Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 23 Nov 2019 00:47

It will be 2 + 4. Being a civilian aircraft, it will have high availability and easier to acquire spares.

If IAF considers A330 for MRTT, then the cost will be spread.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nachiket » 23 Nov 2019 01:56

Nikhil T wrote:Two A330 for AWACS may be approved next week
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ne ... 177176.cms

However, subsequent operations and the stand-off with Pakistan that lasted several weeks brought out the severe shortage of such aerial platforms that can be used to detect incoming enemy aircraft from well within Indian airspace. India currently operates two of the Netra aircraft and three IL76 ‘Phalcon’ systems that were jointly developed with Israel and Russia.

Officials said the air force has been unimpressed with the loitering time of the Phalcons. Though the aircraft have a wider range of coverage than the Netra, it is unable to stay airborne long enough to meet operational requirements.

Anyone looking at the size of the country and our borders could tell that 5 aircraft weren't nearly enough. Did it really take the post-Balakot standoff to "bring out" the severe shortage?

Also, how is the loiter time of the IL-76 based Phalcons less than that of the smaller and shorter ranged Embraer based Netra? That is a big concern if true.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 23 Nov 2019 02:48

il-476 range issues? It has roughly 10000 km ferry range. Reduce for payload you still have a good 7-12 hour range plus refueling.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby srai » 23 Nov 2019 04:36

^^^

On-station time and turn-around time weren’t that great from what I vaguely remember.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Mort Walker » 23 Nov 2019 06:55

Cybaru wrote:if one has trouble - we have 50% of the units down... Terrible idea. Too expensive.. too big.. Great for Airbus, dalals, not so much for us. We need more platforms factoring in the number of locations we need to deploy.

Go with 10 C295W based and add the other two phalcons in work.
+ 8 jet based platforms 5 il76 + 3 EMB145
+ 10 cheaper round the year platforms.


We’ve had this discussion for years on the forum. The IL76 has issues of spares and availability. The C295 and EMB145 are simply too small of an airframe for true 360 degree surveillance radar across a large wavelength range. It would have less capability and greater cost to operate.

The MoD is correct with this decision but should have ordered 4 aircraft.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Nikhil T » 23 Nov 2019 11:01

OT but the fact that we have contracted 18 P-8Is, but only 5 AWACS tells us about our missing inter-service prioritization. Hope CDS can solve such issues and I hope the 2 A330s are just the initial order in our quest for AWACS and mid air refuellers.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Thakur_B » 23 Nov 2019 11:26

I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually go on to operate 12 of A330 bad boys. 6 to make up numbers and 6 as phalcon replacement down the line.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby srin » 23 Nov 2019 12:47

If they try to acquire dozen (that we really want), it'll get stuck in negotiations for a decade. Makes sense to get 2 as initial R&D platforms with options for additional 10 or so, and be done with it.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 24 Nov 2019 03:54

What happened t to the additional 2 phalcon offer? Did it ever go through?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby ragupta » 24 Nov 2019 04:24

If P8i is based on 737-800ERX, why can't IAF AWACS be based of the same platform. Why this need for 10 different platforms everytime the requirement comes up. IL76 is obsolete, it has well known issue with maintainance and operational availability. Embraer is much smaller platform, and it could be just enough as a testing platform. I am sure 737 class is big enough with sufficient range to meet the requirment. IAF should be rationalizing and consolidating on fewer platforms to stretch its budget. In fact IAF should acquire civilian retired 737 and same class Airbus and use it as a platform for AWACS after refurbishing, and also utilitise the same for various other logistics need.
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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 24 Nov 2019 05:22

Couple of thoughts and yes we go round and round for ages, but that's ok! :)

1. We need a platform we can use every day during peacetime that doesn't kill the budget and have enough of them for all sectors.
2. Unless we provide escorts for HVAA we will end up losing them - we are designing aew killer missiles and we should expect the chinese/packees as well to do the same. Jet is preferred over turboprops for faster reaction time and higher vantage point.
3. we need something with legs to maintain round the clock even with downtime and losses factored in. (I know we all hate the idea of losses but during wartime, it may happen, minimize loss of life and assets and still have survivable platforms that can fight another day)
4. It would be best to standardize one type of platform.

My recommendation based on the above is
1. Get 12 321XLR/p8I size bird is ideal - 120 million gets you 3 A321XLR/B737 platforms vs A330. 8-10 hours is easy and has enough room to grow.
2. Since above may not be possible; move to C295W as we will be making it at home.
3. Going bigger eats into OPEX/CAPEX and may cause availability issues due to less number of platforms.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 24 Nov 2019 14:51

Does Air India operate A330? It could make sense to modify one of the Air India AIrbus to create the prototype.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 24 Nov 2019 21:14

Cybaru wrote:Couple of thoughts and yes we go round and round for ages, but that's ok! :)

1. We need a platform we can use every day during peacetime that doesn't kill the budget and have enough of them for all sectors.
2. Unless we provide escorts for HVAA we will end up losing them - we are designing aew killer missiles and we should expect the chinese/packees as well to do the same. Jet is preferred over turboprops for faster reaction time and higher vantage point.
3. we need something with legs to maintain round the clock even with downtime and losses factored in. (I know we all hate the idea of losses but during wartime, it may happen, minimize loss of life and assets and still have survivable platforms that can fight another day)
4. It would be best to standardize one type of platform.

My recommendation based on the above is
1. Get 12 321XLR/p8I size bird is ideal - 120 million gets you 3 A321XLR/B737 platforms vs A330. 8-10 hours is easy and has enough room to grow.
2. Since above may not be possible; move to C295W as we will be making it at home.
3. Going bigger eats into OPEX/CAPEX and may cause availability issues due to less number of platforms.


DRDO has two projects --

1) the Netra balance beam based on a smaller aircraft like the Embraer 145 and

2) the much larger AWACS program based on a larger aircraft like the A330.

I don't think it can be one or the other. We need both.

We need an affordable system where we can have a dozen or even two as you suggested. That would most likely be a C295 based Netra system as we move away from the Emb 145 with a home built platform.

But we also need a high end system like the Phalcon with a powerful radar that covers 360 degree coverage and has extended range. A radar with the size and power requirements that can only be met by a larger plane like A330.

Just as we cannot afford more than a handful of Phalcons (we operate three and have balked at the price cited for two more) we won't be able to afford a limited number of A330 AWACS. Realistically, if we realize 2 A330s on orders next week + 2 more on options then I would be happy. It would mean the AWACS program will happen and we could get 4 which is more than the Phalcons.

Whatever happens with the A330 AWACS, we need to continue with Netra. That system was battle proven in February. We need to produce this in numbers. At least a dozen IMHO. If Embraer is tainted with scandal then let's move to the C295 since it is a platform that is likely to be in our future anyways for a wide range of roles.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 24 Nov 2019 22:56

The thing with 240 degree coverage, is there is serious issues with such a system being deployed during war time. It is fine during peace time, when there is no major threat to it.

Because of it's requirement of side scan, it needs to be flown in specific flight pattern. Coupled with lower search range, it brings the AWACS closer to potential enemy fighter flight path. A 360 can scan even when regressing, which a 240 cannot. A 240 creates blind spots while looping back.

We also have the requirement to track Pak BM launches. All in all, IAF wants long range & long station time,360 degree AWACS.

IAF understands these drawbacks very well. To lower the cost, IAF might go for C295 based chappati as well. I am pretty sure, once A330 AWACS comes online, IAF will either replace Phalcons or move the radar on to A330.

Most of A330 parts would probably be similar to A320, which our airlines probably have in hundreds.

I am so tempted to suggest that IAF should ask Indigo to buy A330 as part of their multi-billion Airbus deal and then sell it to IAF. It can then ask Airbus to modify it!

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 24 Nov 2019 23:20

nam wrote:Does Air India operate A330? It could make sense to modify one of the Air India AIrbus to create the prototype.


Answering this: Yes. Air India has A330 in it's fleet!

We should just send Air India's A330 for modification.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 24 Nov 2019 23:21

Our assets will mostly operate internally over our boundaries. 180 degree coverage - One sided is plenty good! They don't need to radiate the other side and expose our own assets.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby pushkar.bhat » 24 Nov 2019 23:28

Nam A320 and A330 are two different class of aircraft. The Airbus 320 is a narrow body single aisle while the A330 is a Wide Body twin-aisle. The commonality of parts will be limited. So we cannot buy it under the Indigo contract for cheap and modify it.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 24 Nov 2019 23:43

Stuff you find on youtube..

E3A with shots of it's workstation, tracking targets...


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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby abhik » 24 Nov 2019 23:44

nam wrote:
nam wrote:Does Air India operate A330? It could make sense to modify one of the Air India AIrbus to create the prototype.


Answering this: Yes. Air India has A330 in it's fleet!

We should just send Air India's A330 for modification.

Where are you getting that from? AI widebody fleet is mostly B787 & B777 (plus a handful 747s). Anyways getting 2nd hand aircraft won't be too difficult, and is the option I have been advocating for the mid air refueler. We'll probably need something like 2 dozen for a full coverage for the border and sea board and I don't think we are in a position to buy and maintain that many widebodies, an A320/B737 or one of the larger intercontinental business jets would be far better.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 24 Nov 2019 23:49

abhik wrote:
nam wrote:
Answering this: Yes. Air India has A330 in it's fleet!

We should just send Air India's A330 for modification.

Where are you getting that from? AI widebody fleet is mostly B787 & B777 (plus a handful 747s). Anyways getting 2nd hand aircraft won't be too difficult, and is the option I have been advocating for the mid air refueler. We'll probably need something like 2 dozen for a full coverage for the border and sea board and I don't think we are in a position to buy and maintain that many widebodies, an A320/B737 or one of the larger intercontinental business jets would be far better.


Good point. I re-checked. Apparently AI operated 2 A330 for a short time. Now I feel it is more than a co-incidence to have just 2 in AI. Don't know if it is still around.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHHJDz87evs


SAAB along with Airbus was offering A330 based AWACS to UK MoD. Ultimately the Wedgetail was selected. So Airbus is definitely interested in Airbus AWACS.

If not for anything, A330 based AWACS will be right there with E3 in terms of bragging rights. Will make for great youtube videos.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby abhik » 24 Nov 2019 23:58


One ugly mother.... but does the job (including 360deg) in a reasonably affordable package.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby souravB » 25 Nov 2019 00:18

nam wrote:
nam wrote:Does Air India operate A330? It could make sense to modify one of the Air India AIrbus to create the prototype.


Answering this: Yes. Air India has A330 in it's fleet!

We should just send Air India's A330 for modification.

The RFI already have option to include pre-owned a/c if there is enough life left in the airframe and cost effective.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby VKumar » 25 Nov 2019 00:38

We need one AWACS and one Refueller per squadron.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 25 Nov 2019 00:53

We are not the only one interested in A330 platform for AWACS.. Notice the fueling pod..

Image

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 25 Nov 2019 01:23

^^ Of course Airbus would be willing and interested in an AWACS..they've been promoting one for ages..DITTO for all other platforms in the graphic which incidentally also happen to be made by Airbus. Yet no one has taken them up on the offer and the European landscape looks less promising. The UK is committed to the upgraded E-7 (now in 2 NATO customers) and now owns future rights to market and modify the aircraft for all future global customers. Sweden has its own AEW platform and continues to pursue sales in Europe and will likely sell some to other Nordic countries. This leaves Italy and France. The French are swapping E-2C's for E-2D's and will likely hold on to their E-3's longer. Irrespective, they only operate 4 which is too small a number to fund a developmental replacement. The Italians are committed to smaller platforms as are the Greeks and other smaller NATO operators. Turkey already operates the E-7. An A320 or A330 based AWACS for Europe made sense in the early 2000's as a competitor to the E-7 perhaps. But now, most of the users are pretty much locked in for the next couple of decades beyond which they are going to be forced to wean off from the large airliner based centralized surveillance and battle management (if not way earlier).The E-10 cancellation more than a decade ago and the recent JSTARS-Recap. cancellation basically was the last nail in the coffin for a new large AWACS+BM system within NATO air-forces.It is not a sustainable platform for any of their user group going forward.

Meanwhile, the largest European AEW block (NATO) operates the E-3, and has recently received the last of 14 upgraded aircraft from Boeing and as recently as this week announced plans to spend another $1 Billion on more upgrades. This will bring the NATO E-3 fleet to at par with the USAF's fleets which basically means that they'll be good till the mid to late 2030s. Any future long range NATO Air-Surveillance and Battle Management asset is unlikely to rely on such platform types and will likely be based on whatever the USAF pursues under its ABMS effort as the USAF brings in Economies of Scale allowing other NATO users (and NATO as a buyer) to buy and field capability and upgrades.
Last edited by brar_w on 25 Nov 2019 02:01, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 25 Nov 2019 01:29

nam wrote:
nam wrote:Does Air India operate A330? It could make sense to modify one of the Air India AIrbus to create the prototype.


Answering this: Yes. Air India has A330 in it's fleet!

We should just send Air India's A330 for modification.


They were leased. Air India never bought those 2 A330s and I know about it since my maternal uncle who retired as an A330 Captain in Air India mentioned it to me. And those A330s were returned.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nachiket » 26 Nov 2019 01:48

Kartik wrote:They were leased. Air India never bought those 2 A330s and I know about it since my maternal uncle who retired as an A330 Captain in Air India mentioned it to me. And those A330s were returned.

Yes. And the one time I remember flying on one, the aircraft seemed to be in terrible shape.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 26 Nov 2019 01:55

Can't be mere coincidence AI got couple of them.

CT tells me, someone was trying to find out about A330 OPEX and the best way is to get couple of them in to AI.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nachiket » 26 Nov 2019 02:18

nam wrote:Can't be mere coincidence AI got couple of them.

CT tells me, someone was trying to find out about A330 OPEX and the best way is to get couple of them in to AI.

There is no co-ordination in our procurements between 2 defence services or even within the same service. Everything is always ad-hoc. And you think somehow two different GoI ministries acted in unprecedented co-ordination here? Airlines lease aircraft all the time. Especially cash strapped ones like AI who cannot buy more of them. There is nothing more to it.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby jaysimha » 26 Nov 2019 13:30

https://indusdictum.com/2019/11/22/the-story-of-iafs-netra-the-unsung-hero-of-balkot-surgical-strikes/
The story of IAF’s Netra early warning system: Unsung hero of the Balakot surgical strikes

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 27 Nov 2019 11:27

Some specs we had collated before...

Cybaru wrote:Another two comparable options to ERJ-145 could be the following:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardie ... y_variants

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulfstream_G650

TYPE ------ ERJ 145 ------ BGE 6500 ------ G650
MTOW ------ 24K kgs ------ 45K kgs ------ 47K kgs
LENGTH ------ 29.87m ------ 30.3m ------ 30.41m

CEILING ------ 37k ft ------ 51k ft ------ 51k ft

CRUISE ------ 0.8 mach ------ 0.9 mach ------ 0.9/0.925 mach

RANGE ------ 3700kms ------ 12223 kms ------ 13890 kms

MaxFuel ------ 13.4K lb ------45K lb ------ 48.2k lb
PAYLOAD ------ 13K lb ------ 5.7k lb ------ 6.5K lb

TOT-PAYLOAD-- 26.4k lb ---- 50.7k lb ------ 54.7K lb


The Bombardier and the Gulfstream carry lots of fuel. Will need to reduce fuel for payload but should be totally doable and Bombardier already has done custom work for Saab to fit Antennae on top. Infact either of those two options look better than ERJ-145 when the specs are compared IMO. Surprised we didn't go with them in the first place. Order 6 of gulfstream and be done. We are going to get 4 of the gulfstreams for the ISTAR programme. So might as well keep it common.

Compare that to the top mach speed of C295 of 0.45, it is a no brainer to order something with jet engines that can keep up with fighters during war.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 27 Nov 2019 17:37

^^^ Who doesn't want a jet? lol

But is it cost effective?

A G650 is $65M per plane while a C295 is $28M.

A C295 as a turboprop will have loiter time in multiples of any of the jets.

And most importantly, it will have three times the payload -- 9200kg vs 2900kg -- of the G650.

The C295 is cheaper -- allowing you to build in numbers -- and can carry a larger radar set in the air for a far longer time.

To match the efficiency of a turboprop in a jet, you need a turbofan with a wide diameter fan which is why is the E-3, Wedgetail, DRDO AWACS, etc. are based on commercial jets with big bulbous high-bypass turbofans.

Speed to catch up with jet fighter is a small part of the consideration for AEW, I think. It is more important to have them in the air with adequate sets. Remember, fighter jets are scrambled, not AEW assets -- AEW aircraft should already be in the air to make that call to scramble. Until recently, a lot of American allies used the USN's E-2 Hawkeye as a primary AEW -- Taiwan and Japan still does. The US Navy of course still depends on the Hawkeye.

In order to carry a 360 degree chapati, you need the lift and efficiency of a turboprop. You won't see anything but balance beams on small business jet types like the EMB-145 or Gulfstreams.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 27 Nov 2019 23:00

You guys are again making the same mistake in terms of analysis - i.e. looking it as a replacement of an existing system vs what the IAF wants and won't/can't compromise on. IAF does not want a biz jet type AWACS. It wants a full blown Phalcon class system on a reliable platform which can keep the radar in the air for a long time, also provide the necessary electrical power for a proper sized radar which can detect 400km+ (as standard, extended range modes will be even greater).

Why etc, we can get into later, but clearly, this is the IAFs baseline.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 27 Nov 2019 23:38

^^^ Karan ji, we know they want the Phalcon class system. That is what the A330 AWACS program is for.

But the IAF took three Netras and until the Embraer scandal broke, I saw reports that they wanted an additional six and even up to 20 if things worked out.

I think they are looking for an affordable system to complement the Phalcon class AEW machines. We're not going to have 20 A330/Il-76 type systems. Not when we balked at the costs of the 4th and 5th Phalcons we were supposed to buy.

There has to be a less expensive solution and that might come from the C295 which might even give us a cheaper 360 degree chapati unlike the biz jets.

Image

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby souravB » 27 Nov 2019 23:44

^^To add to Karan ji's point
There is no point in having a large loitering time if the plane is not big enough to carry a replacement crew.
Also with bizjets, electrical+processing systems onboard there can even be a space crunch for adequate number of crew stations.
The type can also be used as a MRTT which eases some logistical problems for IAF.

My solution would be to have 4 of those widebodies(either A330 or B767) with all the goodies along with 6 of C295s with chapati on top. C295s can carry the phalcon radar uptop as already demonstrated and will make excellent platform to make up numbers during peace time ops.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 28 Nov 2019 00:48

chola wrote:^^^ Who doesn't want a jet? lol

But is it cost effective?

A G650 is $65M per plane while a C295 is $28M.

A C295 as a turboprop will have loiter time in multiples of any of the jets.

And most importantly, it will have three times the payload -- 9200kg vs 2900kg -- of the G650.


MTOW for C295 at 23200 KGs and for G650 at 48000 KGs. Twice that.
Total Payload is also twice for G650 13K Kgs vs 25K Kgs.

The amount of Fuel can be varied to change for payload. The range and time on station will be huge for Gulfstream based platforms.

Twice the speed: .45 Mach vs .9 Mach - you can arrive at station faster and are more survivable a platform given your speed.

Higher altitude 30K ft vs 50K ft - Giving it more time to react as well and longer ranges.

But Karan does have a point that the A330 platform is being looked for a different role and perhaps there is place for both in IAF. 6 gold plated stuff and XX other platforms.

We are purchasing 4 ISTAR platform on Gulfstream - so adding same or similar type makes sense, but then we will be making C295W at home some day, so that is workable as well - even though it is less effective.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 28 Nov 2019 01:03

Isn't A330 bigger than E3A?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nachiket » 28 Nov 2019 01:07

nam wrote:Isn't A330 bigger than E3A?

Much bigger. Even the IL-76 is bigger than the E3 which is based on the Boeing 707.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 28 Nov 2019 07:09

Can some guru please answer my last question... What happened to the 2 additional phalcon order?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby kit » 30 Nov 2019 16:40

https://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7652&start=2160

continuing the discussion from IN thread..


the DRDO AWACS requires power much more than "two engines could handle ", there was indeed some discussion to put in a third engine to provide enough power ! ., i do not think the turboprops can handle the requirement, happy to be corrected !
Last edited by kit on 30 Nov 2019 16:45, edited 1 time in total.


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