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India Doesn’t Require F-16s When it Has Tejas

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by layman, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    October 30, 2015: The head of the Russian air force recently announced that their new “5th generation” T-50 (or PAK-FA) stealth fighter was passing all its flight tests and was now expected to enter service in 2017. This is surprising because in March Russia announced that they were reducing the number of production T-50s to be built by the end of the decade from 52 to 12. Russia already has five development models of the T-50 flying, although one was damaged in a fire. The Russian announcement did not cover specific reasons for the change. But Indian Air Force officials have been criticizing the progress of the T-50 program for over a year. This aircraft is the Russian answer to the U.S. F-22 and according to the Indians, who have contributed $300 million (so far) to development of the T-50, they are entitled by the 2007 agreement with Russian to have access to technical details. The Russians were accused to refusing to provide development updates as often and in as much detail the Indians expected. The Indians know from experience that when the Russians clam up about a military project it is usually because the news is bad and the Russians would rather not share. Until the Indian Air Force gives their view on this the optimistic Russian assessment of the T-50 must be regarded with caution. The latest T-50 announcement may be mainly to keep the Indians happy.

    The Russians have been trying to conceal T-50 problems since 2013, when Indian pilots and aviation experts had a chance to examine Russian progress and noted that the T-50 as it was then put together was unreliable. The Russian radar, which promised so much has delivered, according to the Indians, insufficient performance. The Indians also noted that the T-50s stealth features were unsatisfactory. Instead of answers to these questions all the Indians got until early 2015 were excuses and promises. Russia insisted this is all a misunderstanding, until now.

    In early 2015 the Russians were portraying the T-50 as a specialist aircraft to be built in small numbers. This is what the United States ended up doing with the F-22, which entered service in 2005. That decision was triggered by development problems and a final price per aircraft that was deemed (by Congress) too high to be affordable. The less expensive F-35 is moving in the same direction despite years of U.S. Air Force assurances that the F-35 benefitted from the F-22 experience. That was true, but the benefit did not bring the F-35 cost down sufficiently to prevent reductions in the number to be built. While only 195 F-22s were built, more than ten times of F-35s are to be built. But that is less than the planned amount. Originally 750 F-22s were planned, with no exports allowed. The F-35 is to be exported and it was hoped that a thousand or more would be sold overseas. But the rising cost of development and production is leading to reductions in U.S. and foreign orders.

    The T-50 is a 34 ton fighter that is more maneuverable than the 33 ton Su-27 it will replace, has much better electronics, is stealthy and can cruise at above the speed of sound. Russia is promising a fighter with a life of 6,000 flight hours and engines good for 4,000 hours. Russia promises world-class avionics, plus a very pilot-friendly cockpit. The use of many thrusters and fly-by-wire will produce an aircraft even more maneuverable than earlier Su-30s (which have been extremely agile). The problem the Indians have is that the improvements do not appear to be worth the additional investment. The T-50 costs at least 50 percent more than the Su-27. That would be some $60 million (for a bare bones model, at least 50 percent more with all the options), about what a top-of-the-line F-16 costs. The Su-27 was originally developed to match the American F-15.

    The T-50 is not meant to be a direct rival for the F-22 because the Russian aircraft is not as stealthy. But if the maneuverability and advanced electronics live up to the promises, the aircraft would be more than a match for every fighter out there other than the F-22. If such a T-50 was sold for under $100 million each there would be a lot of buyers. But it looks like the T-50 will cost more. For the moment the T-50 and the Chinese J-20 (and J-31) are the only potential competitors for the F-22 that are in development.

    Like the F-22, T-50 development expenses are increasing, and it looks like the T-50 will cost at least $120 million each (including a share of the development cost) but only if 500 or more are manufactured. Russia hopes to build as many as a thousand. Few F-22s were built because of the high cost. American developers are now seeking to apply their stealth, and other technologies, to the development of combat UAVs. Thus, by the time the T-50 enters service in large numbers at the end of the decade it may already be made obsolete by cheaper, unmanned, stealthy fighters. The United States, Russia, and China are all working on applying stealth technology to combat UAVs. Thus the mass produced 6th generation unmanned fighter may be the aircraft that replaces most current fighters

    The T-50 flew for the first time in January 2010, 13 years after the F-22 did so. Once the T-50 flew it was believed that the first 70 production models would be ordered by 2016 and be delivered by the end of the decade. The order number was later reduced to 52 and now it is 12. Some of the prototypes were to be handed over to the Russian Air Force or testing but that has not happened yet.

    Russians and Indians have been doing a lot of tinkering since the first T-50 flew. While the T-50 is the stealthiest aircraft the Russians have, it is not nearly as stealthy as the F-22, or even the F-35 or B-2. The Russians are apparently going to emphasize maneuverability instead of stealth. India wants more stealth and would prefer a two-seat aircraft. The problems with the T-50 engines and the defensive electronics are proving difficult to solve. This puts the T-50 at a big disadvantage against the F-22 or F-35, which try to detect enemy aircraft at long distance, without being spotted, and then fire a radar guided missile (like AMRAAM). These problems are apparently the main reason for the delays.

    The Russians want to export their "Fifth Generation Fighter" (which they admit is not true 5th Gen) to India and other foreign customers. With the Indian participation, Russia now has the billions of dollars it will take to carry out the T-50 development program. India is not just contributing cash but also technology and manufacturing capability. China is unlikely to be a customer because they have two “stealth fighter” designs in development and flying. India is too heavily invested to easily withdraw from the T-50 effort, but that might change if it becomes obvious that the T-50 development is going to get a lot more expensive and take a lot longer. Russia has already told its air force generals to prepare for a future full of Su-30s. This also bothers the Indians, who are having lots of unexpected reliability and performance with their two hundred or so Su-30s.
     
  2. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Don't go by all these reports.

    The competition is over, we are done with it. It has become irrelevant.

    No, this is how all tenders will happen now. They will pick the winning bid and then close the tender and initiate GTG discussions.
     
  3. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    One retired officer observed that the deal seems to have been guided more by “political prudence than operational requirements.”
     
  4. zebra7

    zebra7 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    1. FGFA would take around 2028-2030.

    2. Lets face the reality, that HAL share won't be much in FGFA (around 10%), because due to the stealth airframe build requirement, it won't be possible for the modular manufacturing, which would be made completely in Russia, and shipped in kit form for assembly. As far as the Indian contribution is concerned than India will contribute in the Avionics and cockpit design/modification with the help of French and Israel, HAL Mission computer, weapon store management unit, GTSU develoved engine starter already used in LCA and MKI, Onboard oxygen generator, secured UHF Radio with indian encryption, Secured Data link, carbon brakes, Display panels, frameless HUD and various sensors, emergency seats, Dash Helmet, and various avionics from france, israel, etc. As far as weapon is concerned than Indian BVRAAM Astra-2, Indo-israel glide bomb, and Indo-russian Brahmos-Mini.

    3. Chinese have stealth platform which one J20 -- LOL. How much Chinese brags about J20, in reality it is very easy to build the stealth Airframe, but very difficult to build power plant aka engine, and Airborne Aesa Radar and avionics and 5th generation weapons. In my earlier post, I have explained that J20, was the urgent requiremnt/necessity for the Chinese in South China border to create Anti Denial plan quick jumped from the blue prints, and flight data from the MIG scrapped design/prototype and depends on the Russian engine, and airborne MMR and avionics, which she needed desperately, that's why SU-35 deal. Second you are confused with the 5th Generation plane and 5th Generation Airwarfare capability. Rest assure Rafale F3R is more capable than J20, since it is 5th generation capable OmniRole fighter plane. And for J-31, that is the Poor man, stealth labeled product meant for the export with first export customer as PAF and is full one decade away, because Russia won't allow its RD93/33 engine to make a competitor and Chinese are strugling in Engine manufacturing. BTW China have planned to invest 100 Billion in next few years, of which a large sum will be for the engine development, showing the desperation of the Chinese.

    4. In the present time, only USA has that capability, which you feared and the nations getting F35 could even not able to airborne without US Sever authentication and live tracker. 2030 is not a bad time. For AMCA -- its ADA's pilot project, and how could ADA speed up, when IAF/INAF still have to issue the RFQR for their requiremnt. Actually what is needed is the DARPA type organisation to streamline, requirement, development, Human development, evaluation of threat/technology, funds which some people have demanded. Let democracy/beurocracy takes its time. Once done, all problems would be sorted out.


    My biggest fear is the Reliance. I have seen the working of Reliance from close. They have only one target money/profit, no technology/development interest, they will only buy another defence company, and hire using their money to make more money. What is worrisome is thier reach in politics and buerocracy and the smart capability to take the orders. TATA, and Mahindra is far far better candidate.

    IAF was against F-16, because they always wanted the French due to familarity with the french weapon, and the customisation and flexness which IAF profer won't be available for the IAF.

    I don't know what you are talking about the capability. I will try to explain it in my best possible way.

    IAF trains with Royal Singaporean F-16 block 52 in dact excercise round the year, trains the pilot how the enemy plane could maneuvour or the tactics used by the Singapore pilots to evade lockons, evasive maneuvour, tactics to gain uperhand which USAF have trained them, same way they trained the PAF (offcource they too have developed their own tactics), and our own tactics which will be developed from the experience gained from it. An IAF pilot sharing the cockpit, could see what inputs does the sensors are recieving when fighting airwar againsta IAF fighter planes (Mig 29, Jaguar, MKI, Mirage 2000, Migs). In case of EW warfare, the IAF could study block 52 Pulse dopler radars frequency, and evaluate, and work on to program/fine tune the escort jammers, its RWR, MAWS to be able to sense them. IAF could study its weakness and thier weakness against it etc etc ..............

    On the other hand, PAF knows everything inside out of F-16 -- Ha Ha LOL. All F-16 block 52 are maintained by US technitian and specially Chinese are barred for the base, and few based of Pakistan can only house F-16. An technitians know better and more than a pilot of an aitcraft. But for you sake lets assume PAF know all what their f-16 is capable (apart from the max height it could pull, rate of climb, AoA) so did they knew the weakness of MKI, the advantages of MKI, its BARs Radar information, Its EW capability, and its flying characteristics.

    There is no chance of F-16 in India. Even if it comes to IAF, then still it will have the upperhand, due to AESA Radar, HOBS AAM like AIM 9X.

    For Air Defence we have MKI, Mig 29UPG for that. If this plane is inducted, that that would be certainly for the long range strike role (Similar to Rafale).

    And in the real world, the airbase close to the border inside India housed MIG 21 Bison, and most of the planes are housed deep inside the country and only moved to the forward bases for the refueling, and rearmament. And BTW

    1. Dog fight involves very close fight few km.

    2. Why do you want to dogfight to attack such a close airbase, when you can drop Glide bomb from strandoff distance. And as a defender why would you induct SAM, when you need to scramble jet for dogfight over airbase close to border.

    Lage rah Mamoo, Average Pakistani with DP Averageamerican.
     
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  5. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Kewl Thread.

    One small Q, won't Qatar offer Rafales to Pak in the time of need. Point to ponder upon. Happened before.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  6. zebra7

    zebra7 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Then those Rafales too won't be spared from being converted into scrap.
     
  7. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Funny point was until Such time India was negotiating for Rafale's there was not much news on Qatar front. And Immediately India Signs, Qatar signs them too...
    Interesting how GCC backs, even including Jordan.
     
  8. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Whenever there is competition, all companies innovate. That's why the focus on two private companies. In the future, these two companies will have to compete along with HAL. Even Reliance will be forced to innovate or lose business. This is the defence industry, only one company gets a contract.
     
  9. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Problem with following desi journalists. IAF squadron numbers
    will never down below 20, i don't even see it reaching 30!.

    IAF already have 13 MKI sq + 9 M2k,m29,Jag D3 = 22 sq


    By 2027
    On order 2 Rafale + 6 LCA


    It's safe to assume 3-4 Rafale,lca or any other SE fighter in that time period.

    It's 30+ anyday.
     
  10. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Please read the full post.
    Gap said is around 180 fighters.
     
  11. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    As I said before, it's not about studying the fighter but gaining experience with it. That means pilot and ground crew training, get used to it's logistics and tactics, for the best possible way to use it in war. Fighting PAF is another issue, that however comes later and even if you deny it, their 30 years of experience and training with that type is a clear advantage for them and IAF knows that we'll.

    They didn't because Chinas Su 30s didn't got canards, TVC or BARS radar from Russia, but those are the main features that sets the MKI apart in air combats. Not to mention that the custom EW capabilities are Indian/Israeli.

    Aesa radar is only an advantage if the fighters doesn't have AWACS support, but so far PAF has the advantage here. They have HMS too, just didn't got the AIM 9X, which makes our upper hand questionable.

    No, since the F16s won't be provided with any long range land attack missile. We didn't even seem to have SLAMER on offer as it seems, since IAF and IN got the normal Harpoon missiles only.
    So they will add to air defence and CAS mainly, just cheaper and less capable as a Rafale. Deep strikes will be limited to Rafale and MKI.

    It's about the close proximity of air bases on both sides of the border, which means you don't need much time to get wvr. Besides that our current fleet doesn't have any glide bombs included yet. One reason why the addition of Spice 1000 or 250, just as AASM, through Rafale or LCA would be important to keep up with the enemy.

    Simply for the fact that SAMs are mobile and can be used at various places, while an air base is a fixed location.
     
  12. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Doubtful, first of all for political reasons with France and US, secondly that would make them a target for Indian retribution too and they certainly get defend against us.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  13. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    The squadron issue is more statistical than a real issue, since the numbers are based on the old fleet numbers that included dedicated A2A and A2G fighters. The Jags for example can only be used in ground attack, therefor counting them to show enough fighters on paper to counter both enemies is rather mood.
    With every MKI and the upgrades of M2K and Mig 29, we basically replace 2 older squads, because we can do more with less today. So we only need to have enough numbers of fighters for air defence, while ground attack will be included anyway.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  14. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Agreed ,I remember we discussing this like 4 years ago. :azn:
     
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  15. zebra7

    zebra7 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Strategic deal with france -- India will partner with the Dassault for the Spares and MRO facilities to the Rafale customers, just like what Sukhoi is doing with the SU30. India will be the MRO hub and spares suplier for the Asian and African customer, with lower labor cost. This also includes the Scorpean deal, and not only Qatar, UAE Scorpean will also will have the MRO facilities and spares storage and manufacturing by Indian OEMs.
     

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