Wednesday, March 03, 2010

NorthropGrumman Tells Indian Navy, "NRUAV Not Mature, Buy FireScout Instead"

Northrop-Grumman has made multiple presentations to the Indian Navy explaining why the IAI-HAL Naval Rotory UAV (NRUAV) based on the Chetak airframe is a bad idea. Remember, the NRUAV is a programme that has considerable Indian investment, not to mention a fully Indian-built helicopter airframe. I heard from a couple of my sources in the Navy that the Americans were making a powerful pitch against the NRUAV, so I sent NG an e-mail a few days ago.

Mike Fuqua, Northrop's Business Development Director (Tactical Unmanned Systems) replied, "Northrop Grumman is aware of the initiative announced by the Indian Government regarding NRUAV. However, we are convinced that once the issues of complexity, capability, maturity and reliability are evaluated, the Indian Navy will recognize that Fire Scout will provide the best, most cost effective, and most rapid VTUAV capability for their forces at sea."

The NRUAV is currently in its trial stage, and is still some way off from sea trials. However, the Indian Navy has fully backed the programme and has invested in it as well. At the same time, Fuqua said, "The Indian Navy has shown interest in the Fire Scout VTUAV and Northrop Grumman has been engaged with the Indian Navy to discuss capabilities. We have provided briefings and answered questions from the highest level of the Indian Navy, at their request."

More on the NRUAV in a bit.

44 comments :

Anonymous said...

I wish Navy doesn't follow suit like army and reject the the indigenous equipment(Arjun).Even if NRUAV's performance is not as good as the FireScout(pure speculation here) we should not cancel NRUAV.The expertise gained in this project will go a long way.

Anonymous said...

Q: The NRUAV has a bigger payload than the VTUAV??

Anonymous said...

No need for Firescout since we have NRUAV.

Anonymous said...

They will do anything and everything to destroy our small fledgling military-industrial complex(MIC).
Uncle Sam destroys its enemies in wartime and its allies' MIC in peace time.

We should NOT give up our efforts on NRUAV even if fire scout was given for free.

Anonymous said...

wtf
US companies should f*** them self & gov should tell them strongly dont interfere in our private matters.

dirty tactics

Sanket Gokhale said...

Uncle Sam trying to infiltrate ministry of defense to keep their own industries alive. Hope this will not kill the indigenous projects.

Anonymous said...

if we went by what US says we would have lost kashmir, lost the 71 war ... this is a clear example of killing a potential competitor ... its like lux telling santoor ... the quality is suspect.....

Anonymous said...

if we went by what US says we would have lost kashmir, lost the 71 war ... this is a clear example of killing a potential competitor ... its like lux telling santoor ... the quality is suspect.....

Anonymous said...

if the capability difference is about 20% max we should buy local i say..screw the yanks..otherwise our domestic defense industry will never mature...

amit said...

I can very well see that the NRUAV program will be ditched sooner than later like the trishul programme. India must carry forward with this project rather than playing a toy to American politics of selling their products.

DJ said...

Fire Scout is in development for almost 10 years. No wonder DRDO project is not as mature as that. But then why should we rush to deploy this technology. I believe we have enough time to develop one on our own. Unlike US army we are not at war.

Anonymous said...

i thik they doesnot want india to develop its capapbility.they were hungry to eat indian money out.beware of americans..

Anonymous said...

i recently read in a news paper that usa has a pentagonised society ...ie it creates disturbance in a region and then pretends as a helping hand by supplying arms to one side in that region ..like it supplies arms to s korea ...earlier it messed with afganistan aginst russian and now hotspot is india and pak....but now uncle sam has a new policy...now he supplies arms to both side

Anonymous said...

war ...is the most profitable business even more so when you can sell arms to both sides....

Anonymous said...

It does make sense to look at the Firescout deal a bit more closely. The NRUAV sounds like a dumb idea to begin with: they took an obsolete platform (Cheetah), got rid of human controls and replaced it with mechanization. The Firescout was designed to be a legitimate NRUAV from the start. It is obviously a much better solution for the Navy than the immature, hodge-podge that DRDO has come up with. If they make a serious attempt at a rotary UAV, then I'm all for Indian equipment, but it's ridiculous for the military to be forced to buy bad research junk that they've come up when presented with serious equipment.

Rahul said...

Best part of NRUAV is its Chetak platform. Navy knows every bit of the chopper and believe in it so much that they went for converting it into a UAV instead of developing new airframe. I don't think americans can pitch anything against Chetak's reliability and available ground support infrastructure. IMO, Navy is only respecting americans and waiting for time to say "Thank you, not needed".

Anonymous said...

How about a NURAV on downsized Dhruv platform. That would make it much better than the WW2 dated chetak platform.

Anonymous said...

are yaar the americans are acting toooo smart... if the sell ny equipment, they will benifit in three ways...1) money, that they will obviously get..2) suppressing the indigenous effort, thus no more competition...3) we will be dependent on them.. so in event of ny discord of interests they will threaten regarding spare parts software corruptions... plus added advantage.. they are already familiar with the weapon systems and capabilities of the system... we need to learn a few lessons from the chinese.. they use everything but try to improve it or indiginise it.. though mostly they fail but its an appreciable effort...

Anonymous said...

> we should not cancel NRUAV.The expertise gained in this project will go a long way.

exactly what experience will be gained? how to install an israeli kit in an indian helicopter?

all the real development work is being done by Israel

> They will do anything and everything to destroy our small fledgling military-industrial complex(MIC)

the conspiracy theorists make me laugh

no need for some deep geo-political reasoning

companies win sales by doing 2 things:
1. praising their products
2. trashing their competition

NG makes firescout, so naturally it will want to highlight how it's better than NRUAV

equally naturally it's not going to dwell on any of NRUAV's advantages

the actual facts presented by NG are likely true, it's up to the Indian leadership to determine how important those facts are (or aren't)

> gov should tell them strongly dont interfere in our private matters.

1. it's not private, it's a public project

2. it's not purely domestic, all the guts come from Israel

3. there's nothing wrong with companies lobbying for their products, that's what they do. It's the government's responsibility to sift through what they are being told

who knows, some of the weaknesses they point out may be used to guide future development of the NRUAV to make it even better

Anonymous said...

> gov should tell them strongly dont interfere in our private matters.

also you apparently did not read the article

"The Indian Navy has shown interest in the Fire Scout VTUAV and Northrop Grumman has been engaged with the Indian Navy to discuss capabilities. We have provided briefings and answered questions from the highest level of the Indian Navy, at their request."

Anonymous said...

> I don't think americans can pitch anything against Chetak's reliability and available ground support infrastructure

the airframe of the helicopter is the easiest part of an unmanned helicopter

it's the 'unmanned' part that is hard, especially when dealing with pitching decks at sea

if i had to guess, 'maturity' refers to the ability to successfully land 100% of the time without crashing into the boat and killing people on board and starting fires and all that fun stuff

Rafale said...

We should ask the yanks to fuck off & develop our own capabilities & industries

Anonymous said...

Yanks have CMS(Compulsive Monopolist Syndrome).

Unlike other diseases, here it is those who associate with them who suffer... suffer the loss of their own capabilities, create a dependence eventually leading to complete loss of knowledge in 1 generation with retirement of homegrown expertise fighting for survival against yank options.

Anonymous said...

> We should ask the yanks to fuck off & develop our own capabilities & industries

well if you want to develop your own capabilities and industries, then you're going to have to tell israel the same thing and cancel the NRUAV

since they are the ones that are actually developing the guts of it . . .

Anonymous said...

> create a dependence eventually leading to complete loss of knowledge in 1 generation with retirement of homegrown expertise fighting for survival against yank options.

replace yank with russian and it's actually more true for india

they offer 'joint development' of pak-fa, what they mean is 'you pay us to develop our next gen fighter and we'll let you build a few too'

they would be perfectly happy to have the T-90 kill off the Arjun

amit said...

Its ridiculous how can this program which is undergoing trials be mature?Let the American play their politics when its ready for induction.More over India must pursue such endeavors in the future also rather than depending upon any country specially America.

Rafale said...

@anon 8.43
> well if you want to develop your own capabilities and industries, then you're going to have to tell israel the same thing and cancel the NRUAV
since they are the ones that are actually developing the guts of it . . .
& what after that? go with a begging bowl to the Yanks?
Israeli stuff work & don't come with stupid end user restrictions.Am sure we will learn a lot more by partnering with Israel than we would by buying from you.

Anonymous said...

@anon at 8:43pm,
"well if you want to develop your own capabilities and industries, then you're going to have to tell israel the same thing and cancel the NRUAV"

Importing things at COMPONENTS LEVEL and integrating it with rest of local components is much preferable than importing the entire black box. At least we have things in our control with imported components rather than the blackbox infested with malicious codes.

Besides, it is one thing to import components without strings and another to import sealed blackboxes with voluntary submission to restrictive treaties and monopolized maintenance.

Between russian and indian(T90 and Arjun) the opinion does take the sides of Arjun too. So you cannot bring it up here. Here it is between NRUAV and fire-scout and clearly NRUAV is preferable for independence, lack of malicious codes and step-up in learning curve and unmonopolized local maintenance.

DJ said...

NOTHING WRONG IN ADVERTISING A PRODUCT. I DON'T THINK NG IS DOING ANYTHING WRONG HERE. IN FACT, SOME OF THE READERS' REACTIONS ARE SHOCKING. WHY WOULD WE LET AN AMERICAN OPTION PASS? WHAT IF AFTER TEN YEARS OF TESTING NRUAV DOESN'T FLY?
THE BIGGEST QUESTION IS: AT WHAT LEVEL WE WANT TO TRY RE-INVENTING THE WHEEL? JUST BECAUSE ISRAELIS MADE A JOINT DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT WITH DRDO DOESN'T MEAN THAT DRDO WILL ACTUALLY BE DEVELOPING ANYTHING. UNDER SO CALLED JOINT DEVELOPMENT, IAI MAY JUST SELL US THEIR STUFF WHICH MAY NOT BE EVEN AS GOOD AS THE AMERICAN OPTION. MOREOVER, THIS IS NOT A VERY BIG CONTRACT. IN THE REAL DEALS LIKE SUBMARINES (BAD FRENCH EXPERIENCE) HAWK AJTS (BAD UK EXPERIENCE) AND AIRCRAFT CARRIER (BAD RUSSIAN EXPERIENCE) - NO ONE IS BLAMING ANY OF THESE COUNTRIES BUT WHEN IT COMES TO USA, WHICH IRONICALLY HAS THE MOST RELIABLE AND ADVANCED PRODUCTS IN THE MARKET, EVERYONE JUMPS TO THE GUN. USSR WAS MORE MILITARIZED THAN USA EVER WAS OR WILL BE, EVEN THEN, WE FOUND THE BEST FRIEND THERE. SO WHAT'S WRONG WITH USA? IN ORDER TO MATCH CHINA, INDIA HAS NO OPTION BUT TO ALLY ITSELF WITH USA. USA IS THE REAL REASON, EU/ISRAEL ARE SELLING WEAPONS TO CHINA. THIS ISRAELI 'FRIENDS' WILL BE THE FIRST ONES TO SELL ALL THEIR HIGH TECH STUFF TO CHINESE AS SOON AS USA LOOKS OTHER WAY. INDIANS ARE ACTUALLY VERY LUCKY TO HAVE USA WILLING TO SELL ADVANCED WEAPONS LIKE F18, AESA, P8I ETC. IMAGINE WHAT IF THEY WERE SELLING ALL THESE TO CHINESE?

Anonymous said...

> & what after that? go with a begging bowl to the Yanks?

well, to quote you:

> develop our own capabilities & industries

in other words, develop it from scratch yourself

if you aren't willing to develop it yourself, then stop your whining about the americans killing off your industry.

whether you buy from israel or from america, the impact on indian industry is the same

> Am sure we will learn a lot more by partnering with Israel than we would by buying from you

israeli companies are no more likely to give out their crown jewels than american companies or russian companies.

they aren't stupid, they want to keep you dependent on them to guarantee a future revenue stream

just like every other company

Anonymous said...

> Importing things at COMPONENTS LEVEL and integrating it with rest of local components is much preferable than importing the entire black box.

um, 'importing the entire black box' is exactly what NRUAV is

All their doing is integrating IAI's black box with their helicopters

saagnik said...

even if the NRUAV does not turn out to be as good as the firescout(which i hope wont be the case), we should stick to developing our own capabilities....and who gave them the rights to interfering in our matters..

Anonymous said...

Did we protest about C17s, P8Is, AWACS ? No, because there the yank options do not infringe on local efforts and capability development. Here they do.

Also,

100% indigenous > Part-indigenous with imported components > 100% imported.

Importing at components level does not hurt as we are moving up the learning curve and some components will be imported until an economically viable demand is built up to render completely local manufacture.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. After a quick search it seems the Fire Scout can carry 30% more payload than NRUAV with double the endurance. While at the same time being slightly smaller.

That said I see no need to stop the semi-indigenous(remember, most of the avoinics are Israeli) project just because the US has a better one. Of course, if the government lets Northrop Grumman invest in the Indian defense sector that'd be different...

Mr. Ra said...

They see NRUAV as a competitor to Firescout and attempt to destroy it at first opportunity.

Tomorrow they may come up with photos of some viceroys and tell us that our leaders are not so much dynamic and result oriented.

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