India towards new Defence Technology development path


Senior Member
Mar 21, 2009
Country flag Embraces Defense Technology Road Map

India Embraces Defense Technology Road Map

May 24, 2010

By Asia-Pacific Staff
New Delhi

India is embracing medium- and long-range precision-strike weapons, short-range directed-energy air defenses and unmanned combat air vehicles as key aspirations for its future arsenal, according to a technology plan expected to be released imminently.

The need for these capabilities is spelled out in the defense ministry's ambitious Technology Perspective and Capability Road Map 2010, its first effort to provide industry with an overview of what the armed services hope to field by the middle of the next decade. The document's stated intent is to drive the "technology and development process" of prospective developers, contractors and bidders in India and abroad, and to "provide industry an overview" of ministry aims. The extent to which such desires can be adequately funded, and met by industry, national or otherwise, remains a big question.

The position paper identifies as a goal the ability to field long-range subsonic cruise missiles for precision strikes against high-value targets. The 625-mi.-range Nirbhay cruise missile is now being developed for both land and air launch.

At the other end of the precision-strike range, the road map spotlights interest in loitering munitions. New Delhi has already tapped Israeli and European guided-weapons manufacturers in this area, and in March, the Indian army formally expressed interest in a medium-range loitering missile system.

In terms of directed-energy systems, the paper calls for the ability to be able to engage "enemy unmanned aerial vehicles in the 8-10-km. [5-7.2-mi.] range, capable of being designated and controlled by appropriate detection and tracking systems." Such systems would likely be laser-based. The directed-energy requirements also include "dazzlers," low-power lasers, for special forces to disrupt optical sensors.

India's list of air power, surveillance and missile needs are also detailed in the road map, reflecting the capital commitments the Indian air force is already making in these areas. The document glosses over New Delhi's well-known requirement for fixed-wing aircraft (fighters and tactical and heavy-lift), while emphasizing the critical technologies the air force wants as part of its rotary-wing procurements.

The air force could sign deals for the acquisition of 150 helicopters in the next four years. Arguing that Indian airpower will progressively focus on air dominance and effects-based operations—until recently a vocabulary associated with the U.S. Air Force and Europe's main air forces—the document underscores the need for day/night standoff strike, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV) and an increased number of force-multiplier platforms such as airborne early warning (AEW) and tanker aircraft. The air force is also in the process of developing the capabilities provided by the A-50 Phalcon AEW aircraft, along with its Ilyushin Il-78 tankers.

While India continues to look to Israel as a provider of tactical UAVs—the addition of further Searchers or Herons is likely—the state-owned Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) is conducting a feasibility study of an indigenous UCAV design concept.

"UAVs with advanced sensors and weapons are going to dominate all facets of the future battlefield and hence the need to acquire the necessary UAV expertise indigenously," the road map document states. "These should be capable of carrying payloads such as weapons, [synthetic aperture radar] payloads, electro-optical devices, [and] electronic and communications intelligence."

As a complement to increasing its inventory of precision-guided weapons, the document also spells out the air force's far-reaching surveillance and target-acquisition capabilities, including long-range battlefield surveillance, remote sensor systems and the ability to track cruise missiles from airborne platforms.

Improved air defenses are identified as a near-to-medium-term requirement, including an overhaul of India's air defense ground environment. The military is looking to replace its obsolescent Soviet-era surface-to-air missile systems through programs with Israeli and European industry. The air force will look to acquire air defense weapons "from ground-based mobile platforms capable of engaging all kinds of projectiles-—rockets, mortar/ artillery, UAVs, missiles, fighter aircraft, helicopters, precision guided munitions and other stand off armament."

The emphasis on air defense reflects the findings of numerous parliamentary committees and government-led security audits that have identified shortcomings in India's air defenses.
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Regular Member
Jan 13, 2010
what a ambitious roadmap!

Mod Edit: Mate, I am not deleting your post or editing it, but a request please avoid using one liners and try to come up with some well thought posts. NB: Editing a Mod Edited post is strictly prohibited.
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Senior Member
Oct 5, 2009
Developments in Space & Nuclear

Boeing Seeks Alliance with ISRO

Boeing has shown preliminary interest in seeking an alliance with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the domain of communication satellites. However, as ISRO already has an existing alliance with European aerospace and defence giant EADS, the former would have to clearly define areas of cooperation and operate within its limits to avoid conflict of interests. The two entities may, however explore other opportunities. ISRO is also exploring possibility of collaboration with Astrium in other areas such as in the field of earth observation.

ISRO to Launch Communication Satellite

ISRO will launch a dedicated satellite next year carrying a large S-band transponder that will provide satellite phone services considerably reducing dependence on foreign sources.

ISRO has already designed a high-beam antenna and is in the process of building it. The antenna will be deployed on board the satellite. Once launched, India will become a major player as a provider of satellite phone services, and domestically, it would also help bring down prices of such services. Presently, foreign satellites are being used for satellite phone services in the country.

On being queried about the weaponisation of the space programme, former Chairman ISRO, G. Madhavan Nair said that effective measures were being taken to protect the country's space assets. China had tested its Anti-Satellite (ASAT) weapons.

Russian Technology for Manned Spaceship

Extending strategic ties into the civilian arena, Russia will now cooperate with India by helping it to build an indigenously designed manned spaceship by 2020. Russian space agency officials said that they would share technology used in developing Russian Soyuz spacecraft with India. The Soyuz is heavier and cannot be launched by a light Indian booster. Design of ISRO's manned spacecraft began in October 2006, with the aim of launching a two-man capsule into orbit by 2015. The launch vehicle would be an advanced version of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark II, with a structurally-strengthened upper stage to accommodate the heavier low-earth-orbit manned capsule, as compared to the lighter, standard, geosynchronous-transfer-orbit satellite payload. The capsule will accommodate a crew of two, possibly three. Though the GSLV Mark II can hoist 4.6 tonne, the manned capsule may only be between 2.5 to 3 tonne.

As part of the cooperation programme, India will receive assistance in crew selection and training from Russia under an agreement signed in March 2008. In preparation for the mission, a space flight of an Indian astronaut aboard a Soyuz capsule around 2012, is also under consideration. The small size of the Indian space capsule may also allow ISRO to use it for a manned flight to the moon.

ISRO Tests Third Largest Rocket Booster

The Indian Space Research Organisation has successfully conducted a static test of the S-200, the largest solid booster developed by it, which will used in a strap-on mode on the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III). The test was conducted at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.

The S-200 is the third largest solid booster in the world, next only to the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) solid booster of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Space Shuttle and the P230 solid booster of Ariane5 of the European Arianespace.

The GSLV Mk III will be used for launching heavy satellites in the four-tonne class in a geo-synchronous transfer orbit with a perigee of about 200 km and an apogee of 36,000 km. Alternately, it can insert a 10-tonne satellite in a near-earth orbit at an altitude of about 300 km. The GSLV Mk III has three stages with the twin boosters, S200, forming the first stage. The boosters are wrapped around the second stage which uses liquid fuel. The third stage uses a cryogenic motor. The S200 is so named as it uses 200 tonnes of solid propellants. The first flight of the GSLV Mk III which stands 43.5 metres tall and will weigh 630 tonnes, is expected by the end of 2011.

By Priya Tyagi

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