Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

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Philip
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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Philip » 21 May 2018 09:37

Karan , the Rafale deal was the outcome of the MMRCA contest. That came about officially because of the inordinate delay in the arrival of the LCA, and the need for more medium- sized single seat multi- role aircraft.It was NOT an alternative to the heavy twin-seat SU-30.The latter bird, definitely a costlier bird to operate and sustain with an extra pilot who also comes with a family which the IAF will have to support for life.

The IAF clearly wanted a Western bird to keep abreast of the latest Western tech advancements which in many areas are superior to those of Russian aviation industry esp. in electronics, AESA radars for instance.At that time, the Ru offer on the MIG-35 - and that was the Ru contestant, was found inferior to the two Eurocanards as well as the two Yanqui legacy birds.

What has come as a huge shock to us now is the huge cost of the Rafale as the rupee nosedives. It will beggar the defence budget to the detriment of several critical requirements for all 3 services and brings nothing to the table with the " make in India" mantra that we are pursuing to the max.

In this context and the arrival of BMos armed MKIs, given the need for numbers also , in the context of a two- front war, such MKIs armed with BMos and any new Ru AAMs plus Astra would amply compensate any lack of additional Rafales , obtaining at least double to triple numbers of Raffys for the same unit cost.

There is however the need for a stealth bird asap.In the heavy segment the FGFA vanilla SU-30 57 is available post 2020.However, as said many a time, we should with the LCA MK-2 leverage it as much as possible, perhaps as part of any SU-57 acquisition into an LCA-S.This will be a stepping stone for the AMCA which should have 6th-gen features as it will arrive post 2030/35 only.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby manjgu » 21 May 2018 09:48

KaranM ... affordable is a very ambigous term... why some army gen is saying we need X Billion USD for modernisation... MKI with Bmos is affordable..whats the issue?? Cost is and will remain a factor, irrespective of what u claim. Spending 1.6% of GDP on defence means cost is an issue. "We will fight with whatever we have" is both a function of cost as well as procurement..cant just pin it on procurement.

Katare
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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Katare » 21 May 2018 20:32

Three points-

Who said that cost is not an issue or a critical factor? That is why we have near 300MKI plsnned, single engine tamasha started and last but not least 324 LCA planned. But we need a spear tip too?

What is the basis of claiming that Russian stuff is cheaper than western stuff? If that was the case we would still have USSR and communism flourishing over over the world.

If adding more MKI can meet projected operational requirements of IAF than why would they go on starting MRCA and single engine tamasha? Are they (IAF/MoD) that stupid?

Russian hardware most of the time are unaffordably expensive to own. Last batch of 42 MKI costed $4.1 billions, the cost is after we have paid for all the support, maintenance, training and manufacturing infrastructure. The cost does not include an AESA radar, advance EW jammer, stealth features or sensot fusion tech.

MKI on itself is a great deal but it’s time to move on to better things.
Last edited by Katare on 21 May 2018 20:49, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Katare » 21 May 2018 20:43

Philip-saar,
Please provide me with source that is basis of your rather wide vlaim that MKI has beaten every western aircraft except for F22 and F35 ( thanks to the gods for your small mercies)?

Has it beaten Rafael?
Has it bested Euro figher?
Has it beaten block 60/70 F16s?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Austin » 21 May 2018 20:53

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Philip
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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Philip » 21 May 2018 21:38

Katare.I posted some time ago the results when our MKIs took on RAF Eurofarters.From the Brit.press.Whatever F-16s were thrown at it in the past were bested even by legacy Bisons.The F-16 cannot with its same aerodynamics being legacy birds, and lacking TVC in any avatar best an MKI at will.At a prev.Aero-India, a Brit. pilot at the Typhoon Chalet who had flown every Western fighter barring the 2 US stealth birds, as well as German MIG-29s,when asked said that nothing could best a MIG-35 in WVR but that the sensor fusion of the Typhoon was in his opinion the best of the lot including the Rafale.The Meteor is also available on the Typhoon and only the cost factor in the final analysis saw the Raffy win.

The BVR spat is at yet an unknown art. as our MKIs have in these exercises never used their full radar capability, yet in the parameters drawn up won every contest from available open info and occasional inside leaks.

I quote.2015 Indra Dhanush exercises with RAF Typhoon GR4s. 12-0 according to IAF pilots! The Oz airpower study in depth , covering all aspects from radars, air combat, EW, weaponry, munitions, etc.says that the Typhoon and smaller Rafale are about equal in capability but inferior to SU-35s/ Flankers like our MKIs and the larger radasr outperform those of the the two Ecanards.Only the F-22 Raptor is considered superior.

Anyway, right now these are academic until they meet in combat.I am sure that once we obtain our first Rafales the IAF will conduct exercises of the types against each other as was done previously between the M2K and MIG-29.In that contest, the MIG won every time. said AM Masand. Let's wait and see.But the inescapable factor is the massive cost diff. between the two.One an outright import and the other now over 70% desi.costing around just 1/3rd of the French filly.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 01:27

manjgu wrote:KaranM ... affordable is a very ambigous term... why some army gen is saying we need X Billion USD for modernisation... MKI with Bmos is affordable..whats the issue??


What's the issue? Does one even need to point out the pending problems with MKI and how they are yet to be resolved, making the IAF look at Rafale etc as a single quick solution for the interim/future?
viewtopic.php?p=2273522#p2273522

MKI remains challenged in terms of getting an IAF suitable EW suite, A2A BVR armament - amongst several other concerns.
For instance, the current Israeli pods don't work too well, the Russian ones are too heavy, the Indian ones will be available next year (if all goes to plan). The BVR armament is a generation behind even PAF F-16s, let alone matching what's on the Rafale and again, BVR capability will receive a step up only when Astra is series produced. But it will be a far cry from the Meteor on the Rafale.

It is these very areas where Rafale has a significant edge and hence the IAF keeps alluding to these items. Even after the MKI fixes these (around 2019-2020, based on how our local programs progress), until and unless an upgrade happens, the Rafale will retain an edge for certain IAF specific needs, since the adversary, PAF+ PLAAF have greater numbers and we are forced to acquire specific capabilities.

Its not as simple as add Brahmos to MKI, all iz well. How many Brahmos do you think our MKIs are getting? Do you think 214 Brahmos on 42 MKI will automatically mean all the other challenges with MKI will overnight disappear?

Cost is and will remain a factor, irrespective of what u claim.


Do you even read what folks said before making these sort of statements?
Here is what I wrote:
If cost was the only criteria, then why is the IAF not flying Sopwith Camels??
Now kindly tell me, where in the English language does this mean, cost is not an issue?

Anyone can tell the above means that cost is ONE of the criteria, but cannot be the ONLY criteria. In which case, the IAF would not even be flying Su-30 MKIs but entirely equipping itself with hand-me-down MiGs or other aircraft even today!

Spending 1.6% of GDP on defence means cost is an issue. "We will fight with whatever we have" is both a function of cost as well as procurement..cant just pin it on procurement.


Again out of context statements. How many years has that so called 1.6% of GDP been actually spent on defence, let alone seen tangible gains in procurement.

Till the NDA arrived, the usual practise was to round trip the declared budget back to the Finance Ministry. For DPSUs to not invest in capex or R&D to the maximum extent but present farcical dividend cheques back to the MOD who then would send it to the Fin Min and we would then import the next greatest as tech was not available in India.
Before you keep insisting that 1.6% of GDP is not sufficient etc., why don't you provide the figures over the past two decades to actually state that number was ever really achieved in terms of capital procurement.

The other basic issue remains that we get poor bang for the buck.

Whether it be a bloated, manpower centric CPMF policy or rejecting a third of the OFB production or even almost all of it (take a look at the OFB 125mm FSAPDS saga and the thousands of crores wasted).
For all the belly-aching about DRDO, BEL etc, they still deliver far better than the sheer amount of rejection and wastage that took place in OFB - I am yet to see a single arms manufacturer which had some 80% of its ammo production rejected! And the bill was entirely picked up by the tax payer.

So its not merely the amount but how its spent.

Even for the Su-30 MKI procurement, its been penny wise pound foolish.

How many millions would it have taken to:

Fix the Su-30s A2A BVR issue
Fix its EW
Fix its mission reliability
Fix its mission availability

Fix the LCA program to deliver something cost effective like MK1A

Compare the above to the Rafale deal.

It took the NDA to come to power to actually work on all the above or drive progress.

The problem is, that in the meanwhile, citing urgent operational requirements, we instead went for a complete refresh like the Rafale.

Now having induced a significant delay, you have basically locked yourself into a different procurement, if you drop that you don't have the capability AT ALL.

Merely adding Brahmos to the MKI is not the answer. In the short term, you will need the capabilities it doesn't currently have.

So whether anyone likes it or not, right now, unless you want to accept a strategic disadvantage and accept severe losses, you have to get a Rafale to balance out things the limited number of MKIs cannot do.

The only good part is we now have sufficient local programs to at least fix the MKI tomorrow or day after, which means the IAF justification for 126 odd Rafales will no longer be as relevant as it was yesterday.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 02:17

Philip wrote:Karan , the Rafale deal was the outcome of the MMRCA contest. That came about officially because of the inordinate delay in the arrival of the LCA, and the need for more medium- sized single seat multi- role aircraft.It was NOT an alternative to the heavy twin-seat SU-30.The latter bird, definitely a costlier bird to operate and sustain with an extra pilot who also comes with a family which the IAF will have to support for life.


Philip, that's just your bias and blinkers vis a vis the the lacunae viz Russian gear in IAF. Official reasons and your claims apart, anyone can see the huge lacunae in Su-30 serviceability and the limitations in MiG performance at Kargil, leading to the Mirage 2000-V acquisition proposal, which then became the MMRCA program.

Do you seriously think the MMRCA would replace the LCA or that any of the MMRCA proposals right now, especially the Rafale are in anyway inferior to the "heavy" Su-30? What affected the numbers more, te delay in LCA for which the IAF already had 120 odd Bisons inducted, or the fact only 100 odd Su-30s were available out of a fleet of over 200 Su-30s inducted?

And, the IAF does not have to put two pilots in the Su-30 to "support for life", the Su-30 has a dedicated WSO.

Here is why the IAF was so keen to have Mirages instead of MiGs.
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... PCamp.html

During the whole of ‘Operation Vijay’, the total of jet fighter sorties came to 1199, of which the Mirage fleet had flown over 500. 1 Squadron flew 274 operational sorties The majority of missions flown consisted of air defence and strike escorts missions. 7 Squadron had completed over 240 strike missions during the same period dropping over 55,000 Kgs of ordnance.


So, out of a fleet of over 800 fighters, 6% of the IAF fighter fleet performed 42% of the missions, what does that tell you of the mission effectiveness of the Mirage fleet over your beloved MiGs?

Those handful of Mirage 2000s performed dedicated strike, CAP, air superiority, EW, buddy lasing, recce missions.

No Russian fighter had ANYWHERE that kind of flexibility or performance.

This is what IAF expected from the Su-30 program. Only to discover, two decades after induction, the Russians kept hobbling us for spares and would not even cooperate to fix basic issues like EW, forcing the IAF to "go Indian".. small mercy that, because at least we won't be blackmailed like this in the future hopefully.

The IAF clearly wanted a Western bird to keep abreast of the latest Western tech advancements which in many areas are superior to those of Russian aviation industry esp. in electronics, AESA radars for instance.


Forget advancements alone. The IAF was clearly frustrated with the inability of the Russians to live up to their contractual obligations regarding serviceability, TOT, capabilities around armament (RVV-AEs, Kh-31s turning out to be duds), their EW pods being too heavy, the engines have reliability issues...all translating to both sub-optimal deployment issues AND availability challenges.
What's the point of purchasing 270 odd fighters to only have 120 odd available at anytime? Sub-50% mission availability rates. Russia TO THIS DATE, requires constant GOI pressure to even provide TOT to Indian manufacturers to make spares.

Only now, seventeen years after Su-30 induction, are mission rates at the 60-70% level fleet wide, forget surge exercises like Gagan Shakti, and the CAG DATA clearly shows Russian malfeasance or incompetence or lack of any concern, take your pick, in delaying TOT to HAL for actual Su-30 production, spares production, MRO setup and even repairing existing assemblies.

No wonder the IAF took a wistful look at the western MMRCAs with their claimed high availability and proven technology and wanted them!

At that time, the Ru offer on the MIG-35 - and that was the Ru contestant, was found inferior to the two Eurocanards as well as the two Yanqui legacy birds.

What has come as a huge shock to us now is the huge cost of the Rafale as the rupee nosedives. It will beggar the defence budget to the detriment of several critical requirements for all 3 services and brings nothing to the table with the " make in India" mantra that we are pursuing to the max.


ANY imported item, whether it be the Rafale or the not-so-fancy MKI assembled from CKD/SKD kits will have a negative impact on our defence budget.

The only way forward is to indigenize. Question is whether the decision makers are even listening to provide a fully funded and committed product roadmap, to the AMCA and beyond.

In this context and the arrival of BMos armed MKIs, given the need for numbers also , in the context of a two- front war, such MKIs armed with BMos and any new Ru AAMs plus Astra would amply compensate any lack of additional Rafales , obtaining at least double to triple numbers of Raffys for the same unit cost.


What is this Brahmos armed MKI business.. only 42 airframes, and that too with structural mods, making the entire aircraft less maneuverable with payload and performance limitations.

What new Ru AAMs? Where have they been proven, PR of Syria flights apart. What are their mission rates, their actual performance? For Astra we have painstakingly proven each point, and even now its in LSP.

Astra by itself cannot compensate for the Meteor. In LR BVR combat, the range of the stick matters, and the Meteor is easily 50% more ranged than the Astra Mk1.

Rafale armed Meteors can target enemy AWACS, IFR without exposing themselves. They offer a huge advantage to the IAF. Funnily enough, because of EMC/EMI concerns, IFR/AWACS don't field active RF protection gear such as jammers. With the advent of Meteor, expect that to change.

There is however the need for a stealth bird asap.In the heavy segment the FGFA vanilla SU-30 57 is available post 2020.


The IAF as of now, disagrees with your claims and believes the Rafale is quite sufficient to handle the J-20, J-31 etc.

However, as said many a time, we should with the LCA MK-2 leverage it as much as possible, perhaps as part of any SU-57 acquisition into an LCA-S.This will be a stepping stone for the AMCA which should have 6th-gen features as it will arrive post 2030/35 only.


Agreed.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 22 May 2018 02:20

Karan M wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:So, the so 30mki is a dud compared to the Rafale? Or is the brahmos a dud?


The Su-30 MKI is not a dud only because India has gone the extra mile in adding capabilities no other Russian aircraft had, including state of the art avionics - MFD, DPcs, RLG-INS, modern VOR/ILS, DMG, MF LDPs and even then, the Russians did not cooperate in critical items such as the EW Pod.

https://www.livefistdefence.com/2017/02 ... 30mki.html
A DARE scientist associated with the project tells a familiar story: Russia’s unwillingness to share codes (or its insistence on an additional commercial understanding) that could have helped manage the interfacing issues between the SAP-518 pod and Indian RWR better and faster.


So, the Russians not only give a pod that is unsuitable and too heavy to use. They sabotaged India's efforts to find a replacement. First, they refused to provide assistance to integrate the EL/L-8222 SPJ with Bars and the Tarang. So India went and purchased the SAP-518. Then they refused assistance to integrate the SAP-518 with Tarang.

Then consider the "curious" case of the missing armament.
http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/n ... rt/490055/

Now, did Russia offer to rectify these defective units as it ought to have?

Then consider serviceability. As of 2015, IAF was averaging 50% serviceability for the expensive Su-30 fleet. The reasons, the usual ones.

- Russian TOT to HAL for maintenance had been delayed
- Continued over-reliance from HAL to Russian suppliers for spares - again, partly because the whole TOT to HAL from Russia was delayed
- India purchased more Su-30s than planned directly from Russia, and reduced Phase-4 Sukhois at HAL again because TOT was delayed

Finally, to overcome the above, HAL established a highly expensive spares setup in India, stockpiling expensive spares in advance, to meet urgent IAF needs.
MOD's request to have Indian firms make Russian spares in India is still "in process". Russia claims that it will now speed up spares orders from India.

AL-31 issues. Again, Russia late in the game offered serviceability patches, but overall TTL and TBO of AL-31 lags any western equivalent.

Bars. Final version of production ready version achieved in 2012. A decade after induction.

We have achieved some 70% serviceability this year, merely 1.5 decades after Su-30s first flew in Indian skies.

It will take Indian efforts to fix the EW suite and active missile armament on Su-30.

Now look at T-90, Smerch and countless other Russian deals.

All cheap on the outside, but then the fun starts later.

The Su-30, if its "great" will have everything to do with Indian determination and funding, and persistence in not giving up.

Rafale deal is ENTIRELY because the Russians frustrated IAF so much. If the Su-30 was not a pain to deal with logistically, IAF would be doubling down on it.

Another issue is Russia is simply not able to maintain the technological advantage vis a vis western peers.

The Rafale is preferred by IAF over FGFA. What does this tell us of FGFA?

IAF thinks reduced RCS, AESA equipped 4th+ gen bird is better than a so called 5Gen platform.

IMHO, only once Russia fixes the serviceability issues and then starts using the tech developed via FGFA extensively, will things change vis a vis IAF perception.


You can see this from a variety of perspectives Karan. The su 30 even at 50% availability is probably cheaper than the Rafale, how many Rafales could iaf have purchased with the amount it has spent on the acquisition of the mki? Had India bought Rafales in three phases, what might the costs have been? Could it have had 273 units? 200? 100? We all know what happened with the mrca deal, a reduction to just 1/3 rd of the proposed number. Further, It is not as though Western products don't have their own issues when India buys them. The case of the Jaguar and the Darin program is one example.. Threat of sanctions is still another, even today as we see through catsaa. Costs of upgrades is still another issue...Mirage 2000 upgrade is one example. Can you imagine upgrading a fleet of 126 Rafales.

I would love to see how easily we can integrate local products with the likes of the mirage or Rafale or f16. Everything has to be from the OEM, period. or there will be no support. And if you want customized solutions, the costs will be absolutely prohibitive. no country will allow customizations without a hefty fee. You speak of the jamming pod issue, tell me what exactly did the OEM offer to do in case of the Jaguar? Would the French have allowed India to stick a dash 3 hms on the mirage 2000 in the nineties without massive costs and hassles?

Yes, Western kit seems to have a bit more reliability in terms of performance off the shelf, but then who can afford it!l? Certainly not India. Not with the mirages in the 90s (hence the mki to begin with, note that even a basic flanker was better than the mirage in most parameters), and not with the Rafales today.

In case of pakfa vs Rafale, the IAFs reaction is to be expected, it wants a fully finished bird and not one that is in development. But to conclude that the Rafale will be better than a finished pakfa would be a risky bet.

Right now or in the near future, it is doubtful that India can get a western fifth gen fighter in quantities that it can afford, nor is it likely to get one which it can tinker with and use as it wishes to, nor can it get one that is locally produced. Combine these three criteria and you can see that the pakfa/fgfa is the only possibility.

Yes the iaf doesn't want to get involved in another development saga, but a more holistic perspective such as one from the varthaman committee, clearly the fgfa is worth pursuing

As bad as the Russians are in terms of support, the level of tech they make available, the level of tinkering they allow and the price point makes them very attractive. And until such a time that India starts in making most of it's own gear or increases it's defence budget by a few percentage points, the russki alternative will remain extremely attractive.

Having said this however, it doesn't mean that iaf should not get the Rafale follow on deal if this is what it needs. But I'm guessing this won't happen anytime soon what with the new mrca race and the naval rfi. I think iaf will likely buy more mki via the Hal option just to keep the numbers.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 22 May 2018 03:43

Bart S wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:So, the so 30mki is a dud compared to the Rafale? Or is the brahmos a dud?


I made a general point and did not mention SU-30, Rafale or Brahmos, each of which have pros and cons. I'm not going to argue with you about cherry picked examples, there are enough examples of where India has gotten a raw deal over the years that are obvious to anybody who is not in denial, but that would be digressing from the thread topic to discuss them all over again.


Cherry picking works both ways. Yes there are a number of bad deals, but there have been a number of good ones too. The point is that India needs quantity, and Russian hardware provides this best until desi products start coming up on numbers

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 03:52

Cain Marko wrote:You can see this from a variety of perspectives Karan. The su 30 even at 50% availability is probably cheaper than the Rafale, how many Rafales could iaf have purchased with the amount it has spent on the acquisition of the mki? Had India bought Rafales in three phases, what might the costs have been? Could it have had 273 units? 200? 100? We all know what happened with the mrca deal, a reduction to just 1/3 rd of the proposed number. Further, It is not as though Western products don't have their own issues when India buys them. The case of the Jaguar and the Darin program is one example.. Threat of sanctions is still another, even today as we see through catsaa. Costs of upgrades is still another issue...Mirage 2000 upgrade is one example. Can you imagine upgrading a fleet of 126 Rafales.


Sorry, but this is make believe rhetoric. How is a fighter fleet at 50% availability, with all the bought up capex, infrastructure, and operating costs for twice that number anyhow cheaper than a smaller fleet of more available aircraft?

Next, threat of sanctions etc. What of the Jaguar? They are still flying. Sanctions or no sanctions. What of the DARIN program?

Its successful.

Regarding cost of upgrades, you get what you pay for. Compare the cost of the Mirage 2000 upgrade, to the phenomenal performance it provided at Kargil & quasi-Rafale like capabilities in a so-called 4Gen aircraft. In comparison, compare the all-new, oh-so-inexpensive MiG-29Ks bought by the Navy and the lemons they turned out to be.
We are now scrambling to replace them with 57 new aircraft.

So where is this "buy cheap and low quality" premise coming from, because it clearly does not work.

I would love to see how easily we can integrate local products with the likes of the mirage or Rafale or f16. Everything has to be from the OEM, period. or there will be no support. And if you want customized solutions, the costs will be absolutely prohibitive. no country will allow customizations without a hefty fee. You speak of the jamming pod issue, tell me what exactly did the OEM offer to do in case of the Jaguar? Would the French have allowed India to stick a dash 3 hms on the mirage 2000 in the nineties without massive costs and hassles?


Sorry but you clearly don't have any accurate details here.

The Mirage 2000 upgrade clearly includes provision for future local upgrades and includes a brand new HAL Mission computer on a parallel bus so we can add whatever weapons we wish.

What do you think the HAL MC is for?

Image

As far back as 1999, at Kargil..
"Everything from the OEM period, or there will be no support". Sure, which is why - without French involvement, added Litening LDP at short notice with IAF and IAI, integrated Paveway LGBs, and added obsolescent 250 kg Spanish bombs, all in the period of months and then successfully used them in conflict. Was support from the French withdrawn?

The IAF Mirage 2000's currently have Israeli Popeyes - Crystal Maze, fly with non standard, non French Israeli missiles.

What helmets do you think those Mirages fly with?

Are you aware the IAF even experimented with adding R-73E and Sura-E to the Mirage 2000. The French didn't stop us, contrary to your claims.

They only pointed out that if we went to Israel for a pure avionics refresh, they had no reason to keep the rest of the spares running specifically for us. That is common sensical and well within their rights.

They even offered to transfer the entire Mirage 2000-V line to India at HAL. We chose the MMRCA contest instead. Again, our choice to make.

Next, lets take the Jaguar. If anything, that just blows your argument out of the water. In the Jaguar, IAF has replaced, with Indian & foreign kit

- The entire navigation suite (new Thales LRF, Sagem RLG/INS)
- The cockpit displays (Thales MFDs, Israeli HUD)
- The EW (Indian Tarang and Israeli EL/L-8222 SPJ)
- Accessories (new Indian ECS/air conditioning)
- New flight control (Sagem AFCS on contract)
-Added new avionics completely (new 1553 bus, Indian mission computers, indian stores management system etc)
- Added new weapons (Paveway, Griffin LGBs, new Indian weapons - SAAW etc)
- Added new pods (Litening, Vinten recce)
- Re-established IFR

For ALMOST ALL of the above, we did it on our own, at HAL, at DARE, at IAF etc. No BAe interference or threats to stop us from doing whatever we needed to do.

If we had decided to ask BAE to help us, they would have gladly brought the IAF Jaguars to the same standard or even better than what the RAF fielded. Jaguar GR3A in RAF service had capabilities, IAF is yet to get on its Jaguars such as datalinks or a hand-controller for its LDP pod, or a HMS.

So again, what makes you think we can't do it for our Mirage fleet? Or Rafales tomorrow..

If anything, we will add MORE items, because of a simple thing, our capabilities are greater. If we are even fixing the Su-30s flaws, which the Russians can't, it just shows we have advanced a long ways.

Expect Indian Rafales and Mirages to field SAAW, NGARM, Griffin, Popeye, field Indian made sensor/ESM pods etc. Its a given.
That is also part & parcel of the MMRCA process.

However, if we choose to yank out all its systems and replace them with Indian made or CFE items, there is no way Dassault or Thales can assume liability for the same, that's just industry practice.

Yes, Western kit seems to have a bit more reliability in terms of performance off the shelf, but then who can afford it!l? Certainly not India.


Has anyone ever done a cost-benefit analysis of the actual trade off of having a huge portion of capital expenditure lying useless vs smaller amounts of high availability equipment? If that is done, and it favors the Russians, then your argument may have some ground. Otherwise, its rhetoric, and rhetoric the IAF seems to disagree with, given its recent emphasis on Life Cycle Costs which factor in serviceability!

Not with the mirages in the 90s (hence the mki to begin with, note that even a basic flanker was better than the mirage in most parameters),


Err.. what most parameters when the darn aircraft is not flying to begin with? And again, your facts need checking. A basic Flanker say a Su-27 vs a Mirage 2000-V, do you seriously think the Su-27SK, apart from notional advantages in fully loaded range (with which internal fuel it would be as maneuverable as a C-130 vs a tank equipped Mirage which could jettison those tanks), was anywhere comparable? The Mirage 2000-V had a much better multirole radar set of equivalent range, a state of the art EW suite (which would be relevant even today), a much better range of A2A and A2G munitions, a high b/w datalink.. the list goes on and on and on..

The Su-27 was so limited, and so was its follow on the Su-30MK series, that the IAF basically made the Su-30 MKI standard, pretty much dragging the Russians into the modern age, insisting on a 1553db, commercial standard plus milspec software for avionics, a proper glass cockpit etc.

Tell me, did IAF get any royalty from the Su-30 MKM, MKA, and now Su-30 SM sales to Russia?

Also, has anyone considered why the Russians are buying the "old" Su-30 SM when the oh-so-superior Su-35 is available?

and not with the Rafales today.


This is just rhetoric.

In case of pakfa vs Rafale, the IAFs reaction is to be expected, it wants a fully finished bird and not one that is in development. But to conclude that the Rafale will be better than a finished pakfa would be a risky bet.


Err.. its hardly risky to conclude a Rafale is better than a non flying PAKFA which will come fully finished only a decade from now.. and till then, it requires hand-holding, judging from the MKI experience.

Of what use is a super duper PAKFA when it simply does not fly with a proper avionics suite or it suffers repeated engine fires.

The IAF would rather take a Rafale which is 80% of the PAKFA and is available, and who can blame them.

Right now or in the near future, it is doubtful that India can get a western fifth gen fighter in quantities that it can afford, nor is it likely to get one which it can tinker with and use as it wishes to, nor can it get one that is locally produced. Combine these three criteria and you can see that the pakfa/fgfa is the only possibility.


LOL, the problem is per objective criteria established by the F-22/F-35 baseline, neither the PAKFA nor its Chinese equivalents are really 5 Gen aircraft.

At best, they are reduced RCS follow ons to 4++ gen aircraft.

The PAKFA has significant design compromises in terms of its stealth from various objective estimates. IAF doesn't trust Russian claims regarding its avionics, its engines or overall maturity either. How is it 5th gen?

Yes the iaf doesn't want to get involved in another development saga, but a more holistic perspective such as one from the varthaman committee, clearly the fgfa is worth pursuing


"Holistic perspective" - then how is it the same GOI per the same media has decided against the FGFA for now?

As bad as the Russians are in terms of support, the level of tech they make available, the level of tinkering they allow and the price point makes them very attractive. And until such a time that India starts in making most of it's own gear or increases it's defence budget by a few percentage points, the russki alternative will remain extremely attractive.


This is just plain rhetoric. Level of tech from the west is equivalent in most cases (Israel & French assistance in our BMD for example) and the price points are hardly as low as claimed (FGFA rip-off being an example).

As things stand, the lack of Russian support has frustrated enough Indian officers, that they want to buy western & as India's economy improves, that trend will only accelerate.

Having said this however, it doesn't mean that iaf should not get the Rafale follow on deal if this is what it needs. But I'm guessing this won't happen anytime soon what with the new mrca race and the naval rfi. I think iaf will likely buy more mki via the Hal option just to keep the numbers.


They very well might for now, but the writing on the wall clearly states Russian era of dominance is declining rapidly.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 03:59

Please point out the good ones, with a focus on serviceability. There are a ton of deals where the Russians have taken full advantage of us, MiG-29K, Su-30 spares/TOT, T-90 (legion of issues).. the list goes on and on and on and on..
Its pretty clear the only stuff where we somehow manage to get things to run ok ok are Soviet era stuff, eg Mi-17s etc which are somehow proven.

Anything new from Russia.. and it comes with a host of problems which the Russians take decades to fix. So where exactly is the logic of buying "cheap Russian to get quick combat power coming from".. if anything it makes far more sense to buy Indian and fix that, and buy limited amounts of expensive French/Israeli gear to provide quick combat power as an interim fit after having proven it extensively in objective trials.


Cain Marko wrote:
Bart S wrote:
I made a general point and did not mention SU-30, Rafale or Brahmos, each of which have pros and cons. I'm not going to argue with you about cherry picked examples, there are enough examples of where India has gotten a raw deal over the years that are obvious to anybody who is not in denial, but that would be digressing from the thread topic to discuss them all over again.


Cherry picking works both ways. Yes there are a number of bad deals, but there have been a number of good ones too. The point is that India needs quantity, and Russian hardware provides this best until desi products start coming up on numbers

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 04:20

About the only thing going for Russia is that its lack of BS on Hyuman rights, NGO-giri etc. That's perhaps the biggest reason to buy from them, which is not saying much about their equipment at all.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 22 May 2018 05:56

Karan M wrote:.........


Okay, I just lost a pretty detailed post, so I won't repeat the whole thing again. Just a few points:
1) The jaguar example was to clarify that western equipment doesn't always come without issues. That India was stuck with the NAVASS and had to come up with Darin highlights this.
2) That we are able to integrate a variety of local and third party equipment with western birds doesn't mean it happens for free or large costs are not associated with them. Or that western OEMs are extremely cooperative in that regard. The perfidy of BAE in case of the darin upgrade is well documented by TKS Tales.
3) That russian gear is cheaper is well established, not too long ago Manohar Parrikar made a clear statement wherein the cost of an MKI was about 60% of the Rafale. And this is an MKI that is produced in India with full license rights. If the cost was to be compared with a similarly produced rafale, the difference would have been much more. Again, India went with the MKI because it could not afford more mirages in the 90s. And thank God it did, for the MKI does much more than any mirage could. The Pakfa story is likely to be similar.
4) As far as russian technology sharing goes, one look at the akula, arihant or even the space program, tells the story quite clearly.
5) Yes, it is not all rosy and its not like the russians don't screw us given a chance, but this is not any different from the rest. If anything, it has for the most part allowed india to use weapons and technology which is ahead of its neighbors - because it was affordable.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 22 May 2018 06:13

Karan M wrote:Please point out the good ones, with a focus on serviceability. There are a ton of deals where the Russians have taken full advantage of us, MiG-29K, Su-30 spares/TOT, T-90 (legion of issues).. the list goes on and on and on and on..
Its pretty clear the only stuff where we somehow manage to get things to run ok ok are Soviet era stuff, eg Mi-17s etc which are somehow proven.

Anything new from Russia.. and it comes with a host of problems which the Russians take decades to fix. So where exactly is the logic of buying "cheap Russian to get quick combat power coming from".. if anything it makes far more sense to buy Indian and fix that, and buy limited amounts of expensive French/Israeli gear to provide quick combat power as an interim fit after having proven it extensively in objective trials.


Cain Marko wrote:
Cherry picking works both ways. Yes there are a number of bad deals, but there have been a number of good ones too. The point is that India needs quantity, and Russian hardware provides this best until desi products start coming up on numbers


How are the Talwars working? How about the Kilos? Akula? SMTs? Brahmos? Yes, there are issues with russian gear, but these are inevitably fixed. Even in the case of the MKI - MP was able to fix it within a 3-4 years. Is there no blame at all for the poor procurement under the UPI era? IIRC, even the mighty Mirage had uptimes of around 55% at one time during this period. For all of the whining about the MKI, could the M2K (had we bought it instead of the MKI, assuming that we could have afforded it), do the kind of work that the MKI did during Gaganshakti?

The Naval fulcrum will also be fixed. Btw, according to the CNS, the need for additional 57 fighters was more a result of the failure of the NLCA than the failure of the fulcrum.

Point is, despite these niggles, the equipment has very high performance and the cost is still rather lower compared to western counterparts. The MKI is a perfect example of this whatever else its troubles might be.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 06:38

Cain Marko wrote:
Karan M wrote:.........


Okay, I just lost a pretty detailed post, so I won't repeat the whole thing again. Just a few points:
1) The jaguar example was to clarify that western equipment doesn't always come without issues. That India was stuck with the NAVASS and had to come up with Darin highlights this.


This is a perfect example of comparing apples to oranges. You pick an example from the early 80's and compare it to a situation today! If you actually follow the topic, way back in the 80's, French radar guys were developing the PSM-33 and actually worked with BEL to make it happen. Do you think BEL and Thales are still at the same place and France/Europe are still at the same place? Thales is now a world leader in radars and Raytheon even licenses their designs. Benefit of constant state support. Compare the Zhuk ME to the RDY-2, a radar available several years earlier, but far more sophisticated and reliable.

Today, French aircraft come ready, as is, with 90% of the capabilities integrated.
Russian aircraft don't.. what's so hard to admit about this? Apart from the fact, that it punches holes in your argument that somehow Russian aircraft are cost-effective.

Problem is they aren't because of the entire lost decades when Russia collapsed and lost the lead it had somewhat enjoyed against western gear.

The problem is basically, that Russian gear is less reliable and far more bulky than comparable western gear. Sometimes its ok and sometimes its not.

2) That we are able to integrate a variety of local and third party equipment with western birds doesn't mean it happens for free or large costs are not associated with them. Or that western OEMs are extremely cooperative in that regard. The perfidy of BAE in case of the darin upgrade is well documented by TKS Tales.


Huh?? You made the claim that somehow western birds can't have stuff integrated on them and western OEMs prevent it from happening.

As it happens, the above examples show your statements to be erroneous!

We have integrated - with OEM assistance and without, multiple items on western aircraft.

TKS did not mention any perfidy in DARIN upgrades etc. You are perhaps mixing up the incident wherein HAL solved a hydraulic issue with Jaguars and BAE released it as a free upgrade without crediting HAL. Again, nothing earth-shattering.

Here is the basic point - well funded MICs come up with more reliable gear.

Its but common sense to note that a French Rafale is more complete than a half-baked Su-57 which will take decade to mature!

And that is the crux of the issue for the IAF, not some erroneous argument that Russians are eager to add capabilities to their gear whereas westerners demur.

We have to add items to Russian gear today, because their systems are not mature!

3) That russian gear is cheaper is well established, not too long ago Manohar Parrikar made a clear statement wherein the cost of an MKI was about 60% of the Rafale. And this is an MKI that is produced in India with full license rights. If the cost was to be compared with a similarly produced rafale, the difference would have been much more. Again, India went with the MKI because it could not afford more mirages in the 90s. And thank God it did, for the MKI does much more than any mirage could. The Pakfa story is likely to be similar.


Parrikar is comparing the cost of a MKI paid for with its infrastructure in India to the cost of a new acquisition. Obviously the up-front cost of one will be cheaper, since its already amortized.

But what it does not take into account is the cost of upgrading the Su-30 to the cost of a Rafale.

Tell us again, what will be the cost of acquiring TOT for a Su-30 and making that in India, and by when will that occur?

Please provide us specifics of the Russian AESA, the new Russian Meteor equivalent, high BW datalinks, sensor fused cockpit, new engines (so the Su-30 is as agile as an earlier Flanker) and then compare the costs!

4) As far as russian technology sharing goes, one look at the akula, arihant or even the space program, tells the story quite clearly.


Err.. the space program where the russians reneged on their deal on the basis of US pressure? That story? The one where ISRO did the heavy lifting?
Akula? You mean the one where we give heavy funding to the Russians to complete a half finished boat decaying otherwise and then we get it for a few years?
The Arihant? A program which obviously means no one else can contribute anything at all which is why the IN is getting classified briefings from France on its Barracuda class?

Its all about the money.

5) Yes, it is not all rosy and its not like the russians don't screw us given a chance, but this is not any different from the rest. If anything, it has for the most part allowed india to use weapons and technology which is ahead of its neighbors - because it was affordable.


Exactly, they are no better than anyone else, and so why the rosy eyed view of Russian gear, especially when it is low reliability and often doesn't meet our needs.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 06:57

Cain Marko wrote:How are the Talwars working? How about the Kilos? Akula?


Err.. just wait for a CAG report on how the Russians provide spares for these platforms, and then you'll see the true state of affairs. Many ex-IN guys have made a living scrounging for spares for the IN.

SMTs?


The SMTs draw on the good efforts of 11 BRD, who made up for Russian inability to support the MiG-29!
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Today ... 11BRD.html

Inside the operations hanger, the studious engineers of 11 BRD did not strive long to unearth the latent critical problems with the aircraft. The culprit in most critical snags of Russian made aircraft, says Wing Commander Tiwari, was the power supply module. With this ascertained, the only option left was to also indigenise this system. Interestingly, the 11 BRD- developed power supply module is "six times cheaper with performance ten times better than the Russian one". Indigenisation itself was no silly game for the BRD men. Keeping a tradition of developing low cost spares. No. 11 BRD developed indigenous spares and components for well under Rs 1 crore when for those parts Russians had charged Rs 8-12 crores. It is self-reliance that has won laurels for 11 BRD. On constant move, the effort was always to indigenise as many parts as possible. The great deal of effort and success shown in this self-reliance foray is demonstrated by the fact that 11 BRD has achieved 96 percent indigenisation of the critical mandatory spares for MiG-29s.


Again, guess what, no BRD had to do this for the Mirage 2000s. Because, if you made the payments, the spares were available.

Oh more fun.
http://www.defencepage.com/2014/12/russ ... n-mig.html

Even as the spares have been indigenized at the BRDs, the components that are single replaceable units have been sourced from Russia. The older navigation system cannot work now, said the IAF source. It has been typical of the Russian OEMs to deny or delay the supply of some or the other vital component that holds up the entire upgrade project. There were similar problems with the Ukrainians for the upgrade of AN-32s also.

The matter is now being taken up with utmost priority at government level.



Brahmos?


Ah, the much vaunted Brahmos, wherein, Russia sells our paid for missile for exports, we get nothing. And we cant even replace the darn engine..

Yes, there are issues with russian gear, but these are inevitably fixed. Even in the case of the MKI - MP was able to fix it within a 3-4 years.


Has it been fixed? Have MKI spares been made in India? Or is it merely that to make up for Russian intransigence, India is stockpiling more spares at its side and bearing the upfront costs.
http://www.defenseworld.net/news/18996/ ... wNzLYq-nIU

"The Agreement signed by HAL with Russian OEMs are for long-term supply of spares and rendering technical assistance for five years and do not cover any technology transfer," Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.


So after all the efforts, Russians refused to release TOT for spares, and HAL has put up a list for indigenization on its website.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ne ... 919425.cms

The aim is to increase this to at least 75 percent. Sources have told ET that HAL is looking to invest over Rs 2,000 crore to create a spares hub that will store and deliver all parts needed for the fleet. A long term spares agreement is likely to be signed between India and Russian shortly that will help in reducing the amount of time frontline fighters are grounded due to technical issues.


So as usual, Russia did what benefited it the most..

Is there no blame at all for the poor procurement under the UPI era?


Was the UPA responsible for Russia delaying TOT for production, and MRO?

IIRC, even the mighty Mirage had uptimes of around 55% at one time during this period. For all of the whining about the MKI, could the M2K (had we bought it instead of the MKI, assuming that we could have afforded it), do the kind of work that the MKI did during Gaganshakti?


Err.. there is no whining about the MKI, its a dispassionate look at its challenges, something the rosy eyed fans of all things Russian just can't seem to acknowledge.. and unfortunately, 90% of what the MKI did in Gaganshakti could have been done by the Mirage, and that too it had those capabilities much earlier.

And the Mirage uptime is directly related to funding. It has scarcely had the kind of basic reliability challenges we faced with the MKI and had to force the Russians to acknowledge. To Sukhois credit, they belatedly fixed them.

MiG is still fibbing about the MiG-29K.

The Naval fulcrum will also be fixed.


LOL, sure. How, pray tell?

By replacing the structure (which breaks), by replacing the actuators (which fail), by replacing the radar (which fails), by replacing the engines (which dont work), by replacing the FBW (which fails)...I guess they will be left with the canopy, the seat and the tires after all that.

Btw, according to the CNS, the need for additional 57 fighters was more a result of the failure of the NLCA than the failure of the fulcrum.


Right, those 57 fighters with twin engines, are to replace the failed NLCA and not the successful MiG-29K. The F/A-18 E/F, the Rafale, etc are all NLCA class fighters. Ah, the things one learns.

Point is, despite these niggles, the equipment has very high performance and the cost is still rather lower compared to western counterparts.


What high performance?? Which world are you living in? The MiG-29K is a lemon..it has horrid mission availability rates and MiG has fought the IN every step of the way in refusing to fix the problems.
If these are "niggles" , then one shudders to think what are actual problems.

The MKI is a perfect example of this whatever else its troubles might be.


Thankfully, the MKI is not a MiG-29K. But no amount of hand-waving is going to disguise the fact that Mirage 2000s today are flying with OEM supplied Remora-pods and ABD-200 ASPJs while it is India which has to fix its Su-30 MKIs developed decades later, because the OEM supplied pods just don't meet IAF needs when carrying a heavy payload. The MKI pods work well.. just dont carry a heavy strike package, because if you do so, the aircraft flight envelope goes for a toss with the pods. No problem

Similarly, no amount of hand waving cuts the fact that the IAFs upgraded Mirage 2000s today field better BVR capability than its premier Air Dominance fighter. How weird is that? Again, Indian missiles have to compensate for a lack of critical capability.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Philip » 22 May 2018 09:34

So if our Ru aircraft were such duds, esp. the SU-30, why did the IAF want and build so many? A massive 272! And want even more plus upgrades to BMos std.? Surely they had ample time to decide about the bird covering all aspects.They could've simply stopped at 60 to 80 like the MIG-29 acquisition if they were duds.Why did we also stop with just 40 to 50 M2Ks? We could've ordered more, but the combat superior MIG-29 of almost 70 aircraft was with the IAF necessitating no need for extra M2Ks!
And I've given ad nauseum the astonishing costs of the M2K upgrade, $50M compared to just $10-13M for the 29UG.So if anyone expects Rafale costs and spates, etc .
available at "chor bazaar" or even " Mall" rates, they're way off the numbers.

The fact that the MKI bested all the Yanqui birds flying barring the F-22 and just entering service USD, plus the Typhoon as I posted,"12-nil" to the IAF vs the RAF, is proof enough why the IAF loves the bird.The only ones who hate it are a few gents on BRF...becos it's Russian!My reluctance to extra Rafales is not becos the aircraft is not good.It is a superb omni-role bird as touted, but becos of its hideous cost.For an eco-crisis afflicted India, with a run on the Rupee plummeting by the day, plus fuel prices rocketing skyward also by the day, banks with NAP figures increasing also by the day with more scams being unearthed, where is the money for $200M Rafales, or even if at a 30% discount as one report said , which has never been confirmed either by Dassault or the MOD,still adds upto to around $135M a pop, even more expensive than an F-35 .In fact the actual costs of the deal are still classified and the MOD is refusing to give out details which the Dy-nasty is being "nasty" about , pardon the pun!

In the GS exercises just concluded, the MKIs had a 90% availability. That indicates as well as earlier reports, that the serviceability % dramatically improved after the IAF started improving the serviceability of its aircraft ,given lack of new aircraft.

To imagine that the totally firang Rafale will enter service for a song, better than a desi MKI is self-deception in the extreme.We were screwed by the French for components for the non-AIP Scorpenes which are at least $100M more than an equiv German U- boat with AIP! A Ru Kilo late model or Amur is another $200M cheaper.
I predict that extra Rafales will be few and far between unless we recover Nirav Modi and the other scamsters stashed billions!
Last edited by Philip on 22 May 2018 09:49, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 22 May 2018 09:38

Would it be possible for Philip and Karan to stop spamming this thread with..

-Post edited to remove meaningless drivel. Don't repeat this sort of behavior.
KM

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Philip » 22 May 2018 09:51

I would love it but some gents can't face facts and costs.
Let's reserve each one's opinions to ourselves after a few posts in future.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 15:14

shiv wrote:Would it be possible for Philip and Karan to stop spamming this thread with


Actually you just spammed the thread with a meaningless post full of drivel.

If you can't contribute stay out of the thread and desist from trolling.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 15:51

Philip wrote:So if our Ru aircraft were such duds, esp. the SU-30, why did the IAF want and build so many? A massive 272!


What other choices did the IAF have? The MMRCA circus just shows how convoluted acquiring any new airframe was. Buying a proven Mirage 2000-V went nowhere.

And want even more plus upgrades to BMos std.?


What are the other options to add any LRCM capability to the Su-30 MKI? We don't have any stealthy options anyhow, not until Nirbhay variants mature.

Surely they had ample time to decide about the bird covering all aspects.They could've simply stopped at 60 to 80 like the MIG-29 acquisition if they were duds.Why did we also stop with just 40 to 50 M2Ks? We could've ordered more, but the combat superior MIG-29 of almost 70 aircraft was with the IAF necessitating no need for extra M2Ks!


The IAF contrary to your lack of awareness has jumped through every frugal hoop in order to fix the Su-30 MKIs deficiencies.
They clearly didn't have the budget to explore anything radical.
They first ordered the Tarang RWR to supplant the existing Paster RWR, an obsolete design.
When that didn't work, they ordered the Tarang Mk1B
When that faced issues due to the MKIs canards blanking the RWR, they ordered the enhanced R118 with 6 separate antennae
When the R118 continued to face issues with Blanking, they have asked DARE to develop the Digital R118 which will use DSP to get around the blind spots

When the Russian pods didn't work out the IAF ordered the EL/L-8222
The Russians refused to share details with the IAF to fix the integration of Bars with Tarang & EL/L-8222, so the IAF asked the Russians for an answer.
They then got the SAP-14 and SAP-518. Both pods so huge and heavy they limit payload options when installed.
The SAP-518 and SAP-14 also don't work well with Indian RWRs.
So now India is developing its own EW pod.

The story is much the same for AL-31s or Missiles or this or that. In every instance, with budget limitations, the IAF has undertaken some effort.

Unfortunately our establishment is willing to fund a Rafale but won't sit with IAF to figure out possible non Russian solutions to the entire MKI puzzle and fix it.

And I've given ad nauseum the astonishing costs of the M2K upgrade, $50M compared to just $10-13M for the 29UG.So if anyone expects Rafale costs and spates, etc .
available at "chor bazaar" or even " Mall" rates, they're way off the numbers.


And clearly, those costs are worth it. Because your "figures" don't count the fact that a lot of the MiG-29 items will be CFE- Customer Furnished Equipment, like the SAGEM RLG/INS or the DARE D-29 EW suit. This sort of creative accounting is just like the cheap T-90 with its missing TI sight and Shtora deleted to show lower costs vis a vis other options.
The MiG-29 even requires relifing to have the structure ready for another decade of ops. It requires new attachments and internal work for more fuel.
In contrast, the Mirage 2000 is ready as is, with far more residual life in the system.
And all its systems come readily integrated to a proven standard operating in Greece, France, UAE, Egypt etc. Tell me again, what did Algeria do with its MiG-29 upgrades?

The fact that the MKI bested all the Yanqui birds flying barring the F-22 and just entering service USD, plus the Typhoon as I posted,"12-nil" to the IAF vs the RAF, is proof enough why the IAF loves the bird.


If you believe this sort of amusing "MKI bested all the yanqui birds flying bar the F-22", nothing more needs to be said.

Do you seriously think the MKI is superior across the board to the F-15SG flying today? Or that the UAE Block 60s dont have most of the capabilities the MKI has and even better ones in several criteria?

Please. The MKI is potent, no doubt, but its by far not some magic potion that is automatically superior to the number of aircraft flying today which have also gained a lot of technology insertions over the years and hence match the MKI in many respects.

The only ones who hate it are a few gents on BRF...becos it's Russian!


Oh the poor Russians, the victims. When unable to provide any facts such as the glaring challenges faced with Russian logistics support, the missing missile armament, the problems in facing Russian reluctance to cooperate with Indian vendors for EW and other aspects.. lets do two things:

1. MKI is best
2. It has Brahmos

My reluctance to extra Rafales is not becos the aircraft is not good.It is a superb omni-role bird as touted, but becos of its hideous cost.For an eco-crisis afflicted India, with a run on the Rupee plummeting by the day, plus fuel prices rocketing skyward also by the day, banks with NAP figures increasing also by the day with more scams being unearthed, where is the money for $200M Rafales, or even if at a 30% discount as one report said , which has never been confirmed either by Dassault or the MOD,still adds upto to around $135M a pop, even more expensive than an F-35 .In fact the actual costs of the deal are still classified and the MOD is refusing to give out details which the Dy-nasty is being "nasty" about , pardon the pun!


The hidden cost of the MKIs are not as minor either. To get the same level as a Rafale, add the cost of a Super 30 upgrade & then additional weapons and systems to get the new revised cost. Also, remember, the Rafale comes ready with those capabilities integrated and tested. The Super 30, we will be the launch customer and (again) have to work out all the niggles. So, what price is to be attached to that?

In the GS exercises just concluded, the MKIs had a 90% availability. That indicates as well as earlier reports, that the serviceability % dramatically improved after the IAF started improving the serviceability of its aircraft ,given lack of new aircraft.


Unfortunately, GS alone cannot be used to claim this. Multiple detachments of the Su-30 MKI have been used at Multi national exercises, in extended deployments.. and at the same time, in India, the average reliability of the MKI was 45%.

Right now, as of mid-2017, the figures for the MKI were between 60-65%. The stated/desired figure is 75%. Again, this has been achieved via India pumping in money, with GOI support for HAL to set up spares stocks.

To imagine that the totally firang Rafale will enter service for a song, better than a desi MKI is self-deception in the extreme.We were screwed by the French for components for the non-AIP Scorpenes which are at least $100M more than an equiv German U- boat with AIP! A Ru Kilo late model or Amur is another $200M cheaper.
I predict that extra Rafales will be few and far between unless we recover Nirav Modi and the other scamsters stashed billions!


Err.. you are the only one claiming that Rafales will enter for a song.

Rest of us are just pointing out that the expensive Rafale is an IAF necessity at least in the short term for capabilities it provides. Capabilities the Russians could have added to the Su-30, but they were too busy running an inefficient and vast empire from the Soviet Union days, wherein hundreds of Flankers sales were used to prop up different factories all across Russia, instead of running a tight centralized ship and upgrading their products and logistics support properly.

If the Sukhoi guys had provided new EW suites and armament to IAF specs quickly, fixed logistics issues.. the IAF would have doubled down on the Su-30 MKI.

Right now, fingers crossed, its Indian agencies who have to pull the MKIs irons out of the fire. The Astra is one step. DARES work on EW is awaited.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby srin » 22 May 2018 16:31

One question regarding the assertion that the Sukhois bested the Yankee and Oiropean birds: Were both the sides operating under near full capabilities (full radar and BVR) ? Or were the radars in training mode ? And were the engagements in WVR ? (If not, which BVR missile was simulated).

Just curious ...

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 16:40

srin wrote:One question regarding the assertion that the Sukhois bested the Yankee and Oiropean birds: Were both the sides operating under near full capabilities (full radar and BVR) ? Or were the radars in training mode ? And were the engagements in WVR ? (If not, which BVR missile was simulated).

Just curious ...


Sukhois in training mode (most of the times). Rivals would have had something similar.
Simulated missiles - notional Pk, notional range, hence pre-agreed performance.

Caveat, Sukhois haven't gone up against AESA equipped USAF birds, yet. Most of its successes were against earlier Eagles, Vipers.
They went up against EFs (both sides claimed victory, first time the Brits, second time us, then red faced Brits huffed and puffed), up against Rafales in France (French claimed MKI impressive, but their birds were more discreet - say it with a characteristic French sniffle..).

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Bart S » 22 May 2018 16:41

Cain Marko wrote:
Bart S wrote:
I made a general point and did not mention SU-30, Rafale or Brahmos, each of which have pros and cons. I'm not going to argue with you about cherry picked examples, there are enough examples of where India has gotten a raw deal over the years that are obvious to anybody who is not in denial, but that would be digressing from the thread topic to discuss them all over again.


Cherry picking works both ways. Yes there are a number of bad deals, but there have been a number of good ones too. The point is that India needs quantity, and Russian hardware provides this best until desi products start coming up on numbers


No, it doesn't. We are a customer, and a perfect customer at that - we paid hard earned cash for everything they sold us, we paid on time without tantrums, and did not abuse their IP like the Chinese. We have a right to demand quality and satisfaction across the board. That they delivered some weapon systems that met our expectations is not an excuse to pass off (often knowingly and in bad faith) substandard stuff in other areas or rip us off.

It's Customer Service 101

It's like if you go to a restaurant and order butter chicken, dal and roti, and the butter chicken gives you food poisoning due to which you miss work for a few days and spend 3x as much in medicines. You have every right to complain, and the resteraunt cannot say that you are cherry picking because 1> the food is cheaper than a 5 star restaurant, 2> the roti and dal were not contaminated, hence they can cherry pick too and 3> some other customer in some other restaurant also got food poisoning.

The sad thing with all this defensive argument by fanboys of vendor countries is that (assuming that they are Indian), it's like a family member of the person who got food poisoning, arguing in favour of the restaurant! This is not an argument for argument's sake like fanboys discussing Playstation vs Xbox, rather real lives and national security is at stake. Indian interests matter, period - to hell with Russia, America or anyone else.

Cain Marko wrote:The point is that India needs quantity, and Russian hardware provides this best until desi products start coming up on numbers


Again, you are passing off your opinion as fact. The IAF (the party with real skin in the game) certainly does not seem to think so, otherwise they would be lining up to buy 'cheap' Russian planes without considering the quality.

OTOH, off topic, but if one was talking about relatively simple systems that are hard to mess up like small arms and RPG/RPO type systems, Russia does present an attractive option, with decent quality and good prices.
Last edited by Bart S on 22 May 2018 16:46, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby jaysimha » 22 May 2018 16:43

Karan M wrote:What other choices did the IAF have? The MMRCA circus just shows how convoluted acquiring any new airframe was. Buying a proven Mirage 2000-V went nowhere.


I believe su30-Mki acquisition was done with in blink of an eye by then PM d.gowda and D.M. M.S. Yadav even before anybody could wake up and start howling. of course when IAF wanted more Mirage post kargil, baboons started putting spokes.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 16:47

Jay that's indeed the case, AF got the Su-30K and decided to make a MKI out of it.

It has worked in many ways, and in some ways, it hasn't. Problem is when that fighter makes up over40% of your fleet and the vendor remains lackadaisical, the challenges multiply.

One can only be happy, I suppose that most of the other issues - engine reliability, spares etc, were addressed to some degree.

If we fix the EW issue, the current MKI itself, will remain very viable. Its just frustrating though.. that the Russians can't do that..

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Manish_P » 22 May 2018 17:23

Karan M wrote:Caveat, Sukhois haven't gone up against AESA equipped USAF birds, yet. Most of its successes were against earlier Eagles, Vipers.
They went up against EFs (both sides claimed victory, first time the Brits, second time us, then red faced Brits huffed and puffed), up against Rafales in France (French claimed MKI impressive, but their birds were more discreet - say it with a characteristic French sniffle..).


<OT>Not in India, but perhaps in Malaysia - Cope Taufan ?</OT>

Image

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby JayS » 22 May 2018 17:30

jaysimha wrote:
Karan M wrote:What other choices did the IAF have? The MMRCA circus just shows how convoluted acquiring any new airframe was. Buying a proven Mirage 2000-V went nowhere.


I believe su30-Mki acquisition was done with in blink of an eye by then PM d.gowda and D.M. M.S. Yadav even before anybody could wake up and start howling. of course when IAF wanted more Mirage post kargil, baboons started putting spokes.


Wasn't the decision made during last few days of PVNR era...?? Anyhow. it was a pure political decision as quid pro quo to save Russian fighter industry. (We reportedly sent urgent down payment even before the deal was finalized or some thing or that sort has happened. There was an article few weeks ago on how the opposition was taken into confidence so they do not make too much noise about the deal as it was finalized without all due process). Once the decision was made, then IAF was left to do whatever it takes to make it work. And they did a fantastic job along with other Indian orgs. Someone should really do some data mining on total money spent on Su-30MKI till date.

PS: Quick googling throws this article from 2000: https://www.rediff.com/news/2000/nov/17ashok.htm
For those of us who have been following the AJT saga, these could be another set of famous last words. The IAF is living in a period of tragic-comedy as confirmed by the story of the Sukhoi 30 fighter.

When the advanced multi-role Su-30 was called into the IAF in 1996, the country was oblivious to what had transpired in the previous three years. There was no air staff requirement (ASR) for such a class of fighter, as the chief of air staff had dismissed the Sukhoi as "irrelevant to the IAF".

Air Chief Marshal S K Kaul had also criticised Russia for failing to provide critical product support. But six months later, he reversed his opinion and the government, without even signing a contract, paid an advance of Rs 5 billion to Russia's Irkutsk Aircraft Production Organisation for developing an aircraft that did not exist.

After the initial order for 40 Su-30MKIs, followed by another 10, India recently signed a letter of intent to produce, under licence, another 140 aircraft of the same make. The intention is fraught with risks and uncertainties much more serious than the ones that went with the decision to acquire the Sukhoi 30 MKI in the first place.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Singha » 22 May 2018 17:34

the russi su35s that operate in syria have this long wingtip pod? are they subject to the same G limitations as we experienced? https://i.ytimg.com/vi/riWPvlILTJA/maxresdefault.jpg

their su30 and su34 both of whom run strike missions uncontested there carry wingtip aam https://southfront.org/wp-content/uploa ... 8b45ea.jpg

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 21:47

Manish_P wrote:
Karan M wrote:Caveat, Sukhois haven't gone up against AESA equipped USAF birds, yet. Most of its successes were against earlier Eagles, Vipers.
They went up against EFs (both sides claimed victory, first time the Brits, second time us, then red faced Brits huffed and puffed), up against Rafales in France (French claimed MKI impressive, but their birds were more discreet - say it with a characteristic French sniffle..).


<OT>Not in India, but perhaps in Malaysia - Cope Taufan ?</OT>

Image


Question is whether BVR was part of the game. The AESA would really come into play then, provided the test range was vast enough. If for instance they agreed upon fixed parameters, then within a specified range, Bars vs an AESA would really not provide any advantage/disadvantage until & unless heavy ECM was used & both sides actively used all the modes on their radars to see which was better. (Doubtful).

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 21:53

Singha wrote:the russi su35s that operate in syria have this long wingtip pod? are they subject to the same G limitations as we experienced? https://i.ytimg.com/vi/riWPvlILTJA/maxresdefault.jpg

their su30 and su34 both of whom run strike missions uncontested there carry wingtip aam https://southfront.org/wp-content/uploa ... 8b45ea.jpg


Singha, of course, the heavy SAP-518 and SAP-14 pods in all likelihood are similar to the PESA jammers in other newer Russian pods and are really heavy. The Su-35 will likely face the same challenges the Su-30s face.

In all likelihood this problem is really a challenge, when we do a heavy loadout. See this pic.

Image

The other challenge is the pods don't interface well with our RWRs, in other words, they are not cued as they should be, by our RWRs. The pods usually have an automated receiver which can trigger the jammer but it doesn't really do well for situational awareness, as the pod is operating autonomously.

The Su-35 EW suite was graded as average by the Brazilian AF. The Rafale's was superior, it could also point to the fact that the Rafale suite was more comprehensive and better overall (more modes, more features), besides which the Rafale is just so much smaller RCS wise.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 22:12

In a well integrated EW system - you'd have the radar tracks, the IRST tracks, the ESM tracks, the pod tracks - all sensor fused with a single display. Each would be ranked in order of threat. For instance, aircraft approaching would be ranked by type, approach velocity, whether they were targeting you, and then could be automatically sorted. Similarly, GBAD threats would be prioritized, with FCRs taking precedence over surveillance radars. Then your EW would automatically follow the sorted threat and start jamming the threats, in order of precedence. AESA pods /PESA pods can jam near instantanously or timeshare effectively. Pods with multiple apertures are even better.

In an even more sophisticated data and rule driven system, you could even determine whether jamming was even necessary, i.e. automatically determine whether the aircraft had truly been detected or not. In a next level system, the EW system could even be automatically tied to the AFCS, for critical threats, the aircraft would commence pre-loaded defensive maneuvers for optimal effectiveness, i.e, rapid turns/presenting the lowest RCS aspect/ increasing closure distance and worsening the Pk of any launched missile etc.

Point is for all this to happen, the radar, ESM and EW should all be in synch. That is where we are struggling.
DARE has promised that it will make a new RWR + EW combo that will somehow fix things, lets see.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Manish_P » 22 May 2018 23:48

Karan M wrote:
Question is whether BVR was part of the game. The AESA would really come into play then, provided the test range was vast enough. If for instance they agreed upon fixed parameters, then within a specified range, Bars vs an AESA would really not provide any advantage/disadvantage until & unless heavy ECM was used & both sides actively used all the modes on their radars to see which was better. (Doubtful).


Very unlikely, I agree.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 23:53

Manish_P, you'll really like this. Its very well written. The statement that large force exercises were done is interesting, was it strike or included air to air.

https://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/man ... rning-best

By HARIS HUSSAIN
June 28, 2014 @ 7:50am
HARIS HUSSAIN

The Royal Malaysian Air Force and

the United States Air Force engage in an air combat exercise called Cope Taufan. Haris Hussain joins the ‘furball’

“FIGHT’s on! Fight’s on!”

‘Mogwai’ immediately picks up his target off the port side. He’s chugging along at a fairly fast clip. Together, the closure speed of both aircraft is nudging north of 900 knots.

As the two fighters merge and pass within an eyelash of each other in a blur of black and grey, Mogwai doesn’t even have time to flinch as he rolls the jet, yanks the control stick back into his gut and reefs his big fighter into an eye-wateringly tight left turn.

G-forces rip into his body and Mogwai sucks in a lungful of oxygen as he cranes his neck to keep his adversary, a United States Air Force Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor, square in his sights.

He works the throttles and makes constant changes to the engine settings. His eyes are fixed on the target but one eyeball is cocked to the airspeed reading on his heads-up display (HUD). At this turn rate, he’s bleeding off airspeed and energy like they’re going out of style. Dogfighting is all about energy management.

The two jets are in a classic turning fight at 15,000 feet (4.57km) over the air combat range in Grik, Perak. Mogwai and ‘Smegs’, his weapons systems officer (whizzo in RMAF parlance), are flying the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s latest and most capable aircraft, the Sukhoi Su-30MKM Super Flanker multirole fighter.

Outside, the twin nozzles of their thrust-vectoring Lyulka AL-31FP engines crank up at a crazy angle and Mogwai begins to “walk up” the nose of his huge fighter onto the Raptor’s centre fuselage.

Up front, Mogwai eyeballs the Raptor, which is also blessed with thrust-vector control, but only in the pitch plane. The target designator box (TDB) on his HUD is locked onto the stealth fighter. The trick now is for Mogwai to bring the “pipper” or gunsight square inside the TDB before he can squeeze off a shot. In the back seat, Smegs provides a running commentary of the unfolding fight.


“Makan dia! Makan dia, beb! Lagi! Lagi! Lagi!” Smegs yells into the hot mike in his Ulmer oxygen mask. His job is that of part tactician, analysing the threat picture, part cheerleader, pushing his pilot on, and as an extra pair of eyes for Mogwai.

This particular evolution is a 1v1 (one-versus-one) engagement, which calls for the employment of short-range air-to-air missiles or guns. The Raptor is armed with the AIM-9M Sidewinder heat-homer and an internal, six-barrel, Gatling-type 20mm M-61A Vulcan cannon. The Super Flanker is carrying the super-agile Vympel R-73 Archer air-to-air missile and has the 30mm, single-barrel Gsh-301 cannon embedded in the starboard leading edge root extension (LERX).

Launching off from Fightertown RMAF Butterworth, this is the second engagement for the two fighters as part of the biggest air combat exercise in the country. Called Cope Taufan, the joint biennial exercise between the RMAF and the USAF is primarily to enhance bilateral training in a realistic environment, ramp up combined readiness, and improve interoperatability between the two fighting forces. In the first “hop” earlier, the advantage went to the Sukhoi boys. Because both aircraft were still hauling bags of gas, the exercise director gave the go-ahead for another fight.

‘GUNS,GUNS,GUNS!’

The outcome of a dogfight hinges on a number of things — the aircraft’s aerodynamic and engine performance, fuel load, the position of the sun, the individual aircrews’ learning curve and the ability to adapt and react to a fluid and rapidly changing set of circumstances. The advantage enjoyed by one aircrew could be lost and shift over to the adversary in the blink of an eye. A gun track can last only one or two seconds. Miss that shot and you’re toast.

Just as Mogwai is close to getting a gun solution on the Raptor, the USAF pilot rolls his jet level and pitches the nose up in a high-G manoeuvre. Vortices stream from his wing root as moisture is literally squeezed from the air. The American plugs the afterburners on his twin Pratt and Whitney F-119 turbofan engines and his nozzles belch out tongues of blue flame. He goes vertical and grabs sky like a homesick angel.

“Pacak! Pacak! Dia pacak, bai!” screams Smegs, as he instinctively grabs the speed handles on his instrument panel in anticipation of the onslaught of Gs. Pacak, in RMAF fighter lingo, is to go vertical. Mogwai sees the move but he’s nanoseconds too late. The Raptor has so much excess thrust that by the time Mogwai bangs on the throttles and selects Zone 5 on the afterburner, he and Smegs might just as well have been talking to themselves because the Raptor is looong gone...


STEEP LEARNING CURVE

Back on the ground, the RMAF pilots whom Life&Times spoke to said the training and experience they received in the two weeks of Cope Taufan was invaluable.

“The objective of these types of exercises is not to see who wins or loses. It’s more of an opportunity for us to learn new things and expand our mission scenarios and capabilities. It also gives us a chance to validate our procedures,” said a Super Flanker pilot.

Sometimes, they have to make things up as they go along. For instance, fighter pilots use what is called EM or energy manoeuvring charts to figure out how best to tackle an adversary.

“We had EM charts on the F-15s but had nothing on the Raptors, since it is still highly classified. So we had to rely on other sources, go online and even make educated guesses based on the aircraft design to come up with a plan to capitalise on its weaknesses,” added the Sukhoi driver.

“There were a lot of things that we learnt from the Americans. The use of large force employment, planning of strike packages and, overall, how to use our forces effectively were some of the lessons we learnt from Cope Taufan,” added an F/A-18D Hornet pilot with No 18 Squadron, based in Butterworth.


A MiG-29N fighter pilot with the famed Smokey Bandits squadron, home ported in RMAF Kuantan, summed it up best.

“Bro, both sides’ learning curve went right through the roof. On the first day! We both went home with a mutual and healthy respect for each other’s capabilities. And to have these (USAF) guys say that we were s*** hot is the biggest compliment you could give a fighter jock.”

Note: For security reasons, the call signs of the aircrew are fictitious and the engagement is a composite of several dogfights as recounted by RMAF pilots.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2018 23:59

I sincerely doubt USAF would put F-22 in BVR in non sanitized, non NATO environments and even there, it would operate with a lunenberg lens and restrictions on radar modes and tactics.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Katare » 23 May 2018 08:34

Great posts Karan! Very indepth analysis!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Philip » 23 May 2018 08:51

There is an historical account of how the SU-30 was acquired by the IAF In an old VAYU.How the development potential of the bird was realised ,the deal struck, etc.
There is a similar v.interesting account in Dr.Pillai's book how the Brahmos was similarly obtained.The two instances showed great imagination and foresight by the chief players responsible.Imagine the IAF today without its 272 MKIs in service and being built.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Manish_P » 23 May 2018 10:44

Karan M wrote:Manish_P, you'll really like this. Its very well written. The statement that large force exercises were done is interesting, was it strike or included air to air.

https://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/man ... rning-best

By HARIS HUSSAIN
June 28, 2014 @ 7:50am
HARIS HUSSAIN

The Royal Malaysian Air Force and the United States Air Force engage in an air combat exercise called Cope Taufan. Haris Hussain joins the ‘furball’

...

[b]Sometimes, they have to make things up as they go along. For instance, fighter pilots use what is called EM or energy manoeuvring charts to figure out how best to tackle an adversary.

“We had EM charts on the F-15s but had nothing on the Raptors, since it is still highly classified. So we had to rely on other sources, go online and even make educated guesses based on the aircraft design to come up with a plan to capitalise on its weaknesses,” added the Sukhoi driver.
There is hope yet for us, armchair air marshals. Sometimes even seasoned pros need to take the help of google chacha and wiki aunty :D
...


Thanks, Karan. Indeed i love to read up on interviews given/articles by actual service folk. Vast majority of those have been of competent professional who come through as quietly confident, respectful of the opponents, self-effacing with measured words which give away little but really make you think hard. A major bonus being that they spare you the rhethoric and at times downright BS spouted by pompous fan boys.

I shall be ever thankful to Shiv ji for introducing me to hushkit site.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 24 May 2018 04:57

Karan M wrote:This is a perfect example of comparing apples to oranges. You pick an example from the early 80's and compare it to a situation today! If you actually follow the topic, way back in the 80's, French radar guys were developing the PSM-33 and actually worked with BEL to make it happen.

The Jaguar is a relevant example - after all, how many western fighters do you see in the IAF inventory in the last 3 decades? Just goes to show that western aircraft are hardly affordable for India hence only two types and in smallish numbers. Another western fighter, admittedly old and not in the AF, that was also a headache in terms of serviceability was the Shar (around 40% in the 2000s as per Navy Audit Report) not to mention numerous incidents related to safety/performance. IIRC, the CO of the Viraat wistfully lamented that the ancient ship still had some life left in her, but the Shars did not. Altogether they served for about 6 years after the Israeli upgrade. Compare that to the MiG-21 Bison - still has about 60% availability.

TKS did not mention any perfidy in DARIN upgrades etc. You are perhaps mixing up the incident wherein HAL solved a hydraulic issue with Jaguars and BAE released it as a free upgrade without crediting HAL. Again, nothing earth-shattering.


Read on...

As soon as I was able to officially confirm the chosen structure of the proposed INAS, I wrote a letter to BAe informing them of our choice and inviting them to begin the process of integration of the system on the Jaguar. There was an ominous silence from the BAe for a few days, and then a bombshell landed on my desk. BAe said that they were supposed to have been involved in the process of selection of a replacement for the NAVWASS but we had kept them away from the process. As such they cannot take on the responsibility of integrating the chosen system with any guarantee. They would have to carry out a feasibility study to check out the system. That would need about six months of time and it would cost us about 125 Crores of Rupees. If at the end of this commitment they found the system good enough then they would incorporate the design changes for manufacture! I had no budget for such expenditure. More importantly, I was not in a position of opening a Pandora’s Box where by I would lose complete budgetary control over the project. It was just not acceptable. I spoke to the local BAe rep but he was evasive in his reply. He suggested that I’d better raise the matter directly with BAe at an official level..... We had only to sort out the exact interface requirement for each box and force the vendors to undertake compliance. We had, however, no expertise in designing and development of a digital data bus. We were also totally deficient in the actual integration and over-seeing ability. We therefore decided to get BAe to reconsider their stand during our next projected visit to the UK and France.

The attempt to get BAe into a cooperative mood turned out to be nonproductive. BAe refused to budge from their stand. We got the feeling that they thought we had no option and were exploiting the situation mercilessly.


Sounds cooperative to you? Or cheap?

We have to add items to Russian gear today, because their systems are not mature!

That might be the case, but those western mature systems often cost so much that we can never afford them in the numbers needed. Be it the M2k or the Rafale. And, the Russian hardware, no doubt after Indian effort, often does a great job.

Parrikar is comparing the cost of a MKI paid for with its infrastructure in India to the cost of a new acquisition. Obviously the up-front cost of one will be cheaper, since its already amortized.

Do consider what the acquisition cost of the Rafale would have been if it entailed a full production line, tot and the infrastructure required (as in the case of the MKI). The upfront cost of any russian bird bought in flyaway condition, off the shelf from the OEM is often and considerably cheaper than western counterparts - a quick look at recent Su-35 deals - China and Indonesia will give you an idea.. AK Anthony is on record (2012?) saying that the entire MKI procurement cost india about 54000 crores. That is the amount paid for 36 rafales, go figure.

But what it does not take into account is the cost of upgrading the Su-30 to the cost of a Rafale.
Tell us again, what will be the cost of acquiring TOT for a Su-30 and making that in India, and by when will that occur?

Uhh, how much will a Rafale MLU cost when it is due? Judging by the cost of the mirage upgrade, it will be something very fantastic I'm sure.

Please provide us specifics of the Russian AESA, the new Russian Meteor equivalent, high BW datalinks, sensor fused cockpit, new engines (so the Su-30 is as agile as an earlier Flanker) and then compare the costs!

We'll find out as soon as the upgrade is decided upon. Fact of the matter is that the MKI still does much of what the Rafale does and better. Where is the French equivalent of an ARM? where is a brahmos equivalent? A more relevant comparison would have been with the F2 Rafale.

4) As far as russian technology sharing goes, one look at the akula, arihant or even the space program, tells the story quite clearly.


Err.. the space program where the russians reneged on their deal on the basis of US pressure? That story? The one where ISRO did the heavy lifting?
Akula? You mean the one where we give heavy funding to the Russians to complete a half finished boat decaying otherwise and then we get it for a few years?
The Arihant? A program which obviously means no one else can contribute anything at all which is why the IN is getting classified briefings from France on its Barracuda class?

Engines = Despite the pressure, engines were sold https://www.rbth.com/blogs/2013/12/04/how_indias_cryogenic_programme_was_wrecked_31365
Akula = Would love to see some French or US equivalent, half complete, old and refurbed, whatever.
You speak as though you are privy to these classified meetings and are well aware of fFrench secrets on the Arihant - well after the boat is afloat at that. Classified briefings after the boat is operational? Compare that with what the Russians did - even the PM had no problem in acknowledging their contribution. The Russians sold us the brahmos too. In both cases they circumvented mtcr and npt regimes. What did the Western suppliers do? Forget about the US and UK, Can we even today get the French ASMP?
The rather obvious point from these examples, which you are missing (I'm guessing rather deliberately), is that such a level of technology cannot be had from any other country.

Exactly, they are no better than anyone else, and so why the rosy eyed view of Russian gear, especially when it is low reliability and often doesn't meet our needs.

No rosy eyed view, just a pragmatic one. Philip, despite his infatuation with Russki gear, did raise an important issue - that of cost. No amount of creative accounting can remove that rather large elephant in the room. Another poster in response called Russian products duds and I called him out for making generalized statements that's all.

Bottomline is this:
US and British Gear: Good delivery times, and serviceability. Good performance. but unreliable due to political shenanigans, end user restrictions. Expensive too. Caatsa is just one in a long history. Denying tech and support is a clear and present danger.
French Gear: Reliable but truly expensive, never affordable in numbers. Very good performance. Of course an occasional leak of classified documents also can happen.
Russian Gear: Supply chain issues, technical lags. Affordable but need time consuming workarounds to get desired performance. But so far, India has managed this quite well.
Last edited by Cain Marko on 24 May 2018 12:08, edited 1 time in total.


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