Indian Military Aviation

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Karan M
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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2010 20:48

Carl_T wrote:May I ask why the MCA is necessary? What is it going to do that the PakFa/MKI/MMRCA/LCA cannot?


I already replied to that several posts back. The MCA is targeted at the aircraft retirals that will happen even after the MRCA is inducted, and it will be too expensive to rely on the PAKFA alone (heavy fighter) and the MRCA aircraft will be obsolete (for another 30+ year lifespan) if acquired at that point in time.

The other advantages are of course related to the development of an independent aircraft industry etc.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Indranil » 01 May 2010 20:50

shiv wrote:
Rahul M wrote:to put it in a nutshell, the assertion that HAL/ADA/IAF is blindly aping whatever the US is doing or that they are not leveraging existing tech available in the country is an out and out strawman that has no legs to stand upon.
arguing for the sake of it with not a care for the real world does nothing for the quality of discussions. [/b]


Thank you Rahul

Could you please point me to Supercruise and thurst vectoring either in your post or in the link and if those words are absent could you categorically state that Supercruise and thrust vectoring ARE NOT requirements of the MCA project so that I can stop accusing indian planners of aping the US?

MCA is doable within a realistic time frame (20 years IMO) ONLY if we do not demand thrust vectoring or supercruise as essential features. So please say the magic words... ((I, for my part will ignore the fact that we have no engine yet. it will come)

It also follows that the next gen fighter aircraft to be developed in India as envisaged by Indians does not include TV or supercruise. That is an American requirement that should not be thought to be an Indian requirement as well. No?


But why do you want supercruise and TV out ... in first case?!!!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Carl_T » 01 May 2010 20:54

Mrinal wrote:
Carl_T wrote:May I ask why the MCA is necessary? What is it going to do that the PakFa/MKI/MMRCA/LCA cannot?


I already replied to that several posts back. The MCA is targeted at the aircraft retirals that will happen even after the MRCA is inducted, and it will be too expensive to rely on the PAKFA alone (heavy fighter) and the MRCA aircraft will be obsolete (for another 30+ year lifespan) if acquired at that point in time.

The other advantages are of course related to the development of an independent aircraft industry etc.

If we will face a shortage of numbers, why don't we just build more LCAs instead of the MCA then?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2010 21:03

Shiv,

Good golly- you consider that attributing a motive? Why you began your post with a claim that the MCA be cancelled and the PAK-FA was good enough!
Now you dont want India to buy a JSF because it means being tied to apron strings abroad - fine, but then what about the PAKFA?
It too will come with strings. Thats all I was saying that on the one hand you want to avoid dependence, but then say we should rely on the PAKFA alone...because if we do that, we are very dependent on Russia.

And whats with the "sir" stuff ...could we kindly drop that..I mean, on the one hand, all the attacks below..plus "sir", why?


You stated that the IAF air chiefs wanted supercruise and thrust vectoring and tried to bluff your way through with a link that did not say that.


What bluff. I have posted a clear link above by a respected Indian website (Domain-b) stating what IAF requirements are, Domain-b which btw is the only one running an independent aero sub site, and all you did was flatly deny it calling it Russian. So who's bluffing here?

Or rather, can you think for a second without shooting the messenger and stopping this useless "you bluff/i bluff" stuff - whether the article may actually be correct? Kindly stop thinking about how much you want to put me down and focus on whether what the article is saying is true..thats all I am asking.

Naik is on record mentioning attributes of a 5G fighter above. I repost it for the fourth time ..Is he bluffing.. I dont think so.

http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories178.htm

The current or fifth generation cutting edge of fighter design combines previous emphasis on versatility with new developments such as thrust vectoring, short takeoff/ landing (STOL), composite materials, super cruise, stealth technology, advanced radar s and integrated avionics designed to reduce the pilot’s workload while vastly improving situational awareness.


At the very least, it points to how the IAF is thinking and what it wants.


Now we have another forum member saying that supercruise and thrust vectoring are not features of the MCA.


Sure, and here I was thinking I was pointing to the fact that the IAF may well include them in the MCA given its current proclivity of what it wants in fighters.

That means that the IAF is not going to get what you and your sources claim thayt they want - unless they buy PAKFA (as per your source) or JSF (as you suggest).


What sources, which sources and what you are going on about now! When did I suggest the JSF be procured or the PAKFA - all I said was that if there is no MCA, other OEMs stand a chance.

Seriously, you are making no sense here.

If I say anything, a bunch of guys will stand up and yell about chai wallah and paanwallah not allowed and only links.

And now you want sources!

Ok fine - a couple of years back I was informed in a casual conversation that the IAF wants features such as supercruise on the MCA, also more "stealth" - so what will you do now.

Hence i dont find it anything strange that these may indeed end up on a MCA.

If the IAF buys PAKFA or JSF we are going to be dependent on a foreign supplier for the life cycle of the aircraft which is in the region of at least 40 years maybe more. I don't like that. If you don't like it you haven't said so.


I have said it a million times why else am I saying that I'd rather have a MCA with 30% dependence rather than a PAK-FA with 80% over its life cycle!

But clearly Indians are not going to be able to meet the IAF's requirements if those requirements include supercruise and thrust vectoring. What is so difficult about admitting that.


Problem is you are going on and on about the requirements being set by anyone and everyone apart from the IAF themselves. As things stand, the IAF will decide what the AMCA will be. And irrespective of how many names you call me, make sarcastic comments etc,. the reality is that enough news sources point to the IAFs stated interest in things such as stealth supercruise thrust vectoring.

Now do I want a simple MCA sure - but I am not sure the IAF will settle for one. They didnt settle for a simple LCA and now we have a LCA MK2 or whatever, why would they settle for a LCA MK3 when in that timeframe, they will be offered every brochure there is!

I am personally doggedly against Indians who slobber after JSF or PAKFA just for supercruise or Thrust vectoring (which you claim, without proof the IAF wants) If that is being personal there you are. I hate the idea. We are not going to get either from an Indian source an are going to sell ourselves out to a foreign supplier.


Your hate of the idea is apparently so much that you'll attack everyone who provides proof to you that the IAF is thinking on those lines and may end up having it on the MCA.

Whats that saying about shooting the messenger?

Just because you think that what is realistic (setting simpler requirements) is the answer, it does not mean the IAF thinks the same way or everyone else. We;ll have to live with it.

Personally, all I'd be worried about is that the MCA is done and meets the IAF requirements (even with 30% dependence or whatever). I'd take that anyday over us having to run to Russia for gun barrels for T-90 tanks, looking through the tawdry pictures of some Navy guy with a Russian lady or the same applied to any country from elsewhere (lest now someone attacks me for being anti Russia).

Now go ahead, call me names, say I am bluffing and continue to attack me.
Last edited by Karan M on 01 May 2010 21:28, edited 4 times in total.

Karan M
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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2010 21:06

Carl_T wrote:If we will face a shortage of numbers, why don't we just build more LCAs instead of the MCA then?


Who is "we" here? "We" dont have any power to procure/order anything. Only the IAF does. So far I have not read any source that says the IAFs requirement for the LCA MK2 is more than 5-7 squadrons (100-140 aircraft). The MRCA stated requirement is 126+63 options..the PAKFA i forget..basically according to calculations the IAF will still have a fighter shortfall..and its not going to take the LCA for filling those ..i hope they do (but the likelihood is very small).

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Gaur » 01 May 2010 21:09

If we will face a shortage of numbers, why don't we just build more LCAs instead of the MCA then?

Carl_T,
After 25-30 yrs, what big advantage would lca provide against upgraded j-10, j-11? Even more frighteningly, what big advantage would lca provide against a chinese stealth fighter (which, having being mastered 4th gen fighter, is a natural course of action for them)? Would you want a 4.5 gen a/c being the mainstray of IAF 25 yrs from now against possible 5th gen Chinese a/cs?
Also, LCA is a light aircraft. While its payload is amazing for its weight and size, it still cannot be compared to a medium weight a/c like Rafale. Every AF needs medium wight fighters. If we do not develop MCA and produce only large no of lcas as you suggest then 25 yrs down the line, we would have limited no of heavy PAK-FA and Su-30MKI, limited no of aging medium MRCA, and LCA ( LCA being the backbone of IAF). Then history would repeat and another MMRCA tender would be passed and we would be buying JSF or some other future 5th gen fighter.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2010 21:13

Kersi D wrote:All the major ( er. American, goras etc) are talking about any new combat aircraft to have
Stealth
TVC (for super maneuverability)
AESA

as a MUST for any new aircraft

Are these requirements not contradictory ?

If you have a super stealth and a super AESA radar, why the f$#k do you need TVC (for super maneuverability) ? You should be able to shoot you enemy out of the sky several tens of kms away. You need not worry about close in dog fighting.


The problem is that all these ga-ga planes have missile which use radio seekers. So now you have a good jammer you will jam these seekers and to shoot down the other guy you will end up in WVR and there comes your TVC.

Also, TVC is not just used for close in fighting (I forget the term) but also for aircraft control at high speeds (supersonic), which also helps in stealth as your control surfaces at front are not moving all over the place, giving good returns for radar.

Lastly, even with stealth, countries such as US, Russia, European countries are looking at multi-mode tracking using many sensors. If that happens and they manage to get a missile close to you, a combination of speed, height and manoueverability are required.

Shiv
Do you remember our AE 2001 BR Meet at Bangalore where a lot of IAF brass were present ? The Tejas had just flown a few weeks ago and everbody at AE was simply ga-ga over it. At our BR Meet I distinctly noticed that the IAF brass were almost non chalant about it. I was a bit perplexed and then asked one of them about the Tejas. He simply said that it should be a good aircraft but it is NOT stealthy.

I could no longer keep my big mouth shut and asked him "Which are the current (2001) aircraft have stealth ? "

This IAF gentleman mumbled something and walked away.

I think our IAF still is rather carried away by brochure salesmanship. We simply go for what the gora does without thinking whether we really need that characteristic. In think IN is an exception.

K


Thanks for this, because this is the same point I am making. That given features offered circa 2012-15, the IAF may end up asking for the entire laundry list for MCA or whatever.

Instead of just debating on whether this is right or wrong, I am being accused of bluffing and what not.

Talk about shooting the messenger!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby shiv » 01 May 2010 21:20

indranilroy wrote:
But why do you want supercruise and TV out ... in first case?!!!



Supercruise became everyone's favorite buzzword when the Americans coined it . Nobody even gave it a second glance when the HF 24 did it. :lol: Supercruise is not an IAF requirement. It may be part of the definition of 5th gen, but I have already stated what i feel about taking US definitions versus coining our own.

Thrust vectoring is great. The Harrier has it. The MKI has it. But India is not going to come out with a TV engine in the near future, considering that we have not even produced an engine. If we hinge a "future requirements" on TV we are only going to have an aircraft that is 30% (or less) Indian and 70% (or more) foreign dependent. And you know where such dependence has kept India.

You throw these two bogey requirements away and we can develop something workable in India. But we are still one engine short. Currently.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Carl_T » 01 May 2010 21:23

Gaur wrote:
If we will face a shortage of numbers, why don't we just build more LCAs instead of the MCA then?

Carl_T,
After 25-30 yrs, what big advantage would lca provide against upgraded j-10, j-11? Even more frighteningly, what big advantage would lca provide against a chinese stealth fighter (which, having being mastered 4th gen fighter, is a natural course of action for them)? Would you want a 4.5 gen a/c being the mainstray of IAF 25 yrs from now against possible 5th gen Chinese a/cs?
Also, LCA is a light aircraft. While its payload is amazing for its weight and size, it still cannot be compared to a medium weight a/c like Rafale. Every AF needs medium wight fighters. If we do not develop MCA and produce only large no of lcas as you suggest then 25 yrs down the line, we would have limited no of heavy PAK-FA and Su-30MKI, limited no of aging medium MRCA, and LCA ( LCA being the backbone of IAF). Then history would repeat and another MMRCA tender would be passed and we would be buying JSF or some other future 5th gen fighter.


Regarding J-10/11, wouldn't we have upgraded and modernized MMRCA/MKIs for those?
For Chinese stealth fighters - wouldn't we have T-50 to deal with them?

Regarding the necessity of medium weight fighters, in an operation would a mixture of heavy/light not accomplish the same goal as a medium weight aircraft?

To my knowledge medium weight aircraft seem to be used by smaller countries which are not pursuing a heavy/light mix, and are just flying one type of fighter like the EU nations. I don't see why countries with a h/l mix need a medium one.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2010 21:35

Carl_T wrote:Regarding J-10/11, wouldn't we have upgraded and modernized MMRCA/MKIs for those?
For Chinese stealth fighters - wouldn't we have T-50 to deal with them?

Regarding the necessity of medium weight fighters, in an operation would a mixture of heavy/light not accomplish the same goal as a medium weight aircraft?

To my knowledge medium weight aircraft seem to be used by smaller countries which are not pursuing a heavy/light mix, and are just flying one type of fighter like the EU nations. I don't see why countries with a h/l mix need a medium one.


The IAF, has decided on a heavy/medium/light fighter mix. The focus seems to be on both operating costs (heavy fighters) plus capabilities (medium offer more than light).

About J-whatever, I think the stealth angle comes as much from ground to air defences as much as air to air. All the wins in air to air combat wont amount to that much if they put SAM systems there which deny us using airpower.

I am yet to find the IAF talking much of this aspect..they seem to be a lot more fixed on planes. Either its a concsious decision or we have a planning gap?!?!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby shiv » 01 May 2010 21:36

Just a data point. The Americans too are prone to doing things to prove a point. Kennedy's moon landing plan was a reaction to Russia's space advances. I suspect (no proof whatsoever) that the provision of "thrust vectoring" as a "requirement' for "5h gen' was based purely on heartburn about the MKI. Not because it is proven in real "hot" combat, which it is not.

Ultimately the maximum G forces that a plane can allow with maneuvering is limited by the human in the chain and human G limits have already been reached even without thrust vectoring. The Americans are trying to prove a point with the F 35 and making the rest of the world pay. if Indians also pay (for JSF aftr 20 years) - I won't be surprised. given the Indian love for following what the Americans say. The fact that I hate that idea means nothing. But the Russians have been clever enough to tempt us SDREs with a cheaper PAKFA to slobber over rather than concentrate on the skills we have in house.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby shiv » 01 May 2010 21:43

Carl_T wrote:
Regarding J-10/11, wouldn't we have upgraded and modernized MMRCA/MKIs for those?
For Chinese stealth fighters - wouldn't we have T-50 to deal with them?


Carl you don't need a stealth fighter to counter a stealth fighter. A SAM will do just as well. You don't have to upgrade your generation number just because the other side has a higher generation number. This is not like two knights in a joust requiring matching weapons. It is only a question of matching or exceeding the other side's capability with yours.

So far India has done that with imports onlee and phoren dependence onlee. And that is what has given us trouble at the worst possible time. The only way out is not to import and lot to slobber after other [people's tech. Just because they can do it does not mean that you can do it. We have to move forward based on what we have rather than what othesr are willing to offer for sale or what we hope to haev after an uncertain number of decades.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby shiv » 01 May 2010 21:51

Carl_T wrote:May I ask why the MCA is necessary? What is it going to do that the PakFa/MKI/MMRCA/LCA cannot?

MCA wil get screwed if the IAF gets PAKFA and the MCA itself cannot be delivered on time. I see a disaster in the making wrt to MCA - or perhaps snake oil. I hope to be wrong.

I see no great differences between MCA and PAKFA except that the PAKFA may be ahead in technology and it has already appeared. MCA will be ahead in Indian content but is curently only a metal wind tunnel model. And you know how people want technology more than Indian content.

I cannot for the life of me imagine how the IAF can fit in both the MCA and PAKFA. In my view - if we buy PAKFA - MCA will be finished.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Rahul M » 01 May 2010 21:52

Carl_T wrote:May I ask why the MCA is necessary? What is it going to do that the PakFa/MKI/MMRCA/LCA cannot?

could you please go back and read my earlier post ? and then come back with specific questions instead of a general rhetorical one ?

shiv wrote:
Rahul M wrote:to put it in a nutshell, the assertion that HAL/ADA/IAF is blindly aping whatever the US is doing or that they are not leveraging existing tech available in the country is an out and out strawman that has no legs to stand upon.
arguing for the sake of it with not a care for the real world does nothing for the quality of discussions. [/b]


Thank you Rahul

Could you please point me to Supercruise and thurst vectoring either in your post or in the link and if those words are absent could you categorically state that Supercruise and thrust vectoring ARE NOT requirements of the MCA project so that I can stop accusing indian planners of aping the US?
AFA I'm aware of, I've not come across any report that categorically states supercruise or TV as essential requirements for the AMCA.
that said, these two requirements,
#1 RCS reduced airframe without paying a massive penalty on aerodynamic performance.

AND
#1 engines that can provide
a) respectable TWR to the aircraft in operational configurations
b) enough excess power to run the gizmos listed above
coupled with internal weapons carriage, will very very likely give supercruise ability to the AMCA, whether we like it or not. it doesn't affect the project timelines in any way.
as far as TV goes, I don't think it is part of the initial set of requirements at any rate but will the IAF pass up an opportunity to put it in if it appears ? I don't think so, given their experience with the MKI. if at all it is incorporated, it will be in phase 2 or 3.

MCA is doable within a realistic time frame (20 years IMO) ONLY if we do not demand thrust vectoring or supercruise as essential features. supercruise may not be a demand but it will be part of the standard characteristics anyway, TV will not be a part of initial set of requirements at least. that's the situation AFAIK. So please say the magic words... ((I, for my part will ignore the fact that we have no engine yet. it will come)

It also follows that the next gen fighter aircraft to be developed in India as envisaged by Indians does not include TV or supercruise. That is an American requirement that should not be thought to be an Indian requirement as well. No?
in general yes.
there might be a method to this madness, why TV and SC are absolutely essential for the F-22 and PAKFA(at least IAF has nothing against either quality, that much is certain) but not for AMCA, I will elaborate further in response to kersi saar's comments.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby shiv » 01 May 2010 21:57

Rahul M wrote:AFA I'm aware of, I've not come across any report that categorically states supercruise or TV as essential requirements for the AMCA.


That is all that I am saying. If "it comes by itself" it that is a different issue. It is not a defined requirement. If it does not come, it will not be declared as a failure.

BTW could you please just reply without the red in the middle of a quote. It's not as easy to read as you might think.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Gaur » 01 May 2010 21:58

Carl_T wrote:Regarding J-10/11, wouldn't we have upgraded and modernized MMRCA/MKIs for those?
For Chinese stealth fighters - wouldn't we have T-50 to deal with them?

True, MMRCA and MKIs would be in advantage when facing j-10/11s. However, your assessment that t-50 would be sufficient to deal with Chinese stealth fighters will only hold correct in following 2 scenarios:
a> We would be able to acquire and maintain large no of PAK-FAs .
This is an impossibility considering that Ajai Shukla reported that the "projected" cost of PAK-FA is around $100 million (note the use of projected. If the cost ends up somewhat higher, it will not be unusual for an a/c program). Plus consider the maintenance cost of a heavy 5th gen a/c. Also note that PAK-FA would have to serve both as air superiority and strike platform (specially if MCA does not materialize).
b>Second scenario is that the Chinese would have limited no of 5th gen a/cs.
This is a big assumption to make while planning for National Security. Leave alone China having less 5th Gen a/cs, what will stop them to equip even Pakistan with 5th gen platforms if India emerges as a threat?

Carl_T wrote:Regarding the necessity of medium weight fighters, in an operation would a mixture of heavy/light not accomplish the same goal as a medium weight aircraft?

To my knowledge medium weight aircraft seem to be used by countries which are not pursuing a heavy/light mix, and are just flying one type of fighter like the EU nations. I don't see why countries with a h/l mix need a medium one.

No, mix of heavy/light will not accomplish the same goal. You will fail to find a sizable air force which does not have medium fighters (except for Swedish air force which only operates light a/cs. However, the reasons for that are different. Also, Swedish air force can hardly be called a sizable air force). The reason for that is that is that except for US, no one can operate sizable amount of heavy a/cs (and even USAF's backbone is made of "medium" F-16). And to have rest of your AF dependent upon light a/cs with limited payload will be a serious dent in the AF capability.

But let us for a moment concede to your point that heavy/light mix is the way to go. In that case, again in 25 yrs the IAF would consist of limited heavy FGFA+MKI, limited no of aging MMRCA and large no light fighters. No this "large no of light fighters" will form the backbone of IAF after 25 yrs. And surely we would not want a 4.5 gen LCA forming the backbone of IAF. In that case, we would need to develop a "light" stealth a/c. So, in either case, the point is that there is a need to develop an indigenous stealth fighter.

But this point is moot because High/low mix is not the way any AF would prefer to go IMO. Let there be any scenario, the need for medium a/cs cannot be ignored.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby shiv » 01 May 2010 22:11

Gaur - i just want to point out that "light" and "small" are themselves stealth features. Both the MiG 21 and the LCA have the "stealth" that is conferred by smallness. Add to that the composites that the LCA has which I believe will give it "decent" stealth capability. Don't ask me what decent is - but I would say "Better stealth than MKI"

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kanson » 01 May 2010 22:21

I find this debate very interesting.

At one point we are asking what is the use of MCA (i.e. there is no need for any MCA, IAF is good with Su, MMRCA, PAk-FA and LCA) and at another point, we are asking for quick MCA to be produced in number relegating MCA to 4th gen.

One point which people don't understand is Arms procurement in high tech is like dealing with hijackers. You have to pay ransom to get the high tech. There is no fairness in the dealings and in the process you *bargain* to pay ransom. The baragaining tool you have is the own tech you developed. Israelis know this very much. In the Indian scenario, dealing with France in mil. products amount to paying ransom. ( Even IAF officer said it.)

If you dont want to pay ransom other choice you have is to accept suzerainty.
India does pay 10 billion $ as vassal money every 10 years in the form of Bilateral defence agreement with Super powers. Only then you will considered as special to entitle for the cutting edge military equipment. I dont have to explain our relationship with SU, Russia and now US in this regard.

Only way to break this logjam is to make your own stuff, continously develop your own tech and military product based on that. There are many instance in the recent history of India where the powers baragined to provide military equipment at cost of scuttling the local development. LCA is one such program.

To continously develop doesnt mean to make the same tech LCA again and again. Becoz the defence procurement cycle is globalized. You develop/procure mil product based on threat perception which your adversay is developing or procuring. If you stagnate at developing only LCA, your adversary may start getting latest tech and you have to look up to someone holding you to ransom or your suzerain to match your adversary, the same cycle starts repeating.

And last point, if we haven't developed LCA as what we now know as LCA, we wouldn't not even stand a chance to be invited/to demand as equal partner in the tech development of FGFA as JV and most probably we might get invited for a partnership in developing Advanced Super Tucanos .

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Gaur » 01 May 2010 22:29

shiv wrote:
Carl_T wrote:
Regarding J-10/11, wouldn't we have upgraded and modernized MMRCA/MKIs for those?
For Chinese stealth fighters - wouldn't we have T-50 to deal with them?


Carl you don't need a stealth fighter to counter a stealth fighter. A SAM will do just as well. You don't have to upgrade your generation number just because the other side has a higher generation number. This is not like two knights in a joust requiring matching weapons. It is only a question of matching or exceeding the other side's capability with yours.


I will have to respectfully disagree. A "SAM will not do just as well". A stealth a/c is designed to be of low enough cross section to be able to surprise and overwhelm air defenses. Most people get this idea of SAM being able to defeat stealth is because of F-117 loss in Kosovo war. What people forget (or conveniently choose to do so) is that F-117 stealth tech was 80's obsolete tech which has now even retired. Even then, they faced only one loss. Also, F-117 was lost because all past fifth gen a/cs stealth skins were designed primarily to absorb x-band radars and the Yugoslavians were ingenious enough to use low freq (long wavelength) radar. What makes you think that future (or even current F-35 and F-22) would not be designed to counter L-band spectrum?
Even so, let me for a moment agree that we would be able to conjure up some way to counter stealth. In fact, there are even presently many ways being looked into in that direction (long wavelength radars, multistatic radars, passive radars\ systems etc to name a few). So, let us consider for a moment that India would be able to somehow develop ground based radars able to defeat stealth. All right. What about offensive into enemy territory? What about CAS? Would you send 4.5 gen acs against 5th gen for that role? Even let us believe that even our 4th gen a/cs would be able to mount counter stealth (a more daunting task than developing a 5th gen a/c IMO). Even then, we would need to neutralize ground based and airbourne targets in enemy territory. Tell me this. Consider how much a 4th gen a/c light would light up on future radars. Would you not have 5th gen a/cs for that role? Or would you have missiles do even that. All our defence budget will be spent and we would not be able to afford enough missiles for that.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kanson » 01 May 2010 22:31

shiv wrote:
Carl_T wrote:May I ask why the MCA is necessary? What is it going to do that the PakFa/MKI/MMRCA/LCA cannot?

MCA wil get screwed if the IAF gets PAKFA and the MCA itself cannot be delivered on time. I see a disaster in the making wrt to MCA - or perhaps snake oil. I hope to be wrong.

I see no great differences between MCA and PAKFA except that the PAKFA may be ahead in technology and it has already appeared. MCA will be ahead in Indian content but is curently only a metal wind tunnel model. And you know how people want technology more than Indian content.

I cannot for the life of me imagine how the IAF can fit in both the MCA and PAKFA. In my view - if we buy PAKFA - MCA will be finished.


MCA acts as hedge against any uncertainities in the procurement of PAKFA. And it could be that both acts as complimentary to each other as 5th gen fighter.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2010 22:39

Kanson wrote:I find this debate very interesting.

At one point we are asking what is the use of MCA (i.e. there is no need for any MCA, IAF is good with Su, MMRCA, PAk-FA and LCA) and at another point, we are asking for quick MCA to be produced in number relegating MCA to 4th gen.

One point which people don't understand is Arms procurement in high tech is like dealing with hijackers. You have to pay ransom to get the high tech. There is no fairness in the dealings and in the process you *bargain* to pay ransom. The baragaining tool you have is the own tech you developed. Israelis know this very much. In the Indian scenario, dealing with France in mil. products amount to paying ransom. ( Even IAF officer said it.)

If you dont want to pay ransom other choice you have is to accept suzerainty.
India does pay 10 billion $ as vassal money every 10 years in the form of Bilateral defence agreement with Super powers. Only then you will considered as special to entitle for the cutting edge military equipment. I dont have to explain our relationship with SU, Russia and now US in this regard.

Only way to break this logjam is to make your own stuff, continously develop your own tech and military product based on that. There are many instance in the recent history of India where the powers baragined to provide military equipment at cost of scuttling the local development. LCA is one such program.

To continously develop doesnt mean to make the same tech LCA again and again. Becoz the defence procurement cycle is globalized. You develop/procure mil product based on threat perception which your adversay is developing or procuring. If you stagnate at developing only LCA, your adversary may start getting latest tech and you have to look up to someone holding you to ransom or your suzerain to match your adversary, the same cycle starts repeating.

And last point, if we haven't developed LCA as what we now know as LCA, we wouldn't not even stand a chance to be invited/to demand as equal partner in the tech development of FGFA as JV and most probably we might get invited for a partnership in developing Advanced Super Tucanos .


Excellent post. I wish there was a thumbs up icon.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Carl_T » 01 May 2010 22:41

shiv wrote:Carl you don't need a stealth fighter to counter a stealth fighter. A SAM will do just as well. You don't have to upgrade your generation number just because the other side has a higher generation number. This is not like two knights in a joust requiring matching weapons. It is only a question of matching or exceeding the other side's capability with yours.

So far India has done that with imports onlee and phoren dependence onlee. And that is what has given us trouble at the worst possible time. The only way out is not to import and lot to slobber after other [people's tech. Just because they can do it does not mean that you can do it. We have to move forward based on what we have rather than what othesr are willing to offer for sale or what we hope to haev after an uncertain number of decades.


I agree with you that we don't always need to match their capabilities to defeat them. IMVHO advances in EW and jamming would be the best way to deal with more advanced fighters. Or maybe even finding ways to command birds into flying into enemy engines. :mrgreen:

I was more referring to an air to air scenario, I think matching their capabilities would be more important in such a theatre.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Gaur » 01 May 2010 22:42

shiv wrote:Gaur - i just want to point out that "light" and "small" are themselves stealth features. Both the MiG 21 and the LCA have the "stealth" that is conferred by smallness. Add to that the composites that the LCA has which I believe will give it "decent" stealth capability. Don't ask me what decent is - but I would say "Better stealth than MKI"

Again, a common misconception. The size of an aircraft is a very insignificant factor in overall stealth design (F-22 being much larger has lower rcs than F-35). In stealth, there are 3 things that matter:
1> Shape
2> Shape
3> You guessed it right, shape.
So, while smaller a/c "may" have relatively lower rcs than larger a/c (depending upon its shape and other factors), no mater how tiny an a/c, it cannot by any measure be called as stealth a/c. Size matters very little to rcs and radar detection is proportional to fourth root of rcs. So an a/c has to be massively low in rcs to gain any significant advantage. That is why LCA can be called to have stealth features (just like all modern 4 gen fighters), it cannot be said to have "decent" stealth capability by any measure. Also, Su-30 has perhaps the most massive radar signature among all 4gen fighters, so comparison of stealth characteristics wrt to it is not really fair.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Avarachan » 01 May 2010 23:05

Shiv, I want to make two quick points before I have to leave this discussion and get back to work.

1) Regarding being the follower and being the leader. I think we sometimes get anxious and think, "When will we ever develop our own solutions for our own unique
requirements?" But I think we already have an example under our noses of success in this regard.

IGMDP (many elements successfully tested and in service) --> BrahMos I (in service) --> BrahMos I Block II (successfully tested, on order) --> BrahMos II (in design).

The BrahMos I Block II is a fantastic example of an Indian solution to a very dire threat that Indian faces. (I think we all know what the Block II is designed to strike.) Things are improving! As someone from the IAF said in regards to China, let us not be under-confident.

2) China is much more of a direct threat to India than the U.S. is. Most Indians don't like the U.S. giving weapons to Pakistan, but China's transfer of weapons to Pakistan is (and certainly will be in the future) far more of a threat to India than America's donations. The primary question we should ask ourselves is not, "How do we counter the U.S.?" but rather, "How do we counter China?" And Rahul M already laid out why we need an LO aircraft regarding China. The Chinese are building (and will probably soon give Pakistan) sophisticated SAM networks. We need an aircraft to replace our medium-weight planes (Mirages, Mig-29's, Jag's) that will have a decent chance to survive an encounter with sophisticated surface-to-air defenses.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Carl_T » 01 May 2010 23:12

Gaur wrote:True, MMRCA and MKIs would be in advantage when facing j-10/11s. However, your assessment that t-50 would be sufficient to deal with Chinese stealth fighters will only hold correct in following 2 scenarios:
a> We would be able to acquire and maintain large no of PAK-FAs .
This is an impossibility considering that Ajai Shukla reported that the "projected" cost of PAK-FA is around $100 million (note the use of projected. If the cost ends up somewhat higher, it will not be unusual for an a/c program). Plus consider the maintenance cost of a heavy 5th gen a/c. Also note that PAK-FA would have to serve both as air superiority and strike platform (specially if MCA does not materialize).
b>Second scenario is that the Chinese would have limited no of 5th gen a/cs.
This is a big assumption to make while planning for National Security. Leave alone China having less 5th Gen a/cs, what will stop them to equip even Pakistan with 5th gen platforms if India emerges as a threat?

Cost is without a doubt an issue, but isn't that also the limitation that will prevent the Chinese from having many 5th gens right?

As for the T-50 serving as a strike platform in the absence of MCA, why is it necessary? I think strike activities will most likely be done by formations filled by a mix of stealthy (T50) and non-stealthy (MKI/MMRCA) fighter types. I think that EW aircraft would be more useful in suppressing enemy equipment. Just IMVHO of course.

Now I don't disagree that medium fighters are useful, I think we may need a medium fighter to fulfill a strike/EW capability, but why does it need to be stealthy?

Gaur wrote:No, mix of heavy/light will not accomplish the same goal. You will fail to find a sizable air force which does not have medium fighters (except for Swedish air force which only operates light a/cs. However, the reasons for that are different. Also, Swedish air force can hardly be called a sizable air force). The reason for that is that is that except for US, no one can operate sizable amount of heavy a/cs (and even USAF's backbone is made of "medium" F-16). And to have rest of your AF dependent upon light a/cs with limited payload will be a serious dent in the AF capability.

You classify the F-16 as a medium fighter? I think it is very much a light fighter, granted not as light as the LCA, but still lighter than the EF/Rafale which I think are medium.

Now the F-35 is medium, but then the USAF I guess is moving to a medium/heavy configuration then.

Gaur wrote:But let us for a moment concede to your point that heavy/light mix is the way to go. In that case, again in 25 yrs the IAF would consist of limited heavy FGFA+MKI, limited no of aging MMRCA and large no light fighters. No this "large no of light fighters" will form the backbone of IAF after 25 yrs. And surely we would not want a 4.5 gen LCA forming the backbone of IAF. In that case, we would need to develop a "light" stealth a/c. So, in either case, the point is that there is a need to develop an indigenous stealth fighter.

But this point is moot because High/low mix is not the way any AF would prefer to go IMO. Let there be any scenario, the need for medium a/cs cannot be ignored.

I think we can get more MMRCAs after the initial tender considering we'll get full ToT...

I don't see what the problem in having the LCA (upgraded versions) to be the backbone of the IAF 20 yrs from now, now I imagine you mean that we will need the backbone of the IAF to be a stealth fighter. But the basic question I'm pointing at is - does a medium multirole strike platform need to be stealthy?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Rahul M » 01 May 2010 23:23

Gaur, actually size is an important consideration but from the opposite direction to what others are presenting, a modern stealthy bird has to have internal weapons carriage, in order to have a decent internal weapons bay volume the aircraft has to be over a minimum size, birds like LCA will no longer do. this is also true for the amount of avionics that is required to keep a bird relevant.

SAMs are NOT the silver bullet for countering stealth aircraft, however better they might be on a purely system to system comparison, it is not possible to cover the entire airspace. a robust AD environment would have both. since aircrafts by definition are flexible and can be deployed anywhere at a moment's notice, they constitute an ideal 2nd ring of defence.

this of course ignores that IAF might need to conduct operations inside enemy airspace against adversaries that have stealth aircraft. what do we expect them to do ? get a convoy of SAM vehicles chugging along at 40KMPH behind a fighter flying at hundreds of KMPH ? :lol:

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2010 23:50

The IAF will soon face (actually already faces) one of the most sophisticated SAM/EWR networks in the world when it comes to China.

I sincerely doubt whether some of the MMRCA contenders will even be up to the task against such a network. In particular the single engine types like the F-16IN and Gripen NG, plus the Russian MiG-35. The F/A-18 E/F at least has a dedicated EW variant, if we could acquire something similar or have it customized. The EF and Rafale are far better but not ideal either.

The MCA IMHO will end up having more stringent requirements including the 4S - Stealth, Supercruise, Supermanoueverability and Sensor fusion. The IAF is clearly thinking on these lines as mentioned explicitly by Naik in his address in 2008.

And here is one more piece of evidence regarding FH Major. Explicit citation.

http://livefist.blogspot.com/2009/06/ho ... mmrca.html

Supercruise is not a qualitative requirement in the Indian Air Force's Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition, but that doesn't mean it won't play a role. It should be noted that while the Request for Proposal (RfP) document was being drawn up (it took nearly three years), supercruise was listed in the original draft as a mandatory requirement that the IAF was looking for. Dockets of research on the physics of supercruise, including numerous unclassified presentations on the F-22 and Eurojet GmbH did their rounds around Vayu Bhawan for a while in 2004-05. An example of just what a catchword supercruise was for the MMRCA, is documented here.

To quote the text of that portion of the original RfP draft, the IAF put it down that supercruise was required for "game-changing tactical advantages in offensive and defensive spectrum" and also "lowered IR signature, rapid theater presence, evolutionary sensor/weapon kinematics and denial of enemy reaction time". Interestingly, the IAF refrained from putting down any additional parameters for the supercruise regime it was looking for.

Obviously, the IAF has never operated supercruising aircraft before. Its Hunters routinely went briefly supersonic in steep dives, but never has it operated aircraft that could travel faster than sound in sustained level flight with a meaningful military payload without engine reheat. For all the criticism that the Indian armed forces usually cut and paste from brochures to draw up their qualitative requirements, the IAF did some homework in earnest on supercruise. As a matter of fact, during one meeting of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in 2007, at which the Tejas' propulsion problems were being deliberated upon, then Chief of Air Staff FH Major apparently said that the agencies involved needed to ensure that the next-generation engine that would ultimately power the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) and the final integrated airframe, had supercruise capabilities.

Between 2004-07, the IAF had done some serious reading on supercruise, and formulated an opinion on the subject, apparently still a contentious one in military aviation research. However, the IAF finally decided not to push its case for supercruise in the final RfP document, which is why it does not exist in the final tender that was sent out to Saab, MiG, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, EADS and Dassault. In the event, that was a wise decision. Because it would probably have sliced away most or all of the contenders any way.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2010 23:56

Another thing to note is how the various MMRCA contenders are mentioning supercruise, TVC etc

http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelations ... _india.htm

(Not that it mentions any useful warload with that supercruise)

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/bus ... 98763.html

I recall an advertisement where Rafale was also heavily pitched with supercruise capabilities etc.

The other thing they all dwell upon is AESA.

Clearly, these are all capabilities the IAF is interested in.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Indranil » 01 May 2010 23:56

This is exactly what I was about to type. till I read this post. Thanks Rahul da!

Rahul M wrote:
SAMs are NOT the silver bullet for countering stealth aircraft, however better they might be on a purely system to system comparison, it is not possible to cover the entire airspace. a robust AD environment would have both. since aircrafts by definition are flexible and can be deployed anywhere at a moment's notice, they constitute an ideal 2nd ring of defence.

this of course ignores that IAF might need to conduct operations inside enemy airspace against adversaries that have stealth aircraft. what do we expect them to do ? get a convoy of SAM vehicles chugging along at 40KMPH behind a fighter flying at hundreds of KMPH ? :lol:


Getting back to supercruise! Supercruise gives you a way of reaching an arena much faster! It is not for cruising over long distances. Supercruise takes up more fuel than subsonic flight! Imagine your opponent launches a air attack which your AEWAC picks up! The planes at the border are not enough, or not of the kind required. You now have to send reinforcements. You can't send the planes fast enough, what will be the use of that reinforcement! Also as I have telling you from a long time, Supercruise is not design objective and doesn't need any special engineering except for engine air intake. If you make a plane which is sleek, has enough power, it will supercruise!!! It is a characterisitics of all new frontline planes because they are designed to be pitched against each other. Since all of them have comparable TWR, drag ratios, they all can supercruise. HEnce MCA which is touted to be a good plane of the future will also be able to supercruise! Where is the point of aping westerners coming in all this?!! Supercruise lets you to have smaller internal tanks, thus freeing up valuable space, giving rise to higher electronics or higher TWR! Is that a fancy thing to have of a basic design objective?

Thrust vectoring: if KAveri is ready without TV, and the rest of MCA is ready, I dont think anybody would wait for the TV to be completed before flying the MCA with the Kaveris! For a 25 ton fighter TV is a game changer in WVR! I still remember the first flying display at Aero India 07. Mig-29OVT was the last to go up! I had a GRipen pilot standing next to me! He had a 3000 hour flying batch on his shoulder. Next to him was a F-16 pilot with 2000 hours. Before the OVT went up and even when it was taking off, these pilots were discussing dog fighting maneuvers (I must admit that it was the most interesting class of my life). After the OVT started its display, all talk had stopped. I forget the series of maneuvers that the OVT did on a victory roll. Even the aam junta of aunties et all could see the difference in the moves and how slowly they could be done and how sharply one move followed the other. But the two gentlemen next to me fell quiet like stone. They clapped but only in acknowledgement!

Forget my story and go read about TV! If there is WVR between otherwise comparable planes/pilots, one would defintely like to be in a plane with TV!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Gaur » 02 May 2010 00:06

Carl_T wrote:Cost is without a doubt an issue, but isn't that also the limitation that will prevent the Chinese from having many 5th gens right?

Depends. If they make super heavy fighters like PAK-FA and F-22, they will have "relatively" lower no of 5th gen a/cs. But what if they develop medium or light 5th gen a/cs? And even if they develop heavy 5th gen a/c, I am sure that that you would agree that they would be able to produce and maintain many more heavy fighters as compared to IAF.

Carl_T wrote:As for the T-50 serving as a strike platform in the absence of MCA, why is it necessary? I think strike activities will most likely be done by formations filled by a mix of stealthy (T50) and non-stealthy (MKI/MMRCA) fighter types. I think that EW aircraft would be more useful in suppressing enemy equipment. Just IMVHO of course.

On the other hand, IMO formations filled with mix of Stealthy and non stealthy a/cs would totally defeat the purpose of sending a stealth a/c (which is to attack with surprise and without detection). Also, true, EW a/cs would be helpful but stealthy EW platforms would be lethal. :twisted:
Carl_T wrote:ow I don't disagree that medium fighters are useful, I think we may need a medium fighter to fulfill a strike/EW capability, but why does it need to be stealthy?

IMO, strike a/c has more need for stealth than any other type. Also such EW capabilities to provide significant enemy electronics jamming is still a stuff of the future (and considering that AESA radars are more jam resistant and data links are becoming more severely encrypted than ever, it will probably remain so). IMHO, even growler would find itself severely restricted against modern sophisticated equipment. However, as there is no way to ascertain growler's capability, feel free to disagree. But again, do not let me give you the idea that EW is totally useless. Even during recent Red Flag exercise, our Bisons were invisible to enemy a/c's radar at very short range (ironically, this info came from Fornof). Also, air dominance UAVs have nor yet been developed for the fear of jamming signal to the operator. So what I mean to say is that while EW is a good feature to have, IMO it is not progressed far enough to be relied upon to strike enemy ground radars and air defence blind. And IMHO, the situation will only get worse in future.
So, if you would feel inclined to agree with me that EW is not a magical solution, you will find that to supress air-defence, you will not be able to do without a stealthy strike platform.
Carl_T wrote:You classify the F-16 as a medium fighter? I think it is very much a light fighter, granted not as light as the LCA, but still lighter than the EF/Rafale which I think are medium.

Now the F-35 is medium, but then the USAF I guess is moving to a medium/heavy configuration then.

In a way, you are right. F-16 originally "was" a light fighter. But look at its current payload and MTOW and compare it with Typhoon and you would find that it no longer remains a light a/c.


Carl_T wrote:I think we can get more MMRCAs after the initial tender considering we'll get full ToT...

Regadless of that, we would still be struggling to get our squadron strength in order. And after retirement of Mig-29, Jaguars and Mirages, we would again need to buy a significant amount of medium fighters. And after 30 yrs, I doubt we would by buying a 4gen ac.

Carl_T wrote:I don't see what the problem in having the LCA (upgraded versions) to be the backbone of the IAF 20 yrs from now, now I imagine you mean that we will need the backbone of the IAF to be a stealth fighter.

First of all, let me get something straight. I have reread some of my posts and I seem to convey that I am against having LCA in bulk 25 years from now. Let me clarify that this is not the case. Even if we develop MCA, we would need order lca in bulk to reach our sanction strength (as there is a limit to how many stealth a/cs we would be able to maintain). What I am against is that LCA being made to perform role of medium a/cs just because we don't have any. so, while we need to bulk order LCA, we will also need a lot of medium fighters in future. So it is a question of whether it will be indigenous or imported.

But the basic question I'm pointing at is - does a medium multirole strike platform need to be stealthy?
[/quote]
As I mentioned in the beginning, IMO a strike platform needs stealth more than anybody else.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Gaur » 02 May 2010 00:19

Rahul M wrote:this of course ignores that IAF might need to conduct operations inside enemy airspace against adversaries that have stealth aircraft. what do we expect them to do ? get a convoy of SAM vehicles chugging along at 40KMPH behind a fighter flying at hundreds of KMPH ?

:rotfl:

Also let me ask your opinion about something. I was just wondering regarding the twin engine config of AMCA. Would not a twin engine a/c have relatively higher maintenance cost( the reason for developing AMCA)? Would not a single engined medium a/c (like F-35) serve the purpose better? I see only one problem with this. The problem is that we would need an extremely powerful engine to power a bird of medium wgt category. But if we could somehow manage to absorb AL-41 tech by then (I know it is easier said than done but we do have 20 yrs), would it not make more sense to have a single engine bird? Or am I talking complete nonsense?

ADDED LATER: On afterthought, I think it is wise to go with twin engine version to reduce the uncertainty. But you cannot blame a jingo for dreaming, can you? :mrgreen:
Last edited by Gaur on 02 May 2010 00:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Rahul M » 02 May 2010 00:21

Kersi D wrote:All the major ( er. American, goras etc) are talking about any new combat aircraft to have
Stealth
TVC (for super maneuverability)
AESA

as a MUST for any new aircraft

Are these requirements not contradictory ?

If you have a super stealth and a super AESA radar, why the f$#k do you need TVC (for super maneuverability) ? You should be able to shoot you enemy out of the sky several tens of kms away. You need not worry about close in dog fighting.

kersi saar, there is another point that has been mentioned not infrequently. I posted about it once in the PAKFA thread. you are 100% correct that at least for legacy fighters a stealth aircraft should not have a need for TV in WVR combat. however, that is slowly changing, WVR is not considered irrelevant, not even in the world of stealth aircraft, which is why the F-22 for example was designed from day one to carry missiles like AIM-9 series.

two factors contribute to this increase in the chances of WVR combat, one is the rapid development of IRST devices that have negated some of the advances in RCS reduction and second is the possibility of facing another stealth fighter.
most people opine that a stealth vs stealth fight will come down to a knife fight, where TVC will be a game changer.
in retrospect, those requirements might have been put in by USAF to make the F-22 future proof to some extent.

it is probably for this very reason that supermaneuverability(whatever that means) formed a part of RuAF's requirements for the PAKFA. now both SC and TV are part and parcel of the F-22 and PAKFA's defining characteristics, perhaps the reason lies in the fact that both those aircrafts are meant to be the primary air superiority platforms for their respective air forces ? the AMCA AFAIK is not meant to be IAF's premier air superiority fighter, hence the requirements of SC and TV from it can be less stringent.

Shiv
Do you remember our AE 2001 BR Meet at Bangalore where a lot of IAF brass were present ? The Tejas had just flown a few weeks ago and everbody at AE was simply ga-ga over it. At our BR Meet I distinctly noticed that the IAF brass were almost non chalant about it. I was a bit perplexed and then asked one of them about the Tejas. He simply said that it should be a good aircraft but it is NOT stealthy.

I could no longer keep my big mouth shut and asked him "Which are the current (2001) aircraft have stealth ? "
the LCA is more stealthy than any of IAF's in service fighters and would compare favourably with many of the MRCA candidates. I think it is good enough. :)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 02 May 2010 00:26

Supercruise is a good to have feature today, as large fighters like the MiG-31 Foxhound and even Su-27 Flanker can carry enough fuel to go supersonic several times and manage well against fighters with supercruise, but it will become increasingly relevant in the future for not just air to air but air to ground combat.

I was reading an old article about the development of the F-22, and it clearly mentioned (sorry I cannot give a link, as it was a print article) that one of the reasons the ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter aka the F-22) required supercruise was because it was meant to fly against long range Russian SAMs and the only defence (apart from stealth) was to fly high and fast, which gave the aircraft time and ability to escape.

Consider now, which country has purchased these long range Russian SAMs.

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100402/158408294.html

"Russia delivers 15 S-300 batteries to China".

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Rahul M » 02 May 2010 00:43

Gaur wrote:
Rahul M wrote:this of course ignores that IAF might need to conduct operations inside enemy airspace against adversaries that have stealth aircraft. what do we expect them to do ? get a convoy of SAM vehicles chugging along at 40KMPH behind a fighter flying at hundreds of KMPH ?

:rotfl:

Also let me ask your opinion about something. I was just wondering regarding the twin engine config of AMCA. Would not a twin engine a/c have relatively higher maintenance cost( the reason for developing AMCA)? Would not a single engined medium a/c (like F-35) serve the purpose better? I see only one problem with this. The problem is that we would need an extremely powerful engine to power a bird of medium wgt category. But if we could somehow manage to absorb AL-41 tech by then (I know it is easier said than done but we do have 20 yrs), would it not make more sense to have a single engine bird? Or am I talking complete nonsense?

ADDED LATER: On afterthought, I think it is wise to go with twin engine version to reduce the uncertainty. But you cannot blame a jingo for dreaming, can you? :mrgreen:

you have already answered you own question so I will not repeat it ! :mrgreen:

I would like to add that for all the F-35's weight and cost, it gives very little capability as a pure stealth platform, its internal bays for example are quite small. personally I think they would have done far better to design a twin engined fighter with smaller engines, it's also generally easier to create a bay between the engine compartments.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby a_kumar » 02 May 2010 00:55

indranilroy wrote:Supercruise gives you a way of reaching an arena much faster! It is not for cruising over long distances. Supercruise takes up more fuel than subsonic flight! Imagine your opponent launches a air attack which your AEWAC picks up! The planes at the border are not enough, or not of the kind required. You now have to send reinforcements. You can't send the planes fast enough, what will be the use of that reinforcement!


We were mostly thinking in terms of offensive roles, so this is good pointer. In addition, why are we referring to Suprecruise like the AMCA will go on one-way sorties?

As important as it is to reach far corners of Pakistan (or some corner of China) quickly, it is equally important to get back as soon as possible so as to minimize chances of loosing a bird.

Even if enemy defenses could be evaded going in, their defense could all be active and engaging on the way back. Supercruise would surely be valuable here!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 02 May 2010 01:26

Why the heck would anyone want to dump the MCA? If there is anything worthy of dumping in this whole broad acquisition process, it is the damned MRCA circus that is currently ongoing *@# :evil: .

IMVHO, the MCA could adapt a Rafalesque "discrete" approach and a CIP program ala F-16 or MKI-
Block 1 - 4.5 gen (2022 IOC) - reduced sigs, conformal carriage of AAMs?, no internal bays, but true multirole, IRST, AESA, internal EW/ELS - no TVC, SC reqd. - Empty wt ~ 9-10 tons, MTOW - 25 tons, Thrust - 16-18 tons
Block 2 - 4.5++ gen (2025) - Higher thrust, CFTs, TVC if available, SC if deemed necessary
Block 3 - 5 gen (2030) - some internal carriage of weapons (ala Silent Eagle - perhaps 6 AAMs),

All of the above is more than enough imvho for the MCA. It'll fit in nicely where the current, close to obsolete MRCA candidates fall anyway i.e. between the Pakfa (high end), MKI (slugger/multirole-heavy-strategic), LCA (light/multirole - tactical) The biggest challenge should be to get block 1 up and running by 2020-22.

The focus HAS to be indigenization and I simply don't see how the damned MRCA helps here. *$*$ing 10 - 15 billion dollars down the toilet imho, use that to get a Mk2 LCA up and running - 400 of these should be a nice base, get older M2k-5 frames or newer MiG-29K/Ms if such "medium" birds are deemed suddenly very, very essential. In the meanwhile, Su-30 MLUs, LCAs and Pakfas should keep the IAF strength at decent levels.

CM

Karan M
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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 02 May 2010 01:30

a_kumar, fuel consumption in supercruise is >>> than in subsonic. So even supercruise will be used sparingly.
The advantage is that it is still significantly lower than in afterburner.

Cain Marko - agree.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Karan M » 02 May 2010 03:11

Sanku wrote:
How does anything I said implied that they got it on a plate? Even US does not get it on a plate. No I am saying that their conditions are wildly different from ours. No comparisons whatsoever.


I do hope you are kidding when you say no comparisons whatsoever..

They can not be our models in any shape or form.


Yeah sure, we really dont have anything to learn from Taiwan, Korea or Japan...can this get any sillier?

In other stuff --

That was a analogy, but at best Ajeet was a modified Gnat (and not even much modified) -- basically take a existing system and tweak it a bit.


So? It was not a Bison.

Behind Marut, not Gnat. I am not saying that IT HAD to be, I am saying attempting Marut was perhaps too ambitious at that point of time. A simpler a/c which could be done completely in house should have been tried. Something for which we knew we will have an engine as well (maybe completely purchased design if needed) Marut needed a best in class engine at that time. Which we couldnt make ourselves.


The IAF wanted something like the Marut, so it was developed.

What symptom? The program failed because it could not get the right engine. Its as simple as that. No lack of belief or anything.


Simple in your view perhaps. Everywhere else, it was that the engine became the convenient excuse to ditch the program and not even attempt follow ons.

That is a fundamental mismatch in thinking. In Mil equipment we must aim to be sanction proof. If we are getting something it must be so trivial that we can make it ourselves if needed but only get it for economic reasons. Not because we cant make it but want the bestest (by others standard goodies)


There is nothing called sanction proof.

So either, lets go ahead and set up billion dollar fabs/factories and development and spend trillions on replicating infrastructure the world over so we are completely sanction proof. Or, accept some level of import, and stockpile sanctionable components judiciously.

That is the critical point, Arjun does not have a Indian engine? Why? Why didnt they in parallel fund and develop a Indian engine in partnership if needed?


Because the MTU could be license produced, and we had no funds for multiple programs in parallel.

This is a difference in approach, if you want the best the world has, by their defined rules of the best, you will never catch up. If you do it yourself, you may take a different path but get to the goal you need faster.


What is "their defined rules" and what is "do it by yourself"? All this generic stuff makes little sense.

In this case a fully Indian armed forces (say 80% Indian content and technologies) and capable of defeating anything our enemies may throw at us.


Which is exactly what the MCA is intended to be.

It may look very different from others though.


And then again, it might not. Does that mean we are aping others.

Cain Marko
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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 02 May 2010 04:45

Just a point about Supercruise - based purely on observation, I have a distinct feeling that future entrants into the IAF will have this ability (to varying degrees) by default. Modern streamlined designs supercruise (sustain M1 plus speeds) even on relatively low thrust, case in point - Gripen. The delta wing with a high sweep certainly helps here, and I would not be surprised if the Tejas did this with a 9ton engine. It might even achieve this with the current set up in certain regimes. Damn, I wouldn't be surprised if the M-2000 managed SC if it didn't have that piddling M53 10 ton engine - stuff it with something like an Al-31, and we'll see what that beauty can't do. :twisted:

Now how far and at what speeds these modern entrants will actually SC is hard to say. Engine thrust is a big factor here, a 10 ton delta canard such as a rafale, with 2X 9 ton engines should be able to SC quite comfortably - around M 1.5+ with 6 AAMs wouldn't be surprising (considering the EF-2k marketer/racketeers have claimed similar insane things for their bird). IOWs, if the Kaveri comes good at around 8.5 kN, and the MCA is similar to an LCA design (perhaps a bit more streamlined with Levcons instead of canards) ~ 10 tons empty, I'd be willing to bet she'll SC at mighty high speeds. And this will be a result not of specific requirements to SC, but possibly just to get the bird competitive in terms of climb rates, STRs, high speed manouvering.

It seems that the low/medium swept design (fulcrum flanker, solah, 18, 15 etc) is simply passe now for a/c intending air superiority. Everything from the e'canards J-10, Pakfa to F-22 uses high sweep, even delta designs. The only exception to this is the JSF which, much to the aggravation of A2A aficionadoes and the Doctor Kopp, has a sweep angle similar to the shornet. Of course, this fat boy does rely on stealth.

As far as TVC goes, it may help - reducing trim drag as well as for WVR type fighting in case of stealth vs. stealth scenarios. Can India achieve these two features - Supercruise, YES, by default. TVC - possibly depending upon the emphasis laid by the IAF.

JMVHO wonlee.

CM.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Manish_Sharma » 02 May 2010 05:06

Gaur wrote:Also, LCA is a light aircraft. While its payload is amazing for its weight and size, it still cannot be compared to a medium weight a/c like Rafale. Every AF needs medium wight fighters.

Then why is Gripen allowed in MRCA or SH for the matter.


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