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Old 15th June 2017, 10:04   #166
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

My 2 cents or 5 paisa

The Air Force Conundrum (explained as an auto buyer)
I have an urgent need for an SUV - My family doesnt care if it is imported or Indian, they just want the best performance, safety, comfort etc and they want to drive it all the time as there are lot of young drivers at home.

Should I buy a Innova Crysta/Ford Endeavour imported automobile - that will be relatively expensive to procure and maintain but be more reliable or should I buy XUV 500/Hexa, which is cheaper to buy, may not be as reliable but is likely to be cheaper to maintain but will have lots of glitches.

All my family cares about is that the vehicle should be available whenever required for whatever journey on any terrain and that it not break down.Supply of spares should be steady and in case of any breakdown - prompt support is expected.
The vehicle needs to be procured within the budget (say 30L). No brownie points will be awarded for buying the cheaper vehicle.

The Indian air force is tasked with the defence of the airspace of the country and as the experts in the field - recommend to the GOI as to what type of aircraft they require. Looking at all aspects and the country's financial position and national security objectives the GOI gives the go ahead to procure a particular aircraft within a sanctioned budget.

The service will always look to buy the best aircraft to do the job at that budget, the IAF will not look to buy the cheapest aircraft within that budget but the best platform to undertake the roles and missions it requires to be done.

This is rather like how the enthusiast car buyer procures his automobile and convinces the family members with a blaze of facts and figures. Yes! this is really cheaper in the long-run and no! it wont be expensive to maintain. Trust me na! I am the expert

As experts in the field if the IAF tells the GOI, that to counter China you need a US$ 90 million per piece aircraft like the Rafale, I hardly think our politicians and Babu's will say no - we dont need such as expensive aircraft, why dont you buy 2 Su-30 MKIs for the same money instead.

Hope you forgive this long-winded explanation, but this is the reason that the IAF has always procured the best platforms from abroad - just as you and I would go for a premium German brand if our budgets allowed (or my Dad decided to gift me one ).

As one of the only countries with in the world with two belligerent neigbours on its borders (only other country that comes to mind is Israel), the IAF was lavished with money.

Remember the procurement spree in the 80's
MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-27, MiG-29, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, Mi-17, Mi-24, Mi-26, An-32, IL-76, Ground Radar's, SAM systems worth tens of billions of dollars!!

The IAF never had the budget issues that the Navy was forced to deal and this why Navy proceeded with indigenisation.

Even in case of Navy - the warship engines are imported as are major sensors and missiles/gun armament. Nothing wrong with that as it is the design skills and how you integrate it all that matters.

Unlike the Navy, it is the Army and Air Force that are the Government's go to guys during a war-like situation (nee Kargil). The Navy has always been kept at the sidelines.
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Old 15th June 2017, 11:05   #167
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
In-fact HAL has done a great job with its helicopters - Dhruv, LCH and LUH.
They sure have. The Dhruv WSI is one mean looking machine and its good to see them getting inducted in good numbers in the IAF and IAA.. But the fiasco with Ecuadorian Dhruvs(keeping the pilot error in the crashes aside) was bad PR for the helicopter and HAL.

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
Under the decade old tenure of UPA, not a single defence deal happened. This was done to portray a clean image, at the cost of pushing the country backward by 10 years in it's defence capabilities. This is why we are forced to induct warships which are not fully equipped.
I still remember the words of Manohar Parrikar, where he said whatever decisions and deals have happened today, country will see the benefits after 2-3 years. Defence products are not like cars which one can go and buy in a showroom immediately.
C-17, C-130J-30, P-8I , Mi-17V5s, Boeing 737-700 BBJs, ERJ-145 (for the DRDO/CABS Netra AWACS) Additional 40 Su-30MKIs : direct supply from Russia, Additional MiG-29K/KUBs, Krivak III class Frigates, Scorpene/Kalvari class submarines, for the Navy - all of those deals happened during UPA. Additionally, deals for upgrades of the An-32, IL-76, MiG-29, Jaguar(DARIN III) & Mirage 2000 fleets were also signed during UPA.

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Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
In both cases Tejas is superior (in automobile terms Scorpio (FA50, JF-17) and XUV500 (Tejas).
Loved reading the beautiful analogy between jets and cars in your previous post and this post. Nicely written
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Old 15th June 2017, 17:27   #168
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
And please remember in a fighter plane the most critical components are it's air frame and avionics, both of which are indigenous. This gives the flexibility of integrating a wide range of weapons and sensors. No dependency on anyone.
A beautiful air frame can only sit on the ground-not fly. Sate of the art avionics are great for a transport aircraft, but for a fighter, a multi mode radar is what cuts the deal.

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
Manufacturing of several Tejas parts like wings, fuselage is outsourced.
The wings and fuselage structures you mean? Ribs/spars etc? Because, the composites are made by HAL IMO.

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
If you watch the interview of HAL Director in the recent Aero India show he said he is not happy with the order book and they are looking at several new opportunities. This is the first time I have witnessed a PSU director having a visioned approach. In the same video he is questioned about disinvestment as well. So HAL can't afford to function in the same old red tape laced lethargic way.
I can totally understand the director questioning disinvestment. It will only hurt him and HAL. Just wish they improve their work ethics and production standards. Which I have seen very closely.

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
No aircraft whether indigenous or foreign is used and tested out to it's max initially. The pilots need to get familiar with the machine, notice issues if any and slowly the envelope is expanded. BTW Tejas participated in the Iron Fist 2016 exercise and fired a r73 missile towards a flare target.
Surely a series production aircraft such as the Tejas SP1 should be allowed to exploit its entire intended envelope I think!

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
In the video below Air Commodore K.A. Muthana, VSM at 13:16 calls Tejas as Baby Sukhoi. I hope his impressive credentials qualify!!
It is actually retired Air Commodore Muthana who was at that time the Chief Test Pilot of HAL, Bangalore division, and so an employee of HAL. Surely you don't expect him to say anything other what the chairman says!

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
ADA is also formed by Government and it's goals are also dictated by Govt and IAF. And I don't see what is wrong in coming out with a technically advanced platform which uses composite materials along with state of the art FBW control mechanism. What ADA, it's associates and HAL have achieved despite so many hurdles is exemplary.
No doubt that it is indeed exemplary. Just wish they has stuck to the timelines that they had themselves put and not put the nation and the IAF at a lurch as far as fighter platforms are concerned.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
Did not find anything which elaborates on the extent, type, scope or plan for modifications.


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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
In comparison to it's international peers Tejas program cost is peanuts!!
On a strictly lighter note, perhaps that is the reason we are getting peanuts!

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
Here is a video which gives a balanced view of Tejas capabilities and it's journey till now. Do watch till end to hear the views of the Tejas team which comprises of established fighter pilots.
Many of those fighter pilots are my colleagues.
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Old 15th June 2017, 17:49   #169
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
Hope you forgive this long-winded explanation, but this is the reason that the IAF has always procured the best platforms from abroad - just as you and I would go for a premium German brand if our budgets allowed (or my Dad decided to gift me one ).

As one of the only countries with in the world with two belligerent neigbours on its borders (only other country that comes to mind is Israel), the IAF was lavished with money.

Remember the procurement spree in the 80's
MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-27, MiG-29, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, Mi-17, Mi-24, Mi-26, An-32, IL-76, Ground Radar's, SAM systems worth tens of billions of dollars!!

The IAF never had the budget issues that the Navy was forced to deal and this why Navy proceeded with indigenisation.

Even in case of Navy - the warship engines are imported as are major sensors and missiles/gun armament. Nothing wrong with that as it is the design skills and how you integrate it all that matters.

Unlike the Navy, it is the Army and Air Force that are the Government's go to guys during a war-like situation (nee Kargil). The Navy has always been kept at the sidelines.

Perhaps it is exactly the same line of thought that allows our politicians to state that it is O.K. for men in the Army to be killed since they are getting paid for it!

Unfortunately, things are not that simple! The IAF is mandated by the GOI to ensure the defence of our skies and therefore, it is only prudent that the IAF offers the best advice to the GOI on the means to achieve it's intended task.

One sees that for the cost of two Su 30s we get just one Rafale. How may of us understand the capabilities of one Rafale vis-a-vis two Su 30s? It is not just a case of apples and oranges here. And let us not forget that if the IAF did not have budget issues it would have 136 Rafales.

Also one needs to look at the design process of the Navy. It is entirely under the control of the Navy. DRDO has no say in it. Perhaps that is why the Navy has been able to progress as far as it has in indigenisation.
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Old 15th June 2017, 18:40   #170
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
A beautiful air frame can only sit on the ground-not fly. Sate of the art avionics are great for a transport aircraft, but for a fighter, a multi mode radar is what cuts the deal.



The wings and fuselage structures you mean? Ribs/spars etc? Because, the composites are made by HAL IMO.



I can totally understand the director questioning disinvestment. It will only hurt him and HAL. Just wish they improve their work ethics and production standards. Which I have seen very closely.



Surely a series production aircraft such as the Tejas SP1 should be allowed to exploit its entire intended envelope I think!



It is actually retired Air Commodore Muthana who was at that time the Chief Test Pilot of HAL, Bangalore division, and so an employee of HAL. Surely you don't expect him to say anything other what the chairman says!



No doubt that it is indeed exemplary. Just wish they has stuck to the timelines that they had themselves put and not put the nation and the IAF at a lurch as far as fighter platforms are concerned.




Did not find anything which elaborates on the extent, type, scope or plan for modifications.




On a strictly lighter note, perhaps that is the reason we are getting peanuts!



Many of those fighter pilots are my colleagues.
From your post it seems that you are from IAF and naturally you will not like anyone pointing a finger at IAF. I don't want to go again replying / clarifying point by point.
There are issues, but it is not as bad as it is being portrayed and pace has picked up in the last 3 years. If one tries to find the development process of fighter air planes India is also following the same process. However the required time can't be reduced. The 40 years of lull and no foresighted decisions can't be reversed. Now the blame can be put on HAL / IAF / Government and can be debated, but criticizing of our own talent and achievements should not happen. At the same time we shouldn't be over optimistic with what we have achieved and should try to cover the lost ground ASAP.
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Old 15th June 2017, 19:02   #171
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Meanwhile the E variant of the Gripen took to the skies today..
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-1497533344905.jpg

Quote:
Saab's JAS 39 Gripen E has made its maiden flight today. It flew from Saab's Linköping site this morning.

The Gripen E will operate at a higher all-up weight than the JAS 39C variant: 16.5 tonnes compared to 14 tonnes. It also carries 40 per cent more fuel. A new AESA radar is accommodated within a new radome, and the nose gear now has a single wheel, which allows the Gripen E to operate from a runway with arresting gear.

Structurally things have also changed. The outer wings now attach farther out at pylon three to make extra internal space for fuel tanks, and new aluminum-lithium integral frames are provided for the wing attachments. The main gear now retracts into the wing, rather than the fuselage. There are larger engine air intakes and a new secondary environmental control system (ECS) for the powerful AESA radar at the bottom of the fin leading edge. A revised wingtip design accommodates new electronic warfare antennas. Although the canopy, seat and outer elevons are common with the Gripen C, this is altogether a very new beast.

Saab plans three Swedish test aircraft, which will be in addition to the 60 series-production examples on order for the Swedish Air Force. Aircraft 39-8 is the prototype that was rolled out on May 18, 2016 and made the first flight today. The next two prototypes, 39-9 and 39-10, are both in build at Linköping and are all single-seat JAS 39Es.

Indian an airforce will conduct limited trials of Gripen E and F-16 block 70 for the single engined Mmrca tender. The trials will be carried out and the aircraft selected within the next 1 year. Keeping this in mind, the first flight for 39-8 is a great milestone for the Gripen program. The next aircraft 39-9 or the Gripen NG demonstrator which is being used as a tested for the E systems and avionics is likely to take part in the evaluation.

Brazil plans its initial buy around 28 Gripen Es and eight two-seat Gripen Fs. Saab will also build one Brazilian 'Echo' test aircraft, which will be built at and will initially operate from Linköping before it relocates to South America.

Last edited by skanchan95 : 15th June 2017 at 19:05.
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Old 15th June 2017, 22:27   #172
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
Meanwhile the E variant of the Gripen took to the skies today..
Attachment 1648583
Thanks for the share.
I don't quite understand the correlation here:
Quote:
the nose gear now has a single wheel, which allows the Gripen E to operate from a runway with arresting gear.
Maybe the reporter messed up.
Any news as to which engine she's running on?
The Volvo RM12 or a GE F 414?
This looks like a decent roadmap for the Tejas to follow.
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Old 15th June 2017, 23:04   #173
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

We all know how arms procurement in India works. The best is not always chosen, and what is chosen not for the best of reasons. They are given too many choices in choosing weapons from abroad.

The view that Tejas was deliberately stymied too many times is not entirely without merit. At least to some extent they should be given locally made stuff and told to make do with that. That is the only way indigenous capability can grow.
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Old 15th June 2017, 23:25   #174
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
Now the blame can be put on HAL / IAF / Government and can be debated, but criticizing of our own talent and achievements should not happen. At the same time we shouldn't be over optimistic with what we have achieved and should try to cover the lost ground ASAP.
Totally agree. This is not the place to be acrimonious I guess. However, the debate was my attempt to allow everybody to get a 360 degree view of matters.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 15th June 2017 at 23:38. Reason: Quote from poster changed. Please quote the right member while responding. Thanks!
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Old 16th June 2017, 00:05   #175
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Unfortunately, things are not that simple! The IAF is mandated by the GOI to ensure the defence of our skies and therefore, it is only prudent that the IAF offers the best advice to the GOI on the means to achieve it's intended task.

One sees that for the cost of two Su 30s we get just one Rafale. How may of us understand the capabilities of one Rafale vis-a-vis two Su 30s? It is not just a case of apples and oranges here. And let us not forget that if the IAF did not have budget issues it would have 136 Rafales.
From what I understand, the IAF has never been arm twisted into buying an aircraft it didnt want - the Tejas is a prime example !!

While the public perception appears to be that the Govt is staffed by a bunch of nincompoops, who will roll over and say yes to any IAF acquisition proposal, the reality is very different.

The acquisition process in an ideal situation takes 3-5 years (5-7 if delayed, in many cases more than that!) - the IAF has to make a very strong case for an aircraft purchase to make sure the Babu's dont shoot it down.

I remember the stories of Sanjay Gandhi trying to push the Saab Viggen at the time of the Jaguar deal and the IAF steadfastly stood by its decision.

Same with MiG-23, where if I recall correctly, only a couple of squadrons were procured as a stop-gap for PAF F-16 purchase in the early 80's.

According to an IAF pilot friend of mine, who flies the Jaguar - the Mig-23 was the scariest aircraft that he has flown, hugely powerful engine, but very tricky to fly.

The argument that 2 Su-30 MKI's can perform the role of one Rafale is simplistic - rather like saying we can have 10 MiG-21s do the same task.

The Rafale (late 80's design) is a generation ahead of the original Su-27 (late 70's design) and we essentially cobbled together a lot of Israeli and French equipment on this aircraft, which I am quite sure is a nightmare to maintain.

In automotive terms, I would compare the Rafale to a high-end German sports car and the Su-30 MKI to an american muscle car.

Maybe a cricketing comparison would be more apt, in that case Viraat Kohli=Rafale and Su-30 MKI = Virendar Sehwag

It is very obvious as to what is happening now, the IAF understands that despite the public adulation for the Tejas, it will take at least a decade for meaningful numbers of this aircraft to be fully operational with the service.

At avg production rate of 12 aircraft per year - 120 ac = 10 years

In the meantime, the rapid depletion in fighter squadron strength due to MiG-21 and MiG-27 retirements by 2025 (something like 10 squadrons or 160/180 aircraft) calls for an additional type to be inducted as the IAF has a sanctioned strength of 42.5 squadrons.

Et Viola - a new single engine fighter is a must - F-16 or Gripen.
Keeping in mind that we use our fighters more than any other country - atleast 40 years - the Gripen gets my vote

Last edited by Redline6800 : 16th June 2017 at 00:13. Reason: correction
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Old 16th June 2017, 12:04   #176
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Originally Posted by Patriot_Vishwas View Post
Thanks for the share.
I don't quite understand the correlation here:
Maybe the reporter messed up.
Me neither. Saab changed it from twin wheels setup on the nose gear on the C/D to a single wheel on the E for "compatibility" with runway arresting wires. I would like to know how a single nose wheel offers better compatibility than a two wheel nose gear configuration.

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Originally Posted by Patriot_Vishwas View Post

Any news as to which engine she's running on?
The Volvo RM12 or a GE F 414?
This looks like a decent roadmap for the Tejas to follow.
The Gripen-E should have the F414G turbofan engine rated at 22,000lb (98kN), the same engine Tejas Mk.2 is supposed to get.

Something that I love to watch again & again:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
I remember the stories of Sanjay Gandhi trying to push the Saab Viggen at the time of the Jaguar deal and the IAF steadfastly stood by its decision.

Same with MiG-23, where if I recall correctly, only a couple of squadrons were procured as a stop-gap for PAF F-16 purchase in the early 80's.
Among all the jets in the running for the IAF DPSA requirement of the late 70s (Jaguar, Mirage F1,Viggen, Su-20, MiG-23BN/27), the Viggen never really had a realistic chance of winning and the Jaguar was the only one realistically in the hunt(twin engine/cheaper/favorable delivery schedule).

The requirement was for a strike aircraft to be manufactured locally to replace the ageing Hunter & Canberra fleets, after the Marut failed to meet expectations. The main hurdle for the Viggen was that it was powered by the PW JT-8/ Volvo RM8 engine, for which the US was never going to give the go ahead for license manufacture in India. There was no way India as ever getting the Viggen. The British assured that no sanctions will ever be imposed on India and that was also a major factor in the Jaguar winning it( a promise they held in the aftermath of the Pokhran-II).

Sanjay Gandhi's "Investigations", eventhough he did not have any constitutional authority, were more political in nature because he apparently thought that the IAF had been influenced by the previous Janata Dal Government to opt for the Jaguar instead of the Viggen.

If the JAS-39E wins the current IAF competition(which I dearly wish that it does), it would be interesting to see what happens on the engine front.
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Old 16th June 2017, 15:17   #177
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I have little technical knowledge to come to any judgement about how, we as a nation, should move ahead in our development and procurement of our armed forces needs. With regards to the Tejas and delays, we have to remember that India didn't have any experience in building a fighter aircraft till then. The imposition of sanctions only added to this. USA, one of the foremost in fighter jet producing nations, is still unable to complete its F-35 fighter jet, after starting it in 1996 (Source: Wikipedia). If a nation such as US is finding it difficult to complete a fighter jet in 20 years time, it isn't a surprise that India would take more time, especially as it didn't have any infrastructure set up.

The ideal way ahead would be to continue with LCA program, while procuring the required jets from outside in the meanwhile. LCA program should be the stepping stone for future projects.
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Old 16th June 2017, 16:21   #178
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The ideal way ahead would be to continue with LCA program, while procuring the required jets from outside in the meanwhile. LCA program should be the stepping stone for future projects.
Well that is exactly what is being done

Work is already underway on the AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) and there will also be a twin-engine deck based carrier aircraft.

One of the main reasons the Navy is looking for new carrier based aircraft is that its first Indian built aircraft carrier will be ready in a few years and it needs aircraft for it.

As a trivia - the Tejas is the name given to the air force version of the LCA, the LCA Navy has yet to be named.
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Old 19th June 2017, 19:31   #179
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Gentlemen, it almost looks like a done deal - F16 for IAF. We just need to add 2 and 2 together.

Lockheed Martin signs pact with Tata to make F-16 planes in India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...w/59219572.cms

Tata Advanced Systems website:
http://www.tataadvancedsystems.com/
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Old 19th June 2017, 19:31   #180
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Lockheed Martin, Tata announce F-16 India partnership
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Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) has signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin to join hands to produce the F-16 Block 70 in India. The F-16 Block 70 is suited to meet the Indian Air Force's single-engine fighter needs and this US-Indian industry partnership directly supports India's initiative to develop private aerospace and defence manufacturing capacity in India, a release said.
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...nnounce-f.html
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