PAK-FA and FGFA: News & Discussion - June 2014

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby brar_w » 14 Jul 2014 20:04

NRao wrote:May be we should start a thread on "What is a 5th Gen Plane?".

Here is another aspect of the challenges faced by such machines (need credentials)


The issue is USAF specific. The F-22 had the IFDL that was designed outside of the NATO standard Link 16 because that was the only way the program could develop the most effective LPI/D data link (without the baggage). The F-35 has the MADL which is much more complex system with better LPI and overall integration between F-35's. Eventually the MADL and its NG version will be standardized on all Stealth fleet including the B-2, F-22 and Unmanned vehicles. The MADL is a launching pad for autonomous interoperability between a stealth jet and an unmanned UAV for the future. 4th generation fighters need an LPI data link and efforts so far have been for high bandwidth comms (TTP) or for expanding the capabilities of the Link 16. The programs will address this very issue without sacrificing the NATO interoperability.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby NRao » 14 Jul 2014 20:24

^^^^^

That is not my point.

When we discuss or talk about such technologies (4th Gen and 5th Gen) - at least I am learning - that we assume a *ton*. And, based on that we tend to be comfortable with "hey, we will get a '5th Gen' plane by 20XX". We never realize the amount of crap that goes into such machines. It is much easier to be a reporter or the like, than to be in such "5th gen" programs, be it a F-35 or a PAK-FA or a FGFA or a AMCA. I have a healthy respect for *all* of them.

People just do not realize of difficult they are.

So, the point I was trying to make (and evidently never got it across) is that even a think like "comm" - which would be an after thought for most of us - is not a given. It could pose a problem.

The vid you posted on "painting" the F-35 is another. "Apply RAM coating" seems to be a given ............... Ramu ko bulao, give him a paint brush and job done.


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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby NRao » 24 Jul 2014 02:50

A generic stab at the topic of "5th Gen" - from 2012 (historic view). (Data points)

Fifth Generation Fighters and the IAF

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby tushar_m » 28 Jul 2014 09:29

Russia has a new T-50 PAK-FA prototype, possible No. 056 ?

Image

Recently photo of a new T-50 FA is circulating on the internet. The new T-50 appearantly has a light gray paint but does not have a tail number.

Some experts believe this to be number 056 aircraft, the seventh in the series of aircraft produced by Russia. According to information available in the public domain, there are 6 T-50 aircrafts produced - two for static and system testing and integration and four for flight and avionics testing.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Austin » 28 Jul 2014 09:51

Thats the T-50 KNS newly painted which is the ground based test prototype

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby member_26622 » 28 Jul 2014 23:34

I really have a hard time understanding why this PAK-FA is not simply an evolution of Su-30. Apart from the forward section, it does not come across as a true 5th gen design. Any source on possible radar signature comparison would be nice.

Exposed underslung engines are big sore thumbs. Even early prototypes of Chinese stealth jet look more stealthy.


Best to count another 15 years before the back gets any kind of stealth treatment like F-22. Feeling like we are placing our bets on a losing pony. Once China deploys a few of their Stealth planes, IAF will be running for US F-35 'emergency' purchases - only stealth bird available.

IAF decision making follows predictable pattern - like credit history. Unfortunately no one loses their job in IAF and so their are no downsides for been sloppy and lazy.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Manish_Sharma » 29 Jul 2014 05:42

NRao wrote:A generic stab at the topic of "5th Gen" - from 2012 (historic view). (Data points)

Fifth Generation Fighters and the IAF


:rotfl:

Bloody liars!!!

just as they were for the F-22. The F-35 has a more conventional shape than the F-22 which makes it more manoeuvrable in air combat though with a moderate compromise in stealth profile.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby deejay » 29 Jul 2014 06:03

nik wrote:IAF decision making follows predictable pattern - like credit history. Unfortunately no one loses their job in IAF and so their are no downsides for been sloppy and lazy.


Sir, on BRF there have many attacks on the Services and IAF probably gets hit most often. But this new perspective, takes the cake. The down side of being sloppy and lazy in all three services is huge. Open your eyes, Sir. Not that folks don't get sloppy, but the price is paid. Services, are the only place where if you err or break rules you will face at least a Court of Inquiry at all levels. Many such inquiries result in Punishments, including Jail Terms, removal from service, etc. One Navy Chief, recently resigned taking responsibility on himself when (IMO) his senior should have. The rules and ethos are same across the 03 Services.

Criticism of the Air Chief or some particular Air Marshal etc is understood, one may agree or disagree with decisions. To blanket wrap entire Services or the Air Force is naive. The present set up in the Indian Air Force needs changes or we would not have at least on recent Chief who seems to have openly defrauded the nation, but that is theft and a thief reaching the top position is a problem.

If you understood the way Services function, I would have been more open to the points you make. However, again, IMO, you are indulging in uninformed slander.

BTW, is it the IAF which is absolutely insisting on PAK-FA programme?

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby member_22605 » 29 Jul 2014 08:17

nik wrote:I really have a hard time understanding why this PAK-FA is not simply an evolution of Su-30. Apart from the forward section, it does not come across as a true 5th gen design. Any source on possible radar signature comparison would be nice.

Exposed underslung engines are big sore thumbs. Even early prototypes of Chinese stealth jet look more stealthy.


Best to count another 15 years before the back gets any kind of stealth treatment like F-22. Feeling like we are placing our bets on a losing pony. Once China deploys a few of their Stealth planes, IAF will be running for US F-35 'emergency' purchases - only stealth bird available.

IAF decision making follows predictable pattern - like credit history. Unfortunately no one loses their job in IAF and so their are no downsides for been sloppy and lazy.


Sir and I want to understand from you why underslung engines are sore thumbs? and why you feel the pak-fa will have a worse RCS than the Chinese planes ? And also why the pak-fa will be losing pony
Sir, I would suggest you run a basic RCS measurement code using either PO or mlfmm and check the results before you arrive at any conclusions and throw any accusations.( I know you particularly dislike HAL but please show some respect towards the IAF)
Cheers!

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby member_26622 » 29 Jul 2014 08:18

@ deejay - I have full respect for the rank and file of armed forces - all three wings for that matter. They risk everything to keep us safe.

At the same time, I feel at pains that we are so hopelessly under prepared, under armed, under equipped - even after spending 40~60 billion $. Not much has changed since Kargil times. Instead of building the foundation of the country these decisions become a huge forex drain - akin to paying a royalty like in good old Raj times.

The whole point of my posts is that when the day comes the same rank and file will 'not' have to take on unneeded risk and pay the ultimate price. Now the corrupt - whether in Air force or Army or navy cannot keep hood winking the country and get away scot free.

How is it that companies get blacklisted but the dots do not connect back to 'corrupt' govt employees or politicians ?

Off topic so closing further comments!

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby deejay » 29 Jul 2014 11:19

nik wrote:@ deejay - I have full respect for the rank and file of armed forces - all three wings for that matter. They risk everything to keep us safe.

At the same time, I feel at pains that we are so hopelessly under prepared, under armed, under equipped - even after spending 40~60 billion $. Not much has changed since Kargil times. Instead of building the foundation of the country these decisions become a huge forex drain - akin to paying a royalty like in good old Raj times.


No problems with this. You and I are equally concerned on this one. Forex drain is a result of most weapons not being locally available to date. Those who say we should wait for local made stuff, gents look around you, we are under equipped in almost all spheres in all the three services. Those who say we have a Zoo in our inventory, we bought what we could and most of our stuff is dated. We are waiting for our products to come on line and the production to hit full scale. Irrespective of differing opinions, the Services have accepted and used Desi platforms as and when available (whether INSAS or HPT 32 or HJT 16). Their discontinued usage or some new Guns not being inducted opens new debates as to what the problem is? Is it that Services don't like Desi? Really!!! :x In the PAK FA story, two points here (a) Is it the final specs of our FGFA programme and (b) was it the IAF that took the lead here?

nik wrote:The whole point of my posts is that when the day comes the same rank and file will 'not' have to take on unneeded risk and pay the ultimate price.


The first thing that your comments do not take in to account is that this rank and file also consists of people who have even surrendered promotions, perks and privileges for what they thought was right. There is only one person who becomes Chief and at least one of them has not really made the position proud. Irrespective of this thought, the same rank and file in their youth did face and did risk the possibility of Ultimate Price. They've been there and done that (cliched but true). However, the consequences of poor leadership is terrible every where.

If you will see and read, the Services have let the MOD know of their requirements long time ago. The last Def Min was so averse to decision making that ... (you may connect the dots).

nik wrote:Now the corrupt - whether in Air force or Army or navy cannot keep hood winking the country and get away scot free.

How is it that companies get blacklisted but the dots do not connect back to 'corrupt' govt employees or politicians ?

Off topic so closing comments!


The corrupt should not be spared from any walk of life. The Services, when they find something is wrong, do try and punish their people. Those are also made public. Who will challenge the immunity of the government employees and politicians? The services or the democratic forces? I have no information or data point to explain that till date why 'corrupt' govt employees or politicians have not landed in trouble. May be they never do any wrong. But a Service Officer if exposed will face the consequences of the entire legal process. If found guilty they will go to prison, and they have.

As you say there are people who have paid the ultimate price and it needs ultimate respect. The way to give this respect here is to identify the problems and work on the solutions. Sweeping statements solve no problems but they also label people who gave their "every thing" to the Nation.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby member_23694 » 29 Jul 2014 11:43

^^^^^^^^^^^^
Well said :)

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Philip » 29 Jul 2014 14:06

If you ask me and I have spoken to many in the know from all key sections of "stakeholders' in Indian defence,the real problem lies in that "we fundamentally do not have a strategic mentality". We have become complacent and indifferent except when moments of crisis arise as in '65,'71,Kargil,etc.,and after the crisis is over push the armed forces and strategic affairs into a dark corner,to be kept sacrosant,as if it were some "dark art" best left to the babus and mandarins of the MOD and MEA to handle. There is NO enlightened mindset in the political apparatus either,on both sides in general (there are individual exceptions of course),strong enough to clean up the cobwebs.The armed forces are deliberately left out of the loop because there is little specialised thinking on military matters in babudom and they do not want to lose their power over negotiating lucrative defence contracts with foreign entities. I posted a little while ago how the DCAS was removed from the HAL board! How does one expect confidence in HAL's only client in its products and ability to deliver if the most important stakeholder is turfed out?

"National Security" is reduced to a mere football to be kicked about from one side of the pitch to the other,for electoral gains. We prefer to "P*ss" with Pak ," a P*ss in our time" Neville Chamberlain style instead of remaining firm on terror and its sponsors.However,that is why the Cong/UPA was spectacurly routed in the recent elections.We must give the new dispensation adequate time with which to redress the situ which has developed over the last decade in particular. Let's also acknowledge that like the appointment of corrupt judges which Justice Katju has revealed to us,so also have there been a lot of politics in the appointments of the top brass of the services. The BJP/NDA-2 needs to weed out the vested interests which have thrived in the MOD/services/DPSUs thanks to the venality of the "Quisling" MM Singh regime and set a new course with India's interests first,second and last.

As for the FGFA,there is no Q that it is sorely needed,with China fielding 2 birds of its own before the decade is out w we will be at a serious regional disadvantage,as numerically too its far outnumbers us. They may not be upto US 5th-gen std. but they will better than many or most 4th-gen birds. Developing our AMCA after the LCA MK-2 as is intended will take another 2 decades at least.Latest news of further LCA FOC delays inspires little confidence about timeframes.

The Q about our JV with Russia is what do we get for our money,several biillions? We came into the game rather late and further delays were there from HAL's reluctance to involve itself in the programme perhaps due to its inability to deliver its responsibilities on time,as Russia is on av. tight schedule with Putin cracking the whip. Therefore,an MMRCA-cum-MKI approach to the JV might work.The cost of this has to be worked out. We had reportedly proposed 40+ improvements,so we could start with that for our upgraded versions while acquiring a qty. of aircraft similar to what the Russians are getting as a first tranche for familiarising ourselves with the aircraft,just as US allies are doing with the JSF. By 2020 we need as some former AMs have said,at least 1-2 sqds. of FGFAs in service. Perhaps when Putin visits India in Dec. for the annual Indo-Russian summit,one will see more progress on the issue.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Viv S » 29 Jul 2014 15:16

deejay wrote:Sir, on BRF there have many attacks on the Services and IAF probably gets hit most often. But this new perspective, takes the cake. The down side of being sloppy and lazy in all three services is huge. Open your eyes, Sir. Not that folks don't get sloppy, but the price is paid. Services, are the only place where if you err or break rules you will face at least a Court of Inquiry at all levels. Many such inquiries result in Punishments, including Jail Terms, removal from service, etc. One Navy Chief, recently resigned taking responsibility on himself when (IMO) his senior should have. The rules and ethos are same across the 03 Services.


With regard to criminal negligence or misconduct and you'd be surprised by the scale of rot within the forces (at least in the Army; I'm not so well informed about that aspect vis a vis the IAF & IN).

Anyway, the issue here is the lack of consequences for bad or poorly considered decisions minus any criminal conduct. An apt example of this the 'injudicious' MiG-27 EW development reported by the CAG. No malafide intent, just poor judgement and no heads will roll as a result. No heads will roll in the MoD either which was just as complicit, but then again the latter entity's professionalism has never been held in particularly high regard. There's relatively greater accountability in the private sector (though only to a limit) but it can hardly replace the MoD or IAF.


Criticism of the Air Chief or some particular Air Marshal etc is understood, one may agree or disagree with decisions. To blanket wrap entire Services or the Air Force is naive. The present set up in the Indian Air Force needs changes or we would not have at least on recent Chief who seems to have openly defrauded the nation, but that is theft and a thief reaching the top position is a problem.


There's plenty of evidence suggesting an institutional bias against domestic products (esp for the IAF, less so for the IN). That's partially a result of hubris created by import-enabling budget hikes over the last few years, partially a result of oblivious attitude to cost effectiveness and partially a result of only individual turfs/responsibilities being a concern, irrespective of the bigger picture.

Ultimately though the responsibility and fault lies not with the services, not with MoD's bureaucracy but at the top with the Defence Minister (if not the PM). When you don't have a vision, let alone one that spans the forces, the R&D establishment, public and private industry, when your concern (and competence) is limited to your own 'clean' image, you'll end up taking cues from the military brass instead of charting out a path for them.

One is apprehensive about the current RM, juggling as he is two critical portfolios, but there's also a hope that the financial element will receive greater scrutiny than offered by the services (let alone his predecessor).

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Philip » 29 Jul 2014 16:23

You're right.Ultimately the buck stops with the top decision makers.They first need to understand the gravity of the crisis before they can take remedial steps and ensure along-term policy that makes us more self-reliant.This where perhaps a galaxy of former chiefs,top brass of the services,think tank heads,etc., request a meeting with the PM,DM/FM,HM,For.Min,Energy Min,etc.,some together,some separately,since now that they're out of uniform they can speak more openly.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby deejay » 29 Jul 2014 19:17

Viv S wrote:With regard to criminal negligence or misconduct and you'd be surprised by the scale of rot within the forces (at least in the Army; I'm not so well informed about that aspect vis a vis the IAF & IN).


It would be difficult for me to be surprised and the problem is uniform in IAF, Army and Navy. Just that the Army is huge and so problems are far more numerous. Yet, each and every 'known' case has gone under the process of Inquiry and Punishments I have spoken of. The rot is an Indian issue which is also in the Services. The problem is no less severe than you describe and I agree. What I argued against was the 'sloppiness because there is no downside' issue.

Viv S wrote:Anyway, the issue here is the lack of consequences for bad or poorly considered decisions minus any criminal conduct. An apt example of this the 'injudicious' MiG-27 EW development reported by the CAG. No malafide intent, just poor judgement and no heads will roll as a result. No heads will roll in the MoD either which was just as complicit, but then again the latter entity's professionalism has never been held in particularly high regard. There's relatively greater accountability in the private sector (though only to a limit) but it can hardly replace the MoD or IAF.


The Government and Pvt work culture is different and the way heads roll in the Services are different from the way they roll in the Pvt sector. The misuse or injudicious use of public funds has cut short many a promising career in the Services, though immediate termination is only if criminal offense is proven. CAG is an accounts perspective and while there are times I believe they have hit upon genuine fraud but often it is just their financial/cost interpretation vs. the users need in operation. For every point raised by CAG, IAF or any public sector undertaking will come back with detailed clarifications. Unfortunately, I haven't read those and neither are you asking for any but have gone ahead and faulted the IAF.

The CAG faults DRDO, people defend DRDO. CAG faults IAF - damn those import biased frauds will never be punished. Are you sure IAF did not need those Mig 27 EM upgrades now, operationally speaking or are you sure some one has not paid the price already?

Viv S wrote:There's plenty of evidence suggesting an institutional bias against domestic products (esp for the IAF, less so for the IN). That's partially a result of hubris created by import-enabling budget hikes over the last few years, partially a result of oblivious attitude to cost effectiveness and partially a result of only individual turfs/responsibilities being a concern, irrespective of the bigger picture.


The IAF as per you has received a lot of increased budget enabling import because it seems it has a bias. So what are those items? Where are the equipment which were imported but could have been locally sourced? The C 130, the C 17, the IL 78's, the Phalcon AWACS, the Embraer, the Hawks, the Mi 17 V5's - which could be got locally and could we have avoided the import? If you buy, you are import passand, if you don't you are not learning lessons from Kargil or Parakram. So what do you do? You do the latter. Your decisions will be called costly and anti Indian MIC, at least you won't be called out for professional negligence. This Op Preparedness is the Bigger Picture and the development of a local MIC is an add on responsibility which I am not sure the IAF is against. Is it doing enough? What is enough? What is expected by the GOI out of IAF on these?

The VVIP deal was a scam and had nothing to do with - IAF likes imports. An ex Chief of IAF has been faulted there, but that was one Chief and not the entire spectrum of Chiefs. And that Chief if in the wrong was fraudulent and based on which should we identify fraud with the IAF ethos or biases?

The HAL - IAF trust deficit better be sorted out and that is a problem. But a lot of what you point out is conjecture and based on half truths pedaled around as news. The dependence on imports has to reduce but it is not just the IAF's baby. For the IAF, the first priority is and should always remain the Op Preparedness and there they know best (unless you think that IAF comprises of incapable people).

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Karan M » 29 Jul 2014 22:54

CAG may fault the EW upgrade on the MiG-27, but a more capable variant of the same suite is being fitted to the LCA, and another on the MiG-29, so its hardly that the expense went waste. The IAF would not have considered putting the suite on the MiG-27 unless it was desperate. The Floggers anyway (the 40 upgraded ones) deploy the EL/L-8222 SPJ so its not as if they are not EW capable. It does speak though of the lack of coordination at the IAF AHQ level about aircraft retirements, but in their defense, its quite possible that when the suite was decided for, there were no additional MKIs planned or other issues. When situation changed, they cannot necessarily be blamed in retrospective. This is CAG just being beancounters to the max without considering other aspects of the situation. The suite in question is being leveraged for multiple platforms, which offer more flexibility in placement versus the cramped, space limited MiG-27 and hence better performance.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby rohitvats » 29 Jul 2014 23:06

nik wrote:<SNIP>IAF decision making follows predictable pattern - like credit history. Unfortunately no one loses their job in IAF and so their are no downsides for been sloppy and lazy.


Since you consider IAF's choice of going for PAK-FA (if it was their choice to begin with), as being sloppy and lazy planning - why don't you give your thoughts on following points to better flesh out your assertion:

1. How long do you think it will take for PAK-FA to enter Squadron service and when do we reach full capacity?
2. What is the current force structure of PLAAF?
3. What do you think is going to be the force structure of PLAAF in another 15-years time frame?
4. Is there any news/data point about 'Stealth Aircraft' entering squadron service in PLAAF? What is likely to be the overall strength of such stealth fighter squadrons?
5. If India did not go for PAK-FA, what other option do you think we have? Something which you think will counter the 'Stealth' fighter a/c from PLAAF?

PS: We'll leave the more important point about superiority in 'performance' of Chinese 'stealth' a/c for later date.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Karan M » 29 Jul 2014 23:07

deejay wrote:The IAF as per you has received a lot of increased budget enabling import because it seems it has a bias. So what are those items? Where are the equipment which were imported but could have been locally sourced? The C 130, the C 17, the IL 78's, the Phalcon AWACS, the Embraer, the Hawks, the Mi 17 V5's - which could be got locally and could we have avoided the import? If you buy, you are import passand, if you don't you are not learning lessons from Kargil or Parakram. So what do you do? You do the latter. Your decisions will be called costly and anti Indian MIC, at least you won't be called out for professional negligence. ]This Op Preparedness is the Bigger Picture and the development of a local MIC is an add on responsibility which I am not sure the IAF is against.[ Is it doing enough? What is enough? What is expected by the GOI out of IAF on these?

The VVIP deal was a scam and had nothing to do with - IAF likes imports. An ex Chief of IAF has been faulted there, but that was one Chief and not the entire spectrum of Chiefs. And that Chief if in the wrong was fraudulent and based on which should we identify fraud with the IAF ethos or biases?

The HAL - IAF trust deficit better be sorted out and that is a problem. But a lot of what you point out is conjecture and based on half truths pedaled around as news. The dependence on imports has to reduce but it is not just the IAF's baby. For the IAF, the first priority is and should always remain the Op Preparedness and there they know best (unless you think that IAF comprises of incapable people).


Reference your part in bold.

There is one fundamental problem with this approach of the IAF "op preparedness via imports" as versus working with local industry to create a sustainable alternative, and that is all the supplier has to do is mess up and IAFs op preparedness goes for a toss. Time and again it is the case - whether it be IAF struggling because there are no tires for the Su-30 MKI and then running to MRF to help it out or whether due to Russian incompetence or intransigence when IAF expands & finds Russia is not able to provide tooling or even ROH facilities in time to HAL (delayed by 3 years till this year).

Judging by your post & the attitude of many IAF folks, they consider development of a local MIC as an "add on responsibility" versus "op preparedness" which can boosted by quick fix imports. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have yet struck them (if your post reflects their line of thinking) that op preparedness is always at risk when almost all of the platform is sourced from abroad (As versus a local platform with import content but design/developed local). If a HAL product has issues, IAF can make HAL look into the issue to whatever extent. When it imports, it cannot even guarantee support for purchased products which are always at hostage to monetary squabbles or political issues.

This has happened so many times that its not even rare:

1. MiG grounding during Soviet collapse - IAF then relied on Jags/Mirages & built up spares at HAL/BRD
2. MiG-29 grounding due to design/production deficiencies -slowly rectified
3. Mirage 2000 spares stuck till India struck a compromise with France
4. Su-30 MKI spares/Overhaul stuck till MOD/HAL managed to get them moving this year

In short, its not an add on responsibility to develop a local MIC, its directly tied to their mandate and they should understand it. Not a question of national pride but hard nosed reality.

Next, the local MIC cannot do it on its own, because the users unique perspectives are necessary. An engineer with even 10 years of experience will not know the conditions a fighter pilot faces when operating the equipment and what can make a huge difference unless the fighter pilot works with him (even on deputation). Basically, program management from IAF needs to buck up.

In the LCA, a huge number of delays were baked into the program by the IAFs lack of interest to engage with the team till 2007. All sorts of changes have been requested to the aircraft, systems, which could have been done earlier in parallel to the platform tests, but were held off because the designers were unaware these would be necessary from the IAFs operational POV since the original ASR could not address every minutae. Now it is these delays which add up to a significant time in turn.

Folks from the IAF deputed to these programs need to be retained as well, lest their experience is lost. Its not an add on sort of thing, and if the IAF continues in this manner - local platform development will continue to suffer. Nobody wants to work their heart out on a stepchild program which is used to negotiate for better imports for foreign OEMs.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Karan M » 29 Jul 2014 23:16

A fundamental issue which - leaving the ethics & human cost issue apart - is that independent India as a modern nation state does not have seem to have engaged in a do or die conflict which would have resulted in its complete destruction or scared the establishment into making it a core issue. Nations which went through this sort of stuff realize that making arms locally is not some add on issue but a core issue and are paranoid about it. We have never really been too serious about it, imports were enough. As a result, we seem to have an overall security structure across the board which is not really engaged with all aspects of security.

Countries like Israel (somewhat positive example) to NoKo (negative) to militarized/totalitarian states (ex SU, China today) to power seeking states (US, erstwhile UK, France) automatically understand the importance of local design & develop and support it by all means necessary. Our establishment (and by extension the services) seem to discount this line of thinking & a localized conflict of a few weeks/months at most seems to be the scenario, hence long term investments in local design & build never really got beyond the TOT/import stuff as the latter were sufficient.

It took till the 80's for even larger programs to be launched in any sort of seriousness, this after IndiraG saw sanctions in 1971 and understood their impact. At any rate, we cannot be an independent let alone any great power of any sort on imported kit, the strings are obvious.

T-90 to Mirage - we either throw TOT/ agreements into the bin and indigenize fully (like China with J-7) and then forget about PAKFA etc (since they wont work with us) or we keep having strings attached. Our choice to make.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Karan M » 29 Jul 2014 23:33

Here is the IAF today, not a single frontline fighter platform.
- MiG-21, 27, 29, Su-30 MKI (Russia), Jaguar (UK), Mirage (France).
Our TOT agreements by their very nature are limited. We cannot address design issues. When the Su-30MKI was suspected to have a flight control challenge, the Russians were called in, not HAL.

The IAF should logically have been desparate about the LCA & gone nuts to make it happen. But they were least bothered & considered it an attempt to sabotage their "proven procurement" (several articles in the past talked about local "empire builders").
What they don't seem to get is fundamentally, a LCA with imported parts (eg engines,actuators) can still be supported by stockpiling those parts OR redesigning the aircraft locally to compensate. "Proven" imports are of course easier to go to war with etc in the short term, but all it takes is one sanction & the whole edifice collapses.

Also, we keep hearing gripes from their rtd folk about "reinventing the wheel" when "proven solutions" are available off the shelf. Yes, they are - but an attempt must be made to make those wheels within India to whatever extent by learning wheel making. Otherwise, again, sanctions are a challenge.

IMHO, there is a fundamental lack of having any sort of national vision in India re:security. From nuclear tests to weapons purchases, no synergy is visible, no long term strategy evident. Last time, one govt comes, conducts tests, and there are sanctions. Does anyone in the services have input that tomorrow there wont be a need for tests again, or if there are - whats the timeframe & what impact there will be? Or what scenarios could happen if we even have a limited nuclear conflict with TSP?

I really wonder whether GOI has done any of this stuff & in its absence, IAF et al are also proceeding without clear direction.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Multatuli » 30 Jul 2014 01:24

Viv S. wrote:

There's plenty of evidence suggesting an institutional bias against domestic products (esp for the IAF, less so for the IN). That's partially a result of hubris created by import-enabling budget hikes over the last few years, partially a result of oblivious attitude to cost effectiveness and partially a result of only individual turfs/responsibilities being a concern, irrespective of the bigger picture.


The last point (the services not considering it part of their job to nurture an indigenous R & D and manufacturing (in essence an Indian MIC)) is a structural problem in India. Normally, that is in countries with a strategic culture, it's the governments responsibility to take care of 'the bigger picture'. The air force need only worry about defending the skies, the army about fighting land wars (with howitzers, tanks, attack helicopters, etc.).

It is the government which acts as a go-between, between the armed forces and the defense industry. The government asks the services what kind of capabilities they need to confidently face threats in a certain time period.

At the same time, they always make sure that their defense sector (research and manufacturing) is always adequately funded (defense technology has many civilian spin-offs), this means that the national defense industry is in fact able to deliver the systems the armed forces require.

This is were the Indian government under the Gandhi/Nehru dynasty (call it UPA or whatever) completely fails.

The Congress and assorted low lives neither care about defense matters nor do they understand anything about it.

So this means that the IAF, Indian Navy and Indian Army have to take on this additional responsibility to effectively co-ordinate with the Indian R & D establishment and the manufacturer(s) (like HAL for example) if they ultimately want to fight with systems developed and made in India.

But the services, particularly the Indian Army and the IAF, shirk this responsibility, the IAF couldn't care less if their fleet consists of aircraft not only developed in Russia (France, the UK or even the US) but is also manufactured there.

I hope that at least one forum member understands what I am trying to say, the 'flow' of the 'narrative' could be better.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Multatuli » 30 Jul 2014 03:02

Karan M. said the same, but in a more lucid manner.

It's the responsibility of the government to always fund new research in new defense technologies and to improve/take further existing/mature technologies. And to see to it that the services work with the own industry to meet their requirements.

But this requires knowledgeable, competent and motivated officials in the defense ministry. Of course the defense minister and Prime Minister too need to have those attributes. Unfortunately those low lives A. K. Antony and poofter Manmohan Singh didn't even have any kind of affinity for defense and security matters.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby NRao » 30 Jul 2014 03:10

Seems to me that Indian "leaders" are not serious about the word "strategic".

At times I wonder what will India do with a UNSC seat. (That for another thread.)

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby member_26622 » 30 Jul 2014 03:22

Indian leaders - are you counting Sonia ji and clan as Indian?

Not going to comment further - less said the better on UPA.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby member_26622 » 30 Jul 2014 03:29

@ Multatuli - those same low lives maintained sanity by not signing up for Rafale and M777 shenigans. Dhanush would not have come through if Anthony had not successfully blacklisted Denel, Singapore xyz and rest of the kind.

They forced indigenization through creative means, in a political organization which is corrupt to the core. Think how crazy it must be to limit damage when in the midst of hyenas!

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Karan M » 30 Jul 2014 03:52

Nik, then what prevented them from cracking the whip on OFB, privatizing the MIC in mfg, and funding DRDO adequately? They did none of that. Antony sat on everything from batteries for S'rakshak (local) to towed sonars for frontine ships (imported), both critical. He did nothing where it matters. In fact our political leaders are so mediocre, that when they do 10% of what they are supposed to, we go wah re wah.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Karan M » 30 Jul 2014 03:53

Multi atuli, thanks for the kind words but you too came to the same point. Its no longer good enough to be a customer in our setup!

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby NRao » 30 Jul 2014 04:00

OK. So, there is something called accidental progress - is it also called karma?. Use case for classes at Harvard. Perfect. I knew some good would come out of all this.

On the "I wonder list", just for kicks:

Tharoor as UNSG.
MMS/real-PM making decisions with a UNSC seat in hand.
Went through the list of Ministers of EA. How would they have behaved with a UNSC seat in hand.

Back to the thread. Whatever happened to the FGFA, or is it called the PMI now?

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Rien » 30 Jul 2014 10:00

rohitvats wrote:Since you consider IAF's choice of going for PAK-FA (if it was their choice to begin with), as being sloppy and lazy planning - why don't you give your thoughts on following points to better flesh out your assertion:

<snip>
5. If India did not go for PAK-FA, what other option do you think we have? Something which you think will counter the 'Stealth' fighter a/c from PLAAF?

PS: We'll leave the more important point about superiority in 'performance' of Chinese 'stealth' a/c for later date.


I find it problematic that most Indians are still stuck in the mode of thinking if the enemy has a gun, I need a bigger gun. The best answer to a gun is a bullet proof vest, not another gun. The best counter to the PLAAF is not necessarily the PAK-FA but an upgraded air defense network with more AWACS. Like what we have already planned, increasing the long range SAM to more like the HQ-9 or S-400 that China has. Plus more AWACS to guarantee detection of the stealth fighters at long range.

Another counter would be to mass produce Nirbhay and Brahmos. I mean thousands, not 100 or 300. Another option is to imitate the Pakistanis at Kargil and put solders equiped with MANPADS at high elevations. The Serbian air defence approach to dealing with NATO is yet another option.

The point is, there are alternatives to an expensive 5th generation plane to counter another 5th gen plane. You can always use cheaper counters. You just need to buy a lot of them. MANPADS at high elevations do work, but you can't get away with just a few hundred. Thousands is the key. Quantity. Not 5,10 or 100.

I personally favour all of the above. PAD/AAD would handle ballistic and cruise missile threats. What most people don't realise is that any system capable of detecting and shooting down a cruise missile can shoot down a 5th Gen fighter. We'll make it the JSF for illustration purposes. That makes irrelevant the level of Chinese sophistication in stealth tech, because however good or bad it is, the AD network should surpass the highest level of performance the Chinese can achieve. Hitting a cruise missile is bloody difficult!

One day, they will have the money to build a laser and hypersonic missile space plane. Don't underestimate the Chinese.
However, with thousands of Brahmos and Nirbhay to knock out the bases, even a laser equipped hypersonic spaceplane with full cloaking in the visual and radar spectrum will still be vulnerable on the ground. Of course, to be honest what would really stop the Chinese in their tracks is the Agni 6 with thermonuclear tests. That is the only responce that will work no matter what the Chinese have or develop.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Singha » 30 Jul 2014 10:25

>> The best answer to a gun is a bullet proof vest, not another gun

that would put us perpetually on the defensive with initiative resting on attacker to find where to rip this vest, and rip it will given our limited funds and huge areas to defend.

we need some UCAV type things releasing stealthy subsonic missiles and EW drones at the big SAM IADS networks, backed up ground launched nirbhay and brahmos2 in support.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby deejay » 30 Jul 2014 11:47

@ Karan M

I took off after I read a post which called out the IAF as sloppy because heads don't roll and in the same post mentioned that the IAF is pushing for the PAK FA. These two statements are contradictory (oxymoron?). How can IAF be sloppy if it has pushed PAK FA? One may disagree whether it needs to be PAK FA, F 35 or AMCA or whatever. If the IAF has pushed PAK FA, it has taken leadership where we were always behind the curve. This is not being sloppy.

I agree mostly with what you say but there is a major disagreement on how I see Op Preparedness and how you see it. The Op Preparedness is about now and this moment and not a long term objective. The Armed Forces are duty bound to deliver this at all times. What is worrying now is the low equipment levels reported by the IN and IA. The IAF with 32 fighter sqns is about ~20% off the mark of 42 fighter sqns (or is it 45). This does not sound alarming, but wait how good is the serviceability in these sqns. At 60% - 70% it is a problem in my view.

The development of Mil - Ind complex is a comparatively longer term objective and may be focused upon once we have a comfort level status on equipment. This will differ with individual services because there are different levels of serviceability requirement for maintaining Ops Status or getting called Non Ops. Getting called Non Ops means - 'Heads will Roll'. Recently, we had our Chiefs brief the PM and say we are not ready. I don't know what others understood, but this is not good. Not good at all.

Another thing that bothers me in such discussions is how will a direct participation in Industry and Commerce affect the Services? The IN is leading the way and may be answering some questions. However, the more the Services get exposed, the scams like VVIP chopper may increase. Such corruption can destroy the Services all round. In the present system the Services (mostly IA and IAF) do not suffer if DPSU's suffer (they will import from elsewhere). Maybe, the reverse is also true.The restructuring of how the Services will interact with the mil-ind complex and a movement away from the present set up will be essential (IMO). I also feel, that whatever the present system is, it encourages turf protection rather than joint development.

The Services, since Kargil (or may be IPKF), have found their traditional systems being woefully inadequate in all spheres. They found this the hard way even in Op Parakram. There is a lot that has to change within. The use of 'brochures' for developing QR's on serious stuff shows poor professionalism. If this is true, then do we need such capable people deciding for us? Can they positively contribute in any effort?

On this thought just read a post by anjan on the Indian Army news and discussion thread. I am placing the link here too. IMO, this article captures the fundamental flaw which has afflicted the Services and hence a lot of challenges.

Is it Worth Discussing Military Intellectualism ? DefStrat
- Lt Gen(Retd) Syed Ata Hasnain, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM*


P.S.: Kind of wear my passion on my sleeves, so I tend to Take Off if a post hacks in to the Services in a generalized fashion.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Rien » 31 Jul 2014 11:11

Singha wrote:>> The best answer to a gun is a bullet proof vest, not another gun

that would put us perpetually on the defensive with initiative resting on attacker to find where to rip this vest, and rip it will given our limited funds and huge areas to defend.

we need some UCAV type things releasing stealthy subsonic missiles and EW drones at the big SAM IADS networks, backed up ground launched nirbhay and brahmos2 in support.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DRDO_AURA

AURA with an air launched nirbhay. You haven't reckoned with the quantity required. 10-100 isn't enough even against Pakistan. We need thousands if we hope to stand a chance. The Chinese are more than ready to show us the Gulf War and we're helpless like Saddam in his Russian tin cans. The Chinese have a machinegun and you're going to threaten them with a lady's derringer? They have a machine gun with literally thousands of bullets. We have a pistol with two.

At the production rate of the PSUs, this is not a viable plan. There are no private sector companies geared up to produce 100s of missiles per year either. So who will build them? A more viable plan, given our pathetic budget and substandard skills of the PSUs, is to mass produce PAD/Akash and new Indian SAMS. It's cheaper to mass produce Astra than to mass produce Nirbhay.

AIM $300,000–$400,000 and Tomahawk costs 1.5 million. So we can have 3-4 times more SAMS and considering the theatre of war is in the mountains they would be extra lethal. I don't have nos for Desi stuff, but the US maal is indicative of the costs. I agree your plan makes more sense, but the sad reality is that there is no budget or skill to execute it. My plan has the merit of being actually implementable.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby member_22605 » 31 Jul 2014 11:24

Cost of a nirbhay is mostly the cost of the seeker and the engine, ADE actually treats it like a UAV and I have heard from people that the cost will be much less than its equivalents worldwide. From my experience, as a nation today we have all the skills needed to make SAMs and CMs but the willpower and mindset is the problem (along with funds sometimes)
Cheers!

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Rien » 31 Jul 2014 11:52

^ that's good and all, but can you give us a number? Anybody? Nirbhay/Astra cost? Even a best guess.

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby Austin » 02 Aug 2014 11:53

Sukhoi to sign another contract with India on fifth generation multi-role fighter

MOSCOW, August 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer plans to sign another contract with India in the framework of the joint project for the construction of a fifth generation multipurpose combat jet, Alexander Klementyev, a Sukhoi deputy director general told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“We hope the contract [for experimental design works] will be signed soon,” he said.

The intergovernmental agreement on this project was signed back in 2007. Three years after, the sides inked a general contract on joint design and production and then the first engineering development contract. Works under this agreement were completed in 2013. “Since then, we have been working on the second contract for experimental design works,” Klementyev said, adding that this was a unique project aiming at long-term cooperation.

“We have never had such a format of cooperation before,” he said. “There used to be licensed production in China and in India, but now it will be joint designing and production of a new combat aircraft.”

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby kit » 02 Aug 2014 18:33

this might be a bit naive, but just an idea ., why not let india build design and R&D facilities for the PAK FA / FGFA inside India using the corpus of money destined for the joint venture .? Let the Sukhoi teams and its ancillaries work in those facilities ..hopefully those infrastructure and learning might pass on some knowledge to the local industry right here in India and who knows ., it could be beneficial to Russia as well .... now one wonders whether that could work with the french too ( read AMCA ! )

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Re: PAK-FA and FGFA Thread - June 2014

Postby NRao » 02 Aug 2014 18:48

Sukhoi to sign another contract with India on fifth generation multi-role fighter


Seems to be the R&D contract that they should have signed in 2012.

We hope the contract [for experimental design works] will be signed soon,” he said.


Means: 2015. At least?

Getting close to DOA.

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PAK-FA

Postby Rien » 04 Aug 2014 18:53

Although the updates on the progress of the PAK-FA are quite poor, on balance this is the best possible choice to make. C superior to what was available elsewhere. I also like the fact that the Russians have some crucial weaknesses in certain areas. This means that the Indian ver can be better than the Russian version, using Indian composites, Indian radars/avionics and missiles/bombs.

A PAKFA designed for stealth and with modern technology is far more impressive than what Lockheed Martin has delivered to date. Or rather failed, even now 2020 is the earliest date that fighter could be operational. Russia will see the PAK-FA in 2016. FOUR YEARS ahead of the JSF, started in 2001. Whether on cost or timely delivery, or ToT, the Rodina wins in all categories.

That said the US comparison is by far the worst aircraft development program in history. The incredible desperation and fear that the US feels, attempting to forcefeed the JSF down the throat of every nation it can, is ludicrous. No nation, including the US can afford the JSF. And with every cut in orders, the price of the fighter increases. Leading to more cuts, leading to more price rises. The PAK-FA at least has solid export prospects, because it is a fighter that isn't literally priced at its weight in gold. With Russia and India as major customers, it will probably replace the Su-30 as the next Russian export success. Unless the Indian version is marketed to customers.

But for the US, with the F-117, B-2, F-22, and every other stealth program the US has run to date, an unmitigated failure. The F-22 couldn't have succeeded right from the start. The JSF was also doomed. And the same reasons, US export laws and price.


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