BrahMos collaboration came about when the Russians realized they had
rupees lying in India, which they may not be able to repatriate
after 2005. The Indian Navy and DRDO identified the Yakhont missile
as suitable for future missions and as an excellent tri service and
under water missile with potential.
instead of merely importing the missiles from NPO Mash, a joint
stock company was formed with joint investment from India via DRDO
and Russia via their funds in India. In this manner BrahMos
Aerospace could import missiles, equipment and personnel from Russia
and the Russians got their rupees out as payment in dollars and
their investment in India remained intact.
example needs to be emulated for future requirements as well, for
example the fast firing 30mm AK-630M-MR-123-02 guns and AA/Air
Defence Artillery Systems for the three services. The Ordnance
Factory Board can very well follow the example of BrahMos Aerospace
and even Larsen and Tubro, which is looking to make Amur Class
submarines in India, can investigate a similar arrangement.
Majumdar reports that after successful joint-development of the
BrahMos ASCM (anti-ship cruise missile) the Indo-Russian scientists
and defence manufacturers had again teamed up to resurrect the
formidable Russian Novator KS-172 ultra-long-range AAM (air-to-air
missile) project. Novator design bureau unveiled its mock-up KS-172
AAM, a projected 6 metre long, 750 kg, 400 km range AAM in early
1993 at an air-show in Abu Dhabi. It also made a short and sudden
appearance at the Moscow Air-Show in late 1993, in anticipation of a
very high-level military delegation.
mock-up of the KS-172 underwent refinement and in the Moscow
Air-Show appeared in many ways similar to the Buk (SA-11 Gadfly) SAM
(surface-to-air Missile). Russian officials later hinted that
air-carriage tests of SAMs had been carried out using a Sukhoi-27
“Flanker”. They were speculated to be SA-11s by foreign media
used for form-and-fit tests.
to fulfill the BVR (beyond visual range) role for “outer-air
battles”, an aircraft usually of Sukhoi-27/30/35/37
“Flanker/Super Flanker” family, equipped with KS-172 (also
referred to as Article 172) would be able to engage ultra-high-value
airborne platforms like AWACS (airborne warning and control system),
IFR (in-flight refuelling) and LRMP (long range maritime patrol)
platforms, without necessarily having first to deal with their
fighter escorts. Development of powerful radar like the formidable
NIIP N-011M "Bars" (Snow Leopard) for the Sukhoi-30MKI
“Super Flanker” of the IAF, would provide the necessary guidance
to the ultra-long-range AAM. The Bars radar is capable of detection
of airborne platforms with “generous” RCS (radar cross section)
at ranges in excess of 300 km.
is possible that an optimum combination of command, inertial and
active-radar guidance would be used in the various phases of flight.
Whereas IFF (identification friend or foe) remains a problem because
of incorrect and absent returns and "spoofing", friendly
AWACS platforms like Phalcon may be deployed for reconfirmation of
enemy airborne targets at extended ranges. In the long term,
development of Electro-optical seeker technology coupled with
on-board threat database will let the KS-172 missiles themselves
determine the legitimacy of a target.
IAF Sukhoi-30MKI armed with KS-172 could be launched in
co-ordination with other surface-strike missions and split at an
appropriate time to head for the enemy AWACS. They could penetrate
from above the scan zone of the AWACS, destroy or threaten it and
force a retreat in the patrol pattern. Alternatively, Sukhoi-30MKIs
could be guided by Phalcon AWACS platforms to enter hostile airspace
at the altitude of the enemy AWACS at high-supersonic speeds and
shoot it down.
timing of such missions is critical and therefore should be launched
when the enemy AWACS was about to take up a patrol. The objective
would be to attain AWACS asymmetry in our favour as soon as possible
and then decimate the enemy Air Force mercilessly.
anti-AWACS missions two other missile systems are worth mentioning
and Indo-Russian cooperation should also extend in these spheres.
First is the hybrid rocket-ramjet propelled Vympel R-77M, a 3.6m
long development of the R-77RVV-AE (AA-12 Adder) AAM with a
projected range of 160 to 200 km with similar optimum combination of
command, inertial and active-radar guidance. Second is an AAM
version of Zvezhda Kh-37 (AS-17 Krypton) ARM (anti-radiation
missile) with 100 km range, which employs passive homing against
AWACS targets. This system is rumoured to be present in the Russian
Air Force inventory.
may also be developed into an ASAT (anti-satellite) weapon. The
Sukhoi-30 in this case serves as the launch platform at high
altitude while missile guidance is provided from ground stations.