Thursday, June 30, 2011


  In January 2009, the Brahmos Army version was undergoing a specific user scenario test which failed. The missile overshot its target by a few kilometers.

No one ever knew what parameters were getting checked & what exactly went wrong. The media cover up was that the missile failed to detect its target in a simulated urban environment with similar target decoys scattered at close proximity. But it was widely speculated in defense forums that the Americans had sniffed the test in advance & had selectively turned off the GPS in the test area, talk about the good old American gift - ’to Russia with love’. This has led to India’s interest in having its own GPS system the GAGAN/IRNSS after talks failed, for India to be a part of the Russian GLONASS and the EU’s ‘Galileo’. Reportedly, the recent Brahmos tests with GLONASS receivers have been successful and it’s an important direction towards removing dependency on American GPS.

The modern economies & their armed forces in particular are heavily dependent on satellites. Reconnaissance imagery, communication via satellite phones, target co-ordinates for missiles launched by land, fighter aircrafts or ships, everything needs an input from the satellite in one way or the other.

Imagine a war theatre in 2050, it is definitely not going to be on the land, air or sea.

for manual co-ordinates from the local ATC, there would be no DTH TV and the F-22 would fall out of sky like a stone. The outcome is unimaginable chaos. I believe, with almost everyone having the N-bomb nowadays, thanks to AQ Khan, the next most powerful weapon will be a country’s capability to knock out the adversary’s satellites. This will also be the most potent deterrent in the years to come. It’s the 21st century ‘Little Boy’ that can bring a superpower to its knees.

Assuming CAG keeps doing a good job and the DRDO restructuring goes well, coupled with an 8% GDP growth, assuming ISRO/DRDO are exempted from international sanctions and technological apartheid; come 2025, and DRDO would present to the Indian armed forces the weaponized KALI – Kilo Ampere Linear Injector or the kinetic attack loitering interceptor. The Kali is a BARC-DRDO project started in 1985. Kali in simple terms is an electron injector. The electron beam is further concentrated to form a high energy EM ray. It is a high power X-ray/Microwave gun which can blast a missile or a satellite. The latest form of KALI is the Kali-5000 which can produce beams as strong as 40 GW, which is good enough to vaporize or cause extensive damage to electronic gadgetry. However currently at 26 tons, it is too heavy to be weaponized, it is too power hungry and needs a lot of recharge time.

The US already has been running the Kinetic Energy Anti-Satellite (KE-ASAT) program, funded by approx. $50 Mil yearly, and the Chinese have the ASAT program. The Chinese, however, have been much more innovative. They are speculated to have created the satellite suicide bomber, it is a ‘parasitic’ microsatellite or a Nano-satellite that attaches itself to a bigger satellite and then detonates itself on Beijing’s instruction. It is a new age predator beyond anyone’s imagination.