Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Zynda » 24 Feb 2018 20:04

If we are taking the route of funding improvements to F414 product, GoI should mandate that further improvement should be done by engineers at GE BLR. If needed, let them ship a bunch or lots of key engineers from US to BLR/India for a months/years. Challenge will be lack of suitable wind tunnels/altitude testing chambers infra in India which is available for GE in YooEss. Of course, if GoI is serious, then they could mandate that such facilities installation & commissioning is responsible by GE India but will be funded by GoI. The ownership would lie with MoD/Ministry of Science and any Govt. lab and/or Indian Private Sector can avail these facilities up on approval. {I also want to point out that a similar infrastructure (wind tunnels) contractual obligation was placed on Boeing during the purchase of C-17s. Apparently, Boeing installed old rust bucket shape wind tunnels near Chitradurga, which may or may not be operational. The key difference this time could be that GE will need to use these facilities to do actual product improvements and thus an usable & decent ones (if not state-of-the-art) may be required unlike the deal with Boeing where Boeing won't be using their installed infra for their product improvements}

Also since Tejas Mk.2 & perhaps AMCA will both use F414 (later batches of AMCA might use Kaveri derivatives but a lot of major hurdles needs to be overcome for that to happen), GoI can further mandate as much as local manufacturing & assembly of such engines in India.

The point of the above is to build engineering & manf. capability in India outside of Govt labs.

The above will be hugely expensive for GoI coffers but if GE Aviation is in trouble financially, it will be too tempting for GE to resist. GOTUS may be an issue...

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 24 Feb 2018 20:12

brar_w wrote:There are four medium sized 5th gen programs out there outside of the US. All four of them have narrowed down on a twin engine set up. There is likely a higher element of risk with performance and margins when you are reliant on one of the largest fighter engines with some of the highest TETs in the industry. Keeping it in the range it does likely future proofs the program and provides alternate suppliers in case the relationship with GE does not work as intended.

Four very different programs. The T-FX is going with the EJ-200, the Japanese program will use domestic engines, the Koreans are starting out with a 4.5 gen fighter and the AMCA is looking at the F414. There isn't a genuine 5th gen engine in the lot, and there's no apparent collaboration to fund one jointly.

The options available may seem fine today but as I recall the F404 was perfectly sufficient for the Tejas too, until it wasn't and the IAF demanded that only the 414 powered Mk2 would do. In retrospect, perhaps designing the Tejas around the F414 would have been wiser (though I've always held that we should always pursued a F-16 class F100/F110 powered fighter and steered clear of this 'light' business).

The risks associated with the F135 for the AMCA would have been lower IMO simply because it has the backing of the US govt and a production program that goes upto 2037, which is roughly when the AMCA will IOC. Serious upgrades are pretty much inevitable.

If the goal is to eventually put a Kaveri offshoot int hat space then a twin engine design makes even more sense.

The Kaveri is an option for a future UCAV and perhaps a future LCA-AJT. Expecting the program to produce a 100 kN+ engine even with a new Safran core is optimistic to say the least.

If the die has been cast, the best option for the ADA/HAL will be to approach KAI and jointly back a F414-based development program, unless of course EJ can offer something better.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2018 20:12

Meanwhile, GE's aviation and healthcare businesses remain solid performers in secular growth industries. GE Aviation is by far the conglomerate's most valuable business. As the largest jet engine manufacturer, it is benefiting from the same long-term demand growth as Boeing. Indeed, segment profit is likely to grow at a high-single-digit rate for a decade or more. https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/02/ ... oeing.aspx



https://www.ge.com/investor-relations/s ... 242018.pdf

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2018 20:16

Viv S wrote:Four very different programs. The T-FX is going with the EJ-200, the Japanese program will use domestic engines, the Koreans are starting out with a 4.5 gen fighter and the AMCA is looking at the F414. There isn't a genuine 5th gen engine in the lot, and there's no apparent collaboration to fund one jointly.


I wasn't even considering the Japanese program as ovreall requirements for it are likely not yet firmed and nor is its future as certain. I was consdiering the TF-X, the KF-X, the J-31 and the AMCA. All of these four programs have narrowed down to a twin engine configuration with similar thrust class engines (comparable to 404/414 family).

There is no genuine "5th gen" engine program out there yet in that thrust class and choosing another program would put these programs in a single vendor situation at worst, or with currently developmental test articles at best.

The risks associated with the F135 for the AMCA would have been lower IMO simply because it has the backing of the US govt and a production program that goes upto 2037, which is roughly when the AMCA will IOC. Serious upgrades are pretty much inevitable.


The risk I was referring to was not in relation to the engine being provided but integration, and the fact that the program would lock itself in a single vendor situation and will likely take a considerably longer time to develop an equivalent indigenous engine given the challenges associated with creating something in the F135 class.

But I agree, all these new programs out there will suffer on account of not having the latest in propulsion technology to support their 5th gen design efforts (perhaps Japan will be an exception). Eventually, most will get some sort of enhancements over the baseline engines depending upon their level of investment. We have two XA prototypes currently being fabricated by GE and P&W to support a USAF effort. The USN's NGF is currently abour 3-4 years behind the sister service's maturity but it could be possible that when it comes to engine R&D they focus on a different thrust class.
Last edited by brar_w on 24 Feb 2018 20:35, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Zynda » 24 Feb 2018 20:22

I meant further improvement on the F414-INS6 version. Of course GE can incorporate the changes/improvements to their main F414 product line as well.

I will also add that the chances of previous post happening is very less.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby NRao » 24 Feb 2018 20:35

Zynda wrote:I meant further improvement on the F414-INS6 version. Of course GE can incorporate the changes/improvements to their main F414 product line as well.

I will also add that the chances of previous post happening is very less.


That is exactly what the JV via DTTI had in mind. Improve on the GE F414 INS6, the proposed engine for the NLCA MK2.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Rakesh » 24 Feb 2018 20:40

Zynda: JV via DTTI would do nothing other than provide a screwdrivergiri engine for India.

See here :) ---> viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3351&p=2234699#p2234699

DTTI is old wine in new bottle. Nothing we will learn.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2018 20:52

JV's are better focused on Science and Technology projects for now. These, much smaller projects focused on technology development and analysis in support of future High Energy Lasers and AI applications are happening at the moment b/w India and the US (be it at a very small level). A major sub-system development could follow down the road but it is better to take smaller steps first. As far as the "owners" of the systems in the US is concerned, the USN has to first define where it wants the F414 family needs to be to meets its requirements later next decade. They are the largest and best funded operators of the F414 so first they have to firm up a roadmap which they have not at this point if this is to be a JV at a G2G level. It is quite dangerous to enter into a JV with a US department of defense when the parent service is still not fully certain on what roadmap it wants to take with a particular product. Just ask Italy and Germany. Otherwise, it is best to work with the OEM as a commercial venture as the South Koreans seem to be doing.
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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Rakesh » 24 Feb 2018 21:04

Will we get access to the hot engine components of F414 engine?

If not, a JV is nothing more than a Science & Technology project with little value.

Your solution working with OEM as a commercial venture is the most optimal solution. The Hanwha Techwin F414-KI afterburning turbofan - for the KAI KF-X fighter - is nothing more than a licensed production variant of the GE F414 engine.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2018 21:06

Rakesh wrote:Will we get access to the hot engine components of F414 engine?


Probably not.

If not, a JV is nothing more than a Science & Technology project with little value.


Possibly true as long as one assumes a more capable system to be of little value.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Rakesh » 24 Feb 2018 21:41

Will we learn anything of value from the more capable system?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 24 Feb 2018 21:52

brar_w wrote:The risk I was referring to was not in relation to the engine being provided but integration, and the fact that the program would lock itself in a single vendor situation and will likely take a considerably longer time to develop an equivalent indigenous engine given the challenges associated with creating something in the F135 class.

Similar situation on the F414/EJ-200 front as well IMO. If both vendors are in a position to deliver a 110 kN+ engine, well and good. If not, then the choice is between a single vendor situation and potentially delivering an under-powered aircraft (that may lead to a Tejas redux). On the F135, there are certainly risks associated with integration but the procurement should have been relative simple with the MoD piggybacking on the US DoD orders via FMS.

brar_w wrote:Eventually, most will get some sort of enhancements over the baseline engines depending upon their level of investment.

Well, I know the EJ230 project (100 kN) remains on paper to say nothing of the second stage variant (120 kN). Maybe the TFX will carry it forward. Is the EPE available as an upgrade for existing F414s? Any genuine interest from the USN?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2018 22:03

Similar situation on the F414/EJ-200 front as well IMO. If both vendors are in a position to deliver a 110 kN+ engine, well and good. If not, then the choice is between a single vendor situation and potentially delivering an under-powered aircraft (that may lead to a Tejas redux). On the F135, there are certainly risks associated with integration but the procurement should have been relative simple with the MoD piggybacking on the US DoD orders via FMS.


Both those OEMs can deliver a 110Kn class engine if funded.

On the F135, there are certainly risks associated with integration but the procurement should have been relative simple with the MoD piggybacking on the US DoD orders via FMS.


And there is nothing as a backup if the MOD does not get it wants on the F135 or if challenges and relationship with P&W does not pan out. Nothing as an option to import, and nothing currently possible from domestic efforts.

Well, I know the EJ230 project (100 kN) remains on paper to say nothing of the second stage variant (120 kN). Maybe the TFX will carry it forward. Is the EPE available as an upgrade for existing F414s? Any genuine interest from the USN?


EJ will have a path to up the thrust with adequate funding. At some point, you will have to spend cash out of pocket if you want a proper solution for your needs. Turkey, Britain or some other end user would have to fund this. Much the same with the F414 Enhanced. Both the EJ and the F414 are now preferred engines for a NG fighter program so there are definitely prospects for them to secure funding for enhancements.

The USN has a large F414 program and the engine will be their primary Tactical figther propulsion for the vast majority of their fleet well into the next decade and beyond. They need to upgrade it over its life cycle in order to bring some performance and efficiency back as they add other capability to their aircraft via the block III SH efforts and beyond. They have essentially paused their Next Gen Fighter efforts for all practical purposes and now don't expect to ramp up funding till after 2024 which means it has shifted from an early 2030s platform to a mid to late 2030s platform. This means more Super Hornets and more SH and Growler upgrades to keep them in the fleet for longer than what they had planned even 2 years ago.

Rakesh wrote:Will we learn anything of value from the more capable system?


Possibly. But it is tough to dispute the fact that when requirements and timelines align, and resources are pooled, one generally ends up with better capability. The USN has a need to upgrade a heck of a lot of F414s. It is almost certain, that short of billions being pumped in to the F414 by India to support capability development specifically for the AMCA, a JV that aligns the two programmatic needs will result in a better product which will directly impact the performance of the AMCA. Not all JVs are about (or need to be about) tech-transfer and "learning". Sometimes, getting higher capability (than what one could affordably achieve by taking an independent approach to working with an OEM) is a good and desired outcome. All I said that in the absence of this alignment in capability and schedule it is best to avoid the DTTI route without first knowing what the USN has decided because while the OSD can push S&T and some R&D, eventually if the services are not interested in either the capability or the schedule they bail out and leave the other JV partners hanging to pick up the slack, as Germany and Italy found out with MEADS.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 24 Feb 2018 22:17

brar_w wrote:Both those OEMs can deliver a 110Kn class engine if funded.

And there is nothing as a backup if the MOD does not get it wants on the F135 or if challenges and relationship with P&W does not pan out. Nothing as an option to import, and nothing currently possible from domestic efforts.

Funded by whom? The USN seem uninterested and the EF consortium unwilling. If India or some other customer does so they're stuck in the same monopolistic single vendor situation with nothing as a backup and all the potential for price gouging.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Zynda » 24 Feb 2018 22:28

brar_w wrote:
Rakesh wrote:Will we get access to the hot engine components of F414 engine?


Probably not.

Will GE India engineers get access to hot engine components tech from GE US? Although ITAR regulations could come in to play, GE US to GE India would be considered as an inter-company transfer of knowledge rather than transfer between GE to an Indian partner.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2018 22:37

Funded by whom? The USN seem uninterested and the EF consortium unwilling.


The USN has only recently begun investing in upgrades to their Super Hornet and Growler fleets beyond what they had planned to do half a decade ago. They have also, in their latest budget, recently unveiled plans to buy 110 F-18E/Fs over the Future Years Defense Program (FY19-FY23) in addition to the 14 they are buying in FY18. This will take their Super Hornet procurement program to 706 aircraft and would mean that Boeing will continue to deliver Super Hornets till at least 2025 (it will likely be extended more). Meanwhile, while they have concluded their Growler acquisition program they are co-participants (along with the USAF) in the currently ongoing Joint Airborne Electronic Attack - Analysis of Alternatives and could re-evaluate their decision to stop the Growler program of record depending upon what comes out of that study. Regardless, based on early tech development results from the Next Gen Jammer program it appears that the pods are going to stretch the weight and drag margins built into the program which will likely require some engine enhancements to recover performance. CFTs et al will also likely require some engine upgrades to recover the performance of the baseline block 1 or II at some future date. The Super Hornet and the Growler will be the most important Tactical aircraft programs for the USN well into the 2030s. They have to sustain it, and modernize it to keep it relevant (so that it can keep up with competition as well as perform alongside the F-35C) because it will form the backbone of their tactical fleet.

EF consortium unwilling.


Eurojet has now secured a 5th generation aircraft as a customer. We also do not yet know what the plans are for the Brits when it comes to the FCAS and beyond. Regardless, it has a future application that is being funded and so is the F414 so you have at least 2 engines that are now securing funding for next generation advanced developmental projects.

Will GE India engineers get access to hot engine components tech from GE US? Although ITAR regulations could come in to play, GE US to GE India would be considered as an inter-company transfer of knowledge rather than transfer between GE to an Indian partner.


These sort of arrangements and dealings have to comply with the laws and regulations.
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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby vasu raya » 24 Feb 2018 22:45

if we are just buying, AMCA could use either the F414 or the EJ2000 and not get vendor locked?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 24 Feb 2018 23:08

Viv,

IMHO, Calling Su-57 battle unworthy and F-35 battle worthy from day 1 can only be put down as bias.

They are better than Su-35s. If Su-30s trump F-15s, Su-35s trump Su-30s, and Su-57s trump Su-35s, then you are speaking of an incredibly battle worthy aircraft.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby abhik » 24 Feb 2018 23:16

brar_w wrote:
Singha wrote:I saw convert amca to single engine and fit the jsf f135 or the standby f136 ge engine which will both save ge aviation , ensure good txfer for tejas mk2 engine also i think n3 had suggested using f136 engine route or pay ge to build a mk2 f414 for our 300 plane buildout of twin engine amca which means 2000 engines over a 40 yr timeframe... embed our ppl learn from it

He who has the best engines rules the skies



The AMCA design has been down-selected and chosen and it is progressing to its next phase. What you are demanding is basically the designers throw out what they have selected through a rigorous process and essentially design a completely new aircraft (one that moves from a twin engine setup to a single engine setup) adding years to the program timeline which even without this distraction will likely field something in the mid to late 2030s.

I dont think a single engine config was ever seriously considered, it was always going to a be a 'Son of Tejas' fighter with twin 'Daughter of Kaveri' engines - correct me if I am wrong here.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2018 23:20

While it is possible that the final few designs shortlisted may not have had a single engine configuration, it is tough to imagine that this was never considered at any point of their analysis. If they were looking to design something around a Kaveri offshoot, then a twin engine design would have looked more attractive and frankly that would be understandable given that the long term goal for both the Tejas and AMCA should be to migrate to an indigenous engine. An F-135 or 136 with the technology and capability would simply prolong that significantly given the requirements for thrust, performance, reliability etc.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 24 Feb 2018 23:23

brar_w wrote:The USN has only recently begun investing in upgrades to their Super Hornet and Growler fleets beyond what they had planned to do

Those fleets are powered by the baseline 414. The crucial question - have they expressed any verbal/written/implied interest in the EPE which has been available as a development option for 10 years now. Do we know for a fact that the EPE will be funded?

Eurojet has now secured a 5th generation aircraft as a customer. We also do not yet know what the plans are for the Brits when it comes to the FCAS and beyond. Regardless, it has a future application that is being funded and so is the F414 so you have at least 2 engines that are now securing funding for next generation advanced developmental projects.

The Taranis & Neuron are/were powered by a 30 kN Adour 951, albeit with Dassault stating that a production aircraft will be powered by a variant of the M88. In either case, the EJ200++ would appear to be vastly over-powered for the FCAS.

Meanwhile, the TFX according to TAI will be powered by two 90 kN engines. No increase in thrust appears to be planned - not even to bring it at par with the F414.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2018 23:30

Those fleets are powered by the baseline 414. The crucial question - have they expressed any verbal/written/implied interest in the EPE which has been available as a development option for 10 years now. Do we know for a fact that the EPE will be funded?


One does not require a very large leap of faith to see that GE is hanging on to their Enhanced engine plans and upgrading USN engines precisely for the right time when the USN begins to invest in these upgrades. GE did not get to the place it has gotten vis-a-vis F414 EPE/EDE configurations and testing by just IR&D. There was a fair bit of money spent by the USN to get them where they currently are. Similarly, there is nothing in terms of a written implied interest from the USN when it comes to improving the radar of the F-18E/F, or enhancing its mission computers but it much like other things doesn't require a leap of faith when it comes to projecting a need down the road given that they have just decided to grow their fleet by 110 aircraft at a minimum all the while scaling back their NGF efforts thereby pushing a 6th generation naval fighter plans to the right compared to what was being estimate a few years ago.

A lot of the enhancements GE had demonstrated, or proposed were developed with an eye for upgrading fielded systems because the installed base, between 850+ USN fleet, and hundreds of other fighters (Tejas, AMCA, F-X, etc etc) makes this approach sensible.

The Taranis & Neuron are/were powered by a 30 kN Adour 951, albeit with Dassault stating that a production aircraft will be powered by a variant of the M88. In either case, the EJ200++ would appear to be vastly over-powered for the FCAS.


The Taranis and neuron are just a start. There will be umpteen different technology pulls and pushes as this saga continues. As it is, Britain will need an advanced development project to sustain its industrial base..whether they do it with France, independently or with someone else remains to be seen. But regardless, it is a FACT that the EJ is now the vendor that will be supplying engines to at least one NG advanced project. The F414 appears to be supporting 2 programs. The fact still remains that four of the programs I had originally cited all chose a twin-engine configuration and are starting out with a baseline 404/414 class engine.

Meanwhile, the TFX according to TAI will be powered by two 90 kN engines. No increase in thrust appears to be planned - not even to bring it at par with the F414.


For now. 5th generation projects are hard once you move from the PPT phase and into the hard engineering. It would be good to revisit this program 5-6 years down the road as they share plans to address weight increases and alliteratively build room for growth. Same applies to the KF-X which imho takes the most sensible approach of first fielding a 70% solution and gradually growing to meet the full requirements.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 24 Feb 2018 23:45

Indranil wrote:Viv,

IMHO, Calling Su-57 battle unworthy and F-35 battle worthy from day 1 can only be put down as bias.

One program has clocked 125,000 flight hours and delivered close to 300 aircraft. The other is still in the prototype stage and yet to deliver its first production variant. In terms of maturity, the Su-57 is roughly where the F-35 was back in 2010.

Unless we're starting the clock in 2030, its simply not possible for the Su-57 to be achieve that kind of serviceability & reliability figures that the IAF typically seeks. That's not bias, that's fact.

If its the terminology that you have an issue with, I suppose we could call it partially battleworthy, if you like. In that, it could fight (with some capability still evolving) but isn't always available to fight. Not unlike the Navy's MiG-29Ks.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 25 Feb 2018 00:02

brar_w wrote:Similarly, there is nothing in terms of a written implied interest from the USN when it comes to improving the radar of the F-18E/F, or enhancing its mission computers but it much like other things doesn't require a leap of faith when it comes to projecting a need down the road given that they have just decided to grow their fleet by 110 aircraft at a minimum all the while scaling back their NGF efforts thereby pushing a 6th generation naval fighter plans to the right compared to what was being estimate a few years ago.

Except that upgrading avionics is a routine part of the evolution of any serving fighter aircraft. Engine upgrades, in contrast, are quite rare. Definitely possible, hardly assured.

The Taranis and neuron are just a start. There will be umpteen different technology pulls and pushes as this saga continues. As it is, Britain will need an advanced development project to sustain its industrial base..whether they do it with France, independently or with someone else remains to be seen.

Like I said, neither of the countries (UK/France) have any organic requirement for a 110 kN class engine (the FCAS will probably do with a 40-50 kN engine).

For now. 5th generation projects are hard once you move from the PPT phase and into the hard engineering. It would be good to revisit this program 5-6 years down the road as they share plans to address weight increases and alliteratively build room for growth. Same applies to the KF-X which imho takes the most sensible approach of first fielding a 70% solution and gradually growing to meet the full requirements.

5-6 years from now, the TFX requirements may have led to the 100 kN evolution of the EJ200 (pitched for the Tejas Mk2) finally emerging. Doesn't necessarily help the AMCA. GE will still have monopoly with the F414, assuming the EPE gets funded.

Either way, a lot of stars will need to align for HAL/ADA to have the potential for a competitive engine buy in a decade.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2018 00:16

Except that upgrading avionics is a routine part of the evolution of any serving fighter aircraft. Engine upgrades, in contrast, are quite rare. Definitely possible, hardly assured.


Nothing is assured including any hypothetical single engine AMCA plans. That said, the USN has funded F414 improvements, and is only now beginning to seriously look at other enhancements to its fleet which just grew by 110 aircraft based on the FYDP presented by Trump's current budget. The larger, and growing fleet, the reduction in performance on account of weight and drag increase via currently funded enhancements and the fact that the USN now expects the SH replacement to show up later than what had been anticipated even a couple of years ago all point to a continued investment in capability and performance enhancement on all areas of the aircraft including propulsion which is something the USN itself prepared its industry for by funding specific upgrades very early on to stay on top of a future requirement.

As I had mentioned a while ago, USNs approach has been to buy as many aircraft as it needs before ramping up their upgrade investments. With more funds made available over the next couple of years they have begun awarding contracts, and soliciting proposals for future enhancements so that they can plan ahead for future capability. CFT contracts were recently awarded, while NAVAIR solicited (from GE) proposals on an upgrade path to the F-414 just 12-months ago.

Federal contract opportunity N0001917F0068 for aircraft engine and engine parts manufacturing at Naval Air Systems Command NAVAIR HQ, response was due Feb 18, 2017.


The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) intends to solicit a proposal from General Electric Company (CAGE 99207) of 1000 Western Avenue, Lynn, MA 01905-2655 for an F414-GE-400 Engine Core Enhancement Evaluation. The intended contract action will be for a non-recurring engineering study to assess how upgrades to the F414-GE-400 engine could improve engine performance, as well as F/A-18E/F & EA-18G aircraft performance.


Potential customers aren't stupid. They look at the size of the USN's investment into this engine family (both F-404 and 414), how pivotal it would be to their TACAIR capability for decades into the future and plan to hedge their bets as they decide which solution to choose from in an event they cannot meet demands domestically.

Like I said, neither of the countries (UK/France) have any organic requirement for a 110 kN class engine (the FCAS will probably do with a 40-50 kN engine).


I think you and I are looking at a very different "FCAS". You may be concentrating more on the Neuron and Taranis while I am thinking long term, looking at UK and even Europe's long term manned and unmanned fast jet needs.

5-6 years from now, the TFX requirements may have led to the 100 kN evolution of the EJ200 (pitched for the Tejas Mk2) finally emerging. Doesn't necessarily help the AMCA. GE will still have monopoly with the F414, assuming the EPE gets funded.


Nothing to add to what I had said earlier. As I said earlier, let's get back and re-evaluate the 4 programs I had mentioned about 5 years from now to see where they stand, how capabilities, requirements, and schedules have evolved.

Either way, a lot of stars will need to align for HAL/ADA to have the potential for a competitive engine buy in a decade.


A lot less than if they had picked the only game in town in the thrust class which would have been the case had they stuck an F-135 engine in there and began a domestic program to replace it eventually.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 25 Feb 2018 00:38

brar_w wrote:Nothing is assured including any hypothetical single engine AMCA plans. That said, the USN has funded F414 improvements, and is only now beginning to seriously look at other enhancements to its fleet which just grew by 110 aircraft based on the FYDP presented by Trump's current budget. The larger, and growing fleet, the reduction in performance on account of weight and drag increase via currently funded enhancements and the fact that the USN now expects the SH replacement to show up later than what had been anticipated even a couple of years ago all point to a continued investment in capability and performance enhancement on all areas of the aircraft including propulsion which is something the USN itself prepared its industry for by funding specific upgrades very early on to stay on top of a future requirement.

The same probably applies to the Rafale (increase in weight via funded enhancements) as well; M88's thrust remains unchanged. Engine upgrades on serving aircraft are still a very uncommon occurrence.

I think you and I are looking at a very different "FCAS". You may be concentrating more on the Neuron and Taranis while I am thinking long term, looking at UK and even Europe's long term manned and unmanned fast jet needs.

The AMCA is a relatively shorter term project. Not much point if the engine arrives well after the aircraft are in the service. 2045 is what I hear about the EF/Rafale's replacement - 10 years after the AMCA is scheduled to go into production. And we have no idea what shape it'll take anyway; may not be a fighter jet at all. Its about as relevant as the USAF's 6th gen fighter concept.

Nothing to add to what I had said earlier. As I said earlier, let's get back and re-evaluate the 4 programs I had mentioned about 5 years from now to see where they stand, how capabilities, requirements, and schedules have evolved.

5 years from now the TD-1 would working up towards its first flight (if on schedule) and beyond the point of no return (if it isn't already), making any future discussion moot.

A lot less than if they had picked the only game in town in the thrust class which would have been the case had they stuck an F-135 engine in there and began a domestic program to replace it eventually.

The F135 will remain a modern product even by contemporary standards in 2035. R&D programs feeding into its upgrades are already funded and its acquisition cost remains controlled by the US DoD procurement process. It would be the lowest risk engine in existence for a customer looking to buy in the 2030s.

A domestic alternative for the AMCA is like the Kaveri for the Tejas. If available, well and good, but the aircraft needs to be developed entirely independently, if its to succeed. There are other platforms where the Kaveri can be useful not limited to aircraft.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2018 01:14

The same probably applies to the Rafale (increase in weight via funded enhancements) as well; M88's thrust remains unchanged. Engine upgrades on serving aircraft are still a very uncommon occurrence


The difference is quite apparent when once considers that the French inventory of the Rafale. The USN's Growler fleet is likely larger than the current French Rafale fleet. The USN will buy 850 or more Super Hornets and Growlers over its production run. A large fleet makes enhancements more economical given the return on investment in terms of the overall capability and performance increase.

As I have said repeatedly now, the USN has had an interest, (and has backed that interest with hard funding) in enhancements to the F-414 engine. They, in 2017, again revived that interest and will fund (likely this year - contract award) GE to look at other enhancements that were likely not included in their earlier work and analysis. All of this isn't to throw money at something they have no interest in but to help them develop capability to bring it into a program of record down the road in order to keep hundreds of aircraft relevant into the future. Enough data is out there for most to draw conclusions as to where this is headed.

US Navy revives interest in Super Hornet engine upgrades


5 years from now the TD-1 would working up towards its first flight (if on schedule) and beyond the point of no return (if it isn't already), making any future discussion moot


Yeah, it is quite likely they have all already looked at their options and drawn the conclusion that in the absence of global competition in the supply market, or a very advanced domestic capability, it is likely better to stick with a twin engine configurations where they have more options. Outside of the JSF, there isn't a single advanced fighter program currently on the drawing board that is locked into a single engine configuration. Perhaps the Russians would consider something down the road but then their capability to develop advanced engines is better than most of the others putting these programs together. But as things stand 5 current and upcoming 5th generation aircraft programs currently in the technology development stage are all equipped with a twin engine requirement, 4 of those with an engine in the 404/414 class. Almost all of them are looking at a medium weight multi role 5th generation fighter.

The AMCA is a relatively shorter term project.


Even if AdA and HAL run the most lean and efficient 5th generation fighter aircraft program in the world, you are still looking at a mid 2030s capability, realistically speaking. That is plenty of time for most OEMs and their supporting customers to push out capability enhancements. Neither Turkey, nor South Korea and India will end up with "just" the baseline EJ and F414 capability over their product's lifetime. Upgrades will be available..

The F135 will remain a modern product even by contemporary standards in 2035. R&D programs feeding into its upgrades are already funded and its acquisition cost remains controlled by the US DoD procurement process. It would be the lowest risk engine in existence for a customer looking to buy in the 2030s.


This is not what I said. You do not buy an engine like you buy an aircraft. You integrate an engine into your aircraft and design your aircraft around fundamental performance requirements. There is no competition in the F-135 thrust class..and there is unlikely to be any. Similarly, getting an F-135 on the same terms of the F-414 will be a challenge as well. Add to that the fact that AdA has a fairly good understanding of the F404/414, having worked with it for years all point to it being a lower risk solution as far as integrating it with the aircraft. There is also a much better chance of the Kaveri over time increasing in capability to be potentially considered for the AMCA. Developing an F-135 class engine within the same timelines is not going to be possible.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Rakesh » 25 Feb 2018 05:11

brar_w & Viv_S: Can you guys please use quotes with names attached to them? For readers, it is hard to follow the discussion.

brar_w wrote:Possibly. But it is tough to dispute the fact that when requirements and timelines align, and resources are pooled, one generally ends up with better capability. The USN has a need to upgrade a heck of a lot of F414s. It is almost certain, that short of billions being pumped in to the F414 by India to support capability development specifically for the AMCA, a JV that aligns the two programmatic needs will result in a better product which will directly impact the performance of the AMCA.

I am not disputing that bolded part. The F414 will be a great engine for the AMCA. Just that we will not get any tech of value (hot section) from that JV. At the end of the day, this is screwdrivergiri marketed as a JV. I am not against it, but to call it JV is a farce. I realize you did not come up with the term, so I am not accusing you of anything :)

I reminded of this tweet from Hakeem-ji....different system, but same concept.

https://twitter.com/bennedose/status/794001016031244288

brar_w wrote:Not all JVs are about (or need to be about) tech-transfer and "learning". Sometimes, getting higher capability (than what one could affordably achieve by taking an independent approach to working with an OEM) is a good and desired outcome.

Fully agree. However, in the Indian context getting higher capability translates to the MoD Badu as why should I develop my own system, when I can just buy it? In the above link, Shekhar Gupta brought up that very issue because that is our flawed thought process. And for OEMs it makes perfect business sense to continue having India suck at the proverbial teet. Go for all the screwdrivergiri I say, but not at the expense of short changing the development of our own system.

I am not against GE (or any phoren company of any industry) doing business in India. But screwdrivergiri, JVs, local production should only be temporary, short term measures. Not long term, reliable solutions packaged under the guise of strategic partnership.

brar_w wrote:All I said that in the absence of this alignment in capability and schedule it is best to avoid the DTTI route without first knowing what the USN has decided because while the OSD can push S&T and some R&D, eventually if the services are not interested in either the capability or the schedule they bail out and leave the other JV partners hanging to pick up the slack, as Germany and Italy found out with MEADS.

Correct as usual. Let the USN decide what they want to do with the F414 engine first and then we can jump on to power the AMCA (but as a short term solution).

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 25 Feb 2018 05:27

brar_w wrote:The difference is quite apparent when once considers that the French inventory of the Rafale. The USN's Growler fleet is likely larger than the current French Rafale fleet. The USN will buy 850 or more Super Hornets and Growlers over its production run. A large fleet makes enhancements more economical given the return on investment in terms of the overall capability and performance increase.

Nope. The French Rafale fleet is larger. The costs involved in re-engining the fleet will also be similarly large. It remains to be seen whether the USN will spring for new engines; the option of EPE engines has been around for 10 years.

brar_w wrote:Yeah, it is quite likely they have all already looked at their options and drawn the conclusion that in the absence of global competition in the supply market, or a very advanced domestic capability, it is likely better to stick with a twin engine configurations where they have more options. Outside of the JSF, there isn't a single advanced fighter program currently on the drawing board that is locked into a single engine configuration.

The JSF program still remains the largest fighter program conceived in half a century. As a results, its engine prospects are rock solid requiring no development funding.

Others may not have opted for a single engined but the arguments that resulted in that configuration for the JSF apply to Korea & India, though not so much Japan & Turkey.

[Japan is aiming for something in the F-22 class, I believe, while Turkey prefers a European OEM (it helps that BAE is involved with the TFX).]

brar_w wrote:Even if AdA and HAL run the most lean and efficient 5th generation fighter aircraft program in the world, you are still looking at a mid 2030s capability, realistically speaking. That is plenty of time for most OEMs and their supporting customers to push out capability enhancements. Neither Turkey, nor South Korea and India will end up with "just" the baseline EJ and F414 capability over their product's lifetime. Upgrades will be available..

That's plenty of time for them to develop it sure. Not necessarily enough time for their home markets to develop a need for such a product.

Its not enough for upgrades to be available. The also the question of what upgrades and at what price? And more importantly what will the procurement cost?

Two OEMs offering 110kN engines would give you the means to achieve a good deal. But when one OEM offers a 100 kN engine and another a 120 kN engine, both offerings may be "upgrades" on what they've delivered thus far, but it still leaves you with in a monopolistic situation with lots of leeway for price gouging (HAL's experience with Safran/Shakti being an apt example).

The F135's development is paid for, is available at a near-fixed price and most importantly its evolution is assured with a dozen others customers (F-35 operators) on-board. That performance and cost reliability alone is worth designing the fighter around.

The Kaveri is starting from a 40 year technology deficit in a field where leapfrogging tech isn't viable - it is not realistic to expect that gap to be bridged even for a twin engined design. There will be other, more practical, opportunities to employ it.
Last edited by Viv S on 25 Feb 2018 05:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2018 05:30

Rakesh wrote:Just that we will not get any tech of value (hot section) from that JV. At the end of the day, this is screwdrivergiri marketed as a JV. I am not against it, but to call it JV is a farce. I realize you did not come up with the term, so I am not accusing you of anything


When I refer to a JV, I do so in the context of alligned joint requirements and schedule leading the USDOD and IN jointly having a say in the features which go into engine enhancements and then having those be developed for needs for both countries. Specific to any technology, or production or assembly of some components those arrangements will likely mirror what the South Koreans got which I have posted previously. Joint Ventures need not always be focused on 100% technology transfer. In fact those are likely to be the exception rather than the norm in most cases. This does not mean that when requirements align, one cannot look to partner up to get a desired capability.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2018 05:42

Viv S wrote:Nope. The French Rafale fleet is larger. The costs involved in re-engining the fleet will also be similarly large. It remains to be seen whether the USN will spring for new engines; the option of EPE engines has been around for 10 years.


I just went by the Rafale wikipedia page which said that 164 Rafale's have been produced as of January, 2018. The Growler should be in the 153 range for the USN (The USN will take deliver of its 160th aircraft this year wrapping up its Growler acquisition program) and more for the RAAF. Regardless, the difference between a sub 250 fleet and a > 800 is quite a bit which was the point. The EPE options have been there for 10 years because the USN and GE have both independently funded the capability so that it is available relatively quickly at time that they need it. Since then the US DOD budgets have been sequestered because of the BCA and are only now rebounding. During that time-frame the USN preferred to buy aircraft and modernize later. They are however now focusing back on upgrades and enhancements as is evident from their renewed (and funded) interest in the F-414 enhancements, CFTs, mission system upgrades etc. etc. By adding 124 aircraft in the FY18-FY23 program, and by ceding all the 6th gen "hard work" and investment to the USAF, they further strengthened the business case for engine and performance enhancements. That they are sanctioning further work to GE that can be used down the road is no coincidence..they see the performance gains they need down the road for such a large fleet and are trying to stay ahead of the need much the same way they are doing with CFTs and stand-off weapons.

Viv S wrote:The JSF program still remains the largest fighter program conceived in half a century. As a results, its engine prospects are rock solid requiring no development funding.


What does that have to do with anything? Countries choose propulsion trades based on a whole host of reasons..In case of the 4-5 current fighters some of those are vendor diversity (competitive acquisition and as a hedge), domestic programs, and the overall system risk when it comes to designing and integrating a fighter. They just don't look at the best funded single engine fighter program and pick its engine just because. In case of India, the goal is/should be clearly to look to incorporate the Kaveri++ into both the LCA and AMCA. Choosing a single engine configuration would have essentially left the program reliant on one nation, and a single vendor. No one besides the US is likely to need a 43,000 - 45,000 lb. thrust class engine.

Viv S wrote:The F135's development is paid for, is available at a near-fixed price and most importantly its evolution is assured with a dozen others customers (F-35 operators) on-board. That performance and cost reliability alone is worth designing the fighter around


Yet South Korea, Turkey and India chose not to..either with the F-135 or with a >40K lb. thrust class engine.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 25 Feb 2018 06:20

brar_w wrote:I just went by the Rafale wikipedia page which said that 164 Rafale's have been produced as of January, 2018. The Growler should be in the 150 range for the USN (I believe the USN will take deliver of its 160th aircraft this year) and more for the RAAF. Regardless, the difference between a sub 250 fleet and a > 800 is quite a bit.

So you're suggest that the USN will re-engine its entire or at least significant portion of its SH fleet as well? Like I said, I'll wait and see because re-engining of serving aircraft is a rather rare thing.

brar_w wrote:What does that have to do with anything? Countries choose propulsion trades based on a whole host of reasons..In case of the 4-5 current fighters some of those are vendor diversity (competitive acquisition and as a hedge), domestic programs, and the overall system risk when it comes to designing and integrating a fighter.

Well in one case, you first have to potentially pay for an engine's development after which it'll still be short of cutting edge. And then you have to somehow avoid getting screwed over by the OEM that now has a monopoly that you funded. Unless of course you can get a competing vendor in the market to develop and hawk a product that nobody really needs aside from you.

In the other case, you have a engine who's development is all paid for, with performance superior to anything else on the market, available at a reasonable cost with likely lower maintenance costs.

brar_w wrote:They just don't look at the best funded single engine fighter program and pick its engine just because. In case of India, the goal is/should be clearly to look to incorporate the Kaveri++ into both the LCA and AMCA. Choosing a single engine configuration would have essentially left the program reliant on one nation, and a single vendor. No one besides the US is likely to need a 43,000 - 45,000 lb. thrust class engine.

Over the next two decades there'll be 15-20 F-35 operators requiring deliveries of the F135. Its future is about as secure as it gets and performance a good rung above everything else.

As far as the Kaveri is concerned, it may in time be developed into something that can power an AJT derived from the LCA - it will miss the Tejas' production window. The AMCA meanwhile will require a degree of performance that is totally unrealistic for the Kaveri to meet (it remains to be seen what options even vendors with over 50 years of experience, can provide without breaking the bank).

brar_w wrote:Yet South Korea, Turkey and India chose not to..either with the F-135 or with a >40K lb. thrust class engine.

There are no European 180 kN engine options available to Turkey (the EJ-200 is the default solution for them). South Korea is developing a 4.5 gen aircraft. Which leaves India where the system doesn't always function in the most logical of ways.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Kakkaji » 25 Feb 2018 06:50

Singha wrote:I say convert amca to single engine and fit the jsf f135

He who has the best engines rules the skies


Sir

If you propose to the IAF to change the AMCA to a single-engine design using the jsf f135 engine, they would rightfully say "Why reinvent the wheel? Why not just buy the JSF then?"

Besides, I doubt the GoTUS will agree to selling their best fighter engine f135 to India.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2018 06:54

Viv S wrote:So you're suggest that the USN will re-engine its entire or at least significant portion of its SH fleet as well? Like I said, I'll wait and see because re-engining of serving aircraft is a rather rare thing.


That a lot of the enhancements can be fitted as modifications to existing engines by cycling them through the depots has been claimed. In fact a major thrust was not to re-engine but to engineer enhancements that could be retrofitted onto existing engines.

The GE/Boeing plan envisions using the enhanced engine for new production aircraft and gradually backfitting the fleet as engines are overhauled, and the companies claim that the $5 billion is a net saving, including the cost of new engine modules. http://aviationweek.com/awin/boeing-ge- ... de-us-navy


Bottom line is that the USN is moving ahead with its plan and investing money to look at these and other options. They have a lot of engines that could benefit from ugprades. South Korea has invested its future in the F-414 and it appears that at least for the initial phase, India has chosen to go the F414 route with the AMCA TD as well. It is clear that GE and the GOTUS have shared current and future plans and the OEM has let each customer evaluate its enhancements roadmap. They likely do not share your skepticism.

Viv S wrote:There are no European 180 kN engine options available to Turkey (the EJ-200 is the default solution for them). South Korea is developing a 4.5 gen aircraft. Which leaves India where the system doesn't always function in the most logical of ways.


Turkey could have simply purchased the F-135, after all it is the cheapest to buy and maintain as per you and integrating it into a new clean sheet design comes at no additional design risk or so I hear. They are F-35 program partners and the F-135 would have been the common thread for their tactical fighter fleet. Yet they choose a twin engine configuration. South Korea is looking at a 70% approach and later building on it and eventually getting to a VLO design with internal weapon bays etc. They are not "Just" developing a 4.5 generation aircraft and calling it a day. They too had a single engine option that they were at one time considering. Yet they chose to not go that route.
Last edited by brar_w on 25 Feb 2018 07:18, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby NRao » 25 Feb 2018 06:58

With the cancellation of the SEF, the Parrikar era is officially over. The NS era has started - reset. And, the April 2nd week will provide us with which direction it is headed.

Modi's last visit produced



One small observation, if it has not already been posted here (apologies). AMCA HQ will be in Coimbatore. They are standing up all test facilities, etc out there. EOI participants will have to deliver their products there!!! This separation from the LCA will allow for both to proceed in parallel.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Singha » 25 Feb 2018 07:12

Rakesh nobody will give hot section tech. Either develop own engine or buy in meantime. Hot section is where cheen is falling short of world class after so much work

Rolls royce does hot section of ej200 and i assume doesnot share with mtu and hispano suiza

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2018 07:22

Although we have discussed this before in the Int. Aero thread, here is the deal the Soko's managed to get out of GE. IMHO this will be the best case scenario vis-a-vis the F414.

"GE is committed to support Hanwha Techwin, KAI, and RoKAF by providing engine localisation options that meet or exceed the request for proposal requirements in excess of 50% for both the EMD [engineering and manufacturing development] and production phases [of the KFX programme]."

The localisation package features the entire fan and low-pressure turbine (LPT) module for the production phase of the KFX programme. Additional parts featured in the package include blisk, blades, and disks, including the high-pressure turbine, and many critical high-volume rotating parts.

GE said, "These types of component manufacturing methods and super-alloys will continue to expand Korea's engine technology base in the areas of manufacturing and know-how." In terms of the EMD phase of the KFX, GE said that it has developed unspecified engineering work packages that will be implemented in collaboration with Hanwha Techwin and South Korean industry. Jane's Defence Weekly - June, 2016

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby NRao » 25 Feb 2018 08:13

There is a hot section in a civilian and a military engine. The two divisions within the same company do not share that info. The civilians are not even allowed to visit the military side. And if and when they have to - for whatever reason - the convo has to be recorded on a formal form and submitted quarterly.

They cannot even share the same email domain!!!!!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Rakesh » 25 Feb 2018 08:31

Singha wrote:Rakesh nobody will give hot section tech. Either develop own engine or buy in meantime. Hot section is where cheen is falling short of world class after so much work.

Rolls royce does hot section of ej200 and i assume doesnot share with mtu and hispano suiza

Saar, I know nobody is going to give India hot engine tech :)

I find it funny when folks tied SEF to engine tech. That is nonsense. No verifiable data to back up the claim either. Just made it up.

Screwdrivergiri the F414 engine onlee.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Rakesh » 25 Feb 2018 08:39

brar_w wrote:Although we have discussed this before in the Int. Aero thread, here is the deal the Soko's managed to get out of GE. IMHO this will be the best case scenario vis-a-vis the F414.

If we can get this, it would be great.


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