June 24, 2012

U.S. eyes return to some Southeast Asia military bases


In next-door Vietnam, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta this month became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the naval and air base at Cam Ranh Bay since the end of the war

June 22, 2012

US Reports that Agni IIs are NOT fully operational.

An Agni II on parade. "fewer than 10" deployed says an authoritative US report.
FAS Strategic Security Blog has analysed an update of the US Air Force Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat. The FAS analysis of June 9, 2009, states in part:
"The latest update continues the previous user-friendly format and describes a number of important assessments and new developments in ballistic and cruise missiles of many of the world’s major military powers. The report also helps dispel many web-rumors that have circulated about Chinese, Russian, Indian and Pakistani nuclear forces...

Chinese Nuclear Forces
As the DF-3A retirement continues (there are now only 5-10 launchers left of close to 100 in the 1980s), the liquid-fuel missile is being replaced by a family of solid-fuel DF-21 variants. The NASIC identifies four, including two nuclear versions (Mod 1 and Mod 2), one conventional version, and an anti-ship version that unlike the others is not yet deployed.


Thankfully, the report dispels widespread speculation by web sites, news media, and even Jane’s after images began circulating on the Internet, that a DF-25 had been deployed, some even said with three nuclear warheads. But it was, as I
predicted last year and NASIC now confirms, in fact a DF-21....

The NASIC report states that neither of China’s two types submarine-launched ballistic missiles is operational. This suggests that the multi-year overhaul of the JL-1 equipped Xia SSBN, which was completed last year, was not successful. The successor missile JL-2 for the new Jin-class SSBNs has not reached operational status either...

NASIC lists single warheads on all of the Chinese missiles, not multiple warheads as speculated by many. “China could develop MIRV payloads for some of its ICBMs,” the report states. Yet it also predicts that, “Future ICBMs probably will include some with multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles.” Whether that prediction – which appears to hint that China has more ICBMs under development – comes true remains to be seen, and the U.S. intelligence community has stated for years that one development that could trigger it is a U.S. ballistic missile defense system....

Russian Nuclear Forces

NASIC states that “Russia retains about 2,000 warheads on ICBMs,” which is far too many for the land-based ICBM force and so probably includes SLBMs as well. The ICBM force will continue to decrease due to arms control agreements, aging missiles, and resource constraints. Even so, “Russia will probably retain the largest ICBM force outside the United States,” and “most of these missiles are maintained on alert, capable of being launched within minutes of receiving a launch order,” according to NASIC...Indian Nuclear Forces
Even though Indian news media reports and private/corporate institutes have reported for years that Agni I and Agni II were deployed, the NASIC report shows that operational deployment of the road-mobile Agni I SRBM has only recently begun, with “fewer than 25” missile launchers deployed. NASIC seems to back our assessment from last year that the Agni II at that time was not yet fully operational, by listing “fewer than 10” launchers deployed.
Two short-range sea-based ballistic missiles are under development: Dhanush and Sagarika. Neither is operational yet, and NASIC safely estimates that the Sagarika will become operational sometime after 2010.

Despite Indian news media reports of development of a nuclear-capable cruise missile, no mentioning of such a weapon system is made by NASIC.

Pakistani Nuclear Forces

There are fewer than 50 launchers for the road-mobile Ghaznavi and Shaheen I SRBMs listed in the NASIC report, and the 2,000+ km Shaheen II MRBM is not yet operational but may be soon. Pakistan also appears to have two nuclear-capable cruise missiles under development: the ground-launched Babur and the air-launched Ra’ad."
The US information is at variance to announcements in India years ago, recorded in Bharat-Rakshak which states:
"In May 2001, and again in July 2001, the then-incumbent Defence Minister Jaswant Singh informed the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that the Agni-II missile is operational, limited production had begun and induction being planned during 2001-2002. On 14 March 2002, Defence Minister George Fernandes informed Indian Parliament that the Agni-II has entered the production phase and is under induction. Agni-II is made by BDL in Hyderabad, with a production capacity of 18 missiles/year and costs about Rs.35 crore[39] for each missile."
With the US estimates and semi-official? projection by Bharat-Rakshak one can only conclude that India:
- wishes to publicly display its Agni Is and IIs even if they are not fully operational
- national pride and justifying defence expenditure are important
- scaring opponents (Pakistan and China) is important
- maintaining a level of secrecy and uncertainty assists the scaring (deterrent) effect
- providing no clear number of Agni Is and IIs assists the survivability of at least some of these land mobile missiles - as opponents can never be sure how many to destroy.
So who is correct? Or what is a better estimate of the number of operational Agni IIs?



June 16, 2012

Russia and India's PAK FA - Export Possibilities

Su 35 in foreground - a PAK FA (T-50) behind it.

Back in 2012: Interesting photos and comments particularly about South Korean interest in the PAK FA and the broader prospect of the PAK FA competing with the F-35 (JSF) for export orders.


Since 2012

Overall Vladi the Poisoner Putin has blown too much money on power projection in Syria and Putin's Nuclear Wonder Weapons (Doomsday Torpedoes?) for Russia to also afford to develop 5G airecraft like the PAK-FA.

India, for its part, has played less of a part in throwing money at the PAK-FA Project given Putin cannot throw his weight around everywhere in Russia's over-extended military-industrial complex. 

Also Putin, noting pensions are harder to get, is increasingly concerned with his Palacial legacies.


June 12, 2012

Different F-35 Stealth Features to Different Countries. Why? and Indian MMRCA?

The F-35 - a serious new entrant in India's MMRCA competition?
This article http://defensetech.org/2011/06/23/how-stealthy-is-your-f-35/ appears to be an attempted "expose" of the unsurprising possibility of differing F-35 stealth suites for each customer country). The article talks of "the source on the Australian internet is but I don’t think he’s inside the program office". Anyone who can visualize technology transfer policy or who writes about F-35's frequently could be part of the "source" - not me of course.
Probably most advanced US jets would have (or have had) some differences in their export models based on such issues as the recipient country's:
- security record or agreed status.  Australia and perhaps only the UK and Canada have the closest security-technology treaties with the US - (probably) particularly on protection of stealth features and source codes. So Australia, Canada and the UK are well placed to get the best stealth suites outside of the US. I'm certain that the US would have numerous (less close) agreements or understandings with other counties (eg. Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands etc). However for a variety of reasons these agreements and understandings might be kept confidential.
- degree of loyalty to the US alliance including participation in US military operations (eg. being in Afghanistan)
- how important a country is to the US (eg. Canada is important due to NORAD (sharing the North American continent). Israel is always boosted on this measure as well as acquiring US weapons for lower prices or gratis
- how much each country is paying (eg. Saudi Arabia) ,
- stealth needs of the country (what stealth suite has the customer country asked for?)
- commonality of F-35 software and hardware with a country's existing wares.
- the US Government and the main supplier (Lockheed Martin) may also have legitimate marketing strategies expressed as differences in F-35 stealth features between countries.
- one wonders what the chances are of Lockheed offering the F-35 to India for India's MMRCA tender?

- another factor in the degree of F-35 stealth might be how early and fully a country invests its taxpayers money towards US national risk and Lockheed corporate risk in developing the F-35. As an early investor Australia has probably already poured around $300+ million into the F-35 project.

The Australian Government routinely sheds the odd $100 million to a $billion in defence project errors. Hence it should not be too late to bail out of the F-35 if the F-35 drags out further overtime, overbudget, below technical expectations compared to emerging Russian and Chinese developments. 
Perhaps the US will over the F-22 in 2020 after its loyal allies have been politically pressured (behind closed doors) into buying the one and only present "choice" - the F-35. This might be an excellent marketing strategy for Lockheed Martin and its main current host nation (the US).
Boeing is providing competing products mainly based on the proven F-15, specifically the F-15SE Silent [Stealthy] Eagle. The F-15 would have many electronic and supply chain commonalities with the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets that Australia has just received. But purchasing an advance on a proven aircraft will be shot down as it goes against all bureaucrat inclinations since 1980 which is to:
- create problems that can be solved
- over quite some years
- in  a career advancing way
- for the fragmented many concerned
- with a minimum of accountability for allies, federal and state governments, politicians, officials, senior officers, main contractors and smaller contractors
- it being only taxpayers' money shared all round.
This is something I wrote about Australia's F-35 in 2008, called "Don't Buy in Haste" which achieved some short-term notoriety - and hasn't been proven wrong to date.

June 10, 2012

(revised) Indian Ballistic Missile Development - Agni 3 and K-15

February 7, 2010. Agni 3 launch - above and below (watchout, this one is LOUD)

Some of India's missiles including the K-15 (Sagarika), its launcher and the Agni 3 (or III)
Background - This Space War article on India's ballistic missile history puts the February 7, 2010 Agni 3 test launch in perspective. This test is the latest milestone in India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). The IGMDP theoretically closed down in 2007 but missile testing continues.
February 7 launch of Agni 3 - The Hindu, reports :

"The launch of Agni-III, the missile with the longest range in India’s arsenal, from the Wheeler Island off Orissa on Sunday was a complete success.

Lifting off majestically at 10.50 a.m., it travelled its entire range of 3,500 km. and came down accurately on its target in the Bay of Bengal.

During its 800-second flight, it reached an altitude of 350 km. and its re-entry module sliced into the atmosphere, withstanding searing temperatures of 3,000 deg. Celsius.

The two-stage, surface-to-surface ballistic missile can carry nuclear warheads.

The nuclear triggering mechanism worked well although the missile carried only chemical explosives as payload.

An elated V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, called it “a fantastic launch and a hat-trick.”

Talking to The Hindu from Wheeler Island, he said, “it shows the maturity of the missile’s design and the quality of its systems because we have had three successes in a row without any blemish.”

“The flight gave us the full range and pin-point accuracy. The missile travelled accurately its entire range to its last decimal place as we had planned. ”

As the nuclear-capable Agni-III missile zeroed in on the pre-designated target in the Bay of Bengal with copybook precision, anxiety turned into an all-round jubilation in the control room at Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast on Sunday.

...Dr. Saraswat congratulated the scientists for scoring a hat-trick of successes with Agni-III. He urged them to continue with their hard work and make a grand success of [the three stage] Agni-V, which is planned to be launched by the end of the year.

The Hindu, Febrary 5, 2010 earlier reported :

"The coming weeks/months will be hectic for the DRDO with one more launch of K-15 missile this month from a submerged pontoon off the coast of Visakhapatnam. The pontoon will simulate the conditions of a submarine. K-15 had been launched earlier from submerged pontoons, but this is a different version. The first version, called Mark-1, is being fitted into the indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine named Arihant.

After the K-15 missile clears the water medium, it climbs 20 km into the air and can destroy targets 700 km away. The missile forms part of the DRDO’s Sagarika project.

Shourya, which is the land-version of the underwater-launched K-15 missile, will have its second flight around June from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Orissa.

The fourth flight of India’s interceptor missile, which can knock out adversarial ballistic missiles at an altitude of 130 km, is scheduled for September.

The DRDO has already scored a hat-trick with three of its interceptor missiles confronting incoming “enemy” ballistic missiles in a “hit-to-kill” mode" "
The two stage Agni 3 is principally designed to hit some major Chinese cities out to 3,500 km - although this would be with a light nuclear payload. DRDO is working on a Submarine Launched Version of the Agni 3 missile, known as "K-X" which will provide India with a sea based second strike capability. The SLBM version is likely to be a miniaturized version of the Agni 3.
Agni 5 will be a three stage improved version of Agni 3 with a longer range (out to 5,000 km) and large 1,500 kg payload at that range. Agni 5, capable of hitting ALL of China's major cities, may be tested in a year. See this report on Agni 3 and 5 as well as India's BMD and ASAT programs.
The main role of K-15 (Sagarika) with a range of around 700km would be as a submarine launched second stike missile against Pakistan. It will not be until the K-X (a modified Agni 3) is developed that India will have a submarine missile with sufficient range for use against China.

June 6, 2012

Brahmos vertically launched in Bay of Bengal

1st Published December 27, 2008

A BrahMos supersonic cruise missile lifts off the universal vertical launcher onboard the Indian Navy's Kashin II-class destroyer INS Ranvir. Photo originated here. Click on photo to get vivid, clear, expansion.
Here are the many previous articles on Australia by the Indian Ocean concerning BrahMos.
Now that a Christmas is over I can report on the Vertical Launch System (VLS) test at sea of India's BrahMos missile: Rediff reported December 18, 2008:

"New Brahmos variant successfully tested"

A BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with a strike-range of 290 km was on Thursday successfully test-fired in a vertical launch configuration for the first time by the Indian Navy.

With this launch, BrahMos has become the world's first and only supersonic cruise missile capable of being launched from both vertical and inclined positions from naval platforms.

"BrahMos missile was successfully test fired in vertical-launch configuration from an Indian Navy ship in the Bay of Bengal on Thursday," Defence Ministry sources said in New Delhi.
The test, the sources said, was carried out at noon from a moving Rajdoot class warship. The vertical launcher used in the test has been designed and developed by the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Corporation."The test has proved and demonstrated the new universal vertical launcher designed and developed by the Corporation," they said, adding, "The mission objectives of the test were fully achieved."

The launch, carried out in presence of senior Navy officers and DRDO scientists, will give a boost to the future deployment of BrahMos in the naval platforms, they said."This will give a boost to ongoing programme of future ship installation for the missile.

It will be installed in vertical launch configuration in all the future ships of the Indian Navy. This will include the both ships under construction and the ones who come back to shipyards for refurbishment," the sources added.

Indian Navy's second line of Talwar Class ships, under construction in Russia's Kaliningrad Shipyard, will also be equipped with new universal vertically launcher modules. "Indian Navy's second line of Talwar Class ships, known as the 1135.6 Class in Russia, will also have these vertical launchers," the sources said.

BrahMos has already been inducted in INS Rajput ship in inclined configuration ..."


In an article of December 23, 2008, remarkably well informed Hari Sud of UPI reported:

"Toronto, ON, Canada, — China and Pakistan should pay attention to India’s newest anti-ship missile, the BrahMos. It is an anti-ship missile with a 660-pound warhead. It has a highly sophisticated ramjet engine, which speeds a three-ton missile to its target at Mach-3 speed.

In its initial flight trajectory it hugs the sea, making it impossible for jet fighters, anti-missile systems and rapid firing guns to stop it. In its terminal phase, it rises up to the sky and then drops on its prey like a giant harpoon. The missile’s high speed causes extensive damage to a ship on impact and the 660 pounds of explosives it carries cause the rest of the damage.
It can also be described as a sea-denial missile – denying an enemy access to the sea it defends.
The missile, originally called the Yakhont (or P-800 Oniks), was designed by the Soviets to kill U.S. aircraft carriers 200 miles away. In 1991 the United States expressed concern about its development and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, a U.S. friend at the time, shelved the project. This turned out to be India’s gain.

India took over the development work in 1998, agreeing to spend over US$250 million on the project. The Russian missile engine was married to an Indian guidance system in a 50:50 partnership, thus giving it the unique name of BrahMos, after India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River.

India has no intention of killing U.S. aircraft carriers, hence its development and operation were not questioned by the United States. On the other hand, a Chinese naval flotilla approaching the Indian Ocean on an aggressive mission would be fair game for this missile.

The same is true of any aggressive moves by the Pakistani Navy. The latter has always envisioned attacking India’s offshore oil and gas fields close to Mumbai, and repeating the Muslim destruction of India’s Somnath Temple on the Gujarat coast, 900 years back.
The version of the BrahMos that went into operation in 2005 is the naval version only. Another version, which can be carried by an aircraft or used in land-to-land combat, is still under development and should be operational in about three years.

Collaboration on the missile’s development was not easy. In 1998 the Russians were strictly following the guidelines of the Missile Technology Control Regime and would not export any missile technology beyond the 300-kilometer (186-mile) range. It also would not give India any help in building a sophisticated guidance system.

Hence this missile has a limited range of 290 kilometers (180 miles) and has an Indian guidance system. All testing and development since 1998 have been carried out in India, with the Russians as a 50-percent partner.

Beginning in 2002 when the missile first flew, it surprised most observers. Few thought that Russian-Indian collaboration could be successful and produce a weapon of that sophistication. Now it is a reality. Some Indian Navy ships are already equipped with it. Soon the air and land version will join the Indian forces, making them highly potent.

This technology acquisition and development was so important for India that the military went out of its way not to draw international attention. Technology transfer arrangements were such that no MTCR guidelines were broken.

Also in India’s neighborhood, Pakistan has acquired U.S. Harpoon and French Exocet missiles, and China has been buying Russian Sovremenny-class destroyers – hence India had to do something unique to put both China and Pakistan on the defensive. It appears that India has now achieved that task.

Although the missile is so successful, India was expecting other nations to order it. But no export orders have been received so far, despite an intense sales pitch over the last three years. None of the potential customers wishes to kill U.S. or other nations’ aircraft carriers; hence they do not need such a powerful weapon. Also, at US$2.5 million apiece the price is a bit steep. The original requirement of 1,000 missiles for the Indian and Russian navies still stands.

The future of this missile in Indian hands is very bright. It will permanently keep the Chinese navy out of the Indian Ocean. Closer to home, the belligerent Pakistan is unmindful of these developments. Their Harpoon missile inventory is very capable, but is subsonic and has a very limited range. The BrahMos, carried on ships and planes, can be fired from 200 miles away and hit its target with pinpoint accuracy.

The scramjet-powered BrahMos-2 will again be developed with Russian collaboration. That is the only way India will lay its hands on scramjet technology. The irony is that the MTCR will prevent its range from exceeding 300 kilometers.

This development work will take three years and will involve 20 Russian and Indian institutes and industrial units to finish the job. The only thing known about this newer missile, the BrahMos-2, is that it will fly at about Mach-5 to Mach-7 speed and will beat any known anti aircraft or anti-missile defense system.

The Chinese asked the Russians for similar collaboration on a similar missile system, but were flatly turned down. Instead the Russians equipped Chinese destroyers with Moskit class sea-skimming ramjet missiles. These are very capable missiles with a range of 90 to 150 kilometers. But these could neither be launched from aircraft nor have land-to-land use.

India expects about US$10 billion in orders for these missiles. The production line is gearing up to make 1,000 of these in various versions over the next ten years. If an additional export order for 1,000 more missiles is obtained the production line will have to be significantly expanded. Right now there no export orders – that will limit production to about 50-100 missiles a year.

A comparable missile in the U.S. inventory is the Tomahawk cruise missile, which has an extended range and larger explosive payload than others. But it is a subsonic missile, and thus can fall prey to fighter jets or anti-air or anti-missile system.

Collaboration between the Russians and Indians has produced a marvelous weapon. Future collaboration between the two nations is in the cards, in developing a fifth-generation fighter jet, a new tank design, etc. This is helpful to both countries. The Russians can defray the development costs and India gets a sophisticated weapon. Barring a few hiccups this collaboration will continue."

June 4, 2012

Indian Agni, US MX, and future Indian Surya Missile Comments

1st Published November, 2008

Nuclear weapon systems naturally have many aspects - from reactors that drive submarine missile platforms, to dual use space developments, missiles and the bombs themselves

It is primarily up to intelligence agencies that have the full range of sources and methods, along wth numerous analysts to judge the accuracy/reliability of information.

A limitation of receiving information on the internet from original unpublished anonymous sources is you can't authenticate the sources. This is especially true when your website is receiving too many hits to for a sitemeter trackback of an anonymous coribution to a particular, familiar country/city/PC configuration. In a nutshell a blogger cannot do what large intel bodies can probably do.

Pete, see also Paine Christopher and M. G. Mckinzie, "Does the US Science-Based Stockpile Stewardship Program Pose a Proliferation Threat?", Science and Global Security, 1998, Vol. 7, pp. 151-193. specifically this Venn diagram "Historical sharing of nuclear weapons information".

My Comments

I agree that heavy lift space rocket boosters are a completely inappropriate basis for warhead carrying missiles. So India would not attempt to develop them in that direction. The initial claim was a technically obvious piece of disinformation from Anon2. Warhead carrying missiles of the Agni series rely on small enough size for concealment with the option of mobility and hardened silo protection.

Its useful to look at some specs for the US LGM-118 Peacekeeper "MX" missile. The Agni-IV/Surya is likely to be of the same order. For the MX:

"Weight 96.75 tons
Length 21.8 m
Diameter 2.3 m
Engine - 3 solid fuel stages, and post-boost vehicle storable liquid fuel motor .
Operational range 9700 km"

Manageably small size and quick reaction with minimal preparation suggests solid fuel stages for the Agni-IV/Surya. If range is to be sufficient then three stages are required.

Its more likely that Surya will evolve from what is known (the Agni-III) than be an unexpected leap based on (often old) speeches, papers and grand visions. This series of diagrams and descriptions from bharat-rakshak.com "AGNI - STRATEGIC BALLISTIC MISSILE" supports the evolutionary line. So thinking in terms of an Agni-III with an extra (third) stage to from the Agni-IV (or even V) may be more useful than clouding thought with the PR label "Surya".

Its not much good having two huge missiles standing like monuments. At least 20 Surya's scattered around India would be more sensible. As India is a democracy it would not be difficult for China or another enemy to locate fixed silo based Suryas. So the option that they be mobile - at least by rail - would make sense.
GSLV technology isn't really applicable to ICBM development. In 2009 India isn't going to rely on cryogenic engine technology to build an ICBM.

There isn't any evidence of Israeli-Indian cooperation in the nuclear weapons sphere.


The identification of the Indian nuclear test preparations posed a difficult collection problem and a difficult analytical problem. Their program was an indigenous program. It was not derived from the US, Chinese, Russian or French programs. It was totally within India. And therefore, there were some characteristics difficult to observe.

Paine Christopher and M. G. Mckinzie, "Does the US Science-Based Stockpile Stewardship Program Pose a Proliferation Threat?", Science and Global Security, 1998, Vol. 7, pp. 151-193.

specifically above Venn diagram


"Historical sharing of nuclear weapons information". The number of tests is given in parenthesis.

Note the isolation of the Indian programme. This supports Admiral Jeremiah's report
Where I disagree with the idea is the idea of the Indian launch vehicles being used to build an ICBM.

I see this in many reports and it is quite far fetched. The PSLV weighs 295 tons. The GSLV weighs 414 tons. Both Indian vehicles can be fueled and launched only from Sriharikota. Both take weeks to assemble. Neither is capable of conversion to an ICBM, unless India wants an enormous missile that takes weeks to assemble, days to fuel and is located at a known position, in the open, atop a launch pad.

There are also spurious claims of Israeli help with the SLBM project. Given that Israel has no SSBNs and no SLBMs, and has comparable solid fuel tech with India's, just why India would need Israeli help is unclear.

CHENNAI: The “Shourya” missile that was test-fired successfully on Wednesday “flew at five times the speed of sound, that is Mach 5, for 300 km” of its 600-km range, according to M. Natarajan, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister. Its velocity gradually tapered off during the remaining 300 km of its flight and then it plunged vertically over the targeted site in the Bay of Bengal.

What was outstanding about the Shourya’s success was the performance of its indigenous navigation system with the help of a ring-laser gyroscope, Mr. Natarajan said on Thursday. He called it “a sophisticated navigation and guidance system produced by the Research Centre, Imarat” (RCI) in Hyderabad.

“We flew our own navigation system in this missile. It worked very well. This is an important step forward for the country in the navigation of missiles, aircraft and spacecraft,” he said. No country would provide India this navigation system.

After the Shourya was fired from its canister, it rose to a height of 50 km and then flew horizontally to reach its targeted site. As it reached its maximum speed, it led to the missile heating up to 700 degrees Celsius. To cool the missile, it was rolled.

“We did a rolling manoeuvre which gives uniform heat to the missile,” said Mr. Natarajan, who is also Director-General, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

He watched the test-firing of the new missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea, Balasore, Orissa. Shourya is a product of the DRDO. The missile’s Programme Director was A.K. Chakrabarti.

While about 2,000 degrees Celsius was generated when Agni series of missiles re-entered the atmosphere, only several hundred degrees Celsius was generated during Shourya’s re-entry.

The missile had high manoeuvrability. So it could not be easily detected by the enemy, Mr. Natarajan said. Shourya is about 10 metres long. It can carry warheads weighing more than 500 kg.

W. Selvamurthy, Chief Controller (R&D), DRDO, said the Shourya missile provided the country with “a second strike capability” because it was a variant of the under-water launched K-15 missile (Sagarika). “We can keep the missile in a secured position [silo] to carry either conventional or nuclear warheads,” Dr. Selvamurthy said.

DRDO sources said that although the Shourya needed a silo with a maximum depth of 50 metres to lift off, it could be launched from 30-metre deep silos. It had a booster which fired underground and another which fired in the air. aid.

June 1, 2012

BrahMos To Be Submarine Tested by India

Was at August 24, 2008

PJ-10 BrahMos missile with protective coverings for launch from submarines, or containers on surface ship or land.

From domain-b.com comes:

"Submarine-launched version of BrahMos missile to be tested in India at year-end news 22 August 2008
Moscow: The Indo-Russian BrahMos multi-role supersonic cruise missile is in full production with deliveries being made to Indian Navy and Army. A complete battery of land-based missiles is also in service with the Army, BrahMos Aerospace chief executive, Dr Sivathanu Pillai said here.

Speaking at the MSVS-2008 show in Moscow, he said that the Indo-Russian joint venture is looking at producing 40-50 missiles annually in order to meet Indian requirements. This will be increased to handle export orders.

The Mach 2.8 supersonic, ramjet-powered BrahMos may be exported in 2009. "2009 should be the year" for announcing export orders, Dr Pillai said. He also said that a major production contract had just been signed.

Dr Pillai also said that warplane designer and manufacturer Sukhoi's workload on other projects, such as the Su-35 and PAK-FA fifth generation fighter has delayed work on creating a platform for the air launched version of the BrahMos. The "critical path" for tests of the air launched version of the BrahMos, is the modification of a Su-30MKI fighter as a test platform.

Sukhoi and the Indian Air Force have decided on a single-missile configuration for the Su-30MKI, rather than a two-or three-missile version. For this, the aircraft needs a new pylon as well as structural strengthening and a modified fire-control system to handle the new missile.

Also under consideration is an air launched version for the Indian Navy's Tu-142 maritime patrol aircraft, which may be modified to carry 6-8 missiles. The dilemma is whether the impending retirement of these aircraft from active service makes their modification worth the effort.

As for a submarine-launched version, the missile has already been launched from a static, underwater test stand in Russia and underwater tests in India will be carried out at the end of the year. The BrahMos's Russian precursor, the 3M55/P-800 Oniks, was designed for submarine launch."
Further Backround
The BrahMos' Russian precursor is the SS-N-26 .
Air Power Australia (APA) has this additional background:
The shining star in the current export lineup of Russian weapons is the Yakhont, recently licenced by India as the BrahMos A and BrahMos S. China is reported to have purchased the baseline 3M-55 for a number of naval vessels.
The ...Yakhont (SS-N-26) is like the Moskit a complete family of supersonic rocket-ramjet missiles. Ship, submarine, air and ground launched variants exist. The missile weighs 3 tonnes at launch, and uses a liquid propellant for the ramjet which propels it at speeds between Mach 2.0 and 2.5.
The Yakhont typically cruises to the target area at high altitude, and then descends for a sea skimming attack from under the horizon. The distance at which it begins its descent can be programmed before launch, this determining the achievable range which is between 65 and 160 nautical miles( Refer Tsarev V., Melnikov V., 'Yakhont - New Generation Antiship Missile', Military Parade, Exclusives, 2000.).
Indian promotional materials indicate guidance improvements to the BrahMos over the original design, and the intent to deploy shipboard, mobile coastal defence and air delivered variants. There has also been speculation about a land attack or dual role variant, requiring a more accurate midcourse navigation system.
At 6,000+ lb launch weight, the Yakhont/BrahMos would be carried by Su-27/30 on a centreline adaptor.
Many questions arise from the whole joint India-Russia BrahMos concept.
- What is in it for India?
- What is in it for Russia?
- To what extent has India contributed to the development of the BrahMos?
- Is BrahMos Aerospace a commercial name for teams of DRDO technicians assembling Yakhont/BrahMos with the help of Russian technicians? If yes this would be similar to Australia's old Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) which assembled a whole string of (very slightly modified) British and American aircraft and (similar to India (?)) the French Mirage III. Since then all Australia does is import US aircraft and missiles for too many Billions of dollars.
- what is the difference if any between second country development and local modification?
- is Yakhont/BrahMos sales through a neutral country (India) by the usually unpopular Russian bear the main game?