Friday, 16 February 2007

Funding Research

by Ajai Shukla
Response to posts: 16th Feb 2007

Wow! There’s actually a good discussion going. There were lots of posts and many good points. Here's my immediate response on the issue of DRDO funding. 

I submit though that there’s a radical flaw in most posters’ perception of what they think I’m saying. They think that because I’m saying the DRDO fails --- far too often --- to deliver usable conventional systems to the field forces, therefore I MUST be suggesting:

(a) Close down the DRDO.
(b) Don’t fund them in any way.

Actually, my position is far more nuanced. And it comes from:

(a) Having spent many years as a soldier, waiting in vain for DRDO-promised equipment to reach me.
(b) During that period, having tried and cleared alternative supplies from foreign vendors (Marconi for radio sets, French fire control systems, etc), we found that import blocked for years by the DRDO, saying that they were going to deliver it yesterday.
(c) Being pleasantly surprised, THE FEW TIMES THAT EQUIPMENT DID ACTUALLY GET TO ME, how much better it was in terms of availability, scaling and back-up support to have indigenous equipment.

So my position on DRDO is, I repeat, not to do away with R&D establishment. My position is:

(a) To be very clear what we need to develop indigenously and what is cheaper, better, faster and more reliable to import off the shelf.
(b) To give the DRDO clear-cut projects, with a clear-cut mandate and a clear-cut time-line, and to hold it accountable for delays.
(c) To re-evaluate the funding of DRDO from scratch. The calculation must not be done on the basis of “last year’s budget plus X per cent”, but rather by making allocations, project by project, for each of the projects that have been cleared for development (through the process at sub-paras a and b above).

If this process means that DRDO’s funding should be cut down, so be it. If, on the other hand it means an increase in DRDO’s allocations, so be it.

But what is essential is a result-orientated outlook where annual developmental targets are set down separately for each individual project and at the end of the year a hard-headed evaluation carried out by an expert body to decide on whether that project is worth continuing with. That annual review body must also decide the levels of funding for the next year, with projects that are doing well being rewarded with stepped up funding.

It is well understood that research often overshoots timelines. That must be taken into account by the review body. But it must equally be understood that research CANNOT be allowed to drift on without questions being asked and answers demanded.

Many who have posted here rightly point out the delays in projects overseas. But do remember that those delays are not endless… if a project looks like it’s going nowhere, MoDs like the Pentagon have been ruthless in ending them. If you like, I’ll be happy to produce and post a detailed study on foreign project management. Incidentally, a body along these lines has just been constituted in India. But eventually, what will count is how effectively this body functions. Let’s wait and see.

The question about sub-allocation of funds between projects: how much money is going into strategic projects and how much into other stuff like the production of Leh Berry Juice (a DRDO project, for those who didn’t know. And for my money, one of their few projects that have reached the user!). The DRDO keeps such details absolutely secret. If someone finds out, please do post it. In any case, it’s only a matter of time before someone from DRDO leaks the details.

Abhiman, the Tejas is nowhere near being accepted for introduction into service by the IAF. PLEASE, for God’s sake, don’t quote DRDO and HAL sources in this regard, because they are desperately trying to pretend that the Tejas project is going along fine. The Tejas will be accepted for introduction into service by the IAF and you should hear what they have to say about its state of readiness. No pilot I’ve spoken to, and I speak to dozens, believes the Tejas will ever enter service in its present form. This may break all your proud Indian hearts, but don’t be disheartened. India has a lot else to be proud of!!

You are absolutely correct, the DRDO will not be spending the 243,000 crores that Mr Natarajan envisions. Neither will HAL. That money will be spent by India, from the national defence budget, and provided by guess who: you and me.

Fortunately, since DRDO is as close to producing (in the next 15 years) what Mr Natarajan has rashly promised, none of that money will ever need to be spent. It’s all talk and the beauty is: since there is no accountability, the DRDO, the government, and practically everyone in India can just keep blabbering. Nobody will ever need to answer the question: why haven’t you delivered what you promised.

In 1983, then scientific advisor APJ Abdul Kalam promised a slew of air defence and anti-missile defence platforms within seven-ten years, including the Trishul missile. Sixteen years later, in 1999, when the Indian Navy was deployed for war against Pakistan, the naval chief had to write directly to the defence minister that the fleet was without the promised anti-missile defence. Eight years after that, the Trishul project has been discreetly buried. Today, 23 years of failure later, Kalam is President of India. Can accountability be more contemptuously tossed overboard?

18 comments:

Scimitar said...

What about the DRDO's past record? Don't they get any negative marks for that? Before we look at funding for the future I believe there should be a credible study of what the DPSUs have cost us and what they have delivered in the last 60 years.

Ram said...

Trishul? The project is completed, its guidance problems solved, but the Navy has the better Barak (VLS)and is no longer interested. this is what you dont understand Ajai, - there is no magic wand for DRDO to wave to ensure that its projects succeed. If Kalam is only to be judged on Trishul, what of his contribution to Prithvi, Pokhran, Agni? Dont be ridiculous. what is drdo to do if it didnt work out? is the army brass held "accountable" for failed attacks in kargil against paki positions- do u mean they did it on purpose?

also, everyone knows that the Tejas is very much midway along a long path- of tests, weaponization and development, why keep insisting that it must be ready now? you do disservice to all the LCA FT Crew who are working on the project and praise it for what it is, not what you claim it should be. plus the program is going well according to the LCA FT crew themselves, one sticking block is engine and even that has been funded now.

it seems you just wish to curse for the sake of it. :-X

Ram said...

>>>(a) To be very clear what we need to develop indigenously and what is cheaper, better, faster and more reliable to import off the shelf

again the good old system of foreign dependency but phrased more palatably.

>>>(b) To give the DRDO clear-cut projects, with a clear-cut mandate and a clear-cut time-line, and to hold it accountable for delays.


ah, but u give the army a clean chit. why shudnt army officers also be held accountable for delays? also r and d doesnt follow a very clear cut timeline, ur accountability funda is pointless. if drdo is relying on a foreign component which ur army general says ok, and at last moment US/UK/SWEDEN sanction it, is it drdos fault? be fair.

>>>(c) To re-evaluate the funding of DRDO from scratch. The calculation must not be done on the basis of “last year’s budget plus X per cent”, but rather by making allocations, project by project, for each of the projects that have been cleared for development (through the process at sub-paras a and b above).

really??, 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.


>>>>Many who have posted here rightly point out the delays in projects overseas. But do remember that those delays are not endless… if a project looks like it’s going nowhere, MoDs like the Pentagon have been ruthless in ending them. If you like, I’ll be happy to produce and post a detailed study on foreign project management. Incidentally, a body along these lines has just been constituted in India. But eventually, what will count is how effectively this body functions. Let’s wait and see.

you again show how inexperienced you are and taken in by the foreign manufacturers propoganda. lets say i have frst hand experinece of these so called institutions and they all are money sinks with pork barrel contracts. the bradley took 30 years and untold billions (my mate boght a house out of it) before they cleared it. the israelis ran when they were passed a few. u think that things are bad in india, sirjee go outside, and u will see how much money is thrown in the us at a problem till it disappears. oh also google bowman for uk


>>>The DRDO keeps such details absolutely secret. If someone finds out, please do post it. In any case, it’s only a matter of time before someone from DRDO leaks the details.


http://www.hindu.com/2007/02/02/stories/2007020203681000.htm

details of funding here


Abhiman, the Tejas is nowhere near being accepted for introduction into service by the IAF. PLEASE, for God’s sake, don’t quote DRDO and HAL sources in this regard, because they are desperately trying to pretend that the Tejas project is going along fine. The Tejas will be accepted for introduction into service by the IAF and you should hear what they have to say about its state of readiness. No pilot I’ve spoken to, and I speak to dozens, believes the Tejas will ever enter service in its present form. This may break all your proud Indian hearts, but don’t be disheartened. India has a lot else to be proud of!!

what silliness..the lca is not even weaponised, how will it be acceptable, everyone knows it has a whiles to go, but thats the entire point, you are writing it off even before it runs the race and then put words in the mouth f the IAF which is pretty upbeat about the LCA meeting requirements


You are absolutely correct, the DRDO will not be spending the 243,000 crores that Mr Natarajan envisions. Neither will HAL. That money will be spent by India, from the national defence budget, and provided by guess who: you and me.

oh quit it please the way you tal its like its all your money. if the products meet specifications godspeed to them.

Ram said...

also this funda of "drdo fails far too often to provide services" is dated thinking, attended a FICCI seminar, spoke to whos who of indian army navy and air force all agree drdo could do better. but all say its delivered many goods already and service r and d coop has never been better than in past few years. it seems ajai you are still stuck to the past. and yes before you start off on your personal details, i am well in touch with these ppl and know them professionally and prsonally

also u want projects to be cancelled asap

ok?!
have you seen your own behaviour and how you mock and humiliate drdo? in such a climate why will drdo ever be agreeing to cancel a project because u fellows will haul themover coals even when thy cancel something that is taking too much time? u want to have ur cake and eat it too.

imagine if LCA relies on Ge404IN20 like gripen

Ajai shukla will write" the useless DODO has taken 30 years and asked for american engine"

if arjun was cancelled and drdo were to work with army on new tank, u'd write:

"the useless DODO which is totally disgraceful has finally given up on the pathetic arjun to launch another failure"


with such reports where is the incentive for drdo to can projects and move on to a next one?!? they are forced to ensure that no matter what they have to make a work even if b is better choice.

when an army man starts using slurs on a national institution from a paki board, then it really goes to show how low the media can sink.

Ram said...

LAST POST :-P

Ajai read this and understand every nuance

this is from an IAF man and one who knows design and production

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/MONITOR/ISSUE3-5/wollen.html

The Light Combat Aircraft Story

Air Marshal MSD Wollen (Retd)


This story is incomplete. With the maiden, 20-minute flight of the first Technology Demonstrator of the Light Combat Aircraft on January 4, 2001, one could say it was halfway through. Even at this point of time, it is of enormous interest to nations in the far corners of the world. India has two priorities One, improve the quality of life of a third of its population. Two keep inviolate its borders, shores and skies. The latter requires military might.

The geo- politics of the region (South Asia and surrounds) is of such a complexity that, despite good intentions of all, major conflicts have erupted; border skirmishes and cross- border terror-ism continue. In fact, right from Day 1 (August 15, 1947) India has faced a military threat; because of this, there is a compulsion to achieve self-reliance in design,development and production of weapon systems e.g. the LCA. It may be noted that some Asian countries, with great economic wealth and technical know why/know how, do not have such a compulsion Further, success of the LCA program is a must for continuation and enhancement of India's aircraft industry. For these reasons, 33 R&D establishments 60 major industries and 11 academic institutions participate in the program. Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of hype by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as to its capabilities, contemporariness and when it will enter service. This has led to, not unwarranted, cynicism.

Background Information
An important recommendation of the Aeronautics Committee, which was accepted by Government in 1969, was that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) should design and develop an advanced technology fighter aircraft around a proven engine. Based on IAF 'air staff target' papers, HAL finally completed design studies for a Tactical Air support Aircraft in 1975 and it appeared that HAL would, after a lapse of twenty years, get down to developing a fighter. However, he selected proven engine' from abroad, could not be procured; the project fell through. HAL's design and development capability started to de-cline. The IAF' s requirement, for an air superiority fighter (primary role) with air support/interdiction capability (secondary role) in the tactical battle area, continued.

The DRDO obtained feasibility studies from three leading aircraft companies (British, French and German). Use was made of these studies in presenting a case to Government for design and development of an LCA. In an unusual step, a Society was set up to over-see the LCA development program. At its apex is a 15-member General Body, whose president is the Defence Minister. The next rung is a 10-member Governing Body, whose Chairman is the SA to the Defence Minister and Secretary DRDO. The third rung is a 10-member Technical Committee, headed by the DG Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA); the latter post has been vacant ever since the first DG resigned in 1986. ADA manages the development program while HAL is the principal partner. The initial projection for completion of the program was totally erroneous and is largely attributable to lack of knowledge and experience. Projections were: first flight in 1990; production to commence in 1994.

Delay in commencement of Project Definition (PD) gave ADA time to marshal national resources (80 work centers spread over the country); to construct buildings, recruit personnel and create infra-structure; and to get a clearer perspective of the advanced technologies that could be indigenously developed and those that would need to be imported. The IAF's Air Staff Requirement, finalized in October 1985 is the base document for development. Requirements of flight performance, systems performance, reliability, maintainability criteria, stores carnage, etc. are spelt out. Concessions or a higher standard of requirements have to be mutually agreed upon by the IAF (customer) and ADA (constructor). Having a Society and Committees is, perhaps, the quickest way to bring about agreement.

The Program
Project definition (PD) commenced in October 1987 and was completed in September I988. The consultant, chosen from four contenders, was Dassault Aviation, France. Engineers, connected with design and development of aircraft know how vital it is to get the 'definition' correct. From this flows detail de-sign, construction and eventually maintenance costs.

After examining the PD documents, the IAF felt that the risks were too high (likely shortfalls in performance, inordinate delay, Cost over-run, price escalations) to proceed further. A Review Committee was formed in May 1989. Experts from outside the aviation industry were included. The general view was that infrastructure, facilities and technology had advanced in most areas to undertake the project. As a precaution, Full Scale Engineering Development would proceed in two phases. Phase 1: design, construction and flight test of two Technology Demonstrator aircraft (TDI & 2); construction of a Structural Test Specimen; construction of two Prototype Vehicles (PVI &2); creation of infrastructure and test facilities. Phase 2: construction of three more PV '5, the last PV5, being a trainer; construction of a Fatigue Test Specimen; creation of facilities at various work centres. Cost of Phase I - Rs.2188 crores, of Phase II - Rs. 2,340 crores. Phase I commenced in 1990. However, due to a financial crunch, sanction was accorded in April 1993 and was marked by an upsurge in work. The critical path in this program has been the design, fabrication and testing of its fly-by-wire flight control system FCS). An electronic FCS is a must for an aircraft with relaxed static stability.

The FCS also provides the pilot 'care free handling'; flight limits cannot be exceeded, which at lower speeds on aircraft like the MiG-23/27 or Jaguar, results in the loss of the aircraft. The Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) is the nodal agency for development of the FCS. One reason for delay of the first flight could have been the Unexpectedly large effort required for coding control laws into the FCS software, which were then checked out on Minibird and Ironbird test rigs at ADE and HAL, respectively. The control laws were developed with the aid of real time simulators at ADE and BAe, UK. As a point of interest, a second series of inflight simulation tests of flight control software took place in July 1996 at Calspan USA on an F-16D VISTA (variable inflight stability aircraft); 33 test flight were carried out. Another reason for delay was the sanction imposed after Pokhran II in May 1999. Scientists working at Lockheed Martin, USA were sent hack; equipment, software and documents were impounded. Herculean efforts brought the FCS software to a standard where the FCS performed flawlessly over 50 hours of testing on TD 1 by pilots, resulting in the aircraft being cleared for flight in early 2001.

Space constraints prevent any meaningful description of materials, technology, facilities, processes developed for execution of the project. Military aviation enthusiasts may read a monograph on Aeronautical Technology that has attained maturity through DRDO efforts; much of this technology finds application in the LCA project. The monograph was brought out at Aero India 1998. The LCA is tailless with a double-sweep delta wing. Its wing span is 8.2 m, length 13.2 m, height 4.4 m. TOW clean 8.500 kg, MTOW 12500kg. It will be super-sonic at all altitudes, max speed of M 1.5 at the tropopause. Specific excess power and g-over load data has not been published. Maximum sustained rate of turn will be 17 deg per sec and maximum attainable 30 deg per sec. Funds have been sanctioned for a Naval LCA. PD and studies in critical technology areas have commenced. The aircraft will bee powered by a Kaveri engine (more information follows) and is to operate from the Indian Navy's Air Defence Ship, under construction. Launch speed over a 12 deg ramp is 100 kts; recovery speed during a no flare deck landing, using arrester gear, is 120 kts. Take off mass 13 tonne, recovery mass 10 tonne. Most stringent requirements! The airframe will be modified: nose droop to provide improved view during landing approach; wing leading edge vortexes (LEVCON) to increase lift during approach and strengthened undercarriage. Nose wheel steering will be powered for deck manoeuvrability.

During early flight development, the TD aircraft will be powered by a single GE F404 F2J3 engine (7,250 kg reheat thrust). The indigenous Kaveri engine, under development by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) is slated for installation in a PV aircraft. Over 7,000 hours of ground testing of the core engine (Kabini) and four prototype Kaveri engines, together with flights in a Tu-16 test-bed aircraft would have been completed. Engine components have been produced by several manufacturing units, including HAL, where the exclusive Cellular Manufacturing Facility (CNC machining) was established in November 1988. A concurrent engineering approach has been followed to provide engines early in the LCA's flight development. Salient engine features; 3 stage fan; 6 stage HP compressor with variable geometry IGV, I and II stators; annular combustion chamber; cooled single stage HP and LP turbines; modulated after-burner; fully variable, convergent-divergent nozzle; length 3490 mm; max diameter 910 mm; dry thrust 52 kN; reheat thrust 81 kN; thrust weight ratio 7.8. The 'Achilles heel; in the successful development of the LCA, in the opinion of this author, is the Kaveri engine.

Points of view
In the late eighties India's aircraft Industry was not as advanced as Sweden's; and yet India follows a more arduous design/development route for its LCA, compared to Sweden for its JAS-39 Gripen. The Gripen embodied a far higher percentage of foreign, off-the-shelf technology, including its RM-12 engine (improved GE F404). France (Dassault Aviation) built and exhaustively flew a demonstrator aircraft (Rafale-A) before embarking on construction of Rafale prototypes. Over 2,000 flights were completed by September 1994 when first Flight of a production Rafale was still 20 months away. At that point of time, Dassault Aviation had built or flown 93 prototypes, of which at least fifteen went into production Sixteen years elapsed from ‘first-metal-cut' of the Rafale demonstrator to entry into service. Current plans for the LCA is ten years. And what of India's past record? Just a hand-ful of trainer aircraft designed and productionised. The story is similar for the Typhoon (earlier Eurofighter 2000). It was seventeen years from 'first-metal-cut' (EAP) to squadron entry in 2000. One more timeframe needs to be noted. It took Gripen six and a half years from first flight (prototype) to entry into squadron. For the LCA, four and a half years is the target! The quantum of test flying hours required to attain Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) is about 2000 hours; an impossible task in four and a half years. Concurrent production will shorten service entry time, but this will not enable the present target to be reached.

The LCA remains a high-risk project. All too often glitches occur in development of a fly-by-wire FCS. The Typhoon is an example; this, despite vast experimental work for over a decade by leading aircraft manufacturers in the UK and Germany (Jaguar, F-104, EAP). Engine development is the most complex of all activities. There are sure to be problems during flight development of the Kaveri, GTRE's first engine. Teething problems after service entry will occur; and major reliability improvements will be required in the first decade of its exploitation. Engines of the Russian fleet of fighters operated by the IAF (MiG-21 BIS, MiG-23BN/27M MiG-29) have this in-service history. Proceeding from this, four points emerge:

(a) India has its best designers, engineers, scientists, academicians working on/contributing to the project. In the main, they are devoted and tireless in their efforts to success-fully complete the project. They need support (not blind sup-port) of the polity, defence services and bureaucrats. Public support will follow, provided there is honest transparency;
(b) Costs of the project will escalate. (checks and balance are necessary, but let there be no inordinate delays, as have occurred in the past;
(c) The future of the aircraft industry, military and civil, depends on success of the LCA (and ALH, Saras, HJT-36) project; and,
(d) It is unlikely that the LCA will attain initial operational clearance (IOC) before 2010 When it is achieved, it will be an industrial success of magnificent proportion, and is sure to receive the acclaim it deserves.

A few words on final operational clearance (FOC). The entire avionics and weapon systems are con-figured around three 1553 B data bus. Mission oriented computation/flight management is through a 32 hit computer. Information: from sensors (e.g. multi-mode radar, IRST, radar/laser/missile launch-warning receivers); from the inertial navigation System with embedded GPS; from targetting pod (FLIR, laser designator) are presented to the pilot on a head-up-display and head-down-displays. A helmet mounted target designator steers radar and missile seekers for early target acquisition (during a 'close-in' air-to-air engagement with a Vympel R-73 missile, currently the best dog-fight' missile in the world). Laser guided bombs and TV guided missiles, require a pilot to initially 'zero-in' the laser designator or missile-mounted TV camera, on the ground target. Considerable engineering effort and expertise is necessary to achieve avionics-weapon integration and to prove the integration by live trials. Success here means FOC. Depending on what is stated in the (updated) ASR, it could take two years and around 1,500 hours of flight testing to move from IOC to FOC.

There will he setbacks in the flight development phase. All major engineering projects suffer them e.g. India's first two SLVs failed disastrously. The Prime Minister was present at the first launch at Sriharikota; so was this author. Disappointment was everywhere, but no recrimination; only determination to get it right. Loss of a demonstrator aircraft or prototype could take place, lives could he lost, leading to questions/debate. Therefore, let the recent transparency in tile program continue, even intensify; let it he honest, 2010 is not far, for a first' program of this magnitude and complexity.



The author, Air Alarshal M.S.D. Wollen (Retd) was chairman Hindustan Aeronautics Limited from September 1984 to March 1988. This aricle is reproduced with permission of the author. It first appeared in. Indian Aviation, Opening Show report, Aero India 2001.

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

>> Actually, my position is far more nuanced. And it comes from:

Well thats nice.. nuance is always good :-) but I would never have known from reading all of your articles, most come across as broadswoard swings at the entire defense research establishment in India.


>> (a) To be very clear what we need to develop indigenously and what is cheaper, better, faster and more reliable to import off the shelf.

I agree, we should not hesitate in importing subsystems, where they are available reliably.

>> (c) To re-evaluate the funding of DRDO from scratch. The calculation must not be done on the basis of “last year’s budget plus X per cent”, but rather by making allocations, project by project, for each of the projects that have been cleared for development (through the process at sub-paras a and b above).

I dont think your understanding of DRDO fund allocation is correct. They are given specific funds for specific projects, for instance a billion $ for ABM, 500 million $ for LCA TD phase, further xyz amount for LCA phase II and so on. The project monitoring and management may have room for improvement, and lets face it, which govt. agency doest ? but its not as if chunks of money are granted without any explanation. I dont think any department apart from RAW can get away with an opaque budget without any information as to what heads the money is going into. For obvious reasons, they wont tell you exactly how much money is being allocated where, but its not a black hole..


>> The question about sub-allocation of funds between projects: how much money is going into strategic projects and how much into other stuff like the production of Leh Berry Juice (a DRDO project, for those who didn’t know. And for my money, one of their few projects that have reached the user!). The DRDO keeps such details absolutely secret. If someone finds out, please do post it. In any case, it’s only a matter of time before someone from DRDO leaks the details.

well, since you asked, here are some details:-

LCACost of Phase I - Rs.2188 crores, of Phase II - Rs. 2,340 crores. Phase I commenced in 1990. However, due to a financial crunch, sanction was accorded in April 1993 and was marked by an upsurge in work.
[hmm.. so work starts in 93, and a TD using composites and FBW takes off in 7 years, notwithstanding the sanctions, pretty good progress, dont you think]

In fact, you will find other numbers, from your buddy Aroors articles in IE, heres the link. http://www.indianexpress.com/sunday/story/16477.html#
Surely they are not that difficult to find ? Have you tried writing an email to Mr. Natrajan ?

>> Fortunately, since DRDO is as close to producing (in the next 15 years) what Mr Natarajan has rashly promised, none of that money will ever need to be spent. It’s all talk and the beauty is: since there is no accountability, the DRDO, the government, and practically everyone in India can just keep blabbering. Nobody will ever need to answer the question: why haven’t you delivered what you promised.

Sir, which govt. dept. has any accountability ? and who, including you and me doesnt blabber ? In any case, accountability in the form of out of turn promotions/increments should be implemented in DRDO, but not without salaries that are competitive with the private sector !

As far as Kalam becoming president of India, there are a number of success stories to his name too, the successful SLV project (Indias first multistage rocket), the different Agnis and these are just the ones that are in the public domain.

Lastly, sir,

1) You mentioned that we should analyze our external relations and then decide on what things can be reliably imported, I havent seen any cogent analysis into that yet.
2) I would like to hear from you any insights you may have about the armed services involvement into DRDO projects.
3) I would like to hear about the services support for indigenous products that satisfy their requirements only partly.
4) What do you think about the "one agency develop" "second agency manufacture" kind of socialist structure. Should the DRDO manage its own manufacturing ?

Abhiman said...

Hello Mr. Shukla. Sir, firstly I agree that civility in discussion rather than personal comments, hostility etc. is desirable.

Earlier, I had mentioned that Tejas is close to completion.

Following is from news report dated Feb 05, 2007 :
India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is poised for weaponisation in April, said Dr. PS Subramanyam, Director of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Programme Director for LCA.

reference :
http://www.dailyindia.com/show/111034.php/Weaponisation-of-Tejas-in-April-says-LCA-Programme-Director

Thus, weaponization of Tejas shall commence in April 2007, and 8 LSP units shall be inducted into IAF by 2008. Thereafter the first 20 units shall commence induction in 2009.
IAF shall begin evaluation of Tejas after the first LSP unit is inducted in this year only.

Regarding time-delays by DRDO it is primarily due to lack of funding.
As an example, as per Mr. Chellany the total expenditure on the entire IGMDP project (Prithvi, Agni, Akash, Trishul & Nag) in 23 years from 1983 till 2006 was $390 million only. This amount is less than $400 million paid to Mr. Sabeer Bhatia by Microsoft for his company Hotmail.com in 1997.

He also stated, and I quote :
“India may be poor, but its decision-makers are pretty generous in awarding arms contracts to foreign vendors. Like oil sheikhs, they are now signing import deals worth between $ 4 billion and $ 6 billion every year”.

"“It might shock many to know that India’s cumulative investments in its missile capabilities total barely 5.6 per cent of what it will cost to buy the MRCAs (F-16s). The entire investment in the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) from its 1983 inception up to December 2005 aggregated Rs 1771.4 crore, or $ 389 million.”

End quote.

As per same article, total cost of Trishul project in 23 years was $70 million only. This may be extremely less compared to the annual expenditure in purchasing expensive foreign weapons (last year, it was $5 billion).

reference :
http://hawkeyeindia.wordpress.com/2006/06/10/the-worth-of-indias-security-the-price-of-acquiring-hotmailcom/

Thus, one of primary reasons for delays (Not Failures) in projects of DRDO may be due to "'chronic" lack of funding.

Again, as per statement of Mr. Antony, development of Trishul project has been completed and negotiations between IAF and DRDO are ongoing for conducting user-trials of Trishul. (It may be unclear why after a few weeks from the statement, media still reports that Trishul has been abandoned).

Thank you.

Ram said...

CNN-IBN

Both IJT and ALH crashes were pilot

Now what shukla ji, will you apologise to HAL?

The immediate explanation was that a tyre burst caused the mishap. But an inquiry has now found that the pilot forgot to latch the canopy of the cockpit shut before speeding down the runway for take-off.

The canopy opened when the aircraft was at full throttle and when the pilot applied the brakes a tyre burst. The inquiry alleges that the pilot’s carelessness have undone the hard work gone into making Indian-made aircraft reliable.

Dhruv, an indigenous helicopter, crashed during an aerobatics rehearsal before the air show began. This incident, too, has been blamed on pilot error.

A court of inquiry has found evidence suggesting that the helicopter pilot could not recover from an aerobatics manoeuvre being performed at low height. This was the first fatal crash involving Dhruv.

Those associated with Dhruv’s development swear by its reliability, which has been established over 11 years of rigorous tests.

Ram said...

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/indias-aviation-pride-grounded/top/33742-3.html

So Shuklaji will you accept your mistake? how petty your words sounded, especially against HAL even before the reasons for the crash were found

sudeep said...

ram,

even though it was pilot error, lets also acknowledge that accidents happen and the pilots involved were doing tough, dangerous and unforgiving jobs. They are not "failures" or anything like that.. two accidents happening in close succession, just bad luck I guess..

chacko said...

Strange,

Naval equipment gets delivered. I really wonder why Army and Airforce weapons don't get delivered.

Former BEL chair man said , its because Navy gets involved with projects. Leander project was classic example. Today navy has better indegenisation record.

In army we got people like Ajai Shukla. How can Army ever get an indegenised equipment?

Now Ajai Shukla in Army had accepted all substandard Russian equipment. Why not DRDO equipment?

Here is latest from Ponga pandit from TOI:
==================================
Quality of Russian arms worries India
Rajat Pandit
[ 17 Feb, 2007 0004hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

The defence ministry is particularly worried about the reliability of certain Russian-origin weapon systems and equipment like the Appassionata navigation systems for the 10 Kilo or Sindhugosh-class 877EKM submarines as well as the large number of Uran subsonic anti-ship cruise missiles in the Indian inventory.

The IAF, on its part, is upset with the "distortions" on the canopies of the Sukhoi-30MKI Phase-3 fighter jets.

Incidentally, a recent comptroller and auditor-general report has also raised several questions about the 2000 contract for the licensed production of 140 Sukhoi-30MKIs by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd at Nasik. It even held that the average cost of a HAL-manufactured Sukhoi-30MKI is likely to be Rs 28.60 crore more than that of the same fighter imported from Russia.

"There are also concerns about the unserviceability of a number of air-launched missiles, apart from delays in implementation of supply, repair and overhaul schedules for ongoing or past acquisitions," said the source.

Huge multi-million contracts signed with Russia in recent years like the ones for the Suk-hoi-30MKI fighters, the T-90S main battle tanks and the Talwar-class stealth frigates have all been dogged by several delays.
===================================

Ajai Shukla is blind when it comes to Russian or Phoren Maal.

Ajai Shukla, please don't find excuses for your yellow journolism. We have no regards for you as a journo. Try retirement home instead. There are many young journalist who would like to do the reporting job and do justice to it.

chacko said...

Ajai Shukla said, "I submit though that there’s a radical flaw in most posters’ perception of what they think I’m saying. They think that because I’m saying the DRDO fails --- far too often --- to deliver usable conventional systems to the field forces, therefore I MUST be suggesting:

(a) Close down the DRDO.
(b) Don’t fund them in any way."
,

Sorry, this is not the impression we get from your articles.We feel if you don't have anything constructive to say, please don't say at all. Why waste bandwidth, why waste newspaper space.

You should remember, your target audience don't respect you and rest of the non target audience don't care.

And yes, the flaw is in the posters, you are straight from heaven, we are lesser mortals. Oh Please, we beg god for nirvana.

chacko said...

And Hahahah!
He recommends buying from China in last article.

What a briliant idea. Ajai sahab, Chinese junk is better than Indian junk. How logical.

And since President Kalam has not delivered, we can as well make Chinese President Hu Jintao as Indian president.

You must be out of your sences. You must quit writing crap.

chacko said...

Ajai Shukla Wrote
.Abhiman, the Tejas is nowhere near being accepted for introduction into service by the IAF. PLEASE, for God’s sake, don’t quote DRDO and HAL sources in this regard, because they are desperately trying to pretend that the Tejas project is going along fine. The Tejas will be accepted for introduction into service by the IAF and you should hear what they have to say about its state of readiness.

Yeah, right! DRDO a bunch of liars! Ajai Shukla is only credible source. What would have become of India if Ajai Shukla wouldn't repor. AHAHAHAHAHAH!

Ajai Shukla wrote
No pilot I’ve spoken to, and I speak to dozens, believes the Tejas will ever enter service in its present form. This may break all your proud Indian hearts, but don’t be disheartened. India has a lot else to be proud of!!

Naturally, How can you induct a "in development" aircraft. How many pilots have flown Tejas? Baring test pilots who has? The pilots who have flown Tejas, say its handling qualities are better than Mirages. These comments are reported in news papers verbatim.

Ajai Shukla! Its a challange, Name one test pilot who has flown it has said such a thing.

Ajai Shukla please don't bull shit. How can a "it testing plane be in fighting readiness."

Ram said...

Sudeep,ur correct but i was trying to point out the hypocrisy in shuklajis attacks on HAL even before the result of COI was clear.
that is what is so petty, how he attacks organizations before the truth is out
similarly every article of his goes out of its way to curse drdo and local industry
this is from BR,

The following was told to me 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.

RIP to the deceased pilot, and prayers to the other one.

Ram said...

Naturally, How can you induct a "in development" aircraft. How many pilots have flown Tejas? Baring test pilots who has? The pilots who have flown Tejas, say its handling qualities are better than Mirages. These comments are reported in news papers verbatim.


chacko in aeroindia u will be glad to hear, LCA FT crew at industry conference about Tejas said,

in another four to five years time, we are confident this aircraft will be worldclass in every respect.

in handling, LCA test pilot talked that its handling in many cases was more precise than even mirage.


a wingcommander from IAF was with DARE and talking about LCA avionics, he said they are worldclass in every respect and unlike russian/ french items fully customizable and local upgradeabble

So shuklaji, is as normally, talking his BS against DRDO/ HAL dont feel bad, he just likes to pretend that his every word is what the IAF says and believes and there couild be nothing else

chacko said...

Ram Ji,

I was in DARE stall in AI 05. Yes, LCA is progressing on all odds.

Its not even a question.

Its Ajay Shukla who has failed beilg a good reporter. Ajai Shukla is a dud.