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Replacement For Mig 27M Bahadur

Discussion in 'Indian Military Doctrine' started by MilSpec, Jun 18, 2012.

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  1. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    Hello folks,

    I was wondering what should be the appropriate replacement for Mig 27M Bahadur. I know the HAL wants to Field Su 30 MKI and rafale as its premier fighters till 2020 when PakFA enters service and takes over the mantle.
    Mig 27M's are scheduled to retire by 2025, Which might also coincide with the Jags. there are around 140 Mig 27M's in service optimized for ground attack.

    To stick to ground attack aircraft, it is viable to either use multi role aircrafts like Rafale in larger number to take over that role or a swing role fighter like MKI take up 27's ground attack role. The problem of using MKI or Rafale in ground attack role, these platforms can be more effectively used in Air interdiction, SEAD, Maritime and Air superiority configurations. Hence employing them would take out usefull offensive assets for a ground attack role.

    Next option is LCA Mk2, which again is a potent small multirole fighter (hopefully), which can be successfully used for ground attack and can reconfigure easily for point defense. The problem with LCA and its relative payload is to successfully fill Mig 27 (and jaguars ) vaccum will need at least 350+ in numbers which are not seen in the distant horizon.

    opinions?
     
  2. Skull and Bones

    Skull and Bones Doctor Death Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Other than Tejas MK2, i can't find any other replacement for Mig-27s given that we're not going for any other foreign platform acquisitions.
     
  3. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    numbers need to be way more than what is in the pipeline...
     
  4. Skull and Bones

    Skull and Bones Doctor Death Staff Member MODERATOR

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    IAF policy makers failed to see that numbers do play a crucial role in the time of crisis.
     
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  5. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    What about additional MKI's may be if number go even higher up, the prices will go down , the tooling is already there, without ramping up the production rates, Increase numbers to say 435 MKI's with last of the 150 coming out from 2018-2022 replacing the Mig 27's in phases. Or letting the newer MKI's go to Strike Sqdns and older MKI replacing the Mig 27's.
     
  6. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    I'm not sure of it but I think it are the Rafales that are going to replace Mig-27s.

    The Raffies built in India with ToT would be entering service starting 2016..it's likely they'll
    cost lesser than the ones bought off-the-shelf from France (which cost $90 million per piece).
    So there they'll be available by the time mig-27 is phased out.

    If not this, then we should buy the far cheaper MKI, but optimised towards ground-attack role
    (like the Su-30SM of russian air force), or even something like the Su-34 Fullback, which is a
    steathlier version of the flanker design with twin-seats side-by-side and stealthy angled nose,
    the Su-34 shares many parts and components with the Su-30MKI therefore minimal overhaul
    of current infrastructure can be sufficient for catering for the needs of the new aircraft.

    Besides the Indian Strategic Forces Command (SFC) is also looking to get some 40-50 ground-attack
    aircraft for nuclear strike roles.
     
  7. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    Rafale will be operational, but is indicative that will be primarily used as a strike platform. Apart from that Mig 27M will be getting a new radar (speculated agave, could be the kopyo III upg) that will give it an appearance of the the older 23, this will give the 27 limited air to air capabilities (please remember the mig 23 the base aircraft for mig 27 was mach 2.37 air superiority fighter) and maritime strike capabilities (KH 57ME most likely).Hence 27MLS will be operational till 2022-2025

    I knew the su 34 would come up in discussion, but i dont think there is any need add another separate platform to IAF, fullback will need separate tooling. BTW MKI's current prices are kept under wraps, it migh surprise quite a few people.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  8. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    So mig-27 could be converted into a multi-role platform from the current ground
    attack platform in the next upgrade? that would be interesting
     
  9. Vritra

    Vritra Major ELITE MEMBER

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    Su-30MKI/Rafale are not an ideal option.

    LCA Mk.2... Plans for its sensors show that it should be a more potent replacement in the A2G role, but its payload is severly limited. So is its range, gerations compared.

    AMCA was the intended replacement for Mirages and Jaguars. Don't know if that's still in effect. It brings an LO aspect to the table, which makes it ideal for medium/long range SEAD/strike/interdiction. Meanwhile, UCAVs, which give our troops on the ground a larger aspect of support control, should be allowed to handle CAS.

    I'm not sure the IAF/IA have the same requirement for CAS as the US or Russia, but if we are to go for a manned aircraft, we need something capable of carrying a decent payload and being tremendously cheap to operate at the same time. A light-attack aircraft. Something like the basic trainer HAL just put out engine RFIs for, armoured, mounted with sensors and the ability to drop laser bombs, rockets, and iron bombs.
     
  10. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Mig-27 is a dedicated ground strike ac with a limited range. LCA MK2 will have better load and precision than Mig-27. india is now moving away from dedicated role type ac to multirole ac. That helps in reducing the type of airframes and also stores and spares management besides better manpower utilisation. By 2025 we may have only Mig-29s, SU-30s, M2K, LCA Mk2, MMRCA & AMCA maybe a few Jags also. The training role will be done by Pilatus, Sitara, Hawk & LCA Mk1.
     
  11. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    The mig 23/27 powerplant Khatchaturov R-35-300 afterburning turbojet is rated higher, The air frame weighs more than LCA and can carry around 4-5 tonnes of armament compared to LCA's similar payload capability. It seems LCA might be the right choice to replace both the 21's and 27's.

    Now it is of utmost importance to ensure LCA mk2 are ordered in the range of 300-375 to fulfill ground attack, and combat air patrol needs for the forces.
     
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  12. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    LCA MK2 's payload is similar to that of Mig 27 but ofcourse limited when compared to other dedicated ground attack fighters. I am not a big fan of unmanned stuff as they are very easy to shoot down compared to a combat supersonic a/c (we ain't uncle sam).

    I keep hearing of converting trainers to CAS roles but there is nothing in the pipeline, at least in public domain.
     
  13. kewlol

    kewlol 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    I tend to differ with you on the opinion that CAS is the least important role in the Airforce and just pushing a normal fighter towards it would not be a wise decision. We certainly need a defined fighter which excels in CAS support, much like the M2k. Yeah the upgraded M2k will certainly lead the CAS role in the future. But considering most battle scenario, all above mentioned roles(Air interdiction, SEAD, Maritime and Air superiority) would constitute to only 20-25% of the total mission utilization. We would be probably running more CAS than other missions. So we should be prepared to convert the multirole capabilities to be effective utilized towards CAS operations and SEAD perhaps. I guess the Rafale would replace the Jags and Bahadurs, the reason being Rafale is a platform that was evolved from M2k, so we can be sure that it does have all that tech infused into it. So naturally it will be a better ground fighter than most other choices that we have. The LCA being used for CAS is something i am sure, LCA would replace MiG21's it would just help us in numbers and could help us to fight in numbers, i don't see it as a standalone platform replacing any specific role by itself. I know many would disagree with me, but if i was the marshall i would never risk a whole mission in the hands of a new fighter from an indigenous origin, also considering its history of development. I am not saying that the LCA is incapable, its just a new platform with relatively medium specs and are basically inducted to shore up numbers.

    So in my opinion Rafale's would eventually turn up to the CAS roles, yeah they will also fly superiority roles, but in limited numbers. M2k and Rafale's would lead the pack along with support from the LCA's. Considering we are going ahead in time and looking at 2025, i see the IAF etching towards a fleet size of 50sqns. So we will surely be looking at AC's like MiG29SM, M2k, LCA Mk2 or Mk3, AMCA(based on what LCA evolves into), AURA's, Su-30, Rafale, FGFA.

    Of all these, i am guessing FGFA and Su-30 will lead the Air Dominance roles. MiG29SM will help out Air dominance and will also take out escort roles. M2k and Rafale will be used for CAS roles. The AMCA along with the FGFA will do SEAD roles. The LCA will be a fighter that will be a swing role fighter helping out in all roles with the ability to make up numbers, their superior avionics and composite airframe along with missile variations will make them a versatile fighter, switching roles and aiding every role we see fit.

    Regarding maritime fighting, i guess our Naval wing will swing into action first rather than our Airforce. So we can see MiG29K, Rafale's and LCA navy being used for mixed bag of roles. If BrahmosII is ready by then, then MiG29K and Rafale's would be knocking the shit out of ships, the exocet will also be a good missile in taking out other relative ships. LCA will provide forward penetration and also will be used for shoreline defense. So if the Navy runs out of juice, which i don't see happening unless we are at war with the US, the Airforce will swing into action and considering the lead fighter being MiG29 and Rafale, i expect the Airforce to use the same AC's along with the Navy. If things go well, we might have a Naval AMCA or Naval FGFA, but i doubt that is going to happen before 2025, even if they are produced they won't be operational.

    So i think these are the scenarios in which we might have to shore up things, so my solution to the problem is like stated above. Let me hear your opinions on these.
     
  14. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    Hi,
    Mig 27 is an ground attack aircraft and it's replacement needs to excel in the same role. Indeed rafale would be good choice and will fit the bill along with added capabilities. Let's understand try to understand ground attack role better, ground attack is a primary role of attacking targets on the ground with greater precision than strategic bombers and prepared to face stronger low-level air defense. Close air support is one of the roles of a ground attack aircraft but not limited to it, it also involves air interdiction and SEAD missions.

    Your reservations about using an indian origin aircraft may not really be a problem as IAF will not except a substandard LCA mk2 into service without it being as reliable as any other platform that they can use or procure.

    There are two distinct geographical scenarios where ground attack aircrafts are most likely required for in the immediate threat perception. mountainous regions of kashmir and tank country of the punjab sindh and rajhasthan. High altitude precision strikes would definitely need a dedicated targeting pod like Litening (one of the main reasons for not using mig 27's in 99) LCA will employ this pod. Next important factor in ground attack is survivability to ground fire, none of Indian aircrafts provide that including the 27M, All LCA mk2 will provide here is a smaller target which might just be a blessing in a tight situation.

    Rafale and LCA mk2 both have multi role capabilities (hopefully). Rafale will have a better radar, better BVR missile, better range and payload and supersonic maneuverability. That makes the rafale (and by same properties the MKI) an better option for strikes deep within the enemy territory, like strike missions, air interdiction, Offensive Counter air and hunter killer roles. Whereas LCA mk2 can always carry it's protection load of R73 or pythons along with its ground attack load and provide forward area control for the IBGS. Also with its targeting pod and its avionics suite it is being designed to be a precision vehicle for high altitude bombing. Dont get me wrong, CAS is an important role, We cannot employ a fighter like A10 because we will never be in a position of fighting like USAF finds itself, Hence our CAS striker needs to be nimble and when push comes to shove It needs to be able to engage enemies multirole aircraft because during some emergency CAS call, there might not be a Mig 29 providing air superiority to a cas package, In case of Air interdiction or dedicated strike missions there always will be an air cover by MKi's / M29's or even rafales and m2K's and for swing role strike packages like MKI and Rafale formations may not even need additional cover as they can take care of themselves.

    Similarly LCA mk2 ground attack package might be self sufficient (just like a rafale and mki sqdn in the same role), the only difference is most CAS will be near our borders max 200 K inside enemy territory, which is easily accountable by LCAs range. Also if you look at the assortment of Bombs for the LCA at aero india, it seems it's being optimised as precision strike vehicle.


    It's true that MKI, Rafale, M2K even the Mig 29SMT can operate ground targets, I just think in the theater of operations LCA mk2 might be the most optimal choice among the contenders.
     
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  15. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    ^^Plus it's indigenous:tup:

    What HAL must look into is how to increase mass-production rates and churn out more aircraft
    per year. If to replace fleet of MiG-27s in CAS + replace MiG-21 we need atleast 350 Tejas fighters
    total. Nice thread, Sandy bhai!
     
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