Why satnav and French RLG on Brahmos?

If as is being bandied about the French were approached for the ring laser gyro (RLG) as navigation aid on the Brahmos, the story makes even less sense! The VG Sekaran-led Advanced Systems Laboratory, Hyderabad, also produced the RLG for the advanced and highly accurate Agni-5 IRBM — of course, did I write A-6 originally? Oops! — which missile is comparable to the best in the world. If this indigenous RLG is good enough for the A-5 why is it not good enough for the Brahmos? Further, for cruise missile guidance there are more spoof-proof means available than satellite navigation. Such as terrain-mapping, etc. Hence the story gets curiouser! France is apparently GOI’s go-to country for high-tech. Except a more commercial-minded supplier who has time and again pocketed Indian money but not delivered the technology contracted for (for example, accelerometers) cannot be imagined, and this is the country India is going to trust????? And worse, the relationship with France is to be at the expense of Russia??? The more one thinks of how things are going wrong strategically the more one worries about the direction national security policies are headed.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in arms exports, Asian geopolitics, Cyber & Space, Defence Industry, DRDO, Europe, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Military Acquisitions, Missiles, Russia, russian assistance, satellites, South Asia, Strategic Forces Command, Strategic Relations with the US & West, Technology transfer, Weapons. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why satnav and French RLG on Brahmos?

  1. satyaki says:

    Bharat Sir,

    Do you mean Agni-6 here ? It hasn’t been tested yet, has it ? Agni -6 was supposed to be a MIRVed missile as far as I know. Did you mean Agni-3 or Agni-4 or Agni-5 instead ?

    Could we be going to France for RLGs not because we can’t make them but because we need larger numbers in the very near future (due to a sudden increase in perceived need)? I do not know …

    • Satyaki — Sorry, I meant to say Agni-5, of course. The “sudden increase” reflects bad planning. Moreover, in the setting every excuse is an opportunity to buy foreign — that’s the problem.

  2. Shail says:

    while i agree with the sentiment, an RLG is OK for an ICBM/IRBM ( no pinponit accuracy) or an aircraft which can update the “drift”” either manually or with a GPS/GLONASS/SBSS whatever.
    Any cruise missile would have IN/GPS ( RLG would be only the Inertial component) plus some other, TERCOM/GPS for the cruise phase, DSMAC / IIR/Radar/Laser etc for terminal guidance: since pinpoint accuracy, manoevring, and (relatively) lower times of flight are involved.
    So..bottom line, dont know why SAGEM, maybe the russians / DRDO refused or whatever, maybe not, isnt the present one good enough?

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