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  1. 1

    Anonymous

    Golden words from the Admiral. Just goes about to prove that it is possible to produce quality defense systems locally if the services have the right mindset.
    Kudos to the IN.
    But then I don’t expect this from IA and IAF in the near future.
    There answer for the issues with DRDO is already there,but then the IA & IAF which is blind mentally cannot be expected to implement it.
    And yes the great Indian Media is always there to help IA & IAF’s “always import” cause!

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  2. 2

    Abhiman

    I would be honoured to the utmost, if my post is read by Admiral Arun Prakash.

    His article is extremely ‘mind-blowing’, insightful and which is strengthened by a near unmatched and stupendous literary prowess. Besides of course, it gives civilians like me an glimpse into strategic thought that is present at the highest positions of the armed forces and Indian Navy in particular.

    His forcefully settled viewpoint, that for India to be a military superpower, a robust indigenous arms industry is the only pre-requisite, should become a tenet and must be the cornerstone of defence policy. Foreign nations don’t export weapons to make India a superpower; they do so to only profit. They’ll keep their latest weaponry for their own forces, whereas slightly older hardware is further utilized to generate income by exporting it to developing Banana republics (which I hope India does not become).
    He also rightly mentions that purchase of foreign arms makes India dependent on the foreign country for the entire life-cycle of the hardware, makes India at “mercy” of prices as fixed by that country and also susceptible to sanctions, bad supply of spare-parts etc.

    The ‘leap-of-faith’ as descibed by Admiral Prakash in investing and dedicating resources (in his words) ‘to tread the thorny road’ to indegenize weapons hardware is in my view, deserving of a salute.
    It is this confidence in DRDO that has also kept the morale of DRDO high, besides having given them an opportunity to further their technological frontiers. This is because as long as a system like Arjun is “stuck” in the evaluation “dilly-dallying” only, work cannot be commenced on the next generation of battle-tank technology.

    Admiral Prakash has also very clearly clarified the misconcept that transfer of license production by way of SKD and CKD kits does NOT amount to Transfer of Technology. In my view, he is probably the first chief of any service at any time to have such bold view. He has devised a new and an apt term called “screwdriver technology”, which best describes license production rights and which does not amount to ToT.

    But the most accurate statement and one which I hope that the ever-critical media also registers is, and I quote, “But had we never attempted to produce a fourth generation fly-by-wire fighter, an advanced light helicopter, a main battle tank or an intermediate range ballistic missile (or had we abandoned the projects half-way) it is unlikely that we could have bridged the huge resulting technology gap ever thereafter.

    I cannot elaborate further on these words. Mr. Aroor, I think that the above must be acknowledged by you in its entirety. In your terms, it may be similar to become an editor of a newspaper in a language that you may have just learnt for a few months.

    Mr. Aroor, I may please request you to know from Admiral Prakash that whether it is true that he was in favour of purchase/joint development of a 60Km SAM system from Israel, and whether that was in place of an indigenous proposal of a SAM system from DRDO.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  3. 3

    Shiv Aroor

    abhiman, the question is not whether Admiral Prakash backed the DRDL-IAI-Rafael tripartite SAM programme (also called the Barak-II or Barak-NG), but that it happened at all. The 60-km SAM was independent of any indigenous medium range SAM programme (if one even exists). the deal was signed in January 2006 just before DefExpo 2006. as admiral prakash said, it was an ingenious formula. keep the technology on the cutting edge but be flexible on how you get it. this particular development deal has both sides and the assurance of missile technology spin-offs for DRDL which hasn’t yet contributed a single SAM to the Indian arsenal. In fact, a large share of technical manpower from the erstwhile trishul programme has been diverted to the Barak-II programme. and finally, the range is not officially 60-km. i hear it could be as much as 90-km. the trishul programme will now be resurrected by MBDA which will help build the Maitri LLQRM family for the three services with three-beam guidance that DRDO could not rectify.

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  4. 4

    Shiv Aroor

    Abhiman, Admiral Prakash has read your post-comment, and here’s his reply: “Regarding the issue of the 60/90 km SAM. This system will not displace anything the DRDO had to offer. In fact the proposal was approved by MoD only after the DRDO certified that they would stand to gain from infusion of technology in 2-3 key areas.

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  5. 5

    Anonymous

    Shiv,
    DRDO had rectified the issue with three beam tech for the guidance of trishul. Trishul was designed to be a cross service missile. It failed to work as a anti-ASM. It’s three beam guidance was not able handle ASM targets.
    On a later stage I guess DRDO moved on to ABM with “numerous” Trishul test as a smokescreen.

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  6. 6

    Shiv Aroor

    Abhiman, I’d broken the story about the long-range SAM programme when i was with the Express in February last year. I reproduce it here for convenience:

    Shiv Aroor
    NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 6 In an indisputable sign that Indo-Israeli defence ties have matured, the governments of both countries have signed their first-ever joint weapons development contract to design and produce the Barak-II next-generation air defence missiles for warships.
    After 17 months of complex inter-government negotiations, the deal was concluded on January 27 but kept under wraps for ‘‘political reasons’’, sources said. The Barak-II will be jointly developed by the Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI), the Barak programme’s secondary integrator Rafael and by the Hyderabad-based Defence Research & Development Laboratories (DRDL), with the two countries splitting the approximately $330 million kick-start investment.

    DRDO sources told Express, ‘‘It will be based on the original Barak, but we will work together for longer range, a more refined seeker, a long-range target-tracking system, better downlinking capabilities and possibly a new propulsion system and payload capacity.’’ In a phased manner, the Barak-I and the Barak-II missiles will replace the ageing Russian OSA-M and Volna RZ-31 missiles still in operation on most Indian warships. Navy sources pointed to the inherent advantage of the Barak family’s digital systems over the analog computers that guide the Russian missiles.

    The Navy has expressed its satisfaction with the Barak-I’s performance and has given its full support for the next variant. Israeli efficiency is also a factor as compared to the traditional delays of dealing with the Russians. The joint-development offer was first made by Israel when Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash visited Tel Aviv in July 2004.

    After a meeting of the Joint Working Group on December 24 that year, the Navy was asked to present its case, which culminated in the Cabinet clearing the agreement earlier this year. Nine Indian warships, including INS Viraat and the three Delhi-class destroyers, already have the 10-km range Barak-I system purchased in 2003. The government also cleared the purchase of seven more Barak-I systems two months ago.

    The new variant, to be developed over three years, will be built for a targeting range of at least 50 km. Barak systems are configured to defend warships by automatically intercepting incoming sea-skimming missiles, aircraft and UAVs using a digital radar.

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  7. 7

    Anonymous

    the barak-II is a great idea, and a great business model. this reminds me of something called Project Nirbhay, which was started under VK Aatre of DRDO, which basically envisaged a long-range cruise vehicle, which ultimately got shelved. it has apparently been re-started now. in fact, DRDO has communicated to the MoD that apart from a hypersonic vehicle, it is also working on a long-range cruise vehicle. let’s see what that is! meanwhile, the advanced air defence (AAD) anti-ballistic missile launch is coming up in first week of june. we have to look out for that!!!

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  8. 8

    Anonymous

    That odious jerk is just reproducing whatever has been printed in Force. And selectively copy pasting as usual to push his agenda. Note how he he coolly avoids highlighting what Prakash says about the media witchhunt and tries to push what the Admiral says to further his own agenda. What a shame that we have to suffer such egotistic bombastic fools in the media.

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  9. 9

    Abhiman

    Mr. Aroor, It was indeed honourable to have recieved a reply from Admiral Prakash himself. I sincerely thank him for answering my query.

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  10. 10

    Anonymous

    Shiv, why don’t you put up the whole article from Force instead of selecting it for us. Don’t underline stuff you obviously want us pushed down our throat, leave that to our own intelligence. Or are you suggesting we are dumb???

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  11. 11

    Shiv Aroor

    anon, your point well taken. i didn’t use the first half of Admiral Prakash’s piece because it was more historical perspective there. i was in two minds about the italics and underlinings, but you’re right — it definitely is a little condescending. will remove them when i have a spare moment!

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  12. 12

    Anonymous

    Thanks for understanding Shiv.

    Reply

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