May 25, 2019

Consortium formed to build six submarines

Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (Midhani) have joined hands to form a consortium for building six conventional submarines under Project 75(I).

The project is envisaged by the Ministry of Defence under the strategic partnership Make in India model. Representatives of HSL, BHEL and Midhani have signed an MoU in the presence of Rear Admiral LV Sarat Babu, CMD of HSL.

The agreement between the three companies is a step to fulfil the ‘Make In India’ initiative of the government in the defence sector.The agreement aims at harnessing the complementary expertise of the three companies and provide the country with a credible domestic alternative for construction of submarines.The consortium will jointly stake claim with the Ministry of Defence for being considered a prospective bidder for the proposed P-75 (I) project of the Navy.


Fighter jets, submarines, carbines: The wish list of IAF, Navy and Army

Indian defence forces need a range of latest weaponry to ensure a strong deterrence capability against China and Pakistan. They are awaiting the formation of the new Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government following Lok Sabha election 2019. While the Indian Navy needs lethal submarines and fighters for its aircraft carriers, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is expecting 114 jets to make up for the depleting squadron strength. Now, their hope hinges on the new government under the leadership of Narendra Modi.

Indian Army needs new and technologically advanced Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) i.e. armoured vehicles to ensure faster transportation of troops in the event of a war. The Indian Army now uses approximately 1200 Russian BMP armoured vehicles bought more than three decades ago in 1987. The Indian Army is waiting for the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) for the last decade. Hopefully, the new government will speed up the acquisition of the much-needed FICV.

Similarly, the Army needs more than 3.5 lakh carbines and about 36,000 light machine guns for. These weapons are expected to arrive soon after the new government is formed. The Army is facing a severe shortage of rifles for the last two years. The IAF is in need of 114 fighters in order to handle the situation of a two-front war. The IAF needs 42 fighter squadrons but currently, it is down to only 31.

A squadron consists of 16 to 18 fighter jets. The IAF had started the process of buying 126 fighter jets during the Congress-UPA government but it never culminated. The 36 Rafale jets ordered by the previous Narendra Modi government under direct purchases will be of help to some extent. While the IAF is already scouting for 114 more jets, it is important to complete the purchase fast.

The Indian Navy has got many modern warships in the last few years. But the most important requirement of the Indian Navy is of a nuclear submarine. The Navy currently has a nuclear submarine INS Chakra, taken on lease from Russia, and the indigenously developed nuclear submarine INS Arihant. Besides it also has 9 Sindhu and Shishumar class submarines each. The indigenously developed first submarine INS Kalvari, of the Kalwari class, was recently inducted into the Navy.
 But Indian Navy needs to increase it's submarine strength fast as both China and Pakistan are adding similar warships at a great pace. Navy had set a target of 24 new submarines by 2030, but only INS Kalvari has been commissioned. In addition to the 6 Kalvari Class submarines, there were six modern diesel-electric, 6 nuclear attack submarines and 6 ballistic nuclear submarines planned in collaboration with foreign companies i.e. Strategic Partnership Model.

The entire plan to have more submarines has been going on for quite some time now. Apart from this, the Indian Navy needs fighter jets for the first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. There is a possibility of INS Vikrant joining the Navy in the next two years but the force is waiting for fighter jets for the same.


US sends LoA to India for 24 MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters for the navy

The US Government has formally sent the expected Letter of Agreement (LoA) for 24 MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters, to the Indian Government earlier this week. In view of China’s expansion of its presence in the India Ocean, the helicopter deal estimated at around $2.6 billion, will help in boosting the Indian Navy’s anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations.

The 24 MH-60R fourth generation helicopters will come to the Indian Navy will come armed with torpedoes and missiles which will be used for anti-submarine warfare. US President Donald Trump and his administration consider India as a major partner and sales of these helicopters will ensure stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific Region.

Confirming this highly placed source told Financial Express Online that “The letter was received earlier this week and the two governments are expected to negotiate and sign the final contract by the fourth quarter of this year.” Adding, it is expected to have a 30 per cent offset contract as well.This LoA will help in expediting the process of acquiring these helicopters from the US-based Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin, which is coming through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.

Globally renowned aerospace scientist, Dr Vivek Lall, who joined Lockheed Martin last year, has spearheaded game-changing US- India bilateral defence trade, joined Lockheed Martin last year. Once the sale goes through it will further deepen the India-US defence sales and will support the foreign and national security policy of the US which will help to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship.

Financial Express Online was the first to report that the deal will be finalised in later this year and the helicopters will be inducted over five years. These helicopters are expected to replace the ageing British-made Sea King helicopters.

Last year, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had given approval for the US-based Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky MH-60Rs `Romeos’ fitted with sensors through the FMS route from the US.

Sources have also confirmed that the proposed package along with the helicopters includes related anti-submarine warfare equipment and weapons, anti-surface warfare weapons, and air-to-ground weapons, as well as spares, training, and support.

Post this procurement, the Indian Navy requires123 naval multirole helicopters in due time. These are required to be manufactured in India under the ‘Strategic Partner’ model of the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP), by a domestic private company with technology transfer from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). The total value of this procurement would be estimated at about $ 10 billion.

 Financial Review

May 24, 2019

The F-21 Could Be One Tough Fighter (With F-35 DNA). Here's the Problem.

For the purposes of Lockheed's marketing campaign, the F-21 is a new fighter, although it shares many of its major features with the F-16V the company has sold to Bahrain, Greece, Slovakia, South Korea and Taiwan. Lockheed can build new F-16Vs or upgrade older F-16s to the V-standard.

Lockheed Martin is developing a new variant of its iconic F-16 single-engine fighter in order to compete in India’s 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes.

But don’t count on the American firm’s “F-21” to win the contract.According to journalist Angad Singh, the likely winner is French company Dassault’s Rafale twin-engine fighter.

Singh explains his rationale in the May 2019 issue of Combat Aircraft magazine. India previously ordered 36 Rafales as part of an earlier fighter tender. “With 36 aircraft already on order and the infrastructure in place for an additional 36, a case could certainly be made that training, basing and sustainment costs for additional aircraft would not be an impossible burden.”

Other candidates for the Indian tender are the Saab Gripen from Sweden, the European Eurofighter Typhoon, the MiG-35 from Russia and the Boeing Super Hornet from the United States. Whichever fighter New Delhi selects, it needs the new jets now, according to Singh.

“The government-approved strength of the Indian Air Force, given the country’s well-publicized security scenario and the possibility of a ‘two-front’ threat of combined Pakistani and Chinese air action to the west and northeast, is 42 fighter squadrons,” Singh writes.

“There is little clarity on how this exact number was arrived at, but nonetheless, the IAF hasn’t come close to this strength for two decades, and has never approached anything near a force entirely equipped with modern aircraft.”

In 2019 the Indian air force maintains just 30 fighters squadrons. The units operate, among other plane types, 244 1960s-vintage MiG-21s and 84 MiG-27s that are only slightly younger. The MiG-21s, in particular, are accident-prone. Since the first of 874 MiG-21s entered Indian service in 1963, around 490 have crashed, killing around 200 pilots.

But the MiG-21s remain active. On Feb. 26, 2019 Indian planes crossed the line of control at India's border with Pakistan and bombed what New Dehli described as a terrorist training camp near Balakot.

Several days of aerial fighting followed the bombing raid. On Feb. 27, 2019, Pakistani F-16s and other planes crossed the line of control to attack Indian forces, New Delhi claimed. Indian MiG-21s and other fighters intercepted the Pakistanis and shot down one plane, according to the Indian government.
 The U.S. government reportedly counted Pakistan’s F-16s after the battle and concluded that none was missing, casting doubt on New Delhi’s claim.

Islamabad stated its forces shot down two Indian MiG-21s, but New Delhi copped to losing just one jet. Pakistani forces captured the MiG-21 pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, and held him for two days before handing him over to Indian officials.

Now New Delhi wants to spend around $18 billion acquiring 110 new fighters to replace the old MiGs. The new planes would fly alongside European-designed Jaguars, French Mirage 2000s and Rafales, Russian MiG-29s and Su-30s and India's own indigenous Tejas fighter in what Lockheed described as "the world’s largest fighter aircraft ecosystem."

For the purposes of Lockheed's marketing campaign, the F-21 is a new fighter, although it shares many of its major features with the F-16V the company has sold to Bahrain, Greece, Slovakia, South Korea and Taiwan. Lockheed can build new F-16Vs or upgrade older F-16s to the V-standard.

Still, renaming the F-16V isn't only semantic. An F-16V or F-21 is a radically different warplane compared to the F-16A that first flew in 1978. The F-16A is a nimble, eight-ton fighter with an unsophisticated radar and short-range weapons. The F-16V weighs 10 tons, boasts a cutting-edge radar and other sensors and carries a wide array of long-range weaponry, all at the cost of maneuverability.

Lockheed initially implied India could follow an acquisition of F-21s with a separate purchase of the company's F-35 stealth fighters.

"The F-21 has common components and learning from Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation F-22 and F-35 and will share a common supply chain on a variety of components," Lockheed stated on its website on the morning of Feb. 20, 2019.

A few hours later, that claim disappeared from the site. Despite Lockheed’s stealth tease, the French Rafale might be the frontrunner in the Indian fighter contest.


May 22, 2019

India must move out of the crossfire between Russia’s S-400 and US’ THAAD

In response to India’s purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia, the United States has counter-offered the Theatre High Altitude Air Defence (THAAD) missile to India. On the face of it this would seem like a simple commercial counter, but a deep dive shows the US is misreading Indian intentions very badly, something that does not bode well for the bilateral relationship as it reflects a severe communication gap, as well as a lack of analytical rigour in Washington.

The S-400 is formidable. Its long range (up-to 400 Km depending on the missile chosen) means that even when stationed a 100 km inside Indian territory, it can take down planes up to 300 Km in Pakistani territory. Due to this the Indian Air Force believes that the S-400 is the most potent system it can buy against the F-16 and other US fighters — especially given its stellar role in Syria, where after the initial shoot down of Russian fighters by Turkey, the deployment of the S-400 deterred any further Turkish misadventures.

Sadly that is only half the story, with the other half being, the ability of NATO aircraft and cruise missiles to infiltrate Syrian airspace at will, fooling the S-400. Moreover, it cannot integrate comprehensively into India’s mix of western and eastern equipment. Clearly, then the F-16 deterrence story isn’t the full picture.What the US fails to understand is that the deal has been signed under duress, the duress of not buying enough from Russia, after India cancelled its participation in the ill-fated (and atrociously designed and built) Su-57 programme. This was a major blow to Russian industry, given that it was counting on India to buttress its flagging sales, but on the other hand India could simply not digest a badly designed product that would have been obsolete even before it entered production.

Consequently, the only solution was the buy a product that was deemed suitable to the Indian military. However, as discussed above, the S-400 has at best a mixed record in Syria. So why was it considered suitable when the Su-57 fighter was not?

This brings us to the third and only plausible explanation. The purchase was not done entirely to use the missile against adversaries, but rather to understand its capabilities thoroughly, simulate how to go up against it, how to jam it and to understand what its limitations are. As such its main use will be testing the Rafale’s ability to penetrate Chinese airspace guarded by the system. In this, it is money well spent as it fulfils our quota with Russia, and indirectly meets our requirements, as it prevents several billions of dollars’ worth of our aircraft and missiles being shot down by the Chinese.

It is in understanding this complex and multi-causal problem that the THAAD offer seems off mark. For starters, THAAD is an anti-ballistic-missile (ABM) system that the S-400 is not optimised for (despite what its sales brochure says). Second, the Americans failed to understand Indian political compulsions regarding the purchase. Third, they seem to have missed the opportunity for using the purchase as an excuse to supply complementary systems that will help India deal with the Chinese S-400 menace, instead offering us a competing system that leads to duplication, and answers a requirement that India has not put out.

It is imperative then that India reaches out to the US and clarifies its position in a spirit of cooperation rather than the usual diffidence that much of our JNU-trained bureaucracy display towards ‘western imperialists’.

What has to be kept in mind here is that the S-400 is a potent enough system to significantly sour bilateral ties with the US. After all the S-400 is one of the reasons that Turkey’s participation in the F-35 programme has been halted; and Turkey, unlike India, is a privileged NATO ally.India’s rationale for buying the S-400 is solid, however, diplomatic diffidence cannot be allowed to poison the well.
The ball, therefore, lies in India’s court to explain how the S-400 purchase serves common goals, and suggest avenues of cooperation complementary to the S-400, rather than competing with it.


India must have permanent seat in UN Security Council: German envoy

India must have a permanent seat in the UN Security Council as its absence hurts the credibility of the UN system, Germany's new Ambassador to India Walter J Lindner said Tuesday.

Lindner presented his credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind in Hindi on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after presenting his credentials, Lindner said the G4 grouping -- India, Germany, Japan and Brazil -- is fighting for the enlargement of the Security Council permanent membership.

"India must have a permanent seat in the UN Security Council...India with 1.4 billion people is not yet a permanent member, this is unheard of. This can't go on like this because it hurts the credibility of the United Nations system," he said.

At present, there are five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US.

The German envoy also said that his country was supportive of the listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar at the UN as a global terrorist.

"We were in close contact with India and other nations (over the listing). We will continue to work on this (anti-terror) cooperation because terrorism has to be removed from the surface of this planet," he said.

Asked about the prospects of working with the Modi government if it comes to power, Lindner said he does not want to answer hypothetical questions and would like to wait for the outcome of the polls.

"It is such a great country, whoever will win will continue the great relationship with Germany. We are happy to work with whoever Indian people elect and in two days we will know who that is," he said.

On whether EVMs were more suited or ballot papers, especially keeping in mind the European experience, he said: "Whatever system you seem to be working seems to be a very good one."
Asked about the Iran nuclear deal and the US sanctions, Lindner said Germany is a strong supporter of the nuclear agreement with Iran because it keeps the country away from a nuclear weapon.


Indian Army in hunt for 12,000 telescopic sights for assault rifles

The Indian Army jawan on the Line of Control (LoC), constantly threatened by Pakistani sharpshooters, will now fight fire with fire. A proposal for the purchase of nearly 12,000 telescopic sights for new assault rifles is likely to be cleared by a high-level committee very shortly.

These telescopic sights will be fitted onto the new generation Sig Sauer assault rifles that India wants. A contract for 72,000 rifles have already been signed and the delivery is likely within a year. These 7.62 x 51mm sights will cost about Rs 170 crore.

The purchase of the sights comes in the wake of reports of Pakistani jihadis being given sniper training. The new rifles and the telescopic sights are expected to be an effective counter. Besides the sights, 50 Field Artillery tractors are also likely to be bought, to add to the 100 already acquired and also, for the Indian Air Force (IAF) crypto modules for its Software Design Radios.


May 21, 2019

IAF officer set to face criminal case for missile that downed Mi-17 chopper

On February 27, even as Indian and Pakistani jets were engaged in a dogfight in the Nowshera sector, a Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter of IAF crashed. All six airmen on board the helicopter were killed.

 The Indian Air Force (IAF) has removed the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Srinagar Air Base, the senior-most officer of the base, for circumstances related to the crash of an Mi-17 helicopter near Srinagar on February 27 after it came under friendly fire, even as a Court-of-Inquiry (CoI) continues to investigate the matter. 

A final report is yet to be submitted.

An IAF spokesperson declined comment on the matter.
On February 27, even as Indian and Pakistani jets were engaged in a dogfight in the Nowshera sector, a Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter of IAF crashed. All six airmen on board the helicopter were killed. The helicopter was downed by a surface-to-air missile of IAF which mistook the aircraft to be hostile, initial inquiries have revealed.
As the inquiry nears completion, IAF is considering whether or not it should slap criminal charges against those found lacking. “There will be no tolerance of lapses,” said a senior defence ministry official who asked not to be named. Culpable homicide not amounting to murder is one of the charges that IAF is contemplating pressing against those found guilty by the CoI. “Unprecedented as it might be, IAF leadership is clear that such lapses are not repeated,” the official added.
The AOC has been removed because the incident happened on his watch.
The preliminary inquiry into the accident has allegedly indicated several lapses leading to the tragic accident. For instance, the air traffic control called the helicopter back even as air engagement between Indian and Pakistani fighters intensified. “Ideally, the helicopter should have been sent away to safer zone instead of it being called back to the base,” said a second senior defence ministry official who did not want to be named. “The incoming helicopter should have been vectored into the pre-designated zone meant for friendly aircraft to hold till the alert was called off,” the official added.
All bases have designated airspace for friendly aircraft in case of an air-defence-alert. “Air defence platforms such as missile systems, air defence guns etc. are kept free; they are free to engage any aircraft which doesn’t identify itself as a “friendly” either through the IFF or by remaining confined to the airspace designated for friendly aircraft,” the second senior officer added.
In this case, the Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) – a transponder-based identification system that informs the air defence radars whether incoming aircraft is friendly – was switched off, against the laid down protocol.
After a “near-air-miss” incident in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018 between a C-130 J, a US-made transport aircraft, and a Russian-made Su-30 fighter aircraft, IAF Headquarters directed all aircraft coming into land to have their IFF systems on. Surprisingly, the Srinagar Air Base had issued contradictory orders. “Had the IFF system been on, air defence radars would have at least identified Helicopter as a friendly aircraft,” the second senior defence ministry official said.

The Mi-17 helicopter — one of the sturdiest in its category — under the command of squadron leader Siddarth Vashistha took off from Srinagar airbase at about 10 am. The air intrusion alert was sounded almost at the same time as Indian fighters took on Pakistani Air Force fighters over Nowshera. The helicopter crashed around 10.10am over Budgam.
In addition to the six IAF personnel, a civilian was killed on the ground.


Indian Army begins 3 nation hunt for new LMGs for infantry

The Indian Army has begun its hunt for new light machine guns (LMG) as an army-led team is visiting three countries to procure about 17,000 such guns for the infantry under the fast track procedure, officials said.

The team, which left India a few days ago, is first visiting Bulgaria, where it will meet representatives from Arsenal, a gun and ammunition manufacturer. It will then go to Israel for the Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) and then to South Korea for S&T Motiv. It is visiting these manufacturers because they had responded with their bids to the army’s request for procuring 16,400 LMGs under the fast track procedure (FTP).

US-based Sig Sauer had also submitted its bid and the team had planned to visit it, but the company later said that because it has an existing order for 72,400 assault rifles for the Indian Army under the FTP and a few more orders, including from the US Army, it won’t have the production capacity for the new LMGs. So, the team decided to visit only Bulgaria, Israel and South Korea. Last February, the Defence Acquisition Council led by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had cleared the procurement of the LMGs under the FTP. The FTP is to ensure expeditious procurement for urgent operational requirements of the regular and special forces. It is applied to cases where there has been an unforeseen delay, which is adversely affecting the capacity of the forces. The team, which also has officials from the defence ministry, will evaluate the LMGs produced by the manufacturers.

Officials explained that the army is looking at procuring an LMG with a calibre of 7.62x51mm, which will replace the in-service INSAS LMG that has a calibre of 5.56x45mm. The higher calibre means that the new LMG will be more lethal.

“It will also have belted ammunition, which means that it will have a sustained rate of fire, unlike LMGs wherein the magazine has to constantly be changed,” explained an official.

After the visits, the team is expected to return to India by May end. It will then ask the manufacturers to come to India to carry out compatibility tests with Indian made ammunition (produced by the Ordnance Factory Board) at some firing ranges.

The FTP, unlike the normal procurement route, doesn’t have lengthy user trials and only has short demonstrations like the ones to be done in India. It looks at procuring equipment which are already in service, so the time required for evaluation is minimised. The team will then submit a report to the defence ministry’s acquisition department. The lowest bidder will be selected and the contract will be signed.

“It could take about seven to eight more months for procuring the LMGs,” said an official.


May 20, 2019

5 countries vying for RM36 billion RMAF deal, says report

Politics may be the deciding factor in a RM36 billion deal to supply light combat aircraft to the Royal Malaysian Air Force over the next 10 years, according to a Singapore news report.
The aircraft on offer are believed to be the F-50 by Korea Aerospace Industries of South Korea, Tejas by Hindustan Aeronautics (India), YAK-130 by Irkut Aerospace (Russia), JF-17 Thunder (Pakistan) and the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master (Italy).
According to the Straits Times newspaper in Singapore, defence industry executives believe that the RMAF top brass is partial towards South Korea’s FA-50 jets, but its critics contend that the single-seater aircraft is not suitable because it does not have the capability for air-to-air refuelling.

A decision is expected in the coming months, the report said. It noted that the intended purchase of 30 light combat aircraft was turning out to be a policy challenge as arms suppliers with strong ties to the previous government face competition from new suppliers.
The tussle to secure the contract is being waged by local agents of the manufacturers and are “typically little-known private entities whose well-connected shareholders hide behind business proxies to shield their involvement”, the report said.
The ST quoted unnamed defence industry executives as saying that the FA-50 is being represented by a little-known private entity Kemalak Systems, Tejas by Forte Drus, JF-17 by Kharisma Wira, the YAK-130 by Sarawak-based Sovereign Strategic. Aermacchi’s representative was not known.
“The armed forces always have their wish list but it is politics that will decide what Malaysia buys,” a senior executive of a local defence agency is quoted as saying.
There was also a strong lobby from Pakistan, whose prime minister Imran Khan enjoys close ties with prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. However, Pakistan could fail because Malaysia intends to link the arms deals to purchases of palm oil.
India, one of Malaysia’s largest buyers of palm oil, has reportedly offered to acquire Malaysia’s retired MiG-29 fighter jets to boost its chances.
The RMAF currently operates a mixed fleet of supersonic fighters and multi-role combat aircraft, comprising 13 Russian-made MiG-29s (now retired) and 18 Sukhoi SU-30MKM “Flanker”, and eight F/A-18D Hornet made by Boeing of the United States. There are also 13 British-made Hawk 208 light attack aircraft.
The air force also operates five Hawk 108 and seven Aermacchi MB-339 jet trainers.


IAF successfully test fires anti-tank guided bomb

The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test fired 1,000 pound (450kg) Smart Anti-Tank guided bomb CBU-105 through upgraded Jaguar fighter aircraft at Pokhran Test Firing Range in Jaisalmer on Sunday. The bomb successfully destroyed a dummy enemy tank brigade target.

During the test firing the officials of American production company, Textron Defence System and senior officials of Indian Air Force were present to observe the accuracy of the guided bomb. During test firing two upgraded Jaguar fighter aircraft dropped guided bomb from air on dummy targets and successfully destroyed group of dummy tanks.

Defence sources said that CBU-105 is a sensor fused weapon of 1,000 pound (450Kg) which is dropped with the help of GPS. The best part of the weapon is that it can be used during day or night and even in adverse weather conditions. In 2010 the Indian government placed an order of 512 bombs which were delivered by company. To use them the Jaguar fighter aircraft were upgraded with new Drain III Navigation and Combat system. Upgraded Jaguar fighter aircraft can carry 4-6 sensor fused bomb (CBU-105) on enemy targets.
 Source said that upgraded Jaguar have new Drain -III navigation and combat system and now will get Smart CBU-105 sensor fused weapons procured from the USA. Now upgraded Jaguar will be termed as Deep Penetration Strike Aircraft. With this Jaguar can destroy surface targets like terrorist camps, airbases and warships with its onboard weaponries including new generation laser guided bombs and Lethal Textron CBU-105 sensor fused weapon.

Source said that SFW are unique and deadly weapons. Initially SFW were developed as cluster bomb units-97 which were unguided and quite inaccurate whenever released from high altitude. It was modified and improved version is CBU -105 equipped with GPS and tail guidance fins, which made it very accurate precision guided munition (PGM).


May 18, 2019

Indian Air Force Can Strike JeM Headquarters In 60 Sec Via BrahMos-A Missile Fired From Sukhoi Su-30MKI

A deadly combination of BrahMos missiles penetrating behind the enemy lines at a speed of over 3,000 km/hr, launched from a platform of Sukhoi Su-30 MKI which flies at a speed of over 2,100 km/hr, would enable the Indian Air Force to carry out Balakot like anti-terror operations, while staying at least 150 km within Indian territory, as per an analysis in Business Today.

The IAF is steadfastly the fitting of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to its Sukhoi 30 MKI air superiority fighters. BrahMos missiles have an operational range between 300-400 km and are undergoing a range augmentation programme that seeks to increase the striking radius by 150 km.

Such an exponential enhancement in capacity would make it all the more possible for a BrahMos-A releasing from the IAF to strike the terror facility in Bahawalpur hardly a task of 60 seconds.This leaves very little room for the Pakistani Air Force prevent the strike. With such a modification, IAF can also hit Pakistani targets even while flying on the waters of Arabian Sea and if required, BrahMos-A can also be nuclear tipped.

Combined development of the computer, positioning systems and propellant technology by the BrahMos corp would allow the cruise missiles to strike targets with pinpoint accuracy that enables to carry out cross-border anti-terror ops even in densely populated regions, avoiding any collateral damage.

IAF is planning to get two squadrons of Sukhoi Su-30MKIs to BrahMos-A by 2020-21. Such an addition should bring all of Pakistan’s command and control centres of its tri-services, nuclear arsenal and manufacturing units, terror hubs and strategic assets such as dams, airports, railway stations, airports; within the striking range of the IAF.

A leaner and meaner version of the BrahMos, in all likeliness, will be fitted to the MiG-29Ks of the Navy, Rafales, Mirage-2000s and Tejas as a standard air-to-surface missile. India's entry into the MTCR has made it possible to increase the range of BrahMos to 800 km.