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Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby ramana » 01 Dec 2017 20:02

srai wrote:^^^
The lesson to be applied for future purchases is to do the final negotiation with both the L1 and L2 winners to get the best price. Let those two vendors compete and offer "special" prices. Negotiating with just one L1 selection, the GoI hardly has any leverage to get the lowest prices. Instead, the prices went up during negotiation with just the L1 vendor.



Hope there is no more repeat of the farce called MMRCA.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby abhik » 01 Dec 2017 21:46

deejay wrote:I understood differently Austin. The original MMRCA tender was cancelled. Eurofighter was not L1 in that. In their proposal after the scrapping they quoted lower than Rafale. There was no tender for the 36 aircraft deal as it was to expedite purchase.
...

From what I remember MRCA was never officially scrapped, we simply went from a protracted negotiation for 126 to a surprise deal for 36.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby JayS » 01 Dec 2017 22:00

abhik wrote:
deejay wrote:I understood differently Austin. The original MMRCA tender was cancelled. Eurofighter was not L1 in that. In their proposal after the scrapping they quoted lower than Rafale. There was no tender for the 36 aircraft deal as it was to expedite purchase.
...

From what I remember MRCA was never officially scrapped, we simply went from a protracted negotiation for 126 to a surprise deal for 36.


They officially retracted RFQ. Nitin Gokhale's article gives good overview of all the process.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby JayS » 01 Dec 2017 22:06

Viv S wrote:
JayS wrote:Jaguars are slated to be retired in a decade or so. And I have got the impression from various sources that I came across that Su-30MKI are not capable of N-delivery (due to Russian restrictions). I may be wrong though.

Given that the MC is domestic & HAL has developed enough confidence with the type to autonomously modify it for BrahMos carriage, I don't think adapting it for nuclear carriage would be a hassle. In any case, the interface between a conventional & nuclear BrahMos would be quite similar, if not the same, with the arming mechanism/safeties installed on the missile itself.

But even if one considers this argument to be acceptable, Rafale IMO still scores in one more place - ability of long range deep penetration with N-weapon due to its 4.5 gen features e.g. reduced RCS etc.

Well the EW gear gives the Rafale a big edge while delivering gravity bombs. Reduced RCS, maybe not so much - not once its laden with all the external fuel required for a long range flight.

Of course, if a N-ALCM is introduced into the picture, the Su-30 becomes the clearly safer option for the nuclear role. Worth noting that the AdlA performs the same role with ASMP-As launched by Rafales & Mirage 2000Ns.

Image


I dont think the issue is really about technical capability to modify for N delivery. That should be easy peasy for HAL. I suppose its the geopolitical pressure and/or contractual obligation and/or coercing with other leverages. And given the good boy India is, these should be enough to stop us from modifications.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Philip » 04 Dec 2017 19:07

If the M2Ks ,in part are specific for the Strat. Command,being used as such,then there should be no problem with the Rafale.That is the key reason why the GOI favours French acquisitions ,which come with the least restrictions of of all Western suppliers.Thus far ,from other reports on other systems,there has been no restriction on Russian wares,barring the Chakra-2 which is a lease,thereby which still belongs to Russia.

This piece seems to think that our MKIs are now N-armed.
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... iles-23014
India's Jet Fighters Are Now Equipped with Nuclear-Armed Missiles
Zachary Keck
November 2, 2017

Pairing the Su-30 with the Brahmos missile will also drastically expand the striking power of the air leg of India’s nuclear triad. The Su-30 itself has a range of up to 1,800 kilometers while the Brahmos missile can strike targets nearly 300 kilometers away. Thus, the newly modified Su-30s will allow India’s nuclear aircraft to strike deep in the heart of China or Pakistan, Delhi’s two main adversaries.

India’s nuclear command has begun receiving fighter jets armed with the country’s most advanced, supersonic cruise missile.

According to media reports, India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has begun receiving 42 Su-30MKI air dominance fighters modified to carry air-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This will significantly enhance the striking power of the air leg of India’s nuclear triad.

“Individually, the Su-30 and BrahMos are powerful weapons,” Russia and India Report noted. “But when the world’s most capable fourth generation fighter is armed with a uniquely destructive cruise missile, together they are a dramatic force multiplier.”

The Sukhoi Su-30 MKI is a twin-seater, highly maneuverable, fourth-generation multirole combat fighter aircraft built by Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and licensed to India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The plane will serve as the backbone of India’s Air Force through 2020 and beyond. Delhi has already acquired around 200 jets, and eventually plans to acquire 282 of them.

The Brahmos is jointly developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia. Capable of traveling at speeds of Mach 3.0, the Brahmos is the fastest cruise missile in the world. As Russia and India Report explained, “The BrahMos’ 3000 km per second speed – literally faster than a bullet – means it hits the target with a huge amount of kinetic energy. In tests, the BrahMos has often cut warships in half and reduced ground targets to smithereens.”

The same report notes that the Su-30 will add to the Brahmos’ already deadly effect. “The Sukhoi’s blistering speed will add extra launch momentum to the missile, plus the aircraft’s ability to penetrate hardened air defences means there is a greater chance for the pilot to deliver the missile on to its designated targets.”

Pairing the Su-30 with the Brahmos missile will also drastically expand the striking power of the air leg of India’s nuclear triad. The Su-30 itself has a range of up to 1,800 kilometers while the Brahmos missile can strike targets nearly 300 kilometers away. Thus, the newly modified Su-30s will allow India’s nuclear aircraft to strike deep in the heart of China or Pakistan, Delhi’s two main adversaries.

The plan to modify the Su-30 to carry the Brahmos missiles was first hatched back in 2010 when the SFC submitted a proposal for two squadrons of Su-30s to be put under its command.
Later, in 2012, India’s cabinet approved the project to modify 42 Su-30s to carry 216 Brahmos missiles. According to the Times of India, the integration project was mostly carried out by BrahMos Aerospace, with HAL also contributing crucial modifications.

The first of the new planes was handed over to the SFC in February and is believed to have undergone tests last month. Production on the second of the modified Su-30s has already begun. It is unclear when the SFC expects to receive the rest of the planes.

The Brahmos-armed Su-30s is only one of the ways that India is strengthening its strategic deterrent. It has also been busy testing the Agni-V, which is three-stage solid-fueled intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with a range of about 5,000 km. When the Agni-V is inducted into service, India will have the ability to strike any part of China with nuclear weapons for the first time. Furthermore, India is currently testing ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), which will complete the nuclear triad.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Manish_P » 04 Dec 2017 20:00

“The Sukhoi’s blistering speed will add extra launch momentum to the missile, plus the aircraft’s ability to penetrate hardened air defences means there is a greater chance for the pilot to deliver the missile on to its designated targets.”


Wouldn't a big aircraft like the Sukhoi be spotted from a much longer way away.. as compared to say a Jaguar (which excels at low level deep penetration) or a Mirage 2000 ?

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby srai » 04 Dec 2017 21:12

Manish_P wrote:
“The Sukhoi’s blistering speed will add extra launch momentum to the missile, plus the aircraft’s ability to penetrate hardened air defences means there is a greater chance for the pilot to deliver the missile on to its designated targets.”


Wouldn't a big aircraft like the Sukhoi be spotted from a much longer way away.. as compared to say a Jaguar (which excels at low level deep penetration) or a Mirage 2000 ?

I would imagine MKI Brahmos launches would mostly be long-range shots i.e. 200km > 400km+. Hard to intercept that far out unless that is if MKI goes deep into China.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Singha » 04 Dec 2017 21:26

IAF should do a careful analysis of its cargo matrix, airports and missions to arrive at
- which payloads absolutely need a military low floor, clear interior - il76/c17/an32/c130 - vehicles, munitions, artillery...
- which payloads can manage with conventional cargo planes and pax planes - people (incl people of border areas like vijaynagar and car nicobar), food, water, misc supplies, mail, parcels ...

with airports & roads being improved all over the place, imo in future they could use a fleet of used A320 and A310 cargo planes with bucket seats, pallets for the 2nd type of mission. almost every major AF either owns or leases these civilian cargo a/c. opex will be lower and MRO can be outsourced to civilian sector. even pilots can be civilians.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Cain Marko » 04 Dec 2017 23:32

Manish_P wrote:
“The Sukhoi’s blistering speed will add extra launch momentum to the missile, plus the aircraft’s ability to penetrate hardened air defences means there is a greater chance for the pilot to deliver the missile on to its designated targets.”


Wouldn't a big aircraft like the Sukhoi be spotted from a much longer way away.. as compared to say a Jaguar (which excels at low level deep penetration) or a Mirage 2000 ?

I'm sure the mki can also manage low level flight when needed although the other two might arguably do it better. Still, it's a standoff missile, and the bird will probably do a high altitude release to maximize range, so a mirage or Jaguar with efts might not make a huge rcs difference.


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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Manish_P » 06 Dec 2017 11:59

Cain Marko wrote:I'm sure the mki can also manage low level flight when needed although the other two might arguably do it better. Still, it's a standoff missile, and the bird will probably do a high altitude release to maximize range, so a mirage or Jaguar with efts might not make a huge rcs difference.


I don't doubt that. What got me wondering was this specific part 'the aircraft’s ability to penetrate hardened air defences'

Perhap's it's with reference to jammers ?

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Philip » 06 Dec 2017 12:04

Xcpt. from the above post by Austin:
putnik: Should the Indian Air Force order more upgraded Su30MKI and Su35 instead of going for the global tender on the single-engine fighter jet?

Vijainder K Thakur: The IAF has ordered 272 Su-30 aircraft, enough to equip around 23 — 24 squadrons. Considering that at one point in time the IAF was operating with around 30 squadrons of MiG-21 variants, there is scope to order additional upgraded Su-30MKI or Su-35s. The aircraft is currently under production at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Nasik division. Also, the Su-30MKI is a perfect fit for the IAF doctrine, which advocates use of fighter aircraft that can perform any role.

Sputnik: The why is the IAF not considering the purchase of additional Su30MKI?

Vijainder K Thakur: The IAF should be considering additional upgraded Su-30MKIs/Su-35 or MiG-35 to limit and optimize its inventory. The imperatives for not considering additional Su-30MKIs/Su-35/MiG-35 are likely geopolitical, not operational.

Sputnik: Is this because the Indian Air Force wants different types of fighter jets in its inventory?

Vijainder K Thakur: The USAF operates 4 fighter types: F-16, F-15, A-10, and F-22. It is in the process of replacing its A-10 and F-16 fighters with the F-35A. In other words, the USAF aims to reduce the types of fighters in its inventory from four to three. The US Navy, the second largest air force in the world, operates with a single fighter type — F/A-18. It is in the process of replacing the older F/A-18 variants with the F-35C. In other words, the USN inventory fighter types are set to increase from 1 to 2. The RuAF operates 4 fighter types — Su-27/30/35, MiG-29, MiG-31 and Su-25 (The Su-34 is a bomber). The IAF currently operates seven fighter types: MiG-21 variants, MiG-27 variants, MiG-29 variants, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, Su-30MKI, and Tejas LCA. It's set to introduce 8th type — Rafale! Clearly, there is a need for the IAF to reduce the types of fighters in its inventory, not the other way around!



If money is the crucial factor and the sqd. numbers matter most,then the cheapest TEF (Twin Engined Fighter)should be acquired,which should be the MIG-289/35,upgraded 29s 67 already with us.Why the SU-35 has also not been considered-would be cheaper to operate and support (one less pilot,family,children to support,etc. ) than an MKI . However it looks like the IAF lusts after yet another firang fighter even after the buy of 36 Rafales!

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby nachiket » 06 Dec 2017 13:16

Philip wrote:If money is the crucial factor and the sqd. numbers matter most,then the cheapest TEF (Twin Engined Fighter)should be acquired,which should be the MIG-289/35,upgraded 29s 67 already with us.Why the SU-35 has also not been considered-would be cheaper to operate and support (one less pilot,family,children to support,etc. ) than an MKI . However it looks like the IAF lusts after yet another firang fighter even after the buy of 36 Rafales!

And the Mig-29 and Su-35 aren't "firang" fighters? The only non-firang fighter is the LCA, which you have ignored completely to no one's surprise.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby shiv » 06 Dec 2017 17:43

Cross post
srai wrote:
Government takes note of Su-30MKI’s poor serviceability
...

MoD officials say the IAF dislikes the PBL model, because outsourcing maintenance to HAL threatens a large maintenance empire built around “base repair depots”, manned by IAF personnel. In 2008-09, the IAF rejected HAL’s proposal for a PBL contract for maintaining the Hawk advanced jet trainer.
...


I don't know what percentage of this is true. We see too much hidden lies as nuances.

I mean it is probably true that IAF does not have PBL for Hawk. But why should the IAF benefit from a BRD empire? It's not as if someone in the Air Force gains money out of that empire - like manufacturing paid Paki and PLAAF generals.

Could the deeper truth be that the "BRD empire" was built because
1. HAL never offered PBL for all those hundreds of Russian aircraft it assembled. Neither did mother Russia for that matter
2. HAL was late and shoddy when it came to documentation and supply of spares but they could point a finger at IAF and Russia no?

So it's not as if the IAF alone is trying to maintain an empire. HAL is also an empire

Someone tell me - has the IAF refused PBL for C-17 and C-130?

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby deejay » 06 Dec 2017 18:41

Sir my understanding of BRDs is very simple. 3rd line servicing. IAF is unfairly being blamed here as IAF gains nothing out of BRDs in the sense of empires. If anything BRDs when compared to any enterprise outside the military are far more efficient and lean and there are no strikes. If MoD does not like IAF to have BRDs it has the authority to over rule IAF instead of giving statements to the press.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby nam » 06 Dec 2017 18:47

The crib from the "MOD officals" must be about building up the HAL empire and budget that comes allow with it. Right now it is controlled by IAF. If it was under HAL, can help in providing employment to bhai, batija, bhatija's sasur etc.. that too nationwide.

Wasn't there recent cribbing about what HAL will do after SU-30 production ends.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Austin » 06 Dec 2017 19:04

BRD is currently doing upgrade of Mig-29 to Mig-29UPG .....not sure what is the status of project. HAL is doing the M2K to M2K-5 upgrades.

Could be more of infra issue as BRD is designed to cater to Mig infra while HAL has been having MRO facility for M2K

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby shiv » 06 Dec 2017 19:08

deejay wrote:Sir my understanding of BRDs is very simple. 3rd line servicing. IAF is unfairly being blamed here as IAF gains nothing out of BRDs in the sense of empires. If anything BRDs when compared to any enterprise outside the military are far more efficient and lean and there are no strikes. If MoD does not like IAF to have BRDs it has the authority to over rule IAF instead of giving statements to the press.

It's Ajay Shukla I think..OH I just noticed - this report is from 2014

Not sure why it was posted in the LCA thread today..My bad for not having checked.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby deejay » 06 Dec 2017 19:17

Even BRF is not immune to Pay Ops :D

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby yantra » 06 Dec 2017 19:25

https://www.stratpost.com/india-get-ahe ... hter-tech/

India should get ahead of AI apartheid with fighter tech

Supriyo Gupta warns of a coming Artificial Intelligence apartheid, akin to the nuclear, missile and supercomputer apartheid India faced and argues that India should get ahead of AI apartheid through fighter technology.

Before I begin, let it be said that much of what follows here is a distillation of writings in various formats and virtually every sentence that follows can be Googled back to a source from where it has been extracted, usually verbatim in order to avoid hashing up through reinterpretation.

India debates fiercely today about which fighter aircraft it should buy. The filters we are using date back to the 1950s, when strategic alliances were defined by the aircraft that each superpower was willing to ‘share’ with countries within their sphere of influence. India had played the non-aligned card to little avail and was mostly stuck with Russian aircraft along with a handful of British and French aircraft. As we embrace the free market of fighter aircraft sales, we are heading towards a moment in history when a different veil is coming down to separate the powers – one that will rocket the leaders away from the rest, at a speed and pace that will define the balance of power for the next 200 years.

This is really about the technologies that have resulted in a harsh battle developing at the crossroad of technology, business and human development. Words like artificial intelligence, deep learning, neural networks are finding their way into mainstream lexicons. They represent a whole new civilizational process coming into play. The other day, a young Indian entrepreneur with a large online commerce platform, solemnly laid out the spectre of what he calls the “end of humanity” – when machines through self-learning have learnt to design, further develop and replicate themselves, eliminating jobs, wresting control and becoming autonomous in their behaviour.

Hang in there. Sounds a lot like a geek on weed? Okay. Here is something to chew on: In 1988, the U.S.S. Vincennes mistakenly destroyed an Iranian airbus due to an autonomous friend/foe radar system. The missing piece in 1988 was cognition and discrimination – understanding data correctly and then exercising discrimination at the point of engagement on the basis of superior processing capability. Artificial Intelligence has been around in defence – going as far back as the early part of the 20th Century – but it’s only recently, with the ramping up of processing speed and the creation of neural networks, that the game is changing.

AI in Defence

Even now, defence technology is fairly primitive. Russian arms manufacturer, Kalashnikov, has developed a fully automated combat module based on artificial neural networks which allows it to identify targets, learn and make decisions on its own. Kalashnikov promises to unveil a whole line of neural network based products. Primitive, but already a bit scary, that machines will decide on targets and take autonomous decisions. But Artificial Intelligence is going way ahead of this.

Context

Let’s take a quick look at a piece of news that bypassed much of mainstream media, but is definitely a direct pointer to how artificial intelligence is taking the art of warfare – actually, the art of warfare on century’s old game boards – to a different level, thereby setting the stage for real advancements on battlefields. And the fun part is that the leader in this play is none other than Google. (As also, Amazon, Facebook and a host of others who are trying to get your free market choices narrowed down to a behavioural construct).

Here is a short update from Singularity Hub: “The AlphaGo AI that grabbed headlines last year after beating a master of the board game Go has just been trounced 100-0 by an updated version. And unlike its predecessor, the new system taught itself from first principles paving the way for AI that can think for itself.


Interestingly, the logo at the beginning of the video above, of the Strategic Capabilities Office in the office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, pictured here, features a Go board | Image:
Flightline Insignia
When chess fell to AI in the 1990s, computer scientists looking for a new challenge turned to the millennia-old Chinese game, Go, which despite its simpler rules has many more possible moves and often requires players to rely on instinct.

It was predicted it would be decades before an AI could beat a human master, but last year a program called AlphaGo developed by Google’s DeepMind subsidiary beat 18-time world champion Lee Sedol 4–1 in a series of matches in South Korea.

It was a watershed moment for AI research that showcased the power of the “reinforcement learning” approach championed by DeepMind. Not only did the system win, it also played some surprising yet highly effective moves that went against centuries of accumulated wisdom about how the game works.

Now, just a year later, DeepMind has unveiled a new version of the program called AlphaGo Zero in a paper in Nature that outperforms the version that beat Sedol on every metric. In just three days and 4.9 million training games, it reached the same level that took its predecessor several months and 30 million training games to achieve. It also did this on just four of Google’s tensor processing units—specialized chips for training neural networks—compared to 48 for AlphaGo.”

To understand where we are headed, we need to have some basic understanding of what these mean – at least today. Here is a simple explanation from Nvidia:

“The easiest way to think of their relationship is to visualize them as concentric circles with AI — the idea that came first — the largest, then machine learning — which blossomed later, and finally deep learning — which is driving today’s AI explosion — fitting inside both. Over the past few years AI has exploded, and especially since 2015. Much of that has to do with the wide availability of GPUs that make parallel processing ever faster, cheaper, and more powerful. It also has to do with the simultaneous one-two punch of practically infinite storage and a flood of data of every stripe (that whole Big Data movement) – images, text, transactions, mapping data, you name it… Machine Learning at its most basic is the practice of using algorithms to parse data, learn from it, and then make a determination or prediction about something in the world. So rather than hand-coding software routines with a specific set of instructions to accomplish a particular task, the machine is “trained” using large amounts of data and algorithms that give it the ability to learn how to perform the task….Another algorithmic approach from the early machine-learning crowd, Artificial Neural Networks, came and mostly went over the decades. Neural Networks are inspired by our understanding of the biology of our brains – all those interconnections between the neurons. But, unlike a biological brain where any neuron can connect to any other neuron within a certain physical distance, these artificial neural networks have discrete layers, connections, and directions of data propagation.

How It Works

You might, for example, take an image, chop it up into a bunch of tiles that are inputted into the first layer of the neural network. In the first layer individual neurons, then passes the data to a second layer. The second layer of neurons does its task, and so on, until the final layer and the final output is produced.

Each neuron assigns a weighting to its input — how correct or incorrect it is relative to the task being performed. The final output is then determined by the total of those weightings. So think of our stop sign example. Attributes of a stop sign image are chopped up and “examined” by the neurons — its octagonal shape, its fire-engine red color, its distinctive letters, its traffic-sign size, and its motion or lack thereof. The neural network’s task is to conclude whether this is a stop sign or not.

It comes up with a “probability vector,” really a highly educated guess, based on the weighting. In our example, the system might be 86% confident the image is a stop sign, 7% confident it’s a speed limit sign, and 5% it’s a kite stuck in a tree, and so on — and the network architecture then tells the neural network whether it is right or not.

Today, image recognition by machines trained via deep learning in some scenarios is better than humans, and that ranges from cats to identifying indicators for cancer in blood and tumors in MRI scans. Google’s AlphaGo learned the game, and trained for its Go match — it tuned its neural network — by playing against itself over and over and over. Deep Learning has enabled many practical applications of Machine Learning and by extension the overall field of AI. Deep Learning breaks down tasks in ways that makes all kinds of machine assists seem possible, even likely. Driverless cars, better preventive healthcare, even better movie recommendations, are all here today or on the horizon. AI is the present and the future. With Deep Learning’s help, AI may even get to that science fiction state we’ve so long imagined.”

Nonetheless, these are still primitive days in the AI, Neural Networks and Deep Learning space for defence which has typically led technology so long. The sector is desperately trying to learn from firms as diverse as Google to fashion and Facebook. Look around carefully and see how artificial intelligence, deep learning and neural networks are already changing your life. Facebook is slowly understanding you and feeding you with content you tend to agree with. That’s a software network that’s learning how you think and starts mimicking your behaviour. Extend such ‘learning’ to more complex situations. For instance, when faced with a mob with sticks, stones and also a few armed with guns, police forces find it difficult to distinguish under pressure and apply counter measures equally. What if a machine can separate these two as different threats and apply counter measures differently?


Art: Saurabh Joshi/StratPost
AI and Fighters

Now coming to the Gripen/Rafale/Eurofighter. Or any of the fighters currently under development as opposed to those that are getting souped up with a few impressive add-ons, which don’t fundamentally change the performance or capabilities of the aircraft but make them look both modern, and of course, carry the tag of being experienced.

Here is what is not on the platter – though, admittedly, the news being put out today is at a fairly generic level: F-35s, F-22s and other fighter jets will soon use improved “artificial intelligence” to control nearby drone “wingmen” able to carry weapons, test enemy air defenses or perform intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance missions in high risk areas.

Or how about: The U.S. Air Force, working with Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works have demonstrated another round of flight capabilities for an autonomous F-16 fighter jet, which is meant to show what an eventual “Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle” (UCAV) could do using technology they’ve developed. During this demonstration, the experimental aircraft was able to “autonomously plan and execute air-to-ground strike missions” based on mission information provided, as well as the assets made available by the planning team, but it was also able to react to unexpected changes during the mission, including “capability failures, route deviations and loss of communication,” according to a Lockheed news release. The talk of fighter aircraft town when it comes to technology is “an F-35 computer system, Autonomic Logistics Information System, that involves early applications of artificial intelligence wherein computers make assessments, go through checklists, organize information and make some decisions by themselves – without needing human intervention.”

The problem here is that ‘unmanned aircraft’ or collaborative wingmen is still at low levels of artificial intelligence and more about data linking, some degree of machine and a lot of pre-programming with some reactive scenario adjusting software that deals with unplanned – but not unexpected situations – with planned – and not self-learning – solutions.

The real big leap will take place in the very near future as processing capacity reaches mindboggling levels. The difference is that most aircraft today in the air are less smart than a standard smartphone and way, way dumber than iPhone X or Samsung 8. However, the future will be less hardware driven as focused on how much AI can be integrated into the existing hardware.

New Arms Race

At the same time, the ethics of AI are likely to lead to a situation very similar to the nuclear divide – with some countries storming ahead and then cordoning off the rest due to the growing fears of random and indiscriminate decision making by what are essentially machines. As

Techcrunch points out, “Use of autonomous weapons on the battlefield is obviously controversial, of course. The UN seems to be moving towards a possible uniform ban on AI-powered weapons, and it’s obviously the basis for more than one dystopian sci-fi story. Critics argue use of autonomous weapons could increase the number of civilian deaths in warfare, and muddy responsibility for the loss of those lives – proponents essentially argue the opposite, saying use of autonomous systems will decrease casualties overall and lead to shorter, more decisive conflict.”

The future of air combat will be almost nothing like what we see, plan and project today. At the hub of future air battles will be aircraft with awesome levels of situational awareness married to neural networks that play a bit of a chess game, processing data, selecting options and launching engagements at a speed about ten times faster than your current Facebook suggesting friends or topics to read when you show your preference for a particular engagement. Meaning, almost instantly. If that sounds flippant, think about all the data that is married between your phone, your Gmail, your social media and your browsing habits as you move very, very randomly between hundreds of thousands of bytes of data. Compared to that, the elements and variables in the air in a war scenario are fairly limited, easily identifiable and highly predictable in trajectory, engagement options, capacity and capability.

So how are the world powers going about it?

According to The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, “While still somewhat lagging behind on its great power rivals in terms of deep machine learning capabilities, the Russian Federation has displayed a steady commitment to developing and deploying a wide range of robotic military platforms, including unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), with the full backing of its MoD and domestic industries: in January 2017, President Putin called for the creation of “autonomous robotic complexes”.

Speaking in 2015, Robert Work, the then-US deputy secretary of defense, emphasized “human-machine collaboration combat teaming”, arguing that: “Early adoption will be a key competitive advantage, while those that lag in investment will see their competitiveness slip”.

In this speech to the Defense One National Security Forum conference, Work identified five pillars to the military future:

1. Autonomous deep learning machine systems, which are able to see the patterns through the chaff of hybrid warfare, to give early warning that something is happening in gray zone conflict areas (such as the Ukraine), and which are able to respond at extreme speed, and under rapidly shrinking engagement windows. Such learning systems might, he argues, fill the gap in those fields – such as air defense or cyber defense – where human operators alone cannot achieve sufficient speed to stop or degrade a determined attack.

2. Human machine collaboration, which will include the promotion of so-called ‘Centaur’ warfighting, going from the observation that teams combining the strategic analysis of a human with the tactical acuity of a computer, reliably defeat either human-only or computer-only teams across many games.

3. Assisted human operations, where wearable electronics, uploadable combat apps; heads-up displays, exoskeletons, and other systems, can enable humans on the front line to perform better in combat.

4. Advanced human-machine combat teaming, where a human working with unmanned systems is able to take better decisions and undertake cooperative operations. Examples of these are the Army’s Apache and Gray Eagle UAV systems, which are designed to operate in conjunction. Other examples are drone ‘motherships’; electronic warfare networks, or swarming systems which will help transform operations by enabling one mission commander to direct a full swarm of micro-UAVs.

5. Network-enabled semi-autonomous weapons, where systems are both linked, and hardened to survive cyberattack.

But as the Hague Centre rightly concludes, “Our own hunch is that AI (and a number of attendant technological developments that are co-emerging around big data) may have a much more disruptive impact on the essence ‘defense’ than the focus on AI-enhanced physical robotics and how they might affect our current way of safeguarding defense suggest.”

AI and Indian Fighter Procurement

While AI and policy is a big discussion in itself, returning to the opening question, India’s fighter aircraft purchase program needs to be focused on acquiring a platform with avionics that are expandable. Even as the Americans are trying hard to get Indians to focus on things like thrust and vectoring and so forth, the problem is that there is little porting capability in most aircraft for future AI capability to be incorporated.

Second, AI developments have just about reached the tipping point and are going to scale up quickly, very quickly. Even as India struggles with ‘design and development’ of basic fighter aircraft frameworks, the world of air defence is rocketing away at an acceleration that may well make much of what we are investing our time and effort in, quite irrelevant. The key is to find a partner which is willing to bring India in from the front door and give a seat on the table of AI development now. Clearly, the US simply does not see India as a partner in key technology domains. On the other hand, the Swedes, French or Germans just might need the tech hands Indians end up bringing to the table for accelerating much of their thinking on AI. Companies like Saab have put on their board AI specialists – a clear recognition that the company would need to be taking tough decisions on future investments in that space.

AI Apartheid

The biggest reason India needs to get on board with a partner country willing to share the primary work table on AI is simply this: Very soon as autonomous machine intelligence starts dominating this space, the fear and threat of such technology getting into the wrong hands will start the ball rolling for the next generation of technology apartheid. India was for long a nuclear pariah, a missile pariah and a supercomputer pariah. All at the behest of a sound American policing of the world in which India was not seen to be a trustworthy partner. This time will be no different.

There is slowly an Artificial Intelligence denial regime coming into place. As in the nuclear denial regime, the effort will be to ensure that the keystones stay locked in the western world across military and civilian use. Indian ecommerce firms are already fearing a wipe out as the Amazons and Googles are surging ahead in AI with far greater invested capital. A lot of what these two firms are putting together are also learning grounds for the military. Several platforms built by Google’s Boston Dynamics with U.S. defense funding could be weaponized, though they’re publicly touted as rescue robots.

Independent groups are pushing hard in the UN for a regime that would remove the tools of AI from countries deemed irresponsible.

In August more than 100 robotics and artificial intelligence leaders, including the billionaire head of Tesla, Elon Musk, urged the UN to take action against the dangers of the use of artificial intelligence in weaponry, sometimes referred to as “killer robots”. Invariably such calls leads to a stockpile in the more advanced and an embargo led regime for the rest.

Late last year, as part of a U.N. disarmament conference, participating countries discussed whether or not to start formal discussions on a ban of lethal autonomous weapons following three years of informal discussions.

89 Nations have agreed to establish a group of governmental experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons systems (LAWS) to address challenges posed by such weapons. Nineteen additional nations joined in the call to ban laws, including Argentina, China and Peru. However, China which was an early votary, has started stepping back and now has moved from calls to ban to “responsible use” while US has a “lets see where this goes posture”. Russia has moved ahead with demonstration of AI based systems. While India has been leading some of these discussions, there is no stated position.

However the key issue is for India to use its current buys to secure participation in the future of AI.

There is another BIG reason for this pointed out by the tech entrepreneur with a very successful online platform and I quote him verbatim:

Because of the self-reinforcing and exponential nature of AI progress, the gap between number 1 and number 2 will keep on increasing (in terms of capabilities and not in terms of months) as we move forward. Infact by the time it reaches its pinnacle, even a 3-6 month gap would mean 100X more capability (as opposed to 10%higher capability today).

“Because of the domain-agnostic nature of AI algorithms, it is possible to achieve much progress in the understanding and development using some other domain and then apply those learnings in a totally different domain. For example, the same deep mind that beat GO champions lowering the energy usage in Google Data Centres. That’s why it’s important to choose the domain/problem statements that provide a fertile ground for AI to evolve fast rather than choosing the problem that you want solved. If you closely observe Google, that is what they are doing. The ultimate objective is not to create AI for the Olympic Games, but almost 90% of the early effort has been on games (GO being just one of those).”


This piece reflects the personal views of the author.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby shiv » 06 Dec 2017 19:37

yantra wrote:https://www.stratpost.com/india-get-ahead-ai-apartheid-fighter-tech/

India should get ahead of AI apartheid with fighter tech

I will be myself. A cynic. What use is all this to the military? I see articles only by geeks saying this is going to be a game changer.

I agree it will be a game changer as an export to turd world nations who will fight their wars with such stuff. but the nations that make and export this have insured themselves against all future weapons by having a nuclear deterrent. Big and dumb. AI is smart but for cissies who actually want to fight conventional wars.

Why is NoKo not going for AI?

Pakistan will go for AI because Indians will not use their nukes against them. Then we will buy from America and Russia to counter China purchase by Pakistan.

So what are we going to do about it?

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby yantra » 06 Dec 2017 21:27

Agreed, Hakimji.

But if India wants become a 'supapawa' and aims to compete with the likes of Umrika and Cheena in 30 years, the seeds have to be sown now. India cannot compare itself and position itself against rogue nations like Pak or NoKo and be smug about it.

A $15 trillion economy of 2040 should think and prepare itself like a $15 trillion economy to protect itself from threats across the spectrum and be self-sufficient to.

Yeah.. I know these are wild dreams... but hey, dreams are at least free!

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby viveks » 07 Dec 2017 02:10

I see good reason to use AI when there needs to be a credible defense to in-coming multiple ballistic and tactical missiles from various locations in a highly intensive combat situation. If there are multiple missile defense batteries who see the same target missiles, co-ordinating a defensive action and overseeing that it meets its objective will be something to think about. A specific battery taking point on a certain set of in-coming missiles...engaging them...another monitoring and flanking it in case the objectives are not met...so many things to think about when faced with such volatile and high intensity situation.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby ramana » 07 Dec 2017 02:54

yantra wrote:Agreed, Hakimji.

But if India wants become a 'supapawa' and aims to compete with the likes of Umrika and Cheena in 30 years, the seeds have to be sown now. India cannot compare itself and position itself against rogue nations like Pak or NoKo and be smug about it.

A $15 trillion economy of 2040 should think and prepare itself like a $15 trillion economy to protect itself from threats across the spectrum and be self-sufficient to.

Yeah.. I know these are wild dreams... but hey, dreams are at least free!



That supapawa path is the Thyucidies Trap. Were both lose-lose.

See in a zero sum game there is win-lose. (old game)

Cooperation is win-win Kumbya (all de-nuked but super power retains the nukes and all are Gungdins)

Nukes are lose-lose (balance of terror for super powers)

But Chanakya says there is a middle state of draw.

Win-draw, draw-draw, lose-draw, and draw-lose.
This brings in 4 more states of play.

We should prefer draw-lose.
We draw that makes them lose.
GOI has been playing this game.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Bart S » 07 Dec 2017 03:34

I think folks on this thread think of AI as this high-end science fiction sort of stuff that controls weapons and does something magical. On the contrary most machine learning/deep learning/pseudo-AI or whatever you call it, is going to be used (and is used) for the most mundane of stuff like optimizing logistics or improving reliability or reducing errors - all extremely valuable for us and stuff that we cannot afford to ignore and get leapfrogged on. For example of all the stuff that Google talks of, including beating the Go champion etc, it's biggest machine learning/AI success is in improving the cooling and power efficiency of their massive datacenters. It is such real, mundane stuff where it will really shine. For example it could be used in our counter-intelligence grid in J&K or predicting moves by Pakis in that space etc.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Philip » 07 Dec 2017 04:00

Nachi,pl read my extensive posts in the LCA/SEF tds .advocating concentrating on the LCA instead of the SEF.The issue being debated here is TEF fighters and achieving the sqd. numbers the IAF want in the most cost-effective way.There is no way that we can replace hundreds of MIG-21/27s and 21 Bisons in the future without the LCA making up a large part of the req. number being the most affordable of all fighters.

However, the low prod. rate of HAL even if a second line is established leaves a large gap of around 120+ aircraft.There are only 2 solutions to this problem.Adding more numbers of exg. types (MKIs and/or MIG29/35s) what the IAF gent advised ,or adding yet another fighter (Gripen?) to the IAF's menagerie, where we will operate 8
types compared to around 4 of most major air forces!
Surely the need is to reduce types, have greater commonality, rationalise and reduce the inventory of spares, components ,thus increasing fighter availability.This is what another analyst said that the IAF is replacing one type-, MIG-21s with 3 instead; the LCA, Rafale and now an SEF/TEF !

This defies logic, will incur massive cost and effort to acquire, and maintain , with so many types in service . This would also make interoperability of these diff. types from all our air bases v.difficult as all spares, etc. can't be stored at BRDs.It will be a Herculean task for the IAF to operate and maintain multi-aircraft ops from every air base.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby shiv » 07 Dec 2017 07:04

viveks wrote:I see good reason to use AI when there needs to be a credible defense to in-coming multiple ballistic and tactical missiles from various locations in a highly intensive combat situation. If there are multiple missile defense batteries who see the same target missiles, co-ordinating a defensive action and overseeing that it meets its objective will be something to think about. A specific battery taking point on a certain set of in-coming missiles...engaging them...another monitoring and flanking it in case the objectives are not met...so many things to think about when faced with such volatile and high intensity situation.

This is the promise. The dream girl whom every teenager may fantasize about. But I need to see where this goes. Right now I am only seeing "This is going to go places! Get on the bandwagon now! Or it will be too late". This is the language of salespeople, not scientists.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Cain Marko » 07 Dec 2017 07:53

Manish_P wrote:
I don't doubt that. What got me wondering was this specific part 'the aircraft’s ability to penetrate hardened air defences'

Perhap's it's with reference to jammers ?

That would be my guess too since the bird is capable of carrying big ones...

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 07 Dec 2017 08:45

Bart, can you put up a detailed post on AI and why it is not merely some buzz words and how it can be applied in every dsy context. We will all learn something.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Philip » 07 Dec 2017 09:27

AI today is being seen in the driverless cars, which are facing teething problems.But as history has shown, in time glitches get resolved.The dangers of a Terminator scenario are real from the warnings from the likes of Hawkings.If even one nuke missile is launched by accident due to faulty AI, we will be in sh*t st. before one can reach the loo!

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 07 Dec 2017 11:11

shiv wrote:
viveks wrote:I see good reason to use AI when there needs to be a credible defense to in-coming multiple ballistic and tactical missiles from various locations in a highly intensive combat situation. If there are multiple missile defense batteries who see the same target missiles, co-ordinating a defensive action and overseeing that it meets its objective will be something to think about. A specific battery taking point on a certain set of in-coming missiles...engaging them...another monitoring and flanking it in case the objectives are not met...so many things to think about when faced with such volatile and high intensity situation.

This is the promise. The dream girl whom every teenager may fantasize about. But I need to see where this goes. Right now I am only seeing "This is going to go places! Get on the bandwagon now! Or it will be too late". This is the language of salespeople, not scientists.

Completely OT
ImageOne picture 1000 words

https://www.wired.com/2016/06/ai-fighte ... ic-really/
Shiv saar,
only those have something to sell and are serious to sell use a salesman (unless it is a bad product and good salesman). Just because companies give ads on tv doesnt mean they are shallow (Ok they may be)
The main thing is world will get there using AI in warfare (heck even banks are using it extensively: I concede many are simply using what they could have done 10 years back, but didnt due to legacy and crisis.), the question is who and when? If we dont try we will certainly miss the bus again (as we did earlier and dont seem to be in any rush). However, this time the excuse has to be far bigger.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby viveks » 07 Dec 2017 12:25

I dont know but I feel compelled to share my thoughts in this regard. In this scenario one has to choose between the classic Greedy method or the classic ways of the dynamic programming method (Go game). It is this ambiguity that is the inherent bottleneck of a perfect functioning system...be it a meat grinder or a simple machine doing some simple task. I figure complex scenarios involved decision game machines...which would eventually decide a best approach....always based on human value systems....if designed to work autonomously.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby nachiket » 07 Dec 2017 13:10

Philip wrote:Nachi,pl read my extensive posts in the LCA/SEF tds .advocating concentrating on the LCA instead of the SEF.The issue being debated here is TEF fighters and achieving the sqd. numbers the IAF want in the most cost-effective way.There is no way that we can replace hundreds of MIG-21/27s and 21 Bisons in the future without the LCA making up a large part of the req. number being the most affordable of all fighters.

<snip>

Philip saar my objection was about you accusing the IAF of lusting after firang aircraft while peddling another firang aircraft yourself.

Also, the Mig-35 is not an existing type in the IAF nor is it in production in its home country.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby tandav » 07 Dec 2017 15:07

Breaking news! Was this shot down / sabotaged / crashed... it may point to a cyber hacking ability that the chinese have developed and deployed

http://zeenews.india.com/india/indian-drone-invaded-china-s-airspace-crashed-alleges-chinese-media-2063772.html

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby deejay » 07 Dec 2017 15:12

tandav wrote:Breaking news! Was this shot down / sabotaged / crashed... it may point to a cyber hacking ability that the chinese have developed and deployed

http://zeenews.india.com/india/indian-drone-invaded-china-s-airspace-crashed-alleges-chinese-media-2063772.html


It crashed.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby yantra » 07 Dec 2017 20:34

Alright.. AI is not some mumbo-jumbo hi-tech future. It is already there. Whether we like it or not, militaries, warlords, rag-tag armies and rogue nations will adopt them to their advantage.

AI is already being used in everyday life - right from your google maps (traffic data and route optimization) to Facebook (networking and suggestions, habits, mapping of preferences, etc). Your music player to radio station on your mobile optimizes based on your tastes and moods. Voice commands (Alexa e.g.) to NEST home controllers use AI actively. Your Uber, Ola and Lyft use to optimize routes and available cars (Operations Research).

Facial recognition software and bio-recognition, bio-tech involving genetic mapping, bio-markers and identifying propensity for one to get a particular disease, drug discovery process is increasingly AI based.

Your mobile check-deposit, fraud detection, anti-money laundering pattern recognition, etc., are all AI based. Online shopping, preferences and tastes are constantly being upgraded based on AI. Your high frequency stock-trading, bit coins is all AI based - and make a milli-second decision whether to buy or dump without human intervention.

Military applications?
AI can do a lot of dangerous things that you do not want to risk a soldier to do. Bomb detection, defusing, drone control, target recognition, acquisition, detection and mapping. Data processing and data mining from mountain of data generated from surveillance and intelligence. It can significantly speed up the decision making process for a commander on ground or on a plane/ship - to make a go or no-go decision - based on available data. It can also act on its own, based on threat assessment and target map, which can save precious lives and time. Of course - war gaming and command and control can be AI based. Autonomous decision making and firing (acting) capability, UAVs based on autonomous capability, robots for specific jobs, all can be AI based.

Not being in the AI space (including AR/VR) and being left-out is clearly India's choice to make. If we are planning to defend a (hopefully) $15 tn economy in 2035, better develop those in-house or pay trillions to Russi or US MICs to get the 'cutting-edge'... Hopefully India will be smarter this time.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby srai » 07 Dec 2017 20:53

Weaponized AI

Image

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 07 Dec 2017 21:19

Great points yantra. Call them deep learning algorithms or this or that but its clear the automation of warfighting is an ongoing process and we shouldn't miss the bus.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby viveks » 07 Dec 2017 21:34

Going a bit off topic. I was thinking the other day that...wouldn't it be so logical to build an airbase buried inside a Mountain range with only the runway ends popping out in camouflage, given the amount of tunneling experience we are getting. An aircraft can roll in the runway inside the mountain...get to a certain minimum height...and then when exposed to the open...continue the normal climb trajectory. Landing could be tricky but not impossible since we already have a carrier based landing experience.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby yantra » 07 Dec 2017 21:46

viveks wrote:Going a bit off topic. I was thinking the other day that...wouldn't it be so logical to build an airbase buried inside a Mountain range with only the runway ends popping out in camouflage, given the amount of tunneling experience we are getting. An aircraft can roll in the runway inside the mountain...get to a certain minimum height...and then when exposed to the open...continue the normal climb trajectory. Landing could be tricky but not impossible since we already have a carrier based landing experience.


All the enemy needs to do is to bomb your exit and your entire airbase, with aircraft inside, is rendered locked useless for a long time...


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