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Indian Navy news and discussion
[url="http://www.domain-b.com/defence/air_space/iaf/20091128_tejas_lca_oneView.html"]India-made nuclear sub Arihant to ride the waves in two years news[/url]

Quote:03 December 2009

Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma

India's first indigenous nuclear submarine, INS Arihant (annihilator of enemies), will be inducted into the Indioan Navy fleet in two years or so, Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told reporters in New Delhi ahead of the Navy Day on Friday.

Arihant, the first submarine to be built under the advanced technology vessel (ATV) programme, was launched for sea trials on 26 July this year at the naval yard in Visakhapatnam by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife Gurcharan Kaur in the presence of the prime minister. (See: India launches indigenous nuke sub INS Arihant)

"Arihant demonstrates a quantum leap in the shipbuilding capabilities of the country. It is a nuclear-powered submarine which is indigenously designed and constructed," Admiral Verma said.

As India pursues the capacity to fire nuclear missiles from land, sea or air, the Navy now wants a well-balanced underwater strategic arm. This will include three SSBNs (nuclear-powered submarines with long-range strategic missiles) and six SSNs (nuclear-powered attack submarines) in the long-term.

The over 6,000-tonne INS Arihant will be more of `a technology demonstrator', rather than a fully-operational SSBN, for the subsequent follow-on nuclear submarines to follow.

But a fact glossed over in many reports is that the over 6,000-tonne INS Arihant will not be a fully-operational SSBN – it will be more of `a technology demonstrator' for the nuclear submarines to follow.

From Russia with love

A Russian Project 885 Severodvinsk class submarine –likely design base for the Indian ATV project

The navy will go nuclear much before this, however. After several glitches, India will finally get the 12,000-tonne `K-152 Nerpa' Akula-II class submarine from Russia on a 10-year lease. It will be renamed 'INS Chakra' before being inducted into the Indian Navy.

Nerpa will not come armed with long-range missiles due to international treaties like the Missile Technology Control Regime. But apart from being a potent hunter of enemy submarines, Nerpa will also help train Indian sailors in the complex art of operating, maintaining and deploying nuclear submarines like INS Arihant and its already-approved two follow-on vessels.

Admiral Verma himself was tight-lipped about Russia leasing out the 'Nerpa'. "I have no response for that," he said to queries on when Nerpa would join the Indian Navy.

However, reports from Moscow last month said that in spite of the delay in acceptance trials due to stormy sea conditions, the Russian navy is going ahead to commission the Akula-II class nuclear submarine by the year end.

"The Nerpa, built by the Amur Shipyard, will be delivered on time in December this year," governor of Khabarovsk Territory Vyacheslav Shport announced in mid-November. The deal is worth $650 million (a little over Rs3,000 crore).

The submarine is due to be handed over to India by March next year on lease. After its commissioning, the Russian Navy will train Indian Navy personnel on making the submarine operational. It would join the Indian Navy fleet after undergoing user trials.

Originally Russia was to deliver the Nerpa, said to be similar to the Arihant, by 2008, but delivery was deferred due to financial woes of the shipyard.

The mishap in Sea of Japan on 8 November 2008 led to further delay, as its trials were aborted following the death of 20 technical staff and crew due to the release of toxic freon gas from the fire suppression system in the sleeping quarters. A crew-member was arrested for tampering with a temperature gauge, which lead to the release of the toxic inert gas.

Long way to go

Without elaborating, Admiral Verma said that the "tremendous amount of capability'' gained in the ATV (advanced technology vessel) project under which INS Arihant was built would not be allowed to wither away.

The government has sanctioned well over Rs30,000 crore for the ATV project to construct three submarines, with the third being of a much larger size.

The 26 July `launch' of the 111-metre INS Arihant by flooding the dry dock at Visakhapatnam in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh marked India's entry into the select group of five nations – the US, the UK, Russia, France and China - capable of building nuclear submarines.

But there is still a long way to go. It's only after its miniature 83 mw pressurised light-water reactor is `fired' sometime next year will INS Arihant begin its extensive sea-acceptance trials.

Only after that will the testing of 700-km range K-15 SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles) developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) to arm the submarine come into play.

K-15 falls way short of the over 5,000-km range missiles of the US, Russia and China. The last, for instance, has a huge fleet of 62 submarines, with at least 10 of them nuclear-powered, and is also ready with its new JL-2 SLBM, which has a strike range of over 7,200 km.

The Navy has also started looking for a suitable place to start a second assembly line for constructing six additional submarines in addition to half-a-dozen Scorpene subs currently under construction in Mazgaon dock in Mumbai with French collaboration.

''A high-level team headed by a department of defence production official is in the process of identifying the shipyard where the second line will come up,'' the Navy chief said.

The Navy has issued a request for information to procure fighters for the proposed second indigenous aircraft carrier. The first IAC will have MiG-29 K and LCA naval version that can enter the compatibility trial phase in 2013. A request for proposal has been issued to procure six medium range maritime surveillance aircraft.

Admiral Verma denied that the Navy's blue water objectives had been diluted because of the additional brown water responsibilities closer to the shore in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last year.

After the terror strike, the Navy has been entrusted with the responsibility of overall maritime security through proper coordination involving many central and state agencies including Coast Guard, Customs, Marine Police, Central Industrial Security Force and fisherfolk.

A national maritime domain awareness document will be brought out in a few months to inform various government departments how to distinguish between the friend and foe on the high seas, Admiral Verma said.
[quote name='Arun_S' date='11 December 2009 - 01:46 AM' timestamp='1260475725' post='102883']

[url="http://www.domain-b.com/defence/air_space/iaf/20091128_tejas_lca_oneView.html"]India-made nuclear sub Arihant to ride the waves in two years news[/url]


This is good news indeed. Its about time we stopped relying only on weapons and ships built elsewhere. Its really about time that we started building our own means of protection. From the 11th to 13th centuries, Indians built great weapons (such as Damascus swords) and then sold them to other civilizations. We need to get back to that level, and instead of buying others' weapons and ships, built our own that others would want to buy.
Dated but interesting.

[url="http://www.zopag.com/news/boeing-rolls-out-p8a-poseidon-india-to-be-the-first-buyer/5620.html"]Boeing rolls out P-8A Poseidon; India to be the first buyer[/url]

Quote:Zopag News Network

Fri 31st Jul 2009 16:29:28

Washington, July 31 : American aviation giant Boeing today rolled out its first 'P-8A Poseidon', claiming it to be the world's most advanced multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, with the Company saying that India would be its first buyer country.

India has ordered eight P-8Is, a derivative of the American version, the first of which Boeing will deliver within 48 months of the contract being signed. The rest seven aircraft would be delivered by 2015, filling a wide gap in India's maritime reconnaissance capability, hit by crashes of its Russian built aircraft.

The Indian RFP (request for proposal) which is awaiting a formal nod from the Cabinet Committee on Security calls for delivery of eight aircraft over a four-year period.

Though the Indian version is a variant of the just rolled out P-8A Poseidon, Boeing officials said the mission system of the Indian aircraft have been made to address the unique requirements tailored by the Indian Navy.

Cant German fit K2/ Sagarika missle for India in their new U Boat they are trying to sell to India or is it too big and cant be made smaller ?
[quote name='prem' date='24 December 2009 - 03:24 AM' timestamp='1261604787' post='103106']


Cant German fit K2/ Sagarika missle for India in their new U Boat they are trying to sell to India or is it too big and cant be made smaller ?


Prem Ji: IMHO German boat is old design, not much juice left to refit. BM refit is easier on the french Scorpeon.
[quote name='prem' date='24 December 2009 - 03:24 AM' timestamp='1261604787' post='103106']


Cant German fit K2/ Sagarika missle for India in their new U Boat they are trying to sell to India or is it too big and cant be made smaller ?


Sagarika is a large BM and it is impossible to fit it on a conventional submarine in reasonable numbers to be effective , the size of the conventional submarine will increase and laws of diminishing return will set in , it better to go nuclear then.

So neither German ,French or Russian conventional platform are ideal platform for Sagarika .

One can fit in Brahmos on conventional submarine and there is one design from Russia ( Amur Submarine ) claims to offer such option
Pls note this RFI is for fighters that will on board the second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-2)that will have steam catapult. Thus weight restrictions less stringent, thus payload/range mission requirments more expanded than LCA/Mig-29; thus there are more potential candiates.

IMVHO overall Rafale will be best choice for India.

F-18 Super Hornet is a dud option given its AESA radar is torjan treasure trove, not to mention US propensity to (legally and illegally) screw any country who steps out of US interest.

[url="http://www.domain-b.com/defence/sea/indian_navy/20091229_fighter_aircraft.html"]Indian Navy issues RFI for carrier-based fighter aircraft[/url]

Quote:29 December 2009

The Indian Navy has issued a request for information (RFI) for state-of-the-art, multi-role, new generation carrier-based fighter aircraft to four global aerospace firms, including Swden's SAAB for their fighter the Sea Gripen, which is a navalised version of the Gripen JAS-39.

Other firms and their offerings are the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) for their Eurofighter Typhoon, the Boeing Integrated Defence System for their F/A-18 Super Hornet) and France's Dassault for its Rafale.

If selected, the new aircraft would likely be deployed aboard the Navy's second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), which is expected to be commissioned around 2018.

Of these four contenders, both the American Super Hornet and the French Rafale have been developed as carrier-based platforms from the conception stage itself. The Typhoon and the Gripen will require a certain amount of modification.

Reports suggest that the Navy may have received clearance from the government for the purchase. The RFI, apparently, does not specify either the number of aircraft that the Navy would wish to acquire, or other modalities such as offset requirements.

The new aircraft, which will be in addition to the 16 Russian-manufactured MiG-29Ks that India is acquiring, as well as the naval version of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, which is currently under development.

As per conjecture, while the MiG-29Ks will operate from the 44,570-tonne Admiral Gorshkov (re-designated INS Vikramaditya), the naval Tejas will operate from the first of the 38,000 tonne IACs, currently under construction at the Kochi shipyard.

The Indian Navy's fighter jet complement consists only of the British-made Sea Harrier jump jets which operate from the aircraft carrier, INS Viraat. The Harriers will continue to operate as long as the Viraat retains operational life, which is till 2019.
If India goes for joint ownership with Migs, we could have had Mig29-K further improvised with the following plan :-

1. A better engine on the lines of EJ200/ALFP or P&W F35B VTOL lines.

2. Have the rights to change design for VTOL.

3. Local R&D labs and production engineering advancement on a joint basis, initially catering mostly to IAF and IN.

4. Elta electronics and radars with Rafael missiles, with Vetrivel project further advancing. The team must be free now.

5. More integration of stores from MKI, French, Israel and desh weapons.

6. More work for DRDO and improvised setup for attacking the MCA/FGFA.

These major areas will get boost.

1. Stealth: electronics, shapes structure and materials

2. Electronics and Radars - Israeli and French technology assimilation

3. Advanced SC blades and engines from either Saturn or other [GE/EADS/P&W/Snecma].

We made a mistake by not buying or joint works with the Mig corp.

We want too many things done with too little budget... and buying the Migs was the best option. imho, its not too late now.
Sai-K: First a warm welcome.

IMHO the issue is not money or vision, but the WILL to stand up to fight to our true class. It about having balls to step into the shoes of a Sovereign Free Nation that acts to serve its own interest.

[url="http://www.indianexpress.com/news/navy-tests-new-waters-with-nsubs-indigenous-carrier/562351/0"]Navy tests new waters with N-subs, indigenous carrier[/url]

Quote:Manu Pubby Posted online: Saturday , Jan 02, 2010 at 0153 hrs

Unlike the Army and Air Force, the Navy has its modernisation plans on track and the coming year will see a massive addition in capabilities of the country’s smallest armed force. On all fronts — underwater, on the surface, in the air and even outer space — the Navy is set to acquire and add new platforms and assets that will widen its edge over maritime forces of neighbouring countries.

While the Navy has reached blue water capabilities, the absence of a few vital assets has constrained it from showcasing its true potential. The biggest asset the Navy is set to get in 2010 is the Nerpa nuclear attack submarine on a 10-year lease from Russia.

After several delays and hiccups, the re-entry of a nuclear powered platform in the Navy (after the INS Chakra that was also leased from Russia in the 1980s) will be a massive force addition. Besides the obvious benefits of having a stealthy submarine that can stay underwater for several weeks and even give US warships a run for their money, the Nerpa will be a vital training platform.

The Nerpa will help train Indian Navy personnel on nuclear submarine operations, a skill that will be needed to be imparted to a large number of officers and men who will operate the indigenous Arihant class of nuclear submarines in coming years.

While Nerpa will shake things underwater, the Navy will also get longer legs in the coming year that will enable it to deploy ships for longer periods, in further waters than ever before. The induction of a modern tanker ship, which is currently being built by Italian firm Fincantieri, by the end of 2010 is being keenly watched by players in the region.

The tanker ship, which will refuel and replenish warships on the high seas, is a major force multiplier for any nation. Its induction in the Indian Navy will mark the entry of a modern tanker that will be used for overseas deployments and will be showcased at all forthcoming exercises.

Also on the surface, the coming year will mark the historic launch of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier. The first of the Vikrant class aircraft carriers, which is under construction in Kochi, will be launched towards the end of 2010. This will be followed by fitment of weapon systems, sensors and other equipment on the warship.

While the induction will not take place before 2014, the launching of the warship itself will be a major feat, considering that it will be India’s first aircraft carrier as well as the first warship built on a modular design.

Corresponding with the carrier, the Navy will finally see its new fighter aircraft, the MiG 29 K flying in Indian skies. While four of the fighters were delivered a few weeks ago, the first flight is expected in early January once the aircraft have been assembled by Russian technicians.

Integrating all these platforms, and bringing the Navy a step closer to network centric warfare, will be the Navy’s first dedicated satellite that is set to be launched by the middle of next year. While the Navy currently relies on other channels of communication, the first ever dedicated military satellite to be launched next year will give it a vital communication link to bring all platforms — fighters, warships, aircraft carriers, submarines and even UAVs — on a common ground. Besides a secure communication channel, the satellite will make it easier to deploy and manage assets as part of the Navy’s network centric strategy.

While delays, hiccups and cancellations are common to all acquisitions in the armed forces, the Navy is set for a complete makeover in the coming year and decade, taking it to its rightful position as the deciding platform for military diplomacy.
Arun ji. Thanks.

I agree, but our policy and decision makers sometime miss the objectives and interests and get lost into the mundane things (including our susceptible political setup).

Sometimes, when the drivers don't drive and deliver, we as aam junta (may be I am self righteous here/sorry) should raise the voice for corrections.
[quote name='Arun_S' date='30 December 2009 - 12:51 AM' timestamp='1262114027' post='103189']IMVHO overall Rafale will be best choice for India.

[url="http://www.domain-b.com/defence/sea/indian_navy/20091229_fighter_aircraft.html"]Indian Navy issues RFI for carrier-based fighter aircraft[/url]


What I find most amazing is the IN hasnt yet flown Mig-29K from INS Vikramaditya they probably wont do it before 2012 and the N-LCA is still on the drawing board and IN wants a third type ?

Isnt this called living beyond one means , I didnt knew we were this rich to support 3 new types of Aircraft ( 2 imported ) for our new Carrier.
IMHO this is baby stepped boot-strapping.

The first Indigenous carrier can only launch aircrafts of similar class as Virat and Vikramaditya. The big daddy aircraft that carry the punch of range and payload require steam catapult.

So when IN steps into bigger shoes (this time rightfully) after graduating from building small A/C (to get experience up the belt) to something more capable and up-to date, by shifting to heavy air crafts is the right way.

In retrospect can IN have issued heavy lift fighter RFI sooner to host it on non-existent platforms? Clearly not. Thus there is a cost to play for being poor 10 years ago.

LCA is perhaps the cheapest ticket item, one that IN perhaps has budget to pay for the experience. OTOH with thrust vectoring to assist takeoff at very high AoA, the small sized LCA can have more useful payload/fuel/range envelop against the heavy set Mig-29.
[quote name='Arun_S' date='08 January 2010 - 09:26 AM' timestamp='1262922495' post='103409']

IMHO this is baby stepped boot-strapping.

The first Indigenous carrier can only launch aircrafts of similar class as Virat and Vikramaditya. The big daddy aircraft that carry the punch of range and payload require steam catapult.

So when IN steps into bigger shoes (this time rightfully) after graduating from building small A/C (to get experience up the belt) to something more capable and up-to date, by shifting to heavy air crafts is the right way.

In retrospect can IN have issued heavy lift fighter RFI sooner to host it on non-existent platforms? Clearly not. Thus there is a cost to play for being poor 10 years ago.

LCA is perhaps the cheapest ticket item, one that IN perhaps has budget to pay for the experience. OTOH with thrust vectoring to assist takeoff at very high AoA, the small sized LCA can have more useful payload/fuel/range envelop against the heavy set Mig-29.


Arun my thinking on this issue is that IN is fishing in troubled waters of MMRCA , it is probably thinking that if it issues an RFI this would in some way shape the GOI thinking in opting for an MMRCA which is carrier capable too.

Which means either Rafale , F-18 E/F or Mig-35 each have their own carrier capable derivative.

There are also plans to develop the PAK-FA into carrier capable aircraft.

Not to mention IN love and senior officer including IN chief statement on JSF.
Relevant for IN since we are looking to add a new second Type of SSK in IN

Fourth generation Non-Nuclear Submarines (NNS) in struggle for markets

In 1980s the two world powers - the USSR and the USA - got down to design of the fourth generation of the non-atomic submarines which differ from their predecessors on higher combat effectiveness achieved by implementation of the latest achievements in nuclear engineering hydrodynamics, weapons, construction materials, stealthiness, submarine acoustics and not acoustic means of submarine detection, automatic control systems, communication etc. As a result such submarines as "Seawolf" (entered the service in 1997) and "Virginia" (entered the service in 2004) multi-purpose submarines as well as Project-885 and Project-955 Russian nuclear propulsions (their entering the service of the Naval forces is expected in 2008-09), the French "Barracuda" nuclear submarine (the forerunner was laid down in 2007) and the British "Ascute" (2009) appeared.

Some time later in 1990s the construction of the first NNS of the fourth generation was started in Germany, France and Russia. Today they are in fierce competitive struggle for the international market of under-water weapons.

Today the total amount of the NNSs in the fleets of 44 states is about 400. These ships play both tactical and strategic role providing even small countries which have submarine forces with the possibility to damage larger and stronger enemy during naval operations. That is why the world market of NNS appears to be highly profitable, prospective and capacious. Its peak increase can be even in the next decade when full range substitution of the third-generation submarines will begin in many countries.

However, the NNSs (which can be referred to as diesel-electric) were in the "shade" of their nuclear "sisters" in 1960-1980s. Its enough to say that one of the super-powers, the US, rejected the idea of development of these ships (excluding the development of special purpose submarines and deep-sea vehicles). From 1950s US NATO allies started the development of the NNS projects. The second world leader, the USSR, unlike the US needed both ocean-going and sea-going ships (The Baltic and the Black seas have international non-nuclear status). The USSR developed its diesel-electric submarines according to so-called "residual principle" investing the bulk assets and resources of the military-industrial complex into upgrading of its nuclear submarine fleet first of all.

The submarine ship-building (even in its non-nuclear part which seems easier at first) remained high-tech and science-intensive area and demanded powerful engineering and production base which in its turn demanded enough large means and assets for development. With growth of its complexity and science-intensiveness the number of the states capable to project and build not nuclear submarines independently constantly reduced. If in 1950 - 1960s the diesel-electric submarines were produced by practically all leading ship-building powers of Europe - England, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, the Western Germany, France and Sweden. By 1990s only Germany, France and Sweden remained in the European «club of not nuclear submarines producers». Other countries preferred either to buy NNS abroad or to build them under foreign licenses.

At the same time submarines still remained one of most effective means of the armed struggle on the sea. And if in 1950-1960s the demand for them was appreciably satisfied with modernized American or Soviet submarines of military series as well as the submarines of the first post-war generation in service with the Naval Forces of the USSR and the USA, in 1970s the first place (after the Soviet ship-building industry, and the Chinese, who duplicated the Soviet diesel submarines of the first generation in great quantities) was occupied by English, German and French ship builders. In particular, the German Type 205, Type 209 submarines and their numerous variants got the world wide recognition. The submarines of Project-209 have really got the world-wide recognition: in 1970-2000s 63 submarines of this type of various modifications have been delivered in 14 countries of the world. Under the German license their assemblage was carried out in Argentina, Brazil, India, Turkey, South Korea.

Approximately at the same time (1974-2006) France built 13 submarines of "«Agosta»" type. Four of them were given to the national fleet, four - for the Spanish Navy and five - for the Pakistani Navy.

Japan was one of the most active in diesel-electric submarines production countries. The country used its own projects and built several series of relatively large (2500-2800 m3) ocean-going submarines of the second and the third generation which had "albacore"-type hull (the export of weapons and combat vehicles is prohibited in the country by the law). China in parallel with buying of the Russian submarines of the third generation (Projects 877 and 636) produces so-called national "clones" of this submarines and the ships of its own projects using Russian and French technology.

The evolution of the diesel-electric submarines of the second and the third after-war generations (both Russian and Western) was going on along with the modernizing the nuclear propulsions in the way of increasing stealthiness, depth of submersion, self-sustained period, combat possibilities of the weapons and other parameters. The growing demand for diesel-electric submarines in 1970s led to restoration of interest for airindependent non-atomic power plants for submarines which were concerned as auxiliary power plants ensuring the under-water self-sustained period at low speed by two-three (and more) times.

It is necessary to tell that in 1940-1950s the work in this direction was actively conducted in the USSR, the USA and the Great Britain. However after occurrence of the first underwater atomic-powered vessels the interest to such projects considerably decreased for more than a decade having revived only after the diesel-electric submarines proved the capability to be applied effectively even in "atomic age" successfully supplementing incomparably more expensive and sometimes less effective nuclear propulsions.

In 1996-1997 three submarines of "Holland" type entered the service of the Swedish fleet. They conditionally can be corresponded to generation «3 +». The ships with displacement of 1300/1600 м3 and the length of 60.4 m which were constructed on the shipyard in Malino representing further development of diesel-electric submarines of the 3rd generation of the "Vaster»Gotland»" type, have lower noiseness and equipped with modern radio-electronic equipment and weapons. However their main feature is presence airindependent power plant which includes Stirling engines.

Works on this engine began in Sweden in 1960s, and in 1989 the test submarine (converted "Nacken" diesel-electric submarine), equipped with Stirling engines was tested. Unlike diesel engine (where fuel burning occurs in the cylinder under the piston), in the Stirling it is performed in the separate cmbustion chamber. The heat is transferred to a working body (inert gas) which is in the cylinder which actuates the piston. Thus the products of combustion which are under high pressure, are released out board without the additional compressor.

The successful end of the experimental works has allowed the Swedes to start design of high-grade combat submarines. On each of thr "«Gotland»s" two engines of external combustion with the capacity of 75 kw were installed. Soon in the same way with «Gotland» and its «sisterships» two submarines of the third generation of Vaster "Gotland" type were modernized too in Malino. Thus the Swedish fleet was the first in the world to equip fully the underwater forces with NNSs with airindependent power plants.

Power plants with Stirling engines provide the submarine at a speed of 2.5 knots with the duration of the underwater course equal to 20 days. The submarine can go with a speed of up to 20 knots using accumulators. The weak points are - the efficiency is less than a diesel has, big noiseness, leaving trace, and restriction on depth (which, however, is not critical for the Swedish submarines, owing to hydrographic features of the Baltic having working depth of only 150 m).

With the experimental purposes the Swedish engines were bought by Australia. And in Japan with the same purposes the "Asahio" submarines ("Harushio" type) were converted for the Stirling engines. In 2005 the «Gotland» submarine was taken in leasing by the US Navy. According to the official version the US is going to use it for working off of the measures for struggle with perspective anaerobic NNSs of China. However it is most possible to assume, that the Americans simply wish to return to rather perspective international market of NNS and make up the missed opportunities by using actively the advanced European experience for this purpose. At the same time there is no information on contracts on delivery of new boats of the «Gotland» type or on the beginning of building of submarines with the Stirling engines in Japan which also has selected «the Swedish way». The plans of new generation boats with the Strerling engines in Sweden left without continuation.

In 1994 the government of Germany signed the contract on purchase of four submarines of Type 212 which are the new, fourth generation of NNS. The development of these ships was preceded by long works in the sphere of anaerobic power plants of various types, which had been performed in Germany since 1970s. As a result, in the early nineties, after carrying out of numerous experiments and tests (including the tests on the experiment ship - the U-1 Type 205 submarine), the German experts chose the power plant with electrochemical generators (ECG).

This device provides direct transformation of chemical energy into electric, which is carried out in special electrochemical elements (cells). PP with ECG has a number of important advantages to not nuclear airindependent plants of other types - steam turbines of the closed cycle, Stirling engines, diesel engines of the closed cycle, etc. In particular, at rather high efficiency electrochemical generators possess low level of oxygen consumption, have a small thermal emission, and at the output only one product, water, appears.

It is necessary to consider the following points as serious, basic weak points of ECG. First of all, the difficulties with storage of hydrogen: it is dangerous to store it onboard a submarine in the form of the compressed gas or peroxide, and in a liquid condition (with reference to conditions onboard a submarine) - it is extremely technically difficult. The German experts have selected the way of storage of hydrogen in metal-hydride accumulators (so-called intermetallic storage) at which emptiness in a crystal lattice of metal are filled with atoms of hydrogen. However for charging of such batteries "smooth" conditions which can be created only on well equipped coastal base are required. As a result the ship becomes rigidly bound to the limited number of basing sites, which essentially limits its application.

The architecture of the German boat of the 4th generation essentially differed from shape of German submarines of previous generations. The ship has extremely svelt (earlier not peculiar for German submarines) contours with a protection of sliding devices, smoothly «plane likely» interfaced to contours of a superstructure and reminding "cabins" of limuzine type Soviet nuclear propulsions of the 2nd and 3rd generations. It is necessary to tell, that close contours are considered also by the Americans within the framework of works at nuclear propulsions of the 6th generation whih should replace "Virginia" in 2020s.

In 1996 Naval Forces of Italy for which it was necessary to fill up the fleet with at least two new submarines in 2000-2010 joined the German program of design of 212 type submarine. The «Romanized» project of the submarine was designated as Type 212А.

The first boat of Project-212 - U31 named "Wittenberg" was laid in July, 1998, in Kiel on "Howaldswerke Deutchewerft" and was floated in April, 2002. On October, 19, 2005 this ship as well as the second boat of the same type - U32 "Edenkoben" constructed by "Tissen Nordtzeewerke" (Emden) - in solemn conditions were transferred to the fleet. Thus the German Naval Forces after 1969 for the first time were replenished with new submarines. In 2006 the Naval Forces of Germany received two more boats of the given type.

The Italian NNSs Type 212А are under construction on shipyard in Finkantieri (their enering the service is expected in 2009 and 2010), differ from the German "elder sisters" in a number of insignificant features of design and equipment set in which the interests of the Italian manufacturers are taken into consideration.

On Greek shipyard "Helenik Shipyard" two boats of Type 214 which are the export version of Type 212 are under construction for the Naval Forces of Greece. They have increased to 65 m length and less powerful PP with ECG. The surface displacement of the boats is 1600 м3. The head Greek ship "Palanicolis" was floated in April, 2004. Three more NNSs of Type 214 according to the contract signed in 2000 are under construction in Korean Republic for the national Naval Forces. Turkey declared its desire to buy six boats of Type 214. Brazil and the Republic of South Africa became potentcial buyers of these boats in 2008.

The Type 212 boats having surface displacement of 1450 м3 and underwater displacement of 1830 м3 are made in one-and-a-half type (which is caused by necessity to generate volumes for components of ECG). The X-shaped tail plumage (which was earlier made at a number of the 3rd generation submarines which are produced in Germany for a number of foreign customers) rather seldom applied in underwater shipbuilding is another feature of configuration of these submarines. The strength hull of the ship is made of low-magnetic steel, and the external hull and the protection of sliding devices are made of fiberglass.

Power plant of the boat includes usual diesel-electric PP, added with the electrochemical generator. The rowing electric motor with the capacity of 3875 h.p. actuates seven-bladed quiet rowing screw with crescent-type blades. The capacity of ECG is about 306 kw (nine generators with 34 kw each) which provides the boat with full underwater speed of 8 knots, and cruiser speed of 3 knots. Type 212 according to the statements of company representatives is capable to go in underwater position for 14 days (the range of a course is about 1700 miles). With the diesel engine, at cruiser speed of 8 knots, the range is 8000 miles, at a course with only accumulators the boat is capable to cover 420 miles at a speed of 4 knots.

Type 212 and Type 212А NNSs have length of 55.9 m and full speed of underwater course of 17 knots (according to other information - about 20 knots). The maximum depth of submersion is 300 m, self-sustained period - 30 days. Submarines are equipped with six 533-mm torpedo tubes with munition of 12 torpedoes (the regular weapon of the German submarines is the newest electric torpedoes DM2A4 with the maximum speed of an underwater course of about 50 knots and the range of about 20 km. Instead of it the boat can carry mines). The NNS crew is 27 persons. Cost of one serial ship of Project-214 is estimated (depending on the set of equipment and weapon) is 300-350 million euro.

The competitor of Type 212/214 is the "Scorpen" submarine which designed by French DCN company together with Spanish Izar (former Bazan). The new submarine is the further development of the 3rd generation "Agosta" boat. At its development the experience of design and operation of the French atomic-powered vessels (in particular, tiny "Rubis" nuclear propulsion) was widely used. The project has three variants. The choice is defined by desire and financial possibilities of customers:

- Base (usual diesel-electric submarine);

- variant with airindependent installation;

- "Compact", also with airindependent installation, but of less capacity.

Unlike the German boats equipped with fuel elements, the French submarine (the variant with airindepended power installation) is equipped with the MESMA steam turbine of the closed cycle (STCC). At combustion of diesel fuel and oxygen (contained onboard the boat in liquid type) in the special chamber the warm is generated wich serves for work of the steam generator of this PP. Steam goes for supply of the turbine with the capacity of 200 kw, and then it is condensed. Water is repeatedly used in system of the closed cycle, and carbonic gas appearing during fuel burning is thrown out the board. Thus internal pressure in system is so, that gas removal can be carried out at the depth exceeding limiting depth of boat submersion.

Three Pakistan «Agosts» transferred to the customer in 1999-2006 which have an additional compartment with the length of about 10 m with the steam turbine of the closed cycle were the first submarines equipped with plants of MESMA type. Thus standard displacement of the modernised boats increased from 1500 to 1770 t, and the maximum speed reduced from 20 to 19 knots.

The contract for construction of the first "Scorpen" (which were unlike Agost and German Type 212/214 completely export ships) was signed in 1997. It provided construction of two NNSs (O`Higgins and Carrera) in base (diesel-electric) configuration for the Naval Forces of Chile. The transfer to the customer was accordingly in 2007 and 2008. In 2002 another contract for two boats for the Naval Fleet of Malaysia was signed. And in 2003 Spain made the decision on construction of four S-80 NNSs (enlarged in sizes modification of "Scorpen") on Izar shipyard.

However the greatest success of the French builders of submarines was in India. On October, 6, 2005 the contract on licence construction of six "Scorpen" for the Indian Naval Forces was signed as a result of the international competition. The construction (using French accessories) of submarines of base variant as well as the variant with MESMA plant (starting with the fourth hull) on Indian shipyard "Mazagon Docks" (Bombay) is provided. It is supposed, that the first Indian submarine will enter the service in 2012 and the whole series will be finished by 2017. Unlike the boats of this type intended for Chile and Malaysia which have just torpedo weapons the Indian "Scorpen" NNS should be equipped with the SM.40 Exocet anti-ship tactical cruise missiles launced from undewater.

It is necessary to notice that promption of NNSs on international weapons market is actively lobbied at the top international level by our competitors. In Germany it was the Chancellor who personally performed the promotion of German submarines for export, carried on negotiations with the prime minister and the president of India as well as with the leaders of some other countries. French president Chirac personally went to the president of India, to the prime minister of Malaysia... India and Malaysia bought "Scorpen" instead of our boats. South Korea, Greece and Portugal bought Type 214 boat, Chile bought "Scorpen"... Such tendency is very alarming. But we will return to the French ship.

The base variant of the boat in has normal displacement of 1550 t and the length of 66.4 m. It develops full underwater speed of 20 knots and is capable to dive at the depth to 300 m. Using accumulators the diesel-electric "Scorpen" can cover the distance equal to 550 miles in underwater position at cruiser speed. The variant of "Scorpen" with the MESMA steam turbine is a little longer (76.2) and the displacement is 1770. In the airindependent mode this boat is capable to cover 1300 miles at cruiser speed of 4 knots. As well as the German analogue, the French NNS distinguish with small noiseness acheived as the result of the hydrodynamic perfection of the form of the boat hull, minimising the quantity of outstanding parts, optimisation of the rowing screw configuration, acoustic isolation of decks, equipment placing in the places where it is possible on rubber shock-absorbers, use of double elastic linings for installation of the most noise emission systems.

The competitors of Russia have the example in reducing noiseness to achieve. In late seventies in Russa in Leningrad Central Design Bureau "Rubin" under the Chief designer Jury Nikolaevich Kormilitsin's administration the 3rd generation Project-877 diesel-electric submarine, a well-known «Varshavianka», was designed. In 1980-1990s it was a kind standard of stealthiness among submarines. The Americans even nicknamed it as «a black hole» adding that our submarine should be looked for in areas where the sea "does not rustle"...

In 1980 the Russian Navy, and later the fleets of the foreign states started to receive submarines of this type. Naval Forces of Russia, Algeria, India, Iran, China, Romania and Poland got approximately 60 NNSs of Projects 877, 877В, 877Э, 877ЭК, 877ЭКМ, 636 and 636М which were improved every time (boats of Project-636 can be referred to as «3 +» generation). These well armed, reliable and highly-aesthetic ships became an appreciable mark in domestic and world shipbuilding. Building of these ships for foreign customers continues nowadays.

The first Russian NAS of the new, fourth generation Project-677 submarine ("Lada") designed by St.-Petersburg CDB МТ "Rubin" under the administration of J.N.Kormilitsin who was the general designer of the NNS. The variant of this ship intended for supplies to foreign customers has received a designation of «Amur-1650». Serial production of the ships is accustomed on the Admiralteyskie Verfi (St.-Petersburg) under the administration of the Director-general, the Hero of Russia Vladimir Leonidovich Aleksandrov.

The forerunner - "St.-Petersburg" - was laid down in December, 1999, floated in September, 2004 and in January, 2007 went on sea trial. It is necessary to say that tests and operational adjusting of the new ship were tightened that, certainly, causes criticism in domestic mass-media and some malevolenty of the competitors. However it is necessary to remember that "St.-Petersburg" is the first underwater ship of the the new, 4th generation, which design contains the highest level of technical novelty. Critics can object: it was possible to give up a number of the most risky decisions and create a less "revolutionary" but more simple boat which canb be easier implemented technically. But acting in a such «quasipragmatic» way inevitably would lead us to legging behind the European contenders and, in the long run, to loss of world NNS markets. It is necessary to take into consideration the fact that the Russian ship-building industry was conducting the work on the new ship during the most complicated postcrisis period when, after decades of economic disorder, disintegration and universal plundering tragical for our defence industry it was possible to describe the condition of the Russian ship-building industry with only one phrase: «the patient is more likely alive, than dead».

However today the process of recovering of this "patient" gains positive dynamics. And the designers of "Amur" (who did not reconcil with full breakdown of branch and loss of the country's ability to creat new underwater ships as it seemed 10 years ago to many people) and the present management of the Navy should be thanked for that. It is necessary to note the obvious revival of interest to issues of Russia's sea power reconstruction in the top state structures.

In July, 2005 the laying of the first Project-677 serial boat - "Kronstadt" (as seamen and shipbuilders say - «the second hull») which is planned to be transfered to the fleet in 2009 took place. In 2010 of the Navy should be replenished with the "Sevastopol" boat laid in 2006, then comes "Petropavlovsk" ... The Baltic fleet is planning to have two six "Lada" submarines-strong squadrons. Approximately the same number of the submarines of the given project will be got by the Black Sea fleet a little bit later.

According to the words of Director-general of the "Admiralteyskie verfi" Vladimir Aleksandrov in August, 2008, it is expected, that this enterprise will put 12 NSSs of "Amur-1650" type for export. Market cost of one submarine should make 150-200 mln. dollars that is much less than cost of its German analogue.

The new ship, for the first time (for the Russian NSS) belongs to the one-hull architecturally-constructive type has the hull, a superstructure and the protection of the sliding devices made of high-strength steel. At the boat the SED-1all-mode rowing electric motor with the constant magnets, capacity of 4100 kw and nominal frequency of rotation of 200 rpm is installed. Storage battery of the submarine includes two groups of accumulators with 126 elements each. Power consumption in the long discharging mode is 10580 kw/h. Service life of the storage battery is no less than five years.

Normal displacement of "Amur-1650" is 1765 м3, the length is 66.8 m, speed of a full underwater course (in the serial configuration) - 21 knots, operational depth of submersion - 300 m, the maximum range of course - 6500 miles, range of course in underwater position using accumulators - 650 km (at cruiser speed of 3.5 knots). Self-sustained period of the boat - 45 days, ship crew - 35 persons.

The level of the acoustic field of "Amur-1650" (after the end of its operational development) should be several times lower (!) than at the boats of the 3rd generation (in particular at the well-known "Varsavianka" which is considered until recently to be the quietest submarine in the world). It is acheived, in particular, at the expense of use of new, much more effective, sound-proof covering. One more unique, innovative mean of radical decrease of the noise which is expected at serial NSSs is so-called active protection - the system generating sound waves in an antiphase to radiation of the boat.

The ship is equipped with the "Lithium" combat information and control system of the 4th generation developed by the "Sistema" Science and production complex (Chief designer - L.E.Fedorov). This integrated automated complex ensures control of the boat, its information, combat and other means as well as ship-wide data exchange system. The "board" of "Lada", as well as foreign NNSs of the 4th generation has the modern element and program base providing automated control from operator panels placed in the main command post of the boat. Radio-electronic means of outer information reception are integrated into data exchange system which with the maximum speed performs automatic processing and the analysis of the information from various sensors and represents in the generalised view on sensor-controlled LCD displays.

The important innovation, for the first time (with reference to Russian submarines), implemented at "Amur-1650" is the telescopic lifting-mast devices with television, thermovision and laser sensors which do not penitrate into the strength-hull (it is necessary to notice that similar "not penitrating" sliding devices were applied for the first time by the American ship builders at the 4th generation "Virginia" nuclear propulsion which entered the service in 2004, and for the first time such devices were used by the Italians (1966).

Critics of a new Russian boat mark as one of the arguments the absence of airindependent PP at the forerunner. But speaking unbiassedly it appears that in the project of a new Russian submarine as well as the French NNS the using of anaerobic power plants is only an option along with the supply of of boats with traditional power plants . Though the German submarines have the ECG included initially in the regular PP as auxiliary plant.

Thus Russian and French NAVY displaying proper care allow their foreign counterparts for "military technical cooperation" to develop a new power system (although very useful in prospect but not of vital importance in term of tactics and strategy, taking into consideration a great number of nuclear propulsions Russia and France possess) just to avoid inevitable difficulties that always accompany research work.

At the same time Germany has "crossed Rubicon" in its decision to develop the air independent power plant. Why? Perhaps the main reason is that Germans focus on international weapon market. The success of the Project-212 will give them merchant pre-eminence. If submarine operators (primarily abroad) face any difficulties (Germany fuel system has already appeared to be unreliable) the whole military sector of shipbuilding industry in this country will certainly suffer disastrously. But it is a gamble...

Against this background the conventional diesel power plants placed on first "Amur-1650" and "Scorpen" submarines prove their reliability, simpleness and flexibility. It is necessary to mention that Project-677 conventional submarine is able to cover longer distance in submerged mode (650 miles at speed 3.5 knots) than the Germany and French submarines (420 and 550 miles respectively at the same speed). Although the European 4th generation craft powered with the air independent power plant have the range superior to that mentioned above - 1300-1700 miles, but it is the time that will test this quality. Besides, the next generation accumulator plant to be put on the "Scorpen" will extend their range to 750-800 miles at 4 knots. Russia also develops technologies of its own which will soon allow "Amur-1650" to reach the French figures if not breach them.

The 4th generation Russian, German and French conventional submarines are equipped with tactical data systems resembled each other by "intellectual" ability: they have practically the same structure and element base.

Damage control is considered to be advantage of the Russian submarine over its foreign prototype. The use of glass fiber plastic in German submarine arouses incredulity: this material had been used in the US, Soviet and Britain constructions especially in topside and conning tower and appeared to be unreliable in severe ocean condition. As a result metal elements were then used instead of glass fiber plastic.

Comparing the "Amur-1650" (which includes advantages of the "Varshavianka" submarine and nuclear propulsions built in the "Rubin" designing department and has noisiness level 6-8 times less than its predecessor) and the German Type 212 submarine with acoustic stealthiness compatible to that of late Project-636 submarine we can tell it for certain that the Project-677 submarine has stealthiness superior to that of German design and apparently of French also.

The record hydroacoustic antenna surface (for this class submarine) of the "Amur-1650" coupled with low noisiness level is enough to believe that our conventional submarine has better search capability than its German and French prototypes.

Certain difficulties emerged during head craft tests are just another evidence that it is impossible to bypass problems while developing a new complex engineering structure which the submarine is considered to be (also amid financial and personnel shortage our shipbuilding faced in previous period). And it is very important for us not to blame somebody but to find the way out as soon as possible. If it is needed we have to find extra money because the loss of time today means loss of the defense capacity and market tomorrow!

The "Amur-1650" is equipped with 6 533 mm bow torpedo tubes, designed to launch also missiles. Its principle characteristic is ability to employ cruise missile against ships and vessels of the enemy as well as his shore installations.

The interval between barrages is much shorter than that of the previous generation indigenous submarines and its foreign prototypes which is accomplished by unique reloading system. This quality provides our submarine with advantage over any conventional submarine of the same type in duel. Taking into consideration the real combat abilities of the craft, determined also by stealthiness and hydroacoustics, the modern Russian submarine is able to prevail over "Virginia"...

Our 4th generation submarine carries 18 torpedoes or cruise missile, which can be replaced with 36 mines. It also can be used as transport for combat divers with their equipment.

In case with torpedoes (apparently our submarine carries or will carry USAT-80 noiseless electrical torpedoes or their modifications, as well as UGST modern smart multipurpose torpedoes that are to enter the service soon) the "Amur-1650" matches the world prototypes, but speaking of its missile load the Project-667 left far back the foreign submarines of the same class.

Unlike "Skorpena", equipped only with "Aczoset" tactical surface atack missile with the range of 50 km., the "Amur-1650" (as its predicators of 636 Project) possesses powerful missile weapons with tactical and prestrategic ranges. Its export version marked CLUB-S is able to destroy both underwater targets (protected with powerful AD/MD sys) and shore targets at a range of 300 km. Although the modification for our fleet which is not restricted by international agreements has much more superior figure in this respect.

The press mentioned the ability of the "Scorpena" to be equipped with tactical cruise missile, based on "Scalp" airbase cruise missile. This subsonic low-signature cruise missile mounted on version for France has a range of 400 km., but in case of export delivery this figure has to be cut to 300 because of international accords.

The "Asura" French supersonic antisubmarine missile which is under development now may become another prospect weaponry system of this craft. But like "Scalp" further development of this weapon is needed as well as its adapting to the submarine.

There is also a long term Project of providing Type-212 submarine with the "Polifem" multipurpose cable guidance missile system, designed to destroy antisubmarine helicopters, motor boats and small ships when submerged, as well as shore point targets at a range of 15 km.

Outboard conformal pack for 24 mines gives the "type 212" tactical advantage (to be proved on practice). But what will ban the consumer from using this equipment on single board "Amur-1650"?

As we can see, despite compatibility on a number of parameters (similar construction, low level of acoustic and magnet fields, powerful hydroacoustic equipment with large antennas, modern tactical data systems, standard displacement of 1450-1750 tons, underwater speed of 20-21 knots, operating depth of 300-350 m.), the "Amur-1650" and its rivals have fundamental differences which will certainly reflect in their combat effectiveness and success on the world markets.

To crown it all I would like to focus on the prospect of the Russian air independent power plant development for the 4th generation conventional submarine. For many experts it became clear enough that recently this issue had extend from technical field to business: more and more potential foreign consumers representing their departments of defense whose opinion is based not on their own researches, but on media based public opinion enhance their attention to the air independent engines.

That's why these new power plants (despite their obvious incompleteness) are considered to be binding condition of business success, feature of military, economical and even political capability of the country that builds and... procures ships like these and also index of weight of its military and industrial establishment.

We can remember from the history an example from the previous century: in 1903 the Russian "Ascold" scout ship (it was a five-funneled ship) going to the Far East, was being followed by the English "Diadem" ship visiting the same ports and receiving visits of the same sheiks and kings, who had seen the Russian scout ship before. Now then, the captain of the English ship specially built two false funnels made of the available material on the deck, thus transformed his four-funneled ship into six-funneled one. You can see some analogies, can't you?

It is important to mention, that attempts to charge the constructors of "Amur-1650" in cautioness in detecting the composition of the power plant were baseless: the composition of the Russian Project-677 submarine was initially constructed accounting the possibilities of upgrading it with auxiliary power plant with ECG! Prototype devices of this type equipped with low-temperature TE (liquid alkaline electrolytes, a gas-cylinder method of oxygen and hydrogen storage) was developed by the Leningrad Special Engineering Bureau of Boiler Construction (nowadays it is called JSC "SPBK", which is a part of FGUP "CNII SET") and was tested in 1988 on board the S-273 submarine (Project-613E Katran), that was specially reworked in Gorky city according to the project of "Lazurit". In 1991 the "Krystall-20" full-size power plant with ECG assigned for submarine passed the bench-top tests.

Moreover, by the beginning of the previous decade our country was the certain world leader in the field of power plants construction, based on fuel elements for submarines. But during the difficult for Russian science ant industry 1990s the world priorities were lost and the leading role in the ECG field was captured by the German specialists. Though slowly, with great difficulties and breaks that were conducted by the lack of funding, the works on anaerobic power plants in Russia were continued. The next step after the development of "Kristall-20" was power plant "Kristall-27" that appeared in the 21st century. It was provided with neutralizing matrix electrolytes, intermetallic system of hydrogen storage and cryogenic system of oxygen storage, that was designed for providing the power plant with capacity of 300 kw.

Under its "ideology" and basic specifications "Kristall-27" (it is conditionally refered to as the second generation of the ECG) is in general close to the German PP, which are used on the Project-212 submarines. This power plant is better than its German prototype in efficiency and well-worked basic support (it was achieved due to availability of good balanced conjugation of the autonomic coastal complex of fuelling with power plant, which made solving of a quite difficult problems of coastal basing of submarines with fuel elements easier), loosing it generally in only one position - the term of implementation. It provides self-sustained period under the water of 15 days, and while short-timed emerge on the periscope depths - of up to 45 days.

But Kristall-27 (like the German power plant), despite of all its potential advantages is basically an auxiliary power plant, that only complements, not removes traditional diesel-electric power plant.

Vladimir Ilyin
[url="http://www.littleabout.com/news/58538,gorshkov-final-price-tag-awaits-government-nod.html"]Gorshkov's final price tag awaits government nod[/url]

Quote:Saturday 16 Jan 2010 18:27 - by IANS

New Delhi, Jan 16 : Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma Saturday said that the final price tag of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which will be commissioned in the force as INS Vikramaditya, is awaiting the government's approval.

"I cannot speak anything about the final pricing till the government's approval is announced," he told reporters here.

"But, yes, for any of these major induction programmes, we have a price negotiation committee, which has done its job and a mutually agreed price has been arrived at," Verma added.

Indian and Russian defence officials have been negotiating the price for the purchase of the refurbished aircraft carrier for over a decade.

Moscow is now asking for $2.9 billion for the aircraft carrier, nearly thrice the price that was originally agreed between the two sides in 2004. But New Delhi wanted the price to be scaled back to $2.1 billion.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during his visit to Moscow December last year, also pushed for the finalisation of the price.
This move is to make sure lifetime supply of these specially made Mig-29K is obtained, and prevent another fiasco down the line like Sea Harrier that has essentially made INS Virat defunct.

The irony is that India should have ordered these 29 fighters before Russia came out of the recession and India would have in the process taken over the Migkoyan company. Recall that order for those inital 19 Mig29K saved the Mig company from folding up.

[url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Russia-to-ink-12-bn-deal-for-29-more-MiG-29Ks/articleshow/5460879.cms"]India, Russia to ink $1.2 bn deal for 29 more MiG-29Ks[/url]

Quote:Rajat Pandit, TNN, 18 January 2010,

NEW DELHI: Russia is all set to reassert its numero uno status in the Indian defence market with another mega arms deal. The two nations are now poised to ink the around $1.2 billion contract for 29 more MiG-29K fighter jets for Indian Navy.

A Russian team will arrive in New Delhi this week to finetune the contract after it got the approval of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, top defence sources said.

"The defence ministry is also now also seeking CCS approval for the fresh contract for aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov's refit, with the renegotiated price of slightly over $2.3 billion," said a source.

The two new contracts will further consolidate Russia's position as the largest defence supplier to India, having notched defence sales worth over $35 billion since the 1960s.

Though Israel is now nipping at the heels of Russia, and the US too has bagged some big defence deals in recent times, Moscow will continue to retain its lead for the foreseeable future.

India, after all, already has over $15 billion worth of ongoing arms contracts and projects in the pipeline with Russia. Bitter wrangling over the huge cost escalation in Gorshkov's refit had led to a distinct chill between India and Russia.

But with matters resolved now, India is also on course to formally join the $10 billion Russian project to build the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation stealth fighter.

The 29 new MiG-29Ks will be in addition to the 16 jets already contracted in the initial $1.5 billion Gorshkov package deal in January 2004. Incidentally, only $974 million had been earmarked for Gorshkov's refit at that time.

Rechristened INS Vikramaditya, Gorshkov will now be delivered to India by early-2013 or so. But three of the 16 original MiG-29Ks have already arrived at the Goa naval airbase to constitute the 303 `Black Panthers' squadron, with the next three slated to follow shortly.

MiG-29Ks will operate from the 44,570-tonne Gorshkov as well as the 40,000-tonne indigenous aircraft carrier being built at Cochin Shipyard, which should roll out by 2014-2015.

Armed with eight types of air-to-air missiles, including extended range BVR (beyond visual range) missiles, as well as 25 air-to-surface weapons for land-attack missions, MiG-29Ks will provide Navy with a lethal punch on the high seas.

While 12 of the first 16 fighters will be the single-seat 'K' variants, the other four will be twin-seater 'KUB' trainer versions. Similarly, four of the next 29 jets will be 'KUB' trainer versions.
Navy to formally induct MiG-29K naval fighter jet

New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) The Navy will formally induct the Russian-made MiG-29K naval fighter jets for deployment on Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier on February 19 in Goa.

The first four of the 16 MiG-29Ks that India had bought from Russia in 2004 along with Gorshkov were delivered at the INS Hansa naval base in Goa on December 4 last.

"The formal induction ceremony has been fixed for February 19 at INS Hansa. The squadron has been named Black Panthers," a Navy spokesperson said here today.

The fighter jets that arrived in Goa in a knocked-down condition in a transport plane were re-assembled at INS Hansa, which also has a maintenance and training facility for the aircraft and its pilots.

[url="http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/02/03/337974/singapore-2010-boeing-to-integrate-aft-radar-for-indias.html"]SINGAPORE 2010: Boeing to integrate aft radar for India's P-8I[/url] ][Image: adserv|3.0|289|1061237|0|277|ADTECH;loc=...rp=%5Bgroup%5D]

[url="http://www.flightglobal.com/landingpage/boeing.html"]Boeing[/url], in an effort to sell to India, plans to put a radar on the aft section of its P-8 multi-mission maritime aircraft and rope in [url="http://www.flightglobal.com/landingpage/raytheon%20company.html"]Raytheon[/url] to give the platform a new air-to-air capability.

"We are in the process of integrating an aft radar," confirms Tim Norgart, Boeing's director of business development for airborne battle management.

Noting that Raytheon already makes the APY-10 radar for the P-8, he adds: "we are now exploring [incorporating] an air-to-air mode into that radar".

India is looking to order P-8s, but has asked that the aircraft have an air-to-air capability and a 360° radar.

The APY-10 provides 240° coverage from the P-8's nose section, leaving a 120° coverage gap behind the aircraft.


At least three of the participating nations --- Vietnam, Malaysia and Phillipines --- have serious maritime disputes with China, whose large number of crude oil-laden ships pass through the waters of these countries. China has been disputing the control of few islands off the maritime boundaries of these countries.

“India, in the past, has build “bridges” with these nations. However, the participation of countries like Australia and New Zealand in the “Milan” exercise showcases the success of our Look East policy,” said a senior officer.

[url="http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5575728.cms"]India to spend $200 billion on defence systems by 2022[/url]

Quote:15 Feb 2010

NEW DELHI: India is set to spend a whopping US$ 200 billion on defence acquisitions over the next 12 years to replace its outdated Soviet-vintage inventory.

According to a study by the India Strategic defence magazine, nearly half of this funding, or $100 billion, will go to the Indian Air Force (IAF) which would need to replace more than half of its combat jet fleet as well as the entire transport aircraft and helicopter fleet.

The army needs new guns, tanks, rocket launchers, multi-terrain vehicles while the navy needs ships, aircraft carriers, an entire new range of submarines including nuclear-propelled and nuclear-armed.

The army has the largest requirement of helicopters while the navy needs both combat jets, helicopters, and a fleet of nearly 100 carrier-borne combat jets.

The details of the study will be published in March but according to a brief report in India Strategic's DefExpo show daily being published Monday, it is not that India has military ambitions but just that more than 70 percent of the inventory of the Indian Armed Forces is 20-plus years old, and needs to be replaced as well as augmented with the sophistication of modern technology.

There have been few defence deals after the allegations over the acquisition of Bofors in the 1980s, and Russia, which inherited the Soviet military infrastructure, is unable to meet all the requirements.

According to official Russian reports, only 10 percent of the Russian weapons could be described as modern.

All the three services as well as the Coast Guard and paramilitary organisations also need satellites and net centricity.

Plans to acquire surveillance aircraft, lesser in capability though the IAF's Phalcon AWACs and the navy's P8-I Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) are also being worked out.

Pilotless intelligence aircraft (drones) generally called UAVs, including those armed, are also on the top of the list of the three arms of the forces.

The report says that the Pakistani 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai, in which scores were brutally killed and wounded, has given a wake up call to India and that the authorities had realized that 24-hour, 360-degree eyes and ears and preparedness to meet any attack were a necessity.

That also meant increased diplomatic and security cooperation with other countries.

It may be noted that the only major aircraft to be acquired by the IAF is the Su-30 MKI, some 280 of which have already been ordered in successive follow-on deals that do not involve fresh tendering and are easy to go through procedurally.

IAF has a plan to build 45 combat squadrons (about 900 aircraft), up from its maximum effective strength of 39.5 squadrons a few years ago. Many of its aircraft have been phased out due to simple ageing.

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