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Thursday, June 30, 2016

DRDO-Developed, BDL-Built Varunastra HWT Handed Over To Indian Navy For Service-Induction

It was in the late 1980s that the DRDO’s Vizag-based Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) initiated R & D work on developing three types of torpedoes: a lightweight torpedo, a heavyweight electric torpedo, and a heavyweight thermal torpedo. 
The first, known as Torpedo Advanced Light (TAL), was meant to be a 220kg torpedo capable of being launched from warships and helicopters, have a top speed of 33 Knots in both deep and shallow waters, incorporate a self-homing guidance system, and was to be powered by electric batteries which would last for six minutes. It was only in 1998 that the TAL’s technical trials began, while user-trials commenced only by 2007. The IN began service-inducting the BDL-built TALs in 2011.  
It was on December 24, 2008 that the NSTL had stated that the ‘Varunastra’ heavyweight electric torpedo being developed by it will be ready for service-entry by 2009. The Varunastra, weighing 1.5 tonnes, having a length of 7.6 metres and a 40km-range, was meant to be launched from shipborne twin-tube launchers already developed indigenously by Larsen & Toubro. However, it was only on September 26, 2013 that the NSTL stated that it had completed the creation of state-of-the-art facilities required for the design, testing and prototype production of heavyweight torpedoes like the Varunastra, meaning user-trials of the Varunastra were then still two years away. The initial order for 63 Varunastras will be fulfilled by Bharat Dynamics Ltd.
The NSTL-developed Shakti thermal torpedo runs on monopropellant fuel, which can burn without oxygen and so is useful in underwater operations. Under development since 1996, the NSTL took nearly seven years to develop the engine and fuel for Shakti. The monopropellant fuel can generate 400kW of power and enable the Shakti to move at faster speeds (almost double that of an electric torpedo) and at depths of up to 600 metres. Technical trials of the Shakti are still underway in shallow waters, and user-trials won’t commence till 2016 at best.
CMS-Torpedo/ASCM Compatibility Package Of Type 877EKM SSK
CMS-Torpedo/ASCM Compatibility Package Of Class 209/Type 1500 SSK
CMS-Torpedo/ASCM Compatibility Package Of CM-2000 Scorpene SSK
CMS-Torpedo Compatibility Package Of 
S-2/Arihant SSBN
India-Origin ASW Upgrade Package Offered For Vietnam People’s Navy’s Three 
Project 159 ASW Corvettes

Friday, June 17, 2016

EUROSATORY-2016 Show Report

Thanks to India’s present-day crop of ruling politicians being afflicted with an incurable strand of the hand-foot-and-mouth disease, the Indian Navy (IN) now is being made to pay a heavy price in terms of capability losses at a time when the tempo of its annual exercises with its international partners is steadily increasing.  
Selex Galileo till October 2012 was hopeful of winning a contract for participating in the ‘deep-upgrade and service life-extension’ of the IN’s AgustaWestland Sea King Mk.42B and Kamov Ka-28PL ASW helicopters. Along with Rosoboronexport, it had earlier submitted an industrial participation proposal for the mid-life upgrade of 10 Kamov Ka-28PL anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters. Selex Galileo had proposed to install the ATOS-LW combat management system on the Ka-28PL with Selex ES’ Osprey AESA-MMR, which is a low probability of intercept (LPI) radar with high gain and low sidelobes. Field evaluation trials (FET) of the Ka-28PL with ATOS-LW system were concluded successfully. Selex Galileo was also selected—following exhaustive and thorough evaluations on a global scale being conducted by the IN—to supply the Osprey for 14 Sea King Mk42B helicopters which were to be upgraded as multi-role platforms for use as both over-the-horizon target acquisition and airborne early warning. In addition to this, Selex Galileo had in 2012 signed a contract with the IN to supply ESM suites for six Tu-142M LRMR/ASW aircraft.
Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s UK-based Selex ES subsidiary has developed the X-band Osprey, an AESA-MMR that electronically scans 360 degrees without using a “spinning” slotted-array antenna. It is the world’s first lightweight e-scan system with no moving parts. The first Osprey has already flown on the first of 16 AW-101 Merlin helicopters destined for SAR duties with the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The Osprey has secured two more customers in the US for fixed-wing applications, starting with Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C Fire Scout VTOL UAV. The Osprey’s programmable signals processor (PSP) also incorporates algorithms from the Vixen air-to-air and PicoSAR air-to-ground AESA-based radars. It is easier to mount, having air-cooling and no pressurised waveguides. On the Norwegian AW-101, three antennae are separately located in the nose and on either side of the helicopter. Space requirements are minimal, and with no need for a belly-mounted radome, the helicopter’s ground clearance is maximised for challenging rescue landings on rough terrain. The antenna distribution is via a multi-array interface, while the radar’s other two black boxes are the receiver/exciter and the PSP. Two- and four-antenna configurations are also possible. Each antenna weighs 11.3kg and contains 256 Gallium Arsenide transmit/receive modules. Each antenna provides 120-degree coverage. The radar feeds are handled by a centralised set of processing boxes, which can manage up to four radar panels (although only three are needed to provide 360-degree coverage). Besides the functional and performance improvements offered by AESA technology, perhaps the key advantage of Osprey is that its arrays can be mounted higher on an aircraft's fuselage than traditional mechanically-scanned radars. This is particularly advantageous for use on helicopters where mechanical radars normally have to be mounted on the underside of the fuselage in order to be able to rotate to provide 360-degree coverage. This puts the radar in harm’s way in case of a hard landing and also puts major size limitations on the size of the array due to ground clearance restrictions. Using multiple fixed arrays sidesteps this issue, while the lack of moving parts greatly improves reliability and dramatically reduces maintenance requirements.
Meanwhile, the charts below clearly illustrate the sheer amount of cooperative R & D work that goes into the development of AESA-MMR technologies, from which various civil and military families of AESA-MMRs are developed for surface-to-air, air-to-air and air-to-surface applications, thereby ensuring economies of scale and guaranteeting the total R & D project amortisation costs.
Adoption of a piecemeal approach like that of the Defence Research & Development Organisation’s  (DRDO) Bengaluru-based Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) will not get anyone anywhere and will only lead to the utter wastage of the Indian taxpayer’s money. For instance, one cannot focus exclusively on developing AESA-MMRs like the AESAR-FCR while at the same time trying to develop the XtraVision (XV)-2004 naval MMR with slotted-array antenna.
It will also be interesting to see how exactly the Indian Air Force (IAF) succeeds in obtaining financial allocations for in-country product-support activities concerning the NO-36 Byelka AESA-MMR of the FGFA, the IAI/ELTA Systems ELM-2052 AESA-MMR for the Tejas Mk.2 light MRCA (the Ruskies too are offering Phazatron JSC's ZHUK-AE FGA-35 AESA-MMR for this platform) and the THALES-supplied RBE-2 AESA-MMR for the Rafale M-MRCA. 
For, till to date, no air force in the world has ever attempted to accomplish a feat that calls for the procurement of three different types of AESA-MMRs from three different OEMs for three different types of MRCAs. Well, it actually ought to be four if one includes the AESA-MMR version of the RLSU-30MK NO-11M ‘Bars’ that is destined for the Super Su-30MKI.
Meanwhile, the IAF is close to deciding on the type of air-mobile rapid intervention/light strike vehicles that are required for the Garud special operations forces. About 80 such vehicles, armed with 12.7mm heavy machine-guns and lightweight ATGMs (like the laser-guided LAHAT), are required for undertaking combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) operations inside hostile territory during wartime.
The IAF has shortlisted Polaris Defense MRZR-4 ultra-light ATV and Oshkosh Defense S-ATV, both of which can be carried underslung by either the Mi-17V-5 or the CH-47F Chinook. For CSAR operations, the IAF, depending on the mission profile, intends to use both the armed Mi-17V-5s and unarmed CH-47Fs, while the armed Rudra helicopter-gunships—64 of which are being procured by the IAF—will be acting as escorting pathfinders.
But there is a crucial difference between the Rudra for the Indian Army and that for the IAF. The former are to be armed with medium-range ATGMs, while the latter are not. In addition, as the slides below illustrate, the former have the DRDO-developed and BEL-built Tarang narrow-band radar warning receivers (RWR), while the latter have SaabTech-supplied wide-band RWRs. However, both variants have the same SaabTech-supplied MAWS sensors and laser warning receivers.
In another development, RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems has commenced deliveries of 8,356 Spike-SR shoulder-fired ATGMs to the Indian Army’s SF (Para), Navy’s MARCOS and the IAF’s Garud SOF formations. Originally fitted with a tandem high-explosive anti-tank warhead to defeat armoured vehicles equipped with explosive reactive armour, the Spike-SR now comes with a new penetration blast-fragmentation warhead with a delay function. This has been designed for use in urban operations, with the high-explosive fragmentation warhead penetrating the bunker or structure before detonating with lethal blast effect. The standard Spike-SR had a maximum range of 1km, but this has since been increased to 1.5km to provide the operator with greater standoff capability. The Spike-SR weighs only 9.8kg, and the missile is fitted with an uncooled imaging infra-red seeker and auto-tracker, and thus operates in the fire-and-forget mode. Once fired, the launcher and its associated day sighting system are discarded. 

Pakistan’s Growing UCAV Fleet
Photos of a crashed Pakistan Air Force (PAF) unmanned drone near the Headpaka area in Mianwali June 18, 2016 have at last revealed that Pakistan has become the first export customer of the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group-developed Wing Loong-2 UCAV. The crashed UCAV had taken off from PAF Air Base M M Alam,  6km away from the crash area. Earlier on January 15, another Wing Loong-2 UCAV had crashed in Chiniot.
The Wing Loong-2’s airframe comprises a slender fuselage with large butterfly fins and a smaller ventral fin, and a straight centre-section, outboard of which are tapering sections leading to tips with winglets. The powerplant is a variant of the 600hp WJ-9 turboprop engine. The UCAV can carry up to 12 laser-guided/TV-guided PGMs in pairs on its six underwing pylons, with target acquisition/targeting being achieved through an under-nose optronic sensor turret. 
The Wing Loong-2 has a wingspan of 67 feet, 3 inches (20.5 metres), maximum takeoff weight of 9,260 lb (4,200kg) and an endurance of 20 hours. The stated external payload is 1,060 lb (480kg), while the service-ceiling is 29,500 feet (9, 000 metres). Three hard-points under each wing enable this UCAV to carry BA-7 or BA-9 laser-guided air-to-surface missiles, YZ-212 laser-guided bombs, YZ-102A anti-personnel bombs and 50kg LS-6 TV-guided bomb.
On-board sensor payloads vary, depending upon customer requirements, and can include an optronic sensor/targetting system or a synthetic aperture radar, plus radar-warning receivers. Optional payloads include systems for electronic reconnaissance, electronic countermeasures, communications relay, photo-reconnaissance, and other intelligence collection sensors.
The Wing Loong-2 becomes Pakistan’s second UCAV acquisition, the first being the Pakistan Army-owned Cai Hong-3A/Al Burraq, which was developed by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (also known as the 11th Academy), which belongs to the China Aerospace Science & Technology Corp or CASC (also known as the 701st Research Institute). The Cai Hong-3A/Al Burraq comes armed with YC-200 laser-guided guided-bombs and AR-1 laser guided air-to-surface missiles.

Tracing The Common Lineage Of NORINCO’s ASH-1 & Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd’s Bharat-45
In terms of both external looks and performance parameters, NORINCO of China’s ASH-1 155mm/45-cal towed howitzer and the Bharat-45 166mm/45-cal towed howitzer from India’s Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd (KSSL) are identical. And that’s because both are derivatives of the baseline GC-45 155mm/45-cal towed howitzer that was originally designed by the Canada-based Space Research Corp (SRC), which was created and owned by the legendary ballistics expert, Dr Gerald Bull, since the mid-1970s.
The GC-45’s general design emerged after two decades of work by Dr Bull with fin-stabilised, extended-range full-bore (ERFB) ammunition: a pointed shell with much lower drag at supersonic speeds. For long-range applications Dr Bull had added a base-bleed system (originally invented in Sweden) that could be screwed onto the standard shell, as well as an even longer-range artillery projectile with a rocket booster. The GC-45 towed howitzer designed by Dr Bull to fire such projectiles had a 23,000 cubic cm (1,400 cubic inches) chamber, a 45-calibre rifled barrel with 1/20 right-hand twist fitted with a conventional muzzle-brake. Its breech was a conventional screw with interrupted thread. In 1977, Dr Bull came in touch with South Africa’s state-owned ARMSCOR holding company, which subsequently designed a new mobile mounting that was able to handle the increased recoil. It used a sole-plate to lift the gun-carriage to take the four wheels off the ground. The chassis had the option of being powered by a small diesel engine acting as an auxiliary power unit, driving the hydraulics that could set up the howitzer in two minutes, and move it short distances. The resultant 155mm/45-cal towed howitzer became known as the G-5. Meanwhile, Dr Bull outsourced series-production of 155mm ERFB projectiles from the Spain-based Santa Barbara under a US$30 million contract. These were later shipped directly from Spain to South Africa in order to avoid the then prevailing international arms embargo against South Africa. The G-5 entered service in 1982. 
In 1982 itself, NORICUM, the subsidiary of Austria’s VOEST-Alpine AG, purchased the design rights to the GC-45 after SRC moved to Brussels from Canada. NORICUM made a number of design re-engineerings to the baseline GC-45 design, and as a result the GHN-45 155mm/45-cal towed howitzer emerged. First export customer of this howitzer was Iraq, which placed a $300 million contract for 110 GHN-45s, along with 41,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition whose production was outsourced by Dr Bull’s SRC from Belgium-based PRB. Deliveries were made in 1984 and 1985. The number of GHN-45s supplied to Iraq was eventually 200. Since both Iran and Iraq were under a UN-imposed arms embargo at that time, the GHN-45s were shipped to Iraq via Jordan. 
Meanwhile, three years earlier, in 1980, in response to an engineering contract awarded to SRC by China’s state-owned China North Industries Group Corp (NORINCO), Dr Bull began fabricating the155mm/45-cal GC-45’s prototypes with the help of Santa Barbara of Spain. By 1983 these were successfully field-tested by China’s PLA Army in the desert region of Baotou in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, following which NORINCO began series-producing them under the designation PLL-01.
NORINCO’s 674 Factory (Harbin First Machine Manufacturing Limited Company), 123 Factory (Heilongjiang Hua’an Industry Group Company) and 127 Factory (Tsitsihar Heping Machine Shop) were the principal production authorities of the PLL-01 and its related ammunition family since 1987. This was the PLA Army’s first field artillery howitzer to have adopted the NATO-standard 155mm barrel diameter instead of the Soviet-/Russian-standard 152mm. 
For export, the PLL-01 later became known as the ASH-1, with 18 of these being sold to Algeria in 2014 along with NORINCO-supplied Type 702D meteorological radars, Type 904-1 weapon locating radars, and Battalion/Battery Command Post vehicles.
In 1986, NORICUM was renamed NORICUM Maschinenbau und Handels GmbH, and in October 1989 it was renamed again as Maschinenfabrik Liezen AG (MFL). Now, fast-forward to 2012 when India’s KSSL imported from MFL a service version of the GHN-45 (which has since been renamed as the Bharat-45), and at the same time also bought, knocked down and transported to India an entire field artillery industrial production facility from RUAG of Switzerland. 
At Mundhwa near Pune, a previous heat-treatment workshop is today a facility for making 125mm and 155mm barrels, breeches and muzzles, making it India’s only private-sector company, and the second one in the country, apart from the Kanpur-based production facility of the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board, to have this capability. Production-engineering machinery imported from RUAG can produce barrels up to 9 metres in length, while the rifling and autofrettage machines can make bores ranging from 105mm to 8-metre long 155mm/52-cal. High-strength steel alloys for the barrels are sourced from the neighbouring Kalyani Carpenter Special Steels.
Thus, the only major difference between the ASH-1 and Bharat-45 today is in the arena of vectronics suites: while the former uses NORINCO-developed vectronics, for the Bharat-45 the vectronics suite comes from Israel’s ELBIT Systems. But while both towed howitzers are comparable in performance, in the global export market, NORINCO undoubtedly has a distinct edge, thanks to its ability to provide total solutions, i.e. not only field artillery howitzers, but also a wide range of 155mm ammunition, guided-projectiles, their electronic fuzes and bi-modular charges, along with command-and-control/fire-direction systems.

IAF Moves Ahead With S-125 Pechora 
SAM Upgrade
A much welcome spinoff from the DRDO’s two-decade long R & D activities for the Akash-1 MR-SAM programme has now resulted in the development of an indigenous upgrade package for the Indian Air Force (IAF) remaining S-125 Pechora SAM systems that will extend their service-lives by another 12 years.
Restricted tenders worth US$272 million to upgrade 16 of the original 30 squadrons of the IAF’s S-125 Pechora SAM systems under the ‘Make in India’ programme were floated in May 2016 and were sent to TATA Power SED, Larsen & Toubro, Reliance Defence, Offset India Solutions, Amertec Systems Pvt Ltd, Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and ECIL. While the V-601 missiles will be refurbished by BDL with the help of Russia’s OJSC Concern Almaz-Antey, the existing analogue fire-contol systems will be fully digitised by Indian OEMs, following which they will be integrated by BEL with the IAF’s IACCCS network. 
BEL will also deliver the Rohini S-band 3-D CARs and related motorized command-and-control posts that will replace the older P-19 early-warning radars. Amertec Systems Pvt Ltd will supply the digitised LRUs and related ATEs for the upgraded SNR-125 pulse-Doppler tracking, fire-control and guidance radars. Deliveries will begin 42 months after contract signature.
However, this upgrade contract does not in any way postpone or stall the IAF’s plans for procuring 18 squadrons of Barak-8 MR-SAMs and LR-SAMs.
The Indian Air Force’s S-125 Neva (export name Pechora) uses the V-601 (or 5V27) missile has a length of 6.09 metres, a wingspan of 2.2 metres and a body diameter of 0.375 metres. This missile weighs 953kg at launch, and has a 70kg warhead containing 33kg of HE and 4,500 fragments. The minimum range is 3.5km, and the maximum is 25km. The intercept altitudes are between 100 metres and 18km. Radars used for the original S-125 included the following:
P-15M(2) TROPA 1RL13 C-band target acquisition radar, which comprised a single antenna on a tethered latticework mast. It was employed to improve low altitude coverage, but also to permit use of the radar in heavily forested terrain where the height of the foliage canopy exceeded the height of the antenna phase centre in the P-15. The P-19 DANUBE 1RL134 was the improved 2-D UHF follow-on to the P-15 with a range of improvements. 
SNR-125 I/D-band tracking, fire-control and guidance radar, which uses a pair of fixed scanned trough antennas to generate flapping fan shaped beams, but the design is inherently SORO with a separate transmit antenna mounted between the characteristic chevron arrangement of trough antennas. Optical adjunct tracking using the 9Sh33A Karat 2 television telescope has been installed on  later variants, initially the SNR-125M1. The antenna at the top of the turret is used for the low power missile FMCW uplink channels. The antennae functions are, respectively:
* UV-10: Transmit for target and missile tracking, Transmit/Receive for rangefinding, Transmit/Receive for initial target acquisition, Receive for clutter cancelling channel. The boom mounts a cluster of feed horns, including a rotating scanning feed, each producing unique mainlobes. The scanned acquisition beam mainlobe is 1° wide and swept through a 15° arc in elevation at 25 Hz, the mainlobe for target tracking, transmit and rangefinding receive is 10° wide.
* UV11 F1 and F2: Receive antennas for target and missile transponder beacon tracking. These produce 1° x 15° fan shaped mainlobes which sweep through a 15° arc.
* UV-12: Missile uplink antenna for the FMCW 12 Watt command link.
The SNR-125 was designed to acquire targets using only bearing and range inputs from an external 2-D acquisition radar, such as a P-12/18 or P-15M. When acquiring a target, the radar head is rotated to the target bearing and the UV-10 antenna scanning feed engaged to produce a 1° wide pencil-beam swept in elevation. Once the target is acquired the radar is switched into tracking mode, using the UV-10 antenna to transmit, the UV-10 to receive for ranging, and the scanning UV-11 chevron receive antennas for angle tracking. The radar head is mechanically steered in azimuth and elevation to maintain track. The radar provides manual tracking, automatic tracking and television angle tracking modes. The system provides five missile guidance control laws, TT (CLOS), PS, MV (LoAlt), K (surface target attack) and DKM (ballistic). Three missile uplink signals are employed, K1 and K2 for pitch/yaw steering, and K3 for fuse control. Russian doctrine in the presence of heavy jamming was often to cease emitting and use the scanning receiver to effect angle tracking of the jammer, acquire the target with the TV telescope, and perform a range unknown missile shot against the jammer in CLOS mode. Due to the addition of a clutter canceller and analogue MTI circuits, the SNR-125 has significantly better clutter rejection performance. Cited low altitude capability is against targets as low as 20 metres (~60 feet AGL).
PRV-11 Vershina E-band height-finder radar. 
The Indian Army’s 48 motorised 9K33 OSA-AKM SHORADS have since 2006 been upgraded by Poland’s Wojskowe ZakÅ‚ady Uzbrojenia SA, with BDL refurbishing the  9M33M3 missiles with the help of Russia’s JSC  Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant KUPOL subsidiary of OJSC Concern Almaz-Antey.

BrahMos-A Takes To The Skies
BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on June 25, 2016 successfully demonstrated the structural and electrical integration of the BrahMos-A supersonic multi-role cruise missile (MRCM) with the Su-30MKI heavy-MRCA.
The maiden demonstration flight, carried out at HAL’s Nashik Division facilities, involved carriage of the 2.55-tonne BrahMos-A. Inflight missile ejection/launch tests will follow in the near future, followed by test-firings by the year’s end.  
The maiden flight took place in the presence of HAL’s CMD T Suvarna Raju,  BrahMos Aerospace CEO and MD Sudhir Kumar Mishra, and Daljeet Singh CEO of HAL’s Nashik Division. Mishra congratulated the joint R & D team of HAL, DRDO, IAF and BrahMos Aerospace for achieving this technological feat, which will go down in the history as the world’s first combination of supersonic MRCM and heavy-MRCA. He further noted the immense contribution of V S N Murthy, Project Director (BrahMos-A), and the three Deputy Project Directors—Gp Capt M K Srivastava, Gp Capt S Mondal and Gp Capt K N Santosh.  
The 290km-range BrahMos-A has been designed to enable the Su-30MKI penetrate deep inside hostile airspace for delivering deadly blows to heavily defended vital installations from standoff ranges. A lighter version of the BrahMos-A, called BrahMos-NG, is also under development. This variant will be destined for M-MRCAs like the Rafale, FGFA, MiG-29K, and Jaguar IS/DARIN-3 deep interdictors. 
DAC Approvals Of June 2016
India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) on June 25, 2016 approved the much delayed purchase of 145 BAE Systems-developed LW-155/M-777 heli-portable ultralightweight 155mm/39-cal howitzers (UFH) worth about Rs 5,000 crore, and also the series-production of an initial 18 OFB-built and developed Dhanush 155mm/45-cal towed howitzers out of the 414 units the Indian Army requires. The MoD’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, took up 18 proposals worth an estimated Rs.28,000 crore for consideration and discussions. As a result, the DAC also decided to accord Acceptance of Necessity (AON) standard to the Indian Navy’s (IN) plans for procuring six next-generation missile vessels (NGMV) under the ‘Buy Indian’ category for Rs.13,600 crore.
The direct industrial offsets, under which BAE Systems will invest about US$200 million, will be pursued independently with Mahindra Defence. While the first 25 UFHs will be procured off-the-shelf, with deliveries commencing within six months of contract signature, the remainder will be licence-assembled at the Assembly Integration and Test facility that BAE Systems will commission in partnership with Mahindra Defence.
OFB will deliver three production-standard Dhanush howitzers for user-exploitation by June 30, an additional three will be handed over by late September.
The DAC also approved a Rs.386 crore project for modernisation and augmentation of facilities at naval dockyards and naval ship repair yards. Acquisition of five diving support craft for Rs.150 crore was also approved. These catamaran-type vessels will be capable of fully supporting operational/training dives in harbours and coastal waters. The DAC also approved the procurement of indigenous cockpit procedures trainers worth Rs.500 crore for the IAF’s Jaguar IS deep-penetration strike aircraft, and the setting up of an indigenously developed electronic warfare range for the IAF at a cost of Rs.1,300 crore.
Yet-to-be-resolved procurement decisions include those concerning the upgrade of the IN’s Sea King Mk.42B and Kamov Ka-28PL ASW helicopters, procurement of 16 ten-tonne shipborne NMRHs, procurement of 16 shallow water ASW vessels, procurement of eight GRP-hulled MCMVs, and the procurement of 15 mobile missile coastal batteries (MMCB) for defence of the coastline against attacks from the sea.
What is both absurd and surprising is that the DAC did not decide on whether to opt for a single design for both the NGMV and SW-ASW vessel requirements. While the IN will eventually acquire 12 NGMVs (to replace the existing 10 existing 477-tonne Project 1241RE guided-missile corvettes, of which the first five were acquired off-the-shelf from Russia between 1987 and 1991, while six were subsequently licence-built by Mazagon Docks Ltd and Goa Shipyard Ltd at a unit cost of US$35 million), the 16 SW-ASW vessels with heli-decks are meant to be a new capability accretion. The IN has specified that the range of the NGMV should be not less than 2,800nm at sustained economical speed and 1,000mm at maximum speed. Max speed of the NGMV, according to the IN, should not be less than 35 Knots, while the maximum sustained speed should not be less than 25 Knots. In addition, the NGMV must carry a minimum of 8 cruise missiles, while for air-defence, the vessel should be fitted with a SR-SAM-type point-defence missile system (PDMS) for providing credible near-360-degree anti-missile defence coverage. The PDMS should also be able to engage sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles with a maximum speed of Mach 3. In addition, a remotely-controlled, 15km-range 76/62 main gun within a stealthy, faceted turret and using both radar and optronic fire-control systems is also required, as is a close-in weapon system (CIWS) using similar fire-control systems for low-intensity maritime operations (LIMO). Also specified is a countermeasures dispensing system that should be capable of firing chaff in all-round direction in distraction, seduction and centroid modes. The IN will also in future install active-kill anti-torpedo systems.
For the SW-ASW vessel requirement, the same hull design of the NGMV can easily be used, with the only difference being the absence of cruise missiles on the former, which in turn creates the space for accommodating a light twin-engined helicopter or a VTOL UAV, plus remote-controlled autonomous surface or underwater surveillance vehicles equipped with acoustic sensors. In addition, there is scope for both types of vessels being equipped with identical integrated masts, PDMS and CIWS suites. 

When it comes to cruise missiles for the NGMVs and the MMCBs, two indigenous vertically-launched options are available. The first is the projected BrahMos-NG, while the second is an anti-ship cruise missile version of the Nirbhay LACM. Both these missiles will in future house an indigenous X-band monopulse imaging seeker that can use different target recognition algorithms for attacking both hostile warships at sea, as well as static installations on land.