• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Indian Missile News And Discussion
[quote name='shyam1' date='20 May 2012 - 05:03 AM' timestamp='1337469938' post='114912']

It seems like we are just a few stages behind the US in the field of BMD. So radar range needs to be upgraded and targeting longer range missiles. The US is currently experimenting on how to intercept MIRVs. Could we reach that stage in 4 years?

[/quote]

Dr Saraswat seems to suggest in the Shakti TV interview that we are thinking along these lines for MIRV kills. He talks about Agni V CM and his thought process on such measures from the Indian BMD system. India is developing both its BMD and Ballistic missiles together. So it's almost unlike any other country. America would have lost it's expertise as people have moved on in life after developing the Ballistic missiles in the 80's. It will still be in manuals. Some of those scientists may today be in executive positions others retired and out of the look. So it's all there on paper. So India has an advantage here. They can catch up rapidly.
  Reply
That's true. So what do we need to get there and how long will it take?



- longer range radars. VK Saraswat confirmed this is in the works

- PDV which will probably the final launch vehicle

- Satellites to detect launches in neighbourhood and possibly sea too

- a good network of hydrophones on entire Indian ocean sea bed. I wonder if India has developed some yet and whether we possess the capability to remove the ones laid down already by the US. I am no engineer but I think India has facilities in madagascar, A&N to connect them up and send back to Karwar for processing. Maybe we can convince Vietnam too!! That would also give us good comfort



I think 4 years is a reasonable target for all of these.
  Reply
For ABM defense against long range missiles, satellite based launch detection is key. Sat based launch detection is a cost challenge. Much of globe can be observed from GSO, but at 32,000 km the optical payload is huge, and it does not cover northern latitude. medium and lower earth orbit OTOH require a big constellation to be operational. India does not yet have capability for either.
  Reply
[quote name='Arun_S' date='20 May 2012 - 10:53 PM' timestamp='1337534134' post='114918']

For ABM defense against long range missiles, satellite based launch detection is key. Sat based launch detection is a cost challenge. Much of globe can be observed from GSO, but at 32,000 km the optical payload is huge, and it does not cover northern latitude. medium and lower earth orbit OTOH require a big constellation to be operational. India does not yet have capability for either.

[/quote]

Thanks



How have the US,EU resolved this? How long do you think it will take for us to achieve this? Can we partner with Russians/israeli's to save cost?
  Reply
About thw A5 retro-cocket for FS seperation. The 16 tonne force gives an idea on how depressed first stage trajectory it can handle.



The prime cause of in atmosphere seperation is that the when old stage expends, it carries its momentum but does not suffer any appriciable drag, while the stages upstream see a retarding force due to supersonic drag, thus if expended stage is separated, the rear stage will stay into the shockwave shadow and bump into upstream stages with very high certainity.



FYI for Agni-V stage at 18 km altiude sees pressure drag of 9 tonne force, hence 16 tonne retro rocket is right sized to provide those crucitial seconds to allow upper stage to fire and ramp up thrust above 9 tonnes, while the expended stage is assured to be retarding and trailing behind.



Lower sepration altidue and the drag can be many times more.







  Reply
We had an earlier discussion centered on the Agni V being all composite and the first stage not being composite in the Agni V reports. Taking the discussion further on that. The reason behind this decision to use a steel first stage could be one of cost and of reducing the range of Agni V to meet political objectives.



From all indication Agni III, Agni V and Agni VI are different variants of the same missile system. Agni IV being a test launch for Agni V. Agni IV is also a more critical missile with a lower atmospheric test of composite stages and composite motors in the first stage. There have been a number of indications that Agni III will be MIRV at the end of 2015. These tests are designed to provide inputs to all missiles. Dr Saraswat also noted the possibility of upgrading Agni III to Agni V standards. The objective of the Agni V test was also to ascertain the suitability of such a mixed component capability.All components of the missiles have been tested independently and have been tested as part of a larger system. The only system which has not yet been tested or publicly acknowledged is a large composite first stage for Agni VI. A large composite motor second stage was tested in Agni V. This was as acknowledged a larger version of Agni IV composite motors. What's not been disclosed is if Agni V had a composite first stage motor as well inside a steel first stage casing or if the Agni III tested earlier had such a variant. If this has indeed been tested Agni VI is already a variant which can be pushed into production. The only untested variable in the equation is a larger outer composite casing.



I suppose we will not see any additional missiles. Agni VI is the final MIRV variant which can target MIRV warheads globally. It's also the end of our IGMP and work will now move towards operational parameters and enhancements like smart warheads. Capabilities which don't exist today or have not been acknowledged to exist. I don't see the stomach for an Agni VI test from this government. These unacknowledged tests might be the only solution. An extant capability is better for display when the requirement arises. India has also made it's position clear at a politically sensitive time with the US "sanctions" on India. It's indeed a political missile MIRV Agni V. More political than we give credit for and yet restrained. I hope the architects of this Agni V test limitations will hopefully be revealed in a few years. A stratagem.
  Reply
I am not sure what this is. Obfuscation on Agni V's real potential? 40 meter and transportable? Are they on some bhang ? CNN IBN reporting crap now.



http://ibnlive.in.com/news/agnivi-to-be-...0-117.html



Agni-VI to be ready by mid 2014



BALASORE: Before the din that was kicked off after test firing of the much-touted Intercontinental Range Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-V was settled down, India is gearing up to go for the maiden development trial of Agni-VI missile within next two years notwithstanding international reactions and pressures.

Being developed by the DRDO, the new generation ICBM Agni-VI will have a strike range of 8,000 km to 10,000 km. A reliable source told ‘The Express’ that the drawing and designing work of the most advanced missile had been started.

“It will be a three-stage missile and taller than the Agni-V. The design is just taking shape and other sub systems are under development. If everything goes as per the programme, the missile will be ready by mid 2014,” said the source.

A scientist associated with the project said unlike the bulky Agni-III, the new generation Agni-VI missile will be more trendy and sleek, so that it can be easily carried to any place and deployed as and when required.

While the length of the missile would be reportedly around 40 meters as against Agni-V’s 17.5 meter, its diameter will be 1.1 meter, which is almost half of Agni-V. The missile’s launch weight would be around 55 tonne.

The Agni-VI is said to be the latest and most advanced version among the Agni series of missiles. It will have the capability to be launched from submarine and from land-based launchers. The DRDO is also working on integrating Agni-V with submarine.

The new missile will also carry more number of warheads than any other versions. While Agni-V can carry up to three nuclear warheads, sources said the next missile in the series can carry even up to 10 nuclear warheads, capable of hitting multiple targets simultaneously.

After the first test launching of 5,000 km range Agni-V missile while many had raised question about its ICBM capabilities, though it can hit the target anywhere in Asia, Africa and Europe except America, the development of Agni-VI would definitely be a befitting reply to them.

Apart from the Agni-VI’s ground version, the DRDO is also simultaneously working out for its underground variant. The submarine launched version of the missile will arm the Arihant class submarines of the Indian Navy. This missile with a strike range of 6,000 kilometers can carry a payload of one tonne.

“We are seriously contemplating to enhance the reach of our strategic missiles. The development of Agni-VI will be a step forward to accomplish the goal. With the present strength we are capable of developing the inter-continental ballistic missiles which can hit targets beyond the range of 10,000 km,” added the scientist.
  Reply
Well following up from the Agni IV. A thinner all-composite Agni III fits in well with this report. It however must be phifeen point five tons instead of phipty phive tons and phourteen meters instead of phourty meters. Fits in well with minuteman. I wonder if it was the reporters bengali/hindi or the receivers bengali/hindi. To me it looks all bonglish. It's the classic Pha Bha mistake of the bongs. Bhi for V and so on.



Agni III/Agni IV/Agni V/ Agni V+ are all the same missiles, just variants. Agni V+ is the all composite variant of Agni V. It will just be MIRV for the world. It will not be tested from the description of the article.



Agni IV and Agni VI will share the same DNA. Agni IV will share the composite motors with Agni V and composite motors. But they are cousins rather than brothers. Agni VI is the new brother of Agni IV.



Will need more confirmation from a different report on the bonlish/hinglish error.



Added Later:



Further thoughts:



Well the 1.1 meters quote is consistent with the Agni II becoming Agni IV. it's still slim. It's a single warhead variant. A VI will be a AIII version of A IV. Agni III has a capability of launching 1.5 to 2 tons. It's 55 tons in weight. So likely the two missiles were mixed or the message was all mixed up.



So I won't be surprised if the final dimensions of the missile are 1.1 x 14 meters. With a range of 8 to 10k. It's the specs of Minuteman. Minuteman is a single warhead variant. Since we already have the MIRV Agni V and Agni V+ we weill now get a Agni III+ or Agni VI with a single warhead capability. To boot Agni V+ all composite will weigh 55 tons. Composites reduce the weight of the lower stage and carry more propellant. Payload weight was reduced by 60% in Agni V by using composites. Imagine an all composite missile with the dimensions of Agni V. That's one of the missiles. An all composite variant of Agni III with a shared DNA with Agni II +. That's the other missile a thinner 1.1 meter diameter missile 14 meters in length. We already have every technology in place. It's just a matter of fabricating it and testing it as a new configuration. So all this design and stuff is just to show we are scaling up. It's possible to launch in 3 months. However it will be like developing Agni V and Agni VI/ Agni III+ together. That's sending the wrong signals to the rest of the world.



So once Agni V production tests are over, we have two new variants to look forward to Agni VI pencil thin 1.1 meters related to brother Agni IV and Agni VII all composite related to Agni V. This will make our progress seem slower to the external world. We are not there yet. We are just learning. This is just a slow rise of India.



The Agni V+ will be the MIRV all composite variant of Agni V or the earlier stated Agni VI. This was also supposed to be submarine launched. Look up the goof up when Dr. Saraswat was promoted. This Agni VI was to be submarine based and land based. It's the same program. It's just being spun around to obfuscate.



So there is a possibility of two new missiles. Not just one as reported.



Of course this depends on Agni IV's DNA being viewed as a single warhead missile. Possibly counter-force missile. The Agni III/Agni V/ Agni V all composite being MIRV counter-value missiles. Of course the possibility of using MIRV for counter-force exists but it's going to be a waste of warheads to lob so many if we want only one target taken out in Tibet.



So Ramana was spot on earlier with his being prepared to wage nuclear war editorial which I have a very vague recollection of.



Agni II becomes Agni II+ single warhead variant.. 1.1 meters 1 ton payload

Agni III becomes Agni III+ single warhead variant ... Agni VI 1.1 meters 1 ton payload

Agni V all composite is Agni VII MIRV variant ... 2.1 meters 1.5 to 2 tons payload

Agni V becomes Agni V+ single warhead variant ... Agni VIII 1.1 meters 1 ton payload

Agni VII becomes Agni VII+ single warhead variant .... Agni IX 1.1 meters 1 ton payload



The later variants of counter force might require more innovation.



Maybe this is what Arun S posited earlier.
  Reply
'India capable of making missiles with 8,000 km range'

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 20:31 0

Tags: DRDO, Missile, VK Saraswat

Bangalore: India is capable of developing missiles that can hit targets located at more than 8,000 km away, a top official today said.



"We will develop it as and when we see a need to develop a missile longer in range than Agni-V. We have the capability to do it," Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister V K Saraswat told reporters here.



Since DRDO had already crossed the 'threshold' of making a system with longer capability and developing its sub- systems, making a longer version of Agni-V would be easier, Saraswat, also the Director General of Defence Research Organisation, said.



Last month, India test-fired nuclear-capable Agni-V Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile that brought China within its reach with a strike range of over 5000 km.



Saraswat said Agni-V can double up as a satellite launcher for hurling small-sized spacecraft into the space.



Agni-V had major propulsion blocks and a kind of aviation technology which makes it a suitable launch vehicle for sending small satellites into space, he added. DRDO had started work on it, he said but refused to give a timeframe.
  Reply
[quote name='Arun_S' date='22 May 2012 - 10:50 AM' timestamp='1337663569' post='114939']

About thw A5 retro-cocket for FS seperation. The 16 tonne force gives an idea on how depressed first stage trajectory it can handle.



The prime cause of in atmosphere seperation is that the when old stage expends, it carries its momentum but does not suffer any appriciable drag, while the stages upstream see a retarding force due to supersonic drag, thus if expended stage is separated, the rear stage will stay into the shockwave shadow and bump into upstream stages with very high certainity.



FYI for Agni-V stage at 18 km altiude sees pressure drag of 9 tonne force, hence 16 tonne retro rocket is right sized to provide those crucitial seconds to allow upper stage to fire and ramp up thrust above 9 tonnes, while the expended stage is assured to be retarding and trailing behind.



Lower sepration altidue and the drag can be many times more.

[/quote]



I have just provided the news report to try and understand your statement.



Up to Agni-III, we ignite the upper stage first, then separate the lower stage so that there is no problem of separation.We decided to leave behind that culture of space vehicles. We now put big retro motors, which create a thrust of four tonnes each – totally 16 tonnes of thrust – just to separate the stages so that no dead weight is passed on to the upper stage.Correspondingly, we decided to make the mission stronger so that there are no interfaces and the separation is clean. We studied and created extensive models to simulate them on the ground in all types of disturbed conditions in wind tunnels. With all that, we could remove the inter-stages altogether.





At 18 Km altitude, the drag is 9 tonnes force on the entire two stages in question.

In Agni III

(Expended stage ---- Inter-stage-----Upper stage) This entire body has a force of 9 tonnes and is moving along due to the momentum imparted from the expended stage action.



Step1: Light upper stage. This pulls the expended stage+ inter-stage along until the inter-stage is cut.

Step2: Separate inter-stage+ expended stage. When this happens the entire body is still moving along and has a force of 9 tonnes. It decelerates as the inter-stage is broken and destroyed by explosives.



The velocity of the upper-stage increases due it being already lit. It carries the dead-weight for crucial seconds which decreases it's final altitude.The inter-stage separation is not clean as the inter-stage isn't a composite mass just a few straps of metal holding the two stages together. These can create additional drag.



Once the inter-stage is separated or blown apart the expended-stage drops down due to gravity while still travelling at 9 tonnes thrust and decelerating but separated by the interstate length. The upper stage accelerates at 9 tonnes + force of rocket engine and accelerating.



In Agni III the expended stage was eating into the fuel of the next stage with a firing rocket motor in the upper stage. The separation was also not clean due to the metal which needed disconnecting. It's difficult to ensure all the bolts and metal strips blow out and are not attached to the upper stage. So it make sense if we can detach the expended stage and inter-stage before we fire the final stage.



In Agni IV and Agni V

(Expended stage with retro-motors + Upper stage.) This entire body has a force of 9 tonnes and is moving along due to the momentum imparted from the expended stage action.



Step 1: Fire the retro-motors on the expended stage which are presumably located where the earlier inter-stage was or located inside the expended stage at the upper-reaches. The thrust here is 16 tons 4 x 4 tons.



Step 2: Fire the upper stage. This gives the upper-stage a momentum from burning fuel and it accelerates above the 9 tonnes thrust it's already been given by the expended stage. The expended stage has to counter act the 9 tonnes of force already exerted on it due to conservation of momentum and impart additional thrust to retard down the expended stage. To move in the opposite direction it's travelling in the total thrust available here is 16-9 = 5 tons.



So expended stage moves towards the earth with a decelerating thrust of 5 tons. The upper stage moves up with a thrust of 9tons + the additional thrust from the rocket motors in the final stage plus the initial separation thrust disclosed below. The retro-motors also in the initial seconds of separation stage impart an equal and opposite thrust to the upper-stage. However this initial few seconds of thrust is 9 tonnes + 16 tonnes as it's in the direction of travel of the upper stage. However the upper stage gets this only for the initial few seconds of separation as the retros go away with the expended-stage.



Since the firing sequence is reversed in Agni V, to prevent the expended stage from disturbing the direction of the upper-stage when it's still not lit and while the expended-stage is retarding due to gravity as it's not experiencing the same drag being in the wake field of the upper stage which is pushing through the atmosphere and experiencing drag the reverse motors are necessary.



So how much low can these reverse motors on the expended stage go in a depressed trajectory ?

The reverse thrust right now is 5 tons of reverse thrust given the thrust at the altitude is 9 tons.

The reverse thrust must be greater the additional drag on the upper stage. Is there too much leeway here? I will calculate these values at a later date.



[Image: 99a6015b6a230860c9b1517b238e5de9.png]





Added later: There is another possibility.

How long this reverse thrust is available is also not disclosed. If it's available only for the few seconds before the upper stage lights up. This thrust could be equal to the acceleration thrust provided by a lighted upper stage engine for those few seconds until the upper stage motors kicks in and provides it's own acceleration.



The 5 ton net reverse thrust should move the expended stage a distance equal to the earlier inter-stage to allow the upper-stage enough space to prevent it from getting into the wake of the upper stage?
  Reply
Delhi, Mumbai to get missile defence shield



Army set to get air defence missiles



The Ministry of Defence is set to clear a Rs 12,000-crore proposal of the Indian Army to procure new generation air defence missiles to replace its ageing Russian systems. A boost for the transport wing of the Indian Air Force is also on the cards with the purchase of an additional 14 Dornier aircraft likely to be given the go-ahead on Thursday.



The Army is seeking to procure eight regiments of Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missiles (QRSAMs) to replace the Russian Kvadrat systems that have reached obsolescence. Sources said the proposal was set to be given a go-ahead by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) that is meeting on Thursday.



After a clearance by the DAC, the Army will float a global tender to purchase the systems. The Rs 12,000-crore tag makes it one of the largest-ever global contracts floated by the Army. Defence PSU Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will be the designated partner agency for the maintenance transfer of technology that will be required in the contract.



The DAC is also likely to give the go-ahead for 14 additional Dornier transport aircraft for the IAF that will boost its fleet level up from the current 41. The aircraft — used in light transport or personnel carrier roles — will be procured from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited at a cost of over Rs 1,000 crore.



A go-ahead for the procurement of the QRSAMs will come as a major relief for the Army that is struggling with an obsolete air defence network. This is the second time in the last five years that the Army will try to obtain the systems after the indigenous Akash systems as well as an earlier round of procurement failed to meet its requirements.



Earlier this year, the Army had floated a ‘request for information’ for the systems that was responded to by most global missile manufacturers. It is looking for a quick reaction system that can engage targets at a range of 15 km at a minimum altitude of 6,000 metres in under six seconds.[/quote]
  Reply
[Image: HAL+turbofan.jpg]



Arun Sir i have heard that the above engine will be used in Nirbhay Missile. With the given specification, what would be the range of the missile?
  Reply
Donno...



The engine will OTOH allow a CM of upto 3.5 tonne mass.



CM range is a function of many thing; payload, launch weight and aerodynamic efficiency (a converse of missile packaging efficiency). So range cant be gussed from engine perfomance alone.



My guess is that for a 2500kg configuration this engine can give range of around 2000 km for 1000 kg warhead.
  Reply
"Nirbhay



Spoke to a lot of ADE people about Nirbhay – except sketchy words, no concrete info.

Most people say it will have a range between 500-1000km. So you can guess what the range will be.



One person said it will have a 1200kg weight.



While I was talking to a GTRE person discussing about their plans for the small engine - I gathered some details on Nirbhay.. He says the engine is not podded outside at all - the engine will be within the fuselage.. Also he says there may be a small air scoop & "dimpled scoops" on the body.. I dont know how true it could be..



The engine is likely to have 350-400kgf thrust and an sfc of 1kg.kgf/hr.



Based on that I have done some calculations.



1200kg – leave out 300kg for warhead, 75kg for seeker+guidance+electronics, 75kg for engine… That leaves us with 750kgs..

Assume ~250-300kg empty weight (fuselage, wings, wing unfolding mechanism etc).. leaves us with 450-500kgs of fuel.. Take the conservative estimate of 450kgs fuel..



An average thrust of 375kgf will give a flight time of 1.2hrs..

A Mach 0.75 = approx 750kmph flight at 1.2hrs gives a range of 900km..



Without doing a full-fledged sensitivity analysis… take a 10% variation on the range will give a range between 800-1000km.. Thats my interpolation..



The 36MT or 50MT engines we ordered from Russia for Lakshya will invariably be used for first few developmental flights of Nirbhay.. There after , what will it be



- whether Russia allows licensed production for the engine

- we develop a small gas turbine on our own (GTRE has a paper design)

- we will have to see a way of uprating/adopting PTAE-7 or a variant of it (though I don’t know how the size works out if you have to put it inside the fuselage & not podded outside)"






Whether the above analysis taken from a post in the link "http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?p=619940" is correct....???
  Reply
For 1200 Kg launch wt missile:



1. engine thrust of 400 kgF is way too much. Thrust of 200-250 kgf will be ideal for that total wt.



2. your estimates are ok. I would say the airframe wt will not be ~250 kg but ~100 kg. So range of 1000 to 1500 km is more likely.





OTOH if the engine has indeed more thrust, then bigger missile size assumption is more appropirate, and then it tend to become heavier and longer range.



There are not many IAF aircrafts that will accept 2,500 kg payload on a hard point, but 1200kg is not a problem for almost all of them
  Reply
From [url="http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/2362-indian-military-aviation-news-and-discussion/"]Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion[/url] thread:



and pic of [url="http://i44.servimg.com/u/f44/15/54/62/79/big-pl10.jpg"]http://i44.servimg.c...79/big-pl10.jpg[/url]



^^^ I am seeing for the first time DRDO/Sarswat mentioning development of the crucial Bi-static radar. The reason it is so crucial is that that is only viable way to catch low flying "barberic" CM (sic) as well as extend the range, sensor accuracy and sensor confidence for ABM's Long range radar in detection as well ranging mode. The bi-static radar is an critial element to secure air border, and in tandem with Akash missile, all barbur (sic) will bite dust.
  Reply
[quote name='Arun_S' date='11 July 2012 - 06:02 AM' timestamp='1341966248' post='115176']

From [url="http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/2362-indian-military-aviation-news-and-discussion/"]Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion[/url] thread:



and pic of [url="http://i44.servimg.com/u/f44/15/54/62/79/big-pl10.jpg"]http://i44.servimg.c...79/big-pl10.jpg[/url]



^^^ I am seeing for the first time DRDO/Sarswat mentioning development of the crucial Bi-static radar. The reason it is so crucial is that that is only viable way to catch low flying "barberic" CM (sic) as well as extend the range, sensor accuracy and sensor confidence for ABM's Long range radar in detection as well ranging mode. The bi-static radar is an critial element to secure air border, and in tandem with Akash missile, all barbur (sic) will bite dust.

[/quote]



That's a really good find. With bi-static radars the Indian aircraft will be stealthy with their radar on. Bi-static radar research was pushed underground in the US in 2000. They stopped funding bi-static and Over The Horizon-Backscatter radar system. With Bi-static radars we could have a better radar system and avoid the problems with the Brazilian sale of those radar seeker missiles to Pakistan.



There were some unconfirmed rumors of India working on bi-static radars with cell phone towers. These towers run on diesel and in case of a SEAD attack may of them will still survive. India also has among the highest number of towers in the world. They will make it easier to detect stealth fighters which China is working on. I wonder what the range of the bi-static radar is. If it's close to green-pine ranges it will be a short in the arm for India. We can cover the entire country with just a few of these and shoot down UAV's and CM's, stealthy or otherwise. Plus it's also offensive if we use them on our stealth aircraft. We can turn on our radar and fly instead of conserving the radar until we want to turn it on to prevent leaking our position. With the right developments we might end up having a distributed networked AWACS with our Indian fighter birds carrying them and AWACS function being a secondary capability for these systems with a different primary capability of attack or surveillance either manned or unmanned. This is far far ahead.



It also seems inline with Indian programs feeding off each other. The Agni missile series has counter measures against the ABM with the ABM design being based off the experience from our ballistic missiles. We seem to be dealing with both bi-static and cruise missile design simultaneously. Integration to achieve multiple objectives. This is exciting. I am not sure any other country which does this. Most are one off contracts. Each approach has it's own pitfalls. The errors in one travel to the other. Delays in one area delay deployment in another. It's cheaper though.
  Reply
Agni I launch video has the picture of the terminal stage of the flight with fuze functioning.





[youtube]ri1WMQYiTZY[/ youtube]
  Reply
In a recent press release from DRDO, Dr.Chander mentioned about 'avionics on a chip' to power missiles, might imply a pico RTOS will be deployed on it?
  Reply
http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/2012/09/d...istic.html



DRDO: Intercontinental ballistic missiles well within reach







An Agni missile being assembled at the Advanced Systems Laboratory, Hyderabad (Photo copyright: Ajai Shukla)



by Ajai Shukla

Missile Complex, Hyderabad



Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) is the deceptively bland name that obscures from public view the Defence R&D Organisation’s (DRDO’s) most glamorous laboratory. At the DRDO missile complex here in Hyderabad, ASL develops the ballistic missiles that, in the ultimate nuclear nightmare, will carry Indian nuclear weapons to targets thousands of kilometres away. Foreign collaboration is seeping into many areas of R&D, but ASL’s technological domain --- the realm of strategic ballistic missiles --- is something that no country parts with, for love or for money. No foreigner would ever set foot in ASL.



But Business Standard has been allowed an exclusive visit. The erudite, soft-spoken director of ASL, Dr VG Sekharan, describes the technologies that were developed for the DRDO’s new, 5,000-kilometre range Agni-5 missile, which was tested flawlessly in April. He reveals that nothing except restraint stood between India and an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could strike a target anywhere on the globe.



ICBMs have ranges above 5,500 kilometres, a threshold that the Agni-5 already sits on. For India, a more strategically relevant range would be about 7,500 kilometres, which would cover the world except for the Americas.



“Going up from 5,000 kilometres to, let us say, 7,500 kilometres requires only incremental changes, which we have already assessed. We would need a more powerful booster, which we could make ourselves at ASL; and we would need to strengthen some of the systems, such as heat shielding, that are already flying on the Agni-5,” says Sekharan.



For now, however, ASL is not developing an ICBM. Instead, its focus is on “operationalising” the Agni-5, which involves putting it into a canister and conducting 3-4 test-launches from the canister. When the Agni-5 enters service with the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which operates India’s nuclear deterrent, it will be delivered in hermetically sealed canisters that safeguard the road-mobile missiles for over a decade, while they are transported and handled.



Launching a ballistic missile from a canister is a technological feat that ASL has perfected with smaller missiles, and will now modify for the bigger Agni-5. Since the missile’s giant rocket motors cannot be fired while it is inside the canister, a gas-generation unit at the bottom of the canister, below the missile, generates a massive boost of gas that ejects the missile from the canister.



“The gas pushes the Agni-5 out, like a bullet from the barrel of a gun. In less than half a second, the 50-tonne missile clears the canister by 15 metres, and that is when the rocket motor can safely ignite. In 30 seconds, the Agni-5 breaks the sound barrier and, in 90 seconds, it has left the atmosphere,” explains Sekharan.



The DRDO has promised the armed forces that the Agni-5 will be test-fired from a canister in early 2013. ASL is on track to achieve that target, says Sekharan. Within a couple of months, a “pop-up test” will be conducted with a canister, in which the gas generator ejects a dummy missile. Meanwhile, the actual missile is being integrated with the canister.



The Agni-5 project funding has already been cleared by the Political Council of the union cabinet, a fast-track procedure for strategic projects that eliminates cumbersome MoD sanctions. This allows ASL to place orders for the materials and sub-systems that will go into the first few Agni-5 missiles, taking care of production lead times. ASL scientists recount that “maraging steel” for the canister takes two years to be delivered by specialist defence PSU, Midhani. The rocket motor casings take another one year.



On the question that exercises strategic analysts the world over --- is ASL developing “multi independently-targetable re-entry vehicles”, or MIRVs --- Sekharan remains ambiguous: “I can say that we are working on MIRV technologies. The key challenge --- the “post-boost vehicle”, which carries the multiple warheads --- is not a technology challenge, merely an engineering one. DRDO will acquire and demonstrate the capability for MIRVs by 2014-15. But the decision to deploy MIRVs would be a political one.”



MIRVs are multiple warheads, up to ten, which would be fitted atop a single Agni-5. These would be a mix of nuclear bombs and dummy warheads to confuse enemy air defences. Each warhead can be programmed to hit a different target; or multiple warheads can be directed at a single target, but with different trajectories.



Interestingly, Sekharan reveals that the DRDO does not need sanction to begin work on such technologies. “The decision-making works like this: we demonstrate the technology and the capability. Then the government decides, keeping in mind the big picture.”



“In the Agni-5, the government didn’t say, ‘we have a threat perception… I need a long-range missile.’ It was the DRDO that said that we now have the capability to enhance the Agni-3 to 5,000 kilometres, and so the government sanctioned the project.”



A couple of good ones and a bad one. If it takes 2 years to provide steel. That's not great news.



DRDO is pushing the limits and the gubmint is silent. What we have known all along. It's not technology but gubmit which is slow on MIRV and ICHEEBEEM.
  Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 19 Guest(s)