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Inside this issue:

JF-17 and Lca Tejas: Difference in approach

Making of Super Tejas (MK-2)

Stealth and Tejas


AESA (Aisa) Radar Aur Kaha Milega!!!


Tejas not suffering delays due to technical deficiency India has rejected an Israeli proposal to jointly develop a new version of the Heron UAV AMCA Project heading LCA Direction??


Vinayak Shetty Ajay Naik Prasad Chawan Jensil Fernandes Adhir Nailk
Email Managing Editor at


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JF-17 and Lca Tejas: Difference in approach


With 40 JF-17 aircrafts already inducted into Pakistan air force and Zero Tejas inducted in IAF, at least in papers JF17 seems to be a successful project, but it is also clear that approach taken by IAF and PAF on LCA and JF-17 have been completely opposite to each other in terms of participation and acceptance levels of the aircraft. For Pakistani air force JF-17 will be replacing aging A-5C, Mirage-III, Mirage-V, and F-7P/PG by 2015 and JF-17 is slated to become the backbone of Pakistan Airforce (PAF), JF-17 will also will be providing PAF next Gen technology, But for IAF Lca will not be bringing any new technology which it does not possess and will not be backbone or even lead secondary aircraft in future ,role of JF-17 and Tejas to their respected air force are different and also shows different approach taken by them . PAF inducted JF-17 when it was capable only to carry PL-5EII WVR air to air missiles and fuel tanks over the time BVR missiles and other weapons were added to the aircraft; it took two years for PAF and Pakistani Aeronautical establishment to bring it to IOC standards. PAF already has Two Squadrons of JF-17 which are mostly used for carrying out such tests and for pilot conversion training. IAF on other hand only agreed to accept 20 IOC-2 standard LCA and 20 more of FOC standards , while whole 40 JF17 inducted by PAF are of IOC standards , this clearly shows IAF hesitance in inducting more LCA at its Initial stage , while PAF inducted larger number of JF-17 aircrafts with their IOC limitations . Both air forces have plans to induct close to 250 of such aircrafts in their fleet and approach taken by PAF will lead them to higher induction rate and better production line. JF-17 has been developed in Blocks, first 40 aircraft which has already been delivered to PAF are of Block- I stage and first Block II aircraft will likely be ready by end of this year or early next year and will come with "enhanced features" like IFR, New ECM/data link, infra-red search and track (IRST) system and new weapons integration, PAF also has agreed to stick with Russian built Klimov RD-93 engines .Block II will incorporate features which PAF could not integrate with Block-I aircrafts leading to limited combat capabilities of JF-17 , Initial plans of Block-II aircrafts were to equip it with new WS-13 turbofan Chinese engine delivering higher thrust then current Russian engines and also equip it with an AESA radar , but now Block-III has been planned which will incorporate this features and plans are to have first aircraft ready by 2016 , Block-III will have reduced RCS and will feature twin seat variant and likely to have some stealth elements in the airframe .

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While Tejas MK-2 which cannot be considered has another block variant, since MK-2 will feature new higher thrust engine, IFR, new mission computers, higher fuel and weapons carrying capacity and will also have different dimensions compared to Tejas MK-1 and first flight of Tejas MK-2 is expected by end of 2014 or early 2015, while FOC of Tejas MK-1 has been planned in 2014. Without any induction of MK-1 aircrafts, IAF forced development of MK-2 which has lead to delays and shift in focus for development of two variants of Tejas. PAF inducted JF-17 when it had not matured and suffered from technical deficiencies but brought standard of aircrafts in blocks to make it combat capable. If IAF had agreed to more Tejas MK-1 in IOC standards, it could have helped starting and stabilizing production line for the aircraft. With limited orders for Tejas MK-1, aircrafts will be produced at slower rate and even Induction will be at much slower rate, while PAF with a stable production line will induct next 20 JF-17 of Block-II standard next year bringing total to 62 aircrafts while Tejas MK-1 handed over to IAF will only stand at 4.

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Making of Super Tejas (MK-2)

According to the sources close to, ADA and HAL will start working on the first airframe of Tejas MK-2 by end of this year and first flight of Tejas MK-2 is expected by early 2015 and enters service with IAF by 2018. Tejas MK-2 will be based on Tejas MK-1, But MK-2 will be larger, able to carry more fuel and weapons payload carry more powerful GE-F414-INS6 engines and technologically will be more advanced. Tejas MK-2 was born when Indian navy wanted a carrier fighter aircraft based on Tejas MK-1 air force variant, Navy wanted more powerful engines to care out carrier take off, Navy also wanted changes in Airframe for carrier role, and IAF sensing an opportunity that a new and better variant of Tejas can be developed based on Indian navy requirements, was quick to grab this opportunity and pressed for development of new variant, even when Tejas MK-1 was able to fulfil ASR of IAF. Tejas MK-2 will have improved avionics, Upgrade of Flight Control Computers, in flight refueling retractable probe, On board oxygen generation system and a new Electronic Warfare Suite , to avoid delays to the program , Earlier Tejas Prototype ( PV-1) has been assigned with the MK-2 program and will act has the test bed for MK-2 program. MK-2 will also get new improved pilot friendly all glass cockpits which will have larger and better screens to reduce pilot fatigue; India has already placed orders with General Electric (GE) for 99 F414-GE-INS6 engines which will produce more thrust than previous F404 engines which power Tejas MK-1. F414-GE-INS6 engines feature a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system. Development of AESA radar has already begun but will be integrated with Tejas MK-2 when it is fully certified; leading to speculate that first Block of MK-2 will come with current MMR radar which is already integrated in Tejas MK-1.

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Stealth and Tejas


Given its small size anyway, its virtually invisible to adversary fighter; were how a Tejas Test pilot described Tejas RCS signature. Use of carbon fibre gives Tejas natural stealth characteristics and advantage of low operating costs, use of carbon fibre composites (CFC) gives Tejas 45 percent content by weight and 90 per cent of its surface is made of carbon fibres, Carbon fibre doesnt make aircraft stealthily but reflection of radar beams by CFC is much less when compared to metallic components in the aircrafts but CFC with Radar-absorbent material coating and given the smaller size of aircraft gives Tejas low radar signature or stealth characteristics . Expert believe that RCS of Tejas is three times smaller than a Mirage-2000, but it might be speculation since official RCS figure of Tejas has never been made available in public domain, CFC have other advantages they don't deteriorate with age nor corrode due weather elements, CFC also gives Tejas better operational empty weight giving Tejas better thrust to weight ratio when compared with other aircrafts with similar engines. CFC does have their own disadvantages, there are expensive to make but India has already invested heavily in development of CFC making it among the best in CFC technology in the world. Sensing an opportunity and possibility of further reduction in radar signature of Tejas, DRDO has put towed with idea of development of Tejas MK-3 with better improvements and lowering its radar signatures, DRDO plans to use up to 70 percent of CFC in Tejas MK-3 up from 45 percent currently used in Tejas MK-1. DRDO also plans to focus on reducing infrared signature of the aircraft by reducing exhaust temperatures from the engine, to make Tejas MK-3 near Stealth aircraft DRDO also plans to improve fuselage and improve engine ducts to achieve low radar signature. Research work carried out on AMCA will help in development of Tejas MK-3 and MK-3 will also benefit in avionics development which according to DRDO will borrow heavily from AMCA. Two current projects on Stealth front headed by DRDO are development of Stealth aircraft AMCA and development of unmanned combat aircraft Aura, MK3 likely will be test bed for such development and technology developed will benefit all three projects in long term in future.

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AESA (Aisa) Radar Aur Kaha Milega!!!


AESA (Aisa) Radar Aur Kaha Milega!!! This roughly translates into Where will we get such (AESA) Radar was the words of a IAF official who described how important it is for IAF to acquire French Rafale and how crucial Aesa Radar of Rafale is for IAFs plans and it effect on battle field management . Thales RBE2/AA AESA lightweight radar equipped first Dassault Rafale C was handed over to French forces last October, making end to American dominance in AESA radar technology, Thales RBE2/AA AESA is first Matured European AESA radar and also made Dassault Rafale first fighter aircraft from Europe to come with production AESA radar version. IAF is already upgrading its Mirage-2000s to 2000-5 MKII standards which will come with host of improvements in avionics and weapons package, Mirages will also come with stealthier Thales RDY-2 all weather synthetic aperture radar with moving target indicator capability which vastly improves Mirages air to ground capability, Thales RBE2/ AA AESA Radar in Rafale will be able to Exchange tactical data with Mirages Thales RDY -2 radar which will provide Mirage benefit of Better Tactical Picture of the Aerial operations provided by the Rafale fitted with RBE2/AA AESA Radar . Radar which is a Plug and Play enables it to add other weapons package to the aircraft in future, Rafale is also certified to carry Next generation long range BVR missile Meteor, along with Exocet AM39 Block-2 anti-ship missiles, Radar also enables India to integrate DRDO developed Astra BVR in Rafale in near future, DRDO is also developing smaller BrahMos missiles which later will be integrated with Rafale and Mig-29UPG. Radar will also give Rafale extended range of capabilities and improved resistance to jamming, radar also boosts of capabilities to detect enemy aircrafts or surface targets, while itself remaining unobserved, Spectra ECM suite along with RBE2/AA AESA Radar Provides Rafale unique advantages which aircraft can boost of. RBE2 offers increased detection range, improved reliability, reduced maintenance demands (no major maintenance is required on the active array for 10 years) and Waveform agility for high-resolution synthetic aperture (SAR) imagery. MMRCA negotiations with French have cropped up serious differences with Indian Defence Ministry over responsibility of quality and timely delivery of all the 126 aircraft, while French term it practically not feasible since they will be manufacturing only first 18 aircraft and rest will be manufactured by HAL in India . French firm also does not want to be held responsible for the delays in the delivery of the aircraft to be manufactured by the HAL; both are currently working on Middle path to avoid collapse of the negotiations and are hopeful that agreement between both will be reached soon.

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Tejas not suffering delays due to technical deficiency


Recent media reports has been claiming technical deficiency of Tejas, sources close to and some close to the program have informed that Tejas program is not suffering from technical deficiency has reported, other sources somewhat confirmed that Go slow approach has been adopted on AMCA case but work is moving ahead by small group of scientist has most of focus is still on achieving IOC-2 and to get Tejas MK-II in air by 2015. Claims of Tejas requiring hours or days of technical checks after each flight was also dismissed by our sources. It has to happen when TD-1 and TD-2 has to fly but not now claimed a source, same aircrafts are available for flights even on same day if they are any schedule test flights . Aircrafts have successfully operated outside HAL complex (Bangalore) many times for various trials with minimum Ground crew said same source. Another source claimed Tejas is suffering delays due to inexperience of ADA and HAL in getting things done in time frame and its failure to move production of various components from lab to production house. But there is no denying that HAL is also guilty for not able to put the aircraft in production due to its own deficiency and it lack of trained manpower It takes HAL 9 to 12 months to assemble and make one Tejas aircraft airworthy, HAL is trying to bring it down immediately to 3 months and by 2015 HAL plans to cut it to 1.5 months for each aircraft. IAF have ordered 40 Tejas MK-1, first 20 Tejas MK-1 will be based on IOC-2 Configuration and next batch will be based on Tejas MK-1 FOC configuration, ADA will be putting together Tejas MK-2 for its first flight by early 2015. In next Two or three years Tejas program has to achieve IOC-2, FOC for Tejas MK-1 and first flight of Tejas MK-2 and its production and certification , Refocus will also be back on testing of Naval Tejas . This has lead to Go slow approach on AMCA. And first flight of AMCA will also suffer delays due to this and first flight mostly likely will happen in 2020 or later as per sources.

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India has rejected an Israeli proposal to jointly develop a new version of the Heron UAV

According to Israeli News portal Globes [online] , India has recently rejected Israeli proposal to jointly develop a new version of the Heron UAV . The Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian air force and special forces all operate versions of the Heron UAV. Indian forces currently operates more than 60 Heron UAV and purchase of more Heron UAV are planned for Indian Navy . Rejection of israeli proposal of the joint UAV project reflects new thinking in India's Ministry of Defense to focus on current DRDO projects and spend money on local developments . DRDO currently is working on Two unarmed UAV project , one been Rustom -1 which will be a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class UAV which will exceed performance of IAI Built Searcher II UAV which Indian armed forces also operate and Second project been Rustom-2 which will be high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) class UAV , and plans are there to also develop armed variant of Rustom-2 . Rustom-1 UAV has already carried out first phase of test flights successfully and developers are working on Integration of payload in UAV and soon will be starting second phase of UAV test flights , while first flight of Rustom -1 should take by end of this year or early next year and DRDO is working on the first prototype which should be ready soon . Reports also hints that project might have been rejected by Ministry of Defence rather than DRDO , who were keen in such joint venture . Indian navy is also looking for purchase of Maritime HALE UAV from foreign vendors for coastal and high sea surveillance, Israeli company Elbit Systems is offering Hermes 900 MP Maritime HALE UAV for Indian Naval requirements . Israeli sources have told new portal that IAI is looking to re-engage with Indian Partners and IAI is prepared to invest more time and hopes for success.

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AMCA Project heading LCA Direction??


In recently concluded Aero India 2013, it has emerged that ADA and other DRDO labs are working on final configuration of AMCA which has reached the final stages of its design and ADA in fact showcased a 1:8 model of the AMCA, revealing some of its capabilities via super-graphics. The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) which is spearheading the AMCA mission is already promising fighter aircraft studded with gen next technologies. AMCA will be a multi -role fighter, which will also have adequate strike capability with emphasis on critical opening day missions like SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense), DEAD (Destruction of Enemy Air Defense) and precision strike. But Question raised by critics of the project is why similar Lca like approach to the AMCA Project? , Indian Air Force issued the Air Staff requirements (ASR) for the AMCA only in April 2010, prior to that ADA was working on the project with very small team, AMCA which ADA was planning in past and AMCA which Indian air force wants in Air Staff requirements (ASR) for the AMCA are totally different, AMCA has evolved from a Semi- stealth Multirole aircraft to a true 5th generation fighter which Indian air force wants. But it seems ADA and other DRDO labs are refusing to learn from their past mistakes which it committed on Lca Project, which is still struggling to reach its Final operational clearance after suffering multiple delays and cost overruns, approach for developing AMCA seems to be in lines with Lca. Two TD AMCA and then 5 prototypes are planned and first flight has been planned in 2020 and first TD aircraft will be rolled out in next 5 years , but the questions remains are we trusting ADA and DRDO to deliver on critical next generation technologies which they have failed to deliver for lca ?? , Lca is still powered by an American engine and has Indo-Israeli radar, Kaveri engine development has already been delinked from Lca project but development of its successors to power AMCA is still in papers, after years of negotiation with French engine maker Snecma to develop a new engine has failed to yield any result and now plans are to make it a open tender asking other engine manufacturers to participate in a joint venture.

It is unlikely that even AMCA Prototypes (Not TD) will be powered by Indigenous or Jv Jet engine post 2020 , HAL on other hand with 3rd Generation production tools is already suffering to manufacture 4th generation Fighter aircraft Lca. Unless major revamping of HAL Production setup takes place and DRDO comes up with better Project management skills to avoid same delays which it likely will face with AMCA project.

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DRDO should take outside help to get the project in air has fast has possible, AMCA will be replacing large chunk of Strike aircrafts post 2020, that includes whole fleet of Jaguars and Mig-27, First prototype of Pak-Fa will arrive in India in late 2014, which will enable Indian scientist to have a look into 5th gen aircraft technology. Since India is investing heavily in development of Indian variant of FGFA based on PAK -FA, DRDO should borrow heavily from this project to maintain pace of the AMCA project and also to avoid wastage of resources. Avionics and radar of FGFA can be used in AMCA instead of funding parallel developments of avionics only for AMCA.

LCA Project has already taught us our line of expertise's in aircraft technologies, ADA and DRDO has to be realistic and development of technologies should happen where our expertise's lies in aircraft technology, instead of inventing everything in AMCA Project, we have to mate current technologies with available technologies to deliver the project in time. Selection of a new engine or even development of new engine should take place before first TD of AMCA had taken its first flight to avoid same mistakes which were committed in LCA for its engine.

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IAF to delay retirements of Mig-21 by two years

After having served for half a century as the mainstay Indian combat aircraft, the much maligned MiG 21 fighters may get yet another life extension due to delays in modernization programmes of the Indian Air Force. The IAF, which celebrated 50 years of the MiG 21 in its service with a book release function by Air Chief N A K Browne, has said that 264 fighters continue to remain in service and may even be part of the active fleet till 2018-19. This is a two-year extension in service of the fighters upgraded several times that were scheduled to retire by 2017, as per Defence Ministry statements. The extension of two years, at a time when the focus has returned on their poor safety record due to a large number of accidents, will most likely not be for the entire MiG 21 fleet, but the Bison variant. The MiG 21 fleet was to be originally replaced by the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), but with the indigenous fighter still nowhere close to reaching full operational capabilities, the IAF had opted for a medium combat aircraft contest that has been won by Rafale. However, with a contract yet to be signed, it may take at least four years for the first of the new fighters to come in. Speaking at a function after releasing the book "First to the Last: 50 years of MiG -215 with the IAF" by Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar (retd) and Pushpinder Singh, Air Chief Browne said the MiG 21 fleet still forms a major chunk of the IAF fighter strength. He pointed out that out of the 874 aircraft ordered by the IAF, 264 are still flying and has always had an 'aggressive edge'. Several serving and retired IAF personnel who have flow the fighters over the last 50 years were present at the function that took place here. Also present were Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin and Sergey Korotkov, Director General RAC (MiG), who lead a team of officials from the aircraft manufacturer.

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Tejas grounds Medium Combat Aircraft project

Troubles in Indias ambitious Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project has inflicted gaping wounds where it would hurt the Indian Air Force (IAF) the mostthe future plans for an Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has put on hold the AMCA project that is being spearheaded by Defence Research and Development Organisations (DRDO) Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). The reason for the sudden decision to send the AMCA project which began in right earnest in 2006 as the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) development in 2006to cold storage is to help ADA to focus all its energies to first work on completing the much-delayed LCA project. The AMCA has been put on hold for the moment. This decision was taken recently to let the ADA focus on the LCA project, top Defence Ministry sources told The Sunday Standard. The AMCA project, for which the IAF provided the final Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQR) in April 2010, may be taken up at a later date, sources said. But that will still be far away in the future. India will buy Rafale planes from the French Dassault Aviation as part of its 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA); in the tender there is a provision to buy another 63 as a follow-on order. That apart, India is working on the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) in collaboration with Russia. With the final agreement on the design and development of the FGFA three months away, India will get at least 140 FGFAs for induction by 2027. Considering that most of the capabilities of AMCA will be covered by the MMRCA and FGFA planes, the revival of the AMCA will be a well thought-out one, sources said. The AMCAs envisaged features include stealth, multi-role operations, adequate precision strike capabilities, including critical first-day missions such as Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) and Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD). The much-touted Tejas has taken 30 years already, at an escalated project cost of Rs 5,489 crore. Since the LCA project was sanctioned in 1983 at a cost of Rs 560 crore, the time overrun has resulted in a 10-fold increase in the project cost. The plane is yet to get even its Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) so that the IAF could take the plane for a spin. But sources pointed out that the LCA still lacks certain critical capabilities, including a reliable radar, and is deficient in at least 100 technical parameters. The plane cannot fly on its own. It needs a lifeline in the form of support and monitoring of its systems from the ground by technicians, they said.

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The LCA, in fact, gave creditable flying displays during the AeroIndia show in Yelahanka in Bangalore in February this year, and followed it up with weapons firing to hit both ground and aerial targets during the Iron Fist fire power display by the IAF in the Rajasthans Pokhran ranges, again in February this year. The common man thinks the plane is doing fine, its engine sounds great and the manoeuvres are perfect. But those flying and weapons firing displays are done with ground monitoring and support. The plane is still not ready to flying on its own, sources stressed. Their guess is the LCA may not meet its schedule of obtaining the IOC before July this year and it could take till December this year or early next year before it is ready. To give an example of LCAs troubles, the sources noted that LCA was grounded for three months between September and December 2012 following problems with its landing gear. Normally, a combat plane is ready for its next sortie following a 30 -minute attention from ground service personnel soon after it has returned from a mission. In the case of LCA, after a single sortie of about an hour or so, it needs three days of servicing before it can go for its next sortie, they said. At present, the IAF has placed an order for 40 LCAs Mk1 to raise two squadrons by 2016-17 with HAL which is the nodal agency for production of Tejas. But these will be delivered with the American General Electric F404 engines which provide only 80 Kilo Newton power. Later, 80 more LCAs of its Mk2 version will be ordered for raising four more squadrons. The LCA Mk2 will be powered by the GE F414 engines that provide a 90 Kilo Newton thrust.

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Indian Air Force Improves Poor Safety Record

The Indian Air Force (IAF) recorded its lowest accident rate in 36 years in the year ending March 31. The introduction of upgraded Western aircraft; quality audits of maintenance practices; increased use of simulators; and voluntary reporting of unsafe acts have contributed to the improved record, a senior official said at a recent media briefing.

Of the five aircraft that crashed in the last 12 months, three of the losses were attributed to equipment malfunctions: a bomb fu on an Su-30; a fan blade failed in the recently overhauled engine of a MiG-27; and a MiG-21 suffered a pump failure. Human er the crash of a Jaguar fighter and a Chetak (AlouetteIII) helicopter.

Over the previous four years, 45 aircraft crashed. According to statistics released to the Indian parliament on March 21, the service was losing 16 to 18 aircraftthe equivalent of one fighter squadronevery two years. The IAF operates 27 different types of aircraft, including eight types of helicopter, six fighter models, 10 transport and three trainer types, all with specific maintenance features and with differing degrees of redundancy. In 2011 a safety committee reported that the high accident rate was caused mainly by technical defects pertaining to old technology and a lack of genuine spare parts. Prompt delivery of parts has been a major issue with the legacy Russian fighters, leading to the cannibalization of aircraft for parts. The defense minister recently released a note to Hindustan Aeronautics to speed up processing for tenders for spares, a senior air force official told AIN. A recent ruling ensures that all new requests for proposals will include life-cycle costs and a clause for post-delivery maintenance. The first contract in which this clause has been incorporated is the one for 75 PilatusPC-7 Mk II basic trainers.

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Another trial of nuke-tipped Agni V next month

India is readying for the second developmental trial of 5,000-km range nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-V which put the country in the elite club of six nations including the US, the UK, China, France and Russia, having intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities. Defence sources on Tuesday said the missile, considered as a game-changer, had been planned to be test-fired from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast any time in the third week of May. A successful launch of the missile would be another step forward towards its induction in the armed forces, possibly in 2015, though it has to undergo two more trials in the next couple of years. The missile was first tested successfully on April 19 last year. While the preparation for the second test has already begun, officials are busy fixing the schedule and logistic issues since the missile has to traverse across the Indian Ocean. Though the Union Cabinet has already given a go-ahead for the mission, the exact date of firing has not been fixed yet, said a source. As the missile has the striking capabilities close to intercontinental range, prior to the test, a n official said, India will have to alert a number of countries including Indonesia and Australia along with the international air and maritime traffic within the test zone. Sources said a group of scientists associated with Agni-V missile would arrive here on Saturday to oversee the launch preparation. The DRDO is contemplating to conduct the trial by the end of next month as its chief and Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister V K Saraswat, who was instrumental in the success of missiles like Prithvi, Interceptors and even Agni-V, is retiring on May 31. The officials are also awaiting a warship from the Indian Navy to place the Israeli radar acquired recently. The surface-to-surface canister-launched missile, which can carry a payload of 1.5 tonne, is 17-metre long, 2- metre wide and weighs around 50 tonnes. Initially tested for a single warhead, Agni-V would also feature Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs) with each missile being capable of carrying two to 10 separate nuclear warheads. Each warhead can be assigned to a different target, hundreds of kilometres from each other and two or more warheads can be assigned to one target. This technology is under development, said the official.

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China may have provided Pak with N-weapons designs: Document

China might have provided its close ally Pakistan a fairly comprehensive package of proven nuclear weapons design in late 1970s and the CIA knew about it, according to a recently declassified document. The CIA had evidence suggesting close Pakistan -China nuclear cooperation, to the point of facilitating a nuclear weapons capability, although the intelligence community saw this as possibly a special case based on an alliance that had existed since 1963, according to recently declassified CIA data, obtained by the National Security Archive (NSA) under the Freedom of Information Act. According to the document, this allegation has come up before, for example in a state department document and in major news stories but this is the first time the CIA has released some of its own information. The estimate highlights some of the main developments, including 'verbal consent (in 1974) to help Pakistan develop a nuclear blast capability', 'hedged and conditional commitment' in 1976 to provide nuclear weapons technology, and unspecified excised information that raised the possibility that China has provided a fairly comprehensive package of proven nuclear weapon design information, it said. Even without Chinese help, the Pakistanis could develop a nuclear weapon, but access to Chinese weapons design and test data might be crucial in establishing Islamabad's confidence in an untested weapons capability, said a 1983 national intelligence estimate of the CIA, which is heavily excised. The exchanges may not have been one-way and the reference to Chinese involvement in Pakistan's uranium enrichment programme probably refers to gas centrifuge technology, which Pakistan shared with China, it noted. Significant portions of the document covering technology sharing are excised, but more may be learned if additional details are released under appeal, the NSA added.

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Saras set to fly again

After being in an indeterminate state for five years, Indias first multi -role light transport aircraft programme is once again on track as a new prototype of the Saras aircraft and is set to fly soon." The Saras programme to develop a 14-seater aircraft overseen by the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) suffered a major setback following the crash of an aircraft prototype in the outskirts of Bangalore, resulting in the death of three Indian Air Force (IAF) officers who were onboard the ill-fated aircraft. We are going to have the first flight of the Saras (PT -N) soon and preparations are on for it, said an NAL official. The maiden flight of the aircraft will be conducted by the IAFs Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE). NAL has so far developed two prototypes of the Saras aircraftPT1 and PT2. It was the PT2 that crashed in 2009. Following the PT2 crash due to an incorrect relight procedure, the Saras programme was written off, with many questioning the need for India developing such an aircraft. However, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to which NAL is an affiliated laboratorywent ahead with the project and that apart the father of one of the IAF Officers who was killed in the crash had also asked the government not to give up the project, stating that completion of the project would be a fitting tribute to his son. Meanwhile, NAL as part of Saras programme recovery plan has converted the Saras PT1 to Saras PT-N and this aircraft corresponds to the Saras PT2. This modified prototype is equipped with the Canadian Pratt & Whitney PT6-67A engine. That apart, it also has a new engine stub wing and nacelle, landing gear actuators, and some improvement have been made to the flight control and flap systems. Along with the PT-N, NAL is also currently developing the PT3 which is christened as the production standard Saras aircraft. This aircraft which will weigh 500 kg lesser than its predecessors and is expected to be flight tested by the end of the year. The IAF has placed an order for 15 Saras aircraft, which will be manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The postal department has also expressed interest in procuring the aircraft to deliver mails.

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DRDO to fastrack development of certain UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)

A month after Indias Defence research agency, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was told to speed up its weapons and systems development programmes to ensure self reliance, the Government has announced that DRDO has stepped up development of certain UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had slammed the DRDO last month for deficiencies in its projects, and had highlighted procedural lapses in obtaining sanction for its new projects. CAG had also noted that financial powers of the DRDO Director-General and Defence Research and Development Department Secretary were enhanced from Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore and Rs 60 crore to Rs 75 crore, respectively. Defence Minister A.K. Antony had emphasized the need for self reliance in military equipment and asked for speeding up the DRDO projects.

The DRDO has an estimated Rs 70,000 crore projects on hand. After the development of Pilotless Target Aircraft Lakshya; Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Nishant; Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV Rustom-I; and various mini and micro UAVs, Antony told Parliament that DRDO has stepped up development of the MALE UAV-Rustom-II. With regards to Rustom-1, Antony said major objectives, like taxi, take-off and landing, endurance and altitude of the technology demonstrator were accomplished after conducting 26 flights. Further flights are planned to evaluate its payload capabilities, he added. Regarding Rustom-2, he said the project was progressing as per schedule with active participation of the users. While preliminary design reviews and most of the critical design reviews have been completed, the first flight of Rustom-2 is scheduled in mid-2014.

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Scorpene project's management being questioned

Even as the Scorpene submarine project gets further delayed, serious questions are being raised on the way one of India's biggest defence contracts is being managed. TOI on Monday had reported that the Scorpene submarine project has been delayed by another 18 months, and that the first submarine would be ready for induction only by 2016-end. The report had also said that the Spanish consultants working on the programme at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai had left last month, after MDL failed to extend their contract. Several developments surrounding the project are now raising questions regarding the way the Rs 23,000 crore project is being managed. The mismanagement being alleged by sources is best captured by the way MLD has handled Transfer of Design Data (TDD), sets of CDs containing specifics about the submarine and related technology. Some 30% of the contract was meant for transfer of technology, best symbolized by TDD. Though four batches of a total of six TDDs have reached MDL, they are yet to be even opened, because the CAD 5 software to run the CDs is yet to be acquired by MDL. Though consultants from French submarine maker DCNS had advised MDL in 2006 to buy 2000-tonne press for bending the thick steel plates, supplied by ArcelorMittal, into hull for the submarines, MDL acquired it only in 2011. By then, the contract for bending the steel plates had been outsourced. The press now lies idle in MDL, with no steel to press since all the hulls have already been made. At least a couple of sources familiar with the project raised questions on the way the project director at MDL, Commodore Gopal Bharti, was allowed to take premature retirement. Bharti, who owns an apartment in the controversial Adarsh housing society that is under CBI investigation, was purportedly given vigilance clearance by the ministry though the CVC was probing a whistleblower complaint of alleged irregularities against him.

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Inquiries also reveal that there may be more systemic troubles with the way the costly project is being handled. For example, MDL had signed a 65 million euro contract with both DCNS and Spanish firm Navantia for 'Advising & Overseeing Team', and it was to end on March 15, 2013. During the period these consultants were in Mumbai, instead of focussing on completing the first submarine, including its outfitting as was specified in the contract, construction of all the six hulls were undertaken. Now with the Spanish team out of the project and the French expected to demand more money, MDL is virtually at their mercy because only about 30% of the contract has been completed, and most of the outfitting is remaining and for that the experts are a must.

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INS Viraat can continue for 3 more years: Antony

The navy's sole aircraft carrier INS Viraat can continue its service for another three years, the Lok Sabha was on Monday informed. In a written reply, Defence Minister AK Antony said adequate safeguards are in place to ensure that navy's operational capabilities are not compromised during the time a ship is under refit and repairs. He was asked whether the country does not have an aircraft carrier prowling the high seas. "No. One aircraft carrier is currently in commission ... (INS) Viraat can soldier on for another three years," he said. Antony also said that repairs and refits are planned activities and a normal feature in the life of a ship. "Adequate safeguards are in place to ensure that the operational capabilities of the navy are not compromised during the time a ship is under refit. After completion of refit, the life of a ship gets extended depending on the nature of refit," he said. In reply to another question, he said a contract has been signed with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for supply of 42 Su-30 MKI aircraft at a total cost of Rs 16,147.28 crore. He also said the aircraft are planned to be delivered by 2016-17. Replying to a query on establishment of a strike corps, Antony denied that the government has shelved the proposal to raise and maintain such a corps. On proposals to export indigenously developed helicopters, Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh said, "Seven Advance Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv have already been supplied to the Ecuador." Singh added that orders have come for supply of three Chetak and equal number of Cheetal helicopters to Suriname and Afghanistan, respectively. Replying to a question on list of defence equipment bought under Life Cycle Cost method, Antony said, "So far only one contract i.E. Supply of Basic Trainer Aircraft, has been concluded using the total cost of acquisition model under the LCC approach."

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INS Sindhurakshak arrives in India

The INS Sindhurakshak, a diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy that underwent interim overhaul and modernisation at the Russian Severodvinsk-based Zvezdochka shipyard, arrived at the Mumbai port today, a senior Russian naval official said. The submarine reached Mumbai this morning, Rear Admiral Aleksandr Litenkov told RIR. The modernised submarine arrived in Mumbai through the Northern Sea Route and stopped in ports, such as Cartagena, Spain, and Alexandria, Egypt. The kilo class submarine was retrofitted in the Zvyozdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk, north-west Russia. In the course of refit it was armed with modern Club-S cruise missiles, Porpoise radar and its cooling system was modernised. It was a very wise decision on the part of the Indian Navy to completely modernise and retrofit the submarine in the Zvyozdochka shipyard, Litenkov told RIR, adding that the shipyard would be ready to assist India in modernising its naval fleet. The contract for intermediate overhaul and modernisation of the large diesel-electric submarine (project Type 877EKM Kilo) was signed between the Zvyozdochka ship repair centre and the Indian Ministry of Defence in June 2010. The submarine arrived in Severodvinsk and was accepted for repairs in August of that year. The INS Sindhurakshak is the fifth Indian submarine to be repaired and modernised at Zvyozdochka. The first vessel, INS Sindhuvir, was handed over to the Indian Navy after repairs and modernisation in 1999. A typical kilo-class submarine has a displacement of 2,300 tonnes, length of 72.6 metres, a submerged speed of 19 knots (about 35 kilometres an hour), a test depth of 300 metres, a crew of 52 and endurance of 45 days. These submarines are armed with six 533 mm torpedo tubes. The modernisation arms the submarines with additional state-of-the-art Russian Club S anti-ship missiles (designed by the Novator bureau) with a range of about 200 kilometres. Supplementary Indian-made equipment includes a USHUS hydro-acoustic unit and CCS-MK communications system. INS Sindhurakshak was built in 1997 by the Admiralteiskie verfi shipyard in St Petersburg for the Indian Navy. Zvyozdochka has become a leading partner of the Indian Navy in maintaining the combat readiness of the kilo class submarines, experts in Moscow and Delhi say. Zvyozdochka provides its services not only at its Severodvinsk ship-

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HAL selects Power Plant for Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)

According to the latest issue of " Force Magazine ", HAL has selected Turbomeca's Shakti 1U engine over the Rolls Royce Honeywell LHTEC CTS-800 engine to power Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) . Turbomeca's. Shakti 1U engine is a derivative of the Shakti 1H1 engine used on Dhruv. Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) Program has been stuck due to delays in selection of the engines . Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is a 3-tonne, single-engine helicopter which will be inducted by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force and will replace the fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. HAL is already working on the first Prototype and plans are to built three prototypes before it hits production . First flight of LUH might take place next year and HAL has no plans to built Limited Series Production (LSP) helicopters and the LUH will directly enter series production after the three prototypes are built and test flown.The LUH will look to service a requirement of 184 helicopters for the three services to augment the 197 being procured through a global tender, The 197 copter bid, being contended by Eurocopter's AS550 C3 Fennec and the Russian Ka-226T Sergei but the Deal has been Suspended, Indefinitely. In November 2012, the bottom structure assembly of the LUH ground test vehicle was completed . Turbomeca's. Shakti 1U engine will feature a dual channel FADEC along with an additional back up channel to provide extra safety margin for single engine operation (an important feature at high altitudes). Turbomeca will also develop the back up control and perform other minor modifications as required by HAL.

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Military Humor
During a IAF readiness exercise, two Air Force security policemen were guarding entry to a bunker-like structure where aircraft were kept. When a IAF pilot about to do a preflight check approached without his identification in plain view, one of the Air Force security policemen asked him for it. "I don't see why I have to show you my ID," the pilot snapped. "After all, it is my plane." "Sir, with all due respect, it may be your plane," replied the Air Force security man, "but it's sitting in my garage!"


The President is the Supreme Commander of the Armed forces. General Sam Manekshaw was the first to get the Field Marshal rank, the highest rank in army. The Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala is the largest of its kind in Asia. Param Veer Chakra is the highest military honor in India.
Assam Rifles, formed in 1835, is the oldest paramilitary force in India.

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