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Old 24th January 2017, 21:37   #76
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Understanding India's $8 billion Rafale Deal:

Originally, India was supposed to buy 126 Rafales for $12 billion, but ended up buying jst 36 Rafales for $8 billion. Now that raised lots of eye-brows. Here is a breakup of the $8 billion deal -

1) Cost of 28 single seater & 8 dual seater Rafales: $3.8 billion ($105 million per aircraft)

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-2062603.jpg

2) Cost of Weapons: $700 million (includes Meteor long range air-to-air missiles and Storm Shadow Air-to-ground cruise missile).

Meteor is a long range (100 Km) radar guided fire-and-forget air-to-air missile, with an effective range (against a maneuvering fighter aircraft) of 50 km. That makes it 3 times more effective than American AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. One unique feature about the Meteor is that the missile can control its speed based distance between it and the target. When the target is far away, the ECU will adjust the throttle so that the missile cruises at a speed that gives it maximum range . As it approaches the target, the missile reaches up to Mach 4 speeds.

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-1nmdqtwkzbnsvoz7fxzc8qq.jpeg

Storm Shadow is a 1.3 tonne Air Launched Cruise Missile with a maximum range of 600 kms. So it is lighter, has a longer range and carries a larger warhead than Brahmos air launched missile. However, unlike Brahmos, Storm Shadow is a sub-sonic missile




3) Performance based Logistics: $350 million over 5 years (Dassault guarantees serviceability of 80% for IAF's Rafale fleet). Dassault claims it takes just 30 minutes to 1 hour to replace an engine (as against 8 hrs of Su-30 MKI). Quick maintenance of Rafale means it is capable of carrying out up to 5 sorties per day (as against max 3 per day for Su-30 MKI)

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-engineofraffale.jpg

4) Infrastructure & Training: $1.4 billion (includes extra engines, training in France for 10 pilots, spare parts, bomb proof hangars, training simulators etc)

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5) Customization: $1.7 billion -> modification for Rafales to suit IAF needs. Makes Rafale compatible with Indian nukes & Brahmos cruise missile, interoperability with Su-30 MKI and other Indian jets, installation of IFF, ability to fire Israeli/Indian missiles and modifications to allow Rafale to operate from high altitude airbases with full weapons load.

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-frenchrafaleovermountainspeterscheelen.jpg

IAF spending $1.7 billion on customization implies that after 36 Rafales are delivered over the next 5 years, a bigger order for Rafales cannot be ruled out. Future Rafale orders are likely to cost only $105 million (plus inflation) because infrastructure & customization is already done.

I guess IAF would like to see how Sukhoi T-50 program turns out. Plus IAF needs to see the capabilities and absolute number of J31/J20 in Chinese Air Force. The two squadrons of Rafale are likely to be based in UP and West Bengal. Clearly, the Rafale is intended to deter the Dragon.

There is a 50% offset clause, which means Dassault needs to invest/procure $4 billion in or from India. Dassault has tied up with Anil Ambani (ugh, I know!) and will procure components worth $1.6 billion over the next 5 years. The remaining $2.4 billion will be invested in Indian defence aircraft industry - this is where the deal gets interesting.

* Snecma (engine maker) will help India develop Kaveri engine for Tejas/AMCA, with 30% higher power than the existing GE engine
* Dassault will help India develop HAL AMCA.
* MBDA (maker of Mica & Meteor missiles) will transfer thrust vectoring technology to DRDO for use in their missles
* Setting up a RAM (Radar Absorbing Material) coating center for Indian fighter aircraft, with technology transfer. Application of this coating will reduce Radar footprint of Tejas, Su-30MKI, AMCA etc.
* AESA radar technology transfer. Will be used for desi Uttam AESA radar.

This deal will basically speed up India's Defence R&D capabilities.

Last edited by SDP : 24th January 2017 at 21:42.
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Old 24th January 2017, 21:37   #77
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Thanks smartcat for adding the second installment.

New posts start here -> http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...ml#post4133608 (Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force)

Last edited by GTO : 25th January 2017 at 09:37. Reason: Link
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Old 25th January 2017, 12:46   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
The pains of designing and opertionalising a new aircraft of the fighter class!! Hopefully this will allow people to put in perspective the delays that we have seen w.r.t. the Tejas. And this when the US has a history of aircraft design and production and we are literally starting from scratch!
Many critics of Tejas program fail or wantedly ignore this. USA has a whole industry setup and a long history in building fighter jets. Still it is facing long overdues and cost increases in f-35 program. Granted that f-35 is totally different beast, but we have to understand that India faced sanctions also during Pokhran tests and are more or less nearing a finished product.
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Old 25th January 2017, 13:24   #79
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I have a few questions. Defence experts please-

- Is Rafale comparable to Su-30 MKI, in specs and capabilities?

- How different is Su-30 MKI compared to Su-30 MKK? Which is superior?

- I have read somewhere that F-22 Raptor is superior to all the other stealth fighters under development. Is it true? If yes, then how?

- Why is developing Kaveri engine such a difficult task for India? We have already developed cryogenic engines for ISRO and the heavy lift GSLV mk 3 is soon to enter service. But why not a jet engine?

- Why do we still keep MiG-21s in service? What is the role of a light fighter like Tejus/MiG-21 when we have more capable air superiority fighters? Is there any role for interceptors in this era of accurate SAMs?

- Why are top speeds of modern fighters lower than top speeds of 60s and 70s fighters? Is it because of increasing stealth and thus lower probablilty of a need to outrun interceptors?

- Why do we still keep Jaguars? Isnt a missile more effective than a bomber?

Last edited by deerhunter : 25th January 2017 at 13:25.
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Old 25th January 2017, 14:48   #80
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
The pains of designing and opertionalising a new aircraft of the fighter class!! Hopefully this will allow people to put in perspective the delays that we have seen w.r.t. the Tejas. And this when the US has a history of aircraft design and production and we are literally starting from scratch!
Quote:
Originally Posted by vamsi.kona View Post
Many critics of Tejas program fail or wantedly ignore this. USA has a whole industry setup and a long history in building fighter jets. Still it is facing long overdues and cost increases in f-35 program. Granted that f-35 is totally different beast, but we have to understand that India faced sanctions also during Pokhran tests and are more or less nearing a finished product.

Don't you think it was a mistake on India's part trying to reinvent the wheel? Why bother designing every component of a fighter aircraft? They could have developed the airframe and added high tech stuff from Israel, Europe & Russia. Trying to make the jet engine (Kaveri) and Naval Tejas was the biggest mistake of all. China has still not been able to build a jet engine on its own and Saab uses GE engine for their Gripen fighter jet. Of course, all this criticism and analysis is only hindsight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deerhunter View Post
I have a few questions.
Is Rafale comparable to Su-30 MKI, in specs and capabilities?

In my Rafale post, I have frequently mentioned Su-30 MKI for comparison. Su-30 MKI costs around $60 to $65 million while Rafale costs $105 million. However, the proposed upgrades to Su-30 MKI is likely to cost roughly $30 million per jet extra. So there is not much difference in price (after Su-30 MKI upgrades). Rafale is like a genuine all-rounder, while Su-30MKI is like a great batsman (air superiority) who can also bowl a bit (other missions). Su-30 MKI is likely to be significantly more manoeuvrable/agile than Rafale.

How different is Su-30 MKI compared to Su-30 MKK? Which is superior?

Easily MKI. Chinese Su-30 MKK does not have canards or thrust vectoring. So MKI is likely to be more agile than MKK. Also, MKI has Israeli and French high-tech gadgetry. However, do note that China has bought 36 Su-35 jets which is comparable to Su-30 MKI. But the 'Super Sukhoi' upgrade for Su-30MKI will keep the IAF ahead

I have read somewhere that F-22 Raptor is superior to all the other stealth fighters under development. Is it true? If yes, then how?

* It is stealthier than F-35
* Is extremely manoeuvrable, has thrust vectoring. It can do a Pugachev's Cobra like Russian jets.
* Unlike F-35, F-22 is a "heavy fighter" like Su-30MKI or F15. Total weapons capacity is 10 tonnes plus.
* Much superior radar jamming capabilities
* F16 and F15 pilots mention that F22 pilots frequently sneak up behind them, and they had no idea about its presence.
* High powered engine. Supercruise speed of Mach 1.8 (Mach 1.4 for Rafale and Mach 1.5 for Eurofighter)
* Costs $200 to $250 million (but this might be due to lower production)


Why is developing Kaveri engine such a difficult task for India? We have already developed cryogenic engines for ISRO and the heavy lift GSLV mk 3 is soon to enter service. But why not a jet engine?

As mentioned before, even the Chinese don't have their own jet engine. Russians are very confident that the Chinese will not be able to reverse engineer their engines - because it has a billion parts. You cannot completely dis-assemble a jet engine without breaking it apart. Meanwhile, a jet engine needs to work flawlessly at different altitudes, weather conditions and speeds. If a jet engine fails, it means lives are put at risk. That's not the case with rocket or missile engines though. If a rocket engine fails, the worst that can happen is that it will blow-up mid-flight harmlessly. Note that all successful DRDO missiles are ballistic missiles, because they can take help from ISRO. DRDO has still not been able to produce a successful cruise missile (that uses a jet engine). The recent test of Nirbhay cruise missile was a failure too.

Why do we still keep MiG-21s in service? What is the role of a light fighter like Tejus/MiG-21 when we have more capable air superiority fighters? Is there any role for interceptors in this era of accurate SAMs?

Nobody makes an interceptor (fast in a straight line) anymore. We still need Tejas/Mig 21 because we need NUMBERS to take on both Pakistan and China together. See, if there is India-Pakistan war, China is likely to keep distance. But if there is India-China war, what do you expect Pakistan to do? Tejas/Mig 21 are cheap low cost aircraft, with low running & maintenance costs. A Mig 21/Tejas costs around $5000 per flying hour (while Su-30MKI/Rafale costs $15,000 per hour). Medium sized fighter jets like F16/Mirage 2000 costs around $8,000 - $10,000 per hour to run. SAM's are called 'point defence' systems. We still need Mig 21/Tejas to chase down enemy aircraft if they enter our airspace at places where there is no SAM coverage.


Why are top speeds of modern fighters lower than top speeds of 60s and 70s fighters? Is it because of increasing stealth and thus lower probablilty of a need to outrun interceptors?

In the 60s and 70s, missiles were not very reliable, you could fly high and run away. But modern missiles fly at Mach 4 speeds. You cannot outrun a missile now. So rather than top speed, designers concentrate on high average speeds with longer range - that's why the development of supercruise capable engines

Why do we still keep Jaguars? Isnt a missile more effective than a bomber?

Missiles are expensive. At the most, they can deliver 300 to 1000 kgs of explosives per firing. A jaguar can deliver 4 tonnes of bombs per sortie. So missiles will be used only to take out "high value" targets. For everything else, either fighter jets or artillery (Bofors, Pinaka) will be used.

Last edited by smartcat : 25th January 2017 at 15:14.
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Old 25th January 2017, 15:19   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deerhunter View Post
I have a few questions. Defence experts please-

- Is Rafale comparable to Su-30 MKI, in specs and capabilities?
Su-30 is a Heavy Multirole air superiority fighter while Rafale is a Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft. Tejas is a Light combat aircraft. All three aircraft are categorized according to weight, size and battlefield usage / application and cost.

Quote:
- How different is Su-30 MKI compared to Su-30 MKK? Which is superior?
Su-30 MKI is the superior one. Russian Air force uses Su-30SM which is SU-30 MKI + Canards.

Quote:
- I have read somewhere that F-22 Raptor is superior to all the other stealth fighters under development. Is it true? If yes, then how?
This can be only proved in battlefield. There are some who support this while some not.

Quote:
- Why is developing Kaveri engine such a difficult task for India? We have already developed cryogenic engines for ISRO and the heavy lift GSLV mk 3 is soon to enter service. But why not a jet engine?
Jet engine is different from cryogenic engine. It is very complex, plus India doesn't have high altitude test facility. However this project though delinked from Tejas, is still going on. Rest can be finished off with help of Snecma, the French engine supplier. For more details please visit this link.
Quote:
- Why do we still keep MiG-21s in service? What is the role of a light fighter like Tejus/MiG-21 when we have more capable air superiority fighters? Is there any role for interceptors in this era of accurate SAMs?
Su-30 can't be used for every mission. It is a air superiority fighter, meant to dominate in dogfight with enemy jet (Not limited to this usage only though). Tejas is replacement for Mig-21 which comprise the major bulk of IAF. It can be used to provide support to ground troops, do precision laser guided bombing etc. Rafale kind of sits between the two. Capabilities of Rafale have already been explained by smartcat. One more important thing is cost of procuring and maintaining an aircraft. If I have to give an analogy, we use car for city runs, trains for medium distance and plane for large distance.
Quote:
- Why are top speeds of modern fighters lower than top speeds of 60s and 70s fighters? Is it because of increasing stealth and thus lower probablilty of a need to outrun interceptors?
Today a fighter plane is expected to perform multiple roles rather than a singular one. Thus a balance between all the parameters has to be achieved. Afterburners are there for speed bursts.
Quote:
- Why do we still keep Jaguars? Isnt a missile more effective than a bomber?
Again we can't substitute one with another. Jaguar was the main strike aircraft of French and British Air Force till 2005 and 2007 respectively. It is praised for it's reliability and recently IAF upgraded it with new engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Don't you think it was a mistake on India's part trying to reinvent the wheel? Why bother designing every component of a fighter aircraft? They could have developed the airframe and added high tech stuff from Israel, Europe & Russia. Trying to make the jet engine (Kaveri) and Naval Tejas was the biggest mistake of all. China has still not been able to build a jet engine on its own and Saab uses GE engine for their Gripen fighter jet. Of course, all this criticism and analysis is only hindsight!
ADA didn't want to, however they were forced due to sanctions imposed after nuclear tests. The sanctions restricted access in many ways. (countries, tech, suppliers etc)

Last edited by GTO : 26th January 2017 at 12:39. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 26th January 2017, 11:57   #82
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Let me add two cents about developing jet engines,

It is a material science problem, the key technology that we do not have is the ability to make high temperature capable single crystal turbine blades. The rest is relatively doable.

The power to weight / efficiency of the engine is held back by how high a temperature the turbine blades can withstand. People are now moving from nickel super alloys to ceramics. A relatable example would be the advances in turbochargers in recent past.

Without this key technology we still need to depend on the global market for spares and engines. You replace these blades quite frequently, every engine out service. People with actual experience in the field can contribute a lot more.

Investing in developing jet engines gives us a key advantage, it doesn't hold us ransom to sanctions.
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Old 16th February 2017, 18:04   #83
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Very strange this news item -> Indo-Russia fifth generation fighter aircraft will be completely new, not linked to Sukhoi T 50: Russia

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...campaign=cppst

I was under the impression that Indian FGFA would be a dual-seater, with integrated Western avionics and weapon systems. The above comment by Rostec is very confusing.

Quote:
There has been little progress on the FGFA project since 2010, when then defence minister AK Antony had announced that all issues have been resolved and the air force said that it expects deliveries to start in 2017. However, India and Russia have not yet signed an agreement to take the project forward, with the air force constituting a new three member committee to reevaluate the project.
Does anybody else get the impression that India wants to somehow wiggle out of this deal? And deploy its resources towards the development of AMCA?
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Old 17th February 2017, 08:16   #84
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The tie-up of Dassault with Reliance is now confirmed!

http://www.financialexpress.com/indu...d-jobs/554725/

Hope it does not go the Delhi Airport Express way!
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Old 17th February 2017, 15:05   #85
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Very strange this news item -> Indo-Russia fifth generation fighter aircraft will be completely new, not linked to Sukhoi T 50: Russia

Does anybody else get the impression that India wants to somehow wiggle out of this deal? And deploy its resources towards the development of AMCA?
Indeed. I been following T50 - IAF news since past few years and it confusing to say the least.

Every couple of month there will be an update that things are fine and issues are sorted out. Only to read a news article few months later that nothing has progressed.

Part of that I feel is due to IAF skepticism with performance and build issues reported in T50. There are few articles online which talks in length about engine flame-out, body panel falling out and under powered engine.

Some of these articles mentions that IAF also has these apprehensions. Now, many of these may be doctored western media articles. Still there could be some truth to the same.

Also, with Rafale deal (~36) done atleast on paper, SU-30's delivery almost getting completed (~272), IAF is more keen on getting a replacement for the small / mid range fighters. A role which LCA was supposed to fill. There were news that IAF is going with purchase of ~80 LCA's. Still there is a gap of around 200 fighters for which currently Rafale, Grippen, F16 etc are in race.

The game plan of IAF I guess is to clinch these 200 fighter deal, instead of going ahead with T 50 deal which has significantly lesser aircraft by count.

During the initial days of HAL FGFA discussion it was mentioned that India will be purchasing around 200 aircraft's, later it was mentioned as 140 or so. Now there are articles doing rounds that it will be below 100 in count.


Also, with China too acquiring S400 missile which is rumored to be able to detect stealth aircraft T 50 may look not that a big deal for IAF.
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Old 17th February 2017, 15:45   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
...
Also, with China too acquiring S400 missile which is rumored to be able to detect stealth aircraft T 50 may look not that a big deal for IAF.
The efficacy of any surface to air missile system depends on its detection, tracking and response ability. Any high grade SAM system which can track and shoot down missiles that are flying much faster than any plane shall always pose a danger.

Owen Cote, Associate Director and Principal Research Scientist of MIT’s Security Studies Program made this statement when research came out in 2001 that cellphone networks could detect stealth aircraft.
“No offensive advantage lasts. Often there is a relatively cheap defense counter to match new offensive technology. We may find ourselves moving further away from manned delivery platforms and focusing more on cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles, and short range missiles with incredible accuracy.”

http://tech.mit.edu/V121/N63/Stealth.63f.html
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Old 17th February 2017, 18:31   #87
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Originally Posted by Alfresco View Post
No offensive advantage lasts. Often there is a relatively cheap defense counter to match new offensive technology. We may find ourselves moving further away from manned delivery platforms and focusing more on cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles, and short range missiles with incredible accuracy.”
True. The Night Hawk shoot down comes to mind when you talk about the same.

Link

That said, the war time use of manned platforms on land, air or sea during conflict between two equally modern and formidable forces is yet to be seen. All the recent conflicts were between a bigger force and a smaller / technically obsolete forces.
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Old 18th February 2017, 00:20   #88
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^^The downing of F117A Nighthawk stealth aircraft was no mean feat though often people refer to it to show the over hyped importance given to stealth.

The man behind the shooting - Colonel Zoltán Dani did some innovations using the old Soviet radars using long wavelengths, which allowed them to detect the aircraft when the wheel well or bomb bay doors were open. That negated the stealth aspect when the radar illuminated the aircraft when the stealth was minimal.

They also had intelligence as to the approximate timings of the bombing sortie which helped them to use the radar accordingly.

Moreover the USAF was a bit complacent too considering that the opponents were not so organised and well equipped and they were really caught off guard.
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Old 18th February 2017, 19:57   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Does anybody else get the impression that India wants to somehow wiggle out of this deal? And deploy its resources towards the development of AMCA?
Some reasons that come to my mind are:
  1. Poor reliability and spare part issues associated with Russian aircraft.
  2. The Indian version, called the Prospective Multi-Role Fighter (PMF), is almost exactly the same as PAK-FA but with some variations. In fact, Indian money is key to keeping Russia's PAKFA programme alive. Russia has built six prototypes of PAK-FA and, after repeated requests from India, it agreed to hold a demonstration flight in 2014 for technical evaluation. The flight ended in a fire that embarrassed the Russians. No reason was given for fire and no one from Indian team was allowed to go near the aircraft.
  3. IAF doesn't seems impressed with the current T-50 undergoing tests in Russia. It is flying on older generation engines which don't give the super cruise ability to the jet. Super cruise is the key requirement for IAF.
  4. Though Indian partnership is 50% in the cost however the indigenous content is very limited to 13%. The components produced by HAL will be limited to tyres, basic navigational instrument VOR-DME, coolant for the radar, laser designation pod and heads-up display.
    Even within this 13 per cent, the actual indigenous items will be in single digits and the rest will be procured from abroad.
  5. Russia not allowing Indian pilots to fly the T-50, claiming foreign pilots are barred from flying in their airspace. On the contrary Sukhois or MiG jets were extensively flown in Russia by Indian pilots.
  6. India has already spent around $22 million on the preliminary design stage (PDS) of the FGFA project. With all the above issues Russia wants to sign a $4 billion R&D contract. Defense ministry has constituted a team to look into various aspects of the FGFA and it is likely to submit its report within a month after which things would be finalized. A three-star officer is heading the panel.
  7. India wants to cut down on it's expensive foreign shopping spree and wants to set up joint production in India with complete TOT clause. Make in India is the first requirement for any defense deal.

Last edited by PraNeel : 18th February 2017 at 19:59.
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Old 20th February 2017, 09:08   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
The IAF does not hold any Israeli PGM.
IAF Mirage 2000-5 Mk2 "Vajra" with the Popeye II AGM

Credit-Angad Singh
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