Frontline Indian combat jets will evolve by 2060: IAF chief
If the IAF's induction plans are crafted up to 2020 with the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) and the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) that have a 40-year life cycle, "we are looking at 2060 for D&D (design and development) objectives," IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major said.
2060? That's really,really far in a galaxy long away.But the IAF chief is being very frank about the problems and challenges faced by our DR&D apparatus today.
IMHO,the defence apparatus is ill-equipped to meet single-handedly the needs and requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.This is not to undermine the miraculous efforts of our DRDO scientists who have given excellent solutions considering the peanut sized research budget.
DRDO must adopt as its motto these two maxims given by India's missile-man President,Dr Kalam,"Low aim is a crime" and "Strength respects Strength".
"We do not as yet have industrial players with deep enough pockets, infrastructure, or clout to swim the oceans of aerospace R&D and manufacture on their own.
"We must evolve our own model and it will have to be a combination type - a collaborative and participative one," Major maintained.
DRDO must divide its research and development responsibilities separately into first,advanced research and second, tactical research respectively.This can be done by spinning off its advanced research responsibilities into new entity.
1]Tactical R&D Command
Motto:"Strength respects Strength"
The Tactical R&D command; would involve co-development, offsets-utilization, system integration,defence production,management of public-private partnerships/RURs,certification of equipment etc. basically meeting the current requirements of the Armed Forces by producing ordnance and materiel in real time.
2] Advanced Research Bureau
Motto: "Low aim is a crime"
The Advanced Research Bureau of the DRDO would charged with providing technological options to the Armed Forces and not necessarily design products.The Bureau would act as haven for all sorts of ideas and would make products till the testing stage...products rejected would be recast into UnManned Systems.
"Clearly, we cannot simply follow footsteps in our quest for indigenous technology. We must identify core technologies with the maximum potential to indigenise and those we must pursue vigorously," Major maintained.
The Indian defence establishment would continue to be criticized and derided as it doesn't go beyond GSQRs and RfPs.
Not being challenged intellectually is a bigger reason than money for scientists to leave ISRO/DRDO.
They must realize that they're benefiting from being late and not otherwise...they have the opportunity to leap over past mistakes in DR&D and enter new unknown territories.
I don't quite get it when we sign a deal to get an MTA[Il-214] operationally in 2015 which is using technology from 1985.
A done deal would be that we re-build the fastest propeller-driven aircraft,the Tu-95 Bear
into a tiltwing V/STOL aircraft and reducing its engine noise to a Rolls-Royce level.
That's something which if done well would make Americans jealous...and trust me, Indo-Russian brain power can do it better.
Or better stiil when the MMRCA competition is there,why not organize an MTA competition [at least for civil aviation] immediately?Embraer,BAe Avro and Bombardier are dying for such a deal without any political strings.
Again,I don't see reason why we're not building nuclear-powered Shivaliks if the ATV is stuck.If nuclear power isn't available,chuck it.Go for something never done before by anyone.
..why not make an Ocean Thermal Exhange powered submarine/surface craft or tribrid it including a hydrogen fuel cell with conventional diesel-electric??
Or use wind power as an additional source for surface fleet?
If funding is a problem,with due permission allow ToT agreement
with Indian private parties in exchange of finances.
Arjun is a great weapons platform and so is LCA.The criticism is that they use tech 20 years....let that be their strength.
Transform the bullets if you can't change the gun.
Make an autoloader that can fire both missiles and shells with equal ease.Then,make missiles that have no parallel in history.
The Arjun could tube-fire anti-aircraft hypersonic missiles and Dominator-like UAVs from a 50-km plus distance.
Similarily,the LCA is a damn good fighter as transonic fighters are an optimal mix for dogfighting and missile based attack.
Make it the best so that it can down the AWACS aircraft and its entire F-35 squadron in a Red Flag exercise.
How?Make the most powerful vaccuum tube jammer,equip it with an air-based anti-missile/SAM system, make it capable to land over water and act as a jetfoil boat,powered auxiliary.
DRDO must aim the highest
.The Armed Forces have only Pakistan and China as enemies to outdo,
while DRDO has outdo everyone especially USA,EU and Russia technologically in a limited budget by betting either on emerging yet reliable technology[Small private firms in US/India] or obsolete/abandoned technology and customizing it to the Indian context[mostly european/canadian].
To aim low is a crime.To aim lower than your brain's potential is a death sentence.
To Sum,Budget and time constraints can be creatively resolved by adopting under-development technologies straightaway[like we did in telecom-CDMA/GSM] and aiming to be the best in the world; while still remaining affordable.This is India's USP of jugaard
Soviet Union achieved military parity at a fraction of the US's GDP,per capita income and budget.
Now it's our turn.We must ignite minds and give dreams wings of fire.
Chak De India!