Friday, January 30, 2009

Spotlight On The Mi-46 Heavylift Helicopter

In the competitive bidding process now underway for supplying up to 24 new-generation heavylift helicopters, Russia's Oboronprom JSC has offered the Mi-46 heavylift helicopter. Incidentally, the heavylift helicopter requirement has been broken down into two components, under which any bidder can offer to supply six heavylift helicopters to replace the existing six Mi-26Ts, plus another 16 heavy utility helicopters (for high-altitude aerial logistics) and another four of the same model that will be configured for high-altitude combat search-and-rescue. Boeing IDS is therefore offering the CH-47F Chinook and its HH-47 CSAR version, while AgustaWestland is offering the AW-101 (12 of which will shortly be ordered by the IAF for VIP transportation), and Sikorsky has just come in with the CH-53K. Although, Boeing IDS, Sikorsky and AgustaWestland have pitched their products to meet all three vertical airlift requirements, it is likely that in the end the competing bidders for the heavylift requirement will be restricted to the Mi-46 and CH-53K, while the battle to supply heavylift utility and high-altitude CSAR helicopters will be limited to the CH-47F/HH-47, and AW-101.--Prasun K. Sengupta

87 comments:

Anonymous said...

shiv's blog contains a post on the chinooks and how it outperforms it's competitor, Mi-26i!

Is he unaware about the Mi-46 entering the fray??

How different is the Mi-46 from the Mi-26?

Is this post to counter balance Shiv's post yesterday? ;)

Anonymous said...

this is the heaviest lift helicopter in the world right??

Anonymous said...

I reckon mi-46 and hh-47 would fit nicely for two types of operations.This would also keep both the Russians and the Americans interested.I wonder though which attack and ASW helicopters would be chosen and if there will be any trials before a decision is made.Any information from anyone?

Anonymous said...

which is ur choice for this competition ,prasunji?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

In my reckoning the Mi-46 will be the ideal replacement for the Mi-26 but whether Oboronprom JSC will be able to bring it out on time remains to be seen. As for the high-altitude utility/CSAR reqmts, the fight will be between CH-46F/HH-47 and the AW-101. Both these models are available as high-altitude utility/CSAR variants and can be refuelled while airborne. The final deciding factor will be the direct operating cost, and the fact that the AW-101 has already been selected by the IAF for all-weather VIP transportation. There is also the issue of poor visibility caused by the downwash from the twin main rotors of the CH-47/HH-47 when operating over mountainous terrain. This problem is being frequently encountered in Afghanistan during bad weather conditions at higher altitudes, something that is not shown in PowerPoint-based marketing presentations.

Anonymous said...

Prasun K Sengupta said... ZDK-03 is a Y-8 airframe housing the radome-mounted 360-degree PESA radar arranged in a fixed, triangular configuration.

Just to be clear you are saying that ZDK-03 is a Y-8 airframe with fixed radome carrying 3face PESA radar to cover 360-degree just like IAF Phalcon but not like HAWAKEYE 2000 AEW&C that carries radar facing only in once direction and have to rotate in order to cover 360deg??

Will this ZDK-03 AEW&C be for PN or will PN get P-3 HAWAKEYE 2000 AEW&C??

And if I am not wrong At one time I think USA hired Mi-26 to carry a US army CH-47 Chinook ?

Anonymous said...

The UAV being inducted by Pakistan Navy is CAMCOPTER-100 and not APID-55. The APID-55 actually crashed during the trials.

Anonymous said...

prasun i really miss your articles of yesterday's standards like Prowler of Deep, Weaponised Dhruv ALH, LCH & LOH, Nirbhay UAV Detailed and so forth. Please dont fring the standard of this fantastic blog to the drain like the rest..

Anonymous said...

If the Indian military is interested in the LCH then where does the armed version of the Dhruv revealed last year fit in? The armed Dhruv's mount for the sensors in front does look shoddy!

Anonymous said...

Sir, an unrelated question:
How many M-46 guns were upgraded to 155mm by Soltam ? 180? Was the option for the other 220 guns ever exercised or were they upgraded to 155mm by OFB separately ?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@5:11AM: The LCH for the IAF is optimised as a high-altitude attack platform and also for combatting MALE UAVs. The Army has not yet committed itself to the LCH. The Army's armed Dhruv ALH variant is to be used for air-assault purposes and is thus not a dedicated attack helicopter.

To Anon@5:57AM: Its 180 + 220. All these have been upgraded to 155mm/45-calibre. OFB has nothing to do with this project. It is Soltam and the Army EME Corps only. The OFB proposal is for converting the Bofors 39-calibre FH-77B to 35-calibre.

Anonymous said...

prasun sir can we have an update on the sitara trainer now that the engines have arrived from Russia?

Anonymous said...

So 400 M-46 have been upgraded by Soltam ?

OFB had offered a project called Metamorphosis to upgrade M-46 to 155 as well. Will any more M-46 be upgraded ?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Right now the two prototype HJT-36s are logging in the test-flight hours (about 800 are required with the new engines for flight certification purposes) and concurrently in the avionics integration rig the recalibration of the cockpit instrumentation is underway. However, HAL has to date not yet signed up with any foreign industrial partner for developing the HJT-36's low-cost flight simulator, cockpit procedures trainer and the maintenance trainer, all three of which have been mandated for procurement by the IAF. Incidentally, such simulators should also have been developed by ADA, ADE and HAL for the Tejas LCA (as well as for the Dhruv ALH) by now, but then again, such issues for reasons unknown to be are relegated into the background and do not get the degree of importance that they should deserve. For instance, if any export customer were to evince interest in the Dhruv ALH or HJT-36, their test-pilots would first demand that they fly a few sorties in a flight simulator first before beginning flight conversion flights on the actual aircraft/helicopter. However, if you ask anyone from HAL what it is doing about such flight simulation reqmts, you will never get a straight answer. Remember also how the current HAL Chairman was claiming in 2007 that the Dhruv ALH will be certificated by the European EASA? Well, it is now 2009 and nothing of that sort has happened, yet. Why?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@12:39PM: That OFB proposal was for upgunning the FH-77B as I explained above. OFB has nothing to do with either the M-46 or Soltam. OFB's Bolangir-based facility only supplies the 155mm base-bleed cargo rounds and white phosphorous rounds for both the FH-77B and upgraded M-46S towed howitzers and the tech know-how for these rounds was supplied by Israel Military Industries. The Bolangir facility of OFB was originally built as a turnkey project by Day & Zimmermann of the US.

Anonymous said...

A question on armour:

Does the Combat Improved Ajeya include thermal imaging systems ? I think some substantial numbers of TISAS sights were procured for T-72 and BMP-2 but is the TI system on the CI Ajeya part of an FCS system ?

692 T-72 have been upgraded to date but is the upgrade continuing ?

Is India moving to upgrade any of its BMP-2K to BMP-2M ?

What's happened to the Vijayanta and T-55 tanks ? During their service lives were any upgrades done to them ?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

The first batch of 200 T-72CIAs had the Polish Drawa-T gunner's night sight equipped with an El-Op IR camera. The second batch of 500 T-72CIAs have the TISAS on board for the gunner. In all T-72CIAs the commander has NO panoramic sight with TI, but only a light intensifier. Another 500 T-72M1s are due to be upgraded as part of tranche 3 but the winner has not yet been selected. In 2006 production began at OFB Medak of 200 new BMP-2s that were configured as BMP-2K (with Kliver turret containing four Kornet-E ATGMs). The Vijayanta tanks are being used for target practice by the Indians and visiting Singaporeans in the firing ranges, while the T-55s are being refurbished and sent to Afghanistan as a gesture of goodwill.

Anonymous said...

Is that El-op IR camera similar to a Thermal Imager in performance ?

Are all the T-55s being sent away ? I remember when you used to write for Military Technology you did an article detailing an upgrade for the T-55s including an FCS upgrade - besides of course the switch to 105mm guns. How many T-55 were acquired ?

With respect to the Vijayantas, is there any plan to at least flog the remaining vehicles for use as infantry fire support or dug in as pillboxes ?

sbm said...

Mr. Sengupta,
Are you aware as to how many 7.2 inch howitzers India's artillery ever operated ? And the numbers of D-30 howitzers and M-46 guns ?

I have noted at several museums Ferret armoured cars, Abbott SPGs and sometimes I have seen Catapult SPGs and BRDM-2 scout cars (not the Striker variant). Have you any information on how many of each type were procured by India ?

Whatever happened to the old OT-62 and OT-64 and BTR-60 APCs ? Are any still in service ?

Anonymous said...

Recently IAF buy 80 mi -17 v5 multi role helicopter which are of old generation.I think it is not wise decision of IAF.Prasunji is mi 46 fitted with gps system & new generation avionics?When will be GLOSNAS activated in INDIA?

Anonymous said...

Prasun,

Referring to your comment on the BMP-2K with Kliver Turret. There was an article by Vivek Raghuvanshi dated 2006 which talked about Army placing a $90 Million order for 123 new BMP-2K's. The difference being that as per the article the turret seemed to from the BMP-3 (30mm 2A 72 and 100mm 2A 70 gun). Also, Russia had offered the BEREZHOK upgrade for the BMP-2 a picture of which in Indian Army color was also avaliable on the OFB Website, any updates on that?

Finally the CIA Ajeya's didn't get engine upgrades, any plans to get 1000hp engines for the tranche 3 upgrades?

Rahul Singh said...

Prasun Sir: Can you update us on LCH? BTW it have been reported many times in the past that it's all set to fly in coming march. Is it true?

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear you are saying that ZDK-03 is a Y-8 airframe with fixed radome carrying 3face PESA radar to cover 360-degree just like IAF Phalcon but not like HAWAKEYE 2000 AEW&C that carries radar facing only in once direction and have to rotate in order to cover 360deg??

Anonymous said...

the slideshow presentation on the chinook is clearly 1 sided....for example Mi 26 consumes less fuel, has a far greater payload and is more cheaper than the Chinook. also chinook is noisier then Mi 26 and can operate at colder temperatures.

Anonymous said...

SENGUPTA will you be attending AERO INDIA???? Can we expect some decent photos of Indian developments from you pleaseee?????

Regards,

Sowmya M

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@3:08PM: The El-Op passive IR camera is a very basic sensor, nothing as advanced as a TISAS thermal imager. The 400 T-55s were upgraded with the SUV-55 fire-control system developed by Rudi Cajavec, a Yugoslavian company that is now beased in Croatia. This same company was also due to supply the upgraded fire-control system (using Hughes-built TIs) in the early 1990s but the breakup of Yugoslavia saw the end of this project with financial losses to India. The 400 T-55s were also upgunned with 105mm L-7 cannons with the help of Poland's Bumar Labedy. These T-55s are now being used as lead elements for recce-in-force operations along with BMP-2 ICVs. For the remaining T-72M1s to be upgraded in tranche 3 the prncipal contender for supplying the powerpack is Poland, whose Wola S-1000 along with the Renk gearbox (same as that on the Malaysian PT-91M) is on offer. The Vijayantas are all due to decommissioning. The only ones now in service are the 400 that were refitted with a MTU-supplied powerpack in the late 1980s. I today's battlespace there's no place for dug-in pillboxes. if you're dug-in then you're a dead duck. Manoeuvre warfare is the norm today. You move as you fire. You don't stop, fire and then move again, as is the case with the T-55s, Vijayantas and yet-to-be-upgraded T-72s.

To SBM: As far as I know, the Indian Army has 2,000 M-46s of which 400 are being upgraded. As for the rest, I'm afraid I don;t have precise numbers snd you'll get a better answer from the annual SIPRI Yearbooks.

To Anon@2:44AM: The 123 BMP-2Ks were imported off-the-shelf while OFB Medak is supplying another 200, with the Kornet-E ATGM-equipped Kliver turrets coming from Russia. These turrets will have on board the Catherine-FC thermal imager. The BMP-3 AIFVs are being proposed for 91 Infantry Bde as amphibious AIFVs but no contract has been inked to date. No BMP-3 turrets are destined to go on board any Indian BMP-2 ICV.

To Rahul Singh: Let us see if the LCH rolls out next March. But when it does roll out it will be equipped with the CIDAS defensive aids suite as well as THALES-equipped tandem glass cockpits (you won;t be able to tell the difference between the LCH's cockpit and that of the Eurocopter Tigre). The LCH's primary armament will be the four MBDA-supplied Mistral ATAMs for the anti-UAV role. There will also be a roof-mounted stabilised turret containing a laser desgnator/thermal imaging sensor. The primary anti-armour armament will be the LAHAT missile, which are lighter than the Nag ATGM. The Nag will go on board the Armed Dhruv ALHs of the IAF and will be utilised as helicopter gunships only in the plains.

To Anon@5:54AM: That's right. The ZDK-03 is for the PAF. The Pakistan Navy has no plans for procuring AEW & C platforms for now.

To Anon@6:46AM: What exactly do you mean by 'decent photos'?

left wing nut job said...

Will LCH get roof mounted optronics turret or mast-mounted?

left wing nut job said...

Also, will the LCH pilot and gunner have independent optronics?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Nose-mounted and roof-mounted stabilised optronics turrets. Not mast-mounted. The avionics architecture will almost mirror that of the Tigre. No FBW flight controls, although it would be preferable to have it to reduce the airframe's weight. No retractable undercarriage either.

left wing nut job said...

Excellent news about the dual optronics turrets! Thanks.

Is it confirmed that the LCH will not have an exhaust IR supressor?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

No, it is not yet confirmed. The final decision will be taken only after the user-assisted flight tests are completed because only then will it be known if such modular add-on suppressors are reqd or not. For high-altitude operations, however, the inclusion of IR exhaust supressors will not be of much use.

Anonymous said...

I am Anon 6.46

i mean proper photos that highlight the proper things of Aero India unlike whats commonly available here and there. especially those of indegenous developments

Regards,

Sowmya M

Anonymous said...

:

To Rahul Singh: Let us see if the LCH rolls out next March.

:: Next March? its this March sir, or has it been posponed again?

:: Also why LAHAT for the LCH sir? Helina is being projected to be as light than LAHAT. For anti armor role didnt you mention about the new air-borne Pinaka?

--

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@12:12PM: I still don't understand what you mean by proper, as opposed to improper. Different folks have different definitions of what'sd ;proper'. Normally in any exhibition I see to it that the entire exhibition including all products and posters are photographed, which enables me to reconstruct the expo in a virtual manner later for writing the show reports. For an Aero India-type expo that would be more than 1,000 photos, inclusive of suspicious characters roaming around with baseball bats (LOL!!!).

To Anon@12:20PM: This March, next March both mean the same, i.e. next month. The Helina package, comprising the launcher tubr and the missile round, will be heavier than the LAHAT. If you see the LAHAT slung under the stub wings of a helicopter you will notice it does not require a launch tube, unlike the Helina. The anti-tank laser-guided variant of the Pinaka's 214mm rocket is meant for launch from ground-based MBRLs and fixed-wing strike aircraft only, not from helicopters.

Anonymous said...

Prasunda please update about DRDO's tank EX project & ATV project.

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Prasun,

Oct 08 e ekta article likechilam. Oita pore, comment koro - kenoki that is completely up ur sleeve.

Thanks

http://bengalunderattack.blogspot.com/2008/10/surya-icbm-payload-capability-over.html

Anonymous said...

Prasun,what is the present status of the indigenous aircraft carriar?

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

ALLOW ME TO GIVE THE REAL MEANING OF DRDO = DUMB RESEARCH DUMBER OUTPUT.

:)

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Why this sudden outburst against the DRDO? What has it done wrong now?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@9:50PM: It is not called that, but the Integrated Aircraft Carrier (IAC).

To Anon@5:42PM: The Tank Ex technology demonstrator is not making any headway as it is now. If the redesigned turret and gun-control system for the Arjun Mk2 can find its way on to the Tank Ex then it would be worthy of consideration by Army HQ. As for the ATV there have arisen some problems with the heat-exchanger that affects the propulsion system, this being discovered after the reactor achieved criticality. These teething problems are now being rectified.

Anonymous said...

whats wrong with u BUA???

Anonymous said...

no prasun next march means next yr march... coming march or this march means March 2009... admit it if u make mistake

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Just too many things going on at the same time,I guess. Pardon the intransigence.

Prasun,

Care to tell me what's the funda behind Brahmos opting for US satellites for GPS navigation and not the Russian one?

What is the story about US Satellites suddenly blanking out over Pokhran during the test firing?

Thanks

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@1:39AM: Its you that's making mistakes. It becomes March 2010 only if someone says "March next year". Next March means the month that is yet to come in the immediate future. English is a precise language, and you need to be precise too. Stop using Hinglish and shut up!

To BUA: The issue of GPA does not arise as the ground-launched BrahMos land-attack variant for the Army is not GPS-guided. It uses a ring laser gyro for inertial navigation (both on board the missile and on board the MAL launch vehicle, and the imaging infra-red SCAN optronic sensor for terminal guidance. That fact that the missile overshot the target by 1km simply means that either there was a probable error in either of the ring laser gyro's calibration, or the missile guidance navigator erred in locking on to the target. For guiding TV/IR-guided missiles, one requires several hours of training in part-task trainers. I believe it was human error that caused the missile to miss its target, and there was nothing wrong with the hardware. Therefore, kindly do not make the erroneous presumptions of the type being made by those BR wannabes. Those blithering idiots do not even know the basics of missile guidance and were mocking me all along for saying that the BrahMos will eventually be equipped with an IIR terminal guidance sensor. And now that my earlier claims have been confirmed these creatures are now speculating about GPS guidance!!! The only time GPS (that too GLONASS and not the US Navstar) is employed is aligning the MAL's ring laser gyro with the pre-surveyed launch sites (the option of giving GPS updates for the missile's on-board ring laser gyro was considered, but discarded long ago). And since the GLONASS is used for this, the question of the US hacking in for introducing 'induced errors' into the GLONASS-based GPS receiver does not arise.
Regarding your earlier observation on ICBMs, it will not be the Surya or any GSLV-based vehicle, but the 8,500km-range SLBM that will have intercontinental range. One can of course have a land-launched version of the SLBM, but presently there are no plans for that.

Anonymous said...

whats your problem with BRakshakers? u seem to be condemning them in every chance u get!!! did they give u an ass kicking in the past? juz curious...

Prasun K Sengupta said...

I'm only giving them a taste of their own medicine, especially the webmasters who have nothing better to do but to malign and abuse me. Therefor, what goes around, comes around.

Anonymous said...

Is there any indigeneous project for developing a 1000km cruise missile by drdo???

curious follower of TRISHUL said...

I aint a BR follower although sometimes i stopby there to glimpse the latest news. y do they malign u sir? r u a forumer there? the information u provide on this blog is definately better than anything those guys discuss. in fact m,ost of the people there discuss things are people who dont know a lot (like me) who around the bush. i never get any insights there. its just what we see in the news and a few twists to that. but u have pretty good insights, often things we cannot find in the news. so what is the exact problem sir? of course i am also skeptical about some of your claims (like Nirbhay being a passive drone and ATV being a DRDO demonstrator model) but i cannot refute because the facts are right within the story. only time will tell whether they are true, and if they are true you will surely gain more respect since u were the first i know of in the net to break such news.

curious follower of TRISHUL said...

Anonymous : Tuesday, February 03, 2009 5:45:00 AM

About the 1000km cruise missile
Please see Prasun's take on it:

http://trishulgroup.blogspot.com/2008/11/nirbhay-uav-detailed.html

Prasun K Sengupta said...

I have no idea why those BR webmasters are abusive as they've never met me or known me personally, nor have I partaken in any of their forums. That being the case I can only conclude these folks are just plain idiots who have no idea of the consequences they may well have to face to their detriment some day in the near future. Now, for the Nirbhay, all I said was that it will be developed as a surrogate cruise missile target drone by ASL as part of the on-going efforts to develop a cruise missile defence system. As for the ATV being a DRDO technology demonstrator, this has been clearly spelt out by former CNS Admiral Arun Prakash in at least four different articles he penned, which have been reproduced in various publications to date, including FORCE.

curious follower of TRISHUL said...

I am not disputing r criticising what u say because i dont have facts in my hand. it just sounds a little strange thats all.

about BR folks nevermind dont get dishartened or sensitive. you got enough folks here on your side since you u are willing to share information you know. i bet you reading just 1 comment form on TRISHUL is equals to reading 10 or 20 topics on BR which is just nothing but general peoples' discussion on news in the open media. so just carry on in your own way. i much appreciate your blog.

Kannan,India said...

What's your take on the reports that we abandoned a military strike on pakis..coz Army were not ready with obsolete or inadequate anti-tank missiles?..
It looks very credible on the face though..So have we lost the asymmetry with pakis..did they arm themselves really good with US GWOT dollars..?

Anonymous said...

Missile navigator ?? I thought that the Brahmos is a fire n forget missile. I don't understand the job of navigator for missile. How does he know where the missile is at that second and won't the missile miss the target by the time Navigator navigates the missile ?

Anonymous said...

"curious follower" is sengupta himself

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Kannan: That was all pure ballooney. While the politicians initially wanted something sensational like that without thinking about the consequences) and had no idea what the end-game would be, like what eventually happened with OP Parakram in 2002, which achievced no decisive results whatsoever, no matter what the NDA coalition govt then claimed. The Chiefs of Staff Committee convinced the PM and the Cabinet Committee on National Security that given the Sectarian divides within Pakistan that was already bleeding the country, any form of offensive Indian military operation, be it limited war or all-out war or even surgical aerial strikes, will only unify all of Pakistan and will prevent the Pakistan Army from bleeding any further in FATA and NWFP. The second thing to be considered was the probable Pakistani response to any Indian surgical air strike in POK, which would have taken the form of Pakistani ballistic missiles being employed against symbolic but significant economic/industrial targets like in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and UP. This would have been something like the SCUDs used as weapons of terror by Iraq against Iran in the 1980s. That's the reason why, after two CCNS meetings with the Chiefs of Staff Committee last December it was decided that the best way to fight the assymmetric war was to respond with assymmetric means, i.e. strangulating the Pakistani economy by only raising the rhetoric and keeping the Pakistan Armed Forces in a heightened state of alert (thereby depleting their war reserve stocks of POL) by staging unannounced war games, resorting to a few symbolic violations of Pakistani airspace, etc. India thus took a calculated risk with such manoeuvres knowing fully well that this time the dire state of the Pakistani economy would not have permitted them to launch any kind of offensive operations against India. As you can now infer, the need of the hour for India is to develop and deploy on a warfooting a credible theatre-wide ballistic missile defence system that will neutralise any kind of ballistic missile-based conventional strike options that Pakistan now enjoys. In addition, a credible cruise missile defence system also needs to be developed. But the fact also remains that the Indian Army's armoured corps, air defence artillery corps and field artillery regiments are indeed suffering from block obsolescence. I sincerely hope that this time Army HQ does not stage yet another round of farcical trials for 155mm.52-cal towed howitzers, but instead converts them into the requirement for motorised 155mm/52-cal howitzers that can be air-transported by IL-76MDs and even C-130J-30 Super Hercules, thereby ensuring rapid deployment across different theatres of operation. For goodness sake, even Myanmar has such motorised howitzers!!!

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@9:47AM: The anti-ship variant of the BrahMos fitted with the X-band monoplse active radar is of the fire-and-forget type ONLY IF there's no surface clutter and the target happens to be the only vessel within the engagement zone (and positively identified by airborne ESM sensors). The Army's land attack version does not use the active radar, but the SCAN IIR seeker, whose processor contains an embedded SAR or LOROP camera-derived imagery of the target. At the terminal stage the as the IIR sensor is activated it correlates the acquired image with the embedded imagery to derive the final targetting solution. By missile guidance navigator I meant the Battery mission commander tasked with the process of programming the ground-launched BrahMos' flightpath, waypoints, and uploading the targettng coordinates/target imagery to the RLG-based INS and SCAN sensor. What remains to be seen is what is being done to reduce the sensor-to-shooter loop, i.e. from the time the MAL launch vehicle receives SAR or LOROP imagery from an airborne ISTAR platform via SATCOM or airborne data link, to the time taken to feed the data to the missile fire-control system prior to missile launch. On the anti-ship strke variant of the BrahMos is a small diameter data link that enables the missile's mission computer to receive course-corrections from airborne LRMR/ASW aircraft or even ASV helicopters. In such over-the-horizon engagements the target extraction system on board the airborne platform is considered more reliable than that on-board the missile-carrying warship.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Now Russia's Vega Concern (manufacturer of A-50E AEW & C platforms) is saying that one such platform modified by Israel has ALREADY BEEN delivered to India. Check it out at: http://www.royfc.com/acft_news.html

left wing nut job said...

Prasun,
In December's IDR, there's a blurb about Honeywell offering the F125IN engine for the IAF's Jags. Any word if the IAF is actually interested in re-engining the Jags?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Honeywell did show the same turbofan at the last Aero India expo. Such a re-engining programme does not exist as yet but could well spring up in future as the progressive decommissioning of both the MiG-23BNs and early-make MiG-27Ms means that within the next four years the IAF will face a chronic shortage of tactical interdiction aircraft. But logically, it will be Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca that will have the upper hand as this JV has worked closely with BAE Systems on the Jaguar programme and therefore re-engining the Jaguar with the latest Adour 951 (with afterburning and FADEC) should be preferable to what Honeywell is offerig. Also, since BAE Systems is now the custodian for all Jaguar-related design blueprints, BAE Systems will have to be involved along with HAL and Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca in the re-engined Jaguar's airworthiness certification process.

Bobs said...

prasun, your take on the Indo-China stand-off in the Gulf of Aden.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Just a routine cat-and-mouse game in international but littoral waters. The PLA Navy also has two Type 877EKM Kilo-class SSKs and are intimately aware of the SSK's acoustic signature. On the other hand the two PLA Navy warships are comparatively new-build and therefore worthy of inspection and surveillance for not only India but also for the French, British and the US undersea warfare communities. As long as the Indian SSK maintained a distance of 200 metres away from the warships no rules of engagement/navigation were violated in international waters. These types of engagements usually last for up to six hours non-stop beginning at dusk and breaking off at around midnight. It probably ended when the PLA Navy's onboard Ka-28PL ASW helicopter (which the Indian operates as well) was despatched to localise the SSK with a dunking sonar, meaning the game was up. Again, as per rules of engagement, the moment this happens and the SSK is painted with an active 'ping' the SSK is then required to surface and identify itself and exchange greetings via morse code lamp-signals. This is called an impromptu PASSEX. I would not read anything more into this incident. When the two PLA Navy warships are eastbound next month after a three-month deployment period, the Indian Navy's SSKs and LRMR/ASW aircraft will again be putting them under surveillance (underwater and airborne) starting from Dondra Point southeast of Sri Lanka and continuing right up to Banda Aceh at the entrance to the Malacca Straits. The same will also happen when the two PLA Navy warships will be proceeding to the Horn of Africa to replace the two that are now deployed there. These are routine patrols as the Indian Navy is considered and provide some real hands-on operational training. Such patrols were undertaken by Indian SSKs each time one of the PLA Navy's four Type 956E destroyers were undertaking their ferry voyages from St Petersubrg to Hainman Island (along the route starting from the Red Sea and transiting through the Indian Ocean right up to the entrance to the Straits of Malacca). The silent game goes on...until it cannot remain silent anymore.

Anonymous said...

even if the nirbhay is a uav but still r there any plans by drdo for indigeneous replacement of brahmos???

zorin said...

What's the difference between the nosemounted Phalcon system and the roradome type the IAF has obtained?Should they have gone for the same type as that was supplied to the Chilean Airforce?Australia has gone for the wedgetail and also Saab I think...

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@1:59AM: Why does one need to replace the BrahMos?

To Zorin: The Chilean PHALCON was Gen 1, the Indian PHALCON is Gen 3 and has greater flight endurance than the Chilean platform. The Singaporean PHALCON is also Gen 3 but has limited endurance. The Saab 2000 AEW C for Pakistan is a Gen 2 system. The Aussie Wedgetail system is Gen 4.

Anonymous said...

Does Indian SSKs have required range to start from Mumbai/Vizag and then tail across Indian ocean to Malacca straits ??

Anonymous said...

hahaha, anon above u come from Pakistan defence forum???

just look at it like this: china never gives out such information. always it is india that cries. but this time china is crying. quite uncanny. i think the indian subs smoked them unaware and only later the found out when it was too late. so before anybody leaks the news about the humiliation they decided to give their version.... losers..

Anonymous said...

How are the AEW aircraft classified in different generations?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

It actually makes no sense for an Indian Navy Type 877EKM Kilo-class SSK to follow the two PLA Navy destroyers all the way to the Horn of Africa when the Indian Navy already knew the disposition of the warships and their missions. If the sole objective of the SSK is to profile the warships' acoustic signature, then this can easily done while the warships are either proceeding towards the Indian Ocean, or proceeding from the Indian Ocean to the Horn of Africa. A typical exercise of this nature would last no more than four to six hours. I'm now more inclined to believe that the SSK could have been an Iranian Kilo-class SSK that had a chance encounter with the PLA Navy warships. Afterall, that area has seen an increasing number of Iranian merchant vessel sightings, especially those suspected of carrying weapons stocks for Hamas via the Red Sea, crossing though the Suez Canal and disgorging their cargo consignments in Egyptian ports. That's also probably why the PLA Navy has not yet confirmed the nationality of the Kilo-class SSK that it claims to have successfully identified and forced it to surface.

Anonymous said...

according to news the chinese say its an indian sub...

Anonymous said...

to prasun

australian wedgetail is delayed many years by boeing as it has not been delivered to australia by now and just think P8 not even flown and there is no guarentee that it will arrive on time in india

Anonymous said...

and wedgetail costs almost $500 million a piece and it is based on 737 and therefore limited range and same for P8

but phalcon mounted on il76 provides more range and more load carrying capacity

Anonymous said...

prasun sengupta do u have any idea what does india do with all its old aircrafts like hawker hunter, Maruts etc??

Anonymous said...

Prasun,
can you post your article in full on this blog.
http://www.forceindia.net/coverstory2.aspx
Thanks

Anonymous said...

PKS our all knowing friend, what do you have to say about news that ADA is starting up the MCA programme?

Bobs said...

anon @ feb06 10:04am
some of them are given to museums,some are cannibalized for spares, some are simply thrown into a garbage ...while few are sold to enthusiastic plane lovers like me...i own a Hunter (along with engine) which was shot down in '71 war......i have no idea abt fate of other a/c.....i am serouisly looking forward to buying a MiG-21/23...prasun, u have any idea?

Zorin said...

A ROSOBORONEXPORT official, Komardin apparently said that the Indians are buying more osa-akm,Buk, TOR, Tungushka and Strela-10 missile systems but not s-300/400. I thought Strela and Osa-akms were obsolete weaponry.Is India really buying these?

Amra B said...

India to field laser weapons in 5 years - Xinhua.

Care to throw light on this.

Thanks

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@5:05PM: How can ADA begin the MCA project when the tejas LCA project has not yet reached closure? I'm sure ADA on its own can do such conceptual R & D work in its spare time but the DRDO has not allocated any funds for this programme and neither has the MoD released any such funds. In any case, now that it has been decided by the Goct of India that any further new-generation aircraft R & D work will be done by HAL (just as is the case wth the HJT-36, FGFA and MRTA), the possibility of ADA taking the lead position in developing any kind of MCA is extremely remote. I any case it does not make sense to have two separate design and development authorities (ADA and HAL) in the country as it not only duplicates things, but is also cost-prohibitive.

To: Amra B: They're already fielded, if you can classify laser rangefinders and laser target designators as eweapons too.

Zorin said...

Instead of the Russians who are fickle with regards to their friendship with India these days, any idea why the Indians didn't go for JV with Israel to produce the Merkava tanks with some Indian add ons such as the Kanchan armour etc.? I thought the Israelis offered Merkava IV to India.Also do you know any news about Indians willing to buy SU-35?

Anonymous said...

HAL and ADA going to merge ??

How can ADA begin the MCA project when the tejas LCA project has not yet reached closure

That is the case with HAL too.

I thought that LCA is moved to HAL.

Going by your statement, atleast ADA has only one unfinished job in its plate, but HAL has lot of unfinished things with it.
So after LCA, ADA is virtually jobless ??

HAL is seen only as a assembling and manufacturing company. I wonder how come government trusts a manufacturing company to do R&D without merging/raising a research team in HAL.

I would say that it is a good idea to merge ADA with HAL and then let it to develop MCA or any futuristic stuffs.

I suppose Amra talks about DURGA / KALI.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Zorin: The Merkava Mk4 MBT was available for sale in an off-the-shelf basis. There are no prospects for the Su-35 in India as the FGFA will be far more superior to the Su-35 as it exists today. What Viktor Komardin said was that India continues to procure spares for the OSA-AKM and Strella 10M and Igla-S. Nothign else was mentioned and I was there with him when he made those remarks last week when he was visiting Malaysia.

To Anon@5:22AM: Actually, the Tejas LCA's R & D phase got off on a wrong footing with disastrous consequences. This was primarily due to the DRDO's effort to garner more funds and influence within the MoD. Consequently, HAL in the late 1980s through to the mid-1990s was alloted funding for only developing the Dhruv ALH and the HTT-35 advanced turboprop trainer which has now strangely disappeared from the face of this Earth. I even remember seeing its full-scale mock-up on display in 1996. What the ADA should have been entrusted with was the design and development of various CAD tools/techniques and sub-systems (like avionics, flight/weapon management systems and accessories) to go on-board, with HAL being nominated as the prime contractor-cum-airframe designer. Regretably, this was not done and consequently the Tejas LCA had minimal inputs from the production engineering standpoint. As a result of this, ADA, which is manned primarily by scientists, has produced an LCA that is overweight and not weight-budgeted, something which HAL's designers and engineers could easily have achieved had they been associated with the project from its very inception. Yet another prominent example of scientists vainly attempting to do what engineers ought to is the Saras, which again is overweight. One can now only assume that all these hard-learnt lessons are being applied to futuristic programmes. Regarding the MCA versus the FGFA, the MTOW parameters of both are the same and I therefore don;t understand why anyone should even talk about the MCA project. Afterall, what is it that the MCA will be able to do which the FGFA will not be able to? When I spoke to senior IAF officials present in Zhuhai last November, I was told that the MCA was being talked about BEFORE the offer for the FGFA came in from Moscow. And since the FGFA development is now a certainty, there does not exist any requirement for the manned MCA. Unless ADA has any plans for developing an UCAV variant of the MCA, but I won;t give ADA or the DRDO any credit for even thinking along these lines at the moment.

Muhaahaahaahaa said...

What happened copycat? not getting new brochures, eh?

Anonymous said...

Muhaahaahaahaa,
if you think Prasun is a copycat, why waste your time in visiting this blogs and commenting here. i suppose you might have better things to do in that time.

Anonymous said...

BOBS, how much u paid for ur Hunter ?? if not too personal that is.. a Mig 23 wld be superb!!

Bobs said...

anon@ 11:46am
i got the hunter's engine (RollsRoyce Avon mk207) for 10 lacs...and a/c was bought at the normal scrap rate ....Ambala AFS is a good place to hang out for warbird spotting and subsequent bargaining....but the biggest problem is transportation...i was offered a Mig-21 2yrs ago,but the left wing was completely destroyed...and the a/c itself has lot of burn marks....which meant a lot of money to be spent for patchup works.

Anonymous said...

@Bobs, that's cool. How much were u quoted for the Mig 21? I would love to own an old Dassault Ouragan / Toofani aircraft.

anonoymous said...

Prasun K Sengupta

Comment at

Tuesday, February 03, 2009 10:28:00 AM

was copypasted in BENGAL UNDER ATTACK but attributed to you.

hope you dont mind.

cheers