IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgraded Mi

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Neil, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    Just ahead of its 81st anniversary on October 8, the IAF has virtually sounded the red-alert over its fast-dwindling number of fighter squadrons. Confronted with the government’s slow decision-making, fund crunches and Hindustan Aeronautics’ sluggish performance, the force is now being forced to further stagger the already long-delayed retirement of its ageing MiG-21s and MiG-27s.
    The grim situation can be gauged from the fact that IAF will continue to fly its 110 upgraded MiG-21 “Bisons” — of the total 260 MiG-21s still in its combat fleet — till 2025. Making this startling admission, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal (ACM) NAK Browne on Friday said, “We are authorized 42 fighter squadrons but, at present, we are much below that.”

    Though the primacy of airpower in shaping battles is undisputed, and both China and Pakistan are fast bolstering their fleets, the IAF is down to just 34 fighter squadrons (each has 16-18 jets) as of now.

    So, even as plans are underway to upgrade airbases and advanced landing grounds for both the western and eastern fronts, there is a crippling shortage of modern fighters that can be deployed there.

    With MiG-21 and MiG-27 squadrons slated for progressive phasing out over the 12th and 13th Plan periods (2012-22), IAF is desperate to ensure its long-standing new fighter induction plans are not derailed any further.

    The topmost priority is the almost $20 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project to acquire 126 fighter jets, even as it will progressively induct the remaining 100 Sukhoi-30MKIs of the 272 such fighters contracted from Russia for around $12 billion.

    The long-drawn MMRCA technical and commercial evaluation process began in August 2007, with the French Rafale fighter finally emerging the winner in January, 2012. But the contract — under which the first 18 jets are to be imported and the rest manufactured under licence by HAL over six years — is nowhere near being inked.

    “The MMRCA and the first two squadrons of Tejas light combat aircraft (the indigenous fighter project sanctioned in 1983 but still to fully fructify) are very critical for us to maintain our deterrence capability. Otherwise, our force-levels will go down rapidly,” said ACM Browne.

    With the country headed for general elections, it’s highly unlikely the MMRCA contract will be concluded in the ongoing fiscal. But the IAF chief said, “There is no back-up plan. The MMRCA is the only option, and it is highly doable. If we sign it by next year, the first MMRCA should come to us by 2017. We cannot delay it any further.”

    Even the long-term plan for co-developing the fifth-generation fighter aircraft with Russia is in the doldrums. It will take at least another year to ink the $11 billion “full design R&D contract” for the futuristic fighter, admitted ACM Browne.

    As per the earlier timeline, IAF was looking to induct over 200 of these swing-role stealth fighters from 2022 onwards. But that may not be possible now. India will eventually spend around $35 billion on this project over the next 15-20 years, with each jet to be subsequently produced costing over $100 million.


    IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgraded MiG-21s till 2025 | idrw.org

    pathetic... !!! no one can blame the migs or its spare parts or HAL or pilot error or training or IAF for crash rates of 21s... the GOI is to be blamed . period.
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    But then, our Defence Minister's mantra is who cares so long as he looks clean!
     
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  4. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade


    WE have full faith in our govt and safari suit wale sarkari babus:taunt::taunt::taunt:
     
  5. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    maybe after the elections new policies might come up boosting the defense sector. Don't these politicians care about the country's security ?
     
  6. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    hello ,good afternoon, ok, new govt comes but ,what about safari suit wale sarkari babus ? they will remain same for ever, nothing will happen it will remain same,

    tender pe tender,tender pe tender,cancel of tender,issue of new tender,phir tender pe tender
     
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  7. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    It depends upon how much kickbacks these politicians will get from this MMRCA deal.
     
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  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    And stealing the military of its THUNDER!
     
  9. nirranj

    nirranj Regular Member

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    Why is the IAF reluctant on inducting Tejas in numbers??? They are ready to refit the MIG 21 and are not ready to induct the Tejas...

    :tsk:
     
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  10. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    Lol. From 2017 to 2019 to 2025. Maybe a second upgrade plan is in the anvil or it will simply be grounded with occasional flying like the other Mig-21s. Talk about reserves.
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    MRCA looks in doubt after that buy died, NGFA in doubt with Russia playing the fool. Enter US. F-18 via FMS and follow with F-35 for 5th Gen. Strategic partnership goes to a different level!
     
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  12. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    The question you should be asking is, why aren't Tejas being produced in numbers.. oh wait... the number of Tejas delivered till date is too large to fathom ;). Only two birds will be delivered next year, 8-12 the year after that, another 8-12 the next year and 12-16 the year following it before LRIP of Tejas-2 starts. And this is the best case scenario that is being talked about, assuming our sub vendors can deliver that fast. How many MiG-21 and MiG-27 that have to be replaced ? over 350. How many years will it take to make up those numbers for a maximum production rate of 20 Tejas and 12 Rafale an year ? around 12 years. All the subvendors will have to deliver components at around five to six times the volumes that are being delivered today for Su-30Mki, and that too belonging to different product families and being tested to different standards and quality checks. While you can rant about fictional Tejas squadrons that will not exist for good part of another decade, IAF will have squadron infrastructure and pilot skills that will wither away.
     
  13. nirranj

    nirranj Regular Member

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    We should have opted for F18 or Mig 35 instead of Rafale... By that way we could have atleast got the first off the shelf batch of fighters...

    The french seem to be less compatible in terms of "Off the record Negotiations" with our bureaucracy!!!

    With MiG 35 we could have atleast co-developed the fighter and learnt something usefull...
     
  14. nirranj

    nirranj Regular Member

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    Instead of sitting unarmed without fighters, we could atleast start inducting Tejas into combat role. With the delay now in the negotiations, we will not start to induct the first squadron of Rafale until 2017.

    So why is the IAF reluctant to induct Tejas in good numbers?? Only with confirmed orders the HAL can develop sub vendors... If IAF orders 5-6 squads of Tejas insted of the two now, HAL will have the resource to develop vendors and fine tune its assembly process.

    If the IAF Inducts 6 (X17) squads of Tejas at 12PA as quoted by you from 2016, then when the first Rafale comes to us in 2017, we will have two squadrons of Tejas. From 2017 HAL would have tuned itself to produce on squadron of Tejas per year and from 2018 One MMRCA squadron per year.

    By 2020 we will have 6 squadrons of Tejas and Three squadrons of MMRCA.

    Now the problem is IAF not buying Tejas in numbers.

    They are ready to fly the generation old Mig 21's (which will be older then the pilots flying them) but they are showing a cold face to the Tejas. :facepalm:
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  15. vicky sen

    vicky sen Regular Member

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    IAF Chief Sounds Anxious Note On MMRCA

    The head of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, has warned that the fighter aircraft fleet could drop to “critical levels” unless the government sanctioned pending acquisitions.

    The most important of the proposed acquisitions is the French-origin Rafale fighter aircraft, selected by the IAF for the requirement of a medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA).

    The proposed contract to acquire 126 of the aircraft was being discussed for the past 19 months but neither the air chief nor the government could give a timeline on whether the acquisition would be possible within the term of the current government that expires in May 2014 — or in another seven months.

    The deal could cost as much as $20 billion (Rs 124,000cr), making it the largest military contract of its kind in the world.

    “We have an authorised (fighter aircraft) squadron strength of 42. We are currently much less than that number,” Browne said.

    Over the next seven to 10 years spread over two plan periods, the IAF’s major effort would be to “maintain our force-level”. It is only from 2022, or about 10 years from now, that the IAF fighter fleet may start increasing.

    An unofficial source said the IAF currently had 31 fighter aircraft squadrons. This is not deemed adequate by military planners because of long disputed boundaries with Pakistan and China.

    Asked if the IAF had a reserve plan in the event that the MMRCA deal did not come through in the current year, Browne was emphatic.

    “We want it settled immediately. There is no back-up plan. We will go astray if we do not stick to one plan. And I think it is highly do-able,” he said.

    Currently, talks are on between French manufacturer Dassault Aviation and Indian public sector firm Hindustan Aeronautics (that will have to integrate the aircraft under a transfer of technology pact).

    “There is no second option. The government is fully aware of the requirement. But we cannot short-circuit procedure,” he said. Even if the contract were to be signed immediately, the first aircraft would be available only in 2017.

    The air chief said there were budgetary constraints for all the armed services but he expected the government to have “catered for” the depreciation of the rupee. He expects tight budgets over the next two years and said it was unlikely that contracts for heavy-lift Chinook and Apache attack helicopters would be signed soon.

    In the meanwhile, squadrons of the older fighter aircraft, like the MiG21 type-77, would have to be de-commissioned.

    Browne said with the induction of the light combat aircraft Tejas, being developed by HAL and Defence Research and Development Organisation, behind schedule, the IAF would have to “extend the life” of outdated aircraft.

    Ironically, the IAF is losing fighter aircraft because of obsolescence faster than it can add newer planes even as it is modernising and re-activating airfields.

    Browne said the cabinet had sanctioned Rs 720 crore to upgrade seven advance landing grounds (ALGs) in the Northeast, near the China frontier, after which they could be used for night landings and takeoffs. This would enable faster deployment of troops and munitions in the event of hostilities.

    In addition, the IAF is turning an ALG at Nyoma in eastern Ladakh into a full-fledged airbase. The estimated cost of about Rs 2175 crore would be used to extend its runway and erect hangars that could house all kinds of aircraft — fighters, transporters and helicopters.

    The Nyoma airfield at 13,300 feet is at a higher altitude than Leh and Thoise but lower than Daulat Beg Oldi near which the Indian and Chinese armies were engaged in a face-off earlier this year.

    Browne said squadrons of the IAF’s Sukhoi 30 Mki fighters aircraft were also being based at Tezpur and Chabua in Assam, Halwara (two squadrons) and Sirsa in the north and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.

    The six new squadrons were expected to be raised in five years. The chief said the plan was to have 13.5 squadrons of the Sukhoi 30 Mki. Each squadron would have about 20 aircraft.
     
  16. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    Imports are no solution, Majority of Imports are coz of corruption and no wonder no one is willing to sort out the core issues ..

    Tejas are in production, there is lesser amount of birds coming out, We need attention there, But what GOI did ? > Simply change the command ..

    GOI is not interested in improving national defense industry but rather make it weak so that there is always an excuse for Imports ..

    Imports are never a solution, Nor ever will be for India in future wars, Some thing people up there knows very well, But supporting this for there own personal reasons ..
     
  17. nirranj

    nirranj Regular Member

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    In terms of a war with China, We will have more number of aeroplanes being shot down and vice versa.

    But to sustain the bleeding and to continue fighting, we will need a industrial base in India that can churn out replacements whether it is air crafts or ships or tanks or guns or bullets or even the artic clothing.

    Here the clear winner is China.

    GOI needs to wake up.. Voters should also demand a strong Defense policy based on domestic industries.
     
  18. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    Tejas is far far far from ready to justify more orders. Even Pentagon has a handful of orders out of the 2400+ they need.

    We will be lucky to have two full squadrons of LCA.

    LCA was supposed to be ready at the same time the Mig-21 Bisons were upgraded. LCA was supposed to replace the older Mig-21s a decade ago, not a decade from now.

    I will repeat again. LCA debacle is not IAF's fault.
     
  19. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    MRCA is not dead. One of the negotiators has died. Killing one general won't stop the war in our system.

    FGFA is not in doubt. It may end up being a bit more expensive, but that's because our requirements have exceeded VVS requirements.

    NGFA is on hold because of LCA program. NGFA is AMCA. FGFA is the Russian PMF or PAKFA-derivative.

    US partnership would mean HAL and other entities will be sidelined. They won't give ToT which will sideline IAF. Even now their closest allies only assemble F-16s. White elephants all the way.

    It makes more sense for the Navy to get F-35s simply because the numbers ordered will be too small to justify ToT and industrial production. Rafale will be a more reasonable alternate. SH, IN won't take it.
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    Politics and weapons acquisition do not mix. Every deal has a political angle that winds up
    Being a disaster. Bofors,klubs,barak,scorpenes etc.... With india refusing to pursue indigenous development
    Every deal becomes a long drawn out process completed when a new generation of weapons is
    Developed and the deal is for older generation.
     
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  21. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: IAF grappling with free fall in fighters, will have to fly upgrade

    As far as we know, neither the F-18 nor the F-35 were on Carter's ToT list.
     

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