MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

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

Postby Rudradev » 18 May 2018 21:34

About the F-16s.

F-16s (at the time) failed to meet flight-test requirements during the original MMRCA trials. Along with Super Hornets they were eliminated from the running.

Does this F-16 Block 70 address the specific issues that caused the failure and elimination from MMRCA contention 2-3 years ago?

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

Postby Kartik » 19 May 2018 01:59

JayS wrote:So blk-70 AESA radar is air-cooled while that on blk-60 is water cooled. Why..? Blk-60 one looks like more powerful one.


The Block 60's AESA is a bit dated by comparison to what's on the F-16V. It was one of the first export radars and probably produced a lot more heat and required a lot more cooling than the newer gen SABR and RACR AESAs.

link

..
“When we incorporated the Block 60 AESA radar, we had to change the ECS [Environmental Control System] system on the airplane. We had to change the electrical system on the airplane. You just don’t put a bigger fan on it; you’ve got a lot of tubing, etc. That was one of the reasons that drove us to a Block 60 — because of the infrastructure,” McHenry says.

In contrast, the Northrop Grumman SABR and competing Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR) evaluated for the CAPES both fit the existing Block 40-to-52 cooling and power infrastructure. “That’s the magic that the SABR and the RACR brought to the table,” said McHenry. The Northrop Grumman AESA has been selected by the Republic of China to upgrade Block 20 F-16 A/B fighters and the Raytheon set by the Republic of Korea for F-16K modernization.
..

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

Postby Kartik » 19 May 2018 02:08

Austin wrote:On paper the F-16 Blk 70 looks very capable and perhaps other contenders would be putting their best to get this deal

But it would boil down to who is willing to give the most technology at the lowest price , The new figher deal is all about maximum TOT with no strings attached , Production


Not just on paper. the F-16V/Block 70 is indeed a very capable and modern fighter and when it enters service with Bahrain, will be the most capable single engine fighter in the world, apart from the F-35 and until the Gripen E enters service. the Block 70 should remain comfortably relevant for many years to come, despite its inherent airframe design being older and based on the F-16 Block 50 designed in the 1990s and early 2000s.

I would not have been comfortable with the idea of the PAF getting 100+ fighters that are this capable.

However, as you said, the deciding factor will be the extent to which the supplier will share technology and not just the technology to build the jet plus allow for Indian driven customizations, which will require handing over a lot of details relating to the design itself. And that is where one has to be extremely careful of what the US has to offer.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 19 May 2018 02:40

Rudradev wrote:About the F-16s.

F-16s (at the time) failed to meet flight-test requirements during the original MMRCA trials. Along with Super Hornets they were eliminated from the running.

Does this F-16 Block 70 address the specific issues that caused the failure and elimination from MMRCA contention 2-3 years ago?


THe biggest issue with the MRCA F-16 was the lack of power, iirc one of the teens bust a tire during landing ops in the trials. The block 70 it seems resolves this at two levels:
1) Newer airframe that is derived from the lighter blk 50 design (9 tons vs 10 tons on the blk 60)
2) Ge F132 engines, which pump out more 2.5 tons more AB thrust than the blk 50s

Even if the airframe gains weight, say 10 tons at empty, the bird will still have an excellent TWR (> 1.0) when loaded with internal fuel and 6 AAMs, quite comparable to twin engined birds such as the Rafale. I"m not sure however, how this will affect its endurance/range considering that powerful engines can result in less range/endurance.

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

Postby Philip » 20 May 2018 08:42

Look at the new MK-2.A new designation.MWCA whatever! Year another tongue twisters to relish.

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

Postby Rakesh » 24 May 2018 07:12

https://twitter.com/Chopsyturvey/status ... 5056267264 --> Air Commodore PV Shivanand VM, Air Attache Embassy of India and pilots from the IAF_MCC Test Pilot School visited Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth, Texas, to learn more about the F-16.

Image

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

Postby Rakesh » 24 May 2018 07:31

^^^ The IAF knows all about the F-16 via the Singapore Air Force and other air forces that it has operated with. They came here to see the radar and sensors on the Block 70 (which I am assuming what that is in the above picture) along with Vivek Lall who gave the presentation. Lall Saar is fourth from right in the navy blue suit.

Expect more of this at Boeing's facility for the F-18 Advanced Super Hornet and at Saab's facility to see the Gripen E. The Rafale is already known to the IAF.

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

Postby Rakesh » 24 May 2018 07:43

Khalsa wrote:Where is the Naval 57 aircraft thing at ?
Canned (in secret) ?
Or Cancelled
or consolidated with the Air Force one (in stealth) ?

Honestly where is the Naval 57 aircraft deal at ?
I ask I because I cannot believe that it does not influence the Air Force deal.

Depending on the source Khalsa-ji, still on the move or canned altogether. There is no money for 57 naval fighters, especially when the IAF is facing a squadron shortage. Now with Admiral Lanba pouring cold water on the idea of the Quad, that makes acquiring 57 naval fighters for the mythical white unicorn - called the Vishaal - all the more unlikely.

I am surprised the Admiral made that statement, considering all four nations were bullish on the Quad. I guess India had a different vision of the Quad, unlike poodle nations like Japan and Australia. Bad for the Navy (due to the possible loss of the Vishaal), but good for India. No need for India to be anyone's watch dog.

The Vishaal - as envisioned by the Navy, with a nuclear reactor, EMALS and other bells & whistles - was never going to pass muster in the MoD's financial wing. The babu torpedoed her, before even the keel was laid. With Vishaal "possibly" out of the picture, why do you need 57 naval fighters?

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

Postby chola » 24 May 2018 08:07

Rakesh wrote:
Khalsa wrote:Where is the Naval 57 aircraft thing at ?
Canned (in secret) ?
Or Cancelled
or consolidated with the Air Force one (in stealth) ?

Honestly where is the Naval 57 aircraft deal at ?
I ask I because I cannot believe that it does not influence the Air Force deal.

Depending on the source Khalsa-ji, still on the move or canned altogether. There is no money for 57 naval fighters, especially when the IAF is facing a squadron shortage. Now with Admiral Lanba pouring cold water on the idea of the Quad, that makes acquiring 57 naval fighters for the mythical white unicorn - called the Vishaal - all the more unlikely.

I am surprised the Admiral made that statement, considering all four nations were bullish on the Quad. I guess India had a different vision of the Quad, unlike poodle nations like Japan and Australia. Bad for the Navy (due to the possible loss of the Vishaal), but good for India. No need for India to be anyone's watch dog.

The Vishaal - as envisioned by the Navy, with a nuclear reactor, EMALS and other bells & whistles - was never going to pass muster in the MoD's financial wing. The babu torpedoed her, before even the keel was laid. With Vishaal "possibly" out of the picture, why do you need 57 naval fighters?



Come on, let’s not extrapolate that far out yet based on one comment.

The Vishal does not necessarily mean EMALS and nuclear anyways. The Navy wants a 65K-ton CATOBAR. We had a steam catapult on the original INS Vikrant.

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

Postby Kartik » 25 May 2018 00:42

Gripen E ready for weapons carriage trials

Saab's Gripen E is set to start its next major period of testing, as the new-generation fighter stays on course for delivery from next year, the Swedish manufacturer says.

"We are preparing for the next phase of flight trials – that is, external stores," says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab's aeronautics business unit. Since the first prototype's flight debut in June 2017, the programme has remained on track, he says, with recent milestones including achieving supersonic flight.

"We are on track. We will deliver according to the contracts that we have," Hjelm confirms. Saab has current orders from the Swedish and Brazilian air forces for a combined 96 E/F-model fighters, with both expected to receive their first examples before the end of 2019.

Speaking during the company's annual Gripen seminar in Stockholm on 16 May, Hjelm declined to reveal when the programme's remaining two prototypes will join the test fleet, but says "they will fly in the not too far future."

Pointing to Saab's adoption of an app-type software development philosophy with the Gripen E, he notes: "We have solved how you reconfigure an aircraft without jeopardising the flight-critical evidence. This will really impact how we are able to adapt the aircraft to new challenges."

Meanwhile, the annual Gripen User Group event took place earlier this month in Brazil, where the construction of a new Saab/Akaer-backed aerostructures plant is also advancing.

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

Postby Rakesh » 25 May 2018 02:43

chola wrote:
Rakesh wrote:Depending on the source Khalsa-ji, still on the move or canned altogether. There is no money for 57 naval fighters, especially when the IAF is facing a squadron shortage. Now with Admiral Lanba pouring cold water on the idea of the Quad, that makes acquiring 57 naval fighters for the mythical white unicorn - called the Vishaal - all the more unlikely.

I am surprised the Admiral made that statement, considering all four nations were bullish on the Quad. I guess India had a different vision of the Quad, unlike poodle nations like Japan and Australia. Bad for the Navy (due to the possible loss of the Vishaal), but good for India. No need for India to be anyone's watch dog.

The Vishaal - as envisioned by the Navy, with a nuclear reactor, EMALS and other bells & whistles - was never going to pass muster in the MoD's financial wing. The babu torpedoed her, before even the keel was laid. With Vishaal "possibly" out of the picture, why do you need 57 naval fighters?

Come on, let’s not extrapolate that far out yet based on one comment.

The Vishal does not necessarily mean EMALS and nuclear anyways. The Navy wants a 65K-ton CATOBAR. We had a steam catapult on the original INS Vikrant.

Chola, here are some numbers to put the Vishaal acquisition in perspective...

1) The 57 naval fighters are expected to cost the Indian Navy Rs 95,000 crore (US $14+ billion).

Requests for proposals: Indian Navy looks to buy 57 fighters for Rs 95,000 crore
https://www.financialexpress.com/defenc ... e/1136675/

2) The Vikrant has not yet completed construction. At a planned figure of $0.5 billion (I do not understand how they came up with such a low estimate for a 40,000 ton aircraft carrier), it has ballooned to $3.765 billion and will continue to rise. I expect nothing short of $5 billion, when everything has been completed.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INS_Vikrant_(2013)

3) Now how much do you think the Vishaal will cost? Even if you take the nuclear reactor out, the Navy still wants the EMALS and is convinced that EMALS will work on a conventionally powered, aircraft carrier. Among the major costs involved with the US $13.5 billion USS Gerald Ford is in its major components - Advanced Arresting Gear, EMALS, etc.
https://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/_c ... rogram.pdf

Even if you take EMALS out of the picture, along with the nuclear reactor, you are still left with a 65,000 ton, non-EMALS aircraft carrier that is going to cost nothing short of US $7 - US $8 billion (low estimate) to US $10 billion (high estimate). Do you know what was the Navy's share of the 2018-19 Indian defence budget? See below...

The Indian Defence Budget FY 2018-19
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news ... y-2018-19/

US $14 billion + US $8 billion = US $22 billion. This number is not for you or me. This is for the MoD Babu that the navy has to convince, in lieu of all the other immediate purchases - 110 fighters for the Indian Air Force estimated to be nothing short of $20 billion, tanks and artillery pieces for the Army which costs billions as well, naval choppers (dire need) to replace the aging Sea Kings, Project 75I for six new submarines to replace the aging Kilos and HDW 209 boats, the list goes on. At what scale of importance do you think the Babu is going to place the Vishal at? It is at the bottom of the totem pole.

The Vishaal has everything going against it - time, cost, zero Babu support, other pressing needs (as illustrated above), etc. This was a Star Wars project from day one, with no concrete plan from the MoD on project timelines and cost allocations.

The better option is the following;

Option A: Go for an enlarged Vikrant Class (at 55,000 tons) with wider lifts and a ski jump. Quicker to build and cheaper to acquire. As for the naval platform, the F-35B is IMVHO is the best option from a "platform" perspective. There are political considerations to take into account i.e. COMCASA. But it checks all the boxes, with strategic partnership with Amreeka and state-of-the-art platform for the Navy being the two most important. The F-35B can take off with a full combat load, from a ski jump anyway. F-35Bs stationed on the Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth Class vessels do just that. And yes the F-35B will not be cheap, but it gives the Navy a platform that no other plane can match.

Option B: Go for an enlarged Izumo Class type vessel ---> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izumo-cla ... _destroyer
The Japanese plan to station the F-35B on her in the near future. At 27,000 tons...she is too small for the Indian Navy. But a larger Izumo type vessel would also serve the same purpose as an enlarged Vikrant Class.

My personal choice is Option A. Even if we do not get the F-35B - for political and cost reasons - you can still station the MiG-29K and perhaps even the Naval Tejas (assuming the Navy comes around). But the Navy has to make the MiG-29K work. RSK-MiG is not co-operating, so apparently we are doing desi jugaad on her now. I do not know the specifics of this and someone more knowledgeable on the MiG-29K's issues can possibly advise.

The *ONLY* lesson to learn from this tamasha, is that the Naval Tejas must get the requisite funding from the GOI to meet all the navy's aspirations it needs in a 4th generation naval fighter. Same is true for the IAF as well. Tejas is India's mass produced fighter.

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

Postby Philip » 25 May 2018 05:03

Spot on xcpt. for the F-35 acquisition.Even if available too expensive.I've always advocated a stretched new Vikrant as you've described with larger lifts .Apart from the aircraft mentioned, the uber expensive Rafale-M is also available but for cost effectiveness, suitably modified and corrected MIG-29K/35s with the latest bells and whistles could be the interim aircraft package answer along with a perfected NLCA.


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