Friday, February 28, 2014

Indian Army Pushes F-INSAS, Night Fighting Capability Improvement Programs

F-INSAS equipment at BEL pavilion at DefExpo

The Indian Army appears to have resumed F-INSAS related procurement with renewed vigor.  On February 27, 2014 it released a RFI for procurement of Night Sight for 7.62-mm Light Machine Gun. The sights are to be used on 7.62-mm LMGs that are being separately procured.

Army wants a light weight,  rugged uncooled Thermal Imaging (TI) sight than can engage human target at the effective range of 800m and above.

Earlier on February 25, 2014, Army released a RFI for Procurement of Passive Night Sight (PNS) for Rifle AK-47. The requirement is for a light weight, rugged, passive night sight based on Image Intensifier Technology that can be fitted on AK-47 rifles to facilitate accurate engagement of pin point target at night/ hours of darkness/ indoor dark areas. 

The TOI reported on February 25, 2014 that the DAC had cleared the purchase of 4,000 hand-held thermal imagers for soldiers (Rs 1,400 crore) and  5,000 thermal imaging sights for tanks and infantry combat vehicles (Rs 2,825 crore) at its meeting on February 24, 2014.

IDP Sentinel members can access more details at the link below

Futuristic Infantry Soldier-As-A-System (F-INSAS) (IDP Sentinel)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Launch by End 2014

Landing Craft Utility under construction at GRSE, Calcutta.

The GOI has ordered 8 Landing Craft Utility (LCU) for the Indian Navy from Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Calcutta. The ships are being acquired to transport, deploy, and recover troops and equipment across the sea. Secondary roles for the ships would be::

  1. Peace Keeping
  2. Search and Rescue
  3. Humanitarian Relief Operations
  4. Supply and Replenishment

The Indian Navy signed the contract for the ships with GRSE on September 29, 2011, with the first ship to be delivered in 35 months.

The keels for the first two ships of the class were laid on April 24, 2013. The first ship is to be launched later this year. Fitment and Navy trials will follow. 

The project appears to be at least a year behind schedule.

IDP Members can read the details about the project and the LCUs under construction at the link below.

Breaking! IAF Moves Ahead with IJT Procurement from Abroad

IJT HJT-36 Sitara at DefExpo 2014

The IAF recently released a Request for Information for an Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) that would be used primarily for Stage-2 training of its pilots with a secondary counter insurgency role.

The selected vendor will be required to discharge 30% offset obligations as per the provisions of DPP-2013.

First thing first! The release of the RFI doesn't mean the HJT-36 Sitara project is dead. Neither does it mean that the Sitara won't be the IJT that the IAF ultimately ends up procuring!

The RFI is likely aimed at ensuring that the IAF has a fallback if the Sitara fails to obtain IOC by June 2014 and FOC in reasonable time thereafter.

Even if HAL surprises the IAF and the country by obtaining IOC in June, and FOC in December, its HJT-36 Sitara may not measure up to the QRs stipulated in the IAF RFI, specially those pertaining to Stall and Spin characteristics.

An HAL rep told IDP Sentinel at DefExpo 2014 on February 7, 2014 that HJT-36 is likely to commence stall tests within a month. HAL has identified the point on the wing where the boundary layer flow is turning turbulent and breaking up leading to a pre-stall wing drop; HAL plans to use boundary layer energizing strakes to remedy the problem.

What is clear to me as a pilot is that there is little chance of HAL remedying the issue by IOC. In a recent statement in parliament, Minister of State for Defense Shri Jitendra Singh hinted that stall and spin characteristic refinement could wait till FOC. That would be a big mistake, because there is really no guarantee that the problem would be remedied - ever! Besides, there is too much optimism in the belief that it could happen by December 2014. If it was that simple, it would have been remedied already. After all, it's nearly three years since PT1 crashed in April 2011 following loss of control.

HJT-36 appears in compliance of all QR's stated in the RFI. Indeed, the QRs are likely to be an exact copy of the QRs given to HAL for developing the HJT-36.

I will go to the extent of saying, the IAF'S Spin QRs are contestable as being overstated.

Anyway, it's for the reader to judge. Here is a summary of the IJT RFI QRs

Luckily for HAL, there are few single engine jet trainers around. Two contenders could be Italy's Aermacchi MB-339 and Spain's CASA C-101.

General Characteristic

The IAF is looking for a light, twin seat (tandem or side-by-side?), single engine jet trainer with conventional controls in which the instructor seat can be used for simulating emergencies.

Stall and Spin

The aircraft must give an unmistakable natural stall warning, irrespective of the configuration. It must be resistant to spin but should allow intentional spinning with safe recovery upto six turns to either side. The aircraft behavior in the spin should be predictable and consistent.

Handling Characteristics

The IJT should be capable of performing loops, barrel rolls, rolls, combination maneuvers and negative 'g' flight without adverse effects on the engine and aircraft structure. It should be capable of sustained inverted flight for at least 30 seconds at sea level at maximum takeoff power.

Flying Envelope

When flying in Normal Training Configuration (NTC), the aircraft must be capable of maneuvering at up to to +7.0 g to -2.5 g. (NTC would correspond to clean configuration or with empty drop tanks) With external stores (other than empty drop tank) the aircraft should be cleared for operations at accelerations upto +5g and -1.5g

Max speed in NTC must not be less than 750 kph CAS and the aircraft should not display any marked compressibility effects upto 0.75 M. A service ceiling of 9-km is required.

In clean configuration in level flight stall speed must not exceed 175 kph without flaps or slats. NTC glide ratio should be better than 1:12

Climb and Turn Performance

In NTC, the takeoff distance to clear a 15-m obstacle from a dry, hard surfaced runway at sea level and with nil wind must not exceed 900-m; ROC must be at least 20 m/s.

The aircraft should be able to perform sustained turns up to 3.5 ‘g’ at sea level in NTC and 2.25 ‘g’ at max AUW.

Range and Endurance

NTC ferry range should be  at least 1500-km and endurance, 2-hr at 3-km altitude.


The aircraft should be capable of carrying at least 1000 kg of external load, have a minimum of five hard points, each stressed to carry at least 300-kg stores. It should be, free from buffet, dutch roll, snaking and wing rock during air to ground weapon training.

The aircraft should be capable of employing the following armament :-

(a) Gun. A light weight gun/ gun-pod with adequate ammunition for at least 5 sec of firing time.
(b) Rocket Pods. Reusable rocket pods.
(c) Bombs. Should be able to carry at least 4x250 kg retarded or ballistic bombs. The stations should be capable of employing Carrier Bomb Light Stores (CBLS) type of dispensers for carriage of practice bombs (25 lbs and 3 Kg).

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BDL Shows LRSAM with Dual Pulse Motor at DefExpo 2014

LRSAM at BDL pavilion at DefExpo 2014

LRSAM which is set to replace the shorter range Barak missile as the Indian Navy's preferred anti-missile defense weapon is still under development, but BDL, which will locally produce the missile, displayed its model at DefExpo 2014 perhaps signalling that development work is close to completion.

The model showed the internal layout of the missile's USP - a dual pulse smokeless solid fuel motor that provides high maneuver capability at target interception range throughout the missile's wide envelope.

LR/SAM is being jointly developed by DRDO and Rafael with the work split as follows.


Two Pulse Rocket Motor
The rear controller
Thrust Vector Control
Folded Fins
Pneumatic Actuation System
Safe & Arm for Rocket Motor


Multi-function Phased Array Radar
Missile Seeker
The Front Controller
Command electronic
Pulsed Rocket Motor

Those with access to IDP Sentinel can read more about Pulsed Rocket Motor and the LR/MR SAM project at the link below.

Barak-8 / MR-SAM / LR-SAM (IDP Sentinel)

DAC Clears Light Multipurpose Armored Vehicle (LAMV) Purchase

Tata Motors LAMV a DefExpo 2014

The TOI reported on February 25, 2014 that DAC has cleared the purchase of 702 light armored multi-purpose vehicles  for Rs 1,200 crore during a meeting on February 24, 2014.

The Indian Army had released a RFI for a LAM vehicle in June 2010.

The vehicle is intended for cross country movement in operational conditions.

Tata Motors, which displayed its LAMV at DefExpo, is likely to win the contract.

IDP Sentinel Members can peruse LAMV QR's and Tata Motors LAMV capabilities at the link below.

Light Armored Multi-Purpose (LAM) Vehicle (IDP Sentinel)

Navy Takes Measures to Secure Warships after a Series of Accidents

INS Betwa. Photo Courtesy Indian Navy

The Indian Navy is taking measures to prevent its warship from running aground or colliding with boats and other objects following a series of embarrassing mishaps.

The latest incident occurred around February 1, 2014, when a Magar-class Landing Ship Tanker(LST) ran aground off the coast of Vishakhapatnam and suffered damages.

Earlier in January 2014,  INS Betwa was damaged while entering Mumbai harbor after returning from anti-piracy operations. The India Navy said that the dome on the ship's sonar scraped an underwater object and suffered a hairline crack that led to ingress of sea water.

Recently, the Navy released a RFI for the overhaul of the propeller of a medium sized warship. It's not known if the two incidents are connected.

In October 2013, INS Kamorta, the Indian Navy's first Project-28 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata ran aground during sea trials off the Hooghly near Geonkhali in East Midnapore.

Navy ships have so far braved muddy waters and heavy silting in ports and along the shore, as well as the heavy fishing boat traffic, but the recent spate of accidents have led it to seek technical solutions.

The Navy has released a RFI for a commercial off the shelf (COTS) Radar that will serve as the primary navigational radar on major and minor war vessels, for the presentation of navigational situation and to assist in ensuring the ship’s navigational safety in harbors, other restricted sea areas and in open seas.

The Navy wants a system that can:

  1. Display clear raw video of all moving and stationary contacts, coastline, creeks, navigational buoys and marks, harbor installations, jetties etc. 
  2. Determine coordinates of the detected contacts. 
  3. Track the detected contacts. 
  4. Solve relative velocity problems, for collision avoidance. 
  5. Assist in the ship’s pilotage and maneuvering in restricted waters. 
  6. Provide Surface surveillance. 

The Navy has also shown interest in procuring 12 ‘Boom Defense Systems (BDS)’.

A Boom Defense System is used to prevent sabotage/ clandestine attacks by surface crafts and divers on ships in harbor and anchorage. It provides a physical barrier (in the form of nets etc) against surface crafts and divers.

The requirements to be met by the system are as follows:-
  1. Provide protection for ships at anchorage. 
  2. Provide protection to ships in harbor in both Naval and Commercial berths. 
  3. Should have a portable component which can be deployed by individual ships using limited resources viz ships boat and personnel. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Akash Missile Test Series of Army Production Lot: Second Test Successfull

Akash Missile Test on February 24, 2014. Photo Credit: DRDO
DRDO is conducting a a series of tests on production models of the Akash missiles being delivered to the Indian Army to equip two regiments. The tests are taking place at the Integrated Test Range off Chandipur in the coastal district of Balasore, 230 km from Bhubaneswar.

During the first test was on February 21, 2014 the missile successfully intercepted an approaching target being towed by a Laskhya PTA.

In the second test, on February 24, 2014, the missile engaged a receding target towed by a Lakshya PTA.

According to a DRDO press release today, both the tests met mission objectives. A few more trials are planned in different engagement modes.

Akash Missile - IDP Sentinel

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rafael's Spike missile family at DefExpo 2014

Rafael's Spike missile family at DefExpo 2014

Israel's Rafael has been trying to sell its Spike anti-tank missiles to India for quite a while now, but has been frustrated by bureaucratic indecisiveness, easily justified by empty coffers and some strong lobbying by the Americans pitching their Javelin ATGM as an alternative.

Spike MR at the bottom of the picture above is the man portable version of the anti-tank missile. The extended range Spike ER seen in the middle is being pitched for use by the Army's Dhruv WSI (Rudra) helicopters. Spike NLOS at the top is currently FIY only, since there is no Indian RFI for it.

"I am confident that when requirements for longer-range precision attack weapons are laid out, the SPIKE NLOS that we are also displaying here at DEFEXPO will come to the limelight," says Oron Oriol, RAFAEL’s VP Marketing & Business Development.

Spike NLOS has a range of 25-km and is equipped with a EO seeker that uses image comparison to seek out its target, the only missile of its type using such a seeker.

The use of image comparison in a stand off, non line of sight weapon eliminates the need to illuminate the target with a laser, or obtain geolocation with pinpoint accuracy. Typically the electro-optical 'sensor to shooter' cycle involves the use of a electro-optical reconnaissance pods like the RECCELITE system for manned aircraft, or the RECCEU system for unmanned aerial systems. Imagery can be also obtained from the widely used Litening pods.


Friday, February 21, 2014

IAF's Su-30 MKI Acquisition Progress

IAF Su-30 MKI 

Acquisition Details

Of the initial 50 aircraft procured, 8 were basic Su-30MKs, 10 Su-30Ks, 10 Su-30MKIs with canards, and the remaining 22 Su-30MKIs with canards and AL-31FP engines, the thrust vectoring version of AL-31 engines fitted on the earlier aircraft.

The first batch of Su-30MKIs were delivered to the IAF in the beginning of 2002.

The AL-31FP engine is 110 kg heavier and 0.4m longer than the AL-31F but retains the same thrust.

HAL had assembled 42 MKIs from the total order of 140 to be assembled by the end of 2012.

As of December 2009, the IAF was operating five Su-30MKI squadrons, with two squadrons flying HAL assembled aircraft.

As of June 2010

HAL had delivered 74 of of the 140 aircraft on order. It delivered 23 Su-30MKI in 2009 and is expected to deliver 28 in 2010.

Three aircraft from the follow-up order for 40 placed on Russia had been delivered by December 7, 2009. Delivery of the remaining is expected to be completed by 2011-12.

A total of two aircraft were lost in crashes on 30 April 2009 and 30 November 2009.

As of March 2011

Out of the total 180 aircraft, 99 aircraft have been delivered till 2010-11.

As of December 2012

In a press release on December 24, 2012, HAL stated that it had delivered 119 aircraft to the IAF till date.

As of February 2014

In a press release on February 21, 2014, HAL stated that it had delivered 134 aircraft to the IAF. HAL manufactures around 43000 components for airframe, 6300 for engine, and 9600 for accessories. HAL makes 72% of the components in India with 100% technology absorption as per the scope defined in the contract.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Russia's Agate and Pipavav Sign MOU to Develop Combat Information and Control Systems (CICS) for Ships

INS Trikand at Kaliningrad, Russia on June 29, 2013

Russia's Morinformsystem-Agate and India's Pipavav Shipyard signed a MOU at DefExpo 2014 to Develop Combat Information and Control Systems for ships and submarines. Morinformsystem-Agate has earlier developed the CICS for the three Project 11356 (Talwar Class) ship built in Russia for the Indian Navy.

Agate and Pipav will set up a working group to define the scope of the cooperation within a month.

Agate is also holding discussions with Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) and BEL.

Club-M Coastal Missile System at DefExpo 2014

Models of the three missiles that comprise the Club-M Coastal Missile Defense System from Novator on display at DefExpo 2014.

Russia is pitching its Club-M Coastal Missile System, comprising of three missiles from the Club family, for India's MMCB requirement. Anti ship and land attack variants of the Club missile already equip several IN ships and the torpedo tube launched variant of the missile arms IN's Kilo class submarines.

The Club-M system can engage targets up to 100-km from the coastline. The 3M-54KE and 3M-54E1 are anti-ship missiles while the 3M-14KE is the land-attack variant.

Club-M Coastal Missile System - Launcher and Radar

The containerized missiles are launched from a transporter launcher with six tubes. The missile can be fired one at a time or in a salvo.

The system comes with a vehicle mounted radar capable of picking up targets as far as 250-km. The missiles can also be targetted using reconnaissance data obtained from UAVs or satellites.

Mobile Missile Coastal Battery (MMCB) (IDP Sentinel) (Membership only site. Click link to request access.)

Mini UAV Competitors for Indian Army Procurement

TAS Mini UAV on display at DefExpo 2014

The Indian Army plans to induct about 600 mini UAV systems comprising 1,400 to 1,600 UAVs with ISR and targeting data capabilities. The Army released a RFI against the requirement in the first quarter of 2011.

If you have access to IDP Sentinel you can read the QRs stipulated for the Mini UAVs here, and also peruse the full RFI.

Tata Advanced System (TAS) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) are likely to emerge as top contenders for the contract.

TAS is a front runner having recently won a contract to supply Mini UAV'S to the Army's Northern Command. The company displayed its hand launched, field recovered mini UAV (above) at the DefExpo 2014.

IAI Mini Panther at Aero India 2011

IAI has been plugging its tilt rotor VTOL UAV, Mini Panther, at Aero India and DefExpo for years now.

The Mini Panther doesn't just take-off and land vertically, it does so automatically, reducing the likelihood of human error caused mishap. (The TAS UAV would suffer wear and tear during each field landing.)

The IAI UAV can carry a payload of 2-kg, has a operating range of 20-km, endurance of 2-hr and loiter speed of 40-k.

Mini-UAV Systems for Indian Army - IDP Sentinel

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SAAB RBS15 Mk-3 Mobile Missile Coastal Battery (MMCB) Contender at DefExpo 2014

SAAB RBS-15 at DefExpo 2014
SAAB's RBS15 Mk-3 displayed at DefExpo 2014  is a strong contender for India's planned Mobile Missile Coastal Batteries (MMCB) procurement because of its land attack capability and multiple launch platform options.

The RBS15 has been around for 30 years and has been deployed by several countries on ships, coastal batteries and aircraft for targeting sea based threats. The RBS15 Mk-3 has the ability to also engage land targets, a requirement stipulated in the MMCB RFI released by Integrated Headquarters in October 2013.

The latest air-to-surface version of the missile - RBS15F ER - is capable of engaging sea based threats in open seas or littoral waters.

The RBS15 Mk-3 has a range of 200-km and carries a 200-kg blast and fragmentation warhead triggered by delayed impact (to ensure penetration) or proximity fuse. The sea skimming missile can be programmed to route through numerous vertical and horizontal way points, facilitating over the horizon targeting. It's capable of carrying out random maneuvering during its terminal phase.

The missile uses inertial and GPS navigation. It features a pre-launch programmable radar seeker with ECCM and target discrimination giving it a fire and forget ability.

The sea and land launched RBS15 Mk-3 variant of the missile weighs 670-kg and the air-launched RBS15F ER variant, 600-kg.

Mobile Missile Coastal Battery (MMCB) (IDP Sentinel)

Monday, February 17, 2014

BEL, Textron's MOU to Pitch MicroObserver Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) Systems to Indian Security Forces

Textron Systems MicroObserver Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) System. Photo Courtesy Textron

BEL on February 6, 2014 signed a MoU with Textron Systems as a first step toward providing the Textron Systems MicroObserver Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) system to Indian security agencies.

The system provides unattended, networked, seismic, acoustic and imaging surveillance using ruggedized components: long-term sensor node, tactical sensor node, gateway, IR camera, and operator terminal.

The MicroObserver system provides detection, classification and tracking of people and vehicles. The system can identify targets is possible using sensor-cued infrared imaging, utilizing proven target detection algorithms to capture a series of mini-video images.

Rather than showing just a single detection alarm, the MicroObserver UGS system provides actionable intelligence by displaying the position, direction and speed of personnel and vehicle threats, making it easier for security forces to locate, identify and intercept them.

Deployed MicroObserver systems automatically self-locates using embedded GPS and operate in a self-forming, self-healing network. Security forces can deploy the system in minutes under cover of darkness, limiting their own exposure.

Textron is plugging the system for use by Indian security forces through its tie up with BEL.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

BEL to Manufacture CoMPASS for Rudra ALH WSI Helicopters

Rudra ALH WSI at Aero India 2013

Israel's Elbit Systems Intelligence and Electro-Optics - ELOP Ltd (ELOP), a subsidiary of Elbit Systems Limited, has placed an order on BEL for CoMPASS systems for HAL's Rudra, or ALH WSI helicopter.

BEL had earlier signed a Technical Collaboration Agreement with ELOP joint  manufacturing and D-Level Maintenance of CoMPASS in India and established facilities for the same.

The contract was signed on February 7, 2014 during DefExpo 2014.

The Rudra is equipped with the CoMPASS, a day-and-night surveillance system that includes color TV daylight camera, 3rd Generation 3-5 µm Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor, Laser Target Designator and Range Finder (LTDRF) and automatic tracking capabilities, as well as command and control capabilities. CoMPASS features a wide variety of interfaces, enabling integration with various aircraft / helicopter systems, such as Mission Computer, fire control, radar, GPS, data downlink and helmet-mounted tracking systems. Its small dimensions, low weight, high level of stabilization and coverage angles make it an optimal choice for long-range, day-and-night surveillance, target tracking, fire control applications and search and rescue.

Rudra's armament includes a 20 mm French Nexter gun turret gun cued by the pilots helmet mounted sight, MBDA's Mistral air-to-air and air-to-ground short range missiles, and a Belgian 70mm rocket system. The gun can swing up, down and around.

Those with access to IDP Sentinel can find more details on the Rudra ALH variant at the link below.

Rudra - Armed Helicopter (IDP Sentinel)

Tata Power SED's Hybrid BIHO 30mm Gun & Missile Air Defense System at DefExpo 2014

A model of Tata Power SED's Hybrid BIHO 30mm Gun & Missile Air Defense System at DefExpo 2014
Tata Power SED is collaborating with South Korea's Doosan DST to produce a hybrid version of Doosan's 30mm BIHO Self Propelled anti-aircraft gun system. The hybrid system will field the existing twin 30mm guns as well as VSHORAD missiles and will be mounted on chassis of K-21 IFV manufactured by Doosan DST, but the hull and chassis of the IFV will be manufactured, using alternate material, based on Doosan TOT,  at Tata's new manufacturing facility being set up on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

The system will have crew of four, combat weight of 26.5-t, max speed of 60-kph and a cruising range of 400-km. It will be able to negotiate a gradient of 60-deg and slide slope of 30-deg; and it will be a able to ford through 1.2-m of water.

It will be equipped with an XBand Pulse Doppler radar as well as electro optic sight for passive day (TV) and night (Thermal) tracking of targets from 0.1-km to 7-km.

The twin 30-mm will be able to fire 600 rds/min each to an effective range of 3-km. The missiles will have a max effective range of 7-km, max altitude of 3.5-km, max speed of Mach 2.1 and feature a HE warhead with impact and proximity fuse. 

Akash Missile Model at DefExpo 2014 Showing Missile's Integrated Ramjet Rocket Propulsion

Akash Missile Model at DefExpo 2014 Showing the Missile's Integrated Ramjet Rocket Propulsion 
Bharat Dynamic Limited (BDL) displayed a model of the Akash showing the missile's unique propulsion system based on what was employed by the Russians for the SA-6 missile.

The ramjet-rocket propulsion combination provides thrust to the missile right through to target engagement, ensuring the missile can maneuver at high G till impact. The missile is initially propelled by its solid fuel rocket motor. When the solid fuel burns out completely its containers serves as the combustion chamber for the ramjet engine.

Most other surface-to-air missiles, including the U.S. Patriot and the Russian S-300 series, use solid-fuel rocket propulsion.

The all weather Akash features a digitally-coded command guidance system and a 60-kg warhead.

The fully-automated Akash has an 88% kill probability within a specified kill zone and DRDO claims it has intercepted a target with a 0.02 sqm radar cross-section (a fighter has a 2 sqm)

According to DRDO, the missile is capable of engaging cruise missiles.

Akash is supported by multi-target and multi-function phased array fire control radar called 'Rajendra' that has a range of about 60 km.

The Akash missile system is mobile, with the missile launcher, radar and  command center all mounted on T-72 chassis.

Those will access to IDP Sentinel can read more about the Akash system at the link below.

Akash Missile (IDP Sentinel)

Aleesha Low Level Light Weight Radar

BEL Developed Aleesha Low Level Light Weight Radar (LLLR) at DefExpo 2014

BEL displayed the first production version of its Aleesha Low Level Light Weight Radar (LLLR) at DefExpo 2014. The radar is on order by the IAF, which is aiming to achieve gap free surveillance of Indian airspace.

Aleesha is a S-Band, 3D, light weight, battery powered radar with a compact sensor which provides 3D surveillance. This PESA radar uses multiple beams with electronic scanning to automatically detect and track threats - fighter aircraft, UAVs and helicopters (even if hovering) - at low and medium altitudes.

Being light weight, compact and rugged, Aleesha can be rapidly deployed at vantage points such as mountain tops and high rise buildings in urban areas

Low power consumption allows the radar to be battery operated, while mechanical ruggedness facilitate operation in extreme climatic conditions.

The easily transportable radar integrates IFF and can be remotely operated from as far away as 750m to ensure operator safety. The radar can be networked with air defense assets or other radars.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Large Indian R-27 (AA-10) Missile Purchase in 2013 Increased Ukraine's Artem's Profits 7 Fold!

A R-27 missile on a MiG-29 at Aero India 2009
In 2013, Ukraine's State Joint Stock Holding Company "Artem" completed the supply of a large consignment of R-27 air-to-air missiles to India.

The number of missiles involved was large enough to have pushed Artem's turnover 7 fold, from UAH 323 million to UAH 2.3 billion.

The semi-active home medium range R-27 series are analogs of late model US AIM-7 Sparrow series BVR missiles.

Those with access to IDP Sentinel can read more about the R-27 here.

Schilka ZSU-23-4 Upgrade

BEL's Schilka ZSU-23-4 Upgrade at DefExpo 2014
BEL is upgrading Schilka lightly armored tanks equipped with the ZSU-23-4 gun system. Primarily developed to engage low flying aircraft, Schilka  tanks were imported from Russia in 1984-85 and have been in use since.

Around 80-90 tanks still remain in service. The original technology that went into the weapon system has now hopelessly outdated. As a result, BEL has been tasked to completely refit the system to extend its service life.

BEL, in a tie up with an Ukrainian firm,  won the contract to overhaul the tanks in a global tender, outbidding the original Russian manufacturers.

BEL is not just replacing the existing systems (Radar, analog computer, engine, GTE ) with more modern one, but adding new features to increase crew comfort and safety. This upgraded system has dramatically improved operational performance and accuracy and MTBF with much lower power consumption. An electro-optical system has been added, which operates in parallel with the radar enabling accurate identification, acquisition and tracking of targets while operating in an ECM environment.

The upgraded Schilkas feature

  • 3D Active Phased Array Radar
  • Single Target Tracking
  • Multiple Target Tracking due to Electronic Steering in Elevation
  • ECCM Features
  • Low Output Power
  • Optronic System (CCD / TI / LRF)
  • Operator Comfort with Air Conditioner
  • User Friendly Operator Displays
  • New Engine with drastic reduction in fuel consumption
  • Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) protection system

They have the ability to engage aerial targets while on the move during day or night and in all weather conditions. They can be cued using an external Surveillance Radar. 

Admirals Embark for Indian Navy's Tropex 2014 in the Bay of Bengal

Admiral DK Joshi,  Chief of the Naval Staff and Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief, Eastern Naval Command, embarked the combined Fleets at sea off the East coast on 13 Feb 14.  Photo: Indian Navy
The Indian Navy kicked of Tropex 2014 in the Bay of Bengal on February 13, 2014. The month long exercise will feature both the Western and Eastern fleets of the Navy working in a completely networked environment, utilizing GSAT-7, a geostationary communication satellite dedicated to Navy communication launched in the early hours of August 30, 2013 using Ariane-5 Flight VA215 from the Kourou island in French Guiana.

GSAT-7/INSAT-4F is a multi-band communication satellite carrying payloads in UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band.

Admiral DK Joshi,  Chief of the Naval Staff and Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief, Eastern Naval Command, embarked the combined Fleets at sea off the East coast for the exercise, arriving in a Sea King helicopter.

INS Viraat, the Navy's sole operational aircraft carrier, and INS Chakra, an SSN leased by the Indian Navy from Russia, are participating in the exercise.

Also being put through their paces in the Tropex series for the first time, are the three three P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti Submarine Warfare (LRMRASW) aircraft acquired from the US in 2013, and Hawk fighter trainer jets. Other Navy air assets taking part include Searcher and Heron drones, and Kamov KA-31 AEW helicopters. The IAF is chipping in with its Air to Air Refuellers, Jaguar Maritime Strike Aircraft and SU-30MKIs.

According to a Navy press release, the exercise, which will involve Missile, Torpedo and Gun firing, will be conducted against the backdrop of two completely networked fleets, widely dispersed across the Indian Ocean Region, operating in a dense maritime environment.

AEW&CS Project Poised for Successful Completion, AWACS(I) Next

AEW&CS at Aero India 2013
According to a recent written reply in parliament by the Defense Minister, the AEW&CS is on schedule for completion by March 2014.

During DefExpo 2014, a CABS official gave IDP Sentinel pretty much the same message.

The projected which was initially expected to be completed by October 2011 is in its final stages and will be completed by March 2014.

The first EMB-145I to be delivered to India under the contract ceremonially rolled out in Brazil on February 21, 2011.

Embraer has so far delivered 2 EMB-145I aircraft. The third and the last aircraft would be delivered in December 2014.

The two delivered aircraft are fully configured for their role and undergoing acceptance tests by an IAF technical evaluation team. There are no serious issues. The software is being tweaked based on IAF inputs.

After delivering the three EMB-145I AEW&CS, CABS will focus on the AWACS(I) project which will feature a 3 antenna AESA radar housed in a non rotating rotodome, like the one mounted on the IAF's AWACS supplied by Israel, for full 360-deg coverage at all time. The side mounted twin antennas on the current AEW&CS provide 120-deg coverage on either side.

The platform for AWAC(I) is yet to be finalized.

For those with access to IDP Sentinel, I have updated the AEW&CS page with new information shared by CABS at DefExpo 2014. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

SAAB's Bamse SR-SAM System at DefExpo 2014

SAAB's Bamse SR-SAM on display at DefExpo 2014
SAAB is fielding its Bamse Ground Based Missile Defense (GBMD) system for the Indian Army's SR-SAM requirement.

The BAMSE system comprises

  1. Giraffe AMB surveillance radar for detecting targets.
  2. Bamse Fire Control Radar (FCR) for Line Of Sight (ACLOS) missile guidance function.
  3. A MCC wit six Bamse Missile to engage targets.

Giraffe AMB. Photo Courtesy SAAB

The Bamse FCR and Bamse missiles are mounted on a single vehicle. The Giraffe AMB has its own vehicle. A single Giraffe AMB can function with multiple missile batteries.

The C-band (5.4 – 5.9 GHz) Giraffe AMB has a 3D phased array, digital beam forming antenna. The radar has an instrumented range of 120-km with elevation coverage of > 70-deg. It can detect targets flying as high as 20-km.

Bamse missile battery with Fire Control Radar

The Bamse FCR operates in the Ka-band (34 – 35 GHz) and provides target and missile tracking. It has an instrumented range of 30-km.

The Bamse missile has an effective range of 20-km and can engage targets as high a 15-km. It uses Automatic Command to Line of Sight (ACLOS) and is fitted with a shaped charge fragmentation warhead with proximity fuse.

The system is capable of engaging fighters, helicopters, stand-off missiles and guided bombs.

SAAB has tied up with Ashok Leyland to provide the vehicles for the Bamse system. All sub-units within the Bamse SRSAM are being integrated with the Ashok Leyland Super Stallion 8x8, a high-mobility vehicle capable of operating in all types of terrain under all weather conditions.

Pune based Kalyani group will be responsible for a lot of the engineering work that goes into the system.

For additional details on the Indian Army's SR-SAM acquisition, please visit the link below.
SR-SAM for Indian Army (IDP Sentinel)

Russia Delivers 19 Mi-17V5 Helicopters Against Follow-up Order for 59

Mi-17V5 at Aero India 2013

Russia has completed delivery of 19 Mi-17V5 helicopters against a follow-up order for 59, reports RIR.

The IAF placed an order for 80 Mi-17V5 medium lift helicopters from Russia at a cost of $1.2 billion in December 2008. A follow-up order for 59 helicopters was placed in December 2012.

Russia completed supplies against the initial order of 80 helicopters in 2013.

The contract for the initial order of 80 helicopters was signed during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to India in December 2008, India and Russia had earlier negotiated a price of $650 million, but early in 2008 Russia asked for a revision of the contract price to $1.2 billion.

The deal also envisaged a $405 million "offset" obligation by Russia.

The contract for the follow-up order was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India in December 2012.

The new choppers have replaced the 50 Mi-8s in service with the IAF and augmented IAF's capability to support high-altitude posts in Siachen and Ladakh sectors. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MDL to Deliver First Project 75 Scorpene SSK to Indian Navy in 2015

A Scorpene SSK model with a cutaway optional MESMA AIP section on display at the DCNS pavilion at DefExpo 2014
MDL will deliver the first Scorpene SSK to the Indian Navy in 2015.

A DCNS press release dated February 3, 2014 stated:

"The hulls of the 6 submarines are completed. The outfitting of these hull sections is now progressing as per schedule. The First of Class P75 built in MDL should be ready to start Harbour tests and sea trials as per schedule indicated by MDL. The first Scorpene submarine is to be commissioned in 2015."

IDP Sentinel clarified with a DCNS rep that the first Scorpene submarine will be delivered to the Indian Navy in 2015 for commissioning in September 2016.

In July 2013, Rear Admiral (retd.) Rahul Kumar Shrawat, Chairman and Managing Director of Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) told The Hindu, "We have set a new target of September 2016 for delivery of the first Scorpene."

For additional details on Project 75 Scorpene submarines please visit the link below.

Project 75 Scorpene Submarines (IDP Sentinel)

IJT HJT-36 Sitara Stall Trials within a Month

IJT HJT-36 Sitara model on display at the HAL pavilion at DefExpo 2014

Speaking exclusively to IDP Sentinel at DefExpo 2014, an HAL rep said that the HJT-36 IJT is likely to commence stall tests within a month. HAL has identified the point on the wing where the boundary layer flow is breaking up leading to a wing premature drop and would use strakes to energize the body layer.

In the meantime, the aircraft has been steadily meeting other IOC testing benchmarks. HAL is confident that the aircraft will be able to obtain IOC by the revised date of June 2014.

Problems with the NPO Saturn AL-55I engine have also been sorted out and the engine overhaul life has been extended.

For additional details, please visit the link below

Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) Sitara HJT-36 (IDP Sentinel)

South Korea's LIG's Chiron Portable Surface-to-Air Missile at DefExpo 2014

LIG's Chiron portable surface-to-air missile at DefExpo 2014

South Korea's LIG, a contender in the VSHORAD procurement program for the Indian Army, displayed its Chiron portable Surface-to-Air missile at the DefExpo 2014.

The Chiron, which can engage aircraft, helicopters, and UAVs at low levels, is fitted with an IFF system to safeguard against fratricide.

Max range of the Chiron is 7-km and  max altitude, 3.5-km. The Mach 2 missile is 1.6-m long, 8-cm in diameter, and weighs 15-kg.

The missile features a two color IR seeker that can differentiate between flares and the heat from an engine. It's command guided and requires the operator to track the target following launch. It's fragmented warhead is triggered by a proximity fuse.

Besides a man portable single tube launcher, the missile can also be fitted on a four-launcher remotely controlled station giving it additional versatility.

Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) System (IDP Sentinel)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

VSHORAD Procurement Contender SAAB RBS 70 NG at DefExpo 2014

RBS 70 NG VSHORAD at DefExpo 2014
SAAB has tied up with Pune based Kalyani Group to pitch its RBS 70 NG missile for the VSHORAD project.

The RBS 70 NG is a laser beam riding missile with an effective range between 250-m to 5,000-m. The system's integrated guidance unit features a thermal imager with built in autotracker and advanced visual curing aids.

The Mach 2 BOLIDE missile of the RBS 70 NG

 It fires the new Mach 2 BOLIDE missile with a shaped charge and pre-fragmented warhead, making it effective against aircraft,  UAVs, cruise missiles as well as armored ground targets such as ICVs.

The autotracker reduces the tracking noise resulting in higher maneuverability and p-kill than the earlier RBS 70 against small targets at maximum range.

The system is modular and very flexible. It can be configured as a remotely controlled workstation mounted on a vehicle. 

Russia's Tor-M2KM Anti-missile System Displayed at DefExpo 2014

Tor-M2KM anti-missile system at DefExpo 2014

Russia for the first time displayed its Tor-M2KM anti-missile system outside the country at the DefExpo 2014. The weapon system developed by Russia's Kupol Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant JSC (a subsidiary of Almaz Antey Concern PVO) is a contender in the SR-SAM procurement for the Indian Army.

The system displayed at DefExpo 2014 from February 6 to February 9 was the real deal, not a mock-up. It was shipped after extensive trials at Russia's Kapustin Yar range where it went through cruise tests on a special track, and completed three combat runs against Saman targets.

The system will participate in the SR-SAM evaluation trials starting in Spring 2014.

The Tor-M2KM is a point defense weapon system that can engage low flying aircraft as well as cruise missiles. The system - Missiles, Radars, Gensets, Communication link - was displayed mounted on a single all terrain vehicle, but the system is modular and can be installed independently of the vehicle on rooftops,  defensive structures of major cities and nuclear power plants. Russia offers a containerized variant of the Tor-M2KM that can be placed on the decks of low tonnage ships.

Russia says the Tor-M2KM is primarily meant to neutralize precision guided bombs and cruise missiles of all kinds, including anti-ship. Aircraft, including fighters, are an easy kill for the system.

The Tor-M2KM can engage targets up to 15-km away flying as high as 10-km. It features modern electronics and radar capable of detecting and handling up to 48 targets, automatically determining the 10 most dangerous threats.

Tor-M1 Specs

Simultaneously processed detected targets, pcs. - 48
Number of simultaneously tied runs (target + jamming direction) - 10 (9 +1)
SOC detection range, km - 27
Range target tracking, CH, km - 25
Temp review SOC space with the period from - 1

The affected area, km:

in range - 1,0-12
height - 0,01-9
the parameter - 8

The probability of hitting a SAM - 0,56-0,98
Maximum speed of the targeted objectives, m / s - 700

Average response time while shooting with:

with position (parked) - 7.4
with a short stop - 9.7

Shortest response time, s - 4.8
The average flight speed Zour, m / s - 600
Method guidance - radio command
Aerodynamic design Zour - "duck"
Missile weight, kg - 168
Warhead weight, kg - 14.5
Channel on the target - 2
Ducted by SAM - 2
Deployment time (clotting), min. - 3
A method of loading a combat vehicle modules - 4 SAM
Loading time rockets, mines. - 20
Ammunition Zour on combat vehicle, pcs. - 8
Maximum speed, km / h - 65
Weight, t - 37
Mated with CVT - UBKP 9S737
Combat Crew. - 4
Year of adopting - 1991

SR-SAM for Indian Army - IDP Sentinel

Upgraded BMP-2 from Kalyani Group at DefExpo 2014

Kalyani's Upgraded BMP-2 with  Rafael's Samson MkII remotely controlled weapon system at DefExpo 2014

Pune based Kalyani Group pitched an upgraded BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) at the DefExpo 2014.. The upgraded BMP-2 features Rafael's Samson MkII remotely controlled weapon system with a 30mm cannon from ATK and two Spike LR missiles from Rafael. The turret, which features  two MiniPOP optronic sights for the gunner and commander, is designed to fit armor protection according to the level specified by the customer.

Upgraded BMP-2 from Elbit Systems and Kalyani at DefExpo 2014

The upgraded ICV features front, side, skirt and rear passive and reactive armor designed to defeat armor piercing rounds and artillery fragments. The skirt provides protection against IED, EFP and RPG-7.

The design is modular and light weight. The upgraded ICV is lighter than the BMP-2.

Upgraded BMP-2 from Elbit Systems and Kalyani at DefExpo 2014

L&T and Ukraine's SFTE Spectechnoexport Tie Up to Pitch Air Defense Missile System to the Indian Army

L&T and Ukrain's Ukroboronprom for developing ADMS

L&T and Ukrain's SFTE Spectechnoexport have signed a contract to develop an Air Defense Missile Systems (ADMS) for use by the Indian Army, Ukrain's State Concern “Ukroboronprom” reported on its website on February 10, 2014.

L&T has been invited by MOD to bid in a tender for supply of 138 ADMS to the Army.

Under L&T's contract, SFTE Spectechnoexport will supply L&T with one launch vehicle manufactured by the State Kyiv Design Bureau “Luch” and one command vehicle  manufactured by the Kharkiv Automobile Plant.

It's likely that L&T is developing the system against the Indian Army's requirement for Quick Reaction Surface-to-air Missiles (QRSAMs). If that is true and the system preforms well during firing trials, L&T is likely to be awarded a contract for the supply of the ADMS being  the only competing Indian vendor.

Monday, February 10, 2014

HTT-40 Powerplant and Other Details

A model of the HTT-40 on display at HAL pavilion at DefExpo 2014
Far from being rattled by the IAF's lack of enthusiasm for the HTT-40 as a Pilatus PC-7 Mk-2 replacement, HAL is pushing ahead with the development of the turboprop powered tandem twin seat basic trainer.

An HAL rep told IDP Sentinel at the DefExpo that HAL is committed to obtain certification for the aircraft within 3-year of project sanction.

The aircraft will be powered by a Garret TPE 331-12 turboprop. HAL in 2009 tied up with Honeywell to manufacture the engine in India for international markets.

HAL has been manufacturing, repairing and overhauling the Garret TPE-5 for international clients under license from Honeywell since 1988. Besides many other aircraft, the engine also powers HAL manufactured Dornier DO-228 aircraft.

The TPE-331-12B powers the Short Tucano basic trainer of the RAF. The engine has a power output of 1,100 shp (820 kW).

HTT-40 at Aero India 2013

The Max T/O weight of the HTT-40 is < 2,800-kg, It has a range of 1,000-km, service ceiling of 6-km, G limit of +6 to -3 and a normal operating speed of 400 kph. The aircraft will feature modern avionics and zero-zero ejection seats.

Assuming that the TPE 331-12 engine is only marginally different from the 331-12B, HTT-40 performance figures don't compare well with those of the Short Tucano.

HAL proposes to develop a weaponized version of the HTT-40, which may tip the scales in favor of the aircraft over Pilatus PC-7 Mk-2 in MOD, the IAF's skepticism not withstanding.

The GOI sanctioned the purchase of 181 basic trainers to replace HPT-32's following their grounding in July 2009. Following global bidding, GOI approved procurement of 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mk-2 aircraft in May 2012. Pilattus on May 24, 2012 announced that it had signed a 500 million Swiss Franc contract with the IAF to supply 75 PC-7 Mk-2.

HAL wants to meet the residual order of 106 basic trainers with its HTT-40 aircraft, instead of locally producing more Pilatu PC-7 Mk-2 at its facilities in India, but the IAF doesn't want to strain its resources by inducting another aircraft type. It is also wary of HAL's ability to deliver, following the HPT-32 experience. In view of HAL's reluctance to manufacture the aircraft, the IAF in early 2014 proposed manufacturing the Pilatus at its own facilities.

HTT-40 Basic Flying Trainer (IDP Sentinel)

Project 75I Contender Scorpene SSK with MESMA AIP Section at DefExpo 2014

A see through model of Project 75I contender Scorpene SSK with cutaway MESMA AIP xection at the DCNS pavilion at DefExpo 2014 
France's DCNS, which is pitching its Scorpene SSK with a MESMA AIP section as a Project 75I contender displayed a see through model of the submarine with the SUBTICS combat system and a cutaway of the optional MESMA AIP at its stall at DefExpo 2014.

The MESMA module is fitted as an additional hull section within Scorpene which then measures 76.10 meters long and displaces 2000 tons.

A see through model of Project 75I contender Scorpene SSK with cutaway MESMA AIP xection at the DCNS pavilion at DefExpo 2014

The Scorpene model was displayed next next to a model of the newly developed French Barracuda class nuclear submarine, to stress that the Scorpene features acoustic discretion and combat system performance developed for the Barracuda.

A model of the newly developed French Barracuda class SSN with the Scorpene SSK in the background at the DCNS pavilion at DefExpo 2014

SSN Suffren, the first Barracuda class submarine, is scheduled to start sea trials early 2016. Six Barracudas will replace the six Rubis/Améthyste-class SSNs currently in service.

Project 75I submarines are required to have a land attack capability, which in the case of the Scorpene will come from torpedo tube launched Exocet missile. No Brahmos on the Scorpene, which may not be such a bad idea.

Project 75I Submarines (IDP Sentinel)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

L&T and Samsung Techwin (STW) Developed 155-mm/52-cal K9 Vajra-T Tracked Self Propelled Artillery at DefExpo 2014

L&T and STW's 155-mm/52-cal tracked SP gun and loader

L&T displayed a model of it proposed K9 Vajra-T gun and its at their pavilion at DefExpo 2014.

Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) and Samsung Techwin (STW) Co of South Korea announced on March 29, 2012 during DefExpo 2012 that they would cooperate to develop a 155-mm/52-cal tracked, self propelled artillery for the Indian Army.

The Indian Army plans to acquire 100 155-mm/52-cal Tracked SP (Self Propelled) Guns under its artillery modernization program. MOD floated a tender inviting India's Tata Power SED, Larsen & Toubro, BEML and Rosoboronexport to bid. L&T submitted a bid as lead partner in 2011.

The proposed L&T gun is a localized version of STW's K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzer, claimed as the ‘largest and most successful’ of the 155 mm/52 caliber self-propelled artillery systems globally today.

L&T, as the lead partner, would localize the K9 using key technologies from STW, and manufacture it at its defense equipment facility at Talegaon near Pune.

K9 Thunder at DefExpo 2012

The production version of the gun will feature over 50 per cent local content.

The K9 Vajra-T can fire Extended Range Full Bore Boat Tail (ERFB BT) and Extended Range Full Bore Base Bleed (ERFB BB) projectiles to ranges of 30-km and 40-km respectively. It can fire a K315 HE Rocket Assisted Projectile (RAP) to a range exceeding 50-km. The range using a standard M107 high explosive (HE) projectile is 18-km.

The Vajra-T has a direct fire sight to engage ground targets. It can engage a tank size (2.3-m x 2.3-m) target at 1-km.

It can fire a burst of 3 rounds in 30-sec, 6 to 8 rounds a minute for 3-min. Sustained rate of fire is 2 rounds per minute for one hour.

Equipped with a 1,000-hp engine, the K9 Vajra-T has a power-to-weight ration of 21-hp/ton. It's equipped with a hydro-pneumatic suspension system and can achieve a max speed of 67-kph.

The SP gun features an automatic fire control system (AFCS), powered gun elevation/depression and traverse system. The gun can be laid using a data link or on-board fire-control equipment. The automatic loading system receives projectiles from the storage position and places them on to the ammunition tray for ramming.

The driver has 6.5" video display for day driving  and an uncooled thermal imager for night driving.

The Ammunition Resupply Vehicle (ARV), K10, has a max transfer rate of 12 rounds / min. It can carry 104 rounds (Projectile) and 504 units (Charge).

Rustom-1 MALE-UAV Awaiting Army Order

Rustom-1 at DefExpo-2012
With Rustom-2 being one of the star attractions of DefExpo 2014 there was literally no place for the Rustom-1 in the display area outside the India Pavilion, but the project is well and kicking.

The all composite Rustom-1 based on the Rutan Long-EZ home built aircraft design and powered by 160-hp Lycoming engine has flown 30 time and logged 34 hrs, a DRDO rep told IDP Sentinel on February 8, 2014.

Rustom 1 has flown at an altitude of 20,000-ft and demonstrated an endurance of 5-hr. At the request of the Indian Army, the endurance is being stepped up to 8 to 10-hr. The aircraft cruises at 80-kt to 100-kt and has a max speed of 190-kt in a dive.

Presently, the aircraft needs to be externally piloted during take-off and landing. The Army has asked for autonomous take-off and landing (ATOL) capability, which the ADE is working on, both for Rustom-1 and Rustom-2.

Rustom-1 at DefExpo 2014

DRDO is currently pitching Rustom-1 for

  1. Reconnaissance & Surveillance
  2. Target Acquisition
  3. Target Designation
  4. Communication Relay
  5. Battle Damage Assessment
  6. Signal Intelligence.

The aircraft has a payload capacity of 60-kg. The wing has a hardened joint that will allow the UAV to carry light armament along with its EO sensors.

Increased endurance and ATOL would be compelling upgrades that would result in Army orders and pave the way for weaponizing the platform.

DRDO developed Rustom-1 as a replacement for the Israeli Searcher UAV that is used by all the three services. The Rustom-1 is claimed to have a much lower acoustic signature than the Searcher.

For additional details on Rustom-1 please visit the link below.

Rustom-1 MALE (IDP Sentinel)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Arjun Catapult at DefExpo 2014

Arjun Catapult 130-mm M45  Tracked SP Gun at DefExpo 2014

DRDO has designed and developed the Arjun Catapult system by mounting the 130 mm, M-46 Catapult Russian gun on an Arjun Mk-1 MBT chassis.

The system has a crew of 8 and a combat weight of 54-t.

Earlier, DRDO developed a similar system called Vijayanta Catapult by mounting the gun on the Vijayanta chassis. Two Indian Army (IA) regiments are equipped with Vijayanta Catapult Guns. The IA intends to extend the life of the 130 mm Catapult system and mount it on the Arjun MBT, to address immediate and interim requirements.

This might look like the backside of the Arjun Catapult, but it is actually the front side, as is evident from the windshield on the left for the driver. The gun faces the backside. The large recoil of the gun forced the arrangement!

DRDO's Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) developed the Arjun Catapult system in quick time, fielding the system for user trials in November 2013, within just four months of receiving the order from the Army.  DRDO says the first prototype performed well during trials, but admits further improvements are under incorporation to firm-up the configuration for production.

A user-assisted General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQR ) trial of the system is likely to to be held at the Pokharan Field Firing Range in Rajasthan during April-May 2014.

The driver's seat, facing in the opposite direction to the gun.

The Army is expected to place an order for 40 catapult gun systems.

K Sreethar, Head - Artillery, CVRDE, says, the Arjun Catapult has better stability, accuracy and consistency than the Vijayanta Catapult

“The gun barrel is mainly used to engage in indirect fire up to a maximum range of 27.4 km. It can also be fired directly on targets up to 1.4 km range. It can be fired at various angles of elevation as well. The catapult has STANAG Level II protection (a NATO standardization agreement) for the crew. It has low silhouette and has integrated fire fighting detection and suppression system,” he adds.

Looking down the barrel from one of the loader's seat.

The system features GPS and night vision devices for both the driver and the commander. The ergonomic design of the crew compartment factors in anthropometric data of Indian troops.

Arjun Catapult has excellent mobility because of its high performance engine, robust and effective transmission system and Hydropneumatic suspension.

The 130-mm M-46 rifled gun has a maximum range of 27.4-km.