Saturday, 17 February 2007

Accountability: across the board

In the midst of some important issues raised in your replies, the one jarringly irrelevant question was: why do you point the finger at DRDO alone. Why not blame the army (probably meaning all three services here) as well?

Someone queried: “by this same funda i can say that the armys budget needs to be similarly scrutinised. this is what is so funny about your prescriptions, they are quite simply, a power grab. if i were to say that drdo needs to have veto over the army budget u would cry bloody murder, but u have no problem saying the reverse.”

Let's all agree on one issue: the army, navy and air force need to be scrutinised at least as vigilantly as the DRDO and the DPSUs; perhaps more so because we are spending more money on them than on the DRDO. I have sharply criticised the army in other writing (for example, see my piece on Indian Army operations in J&K in the Indian Express, some time in early 2006) and I will continue to do so whenever needed. But it is completely diversionary to see my criticism of the DRDO as coming from an army apologist. Because I am not.

I believe there are lots of flaws in the way the military frames its requirements and changes them as time passes. We can and should discuss ways of changing that. But let’s be equally clear on one thing: while some of DRDO’s delays can be pinned onto the services, its major issues are internal to the organisation and must be tackled as such.

Nobody is suggesting that the military have veto over the DRDO’s budget. What we are suggesting is a clear and transparent system of accountability.

The next point raised is that of insufficient funding of the DRDO. Someone actually quoted Brahma Chellaney --- an individual who will himself freely admit to being anything but a defence expert --- on how India spends so much money on arms from abroad. Statistics, they say, can be made to say anything, especially statistics like: The Trishul project received just $390 million, less than the $400 million that Microsoft paid Sabeer Bhatia for Hotmail.

What’s the point there? What’s the relationship between DRDO’s budget and the hotmail deal? That’s an entirely artificial equivalence.

Instead, look at what DRDO chief, M Natarajan, says on the issue of funding at an open press conference at Aero India 2007 on 9th February 07, with me in the second row taking notes and my tape recorder rolling. He said, “DRDO is entirely satisfied with the level of funding from the government and the MoD has assured us that there will be no shortfall of funds for any project. The problem, therefore, is not the money. The problem is: where are the engineers? Where are the designers? I don’t see money as a major constraint. The bigger constraint is generating the human resources of adequate quality and design capability.”

In sum, while DRDO’s apologists are crying wolf on the issue of funding, the DRDO chief himself is blaming the quality of his designers.

Again, this is not a problem for which DRDO alone can be blamed. With all its laboratories co-located with India’s IT giants, many young scientists stay just long enough to peek into a lab, write a CV, and then take off to join Infosys Technologies or TCS. Why do they do that? Whether it’s lack of a stimulating work ethos or just the lure of better salaries, it needs to be fixed between DRDO and government. And until such time as it is fixed, we need to stop throwing money at the DRDO in the vain hope that if we just throw enough we’ll finally produce a great aircraft, tank, whatever.

That’s the reality that purely funding-based comparisons of the Brahma Chellaney don’t address.

Ram: You say Trishul has been completed, guidance problems solved! Where do you get your stuff? The problem with the arguments of so many DRDO apologists is that you so much want to believe in the success of its products (and wannabe products) that you are taking at face value --- and quoting back as authority --- statements from within the organisation itself. In deciding on the culpability of any corporation being probed, say Enron, are you going to quote Ken Lay’s statements as proof that the corporation is above board? How can you cite the statement of Dr. PS Subramanyam, Director of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Programme Director for LCA, as proof that the LCA programme is healthy and kicking?

The first thing one learns as a journalist is to evaluate statements in the light of where they are coming from.

So let’s see what the government itself had to say on the shelving of the Trishul programme.

28th July 05 : (This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee in a written reply to Shri Brajesh Pathak in the Lok Sabha): The Trishul missile project has procured a ‘Search on Move Capability’ modification kit from M/s Thales of France. CONTRARY TO WHAT MANY WOULD LOVE TO BELIEVE, INDIA’S “INDIGENOUS” GUIDED MISSILE PROGRAMME HAS BOUGHT MANY COMPONENTS FROM FOREIGN VENDORS. You would be horrified if I were to tell you how much of Trishul is indigenous and how much is foreign.

2nd March 06: (This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee in a written reply to Shri Brajesh Pathak in the Lok Sabha): Akash, Nag & Trishul missile systems have completed the development phase and are ready for User’s Trials.

16th Oct 06 : (written press release from the MoD): Trishul Missile System was taken back in the R&D mode during 2002 for addressing certain technical problems. Having overcome these problems , twenty flight tests were carried out between June 2003 and mid 2006; the last three trials being conducted in July 2006. With this TRISHUL’s development stands completed. Decision on its induction is yet to be taken.

23rd Nov 06: (This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Anandrao V Adsul and other in Lok Sabha): No decision has been taken by the Government to stop Research and Development work on the indigenous ship defence missile Trishul as reported in the section of the media. (THE 16TH OCT STATEMENT ABOVE SAID THEY HAVE COMPLETED DEVELOPMENT. HOW ARE THEY CONTINUING R&D NOW?)

29TH Nov 06: (This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri OT Lepcha and Shri Santosh Bagrodia in the Rajya Sabha): Initially, the Probable Date of Completion (PDC) was July 1995 which has been extended to Dec 07. Delay is mainly due to extra time required to develop and realize the state-of-the-art technologies required. (OKAY, SO NOW IT’S BEEN EXTENDED TO DEC 07)

29TH Nov 06: (This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Janardhana Poojary in Rajya Sabha): The development of Trishul Missile Project has been completed. Air Force configuration has met the user requirements during its various developmental flight trials DRDO is in dialogue with Air Force for possible induction after jointly developing the user trial criteria. So far, Rs. 275.39 crore have been spent on this project. (THE SAME DAY AS THEY SAY THE PDC WAS EXTENDED TO DEC 07, THEY ARE SAYING THE DEVELOPMENT HAS BEEN COMPLETED)

29TH Nov 06: (This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Dr Narayan Singh Manaklao in Rajya Sabha): The development of Trishul, Akash and Nag missiles are currently going under Integrated Guided Missiles Development Programme (IGMDP). (THE SAME DAY AS THE ABOVE TWO STATEMENTS… CAN YOU GET MORE CONTRADICTORY THAN THAT?)

The basic point I make is that the DRDO believes that it can make any statement, couched in vague terms, and get away with it. But when you examine carefully what is being said, there are loopholes and ambiguities at every step.

It’s also important to understand who is saying what! When DRDO says that “development is complete”, or that “the missile has met user’s parameters”, this does not mean that the user (army, navy or air force) endorses the DRDO’s claims. Please note that the DRDO is not saying that the user trials have been done. The DRDO has been claiming for years that the development of the Arjun tank is complete and that it is ready for induction into service. But when it comes to user’s trials, it’s a very different story.

The bottom line, as far as I’m concerned, remains the need for careful and continuous scrutiny of every DRDO project and the linking of budgets and funding to demonstrable success in the project. There must remain margin for some failure, but not sustained failure, year after year, on an open-ended basis. After all, there are forces in the field waiting for that particular equipment.

Alternatively, if a certain technology MUST be developed indigenously, keep funding research without targets. But don’t hold up supplies to the field forces on the grounds that the DRDO is “about to produce” something soon. Let the DRDO keep at it in its labs, while the forces are provided alternative equipment through across-the-shelf purchases until the DRDO delivers. That will prevent the kind of situations that exist today, e.g. the country’s Air Defence network having huge holes in it because the Akash has not been developed yet, 23 years after the project started.

And for God’s sake, don’t justify failure by pointing to the failure of others. In the case of foreign research, sure there are cost over-runs, sure there is project mismanagement; but if you compare their record of finally delivering products (despite delays and cost-overruns) with ours, we come off very, very badly.

Ultimately, our management of defence must be defined by our own standards.

JUST IN: As far as the report on the IJT and Sarang crash is concerned (about which I note that the one of the journalists who you keep castigating is being quoted as authority) there is not dichotomy at all between what I said and what my friend Ram writes below:

He says the following was told to him by an IAF chopper pilot: "The Dhruv crashed because of "control saturation". Apparently it is an issue with rigid blade rotors like the Dhruv and needs careful attention. However most often this situation doesnt arrive till the aircraft is operating at its limits. Unfortunately in the case of the Sarangs they do operate at the limits of the design envelope, and it was a simple misjudgement of not handling the control - "pilot error" is correct but it is an oversimplification of facts as the margin is so fine that even the best pilots make the mistake. The problem is that is in this situation, the Sarang was pointing nose-down at a very sharp angle. Normally when this problem occurs there is some altitude left to regain."

Here is what I wrote in my article:

“HAL-built Dhruv helicopters continues to grapple with tail rotor design problems, but they must be fielded because there is nothing else.”

That's exactly what caused the accident isn't it? In no other country would a helicopter that is still dealing with rotor blade problems be participating in an aerobatics display, where machines fly at the extremes of their capabilities. But in Aero India 2007, despite knowing about the rotor blade problem, the Sarang team was fielded. It had to be; there was so little else to show as a success. The result: one pilot dead and another seriously injured.

Think about it.

17 comments:

Ram said...

Ajai,

if all you do is to call others "apologists" it shows the paucity of your arguements ..

ok lets take each of ur statements turn by turn and show how little u understand and which is why u need to improve lots, ur service to the country being respected and all and not being of issue here.

I believe there are lots of flaws in the way the military frames its requirements and changes them as time passes. We can and should discuss ways of changing that. But let’s be equally clear on one thing: while some of DRDO’s delays can be pinned onto the services, its major issues are internal to the organisation and must be tackled as such.

..is wrong..with all respect and all
many of DRDOs projects have been stalled due to service interfernce and finger pointing
DRDO cannot go in and clean augean stables of MOD or army procurement which set increasingly bizarre specifications till the specs appear to be brochuritis

unless you own up to your own organizations import mania and lack of accountability in terms of procurement blaming the drdo alone is hypocrisy

why is the army not taking leadership position in projects?

now it will watch from the sidelines keep changing specs, have the drdo project stutter and go ahead and import

the navy puts its man in the group, leads the project takes responsibility and inducts the system

bar 1 trishul almost every navy project is a success

why cant u army people do what the navy does and learn from them??????

In sum, while DRDO’s apologists are crying wolf on the issue of funding, the DRDO chief himself is blaming the quality of his designers.

again yet another case of how hypocritical and sanctimonious yu can be

if army is running short of crew and officers do we blame the QUALITY of officers? or that the numbers just aint enough?

It is here that u simply cannot show any grace, no matter what the DRDO says u will find a way to mock them or put the worst possible spin on it

at FICCI seminar DRDO and ISRO chief both said their organizations are 20% undermanned off the record

i know several captains of industry who recruit only from drdo and isro and dae so bad quality eh?

of course the DRDO chief cannot openly say that funding is inadequate but any DRDO man in private will tell a million times how even the simplest funding requests for better HR proposals are rejected because drdo cannot get funding for better paypackets

china is spending 4-5 times on technology what DRDO is
every project has huge funding tied up and it shows
of course india is severely underfunded


Ram: You say Trishul has been completed, guidance problems solved! Where do you get your stuff? The problem with the arguments of so many DRDO apologists is that you so much want to believe in the success of its products (and wannabe products) that you are taking at face value --- and quoting back as authority --- statements from within the organisation itself. In deciding on the culpability of any corporation being probed, say Enron, are you going to quote Ken Lay’s statements as proof that the corporation is above board?

my statement of trishul comes from air force officials who saw last seris of command guidnace trials and saw porpoising problem solved.
but trishul is overtaken by more fancy n' expensive missiles as well as vls which navy wants
The IAF want seeker missiles too so u are simply talking out of ur hat here due sir
pls look through drdos defence science jrnal it also carries a technical piece on software issue resolution w/o directly naming trishul and no dsj is not propoganda

How can you cite the statement of Dr. PS Subramanyam, Director of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Programme Director for LCA, as proof that the LCA programme is healthy and kicking?

1st that was abhiman not me, and sir, if u want latest info they are the developers u either rely on them and or thE IAF.

And IAF FT crew were present at aeroindia many of us spoke to them and many pilots and tracked the lca, shuklaji, simply please dont misrpresent them. all agree there are challeneges but also very optimistic about program and themselves praise drdo and ada and even HAL. so do you know better or do they??!?!.

28th July 05 : (This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee in a written reply to Shri Brajesh Pathak in the Lok Sabha): The Trishul missile project has procured a ‘Search on Move Capability’ modification kit from M/s Thales of France. CONTRARY TO WHAT MANY WOULD LOVE TO BELIEVE, INDIA’S “INDIGENOUS” GUIDED MISSILE PROGRAMME HAS BOUGHT MANY COMPONENTS FROM FOREIGN VENDORS. You would be horrified if I were to tell you how much of Trishul is indigenous and how much is foreign.

this is why you should not be writing on science or even defence affairs, pls restrict urself to army ops, human affairs and internal politics, all due respect

ur simply out of the loop when it comes to product design and engineering

i have many many years of experience here and simply when i read ur statements i realise what a huge gulf there is between adeveloper and lay observer

talk to ur own army, in january they held huge seminar on how to buy economy of scale products and asked cemilac to set standards

the world over trend is to use commercial off the shelf systems, no company makes certain items on its own, but relies on 3-4 manufacturers for economy of scale

what is sanctionable we indigenize

here sir simply put u have no clue of miracles yes miracle word that drdo and others have achieved

they have bucked mtcr totally

just because they dont tom tom it u assume they are fools lazy buggers who just import and say ok!!

we are not talking of ordnacne factory here, that is dead and gone
but other dpsus and designer

in trishul everyone knows about fluycatcher radar, about bmp basis vehicle about sa-8 derived propulsion so what r u about sir? chinas short range sams are all reverse engineered israeli aams and so is koreas which uses same stuff as us

also these items are in service already so use what is available

would u want an arjun or a t-72 derived vehicle sir?

"search on move" is a modification kit --its self obvious, and it is also obvious to anyone that drdo/bel will replace these with local hardware over time.

flycatcher is thales radar, they have design rights why wont they use thales help, hellooo???

if they do it on their own, u'll be first in line to say they are reinventing the wheel

23rd Nov 06: (This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Anandrao V Adsul and other in Lok Sabha): No decision has been taken by the Government to stop Research and Development work on the indigenous ship defence missile Trishul as reported in the section of the media. (THE 16TH OCT STATEMENT ABOVE SAID THEY HAVE COMPLETED DEVELOPMENT. HOW ARE THEY CONTINUING R&D NOW?)

isnt it obvious?? when they offered it to the service somebody said "aha, we need this new stuff now" so it was sent back to r and d...

also this talks of the IN version not even of the IAF

29TH Nov 06: (This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Dr Narayan Singh Manaklao in Rajya Sabha): The development of Trishul, Akash and Nag missiles are currently going under Integrated Guided Missiles Development Programme (IGMDP). (THE SAME DAY AS THE ABOVE TWO STATEMENTS… CAN YOU GET MORE CONTRADICTORY THAN THAT?)

how is it contradictory..it matches the previous statement about more improvements being made

“HAL-built Dhruv helicopters continues to grapple with tail rotor design problems, but they must be fielded because there is nothing else.”

ajai, the report i posted is speaking of saturation of the main rotor because the pilot didnt take care.

ur blaming the tail rotor, again this is ur conclusion

now ur implying that army aviation, air force are silly enough to field the dhruv without even due care

the tail rotor problem was solved by replacing all rotors manufactured with the old composite
two HAL employees, including a senior one were sacked
one also put in his papers

no air force or army pilot would fly the dhruv if it had mission critical problems

also at aeroindia many ppl spent a lot of time with army aviation

to a man, they love the dhruv, dont misrepresent them or call people names because u were wrong pls.

ArnabSen said...

Ajai all I can say is you guys simply dont understand technology. we can debate this till the cows moo but you will refuse to see the other side of the fence. All those rugged items you used in the forces, guess what they were paid for by the russian peasant and the french army at outrageous (but neccessary, what price security) prices. The tatra truck took 20-30 years of development, your t-72s came after many flawed tank designs between politicking designers who spent hundreds of millions of rubles on projects. But you insist DRDO should deliver equivalent stuff on a shoestring. The world laughs at it. All the way to the bank. Take the recent Kaveri announcement, Govt of India says it will put 600 Million $ as total program costs..and safran group chairman laughs and says it will take 1 Billion minimum. Manpower costs alone dont compensate, what about infrastructure, test instrumentation, support companies to supply every widget- you are talking decades here. But as a user you want it tomorrow or five years from now and you will not sanction the project otherwise. So the scientists will say five years and launch it, otherwise india will keep importing engines and you guys curse them once the con becomes clear. If DRDO was indeed funded like the chinese, like the US, like the russians and didnt have to do a song and dance for its funds it would be more secure and involve the services fully. But the air chief speaks about how DRDO should be funded, you provide prescriptions- does Kalam talk about how Malik screwed up Kargil or the Armys budget should be bartered out? Guys, get real, you want world class products, it doesnt come cheap, and dont get awed by infy and Wipro- they are in services. Day Infy develops a fighter from scratch we can brag, till then understand how hard it is. Fr one of my DIY projects lol I had to import a gyrostabilized measuring instrument which i had to fill out 40 forms for. If DRDO wants it they'll have to make it themselves, thats technology denial for you. And it requires money. My prescription is simple, throw open defence to everybody, remove Govt restrictions on DRDO paypackets and have everyone compete BUT have DRDO or someone monitor for indigenization, nahin to hamaare chalbaaz titan log to bhi kam nahin hain and will take pejkas and call it indian maal. Ok I am being uncomplimentary but you guys simply dont understand what an engineer does and how he works with what he has in india. Half of local industrys products are filled with local stuff which in the US i would have simply picked up a phone and got it from a brochure. But its necessary. If India want to be taken seriously as a country it cannot just system integrate, you have to make your own stuff and display it. This is not jingoism, go to an industry conference and see how perceptions are shaped by your own products on display, ppl take you seriously and millions of $s in contracts change hands. And ok another thing, you keep making fun of HAL for making stuff out of blueprints. Dont. Its one of the hardest jobs to reproduce precision engineering items and it gives valuable experience for later. Three forth of Indias industry today couldnt do the machining HAL does, some of their people and eqpt is really world class. Which is why i poach them lol lol.

ArnabSen said...

There is another thing Ajai, you come across as uncouth and very uncivil when you indulge in name calling both against individuals and organizations, it quite simply isnt professional. Just being very frank here. I run several multi-million rs contracts and i wouldnt tolerate anyone behaving this way publically. Criticize but with some modicum of respect.

Anyone who points out DRDOs side of affairs does not become a DRDO apologist, for speaking their mind. Just my two annas or dont they use rupees nowadays!!

What you should understand is that ppl support the army as well as the DRDO, but one does not necessarily serve the other. Both are important and necessary and this is what the informed man on the street can see. We want you to get the best stuff possible but we want it made within India and its painful to see you guys slinging mud. This is a thing which many service people must realise, the DRDO is also responsible Indias overall technology profile and that means it must re-invent the wheel as frustrating as it is to the end-user. What you guys should do is become the project managers and decide what proportion is done and when so that way you dont feel shortchanged and the program is delivered on time. USAF regularly appoints its project personnel to programs to lead them into service and manage them throughout- army should do so too. Ok, start moving manufacture into private sector, those rifles, shoes, boots should be made by privatecompanies with DRDO design. My two annas again!!!

Abhiman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abhiman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abhiman said...

Hello Mr. Shukla. Earlier I quoted Mr. Chellany to highlight comparitively lower defence budget of DRDO as compared to annual foreign expenditure.

I may point an error in your article that cost of entire IGMDP is $390 million (spread over 23 years) as compared to over $1 billion paid for just Barak missiles in 2000, despite the fact that Barak missiles had a 50% failure rate in tests held since 1995.

The cost of only Trishul project is Rs. 280 crores or $62 million only.
In comparison, the estimated bribes alleged to have been paid to agents in India for Scorpene deal alone is Rs. 700 crores.

Earlier example of comparison of IGMDP cost to deal of Mr. Bhatia with Microsoft was to highlight the extremely low funding of the deal only.
I assumed that estimation of global standards of defence spending may be known to you. As an example, the annual budget of Raytheon is of order of few billion dollars.

Sir, regarding Trishul it was stated by Mr. Antony itself that development work on Trishul has been concluded and negotiations between IAF and DRDO with regards to user trials are ongoing.

reference (article by Mr. Vivek Raghuvanshi) :
http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2389286&C=airwar

Thank you.

Ram said...

CONTRARY TO WHAT MANY WOULD LOVE TO BELIEVE, INDIA’S “INDIGENOUS” GUIDED MISSILE PROGRAMME HAS BOUGHT MANY COMPONENTS FROM FOREIGN VENDORS.

does it make the missile not indian??! infy uses a compaq computer with intel chips, microsoft software and who knows what application by an indian engineer to design or configure an existing package and it comes with the made in india tag
u simply dont understand how product develppment works but u write on topics that relate only 2 product development

take simputer for army

arm processor from a mnc
memory from some seasian country
integrated in india with asics from BEL
then linux from linus torvald
customized with many applications for india
LCD display from some other country prhaps japan
GPS antenna from US

But army says it is fully indian and even the world says it is indian

so u understand??

whenever a system is available from the market buy it, if you can or must, reverse engineer or replace it, otherwise if there are a dozen suppliers just stick with it
over the long term try to make as much as possible locally or source it from india company
nothing wrong in that

this is what drdo does

but u guys want cent per cent local in first shot, otherwise u mock them

if they source from outside u mock them and say not indigenous but u wont order beyond first batch so where is the economics in replacing items??!?

if they try to make it locally u say reinventing the wheel

??!!@!!


is gripen swedish????????

45-50% of its subsystems are imported, yes imported

but its designed in sweden and made there

our LCA first batch despite engine will be around 60-70%, that alone should make you understand how ambitious we are!!

yet u write contemptuously it uses foreign engine

but gripen uses Ge404 rm-12
J-10 uses Al-31FN
FC-1 use RD-93

so why r they different and not cursed by their countrymen??!

ajai u seriously need to understand the nuances of engnring product development

Ram said...

lca i meant 60-70% local content
thats what i meant to write

imported stuff

engine
some gizmos like laser pod, helmet display

everything else they are trying to do in india

if something like ADA had been set up even arjun would not have been such a mess

but pt is u dont appreciate the scale of chhalenge and efforts

Ram said...

Let's all agree on one issue: the army, navy and air force need to be scrutinised at least as vigilantly as the DRDO and the DPSUs; perhaps more so because we are spending more money on them than on the DRDO. I have sharply criticised the army in other writing (for example, see my piece on Indian Army operations in J&K in the Indian Express, some time in early 2006) and I will continue to do so whenever needed. But it is completely diversionary to see my criticism of the DRDO as coming from an army apologist. Because I am not.

sir,

U misunderstood. what i meant was that the army throws its weight around and says that the following needs to be done for DRDO budget. that is simply an abuse of power. the drdo does not decide the armys budget does it? also if the army wants to decide drdos bdget it should pay for product Rand D andsupply its own management and technical ppl be a ciodeveloper

DRDOs budget should not be decided by public debate but by internal consultation, the army is firmly focused on short term technologies and will import the rest, the drdo is focused on long term technology development which it can reuse across many programs
To give one example, drdo wanted to spend money on neural networks army representtve criticized it as unnecessary.

Now what the stalwart fellow dint realise is that same is used for navy, AF, Army comms nets. he wanted the money to come from each service separately not even understanding how inefficient it was

so do you think drdo can dance to service tunes all the time?? there are many things drdo is tasked for which are beyond ur and my pay grade but does it give u and me a right to decide their budget????

u guys curse DRDO like blazes but who made the non nuke part of the bum at pokhran that went boom??? do u think that kind of technology, machining is easy or mediocre??

u loathe drdo because u say they have veto over army items but u want the reverse to be implemented!! after seeing how first is not ideal why do it in reverse sir???

instead be like the navy and join the drdo in making products

and pls dont start about ur buddies cursing drdo, all i can say is those r ur eyes other eyes see different and ears hear different, rite!

also u say funds should be granted after seeing past projects, but the nature of R and D is such that first 3 projects are failures, 4th is a spectacular success because of technologies mastered during first 3..!!

look here

trishul- now drdo knows how to make radar altimeter having sea skimming missile with quick response time even if guidance was a problem

now in akash, drdo gets command guidnace technologyy fixed and understands Phased array radar plus comms

now u see brahmos---sea skimmer, who do u think helped yakhont go the final 10% and supplied nvigation eqpt???

and PADE tesrt which uses massive interconnected comms net and long range radar and missile guidnace

see how it works??!

now u are fixated on trishul alone! and wont understand the technology diffusion aspect..

success has a thousand fathers bt failure is an orphan

but without those failures where would success come from?!?

by all means import if project is a failure, but u shud realise that nowadays whenever project doesnt work services do import. u served at a time of financial beggary of india in foreign exchange obviiusly everyone fought for money.now things changed

but understand what the drdo head said about "failure"

u mocked him becayse u chose to misunderstand

if we try to make u understand u abuse us and call us apologists!!

oh very well sir!!

sudeep said...

>> I believe there are lots of flaws in the way the military frames its requirements and changes them as time passes. We can and should discuss ways of changing that. But let’s be equally clear on one thing: while some of DRDO’s delays can be pinned onto the services, its major issues are internal to the organisation and must be tackled as such.

How so ? may be its clear to you, but its not clear to the rest of us :-) Anyhow, what was said was plaine and simple: The army must be involved in a greater manner in DRDO projects. It should not behave as if its buying the equip. from a foreign vendor and hope to receieve the kit ready at its door step without any extra effort being made to operationalize/ruggedise it.

One might ask, what was the Army involvement in the Arjun project, as compared to the Naval involvement in the P15 ?

>> Whether it’s lack of a stimulating work ethos or just the lure of better salaries, it needs to be fixed between DRDO and government. And until such time as it is fixed, we need to stop throwing money at the DRDO in the vain hope that if we just throw enough we’ll finally produce a great aircraft, tank, whatever.

If its a problem with salaries, how else will it be fixed if not by spending some money on it ? Theres another side to the argument you know: That barely 500 million $ for the IGMDP has given you two strategic and two tactical ballestic missiles that in the first place would not have been available and if they were, you would have paid billions to get.

>> Alternatively, if a certain technology MUST be developed indigenously, keep funding research without targets. But don’t hold up supplies to the field forces on the grounds that the DRDO is “about to produce” something soon.

This situation of mis communication would not arise if the army became a part owner of the projects at DRDO ! How many people does the army depute to the DRDO when it expects a weapon system from it ? What is the method of communication ?

>> e.g. the country’s Air Defence network having huge holes in it because the Akash has not been developed yet, 23 years after the project started.

From second hand conversations with DRDO engineers, the Akash is ready bu the forces are not showing any interest, mesmerised by foreign brochures :-P

>> JUST IN: As far as the report on the IJT and Sarang crash is concerned (about which I note that the one of the journalists who you keep castigating is being quoted as authority) there is not dichotomy at all between what I said and what my friend Ram writes below:

Quoting someone does mean you agree with all that he says. So ALH may be a difficult machine to fly at the limits of its envelope, but is it a sufficiently good machine to fly safely in its normal use scenarios ? The answer I guess will be yes. And unfortunately, crahses happen in air shows, have you forgotten the mirage 2000 head on with the whos who of Delhi looking ? and what about the IJT ? that was pure pilot error right ?

Communicating with you has been a frustrating experience. You pick and choose only those arguments that are weak, but then demolishing them does not prove how strong your case is, only you dont have the stamina to deal with the more serious arguments.

regards

sudeep said...

Ajai,

to end the conversation, your articles and posts simply do not have the "masala". They have a lot of opinions and a few dates regarding schedule slippages and a few numbers about cost overruns, but then people among us who are involved in technology development in large companies know all too well how common these mismanagement practices are, even in the private sector of the worlds most advanced country, let alone a manpower stretched and under funded DRDO.

If you want people (at least the better informed ones) to believe you, you must come up with concrete examples of whats happening and do away with the bean counter approach of bottom lines and dead lines.

You make one point well, DRDO consistently underestimates the amount of effort required to be put into a defense project and that frequently leaves the soldier on the front line not equipped as well as he would like to be, but thats hardly a wholesale indictment of DRDO as a technology development hub! Even in this case, why doesnt the army protest that the projections are unrealistic, why dont they insist on carrying out technical audits and why dont they insist on being a part of the committes that come up with the schedules ? and finally, why arent they a part of the development team itself, so they have a better handle on whats going on ? And then what is the internal capacity of the Indian Army to understand technology ? How many people in the IA have Graduate degrees beyond the BSc that the NDA gives (In all my 4 years at IIT-B, I saw a single precious army man enrolling for a technical program, I did not know of any other army men in the campus at that time) ? If the internal tech. capacity of the Army is of the windy/hunky/tuffy level, good luck hoping for toys like the US has !

These are all concrete suggestions yet, obsessed with your DRDO bashing, you would not deign to go into them in any detail because they lay at least some of the blame at the doors of your alma mater, The Indian Army.

Finally, I would like to know your qualifications to report on defense technology research and ab-initio engineering. You bring in a good perspective from the PoV of the field man, and I have no hesitation in acknowledging that. Having said that, What are the engineering teams that you have been a part of ? What is the technical education you have had ? Have you taken part in any research project in the civilian world ? What is your experience of the management practices in the civilian world ?...

Regards

Abhiman said...

Hello Mr. Ajai Shukla. Sir, regarding the various contradictory statements regarding present status of the Trishul missile, it may be mentioned that this may be reminder of Indian work culture itself.

Sir, I would like to stress that these seemingly contradictory statements (that too made on the same day or within the space of a few days) were NOT made with the intention to lie, and Not even to obfuscate, obliterate or "fudge" facts.

Actually I am at a loss to explain. The Indian work culture lays emphasis on (as you mentioned) a "nebulous view" of the state of things. Such a idea may be explained by typical Housing Society circulars, with the incorrect language, formality etc.

As an example, painting work has been ongoing and is on verge of completion, assuming only last few "finishing touches" remaining. It is say under a larger Society Renovation Project.

The emphasis on past, present, present perfect tense, and the context is Not changed to lie but viewed from different angles with different levels of strictness any answer may be provided---depending upon the person asking the question

For answering the Municipality : The painting work has been ongoing under the Society Renewal Project.

For answering a senior member of society (who isn't on the committee) : All Painting of the society has been finished as of dd/mm/. Any inconvenience like bamboos, will soon be removed in 1-2 days. Please bear with us for happy tommorrow.

For answering the Chairman : Painting on front & back of society completely over as of dd/mm. On terrace, final touch, last brush on terrace, and polish of stains remaining to be completed the next one or 2 days. The labourers will leave along with their equipment, and the bamboos will be removed.

Similarlarly, the development work on Trishul has been completed, whereas it has been ongoing under IGMDP {for replying to a different query}.

Now, it is known that all the tests of Trishul held in Dec. 2005 were not successful. However, it may have been decided that the said problems were in "extreme" end of performance envelop. Hence it may have been decided that for fast conclusion of the project soon, the next step i.e. negotiations with IAF of performance parameters for their user-trials must be initiated---but before that, it was announced by Mr. Mukherjee that date for completion of Trishul has been extended.

Now, it was communicated to the new Defence Minister Mr. Antiony (presumably to avoid answering the older minister), that development work on Trishul can now be declared as complete, and IAF parameters can be negotiated with envelop that has been accomplished. In this way, the "wrath" of older minister was avoided.

But the contradiction was not questioned by Mr. Antony also, as work in India is also done due to "good faith". The seemingly contradictory statements that were made by Mr. Mukherjee were not a "political threat" to him---he can answer that, all work on Trishul has been completed since the date of extension of the deadline.

Thank you.

chacko said...

Ajai,

Running away from discussion. Where are the names of the pilots who said all that you claim of LCA? You were bll$hiting and you got caught. Ajai! Raise to chalange andthen quit.

Ajai, The project Director of Akash complained in Aero India 05 that you army guys did not give the timing for Akash trials. Each time a DRDO director approaches for Army brass to, the Army brass makes them keep for months toghter untill political pressure is brought over them. Ajai Shukla, I have guts to provide my sources, don't hide behind the lousy argument of protecting the source to hide your skin.

DRDO delays are pinned on ARMY and Airforce. Indian Navy has best record of getting their stuff out of DRDO and there is no doubt about it.

Ajai, you are running away from your own comments. Face it up and show us the proof.

You got no right to talk about DRDO when you cannot show a source.

chacko said...

Ajai,

Don't lecture of Journalism. We have sufficient experience.

Indian journalist including you are pathetic in terms of knowledge. Being from Army background dosen't make you speciall. ou are from older batches when "mis fits" of the society joined armed forces. Officers were made because of their connection.

Even during Army you are taught Sawdhan and Vishram and if you are from some infantry then the rigors.

In army they say, "keep your brains at home." You were lucky, you didn't have one.

I have not seen any army officers in Army library. I have seen them in Army meses drinking liquor and stealing Mess edibles. Or Officers party.

The "good" officers have read and they have gone up in Army ladder (some with better connections too have gone up too).

Now end up writing Army Mess talk in newspaper.

Ajai Shukla is a failure and is a Dud. Ajai Shukla after al these years in Army could not be the COAS.

chacko said...

Correcting some typos in previous comments

1)"Ajai! Raise to chalange andthen quit."
Corrected to:

Ajai! Raise to the challange, or quit writing

2)"Each time a DRDO director approaches for Army brass to, the Army brass makes them keep for months toghter untill political pressure is brought over them."

Corrected to"

Each time a DRDO project director approaches the army brass for a date to test a weapon system, the Army brass makes him wait for even an answere. The political pressure comes and them the army brass gives time for the testing.

chacko said...

On Trishul

1) Trishul Missile Project completed: A.K. Antony

New Delhi, Nov 29 (ANI): Denying reports that the Government was planning to wind up the "Trishul" missile project, Defence Minister A K Antony today informed the Rajya Sabha that the "development of the
project has been completed".

"Air Force configuration has met the user requirements during its various developmental flight trials DRDO is in dialogue with Air Force for possible induction after jointly developing the user trial criteria. So far, Rs. 275.39 crore have been spent on this project," he stated in a written reply to Parliament Legislator Janardhana Poojary.

2) Vice-Adm Sangram Singh Byce, flag officer commanding-in-chief of the Western Naval Command

Source: PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 1511 gmt 30 Nov 06

Byce said the Trishul missile, which was earlier planned for the Bramhaputra-class warships, would be inducted once it is operational. "I have witnessed some test firings of the Trishul. Some have been successful, some have not been as much. At present, it can be termed a successful technology demonstrator," he told the press conference organized to brief media about Navy Week which is observed in the first week of December.


On your comment on "apologists for DRDO"

Ajaiji,

No matter how you want to twist the jury is out there.

arnie_g said...

Perhaps this is what is meant by flying at the limits of it's envelope ? Just curious - do you think this is a media managed event, else we might not be able to sell these to Chile?

Dhruv chopper qualifies for flying in Siachen

Anil Bhat in Udhampur | Tuesday, 20 February , 2007, 09:39

Inducted into the IAF in 1998, India's first advanced light helicopter (ALH) 'Dhruv' has come out with flying colours clearing all trials for regular high- altitude operations in the Siachen skyline of Jammu and Kashmir.
Dhruv has cleared "all test trials" for flying over Siachen Glacier without "any error" and joined the category of Chetak and Cheetah helicopters, which fly daily to the icy heights to maintain support services for troops based there, Air Force sources told PTI.

The chopper has been validated for high-altitude, low temperature flying, required to maintain the supply lines for the Siachen region, they said.



"Dhruv qualified for the operations in January after the trials. It can now fly in the glacier sector in all conditions and conduct all types of operations required there", the sources said.

Trials of the chopper, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore, were carried by Commanding Officer of Chandigarh-based Dhruv squadron Sq Ld Sandesh Mitra for over a six-month-period at different times and under various weather conditions.

Giving details of the types of tests Dhruv underwent, the sources said "the test trials were carried by IAF pilots in the glacier sector in terms of operations relating to search and rescue, emergency airlifts, air ambulance, evacuation and payload deliveries in high altitude posts and in carriage of men and material".

They said the indigenously-built ALH performed "beyond expected limits" in the Siachen sector. "This has surprised even its pilots as flying a chopper in 5.6 tonnage category in posts like Indra Col at 23000 feet above sea level is virtually impossible," they said.

"However, a decision on inducting Dhruv for regular, daily operations in the glacier has not yet been taken. The decision will be made soon", they said.

Dhruv is being described by the Navy as a 'sea saviour', for its casualty evacuation operations in sea and coastline area. It is a "multi-role, new generation" helicopter developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation.

While Kochi-based Southern Naval Command has one unit of Dhruv specially designed for naval operations with rafts, two squadrons are located in Bangalore and Chandigarh.

The 'Sarang' squadron of Dhruv has gained its reputation in helibatics, the sources said, maintaining that a unit of seven choppers together has carried out "reverse flying, vertical half charlie and belly up flying besides having 'danced' to the tunes of Mozart".