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Thread: India: should they go for F-35s or FGFA/Su-57

  1. #1
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    India: should they go for F-35s or FGFA/Su-57

    theres a bunch of reports suggesting India is examining the F-35, but other reports say the Americans refuse to sell them unless they withdraw from the Su-57 programs.
    The Russians probably feel the same way, so it is unlikely they could operate both.

    if they had to choose one or the other, which would it be?

    Su-57:
    India already invested in it
    probably longer ranged
    Can likely be more customized to Indian needs
    long history of cooperation with Russia
    better likelihood the Russians will allow them to produce most of it domestically

    F-35:
    could operate off its carrier
    It might be possible to receive them earlier
    Might be cheaper due to large scale of production (I believe there are already more F-35s produced than Rafale or Gripen already)
    common strategic interests with the US

  2. #2
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    There is an Indian Air Force thread. Any reason to not include this there?
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  3. #3
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    Neither, they've already ordered 36 Rafale. Invest in maintenance and support for the types in service and on order. Continue Su-30MKI upgrades, buy several more Rafale squadrons, and fill out the forces with Tejas.

    Su-57's aren't going to be export ready for at least a half decade. The co-developed FGFA derivative is looking more like a pipe dream.

    India's long and strange journey with Dassault on the Rafale should give pause to anyone thinking an F-35 deal would proceed swimmingly.

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    The Su-30MKI will have to be replaced one day.. what else if not Su-57MKI or F-35IN?

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    Contrary to the unofficial stories in the western defense media, the last official disclosure coming from official sources was one of progress on the FGFA.

    F-35 to India would be yet another F-35/S-400 combination conflict. Russia would probably get India in on the S-500 too.

    India requires a 2 seater. Lockheed will never build a 2 seater F-35.

    India requires build licensing for 5th gen products.

  6. #6
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    The decision on whether to pursue the FGFA (which was a IAF specific variant of the T-50 PAK-FA) is no longer in the IAF's hands. They made their classified briefings to the MoD and the MoD also had its Air Marshal Varthaman committee report to look at. We do not know for sure what the IAF's classified briefings to the MoD on this matter was. So far its only speculation on the part of the media based on "anonymous sources". Which means that we will only find out what happens, when it happens. As was the case with the Single Engine Fighter program where all sorts of speculation was made, till the Defence Minister basically had a press conference where she announced that this program was being dumped in favor of the Tejas and its future variants.

  7. #7
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    The current Indian government is serious about indigenous defense procurement. It makes sense to order more Rafale and upgrading Su 30 MKIs. While in future there could be licensed production of the FGFA or a Su 57MKI. Ideally India should be able advanced testing the AMCA by then as well. It males little sense to order/license produce early block F35s or Su 57s.
    Love Planes, Live Planes

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    KGB

    I believe India dropped its requirement for a 2-seater Su-57

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    ^ I don't recall seeing anything about the 2 seater requirement being off.

    Russia agreed to the demand of the Indian Air force that it must be a two-seater fighter.[58] The Indian version will be a two-seater that will, "accommodate one pilot and a co-pilot who will function as a weapon systems operator (WSO)."[38]

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  11. #11
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    That is hearsay from different writers. Not something we can take as fact. At this point who knows.. there might come a Su-57UB down the road. But not anytime soon.
    Thanks

  12. #12
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    India will end up buying 100+ Rafael, 40 Su-57, and 30 F-35A, B and C a piece.

  13. #13
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    ^ Yeah that's not a good enough source.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KGB View Post
    Contrary to the unofficial stories in the western defense media, the last official disclosure coming from official sources was one of progress on the FGFA.

    F-35 to India would be yet another F-35/S-400 combination conflict. Russia would probably get India in on the S-500 too.

    India requires a 2 seater. Lockheed will never build a 2 seater F-35.

    India requires build licensing for 5th gen products.
    Quote Originally Posted by KGB
    ^ I don't recall seeing anything about the 2 seater requirement being off.

    Russia agreed to the demand of the Indian Air force that it must be a two-seater fighter.[58] The Indian version will be a two-seater that will, "accommodate one pilot and a co-pilot who will function as a weapon systems operator (WSO)."[38]
    There have been no official disclosures about the state of the FGFA acquisitions in the recent past.

    You haven't heard about it recent because the decision was made back in 2012 and the conversation on online fora and elsewhere has moved on.

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided the number of Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFAs) at 144, down from an earlier estimate of about 200.

    Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne told India Strategic in an interview on IAF’s 80th Anniversary that all these aircraft would be single seaters, the same which the Russian Air Force will have but some components like onboard computers and systems would be different as in the case of SU 30 MKIs.

    Now designated PMF, or Perspective Multirole Fighter by Russia, the Indian aircraft would be made in India with Russian assistance, he said adding that discussions with the Russian Government are already on.

    - Gulshan Luthra, Oct 2012
    India had initially pitched for 166 single-seat and 48 twin-seat fighters, but the IAF now plans to stick with single-cockpit fighters to reduce costs and protect stealth features.

    - Jay Menon, Oct 2013
    Painfully aware of the issues associated with the development of the FGFA, the IAF in 2012 pared down its requirement to just 144 single seat fighters from the earlier requirement of 166 twin-seaters and 48 single seat versions. Previously the IAF had wanted twin-seaters in keeping with its air superiority doctrine of having two pilots on-board with one serving as a dedicated weapons systems operator - a doctrine that it has evolved through its experience with the Su-30MKI.

    But in the case of the FGFA it seems that there is an appreciable loss in terms of stealthiness arising from a larger radar cross section (RCS) for the two-seater configuration. There are also accompanying payload and combat radius penalties. These factors when taken together with the rising costs of development mean that the two-seater version does not make that much sense anymore.

    - Saurav Jha, Mar 2014
    Last edited by Vnomad; 2nd April 2018 at 17:15.

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