Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

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abhik
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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby abhik » 27 Oct 2013 15:30

Singha wrote:my personal plan-B would be 70 more super-30 and 70 more Tejas Mk1. it will also pressurize HAL & ADA to deliver and complete the mk1 properly than just get the easy meat of TOT production and completed documentation and procedures. they need to 'grow up' and deliver a domestic product in volume on fixed wing side and Mk1 is it. on Dhruv side they have grown up.

Cancel the MRCA screw driver cash cow and the LCA will turn from HAL's step child to favourite son overnight.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Aditya_M » 27 Oct 2013 15:52

chackojoseph wrote:Does Indian Air Force need Rafale at all?


This has been a pet theory of one particular BRF Admin, we've shared many a drink while agreeing that 500 MKI + 500 LCA would be the cure to all our ills :)

Mihir wrote:Why, the dashing young one with a full mop of hair, of course! Not the bearded old coot


Why, you.... I'll show you who's old! :x :evil:

*hits Mihir upside the head with walking stick*

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby vic » 27 Oct 2013 17:25

The lifetime or 30 year cost of one Rafale + Spare parts excluding fuel, manpower would be around USD 300 million. While calculating per hour cost, we must take into consideration that Capital Investment cost in India is higher and labour cost lower. On my personal estimate and guesswork the lifetime cost of one Rafale is equal to One Su-30MKI + Two LCA. On purely procurement cost One Rafale is equal to One Su-30 MKI + Four LCA.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2013 17:26

Singha wrote:my personal plan-B would be 70 more super-30 and 70 more Tejas Mk1. it will also pressurize HAL & ADA to deliver and complete the mk1 properly than just get the easy meat of TOT production and completed documentation and procedures. they need to 'grow up' and deliver a domestic product in volume on fixed wing side and Mk1 is it. on Dhruv side they have grown up.


Hear Hear!! Well said.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 27 Oct 2013 19:16

Mihir wrote:Ooh, more estimates! Given how spectacularly the project has overshot previous cost and time estimates, I wouldn't put much faith in these. And I find it hilarious that the JPO and Lockheed don't have a clue as to how they are going to tackle the 700+ problems, but they come up with confident estimates of how much it would cost to fix them
.
.
.
.


Mihir,

I don't think this debate is leading to a conclusion because you refuse to produce and commit yourself to any concrete figures, preferring an entirely rhetorical approach to the issue.

For example, you claim that the approach of concurrency employed is 'bloody expensive'. Now I don't know how many zeros there are in 'bloody expensive'.

And when I produce official figures that show the cost as a mere $6 mil/unit (down from $8.5 mil), you simply rubbish them without deigning to furnish even unsupported numbers from your end.

The only figure you repeatedly restate is that is it has 700+ problems. We both know that for an aircraft running on 10 million lines of code built by 1500 suppliers in 10 countries, that figure is meaningless unless you provide some context. How many problems should an aircraft of this type have had at this stage of development? How severe is the average 'problem'? Jitter in the HMDS is a problem, as is using an unsuitable grade of plastic in fasteners for cockpit instrumentation, but they're hardly comparable. At what pace are the problems being addressed? How many have been solved so far?

But I'm going to assume that was just happenstance, not a deliberate adoption of a 'Sanku-esque' method of debate.

By your estimate (you can choose to support it with references, or not) how do each of these go-

1. How much does a flyaway F-35A cost today? (In $M)
2. How much will it cost in 2015?
3. How much will it cost at post-LRIP?
4. At what development block will it achieve IOC (basic combat capability)?
5. At what development block will it achieve FOC?
6. What year will it achieve IOC?
7. What year will it achieve FOC?
8. What do you expect the cost of concurrency to be?

I hope you'll commit to yourself to figures (based on your personal analysis of course) and not bypass the questions with more rhetoric.
Last edited by Viv S on 27 Oct 2013 21:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Victor » 27 Oct 2013 19:52

Quoting Bill Sweetman on F-35 is like quotin Doggy on NaMo.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby darshhan » 27 Oct 2013 20:19

Victor wrote:Quoting Bill Sweetman on F-35 is like quotin Doggy on NaMo.


There is a difference though. Bill Sweetman has some credibility and what he has said about F-35 is right. F-35 is a failed program. Now in America they can make F-35 work. They have multiple options and alternatives and these can be used to mask F-35 weaknesses. But on its own, I seriously doubt if F-35 has many redeeming features wrt air combat.

Essentially the F-35 program was done in by scope creep.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 21:00

Victor wrote:Quoting Bill Sweetman on F-35 is like quotin Doggy on NaMo.


Although I no clue who Doggy is (nor NaMo), I agree. Bill has made some hilarious blunders in the recent past.

Time will tell what happens to the F-35 program. But, for the immediate future it looks OK. Personally I am inclined to believe they will pull it of.

Even if the plane itself fails there are aspects of this effort that will contribute greatly to future projects - that no other nation would have on hand.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 21:03

And when I produce official figures that show the cost as a mere $6 mil/unit (down from $8.5 mil), you simply rubbish the figures without deigning to furnish even unsupported figures from your end.


I agree. He relies too much on the Vanity Fair article. That article - as I posted earlier - is not a very reliable one simply because it provides no sources or dates.

Nothing you can do. How can we hold a proper discussion with sources and dates - I do not know.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 27 Oct 2013 21:14

darshhan wrote:There is a difference though. Bill Sweetman has some credibility and what he has said about F-35 is right.


The downside of being a strident and outspoken critic (and often enough supporter) of something is that you lose your flexibility when faced with changing circumstances. Mr Sweetman decided several years back that the F-35 was a mistake and a failure, a call that can realistically be made only after a decade or two of service, not while its five years into development. And over several years of very acrimonious debate his position has hardened even further. While he was quite prolific when the bad news for the aircraft was piling up, he's been rather silent over last few months when its been indisputably proven that costs are falling are falling across the board and the pace of development has picked up. Point is, he's (unfortunately for journalist who ought to be more open minded) picked a side and there's no middle ground to be found with him.

F-35 is a failed program. Now in America they can make F-35 work. They have multiple options and alternatives and these can be used to mask F-35 weaknesses. But on its own, I seriously doubt if F-35 has many redeeming features wrt air combat.


Interestingly, two other programs that were believed irredeemable failures were the C-17 and V-22. Today, the primary users for both (USAF and USMC) are very satisfied with their aircraft, and even the IAF has ordered one while the IN evaluates the other.

Personally, I was never convinced by the idea of the F-35 as a 'failed' program quite simply because the US military DID NOT in fact have any options or alternatives. The F-22 ran into trouble because of its closed architecture and maintenance intensive stealth features. Navalising it was hardly viable. And with Russia and China developing stealth aircraft of their own, shelving the plan for a stealth fighter was not an option either.

With a $600 billion/year military-industrial machine pushing it, there are very few hurdles that can't be overcome. The Americans typically operate on a scale 5-10 times larger than the French. In this case given that not only three branches of the US military, but nearly every country that has traditionally operated US equipment was on board, it was bound to squeeze costs down to that of 4th gen fighters (which is now being proven).

As for air combat, the F-16 was not the most effective fighter aircraft in the world, however it was arguably the 'best' because it offered the optimal combination of cost, capability and support. It remains to be seen whether the F-35 will inherit that mantle, but I wouldn't be as quick to write it off.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 27 Oct 2013 21:33

Singha wrote:my personal plan-B would be 70 more super-30 and 70 more Tejas Mk1. it will also pressurize HAL & ADA to deliver and complete the mk1 properly than just get the easy meat of TOT production and completed documentation and procedures. they need to 'grow up' and deliver a domestic product in volume on fixed wing side and Mk1 is it. on Dhruv side they have grown up.


I'll do you one better sir - 70 Tejas Mk1s and 70 twin seat Tejas Mk1s. :D Even in the worst case scenario the latter will retain its utility as a LIFT aircraft. The only downside here is that given the time taken to setup infrastructure to build at this scale, it may overlap the induction of the Tejas Mk2. Hopefully the lines are compatible.

On the other hand, the Su-30MKI loads up at nearly twice the weight of most medium fighters, while its not a linear relation and I am going mostly by intuition, its bound to have a very high operating cost, especially given the fact that the price of jet fuel has risen nearly 300% over the last decade, and is likely to maintain that trend given the continuing growth in demand.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 22:08

Order 150 LCA MK1. If anything this should be Plan A. MMRCA acquisition should be Plan B.


Although I think that would have been a great idea, I am sure that the IAF would have shot it down on arrival.

Besides the LCA does nto need that kind of pressure. Perhaps the AMCA, but not the LCA.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 27 Oct 2013 22:46

"Money makes the mare go",the olde saying might be true with horses and two-legged fillies! However,with respect to the LCA,its taking a great deal more than money to make it "go". There are technical know-how,testing regime,performance shortcomings,production issues,which involve more technical know-how or lack of it ,and management issues that afflict the programme instead of "fodder".A lot of money has bee "fed" to the LCA programme and delivery is a decade+ late and far costlier than envisaged,with the cost of local production for the MK-1 still hanging in the balance.Furthermore as said before,the LCA is meant to solve the problem of the retirement of a few hundred MIG-21s ,instead of being an alternative to the MMRCA.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 23:03

Phillip,

The good thing about your posts is *some of them* are getting shorter. That, IMHO, is a move in the right direction.

I just hope with the impending IOC for the LCA that you maintain your sanity - untill the AMCA starts up.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 27 Oct 2013 23:45

Philip wrote:However,with respect to the LCA,its taking a great deal more than money to make it "go". There are technical know-how,testing regime,performance shortcomings,production issues,which involve more technical know-how or lack of it ,and management issues that afflict the programme instead of "fodder".


On the last page, you're were espousing the late Air Cmde Jasjit Singh's view that an induction of upgraded MiG-21s could have staved off our current woes. Even assuming the most pessimistic scenario, how can the Tejas Mk1 be any worse than a uber-MiG 21?

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Mihir » 28 Oct 2013 00:09

Viv, there is a good reason for my refusal to "produce and commit to concrete figures": your optimism apart, the project simply hasn't reached a stage where one could produce concrete numbers regarding costs and timelines. There are 719 problems yet to be fixed. We don't yet know the scale of these problems or what fixes they will require or how much the effort will cost. Some of these problems are quite serious, and mere hand waving, while a good tactic to score points on internet fora, doesn't solve these in any way.

Let's take HMD jitter, for example. You trivialise it by saying that it is a "software problem" which will be fixed in the next iteration. It is nothing of that sort. There are several issues here, many of them not yet fully understood. For instance, pilots are suffering disorientation while using the HMD. Viewing the world through a video screen placed less than an inch away from a pilot's eyes is not as simple as it may have seemed once. When the system was being conceived, nobody knew for sure how wearing such displays for hours while flying a fighter jet would affect the pilot. The jitter itself is caused by a combination of issues: the vibration of the helmet, the hardware, the software, and so on. Nobody knows what it will take to set these things right. If you think a few lines of code is going to fix all these problems, I've got a bridge to sell you.

Want more? The skin peeling off. With the HMD, LM could just choose to do away with it altogether and replace it with a conventional system. What about the skin and radar-absorbent coating? If you ignore that issue, you can kiss that stealth goodbye. All you would be left with is a pig of a fighter (have you seen the thrust and wing-loading figures?) that can carry two JDAMs. Is there a solution to the problem yet, apart from a prohibition on flying at supersonic speeds? Nope. When this issue was brought up, what did we see? More of the same handwaving.

Which brings me to the larger issue. I have repeatedly called the F-35 a disaster. Because an unbiased look at the program drives one to no other conclusion. The DoD and Lockheed took far too many risks with it, and are now paying the price for those decisions. The approach that is typically taken when developing a highly complex system is to use proven subsystems in the design for the large part, while utilizing a few bleeding-edge technologies that haven’t yet matured to gain an edge on the competition. But with the F-35, everything was radically new, everything was a major break from past practice. Airframe, avionics, propulsion, the man-machine-interface, the development strategy, the production techniques -- you name it. If that wasn't risky enough, they intended it to carry out every conceivable role from air dominance to CAS. All this was done without laying out concrete requirements in detail; giving Lockheed a free hand to do anything it liked while minimising its accountability. And people are surprised that things went pear shaped. This approach doomed the DDG-1000 and it doomed the LCS. Why should the F-35 be any different?

What do we get when these issues are pointed out? Stories about how there are 75 planes flying already. The world laughs at the joke that is "concurrency", but that doesn't stop the fanbois from harping on about how awesome it really is (someone mentioned Sanku-esque methods of debate?). We get links to LRIP costs. As if those numbers are the final word on what combat capable F-35s will cost. As if fixing all the problems that people have been crying themselves hoarse about is as simple as quoting an LRIP cost figure that has been engineered to paint a pretty picture by the Lockheed/DoD PR machine. We get estimates and models and projections. When asked what these lovely estimates are based on, everybody draws a blank. Instead, I get asked what my estimates are. Sorry boss, I am not arrogant enough to assume that my estimates are going to be worth any more than toilet paper at this stage. I'm not even going to go there.

The only argument in this whole debate that has any teeth is that the US has the capability to pour as much money into the program as it would take to produce a working, combat capable F-35. Even then, one wonders what it would cost a country like India to acquire the final product. And there are limits to which financial muscle alone can overcome massive technological, managerial, and organizational hurdles. The F-35 is beginning to show us those limits, IMHO.
Last edited by Mihir on 28 Oct 2013 08:14, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 28 Oct 2013 00:35

Mihir, great points and well marshaled arguments

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby KrishnaK » 28 Oct 2013 01:06

Mihir wrote:[PS: Shameless self-plug :P
http://www.livefistdefence.com/2011/11/ ... -ride.html

Next, even if it is advertised as a “multirole” aircraft, its capability on the aerial warfare front is still seriously suspect. At present the best it can do is carry four air-to-air missiles internally, less than half the capability of either the Typhoon or Rafale. It cannot operate without air cover as it does not possess a swing-role capability. Also, its stealth is not all-aspect like the F-22’s, and so it cannot be relied upon to make its way in and out of enemy territory unassisted.


The USAF is learning the hard way that the F-22’s radar absorbing skin (which the F-35 also uses) is highly vulnerable to rain and dust, and very expensive and difficult to maintain.


:roll:

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 28 Oct 2013 01:23

^Making a face does not count unless you have a point to make. RAM coating used by the F-35(yes it uses the same one as the F-22) have been reported to contribute to huge life-cycle costs, in order to keep lifecycle costs low a compromise has been made i.e unlike in the case of F-22 not all panels and surfaces will be administered this coating. Now while one cannot beat down a stealth platform for this because as far as I know all stealth AC in league of F-22 or JSF will use a RAM coating but one needs to smell the reality that all this will add to the operational costs .

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 28 Oct 2013 02:11

These is from GOTUS link

F-22 Assertions and Facts
July 2009

http://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/_fil ... dFacts.pdf

Assertion: The aircraft's radar-absorbing metallic skin is the principal cause of its
maintenance troubles, with unexpected shortcomings.
Fact: Stealth is a breakthrough system capability and it requires regular maintenance,
just like electronics or hydraulics. The skin of the F-22 is a part of the stealth capability
and it requires routine maintenance. About one-third of the F-22’s current maintenance
activity is associated with the stealth system, including the skin
. It is important to
recognize the F-22 currently meets or exceeds its maintenance requirements, and the
operational capability of the F-22 is outstanding, in part due to its stealth system.


Just like Ru aren't telling us details of how to make a T-90 barrel and French are reluctant to share the know how of making subs , Amrika will not give us ToT for JSF (in any case we are not in a position to absorb it) but JSF will create a big hole in our pocket because a big part of it's operational costs is application of RAM coating which US will never enable us to make on our own , in a best case we will buy it in sealed packets and apply it here .

Then following is a study by Janes (although personally I do not read much into them unless it is the individual air force putting down those numbers with specifics listed)

FAST JET OPERATING COSTS
COST PER FLIGHT HOUR STUDY OF SELECTED
AIRCRAFT
EDWARD HUNT
SENIOR CONSULTANT, AEROSPACE & DEFENCE CONSULTING


That report is prepared for SAAB aerospace and obviously Gripen gets the lowest CPFH numbers. :)

But fwiw Rafale has lower numbers than EF . JSF's are at another level it's like operating a Rafale+ Gripen together. :lol:
Last edited by negi on 28 Oct 2013 02:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 28 Oct 2013 02:18

ANY stealth plane can be "hidden" using various technologies (contouring, paint, hiding the fan blades, etc). But the one part that cannot be hidden is the radar itself - since it needs to let the reflections back in the cone cannot be treated.

So, how do they make that "vanish"? How do they prevent the opponents energies from entering, while allowing their own to enter the cone?

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby KrishnaK » 28 Oct 2013 02:43

The F-22 requires heavy doses of regular and expensive low observable materials maintenance. F-35 stealth surfaces, by contrast, are extremely resilient in all conditions, according to the Lockheed team.


This, he went on, is true in part because the conductive materials needed to absorb and disperse incoming radar energy are baked directly into the aircraft’s multilayer composite skin and structure.

Moreover, the surface material smoothes out over time, slightly reducing the F-35’s original radar signature, according to the Lockheed Martin official. Only serious structural damage will disturb the F-35’s low observability, O’Bryan said, and Lockheed Martin has devised an array of field repairs that can restore full stealthiness in just a few hours.


The F-35’s radar cross section, or RCS, has a "maintenance margin," O’Bryan explained, meaning it’s "always better than the spec." Minor scratches and even dents won’t affect the F-35’s stealth qualities enough to degrade its combat performance, in the estimation of the company. Field equipment will be able to assess RCS right on the flight line, using far less cumbersome gear than has previously been needed to make such calculations.


The F-35’s Race Against Time

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 28 Oct 2013 02:51

The F-35 does not have the same surface treatment as the F-22. As far as I have read the F-35 had issues of pealing around the exhaust and not all over the plane. I THINK it has been addressed.

On the inclement weather part there was a crack that was detected and thus the plane was grounded specially in weather with lightening. I can find nothing that says the plane is not able to fly at night or in bad weather.

IF anyone has any recent articles (especially from proper sources) with dates I would appreciate it.

Anyways, Jan is right around the corner and we should find official answers for most of these issues.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 28 Oct 2013 02:59

^ Sir F-22 is the best LM has built till date in that category, there is a reason why it is not on SALE; it has stealth treatment for a wider band than the JSF . F-22 is EXPENSIVE to operate (well there again one could say it can hold 8 AAMs as against JSFs 4 internally so it's equivalent to 2 JSFs but then that is a different discussion).

On JSF's RAM coating if you believe that LM uses a better and more rugged RAM coating for a cheaper AC for sale to other countries then it is misplaced . F-35's use of RAM material is not as extensive as the F-22 and that is how costs both installation and operational are brought down , no one says it gets peeled when AC is parked in rain but it is a fact that it deteriorates faster than a normal paint and hence re-application of that material is a significant part of the operational cost .

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 28 Oct 2013 03:09

KrishnaK there is something called Brochurites that article is a classic example of the same, the reason I say that is not only the RCS figures for both F-22 and F-35 are classified they are not supposed to be divulged out to some magazine for kicks not even by LM guys . Now then when you do not know how small F-22 appears on a Radar as compared to the F-35; it becomes non nonsensical from there on to talk about things like F-35 has a better margin of stealth despite getting scratched; likewise a conventional fighter's RCS will virtually remain unchanged even if you inscribed your name on it with capital letters IOW this MARGIN of STEALTH is on the fly PPTgiri there is no such thing likewise MKI's margin for stealth is INFINITE because it has a huge RCS to begin with. My point being if the RCS if big enough to begin with it will not change with a scratch to a surface exposed to EM waves , F-22 suffers from this because apparently it's RCS is very small when unblemished . F-35's RCS might not increase much with a scratch but that does not mean it is coated with something superior to the F-22 it simply means that it was not that stealthy to begin with.

Basically LM knows F-22 is not for SALE no point in praising it in public in fact it is good that it gets bashed but same is not the case with the F-35 it is out there for sale and since it's a zero sum game technically all those F-35 sales will finance the USAF's F-22 fleet :)

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 28 Oct 2013 03:41

Oh by the way I just despise all this COST related discussion because there are too many variables which are unaccounted for. For instance one fact is one of the biggest if not the biggest contributor to the life-cycle or operating costs of a fighter aircraft is jet fuel now USA is one of the biggest producers of jet fuel not only that, the fuel is cheap there thanks to the munna SA and the chemical and nuclear weapons found in Iraq and Iran. So when we buy an AC which has say a operational cost of 15,000 USD per hour to the USAF we need to factor in the difference in cost of jet fuel to USAF vs other air forces in our case the IAF.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 28 Oct 2013 04:27

F-22 is the best LM has built till date in that category, there is a reason why it is not on SALE; it has stealth treatment for a wider band than the JSF . F-22 is EXPENSIVE to operate (well there again one could say it can hold 8 AAMs as against JSFs 4 internally so it's equivalent to 2 JSFs but then that is a different discussion).


All I said was they were different. And, IF there is an issue of peeling that it was at near the exhaust. That is it. {So, I do not know where the expensive stuff, etc came from.} If there is any article stating that the peeling is all over, etc would appreciate a source. Thx.

On JSF's RAM coating if you believe that LM uses a better and more rugged RAM coating for a cheaper AC for sale to other countries then it is misplaced . F-35's use of RAM material is not as extensive as the F-22 and that is how costs both installation and operational are brought down , no one says it gets peeled when AC is parked in rain but it is a fact that it deteriorates faster than a normal paint and hence re-application of that material is a significant part of the operational cost .


Again, the issue is about peeling - anywhere - parked, flying, doing whatever. Any sources for the bolded part by any chance? Again, thx.

(If you do not have any sources that is fine, just want to make sure if it from a source or your guess (that does not sound right I know)}

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Victor » 28 Oct 2013 04:54

Mihir wrote:
Let's take HMD jitter, for example...There are several issues here, many of them not yet fully understood. For instance, pilots are suffering disorientation while using the HMD. Viewing the world through a video screen placed less than an inch away from a pilot's eyes is not as simple as it seems

DoD has canceled the BAE helmet which was supposed to be the "safe" backup design and have settled on the original one. They obviously don't have a problem with it any longer though I wouldn't expect them to explain why in detail for folks like us. It gives pilots a 360 degree view including thru the floor and walls.

Want more? The skin peeling off.

F-35 has RAM baked onto its composite skin unlike F-117, B-2 and early F-22s. No more peeling skin.

Which brings me to the larger issue. I have repeatedly called the F-35 a disaster

It is--for every other aircraft.

What this long gestation period and learning curve has ensured is no other country has the capacity to come close in the near to medium term.
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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Mihir » 28 Oct 2013 05:00

Karan, thanks! :)

negi
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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 28 Oct 2013 05:36

Victor that baked into is misleading and I see that how nicely you clubbed F-22 with a 1st generation stealth AC like the nighthawk and for god's sake what is B-2 even doing there ? Baked into is all forum talk no one is going to tell you how exactly they do it.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Victor » 28 Oct 2013 06:06

negi wrote:Victor that baked into is misleading and I see that how nicely you clubbed F-22 with a 1st generation stealth AC like the nighthawk and for god's sake what is B-2 even doing there ? Baked into is all forum talk no one is going to tell you how exactly they do it.

Right, all of this is forum talk. Do you have any special nformation that makes it "misleading"?
Early F-22 had sprayed/painted RAM like F-117 and B2 that needed extra care. Not so with F-35. Unless you know better, and if so pls share with us.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 28 Oct 2013 06:16

^ Dude for a start can you tell me what does baked into actually mean in terms of composites ? I mean I do not know what it means why should I ? I am not the one selling that idea here you must know and understand what stuff means before you use to push forward your case .For a start I said forum talk because composites are either made by moulding process or in a high pressure autoclave , baking is incorrect in that context those fanboys on f-16 .net and key publishing forums have used that term before hence my point . Btw before one even laps up baked in argument do you know that high % of F-35 is still metal ? I suppose that baked in thingy does not apply there .


In any case my point still stands i.e no in going to tell you as to how F-22's RaM coatings are done how can you then even say with authority as to what F-35 uses is any different leave alone more rugged than F-22 which is an outright Joke btw. It's like saying DRDO's kanchan module for T-72 is more rugged than the one on the Arjun.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Victor » 28 Oct 2013 06:42

What we can agree on is nobody knows for sure on RAM knowhow but if the scuttlebutt is F-35 has baked- on RAM and therefore no peeling, I'll go with that. That's all I'm saying. If you think the forum fanbois are wrong on this, it would bolster your case and be more help if you gave us some more info.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 28 Oct 2013 07:18

Victor wrote:What we can agree on is nobody knows for sure on RAM knowhow but if the scuttlebutt is F-35 has baked- on RAM and therefore no peeling, I'll go with that. That's all I'm saying. If you think the forum fanbois are wrong on this, it would bolster your case and be more help if you gave us some more info.


The source for being baked is from LM (KrishnaK posted above) from the AF Magazine.

This, he went on, is true in part because the conductive materials needed to absorb and disperse incoming radar energy are baked directly into the aircraft’s multilayer composite skin and structure.


There was "delamination" on the "Horizontal tail surface" (under a very specific circumstance). That was from last year. It was expected to be fixed in Jan, 2013. However, Magellan Aerospace (Canada) manufactured first pair of horizontal tail surfaces were installed in the past week or so. "Magellan is expected to produce more than 1,000 sets of the components for the program over, approximately, a 20-year period." So, I suspect that this "delamination" issue has been fixed. Need to verify that.

During the "problem" phase, the air crafts were restricted from flying under the situation under which the problem occurred (very high speed/high altitude). Never were they grounded for thsi particular reason.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 28 Oct 2013 07:23

Thing is that even the F-22 was designed with everything supposedly taken care of. Then it was discovered that its RAM was subpar, and also had maintenance issues. Also, the Raptor cough issue developed with an untested ECS.

Question is what says that the JSF will be different? If anything, its a riskier program because it compressed timelines, and sacrificed iterative development for concurrency. The lessons learnt from the Raptor are one thing, but the problems caused by trying to squeeze tri-service requirements into one airframe, and also trying to fix things as they go along are directly opposite. Plus, the desire to push the envelope in every respect and taking unnecessary risks (e.g. HMD, integrated avionics a step beyond the F-22 CIP etc).

Bottomline, as Mihir said - the only thing that bodes well for the program is that it is an US one and their only game in town, so a relatively infinite warchest of funding is available. But by all other standards it comes across as a boodoggle

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 28 Oct 2013 07:33

Could it be a dog, certainly it can. That it has problems is for sure, they are documented. But, they have time to solve them.

But to extrapolate based on the F-22 experience is not a valid reason. Speculation perhaps.

On cost is one place I totally disagree - reasons have been provided.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 28 Oct 2013 07:39

Nrao it is like this F-35 is NOT our program why should I read too much into it or give it a benefit of doubt when we do not extend the same to programs here in India ? I find it intellectually dishonest to give more credibility to what LM or someone one outside has to say than when same is said by DRDO or the IAF, baked into multilayed skin is it ? For starters what is a skin ? Isn't a coating of paint a skin in theory ? I mean I can go on and on this is just plain and simple PPT giri at it's best . I for one believe in the old adage i.e. seeing is believing . JSF is not operational , skin peeling or other issues will truly be flagged off as fixed by USAF or other customers when they operate the JSF. Remember F-22's issues came up after it was deployed .
Last edited by negi on 28 Oct 2013 07:41, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 28 Oct 2013 07:40

Why is it not right to extrapolate based on the F-22? Its the nearest equivalent by the same bunch of folks.

Cost for the program has already ballooned beyond the initial estimates.

That it has problems, yes it does - problem is this concurrency approach, triservice requirement and certain suboptimal decisions made earlier on (weight reduction by all and every means necessary) mean that the chances of significant issues arising are definitely there.

As regards it being a dog.. well, in terms of manouverability, and acceleration, the Marine Corps variant is already one. The Navy/USAF variants are average, if not outright bad. Thing is as the aircraft performance "slides", the more and more dependent it is on stealth alone as its key SP and perhaps at this rate, it will become its one and only USP.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby SaiK » 28 Oct 2013 07:43

I think the problem in the costing is they want to calculate a faster ROI on future technology, and that can never happen in defence areas, escpecially programs like f-22 and jsf. The kind of new technology cost and investments that goes in have to be separated out as fixed and sunk costs., and will have to purely go by taking only production marginal cost alone for revenue generation. such a model means lower cost to end-user, and slower ROI. But, that is how the market is for such products. I would not expect F-22 and JSF to be sold more than 150 and 100 million per puppy to make an impact with NATO and allied nations.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 28 Oct 2013 07:49

ROI is something LM will look at. Thing is the cost gets higher, that means fewer exports, that means smaller production run, which means higher costs for USAF as well. If it ends up as the F-22, shiny but unaffordable, then its a huge challenge for the USAF recapitalization, because they don't have a plan B.


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