MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby LakshmanPST » 06 Feb 2020 12:40

Thinking more about it, I guess MMRCA is definitely going to come...
Starting from 2030, MIG 29s & Mirage 2000s will be up for retirement, not to mention half the Jaguars... As much as we want large numbers of Tejas Mk1A to take their place, IAF is not interested... They need 'better' replacements for them...

If MWF is not production-ready by then, it will severely effect the Air Force squadron strength... So, MMRCA is the contingency plan for IAF...
In the next 6-7 years, I don't see any other order except the 4 squadron Mk1A and 6 squadron MMRCA...
IAF would have thought that they could manage the budget by spreading it out over the decade...

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby rajsunder » 06 Feb 2020 20:20

Rakesh wrote:From all the tweets I am reading from Group Captain HV Thakur (retd), the impression I am getting is that the American birds are not in the IAF's favour. The F-35 kills AMCA, the F-21 kills the MWF and the F-18 is not effective. If one eliminates both American birds (F-21 and F-18) from the MRCA 2.0 contest, that leaves the Gripen E, Su-35, MiG-35, Eurofighter Tyhoon and Rafale.

But Indian Navy if it ever wants to fly jets off its helicopter carriers has only one option of F35.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 06 Feb 2020 20:20

F-35 will not come.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 06 Feb 2020 20:34

Rakesh wrote:From all the tweets I am reading from Group Captain HV Thakur (retd), the impression I am getting is that the American birds are not in the IAF's favour. The F-35 kills AMCA, the F-21 kills the MWF and the F-18 is not effective. If one eliminates both American birds (F-21 and F-18) from the MRCA 2.0 contest, that leaves the Gripen E, Su-35, MiG-35, Eurofighter Tyhoon and Rafale.


It's a geo-political thing. The strategic relationship is growing but it is not at the level where such a purchase can be executed especially when there are other viable options (including one to do nothing and wait to see if indegenous systems can be matured in time). This for both sides. The F-21 doesn't kill the MWF anymore than a Rafale or Gripen would. The F-35 doesn't kill the AMCA any more than a future purchase of the SU-57 would. If an import is threatening to kill a domestic program (especially one that is vital) then that is not the fault of the import program but something internal and more systemic within the MOD. If that is the case then it hardly matter which import program we're talking about here.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 07 Feb 2020 23:05

Buy within the budget: the New Prioritization Mantra
https://www.indiatoday.in/india-today-i ... 2020-02-07

General Rawat was more circumspect about the IAF's 110 fighter aircraft buy, estimated to cost over $ 15 billion (Rs 1 lakh crore). Six global firms responded to the IAF's Request for Information (RFI) in 2018 and the aircraft will be built by a foreign OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in 'Strategic Partnership' with an Indian industry partner.

"My personal belief is, don't buy 100 aircraft or any other equipment in one go. If you buy 100 aircraft in one go, all 100 will be due for servicing at the same time," he says. He instead suggested staggering the buys over several years to allow the budget to pay for it.

This, IAF officials say, is bizarre. Buying larger numbers actually makes economic sense because it leads to economy of scales for indigenous manufacture. Deliveries are staggered over several years. The IAF is soon to ink a contract for four squadrons of 83 indigenous LCA Tejas Mark-1A worth Rs 40,000 crore. But the service is down to just 28 fighter squadrons against a government sanction of 42 squadrons. Hence, it needs more jets over and above the LCA order.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 07 Feb 2020 23:21

The only strategy from this approach is to extinguish the Make in India idea for phoren fighter aircraft production. Most of the OEMs (Saab, Dassault, Lockheed Martin, Boeing) have said they need a minimum of 100 aircraft to move the production line.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 07 Feb 2020 23:59

Twitter Back-And-Forth between two retired Air Marshals of the Indian Air Force over the F-21 from Lockheed Martin :)

https://twitter.com/Chopsyturvey/status ... 28832?s=20 ---> The F-21 on offer by Lockheed Martin is a much improved version of the F-16 on offer earlier. Serious contender with a combination of new radar and missiles. Shift of production to India and huge numbers world over is great incentive.

The above is from Air Marshal Anil Chopra (retd). In response to the above tweet, Air Marshal SP Singh (retd) responds below.

Air Marshal Singh just lights up into the F-21
:lol:

https://twitter.com/eaglessatish/status ... 11296?s=20 ---> 3 years old inducements by Lockheed Martin to woo Indian Air Force to gulp old wine (F-16 Block 70) now in new bottle (F-21) gathering momentum. Same engine, airframe, no stealth, is Gen IV and no more. Let Make-In-India not fall prey to this archaic aircraft with cosmetic tweaks. Better platforms available aplenty.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 08 Feb 2020 00:02

https://twitter.com/LMIndiaNews/status/ ... 93665?s=20 ---> The F-21 will be a game-changer for the Indian Air Force, Indian Industry and India-US strategic ties. Dr. Vivek Lall explains why the F-21 truly is #ForIndiaFromIndia.

And another jem from Air Marshal SP Singh (retd). This time in response to a tweet from LM above ^^^^

https://twitter.com/eaglessatish/status ... 94976?s=20 ---> Biggest industrial heist being perpetrated through semantics and verbosity. Europeans exploring FAMS and 6th generation aircraft to replace the Rafale and Eurofighter, Chinese miles ahead. Lockheed Martin says F-21, renamed F-16 Block 70, ideal for the Indian Air Force. What holy crap is this. Beware of this booby trap India.

Other retired IAF pilots have also chimed in to the above tweet from Lockheed Martin...

https://twitter.com/anshumig/status/122 ... 90144?s=20 ---> US duplicity in selling F-16s to Pak, justifying among other things the 'need for bringing back arms balance in the sub-continent' proves that Lockheed Martin is #ForLMFromLM only! AS IT SHOULD BE! Please don't take Indian Defence Ministry for complete suckers!

https://twitter.com/anshumig/status/122 ... 66496?s=20 ---> The report showcases the might of Lockheed Martin and the lengths to which they will go to equip PAF - in spite of flimsy justification. Link ----> http://library.clerk.house.gov/referenc ... or_195.pdf A reset is possible, but not via sloganeering. They need to demonstrate intent by making a choice India can't refuse.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 08 Feb 2020 00:18

^^ If the standards in the last tweet are objectively applied to each and every MMRCA 2.0 offering then they will all be judged to be non-future proof choices. All we can debate is the degree of obsolescence that accompanies each proposal. The US operates over 500 5GFA and adds roughly a 100 aircraft each year to that tally. Europe will end up with 500-600 5FGFA by 2030, and China will likely field that many over a similar time-frame. Even Russia will have 77 by 2030. France/Germany/Spain are gunning for SCAF by 2040 which would coincide with MMRCA 2.0 MLU. USAF will field NGAD by 2030 and USN FA-XX by 2032.

The problem isn't with what is on offer (F-21, Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen-E, MiG-35/Su-35 etc) but what is being chosen. Obsolescence issues come because this acquisition was to have been completed over a decade ago and in 2020 only about a fourth of the planned acquisition has been accounted for. That said, advanced 4 generation aircraft are still being procured. USAF ANG just put the first of 144 F-15EX's on contract and the Russian Air Force is fielding around a 120 Su-35's along with other flanker iterations. France will continue to buy the Rafale through most of the 2020's. The problem which I see is that the IAF/MOD finds itself in an awkward position of ending up having to choose between adv. 4+ generation aircraft at equal or more cost than what 5GFA are going for. Could this have been avoided if PAKFA partnership cold have been terminated earlier? I don't know but this is where we currently stand for good or bad. The only feasable path is to truncate the buy and end up with a fleet of around 60-70 4+ generation aircraft which would favor the Rafale (half of them are already on contract). F-21 and Gripen are good aircraft to have in the mix especially if the offers can be leveraged to either lower cost of the other aircraft or to see if it is worth buying more of less capable aircraft as opposed to less of more comfortable aircraft.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 08 Feb 2020 00:26

Lockheed Martin And BEL To Explore Opportunities In F-21 Fighter Programme
https://www.stl.news/lockheed-martin-an ... me/309976/
07 Feb 2020

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to explore industrial opportunities in the F-21 programme today at DefExpo 2020. Lockheed Martin is strengthening and growing its partnerships with the Indian industry to support the company’s F-21 proposal for the Indian Air Force.

“We are excited to begin exploring F-21 opportunities with BEL, one of India’s leading aerospace and defence companies,” said Dr Vivek Lall, Vice President of Stragety and Business Development, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “An F-21 partnership with India integrates Indian industry, including BEL, into the world’s largest and most successful fighter aircraft ecosystem and demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s commitment to India.”

Mrs Anandi Ramalingam, Director (Marketing), BEL, said: “We are happy to collaborate with Lockheed Martin which is a global major in the aerospace sector. We are eagerly looking forward to cash in on this co-operation to address domestic and international market needs in this sector.”

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby nachiket » 08 Feb 2020 00:31

I have no issues with 4th gen aircraft being bought. What else can the IAF do? AMCA will not be available for another 10-15 years, Su-57 was found to be inadequate and the F-35 is not available. Unless we want to approach the Chinese for a few J-20's, the only game in town is 4th gen aircraft.

Problem with the F-21 or any offering besides the Rafale is that it would make the 36 aircraft Rafale acquisition completely pointless and a waste of money. And it would add to the already large zoo of types in IAF service. We would have to invest in all new weapons and maintenance facilities, training etc. Investment which is already being made for the Rafales. It makes zero sense to buy anything else, even if that means that the number to be bought has to be curtailed.

F-21 has its own unique issues of course, being American and being so well known to our adversaries. All the others also come with their own unique issues.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 08 Feb 2020 00:37

nachiket wrote:I have no issues with 4th gen aircraft being bought. What else can the IAF do? AMCA will not be available for another 10-15 years, Su-57 was found to be inadequate and the F-35 is not available. Unless we want to approach the Chinese for a few J-20's, the only game in town is 4th gen aircraft.

Problem with the F-21 or any offering besides the Rafale is that it would make the 36 aircraft Rafale acquisition completely pointless and a waste of money. And it would add to the already large zoo of types in IAF service. We would have to invest in all new weapons and maintenance facilities, training etc. Investment which is already being made for the Rafales. It makes zero sense to buy anything else, even if that means that the number to be bought has to be curtailed.

F-21 has its own unique issues of course, being American and being so well known to our adversaries. All the others also come with their own unique issues.


Yes there is no choice now. Could things have been done earlier to avoid such a mess..YES. Had MMRCA been acquired as originally envisioned (even more M2K's) the need to recap retiring fighters with more advanced aircraft would not have been as severe. Additionally, when the decision to align with PAKFA was made it could have been re-evaluated more frequently to see that it was essentially going nowhere. Had this been done in a timely fashion perhaps the MOD could have looked at other options in Europe or even the F-35. And finally, a lack fo foresight in building options in the original Rafale contract, and the opposition attacks on the Rafale deal essentially killed the path to acquire more 4+ gen aircraft most efficiently (sole source for 36 additional Rafale's) basically turned the MMRCA 2.0 to a lengthy process which doesn't help with the obsolescence issue either. But if you are competing might as well cast a wide net and leverage that to your advantage.

But that is the REAL problem. Not that the F-21 is not going to be competitive to what France may field in the 2040's or what the US fields now as that one tweet tried to claim.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby nachiket » 08 Feb 2020 00:47

brar_w wrote:... Additionally, when the decision to align with PAKFA was made it could have been re-evaluated more frequently to see that it was essentially going nowhere. Had this been done in a timely fashion perhaps the MOD could have looked at other options in Europe or even the F-35. ...

Both the IAF and MoD had no way of knowing that the PAK-FA/FGFA would not work out when the decision was made to be a part of it. It made sense back then.

The F-35 has never been a realistic option for us. US-India relations have never been at a level where India could have been a partner in the F-35 program the way other countries like Israel are. And looking at what happened to the Turks, that is probably a good thing. We would have just given the Americans a lot of leverage over us to do some political arm twisting.

Agree with the rest of your post.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 08 Feb 2020 01:09

I agree that it was not possible to know how the PAKFA would have turned upon joining it but surely once joined the MOD could have evaluated its feasibility and timelines and the ability of Russians to provide the sort of industrial and technical partnership they may have been expected. Unless it was all rosy till the point when it wasn’t which is unlikely to have been the case. I agree that the F-35 was not going to have been a realistic option but at least one would have had an option open which again ties into that one tweet that attempts to compare the F-21 ( or any MMRCA competitor) to what is available elsewhere now or may be in 2040s. The IAF and MOD finds itself in the position because of delays and mistakes made by successive governments which have created a fighter recapitalization bow wave which will now be costly especially if there are delays with indigenous programs on account of technical risk to budgetary reasons like not appropriating capital in timely fashion. Acquiring 12-15 aircraft a year to spread the acquisition out is great if you are retiring or otherwise loosing less than that number every year. If not then you shrink the force structure..

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Kartik » 08 Feb 2020 04:33

Rakesh wrote:Buy within the budget: the New Prioritization Mantra
https://www.indiatoday.in/india-today-i ... 2020-02-07

General Rawat was more circumspect about the IAF's 110 fighter aircraft buy, estimated to cost over $ 15 billion (Rs 1 lakh crore). Six global firms responded to the IAF's Request for Information (RFI) in 2018 and the aircraft will be built by a foreign OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in 'Strategic Partnership' with an Indian industry partner.

"My personal belief is, don't buy 100 aircraft or any other equipment in one go. If you buy 100 aircraft in one go, all 100 will be due for servicing at the same time," he says. He instead suggested staggering the buys over several years to allow the budget to pay for it.

This, IAF officials say, is bizarre. Buying larger numbers actually makes economic sense because it leads to economy of scales for indigenous manufacture. Deliveries are staggered over several years. The IAF is soon to ink a contract for four squadrons of 83 indigenous LCA Tejas Mark-1A worth Rs 40,000 crore. But the service is down to just 28 fighter squadrons against a government sanction of 42 squadrons. Hence, it needs more jets over and above the LCA order.


I really respect Gen Rawat, but the bolded statement is truly ridiculous.

If they buy 100, they still take 6-7 years to be fully delivered. All 100 don't land up at IAF bases so the the clock for servicing starts up at the same time.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby V_Raman » 08 Feb 2020 04:35

General Rawat is (maybe) thinking in terms of Tin cans delivered to his forces by the 100s - all of them duds and requiring maintenance at the same time....

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 08 Feb 2020 04:42

What Gen. Rawat is referring to is called a modernization bow-wave (multiple types/systems needing replacement around the same time forcing you to buy at higher rate or risk force structure depletion). It occurs when you have recapitalization costs that cluster up and lead to a spiral of ever increasing modernization costs. In the case of the IAF this was a self-goal courtesy of the MOD and the political parties. The MMRCA 1.0 RFP was nearly 13 years ago (first RFI was released in 2001) and the first deliveries are only now happening that too for about 1/4 of the aircraft originally planned. This is just about how long someone can float requirements for a completely new clean sheet program select a vendor and put the aircraft into service.

So as the average age of fighters within the IAF increases and successive acquisitions get moved to the right then you are forced to either buy at a faster rate so that you not only buy as many aircraft as you are loosing to retirement or attrition or you learn to live with the risk of a shrinking force structure (these are just extremes). As he said, if he buys a lot of aircraft to plug the gap then he will need to MLU them in the same cluster 15 years from now and replace them a few decades from now. But that is the position the IAF/MOD finds itself in. The tank needs to fill up at the same rate as it is emptying in order to preserve the force structure. If MWF can be put into service by 2030 then this will help but if there are delays the situation could get worst.

I think it may be a good exercise for someone, more informed than I, to do an assessment of what is expected to be retired over the next decade, what is expected to be out of service owing to expected upgrades (like a deep MKI overhaul etc). That'll give us some sort of an idea of what a desired buy rate needs to be and how this dynamic impacts the average fighter age within the IAF.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Kartik » 08 Feb 2020 05:11

brar_w wrote:^^ If the standards in the last tweet are objectively applied to each and every MMRCA 2.0 offering then they will all be judged to be non-future proof choices. All we can debate is the degree of obsolescence that accompanies each proposal. The US operates over 500 5GFA and adds roughly a 100 aircraft each year to that tally. Europe will end up with 500-600 5FGFA by 2030, and China will likely field that many over a similar time-frame. Even Russia will have 77 by 2030. France/Germany/Spain are gunning for SCAF by 2040 which would coincide with MMRCA 2.0 MLU. USAF will field NGAD by 2030 and USN FA-XX by 2032.

The problem isn't with what is on offer (F-21, Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen-E, MiG-35/Su-35 etc) but what is being chosen. Obsolescence issues come because this acquisition was to have been completed over a decade ago and in 2020 only about a fourth of the planned acquisition has been accounted for. That said, advanced 4 generation aircraft are still being procured. USAF ANG just put the first of 144 F-15EX's on contract and the Russian Air Force is fielding around a 120 Su-35's along with other flanker iterations. France will continue to buy the Rafale through most of the 2020's. The problem which I see is that the IAF/MOD finds itself in an awkward position of ending up having to choose between adv. 4+ generation aircraft at equal or more cost than what 5GFA are going for. Could this have been avoided if PAKFA partnership cold have been terminated earlier? I don't know but this is where we currently stand for good or bad. The only feasable path is to truncate the buy and end up with a fleet of around 60-70 4+ generation aircraft which would favor the Rafale (half of them are already on contract). F-21 and Gripen are good aircraft to have in the mix especially if the offers can be leveraged to either lower cost of the other aircraft or to see if it is worth buying more of less capable aircraft as opposed to less of more comfortable aircraft.


I agree. This mess is of our own making, with the IAF, MoD and multiple GoI terms being responsible for not having bought a MRCA in over 15 years since this contest originally began.

The most sensible option is to cancel this entire contest and go in for 48 more Rafales off-the-shelf to help the IAF quickly induct them. Extract the offsets in a manner to help the AMCA and MWF programs gain access to technologies where we lag. Make that absolutely mandatory as part of the contractual obligations. But, for some reason this option isn't being considered, perhaps due to the desire to have an in-country private manufacturer of fast jets as well.

And yes, the F-21 or the Gripen E joining the IAF in 2025-26 or whatever, would work just fine for the IAF's needs; those same needs which the MWF, which is technologically equivalent, will meet in 2030. But I'm afraid, the MRCA is now an aspirational deal- one where the desire to get the best 4th gen fighter has trumped the need for a fighter that can meet the current requirements of the IAF and then stay relevant for the next 40 years with continuous upgrades. It is for those continuous technology and new weapons and sensors and avionics insertions that a comprehensive ToT is needed for an imported type.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 08 Feb 2020 05:19

MMRCA 2.0 is a competition ONLY because of the fake Rafale scam and the potential political fall out of repeating a sole source. But the government also blundered in not including options on the original Rafale deal as was included in the original MRCA RFP (126 aircraft with 64 options IIRC). It could also be that Dassault didn't want that thinking that they'd have a leg up and could negotiate a better deal for themselves the second time around. Now with a flat budget and a slowing economy things are going to become harder with decisions being made in the next couple of years likely determing what gets inducted in the 2020-2030 time-frame (beyond the Tejas and perhaps MKI). An MMRCA 3.0 probably has no chance of fielding something by 2030 but the best hope could be that MMRCA 2.0 again turns into a G2G deal for 36-48 more Rafale's with deliveries beginning after the first round has concluded. But even at that rate the IAF won't get those 126 MRCA's by 2030. The MOD will consider itself lucky to have received 60-65% of the original MRCA requirement by 2030 and that for a program where the RFI's went out nearly 2 decades ago.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby V_Raman » 08 Feb 2020 05:27

I think we got suckered into GE contract for engines! No chance for ToT at all. The only aircraft choice seems to be Gripen and it is on GE engines as well. I wish we had opted for EJ2xx and we might have a chance for tech transfer. Then we could have asked SaaB to get Gripen with EJ2xx engine. We will pay a lot - but might get ToT for both aircraft and engine.
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 08 Feb 2020 05:29

That is not true. And no tech transfer would have come with EJ200.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby V_Raman » 08 Feb 2020 05:31

Rakesh wrote:That is not true. And no tech transfer would have come with EJ200.

We dont know that. There is no chance of tech transfer with GE engines. Boeing is not even giving us the HATF promised with offsets. From what I heard, even the tooling GE transferred is sub-standard and they have still not delivered on the engines contracted for...

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 08 Feb 2020 05:34

V_Raman wrote:I think we got suckered into GE contract for engines! No chance for ToT at all. The only aircraft choice seems to be Gripen and it is on GE engines as well. I wish we had opted for EJ2xx and we had the chance for tech transfer. Then we could have asked SaaB to get Gripen with EJ2xx engine with ToT.

The engine chosen by the IAF/MOD/HAL is the most popular in its class across a wide range of applications. In fact it is one of the most widely used engines if you look at the diversity of different applications it is used on (SEF, TEF, Manned, Unmanned, Naval or land based). South Korea had a similar choice and similar competition, and chose it twice, as did Sweden/SAAB (also twice). No one is going to give any meaningful TOT on hot engine tech. They want repeat business and in most cases it is not for the companies to decide (even if it were they'd be extremely reluctant). These things need to be designed and developed in house.

V_Raman wrote:We dont know that.

Hence it would be incumbent upon you to make your case. What TOT was guaranteed with the EJ-200 offer which HAL/MOD passed on?. It seems that the GE 404/414 family was chosen on two occasions for 3 applications (MK1, MWF and early AMCA). It was the only fighter engine of the bunch that was operational on a single engined fighter with actual real-world data and was also operational in a naval application (EJ200 wasn't).
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 08 Feb 2020 05:42

V_Raman wrote:
Rakesh wrote:That is not true. And no tech transfer would have come with EJ200.

We dont know that. There is no chance of tech transfer with GE engines. Boeing is not even giving us the HATF promised with offsets. From what I heard, even the tooling GE transferred is sub-standard and they have still not delivered on the engines contracted for...

Sir, there will be no meaningful tech transfer from any engine manufacturer. That is not going to happen. Turbofan engines are their bread-and-butter business. They are not going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

None of the engine manufacturers will want to fulfill their offset obligations, unless specified in detail in a contract. India bought into the claim that engine manufacturers will help with the Kaveri, but without any specifics. Reviving Kaveri with Safran (France) and the JETJWG with General Electric (United States) are good examples of that. India walked in - on both occasions - with high expectations and then walked out, holding the short end of the stick.

India learnt that lesson the hard way. But all is not lost. We will not repeat that mistake with the 110 kN turbofan for AMCA. See these tweets from Saurav Jha from a few days back.

https://twitter.com/SJha1618/status/122 ... 39490?s=20 ---> I think Safran and Rolls Royce are front-runners in the race to emerge as a foreign collaborator for India's effort to develop a build a 110 kN low-bypass turbofan (jet engine) for powering the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.

https://twitter.com/SJha1618/status/122 ... 39490?s=20 ---> A high-level committee each has been formed to put forth recommendations for the AMCA and 110 KN indigenous low-bypass turbofan engine projects. Thankfully, both are headed by Dr V.K. Saraswat and have other heavyweights who can certainly come up with workable paths.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 08 Feb 2020 05:53

IMVHO, a good predictor of the contest winner in MRCA 3.0 will be right here.

Ignore the titles and all the hyperbole in the articles though, fantasy onlee :)

Ready to partner India, transfer technology of jet engine: Safran
https://m.economictimes.com/news/defenc ... 950370.cms
By Manu Pubby, 05 Feb 2020

We propose full technology transfer for engine to power next gen fighters: French manufacturer Safran
https://m.economictimes.com/news/defenc ... 961132.cms
By Manu Pubby, 05 Feb 2020

After France, now UK pitches for joint development of future fighter jet engine
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ne ... 987992.cms
By Manu Pubby, 07 Feb 2020

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 08 Feb 2020 06:41

This is what technology transfer "really means" to engine manufacturers. Do screwdrivergiri of the Ardiden turboshaft, give it an Indian name (i.e. Shakti) and then call it technology transfer. General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce would do nothing different either. It is just good business sense.

What an asinine and misunderstood term - Technology Transfer. Two words that OEMs use to sucker India into buying their products and then for the life of the product, keep going back to the OEM. For the past 72 years, India has only done Transfer of Production. There has never been transfer of technology and never will be.

We propose full technology transfer for engine to power next gen fighters: French manufacturer Safran
https://m.economictimes.com/news/defenc ... 961132.cms
By Manu Pubby, 05 Feb 2020

Q. The Shakti engine is often cited as a good example of foreign collaboration. Where does the project go from here? Are there possibilities to expand this partnership to jointly explore other markets as well?

A. The Shakti engine was co-developed by HAL and Safran. It now powers all HAL’s Dhruv helicopters. This is a fine example of the vitality of our partnership and our willingness to engage with India in genuine technology transfer. To date, more than 250 Shakti engines have been produced in Bangalore, mostly with Indian-made components. We are proud that the Shakti engine has been selected to power the new Light Combat Helicopter. A Shakti-derivative has also been chosen for the Light Utility Helicopter. We are also working on the development of a MRO facility in Goa, through our joint venture with HAL. On helicopter engines, our partnership with HAL is a true success story and we want it to further develop.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby raghuk » 08 Feb 2020 07:53

Shakti does have HAL designed components. Not significant but it exists nevertheless and with the Shakti experience we are moving ahead with the HTSE 1200. Again I'm not saying that TOT from Shakti has enabled it, but just that the minor design contribution and experience with fixing issues has given sufficient confidence.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Feb 2020 09:22

Rakesh wrote:F-35 will not come.

Weren't you the same admiral dude who said a certain shark will never come. Perhaps you want to wager another 10000 ton mithai package? :D

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 08 Feb 2020 19:44

Cain-ji, not Akula-II :D

Jokes aside, I do not see a waiver coming.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 08 Feb 2020 19:46

raghuk wrote:Shakti does have HAL designed components. Not significant but it exists nevertheless and with the Shakti experience we are moving ahead with the HTSE 1200. Again I'm not saying that TOT from Shakti has enabled it, but just that the minor design contribution and experience with fixing issues has given sufficient confidence.

I am very heartened to hear that. If you have any more info on this Shakti experience —> HTSE 1200 engine, please post in the Indian Military Helicopters thread. This is good.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby vishvak » 08 Feb 2020 22:31

nachiket wrote:
brar_w wrote:... Additionally, when the decision to align with PAKFA was made it could have been re-evaluated more frequently to see that it was essentially going nowhere. Had this been done in a timely fashion perhaps the MOD could have looked at other options in Europe or even the F-35. ...

Both the IAF and MoD had no way of knowing that the PAK-FA/FGFA would not work out when the decision was made to be a part of it. It made sense back then.

The F-35 has never been a realistic option for us. US-India relations have never been at a level where India could have been a partner in the F-35 program the way other countries like Israel are. And looking at what happened to the Turks, that is probably a good thing. We would have just given the Americans a lot of leverage over us to do some political arm twisting.

Agree with the rest of your post.

The logic will hold, for a short time. And a lot longer. Maybe until we got a good mic comparable .. and no one muddling.
And looking at what happened to the Turks, that is probably a good thing.

The Turks are no angels and Chinese radars making an appearance in the neighborhood with Pakis fielding some along with fighter jets, after bootlegging chini nukes first a while ago so let's not underestimate our own efforts just for the record.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 09 Feb 2020 00:45

The two Russian offerings in MMRCA 3.0 ---> Drag & Drop picture into newer window for full size.

https://twitter.com/russiandefpolic/sta ... 47680?s=20 ---> Nice side-by-side photog showing size difference between MiG-35 and Su-35S.

Image

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 09 Feb 2020 00:51

If the Su-35 is considered a " Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft" then I wonder why Boeing doesn't also offer up the F-15 EX. It would be one of the most technology packed offerings in the bunch currently on offer and now with fairly solid backing from the USAF (144 aircraft which is just about as many Rafale's France currently operates).

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 09 Feb 2020 01:00

Written by Konstantinos Zikidis, an officer in the Hellenic (Greek) Air Force.
This is his profile ---> https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ko ... os_Zikidis

Early Warning Against Stealth Aircraft, Missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... l_Vehicles
January 2018

A picture from his article....

Image

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 09 Feb 2020 01:03

^^ The list is garbage. I saw a chart at an Old Crows event I attended a while ago, which too was based on open source analysis, was much more realistic. That B-2 RCS figure is a joke. Same for several others. While you can model a decent RCS range using models based on shape, it is very very difficult without hard intelligence and experimentation to try to guesstimate what 5 decades of applied research into RAM/RAS gets you in terms of both coverage within a specific band and wideband coverage.
Last edited by brar_w on 09 Feb 2020 01:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 09 Feb 2020 01:04

brar_w wrote:If the Su-35 is considered a " Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft" then I wonder why Boeing doesn't also offer up the F-15 EX. It would be one of the most technology packed offerings in the bunch currently on offer and now with fairly solid backing from the USAF (144 aircraft which is just about as many Rafale's France currently operates).

How expensive will the F-15EX be compared to a F-21 or F-18?

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 09 Feb 2020 01:15

Rakesh wrote:How expensive will the F-15EX be compared to a F-21 or F-18?

More expensive than both. It's just a larger aircraft, with higher capability, and more expensive electronics. The F-15 EX Unit Recurring Fly-Away Price is expected to be in the $90-$95 Million range (exact price will be known in the March-April time-frame once the USAF has negotiated a contract for which Boeing has already started manufacturing the first aircraft before they are put on contract) which is about $15-20 MM more than the cost of the Super Hornet Block III, and about a good $25+ Million more than F-16 V. Overall acquisition cost variance is going to be less severe though it will have a larger logistical footprint because it is larger, twin engine etc etc etc. Weapon package and everything will be similar though one could argue that a hypothetical package could be larger for the F-15EX buy on account of the fact that, with 15 hard points and a weapon station capacity in excess of 13,000 kg, it can carry a heck of a lot more (and farther).

My suggestion was more out of amusement that Sukhoi considers the Su-35 as a competitive MRCA. Perhaps its time for them to throw the SU-57 into the ring as well.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby ldev » 09 Feb 2020 01:56

brar_w wrote:If the Su-35 is considered a " Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft" then I wonder why Boeing doesn't also offer up the F-15 EX. It would be one of the most technology packed offerings in the bunch currently on offer and now with fairly solid backing from the USAF (144 aircraft which is just about as many Rafale's France currently operates).



Harsh Vardhan Thakur
@hvtiaf
Replying to
@a473629

@mrv9019
and
@Griffin09314548
The competitors are likely to include F/A-18, F-21, MiG-35, EF-2000, Rafale, Gripen-E and if weight category is increased then F-15E & Su-35. It's anybody's guess, who could win such a competition.
12:04 PM · Feb 3, 2020·Twitter for Android

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Mort Walker » 09 Feb 2020 02:32

brar_w wrote:^^ The list is garbage. I saw a chart at an Old Crows event I attended a while ago, which too was based on open source analysis, was much more realistic. That B-2 RCS figure is a joke. Same for several others. While you can model a decent RCS range using models based on shape, it is very very difficult without hard intelligence and experimentation to try to guesstimate what 5 decades of applied research into RAM/RAS gets you in terms of both coverage within a specific band and wideband coverage.


If it is open source, then post it or provide a link to it. Using near-field measurements to approximate far-field are fraught with error. In the near-field, Rayleigh scattering comes into play along with the use of RAM. Better yet, for detection using a longer wavelength at L, C, and S bands will give you different results.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 09 Feb 2020 02:35

Mort Walker wrote:f it is open source, then post it or provide a link to it.


I didn't snap a picture of it and this was like half a decade ago. But open source analysis of RCS of various aircraft is quite common in literature. One just has to google up some publications and one can get to that work though pretty much all of them are nothing more than educated guesses and quite useless for any technical analysis.


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