Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

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Sumeet
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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Sumeet » 27 Apr 2020 05:14

MeshaVishwas wrote:
Kersi wrote:Isn't Crystal Maze same as Spice ? If not then what is Crystal Maze ?

Spice is a family of guidance kits IIRC and are free fall.
The former is a missile.


Crystal maze is Indian version of Israeli Rafael's Popeye missile system. Probably it will be retired as India progresses with SCALP, Nirbhay, SAAW & Brahmos-A.

US operates the same under a different name - AGM 142 Have Nap. (although not confirmed if they still operate it)

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Rakesh » 27 Apr 2020 21:28

Karan M wrote:
Indranil wrote:Astra has been integrated on Su-30. It will get integrated on LCA family and Mig-29s. I have not heard of the slightest of whispers of integration into Mirage 2000s, let alone Rafales.

The intent has been there, the priority matrix will likely be MiG-29/LCA next and finally Mirage 2000/Rafale as the Mica's are brand new and capable missiles, and Rafale comes with Meteor.

https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/12543 ... 04707?s=20 ----> Meteor is well suited for Tejas. It can be fitted. I foresee that a few years down the line, MBDA will approach India, requesting integration of Meteor on the large fleet of Tejas variants.

https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/12545 ... 84808?s=20 ----> Universal miniaturized missile datalink (UMMD) is specifically designed for bi-directional Meteor integration on aircraft where radar-interface is not intended. Delay in Meteor integration on other fighters is a purely business-issue. It'll get resolved.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Rakesh » 27 Apr 2020 21:29

^^^^ From the MBDA websiste (for the un-initiated MBDA is the manufacturer of the Meteor missile)

UNIVERSAL MINIATURIZED MISSILE DATA LINK (UMMD)
https://www.mbda-systems.com/solutions- ... link-ummd/

Image

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby nachiket » 27 Apr 2020 21:44

Karan M wrote:If not for this bloody Covid crisis, we would have had the Su-30 upgrade commence soon, which had the potential for us to almost completely take over the Su-30 interior.

That upgrade has been hanging fire for a long time. Covid may have added some delay but we can't blame that for the situation. It is not as if we were close to contract-signing stage before Februrary.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 27 Apr 2020 21:54

The urgency for the upgrade was much further along this time around, because of the declining fighter numbers and it was also much more likely to be progressed because many of the components that would go into the upgrade have already been developed unlike before. Forget February, all of 2020 and a big chunk of 2021 is likely gone for any major deals.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 27 Apr 2020 21:56

Great find Rakesh - once we get the Astra Mk2, those perfidious MBDA types will suddenly discover Tejas is a great platform for the Meteor.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby nachiket » 27 Apr 2020 22:13

Karan M wrote:The urgency for the upgrade was much further along this time around, because of the declining fighter numbers and it was also much more likely to be progressed because many of the components that would go into the upgrade have already been developed unlike before. Forget February, all of 2020 and a big chunk of 2021 is likely gone for any major deals.

All the components of the proposal are not even finalized. The latest one shown earlier mentions an indigenous AESA radar (Uttam) which is not ready even for the LCA yet. Development of an upscaled one for the MKI is not started or sanctioned. The IAF and HAL (and the Russians) have to first agree on a definite plan first where all new systems going in are at least finalized. Then comes price negotiations etc. Even without Covid, no contract would have been signed this year. If they decide to wait for an Uttam based radar to be developed for the MKI it will take a few more years. They may decide to go with the Irbis-E but there is no indication any decision has been made.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby shaun » 01 May 2020 13:41

https://luckyaviator.wordpress.com/2020 ... on-career/

NUMBER EIGHT: “TOUCHING THE SKY WITH GLORY” OR YOU’RE GOING TO GO AND LAND AT 22,000 FT ON A GLACIER!

I’ve always enjoyed a challenge but never did I imagine that one day I’d be invited to try my hand at flying in the Himalayas with the Indian Air Force’s elite 114 Helicopter Unit, also known as the “Siachen Pioneers”. I was Officer Commanding 28(AC) Squadron in 2007 when I was notified that I plus one other pilot were to pack for a trip to India to observe their helicopter operations in the mountains of the Himalayas.

This was a new bi-lateral exchange and we were to subsequently host their pilots for a visit to us at RAF Benson to fly in our Merlin Mk3: I think we got the best part of the deal! I selected a junior pilot, Kevin ‘Kevlar’ Harris to accompany me (he subsequently went on to be decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his exploits in Iraq) who proved to be an excellent choice. The reasons why are for another anecdote, sometime.

After staging briefly in New Delhi for in-briefing by the UK Defence Attaché, we took an internal airline flight to the home of 114 HU at Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (ICAO designator VILH), an airport in Leh, the capital of Ladakh, India.

The runway at Leh. Photo credit to Atamvir Singh
It is the 23rd highest airport in the world at 10,682 ft (3,256 m) above mean sea level. The descent through the mountains to land was incredible and I can’t even start to do justice describing it: better to take a look at a video on Youtube, such as this one:

We were greeted by our hosts and driven to the Officers’ Mess where we would acclimatise for a couple of days prior to moving by helicopter to the Forward Operating Base, at an altitude of 15,000 ft. I was frustrated but after an attempt to run up a flight of stairs had me wheezing I understood the need for the pause. I recall the first morning after our arrival waking in my room to a noise and being startled by the presence of a Non Combatant, equivalent to the British military batman, standing to attention in an immaculate white jacket holding a tray of tea and biscuits: after a greeting he said he’d go and run my bath while I enjoyed my ‘first breakfast’. I could definitely get used to this, I thought.

After sight-seeing and souvenir shopping in the ancient town of Leh and exploring the Indus Valley, we were finally flown to the FOB in one of 114 HU’s SA-315B, an aged copy of the Alouette II with an uprated engine for high altitude operations. Some of these aircraft were already over 30 years old but they were highly reliable, easy to maintain and the pilots trusted them. The route took us up to 17,000 ft to cross over the Karakoram Highway, a popular tourist attraction and one of the highest paved roads in the world passing through the Karakoram mountain range. We entered the Nubra Valley in Karakoram Himalaya, a highly glaciered valley with about thirty-three glaciers, the most prominent and longest amongst them being the Siachen Glacier.

Hindustan SA-315B Cheetah. Photo credit Atamvir Singh
The FOB is referred to by the crews of 114 HU as having the highest ATC in the world and at 15,000 ft they might be right. And it is from here that the crews operate up into the high Himalayas in support of the Indian Army’s troops as they patrol the disputed border with its neighbour, Pakistan. Conditions are incredibly challenging, especially so in the winter months and 114 HU’s crews are rightly regarded as some of the best in the Indian Air Force. With many awards and a place in the Limca Book for World Records for the highest helicopter landing (at a density altitude of 25,140 feet), the Unit is also famous worldwide for its daring rescues of mountaineers & trekkers from across the globe year after year.

Touching the Sky with Glory!

After a series of briefs and checks we settled for the night in an attempt to get some sleep before the big day in the “proper hills”. The next day dawned clear and Kevin and I were each allocated to a pilot and aircraft for the day. After strapping in and donning oxygen masks – supplementary oxygen was essential to combat hypoxia and possibly impairment of scotopic, or low light, vision – we launched with the aircraft loaded with rations. We were heavy and the density altitude was high so we did a gentle cushion-creep departure to the north and immediately started to climb as we headed for the Siachen Glacier.

The Siachen Glacier

The views along the way were simply stunning: better words fail me. Peaks toward over us in every direction as we followed the course of the glacier. Huge crevasses scarred the surface and the ice and snow was heaped in a continual series of jagged ridges which looked small from altitude but in reality were big and presented challenging conditions for the troops to traverse. And that is what they did – they literally walked up the glacier to their posts high up the valley. This was to provide them with an opportunity to simultaneously acclimatise and develop their mountain skills. I was very happy to be making the journey in a helicopter.

Approaching 22,000ft and with an indicated airspeed that was now meaningless, my pilot pointed out our landing site ahead, further up the valley. I looked, squinted, did that daft thing where you lean forward a few inches in the hope of extending your vision by a kilometre or so, but I was damned if I could see where he was pointing. All I could see was glacier and snow with the occasional rock. He pattered his actions as he set himself up on the approach and ran through the landing checks. The wind was calm (he said, I couldn’t tell) and the visibility was good. I struggled to adjust to the scale of the surroundings so my range assessment was hopeless meaning I had no sense of how fast we were going over the surface.

I still couldn’t see the landing site as he verbally pointed out the troops waiting and the black square he was aiming at: It was as if I was suffering with extreme myopia! The pilot called “Committed” telling me that he no longer had the ability to overshoot – we had to land now and I still couldn’t see…. and with a bump we were down! I never saw it coming. My pilot had executed a flawless zero-zero landing at 22,000ft in a 30-year old single-engined helicopter on a pad I couldn’t see until we’d hit it. That’s good skills, right there.

But the real shock and awe was yet to come. “The soldiers are climbing up now” my pilot said. Climbing up what? I thought. And then I saw hands appear to my left, close in and then a very tanned face with big snow goggles. And then on the right-hand side too. The soldiers hauled themselves up and reached for the back doors, opened them and started to pull out the rations and throw them over the edge! I looked closely: we had landed on a pillar of ice only inches wider than the width of our landing gear. The margin for error was so tiny my incredulity momentarily caused my brain to stop functioning. When I recovered from my shock over the landing site and awe at the pilot’s skill, I got him to explain why the site was elevated – it’s to do with the tarpaulin cover and differential heating, apparently – and what would have happened if we’d missed. He pointed to a black rock some indeterminate (to me) distance away and said “You crash” – it was not rock, it was helicopter wreck. Enough said.

ce Pillars for a Landing Site at 22,000ft

With the rations offloaded, the soldiers closed the doors, gave thumbs-up and disappeared over the edge from whence they came. We lifted, cautiously edged into forward flight and, with flying speed, turned to follow the descending glacier back to the FOB. The return flight was equally spectacular although the landing back at the FOB at 15,000ft now seemed relatively tame.

I knew I had been witness to extraordinary flying skills. How they did what I’d seen in the region’s frequent poor weather was a mystery to me. I was – and still am – filled with admiration for the pilots who fly these missions and for their ground crews who do an incredible job keeping the old SA-315s flying all year round. The Siachen Pioneers have earned more than sixty-two Gallantry and Presidential awards in over thirty years of service on Operation Meghdoot: they truly live up to their proud motto: “We do the difficult as a routine, the impossible may take a bit longer.”

The FOB at 15,000ft

Morale of the Story: It’s not the tools you have but the quality and character of your people that determines the success of your mission. And when you think you might be good at something, be assured someone out there is better. And finally, 22,000ft in an old single-engined helicopter is insane!

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2020 17:52

nachiket wrote:All the components of the proposal are not even finalized. The latest one shown earlier mentions an indigenous AESA radar (Uttam) which is not ready even for the LCA yet. Development of an upscaled one for the MKI is not started or sanctioned. The IAF and HAL (and the Russians) have to first agree on a definite plan first where all new systems going in are at least finalized. Then comes price negotiations etc. Even without Covid, no contract would have been signed this year. If they decide to wait for an Uttam based radar to be developed for the MKI it will take a few more years. They may decide to go with the Irbis-E but there is no indication any decision has been made.


The Uttam is merely representative, as the HAL guys wanted to show an AESA radar. The original image showed a PESA radar. The rest of the components are all Indian/OTS and hence the upgrade can kick off in development with the rest of the items being integrated.
HAL/India is leading the upgrade as versus trying for a bought out Russian supply.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Indranil » 01 May 2020 21:01

Nachiket,

I am not a radar guy. Karan, Dileep sir and others can help.

Frankly, the hardware for Uttam is ready and is performing well. In fact in certain aspects got battle-tested in the recent border skirmishes, and IAF has come to love those Netras. A big big hip hip hooray to those ladies and gents who did such a splendid and meticulous job. What LRDE wants to do is fine tune the modes for fighter aircraft. That is a software upgrade which can be done easily at BRDs on any given day.

Also scaling up from LCA's size to Su-30's size is not that big a problem. The design is modular. In fact, the smaller size is a problem because of cooling requirements.

I will tell you the inside story. The previous DRDO chief tried very hard to get Uttam into Mk1A. It was from his lab, and so ... Any how, HAL pushed back and got the 2052s instead. Now that HAL is pushing for Uttam on Su-30 upgrade shows that the product is mature enough in at least HAL's eyes.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2020 21:30

Indranil, has Uttam been selected for the Su-30? That's the crux of the issue I guess. If so, we don't need Russia for almost anything bar some integration existence with existing weapons, avionics. My understanding was it was likely going to be Irbis-E or a derivative.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby nachiket » 01 May 2020 22:53

Wow I wouldn't have imagined that the commonality of the Uttam h/w with the Netra radar led to it getting battle-tested indirectly. That is good news. Frankly, if they are that close to getting the Uttam ready and if as you say upscaling is not a big problem, then we should ditch the Irbis-E plan (if there is one) and go directly to Uttam. With the massive budget cuts coming, the upgrade will be delayed anyway, so they can take more time to develop an upscaled version if needed.

One concern I have is that AESA radars in general have higher power and cooling requirements than similarly sized MSAs/PESAs from what I understand. The power requirements will be higher than what the Bars needs for sure. The question is if the MKI's engines can handle it. The Russians use uprated engines on the new Su-35BM but from what Grp. Capt. Thakur says, the IAF does not envisage an engine change as part of the Super-30 upgrade. I'm wondering if that will put a limit on the size/power of the Uttam-MKI version to be developed. The MKI is already a very heavy aircraft which needs every bit of power those AL-31's can provide. It's not a Mig-29 like hotrod where the pilot has more power available than he knows what to do with and can spare some for a more powerful radar if need be.

To be honest I wonder how they will manage it in the Mk1A as well with the EL-2052.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2020 23:58

Its not the engines which are a primary limiting factor it is the alternator. There is growth potential there if we put in a new one.

Also, power. Not necessarily - if the overall losses in the Tx/Rx chain are reduced, you can get by with less power.

The Irbis-E has actually got a much higher power draw than most AESAs.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Prasad » 02 May 2020 00:10

Radiated power/Power supplied to the radar would be better for the upscaled aesa than the older gen. So without any changes to power supplied, an aesa version should be better. In simplistic terms.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 02 May 2020 00:20

nachiket wrote:Wow I wouldn't have imagined that the commonality of the Uttam h/w with the Netra radar led to it getting battle-tested indirectly


See this:

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Indranil » 02 May 2020 02:32

Karan M wrote:Indranil, has Uttam been selected for the Su-30? That's the crux of the issue I guess. If so, we don't need Russia for almost anything bar some integration existence with existing weapons, avionics. My understanding was it was likely going to be Irbis-E or a derivative.

No, it is my speculation only. IAF is looking for an AESA radar for the upgrade though.

It makes so much sense to standardize. Imagine a day when all Indian fighters feature a standard Indian radar. What a dream come true it would be: robustness-wise, price-wise, networking-wise and maintenance-wise.

In ground-based radars, we are almost there. Why not in airborne radars?

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby SidSoma » 02 May 2020 03:19

Indranil wrote:
In ground-based radars, we are almost there. Why not in airborne radars?


Would not the S-400 and the NASAMS throw the kitchen sink at this, I have never understood the NASAMS deal proposal

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby nachiket » 02 May 2020 04:50

Karan M wrote:
nachiket wrote:Wow I wouldn't have imagined that the commonality of the Uttam h/w with the Netra radar led to it getting battle-tested indirectly


See this:

Thanks. Straight from the horse's mouth.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Aditya_V » 02 May 2020 08:32

All the more I hope 60 upgraded Su30 should be ordered, lots of LCA Tejas Mk1/1A along with domestic weaponry plus 36 more Rafales. Then timely orders for MWF, TEDBF leading into AMCA.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Vivek K » 02 May 2020 08:43

Aditya_V wrote:All the more I hope 60 upgraded Su30 should be ordered, lots of LCA Tejas Mk1/1A along with domestic weaponry plus 36 more Rafales. Then timely orders for MWF, TEDBF leading into AMCA.


Yup - we will eat grass to pay for the exorbitantly priced imported weapons.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby srin » 02 May 2020 10:27

There is only one import that I'd be happy to pay for under current circumstances: hundreds of F404 engines.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby dinesh_kimar » 02 May 2020 11:25

^ BTW, In 2006, the CAG reported that when F404 engines were procured for trials, 41 engines cost 883 crore rupees (21.5 crore per engine).

It is actually quite expensive, and HAL hasn't helped by pricing Tejas at 250 crore+. They need to increase indigenisation levels of Tejas, and price competitively at 25 Million USD per plane (189 crore rupees).

For eg., I heard few years back that much of the material is still imported fully built, like titanium components supplied by Alpha design , imported fully machined and supplied to HAL. Why cant this be procured as raw stock, with scrap recovered and machined in-house?
(i dont know situation now)

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 02 May 2020 12:31

nachiket wrote:
Karan M wrote:
See this:

Thanks. Straight from the horse's mouth.


The original project director of Uttam is now the head of LRDE.
The original project director of AEW&CS radar whom you see in the above video, is now the project director of Uttam.

Aap chronology samjhiye :wink:

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Aditya_V » 02 May 2020 12:33

dinesh_kimar wrote:^ BTW, In 2006, the CAG reported that when F404 engines were procured for trials, 41 engines cost 883 crore rupees (21.5 crore per engine).

It is actually quite expensive, and HAL hasn't helped by pricing Tejas at 250 crore+. They need to increase indigenisation levels of Tejas, and price competitively at 25 Million USD per plane (189 crore rupees).

For eg., I heard few years back that much of the material is still imported fully built, like titanium components supplied by Alpha design , imported fully machined and supplied to HAL. Why cant this be procured as raw stock, with scrap recovered and machined in-house?
(i dont know situation now)


This is our first fighter program, as we produce more aircraft, we can get a production eco system in place. Nobody is going to produce metals when there is no demand for local production.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 02 May 2020 12:41

Indranil wrote:
Karan M wrote:Indranil, has Uttam been selected for the Su-30? That's the crux of the issue I guess. If so, we don't need Russia for almost anything bar some integration existence with existing weapons, avionics. My understanding was it was likely going to be Irbis-E or a derivative.

No, it is my speculation only. IAF is looking for an AESA radar for the upgrade though.

It makes so much sense to standardize. Imagine a day when all Indian fighters feature a standard Indian radar. What a dream come true it would be: robustness-wise, price-wise, networking-wise and maintenance-wise.

In ground-based radars, we are almost there. Why not in airborne radars?


I agree with your views cent per cent.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby mody » 03 May 2020 14:11

Karan M wrote:
nachiket wrote:Wow I wouldn't have imagined that the commonality of the Uttam h/w with the Netra radar led to it getting battle-tested indirectly


See this:


From the interview it appears that the Netra does not really have full air-to-ground mode. Only air to air and air to sea. There was some discussion with regards to this a few months back, with I think @TSarkar saying that the Netra does not really have full fledged military grade air to ground mode.

Also, the air to ground mode for the Uttam was tested on a Dornier test bed, but in a different frequency band. What does this mean?

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Karan M » 03 May 2020 16:17

mody wrote:
Karan M wrote:
See this:


From the interview it appears that the Netra does not really have full air-to-ground mode. Only air to air and air to sea. There was some discussion with regards to this a few months back, with I think @TSarkar saying that the Netra does not really have full fledged military grade air to ground mode.

Also, the air to ground mode for the Uttam was tested on a Dornier test bed, but in a different frequency band. What does this mean?


Read the discussion again - the data provided by DRDO is right there:
viewtopic.php?p=2417876#p2417876

The IAF standard Netra is not meant to have A2G modes, however in flight tests with DRDO, it has been used as a Test Bed for developing various technologies and modes that can be leveraged for Uttam as well, including an A2G mode namely the Wide Area Surveillance mode w/GMTI. What GMTI is, and how it works is explained above.

Similarly, the Dornier FTB which carries the Ku- band SAR payload for UAVs is being used to finetune SAR concepts and methodologies, and these will be leveraged for Uttam as the above interview notes. The modes available in the Ku-band SAR payload are here:
https://i.imgur.com/ShBgf9b.jpg

The XV-2004 had DRDO develop A2S ranging and ISAR plus RBM
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/media/Aer ... 1.jpg.html

Again, some of this will be leveraged in other programs.

There is nothing called a "full fledged military grade air to ground mode" either. There are multiple A2G modes, which a radar can deploy, each of which provides a different level on information has some pros and cons, and is hence used accordingly.

This includes A2G ranging, GMTI, SAR and lower rez Doppler Modes which too have their uses as quick snapshots.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Rsatchi » 04 May 2020 15:09

https://youtu.be/_PFKeN6SkAs
Mods sorry posting in this thread!
But is this true!!
Is India thinking about 51% stake
Will this prove a boon for MTA/Civilian crafts/ELINT crafts/refuelling vehicles etc.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby basant » 06 May 2020 23:31

From HVT's tweet
LIFT (Stage-4) shall commence on LCA SpORT after the young fighter pilots finish AJT (Stage-3) on Hawk-i platform.

Incredible aerial shot Indranil Nandi

Guesses on which airfield...?

Image


The vertical stablizer below (?) confuses me. Is that from another aircraft in the front?

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Rakesh » 07 May 2020 00:06

It indeed is from another aircraft. And what an amazing shot.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby MeshaVishwas » 08 May 2020 06:07

S-400 Triumf – Strategic Deal for India- Air Marshal Anil Chopra
https://airpowerasia.com/2020/05/07/s-4 ... for-india/

Amid the United States CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) fears and visible apprehensions, Russian President Putin and Indian Prime Minister Modi signed the Rs 40,000 Crore ($ 5.43 billion) of 5 regiments of S-400 Triumf air defence missiles deal on 05 October 2018 at Delhi. The US sanctions against Russia were in the financial, energy and defense sectors. This deal was win-win scenario for both. Russia desperately needs big arms deals to boost its economy that has been hit by reduced exports, the U.S. Sanctions, and now the corona virus. This system will give the Indian Air Force (IAF), a cutting-edge advantage in the sub-continent. In the recent years New Delhi has also inched closer to USA and Israel for its weapons needs. Also it was to be Russia’s signal to the world that it still has some time-tested friends. While initially the threat of US sanctions was real, but till date the said sanctions have not been implemented even on its NATO ally Turkey, the other buyer of Russia’s S-400 system, though Turkey is likely to be cut out of the sensitive F-35 program. There is concern in the U.S. that any friendly country that acquires the S-400 system causes interoperability and security issues for them. The S-400 has the ability to record the enemy/friendly radar parameters and subsequently neutralize the threat electronically.

For IAF, the fighter squadrons depleting from authorized 42 to 30 has left a little dent in its combat ability that needs to be urgently filled. China is growing into a significant aerospace power. A very potent missiles system could release a few fighter squadrons from air defence duties to take on offensive roles, more so in case of a two front war. The system will also bring to India first operational system capable of engaging missiles. Russia will begin delivering the systems by the end of 2021, Russian officials have confirmed.

The System Development

The S-400 Triumfpreviously known as the S-300PMU-3, is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed in the 1990s by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. On 12 February 1999 the first, reportedly-successful tests were performed at Kapustin Yar rocket launch and development site, near the Caspian sea town of Astrakhan, against an S-300P system missile. Completion of the project was announced in February 2004, and in April a ballistic missile was successfully intercepted in a test of the upgraded 48N6DM missile. In 2007, the system was approved for service. S-400 Triumph and Russian Pantsir missile system can be integrated into a two-layer defense system. The Pantsir missile system is a family of self-propelled, medium-range SAMs and ant-artillery systems. The system is a further development of 2K22 Tunguska (SA-19) point air defence system for military/industrial/administrative installations against aircraft, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs and to provide additional protection to air defence units against enemy air attacks employing precision munitions, especially at low to extremely low altitudes.

System Components and Technical Specifications

Like other Russian missile systems, there is an electronically controlled administration system that manages eight battalions. There is a command and control center. A panoramic radar detection system (range 600 km) with protection against jamming which is mounted on a multi-wheel mobile trailer. The S band system can track 300 targets. The battalions of SAMs can also act as an independent combat system, and can track six targets on their own, and support additional two battalions if they are within a 40-kilometre range. There is also a multi-functional radar with a 400-km range, that can track 100 targets. The launchers are on trailers with different missiles. The S-400 uses an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

The Protivnik-GE is an anti-stealth UHF radar with a 400-kilometre range. The Moscow-1 is a passive sensor with even larger effective range than the than the Protivnik. There is also a target-designation system. The complex also has a adversary radar jamming system.

The 400-km range S-200D Dubna (SA-5c) missiles and S-300 P-family radar systems can be used without additional command-and-control centers. The S-300 (SA-20A, SA-20B) missiles may also be guided after designation from an A-50 class AWACS aircraft providing early warning and command-and-control target designation. Such control can be integrated with the S-400 Triumf and others. There are special jam-proof systems for communication between command post, missile batteries, the mobile radar units and fighter-aircraft. The system’s VHF component provides sector search and tracking, and the X- and L-band radars providing fine-tracking capability. Correct placement of the elements relative to the threat axis can enable the L- and X-band units to detect the incoming target from angles where the target RCS is even sub-optimal. The Gamma-C1E SHF mobile radar station has a 300-km detection range. The Nebo VHF mobile radar station and the Resonance-NE radar station have a detection range of 1,200 km, with height coverage up to 65 km, and low of 500 metres.

The declared anti-stealth range is 150 km. To track ballistic missile types of targets with RCS of 0.04 sq meters, and speed of 4800 m/s, the system range is 230 km. A bomber sized target will be detected at 570 km. The export version has the capability to track a maximum of 100 targets. In mountainous terrain, the system is resistant to false returns or clutter. Maximum height for the detection of the target 100 km away and from all directions. Can use a special tower for better detection against cruise missiles and stealth. In 2014, a new type of transporters were introduced, improving the mobility of the system, and reducing fuel consumption.

One system comprising up to eight battalions can control up to 72 launchers, with a maximum of 384 missiles. The missiles are fired by a gas system from the launch tubes up to 30 meters into the air before the rocket motor ignites, which increases the maximum and decreases the minimum ranges. All the missiles are equipped with directed explosion warhead, which increases the probability of complete destruction of targets. The S-400 is able to intercept cruise missiles out to a range of about 40 km due to their low altitude flight paths. All-purpose maximum radial velocity is 4.8 km per second (17,000 km/h, Mach 14). The System response time 9–10 seconds. The complex can move on roads (60 km/h) and off-road (ground) at speeds up to 25 km/h.

A regular S-400 battalion consists of at least eight launchers with 32 missiles and a mobile command post. It uses four different missiles from medium to long range to cover entire range envelope and target threats up to 400 km. The maximum range for tactical ballistic targets is 60 km. The number of simultaneously engaged targets by the full system is 80. Its radars can pick up targets at over 600 km and system can track and engage large aircraft to small UAVs. A cross-section of radars operating at different frequency bands give it a natural Electronic Counter Counter Measure (ECCM) from enemy jamming. Service life of ground facilities is 20 years and of the missiles is 15 years.

System Operators

China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014, and has the system operational since 2018. China acquired six batteries to defend its own air space and serve as an effective stand-off weapon against air attacks. With a 400 km coverage range, aircraft in disputed areas off the coast could be targeted by SAMs from the mainland. Also all of Taiwan would be covered from Fujian and Shandong, making it difficult for the US and Japan to deploy combat aircraft over those airspaces. Delivery of the systems to China began in January 2018. China test fired Russian S-400 systems for the first time in early August 2018.

In late 2017, Turkey and Russian signed a $2.5 billion agreement for the S-400. USA raised concerns, but Turkey rejected the US threat of sanctions citing existing international protocols and that the S-400 offer with Russia was a better deal than the MIM-104 Patriot system offered by US. Turkey received its first installment of Russian S-400 missile defense system on 12 July 2019. The United States suspended Turkey from the F-35 program, stating “F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities. 4 batteries consisting 36 fire units and 192+ missiles have already been delivered to Turkey. In June 2016, Belarus received two S-400 units free of charge from Russia, essentially to also defend Russia.

Other Tie-ups and Prospective Customers

South Korea is developing a simplified medium range M-SAM Cheolmae-2, based on technology from the 9M96 missile and with help of the Almaz. The prime contractor is joint-venture of Samsung and Thales. The M-SAM will be composed of an X band multi-function radar vehicle built by Samsung Thales in technical cooperation with Almaz, fire-control vehicles and transporter erector launchers built by Doosan and missiles provided by LIG Nex1.

In September 2009, it was reported that the S-400 is a part of a two billion dollar arms deal being negotiated between Russia and Saudi Arabia. But the deal is still not finalised. In June 2019, amidst tensions with United States, some Iranian officials expressed interest for procurement of the S-400 missile system. Russia stated it is ready to sell the S-400 system to Iran if such official request is made. Since February 2017, Egypt has shown interest in the S-400 system, but the negotiations were delayed due to Egypt’s financial issues. In February 2018, Iraq confirmed ongoing rumors that his country had shown interest in the S-400 and that negotiations with Russia were underway, and in May 2019, Iraqi government confirmed the interest was alive. Qatar is also known to be in some talks. Pakistan has also been showing interest in S-400, but they currently have no money.

Operational Deployments

The S-400 has been in service with the Russian Air Force since 2007. Russians have deployed a total of eleven S-400 missile regiments and were expected to increase to sixteen. One report says that Russia plans to have 28 S-400 regiments by 2020. S-400 was first deployed around Moscow and Central Russia. Two systems are required for Moscow itself. Subsequently they were deployed in far east to defend from North Korea, and also at Kuril Islands. The Baltic Fleet, and the Pacific fleet have their S-400 systems. Russia’s Northern Fleet’s Coastal Forces had deployed S-400s. On 25 November 2015, the Russian government announced it would deploy S-400s in Syria as a response to the downing of its Su-24M fighter by Turkey. The first S-400 unit was activated at the Khemeimim airbase in Latakia in April 2017, and in July a second S-400 unit was activated 13 km northwest of Masyaf in Hama.

Indian Other Missile Systems

The SAM-400 system’s induction will give India an insight into new level of technology. India had an Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme which started in 1982–83, by borrowing key technologies from Indian space program’s SLV-3 program. Despite international technology embargoes under Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), India developed its own basket of surface-to-surface missiles, including the strategic Agni series with ranges already exceeding 8,000 km. Agni VI will have a range of 12,000 km. BrahMos is a Mach 3 supersonic cruise missile developed in collaboration with Russia. Land attack and anti-ship variants are in service with the Indian Army and Indian Navy. Submarine-launched and Air-launched variants are under induction in the Indian Navy and the IAF. BrahMos II will be Mach 7 hypersonic cruise missile and is under development. Nirbhay is a long range sub-sonic cruise missile under final testing. It has a range of about 1000 km and is capable of delivering 300 kg warheads. Among the air defence systems is the Akash supersonic (Mach 2.5) medium-range surface-to-air missile with ramjet propulsion and an intercept range of 30 km. It is a fully mobile platform which has been inducted in IAF in large numbers. The Indian Army will also induct some. Astra is a ‘Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile’ (BVRAAM) already integrated on IAF’s Sukhoi Su-30 MKI. Series production has commenced. This will get integrated on Mirage 2000, MiG 29 and LCA in the future. A Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) aimed to demonstrate autonomous flight of a Scramjet Integrated Vehicle using kerosene is under development. Under development is also an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) ‘Ashwin’ ballistic missile interceptor that will operate at endo-atmosphere at altitudes of 20-40 kilometers. India is developing an Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM) that will help to destroy enemy radars and can be mounted on the Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter planes.

Indian ASAT Test

On March 27, 2019, India carried out a successful anti-satellite (ASAT) test using ballistic missile defense interceptor, the Prithvi Delivery Vehicle Mark-II (PDV MK-II), developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), and struck and destroyed an Indian Microsat-R satellite in a flight. The ASAT test, dubbed ‘Mission Shakti’ downed an Indian target satellite in sun-synchronous orbit at 282 kilometers. Intercept occurred on the PDV MK-II’s downward trajectory at a closing velocity of 9.8 kilometers per second.

Counter to China’s Air Threat

India’s major threat is from People’s Republic of China with which there is not only a serious boundary dispute but also rapidly growing China is pushing power projection in Asia and beyond. China has an ambitious stealth fighter and bomber program and a sophisticated surface-to-surface missile arsenal. They have clear anti-access/area denial doctrines, which use a combination of ballistic and cruise missiles launched from air, land and sea to cover targets in the Asia-Pacific region. China has a significant contingent of nuclear Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and a growing fleet of nuclear ballistic missile submarines. DF-41 has a range of 15,000 kilometers, and the HN-3 cruise missile has a range of 3,000 kilometers. India needed a weapon system to defend against an aerial attack of this magnitude and capability.

Tactical Significance India

According to Siemon Wezeman Senior Researcher of SIPRI, the S-400 “is among the most advanced air defense systems available. Russia is already developing the S-500 system to supplement the S-400, and is currently targeting for deployment by 2025. It will be very similar to the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Indian strategic nuclear missiles already cover all of China. The ‘Dragon can thus not spit fire on the Elephant‘. The S–400 will give great air defence capability, especially for the National Capital Region (NCR). It will also act as a combat barrier both on the Western and Northern borders. It will keep the adversary AWACS and FRA aircraft further deeper away from Indian borders. With nearly four times India’s defence budget, China is pulling ahead in its aerial strike capability both through aircraft and missile development. India not only needs to watch closely but also allot more resources for indigenous weapon systems development.

Vivek K
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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Vivek K » 08 May 2020 07:14

Haven't the Chinese had S-400s for a while now? Sorry didn't read the article before mouthing off. I guess the Chinese bought these in 2014.

dkhare
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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby dkhare » 08 May 2020 22:08

Saw this from an Angad Singh tweet @zone5aviation:
https://twitter.com/zone5aviation/status/1256519001607245825

Is that LDP on the center line pylon or is it a separate LCA-esque smart pylon? If a separate smart pylon, will the single seaters also get it? Keeps the tandem pylon on center line free for munitions...

Image

sankum
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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby sankum » 08 May 2020 22:50

Its on separate pylon on right side front fuselage.
Centreline pylon is free to carry 2 dumb 450 kg bombs or one LGB.

Aditya_V
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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Aditya_V » 09 May 2020 16:41

dkhare wrote:Saw this from an Angad Singh tweet @zone5aviation:
https://twitter.com/zone5aviation/status/1256519001607245825

Is that LDP on the center line pylon or is it a separate LCA-esque smart pylon? If a separate smart pylon, will the single seaters also get it? Keeps the tandem pylon on center line free for munitions...



But didnt the Jags have a LDP/Laser range finder in the nose, for the single seaters I can assume as part of the Darin-3 upgrade, the LDP going to this new Pylon on the fuselage and the EL/2052 going into the nose, but in this twin seater there seems to be no space in front of the refueling probe to fit a radar, so this is for commonalty/testing the LDP on fuselage?

So these twin seaters are being upgraded to Darin-3 standard without radar or can El 2052 fit in that tiny space?

sankum
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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby sankum » 09 May 2020 17:21

These twin seater will remain darin 2 while 56 nos single seater post 1985 will get darin 3 upgrade along with elta 2052. They will serve till 2035-38.

By 2025 only the above aircraft vesions will remain in IAF to form 4 squadrons. While 2 sq of pre 1985 jaguars wil retire after 40 years in service.

Aditya_V
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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby Aditya_V » 09 May 2020 17:47

Thanks so for 4 squadrons- which varies from 18-22 depending on type like Rafale to Su-30, I presume that will be 16-32 twin seaters in Darin 2 configuration, these should be ideally mated with a good AGM missiles for tank busting etc. since all they can do is ground attack.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby sankum » 09 May 2020 19:08

Estimated 14nos to 19nos Darin 2 trainers of 1985-2006 vintage will remain in service.

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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby MeshaVishwas » 12 May 2020 10:00

The Indian Air Force pilot who became Top Gun
https://www.cntraveller.in/story/meet-i ... p-gun/amp/

Really nice images and a great story.

basant
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Re: Indian Air Force News & Discussion - 15 Dec 2016

Postby basant » 12 May 2020 10:20

MeshaVishwas wrote:The Indian Air Force pilot who became Top Gun
https://www.cntraveller.in/story/meet-i ... p-gun/amp/

Really nice images and a great story.

Thank you for sharing! It's indeed a great read :)


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