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  • BlackArcher
    Rank 5 Registered User

    Indian Air Force Thread 21

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

    Link to IAF Thread 20
  • BlackArcher
    Rank 5 Registered User

    #2
    FlightGlobal analysis- India acts to maintain air power edge

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

    ...

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

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

    ..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ..

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

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

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

    ..


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

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

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

    Comment

    • BlackArcher
      Rank 5 Registered User

      #3
      FlightGlobal analysis- Trainers a priority for India's Air Force

      ...

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

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

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

      ..

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

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

      ..

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

      ..

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

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

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

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

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

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


      ..

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

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

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

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

      Comment

      • BlackArcher
        Rank 5 Registered User

        #4
        Cross posting from BRF. Things are looking good so far on the HTT-40 trainer program.

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

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

        Comment

        • TR1
          TR1
          http://tiny.cc/tp8kd

          #5
          Interesting TVC position:

          sigpic

          Comment

          • Austin
            Rank 5 Registered User

            #6
            I read TVC is used to also reduce the trimming of aircraft during flight as in conventional controls makes its more efficient
            "A map does you no good if you don't know where you are"

            Comment

            • TooCool_12f
              Rank 5 Registered User

              #7
              Originally posted by TR1 View Post
              Interesting TVC position:

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

              Comment

              • halloweene
                Rank 5 Registered User

                #8
                Originally posted by Austin View Post
                I read TVC is used to also reduce the trimming of aircraft during flight as in conventional controls makes its more efficient
                Yes. Allows little AoA without the use of stabilizers (and drag induced). Few % fuel consumption reduction during cruise.

                Comment

                • TR1
                  TR1
                  http://tiny.cc/tp8kd

                  #9
                  Su-30MKI production @ HAL, 2013.

                  sigpic

                  Comment

                  • halloweene
                    Rank 5 Registered User

                    #10
                    R Infra arm's venture with Dassault Aviation gets CCI nod

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

                    Comment

                    • TomcatViP
                      Rank 5 Registered User

                      #11
                      Finally, that's summarize well what it was all about for Dassault to win the MMRCA in India: la qute du DRAL*


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

                      Comment

                      • halloweene
                        Rank 5 Registered User

                        #12
                        Originally posted by TomcatViP View Post
                        Finally, that's summarize well what it was all about for Dassault to win the MMRCA in India: la qute du DRAL*


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

                        Comment

                        • BlackArcher
                          Rank 5 Registered User

                          #13
                          Revealed- BAe HAL unveil joint Advanced Hawk


                          Comment

                          • BlackArcher
                            Rank 5 Registered User

                            #14
                            HAL released this image of the IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter) model



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

                            Comment

                            • Y-20 Bacon
                              Senior Member

                              #15
                              Originally posted by BlackArcher View Post
                              HAL released this image of the IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter) model

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

                              Comment

                              • BlackArcher
                                Rank 5 Registered User

                                #16
                                Second HTT-40 prototype PT-2 to take to the air soon. PT-3 will be optimized to reduce weight. And PT-1 has already seen some modifications based on pilot input and lessons from the flight tests. PT-4 will likely be the weaponized prototype.

                                This project is proceeding well so far.

                                HTT-40 2nd prototype to fly in March

                                Comment

                                • TomcatViP
                                  Rank 5 Registered User

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by halloweene View Post
                                  lol. Btw, Graal in french. Still a good one.
                                  I don't think I am in need of your insight in French; that language being mine as well... At least publishing a novel, I didn't.
                                  Last edited by TomcatViP; 7th February 2017, 21:54.

                                  Comment

                                  • BlackArcher
                                    Rank 5 Registered User

                                    #18
                                    LCH TD-4



                                    Image courtesy Tarmak

                                    Comment

                                    • halloweene
                                      Rank 5 Registered User

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by TomcatViP View Post
                                      I don't think I am in need of your insight in French; that language being mine as well... At least publishing a novel, I didn't.
                                      So touchy... I knew you understood french, but not that you were french native speaker (specially considering your permanent ranting at french stuff...) . Nvm.

                                      Comment

                                      • TomcatViP
                                        Rank 5 Registered User

                                        #20
                                        Touchy? Man, you need a proper education, everybody else would have excused himself instead. And I don't rant. Keep this in mind. I am focused on truth. Thank you.
                                        Last edited by TomcatViP; 8th February 2017, 19:53.

                                        Comment

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