Possible sale of Boeing C-17 aircraft to India approved – Pentagon। President Trump tweets: Look forward to welcoming to India’s PM Modi to White House on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend! । Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for three-nation tour to Portugal, US and the Netherlands June 24 । India, Portugal sign MoUs in areas of Space, and Collaborative Research । Agreements signed during PM Modi’s first leg visit of the three-nation tour । US clears sale of 22 General Atomics Sea Guardian drones for Indian Navy । Deal likely to be announced during PM Modi’s visit to Washington June 26 । These unmanned, or Remotely Piloted, Aircraft will be used for ISR Missions in Indian Ocean । The G-to-G deal, under the US FMS program, should be around $2 Billion । India launches Cartosat-2 along with 30 other satellites June 23 । PSLV-C38, the 40th flight of PSLV, carrying 31 satellites took off from first launch pad of SDSC Sriharikota । President Mukherjee, PM Modi and the Defence Minister congratulated ISRO and its scientists for the successful launch । Lockheed Martin, Tata announce F16 India Partnership । Partnership aims to produce F16 Block 70 in India if selected by IAF । GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) orders 100 A320neo aircraft । Paris Air Show 2017 opens at Le Bourget, France June 19 । Chairman COSC and CNS Admiral Sunil Lanba on a visit to Isreal। India, Pakistan become full member of SCO। India’s entry into SCO was backed by Russia, and Pakistan’s membership by China। PM Modi calls on Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of SCO। He also thanked the Chinese President for supporting India’s entry into SCO। Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchange greetings with Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif in the Leader’s Lounge before the SCO concert in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan। It was the first time the two had met in nearly a year, during which period bilateral relations have deteriorated। PM Modi greeted his Pakistani counterpart and asked about PM Sharif’s health and about the health of his mother । Prime Minister Narendra Modi departs for 2-day visit to Astana, Kazakhstan to attend SCO Summit । India to be admitted as full member of SCO during the Summit । India signed Paris climate pact for its commitment towards protecting the environment, says EAM Sushma Swaraj । The EAM said this during MEA’s annual conference in New Delhi June 5 । It did not sign the pact of any greed or fear from any country: EAM । Ms Swaraj was rebutting US President Trump’s allegation saying India signed the deal to receive billions of foreign aid । India successfully launches communication satellite GSAT 19 June 5 । The heaviest ever rocket GSLV Mk III carrying GSAT 19 lifted off from SDSC (SHAR) Sriharikota । Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE cut diplomatic ties to Qatar । The 4 Gulf nations took the step following Qatar’s relations with Iran and support of Islamist groups। They also cut off its land, sea and air routes to the outside world । Libya, Yemen also joined the four Arab nations in snapping ties with Qatar । India, Russia sign pact for two nuclear power units at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu । INS Kalvari, the Indian Navy’s first Scorpene class submarine, will be battle ready from Day One, French collaborator DCNS announced June 1 । Kalvari, meaning shark, will be commissioned in July । Kalvari is the first of the six modern submarines ordered by the Indian Navy । Indian Navy is looking at 200 ships and 400 aircraft, all with hitech systems । Vice Adm Karambir Singh also told a seminar on Future Indian Navy that poor quality systems are not acceptable । Indian shipyards are building 40 ships at present । PM Modi reaches St. Petersburg in the 3rd leg of his 4-nation visit । He is to participate in 18th India Russia Annual Summit and SPIEF 2017 । India, Spain sign 7 agreements including one each on Cyber Security and Civil Aviation । Naval Chief Adm Sunil Lanba calls for cutting edge technologies with a Made in India stamp । Addressing a seminar on Building India’s Future Navy, he said ToT from foreign vendors would be say now with Strategic Partnership model । Adm Lanba said selection process for shipboard fighter is moving at desired pace and they should be inducted in about 5 years । About 80 killed, several injured in a bomb blast near Indian embassy in Kabul । Indian embassy staff were safe: MEA । PM reached Madrid on the second leg of his tour for a day- long visit to Spain May 31 । India, Germany sign 11 MoUs including one on Cyber Security । MoUs signed during Prime Minister Modi’s 2-day Germany visit on May 29-30 । We are made for each-other, says PM Modi on India-Germany ties । The Prime Minister is on 4-nation tour of Germany, Spain, Russia and France from May 29-June 3 । India’s distinguished police officer, Mr KPS Gill passed away at 82 । Hassan Rouhani re-elected Iranian President । Prime Minister Modi congratulated him on his re-election । India, Palestine sign 5 MoUs including one on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holder । Agreements were signed after Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with President Abbas May 16 । Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas is on 4-day State visit to India beginning May 14 । Abbas is visiting India on the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee । This is the fifth visit and the third State visit of President Abbas to India । Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Colombo May 11 on his two-day visit to Sri Lanka । He was received by his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickramsinghe on his arrival at the Colombo airport । PM Modi is the chief guest at the International Vesak Day celebrations of Sri Lanka । India marks 19th National Technology Day । National Technology Day is marked to commemorate the anniversary of Pokhran nuclear tests of 1998 । On this day, Prime Minister Modi hails the then PM Vajpayee’s courage to conduct the nuclear tests । India launches GSAT-9 satetllite from Sriharikota । India to make Israeli rifles and small arms । Punj Lloyd and Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) collaborating in the venture । Trump to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia this month । This will be his first foreign visit as US President । India, Turkey signed three agreements including one between the Foreign Services Institute of India and the Diplomacy Academy of Turkey । Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls on President Mukherjee, Vice President Ansari, PM Modi and EAM Sushma Swaraj during his State visit to India । The Turkish President, visiting from April 30-May 1, backs India in fight against terrorism । Turkey conveyed its support for India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) । PM Modi expressed his gratitude on Turkey’s support । Indian Army celebrates 79th Armour Day । On 1 May 1938, Scinde Horse cavalry regiment was equipped with Vickers tanks and Chevrolet armoire cars । The Indian Army’s Armourerd Corps has played decisive role against Pakistani intruders in 1947, 1965 and 1971। India, Cyprus sign 4 agreements including one on Air Service Agreement । Agreements signed during Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’s visit to India April 28 । Cyprus President called on President Mukherjee, Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi । The visiting President and PM Modi agreed on urgent need for all countries to decisively act against the states supporting factories of terrorism । PM Modi also thanked the Cyprus President for his support to India’s claim of Permanent Membership in UNSC । North Korea test fires a ballistic missile which landed in the Sea of Japan । India, Sri Lanka ink pacts on economic cooperation and road infrastructure development । The agreements signed during Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India । Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on him । Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar accompanied Sushma Swaraj when the latter called on the visiting Sri Lankan PM । India-Russia defence engagement will continue to grow, says Defence Minister Arun Jaitley । He was speaking at the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow । India, Russia are celebrating 70 years of Diplomatic Relationship । China launches its first indigenous aircraft carrier । The new carrier will accommodate 36 aircraft and will be commissioned in 2020 after sea trials । It’s a 50000 ton platform with a ski jump deck modeled on Soviet carriers but has many design innovations । India, South Korea Sign Inter-Governmental MoU for Defence Industry Co-Operation in Shipbuilding । The MoU signed by Secretary (Defence Production), India, Ashok Kumar Gupta and Minister of Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration (DAPA), South Korea, Chang Myoung-Jin । The Inter-Governmental MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both countries । The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) accorded its approval for signing the MoU । The CCS also gave a go ahead for nominating Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam for collaboration । Indian Navy successfully test-fires land attack version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile । Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari calls on President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister in New Delhi Apr 18 । Nepalese President is on a State visit to India April 17-21 । This is her first ever visit to India since taking over in 2015 । She was given a ceremonial Guard of Honour on her arrival at Rashtrapati Bhawan । Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Singh Sajjan, called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday । He was presented a Tri-Services Guard of Honour on his arrival at South Block । 12 killed in Saudi military helicopter in Yemen । Unconfined reports say the Blackhawk was accidentally shot down by a Saudi Patriot missile। US NSA Gen HR McMaster meets Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi । Gen McMaster also exchanged views on Indo-US relations with Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar । Happy Easter । US drops its biggest 21,000 pound bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan April 13 । Designated GBU 43, the Mother of All Bombs is designed to hit deep caves and tunnels in hardy mountains । GBU 43 is the biggest non-nuclear bomb, carried by the US Air Force (USAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) । White House Press Secretyary Sean Spricer confirmed the night bombing but there was no immediate word from Taliban । Spicer said the ISIS terroists were targeted as they used the caves and tunnels to hit the US forces । GBU 43 is a concussion bomb carrying an explosive charge of 8,500 kg, equal to 11 tons of TNT । India, Australia sign 6 MoUs including on Combating Terrorism and Civil Aviation Security । Agreements signed during Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull’s Visit to India April 10 । He calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । This is the first ever visit of Turnbull after taking over as Australian PM in 2015 । The Australian PM along with his Indian counterpart took a Delhi metro ride to visit city-based Akshardham Temple । India, Bangladesh signed 22 agreements April 8 including key pacts on defence cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation । India announced an additional $4.5-billion concessional line of credit for infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, and another $500 million for Dhaka to procure defence equipment from New Delhi । A joint India-Bangladesh event saw both PMs honour the 1,661 Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 war for Bangladesh’s independence । Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives in New Delhi for 4-day State visit to India । Prime Minister Modi himself goes to the airport to greet the Bangladesh PM on her arrival । External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj calls on Sheikh Hasina at Rashtrapati Bhawan । She is the special guest of President Pranab Mukherjee during her State visit to India । The Bangladesh PM has a full day of bilateral discussions with her Indian counterpart on Saturday (April 8) । 20 agreements are expected to be signed between India and Bangladesh । India, Malaysia sign 7 agreements । The agreements signed during Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s visit to India from March 30 to April 4 । Malaysian PM calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । India and Malaysia joint statement, issued after Modi, Razak meeting, calls for a deeper ties between the two nations ।
June 27, 2017
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Smart Weapons

Expensive but Cost Effective Solution for the IAF
By Air Marshal AK Trikha (Retd)

NEW DELHI. In an era of already prohibitive and still escalating cost of tools of warfare, and competing demands on limited defence budgets, it is necessary to carefully calculate what delivers the most bang for the buck. Costs are particularly awe inspiring in aerial systems. Most modern combat platforms carry price tags upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars. In addition to the very high initial price tag, the real cost of ownership has also to reckon with costs on account of maintenance and infrastructure requirements. Coupled to the exorbitant cost of platforms, increasing density and lethality of air defences also has to be reckoned with. To achieve balance between risk inherent in exposing extremely expensive and therefore limited assets (not excluding the aircrew) to highly lethal environment, and the benefits thereof, it is necessary that each mission be optimised for maximum effect. Applied to strike aircraft, it implies that weapons must be perfectly matched to the target characteristics and applied with utmost precision to hit the bull’s eye each time. Precision permits iniaturisation which in turn enables carriage of many more weapons within a specified load limit – thus making it possible to engage multiple targets in a single mission. In addition to precision, weapon should be employable in all weather conditions by day and night, from outside the lethal envelope of opposing surface-to-air weapons and should also be able to defeat enemy’s attempts to interfere with its trajectory. A weapon encapsulating all these attributes would be ultra smart.

From first use of smart weapons as early as during WWII, (Germans used 1,400-kg Fritz X to successfully attack the Italian battleship Roma in 1943), technology has advanced sufficiently to make all the above desirable attributes achievable. However each increment in capability comes at a substantially increased price. A cursory survey of weaponry currently in use would reveal the wide variety of choices available and the consequent necessity of careful assessment in order to equip for the widest spectrum of capabilities within the constraints of a restricted budget.


The best known and most widely adopted route to conversion of dumb bombs into smart ones is through laser guidance – typified by the Paveway series. Laser Guided Bomb or LGB made its operational debut in May 1972 when USAF demonstrated its potential in a spectacular raid on the Thanh Hoa bridge, 15 miles South of Hanoi. US Navy and Air Force had flown 871 sorties over six years, losing 11 aircraft in an unsuccessful effort to put the bridge permanently out of commission. Then in a single raid of fourteen fighter bombers carrying LGBs demolished the bridge by scoring direct hits on the supporting piers.

All laser-guided bombs work essentially the same way, relying on the target being illuminated by a laser
target designator either from the ground or carried onboard an aircraft.

Paveway route to converting dumb free fall gravity bombs into smart ones is in its essence relatively simple because it requires no airframe or electrical modification to the mother aircraft. The conversion kit which is attachable to a variety of existing warheads consists of a guidance module comprising a semi active laser seeker, guidance and control electronics, a thermal battery and pneumatic control augmentations system. Control canards and rear wings provide stability and a limited manoeuvre capability to guide the bomb to the target within the ballistic reach of the weapon.

Based essentially on this operating principle, a family of Paveway laser-guidance units has been developed incorporating performance enhancements along the way. Paveway II system built on an improved seeker and the weapon release range was extended by adding foldable wings atthe rear which give the weapon some glide performance.

Paveway III employs an even more sophisticated seeker with a wider field of view. Instead of constantly adjusting trajectory to align itself with the target as in Paveway II, this version uses proportional navigation technique which extracts lesser energy thus giving the bomb considerably longer glide range. It is also much more accurate. However the improvements come with so much higher cost that its employability has been restricted to specialised high value weapons only.

Laser guidance suffers in conditions of poor visibility due to difficulty of target illumination. To overcome this shortcoming both Paveway II as well as Paveway III were enhanced to accommodate a GPS aided Inertial Navigation in its guidance system which makes them usable in all weather conditions.

Paveway IV in service with the RAFintroduces air burst fuzing option in the Computer Control Group of enhanced Paveway II and Paveway III series. It also features resistance to jamming of the GPS receiver.

Arrival of mil grade GPS has ushered a virtual revolution in technology of precision targeting. JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Ammunition) and Joint Stand-off Weapon (JSOW) are prime examples of this era. JDAM is also a bolt on package in the same mould as the Paveway series. Its guidance package consists of a tightly coupled INS unit/GPS receiver which gives it an accuracy of 10 meters. In the event of GPS signal being lost, INS can still guide the weapon to within 100 ft of the target. By doing away with the necessity of laser designation of a target (like in Paveway kits) JDAM achieves all weather, day and night, fire and forget status. To engage mobile targets, a version of JDAM carries a link 16 receiver through which it can receive continuous updates of target position. JDAM has been enhanced further by addition of a laser target seeker which enables Laser JDAM to achieve pin point accuracy. Using the same GPS/INS mode of guidance, JSOW is a low signature glide bomb intended for release from outside point defences of the target system. Its aerodynamic profile enables it to achieve standoff distances in excess of 100 Km. Some versions are also fitted with terminal imaging Infra -red seekers to improve accuracy of impact.


Paveway makes conventional bomb smart. Precision guidance has also been applied to weapons other than iron bombs using a variety of guidance technologies. The Raytheon Maverick air to ground missile among its various marks employs electro-optical (AGM-65A), imaging infra-red (AGM-65D), and laser homing (AGM-65E) guidance systems. The first two, by guiding themselves based on the visual orIR scene of the target, are fire-and-forget in that the pilot can release the weapon and manoeuvre to exit the target area while the weapon guides itself to the target without any further input.


After decades of waiting, IAF (Indian Air Force) is finally set to receive delivery of first of the 36 Rafale jets
in a few years time. In an order worth $8.85 billion, nearly $800m have been set aside for additional weapons package. For air superiority missions, METEOR beyond the visual range (BVR) and MICA Close Combat AAMs would undoubtedly be a part of the agreed weapons package. For the strike role, there would be an option to choose amongst the most sophisticated weapons available anywhere. The aircraft has 13 hard points on which it can carry 9 tonnes of external load of various types. Considering the very limited numbers, there is no doubt that it will be employed for very specialised missions.

French route to conversion of dumb bombs has been through add-on kits called AASM (also called ‘HAMMER’). Basic version incorporates INS/GPS guidance while the more advanced variants add IR imaging or laser guidance to increase accuracy. Rare mounted aerodynamic range extension and conrol surfaces provide stand-off capability ranging from some 15 Km at low level to 55 Km when released from high altitude. The kit is modular and can be adapted to a variety of bomb bodies.

SCALP is a more specialised precision weapon for employment against hardened high value targets in depth. It is a long range, standoff attack, cruise missile with a range of approx 300 Km. It is all weather, fire and forget weapon which navigates to the target at low level guided by GPS and terrain mapping data pre-programmed in its memory. Once in the target’s vicinity, it climbs to height to achieve optimum strike angle and to precisely identify the programmed impact point through its IR sensors using Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator (DSMAC) concept. The warhead is designed to penetrate several inches of concrete before activation of fuze to detonate the main warhead.

The brief survey in this article of the variety of weapons in current use serves to highlight the reality that precision guided munitions are no longer in the realm of the exotic. In fact risks to mission success imposed by lethality and density of air defence weapons suggests that dumb weapons may have already gone past their ‘Use By’ dates. However the wide array of impressive capabilities built into smart weapons also carry a high price tag.

Therefore, it has become all the more necessary to evaluate and shortlist target systems tightly related to defined outcomes as a part of overall strategy. Basic technologies involved in conversion of dumb to smart weapons are neither secret nor are beyond the ken of indigenous talent. Focus and intensification of R&D effort to get to grips with detail can create national manufacturing base to fulfill the need for a sizeable guided munitions inventory to meet the likely demand for a short sharp conflict.




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