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LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Arun.prabhu » 11 Jan 2017 11:34

shiv wrote: :rotfl:
Did you notice the contradiction between the first line and last line of the post - each the diametric opposite of the other
Anything to give your forces an advantage. So low observability in defence, if it gives our pilots an advantage, is something to be desired.

and
using planes costing hundreds of millions of dollars to drop ordinance on idiots whose culture and technology belong in the Stone Age doesn't make sense either, but the Americans, whom our flyboys apparently want to emulate, do that,


Just want to make the point that our IAF airheads, (who should spend more time learning on BRF?) have been called names for not emulating the US of A and here they are getting butt kicked by being accused of wanting to emulate the US of A. It is another matter that I have not understood what our dear airheads are trying to emulate, but hey I may be a dumbo.

I was just wondering about the options that are on offer here for a timepass effort at educating our airheads about how to fight war
1. They can go for expensive stealth and refuse to use that against low tech forces who are in the stone age anyway
2. They can reject low observability and simply go ahead and attack stone age opponents saying that those people are in the stone age anyway, we don;t need low observability
3. Our airheads can selectively choose stone age adversaries the US does (like Bodos/Naxals for aihreads to hit) and choose to bomb them with whatever they have
4. They can learn to stick a thumb up their butts when we inform them on here China and Pakistan are our adversaries and they are hardly stone age

Lets move ahead of the curve..and all that



So our enemies are Pakistan and China. What kind of a war do we plan to fight with them? Do stealth planes make sense in that war? How long do we assume this war will last? Can we replace the planes and pilots we'll lose faster than our opposition? Just a few of the questions you need to ask before you get ahead of the curve.

stealth because stealth is not. The tens of millions more for purchase and upkeep for each LO plane can be spent on infantry, better air defence, artillery, armour, more planes, training....

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Farooq » 11 Jan 2017 12:00

Arun.prabhu wrote:
Farooq wrote:
Actually, PAF will be happy endians think of their IAF as "Air Heads". What is even more encouraging is that moderators on a "knowledgeable" forum agree with it.

And you may give your best to your airheads, but since they are airheads, PAF will blow them to kingdom come. Yo! PAF has djinns with them.


Questioning wisdom of leaders when they are being stupid is patriotism. Blindly following leaders when they are making mistakes is not. The rafale deal and the billions in cost that the IAF tried to foist on that project to the detriment of the other services and themselves - with limited budget, where would we get the money for all the rest that our armed forces sorely need - convinced me that the IAF leadership is made of airheads.


Oh! that is a step down. From the entire IAF being airheads to just the leadership being airheads. Good for PAF with such airheads making decisions.
IAF = Indian Airhead Force :lol: from now on. PAF to party.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Farooq » 11 Jan 2017 12:03

Arun.prabhu wrote:
Farooq wrote:


You're talking about the phase where you haven't established air superiority with active Air defence umbrella and enemy interceptors in the air. I'm not sure stealth makes strategic or tactical sense even here. And since the Americans have only fought against middle eastern third raters armed with monkey models with their stealth platforms, I'm not convinced that the usefulness of stealth has been demonstrated on the battlefield.

Your argument for stealth states the problems with them. No external stores - fuel or weapons without compromising stealth. Can't use active sensors in battle because then you get a radar homing missile right up your ass. You Must have vast internal stores for fuel - to be supplemented by external fuel stores before entering detection range - to be able to carry a reasonable mass of ordinance. Internal ordinance stores that are nowhere near enough to ordinance to what can be carried on hard points on the wing. Oh and since the planes are visible to the naked eye, we have proof that the stealth technologies employed aren't effective at all frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum. So what frequencies are they bad against? I've heard that the radars used in ww2 can see stealth fighters.

So, I fail to logic for stealth when, for the cost of many non-LO planes with much greater weapon carrying capacity and longer range by virtue of external stores, some of which we may lose but which we can afford to replace. Why would we want costlier, harder to replace planes that arent superior to conventional craft in the use cases that matter.


You are right boss. You have convinced me and a lot of people that your Air Force and also the people who write their strategies is made up of Air Heads. Thanks.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Arun.prabhu » 11 Jan 2017 12:15

Farooq wrote:
Arun.prabhu wrote:
You're talking about the phase where you haven't established air superiority with active Air defence umbrella and enemy interceptors in the air. I'm not sure stealth makes strategic or tactical sense even here. And since the Americans have only fought against middle eastern third raters armed with monkey models with their stealth platforms, I'm not convinced that the usefulness of stealth has been demonstrated on the battlefield.

Your argument for stealth states the problems with them. No external stores - fuel or weapons without compromising stealth. Can't use active sensors in battle because then you get a radar homing missile right up your ass. You Must have vast internal stores for fuel - to be supplemented by external fuel stores before entering detection range - to be able to carry a reasonable mass of ordinance. Internal ordinance stores that are nowhere near enough to ordinance to what can be carried on hard points on the wing. Oh and since the planes are visible to the naked eye, we have proof that the stealth technologies employed aren't effective at all frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum. So what frequencies are they bad against? I've heard that the radars used in ww2 can see stealth fighters.

So, I fail to logic for stealth when, for the cost of many non-LO planes with much greater weapon carrying capacity and longer range by virtue of external stores, some of which we may lose but which we can afford to replace. Why would we want costlier, harder to replace planes that arent superior to conventional craft in the use cases that matter.


You are right boss. You have convinced me and a lot of people that your Air Force and also the people who write their strategies is made up of Air Heads. Thanks.


Smartass. :)

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Arun.prabhu » 11 Jan 2017 12:16

Farooq wrote:
Arun.prabhu wrote:
Questioning wisdom of leaders when they are being stupid is patriotism. Blindly following leaders when they are making mistakes is not. The rafale deal and the billions in cost that the IAF tried to foist on that project to the detriment of the other services and themselves - with limited budget, where would we get the money for all the rest that our armed forces sorely need - convinced me that the IAF leadership is made of airheads.


Oh! that is a step down. From the entire IAF being airheads to just the leadership being airheads. Good for PAF with such airheads making decisions.
IAF = Indian Airhead Force :lol: from now on. PAF to party.


It's not a step down. But hey, don't let me spoil your fun at my supposed expense.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Indranil » 11 Jan 2017 12:24

Arun Prabhu,

Please cool down quickly, or your stay here will be short. Let this serve as your first soft warning.

Farooq and Hakim, fair points. But, I don't see where we disagree. All kind of fighters needed today will also be needed in 2040. Finance will still be the constraining factor and will mandate the need for light fighters to shore up the numbers. All fighters, including the light ones will require stealth features (seeing first is critical), high TWR (which is what drives supercruise) and networking capability.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Arun.prabhu » 11 Jan 2017 12:29

Indranil wrote:Arun Prabhu,

Please cool down quickly, or your stay here will be short. Let this serve as your first soft warning.

Farooq and Hakim, fair points. But, I don't see where we disagree. All kind of fighters needed today will also be needed in 2040. Finance will still be the constraining factor and will mandate the need for light fighters to shore up the numbers. All fighters, including the light ones will require stealth features (seeing first is critical), high TWR (which is what drives supercruise) and networking capability.


Out of curiosity, it seems mocking is allowed from Farooq' posts. What exactly struck you as me needing to cool down? I'm not questioning your authority as a moderator. But I desire clarification.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Indranil » 11 Jan 2017 12:40

The only reason why I haven't warned you yet I s because he had a go at you too.

The reason why I am going to warn you is because you are passing judgement calls on our forces which is not allowed on this forum. If you have an opinion on a decision of the AF, you can post about it merits and demerits. But calling IAF names is a strict NO.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Arun.prabhu » 11 Jan 2017 12:42

That is fair.

Indranil wrote:The only reason why I haven't warned you is because he had a go at you too.

The reason why I am going to warn you is because you are passing judgement calls on our forces which is not allowed on this forum. If you have an opinion on a decision of the AF, you can post about it merits and demerits. But calling IAF names is a strict NO.
Indranil wrote:Arun Prabhu,

Please cool down quickly, or your stay here will be short. Let this serve as your first soft warning.

Farooq and Hakim, fair points. But, I don't see where we disagree. All kind of fighters needed today will also be needed in 2040. Finance will still be the constraining factor and will mandate the need for light fighters to shore up the numbers. All fighters, including the light ones will require stealth features (seeing first is critical), high TWR (which is what drives supercruise) and networking capability.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby chola » 11 Jan 2017 13:07

Farooq? We actually have a Paki here?!
Last edited by Indranil on 11 Jan 2017 23:27, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Is this an inside joke? Otherwise a warning is coming.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby PratikDas » 11 Jan 2017 13:19

Indranil wrote:All fighters, including the light ones will require stealth features (seeing first is critical), high TWR (which is what drives supercruise) and networking capability.

This has me worried. We can invest a lot in stealth but how would we know if our stealth is better than Chinese stealth? RCS numbers aren't shared. How would we know if can actually see first? For all we know, Chinese espionage could've given them access to information on stealth materials that we haven't been able to match yet. If not stolen, their massive investments could've yielded good materials (New Year, feeling generous). Let's assume radars on both sides are just as good.

If we can't be assured of seeing first, is there a point to all the investment? Should the money instead be invested in 1000s of BVRAAMs which invade enemy airspace like locusts?

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby chola » 11 Jan 2017 13:34

PratikDas wrote:
Indranil wrote:All fighters, including the light ones will require stealth features (seeing first is critical), high TWR (which is what drives supercruise) and networking capability.

This has me worried. We can invest a lot in stealth but how would we know if our stealth is better than Chinese stealth? RCS numbers aren't shared. How would we know if can actually see first? For all we know, Chinese espionage could've given them access to information on stealth materials that we haven't been able to match yet. If not stolen, their massive investments could've yielded good materials (New Year, feeling generous). Let's assume radars on both sides are just as good.

If we can't be assured of seeing first, is there a point to all the investment? Should the money instead be invested in 1000s of BVRAAMs which invade enemy airspace like locusts?


Just build it. Who cares if it would be better or worse than chini "stealth"? We are not going to war with China any time soon. And if we were, what we have now can handle whatever crap they can spare from their eastern front with the US, Japan, SKorea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia, etc.

Again and again, we discard homegrown projects and aim for the "best" other people are willing to sell because of out-of-whack threat perceptions. Neither TSP nor the PRC are even second rate militaries. We have time to build our own stuff.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby shiv » 11 Jan 2017 15:33

Arun.prabhu wrote:Pakistan gets away with it because they have nukes.

ISIS gets away with it because no one in the west has been willing to stoop to their level. When Russia and hezbollah did, they got their asses kicked. NK gets away with it because no one is willing to defeat them and then rule the nation. Also, because they have nothing to lose.


In other words - you have yourself answered a question you asked.

If I recall, you asked whether we need to invest heavily in LO/stealth technology. The US did exactly that but has been unable to subdue ISIS, North Korea or Pakistan. In fact Pakistan has been mollycoddled by the uS.

To that extent all high tech is worthless against tactics that make expensive high-tech redundant. We can pay China with the same coin and threaten them with nukes and let them go blue in the face copying American stealth designs

Arun.prabhu wrote:In 2040, while I'm sure that Pakistan will remain a thorn in our side, we'll probably have to be prepared to defend our overseas interests - force projection over sea - and fight a war against Pakistan and/or china at the same time.


We are already at war with Pakistan. I am unable to figure out why people (and that includes you) expect war to be like 1965, or 1971, or the Gulf war. We have enjoyed conventional superiority over Pakistan since 1971 and Pakistan has, since then successfully waged asymmetric war against us. It is another matter that they have not defeated us and we grow stronger. Pakistan has for very long had the support of the US, China and KSA that allows them to retain enough military strength to fight us to a standstill in a few weeks - or at least delay Indian victory in conventional war until external forces intervene and make it more costly for us. India has chosen to get hit and stay hit so long as the hit is not crippling. It is of course insulting - but to an extent the new government has restored some honour. But that is a digression.

Do we need stealth fighters to hit Pakistan. No.We can hit them with what we have. The only question is if and when Pakistan will start a "conventional war" against us. As thing stand it I don't see it happening soon. But if we must plan for war with Pakistan it will be to split them and nuke them if they nuke us. So do we need stealth fighters for that? No.


Arun.prabhu wrote:OTOH, if current economic growth continues, it'll be more like North Korea and South Korea today than the more even footing between Pakistan and India. After all, if our economy is big enough to spend hundreds of billions on defence, Pakistan will be left in the dust. And when we spend that much, we can go all stealth or whatever. Note that by then, directed energy weapons will possibly have matured enough and have enough power and range that air forces become obsolete.

We would be talking both fiction and science fiction here if we continued on this line of discussion. Not on the LCA thread
Last edited by shiv on 11 Jan 2017 15:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby shiv » 11 Jan 2017 15:44

Arun.prabhu wrote:
So our enemies are Pakistan and China. What kind of a war do we plan to fight with them? Do stealth planes make sense in that war? How long do we assume this war will last? Can we replace the planes and pilots we'll lose faster than our opposition? Just a few of the questions you need to ask before you get ahead of the curve.

stealth because stealth is not. The tens of millions more for purchase and upkeep for each LO plane can be spent on infantry, better air defence, artillery, armour, more planes, training....


I have answered my viewpoint in my previous post. However there is a further point I want to make - which is really the only reason why I commented on your post.

May I point out that I must not describe you as an airhead or as anything that could be interpreted by you or anyone else as derogatory or insulting. If I did that it would be ad hominem and any admin action against me would be necessary and appropriate. This privilege of not being insulted is something that all forum members get. I believe that forum members have a responsibility to not misuse that privilege by making insulting comments about the Indian armed forces such as calling the Indian Air Force "flyboys" as "airheads". I object to that.

I do not believe that rhetorical arguments that we must be critical when necessary no matter who it is is a valid defence in this regard. There is a difference between criticism and being insulting to an entity that is not on the forum to reply and to serving and retired forces personnel and their friends and relatives on the forum

That aside I am in general agreement that we cannot possibly spend as much as the US of A on stealth, but let me ask a rhetorical question (not just to you but to everyone)

If the US has spent so many decades and put in so much effort in developing stealth technology that everyone thinks is a must-have - how come we also think that the Chinese have equalled the US in less than a decade without breaking a sweat? Is L-O tech so easy to make? Or is the US bluffing? Or are the Chinese bluffing?

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby shiv » 11 Jan 2017 16:02

Farooq wrote:Moving on, I agree with NRao above. Stealth has a purpose. Survivability in a hostile environment. 5th Gen has some more features other than stealth and some of those features could be included in upgraded 4th Gen. I am specifically talking of Super Cruise and Net Worked environment.

Agreed
Farooq wrote:Ingress is never a straight line onto the target. It is a complicated multi leg path avoiding radar, SAM and other threat to get over the target or to increase the chances of reaching the target. Without, stealth, the Ingress routes are long and consume a lot of fuel. This is also when the aircraft is heavy with ammo and bomb loads. With stealth it is possible to plan a more direct Ingress route to target. This will consume lesser fuel and probably help in targeting extended ranges. Any external stores negate this advantage and will be used for other advantages they may give for a specific mission.

Agreed, but stealth is best used for SEAD. If one can achieve complete air dominance, stealth then offers no advantage.

Farooq wrote:Over Target, a networked aircraft will have better SA viz. own aircraft and enemy assets. It will be able to call upon the right resource for the right target and make better battle space decisions. This also gives an opportunity for planners to lessen the number of aircraft in the package, freeing up resources for other missions.

Agreed


Farooq wrote:Egress is all about Supercruise and quick exit. If a bird can go beyond the speed of sound without afterburners - wow!

Here I have many quibbles and I will state my viewpoint. Although a lot of American articles about supercruise speak of its advantage in combat - the advantage goes only so far as enabling quick acceleration, climb or getaway. All thee can be done with afterburners, albeit less stealthily and with greater fuel cost.

The American need for supercruise is to enable long flights at high speed in and out of a battle zone because the Americans used to fight wars outside the US mainland until Al Qaeda brought a different type of war onto the US mainland. Supercruise is most efficient at high altitude and that may not be the altitude at which battles are fought and getaway from a combat situation may entail use of afterburner even in a supercruising machine. If the great engine and flawless skin that enables supercruise were enough by themselves there would be no need for afterburning over and above the ability to supercruise. But the only so nnamed "5th gen" aircraft that can supercruise as a design goal is the F-22. it is another matter that the Rafale, Gripen and even the non after burning HF 24 could "supercruise" under some conditions

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby brar_w » 11 Jan 2017 16:26

Supercruise is simply being able to sustain supersonic speeds for a distance. It provides an ability to increase the un refueled supersonic radius of an aircraft and provides tactical advantages in certain mission scenarios. It is not a substitute for using afterburners to rapidly gain advantage in a situation that demands it.

Like the name suggests, it will be used most when there is a tactical advantage to be had in cruising distances at supersonic speeds. If you wan't to take off, go on an intercept mission 50-100 km from base, you'll still light the burners and go and intercept for that will still be the fastest way to get to target.

Like they did on the US ATF, each and every program has to first look at the operational construct and doctrine under which that aircraft will be deployed to determine whether this offers a tactical advantage or not. Then they'll look at whether that tactical advantage is worth the investment given the cost and the trade-space i.e. with finite resources and conflicting priorities, what attributes would you have to trim or give up to incorporate this capability. This is not exclusive to this feature but can be said for signature requirements, weapon bay designs, sensors etc.

the advantage goes only so far as enabling quick acceleration, climb or getaway. All thee can be done with afterburners, albeit less stealthily and with greater fuel cost.


I would look at supersonic radius in general and say, would an increase (20%, 30%, 50% or more) help me in a given mission or not? Supercruise enables that increase without increasing the amount of fuel carried onboard to allow for sustained supersonic performance with burners. Acceleration and climb will still be better with burners..simply put the higher the thrust the faster you will accelerate (all other things being equal) and engaging after-burners still provides you higher thrust.

But there is a price to be paid. This is reflected in materials, and the cost to meet RCS requirements while still being able to fly a lot many hours supersonic over the life-time. Another area where you are likely to pay a price is subsonic range until the next generation engine concepts prove themselves in advanced testing or operational scenarios.

But the only so nnamed "5th gen" aircraft that can supercruise as a design goal is the F-22.


And the PAKFA, and I believe the J-20 is also claimed by its designers to do the same.
Last edited by brar_w on 11 Jan 2017 19:15, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Manish_P » 11 Jan 2017 16:36

If the US has spent so many decades and put in so much effort in developing stealth technology that everyone thinks is a must-have - how come we also think that the Chinese have equalled the US in less than a decade without breaking a sweat? Is L-O tech so easy to make? Or is the US bluffing? Or are the Chinese bluffing?


+1 Great Post, Shiv Ji

I would like to add - 'Did China successfully steal L-O tech from the US? Did the US slyly pass on L-O tech to China?' :)

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Lalmohan » 11 Jan 2017 16:47

^^^ via Serbia was the rumour

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Arun.prabhu » 11 Jan 2017 18:30

shiv wrote:
Arun.prabhu wrote:Pakistan gets away with it because they have nukes.

ISIS gets away with it because no one in the west has been willing to stoop to their level. When Russia and hezbollah did, they got their asses kicked. NK gets away with it because no one is willing to defeat them and then rule the nation. Also, because they have nothing to lose.


In other words - you have yourself answered a question you asked.

If I recall, you asked whether we need to invest heavily in LO/stealth technology. The US did exactly that but has been unable to subdue ISIS, North Korea or Pakistan. In fact Pakistan has been mollycoddled by the uS.

To that extent all high tech is worthless against tactics that make expensive high-tech redundant. We can pay China with the same coin and threaten them with nukes and let them go blue in the face copying American stealth designs


The US hasn't been able to subdue these state actors not because of lack of weapons, technology, manpower, tactics or doctrine, but because of lack of will power, which governs what tactics or doctrine you adopt, how you use your weapons, technology and manpower, etc.

Counter-insurrgency or counter-guerilla warfare requires what we've been doing in Kashmir. Occupy the territory, prevent support/communication with secure base of operations (POK), control the population and ensure economic prosperity or failing the last, fear of God through terror tactics.It takes time. It's man power intensive. It's low tech. It requires the local population to ultimately trust you/fear you more than they do the enemy. We won the COIN campaign in Punjab. We will win it in Kashmir, though the local population be ever so bent on being bought or enamoured with the idea of Pakistan. After all, we're here and have nowhere else to go. Furthermore, our economic success is attractive honey that they'll want sooner or later. Note that the intensity of the Kashmiri insurgency is a lot less today than it was in its heyday. As for cross-border provocations, hit them in the same theatre or escalate across the border, call a flag meeting once the lesson's been taught for the nonce and then return to the scheduled programming. South Korea manages it and they live next to a far more irrational state than we do.

Of course, there is the other way of conducting COIN operations. Tacitus, I think it was who said, "They made a desert and called it peace." Tamerlane once put it to practice in the same geographic vicinity, I believe. And so did the Mongols. But I consider this a last resort.

Pakistan's tactics that works with India will not work all that even less well with China,I believe.For one reason, they'll flood the area with Han to secure the territory - what they are doing in all their troubled provinces today basically - and they'll kill whomsoever resists as well as their family, if that is what it takes. So local recruiting base, one of the key pillars of guerrilla warfare goes out the window. Where would we establish the secure rear area for our insurgents? Within India? The current government perhaps has the political will, but what of the one that follows? There goes one of the remaining two. The stool will not stand on one legs when it was designed for three.

shiv wrote:
Arun.prabhu wrote:In 2040, while I'm sure that Pakistan will remain a thorn in our side, we'll probably have to be prepared to defend our overseas interests - force projection over sea - and fight a war against Pakistan and/or china at the same time.


We are already at war with Pakistan. I am unable to figure out why people (and that includes you) expect war to be like 1965, or 1971, or the Gulf war. We have enjoyed conventional superiority over Pakistan since 1971 and Pakistan has, since then successfully waged asymmetric war against us. It is another matter that they have not defeated us and we grow stronger. Pakistan has for very long had the support of the US, China and KSA that allows them to retain enough military strength to fight us to a standstill in a few weeks - or at least delay Indian victory in conventional war until external forces intervene and make it more costly for us. India has chosen to get hit and stay hit so long as the hit is not crippling. It is of course insulting - but to an extent the new government has restored some honour. But that is a digression.

Do we need stealth fighters to hit Pakistan. No.We can hit them with what we have. The only question is if and when Pakistan will start a "conventional war" against us. As thing stand it I don't see it happening soon. But if we must plan for war with Pakistan it will be to split them and nuke them if they nuke us. So do we need stealth fighters for that? No.x


Yeah, sure, I grant that we're at war. We are well equipped for the low intensity war that Pakistan's perpetrating. See my explanation above.

shiv wrote:
Arun.prabhu wrote:OTOH, if current economic growth continues, it'll be more like North Korea and South Korea today than the more even footing between Pakistan and India. After all, if our economy is big enough to spend hundreds of billions on defence, Pakistan will be left in the dust. And when we spend that much, we can go all stealth or whatever. Note that by then, directed energy weapons will possibly have matured enough and have enough power and range that air forces become obsolete.

We would be talking both fiction and science fiction here if we continued on this line of discussion. Not on the LCA thread


Fair enough.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Arun.prabhu » 11 Jan 2017 18:42

shiv wrote:If the US has spent so many decades and put in so much effort in developing stealth technology that everyone thinks is a must-have - how come we also think that the Chinese have equalled the US in less than a decade without breaking a sweat? Is L-O tech so easy to make? Or is the US bluffing? Or are the Chinese bluffing?


They stole the technology for F-22 and F-35 from the Americans. There were multiple digital breaking at the main contractors for these projects as well as the sub contractors, not to mention the Chinese habit of wringing returning expats for information or the penetration they have in these and other programs with the expats or just plain traitors. This is well documented. Then there is the F-117 debris that was downed in Serbia that they and the Russians have. They have not the technology base to build an F-22 or a F-35, however. Matter of fact, they do not have the technology or the skilled labor pool to even copy or better Russia aircraft technology. Stealing does not teach you all the lessons that actual research does, and those lessons are as crucial as the actual outcome - theoretical or practical.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Arun.prabhu » 11 Jan 2017 18:44

Oh and forgot. The Americans aren't bluffing. The Chinese are. LO isn't easy to make or use. Not with all the other superior characteristics that the Americans built into F-22 or plan to build into that flying brick that is the F-35.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby shiv » 11 Jan 2017 19:10

Arun.prabhu wrote:
The US hasn't been able to subdue these state actors .

This is all off topic for this thread. No more from me on the subject - would be happy to post my views elsewhere - but YOU have to want to continue it on some other thread by posting this response there

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby ramana » 11 Jan 2017 20:18

The thread is moving away from its objective which is discussion on LCA.

Please desist after this post and do not post any non LCA related materials here.

Thanks,

ramana

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Indranil » 11 Jan 2017 23:21

PratikDas wrote:
Indranil wrote:All fighters, including the light ones will require stealth features (seeing first is critical), high TWR (which is what drives supercruise) and networking capability.

This has me worried. We can invest a lot in stealth but how would we know if our stealth is better than Chinese stealth? RCS numbers aren't shared. How would we know if can actually see first? For all we know, Chinese espionage could've given them access to information on stealth materials that we haven't been able to match yet. If not stolen, their massive investments could've yielded good materials (New Year, feeling generous). Let's assume radars on both sides are just as good.

It doesn't have to be lesser than or equal to. But it has to be of the same order.
PratikDas wrote:If we can't be assured of seeing first, is there a point to all the investment? Should the money instead be invested in 1000s of BVRAAMs which invade enemy airspace like locusts?

If you can't see, what will you fire your BVRAAMs towards?

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby brar_w » 11 Jan 2017 23:35

Find ---> Fix ---> Track ---> Target ---> Engage --->Assess (F2T2EA). Reducing your RCS and exercising other means of making yourself hard to see gives you options across the kill chain. You need relatively large reductions in RCS to get meaningful reduction in detection range, and you will need humongous gains in radar performance to be able to reverse that simply given the physics behind this.

On top of this, as your blue fighters across the board become harder and harder to find, the effectiveness of your electronic-warfare, and electronic attack activities increases significantly. Overall as long as you can do it and still fulfill other goals and mission areas, it is a very very nice thing to be able to achieve.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Indranil » 11 Jan 2017 23:43

shiv wrote:That aside I am in general agreement that we cannot possibly spend as much as the US of A on stealth, but let me ask a rhetorical question (not just to you but to everyone)

If the US has spent so many decades and put in so much effort in developing stealth technology that everyone thinks is a must-have - how come we also think that the Chinese have equalled the US in less than a decade without breaking a sweat? Is L-O tech so easy to make? Or is the US bluffing? Or are the Chinese bluffing?

Neither of them are. China has the benefit of going second. It is not like the USA and USSR in the cold war where they were one uping each other in every generation. The Chinese are just playing catch up. They don't have to find out what works. They just have to replicate what is known to work. Are their state-of-art with respect to RAM coatings, radar, weapons, networking capability as good as the US's state-of-art. Probably not. But they are not far behind, and they are spending like crazy to get these tech by hook or by crook. By the way, the advantages that US has right now are all incremental and not revolutionary.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby NRao » 11 Jan 2017 23:57

brar_w wrote:Find ---> Fix ---> Track ---> Target ---> Engage --->Assess (F2T2EA). Reducing your RCS and exercising other means of making yourself hard to see gives you options across the kill chain. You need relatively large reductions in RCS to get meaningful reduction in detection range, and you will need humongous gains in radar performance to be able to reverse that simply given the physics behind this.

On top of this, as your blue fighters across the board become harder and harder to find, the effectiveness of your electronic-warfare, and electronic attack activities increases significantly. Overall as long as you can do it and still fulfill other goals and mission areas, it is a very very nice thing to be able to achieve.


In addition:

That is just start of the topic. There is more to all aspect "stealth" (or my pref: LO).

Secondly, LO/stealth, is not needed in all situations. In addition one can have a mix of assets - LO (actually "5th Gen") and non-LO - to achieve the end.

Note that the newer LO crafts have been designed to discard their "stealth" once the "stealth" has performed its function. Both the F-22/35 can carry external ordinance.

Finally, it is not an accident that some of teh "stealth" machines as not all aspect. The F-22/35 are designed with super-duper "stealth" features .......... becuase they are designed to fight far from their mainland, hardly a rec for the Russians or the Chinese (yet?).

So, all one needs to determine for the LCA is what distance does the LCA needs to become untrackable. Ad work within that - lowers the cost.



On the flip side, IF the IAF has true LO assets (FGFA/AMCA/whatever), then the idea has to be degrade the potential of an attack on the Indian resources within India. THAT is where the LO will have a huge ROI. Not so much on making CAP assets LO - it helps, but low ROI.


I am not opposed to a LO LCA, but I think India needs to invest MOST of their funds/minds in the AMCA (naval one too please) and perhaps a single engine offshoot.

The LCA, IMVVVHO, has done what it had to do. And that too extremely well.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby PratikDas » 12 Jan 2017 03:27

Indranil wrote:
PratikDas wrote:If we can't be assured of seeing first, is there a point to all the investment? Should the money instead be invested in 1000s of BVRAAMs which invade enemy airspace like locusts?

If you can't see, what will you fire your BVRAAMs towards?

I'll fire them toward what my AWACS sees, which will be much further than what my fighter radar can see.

By the way, how do you know what order of stealth the enemy has? All you know is the shape, not the materials or coatings.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby nirav » 12 Jan 2017 03:44

PratikDas wrote:
Indranil wrote:
If you can't see, what will you fire your BVRAAMs towards?

I'll fire them toward what my AWACS sees, which will be much further than what my fighter radar can see.

.


Radar guided BVRAAMs need to switch their radars on for the end game..
The technology where an AWACS allows a silent shoot all the way hasn't come online yet.

So until then, if a fighter radar can't pick up the stealth target at useful range, how would that little thing in mijjiles nose cone stand a chance ?

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby PratikDas » 12 Jan 2017 03:51

nirav wrote:
Radar guided BVRAAMs need to switch their radars on for the end game..
The technology where an AWACS allows a silent shoot all the way hasn't come online yet.

So until then, if a fighter radar can't pick up the stealth target at useful range, how would that little thing in mijjiles nose cone stand a chance ?

Pretty sure the missile can have a datalink back to the AWACS for a major portion of the range and lead the missile far enough to let its own radar detect aircraft.

Added later:
Image
Look at this missile - it has nothing but inertial navigation for the midcourse. No mijjile radar activity for the midcourse. A datalink from an AWACS for the midcourse would be a class apart.
Last edited by PratikDas on 12 Jan 2017 04:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby nirav » 12 Jan 2017 04:00

Unfortunately that's not how it works as of today.
Datalinks exist which do provide mid course guidance to the missile, but still, with today's technology a BVR missile shot is never a certain kill even against legacy aircraft.

To consider what you are proposing against a VLO aircraft is quite futuristic.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby brar_w » 12 Jan 2017 04:30

AWACS have a surveillance radar and not a fire-control radar. You are not going to pass on targeting data when launching a weapon sized in the current MRAAM class (or even larger). Definitely not against Low Observable targets. There is a very good reason as to why the BVR missile is tied to a fighter FCR and communicates with it instead of a low-frequency surveillance radar either on the ground or in the air.

Look at this missile - it has nothing but inertial navigation for the midcourse. No mijjile radar activity for the midcourse. A datalink from an AWACS for the midcourse would be a class apart.


Look at the target type. It is essentially using passive radar homing against what is essentially a heavily radiating commercial airliner or bomber. Plus these missiles aren't small either. You're not going to be lobbing these against supersonic, 9G fighters that are made to be hard to find.

An AWACS isn't designed to be hard to find either through active or passive measures. The strategy is here to loft a large missile with an ARH seeker at it. You're probability of success is going to be decent because the aircraft is not capable of fighter like evasion or signature management.

The USN has successfully targeted cruise missiles OTH, by using UHF radar cues, but that is with an SM6 a very larger missile with a scaled up seeker and possibility using other networking cues. Plus weapons are (in their cruise phase) cooperative targets. You can perhaps do that as well against an AWACS or a tanker, but you aren't going to do it to a fighter let alone a stealth fighter with LPI/LPD data links and RF sensors.

Active Missile seekers use RF energy and are governed by the range equation so the distance at which their seeker will pick up a lock on a target will shrink with a reduction in RCS just as a radar would. So a well designed highly LO aircraft will considerably impact the seeker performance especially if emissions are well managed.

This gets back to kill chain I wrote about in my previous post. The entire point of a reduction in RCS is not only to make you hard to detect, but also hard to target. Similarly, if you're hard to detect i.e. the return is much smaller (from either a seeker or radar) you can achieve successful jamming by a much smaller EA footprint because what you are protecting is much smaller in RF signature. Therefore signature management makes your self-protection suite more effective. RF Spectrum management involves Signature-reduction, and Electronic Attack to go hand in hand - You make yourself hard to see and then degrade the performance of enemy sensors (both targeting sensors and weapon seekers). The trick is having the ability to do it cooperatively and not in a way where they hurt each other.

The entire point of a Mid-Course guidance through data-link is to make sure that the missile is at a place, at a time where it's seeker can detect and lock on to the target when it goes active in the terminal phase of the weapon flight.
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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby PratikDas » 12 Jan 2017 05:25

Brar ji, I was going to thank you at several points but each time I thought I'd wait in case you were to add more text and it helped - because you added useful information until your very last edit:
The entire point of a Mid-Course guidance through data-link is to make sure that the missile is at a place, at a time where it's seeker can detect and lock on to the target when it goes active in the terminal phase of the weapon flight.

Here you acknowledge the possibility of Mid-Course guidance through data-link being used to put a missile where it should be for it to take care of the terminal phase by itself. Are you then saying that that the surveillance radar of an AWACS is not even precise enough do that? Or are you saying that though the AWACS radar may be sufficiently precise to get the BVRAAM to the right ballpark, it won't have the sensitivity to detect the LO aircraft at a safe distance?

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby brar_w » 12 Jan 2017 06:25

Here you acknowledge the possibility of Mid-Course guidance through data-link being used to put a missile where it should be for it to take care of the terminal phase by itself.


That's how active BVRAAM's are guided. You launch a missile based on the known information and provide an update to make sure it has a chance of picking up a target when it goes active. Given that there are C-SWaP (Cost, space, weight and power) constraints on a missile seeker you need a highly accurate fire-control radar to make sure your missile lands in a highly accurate spot when it's seeker goes live.

Are you then saying that that the surveillance radar of an AWACS is not even precise enough do that? Or are you saying that though the AWACS radar may be sufficiently precise to get the BVRAAM to the right ballpark, it won't have the sensitivity to detect the LO aircraft at a safe distance?


Both. You are using lower frequency sensors for an early warning radar on board an AWACS/AEW craft. Mostly in the L-Band (Phalcon, E-7 etc) with modern systems with the USN choosing UHF band given their need to for SWaP given a carrier requirement and the mission. Moreover they are standing-off, because one of the things LO aircraft (particularly super cruisers) are going to go after are your high-value assets. The higher frequency FCR's on your fighters will have much narrower beams and will therefore be more accurate.

There is a reason that even on 4th vs 4th generation engagements, and battles guided by an AWACS the fighters turn their radars on and use them to engage the enemy and to provide guidance to their MRAAM. Your higher frequency sensors, closest to the target are going to get you the best quality targeting.

This is also seen on large ground based air-defense systems where the missile can be larger and house larger seekers. There are surveillance radars and there are engagement radars that both help solve a different puzzle i.e. long range surveillance, and target engagement.

The newest crop of MRAAM variants and missiles (Aim-120D, and Meteor) are going for or looking to go for 2-way data-links, and incorporating GPS aided Mid course navigation precisely to tackle this issue. Once major overhauls occur you'll probably head towards dual spectral seekers but you will most likely be relying heavily on networks and cooperative targeting against hard to find targets.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Singha » 12 Jan 2017 07:36

I believe the newly deployed E-2D UHF squadron to japan has demoed providing cues to a a SM6 in flight until it went terminal seeker on.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby brar_w » 12 Jan 2017 07:47

Singha wrote:I believe the newly deployed E-2D UHF squadron to japan has demoed providing cues to a a SM6 in flight until it went terminal seeker on.


Yes that is how they do under NIFC-CA. The E-2D/SM6 AEGIS capability to target OTH is now Operational on Baseline 9 ships. The network becomes stronger if there are other NIFC-CA enabled assets in the loop such as fighters or other vessels. The E-2D's are actually updating the AEGIS combat system and the SPY-1/ and AMDR in the future so that it has the information it needs even before the target enters its FOV which is horizon limited. Without AEGIS (Baseline-9) the E-2D can't do that with the SM6. So you have mutliple sensors cooperating with a fairly large active BVR weapon in play.

https://s23.postimg.org/6yggpva9n/SM6.png

But as mentioned earlier you are essentially going up against cooperative missile targets with a large missile with a scaled up seeker not constraint by the power, weight, space of a BVR MRAAM. You're not going to be able to execute that against a supersonic capable stealth fighter, or any fighter that is uncooperative unless you are essentially willing to throw your PK down the tube.

In that scenario the E-2D will much like an E-3, or E-7 act as a quarterback, providing long range surveillance and guiding interceptors to targets.
Last edited by brar_w on 12 Jan 2017 08:14, edited 10 times in total.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby PratikDas » 12 Jan 2017 07:54

Thank you, brar ji.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 12 Jan 2017 12:40

I am thinking, why do stealth or LO tech has to be expensive..?? :idea:

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby NRao » 12 Jan 2017 15:29

JayS wrote:I am thinking, why do stealth or LO tech has to be expensive..?? :idea:


A very good question.

From what I have read so far, it ALL depends on how the local AF defines "stealth". I think the PAK-FA vs. (I hate this comparison, but) FGFA will illustrate this extremely well.

So, it really does not ............until you go all aspect. If you absolutely, must have a design that is LO in all spectrums AND be able to maintain that advantage across tech dev (by adversaries), then it gets expensive. But even then it is a matter of ROI. What do you want to achieve becomes the driver.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby brar_w » 12 Jan 2017 16:29

Number of reasons. One is the physical cost of upkeep. You have X number of parameters that you maintain on a given aircraft. Stealth adds Signature Management, and RCS restoration to the task. This involves taking each and every process that you perform not he aircraft and making it compliant with stealth and RCS signature management. Then comes the physical cost of maintain signature over life-time. As I have shown on the Int. thread Lockheed with FiberMat have been able to largely reduce the added cost of coatings keeping them at a minimum.

Then there is a design cost. Stealth forces internal bays, larger fuel volume resulting in a larger aircraft over the same mission requirements compared to a 4th generation aircraft. All these things have an added cost. We can then move on to the electronics and mission systems where you need to maintain stealth as well. Net, you end up paying an O&S cost although over time and with newer technology you have reduced the gap quite significantly in that regard.


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