'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Kartik
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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Kartik » 17 Nov 2016 01:39

Mihir wrote:What's the problem if they're doing so with full disclosure? Unlike babus and politicians, they aren't spending taxpayer's money on these junkets.

And for all the insinuations about him and others pushing favorable stories, the best "marketing pitchs" for the Tejas and Arjun have come from Ajai Shukla onlee. Aroor has also adopted a favorable stance towards domestic R&D work.


On the Arjun and Tejas, yes Ajai Shukla was a staunch supporter but for a while now, he has been silent on them. Shiv Aroor, well I don't have a very favourable opinion of his stance. To me, he typifies the gullible reporter who can be made to report very favourably on foreign imports, and generally has been very critical of local programs without bothering to examine what may be the issues they face.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Khalsa » 17 Nov 2016 01:57

Very well said Kartin (the bit about Shiv Aroor).
Ajai, Aroor and some lady were becoming leading def reporters.
The lady dropped off as the lack of depth and quality in her reporting became apparent.
Then Shiv went all commercial and twittered away. I don't follow twitter often and I dont follow him..

Ajai stood consistent.

I have respect for him because of his army background which .... which gives him capability to present numbers, comparasion in a very good format with easy to read aspects and gives all of us a good angle to judge it from.

Second I respect him for his challenging views on Arjun and Tejas (he challenged the IAF to take a chance and get onboard).
Loved it.

Yes he does full disclosure and I don't mind him flying around.
The experts neither cultivate such a following nor are they employed in a full time reporting and journalism profession.

The experts are often reached out to by reporters so what I am saying is ... happy to read Ajai's articles as he flies around the globe.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cosmo_R » 17 Nov 2016 01:59

Marten wrote:
Cosmo_R wrote:"Why would a private player come in for 100-odd F-16s, if it is not meaningful for it to do so for 100 LCAs, and vice-versa."
Something called 'depreciation' vs 'greenfield' When one understands the difference, the 'break evens' makes sense

How so? Are you saying that the machinery/jigs/manufacturing equipment for all components are fully depreciated for the Sola?
I assume you are familiar with manufacturing processes (specifically, with aviation). Please illustrate since one doesn't understand how this would work.


If they are closing the line down (as they say they are) what do you think the residual value is? LCA OTOH is setting up a line

Is this not self evident?

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Indranil » 17 Nov 2016 02:18

No sir. Please explain. To me, the F-16 line has to be set up again in India for it to produce anything!

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Mihir » 17 Nov 2016 02:22

Kartik wrote:Shiv Aroor, well I don't have a very favourable opinion of his stance. To me, he typifies the gullible reporter who can be made to report very favourably on foreign imports, and generally has been very critical of local programs without bothering to examine what may be the issues they face.

His newest posts on the LCA, LUH, BrahMos, P-15B etc. have been nothing of the sort. IIRC, he was the one who first wrote a detailed piece on the MiG-27UPG and how HAL and DARE transformed a poorly performing platform into a modern strike jet that the IAF could actually put to good use.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Surya » 17 Nov 2016 03:04

Mihir wrote:What's the problem if they're doing so with full disclosure? Unlike babus and politicians, they aren't spending taxpayer's money on these junkets.

And for all the insinuations about him and others pushing favorable stories, the best "marketing pitchs" for the Tejas and Arjun have come from Ajai Shukla onlee. Aroor has also adopted a favorable stance towards domestic R&D work.


Mihir

I dont think they came out and said right away we are going on a boeing sponsered trip

it was in drips - a tweet about some city in Oz , then about an airbase before eventually mentioning it

Maybe I am wrong one of them may have but not all

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Y I Patel » 17 Nov 2016 05:59

Shiv Arroor has some new information on the MIIF RFP. Expect more news articles along these lines to start appearing:

Boeing Unveils AMCA 'Sweetener'
http://www.livefistdefence.com/2016/11/boeing-unveils-an-amca-sweetener.html

Link between choice of F-18 ASH and help on AMCA (IMHO the whole purpose of this MIIF exercise, the much talked about "second line")
First, as the slide most visibly suggests, Boeing proposes that the manufacturing facility and supply eco-system that it builds up for the F/A-18 in India in the event it is chosen, could be used to produce the AMCA. The existing facility could be leveraged, precluding the need for a greenfield setup elsewhere.


And now, the expected connection to F414 EPE:
Second, also mentioned specifically in the slide is the GE 414 enhanced engine pitch. Significant. Boeing here is proposing engine commonality from the get-go to support the prospective selection of the Super Hornet platform. Both Boeing and GE are in ‘multiple stakeholder discussions’ with the DRDO, Indian Air Force (and, presumably the MoD) on this aspect, said Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar during a presentation by Dan Gillian, Boeing’s VP on the F/A-18 programme headquartered at St Louis


There has been a sea change since MMRCA. Then, it was about selecting the technically most qualified fighter, and then expecting to get Indian participation in manufacturing through offsets. That did not work out so well. So now, the new framework is to directly ask for MII, and then negotiate on numbers based on what is on offer.

Election of Trump adds to the uncertainty. He might turn out to be extremely supportive, but then again, with his Make America Great Again theme, he might want to keep production in US which will kill the whole deal. At the very least, his election might add to the timelines, since now the incoming administration will have to get onboarded and own the deal.

However, so far, so good.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Y I Patel » 17 Nov 2016 06:15

And on the same theme, a second article from Shiv Aroor after an interview with Pratyush Kumar:

What Explains Boeing's 'Super' Optimism?
http://www.livefistdefence.com/2016/11/exclusive-what-explains-boeings-super-optimism.html

The question that is confusing me, right up front:
First: the big picture. If the MIIF programme is a prospective hunt for a single-engine jet, why is Boeing so positive? Shouldn’t it mean that there’s at least clarity on that from the start, and that Boeing can sit this one out without the exorbitantly expensive uncertainty of the ‘all are welcome’ M-MRCA? Well that’s just the thing. Boeing believes India will want a twin-engine MIIF — either instead of or in addition to the single-engine contest that has just taken its baby steps

I'm inclined to believe that it's 'instead of', not 'in addition to' a single engine fighter. Whatever line gets established will need a full product pipeline of orders, and that won't be possible for two fighters in addition to Tejas. And hopefully by now people are convinced that Tejas is alive and thriving and has a bright future!


It's all about the ecosystem:
Second, Boeing plainly believes it has the best industrial package on offer, and emphasises in its pitch to the Indian government that unlike Lockheed-Martin’s offer to ‘shift’ production of the F-16 to India, Boeing would build a brand new factory in country

Makes so much sense.

And finally, some intriguing possibilities for Tejas:
Firms in the reckoning for a fighter deal are aware that any substantive step into the country to build fighters now will (and should) require involvement in the LCA programme — in terms of technology or as an accelerator. The mode for such involvement, either through offsets or direct partnerships, is something that will need to be worked out. Boeing believes its position is strong vis-a-vis India’s Tejas for those two reasons — it doesn’t compete with the Tejas, and it has the ability to help speed things along if called upon to do so.

And here, I would add that GE F414EPE can also go into Tejas Mk 2 :)

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 17 Nov 2016 06:23

Kartik wrote:
On the Arjun and Tejas, yes Ajai Shukla was a staunch supporter but for a while now, he has been silent on them. Shiv Aroor, well I don't have a very favourable opinion of his stance. To me, he typifies the gullible reporter who can be made to report very favourably on foreign imports, and generally has been very critical of local programs without bothering to examine what may be the issues they face.

If anyone has noticed, a lot of Indian reporters went to the US before their elections. Shiv Aroor and one more guy (Manu Pubby) are still there. Aroor is filing reports from there and appears to be visiting iconic aviation related museums and Tweeting from there. I saw a report yesterday and a few days ago I whined on his timeline that he has become an Amreeki reporter

For an Indian it costs a lot of money to live in the US unless one is hosted by someone. This year Darka Butt, Rajcreep Turdesai etc were also in the US covering some kind of poll that was held in America. These guys are possibly being bought off

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Surya » 17 Nov 2016 07:29

aroor was in US then came back then on to Australia and then to Seattle - at least the second part funded by Boeing

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Sumair » 18 Nov 2016 08:10

Boeing and Saab are making a fighter that beats the best Russian SU-35 and would be ten times cheaper to operate than the F-35
http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/11/bo ... -that.html

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 18 Nov 2016 09:02

Sumair wrote:Boeing and Saab are making a fighter that beats the best Russian SU-35 and would be ten times cheaper to operate than the F-35
http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/11/bo ... -that.html

nextbigfuture.com? :shock:

Now here is something from "nextbigfuture.com"
Turning, and carrying a gun, remains as important as it has ever been. Most missiles miss in combat and the fighter aircraft will go on to the merge.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Indranil » 18 Nov 2016 10:11

Pinnacles of marketing.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Sumair » 18 Nov 2016 11:19

Is Boeing really involved with SAAB in production of Gripen? if so then would it be too far fetched to assume that Gripen has the edge going by Boeings track record in Indian market.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Pratyush » 18 Nov 2016 15:28

No one has an edge in the Indian market. Especially when compared to an Indian product. That has the full support of the services.

Take it out of the equation and what you have is a circus that exists today.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby brar_w » 18 Nov 2016 15:45

shiv wrote:
Sumair wrote:Boeing and Saab are making a fighter that beats the best Russian SU-35 and would be ten times cheaper to operate than the F-35
http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/11/bo ... -that.html

nextbigfuture.com? :shock:

Now here is something from "nextbigfuture.com"
Turning, and carrying a gun, remains as important as it has ever been. Most missiles miss in combat and the fighter aircraft will go on to the merge.


They're making a trainer.

http://www.boeing.com/defense/t-x/index.page

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby ldev » 18 Nov 2016 17:21

Indranil wrote:No sir. Please explain. To me, the F-16 line has to be set up again in India for it to produce anything!


Yes, but set up requires labour and land...the cost of the capital equipment (which in India is typically higher than the west/Japan) is already depreciated. So net, net, the line will be much cheaper than building a brand new assembly line, by anybody including HAL. By how much and what are the exact numbers? Very difficult to get those figures unless you have internal numbers from one of the aircraft manufacturers.

But the link below gives an idea of what is the current state of art when it comes to aircraft assembly. Where does HAL rank in this scenario? Maybe some insiders can comment.

Assembly Automation takes off in Aerospace industry

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Pratyush » 18 Nov 2016 17:44

Just because the line is cheaper doesn't mean that we get it. Because it is a single process line and most likely cannot be used for other designs. That being the case, installation of this line will not make sense in the Indian context, as it will complete with LCA line and process, which being composite material, can be used for other projects as well.

Whereas the 16 line will tie us up with a single product. That is over 40 years old, with no scope for further development.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby JayS » 18 Nov 2016 18:59

ldev wrote:
But the link below gives an idea of what is the current state of art when it comes to aircraft assembly. Where does HAL rank in this scenario? Maybe some insiders can comment.

Assembly Automation takes off in Aerospace industry


Aerospace industry is aiming for what is called as "Industry 4.0" which is basically IoT applied for shop floor for seamless data flow and AI based automation using that data on multiple levels. But the investment is huge and can only be justified for huge orders. Notice from the article you linked, Boeing has order book worth $450Billion..!! Investing even $10 Billion on various upgrades is worthwhile. Boeing is investing $1B on automation related to Carbon Fibre related technologies alone...!!

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Kartik » 24 Nov 2016 02:26

LM prepares bid to build F-16 in India

Lockheed Martin has held meetings with a host of Indian companies to support the corporation's proposal to build its F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft in India.

Randy Howard, director of business development in Lockheed Martin's Integrated Fighter Group, said in comments to IHS Jane's on 22 November that the company met with about 40 Indian firms earlier in the month in Bangalore.

He added, "Our objective was to further engage with Indian industry to better understand their unique capabilities and gauge their interest in a potential F-16 Block 70 'Make in India' opportunity. Based on all of the positive discussions we had in Bangalore, and the strong turnout from Indian industry, these engagements actually exceeded our expectations."

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cosmo_R » 24 Nov 2016 04:44

brar_w wrote:Why not leave a provision in the requirement to allow HAL to propose a particular capability at a particular price, by a certain time?


Sounds good. But what if they screw up? Penalties? Fire the execs?

My humble guess? OK, keep up the science project. We'll order XYZ until you're ready.

Nobody's A$$ is on the line at HAL. And that suits them just fine.

Except the end user: the IAF

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Manish_Sharma » 24 Nov 2016 09:17

Pratyush wrote:Whereas the 16 line will tie us up with a single product. That is over 40 years old, with no scope for further development.


Exactly f-16 manufactured in 2026 is going to be there at least till 2056, imagine flying such a jet...

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Philip » 24 Nov 2016 12:32

..flying in 2056 such a joke!

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Manish_P » 24 Nov 2016 16:43

Well, we are flying a mid 1950s design till now aren't we..

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Pratyush » 24 Nov 2016 17:13

Didn't mean that we need to make a new purchase of a 40 year old design and then use it for 40 years. Hmm.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cosmo_R » 24 Nov 2016 19:56

Pratyush wrote:Didn't mean that we need to make a new purchase of a 40 year old design and then use it for 40 years. Hmm.


The Rafale seems to be a ~34 year old design:

"By March 1980, the number of configurations had been narrowed down to four, two of which had a combination of canards, delta wings and a single vertical tail-fin.[9] In October 1982, the French Ministry of Defence announced that Dassault would build a technology demonstrator named Avion de Combat expérimental (Experimental Combat Airplane), in short ACX. France wanted to collaborate with West Germany and the UK on the project, but was prepared to build the ACX by itself. In 1984, the government decided to proceed with a combat variant of the ACX due to the conflicting technical criteria of the respective FEFA participant nations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Rafale

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby brar_w » 24 Nov 2016 20:00

The Rafale seems to be a ~34 year old design:


The F-22 is probably a 25-30 year old design :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00uZCBzbL-o

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 24 Nov 2016 20:08

Pratyush wrote:Didn't mean that we need to make a new purchase of a 40 year old design and then use it for 40 years. Hmm.

We already did that - with C-130

Sorry my bad - its a 60 year old design
Last edited by shiv on 24 Nov 2016 20:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Bart S » 24 Nov 2016 20:08

The Mig 29 is also a 40+ year old design, yet the same people who scoff at the F16 keep saying it is a good idea to for India to buy more.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Austin » 24 Nov 2016 21:31

Any new aircraft procured has life of 30 years in IAF atleast so we might see aircraft seeing eol from the day first inducted into squadron service with upgrade atleast for 30 years.

All the more reason mod should not import snew ingle engine types but should rather invest in Tejas program , life cycle support of 30-35 years for Tejas program would be a great boon for Indian industry and indiginisation

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby yensoy » 24 Nov 2016 22:15

Bart S wrote:The Mig 29 is also a 40+ year old design, yet the same people who scoff at the F16 keep saying it is a good idea to for India to buy more.


I'm not taking sides here. But adding to an existing fleet of Mig29s by buying ready to fly aircraft is very different from setting up an entirely new fleet of F16s, with local assembly by moving the line to India. Even if we were to decide today to go with F16s, we would have an effective lag of at least 5 years (and probably closer to 10) to get to the level of familiarity & readiness we have with the Mig29s.

Then the other question is whether to go for the F/A18 line instead which I believe Boeing is offering.

BTW, B52s are going to be in service till 2050. There already have been cases where grandfather, father and son have piloted that beast.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Nov 2016 04:41

Frankly, this desire to "make in India" a phoren fighter from scratch is not the greatest imho. For MII, use the Tejas and AMCA. Get private industry involved in a second line of Tejas. Basically all we want is some competition to HAL as an assembler. The design house remains ADA, and in time a private player. This takes care of the requirement to create a more robust aero industry.

To save costs, time, and to diversify IAF inventory, buy second hand F-16 and possibly M2Ks (if available). The shelf life might be lower, but the costs will be low as well - won't be surprised if we can bag 6-7 sqd worth for about $ 5-6 billion with basic blk-52 upgrades and weapons. More importantly, these can be brought into the force at a much faster rate filling the void as we lose fighters in the next 5-6 years. After that time frame (circa 2022), the Tejas can be brought into the picture en masse with two lines -HAL and a private player.

We don't need to depend on these purchases for 50-60 years - they are after all 4th Gen legacy fighters and will provide very little capability (if any) over the Tejas mk1A.

All goals could be met with such a move:
Compensate for IAF sqd strength reduction in a hurry
Diversify with non-Russian product
Develop a private player in competition to HAL
Keep costs low and affordable

The question is - can 150 (upgradeable) F-16/M2Ks be found? Some from US storage facilities others from active inventory? Some M2Ks from Adla others from the Middle East?

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby brar_w » 27 Nov 2016 04:44

There are no good quality second hand (in the quantity you are seeking) F-16 block 50/52's out there.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Viv S » 27 Nov 2016 05:03

brar_w wrote:There are no good quality second hand (in the quantity you are seeking) F-16s out there.

The EPAF countries between them have several squadrons worth of decommissioned jets (assuming they've been stored properly). That's in addition to anything airworthy in the USAF's boneyard. Venezuela's got 20 odd aircraft as well (and at the moment they need forex far more than an embargoed foreign jet).

Though for India, the first option ought to be approaching France for its Mirage 2000-5s (only the Mirage 2000Ds are being retained by the AdA) and of course Qatar, which has another 12 surplus Mirages. Perhaps UAE would be amenable too.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby brar_w » 27 Nov 2016 05:09

Upgrade worthy Block 50/52's? How much airframe life would they have left in them to justify an upgrade?

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Viv S » 27 Nov 2016 05:16

brar_w wrote:Upgrade worthy Block 50/52's? How much airframe life would they have left in them to justify an upgrade?

Upgrade worthy A/Bs for now, the MLUed aircraft will become available only after 2020.

If they can squeeze another 1500-2000 hours out of the airframe, that should be enough to justify an upgrade. That's a good 10-15 years of operations. These aircraft are only slightly older than the bulk of the IAF's Mirages.

Eg.

The Royal Jordanian Air Force wants to offload another 15 early model Lockheed Martin F-16s, announcing recently that 14 A-models and one two-seat B-variant are for sale as it moves more toward counterinsurgency platforms like special-mission Air Tractors and AC-295 light gunship.

Jordan’s F-16 fleet is comprised of second-hand types that were transferred from the U.S., Netherlands and Belgium through successive “Peace Falcon” arms programs in the 1990s and 2000s.

The Jordanian air arm’s original F-16s, the Block 15 Air Defense Fighter variants, have already been promised to Pakistan, and Islamabad could again be a willing recipient after lawmakers in Washington blocked a request for eight new-build F-16 Block 52s.

The aircraft available for purchase are ex-U.S. Air Force fighter jets that were regenerated and life-extended through the F-16 Mid-Life Upgrade, Falcon Up and Falcon Star programs. The aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney F100-220 engines and are nearing the end of their usable life, with an average of 5,720 flight hours logged. The Falcon Up modification extends the type’s design life from 4,000 hr. to 8,000 hr.

- Aviation Week
Last edited by Viv S on 27 Nov 2016 05:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby brar_w » 27 Nov 2016 05:21

I'd reserve judgement to see what the final bill (# of aircraft) is for South Korea and Taiwanese modernization programs. The USAF's own program was sidelined in favor of aircraft types that have much larger potential in terms of usable service life.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Nov 2016 05:23

VivS, thats what I was thinking - USAF boneyards alone should provide a large number no? In a pinch, may be we can get a few from their active inventory considering they are moving on to better things (F-35) and we being newly wed strategic partners and what not?

If this is a strategic sweetener deal of some kind - there is plenty of other stuff that the US can provide and India can buy - Refuelers, MPAAs, UCAVs, UAVs, aero-engines etc etc...

Brar:

Can't they take older block 16s and upgrade them suitably - perhaps not to full scale blk-50s but somewhere in the middle - providing adequate FCR for BVR and smart munitions?

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Nov 2016 05:27

brar_w wrote:I'd reserve judgement to see what the final bill (# of aircraft) is for South Korea and Taiwanese modernization programs. The USAF's own program was sidelined in favor of aircraft types that have much larger potential in terms of usable service life.


Surely they can create a relatively economical upgrade? - combining a bunch of Israeli equipment/weapons that can find use with other types in the inventory once the teens are done serving? I'd be looking at this purchase as a stop-gap cheap and sunk cost but one that is economically feasible and allows India to go further in the long term.

It seems like a Paki way of doing things but why not?

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby brar_w » 27 Nov 2016 05:30

USAF boneyards alone should provide a large number no? In a pinch, may be we can get a few from their active inventory considering they are moving on to better things (F-35) and we being newly wed strategic partners and what not?


The F-35 program is 5-7 years late to ramp up so any case for decent aircraft going out is diminished since they would have had higher utilization as per the original plan.

Can't they take older block 16s and upgrade them suitably - perhaps not to full scale blk-50s but somewhere in the middle - providing adequate FCR for BVR and smart munitions?


Sure. You can totally re-wing them and completely replace everything inside. The point is, at what cost, and how much capability that actually buys you. For an architecture overhaul to support some of the newer capability (mission computers, new radar, better BVR weapons etc) you'd need to spend quite a bit. Again, we'd know more when the details of the ROKAF F-16's become clearer. So far we know of the cost but not of how many total aircraft will be modernized under that contract.

Surely they can create a relatively economical upgrade - combining a bunch of Israeli equipment/weapons that can find use with other types in the inventory. I'd be looking at this purchase as a stop-gap cheap and sunk cost but one that is economically feasible and allows India to go further in the long term.


If you are going to develop a custom upgrade, buy boneyard aircraft, or those from someone else's inventory and it won't be a simple upgrade suitable for a stop gap solution. Of course one could do it, but I'd be skeptical on cost and what returns one actually ends up getting. The M2K's available are far better options.


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