Monday, March 29, 2010

Project 15A Destroyer INS Chennai To Be Launched Thursday

By: Shiv Aroor In LiveFist

INS Chennai, the third of the Project 15A Indian-designed and built guided missile destroyers will be launched this Thursday at the Mazagon docks in Mumbai. The Chennai follows the Kolkata and the Kochi, which was launched last year. I was born and went to school in good old Madras (I still haven't gotten round to calling it Chennai) -- it's still home in many ways. Nice to see they've named a big mean hunk of metal out of my city.

India's first indigenous purpose-built stealth frigate, INS Shivalik gets commissioned next month. That's going to be something major to watch out for.

IAF on look out for amphibious aircraft

To keep an eye on uninhabited islands and carrying out search and rescue missions over the country’s maritime zone, the Indian Air Force is planning to induct amphibious aircraft in its fleet.
“We are planning to procure six amphibious aircraft for reconnaissance of islands and search and rescue missions,” IAF officials said here.
The process to procure the amphibious aircraft, which can take-off from and land on water, has already been initiated with the issuing of a a global Request for information (RFI) by the Defence Ministry, they added.

“We also plan to use the aircraft for inter-island communication and rapid response duties during emergencies such as a tsunami or reaching out to people stranded on islands or ships in the sea,” officials said.
 Photo Courtesy: Live Fist

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stopping ballistic missile

By: The Hindu

The deployment of India's planned ballistic missile shield is to start in two years' time. The Defence Research and Development Organisation, which is developing and testing the complex system, intends to roll it out in two phases and have all of it up and running by 2016. The first phase will deal with missiles having a range of less than 2,000 km, and the second will tackle missiles with a longer range. The latter will be travelling much faster than the former and are therefore less easily targeted. There will be interceptors to destroy the incoming missiles at heights of over 50 km as well as much closer to the ground. Such a tiered defence is intended to boost the chances of knocking out an incoming missile before it hits the target. The problems encountered with a Prithvi missile simulating an enemy attack in a recent test is not likely to be a serious setback to these plans. India is not the only country that seeks to protect its citizens from enemy missiles carrying nuclear and other lethal warheads. The United States has been developing anti-ballistic missile systems for over 60 years. Its highly ambitious missile shield aims to destroy ballistic missiles during all stages of their flight. In February 2010, the U.S. successfully tested an airborne laser carried aloft on a modified Boeing 747, which was used to destroy a missile less than two minutes after it was fired. Israel, Japan, and the Taiwan regime too intend to establish missile defence capabilities. China, which demonstrated its anti-satellite capability in 2007, successfully conducted a mid-course missile interception test in January this year. Russia has a system of its own that was developed during the Cold War.
A big unanswered question is how effective any of these missile shields, including the Indian one, will be in an actual conflict situation, especially if it is between nuclear-armed nations. The technical evaluation of the U.S. system carried out by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000 is instructive. It found that there were a range of countermeasures an attacker could take to “confuse, overwhelm or otherwise defeat the defence.” Any country capable of deploying a long-range missile would be able to use them. Decoys could overload a defensive system and allow attacking missiles to slip past. Besides, even the U.S. system is intended to be effective against only a “limited ballistic missile attack.” The Indian defensive shield too will have similar limitations: if a single nuclear-tipped missile gets through, the consequences will be calamitous. This country would do better to rely on diplomacy, rather than a chancy missile shield, to increase its security.

India test-fires Agni I short range ballistic missile

Buy: PTI
India successfully test- fired indigenously developed, nuclear-capable, short range ballistic missile (SRBM) Agni I on Sunday from Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, off the Orissa coast.
This was the third missile India test-fired in two days.
"It was a fantastic mission carried out by the Indian Army. The test-fire of the Agni I missile met all parameters," S. P. Dash, director of ITR, said.
This surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was launched into the sky around 13:25 p.m. local time.
The missile re-entered the earth's atmosphere and its dummy warhead impacted in the waters of the Bay of Bengal in the down range.
The operation was taken care of with the help of necessary logistic support provided by Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) at the Integrated Test Range (ITR).
Weighing 12 tons, the 15 meter tall Agni-1, which can carry payloads weighing up to one ton, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.
Agni I, developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program, has a range of 700-800 km and is a single stage, solid fuel ballistic missile.
Sunday's test came after the country on Saturday successfully tested two nuclear capable missiles, Dhanush and Prithvi II.
Dhanush missile was fired from the naval ship INS-Subhadra in the Bay of Bengal off the Orissa coast by Indian Navy personnel as part of user training exercise.
Prithvi-II ballistic missile, which has a maximum range of 295 km, was test fired from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, about 15 km from Balasore, Orissa.
"Both the missiles were successfully launched same time at 05: 30 a.m. hours early morning," S.P. Dash, director of Integrated Test Range of Chandipur in Balasore district said.
Dhanush provides Indian Navy capability to launch a missile into enemy's targets with great accuracy, defense sources said here.
Prithvi is India's first indigenously built ballistic missile. It is one of the five missiles being developed under India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program.
Two versions of the missile have already been deployed with the army and the air force.
Prithvi uses an advanced inertial guidance system with maneuvering trajectory and can reach the target with few meter accuracy. It has a length of 9 meters with 1 meter diameter, defense sources said.
The missile with flight duration of 483 seconds reaching a peak altitude of 43.5 km has the capability to carry 500 kg of warhead.
                                                            Photo Courtesy: The Hindu

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Russia may unveil new ’super-tank’ in summer 2010

By: Defence Talks

Russia's new main battle tank (MBT), the T-95, could be exhibited for the first time at an arms show in the Urals Region this summer, the developer and future manufacturer of the tank has said.

The development of the new tank dubbed "Item 195" began at the Uralvagonzavod design bureau in the early 1990s. Russia will become the first country in the world to have the 5th-generartion MBT if the military commissions the vehicle.

"The work on the project has been conducted for many years. If the government gives us a 'green light' we will exhibit the tank at the [Russian Expo Arms 2010] arms show in Nizhny Tagil this summer," general director of the Uralvagonzavod plant Oleg Siyenko told RIA Novosti in an exclusive interview.

"I cannot disclose the characteristics of the tank, but I can assure you that we have met all the requirements put forward by the military," he said.

According to unofficial sources, the T-95 will feature better firepower, maneuverability, electronics and armor protection than Russia's latest T-90 MBT or comparable foreign models.

It will weigh about 55 tons and its speed will increase from 30-50 kph to 50-65 kph (19-31 mph to 31-40 mph).

The new tank may be equipped with a 152-mm smoothbore gun capable of firing guided missiles with a range of 6,000-7,000 meters.

In contrast to existing designs, the gun will be located in a remotely-controlled turret to improve 3-men crew survivability.

Meanwhile, the T-90 MBT, developed in the 1990s on the basis of the T-72B tank, will be the backbone of the armored units until 2025, according to the Russian military.

Russia currently produces up to 100 T-90 MBTs annually and plans to have at least 1,500 vehicles in service with the Ground Forces.

India Gets 2nd Ranking in Arms Imports

By; Indian defense Online
With rapid defence acquisitions from the international arms market, India is well on its way to become the leading arms buyer in the next five years. As per a recently released report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China currently holds the number position in arms acquisition followed by India for the period of 2005-2009.
SIPRI is a world-renowned institute that serves as a watchdog for international arms trade across the globe and keeps a check on the number of contracts signed by a country or weaponry bought or sold by the country. For the period of 2005-2009, China is the world’s biggest arms buyer importing 9 per cent of the world’s arms exports followed by India with 7 per cent of the world’s total arms imports. However, India may topple China to become the number one arms buyer due to India’s increasing dependence on foreign acquisitions rather than indigenous production and self reliance.
As per the report, India’s annual arms import doubled from $1.04 billion in 2005 to $2.1 billion in 2009. India’s major capital imports in this period includes 82 Sukhoi-30MKI fighters and T-90 tanks from Russia and an A-50/Phalcon Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system integrated by Israel.
As for the major Indo-US deals,  India has also acquired C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft for $1.1 billion and the $2 billion acquisition of P8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft from the US, but these acquisitions will be factored in the next five year report. India has submitted procurement requests to the US for ten C-17 Globemaster airlifters worth an estimated $2.4 billion and for 145 M777 ultralight howitzers worth about $647 million.
According to the SIPRI report, although China remains the top arms buyer, it has become self reliant to a large extent and not many major weapons were acquired lately. For the five-year period under review, China’s annual arms imports declined from $3.5 billion in 2005 to $0.6 billion in 2009.
As for the US, it enjoys the top position in global arms export. For the period of 2005-09, the US accounted for 30 per cent of international weapons sales. This was followed by Russia with 23 per cent of the global market, Germany with 11 per cent, France with 8 per cent and the UK with 4 per cent.

Arjun wins against the Russian T-90, but may only be deployed in Rajasthan until Arjun Mark II

By : 8ak india news

Another brilliant report from Ajai Shukla on the comparative trials between India's home-made Arjun tanks and the Russian T-90s in field trials conducted by the army at the Mahajan Ranges, near Bikaner in Rajasthan, which lasted for a week. Although the report is secret and will not even be completed for another week Shukla's sources say that the Arjun may have trounced the T-90 is every parameter. He further seems to suggest that a strike role for the T-90 should be considered and the DG Mechanised Forces seems to be resisting it.
On reading the article, the first thing that comes to mind is that corruption is at play in the army continuing to choose the Russian platform vs the indigenous one. However, on further investigation, 8ak sources said that there are problems with the CVRDE chart Shukla refers to. In comparing the Arjun to other tanks the chart leaves out 2 vital parameter that are the basis for the army's reluctance to order the Arjun - its width and its weight. The chart also cunningly leaves out a comparison to the Russian tanks because the weight of the T-72 is only 41 tonnes.
Arjun's width of 3.86m is the widest of all tanks. 8ak sources argue that the extra width makes the Arjun the easiest to target especially by Pakistan's F-16s. Secondly it makes the transportation of the tanks using the Indian rail network very difficult if not completely impractical. For example, the Arjun cannot be transported on a rail track that is adjacent to a platform. Only where there are 3 tracks next to each other, can the train/bogey carrying Arjun use the centre track.
The other problem is the Arjun's extra weight. The CVRDE chart claims that the weight is 58.5 but it is widely believed to be 60 tonnes as compared to 41 tonnes for the T-72 and 46.5 for the T-90. The extra weight and larger width means that the Arjun may not be able to use the army's mobile assault bridges - Sarvatra. The Southern J&K and Punjab area are strewn with ditch-cum-bunds and learning from 1971 war with Pakistan, the Sarvatra bridges were designed to help tanks cross these. If the Arjun cannot cross these then it means that it must be relegated to the deserts of Rajasthan where it will play a defensive role rather than be incorporated in to the strike corps. The strike corps will have to continue to use the Russian tanks.
Many news reports seemed to indicate that the Army had been corrupted by the Russians in continuing to choose the Russian platforms over the indigenous one. One 8ak source said that the army was not against the indigenous platform, rather it's stand is that given the width and weight problems they would rather wait for Arjun Mark II.
The DRDO/CVRDE however maintain that the army must order at least 500 Arjun Mark I to make the production line viable before they talk about Mark II. And how can they be sure that the army will buy the Mark II if they produce it?

Vertically launched Brahmos test: An analysis Posted by vkthakur in his Blog

A test of the vertically launched version of Brahmos missile was successfully carried out off the Orissa cost on March 21, 2010.
According to BrahMos Aerospace Chief, A. Sivathanu, the test demonstrated the missile's ability to maneuver at supersonic speeds and still strike its target.
The Brahmos missile was launched from a cruising INS Ranvir, a Kashin class destroyer, and hit its intended target, the decommissioned INS Meen, 290 km away in the Bay of Bengal.
"The missile was launched at 11:30 a.m. today from an Indian Navy ship INS Ranvir and it maneuvered successfully hitting the target ship successfully. It was a perfect hit and a perfect mission. After today's test, India has become the first and only country in the world to have a maneuvering supersonic cruise missile in its inventory," Sivathanu told the media in Delhi.
The test was the 22nd of all versions of the Brahmos missiles.
Both vertical launch, as well as supersonic maneuvering, has been tested with Brahmos earlier. So what was new?
The missile was vertically launched from INS Ranvir earlier in December 2008.
A maneuverable LACM version of the BrahMos missile, fired from a mobile launcher, was tested on Sunday, 04 Feb 2006 at Chandipur, Orissa.
The missile flew over the Gulf of Bengal at a 2.8 speed along an "S" trajectory.
BrahMos Chief Pillai told the press on that occasion that "...we staged for the first time on Sunday an experiment to see whether it [the missile] is able to make sharp maneuvers at supersonic speeds.
"The missile proved able to do it and, thereby, confirmed its very high combat effectiveness".
It is not clear how the missile test on Sunday was different from the earlier success claimed four years ago. Mr Pillai referred to it then as an experiment, but not this time.
The LACM version of the missile has a different seeker than the anti-shipping version, so that could be one imperative for a separate test.
It is also possible the latest test was used to validate a refinement in the maneuvering logic.
The 'S' maneuver demonstrated in the earlier test was primarily aimed at confusing defenses by approaching from any direction not just the predictable line of sight from the launcher to the target.
It is likely that the new test was conducted to validate the ability of the missile to maneuver randomly to evade defensive weapons and then still be able to hit the target. 

India seeks new heavy machine guns

By: Janes Defence News

The Indian Army has dispatched a global request for information (RfI) for the import of 12.7 mm heavy machine guns (HMGs) capable of firing varied ordnance to a range of 2000 m as part of its Future Infantry Soldier as a System (F-INSAS) programme, which is currently under development.

The 19 March RfI issued by the Directorate General of Weapons and Equipment requires vendors to submit their proposals within four weeks. The HMGs should be capable of firing 450 rpm and should be deployable on light strike vehicles and infantry fighting vehicles, as well as on the ground with a three-man crew.
According to army specifications the 1.6 m-long HMGs should weigh no more than 40 kg, including the mount/tripod.

Prithvi II, Dhanush missiles test-fired successfully

By : PTI
India early Saturday successfully tested two nuclear capable missiles Dhanush and Prithvi II in Orissa, official said.

"Both the missiles were successfully launched at the same time at 5.30 hours," SP Dash, director of the Integrated Test Range of Chandipur in Balasore district, told IANS.

While Prithvi II surface to surface ballistic missile with a range of 350 km was launched from Chandipur, some 230 kms from state capital Bhubaneswar, Dhanush, a naval version of Prithvi with the same range was launched from a naval ship off Orissa coast.

The test firing of Prithvi, the short-range, surface-to-surface ballistic missile, which has already been inducted into the armed forces, was a user trial by the Indian army. The sleek missile is "handled by the strategic force command", the defence sources said.

Prithvi, the first ballistic missile developed under the country's prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), has the capability to carry 500 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twine engine.

It uses an advanced inertial guidance system with maneuvering trajectory and reaches the targets with few meter accuracy. It has a length of 9 meters with 1 metre diameter.

The entire trajectory of today's trial was tracked down by a battery of sophisticated radars and an electro-optic telemetry stations were positioned in different locations for post-launch analysis, they said.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Indian SSN plans and Nerpa leasing

Posted by: Igor Djadan in his blog
''Nerpa will help India in its objective to have three SSBNs (nuclear-powered submarines with long-range missiles) and six SSNs (nuclear-powered attack submarines) in the long-term" - wrights Rajat Pandit in 'The Times of India'. His article was written in the wake of the news from Russia, confirming, that a group of Indian personal (50 crewmen with 8-10 officers between them) is coming to Russia for training on Akula-II class submarine.
Interestingly, I was right, when early have supposed the existence of Indian SSN ambitions and the link between them and the Nerpa leasing. It's despite only few information was about this in media. But sometimes it's easy to guess... I think, I will not be much wrong if say, that 1) the design works are already started and 2) the prospective Indian SSN will be based on Akula-II technologies and constructive solutions.

India receives second AWACS


India today received the second of the three contracted Israeli-made Phalcon Airborne Early Warning and Control System at the Jamnagar air base, giving it the second ‘eye in the sky’ for enhanced surveillance capabilities.

The second AWACS arrived in Gujarat from Israel in the evening and will be deployed in Agra, IAF officials said here.With the arrival of the second AWACS, officials said the IAF can keep an eye on both the eastern and western front at the same time and with the induction of the third system, expected later this year, virtually covering the entire nation.

  The system, primarily used for detection of incoming hostile cruise missiles and aircraft from hundreds of kilometres away, can also direct air defence fighters during combat operations against enemy jets. It also helps detect troop build-up across the border.