Thursday, October 08, 2015

IAF To Flight-Test 'In-House' Stand-Off Glide Weapon This Month

In March this year, I'd written about this never before set of three weapons shortly after they were first unveiled at the Aero India show in Bengaluru. The brainchild of the IAF's Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal S.B. Deo, these weapons made their second appearance today at the IAF chief's Air Force Day reception.

The weapons now have names. The Waghnakh, an unpowered stand-off glide weapon, which has been through carriage (see arrow pointing to photo inset) and compatibility trials on a Su-30MKI will be test-dropped from the aircraft this month, Air Marshal Deo told Livefist today. Deo has developed the weapons in a private workshop that he receives support for from the air force. The weapons have so far remained concepts given that they have no official sanction and aren't routed through the established DRDO-DPSU route to service entry. However, Air Marshal Deo and DRDO chief Selvin Christopher today not only shared a warm hug, but also agreed to "work together" -- this could mean the DRDO getting involved and helping Air Marshal Deo get the weapons going as inductable platforms.

The second weapon is the Varunastra long-range anti-shipping missile (not to be confused with the identically named heavy weight torpedo under development by the DRDO), a weapon powered by a mini-engine. Specifications below:

And finally, the Vel light weight cruise missile, again for deployment from a Su-30MKI. All three weapons are built with low RCS construction and will sport low observable paint, says Air Marshal Deo.
The three weapons received a lot of high-profile interest, with the Defence Secretary receiving an extended briefing on the family of weapons. Their unusual development path, fully away from the traditional route has evoked justifiable interest. The question is -- will these weapons ever see operational service?


Jayanta Banerjee said...

Rather Than modifying The Su-30MKI AIRFRAME in order to carry these weapons , It would be more prudent to Get hold of Su-34 Fullbacks , now that they are battle tested in syria , there can never be doubts about it's air-to-surface capabilities

Anonymous said...

What about Tejas ? If and when integrated such a weapon will transform the aircraft into a very potent ground attack platform too.

Rohit said...

Two back to back articles!! Good to see you are back in action. Keep it up.

Tako Nada said...

Old concept but if cost effective and equally destructive then go for it. May be need more high tech features so DRDO and reputed private players should join in hands for development. No wonder if Israelis have hand in it.

Anonymous said...

Is it so simple to develop such stuff ?

capital P said...

kudos to sb deo...way to go

Govind M said...

That was one hell of a story, the kind that will make you stop laughing only after your trousers have fallen off!
These full-scale models have all been fabricated by only one person in his garage: the IAF’s current Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal S B Deo. He himself confirmed this to me. It’s like me fabricating the body of a car without factoring in items like the weight & volume of its engine, gearbox, cooling element, tyre-rim diameter, transmission, etc etc. And if the Air Marshal is trying to pull off cheap publicity stunts like these to secure R & D funds from any party so that his post-retirement life may be a smooth-sail, then it is indeed deplorable.What is even more inexcusable is that these full-scale models were displayed at the IAF’s booth during Aero India 2015, & of all places, at the IAF CAS’ official residence on October 8 for the evening banquet!!!
Before the airframe of any PGM of any type is physically built, it first has to be designed & its CFD analysis has to be carried out. Its warhead section, navigation section & propulsion section all have to be designed in detail & only then will the physical dimensions of the PGM become apparent. Then a scale-model is built for wind-tunnel tests. Then, depending on whether or not the results from tests are successful, airframefabrication will begin after its design has been frozen. NOW, were all these stages negotiated/passed before the fabrication of thesefull-scale models? The answer is a resounding NO.
Therefore, will such fan-boy models ever become fully functional PGMs? NO. Has the IAF spent even a single paisa for fabricating these models? NO. Has anyone in this world ever designed the airframe of a PGM first & then tried to design its internal sub-systems for perfect fitment? NO. Will any sane individual or design authority ever adopt such a methodology to develop PGMs? NEVER.
Consequently, by any stretch of imagination, will any of these PGMs as presently designed be worthwhile propositions? Absolutely NO, unless Air Marshal S B Deo is ableto come up with a parallel set of laws of physics to challenge & disprove all the existing laws of physics that we’ve all learnt in school. So to all those jingos who wanna believe all this PGM shit to be true, beware...for if they wanna go ahead & lap it up all, then they will not only be called upon to defy all that they've learnt in school about physical science, but will also forever be condemned as those being afflicted with terminal stupidity.
Therefore, zillions of brickbats to the deserving journalist who broke this story & tried his level-best to make it all sound like the real thing!(its u shiv). In fact,you have finally proven that you excel only in practicing yellow journalism. Your reportage is alsoliving proof of the fact that ‘assumption is always the mother of all fuck-ups’.

Anonymous said...

This should be encouraged.

1. This allows DRDO to understand IAF's thinking operationaly, instead of arguements in a GSQR.

2. Brings in a understanding within IAF, R&D is not a easy task. They will undestand what DRDO has to go through when creating systems for IAF. Brings in a sense of ownership.

3. Untimately there might be a joing IAF- DRDO research team.

Dark shadow said...

Looks like dummy object without any real machine inside. So easy to develop such high end product without proper financing? Israeli imprints are there.

Anonymous said...

Great weapons!! India is making great strides in missiles. This is extremely appropriate in Indian context. Congratulations to the AVM for leading this team. The future of war is about unmanned and long range weapons. India should work on becoming a leading designer of quality missiles. This will help bypass the gap in traditional weapons technology.

Anonymous said...

IAF expects only worlds best equipment. Shiv, can you do a comparison of this equipment with one of the worlds best equipment. If this equipment is not as good as the worlds best equipmentm, then call it by the names that have been used for the DRDO products. Anyway, are there GSQR for this type of equipment ?

Sudip Das said...

if funds are made available , and these systems can be operationalized in the next five years with help from pvt sectot , then it is worth trying it . what Air Marshall S B Deo has done is simply fine tuned concepts which needs to be researched and production variants developed.

There is a strong lobby within the country which opposes any good or bad attempt of developing indigineous technology, so they will be wailing at the height of their voice.

Lastly you story is not yellow journalism as mentioned by some so called jack of all, you have a reputation and you do ot need a certification from any one .

Anonymous said...

when DRDO has already developed a 100 kms rangd glide bomb of 1000kg....why we need to reinvent the wheel get another glide bomb

Anonymous said...

Where is the update mate? The month has passed.
Has the IAF too gone the way of the ..gasp... DRDO?