Monday, April 11, 2011

Rocket Pride of India

by Vladimir Shcherbakov

Regional superpower, India will soon be one of the power centers of world significance. And thanks in part to qualitative and quantitative growth of military power, the full development of the national military-industrial complexes. Delhi is the de facto member of the nuclear club, independently develop nuclear weapons and their means of delivery - primarily ballistic missiles, medium and long range.

New weapons ancient sultan

Ambitious Indian military and political leadership in establishing its own missile systems for various purposes have long roots. According to Indian military historians, India - one of the first countries in the world, successfully and in a fairly large scale used missile weapons: documented facts related to the XVIII century.Then, Tipu Sultan, the head of the principality of Mysore, known as the Tiger of Mysore by the British, led the liberation struggle against colonial troops. According to surviving documents and the testimony of contemporaries, the Army Corps of Tipu Sultan actively enforce the primitive rockets as an aid and weapons of mass support. "

The British appreciated the new weapon Tipu Sultan, and after the experience gained by them during the 2nd and 4th Anglo-Mysore War, adopted a similar rocket - the inventor Sir William Congreve created on the basis of their missiles, that bear his name (Congreve Rocket), successfully applied in the Anglo-French and other wars, as well as being on weapons of other countries, including the Russian empire.

With regard to modern India, a major role in strengthening its defense capability has played a so-called integrated development program guided missile (IGMDP - Integrated Guided Missile Development Program). First of all she has achieved a level of development of national missile industry, which made possible the realization of the principle of "self-reliance."

Officially part of a comprehensive program of work carried out on six projects. Among these missiles strategic ballistic missiles and intercontinental secondary (or intermediate) range of the family "Agni" (later, was tasked with creating on their basis of an intercontinental ballistic missile) defense systems are tactical and operational-tactical ballistic missile family "Prithvi" , anti-aircraft missile complexes with anti-aircraft guided missile "Akash" and "Trishul", a guided missile air-based Astra air-to-air missiles and anti-tank missile system with antitank guided missile "Nag". Sometimes this program rank as well as missile system with a cruise missile "Brahmos", but it is not - work on this complex were outside the scope of a comprehensive program as a separate Russian-Indian project.


Journey of Dr. Kalam

Development of the main provisions of a comprehensive program involved the then head of DRDL (Defense Research and Development Laboratory - a unit of DRDO, located in Hyderabad, India) and now president of the republic Dr. Abdul Kalam, who has since often referred to as the "father of Indian missile program." Within six months, Kalam and veterans DRDL with the assistance of Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and DRDO chief Dr. VS Arunachalama have studied the basic directions in the development of guided missile weapons, and then presented their papers to the court the defense minister and prime minister of India. And initially it was not about a single program - to create a ATGM ATGM "Nag", SAM with SAM "Akash" and "Trishul", complexes with BR "Prithvi and Agni assumed in separate, unconnected with other projects consistently implemented one after another. However, at the request of Defense Minister R. Venkataraman and Dr. Kalam Arunachalam combine these programs into one comprehensive program, officially started work on it July 27, 1983.

To implement a comprehensive program was created by a special council, chaired by Kalam. However, it has delegated powers are large enough - both the executive and financial - of five directors of the projects, leaving behind only the major issues. Including liaising with more than two dozen subcontractors. As there were new missiles, grew in popularity of Dr. Kalam. It has played a role in the electoral process to the post of President of India. By the way, few know that Abdul Kalam has a fairly good literary taste. Seventeen of his best poems were translated into English in 1994 and published in a book titled "My Journey".


Confused by all the…

The latest example of missile weapons, created through an integrated program, became an intercontinental ballistic missile, or, as it is often called the West, intermediate-range ballistic missile "Agni III” - Two-stage solid propellant ballistic missile with a range of start-up not less than 5500 kilometers to install a warhead weighing 1,500 kilos. Successful trials of the Indian missile experts conducted July 9, 2007. During the second half of 2007, carried missiles and refinement of defects observed observations, and then on January 8 and May 7, 2008 successfully completed the second and third test of an ICBM Agni III. Shortly after the third test of the missile guidance DRDO has officially announced the closing of the Integrated development program guided missile weapon in connection with the decision of the main tasks. With regard to further work on the missile topics, they both said the Director of DRDO Dr. S. Prahlada, will be conducted within the framework of individual projects and programs, including in cooperation with foreign companies and their financing is scheduled to be carried out within budget allocations for the five-year program of military construction, traditionally implemented in India.

It is also interesting that the 17 February 2008 in an interview with one of the Indian media Dr Prahlada said: "The development of missile" Agni III »no longer are part of integrated development program guided missile weapons. The project to create missile Agni I , that little known, also was not included formally in the program. In fact, after successfully carried out three launches first rocket family Agni - the launch of the demonstrator, we have derived works on missile "Agni" 1, 2, and the third update in a separate project for this we received separate permission from the government. " Here is a Indian specific - confused by all, including their military experts.


From ATGM to IDB

Indian military historians today are more inclined to consider a comprehensive program, though important, but still one of the "intermediate projects, implemented within the national strategic missile programs implemented during the second half of the twentieth century. Indian specialists are five stages of the program.

The first phase (from 1958 to 1970) - in its framework was created by an anti-missile system with antitank guided missile and developed the first generation liquid rocket engine thrust of 3000 kgf (presumably with the extensive use of technologies borrowed from the missiles of the Soviet anti-aircraft missile system S-75) .

The second (from 1971 to 1979) - as part of this phase efforts of Indian professionals have focused on two areas: "Devil” (Project Devil) and "Valiant” (Project Valiant). Before the "Devil" was tasked to define a national anti-aircraft guided missile on the basis of Soviet missiles of C-75. The work was done by specialists DRDL - originally created this laboratory to develop a national ATGM officially work on the project "Devil" began in early 1972 on the initiative of Mr. Narayanan, appointed in January of that year, director DRDL. In June 1972, DRDL received the first tranche of government funding (for "Devil" and "Valiant" has been allocated 160 million rupees, of which 50 million was intended "Devil") for three years. And this fact - the financing Delhi missile projects - remained under the cloak of secrecy for many years. The decision to start funding these missile programs was taken personally by Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi.

According to Indian sources, approximately half earmarked for the project "Devil" means a developer has spent on the purchase abroad the necessary high-tech equipment and special materials, as well as the financing of subcontracts issued by Indian companies - HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) and Bharat Heavy Pleyts End Wessels Limited (Bharat Heavy Plates & Vessels Limited), to assemble a 350-pound body sustainer rocket engine and launch the solid rocket motor.

However, studies were not entirely successful, and in 1974 decided to reorient the project "Devil" from the immediate establishment of SAM on the development of advanced missile technology, which "may prove useful in further efforts to create a guided missile weapons." In January 1975 the leadership of the Indian Space Research Organization requested an independent evaluation of the project "Devil." In March a report was submitted to the government - claim that on a number of specialists DRDL achieved some success, but after a few more years of work project "Devil" in 1980, has been closed (disagrees with the decision Narayanan resigned as director DRDL - on his place was appointed SL Bansal).

The main task of the second project - "Valiant" - it was determined the creation of a ballistic missile with a range starting about 1500 kilometers (some sources even flashed range of 8000 kilometers, which is, of course, can be regarded as just a fantasy), work on it engaged experts DRDL and also in conditions of secrecy. Estimated starting weight of developing ballistic missiles was about 85 tons, a three-stage missile itself - each step based on liquid rocket engine. Direct engineering design work on the project "Valiant" began in 1972, but were initially not shaky or rolls, though May 10, 1974 tests were carried out under the project developed a rocket engine. But then work at an impasse, and after a request formal Delhi about the likelihood of developments on the project "Valiant" in the interests of national civil space program guide DRDL responded negatively, the military-political leadership of India at the end of that year decided to close the project "Valiant". It is interesting that one of the Indian journalist who specializes in aviation and space topics, in his article published in 2006 in the newspaper The Daily Star, on the basis of the collected material and conducted interviews with various experts described the project "Valiant" not otherwise totally disastrous .

The third stage (from 1980 to 1994) - defining a new concept of work aimed at creating different patterns guided missile weapons, which was agreed to develop and implement the previously mentioned complex program development guided missile weapons. This stage is considered by Indian experts as the most important because in this period have been developed and partially implemented plans to create various samples of missile systems, as well as laid the foundation stone of a national missile program, including development of space launch vehicles.

The fourth stage (from 1995 to 2000) - within it, according to Indian experts, the national military-industrial complex and scientific organizations in India was in general to solve the basic problem posed by the military-political leadership in the creation of an "own-missile shield and sword , as well as the development of missile technology that could help Delhi to carry out a national program on space exploration and use space for India's civilian and military customers. And highlights the fact that due to the completion of development within this stage missiles with ballistic missiles families "Prithvi" / "Dhanush and Agni and acceptance of their adopted land forces, air and naval forces of India, the country received reliable and effective strategic deterrent - an important factor in the nuclear standoff with neighboring Pakistan as the most likely opponent, and China - as potential enemy, but, so to speak, less likely.

The fifth stage of the national missile program was initiated in 2001 and continues to this day, despite the closure in 2007-2008, a comprehensive program. Under this phase of Indian experts carried out the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles - more precisely, even a few of its options, and refinement-based ballistic missile boat "Sagarika", which should be the main strike weapons promising nuclear missile submarine of strategic purpose. In addition, during the fifth phase of planned and work began to build missile defenses, they are maintained in a separate subroutine, and the first successful launch of missiles, according to Indian sources, have been conducted, the results are satisfactory.


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