Wednesday, January 14, 2009

FOCUS: DRDO's Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) System

An update in DRDO's Technology Focus journal from Dr S Christopher, Director of the Indian AEW&C System Programme: "Development tasks on various subsystems like the primary radar, secondary surveillance radar, electronic countermeasures, communication countermeasures and data links are gaining momentum and the system hardware are being realised progressively. The integration of the mission system on the platform aircraft, EMB-145, should commence as soon as the same arrives with all interfaces for installation of the system."

The labs involved in this prestigious programme include the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) as the nodal agency heading the programme along with LRDE and DARE in Bangalore, DLRL in Hyderabad and DEAL in Dehradun.

According to the DRDO journal, the AEW&C system comprises a primary radar (PR), secondary surveillance radar (SSR) or Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Communication Support Measures (CSM), Mission Communication System (MCS) that includes C and Ku-band SATCOM data links and V/UHF voice and data links, self-protection system (SPS), data-handling and display system (DHDS) and Mission System Controller (MSC). 

33 comments :

Anonymous said...

Wait and Watch Shiv,
DRDO usually promises more than it can deliver.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

All I can say is that the DRDO has chosen the wrong aircraft as the platform and the wrong radar antenna configuration. If this persists, then it will be a lot cheaper to buy the entire AEW & C systems from Embraer/Ericsson. Developing an AEW & C platform like the latest G-550-based Israeli AEW & C would have been a much better option as it affords 360-degree airspace surveillance/battle management coverage and the G-550's service ceiling is higher than that of the EMB-145, a critical factor when it comes to over-the-horizon surveillance.

Anonymous said...

oh man, prasun again, with his pompous proclamations.
number of years spent by prasun developing awacs - zero.
number of years spent pompously proclaiming stupid stuff - 40 and counting.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the DRD aew & c configuration and aircraft were specified by the IAF, as DRDO provided a variety of options (with list of pros and cons of each) & aircraft choices to them. The IAF chose the present config as best solution meeting operational requirements with logistics & operating costs in mind. The EMB-145 series brings the same on board & the radar config is the same as the Swedish Erieye. The Israeli solution is not preferred by operators as it brings the issue of operating in different bands over different zones adding to integration and operational complexity - anyone with experience in integrating tracking systems will know the same. cheerio!

Anonymous said...

Maybe DODO will be lucky this time and deliver ??

Anonymous said...

Didn't they ask for foreign partnership in integrating the AEW&C system?

So who is helping us this time?

Dev said...

So when will this undergo its first trial? My guess is that 20 years from now and a billion dollars later, this system will still not perform as well as it's competitors today.

Anonymous said...

Prasunji... please explain what you mean by both points... they are using the Emb-145 R99A, which is a dedicated optimized AWACS platform craft. As for the antenna, I can't figure out what you mean....

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@11:01PM: FYI the IAF DID NOT specify the AESA radar configuration or the platform. It does not have to, as that will happen only when the IAF drafts an ASQR, and as we all know from the Tejas LCA experience, the IAF never drafts any kind of ASQR for as long as the weapon system remains a technology demonstrator. Therefore, the ASQR will appear only when CABS demonstrates all the required AEW & C technology modules to the IAF. That is also the reason why the IAF is not contributing any R & D funds from its developmental/capital expenditure allocations. The IAF has to date merely specified the broad technological/performance parameters that OUGHT to be incorporated on board the CABS-developed AEW & C platform. In fact, the IAF two years ago gave a dissenting memo to CABS saying that it prefers the B.737NG or A320 as the airborne platform. As for which solution--Embraer/Ericsson's or IAI/ELTA's--is preferable, one has to just compare the EMB-145's track record in both Brazil and Greece, and compare it with what Israel and Singapore have done to fulfil their AEW & C needs.

Anonymous said...

The antenna array mounting appears to have been changed. in the earlier photos,the array was supported by angles at both ends of array, attached to the fuselage. now a solid looking structure is supporting the AAAU. will it not create aerodynamic probs in the yaw axis ,coz no passage for air thro' the structure.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@4PM: Nahin yaar, the EMB-145 was originally developed as a regional airliner and the AEW & C system (including the Ericsson-built Erieye AESA radar) was originally developed to first go on board the Saab 340 twin-turboprop (ordered by Sweden and Thailand), and later the Saab 2000 twin-turboprop, which Pakistan will begin receiving this August. The same AEW & C package was then modified to go on board the EMB-145 for Brazil & Greece. The Erieye radar (and the LRDE-developed AESA), unlike the EL/M-2075 radar (of the PHALCON) cannot undertake 360-degree surveillance and airborne battle management. On the other hand, if the LRDE-developed AESA radar had a triangular array n(on either a B,737NG or Airbus A320 as the IAF had stated as being its preferred platform choice) then 360-degree capability can be achieved. But it seems developing this type of triangular antenna-configuration is beyond the means of CABS. Therefore, the CABS opted for a less riskier path and chose to develop the same type of antenna configuration.mounting as that on the EMB-145 AEW & C platform. But kindly note that this is CABS' decision, not the IAF's. The IAF has only given to CABS its desired performance parameters and CABS is obligated to develop only a single AEW & CS technology demonstrator. Only after CABS convinces the IAF that its AEW & CS solution is functional and viable, will the IAF HQ issue its definitive ASQRs. So far, the IAF has not allocated any funding from its development/capital expenditure basket to CABS to place any firm orders for the AEW & CS. And why should it? Afterall it has got exactly what it wanted from Israel (the A-50E PHALCON) and will get four more in future. In my view, the CABS will be well-advised not to re-invcent the wheel and instead focus on developing something for which there is a pressing operational reqmt. By that I mean mulling a possible risk-sharing industrial JV with Bell-Boeing to develop an AEW & C variant (sporting a triangular AESA antenna array) of the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, which will be the ideal AEW & C platform for operating out of the Indian Navy's two future STOBAR-type aircraft carriers. In terms of endurance, service ceiling and mission effectiveness this will fill in a critical gap in the Indian Navy's ORBAT, since the Ka-31 AEW helicopters cannot stay airborne at standoff distances for more than 2.5 hours.

Anonymous said...

DRDO - huh? Delay Results Delay Often

sniperz11 said...

Prasunji, you make a point based on performance - CABS' design is based on the program history and requirements and logistical challenges - the walk before run approach.

The fact remains that CABS is designing this for a lower cost approach, and the associated logistical challenges - rather than having few large 360 degree AWACS, have a few of these (Phalcons) and net them in with the larger coverage possible through a lower cost, smaller, but less capable platform - this will enable a much better distribution of assets, which we will face in any future conflict, with continuous coverage required over a large theatre, and on multiple fronts, which will require us to have not only more number of assets, but more flexibility as well.

From what I have gathered from speaking to LRDE and CABS scientists, they are satisfied with the 240 deg coverage, which should be adequate for their operations - after all, the aircraft will fly along the line of action, and not towards the front, which means that it wouldn't cause much problems. The smaller platform is also for that reason.

The second issue of course of the developmental aspect of it... as you do note, CABS took the less riskier approach. So it was definitely a compromise (as all military choices are). I have no doubt that it need be, CABS can create a 360 deg variant also... let the Array be tested first. After all, this is our first try after the rotodome ASP disaster.

I do believe that there is an operational requirement for this as well.

Bobs said...

anon @ 9:23pm
the pic is just an illustration....the array will definitely be mounted on angles supported on the fuselage....
u can see the exact shape and size of the platform at acig.com

Anonymous said...

Prasun is just writing BS as usual, as somebody who saw the development effort develop, i can state the following with confidence - IAF wanted a business jet (low cost) based AESA system to complement Phalcon system procured from Israel. AESA was clearly specified from start by IAF as long range accurate and fast tracking performance versus targets was specified. I would advise people here to take Prasuns words with a truckload of salt, almost nothing he writes is accurate but is instead speculation which he market as "knowledge".

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.59PM: Just like you've claimed to be "as somebody who saw the development effort develop" while at the same time not even bothering to establish a credibility identity (by remaining anonymous, I too now claim to be "somebody who saw the development effort develop" and am strongly urging the readers to take your allegations as a "70-foot container full of salt". I'm not in the busines of marketing anything to anybody: you either believe me or you disprove me by presenting credible counter-arguments or proof. For instance, when you claim the IAF wanted a business jet, what do you mean? The DRDO-chosen airframe is the EMB-145, which is not a business jet (low-cost or high-cost) as per Embraer's definition, but a regional jet. The ones that fall into the business jet category are Gulfstream's G-550 and Boeing's B.737-based BBJ. You see now how exactly you've contradicted yourself? Time for an upgrade now: your claims are henceforth to be taken with an IL-76MD full of salt!

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To sniperz11@3:22PM: Many thanks for corroborating what I had stated earlier by stating that "from what I have gathered from speaking to LRDE and CABS scientists, they are satisfied with the 240 deg coverage". You are absolutely spot on there. It is only the DRDO/LRDE/CABS folks that are satisfied. But the end-user (IAF) is not. The DRDO's walk-before-run approach is laudable for the DRDO only, and does not mean that the IAF too be patient for the DRDO to acquire the reqd technological competencies in the fullness of time. The IAF has waited far too long for the Tejas LCA, while the Navy too has waited far too long for the DRDO to supply a family of ultra low-frequency sonars. The nett results to date: the M-MRCA is now being imported, as are ultra low-frequency sonars. In reality, what the DRDO/CABS/LRDE combine is indulging in are mere scientific and engineering exercises that are least likely to have an operational application. Such solutions, as you say, are compromises to say the least and will therefore NEVER be introduced into any battlefield by any self-respecting operator. I reiterate my earlier proposition for the DRDO/LRDE/CABS to engage in more realistic projects such as the development of an aircraft carrier-based AEW & C system with far greater flight endurance than what the Ka-31s can presently offer. Also, as of now the DRDO has only received funding for an AEW & CS technology demonstrator that will only be ready for flight-tests by 2012 and such dem-vals will end only by 2015, if one goes by the DRDO's record of R & D work regarding the Tejas LCA. In the meantime, despite the DRDO's pleading, IAF HQ has not (for good reason) committed any funding for the AEW & CS R & D effort, leave alone committing itself in writing to any firm orders (again for good reason). And once the MoD inks the follow-on contract for four additional PHALCONs, it will be very interesting to see how exactly the IAF justifies its request for additional funds for buying the 'home-grown' AEW & CS. Logic therefore dictates that the IAF will by sometime next year declare that it no longer requires the 'home-grown' AEW & CS and it will instead demand that this entire project be converted into a SOSTAR/Sentinel-type programme to develop a theatre-wide battlespace surveillance system optimised for real-time ground surveillance. Of course, others are free to disagree with my 'marketing' views & prophecies.

Abhiman said...

Mr. Sengupta, I disagree with your views. In my view, it may be "high time" that the IAF and Army dedicate finance, personnel and resources to co-ordinate with the DRDO to develop the products that they want.

It must be understood by the forces and lay media, that scientific endeavours are incremental in nature, i.e. the "latest and best" cannot be developed in the first attempt. This is evident from fighter jets of today, that are vastly superior to those a few decades back. Now, all nations are unequal in their positions of the so-called "learning curve". Hence, DRDO's decision to make this 240 deg. radar initially before the much more advanced 360 deg. radar is, but an acceptance that their spot on the learning curve is still lower than their western counterparts.

Thus, the IAF has 2 choices :-

1) Accept DRDO's 240 deg. radar now, and support it hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder. It can compensate for the lacunae by devising tactics to make optimum use of it. It must hope that [b]today[/b]'s "sacrifice" is nothing but a step in DRDO's learning curve, which will enable DRDO to make a 360 deg. radar [b]tommorrow[/b].

2) It can stay "aloof" by not committing any funds and personnel to the 240 deg. radar. It is free to later declare the tech. demonstrator as failed or "not meeting requirements", and purchase an expensive foreign radar like middle eastern banana republics (or oil republics).

I think the ball is in IAF's court now.

Thank you.

Tejaswy said...

Let the Airforce have what it wants to have ... we can do the R&D later on.... 97% of anti aircraft guns are of world war era.....Drdo is getting to me....It promises a lot but delivers a lot less

sniperz11 said...

Prasunji,

I have a couple of issues with your views and conclusions:

1. The CABS scientists I spoke to, when asked about the Platform, mentioned that they were waiting for the IAF's decision in that regard, and were looking at the Emb-145 as an option. The delay in choosing a platform by IAF impacted the program to an extent, and proves that CABS wasn't working in a vacuum.

2. Your point about Compromises is a misunderstanding of my point, and, in my opinion, Wrong. ALL military decisions are compromises. A compromise is not inherently evil.

If you wanted DRDO to develop a 360 degree platform, that would have required far more time, a bigger platform, more logistical challenges, and definitely, a longer project timeline. I do think that both IAF and CABS would have factored these in when deciding the config

3. Additionally, you mention that the walk-before-run approach is laudable, but doomed. How would you have wanted DRDO to proceed on this sir? Would you have liked them to directly go to a 360 array on a large platform without any previous experience except the doomed ASP? YOu could also have questioned why the Wright Brothers didn't directly build the Boeing 747 rather than their Flyer... The project as it is, is quite a risky venture... no need to make it even more so by piling the requirements on CABS.

LRDE and CABS need to develop the scientific expertise. Considering that this will be the second (third considering the ASP and MMR) airborne radar of any type that we are building, and the first Airborne AESA, it is essential to get the grips on the technology. Otherwise, we'll have another Arjun case.

As I have pointed out, the only way that AEW&CS will be inferior to Phalcon is in some Processing aspects and in the coverage... range-wise, it is equal. The fact remains that it has a definite role in the IAF ORBAT, as i pointed out above, as a lower-cost, lower-visibility, lower-maintenance platform for sub-theatre surveillance. Even with the added Phalcons, there will always be a need for at least 10 aircraft of these types.


IAF is absolutely pusillanimous in
not giving fund to the project. However, that is not to say that they are not supporting it at all... What I know is what I have gathered from talking to the senior project scientists and some AF offrs, probably not as extensive as ur info from ur sources. However, what I have heard and read has convinced me that this project is quite essential, and is definitely got the right plan.

Would be great if you could tell us how you think DRDO should (or should have) proceed(ed) with this project, given the constraints, compromises, and technological gaps that I have mentioned.

Thanks
Cheers
Sniperz

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Sniperz11: My 'personal' view is that it will be criminally negligent on the part of DRDO to make the IAF its guinea pig and keep it waiting for years for a critical force-multiplier capability. It would have been a much safer option if DRDO had tied up with Israel Aerospace Industries to co-develop a three-array AESA configuration and related mission management avionics and house them on board an A320 or A321. A similar but scaled-down configuration could have been co-developed with IAI and Bell-Boeing for the carrier-borne V-22 Osprey. Experience proves that whenever the DRDO has taken a 'do it alone' approach towards such complex projects, the risk factors have been extremely high, leading to the R & D venture either being scrapped or rejected by the end-user (the Akash E-SHORADS is a case in point and that's why the Indian Army has officially rejected it). If the DRDO wants to be the project director for developing AEW & C solutions, then it has to firstly team up with well-established and proven foreign industrial collaborators, and secondly develop solutions that will be applicable to both air force and naval operators. Anything other than this (my personal view) is a waste of time and money at the operator's expense.

sniperz11 said...

Interesting points you make there Prasunji... I agree with you about the need for a JV, which would have sped things up definitely.

However, now that DRDO has already gone on the lone(ly) road, with a 240 coverage array on a smaller, IAF chosen platform, what changes would you suggest they should make to the program itself to get a more effective outcome?

Cheers
Sniperz

sniperz11 said...

btw, a few salient points about the AEW&CS projects from http://frontierindia.net/the-indian-aewc-project-detailed:

1. The first delivery of Emb-145 is scheduled for 2011.

2. Embraer-145 has been the aircraft of choice by the IAF as per their operational requirement (OR) since 2002 when it was evolved. IAF has chosen Embraer-145 due to commonality with the Embraer executive jets it already operates.

3. IAF can have 360 degree coverage with 3 antenna combination instead of 2 antennas side by side, but, that means pushing the deliveries further. It will be looked at a further date.

Abhiman said...

Mr. Sengupta, upon foreign collaboration of the type mentioned by you, there will be much less progress in the "learning curve", as in such collaborations the 2 parties share systems only --- the knowledge of their individual contribs is kept confidential from each other.

As an example, in the Brahmos JV, as per contract, it is not binding on Russia to disclose the design and working of the Ramjet propulsion. It has been admitted by DRDO, that they had to gain the same by covert analysis and by repeated observation of the system.

Another example may be the Barak-II SAM being proposed between DRDO and Israel. DRDO's responsibilities will end with propulsion, cooling and some systems integration only, whereas Israel is not required to disclose it's seeker technology to DRDO. Hence, at some point in future, DRDO will have to indigenously develop seeker technology.

I also disagree with your view that Tejas has taken "too long" to develop. It is true that the initial dates for it's first flight and induction were scheduled in the 1990s, which were extremely optimistic. However, given the lack of experience in developing 4++ G fighters, and sanctions after 1998, the timeline of 20 years may be appropriate. It would have "raised eyebrows" only if it was developed by an aerospace power like USA or Russia. Note that China's J-10 too has been under development since the 1980s with block-wise inductions taking place since past 12 years (this, after it being a derivative of Lavi). It's trainer and two-seaters are still under development. It's indigenous WS-10 engine has been a failure, and many of it's subsystems are of Russian origin.

Hence, DRDO must develop the 240 deg. radar, instead of purchasing a 360 deg. radar from Israel and doing routine systems integration (to give it a "hue" of a joint venture; not that Israel can't do it). In the same way, India must cancel the PAK-FA project which is nothing but a licence-purchase agreement. Merely to give it some legitimacy of a JV, India will make a twin-seater (which is again needless, as Russia will be making the trainer anyway).

Thank you.

sniperz11 said...

Adding to Abhiman's point about the LCA, actual work on LCA started only in late 1993!!! If you notice any other program, they usually talk about project initiation from the date of sanction and acceptance of a design.

In the case of the LCA, the project was sanctioned only in 1990, but considering the economy then, the money was sanctioned only in 1993 July. That makes the LCA program 15 years till now (17 at time of Induction)

Additionally, if you want to compare the technology jump that we had to surmount, compare that to the F-22 program itself, and add a few more years for the technology leap, and 2 years for the delay due to tech denial after Pokhran.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Abhiman: Let me clarify what exactly I'm saying as you've apparently not yet understood my point of view. So here goes again: the DRDO is perfectly free to indulge in whatever R & D work it wants to do, but it MUST NOT be at the cost of OPERATIONAL REQMTS of the armed forces, i.e. funds meant for the armed forces' force modernisation must not be diverted to the DRDO. As far as mastering core technological competencies go the DRDO according to me is free to do whatever it wants to, AS LONG AS it does not do so at the expense of depriving the armed forces of much needed warfighting capabilities that are readily available from abroad. I say this because it is a proven fact since the early 1980s that whenever the DRDO promised to deliver several vitally required capabilities (no one pressurised it to make such promises)it has always been unable to deliver them on time and the within financial limits that it itself had committed to. Ask anyone in the Indian armed forces and they will tell you that give a damn about indigenisation or tech transfers because these things don't win wars and have no direct or indirect bearing on acquiring quantitative or qualitative edges over the enemy. The emergency imports resorted in 1999 during OP Vijay and in 2002 during OP PARAKRAM are two prime cases that prove my points. In conclusion, the DRDO can develop a 180-degree or 240-degree or 360-degree AESA array in the fullness of time (let the DRDO define what exactly or how long this will be), I don't care so long as it does not force the MoD to withold financial allocations for the follow-on four PHALCONs.

To sniperz11: The LCA's financial allocations were released way back in 1987 which allowed ADA to construct wind-tunnel scale models for wind-tunnel testing at ONERA's facility in France. It weas also then that the orders were placed for the first 11 GE F404F2J3s. Kindly recheck this. I don;t know who told you that the money started flowing only from July 1993. Also, kindly give me one clear example of an indigenously developed weapon system that played a pivotal role and enabled India to win a war.

Bobby said...

Prasun wrote:
" which allowed ADA to construct wind-tunnel scale models for wind-tunnel testing at ONERA's facility in France"
----------------------------------
Its not entirely correct...the wind tunnel models were tested at HAL & NAL initially in the late eighties...i even have a photo to prove it....the Nilkantan tunnel was not manufactured then nor were the ones at IISc....so further testing calibration (supersonic) in India were hindered.

Abhiman said...

Mr Prasun, I think you have changed your view about DRDO forcing the IAF to be a "lab rat" and purchase it's 240 deg. radar, to being guilty about not pursuing a foreign JV, to finally being "free about what it wants but not at cost of IAF's reqmts". These 3 views are toned down progressively starting from the first one.

DRDO is free to do what it wants from it's own budget, and it is doing exactly that. It is once again the IAF's call to decide whether it must support the DRDO wholeheartedly, or merely sign a cheque to any of the clambering foreign vendors. The latter is easy and requires no effort; the former is arduous and requires support and conviction, but has much better long-term returns. The IAF must decide.

As regards the Tejas, it must be mentioned that though it has taken 20 years to develop, it is acceptable for a nation like India. Also note that it was the IAF which 'threw a spanner' in the Tejas when it delayed in giving it a final go-ahead for 3 years. Thus, Tejas which was to begin construction in 1990 could begin only in late 1993 because of an inexplicable delay on IAF's part.

Thank you.

Thank you.

sniperz11 said...

Prasunji,

How would the AEW&CS program not constitute a "Modernization of Armed Forces?" Who exactly would be the end users of an AEWCS? ISRO??

The fact is that the Armed Forces need to be involved in prejects, even if they are TDs, both in terms of cost sharing, expertise, consultancy, and providing inputs about the requirements, if they be informal ones. Refusing to help, or to share the risk in a venture that they will benefit from is hypocritical and retrograde, and a methodology that is discredited today.

Look at the US Armed Forces, which do pursue their own R&D, or provide funding for similar projects. I don't say that they should suddenly follow that model (which is impossible, and disastrous), but they should look at the advantages of users helping develop the technology that they will need.

DRDO has had to surmount a technological gap, leading to delays. I'm not saying they're not responsible, and I do agree with you that DRDO should not hold up funds when its own project is not certain.

But definitely, the fact remains that lack of service support, limited funding, embargos, and frequently changing Best of Brochure requirements have hampered their effort.

If the forces had been sensible, and followed similar ideas as implemented elsewhere, such as the Merkava Mk.1 to Mk.4 induction, or the Tranche induction of the Typhoon, we'd have had much better products. Unfortunately, the Force's insistence on a final product rather than incremental gains has upset our projects. If only they had shown the same level of flexibility with DRDO as they had with Foreign sellers.

As for your question about Indigenous programs:

The fact is that most DRDO projects have gained maturity only recently, and are being inducted. I'm sure that in the next war we face, DRDO products will play a winning role.

- Insas,
- Pinaka
- Nag (one of the few 3rd gen missiles today, and much ahead of other programs in other countries)
- Lets not forget the nuclear deterrance that our missiles - Prithvi and Agni have given us.

Coming to the LCA:

"The LCA design was finalised in 1990 as a small delta-winged machine with "relaxed static stability" (RSS) to enhance maneuverability performance. Almost immediately, the IAF expressed doubt that India possessed sufficient technological infrastructure to support such an ambitious project.

A governmental review committee was formed in May 1989 which reported out a general view that Indian infrastructure, facilities and technology had advanced sufficiently in most areas to undertake the project. As a measure of prudence, though, it was decided that the full-scale engineering development (FSED) stage of the programme would proceed in two stages.

Phase 1 commenced in 1990 and HAL started work on the technology demonstrators in mid-1991; however, a financial crunch resulted in full-scale funding not being authorized until April 1993, with significant work on FSED Phase 1 commencing in June 1993.

The first technology demonstrator, TD-1, was rolled out on 17 November 1995 and was followed by TD-2 in 1998, but they were kept grounded for several years due to structural concerns and trouble with the development of the flight control system."


As I pointed out, preliminary design work finished after the PD and all, but actual Phase 1 ED was given sanction only in 1990, and full scale work began only in late 1993 due to the fund crunch.

As for the indigenous programs -

@Bobby, what Prasunji is talking about I think is the supersonic design testing during the PD phase in collaboration with Dassault.

Abhiman said...

I am in complete agreement with Sniperz11's views.

The IAF has been criminally negligent in partnering or even monitoring DRDO's efforts --- be it fighter jets, missiles, or AEWC. It is as though they are mercenaries who just want the best "toys" from anywhere. For them, DRDO and Lockheed are equidistant.

It is true that operational requirements can never be sacrificed, however this is truer mostly during impending war. Wars are not fought for decades on end, and the services can take some calculated risks to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with DRDO and support them in their programmes.

I applaud the Pak military for wholeheartedly supporting it's R&D establishment, no matter how small it is. The Chinese, American, Russian and Korean defence establishments work very very very closely with their military industrial complexes -- even though they may be privately run.

But in India, forget even communicating with DRDO -- not even a cursory "how's it going ?" -- the services believe that they are doing a favour by purchasing equipment from DRDO. I'm sure while the AEWC will be made, the IAF 'ek bar jhaankne bhi nahi jaayega'. Many years later, the IAF will say that this is outdated, and so we're purchasing the latest toy on offer from some foreign vendor.

This is exactly what happened with Arjun (unlike Merkava, which the Israeli military regarded as it's own sapling in their kibbutz, while it grew). For the past 2 decades, the IAF has treated the Tejas in exactly the same manner. However, it seems to have a slightly better fate than Arjun, though it is still marred by a needless MRCA purchase and a non-commitment beyond 2 squadrons.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The IAF instead of participating & encouraging indegenous programs with R&D labs, are showing more interest in purchasing outdated weapons from Russia & other countries. As the latter involves kickbacks, top brasses are very much benefited.

anthony said...

As the latter involves kickbacks, top brasses are very much benefited.


Beaus their prime god is $$$$$ over the welfare and combat effectiveness of servicemen.

Anonymous said...

This information is true