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Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Nick_S » 26 Jan 2017 15:58

✈Anantha Krishnan M ✈‏@writetake
HAL rolls out first indigenously upgraded Hawk-i to be displayed at #AeroIndia2017.

Image

^IJT in the back.

From Shiv Aroor -

Image

Image

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Kartik » 27 Jan 2017 02:54

From AW&St- an update on the progress of Hawks being built by HAL for the IAF and IN. Interesting that the pilots can now configure and select the cockpit HMI to replicate different airplanes. Will be a very useful feature in training rookies to go straight to squadrons with different types.


..
In the Hawk upgrade program, imported mission computer and data transfer units have been substituted for HAL-designed and developed systems.

“The indigenous mission computer in the dual-redundant configuration has additional capabilities such as digital map generation, which provides improved situational awareness," a HAL spokesman says. "The embedded virtual training system offers improved training capability over the existing system. The Hawk-i also provides secured voice communication and data link capability by integration of Softnet radio, and pilots can configure and select cockpit human-machine interface for different aircraft platforms.”

BAE initially secured an order in March 2004 for 66 trainers for the Indian air force (IAF), including 24 off-the-shelf from its facility, with the remaining 42 to be license-produced by HAL. The first HAL-built aircraft was handed over to the IAF in August 2008. HAL and BAE signed another deal to manufacture 40 more Hawks for the IAF in July 2010 after delivering the 42 aircraft by 2012. Of the 40 aircraft, HAL has so far produced 25 and will be completing the project by year’s end. HAL also is making 17 Hawk AJTs and associated equipment for the Indian navy, of which it has produced 11, with the rest due to be completed by year's end.
..



So 15 more Hawks for the IAF and 6 for the IN, all to be delivered by the year's end. Following that, HAL may try and interest the IAF in an upgrade to the oldest Hawks in service to the Hawk i standard.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 27 Jan 2017 05:18

I love the colour of this Hawk-I. It is very eye-catching, in a good way.

Beyond the Hawk production, I think they are trying their luck with combat hawk. I think BAE calls it dream or advanced Hawk. It will feature slatted wings for higher lift. This is supposedly for armed roles in the Himalayas at cheaper costs.

I don't buy it. What meaningful load can a Hawk take off with from high altitudes. MMRCA candidates struggled in Leh with almost 50% more TWR. A Hawk powered by a reheated engine. Then we could be talking.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Kartik » 27 Jan 2017 06:04

I don't particularly like this Combat Hawk thing either. Just focus on the Tejas and scaling up its production rates. It will offer way more capability while being useful in most scenarios, unlike the Combat Hawk, which will be useful only in uncontested airspace and with limited payload and range, not to mention the disparity in the sensor fit on these two light jets. Plus, the Combat Hawk is not going to be cheap- I'd expect it to cost approx $25 million each, not adding the development cost for it. No need for the IAF to divert scarce funds towards a watered down light attack jet when a fully multirole indigenous jet is available for ~45 million.

The only possible plus point could be the possibility of exporting it, but the armed jet and piston trainer market is getting very crowded and it won't be an easy sell, except perhaps to existing Hawk operators.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cosmo_R » 27 Jan 2017 06:44

How much of the Hawk by value is produced by HAL.? Anyone?
Thanks

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 27 Jan 2017 07:04

What exactly does the bevelled tip of nose of this Hawk house?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby tsarkar » 27 Jan 2017 09:03

shiv wrote:What exactly does the bevelled tip of nose of this Hawk house?

Landing Light, that in the case of Tejas and Mirage 2000 is in the nose wheel.

In order to accommodate the nose wheel in the thin nose, the landing light has been moved to beveled nose

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 27 Jan 2017 10:02

tsarkar wrote:
shiv wrote:What exactly does the bevelled tip of nose of this Hawk house?

Landing Light, that in the case of Tejas and Mirage 2000 is in the nose wheel.

In order to accommodate the nose wheel in the thin nose, the landing light has been moved to beveled nose

Thanks. So its not some fancy optical sensor

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 27 Jan 2017 10:06

Indranil wrote:
I don't buy it. What meaningful load can a Hawk take off with from high altitudes. MMRCA candidates struggled in Leh with almost 50% more TWR.

Indian aircraft will be taking off mostly from low altitudes. We are not restricted to taking off from Leh. For example there are runways at 600 meters altitude within 60 km of Walong. Lower than Bengaluru

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby tandav » 27 Jan 2017 10:11

I think adding a fire control radar/ECM jammers in nose / center pod will really help the pilots understand the nuances of flying and fighting at the same time at a cheaper cost than frontline fighters and in a pinch can be used for some nominal anti drone/ anti cruise missile missions.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 27 Jan 2017 10:29

Simply as a starting point for conversation let me cross post something I had posted in another thread
shiv wrote:http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-air-force-chief-backs-idea-low-cost-fighter-fleet?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20170119_AW-05_813&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_3&utm_rid=CPEN1000001722890&utm_campaign=8285&utm_medium=email&elq2=d6571f34e48740b28f7b235885c93a1b
The U.S. Air Force chief of staff endorses the idea of buying 300 low-cost, light-attack fighters for counterterrorism missions as a “great idea.”
<snip>
In a white paper out this week, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, suggested that in addition to using the A-10 for close air support, the Air Force should buy 300 light-attack fighters. They could help perform close air support and other missions where air defenses are not a problem and help bring pilots up to speed. “The Air Force could procure the first 200 of these aircraft by fiscal year 2022,” the paper says.

It is not the first time that top Air Force officials have mentioned the idea. In July, officials discussed the possibility of an “OA-X” program to supplement the service’s light attack force. Sierra Nevada’s A-29 Super Tucano and the Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine were mentioned as possible platforms.



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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Chinmay » 27 Jan 2017 12:50

The IAF bombed bunkers across the LoC in 2002!
http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/01/26 ... mg00000001

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Philip » 27 Jan 2017 13:19

Let the USAF buy Tejas! A great way to cement Indo-US mil relations.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 27 Jan 2017 13:48

shiv wrote:
tsarkar wrote:Landing Light, that in the case of Tejas and Mirage 2000 is in the nose wheel.

In order to accommodate the nose wheel in the thin nose, the landing light has been moved to beveled nose

Thanks. So its not some fancy optical sensor

Tsarkar sahab,

What you say is true for the older hawks. With the 100 series onwards, the night lights were moved to the nose landing gear door. the extended "chisel nose" that you see is space for laser range finder and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imager.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Singha » 27 Jan 2017 14:37

I fervently pray it can loft a couple of garuda ammas in general direction of enemy. weapons are getting all the smartness and launch platforms decades old like backfires, boners and B52s soldiering on like aged BMTC buses to mid century.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby tsarkar » 27 Jan 2017 15:11

Indranil wrote:
shiv wrote:Thanks. So its not some fancy optical sensor
Tsarkar sahab,What you say is true for the older hawks. With the 100 series onwards, the night lights were moved to the nose landing gear door. the extended "chisel nose" that you see is space for laser range finder and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imager.

You're right and I stand corrected. The pitfalls of being told by somebody who flies the bird that the nose housed landing light. There is a small landing light visible in nose landing gear housing.
Image

Image

Does it have Thales LRMTS like Jaguar that could do only rangefinding and not designation and replaced by Litening Pod?

However, with the nose retracted, the space is too less, and the windows are opaque

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Singha » 27 Jan 2017 15:57

perhaps its fitted for but not with in iaf service.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 28 Jan 2017 02:25

tsarkar wrote:Does it have Thales LRMTS like Jaguar that could do only rangefinding and not designation and replaced by Litening Pod?

However, with the nose retracted, the space is too less, and the windows are opaque

Yes they both carry the LRMTS type 105 which can only do rangefinding, but not designation. However, I don't think the IAF Hawks carry them.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby sum » 28 Jan 2017 11:10

Chinmay wrote:The IAF bombed bunkers across the LoC in 2002!
http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/01/26 ... mg00000001

So in current times, the Garuds would do the job these pilots do?

Why did the pilots need to go there if SF were already reaching the location and could have lased the bunkers themselves?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Aditya G » 28 Jan 2017 14:56

Combat hawk makes sense if the main AJT fleet itself is upgraded. But I find the attempt to sell it as a replacement of a proper fighter as dangerous. Instill capability into the air force and let the men who's lives are at stake decide the best for solution to the problem

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 28 Jan 2017 15:32

sum wrote:Why did the pilots need to go there if SF were already reaching the location and could have lased the bunkers themselves?

The Air Force people were the only ones who knew how to operate the lasing equipment, it appears.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Surya » 28 Jan 2017 18:53

Chinmay wrote:The IAF bombed bunkers across the LoC in 2002!
http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/01/26 ... mg00000001



mostly true - very lucky to see the pickchurs :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby NRao » 28 Jan 2017 21:13

Philip wrote:Let the USAF buy Tejas! A great way to cement Indo-US mil relations.


Seriously, India should place that option on the table. Open a line in the US.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 28 Jan 2017 22:22

NRao wrote:
Philip wrote:Let the USAF buy Tejas! A great way to cement Indo-US mil relations.


Seriously, India should place that option on the table. Open a line in the US.

The US is an aerospace "wildcard". They don't accept much, but if they do they will take something and make something different out of it. They took the Canberra and made a B-57 with ejection seats. They took the Harrier and made the AV-8. They took the Hawk and made the Goshawk

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cosmo_R » 28 Jan 2017 22:24

NRao wrote:....
Seriously, India should place that option on the table. Open a line in the US.


They will ask for ToT and source code. No deal.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 29 Jan 2017 00:18

The US does not need a light fighter for this mission. They need a considerably lower cost of operating aircraft that gives them the required range and TOS to reduce the burden on tankers that comes with fast jets. This is where the A-10 beats the F-16 for example. There is a reason why the Scorpion has a straight wing and aims for the TOS at range that it aims for ( 3 Hours @ 185 km for the CAS mission profile).

You are essentially looking at an ISR payload in the bay and munitions on the wings..and better than F-16 TOS. If they simply wanted a small fighter they could have simply built those requirements into the T-X and you could end up with an F/A-50 like set up. But it would be quite a bit inferior for the sort of role they are looking for. It will make the tanker burden for these missions worst not better.
Last edited by brar_w on 29 Jan 2017 00:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Rakesh » 29 Jan 2017 00:46

Russia ready to offer again its MiG-35 fighter jets to India
http://www.indiandefensenews.in/2017/01/russia-ready-to-offer-again-its-mig-35.html

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 29 Jan 2017 08:07

With the new bonhomie with the uae, would it be possible to get a few of their Mirage 2000-5/9 as a stop gap to arrest falling numbers. Until lca can be produced in numbers. Then instead of buying f16s, India could simply consider the JSF for IAF/IN both.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 09:00

Cain Marko wrote:With the new bonhomie with the uae, would it be possible to get a few of their Mirage 2000-5/9 as a stop gap to arrest falling numbers. Until lca can be produced in numbers. Then instead of buying f16s, India could simply consider the JSF for IAF/IN both.

I think the JSF is a baad baaaad idea for India

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Singha » 29 Jan 2017 09:08

why ? :) would it be any worse than the f-solah 1-engine mrca deal or the SH for navy?

atleast the pakis or cheenis wont be getting access to JSF anytime soon unlike the F-solah/flanker and the Mig35(future PAF MRCA gap filler if no more free F16 comes through)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 29 Jan 2017 09:18

shiv wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:With the new bonhomie with the uae, would it be possible to get a few of their Mirage 2000-5/9 as a stop gap to arrest falling numbers. Until lca can be produced in numbers. Then instead of buying f16s, India could simply consider the JSF for IAF/IN both.

I think the JSF is a baad baaaad idea for India

Any worse than solah or shornet?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 09:21

Singha wrote:why ? :) would it be any worse than the f-solah 1-engine mrca deal or the SH for navy?

atleast the pakis or cheenis wont be getting access to JSF anytime soon unlike the F-solah/flanker and the Mig35(future PAF MRCA gap filler if no more free F16 comes through)

I think it will be worse than F-16/F/A 18 because the latter have tech that is more "reachable" by India in terms of offsets. I foresee a delay of about a decade being caused by F-16/18, but a delay of 30 years from F-35. As I see it - China has broken free. India is delaying breaking free - and that delay will get longer with the F-35. My views - in fact I had started a thread saying the same thing 3 years ago - it was locked - it still exists - but I just want to make the point that the F-35 program would be a bad decision for India to join. In my opinion

The avionics and materials of F-35 and even the engines are so far ahead of where we are that it will be like purchasing a great expensive car. It will work, but will not help our industry. We cannot strike out on own own if we aim for the unreachable even before we get to F-404/F-16/AESA level tech
Last edited by shiv on 29 Jan 2017 09:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Singha » 29 Jan 2017 09:24

true that. our industry would be better able to absorb and work out of offsets at F-solah level. no way we are ready for JSF level precision and tech.

but really we need to work on AMCA on a war footing and get some TDs into the air , while working to productionise the Tejas mk2 of which not even 1 proto is flying. TDs these days fly for 8-10 yrs before a LRIP starts.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 09:29

Thread started by me in 2010 - over 6 years ago

My Case Against the F-35
Let me make my case against acquiring the F-35.

The F-35 is supposed to become a great aircraft. It is being advertised as "the future of air warfare" or "the future is here". Its features have been advertised via every medium - news, TV, internet and radio. As a military aircraft jingo who saw reports of the the first appearance of fighters like the Jaguar, Tornado, F-111, F-14, F-15, F-16, F-18, MiG 23, 25, 27, 29, Viggen, Gripen, Mirage 2000, A-10, Su-25, B1, B-2, F-117 and other aircraft I am unable to recall any aircraft that has been hyped so much as the F-35 even before it came into service. The

Let us just look at the aircraft that are now in service with air forces that have fought wars.
All the names in the above list are there. Add to those the MiG-21, Mirage III, F-5, A-4 Skyhawk, B-52 and Su7/Su-22.

What are the wars that have been fought using the above aircraft? Who were the warring sides? Where were the wars fought? This is where my memory is likely to fail me - but for convenience let me start from the post Vietnam era. Apart from 2-3 names in the above lists most were non existent in the Vietnam war. My list may be incomplete - mostly from memory.

1967: Arab Israeli conflict: MiG 21, Mirage III (I will leave out older types deliberately)
1971: India-Pakistan: MiG 21, Su-7, Maybe Mirage III? I can't recall
1973 Yom Kippur Arab-Israel war: MiG 21, Su-7, F-4, A-4 Mirage III
1975 Angola: MiG 23, Mirage III
1983 Falklands war: Harrier, Dassault Etendard, Mirage III, A-4 Skyhawk
1980-88 Iran-Iraq war: F-14, MiG 23, Mirage F1
1990 First Gulf war (Desert Storm): MiG 21, MiG 23, MiG 25, MiG 29, Su-22, F-117, F 111, F-15, F-16, F-18, Harrier, B-52, Jaguar, Tornado
1998-99: Kosovo All NATO aircraft including Tornado and US aircraft
1999 Kargil: MiG 21, 27, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, MiG 29
Post 2000: Afghanistan and Iraq: All the US aircraft as well as F-22, B2, Rafale etc.

If you look at these wars you find that most of the wars that occurred between relatively evenly matched Air Forces involved the MiG 21, Mirage III and a few other models.

The wars that involved the latest and greatest aircraft had the following general characteristics:
1) The US was directly involved
2) The opponent was typically no match whatsoever in size or capability.

One simple lesson can be drawn about building an air force by looking at these wars. All you need to do is ask yourself a simple question:

Are you planning to fight a war with the USA?



There should be no confusion about this.

The answer to this question can be
1) Yes
2) Hopefully, no (or just No)

If you are planning to fight a war with the US then you are not going to win the air war. You may not lose the ground war to the US like Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan. This too is an important point to note

If you are NOT going to wage war with the USA then you get a different picture. You will face an adversary who will not have the might and variety and technology the US brings in, And you will be fighting with earlier generation weapons, many of which are either imported by your adversary or manufactured at home but nowhere as high tech as the US.

If you decide that you are not going to fight the USA you will still want to build an air force and you need to ask yourself where the F 35 will fit in. The USA is never going to fight a war with F-35 alone. The US is currently ready to use all sorts of support aircraft - including E3s, Growlers, F-22s, B2s, B-52s and F/A 18s and f-16s depending on the particular battle to eb fought.

If you have an air force that is 33% F-35 onlee what the hell are you going to do with it? The F-35 is a very limited aircraft. Oh of course it is stealthy. No one can beat that - as long as you do not sling weapons underwing. When the F-35 is stealthy it carries about 2 bombs. OK maybe 4.

The F-35 has fantastic avionics, situational awareness and communications. But that technology is pretty useless if you do not have a a swarm of E-3s, growlers, satellites, F/A 18s and B-52s to communicate with and give support. The countries who are going to pay for and buy the F-35 are all allies of the US who will benefit from US support in a one sided war.

But India? What is India going to do? I do not believe for one minute that a fleet of F-35s and a few other aircraft like LCA and Su-30 will make the IAF effective. The F-35 will be a liability in terms of cost, technology and sanctions.

And all the hype. Why the hype about the F-35? After all the F-22 is far far superior to the F-35. The F-35 is only terribly expensive while the F-22 is prohibitively expensive. The USA is trying to make up its technology development costs spent on the F-22 by making and exporting the F-35. This business "Vysya" thinking, the Lakshmi generating buddhi that the US shows is not recognised by the Brahmin boffin-Shudra engineer buddhis of India.

By getting the F-35:
1) We will be subsidizing the US for its F-22s and its help to Pakistan
2) We will still not have a balanced high tech air force that can use the F-35 the way the US will use it or help its allies
3) Since we are not planning war with the US - our adversaries for the next 20-30 years will still remain a mix of 3-4 gen and small numbers of 5 gen, giving us time to develop things in house.

If I am told that Santa (Claus, not Singh) is forcing a few F-35s on us - I suggest we buy 10 F-35s like the 6 MiG 25s we bought and use them for a specific purpose at the start of a conflict for stealthy SEAD. No more.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 09:35


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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 29 Jan 2017 10:21

shiv wrote:I think it will be worse than F-16/F/A 18 because the latter have tech that is more "reachable" by India in terms of offsets.

Two points here.

First, 'offsets' and 'ToT' should not be used interchangeably. In terms of offsets, the F-35 probably offers better value than the F-16 or SH. Whatever infrastructure is set up by LM's local Indian suppliers to feed into the global production chain will remain humming past 2040. For the other two, maybe 2030 and that too sustained only by Indian orders.

Second, specifically what tech is it that you believe we might get via the F-16 but wouldn't through the F-35? AESA, EO tech, core engine tech etc. will be denied in both cases. For that matter, they'll be denied for the PAK FA/FGFA as well. Air-frame fabrication tech as well as production technologies are available for both (except for the Fibremat RAM in the F-35's case). And even then it wouldn't give you the relevant critical design experience.

I foresee a delay of about a decade being caused by F-16/18, but a delay of 30 years from F-35. As I see it - China has broken free. India is delaying breaking free - and that delay will get longer with the F-35. My views - in fact I had started a thread saying the same thing 3 years ago - it was locked - it still exists - but I just want to make the point that the F-35 program would be a bad decision for India to join.

There's no difference between the two where ToT is concerned with the crucial difference that the F-16 overlaps the Tejas-Su-30 capability matrix and would most likely kill off the Tejas Mk2 while the F-35 occupies its own niche that is complementary to the conventional fleet (a force multiplier in other words).
Last edited by Viv S on 29 Jan 2017 10:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 10:22

The F-35 is very good - but it is expensive enough to create a situation where for the first time, the US invited other nations to have a stake in its development. This is great business sense and combined with US technology it allows the creation of a work of art. But ultimately it preserves US jobs, US technology and US dominance.

I repeat - China recognized this and is directly competing with the US even if their level of technology is nowhere near that of the US. But nothing the US can do can really degrade the Chinese arms making industry. By going in to the F-35 - we are joining the list of nations who have volunteered to play second fiddle to the US in exchange for getting an aircraft that screams US dominance for the next 30 years.

shiv
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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 10:35

Viv S wrote:Second, specifically what tech is it that you believe we might get via the F-16 but wouldn't through the F-35? AESA, EO tech, core engine tech etc. will be denied in both cases. For that matter, they'll be denied for the PAK FA/FGFA as well. Air-frame fabrication tech as well as production technologies are available for both (except for the Fibremat RAM in the F-35's case). And even then it wouldn't give you the relevant critical design experience.

We are not getting any tech anyway. But we are aiming for less with the F-16. The F-35 has a skin that requires a level of finish that the F-16 does not require. The F-35s internal sensors require skin materials that we don't have apart from the avionics themselves. By buying F-35s we will get this stuff supplied to us from the US or its manufacturing partners. The canopy of the F-35 is not going to come from an Indian plant. The F-16 canopy probably could. The F-35 pilot's helmet will be an import. The F-16 will take an existing helmet that we possibly can make. Offsets are more likely feasible in these lower tech areas with the F-16 than the F-35. The control laws of the F-35 are for an aircraft that is not ideally shaped to fly - and we are not going to get any of that. It flies well because of that control law software which will be in a black box. It may be quite possible for us to substitute the F-16 control laws to suit our requirements. That will depend on the user agreement of course - but Pakistan has happily ignored such agreements. There possibly thousands of other little advanced bits and pieces that I cannot name that we will simply import and use in the F-35

With the 40 year old F-16 - our outdated factory workers have a much lesser and more realistic goal to reach in terms of standardization, mass production and quality control. We haven't even got these basic things in place at least in the aerospace industry. And for an expansion of production we need more workmen who are trained in forming aircraft parts and reaching achievable standards.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 29 Jan 2017 11:12

shiv wrote:We are not getting any tech anyway. But we are aiming for less with the F-16. The F-35 has a skin that requires a level of finish that the F-16 does not require. The F-35s internal sensors require skin materials that we don't have apart from the avionics themselves. By buying F-35s we will get this stuff supplied to us from the US or its manufacturing partners.

Sure there's no way they're sharing the Fibremat tech. But the airframe itself being manufactured by suppliers around the world and assembled in one of three facilities (Ft.Worth-USA, Cameri-Italy, Nagoya-Japan) .

The canopy of the F-35 is not going to come from an Indian plant. The F-16 canopy probably could. The F-35 pilot's helmet will be an import. The F-16 will take an existing helmet that we possibly can make. The control laws of the F-35 are for an aircraft that is not ideally shaped to fly - and we are not going to get any of that. It flies well because of that control law software which will be in a black box. It is quite possible for us to substitute the F-16 control laws to suit our requirements. There possibly thousands of other little advanced bits and pieces that I cannot name that we will simply import and use in the F-35

- The F-16's canopy is RAM-treated as well (not unsimilar to the F-35 actually). Not sure about the economics of shifting production to India.
- Helmets will be an import for both. DASH III in the F-16's case (operational on Tejas, being integrated with Rafale).
- Control laws are not a production variable. Not really the sort of thing you customize either save to integrate a new weapon, an exercise that would still be carried out by the OEM.

The only real advantage I can see here is that the F-16 is going out of production so quite a bit of the downstream infrastructure might be available for transfer on the cheap over the long term.

With the 40 year old F-16 - our outdated factory workers have a much lesser goal to reach in terms of standardization, mass production and quality control. We haven't even got these basic things in place at least in the aerospace industry. And for an expansion of production we need more workmen who are trained in forming aircraft parts and reaching achievable standards.

The key to all three objectives (standardization, mass production, quality) lies within the Tejas program. That is where the learning element really comes in. Instead of buying the F-16, set up a second pvt sector line for the Tejas and bring in a foreign manufacturer (LM, Boeing or maybe BAE) as a production consultant.

Any foreign purchase needs to be complement to that not a substitute to that, and selected on its own merits and weighed against the price & offsets offer. As far as the function is concerned, the F-35 fits into the carrier-based naval role as well as air force operations in the presence of anti-access area denial systems.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 29 Jan 2017 11:25

shiv wrote:The F-35 is very good - but it is expensive enough to create a situation where for the first time, the US invited other nations to have a stake in its development. This is great business sense and combined with US technology it allows the creation of a work of art. But ultimately it preserves US jobs, US technology and US dominance.

Actually about 90% of the development was funded by the US. Another ~5% by the UK and the remainder by other members.

The real strength of the program is in mobilizing huge economies of scale. Its cost competitive with 4.5 gen fighters because its built in large volumes. Its being being built in large volumes partially due to large foreign orders. The large foreign orders were committed to in the expectation that it would be cost competitive with 4.5 gen fighters.

Its basically to the 2020s what the F-16 was to the 1980s.

I repeat - China recognized this and is directly competing with the US even if their level of technology is nowhere near that of the US. But nothing the US can do can really degrade the Chinese arms making industry. By going in to the F-35 - we are joining the list of nations who have volunteered to play second fiddle to the US in exchange for getting an aircraft that screams US dominance for the next 30 years.

The PAK FA program will take time to mature and if anything is actually lagging the J-20 program. The F-22 is out of production. The Rafale offers significantly lesser capability at a comparable cost.

I'd like nothing better than to see us buying the AMCA instead but unfortunately its 20 years away.


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