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Quadbike Indian Air Force Thread Part 18

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    Good read!

    New horizons
    By Air Vice Marshal Mohan John (retd)
    http://week.manoramaonline.com/cgi-b...entId=11073115


    It was after a long selection process that the French Rafale emerged as the aircraft that will be inducted into the Indian Air Force from 2015. The 052,000-crore Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft deal involves the induction of 126 fighter aircraft, with an option to induct 63 more, if required, at a later stage. Apart from the huge money and the leap of technology involved, what does the deal mean from a fighter pilot's point of view?
    The Indian Air Force conducted the initial selection in a meticulous and professional manner. More than 600 technical parameters were compared during the process, before arriving at the shortlist comprising the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon. The final selection was done by the government, based on costing norms, including life cycle costs.
    The air force is more technology oriented than the army or the navy. In a combat scenario, all other factors being the same, the air force with better technology will come out ahead. With two nuclear-armed neighbours, and given India's political relationship with them, it is imperative that the IAF has the best technology that the country can afford. The MMRCA deal is about induction of such technology.
    When I joined my first operational squadron in 1974, it was equipped with the MiG-21 FL, an early variant. The MiG-21 is a much maligned aircraft because of the number of accidents it has been involved in. I personally found it a wonderful aircraft to fly. Like all things mechanical, it had its quirks. If you are aware of these quirks, you could get away with a lot, and still come back to talk about it. Supersonic sports plane' was a very apt tag for the MiG-21 FL, and in retrospect, that was precisely what was wrong with the aircraft. It had very limited radius of action (the distance you could go out, fire your weapons, and return safely), its weapon carrying capability was negligible, and it had no avionics worth the name. The later variants of the MiG-21 overcame many of these limitations, and had much better operational capability.
    In 1974, the IAF was trying to inculcate cost consciousness among its personnel. One step taken was to mark each item of equipment, including the aircraft, with its cost. Every time you came near the MiG-21 FL, you were reminded that the aircraft cost 076 lakh. Today, you will not get a high-end car for that money! This aspect of the low cost of Soviet/Russian aircraft became a kind of mantra in the IAF.
    As the IAF progressed professionally, the flaw in this logic came out. The IAF had started the process of life cycle cost' studies of the aircraft in its inventory. By then it had inducted a number of MiG variants (MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-27 and MiG-29) and the Mirage-2000. The study brought out that, when the life cycle costs are worked out, aircraft like the MiG-29 are not really cheap.
    In 1985, I joined the newly inducted Mirage-2000 fleet. The aircraft was a technological marvel. What surprised me the most was the ease with which you could adapt to and assimilate these new technologies. I think it was the way in which it was presented to the pilot in the cockpit. It all seemed so natural and logical, and left you wondering how you managed without these technologies so far. While the aircraft performance was in a different league, mainly because of the innovative fly-by-wire system, basic flying was extremely simple. It was the management of the onboard systems that required skill. The availability of onboard systems like the multimode radar and the navigation and weapon-aiming systems made it possible to exploit the aircraft operationally for tasks limited only by your imagination. Also, the Mirage-2000 has an exceptionally good flight safety record.
    As I went up in the hierarchy of the IAF, I got to see these aircraft from a different perspective. As the chief operations officer of a flying base, and thereafter as a base commander, I realised that the MiG-21 and other Soviet/Russian aircraft were not really maintenance friendly. Keeping these aircraft fly-worthy was a challenge. Compared with them, the Mirage-2000 was in a totally different league.

    The Mirage-2000 is built on a modular concept. Most modules had built-in test equipment. If the test showed no-go', the faulty module just had to be pulled out and replaced with a functional module, and you were good to go. Even the engine was a module. Replacing an engine, which is required at times, took a little more than an hour. In the case of the MiG-21, an engine change was a major job which took significantly longer time and more effort to accomplish.
    In 1993, I was part of the team bringing in more Mirage-2000 aircraft from France. Dassault, the manufacturer of the aircraft, made it a point to show us the Rafale, which was in the process of being operationalised for induction into the French air force and navy. The aircraft embodied an extension of the Mirage-2000 philosophy, but was more than a generation ahead in technology.
    My association with the Mirage-2000 fleet included a fair amount of interaction with the French representatives, especially from Dassault. They are hard-nosed businessmen. If you have the money, and are willing to pay, they will deliver the required service. They did not seem too concerned with matters like foreign policy. However, like any businessmen, they will not waste an opportunity to exploit the customer if the opportunity arises.
    In 2006, I was part of a delegation to the Farnborough Air Show. The Indian delegation was in demand because of the MMRCA deal. We were given briefings by all vendors in the fray. One common point about the two American vendors, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, was that, when queried about specific equipment or weapon options for the F-18 and the F-16, the standard reply was We will have to check with the State Department. I do not think Dassault does business under such constraints.
    The induction of the Rafale will pose challenges to the IAF. In my opinion, the main challenges will be training and infrastructure creation. The assimilation of these new technologies will not pose much of a problem, but the volume of personnel to be trained, especially for maintenance, will be a challenge. Induction of such high technology will also require the creation of dedicated equipment servicing and repair bays, and other allied infrastructure. This is a mammoth task.
    The author has flown more than 3,500 hours on various fighter aircraft, including the MiG-21 and the Mirage-2000.
    PEOPLE.FIRST.MISSION.ALWAYS.
    Have a good one..

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      First clear pics of the ALH Rudra (the ALH WSI variant) firing the HELINA anti-tank missile ! Courtesy of Ananth Krishnan's blog..







      "By the whiskers of Kurvi-Tasch!"

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        India chopper deal figures in Italy graft investigation

        The deal for choppers for VVIP transport is under investigation in Italy. Also under investigation is the contract to supply radar and other equipment for IAC by Selex.
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          Originally posted by TR1 View Post
          So if I understand correctly, the follow on order of 59 was increased to 71?
          Yes, seems like the additional ones are for BSF. This bit of news seems a little contradictory with the recent article about MHA's fleet. Might be two completely different requirements.
          India eyes more Kazan Mi-17 V5 helicopters
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            http://www.frontline.in/stories/20120309290411800.htm

            A detailed article about the capabilities of DRDO-EMB-145 AEWCS

            While this aircraft will now undergo a full certification process over the next two years, India will receive two more Embraer aircraft by the middle of next year to be integrated with the AEW&C System.

            The Indian AESA radar is the primary sensor for the indigenous AEW & C. The radar can look 240 degrees within a short time and has a range of 350 km; it can track more than 500 targets simultaneously.
            The Defence Acquisition Council has given approval for the indigenous development of 2,700 IFF systems and the Services want a single-box solution in the IFF system. The government has the option of buying the remaining 500 IFF systems in the global market.
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              so will the indian AEW&C aircraft be used for monitoring Indian waters? I know the IN will buy the P-8i but will these DRDO aircraft be used to complement those?
              Wrinkles wrinkles my kingdom fallen to a wrinkle

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                Originally posted by matt View Post
                so will the indian AEW&C aircraft be used for monitoring Indian waters? I know the IN will buy the P-8i but will these DRDO aircraft be used to complement those?
                No, that would be done by MRMR aircraft.
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                  Mirage 2000 fighter plane crashes, both pilots eject safely

                  A twin seater Mirage 2000 crashed after taking off from Maharajpur AFB. First mirage crash due to engine failure.
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                    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...-delay-368625/

                    summary:

                    Eurocopter impatient at India for not choosing Fennec already.

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                      Originally posted by Twinblade View Post
                      Mirage 2000 fighter plane crashes, both pilots eject safely

                      A twin seater Mirage 2000 crashed after taking off from Maharajpur AFB. First mirage crash due to engine failure.
                      And it was apparently the first time in IAF's history that an Air Marshal had to eject. Engine flamed out and several relight attempts failed, which led them to eject.

                      link to Livefist article

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                        Some great pics of the Su-30MKI in the US and UK..



                        Plenty more at this link..cross posting here from BRF courtesy of poster called Hiten

                        IAF Su-30MKI high rez-pics

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                          India To Develop Electronic Warfare Technologies


                          Feb 23, 2012



                          By Jay Menon jaymenon68@gmail.com
                          New Delhi
                          -----snip----- full report on http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...20Technologies
                          --------------------------
                          The new-generation EW systems would be fitted on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), aircraft and satellites and use electromagnetic spectrum to counter any adversarys moves from deep inside enemy territories with manned and unmanned systems such as night-vision devices, radars, thermal imagers, handheld radios and bomb detection kits.

                          The systems on UAVs and aircraft would give the country a 400-500 km-range capability, and those on satellites a much longer range.

                          We can see deep inside enemy territories. We have plans to go in for higher platforms, says R. Sreehari Rao, DRDOs Chief Controller, Research and Development (Electronics and Computer Sciences).

                          A prototype of synthetic aperture radar would also be flight tested on a Dornier aircraft this year, he says.
                          They keep on announcing how they will develop this that and the other but rarely hear them say "look we have completed this development" its done and on time...
                          Last edited by matt; 26th February 2012, 14:28.
                          Wrinkles wrinkles my kingdom fallen to a wrinkle

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                            Approval granted for issue of RFP for MRMR tender.
                            http://www.stratpost.com/india-appro...l-aircraft-buy
                            The Defense Acquisitions Council of the Ministry of Defense has accepted the necessity for procuring nine Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft for the Indian Navy. The Acceptance of Necessity (AON) this week came after the evaluation of data provided by vendors in response to the Request for Information (RFI) issued almost exactly a year back.

                            Interestingly, while earlier the perceived requirement was for six aircraft, this has now been upped by three, with an option for additional aircraft, the number of which is yet to be carved in stone.
                            Aircraft Manufacturers and Makes

                            Boeing: Boeing P-8 (Turbofan)

                            Airbus: Airbus A-319 (Turbofan)

                            Embraer: 145 MP (Turbofan)

                            Dassault: Falcon 900 MPA (Turbofan)

                            Saab: Saab 2000 (Turboprop)

                            ATR: ATR 72 (Turboprop)

                            Bombardier: Q400 (Turboprop)

                            Casa: C-295 (Turboprop)

                            Lockheed Martin: C-130 [Interestingly, the RFI had required the aircraft to be a twin engine aircraft. The four turboprop engines of the Hercules may be considered to merely exceed requirements. And the same goes for the Dassault Falcon's three engines.]
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                              Originally posted by Twinblade View Post
                              Approval granted for issue of RFP for MRMR tender.
                              http://www.stratpost.com/india-appro...l-aircraft-buy
                              The hell? Why do they need to issue RFPs to every single MPA manufacturer in the world?

                              The original tender(cancelled in 2008 or so) only had the ATR-72, CN-295, Dassault Falcon and An-74MP. Now our wise MOD is turning this into another MMRCA-type global circus. I wonder how many elections will pass before the winner is selected.

                              Worse, it may end up like the artillery tender where it gets cancelled because one of the losers makes allegations against the winner. Or even worse, because the government wants to invite yet more manufacturers into the mix(I don't see the An-74 or the Bereiv P42 in that list).

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                                India Tests Ballistic Missile Interceptor




                                India has test-fired a domestically developed interceptor missile capable of destroying ballistic missiles, the Hindustan Times reported on Feb. 10. Friday.

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                                  Why do you always post articles that are outdated ??
                                  "By the whiskers of Kurvi-Tasch!"

                                  Comment


                                    Originally posted by Kramer View Post
                                    Why do you always post articles that are outdated ??
                                    It seems it's his fetish

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                                      All Mig21 will be gone by 2017, Bisons will be the last ones to go.
                                      Source: http://articles.economictimes.indiat...-fleet-mig-21s
                                      Last edited by Corrosion; 2nd March 2012, 16:33.

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                                        http://russianplanes.net/ID68477

                                        An-32 overhauled in da Ukraine.
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                                          The first pic I've seen of Su-30MKI pilots based at Tezpur AFS in Assam, North East India. No.2 Winged Arrows is based there. Looking at the helmet of one of the pilots (near the center), most likely he's a Jaguar pilot



                                          The IAF’s Eastern Air Command commenced Exercise codenamed “Pralay’ on 29th February 2012 in the Brahmaputra and rest of the Eastern region of India. The exercise involves joint Army Air operations by the IAF’s Eastern Air Command and Eastern Command of the Indian Army.

                                          This is an annual exercise aimed at testing the combat potential of the Air Force in various roles such as Air Defence, Ground Support operations, Counter Air Operations, Electronic Warfare, Joint Operations with the Army including special operations by day and night. SU-30, Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguar, Bison, Mi-17, AN-32, C-130J, AWACS, Flight Refuelling aircraft as well as remotely piloted aircraft from the Army are taking part in the exercise.

                                          It also includes conduct of Special Forces operations and night operations in conjunction with ground forces during the exercise. The entire spectrum of Air Operations by aircraft under dense air defence environment is being practiced both by day and night. The exercise also includes facets of network centric operations, electronic warfare as well as information warfare.

                                          Apart from war fighting in the skies various ground contingencies related to Air Force Operations are being tested. Lessons learnt from this exercise would be incorporated in future operational strategies. Eastern Army Command is actively taking part to train the forces in joint operations.
                                          Readying for defence of the Eastern sector
                                          Last edited by BlackArcher; 3rd March 2012, 20:15.

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