Wednesday, September 09, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Devil In The Details? Bogey In The Indian Navy's P-8I Aircraft Contract

The Indo-US contract for eight Boeing P-8I long-range maritime reconnaisance & anti-submarine warfare (LRMRASW) aircraft was signed at the beginning of this year, but, according to sources in the Navy, there appear to be some bogeys that seem to have passed the muster of South Block bureaucrats, certainly the ones who signed the deal. With such committed focus on the end user monitoring (EUM) clauses, sources point to a certain other clause in the contract that could spell potential trouble in the future, not just for the P-8I relationship, but others Indo-US contracts as well.

According to Section 6.1 under Article 28 of the contract between the two governments, the US will be liable for no penalties in the event that any "malicious code" is detected in the software that governs the P-8I's sensors and systems. Malicious code, among other things, could include deliberately embedded bits of software designed to do one or many of a variety of things, which could include encrypted recording of platform usage information -- data that only American inspectors will be able to decrypt during end-user inspections, without making it apparently so. Sound far-fetched. It apparently isn't. Anyway, the point is, if Indian engineers are lucky enough to detect the malicious software (in some fortuitous spasm of counter-intelligence), then as per the contract on paper, there will be no penalties. All the US will have to do is to modify the hardware or software and remove the malicious code, with no other liabilities.

There are folks who believe this is precisely what the US government has seen done in contracts with Pakistan's P-3 and F-16 fleet. Could something be amiss or is this paranoia? Has something far more dangerous passed under the radars of South Block?

38 comments :

Anonymous said...

so americans will do the same in apg79 and apg80 and this is true and thats why brazil discarded shornet

Anonymous said...

It must be always kept in mind that the U.S is not India's friend. They are always thinking of their well being irrespective of someone being their friend or not. So India must keep away from all U.S equipment. The MMRCA deal must not go to the U.S. It must be either French or the Russians.

Anonymous said...

To hell with F18s...

Vincent said...

Malicious code can mean a lot of things. It can mean code that Indian call centre programmers do not understand or code that allows marginal performance improvement for weapons delivery parameters that Indians do not have.

Do not have, do not have.

Dhagash said...

When we are buying the entire system from them...why are you concerned just about software codes. If they decide, they can install an entire device to gather data on the usage of the system. Beggars can't be choosers. Either trust the source or don't deal with it.

Maverick said...

Unofficial reports indicate that US is known to instruct manufacturers of Defence equipment to insert 'malicious code' in the firmware to enable certain 'fallback' modes during armed conflict it an exported equipment were to every come up against US equipment...something like US fighters disabling critical mission computers of say the F-18 or F-16 during a hypothetical conflict...

I guess your report brings forth yet another case of chalta hai attitude... (but I seriously do hope what you claim isn't true...else we are in some trouble, if not more)...

devsethi said...

It is surprising that the Dte of Contracts in NHQ charged with fine combing has allowed this clause to slip through.The yanks have a track record in creating back windows/malicious code encryption as publicly reported by nations such as Malaysia& Australia in the recent past.It often results in sub optimal performance of the weapon platform in combat conditions.South Block needs to bring Boeing to heel rapidly by ordering a through peer review of all contracts/ software embeded.If necessary insist on full system checks of all weapons supplied and withhold payment till final user trials in India structured to meet our combat requirements.A swift blow at the very outset will knock sense into the denial ayotollahs in the US govt.

Anonymous said...

No surprise this one. Anyways we are selling out to massa

Col VT Venkatesh(Rted) said...

If I am selling weapon technologies,I would certainly do such things i.e. add malicious code.
It is high time an average service officer upgrades his software skills to become smart.
All modern weapons system uses some kind of software & software knowledge is a must for all officers, if one wants to become a counter hacker.

P Mukherjee said...

NO MMRCA CONTRACT FOR THE AMERICANS. Also how about the timing of this 'revelation', just when the Americans are getting their candidates tested????

Anonymous said...

here comes vincent the lapdog !

Debby said...

Interesting. But when does the so-called malicious code gets written into the avionics or EW suite? Is it an unavoidable downside of the mammoth manufacturing process or is it intentional?

Anonymous said...

never trust the yanks...they have too many conditions on how, when etc. to use their weapons....never ever trust them..

Anonymous said...

When UK funded F35 project(mere 1% of total). They made it such a way that the a/c contract should also come with source code and US agreed for that. If we do same then P8I wont be a problem.. So we should focus on getting the source of the software used in all a/c purchases.

Anonymous said...

We all expected this, didn't we? Besides, like the Col above has said - this shit happens all the time. Then why all this hand-wringing and weeping & wailing?

Our challenge would be to detect-disable-modify-improve the code without affecting the functionality of the system. Here in B'lore the IAF has a software arm located next to HAL -- I guess the nerds there are for things like this. No sweat.

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Mayuresh Gaikwad said...

What is the probability that Vincent is a part of some malicious code that some US guys wrote? I would say, quite high!

Effectively, he is a bot who has been progeammed to troll Indian blogs and leave random smart-ass comments and liberally sprinkle words like "call center", "programmers", "do not have", etc.

Afterall bots do not have the intelligence to realize that call center employees make cold-calls or receive customer service calls on behalf of companies rather than write computer programmes. The US guys forgot to programme this when they wrote the source code for these troll bots.

Vincent, Please point me one call center in India where the employees write computer programmes for their clients, rather than making calls!

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Anonymous said...

In MMRCA- as per news only Rafale is mentioned 100% TOT with source code transfer . it is the best jet to select , if the price is good.

Anonymous said...

Whats the fuss about? If we buy foreign equipment we have to expect certain constraints. Wont we depend on them for maintenance of the purchased equipment? At least in todays world one cant fight off US intrusion. We may never know what kind of codes may be embedded in an average Pentium processor or Windows OS.

Manu said...

@Anon 5:59pm: I just met SAAB team and they have repeatedly said 100% source codes and 100% ToT. I think with Eurofighter as well.

Anonymous said...

1.2 billion Indians armed with a large nuclear arsenal and ferocious fighters need no one and care for no one. the game against India is long over. also the Akula-2 is on her way to India.

Vincent said...

by that i mean call centre quality programmers, those who generate puffy little blocks of code that means very little in the long run, just like that confused, stammering voice over the phone that asks me to buy a 'waacum creaner'.

please, America is trying to be your arms dealer, not be your father who has to do everything right by you, and which father does everything right by his son?

how spoilt little bitches can you get?? don't buy the American weapons then, keep losing meaningless lives like in Kargil fighting against a few thousand jihadis. when the chinese steamroller in, perhaps you can all mount your elephants and prepare to do the honorable thing.

japan and korea - learnt from the america industralization experience and war machine = great success!
china - heading the same way, but military-wise by copying western designs

russia - refused to learn from america in terms of capitalism = economic devastation of 90s and losing tens of thousands of men against 1 million chechnya and then hundreds and 7 planes against 1 million georgia
india - copying russia by not manufacturing anything worth of note and their arms = slower economic growth, slums and disaster

you people never learn, do you

Anonymous said...

"South Block bureaucrats" are not attorneys, they seem to be more like sub prime borrowers who signed on the dotted line after reading the intial rate of interest.

Anonymous said...

THE U.S.A is trying to control india. this is unacceptable. we really don't need those P8I poseidons. What india really needs is state-of-the-art diesel electric SSKs. only a modern SSK can take out another modern SSK, not patrol aircrafts.

I propose that india buys 6 A-26 SSKs from sweden, 8 AMUR-class SSKs from russia & if possible then 3 HDW U-214 from germany. i reiterete that india needs ATLEAST 30 disel electric SSKS before 2020,otherwise the Indian navy is doomed

Anonymous said...

vincent, if you haven't noticed your great capitalist paradise is rolling around in the gutter. look around !

ya, we never learn......
happy ? now shod off !

we will develop on our own terms, america can go **** herself.

while you should go back to your mamma and stop disturbing grown-ups discussing.

Vincent said...

haha, after negotiating to buy LPDs (small carriers) from France (Mistral), Russia is selling a carrier to India (Gorshkov).

Now Russia is negotiating to buy U212s from Germany, even while they try to sell their diesel and nuclear submarines to India. Russian submarines which Russia don't even plan on using while they go Western are apparently good enough for Bharat hahaha!

http://www.arms-expo.ru/site.xp/049051124049048055055051.html

Russia selling their designs to India and telling you not to buy Western even while they buy from Western countries lol.

It is the easiest thing in the world to take money from Indians. The local Indians love hyped up junk. You all make me look bad.

NJS said...

India need to create fighter sqn division in Indian Army (at least 4 sqn's in fastrack) to have edge with china . IAF maintaining fighter sqn's are not enough to give full protection to india & to armed forces . we need a better ground support units at the time of combat,Just like Navy , Army also should have their own Fighter jets, so Army air sqn's is very important .
In IAF every month we are losing many jet's , sqn strength is crossing red line in depletion , but purchasing makes many years to receiving a single jet . So Govt need to take immediate steps to fulfill for preparedness ( Maintaining low in inventory is not real preparedness ).
Indian medias should have their Vital role in creating Strong Defense Force , Media work is not finished in giving news details to people , Medias can strongly & hardly insist Govt to do better things in fastrack .

anthony said...

The U.S. is suspicious of its customers for their ulterior motives, so, as an insurance policy, malicious code is installed on the Poseidon's avionics, and in the event of a war, the BHO administration could disable the Indian Navy P-8I Poseidons, rendering them unairworthy, like remote control.

Vincent said...

>>ya, we never learn......
happy ? now shod off !

we will develop on our own terms, america can go **** herself<<


It is this kind of sickening unscientific defiance that has kept India down for 60, some say 1000, years. The Chinese mask their insecurity by copying everything from the West, the Bhindians mask theirs by denying that anything good exists outside their well defined worlds. That's why desis eat the same food and do the same old things when abroad, and practise the same caste prejudices.

Very very Paki. The same thing that you accuse them of, you have them in generous spades, just that religious fanaticism and a 7th century dogma makes them even more retarded.

This defiant attitude, which you think is kind of honorable and noble, will be the death of India. Someday, someone will come with proven and tested 'western' concepts of speed, firepower and technology and totally own India and beat your army until figuratively its shit turns red, all simply because you refused to change out of meaningless pride, and because you overly pride feelings over pragmatism.

Even Aeroflot is abandoning all its TUs and buying Boeings and Airbuses, the Russian Navy is buying Western ships, only you 1.3 billion self-defeating Indians are chasing the light fantastic in the smoky fires of the Soviet Union military.

Boom headshot.

Russia: "Hey India, buy my Gorshkov. Cheap and Russian naval tech is cheap yet comparable with the West."

Indian Navy: "OK. Let me pay first."

Russia: "Great, I will use this money to buy French carriers (Mistral)."

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4263284

Indian Navy: "wtf...."

Russia: "Don't worry. We still have great submarines. Here, lease some (Nerpa), buy some. They are comparable to Western tech for lower price."

Indian Navy: "...OK. Let me pay first as usual."

Russia: "Great, I will use this money to buy German submarines U-212."

Indian Navy: "WTF"

http://www.arms-expo.ru/site.xp/049051124049048055055051.html

Anonymous said...

Vincent, Let indians decide what's good for them. IF they want to pay more to someone its their wish ,Suggest you keep your wise thoughts to yourself (WTF). Yanks never offered an nuclear submarine to india ? Will they ever in near future ? Never like LCA their prototypes would be confuscated. Never will stop asking other to supply advance tech to them. Always indians have to ask their permission on using them. It would be hard for you to understand , for us indians we think when we buy its ours and we can use it on anyone ,anywhere, like it or not KMA.Thats why we won't buy from you. Yanks do whats in their interest so do Indians. You can go around and keep marketing them

Anonymous said...

guys, best of luck arguing with vincent.

his use of bhindians should make it clear where he comes from !

Anonymous said...

It is this kind of sickening unscientific defiance that has kept India down for 60, some say 1000, years. The Chinese mask their insecurity by copying everything from the West, the Bhindians mask theirs by denying that anything good exists outside their well defined worlds. That's why desis eat the same food and do the same old things when abroad, and practise the same caste prejudices.
========

why does that bother you my dear pole-dancer vincent ?
unlike unkil sam or the pakis we are not in the business of screwing countries.
mind your own business !
again, since you don't understand polite requests, I'll repeat :

SHOD OFF !

Vincent said...

Why you all want to remain on a sinking ship. It'll be cold war battle against China, only this time they'll have western-inspired ships and planes and you'll have old Soviet designs. India is going to get severely owned, just like how the US Navy used to own the Soviet Union Navy. You guys are traitors and perhaps child molestors.

I quote from a serious commentator to a boasting russian:>>>

Hey commie, the USSR is dead! You are only building 68 SU-35's in 6 fucking years! Guess what bitch, if full production, 1 F-35 will be produced per day! PAK-FA, it's a big fucking joke. Your economy is shit, and your military is even bigger shit. 125 million people, and dropping everyday! Down to 100 million by 2025. You will never have the money to build a military. Russia is done bitch.

Anonymous said...

vincent is a rabid simian...a new species..the missing evolutionary link between us homo sapiens and the neanderthal man....

he is rabid because his mongrel bit him in the ass...

since his brain is highly underdeveloped compared to ours let have pity on him.....

but he is a anthroplogists goldmine.

vicent, when u finally leave this planet pls. presever ur peanut sized brain for the scientists to study....

Anonymous said...

@Dgaghash,
Beggars can't be choosers but BUYERS CAN BE.

@Vincent,
Don't we know you are a Paki. So why oh why advise us? Economy doesn't matter, as long as you have the big dicks with glowing stuff mounted on them even a starving North Korea can threaten the mighty USA.

Vincent said...

when china builds multi-spectrum ABM defence before you, and that is for certain even decades from now, you can use your nukes to commit suicide.

Anonymous said...

Suppose by 2016 UK decides not to renew US usage of Diego Garcia and then India decides to take back Diego Garcia would the Poseidon work when we start hunting for UK subs in Indian ocean???