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  • mrmalaya
    Generation 4.75+++

    What do we think about this UCAV then?

    If it is entirely domestic are we confident that the LO design will be first class? The reason I ask this is not because I doubt India's engineering capability, but more that the US experience of LO projects is that the path to success is littered with designs that cost billions (taken together) and were not actually stealthy.

    I suppose the basics are well understood but the magic is in the skin these days.

    Comment

    • halloweene
      Rank 5 Registered User

      What do we think about this UCAV then?

      If it is entirely domestic are we confident that the LO design will be first class? The reason I ask this is not because I doubt India's engineering capability, but more that the US experience of LO projects is that the path to success is littered with designs that cost billions (taken together) and were not actually stealthy.

      I suppose the basics are well understood but the magic is in the skin these days.
      A little bird told me Dassault is in the loop.

      The Government had already disclosed the unit price of Rafale in Nov, 16 in Parliament. It's Rs 670 crore or about 104 million dollars. Damn expensive.
      The AdlA Rafales cost less per unit than our birds if you exclude the R&D and design development costs for the entire Rafale program.
      Yes they are way cheaper. Three reasons : export costs, offsets and R&D deal (industrials paid for 25% of Rafale R&D, chare for them to get their mony back on export).

      Comment

      • FBW
        FBW
        Rank 5 Registered User

        Yes they are way cheaper. Three reasons : export costs, offsets and R&D deal (industrials paid for 25% of Rafale R&D, chare for them to get their mony back on export).
        Offsets would be part of the overall contract value, not included in the listed unit price above.

        Comment

        • Arihant
          Rank 4 Registered User

          A little bird told me Dassault is in the loop.
          Maybe but I am not very sure about this. There have been mentions of Dassault helping us with the Ghatak project but there isn't anything definite to support it.

          However where the French are indeed helping us is in making the GTX-35 Kaveri flyworthy. Snecma Moteurs is helping us in ironing out all the nagging issues with the G9 variant.Then then are reports of Snecma helping us develope an uprated variant with 98 kN wet thrust rating for the Kaveri. 86-88 kN figures have also been proposed. Snecma has proposed that a variant of the M88-4E core be mated with the Kaveri in place of the current kabini so that it is able to meet the airforce'stringent ASQR - wet thrust, SFC, service life and MTBO. Snecma'participation will result in a Safranised Kaveri with a French core which will ultimately be manufactured in India with Drdo holding the IPR. Then Snecma will help ADE, GTRE of Drdo to fix existing issues on the dry Kaveri and also modify it accordingly so that it can power the indigenous Ghatak.

          This is the extent of French cooperation and consultancy in the Drdo Aura program. The vehicle's aerodynamics, structural engineering and materials are being done in house. My earlier post from Livefist features a scale model of Aura intake being subjected to wind tunnel tests. IIT K and IIT B are playing a key role in the overall vehicle design and aerodynamics.
          But I must admit, the Ghatak bears an uncanny resemblance to the neuron which may be nothing more than a lucky coincidence.

          I suppose the basics are well understood but the magic is in the skin these days.
          A lot of research is being carried out in the field of Ram and RCS these days by a plethora of labs under Drdo. Right now five different Ram coatings and structures are under various stages of R&D.
          A few of them has alreycompleted developement and is now undergoing user trials.
          Below is the description of a wide band capacitive Jaumann absorber based Ram being developed for the Amca and Ghatak by ADE. ADE is also the lead R&D body for the Ghatak Ucav.


          An ultra wide band (UWB), reduced thickness four layers capacitive jaumann absorber (CJA) with measured reflectivity of -15 dB (minimum) from 2 GHz to 19 GHz is presented in this paper. The novel CJA is designed and implemented by modifying the jaumann absorber (JA) design. The crucial impedance matching layers of CJA are designed by conceptualizing hexagonal resistive grid on dielectric substrates. Reduced thickness of 24.8 mm is realised by capacitive loading of hexagonal resistive grids with hexagonal resistive patches. Absorption performance of CJA is verified by full wave analysis using high frequency structural simulator software. Polarisation independent absorption performance is realised. Absorption of 96.5 per cent (minimum) is achieved with variation in angles of incidence from 0 to 30. Resistive capacitive layers of CJA are developed as electrically thin printed circuit boards and integrated with alternating low loss, low density foam dielectric spacers backed by metallic conducting plane. Size of panel CJA is 280 mm 280 mm. Fabricated panel CJA is evaluated for radar cross section (RCS) performance in microwave anechoic chamber. Matching results are obtained in simulation and measurements. The reduced thickness, low weight, UWB CJA finds application in RCS reduction of air vehicles/unmanned air vehicle.

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          More on this here.

          http://publications.drdo.gov.in/ojs/...iew/12025/6086

          Here's the DMSRDE-Developed RAS meant for medium combat aircraft(read Amca) and Ucav showcased at Aero India 2013.

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          Comment

          • mrmalaya
            Generation 4.75+++

            Very interesting thanks.

            Neuron looks remarkably like the Boeing Phantom Ray so Aura looks like the Phantom Ray then

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            Last edited by mrmalaya; 9th February 2018, 15:22.

            Comment

            • Arihant
              Rank 4 Registered User

              Eastern Air Command is maintaining sizeable deployments of Su-30MKI at Bagdogra and Hasimara airbases since the Doklam standoff.

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              Seen here is nine Su-30 MKI at Bagdogra airbase.

              https://www.bellingcat.com/news/rest...e-near-doklam/

              IAF) rotations of SU-30MKI Flanker continued in 2017/2018 at the Bagdogra Airbase, likely for an unannounced air exercise. Previous commercial imagery acquired in January 2016 also showed a squadron level deployment of the IAF’s advanced fighter. Up to eleven Flanker were observed and nine were still visible by the end of January 2018.

              Prior to the Bagdogra deployments, commercial imagery acquired in October 2017 captured the arrival of at least four SU-30MKI at nearby Hasimara. The flight of Flanker deployed for QRA duty likely due to tensions with China over the Doklam dispute. The QRA aircraft may have relocated to Bagdogra to fill out the squadron level deployment, as they were no longer visible at the end of December.

              After the Flanker departed Hasimara, commercial imagery showed additional arrivals on the eastern parking apron. Imagery acquired in early January showed a flight of five Hawk MK 132 trainer aircraft. (The IAF & Indian Navy ordered 123 Hawk MK-132 jets.) The Hawk provide Stage 3 training before pilots progress to operational fighters. It’s likely the Hawk participated in the air exercise. Imagery suggests the exercise concluded within the month as the Hawk departed the airbase.

              Not far from the Hawk, four MIG-27ML were also observed on the north side of the runway. India reportedly decommissioned the remaining MIG-27 at the airbase in late December; however many remained near operational areas in January. Previously, non-operational MIG-27 appear to have been cannibalized for parts and relocated south of the runway. India still operates the swing-wing aircraft out of Jodhpur and Gwalior.

              Satellite imagery continues to show a larger number of fighter aircraft deployed at China’s Shigatse, the closest airfield to the Doklam dispute. With the completion of India’s air exercise and the decommissioning of the MIG-27, it will be interesting to see if the IAF will maintain the previous QRA flight or even a larger air element. Until we get additional collects, we won’t know if India is attempting to hedge against Chinese rotations.

              Bottom Line: India conducted an unannounced air exercise near Doklam. Historical imagery suggests it was previously planned and may not be directly related with tensions in the area.
              Last edited by Arihant; 11th February 2018, 04:55.

              Comment

              • BlackArcher
                Rank 5 Registered User

                Coming from Saurabh Joshi, this news has a LOT of credibility. Possibly one of the most knowledgeable and genuine defence reporters in India. If this is true, it reveals a very big shift in the IAF's 5th generation plans, with the Su-57 based FGFA no longer being the likeliest 5th gen fighter for the IAF, apart from the AMCA (which has gotten approval for work to start in a big way).

                Prior to this, there were no genuine reports about the IAF even contemplating the F-35 in place of the FGFA. It is still not clear, whether they will complement each other or one takes the place of the other, but my guess is that the latter is more likely. India just doesn't have the defence budget to induct 3 types of 5th gen fighters, i.e. the F-35, the FGFA and the AMCA. And with the indigenisation push, plus the fact that the IAF is now involved from the very start of the program, the AMCA does have the political and the service's backing.

                IAF mulls F-35 order

                The Indian Air Force (IAF) is considering the possibility of an order for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, according to sources in the Ministry of Defence.

                With deliberations at an early stage, it is understood the IAF will be writing to ask for more information on the fifth generation fighter.

                India has been involved with the development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) – a version of the Russian PAK-FA/Sukhoi-57 fighter, but the IAF has lately been concerned about the uncertain prospects of the program.

                The IAF has also been contemplating a new contest for a single engine fighter between the Saab Gripen and the Lockheed Martin F-16 under the provisions for strategic partnerships incorporated in Chapter 07 of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP). However, no Request For Information (RFI) has been forthcoming so far. StratPost also understands there is new thinking on this, with the possibility that the Government of India might forego a tender process in favour of a direct, government-to-government order for an aircraft.

                Although the F-16 and the Gripen have been the favourites for the IAF, not least because of their Make in India proposal to set up assembly lines for the aircraft in India, it remains undecided if this new move is intended to replace or supplement plans for either a Make in India fighter aircraft assembly line in India or the FGFA program.

                At any rate, there will be several issues to resolve before a conversation can take place on an Indian F-35 order.

                Comment

                • Siddar
                  Rank 5 Registered User

                  It was predictable that if India kicked the can long enough that they would at least contemplate the F35. Su-57 has all the hall marks of being extremely expensive 300 million to 500 million dollar cost. India likely simply cant afford its price. F35 will come with a raft of technology restrictions that will go against made in India ethos. So you have an unaffordable Su57 on one hand and a F35 that is affordable but has massive restrictions on available tech transfer and local production.

                  Next stop will be maybe India joining the French and German 5th generation effort.

                  Comment

                  • haavarla
                    Rank 5 Registered User

                    Coming from Saurabh Joshi, this news has a LOT of credibility. Possibly one of the most knowledgeable and genuine defence reporters in India. If this is true, it reveals a very big shift in the IAF's 5th generation plans, with the Su-57 based FGFA no longer being the likeliest 5th gen fighter for the IAF, apart from the AMCA (which has gotten approval for work to start in a big way).

                    Prior to this, there were no genuine reports about the IAF even contemplating the F-35 in place of the FGFA. It is still not clear, whether they will complement each other or one takes the place of the other, but my guess is that the latter is more likely. India just doesn't have the defence budget to induct 3 types of 5th gen fighters, i.e. the F-35, the FGFA and the AMCA. And with the indigenisation push, plus the fact that the IAF is now involved from the very start of the program, the AMCA does have the political and the service's backing.
                    Yeah, totally unbiased and highly Credible article
                    https://www.stratpost.com/enabling-i...dialogue-f-35/

                    And a quick glance of other similar article by him also conclude one thing.. ********.
                    Thanks

                    Comment

                    • Vnomad
                      Rank 5 Registered User

                      Originally posted by haarvarla
                      Yeah, totally unbiased and highly Credible article
                      https://www.stratpost.com/enabling-i...highly_amused:
                      You'll have to be more specific. What part of that analysis is totally biased and highly incredible?

                      I imagine most people would find it pretty boilerplate.

                      Comment

                      • Vnomad
                        Rank 5 Registered User

                        Originally posted by BlackArcher
                        India just doesn't have the defence budget to induct 3 types of 5th gen fighters, i.e. the F-35, the FGFA and the AMCA. And with the indigenisation push, plus the fact that the IAF is now involved from the very start of the program, the AMCA does have the political and the service's backing.
                        I don't think the AMCA is really a factor insofar as the current need for aircraft goes. It'll likely enter service in the late 2030s with FOC in the 2040s. The F-35 & Su-57 are both options for induction in the near future i.e the 2020s.

                        Its just as likely that the IAF is realizing that the F-16 is a a superfluous pursuit given that the Rafale in the same class (9.5-10 ton) offers better value. And by the time the deal is wrapped up, it'll be that much closer to obsolescence. Replacing the F-16 with the F-35 for the SEF acquisition, will provide the same tech transfer and similar business opportunities, while delivering greater capability as well as better strategic & political outcomes.

                        Comment

                        • JangBoGo
                          Rank 5 Registered User

                          From the earlier flight test of Saras. The team.


                          https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DUU4ldVVMAAl8A6.jpg: orig

                          Comment

                          • BlackArcher
                            Rank 5 Registered User

                            Yeah, totally unbiased and highly Credible article
                            https://www.stratpost.com/enabling-i...dialogue-f-35/

                            And a quick glance of other similar article by him also conclude one thing.. ********.
                            Do you have a specific issue with the article he's written or any point to make? I don't see anything wrong in that article. he's not promoting any specific product in that article, so maybe you could enlighten us on what you see that indicates he's biased.

                            If he's biased at all, its towards indigenous products, which IMO, is a good thing for an Indian defence journo to be.

                            Comment

                            • haavarla
                              Rank 5 Registered User

                              Oh, come on! He is as westernized and Particular US Biased as you can get it.

                              This is just ridicules. Its always certain aspect of Media that always grind those same IAF turn towards US story. It started before the MMRCA was decided(and disolved).
                              When the SH and F-16 was one of the first to flunk out, it was an outcry.

                              Then it was a huge Apache deal, which in the end ended up not so huge.

                              Then it was the F-35 for India..
                              After a while, An IAF air Chief(or former) disclosed, - India cannot have two(F-35 & PakFa) 5th Gen fighter program running.

                              And lord behold, Now the InNavy Aviation all of a sudden is wide open for F-35.
                              I'll say this again, Bllock!

                              Its just the same article that gets thrown around by others. Always. Its getting tedious.
                              Thanks

                              Comment

                              • BlackArcher
                                Rank 5 Registered User

                                I don't think the AMCA is really a factor insofar as the current need for aircraft goes. It'll likely enter service in the late 2030s with FOC in the 2040s. The F-35 & Su-57 are both options for induction in the near future i.e the 2020s.

                                Its just as likely that the IAF is realizing that the F-16 is a a superfluous pursuit given that the Rafale in the same class (9.5-10 ton) offers better value. And by the time the deal is wrapped up, it'll be that much closer to obsolescence. Replacing the F-16 with the F-35 for the SEF acquisition, will provide the same tech transfer and similar business opportunities, while delivering greater capability as well as better strategic & political outcomes.
                                I don't believe the late 2030s timeline for entry into service. the IAF is going to put this program on fast-track, something that was mentioned by an IAF Air Marshal at a conference late last year. The approvals for the program to start officially will come through in 2018. Expect a development phase of 7-10 years at least, till IOC.

                                Don't take the Tejas as a reference- Indian industry has moved well past and the experience gained from that program and others have led to far shorter development timelines. Facilities for testing and development have been established, which wasn't the case when the Tejas program started.

                                But I would agree that the interest in the F-35 program all of a sudden seems to be related to the realization that by the time the Single Engine Fighter program materializes into an in-service fighter, the F-35 would've pretty much matured in service, and will likely be quite comparable in acquisition cost. Costlier for sure, but not by orders of magnitude.

                                And going for the F-35 would mean a 5th gen fighter with all its sensor and stealth bells and whistles. The question mark on the Su-57 based FGFA could grow bigger or smaller as the IAF starts looking into F-35 data harder. Once they realise that they won't get any real technology or access to source codes nor likely meaningful assembly, the interest in the F-35 may cool down.

                                It's a proper conundrum for the IAF. Almost total control of the technology can be had with the SEF program, allowing for new weapons to be integrated locally, upgrades to be done locally and all that ; but being a 4th gen fighter it will lag in stealth and sensor capabilities. OTOH, the F-35 has overcome the reputation for being a poor performer and more services are inducting it, bringing down its cost plus bringing it more respectability and also maturing its avionics and resolving all issues that come with being a new airplane. Yet, it won't bring as much to the local industry and there will be black boxes that the IAF will not be allowed to tamper with. Plus, whatever the reasons for why the IAF is not fully convinced about the Su-57, it puts the IAF into a corner. Only the AMCA and F-35 are options to the FGFA 5th gen fighter, and out of these the AMCA is still just a paper design.

                                Comment

                                • BlackArcher
                                  Rank 5 Registered User

                                  Oh, come on! He is as westernized and Particular US Biased as you can get it.

                                  This is just ridicules. Its always certain aspect of Media that always grind those same IAF turn towards US story. It started before the MMRCA was decided(and disolved).
                                  When the SH and F-16 was one of the first to flunk out, it was an outcry.

                                  Then it was a huge Apache deal, which in the end ended up not so huge.

                                  Then it was the F-35 for India..
                                  After a while, An IAF air Chief(or former) disclosed, - India cannot have two(F-35 & PakFa) 5th Gen fighter program running.

                                  And lord behold, Now the InNavy Aviation all of a sudden is wide open for F-35.
                                  I'll say this again, Bllock!

                                  Its just the same article that gets thrown around by others. Always. Its getting tedious.
                                  Come up with worthwhile points, not how you feel because YOU have a pro-Russian bias.

                                  I am neither pro US nor anti-Russia and I cannot see anything biased in what he wrote there. He simply put down the facts of what needs to be done, if the F-35 is to be even discussed between India and the US.

                                  Comment

                                  • Spitfire9
                                    Rank 5 Registered User

                                    Interesting to read what is being debated re: SEF and FGFA and F35. Sorry on foreign keyboard so cannot find all the right keys.

                                    To me F35 is not a good idea from the point of view of sovereignty. Dont see much point in paying another country to supply you with a weapon system that it wants to control after you have received it.

                                    To me a Russian 5G is a much better idea! But the notion of co=development is a silly chauvinistic piece of nonsense to me. Supposing the Russians wanted a slightly different version of the Taj Mahal after it had already been built. Would redesigning the door handles for a copy to be built in Moscow or wherever constitute architectural co=development? Might suit India to portray things as such for reasons of national pride but anyone not blinded by such a thing would see that as a very expensive piece of self deception.

                                    To me AMCA could be a good idea for India. I suspect though it would be a very bad idea for IAF in that it would almost certainly be many years or possibly decades late and the role of the IAF is not to play a sort of support Indian industry whatever the consequences for national security game. Its role is to discharge a security function.
                                    Sum ergo cogito

                                    Comment

                                    • BlackArcher
                                      Rank 5 Registered User

                                      GTRE's Kaveri engine issues

                                      Design issues with India's Kaveri turbofan engine

                                      Developing a modern low-bypass turbofan (LBTF) jet engine was never going to be easy. Especially, for a country that had never really invested in jet engine development, apart from attempts at upgrading imported engines and building some indigenous demonstrators.



                                      As such, the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), India’s premier jet engine systems laboratory and a part of the Defence Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO’s) Aeronautics Cluster, has laboured on since the 1990s to come up with the GTX-35VS Kaveri LBTF design. It should be noted, that this design was first conceived at a time when GTRE did not really have access to proper computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools or could refer to substantial legacy wind-tunnel studies.



                                      The amount spent on the Kaveri project thus far is about Rs 2133 crores, which is a fraction of what developing such a LBTF from the ground-up would have cost in the West.

                                      Kaveri prototypes have nonetheless managed to demonstrate some of the project’s headline design goals such as a maximum of 52 kilonewtons (kN) of thrust in dry (unaugmented) mode. Not one of the existing pool of prototypes however has been able to meet the 81 kN thrust target in reheat (afterburner) mode. In this department, the maximum thrust ever achieved has been around 78 kN.

                                      Issues that need to be addressed

                                      Aside from the afterburner thrust shortfall issue , the Kaveri design hasn’t yet yielded a flight-worthy prototype either. The existing prototypes suffer from certain design-related issues which will have to be addressed before a Kaveri prototype can be deemed flight-worthy. The occurrence of these issues is pretty-standard in the course of jet engine development and not unexpected.

                                      The key problems encountered by the Kaveri design, according to sources who have formerly been associated with the program, are:

                                      Unacceptable levels of fan-blade flutter risk – It seems that the Kaveri intake may need some redesign to reduce the chances of stall inducing self-excited vibrations (flutter) being experienced by the engine’s duct fan blades.

                                      Reheat oscillations – Kaveri prototypes currently experience significant combustion oscillation in their augmentors/afterburners. This also has an impact on specific fuel consumption during reheat.

                                      First stage low-pressure compressor blade vibration – The Kaveri’s first stage low-pressure compressor is also experiencing worrisome levels of rotor blade vibrations at the moment.


                                      The issues delineated above have been deemed rectifiable by those in the know. But it seems outside consultancy support will be needed for the same. That, is a story for another day.

                                      Comment

                                      • Vnomad
                                        Rank 5 Registered User

                                        Originally posted by Spitfire9
                                        To me F35 is not a good idea from the point of view of sovereignty. Dont see much point in paying another country to supply you with a weapon system that it wants to control after you have received it.
                                        Any imported weapon system gives its seller leverage over the buyer, including those from Russia & France. The only way to avoid that is to buy domestic, which isn't always an option.

                                        As far as the US in particular is concerned - the IAF has ordered GE F404 engines (for the Tejas), C-130Js, C-17s, Chinooks, AH-64s, will likely order KC-46s from Boeing and Raytheon ISTAR aircraft from Raytheon, and may in the future acquire the Avenger UCAV. The IN's involvement is even more serious - the entirety of its maritime patrol fleet is of US-origin; P-8Is, to be supplemented by Sea Guardian UAVs. Its helo fleet will almost certainly be composed of the Sikorsky S-70, and its examining the Super Hornet for a carrier role. The US is providing design assistance on the EMALS-AAG equiped IAC-2 carrier as well as E-2Ds for the AEW role. Also, GE LM2500 engines are installed on the Shivalik frigates, will be powering P17A frigates as well as the two IAC carriers.

                                        Point is, it would be rather silly to now draw the line at the F-35, despite its obvious operational & strategic advantages.
                                        Last edited by Vnomad; 15th February 2018, 06:52.

                                        Comment

                                        • Vnomad
                                          Rank 5 Registered User

                                          Originally posted by BlackArcher
                                          I don't believe the late 2030s timeline for entry into service. the IAF is going to put this program on fast-track, something that was mentioned by an IAF Air Marshal at a conference late last year. The approvals for the program to start officially will come through in 2018. Expect a development phase of 7-10 years at least, till IOC.
                                          The approvals for the funding and acquisition can be fast-tracked but the development itself will inevitably take a minimum of 15 years. Its not a matter of the Indian industry, its just that its a time-consuming venture. The X-35 for example, first flew in 1997, while the F-35B IOCed in 2015. The PAK FA flew in 2010 while the Su-57 will IOC no earlier than 2022, if not much later. And it started development around 2003 IIRC. The J-20's been quicker off the blocks but it too will take at least 10 years to IOC.

                                          Currently, the ADA's targets are even further off. They're aiming to start production in 2035 which would mean IOC around 2040. And considering the inevitable mid-course revisions to the design (eg. DEW) that's likely to prove true.

                                          The team at ADA expects full-scale engineering development till the prototype stage to take at least a decade. Livefist also learnt that the team now has a specific timeframe for a first flight: 2030, with low-rate production to begin in 2035. ‘If you consider that the LCA Mk.1 will be built till 2024 and the LCA Mk.2, when ordered, should be built between 2030-35, then 2035 is good target for production of the AMCA,’ Balaji says. - Link

                                          Comment

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