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Old 15th August 2015, 16:13   #16
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Default Re: MiG-29 Fulcrum : The balance rests on us

[quote=basuroy;3779461]
They have also delayed setting up the necessary equipment to service and maintain the Saturn AL-31 engine which powers the flanker , being a twin engine aircraft , they don't crash when a single engine fails but the 55% fleet availability (as compared to roughly 75% for mig 29 , mig 29 engines can be rebuilt and refurbished within India ) is extremely poor and it is solely down to engine issues . One of the prime cause for engine issue is poor ball bearing which disintegrates and pollutes engine oil , roughly 50% engines issues were traced to this single cause . Mind you , cursory reports indicate fleet availability of flankers serving at other nations is significantly higher , one perhaps needs to look at HAL here .

And today you get that absolute whale of an airplane , the F-35 that is massacred in all simulated aerial engagements . But they will tell you it has got stealth . Gotta admire how they have managed to convince dozen+ allied nations to purchase the whale as well including Israel .
/quote]


As per IAF, the western jets still beat life cycle costs, which is what was one of the main criteria for the MMRCA and the final shortlisting of western jets supports that line of thought - no figures revealed to public, though companies selling them may publish their own estimates of life cycle cost.

I am a little surprised about the IAF Su-30 fleet suffering lower availability rates, I didn't know this. HAL could be the main suspect, but I have it from an ex-flyer, the integration of different makes of avionics - French, Israeli, Indian, Russian, is a source of major headache and didn't go as seamlessly as hoped for, as against a sole source of well integrated avionics.

I'm really waiting to see if they can fix the F-35, to me it seems beyond recovering. Even the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet suffered a lot of bugs (pardon the pun), and the fixes were considered elegant, so much so that an older F/A-18 pilot who flew against it in eval sorties , said "We outran them, we outflew them, we ran them out of fuel" - an embarrassing result, the Super Hornet troubles can be a thread by itself.


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Originally Posted by SR71-Blackbird View Post
IMHO, the MIG 29 Fulcrum is one of the best looking military aircrafts out there.
I had spotted a lot of Indian Navy's MIG 29Ks last year in Goa both at the airport and flying above our resort in south Goa as well!

I had also read somewhere earlier that the NATO reporting name fulcrum was because it was considered to be the fulcrum of the Russian air force!
Yes, it's a great looking jet. Some designer (if I remember correctly) it was Harry Hillaker , chief designer of the F-16, who said that if it looks good, it will fly good !

The Fulcrum name isn't really based on that, NATO names don't really have a logic/rationale behind them, aside from the starting letter's significance ( F for fighters - Fulcrum, Flanker, Finback, Fishbed ) , B for bombers ( Bison, Bear, Blackjack ), C for cargo ( Candid , Cub ) and so on.


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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
My two paisa -

First paisa - Russian fighters are built to a different maintenance philosophy than Western ones. Western aircraft have long MTBO (Meantime Between Overhaul) and require significant care and maintenance in between two MTBO points. Russian aircraft are designed for shorter MTBO's with close to zero maintenance required in between. Western writers on the internet overlook this point. Not saying one is better just pointing the difference in approach. Some Western aircraft like the Mirage 2000 or F-15 Eagle top the charts on reliability and uptime. Russian aircraft such as the Mi-17 helicopter would give any other a run for their money of reliability. Where the Russkies are failing us and other customers is in spares support and technology transfer.

Second paisa -
Two examples - The English Electric Lightning was UK's first Mach 2 fighter which entered service in the late 1959. It had very good acceleration & climb, poor maneuverability, almost no range and very very poor reliability. Of the 339 manufactured 109 were lost in accidents ie a third in just 18 years of service. Few web sites will tell us about the immense reliability problems of this aircraft which was one of NATO's frontline through the 1960s and 1970s.

The F-14 Tomcat was bedeviled by engine reliability problems for the first roughly 10 to 12 years of its life and even after all the fixes the engines were certified with performance spectrum restrictions which the Tomcat lived with till the end of its service 34 years later. What we never get to read is that the Phoenix, the 100 kms range air to air missile repeatedly failed to deliver results when tested by American allies in real conditions. That was one reason why even the Israelis never went for the Tomcat -Phoenix combination and preferred instead the F-15 Eagle. Not trying to be critical just sharing what little I have read over the years.

Soviet doctrine was to stock entire engines and replace the engine at periodic intervals, sending the replaced engine back to main manufacturing/repair facility for inspection/refurbishment , rather than doing the maintenance on the base itself. This was to save time and effort, it was easier replacing engines completely and sending the engine to the parent manufacture/repair facility. Replace rather than repair, at the base/frontline was the motivation, to align with minimal work that you could expect to do at minimalist sites like forward staging bases with no hard shelters, etc.

Western doctrine was to keep the equipment running with minimal maintenance, and doing as much maintenance at the base, instead of maintaining a supply pipeline to demarcated major repair facilities. They didn't expect much rough field operations, so this suited them and they had the pockets to equip each base with higher degree of maintenance equipment.

About the F-14 - literal words from the pilots - "you had to fly the engine rather than the plane." It wasn't so much the reliability of the TF-30 as its inability to sustain in less than ideal airflow conditions, and rapid throttle transitions and hard turns are what fighters have to do, so disturbed air flow was agiven.

Rather than the TF-30, the F-404 and F-100 have more troublesome past, with reliability in both being poorer than intended. The PW F-100-PW-200 was notoriously troublesome on the F-15 , sparking the alternative engine program that got GE their major share of orders on F-16C/D with the F-110. Although it's said the F-100's problems were fully fixed in the F100-PW229, the majority of engine orders by then for F-16s went to GE, and South Korea too ordered F-110s for the F-15K.

The F-404 too was riddled with fires, leaving many F/A-18s requiring engine swaps. Not sure how many crashes it caused, but it did give the USN/USMC a fair share of headaches, but much of the western fan sites and media skip mentioning their own failures.

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Originally Posted by Ajith82 View Post
wasn't this the first fighter to be mated with the Helmet mounted tracking system in 1985? I believe this was done for integrating with the incredible AA-11 Archer which the Soviets developed. Some claim the AA-11 "Archer" to be the best dogfight missile in the world when it comes to WVR combat!
Yes, it's the first operational fighter with helmet mounted cueing system. The Americans had started a project in the 1970s, for the F-4 , but for some reason, they abandoned it until the 1990s and in early 2000s when the JHCMS was in service.

Until around 2000, the R-73 certainly was best. The Israeli Python 5 is now considered the best short range AAM. The AIM-9X is too is said to be as good if not better, time will tell.





Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Lovely write-up and photos. IMO, the Russian beauties are like the German cars. Extremely capable. But reliability (uptime) and opex?

Re Mig 29 vs Su 27 families: the longer range, payload capacity and more powerful radar/ecm etc. make the Su 27 more capable imo. Not everything is about wvr.

Disclaimer: huge Su-30 MKI fan.
Tough/robust rather than reliable, though they're not unreliable on the whole, just certain components, albeit critical components. Much like the tale of the war being lost from the failure of a single horseshoe. Op-ex wise, the parts cost to isn't all that high, though more frequent maintance is required. It's the operational readiness that bothered the IAF most - and the man-hours spent to meet the flight readiness. This, which was most crucial in the 1999 Kargil conflict, was there western product lifecycle impressed the IAF causing a major turn in preference for western equipment. The Mirage 2000 is very expensive to maintain, despite being single engined but had far better operational readiness, which was crucial being the only aircraft capable of dropping smart (laser) guided weapons.

The main reliability issues with the MiG-29 were engine and radar. One affects flight/operational readiness, the latter combat readiness. Early model RD33s had MTBO of 350 hrs. Recent ones claim 1000 hours MTBO.

Absolutely right on the Su-27. It's a MiG-29 on steroids. More range, more/better avionics, more ordnance and similar maneuverability, what's not to like about the Su-27 , except the cost and larger radar cross section. It does lose a bit in some regimes/aspects of flight performance to the MiG-29, but it outranks the F-15 almost everywhere, which is more important.
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Old 15th August 2015, 17:27   #17
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Great. Another in series article about super fighters. Seriously is there a pay and experience program anywhere for non forces people. I had heard of some program being offered, for those who could pay, in Russia to get behind controls. That would be awesome.
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Old 15th August 2015, 18:24   #18
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Default Re: MiG-29 Fulcrum : The balance rests on us

Excellent excellent write up.Thanks for sharing this.

I miss Pune just for this reason alone - Landing in Lohegaon airport and getting to see the lineup of the SU-30 MKI's on one side of the runway and the Mig-29's on the other side.

If lucky,could even get a glimpse of this mighty birds landing or taking off.Will never forget the take off run from a pair of SU-30MKIs.The way they shot off from standstill during the take off run made my eyes pop out
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Old 15th August 2015, 19:39   #19
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Originally Posted by Ricci View Post

As per IAF, the western jets still beat life cycle costs, which is what was one of the main criteria for the MMRCA and the final shortlisting of western jets supports that line of thought - no figures revealed to public, though companies selling them may publish their own estimates of life cycle cost.

I am a little surprised about the IAF Su-30 fleet suffering lower availability rates, I didn't know this. HAL could be the main suspect, but I have it from an ex-flyer, the integration of different makes of avionics - French, Israeli, Indian, Russian, is a source of major headache and didn't go as seamlessly as hoped for, as against a sole source of well integrated avionics.

I'm really waiting to see if they can fix the F-35, to me it seems beyond recovering. Even the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet suffered a lot of bugs (pardon the pun), and the fixes were considered elegant, so much so that an older F/A-18 pilot who flew against it in eval sorties , said "We outran them, we outflew them, we ran them out of fuel" - an embarrassing result, the Super Hornet troubles can be a thread by itself.

The Mirage 2000 is very expensive to maintain, despite being single engined but had far better operational readiness, which was crucial being the only aircraft capable of dropping smart (laser) guided weapons.
Regarding flanker , mission computer failure (a very damaging issue as per the leaked emails) sounds like a software issue and strongly hints towards what you say - the khichree of avionics has not gelled together quite well . Regarding the availability rate , it was around 55 until dec 2014 ,Mr. Parrikar even commented that his aim is to improve the availability up to 75% by end of this year . Right now , a damaged engine has to be shipped all the way to Russia for servicing , if like mig 29 , we can set up an engine manufacturing and servicing plant here , availability will sharply improve. There is some serious (even catastrophic) failure in communication between HAL/India and Sukhoi/Russia in this sector , that plant has been in plan for half a decade now , then the issues plaguing the t-50 with some reports saying the airframe is a failure compared to the flanker and the stealth is a mere gimmick . Parrikar also commented during jan in the same sitting that breakthroughs have been achieved in the t-50 program, at one point ,we were close to shelving it completely .

Yes , historically the Mirage has been our most reliable airplane accounting for it being single engine . However when we say western jets , France is really A LOT different seller from the British(now an alliance in form of eurofighter ) or worse the US .

France sells a craft without any strings attached while Britain or US will sell with numerous clauses. The Brits refused to sell us spares for Harrier(in case of escalation) during Kargil episode , same trouble was expected with typhoon because of some German law(And typhoon is part German so while this is all vague , if the US exerts pressure , the german's will bend and refuse us on the pretext of the word of law) that stops the sale of spares during warfare . However with the French , there are no such worries . As for US , purchasing something from them will prolly come with clauses regarding how to conduct ourselves within our own home , an historically pathetic seller , should never get anywhere close to their frontline hardware . Correct me if I am wrong but those giant transports we purchased (c-17 and c-130) were sold with some war clause , something like they cannot be used in an act of aggression !

F-35 cannot be fixed , it is a whale , it looks like a whale . 1.3 trillion spent , legalized corruption for the benefit of weapon suppliers . The stealth is a marketing gimmick , the engine is infinitely easier to detect with infrared sensors from BVR as compared to the raptor .

US fighters have normally been successful since WW2 because of excellent pilot training , not excellent aircrafts . Airframe conservation during training is not crucial there .

Last edited by basuroy : 15th August 2015 at 19:42.
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Old 15th August 2015, 19:55   #20
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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Seriously is there a pay and experience program anywhere for non forces people. I had heard of some program being offered, for those who could pay, in Russia to get behind controls. That would be awesome.
You're in luck, if you got the monies. The Su-27/30 and MiG-25 flights are no longer available, but L39 and MiG-29 are.




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Originally Posted by jraj View Post
If lucky,could even get a glimpse of this mighty birds landing or taking off.Will never forget the take off run from a pair of SU-30MKIs.The way they shot off from standstill during the take off run made my eyes pop out
The 29s are long gone from Lohegaon. Their take off was even more memorable. Far louder, shorter take off roll and steeper climb out, they set off car alarms in the neighbourhood !


Quote:
Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
Regarding flanker , mission computer failure (a very damaging issue as per the leaked emails) sounds like a software issue and strongly hints towards what you say - the khichree of avionics has not gelled together quite well . Regarding the availability rate , it was around 55 until dec 2014 ,Mr. Parrikar even commented that his aim is to improve the availability up to 75% by end of this year .

France sells a craft without any strings attached while Britain or US will sell with numerous clauses. However with the French , there are no such worries .

F-35 cannot be fixed , it is a whale , it looks like a whale . 1.3 trillion spent , legalized corruption for the benefit of weapon suppliers . The stealth is a marketing gimmick , the engine is infinitely easier to detect with infrared sensors from BVR as compared to the raptor .

US fighters have normally been successful since WW2 because of excellent pilot training , not excellent aircrafts . Airframe conservation during training is not crucial there .
Indeed, I support the Rafale choice majorly because of France's willingness to sell without the kind of restrictions and political shuffling the Americans impose, and the Euros, under US pressure. The US is a bad defense supplier if you're not part of NATO. Probably they are so touchy because of the Iranian F-14 sale and the anti-US regime thereafter. As good as the C-130 is, if they stop supply of parts, we have a hangar queen in a few weeks. The C-17 makes even less sense, when we have Il-76 that have been serving well.

US fighters are very good. But that's the teen series and F-22 to an extent, though I suspect it's overrated and its performance overstated.

The Russians have long used low frequency band radars on the ground, these can see stealthy aircraft. If they can make airborne radars capable of emitting in these frequencies, the F-22's cover is blown, proper.

Last edited by Ricci : 15th August 2015 at 19:57.
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Old 15th August 2015, 20:17   #21
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Indeed, I support the Rafale choice majorly because of France's willingness to sell without the kind of restrictions and political shuffling the Americans impose, and the Euros, under US pressure. The US is a bad defense supplier if you're not part of NATO. Probably they are so touchy because of the Iranian F-14 sale and the anti-US regime thereafter. As good as the C-130 is, if they stop supply of parts, we have a hangar queen in a few weeks. The C-17 makes even less sense, when we have Il-76 that have been serving well.

US fighters are very good. But that's the teen series and F-22 to an extent, though I suspect it's overrated and its performance overstated.

The Russians have long used low frequency band radars on the ground, these can see stealthy aircraft. If they can make airborne radars capable of emitting in these frequencies, the F-22's cover is blown, proper.
France is good friend , hope it remains that way . Even NATO is too big a group , they really don't give a damn about the French or Germans , it just the 4 english speaking nations that really are allies - Britain , Canada , Australia (and New zealand lol ) .And Israel of course . Not sure why we purchased those US aircrafts (As well as the more or less confirmed deal for the 2 dozen appache and another 10 or 20 chinooks ) , maybe some kind of flirting by the MEA but it really makes no sense - the Russians have behaved oddly as well , escalating costs on that aircraft carrier , the failure of communication with Sukhoi ... . Being overly friendly with the US is never good for anyone in the long run .

US fighter are of course good , I meant not the unrivalled airplanes they are made out to be by western groups , it is the pilot inside that really made the difference .An example would be the ridicule the mig 21 received for its failure in middle east where the supreme Israeli pilots made the difference , in Vietnam , we all know what went down so clearly the airplane itself was not to blame . F-22 I share a similar opinion . Remember the f-117 ? shot down by SAM after it was detected on radar from almost 60km away . Was detected in a span lasting few seconds when it opened its bomb bays. And these US stealth fighters have poor internal payload , sacrificing 4 missiles is a massive sacrifice .

Last edited by basuroy : 15th August 2015 at 20:20.
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Old 15th August 2015, 20:48   #22
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Default Re: MiG-29 Fulcrum : The balance rests on us

Two irrelevant points:
1. The Malaysians have MiG-29s and a base along the route MH370 took while backtracking over the country. They didn't bother to scramble them to identify the unidentified aircraft.
2. Speaking of MiG-29 crashes - I remember this one at Paris in 1989 where the pilot almost fell to the ground because his parachute almost didn't open. He survived:
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Old 15th August 2015, 21:00   #23
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Originally Posted by StarScream View Post
Two irrelevant points:
1. The Malaysians have MiG-29s and a base along the route MH370 took while backtracking over the country. They didn't bother to scramble them to identify the unidentified aircraft.
2. Speaking of MiG-29 crashes - I remember this one at Paris in 1989 where the pilot almost fell to the ground because his parachute almost didn't open.
Not sure about #1, if they detected the plane at all, and if they did detect and identify it as MH370, did the military realize it was off normal course ? ATCs might recognize a flight being off course after weeks of seeing the pattern. Military ATCs might not, if monitoring civilian traffic is not part of their defined tasks.

That's Anatoly Kvochur, test pilot held in high esteem. Parachute did open, but the ejection was at very low altitude, and trying to control the aircraft away from people and parked aircraft.
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Old 16th August 2015, 00:53   #24
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Not sure about #1, if they detected the plane at all, and if they did detect and identify it as MH370, did the military realize it was off normal course ? ATCs might recognize a flight being off course after weeks of seeing the pattern. Military ATCs might not, if monitoring civilian traffic is not part of their defined tasks.

That's Anatoly Kvochur, test pilot held in high esteem. Parachute did open, but the ejection was at very low altitude, and trying to control the aircraft away from people and parked aircraft.
It's called the Kuantan air base on the east coast where they have MiG 29s on scramble standby. They detected an unidentified aircraft - that's how they know it turned back. It's immaterial whether they identified it as MH370. Any other country with a higher threat perception would have reacted by scrambling jets when faced with an unidentified and unresponsive aircraft in its airspace. It's a separate matter if it would have made any difference to the outcome - refer Helios 522.

And I didn't say the parachute didn't open. I said it almost didn't open. I can't quite understand why you're repeating all that's in the video.
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Old 16th August 2015, 07:02   #25
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Default Re: MiG-29 Fulcrum : The balance rests on us

Automobile anologies? Absolutely. The reason a Toyota doesn't fail in India is because it doesn't have many high tech components to begin with. Like an AN 32.

That apart buying American IMO is foolish considering how unreliable US is as an alliance. One war with Pakistan and all our US based planes will be grounded.
Regarding Indian DRDO or HAL, may be we can expect them to deliver on the next decade if we are lucky. French airplanes are complex and fidgety on maintenance. So it leaves us with Russians i guess... may be with Israeli electronics
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Old 16th August 2015, 09:21   #26
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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
Agree with you. The reason Russian's are failing us in spares dept. is because we originally failed them by opting for extremely low quality spares for mig 21 from ex soviet bloc nations (a black market of sort )
for a quarter of the price .
Well said. The multiple Mig-21 crashes IMHO are directly or at least partly linked to this penny wise pound foolish approach. Sadly no IAS babu ever gets hauled up for these decisions and young pilots die.

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
When I say Toyota, I am talking about relatively high capex but lower opex, and overall lower total cost (money, maintenance effort) over lifetime for a given capability. And also good local maintenance infra - that is not sending engines or any critical part abroad everytime something goes wrong.

Buying more Russian planes and scrapping the mmrca project - does that take care of the original concerns? Getting exploited regarding maintenance, lower opex (say compared to a Su 30 MKI) and hedging risks?
For reliability I would put my money on the Mirage 2000 and the Sepecat Jaguar from the IAF's current inventory. MMRCA should go ahead or else we will be looking at a gap in the 2020s and 2030s. The Rafale is a good choice. The French are very reluctant on tech transfers but once they contract they fulfill and if you are a good customer they will amend the contract mid-way. In my business on the civilian side we deal very closely with aircraft OEMs from all these countries. The Russians as they are today, sadly, don't know the first word on customer service or fulfilling contracts. I have a big soft spot for our erstwhile relationship with the old USSR but the reality on the ground is different today. If there is one country who will arm China to the teeth for the right $ it is the Russia of today.

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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
Correct me if I am wrong but those giant transports we purchased (c-17 and c-130) were sold with some war clause , something like they cannot be used in an act of aggression !
Yes I believe this is the case. These are clauses they almost always insert expect with NATO countries. We shouldn't grudge them these clauses as we are the ones who took a considered view when signing the contracts. But in favour of these aircraft - both are superbly capable and immensely reliable. As transporters nothing else comes close. With the changing geo-political situation we may be left with no choice but to line up with the Yanks (this is already the situation). Who knows we might even get to like each other! In the late 1950s and early 1960s the Indian Army and Navy were aghast at the thought of buying Soviet equipment and aligning with them. There was a lot of resistance. Only the IAF embraced the opening in 1959-60 with the Antonov An-12 transporters and the Mil Mi-4 piston engine helicopters.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 16th August 2015 at 09:27. Reason: additions
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Old 16th August 2015, 10:42   #27
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Originally Posted by Ricci View Post
IAF went on to order 70 of these twin engined fighters. Pune became the first home for these , with 2 squadrons - no. 28, "The First Supersonics" , and no. 47, "The Black Archers". A third squadron formed, in Adampur , no. 223.
Thanks for sharing this very informative post. I had the opportunity to see the Mig-29 up close in the late 80s when it was new and its still etched in my memory. Then Wg. Cdr. Harsh Masand (retired as an Air Marshal) did a superb solo aerobatic display for residents of the air base. Though we saw a lot of fighters on a daily basis living on an air base; we had never seen one that could do maneuvers such as pulling up vertically after a take-off; hammer stall; tail slide etc. It was simply amazing. He was very well known in the IAF for his flying skills.
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Old 16th August 2015, 13:44   #28
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Awesome to see so many aviation enthusiasts in an automotive forum.
I think power to weight ratio is a very deadly addiction.

Coming back to the discussion i think the Mig 29 is still on of the best looking twin engine fighter. I was mad about this aircraft since childhood.

I do a lot research on military aviation and also wanted to become a fighter jock from the core of my heart , but sadly being the only son in an Indian family has its consequences.

If my memory serves me right, the US helmet mounted display system was based on the Mig 29 IRST system which they got hold of after purchasing Mig 29s from Moldova on the pretext of preventing their sale to terrorist orgs or Iran.

Infact there is a dedicated division within USAF/NASA which keeps acquiring russian tech for analysis.

I distinctly remember i had seen old Mig 21s and 29s in on of the Google maps images of a US airbase.

Coming to the west vs russian aviation discussion, i would say that the US in particular is really good with advertising tactics. Its very evident from the fact they sold the paper giant F 35 to so many countries!Typically going by historical trends Russians have always been at the fore front of moder combat aviation, there was even a term coined for this during the the cold war days called armament gap.

Infact if information is to believed , stealth which is USAF's major bragging point now, was also conceived long back by a student in one of Russia's major aviation schools. The paper was put aside by the head strong Russian's citing their brutally powerful engines and advanced missile capabilities. But CIA nipped it out of Russia and the result was the F 117.

Someone rightly stated that western journals also play their part in marketing western stuff. When Lockheed was asked why they chose a flat exhaust in place of a traditional circular one for the F 22, they cited stealthiness as the reason.

What was not told was that Russians who are already acknowledged globally as the masters of thrust vectoring systems had actually fitted a fighter jet with a flat 2D and a cylindrical 2D thrustt vectoring nozzle to analyse the differences and they had found that a flat nozzle incurs a lot of energy loss which translates into reduced combat turning performance.

Anyways i think i have gone way overboard here. Since this is an automotive forum primarily i didnt really know where to put in this info.

If anyone is willing to connect with me about aviation tech, please feel free to IM me. I would be more than happy to discuss since that's the only way i get to turn and burn.

Last edited by adneo : 16th August 2015 at 13:48. Reason: typo
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Old 16th August 2015, 20:11   #29
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It's called the Kuantan air base on the east coast where they have MiG 29s on scramble standby. They detected an unidentified aircraft - that's how they know it turned back. It's immaterial whether they identified it as MH370. Any other country with a higher threat perception would have reacted by scrambling jets when faced with an unidentified and unresponsive aircraft in its airspace. It's a separate matter if it would have made any difference to the outcome - refer Helios 522.

And I didn't say the parachute didn't open. I said it almost didn't open. I can't quite understand why you're repeating all that's in the video.
There are 2-3 other stations along/closer to their coast that could dispatch fighters to investigate, but they (TUDM ATC) probably knew well it was MH370 and deciphered it had technical difficulties and not a hijack situation.
All speculation of course, and befitting the MH370 thread instead.

Their MiG-29s are slated for retirement, though.

Sorry, I replied without seeing the video, the 1989 Paris airshow crash is well known. Why so trigger happy?



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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
If there is one country who will arm China to the teeth for the right $ it is the Russia of today.

Who knows we might even get to like each other! In the late 1950s and early 1960s the Indian Army and Navy were aghast at the thought of buying Soviet equipment and aligning with them. There was a lot of resistance. Only the IAF embraced the opening in 1959-60 with the Antonov An-12 transporters and the Mil Mi-4 piston engine helicopters.
Yes, but then France is willing to sell the Rafale to anyone, including Pakistan. Money before mates.

India did try to cosy up to the USA, in the 60s/70s, only to be rebuffed. The US politicians of the time had unfavorable views about India, that drove us to the Russians, what with earlier governments already following some Soviet style plans like the 5-yr plan.

Are there any documents in public domain , regarding the MMRCA requirements, and the US clauses for foreign sales? If we'd bought F/A-18s or AC-130 gunships, would they still tell us not to use in combat? Whatever we hear is via mainstream media, and they're prone to errors and oversimplification of such documents to imply very different things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
Remember the f-117 ? shot down by SAM after it was detected on radar from almost 60km away . Was detected in a span lasting few seconds when it opened its bomb bays. And these US stealth fighters have poor internal payload , sacrificing 4 missiles is a massive sacrifice .
They claimed it was a lucky shot and that the pilot used the same route for many days, making it easy for the Serbs. I find that laughable, you don't expect a combat veteran pilot to make that sort of mistake, and not be reprimanded immediately. Even then, the Serb equipment was not the most modern. One can understand the compromised load capacity in order to maintain stealth ; but if the missile was able to track the jet and bring it down, it wasn't effective , was it? The F-117 being pulled out of service earlier than the norm, hints at that. It's not as it the weapon bay door remains open for long duration either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by adneo View Post
If my memory serves me right, the US helmet mounted display system was based on the Mig 29 IRST system which they got hold of after purchasing Mig 29s from Moldova on the pretext of preventing their sale to terrorist orgs or Iran.

Typically going by historical trends Russians have always been at the fore front of moder combat aviation, there was even a term coined for this during the the cold war days called armament gap.

Infact if information is to believed , stealth which is USAF's major bragging point now, was also conceived long back by a student in one of Russia's major aviation schools. The paper was put aside by the head strong Russian's citing their brutally powerful engines and advanced missile capabilities. But CIA nipped it out of Russia and the result was the F 117.

If anyone is willing to connect with me about aviation tech, please feel free to IM me. I would be more than happy to discuss since that's the only way i get to turn and burn.
The F-117/Have Blue program was based on a Russian scientist's papers (released to public, not classified) about radar wave dispersion, the shape that was borne out was called the "hopeless diamond" by the Americans. Maybe the Russians thought it was too much trouble to make that flyable, or not within their contemporary technological limits anyway, because the F-117 required constant computer-commanded corrections to keep it flying steady.

The Moldovan MiG-29 purchase was because some of them were nuclear-capable. They already had good access to the German Fulcrums, though Moldovan ones might be lucrative as Russian-spec ones than downgraded export units.

Aviation itself has several sub-classes within it. The Russians were always behind in electronics, though they did get some firsts in service - IRST, the phased array radar on the MiG-31. I'd still hand that win to the US. Then there is metallurgy, Russians are seemingly we good at it. Despite that, they were slow to adopt titanium, with the US putting it to good use in the F-14 and SR-71 in particular. Conversely , the US started with the helmet mounted targeting but didn't complete it, the Russians got there first. Maybe a lot of these are the result of financial and political decisions to abandon good, potential projects after a few failures, or pursue terrible ones because too much money is already sunk it, to abandon it too late would be admitting a huge mistake. You win some rounds, you lose some.

I'm always game to talk military aviation, PM anytime though expect delays since I dont' login every day.
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Old 17th August 2015, 08:20   #30
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Default Re: MiG-29 Fulcrum : The balance rests on us

[quote=Ricci;3779489]
Quote:
Originally Posted by basuroy View Post

Soviet doctrine was to stock entire engines and replace the engine at periodic intervals, sending the replaced engine back to main manufacturing/repair facility for inspection/refurbishment , rather than doing the maintenance on the base itself. This was to save time and effort, it was easier replacing engines completely and sending the engine to the parent manufacture/repair facility. Replace rather than repair, at the base/frontline was the motivation, to align with minimal work that you could expect to do at minimalist sites like forward staging bases with no hard shelters, etc.

Western doctrine was to keep the equipment running with minimal maintenance, and doing as much maintenance at the base, instead of maintaining a supply pipeline to demarcated major repair facilities. They didn't expect much rough field operations, so this suited them and they had the pockets to equip each base with higher degree of maintenance equipment.
The difference in philosophies come from the strategic depth their home countries provide in times of war. A huge land mass like the Soviet Union (or even present day Russia) can ensure that they keep their manufacturing factories deep within the homeland and easily transport equipment when and as required to the battlefield. It's easier transporting full engines rather than little bits and pieces to the battlefields/forward bases and also repair and overhaul is easier in the factory with precision tools than forward bases. Based on this philosophy Russian equipment are easier to replace than repair, compared to western equipment which may be more modular, to allow replacement of small parts rather than whole components.
Also American equipment is not designed to operate out of unprepared strips, dirt strips or grass fields. Russian equipment is designed to do precisely that.
If India adopted the Russian philosophy in utilizing its aircraft, we would have some x% of spare engines, and other parts in inventory for a Y number of aircraft. We would also have storage bases/silos closer to the front line, from where these parts could be airlifted/train/shipped to the operating base and the technicians could simply install them and keep the fleet operational. However we choose to operate in the British philosophy of running the force, where in the field engineers should be able to service, repair and manufacture/install small parts when needed, this goes against the design philosophy of the aircraft in question.
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