MRCA News and Discussion

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Christopher Sidor
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Christopher Sidor » 22 Sep 2010 16:54

Good point Philip. You have hit the nail, bang on its head.
Manned Aircraft, especially manned fighter aircraft will become a liability in the next decade. Taking the human away from the equation will be a boon, ability to handle higher Gs, no need to worry about body bags, ability to operate over longer period of time, etc.

In fact in an interview given by a IAF hotshot in late 1990's, this point came up obliquely. The hotshot was asked, what is about air crashes that IAF worries the most. The hotshot answered, the pilot. You see a machine, i.e. fighter aircraft, can be replaced, but a fighter pilot has to be trained, acquire fighting skills and maintain it. It takes time and a lot of effort to do so. Also a human being can do only so many hours of fighting, with a fighter pilot it gets even more restricted. There are noway a fighter pilot can do a 18 hour mission back to back, day in day out.

With Unmanned aircraft, a major cost and many limitations are removed. The only limitation is the cost to manufacture and keep the unmanned aircraft in air. Also we can send a lot of Unmanned planes on suicide missions, or missions which are not feasible with human element currently. For example a lot of our Kargil air missions were not possible due to the human factor. Throw in AI (i.e. Artificial Intelligence) and the mix becomes potent.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby koti » 22 Sep 2010 17:37

^^Very true.

But what about the potential threat of Electronic jamming of communication channels?
A pilot might be a better bet in those cases till efficient AI is developed.

Just as GPS can be jammed, even these communication links(between UCAV and Control centers) can be jammed by radio clutter.
Any solutions on this perspective exist?

Also, UCAV's around the world will be limited to tactical,recce,suicide or support operations operations.
IMO the strategic ops will not involve UCAV based platforms.

None the less, I believe in the co-development of MCA and UM-MCA as there would be maximum overlap of required technologies.

But, going in for a UM-MCA alone might not fit the requirements. MCA is a possible candidate which would likely be doing what the LCA is supposed to be doing now...filling numbers, as the costlier thus bigger aircraft need supplementing aircraft to operate.

I'd recommend the discussion be continued in a more appropriate thread.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Luxtor » 22 Sep 2010 20:10

^^^

Communication jamming from control centers to UCAV could be a real possibility and so is situational awareness in the air around the flying UCAV. A human pilot would be able to detect air threats like enemy fighter aircraft more readily because he is present in the environment. But UCAV also might have radar, video, infrared sensors around the aircraft that could be remotely monitored as well. The UCAV would most likely be pre-programmed to fly a certain flight profile/flight path and engage certain targets. Even if it loses communication with the base completely it would be designed to execute its pre-programmed instructions and return to base afterward on its own using inertial navigation if necessary. The UCAV would have to be small but still large enough to carry its payloads and stealthy to make enemy detection difficult in order to survive on its own. We had an incident years back where an Indian remote controlled aircraft "strayed" into Paki airspace and it was detected and was shot down. So we can't have that happen with the new generation of UCAVs or surveillance drones.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Suresh S » 22 Sep 2010 21:16

I like and respect your many posts philip. But some points regarding UCAVs.
In my opinion a intelligent , well trained and brave pilot is irreplacable. I would give you an analogy from the surgical field. Open surgery by cutting with a knife and fixing a problem has been around since the beggining of the human race. During the last few decades newer techniques like laparoscopic surgery , endovascular surgery ( done via needles and catheters without cutting ) have made their presence felt. Surgery done remotely via da vinci robots have been developed a bit similar to UCAV. But all these techniques have major problems when physically touching , seeing and hearing things are not present in the usual way leading many times to disasters. And to fix those disasters you need humans physically present there and fixing them many times by open surgery.
I am all for development of these UCAVs but anyone that thinks that these are about to replace manned fighter and other aircrafts is seriously mistaken. A bit OT and mods can move it to another thread but since everyone is discussing UCAVs I thought I would answer here.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 23 Sep 2010 12:38

I do agree that one cannot,at least for the next few decades completely replace manned aircraft,but as we are seeing in Af-Pak,the unmanned option,where even if a UCAV is downed,there is no pilot that can be taken hostage and turned into a global media event.The best example of hostage taking is the Iranian US embassy hostage crisis which lost Pres.Carter the presidency and underlined his legacy to history.But what the Israelis are doing is taking the lead in integrating unmanned aircraft far more intelligently than other air forces."Drone" strikes in Pak have become commonplace and less controversial than if manned strikes were made.Imagine India taking out Paki terror camps with UCAVs instead of manned strikes.It would be less provocative.

In addition,the UCAV designs now and in the future,will enable them to loiter for upto 48 hrs and more,something that is impossible for manned aircraft to do given the physical limitations and operational endurance of pilots.We can then send up flights of stealthy UCAVs and UAVs,which will loiter round-the-clock permanently,identifying targets of opportunity and when opportune destroy them with stand-off missiles.In addition,a single manned aircraft could also lead into battle a squad of unmanned aircraft in a force-multiplying force to take out heavily defended targets even enemy aircraft.

Therefore,the decision on the MMRCA should look beyond the singular role for which it is being acquired,but with the technologies that it brings with it,help develop a family of UAVs/UCAVs for the future.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Nirmal » 23 Sep 2010 13:11

Philip wrote:I do agree that one cannot,at least for the next few decades completely replace manned aircraft,but as we are seeing in Af-Pak,the unmanned option,where even if a UCAV is downed,there is no pilot that can be taken hostage and turned into a global media event.The best example of hostage taking is the Iranian US embassy hostage crisis which lost Pres.Carter the presidency and underlined his legacy to history.But what the Israelis are doing is taking the lead in integrating unmanned aircraft far more intelligently than other air forces."Drone" strikes in Pak have become commonplace and less controversial than if manned strikes were made.Imagine India taking out Paki terror camps with UCAVs instead of manned strikes.It would be less provocative.

In addition,the UCAV designs now and in the future,will enable them to loiter for upto 48 hrs and more,something that is impossible for manned aircraft to do given the physical limitations and operational endurance of pilots.We can then send up flights of stealthy UCAVs and UAVs,which will loiter round-the-clock permanently,identifying targets of opportunity and when opportune destroy them with stand-off missiles.In addition,a single manned aircraft could also lead into battle a squad of unmanned aircraft in a force-multiplying force to take out heavily defended targets even enemy aircraft.

Therefore,the decision on the MMRCA should look beyond the singular role for which it is being acquired,but with the technologies that it brings with it,help develop a family of UAVs/UCAVs for the future.

I thought this was a MRCA thread.. so where does UCAV topic fit in or am I missing something??? Mods please amplify.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby tushar_m » 23 Sep 2010 13:18

MRCA is not only a fighter but we are intended to start a relationship with the country & there is a reason for that

the birds will be delivered in say 10-15 years or more till than as expected the UCAV's will start to take its positions in the airforces across the world . so what i think is that the partnership with the Europeans will be good for us , as Russkies are alone with no support as they are also the supplier for chinks & chinks are suppliers for paks . in any case the scenario will not change.

the only thing that we can do is stop the west teck from falling in hands of chinks

also the euro union will be beneficial in other than military issues

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby P Chitkara » 23 Sep 2010 14:08

Having a robust relationship with the Europeans will ensure to a large extent that the technology doesn’t fall in the hands of panda. The US and Europe along with the Russians are the leaders in military technology. US won’t give any technology to them anyway.

As far as the Russians are concerned, after the J11 episode they will be cautious.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby JimmyJ » 23 Sep 2010 14:48

Philip wrote:I do agree that one cannot,at least for the next few decades completely replace manned aircraft,but as we are seeing in Af-Pak,the unmanned option,where even if a UCAV is downed,there is no pilot that can be taken hostage and turned into a global media event.The best example of hostage taking is the Iranian US embassy hostage crisis which lost Pres.Carter the presidency and underlined his legacy to history.But what the Israelis are doing is taking the lead in integrating unmanned aircraft far more intelligently than other air forces."Drone" strikes in Pak have become commonplace and less controversial than if manned strikes were made.Imagine India taking out Paki terror camps with UCAVs instead of manned strikes.It would be less provocative.

In addition,the UCAV designs now and in the future,will enable them to loiter for upto 48 hrs and more,something that is impossible for manned aircraft to do given the physical limitations and operational endurance of pilots.We can then send up flights of stealthy UCAVs and UAVs,which will loiter round-the-clock permanently,identifying targets of opportunity and when opportune destroy them with stand-off missiles.In addition,a single manned aircraft could also lead into battle a squad of unmanned aircraft in a force-multiplying force to take out heavily defended targets even enemy aircraft.

Therefore,the decision on the MMRCA should look beyond the singular role for which it is being acquired,but with the technologies that it brings with it,help develop a family of UAVs/UCAVs for the future.


Wouldn't AfPak represent the wrong theater. It is an environment where US does not need to fly a fighter to achieve air superiority. The situation will be quite different if India uses drones for attack inside Pakistan even if against terrorist. In case of US, Pakistan does not even have a choice. Unmanned combat aircrafts could probably be more useful for us immediately in monitoring the IOR and chasing the pirates back to their den.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Lalmohan » 23 Sep 2010 15:08

we need long range UAV's for ocean patrol and perhaps even anti-sub
we need large numbers of low cost small swarming UCAV's for the pakistan border - detect, pursue, destroy
we need high alt surveillance and precision strike for moutains, being a small UAV - could even be one that gets up close and fires a small grenade/shotgun cartridge into a sanger, etc.
plenty to think about

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Christopher Sidor » 23 Sep 2010 15:48

The point is that MCA is going to fructify in the next decade or so, after the 5th Generation fighter aircraft has been made. In the same time frame we might be able to see unmanned fighter aircraft in some form or other. So while we are chasing some old technology, i.e. manned fighter aircraft, the world would already be transitioning to a more lethal weapon system. For example LCA's nearest counterpart is grippen, which first flew in 1988. While ours flew in 2001. Please note that this is not a criticism of LCA program per see. It is just an analogy that when the first MCA would be flying out, we would still be generations behind what is required by our air force and what would be available in the market to other air forces of the world.

With AI, the jamming would no longer be a problem. You see a unmanned fighter aircraft would be programmed on the ground, take off, execute the mission and if possible return back to base. Or a loitering airborne unmanned fighter, can be programmed remotely. For example a nuclear SSBN somewhere in the Indian Ocean basin, can program a unmanned fighter flying over twang. After this programming there is no need for any further communication between the fighter and its controllers.
Most of the communications between the unmanned fighter can be via a satellite or a constellation of satellites. One satellite can be jammed, two can be shot down, but it is very difficult to take the whole constellation out of service. Right now communication between satellites and UAVs is via microwaves. But research is being done for communications using lasers also. Research into laser is being currently driven due to communication needs of SSBNs. But the same communication can be modified for unmanned fighter also.

Our defense forces work on eliminating the single point of failure. If something fails, our forces have some sort of backup. In fact in certain projects of IAF that I have worked on there is even a backup for the backup. So there will be options for enemy jamming.

With unmanned fighter aircraft the beauty is that a range of unlimited options open up. Options which are not feasible now, due to the presence of human element.

I do apologies to people who believe that this thread is an exclusive MRCA one and not related to unmanned UAVs. But as one of requirements of MRCA is "to fill up the gaps" in IAF for the next 10-15 years or so. We should also be discussing what the next 10-15 years would look like.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby koti » 23 Sep 2010 16:15

IMO the discussion from the past few posts is not relevant to the thread.
Kindly continue it in a more relevant thread.


With AI, the jamming would no longer be a problem. You see a unmanned fighter aircraft would be programmed on the ground, take off, execute the mission and if possible .............


commented in the UAV thread.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Suresh S » 23 Sep 2010 18:57

Agree with your points philip

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 24 Sep 2010 22:03

Gripen NG flies with new 450 Gl wing drop tanks. This will improve ferry, combat range and time on station as well.

link

The Gripen NG Demo is now flying with new extra large drop-tanks. Instead of the more traditional 300 gallon tanks used by Gripen C/D these new external tanks can carry 450 gallons of fuel each.

Combined with added spaces for internal fuel and a more fuel efficient engine Gripen NG will get substantially longer range and more time on station. The new drop-tanks are made by RUAG in Switzerland.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Craig Alpert » 25 Sep 2010 08:34

Gates Wants Hi-Tech Export Restrictions to India Eased
Ahead of talks with Defence Minister A K Antony, his US counterpart Robert Gates says he wants removal of restrictions on export of American high -technology items to India and that this contentious issue was high on their agenda.

Simultaneously, a top Pentagon official Michele Flournoy, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, said the US wants to offer best available military technology to India and hoped it would place a substantial order to American defence companies too.


Gates also said the Pentagon wants to strengthen and expand its military-to-military ties with India, which is going ahead with its plans to modernise the armed forces that runs into billions of dollars.

"We are looking to expand this relationship in ways that are mutually beneficial," Gates told reporters at a Pentagon briefing ahead of the crucial Antony visit next week.

"They (India) have a big competition going on for a new modern fighter. We'll probably have some conversations about that," Gates.

Responding to a question on the India's concerns about restriction on export of high-technology items, Gates acknowledged that this is high on the agenda and he would like to see those restrictions removed.

"I think that that is certainly high on our list, particularly in the context of export-import, or export controls, and my view of the importance of changing those export controls in ways that better protect the things that are really important and open up trade and allow US companies to sell abroad those things that technologies that are not critical, :?: " Gates said.

"So, I think India certainly is high on our list in terms of a country that we would like, I would like to see those restrictions eased," Gates said at the Pentagon news conference which was jointly addressed by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The military-to-military relationship with India is exceptionally strong and growing, said Mullen.

Flournoy in response to a question at an event organized last week by the National Bureau of Asian Research, a Washington-based think tank said, "as we go forward, we are looking for ways to support India’s military modernization."

"We want to be able to be in a position to offer India the best technology available to cooperate with them on development of their defence capabilities and to continue to work as partners in, whether it’s counter piracy operations, maritime security operations, peacekeeping and so forth," said Flournoy who was recently in India.
Article suggests that Naval Cooperation is the best bet for US and INDIA as oppose to other services.. Wonder if it is because there is no other Naval big boy in the backyard or because India has achieved enough self sufficiency within it's Navy??

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby tushar_m » 25 Sep 2010 10:01

MRCA , PAK-FA ,LCA,LCH, INS-ARIHANT, Akula-II class submarines , INS-CHAKRA ,AGNI-5 ICBM ,IAC 1-2-3

should we now consider the fact that US now actually know's that pak didn't stand a chance against us & to maintain there presence in the asia they need new partners like say "INDIA".
Last edited by Gerard on 26 Sep 2010 05:20, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: username changed to conform with forum guidelines

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Dmurphy » 25 Sep 2010 10:14

tuneix wrote:should we now consider the fact that US now actually know's that pak didn't stand a chance against us & to maintain there presence in the asia they need new partners like say "INDIA".
Depends on which way you look at it. On a certain level we really are partners with US, which Pak can only dream about. But the US also needs "partners" who would GUBO when wanted to fulfill their short term goals - like letting them use their airfields to launch air strikes against their own and thereby losing one's so-virginity (sic). Don't see such a thing happening with India.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby koti » 25 Sep 2010 11:06

)Don't see such a thing happening with India.


With US, it is only a matter of time.

Even trying to keep a strict business relation is a dangerous game.
We should always be on our toes an stay awake.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Brando » 25 Sep 2010 11:44

Dmurphy wrote:like letting them use their airfields to launch air strikes against their own and thereby losing one's so-virginity (sic).


Wouldn't such an arrangement extend both ways, with the Indian military being given access to US airfields and US naval ports across the world so that India could resupply and launch attacks or strikes from there ?? Then it would be upto the Indian generals to use those resources to their best advantage.

Having Indian Naval ships and Naval aircraft use US Naval ports and air bases in South East Asia would be quite a tactical advantage in recon and checking Chinese naval expansion since the Chinese generally operate alone.

IMHO, at least the Indian Navy should seriously partner with the USN to contain China, considering that the chinese have many more resources, ships and technologically more advanced in naval technologies . If things don't work out with the US, at least India would be able to achieve some short term gains and atleast India would have tried and failed, which is better than having not tried at all .

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby tushar_m » 25 Sep 2010 12:19


Wouldn't such an arrangement extend both ways, with the Indian military being given access to US airfields and US naval ports across the world so that India could resupply and launch attacks or strikes from there ?? Then it would be upto the Indian generals to use those resources to their best advantage.


well considering pak which is in reach of our fighters

but considering the afganistan airfields which could be used as fourth side of attack as three sided attack could be launched on our own (2 side land , 1 side sea )
IMHO, at least the Indian Navy should seriously partner with the USN to contain China, considering that the chinese have many more resources, ships and technologically more advanced in naval technologies . If things don't work out with the US, at least India would be able to achieve some short term gains and atleast India would have tried and failed, which is better than having not tried at all .


also the partnership with US could suppress china in lot of ways

say attack from tiwan & korean airfields will give us tactical advantage & all the major cities will be in our reach

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby svinayak » 25 Sep 2010 12:27

Craig Alpert wrote: Article suggests that Naval Cooperation is the best bet for US and INDIA as oppose to other services.. Wonder if it is because there is no other Naval big boy in the backyard or because India has achieved enough self sufficiency within it's Navy??

IOR is the key to geo politics around India. And that is the top most interest of all major powers

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby jai » 25 Sep 2010 13:19

"I think that that is certainly high on our list, particularly in the context of export-import, or export controls, and my view of the importance of changing those export controls in ways that better protect the things that are really important and open up trade and allow US companies to sell abroad those things that technologies that are not critical, " Gates said.


Just shows you the inherent contradiction and dilemma these guys feel about India. Apart from our business and money, I am not sure the Americans are clear yet on the kind of relationship they want with India.

Unfortunately, they are not mature enough to have a strong relationship with India yet, as they are not used to letting their partners being independent in their foreign and military policies - to them, partnership means they decide everything for the partner in terms of foreign policy and defense..if they decide to attack some one like Iraq, or Afghanistan then everyone should jump in, not criticize them, only buy all weapons from them, use them as per US instructions, and let their country become a base and staging ground for US forces....I can think of many examples like that.....India can never accept this and US would not be able to understand and accept this either..

Better to deal with US on our own terms, continue to make our own independent choices, and not get trapped by spending a huge amount of our money to buy US planes - only to realize in the time of need that we have bought heavy stones now hanging around our necks instead.

India should also not fool itself in believing that US would arm India against China - its biggest trading partner. Tomorrow, if they both decide to kiss and make up (for the sake of the business they do together) we would be left out to hang dry, they have flirted with us earlier as well but have been unable to maintain that relationship with us, as they have always seen us from their world view and have never tried to understand our perspectives.

Better to go with Europe on this deal. May be that would help the US understand our independent thinking and our need for highest end technology and convince US to remove all sanctions and offer us the latest technology because we would either get it from anywhere else or make it ourselves in some time.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby VishalJ » 26 Sep 2010 18:57


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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 26 Sep 2010 19:49

afaik US does not have any base in south east asia anymore. subic bay in philipines where CVNs used to berth in cold war era is long ago vacated.

the only USN bases in far east are way up north in korea and yokusuka(japan) followed by guam in the pacific which is being beefed up for submarine ops.

ofcourse USN ships do stop by in thailand , philipines and singapore but no US owned and operated bases there imo.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Dmurphy » 26 Sep 2010 19:54

koti wrote:With US, it is only a matter of time.
Really? How exactly? The current trend certainly doesn't point in that direction. We're being offered top of the line weapons and nuclear deal and you're being fearful of an Indo-US conflict? C'mon now!
Brando wrote:Wouldn't such an arrangement extend both ways, with the Indian military being given access to US airfields and US naval ports across the world so that India could resupply and launch attacks or strikes from there ?? Then it would be upto the Indian generals to use those resources to their best advantage.
Technically speaking only, yes. But, which areas out of our reach from here in India do you think will be targets of opportunity for India? The only targets of opp. are in our immediate neighborhood, so why would you want the barter services with the US? Its only US who needs such strategic airfields across the globe. They're the ones interested in bombing targets half way across the globe in Af-Pak/Iran/Iraq/Vietnam/NK and not us. Do you see us bombing Mexico, Canada or Cuba? One could say we can use their airfields in Afg to bomb the Pakis, but will they let us do that with Pak being their "major non-NATO ally" and all that? Heck, they'll turn every stone to try and stop us from doing that from our own base.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cosmo_R » 26 Sep 2010 20:22

Ajatshatru wrote:
We're being offered top of the line weapons


F-16 and F-18(and with no strings attached)? :mrgreen:


Genuine question: What do you consider 'top of the line' US weapons that the Tender offer also specified?

Added later: @Craig Alpert ^^^

I believe the naval cooperation emphasis may be due to India's strategic IOR location and controlling a choke point to the Malacca Straits. The IN has huge innate advantages WRT to PRC and these are the most leverageable. I think (cannot be sure) that the emphasis also derives from the current US focus on the Air-Sea battle concept versus the previous Air-Land scenarios that focused on Europe.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Dmurphy » 26 Sep 2010 20:29

Ajat, Cosmo, how about the P-8I, F-35?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cosmo_R » 27 Sep 2010 00:53

Dmurphy wrote:Ajat, Cosmo, how about the P-8I, F-35?


I am not sure about the question but obviously we are buying the P-8I and LM has been extolling the virtues of the F-16IN as the most effective path to the F-35. In one PR instance—even offering (IIRC) to have a trade-in value for the F-16 against purchase of the F-35.

Again, IIRC the current IAF tender did not include the F-35 because it was thought that the plane would not be ready for deliveries in 2014.

I think the only thing the US has not offered up as far as a/c is the F-22. But then at $180MM+ a pop, I don't think the IAF really would have gone for it anyway. Also, the F-22 is not for export and I believe not even the Israelis could swing the vote in Congress.

On the F-35, I think we should be grateful that we missed the boat on the Tier 1 partner level. The UK experience of being able to afford either the a/c or the carrier (the POW) was a revelation.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Christopher Sidor » 27 Sep 2010 12:55

Cosmo_R wrote:
Dmurphy wrote:Ajat, Cosmo, how about the P-8I, F-35?


I am not sure about the question but obviously we are buying the P-8I and LM has been extolling the virtues of the F-16IN as the most effective path to the F-35. In one PR instance—even offering (IIRC) to have a trade-in value for the F-16 against purchase of the F-35.

Again, IIRC the current IAF tender did not include the F-35 because it was thought that the plane would not be ready for deliveries in 2014.

I think the only thing the US has not offered up as far as a/c is the F-22. But then at $180MM+ a pop, I don't think the IAF really would have gone for it anyway. Also, the F-22 is not for export and I believe not even the Israelis could swing the vote in Congress.

On the F-35, I think we should be grateful that we missed the boat on the Tier 1 partner level. The UK experience of being able to afford either the a/c or the carrier (the POW) was a revelation.


Leapfrog that is the word.

So we pay an estimated 10 billion USD to buy an obsolete technology, i.e. F-16IN. And then pay even more, let us say 10 billion USD, to upgrade to F-35. Why should India pay 20 billion USD just to get F-35 ? It would have been better if F-35 would have been offered. But Americans did not.

Also one more thing, w.r.t. F-16, F/A-18 and F-35. These fighters come with very heavy restrictions, i.e. where they can be based, where they can be used, etc. We need not pander to the American mania of control to get a good fighter. There are other fighters available, which do not have these restrictions.


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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Willy » 27 Sep 2010 13:09




That's old news. There was a write up on livefist after this news was leaked.


The Rafale just might be the frontrunner if the needs of the Indian Navy are factored in.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby anandsgh » 27 Sep 2010 15:17

I happened to witness Rafale in its full glory at Rennes Airshow yesterday, 26 Sept 2010.
I made a video but damn my crappy Sony Cybershot.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7yGW9ZPXTg

D Roy
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby D Roy » 28 Sep 2010 22:04

Boeing also is offering a range of upgrades to potential international customers, including conformal fuel tanks, large-area cockpit displays, stealthy weapons pods, enhanced-performance engine (EPE), embedded IRST and distributed aperture systems.

The only one of these formally proposed so far, Mathews says, is the increased-thrust F414EPE in the F/A-18E/F offered to India for the 126-fighter Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft requirement.


http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... el=defense

Nikhil T
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Nikhil T » 29 Sep 2010 05:54

X-Posting in full. This gives us a good pointer to the F-18 bid in MRCA contract.
Boeing finalizes $5.3 bn deal for 124 F/A-18 jets


WASHINGTON: Boeing Co has finalized a $5.3 billion four-year agreement with the US Navy to build 124 F/A-18 fighter jets and electronic attack planes, a deal that will generate savings of over $600 million. The deal, announced on Tuesday by Boeing and the Pentagon, calls for the company to deliver 66 F/A-18 "Super Hornet" fighters and 58 EA-18G airframes designed for electronic attack to the Navy from 2012 through 2015.

The Pentagon said the multiyear agreement was on fixed-price terms, with an incentive fee -- terms that will limit the government's liability in the event of any cost overruns. Boeing also won a $249 million contract for logistics support for the F/A-18 fighters, which operate worldwide from the decks of 11 Navy aircraft carriers --- including ongoing missions in Afghanistan. Boeing said the agreement would generate more than $600 million in savings by allowing Boeing and its suppliers to plan further ahead and buy materials in bulks, making production more efficient than under a single year contract.

The contract is based on a price of about $42.7 million per airplane, excluding their engines and other government-furnished equipment. This is the third multiyear agreement Boeing has signed with the Navy for the F/A-18 fighter program. The company said the first two agreements, which each spanned five years, saved about $1.7 billion in total. It said it had delivered every one of the planes on schedule and on budget. "Procurement of these 124 aircraft through a multiyear contract takes advantage of the full efficiencies of Boeing's production and supplier operations, which will generate more than $600 million in cost savings for US taxpayers," said Kory Matthews, vice president of Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18 programs.

The Navy said in May that it planned to proceed with a third multiyear agreement after securing a 10 percent price cut that satisfied top Pentagon leaders. The contract is good news for Boeing, securing steady revenues for the company at a time when U.S. defense spending is expected to flatten or decline, and the Pentagon is investing less in new aircraft programs. The F/A-18 fighter also remains in demand from foreign buyers and Boeing is bidding in fighter competitions around the world. The United Arab Emirates recently asked the US government for technical information about the plane, after ending earlier exclusive talks with France's Dassault about the Rafale fighter, according to sources familiar with the issue.

The UAE's interest in the F/A-18, first reported by Defense News earlier this month, could be a significant blow to French hopes of securing an agreement with the Gulf country. Boeing spokesman Damien Mills declined comment on any approach by the UAE, but said any international customers that bought airplanes during the years covered by the newest multiyear deal with the Navy would gain synergies from lean production techniques and cost reduction initiatives.

Boeing and its backers in Congress had strongly pushed for a third multiyear contract because it gives the company a more stable funding source and shores up jobs in local economies. The deal also gives the Navy a fallback option if more problems arise with the next-generation F-35 fighter being built by Lockheed Martin Corp to replace older model F/A-18s and other fighter jets. Boeing shares closed nearly one percent higher at $64.52 after the company announced that it was delivering the first two of four long-delayed refueling tankers to Italy later this year.

srai
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby srai » 29 Sep 2010 06:17

Looking at the big ticket items recently purchased or in the near future, India has been (or will be) purchasing almost equivalent amounts (more than $10 billion USD each) from the big three: US, EU and Russia. Russia has the most. So IMO, the "political" factor is not as much a "game changer" as some predict in selecting the MRCA. If the deal goes to Eurofighter or Rafale, the US still has many billions of dollars in the pipeline (and win favorably on other competitions such as in the attack and heavy helo as well as receive the follow on orders).

US
8 P-8I (+ 8 options), 6 C-130J (+ 6 options), 10 C-17 (+ 6 options)
likely -> 22 AH-64D, 12 (+options) Chinook, 145 light 155mm, 12 (+options) C-27J

EU
12 AW-101 VVIP, 6 Scorpene SSK, 110 Hawk AJT, 50 Mirage-2000 UPG, 2 Fleet Replenishment Tanker
JV -> Maitri LLQRM
likely -> 100 EJ-200, 6 (+options) Airbus 330 MRTT, 197 Fennec LOH, 1000+ 155mm towed/wheeled/tracked

Russia
1 Vikramaditya AC, 3 Krivak III Mk.2, 1 Akula SSN lease, 280 Su-30 MKI, 1600+ T-90S, 130+ Mil-17, 60 MiG-29 UPG
JV -> 250 FGFA, 45 (+options) MTA, Brahmos
likely -> 6 P-75A SSK

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby shukla » 29 Sep 2010 17:32

SAAB optimistic of making it to MMRCA downlist of IAF
Economic Times Reports

Expressing optimism, SAAB executives said that their India campaign was enthusing them to enter the lucrative fighter market in the Asian region where many other nations are planning major acquisitions. The Swedish company executives are hopeful that the Indian Government would shortlist the competitors by December to bring the number of contenders from six to two or three.

The Gripen is in contention with American F-16 and F-18/A Super Hornets, French Rafale, Russian MiG 35 and Eurofighter Typhoon. The company executives claimed that the Gripen had come through well in Indian flight trials held at Leh and Jaisalmer. "The trials were a complete success. We are very happy with the trials that went off early 2010. We are looking forward to the next steps and we are hopeful," Eddy de la Motte, Director, Gripen for India, told PTI on the sidelines of the Africa Aerospace and Defence expo 2010.

Gripen, like other five contenders, had undergone trials at Bangalore, Leh and Jaisalmer for performance assessment trials over varying terrain and weather conditions over six months that ended in March-April this year. La Motte said the Indian Air Force pilots, who tested the 1,320 mile-per-hour jet, were a "really professional team" and the flight evaluation was "very demanding."

Gripen's Campaign Director and Test Pilot Magnus Lewis-Olsson said SAAB was looking forward to winning the Indian contract as it would mean a lot for the company. "If you win India, that would be a strong signal for the world," he said. The Gripen fighter aircraft, which is in service in the Swedish and South African Air Force, flew for 12 to 15 hours for eight days and also did single sorties during the trials.

Willy
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Willy » 30 Sep 2010 10:25

Under the MMRCA deal, India will acquire 126 aircraft in 86 single-seater and 40 twin-engine seat configurations. It plans to procure 18 aircraft in flyaway conditions and produce 106 locally under license through technology transfer.



Anyone heard of this before? That some will be single seater and 40 will be twin seaters?

Dmurphy
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Dmurphy » 30 Sep 2010 12:57

That was always the case.

Willy
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Willy » 30 Sep 2010 14:04

Dmurphy wrote:That was always the case.



Hmmmmmmmmmmm. For the nuclear command maybe??????????????????? :mrgreen:

Lalmohan
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Lalmohan » 30 Sep 2010 14:07

for operational training, elint support, SEAD maybe?


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