INS Vikrant News and Discussion

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
srin
BRFite
Posts: 1802
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:13

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby srin » 26 Jul 2019 00:03

Given the question mark around Adm Kuznetsov, I wonder if there is future for Mig-29K (other than in IN service). We can't afford to be the only operator.

fanne
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3070
Joined: 11 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby fanne » 26 Jul 2019 01:26

and if we are, let us step up and own the plane. We then make every part needed, redesign, enhance as we see fit. Israel was able to copy and produce many different types of plane when they defected or were captured or not even that. They are upgrading any model, integrating all kinds of different systems. We can at least do that to Mig 29k. If we master that, we should get another 57 of these only. Be in a position to support Russian Mig 29 K even.

nachiket
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7137
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 10:49

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby nachiket » 26 Jul 2019 02:17

Cain Marko wrote:IIRC, in terms of the fulcrumK issue, it was always related to parts, which were not easily available from Russia. Both CNS Prakash and Lanbas statements clarify this.

However, I think this is also related to the third carrier, which is likely to be 65k tons+. My guess is that we are looking at large no's of shornets joining the Navy

No it wasn't always related to parts. Brar is talking about this issue:

Indian Navy wants Russian MiG-29K jets to be ‘ruggedized’

The Indian Navy is facing acute maintenance problems with the 45 Russian-made MiG-29K aircraft, which are the sole fighters on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, according a senior Indian Navy official.

“We (Indian Navy) want the MiG-29K aircraft to be ruggedized to carry out operations because landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier is almost like a hard landing and the fighter aircraft needs frequent maintenance,” the Navy official said.


Arun Prakash, a retired Indian Navy admiral and former service chief, was more critical of the situation: “The truth is that the Indian Navy has virtually funded the development of this aircraft (which the Russian Navy is now adopting), and if the Russians had any ethics they would ensure that every shortcoming is fixed free of cost.”


According to the MoD official, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is of little help in this situation: “Without approval of design authority, it is difficult to go in for any modification.”


Now if it was just a parts issue, why would approval of design authority be required to do anything?

“After every carrier landing (which is virtually like a crash), components of the aircraft crack, break or stop functioning. The aircraft, then goes to the workshop for repair/replacement of the part, which often has to come from Russia,” Prakash said.

This is NOT a parts issue. The aircraft should not need parts replacement after every landing or even after every few landings. That points to a structural defect. And this is Adm. Arun Prakash saying it. I'm guessing he knows what he is talking about.

Nikhil T
BRFite
Posts: 1122
Joined: 09 Nov 2008 06:48
Location: RAW HQ, Lodhi Road

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Nikhil T » 26 Jul 2019 02:39

We only have ourselves to blame if we buy more Fulcrums. Russians have never been strong in aircraft carriers unlike Khan or UK or France.

I've been a long proponent for building a medium-weight, single engine fighter that has enough thrust and carrying capacity for both Navy and the IAF.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 26 Jul 2019 02:55

nachiket wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:IIRC, in terms of the fulcrumK issue, it was always related to parts, which were not easily available from Russia. Both CNS Prakash and Lanbas statements clarify this.

However, I think this is also related to the third carrier, which is likely to be 65k tons+. My guess is that we are looking at large no's of shornets joining the Navy

No it wasn't always related to parts. Brar is talking about this issue:

Indian Navy wants Russian MiG-29K jets to be ‘ruggedized’

The Indian Navy is facing acute maintenance problems with the 45 Russian-made MiG-29K aircraft, which are the sole fighters on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, according a senior Indian Navy official.

“We (Indian Navy) want the MiG-29K aircraft to be ruggedized to carry out operations because landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier is almost like a hard landing and the fighter aircraft needs frequent maintenance,” the Navy official said.


Arun Prakash, a retired Indian Navy admiral and former service chief, was more critical of the situation: “The truth is that the Indian Navy has virtually funded the development of this aircraft (which the Russian Navy is now adopting), and if the Russians had any ethics they would ensure that every shortcoming is fixed free of cost.”


According to the MoD official, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is of little help in this situation: “Without approval of design authority, it is difficult to go in for any modification.”


Now if it was just a parts issue, why would approval of design authority be required to do anything?

“After every carrier landing (which is virtually like a crash), components of the aircraft crack, break or stop functioning. The aircraft, then goes to the workshop for repair/replacement of the part, which often has to come from Russia,” Prakash said.

This is NOT a parts issue. The aircraft should not need parts replacement after every landing or even after every few landings. That points to a structural defect. And this is Adm. Arun Prakash saying it. I'm guessing he knows what he is talking about.


We have had this discussion before.... but if you are going by unnamed Navy "officials" and other "sources" as in quote # 2 and #3, then I suppose you can always consider these newer Navy sources just as well,
"Senior Naval officers confirmed to FE that, “The serviceability of the MiG-29 from the present 60 % to upto 80 % or more and there is an urgent requirement to meet with the agencies in an effort to expedite the process. ”


Irrespective of whether it is a parts issue or not, it has been dealt with, and from what we hear from the CNS's mouth is that it was related to parts availability - make of it what you will. Why else does AP refer to parts in the context of the issue otherwise? He could have simply said that the issue is structural and will need major mods. Instead he says, it needs repairs and the parts are not available. CNS Lanba confirms this by pointing out that the fleet is doing well and the parts issue has been fixed.

Note that by 2018, the birds already had uptimes of 60% and 80% which would be a very high rate irrespective of which Navy you look at. Other reports put the availability at 70%. IIRC even the Rafale M did not have those kind of numbers. If the issue was something deep and unresolvable, I don't think the serviceability would be that high.

Now if you want to take the actual Admiral's (Arun Prakash and Sunil Lanba) words, read them carefully and you will see that there is nothing in it that cannot be resolved by timely availability of spares. And this has been confirmed by Ex CNS Lanba during his tenure. "Fleet has been performing well" (subsequent to the spares issue) he said.
Last edited by Cain Marko on 26 Jul 2019 03:39, edited 1 time in total.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 26 Jul 2019 03:05

Nikhil T wrote:We only have ourselves to blame if we buy more Fulcrums. Russians have never been strong in aircraft carriers unlike Khan or UK or France.

I've been a long proponent for building a medium-weight, single engine fighter that has enough thrust and carrying capacity for both Navy and the IAF.


Let us see what the IN decides for the 57 additional birds which are to be purchased in lieu of the NLCA. A medium weight single engined STOBAR bird is a flight of fancy (no pun intended), you will be hard pressed to get the required thrust. But if they manage a CATOBAR design for the Vishal, the NLCA MWF, would work.

nachiket
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7137
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 10:49

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby nachiket » 26 Jul 2019 03:42

CM, first of all if it was only unnamed sources saying it that would be one thing, but if those unnamed sources have been corroborated by Adm. Prakash, there is no reason to doubt them.

And how do you interpret this:
After every carrier landing (which is virtually like a crash), components of the aircraft crack, break or stop functioning. The aircraft, then goes to the workshop for repair/replacement of the part, which often has to come from Russia


as a parts issue? Yes, theoretically, you can replace parts after they break every time the aircraft lands. But do you honestly think this is sustainable? You can buy a large number of spares and get the serviceability up but that doesn't change the fact that the Russians sold us a carrier borne aircraft which was not properly ruggedized to withstand carrier landings! And now you spend a lot more to keep them flying.

The Navy has to put up a brave face and live with this situation because no other fighter can fit on the Vikramaditya's (or Vikrant's) lifts and we already have 45 of them now.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 26 Jul 2019 05:11

nachiket wrote:CM, first of all if it was only unnamed sources saying it that would be one thing, but if those unnamed sources have been corroborated by Adm. Prakash, there is no reason to doubt them.

And how do you interpret this:
After every carrier landing (which is virtually like a crash), components of the aircraft crack, break or stop functioning. The aircraft, then goes to the workshop for repair/replacement of the part, which often has to come from Russia


as a parts issue? Yes, theoretically, you can replace parts after they break every time the aircraft lands. But do you honestly think this is sustainable? You can buy a large number of spares and get the serviceability up but that doesn't change the fact that the Russians sold us a carrier borne aircraft which was not properly ruggedized to withstand carrier landings! And now you spend a lot more to keep them flying.

The Navy has to put up a brave face and live with this situation because no other fighter can fit on the Vikramaditya's (or Vikrant's) lifts and we already have 45 of them now.


This is your interpretation of the issue. From my reading of the quotes, both from AP and Lanba, the issue, whatever it was (ruggedization, fatigue related failure etc.), can and has been fixed by getting adequate spares from the Russians. Ultimately that is what matters and what I have been emphasizing. Problem seems to be solved. Rest is meaningless.

nachiket
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7137
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 10:49

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby nachiket » 26 Jul 2019 05:28

If all the problems are fixed, that is great. My beef is with letting the Russians off the hook by downplaying the whole thing as a "spare parts issue", which automatically turns around the blame onto us (we did not buy enough spare parts!) instead of the Russians who built a carrier-borne fighter that cannot land on a carrier without immediately needing repairs.

This is in the same category as Philip blaming the Gorshkov price gouging on the IN.

As it is we tend to hold foreign suppliers to different standards than domestic ones. I cannot imagine the uproar if this ridiculous situation had arisen after the LCA had been inducted. But we have no problems accepting substandard products from overseas (Remember the Jaguar's pathetic original Nav-Attack suite, T-90's thermal sight, defective Krasnopol shells and several other examples).

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 26 Jul 2019 05:33

I'm not letting anyone of the hook. Just pointing to what seems to be the current situation. In hindsight, perhaps India could've gone for a Juan Carlos type. But the air wing would still have been an issue.

My question still is, what now? Continue with the fulcrumK for 2 CVs or get some thing else that might work? The current strength of 45 in any case seems mighty lean for 2 carriers. A decision will have to be made soon....

nachiket
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7137
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 10:49

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby nachiket » 26 Jul 2019 05:36

Cain Marko wrote:My question still is, what now? Continue with the fulcrumK for 2 CVs or get some thing else that might work? The current strength of 45 in any case seems mighty lean for 2 carriers. A decision will have to be made soon....

AFAIK there is nothing else that will work unless the Navy is ok with the NLCA Mk1 or willing to wait till the Mk2 arrives. The size of the lifts is a limitation on both the VikAd and the Vikrant. There were noises about Boeing and/or Dassault perhaps having a workaround but I haven't seen anything concrete.

And that is not looking at the biggest issue which is cost. How do we afford 57 Rafales for the Navy when we can afford only 36 for the AF which has a larger capital budget? The SHornet may be cheaper but by how much? I doubt we could afford 57 SHornets either. And neither of those aircraft has ever been deployed on a STOBAR carrier.

chola
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3817
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby chola » 26 Jul 2019 16:20

srin wrote:Given the question mark around Adm Kuznetsov, I wonder if there is future for Mig-29K (other than in IN service). We can't afford to be the only operator.

Russkies haven't given up on future carriers, they have a 100K-, a 80K-, a 65K- and a 44K-ton design in proposals.

I like their 44K tonner. It has a lot less under-water (semi-catamaran) but a HUGE flight deck!

Image

Note both MiG-29s and SU-33s in the model. I think they intend to restart the naval Flanker? At any rate, the Russians might still be in naval aviation even after the Kuznetsov.

Arun Prakash, a retired Indian Navy admiral and former service chief, was more critical of the situation: “The truth is that the Indian Navy has virtually funded the development of this aircraft (which the Russian Navy is now adopting), and if the Russians had any ethics they would ensure that every shortcoming is fixed free of cost.”


We have to be able to leverage that fact somehow. If the Russians won't fix, then we have to be pro-active. If we funded the damn thing then we should be able to build the thing in India and improve it.

Vips
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2149
Joined: 14 Apr 2017 18:23

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Vips » 26 Jul 2019 18:44

Not to go OT but the Russians tried to pull the same stunt with us with respect to FGFA and wanted to use our money to develop a stealth aircraft and its engine (aircraft is not stealthy and the engine is under performing) and then also make $$ by selling it to other countries.Thankfully IAF put its foot down and we have now told them to first develop the bird, induct it in its own service and then maybe if it is good enough we will throw them some change and buy 1-2 squadrons.

Vivek K
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2138
Joined: 15 Mar 2002 12:31

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Vivek K » 27 Jul 2019 02:00

nachiket wrote:If all the problems are fixed, that is great. My beef is with letting the Russians off the hook by downplaying the whole thing as a "spare parts issue", which automatically turns around the blame onto us (we did not buy enough spare parts!) instead of the Russians who built a carrier-borne fighter that cannot land on a carrier without immediately needing repairs.

This is in the same category as Philip blaming the Gorshkov price gouging on the IN.

As it is we tend to hold foreign suppliers to different standards than domestic ones. I cannot imagine the uproar if this ridiculous situation had arisen after the LCA had been inducted. But we have no problems accepting substandard products from overseas (Remember the Jaguar's pathetic original Nav-Attack suite, T-90's thermal sight, defective Krasnopol shells and several other examples).

Hear! Hear! But seriously - the IN would be aware of problems and I suspect that they may have toughened up requirement on the NLCA after this episode. Knowing these problems, it would be extremely unfortunate to buy the ks again.

Can the 29ks be transferred to the IAF instead? I would think that their multirole capabilities and commonality with IAF's 29s would allow their assimilation into the IAF force structure and the IN could opt for a different aircraft.

Indranil
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7700
Joined: 02 Apr 2010 01:21

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 27 Jul 2019 04:27

Mig 29k had structural problems. The planes haven't gone back to HAL/Mig. How did the problems get fixed?

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7866
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Jul 2019 05:04

Cain Marko wrote:
This is your interpretation of the issue. From my reading of the quotes, both from AP and Lanba, the issue, whatever it was (ruggedization, fatigue related failure etc.), can and has been fixed by getting adequate spares from the Russians. Ultimately that is what matters and what I have been emphasizing. Problem seems to be solved. Rest is meaningless.


Parts and safety and performance critical replaceable or serviceable components have a Meantime between Failure (MTBF) which is measured and often compared to what was attributed to it through rigorous developmental and operational testing using both brute cycle count (putting multiple cycles and loads) and via statistical analysis. Significant deviation from the MTBF has a readiness component in that the part is going to fail earlier and as such cause an aircraft down-time as it is going to be needed to be repaired or replaced. This impacts the rate at which you go through your depot capacity/bandwidth or how quickly you run through your inventory of spares. Adjusting how much spares you have solves some of this issue as does improving the time lag between placing orders for spares and actually receiving them. However that is only a Band-Aid solution and may not improve the ability to sustain high tempo operations (when needed) depending upon what structural component or repairable/replaceable part we are talking about. So while improving spare part availability can be used to move aircraft to available status faster, it does not go after the root-cause which is low MTBF as a result of structural fatigue on the air-frame during hard carrier operations. I was recalling from memory some report posted here that spoke of structural issues that manifest during landings. Improving the spare part availability is not an optimal solution to that problem (if one at all). Of course with more spares, you will see readiness improvements especially if not all readiness issues are attributable to that one structural issue (it seldom is).

LakshmanPST
BRFite
Posts: 109
Joined: 05 Apr 2019 18:23

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby LakshmanPST » 27 Jul 2019 05:14

Question:-
If MIG 29K's issues are fixed, why isn't the navy going ahead with procurement of more Fulcrums...? Why do they want a new jet...???

My guess is, there are other issues with 29Ks which the Navy is not putting out in the open...

fanne
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3070
Joined: 11 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby fanne » 27 Jul 2019 05:22

But now we are attributing morality to air craft maintenance. We are saying it is immoral or unfair to get the aircraft to high availability by using up spares faster to solve a structural or MTBF issue, rather than the RC be solved through material improvement and better design of the part (even though both approaches will result into similar availability). The M29 through the second approach would be more pious and faithful?
How does it matter. If the second problem cannot be solved (because the Russians may not want to, not for 45 + 25 aircrafts, in spite of the contractual obligation, they may not have the capital and the need to solve that), the first approach is a better approach. Perhaps we can shame them Russians to supply us spares at a lower price (and use the morality card there).
The country that is stuck is India and it will have to find the solution to the root cause. It is doing on some part (there are news that we are making our own landing aides). We should go ahead and solve that ourselves, have the Russians agree that these swapping of parts etc would not void the warranty or support and then go full steam. We can definitely port some tech from NLCA (and develop new ones).

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7866
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Jul 2019 05:33

^ Because, depending upon the issue and the specifics, low critical component MTBF has negative impact on cost, and is a drag on maintaining and sustaining high ops tempo during actual time of need. There is a good reason that OEMs the world over chase more durable, reliable and rugged components and why carrier aircraft are required to meet higher standards given the unique operating conditions. I think the problem on the MiG-29K is just a general lack of actual long duration deployments and cycles given such low numbers a fairly insignificant long duration cycle in carrier operations over the last decade.

Most issues are spotted during a comprehensive operationally oriented (or even developmental) testing but if there are escapes ( which does happen) they are usually picked up in short order, if you have a lot of aircraft putting a lot of operational work out at sea on actual extended deployments. But we would have to dig up some old info from the forum to see exactly what the issues were.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7866
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Jul 2019 06:43

LakshmanPST wrote:Question:-
If MIG 29K's issues are fixed, why isn't the navy going ahead with procurement of more Fulcrums...? Why do they want a new jet...???


I am not sure whether they are fully linked but how persistent the IN is with the plan to potentially procure new naval fast jets could perhaps be a proxy for how it feels the MiG-29K fits in its long term planning and force structure assuming that they envision a 3 carrier force going forward. I think for forceable future they will focus on extracting the most out of it but that does not mean that they stop executing on a more long term strategy if the issues actually exist and if the IN feels that they are a long term deal breaker.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Jul 2019 09:32

LakshmanPST wrote:Question:-
If MIG 29K's issues are fixed, why isn't the navy going ahead with procurement of more Fulcrums...? Why do they want a new jet...???

My guess is, there are other issues with 29Ks which the Navy is not putting out in the open...

Stop guessing and listen to the Chief.... The Navy is looking for the 57 next gen fighters in lieu of the NLCA. his words, not mine.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Jul 2019 09:36

Uhh bhailog, the CNS is on record saying that the Mig 29k fleet is performing well. Uptimes are looking good.

Why so much takleef....

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Jul 2019 09:42

Indranil wrote:Mig 29k had structural problems. The planes haven't gone back to HAL/Mig. How did the problems get fixed?

Dunno. But sure hope CNS Lanba does.

brar_w wrote:However that is only a Band-Aid solution and may not improve the ability to sustain high tempo operations (when needed) depending upon what structural component or repairable/replaceable part we are talking about. .

I'm not sure about high tempo operations but currently they're operating at 70% uptimes aiming for 80%. If that can be achieved during peace times, I'm guessing they'll be able to manage better during war.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7866
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Jul 2019 10:33

Cain Marko wrote:
I'm not sure about high tempo operations but currently they're operating at 70% uptimes aiming for 80%. If that can be achieved during peace times, I'm guessing they'll be able to manage better during war.


I think we need to dig deeper and find the actual structural issues being spoken off here otherwise these are very wild assumptions with little in substance to support them. As Indranil pointed out if the aircraft haven't been flown to the OEM or another entity equipped to do major modification how did the structural problems (assuming they existed in the first place) get fixed?

There is not a fleet of 100 MiG-29's that would allow 40 aircraft to be pushed into war on a carrier or land based ops with inventory raided to keep them at very high ops tempo and availability (like happens elsewhere when only a small fraction of the overall fleet is used in combat). That is how the USN met its deployment obligations during the Obama era sequestration by effectivelly throttling depot capacity (chocking investments) and moving to tiered readiness with deployed and next_in line units being funded fully at the expense of the rest of the fleet. But there the inventory was large enough to allow them to do that (even then the USN will not recover from its readiness account shortfalls until the end of calendar year 2019 at the earliest after 3 years of focus and investment on depot capacity).

In wartime the MTBF problems do manifest because you have to be on constant alert and you are flying or are required to fly significantly more combat sorties over a shorter time-span than most peacetime operations. Similarly, in wartime or at wartime like scenarios the AC will or at least could be deployed for a lot longer which means that the aircraft would need to be serviced, turn around or available from the AC itself with the support footprint that exists there. Again very different situations. For example, a 6 month CVN deployment of the USN with XXXX sorties over that time span has very different readiness challenges than 6 months of strike fighter operations from a NAS.

I don't know the exact facts but I have never once in my life heard of structural problems on an naval fighter being fixed by improving the spare inventory and I've been following naval aviation for a few decades. You can overcome the short term impact on readiness by replacing parts faster but that is also not desirable not does it address reliability that is required for quick turnaround during actual high tempo operations (where you may have to fly and sustain 2-3 sorties per day).

All I would humbly reiterate is that component, part or structural MTBF or MTBO cannot be fixed by throwing more spares, or more personnel etc. to the issue. Long term, those issues have to be fixed by improving the underlying issues or else they'll surface and bite at the very worst time (when you do actually need to push the fleet). I think the efforts would be better spent digging into older reports to see what the issues were and see whether any efforts focused on those have been implemented over the last few years. The MiG-29K is approaching a decade of service with the IN, so it isn't really a new platform with all the niggles that manifest when introducing something new.

As I said, how the IN's interest and persistence on a new naval fighter for the other two carrier pans out could be a good proxy to gauge of where it thinks the MiG-29K's fit in its long term vision. I don't think the Admiral Kuznetsov is headed back to sea anytime soon and I doubt the Russian Navy will field a new AC anytime soon (like within the next decade). So this leaves the IN as the sole at_sea operator of the MiG-29K and that too with a fairly small fleet. Much of the re-engineering or modifications would have to be led by the IN given that reality. Regardless of which fighter the IN chooses, these MiG-29K's have to be kept fit and modernized so that has to be the focus on that fleet.

srin wrote:We can't afford to be the only operator.


I don't think that's much of a choice. No other naval power capable of deploying capable AC's is going to buy it. China is committed to a different direction via the flanker clones and probably a 5th gen. carrier derivative. The Ru Navy is not going to be capable of putting out a lot, if any carrier cruises of any significant duration in the short-medium term and there is no new AC that is sanctioned so nothing new is coming in the next 10-12 years at least. That said, this was probably known from the very beginning. They just have to develop a roadmap that sorts out any outstanding issues and keeps it modernized over its service life and then see what works best for the IN from a multi-role naval fighter requirement given they are pretty strongly advocating a three carrier Navy.
Last edited by brar_w on 27 Jul 2019 21:35, edited 2 times in total.

Katare
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2548
Joined: 02 Mar 2002 12:31

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Katare » 27 Jul 2019 21:13

The day Mig 29k achieves 80% serviceability, all the pigs will also fly with it. Its a lemon and so it shall remain till its retirement and replacement by NLCA.

Russians don’t have wherewithal to fix it nor they have financial mussels to create a reliable western standard 4+ generation aircraft. USSR is gone, sooner we accept the fact better it will be for our national defense.

There are still goodies that we can buy from our good ol friend like S-400 or lease a nuclear sub but thats about it.

Indranil
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7700
Joined: 02 Apr 2010 01:21

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 28 Jul 2019 07:46

That would be a wrong assessment of where Russia prowess. There have the technological know how to fix Mig-29Ks issues. They don't want to invest there. Their future has no place for a Mig-29K.

We have to fix our own Mig-29Ks. The Navy knows this. Work is progressing.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 28 Jul 2019 10:53

Katare wrote:The day Mig 29k achieves 80% serviceability, all the pigs will also fly with it. Its a lemon and so it shall remain till its retirement and replacement by NLCA. .

Well it is supposedly managing 70% right now, does that mean piglets are flying or is it just you unbearable for you?

Kashi
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3556
Joined: 06 May 2011 13:53

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Kashi » 28 Jul 2019 11:13

Cain Marko wrote:Well it is supposedly managing 70% right now, does that mean piglets are flying or is it just you unbearable for you?


Yet the IN seems to be looking for other options instead of placing follow on orders for the K. Wonder how unbearable that is.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 28 Jul 2019 11:19

brar_w wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:
I'm not sure about high tempo operations but currently they're operating at 70% uptimes aiming for 80%. If that can be achieved during peace times, I'm guessing they'll be able to manage better during war.


I think we need to dig deeper and find the actual structural issues being spoken off here otherwise these are very wild assumptions with little in substance to support them. As Indranil pointed out if the aircraft haven't been flown to the OEM or another entity equipped to do major modification how did the structural problems (assuming they existed in the first place) get fixed?
.


The way I see it there are only 2 likely possibilities with this situation...
1. There are real structural issues with the 29K and the Navy is covering up for whatever reason. Btw, the entire structural defects thing came up because of a report quoting unnamed sources written by Vivek Raghuvanshi.

2. The do called "structural" issues were not truly structural and could be fixed with replacing parts with poor mtbfs, which were the real issue.

I'm inclined to think it is the latter because
1. As Indranil pointed out structural issues don't get fixed that easily,
2. The fleet has recovered and is quite serviceable which might've not happened if the issues were truly structural
3. The Russians did have a similar problem of cracks after multiple landings during initial tests in the 80s and these were addressed after a particular part was redesigned and fixed. I think it was a strut iirc. My guess is that this thing popped up again (or something similar) and was resolved.
4. Both the Navy chiefs are on record saying that the root of the issue was related to availability of parts. I think this was resolved when maintenance contract so were signed between UAC and HAL. IIRC Su30 uptimes also suffered and subsequently increased after such contracts.
Last edited by Cain Marko on 28 Jul 2019 11:24, edited 1 time in total.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 28 Jul 2019 11:21

Kashi wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Well it is supposedly managing 70% right now, does that mean piglets are flying or is it just you unbearable for you?


Yet the IN seems to be looking for other options instead of placing follow on orders for the K. Wonder how unbearable that is.

I think what is hard to swallow is the fact that the CNS clearly spelled out that the search for the 57 fighters was in lieu of the NLCA (not the 29k). Ya, chew on that for a bit.

And yes, that is bloody unbearable cause I, like others was hoping that there NLCA would be a hit considering the Navys encouraging involvement.

Kashi
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3556
Joined: 06 May 2011 13:53

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Kashi » 28 Jul 2019 17:49

Cain Marko wrote:I think what is hard to swallow is the fact that the CNS clearly spelled out that the search for the 57 fighters was in lieu of the NLCA (not the 29k). Ya, chew on that for a bit.

And yes, that is bloody unbearable cause I, like others was hoping that there NLCA would be a hit considering the Navys encouraging involvement.


Hard to swallow indeed. For NLCA replacement, IN chose not to go with the existing platform, but issue a tender to search for better options. Looks like IN had enough of chewing on the 29K dud and decided on a do-over.

Katare
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2548
Joined: 02 Mar 2002 12:31

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Katare » 29 Jul 2019 17:54

Cain Marko wrote:
Katare wrote:The day Mig 29k achieves 80% serviceability, all the pigs will also fly with it. Its a lemon and so it shall remain till its retirement and replacement by NLCA. .

Well it is supposedly managing 70% right now, does that mean piglets are flying or is it just you unbearable for you?


Of course they are!!! I am certain when it reaches 90% a few of BRFites would be flying too. :mrgreen:

Just joking, will know when CAG files next report for sure.

Katare
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2548
Joined: 02 Mar 2002 12:31

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Katare » 29 Jul 2019 18:11

Cain Marko wrote:
Katare wrote:The day Mig 29k achieves 80% serviceability, all the pigs will also fly with it. Its a lemon and so it shall remain till its retirement and replacement by NLCA. .

Well it is supposedly managing 70% right now, does that mean piglets are flying or is it just you unbearable for you?


Also, only official information we have is from CAG report that states—Mig29K started out with single digit serviceability and by 2015 have achieved 36% an improvement of 300%.

Lamba only said issues related to spare parts have been sorted out with Russians and fleet is performing well now (after a decade in service). What that means in terms of serviceability will be known when we would get a reply in parliament, standing committee report or CAG report. Until than you will believe 70-80% and I will stay with 40% max .

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7866
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 Jul 2019 19:15

Cain Marko wrote:1. As Indranil pointed out structural issues don't get fixed that easily,


Reading what he said more carefully one would realize that he isn't saying that those issues were magically fixed (or did not exist at all). He said that the IN is actively pursuing fixes. As I said, I am unaware of any structural issues to any naval aircraft being solved buy throwing more spares at the problem. This is not how problems are fixed nor have I read a single line anywhere claiming that the IN solved those structural issues by buying more spares. There may be multiple different fixes to boost the MiG-29K short term serviceability woes and fix its underlying issues. One could have been to get more spares, deal with the engine issues etc to make sure they aren't unflyable awaiting parts. The other could very well be that they are actively working on making sure it doesn't need extensive repairs as often owing to any structural issues related to carrier landings something which will be vital at time of actual need when the carrier is deployed with its full compliment for extended duration (not peacetime ops).

Cain Marko wrote:I think what is hard to swallow is the fact that the CNS clearly spelled out that the search for the 57 fighters was in lieu of the NLCA (not the 29k). Ya, chew on that for a bit.



That again is neither here nor there. The F-18E/F, Rafale-M and the MiG-29K are largely in the same class and offer capabilities to meet very similar mission needs while operating from an carrier aircraft. The NLCA would very much have been a smaller, and lighter naval fighter so common sense and logic would dictate that if the IN was deferring that decision and buying up more inventory for future carrier ops then the logical choice would have been to just top up MiG-29K orders i.e. buy more of the twin engined multi-role fighter they already own and operate. There would be no fleet integration cost burden over and above sunk cost, no training expenditure or learning curve, no carrier integration costs etc etc. It would be just like topping up Su-30 orders as has been done over time. Integrating a new fighter into carrier operations, and physically into an AC is an incredibly complicated, time consuming and costly undertaking (The USN spent close to 5 years of tests on the doing this with the F-35C and plan on spending 3-5 years doing it with the MQ-25 as well).

But the IN does not appear to be doing that. They want to consider the two western solutions despite open source knowledge on how difficult it would be for one of them (Rafale-M) to be integrated on IAC-1 and how the other may have to be jury rigged to make it work. Again, not enough out there yet to read between the lines but I think if the IN's interest in the Rafale-M and F-18 continuous and they keep pushing for an alternate medium-Multi-role naval aircraft purchase in small numbers (45 of MiG-29 and 57 of XYZ) then that will be indicative of where they think the IN's long term future lies or perhaps where it doesn't lie. Of course aligning your naval fighter with another operator who deploys its fighters in much higher numbers and much more frequently also makes sense from an upgrade and enhancement stand point etc.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 20231
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 29 Jul 2019 20:06

nachiket wrote:CM, first of all if it was only unnamed sources saying it that would be one thing, but if those unnamed sources have been corroborated by Adm. Prakash, there is no reason to doubt them.

And how do you interpret this:
After every carrier landing (which is virtually like a crash), components of the aircraft crack, break or stop functioning. The aircraft, then goes to the workshop for repair/replacement of the part, which often has to come from Russia


as a parts issue? Yes, theoretically, you can replace parts after they break every time the aircraft lands. But do you honestly think this is sustainable? You can buy a large number of spares and get the serviceability up but that doesn't change the fact that the Russians sold us a carrier borne aircraft which was not properly ruggedized to withstand carrier landings! And now you spend a lot more to keep them flying.

The Navy has to put up a brave face and live with this situation because no other fighter can fit on the Vikramaditya's (or Vikrant's) lifts and we already have 45 of them now.



you will have only unnamed sources saying things like this.

It is worth more than their jobs to be "named"

arun prakash can say whatever he wants because there are no consequences to him personally and nor is he responsible for the solution.

sadly, however, there is a great deal of truth in what is being said.

Can't entirely blame the russians. They looked out for number 1.

as indeed we should have, looked after number 1, I mean because we were paying all the unreasonable bills but we singularly failed to do that. Explanations after the fact are just so much trash. Heads should have rolled, but they did not.

what were our guys doing in all this, scratching testimonials or what.

The shipyard was wrong, the country was wrong and guys who okayed the aircraft are working for boeing now, suit and boot.

someone should have had the foresight to go in for larger lifts, given that the first choice of aircraft was the rafale.

but itchy testimonials are often attention diverting, no.

weren't there bright enough guys on our side to catch on to what was happening or was it the classic bureaucratic syndrome of who will bell the cat. Take your pick.

nachiket
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7137
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 10:49

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby nachiket » 29 Jul 2019 23:56

Cain Marko wrote:Stop guessing and listen to the Chief.... The Navy is looking for the 57 next gen fighters in lieu of the NLCA. his words, not mine.

Yes it is in lieu of the NLCA. The question is why not just buy more Mig-29K's in lieu of the NLCA? It makes the perfect sense doesn't it, since we already operate so many of them? How exactly is the F-18 or Rafale a better replacement for the much smaller and cheaper NLCA? You add in the problem of the lifts and you wonder why the Navy is going through all the trouble when they have a perfect candidate which they can just have a repeat order for.

Unless of course you take Adm Prakash's words seriously instead of handwaving the whole thing away as a spare-parts issue.

nachiket
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7137
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 10:49

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby nachiket » 29 Jul 2019 23:59

Chetak, I have moved your S-400 related post to the Russian weapons thread. This is not the place to discuss it.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 30 Jul 2019 10:10

nachiket wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Stop guessing and listen to the Chief.... The Navy is looking for the 57 next gen fighters in lieu of the NLCA. his words, not mine.

Yes it is in lieu of the NLCA. The question is why not just buy more Mig-29K's in lieu of the NLCA? It makes the perfect sense doesn't it, since we already operate so many of them? How exactly is the F-18 or Rafale a better replacement for the much smaller and cheaper NLCA? You add in the problem of the lifts and you wonder why the Navy is going through all the trouble when they have a perfect candidate which they can just have a repeat order for.

Unless of course you take Adm Prakash's words seriously instead of handwaving the whole thing away as a spare-parts issue.

N, Thanks for being objective to at least state what the K is in lieu of. Rare occurrence that. Your reasoning is interesting but I'm not sure i agree... See below.

Why not just get more 29ks? Maybe the next generation part has something to do with it? There is no denying that the rafale or shornet are more advanced than the K so who can blame the Navy for wanting a better product? Perhaps it has something to do with getting better prices via a competition? IIRC the DPP requires acquisitions of large amounts to be via tenders. Further, those 57 might be for the Vishal or perhaps it has something to do with naval tactics and diversification? But to assume that it is solely because of problems with the fulcrum is reaching IMHO.... Especially in light of the rather direct statement of the Chief. BTW the RFI was also sent to Mig, who knows, it might just be more fulcrums.

Not handwaving anything, just looking at the acting CNS Lanbas words verbatim. Perhaps he too was handwaving? Note that AP made those comments when he was retired. OTOH, Lanba was serving when he waved ze hand....fwiw.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3789
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 30 Jul 2019 10:23

chetak wrote:
nachiket wrote:CM, first of all if it was only unnamed sources saying it that would be one thing, but if those unnamed sources have been corroborated by Adm. Prakash, there is no reason to doubt them.

And how do you interpret this:


as a parts issue? Yes, theoretically, you can replace parts after they break every time the aircraft lands. But do you honestly think this is sustainable? You can buy a large number of spares and get the serviceability up but that doesn't change the fact that the Russians sold us a carrier borne aircraft which was not properly ruggedized to withstand carrier landings! And now you spend a lot more to keep them flying.

The Navy has to put up a brave face and live with this situation because no other fighter can fit on the Vikramaditya's (or Vikrant's) lifts and we already have 45 of them now.



you will have only unnamed sources saying things like this.

It is worth more than their jobs to be "named"

arun prakash can say whatever he wants because there are no consequences to him personally and nor is he responsible for the solution.

sadly, however, there is a great deal of truth in what is being said.

Can't entirely blame the russians. They looked out for number 1.

as indeed we should have, looked after number 1, I mean because we were paying all the unreasonable bills but we singularly failed to do that. Explanations after the fact are just so much trash. Heads should have rolled, but they did not.

what were our guys doing in all this, scratching testimonials or what.

The shipyard was wrong, the country was wrong and guys who okayed the aircraft are working for boeing now, suit and boot.

someone should have had the foresight to go in for larger lifts, given that the first choice of aircraft was the rafale.

but itchy testimonials are often attention diverting, no.

weren't there bright enough guys on our side to catch on to what was happening or was it the classic bureaucratic syndrome of who will bell the cat. Take your pick.

Agree with much of what you say. There was little accountability. Seems to me that a stretched Juan Carlos could easily have been afforded for half the price spent on the Vikad.

Do you have any more info on the current state of the 29K.

Just remembered. Wasn't Arun Prakash the CNS when the Vikad was purchased?

chola
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3817
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: INS Vikrant News and Discussion

Postby chola » 30 Jul 2019 11:11

nachiket wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Stop guessing and listen to the Chief.... The Navy is looking for the 57 next gen fighters in lieu of the NLCA. his words, not mine.

Yes it is in lieu of the NLCA. The question is why not just buy more Mig-29K's in lieu of the NLCA? It makes the perfect sense doesn't it, since we already operate so many of them? How exactly is the F-18 or Rafale a better replacement for the much smaller and cheaper NLCA? You add in the problem of the lifts and you wonder why the Navy is going through all the trouble when they have a perfect candidate which they can just have a repeat order for.

Unless of course you take Adm Prakash's words seriously instead of handwaving the whole thing away as a spare-parts issue.


Exactly. The public statement was in lieu of the NLCA. But it made no sense during the time frame. We had long debates here over that.

The NLCA was and is still in testing. Why would the IN need to go for a new carrier plane to replace a future project? Any delay in the NLCA should have been made up for by more purchases of the incumbent carrier aircraft. No one would have batted an eye if they just increased buys of the MiG-29K. But instead they decided to drag the NLCA through the mud even as we heard stories of the 29K's issues.


Return to “Military Issues & History Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: brar_w, rajsunder, vishal and 16 guests