Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by A.V., Feb 17, 2009.
Yes I am interested, how does GDW functions and what is its detonation style.
Missile defence: A discussion - Deploy early to foil foreign lobby?
Missile defence: Deploy early to foil foreign lobby
Friday, March 13, 2009 2:13 IST
New Delhi: The government should immediately deploy the indigenously developed missile defence system and foil efforts by foreign arms lobbies to push through their systems, military sources said.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) flight-tested the third ballistic missile interceptor on March 6. The earlier two tests were also successful. Scientists and military sources say India should not repeat the blunders committed in the development of the Arjun tank and Akaash missile. In fact, "immediate deployment" was the need of the hour.
The project to develop defense against incoming ballistic missiles is one of the most expensive by India. DRDO said it will perfect the first stage system in two years and carry out integrated tests in exo and endo atmospheric regions by year-end. But deployment of any system would mean they must be mass produced. That would bring down cost per unit, and improve technology. "In most of our indigenous projects, delay in serial production has been a setback," a defence ministry source said. Citing main battle tank Arjun, a senior army official said, "Had it been pushed into serial production, the product would have been significantly better today. As its production was stalled, Arjun fell behind other products of its class."
Similar was the case of the Akaash, a surface-to-air missile with a 30km range. "Had the air force inducted it in large numbers, economies of scale would have ensured Akaash became cheaper. But since the promised large scale induction did not happen, foreign missile systems are taking its place," a DRDO source said.
DRDO chief Dr M Natarajan recently said in Bangalore, the Air Force had inducted eight Akash squadrons, but after the then IAF chief retired, the new air chief brought down the order to two squadrons.
The call for immediate deployment comes in the light of intense pressure from the US to sell PAC-III and Aegis missile defence systems to India.Russia and Israel too have their own defence systems and powerful lobbies capable of influencing decisions here.
India needs an indigenous missile shield | Deccan Chronicle
India needs an indigenous missile shield
March 20th, 2009
By Arun Kumar Singh
The pro-American lobby is “upset” with President Obama concentrating on US’ primary interests — overcoming the recession, Iraq, “AfPak” and cozying up to China. The much-touted contract for eight Boeing P-8i LRMP aircraft for the Indian Navy will be “operationalised” after the EUMA (end user monitoring agreement) issue is resolved. Another impediment to US transfer of technology is the “CISMOA” (Communications and Information Memorandum of Agreement) that the US requires from all who buy or use its military technology. Without EUMA and CISMOA, the American F-16 and F-18 jet fighters cannot hope to compete in the ongoing 126 fighter deal for the IAF. A third agreement which the US wants India to sign is the LSA (Logistics Support Agreement), which seeks to enhance interoperability by providing refuelling to warships, while deferring the payment to a prearranged later date. I wonder how Indo-US relations will shape up if the US brings the FMCT, CTBT, PSI, CSI etc to the table, when the new government takes charge after the general elections.
The pro-China lobby in India is confused as to why Beijing is gifting two more nuclear power plants to Pakistan. Is the IAEA worried at all about the repercussions of these two known nuclear proliferators getting together yet again?
The pro-Russian lobby is fast running out of steam since the Russians have introduced a new system of first signing contracts and then hiking prices. A recent example is the original $900 million Gorshkov aircraft carrier contract, now being priced at an astounding $2.9 billion. India should now concentrate on its indigenous aircraft carrier and get it ready by 2015.
I am proud of the part played by the DRDO (and DAE) in India in acquiring its own indigenous strategic deterrent, and applaud the ongoing efforts to test the Agni-5 in 2010.
The Ballistic Missile Defence System (BMDS) project (phase 1, to counter Pakistan) recently underwent its third “successful” DRDO trials on March 6, and, as per media reports, is expected to become operational by about 2012 with a phase 2 (to counter China) being ready by 2014. These DRDO projects are meant to defend a selected city only, while for all of India we would need a complex, and unaffordable, “area” BMDS.
A single “area” BMDS, which would counter both Chinese and Pakistani ballistic missile threats, would be ideal. But it is ruled out due to prohibitive costs. This system would require “layered detection systems” viz an “outermost” layer with satellite-based surveillance systems to cover 3,500 km to 6,000 km, and a “middle layer” with early warning radar with a slant detection range up to 4,000 km to detect “high flying” ballistic missiles of the type China may use against us. In addition, a third “inner most” layer of “higher” frequency radar with ranges of about 1,500 km would be needed to detect “low trajectory” ballistic missiles and to discriminate between warheads and decoys or discarded booster/cruise stages. After detection, the early warning radar would pass on the information to one of the numerous suitable interceptor missiles, which would be launched with guidance from local fire control radar. These interceptor missiles too would be “layered”. For the “outermost” layer, interceptor missiles would need speeds of 4-1/2 km per second and ranges of over 200 km. The “middle” layer would comprise interceptor missiles. The “inner most” layer would need missiles like the American PAC-3 or Israeli Arrow-2 or the Indian PAD-cum-AAD.
No BMDS is foolproof. One out of every five modern ballistic missiles will reach its target. In addition, India would need a large number of expensive SAMs, AWACs, low-level radar and fighter aircraft to build an indigenous cruise missile defence system to counter the low-flying cruise missile threats from Pakistan and China. For the CMDS, the DRDO’s long-delayed AWACs and LCA projects are important.
The present Indian interceptor missile systems will only suffice to defend a single city. This system would not provide defence against the long-range and fast Chinese ballistic missiles. Since “phase 1” will not suffice, the DRDO has announced a “phase 2” BMDS by 2014, which will comprise a 1,500 km radar and a new PDV interceptor missile. A combination of phases 1 and 2 will provide limited point defence capability to selected cities, assuming that an Indian satellite surveillance system also becomes operational. India needs two “point” BMDS to defend, specifically, New Delhi and Mumbai, and also a very “limited” CMDS, by 2015. However, higher priority will have to be given to countering terror while providing adequate conventional warfare and strategic second-strike capability.
We must use our limited finances wisely. While good relations with the US and Russia are important, we also need a pro-India lobby.
Hat-trick of hits
The success of the DRDO’s March 6 test means that India will have a ballistic missile defence shield ready for deployment in four years.
The interceptor missile Prithvi racing towards its target soon after its launch from Wheeler Island, off the Orissa coast, on March 6.
THE Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) prowess in advanced software that goes into the making of interceptor missiles was proved convincingly on March 6 when a Prithvi interceptor missile achieved a direct hit-to-kill on an “enemy” missile. The interception took place at an altitude of 80 kilometres when a modified Dhanush missile, launched from the naval ship INS Subhadra in the Bay of Bengal, was in its descent phase and hurtling towards Wheeler Island, off Orissa’s coast. Dhanush was simulating the final phase of the trajectory of ballistic missiles with a range of 1,500 km, such as Pakistan’s Ghauri missile. At the end of over five minutes of heightened suspense at the Launch Control Centre (LCC) on Wheeler Island, the Prithvi interceptor missile cut into the path of the incoming “Dhanush” missile, knocked it out and also pulverised the latter with its new manoeuvrable warhead.
Such was the accuracy of the interception that those scanning the plot-boards at the LCC celebrated like never before. India was finally on the way to acquiring a ballistic missile defence shield to thwart enemy attacks. In terms of strategic importance, the success established India’s capability to intercept Pakistan’s Hatf and Ghauri missiles.
“Our strength is our software,” V.K. Saraswat, Programme Director, Air Defence, DRDO, had declared in November 2008. “In the ballistic missile defence shield, if there are glitches in the software, it cannot be excused. It has to work thoroughly. There are a million lines of code. The onboard software runs in real time in the interceptor missile.”
Saraswat called the March 6 success “a major test in assembling the ballistic missile defence system as part of network-centric warfare”. He added: “In the next 25 years, you will see a growth in the direction of network-centric warfare. So we are making these building blocks.”
It was the third success in a row for the DRDO, which has been making all-out efforts to acquire a two-layered ballistic missile defence shield with interceptors that can shoot down incoming missiles. It tasted success in its first mission on November 27, 2006, when a Prithvi missile intercepted a Prithvi-II missile at an altitude of 48 km in what is called the exo-atmosphere. It was a direct hit. The interceptor was called Prithvi Air Defence (PAD-01). Again, on December 6, 2008, an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile shot down a modified Prithvi missile at an altitude of 15 km in what is called the endo-atmosphere when the “attacker” was in the final stage of its flight. It was a direct hit too. With the March 6 direct hit, the DRDO has achieved a hat-trick.
If the interception on March 6 took place at an altitude much higher than in the previous missions, there are distinct advantages to it. The debris will take longer to fall through the atmosphere and become cinders because of re-entry heat. In an actual war, this will reduce the effect of any fallout of the debris of a nuclear warhead and the risks associated with radiation.
Three features stood out in the latest mission: the Prithvi interceptor missile’s gimballed/manoeuvrable warhead, which can rotate 360 degrees; the interceptor’s coasting phase, which can “take care” of the manoeuvres performed by the attacker; and the very advanced software residing in the computers of the interceptor. The warhead is called a directional one because it can be directed to explode towards the target. Only the U.S. and Russia have gimballed directional warheads.
Regarding the software used in the interceptor, Saraswat said: “The software of the guidance, control and navigation systems, which was generated by our scientists in Hyderabad, is practically the high watermark of the technology of our ballistic missile defence system. It will not be out of place to say that while many countries have been struggling for many years to get this kind of performance, it is to the credit of the young team at the DRDO that it made this mission a success. As far as the programme is concerned, this is a major milestone in proving the capability of our ballistic missile defence shield.” The computer controlled, navigated and guided the vehicle towards its target, besides performing a series of mission-sequencing tasks. Besides, the interceptor had a special software to discriminate the terminal phase of the enemy missile’s flight. Interceptions would take place in the terminal phase.
Dhanush, the “enemy” missile, was a single-stage missile with a diameter of one metre, a weight of 4.5 tonnes, and a height of 9.4 m. Propelled by liquid fuel, it quickly climbed to an altitude of 150 km, cut a parabola and started heading towards Wheeler Island. About 50 seconds into its flight, radars at Konark and Paradip in Orissa tracked the missile and relayed the information to the Mission Control Centre (MCC) on Wheeler Island. The MCC then analysed whether it was a ballistic missile or an aircraft. Within five seconds, the MCC concluded that it was a “hostile” target which would impact close to Wheeler Island very soon. This information was received by the LCC, which used it to compute the trajectory of the interceptor to engage the incoming ballistic missile. It then decided that the interception should take place at an altitude of 80 km when Dhanush was in its descent mode. The LCC also quickly decided when the interceptor, named Prithvi Air Defence (PAD-02), should lift off. When the launch computer gave the command for it to blast off, the two-stage interceptor, 10 metres tall, weighing 5.2 tonnes and having a diameter of one metre, rose from a truck on the beach-head on the island. While its first stage was powered by liquid fuel, the second stage had solid propellants.
About five minutes and ten seconds later, when the interceptor had reached an altitude of 80 km, its homing seeker acquired the target when it was 25 km away. Using this information, the interceptor’s computer guided it towards the target and brought it within a few metres of Dhanush.
At this point of time, the radio proximity fuse (RPF) of the gimballed directional warhead calculated the distance from Dhanush and the time at which the warhead should detonate.
“When the interceptor and the target were practically colliding with each other, the warhead was detonated, which led to the fragmentation of the target and the interceptor. It was a direct hit and also a warhead detonation. A large number of fragments formed due to the collision and detonation of the warhead were tracked by ground radars and the radars on ships. We could see on our plot boards hundreds of new tracks being formed, confirming that it was both a direct hit and a detonation,” Saraswat said.
The highlights of the mission were proving the technology of the gimballed directional warhead and demonstrating the interceptor’s coasting phase, using a vernier thruster. This coasting phase in the interceptor’s trajectory helps it to decide at what stage it should intercept the “enemy” missile. If the attacker does a manoeuvre, the interceptor’s guidance system will take care of it. To make the seeker effective, the DRDO used a wide-beam RPF in the warhead, which was a mini-radar. “So even if there is a manoeuvre by the enemy missile in the last 500 milliseconds, the RPF will be able to take care of it. The directional warhead will be ignited on the basis of the data given by the RPF,” said Saraswat.
Another major element employed in the mission was the advanced battle management command, control and communication software, which resided in the MCC. The entire event was tracked by a number of ground stations with complete mobile and static communication systems provided by satellites, fibre optics and line-of-sight communication.
Saraswat said: “It was a mission planned, designed and executed with clockwork precision. It proves the robustness, reliability and repeatability of the design of India’s emerging ballistic missile defence system, which can take care of incoming missiles with a range of 300 km to 1,500 km. It demonstrates that the DRDO’s ballistic missile defence shield has reached a great level of maturity.”
THE DHANUSH MISSILE being launched from the naval ship INS Subhadra in the Bay of Bengal.
W. Selvamurthy, Chief Controller, DRDO, predicted that in the wake of the “hat-trick of successes”, India’s ballistic missile defence shield would be ready for deployment in about four years. “It will take us a couple of more trials before our system is ready to be offered for deployment. In the next trial, we will do combined interceptions in both the exo-atmosphere and the endo-atmosphere,” he said.
Saraswat praised “the synergy” and “the collective skill and knowledge” of the DRDO laboratories which made the mission a success. They included the Research Centre Imarat, the Advanced Systems Laboratory and the Defence Research and Development Laboratory, all located in Hyderabad and collectively called “the missile complex”; the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, the Armament Research and Development Establishment, and the Research and Development Establishment (Engineers), all located in Pune; the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment, Bangalore; the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, Chandigarh; and the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment, Ahmednagar.
some points that come out of the article is:
hmm so we have maneuverable warheads and defense against them too
So we are the third country
So we have a good software base on which we can base of defense shield
now the mother of things comes
So satellites are already part of our defense shield?
Recent reports of DRDOs plan for Phase-II BMD say it would be a hypersonic missile, I sense a Shaurya variant.
It is called as PDV which will have two solid stages.
UPA govt signs Rs10,000 cr Israel missile deal on the sly
DNA: India: UPA govt signs Rs10,000 cr Israel missile deal on the sly
Indian Missile Defense: Success Too Soon?
Two weeks ago, a ballistic missile blasted off from a warship sailing in the Bay of Bengal. Its target was Wheeler Island, a small enclave of land off the coast of India and home to one of India's most important missile testing facilities.
Within seconds of the launch, the Indian military's radars and computer banks began tracking the supersonic rocket. Several computations later, an alarm triggered another "hot" missile on the island that, once launched, began pursuing the aggressor warhead. Some 70 kilometers above the earth's surface, the two collided. The rocket's debris fell through the sky, most of it burned and vaporized. What little remained scattered like ash into the vast expanses of the Indian Ocean, marking India's third successful test of its nascent missile defense system.
Over the past few years, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the Indian military's scientific arm, has been trying to push India into a very exclusive club: countries that can boast of having a missile defense shield. The only other members so far are the United States, Russia and Israel. The recent success may not have generated the same level of national jubilation as the nuclear tests in 1998, but among strategic circles the satisfaction was clear. "The third consecutive interception of ballistic missile demonstrated the robustness of the Indian BMD system," remarked an overjoyed V. K. Saraswat, program director for India's Air Defense.
India hopes to unveil its missile umbrella in two phases. Stage one, which envisages the ability to intercept missiles of 2,000 km range, is expected to be completed by 2011. Stage two of the program, where scientists hope to take on intercontinental ballistic missiles with a range greater than 3,500 km, will be ready by 2014.
There are still several major barriers that need to be overcome before a fully functional missile shield can be deployed to protect major national cities and other important landmarks. But the Indians take this prospective development very seriously, as part of becoming a recognized global power. So seriously, in fact, that the DRDO has consistently brushed off questions about finances. According to officials closely associated with the project, the cost so far is roughly $1 billion dollars and counting. Saraswat, when asked about the program's budget, simply smiled and said, "We have enough," hinting that the government is willing to turn a blind eye to the project's monetary feasibility.
At the heart of India's nuclear strategy and missile defense program is the decades-old notion of deterrence. But India's own nuclear doctrines -- highlighted in a 1999 press release by the Cabinet Committee on Security, and the Draft Report by the National Security Advisory Board, also from 1999 -- underline the importance of the survivability of second-strike capability. Critics have pointed out that a shield would increase insecurity in the region by provoking an arms race and missile buildup involving Pakistan and China, which in turn would escalate the likelihood of war.
However, Ali Ahmed, a nuclear expert at New Delhi's prominent Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, disagrees. "We would like to preserve ourselves from a decapitating nuclear strike. So the reason why India is developing a missile defense system is not to defend the entire landmass as such, but rather the survivability of our second-strike capability. This is something that is helping our deterrence; this is not something that will provoke the Chinese or the Pakistanis to multiply their warheads."
Doctrines aside, there remains some pragmatic skepticism about the shield's viability. First, there is the question of technology, which has not yet matured. It is unclear, for instance, whether the Indian ABM program can take on a barrage of incoming missiles in the event of a full-scale attack. Then there is the issue of deception. Saraswat quietly skirted around the topic when asked if the interceptors could distinguish between decoys and actual warheads. Many people who are closely following the developments have charged that the tests were carried out in too sanitized an environment, one that does not reflect real-world scenarios.
Scientists at the DRDO have only been able to develop the program's missile technology -- meaning that other vital components, like radars and the mission control center, had to be acquired from overseas. Foreign companies from Israel, the United States and Russia have also been hawking their own military wares to the Ministry of Defense: the ready-to-go Arrow-2, PAC-3 and S300-V, respectively.
Yet Saraswat expressed confidence in India's program, saying that while foreign collaboration could not be ruled out completely, the indigenous character of the project is necessary to "customize [it] to the Indian threat profile." He even went on to claim that the homegrown missile architecture was "20 to 30 percent" better than the American-made PAC-3 system, although that is debatable.
Perhaps the most fundamental challenges for the missile shield, though, lie not in the missiles it might shoot down, but in the evolving complexities of deterrence. Despite the phenomenal sums of money spent on the program, for instance, it could do nothing to prevent the recent Mumbai attacks, part of what many in India believe amounts to a low-intensity war by Pakistan against India. Whether the DRDO can continue to maintain support for the costly effort in light of this changing threat environment remains to be seen.
World Politics Review | Indian Missile Defense: Success Too Soon?
complete psy op what a waste of time, some day these guys will come up and say stop all the programs like space program and all as these does not help blah blah blah at it's best
I know, people in the Media can get too over-obsessed with themselves and illogical and crass arguments sometimes...
'India told us to keep deal secret'
Saturday, March 28, 2009 2:45 IST
New Delhi: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the defence firm that was awarded a controversial Rs10,000 crore contract for the joint development of medium-range surface-to-air missiles (MRSAMs), confirmed on Thursday that it had indeed signed the deal. But it made a surprising disclosure: the deal was kept under wraps at the insistence of the government of India.
The contract was signed on February 27, just days before the Lok Sabha elections were announced. IAI was told that premature disclosure could lead to problems, and even termination of the contract. The deal includes suspicious clauses, including one for the payment of 6% "business charges", which many observers believe could be a camouflage for commissions. The payment of commissions and middlemen are banned in Indian defence deals.
Following the DNA expose over the last three days, IAI had no option but to come out into the open. IAI told an Israeli daily that India had asked it to keep mum.
DNA reports exposing controversial arms deal worth Rs10,000 crore have forced the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to comeout with the facts.
According to a report in Globes, an Israeli financial daily, "IAI stated that it delayed announcing the contract until now because the customer (i.e., the Indian government) informed the company that early disclosure was liable to cause material difficulties in execution of the contract, and even result in its cancellation."
The report did not say why a formally negotiated deal between India and IAI, approved by the cabinet committee on security, should be cancelled just because it was made public. The IAI statement also raises questions about the conduct of the Indian ministry of defence over the entire deal.
The opposition parties, and especially the Left parties, are making hay over the DNA reports. It has become an election issue in Kerala, where defence minister AK Antony will have a tough time defending it. The Left is also using the report to display its opposition to Israel, presumably to score points with the Muslim electorate in Kerala and West Bengal, where it faces tough challenges from the Congress.
The ministry of defence has not officially made any reference to the deal. The Congress, however, protested its innocence. Said senior Congress leader and minister of state for external affairs Anand Sharma: "We absolutely reject any suggestion of wrongdoing. How can anyone even suggest any such thing could happen under a person of such integrity as defence minister AK Antony or in a government led by Manmohan Singh?"
Adding further weight to suspicions that the deal may not have been entirely above board, IAI also said that "it felt that this risk (of the contract being cancelled) would be substantially reduced once the advance payment was received," Globes reported.
In reports published between March 25-27, DNA exposed the dubious basis on which the contract was entered into despite specific defence ministry guidelines about dealing with IAI. The Israeli company is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Barak missile deal in which bribes of Rs 400 crore were allegedly paid. The missiles to be developed by IAI under the MRSAM contract are part of the same family.
IAI said the new deal was worth $1.4 billion (Rs7,000 crore), which is its share of the Rs 10,000 crore contract. The Defence Research & Development Organisation gets the balance Rs3,000 crore.
IAI said a part of the payment for the systems would be made during the development period, and the balance during the 66-month delivery period, Globes reported. According to the report, deliveries of the MRSAM would begin "90 months from the date the advance payment is received." The report also said that no advance payment had yet been received.
An excellent article:
Seeking scandals – on the sly news
28 March 2009
Reports casting doubts over the validity of defence deals struck in the near past by the UPA government may only be the first shots fired in the gradually heating atmosphere of parliamentary elections, writes Rajiv Singh.
With the declaration of parliamentary elections the silly season is well and truly upon us and it's time to expect that staple fodder of all elections to be served up for our daily consumption – a nice juicy scandal. We are off to a brisk start with a young Varun Gandhi playing the Hindu avenger before small – and, sorry to say – rather giggly crowds. Fire, brimstone and rivers of blood rhetoric is not very convincing when it emanates from roly-poly cheeks and with convent school diction. Thousands have gathered today to witness him ''court arrest'' in the small town of Pilibhit –the vast majority, once again, spectators.
At the other end of the political spectrum, the veteran Mulayam Singh is now adorning the fool's cap, instead of his familiar all-red Gandhi topi, which he dons on such occasions as elections. The red cap has a political lineage, being indicative of the socialist school of thought at the time of the country's freedom struggle. The change of headgear – metaphorically speaking – has taken place for he apparently threatened a woman bureaucrat and got reported. This, as we all know, is not done in a democratic setup. In the silly season you need to be less un-civilised than usual.
A scandal – at last!
To the great Indian tamasha, even as it begins to unroll, we may now add something a touch more cerebral. The first whiff of a scandal – at last! Emerging from the pages of a Mumbai news daily is a report that suggests that the UPA government ruling in Delhi may have signed massive defence deals worth thousands of crores ''on the sly'' just before parliamentary elections were announced. It's doubtful if the technicalities surrounding these deals will interest the overwhelming majority of the voting masses – though it may gain some traction with the overwhelming majority of the chattering classes, who rarely step out of their air-conditioned confines to vote. This may be the intention, for ceaseless chatter, at least in the electronic media, may tend to have an indirect influence.
Carefully patterned after a number of previous 'scandals' served up over the decades, the latest 'scandal' comes across like the tenth re-run of an old TV soap opera.
A national daily has now picked up the story, and, even though it tries to be more even-handed, it leaves the insinuations intact.
On the sly
So what are the contours of the story? As is the norm with budding scandals, there is always a lot more of smoke than fire. A certain amount of writing skill allows a scandal to be neatly wrapped around a bare skeleton of 'facts'.
So let's take a look at the broad contours of the story–and dig into the nitty-gritties subsequently.
* That the UPA government has ''quietly signed a massive, legally opaque, Rs10,000 crore defence deal with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), ignoring a continuing probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and initial vigilance concerns.'' The deal concerns the supply of medium range-surface to air missiles (MR-SAM).
* That the deal ''comes at a time when India already possesses a more powerful missile in the same class – the advanced air defence (AAD) missile, part of India's anti-ballistic missile shield.''
* ''The deal, which is being kept under wraps, could sound the death-knell of the indigenous surface-to-air Akash missile system, into which hundreds of crores have been invested over the over the years. More importantly, the deal ignores the success of the AAD missile, which could be deployed as a surface-to-air missile and used exactly like the Israeli MRSAM.''
From the man in charge
So, let's revisit the comments made by Dr Prahlad, chief controller, DRDO, the man in-charge of the Akash missile development programme, at the time of the signing of the deal.
''We are jointly developing a 70-km range MR-SAM in partnership with Israeli companies,'' Prahlad informed the media at the time the deal was announced.
''We may take around 12 years but the requirement of the services is that they want it (MR-SAM) fast. The only way to make it in four to five years is to partner with a country which has already developed some of the hardware. If they have got some hardware and we have got some knowledge, we can do it in 4-5 years,'' Prahlad said.
Prahlad added that the DRDO had already developed indigenous air defence systems, such as the Trishul and the Akash, but the latter did not fit the bill for the MR-SAM project as its range was only 30 km. The services, he said, had posited the requirement for a missile system with a range of 70 km.
This, as far as sounding the ''death knell'' of the Akash SAM system is concerned – from the man in charge of the development programme.
Now, for the next charge – that the ''... deal comes at a time when India already possesses a more powerful missile in the same class – the advanced air defence (AAD) missile, part of India's anti-ballistic missile shield.''
The Green Pine base
The Indian BMD's AAD/PAD (renamed: Pradyumna) missile system is a proven success and is indeed in the same class as the MR-SAM system now being contracted for with the Israelis. So why has it been ignored?
No surface-to-air missile (SAM) system operates on a solo basis – flying blind. There is a back-up system, including radars, that provides the first promptings of a threat. Radars, and other related systems, then guide, or launch, the SAM in the direction of the hostile threat.
The AAD's support system, for all these years, has been the Israeli Green Pine radar, which allows the Indian BMD system to display the kind of effectiveness that it has. The Israelis sold two of these radars to us about half a decade ago, and these have formed the core around which the fledgling Indian BMD system operates.
The Green Pine system has now been further improved, and the DRDO has evolved the Swordfish radar, a system with enhanced range. The evolution has occurred on the back of the earlier platform – the Green Pine.
After the missile has been directed towards the hostile threat by the radar, it then becomes autonomous and begins to track, and ultimately home in, through its own 'seekers'. It is not confirmed, but there have been reports suggesting that the BMD programme may still be operating with Israeli, or even Russian, seekers.
This may not be the case, but then, like all technologies, seeker technology too is an evolving one – the Indians may have developed a particular generation of this technology and require to leapfrog to another generation. This may or may not be the case, but in defence nobody is going to enlighten you about the loopholes in their defences or development efforts either.
In defence, when a deal is being struck you may attempt to read between the lines, or the clauses, and figure out things which may not be stated for the reading pleasure of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
Now for the other point that the deal has been signed ''quietly'' by the UPA government, ignoring a CBI probe. This is wilfully overlooking the chain of events as they have occurred with respect to the deal.
The report itself concedes that the deal was cleared by the government sometime in 2007 – actually July 2007 – a good two years before the parliamentary elections were due. So why was it not signed then, rather than now, when the whole world, including every defence reporter in town, would draw the appropriate conclusion and scream 'scandal' from the rooftops?
Well, for the very same reason, which the report itself provides. There was an ongoing CBI probe, and niceties of democratic conventions did not allow the deal to be consummated. So what changed, and why did the deal come to be signed days before the 2009 parliamentary elections were announced?
For that matter there was another deal signed a couple of months before this one – in December 2008 – with identically the same parties. This Rs1,800-crore ($400 million) deal is no small matter either, and involves the supply of 18 sets of Israeli SPYDER short and medium range missile systems.
If the MR/LR-SAM deal was cleared by the government in July 2007 and the decision held in abeyance till February 2009, the SPYDER deal was already in the works, and close to being solemnised, by October 2006. So, how come the deal was ultimately signed only in December 2008?
This deal too was kept in abeyance for over two years for the very same reasons, according to the report, that the government has now violated – legal propriety. The CBI, we need to note, was 'investigating' an earlier scandal – the Barak missile deal involving the same parties, signed by the BJP-led NDA gvoernment. Though the country's defence preparedness required that the SPYDER and MR-SAM deals be consummated, legal propriety also required that CBI clear the parties involved.
But then in December 2008 and February 2009 both the deals were cleared in a hurry – as the investigative report suggests, in a ''legally opaque'' manner. Were election funding pressures looming, or was there another reason?
What open tendering?
The reports points out another violation – guidelines laid down by the ministry of defence itself. ''The fact is,'' the report says, ''that there was no open tendering in any of these three contracts (i.e., MR-SAM, SPYDER and Aerostat radars). IAI was the only participant from the beginning in the MR-SAM contract, and no comparative pricing was done in the international market.''
''Comparative tendering'' comes into operation with a commercial contract and not in areas of strategic interest where you already have a partnership of long standing. What tendering was done before the Israeli Green Pine radras were acquired – the bedrock of the Indian BMD programme? Technology of the Green Pine variety is not available for love or money in the open market – they can only be acquired if two, or more, governments agree to strengthen strategic relationships and pass on such technologies as proof of their long-term friendly intent towards each other.
It is known that the US and Israel got into a spat over the transfer of the Green Pine technology to India as it has been jointly developed by both nations as part of the Arrow BMD programme and was almost entirely funded by the US. Under immense pressure Israel eventually agreed to suspend interactions with India for a period of time.
It may be noted that Israel, another democracy, did not resort to ''open tendering'' for the transfer of the Green Pine radars to India and even risked an open spat with a strategic partner of long standing – the US.
The Israelis have gone the extra mile with regard to India, not just with the Green Pine exchange, but in various areas too numerous to enumerate – some only in the knowledge of the very few.
As already pointed out, it is not even clear if the Indian BMD programme has used, or is using, Israeli seekers for their intercepting missiles.
As they did with the Green Pine, Indians may have begun with a set of seekers provided by the Israelis and moved on to gradually evolve one of their own, or may be in the process of doing so, as they did with the Swordfish. They may have developed a particular generation of seekers and now feel that partnership is essential.
Defence development programmes have now gradually moved beyond the means of almost all companies, or nations, to fund entirely on their own – most programmes and nations are seeking partners.
Put simply, there could be more irons in this particular fire than we may imagine.
Life in defence – unfortunately for investigative folks – is not entirely about legal opacity, open tendering and the like.
Dr Prahlad put it in a succinct manner – on our own, the development cycle may take up to 12 years, but a joint development programme may shorten the cycle to 4-5 years. Cost analysis also includes time as a critical factor.
Israel's Arrow BMD programme had the US as a partner. Surely this technological giant did not require seeking the partnership of such a small nation? They did, though, and so do we. And let us not get into hocus-pocus of 'open tendering' and 'legal transparency.' These are applicable to areas where technologies are comparable and available off-the-shelf.
No country in the world is passing on technologies of strategic interest on a commercial basis – and so ''open tendering'' and ''legal opaqueness'' are phrases strictly for the idle and ones with political axes to grind.
The Patriot system is not available on an ''open tendering'' system to anybody, nor the Russian S-300, for that matter. The Patriot was made available to India only after the country conducted the first round of its BMD tests in November 2006.
It is entirely to the credit of the Indian government that it held out for as long as it did in not consummating these deals – in the face of CBI 'investigations' – and lost out on two years of development time as a result.
The 26/11 shock
The fact remains that something did spur the government to act all of a sudden where, manifestly, it was sitting tight for two odd years on these deals. What could have provided the push?
Was it the sudden realisation that elections were a matter of months away and that party coffers were empty? Or did the 26/11 Mumbai attacks provide the wake-up call?
The deterioration in the security environment in the region, post-26/11, was sudden and rapid. The 'partnership' with the US in trying to corner Pakistan has yielded impressive results – precisely nothing. The massive Kupwara encounter in Kashmir, where 17 Lasher-e-Taiba cadres were gunned down by the Army, brought forth a prompt response from the L-e-T. A spokesman called up newspaper offices in Srinagar acknowledging the encounter and threatening more of the same. Things are not back to normal. They are only where they have always been – part of the offensive strategies of the Pakistani establishment.
Life has moved beyond the pale of conventional warfare – tanks will roll across the border only under the umbrella of protective SAM/BMD systems. If the enemy is not in a position to handle your conventional forces, or is overwhelmed by them in conventional combat it will take recourse to other means.
Mumbai 26/11 brought home the fact that a full-scale clash with our neighbour was a immediate possibility, in spite of all the 'nuclear' rhetoric that attends such arguments. It is only prudent that other arguments, such as ''legal opaqueness'' and ''open tendering'' were given the miss and the needs of the hour were taken onboard.
This, in all probability, is what the government did.
How Pakistan Gets Screwed
India is paying Israeli firms several hundred million dollars for components, technology and expertise needed to build an effective anti-ballistic missile system. India has already purchased two Israeli Green Pine anti-missile radars. India is apparently impressed by Israel's Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, which can knock down an incoming warhead when it is about a minute away from hitting a target in Israel.
Israel has two batteries of Arrow missiles, and over a hundred missiles available. An Arrow battery has 4-8 launchers, and each launcher carries a six missiles in containers. The Arrow was developed to knock down Scud type missiles fired from Syria, Saudi Arabia or Iraq. The two ton Arrow is being replaced with the 1.3 ton Arrow II, which can shoot down longer range ballistic missiles fired from Iran.
India cannot buy Arrow without permission from the United States. That is because American firms contributed technology to Arrow, and the United States currently needs to maintain good relations with Pakistan (the Indian neighbor with nuclear weapons who is most likely to use them.) However, Israel can assist India in building its own version of Arrow. India already has developed some good anti-missile technology, so what Israel brings to the table are improvements, and experience.
The anti-missile work is part of a $1.4 billion Indian deal with Israel. However, there are accusations that this sale was facilitated by the payment of a $120 million bribe. This sort of corruption has long plagued Indian arms deals, and the government has been going after those receiving the bribes with increasing success. Yet the shady deals continue.
The Israeli contract calls for partial payments based on the achievement of certain technical goals. India is going to pay for results, and only after the results are verified. Given Pakistan's small arsenal of ballistic missiles, an Indian anti-missile system would seriously cripple the Pakistani nuclear threat. Pakistan is not wealthy enough to get into a nuclear arms race, thus the Israeli-Indian anti-missile program leaves Pakistan screwed.
Missile development in India is a saga of self-reliance and sustained struggle.
The advanced air Defence interceptor missile being launched from Wheeler Island, off the Dhamra coast in Orissa, on December 6, 2007.
SOMETIME in February, a modified version of Dhanush, India’s surface-to-surface missile, will take off from a naval ship in the Bay of Bengal. As the powerful missile, simulating the terminal conditions of a ballistic missile of a range of 1,500 kilometres, heads towards the Wheeler Island, off the Orissa coast, an interceptor missile will take off from the island and waylay the incoming “enemy” missile at an altitude of 80 km and pulverise it. The interception will take place in the last few seconds of the flight of the “enemy” missile.
If the interception is a success, it will be a hat-trick for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in its quest to establish a credible missile shield against incoming ballistic missiles from adversarial countries. The advantage in this mission, in which the interception takes place at an altitude of 80 km, is that the debris of the “enemy” missile will take longer to fall through the atmosphere and will become cinders. DRDO scored a spectacular success on December 6, 2007, when its interceptor missile Advanced Air Defence (AAD-02) smashed into an incoming Prithvi missile in a “hit to kill” mode. It propelled India into an elite group of three countries – the United States, Russia and Israel – that have the ability to intercept ballistic missiles. On November 27, 2006, India’s first interceptor missile, Prithvi Air Defence, “ambushed” an incoming Prithvi-II missile at an altitude of 50 km.
Today, India has an inventory of powerful missiles, which include Agni, Agni II, Agni III, and Prithvi with its naval and air force versions, Akash, Nag, Astra, BrahMos, underwater-launched K-15 (Sagarika) and land version Shourya. Missile development in India is a saga of self-reliance and sustained struggle, with the pioneers learning by reverse engineering and battling technology-denial regimes such as the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
V.K. Saraswat, Chief Controller, Missiles and Strategic Systems, DRDO, said: “Today, we are confident that any time the West switches off the complete flow of technology or components, we will be in a position to build these missiles.”
The emphasis in DRDO’s missile programme, in future, will be on systems that are reliable, robust and cost-effective. Each missile can attack multiple targets. The missiles will have precision-guided ammunition to pick out areas of interest such as military facilities and radar installations. “This means you need a very accurate weapon system. Precision is going to be the buzzword,” Saraswat said. The technologies that will help in achieving such miniaturised but highly accurate systems are micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS), nano-sensors, nano-materials, advanced computers with sophisticated software, and so on.
Saraswat, who is Programme Director, Air Defence, said: “So DRDO has embarked on a major programme of development of MEMS, nano-materials and nano-sensors to enable it to enter this particular area. In terms of speed, since the time available to reach the target will be short, the future work will be in the area of hypersonic missiles. We are already working on scram-jet technology. Our project on Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV), where we want to demonstrate the performance of a scram-jet engine at an altitude of 15 km to 20 km, is already on.”
DRDO’s missile programme dates back to 1959-60 when Dr. D.S. Kothari was Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister. A group of young scientists including S.L. Bansal, K.C. Chaturvedi and B.N. Singh, motivated by the international scenario at that time and the 1962 Chinese aggression, set about thinking of missile technology development in India. Work began at the Metcalfe House in New Delhi at a conceptual level. Soon the missile establishment shifted to Hyderabad, where the State government gave it the army barracks of the erstwhile Nizam. This was the genesis of the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad. DRDO started with building anti-tank missiles.
Its first anti-tank missile was a totally indigenous product – propulsion, control, guidance, power supply and the materials. There were no computers, and electronic circuits were used to make calculations. The missile was test-fired near Imarat, a village on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Its reliability proved to be good.
The project laid the foundation of India’s missile programme and it helped to train many technologists including A.V. Ranga Rao, S. Krishnan, K. Rama Rao, Z.P. Marshal, H.S. Rama Rao and J.C. Bhattacharya, who later contributed to the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
Many from this group of more than 50 people, who were involved in the development of India’s anti-tank missile, went on to set up the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad, which became the production agency of missiles. And, in the late 1960s, the Government of India decided on licensed production of SS-11B anti-tank missile of France at the BDL.
However, on the international scene, work on missile development had started before the First World War. During the Second World War, Germany could boast the brilliant missile technologist Werner von Braun. By the end of the Second World War, Germany had built the formidable V-2 rocket, signalling that Germany had arrived. After the defeat of Germany, the U.S. and the Soviet Union captured Germany’s top missile technologists and used their expertise to build their missile programmes. A missile race began between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, leading to a proliferation of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs) and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
All this motivated DRDO to somehow bridge the gap and it initiated a major project for developing a surface-to-air missile (SAM). It did this by reverse engineering the Russian SAM-2, which Russia had supplied to India. India busied itself with this project from 1970 to 1979.
If DRDL has today grown to be a massive complex with a huge infrastructure, the credit should go to Air Vice Marshal V.S. Narayanan. He was the one who perceived the need to build a critical mass of infrastructure. He set up solid and liquid propellant test facilities, the base for precision-manufacturing of gyroscopes, accelerometers, actuators for missiles’ control and guidance, and foundry for manufacturing light materials such as magnesium. “I am happy to say that I joined DRDO as a young scientist at that time,” said Saraswat.
Saraswat gave another instance of the sweep and amplitude of Air Vice Marshal Narayanan’s vision. Narayanan realised that academic institutions should have tailor-made courses for young men interested in missile technology. An M.Tech course in missile technology was started at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, with the help of its Aeronautics Department, in the early 1970s. Many DRDO scientists who pursued that course went on to become project directors and programme directors in its laboratories.
V.K. Saraswat, Chief Controller, Missiles and Strategic Systems, DRDO.
Between 1970 and 1979, the basic technologies needed for a missile programme were in place. Yet, India was not in a position to deliver the systems. So the indigenisation of the Russian SAM-2 began. In parallel, a programme called Valiant began under the leadership of Squadron Leader R. Gopalswamy to build a rocket engine powered by liquid propellants. Saraswat was part of the team that built the engine between 1971 and 1974. Dr. B.D. Nag Chaudhri, then Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, motivated the young missile technologists not only to indigenise SAM-2 but build technologies needed for the future, such as liquid engines. The engine was tested on June 10, 1974. The previous month, India had conducted a peaceful nuclear experiment at Pokhran.
DRDO simultaneously turned its attention to building a guidance package because the inertial navigation system formed an essential part of a long-range missile. A team headed by D. Burman and comprising P. Banerjee and Avinash Chander (who now heads the Advanced Systems Laboratory in Hyderabad that designs and builds the Agni series of missiles) built a platform-based inertial navigation system (INS), which was tested on board an Avro aircraft in 1974-75. This INS, based on transistor-based analog computers, weighed 50 kg. (Today, the INS weighs 9 kg.) Subsequently, said Avinash Chander, an INS was built for both missiles and an aircraft, and this was tested in 1979 on board a Canberra aircraft.
By now, DRDL had built enough infrastructure in the fields of propulsion, navigation and manufacture of materials. But it did not have its own range (launch pads), so it used the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Sriharikota base or the Indian Air Force’s Suryalanka air base for flight-testing its own SAM-2.
Soon, India’s political and scientific leadership, which included Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Defence Minister R. Venkataraman, and Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister V.S. Arunachalam, decided that all these technologies should be consolidated. This led to the birth of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was project director of ISRO’s successful SLV-3 flight in 1980, was inducted as the DRDL Director to shape these diverse technologies into a good product. It was then decided that DRDL would pursue multiple projects simultaneously and not merely one project at a time.
Thus, four projects were born under the IGMDP: the tactical surface-to-surface missile Prithvi, the tactical surface-to-air Akash, the short-range surface-to-air Trishul, and the anti-tank missile Nag.
According to Kalam, Prithvi could not be converted into a long-range missile and so the DRDO should come up with re-entry technology. “On Kalam’s insistence, a development project on re-entry technology was included in the programme [IGMDP], and he called it Agni,” said Saraswat. Thus, the 1980s saw the realisation of technologies in the areas of Nag, the inertial navigation system of Prithvi, phased array radars, capability to handle multiple targets, the re-entry technology of Agni, the ram-rocket motor of Akash, and so on.
The first Prithvi test-firing took place in 1988 and the Agni Technology Demonstrator’s flight-test took place the following year. After the launch of Agni in 1989, the U.S. declined to give India the phase shifters for the phased array radars for Akash. Germany refused to give India the magnesium alloy used in Prithvi’s wings. Servo-valves needed for the electro-hydraulic control systems of Agni and Prithvi were embargoed. France, which used to give gyroscopes and accelerators to India, said its exports were taboo. Intel said it would not give India chips for the computers used in Prithvi and Agni. “This is a very short list. The list runs into hundreds of components and materials,” said a top DRDO scientist. After 1989, DRDO evolved strategies to counter the MTCR.
The missile men duly began programmes for the development of phase shifters, magnesium alloy, servo-valves, and so on. Kalam and his team formed a consortium of DRDO laboratories such as the Solid State Physics Laboratory and the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), the Defence Research and Development Establishment, industries and academic institutions to build these sub-systems, components and materials. It was an exacting path, but it yielded positive results. The public sector undertaking Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI), DMRL and private industries developed the magnesium alloy in two years. When the first plate of magnesium alloy rolled out of MIDHANI, Germany proferred India any amount of magnesium alloy. DRDO wrote back saying it was prepared to export the alloy to Germany.
The phase shifters, a critical element for radars for Akash, was jointly developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories The resins and carbon fibres used in the re-entry systems of Agni, which were denied to DRDO, were developed in India. The winding machines, also denied, were fabricated.
Saraswat said: “While this was a painful process, it laid a strong foundation for research and it stood the country in good stead because today there is a flair for doing this kind of work in industry, academic institutions and laboratories.”
Apr 2, 2009 2:49 | Updated Apr 2, 2009 3:03
US, Russia, Indian Muslims out to down IAI deal
Muslim political parties in India as well as Russian and American defense corporations are suspected of working behind the scenes to torpedo a $1.4 billion deal signed recently between Israel Aerospace Industries and India for the development of a missile defense system, Israeli defense establishment officials said on Wednesday.
The deal was signed in February for the reported development and production of a land-based version of the Barak 8 missile systems. The sea-based version is already in advanced development stages.
IAI will reportedly supply India with 2,000 missiles capable of intercepting enemy aircraft and missiles within a 70-kilometer range.
The deal was first reported in March after IAI officially announced the new contract to the Israel Securities Authority last week. Due to Defense Ministry regulations, IAI did not disclose the name of the foreign country involved or the product it was selling.
Following the notification to the Israel Securities Authority, media reports originating in India claimed that IAI withheld notification of the deal until it received an advance payment. Some reports claimed that the deal included "business expenses" that were to be used to pay kickbacks to senior Indian government officials who approved the deal.
In a highly-unusual move, IAI released an official press statement rejecting the claims that it purposely withheld notification of the deal to the Israel Securities Authority.
"Lately, various articles have appeared in the media regarding a large transaction for the sale of weapon systems to the country of a foreign customer, which have included information that is incorrect and biased, and which have originated, apparently, from entities that are trying to harm IAI's business ties with this customer," the statement read.
Israeli defense officials said it appeared that pro-Muslim political opponents of the New Delhi government as well as competing defense companies from around the world were spreading rumors of financial irregularities to damage Israeli-Indian defense ties.
The Muslim opposition to the deal, the officials said, could be backed by Iran, which last year tried to thwart the launch of an Israeli spy satellite from India. The IDF's Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in January was also playing a role in stirring opposition to the deal.
Officials said it was possible that Russian defense companies were also working behind the scenes to sabotage the deal. In 2008, Israel surpassed Russia as the main defense supplier to India after breaking the $1 billion mark in new contracts signed annually over the past two years. According to news reports, Russia had averaged sales of $875 million annually to India for the past 40 years.
In August, the Indian Defense Ministry approved a $2.5b. joint IAI-Rafael Advanced Defense Systems deal to develop a new and advanced version of the Spyder surface-to-air system.
In May, India is scheduled to receive the first of three new Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) developed for the Indian Air Force by Israel Aerospace Industries. The sides are in talks for the possible purchase of another three AWACS.
Indo-Israel missile deal: All sides of the story
Sigh...the above article just shows everything that is wrong with India. People cant pull their heads out of their asses long enough to see the constructive results that would be generated by having a top notch state of the art SAM that from the looks of things will be tailored for Indian needs. People need to put an end to this religious idiocy and instead focus on the advancement of the country.
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