MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

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

Postby Rakesh » 29 Oct 2020 00:28

sankum wrote:The advantage of US fighters is that in case of war with China and heavy attrition of IAF fighters take place then in service US fighters can be transferred to India which IAF pilots are trained to operate.
In practice we will be in US camp.

Saar, I have heard that argument before. All three US contenders in the MMRCA contest are among the top tier in the 4th+ generation fighters. Top tier being in the radar and sensors. Attrition will occur in any conflict, but to have "heavy" attrition would mean one of three things;

1) Either the pilots are not properly trained on the platform
2) The platform is not technologically superior to the Chinese counterparts.
3) Or the platform itself is faulty

None of this can occur in a conflict vis-a-viv the Chinese. Nothing presently in the PLAAF can prevail over the F-21, the F-18 Block III or the F-15EX which will cause heavy attrition of these platforms.

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

Postby brar_w » 29 Oct 2020 00:30

nachiket wrote:If there was some Quid Pro Quo agreed to for BECA, I hope we get some Growlers for a dedicated EW squadron instead of wasting money on the F-15EX. The Growler offers a capability which is extremely useful in the modern aerial battlefield and is very tough to get from other sources. The F-15EX offers little that some additional Rafales and a thorough upgrade of the MKI cannot.


Looking at the nations who have bought or offered the Growler (you have Australia, which is a 5-eyes member and now a Growler program partner (its signed on to both NGJ-MB and will do the same on LB as a full program partner and not just a customer), Germany is a NATO member and close enough for you to give them your tactical nuclear weapons and Finland which is also a historic partner and operator of advanced US weaponry) and the sensitivity of the system in general, it would be rather surprising if the Pentagon and the US Navy doesn't object given the presence and continued purchase of Russian IADS systems by the MOD. I think given that dynamic, some of the higher end technology will just be not be on offer so unless there is enough of a political inertia to overrule these things then it is unlikely to materialize. Having said that, the question is moot because the IAF requirement is for an MRCA while the Growler system is primarily a SEAD/DEAD asset.

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

Postby Rakesh » 29 Oct 2020 00:32

V_Raman wrote:India will only get silver bullets for foreign fighters from now on - what is that one? We have Rafale as the spear silver buller. What is our DPSA silver bullet?

Su-30MKI armed with BrahMos or Rafale armed with SCALP for high value targets.

There is nothing else in the IAF inventory that can do what the Rambha or Katrina can do.

With the Super Sukhoi upgrade, the Rambha will become even more potent.

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

Postby V_Raman » 29 Oct 2020 00:50

but the super30 upgrade seems to be a mirage - nothing seems to have moved on that front. Russian tech seems to be in stasis on what might be a decent super30 upgrade - AESA/sensors and they may not allow India/3rd parties to deep upgrade it! I fear that su-30 MKI might become a dead end.

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

Postby Rakesh » 29 Oct 2020 00:58

The upgrade plan is moving ahead. I will leave it at that.

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

Postby nachiket » 29 Oct 2020 01:25

V_Raman wrote:India will only get silver bullets for foreign fighters from now on - what is that one? We have Rafale as the spear silver buller. What is our DPSA silver bullet?

The Rafale is a very capable long range strike aircraft. The best we have right now. The MKI is no slouch when it comes to strike as well, especially as more and more indigenous PGM's are integrated on it. But the fleet needs a comprehensive MLU. Unfortunately, the content of the upgrade is not finalized yet and money is tight (and that won't be helped if we spend a whole lot on yet another new foreign fighter).

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

Postby nachiket » 29 Oct 2020 01:28

brar_w wrote:Looking at the nations who have bought or offered the Growler (you have Australia, which is a 5-eyes member and now a Growler program partner (its signed on to both NGJ-MB and will do the same on LB as a full program partner and not just a customer), Germany is a NATO member and close enough for you to give them your tactical nuclear weapons and Finland which is also a historic partner and operator of advanced US weaponry) and the sensitivity of the system in general, it would be rather surprising if the Pentagon and the US Navy doesn't object given the presence and continued purchase of Russian IADS systems by the MOD. I think given that dynamic, some of the higher end technology will just be not be on offer so unless there is enough of a political inertia to overrule these things then it is unlikely to materialize. Having said that, the question is moot because the IAF requirement is for an MRCA while the Growler system is primarily a SEAD/DEAD asset.

I wasn't talking about getting Growlers for this new MRCA boondoggle. This thing needs to be scrapped altogether IMO. But if the BECA deal came with some unavoidable QPQ agreement that we will buy American jets, then we should insist on Growlers. If the US won't sell those for security reasons then no deal. They either sell the cutting edge stuff or nothing at all. There is no other US aircraft that makes any sense for the IAF to buy, except perhaps the F-35 which is even more out of the question. We really do not have money to waste on more expensive assets in tiny numbers when bread and butter acquisitions like the Tejas Mk1A are still pending along with the Su-30 upgrade.

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

Postby LakshmanPST » 29 Oct 2020 10:03

If at all India has no choice but to buy some US jet or the other, I feel it is better to take 36 F/A 18s for Navy, instead of meddling with the Air Force...
If I'm not wrong, IAF has a specific plan for building squadron strength... It would be better to not force fit a new jet into their plans...

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

Postby V_Raman » 30 Oct 2020 01:13

I agree that F-18 is the best choice - engine commonality with LCA family of fighters. It can participate in any theater with advanced sensors/weaponry - added bonus. But will it work for Vik or IAC-1?

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

Postby Rakesh » 30 Oct 2020 01:29

V_Raman wrote:I agree that F-18 is the best choice - engine commonality with LCA family of fighters. It can participate in any theater with advanced sensors/weaponry - added bonus. But will it work for Vik or IAC-1?

As per Boeing, the F-18 can operate from IAC-1. No reason to doubt that.

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

Postby Rakesh » 30 Oct 2020 01:35

nachiket wrote:I wasn't talking about getting Growlers for this new MRCA boondoggle. This thing needs to be scrapped altogether IMO. But if the BECA deal came with some unavoidable QPQ agreement that we will buy American jets, then we should insist on Growlers. If the US won't sell those for security reasons then no deal. They either sell the cutting edge stuff or nothing at all. There is no other US aircraft that makes any sense for the IAF to buy, except perhaps the F-35 which is even more out of the question. We really do not have money to waste on more expensive assets in tiny numbers when bread and butter acquisitions like the Tejas Mk1A are still pending along with the Su-30 upgrade.

+108.

An MRO facility for the F404/F414 engine would also be nice.

Will go a long way for the Tejas Mk1/Mk1A and Tejas Mk2.

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

Postby sankum » 30 Oct 2020 01:39

The MiG-29k 42 nos can serve up to 2032 till TEDBF takes over and the requirement is reduced to only 20 Super Hornet/Rafales to be capable of operating from IAC 1. It is required for only 3.5 years of 2022-32 time period when both carriers will be operational.

It is better to buy F varient of Super Hornet so as to be used for training role also and TEDBF requirement will reduce from 100 to 80 if 20 SuperHornet is bought.

Maybe wired for future Growler role.
Last edited by Rakesh on 30 Oct 2020 02:08, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merged all three posts into one

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

Postby V_Raman » 30 Oct 2020 10:56

We really think tedbf can come in 12 years from now - 2032 - I don’t think so. We have not built mk1a yet. We have mwf to build as well. This is a twin engined fighter and a clean sheet design. I think 2035 is optimistic to before 2040 being realistic.

If the navy was serious - they would ask for mwf based carrier fighter. If LCA navy can be done - then mwf navy can be done too.

I am not advocating any foreign fighters. But 2032 is fan-boyish territory.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 30 Oct 2020 11:45

V_Raman wrote:but the super30 upgrade seems to be a mirage - nothing seems to have moved on that front. Russian tech seems to be in stasis on what might be a decent super30 upgrade - AESA/sensors and they may not allow India/3rd parties to deep upgrade it! I fear that su-30 MKI might become a dead end.

The Russian upgrade path of the Su-30SM is very promising - and probably not too expensive. Basically all Su-35 technologies - engine, radar, sensors. Should make the MKI very, very potent with some of those VLRAAMs. But it would be nice to have an AESA instead.

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

Postby V_Raman » 30 Oct 2020 13:37

I think we are on the cusp of a revolution in warfare with UAVs -> 2040s -> we will well and truly be in UCAV and Swarm territory - technology is maturing very very fast in that area. We better shape up - we dont even have the capability to manufacture basic loitering drones - like the ones used in Armenia/Azerbaijan conflict. We have a good enough domestic fighter in Mk1, Mk1A, and MWF to fill the numbers till 2040 - fully productionize by end of this decade and roll out. We should intensely focus on UAVs.

Maybe work with Boeing to convert one of Tejas Mk1s to a drone like QF-16 :twisted: 8)

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

Postby Philip » 30 Oct 2020 17:52

F-18s can't operate from our 2 current carriers because of lift sizes. There are enough aircraft for both carriers right now and no 3rd. CV is on the horizon,why buy the aircraft now for something that will even if decided upon today,will arrive post- 2030?!

The ROP of Tejas and performance will determine the MMRCA buy.The intense US pressure to buy either of its aging beauties ,which were discarded by the IAF earlier, is complicating a clean decision.Adding yet another type to the IAF's fleet,most unwise from every angle. The emergency extra 12 MKIs and 21 MIG-29s to plug the increasing holes in the force was very prudent. We wait for the decision for the extra 80+ MK-1As in Dec.,but here again it's a leap of faith as the 1A still hasn't flown.

Eventually, the IAF may be forced to order more MKIs,29s,whatever LCAs can be built and an extra sqd. of Rafales, a combined total of 6+sqds., which will cost half the price of acquiring 120 of a new type,as all the training infra,support infra,weaponry,simulators,etc., are already in service leading too substantial cost reductions. A slew of indigenous weaponry is being perfected from Aastra BVR AAMs to smart LR PGMs,anti-radar ASMs,which is intended to be common to almost every type.The only AAM that we can't integrate with Ru aircraft is the Meteor BVR AAM,though Ru AAMs have been integrated onto M2Ks as seen in some pics posted. Another firang US fighter will only add to the missile menagerie and defeat the mantra of self-sufficiency.This policy does not apply to other US aircraft and weaponry purchased like P-8Is,C-130Js, LW 155mm howitzers,etc., stillinproduction and where the infra is in place for support,trg.,weaponry, etc. Extra 155mm BAe howitzers are sorely reqd. for the Himalayan front,a second tranche should be immediately ordered at if poss. the same prices as the first order in still in the pipeline.

This may be the best way forward, acquiring extra aircraft in small affordable tranches other than the Rafales which may cost around $2.5.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 31 Oct 2020 12:32

V_Raman wrote:I think we are on the cusp of a revolution in warfare with UAVs -> 2040s -> we will well and truly be in UCAV and Swarm territory - technology is maturing very very fast in that area. We better shape up - we dont even have the capability to manufacture basic loitering drones - like the ones used in Armenia/Azerbaijan conflict. We have a good enough domestic fighter in Mk1, Mk1A, and MWF to fill the numbers till 2040 - fully productionize by end of this decade and roll out. We should intensely focus on UAVs.

Maybe work with Boeing to convert one of Tejas Mk1s to a drone like QF-16 :twisted: 8)


At the same time, radar and ammo tech is evolving too, and fast. We are already seeing GaN based AESA, which will have exceptional resolution and even tinyish targets will not escape their eyes. With airburst munitions like Oerlikon's AHEAD, smallish UAVs will find it hard to get through. The cat and mouse game continues....

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

Postby V_Raman » 31 Oct 2020 14:20

Fair - you are also making my point. Invest in those - develop such techs to get UAVs and counter UAVs.

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

Postby Aditya_V » 11 Nov 2020 12:48

One more coffin in MRCA F 16 21 Deal. IF UAE is getting 50 F-35's and 18 drones , then it would foolish to invest in new F-16's with related weapons and training etc etc...

https://apnews.com/article/bahrain-israel-iran-united-arab-emirates-middle-east-822123a6e70cd6154dfd6433c9fcf610

I think in a few years down the line we will probably get 2-3 squadrons worth of F-35's.

The numbers will have to come from LCA MK-1, 1A, MWF, TEDBF etc.

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

Postby rajsunder » 14 Nov 2020 03:42

V_Raman wrote:We really think tedbf can come in 12 years from now - 2032 - I don’t think so. We have not built mk1a yet. We have mwf to build as well. This is a twin engined fighter and a clean sheet design. I think 2035 is optimistic to before 2040 being realistic.

If the navy was serious - they would ask for mwf based carrier fighter. If LCA navy can be done - then mwf navy can be done too.

I am not advocating any foreign fighters. But 2032 is fan-boyish territory.

First of all its not a new design, they will have to work on the following for including twin engines instead of one

redesigning the fuselage to include 2 engines
redesign the wing structure for higher wing loads and change in aerodynamics due to canards
work on new control laws
new landing gear

much of this work has been done twice over , once for LCA where we learnt it the hard way and the second time for NLCA. Its just a repeat of the same work. I will not be surprised if we have a flying TEDBF by 2026/27. The MK2 version of TEDBF will be as good as a naval AMCA except on the stealth part.


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