Indian Military Aviation

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Singha » 06 Jan 2012 10:26

@40 mil/M2kupg and 100mil/MKI we would have got 20 new MKIs for the price but the IAF must have correctly calculated they could beat more MKIs later out of the FinMin anyway with established production line going empty after 2018, so better to use the M2K infra fully rather than throw away by 2020.
opex is also cheaper with 1 pilot and 1 engine.

ideally I would have liked to see the $2b allocated to producing more Tejas Mk1 and 2 though...with just a limited radar, ew upg to M2K for $12 mil a pop + the Mica deal.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kartik » 06 Jan 2012 11:26

Cain Marko wrote:
One thing to note is that Russian tweaks and improvements to the R77 (or any of their AAMs for that matter), are not very well covered in open source. The idea that the R77 does not have lofted trajectory is still making rounds, however, I recall quite distinctly that Pit (remember him?) had posted a source stating that it does in fact have the same in a discussion with JCage.

Russki AAMs are not well covered - we have the same info about R77 since the early 90s - I for one doubt that things have just remained the same over such a long period. I think a lot of trouble shooting had already happened by the time the IAF got theirs. And it remains IAF's most potent BVR weapon.


I get that- there may have been some improvements, but the missiles that Austin was talking about are the RVV-SD and MD, not iterative improvements on the existing RVV-AE. Since we've not purchased them, there's no point talking about how good they may be as opposed to the MICA which we are purchasing. Regarding lofted trajectory, I've read way too many reports that indicate that the R-77 doesn't have lofted trajectory..Karan M says it does, and he's a trusted source so I'll not raise that point again.

As far as long range launches are concerned - a video showed MKI drivers launching the R27 at "insane" ranges - go figure. I think tactics play an important role here and kinematic advantages cannot be easily dismissed.


there is no doubt that launching a missile at a long range puts the target on the defensive (assuming they detected the launch with their RWR or MAWS), and in a sense mission kill can sometimes be as good as a win. But, that alone doesn't mean that the MICA isn't a great missile. Getting positive ID against a target (even with IFF) is not as easy as it sounds and is especially true during a war when fighter formations may be ingressing or egressing from a particular area and may be mistaken for being enemy fighters at a long range before a positive ID is established.

As far as the R-27 itself goes, its almost an obsolete missile for most practical purposes, on the same level as the R-530D which is going to retire when the MICA's enter service.

Quite frankly, this deal for $ 4.5 billion is not convincing based on open source reports so far. The argument that OEM upgraded M2ks are way better than IAI/HAL upgrades is not well supported, at least not enough to justify such a sticker. The western front will at best provide a Block 52 type threat, and the MiG-29UPG, and similarly equipped 4/+ gen fighters should be more than up to the task - including Bisons, MKI, LUSH type Mirages.


Depends on whom you speak to. There are plenty who aren't convinced by the IAF's arguments for eliminating the F/A-18 and the Gripen from the MRCA competition.

The issue was that the Mirages were till recently the IAF's prime fighters. They were a costly acquisition but they proved their worth. the IAF possibly didn't want to risk a non Dassault/Thales upgrade with the attendant risks of the results not being satisfactory.

IAI's MiG-29 'Sniper' upgrade for instance, was not as extensive as the SMT upgrade that Russia offered. It may have been even cheaper than the UPG upgrade we settled for eventually but it in main didn't solve 2 of the most vexing issues with the original Fulcrum (apart from its lack of multi-role capability) and those were the range and engine issues since it didn't feature a dorsal strap on tank or IFR probe or a new engine. the SMT upgrade did those. It didn't really even address the radar issue that the SMT/UPG did with the Zhuk-M2E. yeah, now possibly they could've replaced the older N011M with the Elta-2032 and done more, but its all a lot riskier than an existing proven upgrade like the SMT was.

Another Israeli upgrade, the LUSH SHar was a limited upgrade that tackled just a specific issue- the lack of BVR capability on the SHars and didn't really address a host of other issues with the type because frankly they had very little life left in them, making it not worth investing too much on them. That isn't the case with the Mirages, which will outlast the MiG-29s by a decade at the very least and probably more (since their airframes are so damn sturdy as Georg Mair's visit to HAL proved).

And the MiG-21-93 upgrade (on which our Bison's are based) was also far better than the Israeli-Aerostar MiG-21 Lancer upgrade, bestowing genuine BVR and multi-role capability to a fighter that was getting really outdated.

The point being that the Mirage-2000-5 upgrade is a proven, in service upgrade that has no risks whatsoever. the ICMS Mk4 is an improvement over the existing version- the RDY3 is an improvement over the existing RDY2..

And these -5's aren't to be taken lightly- the IAF knows that first hand since it's had multiple exercises against the RDY equipped French Mirage-2000s that thrashed ours at BVR (one of the IAF's first tastes of BVR engagements with a foreign AF). French Mirage-2000-5s have faced off against the Su-30MKIs and are generally regarded as being very capable in the air-air role.

And for the nth time I'm repeating - the IAF has the infrastructure and the experience with the type that is invaluable in reality. Plus the Mirages have been a reliable type with high serviceability rates and no sane force will let such a valueable asset just wither away because a cheaper but riskier and unproven vendor is tempting them with cheaper wares. Even the USAF is now looking for a major upgrade for a large portion of its F-16C fleet rather than just retiring them prematurely because they'd be hopelessly outdated.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby prabhug » 06 Jan 2012 11:34

how is this light fixed wings better than helicopters in CAS

http://defensetech.org/2011/12/31/embraer-wins-usafs-light-attack-contest/

Looks like khan has chosen one

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Viv S » 06 Jan 2012 12:03

Karan M wrote:ViVS,

IMA on the other hand was a way for the Americans to basically centralize all the processing activities at one LRU (with another as hot standby). The advantages of this were straightforward - avoid the duplication of processing resources at multiple locations and also, create a single version of the truth where BITE could be employed to fix and localize faults, and also enable easy upgrades. Basically, multiple OS or sensor specific software running on a software platform able to handle these (think of OS emulation on another OS) and the hardware being of one common standard would be another plus. So what does centralize the processing mean. Think of the amount of processing in each sensor today. The radar has signal processors & then data processors. Similar processors for the ESM. Then all the processors running different functions in the Mission Computer, Air Data sensors, Flight Control Computer, Weapons Management Computer (which usually sits on the weapons bus & is connected to the Mission Computer) etc etc. IMA is a method to put all of these in one place, standardize the hardware, and also minimize the signal lag which often occurs in different sensors having to send all their data to another sensor. So if the radar's processing fucntions we split from it and put in the MDPU - that would be IMA. Not as it stands today.



Thanks a lot. That was succinctly put and very enlightening.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Aditya_V » 06 Jan 2012 12:03

Austin wrote:CM , there is a TINA factor , you cant integrate any thing in there with M2K except MICA ..... cant help much.

I really do not think having a IIR seeker in BVR missile is useful to the extent it is advertised , we would have easily seen a AIM-120 with a FPA seeker or R-77 with a 2 color seeker by now , I think the problem with any IIR system is its all weather capability and lacking long range lock on ranges to the extent where it would allow the host aircraft to slip out , RF being preferred choice here.


Don't forget the R27 ET in Service. May be thats why we continue to large amounts of R-27 in serivice, can anybody confirm number IR versions of R-27 in service. These are supposed to be semi-active missile launched in BVR with IIR seeker and lock on when 15km from the target. MICA seems to have borrowed this concept.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby nachiket » 06 Jan 2012 12:59

The R-27ET has a plain IR seeker though not an Imaging infrared seeker that the MICA-IR does.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby nachiket » 06 Jan 2012 13:01

Kartik wrote:.... It didn't really even address the radar issue that the SMT/UPG did with the Zhuk-M2E. yeah, now possibly they could've replaced the older N011M with the Elta-2032 and done more, but its all a lot riskier than an existing proven upgrade like the SMT was.


Just a nitpick. The N011M is the MKI's Bars radar. The Mig-29 has the N019 Sapfir-29 radar.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Austin » 06 Jan 2012 13:03

Aditya_V wrote:Don't forget the R27 ET in Service. May be thats why we continue to large amounts of R-27 in serivice, can anybody confirm number IR versions of R-27 in service. These are supposed to be semi-active missile launched in BVR with IIR seeker and lock on when 15km from the target. MICA seems to have borrowed this concept.


The R27ET has IR seeker and not IIR seeker , the Soviet Doctrine was to fire R-27ER1 and ET simultanously at the target , while the first was SARH the latter was IR , the idea was to increase the probability that the target may find it difficult to jam both the SARH and IR seeker simultanously or in worst case may not be even aware that IR missile is at its tail. Plus it was suplemented by a large 39 kg rod type warhead and its USP was its energy.

I think the reason why MICA has a IIR warhead along with RF warhead is becuase its a dual role missile with with single type universal missile , the IIR warhead would be preffered for WVR or Near WVR engagement , the RF warhead is for BVR types.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Austin » 06 Jan 2012 16:07

Just wondering if the amount we are spending on Rafalising the M2K and buying huge numbers of MICA , is just shape of things to come and we have already decided on Rafale as MMRCA winner.... Atleast the logistics part of it is shaping up and the amount we are spending also means huge amount of cross-subsidy for any future Rafale weapons buy . JMT.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby neerajb » 06 Jan 2012 16:21

We are on 101th page :)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby shukla » 06 Jan 2012 19:30

The never ending story...

India completes more air refueling trials

NEW DELHI, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- India's air force has completed more trials of an EADS Airbus 330 and an Ilyushin 78 air-to-air refueling aircraft as part of its latest attempt to purchase six planes, likely for around $2 billion. The capability assessment at Gwalior Air Base in north central India followed trials in Spain and Russia in July, a report by the Indian news Web site Rediff.com said.

The latest tender for a Multi-role Tanker Transport was reissued in September 2010, nine months after a similar MRTT contract featuring the same two tankers for around $1.06 billion was stopped. India's finance ministry questioned the value for money offered during the previous tender issued in 2006. A major issue was the fact that the air force already operates six of the four-engine IL-78 tankers bought in 2004.

The Finance Ministry argued that buying more Ilyushins would be cheaper. Despite this, the air force chose the Airbus 330 over the Il-78 in 2009. But the Finance Ministry quashed the deal in early 2010, saying a re-tender was needed using better procurement processes and assessment methods. The Gwalior trials had the planes refueling Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000H and MiG-29 aircraft operated by the Indian air force, the Rediff report said. Sealed bids from Airbus and Ilyushin will be opened later this year.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Gurneesh » 06 Jan 2012 20:09

^^^^ Mig29 ???

Are they talking about Mig29K's or do some of the IAF 29's also have IFR ?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Mihir » 06 Jan 2012 21:46

prabhug wrote:how is this light fixed wings better than helicopters in CAS

http://defensetech.org/2011/12/31/embraer-wins-usafs-light-attack-contest/

Looks like khan has chosen one


Not quite. There are essentially two "types" of CAS, with different kinds of aircraft being suited to each type.

One is short-range interdiction, where you need to hit enemy assets that are immediately behind the front-line, like short-range artillery or reserve troops. The other is direct support of ground forces where you attack the enemy being directly engaged by them.

Fixed-wing aircraft perform better in the former role, given that they carry greater weapons loads and are less vulnerable to enemy air defences. Attack helicopters, on the other hand, are inherently better suited to the latter -- their ability to hover and see the battlefield better (helps in identifying and discriminating targets better and laying accurate fire on them), and essentially be available to provide fire support whenever required (fixed wing aircraft have to be called and take time to arrive on station) confers several advantages on helicopters in this case.

The Super Tucano comes across as being neither here nor there in your typical CAS scenario in a conventional conflict. It is designed to be a counter-insurgency aircraft and is not really suitable for battlefield CAS. Either way, I'm not too sure about the suitability of aircraft (whether fixed or rotary) for counter-insurgency.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby ramana » 06 Jan 2012 22:32

Can someone explain the avionics chart of the proposed Mirage upgrade? The acronyms and functions and the milestones. Thanks, ramana


Image

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kartik » 06 Jan 2012 23:18

nachiket wrote:
Kartik wrote:.... It didn't really even address the radar issue that the SMT/UPG did with the Zhuk-M2E. yeah, now possibly they could've replaced the older N011M with the Elta-2032 and done more, but its all a lot riskier than an existing proven upgrade like the SMT was.


Just a nitpick. The N011M is the MKI's Bars radar. The Mig-29 has the N019 Sapfir-29 radar.


I stand corrected. Thanks, that was a brain fade moment.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kartik » 06 Jan 2012 23:22

Gurneesh wrote:^^^^ Mig29 ???

Are they talking about Mig29K's or do some of the IAF 29's also have IFR ?


that might be an error in reporting. the IAF's MiG-29s don't have IFR as yet (not till the MiG-29UPG arrives and they haven't as yet). It could be the IN's MiG-29Ks, but one can't say for sure.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby shukla » 07 Jan 2012 05:06


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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby GeorgeWelch » 08 Jan 2012 13:50

shukla wrote:
The Gwalior trials had the planes refueling Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000H and MiG-29 aircraft operated by the Indian air force, the Rediff report said. Sealed bids from Airbus and Ilyushin will be opened later this year.


Now that both the P-8I and C-17 have been ordered, wouldn't it make sense to require a boom too?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Viv S » 08 Jan 2012 16:26

GeorgeWelch wrote:Now that both the P-8I and C-17 have been ordered, wouldn't it make sense to require a boom too?


There are some 500 fighter aircraft and 6 C-130Js that use probe-and-drogue systems, with more on their way. It would simpler to adapt the C-17s, already a long ranged aircraft, with probes, assuming that hasn't been developed already (its in service with half a dozen other air forces incl. RAF, RCAF, RAAF and UAEAF). The P-8I being a variant of a USN aircraft will in all probability already be equipped for probe-and-drogue systems.
Last edited by Viv S on 08 Jan 2012 16:47, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby maitya » 08 Jan 2012 16:43

ramana wrote:Can someone explain the avionics chart of the proposed Mirage upgrade? The acronyms and functions and the milestones. Thanks, ramana


Image

Ramana-ji,
A quick details of the avionics in this Mirage upgrade are detailed in some of mine and Kartik's old post - one of it is here
Mirage Upgrade - old post.

Sorry, it's kind of post-within-posts spaghetti, but most of the details should be there.

What is interesting in this chart is the plan to replace MDPU with HAL supplied CAC (must be an upgrade to the one used in MiG-27 and Jaguar upgrades) as a part of FOC - surprising since, the MDPU (borrowed from Rafale) is, IMO of course, one of the most important piece of sub-system (thus must be contributing quite a bit to the upgrade cost as well) that this upgrade is centered around. Plus of course this is something that "ties" all the type of susbsystems together (basically a Mission Computer with all the display algorithms and controller software also added to it).

Either way, it'd have been nice if somebody like Dileep cares to create a small write-up on these stuff - but, we rarely see him nowadays (except for the Spy stories, which are awesome, I must say and personally wait for them eagerly) on technical discussions.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Viv S » 08 Jan 2012 17:12

ramana wrote:Can someone explain the avionics chart of the proposed Mirage upgrade? The acronyms and functions and the milestones. Thanks, ramana


Don't know about the milestones. Can list out most of the acronyms though -

HMDS - Helmet Mounted Display System
CMDS - Counter Measure Dispersion/Dispensing System
LDP - Laser Designation Pod
ACMI - Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation
MC - Mission Computer
MDPU - Modular Data Processing Unit
AIB - ... no idea (anyone?) (Advanced Interference Blanker?)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Indranil » 09 Jan 2012 00:10

Did not know where else to post this ... so doing it here.

Q 1) It is very interesting to see '51' printed on the tail number of the second prototype. This was not the case earlier ... anybody see any reason for this other than too much vodka?
Before:
Image
After:
Image

Q 2) What is the IAF IL-76 doing in the background?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Anurag » 09 Jan 2012 00:30

Good catch on the Gajraj!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby prahaar » 09 Jan 2012 00:51

Can the 52/51 mix up be a routine spare replacement?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby NRao » 09 Jan 2012 01:01

What is the IAF IL-76 doing in the background?


IAF returned the IL-76 due to a lack of spares and applied for a refund? :mrgreen:

Just my guess.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kartik » 09 Jan 2012 01:45

Indranil, it's this Il-76MD of the IAF after undergoing an overhual in Russia

Image

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby GeorgeWelch » 09 Jan 2012 02:07

Viv S wrote:It would simpler to adapt the C-17s, already a long ranged aircraft, with probes


How is starting a new development program simpler than buying an off-the-shelf tanker that already supports both?

Viv S wrote:assuming that hasn't been developed already (its in service with half a dozen other air forces incl. RAF, RCAF, RAAF and UAEAF).


It hasn't been developed and there are no such plans to develop it.

Viv S wrote:The P-8I being a variant of a USN aircraft will in all probability already be equipped for probe-and-drogue systems.


Nope

http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=37155

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Indranil » 09 Jan 2012 03:26

Kartik, I was also guessing that ... but I don't remember the timelines of the overhaul ... are they still going on?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby ramana » 09 Jan 2012 04:30

Thanks Maitya. Its very informative. So by IOC, the MDPU linked packages should be working. By FOC the HAL MC and the rest should be working. Crucially the weapon release packages are working by IOC itself.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Prasad » 09 Jan 2012 05:44

A sort of basic question. What is that intake like thing at the wing root ?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Singha » 09 Jan 2012 09:26

my theory - air intake for APU to run stuff like hydraulic ramp and interior lights/fans when engines are shut down on ground. the APU could be in the hump area above the wing root box.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby George J » 09 Jan 2012 11:02

Viv S wrote:...........AIB - ... no idea (anyone?) (Advanced Interference Blanker?)


AIB=Adaptable Interface Boards

The rest is googlable. Look for MOOG.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Austin » 09 Jan 2012 12:11

Quite unusual , russian defence website carries one of the news as "Pros and Cons of M2K and Mig-29 Upgrade" as dissussed in BRF , some statement made by members on the forum are posted in the news. ( use translator )

http://vpk.name/news/63011_plyusyi_i_mi ... e2000.html

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby VinayG » 09 Jan 2012 12:18

http://vpk.name/news/63011_plyusyi_i_minusyi_modernizacii_indiiskih_istrebitelei_mig29_i_mirage2000.html




Translated to english
Pros and cons of upgrading India's MiG-29s and Mirage-2000

The Forum of Indian military portal bharat-rakshak.com deployed heated discussion about the pros and cons of upgrading the MiG-29UPG (63 cars, 964 million contract value U.S. $) and Mirage-2000 (51 aircraft, the contract 1.47 billion euros, or about 2 billion U.S. dollars). Here are of some interest statements forum visitors.

... MiG-29 initially has structural deficiencies, in particular, the RD-33 has a lower service life and reliability than the turbofan M53R2 fighter Mirage-2000. Replacing the engine MiG is not provided. It has been suggested as to why "we (Indians) do not insist on equipping MiG-29UPG RD-33 modification with variable thrust vectoring, which essentially would increase the maneuverability of fighters?". Currently, no one MiG-29UPG not put the Indian Air Force, although the contract was signed in 2008. Modernization of the last aircraft to be completed in 2016 (work will last 8 years). The contract for the modernization of the "Mirage" was signed in 2011, for completion by 2021 (ie the period of execution of a contract 9-10 years). Resource upgraded MiGs will be increased to 3500 hours, "Mirage" at 6000 hours, from which it is concluded that the economic modernization of the French fighters preferred. Provides information that engineers Aircraft Corporation HAL, reading the glider "Mirage 2000", described it as "a hell of a sound."

Upgraded "Mirage 2000" will receive a so-called integrated modular avionics IMA (integrated modular avionics), which now, according to one of the participants are equipped with only three types of aircraft in the world - F-22, Rafale and Boeing 787. For comparison, he says, avionics MiG-29UPG will be based on the old 486-series, since the use of more modern processors have been considered "risky", the old radar NO11M will be replaced by "Beetle-M2E." Avionics, based on the principle of IMA, has a much higher performance, since it allows to update the information of sensors in real time. It is concluded that a modernized "Mirage 2000" will have "brains" Rafale ".

As for weapons, the possibility of new Russian missiles R-77SD (weight 175 kg, range up to 80 km) are recognized more rapidly than the French UR MICA (weight 112 kg, range 60 km). It is assumed that R-77SD can be cheaper than the French rocket. At the same time, estimates that the range of 80 km can be realized only when intercepting bombers and transport planes. The actual range in aerial combat between fighter aircraft does not exceed 40-60 km. At the same time, one user claims that the upgraded MiG will not receive new missiles, their arsenal will remain the same - SD RVV-AE (R-77) and F-73E. Shows that the R-77 suffered from deficiencies such as rocket engine switches off before the scheduled time, resulting in the final portion of the flight path of SD lost its flexibility and power.

"Mirage 2000" in the future should receive SD with Meteor ramjet (production of the European company MBDA), but it is rumored that the price of the missile can reach up to 2 million GBP (3.2 million U.S. dollars) apiece, which is considered by the forum as "exorbitant."

P.S. It became known yesterday, the Indian government to modernize the Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft approved funding for additional contract for the purchase of 500 missiles MICA air battle worth 950 million euros (1.3 billion U.S. dollars, or approximately 2.4 million dollars per missile).

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Austin » 09 Jan 2012 12:26

I now remember some of the statements can be attributed to tsarkar and kartik :)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Austin » 09 Jan 2012 21:50

Seems we have a big UAV/Missile deal in making with Israel

Israel wins big arms contract

According to Israeli radio, an unnamed Asian country is procuring $1.1bn worth of Israeli-made missiles and reconnaissance drones.

The press is calling attention to the current visit by the Indian Foreign Minister Somanahalli Krishna and speculating that the unnamed country is India.

(TASS)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby NRao » 09 Jan 2012 22:12

Singha wrote:my theory - air intake for APU to run stuff like hydraulic ramp and interior lights/fans when engines are shut down on ground. the APU could be in the hump area above the wing root box.


The APU (googled stuff) is in the left landing housing. Perhaps the little opening one can see in the picture.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Indranil » 09 Jan 2012 22:40

Yes and the wing join houses fuel tanks.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Kartik » 10 Jan 2012 00:03

indranilroy wrote:Kartik, I was also guessing that ... but I don't remember the timelines of the overhaul ... are they still going on?


Indranil, I don't know what the timelines are, but this article on IAF from IndiaStrategic states that


Air Chief Marshal Naik disclosed that the IL 76s, first acquired in April 1985, are also under life extension under a contract with Russia. “The life extension of IL-76 aircraft would involve complete overhaul of airframe at the vendor’s premises in Russia… The first aircraft has already been positioned and the servicing has commenced. Various other upgrades would be executed in India. Post-servicing, the aircraft would be available to us for more than 10 years,” he said.


This was in August 2010, approximately 1.5 years ago.

The Il-76MD upgrade is given in a bit more detail here
link to Tribune article


Chandigarh, March 24
The IL-76 heavy lift aircraft in the IAF service are to be retrofitted with an advanced avionics package which will remove certain restrictions imposed upon them on international air routes and certain domestic routes. The upgradation will be done in Russia.

Sources reveal that the IL-76 aircraft are to be fitted with a Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) suite. This is a mandatory requirement if aircraft are to fly above 29,000 feet. The suite will be retrofitted when the aircraft are sent to Russia for major overhaul.

"A number of IL-76 aircraft are due for major overhaul," an officer said "The Ministry of Defence is finalising the matter with Russian firms," he added. The last time an IL-76 returned from Russia after major overhaul was in 2003.

IAF officers said the vertical separation between two aircraft flying above 29,000 feet had been reduced from 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet by the international aviation consortium to cater to the high density of air traffic. For this, it is mandatory for aircraft to be equipped with the RVSM suite. The suite is highly accurate and gives a warning for every 300 feet change in altitude.

Though the new generation civilian aircraft being operated by Indian commercial operators are equipped with the RVSM suite, no IAF transport aircraft is equipped to fly above 29,000 feet as per international norms. Even the IAF's latest acquisition, the IL-78 aerial refullers, are without this equipment.

Restriction to attitudes below 30,000 feet results in consumption of more fuel, lesser true airspeed and longer flying time. Sources said even when the IAF contingent went to Alaska for multinational exercises, they were flying at 28,000 feet. As a result, officers estimated that the aircraft's efficiency was about 20 per cent lower that what would have been at an higher altitude.

The overhaul cycle for one IL-76 takes about six to eight months. Given the significant size of the IAF's IL-76/78 fleet and the time consumed, it could be some years before the complete fleet is equipped with the RVSM suite.

The monochrome weather radar of the IL-76 are being replaced with colour weather radar. Officers said the new radar would be indigenous. Recently, a few IL-76 aircraft in the IAF were also equipped with the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCASS). Though the IAF had formulated a policy a few years ago to equip all transport aircraft with the TCASS system, little progress has been made so far.

Last edited by Kartik on 10 Jan 2012 00:43, edited 1 time in total.

Indranil
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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Indranil » 10 Jan 2012 00:27

Thanks once again.


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