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    India's Rudra ALHs back in sight- still awaiting ATGMs

    India’s HAL Rudra armed helicopters have had an unusually low profile since they entered service four years ago. Handed over to the Indian Army with great fanfare in 2013, they’ve melted quietly into operational service, never really showing themselves again since. Which is why, it was a pleasant surprise when a Rudra popped up in photographs of India’s new defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on a visit to the IAF’s Naliya air force base in western India. The minister, accompanied by Army chief General Bipin Rawat was specifically given a 15-minute tour of the Rudra by an Army Aviation Corps. pilot apparently in keeping with her professed focus on modernisation with a focus on indigenous products.

    HAL’s Rudra, a weaponised and hunt-focused Mk.4 version of the trusty Dhruv, is still settling in with its primary customer — the Indian Army signed on earlier this month for 18 more, taking the total size of its intended fleet to 78 aircraft. The Army currently 23 Rudras across three operational squadrons, with plans to raise four more squadrons. A further 21 airframes are currently under test at HAL Bengaluru. HAL will produce a total of 34 more Rudras to complete the Army’s current confirmed order book of 78. More from Defence Minister Sitharaman’s tour of a Rudra at AFS Naliya:

    While the Army is largely pleased with the Rudra, save some niggles being sorted out with HAL, a serious unresolved flashpoint between the Indian Army and the copter remains its lack of an anti-tank guided missile. India continues to stall on a decision to award a contract for 124 launchers and 1,362 missiles to either MBDA or Rafael Defence for the PARS L3 or Spike ER respectively. The indigenous HELINA ATGM is still at least two years away from proving itself on the Rudra’s launchers. Livefist can confirm that Minister Sitharaman has been brought up to speed on the Rudra’s pecular ‘armed-but-weaponless’ situation and moving forward on a decision will be one of the things on her table soon.

    Official HAL literature on the Rudra details the platform thus:

    The Rudra can deploy 48 70mm rockets at standoff ranges of more than 8 km, a turret mounted 20 mm cannon cued to its electro optical payload or the pilot’s helmet mounted cuing system. This provides Rudra immediate and accurate firepower against ground and aerial targets. Pilot only has to look at the target and fire. With an advanced ballistic computer, the guns are very accurate even at extreme angles. Fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles with 7-km range make Rudra an ideal platform for ground support roles. Rudra can carry four air to air missiles. These are infra red guided fire and forget missiles with off axis boresight capability. Pilot can engage the target using the helmet mounted sight or with the electro optical pod, while manoeuvering. State of the art sensors complement this tremendous firepower. Gyrostabilised electro optical sensors work on both visual and IR spectrum. Any type of target will be picked up and tracked at large distances, whether by day or by night. These targets can be handed over to the guided missiles or attacked with rockets and gun. The laser designator can designate the target for any compatible weapon. A comprehensive self protection suite would empower the pilot with essential situational awareness of the elctromagnetic and laser environment.
    Certainly not "armed but weaponless" since it has its cannon and rockets, but it is lacking the ATGM that will give it the most offensive punch against armoured threats. Perhaps a small order for PARS3 or Spike ER or Hellfire to keep the fleet armed with an ATGM till the Helina enters service will be the way to go. It doesn't make sense to hand over hundreds of millions of $ to import something that DRDO is very close to be being able to indigenously design and produce.



    Comment


      NEW DELHI — The upgrade of India’s Mirage 2000-H fleet could face a roadblock, after the maintenance warranty from original equipment manufacturers Dassault Aviation and Thales of France expired with nobody willing to continue footing the bill.

      The two companies are demanding an annual maintenance fee of around $15 million from state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, the prime contractor on the upgrade, to extend the tooling & test machinery and equipment warranty that expired last month. HAL is refusing to pay, instead asking Indian Air Force to make the payments; IAF argues however that the annual maintenance fee is part the upgrade contract with HAL.
      https://www.defensenews.com/global/a...ntracts-lapse/

      This could not be sorted out before the deadline passed?
      Last edited by Spitfire9; 8th December 2017, 16:05.
      Sum ergo cogito

      Comment


        @VNomad:

        Regarding the Maintenance hour and manpower cost, you are right that a straightforward comparison can be made with the RAF. Daily work hours are at the same level in both countries (max permissible number of hours) resulting only in adjustment (ratio) to be made on the end-cost.
        Comparing maintenance total time b/w Germany and UK might also result in additional information.

        Regarding the Rafale, Eagle1 is correct emphasizing the history of MDBA to build planes with minimal maintenance needs . This is a result of years of dev with a single major customer and the progressive iterative implementation of new tech (just like Mig in Russia). This however leads also to some huge step being made to narrow the gap with other products introducing new technologies that have to be matched one way or another. RCS coating* is one major example on the Rafale, something highly maintenance incentive the way it was implemented on the aircraft**.

        So, at the end, it would be difficult to guess with a serious level of precision what are those values without any source from the users.


        *But think also heavier wing structure and lower engine power resulting in added wear on the engine or smaller nose cone that necessitate more tricky/higher tech radar system, produced at a lower scale, prone to a higher level of failure (thermal induced or other).
        ** see the video that I posted here with a mechanics having to work all the night alone on the aircraft to correct the thickness of the patched coating following a birdstrike on one Rafale
        Last edited by TomcatViP; 8th December 2017, 20:35.

        Comment


          @TomcatVIP


          ** see the video that I posted here with a mechanics having to work all the night alone on the aircraft to correct the thickness of the patched coating following a birdstrike on one Rafale
          Can you post the link here? I am unable to find your video.

          And regarding RAM coating on the Rafale, is the entire aircraft coated with Ram? Or are the leading and trailing edges of the wings and intakes only ram coated?

          Tomcat, can you give me some links on the RCS reduction features and ram coatings of the Rafale. I have heard many a times that the Raf incorporates comprehensive RCS reduction features but haven't come across an article which provides a detailed insight into this.

          Comment


            AESA was an integral part of the J-10B design with the pics of it installed hitting the net around 2011. The APG-63v2 & APG-81 are irrelevant since the comparison was with the Bars.
            Aesa was never an integral part of J-10B.pesa was. The supposed aesa on the B feature IFF antenna and I haven't come across any aesa which sports the same. It was the J-10C which sports an aesa.

            Click image for larger version

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            Pesa onboard J-10B

            Click image for larger version

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            This is the aesa

            I made the comparison because you were of the opinion that Chinese aesa were having the same features and performance specs as their European and American counterparts. I fail to comprehend how an institute which has just ventured into the field of aesa can come up with a product which matches the performance and specs of American aesa radars from firms who have been in this field for the past 30-40 years. It's as if the Chinese radar institutes have suddenly accumulated the vast experience and knowledge of Raytheon, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Thales and are as technically competent. Phew. I guess the Chinese aesas on the J-10C, J-16 and J-11C at best matches the specs of the initial Phazotron FGA-28 aesa of 2007 vintage.

            I've had 'frank conversations' with probably as many Indians as you, maybe more, depending on our age difference.

            And dragging two other posters (not to mention an entire nation) your racial stereotyping exercise doesn't make it anymore valid. Yes a lot of cheap crap comes out of China, so does a lot of well engineering stuff (a lot of which is very popular in India as well, eg. Xiaomi Note 4). With a 22% share in the world's manufacturing output, that's pretty much inevitable.
            This is the best part. I have had infinitesimally less no of frank conversations with fellow Indians compared to you despite the fact that I am an Indian and you are not.

            I am not dragging two other posters and my other fellow Indians. I was just saying those two are too polite to speak out their mind. Neither was I indulging in racial stereotyping. I have enough respect for the Hans. There are lots of things that we Indians and even rest of the world needs to learn from the Chinese.

            But I will stick to my point of the rather inferior quality of Chinese products. Yes, mobiles from Chinese companies are best sellers in India as well as a lot of other Chinese stuffs. It's because they are cheap. And most of the stuff that goes into a cell phone from MII or Redmi aren't Chinese designed. Processors from Qualcomm and Snapdragon, the GPU and even the Ram, these aren't Chinese. Most of the components are from other OEM. These out sell most other phones in India because they are affordable and they pack quite a bang for their price. They are great. And other brands can hardly match them.

            But if you say, KLJ-7A and other Chinese aesa a are great, that you guys will produce a photonic radar by the early 2020s,that you are a world leader in ghost imaging technology, that Chinese ew and ecm tech have no parallel in the world, then I have my apprehensions.

            Comment


              Processors from Qualcomm and Snapdragon, the GPU and even the Ram, these aren't Chinese.
              yup those fabless firms like Qualcomm can survive without Chinese foundries. China is ordering $70b worth of fab equipment for manufacturing thats on top of hundreds billions already spent. Chinese still send the highest number of engineering students to best universities in world.
              that AESA radar tech is isnt that advanced compared to cellular phones or supercomputers.

              https://www.qualcomm.com/news/releas...oduction-china
              SMIC and Qualcomm Collaborate on 28nm Wafer Production in China
              This collaboration will help accelerate SMIC’s 28nm process maturity and capacity, and will also make SMIC one of the first semiconductor foundries in China to offer production locally for some of Qualcomm Technologies’ latest Snapdragon processors on 28nm node, both PolySiON (PS) and high-K dielectrics metal gate (HKMG).

              Comment


                @pussycatVIP

                So the Rafale is very maintenance intensive because it takes the whole night to repair the RAM coating after a bird strike? Is that really your point?

                Also how does lower engine power result in more stress on the engine when the plane is lighter & TW ratio is very similar? Maybe you have actual figures to provide to make a comparison on engine life cycle?

                Nic
                Last edited by Nicolas10; 9th December 2017, 11:24.

                Comment


                  Sorry Arihant, I have to check my archive. Didn't find it searching youtube. But maybe the above individual might help you.

                  Meanwhile, I found this one: HAL projected Rafale manufacturing facility:

                  Comment


                    RCS reduction measures are classified. The sawtooth edges are only the visible part of it. The general idea was to design the plane in order to concentrate the RCS spikes on a few spots on the aircraft, and then treat those spots with RAMs and other measures (active or passive).

                    BTW the music in that last video is even worse than that on russian vids.

                    Nic
                    Last edited by Nicolas10; 9th December 2017, 11:34.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by TomcatViP
                      Sorry Arihant, I have to check my archive.
                      How convenient ! Keep trolling...

                      Comment


                        OPIT, can you still read? The video has been linked by myself on Keypub already. So make some use of that snoot and go digging.

                        Comment


                          @TomcatVIP

                          Thanks for the video and Nicolas thanks for the info. If you guys find any articles on the Ram coatings and RCS reduction features of Rafale then please do post.

                          And Nicolas 10, so the Ram coatings must be concentrated to those areas which have strong RCS spikes and there is a single or sparse ram treatment on the rest of the airframe and wings.

                          Comment


                            Some good news for the Naval air arm.
                            Looks like they are finally going to get the much needed ASW choppers. The condition of the ASW and ASuW chopper inventory is indeed deplorable. Just 6 to 7 Ka-28 and around 5 Mk42B are currently operational. Almost all of the principle surface combatants are missing their dedicated ASW helos.

                            https://t.co/PuzWYqZJCZ?amp=1

                            In a desperate bid to buy multi-role helicopters, the Indian Navy is moving a proposal worth over `12,000 crore to buy 24 of these choppers which would be deployed for anti-submarine warfare as well as operations by its Marine Commando (MARCOS) special forces.

                            "We have moved a proposal worth `12,000 crore to buy 24 multi-role helicopters through a tender under the buy global category of the defence procurement procedure for our warships and sea-based operations," a source in the Navy told MAIL TODAY. The proposal is expected to come up for discussion during an important meeting of the defence ministry scheduled to be held next week under defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the source said.

                            The move has come at a time when the defence ministry was forced to retract a more-thannine-year tender to purchase choppers from American firm Sikorsky Corporation due to very high price and the refusal of the firm to extend its contractual validity in view of the long acquisition process.

                            After the contract was scrapped, the navy was trying to procure the choppers from American firm under the Foreign Military Sales programme, but it is learnt that the defence ministry put its foot down as it wants a multi-vendor competition in all defence deals to avoid monopolistic situations.

                            In almost all the single-vendor cases, the vendors increase the price of their products manifold while trying to bypass the procedures given under the defence procurement rules. Once the proposal is cleared, the navy will issue a global request for proposal in which the American firm Sikorsky and European firm Airbus Helicopters are expected to participate.

                            In the previous tender, the navy had wanted to buy 16 choppers but now it wants to go for 24 choppers in view of the increased responsibilities in its area of operations. Some navy officers claimed that the force was in a bad condition as its old Seaking multi-role choppers were getting older and its warships were operating without multirole choppers.

                            The navy also has plans of issuing an international tender for purchasing 123 Naval Multirole Helicopters (NMRH) which would allow it to deploy one chopper each on all of its warships. Navy officers claimed that recently when the MARCOS were operating in the Gulf of Aden in thwarting a piracy bid, they felt restricted while taking action against a group of pirates who ran away from the site.

                            The defence ministry has already given a go-ahead to the maritime force to purchase 111 naval utility helicopters for its requirement to replace its vintage Cheetah/Chetak choppers.

                            Comment


                              @Arihant:

                              Got the video, the name is : Rafale avion secret defense produced by RMC Dcouverte (France)
                              I mentioned it already in the past. The video has been put down from youtube (officially for copyright). As it seems, You'll find only teasers on youtube (without the famous sequence). The interesting part that we were discussing start around 20:00. The video is 32 min 41s long

                              You might find it on a remote part of the web.

                              Title:
                              Rafale avion secret defense RMC Dcouverte
                              Lenght 32 min 41 s

                              Good luck!
                              Last edited by TomcatViP; 10th December 2017, 13:24.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Arihant
                                I made the comparison because you were of the opinion that Chinese aesa were having the same features and performance specs as their European and American counterparts. I fail to comprehend how an institute which has just ventured into the field of aesa can come up with a product which matches the performance and specs of American aesa radars from firms who have been in this field for the past 30-40 years.
                                "I" was of the opinion? Where exactly did I mention European or American AESAs? That's a strawman you created in, post fact. The actual reference as I recall was to the Bars, which is neither European/American nor an AESA, and your assertion was that a Chinese-built type will never compare. To whit -

                                Originally posted by Arihant
                                It will be foolish to assume that the Pesa piece on their J-16 and J-10B are having similar performance specs and capabilities to the N011M Bars.
                                Originally posted by Vnomad
                                Also, the J-16s & J-10Bs are equipped with AESAs not PESAs. And the assumption that the Bars is superior to the J-16's kit, is exactly that.. an assumption
                                Originally posted by Arihant
                                What I knew was very few J-10B have aesa. It's the C model that have the aesa as a standard fit. And yes, those aesa are as advanced and capable as the Raytheon APG-63v2 and the Apg-79. As for the Type 1475 Aesa on the J-20,its even more advanced than the APG-81 from Northrop. Grumman.
                                The radar on the J-10B was reported to be an AESA, but I'm willing to believe Blitzo's clarification about a recent rethink on the matter. Still leaves 2 regiments of the J-10C. The J-16, of course, is equipped with an AESA according to most sources (~2 regiments is service). I have seen no evidence suggesting that its radar is inferior to the Bars, with the latter, notwithstanding upgrades, predating it by about a decade.

                                This is the best part. I have had infinitesimally less no of frank conversations with fellow Indians compared to you despite the fact that I am an Indian and you are not.
                                Best part indeed. Are you really going to pretend you know me or where I'm from?

                                I am not dragging two other posters and my other fellow Indians. I was just saying those two are too polite to speak out their mind. Neither was I indulging in racial stereotyping. I have enough respect for the Hans. There are lots of things that we Indians and even rest of the world needs to learn from the Chinese.

                                But I will stick to my point of the rather inferior quality of Chinese products. Yes, mobiles from Chinese companies are best sellers in India as well as a lot of other Chinese stuffs. It's because they are cheap. And most of the stuff that goes into a cell phone from MII or Redmi aren't Chinese designed. Processors from Qualcomm and Snapdragon, the GPU and even the Ram, these aren't Chinese. Most of the components are from other OEM. These out sell most other phones in India because they are affordable and they pack quite a bang for their price. They are great. And other brands can hardly match them.

                                But if you say, KLJ-7A and other Chinese aesa a are great, that you guys will produce a photonic radar by the early 2020s,that you are a world leader in ghost imaging technology, that Chinese ew and ecm tech have no parallel in the world, then I have my apprehensions.
                                "I'm not going to indulge in racial stereotyping, however :add racial stereotype:".

                                Its one thing to call something crap because of its design legacy or philosophy, or under-funding or experience or engg. defects specific to a model, but to say that "every Chinese product is substandard" (sic) reeks of hyper-nationalism/racism.

                                And nobody, least of all me, has said anything about the Chinese overtaking US and what not, so that's just another strawman.
                                Last edited by Vnomad; 10th December 2017, 18:53.

                                Comment


                                  "I" was of the opinion? Where exactly did I mention European or American AESAs? That's a strawman you created in, post fact. The actual reference as I recall was to the Bars, which is neither European/American nor an AESA, and your assertion was that a Chinese-built type will never compare. To whit -
                                  You didn't mention that but you were of the opinion that Chinese Pesa radars are as good or even better to the N011M Bars. I extrapolated your thinking and assumptions to aesa and thus I made that comparison.

                                  NIIP Tikhomirov came out with the first Pesa N007 Zaslon way back in 1981. Since then this radar had went through various spiral upgrades which has kept the Zaslon contemporary even after so many years. Then there's the Zaslon - M.
                                  The Bars is the second generation of Pesa from NIIP. Now according to you, the Chinese radar institutes in their very first attempt have come up with a radar that matches the specifications and performance metrics of the Bars.
                                  Its as if NIIP's 36-40 years of experience in Pesa doesn'tmean anything. And their huge technical competence in this field is worthless. So their Bars is inferior to other rag tag Chinese Pesa in J-10B and J-11.

                                  I fail to comprehend how can you even once assume that their Pesa are as good as the Russian Bars. You may say I don't have any articles or other information to back up my claims. I am just making assumptions according to you. But what I have been saying is completely logical.

                                  It's like our GTX-35 Kaveri from GTRE is as good as the Klimov RD-33 or say the Snecma M88-4E,EJ-200,etc. Those gas turbine companies have been developing and manufacturing engines for decades and all of a sudden a newcomer makes a GT that is superior to all of them.
                                  Or say, the Uttam Aesa from Lrde for Tejas mk2 has similar detection and tracking ranges, LPI modes, simultaneous interleaved modes, A2G modes, Sar resolution, no of targets tracked, etc as the Tikhomirov N050 Byelka and Phazotron FGA-35.

                                  Your line of thinking is exactly like that as far as Chinese radars, ew, especially, electro optics and other high end tech is concerned.

                                  The J-16, of course, is equipped with an AESA according to most sources (~2 regiments is service). I have seen no evidence suggesting that its radar is inferior to the Bars, with the latter, notwithstanding upgrades, predating it by about a decade.
                                  As usual you will again ask for evidence as is your norm.
                                  And regarding Bars, do you think the upgrades done to it so far are cosmetic in nature? Or do you assume that today's Bars is the same as the one from 2005.
                                  Dare has carried out a lot of upgrades and mods. The radar computers, dsp have been swapped with new units. Initially Dare had replaced the Russian components with Indian ones under Project Vertivale.

                                  http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/ai...vetrivale.html

                                  Since then a lot has happened. The TWT has been changed most probably with a higher peak power unit besides other upgrades. So if you think Bars is past its prime or that the Pesa on J-10B is better coz it came 10 years after Bars. Then you are wrong.

                                  Best part indeed. Are you really going to pretend you know me or where I'm from?
                                  Oh really? I am not in the business of pretending. Although honestly I initially thought you to be a Chinese citizen but I was mistaken. You are Sri Lankan. Now if you think you have had more no of frank conversations than me, then let it be that. I am not going to try to dispel those notions.

                                  Its one thing to call something crap because of its design legacy or philosophy, or under-funding or experience or engg. defects specific to a model, but to say that "every Chinese product is substandard" (sic) reeks of hyper-nationalism/racism.

                                  And nobody, least of all me, has said anything about the Chinese overtaking US and what not, so that's just another strawman.
                                  Yes, I do suffer from xenophobic nationalism. And yes I do stand by my previous comments. Those products are full of ****. And yes, your comments make it seem that all those aesa, Pesa and other high end tech products emanating from Chinese institutes are comparable to their Russian, European and American peers.

                                  And the Chinese radar, gt and other technocrats are so brilliant that they had to buy 24 Su-35 from Russia. Even when their own indigenous Pesa, aesa, eo stuff are better than the Russian products. Even when J-16 and J-11C are already flying with aesa and indigenous WS-10 engines, J-11B and 10B already having functional aesa radars and Chinese radar engineers on the cusp of building an operational photonic radar.

                                  PS that was just another strawman from me.

                                  Comment


                                    TomcatVIP, Very many thanks for digging out that video for me.
                                    It would have been nice had there been English subtitles. Patching up the Ram layer is indeed a very time consuming task. I reckon this is also true for the F-35 Lighting 2. As for the Raptor, it is indeed very laborious to maintain the Ram layers. There has been issues of delamination of the Ram coats in the air intakes and the increased usage these days are putting quite a strain on the ram coatings as evidenced by the Raptor having to frequent the Lockheed ICR facility.

                                    New generation of ram coatings are less maintainence intensive and can take a lot of abuse.

                                    Comment


                                      Its 21 years since the Su-30 deal was signed, so thought of revisiting couple of articles that appeared in 1996. In addition, one on the fake MiG-29 deal in Russia.
                                      Attached Files

                                      Comment


                                        @Arinhant:

                                        The main difference is in the paneling. France did not invest in field applicable stealth coating, which were not commercially available at the time. The entire Rafale is coated (with a commercially available product from Northrop if my memory still stands) and every maintenance work that require a change need a full reapplication of the product in the worked area and then some equalizing (sanding). With a coating applicable by panel, only the specific panel have to be exchanged or coated.

                                        This is what the video show. After some panel reworking due to a birdstrike, a full night of sanding was needed. That can only be done with nobody working around the plane for various reason (access, safety of personals , airframe moving...), and this is the point I put forward in that case. Whatever maintenance time is needed, with that methodology, you can add +8hr for this essential work to be properly done*.

                                        Given also that this is a hand process in that case, you can forget the VLO range of stealth (if you ever had any expectation). The discrepancy in net value would be too high to expect something reaching that level of precision.

                                        This is why I think this video is interesting. It doesn't compromise anything secret, it just break the myths carried by some old lullabies. And lullabies do get you kill...



                                        *Stealth coated F-16 and reflective canopy are often discarded by the USAF since there is no point today to have that low level of Low observability on the modern battlefield. You then cut cost and time of maintenance,
                                        keeping your aircraft flying in number what bring-in a better level force resilience
                                        Last edited by TomcatViP; 12th December 2017, 17:12.

                                        Comment


                                          The main difference is in the paneling. France did not invest in field applicable stealth coating, which were not commercially available at the time. The entire Rafale is coated (with a commercially available product from Northrop if memory still stands) and every maintenance work that require a change need a full reapplication of the product and then some equalizing (sanding).

                                          This is what the video showed. After some panel work due to a birdstrike, a full night of sanding was needed. That can only be done with nobody working around the plane for various reason (access, personal safety, airframe moving...), and this is the point I put forward in that case. Whatever maintenance time would be needed, with that methodology, you can add +8hr for this essential work to be properly done*.

                                          Given also that this is a process done by hand, you can forget the VLO range stealth (if you ever had any expectation). The discrepancy in net value would be too high to expect something reaching that level of precision.

                                          This is why I think this video is interesting. It doesn't compromise anything secret, it just break the myths carried by some old lullaby. And lullaby do kill... Friends.
                                          Are you sure of what you say ? I know the video and I'll rewatch it later ti check, but I don't think you can deduct that. Where do you get the info that it is coated with a NG product ? I have been following the rafale program since 1995 and I have never heard about it, but I could have missed someting. Have you heard the part where Dassault historical chief engineer says it has an RCS of a very small bird (in the front) ?

                                          Comment


                                           

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