Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

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NRao
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby NRao » 01 Dec 2019 07:32

Nov 12, 2019 :: The Man Supplying India's Defence Forces Sees Sharp Gain in Wealth

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.................................Solar was the first private company to get a license from the Indian government to make explosives for warheads for India’s defense forces. “The government had never thought that the private sector in India could produce ammunition,” says Nuwal. “But I was very confident.”

In the past year, Solar has received orders to make propellants for the Akash missile, a medium-range surface-to-air missile, and the Pinaka, a multiple rocket launcher, used by the country’s defense forces, as well as for pyrotechnics, which help initiate the explosion, and igniters, which provide the spark for the ammunition. It has also received a trial order for propellants for the BrahMos cruise missile, a medium-range missile that can be fired from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. Its current order book totals 4 billion rupees. In the latest financial year, defense-related sales accounted for about 1.7 billion rupees, a four-fold increase from the previous year. Although still only about 7% of total revenues, the defense business is Solar’s fastest-growing segment.

Nuwal firmly believes that India can cut its dependence on imported defense equipment. He wants to convince the government that the private sector is capable of providing quality ammunition at a competitive price and in a timely manner. For the ten years to 2018, India has ranked as either the world’s largest or second-largest importer of defense equipment by expenditure, as ranked by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Last year India spent $66.5 billion on military expenses.

The majority of the defense equipment that India gets locally supplied comes from nine state-owned companies and 40 ordnance factories under the Ministry of Defense. Nuwal would like to alter this system. “I decided, even if we achieve nothing else [in terms of business from the government], we need to change their mindset,” and show that India’s private sector is capable of providing quality products at a reasonable price, says Nuwal.

It was not easy—he had to set up new facilities and hire experts without any guarantee of winning a government contract. He started with an investment of about 600 million rupees in the facilities before receiving his first order. “They’ve got excellent facilities and found the right skills in good people,” says KV Kuber, director, aerospace and defense at EY in India. “They’ve created indigenous technology.”

With Solar paving the way, a handful of other private companies are now entering the sector. But Solar has first-mover advantage, says Santosh Yellapu, a defense analyst at Mumbai-based IndiaNivesh Securities. “They are well prepared to get all approvals. They know how the defense ecosystem works, how the files move from one table to the next,” he says. When asked about the prospects for the defense business, Nuwal says simply: “There is no reason for us to be stopped.”

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby ramdas » 01 Dec 2019 11:13

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2019/dec/01/nuclear-capable-agni-iii-missile-fails-in-maiden-night-trial-2069737.html


The A-3 trial was unfortunately unsuccessful. Appears to have involved a manufactirung defect. Hope we do not suffer from OFB like quality control in such a crucial thing as our deterrent. Failures like this that come after the system has been inducted with seven successful tests in a row are far more worrying than failures in the first two or three tests.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby tandav » 01 Dec 2019 12:19

ramdas wrote:
https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2019/dec/01/nuclear-capable-agni-iii-missile-fails-in-maiden-night-trial-2069737.html


The A-3 trial was unfortunately unsuccessful. Appears to have involved a manufactirung defect. Hope we do not suffer from OFB like quality control in such a crucial thing as our deterrent. Failures like this that come after the system has been inducted with seven successful tests in a row are far more worrying than failures in the first two or three tests.


They should immediately pull random stock and test again immediately

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby dinesha » 01 Dec 2019 12:30

ramdas wrote:
https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2019/dec/01/nuclear-capable-agni-iii-missile-fails-in-maiden-night-trial-2069737.html


The A-3 trial was unfortunately unsuccessful. Appears to have involved a manufactirung defect. Hope we do not suffer from OFB like quality control in such a crucial thing as our deterrent. Failures like this that come after the system has been inducted with seven successful tests in a row are far more worrying than failures in the first two or three tests.


As per rumours another batch test is being planned . Another big test possibly this Saturday..
Last edited by dinesha on 01 Dec 2019 12:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby ramdas » 01 Dec 2019 12:44

No problem with the test.


How can you say that ? It is good that they are testing, but defects cropping up at this stage in the A-3 are worrying, if true (likely, since Hemant Rout is usually reliable).

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby dinesha » 01 Dec 2019 12:48

I meant they are scheduling another test..according to some rumours
edited above

Rout's coverage about A-III failure
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EKrwvh8VAAA ... name=large
Last edited by dinesha on 01 Dec 2019 13:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby dinesha » 01 Dec 2019 13:16

Another night test for 200 KM range missile on 3 December.
Testing Prahaar/Pragati, perhaps??


Image

krishna_krishna
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby krishna_krishna » 01 Dec 2019 18:52

ramdas wrote:
No problem with the test.


How can you say that ? It is good that they are testing, but defects cropping up at this stage in the A-3 are worrying, if true (likely, since Hemant Rout is usually reliable).


WTF, HK Rout mentions manufacturing defect, A3 is very important to have defect is this program is suicidal

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby chetak » 02 Dec 2019 07:23

If it is a manufacturing defect, who cleared it and why was the defect not spotted.

Don't these guys enforce tight control plans for inspections or is it all chalta hai mentality.


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Karan M
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 02 Dec 2019 08:14

They do impose a lot of controls and tests, but clearly, they need to do far more at the supplier end. Same issue with Akash but it was fixed thereafter.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby ramdas » 02 Dec 2019 08:38

They do impose a lot of controls and tests, but clearly, they need to do far more at the supplier end. Same issue with Akash but it was fixed thereafter.


Certainly needed. It may also help to reduce the variety in the arsenal. Something like A-1 for TSP and A-5 (incl. a MIRVed variant) for PRC each of which is produced in sufficient numbers will be better. The two types should each be tested thrice a year, reducing to two tests a year once 10-15 consecutive successes are achieved. Plus A-5 is likely to be more reliable given that it is canisterized. If you read Hemant Rout's article carefully, the source only mentioned a metallurgical problem. Whether it is during manufacture (this is what Hemant Rout may have assumed) or whether it developed during years of storage is unclear. If it is the latter, canisterization would avoid that.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby lakshmanM » 02 Dec 2019 09:52

Umm, can anyone explain that?
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JayS
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby JayS » 02 Dec 2019 14:40

^^ inaccurate way of calculating success rates. For a more realistic success rate, we need to rely solely on the inducted lot's test matrix. Development tests are bound to skew the numbers. For example, all successful development tests wont ensure 100% guarantee of successful firing if there are manufacturing defects and the reasons for failures during development tests, a lot of which would be design related issues, would mostly be debugged and unlikely to reappear in inducted lot.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby JayS » 02 Dec 2019 14:56

chetak wrote:If it is a manufacturing defect, who cleared it and why was the defect not spotted.

Don't these guys enforce tight control plans for inspections or is it all chalta hai mentality.


Image


Assuming its indeed a MFG defect, we don't know what's the issue. Its is quite possible that the manufacturing defect was result of some kind of case which was completely unexpected. Many a times, new issues crop up even in well established processes. Manufacturing is quite complicated and has too many variables. Certain product that my company makes, we are global leader in it and have decades of experience with the class of products, we still see unexpected results in final parts and the engineers routinely run out of depth in figuring out root cause (all production in gora-land so SDRE incompetency is not in picture here :wink: ). For a lot of things, its still trial and error or personal experience based solutions (rather than logical/analytical one) which may or may not work. Sometimes you just keep trying until its fixed. Quality checks are decided based on the process capabilities and experience. There is always a cost-benefit balance between the prescribed quality checks and the quality of the product. So even though some drawing requirements might be critical, the quality checks for them could be waived off if there is enough substantiation to prove that certain requirement is unlikely to be violated given the manufacturing process in place. At other times, the checks are non-negotiable, despite the cost implications, for example for things which may result in catastrophic failure resulting in injuries or loss of life ultimately. Its practically not possible to check each and every requirement even in Aerospace. Escapes are fact of life despite tightest (practically speaking) control on quality.

Point is, we don't know what is the issue. There are many possibilities. So lets not draw conclusions based on literally zero information that we have. It could be a design issue for all we know. NO one has done analysis of the debris, so MFG defect is just a preliminary assessment.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Aditya_V » 02 Dec 2019 15:05

Well, reiterates the point that your deterrent must have redundancy for failures and ABM intercepts. Keep producing them till the enemy realises it is in high numbers and no point trying to take them on.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby ArjunPandit » 02 Dec 2019 20:20

Aditya_V wrote:Well, reiterates the point that your deterrent must have redundancy for failures and ABM intercepts. Keep producing & Testing them till the enemy realises it is in high numbers and no point trying to take them on.

i used to think very highly of A3, given it was very successful. I think we should not lower the testing tempo down..every year we should have tests..these are very complex systems and the more (and diverse) data the merrier...

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 02 Dec 2019 22:45

Post the 2nd order for Akash, this report pops up.

https://www.firstpost.com/india/akash-m ... 28651.html

But lets get into details, re: issues mentioned:

On 3 June, 2018, Akash Missile's Transportation and Loading Vehicle (TLV), parked at an Air Force Squadron, was jolted after a sudden burst of tube followed by shearing off wheel bolts due to impact.


Bad english here. The TLV has various systems on it, so some tube (compressor?) burst shearing off wheel bolts. No mention of whether it was a one-off or not.

More than a month later, another squadron reported cracks on air intake caps of dummy missiles. An investigation by Firstpost revealed that the incidents were followed by other squadrons reporting frequent unserviceability of mobile surface-to-air Akash Missile system and long duration downtime, which means that the missiles are dysfunctional and may not be cocked and loaded against enemy in contingency.


Dummy missiles would be used for fit, form checks and training, question is whether there caps are different from those of actual ones. The 2nd statement has no details. What was the long duration downtime due to?

The sheer inertia of government defence enterprise involved in Akash Missile production and maintenance reached to such an alarming level that at least three squadrons of Akash in February 2019 reported that missile system remained down or simply broken and sometimes even out of order during 90 percent of the time since their date of commissioning.


This is an alarming issue and indicates the issue is regarding supply chain management. Broken or replacement parts are not being provided in time, so the parts are being leveraged for the other five squadrons.

Multiple government agencies, .... did not tell the truth to the government about malfunctioning Akash Missile system and poor quality of spare parts provided by the private vendors.


This is a perennial problem with DPSUs and their vendor management. Poorly drafted agreements and very slow corrective action judging by multiple reports, e.g. HAL with ALH

The malfunction of Integrated Air Compressor and Storage Facility (IACSF) revealed another shocker and the Air Force mentioned it on record that the IACSFs of Akash Missile System units are unserviceable due to wobbling and vibration, pneumatic leakage, breaking of mounting pads and bolts.
A missile had failed to take off during combined guided weapon firing exercise known as 'CROSSBOW-18' and a team of Missile System Quality Assurance Agency (MSQAA), BDL and DRDL was constituted to investigate the failure.


Again, this is poor authorship. The first shows an issue with one system (finally) which is not part of the core missile design, but on a support vehicle, but is essential to load up the air bottles on the Akash for its flight control to mention. It is fixable as the IACSF is hardly some restricted, cutting edge tech and many desi firms exist to make new designs if this does not work!

Second issue may be completely unrelated to the first.

MSQAA is an independent inspection Agency under the administrative and functional control of Director General Aeronautical Quality Assurance, which comes under the Department of Defence Production of Defence Ministry. The incidents of leakage from fuel tanks and leakage in pressurised Missile containers were taken so lightly that the Air Force, responsible to secure the nation from aerial threats, was forced to direct to the DRDL, BEL and BDL that present configuration of certain systems of Akash Missile will not be acceptable for future squadrons,


Again, these seem to be related to the subsystem and loading vehicles. Akash is a solid motor, leakage from fuel tanks does not really make sense. Leakage from "pressurized missile containers" - these could be either the Tata made missile containers which were supposed to have inert gas in them, or the pressurized containers holding compressed air for missile to operate. However, judging by the previous paragraph, it seems more logical that the complaints are all referring to the "IACSF" - i.e. integrated air compressor and storage facility, which compresses the air and likely stores it for transfer to the Akash missiles.

If there is an emergent situation, several Akash sqaudron may not be able to launch counter offensive because deficiencies in many of the system including hydraulic oil leakage and container pressure leakage, which is pending since 2017.


Same system as above

The complaints received from Air Force headquarters, Eastern Air Command and other Akash field units reveals there is no back-to-back agreement with vendors for equipment under warranty, making it difficult to repair the faults.


This is an oversight, period which the DPSUs have to fix.

The documents also pointed to massive delay in supply of spares for Missile System, virtually grounding them for for six months to a year. Air Force in a meeting had informed that most of the problems reported in 2017 were pending for over a year now. The documents also pointed at the repairing of Akash trailers which are covered under annual maintenance contract. It said: "Akash Trailers serviceability is poor and some cases spares supplied to Akash Missile units are not configured as per system requirement which is affecting equipment serviceability in case of failure."


Again, poor maintenance practices by the DPSUs - BEL/BDL but not related to the "core" missile design and its radar/sensor/guidance/command systems design, which would be a much much harder issue to fix.

All these issues seem to be rooted in "chalta hain" culture at DPSU management which is all about revenue recognition, ignoring customer satisfaction.

Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) the manufacturer of Akash Missile has not been able to resolve three important issues for the last two to three years.


Again, see above.

The Air Force has refused to pay for new maintenance contract for certain Akash Missile squadrons as the old ones expired in September 2019. They argued that missile systems in several squadrons were left idle for more than a year. Instead, it had asked for extension of warranty for certain squadrons which have been dysfunctional for 17 to 15 months in the last two years. Air Force asserted since system was down and faults were neither rectified nor replaced, it violated the maintenance contract. Air Force is learnt to have said that "during the warranty period, the seller shall either replace or rectify the failed goods free of charge within 30 days of notification of such defects. As per article of the contract, warranty of the equipment would be extended by such duration from time the buyer has reported such unserviceabilities till the time seller has restored the status of the buyer's satisfaction."


This is the crux of the issue. Serviceavbility can be temp boosted by replacing all malfunctioning compressors etc but the IAF has a very valid point. It is not their fault that the BDL, BEL guys did not negotiate well with the pvt vendors or whosoever made the malfunctioning support units which are affecting overall system serviceability.

And it is also clear BEL, BDL will NEVER agree to take these malfunctioning items on their balance sheet and fix it for the IAF willingly, because by doing so they invite censure from CAG because if they havent negotiated properly with the vendor, CAG will censure their management.

This stupidity requires MOD intervention on the side of the IAF and a strict lay down the law to the DPSUs in question. If the private vendor cannot fix it, then they need to be dropped from the suppliers list and DRDL needs to find alternate vendors.

These government defence enterprises have been passing the buck. They also cheated Air Force by providing substandard and fake spares.

A meeting earlier this year chaired by Air Vice Marshal Bhanoji Rao pointed at severe negligence in handling Akash Missile System which may have serious ramifications in contingency. Documents revealed that certain spares, especially those of sub-vendors (procured by BEL) were being received at Akash Missile System units without 'Quality Assurance' certification and on a few instances it came to light that these spares were old and fake. In a letter, it was noted: "On few instances it has been noticed that the items were not new/authentic."


Unacceptable, and IAF's ire is very well understandable.

When the Russians do this, its bad enough, now DPSUs pulling this fast one is unacceptable.

Air Vice Marshal Rao clearly told his team at the Air Force not to accept spares without 'Quality Assurance' certification. The meeting also revealed a lack of expertise of government-owned defence enterprises which are acting merely as a supplier of equipment after procuring it from domestic and foreign vendors. It basically means that these government enterprises are acting like a payment facilitators. Their complicity in this entire saga was further exposed when government defence enterprises officials told the senior Air Force officials that sub-vendors (private companies supplying spares) were not willing to share their design documents.


This is ridiculous. DRDO needs to step in (or MOD must force them to) and crack the whip on these suppliers.

An appalled Air Vice Marshal asked, if the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) is the authority then it must have intellectual property rights of all designs related to Akash Missile System. Obviously, the defence agencies representatives were not aware about it since they never took the pain to look into the agreements and promised the Air Force to look into the matter to ascertain whether these rights were with vendors. A promise was made to list all major vendors for unhindered supply of spares to overcome single vendor situation. As far as BEL is concerned documents said: "Almost all squadrons have expressed that they are unable to get proper feedbacks from BEL on progress and plan of action of pending faults."


He is cent per cent right, Akash is a program with the highest degree of indigenization and DRDL was the ultimate design authority. The vendors were pulling a fast one on the DPSUs or the latter were pulling a fast one on the IAF. Didn't check too much, just asked around and wrote a sorry letter to the IAF.

...

Rest is more of the same.

Basic issues:

Positive: No fundamental problem with the missile system, its design or performance

Negative: Usual "chalta hain" program management from the manufacturers exposing the program to criticism and compromising national security via low availability. 38% of the squadrons were not available, which is unacceptable for a system manufactured in country, and with such relatively simple issues related to its subsystems
.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby nam » 03 Dec 2019 00:35

This looks like the "Stallion" nonsense that was carried out by OFB. OFB used to buy Stallion trucks from AL and then sell it to IA! Having no clue what that truck actually has.

In case of Akash, since the designer is not BDL, it has no clue about the system. It just assembles the kit from private vendor! Just like the stallion truck. Screwgiri of Indian kit. Oh the irony...

It must not have formed any warranty contract with the vendors.

When IAF rightly knocked on BDL's door with issues, it raised it's hand and said not my problem! BEL & BDL were fighting over who will be the nodal agency...

Why do I feel, DRDO will soon have a production unit...or atleast a unit overseeing production with Tier 1, tier 2 vendors...!

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby srai » 03 Dec 2019 01:22

Historical (and ongoing) weak points in the node: quality control in manufacture and after sales support

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 03 Dec 2019 02:55

I suspect if L&T or Bharat Forge had been given the overall order, the problems would have been fixed double quick. This is sheer laziness and nonchalance on the part of BDL and BEL.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Aditya_V » 03 Dec 2019 10:48

It is no secret that in Government and private enterprises that Purchase departments are full of Kickbacks, this has what has most probably happened with Akash system orders

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby SajeevJino » 03 Dec 2019 10:51

grabbed my popcorn to read how the brave patriotic BRF guys starts defending the faulty Akash in the name of Indian product , which is actually a 1970's BUK remodelled by DRDO and supplied to IAF and IA as state of art missiles

I wanna laugh like a river, when days back everyone here gets orgasm by saying Akash can intercept PGM and low flying drones , blah blah

Its better IAF and IA can replace the Akash system by procuring retired Buk missiles from other nations

or lets keep giving support to DPSU and derail the capability of Indian Armed forces , cheer up BRF

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby JayS » 03 Dec 2019 11:40

SajeevJino wrote:grabbed my popcorn to read how the brave patriotic BRF guys starts defending the faulty Akash in the name of Indian product , which is actually a 1970's BUK remodelled by DRDO and supplied to IAF and IA as state of art missiles

I wanna laugh like a river, when days back everyone here gets orgasm by saying Akash can intercept PGM and low flying drones , blah blah

Its better IAF and IA can replace the Akash system by procuring retired Buk missiles from other nations

or lets keep giving support to DPSU and derail the capability of Indian Armed forces , cheer up BRF


Great post. We all learnt so much out of it.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 03 Dec 2019 11:44

Dont even bother with the low quality trolls. He has been sent on a vacation for a week. Not the first time he has attempted to bait folks based on BS and innuendo.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby chetak » 03 Dec 2019 12:18

JayS wrote:
chetak wrote:If it is a manufacturing defect, who cleared it and why was the defect not spotted.

Don't these guys enforce tight control plans for inspections or is it all chalta hai mentality.


Image


Assuming its indeed a MFG defect, we don't know what's the issue. Its is quite possible that the manufacturing defect was result of some kind of case which was completely unexpected. Many a times, new issues crop up even in well established processes. Manufacturing is quite complicated and has too many variables. Certain product that my company makes, we are global leader in it and have decades of experience with the class of products, we still see unexpected results in final parts and the engineers routinely run out of depth in figuring out root cause (all production in gora-land so SDRE incompetency is not in picture here :wink: ). For a lot of things, its still trial and error or personal experience based solutions (rather than logical/analytical one) which may or may not work. Sometimes you just keep trying until its fixed. Quality checks are decided based on the process capabilities and experience. There is always a cost-benefit balance between the prescribed quality checks and the quality of the product. So even though some drawing requirements might be critical, the quality checks for them could be waived off if there is enough substantiation to prove that certain requirement is unlikely to be violated given the manufacturing process in place. At other times, the checks are non-negotiable, despite the cost implications, for example for things which may result in catastrophic failure resulting in injuries or loss of life ultimately. Its practically not possible to check each and every requirement even in Aerospace. Escapes are fact of life despite tightest (practically speaking) control on quality.

Point is, we don't know what is the issue. There are many possibilities. So lets not draw conclusions based on literally zero information that we have. It could be a design issue for all we know. NO one has done analysis of the debris, so MFG defect is just a preliminary assessment.


saar,

quality checks are designer defined.

If quality checks are tinkered with then the cost of poor quality kicks in.

A missile system is not to be checked based on experience.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karthik S » 03 Dec 2019 12:46

Tried to find similar failures of missile tests of US, but couldn't find an article. Statistically, it's a given that not every single product from a production lot will work 100%, it will be better if we can get a benchmark by comparing to other countries.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby darshhan » 03 Dec 2019 15:11

Missile test failure is a fact of life. Missiles are extremely complex objects comprising of thousands of parts and miles of cabling. And then there is this extremely complex software code. Any part can go wrong. Even if the part works for a certain no. of times in flawless manner, under certain set of conditions it might fail. You just have to move on and increase the testing tempo even more to rule out any systemic flaws. Manufacturing defects can occur inspite of the vendors' best efforts. So no point blaming them without adequate investigation. Only repeated testing will bring out the flaws.

Even the countries which are supposed to be most advanced wrt missile development face failures. Here as per below reports the minuteman missile failed atleast 3 times during testing. In 2005, 2011 and 2018.

missile test failure 1

The U.S. Air Force is beginning to narrow down possible explanations for a rare flight test failure last month of one of its Minuteman 3 ICBMs, but it appears that the precise cause has not yet been determined (see GSN, July 27).

An "anomaly" occurred during the final powered stage of the July 27 launch, when the missile was being propelled by its post-boost motor, according to Air Force Global Strike Command officials.

This was the first flight test failure in two years and only the second such incident since 1998, when the current Minuteman 3 configuration was fielded, said GSC spokeswoman Michele Tasista, speaking on behalf of a team of experts at the Louisiana-based command.

The nation maintains 450 of the nuclear-armed, strategic-range ballistic missiles on round-the-clock alert in underground military silos in three states: Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Minuteman 3 was first fielded in 1970 but has undergone a number of technology updates and refurbishments over the past four decades. Its boost and post-boost systems have a nearly 93 percent success rate in flight tests during that time period, Tasista said.

Global Strike Command directs day-to-day missile readiness operations and oversees flight tests roughly twice a year of ICBMs pulled randomly from launch facilities and immediately replaced by operational spares.

The Minuteman 3 tests are conducted over the Pacific Ocean without a nuclear payload and are intended to demonstrate that the missile continues to function properly. Each trial costs about $10.3 million, or twice that amount if the expense of the missile is included.

Global Strike Command has not described the anomaly, saying only that the shot was "terminated due to potential safety concerns along the predicted flight path."

The command officials also would not say whether initial findings appear to indicate a guidance problem, a faulty propulsion system or some other glitch. After observing the abnormality, military controllers aborted the flight with a self-destruct mechanism five minutes after the missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

"We can't speculate on the cause of the anomaly, which is under investigation," Tasista and her team said in response to questions from Global Security Newswire.

The Minuteman 3's Propulsion System Rocket Engine -- a liquid-propellant stage used for positioning nuclear-equipped re-entry vehicles precisely towards their intended targets -- has "a perfect safety and performance record in over 200 flights spanning 30 years of successful operational deployment," the motor manufacturer, Aerojet, boasts on its website.

The liquid stage ignites only after three solid-fuel rocket motors boost the missile into space. Upon separating from a bulkhead, one or more re-entry vehicles coast on a ballistic trajectory and return into the atmosphere en route to their targets.

Command officials confirmed that the Propulsion System Rocket Engine used in the failed ICBM test last month was refurbished in 2005. An ongoing service-life extension effort is being conducted to ensure that all the liquid-fuel motors installed in Minuteman 3 missiles can remain in service through 2020, according to Aerojet.

A malfunctioning guidance system on the Minuteman 3 might be a more likely cause of the test failure, according to defense experts.

"We have never had a problem with the post-boost [propulsion] system," said one retired ICBM commander. "So I would find it hard to believe that's the culprit."

The former officer spoke on condition of not being named because of military sensitivities involved in discussing technical details about nuclear weapons.

Guidance engineers and analysts from Minuteman 3 contractors Boeing and Northrop Grumman sit on the Global Strike Command board investigating the July incident -- a possible indication that the service suspects a guidance-system malfunction -- while liquid rocket engine manufacturer Aerojet is notably absent.

Boeing performs maintenance on the Minuteman 3 "missile guidance set" and in 2009 completed a seven-year program to upgrade the missile's guidance system. Northrop Grumman leads the Air Force's ICBM contractor team.

The Minuteman 3's guidance system includes a computer that directs the weapon system during flight, keeping the missile on course to deliver warheads to their designated endpoints, according to the Air Force. During the liquid-fuel stage, the guidance set is intended to maneuver the delivery system to predetermined points where re-entry vehicles separate for the remainder of their ballistic trajectories.

Under the Defense Department's 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the Air Force is in the process of reducing each Minuteman 3 to a single warhead. The missile has the capacity to carry up to three warheads.

The only other flight test failure for the current configuration of the Minuteman 3 occurred in August 2009, when a trial was similarly terminated after launch. The GSC officials were unable by press time to say what caused the 2009 failure.

The command's investigation board is chaired by Lt. Col. Trevor Hazen, an operations officer with the 576th Flight Test Squadron, based at Vandenberg.

He is additionally joined on the panel by other Air Force personnel, including representatives of the 30th Space Wing Safety unit, also based at Vandenberg, and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, which is headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.
August 22, 2011



So as per this report one failure occurred in 2009 also. So that is atleast four failures in last 15 years. The other takeaway from article is that success rate of this missile is 93 percent. That means there is approximately one failure for every 10 successful launches.

missile test failure 2

The scheduled test of an unarmed U.S. Minuteman 3 ICBM failed early yesterday morning, the Lompoc Record reported (see GSN, April 4).

It was not immediately known why the missile did not leave its silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, according to a press release.

The failed test was the second this year. Further investigation is expected, according to the Record


missile test failure 3

According to Joe Thomas, the official spokesman for the US Air Force global strike command, the launch went wrong, but the problems would have to be established during a detailed analysis.

The missile had to be destroyed when it was approaching the target in the area of the Kwajalein Atoll (the Marshall Islands) in the Pacific Ocean. The ICBM was without the warhead, so it did not pose a serious threat to the environment.

In fact, problems with American missiles are of a systemic nature. In March 2018, MIM-104C missiles of the Patriot PAC-2 SAM system failed during the launch.One of them exploded in the air and the other one crashed onto a residential area of Riyadh.

On March 26, 2018, Saudi Arabia's air defense systems intercepted seven missiles launched from Yemen. Earlier, the US-made Patriot complex based in Saudi Arabia failed to strike a ballistic missile.



As far as russian missiles are concerned just check the track record for Bulava. The rightful contender for missile test failing championship, if such an award was ever constituted.

kit
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby kit » 03 Dec 2019 15:37

nam wrote:This looks like the "Stallion" nonsense that was carried out by OFB. OFB used to buy Stallion trucks from AL and then sell it to IA! Having no clue what that truck actually has.

In case of Akash, since the designer is not BDL, it has no clue about the system. It just assembles the kit from private vendor! Just like the stallion truck. Screwgiri of Indian kit. Oh the irony...

It must not have formed any warranty contract with the vendors.

When IAF rightly knocked on BDL's door with issues, it raised it's hand and said not my problem! BEL & BDL were fighting over who will be the nodal agency...

Why do I feel, DRDO will soon have a production unit...or atleast a unit overseeing production with Tier 1, tier 2 vendors...!


I think its a cheap but ok to build on commercially available material, but these need to be certified before for such purposes. , certification for use and purpose ?

ArjunPandit
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby ArjunPandit » 03 Dec 2019 15:52

it's a bit OT, but few years back Trident missile also failed..that that UK matters in these matters but still
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... a-may-know

Shashank Joshi, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, said: “I think it’s crucial to tell people that the Trident missile is identical for both the US and UK, as they are drawn from a common pool, and that test data is undoubtedly shared between the two countries.

“So who is doing the test is far less important than how often overall. And there, we have over 150 tests over almost 30 years, with a sub-3% failure rate, and well under 1% since British submarines began carrying the missiles.

ArjunPandit
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby ArjunPandit » 03 Dec 2019 15:53

i think we judge ourselves too much..here is a system in production and use by most advanced nations for decades..and they are failing...these will be part and parcel of cutting edge..learn from it and move on..why self flagellate...

mody
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby mody » 03 Dec 2019 16:04

With regards to IP of parts or components of a missile system like the Akash, I can say that if a part or component is a direct bought out item from a domestic or foreign vendor, then the IP of the same will rest with the vendor only and not DRDO or any other agency.

My company manufactures a certain important part for a defence system. We supply the same to a large private company, who in turn supply the entire system to one of the services. The said part has been developed completely in house by my company and back in the day (over 20 years ago), the services had received some old drawings of Russian origin for a similar part. However after reviewing our solution, it was chosen over trying to copy the old Russian design.
The IP for the product is fully owned by our company (not that we have filed anything official in this regards) and if any spares for the same are required at any time, the private company providing the complete solution, would have to come back to us only. Offcourse we do offer a warranty for the product as stipulated in the mutually agreed upon contract, though it would generally be limited to rectifying or replacing the part at our end.

If the component or part is only manufactured by a private vendor or a foreign vendor for that matter, as per the design and drawings provided by DRDO or any other agency, then the IP would be with DRDO. But if it is a proprietary part offered by a private vendor, I do not understand how IP would rest with DRDO etc.
At most the vendor would be required to offer complete detailed drawings of all the parts and a operational and maintenance manual for the product etc.

ArjunPandit
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby ArjunPandit » 03 Dec 2019 16:05

SajeevJino wrote:grabbed my popcorn to read how the brave patriotic BRF guys starts defending the faulty Akash in the name of Indian product , which is actually a 1970's BUK remodelled by DRDO and supplied to IAF and IA as state of art missiles

I wanna laugh like a river, when days back everyone here gets orgasm by saying Akash can intercept PGM and low flying drones , blah blah

Its better IAF and IA can replace the Akash system by procuring retired Buk missiles from other nations

or lets keep giving support to DPSU and derail the capability of Indian Armed forces , cheer up BRF

sajeev are you saying that the successful tests were fudged? i can as well counter that this test failure was faked...let me know if you have any data..otherwise we are on equal footing...

chetak
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby chetak » 03 Dec 2019 16:55

'Akash missile system can't be trusted during war': Degraded by govt defence agencies, loopholes in strategic weapon system threaten national security

Moderator note: Already posted and discussed above (see link several posts above)
Also, don't copy paste entire text as it brings up copyright issues.

lakshmanM
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby lakshmanM » 03 Dec 2019 18:21

chalta h :roll:

darshhan
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby darshhan » 03 Dec 2019 18:34

chetak wrote:'Akash missile system can't be trusted during war': Degraded by govt defence agencies, loopholes in strategic weapon system threaten national security



'Akash missile system can't be trusted during war': Degraded by govt defence agencies, loopholes in strategic weapon system threaten national security


....................

Notwithstanding, many snags were not rectified citing lack of spares. The Air Force anguished over lackadaisical attitude of BEL and BDL has firmly directed them to resolve all internal issues immediately and ensure that no Missile is kept unserviceable due to their internal problems.


Hit job. By who else other than import dalals.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Vips » 03 Dec 2019 19:06

Nag: The anti-tank missile that can destroy targets miles away.

NAG (meaning Cobra) is an anti-tank guided missile that can destroy enemy tanks miles away. One of the world’s finest in its class, the all-weather missile with day and night capabilities comes in four variants that can be launched from land and air.

The fire-and-forget missile is developed by DRDO under the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP), which also includes four other missiles — Agni, Akash, Trishul and Prithvi.

Here is everything you should know about this fire-and-forget weapon.

1. What is NAG missile's range, types and capabilities?
NAG has a minimum range of 500 metres and a maximum of 20 km, depending on the launch type. It has a top speed of 230 meter/second (or 828 km/hour).

Nag variants (Range): Prospina (500m-4km): Prospina, the land version meant for infantry, can be launched from a tracking-cum-launch vehicle known as NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier). The launch system is mounted on light infantry vehicle BMP-2 and can carry up to six missiles. Each launcher can fire four missiles in one minute.

HeliNa (7-10km): It is a helicopter-launched version of NAG with an extended range. The launch system is mounted on HAL "Rudra" helicopter using "Rudrastra" twin-launcher system and HAL Light Combat Helicopters. The launch system is used by both Indian Army and Air Force.

Helina (SANT) (15-20 km): This is an upgraded version of the third-generation Helina with an extended range. The higher range and a new nose-mounted radar seeker help the missile launch platform stay at a safe distance, to evade enemy fire.

Man Portable Anti-tank Guided Missile (MPATGM): This version is lighter (14.5 kg) in comparison to other variants and can be launched from the shoulder. It has a strike range of 2.5 km.

2. How Nag missile works:
NAG is a fire-and-forget, lock-on-before-launch missile. The missile locks target before its release. The missile operators first locate the enemy tanks with the help of thermal imaging. After identifying the target, a thermal reference image of the target is captured and locked into the Nag’s seeker system.

The missile is launched towards the locked target with this reference image. As the missile moves towards the target at a high speed, it keeps capturing target images and cross-check it simultaneously with the reference image. Any deviations from the set path is corrected through Nag’s four control fins. It all happens at a very high speed of 230 meter/second and within a range of 4-20 km, depending on the launch type.

The front part of the missile penetrates the outer explosive reactive armour (ERA) of the tanks and the main charge destroys the inside armour.

3. Why is Nag missile unique and superior in comparison to others
There are only two other fire-and-forget missiles in the world that can be compared with Nag — the American Javelin and the Israeli Spike. While Javelin and Spike are lighter missiles that can be carried by a soldier, Nag is more powerful as its infrared seekers can’t be jammed. Nag’s indigenously developed imaging seeker and high-tech guidance system make it jam-proof.

4. What are Nag missile's dimensions
It has four foldable flaps with a wingspan of 0.4 m each. The missile is 1.85m long, weighs 43kg and 0.20m in diameter. However, the 'Man Portable' variant is smaller and lighter with 15kg load capacity. The front nose houses the guidance system, the middle part of the missile has all the sensors and the warhead. The rear part has booster rocket motor that propels the missile. It also has four tail fins for stabilisation to keep the missile on track while in flight.

Varoon Shekhar
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 03 Dec 2019 19:21

Is this rather sudden effusive praise for the Nag missile a pretty direct indication that it is under bulk production, if not actual operational deployment

Karan M
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 03 Dec 2019 19:24

The DAC gave permission for procurement of 300 Nag missiles, and 25 Namica at the cost of Rs 524 Crores. Indicating 12 missiles per carrier, and basically 3 sets of reloads apart from the 4 on top.

Bart S
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Bart S » 03 Dec 2019 21:01

Varoon Shekhar wrote:Is this rather sudden effusive praise for the Nag missile a pretty direct indication that it is under bulk production, if not actual operational deployment



It is a reaction to the cheap PR/propaganda lifafas by the Israeli + JV partner.

vishvak
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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby vishvak » 03 Dec 2019 21:21

20 years ago there wasn't any design issue and nothing to self Flaglate on because there was no in house missile to begin with in case of akash. We seem to so more haai tauba for missile under routine testing when defect is manufacture related, the solutions to which could exist. Like perform quality checks at local level node, then take transport (transport plane in case of high value parts/systems) and then another quality check at AF base.


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