Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Status of Brahmos program, update


Great news IMHO! The submarine version of 'Brahmos' will start testing soon from a semi-drown launch platform, said Mr. S. Pillai to ARMS-TASS on the 'Space-EXPO 2010'. Also he has confirmed at 2012 the testing of air-based version will start, and 2013 - is the planned year of MKI-based 'Brahmos' induction in IAF.

52 comments:

  1. Hurrah, Igor. It is indeed very nice to hear from you after a long gap.
    Keep well and enjoy the days!

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  2. Any updates on hypersonic Brahmos 2 buddy?
    When do we test it?

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  3. Looking at that picture above of Flanker with brahmos. Brahmos itself is a pretty big missile but it looks tiny compared to a Su30 almost like a R77 on Mig21

    H.D

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  4. to anon August 25, 2010 6:52 PM

    Hypersonic Brahmos -II is on the initial part of the project, i.e. technology development. There is no an engine with needed characteristics yet. They must develop it from the scratch.

    Brahmos - could be integrated with MiG-29K too IMO, but too dangerous in taking-off for the carrier.

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  5. I read about Brahmos with Glonass (in addition to GPS?) recently. Is this version planned for future purchases/upgrades for India`s land/sea/air Brahmos? Or might it mean a `merging` of Brahmos with domestic (Russian) Oniks developments?

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  6. Good to hear from you Igor... :)

    The model in the picture above is interesting in the sense that it also carrys 2 x AS-18 Kazoo missiles that are sort of like SLAM-ER missiles.
    The thing I find interesting is that under the engine nacelles it carries the data link pod used to receive a video link with the missile as it approaches its target so that the weapon officer can select an aiming point on the actual target from up to 140km away from the target.
    The thing I find interesting is that it carrys two pods for two missiles... I suspect it is so that both missiles can be launched at once.
    There is an upgraded Kh-59M with a radar seeker in the nose, so I wonder why they haven't upgraded the older datalink pods to allow multichannel use by now?
    I guess it is cheaper to simply use the existing pods.

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  7. Nobody talks about adaptation of Russian SU planes to carry Brahmos.
    Does that mean that Russia will start to use Brahmos2 later on...to buy Brahmos2 and use them with SU-35BM and PAK FA?

    Any chance on Mistral saga article Igor?

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  8. Brahmos is a joint development with India.
    It is a program that was applied to the export missile called Yakhont which is a replacement for the Moskit.
    The Russians don't use Yakhont however, the missile they have in service is the Onyx, the Onyx missile being the missile the Yakhont is based upon.
    To make the Yakhont exportable they had to limit its performance in range and warhead weight to meet export treaties on missile weapons.
    This means the Yakhont can't have a warhead larger than 500kgs and it cannot have a flight range of more than 300km.
    These restrictions are not applicable to the Onyx, which is not for export.
    I would suspect that rather than adopting the Brahmos they might apply the improvements made to Yakhont to make it Brahmos to the Onyx so that they are not restricted by export conventions with a weapon they will not export.
    Onyx is not for export, only Yakhont and Brahmos.
    Much of the work they did with the Indians to the Su-30M to make the Su-30MKI was also absorbed into other programs like Su-35S and probably PAK FA as well, but they will only make Su-30MKIs for India and those India approves to have it. Otherwise third parties can buy Su-30MKK variants.
    AFAIK even a hypersonic Brahmos II developed with the Indians and Russians will be limited by the MTCR treaty or Missile Technology Control Regime treaty.

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  9. @GarryB
    thanks Garry I respect your knowledge but still I don't agree in few things.

    I know all that stuff you've mentioned about Brahmos, restrictions and origin of Brahmos and Russian interest to re-use that know-how on perfecting their own missiles like Onyx.

    One can see logic in all that, but still
    the problem is that Brahmos is join venture in which Russia didn't buy single missile yet.
    So I expect that they will buy some when hypersonic Brahmos-II(or block2) starts production.
    Brahmos-II will be probably (much(?))better missile than Onyx anyway.
    So why would Russia create new hypersonic missile if they have Brahmos-II even with 300km limit 6times speed of sound is powerful weapon and not such short range for air to ground missile(SU-34BM radar range is 400km)so that is not big limitation for A2G-version.
    I've read in some Russian article(no link sorry) that Pak Fa will be able to carry Brahmos

    "third parties can buy Su-30MKK variants"

    I think that you confuse something in the name...Doesn't actually last letter stand for the country?
    The name of the plane is Su-30MK but last letter comes from country to which is exported
    ie. Su-30MK is Su-30MKK(last "K" stands for Kitai=China in Russian)
    Su-30MK in Malaysia is Su-30MKM (last "M" stands for Malaysia)
    Su-30MKV... Vietnam...
    Su-30MKI...stands for "Modernizirovannyi Kommercheskiy Indiski"="Modernized Export Indian" etc.etc.

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  10. Error sorry!
    Not
    "SU-34BM radar range is 400km"
    but
    "SU-35BM radar range is 400km"

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  11. Russia can simply use Onyx/Yakhont. Brahmos has a limited range of 290Km, that's why India is going to use Su30 to launch it. It will take care of range problem somewhat as a fighter can go into enemy airspace and launch it and because it is a fighter, it will have much better chance to return safely because of its maneuverability and combat capability than a bigger bomber aircraft.

    Too bad it wont be able to carry 3 missiles as it was planned earlier.

    By the way what are the chances that it can carry three during wartime or an desperate situation.

    Thanks
    H.D

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  12. PakFA, Russia will not buy BrahMos because it doesn't need BrahMos. When you have the option of buying Swiss Chocolates for Rs. !0, then why to buy a sugar candy for Rs. 9? And considering the size of Russia, BrahMos doesn't do the intended purpose. So that's the reason it is not opting for BrahMos. Moreover, the technology Russia has for BrahMos like cruise missile is better than BrahMos itself.

    Rav

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  13. To PakFa fan

    If Russia buys brahmos, wont some of the money will go to India. Now I assume they would know about all the improvements in Brahmos and they can apply them to Onyx/Yakhont so logically Russia's choice will be either buying Brahmos if the improvements are quite significant and paying some money to India or applying the improvements to Onyx and I think they will do whatever is cheapest option.

    I think Brahmos is meant for India although its a joint venture, but joint venture doesnot mean they have to buy it.

    H.D.

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  14. To Rav

    Remember Brahmos is primarily a antiship missile (mainly intended to be launched from ships) so size of Russia is not the main reason stopping them from buying it.

    H.D

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  15. @Anonymous (H.D.)
    I hate to discuss with people who do not comments properly.
    You didn't bother to read carefully my comment and you are only repeating already mentioned arguments (by GarryB).

    Brahmos-II(or block2) is HYPERSONIC missile for which (as Igor has mentioned already)ram-jet engine will be created from the scratch.
    So it will be about 2times faster than Onyx and have other advantages (be cause not simple upgrade but completely new generation of missile)
    That is quite good reason for Russia to have that missile till they create pure Russian version hypersonic missile.

    "joint venture doesnot mean they have to buy it."

    Well PAKFA/FGFA is joint venture and Russia has announced to buy 50 FGFA just like India 50 PAKFA...

    Of course I'm not mentally handicapped and I understand that from legal point of view everything depends on conditions in contract.


    But mutual relations from Russia-India are built to be more than simple buy-sell relations,
    but FRIENDLY relations also.

    India will do well their part of job (price/performance wise) I have no doubt about that, so why would they not be paid for their part?!? Indian programmers are one of the best & cheapest in the world and Indian electronics is not worse than Russian....

    If Russia is announcing Mistral, IVECO, etc. purchases, why would they dump India in their NEW missile joint venture for which they don't have equivalent anyway?!


    Russia has only to gain on short term with new joint-venture hypersonic missile even if they decide to build their own version later on.

    Please don't answer I don't feel like continuing this debate forever, thank you in advance.

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  16. I think there is a good chance for Russia equipping its frigates with Brahmos for the same reason that it is now starting buying Talwar-class fregats, Kilos and Mi-35's: they are a matured well serialized products, unlike Onyx. So, the competition will be between Brahmos and Club, which is well-serialized too. I would give for Brahmos at least 50% of chance, but would be higher if GoI lobbies Brahmos at least as Yanukovich now lobbies the joint Russo-Ukrainian engine production.

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  17. I thought the BrahMos couldn't be fired from torpedo tubes owing to its size and diameter?

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  18. "Indian-Russian Brahmos venture to produce missile engines in India"

    LINK
    http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20100827/160360409.html

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  19. "India likely to export its BrahMos missile"

    by Staff Writers
    New Delhi (UPI) Aug 19, 2010


    "The missile will be inducted in the armed forces of India and Russia and also will be exported to friendly countries. The Indian government is in consultation with Russia, and exports will take into account the security needs of both countries, he said."


    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/India_likely_to_export_its_BrahMos_missile_999.html

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  20. to anon August 26, 2010 11:37 PM

    Brahmos together with Yakhont and Onix still can be launched from the big standard torpedo apparata installed on the nuclear subs including Nerpa and I guess - Arihant.

    But For me it's obviously that the Russian antiship missiles 'zoo' was become too diverse: Brahmos, Yakhont, Onix, Club, Uran - all they can be installed mostly on the same platform. Naturally Brahmos Yakhont and Onix - are very close by their capabilities, so there is no any logic to produce all three.

    Also they are not so simple as an ice-creem, and need three different supply chains, manufacturing particularity. So only one will survive. Due to reliable manufacturing chain, political supplement it will be naturally Brahmos.

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  21. Hi Igor,
    Interesting comments as usual!

    Still one can't ignore detail that Russia didn't buy a single Brahmos yet.
    Do they wait that Brahmos becomes "mature" even more or air to ground version or something else?
    So you think that only 1 missile out of 3
    will survive?
    Do the ships who have Yakhont,Onyx for example need any adaptation to their platform to launch Brahmos or it is very simple to switch on Brahmos ?
    I've read that Russian post Soviet navy has problem of great diversity of ships and platforms & that costs fortune for maintenance all that diversity..

    Till present day Brahmos is presented as great success by both sides
    What is your opinion on
    possibility /probability
    of Russia baying hypersonic Brahmos-II later on if things continue in successful way as they are now?

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  22. to PAK FA fan:

    ==you think that only 1 missile out of 3
    will survive?==

    - Exactly. The diversity of weapons was a consequence of the soviet diversity of platforms, and became a burden. It's even more true due to relatively modest ship-building program and new world financial reality after recession. Even in the US programs cutting was decided. And in Russia still the number of the different projects is times more than in US. For Example, US Navy uses Arleigh Burke 3 decades, follow building them with one type of antiship missile (Harpoon) an one - long range Tomahawk with secondary developed ASh capability. Russia has 2 type of destroyers, 2 totally different types of cruisers, 4 types of fregats in parallel building. It's including pr 22350 'Gorshkov', 11540 Neustrash and now domesticated Talwar class, without taken in the count transformed to 'training ship' 12441 Novik. Project 11661 Gepard, light frigate with 2100 t full displacement http://www.roe.ru/cataloque/navy/navy.pdf (two were bilt for Ru Navy Caspian Sea, one - in building and additional two have been built by improved project and recently delivered to Vietnam.)

    And in corvette class the diversity of projects is prominent too. 20382 Steregushchi, 21630 Buyan - for Ru Navy, 22120 Purga and 22460 Rubin for the Coastal Guard.

    I think after air based and submarine based version is ready Brahmos has good chances to be on pr 885 (650 mm torpedo launchers), destroyers with universal launchers for Kh-555\ Kh-101\Brahmos (due to dimension commonality) and for coast based Naval Aviation.

    Specifically there is no decent alternative for Brahmos for changing Х-22 «Burya» ( AS-4 Kitchen) on Tu-22M3. The last is too toxic, poorly serviceable missile.

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  23. @ Anonymous,
    The US helped the UK with the UK variant of the Trident SLBM but the US didn't introduce it into service either... they kept using their own model.

    The simple fact is that the Russians already had Onyx which is better than Yakhont. I am sure that the Russians will have introduced some of the electronics developed for the Brahmos into their Onyx but it makes no sense for them to restrict themselves to the MTCR treaty.

    I would expect Brahmos II to be a much better missile than Onyx in terms of its flight speed and electronics, but it should also be limited by the MTCR so Onyx will have a greater range and likely larger warhead.

    The Brahmos II will likely use a new scramjet engine design which will likely be applied to the Onyx to create a new Russian missile that is not for export because its export will be prevented by the MTCR treaty.
    For export the Russians will have the Yakhont and the the Brahmos and Brahmos II... the latter only with Indian permission.
    The Russians will have Elint satellites that can give them targeting information well beyond the radar range of any aircraft so a scramjet motor mounted in an Onyx with a general upgrade of internal components there is no reason why its range couldn't be rather large. The Russians have plenty of platforms that can handle 6-7 ton missiles with subs, surface vessels and large aircraft so an extended range model that is enormously overweight initially and perhaps barely supersonic at launch, as it burns off fuel it can accelerate as it loses weight so that when it gets to its target area it can be hypersonic at a range of 1,000km or so. (my speculation only...)

    Regarding the Su-30MK, yes, the last letter does stand for the country, but the Su-30MKK while it was developed for China it was made with all Russian parts so they own the design and are not restricted to export it. The Su-30MKI has Israeli and French parts as well as Russian and Indian so exportability is effected because it needs permissions from several countries. For a sale to Iran for example I am sure Israel would object to its parts being used. With a sale of what is basically an Su-30MKK China cannot complain because there are no Chinese parts involved and so the Su-30MKK design could be sold to Iran though it might be called Su-30MKIr or something.

    BTW against warship sized ground targets I would expect the radar range of the Su-34 and the Su-35 to be 400km+.

    @HD Russia will most likely use the Onyx rather than the Yakhont for the same reason they would use the Onyx rather than the Brahmos.
    With a hypersonic Brahmos II I would expect them to apply the new engine technology to the Onyx the way the new technology will be applied to the Brahmos I to make the Brahmos II.

    @ rav
    I would expect the technology in the Brahmos to be better than in the original Onyx. The Brahmos can be used against land targets whereas the Onyx and Yakhnot could not. I would expect Onyx will receive an upgrade to "Match" the new capabilities of Brahmos, but I think Yakhont will remain the same to avoid it competing with Brahmos unfairly. Yakhont will be the cheaper simpler option if India refuses permission. I still don't think they will sell Yakhont to Pakistan.

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  24. Sorry last post too long had to split up:

    @Pakfa fan
    To achieve supersonic flight the Brahmos will need a scramjet motor, now apart from heat shielding and intake redesign and of course a new scramjet motor if they make the Brahmos II a Brahmos I with slight modifications and a new motor then there is no reason why the Russians couldn't apply the same changes to the Onyx which is essentially a long range Yakhont that the Brahmos I is based upon.
    The issue this joint venture is similar to that with the Su-30MKI. The Russians didn't adopt the Su-30MKI into service, though much of what they learned working together with India in developing the Su-30mki was applied to the Su-35 design.
    The S-30MKI like the Brahmos was a Russian/Soviet system that was adapted to Indian needs. The Yakhont was limited in performance unlike the Su-30M which was in some ways better than the in service Russian Su-27s.
    It had a better radar and systems.

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  25. Anonymous mentioned that Brahmos can't be fired down a torpedo tube, that is correct, but neither can Onyx or Yakhont.
    When used in subs they are often fitted as extra sections with vertical launch tubes like SLBMs.
    The advantage is that they are always ready to fire and don't effect your ability to use your actual torpedo tubes for decoys or real torpedos.

    @Pakfa fan
    I remember seeing a computer generated video of a new Russian vessel (can't remember which one) where there was a block of cells in front of the bridge and it showed first of all that block filled with club missiles and then Shtil SAMs and then vertical launch Brahmos missiles.
    The cells were different for each missile type with Shtil and club being a similar size and Brahmos taking up the size of 4 cells for Shtil and club.
    Will be interesting to see if Russia accepts the Brahmos as is or "licence produces" them itself with local modifications to extend range to match the Onyx.
    I personally would like to see them both buy Brahmos and Brahmos II after all the joint venture with India... the Russian technicians working on the project would be the Russian technicians that worked on Onyx and Yakhont, and the work they have done and the new work on B II sill be absorbed by them and the company they work for.

    @Igor
    I had read that the Kh-22M was a toxic an unpopular missile to work on but I also heard that they had developed a replacement in the form of the Kh-32 that was supposed to be much faster (mach 6 vs mach 4.5) and with double the range.
    Regarding the diverse type their long production times often led to the last vessel of a class to be almost a seperate class from the first... example Kiev and Kiev Mod.

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  26. @GarryB

    Thanks GarryB,
    If Igor's prediction is right(Igor was never wrong)that Onyx,Yakhont & Brahmos will be reduced on one option only, than in that case it would be logical that if Brahmos replaces other 2 missiles that also has their capabilities if not better.
    So possibility you mention to match the Onyx range might be logical choice
    India is doing great job Brahmos is not only maneuverable supersonic missile but also capable to select by priority when it has multiple targets
    I also would like to see both
    Brahmos & Brahmos-II
    And Brahmos will make savings also be cause it will be unified all around missile for ships, subs, planes and ground troops

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  27. Thanks Igor!
    Another question that interest me is Russian air carriers.
    Any news when Russia is(I saw some news about blueprint for new carrier) going to start to build 1st carrier and how many of them they will build considering that they might by 4Mistral's soon.
    Does Russia hope to get French expertise in building those carriers?
    What is the perspective for Ukraine to take part in such project?

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  28. to GarryB:

    ==I had read that the Kh-22M was a toxic an unpopular missile to work on but I also heard that they had developed a replacement in the form of the Kh-32 that was supposed to be much faster (mach 6 vs mach 4.5) and with double the range.==

    - It was planned as a part of tu-22M3 modernisation program decided in 1997 and called Tu-245, but it was never realised. Also the toxic fuel of Kitchen is not planned to change on the modernized variant. So the option for Brahmos-I/II on Tu-22M3 is still open since Brahmos - is single potentially air-based heavy supersonic missile in serial production, with safely kerosene engine, maneuverable in flying, modern electronic. Could think how it would be hard and costly if they develop a new rocket engine guiding for Kitchen-II witch is in principal non-safe platform.

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  29. to PAK FA fan:

    ==Does Russia hope to get French expertise in building those carriers?==

    - I think it will be minimal if any. THose things, which is wanted by Russians, like electronics, communication technologies, French didnt agree to supply even with Mistral (semi-civilian ship indeed).

    ==What is the perspective for Ukraine to take part in such project?==

    - It certainly is very probably. If the Ukrainians didnt refuse some help even for Chinees, there is no cause in the world to refuse for Russians which will have much more cordial relation with Moscow in prospective 5-10 years. Russian can be interested in building technologies, developed during Soviet time in Nikolayev's Wharf Plant, where all Soviet carriers were built. However, the future order for building carrier will go to Russian Severodvisk, where they have already some experience with Gorshkov\Vikra.

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  30. Of course you can disagree with my predictions and there are no ill feelings on my part if you think differently from me.
    In the case of the Mig-29K the Russians accepted a potentially lower performing aircraft (over the Su-33KUB) because it was in production for India.
    Note the Su-33KUB was not really an option for India because it is too big and heavy, but Kuznetsov is a bigger carrier and could carry the Flanker based aircraft, especially now that it is going in for a huge refit that might include catapaults as well as nuke propulsion.
    I can see two real options for the Russians, one is to apply the upgrades developed for Brahmos and apply them to the Onyx. This would mirror what they have done with the Su-30MKI and Su-35 where each country has their own preferences met (ie Su-35 is single seat while Su-30MKI is all twin seat). This makes sense if they decide the extra range potential from Onyx is considered necessary. The other option would simply be to give up the extra range, save some money and use Brahmos too. I would expect they designed Brahmos to be able to be used from the same launchers as Yakhont and Onyx and with similar fuels and engines most things will be similar. There is no advantage to reinventing the wheel just for the sake of change.

    Yakhont is an export version of Onyx and is not really an option for Russian service. The Mi-35M was a rare example of an export variant (of the Mi-24) being bought by the Russians but that was because the Mi-35M wasn't limited in performance by an export treaty and was developed beyond the domestic models in regard to all weather day night capability.
    The real question comes down to Onyx or Brahmos and it probably hinges on whether the extra range is deemed necessary. Compared to the original Onyx the Brahmos is a far more sophisticated model because it is developed from the export model of Onyx but with the improvements developed from the Brahmos applied to the Onyx you get a missile as good as Brahmos but with extra range and or a heavier warhead. They might simply call it Brahmos but with the extra range of Onyx presumably with extra fuel capacity.

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  31. @Igor, Have read in articles on the future of the Tu-22M3 where they mention weapon load options of 4 anti ship missiles or 8 cruise missiles with a range of over 5,000kms. The way it was worded it sounded like both were new. Western "experts" have commented that the Kh-32 looks rather like the Kh-22M and most of the performance changes have been in the rocket motors (It has two, a high thrust one to accelerate to speed and high altitude and a sustainer to cruise and dive on the target area).
    I guess the problem is that I see the line of Brahmos going back through Yakhont, Onyx, to Moskit, which was a specialised missile designed specifically to defeat AEGIS class cruisers through low altitude (below 7m defeated the SM-2 Standard naval SAM fitted to the AEGIS class cruisers of the time) and high speed (which rendered Phalanx ineffective).
    Replacing all heavy AShMs with Moskit doesn't seem right, but that is just my weird thinking...
    When a hypersonic Brahmos is ready for service of course the problems (in my mind) will disappear... :)

    @PAK FA The Russians have hired the South Koreans to build shipyards for them and show them the South Korean way to build ships. The SKs are currently the best in the business.

    Also don't confuse aircraft carriers with helicopter carrying landing ships. An aircraft carrier in Russian service will provide AWACs and aircover to surface vessels. The Mistral will support a landing of forces either for disaster relief or to take back seized islands.

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  32. Also @Igor the shipyard the South Koreans are helping build in Russia is designed to build the largest ships, primarily large gas carriers and crude oil carriers but also aircraft carriers too.

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  33. to GarryB:

    ==the shipyard the South Koreans are helping build in Russia is designed to build the largest ships, primarily large gas carriers and crude oil carriers but also aircraft carriers too.==

    - Helping in gas carriers building - yes, carriers - no. The experience of SKo in building true carriers is zero. and 'big ships' - is too iffy definition. nuclear ice breaker - are a 'big ship ' too.

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  34. Thanks Igor!

    =Those things, which is wanted by Russians, like electronics, communication technologies, French didn't agree to supply=

    So what is your opinion going to happen Igor, is Russia still going to buy those Mistral's if French persist not to sell with high tech. technologies transfer?

    WHY is China having such easy ride? They have bought (directly from U.S !!!!) under Clinton and even Bush, so much highly sophisticated equipment and they are communist regime and Russia can not get almost anything from the West?!
    Not even membership in WTO.




    @GarryB
    Thanks for the comment GarryB!

    I didn't "confuse aircraft carriers with helicopter carrying landing ships" Garry
    What I wanted to say is:
    Big projects are linked financially.
    If Russia suddenly buys 4 Mistral's that might affect their plans to build 5 air-carriers they were talking about(before they even mentioned buying any helicopter-carrier at all)
    So suddenly spending few billions of dollars that wasn't even planned in budget can affect lot their other more ambitious plans for carriers
    That's all I meant
    I'm sorry for not better(more clearly) expressing myself in English Garry

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  35. to PAK FA fan:
    ==WHY is China having such easy ride? They have bought (directly from U.S !!!!) under Clinton and even Bush, so much highly sophisticated equipment and they are communist regime and Russia can not get almost anything from the West?!
    Not even membership in WTO.==

    - The conflict between US and Russia always was the pure geopolitics. The ideological explanation is only a Freud-kind rationalization in this instance. And China in fact was an American ally during hardest (for US) period of the Cold War after Vietnam catastrophe. Too America has the border issues with Russia, not China.

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  36. @Igor, the articles I have read emphasise the fact that the shipyard they are constructing is for what they called category 1 ships including liquid natural gas carriers and aircraft carriers.
    After spending all that money on a new shipyard (which has no experience building large vessels either) I find it hard to believe they wont produce these new aircraft carriers.
    Building ships is building ships, the quality is determined by the designer and the sophistication of the builder... and the builders in this case are learning from the best.

    @PAKFA Fan, now I see what you were getting at... their plans for 6 aircraft carriers are perfectly logical but they have never stated all six will be ready in the current 5 or ten year plan. The only figures I have seen is 6 carriers by 2050 and these are not Nimitz class like carriers, they will be smaller and cheaper.
    The sense behind the 6 carriers is three in the Pacific Fleet and three in the Northern Fleet. Carriers in the other fleets would not make sense. As noticed when you only have one as they do now there is a lot of non operational time for a carrier because there are three things that cycle through the life of every carrier... operational patrolling, servicing and overhaul, and finally training crews for operations. Having three carriers at each port will mean one is operational all the time, one is training all the time and one is in overhaul and repair all the time and the three carriers will move from one state to the other on a regular basis so one carrier is always ready and at a pinch two can be made available at each port if the need is there.

    Regarding China... China owns a lot of the US and the US needs to keep China on friendly terms. If China sold all its US bonds the US economy would collapse.

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  37. i think that if the right modifications where to be made to russian brahmos/onyx ie, extended range and payload and the carriage of this missile on platforms such as the tu 160 and tu22m3 would be a devastating weapon system.

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  38. When the Americans were talking about putting missiles in Europe the Russians said that they would put Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad.
    Technically they don't use Iskander missiles, their version is called Tender-M and has a longer range and heavier payload.
    I suspect they might do the same with Brahmos, after all applying the improvements made to Brahmos to Onyx makes the Onyx the Brahmos 1.5.
    They will likely just call it Brahmos in press releases.

    With the air launched Brahmos weighing only 2.5 tons I would suspect that the four external weapon pylons of the Tu-22M3 could carry two missiles each for a total of 8 missiles externally. 8 x 2.5 = 20 tons so the max payload of the aircraft would allow for another 4 tons to be carried internally.

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  39. @GarryB
    yes i agree with what you said, even 6 missiles is potent. Do you know of any new weapons pylons being designed or manufacture for russian bombers and fighter aircraft? ie, carriage of kh-31p and kh-59m. The tu22m3 could be a formidable regional bomber with various upgrades, do you think they will intergrate the french licenced produced targeting pods from thales onto the tu22m3?

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  40. With a crew of 4 if you automate the self defence suite and use it as a heavy theatre bomber you could probably safely hang at least two Damocles pods to allow two weapons officers to engage multiple targets at once.
    The weapon pylon for Moskit was rather complex for the flanker series to prevent the missile hitting the engine nacelles on release but weapons pylons for the Tu-22M3 could have almost any configuration though the length of the weapon would make tandem unlikely... twin side by side should not be difficult.
    I have read about twin side by side for Kh-101/102 type missiles for 8 external weapons and they are 2.2 tons each so are comparable to Brahmos in weight (airlaunched is 2.5 tons).
    The Tu-22M3 has plenty of room for performance expansion including inflight refuelling as fuel is offloaded to allow a 24 ton payload that means immediately after take off you can fuel up to further extend range.
    I guess the real issue is what target justifies such a load out.
    The most likely reason to carry 24 tons of bombs would be with Sat guided 500kg bombs with inflight refuelling and the aircraft orbiting a hot zone ready to drop when required.

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  41. @GarryB
    do you know the rate of fire and ammunition capacity of the self defence 23mm cannons on the rear of the tu22m3, could they not with new ammunition and fire a control radar be able to form a sort of anti-missile defence cannon, in the same way the german sky shield uses AHEAD ammunition to shoot down incoming missiles? pls share your ideas. Also regarding the inflight capabillity of the tu22m3, are they not bound by the salt treaty? am i right to say they use the same power plant as the tu22m3's elder brother the tu160? if so are they any plans to upgrade them with the research being done presently for 5th gen enigines?

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  42. @Anonymous, you open many cans of worms in one post...
    First of all I love the Tu-22M3 as a concept theatre bomber, so I am biased (much like Carlos Kopp loves the F-111 and the F-22 it seems).
    The rate of fire of the twin barrel 23mm cannon on the Tu-22M3 is 3,000-3,500rpm. There is only one gun, unlike the setup on the Il-76 which has two guns and a theoretical 6-7,000 rpm rate of fire.
    Keep in mind that Phalanx fires at about 4,500 rpm.
    The ammo capacity I don't know but the ammo types they prefer to use sound very interesting.
    They have made ammo that contains chaff dipoles and flares so that with a swing of the turret this gun can create a cloud (at about 50 shells per second) of chaff and flares to either side or to the rear of the aircraft. Add to this the potential for towed decoys and jammers and you have an excellent platform. (Note the self defence gun already has a radar director to shoot at enemy planes).
    Regarding AHEAD type ammo I have read that the new BTR-82A has sensor fused ammo like Aniet (the BTR-82 having a 14.5mm gun so it likely wont).
    The inflight refuelling capability of the Tu-22M3 was based on the fact that it could be used for strategic roles. It is now known for a fact that the later models of F-111 had comparable range (with light loads) but were never included, nor had their IFR capability removed. AFAIK it lost its IFR capability through the START I treaty that has expired. If not covered in the new treaty it might be legal to refit them.
    Unfortunately the Tu-22M3 and the Tu-160 have very very similar but not compatible engines and I think that a 5th generation new engine might be developed for the PAK DA, but a good solution would be to make intermediate engines to test new ideas that are compatible with in service bombers. I believe they are running out of Tu-22M3 engines though they are still making Tu-160 engines they are not compatible physically.
    No real need to improve the Bears engines as the limiting factor is not power but speed. You'd have to double the power to increase the speed 100km/h and then double it again for another 50km/h and it will never go supersonic because of its design. All that doubling of power will simply increase fuel consumption and reduce range.
    The best option for the Bear is more efficient engines and props in the short term and in the long term a subsonic replacement.

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  43. After I posted the above I had a thought on tactics... AMRAAM has a home on jam capability so fire a burst of 23mm chaff dipoles behind the aircraft (if the missile is coming from the side) and then use the gun turret radar to direct a radar beam into the chaff cloud at the frequencies that the AMRAAM seeker operates at...

    The potential for growth is enormous because of the size of the aircraft and the 4 man crew.
    Imagine a super wild weasel that can fly at mach 2.3 and could carry the biggest ARMs and of course have lots of jammers and decoys on pylons and towed. Remove all the old electronics and there would be lots of room for stuff.
    The anti ship/theatre bomber model has four main external hardpoints and an internal bay with 6 positions for weapons. For SEAD you could greatly increase the number of hard points, with fixed wing area under the body is enormous.

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  44. @GarryB
    Are the as-15 kickback still in service? there seekers might be a little dated, with minor upgrades, and a combination of improved kh-31. with new jammers (as you stated towed decoys) and ew attack capabillity, it will truely be a super wild weasel. if the as-15 are to be withdrawn then there replacement could potentially be the new Kh-58UShKE. combined carriage of upto 18 arms using exsisting hard points, hi-low attack profile, speed and range( refitting of ifr probe) this will be devastating to say the least. removal of the old electronics would be greatly benefited for weight reduction and as you said room for more modern electronics etc. i too favor the tu22m3 alot because of the huge potential of the aircraft. very interesting is your idea of using cannons to fire chaff and use the radar to direct the frequencies into the cloud of chaff. concerning the older bigger brother the venerable bear, i would think may be a derivative of the promising ultra high bypass engine that the russians are working on.

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  45. Hello All,
    Did you guys see/hear this news? Could anyone explain this process? Like the article says, why did China do this? There has been a report of presence of more than 11000 PLA soldiers in Pakistan's Gilgit Province? The pure air of Himalaya fills with rotten smell!

    http://www.china-defense-mashup.com/?p=6675


    Two Chinese Satellites Have Close Encounter in Orbit

    It would appear that China has successfully carried out a satellite rendezvous maneuver in orbit. And on August 19, the two satellites may have even touched, one probe being shunted aside by the other.
    ....

    But there is the concern that the satellite rendezvous could indicate another, more subtle, form of anti-satellite technology. Using an intercepting satellite to "hijack" an enemy's satellite would be quite useful after all.

    However, the fact remains that there are far easier ways to "take out" a satellite using kinetic missiles or ground-based lasers to blind spy satellites.

    Whatever the intention behind this orbital satellite handshake, it is an amazing feat....

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  46. Building ships is building ships, the quality is determined by the designer and the sophistication of the builder... and the builders in this case are learning from the best.==

    -OK, if agree with this thesis, I would say even with higher assurance, that Sevmash has much more proved 'best' in military shipbuilding, then any SKo shipyard. Much more mil ships were built in Sevmash that at in all SKo yard together. So what they can learn to build, gas-transporters? Or do I miss something?

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  47. @Igor
    Sorry you misunderstand.
    What I mean is the South Koreans have mastered the management and operation of a shipyard to make it very efficient.
    Give the Swiss a 1 dollar watch design and get them to make it and they will do a wonderful job and the watch will be a work of art with regard to fit and quality of materials etc, but will it keep good time?
    The maker of the ship does not need to know how to design good ships... just how to make them to spec and quickly and efficiently.
    A bad design is a bad design no matter how well it is made.

    @Anonymous
    Personally I think one way to improve the Tu-22M3 is to relax the top speed requirements. This makes everything cheaper and simpler.
    Add to this new avionics and new "kit" like DIRCM and AESA and other bits and bobs and you could create a very capable multi purpose aircraft... from a heavy Mig-31 replacement with an enormous radar and maybe 20 or 30 R-37M long range AAMs, through to SEAD, jammer, and heavy short range bomber, longer range light strike aircraft... even inflight refuelling tanker for a strike package.

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  48. Hey Igor i had a question with regards to the Range of the Brahmos. I know the range for the missile is quoted at 290 km but it that the actual range or could it be longer than whats quoted? I heard the rumor that the french violated the MCTR for the UAE's Black Saheen's that's why the US refused to integrate the missile on their F-16. Any chance Russia did the same for India? It seems kinda odd that India would spend so much on a JV and a missile just to get an air/land launched version of an improved Yakhont?

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  49. to anon:

    I think MTCR is more dead than alive. There are lot of violations too from US side, like tomahawks export to Spain, Australia etc. At last when Russia month ago accused US in proliferation agreement violation, these MTCR violations were not noted. So I have thought they agreed to use MTCR in very elective manner,making difference between 'responsible' and 'irresponsible' countries.

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  50. @anonymous sept.7

    "India would spend so much on a JV and a missile just to get an air/land launched version of an improved Yakhont"
    ---------


    Brahmos is all-around missile already tested as you say by ground forces but also navy ships, also built for subs and now planes...

    And if one adds developmet of HYPERsonic version of Brahmos 2 at the end ...
    That is not so little after all...

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  51. @Anonymous Sept. 7

    The Brahmos is a significant improvement on the Yakhont in terms of electronics, much the same way that the Su-30MKI is a significant improvement on the Su-30MK.
    BTW The Russians don't fly Su-30MKIs either.

    Have read a news article that stated that they already have $13 billion dollars worth of orders for Brahmos so I really don't think there will be a problem making back the development money and getting a good missile into service.

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  52. MTCR member states can trade (off limit items) within them, why is a tomahawk sell a violation igor?

    Have you read the MTCR guidelines?

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