Friday, March 06, 2015

Indian Air Force Unveils Own Stand-Off Weapons Concepts

A 150-km range stand-off glide weapon and 288-km range light-weight cruise missile. These two mysterious items surfaced at Aero India last month. I'd been meaning to post about them, but decided to first get more information. They're both internal concepts by a group of IAF officers (serving and retired) for stand-off weapons that the service has been looking for for years. What stands out is just how specific the 'performance' parameters of the cruise missile and glide bomb really are. The IAF confirmed to Livefist that neither of the two items on display was part of active development activity, but that the concepts had been showcased as an indication of the kinds of design activities its internal teams are engaged in. The two models were fabricated at an IAF depot. The information on the boards suggest these are concepts with reasonably serious tactical capabilities, especially in terms of their stand-off range. More on these soon.


gopinath kothwala said...

What is an indigenous weapon?

Abhiman said...

Next we'll hear that these officers have resigned from the IAF, and tied-up with an Israeli company to develop these weapons. Turns out what they had in mind was exactly what the Israeli company's executives were working on !! Talk about a brand new Bar Mitzvah !!

After that, IAF will sign a new Joint-Venture contract with the said Israeli company to manufacture these weapons.

Meanwhile, DRDO's design was rejected by IAF for being 0.5 cms too long and 3 metres off the mark in user trials. Never mind that the Israeli one too had to be hammered to size and wouldn't even locate its target on occasions. But the IAF had already developed "synergies" with the Israelis a long time ago, what with the common brain-wave its fine, young officers had. Kibbutz "tech" has to be superior.

MoD decides to order Israeli stand-off weapons. DRDO's concept is rejected. It further directs DRDO to develop "next generation" stand-off weapons that can be launched from the edge of the stratosphere with less than 1 metre accuracy.

Anonymous said...

"Scene matching in terminal phase"...and where is the space to mount the seekers ??...

Anonymous said...

The IAF is incapable of designing anything. The mock ups were developed in a IAI work shed.No surprises really !

Anonymous said...

india replacing mmrca rafale project with more advance fgfa su-35s

Jean Luc Picard said...

Wow so much animosity towards IAF and so much blind love for DRDO/HAL. Im proud HAL is developing stuff but that does not mean that IAF should compromise on quality, just to promote indegenization and buy everything from HAL blindly.

Abhiman, the next time you cast unsubstantiated accusations on the IAF to make yourself feel good and knowledgeable online, just remember when something happens for real, These are the guys who will fly these aircraft and fire these weapons and may make the supreme sacrifice to ensure people like you have the liberty to insult their sacrifice and dedication online and that your loved ones are not bombed to bits from the air.

Hope you are feeling good about your comment labeling IAF men as unscrupulous, now.

Jai Hind.

I hope all of you will take a moment to remember all the faulty spares the HAL, OFB, MOD and GoI would buy for IAF Mig 21s, because surely you dont care about the pilots who crashed because of them.

Anonymous said...

Then the IAF complains how the DRDO on works on NG versions and how it will take a few years to adopt it. Then when a corruption scandal breaks out, it takes 7-8 years to restart the project with same parameters but the IAF still rejects the DRDO NG version because it is not NG.

Anonymous said...

I think its supposed to Su-50ES..?

Anonymous said...

@Jean Luc Picard

Very well said. Appreciate it.
Godspeed and happy landings.

Tako Nada said...

Weapons looks made is IAI workshop , nothing innovative and looks older aerial weapons of USA and Israel. But also true HAL/DRDO failed to live up expectation and IAF buys those weapons which suits best in war.

Abhiman said...

Jeann Luc Pacard, your namesake on TV wasn't so jingoistic. He punished his own crew when they did wrong.

Nobody has any disrespect for the sailor, the border jawan or the fighter pilot.

But stupid decisions are stupid decisions. And purported corruption in the armed forces isn't new, especially related to procurements. If you were knowledgeable enough, you would've understood that I satired this with the Arjun tank.

That tank has reportedly outgunned and outmatched the imported T-90 since atleast 2008-09. Govt.'s reports say its even cheaper than the T-90, and it doesn't need an AC in Thar's heat, its armour is much stronger etc. etc. Yet, yet and yet, the Army's DGMF has ordered more T-90s, which are qualitatively inferior and a tad more expensive !!

These are the same T-90s one of whose barrels exploded, killing a soldier, per a CNN-IBN report. Their electronics often conk out in the Thar's heat (in contrast, Arjun's don't, even without an AC). Their thermal sights often fail. They have MORE ground pressure than Arjun. They have a lesser top speed. Their fire-power is less accurate than Arjun's. Their armour is inferior. According to trial reports, Arjun could take a point-blank hit, but a T-90 just couldn't.

But what does Army do ? Order more T-90s ! And to fend off the DRDO, the army has asked for a so-called FMBT whilst ignoring the even superior Arjun Mk.2. And all the while sanctioning a few thousand crores to upgrade 70's vintage T-72 tanks !! What gives ?

Air Force: The less said, the better. After Kargil, it needed a Mirage-2000 MRCA. When that didn't come, it invited tenders from the world over in 2006-09. This included the Gripen, whose specs match point by point to Tejas Mk.1.

Never mind that Sweden fielded the "NG" version. As far back as 2009, the IAF had called for a Tejas Mk.2, whose specs were the same as the Gripen NG. For example, the same GE-F414 engine, similar external payload and other things.

So, why did it not put its weight behind the Tejas and expedite the Mk.1's induction, and sped up the Mk.2 ?

Even now, the Mk.1 itself outclasses the Mirage-2000 : the jet IAF originally wanted post-Kargil. The Tejas Mk.2 actually matches MRCA contender Gripen-NG and F-16 C in specifications ! Why import Rafales then ?

The argument that HAL just doesn't have production numbers is a red herring. Those making this argument very well know that if HAL has set aside resources to manufacture 108 MMRCAs under licence, then those MMRCAs can very well be the Tejas Mk. 2 !!

So there you have the production numbers and the quality too. So, why can't Tejas Mk.2 be the MMRCA ?


Let's abandon the PAK-FA. Let's channelize our efforts into AMCA

Anonymous said...

@ Jean Luc Picard

You seem to be ignoring ( or may be conveniently forgetting) the fact that there have indeed been credible evidence of IAF men (ACMs no less) indulging in corruption.

That said, the IAF cannot be slighted for wanting to fly the most glamorous toys that might be too expensive for their dads to afford. Yes, far too often the IAF has behaved like an out of control child that must have its toys no matter the expense. You know what - I just realized this might help - just send them to NAVY School.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the point of showcasing future
projects. Of the high profile projects that DRDO
has been working on for the past few decades not
one has been successfully adopted. Waste of space.

shankar subramanian said...

Then just like out date TEJAS FIGHTER IS handed over to Army...
An outdTed oboleye technology will be handed over becaz of mis communication and internal politics.......

Anonymous said...

Useless article !

Anonymous said...

I am with abhiman here, emotional statements from jlp should never cloud rational thinking. There definitely is local eqipment that may be substandard but that does not give the forces the right to paint everything as bad.

Why does India have this parade of foreign equipment on the day that is meant to celebrate her birth.

Let the arjun and lca have pride of place this august 15!.

Anonymous said...

@ Abhiman #1140. Last I remember Kargil was in 1999. What date is it today DOODE? do u see Tejas Mk 2 anywhere? no? Shame!! i wanted two hundred in 1999. Oh and BTW check it out 170 kms ROA awesome!! might just reach chandigarh from delhi :-)

Quit blaming IAF for seeing through the incompetence of DRDO and HAL. And oh by the way do u own an indica? no? maybe a videocon mobile phone? no? why?
ah...whats sauce for the goose...... ;-)

Abhiman said...

Anonymous @ 11:25, incidentally I HAVE owned a Videocon mobile in the past.

If you read properly, I said Tejas Mk.1 of a few years back, is superior to the Mirage-2000 that IAF wanted in 1999. The Mk.2 is equivalent to the Gripen-NG that took part in the MMRCA sweepstakes.

In case of the Arjun tank and Tejas, the armed forces have preferred imports over equivalent indigenous products. And in Arjun's case, the import (T-90) is shockingly inferior and more expensive than Arjun (per various govt. and media reports).

These days, a lobby within India is clamouring to import the Russian PAK-FA under the guise of a "jointly-developed" FGFA.

Even at Bharat Rakshak fora, a well known Russo-phile is batting for PAK-FA. He slyly suggests that PAK-FA shall play the role of the F-22, whereas the AMCA shall play the role of a CAS fighter a-la F-35. The same person has no qualms about cancelling the Rafale if need be, but vigorously warns of doom if the PAK-FA deal isn't signed and doesn't arrive by 2020.

With compatriots like these, who needs enemies ?

Let's abandon the PAK-FA. Let's channelize our efforts into AMCA.

Jean Luc Picard said...

@Abhiman - I dont want to engage in an online debate but just to make my point.

All Im trying to say is dont start maligning the Armed Forces by accusing them of corruption or unscrupulous behavior without any credible proof.

Ever served in the Airforce even for a Single day ?

As for the comments which you have made about Arjun and Tejas and even AMCA

Briefly :
1. Arjun has been inducted in the Army. I think about 124 of the Mk1. It is still over the weight restriction of the Army by a large margin. Army has suggested improvements and thats what is Mk2.
Also, Arjun does not yet have Tube launched missile firing capability yet. I dont know about the with out A/C stuff , do you have a source ?

2. Tejas Mk 1 and Mk 2 are "Light" Combat Aircraft. They are meant for An "Air Defence" role. They will be scramble fighters in case of enemy air attack. Hence, the combat Radius is less, but are easier to use so young pilots can be assigned such a role, they also have a lesser payload.

MMRCA- is a "medium" class Multi Role air craft which will do every thing from Air to Air and Air to Ground Operations. Hence they will be heavier and will be needed to carry more ordnance.

They are NOT the same and please never ever again suggest LCA or Sukhoi 30 MKI to be a replacement for them. They may be able to do the same task but are not specialists in them. Each class of aircraft has a specialty.

Tejas Mk1 is not what the IAF wants in an LCA. Mk2 is what is requested by IAF as an LCA, as part of FOC.

3. PAK-FA - This is a Russian Fighter its not Indian. The Indian Program is called FGFA which is based on but will be different from PAK-FA. Furthermore, FGFA is a replacement for the Sukhoi 30MKI, when they get old and outdated.

AMCA - is a Medium Combat Aircraft which is going to be a replacement of ..... ? You guessed it - the MMRCA when it gets old and out dated.

First gain some basic knowledge, then develop some respect and sense of gratitude and finally have faith in the people who have been protecting the nation before you were born and after you will pass away.

Lastly, I humbly request you to not become ONE MORE arm chair expert and pass sweeping comments on the integrity of Armed Forces Members, because we already have such useless people in our nation more than what are necessary.

@All DRDO Fanatics - DRDO is doing a better Job but it simply needs to do better. If our products are good enough and cheap for Indian Armed Forces, im sure it must be reflecting on exports as well.... No ?

Abhiman said...

Shri. Jean Luc Packard, do spare us your preaches. Unwittingly, you've given a good demonstration already with your utter lack of knowledge and chronology of events gone past.

Since the past few years, I've said on Livefist and on Broadsword, how the so-called "FGFA" will have next to nil contribution from India (except cash, of course). And this is from publicly available news reports, including Livefist.

Besides, India has all but abandoned the "FGFA" and is mulling purchasing the single-seat PAK-FA wholesale. 144 units, if I remember correctly. I hope this deal does not go through. That money is better spent on the AMCA.

The Tejas is no longer an "LCA". Its specifications compare point by point with the Gripen C/D, and exceed the Mirage-2000, which the IAF originally wanted. And I don't say this. Present and past IAF test pilots and officers have, in interviews.

The Tejas can very well replace the ENTIRE MiG series from MiG-21 through MiG-29 in the IAF (barring the MiG-25 for reconnaissance).

Also, no Air Force has the so-called "Light-Medium-Heavy" mix. The USAF has the F-15 for deep strike, and the F-16 for multi-role / CAS. The counterparts in Russia are the Su-27 / 30 for deep strike and MiG-29. In China, we have the Su-27 and Su-30 MKK for deep strike and J-10 as the multirole CAS fighter (they're rapidly phasing out their old Soviet wares).

Only in India do we have an "MMRCA" needlessly wedged between the Tejas and the Su-30 MKI. Why ? Maybe to justify the MMRCA purchase ?

About Arjun: Despite all the flaws of the T-90 that were reported in the trials and subsequently too, the Army also tried to use the fig-leaf of Arjun's weight to divert attention from induction (just as the Air Force asked for a Tejas Mk.2 version. Modus Operandi here ?). When its ground pressure is reportedly lower than the T-90, how does weight matter ? Only God knows.

Answer one question: Despite the T-90's glaring flaws, you still think a tube-launcher overcomes the T-90's shortcomings ? Had the situation been the other way round, you would've claimed the T-90's lack of a tube-launcher is out-weighed by its superiority in 10 other areas !! Shows your clear bias.

The Army should've ordered at least a 1,000 Arjun Mk.1's instead of the token 124 it has ordered. Instead, it wants to spend millions on upgrading its vintage T-72 tanks !

About T-90's air-conditioning woes from ToI(let):

About T-90 vs. Arjun in general:

Anonymous said...

@Jean Luc Picard 1:25 AM

Ditto Sir..Agree, Agree, Agree..
Also HAL/DRDO Dhruvs are grounded by their only export customer...Sigh!! @ Abhimaan 10:57 The lca BETTER THAN m2k ??...sigh!! cost greater, range 1/3rd with 1/3rd load, mano...75%( i am being kind here!!) HOW BETTER ? Truly Indigenous content? maybe 20%, A fighter minus radar, engine, weapons (all foreign)which cant reach anywhere, carry any worthwhile load and cant manoevre like a Mirage 2000!! Keep indigenising...!! Smell the coffee son!

Anonymous said...

Mr abhiman. Allegations you have raised are very serious. I believe you realise it. If you are s speculating anything, please give adequate facts and figures to prove it along with it.

bow said...

Abhiman you very much sound like a DRDO vendor here. And that too with improper and incorrect knowledge.

Anonymous said...

@Jean luc packard.. U said it pal..Totally agree
Shamefull that the iaf is designing PGMs n missiles in short spans .. This is actually a big point made by the iaf.. That if u have diligence n work ethics n the occasional danda then anything is possible.
Hal /drdo stand exposed n r now willing to do anything to prevent major upsets in their cosy lifestyles.. Welcome to the real world..long have u hidden urselves from repercussion..time to face the thunder..
Yaar dont reply to this abhiman fellow.. He is terribly misinformed n a resident of some alternate universe where time space n the enemy do exactly as he says .. Loll

Hanonymous said...

Looks crude and very unbalanced. IMHO, get these IAF guys a nation wide tour of Indian conditions. Get them out of their spanky airforce bases.

Anonymous said...

@ Hanonymous
What exactly are Indian conditions, which IAF doeant know and you do?

What is "spanky" does it have anything to do with what your ass needs? :-) LoL

Anonymous said...

@ Hanonymous 3:24
Humble? i think not..

it translates to " I M Highly Offensive" or Obdurate, or Olfactorily Offensive

Anonymous said...

WTF is Spanky?

" Crude and Unbalanced????" is that a comment or criticism? or attempted witticism? :-)

Who is this c**t?

Tru said...

This is exactly what exasperates any technologically competent people when they meet with IAF and its planet sized ego filled jocks and BRD people. Two crude prototypes, wasting valuable carbon fiber which could have been used for actual airframe repairs. For what? Aerodynamically unbalanced depictions with zero sensors and lofty claims - GPS/INS (where pray tell are the IAFs capabilities there) or even better scene matching.. one can only shake their head at these guys..

ronin said...

I think its commendable that serving IAF officers took the initiative to develop these weapons. They are anything but crude. Remember how precise the specifications about them in point is the stand off weapon we dont have any 150 km range stand off weapon... as DRDO is yet to provide the weapons developed by the said officials i beleive this is a superb thing.

Hope we have more people like them who take the initiative rather than doing nothing or depending only on DRDO or exorbitant imports.

Just hope DRDO works with them to come up with an operational proto type.