Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby mody » 02 Sep 2020 17:53

Prahar/Pragati missiles with a 200-250 km range would have a good force multiplier. The Chinese airforce base at Ngari, would probably be within range of these short range missiles as well at Chinese troop concentrations in the rear.
The missiles could have easily been inducted by now.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Prem Kumar » 02 Sep 2020 19:05

Vivek Sir:

1) Shaurya is not inducted. Project scrapped, or rather let to die without a whimper
2) Neither is Pragati, Pralay or Prahaar. Somewhere in the dev-trials, user-trials black hole
3) Nirbhay was scrapped as a tech-demonstrator
4) Brahmos Extended range is getting mixed news. Some reports say its been tested. But no news about induction. In the absence of confirmed news, we can assume that only the 290 Km Brahmos has been inducted

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Sep 2020 19:45

SSridhar wrote:vivek_ahuja, China has over 1500 SRBMs with dual-capability. It has the same potential to trigger a similar exchange from India too. It is very difficult to classify an incoming missile, but certain things can help.


Warhead ambiguity is an age old problem that has been studied to death in academia and military circles. At the end it comes down to intent, platforms, and targets. It is as much about the employer of such a weapon calculating its potential escalator impact as it is the defender. At the end of the day there is absolutely no way for a military tactical unit to determine that a SCALP launched from a Rafale is conventional or nuclear. Sure they can know that SCALP is a conventional weapon but who is to be certain that a nuclear variant hasn't been created in secret (again as absurd as it may sound)? So you choose your weapons, platforms and targets carefully. If you were to introduce a SCALP barage on China's second strike capability, C2, silos etc then that is inviting some escalatory trouble. But if it is a tactical weapon employed on a tactical target, then the defender has as much to "loose" going up the escalatory ladder as you.

What is more worrying is the hypersonic boost glide weapon and their general target ambiguity vis a vis their speed and altitudes. They spend 60-70% of their flight inside the atmosphere at very very high speed. So if you pick some of the intermediate range systems up say at 3000 km and then they disappear due to the radar horizon limitations you don't know if the target is Tehran or Tel Aviv (hypothetically speaking). So it gets very difficult to tell whether the tactical weapon is targeting a launch silo or some other less escalatory tactical target. This problem is so new that militaries will continue to grapel with how to take this whizbang "tech" and actually operationalize it in terms of doctrine. With very long range MaRV's this wasn't as worrisome a problem because those were strategic weapons that would always be nuclear. But tactical H-BGV's, particularly the ones that push the boundary of speed and within altitude flight times create a lot of tactical and strategic dilemmas in terms of how to employ and how to respond. Compared to that, the warhead ambiguity associated with a much shorter ranged tactical system is less of a problem.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby vivek_ahuja » 02 Sep 2020 19:57

Prem Kumar wrote:1) Shaurya is not inducted. Project scrapped, or rather let to die without a whimper
2) Neither is Pragati, Pralay or Prahaar. Somewhere in the dev-trials, user-trials black hole
3) Nirbhay was scrapped as a tech-demonstrator
4) Brahmos Extended range is getting mixed news. Some reports say its been tested. But no news about induction. In the absence of confirmed news, we can assume that only the 290 Km Brahmos has been inducted


That is depressing.

I wonder what "tech demonstrator" means. I mean, it is something the US forces have used since the late 1980s in combat. That was 40 years ago. We actually need this weapon. So tech demonstrators are good only so long as they represent the first step in a path to induction. We cannot afford science-only projects like this.

My hope is that they actually switched to something more secretive and longer range. Something they would not reveal publicly yet. But it will become public when IA units start getting equipped with the new weapon. Plus it has to be tested, no? So why the secrecy then?

Is the SCALP acquisition along with the Rafale the reason that the Nirbhay was killed off?

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby vivek_ahuja » 02 Sep 2020 20:02

brar_w wrote:Warhead ambiguity is an age old problem that has been studied to death in academia and military circles. At the end it comes down to intent, platforms, and targets. It is as much about the employer of such a weapon calculating its potential escalator impact as it is the defender. At the end of the day there is absolutely no way for a military tactical unit to determine that a SCALP launched from a Rafale is conventional or nuclear. Sure they can know that SCALP is a conventional weapon but who is to be certain that a nuclear variant hasn't been created in secret (again as absurd as it may sound)? So you choose your weapons, platforms and targets carefully. If you were to introduce a SCALP barage on China's second strike capability, C2, silos etc then that is inviting some escalatory trouble. But if it is a tactical weapon employed on a tactical target, then the defender has as much to "loose" going up the escalatory ladder as you.


Something about the subcontinent pscyhe tells me that ballistic missiles are seen very differently that air-launched missiles. I agree with your assessment but I don't think it works the same way with the regional psychology. All sides are convinced that air-launched cruise-type nuclear weapons are a shaky start to any nuclear exchange because of the unwieldy warheads (the tested ones) on both sides. Nobody would launch their untested nuclear warheads first.

Obviously this is untrue of the USA and the erstwhile Soviet Union, who extensively tested all manner of nuclear warheads on every carrier device.

Ballistic missiles, on the other hand, are a sure way to release your most potent warheads.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Sep 2020 20:30

vivek_ahuja wrote:
brar_w wrote:Warhead ambiguity is an age old problem that has been studied to death in academia and military circles. At the end it comes down to intent, platforms, and targets. It is as much about the employer of such a weapon calculating its potential escalator impact as it is the defender. At the end of the day there is absolutely no way for a military tactical unit to determine that a SCALP launched from a Rafale is conventional or nuclear. Sure they can know that SCALP is a conventional weapon but who is to be certain that a nuclear variant hasn't been created in secret (again as absurd as it may sound)? So you choose your weapons, platforms and targets carefully. If you were to introduce a SCALP barage on China's second strike capability, C2, silos etc then that is inviting some escalatory trouble. But if it is a tactical weapon employed on a tactical target, then the defender has as much to "loose" going up the escalatory ladder as you.


Something about the subcontinent pscyhe tells me that ballistic missiles are seen very differently that air-launched missiles. I agree with your assessment but I don't think it works the same way with the regional psychology. All sides are convinced that air-launched cruise-type nuclear weapons are a shaky start to any nuclear exchange because of the unwieldy warheads (the tested ones) on both sides. Nobody would launch their untested nuclear warheads first.

Obviously this is untrue of the USA and the erstwhile Soviet Union, who extensively tested all manner of nuclear warheads on every carrier device.

Ballistic missiles, on the other hand, are a sure way to release your most potent warheads.


This assumes that a short-medium ranged TBM is going to be regarded any different from a short-medium ranged GLCM. And that the adversary will have the C2 and sensor coverage to discriminate b/w the types. So a GLCM (Brahmos for example) is going to be treated no differently from say short ranged TBM that can maneuver or otherwise not leave the atmosphere (something akin to the maneuvering ATACMS for example that is sub 350 km). From an escalatory perspective one needs to be sure (in this case) that the enemy can actually discriminate between the two types. With very short ranged systems this is not very easy to do. Somehow I seriously doubt that employing such types will risk nuclear escalation b/w two nuclear powers. There can be a lot of rhetoric around "we will treat every ballistic missile launch as if it were a nuke" but it is easier said than acted upon. The cost of moving up the ladder is the same for both (DPRK and other similar players being the exception here). Iran launched a TBM barrage on US military assets housed in an Iraqi military base. That didn't trigger an ICBM launch on Tehran. Similarly, Iraq launched multiple TBM's and cruise missiles at CENTCOM HQ back in the second GW. Those were intercepted but likewise, were not met with an escalatory response using tactical nukes.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby SSridhar » 02 Sep 2020 21:06

brar_w wrote: Iran launched a TBM barrage on US military assets housed in an Iraqi military base. That didn't trigger an ICBM launch on Tehran. Similarly, Iraq launched multiple TBM's and cruise missiles at CENTCOM HQ back in the second GW. Those were intercepted but likewise, were not met with an escalatory response using tactical nukes.

That was because neither Iran nor Iraq possesses nukes.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Sep 2020 21:33

SSridhar wrote:
brar_w wrote: Iran launched a TBM barrage on US military assets housed in an Iraqi military base. That didn't trigger an ICBM launch on Tehran. Similarly, Iraq launched multiple TBM's and cruise missiles at CENTCOM HQ back in the second GW. Those were intercepted but likewise, were not met with an escalatory response using tactical nukes.

That was because neither Iran nor Iraq possesses nukes.


Now let's assume they did. Would the response been any different? Warhead ambiguity is something that many nations have had to grapple with. Will a single Iskander launched into western europe or on US troops trigger an all out ICBM or tactical nuke conflict? What about the US launching an ATACMS against a tactical target 200 km away. Will that trigger a nuclear war? Somehow, I doubt that this is the case. It isn't a binary thing. You look at what's launching, where they're launching and the calculus is before you give authority to launch nukes either tactical or strategic. Now you begin targeting sensitive targets, especially tied to the nuclear delivery or C2 and sensor network (like EW complex for example) and then you are risking serious escalation. But tactical weapons employed at tactical targets are unlikely to lead to a rapid escalation. This is why missiles like ATACMS, Iskander, PrSM, Scuds have proliferated with nuclear and non-nuclear powers. They have been and will continued to be employed by nuclear and non-nuclear powers. I guess we won't know for sure until we see actual conflict between two nuclear powers where these are employed but I think from China's perspective, with the DF-series they've already decided that this is not an issue for them. So if one party doesn't care much or has calculated that the chance of escalation is minimal (CPC is going to be interested in self-preservation especially given the strategic mismatch with the US) then that makes the decision for the other side easier. The same can be said of the Indo-China calculus. China is openly parroting conventional and nuclear variants of the same family. This means that unless they are suicidal they've calculated what threshold must be met before engaging in a nuclear conflict and risking the death of the party and possible the nation as it currently exists. A single 500 km conventional missile launched by India isn't going to have the PRC risk the end of the CPC by starting a nuclear exchange that no one wins.
Last edited by brar_w on 03 Sep 2020 06:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 02 Sep 2020 21:38

vivek_ahuja wrote:
Prem Kumar wrote:1) Shaurya is not inducted. Project scrapped, or rather let to die without a whimper
2) Neither is Pragati, Pralay or Prahaar. Somewhere in the dev-trials, user-trials black hole
3) Nirbhay was scrapped as a tech-demonstrator
4) Brahmos Extended range is getting mixed news. Some reports say its been tested. But no news about induction. In the absence of confirmed news, we can assume that only the 290 Km Brahmos has been inducted


That is depressing.

I wonder what "tech demonstrator" means. I mean, it is something the US forces have used since the late 1980s in combat. That was 40 years ago. We actually need this weapon. So tech demonstrators are good only so long as they represent the first step in a path to induction. We cannot afford science-only projects like this.

My hope is that they actually switched to something more secretive and longer range. Something they would not reveal publicly yet. But it will become public when IA units start getting equipped with the new weapon. Plus it has to be tested, no? So why the secrecy then?

Is the SCALP acquisition along with the Rafale the reason that the Nirbhay was killed off?


Vivek you are right. Nirbhay has not been scrapped. Its been supplanted by a new program intended to deliver a tri-service operational missile. All per public reports btw. This was like "closing the IGMDP". Yeah, but everything else continues as it should.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby nachiket » 03 Sep 2020 06:03

^^Yes but the new project is just starting off now and new funding will have to be obtained which will be difficult in the current times. Nirbhay for all its faults had reached a stage where multiple tests had been carried out. It will take a few years for the new project to reach a similar stage, more if the specs are more demanding than the fairly basic ones of the Nirbhay that ADE still had trouble with. If the new missile is also being developed by ADE it does not inspire a lot of confidence.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Indranil » 03 Sep 2020 08:57

STAR *cruise* missile entering wind tunnel testing at NAL.
Image

This is almost the final version.

1. The very first version 2 intakes with a stout body. This was done around 2014-2015. This was done to study the air intakes and validate CFD models.
2. Then there was one with a longer body, but only 2 inlets. This was done to study the ramp design in the intake.
3. Similarly, the engine was first studied in twin inlet config and four inlet configs
4. Various fuels were also tested to get the best combustion, storage and density properties

I expect test launches within 2-3 years.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby vivek_ahuja » 03 Sep 2020 09:23

Indranil wrote:STAR *cruise* missile entering wind tunnel testing at NAL.
Image


This thing might very well be a long-range AAM. Unless it has long aspect-ratio wings ready to pop out of somewhere, I can't see a 1000+ km range from this configuration. Everything about its design screams LR AAM.

Solid-fueled ramjet, I presume?

Anyway, the Nirbhay design was very specific: low-speed, high maneuvering and long-range high-aspect-ratio wings with turbofan propulsion. Without that we are not getting long range cruise missiles.
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 03 Sep 2020 09:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby vivek_ahuja » 03 Sep 2020 09:26

Karan M wrote:Vivek you are right. Nirbhay has not been scrapped. Its been supplanted by a new program intended to deliver a tri-service operational missile. All per public reports btw. This was like "closing the IGMDP". Yeah, but everything else continues as it should.


So bureaucratic and budgetary cleanliness trumps in-the-field deployment? This in the context of what speed our neighbors are moving at?

If the program has been hit with a reset button, we can expect a new cruise missile only closer to the end of the decade in terms of field units equipped with them.

Sounds like we managed to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory on the Nirbhay... :(

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby srin » 03 Sep 2020 09:30

Indranil wrote:STAR *cruise* missile entering wind tunnel testing at NAL.

This is almost the final version.

1. The very first version 2 intakes with a stout body. This was done around 2014-2015. This was done to study the air intakes and validate CFD models.
2. Then there was one with a longer body, but only 2 inlets. This was done to study the ramp design in the intake.
3. Similarly, the engine was first studied in twin inlet config and four inlet configs
4. Various fuels were also tested to get the best combustion, storage and density properties

I expect test launches within 2-3 years.


Intake and fins remind me of Meteor missile ...

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Prasad » 03 Sep 2020 11:11

Vivek,
Star project is a supersonic target to start with. But being liquid fueled, it might takeover the lr asm, ashm roles with the sfdr taking up the lraam role.

We might see a ramjet version of the ngarm later on with either tech.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Prem Kumar » 03 Sep 2020 11:31

Karan M wrote:
vivek_ahuja wrote:
My hope is that they actually switched to something more secretive and longer range. Something they would not reveal publicly yet. But it will become public when IA units start getting equipped with the new weapon. Plus it has to be tested, no? So why the secrecy then?


Vivek you are right. Nirbhay has not been scrapped. Its been supplanted by a new program intended to deliver a tri-service operational missile. All per public reports btw. This was like "closing the IGMDP". Yeah, but everything else continues as it should.


Yes, in theory, Nirbhay has been supplanted by a longer range program demanded by the IN. Some report (Livefist I think) also said that Nirbhay v1 will be inducted by the IA. But since the new IN program is just getting started, I am not holding my breath. Also, only Livefist hinted at IA plans for deployment. Not sure if its reliable news.

All in all, a very frustrating experience. For IN (or any other service for that matter) to claim that a 1000 Km cruise missile that's been tested/proven is "not good enough" is ridiculous to say the least. Am most surprised at such a statement coming from the IN.

And no - I don't think it was bureaucracy that killed Nirbhay. It was initially ADE's screw-ups and later, the cold-shoulder given by the services once the missile (after long years) finally cleared hurdles. All the more irritating because no one is going to offer us a 1000 Km cruise missile!

The lack of interest shown by the forces in Shaurya, Prahaar, Nirbhay etc makes me wonder whether they are even preparing a war against China (beyond holding them off in a few border skirmishes). We could have hit them back with BMs/CMs against their bases like Hotan, if they open up a barrage against us. Would have been a great conventional deterrence. But we are scratching our testimonials, as usual.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Aditya_V » 03 Sep 2020 14:04

So what is 10000 crore DAC clearance of long range Cruise Missiles for- it was not Brahmos, what other long range cruise Missile to we have to go upto DAC clearance- contract level?

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 03 Sep 2020 19:47

nachiket wrote:^^Yes but the new project is just starting off now and new funding will have to be obtained which will be difficult in the current times. Nirbhay for all its faults had reached a stage where multiple tests had been carried out. It will take a few years for the new project to reach a similar stage, more if the specs are more demanding than the fairly basic ones of the Nirbhay that ADE still had trouble with. If the new missile is also being developed by ADE it does not inspire a lot of confidence.


For all practical purposes, the new missile is the actual operational Nirbhay program. The original Nirbhay program was funded, reached its allotted timelines, is being closed, with the new system taking over. The rest is just semantics. All the original Nirbhay learnings etc are transferring directly to this new program and it is basically the Nirbhay as it was meant to be, in an operational version. The funding is not "to be obtained" -its part and parcel of DRDO's prioritized list and likely, a line of funding will also be committed by the 3AF who will be end-users.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 03 Sep 2020 19:53

Prem Kumar wrote:
Karan M wrote:
Vivek you are right. Nirbhay has not been scrapped. Its been supplanted by a new program intended to deliver a tri-service operational missile. All per public reports btw. This was like "closing the IGMDP". Yeah, but everything else continues as it should.


Yes, in theory, Nirbhay has been supplanted by a longer range program demanded by the IN. Some report (Livefist I think) also said that Nirbhay v1 will be inducted by the IA. But since the new IN program is just getting started, I am not holding my breath. Also, only Livefist hinted at IA plans for deployment. Not sure if its reliable news.

All in all, a very frustrating experience. For IN (or any other service for that matter) to claim that a 1000 Km cruise missile that's been tested/proven is "not good enough" is ridiculous to say the least. Am most surprised at such a statement coming from the IN.

And no - I don't think it was bureaucracy that killed Nirbhay. It was initially ADE's screw-ups and later, the cold-shoulder given by the services once the missile (after long years) finally cleared hurdles. All the more irritating because no one is going to offer us a 1000 Km cruise missile!

The lack of interest shown by the forces in Shaurya, Prahaar, Nirbhay etc makes me wonder whether they are even preparing a war against China (beyond holding them off in a few border skirmishes). We could have hit them back with BMs/CMs against their bases like Hotan, if they open up a barrage against us. Would have been a great conventional deterrence. But we are scratching our testimonials, as usual.


You guys need to understand there is a difference between a TD program and an actual operational system.

During the flight trials, tests, tech moves ahead and so does the understanding gained by the developer and user. These things also take into account what's happening with the adversary, what DRDO can and cannot do at the revised point of time. The Nirbhay as it originally stood was a TD - there were no confirmed orders from any of the 3 services about how many they wanted etc. The new system has that, and that means the final Nirbhay trials gave them the confidence to move ahead.

The services did not give Nirbhay any cold-shoulder - I'd sure like to see where the reports note that. If anything, they waited patiently and also, as this system is not available from any vendor off the shelf. ADE got a very long rope, and luckily they fixed the program at the end.

Coming to BMs - please realize BMs are not magic weapons. They can cause chaos, damage but they are by themselves not war winning weapons for the ground forces. Not yet, anyhow. The IAF is more at risk from BMs due to concentration of scarce assets than an IA which literally has tens of thousands of dispersed forces and armor and arty. As such, the cost of a BM which is one time use has to be weighed against the firepower available from conventional arty, upgrades to existing assets. Any item added at X means a corresponding item deleted from Y.

This is the key reason behind the IA's lack of interest in BMs etc. Fancy "good to have" has run up against the wall of "essential must have", budget wise.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 03 Sep 2020 19:59

vivek_ahuja wrote:
Karan M wrote:Vivek you are right. Nirbhay has not been scrapped. Its been supplanted by a new program intended to deliver a tri-service operational missile. All per public reports btw. This was like "closing the IGMDP". Yeah, but everything else continues as it should.


So bureaucratic and budgetary cleanliness trumps in-the-field deployment? This in the context of what speed our neighbors are moving at?

If the program has been hit with a reset button, we can expect a new cruise missile only closer to the end of the decade in terms of field units equipped with them.

Sounds like we managed to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory on the Nirbhay... :(


You are not getting the point. The original program was a TD, and the new one is to develop an operational system with the clear requirements of the users. The DRDO has two options. Seek a program extension and go through rigmarole explaining why they are asking for a huge funding increase to the original program, why x was not thought of at y, this that etc. Or simply close the earlier program name, and continue it under a new designation with a new line of funding and set targets to field a deliverable weapon.

In-field-deployment of half-way gear will only result in what the PRC so ably demonstrated with its recent DF-26 fire. 4 missiles launched, 2 failed outright, and one had a trajectory issue. If we wish the forces to get gear, we have to give them stuff which is actually useful and what we can mass produce. A Nirbhay w/limited range and with key imported items like a foreign turbofan is a silver bullet force where the bullets are not really silver and fairly expensive to whit.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 03 Sep 2020 20:12

The moves undertaken are for the better and not even that radical so as to completely delay the program etc. This stuff which we have to do to ensure the Nirbhay production is not stopped 1 year into assembly because the Russian engine is no longer available or some other item is sanctioned. Unlike before where we ran things with a shoe string budget, now a new program exists with the basic technology and control laws/aero stuff proven with a focus on the actual subsystems we need for large production runs, and the tweaked designs for actual operational deployment.

https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2020/ ... sions.html

1. The Naval version is a Nirbhay ++ and Navy has indicated it wants 200 units. This is not a small number. They want UVLM compatability (something which will be sought for next gen AD missiles too). Sea skimmer, and RF seeker. This indicates a follow on of the seekers developed for the Brahmos already. Even the AF will likely take a variant of this unit.

A new home-grown, subsonic missile will be homing on to its target, adding might to the Indian Navy by mid-2023.

A top military source told Onmanorama at the DefExpo2020 that the new weapon will be named Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile (LRLACM). It will have a range in excess of 1,000 km and will be launched from a Universal Vertical Launcher Module (UVLM) of BrahMos. The unique UVLM in operation is designed, developed and patented by BrahMos Aerospace.

These BrahMos UVLMs are already operational on 30 ships of Indian Navy and the new missile will sit inside the same launcher.

The missile is the result of a naval requirement projected to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The sanction for the project is expected in two months and the first trials of the missile could begin in early 2023.

The missile project has been designated to Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a Bengaluru-based DRDO lab developing unmanned systems.

ADE has the expertise of developing India’s first home-grown subsonic cruise missile, Nirbhay.

Developmental flights

Around 20 developmental flights are being planned for the LRLACM, tipped to be developed with completely indigenous systems. Barring small sensors and accelerometers, every component on this missile will be indigenous.

The terminal homing feature will be aided by a desi radio-frequency(RF) seeker. Similar to the Nirbhay missile, LRLACM too will be capable of flying at low altitude with sea-skimming capabilities.

Once DRDO completes the trial phase of the new missile, the Indian Navy is keen to place an order on development cum production partner (DCPP) basis. An order worth Rs 5,000 crore for 200 LRLACMs will be placed on the DCPP by Indian Navy.


2. Next. The Nirbhay by another name. Basically the original missile, with a few service specific tweaks and not just a land launched variant but an air launched one too plus a Sub one. And with all the desi components that were to be fitted into the Nirbhay but continued as part of this program and the above new long range Navy one.

Interestingly, the Nirbhay project, which completed six developmental trials from March 2013 to April 2019, has been technically closed.

The project has taken a new 'desi' avatar with a renewed outlook and will be now known as the Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM). The Indian power plant for ITCM—the Short turbofan engine (STFE)—is developed by Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) in Bengaluru.

The first launch of ITCM will be with STFE and it will have an RF seeker developed by RCI, Hyderabad. The trial is expected to be conducted in April this year.

The air-launched variant of ITCM too is taking shape at ADE in addition to a submarine-launched variant as well.

DRDO is aiming to attain complete self-reliance for its missile programmes. Efforts are afoot to cut the delays during the development phase, and LRLACM and ITCM are among the batch of weapons cruising through the new thought process.


An ALCM variant was already visible during the last trials of the Nirbhay. The ADE guys and others will continue working on these while HQ fixes up the new funding etc.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EdbuqsUXYAE ... name=small
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Edbuq4AXsAM ... name=small
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EdbuqrAWoAA ... name=small

The first program is a more ambitious one and was hence taken up as a completely new program with significantly enhanced funding. Many of its advantages will accrue to the other ITCM program as well.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby ramana » 03 Sep 2020 21:25

brar-W, the point is Iran doesnt have nukes and with that rest of the post is academic.


also, I hope soon CDS Rawat will crack down on this disease of 'sources' to journalists.
Only named officials will be designated and equal access to all journalists will be given.

Soruces allows any disinfo/lies to be peddled.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Sep 2020 01:08

ramana wrote:Sources allows any disinfo/lies to be peddled.


Assuming any sources existed at all and the "Journalist" wasn't just smoking the latest weed while making up the story.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Sep 2020 01:16

Karan M wrote:...
The sanction for the project is expected in two months and the first trials of the missile could begin in early 2023.
...


The worry is the time being taken for this. I appreciate the details you listed here. It fills out the story, but I don't see how what you are proposing is any different (or better) than my pessimistic story of project/budgetary cleanliness.

Fair enough. Let's assume that the Nirbhay completed its original purpose and laid the technology foundation that is needed. And now a new missile will be built on that foundation with a lot more going on in terms of range (Navy) and launch modes (IAF and Army). So it has to start a new development cycle and early testing is currently stated to be 2023 (pre-covid). The new missile will have to go through design iterations and will have things that will need to be fixed, then production-ized.

In other words, the forces will not have a subsonic LRCM (in any quantity) before the late 2020s or 2030+.

Was the Nirbhay that out-of-state from being usable today that it was indeed better to have no LRCM until 2030?

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Sep 2020 10:53

Again coming back from the IAF thread, Question: How many Astra Mk-1s have been ordered? Has this been made public?

It also brought up a question in my head: how many AAMs does an air-force need per-airframe in its inventory? If there are 200+ Su-30s, 200+ LCAs, Mirage-2000s and Mig-29s, how many Astra missiles would you need to fill out the wartime arsenal inventory?

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby SSridhar » 04 Sep 2020 11:14

vivek_ahuja wrote:Again coming back from the IAF thread, Question: How many Astra Mk-1s have been ordered? Has this been made public?

Yes, it has been public knowledge.

IAF had placed an order for 50 pre-production Astra Mk I missiles in early 2018. The pre-production order was to enable BEL, the missile producer, to smooth out the supply of parts and components from private and public sectors before it gears for bulk production. In March 2020, an IAF officer was quoted in the press, “We have initiated the process to acquire the first batch of the Astra missiles. Since it is indigenous, we will be procuring them in batches”. Amidst the ugly Ladakh stand-off, MoD cleared on July 2, 2020 the acquisition of 248 Astra missiles. Of these missiles, the Navy will get 48 Astra missiles for its MiG-29K fighter jets, while the rest for IAF.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby manjgu » 04 Sep 2020 12:34

vivek_ahuja wrote:Again coming back from the IAF thread, Question: How many Astra Mk-1s have been ordered? Has this been made public?

It also brought up a question in my head: how many AAMs does an air-force need per-airframe in its inventory? If there are 200+ Su-30s, 200+ LCAs, Mirage-2000s and Mig-29s, how many Astra missiles would you need to fill out the wartime arsenal inventory?


a difficult q to estimate..but would depend a lot on how soon the new version of Astra ( currently in development ) is expected to be cleared and inducted and if it has same form factor/dimensions as previous version and what has changed?? if its a totally new beast and to be inducted soon surely a lesser no would be inducted.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby ramana » 04 Sep 2020 12:47

AstraMk1 is 50 + 248.

I believe a qty of missiles from production development trials are also there.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Prem Kumar » 04 Sep 2020 15:59

Karan M: regarding Nirbhay, a few observations:

1) The news that it was nothing more than a tech-demonstrator was news, at least to me. It came about only recently. Till then, most people were under the assumption that these were trials for a to-be-inducted system

2) From its early days, Nirbhay had specs like support for 24 different types of warheads etc. Which tech-demonstrator has such detailed specs? If you want to prove a CM concept, there is no need to be excrutiatingly specific about hajaar warheads. All this points to a system that was planned to be inducted

3) Even-if Nirbhay was just a tech demonstrator, once it was proven & its specs are decent, why not take it through the induction path? A 1000 Km range CM with low-flying, loitering, terrain following accuracy and a good warhead is nothing to sneeze at. Why not call it Nirbhay-mk1 & induct it?

I see this tech-demonstrator nonsense too often - as if the DRDO is given a few science projects to keep it busy. Nirbhay, Prahaar, Pralay, Shaurya, Helina, Nag, Dhruvastra. All of these seem to asymptotically approach the tech-demonstrator black hole. Wake me up if decent orders for any of these actually get placed.

P.S. I know I am preaching to the choir here because I'm aware of your support for indigenous programs

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby A Deshmukh » 04 Sep 2020 18:15

first prototypes of Nirbhay had Ru engine. it validated a few technologies.
newer versions will have desi engine.
new engine means new aircraft.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Vivek K » 04 Sep 2020 19:35

SSridhar wrote:
... Amidst the ugly Ladakh stand-off, MoD cleared on July 2, 2020 the acquisition of 248 Astra missiles. Of these missiles, the Navy will get 48 Astra missiles for its MiG-29K fighter jets, while the rest for IAF.

Cleared = Ordered?

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby SSridhar » 04 Sep 2020 21:14

Don't know. But since the IAF says Astra would be acquired in batches, I assume 'Cleared=Can be ordered'

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Mort Walker » 04 Sep 2020 23:35

Yes. Funds have been approved based on Atmanibhar Bharat policy. India needs many more policies like this to fast track domestic development along with funds to support industry.

DAC approves capital acquisition of various platforms & equipment worth Rs 38,900 crore;

Focus on indigenous design and development; acquisitions from Indian industry of Rs 31,130 crore

Posted On: 02 JUL 2020 5:13PM by PIB Delhi
In the current situation and the need to strengthen the Armed Forces for the defence of our borders and in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s clarion call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in its meeting of today held under the chairmanship of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh accorded approval for capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces. Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore were approved.

Focused on indigenous design and development these approvals include acquisitions from Indian industry of Rs 31,130 crore. The equipment are going to be manufactured in India involving Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors. The indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80 per cent of the project cost. A large number of these projects have been made possible due to Transfer of Technology (ToT) by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to the indigenous industry. These include Pinaka ammunitions, BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army, Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF). The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore.

Acquisition of new/additional missile systems will add to the fire power of three Services. While acquisition of Pinaka missile systems will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted, addition of Long Range Land Attack Missile Systems having a firing range of 1,000 kilometres to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force. Similarly induction of Astra Missiles having Beyond Visual Range capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of the Navy and Air Force.

Further, addressing the long felt need of the IAF to increase its fighter squadrons, the DAC also approved the proposal for procurement of 21 MIG-29 along with upgradation of existing 59 MIG-29 aircraft and procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft. While the MIG 29 procurement and upgradation from Russia is estimated to cost Rs 7,418 crore, the Su-30 MKI will be procured from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore.

ABB/Nampi/KA/DK/Savvy/ADA


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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 05 Sep 2020 14:34

vivek_ahuja wrote:
Karan M wrote:...
The sanction for the project is expected in two months and the first trials of the missile could begin in early 2023.
...


The worry is the time being taken for this. I appreciate the details you listed here. It fills out the story, but I don't see how what you are proposing is any different (or better) than my pessimistic story of project/budgetary cleanliness.

Fair enough. Let's assume that the Nirbhay completed its original purpose and laid the technology foundation that is needed. And now a new missile will be built on that foundation with a lot more going on in terms of range (Navy) and launch modes (IAF and Army). So it has to start a new development cycle and early testing is currently stated to be 2023 (pre-covid). The new missile will have to go through design iterations and will have things that will need to be fixed, then production-ized.

In other words, the forces will not have a subsonic LRCM (in any quantity) before the late 2020s or 2030+.

Was the Nirbhay that out-of-state from being usable today that it was indeed better to have no LRCM until 2030?


The original Nirbhay was *not* manufacturable in the numbers needed and nor was it capable of meeting service requirements as the subsystems were not funded or ready, that meant the development had to continue to the same lines as above. Otherwise we would not need an extension of the program. Apply logic. Would you need ITCM, if everything was already ready and hunky-dory?

The old missile too would have to go through the same design iterations to be production-ized. This is because the seeker for Nirbhay needs to be fine-tuned in tests, the engine (most crucial) needs to be made ready. Why? Because the program was never funded to the level originally that allowed us to "buy out" Russian engines, and its unlikely they would have agreed to do so either, some components or the other would have been sourced from Russia with the Russians insisting that we not indigenize them. Similarly, the seeker - the Brahmos can manage with a different class of seeker as the target does not move as far away for a M3 missile as for a subsonic one. The Nirbhay will likely need a higher power, more capable seeker.

The TD has been done. We have proven we can make a missile, and we have the basic tech.

-We have the basic aero design which works and can continue to be optimized/tweaked, but it works and does not need radical rework
- We have the guidance system, autonomous, the heart of the cruise missile - the navigation software + INS/backup/guidance logic in the onboard computer, the flight control system, with its actuators etc
- We have the airframe, can continue to be optimized

What we also need to test and develop further
- We have a seeker via the Brahmos which can be developed further
- We have engine prototypes which need to be tested in actual flight trials

The project has taken a new 'desi' avatar with a renewed outlook and will be now known as the Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM). The Indian power plant for ITCM—the Short turbofan engine (STFE)—is developed by Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) in Bengaluru.
The first launch of ITCM will be with STFE and it will have an RF seeker developed by RCI, Hyderabad. The trial is expected to be conducted in April this year.


So the fine-tuning is underway with indigenization of the subsystems so a mass manufactured missile is possible as versus a silver bullet force reliant on export controlled units which would also provide sub-par performance.

In short this *is* the Nirbhay program being taken to a logical conclusion. Not some radically new one launched as a follow-on, designations apart.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 05 Sep 2020 14:41

Prem Kumar wrote:Karan M: regarding Nirbhay, a few observations:

1) The news that it was nothing more than a tech-demonstrator was news, at least to me. It came about only recently. Till then, most people were under the assumption that these were trials for a to-be-inducted system


Nirbhay program like most DRDO programs --> prove the feasibility, initial developmental trials ---> mix of desi systems + imports ---> finetuning for mass product + indigenization ---> developmental trials---> fixes---> user trials

We are now at stage 2, and need to go through the remaining stages.

2) From its early days, Nirbhay had specs like support for 24 different types of warheads etc. Which tech-demonstrator has such detailed specs? If you want to prove a CM concept, there is no need to be excrutiatingly specific about hajaar warheads. All this points to a system that was planned to be inducted


I am not sure how many of these fancy statements such as "it can hit the target and return", "it is a mother ship for other munitions" and "it has 24 warheads" etc are exactly accurate. I suspect a lot of it was picking up stuff that was "theoretically possible one day" + journo mirch masala.

3) Even-if Nirbhay was just a tech demonstrator, once it was proven & its specs are decent, why not take it through the induction path? A 1000 Km range CM with low-flying, loitering, terrain following accuracy and a good warhead is nothing to sneeze at. Why not call it Nirbhay-mk1 & induct it?


Because we don't have the subsystems! Where are the engines? Where is the proven seeker? Where are the multiple trials for both? That is the part we have to complete.

I see this tech-demonstrator nonsense too often - as if the DRDO is given a few science projects to keep it busy. Nirbhay, Prahaar, Pralay, Shaurya, Helina, Nag, Dhruvastra. All of these seem to asymptotically approach the tech-demonstrator black hole. Wake me up if decent orders for any of these actually get placed.


TDs exist because the basic tech has to be proven. And then it has to be manufactured in the quantities envisaged, this means we need the subsystems locally or we need an agreement from elsewhere. Do we have that with the Russians for the engine? Clearly no. Do we have everything else ready either? No. So the program continues.

P.S. I know I am preaching to the choir here because I'm aware of your support for indigenous programs


Yes - all I am saying is stop thinking the Nirbhay has been cancelled and "re-launched", its the same program being continued.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby jamwal » 05 Sep 2020 18:47

Agni was launched as a tech demonstrator with a SLV first stage and Prithvi 2nd stage as a tech demonstrator. Look at where it is now and kindly consider reducing the negative stuff regarding Nirbhay. Cruise missiles are one of few things which can't be bought from foreign countries. India will develop Nirbhay or a similar sub-sonic cruise missile for sure and armed forces will have to induct them simply because they can't import equivalent technology from anywhere.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby darshan » 06 Sep 2020 00:29

What's critical is the team. The same team needs to continue and have a farm system behind it with young engineers for continued knowledge transfer. Only time the product isn't same is when the team gets broken up.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby csharma » 06 Sep 2020 02:35

There was some news about a test around August 20-22. But I don't think we saw any press release regarding the same. Does anyone have any info

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Santosh » 06 Sep 2020 03:07

Karan, good updates on Nirbhay and its upcoming avatar. Thanks onlee.
Added later: the article says ITCM trial with indigenous engine was supposed to happen in April. Has it happened? Google doesn't say much.

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Re: Indian Missiles News & Discussions - 17 Dec 2018

Postby Karan M » 06 Sep 2020 12:42

You are welcome. My take is that due to the Chinese virus, everything is delayed by at least six months.


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