Indian Missiles and Munitions Discussion

Gautam

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MBDA outlines Indian missile investment plan

by Jon Grevatt-23 AUGUST 2021

MBDA has confirmed plans to invest in a joint missile manufacturing facility with India's state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

An MBDA spokesperson told Janes that the proposed ‘final assembly, integration, and test' (FAIT) facility will be established within BDL's existing manufacturing complex in Hyderabad. The spokesperson did not disclose the value of the investment but said it is “significant”.

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MBDA and Bharat Dynamics are investing in a facility in Hyderabad to assemble and support the European company's ASRAAM. (MBDA)

A licencing agreement to support the setting up of the joint FAIT was signed by the companies on 17 August following a memorandum of understanding announced in September 2019. The FAIT is scheduled to start operating in fiscal year 2022–23 to meet both Indian and export market opportunities.

Under the new agreement, the spokesperson said MBDA will transfer “equipment, knowledge, and training” to establish the new facility, which will be focused initially on MBDA's Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM).

The ASRAAM was selected by India under a USD250 million contract announced in 2014. Under the deal, the ASRAAM will equip the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) upgraded SEPECAT Jaguar fighter aircraft fleet. In service with the IAF, the ASRAAM is known as the New Generation Close Combat Missile (NGCCM).

The MBDA spokesperson said the FAIT has the potential to also provide maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for the ASRAAM. In the future, the facility could also carry out FAIT services in support of MBDA's Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM).

The CAMM is integrated into the company's Sea Ceptor air-defence system, which the spokesperson confirmed MBDA is offering to the Indian Navy to meet its Short Range Surface to Air Missile requirement.

MBDA outlines Indian missile investment plan

So the CAMM is being offered for the Navy's SRSAM requirement. The CAMM will be in competition with the DRDO's VL-SRSAM. I don't think MBDA will get an orders from the Navy. The VL-SRSAM outmatches the CAMM & CAMM-ER in range & speed. VL-SRSAM has been flight tested a couple of times & isn't that far away from completing development. IAF recent order of ~300 units of the Astra Mk-1 will also lower the price of the VL-SRSAM.

BDL is doing some hedging in the recent years & increasingly trying to become part of global supply chains. In January they partnered with Thales UK for Starstreak VSHORAD manufacturing. This is done with the obvious intention of marketing the Startstreak to the Army for their MANPAD acquisition. This might work if the DRDO's 2 upcoming VSHORAD missiles don't fly anytime soon.

Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Thales sign Starstreak teaming agreement

by Gerrard Cowan-14 JANUARY 2021

India’s Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) will produce the Starstreak close air defence system under a new teaming agreement with Thales, with the companies aiming to meet future demand from the Indian Armed Forces and international customers.

BDL will become part of the system’s global supply chain, with the potential to export Indian-manufactured Starsteak systems – and individual components – to existing and future customers, according to the two companies.

The deal would allow BDL to offer what the companies term a ‘Made in India’ Starstreak solution for the country’s army and air force, with about 60% of the system manufactured in that country.
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BDL will produce the Starstreak close air defence system in India under a new teaming agreement with Thales. (Thales)

Starstreak is currently produced in Thales’s Belfast facility; the new deal will not negatively impact operations at that site, according to Thales, and it will continue to manufacture the system. Instead, the companies view the arrangement as complementary. A company spokesperson told Janes that while it is now a formal requirement in India that a significant amount of work must be performed domestically, at the same time, success in India will require a ramp-up of production in the UK in order to meet the need for such large numbers of systems. It will result in an increase in jobs in both the UK and India.

Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Thales sign Starstreak teaming agreement
 

randomradio

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So the CAMM is being offered for the Navy's SRSAM requirement. The CAMM will be in competition with the DRDO's VL-SRSAM. I don't think MBDA will get an orders from the Navy. The VL-SRSAM outmatches the CAMM & CAMM-ER in range & speed. VL-SRSAM has been flight tested a couple of times & isn't that far away from completing development. IAF recent order of ~300 units of the Astra Mk-1 will also lower the price of the VL-SRSAM.

BDL is doing some hedging in the recent years & increasingly trying to become part of global supply chains. In January they partnered with Thales UK for Starstreak VSHORAD manufacturing. This is done with the obvious intention of marketing the Startstreak to the Army for their MANPAD acquisition. This might work if the DRDO's 2 upcoming VSHORAD missiles don't fly anytime soon.

CAMM wasn't in competition with VL-SRSAM though.

IN currently has a requirement for 10+ SRSAMs. But 4 Kamortas were supposed to get imported SAMs, through a tender which CAMM was part of. The remaining would be the VL-SRSAM. But now it's unclear since VL-SRSAM has caught up with the tender schedule.

The Koreans are offering a far more interesting dual seeker version though. The K-SAAM Sea Bow.
 
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Gautam

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But 4 Kamortas were supposed to get imported SAMs, through a tender which CAMM was part of. The remaining would be the VL-SRSAM. But now it's unclear since VL-SRSAM has caught up with the tender schedule.
I thought the Navy dropped that tender due to the VL-SRSAM. Its still on going ?
The Koreans are offering a far more interesting dual seeker version though. The K-SAAM Sea Bow.
Very interesting. There should be a penalty in internal space for this though. That might effect the warhead size & weight. Still very interesting design.
 

randomradio

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I thought the Navy dropped that tender due to the VL-SRSAM. Its still on going ?

The tender is still functioning. If they withdraw it, it will obviously make the news.

Maybe the IN will only risk waiting for the VL-SRSAM for ships that are yet to be built, giving DRDO enough time to finetune it, perhaps even add Astra Mk2 to the inventory.

Very interesting. There should be a penalty in internal space for this though. That might effect the warhead size & weight. Still very interesting design.

Since we don't know the actual specs yet, it's hard to tell. But I don't expect it to not meet IN's specs, since the Koreans have to deal with the same threats we do.
 

Gautam

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The tender is still functioning. If they withdraw it, it will obviously make the news.

Maybe the IN will only risk waiting for the VL-SRSAM for ships that are yet to be built, giving DRDO enough time to finetune it
2 different types of SRSAM. Another headache coming. So the IN will have the following types of SAMs in the future:

1. Barak-8/ER
2. Sthil
3. Barak-1
4. DRDO VL-SRSAM
5. MBDA CAMM (or whatever is acquired)
5. Igla MANPADS
6. Naval XR-SAM
perhaps even add Astra Mk2 to the inventory.
Astra MK-2 based naval SAM ? That might take a couple of years at least. Our naval firepower can be upgraded significantly & relatively low cost.

The AK-630s can be combined with one of the upcoming DRDO's MANPADS to make a Kashtan or Pantsir CIWS equivalent. A variant of the Nag can be used to engage small fast moving boats, like the USN uses the Hellfire. Of course an universal VLS would be great, that's being developed now.

The upcoming MANPAD missiles can be used to make a RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile(RAM) equivalent. It would be great if we had a modern inclined rotatable launcher set up for to accommodate both the RAM equivalent & the Navy's new anti-submarine rocket. I just want to replace the older RBU-6000 launchers, the Navy can keep the rockets & the under-deck reloading system just with a new launcher. So much can be done with the new PGMs coming up. Just need to keep at it.

I was hoping to see at least 1 launch of the NASM-SR and the LFRJ/STAR by now. That hasn't happened yet. The LFRJ is very important as it will be used in the LR-LACM project as well. I loved the twin tandem intake set up of the initial LFRJ tech demonstrator.

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Don't really like the current quad intake set up.

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Kuntal Biswas, as always, has made some great graphics on this though.
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He is just brilliant.

I do hope we see another volley of tests from DRDO soon. And I do hope the UVLM being developed can launch all of the currently used & upcoming missiles including the SAMs.
Since we don't know the actual specs yet, it's hard to tell. But I don't expect it to not meet IN's specs, since the Koreans have to deal with the same threats we do.
Yep.
 

Ankit Kumar

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2 different types of SRSAM. Another headache coming. So the IN will have the following types of SAMs in the future:

1. Barak-8/ER
2. Sthil
3. Barak-1
4. DRDO VL-SRSAM
5. MBDA CAMM (or whatever is acquired)
5. Igla MANPADS
6. Naval XR-SAM
The upcoming next generation destroyers , how their roles are defined will decide much. If some limited BMD capability is envisioned, only then we will see a naval version of XR-SAM. Else Barak 8/ER will do for all major ships.

Meanwhile the upcoming smaller warships like NGMV and NGC will be fitted for VL-SRSAM.

Rest ships in Indian Navy will get their Barak 1 replaced by VL-SRSAM as and when they go into major refits.

The Talwars might never see the B8 on them but when VL-SRSAM comes online , imo Navy will give serious thoughts to replacing the arm launcher with a modern VLS system.
P28 are ASW vessels primarily so imo Navy won't we rushing exactly to get a SAM system on them. But if it's deemed important Barak 1 will in all likelihood refitted on the ships. Else Navy will wait for VL-SRSAM for those ships too.
 

Gautam

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The upcoming next generation destroyers , how their roles are defined will decide much.
The potential of the current fleet remains painfully unexplored. Almost the entire current fleet can undergo a major firepower upgrade during their MLU. Although I doubt the Navy would go for a MLU until the UVLM & a its entire gambit of weapons are developed.
If some limited BMD capability is envisioned, only then we will see a naval version of XR-SAM.
It was reported by multiple news agencies in December 2019 that the XRSAM will have a naval version too. The reports also said the XR-SAM will start trails by 2020. Covid has delayed this as well.:cautious:
Meanwhile the upcoming smaller warships like NGMV and NGC will be fitted for VL-SRSAM.
The tender for the NGMV stated that the ships should carry 8 AShMs or LACMs, a full-fledged surface-to-air missile (SAM) system with point defence capabilities and a MR gun system. It is assumed the Navy was talking about the Brahmos & Nirbhay missiles, possibly VL-SRSAM, Barak-8 & Igla missiles. The 76mm OTO Melara is the MR gun.

That's a weapon load similar to the Talwar class. So the NGMV will be a corvette with the weapon load of a frigate. Impressive. CSL won that tender, haven't seen a design yet.

Don't know a lot much about the NGC. I wonder if it will be an evolution of the Kamorta, at least the hull of the Kamorta.
The Talwars might never see the B8 on them but when VL-SRSAM comes online , imo Navy will give serious thoughts to replacing the arm launcher with a modern VLS system.
We are going to get 10 of the Talwar class. Not complaining pretty, good ship. But the Navy will have to retain the Shtil SAMs for a long time.

I was hoping the Shavlik class would get rid of their arm launchers. The Navy was interested too, now it seems they will wait for the VL-SRSAM to arrive.
 

randomradio

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1. Barak-8/ER
2. Sthil
3. Barak-1
4. DRDO VL-SRSAM
5. MBDA CAMM (or whatever is acquired)
5. Igla MANPADS
6. Naval XR-SAM

The Shtil alone has two variants.

I just want to replace the older RBU-6000 launchers

Yeah, that will free up a lot of deck space.

I was hoping to see at least 1 launch of the NASM-SR and the LFRJ/STAR by now. That hasn't happened yet. The LFRJ is very important as it will be used in the LR-LACM project as well. I loved the twin tandem intake set up of the initial LFRJ tech demonstrator.

I am also looking forward to what the HSTDV will bring forth.

And I do hope the UVLM being developed can launch all of the currently used & upcoming missiles including the SAMs.

I think that's the plan for the CMs and anti-sub missile, not sure about the SAMs though. Although XRSAM may share VLS space.

But I don't think we will see true UVLMs until NGD/NGF take form.
 
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Gautam

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I am also looking forward to what the HSTDV will bring forth.
Wonder if that will be ship launched though. The HSTDV was test fired using the Agni-1's 1st stage. Though the 2 missiles based on the HSTDV may have different dimensions.
I think that's the plan for the CMs and anti-sub missile, not sure about the SAMs though. Although XRSAM may share VLS space.

But I don't think we will see true UVLMs until NGD/NGF take form.
Can't we quad pack them ? 4 SAMs in one UVLM set up ?
 
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randomradio

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Wonder if that will be ship launched though. The HSTDV was test fired using the Agni-1's 1st stage. Though the 2 missiles based on the HSTDV may have different dimensions.

Tri-services has become a fad now, so HSTDV may follow the Brahmos route.

Anyway I'm actually more interested in seeing how they will make it different from Brahmos-2. I mean, Brahmos-1 itself is now going to come in higher speed and extended range versions, so Brahmos 2 should follow the same route. So it will be hard for DRDO to avoid duplication of capabilities. It's also possible that we will eventually replace the Russian scramjet as well.

Can't we quad pack them ? 4 SAMs in one UVLM set up ?

That should be easily done, but on new ships, not existing ships with their own dedicated spaces for SAM VLS.

Even the Shivalik MLU may only see the continuation of the existing design. The arm launcher can be replaced with the Barak or Shtil VLS and the Barak-1s may see a one-on-one replacement with the VL-SRSAM or completely replaced with AK-630. I doubt the IN will waste time and money in the R&D of something entirely new on existing ships. Maybe when the Kolkata class comes in for MLU, the NGD/NGF solution can be used.

I don't see why it cannot be done on the NGC first. Although I think they will follow the Kamorta route and find some weird place for the VL-SRSAM, like they did with the Shivalik.
 
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Gautam

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Tri-services has become a fad now, so HSTDV may follow the Brahmos route.
Very likely. There are 2 versions being made right now: a Land launched & a Air launched long range hypersonic cruise missiles. Its is very likely that DRDO will make a naval variant of the land launched version.
Anyway I'm actually more interested in seeing how they will make it different from Brahmos-2. I mean, Brahmos-1 itself is now going to come in higher speed and extended range versions, so Brahmos 2 should follow the same route. So it will be hard for DRDO to avoid duplication of capabilities. It's also possible that we will eventually replace the Russian scramjet as well.
Brahmos AShM is upgraded to have a max speed of around Mach 5 at a range >900 km while retaining the size & weight of the current missile. They are changing everything. The seeker, electronics, fuel, ramjet engine, solid booster, materials used etc. It might even loose the mid body wings.

I have a feeling that Bhramos-2 wont happen at all. Geopolitics is ever changing, our relationship with Russia has changed quite a bit too. With DRDO & ISRO developing their own scramjet engines. It makes little sense to go the Brahmos-1 way. I have a feeling that Brahmos-NG will probably be the last of Brahmos missile family.
Even the Shivalik MLU may only see the continuation of the existing design. The arm launcher can be replaced with the Barak or Shtil VLS and the Barak-1s may see a one-on-one replacement with the VL-SRSAM or completely replaced with AK-630.
About the AK-630, notice how on the recent tender the Navy mentioned replacing the 630s with Laser based DEWs. This is probably not just for those 4 ships, but for most future surface combatants. I think you mentioned replacing the current CIWS with DEWs in the past. That seems to be the way its going.

You also mentioned replacing naval main gun with EM guns. We have seen quite a few lasers recently, let's hope we see similar progress with EM guns too.
Maybe when the Kolkata class comes in for MLU, the NGD/NGF solution can be used.
The 1st Kolkata class ships should see an MLU at around 2026-28. The Shivaliks will probably come in at around 2022-23, after the Nilgiri class starts delivery. By the time the Shivaliks go for their MLU the ULVM should be ready. Shivaliks should be the 1st to get the UVLMs.

Many other navy's are opting for inclined launchers to arm their ships as VLS take up internal deck space. Forget inclined launchers, the amount of free deck space for VLS on our frigates & destroyers is just ludicrous. The upcoming Nilgiri class is no better. Almost the entire fore deck is empty.
I don't see why it cannot be done on the NGC first. Although I think they will follow the Kamorta route and find some weird place for the VL-SRSAM, like they did with the Shivalik.
The NGCs will arrive after the NGMVs. Wouldn't the NGMV be a safer bet for receiving UVLMs ?

Also the NGMVs will carry the same number of AShMs as the Nilgiri class frigates. Tells you how under armed the frigates & destroyers are.😑
 

randomradio

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Brahmos AShM is upgraded to have a max speed of around Mach 5 at a range >900 km while retaining the size & weight of the current missile. They are changing everything. The seeker, electronics, fuel, ramjet engine, solid booster, materials used etc. It might even loose the mid body wings.

AFAIK, the 450-Km version is already mach 4.5+. It's being ordered for the new P-15s.

I have a feeling that Bhramos-2 wont happen at all. Geopolitics is ever changing, our relationship with Russia has changed quite a bit too. With DRDO & ISRO developing their own scramjet engines. It makes little sense to go the Brahmos-1 way. I have a feeling that Brahmos-NG will probably be the last of Brahmos missile family.

I feel it's the opposite. We need to continue military relations with Russia, and the best way to do that is through JVs. It provides far more control over their tech and the orders are big enough to keep both sides happy. Hence the push for as much ToT as possible with production deals, like the AK-203 and Ka-226T, while at the same time eliminating imports of strategic systems in part or whole.

When it comes to Brahmos-2, the Russians have operational technologies, while ours is WIP. So that's going to factor a lot.

About the AK-630, notice how on the recent tender the Navy mentioned replacing the 630s with Laser based DEWs. This is probably not just for those 4 ships, but for most future surface combatants. I think you mentioned replacing the current CIWS with DEWs in the past. That seems to be the way its going.

You also mentioned replacing naval main gun with EM guns. We have seen quite a few lasers recently, let's hope we see similar progress with EM guns too.

Actually, I don't get the point of replacing the AK-630 or similar, like an EM gun, with DEW. Especially if they are talking about laser. In fog and smoke, it's not going to be effective enough. We can't afford to directly replace kinetic kill systems with energy weapons. Maybe they can make something that bundles the two in one space, like the Russians have with their gun-missile CIWS.

The 1st Kolkata class ships should see an MLU at around 2026-28. The Shivaliks will probably come in at around 2022-23, after the Nilgiri class starts delivery. By the time the Shivaliks go for their MLU the ULVM should be ready. Shivaliks should be the 1st to get the UVLMs.

Many other navy's are opting for inclined launchers to arm their ships as VLS take up internal deck space. Forget inclined launchers, the amount of free deck space for VLS on our frigates & destroyers is just ludicrous. The upcoming Nilgiri class is no better. Almost the entire fore deck is empty.

Not sure if they will make any major changes to the air defence though. Kolkata's current VLS design should be capable of using Brahmos and LR-LACM. But I don't think the SAMs will be part of the existing UVLM setup since all of the wiring will have to be changed for it. Plus I don't think the IN is gonna get rid of the RBU-6000 anytime soon. But I do suppose they will need more cells for both LR-LACM and SMART.

The NGCs will arrive after the NGMVs. Wouldn't the NGMV be a safer bet for receiving UVLMs ?

Technically it is. We haven't seen the design, so we can't tell yet. Like whether the NGMV will create weapons-specific spaces on the ship, like they did with Kamorta, and all other existing ships. It's also likely we haven't even started the process of creating a UVLM for SAMs.

You save more space with weapons-specific spaces though. Imagine creating a VLS for Brahmos, and then packing it with a missile that's only 3 meters long, while wasting away all the space below it. Add a few more VLS and you end up with a lot of useless space.

Also the NGMVs will carry the same number of AShMs as the Nilgiri class frigates. Tells you how under armed the frigates & destroyers are.😑

Rather the issue is the P-15s and P-17s are simply modernisations of designs from the 70s. At 17-18m, both ship classes have small beams for their size. Western ships have beams around the 20m mark. The Chinese also suffered from the same problem with their Type 052s compared to the AB class, hence the need to upgrade to Type 055 with a 20m beam. With a 3m wider beam, the Americans could add nearly 100 cells, while the Chinese were stuck with 64. We need to create more modern designs with wider beams above 20m, I hope NGD and NGF will take care of that. Wider beams allow for far superior internal estate designs, so you don't have to think too much about wasted space.

If you really wanna be impressed, check out the Gorshkov frigate. It adds two meters to their existing frigate design and puts all our ships to shame.
 

Gautam

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AFAIK, the 450-Km version is already mach 4.5+. It's being ordered for the new P-15s.
Where did you get that ? I thought the 450km version was still doing Mach 3-3.5. New P-15s ? Vizags ?
I feel it's the opposite. We need to continue military relations with Russia, and the best way to do that is through JVs. It provides far more control over their tech and the orders are big enough to keep both sides happy. Hence the push for as much ToT as possible with production deals, like the AK-203 and Ka-226T, while at the same time eliminating imports of strategic systems in part or whole.

When it comes to Brahmos-2, the Russians have operational technologies, while ours is WIP. So that's going to factor a lot.
We will continue relations with the Russian no doubt. But I think the scope of it will be limited going forward.
Actually, I don't get the point of replacing the AK-630 or similar, like an EM gun, with DEW. Especially if they are talking about laser. In fog and smoke, it's not going to be effective enough. We can't afford to directly replace kinetic kill systems with energy weapons. Maybe they can make something that bundles the two in one space, like the Russians have with their gun-missile CIWS.
DEWs are mostly unproven so using them in tandem with conventional guns might be a better option than outright replacement. Bundling DEWs with guns might not be feasible. Laser DEWs are susceptible to damage from gun vibrations.
Not sure if they will make any major changes to the air defence though. Kolkata's current VLS design should be capable of using Brahmos and LR-LACM. But I don't think the SAMs will be part of the existing UVLM setup since all of the wiring will have to be changed for it. Plus I don't think the IN is gonna get rid of the RBU-6000 anytime soon. But I do suppose they will need more cells for both LR-LACM and SMART.
Kolkata class has adequate LR-AD missiles. They could use some point defence missiles though.
Technically it is. We haven't seen the design, so we can't tell yet. Like whether the NGMV will create weapons-specific spaces on the ship, like they did with Kamorta, and all other existing ships. It's also likely we haven't even started the process of creating a UVLM for SAMs.
That's right, we don't know the design of the NGMV yet. But given the NGMV will carry Nirbhay/Brahmos class missiles weapon specific spaces are a must. Let's see what CSL comes up with.
You save more space with weapons-specific spaces though. Imagine creating a VLS for Brahmos, and then packing it with a missile that's only 3 meters long, while wasting away all the space below it. Add a few more VLS and you end up with a lot of useless space.
Couldn't you just have cannisters of different heights for AD missiles. They can have the same length & breadth. So the missiles can be quad packed but the cannister wont take up as much space.
Rather the issue is the P-15s and P-17s are simply modernisations of designs from the 70s. At 17-18m, both ship classes have small beams for their size. Western ships have beams around the 20m mark. The Chinese also suffered from the same problem with their Type 052s compared to the AB class, hence the need to upgrade to Type 055 with a 20m beam. With a 3m wider beam, the Americans could add nearly 100 cells, while the Chinese were stuck with 64. We need to create more modern designs with wider beams above 20m, I hope NGD and NGF will take care of that. Wider beams allow for far superior internal estate designs, so you don't have to think too much about wasted space.
What is the big hurdle with increasing beam length ?

The NGD/P-18 class is supposed to be 13000 tons in displacement as opposed to the P-15A/B which are ~7400-8200 tons. So we can assume everything about the NGD/P-18 to be much larger. The NGF will probably end up using the same hull as the NGD, so.....

How a 13000 ton ship is called a destroyer & not a battlecruiser is beyond me.
If you really wanna be impressed, check out the Gorshkov frigate. It adds two meters to their existing frigate design and puts all our ships to shame.
Seen it. Uses a similar stepped pedestal set up on the froe deck. Interestingly the larger missiles are below & the SAMs are on top of the pedestal.
Now most of the work is being done by DRDL.
They are not the only one. ISRO's VSSC has also made significant contributions.
I wonder what the JVs all about now if we're developing all the sub systems in house.
At this point I think its more or less design consultancy. We tested some designs in Russian wind tunnels. With our own hypersonic wind tunnels coming up recently I don't think we need to have anything tested abroad. The initiation of 2 separate cruise missile projects based on the HSTDV's scramjet engine should tell you about the state of scramjet engine development.