How DRDO failed India's military

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Ray, May 14, 2015.

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  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I just stumbled onto this piece while searching for new defence acquisition and progress.

    Does demoralise, if nothing else.

    A white elephant?

    Why are they letting the Nation down?
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Ajai Shukla who rooted for the T 90 and then changed for Arjun, surprisingly is quite caustic about the Arjun here.
     
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  4. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    DRDO need to be privatized.
     
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    If anything DRDO has got right is the ballistic missile program. We make very good, effective and accurate ballistic missile and very cheap at that. Now moving to new generation of missiles like Shaurya, Prahar & SLBMs with long range on the cards.
     
  6. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    The title is misleading, It should be >>

    ' How former Government failed India and Indians since Independence ' ..

    ==========

    [​IMG]

    Their is nothing wrong with DRDO as an organization working with low manpower and low budget with product no less than 1 world country and delivering it ..
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  7. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    i know somebody who was working on arjun tank in DRDO. arjun to nahi bana but he made big bungalow in NCR and send his son to prestigious college in UK and send money to buy apartment in UK. jai ho




    sad but true
     
  8. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    We all know the problem, but what is the solution? What is the end goal? 100% indigenous is impossible, even 75% is unrealistic without a complete change in industrial culture. The OP article suggests playing it like the US with two competitors, but realistically India's defence budget is nowhere in size to the US. It is around that of France that has consolidated its competition to work towards the one objective and seeks partners to scale cost savings. Most products are geared towards international markets as well as meeting domestic requirements. This leaves a 50/50 ratio of products purchased for us, and the other half exported. The competition isn't internal, we compete with the entire world. India must become more export oriented and loosen the grip on its partnership requirements. It cannot pretend it has the resources or scale of US or even China, it is a mid-tier industry and needs to start excelling as one. Stop reaching for the stars before you get to the moon.
     
  9. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Which Indian organisation has done pioneering research on high-yielding varieties of cauliflower, potato and tomato? Which has developed the technique for producing mushrooms in the hills? And a standardised method of spawning with sawdust, leaf straw, grains of barley and wheat?

    It is the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
    Over the last four decades, the DRDO has been able to conserve, preserve, stabilise, design, fabricate and engineer a vast array of food products. Indeed, vegetable research and agriculture production are areas of genuine achievements in the DRDO's armoury.
    But where is the ambitious Light Combat Aircraft that the DRDO has been promising for the last 17 years? Why is Arjun, the indigenous version of a world class battle tank, an utter failure?
    Years ago, when weapons ballistics became a major headache in accuracy of fire, the army pleaded with the government to purchase four ANTPQ-37 artillery location radars, which can trace the trajectory of approaching shells. The DRDO insisted it could indigenously produce those radars.
    It took the Kargil conflict -- in which the armed forces suffered heavily due to lack of artillery location radar -- for the organisation to admit that it was just not up to it.
    The DRDO was formed in 1958 by amalgamating the army's Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production. It was then a small organisation with 10 laboratories. Today, it has 50 labs and a workforce of more than 5,000 scientists and nearly 25,000 scientific, technical and supporting personnel.
    Its labs spread across the country are engaged in developing defence technologies covering various disciplines like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, combat vehicles, engineering systems, instrumentation, missiles, advanced computing and simulation, special materials, naval systems, life sciences, information systems and agriculture.
    Yet, several major projects for the development of missiles, armaments, Light Combat Aircraft, radar and electronic warfare systems have been languishing in DRDO laboratories. So much so that the armed forces now openly complain that the organisation is incapable of producing what they want.
    The army, for instance, has been waiting for years to induct the multi-barrel rocket launching system, Pinaka. The nuclear submarine programme continues to drown even after the investment of several billions over the past 15 years.
    What ails the apex defence research organisation that India's missile man Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabeen Abdul Kalam led for long, and is currently headed by the dynamic Dr Vasudev K Aatre?
    Associate Editor George Iype met with scientists, officials and experts in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore to investigate. The first of a six-part series:
    ON TO 'How long should we wait?'
    "The DRDO has been volunteering to produce virtually anything for the Indian forces. The result is that it has now accumulated nearly 1,000 projects. It does not have the capability to accomplish some of these," says a defence expert.

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2000/mar/13drdo.htm
     
  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Bharat Verma and yet another of his insufferable and poorly informed article.

    I won't be surprised if he comes back tomorrow signing all praises for DRDO. We have seen him do this in the past. This person manifests signs of bi-polar disorder.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
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  11. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    'How long should we wait?'
    George Iype

    • DRDO is responsible for indigenising and constantly upgrading the country's weapons and equipment inventory and related supplies. But the dilemma has always been to determine the correct balance between make or buy.


    • The Kargil Review Committee Report
     
  12. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    'How long should we wait?'
    George Iype

    Make. Or buy?

    That has been a longstanding issue between the DRDO and the Services. The former complains that the armed forces make impossible demands. The Forces say the DRDO has failed to develop the frontiers of defence technology. And that its claim to produce anything and everything has virtually strangulated critical defence exports.
    Experts say it was in fact the collapse of the Soviet Union that drove home the urgency to reduce dependence on external suppliers and rely on indigenous defence production. "Thus over the years, the DRDO has been volunteering to produce virtually anything for the Indian forces. The result is that it has now accumulated nearly 1,000 projects. The DRDO does not have the capability to accomplish some of these," says Rajendra Mohan, an independent defence analyst in Hyderabad.
    According to Mohan, the DRDO promises to make anything for the Forces simply to keep many of its laboratories running. "Or else, some of the labs would have already been shut," he points out.
    Experts like Mohan argue that the very method of calculating the indigenisation content of defence development and production is a matter of debate. Over the years, the government has set up 10 committees under the Department of Defence Production to identify the scope of items such as aircraft, electronics warfare systems and armament. Based on their reports, the government had been claiming for more than a decade that the self-reliance and indigenisation content will be brought up to 70 per cent before 2000.
    The core point as per this plan is minimising imports and inducting indigenously designed and manufactured systems. The stress was on increased research and development and the DRDO was the agency to implement it.
    But last year, the government -- after a thorough review of the DRDO -- admitted that the indigenisation level still remained at only 30 per cent. It then quickly created a Self Reliance Implementation Council, chaired by then DRDO chief and now scientific advisor to the prime minister, Dr Abdul Kalam. The Council's aim is to take indigenisation to 70 per cent by 2005. But many believe like all other DRDO targets, this deadline would also slip.
    DRDO scientists claim they have made significant achievements on indigenisation and in their efforts to meet the requirements of the armed forces. They include flight simulators for aircraft, 68mm reusable rocket pod, brake parachute for fighter aircraft, mini remotely-piloted vehicle, light field gun, a new family of light weight small arms systems, charge line mine-clearing vehicle for safe passage of vehicles in the battlefield, and illuminated ammunitions for enhancing night fighting capabilities in their list of achievements.
    The DRDO has also developed a cluster weapon system for fighter aircraft, naval mines, next generation bombs for high speed aircraft, low-level tracking radars Indra-I and II for the army and air force, light field artillery radar, battlefield surveillance radar, advanced ship sonar systems and torpedo launchers.
    "Our biggest success and pioneering work has been the testing five nuclear devices during May 11-13, 1998 in the Pokhran range," claims a DRDO scientist.
    In collaboration with the Department of Atomic Energy, DRDO in fact designed, tested and produced advanced detonators, ruggedised high volt trigger systems, interface engineering, systems engineering and systems integration to military specifications for the nuclear blast.
    "Like the nuclear bomb project, several high-technology projects are in various stages of design and development. Therefore, it is ridiculous to allege that we are a useless bunch of scientists for the armed forces," the scientist adds.
    Indeed, the problem is that for years DRDO has been enmeshed in several high-technology projects that no one really knows when the armed forces will be able to induct.
    "DRDO has been acting like a dog in the manger. The agency has considerably torpedoed our efforts to import state of the art equipment because it has been boasting to make every available defence equipment that we demand," an army officer says angrily.
    For instance, he says, though the defence ministry sanctioned competence build-up projects for the multi-barrel rocket launcher Pinaka in the 1980s, DRDO is nowhere near accomplishing the target. The delay has forced the army to continue to depend upon their existing outdated system, whose range is much less compared to that envisaged for Pinaka.
    Concerned about terrible delays in some of the vital projects, the army, the air force and the navy are these days asking just one question: "How long should we wait?"
    For the Forces, these projects are lifelines. They include India's indigenously built surface-to-air missiles Trishul and Akash which were to have replaced the Russian-supplied OSA-AK and Kvadrat systems in 1990. Then there is the most ambitious multi-role fighter, the light combat aircraft, the indigenous production of which DRDO has been grappling with in the last 17 years.
    The main battle tank Arjun, incorporating state-of-art tank technologies with superior fire power, high mobility and excellent protection has been developed by DRDO. But the army is unhappy with its performance.
    There are growing concerns among the Forces, and politicians and defence experts about the terrible delays of the DRDO and its ability to keep promises. For at stake is not just the concept of indigenisation, but a huge investment of more than Rs 150 billion that the government has made for the last two decades on various projects. Would the money be completely wasted?
    "Weapon systems face obsolescence very fast. So the DRDO will have to either give up some projects or reorient its functioning," says Mohan.
    Yet, DRDO has been mouthing the political platitude of indigenisation by postponing the deadlines of LCA, Pinaka, Trishul, Akash, nuclear submarines and several types of electronics warfare systems for the army, air force and navy.
    The Kargil conflict last year exposed the chinks in DRDO's armour. None other than Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee echoed the Forces's worries when he told DRDO directors on August 6, 1999: "Technology needed for mountain warfare is to be given the highest priority."
     
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I am taking the article from the opening post and I will counter the points with embedded comments:

    _________________________________________

    How DRDO failed India's military

    The difference between India's failure against Pakistan's success in their respective missile programmes is based on the purist mindset of the Defence Research and Development Organisation to develop indigenously all complex weapon platforms and Islamabad's intelligent alliance with China and the approach to achieve its goals 'by any means, fair or foul'! While Pakistan was pragmatic in its approach, India was merely pompous. [Who would have India gotten technology from, the way Pakistan did?]

    Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme has been finally shelved. This marks an unceremonious end of an ambitious technological misadventure by the DRDO -- country's premier defence R&D agency. For nearly two-and-a-half decades, it doled out mere promises to the country's armed forces -- delaying their much- needed modernisation plans. [The armed forces can also be blamed for delaying induction of Arjun on flimsy grounds and at the same time running to DRDO to fix the overheating problems with their T-90.]

    The armed forces were forced to resort to off-the-shelf 'panic buying' whenever they realised that the strategic balance was tilting in favour of their adversaries. [On the contrary, the various armed forces have come up with panic threat perceptions closely matching foreign products and have consistently blamed DRDO for their own failure at predicting what they will need, along with consistently changing their demands.] Besides missiles, there are other equipments such as the Main Battle Tank Arjun, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Nishant, Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, INSAS rifles which have been thrust on the end users despite unsatisfactory performances during trials. [With what authority does Bharat Verma claim that INSAS rifle and the Arjun tanks has unsatisfactory performance? How does he quantify "unsatisfactory?" What technical premise does he present to back up his uncorroborated claims?]

    In the bargain, the military lost 25 precious years and the taxpayers' nearly Rs 2,000 crore by keeping the IGMDP programme under wraps to hide its inefficiency from the nation. [If one were to follow Bharat Verma's implied course, India would have spent precious taxpayer's money in importing foreign products.]

    Even when the IGMDP was embarked upon, many pointed out that to successfully complete such a high-end technological programme, foreign collaboration would be needed. [Does Bharat Verma have any evidence to establish that these foreign collaboration that would be "needed" would be available?] But the DRDO's obduracy prevailed and the programme dragged for so many years.

    It is wasteful to try and 'reinvent the wheel', but that is precisely what the DRDO backed by New Delhi did for all these years -- trying to develop every system and sub-system indigenously and ending up developing practically nothing of substance. [No, it is not wasteful, rather imperative to try to develop every single system and sub-system, and I repeat, every single system and sub-system, indigenously. There is no alternative to self reliance. In high-tech areas that are usually under technology denial regimes, there is no shortcut.]

    The IGMPD started in 1983 after India failed to reverse engineer a Russian missile in the seventies, with A P J Abdul Kalam as the head. [Exactly. India failed to reverse engineer the Russian missiles, because, India did not have the foundation for building high tech weapons, and if the government does not patronize the various DRDO labs, India will never have the foundation.] However, 25 years later the DRDO missiles remain off target. The army cannot rely on Prithvi, [Is Bharat Verma aware that we have successfully developed, tested, and deployed several other missiles that surpass Prithvi's capabilities since?] a battlefield support missile, unless technological issues affecting its launch readiness are resolved. Trishul, the quick reaction anti-aircraft missile, turned out to be a dud and is now being resurrected with the induction of foreign technology as a stopgap arrangement for the air force, till the Spyder missile systems from Israel finally arrives. Meanwhile this delay for the navy meant importing Israel's Barak missile. While Akash, the medium range surface to air missile with 27-km range, had its first user trial in end 2007, Nag, the anti-tank missile with 4-7 km range, is yet to begin user trials.

    Meanwhile, the air force with depleting fleet of obsolete Russian SA-3 Pechora and OSA-AK missile systems, is in a quandary as to how to plug holes in its air defence system in the western sector as the DRDO has failed to deliver.

    AGNI –I and AGNI-II with a range of 700 km and 2,500 km respectively, have been tested five times, which is inadequate to generate confidence in a nuclear capable missile. [How many tests are adequate to generate confidence?] The end users of these ballistic missiles are army and the air force with 8 and 24 missiles in their arsenals but lack confidence in the quality of the product even as AGNI-IV is readied for trial in mid-2008 with a range of 6,000 km.

    The tacit admission of the DRDO's inability must not be limited to the missile programme alone; a review of all projects under its aegis is needed for a reality check and course correction. The DRDO fault-line primarily is a result of lack of accountability, focus, and failure to develop scientific disposition.

    The director general of DRDO wears three hats. He is also, secretary defence R&D and scientific advisor to the defence minister. These three inter-linked hats on one individual destroy the basic principal of accountability. Therefore, he is not answerable to anyone.

    DRDO scuttled a contract that was on the verge of being signed by India in 1997 for the import of a Weapon Locating Radar as the latter promised to produce it indigenously within two years. [And who says that the imported weapons locating radars would have actually worked? The US supplied weapons locating radars turned out to be duds in the Ukrainian Civil War. Moreover, DRDO has actually made significant progress in radar technology.] Due to this negligence, the Indian Army could not neutralise Pakistan's artillery fire effectively in the Kargil conflict and suffered heavy causalities. Of course, the DRDO to date is not in a position to produce WLR and ultimately India bought it from the previously selected producer in 2003. In my view, DRDO should be held directly responsible for these unwarranted war causalities.

    The DRDO actually produces in its Tezpur laboratory orchids and mushrooms, identifies the sharpest chili in the world with pride, while its lab in Pithoragarh develops hybrid varieties of cucumber, tomato and capsicum. It spends merrily from the defence budget on developing new strains of Angora rabbits and 'Namkeen Herbal Tea'! DRDO by indulging in such irrelevant activities lost its focus and sight of its primary responsibility.

    Instead of building a scientific temper, DRDO from its inception indulged in empire building, spending a major part of its budget on world-class auditoriums, convention centres, conference halls, and hostels, while neglecting research work.

    To remove DRDO's fault-line, New Delhi should rapidly transform India into a low cost, high end R&D centre [Low cost and high end R&D? What is Bharat Verma smoking? Hello, we are not discussing building a papad making factory. High end R&D in defence is never low cost. So please get your delusions out of your mind.] of the world without neglecting its manufacturing sector. Fairly ideal demographic conditions exist along with favourable geo-political factors whereby international actors are willing to invest, as well as, set up shop in India. [Apart from IT, India does not have much of an edge in other sectors, especially electronics and materials sciences. Even Indian auto companies have to run to foreign labs for R&D. Bharat Verma needs a serious reality check.] To maintain their technological lead, the West finds India as a logical destination for their defence industries, both as a potential market and also a base to develop low cost high-end research projects.

    On the other hand, we need to leapfrog as well as piggyback technologically, as reinventing the wheel is not necessarily an answer to the yawning technological gap that exists between the western countries and India. Therefore, there are synergies that should be exploited. Enormous mutual benefits can occur to both, if New Delhi can develop itself as a world-class R&D centre and a global hub for manufacturing sensitive military equipment.

    Due to the rapid march of technologies and huge costs involved in R&D, no single player is in a position to deliver next generation weapon systems. Whether it is Boeing, Lockheed Martin, DCN, Airbus, or HDW -- all of them sub-contract different assemblies and sub-systems globally to the most competitive and competent companies. [We cannot afford to continue to subcontract components to manufacturers located in multiple countries, because then, we will make ourselves vulnerable to blackmail. We should endeavour to make every single system and sub-system in India.] The other interesting trend is the formation of trans-national consortiums of nations and companies to manufacture superior platforms like the Euro fighter or the Euro copter. [What might work for the Europeans will not work for India. This is a ridiculous idea. What if someone decides to withhold supplies? Anyone can pull the plug on Indian defence production. Bharat Verma can kindly refer to how the Chinese brought Japanese electronics manufacturing to its knees by simply withholding supplies of rare earths.] The game, thus, is global as it is not feasible for a single player to manufacture or develop each item.

    In the development Sukhoi SU-30 MKI, the major player was the Russian corporation IRKUT but without the help of France and Israel, the fighter aircraft could not have developed the decisive technological edge that it displays. Therefore, India needs to shed its inhibitions, diversify, and form international industrial alliances to leapfrog technological gaps, boost export revenues from its military industrial complex, and leverage this strength as a strategic asset in Asia.

    In any case, defence technologies become obsolete by the time a country can reinvent the wheel. Therefore, radical shifting of strategic gears to a more advantageous position by opening up the field to private sector will stimulate self-sufficiency. Companies like Tatas or L&T can enter into joint ventures and where necessary import CEO's and employ foreign scientists to kick start complex projects. [I wish that too, and I am waiting for them to come up with something useful in the aviation sector. They have done a good job in other sectors, but aviation is a different ball game.]

    In fact, to improve performance of the Public Sector Units there should be competitors making fighter aircraft, missiles, and warships in the corporate world. Such farsighted policy shifts will improve India's self–sufficiency in the shortest possible time frame. This in turn, will increase the stakes of multi-nationals in India's well being and marginalise sanction regimes.

    The Indian Foreign Office took 58 years to grudgingly acknowledge the criticality of military diplomacy in international affairs. If DRDO can appreciate that a technologically advanced and vibrant defence industry is equally critical for India's security and its global aspirations, we will not replicate this mistake. In other words, it should be made to realise that it solely exists to support the armed forces and not vice versa. [DRDO understands that it exists to support the armed forces and not vice versa, and that is why, it does not act like a modelling agency by making cool looking "Victoria's Secret" rifles, but actually following the requirements and delivering products that get the job done. It is the same story with the Arjun.] Therefore, New Delhi should force ruthless accountability, create focus and development of scientific temperament within DRDO and ensure fruitful collaboration with the Indian and international private sector, instead of permitting them to fritter away the defence budget on irrelevant and peripheral activities.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  14. power_monger

    power_monger Regular Member

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    The mindset of Indians has been in blaming rather to correct the problem.We see DRDO as the main problem for our indigenization,but will removing DRDO and allowing private sectors get these back?

    Even after 60 years our Private sector has not shown real determination to show anything worthwhile doing R & D.There is not a single world class product(not just sub-system) from indian companies till date.On Contrary private companies in small Countries like south korea have made world class companies in form of Samsung and Hyundai.Both Indian and Korean companies have received heavy support from the government.So What made them ahead in terms of Innovation compared to our private companies? If DRDO is a failure how will indian private companies who are another failure make a winning factor for India? How can we trust that they will become super innovators all of a sudden?

    I would like to see a thread on Failure of our Private companies in R & D.
     
  15. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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  16. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    'The LCA won't take off in the near future'

    George Iype
    The Light Combat Aircraft is perhaps the most ambitious of all DRDO projects. But 17 years and four postponements of its test flight later, the multi-role fighter meant to replace the MiG-21 is still a dream.
    What has happened to the LCA, the most technologically complex challenge that DRDO had taken up? Air force officers, DRDO scientists and defence experts say it remains grounded because of "scores of technical problems."
    The delay has hurt the air force badly and dented the DRDO's image. A country that has not designed a jet fighter in decades had been waiting long for one. India had designed and produced the HF-24 aircraft in the early 1960s, but its engine was British.
    Such was the enthusiasm behind the LCA that in 1985 the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi showcased it as a symbol of the new era of co-operation and friendship between India and the United States. Gandhi even overrode the claims of the French and Germans who had been collaborating with DRDO and the Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautical Limited for the LCA production.
    The original deadline to fly the aircraft was 1993. The cost, Rs 5.6 billion. The DRDO and HAL did roll out an LCA in the presence of then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao on November 17, 1995. DRDO top brass then announced that the maiden flight would take place in early 1997. The dates were revised to June 1998 and then to February 1999.
    Years passed by, but no test flight took place. Today the deadline for the LCA has become a joke in defence circles.
    The most scathing criticism of the project came from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India who, in his 1999 report, said: 'Even at the end of 1998, the LCA had not crossed the development stage. Its production and induction into the air force remains only a distant possibility.'
    The CAG report went on to add that the airframe for LCA developed by the DRDO's Bangalore laboratory, the Aeronautical Development Agency 'is deficient in vital parameters of aerodynamic configuration, volume and most importantly, the weight.'
    The first phase of the project consumed Rs 25 billion, overshooting the estimated Rs 5.6 billion. Worse, due to the delay, the air force was compelled to upgrade its MiG Bis aircraft at a cost of Rs 21.35 billion.
    Scientists at DRDO, ADA and HAL concede one thing: the LCA has run into some serious technical problems. LCA is a meticulous fly-by-wire aircraft, which is critically dependent on software to fly.
    "But over the years, we have not been successful in fully testing the software. Therefore, we face difficulties in integrating the system," admits an engineer at HAL.
    Since the aircraft depends on computers, no pilot wants to risk a flight test without thoroughly validating the system. Scientists say the trials intended to test the dynamic stability of the airframe and the LCA's engine-flight control system has been successful. Though the engine and the electronics are in the advanced test mode, the aircraft's ability to withstand low pressure and temperature at high altitudes is suspect.
    "There is reason enough to worry that the LCA will not take off in the near future," says Bangalore-based aviation expert P N Srivastava.
    "I feel the delay is primarily due to the fact that it took years for a country like India to get the advanced technology for the project," he says. "The idea for LCA was born without having any requisite technology on our side," Srivastava points out.
    DRDO officials put forward one reason for the project delay -- sanctions from the United States after the Pokhran nuclear blasts. In a bid to force India to put the nuclear genie back into the bottle, the US has pulled out of the project soon after the tests.
    Thus, just one week after the explosions in May 1998, many scientists working on different fields linked to the LCA at aerospace giant Lockheed Martin in Binghamton, New York, were asked to pack their bags for India by the United States. The Indian engineers were working to validate a computerised control law software for onboard computers which will ultimately fly the aircraft.
    As it imposed sanctions, the US also denied key components like hydraulic actuators -- that help manoeuvre the aircraft, gain altitude and determine the trajectory -- and the ring-laser gyros to make inertial navigation systems.
    "One of the main reasons for the delay is that technological sanctions from the US hit us badly. Had it not been for the nuclear blasts, our deadline to test fly the aircraft would have been successful in December 1998," says a senior DRDO official.
    Lockheed Martin refused to give the DRDO the flight control computer, which was in the US for testing, when sanctions were announced, he added.
    Another major hurdle for DRDO is the LCA's engine. As per its agreement with the US, India was allowed to purchase frontline 404 engines from General Electric. In fact, DRDO imported 11 such engines and fitted them on to the early versions of the aircraft, pending the development of the indigenous Kaveri engine being developed by Bangalore's Gas Turbine Research Establishment.
    But after the nuclear tests, GE withdrew its technical support personnel from India and DRDO was forced to depend only on Kaveri. Sources now say it will take at least two years to determine whether Kaveri engines can withstand the low pressure and temperature at high altitudes.
    No one at DRDO, ADA and HAL believes that the LCA will fly before 2005.
    Experts say the delay should be examined in the context of a country that has not designed and produced a jet fighter since the 1960s. Development of every vital component of the LCA -- airframe, multimode radar, flight control system, Kaveri engine, digital electronic engine control - are said to be beset with problems.
    Scientists at DRDO, for their part, hold the defence ministry partially responsible for the delay. Between 1990 and 1994, all work came to a virtual standstill as the defence ministry refused to release the much-needed foreign exchange because of economic stringency.
    But the biggest worry for DRDO is not the bureaucratic delays and sanctions, but the Indian air force. Faced with diminishing number of its ageing fleet, the IAF holds DRDO responsible for promising to deliver the LCA before year 2,000, thereby considerably upsetting many of its aircraft acquisition plans.
    Suspecting that DRDO will never deliver the LCA, the IAF has now embarked on an ambitious project to upgrade 100 MiG-21 aircraft.
    Despite the heavy odds, DRDO still remains confident that it will roll out the country's first indigenous aircraft before 2002.
    "We will induct 200 LCAs into the Indian Air Force between 2003 and 2010," Dr Abdul Kalam told a group of aeronautical scientists before he handed over DRDO's charges to Dr Vasudev K Aatre.
    But there aren't many who believe that promise will be fulfilled.

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2000/mar/14drdo.htm
     
  17. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I cannot list too many failures of private companies, and the reason is, they have not tried enough number of times.

    Failure is a stepping stone to success. The ones who never fail are the ones who never try. The ones who succeed once, do so, because they have failed several times.
     
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  18. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    'DRDO took up Arjun before it learnt to make tanks'

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    'DRDO took up Arjun before it learnt to make tanks'
    http://www.rediff.com/news/2000/mar/15drdo.htm
    George Iype
    Some 20 years ago, the defence ministry entrusted the DRDO with two projects: the development of a battle tank and a multi-barrel rocket launcher system.
    The DRDO called the former, assigned to it in 1974, Arjun, and the latter Pinaka.
    Two-plus decades later, the Arjun is considered a major failure. And so is the Pinaka. The Indian army found the latter passed only seven of its 29 requirements.
    Defence experts allege that DRDO continues to work on Arjun and Pinaka just to keep its laboratories open.
    "The Arjun main battle tank is not world class and has failed to meet the required levels of accuracy. But DRDO is keeping it alive because it does not want its factories to close down," says Major General (retd) Ashok Mehta.
    Experts like Major General Mehta feel the Arjun could have been a tank with potential if DRDO had got its act together. But the premier defence research organisation continues to exert pressure on the army to accept a limited series of production for the Arjun.

    Army officers say it is politics and not the tank's potential that is at work in the defence ministry, which last year placed orders with the Avadi Ordinance Factory to manufacture 124 Arjun tanks.
    "I am happy to inform you that not only is the army satisfied with the Arjun tank's performance, but it has placed an order for 124 more such tanks," Defence Minister George Fernandes had told Parliament. "With this India has achieved the capability for indigenous manufacture of battle tanks."
    Army officials, however, say no other defence agency in the world must have spent 25 years and Rs 3.5 billion on developing a tank that has failed to perform.
    "We have wasted money and time in producing a tank that is just not a world class product these days," an army officer in Hyderabad says.
    Insiders say the army was not "satisfied with the Arjun's performance" as Fernandes claimed, but was coerced to accept it by the DRDO.
    N K Mohan Pillai, a retired army officer who witnessed the Arjun trials, says the tank lacked three vital strengths. First, its engine is weak. Second, its suspension needs permanent maintenance. Third, its gun control is not accurate enough to obtain first round kill probability.
    "In fact, the main problem was that DRDO took up the Arjun project before learning how to make tanks," Pillai remarks.
    In 1994 when DRDO announced that the Arjun tank was ready for production, then army chief General B C Joshi witnessed the trials. He sent a note to the DRDO and the defence minister saying the tank fails to meet standards and therefore was unacceptable. General Joshi then laid down a dozen imperatives that DRDO should take to improve upon the tank.
    General Joshi's main concerns were that the tank that weighs 57 tonnes lacked armour protection and vital suspension for crew comfort and gunfire accuracy.
    But DRDO, which has showcased the Arjun as its finest indigenous product, claims that the problem is not with the tank, but with the army.
    "The army is used to handling only T-72 tanks. For the soldiers who have fired T-72 tanks, operating the Arjun is a gigantic task. So we have told the army to train their crew before accusing us of inferior production," a DRDO engineer says.
    Despite DRDO's claims, many in the army believe that the 124 Arjun tanks will drain the exchequer just like the multi-barrel rocket launching system Pinaka did.
    In 1999 the Comptroller and Auditor General severely indicted DRDO for its failure to develop critical components for Pinaka after spending Rs 424.5 million on the project.
    The defence ministry had entrusted DRDO with the Pinaka project in 1980. The deadline given was 1994. Twenty years later DRDO is nowhere near finishing. The war heads and all the three vehicles necessary for launching the rockets are yet to be developed by DRDO. Against the requirement of eight types of warheads, only three have been developed. Of this, one is not acceptable to the army and the other is only a dummy.
    "The delay in the development of the EWPinaka has compelled the army to depend on our existing 20 kilometre-range system even during Kargil conflict. The DRDO is entirely responsible for this," charges an army officer.
    According to experts, the Pinaka system has met just seven of the 29 requirements of the army during trials. The indigenous rocket launcher lacks the promised range, fire power, loading time of the salvo and deployment time.
     
  20. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    @Bhadra sir It seems the shared article are from Early 2000, where the Arjuns and Pinaka in initial developments/procrument stages.

    But it seems Pinaka is a Good system that they almost changed the Guidance rocket motor to achieve long range and good precision.

    any idea how many Pinaka system in operational. from wiki

    '

    means two hundred crores for 80 pinaka

    480 pinaka launchers it seems 68 regiments ( one regimet six Pinaka plus one reserve )

    @Bhadra sir your inputs please
     
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  21. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    So, @Bhadra ji, any particular reason you have fished out a one and a half a decade old article that bashes DRDO?

    Of course, you have every right to post it.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
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