Wednesday, July 15, 2009

V-22 Osprey For IAF & Indian Navy?









Notwithstanding the efforts of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to acquire fixed-wing and rotary-winged transportation aircraft for medium- and heavy-lift operations, the Indian Navy is determined to acquire its own seaborne integral air transportation assets for the Indian Army's projected combat aviation brigade, and its 91 Infantry Brigade, which is now being reconfigured as an amphibious brigade. For enabling both these brigades to undertake all-weather expeditionary campaigns via vertical envelopment (as part of joint services power projection operations) the Indian Navy has reportedly begun seriously evaluating the performance of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey ‘tilt-rotor’ aircraft, so called because it takes off with its twin wingtip-mounted rotors set vertically like a helicopter and glides in the air with them thrust forward as on a fixed-wing aircraft. The shift requires only a pull of the lever by the pilot. The Navy is apparently convinced that in terms of weight, cargo, distance or speed (it can travel twice as fast and three times farther than any existing medium-lift utility helicopter) the once derided Osprey has finally emerged as the vital game-changing force multiplier when employed for effecting maritime/amphibious manoeuvres from the sea, as well as for high-altitude, all-weather air assault, aerial logistics and casualty evacuation over mountainous terrain of the type prevalent along India’s northern and northeastern borders (this also explains the IAF's new-found interest in the Osprey). Being able to cruise at altitudes of 25,000 feet allows the Osprey you to clear obstacles that today’s helicopters like the CH-47F Chinook or AW-101 or Mi-26T cannot even negotiate. Though such helicopters can airlift things, and probably more than the Osprey can, they still cannot arrive at their landing/drop zones from altitude. Nor can they do the transit times and ranges. Furthermore, while existing medium-/heavy-lift helicopters typically require between 24 and 40 man-hours of maintenance for every hour in the air, the Osprey requires only about 9.5 man-hours of maintenance for every hour of flight, and consequently its direct operating costs too are drastically reduced.
The V-22 is best employed as a vertical takeoff-cum-landing platform capable of rapidly deploying air assault and special operations forces to any theatre of operation over both land and sea. This will facilitate the timely build-up of combat forces while minimising the demands of sealift and airlift assets for expeditionary force projection campaigns. While the US Marine Corps is using its MV-22Bs to perform combat assault and combat support missions, the US Air Force’s Special Operations Command’s CV-22s have been configured for terrain-following, low-level, high-speed flight in a variety of special operations missions. The US Navy’s MV-22s will perform combat support missions. Boeing Rotorcraft Systems is responsible for the fuselage and all subsystems, digital avionics, and fly-by-wire flight-control systems. Boeing’s industrial partner Bell Helicopter Textron is responsible for the wing, transmissions, empennage, rotor systems and engine installation. The Osprey is presently being series-produced in three customer-specific versions--50 CV-22s are in delivery to the US Air Force, 360 MV-22Bs to the US Marine Corps and 48 V-22s to the US Navy. Although the Osprey’s per unit cost is estimated at US$100 million, no less than 15 countries (India included) are seriously considering its acquisition in the near future. The Indian Navy is believed to require about 40 Ospreys over a 10-year period (including about six platforms configured for AEW & C operations). Each such tilt-rotor aircraft can carry 24 fully-equipped combat troops, or up to 20,000 pounds of internal cargo or 15,000 pounds of external cargo, at twice the speed of a helicopter. The Osprey also features cross-coupled transmissions so that either engine can power the rotors if one engine fails. The rotors can fold and the wing rotates so the aircraft can be stored on board an aircraft carrier or LPD/LHD. It also has a fixed aerial refuelling boom for being refuelled in mid-air by aircraft like the Lockheed Martin-built C-130J-30 Super Hercules, six of which are on order for the IAF. The Osprey comes powered by twin Rolls-Royce AE1107C turboshaft engines each rated at 6,150shp, has a service ceiling of 25,000 feet (7,620 metres), and has an unrefuelled mission radius with 24 troops of 390nm (722km).--Prasun K. Sengupta

58 comments:

Nava said...

Sounds impressive, but in Hebrew there's an expression: Don't put a healthy head on a sick bed... (roughly and crassly)

Anonymous said...

so this means the V-22 has the capability to land in siachen with supplies and airdrop/airlift to/from the glacier.
is operating cots of V-22 less than Il-76? i think we are doing one Il-76 trip per day to supply the fellows in siachen. replacing it with the V-22 seems a good option.
the V-22 can also be used in a combat role in place of the A-10. with an underbelly gatling gun with DU rounds, the V-22 would be a potent weapon system for the anti-armor role.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: Quite the contrary, a V-22 Osprey purchase will be akin to "putting the sick head into a healthy bed" (I just made that expression up) LOL!

To Anon@10.42AM: The IL-76MD can only provide aerial logistics up to Thoise. The V-22 can carry on much further and it can also operate from ALGs located only a few metres away from the LoC and LAC. That's the difference. It will therefore be very interesting to watch the V-22 in operation in Afghanistan alongside the CH-47D/F.

Anonymous said...

at what price,if it comes at 100 million each then its not worth the price

Anonymous said...

CH-47D/F crashed in afghanistan then a mi26 was hired to lift that chinnok from their and brought it backl to airbase

Nava said...

Well it didn't seem particularly healthy a couple of weeks ago when senators demanded it be canceled, with the Marines on the defensive...

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@11:00AM: Price? Firstly, compare the cost of building land-based infrastructure and the time taken to obtain environmental clearances from the GoI, with the cost of procuring the Ospreys and their deployment footprints. Remember, road construction projects sanctioned in early 2000 for Arunachal Pradesh by the PMO have still to reach the 'ground-breaking ceremony' stage! Lastly, the Osprey can attain operating altitudes and cruise speeds Mi-26T pilots can only dream of. The scenario will change only when the Osprey is compared with the Kamov Ka-92, whenever it emerges. Until then, when it comes to high-altitude mountain warfare/aerial logistics, the V-22 Osprey has no peers.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: Gievn the choice of axing either the F-35 JSF or the MV-22 Osprey, the former is more likely to face budgetary cutdowns. Afterall, the F-35 cannot exactly be used decisively for combatting terrorists, whereas the Osprey can.

Nava said...

Huh? The f35's budget is being increased even with Gate's new insurgency oriented (or more so anyway) approach. The Osprey on the other hand took some real heat because of safety issues.

Anonymous said...

Steregushchy class corvette seems to be better than p28 indian corvette

but russian designed corvette has anti ship missiles and p28 will have no anti ship missiles

probably india would buy corwetes from russia if p28 is delayed

Nava said...

Oops should be Gates'...

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@11:25AM: Why do you want an ASW corvette like ther P-28 to have anti-ship missiles? The P-28 will be employed only for guarding the approaches to naval harbours and engaging in ASW. So why should it have anti-ship cruise missiles on board?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: Have you come across this product (check it out at: http://www.emituav.com/bh.asp)? This UAV was used by the Sri Lanka Air Force to laser-designate targets for the LGB-equipped Kfir C7s.

Nava said...

Really? Well that's interesting. I knew about it but really vaguely. This company EMIT has some interesting products, but nothing special as far as I can tell.

BTW, have you heard about the Indonesians being interested in IAI
UAVs?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

The Indonesian Army in 2006 had acquired a Searcher 2 unit (with four vehicles and a ground control station) via a Manila-based trading company.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: here's more on the Sri Lankan Blue Horizon 2 UAV deal:
June 17, 2007
Controversy surrounds government moves to purchase an Israel built Blue Horizon II UAV system at a cost of over US$5 million by the Sri Lanka Air Force based on an unsolicited offer. The controversy stems from allegations that the system is untested and had been decided upon without calling for other offers. An inspection tour to verify its suitability ended in tragedy when a member of the Sri Lanka Defence delegation conducting a performance test died in Israel last week. Dr. Munindradasa a technical and UAV expert died last Tuesday (12) in a Tel Aviv hospital, following an attack of pneumonia. The four member delegation including Professor Munidradasa were staying at the Marina Hotel in Tel Aviv when he was found ailing by other members of the delegation. The Professor was taken in an ambulance following an examination by a doctor to the Icholov Hospital near the city centre. Dr Munindradasa was attached as a senior lecturer to the Department of Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering of The Moratuwa University. He was in Israel to conduct a performance test on the Blue Horizon together with recently promoted Air Commodore PB Ratnayake, Squadron Leader KGDN Jayasinghe and the local agent for the Blue Horizon UAV system Arjuna Gunawardena. Earlier EMIT Aviation Consult Ltd Israel carried out a presentation of the Blue Horizon II UAV system in October 2005. The Commander of the Air Force had appointed a six member team to evaluate their system and based on the recommendations of the evaluation team, a delegation of four officers were sent to carry out an in depth evaluation including on site evaluation. A team comprising Group Captain PB Ratnayake, Wing Commander M.D.J Wasage, Squadron Leader K.G.D.N Jayasinghe and Flt Lt WMA Warnasooriya were in Israel from March 4 - 15, 2006 to physically inspect and evaluate the BHII system. However the team had been unable to carry out endurance altitude and range testing due to aerodrome restrictions reportedly imposed by the Israel authorities. Defence experts say these are vital parameters and some sources allege EMIT Aviation has little experience in the field. However the TEC had recommended the purchase of the Blue Horizon system subject to a performance test of the vital parameters in Israel prior to release of the first 50% of the payment. It was to this end the team including Dr. Munindradasa had left to Israel on June 7 but due to his untimely death the vital performance test was not carried out. Meanwhile experts question why despite awaiting the test results, a tender has already been called on June 1, 2007 to purchase a colour day observation payload for Blue horizon II UAV system. Experts asked why the Air Force had already made moves to purchase the system despite the TEC recommendations which called for a second performance test of the vital parameters such as endurance range and altitude.

Nava said...

Oh I wouldn't bet against a hefty bribe...

RE Indonesia:
I didn't know about that but I'm talking about something much more recent.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: In Indonesia there are three independent procurement processes always underway: one for the Indonesian Army, one for the Navy and Marines, and another for the Air Force. When it comes to procuring hardware of Israeli origin, it is done through three geographic locations: Singapore, Bangkok or Manila, where SIBAT, IAI and RAFAEL have full-time rep offices. Consequently, the Searcher Mk2 was first 'leased' by the Indonesian Army's Special Warfare Command (KOPASSUS) from Singapore for a fortnight in 1995and employed for a hostage rescue mission in West Irian (bordering Papua New Guinea).

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: So where do you reckon the lone IDF-Navy Dolphin-class submarine now on patrol in the Arabian Sea will have access to replenishment-at-sea? As far as I can recall, there is also an Indian Navy fleet replenishment tanker roaming in the same area. I won't be surprised at all if there's a pre-arrangement link-up.

Nava said...

Found it:
House Against Purchase of Israeli Drones


The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Mon, 06/29/2009 9:32 PM | National

The House of Representatives’ Commission I, which oversees defense, says it will not approve the government’s plan to purchase Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), better known as drones.
“The Defense Ministry wants to purchase three drones at a total cost of US$16 million,” commission member Djoko Susilo, from the National Mandate Party (PAN), told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
“The ministry will receive the funds through a loan agreement with Leumi Bank, a UK-based Israeli bank.”
The drones are manufactured by an Israeli company, Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd, he added.
Djoko said the House had already warned the government two years ago to forget about purchasing anything from Israel, in a “show of solidarity” for Palestine.
The plan comes as a surprise because Israel and Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, have no diplomatic relations.
“The government said it would review the policy. However, it was then revealed during today’s meeting with the ministry that the plan would continue,” Djoko said.
“The progress report of the plan shows the government has prepared a loan agreement proposal. The Finance Ministry will then sign the proposal before submitting it to the House for ratification. I have told them the House will not ratify the proposal.”
The Indonesian Military (TNI) signed a contract with a Philippine-based company, acting as an agent, to buy the drones in October 2006.
TNI spokesman Air Rear Marshal Sagom Tamboen said the TNI would wait for the House and the government to settle their differences on the purchase plan.
“The law reduces the TNI’s role for giving input concerning technical specifications. The next step is up to the House and the government,” he said.

This is from an Israeli site.

Nava said...

So I guess we're talking about the same thing, only here it is implied that the drones have yet to be delivered.

RE Dolphins:

My thoughts exactly! I suspected there was some Indian involvement.

But more importantly: what is it that they're doing there?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: Not quite, regarding the UAVs. This is a new deal, a follow-on purchase. The 2006 deal was implemented in full. The Indian warships and tankers are already there on anti-piracy patrols between the Horn of Africa and Seychelles. Interestingly, a few months before the Dolphin's arrival in the Arabian Sea there was an Indian Navy oceanographic survey vessel near Seychelles. The Dolphin (like any other SSK) needs to undertake such extended-duration patrols at sea not just for training purposes, but also for conducting seabed mapping (at least once every three years) of its likely operating areas so that the undersea/seabed navigation charts are kept relatively up-to-date.

Nava said...

It isn't just the Dolphin though. There have been reports that IS navy vessels have been patrolling (or whatever) there too.

Methinks Iran, Sudan, Gaza...

Anonymous said...

Wow! How did this post grow so long so fast?
V-22 is still facing some serious serviceability issues. Although the US Marines swear by it, half the fleet is supposed to be grounded. We should wait for these issues to be ironed out which could even take a few years.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: The Iranians have been known to have sent clandestine weapons shipments by sea to Port Sudan and from there to Egypt and finally to Gaza. I have seen on several occasions in various defence expos in the Middle East and Southeast Asia from 2004 onwards several Sudanese officials/delegations spending long hours at the booths of the exhibiting Iranian weapons manufacturing entities. Therefore, for the IDF-Navy it is now imperative to maintain persistent ISTAR footprints over the Port Sudan area.

To Anon@1:04PM: Just woke up, did you? All kinds of hardware entering service have serviceability issues to be sorted out. Just as was the case with the Hawk Mk132 LIFT. Nothing unusual about it. These will be sorted out by the time (and if) contract signature takes place between Bell-Boeing and the MoD.

Nava said...

Yeah, that's what I think.

Truly an odious regime.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Nava, do check out with Google Earth the parking area of Delhi Int'l Airport at 28° 33’ 13.02” N, 77° 06’ 29.47” E. You will find some of the several IAI/Gulfstream-built bizjets owned and operated by the Aviation Research Centre, which is owned by the Research & Analysis Wing, or RAW (India's counterpart of MOSSAD). Also check out RAW's second air base at: 20° 33’ 03.35” N, 85° 53’ 10.39” E
The second base was in fact funded wholly by the US in the late 1950s for hosting U-2 recce aircraft that were meant to fly deep into China. However, by the time the air base was completed the U-2 recce flight programme was discontinued. Since then, the ARC has been using this air base.

Nava said...

Well you're certainly full of surprises. Thanks!

What are these Gulfstreams equipped with?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

SIGINT sensors and LOROP cameras.

Nava said...

When were they supplied to RAW?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

In the mid- and late 1990s.

Anonymous said...

Prasun da'

Thanks for the reply.So the Kaveri will not power any home grown aircraft unless another fighter project comes off in next 9-10 years.

Once to a query you have replied that the 4 Project 15B DDG that the MoD has sanctioned in April this year is actually the 2nd batch of Project 15A DDG and the Project 15B DDG consists of 7 destroyers to built in modules like the Project 17A FFG.You didn't mentioned about the 3 Project 15c DDG. But now you have mentioned about the follow-on Project 15B DDG and the 3 projected Project 15C DDG.I am confused. So please tell how many Project 15A DDG,15B DDG & 15C DDG will be there???

Will it be like this-
Project 15A DDG- 7 (3Kolkata class + 4 to be named)
Project 15B DDG- 7
Project 15C DDG- 3
OR like this-
Project 15A DDG- 3 Kolkata class
Project 15B DDG- 4 + Project 15C DDG- 3= 7 DDG to be build

Prasun da please clarify once and for all.

What are these 7th,8th & 9th Project 1135.3 class FFG? Are they the Talwar class FFG,2nd batch of Krivak class and the 3rd batch to be ordered.

Will the Kolkata class DDG be also fitted with the EL/M-2080 L-band LRTR?Will the S-band EL/M-2248 MF-STAR will replace the Fregat-M2EM radar on board the six Project 1135.6 FFGs and the three Project 17 FFGs and EL/M-2080 L-band LRTR be also placed on them?

sachin_sathe said...

prasun

The Osprey definately has some unmatched qualities.If IN goes for Osprey based AEW then it would be a gr8 leap forward from clunky Ka-31's
Can u post abt wht sort of performance it can give as an AEW system compared to Hawk Eye?

The interest in MV-22 seems to be in line with deployment of IBG(as under cold start doctrine) from sea.wht do u think?

As far as the ARC is concerned i think it will also operate a couple of C-130J's for elint/comint work with IAF.

Anonymous said...

Prasun, notice the zig-zag pattern underlining the edges of Rafle. EF doesnt have such features. Also the Rafle has better thrust to weight ratio to EF Typhoon. So why is it that Typhoon gets kudos for stealth and agility? Is it bacause Dassault doesn't advertise agressively (at least in public) or because of some biased simulations done long ago against initial versions of Rafle by competitors. Also how can the EF CEASAR AESA radar claim to be better when the French have more experience with AESA. Even if CEASAR aims for higher performance to present RBE2 AESA, French would too have improved RBE2 by the time CEASAR enters service.
I believe a lot of public openion today is influnced by old presumptions. Years ago Typhoon would advertise its lower cost to Rafle owing to greater production volumes. Today Typhoon is a lot more expensive to Rafle. Several industry experts today rubbish the old EF claims of it being 90% as capable as F-22.
Rafle may present the most balanced choice for India. Its matured, comes from a reliable source(France), unlike EF it is omnorole and unlike SH it is of a convenient size should IN choose to adopt it for our ACs. It may not come as cheap as F-16IN or GripenIN but wont be as expensive as EF either. Also having high commonality with our upgraded Mirages, IAF will be able to absorbe it more conveniently.

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

The new US Ambassador comes with 9/11 commission experience but importantly - Boeing & Lockheed Martin experience too. Which bring to the mother of all defense deal in 2010. But before that a look at history (recent) - since we tend to forget both history and its lessons.

1947 - 48

Before leaving India, Royal Air Force (RAF, UK) decided to destroy valuable aircrafts in the newly independent India with the aim of denying these to the nascent Indian Air Force (IAF). Over fifty (50) Liberator bombers stationed in Kanpur that could have formed several bomber squadrons, were, as the then seniormost Indian engineering officer in Royal Indian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Harjinder Singh, recounts in his memoirs, ‘ broken up by using the heavy cranes. The undercarriages were retracted as they were lifted high up and then suddenly the aircraft would be dropped nose down, on the ground’ or sledge hammer to ‘to damage the mainplanes and tail units’. Spitfire fighter aircraft came in for similar treatment and the Aircraft Repair Depot on base, moreover, was stripped off all tools and maintenance equipment, and several expensive machines and instruments were simply ‘thrown into a large water tank.’ Having forcibly rid the force of the Liberator bombers, the presiding British officers then tried to induce the Indian government to buy the ‘obsolete’ Lancaster bombers from the UK.

Nehru faced similar rebuff from the US too. The initial query for the supply of hardware to India, including 1000 jeeps and 43 B-25 Mitchell bombers, and for the placement of some thirty ‘aero-engineers’ was made by the Indian Military Attache in Washington and concurrently Military Adviser to the Indian Delegation to the United Nations, Colonel (later Lt. General) BM Kaul, in January 1948, on the instructions of the Defence Minister Baldev Singh. India did not get but note the important US Joint Chief of Staff’s (JCS) recommendation.

This JCS document deemed other countries like India in South Asia to be of negligible positive strategic importance to the US. (See Venkatramani: A Mission without success’: pp 61-65)

Anonymous said...

So Maitri was an MBDA-DRDO wet dream after all.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090716/jsp/nation/story_11243098.jsp

Anonymous said...

lso how can the EF CEASAR AESA radar claim to be better when the French have more experience with AESA.
-------------------------------
both rbe2 aesa and amsar are build in codevelopemnt project and both have same tech,amsar wilol have upto 1400 t/r modules compared to 1000 t/r modules in rafale,so bigger the radar more is detection range

as far as commonality is concerned then nothing beats mig35 in this

Anonymous said...

Nearly half of Russian air-to-air missiles with IAF have homing, ageing problems: CAG report

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=10985

This explains why IAF is now willing to spend big money on western systems. Mirage 2000 is like Honda City, it may be overpriced but offers impeccable quality.
----------------------------------
this CAG report is flawed india bought r27 missiles from ukrain in 1996 and r77 came only with su30mki/mig21 bison in 2002-03

SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) reported that 300 R-27R1/T1 air-to-air missiles were ordered by the Indian Air Force in 1995 and all 300 missiles were delivered in the same year. SIPRI reported that 1140 R-27E missiles were ordered in 1996 and 250 were delivered by 2001. SIPRI also reported that 1140 R-27R1/T1 missiles were ordered from Ukraine in 1996 and 304 were delivered by 2001. As per the annual UN conventional arms register, the Indian Government reported it had purchased 40 R-27ER1 and 36 R-27ET1 missiles in 1999 and 20 R-27ER1 and 20 R-27ET1 missiles in 2000

Anonymous said...

This is not the first time R77 failures have come to light. The only silver lining is that if R77 is having problems homing into target, Chinese SD-10/PL11 that use R77 seeker cannot be any better.
But now that PAF is acquiring AIM-120C5 that will arrive from next year IAF needs to look at alternatives.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.42PM: It will be like this: 3 Project 15A Kolkata-class DDG, 4 Project 15B DDG, 3 Project 15C DDG. The 7th,8th & 9th Project 1135.3 class FFG (3rd batch of Talwar-class FFG, which will be ordered in future). The Project 15B and Project 15C DDGs will be fitted with the EL/M-2080 L-band LRTR and S-band EL/M-2248 MF-STAR. No changes at all to the first six Project 1135.6 FFGs and the three Project 17 FFGs.

To Sachin Sathe: The V-22 Osprey's AEW variant will have much more superior endurance capabilities than the existing Ka-31s. Also, due to the fact that it can be refuelled in mid-air, it will be a better choice than the E-2T Hawkeye 2000. The ARC won;t be operating any C-130J-30s since its Gulfstreams already have such ELINT/SIGINT hardware for conducting routine border surveillance.

To Anon@10:45PM: In several respects the Rafale F3 is AS OF NOW definitely superior to the existing EF-2000 Typhoon. In fact, the yet-to-emerge Tranche 3 of the EF-2000 will be comparable to the Rafale F3. The only thing going against the Rafale are lesser numbers in service, compared to the Typhoon. However, when I spoke to both South Korean and Singaporean test-pilots a couple of years ago, both said that for either of the M-MRCAs to be truly omni-role, they would have to come as tandem-seaters, instead of a can do it all' single-seater. It is for this reason that the IAF too is insisting on acquiring the tandem-seat variant of the FGFA. This then brings us all to a very critical question: will all the IAF's new M-MRCAs be tandem-seaters and if so which of the contenders will be the most viable from a financial and performance standpoint? Now, unless Dassault can pull off a miracle, it would seem that the tandem-seat F-16 IN Viper and F/A-18F Super Hornet will be the principal contenders.

To Anon@7:51AM: If the BVRAAMs acquired from Ukraine or Russia are having serviceability problems, then there can be only three reasons for this state of affairs: either the missiles are bio-degradable (which they are most definitely not!), or they are not being stored properly, or they are not be re-lifed as mandated by their periodic schedules due to the absence of in-country laboratory-based automated test equipment. I know for sure that the last of the three reasons is the cause of this dismal state of affairs. Therefore, it will be wrong to point the finger at either ARTEM of Ukraine or Vympel JSC or AGAT JSC of Russia.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@2:50AM: What the TELEGRAPH report does not state is the connection between the Maitri LLQRM/SR-SAM and the Nag ATGM. MBDA agreed to grant BEL the licence for producing the Nag's IIR seeker and fully indigenising it PROVIDED the Maitri R & D project was initiated in parallel and committed to series-production for all three armed services.

BuA Da: To be fair to both parties (India and the US) I wish you had also highlighted the US efforts post-May 1974 to convince India to quickly weaponise her nuclear arsenal so that India too could be recognised as a nuclear weapons state under the NPT. but how India endlessly dithered to her own detriment. Bottomline: India cannot always point the finger at others when she herself has for the most part sabotaged her supreme national interests. The greatest enemies of India are within, and are not external entities.

subroto said...

To All,

First Indian ATV (Nuclear Submarine) will be commissioned in the Indian Navy as INS Arihant, which translates as "destroyer of enemies", after extensive outfitting and sea trial.

Nava said...

So are you saying that the Maitri project is indeed "not going to happen" and that the Nag is going to suffer as a result? Or do you mean to imply that MBDA will prevent its cancellation by waving the Nag seeker stick?

Anonymous said...

Prasun ji,
It seems you are a small encyclopedia of military and aviation technology. :) Great indeed! Continue what you are doing.

My question may be stupid, but I do not know what is meant by "tandem seat" in fighter planes like in F16, F18?

I am just curious, no offense to "Nava" and you. Isn't it disclosing RAW's air bases cause security breach, especially when the attacks by Naxalites or Maoists around Orissa at the highest? And how do you know that, people like Nava (or for that instant me) or some other guys are good guys or not.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: What I'm saying is: if the Maitri goes off the table, the Nag goes off the table too. And since too much money and effort has gone into the Nag to be brushed off the table, it is consequently highly unlikely that the Maitri's R & D effort will be killed.

To Anon@11am: Tandem-seat means the two-seat configuration as on the Su-30MKI (one behind the other). As to whether or not disclosing RAW-controlled air bases constitutes a 'security breach' you will have to pose this very same question to millions of motorists passing by the Technical Area of Palam Airport everyday who enjoy a far better a closer view of such facilities and anyone else viewing them via Goggle Earth. But do rest assured that unlike the Maoist-infested populated rural areas, air bases always have a multi-tier perimeter security system in place 24/7. Even the Maoists have enough brains to figure out that and will therefore refrain from contemplating any such move.

Nava said...

I see. On the other hand, the report mentions Rafael's Spider as an alternative to the Maitri (Are they indeed similar?). Rafael of course produces the Spike, which is superior (at least that's what the French seem to think)to the unfinished Milan ER. A deal could conceivably be struck whereby the Nag would use the Spike's IIR seeker, provided that it wouldn't compete in exports.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: The SpyDer purchase by India was an emergency procurement to plug some vital gaps in low-level air defence. But that purchase does not even constitute one-tenth of the total requirements for E-SHORADS by the three armed services of India. And since huge production volumes over a 10-year period are involved, developing the Maitri makes sense as the R & D costs will be easily amortised thanks to the huge production orders. As for the Spike ATGM, the shoulder-launched SR variant is already on order for the Indian Army's special operations forces. The Spike-MR is not in contention, while the Spike-LR is the fray to equip the HAL-built Light Combat Helicopter and the to-be-selected heavy attack helicopter of imported origin. The Spike-LR now also comes with Eurocopter's Tigre. And guess what: the Spike is also being offered to India by Singapore's ST Kinetics! But the MBDA-designed IIR seeker for the Nag will stay.

Nava said...

What a buzz kill. Now I'll be all depressed en route to my attacks on those RAW facilities.


So basically the Telegraph has it wrong (shocker)?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: LoL! Not to mention the ELTA-built surface movement detection radar constantly monitoring your presence as you close in on the air base. Yes, THE TELEGRAPH got it all wrong.

Nava said...

Ah, but I'll be using my Israeli commando experience (I'm thinking I'll arrive via ICBM).

Anyway...Any progress on the NRUAV?

BTW, isn't this UAV much more appealing (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/06/03/327290/picture-aeronautics-reveals-picador-unmanned-helicopter.html)?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Maitri it must be pointed out that being Astra BVRAAM derived it will be less agile to close-combat derived SAMs like Spyder and VL-Mica. This is because the later have thrust vectoring while BVRAAMs including Astra dont, so as not to bleed energy and have long range.
Maitri may therefore have more range but will be less effective as an Anti-pgm/supersonic missile.

This project was superflous. IAF has already satisfied its requirement with Spyder which will be replacing the 9 OSA-AK squadrons they have. The Army needs a "on the move" QRSAM. While the Navy only needs a CIWS to suppliment Barak 8 which will be its principle missile defense system. Barak 8 doesnt need the support of a less capable SAM. Dont confuse with the model of Aster 15/30 where Aster 15 is more agile and provides missile defense while aster 30 is required for long range.

BTW Indian Engine RFP Expected This Week

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@12:41PM: Are you saying that the SpyDer's Derby missile and VL-MICA's Mica-IR/EM are close-combat-derived SAMs, as opposed to BVRAAM-derived SAMs? And BTW irregardless of which MR-SAM or LR-SAM it may be (Aster 15/30 or Barak-8/Barak-8ER) the requirement for E-SHORADS/SL-QRM/LL-QRM will always exist, even for all three armed services of India. The Navy too requires shore-based E-SHORADS, and not just the Army or IAF. Also, it will be premature to write off the Maitri especially since its land-mobile GBADS configuration is still evolving.

Anonymous said...

tor m1/panstir systems are most mobile LLQRM systems.

indranil said...

Hi Prasun!
Why should the IAF be even considering a twin engined tandem seat MMRCA when it has already invested so much in the Su 30MKI?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Indranil: My point exactly. In fact, I will even go a step further and question the very need for acquiring new M-MRCAs while at the same time upgrading the MiG-29B-12s and Mirage 2000Hs. For fleet rationalisation, it would have been much better to acquire 120 additional Su-30MKIs (to arrest the declining combat aircraft fleet inventory of the IAF) over and above the 230 already ordered, while at the same time decommissioning the MiG-29B-12s for good, not upgrading the Mirage 2000H/THs, and instead accelerating the upgrade of 120 Jaguar IS and fast-tracking the induction of the Tejas Mk2 LCA (starting 2012) and the FGFA (by 2015). This entire M-MRCA procurement exercise is now largely irrelevant now since their originbal requirement arose first in 2000 at a time when the Tejas LCA and FGFA projects were not firmed up in terms of a proper acquisition roadmap. But for the past two years, all the question marks regarding these two projects have been removed and today the IAF has a much clearer idea of how many Tejas LCAs and FGFAs to procure and in which versions. Therefore, importing new M-MRCAs at this stage is a futile and financially avoidable exercise. In fact, to me personally, the M-MRCA procurement exercise appears to have been undertaken due to political requirements, as opposed to the IAF's operational requirements.

indranil said...

Well, there is nothing wrong with using big ticket military purchases for political leverage. Moreover Tejas Mk2 is nowhere in sight. Do you really believe in the 2012 time frame for the Tejas Mk2? Even after two decades the DRDO is not ready with the Mk1 and do you think that in another 3 years these guys will be ready with the Mk2? Dont you think a single engined lightweight fighter purchase fills a crucial gap in the IAF inventory. After all back in 2000 the IAF was originally interested in the Mirage 2000-5.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Indranil: There are sound reasons to believe that the Tejas Mk2 will succeed fairly quickly once the issues conserning the new powerplant and related airframe changes are addressed in the near future. That is not my worry. My main worry is the 'weaponisation process' of the Tejas Mk2, which is completely dependent on the fully-instrumented air-to-ground weapons test range becoming operational at the ITR in Chandipur, and off Kalaikunda. Also missing now is a dedicated tri-services air base that can be developed into a national flight-test centre which also has to house institutions like the ASTE. Unless and until such specialised infrastructure comes up, all R & D-related efforts concerning the Tejas or the FGFA will face severe handicaps.
As for the M-MRCA procurement exercise, I have yet to come across a coherent explanation that spells out what exactly a single-engined or twin-engined M-MRCA will be able to do which the Su-30MKI presently cannot.

Anand said...

Hi Prasun, really good post on India's interest in the V-22 however a small question regarding the C-130Js which you mentioned in your post with regard to in-flight refueling. I hear that the IAF is buying the C-130J for their SF operations but the C-130J is not capable of performing inflight refueling. However im not sure if the IAF is planning to buy any of the tanker versions like the HC-130 or the KC-130J, could you comment on that please?