Indian Naval Aviation

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souravB
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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby souravB » 31 Jul 2019 07:51

Cain Marko wrote:The Shornet has the best chance to get into the Indian CBG setup -
1. Boeing seems to have found a work around the small elevator size .

CM ji, the last solution I heard was to tilt the plane in the elevator or detachable wings (I don't remember which one was for which plane). Any one will affect the op tempo.
If IN get SH/Rafale, it will not only operate at a fraction of it's capabilities, the reaction time will also be a fraction of optimum.
If the goal is to replace/supplement the 29s, I will hazard a guess and say IN is looking towards NLCA mk2. Since IAC1 will be operational in 2-3 years and there hasn't been any trials yet. (My vote would be to replace the 29s).
I think I had heard in a questionnaire to CNS Lamba(do not remember the clip) that NMRCA is now geared towards IAC2, which is well off into the future and who knows might see F35C/NAMCA in competition.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Barath » 31 Jul 2019 13:17

souravB wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:The Shornet has the best chance to get into the Indian CBG setup -
1. Boeing seems to have found a work around the small elevator size .

CM ji, the last solution I heard was to tilt the plane in the elevator or detachable wings (I don't remember which one was for which plane). .


If I recall correctly Boeing will cant the F18 which has foldable wings, while Rafale M will look into detachable winglets/wing tips

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Cain Marko » 01 Aug 2019 00:24

souravB wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:The Shornet has the best chance to get into the Indian CBG setup -
1. Boeing seems to have found a work around the small elevator size .

CM ji, the last solution I heard was to tilt the plane in the elevator or detachable wings (I don't remember which one was for which plane). Any one will affect the op tempo.
If IN get SH/Rafale, it will not only operate at a fraction of it's capabilities, the reaction time will also be a fraction of optimum.
If the goal is to replace/supplement the 29s, I will hazard a guess and say IN is looking towards NLCA mk2. Since IAC1 will be operational in 2-3 years and there hasn't been any trials yet. (My vote would be to replace the 29s).
I think I had heard in a questionnaire to CNS Lamba(do not remember the clip) that NMRCA is now geared towards IAC2, which is well off into the future and who knows might see F35C/NAMCA in competition.


Sourav, no ji please, makes me feel older than I already am. What next, Uncle?

If the Navy is postponing the 57 fighter rfi and joining it to the iac2, there really are only 2 options.... The NLCA or the fulcrumK. In some ways I can see how the NLCA could work, definitely not optimal but they could extract a mig 21+ level performance in terms of endurance/stores. The problem will be getting it off the ski jump with enough fuel and stores. Perhaps a light load with 4 AAMs and 80% internal fuel? I think this will be an excellent compromise and should be doable for CAP as well as QRT situations. Especially considering that both the rafale and shornet will also at best be compromise solutions (albeit more powerful).

Thing is that these fighters can't wait, the IAC will be ready in 2 years, and they will need more fighters to man it optimally. But it will have to be the MK1 OR MKIA, the Mk2/MWF is too far away in the future.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Cain Marko » 01 Aug 2019 00:26

Barath wrote:
souravB wrote:CM ji, the last solution I heard was to tilt the plane in the elevator or detachable wings (I don't remember which one was for which plane). .


If I recall correctly Boeing will cant the F18 which has foldable wings, while Rafale M will look into detachable winglets/wing tips

But Saar, the Boeing bossman said that the shornet as is can operate from the Vs

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Rakesh » 01 Aug 2019 00:37

Cain Marko wrote:
souravB wrote:CM ji...

Sourav, no ji please, makes me feel older than I already am. What next, Uncle?

Whatever you do Sourav, do not listen to him. From now on, call him Uncle-Ji ;)

You walked right into that one :mrgreen:

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby nachiket » 01 Aug 2019 01:46

Cain Marko wrote:
Barath wrote:
If I recall correctly Boeing will cant the F18 which has foldable wings, while Rafale M will look into detachable winglets/wing tips

But Saar, the Boeing bossman said that the shornet as is can operate from the Vs

Well being Boeing bossman, we should take that with a pinch of salt. Foreign OEM's are excellent at marketing and providing just enough info to make them look good without mentioning the ifs and buts. So what he means I guess is that it can operate from the V's IF they implement the canting solution and the payload/fuel is restricted to a certain max amount (which might change based on wind and sea-state) to enable it to takeoff from the ski-jump. Of course, the latter restriction applies to all aircraft on STOBAR carriers. But each aircraft will be impacted to a different degree depending on its performance. What that impact is for the SH and Rafale and how they compare to the Mig-29K, I do not know.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby souravB » 01 Aug 2019 02:28

Cain Marko wrote:
If the Navy is postponing the 57 fighter rfi and joining it to the iac2, there really are only 2 options.... The NLCA or the fulcrumK. In some ways I can see how the NLCA could work, definitely not optimal but they could extract a mig 21+ level performance in terms of endurance/stores. The problem will be getting it off the ski jump with enough fuel and stores. Perhaps a light load with 4 AAMs and 80% internal fuel? I think this will be an excellent compromise and should be doable for CAP as well as QRT situations. Especially considering that both the rafale and shornet will also at best be compromise solutions (albeit more powerful).

Thing is that these fighters can't wait, the IAC will be ready in 2 years, and they will need more fighters to man it optimally. But it will have to be the MK1 OR MKIA, the Mk2/MWF is too far away in the future.

We are not going to invade any country soon so bombing runs or MTOW is rarely needed but I am hopeful Mk2 can achieve that with F414 AB engaged and with added lift provided on the carrier's deck. Mk2 can not only extract mig21 level but can extract FulcrumK level of performance in terms of endurance/stores.
Also IN have thought about fighters on it's new carriers. IN should've placed the orders for NMRCA last year if they needed them for IAC1. The point that even carrier trials haven't started says that IN do not need aircrafts for IAC1 immediately. They currently have ~45 single seat fulcrums which should be enough for two V class. Mk2 design AFAIK is ready and prototype is already on works. developmental trials are ongoing with mk1. Hopefully in 5-6 years we can see mk2 going towards LSP. Maybe IR's new article on NLCA will share some more light on current state.

Rakesh wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Sourav, no ji please, makes me feel older than I already am. What next, Uncle?

Whatever you do Sourav, do not listen to him. From now on, call him Uncle-Ji ;)

You walked right into that one :mrgreen:

:rotfl: :rotfl:

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Cain Marko » 01 Aug 2019 11:12

souravB wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:
If the Navy is postponing the 57 fighter rfi and joining it to the iac2, there really are only 2 options.... The NLCA or the fulcrumK. In some ways I can see how the NLCA could work, definitely not optimal but they could extract a mig 21+ level performance in terms of endurance/stores. The problem will be getting it off the ski jump with enough fuel and stores. Perhaps a light load with 4 AAMs and 80% internal fuel? I think this will be an excellent compromise and should be doable for CAP as well as QRT situations. Especially considering that both the rafale and shornet will also at best be compromise solutions (albeit more powerful).

Thing is that these fighters can't wait, the IAC will be ready in 2 years, and they will need more fighters to man it optimally. But it will have to be the MK1 OR MKIA, the Mk2/MWF is too far away in the future.

We are not going to invade any country soon so bombing runs or MTOW is rarely needed but I am hopeful Mk2 can achieve that with F414 AB engaged and with added lift provided on the carrier's deck. Mk2 can not only extract mig21 level but can extract FulcrumK level of performance in terms of endurance/stores.
Also IN have thought about fighters on it's new carriers. IN should've placed the orders for NMRCA last year if they needed them for IAC1. The point that even carrier trials haven't started says that IN do not need aircrafts for IAC1 immediately. They currently have ~45 single seat fulcrums which should be enough for two V class. Mk2 design AFAIK is ready and prototype is already on works. developmental trials are ongoing with mk1. Hopefully in 5-6 years we can see mk2 going towards LSP. Maybe IR's new article on NLCA will share some more light on current state.

Yeah we all have our hopes pinned on the NLCA although I have my misgivings. IIRC the Navy had rejected the mk2 as well. As far as waiting for the mk2 to come through and chugging along with 45 Ks, I doubt that'll be the case. They're going to need at least a few more birds to maintain their new carriers.

Rakesh wrote:Whatever you do Sourav, do not listen to him. From now on, call him Uncle-Ji ;)

You walked right into that one :mrgreen:

True dat :rotfl:

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 01 Aug 2019 16:17

The IAF chief on his tecent visit to Ru said that the MIG-35 is a completely new aircraft unlike the legacy 29.If 35 features are included on a 29 K-2 bird, perhaps a few more could be acquired until the design of IAC-2 is finally frozen and approved by the MOD.Given the enormous time we've taken for IAC-1, IAC-2 will take at least a decade to arrive.In tech. terms, that's a massive timeframe, in which new strike aircraft both manned and unmanned will fly, along with a host of new missiles and weaponry. This long leadtime gives us a great opportunity to plan for our future carrier strike bird, the AMCA. No point in planning for 3+++ ( F-18) or 4th- gen ( Rafale-M, MIG-29K) birds for an aircraft that must arrive around 2030 and last until 2050.

If LCA Mk-2 can incorporate some stealth tech it could hasten the arrival of the AMCA, for which the naval version both STOBAR and CATOBAR operations.A great opportunity for the IN and Indian aerospace entities to plan ahead . We have the time, let's do it!

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Manish_P » 01 Aug 2019 16:59

Philip wrote:No point in planning for 3+++ ( F-18) or 4th- gen ( Rafale-M, MIG-29K)


If the original F/A-18 and the MiG 29 were both introduced around the same time (early 80s) and similarly the F-18E/F and the MiG 29K (early to mid 90s), then how is the former a 3+++ and the later a 4th gen?

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Vips » 01 Aug 2019 17:33

Of course F18 is only a 3+++ generation fighter. You have to see it through my Jaundiced (Russian Eyes) :rotfl:

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 01 Aug 2019 19:09

Vips wrote:Of course F18 is only a 3+++ generation fighter. You have to see it through my Jaundiced (Russian Eyes) :rotfl:


Yup. An AESA equipped (first naval fighter to do so) AIM-120D carrying F-18E/F Block II or III is 3+++ gen (forget the fact that original F//A-18 Legacy Hornet is 4th gen) while the MiG-29K is 4th Gen..or maybe even 4+++++ gen :rotfl:

Manish_P wrote:
Philip wrote:No point in planning for 3+++ ( F-18) or 4th- gen ( Rafale-M, MIG-29K)


If the original F/A-18 and the MiG 29 were both introduced around the same time (early 80s) and similarly the F-18E/F and the MiG 29K (early to mid 90s), then how is the former a 3+++ and the later a 4th gen?


Also note that the AN/APG-79 AESA was first delivered nearly 15 years ago and has been iterated upon since then with hundreds of thousands of fleet hours and range time to test and improve its performance. The MiG-29K has yet to fly or be operational with an AESA radar in 2019 and may in fact never fly with one given low production numbers and even lower carrier operations and utilization by its host user. The SH's mission computers have been upgraded twice since it entered service with the biggest upgrade coming with the Block III ( DTP-N - which is 17X more powerful than the processor currently on the Block II SH) which also upgrades it to flat panel LA touch displays, upgrades its Electronic Warfare suite, ups the airframe to 9000 hr. service life while also increasing its combat radius via CFT's (1500+ kg of additional fuel). I think the weapons upgrades (AIM-120C to D, ASRAAM or AIM-9X block II (with 2-way data link), LRASM, JSOW-ER, AARGM-ER, JAGM-F, SDB II etc etc. and by 2022 AIM-260 also give it a significant edge over most other naval fighter platforms as it is either a threshold platform for or close to it (integration timeframes) for most advanced fighter weapons programs in the US.

The DTP-N and TTNT capabilities alone give it what the Growler has had in terms of strategic capability in the sense that it is now a node in CEC and NIF-CA with the ability to off-load fire-control quality tracking data to AEGIS sensors and shooters, which no other naval fighter currently in service can (or has funded plans to enable) outside of the EA-18 G. It also has a reliable advanced engine whose performance, durability, and maintainability the IAF and even the IN can vouch for given their extensive experience with the F-404 (and via their evaluation of the F-414). The engine family will form the propulsion solution for the LCA MK1 and MK1A, and initial variants of the MWF and perhaps even the AMCA. It is reliable enough for HAL to put it onto a single engined naval fighter! It would be interesting to gauge the IN's assessment or experience of operating or evaluating the F404/F414 vs the RD-33s on the MiG-29K's as they pertain to naval aviation. I don't have insight but I'm sure Indraanil, Bala Vignesh or others probably do.

But the biggest advantage of the Block III Super Hornet is that its host user just put down a $4 Billion dollar commitment to it which ensures that at least 78 aircraft (84 in total with 6 being Block II's that will form early deliveries with some block III capability) will be delivered (likely # to be well above 100, perhaps even 150 if you count top up orders for the EA-18G's with block III technology/capability ).

There would probably be more Block III (new build, not counting SLM's) Super Hornet's in service with the US Navy than MiG-29K's worldwide. Nothing beats cold hard cash when it comes to demonstrating your commitment to a platform and making sure that it has a well laid out and comprehensive upgrade path into the future. Can't say the same for the MiG-29K which has a fairly uncertain future as far as carrier ops are concerned with the Russian navy, which itself isnt a deal breaker but does not inspire a whole lot of confidence when it comes time to perform significant mid-life upgrades or roll in technologies to keep it going for decades into the future (in an event it becomes the standard naval fighter across all three carriers). The MiG-29K's came with the AC and are fully interoperable with it. This is its biggest advantage. But when you start comparing it to a Block II or a Block III Super-Hornet across the gamut of missions that can be expected of a naval fighter operating from an AC then this becomes less of a competition given how extensively, and how frequently the SH has been upgraded since it entered service and what FUNDED plans currently exist to ensure that it is kept capable into the 2020's and 2030's given that it would still be the majority of the USN strike fighter fleet right up till the early to mid 2030's.

Image
Last edited by brar_w on 01 Aug 2019 20:53, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby chetak » 01 Aug 2019 20:47

एक ढूंढो तो सौ मिलेगा :mrgreen:

ek dhoondho to sau milega

Surendra Ahuja @AhujaSurendra Jul 21

Maverick (Tom Cruise) decides to fly the Super Hornet (Boeing's offering to the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force) for the 2nd version of Topgun! The 1st version (released in 1986) is the reason why many of us became Navy fighter pilots!!!

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Manish_P » 01 Aug 2019 21:18

^ Would that be Retd. Rear Admiral Surendra Ahuja, ex Navy Pilot, and now MD of Boeing Defence India?

Flying experience of 20+ aircraft.. i don't have experience of that many cars :oops:

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby JTull » 01 Aug 2019 23:40

Talk about conflicts of interest...

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Rakesh » 01 Aug 2019 23:42

Yes Manish. They are one and the same.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 03 Aug 2019 15:49

The MIG-29 is a later development.The F-18 was actually a development of the loser in the USAF fighter stakes ( the YF-17)which the F-16 handsomely won way back in the 20th siecle ('70s). The MIG-29 and SU-27 are of the same vintage, the 29 entered service in the mid-80s. The Flanker was the requirement for a heavy fighter and Fulcrum a lighter partner at lower cost.

The F-18 even in its latest avatar will be of vintage value post 2030, why I have advocated that we start a naval AMCA programme right now to perfect a 5th/6th- gen stealth fighter for our larger carriers which will arrive only a decade+ hence.Even a MIG-35 naval bird if developed with TVC, far more capable than a 29K, will be at a stealth disadvantage with other stealth naval fighters operating even in this decade like the F-35 and Chin birds.One other possibility is a naval version of the SU-57 now cleared for Ru series production, with 70+ of the first avatar on order.This bird though is in the heavyweight class and will not be operable on our two CVs in hand. However, the naval AMCA offers a great opportunity to us if started right now conducted and pushed by the IN which has a better track record of delivering the goods.The AMCA-N could also be sized to replace 29Ks in the future on the Vik-A and new Vikrant.A win-win opportunity for the IN which would then possess at least 2 to 3 CVs with
a contemporary naval stealth fighter.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 03 Aug 2019 21:22

phillip wrote:The MIG-29 is a later development.The F-18 was actually a development of the loser in the USAF fighter stakes ( the YF-17)which the F-16 handsomely won way back in the 20th siecle ('70s).


Let's not dig ourselves deeper into a hole. The MiG-29 prototype first flew in October 1977, while the F/A-18 classic hornet (which isn't even the Super Hornet) flew nearly a year later in 1978. The YF-17 demonstrator on which the F/A-18 classic hornet was based on first flew in 1974 a mere three years ahead of the MiG-29.

The F-18, initially known as McDonnell Douglas Model 267, was drastically modified from the YF-17. For carrier operations, the airframe, undercarriage, and tailhook were strengthened, folding wings and catapult attachments were added, and the landing gear was widened. To meet Navy range and reserves requirements, McDonnell increased fuel capacity by 4,460 pounds (2,020 kg), by enlarging the dorsal spine and adding a 96-gallon fuel tank to each wing. A "snag" was added to the wing's leading edge and stabilators to prevent an aeroelastic flutter discovered in the F-15 stabilator. The wings and stabilators were enlarged, the aft fuselage widened by 4 inches (102 mm), and the engines canted outward at the front. These changes added 10,000 lb (4,540 kg) to the gross weight, bringing it to 37,000 lb (16,800 kg). The YF-17's control system was replaced with a fully digital fly-by-wire system with quadruple redundancy, the first to be installed in a production fighter.


The YF-16 was chosen over the YF-17 for several reasons, none of which involved its evaluation as a carrier based multi-role fighter. I think that should be quite clear just as most common sense and even superficial knowledge of this stuff would also make it quite clear that the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet is a significant departure from the classic hornet, let alone the YF-17, and is, even at its baseline (block I) a significant enhancement in capability in pretty much every which way one evaluates the two. The part about Block II and Block III Super Hornet should also be quite easily understandable once one peeps into the upgrades that the got along the way.

phillip wrote:The MIG-29 and SU-27 are of the same vintage, the 29 entered service in the mid-80s.


The F/A-18 also entered service in the 1980's (1984 to be exact) and was a smaller complement to the F-14 Tomcat. But that F/A-18 (classic hornet) is not part of the discussion here as it is A) no longer in production, and B ) is on its way to being retired by USN and USMC and being replaced by a combination of the Super Hornet and F-35B and F-35C.

Classifying the SH as a 3+++ gen design, when its parent design (F/A-18 A-C) entered service with a full digital FBW system in the mid-1980's [IIRC the MiG-29 didn't have an operational fully digital FBW system till a decade or more later], while classifying the parent MiG-29 design as 4th gen SMACKS of extreme bias, extreme ignorance or just an allergy to facts.

phillip wrote:The F-18 even in its latest avatar will be of vintage value post 2030


As opposed to the MiG-29K which will be cutting edge, tip of the spear stuff? Please tell me how in the context of Naval Aviation will the Block III or future Block III+ enhancements be "vintage" compared to other naval fighters out there (minus the F-35C which is unlikely to be exported to anyone).


Let's see, how many MiG-35 based modified MiG-29K's is the Russian Navy buying? Zero, as far as I can tell. How many F/A-18 E/F Block III's is the US Navy buying? 76 at the very minimum, to be delivered between 2021 and 2025 and to be operational for a couple of decades (through 2040's) beyond that. That is the very minimum they will get. It is very easy to see the USN Block III production extending into the triple digits given the need to replace aircraft fast (due to excessive utilization over the last 2 decades). I'd much rather take funded and operationally committed investment rather than something that is very much a part of your personal wish_list (MiG-35 mods to the MiG-29K design) as opposed to something funded by the actual operators of the kit. Do note that 100% of the Block III development cost is funded by the USN, as well as putting those upgrades into production. USN pilots are already flying early Block III updates to validate them (CFT for example). Same is the case with the F3+ or F4 variants of the Dassault Rafale. France is paying for that R&D and is committing to upgrading its own Rafale-C's to that standard. None of those options requires the IN and MOD to pay for R&D and bank-roll enhancements being proposed either by A) the OEM offering the aircraft or B ) fanboys proposing magical transformation and upgrades. Again, I don't claim to have inside track on the IN/MOD thinking but with all this "could be proposals" for upgrades and enhancements, one would imagine that at some point the IN will ask them to put up or shut up..Develop and field a ++ variant of the MiG-29K (like USN is doing with Block III SH or Dassault/French navy Rafale) or else stop proposing fantasy S&T projects in lieu of actual operational variants.

phillip wrote:why I have advocated that we start a naval AMCA programme right now to perfect a 5th/6th- gen stealth fighter for our larger carriers which will arrive only a decade+ hence.


The AMCA is a mid to late 2030's deliverable at best on a carrier deck. The IN is CURRENTLY requesting 57 new naval fighters to be delivered a decade if not more ahead of that. There is no magic wand that one can wave and get a new clean sheet 5th gen carrier based fighter in service in under 2 decades. Even the USN budgeted between 15-20 years and will need almost all of that time given a 2021 first F-35C operational deployment/cruise [ though the Marines were closer to 16 years with the F-35B].

phillip wrote:Even a MIG-35 naval bird if developed with TVC, far more capable than a 29K, will be at a stealth disadvantage with other stealth naval fighters operating even in this decade like the F-35 and Chin birds.


So a highly modified MiG-29/35/29K isn't going to be "vintage" in post 2030 environments? AND the IN should go ahead and fund someone else's R&D and integration and qualification work so that they could offer something for the IN, in a configuration that they themselves do not operate or plan to operate.

I have no special insight into the IN and MOD but putting my speculation hat on, I am willing to bet that the IN DOES NOT want to go down the path of picking something that essentially requires R&D/S&T investment to first develop and then a lengthy integration and test phase to validate EVEN BEFORE it can compete for the tender. It has been nearly a decade (or more) since the initial MRCA requirements were floated. MiG put together an AESA radar equipped multi-role fighter. Since that decade, exactly how many of those have been operational (with an AESA)? Meanwhile, in that time-frame, Boeing has managed to put >350 F/A-18E/F's (and EA-18G's) for a total fleet size of >500.

phillip wrote:One other possibility is a naval version of the SU-57 now cleared for Ru series production, with 70+ of the first avatar on order.


Same as above with a hyothetical naval variant of the Su-57 which is finally dragged on into serial production with an extremely low production volume (about 76 units in 9 or so years). You suggest that the IN should discard its need for 57 carrier borne aircraft in order to save money to essentially bank roll Russian R&D and convert a land based aircraft into a carrier borne aircraft (which will require a SIGNIFICANT capital to develop and test) just so that carrier borne aircraft can then successfully compete for the IN's future aircraft procurement competition, if there is any money left to do it after funding Sukhoi's development of a naval fighter. I guess if the IN doesn't like the end-product, the Chinese could always pick it up for its Aircraft Carrier program and thank the IN for funding its development because the Russians sure wouldn't have done so in the next decade given the lack of an actual Aircraft Carrier program.

The IAF/MOD washed it hands of the JV to develop the FGFA (land based figther) based on the Su-57 which the Russian Air Force is funding and buying in small quantities for now. Yet you expect the IN/MOD to turn around and now exclusively bank roll a Naval-FGFA transformation from scratch when there has actually been ZERO funding towards such a hypothetical variant from the Russian side.

There is some serious departure from reality going on here!

While we are at it, is there any other Russian R&D you wish the IN (or IAF or IA) to also bankroll? A new CVN for them perhaps given that the last 4-5 seem to be struggling to go beyond the plastic model stage?

A 5th generation Naval Fighter (AMCA-N) is a 2 decade plus investment. It is 2019, and only one nation has managed to get there and for it, 5th generation technology investment track started in 1980s so it was a very long and winding road. I don't think the IN is willing to wait 2 decades before having an operational naval fighter (NEW) on its carrier decks, but that is something you do on the side even though it is not a viable option for the current round of acquisition, it will be later down the road.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 08 Aug 2019 04:05

The hard fact is that AMCA for the IAF is on track and will be given the green light in the not to distant future.It makes sense to develop a naval variant of the same, just as is being done with the LCA-N. Any future large CV for the IN will arrive only post 2030 given our construction timeframe for building carriers, budget allotments, etc. If the green light is given in 2020, it is quite possible to have the aircraft in service within 15 years.We will not have to reinvent the wheel as a lot of tech has been developed in the LCA programme.

As for Ru naval fighters, no one is advocating us bankrolling their development.Russia is building naval fighters based on the 29K , which we operate and may have an improved variant with 35 features, and in the future will have a naval fighter based upon the SU-57.When these birds are ready we can acquire them just as has not been ruled out with the SU-57.

The point I'm making is that who would want the F-18 in whatever avatar 10 to 15 years hence when it is being replaced by the F-35? We aren't fools.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 08 Aug 2019 04:26

Philip wrote:The hard fact is that AMCA for the IAF is on track and will be given the green light in the not to distant future.It makes sense to develop a naval variant of the same, just as is being done with the LCA-N. Any future large CV for the IN will arrive only post 2030 given our construction timeframe for building carriers, budget allotments, etc. If the green light is given in 2020, it is quite possible to have the aircraft in service within 15 years.We will not have to reinvent the wheel as a lot of tech has been developed in the LCA programme.


AMCA-N should be a no brainer. It has to be the future. A 2020 green-light would mean a 2035-2040 time-frame with likelihood of first deployment being closer to 2040 than 2035. It takes time to master 5th generation technology and production and it takes time to validate an aircraft for Carrier operations and then integrate it into the carrier. As I said, 5th gen aircraft programs have taken most around 15-20 years to put out into service on actual combat/combat training deployments. That with some years’ worth of tech. development leading up to that. That wasn't by choice. These things are hard and require a lot of effort.

But that is not the question. The IN has indicated a need to procure 57 aircraft ahead of that and those aircraft are expected to serve on at least 2 carriers. The IN has not indicated a willingness to accept proposals for projects currently not sanctioned (like the AMCA-N or PAKFA-N) which would indicate it wants an in-service, proven system mu­­­­­­ch ahead of those deliverables.

As for Ru naval fighters, no one is advocating us bankrolling their development.Russia is building naval fighters based on the 29K , which we operate and may have an improved variant with 35 features, and in the future will have a naval fighter based upon the SU-57.


There is no evidence that I’ve come across that shows that the Russian Navy is currently working on a MiG-35 based MiG-29K. Again, happy to be corrected if you can point me to a developmental contract, or production contract for a MiG-35 technology based MiG-29K being developed/inducted into the IN or RuNavy. How many MiG-29K's does the Russian navy have or plan to have? Why would they prioritize the MiG-29K ++ enhancements over numerous other efforts competing for funding when they have a small fleet, an AC that barely deploys and nothing in terms of a new AC in the near future (like a decade to 15 years)?

I am also not aware of any evidence pointing towards the Russian navy funding a Naval variant of the PAKFA. Yes, they plan on creating one but nothing has been funded for development let alone production and acquisition timelines shared. Again, for very similar reasons. The Russian navy has one carrier that barely deploys and most definitely not at a standard cadence. There is no NG carrier currently funded that will house these crafts so there is nothing concrete there on that end. So again, unless the IN/MOD bankrolls the creation of a naval Su-57, why would Russia prioritize that investment when they don't have an urgent, or even mid-term need, nor an AC to put these aircraft on?

When these birds are ready we can acquire them just as has not been ruled out with the SU-57.


I seem to have missed it. How is the MiG-35 based MiG-29K and a naval Su-57 “ready” and if not, does the IN/MOD routinely stipulate in its contracts that if your product and proposal isn’t ready they are happy to wait till such time that it is?


The point I'm making is that who would want the F-18 in whatever avatar 10 to 15 years hence when it is being replaced by the F-35? We aren't fools.


For the nth time, Super Hornets are NOT being replaced by the F-35C or B. The F-35C in the USN, and the F-35B and C in the USMC is replacing the F/A- 18 A-C Classic Hornets.

The USN will be acquiring the SH at least till 2024 but likely past that as well, possibly till 2027 with Growler top ups expected in the 2020s as well. As I said in my earlier post, the current Super Hornet variant in development (Block III) will be likely be produced and acquired by the USN in larger quantities than the entire production run of the MiG-29K. Between the Block III SH (74 aircraft on contract just through the FYDP) and the Growler based on Block III enhancements, the USN is probably looking at a minimum of 120 aircraft. Possibly closer to 150 before it ends its acquisition in the mid-late 2020’s.

These 100-150 aircraft that are delivered in the 2020's will be in service for 25-30 years beyond that i.e. the US Navy will have a pool of about 250-300 F/A-18E/F's (new built Block III's and Block II's upgraded to Block III) that will be in service through the 2030's, and wont begin their sunset until 2040 and some may still be in service in 2045. One can gauge USN/USMC's commitment to keep on upgrading aircraft, even when they are on their way out, by looking at the recent F/A-18 C contract award to Raytheon for an AESA radar. These aircraft are being sunsetted by the USMC but they are still getting an AESA bump, as some have 5-10 years of service life left in them and the USMC doesn't want to send an aircraft to a theater that has a missile that can shoot farther than the radar can see (a major handicap).

Raytheon to equip classic Hornet with upgraded radar


Look, the point is very simple – The IN wants 57 new naval figthers. They don’t want to simply buy more MiG-29K’s but want to shop around. The new fighters will increase IN’s fighter fleet, provide aircraft required to deploy 2 carriers starting next decade and ultimately support 3 aircraft-carriers. They aren’t saying that they need to buy 57 new fighters 20 years from now. They seem to have identified a need ahead of that hence the RFI.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Aug 2019 11:18

Would it be possible to set up a manufacturing line of the original hornet in India for mrca/naval rfi? Soup it up with all the doodads of today's tech.. And a more powerful engine.

Iirc the original bird did have some very nice potential specs in terms of range, thrust, loadouts etc. It was also smaller than the shornet, which means it could probably fit on the Indian Vik CV elevators.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 08 Aug 2019 11:30

Cain Marko wrote:Would it be possible to set up a manufacturing line of the original hornet in India for mrca/naval rfi? Soup it up with all the doodads of today's tech.. And a more powerful engine.


An original hornet with a larger engine and more fuel for more payload/range is essentially the SH (with a half a generation improvement in avionics etc).

Keeping size/fuel constant and demanding more power, more mission systems, larger engines essentially creates a worst Hornet with inferior performance, range, and payload compared to both the classic Hornet and the SH. There is a reason the SH grew over the Hornet. Capability comes at a cost (hence why the ideas that keep surfacing off and on (here), of fitting everything from an AL-31 to an F-136 on the LCA without it growing into a significantly larger aircraft are quite absurd as well).

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Aug 2019 12:23

brar_w wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Would it be possible to set up a manufacturing line of the original hornet in India for mrca/naval rfi? Soup it up with all the doodads of today's tech.. And a more powerful engine.


An original hornet with a larger engine and more fuel for more payload/range is essentially the SH (with a half a generation improvement in avionics etc).

Keeping size/fuel constant and demanding more power, more mission systems, larger engines essentially creates a worst Hornet with inferior performance, range, and payload compared to both the classic Hornet and the SH. There is a reason the SH grew over the Hornet. Capability comes at a cost (hence why the ideas that keep surfacing off and on (here), of fitting everything from an AL-31 to an F-136 on the LCA without it growing into a significantly larger aircraft are quite absurd as well).


Why state the obvious? When one suggests a larger engine, it doesn't have to be an al31 or even f 414. Why not the lca's 404 IN56? how much of a drop will this cause in the range? Obviously, the drop in specs were acceptable for both the LCA mk1 and mk1a.

Iirc, even with the 414, iirc the sfc was equally good as the 404. More importantly, how would this capability drop compare to the existing Mig 29Ks performance? TWR wise the difference might not be much at all. Nor in terms of range. Capability wise, we are looking at the zhukme vs the apg 70v4, r77 vs amraam d, vast variety of US weapons and loadouts, more hsrdpoints etc. The the Navy will land up getting a bird that has been completely debugged and fully ready for carrier ops, not to mention the higher end technology and uptimes that tend to be associated with US hardware.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 08 Aug 2019 14:30

There are limited aircraft that can serve aboard the two carriers that we have/ will have post 2020.It is absurd to think that an SH can be carried on the VIK-A and the lifts on it and IAC-1 are too small.We havd enough 29Ks for both flat tops.Where are the 57 going to operate from then? Until a nes larger flat top arrives we won't need these 57 nirds at all.Wishful thinking that they'll replace the 29Ks....unless they're smaller!

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 08 Aug 2019 19:17

Cain Marko wrote:Why state the obvious? When one suggests a larger engine, it doesn't have to be an al31 or even f 414. Why not the lca's 404 IN56? how much of a drop will this cause in the range? Obviously, the drop in specs were acceptable for both the LCA mk1 and mk1a.


Stating the "obvious" because a larger engine is added to meet certain requirements and not just because you can. On the SH for example, they wanted a larger diameter radar, more room for sensors, more power and electricity for future upgrades, more fuel for range/loiter and payload etc.etc. As the design grew they needed more thrust to meet performance requirements. Hence the F-414.

What is the cost-benefit of what you suggest? You are getting marginal dry thrust improvement and pretty much nothing else. It just seems like a whole lot of effort for very little gain and obviously leaves the entire SH out of contention which is a better all round multi-role naval fighter compared to it. The SH has better range, better performance with payload, newer more capable and more modern mission systems etc. etc. etc. Moreover, the block III has 100% support (development funding and procurement of at least 76 aircraft likely to be increased to beyond 100) and backing of the USN that will operate anywhere from 250 to 350 Super Hornet's in that configuration (new and upgraded).

Cain Marko wrote:The the Navy will land up getting a bird that has been completely debugged and fully ready for carrier ops, not to mention the higher end technology and uptimes that tend to be associated with US hardware.


The IN will end up with a bespoke aircraft that has no other end-user, a variant that will need significant $$ to accommodate the plethora of upgrades that it will need to become a modern 4.5 generation fighter of comparable capability to the SH or Rafale, and one that will have its unique O&S footprint as well. In contrast, the SH is more capable, already accomodates all the mission systems and sensors proposed in Block III SH, has a strong business case of future Block IV enhancements/upgrades (given how long the platform will serve with the USN) and is likely to be on offer for production IIRC.

I guess I am having a hard time understanding the benefit of inventing a variant (that does not exist), going through the pains of making sure A) it is feasible as a smaller 4.5 gen capability naval figther, and B ) Is affordable after factoring in all the changes, testing, and bespoke upgrades just to end up with an inferior (to the F-18 E/F and Rafale) product?

Why pay more for less?

Philip wrote:There are limited aircraft that can serve aboard the two carriers that we have/ will have post 2020.It is absurd to think that an SH can be carried on the VIK-A and the lifts on it and IAC-1 are too small.We havd enough 29Ks for both flat tops.Where are the 57 going to operate from then? Until a nes larger flat top arrives we won't need these 57 nirds at all.Wishful thinking that they'll replace the 29Ks....unless they're smaller!


It is not as straight forward as you claim. The IN floated an RFI for 57 naval fighters. They, through their analysis, have determined that they need new fighters. Exact analysis that fed into that decision is obviously not available to us. The IN has not definitively ruled that the SH (or the Rafale for that matter) is incompatible with the systems on board the IAC-1. If you have certain documentation that proves that such a ruling has been made then show it. If not, then there is too little information on what Dassault and Boeing are putting forward to determine whether the IN can make that case.

Philip wrote:We havd enough 29Ks for both flat tops.Where are the 57 going to operate from then?


As I have said a number of times now, the IN floated out an RFI recently and could possibly float out an RFP in the near-mid term for 57 new naval fighter aircraft to operate from IAC-1 initially, and later from IAC-2 as well. Of course when not deployed, they will be operating form land.

I don't think their analysis of whether "they have enough naval fighters" is going to be as straight forward as coming here and reading that they have " enough MiG-29K's for both flat-tops" and that they don't need new aircraft. The mere fact that they matured the idea far enough to engage industry and put out an RFI seems to suggest that they think they need more aircraft in the 2020's and beyond - hence the effort.

From the initial scoping effort with potential suppliers, it is quite clear that the IN wants A) modern capability that the MiG-29K currently lacks such as AESA radar etc., wants B ) an aircraft compatible with STOBAR and Catapult launches (both steam and electromagnetic) and can land using Svetlana Arresting Gear, Mark 7 /3 arresting gear or AAG C) wants source codes so that the aircraft can easily and affordably upgraded to accommodate current and future indigenous weapons. It seems clear that the initial efforts were made to identify an aircraft that can potentially be inducted starting the early-mid 2020's and that will serve on the IAC-1, IAC-2 and from land.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 08 Aug 2019 21:36

If the 29Ks lack an AESA radar, a future upgrade would resolve the issue.A far simpler and much cheaper solution than acquiring 50+ aircraft of a new type involving extensive infra requirements, weaponry changes, etc.For cash- strapped India, the fool's way to go.Incremental improvements has been the hallmark of our aviation, as can be seen in all types of fighters in service including pensioned Sea Harriers with the LUSH programme.Upgrades incrementally has been our mantra from Jags, MIG-21s, M2Ks, MIG-27s, MIG-29s, and SU-30s.So it is eminently sensible to upgrade the 29Ks, which will be done when the time requires it.

A 29 K upgrade for any requirement around 2025 is the simplest way to maintain a contemporary capability.It will also cost far less than any new bird, if one goes by the MIG-29 upgrades which the IAF are very happy with, cost only $ 900M for 69 aircraft in comparison to $2,5B for M2K upgrades yet to be completed. Even if you inflate the figure, a comprehensive upgrade with an AESA radar, TVC engines, IRST sensors and weaponry wkll be in the region of around $15M.
That would give the IN an aircraft arguably equal to any SH variant for 20 to 25% of the price of an SH! The IN is unfortunately for Boeing not going to dump the 29Ks.which have at least another 20+ years of life left in them. More than $5 B will be saved as a result.

As far as the AMCA-N is concerned, it won't be a few sqds, as hundreds of them will be required for the IAF, with much commonality.It will also be a 21st centiury Indian stealth fighter, investing in the future, not going backwards in time acquiring some antique from the 20th. century with an overdose of makeup.

PS: I've yet to understand how SHs, etc. which can't fit on our existing carriers' lifts are going to be suitably fitted in.A new type of carrier fighter makes sense only ic we build/ acquire in haste a new larger CV .

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 08 Aug 2019 22:31

Philip wrote:If the 29Ks lack an AESA radar, a future upgrade would resolve the issue.A far simpler and much cheaper solution than acquiring 50+ aircraft of a new type involving extensive infra requirements, weaponry changes, etc.....As far as the AMCA-N is concerned, it won't be a few sqds, as hundreds of them will be required for the IAF, with much commonality.It will also be a 21st centiury Indian stealth fighter...


I don’t think it is just about an “AESA”. Of course, in 2017 (when RFI was drafted) an AESA radar should be an absolute criteria to entry in addition to other 4.5 gen. mission system enhancements such as mission-computers, IRST, a digital EW suite, and connectivity and SDR’s along with integration of domestic weapons in addition to a comprehensive PGM suite. Of course, it is beneficial for MiG to offer an AESA on the MiG-29K’s as an upgrade, along with the sensor as a standard on new built aircraft it will likely offer once the RFP is sent out.

BTW, How many MiG-29 based aircraft are currently operational with an AESA? How many naval MiG-29’s exist with an AESA radar? How many hours has a naval-fighter optimized AESA radar clocked on a MiG-29 and what are the plans to A) field one, or B ) iterate and add capability to it? Who is going to foot the bill to A) integrate, test and qualify it, and B ) constantly upgrade it over the lifetime? These are important things which I’m sure the IN will consider as it advanced with its search for 57 new fighters. When the host operator owns a tiny fleet and has no plans to expand that considerably it leaves the non-host nation to foot the bill for upgrades and for solving the bugs and teething troubles as new systems are inducted. This problem does not exist for other potential contendors which either have AESA radars in service for over a decade, in the hundreds, or have it as a production standard with well defined, and funded, short, medium, and long term plans to keep it upgraded and relevant.

But regardless (if the N=0, 1, 5 or whatever, and if $0 or $1 Billion are invested or proposed for a naval MiG-35), let MiG offer the aircraft and let it compete on cost, capability, performance and overall capability. If it is as good as MiG claims, and if the MOD/IN is convinced that it is best value based on current and future commitments, and current and future performance and costs then I’m sure it will win the competition and be inducted in quantity (along with existing fleet being brought to the standard where possible).

This is what the starting point/baseline is for the Block III Super-Hornet. It is fully funded, to the tune of $5 Billion once one combines development funded by USN, and the procurement of 76 aircraft(110 in total once one fax its in announced plans outside of the FYDP). Most of the Block II aircraft delivered pre 2019 will probably be brought up to this standard, providing a base of well over 250 fighters when it comes time to designing, developing, testing and funding future enhancements.

https://australianaviation.com.au/2019/ ... air-space/

It is a strawman effort to nit-pick one reported RFI criteria and use that as a basis to claim that the IN is buying 57 new aircraft “just for the AESA” alone. The IN has determined it needs 57 new fighters in the 2020’s for IAC-1 and IAC-2 and to operate from shore. They have obviously done a professional, operationally driven analysis that led them to this requirement. They are moving form a 1 carrier force to a 2 carrier force with plans to eventually become a 3 carrier force. There are likely other needs these fighters must also fulfill.

Again, I see no point in bringing up the AMCA-N here. It is a late 2030’s-2040’s solution to the IN’s carrier aviation needs. It can come in and begin replacing retiring MiG-29K’s or the new aircraft the IN acquires in the interim.

Philip wrote:PS: I've yet to understand how SHs, etc. which can't fit on our existing carriers' lifts are going to be suitably fitted in.A new type of carrier fighter makes sense only ic we build/ acquire in haste a new larger CV .


Then you need to dig deeper and look closer. Boeing says they can make the SH work on IAC-1. They have replied to the IN’s RFI. Unless you have access to their proposal, or have insight into IN’s evaluation of it, there is no way you can pass a definitive well-reasoned judgement. The IN has stipulated that it is looking for the aircraft to operate from both STOBAR and catapult based carriers. The former even requires it to be compatible with landing devices onboard IAC-1 and of course there has to be a way for it to be used with the aircraft carrier’s systems (like elevators, radios and other below deck equipment ). Once the RFP is out and OEMs respond to it we will know what the final proposals are and have more visibility into where the IN plans to go from a requirements perspective

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 08 Aug 2019 23:39

The statement that the IN wants a STOBAR-cum- CATOBAR bird and to operate from land (?) is a giveaway,
that it is meant for future flat tops.I' m curious to see how Boeing is going to specially produce an SH variant for just 57 aircraft that can operate from the VikA or IAC-1's lifts.It makes huge economic sense! Well unless it is leveraging an IAF buy for its MMRCA 2 in the bargain.

As I said earlier, the AMCA is definitely on the cards as the GOI wants an India medium stealth fighter whether we go in for the SU-57 or not.So just like the MIG-29,the Flanker and as is being attempted with the LCA, a naval version is very likely a strong possibility.The timeframe for development- and already a lot of work has been done on the AMCA, could be within 15+ years (the ADA appears very confident about the programme given the long learning curve for the LCA). That would match the time taken to build a large flat top given our speed of construction of IAC-1.Both would arrive around the samr time.

Even if another type makes the grade for arguments sake, the Rafale is in a stronger position than the SH since the IAF is shortly to begin operating from it.The recent naval exercises between the VikA and the CDG, 29K and the Rafale, would've given the IN a v.good comparison of the types and trends of thought.Shall try and get some info. on the same.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2019 00:13

Philip wrote:The statement that the IN wants a STOBAR-cum- CATOBAR bird and to operate from land (?) is a giveaway,
that it is meant for future flat tops.I' m curious to see how Boeing is going to specially produce an SH variant for just 57 aircraft that can operate from the VikA or IAC-1's lifts.It makes huge economic sense! Well unless it is leveraging an IAF buy for its MMRCA 2 in the bargain.


The IN has an indigenous STOBAR carrier (IAC-1). It wants new fighters to operate off of it. Operating from such a carrier with a ski-jump is specified in the RFI. The IN plans to use a catapult on its next AC (IAC-2) and wants the aircraft to also operate off of it. The IN already operates its fighters from naval bases. Any new fighter will continue to do the same.

There is no “specially produced” Indian variant likely. It will most likely be a Block III Super-Hornet (The variant that the US Navy just put down a $5 billion order for) with IN specific internal changes and with minor changes to accommodate for deck and elevator usability. I don’t think they will propose any major level 1 or 2 modification that will eat up valuable dev. and cert. time and $ but if they have to go down that route then it would be a negative for their proposal unless they rapidly self-fund those enhancements and perform a demonstration. There is some baseline data on the F/A-18 operating from a ski jump and there is a ski-jump facility in the US that the USN maintains for testing which is currently being used by the British to establish the envelope of the F-35B when operating from the QE class.

Image
Boeing Says Super Hornet Fully Compatible With Indian Navy Ski-Jump Carriers

Philip wrote:As I said earlier, the AMCA is definitely on the cards as the GOI wants an India medium stealth fighter whether we go in for the SU-57 or not.So just like the MIG-29,the Flanker and as is being attempted with the LCA, a naval version is very likely a strong possibility.The timeframe for development- and already a lot of work has been done on the AMCA, could be within 15+ years (the ADA appears very confident about the programme given the long learning curve for the LCA). That would match the time taken to build a large flat top given our speed of construction of IAC-1.Both would arrive around the samr time.


Here we go. again The AMCA comes back again. For the nth time, I am agreeing with you that the AMCA-N will happen in the future. But the Naval-AMCA is a late 2030/early 2040s platform at best and as such it is not relevant to the current IN plans of acquiring 57 new aircraft. Constantly bringing it up adds ZERO value to the discussion around which fighter the IN should select for its currently stated requirement of 57 fighters to be acquired in the 2020s.

No 5th generation fighter has been put into service in under 15 years (from EMD/SDD contract award). Actual EMD programs range from 14 years to 20 years. The US Navy, Lockheed Martin with all the cash, expertise and a long legacy of 5th gen. technology development still took around 15 years to put the F-35B on a USMC flat-top (first operational IOC status) and the USN has scheduled its first F-35C cruise (actual 4-6 month deployment with a full unit of F-35C’s on board an AC) for 2021 which would be nearly 20 years post SDD contract award to Lockheed. This is tough work and is technologically, production wise, and test wise challenging stuff. I just don’t see a reason to keep on bringing the AMCA-N into the discussion when we are discussing short-medium term plans, and not long term/multi-decade replacement cycles.

Even if another type makes the grade for arguments sake, the Rafale is in a stronger position than the SH since the IAF is shortly to begin operating from it.The recent naval exercises between the VikA and the CDG, 29K and the Rafale, would've given the IN a v.good comparison of the types and trends of thought.Shall try and get some info. on the same.


Yes the Rafale stands a good chance as well. It is capable and has very high commonality with the IAF’s Rafale C’s. It remains to be seen the solution they are offering but as a MR naval fighter the Block III has several advantages (maritime weapons, SEAD/DEAD weapons, more weapon choices, and better data sharing to begin with). It will be extremely competitive with the Block III so it may come down to cost, capability and interoperability/integration solutions proposed and of course the big picture (any carrier cooperation happening for IAC-2).

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Kartik » 09 Aug 2019 02:29

Terrific posts brar_w. I'm afraid your logic while being first rate, is lost on people who peddle fantasies based on their preference for a certain nation's fighter. That particular poster will push all sorts of experimental, non experimental, vapor, paper or real planes, basically anything that has an internet blurb around it, as the next viable solution. That poster loves calling the F/A-18 or F-16 a "hag" while conveniently ignoring the fact that both the MiG-35 and Su-35 also can be called "hags" using the same stupid logic.

I think the lack of real world experience with product development life cycles and a non-appreciation of the cost versus benefit question is one of the key factors behind many of these "out of the box" type suggestions.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Kartik » 09 Aug 2019 03:58

Manish_P wrote:^ Would that be Retd. Rear Admiral Surendra Ahuja, ex Navy Pilot, and now MD of Boeing Defence India?

Flying experience of 20+ aircraft.. i don't have experience of that many cars :oops:


Yes he was appointed MD of Boeing Defence India (BDI). That tweet on the Top Gun movie now featuring the Super Hornet was meant to bolster the Super Hornet's image.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2019 07:05

Kartik wrote:Terrific posts brar_w. I'm afraid your logic while being first rate, is lost on people who peddle fantasies based on their preference for a certain nation's fighter. That particular poster will push all sorts of experimental, non experimental, vapor, paper or real planes, basically anything that has an internet blurb around it, as the next viable solution. That poster loves calling the F/A-18 or F-16 a "hag" while conveniently ignoring the fact that both the MiG-35 and Su-35 also can be called "hags" using the same stupid logic.

I think the lack of real world experience with product development life cycles and a non-appreciation of the cost versus benefit question is one of the key factors behind many of these "out of the box" type suggestions.


Yes it is quite frustrating. The MiG-29 or the MiG-35 does not appear to be a priority for the Russian Navy or Air Force. Egypt, having realized this, probably downgraded its orders from the MiG-35's it initially wanted. The Russian AF is buying a few but nowhere in the quantity to bring in economies of scale, put hundreds of thousands of hours of operation and cycles that will ensure iterative improvements from user community feedback and real-world deployments. Clearly for the RuAF the SU-30, the SU-35, and to a lesser extent, the SU-57 seems to be a priorirty and taking the budgetary $$ in terms of CAPEX and OPEX. On the naval side they aren't deploying at all since and it could well be a number of years between the last MiG-29K at sea deployment and the next one. The IN is probably a much better authority on that type when it comes to carrier ops.

But if they do decide to prioritize it, and are willing to invest their $$ to create a variant equivilant to Block III SH or F3 Rafale M then by all means evaluate it on its merits and pick the best value for the IN.

What is frustrating is the constant twisting of facts to somehow paint the Super Hornet as a 3+ gen. aircraft and the MiG-29K/35 as a 4+ gen aircraft which will get you laughed at by most of with any serious knowledge of naval fighter aircraft. Same with trying to somehow claim that the classic hornet is same as Super Hornet and that the USN is getting rid of the SH by replacing them with F-35 (another false bit of information injected to muddy the waters). And if nothing else, bring back the strawman argument of the N-AMCA and SU-57 as if they exist or can exist in a navalized form in time to compete for the IN's requirements and as if pursuing the AMCA-N as a long term naval aircraft is at conflict with buying aircraft a decade or more ahead of that based on an actual NEED to support 2 carriers, shore based operations, and plan for a third carrier. Even the UK with its dwindling budgets plans on maintaining a fleet of at least 80 (though announced plans are closer to 100) F-35B's to support 2 aircraft-carriers so it is entirely justifiable for the IN to look to build a fleet of about 100 naval fighters for its two carriers while preparing for CATAPULT based carrier ops which will be a change in the training and shore based facilities side so will require some lead time.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby souravB » 09 Aug 2019 07:59

brar_w wrote:Even the UK with its dwindling budgets plans on maintaining a fleet of at least 80 (though announced plans are closer to 100) F-35B's to support 2 aircraft-carriers so it is entirely justifiable for the IN to look to build a fleet of about 100 naval fighters for its two carriers while preparing for CATAPULT based carrier ops which will be a change in the training and shore based facilities side so will require some lead time.

QE class carriers can have a air component of 60. comes to ~40 fighters/carrier. V class has 40 in air component and ~26 fighters.
So them having close to 100 fighters is cutting it close to being just enough and not excess if we count trainers and attrition reserves. IN also has close to 60-62 29Ks inc everything. It is in accordance to IN's carrier size and fighter component capacity. So I'd say IN doesn't need the NMRCA fighters to sustain 2 carrier op. I am saying this because IN hasn't selected any fighter yet let alone sign the contract, while IAC1 will be inducted in a year or two.
But when IAC2 comes online, they'll need the air component for that. Maybe NMRCA bears fruit then.


Also I have a noob pooch, can any Guru tell me why IN carrier doesn't use deflector shield at the flight deck? Is it a doctrine thingy? other STOBAR operators like Cheen and Rus use it.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Manish_P » 09 Aug 2019 08:47

brar_w wrote:
Why pay more for less


Because the costs of having your frontline offensive systems at the mercy of sanctions, with the supplier having a proven history of being your opponents long time benefactor, are infinitely higher..

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Rakesh » 09 Aug 2019 08:55

Oh I just know where this is going to go :lol:

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 09 Aug 2019 09:03

brar_w wrote:Stating the "obvious" because a larger engine is added to meet certain requirements and not just because you can. On the SH for example, they wanted a larger diameter radar, more room for sensors, more power and electricity for future upgrades, more fuel for range/loiter and payload etc.etc. As the design grew they needed more thrust to meet performance requirements. Hence the F-414. .........
What is the cost-benefit of what you suggest?
I guess I am having a hard time understanding the benefit of inventing a variant (that does not exist), going through the pains of making sure A) it is feasible as a smaller 4.5 gen capability naval figther, and B ) Is affordable after factoring in all the changes, testing, and bespoke upgrades just to end up with an inferior (to the F-18 E/F and Rafale) product?
Why pay more for less?


Very simple answer to this: the need for a smaller albeit older hornet is because it would have a better chance to fit the narrow elevators of the Indian carriers. Thought I had made that clear, perhaps not. Additional advantages could be:
1. the edge over the Mig 29k in terms of ease of maintenance and technology.
2,A full assembly line transfer of the product to India in a MII deal, something LM is trying forever the push through for the f16. An order for larger number of fighters would only reduce costs. And there is always the possibility of making $s via support for other operators of the bird, smallish though this might be. Not that this is necessary since the Indian order could easily exceed 200 birds so long as rights to do in-house upgrades are also purchased.
3.Then there is the commonality between the LCA and hornet engines.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2019 09:34

Cain Marko wrote:Very simple answer to this: the need for a smaller albeit older hornet is because it would have a better chance to fit the narrow elevators of the Indian carriers.


So you advocate creating a bespoke variant of the F/A-18C that is no longer in production, has had no work done to bring it up to 4.5 generation standards (or even a feasibility study to determine what it would take or if that would even be possible given future threats and mission-system demands), mount an engine on it which is not integrated into it, and re-start its production decades after it seized just to save < 1 meter from the wingspan?

Honestly, this is solution is not even worth debating as it is so unrealistic and a non-starter that Boeing wouldn't even propose it (unless they want to have a sure shot chance of losing the competition) so the question of the IN picking it becomes moot.

Boeing believes it can present a solution on the IAC-1 and that along with the ability to operate from an EMALS or Steam equipped IAC-2 is probably all they are going to propose. Dassault likewise will probably also propose something that will work on the IAC-1. I don't think the Vik will see anything operate off her besides the MiG-29K's and perhaps Naval LCA.

Additional advantages could be:

1. the edge over the Mig 29k in terms of ease of maintenance and technology.
2,A full assembly line transfer of the product to India in a MII deal, something LM is trying forever the push through for the f16. An order for larger number of fighters would only reduce costs. And there is always the possibility of making $s via support for other operators of the bird, smallish though this might be. Not that this is necessary since the Indian order could easily exceed 200 birds so long as rights to do in-house upgrades are also purchased.
3.Then there is the commonality between the LCA and hornet engines.


I tend to avoid "what if" fantasy scenarios (hence my earlier comments on this thread about fantasy MiG-29K variants and a navalized Su-57 competing in this space) and stick to what is either happening or at least somewhat likely to happen. Boeing is not going to bring back a decades old Classic-Hornet because it makes little to no sense and the IN/MOD is unlikely to accept if Boeing did indeed try to pull something like that off. I think Boeing has made it quite clear that they intend on offering the Super Hornet Block III. This is their proposal and this is what the IN will evaluate when it comes down to selecting and evaluating the proposals once it gets to RFP stage. Even Lockheed offering the F-35C seems more feasible than Boeing dusting off the classic hornet.
Last edited by brar_w on 09 Aug 2019 10:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2019 09:59

souravB wrote:QE class carriers can have a air component of 60. comes to ~40 fighters/carrier. V class has 40 in air component and ~26 fighters.


There is never a hard and fast rule of how the AC is going to operate. There is doctrine and then there is a needs based assessment with the flexibility to dial in or dial down a carrier air wing to optimize it for the situation being the hallmark of a good AC.

souravB wrote:IN also has close to 60-62 29Ks inc everything. It is in accordance to IN's carrier size and fighter component capacity. So I'd say IN doesn't need the NMRCA fighters to sustain 2 carrier op. I am saying this because IN hasn't selected any fighter yet let alone sign the contract, while IAC1 will be inducted in a year or two.


I thought the IN operated around 44 MiG-29K's (45-1).

The IN issued an RFI for the MRCBF program a couple of years ago. An RFP will follow next. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to predicting the timelines. Reading articles written on the RFI it seems they want it to be compatible of STOBAR operations from the IAC-1 and be future proof so that it can operate from IAC-2. The AC aircraft fleet size is determined by a number of factors including availability, serviceability, depot/overhaul schedule, training needs, attrition reserves, and most importantly the future operation tempo forecasts over 5-10 years. First in Class Aircraft Carriers take a fair bit of time to hit their first cruise once they begin deploying armed forces personnel as integration and other activities are time-consuming. Effectively, you are looking at a early-mid 2020's deployment of the IAC-2 with an air-wing that is fully trained and equipped to operate off of it.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Rakesh » 09 Aug 2019 11:20

Brar, when you say IAC-2....are you referring to the upcoming Vishal?

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby MeshaVishwas » 09 Aug 2019 11:28

brar_w wrote:I thought the IN operated around 44 MiG-29K's (45-1).

45.
No losses.


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