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Thread: Indian Air Force Thread 21

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    Indian Air Force Thread 21

    Starting a new thread for the Indian Air Force related discussions, since the earlier thread had already crossed the 150 page mark

    Link to IAF Thread 20

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    FlightGlobal analysis- India acts to maintain air power edge

    The Indian air force continues to grapple with the challenge of sustaining its combat fleet to project a strong defensive and offensive posture on India’s eastern and western borders. Defence credibility, however, comes from the existing force structure. The air force today is down to 33 operational fighter squadrons, of which 24 squadrons are made up with fighters of Russian origin....

    ...

    Commenting on the impact of the acquisition for the Indian air force, Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia says: “The Rafales will by a wide margin be India’s most capable and service-ready aircraft. The Su-30s are certainly capable, but reliability has been a big challenge, and they are quite expensive to operate. Overall, the Rafales are likely to be a more valuable asset.” Aboulafia pegs Rafale maintenance costs at around $15,000 per hour, including engines, etc.

    The air force has also contracted for five years of performance-based logistics support with an option to extend support by a further seven years. Dassault will also provide product support for a period of 50 years. Under the terms of the inter-governmental agreement between India and France, there is no provision for any technology transfer, though Dassault Aviation must satisfy offset provisions for 50% of the value of the aircraft and weapons package.

    ..

    Apart from the Rafale deal, it emerged in 2016 that companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing had briefed Indian officials about producing types such as the single-engine F-16 and twin-engine F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in India. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar subsequently announced that New Delhi wants a single-engined fighter type under its “Make in India” initiative.

    Early this year, Parrikar said his ministry was working on a strategic partnership model under which the new single-engined fighter jets would be acquired. The two firms competing for the potential contract are Swedish airframer Saab, with the Gripen, and Lockheed, with the F-16 Block 70. Both manufacturers mounted a major effort in the late 2000s as part of the MMRCA campaign, but were among the first aircraft eliminated.

    The proposals from both companies emphasise technology transfer. Regarding acquisition numbers, Matheswaran reckons: “The IAF needs at least 200 MMRCA-class aircraft, whether it is one type or two types. The primary factor in selecting two types will be cost and technology. Cost will be a key aspect as is the technology access and how it will aid our defence aerospace industry.”

    Lockheed made its pitch to the Indian Government in April 2016, offering to transfer the F-16 production line to India. Subsequently, Lockheed received a formal letter from New Delhi, expressing an interest in acquiring a single-engined fighter, to which it responded in October 2016.

    “In our discussions neither we, nor the government of India have indicated a preference for an Indian production partner,” says Randy Howard, business development director for Lockheed’s integrated fighter group. “It is our understanding that the defence procurement policy is being revised with a strategic partnership view and it is also our understanding that New Delhi would like to encourage private industry.”

    Saab, which has long hoped to sell the Gripen NG to India, says it has laid out comprehensive plans to support further design of the platform in India, in addition to creating the ecosystem for in-country manufacture and support for the platform. It is also willing to offer India comprehensive system and software control, in addition to information sharing and technology transfer related to active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars with gallium nitride technology. Saab has also offered to provide design consultancy for India’s troubled domestic fighter, the HAL LCA Mk-1A.

    Both Lockheed and SAAB will have to navigate strict Indian requirements for access to key technologies, which could prove a stumbling block for an early conclusion to negotiations.

    “India is one of the many places the Trump Administration is going to have to choose between priorities,” says Aboulafia. “If US companies agree to transfer the necessary work and technology to India, they will likely have a strong advantage.”

    Aboulafia’s colleague at Teal, Joel Johnson, says both the Lockheed and Saab fighters are contingent on Washington DC’s approval, owing to the large number of systems and technologies in both the F-16 and Gripen that are covered by US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

    “Saab will have to get US approval for the sale of Gripen to anyone, as it contains considerable US ITAR-controlled items, including the GE engines,” he says. “It would need US approval (and likely specific company approval depending on what rights the defence department has to the intellectual property involved) for the transfer of any US military technology on the plane.”

    There are no doubts or restrictions on technology transfer, says Rob Hewson Vice President and Head of Communications Saab Asia Pacific. “Saab owns and controls all Gripen system software, and key mission systems such as the AESA radar, Infra-Red Search & Track (IRST), datalinks and Electronic Warfare (EW) system are not sourced from the US. Items that are produced in the US, such as the engine, have already been made available to India.”

    The relaxation of strict export controls and the actual extent of technology transfer is an area that Indian negotiators are likely to push for. Another aspect that needs clarity is the extent to which the air force would be allowed to integrate their choice of weapon systems on the F-16 and Gripen. Hewson says that a fundamental element of the Gripen design philosophy and a key aspect of the new avionics architecture on Gripen E, was that it was designed for easy and affordable weapons integration. “IAF will be able to integrate existing and future weapons with Gripen quickly and at a manageable cost – this is not the case with most other modern fighters,” he asserts.

    ..

    The FGFA is seen as key to the air force’s fleet in the 2030s and 2040s. India invested $265 million in the preliminary design phase, which was completed in June 2013. The negotiations for R&D contracts continue, though it appears increasingly likely that India will look to proceed with a licensed production and technology transfer model.

    NC Agarwal, former director of design and development at HAL, was part of an official Indian delegation to see the first prototype: “You don’t see much of a difference in the internal structure between the Su-30 and FGFA. The main difference is where the Su-30 makes use of a large amount of metallic structures, the FGFA makes use of composites in areas such as the wing. The FGFA, however, uses a large proportion of titanium.”

    New Delhi appears to have given up on some of its ambitions for the type, namely the development of an India-specific variant known as the Perspective Multirole Fighter, with two seats. Bureaucratic wrangling on New Delhi’s part curtailed Indian participation in the programme at a time when Russia was pushing steadily ahead.

    ..


    “Within the next three to six months there will be an official announcement that HAL will be the lead for the SU-30MKI upgrade,” says Raju.

    If the upgrade goes forward, the fleet will get new displays, avionics and an AESA radar, with costs running at $12-20 million per aircraft. To improve serviceability rates of the Su-30MKI, which are below the 75% availability rate mandated for peacetime, Raju says that HAL is now looking at a follow-on contract for maintenance support to assure aircraft availability.

    “We are in the last phase of technical discussions, following which commercial negotiations will take place and we are close to concluding a contract,” he says. HAL’s Nashik overhaul facility for the Su-30MKI completed work on two aircraft last year and six overhauled aircraft will be delivered in 2017. The facility has the capability to overhaul 15 Su-30MKIs annually.

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    FlightGlobal analysis- Trainers a priority for India's Air Force

    ...

    The air force operates three training types: the Swiss Pilatus PC-7 MkII basic trainer, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Kiran Mk1A and MkII intermediate jet trainer and the BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainer. Two indigenous types are in development and yet to enter service: the Hindustan Turbo Trainer 40 (HTT-40) and Hindustan Jet Trainer 36 “Sitara” (HJT-36).

    The service has traditionally stuck to a training pattern consisting of basic, intermediate and advanced. However, a shortfall in the availability of the obsolete Kiran trainer and delays associated with the HJT-36 have forced the air force to use the PC-7 MkII for both basic and intermediate training. A mix of Pilatus and Kiran trainers are now used for intermediate training, while the Hawk remains in the advanced training role.

    Deliveries of the 75 PC-7 MkIIs signed for in May 2012 were completed in November 2015. An additional 38 PC-7 MkII units are to be procured and negotiations are underway between the government, the air force and Pilatus.

    ..

    In 2016, it emerged that in addition to 20 display aircraft required, the procurement of additional advanced trainers was being considered by the Indian defence ministry. Up to 30 aircraft could be ordered, to be built under license by HAL.

    HAL continues to propose an upgrade for the existing Hawk Mk132 fleet. “The 100th Hawk that has been built is now owned by HAL and we will install and test all the upgrades on this aircraft,” says HAL chairman Suvarna Raju.

    ..

    HAL is now looking towards a “Combat Hawk” or “Advanced Hawk”, in partnership with BAE Systems. In an email response to FlightGlobal, a BAE Systems spokesperson said: “The development of an Advanced Hawk demonstrator aircraft continues to progress. In terms of a new ‘slatted’ wing, the benefits it brings include the improved lift capacity and angle of attack capability as well as a greater turn rate. It will also improve runway performance.”

    ..

    A promising indigenously developed aircraft programme is emerging in the new HTT-40 basic trainer. Despite air force resistance to an additional basic trainer type, HAL commenced developmental work on the HTT-40 in 2013 with an investment of $30 million to fund preliminary and detailed design, and first flight took place in May 2016. Three HTT-40 prototypes aircraft and two static-test examples will be built.

    “We have successfully demonstrated our capability to design and test-fly a basic trainer in a short period,” HAL's Raju told FlightGlobal. “The aircraft’s initial performance has exceeded our expectations and we hope to complete developmental work leading to certification, within the envisaged timeline.”

    The first HTT-40 prototype (PT-1) has already been flown to an altitude of 15,000ft (service ceiling 25,000ft), attained a speed of 220kt (410km/h) and demonstrated a glide ratio of 11:1. A few modifications have already been instituted based on feedback from the test crew to further improve the handling qualities of the aircraft. A pressurised fuel system has also been tested successfully.

    The second prototype, PT-2, is expected to make its first flight within the next few months and PT-3 will likely take to the air in early 2018. PT-3 is presently undergoing weight reduction efforts to optimise the design by around 200kg (440lb).

    An aspect being given highest priority by the designers is the completion of stall/spin flight trials for the HTT-40. PT-1 will be fitted with an anti-spin parachute system (ASPS) before stall/spin flight trials are undertaken. It is estimated that approximately 100h of flight testing will be required before the stall and spin characteristics will be approved.

    The HTT-40 programme has also earned the approval of defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who has made it clear that there will be no further import of basic trainers for the air force. With Stage II training now being handled by basic trainers, there has been an increase in the requirement of these airplanes from 181 to 210.


    ..

    If all goes smoothly and the HTT-40 enters service, the basic trainer is likely to receive export enquiries from countries friendly to India. FlightGlobal understands that the air force chiefs of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have had a chance to see the prototype aircraft. An early introduction to the programme for potential export customers could allow HAL to plan for their requirements, sooner rather than later.

    HAL’s other indigenous developmental programme for a trainer aircraft is the HJT-36 Sitara, though the programme has been in a state of terminal decline for quite some time. Development started in 1999 with a mandate for initial operational clearance by 2004. But 17 years later, final efforts are now underway to revive the programme after it was found during flight testing that the aircraft had serious aerodynamic difficulties, resulting in unsatisfactory “stall and spin characteristics”.

    HAL has made a major push to resolve the issue. Stalling has been dealt with, but the aircraft’s poor spin qualities remain. NC Agarwal, a former director of design and development at HAL, says: “Something is wrong in the basic configuration of the aircraft. The aircraft requires a major fix as spin recovery is yet to be demonstrated.”

    HAL is now looking for a consultant to assist with spin recovery, after a deal with BAE fell through. The programme could be shut down before the end of the year if no progress is made. No test flights have taken place for almost a year and even if all the issues related to the Sitara are fixed, it would still take 18-24 months to complete certification related tasks.

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    Cross posting from BRF. Things are looking good so far on the HTT-40 trainer program.

    Anantha Krishnan (Tarmak007/writetake) was live from HAL talking about the HTT-40.

    1. Two prototypes have been built.
    2. PT-1 will be flying at AI'17. PT-2 will be on static display.
    3. PT-1 has completed 28 test flights. PT-2 to start flying by March. PT-3 to start flying by year end.
    4. Flight test program requires 350 test flights. It is supposed to be completed by 2018. No IOC. The aircraft will gain FOC directly.
    5. Stall and spin tests to be taken up in June.
    6. PT-1 and PT-2 are identical and slightly overweight. PT-3 is weight optimized production prototype.
    7. Weaponized variant for export to lesser airforces for CAS roles.
    Close to 70 test points out of 300 identified test points have been cleared.
    Last edited by BlackArcher; 31st January 2017 at 23:37.

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    Interesting TVC position:

    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

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    I read TVC is used to also reduce the trimming of aircraft during flight as in conventional controls makes its more efficient
    "A map does you no good if you don't know where you are"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TR1 View Post
    Interesting TVC position:

    stabilisers seem to be set differentially (and aircraft rolling to the right) the thrust vectoring seems coordinated with them

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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin View Post
    I read TVC is used to also reduce the trimming of aircraft during flight as in conventional controls makes its more efficient
    Yes. Allows little AoA without the use of stabilizers (and drag induced). Few % fuel consumption reduction during cruise.

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    Su-30MKI production @ HAL, 2013.

    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

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    R Infra arm's venture with Dassault Aviation gets CCI nod

    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...cle9524034.ece

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    Finally, that's summarize well what it was all about for Dassault to win the MMRCA in India: la quête du DRAL*


    *The quest for the Holy [D]rail [pronounce D.R.A.L]
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 6th February 2017 at 23:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcatViP View Post
    Finally, that's summarize well what it was all about for Dassault to win the MMRCA in India: la quête du DRAL*


    *The quest for the Holy [D]rail [pronounce D.R.A.L]
    lol. Btw, Graal in french. Still a good one.

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    HAL released this image of the IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter) model



    ✈Anantha Krishnan M ✈ ‏@writetake · 7h7 hours ago
    And, here is the artistic image of #IMRH released by HAL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackArcher View Post
    HAL released this image of the IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter) model

    looks like mi-17 and the Super Puma made smush smush

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    Second HTT-40 prototype PT-2 to take to the air soon. PT-3 will be optimized to reduce weight. And PT-1 has already seen some modifications based on pilot input and lessons from the flight tests. PT-4 will likely be the weaponized prototype.

    This project is proceeding well so far.

    HTT-40 2nd prototype to fly in March

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    Quote Originally Posted by halloweene View Post
    lol. Btw, Graal in french. Still a good one.
    I don't think I am in need of your insight in French; that language being mine as well... At least publishing a novel, I didn't.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 7th February 2017 at 21:54.

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    LCH TD-4



    Image courtesy Tarmak

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcatViP View Post
    I don't think I am in need of your insight in French; that language being mine as well... At least publishing a novel, I didn't.
    So touchy... I knew you understood french, but not that you were french native speaker (specially considering your permanent ranting at french stuff...) . Nvm.

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    Touchy? Man, you need a proper education, everybody else would have excused himself instead. And I don't rant. Keep this in mind. I am focused on truth. Thank you.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 8th February 2017 at 19:53.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcatViP View Post
    Touchy? Man, you need a proper education, everybody else would have excused himself instead. And I don't rant. Keep this in mind. I am focused on truth. Thank you.
    Errrrrr.... Wasn't somebody trying to do you a favour?
    Sum ergo cogito

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcatViP View Post
    Touchy? Man, you need a proper education, everybody else would have excused himself instead. And I don't rant. Keep this in mind. I am focused on truth. Thank you.
    Excuse for what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackArcher View Post
    HAL released this image of the IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter) model

    Hopefully, this will have a proper aft ramp instead of the limited military utility clam shells like on the Dhruv.
    I wonder if HAL will partner with anyone to develop this. Most of the potential major partners already have offerings in this class, so they wont see any benefit to compete with their own designs.
    But what a fool believes, he sees
    No wise man has the power to reason away

    -The Doobie Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire9 View Post
    Errrrrr.... Wasn't somebody trying to do you a favour?
    you're insane. Get back to 1st grade school, you might find a public for such performance around your favorite sand pit.

    Again DRAL (Dassault Reliance etc...) does not take a double A but still the pronunciation sounds like Graal which has a muted second A: GRAAL = GRAL ==GRAAAAAAAL. Hence the joke.

    What a bunch a bully...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcatViP View Post
    you're insane. Get back to 1st grade school, you might find a public for such performance around your favorite sand pit.
    Think you might be a little confused about things here. You don't normally mete out gratuitous insults. Infantile ones, too. J'ai un conseil pour vous: soyez un peu plus sage. Laissez tomber les injures inutiles.
    Last edited by Spitfire9; 11th February 2017 at 07:37.
    Sum ergo cogito

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    http://www.businessinsider.com/r-exc...IR=T&r=US&IR=T

    The Indian government is expected to decide this year on which company will build a single-engine fighter plane, in collaboration with a local partner. A defense official said the process was at a very early stage.
    If, as described, 'the process was at a very early stage", I don't see any real likelihood of a decision this year.
    Sum ergo cogito

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire9 View Post
    Think you might be a little confused about things here. You don't normally mete out gratuitous insults. Infantile ones, too. J'ai un conseil pour vous: soyez un peu plus sage. Laissez tomber les injures inutiles.
    that's the heart of the problem: you self sufficiency to think that giving advice is not pejorative by itself in the context. Think about it one second, will you: who are you?

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    It is 2017 and unless I have missed something there does not seem to be much progress on FGFA. According to a recent piece in Hindustan Times, now India is to set up a panel headed by a senior officer which would like at the benefits of FGFA amongst other things. Is it just me or does FGFA appear to be following MMRCA route? Could this be an indication of things to come, e.g. we might see F-35 in IAF service?

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    while the USA would certainly love it, India much less... as the US would have the ability to block their fighters if they want to do so (as with any other US fighter btw), and you can forget about "made in India" sticker on it

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    Aero India 2017 pics

    DRDO Tapas-201 MALE UAV at the Aero India 2017 venue at Yelahanka AFS


    Army AC's ALH mk-IV WSI Rudra at the Aero India 2017 venue at Yelahanka AFS

    Credits - Angad Singh

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