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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nirbhay Cruise Missile Family Finally Revealed!

The topmost schematic shows the 1,200km-range subsonic Nirbhay nuclear-armed cruise missile, which will be available in both air-launched and submarine-launched versions. The ALCM version (minus the solid-rocket booster) will be qualified for use by 20 specially customised Su-30MKIs, while the SLCM variant (incorporating the solid-rocket booster) will go on board the S-2, S-3 and S-4 SSBNs. The air-launched and nuclear-armed Nirbhay will have an estimated length of 6 metres, diameter of 0.55 metres, wingspan of 2.7 metres, launch mass of 1,200kg, cruise speed of Mach 0.7, and a 250kg warhead-section. Its cruising altitude over water will be 10 metres (33 feet), while its cruising altitude over land will be 30 metres (98 feet). The MoD-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s (HAL) Bengaluru-based Engine Test Bed Research & Development Centre (ETBRDC) has developed a turbofan (see below) for powering all members of the Nirbhay cruise missile family.
A hybrid inertial navigation system using a ring-laser gyro (RINS) coupled with a GPS receiver and a digital radar altimeter (all developed by the DRDO’s Research centre Imarat, or RCI, and integrated jointly by the Advanced Systems Laboratory, or ASL, and the Aeronautical Development Establishment, or ADE) will provide a CEP of 20 metres. All on-board avionics, inclusive of the ones mentioned above, plus the mission computer and missile interface unit, have been developed as spinoffs from the BrahMos-1 supersonic multi-role cruise missile’s R & D cycle, which lasted between 1998 and 2005. While the ASQRs and NSQRs for the nuclear-armed Nirbhay were drafted by 2005, hands-on R & D work began in only 2007, with all R & D-related activity due for completion by late 2014.

A spinoff from this programme is the development of a smaller, conventional warhead-armed air-launched subsonic variant of Nirbhay (see illustrations above) with a range of 750km, which will be qualified for launch from combat aircraft like the DARIN 3-standard Jaguar IS as well as Rafale M-MRCA. Presently, there are no plans for developing warship-launched/submarine-launched/surface-launched versions of this missile, which will have an estimated length of 6.2 metres, diameter of 0.6 metres, launch mass of 1,350kg, a 400kg HE blast-fragmentation warhead, cruising altitude of 20 metres over land, cruise speed of 240 metres/second, target aspect angle of +/-180 degrees, and a launch altitude varying between 500 metres and 11,000 metres. The hybrid inertial navigation system will ensure autonomous navigation via at least 15 waypoints, while for terminal guidance, use will be made of a noise-immune guidance system that will employ an X-band monopulse SAR radar similar to the one now being developed for the Prahaar NLOS-BSM. The conventionally-armed ALCM variant of Nirbhay will be procured by both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
Following the entry into service of the nuclear-armed Nirbhay’s ALCM and SLCM versions, India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) will have at its disposal four distinct types of highly survivable nuclear warhead delivery systems that will be optimised for retaliatory nuclear strikes, these being the 4,500km-range SLBM now under development, the 600km-range air-launched supersonic LRCM that is also now under development (for delivering tactical nuclear warheads), plus the Nirbhay’s ALCM and SLCM versions, both of which will be able to deliver boosted-fission nuclear warheads.
For conventional strikes in-depth, precision-strike cruise missiles presently available to India for land-attack comprise the land-launched BrahMos-1’s 290km-range Block-2 and 550km-range Block-3 (for the Indian Army), and 290km-range Novator 3M-14Es that can be launched by both principal surface combatants (the three Project 17 FFGs and three Project 1135.6 Batch -1 FFGs) and by five of the Navy’s nine remaining Type 877EKM SSKs.   


Anonymous said...

Looks like by 2025 we will have the submarines and by 2030 the ACLM. Yay !

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

S-2, S-3 & S-4 SSBNs will be available for operational patrols between 2015 & 2020, while the ALCMs will be available by 2016. Hope that doesn't disappoint you too much!!!

Anonymous said...

I didnt get it. If the Nirbhay is going to be wind tunnel tested some time later, then what DRDO is planning to test next month, a GLCM of nirbhay?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SREENIVAS: You will first have to go to the ADE weblink that I've listed above & then open the PDF file in which it is mentioned that the 1/7th scale-model to be built for wind-tunnel model testing is a shorter-range modification of an existing model, i.e. of the n-capable Nirbhay. What this means is that a smaller, conventionally armed derivative of the original n-capable Nirbhay is now under development. The n-armed & longer-range Nirbhay had already been flight-certified for launch from Su-30MKI by CEMILAC earlier this year, while the SSBN-launched variant (vertically-launched) will undergo test-launches from a submerged pontoon starting early next year.

Unknown said...

Prasun- as usual nice work!

Sir, can you tell me, are you still hopeful of the signing of the MMRCA by March 2013 despite recent reports the deal will be scrapped for 2014 elections and other reasons?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

VMT. And for the nth time, yes, the Rafale M-MRCA contract will be inked this fiscal year. Scrapping such a deal is not an option anymore, for if this happens (scrapping) no one will ever even bother to take part in any future competitive bidding process for supplying military hardware to India. I don't know exactly who are these entities spreading such mischievous rumours about scrapping the M-MRCA deal.

Unknown said...


Is there the ability to use the longer range Nirhbay with a conventional warhead? A 1,200 KM ALCM is a very atrractive offer for the IAF.

Also the SFC (the nodal nuke strike agency) has a requirement for its own fleet of 40 fighter-bombers for nuke strike purposes so will all these 40 fighters be configured to carry the N-tipped Nirbhay?

And will longer range conventional submarine launched missles be devloped by India with reanges in excess of 1,000km similar to Tomohak?

Unknown said...

Sir, for you:

MMRCA deal is likely to be stalled and order may be cut to only 60 units!

Unknown said...


I have read that the GoI has decided that no more TATRA trucks will be procured from now on, with ~8,000 already in service. If true, which vehilces will be used for purposes such as tank transporters, Bhramos launchers, arty transporters etc??

Gessler said...

Great work Prasun saheb!! You're again the first guy to reveal something important!

Great work indeed, you deserve a medal for your efforts at quality defence journalism - as always you talk to the point.

1) As per your reply to SREENIVAS, will the test launches of both ALCM and SLCM variants occur within months of each other?

2) How much does the ALCM Nirbhay N-capable missile weigh? More of less than ALCM BrahMos?

3) The 1st picture shows it with a booster motor - so I guess that pic is of the SLCM variant, right?

4) How much payload can this ALCM/SLCM Nirbhay carry? I think around 600kg correct me if Im wrong.

And whats the payload capacity of the Nirbhay-Mini ALCM?

5) What cruise missiles in the world do you think Nirbhay compares most favourably with?

Thanks in advance, sir.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, a very nice post indeed. I have been waiting since October to get a glimpse of this missile. DRDO has said it will test launch this missile January. Are you absolutely sure that the Nirbhay ALCM will only be nuclear armed. This missile is best employed as a conventional warhead equipped terrain hugging missile like Tomahawk, Babur.

From where you learnt that it will be only nuclear armed? Previously some DRDO scientist as claimed that it carry 10 different types of warhead. A ground launched coventional LACM of Nirbhay needs to be developed.

jai said...

By no way I will agree with you, wherever islam goes blood flows will always hold true.I know you are leftish ,why not pay a visit to bangladesh where hindu's are below 9%.No matter bengalies are a curse on india they believe they have high IQ but entire country mocks at them.ISLAM will be the main reason why india will become history now let's put these useless millitary stuff aside.

Anonymous said...

Thanx Prasun,

This is the reason why i am your huge fan.

Why aren't we using this on SSK ? Any particular reason like it can't be launched from a SSK like its size or warhead ?

Also what about the land based version for IA ? I heard that Prahar TEL will be used for that. Is it right ?

Will it be terrain hugging ? Will there be sea skimming version too ? if why can't we have those 2 versions ?

They are calling it Unmanned Cruise Vehicle ??

abs said...

Could you elaborate further as to how Bengalis are a curse on India?? The kind of blinkered and short sighted approach you are taking, Im afraid might just cut off India's population by half, thereby diminishing the so called demographic dividend and reducing your "Hindi vadi India" to a small and deprived stock.
Perhaps you could not have furnished any better clues of showing how your brain is a puny one, when saying "useless military stuff". Lolzzz @ u

abs said...

^^^ I simply have no option but to laugh at your divisiveness, cuz fools like you are bereft of the idea of India and yet prefer to call yourselves "Indians". I can understand though puny brains like you take an infinitely greater amount of time to even grasp little things.

abs said...

1)So indeed there is an CALCM version of the Nirbhay being developed, great news.
2)Would there also be any conventional 600 Km version of the LRCM?
3)Would not the advent of DCN and the GSAT series of satellites enable the sharing of data(target coordinates or otherwise) between say the AAC and the IAF interdictors like Tejas Mk2? or say between an army battalion and an IAF chopper or interdictor? Ditto with the elements of IN and IAF?

AK said...

Hi Prasun, The 1200 km ALCM is of vintage design of the 80s. The nose portion of this missile can b facted or shaped like the nose of JASSM or Raad to minimise RCS.
This missile is best employed as a surface launched LACM. Such a version is needed. IA can induct these missiles in nos and it will be more lethal than Brahmos. We don't yet possess any such subsonic terrain hugging missile. Now it is time to develope a conventional.warhead surface launched LACM. What terminal seeker the 750 km and 1200 km missile uses ?
The definitive cruise missile can be different from the given pics. It may be a rough impression.

accidental loser said...

I expect wht u said 2 b true abt AAC. In case of LRU vs LRM,d advantage is tht, HUMS wud isolate d failures to module level so as to make maintanance cheeper(besides other tech advantages of smaller & lighter LRMs ovr bulky LRUs). Bt u see as d LRM's wud b networkd by identical connectors 1 faulty connector wud theoritically mak it impossible to trace d source. Also d flight line maintainance appoach needs to b changed fr it. BTW wht wud b d ideal processing powers. Y dnt AF considerin modular pilot display interface whn d avionics is well capable of it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun sir,

If all the airborne AESA apertures Rafale, Typhoon, F-18IN are having near identical dimensions? then what makes the AN APG-77 (Also considering N050 BRLS AESA/PESA Radar An enhancement of IRBIS-E) more powerful (AN APG-77 is supposed to carry greater than 1400 T/R modules, Irbis E also is not far behind). Compared to these two high powered radars no other airborne radars seems to not even come close in detecting targets at such far ranges (Excluding the AEW&CS platforms carrying AESA radars) clearly outclassing other AESA radars.

Also an AESA is very robust against electronic jamming (Because of its wider operating frequencies), but how can an aircraft radome support (Be transparent to such wide range of frequencies) such a radar? Traditionally the radomes were carefully designed to have a resonant frequency matching the radar frequency (The radar frequency matches the resonant frequency of a radome), for all the other frequencies the radome itself is a blocker. Are modern radomes of F-22, PAK-FA/FGFA, Super sukhoi's etc (All air crafts which carry an airborne AESA radar) are made of Carbon Fibre Composites? (Since its non metallic nature it can support almost all the operating frequencies of an AESA radar) or other modern non metallic composites. Please clarify prasunji... VMT in advance

Anonymous said...


It is claimed that the new AEW&C platforms from Israel will cost even more (Steep raise in unit cost) when compared to the previous order of 3 units. Is there any considerable increase in the performance of the new units when compared to the older units? (Like housing a next generation radar as you've mentioned in previous thread)

Also can the DRDO developed Emb 145 AEW&C platform can be used for ocean surveillance (Like the P-8I), if it can then what are changes that are required to make it suitable for ocean surveillance/ASW roles... Can it fulfill the role of an MRMR aircraft for which IN had floated a request...

From on going modernization of all types of Multi Role Combat Aircrafts and phasing out of older air crafts and induction of new generation modern air crafts, by coming decade almost all IAF squadrons will be housing fighter bombers with In flight refueling capability. So it boils down to one Aerial refueling tanker per squadron which counts to more than 40 odd Midas type tankers serving in IAF.

Similar analogy for AEW&CS platforms but with a mix of Israel ELTA, DRDO Emb AEW&CS and DRDO AWACS India platforms serving together in IAF per squadron level, which eventually makes it a highly lethal force to reckon. (Provided funds are released for such an estimation) Your thoughts Sir..

VMT in advance...

ken said...

sir, you have a good eye,
1. there where articles saying that it would incorporate stealth features but the pic. looks much like Tomahawk missile with round body and all.
2. also have the detailed designing for AMCA and FGFA started yet?
3. when can we expect the float out of s3 & s4 ssbn.
4. there is a article from today(22/12) that said that the technical probs. with akula subs. will be discussed with the russian president are u aware of any tech. probs. it has been a year since she joined us.

Gessler said...

^^Sir is the above image Saryu-class OPV?

BTW, here's some good news -

Navy receives first Saryu-class OPV, cheers!

Ravi said...

Hi Prasun,
I just wonder what is the advantage for sub-sonic Nirbhay Cruise missile of range 1200 km? The moment it is in air, enemy forces will capture its path and track it all the way until it is in their range to destroy it. So where lies the advantage? If it is stealthy then it is good. Otherwise just an ordinary cruise missile, right? Sorry for my ignorance.

To Accidental Loser.
Please avoid the way you write 'short' letters instead of words. It is not fun and really boring to read such sentences. By using letters instead of words such as 'd' for 'the' you think you may have advantage of just a few seconds. But it takes others to figure out what you have written and so they need more time. Even Prasun, who writes to others hardly uses the way you like. It is just boring and no fun in reading. This is a kind request, and pls avoid it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sir, The wings of Nirbhay ALCM with 1200 km range is shorter than wings of contemporary missiles. The wing breadth or chord is too mall and as such it will not be able to generate enough lift. The pic is a rough depiction, not actual model.

If the FSO suite is redesigned and its two components repositioned there might be enough space to mount RBE2AA further up the nose so that a bigger aperture can be fitted so as to achieve a 1000 T/R element . The other option is to slightly increase the nose dia. The greater the no of T/R elements the better. A 1200 TR count is ideal. 800 is too small a no. The FSO suite occupies a lot of space. If side mounted like PIRATE will save a lot of space.

What's the use of BVRAAM like Astra when its a reverse engineered or exact copy of R-77.

Your Nirbhay pics have become popular in Facebook.Thanx for this informative thread.

accidental loser said...

@Ravi, Well...You can consider that as the occupational hazard of being an teen age student. Anyway, i wud look after that in my next posts starting from this.

accidental loser said...

BTW Prasun, i really appreciate your visionary on indo-china strategic relationship. Actually we cudn't have matched china tit-for-tat in every damn weapon segments & china cud neither afford having an ever goin dispute at it's backyard with a rising regional power, especially coz of it's present confrontations with the US,JAPs as well as othrs. The agreement, if ever signed wud see india china be the joint custodian of regional peace & stability in asia. Evn it wud guarantee energy security for the nation by joint construction of gas & oil pipelines from the central asian countries. I see it as a cause in china's gwadar port construction also. A mutual peace treaty wud also give india time to make up for the infra-gap present in north-east. Also most of all i really do favour your idea of restructuring the armed forces into mobile,fast reacting expeditionary forces. The army sud actually dispose the new mountain corps plan in favour of converting existing RR formations into mountain warfare or air-mobile groups whch in turn wud free large capitals for modernisation. Again what cud be the playgrounds:-)) for the armed forces in the 2020-30 time period ??? I posted this in the last thread, but it seems u didn't get time to answer to some 40/50 last questions. No matter though.

Anonymous said...

Hey accidental loser you are an teenage student ?? I also happen to be the same. Trishul Trident ahs become my new FB.

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

You have written in one of your comments in the previous tread to a question on FGFA & PAK-FA that active noise cancellation techniques (similar to those destined for the Rafale in future) will be applied to FGFA & PAK-FA.

Will techniques be also used to disguise its infrared emissions like the F-22 Raptor, thereby reducing the threat of infrared homing ("heat seeking") surface-to-air or air-to-air missiles?

What other stealth technologies will be applied on the Rafale apart from the above mentioned active noise cancellation technique?

Is it true that a distributed electro optical aperture system, which consists of a rearward facing IRST and other small optical apertures distributed throughout the ac that function as MAWS, has been developed for PAK-FA? If it's true then there is no requirement for belly-mounted IRST for displaying the surrounding terrain. Am i right?

Can triple-rail launchers carry 3 BVRAAMs in place of PGMs like the 250kg AASM-Hammer?

Thank you.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
It is great news from you that the subsonic Nuclear capable Nirbhay will have a range of 1200 KM and that a conventionally armed Nirbhay with a shorter range and a submarine launched version too are under development. When is the expected launch? Will it be powered by the engine developed by HAL [small gas-turbine engine] as you have first revealed?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Is there or can there be some system put on Nirbhay missile, which within the enemy territory only, interprets its own interception 1/1000 seconds before the event and explodes its nuclear warhead in the enemy territory before the onset of the destruction of the self.

Anonymous said...

Prasun sir, VMT for your pics, Im thrilled!

1) What will the Nirbhay ALCM/SLCM develop into in the future? I hope it gets a 3000km range in future variants. is it possible?

2) I think Nirbhay will be India's answer to China's CJ-10 and US BGM-109 Tomahawk.

3) Will the indigenous content of Super Sukhoi-MKI be more or less than the current Su-30MKI?

4) You have repeatedly said that Super-MKI will have an indigenous HUDWAC developed by CSIO. Thats nice, but what does WAC mean? HUD means Heads-Up Display. Im a nood so forgive me, hee hee hee.

5) If the small version of Nirbhay is for Rafale & Jaguar IS, can the supersonic LRCM also be carried by the same aircraft?

Any chance we could increase the LRCM's range from 600km to 1,000km?

6) How many missile tubes will the S-5 SSBN have? 12 or 24?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To UNKNOWN: Everything’s technically possible, but that’s not how weapon systems are developed. They’re developed in response to the operational requirements of the end-user & as far as India is concerned, she is a regional power that does not require weapons for global strikes of the types in service with the US or Russia. All 40 SFC-specific Su-30MKIs will be configured to carry both the n-armed Nirbhay ALCM as well as the LRCM.
Regarding the M=MRCA deal, had you gone to the source of that scurrilous news-item (see:, you would have easily realised after reading the author’s name that this is a classic piece of yellow journalism. For example, what’s the link between extended negotiations & general elections in 2014 & India’s opposition political parties? It is a spectacularly outrageous proposition, to say the very least.
Regarding options for procuring 8 x 8 & 12 x 12 high-mobility trucks, TATA Motors already has the LPTA-3138 8 x 8 & LPTA-5252 12 x 12, while Ashok Leyland has the Super Stallion 8 x 8. So where’s the problem?

To GESSLER: VMT: 1) There will be a time-interval of at least 8 months between the first ALCM & SLCM test-firings. 2) Figures are given above. 3) Yes. 4) Check out the figures given above. 5) No comparison, for it is a unique system developed for a unique requirement.
The first GSL-built NOPV has only been handed over to the IN’s warship commissioning crew complement. It will be another six months at least before the NOPV is commissioned into service.

To Anon@7.19AM: From where I learnt that it will be only nuclear armed? Well, for starters, the DRDO itself has stated several times that Nirbhay will be a ‘strategic’ missile. The word ‘strategic’ is always used by anyone from the Govt of India to refer to nuclear weapons. Secondly, look at the HAL poster above referring to the specs of the small gas-turbine engine. Doesn’t it also say that this engine for ‘strategic’ application?

To JAI: Irregardless of what your misplaced conclusions may be, two things I’m dead-sure of: 1) you’re not obviously not part of the human species as the rest of us are; & therefore 2) It will be my great pleasure & high honour to butcher you & relieve you of your miserable existence on this earth. Therefore, pray give me your contact details ASAP so that I can do the needful.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.54AM: The primary role of an SSK is to engage in submarine warfare (i.e. as a hunter-killer of hostile SSKs & warships) & therefore SSKs are not the best platforms from which to launch LACMs. Warships too are not the optimum launch platforms. However, a formation of LACM-armed MiG-29Ks operating from a carrier battle group has far greater flexibility in launching such cruise missiles. There’s no land-based variant of n-armed Nirbhay, since any type of land-launched nuclear weapon is always vulnerable to first strikes. Then there’s the problem of deploying them by land to their pre-surveyed launch-sites during wartime, all of which makes such a weapon inflexible & vulnerable. The same goes for the conventionally armed Nirbhay as well & therefore its design (shown above) has wisely decided to do away with the solid-rocket booster (meaning no launches from land or from submarines/warships) & make use of only the sustainer turbofan for cruised flight.

To ABS: Yes indeed, the CALCM variant of Nirbhay is now a reality. 2) There won’t be a conventionally armed 600km-range LRCM for land-attack, but an anti-ship cruise missile variant with a range of 290km is viable. As for SATCOM connectivity, while technically it is possible, it is not operationally desirable since the IA & IAF will be functioning within distinctly different tactical battle areas, meaning the Army will be totally self-sufficient in terms of artillery (tube & rocket) firepower out to as depth of 100km & will not require any close air support from the IAF.

To AK: ALCMs don’t require faceting or shaping for low-observability, since they make use of terrain-hugging profiles to stay beyond the layered air-defence networks (see the bottommost visual posted above). Even for JASSM or Ra’ad to be launched from airborne platforms without interference, the target’s localised air-defences will first have to be neutralised or saturated via DEAD & SEAD air operations. All surface-launched LACMs are vulnerable to counter-strikes from airborne platforms armed with sensor-fuzed munitions. That’s why both the US & Russia have done away with such land-launched LACMs. Only China has them now along with Pakistan.

To Anon@3.43PM: All radomes are built with composites.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.47PM: There will be cost increases, but not a steep rise. EMB-145I with S-band AESA radar can engage in maritime surveillance as well, just like the Saab 2000 AEW & CS & PLA Navy’s KJ-200 AEW & CS. Similarly, an X-band version of this AESA radar will in future be able to engage in battlefield surveillance.

To KEN: 1) Stealth for cruise missiles is achieved through terrain-hugging profiles. 2) FGFA’s detailed design has commenced. No such work is underway for AMCA. 3) S-2 took almost 11 years to build. Time taken for launching S-3 will be 30% lesser & time taken for launching S-4 will be 60% lesser. 4) Not that I’m aware of.

To RAVI: That scenario only applies to ground-launched cruise missiles, since theur pre-surveyed launch points will be known in advance. However, when such missiles are air-launched or submarine-launched, the element of surprise lies with the launching party, since no one else knows where to look or from where to expect the inbound cruise missile.

To Anon@8.47PM: No one ever claimed that the design of n-armed Nirbhay is shown to-scale. The diagram only shows the design configuration.

To ACCIDENTAL LOSER: It isn’t my visionary dream, but merely a reflection of what’s being played out behind-the-scenes by decision-makers from both Delhi & Beijing. It won’t be a mitial peace treaty, since neither country is in a state of war against each other. Instead, it is just a border demarcation exercise involving tradeoffs by both parties. During the 2020-2030 timeframe, the main challenges will be along India’s periphery in terms of whether or not there’s a stable Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal or Myanmar. Presently, in all these countries there’s internal instability & volatility that may require some form of military intervention on humanitarian grounds, either as peacekeepers under UN auspices, or as unilateral peacemakers.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.52PM: Once cannot disguise IR emissions, but only resort to minimising IR emissions. All photos of the PAK-FA clearly show two IRST sensors in front of & behind the cockpit. The same will go on board the FGFA too. Triple-launchers are only meant for heavier offensive payloads & not for BVRAAMs.

To SNTATA: VMT. The test-firing schedule should kick off next month. All versions of Nirbhay will be powered by the very same HAL-developed mini-turbofan.

To MR.RA 13: It will be almost impossible to intercept nuclear warhead-carrying ALCMs or SLCMs since they will typically fly over undefended territory (meaning they will avoid heavily defended VAs & VPs, for starters) by using several (up to 15) en-route navigational waypoints. When it comes to air-launched versions of such nuclear weapons delivery platforms, they will be accompanied by tactical air-launched decoys to confuse & saturate the hostile air-defences.

To Anon@1.54AM: 1) It is possible, but not reqd by the end-user. 2) It cannot be compared to the CJ-10 or Tomahawk since the CJ-10’s submarine-launched variant has yet to be developed, while the Tomahawk has far greater range. 3) No, it will be lesser. 4) W = weapons, A = aiming, C = computer. 5) Supersonic nuclear-armed LRCM too will be qualified on the Su-30MKI. If a smaller 290km-range anti-ship strike version is developed, then that version should be able to be carried by Jaguar IS, Mirage 2000UPG, MiG-29UPG, MiG-29K, Tejas Mk2 & LCA (Navy) Mk2. S-5 SSBN will have 12 silos for storing/launching SLBMs.

Anonymous said...

sir u said that s-2 s-3 s-4 s-5 would carry the 1200 km range nirbhay SLCM..& will have 12 silos for SLBMs..this says that these subs would be able to carry bth type of missiles..b=but how many of them..
coz generally more than 1 cruise missile can be carried in an SLBM silo..
& also sir , u have stated that india doesnot require very long range(1000-2500 km) LACM like tomahawk..but the nirbhay SLCM is similar to that..isn't it? as it can hit deep with conventional or nuclear warhead..
& also y doesn't india require LACMs like could help the indian navy bomb china from the eastern shore..from long ranges..

Anonymous said...

"There won’t be a conventionally armed 600km-range LRCM for land-attack, but an anti-ship cruise missile variant with a range of 290km is viable."
So there is no project going on for a 600 km range cruise missile or its gonna have nuclear warhead and not conventional one ?

"The primary role of an SSK is to engage in submarine warfare (i.e. as a hunter-killer of hostile SSKs & warships) & therefore SSKs are not the best platforms from which to launch LACMs."
good point.

"There’s no land-based variant of n-armed Nirbhay, since any type of land-launched nuclear weapon is always vulnerable to first strikes."
I meant for conventional use. According to drdo it can carry 20 different warheads. Surely conventional will be one of them ?

"Then there’s the problem of deploying them by land to their pre-surveyed launch-sites during wartime, all of which makes such a weapon inflexible & vulnerable."
Nirbhay is surely smaller than Brahmos, so if you can deploy Brahmos during wartime why can't Nirbhay ? On top of that Nirbhay has 1200 km range, you don't have to deploy it so close to battlefield anyway. So i doubt deploying it will be a problem.

"The same goes for the conventionally armed Nirbhay as well & therefore its design (shown above) has wisely decided to do away with the solid-rocket booster (meaning no launches from land or from submarines/warships) & make use of only the sustainer turbofan for cruised flight."
Can you explain this a bit more, i mean how solid rocket booster effects the launches from water surface, below water and land ? Whats the difference between Tamahawk and Nirbhay as Tomahawk can be launched from land, warship and submarines and it also have solid-rocket booster and it also use turbofan for cruise flight.

"It will be almost impossible to intercept nuclear warhead-carrying ALCMs or SLCMs since they will typically fly over undefended territory (meaning they will avoid heavily defended VAs & VPs, for starters) by using several (up to 15) en-route navigational waypoints."
SAme applies for India if China or Pak attacks us ?

"From where I learnt that it will be only nuclear armed? Well, for starters, the DRDO itself has stated several times that Nirbhay will be a ‘strategic’ missile. The word ‘strategic’ is always used by anyone from the Govt of India to refer to nuclear weapons. Secondly, look at the HAL poster above referring to the specs of the small gas-turbine engine. Doesn’t it also say that this engine for ‘strategic’ application?"
You are asolutely right but sir they also said that it will also be able to carry 24 different types of warheads and will have version for all the three branches of military.

You know i don't take them seriously now. They enjoy way too much delivering press conferences. Once ADA cheif said AMCA is gonna be a 6th generation stealth fighter jet. Now how the hell they jumped to sixth, god knows.

We would really appreciate if you write something about DRDO's new OS. Its a good effort, although it will definitely be delayed as timeframe is unmchievable unless they are building a tailor made version of LINUX for armed forces.

Anonymous said...

"Regarding the M=MRCA deal, had you gone to the source of that scurrilous news-item (see:, "
Have you seen how serious our ACM's were about this project and trainer. I think government should be more worried about IAF, you cannot go around and keep smacking armed forces. As far as the opposition is concerned they oppose only if there is corruption or delay not if you sign the deal on time.

Anonymous said...

Prasun sir ,

1. First of all HAL is building an electronics factory for producing mission computers and other avionics components of Su-30,Mirage 2000, Tejas . It is named Strategic electronics factory. This doesn't mean it produces electronics for nuclear delivery vehicles or nuclear warheads.

2. As pictures are worth a thousands words , it will be worthwhile to note that Novator 3M-14E and smaller Nirbhay are almost similar in looks and dimensions. Thus one can assume that smaller Nirbhay is essentially a re-engineered and re badged Klub with greater fuel content for a longer range. This range can be increased further with conformal fuel tanks .

3.FGFA is not radically different from PAK-FA. FGFA will have Indian customised avionics and mission sensors. PAK-FA's empty weight is 18.5 t and not 24 tonnes.

4.You have previously claimed that Nirbhay is a cruise missile simulating drone. Let's wait and see what Nirbhay actually is when it is test fired in January.

5. Nirbhay will have a land based variant. 1200 km Nirbhay will be able to carry 24 different types of warhead. This was said by DRDO officials.

6. Nirbhay will make use of an imaging infared seeker as it will give no advance warning to the terminal defences of the target.

7. 1200 km conventionally armed Nirbhay can be used to strike airbases and other strategic installtions. Brahmos can be easily detected and neutralised by HQ- seres of sam the one having 55 km range.

rad said...

HI Prasun
Why cant we reverse engineer the many missile systems ie russian and absorb the tech and morph it into our own design?.
The jerks have banned tatra trucks fully knowing the repercussions to the armed forces , what would be the the smart thing to do in this case.

Anonymous said...

Sir, All other Nirbhay class cruise missiles cruise with a speed of 0.85 mach.Nirbhay is way slower compared to them. With advent of NIRBHAY CALCM, does it mean that 350 km Tauras class cruise missiles won't be bought for Su-30.
Does Brahmos LACM make use of waypoint navigation. After all it is not very steathlty.
How can a missile like Nirbhay fly 30 m above land ? Who will map the terrain forward and provide navigation cues ?

Vikram Guha said...

@ JAI - As a reminder , no one individual or body represents HINDUS in this country so you are NOT a representative of HINDUS. And in case HINDUS are attacked we can very easily defend ourselves .

If you want to mock Bengalis or any other community feel free , we don't mind as we realize where you are coming from .

rad said...

HI Prasun
why are we using x band radar for terminal guidance on the nirbhay as they can be jammed .Why cant we use optical correlation and scene matching to get 1 meter accuracy like the spice and dellah.Of course we can get it from the israelis , pak has got stolen 2nd hand tech for its babur from the chinese

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun sir,

If all the airborne AESA apertures Rafale, Typhoon, F-18IN are having near identical dimensions? then what makes the AN APG-77 (Also considering N050 BRLS AESA/PESA Radar An enhancement of IRBIS-E) more powerful (AN APG-77 is supposed to carry greater than 1400 T/R modules, Irbis E also is not far behind). Compared to these two high powered radars no other airborne radars seems to not even come close in detecting targets at such far ranges (Excluding the AEW&CS platforms carrying AESA radars) clearly outclassing other AESA radars.

Rafale AESA don't even have 1000 T/R modules. It is said to be the baseline level. APG-80 has 1100 elements.Rafale ought to have 1000 T/R elements at least. F-16 block 60 is cheaper nd more capable in BVR combat . Pls clarify Prasun ji along with the previous one.

Anonymous said...

Prasun Sir,

20 meters CEP isn't too big for a cruise missile which is meant to be tactical? If that is the case then it can not be used for precision strikes deep inside the enemy territory. The Tomahawk with its more than 3000 km range is speculated to be very highly accurate to less than a meter. There are also video footage's of Tomahawk used to target a stationed Iraqi Mig fighter being blown into pieces by Tomahawk's directional warhead just above the stationed aircraft. Similarly Tomahawk is also shown to be flown through a window of 2 square meters towards its intended target. This is a demonstration of an unprecedented accuracy by Tomahawk. But Nirbhay tactical ALCM as per your listing out of its performance parameters is having a very large CEP which limits its use for precision strikes like the ones engaged by Tomahawk. So does the CEP of tactical nirbhay ALCM should be even more fine tuned (To a lesser value of a single digit) to make it a very high precision tactical ALCM? Your thoughts sir. Thank you and VMT again.

sntata said...

Prasun to Jai,
" Irregardless of what your misplaced conclusions may be, two things I’m dead-sure of: 1) you’re not obviously not part of the human species as the rest of us are; & therefore 2) It will be my great pleasure & high honour to butcher you & relieve you of your miserable existence on this earth. Therefore, pray give me your contact details ASAP so that I can do the needful."
Ho Ho Ho! Ha Ha Ha ! Prasun will you allow me to lend you a hand, in your noble task?

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

Thanks for the reply.

So no distributed electro optical aperture system, consisting of a rearward facing IRST and other small optical apertures distributed throughout the ac that function as MAWS, has been developed for PAK-FA. Only two IRST sensors in front of & behind the cockpit.
Will in future belly-mounted IRST for displaying the surrounding terrain be developed for the PAK-FA?

The F-22 has RWR antennas blended into the wings and fuselage that provide all around coverage.It has a greater range than the radar, allowing the F-22 to limit its own radar emissions to maximize stealth. Will the PAK-FA have such features?

You have written that the air-launched and nuclear-armed Nirbhay will have an estimated length of 6 metres, diameter of 0.55 metres, wingspan of 2.7 metres, launch mass of 1,200kg, cruise speed of Mach 0.7, and a 250kg warhead-section while the smaller, conventional warhead-armed air-launched subsonic variant of Nirbhay with a range of 750km will have an estimated length of 6.2 metres, diameter of 0.6 metres, launch mass of 1,350kg, a 400kg HE blast-fragmentation warhead. Then how the CALCM variant of Nirbhay be smaller and lighter than the nuclear-armed Nirbhay?

Why the CEP of the missile is so high at 20 metres?
Will it have top attack capability?

Most of other CALCMs like the TAURUS KEPD 350, Storm Shadow uses high resolution infrared camera for terminal guidance. So why X-band monopulse SAR radar for the Nirbhay as IIR camera is more accurate resulting in low CEP?

Anonymous said...

1.Why was MiG-23BN & MiG-23MF decommisioned after only 19 years of service ? They could have been relifed and MF can be upgraded with Zhuk radar. They are of more recent vintage than MiG-21.

2.Why can't IAF place MiG-23,MiG-21 and MiG-27 after being phased out in operational storage or reserve ?

3.Which radar has greater range ? RBE2AA or Zhuk AE ?

4.What problems are now being faced by NS Chakra ?

5.Nirbhay conventional variant seems to be longer range 3M-14E. Even the dimensions,warhead weight match .

6.When MiG-35 can carry 7 t payload why can't MiG-29K carry such when MiG-35 is based on same airframe.

7. Is it true that wingspan of MiG-29UPG was increased to 11.99 m during upgrade for more wing area. Is it true that 29k and 29upg have same wing area ?

Anonymous said...

A great article:

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

In your article "Giving Realistic Options A Chance" you have written that even if the Mirage 2000H/THs are to receive a brand-new open-architecture mission/cockpit avionics suite and see their airframes being refurbished and re-lifed to stay in airworthy condition for the next 20 years, they still will not be able to remain flyable till 2038 (due to the 35-year guaranteed service-life warranty issued by Dassault Aviation) simply because the existing SNECMA Moteurs-built M53P2 turbofans would have reached the end of their certified total technical service lives (TTSL) by 2029.
Does it mean that the upgraded Mirage 2000H/THs will have to be decommissioned after 2030?

Can in future the MiG-29UPG receive AESA radars? Will the Sh-3UM-1 Helmet Mounted Integrated Targeting system on the MiG-29UPG be replaced by the TopOwl-F HMDs in future?
Will the MiG-29UPG have the IDAS system that will go onboard the Tejas Mk2?

Than you.

accidental loser said...

Yeah, i also mean to say a border settlement. BTW, i think the 'digital radio altimeter' is nothing more than an writing mistake in place of 'laser altimeter' or, some dumbhead wants our enemy to welcome the nirbhay with full might when launched!!! Again dnt you think if an antiship variant is devloped the cruise altitude wud have to be further reduced ?

accidental loser said...

2 more things, i remember you saying once that BARAK-8 MRSAM/LRSAM round wud carry both active radar as well as an el-optical terminal guidance combined. What's the status!! Also why's not the army insist the airforce to join the JOIR. I mean it already is modular & has provisions for networking with the airforce network. So what's the problem in having some extra workstations attached to the system as to function for the airforce commanders jointly with those of the army's.

Unknown said...

In the pics you posted here there is evidence of Inertial guidance,there is evidence of gps+glonass integration..But no evidence of TERCOM and DSMAC the two most important technologies for a cruise missile...
There is a picture of an active radar seeker..Why would a land attack Cruise missile need an active radar seeker? wont it compromise the stealth a cruise missile relies on?


Mr. Ra 13 said...

Thanx! For your concise but accurate analysis regarding the financial crisis & the breakup of the USSR being collectively responsible for wreaking havoc upon India’s military-industrial R & D and military force-modernization plans for almost a decade between 1989 & 1999.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

What can be the expected CEP of the conventionally armed ALCM variant of Nirbhay.

rad said...

\HI Prasun
There is a talk of getting passive esm detection systems , will there be a competitive shoot out or the koluchga will be procured as ukraine is warming up to us. They will double deal as there are reports that they have exported the system to pak and china as well. I would any day prefer the Israeli version of it ie el/m -6063,
el/k-7036----.elk-7038,etc as it would be easier for sensor fusion and to integrate it into our air defence net centric systems. How do you rate the VERA czech system as it has been exported to pakistan and china as well , it seems the US has also procured it .

Anonymous said...

hi prasun da and Mr. SN Tata

greetings to you

there are certain comments of Mr. Jai which are quite unbecoming of a civilised debate..instead may i request that the person may be warned once and if he still does not understand, his comments may be montired or giving a tit for tat one stoops down to a very low level unbecoming of their intellectual abilities..this is just a suggestion..thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

Sir, You said that 42 Super Sukhoi-30 will be imported dircetly from Russia.From various media reports it seems that they will be manufactured by HAL. Any deal on additional frigates, BMP-3 IFV had taken place during this visit ? Were the contract for upgrading Su-30 to Super standards signed ?What were the clauses of it ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.56AM: I never said that S-5 SSBN will carry Nirbhay SLCM. Only the S-2, S-3 & S-4 SSBNs would % that too AFTER the S-5 SSBN joins service. Until then the S-2, S-3 & S-4 SSBNs will each carry a mix of the 4,500km-range SLBM & Nirbhay SLCMs, probably two SLBMs & six SLCMs on each platform.

To Anon@8.08AM: 1) 600km-range air-launched LRCM will carry a tactical nuclear warhead. 2) Even for conventional warhead-equipped Nirbhay, the optimum launch platforms are sea-based and airborne. Land-launched LACMs are good only against adversaries that lack comprehensive RSTA assets. That’s why even the BrahMos poster above shows the missiles being prepositioned in hardened underground silos. 3) Worldwide, there’s no known cruise missile that can carry 20 or 24 different warhead-types. 4) BrahMos land-based MALs are best employed as part of island-based or mainland-based coastal batteries aimed at deterring amphibious assault operations & not over flat terrain where hostile RSTA platforms can easily detect such MALs. The other option is to locate such MALs inside a network of tunnels over mountainous terrain & fire the missiles from pre-surveyed launch-points located close to such tunnels. 5) Jettisionable first-stage rocket booster is always used for any cruise missile that is land-launched or ship-launched or submarine-launched. For air-launched cruise missiles such boosters are not reqd. 6) The very same applies for India as well.

To Anon@10.05AM: 3) You got in wrong. FGFA’s & not PAK-FA’s empty weight is 18.5 tonnes. 4) Any drone can easily be converted into a cruise missile & vice versa. The ITALD can thus become either a decoy drone or can be armed to become a MSOW. 6) Absolutely WRONG. None of the world’s long-range cruise missiles use IR seekers. They all use RF sensors that making use of DSMAC techniques. Even the BrahMos uses such RF sensors & DSMAC techniques for inertial navigation & terminal homing. 7) Again absolutely wrong.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SAF RIZ: AS I’ve explained above, TERCOM & DSMAC are techniques, and not hardware. Check out any schematic of a TLAM & you will come across a piece of hardware called DSMAC illuminator, i.e. an RF-based sensor. All cruise missiles have active on-board sensors, be they SAR-based sensors or radar altimeter. It is these two sensors that make it possible to make use of TERCOM & DSMAC techniques for evading hostile air-defence networks (as the visuals I’ve posted above of the 3M-14E LACM shows). Consequently, the only way one can detect & track the flight profile of inbound cruise missiles is by acquiring passive surveillance ELINT systems (PSES). That is precisely why Pakistan, after the August 1998 TLAM strikes in Afghanistan, acquired two VERA-E PSES units on a lease-to-purchase scheme from the Czech Republic. Therefore, if anyone wants to know where Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are stored in peacetime, then one has to look out for & located the deployed VERA-E PSES units.

To Mr.RA 13: VMT. CEP of conventionally armed Nirbhay will be between 3 metres & 10 metres, not bad at all.

To Anon@11.05AM: VMT.

The first two AW-101 VVIP transport helicopters have already been airlifted to Delhi in semi-knocked-down condition & will take to the skies after another two weeks. Will answer all the outstanding queries tonight.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: In a way that’s already happening. If you read the DRDO’s various statements over the past two decades, they always mention the various DRD labs “mastering the technology”. Whenever such a statement/claim is made, it means mastering the know-why & then the know-how. On the other other, whenever the term “acquiring the core technological competencies” is used, this means all the R & D from scratch was carried out in-house, thereby enabling the creation of a strong R & D foundation which in turn would lead to technological innovations. As I had stated earlier, alternative trucks from TATA Motors & Ashok Leyland’s Super Stallion are available as alternatives to BEML-TATRA vehicles.
Optical co-relation & scene matching technique is used ONLY by man-in-the-loop guidance systems of the type used by PGMs like Taurus KEPD-350, Delilah, Popeye, Spice, etc. Here, a two-way data-link transmits the image of the target constantly to the launch-aircraft’s pilot, which means that the missiles are NOT autonomous but are guided all through their flight profile by human intervention. Cruise missiles like Nirbhay, CJ-10, TLAM, Babur, etc on the other hand make use of active on-board RF sensors—SAR seeker—for terrain profiling & then using the scene-matching technique by comparing the profile of the scanned image with those that are stored in the cruise missile’s on-board mission computer (these images being obtained earlier by SAR sensors mounted on various recce platforms). That’s why on TLAMs there’s always an avionics LRM called DSMAC illuminator, i.e. an active RF sensor. In this arena, the Soviets were the technological pioneers. DSAMAC illuminator is by no means an optronic sensor as many would like to believe or assume.
1-metre accuracy has never been attained to date by any autonomous cruise missile, but only by those man-in-the-loop tactical PGMs making use of IR sensors & two-way data-links. Even the BrahMos-1 has 3-metre accuracy thanks to its on-board SAR seeker making use of DSMAC technique. For nuclear-armed Nirbhay, even a 100-metre accuracy is excellent, given the fact that its nuclear warhead will be highly destructive.

To Anon@10.49AM: Any autonomous LACM like Nirbhay or BrahMos cannot be compared to man-in-the-loop systems like Taurus KEPD-350 or Delilah or Popeye or Spice. What do you think is the principal sensor used worldwide for terrain-mapping using DSMAC techniques?

To SNTATA: LoLz!!! Will enlist your support if ever the need arises for flushing out such creatures. VMT indeed.

Anonymous said...

1.The empty weight of PAK-FA is given as 18.5 t in KNAAPO website.

2. You have yourself previously stated that PLA were deploying HQ-19 SAM batteries in airbases in Tibet. They were meant to intercept Brahmos. You said that Brahmos was easy to intercept as it cruises at a high altitude and being a supersonic missile it can't fly a terrain following mode and is not very agile.

Jai said...

Sorry sir,for the unfortunate verbel vollies.Your site is quite informative compared to others,please keep your great work going.May god bless all of us.

Anonymous said...

Prasun sir, No missile now a days se DSMAC. They all se TERCOM. DSMAC is obsolete.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da
The Assesment of procuring total of 311 Su 30 mki incl. Super sukhois seems to have fallen short...It seems Initial agreement for additional 42 Sukhois was signed when MMS visited russia in Dec 2011..The final contract for these 42 was signed today taking the tally to 272.
What abt the 340 T90Ms tank deal?N news of it...Your thoughts on defence deals during Putin s visit...VMT

Unknown said...


Is there any truth in the fact that 25% of the HAWK AJT fleet is grounded due to lack of spares? If so how the f*ck dis this happen? only last year India signed a spares and supply agreement with the BAE. Is BAE working hard to solve such issues? If this news gains traction it can be a huge mess for BAE as they look to sell the Hawk AJT to others.

Not to mention the IAF is the single largest operator of the HAWK AJT and shouldn't BAE be treating them better than this?

Anonymous said...

To anon at 8:15 PM.. During 2011 orders were placed for 40 sukh to be imported from Irkutsk . HAL license assembles these acs from fully built imported components. At that time agreement for 42 additional Su-30 were optioned for but not exercised. This is now being exercsed. This takes total no to 311 Sukhoi.

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Hi Prasun Da,

There were reports that India is evaluating the Arrow 3 & the S 400. US may not allow Israel to sell the Arrow 3 to India . In that case do you think the S 400 is a good enough system ?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.13PM: The true performance of APG-77 can only be tested against other AESA-MMRs like RBE-2 or Caesar or APG-80. Till then, no one can accurately calculate the power of the APG-77 on a comparative basis. And as I had mentioned before, the F/A-22 makes use of NCTR modes to achieve long-range detection of aerial targets, & not just the APG-77. Nor has any radar manufacturer so far revealed the number of T/R modules on any existing AESA-MMR.

To Anon@8.29PM: Two IRST sensors in front of & behind the cockpit does amount to a distributed aperture architecture, one for frontal hemisphere & one for the rear hemisphere. Twin belly-mounted terrain-profiling sensors have already been developed for MiG-35 & their future application on PAK-FA or FGFA will be logical. ALL existing ESM sensors like RWR have far greater detection envelopes than AESA-MMRs & that’s how they can detect emissions even from AEW & CS platforms. It is up to the aircraft operator to programme the RWR’s EW threat library accordingly to include or exclude the frequency-bands that need monitoring. The air-launched and nuclear-armed Nirbhay will have an estimated length of 6 metres MINUS its solid-fuel rocket booster. The Nirbhay’s SLCM version will have a length of no more than 6.9 metres. CALCM version of Nirbhay will be slightly longer (6.2 metres) in order to house a large warhead section.

To Anon@7.11PM & 8.29PM: 20-metre CEP for any nuclear-armed ALCM or SLCM is excellent by any standards. For conventionally armed ALCM variant of Nirbhay, the CEP will be between 3 metres & 5 metres. Low-flying cruise missiles at an altitude of 30 metres can hardly be expected to have top-attack capability. On the other hand, cruise missiles like BrahMos flying at higher altitudes can easily engage their targets in top-attack mode. As for conventional tactical ALCMs like Taurus KEPD-350 & Delilah, they are optimized for top-attack since prior to attack, these missile do a pop-up manoeuvre to gain altitude prior to descending vertically against their hardened underground targets. SCALP-EG & Storm Shadow don’t have any on-board IR sensors & they too make use of TERCOM/DSMAC techniques for navigation & an on-board SAR seeker for terminal homing, just like the conventionally armed Nirbhay.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.25PM: 1) They were decommissioned since there was no more product-support available from the Russian airframe/engine OEMs. 2) They can’t because there’s no available product-support for them & therefore they can’t remain in airworthy condition. 3) Your guess is as good as mine. 4) Usual problems associated with fast-moving rotables & consumables. These items should have been pre-stockpiled at a bonded warehouse at Vizag. Perhaps the IN’s Directorate of Logistics erred in this respect in setting up such shore-based support facilities since the exact delivery date of INS Chakra was not known well in advance. 5) Correct. 6) Because MiG-29K has heavier landing gear than MiG-35, therefore the maximum external payload of MiG-29K has to be adjusted against the heavier airframe weight. 7) Yes.

To Anon@10.59PM: Yes, between 2030 & 2035. MiG-29UPG could have been equipped with Zhuk-AE since 2010, since this AESA-MMR was fully developed & available since 2007. It would make a lot more sense if the Sh-3UM-1 was replaced at the very outset by the TopOwl HMDS. MiG-29UPG’s IDAS is earmarked for installation on Tejas Mk2 & LCA (Navy) Mk2 as well.

To ACCIDENTAL LOSER: No, it is a digital radar altimeter all right. There’s no reqmt for an anti-ship strike variant of Nirbhay, since acquiring it will be a retrograde step, given the availability of supersonic ASCMs like BrahMos. JOIR is specific to the Army’s theatre operations & tactical battle areas in which the IAF will have no future role to play, especially after the AAC gets its own integral attack helicopters.

To RAD: PSES units are imperative if vital economic/military installations are to be protected against cruise missiles. If you go through the earlier thread on IACCCS you will notice that the IAF has made allocation for a radar fingerprinting system within the IACCCS network. This fingerprinting system will make extensive use of PSES. Separately, there is already a PSES network now deployed with the SFC, this being the Divya Dhrishti system.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.28PM: 1) That’s right, the PAK-FA will have an empty weight of 18.5 tonnes, while the FGFA will have an empty weight of 17.2 tonnes. 2) The LY-80E MR-SAMs now being deployed in certain areas of southeastern Tibet are not yet optimised for intercepting targets cruising at Mach 2.8 (check out the LY-80E’s performance specs listed out in an earlier thread specific to the LY-80E). R & D is now underway in China to develop the FD-2000 LR-ARM as a LR-SAM to specifically intercept supersonic ASCMs like BrahMos.

To JAI: Amen to that. VMT.

To Anon@7.39PM: TERCOM & DSMAC are complimentary. One cannot do without the other, especially during the strike mission-planning stage, when 3-D coordinates are reqd for accurate terrain profiling. This is when digitised 3-D SAR imagery becomes imperative to relate to either a combined moving map/GPS navigation flight-path in case of manned combat aircraft, or an on-board DSMAC imagery database containing 3-D imagery of terrain-specific waypoints for en-route navigation of autonomous cruise missiles.

To UNKNOWN: That’s absolutely true. But why instinctively blame BAE Systems for any lapses? For it could well be that HAL ordered only a spares package for one-year of Hawk Mk132 flight operations, instead of committing to a three-year package. Rahter than BAE Systems, it should be HAL that ought to work hard on solving such problems.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: That is an obsolete news-item that has been overtaken by several more recent developments.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: For conventionally armed ALCM variant of Nirbhay, the CEP will be between 3 metres & 5 metres (& not 10 metres), the same as those of BrahMos-1 & Prahaar NLOS-BSM.

Anonymous said...

Sir, Thanx.
1. Is the Indian FGFA radically different from PAK-FA ? Apart from.usage of composites what are the external visual differences , airframe changes in FGFA?

2. With today's order of 42 Sukhoi-30 , how many Sukhoi have been ordered to date ? In total how any IAF will have when all deliveries are completed ? Is the no 272 as any desi medias are reporting or 311 ?

3. Were any contracts signed regarding upgradation of Sukhoi to Super standards ?

4.From your vast experience what can you tell regarding how many TR elements APG-80 nd RBE-3 has . If both radar manufactures make use of same packing efficiency of TR elements then no will depend on aperture area .

5.Do you think that RBE2AA has 1000 TR elements or less ?

6. Were any air weaponry and air-ground ordance ordered as part of sukhoi deal ? Are these Sukhoi Super or normal ones ?

7.When Nirbhay ALCM is flying in terrain following mode its RF seeker must profile the terrain forward and create a 3-D map which it uses to navigate. In what way can the missile know of obstacles in front and change its alltitude accordingly ? Radar altimeter just gives the height of the terrain directly below the missile. It will not tell whether there is some obstacle in front.

8. Does Pakistan has Kolchuga ESM ? Which ESM is IAF intersed in ?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

It is very heartening to know that the conventionally armed ALCM variant of Nirbhay, BrahMos-1 & Prahaar NLOS-BSM have such smallest possible CEP's.

Anonymous said...

"Optical co-relation & scene matching technique is used ONLY by man-in-the-loop guidance systems of the type used by PGMs like Taurus KEPD-350, Delilah, Popeye, Spice, etc. Here, a two-way data-link transmits the image of the target constantly to the launch-aircraft’s pilot, which means that the missiles are NOT autonomous but are guided all through their flight profile by human intervention. "
KEPD-Tuarus has a 650 km range. Are you telling me the data link is so strong that you can guide a missile flying at a speed of atleazst Mach 0.7 to a range of 650 km ? Thats an achievement. And what you are telling us about the accuracy tells me that they have even managed to do away with any kind of interference also. Are you sure about this data ? Because everybody knows Delilah is a marvel and it just have a range of 150 km which makes it a little possible but maintaining connection till 650 km and successfully guide Taurus to a range of 650 km without any interference is marvelous and India shouldn't waste time and purchase such a great missile. We should also study its data link as it will definitely help us for next gen UAVs, UCAVs and PGMs.

"Worldwide, there’s no known cruise missile that can carry 20 or 24 different warhead-types."
Common you know drdo, i was only trying to say that their will be conventional version also. They must be having 4-5 types of conventional warheads itself.

"BrahMos land-based MALs are best employed as part of island-based or mainland-based coastal batteries aimed at deterring amphibious assault operations"
Is there any plans for deploying Brahmos on Andaman and Lakshadweep ?

Please read this The HIndu article and i would appreciate your comments on this.

"Referring to Akash surface-to-air missile system, he said the next aim was to develop a 300 km range SAM. Besides, it was also planned to develop air-to-surface missile having a range of 400 km and air-to-air missile of 300 km range. Other world class systems, including underwater, cruise, sub-sonic and supersonic missiles would also be developed."
What they are planning the production of Novator K-100 or Vympel R-37 and S-300 SAM?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.22AM: 1) Not radically different, but several avionics LRUs will be of Indian & Western origin. OBOGS will also be of Indian origin. 2) 311 Su-30MKIs ordered to date. On top of that the first tranche of 40 (not 42) Super Su-30MKIs too will come directly from Russia. Total no of Su-30s will then go up to 351. 3) No. That protocol was inked in 2011 4) No amount of vast experience of anyone can accurately say how many T/R modules are there in any AESA-MMR. 5) Your guess is as good as mine. 6) No. 7) Nirbhay’s SAR seeker will not be reqd to create any 3-D terrain map. Such maps are already prepared far in advance during mission-planning stage & uploaded into the mission computer. When the seeker goes active to scan the terrain in 3-D below when approaching a waypoint, it only compares the 3-D image taken with the many that are inside the mission computer & if a match is found then there is no need to reset the RLG-INS or switch on the radar altimeter. 8) Pakistan has Vera-E PSES.

To Anon@6.57AM: Why are you assuming that a tactical ALCM like Taurus KEPD-350 will fly just like a bird straight out to 650km? Can’t it fly a loitering pattern? Can’t the launch-aircraft maintain a distance of 250km between itself & the missile all the time while the missile is in flight? All PGMs with man-on-the-loop systems are a marvel as far as accuracy goes & that’s why they’re used against only very high-value targets & that’s why they are never bought in large numbers. For conventional cruise missiles, only the HE blast-fragmentation & ground penetration warheads make sense. Of course the BrahMos-1 will be ideal for Andaman & Nicobar islands. Lakshadweep is not astride any chokepoint along any international waterway & is therefore of little strategic significance. The 300km-range SAM being referred to is the PDV. Air-to-surface missiles being referred to are the conventional Nirbhay & the air-to-air missile is the nuclear-capable LRCM, since most nuclear-armed warheads (except for those of Nirbhay’s, since it will be used as a counter-force n-weapon & not a counter-value n-weapon) will typically explode at altitudes ranging from 15km to 35km above the surface for causing maximum destruction as counter-value n-weapons.

rad said...

hi prasun

As far as i know nobody uses radar for terminal guidance of cruise missiles like the tomahawk as they can be detected by esm, why the xband radar?. What stops us from optical terminal guidance.
recent pictures show the exhaust gases from the astra are white in color rather than the red flame we saw before which was supposed to be a smokle less rocket

rad said...

please give us a take on the astra missile as they say that it is a new configuration etc.

accidental loser said...

But i really think that it's a temporary step, fitting radio altimeter in the era of prolification of ESMs is a kind of ediotic thing... May be they are desperate in getting an functioning platform pretty soon, so they do away with the laser altimeter. But don't you think RCI/LASTEC wud have been already working on a solid state laser altimeter design!! BTW hw wud it be to use an improved NAG to counter the swarming warfare tactic. It cud b well suited fr deployment aboard small-medium patrol boats,IPV,FIC,XFICs in scalable launchers using their existing el-op architecture as FCS. Also do the indian navy has any plan to deploy seabed mounted passive sonar arrays around indian teritorial waters & other areas of interest ?

Anonymous said...

Sir, VMT.

1. Will you provide detailed info regarding Su-30 procurement so that the no confusion goes away as to how any were ordered when .

2. Weren't 40 Sukhoi were ordered in 2011 which took the no to 272 or it was just a preliminary agreement ?

3. What did you mean by Su-30 deep upgrade would start only after 24 Dec after Putin's official visit ?

4. When will the upgradation programme start ? What is the schedule of this upgade ? How many will be upgraded ?

5. When will the Sukhois be fitted with AESA,IDAS and other goodies as you envisioned in your sukhoi upgrade thread.

6.Why can't the this newly ordered 42 Su be delivered in upgraded form with aesa,Rf jmmer,maws, new IRST?

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Thank You PrasunDa.

SO is India evaluating any foreign SAM system . I understand US will not allow Israel to sell Arrow 3 to India.


Gessler said...

Hello Prasun saheb, Merry Christmas btw :-)

1) So what you're saying is IAF will end up with 350+ Su-30MKIs?

Jeez...thats too vast a number.

2) How is the PDV interceptor test at 300km altitude coming along? Sir do you have any picture of the DRDO-developed MFCR radar of the BMD metwork? Can you post the pic's link here if so?

3) Any new development on Akash Mk-2 SAM?

4) When is going to be the test-launch of Astra Mk-1 BVRAAM from Su-30MKI? Before or after December 31? Whats the max range of this missile when launched from an aircraft at optimum altitude and while the plane is cruising at supersonic speed?

VMT in advance :)

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da,

Since the US refused ToT related to the Javelin the deal was shelved .

(1)Is India now going in for the Israeli Spike ?

(2) Does India have the Kornet ?

As always appreciate your views.


Akhil Suri said...

Hi Prasun,

Any development in the FICV front ? Haven't heard anything about it lately . TATA had teamed up with Rheinmetal but since Rheinmetal got banned maybe TATA will have to look for a new partner.

Akhil Suri

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: Watch & study this:

Also, read this:

Radar-MMS company of St. Petersburg’s ARGS-54 X-band seeker for 3M14E LACM has a maximum operational range of 60km. As the missile continues towards the target at subsonic speed, the seeker scans from +45º to -45º in azimuth, and from and +10º to -20º in elevation. The ARGS-54 is 70cm long, 42cm in diameter, and weighs 40kg without the radome. It can operate in precipitation conditions of up to 4mm/sec and in heavy sea conditions of up to sea state 6.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To GESSLER: Master-A MFCR was supplied by THALESRaytheon. DRDO never developed it, just bought it off-the-shelf. See & read:

Anonymous said...

Sir, Why doesnt IAF procure Raytheon SDB-2 tri-mode seeker equipped standoff PGM. It can hit moving targets. It is ideal for destruction of TELs. Why isnt SAGEM producing a longer range trimode seeker equipped AASM ? SDM,JSOW are not powered. They are glided weapons. AASM is powered and still its max range is 55 km. Why cant MBDA develope such an AASM version with swept back longer wingspan wings like that of JSOW.

Anonymous said...

Sir, Putin's visit to Delhi: No big-ticket buys but Indo-Russia defence relations deepen

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s sixth visit to India on Monday has been his most barren yet in terms of defence contracts signed between the two countries. An earlier Indian order, placed in Feb 2010, for 59 Mi-17V5 medium lift helicopters was increased marginally to 71 helicopters. And a protocol signed last year for the purchase of 42 Sukhoi-30MKI fighters led to the signing of a contract for 42 kits for licensed manufacture in HAL.

So, the order of 42 Sukhoi that were contracted for in 2011 were signed yesterday. This takes the no to 272.As far as i recall from news reports another 40 were ordered in 2011. I sthis and yesterday's order different .

Anonymous said...


Nirbhay strategic cruise missile is dimensions which come nearly close (In terms of length its almost similar to 6 meters) in length, diameter, wing dimensions (It also looks similar to Tomahawk, although its remarked that all subsonic cruise missiles look almost similar) but in terms of range why Nirbhay's range is only at 1200 km as opposed to Tomahawk's more than 3000 km range?? Thank you and VMT in advance...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: No LR-SAMs of foreign origin are being evaluated at this stage.

To VIKRAM GUHA: There is still no closure on the manportable ATGM selection process & the Javelin ATGM is still very much in the race. Kornet-Es are already in service in small numbers.

To AKHIL SURI: Looks like TATA is in a tight corner due to the blacklisting of Rehinmetall & DENEL Group. Consequently, its FICV concept & 155mm/512-cal motorised howitzer now appear to be white elephants.

To Anon@8.27PM: Who says there were no big-ticket deals inked? Walking away with contracts for 42 Su-30MKIs & 71 Mi-17V-5s is no small deal in today’s world. In addition, commencement of negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (free-trade agreement) involving Belarus, India, Kazakhstan & Russia, which will be signed by 2015, is no small matter either, as it will enable India full-scale access to the Eurasian Union. Finally, once & for all, the following is the breakdown of all Su-30MKI contracts inked so far:

November 1996: Contract inked for 40 x Su-30MKI for delivery by IRKUT Corp

December 1998: Contract inked for 10 x Su-30MKI for delivery by IRKUT Corp

December 2000: Contract inked for 140 x Su-30MKI for licenced-manufacturing by HAL

2007: Contract was signed for 40 x Su-30MKI for licenced-manufacturing by HAL

December 16, 2011: Contract inked for licenced-manufacturing of 42 x Su-30MKI by HAL

December 24, 2012: Contract signed for 42 x Su-30MKIs for delivery in semi-knocked-down condition (also known as “Delivery of 42 technological kits for Su-30MKI licenced-production”) from IRKUT Corp

The MoD-issued press release on December 24, 2012 very clearly states: Contract for Delivery of 42 technological kits for Su-30MKI aircraft licenced-production. The Protocol-II on licenced-manufacturing of additional 42 SU-30MKI aircraft units was signed during Annual Summit 2011. The current contract is a FOLLOW-UP (& not in context) to this Protocol. One must also distinguish between licenced-production (i.e. aircraft rolling out after final assembly of kits supplied by IRKUT Corp) & licenced-manufacture (i.e. aircraft rolling out after a substantial portion of its airframe, engine & accessories were manufactured by HAL from the raw materials-stage onwards).

TOTAL Ordered So Far: 314

TOTAL Delivered So Far: 50 + 119 = 169.

TOTAL IN-SERVICE TODAY: 146, due to 3 peacetime attrition losses & since the first 20 Su-30MKIs are now grounded for undergoing their mandatory 1,000-hour depot-level inspection.

To Anon@11.51PM: Nirbhay’s range can be increased substantially by using higher-octane aviation fuel (than what’s been specified for usage now), if reqd. Presently, the political directive is to develop SLCMs & ALCMs with a range-cap of 1,200km only, keeping in view the existing & medium-term threat perceptions.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Here's more idiotic 'analysis' from a self-styled 'desi' journalist:

Anonymous said...

1 )How many mi-17's are delivered to india in the latest consignment.

2) Whats the annual production rate for Mi-17 in Russia

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.17AM: 1) 71. 2) More than 70.

Millard Keyes said...

Normally read your blog almost everyday Prasun except last few days.Instead of wishing you a Merry X-mas sad to advise that on the Christmas eve lost my 2 baby son 2 weeks before he was due to be born and on Christmas day his poor mother delievered him, a beautiful baby boy now we have to do the grim task of his funeral!Of all the available technologies, military or civil we still haven't got one to prevent such a thing to save Sudden Infant death. isn't it a shame!Anyway hope everyone else had a better time of it this Christmas holidays.

Millard Keyes said...

small typo not 2 baby son but baby son 2 weeks before he was due.

ani said...

Regarding Su-30MKI order
According to you HAL have the responsibility of 140+40+42+42=264

But HAL press release says "“HAL’s total responsibility for this supersonic multirole aircraft has now gone up to 222."???
Please see below link

Thanks in advance, sir.

rad said...

To Piere Zorin
sorry to hear about the death of your infant son.I sympathise with you as a father.Life has its own ways of hitting people in different ways . Mankind is still at the mercy of evolution and natural selection and acceptance of the fact is the only way in life, as we will never find the answer .I personally feel religion can never answer such happenings.

Anonymous said...

Sir, what will be the probable aircraft complement of the INS Vikramaditya and IAC-1 ?
Will any of the above a/c be able to carry more than 25 fixed wing aircrafts ?

Vikram Guha said...

Pierre Zorin ,

So sorry to hear about your loss.

Just wanted to say your prayers are our prayers may you be blessed with a child soon.


Millard Keyes said...

Thank you Rad and Vikram.the fact you don't know me and yet a human beings can empathise means a lot.establishes faith in humanity afterall.

sntata said...

To Pierre Zorin,
Dear Sir, very sorry to hear about your loss, that too during Christmas time. May the Supreme One, whom we all worship in different Names and Forms and in different modes, give him rest in His Lap. May He give you and madam the Spiritual strength to bear the loss stoically.

abs said...

@Pierre Zorin
It seems you are a far more experienced man than I am and would be capable of dealing with your situation optimally.My condolences and best wishes are with you. Life can be harsh at times.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PIERRE ZORIN: Am truly saddened to hear about such a tragic loss. Kindly accept my deepest condolences & I also wish you & your loved ones the very best in all your/their future endeavours.

To ANI: A previous HAL press-release had also said that HAL during a 20-year period had produced only 37 Jaguars!!! See this:

Therefore, kindly do take HAL's pronouncements regarding its series-production responsibilities/achievements with a fistful of salt.

abs said...

1) How does the IA plan on undertaking exclusive operations in its respective TBA?
2)What would be the target acquisition elements of the Land launched Brahmos Block 3? In the pics there is a pic depicting a surveillance helicopter for RSTA missions. Would this be the major component for acquiring targets as far as 300-400 Kms?

Anonymous said...

Sir, You don't have to give references to media and news reports in saying tht 314 Sukhoi were ordered.What hve you learnt from your contacts and other sources as to how many Sukhoi were ordered ? Once there were reports that 40 Super sukhoi were to be imported from Irkutsk. What happened to that ? Aren't the 42 Sukhoi that were contracted for in 2011 to be supplied in knocked down condition and assembled here at HAL because IAF wnted these jets quickly and HAL as its hands full with manufcturing. You said so.

What happened to the super upgrade ? Will the newly ordered 42 Sukhoi hve AESA radar and IDAS suites. Is it true that HAL built Sukhoi costs more that Irkutsk supplied ones ? When will the upgrade programe begin and hw many are to be upgraded?

Vikram Guha said...

Many thanks PrasunDa.

Do you think that it makes sense to buy more Kornet or do you recon there are better ATGMs in the market .

The Javelin is ridiculously expensive & the US won't transfer the technology either .


Gessler said...


Im feeling very sad for this tragic incident. Be strong and be there to comfort your wife, sir.

My heartful wishes, you'll be blessed with a healthy baby boy/girl in the coming years:)

Sujoy Majumdar said...

Pierre Zorin,

It's really good that you decided to share your grief with us instead of just keeping it to yourself . I hope in this process your grief has lessened somewhat .

You will certainly be blessed with a child sooner than later .


Anonymous said...

To Pierre Zorin,

Very unfortunate to hear such a news. Hope almighty gives you and your family the strength to cope for this unfortunate loss.

Anonymous said...

Prasun sir,

As you've predicted MOD/DRDO are planning/proceeding ahead to integrate kaveri turbofan (with out after burner to reduce its weight it seems (Don't know how they will reduce the weight)) with a new USAV (Unmanned Strike Air Vehicle) in 10 tonne category (Will MTOW be at ~14 tonnes?).

Hope they also plan for an HALE UAV powered by same turbofan (Like Global-hawk). Also hope they doesn't make it the same fate for AMCA... :) VMT sir.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

'Govt. rejects 100 cr. M&M JV with Rafael"..This is CONG. Govt at its height of stupidity..Why the JV is canceled...even with 26% FDI linit ..Govt. is not permitting foriegn investment in defence...Nonsense..Looks Cong. is getting worse even then communists...Ur thoughts PLS

Akhil Suri said...

Hi Prasun,

Thanks for sharing the idiotic analysis of that self styled journalist . Seems these journalist receive a fat pay check from their Western masters .

Akhil S

Anonymous said...

Prasun sir,

The Ring Laser Gyroscope developed by RCI is based on Russian supplied RLG? (very long back an engineer showcasing the very same product along with the fiber optic gyroscope had revealed that the our R&D department haven't achieved the technology to manufacture the critical Pyro glass (Used to refract the laser rays generated). Did our institutions developed a new generation RLG based on the previous Russian design??? Is it this RLG that is a critical component for our Long range guided missile programs? Thank you and VMT

Anonymous said...

Would you please throw some light on IAF's BVR capabilities? Apart from highly unsuccessful R-27 and R-77 Variats , are we using any moder BVR AAM like RVV AD/MD etc or just banking ASTRA?

Why we are devloping ASTRA when the seeker is from MBDA and the design is just elongated MICA. Why not but MBDA MICA instead ?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Pakistan airforce was offered Rafale by French. Why did they refuse it ? Won't Typhoon be better than Rafale ? IHow much % greater range RBE2 PESA has over RDY-2 that are present in Mirage 2000-9 ?

Sayan said...

Letters : HAL replies to Ajai Shukla’s columns .We can confirm that the project is under consideration for upgrade of facilities to enable HAL to ramp up its production-capacity. The benefit of the funding is not intended for the current order that HAL already has in hand, but the actual requirement will be for future orders. What is this expansion in production capacity ?

It should be noted that Tejas is currently not produced to frozen designs, as it has been conceived as a concurrent design and manufacturing programme. Inputs from flight trails are utilised to refine the design of the various systems and are incorporated in builing the next aircraft. Even now how is the design of Tejas mk1 being refined ? There are no external visual differences between LSP-7 and the previous prototypes .

When will Super upgrade and deep upgrade of Su-30mki officially start ?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Very sad for the loss to Pierre Zorin.

Heberian said...

@ Pierre Zorin-

I just caught up with this blog and was very sad to learn of the tragedy you and your family is dealing. I wish you strength and equanimity and am sure you will rally. Stay strong

Millard Keyes said...

Thank you so much everyone for your kindness and support.This shows despite differences in opinion on various matters, at the core we care about each other as human beings and still believe in the brotherhood of all mankind. It helps to know complete strangers are more friends than strangers.Thank you.

The A-5 said...

Prasun, is the indigenous version of the Bofors 155mm gun of 39-cal or 45-cal?

Latest report says the gun passed the field firing trials successfully -

How many guns of this type could IA ultimately order?

rad said...

reports seem to suggest that the locally produced bofors gun came out with flying colors!It very difficult to believe that . Given the track record of the drdo and GCF. I feel they could have imported some vital components as well. building a howitzer in 1.5 years from scratch even though they had all the drawings is a world record.!!!.Is it a self powered version or is it a towed one?.
Please give information update about the astra missile and the k-15.

sbm said...

To Pierre Zorin,

Please accept my condolences, as inadequate as they are, for your loss. May the future bring more happiness.

Mr. Ra 13 said...

If the indigenous 155/45 howitzer gun is really so much successful, then GCF Jabalpur should get the Nobel prize.

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

You have written that 311 Su-30MKIs were ordered to date and the first tranche of 40 (not 42) Super Su-30MKIs too will come directly from Russia. Total no of Su-30s will then go up to 351.
When will be the contract inked for 40 Super Su-30MKI for delivery by IRKUT Corp?

What is the timeframe till which the MiG-29UPG will be in the IAF after which it will be decommissioned? Can it in future be upgraded with Zhuk-AE AESA radars?

How does the MiG-29UPG compare against FC-20 to be acquired by the PAF? I mean who will fare better in dissimilar air combat?

Can the MiG-29UPG fire the Nirbhay CALCM and the latest Russian AAMs like the RVV-AE-SD & the RVV-AE-MD?

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

Does the MiG-29UPG has holographic HUD (like what China has done with its J-10 & J-11B)?
Does it has Modular Mission Computer, Color Cockpit and Digital Flight Controls? What FLIR/targeting system is used by the MiG-29UPG?

Anonymous said...

1.How many of which helicopters will 59 Mi-17v5 replace ?

2.Jane's group gives the dia of RDY-2 antenna as 60 cm. Is it correct ?

3.You have in your possession many radar brochures. Can you tell what is the max detection range of RDY-2 against a standard fighter sized target?

4. What is the advertised detection and tracking range of RBE2pesapesa variant ?

5. UAE wanted a longer ranged radar for its Rafale. They agreed to an increased radar range with the same diameter. But for an increase in radar range peak power of each TR element had to increased by 10 W. But this created serious interferenve issues. UAE airforce wanted RBE2AA to have the same range as its F-16Blk-60's APG-80. Bottomline: a. For any increase in radar range performance nose dia as to be increased. b.APG-80 has a greater range.

6. When contract for additional 42 Su-30mki was signed no weapons package was part of the deal. Won't this eventually increase to a shortfall of vital BVRAAM and WVRAAM leave alone precision AGM.

7. How many GCF Bofors 155mm /45 cal have been ordered or are to be ordered?

8.When INS Tarkash arrived in its home base navy said, “The features of the follow-on ships have been upgraded to a higher level of sophistication with the experience gained by the Navy in operation of the first three ships. " what are the upgradations to the ship's sensors, ESM systems, SAM systems ?

Pls ans.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: Within its TBA, the IA can take care of all its indirect artillery fire-support reqmts through its integral resources like tube artillery & rocket artillery with the support of RSTS support resources like MALE-UAVs & weapon-locating radars. Integral close air support will come from attack helicopters & helicopter-gunships. Heli-borne vertical mobility too will be a huge asset in future. The IAF on the o9ther hand will work primarily to isolate the TBA & prevent follow-on forces/reinforcements from reaching the TBA through battlefield air interdiction at a depth of almost 120km beyond the TBA. RSTA support for land-launched BrahMos-1’s Blocks-2/3 will be overhead recce satellites capable of SAR imaging as well as MALE-UAVs equipped with SAR payloads like ELM-2055. In addition, additional SAR imagery obtained from EL/M-2060P carried by Su-30MKI will be employed. The helicopter depicted in the poster is the Ka-28PL for providing mid-course guidance for BrahMos-1 Block-1’s anti-ship strike variant.

To Anon@12.31PM: Those figures outlined above are from official sources (representing both the supplier & end-user). All earlier reports about kits being imported from Irkutsk were false & spread by certain discredited chat-forums. Super Sukhoi project will get underway only by 2014 with the second batch of 20 Su-30MKIs that were imported off-the-shelf in 2003 (out of the 50 ordered in 2000). They will be upgraded at HAL’s facilities in Nashik as per present plans.

To VIKRAM GUHA: Kornet-E is for totally different reqmt & cannot be equated with the reqmt for Javelin ATGMs. Kornet-E is far heavier (hence not exactly manportable) than Javelin & also has a longer range & is therefore ideally well-suited for SOF forces travelling on 4 x 4 ATVs. Javelin ATGM on the other hand is for regular infantry forces that are presently equipped with Milan-2s. I don’t think the Javelin is that expensive compared to its competitors, especially since there are already several armed forces that have already imported the Javelin, compared to the Spike.

To Anon@3.09PM: I had not predicted that. In fact, it was the RM that made an official statement to that effect in Parliament. What I has stated was that the Kaveri, following its airworthiness certification, ought to power a HALE-UAV variant of the Rustom-2 that should be developed by ADE. Developing a HALE-UAV is far more important & is urgently required, compared to the USAV.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.28PM: The GoI rejected the JV Mahindra Defence/RAFAEL proposal since it was clashing with a similar JV that was earlier struck between BEL & RAFAEL & which is likely to be expanded in future. However, when it comes to the private-sector, without 49% FDI being approved by the GoI, no one OEM from abroad will even bother to think about joining hands with an Indian private-sector company. And without such JVs, no ToT will take place. In fact, foreign OEMs that have already won contracts are more than willing to pay the financial fine to the MoD, since the fine amounts to only 1% of the total contract value, an amount that the OEM can easily recover in future by increasing the bill for product-support services rendered. The MoD is therefore now in a bind & stands to reduce India as the nett loser UNLESS the GoI authorises 49% FDI across-the-board for the military-industrial sector, which should include the DPSUs & private-sector entities. That’s the writing on the wall & those who choose to ignore it despite having eyes that are wide open are only inviting impending disaster.

To AKHIL SURI: That nitwit, despite drafting so much shit on DPSUs & the DRDO over the years, has still not been able to grasp certain fundamental realities when it comes to development of PGMs like long-range cruise missiles like the Nirbhay, which ought to have been realised a long while ago. Even all bloggers & of course the usually ignorant ‘desi’ journalists will blinkers on have so far failed to raise such points. For instance:
1) Where does India intend to test-fly the Nirbhay’s planned variants, given the fact that the firing-range at Pokhran can cater for flight-distances of no more than 59km? While such distances are all right for NLOS-BSMs like BrahMos-1, they’re not for the Nirbhay, which needs to be tested at an overland weapons-firing range out to its maximum flight envelope.
2) While the Nirbhay’s SLCM variant can be test-launched from Arihant-class SSBN, where exactly will the SCLM’s overland flight trajectory be validated? Because unlike the US, China & Russia, India does not possess the kind of uninhabitated landmass that is reqd for a firing-range as vast as the one that’s reqd for testing out long-range LACMs.
3) Isn’t it therefore logical that RUSSIA is the only partner that can help the Nirbhay programme by offering its vast infrastructure of military weapons-test ranges to the DRDO? Isn’t that also one of the reasons why Dr Avinash Chander was made a member of official Indian MoD delegations during their negotiations & deliberations with their Russian counterparts?
Yet, none of these points are even mentioned at:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.14PM: Pyro-Glass production at industrial-scale was never a challenge. Engineering the RLG in order to accurately refract the laser beams was the challenge. That has now been overcome.

To Anon@6.28PM: Astra is nothing but a re-engineered R-77, making use of the same X-band monopulse terminal seeker as that of the R-77. Astra’s seeker never came from MBDA.

To Anon@7.28PM: Pakistan wanted to acquire the Mirage 2000-5 in the early 1990s, but that deal fell through due to financial constraints. The PAF never showed interest in either the Rafale or EF-2000.

To SAYAN: The reqmt for a new-generation final-assembly line for Tejas MRCA is not related to whether or not the airframe’s design is frozen. Instead, it has to do with production-engineering technologies of the kind that don’t presently exist for MRCAs built with such a high content of composites-based materials. For instance, the airframes of the present-day Tejas PVs & LSPs all feature large-scale riveting, whereas for series-production versions of the MRCA, co-cured & machined airframe parts will be reqd as pre-fabricated structures, all of which will have to be integrated using high-levels of automation. Super Sukhoi project will take off in 2014.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To A-5, RAD, Mr.RA 13: The 155X45 towed howitzer is of 45-calibre & its design was completed in 2008 & since then OFB had three years (& not 1.5) to assemble the two prototypes. In fact, the first prototype was showcased during DEFEXPO 2008. The 45-call 155mm barrel was originally developed by OFB for the M-46 Metamorphosis upgrade, which was meant to replace the SOLTAM Systems-developed solution after only 40 M-46s were upgraded by SOLTAM & the project was terminated by Army HQ during to severe QC problems like premature gun-barrel cracks. However, the OFB-developed 45-cal 155mm gun-barrel (meant to replace those supplied by SOLTAM) was somehow never put to use on the M-46, but was available for the FH-77B. What has now happened is that the OFB built two 155X45 prototypes by borrowing two excisting FH-77Bs from the IA & then subjecting them to a deep upgrade package & then subjecting them since early this year to extensive firepower trials aimed at validating the barrel-life & its fire-control ballistics (with the help of new integral ballistic computers supplied by ELBIT Systems & licence-assembled by BEL), muzzle velocity radar imported from BAE Australia, direct aiming sight, VHF communications radio & electronic drive unit all built by BEL, & a fibre-optic gyro-based land navigation system (FOG-LNS) developed by HAL. Therefore, the two 155X45 prototypes were never built from scratch. Now, even if this upgraded howitzer passes all its firepower & mobility trials with flying colours, it is unlikely that the OFB will get a series-production order for the reqd 414 units, since the IA & MoD will insist on competitive evaluations of homegrown solutions as per the MoD’s DPP guidelines. Consequently, the 155X45 will have to compete against the GHN-45 towed howitzer, which is being proposed by the Pune-based Kalyani Group. This company last year imported from Austrian gun manufacturer Maschinenfabrik Liezen (MFL) a GHN-45 (which was originally designed by the late Dr Gerald Bull & developed by Spain’s Santa Barbara & later under a full ToT package was sold to ARMSCOR of South Africa in the mid-1980s & thus morphed into the G-5) that had lost out to Bofors’ FH-77B in the early 1980s in India. The Kalyani Group has also brought back to India an entire GHN-45 production-engineering facility that was purchased from Swiss company RUAG, & it is this facility that will roll out a totally Made-in-India GHN-45 by late 2014. In addition, Kalyani Group has tied up with ELBIT Systems (that owns SOLTAM) for equipping the GHN-45 with an integral ballistic computer, muzzle velocity radar, direct aiming sight, VHF communications radio, electronic drive unit, & a RLG-INS.
In case the MoD rules against a competitive evaluation of the opposing solutions proposed by OFB & Kalyani Group & insists on awarding a sole-source contract to OFB, then we all will know for sure that the GoI was never in favour of offering India’s private-sector players a level playing-field when it came to major procurement contracts for military hardware.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.49PM: The offer for the first 40 Super Su-30MKIs coming directly from IRKUT Corp is still being negotiated & will be finalised only by 2014. MiG-29UPGs will remain in service for another 20 years, just like the Mirage 2000UPGs. Zhuk-AEs will be available for future retrofit on MiG-29UPGs, but such radars should have been ordered way back in 2009 itself. MiG-29UPG’s mission avionics suite is far more advanced than that of the FC-20. Endurance too is greater. Since the MiG-29UPG has an open-architecture avionics suite, it will easily be able to accept all futuristic weapons like Nirbhay or RVV-AE-SD & the RVV-AE-MD.

To Anon@10.57PM: MiG-29UPG has wide-angle HUDWAC, not holographic. It will use Litening-2 LDP.

Anonymous said...

Sir, So the data you are quoting regarding nos of SU-30 are from IAPO & IAF. Will you give an external link .

When will the selective deep upgrade consisting of AESA, new glass cockpit, idas, uprated engines excluding structural modifications to carry Brahmos be carried out ? Will this deep upgrade be applied to only 50 or whole fleet ?

What radar will the newly contracted 42 Su-30mki have ?

Anonymous said...

"Javelin ATGM on the other hand is for regular infantry forces that are presently equipped with Milan-2s. I don’t think the Javelin is that expensive compared to its competitors, especially since there are already several armed forces that have already imported the Javelin, compared to the Spike."
Thats not true. First of all its a fact not many options are available when we look for ATGMs, correct me if i am wrong but only US, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Israel and China. Out of which China is out of question.
The most modern man-portable ATGM in the market right now is Israeli Spike. Its alot cheaper than Javelin. I realy don't get why India chose Javelin ? Possibly ban on Israeli companies.

"Developing a HALE-UAV is far more important & is urgently required, compared to the USAV."
Thats true but i think they should build UCAV first. Its because some the laboratories specially in AI have been working for 3-4 years for such a project. They need to implement these protocaols and instructions on a bigger unmanned platform much like a UCAV tech demonstrator. These projects were just research works began in Bangalore and they have nothing to do with AURA program. They were just technology build up keeping in mind the future that if India decides to go for UCAV. Nobody expected them to succeed at that time.
This is the reason and the leasons learned from Nishant and Rustam project, why i think UCAV project might surprise us all.
Sam goes for AMCA also, LCA taught ADA and other laboratires involved in the project alot of lessons.
Just like early missile projects and just look at drdo missile team of today.

"For instance, the airframes of the present-day Tejas PVs & LSPs all feature large-scale riveting, whereas for series-production versions of the MRCA, co-cured & machined airframe parts will be reqd as pre-fabricated structures, all of which will have to be integrated using high-levels of automation."
But the level of composites is only gonna increase in future projects like LCA mk2 and AMCA. I remember there was a news which came in around March-April regarding massive HAL modernization program worth 4 billion$. I think this plan if executed properly will be the most critical plan for HAL's future.

"The offer for the first 40 Super Su-30MKIs coming directly from IRKUT Corp is still being negotiated & will be finalised only by 2014"
I remember once you said that Irkust offered two options to IAF, one was even the stealth version of Su30 mki. If the deal is still not finalized, is it possible that the upgrade option is also not yet finalized ? Is it possible that MOD and Finance ministry liked the Irkut proposal of steath Super Sukhoi and decided to go for it and thats the reason why FGFA number were reduced so as to save money or possibly to find a solution for the time being, considering China's new 5th gen designs and F35 slowly and slowly entering into the air-forces of other countries ?

"Zhuk-AEs will be available for future retrofit on MiG-29UPGs, but such radars should have been ordered way back in 2009 itself."
Its just the lack of vision and proper planning which is not the problem with defence only.

Anonymous said...

Any chance of LnT winning any artillery or naval program ?

IA is looking for light tanks, APCs, LSVs etc. Considering the recent product launches by indian companies dusring defexpo, is it possible that IA goes for domestic solution ? Like IA can go for Tata's design for both APCs and a light tank version of the same APC, thereby reducing the overall cost as the number could then be well close to 800+ (500+ 300). Tata can always get a turret from any european company considering there deep pockets.

Have you seen M&M FICV design ? Is it like BAE SEP ? Like Tata's 155mm gun is Mahindra or ALL or LnT gonna launch some product anytime soon ? They must be building something, considering they have tie-ups and JVs with BAE, Saab, Paramount, KMW, Nexter, cassidian etc.

financeblogger said...

What are the implications for India, w.r.t to the information mentioned in the above link.

Anonymous said...

Why did China purchased production ;line for Bomber like Tu22m from Russia ? Am i missing something ? Both Su30 mki and Rafale with a very little RCS and high degree of maneuverability can do the same job with tankers ?
Does this effect India in anyway ?

Akhil Suri said...

Hi Prasun,

You observations are correct . As I had said in my earlier post and I reiterate that these desi self styled journalists are getting large sums of money from Western Govts/Defense contractors in order to write such garbage .


Anonymous said...

Prasun in the last couple of you articles you wrote about Indian projects with Israel and RUssia on directed energy weapons. We would really appreciate if you write one article on this and one on desi OS & FICV project and its updates.

IS the Kaveri project still going on ? Can we expect DRDO and Snecma to officially sign the deal or the work on new gen Kaveri has already started and it would be directly tested in 4-5 years ? Came question for aesa, are we just gonna go ahead with unsuccessful attempts or we will rope in someone ?

Anonymous said...

Prasun sir,

In this plane the engines look quite odd as they don't look like a normal High bypass ratio turbo fan engine. It seems like they've fitted 4 fighter jet engines (Low bypass ratio turbofan) with an outer body enclosure connecting to the aircraft's wing. It seems like china doesn't posses a good wide bodied aircraft's turbo fan engine like the PS-10 for IL-76 and MRTA. Your observations sir... VMT

Anonymous said...

Hello Prasun sir,

1) What could be the percentage of indigenous content in Arjun Mk-2 MBT? More or less than Mk-1/Mk-1A?

2) Is the kalyani group now in official ownership of the GHN.45 towed howitzer's IPRs?

3) What do you think is the better towed howitzer? OFB-developed variant of Bofors FH77B or the upgraded GHN.45 from kalyani group?

4) Is Super-MKI's cockpit HUD from CSIO? If yes, is it a frameless HUD like the one on Rafale or normal framed one like on present-day MKI?

5) Will India's FGFA have flat 2-D nozzles?

6) Does J-20 have IRST or something like EO-DAS? What about J-31?

7) What is the maximum payload capacity of china's y-20 transport? can it ferry tanks like type-99g, ztz-99, m1a2 abrams & Arjun mk-1?

Anonymous said...

Sir, In your thread on Su-30 upgrade you had said that the whole fleet will be upgraded with MIRES AESA, MAWS,internal Virgilus jammer, TRD , uprated engines having all-axis TVC... Some jets will have structural mods to carry Brahmos ALCM. When will the deep upgrade of those Sukhois that will not carry Brahmos start ? The upgradation was scheduled to start from 2012.
How many will be modified to carry Brahmos apart from 20 that will be upgraded at Ozhar.
Why cant the new jets now being manufactured and to be supplied in kits come equipped with aesa and all the items included in upgrade ?

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
1. With Maitri project being a non-starter, has India given up developing a QR-SAM, after the failure of Trisul missile?
2. What happened to the CBI probe on BEML chairman Natarajan?
3. Has any other country opted for Rafale after it clinched Indian deal? What about Brazil and UAE?
4. Has the WLR developed by DRDO inducted into Army?

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

How does the MiG-29UPG compare against F-16C/D Block 50/52 Plus?

Is the MiG-29UPG cockpit compatible with night-vision goggles (NVG)?I mean to ask that does the MiG-29UPG cockpit has night vision (NVIS)-compatible systems?

How does the Zhuk-ME radar of the MiG-29UPG compare against the APG-68(V)10 radar in the F-16C/D Block 50/52 Plus?

How the HOTAS design operate on the MiG-29UPG without the integrated fly-by-wire system?

Thank you.

Sayan said...

Sir, China Buys Tu-22MB Bomber Production Line from Russia. Is this true or hoax ? Has China imported 8 Tu-22 bombers ?

Typhoon and Rfale both uses a large amount of composites parts . Such production engineering technologies exists. We just have to import them. What is the difference between rivetted parts and machined parts ?

Still now is the design of Tejas mk1 being changed and fine tuned based on flight trials ? Couldn't spot any external differences .

What radar the recently ordered Su-30
ill b having ?Will MiG-29UPG have pylon mounted MAWS ?

Is there any news on Akash mk2 ? Which RF seeker Nirbhay uses ? Is the RF seeker active during the entire flight path of a cruise missile for DSMAC or only in terminal flight phase ?

What happened to procurement of 348 T-90MS, BMP-3 , additional PHALCON.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

PLEASE answer this question

How will INDIA counter the threat
of TU 22 M AND SU 35 BOTH of which
will be acquired by CHINA in LARGE NUMBERS

Anonymous said...

"Improved combat kits, shoes for Army jawans"
Can you give more info on this ? WHy Nike and Reebok ?

Any on the article below ?

accidental loser said...

Excuse me everyone. I need a contact in the states for some reasons. So anyone who's living in USA/knows someone personally who's living in USA, please help... U can get me @'' or '+918802130067'. Sorry abt ths post Prasun.:-(

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

if you remember sometime back you said you said you will talk about some 'project', what about it

dont mind if i ask a few more clarifications

1. you always say about S-2,S-3,S-4, where is S-1

2. with army getting its air wings setting up airborne assault regiment should be logical and for that BMD-4M and its Tank destroyer variant should be useful

3. why dont we see see any missile launches at night or from west coast, is it because of logistics or any other problem

4. what is the issue with Indian weapon designers, since India doesnt steal military tech unlike China, why cant we even reverse engineer imported military systems, it will help cut cost

5. do you think kaveri engine is worth it to be used in UCAV or fast attack crafts, dont you think we should start work on kaveri 2


Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Prasun,

Why is it understood is some circles that the chinese CJ-10 LACM has Mach 2.5 speed?

Other sources say its speed is only Mach 0.7! Which source to believe?

What type of engine powers CJ-10 and DH-10 LACMs?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: I’m truly surprised you’re asking me now about S-1. The following two weblinks will tell you everything about S-1:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Will answer all other outstanding queries later tonight.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Senguptaji,,,

1. Does the Babur GLCM have RLG-based INS?

2. When is the SLCM Babur coming?

3. When do you think Tejas LSP-8 is gonna make its first flight? Ground taxiing runs are underway right now.

4. After LSP-8, what will be the next LCA to fly?

5. How many Pinaka-type MBRLs have been delivered to IA so far?

6. Whats the status of the 60-km and 120-km range MBRLs from DRDO?

7. What is the maximum range that a BrahMos missile can achieve if the MTCR were not to apply?

8. Any update on HAL's LUH? From what I know the components are being put together much quicker than Dhruv was built. When do you expect the roll-out of the first ground prototype?

9. Is 7.5 the cruise speed or terminal speed of Shaurya NLOS-BSM?

10. What ATGM do you think IA will finally end up with? Javelin or Spike?

11. Is there going to be an advanced version of Prahaar NLOS-BSM with 200km range?

12. Whats the status of the Ashok Leyland 8x8 Super Stallion and FAT trucks? Is IA interested?

Also, Ive heard Tata is building trailers for carrying MBTs, a job presently done by Tatras.

13. When do you think Tatra could be phased out of IA service?

14. How many LW-155-type howitzers does IA plan to order? Any foolow-on order for the 147 originally sanctioned?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.26AM: There’s no external link for such info as the info was communicated DIRECTLY to me. Deep upgrade to Super Sukhoi-standard will commence in 2014. Only about 40 Su-30MKIs will be structurally modified to carry air-launched BrahMos-1. All other elements of the deep upgrade will apply to the all remaining Su-30MKIs. The just-ordered 42 Su-30MKIs will have the NO-11M ‘BARS’ PESA-MMR.

To Anon@9.32AM: The kind of manportable shoulder-launched ATGMs India is looking for are available from only the US & Israel at the moment & from these two, the US has more export customers under its belt. And Spike is definitely not cheaper than Javelin. UCAV is a decade away from flying over Indian skies since the operating bandwidth won’t be available till the following decade. HAL’s military-industrial modernisation plans have kicked off too late, in fact three years behind schedule. This will have an across-the-board cascading effect that will harm the Tejas Mk2 & LCA (Navy) Mk2 projects. Stealthy Super Su-30MKIO version is no longer being pursued as a realistic option since it will be far more time-consuming. Presently, systems integration-related R & D is proceeding within India & it is this area that has proved to be most challenging & therefore all elements of the deep upgrade have still not yet been certified for application on board the Su-30MKI. Also, fatigue-tests by NAL on a Su-30MKI (reqd for airframe TTSL extension) haven’t yet concluded. It was indeed really stupid on the IAF’s part to go for the Zhuk-M2E instead of the Zhuk-AE.

To Anon@9.42AM: L & T’s offer for the Caesar 155mm/52-cal motorised howitzer is byfar the best among all other contenders for the Mounted Gun System competition. IA’s reqmt for light tanks can be easily & most cheaply be satisfied by the TANK EX. TATA’s 8 x 8 APC design is in reality the APC developed by Rheinmetall, which is now blacklisted. M & M’s APC is the SEP from BAE Systems, period.

To FINANCEBLOGGER & Anon@10.41AM: That information simply isn’t true since it runs counter to the START series of bilateral treaties inked between the US & Russia. Had this been true, then alarm bells would have rung far earlier in Tokyo & Washington DC, instead of Taipei.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.24AM: The Kaveri, which has now been subjected to the series of airborne high-altitude flight-trials (which were delayed by at least six years!!!), has exposed some weaknesses in design & production-engineering, both of which are now reqd to be rectified & then re-tested on board the IL-76MD testbed in Russia by 2015, following which it will be certified by CEMILAC for use on board airborne platforms like the USAV. All this experience will also come in handy when developing a totally redesigned turbofan incorporating SNECMA’s engine core. Negotiations with SNECMA have been completed & it now awaits political sanction (as part of the Rafale’s indirect industrial offsets package). Therefore, by next March when the Rafale MMRCA contract is ready for signature, only then will the contract between GTRE & SNECMA be inked for co-developing the follow-on to the Kaveri. As for AESA-MMR, if the intention is to go it all alone, then the first functional prototypes will be available only by 2020.

To Anon@3.10PM: I will be highly surprised if the turbofans for the Y-20 are not Perm PS-90As. Fitting the Y-20 with turbofans originally developed for combat aircraft will be most foolhardy from a per-hour direct operating cost (DOC) standpoint.

To Anon@6.35PM: 1) Indigenous content on Mk2 will be lesser than the content on board the Mk1A. 2) Yes. 3) OFB’s 155X45 option will definitely be better, since it will enable all existing FH-77Bs to be upgraded to 155X45-standard as well. On the other hand, GHN-45 is a brand-new design for the IA & this will cause the logistics-related costs of such a howitzer to register a steep rise. Therefore, if the 155X45’s firepower & mobility evaluation results comply with the IA’s GSQR, then it will easily emerge as the L-1 (cheapest) bidder. Rather logical, don’t you think? 4) CSIO-developed HUDWAC will be a Made-in-India clone of the Type 967 HUDWAC, but will be far less noisy. 5) Most probably. 6) Not yet. 7) Y-20’s performance parameters will mimmick those of the IL-76TD-90.

To Anon@7.24PM: Those deep upgrades will commence by 2014. Only 40 units will be structurally modified to carry air-launched BrahMos-1. The newly ordered Su-30MKIs are reqd for speedy delivery to arrest the IAF’s declining strength of combat aircraft. The Super Sukhoi upgrade package, on the other hand, will not be available for another two years due to on-going R & D work, which will be concluded only by 2014.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA: 1) In my personal opinion, it appears extremely stupid to commit to a project to co-develop a SR-SAM (Maîtri) when it is elementary that the Astra BVRAAM itself can be modified to function as a SHORADS, as I had been stated for a long time now. And now the DRDO itself now claims this to be the case when it says that the Astra, when ground-launched, has a range of 21km (see: Therefore, right from the very outset, when it was decided to cooperate with Russia for developing the Astra BVRAAM, there should have been a supplementary agreement inked between India & Russia to also co-develop a ground-launched SHORADS variant of the Astra as a fire-and-forget SHORADS, instead of trying & failing to develop a command line-of-sight semi-active 9km-range SHORADS like Trishul. Even after this failure, there was ample time to rejig the Astra R & D project & expand it to include the development of Astra’s SHORADS version, instead of wasting all this time since 2006 on the Maitri SR-SAM proposal.
2) The probe on V R S Natarajan was a non-starter because, as I had explained last March, it would have dragged in all previous Defence Secretaries & Defence Ministers since 1986 for their decision-making deficiencies in an era of sole-source contracts. There are too many skeletons in the closet to be dragged out into the open at a time when the current GoI is desperately trying to survive, leave alone govern.
3) No. Brazil is now leaning heavily in favour of the Super Hornet.
4) Not yet. But will get to know more about its on-going saga during Aero India 2013 next February. However, I won’t be surprised at all if the BEL-built & DRDO developed ‘Swathi’ WLR is junked in favour of the AESA-based EL/M-2084 multi-mode radar.

To Anon@10.56PM: The MiG-29UPG’s mission sensor/mission avionics is definitely superior to that of the Block 50/52 F-16C/D. The cockpit is NVG-compatible. Will upload photos of it tonight. Zhuk-M2E MMR’s performance is better than that of the APG-68(V)10 as the former is an X-band monopulse pulse-Doppler radar, while the latter is a non-monopulse radar. MiG-29UPG does have an integrated digital FBW system.

To SAYAN: That report is totally wrong & no such deal has been inked by China. Tejas Mk1’s design has been frozen to LSP-7 standard. There will be no pylon-mounted MAWS on MiG-29UPG. No cruise missile has permanently active SAR seeker. The seeker goes into terrain illumination mode only when navigational waypoints need verification.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.28AM: None of those two platforms have as yet been acquired or ordered by China.

To Anon@10.29AM: Why not? After all, all these are also reqd.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: 3) There are no instrumented ranges along India’s western seaboard that’s reqd for telemetry tracking of cruise missiles while in flight. But test-firings of guided-missiles like Barak-1 have always been conducted in the Arabian Sea by day & night. 4) There’s a lot of re-engineering & reverse-engineering already taking place. The Akash Mk1 SAM is all about re-engineering & so is the Astra BVRAAM. 5) The Kaveri, which has now been subjected to the series of airborne high-altitude flight-trials (which were delayed by at least six years!!!), has exposed some weaknesses in design & production-engineering, both of which are now reqd to be rectified & then re-tested on board the IL-76MD testbed in Russia by 2015, following which it will be certified by CEMILAC for use on board airborne platforms like the USAV or a HALE-UAV. All this experience will also come in handy when developing a totally redesigned turbofan incorporating SNECMA’s engine core. Negotiations with SNECMA have been completed & it now awaits political sanction (as part of the Rafale’s indirect industrial offsets package). Therefore, by next March when the Rafale MMRCA contract is ready for signature, only then will the contract between GTRE & SNECMA be inked for co-developing the follow-on to the Kaveri.

To Anon@6.13PM: All long-range cruise missiles (i.e. in excess of 800km) are subsonic & are powered by turbofans. This also applies to the CJ-10 & Babur.

To Anon@6.25PM: 1) Of course. So does the Ra’ad. 2) By 2014. 3) Next month. 4) SP-1. 5) About 36. 6) No 60km-range MBRL. Only 40km-range (Enhanced Capability Pinaka) & 120km-range MBRLs are under development. 7) 550km. 8) First prototype should roll out by next October at the earliest. 9) Cruise speed. 10) Let’s wait & see. 11) Not 200km, but 350km-range. 12) Both are fully developed & are on offer. 13) By 2026. 14) As of now, only 145.

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

Thanks for the answer.

What is the difference between monopulse pulse-Doppler radar and a non-monopulse radar? Why would the US, which is so advanced in radar technology, use such non-monopulse Doppler radar for it's Block 50/52 F-16C/D fighters instead of an advanced radar?

Will the FGFA have AN/AAQ-37 electro-optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS),which is on-board the Lockheed Martin F-35 JSF to provide unobstructed spherical (4pi steradian) coverage and functions around the aircraft without any pilot input or aiming required?

The Lockheed Martin F-35 JSF also has built in FLIR/laser targeting system he Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) mounted under the nose of the aircraft rather than using a dedicated pod that would occupy a hardpoint, increase drag and RCS. Will the FGFA have such system?

Is it true that the F-35 will be the first jet fighter that has sensor fusion that combines both radio frequency and IR tracking for continuous target detection and identification in all directions which is shared via MADL to other platforms without compromising low observability? The AN/ASQ-239 provides sensor fusion of RF and IR tracking functions, basic radar warning, multispectral countermeasures for self-defense against threat missiles, situational awareness and electronic surveillance. Will the FGFA have such system?

Will 5th Gen technologies that will go on the PAK-FA & FGFA such as AESA, rear-mounted IRST, EWP, next-gen cockpit like Cockpit NG, distributed L-band AESA etc be incorporated to future upgrade of the Mig-29K when it will go for upgrade after 10-12 yrs?
Can the RD-33MK turbofan engine be upgraded in future to obtain higher thrusts on the Mig-29K?

Thank you.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.14AM: You will have to enlist the services of Google to differentiate between monopulse & non-monopulse MMRs. How can the FGFA incorporate US-built avionics on board? It’s impossible, to say the least. EOTS is the same as IRST sensor. Yes, the F-35 features a degree of sensor fusion that is unmatched as of now. FGFA will have similar mission avionics as well. Some of the 5th-generation technologies are already on the MiG-29UPG & in future will also go on the Tejas Mk2/LCA (Navy) Mk2, Rafale & MiG-29K. Uprating of RD-33MK & RD-33-3 is possible.

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