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Old 8th June 2022, 02:43   #1531
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
This was allowed by the IAF before 1999. There are pics of IAF jets with pilot names painted under the cockpit and on the nose. This was discontinued after the Kargil War when nearly all IAF jets switched to all grey paint scheme and the squadron logo painted on aircraft were not allowed too. However, a few squadrons did continue to paint their aircraft with low-viz squadron logos but pilot names are a strict NO.

The Indian Navy on the other hand, never disallowed such practice. So even now their aircraft, especially MiG-29Ks fly with squadron logos and pilot & technician names painted under the canopy (USN/RN style).
From what I know of the various western military the names on the jet is mostly ceremonial. There are more pilots than planes in most airforces/navies. So it goes by seniority. Plane allocation is not done by name on the plane either. In most cases there are all sorts of different operational and practical consideration that determine which jet you get allocated.

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Old 8th June 2022, 10:18   #1532
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
From what I know of the various western military the names on the jet is mostly ceremonial. There are more pilots than planes in most airforces/navies. So it goes by seniority. Plane allocation is not done by name on the plane either. In most cases there are all sorts of different operational and practical consideration that determine which jet you get allocated.
Yes, it is ceremonial and probably meant as moral booster for the airmen. However, it does not mean that the aircraft is only flown by that pilot in the squadron.

But, the seniority part may not be entirely correct. Thee have so many instances in that past where you've had young 2nd Lt/Lt (JG)/Pilot Officers names on the aircraft in different air arms.

To quote examples from the Indian Navy, they have had names of pilots & aircraft technicians name on the aircraft.
An IN MiG-29K that has a Lt Cdr's name on it
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An IN MiG-29K that has Lt's name on it
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-m29k_nm1.png

This one from the Sea Harrier Retirement ceremony had the last SHar CO's name on it - Cdr Shikku Raj Pillai.
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-name_harrier.jpg

The IAF on the other had it informally most of the times. But I remember seeing pic of an IAF Jaguar IS with FLt Lt's name on it with his Full rank & name.

Then No.45 Sqdn CO - Wg Cdr S Zaki's name on a MiG-21bis
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The letters "SANU" on the nose denote the first name of the Commanding Officer of No.26 Sqdn at that time, Wg Cdr Sanu Kainikara
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-name_mig21_2.jpg

On an IAF MiG-29B , probably from the late 80s or early 90s
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-name_fulcr.jpg

These are from the Kargil War:
A MiG-23BN Pilot whose nickname was "Dabs"
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A MiG-27 pilot whose surname was Sharma
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-name_mig27.jpg

Both these pilots whose names were painted on the Floggers were most probably not the COs of their respective squadrons. During the Kargil War, No.221 Sqdn (MiG-23BN) was led by Wg Cdr Ashit Mehta & No.9 Sqdn (MiG-27M) was led by Wg Cdr Avtar Singh

Last edited by skanchan95 : 8th June 2022 at 10:28.
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Old 8th June 2022, 14:34   #1533
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

This was one of the more well known photos in which the names of the aircrew was painted on.....Neelkantan/Arvind from Cope India 2004.

Also interesting is the experimental camo on the Mirage 2000TH (like the one painted on AdA Mirage 2000Ds).

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-usaf13.jpg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-kt201.jpg
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Old 11th June 2022, 06:49   #1534
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

While the English Movies thread is awash with shock, awe and adoration for the saga that is Top Gun Maverick , here is an interesting take on India's very own Top Gun history, with some famous names involved. Published in today's editorial section of TOI as well.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-modern-setup/

PS: Just realized its a subscription based article, but at least worth pointing if you want to grab today's newspaper and read it up.

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Old 11th June 2022, 14:28   #1535
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I don't think in the IAF there has ever been a rule, formal precedence or even a lasting tradition to write the name of pilot on the aircraft. There are practical and implementation issues with the concept.

IAF of late 70's, 80's and 90's was a little different from that of today. It was the age of shortages and frugality. The helm still had a few individuals who relished freedom and working at the edges and little beyond the established authority and rules, kind of stories one hears about flying in earlier days. Since the age of information was still some time away, there was considerable operational and administrative freedom at the Commanding Officer levels, 'Management and motivation' had just started becoming the buzz words, and in that some CO's (including AOC-in-Cs and AOCs) would come up such ideas to change the color scheme of the aircraft, writing names, changing logo designs etc. Over fifteen years that I stayed with squadrons in 80's and 90s we changed colour scheme of our aircraft two and half times depending on the role the squadron was assigned, once using Nerolac paint from the local market.

The aircraft too never had a very great serviceability records, and some flew on for many hours with lingering defects, 'niggles'. My CO felt that we youngsters weren't detailed enough with our servicings and left these niggles unattended. The sketches below display a servicing engineers predicament of those years better than words. The CO also felt since we bonded well with young pilots they too never report these defects hence the niggles persisted, so to bring in some responsibility towards the machines he allocated these to individual pilots and earmarked some senior techs under them. The names were written on aircraft but the scheme could never move beyond that due to obvious reasons. The aircraft with COs name went on 'AOG' first and remained there for considerable period of time and with it went the enthusiasm of CO towards name writings.
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Old 12th June 2022, 21:50   #1536
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

After what seems like forever, there is some clarity now on the MRFA deal:

1) The 114 aircrafts would be purchased through the 'buy global and make in India' route where the foreign companies would partner with an Indian company.
2) The first batch of 18 aircrafts would be imported from the foreign vendor.
3) The second batch of 36 aircrafts would be manufactured in India with payments being made partially in rupees, rest in foreign currency.
4) The final batch of 60 aircrafts would be manufactured in India with payments being made fully in Indian rupees where the responsibility for this batch being borne fully by the Indian partner.

This is interesting as one of the original sticking points with Dassault during the original MMRCA contract negotiations was on who would be responsible for the aircraft made in India with Dassault refusing to be liable for Indian-made aircraft (due to apparent quality concerns in HAL).

That news article quotes that the following companies are expected to participate: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Saab, MiG, Irkut Corporation and Dassault Aviation which means the aircraft that might be offered include:

1) Dassault Rafale
2) Boeing F15 EX / F/A-18 Super Hornet (likely the former will be offered)
3) Lockheed Martin F-21
4) Saab Gripen E
5) Mig-35
6) Sukhoi Su-35

Seems like the Eurofighter won't participate this time.

Hope this concludes soon and not become another 10-year saga! I mean, it makes basic sense that the Rafale would be cheaper due to a lot of fixed costs being already paid for!

Separately, the Navy is going forward with a separate procurement and it seems increasingly likely that the F/A-18 Super Hornet has the advantage here due to: 1) Folding wings that can allow it to fit in the elevator of the INS Vikrant, 2) Boeing claims that the F/A-18 can operate from the INS Vikramaditya as well, 3) It seems that the navy wants two-seater versions as well to operate from the carrier, which Dassault can't provide, 4) Interoperability with other American assets in the Navy as well as with Quad allies since the US Navy and RAAF both operate the F/A-18 Super Hornets (important for the Navy since the Quad has a strong emphasis on the maritime sphere).
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Old 13th June 2022, 20:55   #1537
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
Embraer is apparently in talks with India to sell its C390 Millenium aircraft... One interesting capability of the C390 is to function as a mid-air refueller while it shares its engine with the older A320 CEOs which can simplify maintenance.
Interesting suggestion this. I always thought the C390 was a promising little aircraft that offered medium lift capability at a reasonable cost for countries seeking a third way so to speak. I haven't heard much about this jet in a while - I figured it got waylaid a bit as Embraer dealt with the fall out of the failed Boeing takeover. It Is interesting that it's already available as a mid-air refueller, it's an intriguing additional capability. Wonder what the stats are for the C390 in this role vs a converted A320 for eg (the latter would be projected no doubt). I'm assuming the C390 is entirely a hose and drogue refueller? That works with most Indian air assets.

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The C390 looks strangely similar to our own ill-fated HAL MTA / Ilyushin Il-276 which was supposed to replace our An-32s (I'm guessing these will eventually be replaced by Indian-made C295s).
Well we can safely say this programme is dead in the water. I highly doubt Russia has any rubles to spare towards new transports at this junction, however necessary it might be. You're right though, the proposed model is Very similar to the C390.

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Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
After what seems like forever, there is some clarity now on the MRFA deal:...Hope this concludes soon and not become another 10-year saga! I mean, it makes basic sense that the Rafale would be cheaper due to a lot of fixed costs being already paid for!
Is it me or are the main changes the fact that production is now in 3 staggered stages of increasing domestic production and more importantly the biggest tranche (stage 3) now has the Indian partner bearing all the blame for any faults? Because surely the latter being the major sticking block while the rest of the tender remains unchanged from its MMRCA days means we can fast forward through a lot of the already completed assessments. Whatever be the case, I hope there's some light at the end of this never ending saga.

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Separately, the Navy is going forward with a separate procurement and it seems increasingly likely that the F/A-18 Super Hornet has the advantage here...
Does increasingly look like the Super Hornet would win out in the IN tender - I didn't realise the Rafale M lacks a twin seater variant. The Quad interoperability angle of the Super Hornet is an interesting one though - for sure it's important in that it's telling how increasingly serious the Quad would be about the grouping aligning their militaries to have more common ground. I think that consideration is a low-key but salient point in favour of the US jet.
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Old 13th June 2022, 22:12   #1538
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Is it me or are the main changes the fact that production is now in 3 staggered stages of increasing domestic production and more importantly the biggest tranche (stage 3) now has the Indian partner bearing all the blame for any faults? Because surely the latter being the major sticking block while the rest of the tender remains unchanged from its MMRCA days means we can fast forward through a lot of the already completed assessments. Whatever be the case, I hope there's some light at the end of this never ending saga.
No the biggest change is that payments for future batches will be done in rupees, ie. nearly 70% of deal value will be paid in INR. Must be on the finance ministry's insistence. Very smart indeed especially if Fed decides to start tightening!
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Old 14th June 2022, 15:04   #1539
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
Is it me or are the main changes the fact that production is now in 3 staggered stages of increasing domestic production and more importantly the biggest tranche (stage 3) now has the Indian partner bearing all the blame for any faults? Because surely the latter being the major sticking block while the rest of the tender remains unchanged from its MMRCA days means we can fast forward through a lot of the already completed assessments. Whatever be the case, I hope there's some light at the end of this never ending saga.
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No the biggest change is that payments for future batches will be done in rupees, ie. nearly 70% of deal value will be paid in INR. Must be on the finance ministry's insistence. Very smart indeed especially if Fed decides to start tightening!
Being a science kid, I don't understand finance in the best of times. But based on what I understood, the fact that the Indian partner would be responsible and payment would be in rupees are linked as I'm guessing that the order for the final 60 aircraft would be placed directly with the Indian partner, not with Dassault, so it justifies paying an Indian company in Rupees. Offcourse, in case of currency fluctuations, the Indian company would be in a fix as they would still have to import the components in foreign currency. However, there is some solace that while the INR has declined against the USD, the EUR has also declined which has meant that the exchange rates between INR and EUR haven't changed much (and if I'm not mistaken, the original Rafale order was in Euros?)

Meanwhile, according to Boeing VP Torbjorn Sjogren, India is in talks for additional Chinook (7 more according to some sources) for the IAF and Apaches for the Indian Army Aviation Corp (which already has 6 Apaches on order). While the order for 6 additional P8is for the Navy has been delayed due to "government’s review of all direct imports" as discussed earlier, Boeings VP has warned that the P8 program could go the C17 way where the assembly line got shut as governments dragged their feet for additional orders. Infact, he claims that the Indian Navy and the US Navy already know the timeline for when this might happen!

Quote:
There is currently significant amount of interest worldwide for the P-8Is and they are in negotiations with several countries in India’s neighbourhood, New Zealand, Australia and some Southeast Asian countries. However, Mr. Turbo cautioned that at some point in time, if they do not have enough orders, the assembly lines would be shut giving the example of the C-17 transport aircraft for which there is renewed worldwide but the lines have been long shut. “We’re not there yet, but I mean, that’s a reality. The C-17s are a great example,” Mr. Turbo said.

Without giving a specific timeline for such a scenario, he said the Indian Navy and the U.S. Navy are well aware of what that timeline is.
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Old 14th June 2022, 15:13   #1540
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
Being a science kid, I don't understand finance in the best of times. But based on what I understood, the fact that the Indian partner would be responsible and payment would be in rupees are linked as I'm guessing that the order for the final 60 aircraft would be placed directly with the Indian partner, not with Dassault, so it justifies paying an Indian company in Rupees. Offcourse, in case of currency fluctuations, the Indian company would be in a fix as they would still have to import the components in foreign currency. However, there is some solace that while the INR has declined against the USD, the EUR has also declined which has meant that the exchange rates between INR and EUR haven't changed much (and if I'm not mistaken, the original Rafale order was in Euros?)
I am no expert on this matter either, but any Govt. would prefer to hold debt in their own currency that USD. Ideally when a nation's economy reaches a certain stature it prefers holding local debt than foreign. The current Indian govt. has been stubbornly reluctant to issue dollar denominated bonds!

The companies on their part will have to smartly price their products in USD for the initial lot and INR for the later aircraft batches. It's on the seller to calculate a price taking into account all risks involved, including currency fluctuations, localisation etc..etc..

If successful, this could be a procurement model for future Indian defence purchases.
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Old 14th June 2022, 16:03   #1541
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

My guess is the IAF order will go to Rafale. It makes the most sense instead of going for another different manufacturer and adding to the logistical problems. I think there is a pre agreed price (option) for additional Rafales during the first order itself.

To placate uncle Sam the navy will buy their carrier aircraft from Boeing. Some more additional requirements of helicopters for the army and IAF will be "identified" and that order will go to Boeing as well. This will be the best scenario without treading on anyones toes.

Last edited by Gansan : 14th June 2022 at 16:11.
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Old 14th June 2022, 16:31   #1542
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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My guess is the IAF order will go to Rafale. It makes the most sense instead of going for another different manufacturer and adding to the logistical problems. I think there is a pre agreed price (option) for additional Rafales during the first order itself.

To placate uncle Sam the navy will buy their carrier aircraft from Boeing. Some more additional requirements of helicopters for the army and IAF will be "identified" and that order will go to Boeing as well. This will be the best scenario without treading on anyones toes.
In an ideal world yes, but things aren't so straightforward I think.

For a long period Dassault have been pursuing the Indian govt. for more sales, but now their order books are full with orders from Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, UAE etc.... the tables have turned.

So unlikely India will be able to strike a bargain.

Last edited by shortbread : 14th June 2022 at 16:40.
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Old 14th June 2022, 17:50   #1543
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
My guess is the IAF order will go to Rafale. It makes the most sense instead of going for another different manufacturer and adding to the logistical problems. I think there is a pre agreed price (option) for additional Rafales during the first order itself.

To placate uncle Sam the navy will buy their carrier aircraft from Boeing. Some more additional requirements of helicopters for the army and IAF will be "identified" and that order will go to Boeing as well. This will be the best scenario without treading on anyones toes.
This sounds like the best compromise scenario where every party gets to go home with a win so to speak. France gets the bigger order that they rightfully won all those years ago, albeit delayed. Uncle Sam gets placated with a big deal to tout on the Hill and India keeps all sides (including internal in terms of the forces) happy.

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For a long period Dassault have been pursuing the Indian govt. for more sales, but now their order books are full with orders from Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, UAE etc.... the tables have turned.
This is a really excellent point. When the Rafale was initially chosen, India was the sole export win of note for Dassault. Since then they've had quite the full order book. I wonder how that impacts timelines for delivery. Maybe having an Indian partner license produce later tranches and then maybe go on to be a service hub helps Dassault keep on track with their deliveries and offer the value added service for regional customers too (maintenance hub).

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Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
Meanwhile, according to Boeing VP Torbjorn Sjogren, India is in talks for additional Chinook (7 more according to some sources) for the IAF and Apaches for the Indian Army Aviation Corp (which already has 6 Apaches on order)...
Wow, so in addition to the Super Hornet, Boeing could be in line for Chinook, Apache and P-8 orders - that's a massive order for them if they do succeed. While it's a bit annoying that Boeing are already sounding the C-17 production line alarm bells for the P-8, I think every single operator would be left with egg on their face if they allowed this to come to pass. Shuttering the P-8 line only leaves one winner and that's the PLAN.
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Old 14th June 2022, 18:08   #1544
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
This sounds like the best compromise scenario where every party gets to go home with a win so to speak. France gets the bigger order that they rightfully won all those years ago, albeit delayed. Uncle Sam gets placated with a big deal to tout on the Hill and India keeps all sides (including internal in terms of the forces) happy.
It's not a compromise, but the best case scenario. The IAF getting 100 odd Rafales and the Navy getting F18s means the two forces field the best fighters in this region for their respective services. Perhaps strike a deal with the IAF to accept 2 squadrons of Mig29Ks for services up north (where the platform has served well at higher altitudes, something Bipin Rawat alluded to), and the Navy replaces it with additional F18s.

Albeit I am not convinced Rafale will get the deal, one can only wait and watch.
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Old 14th June 2022, 19:05   #1545
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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It's not a compromise, but the best case scenario. The IAF getting 100 odd Rafales and the Navy getting F18s means the two forces field the best fighters in this region for their respective services. Perhaps strike a deal with the IAF to accept 2 squadrons of Mig29Ks for services up north (where the platform has served well at higher altitudes, something Bipin Rawat alluded to), and the Navy replaces it with additional F18s.

Albeit I am not convinced Rafale will get the deal, one can only wait and watch.
I only used the word compromise because as far as the Americans are concerned, the best scenario for them would be the Super Hornet winning both the IAF and IN orders. Similarly for the French the best case would be if the Rafale won both the IAF and IN orders.

Anyway, all we can do is watch at this point and hope some semblance of logic prevails.
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