Thursday, July 16, 2009

R-77 BVRAAM Handling/Storage Procedures







74 comments:

Aadi said...

So fast so good.. Can you shed more light on R-77 M(Ramjet) ? Is this still on pipeline?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Aadi: Vympel JSC’s new-generation RVV-SD beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and RVV-MD within-visual-range air-to-air missile will be unveilled at next month's MAKS 2009 expo at Zhukovsky.

sbm said...

Isn't it the case that these missiles can be relifed and tested to restore their capability ?

IIRC the IAF got lazy with the R-60and K-13 which were stored in a very ad hoc manner. BDL has its hands full overhauling the former

Anonymous said...

to prasun

my understanding is that the CAG report refers to r27 missiles not the r77 cuz in 1996 only r27 were available to fighters in IAF

even chinese su27 use r27 missiles no r77 as of now,r77 is used on su30mkk

and these missiles generally good for 10 years without maintaince,but since 1996 its been 13 years without maintaince


and everyone knows that r27 is SARH technology like aim-7 which is inferior to active radar missiles like aim120,r77.

so its better india also acqurires some PGM/STANDOFF, missile handing and storage infrastructure

Anonymous said...

Prasun Sir,

you done a great job and thanks for this,it shows how sensitive are these missiles its even need more care than fighter aircrafts.

So,do you have any related material regarding the life of various LGBs,air to air missiles and other air launched cruise missiles from US,europe,russia in context to MRCA.

Anonymous said...

If handling and storage is the problem wonder why CAG has only commented on Russian missiles and not western ones.

ABHINABA said...

Prasun da, do you have any details information on our IR missile's handling & checking facilities in India?

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

Thanks for the answer.
Apart from installing Israeli sensors on the 3rd Talwar class FFG,will the Russians install the Barak-1 & Barak-2 anti-missile system in place of Kasthan-M & Shtil system respectively.Are these ships going to be build using modular construction method.

Will modular hull fabrication technique be applied to the project 15B DDG and the 2nd batch of three project 17 FFG?

In your report on project 17 FFG you have written that no L-band radar is installed on the Talwar class & Shivalik class frigates.Will the EL/M-2080 L-band LRTR be placed on these frigates and also on the Kolkata class destroyers?

Are there any plans to upgrade the Delhi class destroyers with the EL/M-2080 L-band LRTR and S-band EL/M-2248 MF-STAR and replace the 100 km Uran missiles with the Brahmos cruise missile.

Prasun da please answer my queries

Nava said...

How could the Barak 8ER have dual mode guidance when it looks exactly like the Barak 8 only with a booster?

Anonymous said...

If handling and storage is the problem wonder why CAG has only commented on Russian missiles and not western ones.
----------------------------------
which western BVR missiles india has except few matra530d which has just 37 km range and weighs hefty 275kg

and IAF many hundered r27 missiles each has life of less than 8 years and so those missiles acquired in 1996 have completed their life span

Anonymous said...

to nava

How could the Barak 8ER have dual mode guidance when it looks exactly like the Barak 8 only with a booster?
------------------------
this is what i was thinking

Aadi said...

Thank you for the reply. What about the KS-172 that were rumoured to be funded by India and also can you provide more details of BVR's currently active with IAF.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To sbm: It is true that all precision-guided munitions, including AAMs like the R-60T, R-27R, R-27T, R-73E and R-77 can be re-lifed but this is possible only if the re-lifing authority in India (like BDL) is equipped with the necessary laboratories and related equipment to carry out the re-lifing process. In this case, it appears that such infrastructure for the R-27R/T and R-77 BVRAAMs has not yet been imported from Ukraine or Russia. It does not surprise me at all, since the IAF had in the 1980s acquired the Mirage 2000H/THs and their armaments separately, with an interval of four years between the two procurements if memory serves me right.

To Anon@2:05PM: The R-77s have been operational with the IAF's MiG-21 Bisons since 2001.

To Anon@8:07PM: That's a very good point. And that's because the MBDA-built R550 Magic 2 and Super 530Ds were re-lifed in the late 1990s and their field-test kits were acquired way back in the late 1980s.

To Anon@2:10AM: All those issues are being negotiated now as part of the contractual negotiations phase for the third batch of Project 1135.6 FFGs. But the Kashtan-M and Shtil-1 will be retained. There will be no Barak-1/2s on board these three FFGs. Modular construction of warships in India is still a few years away and first warships to be built using this methodology will be the seven Project 17A FFGs and three Project 15C DDGs. For the three Project 17 FFGs no L-band radars have been ordered as yet and an LRTR-type radar will be an overkill for these three FFGs. But the Project 15B DDGs and Project 15C DDGs and the IAC will have the L-band LRTR on board. As for existing three Project 15 DDGs they can very much be upgraded to incorporate the same kind of sensors to go on the Project 15B DDGs under a stepped life-extension programme (SLEP).

To Nava: Looks, especially external views, can be highly deceptive unless transparent cutaways of the missiles are displayed for public consumption.

To Aadi: The KS-172 BVRAAM has no Indian R & D involvement, and no financial inputs. As for BVRAAMs of the IAF, I've already mentioned them above.

Nava said...

What are the IAF's plans with regards to a very long range AAM?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: The question to be asked is: against what type of airborne target exactly will a long-range AAM be required? Under what operational scenarios? Long-range AAMs like the KS-172 are best employed against bombers like the B-1B or B-2 or H-6K and in the Indian operational scenario NONE of these 'target' aircraft-types can be expected to be engaged by the IAF in the event of future hostilities. Instead, emphasis ought to be laid on ramjet-equipped BVRAAMs with higher cruise speed like the Meteor and RVV-SD, which can be provided with mid-course navigational cues even by AEW & C platforms.

Nava said...

Can missiles such as the Meteor be cued effectively to such long ranges by L band radars and still "make up for" the inaccuracy and retain the kinematics required to hit a maneuverable target?

Unrelated question: What are the MF-STAR's and the LRTR's unit prices?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: AEW & C platforms provide only MID-COURSE navigational updates for BVRAAMs like the Meteor. While doing so, the AEW & C platform's L-band radar (as is the case with the PHALCON and Eitam) DOES NOT illuminate the targetted aircraft like a combat aircraft's continuous-wave illuminator would. Rather, it only tracks the targetted aircraft under a track-while-scan mode. The only evasive tactic the targetted aircraft may then utilise is not fly OUT of the L-band radar's surveillance envelope and this can be done without resorting to any violent manoeuvres (provided the targetted aircraft's pilot responds to the warning cues from the on-board radar warning receiver). However, if the targetted aircraft's EW threat library is insufficiently updated then the pilot will 'presume' that his aircraft is only being illuminated for airspace surveillance, and not being illuminated (by the CW illuminator) for fire-control. But unknown to him, the BVRAAM is zeroeing in on the targetted aircraft's VICINITY thanks to the mid-course navigational cues being provided by the AEW & C platform. It is only when the BVRAAM is 20km away from its target that the BVRAAM's on-board active radar is activated for terminal homing and by that time (in the event of the BVRAAM being a hypersonic missile) it is too late for the targetted aircraft (even when equipped with a missile approach warning system) to make any kind of violent evasive manoeuvres.
Regarding the price and availability data of thre MF-STAR or LRTR, I'd rather not make any guesses as the pricing is always variable and is determined by a minimum quantum of orders, delivery schedules, and related direct/indirect offsets. Therefore, such products do not have any kind of unit costs as they are not available as ready-to-deliver off-the-shelf products and are instead, made to order.

Nava said...

Thanks for the clarification.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: Line 17 of my reply above should read as: "tactic the targetted aircraft may then utilise is TO fly OUT of the L-band radar's surveillance envelope..."

Nava said...

With regards to Aew&cs: Has a contract been signed for additional Phalcons or are negotiations still underway?

And has the IN sent RFPs for its shore based AEW&C requirement?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: Negotiations are still underway with both Indian end-users. However, the follow-on contracts for aerostat-mounted EL/M-2083 radars have been inked with ELTA. Total reqmt for such radars is more than 30.

Nava said...

Ah. So this is a new contract, not the one that was spoken of months ago? In what sum is it?

sbm said...

Prasun, it is interesting that only the RVV-AE was mentioned. It is also probable that the missiles lasted less time than expected before needing re-lifing. I think the basic point is that the situation can be retrieved and it is unlikely that the missiles are completely lost.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To sbm: If it is a case of premature failure of BVRAAMs, be it the R-27 family or the R-77, then the options for probable cause of such premature failure gets drastically narrowed down to only one: the IAF's guided munitions storage infrastructure or storage practices are ineffective and non-compliant with OEM-mandated practices/standards.

To Nava: Am not aware of the contract values. By the way, have you come across any photos of the EL/M-2083 L-band aerostat-mounted radar's antenna array? It seems it is a pulse-Doppler 3-D multibeam and multimode search radar that features track-while-scan capability, which allows for monitoring simultaneously multiple airborne targets. The two-face antenna provides double update rate as well as long-range surveillance and early warning against incoming threats capabilities simultaneously. The dual-face radar antenna weighs 4.4 tonnes and has a detection range of up to 350km.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To sbm: Also to be factored in is what part of the R-77 malfunctioned or failed to perform to expectations. Is it the BVRAAM's navigation system, or its AGAT JSC-built active radar, or the propulsion system?

Nava said...

Well TWS is hardly a novelty. The thing I don't get is what multi beam actually means as opposed to the nigh instantaneous electronic beam steering AESA radars have anyway.

Anonymous said...

to prasun

what is life of AMRAAM,and there was no reports that rvv ae ever been relifted if it was done then there would have been some news about it.
neighter drdo showed any interest .

ABHINABA said...

Prasun da, what is the difference betweem AL-31FL & AL-31FN engine? difference only in engine's dimension & thrust?any difference in MTBO time? Do you have any information about our overhauling facilities for our jet engine? During red flag exercise americans claimed that for overhauling AL-31FL engine we are completely depend on russian firms, -is it true?& how we maintain stores of engines for fighters & during war-time where we change those engines(if needed)? in nnw stationed airfield's hanger or in mother base?

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

Thanks again.
But you did not say what L-band radar will go aboard the Kolkata class destroyers.What will be the difference between the Project 15A & Project 15B DDG as i think both will carry the same sensors & weapons.

Will Brahmos replace the Uran missiles aboard the Delhi class destroyers

Can the Kashtan-M and Shtil-1 systems defend the ships against the C-803 anti-ship missiles aboard the type 054A FFG & type 052B DDG of the PLA navy provided early warning by ship based sensors and the aerostat-mounted EL/M-2083 radars.

How good are these aerostat-mounted EL/M-2083 radars in providing early warning against anti-ship missiles?

Can the Brahmos defeat SA-N-12 SAM and HQ-16 SAM aboard the above PLA navy ships?

Raghav said...

I had no idea BVRAAMs could be so fragile and difficult to maintain.
I knew that short range IR homing missiles had a short lifespan and were maintenance intensive bcoz of the cooling systems of their seekers.
But in BVRAAMs, the only seeker is a radar which is just like any other electronic component. What makes it so fragile and tough to maintain? Poor QC procedures adopted by the Russians?

sbm said...

Prasun, I am pretty certain storage is OEM non-compliant in the case of the R-77. Fairly certain it is OK for the R-27.

Anonymous said...

We can always see that China and Pakistan have acquired or planning to acquire Aew&c or tankers. There is a need or Very long range BVRAAM to be deployed with india. I also feel that even presence of such potent system (even with 200+ km range) will be a deterrent against them and they will not venture their valuable aircraft nearby indian borders specially during hostile periods.

Anyway, is there any progress on the joint development of KS-172 between india and russia? Have not heard anything since long time. Is no news a good news?

Regards
Vikas

Anonymous said...

----- sorry pasting again in full----

Hi Prasun,
You said: -
You said about KS-172: "... in Indian operational scenario NONE of these 'target' aircraft-types can be expected to be engaged by the IAF in the event of future hostilities"
--------
We can always see that China and Pakistan have acquired or planning to acquire Aew&c or tankers. There is a need or Very long range BVRAAM to be deployed with india. I also feel that even presence of such potent system (even with 200+ km range) will be a deterrent against them and they will not venture their valuable aircraft nearby indian borders specially during hostile periods.

Anyway, is there any progress on the joint development of KS-172 between india and russia? Have not heard anything since long time. Is no news a good news?

Kaushik said...

Its official now: The ATV will be commissioned on the 26th of July which happens to be Kargil Vijay Divas.
By doing so we are only going to diminish ourselves in the eyes of the world. The significance of 26 July will not be lost on the world media. Moreover our illustrious DDM will not lose an opportunity to give a Pakistani angle to the event by claiming that the launch date was intended to send a subtle message to Pakistan. The Pakistanis will latch on to every word written by our DDM and will start churning out news stories and talk shows about this new danger to Pakistan and morons like Zaid Hamid will appear on those shows and declare that this new submarine was built by the Hindus,Zionists and Crusaders to threaten Pakistan and seize its nukes bcoz otherwise Pakistan will soon become the next superpower of the world. Some Pakistani general will give a press conference and declare that this new submarine will start an arms race in South Asia and also pompously declare that Pakistan will not remain quiet. On the whole, the Pakistanis will keep flattering themselves by assuming that this submarine was built to counter Pak Navy as if we needed nuke submarines to take on the Pak navy.
Much worse by taking the cue from our DDM and Pak media, the world media will once again start lamenting on the tensions in S.Asia and how both India & Pak have nuclear weapons and how they are arch rivals as if India and Pak were equals. All this will make sure that the historic launch of the ATV will be seen in the subcontinental context and through the prism of the Indo-Pak hostilities.
A country like India that aspires to be a world power should first learn to act like one. We must show that we are capable of rising above the trivialities in S.Asia and assume a regional role. If so what we should have done is chosen another convenient date like say August 1 and launch the ATV on that day and declare that henceforth August 1 of every year will be observed by our Navy as the Submariner's Day to commemorate the launching of the first indigenously built nuclear submarine. That is how a rising power should behave. We should choose to move out of S. Asia and project ourselves in a larger role. I personally consider it (with all respect to our brave Jawans who gave their lives for our success in Kargil) an ill-thought out and absurd decision to launch the ATV on Vijay Divas.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@3:17PM: The service life of the R-77 and AMRAAM are the same. But there is one critical component within each of these BVRAAMs that needs periodic servicing: the NiCad batteries responsible for supplying power to the active seeker and actuators. The NiCad battery typically has a shelf-life of eight years, but needs periodic testing at least once every year. For the R-27R/R family of BVRAAMs too the same is the case with the batteries, in addition to the cryogenic cooling system for the IR seeker (for the R-27T and R-73E). After checking up with the OEM (Vympel JSC), I've been informed by the OEM that the problem area is the on-board NiCad battery pack. To make matters worse, such NiCad batteries have not yet been indigenised despite the existence of in-house capabilities (HBL-Nife and High Energy Batteries being the two industrial entities that are currently supplying NiCad aircraft/missile batteries to the DRDO and armed forces).

To ABHINABA: The AL-31FN's gearbox installation is different from that of other AL-31F family of turbofans. That's the only difference. As far as in-house servicing of AL-31FP turbofans go, all high-/low-pressure turbine blades and the combustion chamber have to go back to Russia's UFA subsidiary of NPO Saturn for overhauling. HAL's Koraput facility is only responsible for licence-assembly of the AL-31FPs. There are no 'made-in-India' components in any AL-31FP. Engine-change in peacetime and wartime is done only at the mother air base.

To Anon@10:43PM: The THALES Nederland LW-08 will be on the three Project 15A Kolkata-class DDGs. When the three Project 15 DDGs undergo the SLEP, their weapons complement will be upgraded and BrahMos will go on board. The Kashtan-M and Barak-1 can engage the C-802/803 family of anti-ship cruise missiles. As for the EL/M-2083, its multi-beam transmission capability ensures that the redar is operating simultaneously in the look-up and look-down modes and this consequently ensures that even anti-ship cruise missiles can be detected and tracked. As for the BrahMos 'defeating' the HQ-16-type LR-SAMs, a more ideal word would be 'saturating' the air defence system of a HQ-16-equipped warship. This will typically involve a salvo-firing of up to six BrahMos against each such warship.

To Raghav: The on-board NiCad power batteries.

To Vikas: Engaging AEW & C platforms with long-range AAMs is a futile exercise as the on-board ESM suite of the AEW & C platform will be able to detect such an AAM the moment it is launched, and directional jamming will be resorted to in order to neutralise such AAMs. Therefore, targetting any AEW & C platform even with a salvo of four to six long-range BVRAAMs is not a viable proposition. The only way to prevent hostile use of AEW & C capability is to either destroy the platform on the ground, or render its mother air base unusable.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Kaushik: The ATV tech demonstrator will not be commissioned into service on July 26. It will only be launched, after which the harbour trials and sea trials will commence sequentially and may last for up to six years. Also, it will not have any 'INS' prefix. That prefix will come only if the sea trials are successful, but that is a very big 'if'.
With regard to Vijay Divas, I would rather see that day being celebrated as 'Armed Forces Day', as in today's world it is ridiculous to celebrate individual armed service days. One must do away with celebrating Army Day on January 15, IAF Day on October 8 and Navy Day on December 4.

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

You are just great.

Why the Indian Navy went for the THALES Nederland LW-08 when they can install the EL/M-2080 L-band LRTR.It makes no sense to go for a 2-D radar when they can go for a highly efficient 3-D radar like the EL/M-2080.

How good is the Indian Navy Maritime Rotary UAV (MRUAV)as a helicopter-based AEW & C platform compared to other existing helicopter-based AEW & C platforms
like Ka-31 etc.Will this MRUAV be the future AEW & C platform for the Indian Navy.

How good is the S-band EL/M-2248 MF-STAR compared to the Chinese type 348 radar and also the Sampson radar of the Royal navy.How good is the L-band LRTR compared to Thales SMART-L radar.

Nava said...

RE long range AAMs:
What about using a "anti radiation" (ESM)+IIR seeker?

Anonymous said...

battery tech has changed a lot in 8 years. cant we use better Li-ion batterys?

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

According to a Russian article from air fleet Russia on mmrca,the line of weapons offered with mig-35 like
1]RVV-SD,ramjet powered long range air-air missile close to 200km range
2]RVV-MD, a short range missile in class of python-5,iris-t and aim-9x
3]Kh-59mk stand-off 286km range land attack missile
4]kab-1500lg-fe, kab-250,kab-500se, gps and laser guided PGM
5]ZHUK-AE/FGA35 AESA
could tilt the deal in favour of Russians.

According to another post-
1]Tthe MiG-35 is equipped with active phased-array antenna radar and new multichannel electro-optical systems to engage both aerial and ground targets. The aircraft also boasts a new-generation self-defense suite including both radio and electro-optical functions.

2]The jet’s armaments consist of Kh-59MK2 air-to-ground missiles, carrying a 661-pound warhead on a range of up to 154 nm. The weapon is able to identify the terrain around the target and destroy objects that offer no radar, infrared or optical contrast. It is also available as an anti-ship version designated the -59MK.

3]Also part of the MiG-35 firepower is a new family of Kh-38 air-to-ground missiles. Their range of 22 nm greatly increases the fighter’s reach over the battlefield.
The Kh-38 is built on a modular design that allows for a choice of self-guided warheads– such as laser, infrared, satellite and active radar–to meet different mission requirements. The relatively light, 1,146-pound missile can incorporate a powerful warhead of up to 551 pounds as a single unit or as several submunitions.

So on paper,in terms of capabilities such as long range wepons,TVC, AESA and low cost makes mig-35 the favourite.
Russians have been the most reliable suppliers for past 50 years[no sanctions from them].Moreover it will be easier to integrate mig-35 into IAF since navy and IAF both have mig-29.logistically also very good aircraft.

So my question will the IAF go for the unproven aircraft both in terms of AESA and performence or they will go for a proven aircraft not only in terms of performance or AESA but from the concepts of network centricity like the Super Hornett's.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@11:25AM: I agree. The navalised L-band EL/M-2080 or even a navalised L-band EL/M-2083 should have gone on board the three Project 15A Kolkata-class DDGs and also on the three Project 17 Shivalik-class FFGs. In fact, the Project 17 FFGs should have selected the X-band APAR from THALES Nederland, and for the Project 15A Kolkata-class DDGs the APAR and the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR should have been choice combination (similar to the US Navy's projected DDG-21s which will have active phased-array X-band and S-band radars all housed within an integrated mast). THALES too is developing such an integrated mast for future applications. Currently, the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR is superior to the Chinese/Ukrainian passive phased-array radar (yes, it is PESA, not AESA) and the British SAMPSON. Both the ELTA-built LRTR and Smart-L are comparable in performance parameters.
The NRUAV will not be developed as an AEW platform. It will be employed as a maritime surveillance/surface search platform and will also be able to undertake anti-ship cruise missile mid-course guidance and over-the-horizon targetting. Any shipborne AEW & C platform (in the Indian context) must have two key attributes: an endurance of up to four hours backed up by aerial refuelling; and an appreciable cruising altitude of 20,000 feet. In fact, over the next five years one will have the choice of deploying carrier-based twin-turbofan powered UAVs (like the EADS-developed Talarion) which, when equipped with AESAs like the EL/M-2052), will be able to provide persistent AEW and surface search coverage for more than 10 hours without aerial refuelling! But for this to happen, the DRDO should begin 'thinking out-of-the-box' and develop suitable turbofan-powered platforms. Afterall, if the GTRE can 'almost' develop a turbofan the size of Kaveri, then surely it can also develop far smaller and less complex turbofans for UAVs and UCAVs, can't it?

To Nava: Anti-radiation seekers, even those operating in the 'home-on jam' mode, will have a tough time localising the AEW & C platform which, unlike static ground-based radars, is a fast-moving target. And without localisation, any IIR seeker, even with off-boresight capabilities, will be at a loss to detect and track the AEW & C platform's IR signature.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: Also, AEW & C platforms like the PHALCON have twin on-board DIRCM turrets to defeat any IIR-guided AAM or SAM.

Anonymous said...

prasun, pardon me but this is the 5th time - you promised a picture of the ATV - i.e. how would it look - way back in Feb. Since then I have been accessing your blog daily in anticipation for it. Would you kindly share it with us? Many thanks.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@12:11PM: What you're quoting is: the MiG-35 can, not what the MiG-35 is able to NOW, or the MiG-35 is ALREADY qualified for. That's the difference. You're also ASSUMING that the MiG-29Ks will provide 'first-class' carrier-based performance at a time when even the Russian Navy does not operate such aircraft, preferring instead to operate only the Su-33. Whether the MiG-29K will deliver what has been specified remains to be seen. There's a huge difference between operating from an air base in a corrosion-free environment, and operating full-time from an aircraft carrier for extended durations. And the end-user, the Indian Navy, has not yet reached the stage where it can proudly and credibly state that it is indeed overjoyed with the MiG-29K.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@11:47AM: As long as the land-based ammo storage infrastructure is non-compliant, it doesn't make any difference what kind of batteries are used.

Nava said...

Ok. BTW, you aren't gonna see that Talarion within the next five years. Has the IN committed to the NRUAV? If so, how many has it ordered? Finally, do you know if Elta is developing X band radars for shipborne applications?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@12:15PM: What I have are the 3-D schematics of both the ATV technology demonstrator and of the SSGN. No photos of the ATV are available from anyone as of now simply because the assembly yard's interior at Vizag is not any photographer's paradise! Also, as I'm not into any kind of broadcast journalism, you'll just have to wait until July 26 to see the ATV in visual form. In any case, my previous post had shown the SSGN's definitive scale-model, so what's the obsession with catching a glimpse of the ATV technology demonstrator?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: Whether or not the Talarion becomes available over the next five years won't make any difference for India as the MTCR regime will prevent Germany from exporting such UAVs to India. Hence the need to develop such UAVs in-house. Regarding the NRUAVs, the IAI-HAL joint R & D project took off ONLY AFTER the Indian Navy had in writing stated its requirement way back in 2005 for such a tricycle-equipped UAV (which to my mind is the only shipborne UAV to have a tricycle undercarriage, an imperative reqmt for deck landings and takeoffs). The total Indian Navy reqmt is for 30+ NRUAVs. And mind you, the Alouette III airframes will first have to be highly modified by HAL to accommodate the Turbomeca TM-333-2B engine and its new gearbox, a job for which only HAL has acquired the reqd AML-STCs. Therefore, HAL is responsible for optimising the flight platform (airframe and engines) while IAI is providing and integrating the mission sensors and related on-board avionics suite.

Nava said...

True, just wanted to point it out (I believe 2018 was mentioned, provided the Europeans actually commit of course). The whole project seems rather unimpressive.

Has the NRUAV had its test flight yet?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

The modified airframe flew way back in 2005, but the fully-equipped NRUAV is still in the shopfloor undergoing mission avionics installation. HAL has already delivered the platform to IAI.

Nava said...

Does the Army have a requirement for VTOL UAVs as well?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: A very good question indeed. And the answer is yes, especially in the mountainous areas since Rotax engine-powered UAVs like the Searcher Mk2 and even the Heron 2 can crash if confronted by prevailing 10-Knot cross-winds. Therefore, at altitudes ranging from 9,000 feet to 20,000 feet, the re-engined SA.315 Lama (Cheetah) helicopters, which like the Alouette III were mass-produced in India since the 1970s and which are still the only ones flying daily aerial logistics and CASEVAC/MEDEVAC missions, can easily be modified to become high-altitude UAVs. The Lama has already been re-engined with the TM-333-2B and is now called the Cheetal. It is this platform that can be configured as both a UAV and a UCAV (it has already been flight-tested in an armed configuration, equipped with 2.75-inch rockets). The only problem, however, is excessive vibration at high altitudes, which will affect the imagery acquired from the FLIR turret.

Nava said...

I see. So one could expect a similar JV between IAI and HAL for Lama modifications?

On a broader note, it seems that the Indian armed forces are currently focused on tactical and above tier UAVs. What are their plans for hand held and other sub tactical vehicles?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Why not? That would be the logical extention for the NRUAV programme. HAL early last year brought in a few ELBIT Systems-made hand-held Skylark-1s for Army-led field evaluations that are still underway.

Anonymous said...

to prasun

To Anon@3:17PM: The service life of the R-77 and AMRAAM are the same. But there is one critical component within each of these BVRAAMs that needs periodic servicing: the NiCad batteries responsible for supplying power to the active seeker and actuators. The NiCad battery typically has a shelf-life of eight years, but needs periodic testing at least once every year. For the R-27R/R family of BVRAAMs too the same is the case with the batteries, in addition to the cryogenic cooling system for the IR seeker (for the R-27T and R-73E). After checking up with the OEM (Vympel JSC), I've been informed by the OEM that the problem area is the on-board NiCad battery pack. To make matters worse, such NiCad batteries have not yet been indigenised despite the existence of in-house capabilities (HBL-Nife and High Energy Batteries being the two industrial entities that are currently supplying NiCad aircraft/missile batteries to the DRDO and armed forces).
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i did not know that air to air miussiles have battaries in them ,thanx very very much for explaining

Anonymous said...

Prasun,

mig29k was selected because of less space available on gorshkov and also su33 much bigger than mig29k in dimensions.

Anonymous said...

to prasun whats ur take on this


Army chief asks Antony: Not to block gun trials

A worried army chief, General Deepak Kapoor, has protested to Defence Minister A K Antony about the derailing of vital defence purchases by allegations of corruption. On June 10, General Kapoor complained about the cancellation of army trials on the Pegasus ultra-light howitzer, after the manufacturer, Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK), was suspended on suspicion of links with a discredited MoD official. The trials of the 155 mm Pegasus were to commence on 22 June at the Pokhran Ranges in Rajasthan. Any delay, General Kapoor warned Mr Antony, would push back the hot-weather trials by a year. The next day, the deputy chief, Lt Gen MS Dadwal, fired off a letter to the Defence Secretary, Vijay Singh (Letter No 00048/Proc/DCOAS (P&S)/Sectt) reiterating that the Pegasus trials must continue, even while the Central Bureau of Investigation probes whether STK was connected in any way with Sudipta Ghosh — the former chairman of the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) — who was arrested for corruption on 19 May. If STK was found guilty, the purchase could always be cancelled. The army chief, an artilleryman himself, has emphasised on the crucial need for modern artillery; the last important purchase was more than 20 years ago: the 155mm Bofors FH-77B gun in the mid-1980s. Even that was restricted, by allegations of kickbacks, to the direct purchase of 400 guns. The chance to manufacture thousands more in India, through transfer of technology (ToT) was thrown away, even though India paid for the technology. In 2005, amidst a push to buy towed and self-propelled artillery, South African gun manufacturer, Denel, was banned. Soon afterwards, Israeli artillery firm, Soltam Systems, found itself under the scanner. General Kapoor’s request to Antony has counte0d for little; the CBI and the CVC suggested to the MoD that the ban on STK continues. The MoD wrote back to Army HQ (Letter No 1(5)/2007/D(Proc) dated 7 July) saying that the trials stood cancelled until further orders. Ironically, the army could benefit from this delay, which creates conditions for bringing another gun into contention: the combat-proven BAE Systems M777 ultra-light howitzer, which is currently doing battle in Afghanistan and Iraq. So far, Pegasus was the only gun in contention — a monopoly situation explicitly discouraged in the MoD’s Defence Procurement Policy of 2008 (DPP–2008). BAE Systems could not bid because the MoD refused to grant it several months for clearing Indian ammunition to be fired from M777 howitzers. Major General AJS Sandhu, an Indian artillery expert, explains that — since British Army M777 crews would fire Indian ammunition during the trials — British regulations demanded that the ammunition first be “classified”, or cleared by safety experts, before the trials. And since India insisted on firing several types of ammunition during trials, classifying every one of them would take several months. Asked to confirm, BAE Systems India President, Julian Scopes told Business Standard by email, “In the tender for ultra-light howitzers, there were requirements in the [tender] that made it difficult for us respond in the time available. But we remain hopeful that M777 can be considered and continue to point out to the MoD that the BAE Systems M777 is the lightest 155mm howitzer in the world, in service with the US Army, US Marine Corp and Canadian Army, and the only one that is combat proven.”

Anonymous said...

to prasun

‘Precision ammo’ fails test at high altitudes:India

Exhaustive trials of the new-generation Krasnopol ‘precision guided ammunition’ procured by the Indian Army are being conducted by a high-level Russian team after inaccurate fire almost killed some soldiers of an artillery observation unit. The Army, which had procured over 3,000 rounds of the Russian artillery ammunition, fired from the 155 mm Bofors Gun, at a cost of over Rs 500 crores, found it to be wildly inaccurate during use in high-altitude areas. The ammunition is supposed to hit targets accurately after they have been tagged by a laser designator. Sources said that during a training exercise in Kargil, the shells went way off target and almost hit an artillery team that had been deployed kilometers away to check its accuracy. The Russian team is now conducting trials on the ammunition at heights of over 11,000 feet. “The problem is that the ammunition works when fired in the plains but goes totally inaccurate when it’s being fired from, say, 11,000 feet to a target at 17,000 feet,” sources said. The Army is hoping that the Russian team will find a way to correct the defect in the munitions. This comes even as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had slammed the Army for buying the ammunition in bulk without adequate evaluation. The Army had urgently placed orders for the ammunition during the 1999 Kargil war after it realised the importance of a precision-guided shell that could be used to target enemy positions accurately. The idea being that instead of using hundreds of shells to target a particular enemy position, a few Krasnopol shells could be used to wipe it out. In the latest CAG report, which blasts the Army for procuring the ammunition in bulk without properly testing it, it has also been pointed out that ammunition worth Rs 151 crore that was procured in 1999 was found unfit for use after merely seven years as opposed to its declared shelf life of 15 years. The report highlights that despite such discrepancies in performance, additional orders worth Rs 526 crores were placed by the Army without conducting proper trials.
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can u post somehting about this PGM ammo that whats the name of this ammo and specifications

is it similar to M982 excalibur rounds

this repoert also says that this russian PGM works well on plains but not on high altitude can this be the case with M982 excalibur too cuz excalibur never been tested on 11000 feet

Anonymous said...

to prasun and others

can anyone explains at what altitude a projectile fired form 155mm howitzer goes?

a projectile fired from from 11000 feet(3.6km) to 17000 feet(5.6 km)

is air density at high altitude contributes to let PGM go off its due course or these artillery PGM designed to operate only in plains cuz no one ever done this before.

Anonymous said...

weight of different howitzers

M777 3.175 tons

pegasus howitzer 5.4 tons

Haubits77(in serive IA) 11.5 tons

sachin_sathe said...

prasun,

i think a Rustom sized uav with Turbo Prop engines or a more refined Turbo fan engines is the need of the hour.
As far as the conversion of cheetal/cheetah to uav is concerned the decision is more likely to be taker AFTER a definitive plan of replacement of these birds from army aviation corps is put into motion with LOH purchase and developement project getting full funding with investment from army.

what is ur take on the excessive cost of M2k upg?It seems to indicate inclusion of a total replacement package for european munitions such as Matra 530D, Magic II missiles,Matre ARMAT anti-radiation missiles etc. Can it be taken as an indication tht the MRCA(though it is a waste of money i think) might be european?

Also can u please make a comparitive series on the IN's bid for second line sub contract like shiv did of MRCA contract ?

Also do post 3-D renderings of ATV after 26 July.

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

You should have been in the Defense Ministry or the DRDO.I am amazed at the level of knowledge you have. Great work hah.Keep it up.

Can the Rustom or a modified version of it when equipped with AESAs like the EL/M-2052), will be able to provide persistent AEW and surface search by operating from ship-based deck.

I want to know if Elta is developing X band radars for shipborne applications and then integrating the active phased-array X-band and S-band radars within a mast.Does the Indian Navy plan to install such integrated mast in their ships in future?

How good are the Scorpene subs compared to the Type 041 Yuan class and Type 039G Song class subs with the PLA navy?

Anonymous said...

Was Barak-1 ever tested against modern antiship missiles like SM-39 ot UGM-84 etc?

did't it failed against old antiship missiles in india

Anonymous said...

Will PN employ WZ-2000 UAV in MP UAV role?

Anonymous said...

how many MRTP-33 were planed by the PN and will they be produce at karahi?

Anonymous said...

Prasun

Thanks for the answer. However it will be great it you can tell us the present development status of KS-172 missile.

Regards
Vikas

Anonymous said...

prasun

so when will the RVVAE issue be solved by?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@5:31PM: As brilliantly explained by Col (Ret'd) Ajai Shukla (at http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/2009/07/army-chief-to-antony-dont-block-gun.html), the first thing that went wrong was the MoD's and Army HQ's inability (for mysterious reasons) to insist on a competitive bidding/evaluation process and meekly accept (or even orchestrate) the BAE Systems-built LW-155's withdrawal from the process. It therefore needs to be explained by both the MoD and Army HQ why exactly both reportedly favoured a single vendor (ST Kinetics) and why is Army HQ now lobbying for evaluating only the Pegasus. Surely Army HQ knows that between the two contenders--LW-155 and Pegasus--the LW-155 is already combat-proven and is lighter than the Pegasus and it therefore stands a better chance of being selected based purely on merit. Ti me therefore, there's more to it than meets the eye: if BAE Systems' LW-155 is selected then the local industrial offsets beneficiary will be the TATA Group, while if the Pegasus is selected then the MoD-owned OFB will be the principal industrial offsets beneficiary. Therefore, the decision to evaluate only the Pegasus smacks of an as yet unrevealed collusion between certain interested parties within both the MoD and Army HQ.

To Anon@5:37PM: The Krasnopol-M projectiles failed the high-altitude firing trials only due to one reason: faulty charge-bags used by the Indian Army. I have the complete firing trials report in my possession and will reproduce it in the near future.

To Anon@5:46PM: During OP Vijay the FH-77Bs could fire 155mm rounds to as far out as 41km.

To Sachin Sathe: I agree with you on the need for developing a Rustom-sized UAV powered by a turbofan or even a turboprop that will not only be used by all three armed services, but will also be a multi-role platform as both a UAV and UCAV.

To Anon@11:28PM: ELTA Systems, like its European and US counterparts, is definitely involved in developing integrated naval masts for accommodating both S-band and X-band APARs. The logical candidates for housing such integrated masts will be the projected seven Project 17A FFGs and three Project 15C DDGs.
The Scorpenes are far more advanced than the PLA Navy's Song-class and Yuan-class SSKs especially since the Scorpenes can house the flank-array sonar and thin-line towed-array active/passive sonars, something the Songs and Yuans don't have as yet. The PLAN Navy's SSKs also have inferior periscopes and optronic masts.

To Anon@6:49AM: No. To date the Barak-1s have been tested only against Silkworm-type and AM-39-type ASCMs. In India all Barak-1 test-firings barring the first two have been successful.

To Anon@6:51AM: The WZ-2000 is being developed as a UCAV, and not a UAV.

Aaditya said...

To Prasun Sir: Suppose the Navy goes for the V-22 Osprey as its carrier based AEW&C. How many of them do you think will be required to operate on each carrier (vikramaditya & the vikrant ones)? I have noticed that the US & French carriers usually carry more than one AWACS.
Thanks!

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Aaditya: A total of six (two for each aircraft carrier) should suffice, as any expeditionary naval air campaign (against a hostile landmass) in the Indian context is unlikely to last for more than eight hours.

Anonymous said...

Prasun @ 12:30:00 PM - So you should not have said you would show it in the first place! as you did last year and in February. Thanks anyway and have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Prasun da,

In the FORCE November 2008 issue the Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition has stated "a total of 7 destroyers, 13 frigates..." as the major warship construction that would have been accomplished by 2022. That would indicate (4 P15B DDG + Project 15C DDGs)+ (three Project 17 Batch 2 FFGs + 7 Project 17A FFGs + 3 Project 1135.6 FFGs).Please tell me if i am true.

If there is Project 17 Batch 2 FFGs what sensors will go aboard them.

Out of the G-550 CAEWCS and E-2D Hawkeye 2000 being evaluated by the IN which will provide robust early warning of launch of anti ship missiles and network centricity.

In the arena of BMD, will the Indian BMD systems make use of US-owned missile early-warning satellites just like Israel does.

Hugo said...

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platensimycin said...

Very interesting. Wondering if R77's unique lattice-configuration tail control surface can be folded forward in flight.... Few depictions suggest that it can; most suggest that it cannot.