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Beyond FGFA: Can India look at others for Stealth fighter Partnerships?

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by layman, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Beyond FGFA: Can India look at others for Stealth fighter Partnerships?
    Published March 29, 2017
    SOURCE: Anand SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

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    2017 will mark 7th year of India and Russia signing on a preliminary design contract way back in 2010 thus beginning official discussion on the proposed joint Indo-Russian project to develop a 5th generation fighter program which is yet to take off with adamant Indian Air Force not ready to accept inferior 5th generation fighter jet, soon we might hear if the long-delayed joint venture does take off or quietly be buried like Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA) .

    No doubt development of Stealth fighter completely in-house is no easy task and this elite club is still predominately dominated by only one country that is United States which has nearly four-decade worth of research from SR-71 to F-35 and new entrants like Russia and China who claimed to have developed 5th generation fighters have arrived at somewhat compromised solutions like Pak-Fa and J-20 true capabilities of which are still questionable .

    India to has initiated its own 5th generation fighter aircraft program dubbed AMCA which should take to air by 2030 as per stringent requirement set by Indian Air Force. Multi-role AMCA will replace a large chunk of fighters like Jaguars, Mig-29 and Mirage-2000 by 2040-50 and need for a 5th generation fighter aircraft in the Top tier to complement 4.5th generation Sukhoi-30 MKI was felt which lead to talks with Russia on joint development of FGFA based on PAK-FA.

    Wheather India does decide to look beyond Russia for its 5th Generation Stealth fighter requirements in the Top tier it will be very hard to find another partner since other 5th generation fighter aircraft development are largely based on Medium category aircraft but India does have some interesting partners it can line up with for its requirements and they are …



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    Mikoyan LMFS: United Aircraft Corporation (OAK) has announced that it will start working on stealthy, single-engine multirole combat aircraft designed to replace the Mikoyan MiG-29. LMFS is not a new proposal but was Mig Corporations first attempts to develop Stealthy fighter jets in early 2000. Proposed fighter will be an air superiority fighter in the class of F-35 for countries who are looking forward to replacing their ageing fleet of Mig-29s. since the proposal is still in initial design and developmental stage India can afford to hop into the project but it will still be unclear if the new Russian fighter will be able to meet Indian Air Force requirements.

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    FCAS: Germany and Airbus Defense and Space are working on a replacement program for its Panavia Tornado bomber fleet which could also complement Eurofighter Typhoon. Proposed 5th generation fighter aircraft will be based on flying wing design which usually has limited air superiority fighter capabilities. FCAS simply does not fit the bill to complement Sukhoi-30 MKI nor it can be claimed to be a rightful successor for Sukhoi-30 MKI fleet.

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    Flygsystem 2020: FS2020 is a SAAB proposed a Future concept of manned fighter aircraft and often referred to has Stealth development of it Gripen fighter. FS2020 will feature canard configuration with three internal payload bays. Aircraft could be Gripen E replaced in the long term if it ever gets developed but initial observations suggest it will be light medium class aircraft just below F-35 for comparison. FS2020 will be below India’s AMCA Whether weight class and not above and SAAB will be happy to have a partner like India but IAF is not looking for a fighter matching AMCA weight class.

    [​IMG]

    Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin: Japanese experimental X-2 Shinshin aircraft for testing advanced stealth fighter aircraft technologies will be lead to the development of F-3 fighter aircraft to replace Boeing F-15J fighter fleet. With Japan already acquiring F-35 fighter jets from the US, the F-3 concept is still at initial stages and leaked concepts suggest Japan is working on at least 2 to 3 design which is completely different in nature and concept. but it appears that F-3 will be a heavyweight fighter which could be an ideal candidate to replace F-15 fighters and also will be above F-35.

    India and Japan have not yet co-develop any weapons systems together even though both countries have deeper diplomatic relationships, India joining Japans F-3 program is most unlikely to happen due to various factors.

    Conclusion : If FGFA does fail to take off , India will have two options , first is to tie with current programs under development so that it can also somehow benefit India’s AMCA Project in long term or Second options would be to work to create AMCA has lead Stealth fighter aircraft which could be complemented by another fighter aircraft of same weight class .

    Source
     
  2. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    If FGFA falls through ( I doubt it), India won't be signing up for any of these fantasy projects outlined above. It will be forced to focus 100% on AMCA and will rope in the French to an even greater degree in this regard.

    In that case there may be pressure to buy the F-35 from US lobbies and internal lobbies but I don't see it as feasible.
     
  3. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    AMCA is more real than all of the projects listed here.
     
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  4. PARIKRAMA

    PARIKRAMA Angel or Devil? Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    If I have to be a visionary.. beyond AMCA we should look at two projects

    1. Rafale NG beyond 2030 2035.. timeline
    2. A sub orbital hypersonic fighter fully armed with DEW and Laser
    This is manned projects..

    Unmanned should be Ghatak types.. all in a position to be controlled or provided cue by these two projects..

    We can of course look at unmanned LCA drone as well..
     
  5. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    AMCA will be a better bet than relying on FGFA. IAF seems to not happy with the FGFA and the progress is lagging behind due to political and bureaucratic issues.
    US lobbies will surely push for F-35 but will not agree for ToT even partially (so that goes out of the windows).
     
  6. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Yep that is my point as i quoted earlier. FGFA i dont think is not going to be inducted in numbers even if the project conceived and production starts in near future (When ? big question).
    US wont agree on ToT for F-35.
     
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  7. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    IAF is not happy with the PAK-FA as it exists today. Rightly they have pointed out the issues and the Russians know it themselves but are unable to correct them in a timely manner due to a lack of resources.

    The FGFA is a figment of imagination for now but can't progress if the PAK-FA isn't progressing (which it isn't).

    Right but forget about ToT, India and the US won't even be able to get to most basic of agreements signed that would enable the SALE (let alone ToT) of the F-35 to India.
     
  8. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Rightly said Figment of Imagination (Great comment).

    India should Push ahead with AMCA and work on Gripen to fill the Gaps until AMCA can be inducted. Gripen provides necessary ToT and Rafale is a off-Shelf purchase (not much help there). F-16 is obsolete no point in inducting but on business point of view great bet as Lockhead Martin is willing to shift the whole manufacturing process to India (one single customer service end point ) and after sales service of all the current F-16's ( 1900's active now) will be serviced in/by India .
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
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  9. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    Gripen offers no meaningful ToT for India, Rafale ToT will come as part of the larger follow on (locally produced) deal.

    Lockhead Martin, not Boeing and no matter what they claim they will NEVER shift the entire manufacturing process to India, that is a complete and utter lie and the power doesn't even lie in their hands but the US govt/Congress who would not green light such a proposal in a million years, especially not under Trump.
     
  10. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Provided it happens. Gripen is the better bet now to fill the Gap.

    Missed on LM, well it is going to direct Govt. to Govt. contract. US is shutting down the F-16 supply lines they jus want a route to move the Supply Chain infra. And Trump is Trump and Indian lobby is strong it may happen.

    Boeing is offering Super Hornet (mixed up there) F/A-18 Super Hornet offer which is equally good. The Super Hornets can perform better Air-Ground role and have great avionics suite as well. Boeing have offered domestic manufacturing & Transfer of Technology
     
  11. SrNair

    SrNair Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Pour a huge sum on AMCA project.Rope in all Indian industries in to this project .Of Course it wont be that perfect .But will create a good stealth fighter base .Order more Rafale and use those demands for acquiring more tech from Rafale .

    Noone gives you hard earned tech ,we have to create it .
     
  12. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    :smile: Mate most of those projects are already flying and have experienced companies behind it. We are just at the beginning with computer simulations and models. Not to mention that we even admit, that we need FGFA to gain know how for AMCA.
    It would be nice if we could get partners for AMCA though, but I guess our pride will prohibit that.
     
  13. PARIKRAMA

    PARIKRAMA Angel or Devil? Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    A mandatory condition for AMCA should be uprated Safranised Kaveri Engines.. and the family should be expanded further to power all stealth aircrafts.

    We should not have outside heart/engines in our Stealth projects.. JMHO.
     
  14. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    If IAF is not happy with Pak Fa's performance, how should they be happy with F35?
    And AFAIK it's not on offer anyway.
     
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  15. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Well we are just brainstorming on options of 5th Generation fighters and filling the gaps for the fighter squadrons.
     

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