Monday, December 13, 2010

Agni SLBM A Myth?

The unofficial impression above, from a recent magazine report, is one of a whole slew of graphics and illustrations that have swamped the internet and print publications in the last few years. This one, like many others, suggests that there will be submarine-launched versions of India's intermediate range ballistic missiles Agni III and V.

I sent the picture above to India Today senior editor Sandeep Unnithan, who broke the story recently about India's secret K-series of missiles, to see what he thought. Here's what he had to say: "There is a myth created by missile experts on internet forums about SLBM variants of the Agni III and V. They have gone ahead and created several impressions of what it will look like complete with MIRVs etc. The truth is that the K series, and NOT Agni, is the basis for the future SLBM development. This is not contested by the DRDO either. Difficulties with compacting the Agni to fit the 10 metre diameter ATV hull have led to solutions like the K-4.”


indian defence forum said...

OMG !!! atleast the AGNI series is tested whereas the K-series is still at the drawing board

does it mean india has to wait for even more to get a SLBM ????

I really don't know how to react to this news

but i am very sad that people went to create a myth at defence forums to fool us all. this is a wake-up call to all those who are suffering from a superiority complex about india's missile deterrence capability

Austin said...

Indeed and Sandeep would be better informed on this , my impression is K series is created for submarine launched missile and is universal in nature , which makes it capable of being land and sub launched.

mirza said...

Is uninathan defence expert?

i know indiatoday is no more than Aajtak NEWS channels.

I think he has only few inside news from unnamed (obviously)contacts.

Kseries indeed a futre but right now Agni is Agni This is base of all futre.

Artanis said...

IMHO it doesn't make that much of a difference. As a matter of fact it is a good idea to avoid over crowding of similar missiles as it leads to escalation of cost. So as long as K-series has adequate range and accuracy everything is nice and swell.

Shubham said...

yea u are right @ india defence forum..maybe such news is more to fool people who wish to keep a tab on india's missile development, and sir don't worry about india's nuclear missile deterrence, Agni-1, 2, and not to forget Brahmos have already been tested successfully by users and inducted. To think that absolutely accurate information regarding india's nuclear missile deterrence would be made public would not only be foolhardy but naive..and i hope people like you who are very concerned about India's nuclear deterrance would be intelligent enough to understand that. You may have also read the different names by which the K-4/ K-15 missiles have been tested to understand what i am Sagarika, BA-05 much to your shock, these "new" missiles may be inducted earlier than your expectation..i think you should worry more about pakistani missiles which have not been tested in quite a while- even though u don't need to because they are chinese/ north korean and already tested missiles given as alms to pakistan..
Jai Hind..!!

P.S: please do some research before expressing your well intended concern for Indian missile deterrence abilities..

Anonymous said...

And what are Sandeep Unnithan's credentials? I'll wait and see on this. Keep in mind there's a lot of disinformation about India's missile capabilities. Simply writing down what someone wants to tell him does not make Unnithan credible. Perhaps he's right. Perhaps not.

Mr. Ra said...

I think our missile scientists know the best and I can always wish them all the best.

BTW Agni is our past and present and K-series is our present and future. Both need to be evolved and strengthened. After all they are our most cost-effective weapons of defense.

Anonymous said...

@ india defence forum.. good 2 see u here again m8.. again i request u 2 say India zindabad ;)

Anonymous said...

Agni was Russian
K series is American.
ISRO has been reserve engineering Russian technology where as DRDO prefers doing things on its own and when they fail, government ask for help from outside.
When Kalam failed government got Russian help and we got AGNI and prithvi.
Now when DRDO could not improve AGNI any further, American gave as K series.
But the problem is that best indian talent from IIT prefer a cosy job of banker than being a scientist and government has done its best to ensure that the best Indian Brain does not get required environment to flourish.

This harsh reality breaks my heart that for the years we are just improve what we got from Russian and now Americans.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To mirza@9.48PM & Anon@10.41PM: Sandeep Unnithan's conclusions are indeed sound and factual. FYI Sandeep's father is from the Navy and the story he recently wrote about the SLBM for INDIA TODAY was in fact, based on a comprehensive but off-the-record (for obvious reasons) briefing given to him about present and projected efforts by the DRDO aimed at developing long-range SLBMs. The entities that have been spreading the disinformation (both visually and in terms of data) about the Agni-derived SLBMs are in fact some US-based Bharat Rakshak wannabes and forum. administrators.

Rajan said...

I read an article last year that says DRDO chief was saying INDIAN GOVT donot want AGNI 5/SURYA. We can hit deep in China with Agni 3, so why waste money on missle that is of our no use. He also said we have the techology to make it but we are not manufacturing anything like that now atleast.

Anonymous said...

>>>>>in fact some US-based Bharat Rakshak wannabes and forum. administrators.<<<<<

Arun jisko BR ne dhaka mara, is a worst speculator.

Anonymous said...

Can I ask a fundamental question here. What will the difference between Agni & K series? Aren't both rockets derived from India's knowledge of rocketry?

Wouldn't it be common sense that if I have a rocket which is too big to fit in a sub, I would increase the diameter and reduce the height? I call it Agni or K series or Martian series.

Would MIRV on K-Series SLBM be different from MIRV on Agni's? Would the K series be powered by some outer space propellant? Are scientists working on K series have no relationship with Agni development? Doesn't Agni have a ISRO's SLV/ SLV derived stage?

India's BMD fundamentally has Privithi missile at it's core. Rocketry is Rocketry. They dont change just because DRDO decide to name it differently.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

By the way, the K stands for Kalam and B-05 is named after Vice Admiral (ret'd) Bhasin, with 05 being his day of birth. And Sagarika was never the name for any missile, but the name of the Project Office charged with developing the K-series of SLBMs.

Anonymous said...

India’s Mi-17 helicopters to start arriving by March 2011$1.34billion20Mi-1720helicopters20to20start20arriving20by20March202011

Anonymous said...

Someone said: "Arun jisko BR ne dhaka mara, is a worst speculator."

True - this person is responsible for many of the speculative images and cooked up theories. He pulled his speculative images from BR after an argument.

Anonymous said...

Oi Prasun Sengupta - you are guilty of plagiarism yourself. Pot calling kettle black. Arun, formerly of BR wanted to sue you for plagiarizing his material so you are cursing Bharat Rakshak here.

Non-Rakshak said...

Prasun jee, methinks you intended to be polite when you referred to the schematics on bharat rakshak as "disinformation"?

More like the wet dreams of internet warriors who think that f**ting on the internet is going to make these things happen. People like Arun Vishwakarma and others on BR are a disgrace.

KR said...

This thread reminds me of Speier's dismissal of the very same diagram as fiction in the years before the A3 was tested. A rose by any other name...

Anonymous said...

Bharat Rakshak forum is full of people who are currently serving in various arms of military, and also relatives of serving and ex-servicemen. There are a lot of pompous gas bags there, but end of the day if you can get cut through the chaff the information from Bharat-Rakshak is far more reliable than what certain journalists write. After all we now know very well what the real expertise of these so called journalists are. Certainly not any knowledge of the stories they cover (up!).

Anonymous said...

Prasun Chorgupta, ask yourself why did you do photochori of these wannabes "fake designs"?

Rajan, thats bs.

Anonymous said...

MI-26 crashes in Jammu....

Anonymous said...

Arun article was first published in IDR before it appeared on the BR missile pages. Mr. unithan contention seems to suggest that the orgin of the K series missile is foreign. As in India only DRDO works on strategic missiles and all the knowlegebase for the same, comes from a common pool and cannot exist in isolation.

Anonymous said...

To all those suckers, even if we can reverse engineer a bolt or a nut its an achievement in the defence industry~~~Beg,borrow,steal,industrial espionage is a common thing!!! stop criticizing!!! But DRDO should be careful regarding publicizing their achievements. Amissile or an armament is made publuc only after its induction, not while the design is still on the drawing board or experimental stage!!!A gold medal or an young scientist award for an unfinished project doesn't do anything good for our country....we are fooling ourselves...keep watching ,china's varyag may enter service before vikramaditya with phased array radars!!!! we have to learn from the chinese!!!

Shiv Aroor said...

There are defence forums on the internet where you folks can let off personal steam and indulge your frustrations. This isn't one of them. Lose the personal bullshit, please.

saurav jha said...

I seriously doubt that Sandeep has such classified info. If it was classified then why on earth was he given a presentation..Prasun please spare us your admiration posts..

dove said...

Vishnu Som is good. Unnithan is OK. All others are simply in the pay of various vendors, and got into defense reporting after being unable to get into the more lucrative political reporting field. Every single one of them - possible exception of Hindu defence reporting team is publishing paid news that too with idiotic statements that make no sense at all. Prasun is unfortunately top of this class. I'd anyday try to figure stuff out from bharat-rakshak than believe a work he writes.

Anonymous said...

No need to have any confusion.

K15 is a missile with BGRV (Boost glide reentry vehicle)

K4 is also a missile with BGRV (Boost glide reentry vehicle, derived from Agni II Prime)

K5 will be a SLBM (derived from Agni III/Agni V)

Mr. Ra said...

The infighting between Agni-I and Shourya should not be allowed. Lol...

DHRUV said...

Shiv bhai apke blog par ye sab bakwas kab se hone lagi!!!!!!!

keshto said...

Let's face it Aroor-ji. Your blog is good. I will admit it. Tarmak's is good. Unnithan and Vishnu Som are good and knowledgeable. The rest are gas bags

Me concur.

Shiv Aroor gets inside news at once and has contacts at high places, hence good for all of us who throng here - like bees on flowers....

One thing I noticed of Bharat Rakshak is that all moderators are south Indians or from there.

keshto said...

BARC (and not NPCIL) has been 'designing' n-reactors in India!!!

None of them!

Its AEET that does it, NPIL operates them.

Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay has already made its impressions in the world of science as one of the unique nuclear research institution where high quality research and development is taking place in the areas of nuclear reactor design and installation, fuel fabrication, chemical processing of depleted fuel and also acquired sufficient expertise in the development of radioisotope application techniques in medicine, agriculture and industries.
And above is from BARC

keshto said...

There are defence forums on the internet where you folks can let off personal steam and indulge your frustrations.

Your traffic is growing!
Its a force multiplier!
Blessing in deguise...

Anonymous said...


Archan - south indian? Congress apologist, but south indian, no

Rahulm- sounds bengali

jai-not south

rishi - some other north indian

owner of br i think is a gujju

i think southies are now outnumbered on br, lol

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To: TRISHUL-follower: These BRF-ites will go to the ends of the earth to malign folks like Sandeep Unnithan for no fault of his. That's the only reason I spoke up, as a matter of principle, in Sandeep's defence, although I've never met him nor have I spoken to him.

Anonymous said...

>>>>>>One thing I noticed of Bharat Rakshak is that all moderators are south Indians or from there.<<<<<<

The guys (BR) have lost the traffic, so thye have diluted thier rules of paid emails, now there is different rule. Most of the moderators are hostile to posts which excell thiers.

Few posters (countable) are intellectual (Shiv is the best), rest are run of the mill types who only speculate and speculate.

I only visit them for NEWS and not VIEWS (which are generic by the way).

Indiadefenseforum has captured lot of thier fugitives. So much so that many rejected candidates call them Bharat Rakshas.

Prasun is knowledgable and not that bad.

Bah Rat Ratshagger said...

It seems Prasun's comment has stirred a hornet's nest. :)

Hell hath no fury like a Bahrat Ratshagger.

Aditya G said...

I do not want to question or support any particular person or websites's credibility - it is for all to see and examine.

But I dare say that the 'defence awareness' level of Indians at large is thanks to Bharat Rakshak and its forum.

Before it existed we had to survive on tiny morsels of info that one could glean from the occassional newspaper of magazine report. These were often lacking detail or inaccurate.

Shiv Aroor - it is not correct practice to post Sandeep's (presumably personal) comments on your blog.

Anonymous said...

they all look like cigar to me

Anonymous said...


A war of words about who reports war / defence issues better.

Prusun, I read your articles in Force and I like your work. Further, I notice you seem willing to stand and address your critics & accusers and that says a lot about you in my opnion...I also think you make a great contribution to this blog aswell.

I just wanted to say that it is the work of all those who speak and raise the profile of defence in India, wheather it be Broadsword, India Strategic, Force even the Ratshagers and you Shiv etc that really matter. Though we differ in opnion and boy do we argue we all inadvertantly raise the consciousness for the betterment of the nation.

I hope the aremed services, MOD, Govt, parliment, politicians/parties of all stripes and the President is watching and listening that the country is stirring and worried about our boarders and internal security issues. The nation is demanding leadership so the nation acts strategically and jointly against our agitators and clarifies our red lines as they have to us. They should also be cognizant of the need to accumulate at a quicker and less red tape pace a national defence power for the good of the country, region, globe and peace.

I think inertia and babuism somehow got us to the beach-head the next decade we will need to work on the breakout to inspire, shape and show our neighbours that we are not the soft underbelly and weak nation you think so stop with the preasure and lets talk solutions.

You can only negotiate when you have something to negotiate so as long as we have the power, ability and will to reck havoc on our neighbours only then will they be willing to talk peace and finalise the boarder issues.

Just my 2 cents 10/4 out

Rahul S said...

I regularly read BR, at the same time I read other blogs such as Livefist, Tarmak, Broadsword etc. I take what ever good I can learn and leave the rest there. Its funny how guys are fighting over here.

@Prasun, you are knowledgeable, but at the same time you can't take criticism in your stride. I read your posts thoroughly, because they are very informative and sometimes I may not agree with some of your comments. Your comment regarding a particular deceased person as "kicked the bucket" is not only disgusting but also highly disgraceful. I hope you apologize.

mikey said...

shiv aroor blog is damn good ,no doubt about that . but do you think forums like BRF,,UK-publisher been ever exist without shiv news,tarmak news,ajay shukla ?? BRF is good ,full of dependents or sevicemen but they made their forum exclusive for paid email and this where i feel bad about them. SHIV WHAT ABOUT YOUR OWN FORUM ,YOU BEEN TALKIN ABOUT ??ITS HIGH TIME SIR

Anonymous said...

@Shiv.. i think ur appeals on some people to keep the personal bullshit aside have got lost on some people..what started as a debate on india's nuclear missile deterrence capabilities is ending up as a turf war of two forums..whichever forum one may owe allegiance to, i hope all of us care about indian defence, and the discussions around that should be welcome, and not childish discussions like " i have more knowledge than you" and the like..

mathi man said...

@ Anon 8.10 AM
I totally agree with you. These blogs are a 'must read' for our president of india, Chiefs of staff and other people related defence matters.
MBT Arjun and its eventual acceptance was largely due to some of these blogs and the readers opinions on Indian army's attitude towards arjun.

I think India should not work for peace but work to "Command " peace through very powerful and restrained Armed forces. That should be th approach rather than giving long speeches and making peace overtures to nations like Pak, China. They cannot hear any requests but they can see that long, maintenance , ready to launch missile with a kT warhead pointing towards their capital cities.


cybersurg said...

Well this whole saga appears like this to me:

Person A with no claim to fame was "original" and invented some things and posted them on an internet forum

Person B with pretensions of great fame as a defence journalist picks up the invented material and uses it without adequate acknowledgment or attribution.

Inventive non entity A gets angry and accuses person B of plagiarism.

Person B wriggles free and goes "Rah Rah Rah" when person A's "inventiveness" is shown up - an emotion that was notably absent when the original copy paste was detected.

Who cooked up stuff for an internet forum? Who copy pasted the said cooked up stuff as his own? Guess who gets a laugh from both sides? LOL

Observer said...

Link that was wrongly typed in the last post.

Anonymous said...

On Ajais blog two HAL guys took him on and Prasun was reduced to threatening them "I will talk to Baweja".


They are just small fries considering Prasun Sengupta even threatened Indian Army for displaying what he thought that as Chinese ATGM.

Anonymous said...

Man this has become a saas bahu serial.....I am just a reader, make that an indian interested in defence developments-but the "experts" on this forum are true entertainers.

Anonymous said...

India does have TSSubbu of The Hindu but TSS and Prasun represent two ends of the spectrum.

Anonymous said...

Why are you allowing this war of egos from people from BR? Do you want Livefist to become another BR? I find BR to be extremely crappy, even Pak Defense Forum is much better.
We all like to read Prasun's comments and no person can claim to know all. Even one of the biggest genius, Isaac Newton owed his success to "standing on the shoulder of giants". He does give detailed info and is a very well read and talented person. It is natural that his success and fame will breed jealousy in a field where there is so much mediocrity.
Pls stop this war of words in your blog from people from a different forum.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.49AM: A simple check with the publisher and editorial management of VAYU Aerospace magazine will reveal that I was never a contributor for VAYU, nor did anyone from VAYU ever approach me for any kind of editorial contribution. Therefore, allegations such as the ones you've levelled against me and not only baffling, but an outright lie. Once again, kindly check out the facts directly from VAYU. Cause if you don't and yet keep making baseless allegations, then it would speak very poorly of your character and persona!

ducking for cover said...

I would like to make a few observations:

1. The poster using the handle saurav jha here is not me as I use the handle DFC on the web.

2. I do not have any opinion on the disagreements that are on display in this comment space between Prasoon, BRF and Arun.

3. I do have a lot of regard for Sandeep and his work at India today.

4. I just wanted to clarify this to avoid my name being drawn in unnecessarily.

5 I will of course be mailing Sandeep separately on this issue as also Shiv Aroor here.


Saurav Jha

Anonymous said...

Prasun K. Sengupta

1. If you are so indifferent to BRF, how come you follow it so religiously (e.g. your comments 'Is that why they equate the T-50 PAK-FA as the FGFA' etc.)?

2. Deep down do you resent people from BR not taking you seriously and mocking and ridiculing you by calling you a Xeroxthief? Moreover, is there any truth in this allegation?

Anonymous said...

Prasun was it really necessary to initiate these pots shots. You could have written an article ridiculing anyone you hate on your blog rather than using Shiv's.

keshto said...

If you are so indifferent to BRF, how come you follow it so religiously

Thats not right from your above post. Many BRites could be coming to Livefist similarly, so what do you really mean by using the word religiously. Can you prove that he is a dedicated BR member-user?

Lack of appropriate words.
Bottom line, Prasun is good man.

Anonymous said...

Lack of appropriate words.
Bottom line, Prasun is good man.

How are the 2 thoughts connected?

Whether or not these are 'appropriate words' may be open to debate, but how did you conclude that Prasun is a good man owing to, according to you, lack of 'appropriate words'? What is the connection between the two? Lawhoree logic?

Anonymous said...

One negative comment from Prasun about BR has led to a torrent of abuses and insinuations from entire BR community in Livefist.

This in itself is a proof how high esteem BRites have for Prasoonji. If it was otherwise they wouldn't have given a rat's ass about what Prasoon writes in other defense Blogs. =D

Vikram said...


I had only heard about you before; now I have seen you in action. All my skepticism about you has vanished after reading your comments about B. Harry.

1. You are a professional journalist; the posters on other forums/blogs have other primary occupation; I doubt they make a penny from their efforts. So there is no surprise that you get "brochures" and "invitations to seminars".

2. Just because people withdrew their suits questioning your journalistic ethics means nothing. All it means is that you (and Force) had a lot more at stake in defending whatever was left of your professional reputations, while others had little incentive to continue wasting their time and money. Remember the others do not make a living out of this.

3. I got to know about B.Harry after reading his "Radiance of Tejas" article. Can you point me to any article of yours which integrates diverse information from a variety of sources to create a mosaic?

4. BR is an internet forum; it is not a blog. Anybody can post on BR; and unless it violates the Terms, the post will stay. Your comparison of blogs to BR forums, illustrate an inability to comprehend this fundamental difference. This illustrates that perhaps intellectually you are incapable of going beyond cutting and pasting, to write articles like B.Harry did.

Further you lack the basic judgement about what and whom to talk about and when.


Anonymous said...

just found something interesting though unrelated with the topic but still interesting to all

Mr. Ra said...

Keep the environment up, till the Agni SLBM gets tested successfully.

keshto said...

8:51 PM

When I say bottom line, prasun is good, that means, after considering all the posts (neg or pos) I made up my mind. Not only your post alone that (you assume) was relied upon.

And I could not have come to bottom line with just one silly post of yours.

Comprende amigo mio ?

Shiv Aroor said...

As a result of the volume of comments I get here every day, I clearly haven't been able to weed out a lot of objectionable ones more effectively especially on this post. will be doing that tomorrow. Like I've said before, there are excellent fora on the net for bile. You're wasting it here.