Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Su-30MKIs at EX Red Flag 08: Clearing The Air

A couple of observations regarding Vishnu Som's reportage on EX Red Flag 08 at LIVEFIST:

1) In the absence of AWACS-based airborne battle management support in the within visual range air combat domain, the Su-30MKI or for that matter any other combat aircraft (like the Rafale and Eurofighter EF-2000) equipped with an infra-red search-and-track system (IRST) will undoubtedly prevail and this is most likely what happened at Mountain AFB. In fact, so vital is the IRST sensor today that even the US Navy has contracted Lockheed Martin to develop a pod-mounted IRST system for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

2) When operating in the supermanoeuvrable mode the 35-degree rate of turn per second mentioned refers to the instantaneous turn-rate, I presume. However, I've come across different figures being mentioned by RMAF Su-30MKM pilots for both the instantaneous turn rate and sustained turn rate.

3) As far as data links go, neither the Su-30MKI nor the Su-30MKM has the kind of Russia-origin airborne data links that are on board the Su-30MKK or Su-30MK2 or Su-27SMK. This is because the Su-30MKI and Su-30MKM are not required to share tactical air situation data with one another, but to exchange such data with AEW & C platforms. On the Su-30MKI the data links are of Israeli origin (from TADIRAN SpectraLink) and they will be operationalised only AFTER they are commissioned into service, which will happen only after the PHALCON AEW & C platforms are commissioned into service. This has nothing to do with OPSEC.

4) The question of dispensing chaff and flares during Ex Red Flag doesn’t arise at all since all the AAM firings (for both within visual range and beyond visual range intercepts) are simulated and are not live firings.

5) The equipment used for calibrating, monitoring and recording air combat engagements in real-time is the DACTS/ACMI system, which is also used for sortie debriefing. It is not a classified or restricted system, but it has an open architecture design which allows non-US DACTS/ACMI pods carried by participating aircraft to be data-linked in real-time. It is for this reason that the Su-30MKIs were clearly seen equipped with such underwing pods (supplied by RADA of Israel) when flying over the skies of Nevada.

6) Every contemporary on-board radar, be it for the F-16E, the F-16C/D or even the Su-30MKI, has a training mode, which is made use of during simulated air warfare exercises. One must bear in mind that the Red Flag series of exercises, while being the most realistic worldwide, are not a ‘no holds barred’ event and are held in a highly controlled environment when it comes to the participation of air forces not hailing from either NATO member-states or major non-NATO allies. In such an environment even the host air force, the USAF, is loathe to expose the full spectrum of its air dominance capabilities, particularly the crucial non-cooperative target recognition (NCTR) mode of US-origin airborne radars and the EW environment that would otherwise be created. Therefore, even the IAF had to adopt the norm of reciprocity and consequently desisted from putting to use the NCTR mode of the Su-30MKI’s NO-11M BARS radar, and decided not to equip the deployed Su-30MKIs at Nevada with EL/L-8222 jamming pods. As for the BARS’ ability to survive in an extreme EW environment and maintain its functional integrity, this is a non-issue as all electronic LRUs and components of the radar are already ‘hardened’ to prevent them from being ‘cooked’ by ultra-strong EMPs.

7) As EX Red Flag 08 was a multinational event designed to enhance the synchronisation of diverse airborne assets as part of a unified coalition-based air tasking effort, emphasis was not placed upon one-upmanship or pitting one participant’s competitive air combat skills against the other to prove one’s invincibility. For the IAF, therefore, one of the greatest lessons learnt was that it too has to, sooner rather than later, create a realistic training environment within India by virtually replicating a substantial part of the Red Flag exercise model, especially with regard to acquiring the necessary ground-based infrastructure like a fully instrumented range for dissimilar air combat and engaging in effects-based offensive knowledge-based warfare using standoff precision-guided munitions. Thus the stage is now set for the Indian Air Force (IAF) to have its own state-of-the-art, fully instrumented facility at a cost of US$80 million in the state of West Bengal, which will be used in future for staging multinational air exercises similar to the Red Flag series of exercises hosted by the US Air Force at Nellis Air Force Base. As per present plans, the IAF, like the USAF, has adopted the cluster approach under which it will equip the air bases in Kalaikunda, Hashimara and Barrackpore, and the air-to-ground ranged at Dega near Kalaikunda and at Chandipur-on-Sea. By 2011 it should be possible to put to test this gigantic state-of-the-art infrastructure in ‘no-holds barred’ exercise scenarios involving not just the Su-30MKIs and PHALCONs, but also participating assets from friendly countries like Singapore’s F-15SGs, Block 52 F-16C/Ds and G-550 AEW & C platforms, as well as France’s Rafales and the UK’s Eurofighter EF-2000s
.--Prasun K. Sengupta


Anonymous said...

u said: As far as data links go, neither the Su-30MKI nor the Su-30MKM has the kind of Russia-origin airborne data links that are on board the Su-30MKK or Su-30MK2 or Su-27SMK.

does this make our MKIs inferior in anyway to the chinese ones?


Prasun K Sengupta said...

On the contrary, it is exactly the opposite. The Chinese Su-27s and Su-30s are for air superiority and standoff air-to-ground attack, whereas the Su-30MKI has been optimised for air dominance when operating within a network-centric environment.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

The following reply was posted by Vishnu Som at LIVEFIST:
Hi Prasun ... a few of your points are incorrect ... the others I agree with ...

You wrote:
1) In the absence of AWACS-based airborne battle management support in the within visual range air combat domain, the Su-30MKI or for that matter any other combat aircraft (like the Rafale and Eurofighter EF-2000) equipped with an infra-red search-and-track system (IRST) will undoubtedly prevail and this is most likely what happened at Mountain AFB.
My View on this:
Currently the IRST on any aircraft does not offer any significant benefit in the visual bubble other than in probably the F-35 where the coverage is 360 degrees. Essentially, coverage of IRST is similar to radar albeit in azimuth only. While the IRST has the inherent advantage of a passive sensor, an alternate source is required for ranging (essential for enabling missile launch solutions). The advantage that it mainly offers is of a silent launch of a passive guided missile once the target ac is within the IRST envelope.

Prasun wrote:
2) When operating in the supermanoeuvrable mode the 35-degree rate of turn per second mentioned refers to the instantaneous turn-rate, I presume. However, I've come across different figures being mentioned by RMAF Su-30MKM pilots for both the instantaneous turn rate and sustained turn rate.
My view:
The sustained rates of turn are very high with TVC and vary between 30 to well over 50 degrees per second. Unlike conventional manoeuvring there really is no applicability of the terms instantaneous and sustained rates in manoeuvring with TVC. If you really must apply then in the case of TVC the sustained rates will be higher than the instantaneous rates, quite unlike the conventional manoeuvring. Thrust vectoring becomes more and more effective at lower speeds and as speed is reduced the rate of turns increase (sustained).

Prasun wrote:
3) On the Su-30MKI the data links are of Israeli origin (from TADIRAN SpectraLink) and they will be operationalised only AFTER they are commissioned into service.
My point:
The Su-30MKI has the Russian data link and not Israeli.

Your point:
4) The question of dispensing chaff and flares during Ex Red Flag doesn’t arise at all since all the AAM firings (for both within visual range and beyond visual range intercepts) are simulated and are not live firings.
My point:
In the case of these exercises ... Chaff `inhibited' missile launch to a large extent, while flares were used to counter IR Missiles post launch. Hence, in case somebody launched a missile and someone launched a flare after that, the shot invariably was classified as miss and not granted. In the Red Flag scenario with multi sensor tracking from ground and air, chaff was extremely important and needed to be utilised judiciously. The `use' of flares could be replaced by a voice call.

Prasun wrote:
The equipment used for calibrating, monitoring and recording air combat engagements in real-time is the DACTS/ACMI system, which is also used for sortie debriefing. It is not a classified or restricted system, but it has an open architecture design which allows non-US DACTS/ACMI pods carried by participating aircraft to be data-linked in real-time. It is for this reason that the Su-30MKIs were clearly seen equipped with such underwing pods (supplied by RADA of Israel) when flying over the skies of Nevada.
My perspective:
Its NACTS (Nellis Air Combat Training System) and not DACTS. It’s from M/s Cubic of US and not RADA of Israel. Yes the pods were networked and recorded manoeuvring. However, they did not provide any inputs to the pilot. They transmitted data to each other and to ground stations for real time display of the situation on the ground. The same picture is not available to the pilot for reference in the air. Hence, it’s a good debrief aid as it accurately records the relative position of each participant in real time and aids in shot assessment during the debrief.
Thanks... Vishnu

Shriya said...

Darling Prasun, here is a Q:

Why must India sign that MMRCA contract when it already is procuring Su30MKI from Russia? Why a new plpane altogether. Can you please say what does Mig-35 or Rafale or Gripen got that Su30MKI don't? I don;t understand a need for a whole new platform. I mean even its fine if India procures an upgraded Su-30 with more latest specs but for a new platform will be an utter waste of money and time. and also itwill affect network centric capability of IAF if India does not procure the Mig-35s. WHY?

Shriya said...

And the second Q is:

Usually how is payment for such deals made? Is payment made at the beginning of the contract (lump sum 500 mil in 3 payments) or over an extended period at fixed rate (like monthly 30M for the 10 yr contract period example) or paid based on deliveries (contracted price paid each time a plane is delivered)?

Then in case the seller defaults citing government laws (like embargo), maybe incase India does a nuke test, will the contract grind to halt? Ok surely the supplier will stop supplying but will the buyer (India) have to continue payment? What does the clause on default stipulate?

I feel India should always make sure that the payment is at least on par with deliveries of goods / services and not in advance, I mean what paid should never exceed the actual value of goods / services. If ever such a need arises, India should demand performance bond in case of breach whatever the reason.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

That is a very good question as I have no convincing answer or argument to offer you. The logical decision would have been to stick to the Su-30MKI and order another 120 units over and above the 230 already contracted for. There are several options available for upgrading the Su-30MKI in areas concerning the airframe, avionics, engines, etc. In fact, I would even go to the extent of cancelling the MiG-29 upgrade contract and the MiG-27M upgrade contract, and use that money instead to invest in accelerating the procurement of flight simulators and other training aids required for the stepped-up induction of Su-30MKIs into service. Just imagine the present scenario: Deciding to procure the Su-30MKI in 1994, signing the contract in 1998, getting the first batch in 2002, and as yet not a single flight simulator for the Su-30MKI has been commissioned into service! All this when it is a well-established fact that of the 175 hours of flying training experience required for every Su-30MKI aircrew team, 45 of them can be flown in the simulator itself, thereby saving on the Su-30MKI fleet's operational costs and conserving airframe life. But, for some strange reason, IAF HQ never even bothers to discuss the flying training challenges, and these so-called national broadcast news channels on the other hand do not address such issues. All in all a very sad state of affairs.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Payments are made on a progressive basis as each production milestone is attained. The first tranche is paid upon contract signature and is the initial downpayment. Depending on how the production batches are divided into, progress payments are made in tranches. The period of the complete payment system lasts nine to 10 years. The performance bond is posted the moment the Letter of Intent is issued by the buyer. In case of competitive tendering, a bank guarantee is mandatory when submitting the tender bid. In case the seller defaults citing government laws (like embargo), the contract's implementation will be halted and progress payments will be witheld.

Shriya said...

No darling I just wanna know an answer to the following question which is

Can you please say what does Mig-35 or Rafale or Gripen got that Su30MKI don't?

I just wanna know if they fit different roles or have more weapons or something like that because I checked in Wikipedia and I couldn't find any difference. Indidn't read the whole article but just compared the specs and all seem like in the same class (4.5th generation) and are air superiority fighters. So why a new class?

Do you mean that you got no answer to this question?

Shriya said...

Thanks for Q2. But you said payment is made on production milestones. Here is a scenario:

The first milestone is to set up a facility. The value of this 1st milestone is worth $20 million.

Will India pay the $20 Million (1st milestone value) AFTER completion of the first milestone of BEFORE completion of that milestone or on a pro-rata basis?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

The Su-30MKI is an all-rounder and can carry far more ordnance than the Rafale or Eurofighter EF-2000 or Gripen IN or MiG-35. And over greater distances. In terms of mission avionics the Rafale and Eurofighter are better than the Su-30MKI, particularly with reference to the integrated EW suite but this shortcoming of the Su-30MKI can be easily rectified. Furthermore, the Su-30MKI is supermanoeuvrable, while all of the above-mentioned aircraft are not. Therefore, in conclusion, the Su-30MKI is in a class of its own and cannot be compared with the likes of the Rafale or Gripen IN or MiG-35 or EF-2000. The MiG-35 too is supermanoeuvrable and if equipped with the kind of new-generation avionics suites that India is now sourcing from Israel for the Tejas LCA, then the MiG-35 becomes superior to the others, but inferior only to the Su-30MKI/Su-35.

Shriya said...

Talking flight simulators does India have any Su30MKI simulators? Are they imported from Russia? Does this form part of the original SU30MKI contract and will simulators form part of the MMRCA contract?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

On a pro-rata basis. No one pays up the complete amount up-front.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

As of now the IAF does not have any flight simulator for the Su-30MKI. Their procurement was not part of the original Su-30MKI procurement contract. It was meant to be negotiated as a separate contract. The first two Su-30MKI flight simulators will be acquired next year and be located at Pune and Barielly.

Shriya said...

Ok thank you dear. so training is done in Russia at present? The new simulators will be acquired from Russia? I heard some company in India was developing them on partnership. is it manufactured by them (forgot who)

Prasun K Sengupta said...

No, all Su-30MKI-related flying training is being done within India by flying the actual aircraft, which is a very expensive way of operational flight conversion. All flight simulators will be delivered by Russia's Kronstadt Ltd company. Indian companies are only developing CBT tools, not the flight simulator. Some of the part-task trainers have come from Israel, and the rest from Russia's Tactical Missiles Corp.

Shriya said...

Ok thank you for clarifying.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Dear Vishnu....some additional clarifications for your reference. The OEPS-31 (Type 31E-MKI) IRST sensor made by UOMZ for the Su-30MKI is operable in both azimuth AND elevation. You can check this up at: where I have uploaded the IRST's brochure. I beg to differ with you about the limited benefits of IRSTs in the visual bubble. If that were the case then the UAE Air Force’s Block 60 F-16C/Ds and Republic of Singapore Air Force’s F-15SGs wouldn’t have the on-board IRST sensors that they now have.
Secondly, the two-way airborne data link to be used by the Su-30MKI for sharing the tactical air situation picture with the PHALCON AEW & C platform is indeed from TADIRAN SpectraLink (whose photo I have uploaded as well in my blog) and not of Russian origin. Specifics of this data link installation can be found in supplementary contract no9 of the principal contract РВ/535611031077 that was inked between Rosoboronexport State Corp and India's Ministry of Defence in Irkutsk on November 30, 1996. The data link was one of several non-Russia GFE avionics that was seen by me undergoing flight certification tests in the avionics integration rig at Irkutsk in May-June 2001. Also undergoing integration tests at that time were the RADA-supplied mission planning/mission de-briefing system (of which the rangeless DACTS/ACMI suite is a component). The ROKAF F-15Ks at Nellis AFB were equipped with a similar rangeless DACTS/ACMI system supplied by South Korea's Dong JI Inter-Tech.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun ... I have some answers to your latest post but I am dangerously close to breaching operational issues .. censoring myself at that stage ... though I will certainly cross-check the information you have posted since it is specific. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

last anonymous comment was by me ..

Vishnu Som

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Hi Vishnu! Kindly allow me to explain further why exactly was the airborne data link developed by Russia’s POLYOT Federal State Unitary Enterprise Research and Production Company (formerly the Gorky Radio Communication Research Institute) dumped by the IAF in favour of the one developed by TADIRAN SpectraLink. Back in the late 1990s when the Su-30MKI was taking shape, the Russian avionics OEMs had one big problem: they had not yet mastered the technology for MMIC-based processors and as a result of this, all the LRUs destined for the avionics bulkheads was a bit too big by Indian standards! Furthermore, the Russian concept of lumping all radio-based avionics into one complete suite was regarded with deep skepticism by the IAF, which preferred a standalone approach. What the IAF therefore decided to do was to overcome these problems (it was a problem because the IAF believed a lot more could be squeezed inside the Su-30MKI airframe than what the Russians were proposing) by installing several items indigenously developed by then by the DRDO’s Bangalore-based Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) for the ‘Tejas’ LCA programme. These included the two mission computers (instead of the twin Russian BCVM 486-1 mission computers that were ready only by 2004), the two radar computers RC-1 and RC-2 for the NO-11M BARS PESA, replacing the entire POLYOT-built K-DlAE and K-DlUE communications/data-link suite with a distributed suite sourced from HAL and TADIRAN SpectraLink (whose data links are also on board the three PHALCON AEW & C platforms on order), and doing away with the Tester-U3 Series 3A airborne flight data recorder, UPOV multi-purpose airborne flash memory recorder, and the SVR digital video recording system (the last two items were replaced by similar but more compact systems along with the Type 967 HUD, all from Israel’s ELBIT Systems). Once this was done, there was considerable internal volume available within the avionics bulkheads for the installation of a HUMS suite and an internal EW jammer (the ELTA-built EL/L-8212) required for detecting and jamming the data links and active microwave radars of BVRAAMs, and located in the bulkhead aft of the rear cockpit. To be added to these in future on-board the airframe will be a missile approach warning system and laser warning receivers, both of which are now being co-developed by DARE and EADS Defence Electronics.
For acquiring predictive maintenance capability via HUMS, the DARE and IAF joined forces with South Africa's Aerospace Monitoring And Systems (Pty) Ltd (AMS). Predictive maintenance means the on- and off-board processing of aircraft sub-systems data, resulting in an accurate, conclusive indication of the health and usage status of various airborne systems. The Su-30MKI's on-board health-and-usage monitoring system (HUMS) not only monitors almost every aircraft system and sub-system, including the avionics sub-systems, it also acts as a combined flight data/engineering data recorder (this is also standard fit on the IAF’s Hawk Mk132 LIFTs). For the Su-30MKI, AMS was contracted for providing total HUMS solutions, starting with definition of the IAF's qualitative requirements, followed by systems provision (development and implementation), integration and support phases. Methods were subsequently co-developed by AMS and the IAF for the following: fatigue loading spectra; fatigue analysis methods; material fatigue behaviour; fracture mechanics; damage tolerance analysis and testing of redundant metallic aircraft structures; fatigue crack growth analysis; crack growth and residual strength analyses; aircraft structural integrity programme analysis; and exploring ageing aircraft issues.

Anonymous said...

how du u know exactly that it was vishnu som?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

I don't. That's why I also posted the same reply at LIVEFIST.

Anonymous said...

y does india build 3 of each ship classes only? why not it build like 9 kolkata, then 9 of next class? it changes class after just 3 ships. wasting money!

Anonymous said...

any answers?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

What exactly is there to answer? The sorry state of affairs itself is the best commentary. Things move at such a snail's pace that it takes a made-in-India warship seven years to be delivered to the Navy. This is because the Naval Design Bureau often fails to issue the detailed design parameters to the concerned shipyard and Navy HQ too fails to define and select the various on-board systems, be it for propulsion, platform management, guided-weapons and their sensors, etc. By the time all this is sorted out, only 30% of the warship's hull is built by the shipyard and launched, only to side pierside and rot and corrode. So, by the time the first three warships are handed over to the Navy, all on-board propulsion and weapon systems are already 10 years old. Thne the search starts for equipping the follow-on three vessels and the entire story is repeated again and again. By last year itself work should have begun on fabricating the first of seven Project 17A FFGs and the first of three Project 15B destroyers. But now it looks like work will only get underway by 2010 latest! If you ask the Naval Design Bureau why exactly such delays are taking place from the outset (detailed design stage) it will tell you that in the whole of India there is only one university (!) that offers degree/diploma courses in naval design and architecture. And who is supposed to fund all these academic institutions? Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Education? Ministry of Science & Technology? Bottom line: it is a deep human resource supply problem, which neither the MoD-owned shipyards nor private players like L & T or ABG Shipyards can overcome on their own. Really pathetic state of affairs!

optimistic said...

stop ranting bro

1. if there are only few students for taking naval course then do u think every uni gonna offer it?

2. india has not been building ships for donkey years. our first big ship was delhi class and gradually we are growing. do u think by going to naval design college you can design ships in 1 month? NO. the key is experience and not book knowledge.

3. again, reason for slow progress is because of lack of experience. how ever in time, we will become faster

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Just think for a moment about what exactly you're saying and realise how your're contradicting yourself:

1) The reason the intake is low is because since 1947 shipbuilding has not been promoted as an industry the way it has been in Japan or South Korea or even Taiwan. If there existed a vibrant shipbuilding industry capable of offering well-paid jobs then I'm sure the demand would have been met by local academic institutions. The question to be asked is why exactly was the shipbuilding industry not encouraged to grow in terms of size and capabilities?

2) When exactly were you born? In the 1970s or late 1980s? In case you were born in the 1960s you should have known that warship-building took off in the late 1960s with the Leander-class FFG licence-building project and by the early 1980s Mazagon Docks Ltd should have acquired the capability to churn out FFGs powered by gas turbines and the warfighting capabilities of such FFGs should have been more formidable than the Kashin 2-class DDGs. Yet, even when it came to construction of much smaller OPVs (compared to the Leander-class FFGs) Goa Shipyard Ltd had to run to Holland and South Korea to obtain the hull designs! And how do you explain the fact why the Naval Design Bureau and MoD-owned shipyards are all gung-ho about building destroyer- and frigate-sized warships, but when it comes to construction of much much smaller minehunters both the Navy and the MoD-owned shipyards can't handle it indigenously and have to seek tie-ups with foreign shipyards? Where is the logic in designing and fabricating prinsipal surface combatants but being unable to design and built minehunters?

3) I would refer to the period between 1968 and 1998 as 'donkey years'. I don't know what your definition of gradual is, but I'm more inclined to go by the definition of 'gradual' as defined by the likes of South Korea and China. 30 years should have been a long-enough period to gather all kinds of shipbuilding experience for warships and VLCCs. What you mean by the term "in time" is best known to you but I for one cannot afford to have the luxury (like you obviously do) of spending such extended periods of time to master shipbuilding technologies. If I were to be a naval planner I would be far more interested in acquiring and deploying the much-needed naval warfare capabilities ASAP and I would give a damn about whether such capabilities were sourced domestically or were imported. And given the state of the local shipbuilding industry, it of course will be much better and easier to import warships off-the-shelf, which would be a much cheaper option than building them locally. Just do a comparison of the millions of man-houres reqd to built a warship at an European or South Korean or Chinese shipyard, versus the figure for fabricating a warship in India, and the answer will be obvious.

Anonymous said...

I know that you have already said that PAF IL-78MKPs powered by the PS-90A turbofans will be new-build aircraft and will therefore come from Uzbekistan's TAPO, not Ukraine.But a new news have againg apeared saying that PAF will get its IL-78 by the middle of 2009which are being modified from cargo planes to air tankers under the supervision of PAF officials in Ukraine.

So what is your stand on the issue now. Will PAF's IL-78MK be powered by the PS-90A turbofans or older D-30K engines???

Will PAF IL-78MKP come from Uzbekistan's TAPO or Ukraine??

here is news

Pakistan probes airborne refuelling system in ground test

Farhan Bokhari JDW Correspondent

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has successfully completed the ground testing of an airborne refuelling system and expects to receive the first of four airborne refuelling aircraft from Ukraine by mid-2009, the chief of the PAF has told Jane's .

News of the PAF's progress towards acquiring its first-ever airborne refuelling capability will be watched with interest by India: Pakistan's main rival in South Asia. Analysts have said that until recently the Indian Air Force considered itself ahead of Pakistan, in terms of both quantity and quality.

However, they added that Islamabad's decision to acquire such capabilities and plans to purchase new fighters from China such as the JF-17 and the J-10 - along with orders for new F-16s from the United States and mid-life upgrades of older F-16s - represent a determined effort to at least narrow if not close the gap with India.

"We are hoping that by the middle of 2009, our first airplane, modified, tested, will be available in the country. The other three will follow within the next six to nine months," Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed told Jane's on 17 November. ACM Ahmed said the platform will be based on the Il-78 transport aircraft and "are being modified from cargo planes to air tankers" under the supervision of PAF officials in Ukraine.

Once the first Il-78 arrives in Pakistan, ACM Ahmed said, in-flight refuelling trials will be carried out on two older Mirage aircraft that have been modified for the purpose and have already been tested on the ground.

Acquisition of an airborne refuelling system would significantly enhance the endurance of the PAF's fighters. The JF-17, which was jointly developed with China, "is already believed to include an airborne refuelling capability", according to a Western defence analyst. A pair of J-10 fighters, displayed at Airshow China in Zhuhai in early November, both had aerial refuelling probes.

ACM Ahmed said the four Il-78 air tankers represent a pilot project that is intended to bring the capability to Pakistan for the first time. "We will need to expand in due course when we have greater fiscal availability," he said, referring to constraints imposed by the global financial crisis.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@1:16AM: Regarding the news item you've posted, it does not state anywhere if the aircraft is a new-build one or an existing one that is being modified and converted into an aerial refuelling tanker. But what is significant is the use of the term IL-78, because what is now available from Ukraine are only IL-76MD cargo transport aircraft. Furthermore, Ukraine only has MRO facilities for the IL-76, not modification or manufacturing facilities. Therefore, what Pakistan has done is order the IL-78 airframes and PS-90A engines from Uzbekistan's TAPO and these aircraft will then be flown to Ukraine, where they will be fitted with aerial refuelling pods and the internal fuel tanks that are now stocked up in Ukraine since the days of the USSR. The PAF is perfectly aware of the fact that in another two years Ukrainian companies and TAPO will not be able to supply or service new-build
IL-76s and IL-78s and A-50Es as Russia is going to commission a new assembly line for these aircraft types at Voronez, and claim all IPRs for the IL-76 family of aircraft. Presently, TAPO only builds the airframe and undertakes final assembly, with the engines and avionics and accessories all being sourced from Russia. Therefore, the PAF will have to depend on the Russians for through-life product support for its IL-78MKPs. And this is exactly what the present Russian Ambassador to India confirmed last August in an interveiw to FORCE magazine when he said that eventually India will have to learn to live with the prospect of a Pakistan being armed with some weapons of Russian origin. I guess he was also referring to the RD-93 turbofans for the JF-17s and AL-31FN turbofans for the FC-20 M-MRCAs that will be inducted by the PAF in future.

Anonymous said...

A final word, from India, on 'YouTube Terry'
Stephen Trimble
on November 21, 2008 5:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
I hope this is my last post on Col Terrence Fornof's YouTube indiscretions. Much has been written throughout the blogosphere and the press since I posted the infamous video here a couple of weeks ago.

But I didn't want to let it go without a firm rebuttal from the Indian side. The Indian Air Force has declined comment, but I can present a response by Vayu Aerospace Review Editor Pushpindar Singh.

He writes:

Being aware of the IAF's views on the subject, and while fully respecting the IAF Vice Chief's statement that the 'leaked' video and its content was 'too demeaning for reaction', I have decided to share the facts with readers, not those fancily conjured up by Colonel Terrence Fornof.
YouTube rebuttal:

Being aware of the IAF's views on the subject, and while fully respecting the IAF Vice Chief's statement that the 'leaked' video and its content was 'too demeaning for reaction', I have decided to share the facts with readers, not those fancily conjured up by Colonel Terrence Fornof, an F-15 fighter jockey and now Director of the Requirements and Testing Office at the USAF Air Warfare Centre at Nellis AFB. The USAF later issued a statement to say that Fornof's was a private briefing to the 'Daedalians', a group of retired military pilots. "Colonel Fornof did not mean to offend any U.S. allied forces, as he knows firsthand the importance of training with allied forces and the awesome firepower they bring to the fight. His comments during this briefing were his personal opinions and not those of USAF Warfare Centre or of the Air Force".
Still, to get the record straight, the facts are :
Ø The IAF did not undertake any IvIs at Nellis during Red Flag, nor did they engage thrust vectoring during the Exercise. IvIs were flown only at Mountain Home AFB. In none of the IvIs were the Su-30MKIs ever vulnerable, let alone shot down. As all exercises were flown with ACMI, the situations are recorded and available to substantiate this aspect. Additionally, the MKI's behaviour with thrust vectoring is dramatically different from that described by the Colonel. F-15 and F-16 aircrew were well appreciative of IAF manoeuvres with thrust vectoring.
Ø Colonel Fornof's statement on Su-30MKI rates of turn with thrust vectoring (20o/ sec) is grossly 'out' but apparently gives away actual F-22 performance (28o/sec) Pitch of the talk seemed as to whether thrust vectoring was important or not. As all sorties were with ACMI, entire profiles are recorded, can be analysed and surely would have been replayed to drive the point home and make the 'chest thumping' sound more real. Apparently this was not done. Perhaps, as the Colonel is aware of F-22 data, he has tried to down play the Su-30MKI in comparison. Surprisingly, while there was no systems / avionics / comparison between the two types or with any other type of 'legacy' aircraft, the speaker does admit that radar of the MKI is 'superior' to that of the F-15 and F-16, however 'inferior' to AESA of the F-22 (a correct assessment). However, the IAF used the Su-30's radar in the training mode, with downgraded performance vis-à-vis operational mo! de, as they could hardly participate without this primary sensor
Ø The 'Bison' radar : the USAF should be aware that the 'Bison' does not have an Israeli radar, it is Russian. Nor does the Su-30MKI have Tumansky engines (but the NPO-Saturn). Surprisingly the Colonel seems oblivious of such facts, yet tries to convey that he is an authority on the matter.
Ø Fratricide by IAF fighters : this is correct, the IAF did 'shoot down' some 'friendlies' and that was assessed and attributed to the IAF not being networked. However, what the Colonel did not bring out were the two essential reasons for this. Firstly, this occurred mainly when the AWACS was not available (unserviceable) and controlling was done by GCI. More significantly it happened during extremely poor controlling by their operators, this fact being acknowledged during debriefs and the controllers being admonished accordingly. 'Accents' were perhaps the main culprit here, which very often led to American controllers not being able to understand Indian calls.
Ø Now hear this : the F-15C and other USAF fighters had the same number of fratricides as the IAF ! Considering they are well networked, yet their pilots shot down the same number of 'friendlies'. This was not only a major concern but also turned out to be a major source of embarrassment as the USAF had everything -- Link 16, IFF Mode 4 etc and the IAF had nothing. Under the Rules of Engagement, they did not even permit the IAF to use data link within themselves. All cases of USAF fratricide were covered in the next day's mass briefing as lessons learnt by concerned aircrew. In the IAF, the incidents were covered by concerned controllers, and attributed to lack of adequate integration, excessive R/T congestion and poor controlling. Gloating on cases of IAF fratricide is frivolous and unprofessional.
Ø However, Colonel Fornof did appreciate IAF 'professionalism' and that the IAF were able to dovetail with USAF procedures within short time. There was not a single training rule / airspace violation. This is a most important aspect.
Ø Since the Colonel could hardly tell his audience that the IAF had given the USAF good run for their money, they downplayed the Su-30's capability. It is correct that the IAF aircrew included some very young pilots -- nearly 70 percent - but they adapted rapidly to the environment (totally alien), training rules (significantly different), airspace regulations etc but to say that they were unable to handle the Su-30 in its envelope (something that they have been practicing to do for four to five years) is just not credible ! If young pilots can adapt to new rules and environment within a short span of two weeks, it is because they are extremely comfortable and confident of their aircraft.
Ø The IAF's all round performance was publicly acknowledged during, and at end of the Exercise, specifically by those involved. Not a single TR / airspace violation was acknowledged. Mission achievement rate was in excess of 90%. The drop out / mission success rates of all others, inclusive of USAF, were significantly lower. This is of major significance considering the fact that IAF was sustaining operations 20,000 km away from home base while the USAF were at home base. (The 8 Su-30s flew some 850 hrs during the deployment, which is equivalent to four months of flying task in India over 75 days). IAF's performance at Mountain Home AFB was even better that that at Nellis AFB.
Ø FOD : At Mountain Home, IAF had reduced departure intervals from the very beginning (30" seconds) considering that operating surfaces were very clean. However, a few minor nicks were encountered and it was decided to revert to 60 seconds rather than undertake engine changes. This was communicated by the IAF at the very start (IPC itself).
Ø There is no need to go in for 'kill ratios' as that would be demeaning. However, the IAF had significant edge throughout and retained it. In fact the true lesson for the USAF should be : 'do not field low value legacy equipment against the Su-30MKI' !.
(demeaning or otherwise, it is understood that the kill ratio (at Mountain Home AFB) was 21 : 1, in favour of the Su-30MKIs).

Sontu said...


If the following lines/data needed to be OUT & DISCUSSED IN PUBLIC..

There is no need to go in for 'kill ratios' as that would be demeaning. However, the IAF had significant edge throughout and retained it. In fact the true lesson for the USAF should be : 'do not field low value legacy equipment against the Su-30MKI'!.
(demeaning or otherwise, it is understood that the kill ratio (at Mountain Home AFB) was 21 : 1, in favour of the Su-30MKIs).

were the objective of those two leaked that US congress agrees to buy more F-22..then I think.. we can expect to see that present cap of F-22 may be lifetd and more F-22 is budgeted..


Anonymous said...

prasun whats next??????

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Sontu: I would not read too much on the leaked video clips. I for one smell no ulterior motive of the USAF. In fact, I would give more credence to the praise the Col showered on the professionalism of the participating IAF air warriors. Looking at both clips, I found nothing demeaning in the content at all. As the overall and principal objective of this multinational exercise was to demonstrate and if possible, achieve inter-operability, my view is that the IAF drew the two correct lessons: 1) to become a network-centric force by achieving full-spectrum functional data-linking with the PHALCONs once they arrive, as this is the only way the Su-30MKI will be able to live up to its reputation as an air dominance combat aircraft, and 2) the IAF should ASAP have its own fully instrumented air combat/air-to-ground weapons launch range. Having rangeless ACMI systems is only one part of it. The IAF and Army both have plenty of legacy SAM systems and SPAAGs that, instead of being decommissioned, can be deployed at these instrumented ranges to replicate a realistic, hierarchical and in-depth 'hostile' air defence system.

As for comparing the F/A-22 with the Su-30MKI, the issue does not arise as the Col already stated that the Raptor is way above the capability ladder and instead he was trying to compare the Su-30MKI with the F-15C/Es and Block 52 F-16C/Ds. I'm pretty sure even with AWACS support, a Block 60 F-16C/D will easily be able to take on and prevail over the F-15C/Es and Block 52 F-16C/D, as will the Singaporean F-15SG prevail over the Block 60 F-16.
That's why I would like to see a more realistic one-on-one engagement of 'titans' without any AWACS support, in this case between the Su-30MKI and the F-15SG, which will probably happen by 2010 in the skies above Air Force Station Kalaikunda.
But the writing on the wall is clear: for air dominance it is imperative to have AEW & C capability and all-out efforts should be made to ensure that the Su-30MKI's capabilities are enhanced to such an extent that it (or for that matter even the Tejas LCA) does not even have to bother to enter the dogfight domain.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Which then brings us to the operational implications of Ex Red Flag 08-4 for the IAF and the Tejas LCA: Are there any concrete plans for making the LCA supermanoeuvrable through thrust-vectoring? While the Dash Mk3 HMD has been selected for the LCA, has it already been integrated with the R-73E AAM as part of the weaponisation effort? Who will be supplying the IRST sensor for the LCA? On which LCA TD or prototype or LSP will the IRST be installed? Will the chosen IRST have an autotracker? What modifications will have to made to the LCA's cockpit and ejection seats (K-36 for the IAF and Martin Baker for the naval LCA) to accommodate the head movement sensors for the Dash Mk3 HMD? What kind of airborne data link will be on board? Is there any connection between the data link and HUMS architectures of the Su-30MKI and Tejas LCA? Will the Tejas LCA's EL/M-2052-based MMR have an NCTR mode? How many chaff/flare cartridges will be carried by the LCA on board? Will the Su-30MKI and Tejas LCA be equipped with similar towed-decoy systems? If so, then which one? Will it be ergonomically better to do away with the LCA's three main AMLCD-based head-down displays and adopt a single large AMLCD display like that on board the F-35 JSF and which are now readily available?
So many questions crying out loud for answers (sigh!)...

Anonymous said...

I have a few questions:
1. Is the flight data recorded during RedFlag available to all participating airforces? This will help IAF assess the Rafale for MRCA
2. LCA Thrust vectoring systems are being bought off the shelf or developed in house?
3. Is the medium combat aircraft ever gonna fly? What do you think would be its strength considering we are aquiring 200 MMRCA and some Pak-Fa/FGFA ?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

The ACMI data only pertaining to the Su-30MKI and all its engagements (air-to-air and air-to-ground), is available to the IAF. The host country, in this case the US, is entitled to hold back all other data as per the terms and conditions of participating in the exercise. Hence, similar data on the Rafale will not be available from the exercise. However, that is not a problem as such data was supplied by the French (and by BAE Systems with regard to the Eurofighter EF-2000) to India as far back as 2002 when RFIs for the M-MRCA were first issued.
Regarding TVC and IRST for the Tejas LCA, both are being sought off-the-shelf as the cost of developing indigenous solutions is prohibitively high and no in-house R & D capabilities exist as yet in these two areas.
My view is that the MCA is now going to be the FGFA. India does not have the financial clout or the human resources necessary to concurrently develop the FGFA and MCA. The exercise to acquire the fourth-generation M-MRCA is an exercise in futility and will not enhance in any way the operational capabilities of the IAF, especially since the FGFA will now be available from 2012.

Anonymous said...

Prasun, what is next??

can we have something on INSAS?

only u can deliver!!!

Anonymous said...

can i know what exactly means:

initial operation clearence (IOC)


full operational clearence (FOC)

On what basis are they awarded, & by whom?

Anonymous said...

last question is

does India make cluster bombs on its own?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

All operational clearances are issued by IAF HQ. The Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) period begins from the time the aircraft is delivered by the OEM (after receiving the aircraft's airworthiness and weaponisation certification from the Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification, or CEMILAC) to an IAF Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) to the culmination of the aircrew and ground crew achieving full proficiency in flying and maintaining the aircraft. The IOC period lasts for 6 to 9 months and also involves the TACDE for concurrently evolving the aircraft's employment tactics. Full Operational Clearance (FOC) refers to the culimnation of the process for both aircrew and ground crew being fully type-rated and certified for flying and servicing the aircraft. For the aircrew this also refers to the process of achieving proficiency in launching the aircraft's various weapons. The FOC, inclusive of the IOC period, lasts for 18 months. Only after achieving FOC is an aircraft squadron declared combat-ready and officially joins the IAF's order of battle.
Regarding cluster bombs, the first such consignments came from Chile's Cardoen Industries (for the Jaguar and MiG-27Ms) and from the UK's Royal ordnance (the BL-755 bombs for the Sea Harriers). By the early 1990s both these types of cluster bombs were reverse-engineered by the Ordnance Factories Board and are currently being mass-produced by OFB.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.37AM: Are you referring to the INSAS family of SLRs and carbines? What exactly is there to write about? They are already in bulk production for the armed forces and the paramilitary forces.

Anonymous said...

"To Anon@9.37AM: Are you referring to the INSAS family of SLRs and carbines? What exactly is there to write about? They are already in bulk production for the armed forces and the paramilitary forces."

To Prasun sir,

yes i am referring to what u mentioned


yes they are in full swing production but we would still like some coverage on it including future development plans.
similar like how u wrote on navy's EW Suites although they are depolyed already

if you plan to do one on it, please include brochures and pictures and also rundown on the different models.

come on man, don't pretend down here, this isn't a big deal for you!!

Anonymous said...

And not to mention a million thanks for the kind information about the cluster bombs and air clearence information.

Anonymous said...

hi, what's the status of Zittarra gun?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

OK, will try to dig out something on them. I have the latest product CD from OFB and will browse through it to see the contents. But I'm not aware of any path-breaking initiatives from either OFB or DRDO regarding development of new-generation systems like the Tavor or FN-2000, although one would have by now expected both the DRDO and OFB to come up with such futuristic developmental prototypes as part of the F-INSAS project.

Anonymous said...

"The exercise to acquire the fourth-generation M-MRCA is an exercise in futility and will not enhance in any way the operational capabilities of the IAF"

Partly true, some crafts have reached a saturation with no scope for upgrades. But India needs numbers and doesnt have time. Only one thing i dont get - per the media, even if one of the contenders is shortlisted, the first aircraft delivery is not before 2012. If LCA with AESA and an upgraded engine can obtain FOC by 2011, why do we still go for the MMRCA?

I dont trust FGFA to be ready so soon. Even if it is, I dont trust Russians any more - Gorshov, Akula-II, T-90, MKI. I wont be surprise is India pulls the plug and joins the F-35 program - things are changing pretty fast

Anonymous said...

please upload the CD into youtube or google video and embed it here. would love to watch.

ok sir?

Sukhoi Man said...

Mr Prasun; i got a questions for you.

When India first procured the Su-30, as you know we never got MKI spec ones. The first batch were the Su-30K and second batch were Su-30MK. Third batch was SU-30MK with canard s. Only from later batches we were getting full-spec SU-30MKI with Saturn AL-31FP engine and other add-ons.

So it means India should have around 30 Su30K/MK in addition to the fleet of MKIs.

The question is; what has been done with these (inferior) fighters? Have they been uprated to MKI standards or are they being retained at their original standards?

I came across some sources saying the M/MKs were sold to Indonesia but I cannot determine its accuracy.

Please throw some light!

Sukhoi Man said...

Another is; why is Saturn AL-31FP turbofan rated differently according to Russian and French standards?

Russian standards rate its thrust:weight (ratio) at 8.1, while French rate it at 6.97.

Why would there be a difference when thrust and weight are linear measurements that? And it's a ratio. Even if units of measurement varies, ratio shouldn't

(although I know both Russia and France adhere to S.I.)


indo-pakistan war is brewing. because OGRA website was hacked, pakistanis have hacked some indian sites. some remain hacked, some have been unhacked by Indians.

Check these out:

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Sukhoi Man: The second batch of Su-30MKs you refer to are the ones that were destined for Indonesia but because of the Asian financial crisis in 1997 Indonesia could not buy them so these aircraft were bought over by India. The third batch of Su-30s supplied to the IAF were the Su-30MKI Mk1s and they have now been upgraded to Mk3 standards with new mission software updates that enable them to launch weapons of non-Russia origin such as the Israeli Popeye Lite. The first and second batch of Su-30K/MKs (all built by IRKUT Corp at Irkutsk)have been re-acquired by Russia at a fair price and these are probably destined for Belarus after Russia has refurbished them. ALL Indonesian Su-27SKs, Su-30MKs and Su-30MK2s are coming from KNAAPO, and not from IRKUT. Regarding the pwerformance rating of the AL-31FP I would rather stick to the figures officially given out by the OEM, rather than rely on second-source French figures.

Anonymous said...


does anybody know what is ?

and iirs is indian institute of remote sensing, but i see its website is, so whats with the other website you provided? Or has iirs changed the url because of the hack?

please advice guys.

prasun, just asking you, is sri lanka happy with purchases they make from us (like radars etc)? since you go to many expos and meet up with many people, i wil like your opinion. are they more comfortable dealing with china and pak? and how about nepal? i know india used tibet trump card when china tried meddling with nepal but are we still their backbone in relation to defence?

answers from everyone will be much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I knew they hacked ONGC (see: website because HMG hacked OGRA website few days back (see and

But I didn't know they had even defaced a few others. It is high time we act!

Now the war is flaming. Its high time indian hackers unleash the next series of Yaha (the virus that kept Karachi stock exchange website down for 3 months)

जय हिंद!!

PS: Please remove my earlier 2 messages @ 10:30am & 10:33am. I don't know why they got corrupted.

876617253 said...

@attention, 8.51am

Also check out this site. Look on the right side (news section).

Asshole PAKIS

876617253 said...

ref above

sorry guys, it's offline now. It was just 5 mins back :(

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@10:09AM: Officially, I have not seen any complaint being lodged by the govts of either Nepal or Sri Lanka about the quality of India-supplied weapons. The Sri Lanka Navy is very happy with the OPV and AOPV that it acquired a few years ago and now wants more of them. The Sri Lanka Air Force too is very happy with the training and MRO services provided by the IAF and IRAL for the SLAF MiG-27Ms and Mi-17V-5s and the yet-to-arrive MiG-29SEs. Similarly, I have yet to come across any problems being faced by either Nepal or Sri Lanka regarding weapons of Chinese or Pakistani origin. The problems are usually faced by them (and also by Myanmar) whenever they contact Ukrainian MRO companies for spares support as the Ukrainians are known to be extremely unreliable in this respect.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Just try to spare a thought about the distinct possibility of someone or some party impersonating as Pakis to engage in the hackings. Could be Chinese hackers as well.

Anonymous said...

No boy, after HMG hacked OGRA, PCA has been launching attacks on Indian sites these past few days.

Don't you know that for 5 years (from around 1997 - 2002) India and Pakistani hackers were at cyber war? the victims: innocent people and corporations. Indian side were Indian hackers club and NEO and a few other unorganized people, Pak side was Pak GeForce and Dr. Nuker. In all around 700 indian sites and 200 pakistani sites were hacked. It reached its peak when Indians released the Yaha virus that kept Paki servers down for around 4 months! Thats how deadly it was. It was just replicating in Pakistani servers (like Karachi stock ex. server, and few more govt ones) and Islamabad could not get rid of it. They called in western experts who finally removed it.

After the Yaha attack, both of the Pakistani Groups then settled issues with NEO, an Indian hacker to conclude that 5 years running Cyber war.

Now, HMG (aka Hindu Militant Group) is at a stand off with PCA (Pak Cyber Army). Now some Andhra hackers have joined the game. This is gonna be full blown again.

Anonymous said...

Did you manage to glimpse the hacked out websites?

If you haven't, do so soon mr. prasun.

Anonymous said...

is online again.

with the same messages.

when are the admins gonna pull its plug ????

Anonymous said...

chinese arent involved in this. highly doubt it. more so after PCA has openly declared they did it in retaliation of OGRA's attack

Anyway HMG is a well know Indian hacker group from Orkut community. OGRA traced the hacking IP to India.

Doubt China is involved in this one. they have their eyes set on US sensitive servers and not ONGC and ORGA!!

Sukhoi Man said...

Why should India sell back those SU-30MK from batch 1 & 2 when they can be converted into MKI standards? Isn't it wasteful?

They all share a common air frame with the SU-27 series so integrating a new engine and extra avionics shouldn't be a problem to make any SU27/30 variant into one of MKI standards.

And, I believe by 2016 India should own 230 SU30MKIs. Will all be built up to MKI top specs?

Anonymous said...


what a bullshit if f35 has 360 IRST coverage than mig35 also got it and thats good and engough cuz mig35 with aesa and advanced IRST cost just $40miliion compared to what f35 will cost

Anonymous said...

nowdays russins r bitching on gorky
if v depend on russia then russians depend on us more than v depend on them like

do not got for PAK FA
P17A frigates
medium airlift aircraft tender

AND ALL ABOVE things mentioned costs much more than carrier but for some reason our govt. not playing hard ball with russians just tell them if they want any of these tender give gorky at decent price or they lost all these contracts

at first the french charge more money but after that they don’t ask for more and they honour the contracts and stick to what they say

k090 said...

P K Sengupta said:

Officially, I have not seen any complaint being lodged by the govts of either Nepal or Sri Lanka about the quality of India-supplied weapons.

I say:

Utterly untrue. Can you comment on how happy Nepalis were with Indian INSAS assault rifles (malfunction caused loss of army men to Maoist rebels) and the HAL Dhruv ALH (crash landed)? How happy was Sri Lanka with Indian radars that failed to spot LTTE Zlin-143 aircraft?

Officially I'm not sure what more, but as far as new is concerned, they have covered about these 3 items.

Please clafiry.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Sukhoi Man: The Su-30MKI's airframe and internal wiring is totally different (as are the engines and flight control systems and mission computers and stores management systems) from both the Su-30K and Su-30MK and that's why IRKUT had proposed that it is far better to have brand new Su-30MKI replacements rather than try to upgrade the Su-30MKs and Su-30Ks.

To Anon@8:52AM: I think Vishnu was in fact referring to the MiG-35 (not F-35) about a 360-degree IRST capability.

To K090: Yes, there have been 'murmers' and statements from unattributed 'press' sources about problems faced with India-origin weapons and platforms. However, remedial measures are taken by the OEM only when deficiencies are OFFICIALLY brought to the notice of the OEMs. In this case, that hasn't happened and neither the OFB nor BEL have received any negative feedback about their products in use in Nepal and Sri Lanka. The Dhruv ALH did have some fundamental design flaws that were rectified way back in early 2006.