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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Aero India 2017 Highlights-2

This year’s expo showcased two new-generation weapon systems that are expected to enter service by 2020 at best, these being the QR-SAM for the Indian Army’s Corps of Air-Defence Artillery (CADA), and the MPATGM for the Indian Army’s infantry battalions.
The QR-SAM will use a surface-launched version of the Astra-1 BVRAAM and it will use a Ku-band seeker developed by the DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and produced by VEM Technologies. The target detection and engagement radars are being developed by the DRDO’s LRDE laboratory, while overall systems integration is the responsibility of Bharat Electronics Ltd.
LRDE is also developing a new-generation target acquisition/fire-control system, called ATULYA, for the L-70 and ZU-23 anti-aircraft artillery guns used by CADA.
Meanwhile, series-production of the Barak-8 family of LR-SAM/MR-SAM is picking up steam. The Barak-8’s critical design review was completed by early May 2008 and its DRDL-developed two-stage pulsed rocket motor was successfully test-fired earlier the same year. The first six sets of these rocket motors were shipped to IAI by the DRDL in July 2008 for further test and integration activities. Series production by BDL began in 2013. From the Indian side, the principal R & D players for both variants of the Barak-8 are the DRDL, Hyderabad-based Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), the Bengaluru-based Electronics R & D Establishment (LRDE) and Larsen & Toubro. Israeli companies participating in the joint venture are the MLM and ELTA Systems business divisions of IAI. While IAI/MLM was responsible for developing the guided-missiles along with the DRDL, RCI and ASL, IAI/ELTA has co-developed along with the LRDE and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) the command-and-control system and related fire-control system (for both variants of the Barak-8).
It may be recalled that India and Israel inked the Barak-8 surface-to-air missile’s (SAM) joint five-year R & D contract--valued at US$556 million--on January 27, 2006, following 17 months of exhaustive negotiations. For extended ground-based long-range air defence India’s Cabinet Committee on National Security had on July 12, 2007 approved a $2.47 billion project to co-develop the long-range-SAM variant. Subsequently, on February 27, 2009 India signed a $1.4 billion R & D contract with the MoD-owned Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) for the Barak-8 MR-SAM for the IAF, and this was followed in April the same year by a $1.1 billion contract for procuring the Barak-8’s naval LR-SAM variant. The IAF has already committed itself to procuring an initial batch of nine Barak-8 MR-SAM squadrons. The procurement contract will be inked later this year, with deliveries commencing within 72 months. The vertical launch cell modules for the Barak-8 have since been developed by Mumbai-based Larsen & Toubro Ltd, with an eight-cell module weighing 1,700kg. For the IAF’s ground-based MR-SAM variant, command-and-control plus fire-control will be provided by a containerised system weighing only 1,300kg.
Another indigenous field artillery-specific solution developed by the DRDO’s LRDE lab is the L-band ‘Swathi’ weapon locating radar (WLR) at a cost of US$49 million. 
Under development since April 2002, this WLR was ready for series-production by Bharat Electronics Ltd by late 2011 and deliveries of 30 units are presently underway.
The IA had in September 2004 awarded a $300 million contract to Bharat Electronics Ltd to develop the Shakti ACCCS. Production deliveries commenced in 2008 and the system was commissioned on June 12, 2009. The ACCCS is a network of military grade tactical computers that automates and facilitates decision support for all the operational aspects of artillery functions from the Corps down to a Battery-level in a networked environment. It was jointly developed by the DRDO’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (CAIR), Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) and IA HQ’s Directorate General of Information Systems (DGIS). ACCCS is the artillery component of the IA’s TAC-C3I grid. Shakti’s three main electronic devices are the enhanced tactical computer, gun display unit and the hand-held computer. With these, five critical functions are performed, including ‘Technical Fire Control’ for trajectory computations, and ‘Tactical Fire Control’ involving the processing of fire-assault requests and ammunition usage/supply management. It also ensures ‘Deployment Management’ for field howitzers and forward observation/fire direction posts for defensive and offensive operations, ‘Operational Logistics’ for assisting in the timely provisioning of ammunition and logistics support, and ‘Fire Planning’ to facilitate the production of interleaved fire-assault plans, tasking tables and automatic generation of gun engagement programmes.
Most of the bureaucratic decks have already been cleared for a landmark, long-awaited  agreement between India and the US that calls for the joint development and production of the Indian Army’s next-generation manportable ATGM (MPATGM) that will use thermobaric-HEDP and tandem shaped-charge warheads optimised for high-altitude warfare and anti-armour engagements. This ATGM has been the subject of much speculation, like it being the SAMHO, or a derivative of Raytheon’s third-generation FGM-148 Javelin fire-and-forget ATGM.
In reality, the MPATGM has been under development since 2009 by the DRDL, with VEM Technologies being responsible for product engineering development. Raytheon has already secured US approval for 97% transfer-of-technology (ToT) for licence-producing the missile’s cooled mid-wave imaging infra-red (MWIIR) seeker, and will withhold only the target acquisition algorithms. Both Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) will be responsible for the joint development of thermobaric-HEDP and HE/FRAG penetration-cum-blast warheads, while the re-usuable launchers and missiles will be built by both VEM Technologies and BDL. A cooled MWIIR sensor can passively lock-on to targets at up to 50% farther range than an uncooled sensor, thus allowing the firing crew greater and safer standoff distance, and less likely to be exposed to counter-fire. An uncooled long-wave infra-red (LWIR) sensor on the other hand brings increased repairs, decreased operational availability, and dangerous vulnerabilities, while a cooled IIR sensor saves lives, lessens fratricide, minimises collateral damage, lowers risk, and protects its firing platforms/crew. Present plans call for equipping the Indian Army’s existing 356 infantry battalions of the 1.13 million-strong Indian Army and the projected 30 infantry battalions to be raised in the 13th five-year defence plan (2018-2022) with some 6,000 MPATGM launchers and up to 26,000 missile-rounds (including war wastage reserves).
A similar practice had earlier led to the development of the 4km-range Nag ATGM and its air-launched HELINA variant. Back in 2005, the IA had ordered 443 Nag missiles and 13 NAMICA tracked carrier/launch vehicles, and is expected to order another 7,000 Nag missiles and around 200 NAMICAs. The 4km-range Nag uses a RCI-developed uncooled LWIR sensor containing an IR-CCD supplied by France-based ULIS/Sofradir. For the 6km-range HELINA, the DRDO has developed a two-way RF command-video data-link. The missile-to-helicopter down-link used to pass the LWIR seeker video works in the S band and the helicopter-to-missile up-link to pass steering commands works in the C band. In addition, a DS-SS modulation scheme is used for the command up-link while a conventional FM technique is used for video down-link, respectively.
Despite the fact that the LCA AF Mk.2’s (the term Tejas Mk.2 has now been discarded) final design has yet to be frozen, ADA nevertheless went ahead and released conceptual illustrations of this MRCA that can only serve to create further ill-informed confusion and false assumptions.
The two slides below explain the performance parameters of the Su-30MKI’s existing powerplant (AL-31FP) and the one (AL-41F-1S) that will power these H-MRCAs after the expiry of the TTSLs of the existing turbofans.
Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel and cling on to legacy designs, HAL would be well-advised to join forces with KAMOV OKB of Russia to co-develop the next-generation Ka-92 MRH. If this were to be done, it will offer India the way to squeeze out of the earlier ill-fated/ill-advised commitment to procure the Ka-226T.
The slide above is the first definitive illustration of the SAAW directed-energy weapon that is now being co-developed by RAFAEL of Israel and the DRDL.
Seen above and below are slides showing the future developmental objectives of the DRDO for both target acquisition optronic/RF seekers, and for their on-board navigation systems.
This will be the RVV-AE-ZRK LRAAM to go on board the FGFA. It will also be qualified on the Super Su-30MKI. 
Shown below are the next-generation AAMs now being developed in China.


bhoutik said...

"paving the way for flight test of HSTDV" - do you know when that might be? and how will this tech be utilised

Ved said...

Dear Prasun,
Range of QRSAM only upto 6 km?
I read it vertically upto 6km. Don't you think it is too less. It's not adequate for fighters which can fly much above that. Your views.

So no Spike or Javelin for IA. It's MPATGAM. What happened to the deal with Spike? Is the range of 2.5 km adequate in your opinion? How does it compare to Spike and Javelin in your opinion?


Abhay Jain said...

thanks a lot prasun sir for updates

1) DRDO claims that missiles and radars are the among the few areas where we will be completely self sufficient by 2020-2022? How do you see this statement? According to you what areas do you think are where we won't have to rely on foreign assistance by let's say 2020-2025?

2) Is there any SAM in development named VLRSAM a derivative of home grown BMD system?

3) Are there any more such engagements with US to unveil likes of man portable ATGM you just revealed?

4) Will it be beneficial to merge ADA with HAL?

5) Can HAL stick to it's given timeline in development of LCA MK-1A?

and once again thanks a lot for being the one stop solution over the years to the likes of me having little to no insight in defence matters



Raman said...

Excellent update........Thanks.

Siddharth said...

Prasun da,

You replied to Satya in your last blog: "Both LCA Mk.1 & Mk/2 are a full generation ahead of the 1980s-legacy design of Su-30. The former two can do at least 3 missions per day, which the Su-30MKI can’t."

Can you please elaborate the above. Will be helpful in understanding the thing.

rad said...

hi prasun
wow great tech scoop. how did vem tech develop[p the active seeker ? its a very hi tech affair, and a private co doing it? any tot?

raytheon mwiir for india wow! can it be used for air to air missiles?

Aloquik said...

Sir ji,
are the seekers being developed by DRDO use TR modules or those are simple one ? would those seekers be better than that of Agat or Israeli ones ?

and engagement altitude of QRsam is just 6 km is it enough ? It should be 10km atleast .

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

You talked about Akash 2 in the last thread. What is its purpose. What can it do that Barak LRSAM can't?


Anonymous said...

Hi dada,

Chk-out this new bigotry of home ministry.

S Thakur

3rd ~ EyE said...

speaking of QRSAM ... will learnings of trishul sam go into the project ?
do they have comparable chars ?

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da,

A very important titbit that you provided is that Raytheon will withhold only the target acquisition algorithms of the Javelin.

1. Is DRDO or any other Indian organization capable of developing such target acquisition algorithms?

2. Top of your head can you name a few such tech (like target acquisition algorithms) that foreign companies do not sell to India?

3. Did DRDO sell the Ku-band seeker tech to VEM because VEM was the highest bidder?



Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BHOUTIK: It should take place by the year’s end.

To VED: LoLz! You’re getting confused between service ceiling (6km) & lateral range. No SAM intercepts a target by flying pure vertically. It is the slant range that counts & that will be between 22km & 30km, rest assured, as the 1st slide clearly states. Deal for Spike was for the shoulder-launched Mini-Spike with 600-metre range. It is all the ‘desi’ journalists that have been spreading rumours about the Spike-SR for infantry & Spike-MR for the Rudra/:CH helicopters.

To ABHAY JAIN: VMT. 1) That depends on how one defines self-sufficiency. If one is talking about product design & production-engineering, then the answer is YES, because industrial patents on product design are easily available on-line & can be re-engineered. The deficiencies will remain in the most critical components, i.e. processing chips, like that of IR-CCDs & FPAs of the type shown in the slide dealing with ULIS-SOFRADIR. 2) No. Only the XR-SAM. 3) Several are being discussed. Including one on MALE-UAVs. 4) That should have been done in the early 1990s itself. 5) That depends on whether or not the MoD releases the funding reqd on time, or not.


To SIDDHARTH: The Su-30MKI’s airframe is of early 1980s vintage while its avionics suite is of 1990s design vintage. The LCA’s design is of later vintage that is still undergoing improvements for greater serviceability, reliability & availability. Unlike the LCA, the Su-30MKI hosts several electro-hydraulic systems that need regular checks & servicing after every hour of flight & this causes the aircraft to be grounded for extended hours after every flight. The LCA on the other hand hosts several internal diagnostic/trend-monitoring systems that can be accessed through plug-in testers & hence its maintainability is far more simplified & quicker.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: LoLz! Designing & building the overall product is very easy & not too time-consuming. What matters most is what are the critical components inside the seeker & it is here that India lacks the design/production expertise. IIR seekers for AAMs are far less complex since they don’t have to cater for ground clutter & therefore require only high-end target recognition algorithms in order to distinguish between genuine targets & decoys, like flares.

BTW, the Ruskies are now proposing that the Ka-226T be powered by the same Ardiden-1U engine that powers the HAL-developed LUH.

To ALOQUIK: Only AESA-based antenna require T/R modules. The Ku-band & also the to-follow Ka-band seekers for now are mounted on gimbals, i.e. they have mechanically scanning antennae.

To NR: The Barak-8 LR-SAM can do a lot more than the Akash-1 can. But since Akash-1 is already in series-production, it doesn’t hurt to procure the same Akash-1 that’s powered by higher energetic propellants for the sake of greater range envelope. Barak-8 won’t be available in the required numbers till 2020.

To 3rd-EYE: Trishul SAM was just a re-engineered version of the SAM used for the 1970s-era OSA-AK. The Astra-1 missile for the QR-SAM is a far more modern version with greater engagement envelope.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To S THAKUR: I can suggest a few more:

Rajesh Mishra said...

Now the defense related matters that were running in to years are running in to months.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRAM GUHA: 1) Such algorithms are quite difficult to develop because they have to proceed hand-in-hand with the available hardware. One cannot be developed without the other. It is a symbiotic relationship. That is precisely why it took 12 years to deliver the EMB-145I Netra AEW & CS, i.e. work on developing algorithms began only after the S-band AESA was available from the LRDE. 2) Similar is the case with the source-codes, which is just an OS for the MMR & includes various types of algorithms reqd for the programmable signals processor. If someone can access the algorithms, then they can be replicated for use by any MMR. It is for this reason alone that radar manufacturing OEMs never part with source-codes. 3) DRDO only sold the manufacturing licence. The IPRs are all owned solely by the DRDO. VEM has been manufacturing seekers not just for the QR-SAM & MPATGM, but also for the Akash-1, Nag, HELINA, PDV & AAD.

Shobhit said...

prasun ji ceramic composites seem to be the future of aero engines

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SHOBHIT: It is called CMC, as explained here:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Undeniable evidence has finally emerged that despite illegally kidnapping & detaining an Indian citizen for almost a year, Pakistan's ISI Directorate is nowhere near to producing compelling evidence of any Indian spy being engaged in any kind of activity inside Pakistan. Here's the proof:

The ISI to date has not even been able to establish that Kulbhushan's surname is not YADEV, but JADHAV, i.e. he doesn't hail from either Bihar or UP, but from Maharashtra! ! No wonder no Pakistani leader/politician has so far been able to officially state anywhere in the world that Pakistan has an Indian spy by the name of 'Kulbhushan Yadev' in custody (much to the consternation of several Pakistanis).

Now let's see if, after reading this comment, the ISPR scrambles to correct the mistake in its press release, just like it had earlier uploaded a photo of the Babur-3's test-firing after reading about its absence in a previous thread of this blog.

Shobhit said...

So is the ceramic tech that HAL is Woking on the same as CMC?

Sudipta Bhattacharjee said...

sir, will the proposed ka226t with ardiden 1u engine be a derivative of single engine ka 126 ? what special advantage is ka 226t then provide with respect to hal luh then ?

Anonymous said...

The Bill jeopardises international relations under the Geneva Convention?
please explain in detail why Ind Govt is opposing this move n propagating other countries to declare it as terror state


Aloquik said...

Thanks a lot Sir Ji but I was asking that are we not developing seekers with aesa antenna
and why the service ceiling on QRsam is just 6km while fighters fly at 8-10 km ?

Ankit Singh said...

"Despite the fact that the LCA AF Mk.2’s (the term Tejas Mk.2 has now been discarded) final design has yet to be frozen, ADA nevertheless went ahead and released conceptual illustrations of this MRCA that can only serve to create further ill-informed confusion and false assumptions."
What type of ill information will it provide?

Ved said...

Dear Prasun,

Are you sure it is Astra1 missile in QRSAM?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ALOQUIK & VED: QR-SAM is for low-level air-defence. That's why it is referred to as quick-reaction. For targets flying at high altitudes, quick reaction is not called form since there's plenty of time available to select & warm-up the SAM Battery.

To ANKIT SINGH: About the fuselage length & larger wing area. Didn't you get to hear what Cmde Balaji had said? If not, then watch this:

Ved said...

Dear Prasun,
You are dodging my question. Is it Astra1 or new missile altogether in this QRSAM programme.

SUVO said...


(1) Inconvenient truth about CPEC .

(2) 15,000 military personnel protecting CPEC’.

Samar said...

Dear Prasun Sir,

Could please give any updates about a. new infantry rifle for the forces? b. Why DRDO/OFB can't design a suitable rifle?

Thanks and Regards,

rad said...

hi prasun
it seems the mbda has offered the meteor for the su-30mki!? will they give the codes for integration or will russia permit that? .Do we have a some access so that we can integrate weapons of our choice ? some thing not right.

why is the design of the lca mk2 not frozen? are they doing simulation with the new wing and intakes still? Becasue the wing is as good as new , do they have to send it o TSAGI in russia or to france for testing the models .

now why cant we have a wind tunnel like that ?

bhoutik said...

the strategic dialogue in Beijing on February 22 was co-chaired by Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui. Is the vice FM equal to the Indian FS in rank? Is protocol being maintained here?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VED: Are you having any problem WRT reading? What does para-2 of the narrative above say? Which missile is mentioned there? Why should anyone at all be reqd to develop a new missile for QR-SAM or SL-QRM or SR-SAM? What has been done the world over? Does the SpyDer-SR/MR contain all-new missiles? Aren't the US & Russia both using surface-launched versions of the AIM-120 & R-77 as E-SHORADS? Aren't the MICA & AIM-132 ASRAAM being used as VL-SHORADS? FYI SAM derivatives of BVRAAMs can go as far as 44km in inclined flight trajectories!

To SAMAR: It's the Ghaatak SLR. We have been through this topic several times.

To RAD: Meteor won't go on the Su-30MKI or Super Su-30MKI. Instead, new-generation BVRAAMs & LRAAMs now being developed for the FGFA will be integrated with the Su-30MKI as well. Design of the LCA AF Mk.2 can't be frozen for as long as critical tests of new landing gear designs are not completed in the iron-bird rig. Wind-tunnel tests of new wing design with larger wing area & longer fuselage have already been validated & completed by France's ONERA. Rfeinement of the new-generation DFCC's flight-control logic is now in progress.

BTW, just look at how unprofessional ADA is when it comes to data presentation. For instance in the posters above, why the hell has the LCA AF Mk.2 been shown with 2 underwing fuel tanks when the AAR probe is also shown? Can't these jokers instead show the MRCA equipped with greater offensive payload uner the wings? Showing such ill-conceived illustrations will only cause prospective customers to infer that the LCA AF Mk.2 has deficient payload-carrying capability!

To BHOUTIK: China's Vice Foreign Minister = India's Minister of State for External Affairs. Inbdia's Foreign Secretary = China's Director-General of Foreign Ministry.

To SUVO: There are presently 141 Pakistani prisoners rotting in Chinese prisons. When China requested Pakistan to take them back to serve their remaining prison terms in Pakistani jails, Islamabad said this wasn't possible since all of Pakistan's prisons were overflowing with prisoners!!!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The damage will be repaired & the aircraft will be made flightworthy again, but it will be foolhardy to dismiss it off as a freak accident, since ALL accidents are ALWAYS the culmination of a series of cascading human judgemental errors.

And some good news here:

Anup said...

Dear Sir,

It's Barak 8 for Army ? It's deployment in 2023.

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

This is very unfare, do you remember last year i had asked you about SLAMRAAMs you had said India doesnt need them, now you say SL Astra 1 with ku band that you proposed a decade ago will be developed.

a few questions btw

1. IN new RFI clearly gives edge to Rafale M (2 n half squadron) making IN the largest operator of Rafale M, but the production has been stopped for many years now so can it be restarted

2. That the new INS Vikrant will fly the Mig 29K you have confirmed, but question remains how many more of these will be bought.

3. whats the actual problem with Ka 226 is it unflyable

4. L-70 and ZU-23 AA guns shuld have been replaced by now but LRDE uis busy developing new radars for them why

5. in last thread you posted a slide with pic of triple ejector rack with light weight PGMs but they were shown with Combat Hawk I but wont it be better to use them with LCA mk1

6. you say 'MPATGM) that will use thermobaric-HEDP and tandem shaped-charge warheads optimised for high-altitude warfare and anti-armour engagements' anti-armour in plains is ok but in hilly areas??? I think tanks can operate only in the downward plains of Ladakh and NE sikkim. For such small envelop is it ok to develop a specific weapon

hope to get answers this time

Joydeep Ghosh

Pierre Zorin said...

Samar please bite the bullet and accept the Ghaatak to shoot down any other aspirations. Caprice? :)

Rohan said...

Any chance that the Dual-Pulse Motor developed by DRDO for Barak-2/8 can be integrated onto Astra missile? Would the physical dimensions allow it? Or at least the tech / know-how gained from that project can hopefully be ported over to Astra

bhoutik said...

you mentioned that Unlike the LCA, the Su-30MKI hosts several electro-hydraulic systems that need regular checks & servicing after every hour of flight & this causes the aircraft to be grounded for extended hours after every flight. the AL-41F-1S poster mentions the electrohydraulic system has diagnostics and engine hours control. will this improve the sortie-rate/day of the Su-30MKI, and if so - to what degree?
btw, where does the desi CMC sector stand now compared to developed countries and china?

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da,

Yesterday, astronomers discovered 7 Earth Like planets. The only problem is they are 40 light years away from Earth.

Since you have covered this topic of extra terrestrial life form in great details over the last few years - did aliens purposely did not teach people on earth how to travel into distant planets quickly that are light years away?

Thank You


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANUP: LoLz! The news-report clearly shows the photo of the Barak-8 VLS for IAF as showen during DEFEXPO 2016 & yet you've fallen into the trap & assumed that it is for the Army! FYI the IAF had already committed itself way back in 2007 to procuring an initial batch of nine Barak-8 MR-SAM squadrons, but no firm order had been placed. The CCNS approval now means this order will now be placed. During Aero India 2015 itself the IAF's MR-SAM deployment pattern chart had been shown.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: SLAMRAAM can't be compared to Astra-1's QR-SAM variant. The former is imported, the latter is a locally developed solution. 1) Both versions of the Rafale are identical & therefore production of Rafale M never stopped. 2) Only 45 were reqd & all have been delivered. 3) What's the problem? Have the Russian armed forces procured it? If not, then why not? 4) Why should they be replaced when their TTSLs haven't yet expired? 5) Of course. Hence I wonder why the designers of ADA's LCA AF Mk.2 postures/brochures don't have the common-sense to incorporate such racks in their presentations/displays. 6) Why not? Can't the PLA deploy medium tanks in the Ladakh sector? Hasn't the PLA developed such tanks for use in such areas?

To ROHAN: Dual-pulse motors are used for LR-SAMs & MR-SAMs, not by QR-SAMs that are essentially SHORADS.

To BHOUTIK: Yes, this will aleviate the problem of MRO downtimes to a large extent00about 70%. The CMC sector still has a long way to go. Application of CMC is not just limited to aero-engines or airframes, but also includes add-on armour for ground vehicles (wheeled & tracked) & warships.A holistic approach therefore needs to be adopted regarding widespread usage of CMCs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIKRAM GUHA: As the saying goes, there's a time & place for getting things done. If the current species of human beings have been genetically modified & re-engineered by far more advanced civilisations/species of human beings so as to leapfrog through the evolutionary process, then it can safely be inferred that those superior civilisations had by design ensured that only only 10% of the human brain's cortex was usable (as of now), with the remaining 90% being activated in a staggered manner whenever these advanced civilisations deem it fit to be undertaken.

Ram Bharadwaj said...

Bharat Karnad in his article on C-130 crash claims that IAF has lost 1 C-17 which he says "flew in a hill". Is that true that IAF had to write down 1 C-17?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAM BHARADWAJ: Why do we waste our time with the rants of idiots? He can't even distinguish between a C-17A Globemaster and an An-32B. This idiot hasn't even stepped inside the air bases housinbg the C-130H-30s & C-17As to see for himself whaat kind of ground-support hardware were supplied by the USAF (sinbce these were all bought through the FMS channel) & what kind of simulators have been installed & commissioned. Such idiots therefore can't even tell the difference between an undertaker & underwriter!!!

The latest incident in Thoise took place because obviously there was a mismatch in ground communications at nighttime between the C-130H-30s aircrew (as it was taxiing in the tarmac toward the runway) & the ground crew responsible for ATC/ATM that provides navigational cues to the aircrew during the taxiing process.

Kib said...

Hi Prasun, Love your blog, only place for real insight.

The XRSAM is interesting!! Obviously its the 250-300 km sam we keep hearing about. Please tell us if it will ever actually be built given the S-400 purchase looming. And any additional details you can give us about it - range, ABM capabilities..

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KIB: VMT. The XR-SAM is in fact the AAD-1 endo-atmospheric interceptor missile with 120km service ceiling. The 250km-service ceiling SAM you are referring to is the PDV exo-atmospheric interceptor missile that can also be used as an ASAT weapon with minor modifications. But such SAMs are only half the story, because what's reqd to support such SAMs are X-band early warning/tracking radars, on which developmental work is currently underway. The S-400 procurement contract won't be inked unless & until the Ruskies are able to prove the performance of the Ka-band active radar seeker for endo-atmospheric interception.

Anonymous said...

Will the Aim-132 ASRAAMS under procurement be used by IAF Rafaels?

rad said...

hi prasun
why dont we make use of the tech ?that is already developed like the active aesa seeker and data links for barak 8 , radar etc to make our own s-400 missile . The ultra radar is already there with he help of isreal than wait for the ruskies?. there i so much money going o be involved and we can be self sufficient in the end ?. If any body will help it is israel as they have already perfected the arrow system and uncle sam cant interfere in a new system co developed by both. I have a strange feeling we are on our way to make asat weapons due to the IIR homing head of the recent ABM test.

any scoop on the long range aam that is being developed for FFGA ? what are the chances it will be supplied to china as well?

Kib said...

The SAMHO looks very much like it is the CLGM reborn. 120mm! Can it be fired from the barrel of a tank? If this was developed inhouse, the DRDO would never stop advertising it.

The SAAW is clearly the Spice 250 but DRDO will not admit to it. Same with the new LGB. And no wing kit displayed yet, strange for DRDO. Israel may want to keep such collaboration under the radar too me thinks dont you think?

I was under the impression the AAD has a service ceiling of 30 KM as it is endo-atmospheric.

The QRSAM model schematic shows that it has a different wing layout to Astra, with folding fins. Not the case?

Ludwig said...

Prasun sir, what do you think of HAL's idea of creating a seaplane out of Do-228? Who do you think would answer for this RFI?

Anonymous said...

What do you think of this analysis, by Shyam Saran:

Is there any merit to the options being considered?


rad said...

hi prasun

can the chinese get to know the sonars given to burma by us?

what is this new missile for the army based on the old barak

uttam ready for integration? seems to good to be true . any indication of that in the aero 17?

the saaw weapon looks funny without a rocket motor or tail fins ? any explanation

is this the first time we are making bomb release pylons?

TWIR again a screw driver tech from israel?

the abandoned rotary uav with israel has come to life ? what was the reason of it being dumped in the first place?

how is the utam radar going to be integrated with the cockpit ng of israel? is there sensor fusion in the NG ? what is the main advantages of it apart form the wide screen?

as we are co developing the man portable missile with US are the larger range spike out of question now?

Ankit Singh said...

Yes Sir.
I heard about increasing the length of fuselage by 1M
But that will only be for navy.

Anonymous said...

No Free Launch: Designing the Indian National Satellite

Anonymous said...

despite the fact USA has strong space rockets it still depends on russia forvRD180 rocket? why is major reason?


asd said...

Dear Prasun,

Is it true that Tejas is given a halal like death punishment (as said by Karnad fella) so that it will be discarded in the long run unlike the Marut successor programme which was given an instant death punishment? Certainly this is what going to happen with Sitara craft; but not with Tejas Mk II. What is your view?

abhijit mitra said...

Had one query on LRSAM -- if the series production is picking up and the BEL has contributed in developing the fire control systems and perhaps integration with the fire control radar -- why isn't BEL getting the order

abhijit mitra said...

Where exactly is it stuck ( offsets or price negotiation or where) ... now we are also seeing Cabinet committee of security clearing the MRSAM order for joint development -- isn't the development already complete -- or is the testing with the fire control radar still left and how long will the phase of development of MRSAM additionally take -- your response will be helpful as always

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAM: AIM-132 ASRAAMs now being delivered with Cobham-supplied ejector racks are ONLY for the Jaguar IS/DARIN-3. Rafales will have only MICA & Meteor AAMs.

To RAD: The Barak-8 joint R & D issue had been discussed threadbare several timers before in which it was also officially stated by Indian industrial entities that the DRDL’s developmental contribution pertains only to the propulsion system, while all on-board sensors at the front-end is RAFAE:’s responsibility. That’s why in every DEFEXPO or AERO INDIA expo since 2009 no Indian industrial vendor has ever shown any component of the front-end being built in India. Only the propulsion system’s components have been shown. In short, target acquisition seeker, active radar & proximity fuzes are all coming straight from RAFAE: & do not involve any Indian input on both the developmental & industrial production fronts. The version of S-400 with Ka-band active seeker is still under development & has a few more R & D hurdles to cross. Why should Myanmar share the capabilities of India-developed sonar systems with China when Yanhon knows that China has supplied similar sinar systems to Bangladesh? Does the full-scale model of ‘Uttam’ displayed at Aero India 2017 in any way indicate to anyone that it is anywhere near to even installation, leave alone integration, on board any flying platform? Yes, this is India’s first-ever locally developed ejector release mechanism, along with the Rudrastra for the HELINA. TWIR has been locally designed & built, but with the crucilal processor chips coming from ULIS-SOFRADIR. The NR-UAV is just a conceot at this stage. No one from any end-user has expressed any interest so far. Spike-MR for Rudra or LCH was never in the reckoning.

To KIB: The SAMHO illustration above is of 2012 vintage & it was developed as the CLGM for the Arjun MBT’s 120mm rifled-bore cannon, since the LAHAT CLGM was optimised for only 120mm smoothbore cannons. As for LGBs, where’s the need for glide-wing kits when the laser designation pod itself can’t operate beyond 12km? AAD is of late 1990s vintage & the figures I’ve quoted concern the AAD-1 & AAD-2 variants. Any missile encased within a cannister will have folded control-fins. The Astra-1 version for QR-SAM is no exception.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To LUDWIG: HAL had as far back as 2013 conceived of the idea of equipping the Do-228 with twin gloats, much like what’s available with the Cessna Caravan or the DHC-6-700 Twin Otter.

To PRIT: I fully agree with the conclusions & these are borne out by what’s happening within Pakistan now: even till now not a single religious political party of that country has visited the blast site of the Sufi Shrine in Sindh to express any condolences, thereby proving beyond any doubt that there’s still no consensus within on decisively combating terrorism. In addition, that country’s leaders are all a confused lot & therefore distinguish between terrorist outfits & extremist outfits. In other words, while there’s consensus on killing terrorists, there’s ZERO will to combat terrorism. Add to that the 7 lakh Pakistanis deported back from various Middle Eastern & Southeast Asian countries between 2013 & now, who remain jobless. Furthermore, agricultural output has been falling since last year, leading to more unemployment & a possible food crisis next year. To distract attention from all this, Pakistan is now imposing its hegemony over Afghanistan while forgetting that Washington DC & Kabul have a joint defence agreement under which the US is treaty-bound to defend Afghanistan against Pakistani aggression.

To ANKIT SINGH: In that soundbyte of Cmde Balaji, did he at any time state that the 1-metre fuselage stretch will apply ONLY to the LCA (Navy) Mk.2? Is it ever possible for anyone today to develop separate land-based & carrier-based aircraft that don’t share common airframes? If you say ‘Yes’, then it means that the US, France & Russia were all a bunch iof retards in retaining a common airframe for land-based/carrier-based versions of the F/A-18 & Rafale & Su-30/MiG-29 families.

To ASD: LoLz! Why try to lend any credibility to the whims & fancies of retards like this fella you’ve quoted? HJT-36 IJT is stuck because there’s no need for it for either the IAF or IN, since the Hawk Mk.132 AJTs & PC-7 Mk.2 BTTs are already in service. No air force in the world with BTTs & AJTs operates IJTs.

To ABHIJIT MITRA: BEL is getting orders, but not in its capacity as prime contractor. BDL is the prime contractor. The recent CCNS clearance was for placing procurement orders, & not for any R & D activity. All R & D work has already been concluded.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AVIRAL: Some say it is $2.1 million worth of TALs for Vietnam & some others claim it is for Myanmar. Nag has been cleared for service-induction, while Astra-1 will be cleared later this year on the Su-30MKI & later the MiG-29UPG. NGARM’s flight-trials have not yet begun. QR-SAM’s test-firings will begin later this year. X-band ISAR seeker for ASCM is meant for the BrahMos-NG & also the SLCM version of Nirbhay.

To ANKIT SINGH: Of course MCIWS is dead. After all, how can a soldier be expected in the battlefield to find time to keep switching gun barrels? How many armed forces around the world have adopted MCIWS concepts so far? The original reqmt for AEW & CS platforms was for 11 A-50I-type platforms, because such platforms can stay airborne for 12 hours without refuelling. The EMB-145I Netra in contrast can stay airborne for only 6 hours with or without aerial refuelling & is thus a less efficient platform for usage as AEW & CS. In addition, such a platform can accommodate only 2 sets (four each) of mission management crews & together they cannot operate beyond 6 hours because they don’t carry replacement pilots on board. Platforms like A330-220 & A-50I on the other hand have enough space to accommodate 4 sets of aircrews & mission management crews.

Pierre Zorin said...

With more than 11,000 systems fielded, the PIRANHA is one of the most successful 8x8 wheeled armored vehicles in the world.I know nothing about the development of Kestrel but was it not more appropriate to make this in India as JV?

abhijit mitra said...

BEL CMD keeps on saying that it awaits LRSAM orders -- and they expect 12000cr order from LRSAM -- are they misleading the markets

abhijit mitra said...

Also when can we expect these MRSAM orders as per you and who will be the lead integrator -- BDL again

RJS said...

Dear Prasun ,

Given the limitations of the Netra AEW platform , why was sanctioned & why did the DRDO stop at 3? Didn't it make sense for the GoI to sanction 11A-501 a decade ago , when Netra was given the go ahead?
Can you shed some light on this aspect ?
Thanks in advance ,

Chirag said...

Hi prasun;
With army issuing new tender for assault means Ghatak does fit to their requirements.your opinion on this.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PIERRE ZORIN: The Kestrel WHaP is a product of India’s automotive industry in terms of conceptual design & product development, which in tun gives the Indianb OEMs to keep on improving it & modifying it as well as per customer reqmts. The same is not the case with the Piranha 8 x 8. I myself have seen the Piranha getting stuck several times in the coastal areas & interior areas of Southeast Asia whenever they were transported from LPDs by LCAC hovercraft & after disembarking, disaster used to strike & they all had to be towed out.

To ABHIJIT MITRA: LR-SAM orders means not orders for missile rounds, but LR-SAM related orders for hardware like the Arudhra & Ashwini radars, command-and-control mobile shelters & microwave line-of-sight comms relay systems—all of which together make up the LR-SAM system. Then there’s the BEL-built interfaces to the IACCCS network. So don’t be misled by how the ‘desi’ press wrongly assumes & interprets the BEL CMD’s statements. As for MR-SAM orders, after CCNS approval, orders are placed within 7 days.

To RJS: The CABS had to start somewhere in terms of indigenous product development & the ‘Netra’ was just a stepping stone—so far so good. But the choice of the EMB-145 airframe was a wrong one, as it is a narrowbody. I would have preferred the Bombardier Global Expresss widebodied airframe with greater interior volume & greater flight endurance. Now the CABS wants to develop the A330-220-based AEW & CS within an 84-month period & deliver six of them. Which means two more A-50I PHALCONs will be ordered in future to add to the 3 already in service.

Will try to upload a photo of the NG-ARM later today.

To CHIRAG: Not tenders, but merely RFIs. And OFB’s Ishapore Rifle Factory will respond to the RFI as well. Once it is equipped with UBGLs, aimpoints & a variety of sights, it will look totally different from what it looks today.

RJS said...

Dear Prasun ,

Thanks for your answer .Could you highlight the differences between the A-501 Phalon & the A330-220 based AEW & CS systems ,in brief ?

Are the A330 going to be similar to the Netra AEW or would it be an Indian version of the Phalon? Could you elaborate ?

Thanks in advance ,

vishakh said...


1) SUKHOI MKI will be upgraded to Super Sukhoi as per your negative but reasonable cost of $33 Million / aircraft with 200 aircrafts takes the cost to $ 6.6 Billion.

2) Also as per previous narative 50 New Super Sokhoi will be purchased with $ 100 Million / Aircraft that goes to $5 Billion

3) All this will also include new missiles like R77 with Ram Jet Engine etc

Total Cost 13$ Dollars , do we have this much money ???

4) Rafale if are purchased instead of Griphen at $ 100 Million / aircraft then 90 + 57 may go over $ 15 Billion

$13 + $15 Billion overall + $2 for Jaguar upgrade , Do IAF has this much money ????

Anonymous said...

Sir, thank you for the reply to my previous query. I just wanted to ask something abt the new Awacs project that DRDO has started. Can Airbus mount an extra engine to power the 4 radar arrays at the rear fuselage position(like the DC 9)? Is it technically feasible?
Thank you!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RJS & SAM: Before all that, let's start with GENESIS, i.e. exactly how many of the 'desi' news-reports have reported on what band the AESA of the A330-220 AEW & CS operate? Will it be L-band as is the case with the A-50I PHALCON, or will it be S-band?

To VISHAKH: I never mentioned any financial figure about costs for Super Su-30MKI. Don't know where you're getting such figures from. Nor have I stated that the entire Su-30MKI fleet will be upgraded to Super Su-30MKI standard.

Ashutosh said...

Looks like India and Pakistan have reached some sort of understanding on Kashmir. This is evident from low infiltration attempts, low key activities of foreign militants and army in quick mode to erase local militants and Huriyat crying (fowl).
I remember reading one of your blogs couple of years ago where you have correctly indicated the environment of negotiating table for settlement of the issue. With India raising heat from all boarders, squeezing sectarian and regional fault lines of pak, increasing military capability to such an extent where it is impossible for pak to match or put resistant as missioned by B Raman in 2007.
Last of it, demonstrating the will power to use military as a means to resolve the issue has shattered the last left confidence of Pakistan.
What kind of settlement will it be and can Pakistan guarantee a permanent settlement now as there are some elements in Pakistan who are not in control of anybody. Not even the army. You already know that. Thanks

Old Monk said...

Hello Mr. Sengupta

A few questions,

1. Which torpedo is the DRDO's Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo, SMART project about?

2. Does India have any need for an EMP generating missile such as the Boeing CHAMP? Any R&D work going on there?

3. Can the KALI 5000 or such a Particle-beam weapon be used for missile defence?

4. You said ealier that "since Akash-1 is already in series-production, it doesn’t hurt to procure the same Akash-1 that’s powered by higher energetic propellants for the sake of greater range envelope". By higher energetic propellants, do you mean solid fuel? Was the tender for manufacture of ground launchers for SFDR missile related to the QRSAM project?

Old Monk said...


my last question is

By higher energetic propellants, do you mean boron-based composite solid propellants? Was the tender for manufacture of ground launchers for SFDR missile related to the QRSAM project? Or if not then for what end?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ASHUTOSH: LoLz! The only reason infiltration-levels are down is because of the WEATHER. When there’s snowfall, the mountain passes, streams & rivulets are all frozen as are the testicles of the infiltrators & that’s the only reason why infiltrators are waiting for the snows to melt starting late March. Pakistan by its very foundational nature has been a sick entity ever since its creation & that’s why instead of investing its internal-security resources on counter-terrorism, it today deploys its police personnel to arrest those folks who carry flowers on Valentine’s day, or to prevent folks in Punjab from celebrating the festival of Basant. Pakistan’s will & capacity to inflict pain on India will not diminish till the time India starts using military POWER. What India has been doing since 1989 in J & K has been only the exercise of military FORCE, i.e. reactive kinetic operations like co9unter-insurgency campaigns or the cross-LoC raids of September 29 last year. Exercise of MILITARY POWER is a totally different ballgame, for instance what Russia did against Georgia & Ukraine by seizing & annexing territory for good. India needs to do the same especially in the post-9/11 era when the world will support actions like the capture & permanent annexation of territories like the 161 sq km Chicken’s Neck area. The only things holding back India are the imaginary insecurities in the minds of India’s decision-makers about vertyical escalation of the conflict. It is high time this bluff was called, since Pakistan’s armed forces have, after 1971, always shied away from using military force against India after the trauma of the 1971 defeat. That’s precisely why they never owned up OP Badr in mid-1999 & never accepted that the PA was involved in that operation. Now the PA is trying to remain psychologically contented with the fig-leaf of ‘full spectrum strategic deterrence’ when it knows only too well that if it resorts to any use of any kind of nuclear WMD (inclusive of TNWs), it will invite retaliation in equal or more from India.

To OLD MONK: 1) That is still in the conceptual design phase. 2) It’s the SAAW about which I had already written about in 2015 itself. Its slide is already uploaded above. 3) No. 4) Solid fuel for bith booster & sustainer is already there inside Akash-1. Higher-energetic version of it has since been developed. Those ground-launchers were meant for test-firing missiles equipped with SFDR & also ramjets. Such missiles can be either ARMs or even air-to-surface missiles that will be carried & released by a turbofan-powered loitering ‘mother’ missile now being developed under Project PRALAY.

Old Monk said...

And BDL's MoU with Thales for TOT on Starstreak missile is for which requirement?

ASD said...

Dear Prasun,

Once upon a time, you showered praise upon Rashtriya Rifles because of their honed skill for counter insurgency. But after following this link, I am not getting how this so called world's best unit falters to understand the fundamentals of war. Can you please throw some light on this serious issue??? Your view is highly appreciated.

Raghuram said...

Dear sir can you please enlighten on why arjun MBT 1&2 were not chosen by the IA to be their mbt's? What's wrong with them? Why the continuous reliance on Russian tanks? If arjuns are selected then would it not start legacy of tank development in India? Kindly reply

john said...

Old report about RAM Coating

"India's indigenously developed Radiation-absorbent paint first applied on Soviet-era supplied Mig-21s had proven the reduction of its signatures considerably on Ground radars and LCA-Tejas no doubt will have smaller radar cross-section among non-stealth fighter jets but it doesn't mean there are in the same category has 5th Generation Stealth fighters concluded Rajan."

Pls give us some idea about our "Radiation-absorbent paint" capability. Is it sufficient for FGFA/AMCA.?

Aloquik said...

Senthil Kumar said...

Dear Prasun,

Is there any solution for this Fake Currency originating from Pakistan. What is the option India has now for this problem.

S.Senthil Kumar

Senthil Kumar said...

Dear Prasun,

Russia plans to sell S-400 to Turkey. Once Sold, very soon Turkey-Paki-China Nexus will crack the secrets and Chinese will come out Chinese Version of S-400 which will reach Paki.

Next NATO will try to learn S-400 and very soon S-400 Secrets will come to open domain.

For Money, Russia is selling everything. So attaining S-400 will not give any edge for Indian Army.

Please comment.

S.Senthil Kumar

himanshu vij said...

Hi sir how many ghatak rifles have been produced as of now. What is the rate of production.

Kambar said...

Thanks for sharing the recent industrial defense developments. Only a true domain expert is able to know of such happenings, and separate the wheat from the chaff, unlike the useless presstitudes peddling fake stories (ie: C-17s crashing like flies..).

1) So, will QRSAM, Akash 1/2, MRSAM, and LRSAM fill the tiered land-based air defense (excluding BMD/XRSAM)?

2) Can the Astra SAM replace the Barak 1 in the IN? This might need an IIR to intercept the latest ASCMs.

3) Does the development of an indigenous QRSAM mean that the SPYDER was a one off buy?

4) Is the IN and Coast Guard looking at the Textron Aerosonde or Insitu Intergrator UAS? The DRDO tried to build something similar for the army, but the recovery mechanism was a complete failure.

5) So, BARC is only responsible for production engineering of PWRs. What PWR will be used for IAC-2 since Russians never built PWRs for carriers? A derivative of the PWR for nuclear icebreakers from OKBM Afrikantov? However, those icebreakers only work in the Arctic, so a completely new cooling system would have to be developed for the PWR. Anyways, shouldn’t development/selection of such an integrated PWR system happen around now since it will take 10 years to certify a clean sheet design (or even a highly modified derivative)?

6) So, the Ghataak uses a brand new short-stroke piston, unlike the INSAS’s or Excaliber’s AK-style long stroke piston. Can you confirm this? I’m surprised the ARDE folks had the capacity to design a new action from scratch (unless it’s the FAL action…). Is the receiver also a new design, perhaps made of composites instead of steel? Also, will the Ghataak get a vertical foregrip?

7) Is the VK-2500 ot VK-3000 engine maritimized? No use co-developing a fancy coaxial helicopter if the Russians cant get the basics right for us. Also, do either have blade shedding or turbine overspeed protection?

8) Will India own/share any of the IPRs for the FGFA? If so, what will they be in? Do the Russians still want $3 billion in “R&D” money from us?

9) Since most of Chinese indigenous airplane developments have hit various technical snags, what made the J-10 a successful MRCA given China’s limited aerospace industrial experience at the time? Was the J-10 programme some sort of secret offset of China’s Python-3 missile purchase, where the Israelis provided detailed designs and production engineering support of the IAI Lavi?

10) I read a report that Dhruvastra is for the Rudra since Rudra cannot carry quad launchers due to the weapon pylon’s low ground clearance? Any truth to this report? Also it is strange for a medium weight armed helicopter to use skis instead of wheels.

Kambar said...

11) Is the Su-30MKI with the escort jammer pod comparable to the EA-18G’s capabilities?

12) Is there a broader marketing and co-development push behind the rebooted MPATGM? For example, will the US be interested in ordering any, ie: will it have any additional features to the Javelin ATGM besides a reusable launcher? Also, what is the product development ownership and marketing breakdown look like? 50% DRDO 50% Raytheon, with Raytheon having exclusive control of marketing and export sales?

13) Will Raytheon provide a read-only copy of its proprietary target tracking algorithms to flash on the MPATGM (of course without the source code), or will a DRDO lab come up with in house target acquisition algorithms that can be iteratively improved?

14) Does the ALH still have a cyclic saturation problem? Seems like this can be easily solved by adding new software to the flight control that prevents banking beyond a certain degree.

15) A friend from ISRO said that ISRO has world-class capabilities in remote sensing, but has said that materials engineering is likely ISRO’s greatest deficiency. This seems to apply to the defense sector, too. But the problem with materials engineering is that as am enabling science there needs to be stable, long term demand to justify the long gestation R&D involved with cutting edge materials.

16) Does DRDO not use VHDHL or VERILOG for custom digital electronics? I saw that the DRDO electronics were still using CPLDs instead of more advanced FPGAs. Even the Varunastra uses old Intel 8051s instead of a modern MCU with a high-level compiler.

17) How long has Pralay been in development (This concept has definitely existed for at least 10-20 years)? How long will it take for trials? Is the mother missile reusable and what turbofan does it use? Also what is the weight of the mother missile? Will the mother missile be able to carry a modular load?

18) Good news that the Tata Kestrel will be finally getting orders. In France, they have developed a similar wheeled platform as their next generation IFV that replaces an older tracked IFV. Considering how modular Kestrel is, I wonder why an IFV-style Kestrel cannot replace the BMP-2 in limited quantities for use in the Sialkot sector.

19) Even though ISRO repeatedly shows press releases of its indigenous cryogenic engines, ISRO is silent on the SCE-200 kerolox semi-cryo engine that has been in development for at least 10 years. Why? Shouldn’t ISRO have completed most of the production engineering milestones by now?

20) Off topic question. With the recent blockade in Manipur, shouldn’t this signal to the authorities that a transportation/logistical or FTA pact be inked with Bangladesh. NE states seem to be precariously lawless due to poor logistical and administrative management, especially due to the lawlessness in WB like Malda.

Ankit Singh said...

But sir it was the army's requirement for multi-caliber rifle, then why is army now abandoning it?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To OLD MONK: All relevant info on higher energetic materials applications in India can be found here:

Starstreak is competing against Mistral, Verba & RBS-70 for the VHORADS/MANPADS reqmt.

To ASD: You can rest assured that ALL land warriors all over the world, ranging from the best of the best to the not-so-good suffer from blue-on-blue casualties. There are no exceptions.

To RAGHURAM: How can that be? The Arjun Mk.1 is already in service & its follow-on variant too is entering service. As the years go by, more orders will be placed, taking their total to slightly more than 400, excluding the specialist vehicles.

To JOHN: Nothing is sufficient in a standalone manner. RAP, RAM, angled airframe structures, active RF cancellation techniques all play a role in reducing observability.

To ALOQUIK: Thpse posters don’t saying anything about SCBs, only about design techniques & component developments.

To SENTHIL KUMAR: Of course there’s a solution. Plastic currency (notes printed on plastic materials) is the answer. If Turkey could not procure the FD-2000 from China, then rest assured even the S-400 won’t be integrated with Turkey’s NATO-standard air-defence network.

To HIMANSHU VIJ: Slightly more than 800.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KAMBAR: 1) Yes, that should be enough for securing the Vas & VPs. 2) RF-based seeker has greater engagement envelope than IIR seeker, as I had explained before as well. 3) Yes. 4) No. ICGS & IN require shipborne VTOL UAS. 5) BARC designs & makes only research reactors. All commercial-grade reactors are designed by NPCIL. A PWR-based propulsion system for submarines is a highly compact propulsion system that can easily go inside any naval vessel. The existing PWR design for SSBNs can easily be upscaled within a 5-year period. 6) Am not aware of such details. Designing anything was never a challenge, since external references like industriual patents exist. 7) The VK-2500 is on par with the best the world has to offer, & is even far better when operating in dusty environment due to specialist additives developed by Russia. Even the US has used such additives bought from Russia in Afghanistan & Iraq. 8) India will own only those IPR that concern the development of sub-systems & componentrs, like MAWS fitments & internal EW jammer. 9) It was the Russian input. Without the AL-31FN turbofan, the J-10 would never have flown. 10) The previous thread was the first to reveal that Dhruvastra was meant for Rudra & LCH. There’s more than enough ground-clearance for quad missile packs on both Rudra & LCH. Nothing wrong with usage of skids. Skids become a problem only when operating from warships. 11) It is better than EA-18G. 12) MPATGM’s IPRs are owned by DRDO & have nothing to do with the US. It is an India-specific weapon. 13) There are no read-only copies. They are all embedded algorithms protected by encryption. DRDO cannot develop any algorithm unless it first has a processor chip of its own. 14) That problem was solved years ago. 16) Not quite. Customised processors are imported from Israel & Singapore. 17) For the past 3 years. Trials will last for 3 years. No loitering missile is reusable. It will use the HTFE-25. Weight will be much lesser than BrahMos-1. 18) ICVs/IFVs/AIFVs cannot double up as battle taxis carrying infantrymen. The Kestrel is an APC for transporting infantry. 20) Only solution is to impose the writ of the state by ensuring that only the state through its law-enforcement agencies retains the monopoly on application of violence. 21) Watch this report on ISRO:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANKIT SINGH: Why? Perhaps the IA HQ has realised that recourse to common-sense & sanity produces assured, better & reliable results.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To GOURAV: here are the clarifications:

Claim: the IAF has been relatively unsuccessful in convincing politicians to move towards an airpower-centric approach taken by most global powers.
Reality: Totally untrue. The array of ballistic & cruise missiles—both procured & under development—and continuing investments in space-based comms/recce assets prives beyond doubt that Inbdian decision-makers are only too well-versed with airpower/aerospace power applications.

Claim: At present, the IAF is undergoing a phase out its ageing and accident-prone Mig-21, which was a fine interceptor in the 1960s and 1970s but is now laughably outclassed by every hostile aircraft it might encounter in the region.
Reality: Really? Is the MiG-21 Bison inferior to the 1970s-era Mirage-3/5/50 & F-7P/PG that, unlike the MiG-21 Bison, can’t even fire BVRAAMs?

Claim: On the downside, it has a huge RCS and is thus liable to be detected long before it can detect opposing fighters—whether operating under active or passive search methods.
Reality: Any combat aircraft—not just the Su-30MKI—will be detectable by hostile ADGES networks.

Claim: However, against Chinese Su-35, J-10B and J-11 fighters, it is at least equalled in most scenarios; but the J-20A and future Chinese stealth aircraft will significantly outclass it. Further, the Su-30MKI is not credible against modern air defence networks, due to very high RCS, heat signature and, at best, average electronic warfare and jamming capabilities. This means that, for deterrence purposes, it is not credible against China and will slowly lose its capability to conduct deep strike missions in Pakistan as the latter improves its defences. With the air-launched Brahmos supersonic cruise missile integrated, however, the type does give the IAF a formidable anti-ship capability, especially with the long range inherent in the ‘Flanker’ design.
Reality: By the time the J-20 starts entering service, the IAF will have procured sizeable numbers of Super Su-30MKIs armed with LRAAMs. For deep-strike missions, LACMs are already available for Su-30MKI. Air-launched BrahMos-A & later BrahMos-NG will meant only for land-attack, & not just for maritime strike.

Cont'd below...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Claim: It is a rough analogy in capability terms at medium and short ranges with China’s J-10A, Pakistan’s F-16 Block 52+ and FC-20 (J-10 derivative), and only provides a marginal superiority over the Sino-Chinese JF-17. Meanwhile, the Mig-29 is an ageing design, which remains formidably manoeuvrable within visual range but shares Su-30MKI’s drawbacks of huge RCS and lack of supercruise, besides being desperately short legged on internal fuel. It remains a limited capability interceptor for the IAF with little technology-growth potential.
Reality: That applies to the MiG-28B-12/B-13, & not to the MiG-29UPG.

Claim: HAL has taken 30 years, huge resources and a great deal of political backing to produce a lightweight fighter with modest conventional capabilities and serious quality control issues.
Reality: Not HAL, but ADA. If HAD had its way in the mid-1970s, the LCA (an upsized version of the Folland Gnat that would have externally resembled the Mirage F-1) would have been available by the late 1980s.

Claim: The fact is that while it is comparatively simple to develop flying prototypes that look like fifth generation fighters, it is exceedingly difficult to transition to produce something in quantity that performs like a fifth generation fighter, both in low-observability and sensor fusion-enabled situational awareness.
Reality: That’s correct. But why then does the author fail to apply this logic to the J-20? He’s playing truant, I guess.

Claim: India’s two dedicated strike and interdiction fast jets, the Jaguar and Mig-27, are both long past their prime against peer-competitors in spite of several engine, avionics and weaponry upgrade programmes during their long service lives.
Reality: None of the two aircraft have so far undergone an engine upgrade. Only the Jaguar IS will get new turbofans. While the Jaguar IS/DARIN-3 are getting AESA-MMRs, none of the combat aircraft of China or Pakistan are even near to acquiring AESA-MMRs.

Cont'd below...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Claim: Both the Mig-27 and upgraded Indian Jaguar DARIN III have very limited self-defence capabilities, so would have to be closely escorted by dedicated fighter types during medium-level sorties into hostile airspace, thereby further reducing the number of Indian fighters available for air defence/superiority missions.
Reality: For homeland air-defence, CAPs are reqd only at dawn & dusk, not for the entire day or night. At nighttime, therefore, adequate platforms will be available for air-defence escorting.

Claim: None of the types at present operational in the IAF can hope to survive long inside a Chinese HQ-9 missile engagement zone (MEZ).
Reality: There’s simply no need to. LR-SAMs of the type in service in China require fixed sites for deployment & they therefore can easily be targetted with air-launched LACMs & DEWs like the SAAW.

Claim: It is, therefore, encouraging to see the progress being made in the IAF’s Su-30MKI fleet, for example, in terms of integrating the capable Israeli Elta EL/M-8222 jamming pod and Brahmos cruise missile. The eventual incorporation of the Zhuk-AESA radar on the fleet should also enhance situational awareness, survivability and electronic warfare capabilities.
Reality: Factually wrong. Su-30MKIs will use DARE-developed high-band jammer pods & the Zhuk-AE AESA-MMR was NEVER developed for the Su-27/Su-30MK family, but for the MiG-29 family. All Su-30MKIs/Super Su-30MKI & even the FGFA will have AESA-MMRs made by Tikhonirov NIIP.

Conclusion: A half-baked & nonchalant analysis by a confused Caucasian who is totally unaware of what’s going on within the IAF & who has no idea about the practical employment of airpower.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Excellent analysis of the unsustainable nature of Pakistan's economy:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Yet another money-making con-job, for which there is always no dearth of gullible suckers:

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun da

you said To VISHAKH: I never mentioned any financial figure about costs for Super Su-30MKI. Don't know where you're getting such figures from. Nor have I stated that the entire Su-30MKI fleet will be upgraded to Super Su-30MKI standard.

but in you said

2) Increase the size of the Su-30MKI fleet to no less than 350 by procuring the first 50 Super Su-30MKIs in semi-knocked-down condition from Russia’s IRKUT Corp, starting 2017, while concurrently commencing the upgrading of in-service Su-30MKIs in successive tranches to Super Sukhoi-standard.

1. you seem to support development of low cost micro/nano satellites but wont that create a mess in the LEO

2. what is the 1000 km pralay missile why we need it when we already have 1000 km nirbhay and Brahmos 1 with full tank that can strike upto 700 km (same as original onyx) & with lighter payload will hit 800 km

3. correct me if ii am wrong; you replied to me only 45 MiG 29K needed, but if the calculation given by you earlier of 10000 ton for store and 1000 ton for each aircraft is correct it means
a. INS Vikramaditaya 45000 ton - 10000 ton plus 8 helos = 18000 ton means it will carry 27 Mig29K
b. INS Vikrant 40000 ton - - 10000 ton plus 8 helos = 18000 ton means it will carry 22 Mig29K

so total is 27+22=49 plus 7-8 needed to practice from SBTF, so final total Mig 29 will be 57 atleast

4. apart from procuring the only unsold C17 iaf is looking to grab 4-5 more relatively new C17 in use (but who will sell them)


Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...

Sir, thank you for the reply! I read a report stating that the IAF is interested in procuring more EMB 145 based AEW aircraft as Airbus A330 might be delayed. Is there a realistic chance of more EMB 145 based systems entering service?
Thanks in advance!

himanshu vij said...

Hi si
When will nag & Astra will go for production !
And has any country shown interest in Tejas coz According to Dr s Christopher , Turkmenistan air Force chief has flown LCA & they want to buy it & some other countries too.
Has LCA Tejas indigenization level increased ? Plz tell sir.

Pawan Kumar said...

Dear Prasun da,

I have interest in spirituality and recently read a book by one self realised being named Sri M who has mentioned about meeting people from other planet while he was in himalayas with his Guru. According to him those extra terrestrial beings are highly evolved as compared to human race and though capable of changing their forms their original form was that of serpent.

As you have interest in this area, thought it might be of your interest from scientific point of view if not spiritual.


deepak said...

sir ji

what about novator awacs killer

and theres also new R-37M

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: 1) The Super Su-30MKI is a modular upgrade package & as such whole all Su-30MKIs will be retrofitted with new engines, MAWS suite, new-generation RWRs, internal jammers & AESA-MMR, not all Su-30MKIs will have L-band AESA arrays nor will all be equipped the high-band escort jammers. 2) Why should that be, when such nano-satellites are deployed only for short durations? 3) Pralay is a loitering missile & will therefore be in the skies for a far longer duration than Nirbhay or BrahMos-A/BrahMos-NG. 4) Design capacity of an aircraft carrier does not mean exactly the same number of airborne platforms will be carried on-board. In wartime, only some 16 MiG-29Ks will be on-board any carrier at any given time. 5) C-17A production line is most likely be re-opened in future to cater for more orders from not just India, but from other customers as well.

To SAM: I’ve already explained above why the IAF requires AEW & CS platforms with greater flight endurance. EMB-145I does not fit the bill & therefore 2 more A-50Is are reqd for meeting the immediate reqmts.

To HIMANSHU VIJ: Later this year. How can any country show any interest in Tejas Mk.1 when the IAF itself has stated that it cannot be used as an MRCA & has therefore mandated that the LCA Mk.1A be developed by HAL? Indigenisation-level won’t be significantly increased on either the LCA Mk.1A or the LCA Mk.2. One has to be careful when reading news-reports that are totally off-the-mark & are outright manufactured! Take for instance all this talk of HAL wanting to develop an amphibian version of the Do-228 as an alternative to the Shin Maywa US-2I. The proposed Do-228 amphibian, in reality, is not meant to cater for any military reqmt, but instead will be used by Pawan Hans for providing air transportation services to those offshore islands in Lakshadweep & Andaman/Nicobar island chains that are now being developed as tourist resorts. Pawan hans requires at least 15 amphibian versions of the Do-228 to meet this reqmt. That’s why in the HAL-issued RFI ( the Do-228 specs make no mention at all of belly-mounted search radars or any other MIL-SPEC on-board avionics.

Ved said...

Dear Prasun,
What is your opinion on 57 Naval fighters that IN is planning to acquire? Which aircraft will be selected?

When can further orders for IAF Rafales be expected to be ordered?

Lastly when can we have a complete and clear photo of INS Arihant from all angles?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DEEPAK: AEW & CS platforms can also neutralised by stealthy cruise missiles equipped with high-power EMP emitters vthat will zap such a platform with an electrical force akin to that of a lightning strike. No airborne platform can survive that.

To VED: The IN will insist on the following: 1) the selected platform must be combat-proven. 2) It should be twin-engined. 3) It should possess aerial refuelling capability. 4) It should have enough growth potential for undergoing pre-planned product improvements in modular fashion. From this, it becomes evident that only the Rafale & Super Hornet meet the reqmts & of these two, the Rafale possesses greater growth potential.

Ram Bharadwaj said...

Prasun, is there a proposal to develop a derivative of the HTFE-25 called the HTFE-35 which will cater to the requirements of the IAF JAGUAR's? Is the proposal of the Honeywell F125 junked?

Gd said...

Hi Prasun,
Thanks for the excellent analysis as always.cant praise you enough.



For the MANPAD/V-SHORAD competition RBS 70 is also in the race. However, Pakistan also possesses this MANPAD. Is there any possibility that RBS 70 might win the deal?

Thanks, Sujoy

Old Monk said...

Why should the SAAW have an EMP warhead? And does the PRALAY missile will have any contemporaries anywhere? DRDO was also said to be working on a reusable missile concept as revealed by the Late Abdul Kalam.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAM BHARADWAJ: The Jaguar IS fleet needs re-engining with Honeywell F125 YESTERDAY. That’s how urgent the reqmt is. How can any other turbofan nowhere to be seen even be contemplated? Even the HTFE-25 will require a few more years of flight-testing.

To GOURAV: VMT. The analytical content wasn’t earth-shattering by any stretch of imagination. Instead, it was mere common-sensical logical reasoning.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: The PA also uses the Mistral MANPADS. But laser-guided MANPADS can’t compete with IIR-guided MANPADS & hence the RBS-70 won’t be considered favourably.

To OLD MONK: First, do read up all about the SAAW here:

The late President was talking about RLV-TD & everyone ASSUMED it would be a re-usable missile! That’s how stupid people can be!!! Is there any reusable missile in existence anywhere in this world? But yes, there are loitering PGMs.

Pratap said...

This Forbes piece calls for G7 plus India and Afghanistan to impose targeted sanctions on Pakistan especially those companies linked with their military establishment. How realistic is it? The author himself believes Russia and China will never support such an action,-India-and-Afghanistan-will-lead-FATFs-Economic-Sanctions-aganist-Pakistan-250718

Chirag said...

Hi prasun,
A blog ( Russian )suggested that the ak47 clone procured from arsenal ad Bulgaria by India were inferior to the Russian ones interms of quality and longinivity is it true.

AKS said...

Sir u said when India acquired SU30MKI it also received single crystal blade tech. Whether China did also received that? What's the present status of HAL & GTRE in producing indigenous working aircraft engines?

Vijay said...

Dear Sir

You have ANSWERED a large number of questions of Mr GOUROV regarding the IAF

But Unfortunately I am UNABLE to read the questions

So it is difficult to fully understand your Answers

May be Mr Gourav's post was not published

Anonymous said...

Sir, It has long been understood that the one disadvantage Su-30MKI has is it's RCS. In multiple exercises (I hear) it is rarely the one to take the first BVR shot. With its radar fully on its lights up the sky and every other aircraft is aware of it. That I agree is a big big disadvantage. However if it attacks in numbers and with smaller aircrafts, like bison, LCA acting as out-riders, there are not many that can stand in their way. If paf attack they will lose fighters. Yes they have struck lucky with jf17 but they dont have too many of those. The battle is going only one war losses are expected and our emeney is not like the plastinians.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VIJAY: Gourav had posted his questions in the previous thread.

To AKS: Russia NEVER granted any licence to anyone in China to licence-build AL-31F turbofans. Development of indigenous engines is still work in progress & between turbofans & turboshafts, the latter will be the first ones to be fully developed for usage.

To CHIRAG: What else can be expected from a Russian blog? They will echo the same sentiments/perceptions for most USSR-origin clones built in Bulgaria, Poland, Romaniua, Croatia, China etc etc.

To PRATAP: Those santions are already being applied by the US & the EU & some GCC member-states will soon follow suit. Russian & Chinese sanctions don't matter since no Pakistani has offshore bank accounts in either of those 2 countries.

Anonymous said...

Why Russia Doesn't Have Vertical Takeoff Fighter Jets?


Ved said...

Dear Prasun,
Thanks for clarifying.

Reports are coming up that SPYDER system is being deployed in western sector. Delay happened due to cancelling the earlier plan of mounting them on Tatra trucks. Need to know which Indian vehicle is carrying them instead of Tatra.

How many SPYDER systems have we ordered and how many missiles?

Old Monk said...


In your earlier thread you said that the SAAW will make use of the Spice 250 Airframe, have a range of 120 km, and will arm the Mirage 2000Hs, Jaguar DARIN-3s and the Rafales and will have an EMP warhead.

But according to these slides tagged SAAW you have uploaded before,

This JDAM type SAAW and is meant for the Su-30Mki and the LCA Tejas. Also its shown that it will carry a PCB or Blast Frag warhead which makes sense going by it's nomenclature. Are they rather two different missiles with the same nomenclature? Dont you think longer range loitering CMs such as the Nirbhay or Pralay or some other stealthier cruise missiles are preferrable over PGMs for carrying an EMP warhead? Will the EMP warhead be indigenious?

Also, can you give the specifications for the RVV-AE-ZRK LRAAM?

Lastly, What about the 'Boomerang' missiles that can be reused, said to be in development by BrahMos Aerospace according to its CEO Sudhir Mishra and supposed to be inspired from Lord Vishnu's Sudarshan Chakra though I was wondering how if its not somehow a 'mother' missile carrier. Any chance The Missile Man was referring to this Missile?

blackurrant said...

Hi Prasun,

Can you please elaborate as to why does a C-130 uses a turboprop and a C-17 uses a turbofan?


Rafale MRCA said...

Hi Prasun,

1) I went through your detailed(as always) post on cruise missiles(
So as far as Nirbhay is concerned the 37-01E( slide 5) is the turbofan. This is of ~3 kN rating. You say above that the Pralay will be powered by HTFE-25 which is of ~25 kN rating. What necessitates this ~8 fold increase in thrust, or will a downrated version be used for Pralay. The engine for the Lakshya doesn't enter the picture here correct?

2) Coming to the DRDO AEW&CS I have a few queries about the detection range:-
I have seen a number 200 KM floating around, but for a radar the detection range is a function of the RCS of the target. Do you have a number for lets say a 5 m^2 sized target for Netra and the EL/M-2090(for which the number 400 Km floats around).
Further lets say the Netra is flying in a North-Easterly direction along the Paki border. So only the left array of 120o azimuthal coverage is useful. Is it possible to shut-down or "down-power" the right array and give more power to the transmitters on the left array for an increased detection range(Works in theory, but is this implemented/possible-to-implement in practice).


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DAS: From none of the publicized air exercises involving the Su-30MKi has any data emerged to date to suggest that the Su-30MKI is inferior in BVR engagements. In fact, in BVR air combat, there will never be a scenario involving only 1 Su-30MKI providing fire-control cues for other smaller MRCAs. At least 2 Su-30MKIs will be operating, with one of them keeping its PESA-MMR switched on & scanning the skies while the information gleamed will be sent to the other Su-30MKI or other MRCAs via the ODL data-link. This is what’s called distributed lethality.

To RON: Because VTOL MRCAs are highly expensive platforms to operate & are MRO-heavy.

To VED: The following thread answers your query.

To OLD MONK: SAAW is a family of PGMs. The one using the Spice-250 airframe is for gtenerating EMP whereas the JDAM-type PGMs are used for runway-blasting. Nirbhay cannot loiter. Nor will Pralay be used for attacking air bases or radar stations. Pralay’s targets are those ground-based weapons that can be ground-launched within a 2-hour timeframe. Pralay is the same as the ‘Boomerang’ that’s been touted by some others. But no such missile can ever be re-used (don’t make me repeat this again) because the laws of physics don’t permit it. If you think Sudhir Mishra or A P K Abdul kalam or anyone else has discovered now new foundational laws of physics, then do share them with us all here. Lord Vishnu hailed from divinity & wasn’t a mortal human being, as per the ancient scriptures. Therefore, it will be FOOLISH/IDIOTIC to equate mortal human beings & their intellect.capabilities with those of divine entities. So for all those wishing to re-create the Sudarshan Chakra in our times, better abort any such R & D efforts right now so as to cut one’s losses. It’s that simple, be it for you, me or Sudhir Mishra.

To BLACKURRANT: Because the C-130 was originally designed for tactical airlift whereas the C-17A was meant for strategic airlift.

To RAFALE MRCA: 1) The Pralay will be the mother subsonic cruise missile that internally carries supersonic PGMs. 2) Target detection range will be about 250km for a standard MRCA-type airborne target. Both arrays of the EMB-145I’s antenna will be operational at all times because conducting airspace surveillance of hostile airspace is only 1 function of any AEW & CS platform. The principal function is that of airborne battle management that also involves air-traffic management inside both hostile & friendly airspace. That’s the reason why air forces generally prefer to have radars that can scan 360-dgree airspace.