How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

rama
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How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby rama » 29 Aug 1999 11:34

IAF has in the recent past indicated a reduction in force levels in the future - just how deep will they be?<P>Specifically: Mig-21's will be gradually retired and replaced(touch wood) with the LCA. But - there are 16 suqadrons (by BR's OrBat) of Mig-21's, and most articles on the LCA talk about 200 planes. This is, admittedly vague, but it implies that IAF will have about 10 LCA squarons.<P>More importantly: Mig-23's equip 4 squadrons with no plans for upgrades or any proposals for replacement. These will be gone by 2010 or so, probably. <P>On the flip side, IAF is adding only 2 squadrons of Su-30MKI's - and may add a couple more. But it seems that the IAF will be short about 6-8 squadrons in the next 10 years. Comments? (Specifically on replacement roadmap for the Mig-23 / 27 and for the shortfall between the Mig-21 and LCA numbers.)

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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby Badar » 30 Aug 1999 01:05

Hi,<P>Just a word more to what rakesh said ... original plans called for the LCA to replace both the MiG-23s and the MiG-21s.<P>

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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby vverma » 30 Aug 1999 01:13

Also, the proposed # 200+20(conversion) LCA currently floating around is based on the threat perception of about 10 years ago. The cool thing about indiginous stuff is that the production line can be kept open as long as desired. If Pak or China are able to acquire better fighters in greater numbers in the future, the number of LCA's can doubled anytime.

rama
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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby rama » 30 Aug 1999 01:49

Hi All, <P> While an LCA can do more than a Mig-21 - our neighbourhood is getting busier too.<P>Won't stuffing the IAF with more LCA's (at $30 million per piece) or Su-30MK's or Mirage 2000's ($50-$60 million?) be very expensive? We may be talking, possibly 200 planes here, and $6-$12 billion _more_ sounds like a lot..<P>Hopefully, the economy will pick up and five years from now %6 billion won't sound like that much. But still - can a case be made for a CCA (cheap combat aircraft). <P>Interesting food for thought: Without starting a from-scratch development project like the LCA, and sticking to some degree of commonality (engines, avionics, pods, certainly missiles) with existing IAF (inc your favorite AJT) platforms - what can be had / developed to have a per-unit cost of about *$10 million*. Will something like a Hawk 200 (with Mig-21-93 like upgrade) be useful? Will it meet the cost?

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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby Skanhai » 30 Aug 1999 04:49

Hans, allthough the LCA will probable not be a the best aircraft ever, it will be manufactured in India! That is the most important thing at this moment: develop and producea Indian designed aircraft. It's another step in the direction India has decided to walk: to be able to develop and produce her own weapons. <BR>In any way, the LCA will by no means be useless.<BR>Just my toughts.

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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby Prasenjit Medhi » 30 Aug 1999 04:52

Hello Hans,<P>BR is basically maintained by Rakesh, Seetal and Rupak, when disagreeing with the above three, please use the honorific Honored Administrator, I humbly beg to disagree ..<P>Oh btw, the IAF will be flying the Su-37, as the Su-30MKI(or whatever its now called) with TVC et all. We will certainly be in a position to test it against the best ..<P>Take it easy.

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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby vram » 30 Aug 1999 06:44

<I>At ~$25+ million, the LCA is a steal to replace the MiG-21. That is if the price stays at that level. The LCA alone at 220 aircraft will cost the IAF $5.5 billion (220 x $25 million). </I><P>Firstly, regarding the LCA, the expenditure of foreign exchange ($$$) to manufacture them would be minimal (hopefully). So we are talking of Rupees. Buying a foreign a/c means outflow of precious foreign exchange.<P>Secondly, the rupees spent on manufacturing will go to Indian industries and the indian economy. Generating jobs, creating a vibrant avation industry, and all other positive externalities associated with indegenous development and production. We also get to sell these babies!<P>So comparing prices of LCA and any other foreign made a/c may not be a relevant comparision. With the caveat, the LCA shouldn't be exhorbitant in comparison with other similar a/c of its class.<BR>

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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby rama » 30 Aug 1999 12:57

Salman, <P> Even if nominally the Mig-29K/M/SMT are expected to cost roughly the same as the LCA - the operational costs of the LCA are still bound to be significantly lower and this may be a differentiator. It has one engine instead of two - and from gound up it's designed for very high servicability with 600 LRU's. <P> While it may or may not run rings around the LCA (in terms of armament load, range, rate of ascent, T/W) much of the time you just need warm bodies in the air that can shoot BVR or WVR, or can lob a few PGMs or ASMs and it's incremental performance is somewhat moot. <P>The Mig29 is caught in a strange niche - it is almost too good to be a "low end" but completely overshadowed by it's cousin the Su-27 in the high end (It's poor service record hasn't helped any either).

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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby Michael » 30 Aug 1999 16:47

I'm always hearing about the LCA and the MCA, but I have to ask: aren't we just talking fantasy here? There is not a single operational LCA at this time, is there? Not one! I understand that India needs to have an indigenous arms industry, but for the sake of national security I don't think India can afford to rely on home-grown technology. <P>Why not just buy 200 Gripens instead of waiting forever for the LCA? The Saab Gripen is an outstanding warplane, it's cheap to maintain, and it only costs about $25 million. The Gripen can carry the Mica and Matra ATA missiles and the Sea Eagle anti-ship missiles already used by the IAF, and it can carry a wide assortment of dumb and guided bombs. It is a true multirole fighter and a damn good deal at $25 million. <P>The LCA will no doubt be inferior to the Gripen, will cost more, and won't be in service for at least ten years. The Gripen is a foreign design, yes, but Sweden is a longtime neutral, not likely to impose sanctions on India in the foreseeable future. I think Sweden would be a safe supplier to rely on. <p>[This message has been edited by Michael Baxter (edited 30-08-1999).]

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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby dsandhu » 30 Aug 1999 23:57

Has the IAF got a short list of fighter aircrafts to replace the Mig-21 M and Mig 21MF's if the LCA does not come through< or if tha LCA is delayed longer than desired or if HAL cannot n\meet the delivery requirements.?<P>It is along way from the flight of the first prototype to actual delivery of aircraft to the IAF<P>We need about 150 to 200 modern planes to replace the Mig 21 unless the GOI is hell bent upon killing its young group of IAF pilots.<P>The Mirage 2000 seems to be a faviorate of the persons of the BR forum.<BR>We cannot expect F15 or F16 or F18 from US without lots of strings attached.<P>In order to modernse the IAF lets have no more new MIG's due to their problematic engines. The Mig 21 , Mig 25 and Mig 29 engines have problems they tend to surge and also number of compressor blade failures have been reported.<P>So in order to be a lean mean fighting machine the IAF needs 100-150 new Mirage 2000's or SU-30's . All this in case the LCA does not come through.<P>By the way how long is the IAF willing to wait for the LCA?<P>Jai Hind<BR>

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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby Ved » 31 Aug 1999 04:23

Incidentally, the MiG-21 upgrade IS a replacement for the MiG-21, and is going to be relevant for a lo-o-o-ong time.

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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby Michael » 31 Aug 1999 13:52

I don't think India can afford to wait 10 years (or more) for the LCA. <P>I also don't think the Mirage-2000 or the SU-30 are a good deal. They cost over $40 mil apeice and they definitely aren't worth that much. <P>The Gripen I believe sells for around $25 mil. Saab is already selling to S. Africa and is looking for more contracts.<P>The LCA, by comparison, will not be as good as the Gripen, won't be available for ten years (at least) and will cost more per plane. <P>So, given these facts, what is the IAF to do? Because pilot's lives take second place to politics and national pride, it seems the IAF will be stuck flying the Mig-21 for another ten years. Perhaps they intend to gradually retire the Mig-21 fleet by letting them die off in crashes. At the current rate Mig-21's are crashing, the entire Mig-21 fleet should be gone by 2010, right in time for the LCA! Too bad for those pilots, but life is cheap, right?

rama
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Re: How deep will IAF force level reductions be?

Postby rama » 01 Sep 1999 09:41

I don't think the Gripen is an option because it's engine is the GE F404 turbofan which the US cannot sell to us. India is still under sanctions. <P>


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