Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_26965 » 15 Jun 2013 12:49

One interesting post by Chacko Joseph yesterday gives interesting insights what the life span of aircraft's are and when IAF can have its 45 odd sqn's.

Life span of aircraft in Indian Air Force

http://frontierindia.org/forum/f3/life- ... force-639/

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_20292 » 15 Jun 2013 13:13

Austin wrote:
US has been kept out from MMRCA deal due to strategic reasons and there is still no coming around with CISMO., EUMA and other intrusive probing built in with US weapons purchase , not to mention if we have to hardware aircraft for Nuclear delivery , Rafale is a safe bet there on all counts.


see, like it or not, we are aligned with the US in this century. The cismoa would be then be moot. I say go whole hog and join NATO or become a major non nato ally.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Austin » 15 Jun 2013 13:30

mahadevbhu wrote:see, like it or not, we are aligned with the US in this century. The cismoa would be then be moot. I say go whole hog and join NATO or become a major non nato ally.


Join NATO or become a non NATO allay ......AOA ....which government in India will survive to talk about such deal.

Indias interest with Europe , US or Russia is no different which is mutual beneficial ones ...US equipment is good and battle proven but their restrictive agreement like CISMO , EUMA or its finicky to hardwire equipment for N deliverly means its comes with strings attached and a thick one ....I am quite fine if US says take this equipment and use it the the way IAF wants to with the same freedom that French or Russian provides with their equipment ...We pay the full mullah and buy the stuff no further complications or restrictions are needed.
Last edited by Austin on 15 Jun 2013 13:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Austin » 15 Jun 2013 13:40

ranji wrote:One interesting post by Chacko Joseph yesterday gives interesting insights what the life span of aircraft's are and when IAF can have its 45 odd sqn's.

Life span of aircraft in Indian Air Force

http://frontierindia.org/forum/f3/life- ... force-639/


CJ is right , I doubt the Mig-21 was ever designed to last 30 years at best 10-15 and Mig-27 a little longer ..we are flogging the Mig-21 well beyond their TTL with facelifts and bandages.....The Mig-21 was suppose to be number plated in early 90's and within the decade start getting replaced by LCA and 23 years since then this process is yet to start ! So its a top priority to get the Mig-21 out of IAF asap with Rafale.

Its been long that I read write up from CJ but from the time I knew him he was a strategic affairs expert specialising on China ....good to know he has diversified into writing technical issues as well.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_26965 » 15 Jun 2013 14:06

If you are speaking about CISMOA and other logistics agreements, probably CJ the FI owner is the first one to write about why strategic shift is needed in how US deals with India and how it can be the template for future US engagement elsewhere.

In the article Lt. Col. Catherine Wilkinson, the Defense Press Officer for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA), points out what Secretary Panetta said in IDSA that certain agreements will not be barriers. You can read it here:

Can India – US conduct joint defence R&D and co-production amid export controls?

Read more: http://frontierindia.net/can-india-us-c ... t-controls

FI later followed it up by another editorial in the end taking a dig at strategic experts to get fixated at posturing by the two countries.

Why India – US defence agreements never really take off?

http://frontierindia.net/why-india-us-d ... y-take-off

Joining NATO etc will not be required to get US aircraft's.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby abhik » 15 Jun 2013 14:51

Austin wrote:The deal is to get first squad deliveries within 3 years of signing the contract so if we sign by December this year we can get in Dec 2016 , Hopefull MOD get 2-3 squad outright purchased and the rest built in India. Since Rafale has the option of 126 + 80 options which will be exercised for sure.

AFAIK the deal specifies that the first 18 are delivered within 48 months ie 4 years not 3 years. Also it is extremely optimistic to think the deal will be signed in this financial year. It was reported early that only a paltry sum of about $ 300 million was allocated in the budget for the MRCA and nothing at all for other programs like the Apache, Heavy helicopter. It will probably take at least 2 billion USD to close the deal. Finding this money in an election year from the budget (which has still not taken into account Food security Bill) will be extremely difficult. My bet is on this not happening unless there are huge kickbacks involved and the government tries to push it through before the next election in 2014. Also we have to consider that the government is likely to change in May 2014. I don't think a new government will simply sign the dotted line on such a big deal, as soon as it takes charge. I'd expect at least a review, worst case scenario will mean a witch hunt(Note that an NDA member Subramanian Swamy has already made allegations about SG and Rafale selection). IMO the earliest realistic time that the deal will be signed is 2014-15. So we get the first squad only 2018-19. After which HAL will start producing @8 per year initially. Which gives us less that 2 squads of Rafale at best before 2020. By which time all or most Mig-21/27s would have been retired.
The Rafale is simply too expensive and too late.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby abhik » 15 Jun 2013 15:04

Austin wrote:All in All the MMRCA deal stands on its own feet its does not compenstate for Su-30 growing strength nor will this be replaced by LCA by a mile.
Are you making the argument that the IAF absolutely needs a distinct "Medium" fighter whose role cannot be fulfilled by either the MKI ot the LCA. I have found these "goldilocks" arguments specious at best.
Added: At the end of the day all the fighters are paid for from the same kitty. note that only 188 LCAs(IAF+IN) are to be acquired in comparison to 126-189 Rafales and 270 MKIs as per current plans. It is logical to think that LCA which is a cheaper and ingenious fighter would be acquired in the greatest numbers. But its numbers are the least in reality.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Austin » 15 Jun 2013 17:47

Recent/Past interview with IAF Chief has mentioned the desperate need for MMRCA , this is the case of we should have got it yesterday. Today MMRCA stands on the same level where AJT was in early 2000 ,with the depleting squad strength that IAF is going through and is anticipating this decade.

Rafale should also be seen as IAF hedge against LCA Mk2 development in the timelines that IAF anticipates it to enter iirc AW&ST carried the story, should Mk2 get delayed or fail to deliver IAF would simply bump up Rafale numbers.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_26965 » 15 Jun 2013 17:57

They should have purchased second hand Mirages. It is illogical to buy Rafales for LCA. Rafale was L1 among the two final contestants, was it LI among all 6 contestants?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby RoyG » 15 Jun 2013 19:48

I don't get why we should put so much money into the Rafale now. I don't think we'll be able to churn out the numbers to effectively arrest the declining number of aircraft in our inventory. I say invest the money in LCA mkI and II and rope in private players for development and manufacturing. Coupled with an AESA, jammer like Elta 8222, HMCS, infrared and radar guided missiles, and laser guided munitions, the LCA will be a formidable foe.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 15 Jun 2013 19:54

Standoff jamming kit mounted on dedicated emb145 airframes in bear-j style would be good too. Would work in tandem with the smaller micro brahmos and the new arm to degrade iads at long range

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby vishvak » 15 Jun 2013 20:41

RoyG wrote:I don't get why we should put so much money into the Rafale now. I don't think we'll be able to churn out the numbers to effectively arrest the declining number of aircraft in our inventory. I say invest the money in LCA mkI and II and rope in private players for development and manufacturing. Coupled with an AESA, jammer like Elta 8222, HMCS, infrared and radar guided missiles, and laser guided munitions, the LCA will be a formidable foe.

A favorable deal by Russians for Mig 35 alongwith could be great too, with any few additional equipment for LCA2 and any medium category if/when needed. LCA-2 then could be flying with Mig 35 as well in certain ways. However Mig 35 does have limitations, just like Rafael being 4++Gen fighter. But we should be looking for deal when Russians guarantee strudy airframe along with reduced service/turn-around time as a wartime requirement.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Austin » 15 Jun 2013 21:02

Mig-35 , F-16 , F-18 and Gripen did not meet IAF technical requirement. Only Eurofighter and Rafale were the two winner and Rafale was the L1 based on Life Cycle Cost.

So if Rafale for some reason does not win the day then it would fall on to Eurofighter , something they too are hoping but its a long shot , Rafale will win the day and IAF experience with French Fighter and support even during sanction era has been a happy experience.

ranji , M2K was what IAF wanted after 1999 kargil war , even French was ready to move M2K production line in India but the political leadership didnt want to take the risk of single vendor large purchase buy specially with GF was allegedly embroiled in Tehalka , Coffin scam etc so global RFP was opted for and even the requirement of IAF changed accordingly.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby abhik » 15 Jun 2013 21:56

Austin wrote:Rafale should also be seen as IAF hedge against LCA Mk2 development in the timelines that IAF anticipates it to enter iirc AW&ST carried the story, should Mk2 get delayed or fail to deliver IAF would simply bump up Rafale numbers.

If this is the ultimate reason for the MRCA(I believe it is), it shows how little the IAF cares for indigenisation. The LCA is simply being set up for failure. How else can one explain the IAF ordering this "hedge" before the LCA has actually failed? And that too in numbers greater than the LCA. It is commiting 20-30+ billion USD for the "hedge" but will only order the LCA in paltry numbers. This doesn't happen in any other country.
Fact of the matter is that every Rafale ordered will mean 2-4 less LCAs. The inability of the political set up to force down indigenous weapons upon the military has been one of its biggest failures. MRCA has to be cancelled for the LCA to reach its true potential. We have to burn the ships like Cortés. Now or never.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Nikhil T » 15 Jun 2013 22:00

Austin wrote:ranji , M2K was what IAF wanted after 1999 kargil war , even French was ready to move M2K production line in India but the political leadership didnt want to take the risk of single vendor large purchase buy specially with GF was allegedly embroiled in Tehalka , Coffin scam etc so global RFP was opted for and even the requirement of IAF changed accordingly.


Did we not order 140 Su-30MKIs on single vendor basis after Kargil in 2000? There must be more to it than political pressure!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby eklavya » 15 Jun 2013 22:09

Sagar G wrote:GoI will pay $$$ to get ToT for tech and not just because they are "generation" ahead as you are suggesting.


Self-contradiction in your statement there (not for the first time either). GoI will $$$ to get aircraft and tech that is a generation ahead of the Su-30MKI. India already makes the Su-30MKI. It only makes sense for GoI to pay $$$ for Rafale and its technology precisely because it is a generation ahead of the Su-30MKI.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Austin » 15 Jun 2013 22:17

Nikhil T wrote:Did we not order 140 Su-30MKIs on single vendor basis after Kargil in 2000? There must be more to it than political pressure!


IIRC the MKI deal and lic production was signed much before Kargil happened , MKI was under works then and we had 2 squadron of Su-30K which was never used during Kargil.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Sagar G » 15 Jun 2013 22:22

eklavya wrote:Self-contradiction in your statement there (not for the first time either). GoI will $$$ to get aircraft and tech that is a generation ahead of the Su-30MKI. India already makes the Su-30MKI. It only makes sense for GoI to pay $$$ for Rafale and its technology precisely because it is a generation ahead of the Su-30MKI.


What is self contradictory in my statement ??? We are aiming to get some critical techs and a high level of indigenization which is making this purchase so costly and still it is to be seen what kind of ToT we would get ultimately. Other than AESA I don't see what else Rafale brings to India.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby NRao » 15 Jun 2013 22:25

Nikhil T wrote:
Austin wrote:ranji , M2K was what IAF wanted after 1999 kargil war , even French was ready to move M2K production line in India but the political leadership didnt want to take the risk of single vendor large purchase buy specially with GF was allegedly embroiled in Tehalka , Coffin scam etc so global RFP was opted for and even the requirement of IAF changed accordingly.


Did we not order 140 Su-30MKIs on single vendor basis after Kargil in 2000? There must be more to it than political pressure!


The MKI really is in a different category. Yes, single vendor, huge political component, etc. No one expected it to survive (even on BR). It pretty much flew under the radar so to speak, so it did not attract attention the way it would today.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby eklavya » 15 Jun 2013 22:25

abhik wrote:MRCA has to be cancelled for the LCA to reach its true potential.


Blaming the MMRCA deal for the delay in the LCA achieving its specifications is blaming the effect for the cause. It is neither logical nor sensible.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby eklavya » 15 Jun 2013 22:38

Sagar G wrote:
eklavya wrote:Self-contradiction in your statement there (not for the first time either). GoI will $$$ to get aircraft and tech that is a generation ahead of the Su-30MKI. India already makes the Su-30MKI. It only makes sense for GoI to pay $$$ for Rafale and its technology precisely because it is a generation ahead of the Su-30MKI.


What is self contradictory in my statement ??? We are aiming to get some critical techs and a high level of indigenization which is making this purchase so costly and still it is to be seen what kind of ToT we would get ultimately. Other than AESA I don't see what else Rafale brings to India.


I also don't understand what ToT means when it comes to HAL. HAL manufactures the Su-30MKI, the Jaguar, the Hawk, etc. but cannot get the IJT design to work, and could not solve the fuel-line problem with the HPT-32.

Real ToT to me means that HAL design engineers will understand the ins and outs of designing a system like the Rafale, not simply assembling something to instructions translated from French to English.

Maybe what India needs to do is embed 1,000 engineers in the Dassault and Thales design labs. Then we will "learn" something that is truly worth knowing.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Sagar G » 15 Jun 2013 22:50

eklavya wrote:I also don't understand what ToT means when it comes to HAL. HAL manufactures the Su-30MKI, the Jaguar, the Hawk, etc. but cannot get the IJT design to work, and could not solve the fuel-line problem with the HPT-32.


IJT is a totally different issue let's not bring it here and I have read here only that the HPT-32 problem wasn't solved because the engine OEM refused to co-operate.

eklavya wrote:Real ToT to me means that HAL design engineers will understand the ins and outs of designing a system like the Rafale, not simply assembling something to instructions translated from French to English.


This type of ToT cannot happen in case of foreign purchased aircraft, such ToT happens only in case of indigenous fighters like LCA.

eklavya wrote:Maybe what India needs to do is embed 1,000 engineers in the Dassault and Thales design labs. Then we will "learn" something that is truly worth knowing.


India needs to invest more in indigenous programs than to remain in awe of gora technology and marketing.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby eklavya » 15 Jun 2013 22:55

The French seem to think the Rafale deal will be signed this year. With Lok Sabha elections looming, the negotiation skills and speed of the MoD babus improves exponentially.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes ... deliveries
Reuters Jun 12, 2013, 01.39PM IST

PARIS: France expects to make its first deliveries of Rafale warplanes to India by 2016 or 2017, French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was quoted as saying by financial daily Les Echos.

The paper said France's draft defence budget was based on an assumption that the first deliveries of the Dassault Aviation-built fighters would start in 2016.

Le Drian is set to go to New Delhi for talks about the contract, the paper said. India is negotiating to acquire 126 of the multi-role combat planes.

Indian sources told Reuters in April that the deal could be delayed as the two countries struggle to reach agreement over the role of an Indian state-run subcontractor.


http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v7/bu ... ?id=956188
Asked on the progress of the deal with India, Trappier said the Indian Air Force has procured 126 Rafale aircraft, with an additional option of 64 aircraft with a total value amounting to US$11 billion.

"The negotiations are going on smoothly, and we expect the deal will be concluded by the end of this year," he said.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby eklavya » 15 Jun 2013 23:03

Sagar G wrote:India needs to invest more in indigenous programs than to remain in awe of gora technology and marketing.


Israel with a population of 8 million (less than 1% of India) and GDP of $240bn (ca 12% of India) is able to design AESA radars, etc. This also confuses me no end. Nobody is better at marketing than us Indians, and whatever it takes to develop the technlology, needs to be done post haste. We have the most dangerous and evil neighbours in the world.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Sagar G » 15 Jun 2013 23:16

eklavya wrote:Israel with a population of 8 million (less than 1% of India) and GDP of $240bn (ca 12% of India) is able to design AESA radars, etc. This also confuses me no end. Nobody is better at marketing than us Indians, and whatever it takes to develop the technlology, needs to be done post haste. We have the most dangerous and evil neighbours in the world.


Israel with all it's AESA and missiles and AEWAC's can't send a satellite to space at it's will. What about that huh ??? Let's not see ourselves in poor light because others have this or that. They have there strengths we have ours and as far as Indian AESA is concerned it's progressing well.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby eklavya » 15 Jun 2013 23:54

Sagar G wrote:I have read here only that the HPT-32 problem wasn't solved because the engine OEM refused to co-operate.


Good ol' HAL; always ready with an excuse and a finger pointed at some other organisation.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby eklavya » 16 Jun 2013 00:03

Sagar G wrote:Let's not see ourselves in poor light because others have this or that.


Sorry, but this is wrong. Unless we see ourselves in a true light (however harsh or uncompromising), we cannot and will not improve our performance. There is a deficit of performance culture in way too many of our defence PSUs, but this board is packed with people willing to blame anybody and everybody for this poor performance, other than the management of these under-performing PSUs.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Sagar G » 16 Jun 2013 00:14

eklavya wrote:Good ol' HAL; always ready with an excuse and a finger pointed at some other organisation.


If you know the exact reasons then why don't you spill the beans ???

eklavya wrote:Sorry, but this is wrong. Unless we see ourselves in a true light (however harsh or uncompromising), we cannot and will not improve our performance. There is a deficit of performance culture in way too many of our defence PSUs, but this board is packed with people willing to blame anybody and everybody for this poor performance, other than the management of these under-performing PSUs.


Seeing ourselves in true light is one thing and unnecessarily comparing and hence putting India into eternal hall of shame is another. Why doesn't the people who are ever willing to blame the PSU's don't look at the real culprits a.k.a. MoD. PSU's can do shit without the MoD's approval on each and every level. It isn't the PSU's which are the real bane of Indian defence industry but MoD itself. But the situation is changing both in MoD as well as PSU's, only a decade later will the changes start to show.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Surya » 16 Jun 2013 01:52

eklavya wrote:

Israel with a population of 8 million (less than 1% of India) and GDP of $240bn (ca 12% of India) is able to design AESA radars, etc. This also confuses me no end. Nobody is better at marketing than us Indians, and whatever it takes to develop the technlology, needs to be done post haste. We have the most dangerous and evil neighbours in the world.


aha this confuses you???
:D
See you need to see across the Atlantic to the Khan of this century.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby abhik » 16 Jun 2013 09:02

eklavya wrote:
abhik wrote:MRCA has to be cancelled for the LCA to reach its true potential.


Blaming the MMRCA deal for the delay in the LCA achieving its specifications is blaming the effect for the cause. It is neither logical nor sensible.

I'm not blaming the MRCA deal for the delays in the LCA program. But I do think that the MRCA is eating into the LCAs numbers.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 16 Jun 2013 09:25

israeli is good in opto/electronics and have products the world wants. but it must not be forgotten they can pull whatever help needed from EU/US cos without any restrictions on sensitive gear. their EL2052 had some american components , so khan chacha deftly banned its export ...so too phalcon deal with Cheen got scrapped..the very same kit we are proudly bragging of now.

ultimately only domestic products will get us off the begging bowl

even if its only 75% as good as those on import table. the desi AEW and families of radars is a step in right direction , even if they will not be able to match the hawkeye or green pine types for a long time.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_26965 » 16 Jun 2013 10:28

As I am told, Su-30 MK and M2K-5 was evaluated by IAF before SU-30 buy. M2k-5 was dropped for political reason to prop up Yeltsin. So, I think there was single vendor situation created.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_20317 » 16 Jun 2013 11:11

Israelis never focused on getting to do all with indigenous effort. They are more then willing to import the whole system from US. All they aim for is that the most crucial capabilities that may need during the duration Umrikhans begin a peace talk to save their biggest military base in the world. They dropped their aircraft effort for which they were more then willing to take financial support from their primary supplier. That kind of flexibility brings its own benefits and drawbacks.

Israel and India are not comparable because both are trying different things for different reasons.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Lalmohan » 16 Jun 2013 14:05

IMHO - the decision for rafale has been made. we now need to lock our selves in behind this decision and move on.
to me it is relatively clear - its a phased strategy that the IAF are pursuing - of increasing technology on its core platforms in stages. fgfa is unlikely to be in service for another 15 years at the earliest, by which time Su30's will be getting long in the tooth and the rafale will be the mainstay of capability

revisiting the decision is now pointless

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby abhik » 16 Jun 2013 14:41

^^^
FGFA is expected to be in service only around 4 years(2022) after the Rafale(2018). A course chosen in the past may not be the correct in the present.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Lalmohan » 16 Jun 2013 14:48

extremely unlikely imho

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_26965 » 16 Jun 2013 14:56

Revisiting may help as SU-30 MKI's can be in production. As per Air Cmde Jasjit Singh, the MMRCA is Gripen - Mirage 2000 etc are correct weight - some 17 k kgs. Rafale is 24k kg. It is 900 kgs less than SU-30 MKI. I have seen arguments that Rafale is not Su-30 MKI class.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Lalmohan » 16 Jun 2013 20:52

rafale is much smaller than the su30 - most things are. however the electronic kit on the rafale will be more advanced than what is on the su30. what comes on the fgfa will be more advanced than the rafale, and so on

the tejas will back fill to some extent - but its real value is in building capability, so that by the time the replacement for the fgfa comes around, we can build it ourselves

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Austin » 17 Jun 2013 11:35

MiG-21bis likely to serve IAF until 2019
The first supersonic fighter jet of the Indian Air Force — Russian MiG-21bis —which completed 50 years in service this April despite facing criticism following a substantial number of accidents, is likely to remain operational in its upgraded version until 2019 — two years later than they were originally scheduled to be decommissioned.

The Air Force took the decision owing to the delay in the commissioning of India’s own Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and the purchase of 126 Rafale fighters from France for which the official contract is yet to be finalised.

The Defence Ministry had stated that the Mig-21bis would be decommissioned in 2017. However, there has been nearly three-year delay in Tejas programme and the Air Force is yet to give operational clearance to it.

According to IAF chief Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, India purchased 874 MiG-21s of various modifications since 1964. Of them, 264 are still flying. The MiG-21bis’ super Kopyo multimode radar system and French-made Totem 221G ring-laser gyro aiming-navigation system were sufficient for the Air Force to keep using the MiG-2bis until 2019.

As things stand today, MiG-21 fleet’s upgraded Bison variant still forms a major chunk of the IAF fighter strength.

While three out of the 69 Indian MiG-29 B/S fighters have been modernised in Russia as part of a $964 million contract inked in 2009, three more are scheduled to be delivered to India later this year. The remaining jets will be modernised at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Nashik. These fighters will be fitted with the new Klimov RD-33 KM engine, the Zhuk-ME phased array radar and the Vympel R-77 beyond visual range air-to-air missile.

After a number of accidents and its eventual two-year grounding, Defence Minister A.K. Antony had said plans to phase out equipment approaching redundancy were in place and non-upgraded MiG-27s and MiG-21s were being phased out progressively by 2016 and 2018 respectively. Till April last year, the IAF lost more than half of its MiG-21s, he told the Rajya Sabha.

As many as 482 MiG-21s had been involved in accidents and as many as 171 pilots, 39 civilians and eight persons from other services lost their lives in these accidents. At that time, Mr. Antony had stated that both “human error and technical defects” were responsible for the crashes.

Even now, MiG-21s account for nearly 10 squadrons of the IAF and the upgraded fighters present a cost-effective option to the Air Force as compared to other fighters. Several former ace fighter pilots swear by the versatility and safety of the MiG-21, which in the 1971 war emerged as a clear winner against the American F-104 Starfighter in air combat. The MiG-21 again proved its capability and prowess during the Kargil war in 1998.

The induction of the first MiG-21s into 28 squadrons began in 1963 but in the years to come the Russian fighter came to be the mainstay of the IAF. “In its long operational service, along with kudos it also attracted a fair share of criticism and avoidable media scrutiny….with its sleek frontal profile, fast acceleration and a high degree of flexibility in terms of role employment for both air-to-air and air-to- ground missions — it remains the mainstay of the IAF’s combat fleet for a long time,” recalled Air Chief Marshal Browne in the foreword which he wrote for the commemorative book to mark 50 years of the MiG-21s with the IAF, written by Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar (Retd.) and Pushpindar Singh.

The IAF chief noted that post its upgrade to MiG-21 Bison in 2000, this aircraft “continues to shoulder an important share of the IAF’s operational responsibilities; something which we expect to continue for some more time in the future.”

Then, there is Air Commodore (Retd.) S.S. Tyagi, the former station commander of the IAF bases in Naliya and Jamnagar, who has done 6,316 sorties with the MiG-21, the maximum by any Air Force pilot.

According to him, the MiG-21 is a very demanding aircraft that can help a pilot exalt his capabilities to the end of the skies but even a transitory lapse could be disastrous, more so during hard manoeuvring.

vasu raya
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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby vasu raya » 17 Jun 2013 18:59

With the way the Migs crash, the concept of Aerial Escape and Rescue Capability - AERCAB could be tried out on the Ejection seats in them before their retirement in 2019


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