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Old 16th May 2020, 10:36   #991
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Oops. Ouch. Aaaarggh. Let me pop some blood pressure pills. On a thread of aircraft lovers and nutcases that is a dangerous statement to make.
+1
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I would add the Yak-9 fighter, not given enough credit in the West but probably the best fighter the Allies had in WW-II, certainly one of the best 4 on the Allies' side. Then we had the MiG-19, In helicopters there is the Mi-8 and Mi-17 Hip family - as reliable as anything anywhere else and of course the Mi-24 Hind, the world's first armoured gunship helicopter which introduced a whole new class. I would add the Su-24 & Su-25 to the list too. Of course each of our opinions are subjective.

Alas great Russian aircraft will gradually fade into history in a couple of decades. Same thing happened to the British after 1960.
And I'll add a strategic bomber/long range recon to the list since you have covered the bases for interceptors, strike/ground interdiction fighters & hilos. We simply can't ignore the TU-95 Bear. What a technological marvel this thing. Contra-rotating turbo-props in the 1950s? And probably still the most powerful turbo-prop units ever to enter active service. I felt a pang when the derivative TU-142 was retired from Indian Naval Air Arm to be replaced with the P8.

Last edited by Reinhard : 16th May 2020 at 10:57.
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Old 16th May 2020, 10:50   #992
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Oops. Ouch. Aaaarggh. Let me pop some blood pressure pills. On a thread of aircraft lovers and nutcases that is a dangerous statement to make You are a brave man :-)

I would add the Yak-9 fighter, not given enough credit in the West but probably the best fighter the Allies had in WW-II, certainly one of the best 4 on the Allies' side. Then we had the MiG-19, the world's first supersonic to reach squadron service and a design so versatile that the Chinese evolved it into their Q-5 Fantan and produced it till 1986. And we have our favourite Foxbat - both the member and the aircraft :-){be grateful he hasn't seen your post yet}. In helicopters there is the Mi-8 and Mi-17 Hip family - as reliable as anything anywhere else and of course the Mi-24 Hind, the world's first armoured gunship helicopter which introduced a whole new class. I would add the Su-24 & Su-25 to the list too. Of course each of our opinions are subjective. It's like asking which flower is the prettiest. .....And my favourite the IL-2 Sturmovik a war winning weapon of the highest order.

Alas great Russian aircraft will gradually fade into history in a couple of decades. Same thing happened to the British after 1960.
Sir, to this list I would also add the SU34 "Platypus". A unique fighter bomber that is very capable and the West has never come up with anything comparable. The closest I can think of is the F111 aardvark
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Old 16th May 2020, 11:05   #993
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Oops. Ouch. Aaaarggh. Let me pop some blood pressure pills. On a thread of aircraft lovers and nutcases that is a dangerous statement to make You are a brave man :-)
.
Fortune favours the brave . Tu 95 , Mig 25 ,Mig 31 Mil helicopters and some of the aircrafts quoted by esteemed members are outstanding products of engineering but for IMO mig 15, mig 21, Su 27 family are in different leagues because at the end of the day it is just a discussion where no one is 100% right as we all have are biases.

Last edited by FrozeninTime : 16th May 2020 at 11:08. Reason: Truncating quoted post
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Old 16th May 2020, 11:33   #994
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Just speculating here but I would assume a large part of what embedding the Indian engineers would have to do would be to get a couple of things sorted at the design stage rather than having to retrofit later:
...
Those first two points are basically the main things I can think of would be logical from the Indian standpoint.
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If it had come about, what do you think would have been the role of the embedded India engineers?
Let me rephrase my question - Keeping aside for then time being this particular case, what is the general thought process behind buyers/ 'collaborators' embedding engineers with the principal at various stages in a products lifecycle.


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When the Soviet Union broke up, their defence scientists were left without jobs or pay. they were up for grabs. I know for a fact that some of them working in the fields of metallurgy and propulsion approached India to seek employment. GOI dithered, babus in DPSUs felt insecure and the bogey of not upsetting Russia was flown about. so barring one or two individual cases, most of these scientists were left hanging.
India has always been xenophobic.
Everyone here ofcourse knows of Kurt Tank. But how many know that just after independence there was a German engineer, predominant in the world where it came to prefabricated structures/ housing, who came to India on GoIs invitation, and then was hounded out?

Sutripta

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Old 16th May 2020, 11:54   #995
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Everyone here ofcourse knows of Kurt Tank. But how many know that just after independence there was a German engineer, predominant in the world where it came to prefabricated structures/ housing, who came to India on GoIs invitation, and then was hounded out?
Sutripta
And hounded out so well, that he and his creation itself are pretty much forgotten altogether! There is a well maintained Marut on display in a museum in Germany but majority Indian citizens think Tejas is the first Indigenous fighter! India managed to get the services of the designers of one of the best propeller fighters ever made - the FW190, and then made a big hash of it.
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Old 16th May 2020, 12:18   #996
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

^^^
I wouldn't say Kurt Tank was hounded out. But the experts on this thread can comment on that.

Anyway, let's keep this thread clean.

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Old 16th May 2020, 13:00   #997
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

As far as the Indian Air Force is concerned, they have been moving away from Russian aircraft since the late 80's itself. The only new Russian fighter type ordered after the 80's was the SU-30 MKI, which by all accounts has been a great buy (with the usual caveats of defence procurement!).

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/hi...umar-ussr.html

The LCA never had any Russian input at all and we never approached them for any assistance.

Considering that we operated Russian fighter types with distinction; the fact that we chose more than 3 decades ago, to build our second indigenous fighter aircraft without any Russian assistance gives you an indication of the direction India had taken.

The older LCA makes greater use of carbon composites than the SU-57, which largely uses the same internal structure of the SU-30.

The LCA received design consultancy from Dassault Aviation, just like the Advanced Light Helicopter had from the erstwhile Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB). GE was contracted for the engine and Lockheed Martin to assist with development of the FBW.

The USA had sent an aircraft carrier into the Bay of Bengal in 1971 but less than 20 years later, Indian pilots were working with US teams to develop the LCA.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/bo...jas-story.html
This is a great book on the LCA and I was lucky to have it autographed Air Mshl (retd) Rajkumar himself. I understand, that an updated version is in the works.

The Russians have been left behind in the race for aerospace leadership, they simply dont have the money and their best customers do not demand the latest and greatest in defence equipment.

America's most important defence customers are European nations and countries like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and now India.These nations have the economic clout to pay and sustain operations with an expensive combat platform for 3-4 decades. While the Middle East buys large amounts of top-shelf military equipment from the USA, this is to buy US patronage and not to build real defence capability.

Remember, if your car is expensive to maintain or a dud, then you can just sell it. But the military will have to operate a lemon for 3-4 decades. The MiG-23 MF is one such example, that was retired early.

Russia cannot count India as a major customer for its aircraft anymore, for the simple reason that India can now afford better. Other Russian defence customers are mainly the poorer countries in the Middle East and Africa, South America and SE Asia.

On the topic of Tejas, it has simply taken too long to develop. any customer will only wait a certain period of time for a particular product.

I absolutely love the aeroplane, it is an amazing achievement but the needs of the user have changed and the Tejas cannot be a replacement for Rafale in any realm of imagination.

Military aviation and aerial combat is an absolutely unforgiving and hostile arena, that we civilians have absolutely no idea about. if it was my child, would I want her/him to fly the best possible aircraft that the nation could afford for the job?

The Tejas will take time to mature as a light fighter and this will be around 2025, when sufficient numbers are operational and the aircraft has settled down in service.

The Rafale is the pinnacle of french military aerospace design, much like the MiG-29 & SU-30 for the erstwhile Soviet Union and the F-15 & F-16 for the USA (though the SR-71, B-2 and F-22 are fantastic technological achievements).

The Rafale is a very expensive aeroplane, especially when carrying a full load of weapons and sensors. But its combat capability means that it will extract a a very high price from the enemy.

That said, the order for another 36 aircraft will likely be delayed. It is more important now to place an order with HAL for 83 Tejas Mk1A aircraft and preserve our aerospace design and manufacturing ecosystem than helping the French economy.

in terms of timeline, the Navy will get the its order for 57 Super Hornets before the IAF gets another 36 Rafales.

Last edited by Redline6800 : 16th May 2020 at 13:02.
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Old 16th May 2020, 15:22   #998
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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in terms of timeline, the Navy will get the its order for 57 Super Hornets before the IAF gets another 36 Rafales.
This is interesting. While there has been a lot of speculation about the Super Hornet, is it a done deal already? The reason I ask is because the follow on tranche for the Rafale is now slated to be ordered in 2023 (2022 earlier but Covid has pushed that out by a year)
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Old 16th May 2020, 15:50   #999
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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This is interesting. While there has been a lot of speculation about the Super Hornet, is it a done deal already? The reason I ask is because the follow on tranche for the Rafale is now slated to be ordered in 2023 (2022 earlier but Covid has pushed that out by a year)
Yes. From all speculation floating around the web, the Rafale appears to be the preferred bird, as fixed costs for them will be less due to commonality with the IAF. Also, now is the time to standardize our fleet. We don't need a khichadi fleet which pushes up costs in terms of training and spare parts inventories.
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Old 16th May 2020, 17:09   #1000
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Why can't we just kidnap the scientists and engineers from abroad if we do not have the know-how?
I'm sure we're first going to need really appropriate aircraft for kidnapping the right people at this point in time.
But yeah if you see how the US has developed it's contemporary engines, significant amount of credit goes to the German engineers who emigrated to the states after WW2. Even the first engine developed in US (through GE) was thanks to a rough prototype based on Frank Whittle's engine and a lot of help from Whittle himself. I think we have the most essential know-how, and it's the metallurgy and manufacturing methods that need more investment today.

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As an orthopedic surgeon, I learnt the current surgeries and practice them only, Older techniques unto about a 100 years are learnt about but not practiced. And even older surgery is not known by me. If I had to start operating as Sushrusha used to do, then graduate along history learning every technique in 4500 years, I'll never get to current levels.
It's not that we still rely on the knowledge from the 1960's. We've updated our knowledgebase with the times and use the latest available information. Most of the conceptual knowledge is in the public domain. The area where the experience of making engines for decades comes into play is the gap between theory and reality.

Just as an example, say for any performance parameter, during design, 1D tools will give a value 'v', 2D simulations will give 'w', 3D simulations will give 'x', a detailed test will give 'y' and in reality the value would be 'z'. The interconnection between these values at different stages is something you learn over time. That way, at the 1D design stage itself you know (with reasonable accuracy) how the actual engine is gone to behave. Otherwise you end up making the engine and then finding that it does not perform as intended. Essentially, this experiential knowledge helps reduce the trial and error.

The folks that are market leaders today have made all those errors after a lot of trials and have consumed resources in the same. Considering todays global economy, doing the same today will burn a lot more resources and hence it's tough to simply come up with an engine by trial and error. As of now, we've only made a few variations of one engine. We have a long way to go.
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Old 16th May 2020, 17:45   #1001
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

https://m.hindustantimes.com/india-n...GCmYM_amp.html

FDI limit in defence sector hiked to 74%.

Does anyone think this could be the game changer? Foreign manufacturers have been asking for this for last almost two decades, it's finally come, but the world has changed too, wonder how will it pan out now.

Last edited by PGA : 16th May 2020 at 17:47.
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Old 16th May 2020, 19:04   #1002
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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https://m.hindustantimes.com/india-n...GCmYM_amp.html

FDI limit in defence sector hiked to 74%.

Does anyone think this could be the game changer? Foreign manufacturers have been asking for this for last almost two decades, it's finally come, but the world has changed too, wonder how will it pan out now.
If we grab this opportunity with both hands and legs,we can very well become a leading manufacturer of arms and ammunition. We have the skilled manpower to do it. The government should be fast tracking all applications especially when they come from reliable foreign partners like Israel, Japan and France, as this industry will provide large scale employment and due to the manufacturing which may happen here, we may develop new skills organically.
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Old 16th May 2020, 19:13   #1003
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by PGA View Post
https://m.hindustantimes.com/india-n...GCmYM_amp.html

FDI limit in defence sector hiked to 74%.

Does anyone think this could be the game changer? Foreign manufacturers have been asking for this for last almost two decades, it's finally come, but the world has changed too, wonder how will it pan out now.
A good first move and a acknowledgement of reality. The spanner, and a big one at that, in the works will be the broken and irresponsible process in MoD to pay large Indian vendors of capital equipment or high end technical services. Some parts of the military where operational supplies are sold or roads get built the payment process works albeit with delays. Where one of a kind technical services or large procurement the situation is worse than broken. On top of that we have the 'no commitment' trials and R&D required in an environment that has not demonstrated that the MoD can be a customer. Ask companies like TCS how much does GoI owe them and for how many months and years are dues pending.
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Old 16th May 2020, 20:05   #1004
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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FDI limit in defence sector hiked to 74%.

Does anyone think this could be the game changer?
Has to be in conjunction with a disincentive if not made in India.

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Ask companies like TCS how much does GoI owe them and for how many months and years are dues pending.
https://thewire.in/business/nitin-ga...me-unpaid-dues
And this is just MSME. And I would say underreported.

What is the status of the OFB now?

Sutripta

Last edited by Sutripta : 16th May 2020 at 20:07.
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Old 17th May 2020, 06:58   #1005
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Not an expert, just my 2 paise
I feel that civilian research and engineering skills provide a large pool of talent and also creates demand for tech spinoff into related sectors.
The Soviets did not have a civilian side and the whole structure was geared towards the military.
Same thing happened with China. It started making great strides only after the country opened up and a civilian side demand was created. Their skills took a jump and the economy boomed, giving them the financial and human resources to improve their products.
I feel that the govt impetus to aircraft MRO shall be the game changer in the long run and create a pool of skilled workers that the private sector can use to take up contract manufacturing and maintenance from HAL.

Last edited by Alfresco : 17th May 2020 at 07:00. Reason: Syntax
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