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Old 2nd May 2020, 01:51   #916
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
I too think the F18 will end up being the likely winner. Primarily due to economic considerations..
I can certainly see the factors in favour of a Super Hornet purchase for the IN in terms of interoperability with the increasing American stable of kit like the Poseidon's and Seahawks. Lockheed was never in the frame for the IN order as they just don't have anything realistic in their stable for this tender and besides, they're fully focused on the cash cow of the F-35. Boeing on the other hand Does have an existing domestic tie up with a Tata subsidiary I suppose that would give them some ground but again I'm not sure about adding yet another new platform with the maintenance tail it would come with.

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Originally Posted by DrPriyankT View Post
I would still push for more Rafale purchases.
Also I have deep distrust of Americans when itís buying something as crucial as a fighter jet which may act as a nuclear delivery platform too. The French are more trustworthy. I would also like to make a point that with around 100+ Rafales ,we would have a big say in the global supply chain of the aircraft, which is not possible given that the US Navy and Marine Corps themselves operate over 500 Hornets.

Coming to the aircraft, the Rafale gives us access to the Meteor BVR missile, which is way superior to the AMRAAM operated by the Hornet.

The only subfleet of Hornets which I think is worth acquiring is the electronic warfare variant which is the E/A-18 Growler.
I had to double check about the nuclear delivery and it seems the Rafale M is currently type ratified as a nuclear capable weapons platform whereas that's something the F-18 still isn't (they'll have to do that for the German order to meet the NATO requirement for that capability). All that being said, not sure if the IN has existing plans for air launched nuclear weapons delivery. And for sure, with a big old Rafale order I think India could be very well placed to have a decent say in the Rafale programme going forward, much more so than with something like the Super Hornet.

The Meteor certainly is about the premiere BVR missile, obvious synergies for the IAF and IN there as opposed to having to integrate the AMRAAM.

Interesting point about the Growler capability. I think we have a way around that though without needing a new platform, if we needed to I'm sure we could use Hercules based EC-130 Combat Call's (we already operate the Hercules). Sure it'll have to be a land based component but I'm not sure how much we really have spare to spend on that capability. If anything we'd probably be best served with a rotary wing component for naval air group electronic warfare capability. More Kamov-31's is just the best compromise here.

HOWEVER, something that escaped my attention before really is a crippling blow to the Rafale M's chances and that's the fact that the aircraft elevators on the Vikramaditya are just too small to fit it (not sure about the dimensions of the Vikrant's elevators), and glaringly the Rafale M can't fold it's wings. I'm not sure if Dassault have been on record about perhaps even trying to engineer folding wings but given a hypothetical IN order it just won't be economic for anyone to do so (they clearly didn't need folding wings on the CdG's elevators). Whereas the Super Hornet has it beat in that regard.

Shame really..
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Old 2nd May 2020, 10:16   #917
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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HOWEVER, something that escaped my attention before really is a crippling blow to the Rafale M's chances and that's the fact that the aircraft elevators on the Vikramaditya are just too small to fit it (not sure about the dimensions of the Vikrant's elevators), and glaringly the Rafale M can't fold it's wings. I'm not sure if Dassault have been on record about perhaps even trying to engineer folding wings but given a hypothetical IN order it just won't be economic for anyone to do so (they clearly didn't need folding wings on the CdG's elevators). Whereas the Super Hornet has it beat in that regard.

Shame really..
This is something that has been debated a lot on defence forums. The Rafale or the Super Hornet are not really meant for the Vikky. these are for the upcoming Vikrant and the still to be started Vishal. Apparently, the Rafale can fit on the elevators of the Vikrant, but without folding wings, the space in the below deck hangar is severely compromised.

However, its not all hunky dory for the Super Hornet either. The hornet was designed as a CATOBAR bird and not a STOBAR/Ski Jump bird. Boeing claims that they have successfully tested the hornet on a STOBAR ramp, but from what I know to date, IN is not convinced. Mission modes are not the same as controlled test environments. That is the reason IN is aggressively pushing for steam catapults for its carriers. However, given the Vikrant is a gas turbine powered boat, its engines cant generate enough power for a CATOBAR configuration.

So at the end of the day, we may just see an additional order of Mig 29Ks for the Vikrant as well till (hopefully) the TEDBF sees light of day, if at all.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 14:43   #918
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I am here answering both ads11 and himanshugoswami.
I was trying to mention that the Rafale can be a nuclear delivery platform for the IAF, something the Mirage 2000 does currently. I really do not see a need for the IN to have a carrier based nuclear weapons delivery platform as we are planning to have a fleet of nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines and nuclear powered attack submarines which can be armed with nuclear tipped ballistic and cruise missiles respectively to act as definite second strike deterrent. Nuclear subs are extremely difficult to detect and cans stay undetected at their patrolling zones for months at a time underwater waiting to strike. The aircraft carrier is relatively easy to detect, and its main function is force projection, sea control and striking land based targets with its fleet of mounted fighter attack aircraft.

Now owing to the covid situation and its impact on our defense budget, I really don't foresee our government opening its purse on an expensive vishal class carrier in the near to medium term future. We have more weapons acquisitions lined up like the procurement of newer fighters, surface to air missiles, choppers and freighters for the IAF, new tanks, rifles, artillery and choppers for the Army and choppers, subs and smaller vessels ( mine counter measure vessels, corvettes and frigates) for the navy. These requirements are more immediate and hence will have to be prioritized over a carrier. As an example, one or two submarines costing approximately 12000 cr rupees and 100 crew members between to subs can terrorize a carrier battle group which will cost easily upwards of Rs 60000 cr with 2000+ souls onboard. So it makes better sense to invest in area denial weapons like subs currently. We will still have 2 carriers operational around 3 years from now, so our hard acquired carrier aviation skills wont go down the drain, and at the same time, our naval design bureaus can start designing the Vishal Class Carriers.

The INS Vikrant is designed as a STOBAR ( short takeoff but assisted recovery), hence retrofitting catapults will be difficult given the shape of its flight deck. Vikrant is going to be powered by 4 GE LM2500+ gas turbines which produce 28.6 MW of electrical power each, so power output will be adequate to power the electromagnetic aircraft launch systems (EMALS) which the IN was planning to acquire from USA for its Vishal Class. As a matter of fact the US Navy for its new Ford Class Carriers is ditching steam catapults for more efficient EMALS systems. So power will not be a short coming for the INS Vishal to have a EMALS system. The French too are planning to install EMALS on their new carrier in planning, and the French too are ditching nuclear power for their new carrier and planning to go in for Rolls Royce MT30 Gas Turbines. However owing to COVID all these projects seem to be on the backburner.


Yes the inability of the Rafale to fold its wings will be a handicap when operating from Vikramaditya or Vikrant, but wont be an issue when operating from the Vishal. Also Boeing claims to have run simulations which claim that the Hornet can takeoff from the Vikrant/Vikramaditya with respectable loads. The Rafale and Hornet were never designed for ops from STOBAR carriers, but from CATOBAR carriers, so we cannot exploit their capabilities 100% from our carriers currently till the Vishal class joins the IN. Thats why we may end with with more Mig-29k's or a darkhorse F-35B.

Coming to the Growler, its a plane designed to go in with fast jets to provide electronic cover when they go in for attack, something a C-130 can't do as its a lumbering giant. It can work only when you have full control of the skies and enemy has very rudimentary surface to air missiles. As a matter of fact the USAF has shelved a project to convert a few B-52 bombers to standoff jammers as it was cost effective to operate EF-111 Ravens (now retired), USMC and USN EA-6B Prowlers( now retired) and EF-18 Growlers. Also their stealth platforms like the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning can also act as jammers with their advanced jamming pods, something we can emulate with jamming pods being developed by DRDO and ELTA.

With respect to the Chinese forays into the IOR, I personally feel we should not be worried much as we now have the ultimate in reconnaissance aircraft that is our P-8I Neptunes (we are slowly but surely building up respectable fleet), a few spy satellites which keep an eye on the IOR, and I am speculating increased military cooperation with the Americans giving us actionable intelligence about Chinese naval movements.I am also happy that now we are finally taking advantage of the A&N islands which are our unsinkable aircraft carrier from which we can dominate the Malacca Straits. I have also come across an article which states we are building a hydrophone network in the Bay of Bengal extending to the Malacca Straits with Japanese assistance to keep a closer watch on vessels (both surface and submerged) when they enter the IOR. The Bay of Bengal needs to have Indian dominance as we are creating safe bastions there for our Ballistic missile subs to operate. And who knows, may be a few years into the future, when we have nuclear attack subs, we can tail Chinese carrier battle groups like how the Soviet subs tailed the American carriers in the cold war!

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Old 2nd May 2020, 20:24   #919
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by DrPriyankT View Post
I am here answering both ads11 and himanshugoswami...
Hoo boy, lots to unpack here DrPriyankT! Great response.

We're in agreement, the IN doesn't need a carrier borne aerial nuclear weapons platform. In fact I'm personally of the opinion a nuclear triad is outdated but considering we're still fine tuning our domestic SSBN second strike capability, I think we'll have to persist with the land and air based options till the submarine component matures. And for that the Rafale will probably eventually take over the role the Jaguars in the IAF fleet do for now.

The defence budget it absolutely going to take a beating and in that light, we already saw comments from the CDS regarding Vishal being put on the back burner. A2/AD would make sense as an investment in light of those budgetary pressures. Coming to the carriers though, I disagree on EMALS. It's been one of the programme nightmares on the Ford class for the USN. Sure in principal having an electronically controlled catapult system should allow you to calibrate the forces much more precisely and reduce overall wear and tear. Instead as the infamous footage of the dummy carts being hurled off the top of the Ford show, EMALS is doing the exact opposite. It's so damning in fact that in the last budget report the USS Gerald Ford will essentially not be utilised in combat operations for years to come (some even whisper that essentially the USN has resigned itself to the lead ship of the class becoming a training vessel! A $13 BILLION training vessel!! So bad is this debacle it's given space for the small carrier voices to finally be heard above the big carrier dominated admiralty). The USN clearly doesn't even trust the vessel enough to put it through shock trials. Cost wise I'd rather stick with proven steam catapult tech for any future IN carrier. If the USN budget is being stretched thin trying to work out the glaring issues with EMALS for one, no chance that's something we can afford to risk with our much more humble budget. I Am surprised to hear the French deciding against nuclear power for the CdG replacement, I've not heard much other than conjecture and the only narrative that makes sense to me in that regard are the issues they faced with the reactor on the CdG and the early common design they shared with the QE class when it was potentially going to be the blueprint for an Anglo-French flat top.

I will say this, I am near 100% convinced that India will never be an F-35 operator in any of its guises. I'm willing to eat crow the day it happens but I genuinely don't think it ever will happen. Realistically it'll be a patchwork Mig29K deal for the IN and I pray at least one more Rafale order of about 36 jets.
And fine, I'll concede rather than the Combat Call, it'd make more sense to put jamming pods off of carrier air assets if you needed the Growler capability that bad. That really is the most cost effective way to achieve that.

I'm less enamoured with the idea of "unsinkable carriers", ie fortified islands. Maybe I'm leaning towards Patton's thinking in finding fixed fortifications an outdated concept, but much like the Chinese islands in the SCS, I think in a shooting war the A&N islands would soak up the first wave of stand off weapons pummelling the installations there. Sure it's a practical way to make the PLAN think twice about entering that sphere but any attempt to fully turn those islands into the cornerstone of our area denial for the IOR, we'd need to station an anti air system like the S-400 there if we wanted to be serious. We'd need an IAF contingent there too. At least to keep up the pretence of A2/AD, we basically need to make it cost prohibitive for the PLAN to openly operate in the IOR. I will say I'm intrigued by the hydrophone network. Seems obvious but we could absolutely benefit from our own SOSUS network (for any Tom Clancy fans - think the Greenland-Iceland-UK GIUK gap to track Soviet boats entering the Atlantic) to monitor PLAN subs coming in. Pair the P-8's with a HALE UAV like the Global Hawk, have a complement of those perpetually roving the skies off our coasts. Finally, I think for India's needs a robust fleet of AIP subs is more realistic for policing the IOC. Given we won't need to be operating too far from friendly ports, I don't see the need for the added cost and complexity of having a big old SSN fleet, I hope the doctrine isn't to chase the PLAN out of the IOR! For a strategic platform like boomers, absolutely. Nuclear is the way if we want the boats sitting for weeks on end far out from home waters. I can see why they're making the logical leap to SSN's from domestic SSBN's but I'd rather pad out the numbers with more Scorpenes.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 22:19   #920
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I am of the belief that we need to keep a fully developed triad, even when we develop a mature SSBN as we rally don't have the best of neighbors. No harm in being triply secure! Nothing beats the old peace through strength in our neighbourhood.

Coming to the Ford Class carriers, surely they had tumultuous phase of development, with many spectacular failures, with the American GAO (Government Accountability Office) and their congressional committees heavily criticizing it. I personally believe the first ship of their class had multiple teething issues as they put too many technologies together in on one ship, instead of incremental increases they had with the Nimitz Class. The funniest example being the state of the garbage and sewage systems which cost half a million dollars to clean once they get clogged each time :-P. The Americans have however gone ahead with ordering 4 more( USS Enterprise, USS Dorris Miller ,USS JF Kennedy and an unamed one). The Americans have their naval doctrine with big carrier battle groups, something they have been doing since WW2, and its going to be difficult for them to shift to smaller carriers, inspite of the fact that they operate almost 10 small landing platform docks each weighing in at around 45000 tonnes and each capable of carrying maximum 24 VSTOL fighters. However, they are no match to the capabilities offered by their nuclear powered carriers in terms of being able to maintain a high sortie rate, plus the flexibility offered by nuclear marine propulsion is matchless. Coming to the french, yes they had teething troubles with nuclear propulsion with the CdG, but on the basis of what I have read, they are planning to shift to conventional power due to lower cost of maintenance and operations.

I wish to go one up one you, I pray for atleast 6-7 more Rafale squadrons for the IAF!! And yes, it appears given the economic realities, the navy may settle for a couple more Mig 29K squadrons.

Read this article about our planned SOSUS network. If fully implemented, it will be a massive leap in our intelligence gathering abilities. I again reiterate, the Bay of Bengal needs to be kept fortified, as its the planned operational area of our SSBNs. Its our bastion like how the Sea of Bohai is for the Chinese and the White Sea and the area around Sakhalin is for the Russians.
https://amti.csis.org/indias-underse...-indian-ocean/

The A&N islands offer multiple small islands to disperse our defensive and offensive weapons making it difficult for the enemy to target everything if they have a sledgehammer first wave attack. Definitely, the islands hosting a S-400 regiment/squadron will give a wonderful defensive/offensive cover, especially when combined with QRSAM's, Barak-2 missiles and SPYDER missiles. The Indian Navy has already started operating Poseidon's from the Port Blair Airport, as a detachment from INS Rajali. We ultimately are planning to aquire 24 Poseidon's, which will easily cover our coasts and islands. We are also planning to acquire CN-295 based maritime patrol aircraft which along with drones will compliment our Poseidons. The ANC Command is adding new runways to the islands to make them capable of handling all aircraft in our arsenal. The basing of Su-30 MKI's armed with Bramhos missiles at Thanjavur AFS is a step in the right direction, whereby a few aircraft can initially be based in the A&N islands and slowly I pray we raise a new squadron over there to keep control of the Straits. The Indian army is also beefing up its presence there, where the brigade level force is being beefed up to a division level force. My dream is to have us base mobile Bramhos launchers there to maintain a firm grip on Chinese movements through the straits.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andama...icobar_Command

Coming to subs, yes AIP equipped subs are enough to handle our western neighbours, however rumour has it, they too are planning to develop a SSN, which is economically impossible for them,unless their Chinese overlords covertly gift them some technology. The Chinese are making deep forays into the southern IOR, something which is difficult for SSK's to patrol. Do remember, that Carrier Battle Groups steam at 25+ knots, something a SSK equipped with the most advanced AIP can't keep up with. AIP equipped subs top out at maximum 10 knots, and to keep them submerged for prolonged durations, they are designed to sail at 3-4 knots underwater, granting them an underwater endurance of 2-3 weeks. To tail them, you need nuclear powered subs which can keep up with their pace.

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Old 3rd May 2020, 02:02   #921
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I am of the belief that we need to keep a fully developed triad, even when we develop a mature SSBN as we rally don't have the best of neighbors. No harm in being triply secure! Nothing beats the old peace through strength in our neighbourhood..
Ultimately I'm not so sure a triad logic makes sense for any mature nation. The main argument for the land based component being the "sponge" so to speak works for places like the US and Russia where they have the empty real estate with silos that can swallow up the first strike. India doesn't. I think ultimately once a submarine component is sufficiently mature that's the one that will serve our needs fine and maybe we keep an air launched component in nuclear tipped cruise missiles but I don't envision much room for a land based ballistic missile component in the future. It was the cheapest and logical first step but ultimately that's a cost for a strategic capability (upgradation cost wise) I'd wholeheartedly invest in the undersea component moving forward. But I suppose that's unlikely to happen as long as India feels a strategic nervousness about the prospect of two nuclear armed neighbours..

The USN is bound by the Congressional requirement to maintain a 12 supercarrier fleet. Plus its shipyard politics, they Had to make follow on orders to keep places like Newport News still running and to maintain their construction capability. However the fact they've only ordered 4 more of the Ford class is proof enough that perhaps in 2020 and onwards that requirement for 12 of them might be hard to maintain considering the rigours of a usual rotation of training, deployment and refit cycles. And that's on a good day. Without hijacking an IAF thread, I'm glad you brought up the plumbing troubles of the Ford class because it really is emblematic of how poorly such a flagship programme is going. Already the Kennedy is practically going to be a B spec carrier. The America class carriers are probably as capable as any ski jump carrier. Being able to operate the F-35B just gives them an electronic picture that nothing else either the IAF or PLAN outfit will be able to match (the Russians don't count because their carrier had the final nail in its coffin hammered in when the floating dock for it sank). But yeah, nothing would match the operational tempo and suite of carrier air assets a CATOBAR nuclear carrier would offer you. Thing is India doesn't need it. We're not going to be playing global policeman. It'll simply be for posturing at that point and I sorely hope saner heads prevail when it comes to making requirements in keeping with our needs.

I think the picture you paint is for an incredibly armed A&N. It'll make quite the statement if we went that far and it for sure would need to be allied with considerable diplomatic efforts to assuage the concerns of ASEAN countries suddenly next door to a veritable Indian garrison in that region. We have to be careful about keeping shall we say non aligned South East Asian countries onside, or at least not antagonising them in our attempts to safeguard our own interests.

I'd wait to see a couple of things first - the Chinese operationally fielding a carrier battle group beyond the first island chain and beyond training and posturing duty when they parade it by Taiwan. The Laoining much like the Vikramaditya still ultimately doesn't have a radically different boiler system to the somewhat tepid original Russian design AFAIK, so I doubt the Laoining could ever huff and puff it's way up to that sort of speed. It's only with their new carrier that we'll see if it has the lungs to zip about. Plus I don't think China operationally needs to send a carrier group that far out of even the first island chain, let alone the second - their whole doctrine is first securing a buffer zone within those two concentric chains and they already are facing the prospect of a USN that's fully pivoted to match them in a great power struggle and a wary and well equipped JMSDF. When they do though, we'll need to be prepared.

A Pakistani SSN sounds hogwash to me. What they'll do is likely similar to what the Israeli's have done and that's using nuclear tipped cruise missiles on their AIP subs (IIRC Pakistan recently did a test didn't they of some naval cruise missile system?). I mean if I were them I'd do that. For Pakistan that seems an entirely feasible and cost effective way to gain second strike capability. All the more onus on us then to beef up our ASW capability.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 15:38   #922
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Yes, I too partially agree that we can have a SSBN force being the only carrier of our nuclear weapons, however India is currently developing cheaper road and rail based cannisterized land based ballistic missiles, whose mobility makes them also hard to detect.
But surely, a mature undersea force is the way ahead.

The Americans themselves have subfleets amongst their Nimitz Class carriers. The USS Roosevelt and the USS Ronald Reagan are themselves subclasses amongst the larger Nimitz Class, with them having increments over the preceding carriers. The older carriers had the increments built into them when they came in for their refueling and complex overhauls, which cost approximately upwards of a billion dollars and lasting 46 months approximately. Infact the last Nimitz carrier, the USS George Bush is serving as a transition ship to the Ford Class, as it has incorporated a new bulbous bow, new propeller design, new electronics and environmental technologies. Infact the US Navy is lucky that their Nimitz Class Carriers or the USS Enterprise, never had the troubles they seem to have with the Ford Class, as for their era, they too had revolutionary technologies.

Yes, we keep our carriers now predominantly as a show of our force and to act as a reminder to our neighbors that we are the guardians of the IOR , and to maintain our hard acquired knowledge of carrier aviation intact, and its something which has taken generations of naval aviators to learn, right from the time of the original INS Vikrant. And with the post CoVID world of belt tightening, its time for our navy to expand our submarine force, as its more economical to keep area denial weapons like subs, as compared to area dominance weapons like carrier battle groups, atleast for the next 10 years.

The Chinese will take a generation or two of naval aviators to learn the complex nuances of carrier aviation. Their carrier air wings are no match to what the USN has, hence their investment in antiship ballistic missiles and long range anti-ship cruise missiles. This has triggered the USN to reposition many of their AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defence equipped destroyers and cruisers to the Pacific fleet. It has also prompted the Jap's and Koreans to build the Atago and Maya Class(Jap) and King Sejong the Great(Korea) destroyers incorporated with Aegis BMD for defence against Chinese and North Korean Ballistic Missiles.

The Chinese Navy wont get a free way around the immediate vicinity due to the massive US Navy presence in the Indo-Pacific and the Americans have the technologically advanced Japanese and South Korean Navies tagging along with help from the Australian Navy too. The Indian Navy too, is rightly beefing up its presence in the IOR to counter them. The only place the Chinese are currently dominating a bit it is the SCS, but that also is slowly going to be difficult for them as the ASEAN navies are too beefing up their presence. India is helping them in a way, as the Kilo Class Subs of the Vietnamese Navy, have their crew training in India, and India is in talks with the Filipinos and Vietnamese to export Bramhos missiles to counter the Chinese fleet. Singapore too has a superlative armed forces (the most advanced in Southeast Asia) to act as a bulwark to the Chinese advance. The US Navy also regularly berths vessels at Singapore to deter the Chinese.

The ASEAN countries AFAIK want India to act as a security guarantor for ASEAN region in an effort to thwart the Chinese ingress into their geography AFAIK. They want us to play a larger presence in securing their territory. India is known globally as a non-aggressor, hence, I feel they wont be threatened by us militarizing the A&N islands. They know we wont encroach or threaten their territory, as we are not an expansionist country unlike the Chinese. Simply put, we don't construct islands with runways in disputed areas!

The Pakistanis don't have the economic heft to fund the construction of a SSN, but like how the Chinese have given the Pakistanis technologies to construct nukes and ballistic missiles, they may covertly and illegally help them out their in terms of both money and technology to keep us occupied on our west coast, while they try to make merry in the IOR. The Chinese have also signed a deal to construct 8 AIP equipped Type-039 Subs (Chinese copies of Russian Kilo Class Subs) at Karachi Shipyards, and no prizes for guessing for whom the subs are aimed at. The Pakistanis have also equipped their Agosta 90B subs to launch nuclear tipped Babur Cruise Missiles, akin to the Israelis and their Dolphin Class subs equipped with Popeye Turbo nuclear tipped missiles. This makes a serious case for us to expand our ASW capabilities (Undersea, above sea and at sea). We are taking right steps by commissioning more Poseidons, and ordering new MH-60R sub hunting helos. But yes , we need more ships, subs and planes to counter the pakistani undersea threat. By what global thinktanks say, we should have a force of atleast 16 advanced AIP SSK's to counter the Pakistani naval threat, leaving nuclear subs to tackle the Chinese.


Sorry for digressing into naval topics on an IAF thread.

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Old 3rd May 2020, 21:26   #923
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I was confused for a second whether I am in the naval aviation thread or the IAF thread! Ghist is, Sukhoi based in Thanjavur and more LCA squadrons in Coimbatore would help improve air defence and air dominance. Plus rajali serving as the base of Poseidon's will go a long way in supporting the IAF assests. If all three or here the two arms are network interlinked then sure the Poseidon's can act as AWACS or sub detectors and sukhois or LCA can provide air cover/protect Poseidon's while they are hunting their prey underneath the water.
The naval air assests from A&N base could include fighters or even carrier groups can launch migs or helos to assist in submarine hunting.
Best case scenario would be a fully interlinked battle group where naval assests share intel with IAF birds and vice versa.
This should be a squadron/fleet comprising of assests of all kind from both navy and air force operating together like the Rashtriya rifles regiment of the Indian army containing special forces from all services.

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Old 3rd May 2020, 21:59   #924
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@AlphaKilo, a well worded gist. Sorry to nitpick, but the Tejas's based at Sulur AFS, are not of much use for missions over the seas, as they are lightweight single engined fighters, meant for point defense and to an extent close air support missions. They simply don't have the endurance of heavier fighters like the Su-30 MKI, which is paramount for missions over oceanic environments. Also,the general doctrine globally is to have twin engined fighters for missions over the seas, as compared to single engined fighters, due to the added safety of two engines. Also, in case we deploy them over the seas, we don't have enough air to air refuellers to support their needs. The Sukhoi with air to air and air to surface armaments, can carry an a respectable amount of fuel to loiter over mission area. Plus our Sukhois are also capable of buddy refuelling.

The Tejas is primarily designed to be deployed as point defence figher, replacing the Mig-21. It is in an ideal world, to be deployed at forward air force bases like Nal-Bikaner, Uttarlai, Bhuj, Naliya, Avantipora, Chabua to name a few, to stop the ingress of enemy aircraft into our airspace. Also like someone mentioned earlier, it being a single engined fighter, spools for scrambles faster than twin engined planes like the Mig-29 UPG, Su-30 MKI and Rafale. They are currently deployed at Sulur with Sq.No 45 (The Flying Daggers), mainly to develop tactics for the Tejas's missions, and for training purposes. Also Sulur, being close to Bangalore, provides them with HAL support, as the aircraft are finally reaching operational stage.
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Old 5th May 2020, 20:16   #925
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Priyank sir, I meant the same as what you did. It should be a two front strategy where the Sukhois doing the long endurance and the LCAs on stand-by to counter any diversion tactics by the adversary's Naval air assets or their long range air assets.

The daggers is the first squadron but will not be the last one to be based out of sulur. I know from sources within that there will be a second squadron with Mk.1A coming soon to sulur. There is also a plan to permanently station a Mk. 1A squadron here for early interception. Also, Sulur being a B-R-D (Base Repair Depot), the Airforce is planning to make it into a full fledged base equipped with LCA conversion units (like the former 1 OCU, Gorakhpur).

I had been wondering for a long time why the IAF never stationed any interceptors or even long range fighters down south. Infact, Navy could raise a squadron of MiG 29s to be operated from the land/carrier (primarily based within shore bases).

If only all wishes could turn true

I am sure the Top Brass would take the right and the best decision.

Last edited by AlphaKilo : 5th May 2020 at 20:19.
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Old 5th May 2020, 23:24   #926
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

First of all, don't call me sir! I don't deserve that honor. The picture of the air-combat doctrine you are painting is similar to what we are seeing currently with the IAF. Tejas as CAS and point interceptors. Sukhoi-30MKI (soon to be upgraded, provided funds flow) will be our main sword, carrying out missions right through the spectrum from interception to strike missions, ably supported by the wonderfully upgraded Mig 29 UPG's. The Mirage 2000's and the Rafales will be our specialists doing niche missions whilst the heavy lifting is done by the Flankers.

Yes, even I have read about the airforce beefing up presence in the with new squadrons being raised there. Presence of HAL in the south plays a big role in it.Infact, I have even heard of a former Mig 27 squadron (No18, The flying Bullets)at Kalaikunda AFS also being prepared to welcome the Tejas.

Currently our naval Migs are all based at Dambolim Airport when not at sea. However, they are sharing the runway with a busy commerical airport, and with Mopa Airport in Goa currently in a state of limbo, they have no place to base the expected 57 naval fighters. I too agree with you that they should raise the new squadrons elsewhere, like INS Dega (Vizag) or INS Rajali (Near Chennai). It would be better to have them there as INS Vikrant is expected to be deployed on the east cosast, first at the L&T shipyard, near Chennai, and later at INS Varsha, near Vizag once its fully built. Long story short, we should base our naval fighters on both coasts.
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Old 9th May 2020, 19:28   #927
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An MIG 29upg crashes near jalandhar. Technical snag citied as a reason. https://www.thehindu.com/news/nation...le31532586.ece
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Old 9th May 2020, 19:43   #928
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
An MIG 29upg crashes near jalandhar. Technical snag citied as a reason. https://www.thehindu.com/news/nation...le31532586.ece
Crash of a twin engine bird always perplexes me. wonder what the technical snag was? unless the fly by wire malfunctioned (which I believe has redundancies built in).
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Old 9th May 2020, 20:14   #929
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Himanshu sir, you know it more better than me but still a crash need not always be an engine fault. Could also be pilot error pushing beyond the aero dynamic limit causing unrecoverable stall or g induced blackout rendering the pilot unable to control the descent or something like. a hydraulic or pneumatic failure (including redundancy). Such training missions sometimes include pushing the airframe to its limits and beyond or combat manoeuvre which may be beyond the aerodynamic limit of the control surfaces.
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Old 9th May 2020, 21:24   #930
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

We seem to lose more aircraft due to accidents than in action. All types of aircraft included, without any exception.
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