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Old 4th August 2020, 19:48   #1246
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Hello all, what better way to liven up the thread than to ask a completely novice question:

Does it make sense for India to chase the MMRCA (or whatever abbreviation is in use nowadays for this 2 decade long procurement drama!) any longer?

Considering the time period required for various systematic steps to play out eg. evaluation, bureaucracy, finalising the winner, bureaucracy, negotiations, bureaucracy, setting up local production, bureaucracy etc...etc.... What is the real time period we are looking at before the IAF receives it's first squadron....3 years?! God help if an election is thrown into the works - then even longer.

So my question..... is 'the time' and just as important 'the money' spent on acquiring 5-7 squadrons of 4/4.5 gen aircraft by 2027 (at the earliest) really worth it?

Wouldn't it make better sense in kicking HAL's backsides and acquiring additional squadrons of Tejas initially, followed by more Mark 2 variants make more sense? This will take a lot less time.

For all it's drawbacks (I know the mention of HAL will cause many grind their teeth in frustration!), the Indian manufacturer will be closely involved in the production of the Mark 2/MWF, the future twin engined naval variant and finally the most ambitious project of them all the Stealth 5th gen AMCA.

Before committing to any of the aforementioned projects, HAL needs to gain expertise in manufacturing the Tejas in volumes, rather than the sputtering production runs it currently achieves.

In the meantime IAF must look at acquiring additional Rafale squadrons as a stop gap measure, plus look for used fighters available with other Air Forces, eg. Mirage 2000s. Using this strategy to form a 5 squadron strength for now.

The Indian establishment needs to double HALs capacity by forming a new company eg. HAL-2, cloning HALs current learning to establish a parallel firm to share half the workload. This in turn will be a second aeronautical company that can break HALs monopoly and act as a rival for future projects.

Looking forward to hearing your valuable opinions.
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Old 9th August 2020, 11:31   #1247
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
acquiring additional squadrons of Tejas initially, followed by more Mark 2 variants make more sense? This will take a lot less time.
Where is there a political will for that? It is the same HAL that has been produced SUkhois, MiGs and Jaguars. I am really not convinced that they are incapable of producing modern fighters, as the media or some netas potray them to be.

HAL still waits for the contract of Tejas MK1As and LCH(some of which HAL are building from their own funds). Fancy politically motivated terms like "Make in India" & "Atmanirbhar Bharat" will remain pipe dreams until the political leadership shows the way because history shows us that they love everything "phoren" instead of "desi" for whatever reasons. Looking at the way how the Tejas & LCH are being treated, I doubt those fancy political terms ever become a reality!!!

By all accounts, the Tejas & LCH are capable platforms and every Indian would want them to lead the charge when it comes to defending our country, but will the babus & netas ever let them evolve into great platforms they are destined to be? That is the biggest question.
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Old 9th August 2020, 16:10   #1248
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Where is there a political will for that? It is the same HAL that has been produced SUkhois, MiGs and Jaguars. I am really not convinced that they are incapable of producing modern fighters, as the media or some netas potray them to be.
There are more things at play here. Ofcourse there is political will , but not on the lines you think.

I mean look at the Navy , they have completely embraced indegenous products be it Mazagaon Docks or Ship Building Center or Cochin Shipyard. While the Navy could do it , why can't the airforce. Its surprising the airforce's constant apathy towards HAL. It can't be a mere coincidence that they can be happy getting 36 aircraft in fly away condition vs 18 in flyaway and 118 locally built ( just the way 232 Su30 MKI) .

The will is there in rebranding HAL to the "not to be named". That is the reality.
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Old 29th August 2020, 21:29   #1249
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Interesting snippet that i just read. I'd assumed that U2 planes must have been decommissioned after the advent of SR71 Blackbird.
Some platforms have amazing resilience. IAF has been upgrading the old planes and prolonging their service life. Just going for a new plane doesn't make sense if the old ones can be retrofitted to be at par with current demands.
Skoda is trying the same here with Rapid

https://theprint.in/world/dragon-lad...na-sea/491768/
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Old 29th August 2020, 21:56   #1250
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Interesting snippet that i just read. I'd assumed that U2 planes must have been decommissioned after the advent of SR71 Blackbird.
Some platforms have amazing resilience. IAF has been upgrading the old planes and prolonging their service life. Just going for a new plane doesn't make sense if the old ones can be retrofitted to be at par with current demands.
Skoda is trying the same here with Rapid

https://theprint.in/world/dragon-lad...na-sea/491768/
The U2 Dragon Lady involved in this incident has come a long way since Gary Powers was shot down. It's been upgraded over the years and has been serving throughout.

I think the issue comes down to this - the U2 is an enormously specialised platform that provides real time ISR with prolonged loiter time. So when the USAF wants to observe something they can easily send one in to watch from up on high. All you really need to change is the actual camera kit so to speak. Plus I have a feeling that having a manned platform on overwatch over these tests would've raised the stakes for the Chinese in terms of simply shooting it out the sky like an RQ-170 Sentinel UAV. Plus unlike the latter there's far less odds of losing sensitive tech from the wreckage of a LO drone such as that - not like the U2 is particularly cutting edge, hasn't been since Lyndon Johnson.

On a more peculiar note, because of the spindly wide span of the U2 and the fact it has a bicycle like in line landing gear, it's tremendously difficult for pilots to land. Plus those long slender wings easily generate a ton of lift, so to help the Dragon Lady pilots, who're often in full on pressure suits like you'd expect for an astronaut, they have a spotter on the ground. This is usually a fellow U2 pilot, who is in a fast car like a Camaro, racing down the runway, in constant radio communications with the pilot to help him/her bring the big old down.

Coming to the funny bit, when some U2's were shifted to the UK for forward basing there, the USAF spent a staggering amount of money shipping over their fast cars (Dodge Chargers) to do spotting duty.
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Old 30th August 2020, 01:49   #1251
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I hope it is not a repetition but sharing two amazing videos of this lovely plane. James May of top gear gets a chance to fly in one



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Old 4th September 2020, 13:26   #1252
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

For people interested in knowing about the latest AAM's, this is a beautiful and exhaustive piece.
https://medium.com/@sameerjoshi73/ea...ar-ed2a1cb1323
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Old 4th September 2020, 14:15   #1253
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Off topic, but as the U2 came up in this thread, just one more on the U2. I find it a fascinating plane. Partly of course the fact that it was a black project for many years. But also from a design point of view it is an amazing machine.

There are a few of them to be found in museums around the world. One can be seen at Duxford UK. A must see for any aviation buff. The Americans have put up their own display.

Based on the various U2 articles I had read over the years, I found it surprising that the actual aircraft is a bit smaller than I had imagined. Not the best of photographs to show detail/size but still a nice image from Duxford:


Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-pc280323_tonemapped.jpg
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Old 4th September 2020, 15:32   #1254
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I have a fascination for these elusive old airplanes, the U2, SR71, Mig-25 Foxbat, also a couple that couldn't make it to the production lines :the North American XB70 Valkyrie and the British TSR-2.
To that extent, even the good old Bear (Tu-95) evokes a sense of awe. Although it was perhaps the most conspicuous of the strategic Soviet fleet for obvious reasons.
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Old 10th September 2020, 18:15   #1255
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Robots are entering the role of guarding USAF's airbases:
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/09/09/u...scn/index.html

I believe that AI will one day attain AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) status in some nation's military and we'll likely have a world war because the aggressor nation will quickly utilize their smart robots on the battlefield with devastating effect to alter facts on the ground.
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