F/A-18 India
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  1. 1

    chacko Joseph


    Look Prithvi is just another piece of equipment. When they are in actual deployment a lot of issues surface which cannot be seen in tests (equivalent to test drive in simulated conditions). That is why there is warranty given by the equipment producers. For example look at Russian Missile Launch failures. Even if you order F-18 SH, such problems will come up. SH has landing gear problems which have not yet been rectified.

    Battery leak is not a Prithvi specific problem. Battery’s leak. Battery is not a DRDO product. Take for example of Exide making batteries for Indian Navy submarines. They did not get it right for a number of years. India navy constantly interacted and improved them.

    But with Indian Army and Indian Air Force, the procedure is different. They are not like Indian Navy which constantly interacts with suppliers for making the product better. These two forces just complain on Indian products and keep quite on Russian products. Indian Navy is called builders navy and that is a winning attitude.

    About the fuel:
    The fuel is extremely corrocive. If you do not handle the liquid as it has to be or as per the standard operating procedure, it will definitely produce problem.

    The question is why did the fuel and battery problem surface with the “newly” raised units and not with DRDO? Its because there is a learning curve for both manufactures and users. Blame can be put on the new users or DRDO.

    Even ALH issue. Army Aviation corps during last Aero India 05 complained that ALH maintainence is costly. HAL ‘s reply was: Army is used to Chetak/Cheta’s etc which need maintainence at x number of flight hours. AlH does not require that kind of maintenence, It requires maintainence after x + Y + Z hours. So the maintence cost of ALH is actually low. Repeated communication from HAL to Army did not help. Aviation corps kept maintaining it at x hours.

    So quit reporting things what we call “Nit Picks.” Its just a suggestion.

  2. 2

    Shiv Aroor

    hi chacko, thanks for your comment. your point about teething troubles in the field are well taken — i was simply mentioning it here since the army and DRDO have set up Project Bhishma to hone up the deployed prithvis. it was simply information. but on your suggestion not to report “nit picks” (sic), i think i will be the one to decide on that, if you don’t mind!

  3. 3

    Shiv Aroor

    chacko.. what do you think of saraswat’s report? do give us your views on that too.

  4. 4

    chacko Joseph


    The “nit pick” was only a “suggestion”.

    Ok, I more missile at you “copy and paste reports”. I will end at that. You know what I mean.

    A word on Krasnopol incident in IA:This a production and quality control problem. Its not a R & D problem. I hope you get it. The R&D passes a product to the producers as the R&D is not a production unit (Ditto for DRDO and HAL, OFB, AVRDE debate)

    Krasnopol on its own is a technology worth emulating.

    IA requires TACMS

    IRTGSM is possible by RCI considering NAG has been cleared for production, I wouldn’t have said this last year as NAG IRR had issues.

    MEM’s and Nano tech are already getting implemented in DRDO, so 1012 is possible target.

    Even if there is a varience of 5 years, I would consider the program a sucess, as they are operatiing in babudom environment.But thank god, we are actually talking about such stuff.

    There is a Pune institute which is also developing PGM’s. If you can ask Manu Pubby (indian Express, Pune), he will be able tell. They seem to have made strides in PGM’s.

  5. 5

    chacko Joseph

    What are the details of Project Bhishma?

  6. 6

    Shiv Aroor

    one more missile? i’ve mentioned in the post that i’m reproducing saraswat’s report because it makes interesting report. so saying “copy and paste” doesn’t exactly brim with profundity or insight, chacko. give us something to work with here, not the usual yada! you’re such fun otherwise, stop being a bore!

  7. 7

    Shiv Aroor

    chacko, project bhishma is understood to be the name of the liaison group between the army and drdo to sort out problems with the deployed prithvis.

  8. 8


    Hello Mr. Aroor. IIR seeker of the Nag has been completed, and user trials for the same are scheduled this year.

    However I think that by the term “Mother” missile, a type of MIRV weapon may be inferred to. The development of this technology may be a long-term project, and thus it may not be an immediate priority (already, Pakistan’s missile of the Hatf series I to VII can be neutralized by PAD after it is developed fully in 4 years’ time; it’s unlikely that MIRV technology is being pursued by Pakistan).

    Thus, as the targets laid down in the report upto 2007 have been met, there may not be any delay on the part of DRDO in the development of PGMs.

    Besides, reverse-engineering was not proposed by the Army after any failure.
    There was no failure anyway, that was to be a motivation for reverse engineering.

    As per the report that you posted, it was the lack of technologies, that reverse-engineering had become necessary.

    Thank you.

  9. 9


    Hi Shiv

    It is good to see a mainline reporter setting up a blog and inter-acting with his audience/critics.

    On the whole I agree with your criticism of slow pace of Drdo work.

    Having said this, one should also focus on some good work done (if any).

    As a reader of news myself, I feel that positive has its own feel good factor and there is too much emphasis on negative scoops.

    Have you ever tried to find out more about the sensor fused fencing done by TATA’s through NALCO. I understand it was almost Rs. 500-1000 crore project with tech absorbtion which has been done on the quiet by TATA’s. It would become a good read if you could find out more about it.

    Apart from PGM’s I find it very odd that Drdo has not worked on some more obvious projects like :-

    Short range (WVR) IR guided missiles

    or Even Anti Radiation missiles, which should have been on its portfolio long time back.

    Pls do ask some Drdo heads when you interview them.

  10. 10



    What couple of decades work on PGMs? If you read the report, its clear that PGM development has only begun recently. The only thing comparable to a PGM is the Nags seeker tech.

    Having worked on Prithvi I can state with cent per cent confidence that its CEP is = best in the class worldwide, but there you were claiming that it had poor accuracy in your reports, cant expect a journo to understand technology or be accurate i guess.



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