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Old 14th December 2020, 19:02   #1276
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post

HAL apparently proposed the LCA for USN trainer jet programme (!?!?)



I mean I can only admire HAL's gumption! I can imagine the looks in the Pentagon when they opened the detailed proposal HAL sent. Shock and amusement aside, I don't think I mind this proposal if it was sent tongue in cheek but knowing HAL I can imagine them sending it po-faced, convinced about their odds of being taken seriously. In which case it would be typically misplaced confidence from HAL. While I'm sure we all had a chuckle, hopefully they're hard at work getting their offerings for our Navy in working order before sending moonshot proposals for foreign tenders, especially to the Pentagon of all places!
Not sure why this is surprising or should not be taken seriously?

Embraer
is a Brazilian manufacturer of aircraft and was actually founded almost 30 years after HAL.

Both the United States Air Force (81st Fighter Squadron) and Royal Air Force have been using its Embraer EMB 312 Tucano light attack aircraft for more than a decade among 16 other nations.
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The US placed follow on orders just a few months ago:
USAF purchases A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft
https://www.blogbeforeflight.net/202...ano-light.html

The Tucano made inroads into the military trainer arena and became one of Embraer's first international marketing successes. I don't see any harm or surprise in HAL trying to get orders. When the Tucano first flew in 1980 I'm sure there would have been a lot of people who would have thought it would never fly with any of the top Air Forces of the world.

Last edited by Foxbat : 14th December 2020 at 19:06.
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Old 14th December 2020, 19:45   #1277
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
Not sure why this is surprising or should not be taken seriously?

Embraer
is a Brazilian manufacturer of aircraft and was actually founded almost 30 years after HAL.

Both the United States Air Force (81st Fighter Squadron) and Royal Air Force have been using its Embraer EMB 312 Tucano light attack aircraft for more than a decade among 16 other nations.
Attachment 2093187
I guess ads11 was joking about it because Embraer has been operating on a commercial level that HAL has yet to even try to achieve. HAL is still state owned so they have not yet serviced and proven their record with a variety of customers as Embraer has.

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Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
I don't see any harm or surprise in HAL trying to get orders. When the Tucano first flew in 1980 I'm sure there would have been a lot of people who would have thought it would never fly with any of the top Air Forces of the world.
Harm no surprise yes
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Old 14th December 2020, 21:06   #1278
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
I guess ads11 was joking about it because Embraer has been operating on a commercial level that HAL has yet to even try to achieve. HAL is still state owned so they have not yet serviced and proven their record with a variety of customers as Embraer has.

Harm no surprise yes
Correct indeed, I see no harm in HAL putting itself forward here, but I think the surprise is justifiable. You'd need to be fairly blinkered if you don't register surprise at this news.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
Not sure why this is surprising or should not be taken seriously?

Embraer
is a Brazilian manufacturer of aircraft and was actually founded almost 30 years after HAL.
It's not entirely the provenance of the aircraft in this case, it's more the global standing backed by the track record that I was alluding to. Age alone isn't a satisfactory yardstick, because I think everyone can agree that in the 30 year headstart HAL had, it doesn't have the cache of Embraer, who are in the civilian regional jet space one of the leading manufacturers and an accomplished military contractor and constructor. I think everyone here would bite your hand off if you offered HAL and Embraer in reversed roles but such is the hand we were dealt with. While I don't particularly have it in for HAL, I think it's not altogether bad to try to hold them to a higher standard. Especially if they keep making bold proclamations and setting ambitious targets for themselves. Perhaps I'd rein it in when they consistently start backing up that fighting talk.

Besides, with the Super Tucano it's an excellent little aircraft no doubt but I won't use it as an exemplar of supposed Embraer rudimentary products vis a vis HAL. I would point out that it's a case of horses for courses. It's only become relevant in a military role for the USAF as the absurdity of using high end jet aircraft for CAP missions for nigh on two decades on end in Afghanistan and Iraq against technical armed with 50 cals or the odd Carl Gustaf at most, has rattled the wings off the USAF fleet. Patently for those sort of missions its become clear that something like the Super Tucano is brilliantly placed to fill that role, despite the best filibustering of the USAF fighter mafia top brass. I think where Embraer has succeeded is recognising niches in the market, be it civilian or military and being very proficient in those segments. Whereas you can't deny, HAL's approach is to say yes to everything without a care or thought for if it might hamper higher priority programmes or if at all a project is within their capability (in the timelines that they tend to set).

Were the LCA to be near enough trouble free with all its domestic customers with a number of years of proven service under its belt, maybe a few happy export customers (say an ASEAN country) too with similar service records, then I'd be the one being harsh in my initial incredulity at the story.
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Old 15th December 2020, 11:51   #1279
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by ads11 View Post

HAL apparently proposed the LCA for USN trainer jet programme (!?!?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
Not sure why this is surprising or should not be taken seriously?
.
I am sure the Americans were shocked and surprised. More so probably because it is coming from a country which is not fully showing its commitment to the LCA project itself.

At a time when fighter number and squadrons are to be built up rapidly for the IAF, the govt is dilly dallying around the Tejas MK.1A (and LCH) order. The contract for the Mk.1As is supposed to be signed in December, but with half the month gone by, it seems unlikely it will happen this month. I realize the Tejas being offered as a LIFT platform for the Navy/AF is a slightly different bird and will probably go on to be become a well suited aircraft for that role, but still the fate of Tejas Mk.1A which seems to have been left in a limbo(along with the LCH, Su-30MKi/MiG-29UPG acquisition) sadly exposes the govt's lackadaisical approach towards military acquisitions.
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Old 15th December 2020, 12:24   #1280
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Why is HAL not using the GE F414 engine instead of GE F404 for the current Tejas itself? I checked the specs and the dimensions of both seem to be almost similar. Also I read Safran has developed a variant of the engines used in Rafale, which is suitable for single engine fighters. That one is considerably smaller and lighter, and can improve fuel and weapon load. Why they are not being considered? Will it be too difficult to achieve? Considering the fighter was not designed for the GE 404 either, and it was an afterthought due to failure of Kaveri engine.

I don't think we will ever see a Kaveri engine, not for a few more decades at least.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Electric_F404

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Electric_F414

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snecma_M88
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Old 15th December 2020, 12:56   #1281
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Why is HAL not using the GE F414 engine instead of GE F404 for the current Tejas itself? I checked the specs and the dimensions of both seem to be almost similar.
The F414 was never designed a drop-in replacement for the F404. It was developed for provide much higher thrust in larger aircraft. Naturally, this means it requires higher airflow, fuel capacity, and it has different couplings, control/monitoring systems, etc. Even the way the engine is constructed is very different, and it affects the implementation.

It took the Swedes more than a decade to get the Gripen E variant combat ready. Funding and priority definitely impacted how quickly Saab could develop the E series, but the time it took is a testament to how complex the process really is for smaller aerospace manufacturers.

As for the M88, it was never really in the running as it was less powerful and more maintenance intensive than the existing F404s in the Tejas. The EJ200 engine (used in in Eurofighter Typhoon) was rejected for the same reason.
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Old 16th December 2020, 18:31   #1282
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

This is a bit of a shocker. So instead of buying A330 MRTTs and converting them to AWACS as earlier planned, the IAF will convert 6 Air India planes to AWACS (!!?). Now the question is which one given that the only wide-body planes that AI operates are the B777 and B787. But it says the planes will be sent to an European OEM, so that indicates that its an Airbus, so one of the old A320s?

Link

Quote:
New Delhi: In a major boost for the indigenous defence industry, India is going to make six new Airborne Early Warning and Control planes to be developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on aircraft from Air India to further improve Air Force's surveillance capabilities along borders with China and Pakistan.
Government sources said that as per the discussions on the AEW&C Block 2 aircraft to be developed by the DRDO under a ₹ 10,500 crore project, the six aircraft would be acquired from the Air India fleet and modified to fly with a radar that will give 360-degree surveillance capability to the defence forces.

"The six AEW&C block two planes would be highly capable than their predecessor NETRA plane and provide 360-degree coverage deep inside the enemy territory during missions. The government is expected to clear the project soon," government sources told ANI.

The project to build the AEW&C system on existing aircraft from the Air India fleet may also mean that India may not buy the six Airbus 330 transport aircraft planned to be acquired earlier from the European firm, the sources said.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation had earlier planned to build six Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) on the Airbus 330 aircraft for which some facilities were planned to be created in Bengaluru.

As per plans, the six new aircraft would be sent to a European destination to the original equipment manufacturer for modification of the planes for installing the radar, the sources said.

Sources said the project has been planned in a way to promote Make in India in defense and Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
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Old 16th December 2020, 21:12   #1283
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
But it says the planes will be sent to an European OEM, so that indicates that its an Airbus, so one of the old A320s?
If so, the A319 or A320 might end up having a fixed radar antenna like what Boeing did on the E-7(which is based on a Boeing 737-700 airframe) or Embraer did on our own Netras(ERJ-145).
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Old 16th December 2020, 22:07   #1284
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Very likely, it will be these 6 Airbus A320-200 planes that this old article is talking about:
https://www.ndtv.com/business/air-in...-a320s-1681068

Quote:
Air India will be phasing out its remaining aged Airbus Classic A320 planes by this fiscal year. Air India has already retired nine A320 aircraft from its fleet and the remaining six planes are likely to go out of service by March next year, the state-owned carrier's chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani told news agency Press Trust of India
However, this is not the first time IAF will be borrowing planes from Air India. This old IAF Boeing 707 ELINT aircraft is still being used. It was originally flying passengers for Air India
https://theprint.in/defence/indias-o...kistan/421757/

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-20200514125552.jpg

Last edited by SmartCat : 16th December 2020 at 22:08.
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Old 17th December 2020, 09:40   #1285
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
However, this is not the first time IAF will be borrowing planes from Air India. This old IAF Boeing 707 ELINT aircraft is still being used. It was originally flying passengers for Air India
Attachment 2093924
Sorry for the silly question, but why this flight bore a white-blue color scheme and not the usual IAF grey? I had a notion that, only civilian aircrafts flown by IAF has the while-blue color scheme.
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Old 17th December 2020, 09:53   #1286
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by PetrolRider View Post
Sorry for the silly question, but why this flight bore a white-blue color scheme and not the usual IAF grey? I had a notion that, only civilian aircrafts flown by IAF has the while-blue color scheme.
Probably because these Boeing 707s are operated by our spy agency RAW?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_Research_Centre

This division previously operated Mig 25s too. They also have a small fleet of Gulfstream jets for intelligence gathering.

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Old 17th December 2020, 10:45   #1287
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
However, this is not the first time IAF will be borrowing planes from Air India. This old IAF Boeing 707 ELINT aircraft is still being used. It was originally flying passengers for Air India
Those old VIP 737-200s apparently have been removed from VIP duties and atleast a couple of them could well have been converted into ELINT platforms. Look at the antennas and bulges on the underside of the fuselage of the 737-200s

K2412 (ex-Indian Airlines VT-EHW)
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-k2412.jpg

K2413 (ex-Indian Airlines VT-EHX)
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-k2413.jpg

When they used for VIP duties previously, K2412 did not have these antennas & bulges, which suggests that these modifications were done recently.
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-k2412_old.jpg

Last edited by skanchan95 : 17th December 2020 at 10:50.
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Old 17th December 2020, 11:56   #1288
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

What is the wisdom behind spending millions and converting old air passenger airframes that have undergone a few thousand pressurization cycles into cutting edge air surveillance platforms? The airframes would already be end of their lifecycles. This will lead to more maintenance costs I believe on top of the transformation costs.
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Old 17th December 2020, 12:05   #1289
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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What is the wisdom behind spending millions and converting old air passenger airframes that have undergone a few thousand pressurization cycles into cutting edge air surveillance platforms? The airframes would already be end of their lifecycles. This will lead to more maintenance costs I believe on top of the transformation costs.
Once a passenger aircraft is retired by an airliner, it is not the end of the road for the aircraft. Most of them are converted into cargo planes and continue operating for many years.

That's because cargo planes do not need to maintain high operational rates like passenger planes. They don't need to take off exactly at 9:00 AM, land elsewhere at 11:00 AM, take off again at 1:00 PM and so on. From what I've read, a typical cargo plane operates half the hours of a typical passenger plane.

Military planes have even lower operational hours than a cargo plane, let alone a passenger plane.
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Old 17th December 2020, 12:06   #1290
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
What is the wisdom behind spending millions and converting old air passenger airframes that have undergone a few thousand pressurization cycles into cutting edge air surveillance platforms? The airframes would already be end of their lifecycles. This will lead to more maintenance costs I believe on top of the transformation costs.
Valid question. I think that the IAF would have considered this.

A 737 typically undergoes 6 pressurisation cycles everyday while on passanger duty on a commercial airline. But on the surveillance duty, this number would be much lower giving enough number of years in service.

Also, the altitudes (and hence the pressure differential) may be lower while on the surveillance duty. Experts can throw light on this.
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