Dear Kiran,if we do not look at our own faults at home,analyse why things went wrong and accept healthy criticism,we will end up like the Pakis with their delusions of superiority.More informed members of the armed forces,especially the top brass immediately after their retirement,lament how the indigenisation programmes are suffering.In service they find that they cannot speak out for obvious reasons,but once outside,have their say.Have we not had every CNS talk about warship and sub delays and delays in decision making and procurement by the GOI/MOD for critical items? Why are we buying 126-200 MMRCA aircraft instead of producing them in India? We have the CAG report about the perilous state of our sub fleet.10 years to build a frigate at Garden Reach,that too when it was commissioned,came without a SAM system.10 years to refit a sub at HSL too-hopefully? Even the U-209 subs assembled in India at MD took a couple of years extra.Arjun and the LCA have taken decades to get to their current stage of development.Talk to those on the inside who are knowledgable and you will find that the picture is far from rosy.This is not to say that we have not also had successes,as our missile programmes show.There are many items where we have successfully with foreign JVs developed radars,Brahmos,etc. Our record has been patchy and the parliamentary report on the DRDO is there for all to see.How are the services going to carry out their tasks if deliveries are not on time? Equipment has to be replaced at regular intervals to keep up fighting capability.Secondly,how reliable are the locally produced eqpt. and components? We've had a decade plus of controversy earlier about MIG-21 engines made locally ,dsign faults and the quality of spares bought from diverse sources after the collapse of the SU.
The key fact is that in several cases with key projects,and these are generally big ticket items like aircraft,helos,tanks,warships and subs,where there are several systems to be integrated for the product to function as a whole,the DRDO and the services do not work together right from the start in establishing parameters,leading to delays and the end user eventually refusing to use the DRDO's product becomes the enemy instead! Sometimes the services draw up cutting edge "brochure" performance requirements (available or touted with imported eqpt.) that is impossible for the DRDO to produce in a short timeframe,but ibecause it nevertheless wants the work makes claims that can't be met.The lack of a "stakeholder" mentality of the GOI/MOD to manage and monitor the project is what ails our indigenisation efforts which govt. figures say are only 30-40%,instead of the 70% wanted.I did say in my posts that we should make a list of all the key projects/items listing those that have succeded and those that have failed and try and determine why some succeeded and why some failed.
Now getting back to this thread ,please look at what I've posted in full,how the Leopard has been significantly improved to meet contemporary threats.Compare this with Arjun Mk1 which is closest in concept to it.After all 60% of Arjun is reportedly foreign.The T-90 has a totally different philosophy with its continued development of Russian tanks,three-man crew,etc.Being smaller it comes cheaper also,which is probably why in the final analysis the IA preferred it,a development of the T-72 the mainstay of the armoured corps, as it could have more numbers with better spares support available as the tank is being made in the thousands.Media reports also say that despite a definite NO from the IA,Tank-X is still being developed (for poss. export potential) at high cost.How we will be able to export a tank that the army does not want is a big Q.Instead,if the DRDO is confident about the performance of Arjun the MK2 version with upgrades like the way in whcih the Leopard is being upgraded to keep it comtemporary,should be similarly done.We must keep focussed on the key priorities,with maximum effort on areas where development is lagging,so that one or two key systems do not delay the entire project (like Kaveri).
One suggestion is that the GOI/MOD constitute a high level permanent team of scientists,former service officers and analysts/strategists who can draw up a perspective plan of the futuristic technologies required for the services in the future.With the experience of the end users,one can plan to avoid pitfalls earlier experienced.The CAG has said that the DRDO should not become amanufacturer but instead be an R&D entity which dvelops the technologies required for current and future use,which when developed are farmed out to manufacturers.Ramanna once said that wes hould follow this system that exists in the US.This team along with the current users and manufacturers/PSUs should chart out together and the emphasis is together,the key technologies ,production techniques,etc.,that have to be mastered in order that the indigenous designs drawn up to meet the users requirements can be met within acceptable timeframes and the neccessary funding and human resources provided to achieve these goals.
I posted the Leopard upgrades because if you look at the pics carefully,you will see a lot of sophisticated redesigning to counter current threats.We have to compare and evaluate different designs and concepts with our own to see how improvements can be made and human effort is constantly trying to improve what we have produced earlier.
PS:70% of our eqpt. is of Russian origin.Much of it has been improved only because of the Indian armed froces' feedback.Russian eqpt. traditionally ws sturdy,less sophisticated than western eqpt.,but as many menbers have pointed out,in certain key areas,they have caught up with the west and have also surpassed them.They ahve also come cheaper and this affordability factor is why the Indian armed forces have so far been buying more Russian eqpt. than from other sources.We now have with the aftermath of the SU's breakup and problems faced,new suppliers like Israel,where JVs have been established.Brahmos and the SU-30MKI are just two successful Russian JV items.This does not mean that all Russian eqpt. is superior,that they do not have manufacturing defects and that no delays are experienced! Here is where penalty clauses should be enforced.There are also delays with the Scorpenes,the Trenton tragedy-one can find examples plentiful.However,a foreign supplier has to make good defects and rectify them within a specified timeframe.They are accountable.If we do not make our PSUs also accountable,then the task of successful indigensiation becomes problematic and continual.
Here is a report on Russia's still booming naval sales to illustrate the case.http://www.upi.com/Security_Industry/20 ... 2030933/2/
Russia's naval exports boom, especially in Asia
By MARTIN SIEFF |
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The world may be in recession, but the Russian naval shipbuilding industry is still booming.
RIA Novosti reported Tuesday that naval shipbuilding last year accounted for $7 billion of Russia's record $8.5 billion in arms sales around the world funneled through the state-owned Rosoboronexport arms export corporation.
"This sum relates to the Rosoboronexport portfolio of orders. This is the maritime share of the portfolio of orders," Rostekhnologii First Deputy General Director Alexei Alyoshin told the news agency.
RIA Novosti said Russian arms exports soared in 2008 to $8.5 billion -- double the figure of nine years ago. That allowed Russia to shoot ahead of Britain to become the world's second-largest arms exporter after the United States. Rosoboronexport currently has on its books arms exports worth $33 billion, the report said.
Russia currently sells weapons to no less than 80 nations around the world, RIA Novosti said. While sales are slowly growing in Africa and the Middle East, the main success stories are with the major nations of Asia: India, China, Vietnam and Indonesia all are buying large quantities of Russian-built warships and submarines.
RIA Novosti noted that India and China have continued to buy Russian submarines, frigates and destroyers. Vietnam has signed a contract for new Svetlyak-class fast attack boats and frigates, and Indonesia has ordered corvettes from Russia to be built with the help of Spanish shipbuilding companies.
As we have monitored in these columns, India's much-touted strategic relationship with the United States during the eight years of the Bush administration never translated into any significant conventional arms purchases from American companies. This was especially the case with the Indian navy, which showed no interest in receiving the old U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk in return for agreeing to buy Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat aircraft to operate from it.
Instead, the Indians patiently renegotiated their troubled contract with Russia to refurbish the old Soviet-era aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov for the Indian navy, even though Russia's Sevmash shipyard was hundreds of millions of dollars and years behind schedule on the project.
Russia remains reluctant to sell state-of-the-art ground forces weaponry, transportation systems and tactical close air support weapons to China, a reluctance that has put a serious strain on Sino-Russian relations in recent years. However, this reluctance has not translated into not selling to Beijing warships, Kilo-class diesel submarines and lethal Mach 2.8 state-of-the-art sea-hugging anti-ship cruise missiles that could devastate U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
Meanwhile, Rosoboronexport officials remain optimistic about their sales prospects, even in the current troubled global economic climate. They project their foreign weapons exports to soar by no less than 8 percent to 10 percent per year over the next three to four years, RIA Novosti said.
Russia's arms export successes certainly have not been limited to naval surface warships and submarines. RIA Novosti also noted that Sukhoi and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG combat aircraft, air defense systems, helicopters, battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles have all proved popular, highly successful export items.