MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

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

Postby Philip » 03 Mar 2018 10:41

Pentagon says thag F-35 costs between $93-120M still too much, unaffordable and that more has to be " squeezed" out of the ramped up production programme.Therefore if too costly for the Pentagon it hasn't a chance with our babudom as there's nothing that can be squeezed out for them too!^

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

Postby brar_w » 03 Mar 2018 18:19

The JPO is saying that they need to get to their cost target faster and every million they squeeze out of the aircraft production ONE lot ahead (instead of by 2020) saves them roughly 70-80 million a year (double that if you want to include partners because the JPO negotiates on their behalf as well) Now imagine if they can get from $94.5 Million on the F-35A to $85 Million and from $123 Million to $112 Million on the B one year ahead that will save them hundreds of millions of dollars in just one acquisition year. This is the point they are making - that the price is coming down but it can come down faster and they are aiming to get to that $80-$85 Million CTOL target a year or so ahead i.e. possibly by the next LRIP lot buy which will happen next year as the current one is still under negotiation.

This is important because the USAF alone expects to field well over a thousand aircraft at anywhere from 2-4 squadrons a year. With regards to the MRCA, this is a relative comparison..Unless the Gripen-C is offered by SAAB i fail to see how any western aircraft on offer can be substantially cheaper to acquire. The Fly-Away price the IAF currently paid for the Rafale (minus the mods etc) is still in this range and this is while the F-35 is still in Low-Rate production and not achieved its full rate cost targets. As a new customer, you cannot buy the F-35's currently in the production chain..so the only realistic entry point for a new customer will be for deliveries in the early 2020s which would be at a time they have either achieved or are very close to those price targets based on current trends.
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Will » 03 Mar 2018 20:41

Cybaru wrote:

4. AMCA will see another run of 200-300 machines.



So total imports as things stand currently are only 36-44 planes. Rest all may change to a lower number as we get more confidence in ourselves. From here onwards, I think IAF won't want 3rd/4th gen planes. We won't import anymore of those.

I do wish that we sign a JV with Thales to make next gen Spectra for LCA-mk2 and a complete EW and IRST/MAWS suite.


If properly backed the LCA and AMCA versions have the capability to meet 80% of the needs of the IAF. 20% cutting age aircraft at that point in time might still need to be imported. But at least the IAF will no longer be an”imported” airforce.

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

Postby Cybaru » 04 Mar 2018 15:09

As I was looking through reviews of some air campaign books, found this funny quote in reference to f-16 :rotfl:

http://www.blackfive.net/main/2012/10/b ... pilot.html

I honestly wouldn't put it past a former pilot to mistake blk 50 for Black-50. If nothing else, those assholes are notorious for strapping in to screaming-death-machines that they don't in any way understand. Not to talk too much trash on my current air frame or anything, but the -16 is finished. "Upgrading" our current fleet of older-than-their-pilots" jets may LOOK like a cost effective method of maintaining Air Supremacy, but the MX cost FAR outstrips just building something god damned new.

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

Postby srai » 04 Mar 2018 18:35

^^^
India was dangled that piece of the “upgrade” pie :rotfl:

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

Postby Rakesh » 04 Mar 2018 18:37

^^^ Even some of the oldies on BRF had that view ---> that you needed Tejas and the F-16 :)

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

Postby shiv » 04 Mar 2018 19:11

In fact when the Single Engine thing was announced by Parikkar I supported F-16 + Tejas

For context: let me quote a Tweet from Air Marshal Chopra (retd) from earlier today
https://twitter.com/Chopsyturvey/status ... 5210784768

Aviator Anil Chopra
‏ @Chopsyturvey
10h10 hours ago

In 1971 war IAF had 625 combat aircraft and Pakistani Air Force PAF 273, a clear advantage of 2.2:1. Today with IAF already down to 31 and going down further, the ratio is 1.4:1. China's PLAAF is 2.65 times larger. Critical time for real action. @IAF_MCC @nsitharaman


However with twin engines being brought in again my suspicion is that a country like India that could not afford 126 Rafales in 2015 is not suddenly going to have money for that in 2018. That leaves only the F/A-18. Let me stick my neck out and say that this remains a possible choice because it suits Navy, the Air Force can probably "make do" and I suspect the tech level is something that the US may be willing to part with while we can absorb.

Just my guess. I don't like making predictions - but once in a while I don't mind placing a bet :D

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

Postby shiv » 04 Mar 2018 19:19

Airframes and designs being older than pilots is no big deal and should not be used a an argument because it is pure useless rhetoric. Lots of things are older than their users. Only old farts will use such idiot arguments. The users/operators have to be young and fit, good eyesight and reflexes. Imagine if old codgers like me were asked to join special forces or be fighter pilots. That would be ridiculous. Not young pilots in older designs.

The B-52, C-130, F-5, Mirage III, MiG 21, MiG 23, nirage 2000 are all designs and sometimes airframes older than the twentysomethings who become pilots.

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

Postby Cosmo_R » 04 Mar 2018 20:01

brar_w wrote:... As a new customer, you cannot buy the F-35's currently in the production chain..so the only realistic entry point for a new customer will be for deliveries in the early 2020s which would be at a time they have either achieved or are very close to those price targets based on current trends.


Which is why one option we should consider now is getting in the queue for off the shelf deliveries JSF in the 2020s. If any company can ramp up for economies of scale it is LM.

One can visualize two lines on graph: the JSF unit cost trending down over time due to increased production rates and the Rafale unit price trending up over time as inflation and low production rates take their toll. And that is for a 5G vs a 4G a/c.

On separate but related note, the SNECMA/GTRE effort to deliver a K-9/10 110-125kn engines that can be used for Tejas/AMCA SU30s and possibly even the Rafale itself is very heartening. It will also substantially reduce TCO and free up funds.

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

Postby Rakesh » 04 Mar 2018 20:10

I agree Cosmo. good post. But the IAF is not interested - as per the Chief - and LM/US Govt has not offered it. No go.

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

Postby Rakesh » 04 Mar 2018 20:18

shiv wrote:Just my guess. I don't like making predictions - but once in a while I don't mind placing a bet :D

On mobile phone, so a bit hard to reply to your entire post (which I will do so later), but thank you for saying the above. Educated guesses are fine, but when folks in here start touting their superior risk assessing skills and claim that their predictions are never wrong, then it is time to bring them back down to earth. We are all here to learn, so keep the myopic and narrow minded statements to yourself.

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

Postby Philip » 04 Mar 2018 20:23

Saw a report which was v.gloomy.Available aircraft incl. upgraded MIG-29s Jags M2Ks, etc.For whatever reasons poor availability.Strangely the best availability were the 21 Bisons!Large amts of legacy MIGs retiring too.

This may explain why the GOI is not even squeaking like a mouse becos of the sad state of affairs reg. the fighting capacity of the services vis-a-vis China.

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

Postby shiv » 04 Mar 2018 20:30

This post was not made
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 04 Mar 2018 20:32

Saar, I am not talking about you. I am talking about the risk predictor. He has gone underground. He is the one who claimed his predictions are never wrong and BRF is myopic and narrow minded.

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

Postby shiv » 04 Mar 2018 20:33

Rakesh wrote:Saar, I am not talking about you. I am talking about the risk predictor. He has gone underground.

OK. I will edit out my post as if it did not exist

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

Postby Rakesh » 04 Mar 2018 20:35

No worries. That is why I thanked you for what you said.

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

Postby GeorgeWelch » 04 Mar 2018 21:43

shiv wrote:However with twin engines being brought in again my suspicion is that a country like India that could not afford 126 Rafales in 2015 is not suddenly going to have money for that in 2018. That leaves only the F/A-18. Let me stick my neck out and say that this remains a possible choice because it suits Navy, the Air Force can probably "make do" and I suspect the tech level is something that the US may be willing to part with while we can absorb.


It seems like you and the IAF forsee the same future, which is why the IAF is doing what it can to stop it.

https://www.livefistdefence.com/2018/02 ... umble.html

Significantly, Livefist learns that the Indian Air Force has launched an all-out internal opposition to the Indian Navy’s separate quest for 57 carrier fighters. This makes things even more delicate, considering that the navy’s prospective contest is a highly constrained two-horse race between Boeing’s F/A-18 and Dassault’s Rafale. Sources say the IAF believes the navy’s contest could be used to constrain the former’s own choices on what aircraft it should choose from, since it stands to reason that type commonality will be a priority.

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

Postby Rakesh » 04 Mar 2018 23:31

shiv wrote:However with twin engines being brought in again my suspicion is that a country like India that could not afford 126 Rafales in 2015 is not suddenly going to have money for that in 2018. That leaves only the F/A-18. Let me stick my neck out and say that this remains a possible choice because it suits Navy, the Air Force can probably "make do" and I suspect the tech level is something that the US may be willing to part with while we can absorb.

Just my guess. I don't like making predictions - but once in a while I don't mind placing a bet :D

Hakeem, the first thing is the IAF cannot afford 100+ foreign birds of *ANY* type. It is not just the bird that is coming, there is the base infrastructure to support the bird, the weapons that will come with the bird, the spares, the simulators and more. The IAF cannot afford this purchase at 100 aircraft. What the services want and what actually the MoD loosens the purse strings for are two different things. This 100 number is just a carry over from the SEF contest.

Secondly, the Air Force will not accept “make do” aircraft. They proved that in the first MMRCA contest, when they soundly rejected both teens and rightfully so. Negotiations which went no where under the Congress for 126 birds, came down to 36 birds under the BJP via a G2G deal. Then the MoD launched the SEF competition and the same thing happened. You had IAF test pilots raving about the Gripen E and yet not a word about the F-16. Take a look at the sales pitch from LM and Saab. LM very rarely ever spoke about the technical abilities of the plane and all that Saab did was talk about the plane. LM talked about upgrading other countries' F-16s (no concern to IAF), jobs for Indians (no concern to IAF), local factory (no concern to IAF), export F-16s (no concern to IAF), etc. And then you had Saab which talked about the Meteor (a missile that was already coming via the Rafale and even trumps the Rafale, in that it has a two-way datalink), the F414 engine which had commonality with the Mk2 variant, sensor fusion, the ability to operate from roadways, quick turnaround time, low operating cost, full TOT transfer :lol:, etc. Never mind the fact that much - of value - what Saab pitched was vaporware, but they certainly got the IAF's attention. The E variant has a FOC of 2026!

The IAF does not look at strategic alignment - however great it is touted to be - and all that wonderful stuff that comes with it. The IAF knows all about the F-16 (through multiple exercises and with the Singapore Air Force permanently stationing a squadron or two of their F-16s in India) and they realize that it is a platform that has little utility in the long term. The IAF plans to use the platform chosen for the next 40+ years. In that respect the Gripen is a much more viable platform and the IAF only looks at platforms not geopolitical advantages. If the GOI wanted the geopolitical advantage, they should have done the technical downselect themselves. They should have selected the F-16 and F-18 to compete and told the IAF to choose an aircraft between the two. That did not happen in the first MMRCA contest, neither in the SEF contest and again not in the third and current MRCA contest. No Govt can make that call because it will reek of curroption and nepotism - exactly what RaGa is accusing the Modi Govt of right now on the Rafale. So the GOI has to play by the rules. Not the IAF's rules, but the MoD's rules. The Babus are the ones who call the shots.

Now we are back at square one with the MRCA competition, but this time Dassault holds a tremendous advantage. Yes it is more expensive to acquire, yes it has boutique weaponry but the fact of the matter is 36 will already be in service when the competition is really underway. But yet I say again, nothing close to 100 aircraft will be acquired. At the most another 36 - 54 aircraft. The IAF wants more Rafales, they have said it over and over again and they will use this option to do exactly that. The IAF is gaming the system and they should. Apart from the F-35 and the Rafale, the IAF sees little use for anything else. The Navy is a different matter altogether.

By the time the MoD's tortoise moving bureaucracy gets the competition going....all the support infrastructure will already be in place for the Rafale at Hasimara and Ambala. First batch of Rafales are coming by September 2019. Both airbases are being built to house two squadrons *EACH* of the Rafale. Now the Govt has opened the competition to include twin engine birds and the Rafale will win again. Let me make an educated guess as well. The IAF knew the SEF was going nowhere and now additional Rafales - in small numbers - is the only way forward. Reopen MRCA contest and use the contest to acquire the Rafale. The Prime Minister is certainly favoured to win the 2019 elections and he will have strong political capital to go in for a follow on order of the Rafale. The only way Rafale will lose is if the F-35 comes into play. But even ACM Dhanoa threw cold water on that idea stating that the IAF is not interested in the aircraft. Not because the aircraft is bad, but because they want the Rafale. They know putting the F-35 into the mix NOW, will result in further delays of silver bullets.

With an announcement coming on March 10th from President Macron on the Kaveri88 turbofan, expect Rafale to hold yet another advantage. If the guesses - in the Kaveri thread - turn out to be true, Safran will surpass even GE in the Tejas program.

There is also another point I would like to make --> IAF's ORBAT. I am sure you would agree with the statement that the IAF is eager to strengthen her numbers, with 42 being the magic number. That is the end goal, with ACM Dhanoa even stating that 42 will be achieved by 2032. So let us look at the numbers and see how 100 of *ANY* foreign aircraft - in a MRCA competition - are going to fit in an ORBAT of 42 squadrons. Like I said earlier in this very thread, the Tejas is the filler and the letter of intent for 201 Mk2 aircraft proved that. This is where the IAF will likely be in 2032;

Su-30MKI @ 15 Squadrons (272 Aircraft)
Tejas @ 18 Squadrons (324 aircraft - 40 Mk1s + 83 MK1As + 201 Mk2s. The Mk1s will be converted to Mk1As).
Rafale @ 2 Squadrons (36 aircraft)
PAK-FA @ 4 Squadrons (72 aircraft) - with F-35 off the cards (for now), PAK-FA will come (this is 5th gen space).

The above adds up to 39 squadrons, three short of the magic number of 42. I have retired all the Jaguars, MiG-29s and Mirage 2000s by 2032, as that is when they are planned to be phased out anyway. How can 100 aircraft (five squadrons) fit in this? There is room for 2 - 3 squadrons aka silver bullets and that type is the Rafale onlee. Add another two squadrons of Rafale and you will come up to 41 squadrons. There is no 100 aircraft coming Hakeem. If 100 aircraft come, something else will reduce - but what in the above list can? And Hakeem, I have not even included AMCA in above list. My guess would be AMCA arriving post 2032.

For the Navy, absolutely the F-18 stands a HUGE advantage just because of EMALS. That will be quid pro quo for getting EMALS. The F-18 is a great bird for the Navy. She is an excellent bomb truck and does that job beautifully well. In a knife fight, the IAF thought the Typhoon and the Rafale hold the edge. They made that call, not anyone on BRF :) However if EMALS does not come - highly unlikely though - then MoD can make the arguement to the Navy that a steam catapult CATOBAR carrier can fly the Rafale M as well.

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

Postby kit » 05 Mar 2018 00:11

An interesting snippet

" If the F119 is reduced to the EJ200s size, it would be 4 meters long and 93 cm in diameter, compared to 74 cm for the EJ200. Inlet diameter would be 68,5 cm, dry weight ~1.000 kg, and thrust 91,4 kN (9.320 kgf). Thus it would have a TWR of ~9,32:1 and thrust-to-drag ratio of 24,8 N/cm2, or 92% of the current value, again confirming that larger engine offers better performance than two smaller engines."

Would a higher power Mark 3 Tejas obviate the need for a twin engine carrier fighter ?

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

Postby Cybaru » 05 Mar 2018 01:04

That's good analysis Rakesh. I do think that the follow on order of rafale won't need another competition as it is part of the first order itself under options. So in effect Modi govt negotiated 36 and follow on 36 perhaps based on some un disclosed milestone. Perhaps it will get triggered soon.

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

Postby VKumar » 05 Mar 2018 01:06

Rakesh: You have stated the expected very well.

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

Postby Cybaru » 05 Mar 2018 01:07

kit wrote:An interesting snippet

" If the F119 is reduced to the EJ200s size, it would be 4 meters long and 93 cm in diameter, compared to 74 cm for the EJ200. Inlet diameter would be 68,5 cm, dry weight ~1.000 kg, and thrust 91,4 kN (9.320 kgf). Thus it would have a TWR of ~9,32:1 and thrust-to-drag ratio of 24,8 N/cm2, or 92% of the current value, again confirming that larger engine offers better performance than two smaller engines."

Would a higher power Mark 3 Tejas obviate the need for a twin engine carrier fighter ?



Location?

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

Postby Rakesh » 05 Mar 2018 03:16

VKumar wrote:Rakesh: You have stated the expected very well.

Sorry Sir, but I had to edit your post to just in put what you typed. And Thank You.

Post a follow on order for the 2 additional Rafale squadrons - at this stage in the game - it is best the IAF only looks at 5th gen platforms which the F-18 is most definately not. AVM Arjun Subramaniam (Retd) is more or less making the same arguement. It is right now between the F-35 and the Rafale. I am not so sure about PAKFA, but sure why not. Add that into the mix as well! The F-35 is LM's Trump Card. Nobody - not even Dassault - can churn out planes like the way LM does. They are masters at it.

Single-engine fighter cancellation a setback for India, but IAF should leapfrog to Rafale
https://theprint.in/2018/02/28/fighter- ... ce-settle/

My guess is that should the F-35 come onto the scene, the competition for the 120+ aircraft would narrow down to a straight slug-fest between the Dassault Rafale and Lockheed Martin F-35. The French would argue that they have been reliable partners with the Mirage-2000 over the years, and that it would be a logical follow-on order to have a force mix of Su-30 MKIs and Rafales as the cutting edge Fifth Generation platforms, with the upgraded Mirage-2000s and Light Combat Aircraft providing reasonable back up till 2025-2030.

The F-35 presents both an opportunity and a challenge. Logically speaking, should India (IAF and Indian Navy) settle for the F-35, it is likely be the largest operator of the aircraft after the US, along with UK and Italy (both 130-plus). The IAF will also benefit from lower fly-away costs as compared to the Rafale due to the sheer economies of scale that Lockheed Martin will bring to the table (till date, it has orders for 3,000-plus aircraft from 12-13 air forces). It will also benefit from a mature aircraft that has undergone much testing and tweaking by not only its US operators, but also by partners like the UK, Norway, Netherlands and Israel, which have already started taking delivery of the aircraft.

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

Postby Rakesh » 05 Mar 2018 03:18

Cybaru wrote:That's good analysis Rakesh. I do think that the follow on order of rafale won't need another competition as it is part of the first order itself under options. So in effect Modi govt negotiated 36 and follow on 36 perhaps based on some un disclosed milestone. Perhaps it will get triggered soon.

I am hoping that trigger will be Kaveri88, so eagerly awaiting to see what President Macron has to announce on March 10th.

- Kaveri88 for Tejas and Rafale (and Navy's MiG-29K)
- Kaveri200 for AMCA and Su-30MKI (and even PAK-FA if it comes)

What is really interesting is how the IAF can take a bit of a breather with 201 Mk2 variants signed via a letter of intent. The Tejas is the filler. It is India's Single Engine Fighter.

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

Postby Rakesh » 05 Mar 2018 03:38

https://twitter.com/SJha1618/status/970183430532157440 --->

This is what I foresee the IAF managing to get:
1. 300 + Tejas (all variants)
2. Another 36 Rafale under ToT
3. Six squadrons of Sukhoi Su-57 derived FGFA ( provided Russia agrees to what India would want on this).

---------------------------------------------

If the second scenario pans out, MRCA is done. Finished. Khalas! :lol:

New contest will be launched post 2020 for a fifth generation platform.

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

Postby Cosmo_R » 05 Mar 2018 04:11

^^^ Rakesh...

Secondly, the Air Force will not accept “make do” aircraft. They proved that in the first MMRCA contest, when they soundly rejected both teens and rightfully so. ....


Keep in mind that at the start of the MMRCA, the IAF still was pining for the M2K which today would be a "make do". It's a moving target.

Reopen MRCA contest and use the contest to acquire the Rafale. The Prime Minister is certainly favoured to win the 2019 elections and he will have strong political capital to go in for a follow on order of the Rafale. The only way Rafale will lose is if the F-35 comes into play.


I think the way forward for the GoI is the G2G path. I think that institutionalizing the G2G method between Indian and France may be on the agenda. These 'tenders' just don't work.

But even ACM Dhanoa threw cold water on that idea stating that the IAF is not interested in the aircraft. Not because the aircraft is bad, but because they want the Rafale. They know putting the F-35 into the mix NOW, will result in further delays of silver bullets.


Yes Dhanoa is smart. It's about a bird in the hand vs two in the bush with all the things that could go wrong in any F35 deal like PolMil/Javelin did .

With an announcement coming on March 10th from President Macron on the Kaveri88 turbofan, expect Rafale to hold yet another advantage. .


Yes. But I think it will be for the 18 options. Why? Because, the unit prices will start to become unattractive thereafter relative to the F35 given the production rates

....PAK-FA will come (this is 5th gen space).


PAK/FA will not come unless and until Russia commits to buying them in the original quantities they projected (12 is not a serious number). Also the IAF sees it as another diversion of attention and resources much like the F35 bird/bush problem.

For the Navy, absolutely the F-18 stands a HUGE advantage just because of EMALS.


Based on what MP said about the Vishaal, if the IN gets a 65K carrier, I'd be surprised. It's too costly and sucks up all resources for the IN. My guess? somewhere down the line, just like the Kaveri revelation, it will occur to the IN to get several Vikrant size LHDs like the Wasp class instead and deploy F35Bs off them.

Which is why Dhanoa is screaming about the Navy not determining the IAFs choices. :)

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

Postby kit » 05 Mar 2018 04:35

Cybaru wrote:
kit wrote:An interesting snippet

" If the F119 is reduced to the EJ200s size, it would be 4 meters long and 93 cm in diameter, compared to 74 cm for the EJ200. Inlet diameter would be 68,5 cm, dry weight ~1.000 kg, and thrust 91,4 kN (9.320 kgf). Thus it would have a TWR of ~9,32:1 and thrust-to-drag ratio of 24,8 N/cm2, or 92% of the current value, again confirming that larger engine offers better performance than two smaller engines."

Would a higher power Mark 3 Tejas obviate the need for a twin engine carrier fighter ?



Location?


here you are

https://defenseissues.net/2014/12/06/fighter-aircraft-engine-comparision/

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

Postby Philip » 05 Mar 2018 04:42

Internal wars. IAF vs IN.Sigh.....One thought that these petty rivalries were a thing of the past but sadly no.The IAF for decades tried to sabotage the IN's genuine need for carriers and new carrier aircraft, even b*tching about LRMP birds from the time of operating ex-Air India Super-Connies.

When the naval/ sub threat in the IOR from China is to be our greatest challenge in the next decade, with China building between 4-6 new carriers, a war between the IAF and IN is the last thing the country needs.The DM who's been doing a great job so far must nip this in the bud and tell each service "to eat what's on its plate" and not steal from its sister service.

The IAF even begrudged total close support to the IA .FM Manekshaw made some pithy remarks in the aftermath of the '71 war about his counterpart chief.It's why the IA demanded time and again ,and is finally getting its own LCHs not having to beg timely support in times of war. Not too long ago an IAF AM remarked sarcastically about "mini air forces" having ambitions and its opposition to them.

Frankly the least visionary service on paper appears to be the IAF. The IN had a masterplan to become a builder's navy from a buyer's navy since it got so little of the defence pie. Starting with licence built Leanders it modified them, then improved it with the G class and as they say the rest is history.A desi carrier is in the pipeline and N-subs coming off the line at Vizag. An incredible achievement and all done in around 3+ decades.Even with the LCA the IN was more enthusiastic about the NLCA and funded it liberally, which its designers couldn't deliver to meet stringent carrier aircraft standards tx to excess weight and an underpowered engine.

What did the IAF achieve in the last 3 decades by comparison? After the HF-24 saga simply bought firang birds content with mere licence manufacture and some minor improvements by comparison.Notwithstanding the good work on the Jags with the Darin programme and MKI development, it was less than enthusiastic about the LCA and had to succumb to the GOI to embrace it.Buying the most expensive birds available is the disease which has now afflicted it. Forgotten are the days when with less than top drawer aircraft we were able to whup the backsides of the PAF equipped with supposedly superior western aircraft. The "only Rafale" campaign and "no plan B" attitude isn't worthy of such a distinguished service. What if we simply couldn't afford the Rafale? The agri sector is witnessing thousands of farmer suicides each year. Demands for money for vital infrastructure incl. border roads,etc. will scoop up tens of thousands of crores let alone defence needs.

There has been no IAF masterplan barring the oft touted no of sqds. reqd. but little about their composition. The MMRCA contest was well conceived but had no fall upon alternative to the Rafale in costs were exorbitant. Even MP could see that more MKIs were an easy solution/option because we're now in the payload- centric era , leaving the platform-centric era. It is the lethality of the weaponry that matters most, whether PGMs or AAMs. LR strike through dedicated bombers is nowhere on its horizon. What about targets in China should we spar with it as being inevitable as many predict.It appears that from its perspective we have only one mortal enemy, Pak. When the most lethal missile we have is the BMos, carried by our modified MKIs, why are we persisting to buy twice as expensive non-BMos Rafales?

Our attitude is always "knee jerk". Ad hocism is rife. Upgrades of aircraft have kept numbers in service with the Bison perhaps the most successful other than MKI development. But it would be unfair to blame only the IAF. The GOI of the times and HAL have their share too. There was a time when the LCA was not taken seriously by the establishment. It should now give the LCA program max importance and develop an LCA-S as a stepping stone to the AMCA post 2030. The only firang buy for now or JV should be in the stealth arena. Little point in reinventing the 4+ gen.

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

Postby srai » 05 Mar 2018 05:19

^^^
Good post Philip.

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

Postby Rakesh » 05 Mar 2018 05:53

Cosmo_R wrote:Keep in mind that at the start of the MMRCA, the IAF still was pining for the M2K which today would be a "make do". It's a moving target.

This comedy show - that is MMRCA - has to end. We need to stop looking back at M2K and look forward. No more inducting 4th gen platforms, apart from the Tejas. From now on, the IAF needs to focus on acquiring (and developing own) low observable aircraft. No Mirage 2000, no F-16, no F-18, no MiG-29, no Typhoon, no Rafale beyond a follow on order of 2 squadrons either, no nothing.

Cosmo_R wrote:I think the way forward for the GoI is the G2G path. I think that institutionalizing the G2G method between Indian and France may be on the agenda. These 'tenders' just don't work.

The only thing this comedy show has proved is that the MoD is utterly incapable of holding multi-vendor competitions. Yes, G2G deals are the only way to go. I am not in favour of inducting any more than two additional squadrons of the Rafale, because then the MoD gets involved in cost allocations for base infrastructure (simulators, weapons, spares, tools, etc) to be set up at a third air base. And when the MoD gets involved, everything goes downhill. Please *NO MORE* of this comedy show.

There are a whole host of other issues to deal with in the IAF (in terms of acquisitions) - AWACS, Refuelers, modernizing weaponry (stocking up on current stocks and acquiring new ones), modernizing air fields, improving squadron serviceability via 1) Jaguar re-engine program from Honeywell and completing the Darin III upgrade 2) removing the bureaucratic bottlenecks in the M2K upgrade 3) getting Rambha serviceability up to 75% at minimum 4) Investing in new Tejas lines 5) increasing the intake of combat pilots (no point in 18, 36, 100 or 200 planes - of *ANY* type - if no one is there to fly them) and the list goes on. This comedy show needs to end FAST and the focus needs to be shifted to these ASAP.

Cosmo_R wrote:Yes. But I think it will be for the 18 options. Why? Because, the unit prices will start to become unattractive thereafter relative to the F35 given the production rates.

I am going to go with 36 aircraft, just because both airbases - Hasimara and Ambala - can handle two squadrons *EACH* of the Rafale. 18 or 36...right now of more importance is the full utilization of the base infrastructure at both air bases. And while the F-35 definitely stands out from the Rafale on cost, the US Govt needs to release the plane and the IAF needs to show interest in the plane. Right now, neither is happening. I have a feeling, it might happen once a follow on deal of Rafales are signed.

Cosmo_R wrote:PAK/FA will not come unless and until Russia commits to buying them in the original quantities they projected (12 is not a serious number). Also the IAF sees it as another diversion of attention and resources much like the F35 bird/bush problem.

Well here is the thing. This gap (which I filled in with 4 squadrons of the PAK-FA) is the 5th gen *SPACE* that the IAF will be filling in. Chinese J-20s and J-31s are not going away. They may be shit planes (or they may be amazing planes), but should we risk IAF pilots to find that out? I don't see how acquring another 4th generation bird - via the F-18 or any other aircraft for the matter - is going to be an effective counter. That 5th gen *SPACE* is one of three (or a combination of two) aircraft ----> 1) PAK-FA 2) AMCA 3) F-35. It is all upto the Govt of India, the Govt of Russia and the Govt of the US to see how this will play out.

Cosmo_R wrote:Based on what MP said about the Vishaal, if the IN gets a 65K carrier, I'd be surprised. It's too costly and sucks up all resources for the IN. My guess? somewhere down the line, just like the Kaveri revelation, it will occur to the IN to get several Vikrant size LHDs like the Wasp class instead and deploy F35Bs off them.

Which is why Dhanoa is screaming about the Navy not determining the IAFs choices. :)

I agree. The Air Force-Navy tussle over aircraft carriers will always exist. Even in this scenario, the F-35 stands to win. This deal is for the US Govt to lose. Even if not a LHD, they might just scale up the Vikrant design for the Vishaal and put in a ski jump. The F-35B can take off with a full combat off a ski jump. The RN's Queen Elizabeth Class carriers are doing just that via their F-35Bs.

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

Postby ramana » 05 Mar 2018 06:33

Rakesh, Deejay and Aviation minded mods,

We need a thread to understand and discuss IAF roles and responsibilities. Similar to the tactics thread.

We can then make sense of IAF quest for squadrons.

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

Postby Rakesh » 05 Mar 2018 06:57

Great Idea Ramana-ji. I would let deejay saar take the lead and the start the thread. He is after all the SME on the issue :)

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

Postby Philip » 06 Mar 2018 11:33

Adm.Rakesh, haven't you been reading my posts over years on multi-role amphib flat tops? I'veen cryinh hoarse from the rooftops and Qutb Minar too for the same.Three of these could support our CVs very well along with the unsinkable INS India and INS A&N.

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

Postby Viv S » 06 Mar 2018 12:57

X-posting from PAK FA/FGFA thread -

Image

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

Postby Viv S » 06 Mar 2018 12:59

Similar story reported by the Hindu in the SEF cancellation piece -

Tejas to take off; F-16, Gripen ‘grounded’
In 2016, the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed interest in procuring single-engine fighter planes from foreign manufacturers.

Eventually, the competition narrowed down to US’ Lockheed Martin, which offered to shift the entire production line of F-16 to India and also transform it into a global export hub for the fighters. Similarly, the Swedish SAAB offered to make Gripen E in India by creating an industrial ecosystem under ‘Make in India’.

Asked whether that plan has been shelved, Sitharaman said the focus is now on Tejas and on ramping up its production.

Sources added that the plan to acquire Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) under a different programme from the Russians has also been put on the back-burner as the planes are “abhorrently expensive” and that the Defence Minister will be visiting Russia soon to discuss the programme.

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

Postby Philip » 06 Mar 2018 14:00

If it's not happening,why the visit? Bad news can be delivered without a visit ! The hard fact is that there's no moolah for big tkt. items and the IAF are hell-bent on the Rafale with the push from the "R" co. All that can be afforded are few more Raffys at the price of a Rolls,and the LCAs.

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

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 06 Mar 2018 14:12

Philip wrote:If it's not happening,why the visit? Bad news can be delivered without a visit ! The hard fact is that there's no moolah for big tkt. items and the IAF are hell-bent on the Rafale with the push from the "R" co. All that can be afforded are few more Raffys at the price of a Rolls,and the LCAs.


I am with Philip saar on this one. While I would root for the AMCA, it will take some time. We need to keep the Russians with us. Maybe the visit is to renegotiate and explain to the Russians about our displeasure with their hobnobbing with the Paki's. Hope to see the Russian equivalent of this picsoon.

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

Postby Viv S » 06 Mar 2018 14:49

Philip wrote:If it's not happening,why the visit? Bad news can be delivered without a visit !

To sign the deal for the Grigorovich class frigates. And possibly further the negotiations for the S-400. Bad news is ideally delivered with some good news to soften the blow.
Last edited by Viv S on 07 Mar 2018 09:00, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Kashi » 06 Mar 2018 17:50

Mukesh.Kumar wrote: We need to keep the Russians with us.


Perhaps the Russians should also share your views and try and keep us with them.

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

Postby Bart S » 06 Mar 2018 18:08

Kashi wrote:
Mukesh.Kumar wrote: We need to keep the Russians with us.


Perhaps the Russians should also share your views and try and keep us with them.


True, there has been absolutely zilch in terms of statements or articles by think tanks etc out there with Russians emphasizing the importance of keeping India on their side.

This stuff reminds me of MSA who keeps harping on 'uninterrupted and uninterruptible' dialogue with Pakistan', which is a bad idea in itself, but more importantly totally unilateral with nobody in Pakistani establishment offering it to us.


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