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Old 11th May 2019, 16:35   #571
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Mil 24/35 is a troop carrier + attack helicopter. It is not a dedicated attack platform. The contest was primarily between at Kamov Ka-52 and Boeing Apache.

For a layman like myself, I found the following video to be informative on the Top 10 Attack Helicopters today



Best Regards & Drive Safe

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Old 11th May 2019, 17:21   #572
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Mil 24/35 is a troop carrier + attack helicopter. It is not a dedicated attack platform. The contest was primarily between at Kamov Ka-52 and Boeing Apache.
If I remember correctly, it was the Mi-28N that was evaluated against the AH-64, not the Hokums - the Ka-52 or its single seat twin, the Ka-50.

Last edited by skanchan95 : 11th May 2019 at 17:22.
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Old 11th May 2019, 23:17   #573
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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My question to the experts in the forum is why was the Apache chosen over the Mil Mi 24/35. The Russian attack helicopters had seen combat and were proved in battle.
I am not an expert but let me share my point of view. The Apache wins over the Mi-35 on several counts - ability to operate at high altitudes in ground effect and out of ground effect; an associated benefit is ability to operate with a full load in the Thar desert - the Mi-35 fared poorly on both counts in Indian service; the Apache's survivability features over the battlefield are a lot more than just a lot of weighty armour; maneuverability and litheness; ability to fire its weapons, while hovering (hiding) behind a treeline or roof line, with a quick pop up; avionics; lower maintenance and higher uptime.

The Mi-35's predecessor was a rage when it first burst upon the scene in 1973 or so and started the design category called the attack helicopter. But today the AH-64 is the most battle honed and improved attack helicopter. And finally - if the Americans can be mercurial the Russians are a veritable nightmare to deal with on spares and even maintenance drawings. The days of true Indo-Soviet spirit are long one.
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Old 12th May 2019, 01:05   #574
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

And finally - if the Americans can be mercurial the Russians are a veritable nightmare to deal with on spares and even maintenance drawings. The days of true Indo-Soviet spirit are long one.

Off Topic: This lack of spirit has been mentioned in the Naval thread also. And is probably common in the Army also. What was the issue that cleaved the relationship? Was it the collapse of the erstwhile USSR which imposed the separation of ideology from commerce? Or that the Russian companies felt that they could now charge " market prices".
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Old 12th May 2019, 12:35   #575
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Off Topic: This lack of spirit has been mentioned in the Naval thread also. And is probably common in the Army also. What was the issue that cleaved the relationship? Was it the collapse of the erstwhile USSR which imposed the separation of ideology from commerce? Or that the Russian companies felt that they could now charge " market prices".
Even in Soviet times the Russians at the ground were not always easy to deal with. Sometimes they were very helpful where their system permitted and at many times they were irrationally obtuse. Their system of spare parts was to order spares for 5 to 10 years at a time. Rest of the world order spares on a need basis and carries only some inventory keeping strategic needs and economic costs in mind. Sometimes as with the Sea Harrier we purchased lifetime spares of items that do not time expire. The Soviet attitude was not always bad but they were prisoners of their market/customer unfriendly system. Special co-ordination units were set up with MoD at our end and at their end to help us navigate our way through the maze at their end. While these were problems at the operational level at a strategic level they were a loyal, reliable best friend.

Today they have not yet learnt how to be customer oriented and this has got mixed with the need to be commercial and without the political umbrella the relationship operated with earlier. Buying from them is still cheap but on going maintenance, technical drawings, spares on time, specialized ammunition on time are enormous challenges.

The ones who are best at staying with letter and spirit of the contract are the French.
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Old 12th May 2019, 15:13   #576
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Narayan Sir, absolutely bang on about all aspects of Indo Russian arms cooperation.

Just one point about French, at least till about a decade ago, they were mighty expensive, per unit maintenance cost of French equipment was many times over Russians for a comparable system. Or one can say it is a question of trade-offs when you are at the mercy of others.

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Old 20th May 2019, 12:41   #577
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Add salt to taste - not sure about credibility of this article.

India Agrees To Acquire Palm Oil, MiG-29 From Malaysia To Secure Tejas Deal
https://swarajyamag.com/insta/india-...ure-tejas-deal

Palm oil + old Mig 29 = brand new Tejas.
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Old 20th May 2019, 14:49   #578
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

^^^Thanks!

So are we buying the MiG-29 airframes? If the Malaysian airforce already retired them (for reasons whatsoever), I believe there may not be so much life left in them. What happened to the Russians offering us some 20 odd brand new airframes that were meant for some other country but never delievered.

On the whole picture, it is sad to see our forces having to do with all these patch works in terms of equipment. I am not blaming it on the PSUs or Services purchase team, rather shows the short sightedness of the people in power. Such purchases are from the business perspective never a profitable buy (experts feel free to correct me) and thus ending either overpaying or in scandals.

Why can't the planning team/committee think ahead for the next 30 years and spin up the PSU motor faster? In the interest of the nation, would be good to have a policy that is independent of the party in rule.
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Old 20th May 2019, 15:20   #579
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

These mig29s will be a good addition to the IAF as their air frames still have a lot of life left. These will be soon be upgraded to UPG standards which is more than a match against what our eastern and western adversaries can hope to field. I am quite happy if this deal indeed materializes which will immediately replace some of the Mig21s in the fleet.

But all said and done the Tejas will have to be heavily modified to be sold to the Malaysians as the Israeli equipment will have to be replaced by indigenous/Russian equipment. So the biggest change will be the the radar which is currently an ELTA radar, making Uttam development all the more crucial. This is still atleast 2 years away and then the job of integration of Russian and Indian weapons with this radar.

So all this sale talk is still quite a bit all in air.

Last edited by SPARKled : 20th May 2019 at 15:25.
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Old 20th May 2019, 18:33   #580
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Add salt to taste - not sure about credibility of this article.India Agrees To Acquire Palm Oil, MiG-29 From Malaysia To Secure Tejas Dealhttps://swarajyamag.com/insta/india-...ure-tejas-deal
Palm oil + old Mig 29 = brand new Tejas.
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Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
So are we buying the MiG-29 airframes? If the Malaysian airforce already retired them (for reasons whatsoever), I believe there may not be so much life left in them.
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Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
These mig29s will be a good addition to the IAF as their air frames still have a lot of life left. These will be soon be upgraded to UPG standards which is more than a match against what our eastern and western adversaries can hope to field. I am quite happy if this deal indeed materializes which will immediately replace some of the Mig21s in the fleet.
The Malaysian MiG-29s did not fly around a lot. So I would suspect they have plenty of airframe hours in them. From that point of view this could be a good thing to enable some more MiG-21s to retire as SPARKled says.
Quote:
What happened to the Russians offering us some 20 odd brand new airframes that were meant for some other country but never delivered.
Exactly. Anyone has an update on this?
Quote:
On the whole picture, it is sad to see our forces having to do with all these patch works in terms of equipment. I am not blaming it on the PSUs or Services purchase team, rather shows the short sightedness of the people in power. Such purchases are from the business perspective never a profitable buy (experts feel free to correct me) and thus ending either overpaying or in scandals. Why can't the planning team/committee think ahead for the next 30 years and spin up the PSU motor faster? In the interest of the nation, would be good to have a policy that is independent of the party in rule.
My candid observations below. If I end up offending anyone please accept my apologies upfront.

Our procurement + make versus buy + indigenous design is a mess due to three intertwined factors that are now so crossed up that entangling them will need all the political will in the world. Speaking from what I have seen. First I would blame our IAS worthies. They do not specialize meaningfully with in-depth knowledge in any one stream and move from assignment to assignment between ministries as diverse as animal husbandry to defence to steel and stay for 12 to 24 months in an assignment. How can a person think through policy for the next 30 years if he/she doesn't even sit in the chair for 3 years and of that time needs 6 to 8 months just to get familiar with the role & the portfolio. Further the IAS genuinely believe - and this is an unspoken rule between themselves - that the Armed Forces need to be kept on a tight leash to ensure supremacy of civil over uniform. One way of doing this is to control decision making, micro-manage MoD and delay action. Another way is to make the Armed Forces not a part of the strategic national security policy making process - this last point might come as a surprise to some. It has only been partly rectified under the current regime and still has a long way to go.

Second factor applicable to the Air Force specifically is the dominance in all decision making and indeed perspective itself of pilots over all else and within pilots of the fighter stream over all others. This caste system deeply deeply narrows the leaderships fundamental understanding of engineering - conceptualization, specification writing, design, testing & later maintenance. A competent pilot does not mean he understands what it takes to conceptualize, design, test & build an aircraft. So we have an Air Force that understands operations very well - amongst the best in the world - and it shows. However it looks down on maintenance as somewhat infra-dig despite the fact that the Maintenance Command runs some excellent BROs that work wonders. This I believe has caused immense harm to the IAF's leadership to conceptualize what it will take to indigenize - something in which the Navy has outstripped them by a couple of decades now. If I had run my erstwhile aviation business by saying only my pilots can rise to the top and hold almost all leadership positions we would have gone bankrupt many moons ago! Between flying, maintenance and design flying is the easiest by far and design the toughest. The specifications set out for the Tejas LCA 30 odd years ago as a copy paste from Jane's reflects this lack of understanding of what is possible and what will take 30 years to develop.

Third, the well known factor is the failure of some of the PSUs. Curing a 75 year old PSU with 32,000 employees within the handcuffed system of the Govt is not possible even for God to do. Building afresh whether in the private or the joint sector is simpler and faster. Mind you several individuals within PSUs are superb with immense know-how - I hired many. It is the Govt system of functioning that bogs them down. An HAL unshackled from MoD and CAG can do wonders.
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Old 20th May 2019, 19:52   #581
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

^^^Sir, what surprises me is that we all want to retire the MiG-21s, which is fine and also the right thing to do. But, replacing it should be a bird of its class and size, isn't it! This is not exactly an car upgrade we are talking about. I understand that Tejas is being churned out at the numbers we would like to see and other purchases are not worth the time and money. Again, a costly purchase which not just involves the purchase cost but also the upgrades, maintenance, spares, life extensions. We will be soon left with only big birds and one accident is going to cost a lot of tax payers rupees. Also, our neighbourhood will be happy to bring down even one of these big birds to satisfy their egos and burn a big hole in our pockets.

The 29's as they are, are a air dominance, multi role combatants. This is like filling the army with only infantry (only heavy tanks) or Arty (with large caliber guns) and no special forces or smaller specialised strategic strike units.

For example,

Quote:
The MiG-29 has a ferry range of 1,500 km without external fuel tanks, and 2,100 km with external tanks. The internal fuel capacity of the original MiG-29B is 4,365 litres distributed between six internal fuel tanks, four in the fuselage and one in each wing.
when compared against Tejas,

Quote:
At a thrust specific fuel consumption rate of 84 kg/KNhr at maximum dry thrust, the GE-404 engine would consume nearly 4600 kg of fuel per hour. Thus, at max internal and external fuel (approximately 5100 kg), the Tejas MK1ís combat radius is estimated to be over 275 km for a lo-lo-lo strike mission.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_MiG-29
http://delhidefencereview.com/2017/1...ian-air-force/
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Old 21st May 2019, 13:05   #582
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

It has been confirmed that IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) on Mi-17 was switched off on 27th Feb. Senior most commander of Srinagar IAF base has been removed from post.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/na...ut/775881.html
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Old 21st May 2019, 15:01   #583
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^^^Sir, what surprises me is that we all want to retire the MiG-21s, which is fine and also the right thing to do. But, replacing it should be a bird of its class and size, isn't it! This is not exactly an car upgrade we are talking about. I understand that Tejas is being churned out at the numbers we would like to see and other purchases are not worth the time and money. Again, a costly purchase which not just involves the purchase cost but also the upgrades, maintenance, spares, life extensions. We will be soon left with only big birds and one accident is going to cost a lot of tax payers rupees. Also, our neighbourhood will be happy to bring down even one of these big birds to satisfy their egos and burn a big hole in our pockets.

The 29's as they are, are a air dominance, multi role combatants. This is like filling the army with only infantry (only heavy tanks) or Arty (with large caliber guns) and no special forces or smaller specialised strategic strike units.
The original Mig 29 was an air dominance / interceptor fighter made to counter the F16 and in a lot of its flight parameters it is even better than the American fighter or shall i say even the M2000 that the IAF flies. Just read up the east german Mig29 article comparing it to modern teen American jets online.

The Mig 29 got a bad name as these were cheap export planes and flew with some really shady airforces as they were cheap to procure and fly but maintenance was a nightmare and it had smokey engines that weren't too efficient so range was again a problem. The USAF shot many of these, but these kills were against poorly trained AF personnel with real basic equipment and many times even without a proper radar or a missile. The IAF however is a well trained unit and their upgraded UPG version not only have much better radar, avionics and missles but also carry additional fuel in its dorsal spine without affecting aerodynamic and handling abilities which was always its forte. In various excercises with IAF M2K squadrons, the Mig29 has nearly always bested the IAFs favorite in air to air mock battles. The engines are also improved, the radar is now much better, infact as good as the apg radars on the paki F16s. The R77s and and helmet cued R73 aam firing ability makes it one deadly adversary and a perfectly good replacement for the Mig21 especially as they can be obtained so cheap. Do read up on the story when our Mig29s buzzed the Pakistani F16s with its BVR locks diring Kargil, which ensured that PAF had no role to play in that war.
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Old 21st May 2019, 16:49   #584
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I am not doubting the "Baaz"'s capabilities. I know it second hand, as my flight instructor was a MiG29 pilot (black archers).

All I am saying is, in trying to fill the shoes of a Quick Reaction Interceptor, we are trying to fit in the mighty MiG-29. It is atleast 2 times as big as the tiny bison/bis/tejas. The inherent RCS signature is bigger and fuel consumption (cost of operations) are higher for the purpose. I agree completely with the purchase, if the sole aim is air dominance but for first level interception, we need nimble, agile, small birds. I am speculating this idea because of the discussion here on replacing the MiG-21s with the MiG-29s was going on.

Also, in an attempt to fill the squadron numbers, buying big birds will only lead us to higher operating costs causing a lot of trouble down the line. I am talking 15 - 20 years down the line. It is like bringing a Bofors to the sword fight. We will win the battle but question is do we really need a bofors for a sword battle.

Enough has been discussed about the inefficacy of the system in our country with respect to long term planning, hence I am no longer dwelling into that subject. All I want to say is, imho and to my limited knowledge, take such deals but also correct the mistakes from the past to ensure a cost effective operations.

A good Defence force not just having latest technology but also a cost effective structure for operations in place. We are not a country from our neighbourhood where the "aam aadmi" is forced to eat grass so that the armed forces can buy a few bullets.
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Old 21st May 2019, 17:27   #585
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Unfortunately such has been our defence procurement since the Bofors saga. No wants to take buying decisions in fear of scams.The tejas just isn't coming fast enough and the version that the AF wants i.e mK1a still has no confirmed orders from the AF. Heck its still only a paper plane and not even a prototype has flown yet. Only the first 40 are confirmed in the current form. We have bought additional SU30s precisely for the same reason. The numbers are dwindling at an alarming rate. Anything will do in the present scenario. Mig29, old M2k even Su30s.

Last edited by SPARKled : 21st May 2019 at 17:30.
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