Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Pratyush » 03 Mar 2015 10:01

Vivek K wrote:Shiv, in the corrupt procurement environment, that will never happen. The only way to get a 100 squadron air force is to build the LCA in numbers. The procurement mafia will never let that happen. India will pay $30 billion for 125 aircraft or 6 squadrons. For hundred squadrons that means $2,000 billion of imported hardware.



The bill in $$ will make sure that a domestic solution is chosen. IAF preferences notwithstanding.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby KumarA » 03 Mar 2015 11:40

Viv S wrote:@Shiv

First off, discussing Pakistan as a potential adversary is mostly a waste of time unless its the context of a two-front conflict. Rafale or not we should be able to handle them comfortably when it comes to a conventional conflict. All the same, as a matter of interest it needs to be noted that they've done a fairly deft job of modernization given their limited resources through cheap Chinese imports and second hand western gear.

More important here is our equation vis a vis China. One where we may be facing the prospect of a second military defeat if (god forbid) tensions were to escalate. At the risk of annoying resident BRFites through further repetition, fact is, this is first and foremost an economic issue not a capability issue. China spends over three and a half times more on defence than we do ($140bn to $40bn). Only after we accept that as our primary challenge can we formulate a response and delve into the details. So 'bean-counting' for us is, or at least should be a military necessity.

How do you balance that massive disproportion in spending? You can increase spending but that'll mean a reduced investment in the economy, and reduced growth (including in defence budgets). You can improve efficiency, work around the margins but there's only so much you achieve in that respect. The only option available to India's defence planners is to make cost effectiveness the single overriding priority with regard to all capital purchases. Extract $2 in value from every $1 actually spent and we'll at least have made a start in bridging that chasm.

The Rafale deal too therefore must be viewed from the perspective of cost effectiveness. If we're buying it to create a 'powerful air force' then we've already lost focus. The simple question here is - is the combat capability delivered by 126 Rafale the best return one can get for $20bn (with a substantial part of that consisting of valuable forex) given our other options. I think most folks are coming round to the opinion that its not. And addendum to that question would be - will the Rafale perform any unique function that cannot be performed through other options. Its a good EW platform but answer again is mostly a 'no'.

The Tejas here is an opportunity by virtue of being one of the most cost effectiveness fighters in existence. And we still have the option of the MKI who's production has been domesticated to a large extent. By phrasing it as 'we need both Rafale and Tejas', we're ignoring the fundamental issue here i.e. our limited resources. My question would be - how many less Tejas and Su-30MKIs should be bought such that we can afford 126 Rafales? The answer is most likely too high for anyone to comfortable with.


While on the discussion regarding inadequateness of the Indian defence budget for preparing Indian military against China, one should also look at a different example, Japan. India and Japan both have similar defence budget now, though in PPP terms, Indian one would be larger than the Japanese one. If defence pensions are included, the Indian defence budget would be even higher. Nevertheless, Chinese PLA is scared as hell of Japanese forces and not only the PLA but entire Chinese political-military setup tries/screams/lobbies/threatens/jumps around in media, openly to dissuade Japan from spending anymore on its military. How come with a defence budget 1/3rd its size, China is so scared of Japan but not of India?

Moreover, even though Japan comes under the American nuclear umbrella, a sizeable section of Japanese military, including Prime Minister Shizo Abe are not sure whether Mr Obama will come to their rescue if shooting war starts on Senkaku Islands. Many of these "stones in South China/East China Sea" are not quite taken as the core interest of US military on which it would fight a war. However, even if American support is discounted, Japan is capable enough to hold its own against Chinese PLA. Indian Military would be wiser if it learnt some lessons from Japan in this regard, especially in terms of how to prioritise the acquisition process and go for crucial force multiplier capabilities.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby KiranM » 03 Mar 2015 12:00

KumarA wrote:While on the discussion regarding inadequateness of the Indian defence budget for preparing Indian military against China, one should also look at a different example, Japan. India and Japan both have similar defence budget now, though in PPP terms, Indian one would be larger than the Japanese one. If defence pensions are included, the Indian defence budget would be even higher. Nevertheless, Chinese PLA is scared as hell of Japanese forces and not only the PLA but entire Chinese political-military setup tries/screams/lobbies/threatens/jumps around in media, openly to dissuade Japan from spending anymore on its military. How come with a defence budget 1/3rd its size, China is so scared of Japan but not of India?

Moreover, even though Japan comes under the American nuclear umbrella, a sizeable section of Japanese military, including Prime Minister Shizo Abe are not sure whether Mr Obama will come to their rescue if shooting war starts on Senkaku Islands. Many of these "stones in South China/East China Sea" are not quite taken as the core interest of US military on which it would fight a war. However, even if American support is discounted, Japan is capable enough to hold its own against Chinese PLA. Indian Military would be wiser if it learnt some lessons from Japan in this regard, especially in terms of how to prioritise the acquisition process and go for crucial force multiplier capabilities.

JSDF are able to maintain a smaller Army compared to India to bankroll their Navy and AF into credible deterrents against PLA forces. Being an island they can afford to. Not us with long land borders shared with 2 nations of threat.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Yogi_G » 03 Mar 2015 12:09

Singha wrote:the iraqi AF is making use of cessna airplanes rigged up with hellfires. in this case the potency of the weapon makes up for shortcoming in the shooter.

http://images.csmonitor.com/csmarchives ... rd_600x400
http://blog.patriotford.com/wp-content/ ... 4-shot.jpg

note the optical sensor ball. a mil trainer like the HTT40 would be lot more agile and smaller profile than this plane.

at night they will be very hard to spot, flying low over the terrain....like the british Lysanders of old that made trips to occupied france in WW2, landed in clearings to rescue downed flyers or carry people from the french resistance back and forth. there are ways to reduce noise at the expense of some power.

even if it is not warthog, what is the harm in buying up 100 of these cheap planes and equipping them for light attack. they cannot do any harm to the cause.

Some questions,

1. the requirement on the aircraft wing position during fire and immediately post fire will be strict to ensure the exhaust plume of the hellfire doesnt end up frying the wing of the cessna. These are civilian make planes and not sure if they can withstand the exhaust heat of an immediately launched missile of the hellfire type.
2. The slow moving cessnas would be sitting ducks in the battlefield for something as simple as an RPG let alone the stingers/iglas. given the Iraqi resources they seem to be willing to put their pilots in line in order to attain capability.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby KumarA » 03 Mar 2015 12:43

KiranM wrote: JSDF are able to maintain a smaller Army compared to India to bankroll their Navy and AF into credible deterrents against PLA forces. Being an island they can afford to. Not us with long land borders shared with 2 nations of threat.


Long land borders are not defended by a human chain of army personnel. A better way would be technological and sensor dominance rather than personnel based dominance. Indian Army is seriously bloated and its high time to bring it back to shape. On one hand, divisions after divisions are being created while there is no focus on augmentation of airborne capability, air-assault capability, amphibious capability, effective mechanisation or acquisition of better rifles, carbines, sniper/AMR rifle, ATVs or other equipment. Is it a professional army of a nation or a COIN Army?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Picklu » 03 Mar 2015 13:14

^^ Ground needs to be hold. By infantry.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby rohitvats » 03 Mar 2015 13:23

KumarA wrote: Long land borders are not defended by a human chain of army personnel. A better way would be technological and sensor dominance rather than personnel based dominance. Indian Army is seriously bloated and its high time to bring it back to shape. On one hand, divisions after divisions are being created while there is no focus on augmentation of airborne capability, air-assault capability, amphibious capability, effective mechanisation or acquisition of better rifles, carbines, sniper/AMR rifle, ATVs or other equipment. Is it a professional army of a nation or a COIN Army?


Why don't you do everyone here a favor - Please do a back of envelope calculation and tell us how the Indian Army is bloated? What elements of the Indian Army need to be done away with because they add no value and can be replaced by technology?

Also - please do share your thoughts on: (a) What airborne capability India needs (b) Same for Air-Assault capability (c) And Amphibious capability.

Please do mention the equipment required for the above capabilities and rough calculation for the monies required. And while we're at it, do comment on what is wrong with IA's COIN strategy and corrective measures.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Kashi » 03 Mar 2015 13:35

KiranM wrote:JSDF are able to maintain a smaller Army compared to India to bankroll their Navy and AF into credible deterrents against PLA forces. Being an island they can afford to. Not us with long land borders shared with 2 nations of threat.


Not to mention the US-Japan security pact.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby shiv » 03 Mar 2015 16:40

KumarA wrote:
Long land borders are not defended by a human chain of army personnel.

Well the Indian army is not big enough to do that even if it was defended by a human chain.

3000 km border, 1 million men = 3,000,000 meters, 1 million men

That is a single line of men 3 meters apart. Not deep enough. I would like to see the chain at least 10 men deep. We need 30 million men for that. Even then a single napalm will blow a hole in the line of men and allow someone to saunter in. Ten Napalm bombs and the remaining 2.999 million men will be useless. So maybe 75 million men? Getting better but still not enough. Or else we should do all that you said

A better way would be technological and sensor dominance rather than personnel based dominance


By why is 3 million "bloated" for a 3000 km border? It's not. It is not personnel based dominance as you allege. All OT for this thread This is about Indian Military Aviation.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby negi » 03 Mar 2015 16:49

Well IA of all the three services has been slowest in terms of adopting technology , equipment and processes so during the peace time they do appear to be overmanned with folks being tasked with mundane work like cutting grass , preparing the fields or even just going through a daily routine without any work as such, that is not the case with IN or the IAF latter run a lean ship partly because a lot of housekeeping work like logistics , canteen supplies, upkeep of the base has been outsourced to private entities. IN and IAF have a bit of luxury in the sense that they do not have to be drawn into man to man combat , Kargil is a classic example .

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby shiv » 03 Mar 2015 16:57

negi wrote:Well IA of all the three services has been slowest in terms of adopting technology , equipment and processes so during the peace time they do appear to be overmanned with folks being tasked with mundane work like cutting grass , preparing the fields or even just going through a daily routine without any work as such, that is not the case with IN or the IAF latter run a lean ship partly because a lot of housekeeping work like logistics , canteen supplies, upkeep of the base has been outsourced to private entities. IN and IAF have a bit of luxury in the sense that they do not have to be drawn into man to man combat , Kargil is a classic example .

What about this? Problem of overmanning in IAF also?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrDJVu1wKd4

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby negi » 03 Mar 2015 17:03

^ That is some kind of a ceremony not sure how does it qualify , I am talking about day to day work. When a company deployed in forward sector say J&K returns to a family base the personnel have no real work during that time they have to still report to duty though . In the IN and IAF since there is no infantry this scenario never comes up .

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby shiv » 03 Mar 2015 17:18

negi wrote:^ That is some kind of a ceremony not sure how does it qualify , I am talking about day to day work. When a company deployed in forward sector say J&K returns to a family base the personnel have no real work during that time they have to still report to duty though . In the IN and IAF since there is no infantry this scenario never comes up .

Negi - hospitals all over the world are like this when things are quiet. In countries where the government funds hospitals - a certain percentage of beds need to be kept empty and a certain percentage of staff need to be paid to be "jobless". That is part and parcel of all emergency/essential services. Fire service personnel spend most of their doing drills and making their fire engines look pretty. But you can't reduce their strength beyond a particular point. Ambulance drivers hang about on duty smoking, drinking chai etc but they are "working".

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby negi » 03 Mar 2015 18:01

^ I never said Army needs to be downsized , I just posted why they look overmanned during peacetime , given our way of fighting a war I do not think we can downsize anyways.

Actually if one uses western standards as reference even the IN might seem overmanned , just have a look at Viraat's crew in IN service as against when she was in RN we have at least 50% more personnel on board. :)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Sid » 03 Mar 2015 18:14

Negi ji, amount of exercises army units go through when "not" on field postings is mind numbing.

To say that they have little to do on these postings is hearsay :eek:

P.S. Just talk to any army personal about reputation of a TA solider on field and you will know what I mean.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby fanne » 03 Mar 2015 18:57

It happens in corporate world also. I know a dude, he is an accountant, specializing in account closing at month end. He does no work for 25 days, but last 5 days he is very busy.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby hnair » 03 Mar 2015 19:05

I think a few posters are thinking the HAL gent who talked at AI'15 are talking about A-10 replacements for tank-plinking during war-time. An armed HTT-40 with night-capability would give excellent choices for BSF and Coast-Guard type of border management forces. Right from patrolling large swathes of deserts, riverine and non-himalayan hilly areas to providing backups for isolated pickets. Plus para-drops as part of COIN can be supported better with these nimble crafts, than purely helicopters. The costs of operation also seem to be lower than the helicopters and closer to UAVs.

This is the same thinking that goes into making the Saryu class OPVs lightly armed: VFM during those long 99.9% (years of peace) of an equipment's lifetime. During war, these resources will form the second or third-tier of support for the main military and can do duties like base-security, prevent sabotage of logistics lines and taking out lightly armed recon forces, when AF is busy elsewhere

The wide gap between law-enforcement and full-fledged military action is being exploited by non-state actors. Even the TFTA SOCOM of khan's has recommended the Super Tucano types for backing them up during COIN. IIRC, they are going to be assembled soon at Jacksonville or so (thanks to khan's rules of manufacture).

The pakis also cannot cry hoarse about intrusions and make it register with their 3.5 papas, since these are not offensive platforms. Bringing one down at night would mean huge upgrades to the ZSU guns and that would immediately catch the eye of Indian Army.

This is a good idea by HAL and hope they go ahead and get it done

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby shiv » 03 Mar 2015 19:33

hnair wrote:The wide gap between law-enforcement and full-fledged military action is being exploited by non-state actors.

In fact a lot of TV channels, reporters and the Congress party are also with the non state actors - as the coast guard and burning shitistani boat issue revealed.

In fact these nincompoops cannot understand that "asymmetric warfare" means making war where a war machine does not extend its influence. The response cannot be putting battle tanks in malls and theaters.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby JTull » 03 Mar 2015 20:30

shiv wrote:In fact a lot of TV channels, reporters and the Congress party are also with the non state actors - as the coast guard and burning shitistani boat issue revealed.


The terror boat issue hysteria has to do with force govt hand into revealing it's deep intel source in Karachi, something PM alluded to. But then I digress from the topic.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby vishvak » 03 Mar 2015 21:04

The wide gap between law-enforcement and full-fledged military action

This is also why we need Mig 29s along on the maritime border, since this is a multirole and carrier based fighter, can carry different types of armaments(anti-ship or anti-radiation or bombs)/radars/refuelpod/targetingpod etc. It can fit in a huge variety of roles with good enough range, indeed a formidable fighter jet for maritime border roles.
Last edited by hnair on 03 Mar 2015 22:02, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: trolling. no further warning

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby vaibhav.n » 04 Mar 2015 00:10

shiv wrote:Totally off topic here. This is "ideal tank warfare theory". It is always instructive to look at real life scenarios in which the ideal plan theory did not work because it is those situations that one must account for.

In terms of this thread there simply cannot be 24x7 air defence cover for every single army unit or military asset given the relatively anaemic air force levels in the subcontinent compared to a USSR vs NATO scenario. (or an "allies" versus Iraq scenario) That allows for the use of lightly armed aircraft in some situations. If we have to fight "ideal wars" we need ideal force levels. Make an IAF with 3 to 4,000 combat aircraft with a type for every role and then ask if armed HTT 40 are still needed. No point discussion ideal war theory with even 45 squadrons - let alone 25 squadrons that we actually have. How about a 200 squadron air force?


Couple of points;

1. Combined Arms operations are not ''theory in the air'' in any sense. It is part of Doctrine; honed at annual exercises to be executed in conflict. Yes deviations would occur and they would remain the call for the commander on the ground and not the norm. Cold Start proposes this a step further to integrate even the IAF into the matrix. Whether the later relents is another matter altogether.

2. Army Field formations are primarily provided AD cover by organic units not IAF fighters. Newer inductions in larger numbers ie. Akash only reinforce this phenomenon. The IAF is responsible with ADGES on a larger scale. One would imagine, as more robust Spyder/Akash/MR-SAM Squadrons get deployed these would only reduce the need on IAF's own Fighters from pure Air Defence taskings. The IAF has on multiple occasions expressed an 'ideal' need for upto 55 Squadrons for a 2-front scenario, no more.

However, I digress.

Low intensity COIN roles would be very different for the Armed Trainers to handle versus its ability to operate in a heavy AA/MANPAD environment for pure ISR/CAS tasks in actual conflict.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Rupesh » 05 Mar 2015 11:42

Defence finance wing redflags UPA’s trainer aircraft deal

India’s 2012 order for 75 Swiss Pilatus basic trainer aircraft (BTA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) has run into rough weather with the finance wing of the Ministry of Defence pointing out that 88 per cent of the acquisition cost over 30 years will be incurred in just seven years because of “inbuilt flaws” in the Rs 4,000-crore deal signed during the UPA rule.
The Ministry of Defence (Finance) raised the red flag in January this year after the IAF moved a proposal for Follow On Support Contract (FOSC) for five years at an estimated cost of Rs 507 crore for maintenance and related issues of Pilatus aircraft — almost three times the cost for repairs and maintenance presumed at the time of evaluation of the lowest bidder (L1).


So last Saturday, when the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared a proposal for the purchase of an additional 38 Pilatus, it put in a rider — purchase subject to examination of life cycle cost issues.
Reached for comment, former Defence Minister A K Antony said: “Let them investigate if they feel there is a problem.”
The two orders for the Pilatus PC-7 MkII aircraft are to meet the IAF’s desperate need for 181 BTA to train its pilots. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will meet the remaining requirement by supplying the indigenous HTT-40.
The Indian Express has learnt that nine components, now part of an IAF proposal to pay Pilatus under the maintenance head, were not calculated during the request for proposal (RFP) stage before declaring it the lowest bidder.



“There is no independent validation of information provided by the vendor to validate the claims made by them for TCA elements…The actual life cycle cost could be much higher than the one used for L1 evaluation and may invite audit objections subsequently,” the MoD (Finance) stated.
In an email response to queries from The Indian Express, a spokesperson for Pilatus said: “We are not in a position to respond to your questions due to our contractual obligations. May we suggest that you direct your questions to the appropriate GOI/IAF departments and it would then be at their discretion to release any information pertinent to your enquiries.”
Ministry of Defence spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said: “While approving the proposal for acquisition of 38 new BTA from Pilatus, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has directed that approval will be subjected to examination of the life cycle cost related issues by Defence ministry’s finance wing and subsequently by Ministry of Finance at appropriate stages.”

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby srin » 05 Mar 2015 14:21

The biggest point for me is that the L1 based on Life Cycle Cost is being called to question. Looks good in theory, but seems to have too many holes that can be exploited by the vendors. The other deal where this has been used is the MMRCA. I'm curiously watching for side effects of LCC confusion on that.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Gyan » 05 Mar 2015 15:02

DM is indeed a cunningly chap. By one hand he allowed the import and by another has offered the noose of LCC for whom so ever clears the deal. Mogambo kush hua. Pilatus may yet get screwed.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Sid » 05 Mar 2015 18:57

And somewhere in Norway someone is grinning while counting his brownie points...

P.S. This was exactly what HAL, even one of the vendors pointed out that total LCC for Pilatus was way more then what was been projected. Lets see if people are held accountable for this mess.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Singha » 05 Mar 2015 19:30

sounds like another T90 deal thing...where a lot of basic eqpt like thermal sights were not accounted for in the tanks price (to show it as far cheaper than arjun) and then imported separately - not that it worked without a lot of effort.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Singha » 05 Mar 2015 20:55

If the iaf wants to remain on the books as a player
At the high table in 2030 they have to fund and support
A semi stealthy long range bomber the size of the old
British victor now without delay.

They will neither be able to afford the pakda and it
Will likely not be exported at all.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby brar_w » 05 Mar 2015 21:04

The PAKDA would not be exported to the IAF in my opinion. Exporting a truly strategic weapon such as the PAKDA would have to overcome serious objections from the Chinese which would be tough for the Russians given the greater influence of china in that strategic relationship (expected in the next decade+). Similarly, the bomber is unlikely to be exported to China for similar reasons.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby vasu raya » 05 Mar 2015 21:48

brar_w wrote:
vasu raya wrote:...

For the IAF itself there is no MALD (Miniature Air-Launched Decoy) yet, maybe they can make this into one, a ground launched one simulating various IAF aircraft types


A pre-requisite for any credible decoy is the ability to closely mimic the most common flight profiles of the aircraft it is trying to trick the adversary into believing it is. One of the main reasons the MALD works the way it does is because it is able to accurately simulate the flight profiles of the various tactical aircraft in the operator air-force's inventory. This means being able to perform at a wide range of speed and altitude profiles depending upon the task at hand. For the MALD it could mean 40,000 feet (current version, original version was 35k) with a top speed of mach 0.9+. The MALD for example is required to do a 200 mile dash at "fighter like" speeds and then hold an orbit for half an hour all involving fighter like changes in speed and/or altitude and waypoint turns closely mimicking desired strike-fighter performance. Of course you can run different range/loiter/speed scenarios and toggle based on requirements and those are done prior to take-off atm, with the ability to control the performance mid-air slated for block3/4.


While am with you on the specification for MALD, the Indian MIC isn't like a walmart in the American context, the whole supply chain needs to be done and starting off with expendable stuff like the HTT-40 and progress until a stage to get the IAF interested, atleast it saves them from "we need funds from the customer to start the 5 year program" trap. Maybe we can call it Block 0.

brar_w wrote:Mounting BVR missiles on a 20K ft altitude mach .4-.5 dash speed aircraft is also going to leave you extremely limited in terms of the kinematic profile of the weapon. You could get by with a tremendous number of orbits with considerable overlap if the object is to go say 200 km out and maintain an orbit but the opponent even with older gen cheaper missiles is likely to out_stick you and could easily pick your aircraft. Then there is a problem of having highly capable data-links that are secure and capable of actually providing a targeting cue for a weapon system on the aircraft type. That would be something never done before anywhere in the world. I would still like to do this sort of thing with a QF16 like LCA based aircraft, simply because it trades off some loiter for speed and altitude (the best friends of a BVR missile). The security and capability of the data-links for such a task is what would be interesting both for targeting and vehicle control. I can speak of the USAF and USN and they are not there yet for using the QF16 for example on such a mission especially when it comes to conducting this mission in an environment where the adversary is actively trying yo deny you network/cloud_superiority.


For the second part lets say we narrow down the threat situations to these,

1) All the cities and towns facing subsonic cruise missiles attacks, which form the bulk of the enemy's offensive and the targets spread are across India, here the HTT-40 doesn't face any threat and a networked ISR asset can monitor a large area.

2) Afghanistan like Tibet has vast remote areas, and both are buffer areas for Pak and China respectively for different reasons though and I think operating the HTT-40 in those areas might be a different game as your writeup suggests. if the HTT-40 production runs are near WW2 levels and it can operate from rough field runways meaning these are makeshift and without risking the pilots there is a plus side to it. QF16 or LCA are much too sophisticated to sacrifice like that. The outcomes could be different in each of those buffer zones though.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Singha » 05 Mar 2015 21:51

2500km strike radius
Wet wings
Reasonable rcs reduction
6 internal weapons
4 external weapons
Two big engines
Mach 1.4

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby brar_w » 05 Mar 2015 21:59

While am with you on the specification for MALD, the Indian MIC isn't like a walmart in the American context, the whole supply chain needs to be done and starting off with expendable stuff like the HTT-40 and progress until a stage to get the IAF interested, atleast it saves them from "we need funds from the customer to start the 5 year program" trap. Maybe we can call it Block 0


What I am saying is that when you look at a decoy as a requirement, you want something that can "perform" as a decoy for if it doesn't perform as a decoy, it essentially fails at accomplishing what you desire from it. Its like creating a Radar decoy that looks and behaves nothing like the radar it is trying to "be". :). To put it simply - A decoy fails to be a decoy if the adversary recognizes it as a decoy and responds to its existence with measures that are meant to be taken against a decoy. You want them to respond to it as if they were responding to a Su-30 or an LCA/Mig-29/M2k. The adversary on both fronts has and plans to have advanced AEW and ground based systems. There can be many other uses for the trainer as it is transitioned onto other roles, but creating a decoy for tactical fighters is a rather poor allocation of resources.

1) All the cities and towns facing subsonic cruise missiles attacks, which form the bulk of the enemy's offensive and the targets spread are across India, here the HTT-40 doesn't face any threat and a networked ISR asset can monitor a large area


So in this context, what does an HTT-40 in the "air" provide you as an additional advantage compared to A) A airship/aerostat and B ) A proper UAV designed for such a mission such as Rustom? If you are going to put BVR missiles on a platform for whatever reason, you better give it the ability to actually deploy those weapons in a meaningful manner. BVR missile performance is 'significantly' impacted by launch altitude, and launch-aircraft performance (speed). A mach .3-.4 launch at 20K feet is going to give you a very very poor range which you would have to up with either a larger missile (putting weight/carriage restrictions on a turboprop) or more condensed orbits which puts its own set of pressures. Even the USAF was quick to realize the extreme limited capability of a BVR missile launched from an Air to Air platform in an anti-cruise missile defense role. The kinematics, and ISR required means either you almost have to be at the "right place at the right time" or you have to have a $hit load of orbits to make up for that. Either way an AMRAAM class weapon like the one the USAF tested (NCADE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8J_G0Mj5As ) was a poor choice. They figured out quick that even with a mach 2 class fighter (F-15) they'd require a different capability (ALHTK - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnVHEmROaMM ) with a much larger missile if this mission set is to be performed in an effective manner. To do this with a turboprop that has service ceiling restrictions and a very low top speed is going to be quite a poor allocation of resources. There is a reason as to why the cruise missile defense mission is almost exclusively performed from the ground using cues from both the ground and the air.

Even if one were to take basic Aim-120B/C and try to figure out range performance with a mach .4-.5 dash aircraft that won;t be operating much higher then 20-22K feet one can come up with how to work out the pickets in a cruise missile defense mission. The picture won't be pretty given you many assets you would need from a pure shooter pov (how many missiles per aircraft?) over a desired area. This is obviously on top of the requirements for cooperative targeting which isn't easy to get from an aircraft that would also be challenged by the amount of electronics required to support such weapons you could mount on it. Essentially you'd be looking to create a setup not many nations in the world could deliver from a technical perspective (Even the US included).

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby vasu raya » 05 Mar 2015 22:47

To develop the terrain avoidance system they relied on a smartphone equipped UAV with the phone running the algorithms, yet they have the F-16 using them now. With MALD its the RCS morphing that's critical not just speed and altitude, for the latter a suitable asset can always be chosen.

Well, if they want they could arm the MKI with the AAD, 3 nos for boost phase intercept (BPI) but not sure if they can guarantee loiter times over hostile airspace. Unlike the PDV, the AAD isn't a two stage missile, not sure how much altitude it can gain. while such a "mobile battery" is entirely possible with terminal phase intercept, will IAF spare any away from the front lines? For BPI a more practical approach is to target the remote launchers themselves and HTT-40 with some precision bombs might work.

IMHO the problems with an airborne solution for CMD are early detection, endurance of the platform and the spread. Aerial assets are better placed for detection not suffering from horizon limitations. Endurance is where Rustom can come with 24hrs stay and at 12km altitude, not sure if it can give STOL performance and required nos are produced, fix them then the HTT-40 is a poor choice or alternately improve on HTT-40's altitude and hence spread as well, one wouldn't expect subsonic cruise missiles to be high flying so the AAM is mostly diving. Electronics are a non-issue since ISR assets are involved.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby brar_w » 05 Mar 2015 23:14

To develop the terrain avoidance system they relied on a smartphone equipped UAV with the phone running the algorithms, yet they have the F-16 using them now. With MALD its the RCS morphing that's critical not just speed and altitude, for the latter a suitable asset can always be chosen


Any MALD type/role decoy, especially one designed for the air has to successfully accomplish two things -

1) Mimic the flight performance of the aircraft it is meant to be a decoy for. This means that it needs to perform at some of the altitudes, and at some of the speeds your strike package is expected to perform at in order to obtain the desired effect.

2) It needs to mimic the signatures of the aircraft it is replicating (radio-frequency repeater tasks from your RFD payload)

One is useless without the other. If the enemy has half a brain it can figure out that the threat it is confronting is not what it is made out to be. Hence you put these sort of requirements into the design of a capable decoy that can perform with a reasonable degree of success against a competent enemy. Similarly ground based radar / IAD decoys are designed to look like their actual radar counterparts and are given electronic signatures that closely resemble that of the actual system in addition to having other features (supply and support) that trick the satellites or aerial assets into believing that they are legitimate targets.

If you have this as a decoy -

Image

using an electronic signal mimicking this -

Image

You are unlikely to get many ARM's diverted to destroying you and Jihadi Joe can continue with his uninterrupted dose of Al Jazeera.

Well, if they want they could arm the MKI with the AAD, 3 nos for boost phase intercept (BPI) but not sure if they can guarantee loiter times over hostile airspace. Unlike the PDV, the AAD isn't a two stage missile, not sure how much altitude it can gain. while such a "mobile battery" is entirely possible with terminal phase intercept, will IAF spare any away from the front lines? For BPI a more practical approach is to target the remote launchers themselves and HTT-40 with some precision bombs might work


The concept has been tried out and worked in the USAF by the MDA. They took the warhead out and made the NCADE into a "Hitile" (added range) and strapped on a aim-9x seeker for a completely fire and forget performance. The problem is that your assets allocation for such a mission is huge and you really need to divert a $hit load of tactical platforms if you want to do anything worthwhile even with the ability to be at 50K feet and supersonic. The consensus at the time was that a PAC-3MSE would work the best given it would have better kinematic and range performance but that puts other strains such as size of the weapon and again the same issues with amount of resources to be allocated comes up. What was the conclusion? Think of this mission as a " lucky chance" type of a thing so that you have a weapon on you if required. The Next Gen. Missile was slated to get this capability (cruise missile defense) but there are/were no plans to have dedicated interceptors for such a mission because it is a huge drain on resources.

You complicate the matters further by putting a very complex and high-capability interception routine on a trainer aircraft that cannot exist at medium-high altitude and has a dash around mach .4 or .5. It only adds to the situation especially when your platform is severely payload restricted both from a weapons point of view and an electronics package point of view (weight and power). A very very (can't stress the very enough) bad idea, no matter which way you look at it. Hence you won't see it implemented by any nation anytime soon if ever. ;) You'd be lucky to get 15 nm range from an AMRAAM ( and I'm being very generous here) when launched at 15,000 feet at mach .4. Cruise missile defense intercepts are also not as straight forward as air to air launches where you have closure rates that greatly add to your weapons-range and performance.

Like I said, there is a reason why 100% of the airborne tasks for a CMD/BMD mission is ISR and early warning and is likely to remain as such. If you substitute a turboprop for a jet figther you loose the kinematic advantage of the weapon, and also loose the ability to quickly cover large areas of land. Your ISR is useless if your asset cannot get in time for the intercept or if the intercept itself is severely impacted by the energy your platform is able to (or in this case unable to) impart on the weapon. You are also severely crippled by the ability to carry a larger weapon or boosters, or multiple weapons. This means that you need to have a ton of aircraft with overlapping orbits to overcome their inability to actually conduct a meaningful "intercept" and that not only is a bad idea logistically speaking (poor allocation of resources) but over a large area of land it is likely to severely stress your ability to provide meaningful/actionable Cuing and jam-proof hand-offs given that a majority of the intercept calculations are to be perform remotely given the limited ability of the platform.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby vasu raya » 06 Mar 2015 00:56

brar_w wrote:Any MALD type/role decoy, especially one designed for the air has to successfully accomplish two things -

1) Mimic the flight performance of the aircraft it is meant to be a decoy for. This means that it needs to perform at some of the altitudes, and at some of the speeds your strike package is expected to perform at in order to obtain the desired effect.

2) It needs to mimic the signatures of the aircraft it is replicating (radio-frequency repeater tasks from your RFD payload)


The second bullet is ground breaking not the first one, so it should be prioritized

brar_w wrote:The concept has been tried out and worked in the USAF by the MDA. They took the warhead out and made the NCADE into a "Hitile" (added range) and strapped on a aim-9x seeker for a completely fire and forget performance. The problem is that your assets allocation for such a mission is huge and you really need to divert a $hit load of tactical platforms if you want to do anything worthwhile even with the ability to be at 50K feet and supersonic. The consensus at the time was that a PAC-3MSE would work the best given it would have better kinematic and range performance but that puts other strains such as size of the weapon and again the same issues with amount of resources to be allocated comes up. What was the conclusion? Think of this mission as a " lucky chance" type of a thing so that you have a weapon on you if required. The Next Gen. Missile was slated to get this capability (cruise missile defense) but there are/were no plans to have dedicated interceptors for such a mission because it is a huge drain on resources.


if the area of focus is smaller in size, there is no need for too many nos of MKI type of platforms using the AAD/PAC-3. For the PAC-3 is there a reason it was enclosed in a drop tank shaped container?

brar_w wrote:You'd be lucky to get 15 nm range from an AMRAAM ( and I'm being very generous here) when launched at 15,000 feet at mach


acknowledged which is why loitering and precision bombing the launchers is more practical and when there is no air dominance, use expendable trainers and replace them quickly

brar_w wrote:Cruise missile defense intercepts are also not as straight forward as air to air launches where you have closure rates that greatly add to your weapons-range and performance.


The oceans along the 3 sides create a good buffer zone if the CMs can be intercepted over water, is the aerial detection range longer over a clutter less background?

brar_w wrote:This means that you need to have a ton of aircraft with overlapping orbits to overcome their inability to actually conduct a meaningful "intercept" and that not only is a bad idea logistically speaking


can you give an estimate of the radius intercept for a 100km BVR launched at 6km altitude against a low flying 0.8 mach CM say cruising at 500m?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby brar_w » 06 Mar 2015 01:06

The second bullet is ground breaking not the first one, so it should be prioritized


Neither is groundbreaking by itself. its the packaging that is real groundbreaking especially given the size and weight constraints. The architecture is also advanced when all you need is a minimal insertion of components to turn the RFD payload into a jammer payload or have it transition from a decoy to a jammer mid-air, autonomously post-threat detection. The most challenging portion in the MALD is the package performance given vehicle size, range and mission performance constraint and the fact that it was a relatively simple transition from a decoy to a stand-in jammer. Such cruise missile performance (500 nm with the ability to go from mach .4 to mach .9 all the up to 40K feet) isn't very easy to obtain from a vehicle weighing just a tad bit over 100 kg.

According to the Business Standard, the HTT40 trainer version costs around $6.5 Million. Add a sophisticated Electronics payload, and an autonomous unmanned capability and you could well be looking at something closer to 8 Million USD. Hardly expendable when proper expendable weapons for such roles such as MALD cost a fraction ($200K)

if the area of focus is smaller in size, there is no need for too many nos of MKI type of platforms using the AAD/PAC-3. For the PAC-3 why was it enclosed in a drop tank shaped container?


The ALHTK concept was a demonstration program that modeled the sort of disruption in capability, cost and time that would occur if such a system were to be pursued. Entire effort was to come up with a way to introduce this capability without any significant Class A change to either the weapon or the weapon delivery platform (PAC 3 MSE and F-15C/E). The reason the PAC3MSE is enclosed in a pod is so that existing MSE's missiles could be used without the need to beef them up and certify them for multiple take-off, flight and landing missions on an aircraft. By enclosing them you do not need to invest in that capability. Regardless of whether the missiles are enclosed in a pod or not, you are going to have to deal with weight, drag and ultimately the payload/range trade-offs. Even with the ALHTK concept (its a Hittite therefore you gain range) the concept involved way too many assets to cover decent sized area and was deemed unaffordable.

acknowledged which is why loitering and precision bombing the launchers is more practical and when there is no air dominance, use expendable trainers and replace them quickly


Figure out the orbit strength you would need by factoring A) The area you want to cover , B ) The number of missiles you could pile onto C ) The kinematic performance of the platform and D ) The ultimate endurance of the vehicle (Trainer). The number you would come up with would be extremely large. There is a reason no one in the world has come up with such an idea or is looking to implement it.

The oceans along the 3 sides create a good buffer zone if the CMs can be intercepted over water, is the aerial detection range longer over a clutter less background?


Detection is half the problem. Your organic detection capability is next to noting with such vehicle. Off-board cuing can only get you so far from the ground given the horizon. This leaves to persistent off board curing. Because you are relying on a low speed, low-altitude platform you would need to cover a ton of orbits and therefore also need a ton of data-linking, and cuing/ hand off platforms to talk to all these platforms.

This is also the reason why you do not have such tactics used in coastal defense. Best is to have Aerostats or aircraft up in the air for AEW, and be prepared with capable interceptors.
Last edited by brar_w on 06 Mar 2015 02:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby chaitanya » 06 Mar 2015 02:10

Don't know if this was already posted, but a Jaguar crashed Haryana. Pilot is safe and no damage on the ground. TOIlet article

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby vasu raya » 06 Mar 2015 02:25

brar_w wrote:The architecture is also advanced when all you need is a minimal insertion of components to turn the RFD payload into a jammer payload or have it transition from a decoy to a jammer mid-air, autonomously post-threat detection. The most challenging portion in the MALD is the package performance given vehicle size, range and mission performance constraint and the fact that it was a relatively simple transition from a decoy to a stand-in jammer. Such cruise missile performance (500 nm with the ability to go from mach .4 to mach .9 all the up to 40K feet) isn't very easy to obtain from a vehicle weighing just a tad bit over 100 kg.


what you describe is optimization, the issue the trainer as a platform is supposed to address is ab-initio prototyping of the MALD, and the way you describe it sounds as though it is a simple task that anybody can get it done

brar_w wrote:Even with the ALHTK concept (its a Hittite therefore you gain range) the concept involved way too many assets to cover decent sized area and was deemed unaffordable.


In what context that many countries consider road mobile missiles to be survivable from pre-emptive attacks, yet they veer towards the Naval option, what is making them insecure if as you say boost phase intercept for even smaller areas isn't feasible

brar_w wrote: Best is to have Aerostats or aircraft up in the air for AEW, and be prepared with capable interceptors.


This is a given and no there are no interceptors left for such duties given the IAF squadron strength

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby brar_w » 06 Mar 2015 02:46

what you describe is optimization, the issue the trainer as a platform is supposed to address is ab-initio prototyping of the MALD, and the way you describe it sounds as though it is a simple task that anybody can get it done


Prototyping of a MALD like sensor that itself weighs a few kg's on a platform that weighs what exactly? Whats the point of all this. What next, use the Trainer to test Air to Air Missile seekers? :D If you want to develop and test a package for a decoy, mount it on a Harpy and launch it, or test electronic techniques on the ground or as a pod as the rest of the world does.

The SAS that is one of the most critical portions of the electronics package of the MALD looks like this (below)

Image

A trainer like that makes a poor MALD like platform. For testing a MALD like system, it is also a rather poor way to do it when simpler options are available.

In what context that many countries consider road mobile missiles to be survivable from pre-emptive attacks, yet they veer towards the Naval option, what is making them insecure if as you say boost phase intercept for even smaller areas isn't feasible


I have no idea, could you please re-phrase.

This is a given and no there are no interceptors left for such duties given the IAF squadron strength


Interceptors as in missiles not aircraft.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby vasu raya » 06 Mar 2015 03:02

brar_w wrote:Prototyping of a MALD like sensor that itself weighs a few kg's on a platform that weighs what exactly? Whats the point of all this. What next, use the Trainer to test Air to Air Missile seekers?


Typically research programs are authorized by govt. vs. Lockheed or Northrup spending their own funds at this stage of prototyping, which is why when Mr. Bhadoria talked about his plans wrt HTT-40 and HAL spending money out of pocket, the talk was to take more initiatives one being MALD prototyping, sooner or later IAF would want that at block 4 level maybe :roll:

what simpler options in the HAL context? pod sounds good but which aircraft to use?
Last edited by vasu raya on 06 Mar 2015 03:17, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby brar_w » 06 Mar 2015 03:12

Typically research programs are authorized by govt. vs. Lockheed or Northrup spending their own funds at this stage of prototyping, which is why when Mr. Bhadoria talked about his plans wrt HTT-40 and HAL spending money out of pocket, the talk was to take more initiatives one being MALD prototyping, sooner or later IAF would want that at block 4 level maybe


Even lockheed and northrop do most of their R&D from government funding. IRAD is a very small component for them and it usually is in areas covering a broader capability rather than specific systems.

HTT-40 can be a very capable trainer, there is no doubt in my mind if HAL gets the support. However I have plenty of reservations when you begin to do stuff with it that it is not suitable for and a MALD like system is one of them. If you want a cheap, expendable decoy, develop one. Testing and systems development can be done on a pod based system as is common practice in the rest of the world.

what simpler options in the HAL context?


For a MALD like system? Develop a decoy. Put it on a Nirbhay if need be. Definitely cheaper then putting this on a multi-million dollar trainer that is ill-suited for it.


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