Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Secret of Deja Vu: The PADE tests

I had a celebratory drink with my friends yesterday. They had an even bigger party planned but I could not attend. Quite naturally I expected spirits to loosen up tongues but oddly enough they didn't.

I was wandering in the usual place and I think Arun_S has the right idea. This was a solid fueled first stage with a ramjet based EKV on top. That explains the numbers coming from DRDO and that also explains the sudden rush of anti-DRDO publicity that the IE was running with. I think the US FDI in the IE has something to do with their desire to push for Indo-US cooperation in ABM related stuff. If the DRDO was building a local competitor for foreign ABM systems, the suppliers had a God-given right to be solidly pissed.

I think the PADE test means the following:

1) While we are still "light years" away from a field ready ABM system, who isnt? unless you believe that a colourful brochure with jazzy photos has something to do with the field readiness of your system, no one has field ready system yet. We have a demonstration system and that is much more than what most others have. Rahul Bedi and Rajat Pandit have a funny way of stating the obvious. If this DRDO test had failed Rajat Pandit would have made associate editor, sare career par pani phail gaya. Tsk tsk.

2) Some foreign supplier comes to me and says please buy our ABM missiles they are the best. In order to prove his point he brings some english speaking girls along with him and they smile and show some cleavage. I am already rolling my eyes at this point. Yaar why would I want to buy this? I know for a fact I am never going to use it. If Pakistan or China launches a missile at India, the world will have come to an end. What is the point of spending 200 million a peice for the radar and 3 Million a piece for the entry level interceptor? Why should I stockpile these things waiting for a day which I hope and pray will never come? It is the exact same logic that applies to ballistic missiles. Why spend money on pieces of junk that will end up in a hole in the ground? and then when they are in a hole in the ground you will stand around the hole and worship these missiles and pray everyday that something terrible doesn't happen that causes this beast to come out of the hole. What a fantastic waste of public funds! who in their right mind is going to sanction this? What is the bottom line on this? half a Billion USD per city? assuming that we have a single Aegis type radar and about a hundred missiles per city of choice? So Delhi and Mumbai get protection, what about Bangalore? This is going to be the budget? for a guarenteed kill probability of what? 50 %? what are the odds with this? does this not seem absurd?

3) Now the Pakistanis are worried, if the Indians have such good control over their missiles, then what to make of all that intel that was available on CEP of Indian missiles being poor? Was that completely off? Sure Americans said that the only thing the Indian missiles could hit with certainity was the Bay of Bengal, but what if they were lying? How does Pakistan know that its Chinese made warheads and missiles work? okay forget about the Missiles lets just stay with the warheads, what is the guarentee that those work? So the Pakistanis have to either make more Ghauris or make maneuvering warheads. Buying 100 percent indigenous ghauris from North Korea is hard now in this post AQK times, 5000 percent indigenous Shaheens could be purchased from China but that still leaves the pesky question of the warheads. How to establish that those warheads work? Either ways they have to improve their confidence in their warheads dramatically. Remember folks - the Pakistanis are heavily invested in a PR war with India - they have to show that their Shaheen is longer and fatter than our short and thin Prithvi otherwise all is lost and Pakistan Army will have to start investing heavily in vaseline.

4) From the NPA perspective, this just couldn't get worse. First the Chinese try to sell India Uranium, then the Indians go off and build a missile which is highly controlled by MTCR restrictions. If the NPA make a fuss about it, it will put a dampener on the Arrow sale and open the market to the Russians, if they don't kick up a fuss about it, the Indians get away under the radar. Much angst and much work at the Handwringing Bureau of the Nonproliferation. Gripe fests galore but in private only please. The Pakistanis are going to be solidly pissed. This is like Buddha II 1998 all over again. Deja Vu...

5) Now to my friends in uniform an attempt at humor.

Self: Man in Uniform (MiU) so what are you planning to do with the Prithvi regiments?

MiU: Huh? well they are meant for strategic role?

Self: But now we have PADE they could become AAD regiments also?

MiU: Err.. I suppose.

Self: Sir, I think PADE is a great way to show what we can do with Prithvi no? I mean look SSM today, SAM tomorrow, ABM day after tomorrow?

MiU: (suspiciously) Yes maybe..

Self: Sir you are not very enthusiastic?

MiU: Well it is an untested system.

Self: But no less untested than the Arrow or the S300...

MiU: Well not exactly.

Self: Can you be sure that what we get will work? won't we have to verify all their results and claims?

MiU: yes..

Self: Then how is it cheaper? or more effective? to import? the tests will still cost us a fortune and that will come from your account.

MiU: See traditionally we have had a lot of problems with DRD..

Self: And our imports have been reliable? I still remember the problems with...

MiU: Yes but we solved all of those.

Self: At the cost lives on the battlefie..

MiU: What rubbish that is not fair to us.

Self: Sir you chose, and you bought something that didn't work.

MiU: this is most unfair.

Self: At least with Prithvi we will know more about it than any other system they sell us, you have a lot of experience.

MiU: Yes that is true but..

Self: But do we know whether the import will work at all?

MiU: there is a known failure rate and a certain rating for each supplier.

Self: Ratings? based on prior purchases ? how are these ratings given?

MiU: That is technically evaluated and you know performance based.

Self: With battlefield evaluations?

MiU: yes indeed.

Self: of an ABM? how?

MiU: Aaah.. simulated conditions.

Self: Simulated with what?

MiU: we have a few things?

Self: High Mach simulations? I have never heard of such a thing.

MiU: Well it is fairly standard..

Self: Really... when was this done?

MiU: it hasn't been here but we have witnessed a few demos

Self: So is the decision made?

MiU: Well it is not up to us, ultimate Financ...

Self: Ah.. I see.. (Chanting in the background "Prithvi ki jai, Pradhan Mantri ki Jai.."

6) At my friends drinks party, I see someone squirriling around, so I catch up with him - he's a journalist. He ducks and runs as quickly as he sees me approach. I call out to him ask him what he is eating, he says its chicken, I think its crow and let it go.

12 Comments:

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Paul Devis said...

I call out to him ask him what he is eating, he says its chicken, I think its crow and let it go.

Superb ! :)

 
At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi maverick,
[quote]
I hope and pray will never come? It is the exact same logic that applies to ballistic missiles. Why spend money on pieces of junk that will end up in a hole in the ground? and then when they are in a hole in the ground you will stand around the hole and worship these missiles and pray everyday that something terrible doesn't happen that causes this beast to come out of the hole. What a fantastic waste of public funds! who in their right mind is going to sanction this? What is the bottom line on this? half a Billion USD per city? assuming that we have a single Aegis type radar and about a hundred missiles per city of choice? So Delhi and Mumbai get protection, what about Bangalore? This is going to be the budget? for a guarenteed kill probability of what? 50 %? what are the odds with this? does this not seem absurd?
[unquote]
our minds are one on this as also before.
a)why waste money building thousands of nuclear weapons
b)why waste public money on ABM systems which have escalatory potential err i mean
c) if we build one ABM system our enemies will build something that will counter this in turn we will have to build that counter-counter stuff and so on.Hence escalatory in nature.
The above two decisions should be made by us alone!!!. This is one of the central tenets(like the directive principles of the constitution) of which no GOI will ever move away. What make this Indo-US deal special is that our autonomous decision making will be affected.Hell with nuclear weapons, hell with ABM but hell with autonomous decision making???
d)Let us go back 20-30 years in time when there was no IGMDP.If we had said at that time hell with IGMDP imagine today we have had to start with scratch.If we never deploy such things okay,hell with all of them imagine 50 years hence what will be our state
e)Last Brahmos,AXO may never get deployed who the heck wants to develop/deploy such systems when millions do not have access to Toilets. But also remember missiles like Brahmos are the tip of our spear!! If we do not develop them now we will never get in future.
f)Let me give you an example, an afro-american friend of mine had in his house ar-17,grenades,pistols,ak-47, what else.His house would never get robbed also he was safe from white extremists. I am not saying that we should inculcate the paki mentality of parading weapons but they are also weapons of deterrence.
But supreme is autonomous decision making.That is what worries most about this Indo-US nuclear deal.
BJP is right to say that this deal cannot bind India into future.

 
At 12:09 AM, Anonymous chacko said...

Maveric,

http://journal.frontierindia.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=65&Itemid=27

Wanna add to it? Send me an email.

 
At 1:14 AM, Blogger s c r a p s s t u f f s said...

Sahi bola daacter saheb. PADE just upsets a lot of calculations.

The fictional account of vaartalaap with paltan folks was right on the money too. They need to cultivate more faith in Indian tech.

 
At 2:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pakistan per bhari PADE ga

 
At 6:56 AM, Blogger maverick said...

anonymous,

>> The above two decisions should be made by us alone!!!.

You are right! That is exactly what I am coming around to.

Chacko,

I am writing an essay on possible futuristic weapons systems that DRDO might want to develop. It will be a thought provoking essay. I got the idea from seeing that future soldier picture on BR. I will send you the essay in word format with pictures after this weekend. I think you are on the right tack by hitting away at anti-DRDO bullshit in the media.

Scrapsstuffs,

Kalamji ki jai. As ramana says he is the real visionary here.

Anonymous,

I am not sure if PADE makes any real difference to the Pakistanis and their bullock cart mentality. The problem is that publicly they always want to show how they are better than us, I think that is a big hit to their ego when they can't do it.

I think they will say they have manuevering warhead from China or some bullshit and we will pretend to be scared end of story.

 
At 6:57 AM, Blogger maverick said...

paul,

can you send me an email at breadomlette yahoo com

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Paul Devis said...

paul,

can you send me an email at breadomlette yahoo com


Done

 
At 8:58 PM, Anonymous chacko said...

Maveric,

It will be published. :)

 
At 2:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DRDO Bashing News
http://drdobashing.blogspot.com/

 
At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The difference between Aroor and a prostitute. The prostitute has some ethics.

 
At 2:27 AM, Anonymous chacko said...

PAD

http://journal.frontierindia.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=77&Itemid=42

AAD

http://journal.frontierindia.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=81&Itemid=42

 

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