ATV-India's N-Submarine Programme

JTull
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Postby JTull » 09 Aug 2004 22:10

Sudeep, trust me. I know what I'm talking about. There is no way India is going to agree to monitoring of all it's reactors.

Just as a simple example to counter your point, we've been buying MOX fuels for our oldest nuclear power plant at Tarapur (near Mumbai) from US, Russia. If we didn't agree to IAEA monitoring of all reactors then, then why would we now.

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Postby sudeep » 09 Aug 2004 22:14

Rudra Singha wrote:sudeep and bansal it can be interpreted either way:

see the 7th para from the bottom
http://www.flonnet.com/fl1514/15140890.htm


no rudra g, it cant be interpreted either ways. For any new deals the conditions are clear and explicit.

1) No deals with countries which dont accept full scope IAEA safeguards (unacceptable to India).
2) Exceptions may be made for safety critical equipment to ensure safe and reliable operation.

When we got the fuel for Tarapore after pokhran Russia took refuge behind the second clause, and in case of Koodankolum they claimed that the NSG rules didnt apply as the deal was signed in 1988 and the new rules of NSG (proposed in 1992) were not retrospective in nature and allowed existing deals.

Whoever said anything abt India accepting the conditions ? :roll:

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Postby Rudra » 09 Aug 2004 22:23

even if india says no to such conditions, it still means our civilian nuclear sector which needs to ramp up and contribute their share is dead in water for lack of ability to import technology and components. am I right ?

the list of NSG countries from their website:
Who are the current NSG participants?


The current Participating Governments are:

ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA, AUSTRIA, BELARUS, BELGIUM, BRAZIL, BULGARIA, CANADA, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, FINLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, GREECE, HUNGARY, IRELAND, ITALY, JAPAN, KAZAKHSTAN, REPUBLIC OF KOREA, LATVIA, LUXEMBOURG, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NORWAY, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, TURKEY, UKRAINE, UNITED KINGDOM, and UNITED STATES

The missing figure is China, another huge market potentially for canadian, german, french, japan, swedish or russian designs. So are they in the same boat ?

I suspect all the mentioned want to break ranks and supply
new plants under iaea safeguards but Unkils hardline position and present leverage holds them in check. I suspect the whole edifice is going to fall apart though in next decade or two as india & china breakout as stronger powers in the world economy.

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Postby Vanahan » 09 Aug 2004 22:35

:!: I would not trust P. Sengupta if this is the same fellow fomerly of Asian Defence Mag fame. He has over the years demonstrated that he is both a liar and a plageriser.

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Postby sudeep » 09 Aug 2004 22:54

Rudra Singha wrote:even if india says no to such conditions, it still means our civilian nuclear sector which needs to ramp up and contribute their share is dead in water for lack of ability to import technology and components. am I right ?


Its not dead in the water, in fact the NPCIL has the highest loading factor (or uptime) of all nuke power companies in the world. We build indigenously 250 MWE, 500 MWE, reactors. Besides, they now have the technology of the 1000MWE VVER reactors in Koodankolum. What stops us from making clones of these for the next 20 years ?

Rudra Singha wrote: The missing figure is China, another huge market potentially for canadian, german, french, japan, swedish or russian designs. So are they in the same boat ?


I dont know what Chinas situation is, but as far as power generation goes, Ive heard informed people claim that India is in a technologically more advanced position. We have more plants operational than China, although with a lower generation capacity. Also, we have been designing and building our own plants for a while now where as Chinas are based on imported technology.

I suspect all the mentioned want to break ranks and supply
new plants under iaea safeguards but Unkils hardline position and present leverage holds them in check. I suspect the whole edifice is going to fall apart though in next decade or two as india & china breakout as stronger powers in the world economy.

There are other countries which have as strong proliferation concerns as the US, like say netherlands. Then there are others which want to supply nuke power plants like France and Russia. One thing is clear, they cant keep us out for ever.

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Postby Arun_S » 09 Aug 2004 23:19

A sealed N reactor (not requireing re-fuelling) is outside NSG perview.

Talking to an Ex- US submariners many months ago most new naval/sub reactors are fuelled once. DAE developed Thorium fuel cycle for example is a very high energy density confign. When configured for a gain setting such that the reactor criticality is retained (spent fuel compensated by new fuel created by breeding).
Last edited by Arun_S on 09 Aug 2004 23:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sudeep » 09 Aug 2004 23:29

Arun_S wrote:A sealed N reactor (not requireing re-fuelling) is outside NSG perview.

Talking to an Ex- US submariners many months ago most new naval/sub reactors are fuelled once


any sources for sealed reactors being outside NSG perview ?

Its true that the newest sub reactors are fuelled once; the French nuke subs require refuelling once in only 30 years !!

reference:http://www.nsg-online.org
http://www.nsg-online.org/pdf/infcirc254r6p1-030516.pdf

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Postby Rakesh » 10 Aug 2004 02:21

Sengupta is a known plagiarist! Don't believe a word what this man says!

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Postby vsunder » 10 Aug 2004 05:05

I am not an expert on n-subs, but I find the report extremely bizarre.
The Navy folder has an interview with the new Admiral who wishes the Govt. clear purchase of n-subs. Now the report claims n-subs will be "launched" in two years. If so why does the admiral lament. Even for small things the negotiations are very protracted so even if negotiations start today purchase of n-subs will be several years at least more than two down the road, so if the n-sub will be "launched" in 2007 the admiral should be elated.

Thus if the report is correct the admiral is in the dark a very bizarre state indeed given the Navy is the end user. The Navy has been very adamant and stringent with its requirements for the reactor see "Weapons of Peace"
and this has led to acrimony with BARC in the past so I doubt that the admiral is in the dark.

Secondly what does "launch" mean. For ships after launch there is massive amount of work to be done, here I suppose the hull is built around the reactor but after "launching" there are several systems to be fitted and long sea-trials doubly so for a n-sub that is being built for the first time. So a 2007 date is highly optimistic. I am inclined to dismiss this report given that Rupak has had experiences that show this is a rather slippery customer.

Well, I have no ax to grind and no other scenarios occur to me as to the apparent contradictions between the Admiral's statements and the report,
perhaps and I wish both are right, but then I am not an expert but in such matters it is better to be cautious about various claims.

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Postby Rudra » 10 Aug 2004 05:45

vsunder - launch means with hull and reactor. certain large machinery could also be fitted rest to be fitted later through holes in the hull. it could be completed in 3 years - 2010 followed by 1 year of sea trials.

the Admiral could have been referring to the Akula lease since the optimistic 2011 IOC date is still 7 yrs away. there must be AG-style haggling going on about the lease price and whatever else like TU22 the Russians want to tack onto a all-or-nothing bait-n-switch deal.

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Postby Austin » 10 Aug 2004 06:21

A sealed N reactor (not requireing re-fuelling) is outside NSG perview. Talking to an Ex- US submariners many months ago most new naval/sub reactors are fuelled once. DAE developed Thorium fuel cycle for example is a very high energy density confign. When configured for a gain setting such that the reactor criticality is retained (spent fuel compensated by new fuel created by breeding).A sealed N reactor (not requireing re-fuelling) is outside NSG perview.


Arun I am not a N expert here , but all future us navy subs Virginia and the russian ones Yasen and Borey , are going to be eqipped with what is called as " high density mono block reactor , that dosent require refulling through out its life estimimitted to be 30 years , so if the reactor bought are the ones which Yasen and Borey will have ( both will carry the same reactor-rated at 190 mW) then probably it wont require refulling through out its life

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Postby Philip » 10 Aug 2004 07:48

I think that we must be less critical of Mr.Sengupta and Force.The article is a well written one,perhaps the first to articulate certain "facts" about the ATV which perhaps have been known to some but have not been revealed for obvious reasons.The magazine has completed one year and has been given excellent tributes from former very senior distinguished members of our armed forces.Force has filled in the gap in Indian publications,which I had hoped BR could've done.In fact,the current issue devotes a huge space to "Dragonfire",the continuing Chinese threat to India from Sikkim and Tibet.It is an excellent study and should merit a separate thread on the Forum.

Coming back to the saga of the ATV.As theauthor says,it is the worst kept secret in India,with rooms labelled as "ATV Director" etc.!This face was used as part of the excuse to sack Adm.Bhagwat,after he wanted an audit of the ATV project which had not till then yeilded any worthwhile results desppite huge costs incurred.Babudom has been the key problem.One must turn the clock back to the shameful treatment of Cdr.Subba Rao,regarding the ATV's reactor design,how he was victimised by the establishment since he refuted the dsigns of BAARC, and how after decades,we were still unable to build a suitable reactor for a nuclear sub.So,as the author indicates,we turned to Russia for help.How much help has been given is open to conjecture.I am sceptical about the assertion that an entire plant has been dropped into our laps.If it is true though,then it is a sad performance of the team of nuclear scientists who have wasted billions all these years.There are parallels with the Arjun project and the ATV,where we bit off more than we could chew!Both Arjunand the (yet to arrive ATV) are over a decade late.

Now for the weaponry and sensors.The weaponry is almost entirely Russian.The talk about an Israeli angle for a long range cruise missile could be true,as other major arms manufacturing nations cannot breach the 300km range. This could even be a modified version of Brahmos,which has been proven to be a success.One critical fact has been omitted.The size of the vertical launched missile tubes.The std. 533mm torpedo tubes can fire Klub variants and possibly other long range cruise missiles.Israel has supposedly modified its Harpoon missiles into longer range land attack missiles armed with nuclear warheads.Its Dolfin class subs also have larger tubes,ostensibly for special forces,but more likely for a new missile of larger dimensions,not just for current missiles on option,but for future developments.I would expect the ATV to have a much larger diameter for the VLS cells.This must also be able to launch ballistic missiles of Indian design,naval variants of Prithvi,etc.Given the size of the ATV,the max length of such a missile would not be larger than 9m.Therefore ,to achieve the required range,the diameter of the tubes should be made much larger.The total number of weaponry thus carried by the ATV would be 24+.The mix of sensors,command and control systems from various countries, for the first time in a sub in India,should be very carefully monitored.Australia has had a disastrous experience with the Collins class,where the entire combat system has ahd to be junked due to incompatibily and software used.Using French,Russian and Israeli-as well as our own systems is going to be a risky venture.A nuclear sub is the most complex weapon system in service anywhere on the globe.Just four countries have mastered the art.The US,Russia,Britain and France.Britain now uses US missiles,both for strategic and tactical tasks.China has managed to put into service just one SSBN till now.Therefore, going by the 2007 launch date-it may be earlier,the ATV will only until the end of the decade finish its trials and be fully seaworthy and be commisioned.The use of French components like periscopes,etc. will only be worthwhile if the intended Scorpene deal goes through.It then makes sense for us to standardise upon certain equipment.

The best news is that Akulas are coming.These are proven types,the best that the Russians have on hand and will give us a significant advantage against our "traditional" threats,in IOR missions.The subs can even venture far out of the IOR and gain much experience in circumnavigating the other oceans and seas of the world.Given that with our track record it will be impossible for us to build the desired number of nuclear subs needed both for SSGN and SSBN tasks,it would be best for India to lease /buy at least three Akula IIs,while we carefully build our own SSBNs (ATVs).Just 8 nucler tipped missiles do not a credible strategic deterrent make!Our SSBNs should have at least 16 missiles,each with MIRV warheads.At least three such subs are needed for just one to be operational at all times.

Overall,judging from the new,progress is definitely being made with regard to the IN acquiring nuclear powered and armed subs.If this starts happening within the next 18 months,it would be just great!

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Postby Arun_S » 10 Aug 2004 08:18

Rules are made to be broken & If you want there is always a way out.

So if the reactor is loaned out by Russian & fuel can't be re-processed to extract fissile material then where is any proliferation?

I recall a old comedy by Om Puri (new year eve of ~ 1990), where he made a lousy movie and is making case to a minister to get Entertainment Tax-free status. The minister is pestered hard and agrees to see the movie. The minister is pissed off seeing the bad movie and when asked for his view he says what shit it has no entertainment, tapaak comes the reply from Om Puri "Jab Entertainment Hi Nahi Hai to Entertainment Tax Kaisa". Super logic ! Movie granted Entertainment Tax Free status.

Jaab Proliferation Hee Nahin Ho Sakta, To Kahe Ka NPT ka Kanoon? :twisted:

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Re: ATV-India's N-Submarine Programme

Postby Ashutosh » 10 Aug 2004 08:30

Hmmm, I find a lot of issues with this article:
2 ) The ATV will be a multirole platform and will be employed for carrying out long-distance interdiction and surveillance of both submerged targets as well as principal surface combatants, It will also facilitate Special Forces operations by covertly landing such forces ashore.
How is this even possible? How many men apart from crew can a sub carry? Also, does it make sense for a strategic platform to do shoring/beaching operations for such purposes?
4 ) The Project 670A Skat (Charlie-1 class ) was discarded by early 1990 in favor of a derived design from Yasen.
Hmmm, isn't it rather ironic to be able to derive a design from the Yasen in early 1990 when work on the Yasen itself started in 1992, construction started in 1993, and the first sub was launched in 1995?
Three countries are actively supplying the related technologies and weapons system off the shelf for the projected ATV fleet Russia , France and Israel.
Can it get more ambiguous?
6 ) One such facility is in Hyderabad to collaborate with the DRDO lab, BHEL for nuclear powerplants heat exchanger system and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd for special steel requirements , The second is a large ship building facility tucked behind High walls and barbed wires with a dry dock and boilers, at Vishakapatnam where the first ATV hull is being fabricated. with imported HY-80 steel.
This is the only thing that seems sensible - given that the Ministry of External Affairs is itself hosting an article that supports the same: http://www.meadev.nic.in/news/clippings/20020222/ht.htm
Vishal Thapar and Fred Weir
The Hindustan Times

New Delhi/Moscow, February 21: An Indian Navy submarine crew has been training in Russia for the last one year. The training included sea time in an Akula-II SSN nuclear- powered attack submarine.
According to highly-placed sources in New Delhi and Moscow, India is negotiating with Russia the lease of an unfinished Akula-II Bars class nuclear submarine. Work on this submarine was about 85 per cent complete when its construction stopped in 1996.

This unfinished submarine is reportedly "sitting" at the Amur Shipbuilding Plant at Komsomolsk-na-Amur in eastern Siberia. Negotiations for its lease have been going on for over three years.

The Akula-IIs are the fastest Soviet-designed submarines with enhanced combat potential. These are known to be armed with up to 12 Cruise missiles, as well as Starfish and Stallion anti-ship missiles.

Significantly, India and Russia are jointly producing the Brahmos PJ-10 Cruise missile. This was successfully test-fired over 300 km last year.

The only time India operated a nuclear submarine was between 1998 and 1991, when it leased from Russia a Charlie class nuclear-powered submarine (SSN). The Indian Navy operated this under the name INS Chakra. The vessel was returned in 1991, and subsequently decommissioned.

A nuclear-propelled submarine gives a navy an ability to stay underwater for operations for a long period of time without having to surface for replenishment.

After 1991, little was done by the Indian Navy to retain its skills for operating a nuclear submarine. Till 1998, there was no effort to procure even a nuclear propulsion simulator for training.

Former Naval Chief Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat claims that there was a deliberate policy to de-skill the Indian Navy. "Most personnel who operated the Cha-kra were boarded out," he says.

On January 16, Naval Chief Admiral Madhvendra Singh said it would take two-and-half years to reskill the Indian Navy to handle a nuclear submarine. The training in Russia is seen as preparation to acquire one.

Three Akula-II subs - Viper, Nerpa and Gepard - are already commissioned in the Russian Navy. These were inducted in 1995, 2000 and 2001 respectively. Three more - including the one India's interested in - are reported to be in various stages of completion in Severodvinsk in Russia's far north and Komsomolsk-na-Amur in the far east.


and http://www.indianexpress.com/ie20010528/nat21.html
In a workshop at Hazira, desi underwater missile launcher gets ready for trial

D N Moorthy

Test flight of indigenously developed underwater test missile launcher SLBM Sagarika is slated for September 2001.
Not yet full steam ahead

The nuclear submarine still seems to be facing problems and the Russians seem to have stepped in to bail India out, though at a heavy price.
Estimated to have cost the national exchequer a sum in excess of Rs 2,500 crore till date, the nuclear submarine project which started some time in 1971 has had lots of problems essentially related to the design of the submarine hull and the reactor it is supposed to house.
The problem was in integrating the pressurised water reactor (PWR) to fit into the space available within the submarine hull. Sources say these problems have now been overcome.
Independent observers of the project, however, still doubt whether the miniaturisation of the pressurised water reactor (PWR) was successively achieved. The BARC had shelved three designs because of the scientific objections of a former Naval Commander and nuclear scientist B K Subbarao who was part of the Naval team set up to look into the design feasibility. He was later incarcerated as a spy till the courts exonerated him. A fourth design also did not meet the specifications of the Navy.
Earlier, India had obtained on lease the INS Chakra, a 670A Skat class (in Nato parlance Charlie-I) submarine, with the intention of reverse engineering its PWR. The Russians however did not allow the Indians anywhere near it though they did train Navy crews to operate a nuclear submarine.
The central question then is, where will the submarine’s PWR come from? It is here the Russian connection looms large and the recent deals with Russia, observers say, are pointers in that direction.
Apart from the $ 3 billion arms deal, the two Kudankulam reactors are estimated to cost $ 2.9 billion, to be paid in dollars. There is documentation to show that India is reportedly amenable to the Russian demand that the former purchase a ‘‘series of power reactors’’ for which an agreement between the two countries exists.
With the Russians now on record saying that they are looking to build at least 6 VVER-1000s at Kudankulam, India will need at least $ 18 billion (assuming no cost escalations) to pay the Russians over the next 20 years. A stiff price to pay for the LWR design for a nuclear submarine, according to observers.
This inference, say informed sources, is bolstered by the fact that the submarine being built belongs to the Russian 949A class, known in NATO parlance as Oscar-II, the kind which the ill-fated Russian Kursk belonged to. Earlier it was conjectured that the submarine being planned belonged to the Severodvinsk class. Oscar-IIs are nuclear-powered guided missile submarines (SSGNs) exactly what India needs for a credible nuclear deterrence.
Initially, observers were of the opinion that India’s own nuclear submarine may not fructify even by 2007, but now with the categorical assertion that Sagarika is slated for September 2001 underwater trials, the culmination of the project within the specified time frame may just about be possible. If this happens, India will take a giant step forward to realise the dream of a credible second strike nuclear capability.


Mumbai, May 27: On the floors of the workshop of a well-known public limited company at Hazira, Project 78 (P78) is getting ready. The engineering works are complete and minor electrical wiring remain to be completed, a task which, according to sources, is scheduled to be finished by the end of the month and formally handed over to the Navy for tests.
P78 is not just another engineering project. It is India’s underwater test missile launcher almost entirely indigenously designed and fabricated. It simulates the necessary conditions to launch a cruise or a ballistic missile from a nuclear-powered submarine. In the present instance, P78 is the first crucial step towards strategic weaponisation, since it is being geared to launch a missile tipped with a nuclear warhead.

The missile for which the launcher is being readied is the mysterious Sagarika, first thought to be a cruise missile but now, again according to sources, virtually confirmed to be a ballistic missile. A cruise missile is a low-trajectory missile guided to its destination by an on-board computer. The ballistic missile has a high trajectory and transcends the atmosphere to re-enter from above the targeted site.

Sources say that Sagarika will come in both versions — cruise and ballistic. It is, however, confirmed to be an advanced clone of the naval version of the Prithvi series. Prithvi-I is land-based, II is air- launched and III, sea launched. The difference is that Sagarika is designed exclusively for being launched from a submarine, hence is an SLBM (SLCM is a cruise missile.)

The state of development of the SLBM/ SLCM could not be confirmed but what could be confirmed was the targeted date for the test launch of the missile itself. A highly placed source directly involved with India’s prestigious, albeit long-suffering, advanced technology vessel project (ATV Project) — a euphemism for the indigenously being- developed nuclear submarine — disclosed to The Indian Express that Sagarika will have its first underwater flight test in September 2001. According to a retired Naval intelligence source, this means Sagarika is already ready and waiting for tests or in a very advanced state of completion. That is why the frenetic activity to have the P78 underwater missile launcher delivered to the Navy before April 2001 makes sense.

The revelation assumes significance since it is the first solid and tangible fulfilment of the aim of the ambitious draft Indian nuclear doctrine to possess a viable and credible ‘‘second strike’’ capability to inflict ‘‘unacceptable damage’’ to an attacking enemy. It is a matter of recognised strategic principle that a viable and credible second nuclear strike capability is vested with sea- launched, in particular nuclear-propelled submarine-launched missiles, because they are difficult to track down using air or surface-launched enemy missiles.

The Indian Government has consistently denied the existence of both the ATV project and the development of the SLBM Sagarika with a range of about 300 km.

‘‘Even today, no one is about to admit to the project. However, once the underwater missile test takes place in September, it will be there for the whole world to see,’’ the source said.

Sagarika developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), needs to have a nuclear-powered submarine, for conventional diesel-powered submarines do not have the logistics and manoeuvrability to launch the missile from under water.

This means that, despite its long and chequered history, the indigenously designed ATV Project is well on course since the ATVP and Sagarika complement each other.

This correspondent talked to AK Anand, director, reactor project group of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). Anand refused to either confirm or deny it. However, on a recent visit to MAPS (Madras Atomic Power Station) and IGCAR (Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research) sources at Kalpakkam confirmed to this correspondent that the nuclear reactor for the submarine was being fabricated there.


12 ) On 5 October 2000 after India and Russia inked an agreement on a news blackout on sensitive information exchanges in the area of defense and nuclear co-operation and appointed watchdogs to enforce compliance with the new agreement.Moscow agreed to supply an initial two VM-5 PWR and related propulsion and machinery off-the shelf, These arrived at Vishakapatnam in late 2000.The ATV will have double layer silencing system for the power train , The main propulsion machinery will consist of VM-5, with an OK-650b high density reactor core rated at 90mWand a GT3A turbine developing 35mW
Kinda wierd, isn't? the news of a blackout about a particular exchange of sensitive technology is being reported to this guy of all people? Whatever happened to the blackout? Are we to assume that since Force has now officially and technically *leaked* this sensitive information, the ATV is dead meat?

The principal conventional offensive armament of the ATV will comprise up to 12 3M-14E subsonic cruise missile for both antiship strikes and land attack developed by Russia's Ekaterinburg-based Novator Experimental Machine Design Bureau. equipped with a active radar seeker developed by ST Petersburg-based Radar-MMS the 3M-14E will be fired from the ATV's 533mm torpedo tubes and have a range of 275 km , The missile incidentally was first unveiled in New Delhi at the Defexpo-2004 early last february.
Interesting that the 3M-14E is being chosen - I would be expecting the BrahMos PJ-10 or SuperBrahmos to be featured. Interestingly enough, BR mentions the 3M-14E to have a "ballistic" trajectory, whatever that means - somewhere else it is claimed that it has a very low sea-hugging flight trajectory!

3m54E Klub-S supersonic anti-ship missile
The 3M-54E is subsonic, and supersonic only in the terminal phase.
These missile will be launched from the SSGN six 533mm launch tubes . A 250 strong group of navy personnel has been undergoing type conversion on an Akula II class SSGN at Komsomolsk-on-Amur since late last year.
The said plant at Komosomolsk-on-Amur is in possession of unfinished hulls only, wonder what particular skills the Indian sailors are trying to hone on unfinished subs.

Anyways, some portions of the article have been directly lifted off the fas.org website - which makes me wonder at this yet another bag of garbage from Force.

Oh yeah, BTW, the Arjun doesn't exist.

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Postby Ashutosh » 10 Aug 2004 08:39

Compare that article with this article: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/row/rus/971.htm
Project 971 Shuka-B
Akula class
Attack Submarine (Nuclear Powered)

The Project 971 Shuka-B attack submarine multi-purpose submarine is capable of strikes against groups of hostile ships and against coastal installations. Designated the "Akula" class by the West, the submarine is officially designated Project 971 Shuka B (shuka is an aggressive breed of fresh water pike). Some 110 meters long, the Akula is double-hulled with considerable distance between the outer and inner hulls to reduce the possible damage to the inner hull. The hull is constructed of low magnetic steel, and divided into eight compartments, and features a distinctive high aft fin. The Project 971, using a steel hull, was initiated in 1976 when it became evident that existing industrial infrastructure was inadequate to mass produce the expensive titanium hulls of the Project 945 Sierra class. The performance of the Project 971 boats was a close approximation to that of the Project 945 design, though the later was significantly more expensive to build and maintain. It has 650 mm and 533 mm torpedo tubes which can use mines as well as Granat cruise missiles, antisubmarine missiles, and torpedoes.

The submarines feature double hull construction, dramatically increasing the reserve buoyancy of the submarine by as much as three times over that of a single hull craft. Ballast tanks and other gear are located between the inner and outer hulls, and limber holes are provided for the free-flooding sections between the hulls. Akula class submarines incorporate limber hole covers that can be closed to reduce or eliminate this source of unwanted noise.

Built to engage surface task forces and coastal facilities, the Akula submarine design was under constant upgrade. NATO designated the Project 971 boats as Akula I, and the Project 971U as "Improved Akula I" while Project 971A was designated Akula II. According to some reports the 'Akula-II' class has a 3.7 meter longer hull to accomdate a quieter propulsion system. There is some non-trivial disagreement between authoritative sources as to launch and commission dates for all units, as well as which units are 'Improved Akula' vs. 'Akuka-II'.

The Akula is the quietest Russian nuclear submarine ever designed, and the low noise levels came as a surprise to Western intelligence. Russia claims the Akula is the quietest of its domestically built submarines and is fitted with acoustic countermeasure equipment. Noise reduction efforts include rafting the propulsion plant, anechoic tiles on the outside and inside of the hulls and possibly other measures such as active noise cancellation. Nonetheless, the American Improved Los Angeles class retained a decisive edge in silencing compared to the Akuka I. The Project 971A Akula II incorporated an improved double layer silencing system for the power train. According to Russian sources, this variant had noise emissions that were roughly the level of a basic Los Angeles and that of the Improved Los Angeles at slow speeds. At medium or high speeds the Improved Los Angeles design retains an acoustic advantage according to Russian sources. The Project 971 uses advanced sound insulation techniques that may not withstand Russian service conditions, and it may actually be noiser than earlier designs using more basic quieting technologies if poorly built or improperly maintained. The Project 971 is said by Russian sources to be at a distinct disadvantage in sensors, with a sonar suite that is roughly one-third as sensitive as the Los Angeles, able to track only two targets simultaneously (as opposed to the multiple target tracking capabilities of the American system).

The Akula can launch a range of anti-submarine and anti-surface vessel torpedoes. The submarine has eight torpedo launch tubes, four 650 millimetre and four 533 millimetre tubes. The Improved Akula and Akula II have ten, with six 533 mm tubes. The four 650 mm tubes can be fitted with liners to provide additional 533 mm weapon launch capacity. The torpedo tubes can be used to launch mines instead of torpedoes. The Akula Class carry up to twelve Granat submarine launched cruise missiles. The missiles are fired from four 533 mm torpedo launch tubes. The submarine's anti-ship missiles are the Novator SS-N-15 Starfish and the Novator SS-N-16 Stallion and an air defence capability is provided by the Strela SA-N-5/8 portable missile launcher with 18 missiles.

The main propulsion machinery consists of a VM-5 pressure water reactor with a model OK-650 b high-density reactor core rated at 190 MW with a GT3A turbine developing 35 MW. Some sources credit Akula with two reactors, but it appears that the Akula has only one reactor, as opposed to older Russian subs, which had two. Two auxiliary diesels rated at 750 hp provide emergency power. The propulsion system drives a seven bladed fixed pitch propeller. The propulsion system provides a maximum submerged speed of 33 knots and a surface speed of 10 knots. A reserve propeller system, powered by two motors rated at 370 kw, provides a speed of 3 to 4 knots. The submarine is rated for a diving depth to 600 meters. The submarine carries sufficient supplies for an endurance of 100 days and is operated by a complement of 73 crew.

The submarines were built by the Amur Shipbuilding Plant Joint Stock Company at Komsomolsk-on-Amur and at the Severodvinsk shipbuilding yard. Output of Akula submarines remained steady at one-to-two a year until 1995. Eight Akula class submarines were built in Komsomolsk until activities there ceased in 1993. All sources are in agreement that a total of seven Akula I submarines were built [though there is some dispute as to whether K-461 Volk or K-480 Bars is an Akula I or an Improved Akula I]. These boats were all commissioned between 1985-86 and 1992. The prototype K-284 was decommissioned in 1995 to avoid the expense of a reactor refueling, and is generally not expected to return to service. According to some sources, at least one and perhaps as many as three Akula-Is were placed in reserve status in the late 1990s.

At least two and perhaps as many as four Improved Akulas entered service between 1992 and 1995. An additional Improved Akula I [K.267 Drakon] was launched in 1994 and delivered to the Russian Navy in 1995, though subsequently repossessed by the shipyard due to lack of payment. The boat reportedly remained in the possession of the Komsomolosk yard, which was said to be trying to sell her. According to some sources at least one [and probably two] additional Akula-Is remained undelivered [and almost certainly largely unfinished] at Komsomol'sk-na-Amur.

The status of the Akula II program is less certain, with at least one authoritative source maintaining that this class has yet to put to sea. The Vepr [which is probably an Akula II] was launched in December 1994 and according to some sources was commissioned in 1995. The Gepard was laid down in 1991, with the sub scheduled to enter active service in 1996. In fact,Gepard is still in the yard, and has been renamed Belgograd. The sub's crew was scheduled to arrive on board in early 1998 while the boat was still under construction. At least two and perhaps as many as four more Akula II units are being built. As of early-1999 there were at least two unfinished Project 971A Akula-IIs in the building halls at Severodvinsk [probably the ex-Gepard Belgograd and the Kuguar]. No completion date is projected, but they appeared unlikely to be completed before 2001.

The active submarines of this class are in restricted service to conserve their remaining reactor core lives. There are at least eight Akula submarines currently operational, and by some estimates the number of Akulas in active service may be as great as eleven. At least three more units [and possibly as many as five] remain under construction, and their completion could bring the total inventory to as many as fifteen boats by the end of the decade.


The entire staff at Force seems to be involved in plagiarism!!!

Anyways, IB4TL!

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Postby shiv » 10 Aug 2004 08:48

Prasun Sengupta is a well known plagiarist and any article by him should ring all sorts of alarm bells.

However the thread is good entertainment, if nothing else.

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Postby JTull » 10 Aug 2004 15:25

Guys, thanks for clearing the hot air.

IB4TL.

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Postby Rudra » 10 Aug 2004 15:36

If Yasen hull was launched in 1995 Russia, 1992 is too late to start work. They must have got the design work started in late 1980s.

for 3M14E details its best to go by Janes I posted in AFM because
- it came from russian source with photos
- we already have the tech for sub launch of Klub
- no sign of sub launched brahmos being worked on or planned
- a subsonic initial stage at low level is the ideal for LACMs
- the VLS cells could still have 8xbrahmos/xyz

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Postby John » 10 Aug 2004 17:05

Ashutosh, u more or less said what i thought when the thread first popped up seemed like bunch googled here and there and put together.
no sign of sub launched brahmos being worked on or planned

it wont require much or any testing at all. sub launched brahmos will exactly similar to ship launched variant it will still use the same VLS system.

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Postby Vick » 10 Aug 2004 18:17

Did people miss the bit about the nukes being demated from the sub except in the case of "extreme nation crisis"? What kind of crap deterance is that? I hope that is just CYA talk but in reality, the subs with go out will full armament.

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Postby Rudra » 10 Aug 2004 18:27

john, they are talking of using the 3M14 via torpedo tubes. Brahmos as you said can be fired from VLS, but if have another 1000km range weapon better to use that.
design wise its much easier to put another turbofan engine or bigger
fuel tank in the Klub than try to extend brahmos range I think.

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Postby veerav » 10 Aug 2004 18:29

As per IE report..http://www.indianexpress.com/ie20010528/nat21.html

Sources say that Sagarika will come in both versions — cruise and ballistic. It is, however, confirmed to be an advanced clone of the naval version of the Prithvi series. Prithvi-I is land-based, II is air- launched and III, sea launched. The difference is that Sagarika is designed exclusively for being launched from a submarine, hence is an SLBM (SLCM is a cruise missile.)


So there exists plans for air-launched Prithvi....

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Postby Cybaru » 10 Aug 2004 18:32

Vick wrote:Did people miss the bit about the nukes being demated from the sub except in the case of "extreme nation crisis"? What kind of crap deterance is that? I hope that is just CYA talk but in reality, the subs will go out will full armament.



I wish, he atleast watched hollywood made crap.. It would help him write more believable stuff...

But he is right, this is the last hidden deterrent, so they are gonna tip toe back to shore to pick up the nukes, then sail back into phiring position.

The only thing correct that guy got as I said earlier, is that govt has a facility with barbed wirings in vishakapatnam.. whats behind those walls is anyones guess..

Lets wait for the one liner the navy will issue some day..

I am sure they will call it something sedate like Matsya or some version of it which portrays a water dwelling creature with a freaking smile on the face.

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Postby Cybaru » 10 Aug 2004 18:34

Rudra Singha wrote:john, they are talking of using the 3M14 via torpedo tubes. Brahmos as you said can be fired from VLS, but if have another 1000km range weapon better to use that.
design wise its much easier to put another turbofan engine or bigger
fuel tank in the Klub than try to extend brahmos range I think.


What if Brahmos can do a subsonic trajectory like Klub almost all the way ?

Won't that also extend the range ? is that possible with the current config ?

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Postby Rudra » 10 Aug 2004 18:37

why are people so insistent and attached to the Brahmos...treat it like another arrow in the quiver not the only arrow. there are other tools for each job. Klub from day1 being a economical low flyer is better suited as a LACM. Brahmos lo-lo-lo range is onlee 120km. due to small wings on brahmos it may not handle well at low speeds due to low lift ?

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Postby Cybaru » 10 Aug 2004 18:57

Well air launched Klub will give it even more range, but thats not the point saar..

If you have a home made cheap arrow and if it can fulfill all roles, why not explore that to the fullest.

The economies of scale work with you and its home made as well. So no one other than the user has any idea as to how many you have.

The current KLUB stock might not exceed 100 at most. And thats not going to be expended during T-5..

Unless GOI decides to license make all future variants of KLUB too, it will be expensive to buy all you need from the ruskies.

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Postby Arun_S » 10 Aug 2004 19:09

Rudra Singha wrote:why are people so insistent and attached to the Brahmos...treat it like another arrow in the quiver not the only arrow. there are other tools for each job. Klub from day1 being a economical low flyer is better suited as a LACM. Brahmos lo-lo-lo range is onlee 120km. due to small wings on brahmos it may not handle well at low speeds due to low lift ?


Low speed or sub-sonic Brahmos? :-? Forget about it. Ramjet engine is lit only at speeds above Mach-1 (~M1.4) and best operates in M2-3.5 range.

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Postby Cybaru » 10 Aug 2004 19:18

Arun_S wrote:
Low speed or sub-sonic Brahmos? :-? Forget about it. Ramjet engine is lit only at speeds above Mach-1 (~M1.4) and best operates in M2-3.5 range.


Cool, thanks!

How big (lengthwise) would brahmos have to be to go 600-800 KMs away..

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Postby Rudra » 10 Aug 2004 19:19

well there you have it. Time to invest in another production line for Klub-MKI in india.
every long range LACM in the world looks like the Klub structurally and conceptwise.

We need further items to make it a deadly weapon and for that israel has to be roped in.

- replace the radar contrast seeker mentioned in Janes article with a hi-end IIR seeker from rafael :twisted:
- ability to get mid course retargeting from indian platforms
- revive GLONASS, dont talk just act on the plan
- GLONASS mode against static targets
- work with Omsk design bureau for a Klub2 featuring a new model of
the Sampsons drop down turbofan to replace the turbojet. this is the
KEY to a huge range.
- advanced submunitions & special weapons like electric grid shorting carbon fibre cloud , N-payload
- Land based TEL version to go after bases in Tibet/China
- Air launched version for Tibet and mainland China.
- bomber version of MTA with a 8-round rotary ALCM launcher in
belly and a further 2 under the wings
:twisted:
- launcher can also take shoals of small bombs or some big 5000lb type
GLONASS guided bombs.
Last edited by Rudra on 10 Aug 2004 19:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Cybaru » 10 Aug 2004 19:20

:)

Do a write up and hard sell to Aatre.

Yes, yes.. The MTA.. sigh ... when .. when ?

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Postby John » 10 Aug 2004 19:34

Rudra Singha wrote:why are people so insistent and attached to the Brahmos...treat it like another arrow in the quiver not the only arrow. there are other tools for each job. Klub from day1 being a economical low flyer is better suited as a LACM. Brahmos lo-lo-lo range is onlee 120km. due to small wings on brahmos it may not handle well at low speeds due to low lift ?

120 km lo lo range of brahmos is misleading because its the range after it performs a lot of lo manuveurs to avoid ship air defense system. As mentined boves its ramjet and it cannot be made subsonic. Reason why LACM fly low is to fly below radar detection and being shot down if it were it fly hi, brahmos which is more than 3 times faster than 3M14E is pretty impossible to shoot down, so flying parabolic flight path with no end manuveurs its range will probably be pretty hi. Anyway There has been a lot of intrests in hi flying supersonic missles these days (USN,USAF and RAF) mainly because with land based SAM systems getting better at shooting down low flying targets flying high coupled with thawks poor performance in recent wars.

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Postby Priyank » 10 Aug 2004 20:36

veerav wrote:As per IE report..http://www.indianexpress.com/ie20010528/nat21.html

Sources say that Sagarika will come in both versions — cruise and ballistic. It is, however, confirmed to be an advanced clone of the naval version of the Prithvi series. Prithvi-I is land-based, II is air- launched and III, sea launched. The difference is that Sagarika is designed exclusively for being launched from a submarine, hence is an SLBM (SLCM is a cruise missile.)


So there exists plans for air-launched Prithvi....


Jeez ... You are at it again. :roll:

The Prithvi - II is the version used by the IAF. Just because the missile is operated by the IAF doesn't mean that it is air launched, which I bet is exactly what that journalist thought. There is a picture of it somewhere on BR along with its TEL.

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Postby Ravinder » 10 Aug 2004 20:59

cy_baru wrote:
Arun_S wrote:
Low speed or sub-sonic Brahmos? :-? Forget about it. Ramjet engine is lit only at speeds above Mach-1 (~M1.4) and best operates in M2-3.5 range.


Cool, thanks!

How big (lengthwise) would brahmos have to be to go 600-800 KMs away..


Can the Brahmos range even be extended? I reckon that if there is a long range LACM being developed in India, it would be more akin to the Klub or even the Lakshya.

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Postby sudeep » 11 Aug 2004 00:44

john wrote:120 km lo lo range of brahmos is misleading because its the range after it performs a lot of lo manuveurs to avoid ship air defense system.


I wonder what manuvers can it perform at mach 2.5-3.

Reason why LACM fly low is to fly below radar detection and being shot down if it were it fly hi, brahmos which is more than 3 times faster than 3M14E is pretty impossible to shoot down, so flying parabolic flight path with no end manuveurs its range will probably be pretty hi. Anyway There has been a lot of intrests in hi flying supersonic missles these days (USN,USAF and RAF) mainly because with land based SAM systems getting better at shooting down low flying targets flying high coupled with thawks poor performance in recent wars.


The requirement for supersonic LACMS is to strike targets based on real time intel, e.g. Osamas sat phone is tracked in CIA hq, info is passed on to a ship parked in the arabian sea, and a missile strikes the reported location in less than 15minutes. Thawk with tercom and GPS and a programmable flight path remains as potent as ever against static targets.

What type of engine is used in Lakshya, is it a turbo fan or a turbo jet ? Recently, there was news of a new version of Lakshya being tested with an improved engine.

Reportedly, even with the older engine, Lakshya as a cruise missle would have a range of 600km+ and a payload of 350Kgs. With a light weight efficient engine and tercom maps from TES, CARTOSAT-1, we can have our own early model (GW1) THawk a lot sooner than some people expect.

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Postby Rudra » 11 Aug 2004 01:12

lakshya PTAE-7 is a turbojet engine. the old engine was imported from germany. photo here:

link

at Mach3 not much scope for hard turns, will burn a lot of energy and those small wings will be hard put to assert authority.

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Postby John » 11 Aug 2004 02:25

I wonder what manuvers can it perform at mach 2.5-3.

dont know bout yakhont/brahmos but moskit pulls close to 10 g's in its terminal phase i would imagine yakhont should be able to pull that if not more.

hawk with tercom and GPS and a programmable flight path remains as potent as ever against static targets.

problem is that it doesnt pack much penetration capability there were instances were thawks were completly useless against fortefied buildings.

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Postby Arun_S » 11 Aug 2004 06:23

john wrote: Anyway There has been a lot of intrests in hi flying supersonic missles these days (USN,USAF and RAF) mainly because with land based SAM systems getting better at shooting down low flying targets flying high coupled with thawks poor performance in recent wars.


I belive there are 3 driveres to the interest (in my order of priority):
1. Very small RCS. Ramjet missiles configuration by definition is stealthy. Ther eare no large wings that need to swing out of body. Much of lift is from lifting surface. There ar no rotating compressor blades that are tell tale RCS headache.

2. Difficult to defete:
2A) because it compresses the defensive system (ABM) reaction time 3 to 5 times, and

2B ) 3 times greater speed makes targeting & interception 10 time more difficult mainly due to limitiation on accuracy of RADAR systems.

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Postby SaiK » 12 Aug 2004 02:31

The Navy chief for the first time acknowledged the existence of the advanced technology vessel (ATV) project to build Indian’s own nuclear-powered submarine. “It’s a DRDO project and the Navy has no knowledge about its status,” he said tersely.

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Hope Navy is the primary stake-holder for these type of projects. Else, when slips happen, its easy for each stakeholders to wash off hands.

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Postby NRao » 12 Aug 2004 02:34

So is the orignal article deemed authentic or bogus? Where are we on this ATV business?

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Postby Cybaru » 12 Aug 2004 02:36

Too much riff raff to tell either way... good for psy ops but useless otherwise I think...


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