Total Pageviews

Friday, August 19, 2016

NORINCO-Built Medium/Main Battle Tanks Explained & How They Stack Up Against India's India's T-72CIA Medium Battle Tanks

There exists considerable confusion about the design lineage and technologies of medium and main battle tanks developed and produced over the years by NORINCO of China.  The slides below will help clear several confused narratives that have been circulating over the past two decades. Point to be noted is that so far, no one in China has been able to develop water-cooled diesel engines for armoured vehicles that generate more than 780hp. The consequent reliance on air-cooled diesel engines of Ukrainian origin makes it virtually impossible for any NORINCO-built medium/heavy battle tank to be used for high-altitude manoeuvre warfare anywhere within the area of operations of Tibet Military District, especially in eastern Ladakh and Aksai Chin.

Type 85 Medium Battle Tank
Type 90II Al Khalid Medium Battle Tank
Type 90II VT-1A Medium Battle Tank
Type-96A Medium Battle Tank
Type-99A Medium Battle Tank
Type-99B Main Battle Tank
ZTQ-105 Medium Battle Tank

India’s military posture against China in Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh is to maintain full strategic defence with minor tactical offensive capabilities. Given the politico-operational compulsions, difficult terrain, and the PLA’s track record, it is clear that the Indian Army (IA) was, until the previous decade, was doing an onerous task. For instance, Sikkim has an area of approximately 8,000sqkm, measuring 113km north to south, and 64km from east to west with heights rising up to 28,000 feet. Militarily, the state is divided into north and east Sikkim. Due to a central massif, north Sikkim is further divided into the Muguthang Valley in the west, the Kerang Plateau in the east, and north-east Sikkim. The Lachung, Lachen and Muguthang Valleys in north Sikkim prevent any lateral movement. 
Of the 14 passes along the 206km-long Sikkim-TAR border, six are all-weather, implying that these are open throughout the year. Three each of these passes are in north and east Sikkim, these being Kongra La, Bomcho La, Sese La, Nathu La (at 14,438 feet in east Sikkim), Batang La and Doka La. Unlike the passes in north-east and east Sikkim, the passes on the watershed border in north Sikkim are fairly wide and motorable. Being windswept, they remain relatively free from snow and are open throughout the year. The watershed and the adjoining Tibetan Plateau are devoid of any cover. 
The terrain in north and north-east Sikkim is more difficult, rugged and formidable, with the altitude rising suddenly and steeply (one can travel from 5,000 feet to 14,000 feet in just about 60km) than east Sikkim, where surface communications are better developed due to its proximity to the northern West  Bengal plains. India’s 435km-long border with Nepal includes a 125km border between Nepal and Sikkim, of which about 50km is most inhospitable. Consequently, the only available area with existing land and air transportation networks that can host armoured/mechanised/tactical aviation/UAV assets is northern West Bengal, from where they can be swiftly deployed  to bolster the IA’s positions opposite Bhutan’s Dolam Plateau. Any PLA move into Dolam means that India’s border with China gets distorted at Sikkim’s tri-junction with Bhutan. It also means that the PLA moves a few kilometres south from where they originally were. It brings them closer to northern West Bengal’s Siliguri Corridor. China has always laid claim to Dolam. On the east the Dolam Plateau is skirted by the Amo Chhu stream that flows north-south from the Chumbi Valley to Bhutan and then enters West Bengal at Jaldhaka where the state government has a hydel project. The tri-junction is roughly equidistant from the two Indian Army posts at Doka La (bordering Bhutan) and Batang La (bordering China). Dokala overlooks Dolam, which is at a lower altitude. The Dolam Valley is a largely-barren 20 sq km plateau that is ideal for armourted manoeuvre warfare, just like the terrain in eastern Ladakh.
In Ladakh, the IA has since mid-1999 witnessed persistent PLA transgressions-in-strength at the Depsang Bulge, Trig Heights, Spanggur Gap and Chip Chap Valley in northeastern Ladakh. During wartime, the PLA’s probable intention would be to enter from the south of the Karakoram Range and cross the Shyok River from the east. The PLA has also moved motorised forces into Charding Nalla since 2009 and they could eventually threaten the Manali-Leh route. 
China thus is estimated to want to push Indian control to the left of Shyok River in the north and left of the Indus River in the east, possibly to establish both rivers as natural boundaries. In Chushul, the aim is to reach Luking to take control of the entire Pangong Tso Lake. This three-pronged strategy would make India defenceless both in the Indus Valley and the Nubra Valley.
In mid-2009, India’s Ministry of Defence approved the IA’s plans for raising three independent armoured brigades (each inclusive of two tank regiments with T-72 Combat Improved Ajeya medium tanks and one mechanised infantry regiment with BMP-2K Sarath ICVs). While each tank regiment has since early 2014 been equipped with 58 T-72CIAs, the mechanised infantry regiments each possess 70 BMP-2Ks. Of these three new Independent Armoured Brigades, one is located in Ladakh (under the Leh-HQed XIV Corps), another in Uttarakhand and the third in Kalimpong under the XXXIII ‘Trishakti’ Corps  that is HQed in Sukna near the city of Siliguri. The Brigade in Ladakh is responsible for the protection of passes like Lanak La, Kongka La, Rezang La, Chang La and Jara La. In Uttarakhand, the Brigade is responsible for securing the passes in Mana, Niti, Kungri Bingri, Darma, and Lipulekh. In Sikkim, the third Brigade is responsible for securing the Dolam Plateau. These formations are being supplemented by a string of Advance Landing Grounds (ALG) capable of accommodating the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) C-130H-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft, newly-built Army Aviation Corps bases capable of housing LUHs and Rudra helicopter-gunships, plus a string of rear-area MALE-UAV air bases operated and owned by the IA. 
Also, new border roads/bridges and railway lines are being built not just for facilitating the movement of armoured/mechanised formations (transported mostly by wheeled transporters), but also field artillery howitzers like the soon-to-be-acquired LW-155/M-777 ultralightweight howitzers that will be used for providing indirect fire-support for 99 Mountain Brigade, which is part of the 6 Mountain Division, the formation that is in charge of protecting India’s borders in Uttarakhand with China. For securing the Shipki pass in Himachal Pradesh, an existing mechanised infantry battalion has been deployed there and will come under IX Corps, headquartered at Yol in Himachal Pradesh.
The IA’s independent armoured brigades in Ladakh, northern West Bengal and Uttarkhand will thus be supported in wartime by not just ISTR assets like MALE-UAVs (numbering more than 50), but also by at least 45 Rudra helicopter gunships armed with PGMs like the HELINA, an equal number of LUHs, and 145 LW-155/M-777 UFHs, with air-maintenance of rear-area logistics networks being provided by the IAF’s C-130H-30s, CH-47F Chinooks and Mi-17V-5s. 
For localised air-defence, both the IA and IAF have since 2011 deployed their respective stocks of manportable air-defence radars to forward locations along the Sino-Indian LAC to keep track of the PLA’s routine airspace transgressions—something that should have been done as far back as 2008. While the IAF’s DRDO-developed and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL)-built S-band Aslesha three-dimensional radars have been deployed at Nyoma, Chushul and Fukche, the Army-specific Bharani manportable radars have been deployed at Demchok and Pangong Tso in Ladakh, as well as at two locations in Uttarakhand and Sikkim. 
The Aslesha, which weighs 250kg, uses low-probability-of-intercept frequencies to look out for terrain-hugging tactical UAVs and helicopters over mountainous terrain out to 50km. The IAF has to date ordered 21 of them, and first deliveries took place in January 2008. On the other hand, the Bharani is a two-dimensional L-band gapfiller system now in series-production for the Army. It has a range of 40km and can track up to 100 airborne targets. To date, 16 Bharanis—meant to be used in conjunction with SHORADS like the SpyDer-SR—have been delivered.
For theatre-wide deep surveillance across the LAC, the IAF already possesses EL/M-2060P pod-mounted synthetic aperture radars, as well as the first two of 11 Bombardier 5000 jets equipped with belly-mounted SAR sensors and ELINT sensors—all of which have given the IAF far superior ISTR capabilities when compared to those available to the PLAAF.

New Tank EX Avatar?
(to be concluded)


Spykar said...

Does India need light tanks for its mountain troops to face off the ZTQ-105s? Also what happened to indegenous development of 105mm Self-Propelled Gun and the light tank based on the chasis of BMP-1? And any takers for Sprut-SD or the PL-01 light tank among the IA?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SPYKAR: Not at all. Medium battle tanks like the T-72CIA are more than a match for the ZTQ-105. In fact, there was never any serious reqmt for either light tanks or 105mm SPHs. Apart from the absence of high-power water-cooled diesel engines for armoured vehicles, the PLA also has been unable to deploy high-definition thermal imaging cameras for commander's panoramic sights, gunner's sights & FLIR turrets & therefore their night-fighting capabilities are quite inferior, especially when compared to the hardware now available to the IA & IAF.

Therefore, like I stated many times before, there is just no need to paint Mainland China as being 9 feet-tall.

Spykar said...

And any update on the FRCV proposal?

Magicbullet said...

What's the status of Arjun mk2..when would they be ordered in nos...Plus why isn't Germany willing to share the 1800 bhp tank engine tech and lastly why have we been unable to make any headway in engine related technologies be it for aircrafts or tanks.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SPYKAR: FRCV is decades away from realisation.

To MAGICBULLET: Why? For the very same reason it didn't share the secrets of its 120mm smoothbore cannon. Developing any kind of propulsion system has never been undertaken in this world to date for just military applications. It is always civilian applications that have value-addedness. No one will ever be able to develop any propulsion system that caters to only military applications.

rad said...

hi prasun
great scoop on chinese tanks, is it so necessary to deploy tanks in that altitude? when today we can take them out with spike and nag ie after FOC. china also has modern anti tank missile etc. What is real reason for the deployment of t-72.? I read some where that the chinese were apreciativ of our arjun!
Again the question one would like to ask is how does our t-90 and arjun fair against the pakistani and chines tanks. Is there any scenario that would pit the indian tanks against the chines tanks ?. Why are the chinese sensitive about t-72 deployed
Does the temperature become so hot in the tibet for air cooled tank engines to under perform?
Lastly why is the srilankan airforce buying fighter jets? against whom?

Magicbullet said...

Sir while others have moved to 120 mm smoothbore why are we still stuck with 120 mm rifle bored Canon for Arjun..Germany USA even Russia have transitioned but just we and UK still are hung the technology so difficult to master or is it our love for legacy so strong.

Spykar said...

I Hope the IA and IAF's assets prove to be more than a match with their counterpart coz it sure seems like they are preparing for a showdown in the near future :

bradshaw said...

Hi Prasun,

You replied to a post in 2012 regarding the T72 CIA tanks,

"To Anon@10.54AM: The IA’s T-72CIA can at best hold out on its own against the original Type 69IIMP, Type 85IIAP & Al Zarrar MBTs of the Pakistan Army. But once the Type 69IIMPs & Type 85IIAPs have been upgraded (this is now in progress), the T-72CIA loses out. Against the Chinese ZTZ-96G too, the T-72CIA comes out poorly. There is also an as-yet undesignated MBT designed specifically for operations along the LAC which began arriving in Tibet earlier this year. Hence the need for undertaking a deep upgrade of the T-72M1s, & the TANK EX option is the best available option at the moment. Both the Al Khalid & T-80UD can easily match up to the unmodified T-90S, but once the upgraded T-90S (now being subjected to user-trials in Pokhran) becomes available, they will be able to upstage the existing Al Khalids & T-80UDs. But what will happen when the Al Khalid is upgraded in the very near future? That’s where the Arjun Mk1 comes in, since the basic hull & turret of the Arjun has much greater upgrade potential than that of the Al Khalid."

This was 4 years back and Type 85 must be upgraded by now, so do you still think that now the T 72 CIA stands a chance? Also, the reports of last tranche of T-90MS tanks were purchased specifically for deployment at the China border ??

সুমন্ত নাগ said...

Prasun Da, why not there be some control exercised by the Union Govt. on these type of Media House like HT?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

asd said...

Dear Prasun,

Although India has fired some salvo by uttering Baluchistan politics, still Pakistan too has succeeded in moulding the UN human rights personnel to interfere in Indian administratored Kashmir issue.What is your say???

Sumit said...

Dada when will we order javelin agtm. It would have been a great addition to our army in ladakh. Any pic of t72cia? And its details? Plus what is the status of t90s upgradation?

Spykar said...

Will the BMP-2s be upgraded with the duplet combat module mentioned above?


Dada alkhalids brochure says power pack 1200hp water cooled list wrongly printed?

radha said...

hi prasun
give us some dope on the new glide bombs garuthamma that have been tested ie the long range and the short range , Do they have terminal homing devices?. HOw desi it it?. I think they would have used the 3gom chip.
Can you give some insight on the new chinese quantum satellite that they claim is un hackable?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAJESH KATHARE: That brochure, meant for exportable Al Khalid MBTs, was prepared for Al Khalids being offered with a Perkins powerpack. The Perkins option was rejected by the PA in favour of the Ukrainian powerpack, whose brochure describes it as using an ejection-type cooling system that enables the MBT to operate in high ambient temperatures of up to 55°C without loss of power when using diesel fuel. The brochure also states that the highly efficient cassette/cyclone air filter is claimed to ensure air filtration with an efficiency rating of up to 99.8%, which is critical for operating in desert conditions.

Since the T-80UD & T-84 had in the past lost to the T-90S in several competitions abroad, Ukraine realised that water-cooled diesel engines had to be developed & it has since 2014 been claiming that its 1,500hp powerpack is water-cooled.

birbal said...

Hi Prasunda MORNING,

Just opened your blog to see lot's and lot's of TANNKKKKSSSS.....Great information, as USUAL,.. about the Chinkis Tanks..

Please take a look at this report-
Is there any truth in this report?? What " waiver " is the report talking about??

Prav said...

But what has changed since 2012 .. As per bradshaws comment ?

Anonymous said...

I am a novice in the military tech. What are the advantages of water cooled engines over air cooled engines in high mountains? For me, it looks like, in higher elevation water cooled engines can have problems like ice formation if the engine is not running.

This site says China has water cooled engines for Type-99

Why did China fail to develop water cooled engines?


Pawan said...

Dear Prasun da,

please replies to my following queries.

1. What is exact role of T-72s stationed in Ladakh.
2. Any input on which aircraft SLAF might select.
3. Do you see India mounting attack in PoK in next 2 to 3 yrs.
4. Most importantly is my observation is correct that PA through Taliban trying to secure its whole border with Afg Helmund (South) to north (kunduz) to provide protection to CPEC?


Mayur Manapure said...

Ravinars Hits the commie bastards right where it hurts.

Vijay said...

Hi Prasun, was wondering if you can shed some more light on:

1. How the LCH program with TD4 etc is coming along, weaponized trials etc
2. Why the delay in Tejas LCA BVR integration.
3. Why the delay in Tejas MK2 FSED etc, or maybe is it done?
4. How is the HAL LUH program coming along, no word on first flight yet.


Anonymous said...

i thought weapons smuggling is through Guj creek..throw some light here?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: It is absolutely important since it acts as the game-changing force-multiplier, as was the case in 1962. If you were to monitor the deployment of PLA armoured assets in Aksai China or high-altitude areas of Xinjiang, you will note that not a single tank of any type has been deployed there for exercises. The PLA in those areas uses only wheeled 6 x 6 or 8 x 8 tank destroyers & ICVs armed with 120mm breech-loading mortars or fibre-optic-guided NLOS-BSMs with 15km-range. Reason for this no PLA-operated tank can be used at those altitudes & therefore as a compromise, the PLA has used lighter vehicles with minimal armoured protection so that the weight of the turret containing a 105mm cannon does not pose any weight penalties for the powerpacks of the APCs & ICVs. This in turn makes them terribly vulnerable to the superior cannons of tanks like the T-72CIA, as well as ATGMs like HELINA. Air-cooled engines require more oxygen content than water-cooled engines & that’s why in the Type 99B MBT’s rear one can see the massive air injesters. For water-cooled engines like those on T-72CIA & T-90S, such a configuration isn’t necessary since the strip-and-plate aluminium water radiators & oil coolers )facing upwards at the rear) provide extensive heat extraction for the cooling & lubricating systems. When operating in hot temperatures, all that’s reqd as an add-on is an external fan with inlet guide vane for 20% increased air consumption. Both the Type 96A & Type 99A tanks experimented with this configuration (as the photos above show) for 780hp experimental water-cooled powerpacks from 2007 till 2009 & they proved to be miserable failures. Hence the PLA decided to standardize on air-cooled engines for its MBTs.

To MANISH: Kindly refer to the explanation I’ve given above to RAD. Type 96A & Type 99A tanks of the PLA used underpowered water-cooled engines & therefore they were discarded in favour of higher-power air-cooled engines of Ukrainian origin for the Type 96B & Type 99B tanks. Had China developed water-cooled engines delivering more than 1,000hp, then the armies of China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar & Peru would all have opted for Made-in-China powerpacks. Instead, none of them did & ALL of them have engines imported from Ukraine. I have the technical presentations of NORINCO for all these tanks to klnow what’s the truth & therefore I don’t have to rely or refer to any crap & riff-raff oozed out by delusional China-origin fanboys located in Australia or Singapore or HK SAR or Canada.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SPYKAR: LoLz! The PLA has been air-dropping Company-strength personbnel & APCs of the XV Airborne Corps since 2009 & it still hasn’t been able to conduct even a Battalion-sized air-drop anywhere in TAR. Furthermore, all these exercises are not offensive ion nature, but are defensive in terms of trying to secure the passes north of the Yarlong Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) River. And given their constant transgressions by land & air, it seems the PLA is terribly perturbed by the IA’s armoured/mechanized infantry force accretions along the LAC, especially when the PLA has no credible hardware capable of matching those of the IA. Apart from weaknesses in armour, the PLA till this date has been unable to deploy even a single MALE-UAV over TAR or east off Arunachal Pradesh for standoff surveillance & this explains why it always uses Z-9 helicopters equipped with FLIR turrets for such purposes.

What upgrade package will be selected by the IA depends entirely on the nature of the future battlefield. Solutions being offered by Ukraine or Russia are more appropriate for FIBUA/MOUT operations where concrete structures like buildings will require demolition. In the IA’s case, the ICV is reqd for combined-arms bunker-clearing operations with the help of mounted infantry forces carrying LAW & lightweight ATGMs like Spike-SR.

To BRADSHAW: This thread is focusing primarily on the usage of armoured assets for high-altitude manoeuvre warfare, & not in plains-based manoeuvre warfare. Hence it will not be appropriate to compare the T-72CIA with other tanks that are used primarily for plains-based warfare & for which the T-90S & Arjun Mk.1 are available with the IA. No T-90MS has been acquired for the IA.

To SUMANTA: In an age of information warfare, clamping down on the media is extremely counter-productive. Instead, what’s reqd is a compelling counter-narrative to neutralise the enemy’s disinformation. For instance, mischievous journalists from J & K & Delhi are now telling Pakistani TV channels that during nighttime curfews in some areas of J & K, even the movement of ambulances has been prohibited, whereas in reality this is totally untrue. What has been stopped are long-distance ambulance ferries at nighttime from rural areas to Srinagar, with the Rural Health Centres now becoming the main hubs for providing emergency facilities at nighttime. By spreading such malicious lies, the supporters of Pakistan are now trying to provoke rural civilian uprisings close to the LoC.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ASD: It’s quite simple: insist of reciprocal access to those incarcerated inside PoK on charges of terrorism when all they did was to express a desire to be free from Pakistan’s colonial tyranny.

To SUMIT: What for? Why waste an expensive ATGM light-skinned vehicles? It’s far more economical & effective to use HE ammo against such soft-skinned armoured vehicles & that’s why the T-90S tanks haven’t been deployed there. The T-72CIAs there won’t even have to use APFSDS rounds. Only HE-APAM rounds are reqd. Out in the Dolam Plateau, the IA is deployed along dominating heights that look down at the steadily inclined slopes on the Chinese side & thus with the help of LORROS, the IA’s field artillery batteries can make mincemeat of any PLA ground offensive there. Add to it the availability of Rudras armed with ATGMs & operating under the air-cover provided by Su-30MKIs from Hashimara & Bagdogra & the PLA will have simply no room to manoeuvre.

To PAWAN: That’s already explained above now. Also, do read this & watch this:

To RON: Bulk of FICN smuggling is done through the India-Nepal border & so is it with firearms. The SSB that’s supposed to ‘guard’ & ‘police’ the border is unable to do so because it is not allowed to frisk anyone crossing the border, nor is it allowed to carry any weapon, & nor is the border fenced. For as long as this state of affairs persists, that portion of India’s IB will always remain the most dangerous.

Spykar said...

Adding to my previous query, Is the AH-4 Howitzer meant for action along the Indian border? How does it compare with the M-777?

Also, if you can bring out into open, the PLA & PLAAF's ISTR assets deployed along our eastern and the western frontiers.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SPYKAR: LoLz! The 155mm/39-cal AH-4 of 2014 vintage & motorised 155mm/52-cal SH-1 of 2009 vintage have BOTH been JUNKED by the PLA. They don't even find a mention in NORINCO's latest annual product directory! The SH-1 was sent for mobility/firepower evaluations in Pakistan way back in 2008 & the PA wrote such a disparaging evaluation report about it that the PLA never offered the SH-1 for evaluations anywhere else in the world! Today the PLA relies on 122mm motorised howitzers & 122mm tracked SPHs. Those are the ones meant for use in TAR.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Baloch History-1:

Baloch History-2:

PoK Roads versus J & K Roads:

Life at Dera Bugti:

Pasighat ALG Opens:

Gen Raheel Sharif as Honorary Field Marshal:

Who will be next COAS of Pakistan:

PN Fleet Tanker Built by Pakistan & Turkey:

prateek said...

sir, why were the new independent armoured brigades not equipped with T-90 tanks ?
why t-72 ?


Dada vmt,have the alkhalids subjected to 1500hp power pack upgrade ? And would T72CIA,T90 &Arjun be subjected to similar upgrade.

Arpit Kanodia said...


If T-72 is so much important in mountain warfare, why Indian Army never considered Tank Ex for upgrading T-72? Weight issues?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PRATEEK: Simply because, as I have explained above, those T-72CIAs will be used for neutralising the PLA's motorised infantry formations along the LAC. The PLA at the moment & for at least another decade to come isn't capable of fielding MBTs powered by water-cooled engines. Therefore, tank versus tank engagements between the IA & PLA won;t take place in the short- and medium-term. And those wheeled APCs with 105mm cannons are also used by the PLA for attacking dug-in infantry only, & are not tank destroyers by any stretch of imagination. For, any armoured vehicle capable of taking on an MBT should have a sophisticated fire-control system whose ballistics computer should be complemented by a meteorological/wind sensor for ensuring high first-round-hit-probability. Such sensors are not to be found on these so-called tank destroyers of the PLA, & neither are they there on the T-72CIA. That's why I have posted so many slides above for everyone to see & evaluate by themselves. In the IA, only the T-90S & Arjun MBTs have such meteorological/wind sensors.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ARPIT KANODIA: Because the Tank EX concept with existing 840hp engine was meant for coming up with a solution for tank versus tank engagements in the plains. The concept was offered at a time when the 1,000hp powerpack from Russia wasn't available as a mature product, & the BEL-developed panoramic commander's sight with thermal imager & auto-tracker wasn't available either. Today both are. In fact, competing water-cooled 1,000hp powerpacks are now available from Russia, Serbia, Israel & Poland. So, if a deep upgrade of the T-72M1 is to be undertaken with the turret of the Arjun Mk.1A, then this can be done with ease within India. Another advantage of this is that the ammo autoloader will be done away with, thereby allowing 120mm APFSDS with longer & heavier penetrator sabots to be used, thereby guaranteeing greater lethality. Therefore, the Tank EX concept still remains an option for plains-based warfare.

But for mountain warfare, where the MBT is used not against hostile tanks, but against hostile wheeled/tracked ICVs & APCs, one doesn't need an MBT that fires APFSDS rounds. Even during the Depsang Bulge intrusions of 2013 and in Demchok in 2014, all that the PLA could mobilise & deploy at those high altitudes were Mitsubishi Pajeros & a licence-built version of the IVECO 4 x 4. That should tell us all a lot about the PLA's high-altitude all-terrain mobility capacities.

sbm said...

A question if I may?

What's the TI system on the T-72CIA ? I'd ready that 250 systems were procured from Poland but then 600 TISAS from Israel and now I've read that 2065 BEL TI panoramic commanders sights are on order. But what of the gunner ?

Magicbullet said...

Sir...11 bombardier SAR mounted jets...that's huge game changer ..Will they be under IAF OR when will all be delivered and what equipment on them is Indian.

Aditya said...


How much truth is there in recent reports that the army returned 17 dhruvs because of manufacturing defects. Could you please elaborate on this issue?
It is difficult for me to believe that the ALH platform has still not matured after more than a decade of being in series production.

rad said...

hi prasun
great info on the merits and de merits of the air cooled engines and the effect they have on tank performance is a news to all of us.
No wonder the chinese were appreciative of the arjun tank. BUt then there is always the possibility of them taking out our tanks with long range anti FOG anti tank missiles.In that case don you think it is prudent to equip them withactive self defense sytems. What was reason that the saab system was chosen over the israeli system. Is it a possibility that saab sytem can e sold to the Pakis as well?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,
Thanks for your reply.

If Chinese know that they have set back in engine productions and Indians have better equipments to be used in High altitude area, why didn't it bother to get better water cooled engines from other countries? Chinese aware of this disadvantage.


Rajas M Rao said...

Dear Prasun,
Very intersting and informative read. I have two questions:
1. Going by the pics, there doesn't seem to be EW hardware installed on Bombardier 5000. Are they installed? If so, of which OEM? if not, are they entirely dependent on air superiority cover provided by MKIs?
2. Will the Pasighat ALG be temporary FOB in case of a conflict, or will it host a squadron of combat aircraft?

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun da

first of all really thanks for such a insightful post

but the answer u gave to #prateek u could have given to me earlier as i had asked the same thing, a few points as per the narrative n answers by you, will appreciate your views on these

1. sumdrong chu valley is basically a no mans land now (i was correct to say IA cant access it)

2. since we have higher powered tanks we can deploy upto DBO, if you remember i had said long back that that IA/IAF base in nyoma are unusually heavily equipped

3. i think its imp that IA have a plan to strike right till the western highway in aksai chin to stop these border skirmishes once n for ever

4. i think the 2018 plan for pakistan you were saying about has been rolled on with PM modi raising balochistan, GB, PoK in iday speech

5. i think real target for this 2018 plan is china (if not wrong even g parthasarthi said that on ndtv wrt to PM raising GB, Balochistan, PoK)

6. With China tying up itself in knots wrt Pakistan/SCS i think after Pakistan the next target will be China for world community

7. i think that plan which may be set in motion after 2022 will/may involve independence for Xinxiang/Tibet. if not wrong HH Dalai Lama had once said that he will die in free Tibet

8. all this may result in India emerging as pivot wrt to putting both Pak & China on tight leash

9. i think all this will result in India becoming super power replacing China at high table of UNSC, remember Bejan Darawala had predicted this century will be Indias especially the nd decade, hope his predictions are true

10. Tank Ex is still a option but its not a tshirt that can be prepared in a jiffy, are their any preparation wrt that rolling out them

11. what abt the 120 mm breech loading mortar that u said IA may acquire, i think they may be handy in highlands

12. dont you think its useless to equip SSBNs with armed torpedo, instead a better idea is to remove their warhead n replace them with sensors and use them as AUVs

hope to get a response on these


Joydeep Ghosh

Ganesh said...

Hello Prasun, Thanks for detailed information on the Chinese front; being a layman with no defense affiliation; I understand the described force setup is for defense of the current LAC; however, offensive capabilities are required and transgression or so called aggressive defense (I suppose is currently done from our side too) is required to regain resources and put the LAC further towards the Chinese side. The purpose of this will help us gaining land; keep pressure on the Chinese so that put their boots in inhospitable conditions, whereby justify the investment towards keeping our forces on/near LAC. I suppose the starting point is the Ladhakh region and the area in northern Kashmir Pakistan sold to China.

In short keep the pot boiling at the right temperature


Spykar said...


Has the Arjun Catapult been shelved? Was it even required ? Do we need more vehicle mounted mortars and howitzers ? How many of the M-46 has been up-gunned to 155mm so far? Can the IA transfer its remaining 105mm and 130mm howitzers to Afghanistan ?

Also if you can run a segment on IA's present and future artillery guns and mortars accretions. It has got very complicated.

Spykar said...

So the curtain has been raised but 130 kn ? TVC ?? Who is it ?? GE ??? Safran ???? Totally Beats Me!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: Yes you indeed may(LoLz) & you should always do so. The confusion created is from the wrong usage of terminologies by certain journalists, bloggers & chat forums. For ICVs, the retrofit package is called TISAS & TSIK, whereas for MBTs the package is called TIFCS—all from EL-OP/ELBIT Systems. The first upgrade for the T-72M1s involved installation of the Polish DRAWA-T suite that used an IR camera supplied by EL-OP, with the rest of the hardware coming from Poland. This is what is on the T-72CIAs now deployed in Ladakh. For those T-72M1s now being upgraded to CIA configuration & which will guard the Dolam Plateau, the TIFCS using SAGEM’s thermal imager for both the IRDE-designed/BEL-made Cdr’s panoramic camera & gunner’s sight will be installed.l The BMP-2K ICVs have already got the TISAS package & they will in future have the TSIK suite as well. Slides explaining all these will be uploaded later in this thread.

To MAGICBULLET: The slide above clearly shows the Bombardier 5000 in IAF colours. Only ther IFF transponder & speech secrecy encryption system are Indian.

To ADITYA: That’s not true. They had to go back to the workshops for routine check-ups since the Dhruvs often fly in ways that are not specified in the user’s manual.

To MANISH: Which country will supply them? Certainly not Russia. The EU & the US have an embargo against China since June 1989.

To RAJAS M RAO: The EW gear is stowed internally & comes from both IAI/ELTA & ELBIT Systems. Pasighat will be just a FOB usable during inflight emergencies or air-defence scrambles. It is not a full-fledged air base with its own armament storage areas or accommodation quarters for aircrew/ground crew for extended durations. Nor does the ALG have its own integral ATC radar or air-defence radar. The next such ALG to be transformed into a FOB will be Vijayanagar in Arunachal Pradesh.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: 1) No one occupies such valleys in that area, since they are mosquito-inbested & anyone residing in those valleys will die of Malaria. 2) Nyoma is an ALG, not an air base. Why deploy tanks to DBO when all approaches to DBO at far lower altitudes are easily protected by tanks? 12) So what according to you should the SSBNs use for self-defence?

To GANESH: The combination of medium battle tanks, LUHs, Rudras, MALE-UAVs & IAF’s air superioriity assets available from Leh is more than enough to launch tactical offensives for the sake of occupying certain dominating hill features along the respective Indian/Chinese LAC claim-liners.

To SPYKAR: Who needs the Arjun Catapult now that the Cabinet Committee on National Security has just given the green light for inking the contract for 100 K-9 Vajras, 114 Dhanush & 145 LW-155/M-777? As I stated several times before, only 40 M-36s were upgraded by SOLTAM before the IA stopped the programme due to malfunctions occurring.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: You’re perhaps missing the point I made above about LUHs & Rudras being part of the manoeuvre warfare formation & how the IA is going about building its own network of heli-bases in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, AP & northern WB. Today & in future, no IA armoured/mechanised infantry formation will operate without accompanying LUHs & Rudras. Typically, these LUHs & Rudras fly at least 10km ahead of any armoured/mechanised formation for target location in mountainous terrain & these by radio are relayed in real-time to the ground formations. Once this is done, it is up to the formation commander to decide what kind of attack tactics to engage. For instance, while the LUHs can be retained for giving situational awareness updates, the Rudras will then manoeuvre to attack an inbound or dug-in armoured/mechanised formation either from both its flanks, or from the rear (this being known as vertical envelopment). A typical MBT regiment of some 58 tanks will thus be accompanied by two LUHs & up to 7 Rudras each armed with 4 HELINAs & 4 Mistral ATAMs, with the IAF flying top-cover for tactical air superiority. In the plains, imagine the offensive firepower now available to the IA's armoured brigades when they’re accompanied by AH-64Es or LCHs. Any armoured brigade (comprising 2 tank regiments & 1 mechanised infantry regiment) accompanied by six LUHs & up to 12 AH-64Es or 20 LCHs or 40 Rudras will make mincemeat of any Pakistani armoured thrust within a mere 40 minutes after the initiation of the contact battle.

Spykar said...

So the curtain has been raised but 130 kn ? TVC ? Is it the Safranised Kaveri ? or GE ? or is it Indigenous with the help of Midhani and other labs ? Totally Beats Me!

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da,

You wrote "India’s military posture against China in Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh is to maintain full strategic defence with minor tactical offensive capabilities."

So why isn't the Indian military building tactical offensive capabilities against China?



Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ARPIT KANODIA: Did some impromptu photoshopping above to visualise how a modern-day TANK EX would look like.

Spykar said...

Tejas Mk-2 is finally on track :) What would be Lockheed Martin's Input?

Also, MJ Akbar on Kashmir Issue :

He ended by saying ""In 1947, the tricolour flew high over Delhi and in October, it flew high over Srinagar and that flag will never be taken down." Totally consonant with MoS Jitendra Singh's call to liberate PoK by saying its actual culmination would be with the hoisting of national flag in Kotli and Muzaffarabad.

And Finally,

What will be the next move in this game of strategic 'shatranj'?

Ravi said...

Joydeep, re. "12. dont you think its useless to equip SSBNs with armed torpedo, instead a better idea is to remove their warhead n replace them with sensors and use them as AUVs" In case Prasun is too busy to answer all your points:

SSBNs need torpedoes as defense against attack submarines. The AUV to fit a torpedo tube is a good idea and I'm pretty sure its being worked on. It would require a degree of miniaturization that at this time may not be possible if you want a useful sensor payload and range.Primary job of an SSBN is to stay hidden.

US converted four of its Ohio SSBNs (726 - 729) to arsenal ships with 156 Tomahawk missiles and capable of housing 66 clandestine operators to be delivered/recovered ashore. Your suggested UAV-in-a-torpedo tubes would be useful for underwater recon prior to landing ops.

US is already working on launching the undersea version of the Switchblade mini aerial drone from the 3" tubes used for decoy torpedoes

BROWN DESI said...

Hi Prasun; Though Turkey's Altay MBT is nearing mass production and hasn't been produced yet PAKISTAN is already lining up for its evaluation under its Haider Program. How does it effects India's armour deterrence and power equation in medium to long term. Altay is a potent platform since it was built with cues from K2 Blackpanther of South Korea.
Brown Desi

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BROWN DESI: Evaluations, yes. Procurement, no. The Altay comes with a 120mm smoothbore cannon from Rheinmetall, which is not approved for export to Pakistan. Yes, the PA is definitely alarmed with the Arjun Mk.1A, but it does not have the finances reqd for purchasing anything like the Altay. Furthermore, this will piss off China even further since an Altay procurement will mean that the Al Khalid MBT programme has been a failure & that MBT will consequently be labelled as an inferior product.

YOLO said...

Prasun ji,

1) Is that "Tank ex" avatar posted real (PLEASE BE) or a photoshop?

2) What is the status of the NAMICA? Wouldn't that (with 6 to-attack 3rd gen ATGM) be a real beast in the plains AND for the Mountain Brigades fighting in the mountains against enemy armour?

3)The IAF's Rudras are for what role?

4) Rafale updates? We need to make progress on this, the world is going to shit and we need to have fast air move than ever.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

This is a very interesting programme that fully exposes the intellectual bankruptsy of Pakistani historians & intellectuals:

On one hand they claim that the buck stops with the King & therefore Balochistan's accession to Pakistan was legally sound, & yet on the other this same reasoning is junked to prove that the accession of the princely state of J & K to India was illegal. On one hand they reject the UK's India Independence Act to justify the revolts/uprisings in Poonch & Gilgit amidst claims of all non-Muslims of Gilgit-Baltistan supporting the region's merger with Pakistan, & on the other they admit that tribal Laskarsz from FATA & KPK were reqd for laying siege to Skardu & for the subsequent massacres & plunderings in Baramulla & Skardu! On one hand they are all p;raise for the patriotism of the Baltistanis & on the other these very Baltistanis were left to rot inside northern J & K & lay unclaimed & unacknowledged after OP Vijay in 1999. It is now clearly established therefore that these Paki intellectuals & historians have neither read the UNSC Resolution of 1948, nor the Karachi Agreement of 1949--both of which had clearly accepted the constitutional & legal validity of J & K's accession to India on October 25, 1947.

And here's another programme in which the Pashtun MP from Balochistan yet again asserts that the PA's 'strategic assets' (i.e. Defence of Balochistan Council led by the Jamaat-ud-Daawa) are still active in thr Balochistan-Afghan border areas for waging proxy wars:

Pierre Zorin said...

When you mention support through LUH, Rudra you are talking about future, right? Currently there are no such platform available should the IA need them (still being tested and built). Also did you mean LUH and not LCH? Why would a utility helicopter do the surveying when an attack helicopter can do both surveillance and attack?

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun da

if a SSBN has to be guarded by torpedo equipped SSNs i think there is no need for SSBNs to be equipped with torpedos. thanks for supposed Tank Ex pics.


if a SSBN has to be guarded by torpedo equipped SSNs i think there is no need for SSBNs to be equipped with torpedos, it is for this reason India is doing away with P75I submarine project and opting for torpedo equipped SSNs to protect 3 Arihant class SSBNs and its follow on bigger SSBNs also. DAE/DRDO are supposedly working on developing the nuke reactors for SSNs on urgent basis so that when Arihant SSBNs go on long term patrols the SSNs are there to protect them.

you said 'Primary job of an SSBN is to stay hidden.' dont you think if slow moving SSBNs (compared to SSNs) fire torpedos they may give away their location in torprpedos wake


Joydeep Ghosh

rad said...

HI prasun
I got he concept of maneuver ware fare now. If the altay tank is exported to the pakis what gun will possibly go on them.Can they import the gun from korea?. Why is germany still close to turkey after all we all know that turkey will become the pakistan of europe!. Arse hole erdgan will destroy turkey and totaly islamise it .
do give us some dope on the glide bombs?are they same russian glide kit with indian nav system or some thing different?

Kunal Jadhav said...

sir,excellent analysis..
1) Are rudra and helina missile ready for deployment ?
If not then how long will it take and what is the cause of delay ?
2) Will 114 Dhanush 145 145 LW-155/M-777 and 100 K9 thunder will be enough ?If not
then what is actual requirement ? Will follow on orders be placed ?
3) For MALE and HALE will army and air force wait for DRDO Rustom and Rustom 2 or it
it will order it from Israel and US ?
4) How long will HAL take to develop LCHs and LUHs ?

Arpit Kanodia said...


I am unable to understand why we bought T-90 S , if Tank Ex was available by 2008 with Arjun Mk.1 turret? And how Tank Ex failed user trials while T-90 S passed?

And if I am right, then T-72 with Arjun Mk.1A (as you posted above) turret will be equivalent to T-90 MS. Why our forces never considered this?

Anup said...

Dear Sir,

1)As per your reply to Spyker & other people CCS given green light for K-9 Vajras contract, there are no news for CCS approvel?

2)Rudra,How many inducted in IA?

3)As per your comment IA will order Apache gunship how many will be order?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PIERRE ZORIN: All LUHs will come equipped with FLIR turret on the chin & this makes them into a double-edged sword, i.e. a LUH & LOH. FYI (LoLz!) LOHs have been with the IA since the 1970s, with the HAL-built SA.315B Lama/Cheetah serving in this role & always flying ahead of advancing armoured/nechanised formations. There are even several video-clips of these on YouTube. So, using LUHs as LOHs is nothing new for the IA.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: LoLz! That's like claiming since there are law-enforcement agencies/forces in the country, there's no need to equip your house with locks & keys!!!

To RAD: Relax, for no 120mm smoothbore cannon will find its way into Pakistan from anywhere. Do you really think the Chinese will allow such a major military transaction to take place with any other country when the Chinese, & not the Turks, are pumping money into Pakistan's economy? Glide-bombs are not under consideration anymore. Rocket-powered manoeuvrable LGBs are.

To KUNAL JADHAV: 1) Not yet. The HELINA will be ready by late 2017. 2) It's more than enough IF the 814 motorised 155mm/52-cal howitzers are also procured. 3) Of course not. Both Rustom-1 & Rustom-2 will await the proverbial Sohrab's arrival until eternity & therefore the IA has already procured Super Heron-1s while the IN wants the Guardian from General Atomics. The IAF will go for the turbofan-powered Avenger. 4) LUH should be ready before the LCH. The self-protection suite for the LCH has not yet been integrated with the airframe.

To ARPIT KANODIA: T-90S was ordered in early 2001. TANK EX was never subjected to any user-trials, only demonstrations were made as a technology demonstrator. A T-72M1 hull accommodating a turret of the Arjun Mk.1A & being powered by a 1,000hp engine instead of the existing 840hp engine will make it superior to the existing T-90S. But the most interesting developments are now taking place at last in the domain of field artillery. For, this Govt has at last realised that the Pakistan Army fears only 1 thing: an Indian Army that is not pinned down by counter-insurgency operations and is instead primed for the offensive. So, the then COAS Gen V N Sharma’s 1990 OP-PLANs have since been dusted off and have been updated and the ceasefire along the LoC will be finished for all time to come by this year’s end.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ARPIT KANODIA: Now Iran is raising an expeditionary 'liberation force' made up of Sunni Afghan refugees residing inside Iran:

We can only guess where this 'force' will be deployed to combat ISIS & other Wahhabi Sunni extremists. Operations inside southeast Afghanistan & the Sistan-Balochistan area will be the most probable areas, for starters. More headaches for Pakistan!

CHINAMAN said...

Sir ji,

1. For the motorised 155mm/52-cal howitzers, should India Go for the Archer or the Caesar ?

2. What is the LMs contribution in the upcoming Tejas facilty in AP ?

3. Which MBRL has been deployed in TAR ?


CHINAMAN said...


4. Has the elevation of the Tibet Military command boosted its warfighting capabilities and resources it can mobilize north of our borders ? Is Xinjiang next ?

5. Your views on this,

6. And this,

Spykar said...

"So, the then COAS Gen V N Sharma’s 1990 OP-PLANs have since been dusted off and have been updated and the ceasefire along the LoC will be finished for all time to come by this year’s end."

Prasun Da, You can see tomorrow's ashes even before the fire is struck and you even get a whiff of all the smoke before the smell is yet to reach anyone's nostril! You have already envisioned 'the end' as everyone is busy concerned with beginnings! You are a Historian with a Vision !!

sumit said...

Dada.. So Mistral sam will be our next shorad after igla? When it will enter service? And which qrsam IA will accept spyder or maitri?

soorya narayan said...

Prasun ji , recently there was an article by Madhav Nalapat of The Sunday Guardian predicting a limited war between India and Pakistan by end of this year .

This is the link

What is your take on this ?

The Seeker said...


What of the IA's high-altitude all-terrain mobility capabilities? ..Has there been any decision on the LSV procurement? ..Or are we making do with the Gypsies and Mules?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To CHINAMAN: 1) Caesar. 2) Nothing. 3) Type 90 122mm MBRL. 4) No. TMD is a district like XMD is. Both come under Western Command. 5) The writer is a certified moron.

To SUMIT: Mistral is MANPADS/VSHORADS. The IA & IAF don’t want VSHORADS. SpyDer-SR is the SHORADS that is being procured. Maitri project is now dead for good.

To SOORYA NARAYAN: The writer’s inferences & conclusions are all flawed to the hilt because they are all based on figments of his imagination. Even those portrayed as facts by him are totally wrong.

To THE SEEKER: IA already possesses Mitsubishi Pajeros, just like the PLA & PA does.

To ANUP: 1) Maybe those who are supposed to report such matters were not doing their job. 2) More than 6. 3) So far the IA hasn’t shown any inclination for the Apache.

The Seeker said...


Pajeros of the other side of the border are working fine but -

Apart from SUVs don't we need LSVs and LAMs for the troops at those heights, a few Pajeros/Endeavours/Fortuners and now even Scorpios wont amount to much change except for moral building and showoff. Even after repeated army evaluation and field trails, Why hasnt a single LSV like Mahindra Axe or the ones from Tata/Kalyani/Ashok Leyland or Bharat Forge has been ordered yet? Engine problems?

The Seeker said...

In your reply to Anup you said "IA hasn’t shown any inclination for the Apache"

What about the 39 Apaches for the Army Aviation Wing?

saurav jha said...

Do you think Karachi is ripe for another round of blowup ? MQM has been systematically targeted for almost 2 years now and still commands huge following in Karachi-hyderabad. The way MQM walas reacted today on Altaf Hussein's call, I think Muhazirs are getting desperate. Rangers will surely use even more force to suppress Mohazirs and that may create permanent fissures in their economic powerhouse to our advantage.

The Seeker said...

You said LUH should be ready before the LCH but how?.. when the LUH hasnt even had its first flight yet..? when will the Ka-226 be ready? ...and which helicopter is supposed to start flying out by 2018 from the HAL's Tumkur facility..?

The Seeker said...

What defence sector products are the Pakis and the Turkis collaborating on? ..and will there be further cooperation between them in Warship building?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: As that report clearly explains, the fault is that of the IA, i.e. not using common sense. A company like Mitsubishi or even Mercedes or Volvo organises global automobile safaris in which their 4 x 4 SUVs are extensively subjected to gruelling tests over extended periods & only after these are successfully accomplished is a certificate of roadworthiness awarded. Have TATA or M & M Motors or Ashok Leyland ever attempted such feats? If not, then what's the guarantee that their vehicles will outperform their imported counterparts? And what's the guarantee that the IA will comply with the SOPs specified by the OEM (like using specified fuels & additives) of any LSV/LAM if the IA is already wilfully violating all the SOPs mandated by Mitsubishi WRT the imported Pajeros? Whose fault is that?

As for AH-64E Apaches for the IA, has anyone from Boeing or the US Army presented any Letter of Offer to the IA proposing such a sale? And has the IA issued any RFI or RFP for such heavy attack helicopters? Has the IA even expressed any official interest in the LCH? The answer to all these is NO.

To SAURAV JHA: LoLz! The situation there is already beyond retrieval & that's precisely why there's all this talk nowadays about Gwadar eventually replacing Karachi as Pakistan's principal entrepot from the sea & also becoming the main financial hub. Ground realities today show that the leaders of both the PPP & MQM are residing abroad--Zardari in self-imposed exile because if he returns he will be arrested on terrorism charges levelled against him by his onetime best buddy Dr Zulfiqar Mirza from Badin (who as Sindh Interior Minister had issued an incredible 200,000 licences for assault rifles); & Altaf Hussain who is a British citizen & he too faces similar charges of terrorism. So, if these two political heavyweights can't make it big inside Pakistan, then their only hope of becoming Kings of their cherished lands lies in carving out their own safe sanctuaries by making Sindh secede from Pakistan, so that the PPP can rule over Sindh, while the MQM can make Karachi into a state & rule over it. The Balochis, numbering only 5 million, will require the support of native Pashtuns so that a critical mass can be created in favour of an independent Balochistan. That's where Afghanistan's & Iran's support are reqd. Juxtapose this with 2 very recent developments: the visit to India of Hamid Karzai & his request for heavy weaponry (field artillery & T-55 battle tanks) from India, & Iran's creation of a 'liberation force' comprising Afghan-origin refugees residing in Iran. Only then will one realise the game that's now afoot to enable the secession of Sindh & Balochistan from Pakistan.

The Seeker said...


Isnt that why the army field evaluation and trials are for; to check its road-worthiness..? ..Gruelling tests in Leh & Laddakh for extended periods is much more of a feat that participating in global safaris and cross country rallies. ..At the very least ITBPs all terrain mobility requirements and air-droppable light combat vehicles procurement should be taken care of with much ado.

And , ..Is it true that a 5-ton limit for ownership of helicopters by the Army, under the Joint Implementation Instructions 1986, is preventing IA to express such official interest in these rotary platforms and thus the turf-war? ..I am sure the maturity of the senior commanders of the Army and the Air Force will resolve the problem of sharing force multipliers in an early time frame before the chinooks and the apaches start coming.. ..and what of the HAL medium-lift helicopter ?

Thehundered said...

"So, the then COAS Gen V N Sharma’s 1990 OP-PLANs have since been dusted off and have been updated and the ceasefire along the LoC will be finished for all time to come by this year’s end."

Prasun can you give more details on COAS Gen V N Sharma’s 1990 OP-PLANs and "ceasefire along the LoC will be finished for all time to come by this year’s end" ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: LoLz! Field evaluation trials of proven/mature products from abroad are only meant for evaluating logistics-related compatibility, not for testing or validating operating parameters. In the case of these Pajeros, it is crystal-clear from the news-report that the Army HQ's MGO Branch has screwed up matters. Global safaris conducted by OEMs are far more exhaustive & gruelling than any field evaluation trial ever conducted by any military end-user. They are not automobile rallies by any chance. These are multinational global automobile manufacturers & have a reputation to protect. If the end-user doesn't adhere to the OE<-specified SOPs, no one can blame the OEM. The fault then is entirely of the end-user. Nor are all field-trials or user-evaluations of indigenous products as rigorous as they ought to be. For i8nstance, the Akash-1 SAM has never before been test-fired in the highlands, or in jungle terrain or in mountainous areas under sub-zero temperatures. That's why when the Rohini 3-D CAR was first tested in Leh back in 2010, it totally failed to operate there. The Rudra when fully armed weighs more than 5.5 tonnes.

The Seeker said...

Sir, Pajeros are fine. I not looking for where the fault lies nor defending the IA or its practises but just trying to know more where the solution lies for the LSVs and LAMVs for the IA & the ITBP for mountainous areas under sub-zero temperatures. Don't care if its Desi or Phoren or as long as IA troops are comfortable with it. Chinese Hummer-derivates have already navigated their way upto TAR.

Spykar said...

There you go Prasun Da, putting the 'b' in subtle & silencing the 'b' in 'doubt'! However i'm reluctant to dance without the actual music.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SEEKER: The solution lies not in getting vehicles, but constructing roads that can be used by these vehicles. Look across the LAC & you will find such roads & all-weather tunnels. Why haven;t such infrastructure come up on the Indian side, especially in the northeast, over the past 70 years? Whose fault is that? Furthermore, what business does the ITBP have manning border outposts anywhere along the LAC? In case you're not aware, both the LoC & LAC are TEMPORARY CEASEFIRE LINES. They are not international boundaries. Nowhere else in the world are such temporary ceasefire lines manned by paramilitary forces. Only armies are deployed along such lines. Along the LAC you will not find a single Chinese paramilitary personell or policeman, only PLA regular infantry soldiers. So first, think about this issue & about transportation infrastructure before cracking heads over vehicles.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE HUNDRED: Back then, it was actually in late1989 that Gen Sharma decided to launch cross-border raids & hold on to the captured territories across the LoC, i.e. recapture Haji Pir Pass & make shallow thrusts along the Bugina Bulge & Anzabari Bulge starting from April 1990, so that the IA would be in dominating heights all along the LoC & would sit along vantage points. Army HQ was then confident about achieving these objectives in less than 20 days despite the IA's 3 Divisions operating in Sri Lanka under OP PAWAN till March 1990, simply because the PA at that time had just finished its 3-month-long EX Zarb-e-Momin involving 2 Corps HQs & 11 Divisions (between October and December 1989) & was thus totally exhausted and consequently was in no position to launch any serious all-out offensive against India anywhere along the IB or LoC. But then came the Bob Gates mission in April 1990 begging India not to go on the offensive & India's then political leadership panicked instead of displaying sagacity.

In 1991 again there was another chance of going on the offensive when Gen Sunith Francis Rodrigues was the COAS & Sharad Pawar was the Defence Minister. The former had dusted off the OP-PLANs prepared way back in mid-1971 by the Gen GOC XV Corps Lt Gen Sartaj Singh that called for the IA's HQ Northern Command to capture & keep for good areas in Baltistan like Khapalu & Skardu. But Gen Maneckshaw had then refused to give the go-ahead for such offensive campaigns throughout the western sector because the Soviets had then made their exercising the UNSC veto conditional upon India not going on the offensive in the western front (& that's why the fortress of Kaiser-e-Hind at Husseiniwala in Punjab State was lost by India to the PA). Gen Rodrigues, with Pawar's unstinted support/backings, made urgent shoppings for spares & war wastage reserves over a 6-month period and also allowed formation commanders of HQ Northern Command to undertake hot pursuit operations whenever the need arose. The maximum number of cross-LoC special forces operations to be ever mounted by the IA took place in this period. Only after this did Gen Rodrigues with the approval from P V Narasimha Rao wrote a letter to the PA's then COAS Gen Asif Nawaz Janjua (the only time an IA COAS had ever written such a letter to his PA counterpart without any interference from the MoD or MEA) in which he invited Gen Janjua (who became COAS in August 1991) to Srinagar to see for himself how primed the IA was to go on the offensive across the LoC. Gen Janjua declined to accept the invitation, fearing that this would publicly tantamount to Pakistan buckling under Indian pressure. But the IA never gave up & after the RR was created by COAS Gen B C Joshi from 1991 till 1993, the situation inside J & K was stabilised & controlled by 1996, but elements of the offensive OP-PLAN were put in motion from 1993 when the IA's field artillery began pounding the Neelam Valley & the Muzaffarabad-Kel road, which brought all traffic bound for Baltistan to a standstill till November 2003.

So there you go, yet another small snippet of India's untold post-independence military history just got de-classified!

The Seeker said...

"what business does the ITBP have manning border outposts anywhere along the LAC..?"

I am aware of that. I said about IA & the ITBP(both) for mountainous areas under sub-zero temperatures(manning Border Outposts on altitudes ranging from 9000’ to 18700’ in the Western, Middle and Eastern Sector of the Indo-China Border). Not LAC. Though ITBP is deployed on border guarding duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3488 km of Indo-China and that makes it more necessary to equip them with such for recon and patrol(along with the IA for the LoC and LAC!)

Sorry Sir, but you still have not cleared my doubts regarding LSV/LAMVs (for all that it matters)!

JESTER said...

So, the then COAS Gen V N Sharma’s 1990 OP-PLANs have since been dusted off and have been updated and the ceasefire along the LoC will be finished for all time to come by this year’s end.

Sir ji, what exactly does this mean? How are the Pakis going to have this communicated to them? No major modernisation has occured of the IA in the past decade, they are still woefully equipped, how can they be made to fear the IA in the span of a few months?

Spykar said...

Or maybe we need some of these war robots for our Armed forces ::

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

This Pakistani Cheediya says Nawaz Sherif is going to make a "powerful" speech in UN on Kashmir. Would it not backfire on Pakistan because in response India would most likely respond by bringing up PoK and Balochistan in UN? (15 mins onwards)

Best Regards

Ludwig said...

Prasun, if we were to implement any such plan wouldn't summer be a better time for it?

Raman said...

Excellent and informative post ! are the detailed replies.....

A few clarifications:

(1) 58 Tanks to a regiment ??......3 Sqns of 15 each + 3 HQ Platoon = are the remaining 10 structured ??
(2) 11 when do you expect the balance 9 to come in...and the 2 A-50's long pending ??
(3) Any news of the F125's for the Jaguars ?? or we have no monies left.....I thought that given all the benefits of upgrading the Jags (Darin III + F125/drop fit + no major re-training/support/infrastructure needs etc)....this would be a quick deal...
(4) Apart from the LEMOA - do you expect any other 'deals' to be finalized on MP's trip to the USA next week ?
(5) And, in the Big Game Plan of the Willing of 2018-19 - How would the IN help ?? I am sure the destruction on the PN (and the PAF) would leave Pakistan (and the PA) totally uncovered, especially since India is not really going to looking at taking any Pakistan territory......only POK....

Anonymous said...

ur critical analysis please


Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

As per this Paki PM brought up Balochistan because he does not have a clue how to fix the current situation in Kashmir.

Best Regards

Anonymous said...

u take on this? which sensitive areas is it going to fly?


Rustom said...

Hi Prasun,

How do we plan to mitigate the threat posed by Chinese massed fire assaults using their inventories of conventional armed nlos-bsm and TBM? In this present thread alone you have posted a slide showing underground tunnels. stockpiling them in Qizil.PLARF can use these nlosbsm to pound our staging areas and troop concentrations in Eastern Ladakh,HP and in Sikkim pre emptively or in the very early stages of a conflict while staying well away from our engagement envelope. Almost all of their nlos-bsm are 150 km+ and even their heavy Mbrl like the A-100E has a 100 km+ range.

The PLA rocket forces have in their arsenal a plethora of Nlos-bsm and Tbm such as the CPMIEC P-20 which has a range of 70-270kms and carries a 200 kg warhead which may be a sub kiloton warhead or a HE or blast frag ,the B-611M which has a 280 km range and carries a 480 kg warhead. CPMIEC’s 2-tonne B-611M missile is designed to attack supply lines, warehouses, ballistic/cruise missile launch sites, SAM batteries, command-and-control centres, air bases, road/railway transportation hubs, and area targets in urbansurroundings. The other Nlosbsms are the SY-400,BP-12A and 150 km ranged P-12A.

The tank garrisions and troop concentrations in Ladakh will be juicy targets for their tbm and mbrls. How does the IA plan to protect its formations from such fire assaults and Nlos-bsms? Will a Bmd regiment comprising of endo atmospheric interceptors be deployed in these above mentioned areas? Can the to be procured Mrsam regiments equipped with the 90 km Barak-8 take care of all such tactical ballistic missiles and battlefield support missiles with a max 300 km range? Will the IAF launch Interdiction sorties over TAR to locate and destroy these mobile missile launchers in a manner similar to that flown by F-15E Eagles during Op Desert Storm?

As for the multitude of glide bombs and cruise missiles like the DH-10 that the PLAAF can deploy at will,what are our options for countering them? Spyder SR batteries for the army are still some time away.
Army HQ and airforce HQ must wargame these scenarios where the PLA are resorting to massive volleys of these TBMs and they must induct the required air defense assets for force protection.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JESTER: It’s not the hardware that counts, but the orientation & display of intent/will. This very same hardware had won the day in 1999 during OP Vijay.

To RAJ: There was a programme aired 2 days ago in Pakistan in which a former Pakistani diplomat had revealed for the first time how the foreign secretaries & foreign ministers India & Pakistan used to discuss the issue of J & K in the good old days. Whenever the issue came up on the agenda, the Indian side would always ask: “So when is Pakistan going to vacate PoK so that the first point of the UNSC resolution could be implemented?” When the startled Pakistanis would start stammering & say that that’s not what they had in mind, the Indian side would state” “Well, since you are not yet ready to implement the UNSC resolution, we consider the issue has already having been discussed & so let’s move on to the next item on the agenda.”

As for spin-doctors on both sides trying to dissect NaMo’s I-day speech, all that the Indian PM had stated that he was deeply thankful for all the goodwill & good wishes he had received from the folks hailing from PoK (inclusive of G-B) & Balochistan. That’s all on record & not once did he say anything more about human rights violations in those areas or the future status of those areas. Now, if folks on both sides (India & Pakistan) want to make ill-conceived assumptions & malicious conclusions, I can onbly say that they’re all way off the mark & are totally in the dark about how matters will unfold in future.

To LUDWIG: What for? Since when have artillery fire-assaults become weather-dependent?

To RON: It means 6 of the 9 addresses have been checked, verified & have been found to be correct. The navigation route that’s shortest & is most profitable should be adopted by the airlines.

Vikram Guha said...


Would like to get your opinion on this.

Not sure if you have read about this, but this incident is both disturbing & disgusting. The BJP is now training militia tribal groups in North Bengal with the help of the BSF so that they can carve out a separate state of their own.

If such trends continue, I'm afraid Balkanization of India will soon become a reality. We don't need either Pakistan or China



Arpit Kanodia said...


Whats your opinion of this.

"""""US Ambassador Richard Verma was quoted by news website Quint as having said in an interview that," When it comes to Balochistan, or even increased tensions in Kashmir in particular, it is our long-standing policy to leave the matter to be decided by the two parties." """""

I think from Robin Raphael to Richard Verma is going to be a story of millennium for India.

Anonymous said...

ur comment with explanations on this article?


SPYKAR said...

Time has come for India to stop arguing and start fighting! This reminds me of a good old saying "Doodh mangoge toh Kheer denge, Kashmir mangoge toh Cheer denge"!!

Prasun Da, Tell me its time to get the champagne glasses out please!!

rad said...

hi prasun
I share rustom`s concern regarding battle field missile fielded by china. How do we counter it ?
This is the first time i have seen china scared and issued a warning about a weapon system!! i am tickled !!. I think they have taken into account the steep dive trajectory and the pin point accuracy of the brahmos missile!!.An s manouver and a steep dive should make it escape from the s-300 missile they have deployed .
Is it possible to shoot down a brahmos with any other weapon system? Can the chinese s-300 missile version deployed on chinese destroyers bring down a brahmos?.

rad said...

hi prasun
there is a report of a pilot making a aircraft in maharastra , either he should be a genius or a crackpot to have assembled in his terrace as the report says.who is going to test fly it ?what will become of it .What is your take

The Seeker said...


A few unsettled queries :

1. What are the best solutions for LSV/LAMVs?

2. What defence sector products are the Pakis and the Turkis collaborating on? ..and will there be further cooperation between them in Warship building? ..and now as per reports, for the TFX programme?

3. HAL's Tumkuru facility is meant for which helicopter?

4. Status of the HAL medium-lift helicopter ?

5. Can you decrypt the GTRE's latest RFI for 130kn Aero Gas Turbine engine?

bhoutik said...

--> apparently the NSG chief RC Tayal revealed recently that an IED was found inside DRDO HQ, New Delhi.

--> the scorpene data leak.

if you could share details/insights and your thoughts on these...

Anonymous said...

bad news

Spykar said...

6. Its not true, right..?

CHINAMAN said...

You have already foretold the war, when where and how is it going to unfold, as well as its outcome but are there any loose ends to tie or any stuff that can possibly go wrong from India's POV? Is there any Plan B?

Though I do believe in prophecy but are you sure that your ballistic forensics will stand true as the bullet has not been fired as of yet.

bhoutik said...

also, please shed some light on the turbo jet engine "Owj" that the iranians unveiled.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Whats going on here?

Best Regards

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRAM GUHA: Don’t trust all that appears in the media. If there was any truth in it, then the TMC state govt by now should have organized a PC to reveal to the press all the material evidence it had to this effect. This is nothing but jockeying for the forthcoming state elections in Tripura.

To ARPIT KANODIA: Poor Robin Raphael was only a messenger relaying a message & she became the target. But this was the very same Robin Raphael who 6 months after her first statement reverted back to what the present-day US Ambassador to India is now saying. So, we & history need to be a bit more kind to Ms.Raphael, for she was only doing what her superiors had instructed her to do.

To RON: The joke, every Tom, Dick & Harry is now free to say whatever boulderdash comes to one’s mind. Wasn’t this the very same A B Vajpayee who said a solution to the J & K issue would be found within the bounds of ‘Insaaniyat’? Wonder what he meant by that, whether or not he presumed that ‘Insaaniyat’ lay within the bounds of India’s Constitution. Such wishy-washy mumjo-jumbo is one of the main reason why the present-day state of stalemate across the LoC prevails.

To SPYKAR: Fact-of-the-matter is, Indian political leaders in general & at large have never understood the nature of the beast or what military power means & how to go about exercising it as an instrument of state policy. It is all explained beautifully here:

No one can reason with an entity that is irreconcilable & which also nurtures comp;ulsive & congenital hatred against India from territorial, religious & ideological standpoints.

To RAD: Will answer your query as well as those of RAMAN & THE SEEKER in the following thread.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SPYKAR: That’s classic yellow jouyrnalism for you. Read the August issue of FORCE magazine in which there’s an interview with a DCNS official who details all that’s going on WRT F-21 HWT & how licenced-production of some of its components have already begun in India.

To CHINAMAN: Relax, there’s not only Plans A & B, but also C, D, E & F.

To BHOUTIK: Have been quite busy with my ‘recon missions’ along the LAC for monitoring & accessing the on-going PLAAF exercises within TAR. You can have a glimpse of them in the following thread.

To RAJ: LoLz! That’s another piece of classic yellow journalism. For, the Scorpene has never served in the warm waters of the IOR & therefore there exists no database of the recorded operating parameters of the Scorpene while operating in such waters. Therefore, at bet what may have leaked out are the standard specs which are not secret by any stretch of imagination. The actual operating parameters will become available only after the first-of-type Scorpene enters service with the IN & logs in 18 months of service.

AVI D said...

Hi Prasun,

What do you think the security implications of this is?

Also, how do you see the roil which is Kashmir valley getting resolved?

Spykar said...

Its a modern day Mahabharata being played out in the Media. All these new found realities in the Indian media scenario are sure to falsify what Mahatma Gandhi had said: "I want the cultures of all lands to blow as freely as possible in India, but I refuse to be swept off my feet by any of them.”

That report sums it up quite profoundly - "Win the battle first, winning hearts and minds will follow"

CHINAMAN said...

I would like to know what the alternatives are to an all out offensive-campaign on LoC. Care to explain in brief some of those Plans B, C, D, E & F?

Amardeep mishra said...

Hi prasun, I'm a student at IITM and find it ridiculous that none from IITs are willing to work in drdo

Raja said...

Thank you for a great article Prasun. So India has 3 armored brigades and 1 mechanised infantry battalion for use against China. I am learning through various media reports that the 17th mountain strike corps will have 2 armored brigades. Will these 2 armored brigades be in addition to the 3 already present or will the 2 brigades be sourced from existing independent armored brigades. In otherwords when 17 corps finishes raising what will be the total no of armored brigades and other armored mechanised assets devoted exclusively for use in Tibet. Many thanks