Monday, November 2, 2009

Unnecessary Fuss



It is the ultimate irony, isn't it? On one hand there's all kind of anti-China hysteria in the India-based mass-media and on the other hand, a MoD-owned defence PSU lke BEL is procuring CETC-built SEC-33 bulk encryptors off-the-shelf! But such encryptors are dual-use items that are procured commercially and many a time even the OEM (CETC) is unaware of the final export destinations of such encryptors. But as long as the encryptor's integral encryption chip is not pre-programmed (and the encryption software is locally installed by BEL in India), there is no operational risk whatsoever to the end-user as BEL is the sole custodian and designer of the encryption software's crypto keys (which is embedded by BEL within the encryption chip)—Prasun K. Sengupta

33 comments:

li hung said...

hi prasun
u said jf 17 is a decent fighter how you compare it with f18 or j10 or su 30.

Truth for India said...

Good blog. Thanks.

Why should we even buy Chinese products for defence purpose? Is the same not available from any other country? Now they understood that there is something wrong and set up an inquire. But at the first hand why BEL should buy Chinese system? Its the main electronic equipment supplier of Indian armed forces.

Every chip for encryption device needs some assembly programming and by that when integrated in hostile environment, it will be possible for China to access those data. For certain commands the micro-processor should be set to reset mode what ever the software may be. For example we have Intel based processor in our PCs and we have other types of OS but it is possible for Intel to access information over network with certain commands that can only understood by the processor.

Now in defence there are more sophisticated technologies are used. If we use Chinese systems it not only gives China a upper hand but also makes it easy for them to access sensitive data.

Anonymous said...

Prasun,
Thanks for your replies and new slides. You are just Super!

Keep going. Looking forward to new articles.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Li Hung: There's no comparison at all since the F/A-18 and J-10 are M-MRCAs and the Su-30 like the F-15 is a heavy-MRCA.

Truth for India: Why not? What's wrong with it? Years ago COSTIND officially offered to India the complete range of LAWs and RPGs as well as fleet replenishment tankers and oceanographic survey vessels. Hell, China even supplied India with enriched uranium for the US-supplied light water reactors at Tarapur in the early 1990s when even the French were having second thoughts! BEL floated global tenders (and nowehere in it is it stated that China-made products are excluded from the bidding process) and CETC responded, as did Switzerland's OMNISEC anmd Crypto AG. What's wrong with that? The assembly programming you've highlighted was done by BEL and that's how only BEL has access to the crypto-keys which in turn were developed within India, and not by CETC. I therefore don't see how OPSEC can be compromised. Who do you think is supplying all the telecommunications hardware to all the cellular service providers in India? It is Hwawei Technologies! The are the market leader not only in India, but throughout Southeast Asia as well.

To Anon@10:05AM: Many thanks, mate.

Anonymous said...

Is there a chance that these boxes may contain additional circuitry? Things that may get activated through a back door. Can we open and verify these systems. Do we even understand these systems to do such verification? Is there any way to know what is in the encryption chip, any additional operations it may be designed to perform?

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasun,
Some time back, you promised a writeup on Op Falcon and what really happened at Somdurong Chu.
We wait patiently....., for a story which no doubt is very intriguing.
Please enlighten us

li hung said...

prasun is right
india should buy from us our products comes with no strings attached we can supply what nobody else sell and our quality is way much better and price is much cheaper.our j 10 and j11 gona rule the world.india should consider buying these plans.we can be friends dont be friends with tibat.and give us our land occupied by u.

IPE said...

To li hung
Before considering Arunachal why don't u give back our land occupied by you from 1962 (Parts of Kashmir, Kailash)etc etc.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@11:09PM: No chance of that as they're all opened up and checked by BEL (they have to be, otherwise how can BEL istall the encryption chip?). Common sense, isn't it?

To Anon@6:13AM: Am working on it.

To Li Hung: I'm afraid your optimism regarding future export sales prospects for the J-10 and J-11 are ill-founded. Rule over China seems all-right, but any exports of either the J-10 or J-11 is very much dependent on sourcing their AL-31F turbofans from Russia. The J-11 itself contains several components still being sourced from Russia and there are strict industrial protocols in place that prevent China from reverse-engineering the Su-27SK/UBK. And how can you ask anyone not to be friends with Tibet? Are you not contradicting yourself? Because your remark clearly implies that you too regard Tibet as an independent territorial entity. If you're claiming to pretending to be supportive of the PRC then surely you will be aware that the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is an integral part of the PRC. Or are you just pretending to be a prankster?

li hung said...

friends with tibat means supporting dalai lama.what i am saying dont support his cause

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Li Hung: What do you mean by "don't support his cause"? Which cause? Spiritual or political? In all his speeches and press conferences and interviews on political issues to date, he has consistently said that the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is an integral part of the PRC. Are you saying that he is wrong and TAR should intead declare independence? And both spiritually and religiously, as you're aware, the Dalai Lama is extremely averse to even causing any kind of bodily harm to insects, as mandated by Buddhism. That being the case I fail to understand how His Holiness--who is totally devoted to preservation (and not loss) of life--can ever pose a mortal or existential threat to any country in the world, be it the aethist/communist PRC or any other country. Consequently, many a time I wonder what is it exactly that the PRC's leaders are smoking whenever them condemn the Dalai Lama as a 'splittist'. Splitting what from what?

F said...

li hung...

To a FREE Tibet and a FREE Xinjiang!!

p.s. Are you really from China....?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Faris: LoL!!!

Anonymous said...

Nah Li hung's just another obsessed Paki...actually you never hear the chinese folks talking about jf-17 that's supposedly a joint fighter.

@ Prasun
Why does Pakistan need loans from china to procure the jf-17 if they have really contributed the same amount of money? Pakistanis proudly say that it is their fighter but what i don't understand is that why they would need loans to buy their own fighter??

Anonymous said...

^^
Ever wondered what China calls the Jf-17? FIGHTER CHINA-1 (FC-1)!! No joint thingy BS. Enough said..lol

Anonymous said...

Indian industry is a bad state if they relying on China for electronics.

All the mocking of Chinese stuff, but India has nothing better to offer to its military?!!

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@9PM: The PAF provided partial funding only for the JF-17 Thunder 's project definition and R & D phases. For the licenced-assembly phase of the JF-17, PAC Kamra had to be expanded to include a completely new JF-17 rebuild plant, plus the various workshops and warehousing facilities. It is for setting up all this infrastructure that Pakistan sought low-interest loans (payable over an eight-year period) from China.

Anonymous said...

@ PaKi anon 8:36
LOL prasun has already told you that..
Now, where did you see us mock chinese chips?? or is it your caveman mullah mentality that doesn't allow you to use your gray matter before posting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun, you must have looked at this http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/05/iran-tested-nuclear-warhead-design,why is this being published now? to get iran to negotiating table again .how do you think this is going to play out?do you think iran will ultimately have its bomb probably the way israel might have(never testing it but having it in a dissassemble form ready to be deployed if the situation demands the article notes the possibility of a smaller dia missile)or will the west be able to kill their program now that it seems to be too advanced with probable dont tell no see attitude from the russians (since there was auk paper again reporting israelis accusing russian engg of helping the iranians with /without moscow's knowledge).Finally do u think bombing the facility(ies) will be of help? and how do you think the muslim wld will react to this (shia -sunni issue is this)if the iranians succeed how will it change the security comlexion of the region ? i(ran able to prop u[ syria more vigorously against israel ? oil? threaten us forces in middle east?)

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 1;12 am

LOL, "Paki" is your response. That confirms it that India has no industry in the private sector capable of supplying electronics to own military(:

Maybe your military defence companies and top leadership of military is run by "mullahs"? For example India is tendering for foreign handguns. Handgun technology is not complex. Illiterates in Pakistan have been making knock offs of foreign weapons, so it seems something is wrong in Indian industry.

Heres my final example. In somolia the insurgents say Indian AK 47s are the worst because they melt in the heat, ironically North Korean guns are prized.

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE5582RR20090609?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

"One of the cheapest items is an Indian AK-47, at $140 each, but fighters disparage its poor quality compared to the heat-resistant North Korean version ($600) and the light Russian one ($400). At the top of the range of light weapons, the most expensive pistol, Russian-made, goes for $1,000"

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@8:36AM: If one were to go along with your logic, then it would seem that since China has been importing iron ore from India for several years, the the PRC too should be in very bad shape, won't you agree?

To Anon@6:28AM: Global tendering for small arms and ammo is done even by the likes of the US, China and Pakistan. As for 'Indian' AK-47s, no one in India has to date licence-built or series-produced any reverse-engineered AK-47. The great majority of imported AK-47s in usage throughout India have come from Bulgaria and Romania.

To Anon@1:48AM: Iran became determinhed to acquire nuclear WMDs the day it realised in the mid-1980s that almost the entire Arab world (led by the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council) was against the very existence of a Shia Islamic republic. Any objective observer will conclude that for any country faced with an existential threat, there's isn't any other option but to invest in the ultimate life insurance policy. For Iran, this is reason enough for it to withdraw from the NPT (just like North Korea did). If North Korea can officially withdraw from the NPT, then why not Iran? And no one seems to be even considering any kind of punitive action against Pyongyang! My personal belief is that any kind of Iranian n-arsenal is purely meant for deterring any combined Arab onslaught against Iran in future, and not against Israel. All this shit being hurled against Israel through official Iranian channels is mere grandstanding and for domestic consumption only. Because, the bottom line is: Israeli has never and will never pose an existential threat to Iran, but the Arabs have been, do and will continue to do so.

Nava said...

I've already mentioned that I find your assertions WRT Iran to be wildly off the mark; Iran's nuclear program isn't based on any specific threat the country faces. It is meant to strengthen its position within the Muslim world and consolidate the Islamic regime's standing. Also, there is the intense, rather obsessive hatred of Israel (and in Ahmadinejad's case- pure antisemitism). How much of a role that plays is unclear to me, but I imagine that you understand Israel's reluctance to wait idly and find out.


On an entirely different note, I read that the Rustom is about to have its maiden flight. Is that true?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Hey Nava, only time will tell whose assertions/beliefs are closer to the truth. WRT "Israel's reluctance to wait idly and find out", do you really think that were Israel to be given a carte blanche and airspace transit rights by its Arab neighbours to undertake offensive airpower campaigns deep inside Iran, then Iran's n-weaponisation programme will end up in catastrophic elimination? Even if Israel were to implement such an option, I cannot ever imagine a scenario in which such military options will produce the desired results.
The Rustom's proof-of-concept vehicle is due to get airborne soon, it is true.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Nava: The Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army, Gen Deepak Kapoor, will begin his official visit to Israel on November 8, and he will be there till November 14.

li hung said...

importing ore doesnt mean india is superrior in technology.it means india has mountains,but the canot process it.we import ore and process it for use in industry

Anonymous said...

SO Prasun ,in ur opinion iran is bound to have a weapon !why doesnt washington exploit this and assure iranand convince it to give up nukes in return for closer cooperation even if reqd away from the pulic?are they both at each othersthroat in reality ?
or is it that the sunnis have higher levers to pull (oil)or that since the revolutions was against th us puppet ,the irans will not consider coopn with the US .it is presumed that iran wants a nuke to prop up its regime rather than security
on a different note ,u have posted that the SABR was more likely to go on board the f16IN rather than an apg80.whyis this is it a wat ered down export variant?or is it something the IAF might prefer over the APG80

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Yo li hung: From your remarks it would appear that India is more advanced than China in the arena of minerals exploration. The fact that you yourself think that iron ore is found only in mountains kindda proves my point!

To Anon@10:49AM: Yes, since no one has punished North Korea for withdrawing from the NPT a precedent has been created under which existing signatories to the NPT such as Iran can walk out anytime they want, thanks to P-5 at the UN Security Council! But let us be objective here and examine how exactly Iran was able to import off-the-shelf all the industrial equipment required for fabricatig its uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing plants, and related heavy water production plants. While it is well-known that most of such hardware came from Europe and North America, how come the supplier-countries in these two continents are not being punished for committing the greater sin? Consequently, I don't think the US is serious about curtailing Iran's n-weapons programme, just as it allowed Pakistan to pursue and expand its clandestine n-weapons programmes in the 1980s.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@10:49AM: Both the SABR from Northrop Grumman and RACR from Raytheon are a generation ahead of the APG-80. In future such AESA-based radars will also go on board UAVs and UCAVs and will be operating in at least 20 modes.

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun,
Is the helmet mounted cueing system on-board the Tejas II MMRCA?

Also which version of the ej-200 is competing the for Tejas II? Is it the enhanced version or the one on current eurofighters.

Could the f-414-400 still have a growth potential?
Thanks for your valuable time!

Prasun K Sengupta said...

HMD for the Tejas Mk1 and Mk2 is the DASH-3 from ELBIT Systems.
The present in-production version of the EJ-200 is on offer for the Tejas Mk2. Both the EJ-200 and F414-GE-400 has future growth prospects. GE already outlined its growth roadmap for the F414 a few months ago, I think during the last Paris Air Show.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun!
Will the F414 be able to supercruise if fitted on the LCA Mk2? Which engine would you prefer & why? Can the F414 be fitted with thrust vectoring?

Anonymous said...

@ Prasun
Is the DASH 3 on par with the JHMCS onboard the American fighters?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@11:37AM: Well, a fully loaded Tejas Mk2 won't be able to, but a Tejas Mk2 without its weapons load will be able to. But supercruise isn't a necessity in operational terms, meaning it won't confer any decisive advantages. The same goes for thrust-vectoring. Better to acquire supermanoeuvrable air-to-air missiles along with HMD rather than making the aircraft supermanoeuvrable as the biological limitations of the pilot will prevent him/her from resorting to repetitive super-manoeuvrability. In my humble view the GE-built F414 offers the safest and least risky option foe the Tejas Mk2.
Yes, the Dash 3 is on par with the JHMCS, but any HMD's effectiveness is dependent on the availability of on-board mission sensors on the aircraft, for instance, the infra-red search-and-track system (IRST) and tactical data links. For instance, information on the disposition of hostile aircraft can be received via tactical data links from AEW & C platforms like the A-50I PHALCON and this in turn will enable the pilot to visually focus in only a particular sector and acquire and identify the target with the IRST, following which the target can be engaged in a totally passive manner, with the HMD displaying the engagement and fire-control cues to the pilot who in turn can fire passive imaging infra-red guided-AAMs. That s exactly how the Indian Navy's upgraded Sea Harriers (equipped with Python-5 and Derby AAMs and Dash-3) will be employed.