India to buy 12 S-400 systems, 4 Tu-22M3 bombers, 2 Akula-2 SSN & 1000 T-90 MBTs
India’s Ministry of Defence is soon expected place orders for the purchase of 12 S-400 ‘Triumph’ Anti-Aircraft missile systems to secure Indian skies. This was stated as the official stand of the Make in India program spearheaded by India’s PM Narendra Modi at the international industrial exhibition “Innoprom” in Yekaterinburg.
According to information at the booth, India plans to lease two more “Akula-2” class Nuclear Submarine with the ability to purchase them after the completion of the lease term.
It is also reported that India has also ordered four Russian long-range Tu-22M3 Nuclear Bombers, 80 Mi-17 helicopters and 6 IL-76 airplanes which are suitable for the Israeli Phalcon radar.
The submission also states that the ‘Make in India’ initiative on Indian territory is currently manufacturing a total of 1000 state-of-the-art T-90s battle tanks and will soon start production of more than 200 Ka-226 helicopters.
Russia is also modernising India’s fleet of Mig-29 fighter jets under a $900 million upgrade contract.
On the missile front, India is mass producing the supersonic Brahmos Cruise Missile and raising multiple missile regiments to augment its offensive strike capability vis-a-vis China. Talks are also underway to upgrade the entire fleet of India’s Su-30 MKI’s to Super Sukhoi standards thus making them the most formidable fighter jets in the whole of Asia.
1)Tupolev Tu-22M Strategic Bomber
The Tupolev Tu-22M (also known as Backfire) is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau.
The aircraft is primarily used to conduct nuclear strike and conventional attack operations. It can also be deployed in anti-ship and maritime reconnaissance missions.
The Tu-22M3 is powered by two Kuznetsov NK-25 turbofan engines installed in the body with large air intakes and dual exhausts. Each engine produces a maximum thrust of 25,000kg and delivers an improved fuel economy.
The Tu-22M3 can fly at a maximum altitude of 14,000m and the rate of climb of the aircraft is 15m/s. The aircraft has a cruise speed of 900km/h and maximum speed of 2,300km/h. The operational range of the aircraft is 7,000km.
The aircraft can be equipped with refuelling probes to allow in-flight refuelling for extended range.
The S-400 Triumph (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is an air defence missile system developed by Russia. The new system replaced the S-300P and S-200 air defence systems of the Russian Army.
The S-400 Triumph air defence system integrates a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre. It is capable of firing three types of missiles to create a layered defence.
The system can engage all types of aerial targets including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and ballistic and cruise missiles within the range of 400km, at an altitude of up to 30km. The system can simultaneously engage 36 targets.
The S-400 air defence missile system uses four new missile types in addition to the missiles of the S-300PMU system. The first missile inducted for the system was the 48N6DM (48N6E3). It is an improved variant of the 48N6M with powerful propulsion system. The missile can destroy airborne targets within the range of 250km.
The 40N6 missile of the S-400 has a claimed range of 400km and uses active radar homing to intercept air targets at great distances. It can be launched against AWACS, J-STARS, EA-6B support jammers and other high-value targets.
The S-400 Triumph also launches 9M96E and 9M96E2 medium range ground-to-air missiles. Designed for direct impact, the missiles can strike fast moving targets such as fighter aircraft with a high hit probability. The maximum range of the 9M96 missile is 120km.
3)Akula Class Submarine
After acquiring the Akula II class SSN Nerpa from Russia on a ‘lease’ for 10 years, the Indian Navy gained the ability to provide a long-range underwater escort for their carriers and destroyers. The INS Chakra is modified for Indian needs and carries a mix of 36 Torpedoes and Klub Anti-ship missiles which can be fired from the 8×533 mm torpedo tubes. There are reports that India will acquire another Akula SSN, the Iribis which is currently under construction. It may be modified to carry vertical launch tubes for BrahMos missiles.
Akula Class Submarine has a double-hulled configuration with a distinctive high aft fin. The hull has seven compartments and the stand-off distance between the outer and inner hulls is considerable, reducing the possible inner hull damage. The very low acoustic signature has been achieved by incremental design improvements to minimise noise generation and transmission – for example, the installation of active noise cancellation techniques.
Akula-class submarine can carry up to 12 submarine-launched cruise missiles with nuclear warheads and a range of 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) in addition to anti-ship missiles and torpedoes.
4) T-90S BHEESHMA
The T-90M Bhishma is a vehicle tailored for Indian service, improving upon the T-90S, and developed with assistance from Russia and France. The tanks are equipped with the French Thales-built Catherine-FC thermal sights. and utilises Russian Kontakt-5 K-5 explosive reactive armoured plates.
It weighs just 48 tons and has a crew of 3 which is made possible by the use of an autoloader for the 125 mm smoothbore gun. The unique feature of this tank is its ability to fire the Invar anti-tank missile from its barrel. The other special feature is that, even though the 12.7 mm machine gun mounted on the turret is manually operated, it can also be remotely controlled from inside the turret by the commander. The Indian variants have indigenous Kanchan ceramic armour which is topped by a layer of Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA). It is powered by a diesel engine which makes maintenance easier and reduces fuel consumption compared to the gas turbines of the T-80.
It is said that the Indian T-90S are downgraded variants of the Russian T-90A, but the Indian Military has fitted it with Israeli, French and Swedish sub systems and have made it possibly better than the Russian variant itself. It is slated to be fitted with the Saab LEDS-150 Active Protection System (APS) which will give it a 3-layered defense against enemy anti-tank munitions. The first layer is the APS, the second layer is the ERA and the third layer is the Ceramic armour. The T-90S can be easily deployed anywhere as it can be airlifted by Il-76 and C-17 transports of the IAF. India operates around 600 T-90S and the eventual number by 2020 is expected to be around 1500 tanks.