MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

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

Postby Bharadwaj » 13 Feb 2020 11:25

Even though we dealt with much older spec f-15s in the cope India exercises, the fact is they struggled against smaller aircraft like the bison. The USAF can afford to buy more f-15s since they have the f-22s and 35s to knock the doors down. A modern platform like the rafale which combines lower rcs and supersonic agility(critical for cranking in bvr) is always a better option for an omnirole fighter that is expected move mud after getting the enemy aircraft out of the way. We already have the infrastructure in place for the rafale and this whole mmrca 2.0 saga needs to be ended before it gets even more "variety" into the IAF.

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

Postby Manish_P » 13 Feb 2020 16:22

brar_w wrote:
Rakesh wrote:Is there an estimate of a cost per flight hour of the F-15EX?

But from a bare-bone cost perspective (how much of "consumables" are used up by a fleet) the F-15E CPFH was around $17,251 in 2018 (a good proxy for EX though EX promises to be slightly cheaper on account of more reliable systems). For comparison the same bare-bone cost for an F-16C in the USAF fleet (same year) was around $8,500 per hour and for the F-18E/F was around $11,500.


Any rough guesstimates about the CPFH about the Rafale?

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

Postby Bharadwaj » 13 Feb 2020 16:28

Janes claimed $16500 for rafale. As a matter of interest same report claimed around 4700 for gripen.

https://www.ftm.nl/upload/content/files ... 281%29.pdf

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

Postby Manish_P » 13 Feb 2020 16:45

Thanks. Even though the calculating parameters may differ (as Brar_w has pointed out) it is good to keep a sense of those figures too. Especially since we do not have budgets like King Khan and the Dragon..

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

Postby brar_w » 13 Feb 2020 17:00

Manish_P wrote:
brar_w wrote: But from a bare-bone cost perspective (how much of "consumables" are used up by a fleet) the F-15E CPFH was around $17,251 in 2018 (a good proxy for EX though EX promises to be slightly cheaper on account of more reliable systems). For comparison the same bare-bone cost for an F-16C in the USAF fleet (same year) was around $8,500 per hour and for the F-18E/F was around $11,500.


Any rough guesstimates about the CPFH about the Rafale?


The Super Hornet's CPFH should be a good proxy for the Rafale.

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

Postby Manish_P » 13 Feb 2020 17:39

The Jane's figure (in the article a couple of posts before) of approx $16.5K is in the same range as the approx $17K mentioned by you (for the F15E). Most likely the twin engine Typhoon will be similar..

I seem to remember a HAL presentation for the Su30 MKI which had it at approx $12k an hour

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

Postby brar_w » 13 Feb 2020 17:58

Manish_P wrote:The Jane's figure (in the article a couple of posts before) of approx $16.5K is in the same range as the approx $17K mentioned by you (for the F15E). Most likely the twin engine Typhoon will be similar..

I seem to remember a HAL presentation for the Su30 MKI which had it at approx $12k an hour


I don't think that is an apple's to apple's comparison. The one with the SH is likely more apt. The reaosn is that the F-15E is a heavy fighter so its bare bone cost will be more. The SH costs the USN about $18-$20 K per hour to run depending upon year and fleet dynamics (no. of deployments, depot investments etc etc) which is pretty similar to that Rafale number. But out of this only about $11K is the cost of consumables the rest is indirect cost that is associated with the USN's support of the fleet. Those costs do not translate well because the cost structure is going to be different in India. So the best comparison is done with consumables...like parts, fuel, mission-planning resources etc. The rest has a much higher man-power component which is subject to huge variations from country to country.

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

Postby Manish_P » 13 Feb 2020 18:42

For the MMRCA, land based, won't the comparison be just a little bit more apt with other land based platforms?

I am aware that the costs can never be apple to apple, let alone apple to oranges, since there are way too many other parameters..

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

Postby brar_w » 13 Feb 2020 19:46

Yeah you can add a say a 10-20% discount on that..and that would get you the SH cost to be about the same as the Rafale. The F-15E's total cost is closer to $30K for the USAF with the EX post-bed-down cost estimated to be around $27K (so it is an additional $10K in non-consumables and services that go into the fleet of 144 aircraft based on US Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) which does costing and accounting as an independent (of the services) authority.

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

Postby V_Raman » 14 Feb 2020 00:20

It is sad that we have lost Russia as a viable provider in any of these modern weapon systems.

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

Postby Kartik » 14 Feb 2020 01:00

Manish_P wrote:The Jane's figure (in the article a couple of posts before) of approx $16.5K is in the same range as the approx $17K mentioned by you (for the F15E). Most likely the twin engine Typhoon will be similar..

I seem to remember a HAL presentation for the Su30 MKI which had it at approx $12k an hour


One thing to keep in mind is the lower labor cost per hour in India. That would be the number of labor hours required for inspection, maintenance, repair and so on. The much higher labor costs in Europe and USA mean that those CPFH numbers are not necessarily directly valid in India. Su-30s would be very expensive to operate per flight hour if they were being operated by European AFs or USAF.

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

Postby brar_w » 14 Feb 2020 01:08

I've posted this several times, but here is an example of what the US counts as part of O&S cost (which is used along with fleet utilization to determine CPFH)...

As you can, see it is usually only the consumable portion of this cost that is transferable from one operator to the other. Everything else depends upon the cost stucture of a particular end-user..how many bases they use up or how they decide to sustain the system. Hence, in my earlier posts I stuck with bare-bone consumable costs only. The USAF uses a very largely dispersed basing structure and an expeditionary footprint. That has system cost. Those costs are attributed to these systems and then used to calculate a per hour system cost. Other users may only be operating them from one or two air-bases and have depots in close proximity and a more efficient and static support and maintenance program that isn't burdened by global deployments and operations.

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Last edited by brar_w on 14 Feb 2020 04:19, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Kartik » 14 Feb 2020 01:22

brar_w wrote:
Kartik wrote:That possibly meant that with the introduction of FCS on the F-15E, the pilot could pull 9Gs with certain stores configurations.


The F-15E is 9G capable and has been since day-1 it was introduced (way before the FBW was introduced). So are all other fighter derived from it like the F-15K, F-15SG, F-15SA, F-15QA and the F-15EX. A digital FBW was cut into the design in the F-15SA and all other configurations that follow will incorporate it. It has nothing to do with its ability to pull 9G's which existed in earlier variants.

Thanks for that link.

the F-15E actually had digital FCS right from the time it was first flown. I haven't tried to research on why a new digital FCS was required for the F-15SA, but it did allow for 2 existing outboard hardpoints to be used, which had never been used due to stability issues that were created.

link

A new Lear-Siegler digital FBW control system, replacing the old analog CAS. The avionics suite was generally improved, featuring such items as a much more powerful central processor and an improved countermeasures suite. The most significant sensor improvement was the new AN/APG-70 radar, mentioned in the previous section, an improved version of the AN/APG-63 with multiple modes and, in particular, a "synthetic aperture radar (SAR)" capability to permit radar mapping of ground targets for all-weather / day-night strikes. The radar retained full air-combat capability. It had a maximum range in low-resolution mapping mode of almost 300 kilometers (184 miles).


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

Postby brar_w » 14 Feb 2020 01:42

^^ No, the F-15E did not have a true digital FBW system. It utilized a hybrid system consisting of a hydromechanical system and a digital CAS, which was what was upgraded from the classic Eagle on the Strike Eagle. Not till the joint Boeing and Saudi investment into the F-15SA, did the aircraft get a true digital FBW system. Incidentally, while one of the main thrusts behind the digital FBW upgrade was to get more weapons capability and improve reliability, one of the other things that was improved was, according to its test pilot, its high Angle of Attack capability.

The F-15A has a dual flight control system. The first of these is a conventional hydraulic system that operates through push rod linkages acting on the valves of hydraulic actuators which deflect the control surfaces. The pitch-roll control assembly is a mechanical system which modifies the response of the system and the aileron-rudder interconnect couples the rudders and stabilators so that the rudders operate automatically in conjunction with the stabilators, allowing maneuvers to be carried out using the stick alone. However, this system is made to disconnect automatically upon touchdown to eliminate the accentuation of weathervaning during landing, a problem which turned up during early flight testing. The other flight control system is an automatic control augmentation system (CAS) which is fly-by-wire. It uses electrical signals and servo motors to operate the hydraulic actuators. The CAS system includes pitch and yaw rate, angle of attack, dynamic pressure sensors, and accelerometers which continuously monitor vertical and lateral accelerations. The system computes the correct settings for the control surfaces at any combination of speed and g forces. The CAS also senses the stick forces applied by the pilot and converts them into electrical signals to apply the correct amount of deflection to the control surface activators. The CAS is a dual system in which the signals generated by each channel are compared with each other. If a difference greater than a preset amount is detected, this is interpreted as a malfunction and the CAS automatically disengages, the conventional mechanical hydraulic system taking over. LINK


The Strike Eagle's flight control system is among the best flying today. It provides excellent handling characteristics throughout the F-15E's vast flight envelope. This remarkable system allows the F-15E to fly at speeds ranging from Mach 2.5 to airspeeds below 150 knots. In addition, it provides exceptional maneuverability. Like most systems on the F-15E, the flight control system has two separate systems for redundancy (either system is perfectly capable of flying the aircraft by itself). The hydromechanical system (mechanical controls that are hydraulically operated) and the Control Augmentation System (CAS) work together to provide manual and automatic control of the aircraft. LINK


Boeing and the US Air Force will have to recertificate the new F-15SA's performance over the Eagle's entire flight envelope due to its new fly-by-wire flight control systems.

"The entire F-15 flight envelope requires clearance for the F-15SA fly-by-wire system," the USAF says. "The flight test to certify airworthiness will take approximately a year and a half to accomplish."

True fly-by-wire is a departure from the traditional F-15 hybrid electronic/mechanical flight control system. Previous incarnations of the jet were equipped with a dual-channel, high-authority, three-axis control augmentation system superimposed on top of a hydro-mechanical system.

However, Saudi Arabia's 84 F-15SAs on order will have its two outer wing weapons stations activated, making it necessary to implement a fly-by-wire flight control system.

"The main benefit for the fly-by-wire system is to compensate for the stability differences induced by carrying weapons in the one and nine stations - not used to date on any F-15 platform," the USAF says. LINK

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

Postby Manish_P » 14 Feb 2020 10:55

Kartik wrote:
Manish_P wrote:The Jane's figure (in the article a couple of posts before) of approx $16.5K is in the same range as the approx $17K mentioned by you (for the F15E). Most likely the twin engine Typhoon will be similar..

I seem to remember a HAL presentation for the Su30 MKI which had it at approx $12k an hour


One thing to keep in mind is the lower labor cost per hour in India. That would be the number of labor hours required for inspection, maintenance, repair and so on. The much higher labor costs in Europe and USA mean that those CPFH numbers are not necessarily directly valid in India. Su-30s would be very expensive to operate per flight hour if they were being operated by European AFs or USAF.


Was aware of that in general but don't have a clue as to the ballpark figures. What would your guess be on the approx/broad numbers for the labour costs (considering the pay-scales, the currency rates etc) differentials... 30%,40%,50%,higher?

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

Postby ldev » 14 Feb 2020 15:02

Manish_P wrote:Was aware of that in general but don't have a clue as to the ballpark figures. What would your guess be on the approx/broad numbers for the labour costs (considering the pay-scales, the currency rates etc) differentials... 30%,40%,50%,higher?

Simple googling tells me that the average salary of a USAF pilot with 10 years experience is $85,000 per year. It (quora) also tells that an IAF pilot with 10 years experience "takes home", Rs 2 lacs per month. That translates to $34,000 per year.

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

Postby Manish_P » 14 Feb 2020 16:51

I was looking for some info on the '...number of labor hours required for inspection, maintenance, repair and so on.'
Not the pilots per se (though that is also one of the many, many parameters to be taken into consideration).

Anyway at a very broad level, it appears that the costs bands for western vs russian platforms (of similar Gen) would be roughly similar with variance typically being a double digit percentage rather than a multiplication factor of 'x' times.

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

Postby Philip » 16 Feb 2020 11:58

One website has it that the beaten F15 ( at COPE) years ago in a new avatar,the EX,will also be a contender for the MMFCA 2.0 contest! Is it genuine fear that neither the F-16,oops!....the F-21 or F- 18SH ( wonder why it too was not given a new numberplate!), will make the grade when superior western counterparts like Rafales,Typhoons and Gripens are in the ring? Then you have apart from the MIG-35 the SU-35.This aircraft I think is what the US fears the most as it comes in at just 60%-70% of the cost of an equiv. western fighter and apart from the SU-57 just entering service,is Russia's best combat fighter. The US has also had no takers for its final F-15 development costs and would dearly love to dump that aging veteran offshore,hopefully India!

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

Postby Manish_Sharma » 16 Feb 2020 13:08

^F 15 is superior to su 30.

Its engines has triple the life of Su 30/35/57 engines.

Its airframe also has 15000 hrs of life compared to 3000 hrs life of Su 30/35

In availability + safety it will be much much superior to MKIs

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

Postby brar_w » 16 Feb 2020 18:24

Philip wrote:One website has it that the beaten F15 ( at COPE) years ago in a new avatar,the EX,will also be a contender for the MMFCA 2.0 contest! Is it genuine fear that neither the F-16,oops!....the F-21 or F- 18SH ( wonder why it too was not given a new numberplate!), will make the grade when superior western counterparts like Rafales,Typhoons and Gripens are in the ring? Then you have apart from the MIG-35 the SU-35.This aircraft I think is what the US fears the most as it comes in at just 60%-70% of the cost of an equiv. western fighter and apart from the SU-57 just entering service,is Russia's best combat fighter. The US has also had no takers for its final F-15 development costs and would dearly love to dump that aging veteran offshore,hopefully India!


Besides the several inaccuracies in your post (which is quite typical for most of them), the F-15 E based fighters have done quite well in the export market even trumping other MMRCA candidates in the process.

The F-15 EX is an off-shoot (though a highly modified/upgraded one) of the F-15E+ configuration which has an AESA radar and other electronics not present on the baseline F-15E when it was developed. Other off-shoots of the F-15E+ have been exported to Singapore (F-15SG), South Korea (F-15K), Saudi Arabia (F-15 SA), and Qatar (F-15 QA). It has more "export" customers and more "export" orders than the Rafale, Su-35, MiG-35, Gripen, or the Super-Hornet. In fact it will probably produce more aircraft over its lifetime (F-15 SG/K/SA/QA/EX) than the Rafale, Gripen or MiG-35 program for example.

Meanwhile, in this category the only Russian offer, as of now, is the Su-35. Russian Air Force has 98 Su-35's on order or delivered. The USAF just put Boeing down for 144 F-15 EX aircraft. This on top of the 120 Advanced Strike Eagles (F-15SA and F-15QA) that have already been delivered or on order. Israel is quite likely to select the aircraft in the near term as well which will get the production run of the most modern variant (Adv SE) to close to 300. The F-15 EX is the best aircraft Boeing makes and it is logical that if they intend on taking this program seriously, they consider offering choices (they intend to offer both) that maximizes the chance of them being selected, even though the odds of anyone other than Dassault being chosen are minimal if not totally zero.

To its credit, the Su-35 has ONE major export customer. The PLAAF.

Meanwhile, could you please point me to the AESA radar that is operational on the Su-35? You know that the IAF wanted an AESA on MRCA 1.0 so it may just be important to them for MRCA 2.0.

If the Russians were smart they would enter a Super-MKI instead of the Su-35. One with an AESA radar, an integrated AESA based EW/EA suite, a Large Area Display cockpit, and a diverse choice of Air to Air and Air to Ground munitions. But it turns out that some of those things, like an AESA radar, may not even be on offer for initial Super MKI upgrades so it remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Raytheon/Boeing are on their third F-15 AESA radar, having fielded initial examples about 20 years ago. The one that is on the F-15 EX, the AN/APG-82, is the largest AESA radar on a US fighter, and is constantly improved via a Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) that is funded by the USAF since this radar will be operational in over 300 USAF fighters with about half of those already having been delivered, and declared operational.

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

Postby Philip » 16 Feb 2020 19:46

I was not talking about vanilla F-15s, only the new EX.The earlier versions were sold to US allies ages ago quite well as it was the best US aircraft at that time.The same fared poorly against Indian Flankers and Bisons in the first COPE exercises a decade ago.Similarly ,SU-27s/30s,two-seat Flankers,have sold extremely well,especially with India,almost 300.Over 800 have been built.

As for MKIs,the entire fleet is to be upgraded with 40 initially to carry BMos,work already started.It would be ludicrous for the IAF to acquire another similar aircraft,the EX, instead of a single-seat variant of the Flanker. The extra MKIs on order as replacements for losses,etc. are to come with the BMos upgrade.

In truth,the IAF should look at a smaller cost-effective fighter which can be fielded in large number. The only reason for acquiring an SU-35 which an upgraded MKI could arguably match is the single pilot at a time of pilot shortages.The PAF is closing the numbers gap steadily with its modest JF-17 being incremrntally improved. Once again the IAF/ MOD is succumbing to brochureitis throwing open the field to every kind of flying creature instead of carefully limiting the competition to its actual requirements, a cost- effective light-to-medium fighter to replace the hundreds of MIG variants being retired. But then the IAF is like an addict, who needs this foreign fix every decade or so unlike the IN which DESIGNS and builds its own fleet from warships,carriers and subs both nuclear and conventional.

PS: Trump is raiding the cash earmarked for key programmes to build his Mexican wall and pet programmes.Engines for F-35As will be cut and the annual USN F-35 acquisition from 6 to 4 says z report.
It's not just us that have funding problems and why global majors are lusting after this contract.Another report said that there was gloom at Lucknow amongst the exhibitors as no major deals were announced given the funds crunch. Whatever funds are available will see a strong lobby for the LCA being a desi product against a foreign buy,even though much LCA content is imported. Costs are going to be crucial in this contest,if it eventually materialises.

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

Postby brar_w » 16 Feb 2020 20:00

Philip wrote:I was not talking about vanilla F-15s, only the new EX.The earlier versions were sold to US allies ages ago quite well as it was the best US aircraft at that time.


I'm also not talking about "Vanilla F-15's". I'm specifically talking about F-15 E derivatives. The F-15 E and F-15 A-C are very different aircraft. Derivatives of the latter were sold to Japan, Saudi Arabia and Israel. I'm not talking about those variants at all. If they were developed in the FSU, they would have had a different designation much like the Su-27, Su-30, Su-34, Su-35, Su-37 etc. etc. etc which are all Flankers.

The F-15 SG, F-15 K, F-15 SA, F-15 QA and the F-15 EX are all modifications of the F-15 E family and not that of the F-15 A-D family of aircraft which aren't even in production.

F-15 SG was ordered in 2005 and the entire SG fleet was declared fully operational in 2013. The F-15 K likewise was ordered in 2002 and deliveries began in 2005 and concluded in 2011. The F-15 K and F-15 SG are both more advanced than the baseline F-15E that the USAF got.

The F-15 SA was ordered in the 2010's and aircraft were delivered to the Saudi's as recently as last year. The F-15 QA was order just a few years ago and the deliveries will begin shortly. The F-15 SA, and the F-15QA along with the F-15 EX are collectively termed as the "Advanced Strike Eagle" or "Advanced Eagle". They share a high degree of commonality including a digitial FBW system, more powerful and reliable engines, a digital Electronic Warfare suite (EW/EA), upgraded AESA radars, IRST/EOIR and a whole host of other improvements. The F-15 QA brings in the Large Area Display and the F-15EX adds the ADCP-II which is the fastest mission computer in the world (even including the F-22 and F-35's MC) and the GaN based EPAWSS EW/EA suite.

ADCP-II, and EPAWSS are both systems that the USAF developed for its F-15E fleet with orders for close to 220 units already in place and deliveries happening right now. Same with the AN/APG-82. More than 200 units of that radar are to retro-fitted on the USAF F-15E fleet with more than half of those already having been upgraded.

Collectively, the F-15 SA, F-15 QA and F-15 EX order tally stands at around 260 units. Add the F-15 K and F-15 SG orders and you are looking at close to 350 aircraft. Israel will likely add to that number. The F-15 E off-shoots have been very successful for Boeing despite competing with the likes of the Rafale, Typhoon and even Russian aircraft and given the fact that the market for these "heavies" isn't as large to begin with once you factor out China which only the Russians sell to.

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

Postby ldev » 16 Feb 2020 21:19

Manish_Sharma wrote:^F 15 is superior to su 30.

Its engines has triple the life of Su 30/35/57 engines.

Its airframe also has 15000 hrs of life compared to 3000 hrs life of Su 30/35

In availability + safety it will be much much superior to MKIs


This is a completely ignored metric when comparing the MRCA contenders and comparing them to the existing IAF mainstay fighters. The AL-31FP engines on the SU-30MKI have a 1000 hour interval between overhauls and the airframe is rated for 6000 hours. However the SU-30Ks which the IAF got as it's first SU-30s were rated for only 4000 hours of airframe life.The Mig-29s are particularly bad. Some reports talk about only a 2500 hour airframe life and pilots time in the seat being restricted as a result during training. No wonder they are cheap as Phillip keeps on repeating.

The F-16 supposedly has an airframe life of 8000 hours and the F-18's airframe life has been extended to 10,000 hours. But the big daddy for airframe life is the F-15. In the EX variant which Boeing is trying to offer to India, the airframe has been rated at 20,000 hours and the Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-229 turbofans have a service interval of 6000 cycles. Is cycles start/stop? Does it have any relation to hours flown? In theory this means that the aircraft can be used for training at 600 hours per year for 30+ years. Perhaps brar_w can explain engine/cycles vs hours flown. I cannot find the Rafale airframe service life or engine overhaul cycle/hours anywhere.

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

Postby brar_w » 16 Feb 2020 21:24

Rafale is an 8,000 hr. airframe.

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

Postby ldev » 16 Feb 2020 21:27

brar_w wrote:Rafale is an 8,000 hr. airframe.

Thanks. And what is the cycle vs hours story?

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

Postby brar_w » 16 Feb 2020 21:30

ldev wrote:
brar_w wrote:Rafale is an 8,000 hr. airframe.

Thanks. And what is the cycle vs hours story?


I've written about this in the past in reference to the F404/414 engine. Unless that content was lost it may be searchable. In short, the metric that is most relevant is the Total Accumulated Cycles (TAC) and not merely the hours it has flown though there is commonality between the two metrics.

Here are two readings for both the metric and the relevant engine on the F-15 EX.

https://flightlevelsonline.com/2013/fal ... ne-cycles/

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... Technology

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

Postby ldev » 16 Feb 2020 21:48

brar_w wrote:
ldev wrote:Thanks. And what is the cycle vs hours story?


I've written about this in the past in reference to the F404/414 engine. Unless that content was lost it may be searchable. In short, the metric that is most relevant is the Total Accumulated Cycles (TAC) and not merely the hours it has flown though there is commonality between the two metrics.

Here are two readings for both the metric and the relevant engine on the F-15 EX.

https://flightlevelsonline.com/2013/fal ... ne-cycles/

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... Technology


Thanks again. The above information coupled with

https://sofrep.com/fightersweep/length- ... r-mission/

Actual Sortie: 1.0 – 1.8 hours. This is the fun part, but it’s still missionized. You’re not just goofing off.


will mean rated cycles x 1.0-1.8 will be the time in hours between depot visits/overhaul.

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

Postby brar_w » 16 Feb 2020 21:54

The newest engine in the Pratt & Whitney 229-Series, the F100-PW-229 Engine Enhancement Package (EEP) - launched in 2004 - has raised the engine depot inspection interval from 4,300 to 6,000 Total Accumulated Cycles (TAC), effectively extending the typical depot interval from 7 to 10 years and, at the same time, providing a 30% engine life-cycle cost reduction. Furthermore, the F100-PW-229 engine is the only fighter engine funded and qualified by the U.S. Air Force to the 6,000-cycle capability.

The F100-PW-229 EEP includes advanced hot section technology developed for the F119-PW-100 turbofan used on the F-22 Raptor and the F135 engine used on the F-35 Lightning II. The EEP configuration was incorporated into all production F100-PW-229 engines in 2009 and has been specifically designed to be easily installed in all existing pre-2009 F100-PW-229 engines.


http://www.fi-powerweb.com/Engine/PW-F100.html

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

Postby ldev » 16 Feb 2020 21:59

brar_w wrote:
The newest engine in the Pratt & Whitney 229-Series, the F100-PW-229 Engine Enhancement Package (EEP) - launched in 2004 - has raised the engine depot inspection interval from 4,300 to 6,000 Total Accumulated Cycles (TAC), effectively extending the typical depot interval from 7 to 10 years and, at the same time, providing a 30% engine life-cycle cost reduction. Furthermore, the F100-PW-229 engine is the only fighter engine funded and qualified by the U.S. Air Force to the 6,000-cycle capability.

The F100-PW-229 EEP includes advanced hot section technology developed for the F119-PW-100 turbofan used on the F-22 Raptor and the F135 engine used on the F-35 Lightning II. The EEP configuration was incorporated into all production F100-PW-229 engines in 2009 and has been specifically designed to be easily installed in all existing pre-2009 F100-PW-229 engines.


http://www.fi-powerweb.com/Engine/PW-F100.html


Huge benefit in terms of maintenance and aircraft availability. 6000 cycles x 1.5 hours average training sortie translates into 9000 hours between depot visits. Compare that with 1000 hours for the AL-31FP engines on the SU-30MKI.

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

Postby brar_w » 16 Feb 2020 22:12

ldev wrote:


Huge benefit in terms of maintenance and aircraft availability. 6000 cycles x 1.5 hours average training sortie translates into 9000 hours between depot visits. Compare that with 1000 hours for the AL-31FP engines on the SU-30MKI.


No it doesn't work that way. You can have flights of equal duration with a significant variation in the TAC's (these are high performance fighters). This also applies to air-frame life BTW since there is a huge difference in a 1 hour long flight from one air-base to another and a 1 hour flight that involves combat or BFM which usually involves a lot of throttle changes. So 6,000 hours TAC is roughly a decade of usage based on USAF's utilization (which on the F-15E fleet is quite extensive as they are almost always deployed in theater). So now if you only need a major depot overhaul once a decade you don't need as large a depot capacity and as large a spare pool to keep the aircraft flying.

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

Postby Manish_Sharma » 16 Feb 2020 23:52

ldev wrote:The AL-31FP engines on the SU-30MKI have a 1000 hour interval between overhauls ...


IIRC al-31 engines were failing so much that IAF now overhauls them at 750 hours.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 17 Feb 2020 00:32

ldev wrote:the airframe is rated for 6000 hours. However the SU-30Ks which the IAF got as it's first SU-30s were rated for only 4000 hours of airframe life.The Mig-29s are particularly bad. Some reports talk about only a 2500 hour airframe life and pilots time in the seat being restricted as a result during training. No wonder they are cheap as Phillip keeps on repeating.
.

The MKIs have been flogged close to 180 hours per year. Haven't heard of anything about their retirement or airframe issues. In fact they're talking of an mlu. The mig29 has been seeing use since the 80s and will continue for another 15 years. No complaints about airframe life. Surely they've exceeded the numbers you are suggesting? Even the venerable mig 21 is doing duty.

Btw the newly built mig35 and su35 are supposed to have 6000 hours airframe life. Seems to be excellent bang for the buck.

When it comes to total cost of ownership many things need to be accounted for including cost of spares, Storage facilities etc. Russian planes are supposed to have far more tolerance to rough environments. Then there are mlus which are extremely expensive with Western craft, just take a look at the mirage 2000.

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

Postby brar_w » 17 Feb 2020 01:07

^^ At that utilization 4K hours will be consumed in 22 years, and 6K hours in 33 years. There could well be structural upgrades performed during an MLU to extend the life further. I think Idev's point was that while the MKI's are designed for a 6K airframe life some of the early ones may not have been. That can be checked, probably by searching this forum.

Cain Marko wrote:Btw the newly built mig35 and su35 are supposed to have 6000 hours airframe life. Seems to be excellent bang for the buck.


No one is really buying the MiG-35 anymore in quantity. Since promising stuff like an AESA radar for MRCA 1.0, they still haven't put out the aircraft with it in numbers. Su-35 is being ordered. Russia has 98 on order with 80+ already delivered. The PLAAF is going to be another major user. I don't think the MiG-35 was seriously considered during MRCA 1.0, and I doubt they'd do the same for MRCA 2.0. Production and orders are nearly non-existent and there seems to be no one invested deeply in keeping it viable over decades. That is not the case for the other offerings.

While 6,000 hours is good the competition is offering higher rated air-frame lives backed by the requisite life-time fatigue testing. The F-16V, Typhoon and Rafale are 8,000 hours, the F-18E/F is 10,000 hours, and the F-15 E will be 16,000 hours with advanced lifetime testing likely to get it certified for beyond 20,000 hours (if they haven't already).

Now let's take 2 fleets of 100 aircraft. One with 6,000 K hr. service life, and the other with 16K hr. At 200 hours utilization a year, the first fleet utilizes 3.3 aircraft worth of airframe-life a year while the other utilizes 1.3 aircraft worth. How your fleet ages matters as does how much you need to spend during an upgrade on structural enhancements vs capability improvements and upgrades.

Cain Marko wrote:Russian planes are supposed to have far more tolerance to rough environments. Then there are mlus which are extremely expensive with Western craft, just take a look at the mirage 2000.


They should all be comparable with advantages and disadvantages in comparative areas. Many western aircraft are designed to be used in an expeditionary capacity and therefore reliability with a special eye on logistical footprint is an important design driver. This is further compounded by higher labor costs which means component reliability and uptimes need to be higher to control overall O&S cost. This also has advantages when operating from home especially when you need high tempo operations as would be a case during conflict. IAF has M2K, Rafale, C-130, AH-64E, C-17 etc. and can very easily see which meet or exceed this design approach/requirement and which don't.
Last edited by brar_w on 17 Feb 2020 01:32, edited 3 times in total.

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

Postby Manish_Sharma » 17 Feb 2020 01:18

In intense 15 days war a 20,000 hrs airframe will give huge advantage vs 6,000 hours airframe.

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

Postby pandyan » 17 Feb 2020 08:55

Manish_Sharma wrote:In intense 15 days war a 20,000 hrs airframe will give huge advantage vs 6,000 hours airframe.

*in theory*

ruski stuff is doing just fine in syria

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

Postby Mort Walker » 17 Feb 2020 09:26

The one big factor about Boeing is that they can deliver the numbers of aircraft (F-15EX and F-18SH) on-time/ahead-of-time and within budget. The same can't be said about the others. The Russians are entirely unreliable in any weapons system platform in terms of delivery schedule and budget. It's a bust with them. We have yet to see about the Rafale. Only 3 have been delivered and the remaining 33 will all be in by April 2022. From 2015 to 2022, seven years for 36 aircraft. If another 110 Rafale were ordered tomorrow, it would take a decade to deliver all to India.

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

Postby Rakesh » 17 Feb 2020 09:50

Mort-ji, industry standard is 3 years from contract signature to delivery of the first batch. Even LM said the same, during the single engine fighter contest. All the other OEMs will be more or less the same time frame.

The Rafale contract was signed in Sep 2016 and the first batch was handed over to the IAF in Sept 2019, exactly three years later and on a schedule pre-decided by the IAF and Dassault. The delivery schedule is less than three years from contract signature in Sept 2019 and will be complete by April 2022.

Where LM (and likely Boeing as well) succeeds is consistently maintaining a high production rate. Dassault purposely keeps the Rafale production at the bare minimum of 11 aircraft/year due to shortfalls in the French Defence budget. Orders from India, Qatar and Egypt have not changed that either. Reportedly the line can churn out 33 Rafales a year, but the customer will have to pay for a quicker delivery schedule and none of the customers are interested in doing that.

But 33 Rafales a year is nothing compared to 30+ F-16s a month that LM was churning out in the 1980s. I do not know what the exact monthly output of the F-35 is, but it far exceeds the 11 that Dassault is churning out a year at Merignac with the Rafale.

But inducting a large number of aircraft at the same time is now not going to happen as per the CDS. And 110 Rafales are not coming. No money.

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

Postby Mort Walker » 17 Feb 2020 09:57

Hi Rakeshji,

Yes, you are correct. Given CAPEX budget the CDS is right, but the IAF needs numbers now. Only the LCA Tejas Mk1A and Mk2 can make the numbers the IAF needs. This whole MRCA business is just too painful. When need to beat the crap out of the northwest termites, we just don't have the numbers.

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

Postby Rakesh » 17 Feb 2020 10:06

Saar, I have not earned the ji title :)

The optimist in me tells me that the Mk1A variant is going to greatly impress the IAF and additional units will be ordered (2 - 3 more units at minimum). Numbers can only be increased with local maal. Phoren aircraft like Rafale will serve other roles, but the Tejas will be the mainstay. The 83 Tejas Mk1As, 21 MiG-29s, the 12 Su-30MKIs, the Super Sukhoi upgrade and improving serviceability of the fleet will address the shortage in the short term.

And like the CDS said, perhaps another 36 Rafales will be bought in a few years time. I just hope it is 44 more aircraft and not 36.

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

Postby srin » 17 Feb 2020 10:06

One question: when ordering fighters, how much is usually paid upfront and what percent is paid on delivery?


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