firstly my apologies for not getting you the required DefExpo2022 pictures and the information on time. It was really tough to cope with 35C of Gujrat, straight after landing from 5C of Chicago.
As a system safety engineering lead, I was with my company's leadership for purely technical discussions with the players in the military automotive sector. My company is a critical Tier-1 supplier to major Automotive and Aviation giants.
It became strikingly difficult for me to take pictures, ask questions, and be with my company's leadership at the same time. Some of the US military attache folks also were with us. However, I managed to gather some information and captured some good photographs
Nirbhay / ITCM/ ADE :
GTRE / Kaveri:
- As Confirmed By one of the project directors of ADE (my god what a humble person), the next ITCM test with indigenous RF seeker and Engine would be on the 28th of October .
- They got approval from IN and IAF (IN is mostly pushing it) for LR-LACM, all these ITCM trials are the precursor process to finally jump to the LR-LACM
- LR-LACM range will be 1200+ km (mostly HI-Hi window is up to 1500 km), whereas in ITCM it was 1000 km
- LR-LACM will be much longer than ITCM (Nirbhay)
- IAF will also be a customer but only for the ground launch version to complement the Brahmos, the AL version has been considered or realized yet.
- As per the senior officials (has requested me not to quote them) all 3 are equally evil
- According to them why should anybody in the world would share their IP, they are of the opinion that; you can not develop or reverse engineered a turbofan pplsn system by taking one part from here and start developing another one from somewhere else and ending up rejoining them.
- Their secret wish is that GOI should release a new project with more funds to develop a new engine (I am a part of my org's RnD dept, and I know how managers do shenanigans to get more RnD funds )
- Despite all these, they are hopeful for GOI's new endeavor for JV, all motives behind the JVs are only economical in nature
- Mostly GOI will form a consortium or spv for Kaveri in the line of Brahmos, the one for AK203, or the planned one for AMCA to bypass the older player like HAL, OFB, or probably the GTRE in the future
- the marine version is completely a different project altogether, it's not a variant of KAVERI
- GTRE has done some renewed efforts in the line of crystal blades, they have achieved some success, and will release more details in 2023
- Sorry couldn't gather any updates on the flying test bed and the delay in testing the new engines for Ghatak UCAV, due to Rus-UKR war
- Yes ATAGS are probably the biggest attraction point/showstopper of DEFEXPO 2022, DRDO has 4 models (2 BF + 2 TATA) at various static displays.
- This product is probably going to be the next flagship one such as Brahmos, Pinaka, and Tejas
- DRDO official: MET (Maintainance related )trails over, QA trails are going on (hindered due to defexpo only)
- Passed all the dynamic firing trials with flying colors, again achieved 48 km range in recent tests
- DRDO is super upbeat about ATAGs (had seen similar enthu for very few like Tejas, Prithvi, and A series missile in the past)
- DRDO: NAG/HELINA/MPATGM are all at their terminal phase development except the SANT
- NAG/HELINA/MPATGM all3 projects are now at the documentation handover to the manufacturer phase, all 3 of them already got good initial numerical orders from forces (DRDO officials didn't provide me exact numbers)
- The last scorpene will be fitted with DRDO AIP and from 2025 onwards the MLU of the kalvari class will see the integration of the indigenous AIP ( but I think this was just a sweeping stmnt from that particular drdo official, there will be much more into it)
(Dammn DR. Ghosh was probably the hardest nut to crack and he was the only person except Dr Deodhar to speak on AMCA with some authority, didn't get much info)
For the rest of the questions such as those related to the small arms and their details, HAL CATS, IMRH, CABS Netra mk2, MMMR, I will visit again the HEC Gandhinagar on 21st and try to cover those
- CDR by 2022 Dec, CCS approval by early 2023 (again felt like a generic stmnt is coming from the horse's mouth )
- EOTS will be a part of DAS approach and will only be available in mk2, mk-1 will have IRST
- for Qs like IR signature reduction methods, especially in the back and air intake portion: no comments with a generic answer like " We have some plan"