Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2008

Comparing the Indian and Chinese navies

After 10 years of steady effort, both India and China have made significant qualitative changes in their navies. In terms of submarine capabilities – the construction of SSNs and SSBNs – China is now far ahead of India, however. China has built two 094 SSBNs and two 093 SSNs, along with JL2 and JL1M submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) that are ready to go into service in the PLA Navy, if they have not already done so. In contrast, India is only preparing to receive one Russian-made Akura SSN for testing purposes by the end of 2008. In February 2008, the Indian Navy also launched from under water a 700-kilometer-range K-15 ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Nonetheless, India’s pace in the construction of large-tonnage surface battleships and an aircraft carrier is faster than China’s. Thanks to the 290-kilometer-range BrahMos supersonic multirole missile jointly developed by India and Russia, the overall technological standard of the Indian Navy’s sh…

Nag anti-tank missile back in reckoning

Eighteen years after it was first tested, the meandering saga of the indigenous Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) is finally entering the climax phase after an expenditure of over Rs 300 crore. Or so it seems, with Defence Research and Development Organisation planning the "final developmental flight trials" of Nag at Pokhran on July 27-28, which will be followed by the "user-trials" in mid-September, say sources. Having placed an order for 443 Nag missiles and 13 Namicas (Nag missile tracked carriers) for induction over three years, the Army is keeping its fingers firmly crossed. The urgent need for ATGMs can be gauged from the fact that after ordering 4,000 Konkurs-M missiles, the Army is now looking for 4,100 "advanced" ATGMs with tandem warheads for "better kill probability" of enemy tanks. The Army, in fact, has agreed to reframe its GSQRs (general staff qualitative requirements) for the 4,100 new missiles - by reducing its "esse…

DRDO to undertake first full test flight of ASTRA - air to air beyond visual range missile

In a major technology leap, Indian defence scientists are ready to go ahead with the first full test flight of its indigenously developed air to air beyond visual range missile, ASTRA. The test flight from an IAF Sukhoi fighter aircraft could be undertaken "anytime in the next 45 days", top DRDO officials said. A successful test flight of ASTRA will plunge India into a select group of nations to have such a technology. Only US, France, Russia and China have so far produced such advance missiles, which enables fighter pilots to lock-on and shoot down enemy aircraft almost 90-120 km away. Describing ASTRA as a futuristic missile, DRDO scientists said the weapon will intercept the target at mach 1.2 to 1.4 speed. The missile has already been tested on ground to prove its avionics, guidance and other sub-systems including propulsion. Any success with air to air ASTRA missile will come as another milestone in defence research and cap recent strings of success the DRDO scienti…