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Old 20th April 2021, 05:05   #1366
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
That design looks nice but I remember reading somewhere that perpendicular tail fins are vastly detrimental to stealth. They help with maneuverability though.
You're correct, any vertical stabiliser is just a big old surface to reflect incoming radar waves off of, but in the interests of creating an agile platform you keep it in. What gets done to mitigate the impact is to have it canted (in the prototype for the F 117 Nighthawk for example, you'll find the vertical stabilisers are aggressively canted inwards). You can see the bias towards that maneuverability in the decision making for the last two big clean sheet USAF fighter programmes, especially the more recent JSF. Boeing's ugly duckling X-32 was to have rather a unique pelican tail arrangement in production form but the Pentagon went with the more orthodox arrangement of Lockheed's X-35, itself a natural evolution of the same design thinking for the YF-22 (as opposed to the tail on Northrop Grumman's YF-23).

Coming back to the present, there's increasing research into creating flight surfaces that either naturally flex in lieu of control surfaces (think how in motorsport like F1 you have teams getting front wings to flex at different speeds to get the same effect they would get from being able to have movable aero parts, which just so happen to be banned), Or using more exotic means such as directed blasts of air (BAE in association with the University of Manchester actually have a project exploring this and the previous method from what I recall). Remember how Aston Martin when it launched the new DB11 introduced this feature they branded the AirBlade (iirc) instead of a rear spoiler? This thing looks like a slit like opening on the boot lid edge. Essentially instead of having a physical surface, like a spoiler, to redirect air, they're funneling high pressure air through a duct and out this slot and creating the same impact as the spoiler in terms of downforce.

Now you can see the benefit right from either approach? Losing any moving parts like slats and flaps on your wing just means you've got rid of any edges that could create a surface from which you get radar return (the lone stealth aircraft shot down thus far, a Nighthawk in Serbia, was from a freak circumstance where the SAM that was fired managed to get a signal off the edge of the open bomb bay door). It's why designers go through all this effort to create serrated edges to any openings on these jets.

So there you go - any next generation fighter is likely to be a tail less flying wing design that doesn't sacrifice agility through the use of exotic technologies like those mentioned above. Or at least that's what the aviation buffs amongst us would love to see. Fiscal realities are always another matter. But given how sophisticated aero engineers have become in concert with materials engineers in F1 in terms of designing solid continuous surfaces they can get to move and flex as desired multiple times a lap, you can bet that the defence sector with it's greater budgets have explored these in greater detail. Just a question of how long till it becomes widespread enough to be open knowledge.
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Old 28th April 2021, 13:42   #1367
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

The Tejas has been successfully integrated with the Israeli Python 5 short-range IRM as per this tweet by DRDO.

Python 4 based Derby ARH BVR missile is already a part of Tejas's arsenal.

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-20210428_133853.jpg
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Old 1st May 2021, 21:52   #1368
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Interesting news I found on the Janes; Apparently, the Indian Air Force is in advanced negotiations with the French government to lease one Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft. This single aircraft will be operated by the IAF but maintained by the French Air Force (I guess similar to the reaper drones operated by the Navy). Apparently, this leasing agreement is initially only for training purposes as 5 additional A330 MRTTs would be leased later for operations. It isn't clear if the single aircraft will be made by Airbus or if France will provide one of their existing aircraft on lease.

Armchair amateur Rant: Had these MRTTs been purchased earlier rather than being cancelled multiple times because of bureaucracy, these would have been invaluable for airlift requirements given how the IAF transport planes are working overtime to move around the cryogenic tank. According to Wikipedia, the A330 MRTT has a payload capacity of 45 tonnes (compared to 42 tonnes for the IL-76 and 71 tonnes for the C17). Perhaps the A330 wouldn't fit trucks with cryogenic like the C17 but the airlift capability would've been much appreciated now (plus the 6 additional C17s which India ordered after the production lines were shut with only one left on sale ).

Quote:
India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is in advanced negotiations with the French government to lease one Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) for training purposes.

The lease of this aircraft, which would be operated by the IAF but maintained by the French Air Force, is likely to be succeeded by the lease of five additional A330 MRTTs to augment the reach and combat capability of IAF fighters, official sources told Janes on 29 April.

The French Air Force would also instruct IAF personnel in operating the tankers.

Senior IAF officers said it was only “natural” for the service to opt for the A330 MRTT as tankers of the type operated by the French Air Force and the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence have already provided in-flight refuelling for 18 of the 36 Rafale multirole fighters ordered for the IAF while en route to India from their manufacturing facility in France.

The 18 remaining Rafales, which were ordered in 2016 for EUR7.9 billion (USD9.5 billion), are also likely to be air-refuelled on their way to India in a similar manner, said IAF sources.

The IAF currently operates six Russian-made Ilyushin Il-78 tankers that were acquired in 2003–04 but almost all of them are currently out of service as they face maintenance and serviceability issues, as well as a spares shortage.
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/n...tt-from-france

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-fg_3962692jdw11802.jpg

Last edited by dragracer567 : 1st May 2021 at 21:57.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 23:40   #1369
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Had these MRTTs been purchased earlier rather than being cancelled multiple times because of bureaucracy, these would have been invaluable for airlift requirements given how the IAF transport planes are working overtime to move around the cryogenic tank.
I couldn't agree more. That secondary airlift capability of the MRTTs is often overlooked as it isn't what one thinks of as sexy capabilities when it comes to selling defence gear. But boy oh boy would it have come handy at a time like this.

It's a shame it always has to come to this before the procurement bosses see the light. The A330 MRTT had come out on top of multiple iterations of the tender process and here we are nearly a decade later and all we have to show for it is a lease option. Sadly farcical procurement policies are all too painfully common.

I don't even understand why the lease option is being used for this programme - especially the 5 later ones! Fine, lease the solitary platform for training in the interim but just get on with it and procure the rest of the aircraft, instead of kicking the can down the road.

The C-17 was another farce where it wasn't just India who was left with egg on it's face. India, much like the USAF and a few other customers, basically ignored Boeing's warnings that they'd shutter the line without orders, probably hoping to force some price concessions or the other out of the OEM. Instead, everyone was left looking stupid as a very capable platform went out of production long before any of the customers were hoping for.

One only needs to look at how hard the PLAAF are working on their Y-20 airlifter to realise the importance of strategic airlift capability to the overall effectiveness of your fighting forces. The most recent OSINT from China seems to indicate that there are test platforms in the factory primer coating with the distinctive larger engine nacelles indicative of a high bypass engine, the indigenous WS-20. The reliance still on Russian turbofans is advantageous to us for the interim only, seems a matter of time before the Chinese work through their propulsion gremlins.
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Old 4th May 2021, 10:33   #1370
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

A little OT, but we have a lost one of the foremost authority on Indian Military aviation history. Mr. Pushpindar Singh Chopra, author of so many books and founder of Vayu Aerospace Defence Review passed away due to Covid.

These are some of the books he authored and the literature on our aviation history would be so incomplete, had it not been for him. RIP & Farewell, Sir

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-bk_1.jpg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-bk_2.jpg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-bk_33.jpg
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Old 16th May 2021, 23:05   #1371
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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the #NGAD programme.
Some big movement on the NGAD front this week for those interested. First USAF chief Gen. Brown basically states he wants a 4+1 fleet structure for the USAF moving forward consisting of the NGAD, F-35, F-15EX, F-16 and A-10.
Conspicuously absent here in this future fleet mix for the USAF is the F-22. Naturally the defence sphere went into overdrive trying to get some idea of what this might mean for the venerable but aging Raptor. And sure enough Gen. Brown's deputy basically tacitly admits not only the timeline for the NGAD deployment, but that it is to essentially replace the F-22, a jet that they no longer see as relevant in a Pacific war scenario such as a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

Essentially we now have a rough timeline with NGAD in some form or the other being fielded by the beginning of 2030 (at which point of time the Raptor will be in it's 40th year will be increasingly considered unfit for purpose). For fans of the aborted YF-23, the strengths of that offering (it's longer range, greater magazine capacity) are all now the very sticks with which the F-22 is being beaten when it comes to gaming how poorly suited it is to a confrontation with China. I'd missed that sometime last year a Pentagon official admitted there's already some kind of NGAD demonstrator doing the rounds. More importantly what this signals is USAF top brass are pivoting for a budgetary battle on the Hill to get major funding towards NGAD, which will naturally come at the cost of the JSF programme.

What interests me is if the end indeed is eventually nigh for the finicky and sparse silver bullet Raptor fleet, will Japan make one last ditch attempt at offering a home for it. Japan's always lusted after the F-22, including recently spitballing with Lockheed about a B-spec of the Raptor. The significant range issue of the F-22 wouldn't be a problem for the Japanese though there's no denying that it's age will be a big factor along with the massive maintenance and repair expenses that the USAF already faces will only continue to grow.

The B-21 Raider programme is the first of the momentous projects the USAF needs to successfully get off its docket, followed by whatever form NGAD shapes up to be. These are increasingly looking to define the next few decades of the USAF, especially in that increasingly stretched and tricky Pacific theatre.

On the Indian front part of me wonders about that F-16 replacement mooted clean sheet 4.5 gen design of Gen. Brown's. If the Americans go the same route in terms of involving international partners in the development for this, I wonder if there's a slim possibility they might try to entice India amongst others. Realistically though it's hard to see how India fits into the picture with the corollaries of the above moves not having much overlap beyond maybe more pitches to keep production lines for legacy Teen Series jets alive with Indian orders (ie, the F-16 pitch). Anyway, I'm massively spitballing here.
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Old 6th July 2021, 11:12   #1372
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Latest Acquisition of the IAF, a 5th hand Canadair F-86 Sabre Mk6 . Previous owners are Canada, Germany, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India in that order. It was used by the Bangladesh Air Force after the 1971 war after being captured from the PAF.

It was donated by the Bangladesh Air Force recently and is recently being restored for static display at the Palam Air Force Museum in Delhi.
Looks like the aircraft is ready and put on display. I will have to plan my 3rd visit to the museum now

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-210142179_830906687531322_2862731588378783109_n.jpeg
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Old 8th July 2021, 12:43   #1373
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Looks like the aircraft is ready and put on display. I will have to plan my 3rd visit to the museum now
Fantastic to see it restored to its original glory, paint scheme wise. I have also seen photos of other aircraft restored tastefully at the museum. Good to see them putting so much efforts to restore & maintain these glorious aircraft.
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Old 9th July 2021, 01:33   #1374
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
A little OT, but we have a lost one of the foremost authority on Indian Military aviation history. Mr. Pushpindar Singh Chopra, author of so many books and founder of Vayu Aerospace Defence Review passed away due to Covid.
Pretty sad news. And I think this is very relevant to this thread. If we are talking about Indian Air force or its machines then Pushpinder Singh, Jasjit Singh, Peter Steinmann & in recent times Arjun Subramaniam are all relevant names for we aficionados.

My interest in fighter planes started with his book Fiza'ya. It is so sad to learn that he passed away almost 2 months back without we knowing about it. RIP sir
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Old 9th July 2021, 16:14   #1375
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Pretty sad news. And I think this is very relevant to this thread. If we are talking about Indian Air force or its machines then Pushpinder Singh, Jasjit Singh, Peter Steinmann & in recent times Arjun Subramaniam are all relevant names for we aficionados.

My interest in fighter planes started with his book Fiza'ya. It is so sad to learn that he passed away almost 2 months back without we knowing about it. RIP sir
Yes, his demise is a terrible loss to Indian Avgeeks. I owe a huge part of what I know about Indian military aviation to him & his books. His Fiza'Ya book earned him respect & recognition from across the border as well.

In my opinion, his best work was the Battle Axes. The way it was written, it is like reading through a Squadron Diary. Each & every fighter acquisition of the Battle Axes has been written in such painstaking detail, that it was a treat to read. A very passionate writer he was, and I still regret not buying his book "Fly Navy" when I had a chance to, I think it was his only book on Indian Naval Aviation.
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Old 17th July 2021, 23:41   #1376
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New Russian single engine fighter "Checkmate"


Aviation Twittersphere's been abuzz this week ever since Rostec dropped this mysterious trailer:



Note the chess theme, and the social media advertising of a floating Knight piece (a la old school UFO images), but most critically the fact that the pilots shown are all overseas (ie, not Russians). We see Indian, Argentine, UAE and Vietnam amongst others.

There's a bunch of material online which I'll link in descending order. For more photos you need only go on Twitter and look at the feed of some of the bigger aviation handles such as this.

Salient points as follows:
  • Official reveal at the upcoming MAKS airshow next week
  • Single engine most likely
  • Some degree of LO
  • Twin canted tails
  • Lots of discussion on the exact configuration of the intakes to put it mildly (whether an X-32 or F-16 style gaping chin mounted maw or twin side intakes like the F-35 or FC-31)
  • This is entirely self funded by UAC, with the Sukhoi design bureau taking the lead as there hasn't been any interest from the Russian military (not that they have much funding to go around)
  • As you can tell from the trailer, expect this to be heavily marketed towards the export market
  • Sukhoi being the designers will likely have borrowed from their Su-57 programme for sure with design elements

It's interesting that they've so blatantly made the export pitch because Russia hasn't developed a single engine light fighter in decades. Their own Mig-29 light fighter design lineage is the disregarded stepchild of the Russian fixed wing fleet, with the storied Mikoyan design bureau all but dead and buried what with Sukhoi getting the lead on this project. The profitable Su-30 lines development was heavily underwritten by Indian funding, so unsurprising to see Rostec planning to borrow the same playbook from the outset. Given China, South Korea, Turkey, Japan and even India have to varying degrees of progress outlined plans for lightweight domestic fighters, I guess the Russians had no choice but to stick their oar in on what could very well be a critical export market.

I seriously wonder though about India's interest in the programme though. As TWZ correctly points out, any Indian involvement in development will likely invite scrutiny under CAATSA sanctions (India needed to get a waiver for it's S-400s), so with tightening defence ties wrt the Quad, and the fact that this is a programme that's entirely in it's infancy, is there any upside for the IAF to take a punt? Hard to see after how disastrously the Su-57 relationship ended..
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Old 18th July 2021, 10:45   #1377
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I seriously wonder though about India's interest in the programme though. As TWZ correctly points out, any Indian involvement in development will likely invite scrutiny under CAATSA sanctions (India needed to get a waiver for it's S-400s), so with tightening defence ties wrt the Quad, and the fact that this is a programme that's entirely in it's infancy, is there any upside for the IAF to take a punt? Hard to see after how disastrously the Su-57 relationship ended..
I'm not sure if the pilots in the video are actors or actual pilots from the respective Air Forces but I believe its highly unlikely we would be seeing a new Russian fighter jet in India (or UAE for that matter) anytime soon. It is unfortunate to say but the Russian Federation hasn't actually developed an operational fighter jet (or military fixed aircraft if I am not mistaken) from the ground-up since the Soviet Union came crashing down. Infact, all modern Russian Fighters jets are just improvements of Soviet-era aircraft except for the Su-57 which isn't fully operational yet (if it ever will be). Though to be fair, even the Americans still depend mostly on their cold-war work horses - F15s, F16s and F18s.

Another reason is, there would be significant push-back in India from buying another single-engine fighter from abroad given the existence of Tejas and I would assume that this Russian jet would be similar in terms of stage of development and capabilities to the Tejas Mk-2.

The third reason is offcourse the CAATSA sanctions! Given the significant pivot to the western bloc, its extremely unlikely that the Indians would buy new Russian hardware, especially when the equivalent Western systems are more reliable (which I believe is affirmed by the IAF's own experience) and are delivered on time.

The late 90s and early 2000s when the Su-30s were inducted was a very different time when the Indians were sanctioned and looked down upon by the West while the Russians still had the capabilities from the Soviet era which was helped by Indian capital investments. Now, the West have more humility given the rise of China while Russia is nothing more than a disproportionately militarized nuisance state heavily fixated on Europe akin to our Western neighbor (Russian GDP right now is smaller than California, Texas, South Korea or Canada and is only slightly bigger than Australia, Spain or Brazil)!

Last edited by dragracer567 : 18th July 2021 at 10:54.
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Old 19th July 2021, 11:55   #1378
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

A319 AWACS taking shape or PHOTOSHOP? ex-Air India A319 VT-SCO.

I know the DRDO AWACS will be based on a A320 platform but still the colours and markings look a little odd. The lighting just feels artificial.

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Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-e6oxhozucay_gb5.jpg

Last edited by skanchan95 : 19th July 2021 at 11:56.
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Old 19th July 2021, 20:44   #1379
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A319 AWACS taking shape or PHOTOSHOP? ex-Air India A319 VT-SCO.

I know the DRDO AWACS will be based on a A320 platform but still the colours and markings look a little odd. The lighting just feels artificial.

Attachment 2180960

Attachment 2180961
Yeah, I can't quite put my finger on it but I feel the same way. I'm not quite certain when looking at the image if it's been touched up in any way or not. Just out of curiosity I uploaded the image to one of those photoshop identifiers I've seen friends use. Now, I've never used one so I don't quite know what to make of the results but make of it what you will:
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-f5d457f42921647121dbf7bc5466b8a3f9dbeddb.101225ela.png

I will say though that, otherwise it seems to have the standard IAF grey. Do they normally label testbeds so prominently along the sides?
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Old 19th July 2021, 21:48   #1380
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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New Russian single engine fighter "Checkmate"


Aviation Twittersphere's been abuzz this week ever since Rostec dropped this mysterious trailer:
So this light single-engine fifth-generation fighter 'checkmate' appears to be have been unveiled today - some few pictures from the events (according to this twitter feed - https://twitter.com/qretaxyeta/statu...54832532328448)

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-checkmate1.jpg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-checkmate2.jpg
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