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Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 29 Jan 2017 11:28

In what aspects is PAKFA lagging the J-20?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 11:39

Viv S wrote:The key to all three objectives (standardization, mass production, quality) lies within the Tejas program.

Well this has nothing to do with you personally but it is illustrative of the kind of "creep" of requirements that are part of forum discussions. If the the Tejas could meet numbers on time there would be no talk of a second single fighter engine line or mention of F-16. It is precisely because F-16 has been named that people are now saying "Why F-16, why not F-35?"

If we are going to get a new single engine fighter line - it is unlikely to be the F-35 because there will be no manufacturing line in India. But simply buying the F-35 would be pointless for India - it would get us a great toy with expensive new weaponry minus the support system (AEW, Satellites, 4 gen aircraft, refuellers, seamless networking with Su-30/MiG 29) in war. I don't see all those names Garuda/Garuthma fitting inside an F-35 internal bay. They would die too as we get 'proven' SDBs

Only the F-16 is going to actually give us some kind of production line - but if it happens I don't see the first F-16 coming off any line till 2023 at the earliest. I don't see an F-35 purchase materializing before that either. And neither have anything to do with the US's demonstrated and proven ability to meet early deadlines its about Indian finances and decision making.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 29 Jan 2017 11:41

Indranil wrote:In what aspects is PAKFA lagging the J-20?

Pace of the program. The J-20 went into serial production two years ago IIRC and they should have a squadron sized element up by now. By 2021 they'll probably be rolling out a full regiment annually.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 11:42

Viv S wrote: The Rafale offers significantly lesser capability at a comparable cost.

Less capability for the US. The F-35 was designed to fit in with US requirements and existing US hardware/weaponry with some inputs from allies. The Rafale has been selected and negotiated in detail to meet Indian requirements. Technically the Rafale is a proven multirole fighter and the F-35 has not done as much as the Rafale yet to prove anything. I would say the Rafale will be more handy to the IAF than the F-35.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 11:45

Indranil wrote:In what aspects is PAKFA lagging the J-20?

I am personally sceptical about the much vaunted J-20. At least the PAKFA program is more open and delays are acknowledged. J-20 is success from beginning to end and that success story reminds me of temple complex I have for sale in Tanjore for anyone interested in real estate.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 29 Jan 2017 11:56

shiv wrote:Well this has nothing to do with you personally but it is illustrative of the kind of "creep" of requirements that are part of forum discussions. If the the Tejas could meet numbers on time there would be no talk of a second single fighter engine line or mention of F-16. It is precisely because F-16 has been named that people are now saying "Why F-16, why not F-35?"

Its a valid development of the argument. If you're buying a western type may as well buy one that brings something new to the table and doesn't step on the toes of your domestic program.

If we are going to get a new single engine fighter line - it is unlikely to be the F-35 because there will be no manufacturing line in India.

Assembly line + component production (for the entire global production).

But simply buying the F-35 would be pointless for India - it would get us a great toy with expensive new weaponry minus the support system (AEW, Satellites, 4 gen aircraft, refuellers, seamless networking with Su-30/MiG 29) in war.

We've already got 4th gen aircraft, refuelers and AWACS. Even though the actual USP of the aircraft is getting the job done without depending on supporting assets.

Also, it'll be able to employ much of our existing weaponry. Python-5s, Derbies, Spice-250s, ASRAAMs, Meteors.

I don't see all those names Garuda/Garuthma fitting inside an F-35 internal bay. They would die too as we get 'proven' SDBs

What prevents the Garuda/Garuthma from fitting inside an F-35 internal bay? Why would they 'die' despite being compatible with at least 26 squadrons of Su-30s, Tejas mk1s & Jaguars?

Only the F-16 is going to actually give us some kind of production line - but if it happens I don't see the first F-16 coming off any line till 2023 at the earliest. I don't see an F-35 purchase materializing before that either. And neither have anything to do with the US's demonstrated and proven ability to meet early deadlines its about Indian finances and decision making.

Practically speaking, the bulk of the F-16s will be delivered off-the-shelf or kit assembled as well. See Su-30MKI production at HAL for reference. And it'll definitely kill off the Tejas Mk2 program, which might still survive the F-35.
Last edited by Viv S on 29 Jan 2017 13:17, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 29 Jan 2017 12:03

shiv wrote:Less capability for the US. The F-35 was designed to fit in with US requirements and existing US hardware/weaponry with some inputs from allies. The Rafale has been selected and negotiated in detail to meet Indian requirements. Technically the Rafale is a proven multirole fighter and the F-35 has not done as much as the Rafale yet to prove anything. I would say the Rafale will be more handy to the IAF than the F-35.

The Rafale was designed to fit with French requirements and French hardware. Fact still is, aside from being able to operate from Leh, the IAF has no unique requirements.

The F-35 can practically do everything the Rafale can and do it better (with the sole exception of functioning as a fighter-trainer) and do plenty more besides.

The Rafale is a more mature aircraft at the moment but by the end of the decade the F-35 fleet will have surpassed it in total flight hours. The program has already crossed the Rafale in terms of aircraft delivered. (The US DoD considers 100,000 flight hours a the threshold to declare 'system maturity' - its clocked 80,000 hrs so far.)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 12:19

Viv S wrote:The Rafale was designed to fit with French requirements and French hardware. Fact still is, aside from being able to operate from Leh, the IAF has no unique requirements.
But a long process of testing and negotiation have identified how the Rafale is goint to fit in with Indian forces
Viv S wrote:The F-35 can practically do everything the Rafale can and do it better (with the sole exception of functioning as a fighter-trainer) and do plenty more besides.

This is something that we have to look out for at some time in the future

Viv S wrote:The Rafale is a more mature aircraft at the moment but by the end of the decade the F-35 fleet will have surpassed it in total flight hours. The program has already crossed the Rafale in terms of aircraft delivered. (The US DoD considers 100,000 flight hours a the threshold to declare 'system maturity' - its clocked 80,000 hrs so far.)

"Will have,will be, will come, will do" etc are not much use now that nearly a decade has been spent on identifying the Rafale as appropriate. By the time the F-35 gets anywhere near being identified as being compatible with the IAF - another 20 years will have passed. Let us talk about F-35 for the IAF in 2035, if it is still needed then,

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 12:23

Viv S wrote:
Also, it'll be able to employ much of our existing weaponry. Python-5s, Derbies, Spice-250s, ASRAAMs, Meteors.
.

Mainly air defence apart from Spice and no scope for Indian made munitions currently being planned for other aircraft

What prevents the Garuda/Garuthma from fitting inside an F-35 internal bay?

I say they don't fit and will not offer a shred of proof. If you know otherwise please post facts and I will learn and eat my words.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 29 Jan 2017 12:35

shiv wrote:But a long process of testing and negotiation have identified how the Rafale is goint to fit in with Indian forces

This is something that we have to look out for at some time in the future

My statement is based on the 3F block in testing right and due to be rolled out to the fleet next year. Those capabilities are what they are, the future is not going change that.

"Will have,will be, will come, will do" etc are not much use now that nearly a decade has been spent on identifying the Rafale as appropriate. By the time the F-35 gets anywhere near being identified as being compatible with the IAF - another 20 years will have passed. Let us talk about F-35 for the IAF in 2035, if it is still needed then,

What do you mean by compatible in this context? What would make it less compatible than the F-16, for example?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Kakarat » 29 Jan 2017 12:41

I feel India might buy some F-35s under direct FMS if TSP gets J-31 from china and since FGFA/PAK-FA is still some time away. Like we have always reacted to what TSP gets

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 29 Jan 2017 12:46

shiv wrote:Mainly air defence apart from Spice and no scope for Indian made munitions currently being planned for other aircraft

It appears to be about 8-9 feet long if I've got the right picture. Roughly the same size as a 1000 pounder. Unless its fins are over-large it should fit in the internal bay. The SAAW has similar dimensions to the Spice 250/SDB series.

I say they don't fit and will not offer a shred of proof. If you know otherwise please post facts and I will learn and eat my words.

They must have some logical route that you'd have taken to reach that conclusion. Was this based on the hardware interfaces/software integration or were you thinking more on the lines of a political hurdle to the integration?

Also, why would this lead to the death of the domestic programs despite it being compatible with the Su-30, Tejas & Jaguar fleets?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby NRao » 29 Jan 2017 13:00

Kakarat wrote:I feel India might buy some F-35s under direct FMS if TSP gets J-31 from china and since FGFA/PAK-FA is still some time away. Like we have always reacted to what TSP gets


And a *massive* effort to upgrade networks within all services, unless this has already been achieved. You can bet on both of the foundational agreements being signed too. And as time passes, a "few" will not do. There will be pressure to reduce the 4++ planes and get more 5th gen ones. And timing is everything.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Austin » 29 Jan 2017 13:08

Kakarat wrote:I feel India might buy some F-35s under direct FMS if TSP gets J-31 from china and since FGFA/PAK-FA is still some time away. Like we have always reacted to what TSP gets


PAF is yet to get the J-10 which their Air Chief since past 10 years have been claiming they will buy instead of F-16 , PAF best bet in the near/medium future is the JF-17 and its modernised variant. May be they might get few F-16 from US partners.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Viv S » 29 Jan 2017 15:47

How A Heroic Pilot Saved Himself & His Doomed MiG-29
Shiv Aroor Jan 29 2017

Squadron Leader Rijul Sharma, thirty years old, woke up early like he always did, on 1 June 2016, a Wednesday. It was already warm at Air Force station Jamnagar in the Gulf of Kutchh. There couldn’t have been a better day for flying, Rijul thought as he smiled goodbye to his wife at the pilot’s accommodation — they’d been married only a few months — and made his way to the operations briefing room at his unit, the 28 Squadron. The squadron, constituted in 1963 and codenamed ‘First Supersonics’ because it was the first to operate supersonic MiG-21 jets, has since the 1990s operated another aircraft type from the same Russian Mikoyan-Gurevich stable: the MiG-29 Fulcrum. It was one of these jets that Rijul flew.

The young pilot received his flying orders for the day from his unit commander. He was to conduct an ‘airframe and engine sortie’, a kind of torture test to see that the aircraft is in ship shape. Strapping a G-suit over his flight overalls, Rijul made his way out to the flight line to climb into the MiG-29 he would be flying that day. A final check of all systems and weather told him he was good to fly out. He climbed into the familiar cockpit and strapped in, putting his helmet on. He would lower the visor later to keep out the harsh sun that would come for him as he soared.

Power on, the cockpit came to life and the MiG-29’s twin Klimov RD-33 turbofan engines were brought by the pilot to ground idle and taxi’d out to the end of the tarmac. A few minutes later, at 10am, ground control finally gave Rijul permission to take-off. He gently increased throttle, throwing the MiG-29 into a hum, then a roar as the afterburners engaged on maximum power, pushing the jet off the ground and nimbly into the air. Rijul put the jet into a steep climb to an altitude of 1 kilometer. Shallowing out his climb, he did a quick systems check on both the airframe and twin engines. Then he fed the RD-33s some more fuel and steered the jet upward to an altitude of approximately 11 km (about 36,000 feet). The test points that Rijul needed to achieve on the sortie included stretching his jet to its limits in the ‘supersonic corridor’ — when the MiG-29 would be flying just over the speed of sound at that altitude, while executing a series of maneouvers, while checking airframe response and engine performance. Rijul lowered his visor as the sun came up at him from left. Below him, the Jamnagar air base dropped away over the horizon.

Levelling out into steady flight, the Squadron Leader increased throttle up to Mach 1.1 (1,358 km/h), crossing the sound barrier, and began a series of systems checks. The instruments beamed out their comforting figures, telling the pilot that all was well and predictable. Everything checked out.

About 110 km from base, just as Rijul was planning to engage in his next set of manouevers, he noticed a whistling sound in the cockpit. He raised his helmet visor and took a look around. In a pressurised and airconditioned fighter cockpit, a pilot only really hears three things: the steady hum of his engine(s), the radio voice from ground control and the sound of his own breathing, amplified as it is by the headgear. The whistling sound stood out as immediately unusual. As he looked around, the whistling abruptly stopped. It took less than a second for Rijul to realise what had happened.

“I looked up. The entire canopy had shattered and a part of it had blown off, with some parts crashing into the cockpit. I felt something smash into my shoulder and a sharp pain. It was a moment of shock. It took whole seconds for me to fully understand what had happened,” Rijul tells Livefist.

It was a situation that is as difficult to describe, as it is to imagine. Squadron Leader Rijul, still strapped into his cockpit, was flying at a screaming velocity in a jet that had no canopy — he was totally exposed to headwind that smashed him straight in the face, pinning him back in his seat. The terrifying roar of the wind at that speed brought with it a fresh devilry — since he was still flying faster than sound, much of the sound was ‘behind’ him. By now, only one thing had become totally clear to Rijul: he could barely move his shoulder from the pain, and the rest of his upper body was quickly sinking into numbness from the severely sub-zero cold at that altitude.

It was at this moment that Squadron Leader Rijul made a quick series of calculations, drawing on every bit of emergency training he had received as a flying cadet and rookie pilot. Calculations made while his body steadily sank into a near unresponsive state from the trauma and temperature. He first did the one thing he knew he needed to before anything else: drop speed. The MiG-29, still flying steady, slowed down as Rijul pulled pulled back on the throttle.

“Once I had gathered some of my thoughts, there was thing in my mind. I needed to recover the aircraft,” Rijul says. “I remember thinking, this is what we prepare and train for for years. You never think it’ll ever happen to you. Then you realise why you learnt what you learnt.”

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2017 17:06

If Pakistan gets the J-31 India should be investing in stealth detection radars, not on F-35s. In fact India should already be doing that whether or not Pakis get Chinee maal. How on earth would an F-35 be a counter to a J-31? Will there be someone sitting with binoculars to shout "Hey there's an F-31 coming in - quickly scramble the F-35s"?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 29 Jan 2017 17:21

One has to remember that the FC-31 is essentially just a prototype. They've recently flown only a second prototype. Developing a 5th generation fighter is hard and it will be at least a decade before the Chinese have a capable, exportable FC-31 variant ready for Pakistan or anyone else. There is lot of work to do between testing a prototype, developing an EMD configuration, completing development, beginning production and then completing testing of a production grade variant. Even with the J-20, it will be some time before they bed down units and reach a decent operational number.

And yes the first thing such a future acquisition impacts is the defensive set up but then Pakistan doesn't magically gain a tactical advantage by simply purchasing a few LO fighters. Until and Unless they have the supporting infrastructure or force multipliers, and develop an effective concept of operations that alone is not going to give them an edge. If they do all that then yes, the IAF will need to look how to do OCA amidst this but then the PAF will probably never have the quantity it needs to stress the vast amount of resources the IAF can bring to bear.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby kit » 29 Jan 2017 18:34

brar_w wrote:One has to remember that the FC-31 is essentially just a prototype. They've recently flown only a second prototype. Developing a 5th generation fighter is hard and it will be at least a decade before the Chinese have a capable, exportable FC-31 variant ready for Pakistan or anyone else. There is lot of work to do between testing a prototype, developing an EMD configuration, completing development, beginning production and then completing testing of a production grade variant. Even with the J-20, it will be some time before they bed down units and reach a decent operational number.

And yes the first thing such a future acquisition impacts is the defensive set up but then Pakistan doesn't magically gain a tactical advantage by simply purchasing a few LO fighters. Until and Unless they have the supporting infrastructure or force multipliers, and develop an effective concept of operations that alone is not going to give them an edge. If they do all that then yes, the IAF will need to look how to do OCA amidst this but then the PAF will probably never have the quantity it needs to stress the vast amount of resources the IAF can bring to bear.



now this is valid reason to call you guruji :mrgreen: ..well said !!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 29 Jan 2017 18:39

This is Indian military aviation thread, i.e. A thread to discuss past and present aircraft in the IAF. For aircrafts of the future, there must atleast be a stated program/objective to acquire the same. If not, that aircraft is not part of Indian Military aviation.

F-35s don't fulfill any of the above criteria. There is a separate thread for it. Please discuss it there.

Currently, the stated plan is to acquire FGFAs+AMCAs which have their own threads too. Discuss them there.

Thank you.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Rakesh » 30 Jan 2017 07:32

Hello plane people! Standby for some stories from the skies.
https://twitter.com/writetake/status/825208022536380416

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Austin » 30 Jan 2017 10:26

Walk The Talk With Team Of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
http://www.ndtv.com/video/shows/walk-th ... ted-435005

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Rakesh » 30 Jan 2017 23:21

HAL launches Hawk-i aircraft upgraded with Indian-made equipment
http://www.airforce-technology.com/news ... nt-5726446

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 31 Jan 2017 00:34

Anantha Krishnan (Tarmak007/writetake) was live from HAL talking about the HTT-40.

1. Two prototypes have been built.
2. PT-1 will be flying at AI'17. PT-2 will be on static display.
3. PT-1 has completed 28 test flights. PT-2 to start flying by March. PT-3 to start flying by year end.
4. Flight test program requires 350 test flights. It is supposed to be completed by 2018. No IOC. The aircraft will gain FOC directly.
5. Stall and spin tests to be taken up in June.
6. PT-1 and PT-2 are identical and slightly overweight. PT-3 is weight optimized production prototype.
7. Weaponized variant for export to lesser airforces for CAS roles.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 31 Jan 2017 05:14

One other thing for the aero-nuts. When the inaugural fight happened, many of us wondered why the prototype had so many kinds of tabs: horn balance, servo tabs, and trim tabs. The reason for the additional servo tabs has now become evident. The first prototype is slightly overweight. In the production standard, the servo tabs will be gone (either the horn balance would be made larger or weight reduction would have been effected). In fact, the servo tab on the rudder is already gone. Check the lastest video from Tarmak and this picture. It has been fixed in place with a silverish lining. In the video, I could still see the linkages for the servo tabs on the elevators.

Image
Incidentally, the fellow in the picture delayed his wedding till HTT-40 took to the air. Thankfully, it went from board to flying in a year. :)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 31 Jan 2017 10:17

Indranil wrote:Check the lastest video from Tarmak

For some strange reason the video is laterally inverted (mirror imaged). I deliberately do that sometimes when I'm editing videos - so maybe it was some such issue

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 31 Jan 2017 16:51

PT2 integration video

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Austin » 31 Jan 2017 17:59

ANALYSIS: India acts to maintain air power edge

27 January, 2017 SOURCE: Flightglobal.com Bangalore

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ge-433336/

The Indian air force continues to grapple with the challenge of sustaining its combat fleet to project a strong defensive and offensive posture on India’s eastern and western borders. Defence credibility, however, comes from the existing force structure. The air force today is down to 33 operational fighter squadrons, of which 24 squadrons are made up with fighters of Russian origin, namely MiG-21s, MiG-23s, MiG-27s, MiG-29s, and Sukhoi Su-30MKIs.

By 2024, the bulk of this fleet, 11 squadrons of obsolete MiG-21s and MiG-27s, will have retired on account of having completed their total technical life. In 2017 alone, two squadrons of MiG-21s and at least one of MiG-27s will go. Given these retirements, for the next decade, the air force will be lucky to retain – let alone surpass – its current strength of 33 combat squadrons

“We need numbers as we are not building force structures for Pakistan and the main concern is China,” says Air Marshal M Matheswaran, a retired deputy chief of integrated defence staff who has served in advisory roles to Hindustan Aeronautics and Reliance Industries. “India needs to build up her military capability.”

India’s ponderous defence bureaucracy and decision-averse politicians have finally woken up to the necessity of pushing the air force up to its authorised strength of 42.5 combat squadrons. But getting the force to this strength is not likely until 2035.

The purchase of 36 Dassault Rafale combat aircraft in September 2016 marked the end of India’s decade-long Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft acquisition saga. India will pay €7.75 billion ($8.2 million) for 36 Rafales, along with associated weapons and support packages. Rafale deliveries to India are to start in September 2019 and conclude in April 2022, allowing the air force to stand up two operational squadrons of the “swing role” type.

Each Rafale will cost India’s ministry of defence €91 million. Armament comes from MBDA: Meteor beyond-visual-range and MICA IR and RF air-to-air missiles, and SCALP cruise missiles.

Commenting on the impact of the acquisition for the Indian air force, Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia says: “The Rafales will by a wide margin be India’s most capable and service-ready aircraft. The Su-30s are certainly capable, but reliability has been a big challenge, and they are quite expensive to operate. Overall, the Rafales are likely to be a more valuable asset.” Aboulafia pegs Rafale maintenance costs at around $15,000 per hour, including engines, etc.

The air force has also contracted for five years of performance-based logistics support with an option to extend support by a further seven years. Dassault will also provide product support for a period of 50 years. Under the terms of the inter-governmental agreement between India and France, there is no provision for any technology transfer, though Dassault Aviation must satisfy offset provisions for 50% of the value of the aircraft and weapons package.

“Offsets are extremely expensive,” says Aboulafia. “The buyer pays, not the seller. India needs intra-country competition if it wants to make offsets work.”

“India’s government needs to have a frank and open debate,” he adds. “Does it want weapons procurement of effective systems at a reasonable price, or want greater in-country capabilities and jobs? The two goals are not compatible.”

Apart from the Rafale deal, it emerged in 2016 that companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing had briefed Indian officials about producing types such as the single-engine F-16 and twin-engine F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in India. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar subsequently announced that New Delhi wants a single-engined fighter type under its “Make in India” initiative.

Early this year, Parrikar said his ministry was working on a strategic partnership model under which the new single-engined fighter jets would be acquired. The two firms competing for the potential contract are Swedish airframer Saab, with the Gripen, and Lockheed, with the F-16 Block 70. Both manufacturers mounted a major effort in the late 2000s as part of the MMRCA campaign, but were among the first aircraft eliminated.

The proposals from both companies emphasise technology transfer. Regarding acquisition numbers, Matheswaran reckons: “The IAF needs at least 200 MMRCA-class aircraft, whether it is one type or two types. The primary factor in selecting two types will be cost and technology. Cost will be a key aspect as is the technology access and how it will aid our defence aerospace industry.”

Lockheed made its pitch to the Indian Government in April 2016, offering to transfer the F-16 production line to India. Subsequently, Lockheed received a formal letter from New Delhi, expressing an interest in acquiring a single-engined fighter, to which it responded in October 2016.

“In our discussions neither we, nor the government of India have indicated a preference for an Indian production partner,” says Randy Howard, business development director for Lockheed’s integrated fighter group. “It is our understanding that the defence procurement policy is being revised with a strategic partnership view and it is also our understanding that New Delhi would like to encourage private industry.”

Saab, which has long hoped to sell the Gripen NG to India, says it has laid out comprehensive plans to support further design of the platform in India, in addition to creating the ecosystem for in-country manufacture and support for the platform. It is also willing to offer India comprehensive system and software control, in addition to information sharing and technology transfer related to active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars with gallium nitride technology. Saab has also offered to provide design consultancy for India’s troubled domestic fighter, the HAL LCA Mk-1A.

Both Lockheed and SAAB will have to navigate strict Indian requirements for access to key technologies, which could prove a stumbling block for an early conclusion to negotiations.

“India is one of the many places the Trump Administration is going to have to choose between priorities,” says Aboulafia. “If US companies agree to transfer the necessary work and technology to India, they will likely have a strong advantage.”

Aboulafia’s colleague at Teal, Joel Johnson, says both the Lockheed and Saab fighters are contingent on Washington DC’s approval, owing to the large number of systems and technologies in both the F-16 and Gripen that are covered by US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

“Saab will have to get US approval for the sale of Gripen to anyone, as it contains considerable US ITAR-controlled items, including the GE engines,” he says. “It would need US approval (and likely specific company approval depending on what rights the defence department has to the intellectual property involved) for the transfer of any US military technology on the plane.”

There are no doubts or restrictions on technology transfer, says Rob Hewson Vice President and Head of Communications Saab Asia Pacific. “Saab owns and controls all Gripen system software, and key mission systems such as the AESA radar, Infra-Red Search & Track (IRST), datalinks and Electronic Warfare (EW) system are not sourced from the US. Items that are produced in the US, such as the engine, have already been made available to India.”

The relaxation of strict export controls and the actual extent of technology transfer is an area that Indian negotiators are likely to push for. Another aspect that needs clarity is the extent to which the air force would be allowed to integrate their choice of weapon systems on the F-16 and Gripen. Hewson says that a fundamental element of the Gripen design philosophy and a key aspect of the new avionics architecture on Gripen E, was that it was designed for easy and affordable weapons integration. “IAF will be able to integrate existing and future weapons with Gripen quickly and at a manageable cost – this is not the case with most other modern fighters,” he asserts.

Meanwhile, Johnson is dubious about how far the government will go in allowing India to select its own weapons for the F-16. “The US government generally dislikes modifying US military aircraft to carry any foreign weapons systems, and protects source code on our military aircraft so other countries can’t do the integration themselves.”New Delhi also sees the joint development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft with Russia as another source of high-end know how.

With both MMRCA and FGFA, New Delhi bargained hard for technology transfer and succeeded in extracting favourable concessions, but neither deal panned out as expected. This year will mark a decade since the inking of the FFGA agreement between India and Russia.

“The conditions and contractual terms that we have discussed for FGFA are very beneficial for India,” says HAL chairman Suvarna Raju. “We are positive looking at the FGFA and I am hopeful that we will have positive movement on the FGFA in 2017.”

The FGFA is seen as key to the air force’s fleet in the 2030s and 2040s. India invested $265 million in the preliminary design phase, which was completed in June 2013. The negotiations for R&D contracts continue, though it appears increasingly likely that India will look to proceed with a licensed production and technology transfer model.

NC Agarwal, former director of design and development at HAL, was part of an official Indian delegation to see the first prototype: “You don’t see much of a difference in the internal structure between the Su-30 and FGFA. The main difference is where the Su-30 makes use of a large amount of metallic structures, the FGFA makes use of composites in areas such as the wing. The FGFA, however, uses a large proportion of titanium.”

New Delhi appears to have given up on some of its ambitions for the type, namely the development of an India-specific variant known as the Perspective Multirole Fighter, with two seats. Bureaucratic wrangling on New Delhi’s part curtailed Indian participation in the programme at a time when Russia was pushing steadily ahead.

As the machinations in New Delhi continue around new types, the Su-30MKI remains the backbone of the air force, with an estimated 230 examples in service. Despite reliability issues, the thrust-vectored multirole platform has provided quality and quantity to an ageing fleet.

The first orders were placed in November 1996, for eight Su-30K and 32 upgraded Su-30MK multirole fighters. This was followed by orders in December 1998, October 2000 and December 2012 for licensed production of 40, 140 and 42 Su-30MKIs, respectively, by HAL at its Nashik facility. HAL has now produced 188 Su-30MKIs in addition to the aircraft that were directly procured and the last aircraft is slated for delivery in 2020.

With the type now approaching two decades in air force service, there appears to be increased momentum for the long-awaited Su-30MKI upgrade programme.

“Within the next three to six months there will be an official announcement that HAL will be the lead for the SU-30MKI upgrade,” says Raju.

If the upgrade goes forward, the fleet will get new displays, avionics and an AESA radar, with costs running at $12-20 million per aircraft. To improve serviceability rates of the Su-30MKI, which are below the 75% availability rate mandated for peacetime, Raju says that HAL is now looking at a follow-on contract for maintenance support to assure aircraft availability.

“We are in the last phase of technical discussions, following which commercial negotiations will take place and we are close to concluding a contract,” he says. HAL’s Nashik overhaul facility for the Su-30MKI completed work on two aircraft last year and six overhauled aircraft will be delivered in 2017. The facility has the capability to overhaul 15 Su-30MKIs annually.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Kartik » 01 Feb 2017 04:36

FlightGlobal analysis- Trainers a priority for India's Air Force

...

The air force operates three training types: the Swiss Pilatus PC-7 MkII basic trainer, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Kiran Mk1A and MkII intermediate jet trainer and the BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainer. Two indigenous types are in development and yet to enter service: the Hindustan Turbo Trainer 40 (HTT-40) and Hindustan Jet Trainer 36 “Sitara” (HJT-36).

The service has traditionally stuck to a training pattern consisting of basic, intermediate and advanced. However, a shortfall in the availability of the obsolete Kiran trainer and delays associated with the HJT-36 have forced the air force to use the PC-7 MkII for both basic and intermediate training. A mix of Pilatus and Kiran trainers are now used for intermediate training, while the Hawk remains in the advanced training role.

Deliveries of the 75 PC-7 MkIIs signed for in May 2012 were completed in November 2015. An additional 38 PC-7 MkII units are to be procured and negotiations are underway between the government, the air force and Pilatus.

..

In 2016, it emerged that in addition to 20 display aircraft required, the procurement of additional advanced trainers was being considered by the Indian defence ministry. Up to 30 aircraft could be ordered, to be built under license by HAL.

HAL continues to propose an upgrade for the existing Hawk Mk132 fleet. “The 100th Hawk that has been built is now owned by HAL and we will install and test all the upgrades on this aircraft,” says HAL chairman Suvarna Raju.

..

HAL is now looking towards a “Combat Hawk” or “Advanced Hawk”, in partnership with BAE Systems. In an email response to FlightGlobal, a BAE Systems spokesperson said: “The development of an Advanced Hawk demonstrator aircraft continues to progress. In terms of a new ‘slatted’ wing, the benefits it brings include the improved lift capacity and angle of attack capability as well as a greater turn rate. It will also improve runway performance.”

..

A promising indigenously developed aircraft programme is emerging in the new HTT-40 basic trainer. Despite air force resistance to an additional basic trainer type, HAL commenced developmental work on the HTT-40 in 2013 with an investment of $30 million to fund preliminary and detailed design, and first flight took place in May 2016. Three HTT-40 prototypes aircraft and two static-test examples will be built.

“We have successfully demonstrated our capability to design and test-fly a basic trainer in a short period,” HAL's Raju told FlightGlobal. “The aircraft’s initial performance has exceeded our expectations and we hope to complete developmental work leading to certification, within the envisaged timeline.”

The first HTT-40 prototype (PT-1) has already been flown to an altitude of 15,000ft (service ceiling 25,000ft), attained a speed of 220kt (410km/h) and demonstrated a glide ratio of 11:1. A few modifications have already been instituted based on feedback from the test crew to further improve the handling qualities of the aircraft. A pressurised fuel system has also been tested successfully.

The second prototype, PT-2, is expected to make its first flight within the next few months and PT-3 will likely take to the air in early 2018. PT-3 is presently undergoing weight reduction efforts to optimise the design by around 200kg (440lb).

An aspect being given highest priority by the designers is the completion of stall/spin flight trials for the HTT-40. PT-1 will be fitted with an anti-spin parachute system (ASPS) before stall/spin flight trials are undertaken. It is estimated that approximately 100h of flight testing will be required before the stall and spin characteristics will be approved.


The HTT-40 programme has also earned the approval of defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who has made it clear that there will be no further import of basic trainers for the air force. With Stage II training now being handled by basic trainers, there has been an increase in the requirement of these airplanes from 181 to 210.


..

If all goes smoothly and the HTT-40 enters service, the basic trainer is likely to receive export enquiries from countries friendly to India. FlightGlobal understands that the air force chiefs of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have had a chance to see the prototype aircraft. An early introduction to the programme for potential export customers could allow HAL to plan for their requirements, sooner rather than later.

HAL’s other indigenous developmental programme for a trainer aircraft is the HJT-36 Sitara, though the programme has been in a state of terminal decline for quite some time. Development started in 1999 with a mandate for initial operational clearance by 2004. But 17 years later, final efforts are now underway to revive the programme after it was found during flight testing that the aircraft had serious aerodynamic difficulties, resulting in unsatisfactory “stall and spin characteristics”.

HAL has made a major push to resolve the issue. Stalling has been dealt with, but the aircraft’s poor spin qualities remain. NC Agarwal, a former director of design and development at HAL, says: “Something is wrong in the basic configuration of the aircraft. The aircraft requires a major fix as spin recovery is yet to be demonstrated.”

HAL is now looking for a consultant to assist with spin recovery, after a deal with BAE fell through. The programme could be shut down before the end of the year if no progress is made. No test flights have taken place for almost a year and even if all the issues related to the Sitara are fixed, it would still take 18-24 months to complete certification related tasks.


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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Kartik » 01 Feb 2017 04:40

Indranil wrote:PT2 integration video


Thanks for that video! This young team is doing a really good job with the HTT-40 program. :D

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 01 Feb 2017 06:37

I wish the team well. I hope senior management have learned lessons from the IJT - which was also shown as an aircraft that came from drawing board to first flight in 2 years. But there is also something for us enthusiasts and, to an extent the military brass to learn about complex engineering and design. Maturity takes a long time - and some nations have been at it for a 100 years now.

As a digression - I find myself reading Popular Mechanics off Twitter nowadays - the same magazine whose paper versions I used to search for in libraries as a young man in India decades ago. This morning I saw a brief description of a Seattle (Amreeka desh) tunnel boring machine in a short article that is 100 times better than any description of 4 similar machines that worked under Bengaluru for a decade - causing much angst. Not a single reporter in Bengaluru has the technical education to say how it works although there were monthly reports of tunnel boring progress and agonizing failures of the machines. A culture of engineering knowledge among the lay public is yet to sink in to a city that is now touted as a tech city with that largest number of engineering colleges anywhere in India

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby deejay » 01 Feb 2017 20:06

Kartik wrote:FlightGlobal analysis- Trainers a priority for India's Air Force

...
The first HTT-40 prototype (PT-1) has already been flown to an altitude of 15,000ft (service ceiling 25,000ft), attained a speed of 220kt (410km/h) and demonstrated a glide ratio of 11:1. A few modifications have already been instituted based on feedback from the test crew to further improve the handling qualities of the aircraft. A pressurised fuel system has also been tested successfully.



...



This is already way better than HPT 32. The HPT would literally crawl upto 2.4 kms and take forever to climb there for practicing a 04 turn spin. 2.4 kms is below 10000 ft altitude. HTT 40 is already doing 15000 ft.

HPT 32 maneuver speed was around 240 kmph (IAS) and HTT 40 is already doing 220 kts. Wow! This is HJT 16 regime speed.

HPT 32 glide ratio was somwhere 1:6. HTT 40 reporting 1:11. What an improvement. Beautiful.

Well done team!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Gyan » 01 Feb 2017 21:40

Re Deejay

How officers does IAF induct per annum? And how many of them are pilots?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby deejay » 01 Feb 2017 22:14

Gyan wrote:Re Deejay

How officers does IAF induct per annum? And how many of them are pilots?


I am not sure of the total nos. of Officers. Based on pilot vacancies in field, number of pilots are commissioned. This can vary with time. Around my time 100+ pilots were commissioned per year.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 02 Feb 2017 03:41

11:1 8)

Now, that made my day.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Khalsa » 02 Feb 2017 06:55

Kartik wrote:
Indranil wrote:PT2 integration video


Thanks for that video! This young team is doing a really good job with the HTT-40 program. :D


Warms the heart, this video does.
Thank you Thank you Thank you

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cybaru » 02 Feb 2017 18:15

I do wish they restart the Sitara effort and get a second clean sheet design out there after learning from their initial mistakes. The Al-55 powerplant is there. They should work on redoing it all, IAF will need it in another 5-7 years. The Hawks, PC and HTT-40 can hold IAF for a long time.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 02 Feb 2017 21:57

Cybaru wrote:I do wish they restart the Sitara effort and get a second clean sheet design out there after learning from their initial mistakes. The Al-55 powerplant is there. They should work on redoing it all, IAF will need it in another 5-7 years. The Hawks, PC and HTT-40 can hold IAF for a long time.

Incidentally here is something interesting I read today
https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/articl ... his-summer
In one incident, a “perfectly serviceable” AV-8B Harrier went into a spin and crashed in September off Okinawa while taking part in a training exercise, he said.

“That bothers me because I grew up flying Harriers,” Davis said. “We don’t know why it went into a spin. The airplane is supposed to be very spin-resistant. I’ve never spun a Harrier and I’ve got 3,300 hours or something flying a Harrier.”


I suspect the Sitara is spin resistant like the Harrier. I would have thought that a spin-resistant plane is good - but not for a trainer I guess

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cybaru » 02 Feb 2017 22:14

Yeah, the whole spin thing sounds a bit scary. This is potentially hazardous to both the pilot and the asset. I wish they find a consultancy that has done tons of this to help them through.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Gyan » 02 Feb 2017 23:35

deejay wrote:
Gyan wrote:Re Deejay

How officers does IAF induct per annum? And how many of them are pilots?


I am not sure of the total nos. of Officers. Based on pilot vacancies in field, number of pilots are commissioned. This can vary with time. Around my time 100+ pilots were commissioned per year.


Thanx for the Reply.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Lalmohan » 02 Feb 2017 23:38

Cybaru wrote:Yeah, the whole spin thing sounds a bit scary. This is potentially hazardous to both the pilot and the asset. I wish they find a consultancy that has done tons of this to help them through.


teaching pilots how to recover from a spin is an important part of the curriculum


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