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Thread: Indian Air Force Thread 21

  1. #271
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    Vnomad@
    As Sq get added, there will also be Sq retired/mothballed.
    How much longer will Mirage 2000 and Mig-29UPG stand to service, you mention 2026?
    Jaguar got new engines, but isn't the Bison in the prosess of being retired now?
    The Jaguar & MiG-29 will serve till at least 2030 and the Mirage 2000 past that.

    I haven't included in the MiG-21 or MiG-27 in the total. The Bisons will retire by 2022 and the Floggers by 2019 IIRC.

    Edit:
    As for strategical bombers. I think India should just order 2-3 Sq of Su-34's. They can set up their own avionic suite and stand-off(Brahmos and NC) weapons. It would be a better idea than use Su-30MKI for this.
    It would be an entirely unnecessary diversification of an already overdiverse fleet. The Su-30's avionics kit post-upgrade ('Super Sukhoi) should be more capable than the Su-34's. And its already been modified for BrahMos carriage whereas with the Su-34 they'd have to contract with Sukhoi for the job.

    The Su-30 has a large proportion of locally produced content, is assembled locally and integrated with user-specific weaponry & sub-systems (an outcome achieved over a long period). The Su-34, if ordered, will likely need to be bought off-the-shelf with OEM-specified munitions & equipment.

    The only advantage the Su-34 brings to the table is greater range which isn't as crucial in the regional context.
    Last edited by Vnomad; 18th May 2017 at 07:54.

  2. #272
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    Still, you have to pull some Sq of Su-30 out and refit them for Brahmos operation, thus adding structural weights, as if the MKI aren't heavy enough as it is.

    So what you are claiming, India does not need any strategical bombers. And they do not need any Tactical Bombers like Su-34, cause a MKI with a Brahmos has so good range..? or that you do not need good range among the jet in your inventory?

    Besides, India seems to have no problem doing a state to state order for off-the-shelf Rafale for their Inventory. So why should it be any worse ordering up some tactical bombers like Su-34's in the first place?
    Like you say, the diversity of IAF fleet its heavily saturated as it is, why order Rafale then, why not order more MKI's from Russia.
    Last edited by haavarla; 18th May 2017 at 09:51.
    Thanks

  3. #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vnomad
    It would certainly burnish India's 'great power' credentials but there are so many lacunae within its existing & emerging force structure that a prestige buy like the Tu-160 would be an unaffordable indulgence.
    I agree with most of your points. I think a hard-nosed cost/benefit analysis would struggle to justify India acquiring Tu-160. However, for historico-cultural reasons India is quite sensitive about its status in the world, and it is possible that the prestige of operating a strategic bomber might override such pragmatic considerations. The other factor, if we acknowledge that India will at some point require and be in a position to seek a platform larger than Su-30MKI, is that there are simply very few candidates available, either now or in the foreseeable future. If Tu-160M2 is not taken up in the 2020s, the next plausible candidate could well be PAK DA (if Russia can be persuaded to sell it) in the 2030s. Simply put, the opportunity to buy a new strategic bomber from a hot production line is not one that comes along very often.
    Last edited by Rii; 18th May 2017 at 10:15.

  4. #274
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    Quote Originally Posted by haavarla
    Still, you have to pull some Sq of Su-30 out and refit them for Brahmos operation, thus adding structural weights, as if the MKI aren't heavy enough as it is.
    Why do you have to pull out some squadrons? Place an order for new Su-30s in the same manner that the Su-34 would be ordered, except of course that the Su-30 would have at least 50% local content and would already be integrated within the IAF's existing operational eco-system.

    And after re-engining, it should have no trouble matching or exceeding the Su-34's TWR (which I doubt is a concern even today).

    So what you are claiming, India does not need any strategical bombers. And they do not need any Tactical Bombers like Su-34, cause a MKI with a Brahmos has so good range..? or that you do not need good range among the jet in your inventory?
    The Su-30 is a perfectly sufficient tactical bomber. It already has good range and if further improvement was still required the obvious step would be plumb the inner hardpoints and integrate EFTs rather than inducting an entirely new platform (offering lesser capability in a non-maritime role).
    Last edited by Vnomad; 18th May 2017 at 10:17.

  5. #275
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii
    I agree with most of your points. I think a hard-nosed cost/benefit analysis would struggle to justify India acquiring Tu-160. However, for historico-cultural reasons India is quite sensitive about its status in the world, and it is possible that the prestige of operating a strategic bomber might override such pragmatic considerations. The other factor, if we acknowledge that India will at some point require and be in a position to seek a platform larger than Su-30MKI, is that there are simply very few candidates available, either now or in the foreseeable future. If Tu-160M2 is not taken up in the 2020s, the next plausible candidate could well be PAK DA (if Russia can be persuaded to sell it) in the 2030s. Simply put, the opportunity to buy a new strategic bomber from a hot production line is not one that comes along very often.
    I think there are other options capable of providing the 'prestige' effect without being a liability in military terms. A line of SSGNs, for example. Or a nuclear IAC-2. Or four Juan Carlos LHDs with F-35Bs. Or, if it becomes available, the PAK DA. Or better still, a new UCAV (from Europe, if domestic efforts don't bear fruit in the same timeframe).

    The Tu-160 with its Cold War heritage and limited potential in the regional scenario wouldn't have the same effect. And with the services' having chalked out some fairly ambitious modernization plans, I don't see a Blackjack acquisition going through.

  6. #276
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    ^@ Vnomad

    The tu 160 is very fast and has huge payload. The idea would be to fly under radar and/or look for holes. India has no answer to China's modernized H6's. TU 160's would be a perfect way to one-up China in this regard.

    Theoretically the bomber should be obsolete but why then, is US Russia and China always throwing their weight around with them ?

  7. #277
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    Russia isn't offering the Tu-160M2 and AFAIK India has officialy shown no interest, but the utility is obvious, if your intention is to hit the deep reaches of China: don't fly into the airspace, but use the range, payload and speed to launch cruise missile attacks from a completely different direction, something India currently has no ability to do.
    Last edited by TR1; 18th May 2017 at 18:11.
    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

  8. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by KGB View Post
    India with tu 160's would be awesome. It would give them a leg up in the arms race. And a world with more tu 160's is a better world.
    India can't win arms race as it has dysfunctional economic depending on Middleast. Russia already concluded that. Ruaf is sending upto 40 fighter/helicopters for exercises with China.

  9. #279
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    Do you realize that around noone cares about Russian opinion an anymore?

  10. #280
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    Quote Originally Posted by KGB
    ^@ Vnomad

    The tu 160 is very fast and has huge payload. The idea would be to fly under radar and/or look for holes. India has no answer to China's modernized H6's. TU 160's would be a perfect way to one-up China in this regard.
    The Tu-160 is a massive aircraft with a proportionate RCS. A tactical fighter like the Su-30MKI or Rafale would be hardpressed to carry out a penetration mission against a networked PLAAF ADGE. The Tu-160? Forget about it.

    India doesn't need an "answer" to the H6. Unlike China, India isn't facing a 10 carrier armada over a huge stretch of coastline. The H-6 isn't going to be running deep strike missions against India. Whatever ALCM threat does exists from the north will need to be countered with ground & air based defences, a far more productive avenue to invest resources than chasing after the Tu-160.

    Theoretically the bomber should be obsolete but why then, is US Russia and China always throwing their weight around with them ?
    UK & France are throwing their weight around even without them. As long as India isn't going off on adventures in the Middle East (and its not), it remains an irrelevancy.

  11. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR1
    Russia isn't offering the Tu-160M2 and AFAIK India has officialy shown no interest, but the utility is obvious, if your intention is to hit the deep reaches of China: don't fly into the airspace, but use the range, payload and speed to launch cruise missile attacks from a completely different direction, something India currently has no ability to do.
    What different direction? Do you mean from the East? Fly down the Malacca, along Malaysia, around Singapore, then up along Vietnam to launch and return?

    The probability of it proceeding without losing the element of surprise is minimal, to put it mildly. That's before factoring in Chinese air defences within the SCS on the shoals & artificial islands. And even if the crew were lucky enough to get away with it, it would be exactly that - a one-off unrepeatable mission.

    And if such a task were still deemed to be necessity, it would be far simpler and safer to have an SSK or SSN (which, unlike a bomber, is not single role system) sneak into the SCS, launch a salvo of LRCMs and exit the area.
    Last edited by Vnomad; 19th May 2017 at 07:56.

  12. #282
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    can anyone tell me what version Tejas the Indian Navy is ordering? and how many?
    zero. IN said it is overweight and they will cancel it and make a tender for new aircraft. only AF will buy

  13. #283
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    The Tu-160 is a massive aircraft with a proportionate RCS. A tactical fighter like the Su-30MKI or Rafale would be hardpressed to carry out a penetration mission against a networked PLAAF ADGE. The Tu-160? Forget about it.
    That Tu-160 is a large, non-VLO aircraft does not mean that it has the RCS of a B-52. The B-1B has an order of magnitude lower RCS than a B-52, and I would not be surprised to learn that Tu-160 (particularly the new builds that emerge) is in the same ballpark. When you consider the superior sensor, ESM, and ECM capabilities that a modernised Tu-160 may have, and the possibility of carrying heavier munitions with longer ranges than those carried by tactical fighters like Rafale or Su-30, I think it is a stretch to argue that a Tu-160 is less survivable than those types. That is not to disagree with the notion that using Tu-160s to penetrate deep into Chinese airspace is impractical, but any deficit relative to non-VLO tactical fighters is ultimately one of airframe numbers, cost, and opportunity cost, with one Tu-160 necessarily coming at the cost of ~8 tactical fighters.

  14. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vnomad View Post

    UK & France are throwing their weight around even without them. As long as India isn't going off on adventures in the Middle East (and its not), it remains an irrelevancy.
    UK and France can't throw weight around. They are fully constraint by US and Germany. Look what obama did to hollande on Syria twice and sarkozy changed to merkozy after Libya.

  15. #285
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii
    That Tu-160 is a large, non-VLO aircraft does not mean that it has the RCS of a B-52. The B-1B has an order of magnitude lower RCS than a B-52, and I would not be surprised to learn that Tu-160 (particularly the new builds that emerge) is in the same ballpark. When you consider the superior sensor, ESM, and ECM capabilities that a modernised Tu-160 may have, and the possibility of carrying heavier munitions with longer ranges than those carried by tactical fighters like Rafale or Su-30, I think it is a stretch to argue that a Tu-160 is less survivable than those types. That is not to disagree with the notion that using Tu-160s to penetrate deep into Chinese airspace is impractical, but any deficit relative to non-VLO tactical fighters is ultimately one of airframe numbers, cost, and opportunity cost, with one Tu-160 necessarily coming at the cost of ~8 tactical fighters.
    It doesn't have a RCS of a B-52 but its still poorly suited to penetrating an airspace covered by AWACS, S-300 & S-400 class SAMs, AESA-equipped Flankers and a variety of radars & MR-SAMs tied together by a first rate C4I system. Its simply not designed for it unlike the B-2 (or eventually.. the PAK DA).

    You could launch without penetration or with limited penetration but then again you may as well simplify the job by launching the missile from a forward-based TEL. The range of 600 km+ for the BrahMos-ER (1000 km for the Nirbhay, if they can sort it out), is more than sufficient for most viable static military targets.

    If ever you need to employ an air-based solution, the Su-30MKI will suffice - 8 Su-30s could carry 8 BrahMos CMs and self escort. And perform regular fighter missions during rest of the war. Its already customized for the IAF and is built locally. The platform has started ageing but it'll do as a missile platform even in the 2030s.
    Last edited by Vnomad; 19th May 2017 at 18:29.

  16. #286
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    Tu-160 can loiter far longer and can be based faraway where it can't be strike by Chinese tactical billistic missiles on airfield. just look what they parked next to Taiwan. Plus modernized tu-160 will be to carry far more and diverse payload for saturated attacks on ships and airfields and high power jamming . these Rafales are very limited platforms and low speed with draggier fuel tanks and small nose. Almost worthless for the size of India with costly pilot training and infrastructure support.

  17. #287
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    Russia isn't offering the Tu-160M2 and AFAIK India has officialy shown no interest, but the utility is obvious, if your intention is to hit the deep reaches of China: don't fly into the airspace, but use the range, payload and speed to launch cruise missile attacks from a completely different direction, something India currently has no ability to do.
    Every 'completely different direction' requires flying a long distance over other countries, or the convoluted & conspicuous route Vnomad describes. How is that useful?
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
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  18. #288
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    @Vnomad

    You made some ok points but the idea that France and the UK throw their weight around wasn't one of them. Russia, Chin and the US use bombers to throw their weight around. Sometimes just fighters and spy planes but bombers are quite common.

    France and the UK are not in this game. The UK tracked the Russian carrier through the channel with old Tornado's that were unarmed.

  19. #289
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    One Tu-160 stuffed with Kh-101'ish or similar weapons is still far better than 8 MKI's hauling Brahmos.
    Good luck escorting eight MKI, with their hard pressed Brahmos range.

    And those Chinese Island would actual be an ideal target if India and China should ever clash. Take out those Island and China is reduced to few CV for their far reach force projections down Indo Sea.
    You need to get a lot closer with the MKI's then a Tu-160, so much for survivebility.
    What kind of Interceptor could China reach a Tu-160 flying down south in Indo Sea..?

    As for weapon of choice, would it not be possible to mount on a second stage booster on Brahmos for increased range?
    Last edited by haavarla; 19th May 2017 at 19:52.
    Thanks

  20. #290
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    France and the UK are not in this game. The UK tracked the Russian carrier through the channel with old Tornado's that were unarmed.
    Ofcourse they are unarmed. They are equipped with a Recon Package. See German Tonardo's for Clues..
    Thanks

  21. #291
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii
    The elephant in the room is that it was a mistake to cancel MMRCA in the first place. But that's politics for you, and plenty of Modi-boosters were lining up to cheer the obvious idiocy of what has since transpired, i.e. buying a mere handful of Rafales off-the-shelf, now a second batch on the cards minus the bargaining power of what could've been a big order, a new MMRCA-like competition running several years behind where the last one was, etc.
    Not that straight forward and you are completely missing how shrewd Modi is.

    The Rafale deal as it was originally "negotiated" had a lot of muck around it. The canary in the Indian political mine repeatedly alluded to it. (http://indianexpress.com/article/ind...t-rafale-deal/). Ignore the shallow soundbytes for the MSM, but the original issue was clearly he recieved insider info about some aspects of the financial aspect.

    Easy to disregard this man, but look at his record regarding 2G, CWG, and even the National Herald Case. He is completely a maverick & won't hesitate to even go against the BJP high command if he thinks the deal was going through as it was.

    In the meantime, the IAF was constantly complaining about its chosen fighter not being ordered and how it was in no condition yada yada yada to meet what GOI wanted UNLESS Rafale was ordered (http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/...YtMrMNmgN.html) going so far as to publicly contradict the then Def Minister.

    The deal in turn would be investigated by the current CAG, who ironically enough was appointed to the post by the previous Govt after having been the architect of the very same deal.

    Meanwhile, the DM who wanted to knock some sense into the IAF over the LCA was also dealing with this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Rank,_One_Pension) imbroglio and facing bad optics over the IAF being "forced" to do something was never easy. He was in favor of cancelling the Rafale deal or limiting it given how poorly it had been "negotiated" (read between the lines). Meanwhile, France was busy signalling India that unless it gave in on the SRSAM OR the Rafale OR additional Scorpene orders, and preferably all three, it would not transfer much needed tech to L&T for nuke power plants, which BARC was rather keen on. The clock was ticking for Modi who also wanted some big ticket stuff to announce in France. Why? He wanted to kickstart FDI & rapidly ramp up investments and interest.

    So, the IAF got 36 Rafales, the original deal was scrapped (and the BJP Govt sidestepped future allegations of impropriety, poor deal, etc). IAF got mollified to not leak copiously to a left wing press which loathes the current Govt (and has been studiously ignored by Modi, to the point that he has not even gone after their own shady records, given many of these left wing bigwigs have made copious use of crony capitalism). The DM (who wanted a cheaper deal) got a greenlight to save funds and improve Su-30 capability and seek other cheaper fighters. IAF kept happy because hey, more imports. L&T got a nuke deal with Areva, BARC happy - which means the internal scientific establishment was happy. And DRDO which was shoehorned into SRSAM by a skeptical IN which doubted it could make ARH SAMs, got its QRSAM for the IA funded, headed for trials & is now cancelling SRSAM. And likely, not any additional Scorpenes either, which after the Aussie leak fracas, seems doubtful to begin with.

    IAF gets more S-400s, which the then DM (who will be sorely missed as he plays politics in Goa) to further move up its capabilities, but in turn gives up some Barak-8 projections. DRDO which had got frustrated and then used to the concept its BMD system would probably be in perpetual tests while easy imports as usual would grease the system, is now being asked to demo it & deploy it.

    Meanwhile, all 3 services are getting back in shape. (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/54770581.cms and http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/01...f-emergency-w/)

    So, quite frankly, Modi negotiated a bunch of minefields & has done what he could. More Rafales are likely, provided the Indian economy improves. Again, he is cautious and not a profligate spender. He has steadily focused on the basics. Its not perfect and the IAF remains a menagerie.

    But a political mind thinks differently and he has tackled both perception by mollifying the IAF lobby and also this (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome...-minister.html) and in turn the services had their powers increased.

    Till now, all the defence deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore had to be cleared at the level of the CCS which is headed by the Prime Minister and includes the unions ministers for defence, home, finance and external affairs.

    The Prime minister also cleared many other proposals related to the financial decision made by his ministers as he has given the defence minister and the finance minister the power to jointly clear defence acquisitions worth up to Rs 3,000 crores.

    This would mean that at least 60-70 per cent of the deals related to the defence sector would be cleared at the ministerial level, the sources said.
    In short, in this Govt, the IAF's warfighting capability has increased manifold with a clear mandate (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/natio...ommanders.html) and I do think that if Dassault has some sense, more Rafales for the IAF remain a possibility, perhaps 36 more.

    Further, the LCA has firm orders and the MK2 program has been firmly funded. One really can't ask for more.
    Last edited by Teer; 19th May 2017 at 21:54.

  22. #292
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    Regarding the Tu-160, 4 are too few to matter and at least a squadrons worth of 8 airframes to give 6 available on the flightline are required. But I think SJha is just wishing for it to happen and this is not one of his scoops. Besides, maintaining these handful of airframes will be a pain, given issues with ordering stuff from Russia. Utility wise, they will provide far more capability than Su-30s, but at what cost.

  23. #293
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    Additional order for Rafales seem very likely. However there is always an urgent priority list for MoD. IN and IA need some urgent procurement like more conventional submarines (apart from scorpenes) and more Apache 64D and Chinook for strike corps of IA.

    The capital budget apart from the regular budget does not provide space for second batch of Rafales atleast till 2019.

    After that comes necessary items. That's a big list.

    If the Namo is re-elected in 2019 then we can have all the urgent needs by 2022-23.

  24. #294
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    India is getting the AH-64 Echo. The Delta has been out of production since 2013.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  25. #295
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    And while this isn't related to the IAF, it is related to the Indian Army Aviation Corps..39 Apache AH-64Es have been approved by the DAC for the IA's AAC. This is in addition to the 22 AH-64Es for the IAF. These will be supplemented by over 97 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), providing a huge jump in offensive capability for the IA.

    India approves procurement of 39 attack helicopters for Army Aviation Corps

    India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the acquisition of 39 attack helicopters for the Army Aviation Corps (AAC).

    The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, sanctioned the AAC's long-standing request for attack helicopters on 20 May, with the three proposed helicopter squadrons set to be operated by the Indian Army's (IA's) three offensive 'strike' formations.

    Official sources told Jane's that the IA is likely to exercise the option to import 11 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters to supplement the 22 acquired by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2015 for over USD1.2 billion.

    The AAC is anxious to sign the deal for the additional Apaches - under the same terms and conditions that applied to the IAF procurement deal - before the two-year deadline of 28 September 2017 expires.

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