm self-propelled howitzer,155-mm self-propelled howitzer,120-mm twin-barrel mortar system,Self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicles etc.
How many varients kestrel have?
If there is ready acquisition of OFB made Dhanush gun,then where is the problem in case of the acquisition of Bharat-52? It is the DRDO's ATAG project which cause delay?

Anonymous said...

Hello sir,

As per media reports there is a explosion in INS kolkata. What would be the extent of damange and causes of this fatal accident ? Its very sad for navy to loose its frontline warship in peacetime :( sir, what would be the affect of this incident on induction of other three Kolkata class destroyer. Sir, do u see any conspiracy in these naval accident.

Thanks

Vikrant said...

Sir,
Now an accident on INS Kolkata,but it will be wrong to comment so soon.But really hope the mist is cleared soon.
Also hearing a lot about malfunctiong MFDs in our sukhois but aren't those israeli(elbit) and indian(samtel) origin so why would rosboronexport be pestered with it?

Raj Shekhar said...

Prasun,

How good is Russian Voronezh radar? How does it compare with American AN/TPY-2 and Indian Swordfish radar?

How many of these long range radars are necessary for Indian security?

Has Russia ever shown willingness to sell Voronezh radar? Has India ever thought of buying either Russian or American ones?

Has there been any effort for developing a common operational picture by all tri-dimensional sensors?

Thanks

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun Da ,

Japan is inducting the 6,800 ton Akizuki class destroyers this month.

In your assessment how are these destroyers technically superior to the Kolkata class destroyers ?

Thank You ,

Sujoy

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KAPIL: It is absolutely true. The Integrated Financial Adviser from the Union MoF who is attached to the MoD had withheld financial sanction for the dredging for the past 4 years.

To VIKRANT: 1) It is on par with its Western cylindrical-array counterparts. The key to superior sonar performance is not the sound reception, but the ability of the processors to fingerprint the acoustic signature using cutting g-edge algorithms. 2) Yes. That was revealed during DEFEXPO 2014. 3) Only one per patrol period. For su7ch missions, NOPVs are good enough, not FGGs or DDGs. 4) Follow-on orders for three more Scorpenes is now the best available option. No need for procuring AIP-equipped SSKs of a totally new design. Far better to therefore equip all existing SSKs of the IN as well as those on order with thin-line towed-array sonar transducers. 5) Air-strikes are meant for those TTP elements that are comprised of foreign mercenaries hailing from te Middle East, Chechnya, Uzbekistan & Tajikistan. Suicide attacks are being mounted by a new grouping hailing from POK that is focussed on spreading urban terrorism within Pakistan.

To RAD: No, not because of any agreement, but purely due to the US State Dept’s export control regulations. In any case, it concerns only the ground-mapping SAR resolution mode, which is of no significance as far as MR/ASW missions go. All data-links o board the P-8I are of Indian origin. The MoD in late 2012 raised certain ridiculous financial objections to the proposal for re-engining the Jaguars with Honeywell’s F125 turbofans.

To JEET SINGH: Nothing officially revealed so far.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JAIDEV: 1) Crotale is a SHORADS for low-level air-defence. The system has evolved over the years & today the MBDA-produced missile is the hypersonic VT-1, the same that is on the Crotale-NG/Pegasus. Following full ToT from France’s Thomson-CSF and Matra SA in the early 1980s, the Crotale has been produced by CPMIEC of China as the FM-80 & now the FM-90. China thus never reverse-engineered the Crotale & instead just officially bought over all its IPRs. 2) HAL so far has nothing to do with KMGT, which is exclusively under the DRDO’s ambit as of now. HAL has never been involved with any R & D activity concerning any kind of marine industrial gas-turbine. 3) Yes, it indeed is unique & therefore with each passing year, HAL’s annual import bills are rising dramatically since a lot of the raw materials as well as components are still being imported from abroad even for the Dhruv ALH & Su-30MKI. 4) Cutting-edge weapons & sensors have been inducted into service in India, but in small numbers since the reqmt is quite large & therefore such procurements are done on a staggered basis. Pakistan too is no better in this respect. 5) No need for that. Just undertake a strategic disinvestment & allow companies like Kalyani Group & TATA & Ashok Leyland to buy shares into such an OFB & one will see a sudden transformation as far as productivity & R & D results are concerned.

To AK: 1) Not much, & definitely much less than the acquisition price of the first 6 Scorpenes. 2) That could have been possible only if the UPA-1 hadn’t discarded with great haste the NDA govt’s non-lapsable defence modernisation fund that was introduced in early 2004. 3) The reqmts are far higher not just for MCMVs, but also for DDGs, ASW corvettes, & FAC-Ms. Price estimations can only be done if the Govt of India agrees to sanction money for the five-year defence plans. But this hasn’t happened since 2007 & consequently, planning can only be done for each fiscal year.

To Anon@9.48AM: The problems were identified some four years ago & concerned the state of the wiring harnesses of the AMLCDs, HUDs & one of the two mission computers (MC-1/2). Russia-origin wiring harnesses, especially those using barided-cables, are quite inferior in terms of technology when compared to their Western counterparts.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUVO: Kestrel is far better than any other imported solution since it has been developed in accordance with specific Indian reqmts in terms of serviceability & survivability. Depending on user-reqmts, the Kestrel family of 8 x 8 armoured vehicles can be easily evolved, just like the Piranha & Stryker families. Dhanush will in essence be an upgraded FH-77B & therefore only 114 units have been ordered, since all of them will make use of several components & sub-systems that will have to be cannibalised from existing FH-77Bs. DRDO’s ATAG project is just a paper design as of now, whereas the Bharat-52 is available TODAY. That’s the difference.

To Anon@5.02PM & VIKRANT: It was a material damage caused by a malfunctioning valve of a carbon-dioxide cylinder of the fire-extinguishing system in the DDG’s engine room. Most probably either a manufacturing defect or an installation/fitment defect caused by negligence, i.e. human error.

To RAK SHEKHAR: Russia-origin radars of most types are optimised for performance in the northern hemisphere & therefore they will always be sub-optimal when functioning in hotter areas where there is also increased moisture content & dust. Therefore, India has never shown any deep interest in such Russia-origin radars. India’s requires at least 40 long-range airspace surveillance radars. As for common operational picture, I had already explained it all in 2012 in my thread on IACCCS.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: Of course they are, because they’re all linked with the US C4I network through the cooperative engagement capability (CEC) architecture of the US Navy. Consequently, in terms of situational awareness, the MSDF & US Navy DDGs equipped with AEGIS combat management system are a class above the rest on a global scale.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

China Helping India to Indigenise Tyres for Su-30MKI & MiG-29K:

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/Desi-Tyres-on-Sukhoi-Fighters-a-Runway-Hit/2014/03/05/article2091158.ece

JEET SINGH said...

A film is being made on ISRO with a budget of 250 crores.Releasing on 26 Jan next year.
http://idrw.org/?p=34600

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Thank You Prasunda .

So what can the Indian Navy do to improve it's situational awareness capabilities ?

-Sujoy

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/one-dead-in-accident-at-vizag-ship-building-centre/article5764589.ece?homepage=true

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI0XMzDM8Yo

interesting conv with several indian products at the def expo

reg,
rajdeep

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

This is interesting: two passengers who were listed on Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH-370’s manifest--an Italian and an Austrian--were not actually on the flight but had had their passports stolen in the past two years in Thailand. Italy's Foreign Ministry said that the Italian man who was listed as being a passenger, Luigi Maraldi, was travelling in Thailand and was not on board MH-370. It said he reported his passport stolen last August. Austria's Foreign Ministry confirmed that Christian Kozel, listed on the manifest, matched an Austrian passport reported stolen two years ago in Thailand. Flight MH-370 vanished at 02:40 Malaysian local time today) and the B.777-200 carrying 227 passengers (154 citizens from China, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans, as well as two citizens each from New Zealand, Ukraine and Canada and one each from Russia, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria), including two children, and 12 crew-members last had contact with Malaysian air-traffic controllers 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu while flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,700 metres). MH-370 “lost all contact and radar signal one minute before it entered Vietnam’s flight information region (FIR)," according to Lt Gen Vo Van Tuan, Deputy Chief of Staff of Vietnam People’s Army. That timeline seemed to suggest that MH-370 stayed in the air for two hours--long enough to fly not only across the Gulf of Thailand but also far north across Vietnam. But Flightradar 24 said that the last radar contact had been at 1.19am, less than 40 minutes after the flight began. The tip of the wing of this same MAS B.777-200 broke off on August 9, 2012, as it was taxiing at Pudong International Airport outside Shanghai after the wingtip collided with the tail of a China Eastern Airlines A340. The TUDM/RMAF hasn’t yet confirmed whether or not its Martello S-743 airspace surveillance radar located at Kuantan was operational at the time of this incident.

Anonymous said...

Thanks sir for reply.will there be any delay in induction of ins kolkata due to this malfunctioning? Now news coming about a accident in arihant class nuclear submarine. How u see these strings of accidents haunting navy?

SUVO said...

PRASUN DA,
1)Does you know about what Tata's 155/52mm Self Propelled Tracked Gun?They list it as a product on the TATA Power SED website.
2)I think Bharat forge's 155 mm 45 cal gun is also better than OFB's Dhanush? What is your opinion.
3)Is there any chance of sabotage in behind Navy's series of accident?
4)What is your view on CRIMEA crisis.

financeblogger said...

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/hackers-attack-russian-communication-systems-india-s-defence-dealings-compromised/article1-1192610.aspx

From the article, it seems financial aspects have been compromised. Have the technical aspects of the fighter aircraft been compromised?

RAW13 said...

Prasun,

Your "to be concluded" never gets completed.

So why write? Why increase the excitement without delivering?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: Let’s not get started over what needs to be done on a grand-scale. Instead, let’s just focus on taking baby-steps, like developing a ship-launched version of the Nishant tactical UAV. Sadly, no one has even given any serious thought to exercising this option.

To Anon@12.14AM: Of course there will be a delay since a thorough investigation will now be undertaken to find out whether there was an isolated material failure or a larger systems failure. Such works takes months to reach a conclusion. In my personal view, even though Admiral D K Joshi had offered to resign two weeks ago, the RM should have refused to accept his resignation & instead should have instructed him to carry out a fleet-wide audit of safety-related issues, especially for those warships that were more than 12 years old, i.e. fix the problems, instead of trying to fix the blame. However, it does seem that Indians in general tend to take great pride & satisfaction in apportioning blame rather than expending energy & intellect on getting down to the root of the problems & overcoming them. Consequently, the end-result is never the ideal one & such incidents keep on repeating themselves.

TO SUVO: 1) Was. I was the first one to post its specs charts sometime in April 2012 & later in 2013. 2) The Bharat-52 is a 52-cal 155mm howitzer, not 45-cal. 3) None whatsoever. It’s all about human negligence. 4) It’s not a crisis at all as far as India is concerned. For China, it is a serious crisis.

To FINANCEBLOGGER: Not that I know of.

To RAW13: They do, in fact, if you read through my comments in those threads. Hence my reluctance to re-narrate what’s already appeared in the comments section. But in case of the Scorpene Procurement Saga, it will be uploaded in a new thread since this thread has already been stretched to its limit.

Rajeev Chaturvedi said...

Prasunda,

1. While you are writing a new thread on the Scorpene submarines, would you please deal with their relevance in the Indian Ocean, Deep Sea actions, comparison with other submarines in the vicinity and expected price for the follow on orders, even if speculative? Thanks in advance.

2. Gen Fumio Ota recently presented a paper in Asian Security Conference where he mentioned that one Shang class submarine is deployed in Indian Ocean - RIGHT NOW? Its bit scary. Is it possible? Please elaborate if you have some info on this.

3. The picture of Chinese surveillance aircraft which Japanese government has posted on its website has a long nose.Do you have any info on this aircraft?
http://english.sina.com/world/2013/0724/611827.html

4. Why do you think Crimea is an issue for China but not India?

Thanks so much.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAJEEV CHATURVEDI: 1) Will do, but not just about the Scorpene, but also about the larger issue of evolving a balanced undersea warfare force structure that includes SSNs, SSBNs & SSGNs. 2) Not possible, since no nuclear-powered submarine owned by PLAN has to date conducted such long-distance patrols. 3) That is a Y-8MPA equipped with Searchwater-2000 radar, four of which were imported from the UK in the early 1990s. 4) China is deeply disturbed by Russia’s actions since it views them as being expansionist in nature & at the same time China is extremely anxious not to get into Ukraine’s bad books since Ukraine continues to provide China with crucial military-industrial IPRs, especially those that Russia doesn’t want to. If today China were to support the calls for national self-determination of Russia-speaking Crimeans, then tomorrow China will be legally unable to counter similar calls emanating from Xinjiang & Tibet.

Anonymous said...

With so much bad news surrounding the history of Kilo class submarines in the Indian Navy , Prasun can you please elaborate as to why further Type 209 submarines were not built. There is hardly any news (positive or negative) on these German subs that are soldiering on. I guess no news = good news !

Raj said...

Dear Prasun,

http://idrw.org/?p=34673#more-34673

This article puts the professionalism of the India navy into question. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.


Raj

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.28AM: The ‘bad’ news concerning the Type 877EKM SSKs has been & is being spread by both retired senior IN officials as well as ignorant members of the ‘desi’ press corps who are technically unqualified to make value judgements. That’s why I’ve specifically spelt out above the TTSL & SLEP options available for the Type 877EKM SSK as well as details on the type of storage batteries used & their performance parameters. The problem therefore is not the SSK itself, but the IN’s protocols & schedules for maintaining its frontline assets in an environment where strict curbs on defence spending are imposed by the Union MoF & where even five-year financial planning is next to impossible since the MoD since 2007 has miserably even failed to approve funds for the five-year defence plans. When faced with such a dire situation, especially when on one hand the IN continues to expand its fleet strength despite the increasing cost escalations associated delayed delivery schedules for Made-in-India warships & on the other high inflation results in only a marginal increase of the annual defence budget in real terms, there is hardly any money left for spending on either upgrading shore-based MRO infrastructure or procuring the much-needed spares-support from both local & foreign OEMs even though the IN direly needs them due to its increased operational tempo post-26/11 (thanks to its penchant for providing coastal security in addition to maritime security). Add to all this the skilled manpower deficiencies that now exist, & you get a devastating cocktail that causes avoidable serviceability lapses, almost overwhelmingly due to human error (either unintended or negligence or deliberately taking gambles, instead of taking calculated risks). This, in totality, is what the IN today is faced with.

As for the four Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs, I’ve already detailed all the GOOD NEWS about them in this thread through both words & posters. The original plan was for procuring 8 of them (6 licence-built by MDL), but this plan was discarded by the MoD in 1987 under a self-imposed ban & since then no one even bothered to lift this not-legally-binding ban. When the 8 Type 877EKMs were acquired, each of them came for only US$113 million & that too their payments were to be made over a 14-year period, with minimal interest—an offer that was irresistible at that time.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAJ: That comment that I've just posted above gives everyone a far more holistic counter-narrative.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAJ: As for the observation ‘overly centralised, feudal, extremely hierarchical & classist, even from a military standpoint’, it is absolutely true & the same mindset prevails within the Army as well—something that does not go on well at all with the younger generation aspirational naval warriors.

Raj said...

Dear Prasun,

I was hoping that the report was not true. Does the MoD and the military brass understand the gravity of the situation?

Any chance of things improving when the new government comes to power?

raw13 said...

Almost 10% of the agricultural land in Ukraine is now owned by China.

So how do they support Ruski?

DefenseandAerospace said...

Prasun ,

Is India correct in supporting the Russian stand on Crimea/Ukraine .

Thanks

Von said...

What US navy service members think of the Indian Navy and the recent series of incidents:

http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.in/2014/03/news-flash-india-has-second-naval_8.html

http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.in/2014/03/a-message-to-people-of-india.html

Mr. RA 13 said...

Perhaps looks like to be the failures during the testing course of the up-gradations. May be due to the overstepping of the procedures. Or the procedures involved therein by themselves may not be fully safe. Kindly comment.

Mr. RA 13 said...

I fully appreciate your more and more emphasis on the MRO requirements, wherever needed.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAJ: Any report or comment that’s made by someone who wishes to remain unknown & unidentified in some chat-forum cannot be taken seriously at all. That alone should put at rest all speculation about the authenticity of such comments. Matters don’t improve anywhere due to mere changes in political leadership, UNLESS a determined, all-out effort is made to change & transform existing mindsets. For instance, how does one explain why there are separate toilets/shower rooms for officers & other ratings in all existing IN warships? Why do women continue to be denied the right to serve on board warships?

To DEFENSE & AEROPSPACE: Of course. Because even Russia does not want to usurp Crimea & is therefore only supporting & protecting the supporters of regional autonomy within Crimea so that they can counter-balance the ultra-nationalists who have seized power in Kiev through unconstitutional means.

To Mr.RA 13: VMT. During testing of battle damage control systems on board warships, there’s always a strong case to be made in favour of adopting stringent safety protocols, such as wearing emergency breathing apparatus & HAZMAT clothing wherever reqd. This seems to have been neglected by the IN’s supervising crew complement on board INS Kolkata.

Kalidas said...

Dear Prasun,

I have read somewhere in your comments that you would want Navy to consider Ship launched Nishant UAV.

Don't you think that Rotary UAV's would be most suitable for ships, especially with matured products like Camcopter being used by many European Navies in similar roles.

captainjohann said...

Why the retired officers are asking for Defence chief's of staff when it is battery cable or battery fire? How they are connected? A very informative blog for all.

Pierre Zorin said...

Have you ever heard of a fellow that brags of his new Tata Nano to his next door neighbour who owns a new Mercedes? well if you watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVO90NTM3Jc you will know what I mean. No one doubts the OPV is a good one but does it warrant such outlandish and exaggerated intro like in this news clip? By focusing on China they are sounding like keeping up with the Jones's!

Raj Shekhar said...

Dear Prasun,

1. Even inside the American nuclear submarines, there are separate bathrooms for Captain and XO and others. So having a separate bathroom in Indian ships is not new or unique? In addition, its only recently that India has started building ships indigenously. So far they have been coming from outside, who build them as per their own standards. So this blame is not at right place.

2. Letting women serve on ships is a serious issue and not only Navy but Army and Air Force both are considering whether women should be deployed at the front? I am sure you have seen the heated debates in American and Australian media regarding rapes and other sexual violence against women in services (Remember Tail-hook incident). So much so that in last two years, the US navy has kicked out more than 200 officers from their commands because of sexual violence. That has been giving jitters to everyone, around the world. Since we don't have shortage of recruits, India needs to be extra cautious as rape is a different kind of issue in India than overseas.

So your arguments against classism in Indian ships is right but examples are wrong.

Thanks

Vikrant said...

Sir,
1)By doing what Putin has done,doesnt he scare the daylights of other soviet successor states who have large russian populations?
2)I can understand sacrificing crimea and sevastopol but what can the west do at this point?
3)when will the scorpenes be delivered?Will it have atlas or blackshark torpeoes?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

KALIDAS: Of course VTOL UAVs would be a better choice, provided they’re available. That’s why last year itself I had advocated the development of a VTOL UAV variant of the LUH being developed by HAL. However, since that option isn’t being pursued, Plan B could well be the development of a naval version of the Nishant. UAVs like Camcopter are good for users like the ICGS, but the IN requires options with greater endurance.

To CAPTAINJOHANN: VMT. What they’re asking for is a streamlined decision-making command structure within the MoD, which was proposed way back in 2001 by the Group of Ministers on Higher Defence Management. This is a peculiar & bizarre case of one batch of ministers advocating it & the current crop of ministers being extremely reluctant to implement such structural & administrative reforms. As they say, shit happens!

To PIERRE ZORIN: You’ve put it lightly by classifying it as ‘outlandish’. I would have been far far less generous (LoLz)!

To RAJ SHEKHAR: 1) Even in Indian warships & nuclear-powered submarines there are separate bathrooms for the CO, XO & Chief Engineer. In the West it stops there whereas on board IN warships it doesn’t, as there are separate bathrooms for all other commissioned officers & non-commissioned officers. In fact, so territorial are the officers that in the past fistfights & brawls have broken out on this issue on board some IN warships. India started building warships way back in the 1960s & all imported designs like those of the Leander-class were modified to suit the ‘territorial’ mindsets of the IN’s officer cadre. 2) While India is still ‘considering’ whether or not to allow women to serve as ‘active combatants’, countries like China & Pakistan have already done so. Hell, Chins even boasts of all-female infantry formations & naval aviation squadrons. Incidents of the type highlighted by you will always occur, but that does not mean that one lives in a state of ‘perpetual shuddering’ & avoids taking ‘gender sensitisation’ seriously. Sooner rather than later the bull has to be grabbed by the horns in order to face reality. All three armed services of India are facing shortages of recruits & this has been the case since the late 1980s.

To VIKRANT: 1) It is called ‘standing up for protecting one’s core national interests’, something that India’s decision-makers would do well to emulate, instead of compromising with animals like the hijackers of IC-184 in December 1999. Sadly, folks like Jaswant Singh till this day never tire of offering excuses for giving in to the terrorists’ demands. Not even once has he stated or clarified whether or not a military-led hostage rescue was ever contemplated & if not, then why. 2) No one wants to forcibly grab Crimea & Sevastopol, least of all Russia, since Moscow wants the Crimeans to act as a counter-balance to the Ukrainian ultra-nationalists. 3) Between 2018 & 2024. Most probably the SeaHake heavyweight torpedoes, since Black Shark is no longer in production.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To CAPTAINJOHANN: Since you flew Learjets for the Govt of India, were they Learjet 29s or Learjet 35As of the ARC?

Murli said...

Prasun Sir ,

In 2012 the US Navy shot dead two Indian fisherman off the coast of UAE. However , Govt of India did not take any action against the US then stating that this has happened outside Indian territorial waters .

Had this incident happened in Indian waters , do you think that Govt of India would have taken action just like they have with the Italian Marines ?

I suspect Govt of India would not have done that so as not to antagonize the US .

rad said...

Hi Prasun
I think we need a laser guided antitank missile like the hell fire as well. We seem to be ok in developing the seeker as in the sudarshan laser guided bomb. Taking components from the nag missile it could be easily done . Is there any proposal on those lines.
Coming to females working in subs, warship ,with a group of intelligent hormone driven young men who havent seen a woman for months is a as good as keeping a burning torch next to gunpowder . Its disaster waiting to happen .
I believe the basic 2 urges of human life is to eat survive and procreate.The rest comes after wards . This is built into our genes and trying to go against it by quoting some law is stupid. There are instance where women lead men on, as well as they have a body as well.
That female journo on ndtv has been quoted as saying she did know what to do when she had to relieve her self in the front lines in kargil! and some arrangement was done for her !! comment splease

SUVO said...

PRASUN DA,
Indian army still use The 160 mm M58 Tampella heavy mortar? It played any role during kargil war?
Is there any news about self-propelled 120 mm or 160 mm mortar for Indian army?

Thakur said...

Hi,
Bharat-Forge is also working on ultra light howitzer....

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/in-two-years-we-have-a-field-gun-ready-it-costs-2-million/article5777719.ece?google_editors_picks=true

Regards...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MURLI: Against the US, India would not have taken any action at all, rest assured. In the case of the Italians the case was taken up merely because the Kerala State Govt took the lead & made a big noise about it, albeit in a wrong manner. What the State Govt should have done was to prevail upon the Centre to fight this case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, instead of making it a thorough mess of the entire legal procedure within India.

To RAD: The laser-guided CLGM already exists & has been designed to be fired from a ground-based launcher as well & it will be an ideal ATGM to be launched from the LCH as well (similar to the LAHAT). Regarding women serving as active combatants within India’s armed forces, you seem to be implying that every Indian male is a sexual predator & that there’s something congenitally wrong with them all. Answering nature’s call in the high mountains of Kargil is not as problematic is is made out to be, since there’s also local civilian population located there. If one ventures further, there are huge chunks of mountainside nullahs which can be made use of with discretion & during wartime there are no peeping toms lurking around in such areas, rest assured. The only problem-areas there are the accommodation quarters of the Army, since they’ve been designed entirely for usage by males.

To SUVO: Yes they still do & they have been in use since the mid-1990s. The Kestrel 8 x 8 can easily be modified to accommodate a turret housing a breech-loading 120mm mortar.

THAKUR: That’s a 105mm gun that was also shown mounted on a Humvee at DEFEXPO 2012. For mounting a Bharat-52 155mm/52-cal howitzer on a truck, Kalyani Group will be reqd to team up qith an Indian automotives giant like TATA or Ashok Leyland or Mahindra & Mahindra.

Pierre Zorin said...

"Relieving" whether male or female should not be an issue as when my train entered AP on my first visit to Madras, 6:30am and outside greeted me with male and female bums side by side on the trail tracks as my train went by - what a beautiful picture of equality er... :) secondly try the Youtube about female peeing and you get hundreds of situations and hundreds of venues - needless to say a greater response will arise in Porntube etc if tried! I even came across hundreds of blokes relieving themselves in Kolkata Salt lake Stadium's second tier right next to the stairs! Plus I am sure sound of someone ripping is far safer than machine guns rattle and showered by a spray of wee a lot more tolerable than being showered by shrapnels! Finally whether India or not, the advent of homosexuality has changed everything - yes I know I am using incorrect terms but well what ever you call it - now sex among females actually more common than heterosexual relationships even among heterosexual females! I hope you all had a good laugh in reading my comment....

SUVO said...

Prasun Da,
Thanks for answering.
Bharat-Forge already proved that what they can do.There gun is pure "Desi".Bharat-52 is the 1st Desi gun.Instead of Gov.backing & enough time,OFB can not make a 155 mm 52 cal gun.DRDO & OFB only cause delay & produce a backdated one.Bharat-52 already in hand,so what is the need of ATAG Project of DRDO.DRDO can not make a new turret within 12 years after Bhim canceled.They just mouted M-46 gun on a Arjun hull & remake a 1980's SPGH in 2014.Enough time is wasted.
Bharat-52 is also cheaper than the other imported gun.It should get the order from the defence establishment.
According to some news report,the defence ministry does not show any interest regarding this gun.
Prasun Da what did you say?

rad said...

HI Prasun
I never intended to portray the indian male in particular . I was referring the the male in general .Incidents like america booting out 200 service men is an example . Therefore to look at a young woman in a professional manner where men are forced to be bachelors for a period of the voyage is impossible in my opinion.
Does the CLGM have the same range and punch the hell fire ?.

Sourav Paul said...

sir,
i would like to draw your attention to the fact that thye bharat-52 is not a indegenious design as it is being marketed as...it is merely a 52 caliber version of famous GC-45 by Dr. Gerald Bull...the kalyani group simply bought out a factory from RuaG, switzerland and is marketng the gun as being indegeniously developed. although the gun is an excellent design..it is by no means cutting edge or revolutionary..in fact china has been using a 45 calibre version of the othrwise identical gun system for the last two decades..the new pakistani towed howitzer the Panther is also based on the same design ..so are the israeli sotlam atrom and the fh-2000 from singapore.

although the design is generally considered excellent ...it entails a crippling flaw i.e. the lach of a mechanical loading system as one present in the fh-77.this would mean that the crew operating the GC-45 or any of its derivatives have to load shells weighing 40-50 kgs by hand and then place the power rammer inplace to ram the projectile..while this is acceptable for short bursts...it would be impossible to mantain a high sustained volume of fire as the bofors gun did during the kargil war..or else would need double the crew..i feel the best option availabe to the indian army today is the FH-77B05 l52...it is almost same as the prevoius bofors guns and has an automatic loading system that can fire upto 75rounds/24 mins if you beleive their brochures.being similar to the exiting heavy artillery it would alsomean reduced training and logistics costs and there would also be the probabaility of upgrading the existing guns to this standard

Pierre Zorin said...

Prasun I know you share affinity with Malaysia and boy do I not feel for those families of the missing passengers! Don't know if you listened to the interview with David Learmount but he seems to imply - a perfect example of the Blind leading the Blind - the military radars of the SE Asian nations are hopelessly inadequate which is why so little is tracked. He is right isn't it? Like when the Malaysian military radar located an UFO on the west coast (not in the alien sense)should they not have checked it out immediately? And how could a civilian plane transverse the land masses without being sighted or tracked? I mean someone can fly such an airliner and drop a N bomb for goodness sake! Then the Chinese satellite imagery - is it carefully handpicked so as not to divulge China's true capability or it is how Chinese satellites are - crude and unreliable? Then what about the planes and rotary winged assets? If there is no other way besides naked eye to catch a glimpse of the debris, is it not best then for countries to only arm their navies with submarines because no one will ever locate where they are! How is it the US is not using its satellites which are so accurate, to help search and what about their N-Subs? I am totally baffled.The impression you get is that the West can give an accurate detail of someone using the toilet through their military satellites and yet can't locate a large aircraft?

Mr. RA 13 said...

The Malaysian airliner if not traced for long, will be considered something like Bermuda triangle or the work of the aliens.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUVO: In my view, the DRDO’s ATAGS & OFB’s Dhanush projects are both sheer waste of time, money & effort, period. The Bharat-52’s prospects instead can easily be further enhanced by developing its motorised variant, i.e. Mounted Gun System.

To RAD: Hellfire is far heavier than the CLGM & is optimised for destroying MBTs, whereas the CLGM will come in more handy when destroying hostile ICVs & APCs. In a typical battlefield engagement, while MBTs like Arjun will be entrusted with the task of locating & engaging hostile MBTs, the LCH armed with CLGM-type missiles should ideally be flying ahead of the friendly MBT-equipped formations to take out the accompanying hostile ICVs & APCs & also dug-in hostile infantrymen armed with manportable ATGMs & RPGs. To lend further direct firepower support to the Arjun MBT, existing T-72M1s can easily be modified into tank support vehicles by up-armouring their hulls & replacing their existing turrets with a new one containing a panoramic optronic sight, two 30mm cannons, plus four Nag-type ATGMs (something like the BMP-T configuration). Thus, the combination of Arjun MBT, NMP-T-type tank support vehicles & LCH armed with CLGM-type laser-guided ATGMs will be a formidable one. Throw in the LUH’s recce/surveillance version & tactical MALE-UAVs (for feeding data directly to the BMS of friendly armoured formations through the Battlefield Surveillance System network) into the equation & what you will then get is unrestricted & superior battlefield situational awareness when engaging in manoeuvre warfare inside hostile territory.

To SOURAV PAUL: The fact that the Bharat-52 isn’t an indigenous design was first highlighted by me way back in April 2012. No one else had explained it all till then. But it is of indigenous make, 100% as far as metallurgical inputs go. What makes it cutting-edge or revolutionary is the howitzer’s vectronics content, which is being outsourced from ELBIT Systems (again first revealed in my DEFEXPO 2014 Show Report-1 thread). Mechanical loaders are reqd only by those countries that are used to a high degree of automation in everyday life due to manpower constraints of the type prevailing in Scandinavia. France, the UK, the US, China & Russia do not face such constraints & consequently their howitzers—towed & motorised—do not require mechanical loaders. High-sustained volume of fire-assaults is never achieved by firing just one howitzer with MRSI capability, but by batteries of them, each with six howitzers, as was the case in mid-1999 during OP Vijay. Therefore, there is ample time to load rounds & charges per howitzer & no one is in a rush to do such chores with a single howitzer when the fire-assault task is evenly distributed among six howitzers per battery.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PIERRE ZORIN: He isn’t entirely right & let me explain why. When one talks about military radars, there are two types of them: one is for military ATC & the other one is for airspace surveillance. While the former is reqd to be operational 24/7, the same cannot be said for the latter since the latter has a service life of only 29,000 hours & is therefore used sparingly during peacetime only during exercises. What this Caucasian has been referring to are Malaysia’s S-743 Martello & RAT-31DL airspace surveillance radars located at Kuantan facing the South China Sea & at Penang facing the Andaman Sea. It is extremely likely that both these radars were not operational on March 8. Instead, what was operational & fully functional was the RMAF’s network of ATC radars (each with a primary surveillance antenna & a secondary surveillance antenna, plus a built-in IFF interrogator). What is, however, most surprising is that despite picking up an unidentified track (reportedly MH-370), the RMAF did not mobilise any of its combat aircraft from either Kuantan or Gong Kedak or Penang in order to investigate this unidentified flying object on the night of March 8. As for overhead recce satellites, they can detect objects only when such objects are floating on the surface. The mere fact that no part of the debris has so far been located by the satellites only means that MH-370 crashed in deeper waters (which excludes the Gulf of Thailand) somewhere in either the Andaman Sea or the eastern fringes of the Bay of Bengal. If that’s the case, then the debris will began to surface about five days after the crash.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: There’s another option to pursue: Although they’re Muslims, Malays by nature are extremely superstitious & take black-magic & witchcraft quite seriously & thus there are what is known as ‘Bomohs’ (witch-doctors or tantriks or shamans) who specialise in investigating paranormal phenomena & in communicating with troubled souls in the afterlife. There was a news-report two days ago published in Malaysia’s New Straits Times newspaper that Malaysia’s top ‘Bomoh’, Ibrahim Mat Zin, was already hard at work in trying to get in the root of this incident.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

It looks like A K ‘Saint’ Antony has given the term ‘Incredible India’ a wholly different meaning! Consider the following:

1) Two years ago, at the behest of former CNS Admiral Sureesh Mehta & the then CNS Admiral Nirmal Verma, A K Antony had signed on a policy decision that would exclude the IN’s submariners & naval aviators from becoming the CNS. When word leaked out about such a hush-hush policy directive, the then Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the IN’s Southern Naval Command, Vice-Admiral K N Sushil, himself a veteran submariner & co-incidentally also a Malayalee, obtained an audience with A K Antony at the latter’s South Block office & pointedly asked him as to why such a directive was approved, since this will reduce all the IN’s submariners & naval aviators to second-class officers & will also greatly harm the IN’s recruitment efforts. On hearing this, Antony reportedly held his head in his hands & sank into his chair. Although he later struck the policy down, his earlier approval had exposed his embarrassing cluelessness about what he had almost allowed to happen.

2) Details are now slowly emerging about the probable causes for the burning of cables on board the INS Sindhuratna. It seems substandard hardware was acquired, primarily because of the MoD’s insistence on implementing the globally discredited practice of ordering such hardware from the lowest (L-1) bidder—another one of A K Antony’s ideas that is threatening to compromise the performance parameters of most of the in-service military hardware of all the three armed services.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong in encouraging women in armed forces, since it opens up entire 100% more talent for selection.Also women being less testosterone guided are likely to fight todays intelligent battles more effectively. But, that should be the sole reason to incorporate them not to 'give equal opportunity'. That is a misnomer, because you cannot provide equal opportunity to everybody because hadicapped persons cannot be entrusted, similarly a less able bodied male also cannot (surprisingly some odd features such as flat foot, bend knees and sweating palms and also height). Just because it is a fancy word for empowerment, doesnt mean you mess up and test a system unnecessarily when it is vital. US or Western nations are only employing women now in active fronts, even them being fore runners in empowerment right from middle of last century. FIrst make all the sustainable amenities required to employ women, including certain specific requirements. US can and will to any extend go to ensure that their men (or women) are safe. Does India have such a trait. we dont provide basic amenities even to men. Second is the prevailing mindset which has to be changed stepwise. We see today police employing women with equal partnership (though feeble in numbers), there are no issues of discipline, orders or others atleast not reported widely. Such step wise increments could be tried in armed forces, by incorporating them in substantial proportion in non-combant or not high active duties. Then gradually they should be entrusted with other roles also. Most of advocates of women in combat are just coying with the idea for glamour sake. Just as one of my acquaintace joining airforce officer branch leaving the job finding it as only glamour no substance. they had to do swimming in swim suits in open pools which many may not find it very proper.
So if for substance sake the idea need to implimented rightly and consciously not for just the sake.

Sreenivas R

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

News report says the Malasian aircraft flew 5 hours as per data gathered from its engines.But am surprised that a commercial airline company allows its aircraft's engines to be monitored this way. Why does the engine manufacturer require details like what altitude the engines flew at?
Also how come security specialists not think of a scenario where the bad guys turn off the transponders and no body is able to track a very big object in the sky?

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/us-investigators-suspect-missing-malaysian-plane-flew-for-hours/457581-2.html

Aviation investigators and national security officials believe the plane flew for a total of five hours based on data automatically downloaded and sent to the ground from the Boeing Co 777's engines as part of a standard monitoring program, the Journal said.

One person told the paper that, as part of a maintenance agreement, the Malaysia Airlines plane was able to transmit engine data live to Rolls-Royce for analysis. The system sends data from the Boeing 777's two Trent 800 engines, giving details such as altitude and speed of the jet.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SREENIVAS R: VMT. Very well-explained.

To ANON@5.53AM: Nothing surprising about it at all. The trend-monitoring system is called ACARS. It has been universally adopted under the auspices of ICAO & is now standard practice for most airlines around the world. Manually turning off transponders is possible, but is almost never attempted except when a hijacking takes place. The other possibility is that a catastrophic event like a lightning strike damaged all on-board avionics, which again is unlikely since MH-370 was cruising far above cloud cover. Furthermore, on-board power failure would also have rendered the ACARS useless & inoperative, which we now know was clearly not the case. Therefore, when one narrows down the options left on the table, it seems that that the transponder was deliberately/intentionally switched off, after which the flight-path was changed. After this, whether the airliner was still under the cockpit crew’s control, or whether it was self-cruising for the next 5 hours on autopilot on a newly-set flight-path remains to be investigated.

Anonymous said...

Hello Prasun,
What kind of radar capabilities exist at INS Baaz in Nicobar? What types of surveillance capabilities are deployed by Indian Navy (Air Force/Army too?) around Andaman/Nicobar islands? How far out from Andaman/Nicobar islands do these capabilities exist?

Thanks in advance.

bipi@342 said...

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ins-sindhuratna-supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-pil/article5784127.ece?homepage=true

court getting involved its time to AKA to resign.

Heberian said...

Hello all, here is a good article about possibilities with MH370:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/03/todays-malaysia-airlines-370-news-what-it-means-that-apparently-it-kept-on-flying/284414/

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Prasun Da ,

A number of former Russian Army Commanders have said that the Alpha unit of Spetnaz was able to terminate all the top level commanders of the Mujaheddin within 3 months of their deployment in Afghanistan ?

Is this true and if yes why hasn't US Special Forces been as successful in Afghanistan ?

Re the Malayasia Flight MH310 I think some people might have tried to hijack the airline and tried to take it to Europe . This resulted in a fight inside the cockpit and the plane crashed somewhere in the Bay of Bengal or the Indian Ocean

Many Thanks ,

Sujoy

Rajeev Chaturvedi said...

Prasunda,

1. What is the TTR (Teeth to Tail Ratio) of Indian Armed Forces? How far it is from the optimum?

2. Why is Indian Army bloating so much? All others, US, China are decreasing their army while Indian one is adding more divisions and corps !! Especially when they are equipped with crappy rifles, leaky boots and gloves and have no NVG weapons. Can't Indian Army save some money and equip its troops better, rather than making a million man line on the border?

2. When Chinese Navy has 290,000 personnel, US Navy has 323,951 and Russian Navy has 133,000 personnel strength, why is Indian Navy running on only 58,000 personnel? Will it ever grow? Is it one of the reasons of recent naval incidents?

Thanks

rad said...

Hi Prasun
I think we can safely go in for the air borne version of the CLGM with a booster so that it may reach out to 8km which is about the range of a heavier hell fire missile. This should workout good for us as it seems the LCH cannot carry 16 nags due to weight problems. Wiki says that the lahat can go out to 13 km when air launched'. A minimum 8 lahats can be carried and the other weapon stations can carry a mistral and a rocket pod. This sounds good firepower. Apart from the fire and forget capability of the nag and bigger warhead what are the main advantages of the nag over the lahat type missile,leave alone the expensive PARS missile.
we can eve develop it further to be mounted on uavs with the lighter weight advantage.

Pierre Zorin said...

I know it is digressing but given the gravity of the situation and a perfect example of Blind leading the blind asking for some laxity Prasun. Given the authorities are now saying MH370 went westwards and used either of the two corridors, it is almost certain that the plane did not come to the Bay of Bengal as there is no where to go. But then if it headed south into the Indian Ocean unless it was wanting to crash into Diego Garcia there is no where either. This only comes to 3 conclusions: 1) Zaharie had been peeved off by something or even mental illness, been practicing on his flight simulators the same route over and over again until that fateful night and deliberately decided to end it all making a huge splash (literally) as far away as possible taking with him all those he once loved flying with; 2) Like TinTin comic Flight 714, he or other people found a lonely island where terror masterminds have done everything to hide the 777 and somehow managed to crash land it on a smaller runway perhaps using parachute or arrestor wire like a navy version - this could be any uninhabited island off Indonesia or India (Andamans as someone recently asked in this blog will it be the next Mumbai). Can't be Myanmar as the Chinese will wipe it out once found out! 3)A ship was waiting in the Indian ocean and the plane soft landed in water and was allowed to drown slowly they rescued the pilot or terrorists or both and a handful of passengers as hostage to make a demand in the near future. In this case the 2 Iranian youths were not just random asylum seekers but were working in liaison with the pilot who still would be the prime suspect OR someone else on that plane. But the fact Pilots are these days able to lock their cabin and the incident started so soon into the flight just as they were about to enter Vietnamese airspace and the fact another pilot who tried to contact the MH370 heard a lot of static and mumbling by the co-pilot ALL point to Zaharie Ahmad Shah or the Co-Pilot. I reluctantly resign to the view that a placid experienced grand father, Zaharie was ticked off somehow or by something for a while and he is the only guy who had the technical expertise and know how to switch of the communication systems. He was more than a handyman fixing electrical things and his flight simulator at home initially would have been used for hobby but after turned into a practice run machine where he rehearse his moves over and over again. Time will tell the truth; I am merely entering the mind of the culprit. But unless there was a hidden landing spot or a waiting ship there is NO benefit to anyone except fulfilling a sick mental obsession or a macabre hopeless act of suicide.What do you say?

raw13 said...

Hi Prasun,

These are interesting times indeed. From every corner of the world there is some troubling news. Lets hope we get through it.

Your comments wrt Anthony and CNS are quite interesting in that it seems that IN does not operate as an institution. Are the caste (no pun intended!) based concepts beginning to affect the Indian armed forces officer corp? If this is the case it would be a great pity.

Jaidev said...

Prasunda,

Is it possible to launch Klub-S missiles from Scorpene torpedo tubes? If yes, then why can't Scorpene's replace Kilo class submarines in Indian Navy?

As far as Brahmos is concerned, India will have Arihant class SSGN with VLS tubes for launching them in open seas. So why bother for another SSK with VLS tubes?

Why can't India order another 18 Scorpene subs from the same line of production? that will reduce the expense and streamline the logistics as well. The one problem definitely I see is MDL's ability to stick to deadlines but with private shipyard collaboration, it can be done with easy price.

Please explain.

Vikrant said...

Sir,
1)What are the enhancements in the P-15B DDG over the kolkata class?
2)The status of lr-sam missiles?
3)How does the IN intend to use the Arihant class boats till k-4 arrives because until then these subs cant even strike lahore with k-15s?
4)will the kamorta class vessels carry klub missiles and the status of the same?
5)

prateek said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPPasLag8K0

what do you say about this video sir.. ??
when incidents like these happen do you think nsg or mha warn or atleast reprimand the guilty minister ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.55AM: No air-defence or ATC radars at INS Baaz as yet. The air-defence radar at Car Nicobar is used only during exercises & only the ATCV radar at Port Blair is functional 24/7. There’s a sea surveillance radar installation at Indira Point. Primary aerial surveillance assets at A & N islands are ICGS-owned like Do-228 & IAF’s Mi-171s.

To BPI@342: Why resign now when he has only 90 days more left in office?

To HEBERIAN: Excellent weblink! VMT! It explains it all in layman’s terms, especially the stuff on ACARS, about which only aviators & licenced aircraft engineers are in the know of.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: That was in the early 1980s when the Afghan Mujahideen were a disorganized lot & the CIA hadn’t yet entered the fray. Post-9/11, US SOF elements/units have had several successes in nabbing Taliban leadership targets as well as several Arabs. If at all MH-370 was hijacked for the sake of proceeding to Europe, then the IFF transponders & ACARS & radios would not have been switched off at all, since switching them off meant totral loss of navigational safety & high vulnerability to mid-air collisions. My hunch is that it crashed somewhere along the western coast of Sumatra in northeastern Indian Ocean.

To RAJEEV CHATURVEDI: 1 & 2) IA is certainly a bloated service & to a certain extent even the IN & IAF are. For instance, in the 1970s the IN’s Petya-class ASW corvettes reqd only 13 officers but the IN managed to squeeze in 20! Even today, there’s plenty of room for pruning down the officer complement on board each principle surface combatant. Right-sizing & down-sizing can only be brought about after undertaking a strategic defence review aimed at identifying what exactly are the near-term, medium-term & long-term threats & how best to counter them. Without such detailed analysis, what is happening tgoday is just ‘arming without aiming’. 3) As I’ve said above, IN’s warships are p;resently over-manned. Furthermore, as per the IN’s projections, what it requires are 217 warships, submarines & auxuliaries & 74 aircraft/helicopters. But what is requires by 2022 are 160 naval vessels, 3 aircraft carriers & 60 warships. Presently the IN has only 76 vessels & 45 aircraft, i.e. the IN is 70% short of its stated reqmts.

To RAD: I agree. The CLGM/SMOH has a bright future if its design is allowed to mature further & morphe into user-specific versions, especially when they’re carried by MALE-UAVs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PIERRE ZORIN: Your first proposition sounds extremely plausible at this stage. Your second one is outlandish since there are no airfields in Sumatra or Christmas Island or Great Coco Island or even Port Blair that are capable of accommodating the B.777. 3) Your third option is also bizarre since a B.777 cannot replicate the slow landing speeds of an amphibian in the high seas & will therefore definitely result in breakup of the entire airframe upon hitting the waters.

To RAW13: Nothing stays unchanged forever. Everyday there’s a new sunrise. In South Asian countries, most institutions are still run along feudal lines & hence the dynastic politicism prevailing, as you know only too well. Caste has nothing to do with it at all. It’s just that everyone sitting at the very top acquires the mindset & attitudes of a jaghirdaar sooner rather than later.

To JAIDEV: It’s possible, PROVIDED the Kalibre-PLE fire-control system is installed on board the Scorpene as well. Type 877EKM SSKs still have a lot of life left in them & don’t require immediate replacement. Mechanical/electrical malfunctions take place only due to defective materials & shoddy MRO work at the Naval Dockyards. Therefore, the SSK is not to be blamed. I agree that SSKs with VLS for launching BrahMos-1 ASCMs doesn’t make any sense. Far better therefore to equip the S-2/Arihant, S-3 & S-4 with BrahMos-1s. What the INM requires is just another 3 SSKs like the Scorpene to add to the six already ordered. The most urgent need of the hour ae SSNs since most of the time in peacetime the submarine’s primary job is intelligence-gathering & monitoring of naval movements/exercises of neighbouring countries—tasks that are best done by SSNs since they can stay at sea for longer periods for up to 6 months if the crew complement is changed in the high seas itself. It is also highly economical to operate SSNs & not SSKs for such tasks.

To VIKRANT: 1) Greater usage of composites-built structures, bow-mounted panoramic sonar, & a new air-search radar in the rear mast. 2) Check out the latest thread. 3) Far better to use them as SSNs or as SSGNs. 4) What for? The P-28 ASW corvettes are solely for protecting India’s offshore deep-sea oil-rigs in the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal & Andaman Sea from hostile undersea warfare forces.

To PRATEEK: Firstly, that fella is not a minister at all. Secondly, by physically assaulting a NSG staffer in uniform, this fella has already committed a cognisible offense & can be charged & hailed for it, PROVIDED the concerned NSG staffer lodges a police complaint.

Anonymous said...

P.S. said: "Not possible, since no nuclear-powered submarine owned by PLAN has to date conducted such long-distance patrols."

You may want to re-check your sources. If they say there was no Shang in the IOR recently, you may want to get new sources.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.18AM: The sources at my disposal are beyond your comprehension, rest assured, & they certainly don't include deluded fan-boys who claim that the DF-21D is an ASBM.

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