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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Astra Mk1 BVRAAM Design & Performance Parameters


Reddy said...

Another Legal Tax Battle coming:

News: "GE makes conservative open offer for Alstom's India units"

India should be explicitly publish tax rules for these types of transactions.

Bhaswar said...


Correct me if I am wrong but I believe that you had stated that the BrahMos-M would not have a reduced diameter.

The video above taken at the Defexpo depicts the info board accompanying the model of the BrahMos-M (@ 16:58 mins)which states clearly that the diameter of the new system will stand at 510mm as opposed to the current 0.6m along with a reduction in the length of the system. Furthermore Dr. Pillai categorically states that the BrahMos-M will have a reduced diameter (@16:50 to 16:54 mins).

It seems that we are aiming at reducing the over-all dimensions of the BrahMos while retaining the published range of 300Km.

Furthermore, you had stated in your March 2013 post dealing with the Nirbhay that the ETBRDC has developed the engine which powers the Nirbhay, even if that's the case Mr. Avinash Chander seems to disagree. Ironically in the Astra thread in members were arguing about the engine of the Nirbhay and its origins and a senior member provided the link to the 2013 interview where upon being asked about the engine of the Nirbhay Mr. Chander categorically replied that the engine was imported and not indigenous.(, page 51, Mr. Chander's interview in the Geopolitics magazine)

So it seems that at least the current Nirbhay missiles are being or will be powered by a foreign engine?

SUVO said...

Prasun Da,
if there any chance of the production of Type-209 SSK with Stirling air-independent propulsion system for the Indian Navy.

sumit sen said...

dada.. when 'll drdo produce desi rf seekers for air to air missile?? And any updates on finsas??

Anonymous said...

Prasunda, as asked above, any news on the desi seekers? Is thers going to be an IR version?
Also, is there any news of a sam system based on this missile?

Thanks and Reagards

zubin said...

Prasun, eagerly waiting for a cutting edge article on any of the important issues. Look forward to insights based on your domain knowledge and detailed research. Not seen that for some time now!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To REDDY: The retroactive taxation legislation will be nullified by the next govt that comes into power at the centre.

To BHASWAR: What I had stated earlier was to refer to the poster shown by BrahMos Aerospace during DEFEXPO 2014, which refers to the dimensions of the BrahMos-Mini. Consequently, it would appear that all such data is best sourced from the concerned OEM. While the BrahMos-1 would not require downsizing when mounted underneath the Su-30MKI, it will require downsizing if it is to arm the MiG-29K & FGFA as well, as dictated by the laws of physics.

As for the propulsion system (turbofan) for the Nirbhay, it really is up to the likes of Dr Chander to both sow the seeds of confusion & clear them as well. If he stands by his statement about the Nirbhay’s turbofan being imported, then due to mandatory MTCR regulations coming into play, the Nirbhay should by all accounts be a tactical cruise missile & not a strategic nuclear-capable weapon system. On the other hand, since the DRDO has consistently claimed since 2007 that the Nirbhay will be a nuclear-capable strategic cruise missile, then automatically it means that all components of such a missile will have to be indigenously sourced. As for HAL’s ETBRDC having already developed a turbofan for powering cruise missiles, it is already a matter of official record since all the design/performance data of such a turbofan has been available to the public from HAL’s brochures since 2012. Lastly, if at all the Nirbhay’s turbofan is imported, then imported from whom & from where? The US? Russia? Germany? France? Ukraine? China? Let’s therefore hope that Dr Chander can throw some more light into such issues & clear up all the contradictions (which I’ve mentioned above) emanating from conflicting DRDO statements since 2007.

To SUVO: No. That option was lost forever the moment the Govt of India decided to licence-build the six Scorpene SSKs.

To SUMIT SEN & KAUSHIK: The ‘desi’ X/Ku-band RF seeker for BVRAAM has already been fabricated in the laboratory & is now awaiting dynamic & kinetic tests. It should become available for test-firings by 2017. As for IIR seekers for within-visual-range AAMs, the DRDO hasn’t yet taken up any R & D activity in this area. It would have been logical to develop a VL-SAM derived from the Astra BVRAAM, but for mysterious reasons, the DRDO has not pursued this option & has instead settled for the SR-SAM’s co-development with MBDA.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ZUBIN: If you're really in the mood for some serious soul-searching & taxing your mind in a purposeful manner, then I humbly suggest that you watch this:

Talk by Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Anoop Singh on India’s Maritime Domain: Untapped Opportunities

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Bhaswar said...


Pardon my error, for some reason it got stuck in my head that you had disputed the reduction in dimensions pertaining to the BrahMos-M.

1) Sir, the info-board/poster was from BrahMos Aerospace, which is the OEM for all intents and purposes. So, I guess the BrahMos-M is a go?How long do you think it will take and what sort of technological improvements will allow such a downsizing?

2) Sir can you provide links to said DRDO releases pertaining to the turbofan for the Nirbhay, beyond the solitary GTRE small turbine project pic?

3)MTCR breaches have occurred before, such as China handing over CSS-6 data and technology to Pakistan. While the BrahMos is not nuclear capable, since we claim that the IA version can now hit out at 500km wouldn't that also be a violation of the MTCR? Surely Mr. Chander being the boss knows what he's talking about?

GTRE and DRDO would be beating their chests raw if they had developed a successful turbofan which met the required parameters of a LRCM, NO?

There must be some official release or document which details the indigenous engine powering the Nirbhay?

4) Regarding the intent to procure an altogether "new" wide body platform for the India AWACS program, is it a wise move in terms of commonality and having to maintain a diverse fleet of platforms for the singular role of AEW&C? If there is no issue with the A-50 platform for our current AWACS then why not settle for the same for the India-AWACS program.

Otherwise the IAF will end up with three concurrent platforms operating (that too each different platform will be procured in limited numbers which might render the prospect of ToT for maintenance and MRO sparse) for just the AEW&C role.

5)Do you see any shift in the MoD's inane policies with the change in government?

Such as-

a)Planned expenditure in defense.

b)Dedicated non lapse-able funds for MRO and acquisitions/upgrades. Proper practices such as ensuring that platforms/systems/vessels of a certain "age/vintage" have a requisite quantum of spares available at hand and proper procedures are followed?

c)Not making ASININE errors such as in the case of the Barak SAM for IN and its integration issues thanks to some weird lacuna in the contract itself regarding integrating the fire control system ( as revealed for the first time by you)

d)Stops talking endlessly about setting up in country semiconductor foundries and in country set up for the complete refining process of strategically important materials such as titanium at a large scale instead of having a sponge plant here and another there?

Anonymous said...

Previous NDA Govt started Golden Quadri Lateral before which the NH roads (leave alone non-NH roads) are the hell highways.

Even today the road infrastructure in India is severely sub standard in terms of standardisation of roads, such as road width and vehicle width, markings, sign boards, approach roads, all weather support, rain water drainage, support road (called non service lane), Traffic management, emergency medical support, restricting animals, people and 2 wheelers on NHs, round abouts, and bypasses.

The next is schools; govt schools lack basic amenities and human resources. Schools do not have proper buildings, benches, toilets and the school teachers do not know what and why they teach.

The same is govt hospitals.

China is building massive ports and railway lines.

we (modi) need to spend billions and billions on Infrastructure in India to meet the current needs leave alone competing the west or being called as super power.

One solution is converting all the electricity into nuclear, so that gas and petrol imports can be reduced. Petroleum imports must be only for vehicles.

India should promote electric vehicles, where the electricity is from water dams or from nuclear plants.

rad said...

Hi Prasun
The sr sam is going to be a duplication of work. I think drdo is still unsure of itself and needs hand holding to get more knowledge.
What ever happened to the Israeli Indian venture of making IIR and active radar for missiles
WHy does the astra have large wings when all other aam have small mid section wings like the amraan , sd-10, etc, is there some aerodynamic trade off.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
Japan has finally abandoned its pacifist stance and decided to export defence items. Don't you think this is an opportunity for India for fruitful joint ventures and a check on China's expansionism?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
Please review the above 3 articles .
All three articles are critical on India' nuclear policy.

The authors think India's stance of using large scale nuclear attack if confronted by small scale cruise nuclear attack from pakistan, coupled with incapability in sections of counter-terrorism, intelligence gathering on terrorists across Pakistan,surgical strikes on terrorists etc (precise retaliation to 26/11 type of attack) is dangerous and irresponsible.

Please share your views on it.


Anonymous said...

everything comes down to a single point in such articles.. India is not dancing to the tunes of US... period.

Ofcourse, we have serious issues to solve.. but that does not mean we need to dance to the yankee tunes..

also dear prasun, could you please publish the comment i made earlier regarding TN and Kerala islamisation which might have find it's way into spam. Thank you.

Mr. RA 9 said...

How much useful and effective the Astra will be in the mountainous regions of Tibet.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BHASWAR: 1) Of course the BrahMos-M is on track to emerge by the latter half of this decade. Downsizing isn’t a problem at all, technologically speaking, since the BrahMos-1 was originally designed (as the Yakhont) for launch from SSGNs & therefore was required to have an appreciable fuel-load on board, plus a longer solid-propellant booster rocket. 2) No press releases are available from the DRDO< since it isn’t the DRDO which has developed the turbofan. HAL is its OEM & rightly so since it was HAL that had developed the small PTAE-7 turbojet in the mid-1980s for the Lakshya pilotless target drone. 3) You need to do some research on timelines pertaining to China’s accession to both the NPT & MTCR. All missile- & WMD-related transfers to Pakistan & KSA from China took place BEFORE China’s entry into the NPT & MTCR. Only BrahMos-1’s Block-3 can attain a range of 550km & what remains to be determined is whether such missiles will be kept in a recessed state & will be loaded with fuel & then loaded into a cannister immediately BEFORE hostilities, or even in peacetime. Till to date, no one from India has officially clarified the posture regarding BrahMos-1 Block-3. HAL published a brochure two years ago hailing its development of the turbofan while the CEMILAC had in early 2011 itself confirmed the configuration of Nirbhay during Aero India 2011. To me, that entire interview was nothing but a hilarious piece since the questions (like asking about aerospikes for SLBMs & propfans for cruise missiles) asked by the interviewer were as dumb as were the answers. And this is nothing new, since Dr Chander’s predecessors had given some equally hilarious answers in the past. So, if you still want to believe what Dr Chander says, then you will also then have to accept the possibility of the Nirbhay being a 300km-range non-nuclear tactical cruise missile & if that’s indeed the case, then Dr Chander should have no limitations in revealing the supplier (OEM) of the imported turbofans. 4) In my personal view, it is far better to stick to the Ilyushin-designed airframe & Beriev-designed radome for AEW & CS platforms for the sake of simplified logistics. 5) It all boils down to availability of financial resources. No money, no gain, meaning the economy first needs to be sorted out. Without that, NOTHING ELSE will be possible. Next, one must first seek answers to far more basic questions, like how come the US with a population of only 35 crores can sustain itself as the world's foremost superpower, while India with a population of 120 crores is classified as a refusing-to-develop-country? Maybe that’s why India keeps talking for more than a decade about the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, while other countries like China would probably have operationalised such a corridor in 3 years flat!

And how to sort out the macro-economic fundamentals? Perhaps this could prove illuminating for you:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: The Indian-Israeli tie-up is precisely what has produced the dual-mode seekers for the PDV. AS for the Astra BVRAAM’s large mid-body control fins, they’re required since the missile’s thrust-vector control nozzle’s design is not as optimised as those of its Western/Israeli/Russian counterparts.

To SNTATA: Joint ventures? Who would want to create such JVs, be it from Japan or from anywhere else? If you don’t wanna believe me, then watch this:

To MUTTU: Remarks & observations by such arms-control wonks are only to be expected. They don’t even know that none of the cruise missiles in South Asia are nuclear-armed. That’s how shallow their knowledge-bases are.

To Anon@1.43AM: I had deleted it because you had failed to make use of an identifiable handle. Kindly get a handle by registering with Google & then re-post that comment. It is always good to stand by & be held accountable for one’s comments/observations, instead of lurking in the dark as an Anon.

To Mr.RA 9: It will be as effective as any other BVRAAM, PROVIDED it is delivered with the very same performance parameters as have been advertised by the DRDO.

Reddy said...

Thanks Prasun for your answers.

In that video you provided, have you seen the Indian guy who sat among the three on the dais and his behaviour?
I feel like some one should slap him and thrown out and strip his position from what ever organisation or govt position he is representing. His behaviour is just absurd.

Reddy said...

his name is Rajat Kathuria as I found in other videos..

rad said...

hi Prasun
Thrust vector control on the astra?!. News to me , no body talked of tvc so far.Neither did the models depict that in the aero india show,If true very welcome. please give more dope on the aero dynamics of the astra. As far as i understand larger wings give greater lift and hence greater maneuverability at the cost of drag. I wouldn't be surprised if the mk2 version has a smaller set of mid body wings.Is Israel a member of the MCTR.
Its nice to hear that the israeli Indian venture is going strong, but as usual the drdo bums claim it to be desi. Now what is this news coming out that the k-4 vehicle attained as range of 3000km+! . I do remember that you had mentioned that it went to 2000km. Well if the report is true then i would believe that 4000km + is easy. This is regard to the Chinese who say that the agni 5 can reach 8000km when it was trialed for 5000kms.
[please comment.

srikar kashyap said...

Hi this might seem a little bit off topic but is it possible for you to post some images of CIC of Indian ships like Shivalik or Delhi or Talwar?

raw13 said...


Have a look what Dr. Peter Lavoy recently retired as the U.S. acting assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs is saying about Pak nukes:

"Today Pakistan's nuclear weapons trajectory is the single most troubling concern in Washington and in other capitals. In particular, I am referring to the expansion of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program to include efforts to significantly increase fissile material production to design and fabricate multiple nuclear warheads with varying sizes and yields, to develop, test and ultimately deploy a wide variety of delivery systems with a wide range to include battle field range ballistic delivery systems for tactical nuclear weapons as they are often called," said Lavoy.

The Link:

Indeed the Cruise Missiles are not nuclear armed, waiting to be launched. None of the missiles in south asia are in this state. However once the hostilities start, rest assured this will not be the case. The warheads will be assembled for ballistic and cruise missiles. The babur CM is a strategic weapon and as such is currently deployed under SFC and is nuke capable (infact was designed for nuke delivery!). Just waiting for the warhead.

raw13 said...

Iran used to be paks most reliable allay and as Mr Butto once said. Iran helped us more in 65 & 71 war than all the gulf countries put together. Why is it trying to be Paks friend again?, because in the gulf/CA pak is a game changer. Iran wants it to be on its side or neutral. Also iran knows pak always stands by its friends (in the ME the memories are long), even under extreme pressure. That buys you credits which no money can. India back stabbed iran few times and that really hurt iran.

Anonymous said...

paki reliability????
huh, u r a typical paki.