IAF seeks Government sanction for more fighter aircraft squadrons

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by mani1090, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. mani1090

    mani1090 New Member

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    Preparing itself for a two-front war scenario, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has sent a proposal to the Defence Ministry to increase its sanctioned fighter aircraft strength from 39.5 to 45 squadrons.

    "We have proposed to increase our squadron strength from 39.5 to 45 squadrons and it is under consideration of the Defence Ministry," IAF sources told PTI here.

    The current squadron strength of the force is 33. A squadron comprises around 18 to 20 aircraft.In view of increasing Chinese military deployments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the IAF has been strengthening its presence in the northeastern sector and has plans of deploying four squadrons of the air superiority Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft there by 2015.

    Asked about the time-frame in which the IAF was looking to achieve these numbers, they said the future acquisitions would depend on the sanctions accorded to the service by the Government.

    Under its modernisation plans, air bases on the western front are also being equipped with modern airfield infrastructure and new fighter planes.

    The IAF has plans of inducting more than 350 fighter jet aircraft by the end of this decade which includes the 126 multi-role combat planes (M-MRCA), over 160 new Su-30MKIs and over 140 indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

    The contract for the new Su-30s has already been signed and the orders for 126 M-MRCA are expected to be placed by the end of September this year.

    Six aircraft including Russian MiG-35, American F-16 and F/A-18, Swedish Gripen, European Eurofighter and French Rafale are in the race for the M-MRCA contract, which is expected to cost USD 11 billion.

    The IAF is also phasing out its old Russian-origin fleet of MiG aircraft -- the 21, 23 and 27 series. The oldest MiG-21 Type-77 is likely to be decommissioned by the end of next year.
     
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  3. ace009

    ace009 Freakin' Fighter fan Elite Member

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    Awesome - IAF should have 45 squadrons - maybe even 48.
    By 2025, lets aim for -
    4 squadrons of the FGFA (80 combat A/C)
    15 Squadrons of the Su-30 MKI (300 combat A/C)
    6 squadrons of the MMRCA (200 combat A/C) like the EF-typhoon
    4 squadrons of the AMCA (80 combat A/C)
    16 squadrons of the LCA mk2 (320 combat A/C)

    Also, the IN should have 4 carriers and some naval air bases with total 10 squadrons -
    2 squadrons of the Mig-29K
    2 squadrons of a naval AMCA
    4 squadrons of naval LCA
    and maybe 2 squadrons of another foreign based naval fighter (F/A-18 SH anyone)

    Also, we can have a separate air arm for the Strategic Forces -
    2 Squadrons of a semi-stealth strike fighter with no strings attached (Rafael maybe?)

    Total of 60 squadrons of 4++/ 5 generation fighters.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  4. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    If this decision goes through, I think there's very much a possibility in the eventual increase in numbers of the MMRCA or addition of more MKIs
     
  5. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

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  6. Atul

    Atul Founding Member

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    The Above squadron Distributions by "ACE009" look good, a 48 Squadron force with such a variety of Jets will be a force to fear, but what do the current facts say :
    # The MIG-27 would be retiring somewhere in 2015-16, (if they have their replacements coming in).
    # The FGFA will not be inducted prior to 2018-2019.
    # The MCA / AMCA is still on drawing boards & wind-tunnel testing model. so induction will not be prior to 2025.
    # The IAF is currently looking for a Engine Change for the Jaguar, with either the Rolls Royce MK821 or the Honeywell F125N, (i personally wish that the F125N win's this race since it has a better thrust to weight ratio). so it will still be there in the IAF inventory.
    # The MMRCA with 126 jets is also with a option to buy another 74 more. (@ the same rate)

    Hope the Procurements of MMRCA & the R&D, Testing of AMCA speeds up. :):kite:
     
  7. rakesh

    rakesh Regular Member

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    I think AMCA can't in production
     
  8. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    WOAH WOAH WOAH! Hold onto your beasties, man! :lol: That's seriously out of logic you are talking about. 45 squadrons have already been Naik's plan since last year. I agree with the FGFA (since we are going to make 300, we could expect at least 90-100 of them by 2025). But the MKI is exaggerated. You know how much it would cost to maintain and operate 300 MKIs? Impossible levels. IAF won't go beyond 272 MKIs sanctioned. It is simply not worth it. MKI has a fixed role that it is doing fine and over-buying them will make it a pain to replace them in the future. 300 is just a fantasy and doesn't make any logic.

    MRCA is already going to reach 200 that is for sure, considering the amount of crashes and phasing outs that we are having right now. I am sure we will need a minimum of 200 MRCAs. But if it is going to be Typhoon, I don't see how we will be able to keep pilots in the air for too long (which is more important than showing off the jets on the ground). Typhoons' operational cost is its biggest hindrance for buying en masse. And despite the humungous orders made by UK, Germany, Spain Italy, Saudi Arabia, Austria etc the price still remains abnormally high @ $125 million apiece for a 4+++ generation fighter. Considering the 900+ orders Typhoon has bagged, the unit cost should not be more than $ 85-90 million per unit. 125 million is a rip off and overpricing like most European stuff. Germans better negotiate per unit cost earlier apart from operating cost since if at all Typhoon wins (which I have some doubts since IAF has subtly hinted that cost is an irritant) production will be moved to India, which should drastically cut unit costs that the EF-4 countries charge.

    Rafale being cheaper and Gripen IN being most bang for buck/independent choice/excellent performance etc, have more changes of winning. Typhoon is still a wish list.

    4 squadrons of AMCA would be a miracle by ADA considering the past record, the present red tapism and the lethargic pace of work. It would be amazing even if 1 squadron (18-20 jets) of AMCA manages to come out into IAF by 2025. Your option was possible if we had assembly lines like China's to churn out everything in humungous numbers.

    I will walk all over my colony in Gangtok in just my innerwear with half-moustache in winter, if ADA/HAL are able to pull your wish off. :rotfl:

    16 squadrons of Tejas is also a very big wet dream. The maximum ordered so far is 160 MK2s and 40 MK1s. 200 Tejas are sufficient enough if we are having 272 MKIs, 300 FGFAs, 200 MRCAs and 100-150 AMCAs. That will already make us a 1,000+ fighter strong air force, give or take 10 jets.


    :lol:Mate, we are not buying onions and potatoes in the market that we can buy "2 of this, 4 of that, 5 of these" etc. Really:rotfl:! The whole point of getting MiG-29Ks was not to have F/A-18s in first place as both fighters are of medium category. Also SH will be a nightmare to use on Vikramaditya since it is based on catapult based carrier (there has been no categorical official or even unofficial declaration by anyone in IN that they are going to consider catapult an option of IAC-1 or 2).

    Although by latest estimates, IN plans to get 3 squadrons of Tejas MK2s and the existing planned 45 MiGs.

    You know how indigenous obsessed Navy is and I am sure that it will only consider indigenous solutions for IAC-2 onwards (which will only begin in 2017), most likely AMCA. A fresh purchase of a 4++ generation fighter as late as 2020-22 and that too a 100% foreign made one, will be a no-gainer.



    Unlikely that SFC would be taking anything different from MRCA since the final expenditure of managing the cost of a zoo of fighters would be enormous on Government of India--the ultimate spender of money whether for IAF, IN, IA or SFC.

    Either SFC takes the same thing as MRCA, or it sticks to missiles by testing and proving them at regular intervals like how USA, Russia and China do.

    ________________________________________

    BTW I like the way ACM Naik thinks. He's quite the first Joint Chief of Staff that fits the "revolutionary" bill after General Manekshaw in 1971. :india1:
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
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  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I don't know where I read it, newspaper or online but I do remember that IAF has set an eventual goal of about 62 squads by the middle of the century. It was chief of air staff I think the one before the current one. I hope my memory is serving me right on this.
     
  10. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    I believe it was stated in the context of IAF needing at least 62-65 squadrons to be able to face off Pakistan and China at the same time if situation so arises in the future. I am not sure if IAF or the government ever took formal steps in that direction. Most media releases speak of a sanctioned strength of 39.5 squadrons.
     
  11. ajay_ijn

    ajay_ijn Regular Member

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    with things like AWACS, Tankers, Huge Fighters like Su-30MKI, requirements for bigger numbers should vastly reduce. May be IAF is concerned about operational readiness of Russian aircraft like IL-76 or Su-30 during the war.

    Something like Mirage 2000 would be a great complement to Su-30, even if the numbers operated are not large or even if lifecycle/procurement costs are high. if it was not for US, F-16 is ideal for inducting in large numbers, may be with more advance weapons/avionics than Pak F-16s.
     
  12. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, I read the same thing quite some time back in an article in TOI, it was actually not about IAF setting a target as such, but rather IAF feels that with a squadron strength of 60-62, it will be able to manage a two front war on both our borders and still have adequate assets for protection of the homeland.
     
  13. ace009

    ace009 Freakin' Fighter fan Elite Member

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    My big fat wet dream

    Dude - 300 MKI vs 272 - that's a ~10% increase - how does that make it "impossible to maintain"? If we want to increase our squadron strength from 39.5 to 48, a 10% increase in MKI is the least we can do. Anyway I read somewhere that the IAF was asking MoD about ~300 MKI if they increase total squadron numbers to 45..

    I agree that the Eurofighter is more expensive. But I dislike the Rafael because it was built as a strike aircraft and has serious limitations in a air-to-air combat. Which is why it has not won a single foreign contract, even with pro-France countries. Also, the Eurofighter brings with it the supercruise technology and some other ToT goodies. Also, the EADS is willing to start a second production line in India - that would be great for us in case a war breaks out.

    On the other hand, the SFC needs and wants a true strike fighter with low detectability and the Rafael is ideal for that. If the SFC wants to maintain a separate "mini airforce", then there is no point trying to get the same fighter for the MMRCA as for the SFC. The "need to minimize costs" is a poor poor excuse to get birds not suited for the tasks.

    I like the Gripen a lot, but it is clearly a lightweight for our "medium" MRCA needs. Also, the technologies it brings are not as significant as the Eurofighter or the Rafael.

    I agree that 4 squadrons of AMCA is VERY optimistic. But if the ADA/HAL and DRDO people want to demonstrate (which they should) that they have indeed learnt a lot from the LCA development and can handle fast development and manufacturing needs of the Indian armed forces, then they better make this happen. The AMCA prototypes should start flying by 2018, should get IOC by 2021 and should enter production by 2022 and have a production rate of 1.5-2 squadrons a year. Wet dream? Well, if we want to reach adulthood in our defense production by 2025, better have puberty-like wet dreams in 2011 - what say you buddy?
    About the "dancing in Gangtok in your innerwear" :-D part, I hope you have warm thermal inners - I have been to gangtok in December - it is colder than our "cold start" policy.

    If we want to use the LCA as a point defense fighter and expect to fight a war in two fronts, we should definitely have 15-16 squadrons. Otherwise, what is the f***ing point in spending Billions in developing a LCA anyway? And, 160 mk2 and 40 mk1 makes a total of 10 squadrons - that is peanuts for a point defense fighter in a country the size of India with two serious opponents in two sides. Even 15-16 squadrons seem like a bare minimum.


    Actually, the Mig 29Ks are nowhere as good as the F/A-18 in terms of carrier capabilities. The F/A 18 SH are the best carrier aircraft at present and will only be bettered by a 5th gen fighter. The Mig-29K on the other hand is a souped up offering of the bucket of bolts called Mig 29 we have been flying for the last 30(?) years. The Mig 29Ks were bought only because we were buying the Gorshkov, and they are going to fly from the Gorshkov alone.

    The IAC-2 was planned to have a catapault launcher (which is now being pushed back to the IAC-3 since we could not develop the Cat-launch technology). If we buy the naval F/A-18 SH, we can negotiate with the supplier to get the Cat launch technology transferred to IAC-2 (or IAC-3).
    When I made my naval "wet dream", this is what I had in mind ... (remember, this is for 2025), India is operating 4 aircraft carriers.

    INS Vicky (Gorshy) - 40 Mig 29K, - ageing, retirement age 2040.
    IAC-1 - 40 (?) NLCA mk2
    IAC-2 - 40 F/A-18 SH
    IAC-3 - 20 AMCA, 20 NLCA mk2

    Sounds wet enough?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  14. ace009

    ace009 Freakin' Fighter fan Elite Member

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    The idea was to use the LCA as a replacement for the Mig 21s and the MMRCA as a replacement for the Mig-27s and Jaguars. In the present circumstances, the upgraded Mig 29s should initially replace the Mig 21s and later as the LCA mk2 enters service, they can replace the Mig 29s - I know the purists will say that the Mig 29s are air-superiority fighters, how can they be replaced by LCA mk2? Well, the Mig 21s are also air superiority fighters and are currently used more like point defense fighters, so my point is valid.
    The MMRCA should be used for both the A2A as well as the A2G roles - same as the uprgaded Mirage 2000s.
    It is only after 2020 - 2025 that we can have horses for courses ...
    Air superiority by Su-30 MKI (and FGFA), point defense by LCA mk2 and ground attack by AMCA/ MMRCA.

    Here is some more of the "wet dreams" I have ...

    India develops a true expeditionary force and builds a separate command (in parallel to the IA, IN, IAF and ISFC). This expeditionary force would have both airborne and marine divisions with it's own mini-airforce - primarily made up of transport A/C and strike A/C. Maybe a squadron each of medium lift transport A/C and a squadron of Heavy lift helicopters, a couple of squadron of attack helis and a couple of squadron of multi-role (primarily strike) aircraft.

    oooooo - so sexy ....
     
  15. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    We need 75 Squadrons of Pure Fighter Aircrafts to have a fighting chance with a combined Pakistan-china attack.
     
  16. warriorextreme

    warriorextreme Senior Member Senior Member

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    that does not seem possible before 2050
     
  17. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    PLAAF has 340+ Sukhoi-27/30 variants, 200 J-10's, 200 J-8 and 200- JH7's, and nearly 1000 useless fighters (MiG-21 and MiG-19 Copies) and Pakistan has 70 F-16's, Upgraded Mirage 3/5's and some useless Chinese copies of 21 and 19, while they are fast inducting Jf-17's and J-10's in PLAAF, How India is going to handle them is beyond me, even if threat scenario is played out, and they keep their resources as contingencies in various theaters, such as PLAAF for Taiwan, Japan and Russia.
     
  18. debasree

    debasree Regular Member

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    stop day dreaming,75 squadrons is too high,5o will be very ambitious,40 to 45 will be more appropriate
     
  19. warriorextreme

    warriorextreme Senior Member Senior Member

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    current congress government is sleeping just like Nehru was before 1962
     
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  20. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    i like that when IAF claim that their Mig-21 are potent platform no one here says these are obsolete planes.Note that we can't have an airforce that on its own to match the QUANTITATIVE challenge pose by the enemy hence the need for more radars,better air defence coupled with more cooperation for better GCI imho
     
  21. ace009

    ace009 Freakin' Fighter fan Elite Member

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    Firstly, the PLAAF has only about 500 generation 4/ 4+ aircraft - even from your list this is apparent. the J-11/ Su-27 Flankers are 4++ and their true Air Superiority fighters (the J-20 is still 10/15 years away). The J-10s are their backup fighters and gen 4+. The J-8 and JH7 are barely Gen 4 and more like Gen 3+++. None of these can match the MMRCA (4+++) forget about the Su-30 MKI (4+++?). Even the LCA mk2 (4++) will be a match for most of these fighters. Except for the J-11 and the J-10s none of their aircraft can fire BVRAAMs, which are again no match compared to the advanced BVRAAMs used by Su-30 MKI or the MMRCA. Most of the PLAAF legacy fighters (Mig 21 and Mig 19s) are barely dogfight capable, having no good SRAAMs, forget about BVRAAMs.
    As for PAF, their only true 4++ generation fighters are the F-16 B50, which have NO compatible BVRAAMs. Any of the MMRCA fighters are better than the F-16 B50s, including the F/A -18 SH, considered the weakest of the A2A fighters. The J-17s imported from China are inferior to our LCA mk1, forget about LCA mk2. The JF-17s are also the only planes capable of firing BVRAAMs. PAF Mirage 5s are no match for IAFs Mirage 2000s and Mig 29Ks.

    As lot of aviation experts have been saying for so long and as I love to quote them, "numbers" ALONE are mostly irrelevant in modern air warfare. 4:1, 7:1, 10:1 even 20:1 kill rates have been the norm. Even in non-asymmetric warfare (like the Yom Kippur war), the IsAF had a 4:1 kill ratio against the Soviets!! Primarily due to better information (Sensors), Combat Strategy and Pilot training.
    The important points to remember about future air warfare are -
    1. Combat Strategy
    2. Pilot training
    3. Sensors (Radar, IRST etc) and stealth features
    4. Aircraft capabilities (TVC, Supercruise, agility, range etc)
    5. Weapons (BVRAAM selection, SRAAM selection etc)
    6. Avionics and software
    7. Other resources like HUD, HOTAS etc.

    Considering the IAF inventory by 2016 onwards I see no reason why IAF cannot handle PAF and PLAAF with 45 (atmost 48) squadrons.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011

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