Indian Military Aviation

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Cain Marko
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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 18 Jul 2011 10:25

Kartik wrote:adding a new engine, a new IRST, a new AERA all of which would cost a lot more, not to mention the additional time it will take to develop and integrate them. the Mirage-2000-9 version is a very capable fighter as it stands, nothing to be scoffed at.


That Kartik is the whole point isn't it? I mean if they are paying $ 50 mil per a/c (not counting weapons + set up in India), you'd think that an AESA/ IRST etc would easily fit in. I mean how much does an AESA cost? IRST? As far as integration is concerned, a) they used an M2k for testing Rafale components iirc including an IRST and AESA, also b) They seem to be in no hurry anyway - afterall it'll take 9 years to complete this miracle.

THe neighbours are upgrading their older F-16A/Bs to F-16 Block 50 standards and are just beginning to operate their new F-16 Block 50+s, apart from the JF-17s. Nothing that the Mirage-2000-9 cannot adequately take care of.

While the M2k-9 is indeed a formidable fighter, let us not forget that firstly, Pakistan is not the only neighbor to contend with, the other larger neighbor presents a decidedly more worrisome threat. Second, the M2k-9, formidable as it is, is still 90s tech - nothing jawdropping by today's standards - solid slot array, decent EW, D-link, and thats it. Don't see why that can't be achieved with something a lot cheaper. Third, there is no telling when AESA type tech starts reaching the PAF (via J10s for eg), remember that IAF Vajras will have to deal with threats for a long time 2015-2035 and proliferation of what is considered hi tech today should not be so uncommon after another 10 years.

One thing I really do like about the top quality M2k upgrades is their abiilty to carry a couple of Scalps but we don't even know if that p'cular mijjile is being bought in this bonanza - lots of talk about Mica but nothing about Scalp or Apache or Hammer :(

Soo thai gayo bhai?
CM
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Shrinivasan
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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 18 Jul 2011 10:57

Taramak reports on Rustom UAVs.
Rustom-1 to don the role of short-range UAV; Rustom-H project is officially R-II now [/size]
http://tarmak007.blogspot.com/2011/07/army-may-use-rustom-1-as-short-range.html

Rustom's proven capabilities include: (
(i) taxi take-off with automatic nose-wheel steering;
(ii) extended pilot control for taking the platform to the centre of the runway;
(iii) autopilot mode for the flights, including way-point navigation (WPN) and get-you-home features;
(iv) redundant Flight Control System, hardware and software and
(v) integrated C-Band data-link.

Jingo Heart Kush Hua... Hope & Pray that IA should induct these in good number!!!
Is there an UAV Dhaga?
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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 18 Jul 2011 11:28

[size=150*]India's Mirage upgrade: a prelude to a Rafale MMRCA win?[/size]
Flight Global mag is obliquely predicting a MMRCA win for Rafale in light of the Mirage2000 upgrade to M2k-9 standard.
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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby khukri » 18 Jul 2011 12:09

Shrinivasan wrote:[size=150*]India's Mirage upgrade: a prelude to a Rafale MMRCA win?[/size]
Flight Global mag is obliquely predicting a MMRCA win for Rafale in light of the Mirage2000 upgrade to M2k-9 standard.

Could you post the link pls?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kartik » 18 Jul 2011 23:09

Cain Marko wrote:That Kartik is the whole point isn't it? I mean if they are paying $ 50 mil per a/c (not counting weapons + set up in India), you'd think that an AESA/ IRST etc would easily fit in. I mean how much does an AESA cost? IRST? As far as integration is concerned, a) they used an M2k for testing Rafale components iirc including an IRST and AESA, also b) They seem to be in no hurry anyway - afterall it'll take 9 years to complete this miracle.


I'm really surprised to read this coming from you. Just think more logically than reacting to the price alone.

The total price is first of all not even known. All we are hearing are figures that range from $2.4 billion inclusive/exclusive of $500-600 million for HAL's share to $3.3 (Euro 2.4) billion plus $ 1.26 (Euro 0.9) billion for HAL. From the ACIG article

But so far the costs of over EUR 2,4 bill. – with 0,9 bill. allocated to HAL – were described as ‘prohibitively’ expensive.


Lets say that the latest figures from Livefist are more accurate- that we did actually spend that much (about $43 million for each unit) it is about $4-5 million more than what Thailand paid for its 18 F-16s to be upgraded to Block 50 standards. $700 million for 18 F-16s to be upgraded, i.e. $39 million each. See this article on FlightGlobal

Do you see an AESA, IRST or engine change here on the upgraded F-16s? Did any PAF F-16A/B's upgraded to Block 50 standards get an AESA, IRST or engine change? Has ANY F-16 been upgraded to date with the Block 60's mission computer, IRST, APG-80 (not RANGR or SABR) or a new more powerful engine?

Regarding the Mirage being the AESA testbed- there is a huge difference in using an aircraft as a testbed for an RBE2 and expecting it to be completely bereft of any bugs, production ready and ready for use in combat. All of that assuming that the Mirage-2000's onboard electrical generation capacity is adequate and that the cooling requirements of the RBE2 AESA can be met adequately for it to be operationalised, rather than just be used as a testbed.

Operationalising an AESA and IRST on a Mirage-2000 would take a lot of flight testing and development (maybe a few hundred test flights alone, leave the several thousands of manhours of ground based development and testing), and a whole bunch of costs for integrating all the weapons that the RDY2 can use, for the AESA RBE2 on a Mirage-2000 (since all interfaces will not be the same as that on Rafale). As for a new engine- which one ? the M88-2 doesn't produce 98kN of thrust in AB which the M53-P2 produces. And if you want a 95-98kN thrust M88 then you need to put up the funding for that. And we know from the UAE Rafale deal that it was a lot of money that they asked for.

All of which would have to be funded by us for just 51 airframes, since obviously the French don't need it and there is no other Mirage customer likely to upgrade their jets. Which would only drive up costs and time several times up making it that much more unaffordable and unviable.

Even on the F-16, its only due to the massive numbers in service worldwide that NG and Raytheon are offering AESA radars for older F-16C/D variants. Had it been for 51 fighters, NG or Raytheon would've charged a monstrous amount to have a production ready RANGR or SABR AESA. After all they'd have spent hundreds of millions of $ on fully developing them. The USAF alone has several hundred F-16s that will be upgraded with an AESA radar. You cannot compare the unit costs for such a large production run where costs could be amortized over them all, to a smaller 50-60 production run where simply to recoup sunk costs, you'd have a huge chunk of cost added to the price.

I don't think that $4-5 million more per unit is that bad, considering that France doesn't even come close to producing the number of upgrade kits for the Mirage as the US does for the F-16s (Falcon STAR and whatnot). The last time France upgraded Mirages was when they upgraded the 30 Mirage-2000s of the UAE to Mirage-2000-9 standards (same as that for the IAF) and that program ended in 2004, since when there have been no Mirage upgrades. Do you think that their Mirage-2000-5/9 suppliers would've been sitting with idle tools/workforces for 7 years, hoping to find some work some day? All of them would've moved on to the Rafale, which itself is moving along at slow pace or moved to some other work. To simply re-start a production line for those kits would mean having to re-initiate a small production line and train a small workforce to work on that to minimise costs. The faster you want it to be done, the more the tools/workers and the more the cost. As simple as that. I don't think that anyone is actually thinking about the unique situation that this upgrade represents. Had we had more Mirages, say as many as our Jaguars, it would've been more economical to upgrade them faster, since the costs of tools/training mechanics and technicians would've also been amortized over a larger number of jets. The Rafale production line is also restricted to only 12 per year to keep production costs to a bare economically viable number.

This Mirage-2000-9 Engage pdf has some details on the UAE Mirage-2000-9 upgrade. Regarding the timeline of the upgrade, this seems to be consistent with Dassault's small production run for the upgrade kits

The upgrading of the UAE AF&AD Mirage 2000 aircraft to Mirage 2000-9 configuration in Al Dhafra has called for an unparalleled industrial action plan. Conversion includes two different operations, a major overhaul and the retrofit itself, which are combined simultaneously.. The retrofit of the first two aircraft was carried out in Istres, France, between 2001 and 2003 in order to validate the industrial process in conditions similar to those to be encountered in Al Dhafra. Since April 2002, these teams have left Istres and have been progressively transferred to the UAE to commence the conversion of the remaining 28 aircraft.


Around 36 months for the first Mirage-2000-9 conversion. 40 months in our case for the first 4 Mirages to be upgraded in France after contract signature. 4 months extra is not bad since the Mirage is no longer in production at all. And the UAE upgrades were signed for in 1998, but ended in 2007- a total of 9 years for 30 aircraft, although that also included some new development for the -9 variant. All this may seem too long but Dassault/HAL will only produce as many kits as is economically viable for them to produce- any more and they need more tools/workers to produce them and that will increase costs, which the IAF/MoD and MoF won't like.

Cain Marko wrote:While the M2k-9 is indeed a formidable fighter, let us not forget that firstly, Pakistan is not the only neighbor to contend with, the other larger neighbor presents a decidedly more worrisome threat. Second, the M2k-9, formidable as it is, is still 90s tech - nothing jawdropping by today's standards - solid slot array, decent EW, D-link, and thats it. Don't see why that can't be achieved with something a lot cheaper. Third, there is no telling when AESA type tech starts reaching the PAF (via J10s for eg), remember that IAF Vajras will have to deal with threats for a long time 2015-2035 and proliferation of what is considered hi tech today should not be so uncommon after another 10 years.

One thing I really do like about the top quality M2k upgrades is their abiilty to carry a couple of Scalps but we don't even know if that p'cular mijjile is being bought in this bonanza - lots of talk about Mica but nothing about Scalp or Apache or Hammer :(

Soo thai gayo bhai?
CM


So then why is the IAF spending nearly a billion $ on the 69 MiG-29s? Is the MiG-29UPG upgrade jaw-dropping in terms of avionics/weapons/radar/engine? Can it contend with the other neighbour's fighters or AESA equipped FC-20s? As it stands, both the Mirage-2000-9 and MiG-29UPG will be primarily dedicated to countering the PAF, whereas the longer legged Su-30MKI and MRCA will be aimed at keeping the PLAAF in check.

The MiG-29UPG upgrade is cheaper, but then again, the Fulcrum has always lagged behind the Mirage in terms of reliability of various systems and subsystems, availability and even total airframe life and from the IAF's point of view, that will count since they use these day to day rather than just write about it on internet forums. That article by Georg Mader simply reinforced that- by their second major overhaul, Mirages had no fatigue or airframe cracks whatsoever, indicating just how robust they are. HAL technicians calling it the most reliable and easily maintainable jet in the IAF does tell you something does it not?

Keep one more thing in mind- the IAF has a lot invested already in terms of training for both ground and flight crews as well as HAL technicians in the Mirage-2000. Tomorrow if there is war, the Mirage-2000H/THs will still be the second most important combat jets in the IAF. No one will argue with that. MiG-29 crews haven't done any training in A2G missions and even if the UPG is multi-role it will take a few years to qualify all MiG-29 pilots in A2G operations. Not so for Mirage-2000 pilots where after the Kargil war, the A2G capabilities of the jet were revealed. The Libyan ops showed that even for the RAF, only a total of 4 crews were even A2G qualified despite it having been certified for LGBs more than a year ago.

With the new Digital Terrain Following System along with NVG capability on the 2000-9s, the IAF's air launched nuclear delivery system will become that much more survivable and effective.

If the argument is that for $43 million, more MRCA or Su-30MKI could've been bought then it doesn't take into account how much these will actually cost (both are more than $50 million) or the extra $ the IAF would spend on new training/infrastructure costs for these (converting crews and scrapping Mirage overhaul line and setting up new MRCA/MKI overhaul line to cater for more fighters), not to mention the higher LCC of both over 20-25 years.

Regarding Scalp/Apache/AASM, this was what the ACIG article mentioned
MBDA and Israel’s RAFAEL are also competing to provide the IAF Mirages with new PGM standoff-weapons, MBDA and Sagem are offering AASM PGB while Rafael is offering its 2,000-lb. Spice 2000 guided-bombs.



One more thing- IMO, the arguments being used here will be seen in use later as well with regards to the MRCA- if cost was the only criteria, then the IAF should've gone for the F-16IN, F/A-18IN, MiG-35 or Gripen NG. They would've been cheaper to upgrade over their lives and both the US types and maybe even the Gripen NG would've had a cheaper and wider set of weapons integrated thanks to the USAF bankrolling most of them with huge production runs. Neither the Rafale nor the Typhoon will be cheap to use or upgrade over their lifetimes. I feel that the earlier BRFites forget Russian acquisition costs and get used to costlier EU prices, the better. Their supply chain doesn't work in USD, it works in Euros. And that automatically tilts the cost balance in the US' favour. Our MRCA's are going to be one costly acquisition, so sticker shock will be a common phenomenon.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kartik » 19 Jul 2011 00:21

12 Hungarian MiG-29s will be available for sale soon. Maybe the IAF could buy these for cheap, and upgrade them to MiG-29UPG standards?

Hungary to invite bids for MiG-29s

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Viv S » 19 Jul 2011 03:30

Kartik wrote:So then why is the IAF spending nearly a billion $ on the 69 MiG-29s? Is the MiG-29UPG upgrade jaw-dropping in terms of avionics/weapons/radar/engine? Can it contend with the other neighbour's fighters or AESA equipped FC-20s? As it stands, both the Mirage-2000-9 and MiG-29UPG will be primarily dedicated to countering the PAF, whereas the longer legged Su-30MKI and MRCA will be aimed at keeping the PLAAF in check.


$1.3 billion for 69 aircraft is excellent value for money considering it includes an airframe upgrade, new engines and upgraded avionics. At about $18 million each, its a good buy. No one can claim buying a new aircraft or a second hand aircraft would have provided the IAF with a similar capability at an equivalent or lower price.

The MiG-29UPG upgrade is cheaper, but then again, the Fulcrum has always lagged behind the Mirage in terms of reliability of various systems and subsystems, availability and even total airframe life and from the IAF's point of view, that will count since they use these day to day rather than just write about it on internet forums. That article by Georg Mader simply reinforced that- by their second major overhaul, Mirages had no fatigue or airframe cracks whatsoever, indicating just how robust they are. HAL technicians calling it the most reliable and easily maintainable jet in the IAF does tell you something does it not?


Fair enough. But there still is a major difference. Unlike the MiG-29 upgrade, an alternative to the Mirage is available.

The Tejas Mk2 comes first to mind. Sure it'll be a while before it enters production but then the Mirage upgrade is likely to carry on to 2014-15 as well. Its an attractive option for an aircraft that's to serve past 2025. And then there's the question of the Mirage airframes' ages and the lack of an engine upgrade. The IAF's first batch of Mirages are already 25 years old and should ideally be retired along with Jaguars manufactured in the same era.

In addition the IAF has the option of purchasing used Mirage-2000-9s from UAE which has been looking to offload them to France or elsewhere and trade up for Rafales.
And then of course is the option of buying additional MMRCA aircraft. They'll have a higher acquisition cost but wouldn't have to replace the Mirages on a one-for-one basis.

Since the MiG-29 provides good value, I'm ambivalent about it, but in general one would have liked to have seen all MiGs as well as the Mirage-2000 retired by 2025 with the IAF consolidating on just four types (down from seven today) - Tejas, EF/Rafale, Su-30MKI and the PAK-FA/FGFA.

With the new Digital Terrain Following System along with NVG capability on the 2000-9s, the IAF's air launched nuclear delivery system will become that much more survivable and effective.


In the absence of an ASMP-A type missile how important is nuclear delivery via aircraft? Wouldn't the Brahmos (assuming a nuclear warhead can be adapted for it) or Prithvi or the Nirbhay (in the future) be a better alternative to toss bombing.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby VinodTK » 19 Jul 2011 04:14

India, Germany in talks for joint air exercises
New Delhi: Even as it looks at India as a market for European consortium EADS' Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft, Germany is keen on taking its military cooperation with the country to another level by having joint exercises with the Indian Air Force (IAF).

German Air chief Lt Gen Aarne Kreuzinger-Janick told FE his country was exploring options for an air combat exercise with the IAF in the near future. “We are in talks with India on joint exercises. When the new chief of the IAF, Air Marshal NAK Browne, visits the country in September, joint exercises will be topping the agenda,” said Janick, adding the two sides had already discussed the possibility of joint training.
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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kartik » 19 Jul 2011 04:40

Viv S wrote:$1.3 billion for 69 aircraft is excellent value for money considering it includes an airframe upgrade, new engines and upgraded avionics. At about $18 million each, its a good buy. No one can claim buying a new aircraft or a second hand aircraft would have provided the IAF with a similar capability at an equivalent or lower price.


The point I was making the criticism of the Mirage-2000-9 upgrade not having AESA/IRST/engine upgrades was faulty and that the MiG-29UPG isn't bringing anything to the table that the Mirage-2000-9 upgrade isn't bringing. Yes its cheaper but if cost is the only criteria then WTF are the Rafale and Typhoon doing in the MRCA finals instead of the MiG-35 and F-16IN ?

Airframe overhaul and re-certification for another 20 years (possibly lower on the UPG), engine upgrades to ensure another 20 years of service and upgraded avionics and MSA radar are part of both the packages. The RD-33 engine has a lower MTBO than the M-53 and a lower total life as well. No surprise there that the engine needed to be changed to the RD-33 Series 3.

Fair enough. But there still is a major difference. Unlike the MiG-29 upgrade, an alternative to the Mirage is available.

The Tejas Mk2 comes first to mind. Sure it'll be a while before it enters production but then the Mirage upgrade is likely to carry on to 2014-15 as well. Its an attractive option for an aircraft that's to serve past 2025. And then there's the question of the Mirage airframes' ages and the lack of an engine upgrade. The IAF's first batch of Mirages are already 25 years old and should ideally be retired along with Jaguars manufactured in the same era.

In addition the IAF has the option of purchasing used Mirage-2000-9s from UAE which has been looking to offload them to France or elsewhere and trade up for Rafales.
And then of course is the option of buying additional MMRCA aircraft. They'll have a higher acquisition cost but wouldn't have to replace the Mirages on a one-for-one basis.

Since the MiG-29 provides good value, I'm ambivalent about it, but in general one would have liked to have seen all MiGs as well as the Mirage-2000 retired by 2025 with the IAF consolidating on just four types (down from seven today) - Tejas, EF/Rafale, Su-30MKI and the PAK-FA/FGFA.


Why isn't there an alternative to the MiG-29 upgrade? Use them till their life runs out (which given the original Fulcrum's low TTL of 3000 hours would'nt take much more than a decade for the entire fleet) and divert the saved money ($18 million each unit) towards buying some 20 odd Tejas Mk1 and 50 Tejas Mk2s instead. It may not pay for the entire purchase but at least 70-75% of the total cost of such a Tejas buy.

BTW, HAL has to upgrade nearly 60 MiG-29s on its own. I wouldn't be surprised if they take 6 to 8 years to finish the entire MiG-29 upgrade as well, considering that their upgrade rates will be lower in the first couple of years and slowly ramp up to nearly 12 per year. That would mean the entire Fulcrum fleet won't be upgraded till 2017 to 2019 either.

Regarding the Mirage's airframe aging, please read Georg Mader's article on ACIG. HAL hasn't yet found any fatigue issues with any Mirage that has gone in for their second major overhaul (viz. 24 years old then). And since no Mirage has gone in for second overhaul due to flight hour usage (2000 hrs or 12 yrs between major overhauls) its clear that most of our Mirage fleet has at least a minimum of 2000+ hours left on them (since Mirages have a TTL of 6000 hours). Many will have much more as well. To date, even in the Adl'A (where many older Mirages are near retirement thanks to heavy usage) there hasn't been a single reported issue of any structural faults on the Mirages that have led to them being grounded, or inspected specially. That isn't even the case with F-16s, F/A-18s and F-15s. MiG-29s have had corrosion issues in the tail region in Russia (possibly due to poor storage), but not yet heard of any such issue with the Mirage.

Regarding retiring Mirages with Jags because they belong to the same era- Jag IS and IM's have 3000 hrs TTL. Jag IT's have 6000 hrs TTL. Mirage-2000H/TH both have 6000 hrs TTL. Why on earth would you retire Mirages that still have plenty of juice in their airframe? I mean, a Mirage-2000-5 can give a Tejas Mk1/Mk2 a run for its money, as it can a JF-17 or a F-16 Block 50/52+. There's any number of DACTs conducted in Europe that showed the Mirage-2000-5 was a handful against the latest F-16s.

Plus, there is a whole big cadre of pilots and technicians who've trained on it, know it inside out and don't have to be trained on an all-new aircraft. For them its all about the jump from a -H to a -5.

Consider one more thing- 30% of this deal is being ploughed back into Indian industry through offsets. Unless and until a UAE Mirage-2000-9 purchase is at least 30% cheaper than $43 million per unit (unlikely given the recent vintage of 32 Mirage-2000-9s that were delivered uptil early 2000s and the upgraded 30 Mirage-2000-9s that were delivered uptil 2007) you will end up losing more through a direct purchase of -9s from UAE. Apart from that, there is no -9 available for sale right now. They will become available in a staggered manner once whichever jet the UAE chooses start arriving. Even if the UAE signs up for new F-16 Block 60 or Rafales today, they won't receive them for another 36 months at least. Which means that for another 36 months at least no single -9 will be handed over to a foreign customer. As things stand, we don't know when the UAE will make a decision on its next fighter and the IAF cannot sit twiddling its thumbs waiting for them to make a decision.


With the new Digital Terrain Following System along with NVG capability on the 2000-9s, the IAF's air launched nuclear delivery system will become that much more survivable and effective.


In the absence of an ASMP-A type missile how important is nuclear delivery via aircraft? Wouldn't the Brahmos (assuming a nuclear warhead can be adapted for it) or Prithvi or the Nirbhay (in the future) be a better alternative to toss bombing.[/quote]

That might be so, yet the air-dropped nuke bomb is one of the platforms for the nuclear bomb. Without that reason, why would a Strategic Command want 40 dedicated fighters?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 19 Jul 2011 09:02

Kartik, your comparisons are a bit tangential - I can give you a large number of f-16 upgrades and buys that come much cheaper than the IAF m2k deal. Take a look at the Polish buy (48 new a/c:$3.5bil), PAF upg (60 a/c @ $ 1.3 biln), Taiwan upg (150 a/c: 4.5bln) etc. Sure there is no engine replacement included in such upgrades, but then nor is one in store for the IAF upg. A more relevant comparison is with the options available to us, namely the Israeli one or even better, the LCA mk2. Frankly, I'd rather see a few extra orders for the Tejas - perhaps even an additional line.

As Viv has pointed out, comparing the Vajra upg with the Baaz upg. is a bad idea albeit more pointed. The difference is indeed jawdropping - everything on the Mig-29 is being upgraded: airframe, IFR, payload, int. fuel cap, EW, IRST, engines, radar - you name it. And it will be finished by the time the M2ks start coming in. Keeping in mind Dassault's supply chain issues - it delviered the last m2k-5 in late 2007, the least one observes is that the system is rather inflexible, or perhaps the fr. mentality is. RAC MiG, despite being financially crippled and having far less experience with SMT upgrades, is scheduled to finish the larger upg. within 7 years of signature. All of this, at less than half the price.

Further, by assuming that the Mig-29 and M2k roles will be restricted to PAF, you are limiting IAF options. There is a good chance that they may be used elsewhere and why not?

I understand that the M2k-9 is a formidable platform, and that AESA/IRST integration could be a pain in the rear, but others have done it and are offering such things - definitely food for thought when the price is this high. Whatsmore, the very fact that the M2k unlike the Mig, is expected to serve a lot longer highlights the reason for a higher end upgrade.

as far as the timeline for the UAE upg. for 30 a/c goes, iirc, it also included the delivery of 30 brand new M2k-5s.

While it may seem that I am simply cribbing about the price, let it be known that the decision makers too found this price rather hard to swallow - no wonder the delays in this deal - they had brought it up ages ago. Make no mistake, this is one expensive splurge, and until India suddenly becomes an oil rich sheikdom, expect questions from mango jingos.

In terms of the MRCA, I strongly feel that this is one way to subsidize that cost - can't imagine 126 Rafales or Tiffys coming in @ $ 10.2 billion!

CM
Last edited by Cain Marko on 19 Jul 2011 09:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Singha » 19 Jul 2011 09:25

I wonder if the Mig-29 upg will go on budget or if after deliverting a few kits the Rus will demand extra money to cover new problems and inflation ? :D

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby chackojoseph » 19 Jul 2011 09:39

Cain Marko wrote:In terms of the MRCA, I strongly feel that this is one way to subsidize that cost - can't imagine 126 Rafales or Tiffys coming in @ $ 10.2 billion!

CM


I don't mind if it comes with all access technology transfers, partnership and profits. I don't think we are buying fly away units for that cost.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 19 Jul 2011 09:45

chackojoseph wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:In terms of the MRCA, I strongly feel that this is one way to subsidize that cost - can't imagine 126 Rafales or Tiffys coming in @ $ 10.2 billion!

CM


I don't mind if it comes with all access technology transfers, partnership and profits. I don't think we are buying fly away units for that cost.


CJ, the precedent does not give much hope - no matter where you look. Whether it was Bra or Ned for Fra OR Saudi for the Tiffy, the price is topnotch - well beyond the $ 100 million mark per unit (inclusive of varying amounts of support, weapons etc)

CM.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby chackojoseph » 19 Jul 2011 09:55

Cain Marko wrote:I don't mind if it comes with all access technology transfers, partnership and profits. I don't think we are buying fly away units for that cost.


CJ, the precedent does not give much hope - no matter where you look. Whether it was Bra or Ned for Fra OR Saudi for the Tiffy, the price is topnotch - well beyond the $ 100 million mark per unit (inclusive of varying amounts of support, weapons etc)

CM.[/quote]

Its actually 125 million $ to be quoting certain sources. F-35 to be paltry 65 Million $ in comparission. I am aware of it.

I still want that technology. We can compress so many years of R&D.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 19 Jul 2011 10:48

chackojoseph wrote:Its actually 125 million $ to be quoting certain sources. F-35 to be paltry 65 Million $ in comparission.
Chacko, are you saying Rafale/EF is $125Mil a pop and F-35 is $65Mil a pop???? this is very hard to digest? I don't dispute the $125Mil cost for MMRCA birds as it includes a lot of bells and whistles which IAF wants.
F-35 @ 65Mil is hard to even hear let alone digest...
Wiki aunty says the following...
F-35A: US$122 million (flyaway cost, 2011)
F-35B: US$150M (avg. cost, 2011)
F-35C: US$139.5M (avg. cost, 2011)
Note: Average costs excludes development cos
F-35A weapons system unit cost is US$183.5M (FY 2011)
F-35 If it offered to Desh (in say 5 years) would be more around $160-180Mil a pop assuming today's inflation (excluding weaponry)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 19 Jul 2011 12:37

Singha wrote:I wonder if the Mig-29 upg will go on budget or if after deliverting a few kits the Rus will demand extra money to cover new problems and inflation ? :D


Couldn't resist could you? Anap shanap baatey chodo or shubh-shubh bolo. I hope the Russkis don't read your comment - they'll probly get ideas :evil:

CM

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 19 Jul 2011 12:46

Cain Marko wrote:
Singha wrote:I wonder if the Mig-29 upg will go on budget or if after deliverting a few kits the Rus will demand extra money to cover new problems and inflation ? :D
Couldn't resist could you? Anap shanap baatey chodo or shubh-shubh bolo. I hope the Russkis don't read your comment - they'll probly get ideas :evil: CM

:twisted: As if ruskies need Singha's prodding to play this game... After the Talwar episode, Desh has become wiser in the game... Natasha's played a game in T-90 saga. with the arrest and prosecution the navy guy involved in the Goshkov rip-off, a message has been sent to various quarters... but the bear will still try...

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 19 Jul 2011 12:55

all well n' good, but why tempt fate, no?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 19 Jul 2011 13:28

Cain Marko wrote:all well n' good, but why tempt fate, no?

agreed... I touched wood and rinsed my mouth!!!! :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kartik » 19 Jul 2011 22:19

Cain Marko wrote:Kartik, your comparisons are a bit tangential - I can give you a large number of f-16 upgrades and buys that come much cheaper than the IAF m2k deal. Take a look at the Polish buy (48 new a/c:$3.5bil), PAF upg (60 a/c @ $ 1.3 biln), Taiwan upg (150 a/c: 4.5bln) etc. Sure there is no engine replacement included in such upgrades, but then nor is one in store for the IAF upg. A more relevant comparison is with the options available to us, namely the Israeli one or even better, the LCA mk2. Frankly, I'd rather see a few extra orders for the Tejas - perhaps even an additional line.


CM, its not tangential- its simply looking at the upgrade costs for Thai F-16s which are the same spec as what is there for the PAF versions. PAF upgrade kits may have cost less because some part of it was being paid through military aid. I don't know, but the point is that you can see from that example that what Dassault is charging for upgrading an out-of-production fighter, is not so far off from what LM has charged the Thais. F-16 upgrade kits and F-16s themselves are produced in very large quantities compared to anything that Dassault produces or will produce. Dassault will always remain (along with Saab) an almost boutique type fighter manufacturer thanks to their much lower production runs. Consequently every part produced will be costlier since the costs will be amortized over a very small number of units.

Dassault, quite simply put, is as much a slave to economics as anyone else is. I find it hard to digest the ridiculous insinuations of them being greedy and what not. No manufacturer will deliberately sabotage or endanger its own deals if they could offer a cheaper price. Sometimes it may be pure price tactics but in this case, considering just how long the deal has been in discussions (since 2004-5 or so) it would appear that this is indeed due to the costs associated with re-starting production of parts for a fighter that haven't been in production since 2007.

Regarding the Israeli option- yes, a LUSH type upgrade might have been a possibility, but it wouldn't have been as effective as the -9 upgrade. I mean, a Sea Harrier FA.2 was a much deeper upgrade than the LUSH, and the LUSH didn't involve any airframe upgrades, nor any major cockpit or avionics upgrades. It was just enough to give the SHar a BVR missile and was limited at best. It was upto the IAF to take a call on whether they felt that such an option should be explored but they took the cautious approach of going for an upgrade that they know works fully well. Its not the first time either. the MiG-21 Bison upgrade was also contested by the Israelis as well an offer made for the MiG-27 upgrade. And the MiG-21 Lancer isn't as good an upgrade as the Bison is either. Point being, sometimes the OEM can do a better job than another manufacturer who has limited to no access to design data that might be required.

As Viv has pointed out, comparing the Vajra upg with the Baaz upg. is a bad idea albeit more pointed. The difference is indeed jawdropping - everything on the Mig-29 is being upgraded: airframe, IFR, payload, int. fuel cap, EW, IRST, engines, radar - you name it. And it will be finished by the time the M2ks start coming in. Keeping in mind Dassault's supply chain issues - it delviered the last m2k-5 in late 2007, the least one observes is that the system is rather inflexible, or perhaps the fr. mentality is. RAC MiG, despite being financially crippled and having far less experience with SMT upgrades, is scheduled to finish the larger upg. within 7 years of signature. All of this, at less than half the price.


lets compare the upgrades ok?

Airframe upgrades on the MiG-29 and there are airframe upgrades on the 2000-9 (essentially a souped up 2000-5 Mk2 upgrade) upgrade as well.

the 2000-5 has a re-worked airframe to allow it to carry more MICA missiles (underfuselage hardpoints are added) and there is structural reinforcement to improve fatigue resistance (as stated by Dassault itself). So automatically, a payload increase is there. Also, fuel carried increases, not internally but by using larger wing drop tanks that increase ferry as well as loiter time. the -H/TH couldn't carry those, which reduced its range. Besides which, the undisputable fact is that the Fulcrum was a majorly endurance and range handicapped fighter. The SMT upgrade merely tried to overcome that a bit. the Mirage never had range or endurance as a major handicap.

Adding an IFR probe is not something you need to tout- the fact that the earlier MiG-29s didn't have IFR was something that was a handicap of the earlier Fulcrums, so improving on that doesn't mean that the upgrade was a better one. This wasn't an issue with the Mirage-2000H/TH since they have IFR probes already so in a way they were one leg up on that aspect.

Regarding EW, there is enough material available on what is being added for the -5 upgrades. So here again, there is nothing that the UPG upgrade adds that the -9 upgrade doesn't.

BTW, is a terrain avoidance feature in poor weather conditions present on the UPG upgrade?

Further, by assuming that the Mig-29 and M2k roles will be restricted to PAF, you are limiting IAF options. There is a good chance that they may be used elsewhere and why not?

I understand that the M2k-9 is a formidable platform, and that AESA/IRST integration could be a pain in the rear, but others have done it and are offering such things - definitely food for thought when the price is this high. Whatsmore, the very fact that the M2k unlike the Mig, is expected to serve a lot longer highlights the reason for a higher end upgrade.


I only said that because you were talking about J-10s being there and the -9 not being able to handle it since it has a MSA radar. I merely pointed out that this is the case with the MiG-29UPG as well. Why is it that you only say that about the -9 and not the UPG ?

Besides which, the IAF does clearly base its fighters based on what it expects their area of usage to be. MiG-29s are based near Pakistan and the Mirage is more centrally located, yet the main theater of ops as the IAF would expect them to be used at, is Pakistan specific. That is true today and will not likely change later either. Even the 10 Qatari Mirage-2000-5s that the IAF was negotiating for were to be based at Ambala, clearly illustrating where the IAF felt it's need was greatest.

MiG-29UPG and Mirage-2000-9, alongwith the Tejas Mk1/Mk2 can adequately tackle anything that the PAF has, which frees up the Su-30MKI and the MRCA to deal with PLAAF if need be so. If PLAAF is not a threat, all of them will be used against the PAF, but you would want to use your most long-range and heavy assets to deal with the PLAAF especially when the theater of ops are far from bases.

as far as the timeline for the UAE upg. for 30 a/c goes, iirc, it also included the delivery of 30 brand new M2k-5s.


No. the 30 brand new Mirage-2000-9s were delivered earlier. the -9 upgrades went on longer since 28 of them were to be done at the GAMCO facilities.

While it may seem that I am simply cribbing about the price, let it be known that the decision makers too found this price rather hard to swallow - no wonder the delays in this deal - they had brought it up ages ago. Make no mistake, this is one expensive splurge, and until India suddenly becomes an oil rich sheikdom, expect questions from mango jingos.


Decision makers found other deals also hard to swallow but I won't go into that since it will open a new can of worms. Sometimes, you do get what you paid for. The same questions should've been raised when the Typhoon and Rafale were chosen as the finalists for the MRCA as well. Neither is going to be cheap and maybe you too should get used to that.

In terms of the MRCA, I strongly feel that this is one way to subsidize that cost - can't imagine 126 Rafales or Tiffys coming in @ $ 10.2 billion!

CM


Deals in the works since 2004 don't work on subsidizing an MRCA that wasn't decided back then. They've had the cost issue in negotiations since 2004- are you implying that Dassault and the MoD knew since then that the Rafale was going to be purchased for the MRCA and hence they were subsidizing the cost of the Rafale ?

Besides which, I don't quite understand what you mean by subsidize the cost of the Rafale by buying the -9 upgrade..could you explain further in more detail what you mean?

And why would EADS' Typhoon be subsidized by a -9 upgrade whose money goes to Dassault?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Rakesh » 20 Jul 2011 01:24


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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 20 Jul 2011 05:11

Can the BAE Hawk AJT be used in a combat role? During Aero India it was displayed with some weaponry! But I remember reading that Desh signed an agreement on non-usage for combat! Gurus please weigh in!!!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 20 Jul 2011 05:12

Rakesh wrote:
Rakesh wrote:$1-bn IAF deal for Swiss basic trainers grounded
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/-1-bn-IAF-deal-for-Swiss-basic-trainers-grounded/812680/

Here we go again :roll:

Indian air force sticks with preference for PC-7 Mk II
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/07/19/359583/indian-air-force-sticks-with-preference-for-pc-7-mk-ii.html

Hope we have some closure of deals and get the damn planes, this charade should stop, just like in the MAFI case.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Craig Alpert » 20 Jul 2011 06:00

So now LCA == MIG 29??? :roll:

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 20 Jul 2011 07:07

Craig Alpert wrote:So now LCA == MIG 29??? :roll:

A good one... Actually LCA MK2 == M2K!!! in so many respects... in some respects LCA MK2 WOULD beat M2K

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kartik » 20 Jul 2011 09:28

Craig Alpert wrote:So now LCA == MIG 29??? :roll:


whom was that directed at?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 20 Jul 2011 09:39

Kartik wrote:
Craig Alpert wrote:So now LCA == MIG 29??? :roll:

whom was that directed at?

ACM Naik I presume!!!! just kidding

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby chackojoseph » 20 Jul 2011 12:12

Shrinivasan wrote:
chackojoseph wrote:Its actually 125 million $ to be quoting certain sources. F-35 to be paltry 65 Million $ in comparission.
Chacko, are you saying Rafale/EF is $125Mil a pop and F-35 is $65Mil a pop???? this is very hard to digest? I don't dispute the $125Mil cost for MMRCA birds as it includes a lot of bells and whistles which IAF wants.
F-35 @ 65Mil is hard to even hear let alone digest...
Wiki aunty says the following...
F-35A: US$122 million (flyaway cost, 2011)
F-35B: US$150M (avg. cost, 2011)
F-35C: US$139.5M (avg. cost, 2011)
Note: Average costs excludes development cos
F-35A weapons system unit cost is US$183.5M (FY 2011)
F-35 If it offered to Desh (in say 5 years) would be more around $160-180Mil a pop assuming today's inflation (excluding weaponry)


You are right. But Pls read this

Lockheed claims that the basic F-35 could cost as low as $ 65 million, which is cheaper than the $ 85 million for the fourth generation French Rafale and the $ 125 million also for the fourth generation Eurofighter Typhoon, the two aircraft remaining in the MMRCA competition.

"It sounds difficult for me to understand that it will cost only 10-15 million more that the F-16 or F-18," Ahluwalia said.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby narayana » 20 Jul 2011 15:34

Shrinivasan wrote:Can the BAE Hawk AJT be used in a combat role? During Aero India it was displayed with some weaponry! But I remember reading that Desh signed an agreement on non-usage for combat! Gurus please weigh in!!!


yep,They can be used,i dont think we signed any agreement on non-usage for combat! but there was some opposition from Brits that they can be used to deliver nukes also.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Will » 20 Jul 2011 15:59

narayana wrote:
Shrinivasan wrote:Can the BAE Hawk AJT be used in a combat role? During Aero India it was displayed with some weaponry! But I remember reading that Desh signed an agreement on non-usage for combat! Gurus please weigh in!!!


yep,They can be used,i dont think we signed any agreement on non-usage for combat! but there was some opposition from Brits that they can be used to deliver nukes also.


An example of halfbaked superior mentality by white skins. Why would India use the Hawk of nuclear delivery when it has so many other better options?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Bala Vignesh » 20 Jul 2011 16:08

Narayana sir,
Hawks to deliver nukes?? You are not confusing it with the Jaguar, right??? Cause, AFAIK, its insanity to use a trainer to deliver nukes when better aircrafts are available with us for that.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby eklavya » 20 Jul 2011 16:46

Shrinivasan wrote:Can the BAE Hawk AJT be used in a combat role? During Aero India it was displayed with some weaponry! But I remember reading that Desh signed an agreement on non-usage for combat! Gurus please weigh in!!!


Where did you read about the non-usage for combat? Please provide a source. Otherwise its just idle speculatiion ...

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby shukla » 20 Jul 2011 16:58

CAE-130 J Simulators Soon in Hindon; Paris Air Show 2011

SP's: Could you give an update on the C-130J simulator programme?
Chris: Currently, CAE is building the C-130J simulator under subcontract with Lockheed Martin and will be delivering the simulator in the fall of this year at Hindon airbase. It will be ready for training in February 2012. We were put under contract in June 2009 and now the final integration testing programme is on at the CAE plant in Tampa Florida, US. It will be packed and shipped in October and installed at Hindon where again it would undergo testing.

SP's: Do you stipulate how long the training programme by the IAF has to be?
Chris: We do not stipulate. It is for the Indian Air Force to decide on the duration of the training programme-how much time in the classroom, in the simulator and in an aircraft. We are simulating the aircraft to the highest fidelity and the IAF tells us what needs to be simulated-it could be avionics, weapon systems, etc.

SP's: How is the joint venture with HAL progressing?
Chris: We have delivered and qualified a second cockpit for the Dhruv (civil variant) simulator at the helicopter training centre in the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Currently, the simulator features cockpits for two different helicopter types-Bell 412 and the Dhruv civil variant. We have two more in development, for the Eurocopter Dauphin and the Army and the Navy variants of the Dhruv. There are a lot of opportunities on the rotary wing side as India is acquiring additional helicopters. We are looking at additional capacities with HAL for other helicopter types. Also India is acquiring the P-8I aircraft and we are looking at potential opportunities with Boeing on simulation for that. CAE is already under subcontract in the US for P-8I simulators. If the Indian Navy decides, then it will be a logical choice. India is contemplating more maritime helicopters. Two of the contenders, I believe are NH19 and S70 Seahawk. We are as such doing the NH19 naval variant for the Netherlands and Italy and we have simulators for S70 Seahawk in the US.

SP's: What about combat aircraft. Do you have any programmes?
Chris: CAE is one of the owners of Eurofighter simulation systems in Germany. CAE has had a role in developing the synthetic environment software and also the visual systems. CAE has a product called Medallion 6000 visual system that is used on the Eurofighter. Should it win the medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal, there is potential for CAE to continue the simulation role.

SP's: Considering the Indian defence acquisitions, what kind of numbers are you looking at for various training solutions?
Chris: It is really hard to say...different militaries have different balance between synthetic and live training. We believe the future holds more for synthetic training because of the compelling financial benefits it brings and the kind of training it would do. You wouldn't go in a real aircraft and do an engine fire...safety would be compromised in live training...for those kind of reasons simulation is ideal. The other reason is the cost effectiveness of simulation. It costs one-tenth of training as compared to flying in an aircraft for an hour. Sometimes it may be less for a light utility helicopter and over one-tenth for a combat aircraft. We see a trend globally for militaries to increase the use of synthetic training. India has started seeing the value of simulation training. At the HAL training centre, many defence personnel come for high-fidelity simulation training. We think India is a market which will adopt simulation faster than they have in the past.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby narayana » 20 Jul 2011 17:10

Bala Vignesh wrote:Narayana sir,
Hawks to deliver nukes?? You are not confusing it with the Jaguar, right??? Cause, AFAIK, its insanity to use a trainer to deliver nukes when better aircrafts are available with us for that.


Vignesh garu,i didnt say that india will use Hawks to deliver nukes,i only said that there was some opposition in britain on sale of AC as they can be used to deliver nukes,and the region is already armed and highly volatile

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 20 Jul 2011 20:33

chackojoseph wrote:You are right. But..
Lockheed claims that the basic F-35 could cost as low as $ 65 million, which is cheaper than the $ 85 million for the fourth generation French Rafale and the $ 125 million also for the fourth generation Eurofighter Typhoon, the two aircraft remaining in the MMRCA competition.
"It sounds difficult for me to understand that it will cost only 10-15 million more that the F-16 or F-18," Ahluwalia said.
Which is why they are called DDM!!! did they even do a CURSORY check of how much would a JSF cost? NO. even the cost for US DOD is wahy more than $65M, today (today's $s, today inflation levels and today order #s) all these numbers CAN MOVE only in the wrong direction. I don't want to beat a dead horse. Incidentally I see no mention of JSF or MMRCA by Sec Clinton in any forum.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 20 Jul 2011 20:48

eklavya wrote:
Shrinivasan wrote:Can the BAE Hawk AJT be used in a combat role? During Aero India it was displayed with some weaponry! But I remember reading that Desh signed an agreement on non-usage for combat! Gurus please weigh in!!!
Where did you read about the non-usage for combat? Please provide a source. Otherwise its just idle speculatiion ...
Sorry, the context was different. It was quoted by a DDM based on BAE's commitment and British policy regarding INDONESIA. here is the complete text
A military spokesman did not rule out the Hawks being used to attack suspected rebel positions. "Sure. They could well be used [in a direct attack role] if we wanted to," said Lieutenant Colonel Firdaus Kormano. "But we haven't decided to do that yet."
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said Britain had not received any reports of Hawks being used offensively, but would "obviously take [any reports] extremely seriously".
"Senior members of the Indonesian government and the military have repeatedly promised that British-supplied equipment would not be used offensively or in violation of human rights anywhere in Indonesia," the spokeswoman said, warning that future export licenses could come under threat if the reports were substantiated.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 20 Jul 2011 21:10

narayana wrote:
Bala Vignesh wrote:Narayana sir,
Hawks to deliver nukes?? You are not confusing it with the Jaguar, right??? Cause, AFAIK, its insanity to use a trainer to deliver nukes when better aircrafts are available with us for that.
Vignesh garu,i didnt say that india will use Hawks to deliver nukes,i only said that there was some opposition in britain on sale of AC as they can be used to deliver nukes,and the region is already armed and highly volatile
Are you joking, Hawks can probably carry a WVR missile (at best) and maybe a rocket pod, definitely not a nuclear device.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby NRao » 20 Jul 2011 21:13

Shrinivasan wrote:
narayana wrote: Vignesh garu,i didnt say that india will use Hawks to deliver nukes,i only said that there was some opposition in britain on sale of AC as they can be used to deliver nukes,and the region is already armed and highly volatile
Are you joking, Hawks can probably carry a WVR missile (at best) and maybe a rocket pod, definitely not a nuclear device.


Just that THAT memo had not reached those who had opposed the Hawks sales, to India, in the UK.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby chackojoseph » 20 Jul 2011 21:28

Shrinivasan wrote: Which is why they are called DDM!!! did they even do a CURSORY check of how much would a JSF cost? NO. even the cost for US DOD is wahy more than $65M, today (today's $s, today inflation levels and today order #s) all these numbers CAN MOVE only in the wrong direction. I don't want to beat a dead horse. Incidentally I see no mention of JSF or MMRCA by Sec Clinton in any forum.


Sorry, the news is not DDM. If they said 'Lockheed claims,' then its Lockhedd which said it.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shrinivasan » 20 Jul 2011 22:17

NRao wrote:
Shrinivasan wrote:Are you joking, Hawks can probably carry a WVR missile (at best) and maybe a rocket pod, definitely not a nuclear device.
Just that THAT memo had not reached those who had opposed the Hawks sales, to India, in the UK.
The same UK which released a Libyan Terrorist who was a key accused (convicted to boot) in the Lockerbie-PanAm bombing. They'll d anything to prop-up the Pakee pigs... Imagine what the rhetoric would be if Britain were selling this to Bhakshees-than. no wonder BRfities call it UKisthan!!!


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