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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Priming Up For Knowledge-Based Manoeuvre Warfare

On paper, to the north, those Pakistan Army (PA) battle formations that are LoC-specific and Chicken’s Neck-specific are the Mangla-based I Corps that comprises the Gujranwala-based 6 Armoured Division, Kharian-based 17 Infantry Division, the 37 Mechanised Infantry Division also in Kharian, and the 8 Independent Armoured Brigade; and the Rawalpindi-based X Corps that includes the Gilgit-based Force Command Gilgit-Baltistan, Murree-based 12 Infantry Division, Mangla-based 19 Infantry Division, the Jhelum-based 23 Infantry Division, and the Rawalpindi-based 111 Independent Infantry Brigade. Formations allocated for operations along the ‘Shakargarh Bulge’ are the Gujranwala-based XXX Corps comprising the Sialkot-based 8 Infantry Division and 15 Infantry Division; Lahore-based IV Corps with its 10 and 11 Infantry Divisions, two semi-mechanised Independent Infantry Brigades (including the 212 Bde) and one Independent Armoured Brigade; and the Multan-based II Corps made up of the Multan-based 1 Armoured Division, and the Okara-based 14 Infantry Division, 40 Infantry Division and an Independent Armoured Brigade. Thus far, no significant forward deployments of any of these formations have taken place.
Down south, the battle formations arrayed against Rajasthan include the Bahawalpur-based XXXI Corps with its 26 Mechanised Division, 35 Infantry Division, two Independent Armoured Brigades and the 105 Independent Infantry Brigade; and the Karachi-based V Corps with its Pano Aqil-based 16 Infantry Division, Hyderabad-based 18 Infantry Division, Malir-based 25 Mechanised Division, plus three Independent Armoured Brigades at Malir, Pano Aqil and Hyderabad. So far, only some elements of the 25 and 26 Mechanised Divisions have been deployed opposite an area stretching from Jaisalmer to Fort Abbas and the PA has begun flying relentless sorties of its Shahpar (CH-3) tactical UAVs that were acquired from China’s CATIC in 2012. 
This is probably a precautionary measure aimed at monitoring the IA’s upcoming Division-level armoured/mechanised infantry exercises that are held during wintertime. Along the Durand Line, formations that are deployed include the Peshawar-based XI Corps currently with its 7, 9, 14, 17 Divisions and part of 23 Division, along with two independent infantry brigades; and the Quetta-based XII Corps with the 33 and 41 Infantry Divisions).
The PA, however, is most unlikely to attempt any form of escalation along either the LoC or the WB since it presently has a deployment ratio of 54.6%, while the resting and re-equipping ratio is 12.7%, and the remaining 33% is undergoing the training cycle. This trend will continue for at least another four years, since the defunct Durand Line too became active from mid-2014. 
It may be recalled that since March 2002, the PA has been forced by elements that later on went on to become the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) by 2006 to wage a three-front war against the TTP and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in South Waziristan (which also included Chechan and Uighur militants; against the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan in the sensitive Darra Adam Khel-Kohat area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or KPK (formerly NWFP) and the Shia-dominated Kurram Agency of FATA; and, against the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), headed by Maulana Fazlullah, and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in the Swat Valley of KPK. 
The TTP’s cadre base is more than 20,000 tribesmen and the Abdullah Mehsud group from the Alizai clan of the Mehsud tribe from South Waziristan commands about 5,000 fighters. Other militant groups within the TTP include Maulvi Nazir from the Kaka Khel sub-tribe of the Ahmadzai Waziri tribe (South Waziristan), Hafiz Gul Bahadur from the Ibrahim Khel clan of the Utmanzai Wazir tribe (North Waziristan), the Haqqani network using manpower from the Mezi sub-tribe of the Zadran tribe (North Waziristan), Mangal Bagh (Khyber), TNSM (Swat, Dir, Malakand), and Faqir Mohammad (Bajaur).
Some 35% of PA troops (about 180,000 out of an end-strength of approximately 550,000 active-duty personnel and another 500,000 reservists) were engaged in LIC campaigns since 2007 till 2014 and are still literally bogged down throughout the entire 27,200 square kilometres of FATA. 
Formations fully committed to LIC operations include the 37 Mechanised Infantry Division and 17 Infantry Division from Mangla-based I Corps in Swat, 19 Infantry Division from X Corps in northern Swat (based out of Jhelum), 7 Infantry Division from Rawalpindi-based X Corps in North Waziristan (based out of Mardan), 9 Infantry Division from Peshawar-based XI Corps in South Waziristan (based out of Kohat), 14 Division from Multan-based II Corps, Jhelum-based 23 Division  (with 7 infantry brigades) of the X Corps, and 40 Infantry Division. The Gujranwala-based XXX Corps and the Bahawalpur-based XXXI Corps lent one Brigade each. 
In all, there are approximately 17 infantry brigades or 45 infantry battalions, and 58 Frontier Corps (FC) wings now engaged in LIC operations. By mid-2011, 1,83,400 troops had a westward deployment orientation (it now stands at 206,000), while another 10,000 are now abroad on UN-related peacekeeping missions.
Clearly, therefore, the PA is most unlikely to stage large-scale land offensives involving manoeuvre warfare. Instead, the PA, whose MBT armoury presently comprises 550 Al Khalids, 320 Type 85IIAPs upgraded to Al Zarrar standard, 500 Type 59s upgraded to Al Zarrar standard, 380 Type 59s, 450 69IIAPs, and 320 T-80UDs, making for a total of 2,520 tanks, is likely to do what it did in both 1965 and 1971, i.e. use the combination of its armoured and mechanised infantry assets to swiftly transform Pakistan’s semi-urban and rural areas bordering India’s Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan states into impregnable fortresses for the sake of blunting the Indian Army’s (IA) expected shallow-depth land offensives that could be launched from southern J & K and northern Punjab through the Chicken’s Neck and Shakargarh Bulge areas.
Given Pakistan’s elongated geography, it is possible for the PA to use its interior lines of communications for deploying its warfighting assets to their forward concentration areas within 72 hours. To this end, the PA has since 2007 built a sprawling new central ammunition storage depot to the South of its Mangla Cantonment, and has also expanded the existing depot at Kharian.   
Therefore, the IA’s principal doctrinal challenge is to seek ways of enticing the PA to come out in the open so that its armoured/mechanised infantry formations are forced to engage in manoeuvre wars of attrition, during which the IA will be required to swiftly locate and destroy in detail the adversary’s warfighting assets and capabilities. Exactly how this can be achieved is explained below.
Key Areas Requiring Attention
It is obvious from the above-mentioned dispositions of the PA’s armoured/mechanised infantry formations that Pakistan’s heartland remains its province of Punjab, and nothing else. From this, one can deduce that the full conventional might of the PA will be utilised for denying the IA the much-needed space for deep AirLand battles. All talk, therefore, of the PA acquiring ‘full-spectrum’ nuclear deterrence through the deployment of TNWs to thwart large-scale IA land offensives is therefore utter baloney and boulderdash. This becomes starkly evident when analysing the IA’s objectives for its future AirLand campaigns that will most likely focus on ways and means of seizing back Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) through multi-dimensional AirLand campaigns being launched from the southwest, east and to the north00all aimed at capturing the districts of Bagh, Bhimber, Kotli, Mirpur and Muzaffarabad. The PA will consequently be forced to commit the bulk of its offensive Strike Corps formations against those IA’s offensive formations poised for breakout throughout India’s Punjab State and the southern portion of Jammu & Kashmir State. In such a scenario, should the IA be tasked with the attainment of India’s strategic objectives through a high-intensity AirLand campaign lasting up to a fortnight (to be waged by the IA’s mission-tailored Integrated Battle Groups, or IBG), then the IA will be required to be supplied with two vital force-multiplier capabilities that will bestow the IA with the overwhelming superiority required for waging knowledge-based warfare through effects-based tactical operations: tools for mastering the OODA Loop (which refers to the decision cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act) such as integral land-based and airborne intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) assets capable of providing real-time targetting updates to Army Aviation Corps platforms, the DRDO-developed and BEL-built Shakti ACCCS and the on-site armoured vehicles; and customised armoured vehicles armed with target-specific weapons.
Over the past 16 years, significant efforts have been made by India’s Ministry of Defence-owned DRDO laboratories and DPSUs like Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) toward the fielding of RF-based and optronic sensors for battlespace surveillance. Latest examples of these include the BEL-developed LRRSS, the DRDO-developed and BEL-built BFSR-XR 50km-range and BFSR-ER 15km-range battlefield surveillance radar, and the IRDE-developed and BEL-built, armoured vehicle-mounted SEOS with 15km-range.  
What is lacking, however, is the availability of synthetic aperture radar-based sensors capable of providing high-resolution, photographic-like imagery, even in inclement weather or darkness. The most obvious solution therefore lies in equipping the recce-scout RSH version of the HAL-developed LUH with a lightweight SAR sensor like SAAB’s Carabas, plus s stabilized LRRSS. The Carabas is designed to enable superior foliage and camouflage penetration (FOPEN) capabilities, wide-area surveillance and automatic target detection. It is based on low-frequency SAR and change detection technology and it also exploits polarimetric sensing. Carabas utilses two very broad bands in the low VHF and UHF domains: 20–90MHz and 140–360MHz, respectively. It is the low VHF band that gives Carabas its supreme penetration performance, while the UHF band is more important for detecting smaller targets in lighter vegetation. Carabas’ signals penetrate foliage without reflections through all vegetation types and man-made camouflage. The Army Aviation RSH helicopters, when equipped with such sensors, will not only make the battlespace transparent and almost eliminate the fog of war, but will also be able to provide real-time situational awareness updates to the command post of Brigade-sized or Battalion-sized IBGs, based on which the IBG’s commander will be able to rapidly respond to specific requests for both direct and indirect fire-support, as well as wage effects-based combined arms operations with both a wide variety of armoured vehicles and the Rudra gunships.
Supplementing these will be a host of digitised GIS-based tools (pertaining to both friendly and enemy territories) that are now available (work on them began in 2009) for the IA’s South-Western, Western and Northern Command HQs and can be readily uploaded on to any armoured vehicle’s autonomous land navigation system (ALNS). Terrain analysis is the starting point in conceptualising a battle. Natural or man-made diversity grants different values for different areas, creates centres of gravity, breaks up terrain into areas with varying degree of mobility, and creates checkpoints and exclusion zones. Differences in elevation, soil-bearing pressure and other trafficability issues, the location of natural obstacles such as rivers, swamps, defiles, crevasses and artificial obstacles like intelligent minefields, tank bumps, fortified gun posts, underground bunkers, deliberate flooding and the existence of buildings, roads, bridges, dams, and religious sites; all have an effect on build-up, mobility, troops and weapons deployment, and field communications. These considerations apply to conventional and non-linear dispersed operations equally. In order to succeed, all land-based military campaigns require processing of terrain data and effective use of terrain information functions such as planning, controlling, organising and decision-making. Terrain information, therefore, is unquestionably a critical resource in the operation of all military organisations.
Military Geospatial Information System (MGIS) helps in generating terrain trafficability maps, commonly referred to as Going Maps (GM), when data pertaining to five thematic layers, viz., soil, slope, moisture, land use, and landform is fed into the system. It is then integrated to produce the GMs in a three-level hierarchical manner. At every level, the theme integration takes place through a trafficability-ranking matrix, which actually encodes the domain knowledge for mobility. The theme integration is implemented using an artificial neural network in a GIS environment to overcome the limitations of spatial analysis of a conventional GIS and to incorporate the generalisation ability of a neural network into the system. The system divides going conditions into three categories, namely, ‘good going, 'restricted going’, and ‘difficult going’. Beside the generation of GMs, the MGIS can also assess the ground water potential of a given terrain based on case-based reasoning (CBR). A typical CBR cycle comprises the following four steps: Retrieve the most similar cases, re-use the cases to solve the problems, revise the proposed solution if necessary, and retain the new solution as part of a new case. The attributes used for assessment of the groundwater potential of a given terrain are geology, landform, land use, soil, slope, and lineament. The case-base is prepared using cases having the aforementioned attributes along with the results of the training case. Once a query case is received the most similar cases are retrieved. Afterwards, the retrieved cases are combined with the new case using ‘re-use’ mechanism to present the proposed solution to the query case. The ‘revise’ process tests the obtained solutions for success, typically on a real-world situation. Finally, the useful experience is ‘retained’ for future use, and the case-base is updated accordingly.
Terrain Feature Extraction System (TFES) is being used for extracting terrain parameters or themes (land-use/land cover, landform, and soil type) from satellite images and associated knowledge base in an automated mode. The land use, landform, and soil layer has 10, 28, and 12 classifications, respectively. For land-use classification, a multi-layer perceptron (MLP) is used for training and subsequent generation of corresponding themes. The landform classification uses a texture-based method for creating a database that is used for training MLP. However, texture-based methods alone are not sufficient for generating landform themes. The advantage with land-use is that the satellite images always capture the top canopy of the earth’s surface, whereas for landform as well as soil-theme extraction, one has to penetrate through the canopy and infer the thematic information based on some ‘association rule’, or some other ‘relevant knowledge’. TFES first tries to identify the terrain category to which the given image belongs. Afterwards, it undertakes texture-, connectivity- and shape-based methods to delineate the actual landform classes. The soil-theme extraction module actually divides the computational process into two phases. The first phase uses the coarse classification using MLP-trained-by-error back-propagation algorithm, whereas the second phase allows the coarse-classified imagery to pass through a ‘rough-CBR’ system to get the final soil classification. The rough set-theoretic approach is employed in the final classification stage for its ability to discover decision/classification rules from the data. The discovered rule-set is referred to as the ‘soil information system’.
Terrain Reasoner System (TRS) helps decision-makers (troop commanders, wargamers and mission planners) in a combat development setting for arriving at route alternatives that are largely determined by the threat capability of the obstacles and strategic nature of the regions to be negotiated for a pre-specified mission accomplishment risk factor (MARF). The problem of navigation and route planning of vehicles or troops is defined as the final behavioural outcome of a sequence of complex decisions involving several criteria that are often conflicting and difficult to model. A fuzzy inference system has been built to implement the perceive-reason-act decision cycle of a moving agent representing a vehicle or a foot soldier in a safety-critical tactically driven scenario. A two-person soft-game model has also been developed to compute the best-next-move for a reflex, goal-oriented, rational, and utility-driven moving agent. The route computation takes place directly over a satellite image that has been classified as ‘go’, ‘slow-go’ and ‘no-go’ region. While the route traced by the agent is locally optimum in a defined tactical sense, global optimality can be achieved through a process of adaptive learning over several simulation episodes. The agent-task environment interaction model is extended into the virtual reality graphics environment. The baseline virtual reality extension can be invoked by the user through access buttons in the graphic user interface. By a proper selection of the camera placements and view perspectives, the user is able to remain either static in a particular position or moveable along with the roving agent and can watch (in 3-D) the tactical manoeuvre performed by the roving agent from different vantage points. The virtual reality implementation is meant to serve as an exploratory tool for finding strategically interesting configurations of various objects thereby enhancing the user's situational awareness of the scene.
Terrain Matching System (TMS) is an intelligent decision-support system based on the integration of CBR and fuzzy multi-criteria decision making. Classically, CBR uses symbolic and/or numeric attributes. However, in reality there exists a certain degree of fuzziness and uncertainty associated with the descriptors used for characterising problems. Also, these problems can be better represented using linguistic world expressions. Fuzzy case-based reasoning is a methodology, which uses linguistic or realistic variables for case representation. It emulates human reasoning about similarity of real-world cases, which are fuzzy (continuous and not discrete). TMS consists of two components, i.e., the application developer and the problem solver. The application developer is responsible for development of any application desired by a domain expert (he/she should be able to define any number of slots of different data required to define an application, through slot manager). There is a provision for the domain expert to assign different properties to slots in terms of indexing, fuzzy, descriptive, default values, etc. through the case manager. Fuzzy function suitable for a particular application can also be specified. This module has restricted access rights. The problem-solver has major sub-parts like search engine, the similarity computation module and the solution module. The search engine retrieves the cases indexed by relevant indexing slots and computes similarity between the query case and the cases retrieved from the case base. The cases entered through the case manager under a case type, are indexed by the slots, which are specified as indexing slots for that case type. Multi-criterion algorithm plays a role in determining the usefulness of the selected cases. Search for most similar and most useful cases results in the selection of only those cases that are superior to or that dominate other cases in the case-base. Once a query case is submitted, the similarity computation module of the shell retrieves the cases similar to the current problem or situation using the indices. Each past case is assessed for similarity to the current case according to the multiple attributes. Similarity assessments are performed sequentially according to the order of importance of attributes and help in determining usefulness of the selected case for the current situation. The solution module proposes a solution as evaluated by the decision system. The solution-case is having the highest similarity score among all the retrieved similar cases. Thus, the most useful and most similar case would be considered as the final suggested solution to the user. The application of the module has been demonstrated for finding terrain similar to a given target terrain, which is often the denied or inaccessible terrain in a specific context. The multi-criteria decision-making capability has been demonstrated by solving the problem of choosing the best single/multiple air-drop/landing zones near a mission objective with specified coordinates in an arid/semi-arid region.  

Customised Armoured Vehicles for Waging Knowledge-Based Manoeuvre Warfare
First firm indications of the kind of futuristic families of armoured vehicles required for the future digitised AirLand battlespace emerged two years ago when, following 10 years of operations analysis starting in the mid-1990s  and the consequential 10 years of military-industrial R & D work that began in 2005, the Russian Army unveiled its Ob’yekt 148 T-14 Armata MBT, the Ob’yekt 149 T-15 tracked heavy fire-support combat vehicle (FSCV), the Ob’yekt 693 and Ob’yekt 695 Kurganets-25 tracked ICVs, and lastly the 8 x 8 Boomerang VPK-7829 wheeled APC. Just prior to that, the Russian Army had already developed the BMPT-72 FSCV, which will in future be superceded by the Ob’yekt 149 T-15 tracked Heavy ICV.
The FSCV has today emerged as an irreplaceable element of the combined-arms, armour-heavy IBGs since it plays the critical role of supporting the armoured assault team with target acquisition and close-/medium-range fire-support and anti-armour team suppression. It is also highly effective in both rural and urban areas, offering elevations and depression angles for both main weapons and their associated optronic sensors. Without the BMPT-72’s existence today, MBTs like the T-90S, T-72CIA and Arjun Mk.1A would be highly vulnerable to anti-armour ambushes laid by dug-in hostile forces lurking within rural farmhouses of the type prevalent in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province and southern PoK.  
The BMPT-72’s turret contains 850 rounds of APRS-T, HEF-I, AP-T, plus KE rounds. A redesigned turret with lower profile and better protection, including armoured shields for protecting the 9M123 Khrizantema ATGMs from splinters and small-arms fire, have been incorporated. The ATGM launchers are positioned oblique side-by-side rather than the previous stack configuration. The BMPT-72 also uses improved fire-control and navigation systems, utilising video, thermal imaging and laser rangefinder sights for both the commander and gunner. The standard T-72 hull has received a remodeling with add-on armour and reactive armour modules, with slat armour protecting the rear area. The laser-guided 6km-range 9M123F version of the Khrizantema, developed byKBM Kolomna Machine Design Bureau, comes with a thermobaric warhead for destroying bunkers and other man-made dwelling structures.
Another vehicle similar to the BMPT-72 is Israel’s Nammer heavy ICV, which comjes equipped with state-of-the-art vectronics developed by ELBIT Systems for offering dramatically enhanced all-round situational awareness.
Yet another vital component of the IBG when waging manoeuvre is the land-mobile 120mm breech-loading mortar, which had until recently remained a much maligned and under-appreciated weapon. The IA’s military planners and warfighters tend to be enamoured with high-tech weapon systems and fail to recognise the potential of a tried and true weapon that has been around since before the American Civil War. While high-tech weapon systems have their place on the battlefield, they are expensive and should be used for high-value targets. It is universally accepted that the mortar is an indirect fire weapon. However, few are aware that the mortar can also be utilised in a direct-fire role. When mounted on a lightweight armoured vehicle and firing high-explosive fin-stabilised, shallow coned-shape charge—high explosive squash head— munitions, the mortar can have a devastating effect on brick and masonry walls. What once provided cover and concealment to the enemy now becomes a lethal, casualty producing, spall.
The devastation can be localised without bringing down entire structures. The secret to employing the mortar in the direct-fire mode is the incorporation of a breech block and a pivoting base rather than the traditional base-plate. The breach block and pivoting base-plate allow the mortar to be used in the traditional muzzle-loaded role using conventional munitions, or in the breech-loaded direct-fire mode using specialised munitions. The concept of using a mortar in, both, an indirect fire and a direct-fire mode had its advent during World War-2 when the Swiss developed a 105mm breech-loaded mortar. However, this was not adopted by any of the warring powers. After WW-2, this weapon became commercially available and was purchased in limited quantities by both Pakistan and Malaysia. The idea of a breech-loading mortar, although not new, now seems to be receiving renewed interest.
In 1996 BAE Hagglunds and the Finnish armaments developer Patria developed the advanced mortar system (AMOS) a turret-mounted, breech-loaded, twin-barreled 120mm for mounting on both tracked and wheeled vehicles, as well as coastal patrol vessels. The AMOS is capable of firing a wide range of conventional and specialised ammunition. With both guns sharing a common cradle, the AMOS is capable of multiple rounds simultaneous impact. In 2007 BAE tested its non-line-of-sight mortar, NLOS-M platform. Like the AMOS it fired a wide range of conventional and specialised mortar munitions, and like AMOS, it was capable of multiple round simultaneous impact. To date, the development of such mortars has focused on 120mm systems, which were tied to larger programmes. 
A mortar that can be either breech-loaded or muzzle-loaded, and can be used in either an indirect or direct-fire mode, is still worth pursuing particularly for use in the current theatres of operation in South Asia. The focus should also be on 81mm calibres. The ability to deny the enemy cover and concealment afforded by brick and masonry walls without having to demolish entire structures or rely on high-tech weapon systems needs its day in court. Leveraging existing technologies to put such a weapon system in the hands of troops today, and not five years down the road, is both affordable and low-risk, technologically. An 81mm lightweight vehicle mounted breech-loaded mortar, designed to accompanying dismounted ground troops operating in an urban or rural environments, or in support of remote outposts, will provide immediate direct-fire or indirect fire capabilities to small unit leaders at the squad- and platoon-leveld.  Commanders could concentrate the fires of mortars from decentralised locations on targets of opportunity, or employ the mortar systems independently, or as part of existing organic fire-support assets from a centralised location in support of ground operations.  
The last vital component of the IBGs are the armoured vehicle-mounted surveillance and target acquisition (SATA) systems and sensors that, when mounted atop raisable hydraulic masts, provide enhanced situational awareness and fire-support coordination vectors for the MBTs, FSCVs, ICVs and APCs. So what are the IA’s home-grown options that can be rapidly exploited in order to field the fleets of FSCVs, APCs and SATA-related platforms?
Before exploring the various available homegrown platform options, it will be worthwhile to take note of the fact that over the past 15 years, significant military-industrial competencies have been attained in areas like automotives, digitised vectronics and related data-buses, composites-based appliqué armour and ceramics-based add-on armour tiles, and soft-kill and hard-kill self-defence suites—some of which are highlighted in the following slides:
Tailor-Made Platform Options
From the above, it becomes evident that if the intention is to acquire overwhelming conventional superiority against its adversary, the IA will be required to undertake a radical makeover of its manoeuvre warfare force structures. For instance, a Regimental IBG will then have to comprise two ISTAR vehicles, 40 MBTs like the Arjun Mk.1A, eight FSCVs, four breech-loading mortar carriers, 15 BMP-2 ICVs, and up to 20 wheeled 8 x 8 APCs. But rather than procure new-build vehicles for developing such platforms, preference must be given to the modification and upgrade (through public-private industrial partnerships) of existing armoured vehicles that are presently lying totally unutilised.  
For instance, up to 2,200 Vickers Mk.1/Vijayanta 39-tonne medium battle tanks were built from the late 1960s till the early 1980s. On the other hand, 1,800 T-54 and 36-tonne T-55 medium battle tanks were inducted into service throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The first batch of 300 T-54s were ordered in 1964 from the USSR and were delivered between 1965 and 1967. The second batch of 225 T-55s were ordered in 1968 and were delivered between by 1971. The third batch of 650 T-55s were ordered in 1971 and were delivered between 1971 and 1974. In addition, 274 T-54s, 44 T-55s and seven T-55AKs were ordered in 1970 from Czechoslovakia and delivered between 1970 and 1971. A further 300 T-55s were ordered in 1971 from Poland and delivered in the same year. Of these, 800 T-55s were upgraded with Polish assistance in the 1980s.
All these vehicles can easily be modified and upgraded through the installation of all those items mentioned above. In addition, both the Vickers Mk.1/Vijayantas and T-55s need to be fitted with new powerpacks, with the obvious choice being the Model V-84MS four-stroke 12-cylinder multi-fuel engine developing 840hp, which has been licence-built by the MoD-owned and Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory since the late 1980s.
Following the structural upgrades to their hulls and fitment of new powerpacks and vectronics, different types of mission-specific turrets will have to be installed. For instance, the ISTAR vehicle will require the installation of raisable hydraulic masts containing BFSR-ER & SEOS sensors, which will receive locational data from a RSH helicopter equipped with foliage-penetration SAR and will then take over the task of zeroing in on the precise positions of hostile mortar locations, bunkers and camouflaged MBTs.   
For command-and-control purposes, the T-55’s OFB-developed Taimour APC version will come in handy.  
The FSCV, on the other hand, will have a target acquisition/fire-control system comprising a commander’s panoramic sight identical to that of the Arjun Mk.1A and a gunner’s sight that uses the TISAS and TISK vectronics of the BMP-2K, but its main job will be to target hostile bunkers and dug-in enemy infantry concentrations with both its twin 30mm 2A42 cannons as well as 9M123F Khrizantema missiles armed with thermobaric warheads that create a sustained and intense pressure-wave, which can be used against bunkers and hardened targets, while causing minimum damage to the surrounding areas.
Accompanying the FSCV will be the 120mm breech-loading mortar carrier for engaging dug-in enemy infantry concentrations.
The existing BMP-2 ICVs will be required to be re-equipped with a new-generation turret containing TISAS vectronics, a single 2A42 cannon, plus a 30mm automatic grenade launcher.
In addition, each BMP-2’s embedded infantry squad should be armed with a 9P135M Manportable launcher with FLAME adaptation kit, plus four Konkurs-M and four Milan-2T ATGMs.
Lastly, the wheeled 8 x 8 APCs like the TATA Motors-developed Kestrel will require only a 12.7mm machine-gun mounted on a remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) of the type already on board the Arjun Mk.1A MBT.
Thus, the vehicular configuration of a Regimental IBG will include all the vehicles shown in the slide below.
Other Platform Possibilities
Several financially attractive options exist with regard to making effective use of modified hulls of the T-55 and Vijayanta medium tanks. These include:
Using the T-55’s re-engined hull for mounting customised turrets housing demining flails, like what has been attempted by the DRDO under the CMF-72 project.
Using the T-55’s re-engined hull for mounting full-width mine-ploughs that can be used for swiftly breaching minefields laid in-depth (up to 1,600 yards).
Using the Vijayanta’s re-engined hull to house AAA turrets like the Typhoon from Israel’s RAFAEL, or the upgraded ZSU-23-4’s turret.
Using the Vijayanta’s re-engined hull to house low-level tactical gapfiller air-defence radars like the L-band Bharani that can be raised with the help of a hydraulic mast.    
Finally, for base air defence, a truck-mounted solution can well be developed by making use of the OFB-built AK-630M cannon that makes use of the BEL-built Lynx UX multi-sensor fire-control system. 

It appears that the NORINCO’s ZBD-08 tracked carrier carrying the AFT-10 CM-501G NLOS-ATGMs too has felt the need for a panoramic target acquisition/tracking system just like the IA had felt the need for its NAMICAs armed with Nag ATGMs! This new version of the ZBD-08/AFT-10 combination is now at the expo centre in Zhuhai for the forthcoming Airshow China 2016 event (starting November 1), which will be an aerospace event in name only and will play host to the complete range of land-based weapons developed by various military-industrial entities of China. Judging by external looks, especially the camouglage paint patterns, all such weapons platforms are being targetted for sales in the Middle East/North Africa regions.


Gopu said...

While it's painfully obvious that the IA's deployment capability can only be marginally superior at best against Pakistan, the IAF's greatly upgraded capabilities should give us a decisive advantage. We have plenty of tactical interdictors and CAS aircraft in the form of Jaguars equipped with CBU-105 and Mirages (and Su-27s if those can still fly) that can skew contact battles in our favor. Not to mention that the IA could use it Brahmos regiments to target ammunition depots and such.

prashant said...

what is the status of induction of nag missiles & namica launchers ?
this system is meant for what units ? will it be given to plains based regular infantry or mechanised infantry, or armoured units ?
what is the total requirement of such a system, in numbers ?

rad said...

hi prasun
Does the namica vehicle have a elevating mast to acquire targets as the present height would not be enough to acquire far of targets in the deserts?

what is the present status of the nag and helina?

Arh93 said...

Prasun'da (1)I always wanted to know how IAF decided to get 45 squadrons I mean why not 50? Is their any logic or calculation? (2)Also if IAF inducts enough s-400, BARAK-8 batteries + force multipliers like AWACS, jstars, Pgm, alcm can Iaf cut down squadron numbers? (3)Paf used F-16 armed with jdam,lgb in Fata do u think it can replenish its stock from USA anymore? (4) I found out on a blog that Paf F-16s don't have mid-air refueling capability so do u think Paf F-16s are at best an air defence fighter now?

Circuit said...

You said that "The home-grown BMD system using AAD endo-atmosphetic & PAD exo-atmospheric interceptors was a gigantic fraud perpetrated by the DRDO and India does not require satellites like SBIRS"

But VK Saraswat had to say this :

"Today we have the capability of intercepting missiles at an altitude of 100 kilometres above the atmosphere and 30 kilometres inside the atmosphere. What we do not have is space-based capabilities that will detect the launch of an enemy missile. We need capabilities that can detect the missile as soon as the plumes become visible. "

We need to intercept missiles travelling at a speed of Mach four or five, which is about 1,500-2,000 metre per second. We have to be faster at about 3,000 metre per second. DRDO has done this." He added.

Can you clear the air once and for all?

Arpit Kanodia said...


Your view on this?

Kambar said...

Please share dope on IMRH helicopter and when we can expect to see it in the sky. Also if HAL can do the 12 tonne version, there's nothing difficult about HAL doing the 10 tonne helicopter. Unless IN needs the 10 tonne ones ASAP, then buy the MH-60R.

Also will the IMRH be used for VVIP roles, like other 12 tonnes AW-101 or S-72?

Reliance Group has a pile of unpaid debt. Why are the Indian taxpayer bailing them out with billions worth of defense deals like Rafale license building and Grigorivich frigates?

Moreover, Reliance has not invested a lakh in defense R&D product development, which tells you a lot about their intentions.... Is Reliance bankrolling BJP for 2019 elections? Just signing MOUs with OEMs and hoping that they get lucky and MoD down-selects them.

Meanwhile we have plenty of pvt. Indian defense companies not getting contracts like Bharat Forge, Tonbo Imaging, TATA Kestrel.

Kambar said...

Will Pinaka mk2 be deployed by 2018? Is this with guided rockets or not?

Also Rudras inducted so we can just arm them with guided rockets, right? That should be interim for Nag?

rahul said...

what the hell is wrong with these guys ?
is there no way to rein in these idiots like bhushan..
i dont think that there could have been corruption in rafale deal..& the scorpion data did not leak from india..isn't it ?
why the heck do we tolerate these morons..bastards can just blab whatever they want without justification & get away with it.

these people like bushan, kajri..are products of vivekanand intl u think these schmucks have now turned loose from their master at VIF ?

Pratap said...

Sir, whats happening with Barak-8? Israel has already put it into service in 2013. WTF is DRDO doing?

Chakra said...

Is there anything such as a sound guided missile other than the acoustic homing torpedoes?

In the Mahabharata, Krishna, when his opponent Saubha makes himself invisible on the battlefield, shoots at him an arrow or missile that is guided by sound to hit its target.

I read about a WW-II A-2-A missile, the Ruhrstahl X-4, which had a acoustical proximity fuze tuned to the 200 Hz sound of the B-17's engines in cruise.

Can such missiles be effective in defeating stealth in modern warfare?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To GOPU: There are options available, PROVIDED common-sense is extensively used. This thread is a humble attempt to explain the obvious solutions staring at our faces.

To PRASHANT: No production deliveries have taken place as yet & therefore there has been no service-induction. The NAMICA is meant for the IA’s Pivot/RAPIDS Corps formations.

To RAD: Nope. There’s no raisable hydraulic mast. Will explain it all in the concluding section of this thread. HELINA is undergoing user-assisted firing trials & user-trials haven’t yet begun. NAMICA should enter service next year.

To ARH93: 1) The MoD-sanctioned strength is 42, not 45. The IAF desires 55 squadrons based on existing threat perception-driven force projections. 2) Nope, the additional squadrons will still be reqd, especially for tactical interdiction where the shortage is critical since the MiG-23BNs & MiG-27Ms have been retired due to unavailability of product-support from Russia. Had the IAF gone for the Su-25 instead of the MiG-23BNs & MiG-27Ms in the 1980s, this acute problem would have not arisen. 3) It can, provided they’re meant for use against the insurgents in FATA. Hostilities there are far from over since there are some 30,000 insurgents that have relocated to eastern Afghanistan. 4) The PAF’s F-16s are at best interceptors & tactical interdiction platforms. The PAF does not possess a single twin-engined deep-strike platform today.

To CIRCUIT: That question must be posed to Dr V. K. Saraswat & he should also be asked to produce photographic evidence of already-delivered DRDO-developed PAD/AAD interceptor missiles plus photos of the service-induction ceremonies of such missiles by the IAF. If he cannot produce such evidence, then he’s only exposing the bankruptsy of his claims while turning himself into the world’s laughing stock. Finally, he should be asked that if the DRDO’s interceptor missiles have already demonstrated their capabilities as he claims, then why have no bulk production orders been placed so far with BDL for such missiles. It is the answers of the Dr to these questions that will clear the air once & for all.

To ARPIT KANODIA: It does make sense, since the Nazis had various occult groups associated with Scandinavian countries close to the Arctic Circle.

To KAMBAR: The IMRH is still in the detailed design phase. HAL cannot concurrently develop 3 different versions of the IMRH. The first flying prototype will emerge only in the following decade. Pinbaka MBRL should enter service with terminally-guided rockets in 2018 PROVIDED the terminal guidance issue is resolved. Right now, even Pinaka-1 rockets cannot be delivered because the TCS guidance package from IMI cannot be imported due to IMI’s blacklisting by the MoD.

To RAHUL: How can anyone rein in rabble-rousers masquerading as public-interest groups UNLESS the courts entertain defamation cases & award financial damages? Until then, such rabble-rousers will continue to make allegations without the need for producing any material evidence in support of their allegations. The AAP does the same.

To PRATAP: The Barak-8 is already in service with the IN. The IAF will induct it next year.

Aditya said...

Dear prasunda,

272 super sukhoi
069 mig29 upg
051 Mirage 2000-5
120 Jaguar d3
040 lca mk1
080 lca mk2 / 1A ?
189 Rafale f3r
063 fgfa

884 total

This makes around 45 squadrons by 2030. But beyond that it will be difficult to increase the numbers because the migs and Mirages will have to be retired and post 2035 the sukhoi and jaguars will start retiring so newer fgfa and lca mk2 will end up replacing these and the way things are going I can't imagine IAF having 55 fighter squadrons even by 2040.
The only way to get the kind of numbers you are talking about is to either drastically increase the production rate of lca mk2 to more than 40 per anum or
to order combat hawks in large numbers, maybe 200-250 odd. And this must happen in the early 2020s if not earlier.

Do you agree with me or am I missing something.

Aditya said...

Also, you had mentioned a while back that if India goes for the s400 abm then it would have to launch a large number of dedicated spy satellites .
Could you please elaborate on this.
It would be greatly appreciated.

Optional said...

Looks like the US-2 Shinmaywa deal is good to go,

Is this deal gonna be a JV involving large industrial co-production programme, something like the Maruti Udyog as you suggested a few years back??

Rajesh said...

Why can not India purchase the SU- 25 for CAS and as a substitute to the Mig-27. Rajesh Mishra

Arpit Kanodia said...

Sir ,

You think Ajai Shukla going mad? Now he claiming that India not bought 6 SSN or 2nd Akula.

But India bought Akula to replace INS Chakra? Just after 4 years, Navy thinking to returning it back?

rad said...

hi prasun
how to true is the report that the 2nd nuke sub being negotiated is for the replacement ? will the 2nd be the same or different.?.
The russians are now demanding that they be given the next order of subs given the strategic closeness. can they link it to the nuke sub deal?.

Anup said...


As per you previous comment on Su-33,But they are still flying on Admiral Kuznetsov.
You can check online clearly shown SU-33 flying.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANUP: The photos show only 2 Su-33s & Ka-52s on board. What's the use of flying non-weaponised Su-33s? What purpose will that serve? And if Su-33s are still good for combat usage then why order MiG-29Ks for the Russian Navy?

To ARPIT KANODIA & RAD: Again, he's speculating. The K-152 Nerpa/Chakra will have to undergo a periodic refit in the Russian Far East in late 2017 & will have to undergo a mid-life refit in only 2024. By that time the IN's first locally-built SSN will already put to sea & join the S-2/Arihant, S-2 & S-4 which would also be operating by then.

To ADITYA: You've totally overlooked the Combat Hawk.

To RAJESH MISHRA: That won't be necessary if the Combat Hawk is built by HAL & inducted into service. It needs to be remembered that in both 1965 & 1971 it was the much smaller subsonic Vampires that were the most effective CAS aircraft especially when they were used in the Jammu-Poonch areas to locate & destroy PA artillery & mortar pits that were sited atop hilltops & on reverse slopes of mountains. Smaller platforms like the Combat Hawk can easily undertake terrain-masking by flying over valleys & they're quite difficult to locate visually until it is too late. Such aircraft are therefore ideal for CAS over mountainous terrain against dug-in enemy infantry/artillery sites, such as areas like the Jammu-Poonch sector & the Silifuri Corridor & passes in Uttarakhand along the LAC.

CSC said...

The acoustic guided weapon you refer to was called the Shabd Bhedi Baan and was used by eklavya when the noisy dogs of the hunting kaurava and pandava princes disturbed his practice..

The last rumored exponent of this weapon was much more recent as in Prithviraaj Chauhan

Devopriyo said...

Hi Prasun, what do you think of this news?

Indian Defence News: LCH Undergoing Weapons Integration: HAL Chief

Ludwig said...

Also sir, did you get to see the latest DCNS concept SMX 3.0, would sport a Fuel Cell AIP, and designed for Gen X. Any possibility of seeing this for P75I ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DEVOPRIYO: How can weapons integration proceed if the internal/conformal self-protection suite itself isn't yet ready for fitment? How can the MTOW of the LCH be established at varying altitudes if the complete avionics suite inclusive of the self-defence suite has yet to be installed & integrated? Why were hot-weather & cold-weather flight-trials conducted when the LCH's weapons package & complete avionics suite had yet to be determined? Are weapons & avionics totally immune to differing weather conditions at varying altitudes? Why is the entire flight certification process being done in a piecemeal manner? Why was this very same mistake made with Tejas Mk.1 LCA? Where was the need to integrate & fire the R-73E AAM when ultimately the decision by the end-users was made in favour of the Derby/Python-5 combination? Looks like the same mistakes are being repeated in case of the LCH.

To LUDWIG: Despite me stating that the P-75I project has been shelved why do you keep insisting that the project is still alive & ticking? If you reckon the project will go through, do you have any magical financial projections related to the IN's force modernisation that convincingly proves the availability of the financial resources reqd for investing in the P-75I project? The same also applies to the LPH. And in what way is a single-engined combat aircraft unsafe for CAS? What's the threat?

Chakra said...

According to folklore, Chanbardai gave Prithviraj the co-ordinates

Saavdhan Chauhan ho
Raakh laaj aur kaan
Dhyan dharo bhagvan ka
lekar haath kamaan

Oonch neech ka me deu
Tumko theek pramaan
Lakshya tera hai jahaan
Sunle theek nishaan

Chaar haath chaubees gaz
Angul asth pramaan
Tanha birjo sultan hai
Mat chooko Chauhan

Seeker said...

Hello Sir

There were reports that he P-75I might be a G2G deal like the Rafale and that the startegic parntnership policy is about to be finalized. Also there are reports that the defence budget may be increased midway through this financial year to pay for the big ticket defence deals.

So it it possible?

The Seeker said...

Also sir a lot of questions from the previous thread are staring at a blank. Hope you find the time to answer to them.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SEEKER: Purchase teams from all 3 armed services are now going around the globe to make urgent purchases for war wastage reserve stockpiling. Met a few of these teams in France during Euronaval 2016 as well. Then there's the additional cost of forward deployments in a high state of alert after September 29. That's what the extra funds are reqd for, & not for any big-ticket items. Leave alone the P-75I, even the 145 LW-155/M-777 UFHs have yet to be ordered & the present-day RM is unable to reconcile differences within the MoD about whether these UFHs will be assembled by Mahindra Defence or by OFB! So much for the RM's ministry management skills!!!

The Seeker said...


Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had last week said he expected another Rs 50,000-60,000 crore worth of defence contracts to be signed by March 2017. The M-777 deal is for Rs 4500 crore. Lets say another Rs 5000-6000 crore is for emergency stockpiling and for forward deployments which I guess should have already been earmarked for.But what is the rest of that amount for?

Ans isnt Mahindra already been selected for the Assembly and integration of the M777s?

The Seeker said...


I am collating here a few questions from the previous thread that went unanswered, Pls touch upon those issues :

1. Will this be a military spec sat?

2. Will it be armed with N-capable Babur LACM ?

3. Is India & Russia jointly working on Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) powered missile like the Meteor as Vijainder Thakur Sir says?

4. Did the IAF's in-house developed PGMs and the Lizard LGB kit reach its end user?

5. What happened to the NSTL's submadrone programme? Plus does the IN has any requirement for autonomous sea-surface vehicles? Any indigenous R&D going on?

6. OPTIONAL : Former ACM Fali Major said " If indeed there is letter issued by IAF asking for information on single engine aircraft, then it is to asses the possibility of the Make in India project to supplement the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft which is being manufactured in India."

"Single engine does make sense, both in terms of category and role played by the MiG- 21s. It make sense to have fourth generation single-engine aircraft to supplement the Tejas production line. These are proven aircraft and it will be easy to establish a production line in India," Major added.

IAF going ahead with a single engine mrca to supplement the Tejas?

7. GESSLER : On the occasion of commissioning INS Tihayu, Vice-Admiral HCS Bisht made the following statement -

"But what will make ENC a dominant force in the eastern seaboard is the induction of another Shivalik class multi-role stealth frigate to its existing fleet of three. We already have INS Shivalik , Satpura and Sahyadri , and the new one which is being built by GRSE will have enhanced state-of-the-art features and will be inducted shortly,” he said.

I have never heard of or seen a 4th Shivalik-class frigate under construction - that too at GRSE! Is he actually talking about the P-17A frigates? But even they are not under construction yet.

What could he mean? Has a 4th Shivalik actually be sanctioned or is this a Media mix-up?


Are we buying them back for a discount? What went wrong?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SEEKER: LoLz! The balance of the amount is meant for progress payments made for past purchases. And the bulk of contracts to be signed will be for locally-made items like helmets, patkas, BPJs, ammo etc etc--i.e. all items that are made in-country, since the foremost priority now for the Govt of India is to arrest the steadily reducing industrial production growth-levels & also increase job creation, since jobless growth continues till this day. Money for emergency purchases & forward deployments is NEVER earmarked in advance, since it is impossible to do so.

1) It will be a telecommunications satellite with dual-use applications. 2) Why LACM? It will be SLBMs. 3) No. 4) What are those in-house PGMs? IAF does not develop any weapon system in-house. 5) LoLz! Those are all money-wasting technology demonstration exercises that never bear any meaningful/functional fruit. 6) Why supplement the Tejas when the Tejas Mk.2 itself will be a single-engined MRCA? I find the former CAS' statement spectacularly outrageous. It's like saying I will sanction R & D funds for Tejas Mk.2 even though I already know before even its rolloout that this MRCA is guaranteed to fail. 7) It is obviously a misquote by an inattentive 'desi' news reporter. 8) Nothing went wrong. It was obvious from the beginning that an OEM located at another end of the world will find it impossible to guarantee cost-effective product support. For Central/South America, the most efficient & cheap product support is always provided by North America-based OEMs. It's all about logistics support.

The Seeker said...

Sir, I agree on most of the issues but just kindly let me present some counter-views to a few of those queries in hope of some conclusive answers :

2. Papistan is supposedly working on a sea based nuclear deterrent capability. If not Babur SLCM then what? I guess Papistan is also supposed to have 8 Babur LACMs(?). Just google "nuclear babur cruise missile submarine" and zillions of reports pops out pointing the same. I am presenting some of those recents. Do read :

3. Maybe its in the works?

4. Last year during the Aero India expo, you said

# "ALPHA Technologies has teamed up with ELBIT Systems to offer the Lizard LGB kit that converts existing low-drag bombs produced by OFB into laser-guided PGMs. The Lizard kit features control fins in the nose itself & therefore no tailfin kits are required (like those for the Paveway family) & are therefore much cheaper.

# The IAF has through its own in-house resources designed two PGMs: a turbofan-powered cruise missile with folding wings, & an unpowered glided version. Both missiles have all-composite airframe structures."

Just inquiring about those..

6. i) Make-In-India/ToT/+private aerospace ecosystem/+Jobs
ii) Urgency/Tejas Mk2 will start arriving late if ever(2025?)/Major war-situation building up in near future?
iii) Its Proven/Low-Risk/Future sales option/+Profit?

The Seeker said...

In addition to the supposed Indo-Russian SFDR,

This report says,

"HEMRL is actively engaged in the design and development of SFDR propulsion technology under Indo-Russian collaborative programme for Air-to-Air mission. It involves collaborative development of boron based fuel rich propellant with lsp levels > 1000s, Initiatives have been taken to indegenize the system to meet future requirements of high performance delivering feul rich pripellant after development phase."

It also talks of collaboration with IICP/NCL/IIP and parallely, IIT being given the project; and a facilty being created for undertaking R&D and processing of the propellant and by 2017.

Gopu said...

1) Looks like Embraer made a 'bookkeeping' mistake. I wonder if the RM is going to go into a tizzy.

2) What areas are there major shortfalls in the WWR? Is the Indian definition of the WWR an adequate materiel stockpile for 40 days of intense combat?

3) When you're referring to the BAE Combat Hawks, are you confusing CAS with air interdiction? Rotary wings platforms are usually considered the best platform for CAS. Ideally, the AAC should handle CAS, while the IAF handles air interdiction and up.

4) While you've stated that only Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan will be captured in a limited conflict, I wonder why Lahore could not be factored in, from a purely military point of view. Once bridges across the Ravi River connecting Lahore to Pakistni Punjab are destroyed, Lahore should be fair game. Pakistan is already a failed state and there is no need to give the illusion that Pakistan has any sort of natural sovereignty over its feudal holdings.

SUVO said...

I have some questions,apart from AMOS,how suitable are these:
(1) is it possible to modify our BMP-2 armed with 2S9 Nona-S turret with a 120-mm 2A51 breach-loaded mortar. Bharat-Forge or L&T can do that? May be this solution cost-effetive.
(2) Though old but 2S4 Tyulpan 240mm self-propelled mortar have devastating firepower.Tyulpan have slow rate of fire but it is extremely powerfull with only a few rounds require to destroy the target.May be outdated but raw firepower.
(3) TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system. Incendiary and thermobaric warheads.Launcher is mounted T-72 tank chassis.
...............Please reply.

Anonymous said...

by your estimates and discussions feels like that PA has become battle hardened, being in operations for more that 1 decade! how would you rate the transition of PA from 90's to this time?

Thehundered said...

Hi Prasun, How long do you think it will take to rectify the problems and shortcomings in the Navy's Mig 29k's. Several months or years? Thanks

On problems with the engine, the CAG report said: "Since induction in February 2010, 40 engines (62 percent) of twin-engined MiG-29K have been withdrawn from service/rejected due to design-related defects."

Additionally, the serviceability of the warplanes was low, ranging from 21.30 percent to 47.14 percent, according to the report.

On how the aircraft could affect combat worthiness of the Navy, the CAG report said: "The service life of MiG -29K is 6,000 hours or 25 years (whichever is earlier) but the deficiencies and snags in the aircraft is likely to reduce the operational life of the aircraft, thereby affecting combat worthiness of [the Indian] Navy."

Chakra said...

and what assets are stationed at Assumption Island at Seychelles in addition to patrol vessels, dorniers and coastal radars? Is it going to be a full fledged air-naval base as economist says here

A wide network of some 32 Indian radar stations and listening posts is being developed in the Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius, among other countries. This will enable India to monitor shipping across expanses of the ocean. It is also improving its ability to project power in waters it considers its own, and is arming friendly countries such as Mauritius. Among other things, India is building a naval and air base on Assumption Island, north of Madagascar and within easy reach of many of east Africa’s newly discovered offshore gasfields.

Gd said...

Arrows were directed towards the sound not guided by the sound. There is difference.

Manu Singh said...


The ITBP chief was mentioning that building roads in mountains is very difficult. But have a look at the following link:

Why are we always trying to catch up?



1.A Pakistani think tank came up with a report this month that states that India can produce upto 492 nuclear bombs

Do you think this number is correct? Will you please provide your expert opinion as to what could be the size of India's nuclear weapon arsenal currently and how many nuclear weapons will India eventually develop in the next 5-10 years?

2. Just like China, don;t you think India should also reach out to former Soviet countries like Ukraine to gain military technologies?



Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: 2) There is no supposedness. I had already posted photos of the Type 032 Qing-class SSB’s quite a few times before & they clearly showe the weapons fitments. No needless speculation is reqd on that. 3) Again, needless speculation like maybe & could be. Just access the HEMRL tender & you will realise it is all about BrahMos-2K. 4) Industrial teaming up between two parties dfoes not mean a firm contract is inevitable. I had also explained that the so-called PGM scale-models were all made by AM Deo in his private garage workshop as part of his private hobby & had no official sanction from the IAF.

HEMRL claims to have developed several products, such as the BMCS modules. But if OFB is asked about it, it says such modules are not in production. The IA last March ordered 850,000 BMCS modules from two OEMs: URENCO & Nexter Systems. Thus, reality rules supreme while speculation originating from DRDO fanboys about HEMRL’s exploits can only lead one astray.

To GOPU: 2) WWR stockpiles have been dep0leted over the past 5 years due to the IA raising 4 new Divisions without the MoD sanctioning the money reqd for equipping such Divisions. Both ammo stockpiles, along with POL stockp;iles & Comms equipment stockpiles have been depleted. 3) No. Tactical air interdiction refers to the targetting of rear-area logistics bases & transportation nodes. CASS on the other hand concerns targetting of enemy forces waging contact battles with the help of artillery & it is these frontline artillery assets that require engaging with standoff lightweight PGMs. Helicopters can’t conduct CAS since their npayload carrying capacity is limited & they cannot attack targets located a higher altitudes. 4) If one crosses the IB to capture enemy territory, then India will be labelled as the initiator of offensive hostilities. On the other hand, crossing the LoC & what Pakistan calls the WB will not invite international concern or wrath & will be viewed as an act of self-defence.

To SUVO: 1) Why go for a single-barrelled 120mm brecch-loading mortar when twin-barrelled options are available? 2 & 3) Such weapon systems were developed in such a way that they’re tailor-made for specific types of flat & forested terrain found in Russia, Ukraine & Eastern Europe. They’re most unsuitable for the IA’s operating terrain both to the west & north.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SJ: Battle-hardened? No. Contact battles fought with insurgents under the umbrella of overwhelming airpower is totally different from battles fought between two armies. From 2004 till 2012 the PA fought 7 LIC campaigns & from mid-2015 till now only 3 LIC campaigns have been fought. But in doing so, the PA had to suspend its annual Azm-e-Nau field exercises in a conventional war-setting since 2013.

To THE HUNDRED: If one goes by the CAG’s report, which does not provide contextualizing, then the problems & performance shortcomings are indeed grave. But one needs context in order to zero o9n on the shortcomings. For instance, the RD-33MK’s problems may well have to do with FOD-related incidents in Dabolim & Vizag, i.e, injestion of stone pebbles damaging the engine’s compressor blades. However, such problems don’t occur when the MiG-29Ks are on board the INS Vikramaditya. There were similar problems in the past involving the Su-30Ks & later the Su-30MKIs & the solution then was to allow only 1 Su-30MKI to take off at a time, with the following Su-30MKI having to wait 1 full minute before being cleared for takeoff.

To CHAKRA: Nope. It will have a coastal surveillance radar chain & some ELINT/SIGINT stations.

To MANU SINGH: That’s because the BRO has been extremely slow to introduce new roadbuilding techniques & technologies. China on the other hand undertakes highly mechanised road-building projects backed up by heavylift helicopters.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: 1) Can? Yes. But is that really the case? No. The fissile cores meant for weapons usage won’t exceed 150 at best. 2) Only if there’s a proper military-industrial roadmap in existence. Right now, it isn’t & entities like CII, ASSOCHAM & FICCI are therefore at a loss to understand what exactly the MoD wants & consequently all such industrial groupings spend a lot of time & money on seminars that try in vain to second-guess what the MoD wants. For instance, there’s total lack of market segmentation & as a result the big DPSU shipyards always bid for building even smaller vessels for coastal patrol—a job that can easily be fulfilled by smaller private-sector shipyards. Then in the arena iof field artillery, while private-sector firms are encouraged to ebgage in industrial tie-ups with foreign OEMs, when it comes to series-manufacturing, it is OFB that always wins.

Arpit Kanodia said...


This is from Ajai Shukla's blog, in last he written "rising hindutva tide"' but i m unable to find any so called hindutva incidence in valley in last 3 years.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ARPIT KANODIA: LoLz! This is what the chatterati of Lutyens’ Delhi is all about: lots of hot gas & no substance! There’s no dearth of ‘desi’ bandalbaazes offering the most outrageous unsolicited soundbytes. Remember Jyoti Malhotra saying that during the Cold War the militaries of the US & USSR never directly clashed anywhere because they were thousands of miles apart? Only God knows what she was smoking when she made such a preposterous remark, for either she did not know anything about the Bering Strait, or she was totally clueless about the dogfights between the USAF& its Soviet counterpart over MiG Alley along the DPRK-PRC border during the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Similarly, this ‘bandalbaaz’ is now trying to anoint himself as a self-confessed specialist on Kashmiri affairs who’s blessed with all-knowing wisdom. Little does he know that in any unorganised & incoherent peasant-type rebellion/uprising, there is never any political agenda & instead all calls for freedom/azaadi are in fact cries for mukti/salvation, & never for political independence of any kind. Most importabtly, the cries of ‘azaadi’ being heard nowadays from PoK, given the large-scale forcible usurpation of land by Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan for CPEC-related infrastructure construction, are all about political emancipation & getting rid of Pakistan’s colonial status throughout PoK. But surprisingly, no one from the mainstream broadcast TV channels of India has bothered to broadcast any well-researched documentary on this issue.

Then there are other falsitiers being projected. For instance these:

Claim: Russian experts played a significant role in helping India build the “shell” for the indigenously developed nuclear reactor, and in installing the reactor in the submarine.
Reality: The ‘shell’ is actually the pressure-vessel of the PWR & this vessel was fabricated by Godrej & Boyce with the help of specifications supplied by Afrikantov OKBM.

Claim: Installing a reactor involves segregating all moving or noisy reactor parts from the hull by mounting the reactor on a “raft” and using “noise suppression systems”.
Reality: There are NO noisy or moving PWR parts when the reactor is operating. The only mechanically dynamic components are OUTSIDE the PWR & they comprise the water-pumps, heat exchangers & steam generators.

Claim: The smaller conventional vessels are needed for the Arabian Sea, which is too shallow in many places for larger nuclear boats. Simultaneously, the deeper Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, with their vast expanses, require SSNs to cover.
Reality: Both SSGNs & SSNs have no problems at all with operations in shallow waters. The USN, RN & French Navy routinely conduct operations in the Arabian Sea, Red Sea & Mediterranean Sea. Only SSBNs require deeper seas because the deeper the sea, the greater the prevalence of underwater trenches within which the SSBN can seek natural protection through acoustic masking.

The Seeker said...


You said here that "The S-30 will have a submerged displacement of 6,628 tons, and will be armed with four vertically-launched Babur long-range land-attack cruise missiles and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), most likely the upgraded JL-1 SLBM. The S-26 and S-30 submarines are being developed by China solely for the Pakistan Navy, and they will not enter service with the PLA Navy. The Pakistan Navy will procure four S-26s and four S-30s."

So I guess, the only thing that prevents them from having a second strike capability when those subs start coming, is navalizing and mating the Baburs/JL-1s with nuclear-tipped warheads. They already have had success in miniaturizing the nuclear warheads as in Nasr. Modifying Baburs for underwater launch and interfacing it with Chinese guidance-control with the submarine’s fire-control system would be a huge challenge, but dont you think the Chinese could do it?

Pakistan must have been long contemplating such a move and now more so as a knee jerk reaction to the launching of Arihant but is there any indication that such a transition is in progress as all those reports point out?

The Seeker said...

Sir, On SFDR, it says the propellant is meant for an Air-to-Air missile. How can that be Brahmos-2K?

sbm said...

Prasun, the FAE Dhruvs are being put up for sale. Worth buying ? Incidentally, there is a rumour that Ecuador was not meeting its contractual liabilities either. It's not impossible as there have been issues with their old Jaguars, Cheetahs and Kfirs as well. HAL has its issues but is it solely to blame?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: Both the Babur & Ra'ad are not armed with nuclear warheads. Even the PA's Babur Missile groups are not part of the Strategic Forces Command. So yes, the SSBs will be able to launch the SLCM version of the Babur in much the same way & for the same effect as the IN's 3M-14E SLCMs for land-attack. As for the Hatf-9 Nasr, the view of former Pakistani officials from the SPD is that this TNW has not yet entered service. As for the SLBM for the PN, it will bear more than a close resemblance to the North Korean liquid-fuelled SLBM that is now under the accelerated product development phase. As for SFDR, these are all part of several technology demonstration feasibility study exercises that rarely see the light of day in the form of functional prototypes meant for user-trials. Therefore, it will wrong to link the HEMRL's tender for hypersonic missile's inclined launcher with anything to do with SFDR for LRAAMs.

To SBM: The airframe will have only scrap-value worth but the engines & gearboxes if they are in serviceable condition could well be bought back by HAL. Product liability meeting reqmts are almost always based on supply logistics. The greater the cost of logistics support, the greater the compromises made in compliance norms with product liability clauses. With India's exception, all other operators of the SEPECAT Jaguars will face product-support problems since BAE Systems no longer provides product-support. Same goes for the Cheetahs & earlier Kfir C-2s. Dunno who's blaming HAL & for what. If I were the decision-maker at HAL, I would never have tried to market the Dhriv in a part of the world where HAL does not have a regional product-support centre where stockpiled spares are kept. That was also the same reason why GRSE lost out to South Korean shipyards for the Filipino contract for FFGs. And that's also why despite its best efforts, the Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner, despite getting FAA/EASA airworthiness certification, has no buyers in South Asia & Southeast Asia. For unlike Embraer, the Ruskies have never bothered to set up a regional spares stockpiling warehouse anywhere in such regions. Consequently, an operator there of the Superjet 100 will find it cost-prohibitive to maintain this aircraft & consequently its direct operating costs will be very high thereby making the aircraft totally uncompetitive & commercially non-viable to operate.

The Seeker said...


Here it proves beyond doubt that the SFDR is for AAMs for which Rs 366 crore was sanctioned on 2012 and Rs 402 crore on 2014.(Pg 54 & 61). So it cant be Brahmos-2K. Next gen MRAAMS? BVRAAMS?

On the PN's Made-in-china subs, is there a consideration possible on their being armed with Nuclear-tipped Babur, by the time they start arriving?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: Do read that document again, for it says: Solid Fuel Ducted Rocket Ramjet Technology for Air Launched Tactical Missiles. The terms AAM or BVRAAM or MRAAM or LRAAM are never used anywhere & therefore I will not speculate at all on the type of missile being stated. It is quite obvious that the term 'tactical missile' means something totally different from an air combat missile. As for the Babur, it was never the intention of Pakistan or China to ever develop nuclear WMD-armed Babur/CJ-10 versions of the original Ukrainian Korshun LACM. Nor has anyone emphatically stated that such cruise missiles are armed with nuclear warheads. Only the term 'nuclear capable' has been used & it has various connotations.

The Seeker said...


So where will this Solid Fuel Ducted Rocket Ramjet Technology (SFDR) for Air Launched Tactical Missiles will find its application then? My guess is that 'tactile missile' connotation is based on tactical mission scenarios for which the missile is meant for. I'd like to know more though like which contemporary missiles use air-launched SFDR propulsion tech? What missile will this be similar in role & performance to?

On Babur, I guess they are trying to follow the Israel model of equipping nuclear warhead onboard their Dolhin class's SLCMs? Can you also please elaborate on the various connotations of the tern 'nuclear capable'?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: SFDRs can be used for air-to-surface applications & MBDA is already working on such a multi-role cruise missile that will be offered for service induction early in the following decade. The replacement versions of Russia's ship-launched & sub-launched supersonic Novator 3M-54Es will have such propulsion systems, as will the air-launched version.

'Nuclear Capable' means it is a 50-50 proposition. It does not mean that the missile will be 100% armed with nuclear WMD warheads. Even the BrahMos-1 is nuclear capable, but is not nuclear-armed.

The Seeker said...


But nuclear capable certainly means that they can be nuclear armed, specially now as they try to seek strategic parity with India. Also, are the reports of Papistan having possesion of 8 Nuclear armed LACMs true? Can it be possible that the SFDR is for an air-launched MBDA METEOR or the multi-role MBDA PERSEUS type missile?

The Seeker said...

Also Sir, can you verify the claims made here :

Optional said...

What is Project Pralay and Kautilya mentioned in that MoD Standing Committe on Defence Report?

SUVO said...

PRASUN DA, Thank you for the reply.
Ai vedio ta dekhun:

SUVO said...

PRASUN DA,read this article:

Senthil Kumar said...

Dear Prasun,

Looks Like Rafale is getting ready for india.

S.Senthil Kumar

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: All data pertaining to the Rafale's IRST, HMD & RBE-2's data-link are WRONG & ERRONEOUS. That's how false canards are spread by ill-informed fanboys. Meteor is a fire and forget LRAAM with terminal active seeker which the writer of that biased report is unaware of.

To SUVO. & SENTHIL KUMAR: VMT. BTW, The S-2/Arihant SSBN's pennant number is now S-73.

sathead3 said...

@senthil, the video was posted on Feb 19, 2016. How could these be India specific Rafales?


Great explanation PrasunDa on the lack of a military-industrial roadmap and the inherent bias towards DPSUs that is prevalent in the corridors of power.

Due to the reasons that you have outlined I do not see any major Indian Private sector participation in defense. Consequently, we will have to keep on importing equipments from abroad.



The Seeker said...


1. DRDO annual report 2015 mentions the SFDR. It says preliminary design and wind tunnel testing has been completed. It has an advanced propulsion system having thrust modulation, a range of 120 km at 8km altitude with a speed of 2.3-2.5 Mach. What does that say?

2. Please give us more dope on the Project Girishakti & Himshakti EW systems for the IA in mountainous terrain, and Ground Based Mobile ELINT systems (GBMES) on acquisition under Project Himraj for the IAF for which it mentions that the purchase order has already been placed.

3. Also, which canon launched missile systems are envisaged under DRDO's CLMDP project?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: 1) If the missile with SFDR & ramjets has a speed of only Mach 2.5, what does that say when one compares it with the speed of existing BVRAAMs without ramjets? 2) Those EW projects have yet to see the OEM being selected. There's BEL with ROLTA on one hand & TATA Power SED-L & T on the other that are still competing. GBMES is the land-mobile version of the Divya Drishti ELINT/COMINT passive surveillance system. 3) What CLMDP? That project has failed & now the LAHAT CLGM has been selected by the IA.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: VMT. The concluding part of the narrative on this thread will explain what all can still be done through public-private partnerships for developing specific types of vehicles for armoured/mechanised manoeuvre warfare & mobile air-defence systems. It will then dawn upon many how such opportunities were not grabbed up in the past & what have been its consequences.

The Seeker said...


I suppose that mach 2.5 is not the maximum cruise speed or the ramjet sustain speed of the missile, but the ramjet takeover speed at 8Km altitude, after firing the boosters i.e. the speed at which the air intakes open and the SFDR starts to operate after the missiles gain the mach 2.5 velocity.

Actually the DRDO report says :

"The missile is configured with a reduced smoke nozzless booster, having a range of 120km at 8km altitude with a speed of 2.3 - 2.5 Mach"

That should erase some doubts. Though I'd like to hear your view on it. Also Meteor is the only contemporary missile with boron-enriched throttlable solid-fuel ducted rocket.

The Seeker said...

Can you also detail us on the status of :
1. Drivya Drishti IMDFS,
2. Project Samyukta,
3. Project Sangraha,
4. Project kautilya, &
5. Project Pralay.

Any orders placed for DRDO WHAP or Kestrel ?

The Seeker said...

Also can the DRDO Muntra UGV be used for high altitude operation?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: Then for all intents & purposes it is the Astra Mk.2 BVRAAM minus the ramjets. In any case the Russians dropped the ramjet option (RVV-AE-PD) for BVRAAMs in the early 1990s itself & instead opted for solutions like the RVV-AE-ZRK & R-172S. All it takes is for some nitwit of an 'academic' (from the DRDO of course) to claim that SFDR/ramjet combination is good for only BVRAAMs & everyone then assumes that to be the gospel truth & consequently all the ifs, maybe & suppositions in total violation of the laws of physics then start crawling in.

As for the other projects, they were all highlighted in previous threads. Kestrel is only a technology dfemonstrator at this stage. The IA has still not made up its mind on the final composition of its IBGs. That's precisely why I've uploaded the possibilities above. More will follow tonight.

The Seeker said...


You have mentioned the DIVYA DRISHTI & Project SAMYUKTA a few times in previous threads but there's nothing much on Project SANGRAHA, KAUTILYA and PRALAY. Please update us of their status.

The Seeker said...

Correction, Pg 47-48 here:

Circuit said...

You said on the above thread that "TATA Motors-developed Kestrel will require only a 12.7mm machine-gun mounted on a remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) of the type already on board the Arjun Mk.1A MBT."

Why arm it with a 12.7mm machine-gun when it has already been shown with 30-mm remotely operated cannons, a single 7.62-mm co-axial MMG and an automatic grenade launcher and ATGM dering previous expos and the prototypes have already conducted firing trials with BMP-II turret?

Optional said...


Why cant we consider mortars such as the EXPAL EIMOS or the Thales Scorpion or the Elbit SPEAR mounted on a suitable desi high mobility Light Wheeled Platform?

Also how many Vijayantas and T-55s needs to be modified?

Thehundered said...

Some common sense..

The key elements of the new policy accessed by NDTV shows unlike the previous policy of a blanket ban on a Defence conglomerate followed by the previous UPA government, ban under the new policy will be product specific and company specific.

Company representatives suspected to be involved in the wrongdoing and bribery, however, will be banned for a life time from India.

"After the new policy comes in, we will not buy helicopters or have any business relationship with AugustaWestland - a subsidiary of the Finmeccanica that is suspected to paid bribes when India bought AW-101 helicopters. But India will be free to negotiate with other companies within the conglomerate for other platforms," a top Defence Ministry source told NDTV.

Explaining the rationale, he said defence manufacturing companies are often interlinked through cross holdings. So banning a conglomerate can lead to a situation where India no longer can source critical defence platforms or spares. "It only hurts India's interest and preparedness," he said.

The Navy, for instance, sources critical equipment like main guns for warships, heavy torpedoes from companies owned by Finmeccanica. It hasn't been able to procure these since Finmeccanica as a conglomerate was banned.

buddha said...

Awesome article
Do our the defence minister and other policy makers and army take such radical transform within 2018
The time frame u mentioned of allied airland offensive against Pakistan.
Please enlighten us
Thanks and Regards

Manu Singh said...


Why is this TATA Kestrel looking so out of proportions from every angle? YOu look at any other 8x8 wheeled vehicle and they radiate v shape hull, angular features and an over all much better design. This Tata one or the DRDO one looks out of shape, almost like a fat buffalo.

What was its design philosophy? Can you please enlighten?

rad said...

Hi prasun
all websites indicate the ks-172 is being collaborated on by india and russia .
In any case it will be a great fear factor for the pak and chinese when it is integrated on the super sukhoi which will have the range to guide it to its max range due to aesa radar..Is it a on going secret deal?.
what was the reason for the russians to drop development of the ramjet aa-12? costs or technical road blocks?

You said that due to FOD problems only one ac is allowed to take off at any time . how is going to help ?.If at all there is a pebble or something it will still be on the runway unless it is runway is FOD cleared .

If the ace is the only contender for the carbines what is the necessity to cancel the tender when the world knows the ace carbine is the most reliable weapon today? . Is it for 7.62 x39 or 7.62x50 ? More over the cost of a carbine for the 1000 crore seems expensive at nearly 3000$ a piece when the same is available for about 1700$ in The US market .?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To CIRCUIT: You’ve missed the entire point of the above-mentioned suggestions. That’s why you’re unable to understand the roles to be played by various types of armoured vehicles proposed above. No firing trials of any type have been conducted by any potential end-user anywhere in this world so far with any existing version of the Kestrel. Therefore, do go through the narrative above once again & pay attention to the various types of proposed weapons fitments for various proposed armoured vehicles & the reason behind such fitments.

To OPTIONAL: Why even consider single-barrel breech-loading mortars when twin-barrel options are available? It’s that simple. Had India still possessed the AMX-13 hulls today (instead of selling them to Singapore in the early 1980s) they could have incorporated breech-loading mortar turrets & the entire platform would have been air-mobile, just like how the German Army uses the much-smaller Weasel armoured vehicle with various types of turret combinations.

To BUDDHA: VMT. Such targets can’t be achieved in 2 years.

To RAD: All those were & are mere speculations. No existing AESA-MMR can guide such LRAAMs. They all need data-links that receive mid-course & if reqd even terminal-course updates from AEW & CS platforms as of now. Not just the Russians, even the US stopped fielding the ramjet-powered FRAAM. The single-aircraft takeoff run rule in IAF applies only to the Su-30MKI & upgraded MiG-29UPGs. All non-Russian combat aircraft don’t have such limitations. Russia-origin turbine/compressor blades are not as advanced as their Western counterparts & are therefore far more vulnerable to FOD.

To MANU SINGH: That’s because the design of the Kestrel was undertaken by the DRDO without any participation of or the collection of operational inputs from any prospective end-user. Has anyone else ever seen any APC’s turret being armed with ATGMs & that too like the Javelin? Elsewhere in the world, only ICVs & FSCVs carry such ATGMs. This approach is also the very reason why the DRDO-designed Abhay FICV wasn’t even considered worthy of being trialled by the IA.

To THEHUNDRED: I’m afraid not. For instance, take this statement: Company representatives suspected to be involved in the wrongdoing and bribery, however, will be banned for a life time from India. "After the new policy comes in, we will not buy helicopters or have any business relationship with AugustaWestland - a subsidiary of the Finmeccanica that is suspected to paid bribes when India bought AW-101 helicopters.

Do you think it will be justifiable to take punitive action based on mere ‘suspicion’? What if the ‘suspected’ OEM files a case against the MoD in any court in India & challenges the MoD to prove the OEM’s wrongdoing? If the MoD is unable to produce any such proof/material evidence, then will the MoD accept liabilities & financially compensate the OEM? Just 1 such case right now is with the Indian Supreme Court & it was filed by Singapore’s ST Kinetics against bthe MoD in which ST Kinetics wants proof to be tabled of any wrongdoing when dealing with OFB. Obviously the MoD is on the backfoot in this case & a landmark verdict is expected anytime now that will forever hammer in some hard-learned lessons into the heads of those morons within the MoD who reckon that blacklisting of anyone is possible due to mere ‘suspicion’. I hope the ‘desi’ press gives due coverage to such a landmark verdict that will undoubtedly cause severe embarrassment to the MoD. Looks like that’s the only way to force the MoD officials to make use of the Almighty-gifted ‘common-sense.

The Seeker said...


Check the Spec-2 of this DRDL tender here :

Its for a high energy, long duration SFDR missile. Configuration looks almost exact to the MBDA Meteor and to the US VFDR missile.

That should rest all the doubts. A VLRAAM/BVRAAM is in the making.

Shantanu kumar said...

Sir How will this MOD improve, I mean I have read through so many of your posts. How can this MOD improve, and How can we contribute? I mean they are so slow and all over the place meddling into things they don't understand. Have you ever had an opportunity to tell the PM or RM about all these issues in MOD? Why do you think they continue to neglect such a basic reform that will not be politically difficult?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: LoLz! What specs? What's the duration of the ramjet's operation? What's the missile's range? What's the design of the missile's airframe? Nothing of that sort is ever mentioned or illustrated in that document & yet you're hell-bent on ASSUMING that it is for a LRAAM!!! That document you've recommended is for the LRCM technology demonstrator & you can read all about it here:

And nowhere in that report is anything mentioned about an LRAAM or VLRAAM. So kindly give it a rest once & for all, at least in this blog & you're more than welcome to peddle your non-factual assumptions elsewhere.

To THEHUNDRED: Here's one prime example of how Almighty-gifted 'common-sense' gets discarded in favour of making deals with the devil:

And someone should ask the ruling Govt of India why this day cannot be observed anywhere in India every year as 'Black Day':

Senthil Kumar said...

Dear Prasun,

Question 1: Why suddenly some Muslim countries started to Support India in Kashmir Issue?

But Pakistan Claims OIC is backing Kashmir.

India Slam OIC in Kashmir Issue.

Question 2: What Muslim & Arab Countries want in Kashmir End Game?
a) They Want Independent Kashmir.
b) They Want Kashmir with Pakistan.
c) They Want Kashmir with India.

Regarding India specific Rafales?
Yes the video was posted on Feb 19, 2016. But France keeps running the Rafales Production Line. Based on the demand they can push it quickly. Currently Egypt, Qatar & India are promised customers.

S.Senthil Kumar

The Seeker said...


That LRCM has a Liquid Fuel Ramjet Technology (LFRJ) not a SFDR as the slide clearly mentions. And the tender I gave is for the development of ceramic nozzle for a boron based SFDR thats why I guess nothing is mentioned of the missile's parameter except for the ramjet nozzle and the propulsion system. The duration and range of the SFDR is already mentioned in the DRDO annual report 2015 and the HEMRL report that I uploaded earlier. Whats left to assume about? I cant see a single reason on why it cant be a VLRAAM!

Optional said...

Sir, you asked : Why even consider single-barrel breech-loading mortars when twin-barrel options are available? The same reason single engined fighters are being considered though twin engine platforms are available. It does the job well enough for which it is required. The 2nd important reason is that those mortars can be integrated with 4x4 wheeled platforms which makes them cheaper, faster, lighter, air-droppable and with higher mobility than upgrading vintage tracked platforms and it also makes it a less time consuming affair. Another solution also has been ignored but has all the firepower and mobility needs and it is too a superior alternative......

Optional said...

I have an ans to one more ques you asked to Manu Singh : Has anyone else ever seen any APC’s turret being armed with ATGMs & that too like the Javelin?

The Piranha, the Protector , Nexter, Striker and the Panhard APC

Munnabhai said...

the mitsubishi aam-4b has aesa guidance as well as meteor lraam

asd said...

Dear Prasun,

Why is there not much hulla ballo in Embraer aircraft case?

Anonymous said...

Do you think Tejas, will eventually make the grade and good enough to be exported. There is a huge market out there for $20-40 mil price range. What are the chances that Tejas will also be used/marketed as a lead in fighter trainer?

It seems like PAF are following your advise of planning to use their two-seater JF17 as a lead in fighter trainer too.


Circuit said...

1) """Another vehicle similar to the BMPT-72 is Israel’s Nammer heavy ICV, which comjes equipped with state-of-the-art vectronics developed by ELBIT Systems for offering dramatically enhanced all-round situational awareness."""

How come a SCV Tank be similar to a ICV troop carrier? In what intent & purposes?

2) """The existing BMP-2 ICVs will be required to be re-equipped with a new-generation turret containing TISAS vectronics, a single 2A42 cannon, plus a 30mm automatic grenade launcher."""

Which one?

vishakh said...


Can you please comment on this ???

Rushil Anand said...

Hello Prasun!

What were the outcomes of the recent Indo-Russian government commission on Military Technical Cooperation meeting? Is their some progress is FGFA and SU-30MKI upgrade? What all was dicussed?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SENTHIL KUMAR: 1) It was never suddenly. Since the early 1990s whenever the OIC got together to discuss the Kashmir issue, countries like Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Libya, Iraq, Syria & Tunisia have always supported India. Afghanistan too has been supporting since 2002. 2) They don’t care at all, except countries like Iran because the Gilgit-Baltistan & Chitral areas of PoK are Shia-dominated (just like northern J & K) & Iran knows very well how Pakistan has been populating PoK’s Shia-dominated areasd with Sunni settlers from Punjab & KPK since the late 1980s & how the Shia inhabitants there have often been massacred by the Sunni settlers. vIran therefore feels that PoK is far better off in India’s hands.

To THE SEEKER: What you are attempting is to collate 3 different sources of information & merge them into 1 to suit your assumptions for reasons best known to only you. Had it been an LRAAM, then clearly it would have been mentioned as such in the 9th Report of the Standing Committee on Defence, just as Astra-1 was described as an air-to-air missile. The same goes for the 2015 MoD Annual Report. Then the HEMRL document you’ve offered quotes a nitwit who believes SFDR can be used for only air-to-air applications (small wonder he made it to the DRDO!) when even ARMs & ALCMs & ASCMs use such rocket motors. The Japanese have already fielded such weapons. Even the MoD’s 2015 annual report does not say a word about any LRAAM being developed. Therefore, if you still want to seek psychological solace from utopia, then by all means suit yourself. But don’t thrust your assumptive beliefs upon others & insist that to be the gospel truth.

To OPTIONAL: Only someone who has NEVER set foot over the area of operations (i.e. northern Punjab & Jammu along the Shakargarh Bulge) & who has not read the battle accounts of the IA during 1965 * 1971 will make such an ill-informed remark. All those single-barrelled breech-loading mortars are not meant for high-intensity land warfare, but are instead well-suited for contingents deployed for UN peacekeeping/peacemaking operations & also for counter-insurgency operations. In high-intensity conventional combat, the sooner & more indirect/direct fire-support can be brough to bear over the enemy, the better for evgeryone. As for the c ost factor, why do you think I’ve recommended the hulls of T-55s & Vijayantas for modification? Think about it.

As for APCs with ATGMs, going into battle is unlike am Indian ‘monsoon wedding’ where everyone descends together. Introduction of specialised platforms is sequential. Hence, MBTs & FSCVs will lead gthe way & following behind will be the mortar carriers & ICVs & only then will APCs & ISTAR vehicles enter the frontlines. Every vehicle of the IBG therefore has firepower tailor-made for the type of battlefield opposition that it is first meant to encounter. Consequently, APCs are not meant to have the firepower of ICVs & ICVs likewise don’t need to possess the firepower of FSCVs. This is exactly what the Russians have done with their new-generation tracked/wheeled armoured vehicles & you’ve obviously failed to notice the significance of this development. Onhj the other hand, if you’re engaging insuirgents/guerrillas like Boko Haram in grasslands & forests, then by all means use APCs of any type armed with ATGMs of any type. But NEVER in a high-intensity conventional warfare battlefield.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ASD: It will happen, rest assured, prior to the state elections in UP, just like this Varun Gandhi honeytrapping affair. But interestingly, in the settlement deal between US Justice Dept & Embraer, India is not mentioned as a country affected by Embraer’s wrongdoings. Why is this so?

To AJIT: LoLz! What’s the price calculation methodology used for calculating the off-the-shelf acquisition price of a Tejas Mk.1? No one from ADA or HAL can ever answer that convincingly & therefore no per-unit cost figures being peddled around should be believed. How can Tejas Mk.1 bed marketed when the Director of ADA is totally clueless (when asked) about the aircraft’s per-hour direct operating cost, its life-cycle costs & the costs of maintenance man0hours per flying hour?

To CIRCUIT: The Nammer tailor-made for the IDF-Army’s operations over terrain like ther Golan Heights & Gaza Strip. BMPT-72 isn’t a troop-carrier but an FSCV while the BMP-2 isn’t a troop-carrier either, but an ICV carrying a squad of infantrymen meant to clear trenches & bunkers with manportable ATGMs & LAWs so that the cvoast is clear for the wheeled APCs that act as the real troop carriers. Today, hostile infantry in bynkers or trenches have LAWs & ATGMs to counter the ICVs & hence the reqmt is for FSCVs to first neutralise such threats with thermobaric missiles & that’s precisely the reason why the IA wants thermobaric 120mm rounds to be developed for even the Arjun Mk.1A MBT. This is byfar the clearest indication of the IA’s intent to field its Arjun Mk.1s & Mk.1As along the Shakargarh Bulge salient where the PA will deploy in-depth several anti-tank ambush teams hiding in rural farmhouses, within treelines & in between stretches of ‘Sarkanda’ grasslands. It is therefore imperative that the Arjun Mk.1A’s primary task should be to seek out & destroy the PA’s hidden MBTs in an unhindered manner while the FSCVs take care of the anti-tank ambush teams. Expecting the Arjun Mk.1 to tackle MBTs, anti-tank ambushes as well as attack helicopters (with CLGMs) is humanly impossible. Hence, multi-tasking can be accomplished only by fielding different types of mission-specific armoured vehicles.

To VISHAKH: Had already done so in the previous thread in response to a question by Vikram Guha.

To RUSHIL ANAND: Super Sukhoi upgrade project is progressing in both Russia & India & the delay is from DARE’s side. As for the FGFA, the delay is from the Russian side because the turbofan meant for the FGFA hasn’t even flown as yet.

Senthil Kumar said...

Dear Prasun,

Thanks for your reply

USA in serious Identity Crisis. What Donald Trump is saying is getting louder. American Electrol System is Rigged.

More voices are coming out.

Total Corporate+Political+Media is behind Hilary and against Trump. Moreover Voting Machine is getting corrupt. This Election is very important for America and its Future.

Indian Electrol System is far far better than many developed Countries.

To my opinion US Corporates & CIA is running the America.

Please comment.

S.Senthil Kumar

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on October 24, 2016 inaugurated Helicopter Engines Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Pvt. Limited (HE-MRO), a Joint Venture of HAL and Safran Helicopter Engines (SafranHE), France at Sattari District, North Goa, yesterday. The JV will provide MRO services for Safran TM333 2B2 and HAL Shakti engines installed on HAL-built helicopters operated by the Defence Services. With a fleet of over 1,000 engines, including 250 TM333 and 250 Shakti, India’s armed forces are one of the largest operators of Safran-designed helicopter engines. Shakti is the Indian designation for the Safran Ardiden 1H1, co-developed with HAL and produced under license. Shakti is fitted to HAL’s ALH/Dhruv and has been selected to power the HAL-designed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). The Ardiden 1U variant powers the new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).

Goa neither has any Army Aviation base nor any IAF base & most of the ALHs are flying along Rajasthan, Punjab, J & K, Himachal Pradesh Pradesh, Uttarakhand & Haryana & the LUHs & LCHs too will follow similar deployment patterns. The Ardiden/Shakti/TM-333 engine ROH facility should therefore been located either at a location in MP or UP & within 5km of an airport so that MRO costs can be reduced due to the shorter distances to be travelled. By setting up this ROH of all places in Goa is nothing else but sychophancy on the MoD's part that has no plausible commercial justification! And these political morons at the helm of affairs in this Govt make tail claims of being staunch nationalists!!! These are the real traitors.

Circuit said...

Beside being Parrikars home state the other reason is the HALs takeover of GAAL. Goa must have also been chosen due to its proximity to bangalore, pune and nagpur the other aviation hubs and workcentres.

Suvarna Raju said "It's not only the helicopter engines which we are trying to do on MRO but we want to bring in other engines as well. We have teams working at the naval base in Goa. They take care of the Dorniers, they take care of the Cheetah, Chetak helicopters. We have the Mig-29K aircraft that is flying here. There are certain requirements which the Navy wants us to handle and we can use this place more effectively,"

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To CIRCUIT: All helicopter engine-related manufacturing/assembly is undertaken only in Bengaluru, & not in Pune or Nagpur or anywhere else. The bulk of the helicopters of the IA & IAF are operating well north of the deccan part of India & if their engines are to be sent for ROH, the choice of Goa as the site for such a ROH facility makes no sense at all. Honeywell's TPE331 engines are all assembled & overhauled in Kanpur. RD-33-3 & RD-33MK turbofans are HAL Koraput's responsibility while HAL Nashik handles AL-31FP's ROH. I would very much like to see if any of these existing HAL-owned ROH facilities for any of these engines can be transferred to Goa. The only ROH activities related to engines that are commercially viable are those meant for the Rolls-Royce Gem engines on the Sea Kings & the TV3117 engines on the Ka-28PLs & Ka-31s (that will all be based in Karwar & Vizag in future), but no one has as yet locally overhauled such engines & all have been sent to the UK or Singapore or Russia for ROH. In any case, since this Parrikar fella wants AgustaWestland Helicopters PLC & AgustaWestland Helicopters SPA to remain blacklisted, the Sea King Mk.42Bs & Mk.42Cs will have to be decommissioned within the year, unless this moronic RM changes his mind.

In other words, Suvarna Raju's commercially unviable soundbytes were just the kind of panderings related to sychophancy.

Circuit said...

Goa neither has any Army Aviation base nor any IAF base & most of the ALHs are flying along Rajasthan, Punjab, J & K, Himachal Pradesh Pradesh, Uttarakhand & Haryana & the LUHs & LCHs too will follow similar deployment patterns. The Ardiden/Shakti/TM-333 engine ROH facility should therefore been located either at a location in MP or UP & within 5km of an airport so that MRO costs can be reduced due to the shorter distances to be travelled.

By that deployment pattern logic, every facility that has to do with army & air force assets should be located in either MP or UP or Maharashtra, or there must be a different definition for commercial justification..

The Seeker said...


That's even better! Then the Indo-Russian SFDR on development may find its application for new gen ARMs & ALCMs & ASCMs & VLRAAMS having air-breathing ramjet propulsion! But I guess the priority would be for VLRAAMS & ARMs as the BRAHMOS ALCMs & ASCMs project is progressing quite well and we will soon have it in our arsenal. Also the hypersonic BRAHMOS scramjet project is also progressing quite well and lately the Russians are claiming to have developed a special formula to power hypersonic missiles.

The Seeker said...


BTW, Has Brahmos demonstrated its capability to hit moving targets? Can the air launched version perform anti-ship role in a vertical dive?

Gopu said...

Will the OODA loop be finally closed after deployment of RSH helicopters and ground-based ISTAR vehicles? Is the MGIS system 100% developed and ready to be used as of today?

I don't see any sort of definitive IBG of the composition that you have described emerging any time soon. Let the army first figure out what service rifle and carbine they want before moving onto more complicating systems.

The Seeker said...


Parrikar understands the paradox, thats why MoD is moving from a blacket ban, to a selective blacklisting policy that will seek to levy penalties — graded from stiff to soft — on entities and individuals that are found violating DPP rules. He said

“The basic concept is anyone doing criminal activity in the nature of kickbacks normally should be punished with a ban. But in doing that, the extent of the ban is will be decided on the requirements of national security. Giving exemptions will also be based on national security considerations,”

“If I have a platform where the company has been banned, I can’t stop operating that platform as the company which supplied me the platform is now blacklisted. So whose loss is it? You have to see national security considerations and not resort to knee-jerk reactions,” he said

So I guess many acquisition programs will benefit from it without giving up the power to penalize firms of any wrongdoing.

rad said...

hi prasun
i totally concur with you on making an air defense gun with available components.

The akm 630 combined with the Israeli FCS on the upgraded zsu-23-4 with AESA radar would be

a winner . We have experience in integrating the Israeli system and we make the gun as well.

what more do we want?. More over the Israeli radar is aesa which is scalable , multi targeting and more jam proof and more anti radiation missile proof! we have tatra heavy trucks as well .!

A system with the foll will be future proof and deadly as well.Last but not least it should be more cheaper .

Please give some dope on the zsu-23-4 AESA radar `, range freq etc

the chinks have made one why cant we?.

Mark1 said...

How you rate the Saab A26 Kockums in comparison to Type 214 for the P75-I ?

Thomas said...

Doesn't BMP 2 have a critical weak spot near the fuel tanks? This is a not so hidden secret so the Pakis will blow the BMPs up.

Why are dual 120mm breech loading mortars (or 82mm 2B9M) better than a dual Bofors 40mm autocannon (or 30mm), which has more range and firepower? Actually, autocannons are better since you can switch them from direct fire to indirect fire w/o having to muzzle load and risk your crew dismounting. Indirect fire with autocannons have higher muzzle energy so it will prevent bouncing like mortar shells do.

No offense Prasun, but your desi-FSCV idea looks silly considering Vijayantas dont have enough armour for front line action. Remove the BMP-2 and FSCV from the IBGs, and come up with an FSCV-IFV that can do both of those roles (bunker busting w/ the thermobaric missiles and then the bunker squad will raid them after that).

Mark1 said...

Is it possible that India and Ruskies are working together for the Izdelie 810 or the K-77M or the KH-59MK2 or the KH-58Ush all of which should go on the FGFA.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To CIRCUIT: Absolutely right! That’s exactly why the IA’s MGO Branch has been asking for decades now to establish product servicing depots further north for both the T-90S & Arjun MBTs, instead of having to source MRO expertise all the way down from Avadi. I’m surpriksed you’re totally unaware of this!

To THE SEEKER: Now you’re talking! Yes, the ramjet-powered ARM makes total sense because the existing Kh-31P ARMs are also ramjet-powered. For a tactical ALCM with nuclear warhead too ramjets will come in handy provided the ALCM’s range can touch the 300km-range. BrahMos-1’s land-launched/air-launched land-attack versionwas never meant to hit any moving targets. Only the ship-launched/sub-launched ASCM version can hit moving hostile warships at sea.

Even a selective blacklisting policy won’t work at all UNLESS there’s undeniable material evidence of wrongdoing like cheating or defrauding or violating laws & regulations. And even if such evidence comes to light, then it will be far better to financially sue the concerned foreign OEM & claim liquidated damages, i.e. money flowing back into India. This is what Taiwan had done against THALES. Blacklisting based on mere suppositions & suspicions won’t cut any ice with anyone & it is now evident that all of the RM’s earlier statements about monitoring the investigations by the ED, DRI, CBI etc etc were all talk and no firm action & hence none of the investigative agencies have so far been able to file even a simple chargesheet!

To GOPU: The exact composition architecture of the IBG is still very much the subject of deliberations & operations analysis & matters won’t get decided unless & until the IA’s warfighting posture & directives are firmly stated in detail by the MoD, which unfortunately isn’t the case today. The narrative above is a diluted version of a detailed presentation I had made on this very subject for 2 seminars 2 years ago for 2 parties: the United Services Institution & the Govt of India’s Dept of Public Enterprises. These were solicited from me.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MUNNABHAI: You’re comparing apples with oranges & thus missing the woods for the trees. If the M53-related business activities of SAFRAN/SNECMA & Max Aerospace are located in Nagpur, what has that got to do with setting up a helicopter engine MRO facility in Goa? All M53-related MRO activities are still located in Gwalior & the same will apply for the Rafale’s M88 as well. So far, MIHAN Aerospace SEZ & other SEZs in MP are all hype created by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infra just for the sake of boosting shareholder value. The same goes for this company’s grandiose plans for a shipbuilding facility in Andhra Pradesh & yet the Russians have teamed up with L & T for using Kattupalli for refitting & refurbishing the IN’s Type 877ELM SSKs & also for building the SSNs. IAF’s HQ Maintenance Cmd is in Nagpur, yes, & yet where are the bulk of the IAF’s BRDs located? Why locate this helicopter engine ROH facility in Goa when all naval aviation asstes from Dabolim are already poised for relocation to Karwar? Ever thought of all this? Obviously you haven’t yet, perhaps because like the RM you too are devoid of common-sense, this perhaps being a congenital deficiency on your part, just like that SPYKAR fella.

To RAD: VMT. The AK-630M/ELTA FCS combination won’t work. The AK-630M/Lynx combination will. In addition, the existing AK-630Ms (4 per warship) of the IN need to be replaced with just two AK-630M2 Diet cannons per warship so that the existing AK-630Ms can be refurbished & be made available for base air-defence. There are several; hundreds of Schilka turrets available on an as-is-where-is basis that can easily be brought back to India & upgraded/refurbished for installation on the Vijayanta’s hull. The Ruskies will be only too happy to work with CVRDE & OFB to develop such a hybrid product.

To MARK1: The performance of Sweden-origin SSKs has been dismal when operating in warm waters. The RAN & RSN will testify to this & that’s why both Asutralia & Singapore have now gone for non-Swedish SSKs.

The Seeker said...


The SFDR-ARM should be something like the ARMIGER or the US HSAD; and the SFDR-ALCM something of a MBDA ASMP/Perseus. If the air-launched Brahmos is not meant for ASCM roles, then a supersonic ASCM should also be a priority, something like the XASM-3. But I hope we get to see a Indo-Russian VLRAAM first, something of a METEORski or FMRAAMski

rad said...

hi prasun
why will the elta radar not be compatible ? and the lynx compatible .?Is the lynx another screwdriver tech or something original. conventional radars will be jammed by incoming f-16 etc. Is it contemprory?.
The schilka on a vijayanta would be wonderful, as you said we could get many of the international market for a cheap price. but common sense is something rare in the MOD. BUt i really doubt in todays warfare that any ac will try to attack a formation of tanks which are protected by schilkas given the proliferation of shorads and manpads. I also think it is extremely foolhardy to send jaguars to attack tank formations of pak with cb105 sfw. we need glide kits for stand off release. your comments please.
Is the astra being inductive ?
Do you think the fuel cell made by DRDO using phosphoric acid tech will see the light of the day. The navy seems keen ongoing that way?

The Seeker said...


On Hal-safran HE-MRO, The JV will also provide support through Certified Maintainence Centres located at Customer Bases for IN and IAF and later on the centre at goa will expand to include other engines as well in future for national and international rotorcraft customers. From the commercial standpoint, I think being located near the supply chain and product support for the engines is more important than beign located near where they are deployed. Besides the French love sun and sand.

"In Western region, engines could be directly sent here so that they do not have to struggle at the base depot. This is first phase," the RM said.

Also any of your 'tailor made' suggestions regarding customization of the Armoured Platforms being taken up by IA?

rad said...

hi prasun
the recent news that the brahmos will be upgrade to 600 km should warm the heart of many . I believe we should go all out for massive production run of thousands. The reason being it can be used as a a first strike weapon by all the 3 forces .
for example a salvo of 50 missiles on any air base will knock out the entire fleet of fighters inside their HAS. It has got enough kinetic speed to punch thru the HAS, and then after the first salvo we can send in our ac to soften things up.rather than sending fighters with lgb to take them out and in the process losing ac and pilots.extremely cost effective .
the navy can take out the entire pak fleet in a surprise attack like in the 1971 without exposing our ships to the pak subs or anti shipping missiles in the open sea.

SUVO said...

Why Indian wish-list to Russia always occupied with Big-things like S-400,SSN,FGFA,Super sukhoi etc. rather than modifying our T-55 into BTR-T like heavy infantry combat vehicle with russian help or addition of BMP-T turret or BMP-3 turret into T-55 or T-72 hull or mounting 120mm 2A80-1 self-propelled rifled gun/mortar turret or new 57mm AU-220M cannon onto T-55 chassis or make a turret contain ZU-23-2 or Bofors L70B 40-mm anti-aircraft gun & mounted it on T-55 chassis.Today various private companies have j.v with Ukraine or Russian companies.So this is possible.But may be there is too late.

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasun,

This article is one of the BEST articles I have come across for a long time on how utilise the equipment that is already present. How much would it cost to upgrade the old Tanks to these various systems. Do you think spending the money upgrading these at home would have better than to give the french 8-9 billion? This could have helped check the rising un-employment among the youth too.

Why no one know the cost of Tejas, is beyond me, the only thing I can think of is that so far there hasn't been serial production of the aircraft. Each aircraft is custom made at the moment and each is slightly different.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To identify possible vendors, the MoD in September 2016 issued a request for information. It said it wants a larger, more deadly 7.62mm model that will “shoot to kill.” India needs 65,000 rifles within 28 months of signing the contract and has asked global manufacturers to reply by November 7, the MoD said. India plans to issue a tender for procuring rifles in April 2017. This is India’s second attempt since 2011 to procure assault rifles for its infantry. The 2011 tenders were issued to Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC, Italy’s Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta SpA, Swiss Sig Sauer Inc, the Czech Republic’s Ceska zbrojovka and Israel Weapons Industry Ltd. But it was cancelled in 2015 after the rifles offered up by the global manufacturers did not meet the multi-caliber requirements of the Indian Army. Apart from assault rifles, the Army also sought to buy light automatic rifles and machine guns, as well as sniper rifles. Initially, it planned to buy 43,000 carbines off-the-shelf from international companies and build 120,000 others at ordnance factories in India. But a tender issued in 2012 to buy the carbines was cancelled earlier in October 2016 over procedural issues. It also needs over 350,000 bullet-proof vests, and earlier this year decided to buy 50,000 units of body armor to meet emergency requirements. The army has also inched closer to procuring 150,000 lightweight helmets. “The fact that you can’t even design your own small arms system reflects very poorly on the military ecosystem in India,” he said. “The military innovation cycle is dysfunctional and broken down and it should be a matter of huge concern.”

sbm said...

The feedback loop is dysfunctional as well. That said, way back in the 1980s, Mathew Thomas and Shankar Bhaduri had warned about shifting from the 7.62 x 51 round. Starting point should perhaps have been the rifle 1C. Now you have the Ghatak as a starting point. Wonder what will happen?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To THE SEEKER: The BrahMos-NG that is still under development will be the only version of BrahMos-1 that will be air-launchable from the MiG-29K. The reason why Russia isn’t interested in developing the RVV-AE-PD is simple & elementary: this LRAAM isn’t suitable for the internal weapons bulkheads for both the T-50 PAK-FA & also the FGFA, while the RVV-AE-ZRK is tailor-made for being carried internally. The same is the case with the FRAAM, which isn’t compatible with either the F/A-22 Raptor or the F-35 Lightning JSF when it comes to internal stowage.

As for certified MRO/ROH centres, kindly seek the factoids from any aeronautical licenced engineer from the commercial or military domains to know what it is all about. No country in the world establishes such centres in any customer base. Instead, intermediate workshops are sited & that too for only fault diagnostics & the mandatory periodic inspections of engines & gearboxes. Secondly, SAFRAN’s certification authority covers only those engines built by SNECMA Moteurs & Turbomeca. Hence, this JV does not have airworthiness jurisdiction to even touch engines built by GE or PW or Pratt & Whitney Canada or Rolls-Royce or NPO Saturn or Motor-Sich.All final-assembly of Ardiden/Shakti family of engines is done in Bengaluru & feature only 10% local content & the remaini9ng 90% all come from Turbomeca in SKD condition for fi9nal assembly. Lastly, how many Dhruvs & LUHs ^ LCHs are flying in the western region or will fly in future? The real numbers alone will prove the utter hollowness & flaws of the RM’s soundbytes.

To RAD: The ELTA radar is for close-range or close-in engagement whereas the Lynx possesses a larger engagement envelope in terms of range & altitude. The Lynx radar was originally developed by Oerlikon Contraves & it is only being licdence-built by BEL, just like the earlier Flycatcher radar was. The PA as yet does not possess anything like the self-propelled ZSU-23-4 & even if it did, the Jaguars will have underslung EL/L-8222 ASPJs. Hence, glide-kits for the CBU-105s aren’t reqd. Astra Mk.1 still has to undergo several guided flight-tests before being declared operationally available. Any fuel-cell using corrosive acids is avoidable even for automobiles, leave alone SSKs. Using lithium-ion batteries or other synthetic batteries is far safer & much more reliable. Even the French & Japanese are going ahead in this direction for AIP.

How will anyone know which HAS contains combat aircraft & at which air base just prior to a BrahMos-1 salvo being launched? No air force ever deploys its combat aircraft assets at the main peacetime air bases during war. For instance, Jaguars located in Ambala will be sent to Gorakhpur in wartime where they will stay & be armed & then at nighttime they will fly to Ambala for a quick refuelling & then takeoff for the mission & once back in India they will land at Ambala, refuel & then head back for Gorakhpur. As for attacking the entire PN fleet in 1 assault, how is the IN to know the precise location of each PN warship?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUVO: What you’re suggested is a far more expensive way of doing things, whereas what I have suggested above has to do so with entirely local military-industrial capabilities that now exist in-country so that they all become cost-effective solutions & no foreign inputs for design or re-engineering are reqd .

To AJIT: VMT. The acquisition costs would have been known had the LIFT version of Tejas Mk.1 been inducted into service. Now everyone is talking about Tejas Mk.1A without even realising that GE Aero Engines does not make any version of the F404 turbofan anymore. Furthermore, all talk of using the F414-INS6 on Tejas Mk.1 is utter baloney because this turbofan is heavier & requires more air injestion for producing greater thrust & therefore an entirely new engine compartment bulkhead (containing more number of mounts) & larger air-intakes need to be designed & developed. Claiming to insert the F414-INS6 into a Tejas Mk.1’s fuselage is akin to trying to shove in a Toyota Corolla’s engine/gearbox into the engine compartment of a Toyota Corona. The only option therefore is to increase the length of the nose-section & that of the centre fuselage that will result in a nett increase in length of 1 metre only & this consequently will call for a larger set of air-intakes & a larger win g area, especially in the cranked area. If necessary, this cranked area can become a LEVCON. ADA has already placed orders for two all-steel scale-models of the Tejas in this configuration—one with a fixed but enlarged cranked area & the other with a LEVCON-type cranked area for wind-tunnel tests at France’s ONERA facility & based on the results of such tests, the CG will be computed, following which detailed airframe re-design & re-engineering to Mk.2 standard will commence & new flight-control laws for the DFCC will be developed. All this, from start to finish, is doable within 3 years by which time the 1st Tejas Mk.2 prototype ought to be ready for rollout. Another 2 years of accelerated airworthiness flight-testing will make the Mk.2 ready for IOC & FOC within 5 years, i.e. by early 2022. Therefore, investing in the JAS-39 Gripen-NG in any form will spectacularly foolhardy & cost-prohibitive, rest assured.

The Seeker said...


How many Dhruvs & LUHs & LCHs are flying in the western region or will fly in future? Also how many of the 65 Ka-226T meant for IAF & about 133 meant for IA will be based in the western region?

Also IAF chief when asked for comments on the Tata-Airbus venture for C-295 turboprops said "The field evaluation trials of Avro replacement aircraft have been completed. The case is progressing well and the contract negotiations are likely to commence soon. The C-295 MW aircraft is a 5-10 Ton class aircraft. The OEM will supply the initial batch of aircraft and the remaining will be manufactured in India."

When will they start coming?

The Seeker said...

Do you think light vehicle mounted 70mm MLRS like such as the one from Hanwha Corp is a better and cheaper option for neutralising forward enemy units and target hostile bunkers and dug-in enemy infantry concentrations in a contact battle?

Deepak said...

Prasun Da,
What should be done in order to stop pakistan from conducting ceasefire violations. How to force them so that they would stop firing on our posts and civilian areas?

Manu Singh said...


So Mr Sanjiv Miglani brings even larger amount of confusion in Indian fighter procurement strategy.

HOnestly, I dont understand it one bit. How many types IAF is going to fly? The Air Chief Raha mentions that SU-30MKI will keep coming, MiG-29, Jaguar and Mirage are modernising, RAfale is coming, LCA is being raised and now another line of MII fighters will also come. I would pray ask him, has he thought about the budget and where is going to pay for all of it? Second, this united states of spare parts is gonna continue in IAF? What kind of crooked logistics is this India's imported air force going to operate??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To MANU SUNGH: The shortfall is as follows: 95 MiG-23BNs, 165 MiG-27Ms & 126 MiG-21 Bisons will have to be replaced. That’s the number that’s reqd. Furthermore, if the Jaguar IS is tasked with tactical interdiction instead of the MiG023BNs & MiG-27Ms, then at least 150 Rafales will be reqd for deep-strike plus another 126 L-MRCAs to replace the MiG-21 Bisons. In any case in all scenarios, the number of new-build aircraft reqd is close to 300 & not 200. And how can one reduce India’s addiction to imported military hardware if yet another new MRCA design is selected for only licenced production? If at all the overall objective is to develop IAF-specific platforms while at the same item expanding & enriching the Indian military-industrial eco system, then the ONLY way ahead is for the LCA Mk.2 to be developed ASAP while concurrently HAL partners with BAE Systems to develop the Combat Hawk.

To DEEPAK: That’s already work in progress & for every 1 mortar round being fired from Pakistan, 10 are being fired back into Pakistan.

To SEEKER: Whaaaaaaaattttt!!! How can a 70mm rocket be compared to a 120mm mortar? The latter will naturally have more explosive/blast effect than a 70mm rocket. MLRS rockets are area saturation weapons & tend to spread out instead of being concentrated in one target location. As for Dhruvs, LUHs & LCH’s flying in the western region, less than 20% of each type is the answer. If the main areas of operations are the northwestern & northern sectors , why should such helicopters be wasting their time along the western borders especially in Gujarat & Rajasthan?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BUDDHA: For your weekend viewing pleasure:

Shiva The Destroyer:

The Visionaries:

Destination Mars:

Beyond Roswell:

The man who knew infinity but he still isn't even considered fit for being bestowed with the title of Bharat Ratna (Srinivasa Ramanujan):

Gopu said...

1) What HWT torpedoes are planned for IN SSNs? Is there any plan to deploy modern HWTs like the Mk 48 ADCAP, considering the Type 53 is of vintage class for the past few decades? Will ROVs be launched from the SSNs?

2) How does the ADA communicate with the IAF and HAL, specifically for the Tejas mk2 project? Is HAL only the manufacturing agency for Tejas mk2?

3) The increased IAF numbers seem to indicate that the PLAAF will dramatically increase its presence around Tibet or that there is a repivot in dealing with China. At best, the PAF's inventory will not decrease; at worst, it could become completely toothless in a few years. With this sort of force requirements, it seems like the IAF wants to shift from defensive parity against the PLAAF to be able to project deep within the TAR and Xinjiang.

Otherwise, these force projection numbers are pure baloney since a single Tejas mk2 could replace 3 Mig-21 Bisons, while a Rafale could replace 4-5 Mig-23BNs/Mig-27Ms or 2-3 Jaguars. The technology of PLAAF planes will not advance quickly, with the Su-35 being the most advanced plane they will operate for some time. And importing large quantities of foreign airplanes quite certainly will not help us to stay ahead of Chinese aviation technology.

The Seeker said...


Accidently happened to read this interesting article :

Can you throw some further light on it. I was not able to find your citation but Karlo Copp writes :

Further complexity has been added to this equation recently by analyst Prasun K Sengupta, editor of the Asian Defense Journal, who has connected the China-Iran Kh-55SM purchase with Pakistan, cite:

"'While the world is now more than well conversant with the 'Wal-Mart' of nuclear weapons proliferation that was created by Pakistani metallurgist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan since the mid-1990s, it is only now that details are emerging about a parallel 'Wal-Mart' that Dr. Khan built up, this time for acquiring nuclear warhead-carrying land attack cruise missiles (LACM). The quest for acquiring such a capability began in late 1999, following which Dr. Khan began assembling a dedicated team of arms dealers and smugglers for the purpose of acquiring a few LACMs off-the-shelf from Ukraine, and then dividing the consignment among three beneficiaries: Pakistan, China and Iran.' ;

'Upon reaching Dubai, the consignment was transshipped to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, where the consignment was broken down into three parts: 12 Kh-55SMs for Iran, two Kh-55SMs for Pakistan and the remaining six for China. The latter two consignments were eventually airlifted to their final destinations by August 2001.';

'As the entire Kh-55SM smuggling operation was bankrolled by Iran, Teheran staked its claim for leading the R&D effort aimed at re-/reverse-engineering the Kh-55SM into a ground/sea-launched LACM with China and Pakistan playing secondary roles.'"

Sengupta also identifies a consortium of Chinese organisations formed to support the exploitation of acquired cruise missile technology, and the development of a GPS/RLG based midcourse guidance system and Scene Matching Area Correlator terminal navigation system, these including the Shanghai Institute for Optics and Fine Mechanics, China North Opto-Electro Industries Corporation (OEC), Changchun Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, and Luoyang Opto-electro Technology Development Centre.

While it is impossible to independently validate Sengupta's claims, existing reports display wide discrepancies in the numbers of Kh-55SM rounds distributed between China and Iran, and adding Pakistan to the mix resolves this uncertainty. China's YJ-62 and Pakistan's Babur are sufficiently different in configuration from the Kh-55SM, that they cannot be regarded to be direct clones.

In the broader context, the significance of the Soviet era Kh-55SM should not be underestimated. This is the most capable strategic cruise missile in service globally, other than the US AGM-86B ALCM and BGM-109B Tomahawk. It is the backbone of the Russian air launched nuclear deterrent, equipping the Tu-95MS Bear H and Tu-160 Blackjack A bombers. "

Pierre Zorin said...

Here's what breech loading mortars can do:

Pierre Zorin said...

Russia still produces top quality weapons not sure why India is not keen. Or am I wrong there...

Does the IA have BMPT-72 TOS-1A and tactical weapons such as the GM-94, the latter would be handy in anti-terror operations.

The Seeker said...


You said, "How can a 70mm rocket be compared to a 120mm mortar? The latter will naturally have more explosive/blast effect than a 70mm rocket. MLRS rockets are area saturation weapons & tend to spread out instead of being concentrated in one target location

MLRS packs a volley of such 70mm rockets in quick succesion for advancing infantry units, much more lethal against heavily dug-in infantry concentrations who are likely to be spread out in columns. During critical phases of a breakthrough it can engage especially important targets that might hamper the movements of advancing troops. 120mm mortarts are equally advantageous but if they are carried in light trucks or LAVs or APCs but MLRS is far superior for large targets, while 120mm mortars are far better for small targets such as bunkers.

Shikkoh said...

Was Srinivasa Ramajunan visited by aliens? Was he in touch with Extra Terrestrials? Is Shivalinga a symbol of Nuclear Reactor? Is Shiva an Ancient Alien?

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da,

Wishing you and all your near & dear ones a very Happy Diwali and Kali Pooja.



buddha said...

Thank u very much sir ....
I have already seen the film
Now also have seen the documentary...
Recently I have read The Immortals of Mejia.....seems quiet interesting....
It is very sorry state that we are not taughtin elementary stage the greats like him and others....and pic on Dhoni made....not of Ramanujan in India.......if made in India
5 songs will be there but not the Integer nor the infinity...

Thehundered said...


“It was a carefully-planned operation. From gathering information to keeping a close vigil on Pakistani posts and watch towers, preparing for the assault and using heavy-weapon systems, everything was carefully planned beforehand,” said an officer. Seven Pakistani posts were chosen for the assault and four were completely destroyed. Under a comprehensive plan, Indian Army troops in strategically located posts launched a multi-pronged offensive to pin down the posts. “Indian troops changed the projectile and trajectory of the mortars in a manner that they directly hit the posts. At the same time, troops opened fire with light, medium and heavy machine guns. It created confusion among the Pakistani troops,” said an officer. After pulverising the posts, the Indian Army used rocket launchers to pin down the posts on the ground. “Rockets were fired from different angles, so that the posts were brought down in quick succession. Later, flat-projectile weapon systems were used to ensure that the enemy suffers heavy casualty and none of the troops guarding the posts flee,” said an officer.

Optional said...

Here's what vehicle mounted mortars systems can do at less than half the cost- Drive-Stop-Shoot-Scoot

Here's Chinese rapid fire mortars-

Anonymous said...

The public needs to be prepared. They want blood they will get it. But it will cost the lives of the IA Jawans too. Pre-cease fire agreement at LoC, more than one funeral was taking place everyday of the year for IA dead. Do we want that again, this time in the full glare of TV camera's? What do you think is going to be the play here Prasun?


Devopriyo said...

Hi Prasun, what's happening ... Looks like "Pakistan ke Tare Gardish mein hain"Include us or leave country: Pak tells Taliban after being sidelined in talks -

Vijay said...

Dear Sir

Some Chinese people are claiming that JF 17 BLOCK 3 will have an

What do you make of this news

Devopriyo said...

And another news on pak and taliban

Anonymous said...

Some of the things you used to say, about missing the boat:


TheHundred said...

The Indian Army plans to buy 464 advanced T-90 battle tanks from Russia for deployment on its western borders with Pakistan.

The Rs 13,448-crore contract will include a Make-in-India element for integration at the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi near Chennai.