Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby SaiK » 28 Oct 2013 08:01

NRao wrote: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?

in my understanding, LPI mode ops or even better passive listening mode. I think the raptor radar does a burst mode, to transmit, and listen on the feedback... so that it is not on a continuous broadcast of signals. Its passive receivers can receive the returns perhaps, to confirm target acquired by main radar, and continue tracking from then on. need more details, but I have lost reference to what I read.. it should be out on the google somewhere.

and regarding silent mode stealth ops, the angle of t/r modules is such that it can reflect beam off the return path.
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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Mihir » 28 Oct 2013 08:03

Victor wrote:
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.

Nope, they have just decided to focus on fixing the original HMD. They haven't actually fixed anything yet.

Victor wrote:
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.

Oh, I see. The RAM is baked in. That solves everything, I s'pose. Oh wait, it doesn't.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Mihir » 28 Oct 2013 08:09

Karan M wrote: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.

The thing is, in the early 2000s, being a dog would have been something the IAF would have put up with, especially if the trade-off came in the form of low observability. The threat scenario has undergone a drastic change since then with the IAF's focus shifting to fighting China. If the F-35 can't manoeuvre effectively in the thin air of the Himalayas or take-off from airstrips at high altitude, there's no point to stealth alone.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 28 Oct 2013 09:02

Yes,I have been in the past,a decade ago advocating with others building more MIG-21s,which were built at the cost of only 1.2 cr. then. I have also advocated focussing all our efforts on the LCA and not wasting out time,money and human resources on futile programmes like the HTT-40,as the LCA is our top desi aviation programme.The LCA MK-1 would be a great acquisition as replacement for the MIGs but,where is it? With respect to NR ,Initial IOC/FOC does not mean that the aircraft enters sqd. combat service immediately.Those who've been in the loop writing in VAYU,etc.,like Khokar and others,say that it will take 2 years .Earliest date,Dec. 2015.Our production rate "officially" is only 8 per year.I've repeatedly pointed out that with that low prod. rate,we cannot replace 200+ legacy MIGs before 2020 with LCAs and 120+ Bisons after 2020.This is simple math.Even ramped up to the 16/yr. fig hoped for after a few years of production,it will take 6 years to build 100 LCAs,that too only MK-1s!

MK-2 has yet to fly,the version that will have met the IAF's SR,has numerous design changes ,new engine,new airframe,etc.,requiring it to go through the entire testing regime that Mk-1 has gone through,which will take 3-4 yrs. at conservative estimates,not the "2 yrs" hoped for by the ADA given its rtack record.So when do we get series production of MK-2 up and running? Anyone's guess.Therefore what is actually going to happen is a "widening gap" as legacy aircraft are retired ,not one closing with the LCA's series production! Even if the Rafale is acquired,at what rate will local production of this far more sophisticated aircraft with its cutting edge tech like AESA radars,engines,etc. be able to deliver?
Therefore,one cannot escape the hard truth that next year,it is going to be crisis stations for the IAF and it will be begging the MOD for a foreign buy to keep its capability alive.ACM Bowne's successor is going to take the controls in very turbulent weather.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby SaiK » 28 Oct 2013 09:25

widening gap will be widening until LCA=mk1 goes operational, and further reduces when mk2 goes operational. however, the demand for maintaining the gap is higher than the demand for closing the gap, based on program charter to program implementation of various plans, investments, and capability enhancements for LCA platform as such. We are way too slow in engaging and creating manufacturing bases for LCA. I would say, production engineering is where the gap is... if we fix that with more public-private participation, then we can make it to surface.

right now, whatever we say negative about LCA, it has no other option than to deliver Mk1, and Mk2. We can make it better, by advancing the technology capabilities of production engineering. HAL is lagging big time on that front.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby pragnya » 28 Oct 2013 10:01

negi wrote: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:


i had linked the Janes study with other links and calculated the 'extra' operating costs that IAF may have to bear in case of F-35.

viewtopic.php?p=1532330#p1532330

viewtopic.php?p=1532671#p1532671

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 28 Oct 2013 11:43

Mihir wrote: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.


Mihir, let me again rephrase my question - are the problems with the F-35 i) unfixable, ii) prohibitively expensive to fix, or iii) prohibitively time-consuming. And what sort of margin would be reasonable in terms of cost escalation (5%,10%,15%..?) and delay (1yr,2yr,3yr..?)


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.


The impression you're giving (without saying it outright) with regard to the HMD is that... its nearly unfixable because it so over-complicated/cursed. I would however like to point out that the F-35's HMDS is not the first-of-its-kind even if it is intended to be the most sophisticated, and the similar 'Striker' helmet developed by BAE is already operational on the Eurofighter.


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.


The bubbling and peeling was observed specifically in areas near the exhaust when the afterburner was employed at supersonic speeds. The (false) impression you're giving is that the skin itself majorly faulty. And even if no solution is found and panels on sections of the horizontal tail-plane have to be replaced with a less stealthy alternative, the aircraft's overall VLO characteristics will barely be compromised especially compared to something like the PAK FA.


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?).


Actually most of the world is an F-35 customer (most first-rate air forces in any case). And the reference to the Sanku-esque method of debate was in the context of your avoiding posting any figures (that may understandably in the future be revised and therefore jeopardize the original argument).


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.


I've posted the concurrency costs as well which as per you are $[bloody expensive]/unit while the US DoD (which has no credibility in your eyes) is $6 mil/unit.

And by the way, I've posted Rafale costs as well, unsurprisingly that part always gets swept under the carpet.


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.


Sir, what are your predictions about the F-35 if not but estimates based on your analysis. As a matter of fact, I've been asking you for two posts now to furnish figures to support them, but have drawn a total blank so far (minus one reference to an article in the Vanity Fair magazine).


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.


Which would imply that a working combat capable F-35 is not as much of a mirage as you've made it out to be.


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.


3000+ units to be operated by over 15 air forces and navies. And as large as the hurdles, that's an unprecedented scale of manufacture.
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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 28 Oct 2013 11:55

Mihir wrote: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.

Mihir wrote:Nope, they have just decided to focus on fixing the original HMD. They haven't actually fixed anything yet.



May 9 2012

The head of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program touted a fix for the jet’s troubled, high-tech helmet, which officials hope will solve jitter picture and lag time issues.

A “micro-inertial measurement unit” is expected to fix the jitter, while “signal processing changes in the software and the architecture” could fix the lag, Vice Adm. David Venlet, the F-35 program manager said after testifying at a May 8 U.S. Senate hearing.

In 2011, Lockheed Martin, the F-35 prime contractor, selected an alternated helmet made by BAE Systems.

“I’m not going to let go of that alternate until I’ve got demonstrated performance of the one I really want,” Venlet said.




Oct 10 2013

The Pentagon said on Thursday it would halt work on a second pilot helmet being developed for the F-35 fighter jet by Britain's BAE Systems Plc, and focus exclusively on the main helmet built by Rockwell Collins Inc and Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd.

The Pentagon's F-35 program office said the move followed improvements to the Rockwell-Elbit helmet, including a better night vision camera, and would save about $45 million in funding that would have been needed to finish the BAE helmet.

Lockheed said the move amounted to a vote of confidence in the main helmet and efforts to resolve earlier problems.
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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Christopher Sidor » 28 Oct 2013 12:27

Viv S wrote:
pragnya wrote:i noted that. even if you separate operating cost from acquisition cost - it is still a cost which has to be borne by IAF. isn't it??

besides as i noted, we have no idea of flyaway, operating or acquisition cost of Rafale. we have some metrics abt CPFH which give an indiaction on operating cost though.


Its to be borne by the IAF yes. The total cost is a sum of the acquisition cost, operating cost and support cost.

While the operating cost for the Rafale is no doubt lower (by $48 million/unit acc. to the study), it unfortunately will be more expensive to acquire and support.

Overall the F-35 is likely to prove cheaper. Question is the ToT and access provided by Rafale more valuable than the F-35's lower cost (delivered off-the-shelf), and superior combat effectiveness? I don't believe it is.


Doesn't the operating cost include the support cost for the aircraft?

You do have a point. Rafale is a 4 Gen fighter anyway one looks at it. It is not a 5th Gen one. So why are we going to sign a ToT for a 4th Gen fighter, i.e. yesterday's machine, when the future is going to be 5th and 6th Gen fighters?

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 28 Oct 2013 12:58

Mihir wrote:The thing is, in the early 2000s, being a dog would have been something the IAF would have put up with, especially if the trade-off came in the form of low observability. The threat scenario has undergone a drastic change since then with the IAF's focus shifting to fighting China. If the F-35 can't manoeuvre effectively in the thin air of the Himalayas or take-off from airstrips at high altitude, there's no point to stealth alone.


The flip-side is since the early 2000s the Chinese air defences have undergone a rapid and continuing transformation, with the proliferation of S-300 class systems, multiple classes of AEW&C aircraft, modern 4G fighters and vastly improved training standards. At a time when the Russians are working to expand their strike capability (with the PAK DA development), the Rafale can hardly be relied upon to prevail against a larger better equipped PLAAF.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 28 Oct 2013 13:05

Christopher Sidor wrote:Doesn't the operating cost include the support cost for the aircraft?


I don't believe the cost of upgrades is included in most estimates. The operating cost of the Rafale in Jane's study was given as $16500/hr. Which amounts to just under $100 million per aircraft over 6000 hours.

But this clearly doesn't factor in the cost of an MLU, which given that the Mirage upgrade costed $50 mil/unit in 2011, will comfortably be in excess $150 mil/unit post-2030. Even measured at FY 2011 prices, its optimistic to hope for anything under $75-80 million.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 28 Oct 2013 13:42

^MLU is never an operational or life cycle cost for you don't know what goes in a MLU . Besides unless you know what exactly amounted to alleged 50 million USD per one M2K you cannot bring that into this discussion for it's not relevant how do you know if JSF's MLU won't cost more since it built to higher degree of precision and all that. M2K MLU included the Micas too I am not sure how you have arrived at those numbers in the first place.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 28 Oct 2013 13:46

pragnya wrote:Viv S

i don't want to argue for the sake of it on the acquisition cost - as Rafale's is only known to GOI/IAF/CNC while F 35's is hypothetical.

as for operating cost, i am sorry, again you are choosing and using it to favour F 35. i gave many links which broadly gives a range for CPFH for both Rafale and F 35. let me give it again.


On the contrary, every study employs a set of assumptions; a fuel cost X, manpower cost Y, training cost Z and so on, all for a particular median flight profile. Point is, its a mistake to calculate the CPFH for one aircraft from averaging out one group of references while calculating it for the other with a different group of references and comparing the two.

For example, the Jane's study you posted shows the F-35's CPFH as $21,000. Now you assert that this ought to be averaged out with the figure of $24,000 given to the Dutch.
However that testimony claims that it will cost just 10% more to operate than the F-16. Clearly this isn't the CPFH that they're referring to (not unless the F-16 is priced at $22,500/hr).

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 28 Oct 2013 13:52

Dude you cannot pick your sources at whim because some don't suit your pov , besides did I hear you talk about fuel ? US has access to one of the largest supplies of jet fuel all big name jet fuel refineries operate there . So the CPHF numbers in that article are conservative only specially when we are concerned for we import crude. Besides it goes without saying that CPFH numbers for a home Air Force will alway be less USAF numbers will always be less just like we will have low numbers for the LCA.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 28 Oct 2013 14:04

negi wrote:^MLU is never an operational or life cycle cost for you don't know what goes in a MLU . Besides unless you know what exactly amounted to alleged 50 million USD per one M2K you cannot bring that into this discussion for it's not relevant how do you know if JSF's MLU won't cost more since it built to higher degree of precision and all that. M2K MLU included the Micas too I am not sure how you have arrived at those numbers in the first place.


Haven't said anything different - upgrades will factored into support costs not operating costs. The Mirage 2000 upgrade cost $50 mil/unit despite some 600 being in service today. The F-35's MLU will cost less because its being ameliorated over an order of 2000+ units whereas Rafale costs are spread over just 225 aircraft (assuming no further cuts take place). Not to mention the fact that since the French will start retiring the Rafale long before us, upgrades will remain a lower priority for them over the last leg of its service.

Also, the Mirage 2000 MLU did not include MICAs. That cost another $1.23 billion for 490 missiles.



negi wrote:Dude you cannot pick your sources at whim because some don't suit your pov , besides did I hear you talk about fuel ? US has access to one of the largest supplies of jet fuel all big name jet fuel refineries operate there . So the CPHF numbers in that article are conservative only specially when we are concerned for we import crude. Besides it goes without saying that CPFH numbers for a home Air Force will alway be less USAF numbers will always be less just like we will have low numbers for the LCA.


The figures for the USAF perhaps, but not for the Dutch. Plus the study by Jane's certainly wouldn't have factored dual operating costs for the F-35.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Aditya_M » 28 Oct 2013 15:45

Is the Striker helmet on the Eurofighter operational? And secondly, is there any open-domain info on how it works? The reason I'm asking is that the JSF's helmet needs a massive network of external cameras to give a 3D, unhindered view. I haven't heard of the same on the Eurofighter. Any more info would be appreciated.

The one issue with the JSF and the display, however, is the cockpit. In the event of any sort of display failure, the JSF cockpit does not provide good visibility - it isn't a bubble cockpit for L/O reasons. The EF at least has a proper bubble canopy, giving the pilot some decent visibility.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 28 Oct 2013 16:13

negi wrote: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 .


I believe it was originally stated by LM -


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.

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... ghter.aspx



There's also a reference to it in Popular Mechanics, though its a little iffy -

The F-35's approach to radar-absorbent material (RAM) is more reliable than that of any earlier warplane. The F-22's surfaces are made of aluminum, which are covered in RAM that must constantly be reapplied. This is, of course, a nightmare for maintenance crews. But the F-35 is made of carbon-fiber composite; Lockheed engineers bake RAM into the airplane's edges in an effort to soak up inbound radar.


While the F-35 employs a higher percentage of composites, AFAIK it has an aluminium frame as well.



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.


Notwithstanding the mechanism of the RAM application in the two, there is little doubt that the F-35 employs a more maintenance friendly grade of stealth.


F-35 Stealth Coatings Applied to F-22

"[The F-35 program] had some more robust materials that were more durable and we were able to pull those back on to the F-22. So our system is better, and the life-cycle cost of the F-22 is reduced."

Analyst Dan Goure said, "It's not going to transform the airplane, but what it's going to really do is make it much cheaper to operate the F-22 fleet, which is terribly important given its small size."

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 28 Oct 2013 16:35

Aditya_M wrote:Is the Striker helmet on the Eurofighter operational? And secondly, is there any open-domain info on how it works? The reason I'm asking is that the JSF's helmet needs a massive network of external cameras to give a 3D, unhindered view. I haven't heard of the same on the Eurofighter. Any more info would be appreciated.


2011- So far 50 helmets have been delivered to the air forces of Italy, Germany, Spain and UK, with a delivery rate of about eight per month, Eurofighter spokesman Marco-Valerio Bonelli told Reuters. In the UK, they will be operational by the end of the year.

Striker Helmet Demonstration
BBC feature

There was one really good article about it, though I can't recall what the source was. I'll take a look around.

It doesn't compare to the VSI Gen 2 in terms of visual acuity, but understandably BAE was tasked with developing the F-35's low cost alternative helmet.


The one issue with the JSF and the display, however, is the cockpit. In the event of any sort of display failure, the JSF cockpit does not provide good visibility - it isn't a bubble cockpit for L/O reasons. The EF at least has a proper bubble canopy, giving the pilot some decent visibility.


True. But you could say about the PAK FA too, and that as far as I know doesn't have a similar HMDS in development.
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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby pragnya » 28 Oct 2013 16:36

Viv S wrote:On the contrary, every study employs a set of assumptions; a fuel cost X, manpower cost Y, training cost Z and so on, all for a particular median flight profile. Point is, its a mistake to calculate the CPFH for one aircraft from averaging out one group of references while calculating it for the other with a different group of references and comparing the two.

For example, the Jane's study you posted shows the F-35's CPFH as $21,000. Now you assert that this ought to be averaged out with the figure of $24,000 given to the Dutch.

However that testimony claims that it will cost just 10% more to operate than the F-16. Clearly this isn't the CPFH that they're referring to (not unless the F-16 is priced at $22,500/hr).


Viv, now you are just arguing for the sake of it. Janes was one of them i am not 'asserting' any thing. the $24000 fig (contested by the Pentagon chief for the same reasons you quote above) and 'going to be less than $31900' figs are the latest figs and come from the horse's mouth. even here i took an avg for the sake being fair and calculated unlike you 'picking' the figs to suit F 35.

here is a june 2012 report based on GAO -

$35,200: The Air Force’s target cost per flight hour for its F-35A. That’s compared to about $22,500 per flight hour for an F-16 today – though program and Pentagon officials say it’s apples-and-oranges trying to compare F-35 costs to “legacy” aircraft.

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2012/06/15/f-35-by-the-numbers/

so should i take $24000 or $31900 or $35200?? either way operating costs go over the roof for us.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 28 Oct 2013 16:52

pragnya wrote:Viv, now you are just arguing for the sake of it. Janes was one of them i am not 'asserting' any thing. the $24000 fig (contested by the Pentagon chief for the same reasons you quote above) and 'going to be less than $31900' figs are the latest figs and come from the horse's mouth. even here i took an avg for the sake being fair and calculated unlike you 'picking' the figs to suit F 35.


I don't think you're getting me here.

You want to take an average of the Jane's figures and GAO figures for F-35. Jane says F-16 costs $7,000/hr, GAO says it costs $22,500/hr. Clearly when they talk about cost per hour they're not talking about the same thing. So the Rafale's $16,500 for Jane's will translate to a different cost by the GAO's metric.


When a study compares the cost of two or more aircraft it uses the same assumptions for both. Take the cost of fuel for example; it might say that the aircraft will spend 25% of the median flight in low subsonic speed, 75% in the high subsonic/transonic regime and 25% while supersonic, and calculate fuel consumption from that. Another study might use a ratio of 10:80:10. Both would be correct, but you wouldn't be able to take cost of aircraft A from one study and compare it cost of aircraft B from another study.

I've quoted Jane's findings that you posted, only because it compared both the Rafale and F-35 (and Gripen, EF, SH & F-16) within the same parameters.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby pragnya » 28 Oct 2013 17:08

Viv S wrote:I don't think you're getting me here.

You want to take an average of the Jane's figures and GAO figures for F-35. Jane says F-16 costs $7,000/hr, GAO says it costs $22,500/hr. Clearly when they talk about cost per hour they're not talking about the same thing. So the Rafale's $16,500 for Jane's will translate to a different cost by the GAO's metric.


When a study compares the cost of two or more aircraft it uses the same assumptions for both. Take the cost of fuel for example; it might say that the aircraft will spend 25% of the median flight in low subsonic speed, 75% in the high subsonic/transonic regime and 25% while supersonic, and calculate fuel consumption from that. Another study might use a ratio of 10:80:10. Both would be correct, but you wouldn't be able to take cost of aircraft A from one study and compare it cost of aircraft B from another study.

I've quoted Jane's findings that you posted, only because it compared both the Rafale and F-35 (and Gripen, EF, SH & F-16) within the same parameters.


i am sorry you are not getting it.

Janes fig of F-35 was wrt RAAF and not USAF.

besides the fig of $24000 that F35 PEO is quoting for the dutch says very clearly it is 10% more then F-16 fig (must be the later blocks with current costs) with USAF. this again is contested by Pentagon Chief who says it is higher than $24000 but less than $31900 which was quoted to the congress earlier. besides the fig for F-16 quoted in Janes is based on a US study material from 2005 (must be referring to earlier blocks and the then costs)!!!

so do you take the latest figs or 'only' Janes fig??

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Mihir » 28 Oct 2013 19:02

Viv S wrote:Mihir, let me again rephrase my question - are the problems with the F-35 i) unfixable, ii) prohibitively expensive to fix, or iii) prohibitively time-consuming. And what sort of margin would be reasonable in terms of cost escalation (5%,10%,15%..?) and delay (1yr,2yr,3yr..?)

Let's try this another way, shall we? Why don't you provide:

- A detailed list of the problems with the F-35
- The proposed solutions
- The schedule to develop, test, and implement each solution
- The costs associated with each fix
- Probability figures outlining how likely they are to stick to those projected costs and timelines? Or better still, a probability distribution that shows a range of possible outcomes and the probability associated with each?

I will then give you all the numbers and estimates you want. If the above aren't know then I suggest we avoid engaging in further speculation. The only concrete figure I have is that the program saw a 70% increase in overall costs for 400 fewer fighters; and that is before the F-35 is nowhere near ready. It does not paint a pretty picture.

Viv S wrote:The impression you're giving (without saying it outright) with regard to the HMD is that... its nearly unfixable because it so over-complicated/cursed. I would however like to point out that the F-35's HMDS is not the first-of-its-kind even if it is intended to be the most sophisticated, and the similar 'Striker' helmet developed by BAE is already operational on the Eurofighter.

Striker? Really? If that's your argument, let us say that the F-35 is similar to the F-16 and be done with it, ja? And yes, I *am* making the case that the HMD is extremely complicated and will take a long time to fix. If the program managers wished to deploy a system of this sort, they should have done so on a less complex project that was largely ready for operations so that the overall program risk could be managed. Or even better, they should have sanctioned the development of the HMD and its associated sensors before the F-35 was conceived, testing it out on something like a T-38 or a modified Phantom/F-16/B-52. But no, they decided to go with brand new, untested systems everywhere.

Viv S wrote:The bubbling and peeling was observed specifically in areas near the exhaust when the afterburner was employed at supersonic speeds. The (false) impression you're giving is that the skin itself majorly faulty. And even if no solution is found and panels on sections of the horizontal tail-plane have to be replaced with a less stealthy alternative, the aircraft's overall VLO characteristics will barely be compromised especially compared to something like the PAK FA.

Dear sir, if the skin bubbles and peels when the F-35 flies on afterburners, it *is* majorly faulty. The fact that this problem was noticed so late in the program speaks volumes about the mess that program management was. As Spey says, how the hell did they not test the skin by simply putting it in an oven and checking if it maintained integrity at high temperatures?

As for replacing the panels with a non-stealthy alternative, do you know what area of the tailplane is affected? If the bubbling happens on the elevators or rudders, one can't just replace it with non-stealthy coating for it will compromise stealth all round. In either case, we don't know how Lockheed proposes to solve the problem, so any speculation is meaningless.

Viv S wrote:
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?).

Actually most of the world is an F-35 customer (most first-rate air forces in any case).

Ah, I didn't know that China, France, India, Russia, and Pakistan* were F-35 customers. The only proven first-rate air forces I see acquiring F-35s are the US, Canada, Britain, Australia, and Israel. That's five, not "most".

*Oops, did I just open a can of worms by calling the PAF a first-rate air force? I think I just did! :twisted:

Viv S wrote:I've posted the concurrency costs as well which as per you are $[bloody expensive]/unit while the US DoD (which has no credibility in your eyes) is $6 mil/unit.

Sir, if you insist, after I narrated all that Ramayan, that Sita was kidnapped by Duryodhan and rescued by the great hero Kartikeya, I have nothing left to say.

Those LRIP costs and concurrency costs are meaningless because 719 problems, some of them very serious, remain to be fixed, and we do not know when or at what cost they will be solved.

Viv S wrote:
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.

Which would imply that a working combat capable F-35 is not as much of a mirage as you've made it out to be.

A working, combat capable F-35 that is ready by the time the Rafale enters IAF service is very much a mirage.

Viv S wrote:
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.

3000+ units to be operated by over 15 air forces and navies. And as large as the hurdles, that's an unprecedented scale of manufacture.

So? Do those numbers automatically imply that everything will shortly be hunky-dory? It may just happen that some those European countries that have invested in the F-35 finally decide that it isn't worth the money and purchase Gripens or Rafales or JF-17s (:P) instead.

Viv S wrote:
Mihir wrote:Nope, they have just decided to focus on fixing the original HMD. They haven't actually fixed anything yet.


... touted a fix ... which officials hope will solve jitter picture and lag time issues ... is expected to fix the jitter ... could fix the lag ...

Don't look now, Viv, but I think you just strengthened my argument. "Hope" indeed. Maybe they should graduate to "prayers" and see if those do any good.

Viv S wrote:The flip-side is since the early 2000s the Chinese air defences have undergone a rapid and continuing transformation, with the proliferation of S-300 class systems, multiple classes of AEW&C aircraft, modern 4G fighters and vastly improved training standards. At a time when the Russians are working to expand their strike capability (with the PAK DA development), the Rafale can hardly be relied upon to prevail against a larger better equipped PLAAF.

Fair argument. But the Rafales are hardly taking on the PLAAF alone. The IAF plans to acquire the PAK-FA and AMCA as well.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby KrishnaK » 28 Oct 2013 21:37

Mihir wrote: The IAF plans to acquire the PAK-FA and AMCA as well.

:rotfl:

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 28 Oct 2013 22:31

KM,

Running late and heavy (big behind), will get back sometime l8r. But have issues with:

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.


However, do you have a source on the "acceleration" aspect? Just need an idea.

I am not too sure what you mean by "manouverability". If it is like what the MKI/F-22/PAK-FA do (stands, twists, cobra, etc) - nope, it is not designed for that.

Thx.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Mihir » 29 Oct 2013 21:58

NRao,

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02 ... -jet-specs

“The program announced an intention to change performance specifications for the F-35A, reducing turn performance from 5.3 to 4.6 sustained g’s and extending the time for acceleration from 0.8 Mach to 1.2 Mach by eight seconds,” Gilmore’s report stated. The F-35B and F-35C also had their turn rates and acceleration time eased. The B-model jet’s max turn went from 5.0 to 4.5 g’s and its acceleration time to Mach 1.2 was extended by 16 seconds. The F-35C lost 0.1 g off its turn spec and added a whopping 43 seconds to its acceleration.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 29 Oct 2013 22:42

Mihir,

Thanks, appreciate that. Now, do we know which version of the software these planes are running? I suspect it is the 2A. IF it is then I would not bother with these article. For the simple reason that when they had to tackle teh weight issue in 2004 (YES, 2004) they ran into a boat load of problems and had to essentially reboot. during that rebooting phase they did not reboot as in "ground up reboot" - they selectively rebooted. It also produced a moving target - the way I look at it is that they set the goals to meet a result and when that failed they reset the goal to meet a lower result.

Long story ...............

But, this is what I would suggest (I am in a terrible hurry and unable to post too much): wait till LRIP 6 at least. That is where the Pentagon will hold them to their "words" and budgets. IF LM and gang do not meet targets do not be surprised to see the F-35B go (it is not an accident that the USMC is the first for IOC). They have to meet the -6 and -7. The -8 is *supposed* to meet the production machines.

On the acceleration, IMVVVVHO, the US has two other engines in the wings.

More l8r.

Thx.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 30 Oct 2013 02:52

Found this, but do NOT have a date on it - yet. Seems to be around Jan of 2102:

Image

IF this is true (BIG if), then:

* Note the G for LRIP 5: the are depressed. Even in LRIP 6 and 7 the G rating will NOT reach anything meaningful - exception being the Naval version. These numbers IMHO are numbers to match a test. The real numbers will be from LRIP 6 onwards
* Mach numbers too are depressed for -6 and -7
* No weapons testing of any sorts till LRIP 6
* Check out the "Mission Capabilities". Nothing to write home about until LRIP 6

Which is why I say take in the good and drop the bad - for the time being. IF it were to repeat from LRIP 6 then yes, frankly, it is dog or a turkey.

Have not found an update to this slide, nor the original document from which it came.

I think this was a PM disaster, not so much a technical one. In/for the early 2000s the techies bot a LOT more than they could chew and no one stood up and said - hey that is too much. Also note that the problem is across the board: LM, PW (engine), Rockwell + Elbit (Helmet), etc. A great example fo how not to do things in this space.

- Will address the economics in a l8r post
- There are two issues that can bring this pup to its absolute knees and why I feel they will overcome the issues - l8r post


Comments?

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 30 Oct 2013 03:03

One Q.why the F-35 has been programmed for executing "menial" tasks as well like close-support, which the A-10 "flying tank" currently does? The absurdity of sending in a $100M machine,v.lightly armoured in such a hostile environment is only now beginning to dawn upon the concerned.The A-19s,with the suits of armour,can soak up massive punishment from small arms fire,etc.,and survive,unlike the F-35.

Anyway,back to the MMRCA alternatives.What's the general consensus?

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 30 Oct 2013 03:22

What's the general consensus?


AMCA.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Victor » 30 Oct 2013 03:27

Actually this thread is developing into a "F-35 as alternative MMRCA" thread and that is OK.

As things stand, reaching approval on the Rafale now is akin to approving the Folland Gnat when the MiG-21 is available. We dragged our butts in the sand for too long and the world passed us by. History is not kind to grandly detailed weapons plans if they aren't acted on quickly as rapid developments (which we are total strangers to) can and do turn the most brilliant plans into toilet paper overnight.

We should forget about the MMRCA and focus on bolstering IAF numbers as quickly as possible with whatever it takes--Su-30, MiG-29, Mirage 2k even more HAL-made MiG-21s. Then focus on building up to a solid 5th gen future both for the IAF and industry. Our options are not as restricted as they were even 5 years ago and they are opening up further as we speak.

In the meantime here are the latest reports on F-35 (last 24 hours, not months ago):

South Korea set to go with F-35
The F-35 scored the highest in a technical evaluation, according to the sources, and is believed to be favoured by senior government and air force officials.

F-35 Poised for More Production, Pentagon Says
While risks remain, progress on the F-35 program at this point has been adequate to support a decision to budget for increased rates,” Frank Kendall, under secretary for acquisition, said...
...Progress in the development program has been close to plan...

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 30 Oct 2013 04:12

The AMCA exists only on paper and is less certain to arrive before 2020 (closer to 2030),than even the LCA MK-2.In fact,the 6th FGFA/T-50 prototype has just flown and is a far better candiate for induction post 2020 than the AMCA which has never flow,nor even been unveiled in mock-up form other than wind tunnel testing models.The alternative to the options should ideally be an aircraft,or even a mix of aircraft in series production,and/or in service already with the IAF.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 30 Oct 2013 05:32

We can say and think and put forth any argument we want, but there is a clear move within India to place more emphasis on

“We have a major opportunity in the FGFA program,” Indian air force (IAF) Deputy Chief Air Marshal S. Sukumar says. However, “at the moment [the 15% development share] is not very much in favor of Indian development. We are flagging it through the government. It should be much more focused towards indigenous development capability.”


That WRT the FGFA.

Why spend Billion on project that India gets nothing more than to fill IAF squadron numbers - as important as that is?

The current point in time is a tipping point. If it were not for the falling squadron numbers I would bet that India would not stand to even this much thinking as to which way to go. I am inclined to believe that India is more advanced than most of us believe, just that they are not willing to take risks and understandably so.

I would argue that if India is willing to spend $30 billion on the FGFA that they better squirrel away the same amount for the AMCA.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby chackojoseph » 30 Oct 2013 09:46

[Ridiculous thought] Just like Bofors mfg clause, we have MiG-29 Mfg clause, isn't it? Why can't we build these airframes and add our own mission computer and desired weapons? [/Ridiculous thought]

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 30 Oct 2013 11:25

negi wrote: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.


Very valid point.

Pragnya posted an excerpt of an article in Vayu that talks about the IAF's humongous fuel bill thanks in large part to the fuel guzzling Su-30MKI heavies..with the final numbers slated to rise to 270 MKIs, the fuel bill will only rise, to be compounded by that of the twin engined MRCA and the MKI size PAK-FA at a later date..

With such high operating costs, the Tejas Mk1/2 will be needed in very large numbers to offset the declining squadron numbers while keeping the operating cost in check, rather than looking at more MKIs or increasing the MRCA size to 189 as they originally intended.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 30 Oct 2013 11:36

Viv S wrote:
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?


does anyone need to even explain how assinine such a suggestion by Philip is? He is so incredibly biased against the Tejas that ANYTHING else will look good to him. ANYTHING.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby pragnya » 30 Oct 2013 11:43

Kartik wrote:Very valid point.

Pragnya posted an excerpt of an article in Vayu that talks about the IAF's humongous fuel bill thanks in large part to the fuel guzzling Su-30MKI heavies..with the final numbers slated to rise to 270 MKIs, the fuel bill will only rise, to be compounded by that of the twin engined MRCA and the MKI size PAK-FA at a later date..

With such high operating costs, the Tejas Mk1/2 will be needed in very large numbers to offset the declining squadron numbers while keeping the operating cost in check, rather than looking at more MKIs or increasing the MRCA size to 189 as they originally intended.


agree Kartik. had posted this in a different context.

viewtopic.php?p=1503165#p1503165

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 30 Oct 2013 11:54

NRao wrote:
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.


Delamination is a serious issue with composites and one of the main failure causes for composite parts..its not got to do much with the RAM is my guess..

if the RAM was "baked into" the composites, it most likely means that just like the composite fabric/tape is laid, a layer of RAM would be laid on to the Outer Mould Surface before the component is put into the auto-clave. that way, it wouldn't have to be painted on and adhering/peeling will not be an issue. But this is definitely cutting edge technology, and some special RAM fabric must have been developed for this..its definitely better than applying RAM paint post the auto-clave since it is not adhering to the component surface, but has been rather "baked" into it thanks to the pressure and temperature of the auto-clave.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 30 Oct 2013 12:34

Kartik wrote:
Viv S wrote: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?


does anyone need to even explain how assinine such a suggestion by Philip is? He is so incredibly biased against the Tejas that ANYTHING else will look good to him. ANYTHING.


Biased against anything and everything made in India unless it comes as a Russian "JV" whereupon it becomes world beating (because Strategy Page and IndRus.in - those two august sources of impeccable info) say so.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 30 Oct 2013 12:36

Kartik wrote:Delamination is a serious issue with composites and one of the main failure causes for composite parts..its not got to do much with the RAM is my guess..

if the RAM was "baked into" the composites, it most likely means that just like the composite fabric/tape is laid, a layer of RAM would be laid on to the Outer Mould Surface before the component is put into the auto-clave. that way, it wouldn't have to be painted on and adhering/peeling will not be an issue. But this is definitely cutting edge technology, and some special RAM fabric must have been developed for this..its definitely better than applying RAM paint post the auto-clave since it is not adhering to the component surface, but has been rather "baked" into it thanks to the pressure and temperature of the auto-clave.


The big issue is that how bad or good this solution is, will only be known after the JSF is in service for a while. IIRC all the RAM issues with F-22 only got to be known likewise, and after a whistleblower filed a law suit

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 30 Oct 2013 13:10

Unfortunately Kartik displays an acute myopia and scarcely reads my posts thoroughly.All he does is try and shoot the messenger.A pity.For a very long time now I have been espousing as the "top priority" for the nation's indigenous aviation ambitions,the focussed attention on a "war footing",phrases I have used,the development left on the LCA and accelerated series production.The IAF has been waiting for a long time for the aircraft.But there are some hard facts that we have to factor in no matter how enthusiastic we are.IAF officers involved in the project and other analysts have in various journals enlightened us as to the current situ and the remaining tasks ahead before we can operationalise the aircraft.HAL with its limited human resources is spraying its attention with projects of far lesser importance like the HTT-40,etc.Even the IJT is delayed and the IAF is in trouble as its Kirans have little life left in them as they will be retiring in 2017.

1.The LCA is NOT a replacement for the MMRCA.It was meant to replace the MIG-21s in service,of which,this morning's papers tell us in the report about our new air chief,that "260+ MIG-21s" are still in service,which have to be flown (Bisons) until "2025".ACM-to-be ,AM Raha will have to "delay the long overdue retirement of aging MIG-21s and MIG-27s" to meet the shortfall.

2.Production of the first 40 LCA MK-1s have not entered service as yet.It will take two years to put the aircraft through their paces before they can become operational.Official production rates have been stated as just "8 per yr." for the first few years,hopefully to be gradually ramped up to 16/yr. It is no great math to calculate that even at a rate of about 12/yr.on an average,starting from 2015 when series production begins,we will not be able to build more than 50-60 at the max. by 2020.This leaves 200 legacy and Bison MIG-21s still in service,not adding the 120+ MIG-27s too which were supposed to be retired from 2017 when the MMRCA was expected to start arriving.This gives a figure of 380+ MIG-21s and MIG-27s that we have to replace by 2025.A simple calculation will tell you that this needs a production rate of over 30 /yr to achieve the same!

3.The MMRCA was meant to be an "omni-role" aircraft augmenting the strike capability considerably above M-2000 std.,carry the airborne leg of the strategic triad and also complement the MKIs in the air defence role.These roles are clearly outside the scope of the LCA MK-1/2.

4.LCA MK-2 with a new engine,much redesign will also take 3-4 years to develop and only around 2017/18 will series production be possible from experts,as the new variant will have to undergo the extensive testing regime again.Even after it arrives,the MK-2 will not have the same performance as the Rafale.Some analysts writing in VAYU,etc.,even wonder whether it will perform upto MK-1 stds. being larger,heavier,will consume more fuel,etc.Therefore,the max we can expect from the LCA programme is that it successfully replaces the 260 MIG-21s in service. Now with such a low production rate,MIGs are going to be retired faster than new-built LCAs arrive! How will we fill the gap?

5.This gap as I have been saying is only going to get wider and does not also resolve the retiring MIG-27s for which the MMRCA is supposed to replace! As said earlier,a production/replacement rate of 30/yr aircraft is required.How many advanced nations can build that fast? Even Rafale production in France is said to be 26/yr.The EF production rate has been "dramatically cut" to "35/yr" for deliveries to all partner nations until 2017 says "Flight" mag. To expect HAL (with respect) to therefore deliver the required rate given its track record,is being ambitious in the extreme.

6.The IAF has been fed dreams for decades now.Even perhaps our most highly respected scientist of repute,APJAK, said in 2003 that "200 LCAs would be built by 2010" believing the highly optimistic promises from those involved in the management of the programme.As can be seen,they require replacements immediately,and the current CoAS has said in no uncertain terms that the " Rafale is vital" for the IAF and that there is no "Plan B".The Rafale is described today as being the IAF's "topmost priority".

7.Even the Jaguar upgrades have yet to materialise despite Raytheon having been selected quite some time ago.One cannot understand what ails the decision-making in the MOD unless there is a total freeze in decision-making in babuland due to the SC's intervention in many scam cases ,which has petrified the bureaucracy (latest India Today) into making decisions for which they will face prosecution after they've retired,forcing the economy into a slowdown and even worse,to a grinding halt in many key sectors of industry.

If these facts are wrong,please correct me.I would be most happy to see ambitious authoritative dates of delivery and production figures of the LCA in whatever avatar for the next few years and we can all keep track of the same.I am sure that the IAF will pick up as many LCAs as fast as HAL can deliver,it sorely needs them!

The MMRCA deal still hasn't been finalised and we and the new air chief are going to enter a year of crisis if this deal is not sealed by the UPA.We will then have to buy aircraft from abroad (most probably "more of the same" in service) in another ad-hoc knee-jerk exercise.At this moment one can only keep one's fingers crossed and pray.

PS: For the blinkered,one doesn't need Stratpage,etc. to see the beneficial results of Indo-Russian def, cooperation,with Brahmos,SU-30MKIs,the ATV,Chakra,Talwars,etc. true,there have been problems and delays with some projects,but the overall accounting is hugely positive.The stark fact is that the cutting edge weaponry in the Indian armed forces is mostly Russian.If some can't stomach it ,too bad.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 899359.cms

Faster induction of fighters new IAF chief’s priority
TNN | Oct 30, 2013,

Xcpt:
ACM Browne, earlier this month, had held the IAF has "no back-up plan" to the MMRCA project. "It is the only option, and is highly doable. If we sign it by next year, the first MMRCA should come to us by 2017. We cannot delay it any further. The MMRCA and the first two squadrons of Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (the indigenous fighter project sanctioned in 1983 but still to fully fructify) are very critical for us to maintain our deterrence capability,'' said ACM Browne.
Last edited by Philip on 30 Oct 2013 13:23, edited 3 times in total.


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