Indian Naval Aviation

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brar_w
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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2019 11:45

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

45.
No losses.


There was an accident reported recently hence I said 44. Either way, it isn't 60-62.

https://www.ndtv.com/goa-news/mig-29k-f ... ly-1795225

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2019 11:56

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


Yes, the specific language in the RFI inquiring of compatibility with STOBAR operations from ski jumps, and steam/EM catapults would point to the IN requiring compatibility with current carrier, and future proofing it based on the direction it envisions for the IAC-2. Of course they could alter these things in the RFP but the RFI and reporting around it is all we have to go by.

It [RFI] goes further, to ask:

Is the Main Landing Gear capable of withstanding loads of holding on Restraining Gear System fitted on IN STOBAR aircraft carriers at maximum afterburner rating?

Is the Nose Landing Gear designed and capable of undertaking Catapult Launch from contemporary Steam and Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch (EMAL) systems?

Is the aircraft capable of being launched from 13o and 14° Ski-Jumps having a parabolic profile (would be provided on request) using afterburner?

Is the aircraft capable of being launched from conventional steam catapult and EMALS?

What is the certified max Launch Weight for CATOBAR? Provide CATOBAR specifications.

https://www.stratpost.com/navy-issues-r ... -fighters/



The IN was clearly scoping for something that could operate and/or integrate with both the IAC-1 and a future carrier [IAC-2] if it is larger, and has a catapult. I bet the last thing they want to end up with is a situation they currently find themselves in vis-a-vis the IAC-1's lifts and the air-wing selection. It is better to understand the abilities or integration costs of the fighter they chose so that they can create the requirements appropriately so as to avoid costs, delays, and integration challenges down the road if they do indeed embark on a catapult equipped carrier [which seems quite likely IMHO, with only the size and timing TBD].

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Rakesh » 09 Aug 2019 12:01

Thank you Brar. My next question is this a typo then?

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.

Are you saying that IAC-2 will be ready by the mid-2020s?

Indian shipyards will not get a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier ready even by the end of the 2020s, forget the mid 2020s.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2019 12:07

No, That was a typo..I meant IAC-1 [having its first operational cruise with a CAW around that time]. IAC-2 will come a decade later..

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Rakesh » 09 Aug 2019 12:16

Okay, makes much better sense. Thanks.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby souravB » 09 Aug 2019 15:12

brar_w wrote: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.

Sir yes sir. But the number I quoted is the highest number based on space, manpower, fuel carrying capacity etc. On requirement the number may be curtailed but it shouldn't be higher than that. Also depending upon the rotary wing complement and in future UAVs.

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

Mea culpa. I thought for some reason the trainers were separate.

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. - - snip--

Sir we all know the RFI can be revoked at any second and a new one issued. Based on history of Indian Mil Equipment purchase, that has a better probability than the RFI going to RFP. My entire point is the carrier compatibility trials should have began already if not have ended should IN is looking to operate them from IAC1 earliest from 2025. After Trials, RFP will be issued, price haggling, then contract signing before the winner starts modification on the platform and then starts production. easily a 6-7 year timeframe without implementing the MII component of RFI.
By the time the MRCBF get IOC on IAC1, It might already be time for trials on IAC2.
Unless IN wants to operate them later than 2025-26 on IAC1, I do not see the fighters coming for IAC1. But by that time NLCA mk2 could be ready to go.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby chola » 09 Aug 2019 15:56

Rakesh wrote:Thank you Brar. My next question is this a typo then?

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.

Are you saying that IAC-2 will be ready by the mid-2020s?

Indian shipyards will not get a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier ready even by the end of the 2020s, forget the mid 2020s.


Certainly not if MoD has not even approved a plan for IAC2 yet. Vikrant, if its timeline does not slip again, is expecting sea trials in 2021. Keel was laid in 2009. So a dozen years at the very least.

Vishal will be much bigger and as a CATOBAR will be far more complex. It will not take any less time than Vikrant. So even if the MoD approves the Navy's plan today we will not see it until the 2030s. But there is no approval, no solid plan going forward. For a program that requires so long lead times we are approaching this in an ad hoc manner.

The 57 RFI if executed in the next few years is really for the Vikrant onlee. The Navy wants something other than just the Mig-29K.

Of course, an actual order could be dragged for many many years in our procurement process so by the time it done maybe the IAC2 will be ready. That would be in the 2030s.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2019 20:33

souravB wrote:Sir we all know the RFI can be revoked at any second and a new one issued. Based on history of Indian Mil Equipment purchase, that has a better probability than the RFI going to RFP. My entire point is the carrier compatibility trials should have began already if not have ended should IN is looking to operate them from IAC1 earliest from 2025.


RFI's aren't revoked. They are one way communications aimed at scoping out an RFP. You get your questions and data, analyze it and use it to formulate a comprehensive RFP. Of course there could be no follow on RFP and there could be no 57 MRCBF program. But we do not know all that yet. What we know, and what we have as a best gauge of what the IN is currently thinking about is the RFI they posted. That is the best we can do to gain visibility into what it may be interested in doing.

I also do not understand the strict timeline you have imposed when it comes to IAC-1's deployment and in-service date. You don't need to have the RFP out, trials completed etc. etc. by the time the carrier is put to use. The carrier can be inducted, and a smaller MiG-29K based AW can operate out of it until such time that the IN and the MOD run the program. Most carriers go through a number of AW changes and refreshes through their service life. The RFI provides some insight into what the IN wants from its aircraft and it is quite clear that they were interested in the new aircraft operating from IAC-1 and IAC-2. They did not specify that they wanted this capability from Day-1. All they said was that once an RFP was released they expect delivery within 3 years of contract award. I don't think the MRCBF will arrive before 2024-2025 but that is just me guessing.

Long term, 44 fighter aircraft is too low a number for two AC's as ops tempo demands are likely to rise and not reduce (look at how much activity the P-8's are doing for example). Not all 44 would be available at any given time, and not all that are available at any given time will be sent on board (there are attrition reserves, on shore duties, training needs, test aircraft etc. etc. etc.) an AC. Additional 57 will get the IN a total of around 100 aircraft for both AC and shore based duties..That's a good mix that will allow for deployments, training and preparing shore based facilities, training programs etc to get back into the catapult based operations in the decade that follows. It will allow for a pipleine of pilots and experts to be set up leading up to the IAC-2.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 10 Aug 2019 04:18

I said I would check on this issue- the extra 50+ aircraft and just did, with two distinguished former chiefs. The requirement was mainly for a future CV, as the carrier lifts on both existing CVs are too small,but "Boeing is trying to design a rig" where its bird can be accommodated tilted. How that will work on a pitching deck in rough seas remains to be seen.The MIG-29Ks performed " very well" in exercises recently with the French CDG and Rafale-Ms, " we have enough for both carriers".So there you have it.One chief was a distinguished aviator himself.

"Initially, we had some issues ( with the 29Ks), but now they're fine, performed very well..." quote by both chiefs about the 29Ks.Therefore it is logical that if any extra aircraft are required for the two CVs in hand, the simplest cost-effective solution would be to acquire a small batch of 29Ks which are also in production for the RuN.If we do intend to base aircraft at naval air stations say in the ANC for example, then more capable birds like MKIs,Rafale-Ms (since the IAF will operate the same) ,etc. could be considered.I have mentioned over the last few years several times that the IN should take up greater responsibility for air defence and maritime strike ops in the islands and southern peninsula India , freeing more aircraft for the IAF to be used in the Pak and Chinese theatres. Whether the IAF will let this happen is entirely another Q.They would hate to see more strike aircraft in the naval inventory, but if the reorganisation of our service commands into theatre commands happens, as is being contemplated, then the IN would certainly have a greater role to play.

Former ambassador G.Parthasarathy also said in the context of us controlling the sea lanes from the Straits of Hormuz to the Malacca Straits, where 70% of global oil transits, that diplomacy has to be backed up by military force.Unless the GOI realises that the IN must be given the top priority today like the PRC is doing and increase its budget substantially for capital acquisitions, this will be v.difficult to achieve on a little better than hand- to- mouth handout as of now. All three services find pensions and operating expenses leaving v. little in the kitty for hard acquisitions. 50+ new aircraft would cost if western , around $4B+ at least. A huge sum when the P-75I requirement is already in the pipeline, second Akula and the 6 SSNs, not to mention the 4 amphibs ( in limbo) , miscellaneous surface combatants, multi-role helos and the extra P-8Is which are also a v.high priority.With these needs to feed, it is unlikely that the 50+ extra fighters will come before these above reqs. are met first.
Last edited by Philip on 10 Aug 2019 04:54, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 10 Aug 2019 04:21

44 aircraft are enough to support 2 carrier ops or just one carrier deployment? What about surge, land based duties, down-times etc. etc. Let's say that any given time 10 aircraft are non-deployable and 5 aircraft are on stand by for shore based duties/training (3 KUB's remain) etc. etc. etc. That leaves 29 aircraft covering two carriers so possibly only one could be fully deployable even during surge. This assumes 80% readiness across fleet until retirement, low aircraft loss rate, and no prolonged non-availability on account of extensive depot modifications, upgrades or overhaul [All not easy metrics to sustain and impossible to achieve as fleet approaches EOL]. This would likely force the IN to essentially to maintain one deployable carrier which itself would need very high aircraft readiness and low stand by. What would happen during surge when the other carrier is ready to go but lacks the aircraft?

Philip wrote:I said I would check on this issue- the exyra 50+ aircraft and just did, with two distinguished former chiefs. The requirement was mainly for a future CV, as the carrier lifts on both existing CVs are too small


This is in contradiction to what the previous chief is claimed to have said on record regarding needing a carrier capable aircraft to support IAC-1.

https://www.financialexpress.com/india- ... ba/956986/

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 10 Aug 2019 05:33

Why would one buy 50+ aircraft of an entirely different type for reserves, etc. when the simplest solution would be a small number of "more of the same" for both? Each carrier carries around 30+ aircraft and helos, of which number at least 3-4 AEW Kamov-31s and 6 to 8 ASW helos/ LUHs for plane guard duties as well. Around 20 strike aircraft and 10 helos approx. would be the mix. 47 29Ks solely for the VikA and 57 new birds for the IAC-1 seems quite extravagant by Indian standards ! The IN has traditionally been served by the MOD with just the bare minimum from Sea Harrier days.Look at how the poor IAF are starving! They would riot to see such largesse for the IN for just two CVs.Also remember that until now, the IN's aim was to have just one CV available in a crisis.

The 50+ extra is valid in the context only if the new large CV gets the nod, and soon, where it may be possible to "tilt" an SH onto the lifts of the existing CVs. Apparently Dassault ( I forgot to mention ) is also working on something similar to see if its bird can be thus accommodated. If the new CV does not get the nod, the 50+ will have to wait it out as the MOD has already expressed its doubts about the huge expenditure of the entire package of large CV, aircraft/ helos, plus supporting cast of surface and sub-surface assets.

There is also the sparrow in the room not mentioned, the LCA-N, which I think has until this year-end to perform or perish.A recent DRDO statement has it that " LCA Mk-2 will meet all the IN's requirements..." This was in the context of the Uttam AESA radar being slated for the Mk-1A.You can bet your last rupee,dollar, yen that the DRDO will make its pitch for any extra carrier birds to stir the pot!

It's why I've suggested that the role/ design / size of the planned 4 amphibs be re- examined ( if we anticipate extra crises requiring more flat tops) , so that the possibility of operating strike aircraft from an angled deck plus ski- jump exists. This would give the amphibs a modicum of their own integral air support. Alternatively, a modified sister ship to IAC-1 with larger lifts built asap and the no. of amphibs reduced. A Q must be asked as to where the IN has planned for such amphib ops in the IOR.Another chat on this maybe later on.

PS: The quote by the previous chief is 2 years old.Much water has flown down the Ganga since then.Nevertheles, there is a new DM at the helm of the MOD who has promised to help the IN.If the budget gets extra allocations, perhaps something may move on the amphibs/ extra CV. In Oct. the annual Indo-Ru military round of meetings take place and several deals will be sealed .The latest situation in Kashmir and earlier Balakot air strike needs to be taken into consideration for budgetary allocations and my guess is that other than the 4 FFGs, the bulk of acquisitions will be for the IAF and IA, in anticipation of any possible spat with Pak over Kashmir.
Last edited by Philip on 10 Aug 2019 05:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Kashi » 10 Aug 2019 05:47

Philip wrote:Why would one buy 50+ aircraft of an entirely different type for reserves, etc. when the simplest solution would be a small number of "more of the same" for both?


Exactly. Why would a smart and pragmatic organisation such as IN issue a new RFP skirting the simplest solution?

Have you my good sir considered that perhaps the "same" type has been absolutely crap and IN do not wish to acquire "more of the same"?

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 10 Aug 2019 05:55

I repeat the quote by the two former chiefs recently that the 29Ks performed in the recent Indo-French exercises "VERY WELL". " We have enough for both (CVs)".One of them was in the hot seat not too long ago, discretion prevents me from giving his name.
That the 29Ks are " crap" exists mainly in the minds of Americans methinks!

PS: At this moment we operate only one CV with IAC-1 due optimistically within 2 years.By the time it finishes its sea trials, work up of its air complement, at least another year would've passed.Only then would the IN be in a better position to assess its immediate needs for 2 CVs. We do not need any extra aircraft urgently right now.Once a decision is taken on IAC-2, and its construction timeframe and approx. date of commissioning, plans for its fighter complement can be worked out type and numbers from the IN's experience of operating 29Ks and the state of global carrier aviation and future trends at that time.
Last edited by Philip on 10 Aug 2019 06:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 10 Aug 2019 06:13

Philip wrote:Why would one buy 50+ aircraft of an entirely different type for reserves, etc. when the simplest solution would be a small number of "more of the same" for both?


Good question. I don't speak for the IN, and won't pretend to do so either.

The reality of the situation is this however - The IN put out an RFI in 2017 that requested information on a carrier based multi-role fighter aircraft capable of 1) Operating from STOBAR carriers with Ski jumps, and 2 ) Electromagnetic and Steam based catapults. The previous Naval chief was quoted as saying that he would like these fighters so that they could begin filling the IAC-1. So why would the IN want 57 new fighters instead of a 20-30 aircraft top up order of MiG-29K's? I don't know but you can use your imagination and develop a hypothesis or a list of possible reasons.

47 29Ks solely for the VikA and 57 new birds for the IAC-1 seems quite extravagant by Indian standards ! The IN has traditionally been served by the MOD with just the bare minimum from Sea Harrier days.Look at how the poor IAF are starving!


Aircraft aren't solely for XYZ. Naval Aviation requires aircraft to be deployable before they fly out and land on a carrier for deployment. This means that not only should they be mission capable, they should not be requiring prolonged land or depot based repair, mods or upgrades for the duration of the intended cruise/deployment. On top of this there are attrition reserves and aircraft required for training needs, to test various upgrades, integration activities that are usually ongoing etc. etc. As I said in my previous post the current MiG-29K fleet size is around 44 aircraft out of which at least 3 are KUB which are operational trainers. Assuming that 10 aircraft are non-deployable during a random deployment cycle (or over multiple cycles on average) this leaves the IN with a pool of 34 aircraft to put on a carrier and send off to deployment, train pilots, test and validate any improvements or upgrade work and provide the pilots not currently deploying properly trained and ready. Now lets say that number is around 5-8 aircraft. This leaves less than 30 aircraft on hand so this would mean that readiness has to be absolutely spot on over the next decade+ just to ensure that deployments are fully met with very little margin for error. Of course if ops tempo and peacetime deployment needs increase over the next decade, then it acts as another stress point to the deployment model.

Why would the IN need 57 new aircraft? Here's my hypothesis - The IN wants a similar number of aircraft to support IAC-1 that it acquired for the Vik. That would be 45 aircraft including two-seat trainers. The IN also has plans to develop a 65,000 K carrier CATOBAR which would need its own shore based facility (to properly do it) for testing, certification and most importantly for pilot training. Another reason that could possibly explain the larger follow-on buy (57 vs 45) would be that the IN envisions a greater ops tempo requirement (The MPA side has seen an exponentional growth in utilization owing both to a need but also due to having a platform that can meet those requirements) in the coming decades given the changing security picture in the IOR and beyond. More deployments, and more frequent deployments means you need more aircraft (simple readiness math). So, I see the 57 aircraft RFI being in place to support an eventual RFP to acquire aircraft to both fill the deck of the IAC-1 but also prepare the IN to induct the IAC-2 into the 2030's at which time it could evaluate either new clean sheet 5th generation designs (like AMCA) inducting a navalized MWF, or scoping out other manned or unmanned options to make up numbers.

57 would allow them to meet current (2025-2035) need and plan ahead for multiple future contingencies. Chief of the Naval Staff (Lanba's) quote of needing aircraft by 2020 (or early 2020's) is consistant with that. A Mid-2018 RFP would have meant a 2020-2021 selection (best case scenario) which would have meant 2023-2025 first delivery. That is probably the IN wanted but like the MMRCA, Rafale, MMRCA 2.0 everything gets delayed and schedules shift to the right.

I repeat the quote by the two former chiefs recently that the 29Ks performed in the recent Indo-French exercises "VERY WELL". " We have enough for both (CVs)"


Quoted by whom?

Philip wrote:The IN has traditionally been served by the MOD with just the bare minimum from Sea Harrier days.Look at how the poor IAF are starving! They would riot to see such largesse for the IN for just two CVs.Also remember that until now, the IN's aim was to have just one CV available in a crisis.


If the IN is destined to be left with a "bare minimum" of combat aircraft capability, and would not be allowed by its sister service to acquire modern strike figthers, how on earth would the "almost ready" Mythical Su-57 Naval fighter fly in IN colors..I wonder. :oops:. Or is the IN's luck in convincing the relevant stakeholders and its sister service in letting it acquire modern aircraft somehow highly correlated to the maturity and design/development timeline of the Su-57 N?
Last edited by brar_w on 10 Aug 2019 06:30, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 10 Aug 2019 06:28

You'ld be surprised.Discretion prevents me from naming them.

IST, aka " Indian Standard Time", in cosmic in dimension.
The MOD is another dimension in itself.Look how long it took to seal the Rafale deal, and that too for a mere 36.
However, the current dispensation is moving fast, by our standards, but budgetary woes remain.Unless the defence budget is substantially hiked, we will be continuing this debate 5 years hence.The current eco slowdown will affect our future acquisition plans and pressure to fund desi/local products like the LCA-N, Mk-1 or Mk-2 will complicate matters.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 10 Aug 2019 06:53

Philip wrote:You'ld be surprised.Discretion prevents me from naming them.


Oh so they weren't really quoted as saying it. You are claiming that you called them up and they told you X Y Z. Hope you realize that this isn't a "quote" as we are left with the only option of "taking your word " for it (unless you are a journalist from a reliable publication with an editor who vetted your claim). What you've mentioned in the thread about Boeing and Dassault's solutoin has been known here and elsewhere for nearly two years.Nothing new. Multiple stories have been published about it.

I'd much rather stick to facts as they appear in reality or actions and comments made in the public domain. Like for example, floating an RFI (something that has to follow a laid out/established process) and asking OEM's to respond, and wanting to follow that up with an RFP (both of which the previous Chief is on record of saying they want to move fast on). Same thing with requiring aircraft for IAC-1.

And the same thing in terms of gauging what the IN wants vis-a-vis IAC-2 from the current Chief -

“Our plan is to build a 65,000 tonner, possibly with electric propulsion and CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take off but Arrested Recovery) so that if we have three aircraft carrier, at least two will be operational at any given time,” the Navy chief said at the side-lines of a seminar on warship building by FICCI. LINK


This is 100% consistent with what the previous Chief said [of the IAC-2] a few months ago. I think what the IN wants vis-a-vis the MRCBA (Competitively sourced 57 fighter aircraft) and IAC-2 (65,000 ton CATOBAR) is quite clear. Yes they need MOD buy-in for this to go ahead so expect delays, revisions, and yada yada yada but I don't think there is any confusion (or shouldn't be) in terms of what the IN wants which it has (as common sense would dictate) derived via a thorough operationally focused analysis as most professional armed forces tend to do. Because the IN went through a whole process of floating out an RFI and doing a long term plan we also know what they do not seem to want - A sole source award for more MiG-29Ks.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Rakesh » 10 Aug 2019 09:12

Philip wrote:I repeat the quote by the two former chiefs recently that the 29Ks performed in the recent Indo-French exercises "VERY WELL". " We have enough for both (CVs)"

Philip wrote:You'ld be surprised. Discretion prevents me from naming them.

And yet you mentioned two former chiefs. The number of former chiefs alive is a very small club. Out of that small club, two are from the Fleet Air Arm. It does not take a genius to figure out who they are. To be very honest, the opinions of those two former naval chiefs (from the Fleet Air Arm) would weigh greater over even the other former naval chiefs. If discretion prevents you from naming names, perhaps you should have not stated this in the first place! Come on Philip Saar, you should know better than to do this.

Secondly, performing in a controlled exercise environment is one thing and daily operations is a whole other ball game. In the former, all stops are pulled out to ensure full serviceability of the aircraft participating in the exercise. In the latter, that cannot happen. The financial resources alone - to maintain that tempo of the MiG-29K fleet - would suck the navy's budget dry. A controlled exercise environment lasts for a week or two at tops. To do that 365 days/year is not financially feasible.

So obviously the number of MiG-29Ks that participated in those exercise would do VERY WELL. Try replicating that tempo 24/7 for at least three months, forget even a year.

You have to recognize one fact Sir. The MiG-29 was *NEVER* designed to be a naval fighter. An excellent fighter she is no doubt, but a naval fighter she is not. The F-18 and the Rafale M were designed from the ground up as such. You can't put a V12 Ferrari engine into an Ambassador and expect Ferrari like performance. That will not work. The MiG-29K is a band-aid solution which came with the Vikramaditya. The IN is saddled with an aircraft that was never designed for sustained carrier operations.

And as it stands right now - the F-18 is the leading contender for the 57 carrier borne fighter contest, with the Rafale M coming a close second. It just remains to be seen which one of these two will ultimately get the red rose from the MoD. However, seeing how the glacial pace at which the MoD moves, this entire contest could take years, if not a decade before a decision is made.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby LakshmanPST » 10 Aug 2019 13:17

Why did the designers of IAC-1 provide lifts just enough for a MIG 29K...?
Didn't they consider possibility of other jets during design stage itself...?

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby srai » 10 Aug 2019 15:14

LCA Mk.2 will be ready by then end of the decade. Those 57 Rafale-M/F-18E/F may not materialize in time through the Indian bureaucracy.

Image

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby chola » 10 Aug 2019 15:28

LakshmanPST wrote:Why did the designers of IAC-1 provide lifts just enough for a MIG 29K...?
Didn't they consider possibility of other jets during design stage itself...?


We had long discussions over this.

This makes no sense from the Western design perspective. Oversized lifts are the norm for Western carriers (which us basically all carriers in the world outside the few Russian origin ones) not just for eventual aircraft types but also for simple ease of handling.

Image

But we hired Russia to design the Vikrant's aviation complex so there goes the Western norms. It seems they designed everything just enough for the MiG-29K.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Vips » 10 Aug 2019 17:22

Makes sense. The aircraft carrier is going to be in use for 50+ years and the Russians were not going to miss a chance of ensuring a captive market for MIG.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby JTull » 10 Aug 2019 18:05

Why can't the lifts be extended outboard?

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 10 Aug 2019 21:46

JTull wrote:Why can't the lifts be extended outboard?


I am not sure they can but I think when the IN performs its analysis it will likely look at it as a cost benefit analysis between modifying the carrier, vs accepting the modifications to the aircraft etc. etc. This is what the RFI does, it tells them what each aircraft is capable of and what each OEM plans to do to make things work on the carriers using the data provided by the IN as reference. The final RFP will factor that.

At the end of the day, if the MiG-29K is an excellent aircraft in all measurable respects, and MiG's entry into the MRCBA is even better than what the IN operates (MiG-35K or MiG-29K with Su-57 tech. or any other capability one could imagine) then it has nothing to worry about. Given its easy of integration into the two carriers, it will decimate the competition on performance attributes valuable for a naval aircraft, on cost and on interoperability. If the IN however does chose to go down a different path it will likely be a move that effectively rules the MiG-29K out from its future fleet plans beyond the 44 currently operational and supporting operations from INS Vikramaditya.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Cain Marko » 11 Aug 2019 08:32

brar_w wrote:
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.


You sure write a lot for someone trying to avoid what if/” fantasy" scenarios.

In any case my objective was to explore what possible options the Indian forces might have. Some of these might be fantastic, but then it's not like the naval rfi for 57 next gen (whatever that's supposed to mean) fighters is something that's happening anytime soon. I don't see any reason why the Indian Navy will have problems with Boeing offering an updated hornet especially if it fits on their carriers and means a better deal financially and better MII parameters.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 11 Aug 2019 08:54

Cain Marko wrote:
You sure write a lot for someone trying to avoid what if/” fantasy" scenarios.


What if fantasies? Boeing is on record of claiming that it will offer the Super Hornet (not the Classic Hornet, not the YF-17 or anything else that one's imagination may come up with) and that is what I have been discussing (if you don't like it, don't read my posts (there is an ignore feature here which is very handy)). I sure as hell don't feel like discussing a fantasy variant that no one is even remotely interested in offering or evaluating. If it made sense then sure let us discuss. But as I said, a decades old design that lacks the modern systems (or even a feasibility study that shows that they can be incorporated), has exactly ZERO backers or funders is so far out there that it is just a waste of time (because it makes no sense). The MRCFB is a known interest of the IN. It is also known what the main competitors will offer. It is fairly well known by now (Dassault offers the Rafale, Boeing the SH, MiG the -29K+ etc).

Cain Marko wrote:In any case my objective was to explore what possible options the Indian forces might have. Some of these might be fantastic, but then it's not like the naval rfi for 57 next gen (whatever that's supposed to mean) fighters is something that's happening anytime soon. I don't see any reason why the Indian Navy will have problems with Boeing offering an updated hornet especially if it fits on their carriers and means a better deal financially and better MII parameters.


Boeing is responding with a Block III SH or a similarly modern derivative. They've said as much. They've probably used it as part of their response to the RFI. It is even mentioned on their .co.in website. That is what will be evaluated when it comes down to the RFP stage. Boeing is capable of making a fair few boneheaded decisions on their own, but offering a design that has been out of production for years, is being retired rather fast (or as fast as possible) by most of its operators, and is inferior in all respects to the SH for the application concerned (MRCBF), is even beyond their abilities.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby sankum » 11 Aug 2019 13:12

From google earth the IAC hanger estimate is 120m by 21m. the only fighters freely carried in two rows will be Mig 29k,NLCAmk1/mk2 and Superhornet but in no way Rafale.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby chola » 11 Aug 2019 14:08

sankum wrote:From google earth the IAC hanger estimate is 120m by 21m. the only fighters freely carried in two rows will be Mig 29k,NLCAmk1/mk2 and Superhornet but in no way Rafale.


The plan for Rafale on IAC is detachable wing tips. For F-18, it would be having the landing gear lower on one side only. Both sounds ludicrous. All necessitated because our brand new carrier is designed around the MiG-29K.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 11 Aug 2019 21:29

chola wrote:
sankum wrote:From google earth the IAC hanger estimate is 120m by 21m. the only fighters freely carried in two rows will be Mig 29k,NLCAmk1/mk2 and Superhornet but in no way Rafale.


The plan for Rafale on IAC is detachable wing tips. For F-18, it would be having the landing gear lower on one side only. Both sounds ludicrous. All necessitated because our brand new carrier is designed around the MiG-29K.


There are easy fixes and then there are not so easy fixes. I am sure both Dassault and Boeing would have contemplated, and perhaps even mentioned a range of options ranging from low cost/low risk to higher cost / higher schedule risk. I'm sure both could make their aircraft work on IAC-1 (not sure on Vik) but it comes down to a cost-benefit analysis for the IN and how much they are willing to invest relative to a straight buy of more MiG-29K's. As I opined earlier if the IN continous to persist on a new MRCBA instead of a MiG-29 re-purchase that will be a good proxy for where it sees the Naval fulcrum in its future down the road as it grows from a 1 carrier navy to a 3 carrier Navy in the decades to come.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 11 Aug 2019 22:19

To be fair to the IN, etc., way back when IAC was designed, a couple of decades ago, no western naval fighters were ever contemplated given the international scenario at the time. In fact IAC-1 getting approval for its size was a miracle given the IAF's persistent opposition, the IN calling it an " ADS" instead of only around 35K t.
IAC-2 unless it is a sister ship of the new Vikrant will arrive only post 2030+, by which time several new alternatives apart from what are flying today may be flying by then. These 57+ birds can wait awhile before the IN decides upon the bird.The carrier design could however incorporate both a ski- jump plus CATOBAR launch options so that even M29Ks could operate from its decks while any of the two current CVs is in drydock.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby bhavani » 11 Aug 2019 22:20

sankum wrote:From google earth the IAC hanger estimate is 120m by 21m. the only fighters freely carried in two rows will be Mig 29k,NLCAmk1/mk2 and Superhornet but in no way Rafale.

If it can fit Superhornet, it should be able to fit Rafale, Rafale is much smaller than Superhornet in all dimensions.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 11 Aug 2019 22:36

Philip wrote:To be fair to the IN, etc., way back when IAC was designed, a couple of decades ago, no western naval fighters were ever contemplated given the international scenario at the time...


It is not just about "western aircraft" having been contemplated or not. Designing larger elevators that can accommodate more than 1 aircraft at a time is a design feature that is important in and of itself and is found in most, if not all, modern carrier designs. That and not leaving so little margin in the elevator design that it limits choices for future indigenous aircraft designs as well (like MWF and AMCA, UAV's etc.). I am willing to bet that IAC-2 will have larger elevators no matter what design and features the IN chooses to eventually go with or which aircraft it contemplates to operate off of it.

bhavani wrote:If it can fit Superhornet, it should be able to fit Rafale, Rafale is much smaller than Superhornet in all dimensions.


No that is not the case. Please do some research (look into how the aircraft are operated on the deck and on elevators).

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Philip » 12 Aug 2019 03:57

At that time when the IN was operating only Sea Harriers,
and a light/ med. carrier was all it could get approved, no large carrier aircraft like the SU-33 was ever contemplated.The 29K arriving with the VikA and hopefully NLCAs were what were factored in.If I recollect, there was extensive Italian and some French design input, as we had no experience of carrier design. There was also at that time absolutely no hint of the PLAN acquiring carriers and the Varyag was cleverly bought to bd used as a floating casino! This in retrospect an error ,not to have larger lifts , keeping in mind the lifespan of a carrier which can still operate new aircraft as they replace older ones. IAC-2 will definitely have larger lifts.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 12 Aug 2019 04:08

Philip wrote:At that time when the IN was operating only Sea Harriers,
and a light/ med. carrier was all it could get approved, no large carrier aircraft like the SU-33 was ever contemplated.


The isue is not about "contemplating large aircraft" like the Su-33 (who even brought it up?). It is about having flexibility that larger elevators bring to the table even with "smaller" aircraft or aircraft that can fold their wings to fit in but can also be accommodated without the folding mechanism in case something goes wrong and they have to be rushed below deck (image 2) to clear the flight deck where non folded aircraft take too much space.

Image

Image

I'm not sure the IAC-1 was designed with operating just harriers in mind (it is STOBAR from the start). But having said that, most AC designs had pivoted away from small elevators of the past and this was a fairly unanimous decision within the AC operating/developing community. Only designs that still incorporate that are the Amphibious assault ships etc (USMC L-Class/Juan Carlos etc. etc.) that are not designed to be Aircraft Carrier or support large air wing components at a high sustained operational tempo.

Aircraft Carrier is a flexible asset that will see its Air-Wing adapt multiple times over its operational life. Adding large elevators allows for growth and allows higher tempo operations. But that ship has now sailed so now the options in front of the IN are essentially to evaluate the proposals put forth by the various OEM's who responded to the RFI (assuming that the same respond to the RFP when it is posted).

I recollect, there was extensive Italian and some French design input, as we had no experience of carrier design.


Do you have a list of which countries, OEM's were "officially" involved in consulting on the project? There is a picture posted by Chola above showing how the French designed their only AC. It is strange that they would advise going for a different, and less utilitarian design than the one they themselves picked for their own carrier (proper elevator sizing to accommodate 2 Rafale's side by side and may in the future accommodate a Rafale and an UAV/UCAV)
Last edited by brar_w on 12 Aug 2019 07:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby chola » 12 Aug 2019 07:41

brar_w wrote:
Philip wrote:To be fair to the IN, etc., way back when IAC was designed, a couple of decades ago, no western naval fighters were ever contemplated given the international scenario at the time...


It is not just about "western aircraft" having been contemplated or not. Designing larger elevators that can accommodate more than 1 aircraft at a time is a design feature that is important in and of itself and is found in most, if not all, modern carrier designs. That and not leaving so little margin in the elevator design that it limits choices for future indigenous aircraft designs as well (like MWF and AMCA, UAV's etc.). I am willing to bet that IAC-2 will have larger elevators no matter what design and features the IN chooses to eventually go with or which aircraft it contemplates to operate off of it.


Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of better results with the lifts in Vishal if we are going with the Russians again. We are re-enforcing lessons learned in the Russian way of doing things with experience from VikA.

https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2019/january/6775-india-s-second-indigenous-aircraft-carrier-stuck-at-its-embryonic-stage.html
The IAC-2 carrier, already named Vishal, should have come after the Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard Limited, expected to be finished by 2032. Both IACs are scheduled to be equipped with an Aviation Facility Complex (AFC) designed by Nevskoye Design Bureau (NDB), enabling them to accommodate 40 fighter jets and helicopters, all to counter Chinese naval ambitions (particularly in the Indian Ocean region).



https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/in-the-heart-of-the-iron-beast/article18440534.ece/amp/

The hangar, capable of accommodating an assortment of 20 fighter aircraft and helicopters, is a hive of activity, with work progressing on the support lines along the stowage points, a four-tonne overhead maintenance crane and a fire curtain that will partition the space. The aviation facility, designed by Russia’s Nevskoye Design Bureau, is gradually coming in place, with the supply of equipment under way. “In view of the aviation facility being laid out soon, the Navy has already drafted in aviation technical crew from the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya to be of support,” says Captain P.A. Padmanabhan, in charge of the Navy’s Warship Overseeing Team (WOT).

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 12 Aug 2019 07:48

chola wrote:Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of better results with the lifts in Vishal if we are going with the Russians again. We are re-enforcing lessons learned in the Russian way of doing things with experience from VikA.


There is a lot happening to explore the possibilities on IAC-2 which so far has not been sanctioned. The last two Navy Chiefs have been quoted on record of saying that they are looking at a 65,000 ton CATOBAR with either steam or electromagnetic systems. Those will come from the US (same place France got its steam catapults and same place France will get its Electromagnetic catapults for its next carrier). Unless one is able to live with extreme delay, a lengthy and costly learning curve, and industrial ramp up and develop these systems in-house..no one else is going to be able to supply drop in systems. Not the Russians, not the French and not the Brits.

There was a fairly unprecedented move to grant approval to General Atomics to market EMALS to India (because carriers are so rare, GA is a private company, and because no formal request had yet been received for the same), and permission to do the same to France came later, so that could well also be a possibility. In its RFI the IN has stipulated both Steam and EMALS launch and arrested recovery from the standard russian AG and AAG.

With that in mind, I feel that if US systems are sought, Russian involvement will likely be minimal if not completely absent. The French, the Brits etc may be involved but I don't see a GOTUS request to release those technologies and assistance if majority of the systems or architecture are going to be Russian. I feel that most of those systems and sub-systems would have been replaced by indegenous systems..The combat system on IAC-1 is already locally developed..I feel the indegenous content there on IAC-2 will be even higher.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Aditya_V » 12 Aug 2019 11:51

I think then it is better to go for 2 new build carriers IAC-2 and IAC 3 concurrently, we should be able to afford it. IAC-2 , iAC-1 sized with Larger lifts and IAC-3 65000 Catbar with Emals.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 12 Aug 2019 19:08

That does not seem to be what the IN wants [At least based on what the current chief and his predecessor have said publicly]. Whatever the IN chooses should be a needs driven design/capability. There is little value in acquiring another 45,000 ton carrier if the operational need is showing that they need something more capable, and likewise no need to buy a 65,000 ton carrier if they see 45K as being sufficient. Ideally, one should start with what is required to do the job and the various missions that it will be tasked with (and the threat) and then go from there. You trim requirements only if you can given that trade-space or if there are financial barriers to getting what you want. If it was the threat perception of the late early 2000's that drove the decisions to design IAC-1 the IAC-2 should be be based on what the IN feels the threat picture will be 2 decades later, in the post 2020/30 environment.

“Our plan is to build a 65,000-tonne [aircraft carrier] with possibly electric propulsion and a Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) so that if we have three aircraft carriers we can have two operational at any given time,” he said, adding the plan to build an IAC-II was part of the Maritime Capability Perspective Plan 2012-27.


https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ ... 707953.ece

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Aditya_V » 12 Aug 2019 19:18

Yup its for IN to deceide what they want, but I hope our economy and Politcos fund it appropriately so that atleast 2-3 CBG's are available in times of war, they will be very useful even in an Indo -Pak situation in cutting any supplies to Pakis from the Persian gulf, Quetta, Gwadar etc. where our land based aircraft will take time to reach.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby brar_w » 12 Aug 2019 19:26

Aditya_V wrote:Yup its for IN to deceide what they want, but I hope our economy and Politcos fund it appropriately so that atleast 2-3 CBG's are available in times of war, they will be very useful even in an Indo -Pak situation in cutting any supplies to Pakis from the Persian gulf, Quetta, Gwadar etc. where our land based aircraft will take time to reach.


I think the IN would know that too and would want something that is technically and financially viable. But at a minimum it must be able to accomplish the missions the IN designates it to do and those will be based on perceived operational needs in the time-frame it is expected to be operational in, the type of carrier-air-wing envisioned for it, and what sort of room for growth (CAW, sensors, weapons etc. etc.) exists in the inherent design. All these things would have factored into what the IN has in terms of a proposal that is seeking approval for. Getting to the sweet spot would be critical because that is why you need an AC for in the first place (to meet mission gaps in the future).

Any analysis (IAC-1 2.0 vs IAC-2 1.0) would have to focus on type of threats, how they dictate the CAW quality and quantity, how they influence in terms of CAW stand off range, how they influence how the carrier is defended, how it is escorted, how the offensive and defensive needs of the 2030's influence SGR, combat loads to accomplish various missions, unmanned aircraft need etc. etc. etc. There is a HUGE difference in what a CATOBAR delivers in terms of defensive and offensive capability compared to a STOBAR. Having an unmanned aircraft with the ability to go 1000 km and hold a 4-6 hr. loiter or having the ability to maintain E-2D / AEW orbits while defending surface vessels, AC, or for offensive missions adds tremendous leaps in capability and effectiveness of the Air Wing as does having a larger air-wing that can fly without load restrictions and go farther and deeper into enemy territory. What you have to determine is how much of that is useful and contributes in mission success in the post 2030 environment and whether that can be traded away for a smaller carrier in the interest of time or money.

The endorsement of a 65K ton carrier with a larger CAW and perhaps CATOBAR, from the very top of the IN leadership (coming from 2 navy chiefs no less), is a pretty strong message/indicator IMHO.

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Re: Indian Naval Aviation

Postby Aditya_V » 12 Aug 2019 19:53

If you can afford it CATOBAR will beat STOBAR any day, they pay load of aircraft is much better along with Launch sortie rate.


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