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Thread: Indian Air Force Thread - 19

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackArcher View Post
    It reveals that "Khappuski", the nickname that AM Ahluwahlia gave him was a corruption of "Khappe" (meaning left handed)
    "Khabbe" punjabi for left

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mildave View Post
    The article while very nice on the narrative stand point has clearly an agenda in promoting the Mig-35 for the MMRCA deal.
    I would love to read the point of view of those you flew against the Mig-29 during that exercise.
    where did you see the author mention about the MMRCA deal. In his closing remarks he was mentioning the up-gradation of the MiG-29s. The article was likely penned down by the Air Marshall earlier and the editorial team probably timed it as they did not have any article related to the MiG-29(?). If we take the amount of pages that have been dedicated to M2k and then later-on for Rafale (and other contestants) in the same magazine (and all aerospace magazines in India) from 2005 onwards, it would easily weigh a few hundred grams (or a few Kg), where as those on MiG-29 can be easily counted with our fingers without loosing track.

    In the whole MMRCA contest, MiG-29/35 was the only competitor that did not have the political weight behind it and also had the least amount of sales pitch. Where as everyone else had the political force behind their aircraft. MiG-29/35 campaign itself was a disaster as the command was given to Sukhoi bosses to promote the MiG-35 and seal the deal.
    It doesn't need much to guess how much of an effort or sincere Sukhoi guys would have been in clinching the deal, when Sukhoi is doing everything it can to number-plate RAC-MiG and be the lone monopoly in the aircraft business.

    Quote Originally Posted by uss novice View Post
    I recall the late BHarry mentioning something like a 7:1 BVR score in favor of the fulcrum in IAF Dact (Acig.org). The N019 was much more powerful than the RDI?, and the R27 has longer legs than the Matra Super 530.

    Serviceability is a draw with a marginal advantage to the teen/M2k. The fulcrum's complaints were mainly due to the break up of the FSU. It is not as much an issue today.
    He mentioned about the MiG-29s better raid-discrimination compared to the RDY unit. It was probably because, unlike the m2k, almost everything in MiG-29s were prioritized for air-defense.

    Regarding the service and the bad-reputation for the MiG-29 in terms of serviceability, you are right. People simply ignore the events of that time. Problem with FSU started growing rapidly around 1989 (just 6-12 months after that exercise) and the support chain might have got affected early itself. In short, events that unfolded during that time let down a very capable fighter and helped those bitching about MiG-29s to brand it as an unreliable aircraft.

    Now that both are going to be upgraded/under up-gradation.... we are likely to see some good capability enhancement for the MiG-29s. I'm waiting for the duet between IAF Rafale and IN MiG-29K. Both are good dog fighters but MiG-29K is limited to 8g.

  3. #33
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    its a bit of an unfair comparison in the end

    Mirage 2000 is the size of a Gripen

    MiG-29 is the weight of the F-15A and almost the same size too!
    Fair enough, how well have fulcrums held up against F-15s? Did USAF F-15s do DACT vs. Luftwaffe 29s? How about IAF Baaz?

    I think pure WVR, the HMS for the fulcrum would again give it a major advantage. Have no idea about turn rates, although there was this gent on F-16.net who had flown the F-15, F-16 and MiG-29 for plenty of hours. He said if iirc, that the STR on the 29 and 15 were comparable but the F-16 was ahead.

    I think if the Eagle had much better endurance and could disengage/reengage as and when needed. Fulcrum always had short legs.

  4. #34
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    Once the Luftwaffe got rid of most of the useless ex East German pilots and put ex Phantom pilots in their Mig-29 the results were interesting.

    BVR or long WVR using Radar guided missiles the Eagle dominated pure and simple (for that matter so did the Phantom), the radar fitted to the Mig-29 at that point was just obsolete in comparison to the latest western systems (with the caveat that we hadn't seen the best Russian radars fitted to the Mig-31 and Su-27) . WVR Mig-29 was lethal albeit that was in many ways more down to the AA-11 and helmet mounted sight combination. Then again the early model Mig-29 the Germans operated were almost Bingo fuel by the time they could get WVR.

    What bemused the West German air force pilot community was doctrinally the East Germans favoured the old style GCI tactics of Eastern Europe and didn't make the most of what the missile HMS gave them capability wise...then again I add a cautionary note to that conclusion: I think the Russians kept the DDR pilots on a very short leash!

    In the end those early Mig-29 were designed as an affordable (even disposable) replacement for the Mig-23 and its main area for operation would of been the FEBA.
    Last edited by Fedaykin; 18th May 2012 at 15:34.
    A future lost through a lack of vision!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTM4v...eature=related

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by JangBoGo View Post
    The article says they also made good use of their radar against the m2k.
    Regarding the uptimes, it mostly had to do with the service network which was broken due to the political situation that evolved during that time.
    Absolutely wrong there.The Mig 29 had several weaknesses related to servicability of its components.Particularly two - very short mtbo of the RD 33 and short mtbf of its radar. This resulted in overall very poor availability of the Mig 29 fleet.

    There were deficiencies in its spare supply chain as well of which the less said the better.
    PEOPLE.FIRST.MISSION.ALWAYS.
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  6. #36
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    Once the Luftwaffe got rid of most of the useless ex East German pilots and put ex Phantom pilots in their Mig-29 the results were interesting.

    BVR or long WVR using Radar guided missiles the Eagle dominated pure and simple (for that matter so did the Phantom), the radar fitted to the Mig-29 at that point was just obsolete in comparison to the latest western systems (with the caveat that we hadn't seen the best Russian radars fitted to the Mig-31 and Su-27) . WVR Mig-29 was lethal albeit that was in many ways more down to the AA-11 and helmet mounted sight combination. Then again the early model Mig-29 the Germans operated were almost Bingo fuel by the time they could get WVR.

    What bemused the West German air force pilot community was doctrinally the East Germans favoured the old style GCI tactics of Eastern Europe and didn't make the most of what the missile HMS gave them capability wise...then again I add a cautionary note to that conclusion: I think the Russians kept the DDR pilots on a very short leash!

    In the end those early Mig-29 were designed as an affordable (even disposable) replacement for the Mig-23 and its main area for operation would of been the FEBA.
    Yes, I'd imagine the 29s would have trouble vs. the Eagle in BVR. We have to also keep in mind that the German fulcrums were somewhat monkey versions - in terms of engines, and possibly radar(?).

    It'd be interesting to know how IAF MiG-29s fared vs. USAF F-15s, F-16s and Adla M2k-5s. AFAIK, these 29s saw some periodic upgrades and fielded the rather capable N019, further, they tweaked the airframe a bit as well with composites and what not to reduce weight + RCS I am guessing.

  7. #37
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    Very curious how the Phantom "dominated" BVR.
    The Phantom was not exactly packing that great of a radar.

    Finally was scewed the results of those trials was the DDR pilots had precious little air time in the past several years.
    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayrubik View Post
    Absolutely wrong there.The Mig 29 had several weaknesses related to servicability of its components.Particularly two - very short mtbo of the RD 33 and short mtbf of its radar. This resulted in overall very poor availability of the Mig 29 fleet.

    There were deficiencies in its spare supply chain as well of which the less said the better.
    You know the MTBO of the engine had to do with the Soviet scheme of aircraft maintenance right?
    Not a design weakness.
    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR1 View Post
    Very curious how the Phantom "dominated" BVR.
    The Phantom was not exactly packing that great of a radar.

    Finally was scewed the results of those trials was the DDR pilots had precious little air time in the past several years.
    Phantom was an overrated piece of machinery. it was not a bad aircraft, not by any means. but only gained promenance cuz of how wide spread its combat use was. It certainly got spanked by supposedly lower performing aircraft.

    in many ways its the MiG-29 of its day.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR1 View Post
    Very curious how the Phantom "dominated" BVR.
    The Phantom was not exactly packing that great of a radar.

    Finally was scewed the results of those trials was the DDR pilots had precious little air time in the past several years.
    The old girl did surprisingly well if flown with its abilities.

    In respect of radar if we are talking about the F-4 ICE then its no contest as it is fitted with the AN/APG-65 which is vastly superior to the fairly basic system fitted to the DDR Mig-29.

    Also don't dismiss the AN/AWG-10 and AN/AWG-12 fitted to earlier Phantoms they are excellent radar sets with good track range, target discrimination and resistance to clutter. It also has the advantage of a dedicated WSO/RIO over the overworked pilot of the early generation Mig-29. In NATO exercises during the 1980's AN/AWG-10 and AN/AWG-12 USAF and RAF Phantoms could see, track and engage F-16A with early AN/APG-66 which is a newer more modern radar before the latter had even seen them!

    Most of the comparative performance testing was done by ex Luftwaffe Phantom drivers, logical considering they had a good understanding of F4 performance making comparison easier. I have heard rumour that some USAF F-15 drivers spent time on the squadron as well.

    We certainly shouldn't judge Mig-29 performance on the basis of the DDR pilots certainly.
    Last edited by Fedaykin; 18th May 2012 at 18:32.
    A future lost through a lack of vision!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTM4v...eature=related

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedaykin View Post
    The old girl did surprisingly well if flown with its abilities.

    In respect of radar if we are talking about the F-4 ICE then its no contest as it is fitted with the AN/APG-65 which is vastly superior to the fairly basic system fitted to the DDR Mig-29.
    Btw, what does DDR stand for? I know former east Germany was abbreviated as GDR iirc, but what is DDR, GDR AF?

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by uss novice View Post
    Btw, what does DDR stand for? I know former east Germany was abbreviated as GDR iirc, but what is DDR, GDR AF?
    Deutsche Demokratische Republik = German Democratic Republic
    Bundesrepublik Deutschland = Federal Republic of Germany

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterStars View Post
    Deutsche Demokratische Republik = German Democratic Republic
    Bundesrepublik Deutschland = Federal Republic of Germany
    Thanks, been a while since I saw those abbreviations.

  14. #44
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    A future lost through a lack of vision!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTM4v...eature=related

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedaykin View Post


    Eastern Germany was better off being East Germany.

    Lufthansa can never replace Interflug

    thats why so many East Germans are angry and bitter.

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-20 Hotdog View Post
    Eastern Germany was better off being East Germany.

    Lufthansa can never replace Interflug

    thats why so many East Germans are angry and bitter.
    Ever been to East Germany when it was so? For me, as an American, it was a scary place that I just wanted to leave. I was there as a teenager a couple of years before the wall fell, visiting family. I was watched considerably.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freehand View Post
    Ever been to East Germany when it was so? For me, as an American, it was a scary place that I just wanted to leave. I was there as a teenager a couple of years before the wall fell, visiting family. I was watched considerably.
    A lot has changed since 1990. . But lets spare this thread.

  18. #48
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    Amen on that WinterStars!

    All I can say is anybody who wants a funny take on that strange time of change should watch this film:

    Goodbye Lenin!
    A future lost through a lack of vision!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTM4v...eature=related

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayrubik View Post
    Absolutely wrong there.The Mig 29 had several weaknesses related to servicability of its components.Particularly two - very short mtbo of the RD 33 and short mtbf of its radar. This resulted in overall very poor availability of the Mig 29 fleet.

    There were deficiencies in its spare supply chain as well of which the less said the better.
    exactly. the RD-33 had problems unrelated to spares and more related to quality control, failure before MTBF and MTBO figures and the poor spares and support only compounded the IAF's woes with the MiG-29 fleet.

    Multiple sources confirmed this and it was our own CAG that put out a report that confirmed this way back in 1993. This article gives the details


    There were extensive problems encountered in operational and maintenance due to the large number of pre-mature failures of engines, components, and systems. Of the total of 189 engines in service, 139 engines (74%) failed pre-maturely and had been withdraw from service by July 1992, thus effectively shutting down operations. 62 of these engines had not even accomplished 50% of their 300 hours first overhaul point. Thus the desired serviceability showed a steadily decreasing trend.

    Engineering reports mainly attribute RD-33 failures to design/material deficiencies causing discolored engine oil (8), cracks in the nozzle guide vanes (31), and surprisingly, foreign object damage (FOD). The eight material deficient engines (discolored oil) were repaired by the contractor under warrantee provisions, but the engines had to be recycled to the manufacturer. The thirty-one engines with cracks in their nozzle guide vanes were fixed in the field by contractor teams and adjustments were made to the entire engine fleet. But even though the incidents reduced the occurrences of the cracks, they continued.
    But the FOD situation is the most interesting, especially after the inlet FOD doors received world press coverage, but there were other concerns about production quality control that led to problems.

    Since the Indian Air Force received early model Fulcrum A's, some just after the 200th production article, there were quality control deficiencies that resulted in numerous pieces of FOD (foreign object damage) and tools being left behind after final construction inside of the aircraft. Remember that the Fulcrum skeleton is made first and then the skin is riveted over top, in the way aircraft were made in the fifties and sixties in the West. Nuts, bolts, tools, etc. all made their way to the engine bays and inlet ducts and when they were loosened up after accelerations they damaged engines and equipment.

    On top of all this, it was discovered that the unique FOD doors on the MiG-29's inlets were not stopping material from getting into the engine ducts. Since the doors retracted "up" into the inlet, debris that was kicked up by the nose wheel lodged on or at the bottom of the door seal and then was ingested into the engine when the door opened during the nose gear lifted off the ground during takeoff.

    This problem was known from the earliest days. After the first four MiG-29 prototypes were evaluated, the nose gear was moved further back, but nose wheel "mud-flaps" or guards were still required to protect the engine from flying debris. It took until 1988 before all delivered aircraft were so equipped, therefore the initial batch of InAF aircraft had to be locally retro-fitted with mud guards and that activity was not completed until June 1992. All costs were supposed to be re-imbursed by the contractor but Mikoyan reneged and left the InAF with $300,000 in liabilities. In subsequent MiG-29K/M models the FOD doors were replaced by screens that closed "down", forcing any debris out of the louvers repositioned to the lower side of the inlet duct..

    The Indian Air Force procurement contract was concluded in September 1986, and the first engine was expected to go into overhaul in 1989. However, four engines prematurely came up for overhaul and no repair facility had been prepared. As time went on, 115 of the 122 engines (94%) prematurely failed and had to be re-cycled through engine depots in Russia at great cost. Backlogs were created and only 79 (65%) engines returned on schedule. Even when a regional Indian repair facility was completed in August 1994, the high failure rates continued and the majority of broken engines had to be sent back to Russian depots. Self-sufficiency was achieved in 1994, only after the operations tempo was significantly reduced on a permanent basis. In the process of refurbishing failed engines, the total technical life of most of the engine fleet was effectively reduced from 800 hours / 8 years to 400 hours / 4 years, at a minimum.

    Non-availability of radar and weapon system components also resulted in the grounding of seven aircraft for a period of six to twenty months. Two may have been damaged for life due to cannibalization. Besides this, a large number of subsystems and computers experienced unpredicted failures in the last four years which adversely effected the operational readiness of the squadrons. Some of the computers were field-repaired by specialists from the manufacturers, others were replaced. These repair costs were all in excess to the initial contract costs. It was noted that the 10 additional computers, which were imported, cost the InAF around $806,000. Two Flight Data Ground Processing Units quickly became unserviceable during their warranty period and have been lying un-utilized and un-repaired for over two years.

    The InAF Headquarters also noted in March 1991 report that a severe shortage of product support equipment had resulted in the decline of fleet availability by 15-20%, which in turn, took negative effect on operational readiness and mission requirements.
    The last para talks about spares supply problems that grounded a part of the fleet for extended periods. But, the point that JangBogo was making about people maligning the MiG-29 for no reason is not at all true. the IAF in fact would've ordered a lot more MiG-29s had their experience with the fighter's reliability been good. As things stood, the IAF inducted neither the MiG-29 nor the Mirage-2000 in large numbers since the Su-30 came in the picture by 1994.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR1 View Post
    You know the MTBO of the engine had to do with the Soviet scheme of aircraft maintenance right?
    Not a design weakness.
    As my previous post clearly shows, these were design weaknesses and had nothing to do with aircraft maintenance schemes.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackArcher View Post
    exactly. the RD-33 had problems unrelated to spares and more related to quality control, failure before MTBF and MTBO figures and the poor spares and support only compounded the IAF's woes with the MiG-29 fleet.

    Multiple sources confirmed this and it was our own CAG that put out a report that confirmed this way back in 1993. This article gives the details



    The last para talks about spares supply problems that grounded a part of the fleet for extended periods. But, the point that JangBogo was making about people maligning the MiG-29 for no reason is not at all true. the IAF in fact would've ordered a lot more MiG-29s had their experience with the fighter's reliability been good. As things stood, the IAF inducted neither the MiG-29 nor the Mirage-2000 in large numbers since the Su-30 came in the picture by 1994.
    it is safe to say JF-17 inherited these weaknesses too

  22. #52
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    Not particularly J-20, the RD-93 derivative is a mature engine. It benefits from newer material technology and computational fluid dynamics input into its design. The Chinese probably brought them with a fairly hefty spares package before passing them onto Pakistan. Also it is probably an interim engine for the PAF with the WS-13 taking over as the definitive power plant in later batches.
    A future lost through a lack of vision!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTM4v...eature=related

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackArcher View Post
    As my previous post clearly shows, these were design weaknesses and had nothing to do with aircraft maintenance schemes.
    I don't recall seeing these issues in Russian service.
    Very curious.
    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR1 View Post
    I don't recall seeing these issues in Russian service.
    Very curious.
    Perhaps they weren't publicised or just didn't make the news. If you're implying that these engine and other system failures had anything to do with the customer, then I will disagree.

  25. #55
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    Not implying anything, but it is a fact that those kind of engine problems did not occur in the biggest user. I am not aware of them happening in other users as well, certainly not to that extent.

    Hence, it is curious.
    It's not like Klimov quality massively dropped off in the early 90s, and were it a design flaw, it would be noticed by the Soviet, then Russian air forces, since they operated way more MiG-29s than anyone.
    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR1 View Post
    Not implying anything, but it is a fact that those kind of engine problems WERE NOT REPORTED in the biggest user.
    FTFY

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by irtusk View Post
    FTFY
    You have evidence of this?
    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

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    Ah yes, its supposed to land on the carrier on its first flight and also dance like a ballerina...

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    Thumbs down

    This how a chutia report in news paper
    east or west india is the best


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    Quote Originally Posted by mirza2003 View Post
    This how a chutia report in news paper
    The sad part is that almost every report I've seen in AW&ST on most Indian efforts seem to be laced with negativity. There is a lack of balance that I find disturbing, especially since I read other reports on other programs that mix the good and the bad in some balance at least. The fact that this is India's first ever naval aircraft effort and that there are almost no other contemporary 4th gen naval fighters that small and light is completely lost on them. Which other naval fighter program can they point out which has no problems? I mean, here we see negativity only on the airframe weight issues, but read reports on the F-35 and you'll find that they describe the issues, rather than just give some generic statements on delays and not meeting specifications. There is after all much more to the N-LCA than just airframe changes that require EADS consultancy and they don't even mention those (except a cursory LEVCON sentence)..for e.g. the changes in the FBW, marinisation of the airframe, etc.

    My rant won't change anything of course. Neelam Matthews and the others who write for AW&ST will continue in the same vein.

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