Sunday, February 10, 2008

LiveFist EXCLUSIVE: The Truth About BrahMos - Part II

Part II
How Russia Shortchanges India on BrahMos

Not a while ago, former HAL chairman CG Krishnadas Nair, lamented that the BrahMos programme was a bit of a farce because the Russians had refused to part with engine technology.

"We must have access to total technology. This denial is a serious matter. No one should hold the other to ransom," he is quoted to have said in numerous reports.

BrahMos Aerospace's highly respectable CEO Dr A Sivathanu Pillai provided this brief rejoinder: "This is a joint venture. So, there's no question of transfer of technology. Russia manufactures the engines, we manufacture the guidance system and integrate the two. Transfer of technology occurs if the technology is purchased."

I hate to say that Dr Pillai's rejoinder is a bit of a half-truth. He makes it sound as though India doesn't want Russia's engine technology and that it's perfectly happy functioning the way it does currently. The fact is: Russia will never part with advanced (sc)ramjet technology. Why would it? After the US failed to successfully develop ramjet technology convincingly yet -- and therefore moved onto scramjet -- Russia has emerged a proprieter of the technology -- why in hell would it share that tech with India? Nevermind that. The Indian government has made official requests as many as four times in the last two years to the Russians for engine and seeker technology in BrahMos, and been turned down straight. In the words of a BrahMos insider, "It will take LRDE light years to develop an indigenous seeker."

He continues: "It's a leash, you understand. If Russia were to give us these technologies, we would not need them anymore. As long as we do not control the critical technologies, i.e. engine and seeker, Russia will call all the shots in BrahMos, including cost which is critical to export competence. Our contribution to the system is the inertial navigation system (INS) and fire control system, both of which are top quality. But both these things Russia can also make. The entire programme was started because it did not have seeding capital to get it off the ground."

The shortchanging routine stretches ominously to exports, which was to have been a major, major part of the whole programme.

(Tomorrow Part III: The Export Nightmare for BrahMos)

7 comments :

Anonymous said...

US and India both posses RAMjet technology. Akash missile uses Ramjet technology. India is making Scramjet on the top of the RAM jet technology.

Anonymous said...

Obviously you believe that the Brahmos uses scramjet and that Russia is the leader in this area.Nothing can be further from the truth. There is no in service scramjet anywhere in the world .

Give it a rest and stop beating up this engine dawg. It is joint venture. What else did you expect? The russians do have a 50% stake in this venture. What will it take to knock into your thick skull that the Russians lose their part of the 50% if they sabotage Brahmos /undercut it?

Anonymous said...

Shiv Aroor Sir,

What are ramjet and scramjet technologies and whats the difference between two? What for and where are they used?


Jayanthi S.

Anonymous said...

US has only solid Ramjet which India is also capable of making. Incidentally French also have solid ramjet which they propose to eqip the Eurofighter with.
BrahMos has a liquid fueled Ramjet which is also called the stovetype engine. It is an air breathin' engine like a gas turbine that uses avaiation kerosene although with no movable parts. It propels the rocket at supersonic speeds and has the advantage of range, efficiency as well as control over a solid fueled ramjet. Scramjet is more advanced of the two technologies. It cruises at hypersonic speeds. Ironically though, a liquid fueled ramjet is very difficult to develop because of stringent manifacturing precision required and that's why the Americans moved on the scramjet instead of mastering ramjet.

Prashanth said...

How long, I wonder, before the Communist goondas pick up "Ram" in Ramjet and demand that the BrahMos be dumped into the Bay of Bengal?

Buradaiah said...

You caste obsessed brahmin fellows use ram in ramjet proving drdo is brahmin RSS fanatic organization unlike pakistan which is land of the pure.

Anonymous said...

lol, Pure what? pure shit!! :)