Austin wrote:The IAF never sought AESA on either Mig-29UPG or M2K upgrade if they wanted one which are highly capable platform they would have got from Israel or French route ,
Thats because the original suppliers, Dassault and MiG both made it clear they would not support the rest of the deep overhaul if the IAF chose to ignore their own upgrade packages. And neither had AESA on offer at the time.
Israel even offered a cost-effective EL/M-2032 + Derby package for the Mirage 2000. IAF rejected it, considering they wanted the entire aircraft overhauled and long term support for all the items within, many of which are proprietary to the system integrator and its partners. EL/M-2052 has only been made available recently, and that too with caveats.
Second, Thales AESA upgrade was not on offer because it competed with Rafale offer for India & Russia is yet to have a single AESA in service for its fighters.
You are confusing IAF's lack of choice as = to its desire.
So if IAF wants AESA for MKI they can always get it from the same route
Right, because integrating radars and their corresponding EW suites are just so easy, right? And AESAs are available in plenty for its Su-30 fleet. The Russians would gladly allow us to put an Israeli avionics suite and still support its engines, its umpteen LRUs and meet our serviceability needs even if we were to ignore half of their upgrade proposal.
Here, we can't even drop an Indian engine into Brahmos, because it would "not be true partnership", and there is talk of just randomly integrating 3'rd party AESA.
Russia effectively forced us to buy SAP-518 pods, which are too heavy, by not working with us to integrate EL-8222 capability into the fleet. And you think they will happily share the software and firmware to drop fit an Israeli radar into the Russian WCS on the Su-30 MKI?
but I havent come across any official interview from IAF or Russian side that says they would want an AESA .
The IAFs insistence on AESA for its MMRCA speaks volumes. Its rapid acceptance of the Mk1A when it got an AESA speaks volumes. The IAFs insistence that Rafale with Meteor can take on J-20 speaks volumes. The IAF taking Jaguar DARIN-3 upgrades instead of insisting on further replacements, speaks volumes.
But lets deny all of this, and pretend IAF does not want an AESA.
Russian side will pretend whatever it offers is perfect, so when has that mattered?
NIIP has no AESA on offer today. Phazatron has no AESA on offer today (PR aside, not one is in service on any fighter).
The same magazines which pretend Su30 proposal from Russia is so loved by IAF, also claim MiG-29K is a very successful program.
IAF is not stupid. If Russia had a high power AESA that they could put on the Su-30 - they would have pushed for it as a priority once they saw more Rafales were not coming.
If AESA was such a magical wonder M2K would have been the first to get in the upgrade which is also the most expensive one for a fleet of 40 and M2K are still used for Strategic purpose before Rafale takes over as and when they come.
There was no AESA on offer for the Mirage 2000 upgrade. It was reserved for the Rafale. Now we have purchased the Rafale and will very likely get more, its in Thales and Dassaults interest to provide the technology for some of our existing fleet, provided it does not detract from Rafale sales.
Note Thales is not yet offering the RBE-2 derived radar for the Su-30, why do you think that is? Because the RBE-2 was developed primarily for the Rafale program and clearly, Dassault has some say in where it can be used.
A LCA Mk1 light fighter with AESA is not a threat to the Rafale. Heavy/Medium fighters upgraded with it, can be used to delay Rafale sales and won't be easily cleared.
The BARS are very capable and easily have a decade of life left even in current Mk4 which itself were constantly upgraded ,
They are not permanent and need upgrades.
What they are proposing and highly likely we would see is BARS getting upgraded to Irbis standard with the entire back end geting replaced except for the main antenna so that in future an AESA can be added if required , This would essentially give BARS double the average power output and peak power of 20Kw like Irbis
Austin, I dont think you understand what Irbis is. If Bars was to be upgraded to Irbis, they'd first replace the front-end not the back-end alone because Irbis is basically a lighter antenna derived from the Osa program, but with better scan angles.
You can't just make the Bars draw on 20KW of power either. If you look into the topic, you'll see the average aircraft has only so much power surplus, it can utilize for its avionics. The Irbis leverages all new power supply and transfer units, drawing on more powerful engines than the Su-30's un-upgraded AL-31 class engines.
To the Bars oscillators and receivers, the NIIP guys added extra modules, new antenna, new DSP, and heavy TWTs - to put out a lot of power and claim extreme brochure ranges such as 350-400 km.
Guess what, those ranges come in very narrow scan angles limiting the amount of time, the mode can be used.
In short, the Irbis is no magic bullet. It does however permit large look angles.
The issues regarding PESA designs remain. Power conversion remains iffy with losses in the TX part. The reliability remains a challenge, because of the number of moving parts - large look angles at least compensate for this. The LPI part as advertised for the F-22/F-35 to avoid triggering earlier RWRs is not easily implementable, that growth part is blocked off.
Basically, you have an expensive heavy radar with next to nil long term growth. You have to put an AESA in, next.
Considering IAF is spending just 100 cr on each upgrade of ~ USD 16 million there is little hope in hell we will get AESA and all the bells and whistles if they are looking at fleet wide upgrade of 280 Aircraft , that also comes to around $4.5 - 5 billion just for the upgrade.
Desi displays, RWR, SPJ. Considering an AESA can cost anywhere between 3-5 Million $, that still leaves around $10 Million per aircraft. Again, most of the other items can be easily fit in for the price.
The problem remains the Russians have no AESA for an upgrade.
They only have PESA options.
I would rather see they get something more important like a desi MAWS , DRFM based interal Jammers and heavy pod mounted growler type external one , ESM with LPI capability , Towed Decoys , DIRCM , Upgrade IRST , DARE MMI and Sensor fusion and integration of all the weapons that IAF has and will have in the future including French ones we could have for Rafale like Meteor ....an AESA along with Engine upgrade would be the last good thing to have both are damn expensive component of upgrade ....Considering the fleet wide availability of Data links and AWACS , MKI would still get a big tactical picture from multiple asset.
None of the other items you mentioned are affected by an AESA or are available OTS and some are not available at all.. eg DIRCM, who has that? Only the Russians for FGFA and US for JSF and both are not available.
The rest is all being added anyhow and is not tied to the upgrade.
A long range missile is definitely on the cards as well.
I would bet every dime that MKI wont get an AESA in the current upgrade or an engine change to higher power one that is the last thing MKI needs for the next 15 years when there are so many other important things that it can get for it to get better capabilities , that sort of upgrade would need a lot of testing and debugging as entire weapons system will have to get realligned with new radar and tested too same with engine , easily a $40 million upgrade per aircraft
MKI won't get an AESA because Russians don't have it and the Indian establishment has been too stupid to have not heavily invested in creating the capability locally.
That's the bottomline.
It has nothing to do with IAF does not want an AESA that's something you have just made an idea out of.
In contrast, IAF is busy ensuring every new fighter acquisition it has, comes with AESA. And thank goodness for that.