India’s MMRCA Deal: Muddled Rationale, Costly mis-adventure?

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by icecoolben, Dec 22, 2010.

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India’s MMRCA Deal: Muddled Rationale, Costly Mis-Adventure?

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  1. True

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  2. False

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  1. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    India’s MMRCA Deal: Muddled Rationale, Costly mis-adventure?
    Vipin Narang
    Vipin Narang
    10/26/2009

    Although nowhere near as high profile or politically dramatic as the 2008 Indo-U.S. nuclear deal, India’s proposed $10 billion procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) may have a much more profound impact on India’s strategic relations, particularly if a U.S. Platform – either Lockheed’s F-16 E/F or Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F – is selected as the winning bid. Indeed, given that the first eighteen aircraft bought in flyaway condition will likely not be operationalized into the Indian Air Force (IAF) until at least 2014-15, and the remaining 108 – aimed to be assembled indigenously – will not be operational until at least 2022, the strategic impact of the deal may far outweigh the tactical utility of this proposed stop-gap solution for a fourth generation fighter that might be dated by the time it is deployed. This raises the natural question, given other pressing needs for the IAF, of whether or not this is worth it.

    Why did the IAF and Ministry of Defence (MoD) issue a request for proposal for 126 medium fourth generation MMRCA? The IAF currently operates between thirty and thirty-two combat aircraft squadrons, well below the mandated level of 39.5 squadrons; this combat strength is envisioned to fall further to roughly twenty-seven to twenty-nine squadrons in the next decade or so as older MiG-21 squadrons are retired without replacement. With such a depleted combat strength, the IAF cannot maintain the deployment patterns and operational readiness that are required for India’s self-defense. India's air superiority over Pakistan could also be threatened, particularly as Pakistan takes delivery of further F-16 orders in the coming years. As a result, faced with imminent depletion of force-strength, the IAF and MoD began considering options several years ago to replace its aging combat aircraft fleet.

    One option was to replace the light combat MiG-21 squadrons with modern aircraft of similar, but augmented capabilities, such as the MiG-29 or French Mirages. The indigenous development of the Tejas light combat aircraft, however, which is roughly of the same class and capability as a modernized MiG-21, mitigated the need to acquire a foreign replacement for the MiG-21 squadrons. The Tejas, though, has run into engine problems, triggering a fresh search for a higher-thrust engine in August 2009; the IAF is thus not expecting to take delivery of its first operational Tejas aircraft for another several years. In addition, the IAF has been steadily incorporating the highly capable and versatile 4.5 generation Su-30 MKI, a Russian medium-to-heavy platform with interceptor, bomber, and ground attack capabilities into its force structure since 2002, and it is increasingly indigenously assembled by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL); a total of 280 will be inducted into the IAF by 2015. The combination of the Tejas and the Su-30 MKI will largely replenish and supersede India’s retiring assets by the middle of the next decade, putting the IAF at full combat strength by 2022.

    The other alternative was to leapfrog technologies entirely and acquire a fifth generation fighter capable of operating in a network-centric environment, with some stealth capability, such as the U.S.-made F-22 or F-35, or Russian-made Sukhoi PAK-FA. India and Russia have agreed, in principle, to jointly develop the Sukhoi PAK-FA which is roughly in the same weight-class as a medium combat aircraft. Recently-retired Air Chief Marshal Fali Major expects the fifth generation fighter to be operational around 2020. While the IAF will be below-strength in its targeted combat aircraft capability until 2015, once the full complement of Tejas and Su-30MKIs are incorporated by then – and with the targeted development and acquisition of the Sukhoi PAK-FA true fifth generation aircraft – the IAF will be well-placed with a mix of light and medium-to-heavy multirole combat aircraft capable of executing most envisioned fighter and attack missions.

    So where does the MMRCA deal fit into the IAF’s force requirements? It was initially envisioned in 2001 as an interim solution to replace the retiring MiG-21 fleet with a more capable set of 126 4.5 generation fighters. The six candidates for the MMRCA deal are a mix of single and twin-engine aircraft all broadly classified as medium multirole combat aircraft: the F-16 E/F (with a vague future option of the F-35), the F/A-18 E/F, the Dassault Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Saab Gripen NG, and Russia’s MiG-35. These six aircraft are currently undergoing IAF trials in a variety of combat environments: Bangalore, Jaisalmer, and Leh. These trials will continue for at least the next year as the IAF undergoes its evaluation both in India and in-country to evaluate weapons complements.

    Once the IAF makes its recommendation to the MoD, the black-box of Indian bureaucracy will be responsible for awarding the contract. According to Rahul Bedi of Jane’s Defence Weekly, this process is expected to take until 2012-14, and the criteria by which the MoD will make its final selection are incredibly ambiguous. The first eighteen aircraft, to be bought off-the-shelf in flyaway condition, are not required to be delivered until three years after the awarding of the contract; any delays in the acquisition process may push the first delivery of MMRCA platforms into the latter half of next decade. The indigenization process for the remaining 108 aircraft will also be time-consuming, and will vary significantly by the platform selected, so it could be up to 15 years – if not more – before the bulk of the MRCA are inducted into the IAF.

    This elongated timeline undermines the primary rationale for the MMRCA deal. Since the Tejas and the Su-30MKIs will be operational well before even the first eighteen MMRCAs are delivered, and the Sukhoi PAK-FA fifth generation fighter is likely to be developed around the same time as the indigenously produced MMRCAs, the $10 billion MMRCA complement could be dated by the time it is incorporated into the IAF’s force structure – and certainly by the end of its three-decade life cycle – particularly since an expanded order of Su-30MKIs might provide broadly similar capabilities. Though it presently lacks an “active electronically scanned array” (AESA) radar, this may be upgradeable.

    Critics of this view will argue that the MMRCA deal nevertheless provides a necessary capability in between the takeoff weights of the slightly heavier Su-30MKI and the Tejas, allowing India to expand its “operational envelope.” For a largely status quo power, the natural question is, of course, where to expand for the IAF. In what specific missions and roles will there be a gap? There does not appear to be an articulated role for the MMRCA that cannot be filled by the IAF’s existing combat aircraft and the mix of the Tejas, Su-30MKI, and proposed fifth generation fighter; capabilities judged sufficient to meet most realistic regional attack and fighter contingencies. As such, there are other capabilities the IAF could invest in that would reap greater tactical utility. Big ticket items may be prestigious and sexy, but the IAF may benefit more from necessary role-specific capabilities, particularly close ground support aircraft for mountainous combined arms operations (e.g., A-10 Thunderbolts), transport, further high-altitude attack helicopters, and surveillance or attack drone capabilities for counterinsurgency operations.

    Strategically for India, the MMRCA deal is an opportunity to expand its burgeoning arms relationship with the United States, from which it has recently purchased P-8 maritime reconnaissance aircraft as well as C-130 transport aircraft. It could also help reduce its dependence on Russia for mainline platforms, which has recently frustrated the Indian military and MoD with the Gorshkov delays and a persistent lack of supply of spare parts. The selection of a frontline U.S. combat aircraft would mark a watershed moment in India’s strategic outlook as it would be the first major shift away from Russian platforms, embedding India in a deeper commercial and military relationship with the United States for parts, weapons, maintenance, and operational training, generating an integrated client-side relationship.

    But precisely because this shift would be such a break from India’s past suppliers – Russia and France – it would require the costly development of a separate production, maintenance, weapons procurement, and training line in an IAF that already supports at least twenty-six different aircraft platforms. And even though the MMRCA deal mandates a 50 percent indigenous offset, stringent licensing and monitoring agreements will likely mean that the U.S. will not allow certain sensitive technologies to be transferred to India for indigenous production. While a diversified strategic relationship with the United States is certainly in both nations’ interest, the MMRCA deal should not be viewed as a panacea toward that end, particularly since there are other commercial areas in which the two nations can cooperate that might be just as deep and easier to operationalize (e.g., nuclear energy). If India’s primary aim is to establish a deeper arms relationship with the U.S., it would make more sense to select an American fifth-generation aircraft – whose costs might be more justifiable – rather than a medium MMRCA.

    The contours of the MMRCA deal as it is unfolding, raises a critical question: is it worth the tens of billions of dollars outlay for little stop-gap measure, which can ably be substituted by the Su-30MKI, and which will eventually be superseded by a fifth generation fighter that might come online roughly around the same time? The Typhoon and the Gripen would make little sense for India. As new platforms, they would be costly to integrate into the IAF, with little obvious additional strategic or tactical benefit. The MiG-35 and the Rafale would be easier to incorporate into the IAF but again will reap little marginal benefit. The F-16 and F-18 would have a significant strategic impact, but will also be the most costly to operationalize; if the primary goal is a deeper strategic relationship with the U.S. and diversification away from Russia, there may be more cost-effective measures to achieve that end. There must thus be a clearer articulation by both the MoD and IAF as to what the utility of the MMRCA acquisitions will be, and a sober evaluation of whether it is worth the financial and organizational costs given other gaping priorities. The view from the outside suggests that it is very difficult to justify.

    Vipin Narang is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Government, Harvard University and a Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University. In Fall 2010, he will be Assistant Professor of Political Science at MIT.

    India in Transition (IiT) is published by the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) of the University of Pennsylvania. All viewpoints, positions, and conclusions expressed in IiT are solely those of the author(s) and not specifically those of CASI.

    © 2009 Center for the Advanced Study of India and the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

    http://casi.ssc.upenn.edu/iit/narang


    The aircraft manufacturers may be professionals and Boeing known for lean manufacturing and efficiency has made quite a good plan for offsets. But Boeing is not responsible for contract execution MOD and HAL are.

    Due to several delays, the procurement has been postponed time and again. By the time it enters production it could give a run for DRDO late tag with one of its own the Late Procurement Aircraft. HAL which was producing Su-30 at 8 per annum until recently from raw materials will be able to absord such capacity within a stipulated time is questionable. So essentially HAL has to rush through like Su-30 procurement with imports of completely knocked down kits and give up TOT learning curve or HAL can absorb production technology of 108 aircraft for 13 years stating 2015/16 - 2028/29, this time-line puts us in a padingram we experienced with Jaguar; the OEM themselves scrapping production infrastructure and manufacturing technology getting outdated, if the additionals are exercised another 8 years can be added to production of obsolent aircraft. Essentially India would be entering the china rot of 1960s,70s and 80s when it kept manufacturing F-6(mig-19) and F-7(mig-21) in different versions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
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  3. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

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    for one thing ,if the MRCA is not bought , we will have to buy more sukhois......which means that we will have to depend on russia for too large a part of the fleet....not acceptable.

    secondly ,the tejas is far from being a success.....we cannot depend on the tejas to be bought instead of MRCA ,to fill up its numbers .
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Even if MRCA goes thru quick delivery will not start in major way until 2013-2014 ,the whole point of MRCA was to fill the gap ;now we will have 3 planes inducted close to each other LCA,MRCA,PAKFA
     
  5. jayz india

    jayz india Regular Member

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    we r also forgetting that a large part of our air force present fleet will retire pretty soon,like mig 21's will be replaced by tejas,jaguars and mig 27's will be replaced by mrca's
    and i just cannot emphasise enough on the fact that it is really important for us to have atleast 50 sqdns of fighter aircraft because our next war will be a two front one

    so mrca's r a must and hopefully we will get atleast 200 of those fighters
     
  6. StealthSniper

    StealthSniper Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think the MMRCA makes sense if we get 200 or more fighter planes out of the deal. 126 planes is not going to cut it and that number might have been good 5 years ago. The demographics are changing and India has big responsibilities that require big smart purchases, that will help protect our country and also strengthen our economy.
     
  7. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    Who says Russia is not dependable partner, we are willing to sink $ 35 billion into a country we cannot trust for FGFA. Israel seems to be completely dependent on USA but they have atonomy, why because they have weapons of their own python-4,5, Derby missiles, Spyder SAM, their F-16, F-15 can fly even without american support because they can intergrate their own avionics, EW suites etc, I don't see them making a big fuss about untrustworthy America, I want to buy from Europe and Russia.

    If not for the Su-30 MKI program, our Avionics expertise wouldn't have grown to where we are now, keeping Tejas programme on track to produce a Latest combat Aircraft. The second phase has commenced with us integrating Astra and Brahmos with Su-30 airframe as test bed. In the future Strike version of Helina missile would be developed with Su-30 as testbed. Name one such advantage a western platform would give us such above mentioned advantages. Anyway I accept western missiles and munitions like Raytheon cluster bombs, ASRAAM and Harpoon are sometimes better and these can be integrated on Mirage-2000, Jaguar now, after all they will be in sevice till 2025, Can't tejas mk-1 and mk-2 progressively take over from these fighters the capability to deploy western weapons in 15 years time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  8. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    Exactly 126 just ain't gonna cut it, u can either invest in Tejas or completely go for a cheap western fighter, u can't have one leg on shore, one on boat. Military purchases never strengthened any country in fact they are a drain on the economy. In fact, a labour would be three times economical in civilian sector than military industry. The US elites are desperately trying to dismantle their cold war focussed military industry complex, while we are desperately trying to revive our old policy of imports.

    Fewer Jobs, Slower Growth:
    Military Spending Drains the Economy
    by David Gold
    Dollars and Sense magazine, July - August 2002

    Since 1984, the United States has experienced another cycle in military spending, the third since World War II. The military budget rose through the 1980s, fell in real (inflation-adjusted) dollars during most o f the 1 990s, and has been rising again since 1998. The Bush Administrations has undertaken another substantial buildup since September 11.
    But the persistence of the usual pattern overlooks a significant long-term trend. Even with the current rise, real defense spending is no higher than it was during the Korean and Vietnam Wars or during the 1980s. And because the economy has grown since then, the defense burden (the share of military spending in GDP) has fallen. In the late 1950s, after defense spending fell following the Korean War, the defense burden stood at about 11% of GDP; in 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, it was 11.8% relative to GDP. Even with the current military buildup, the defense burden will rise to only 4% of GDP.
    The dispute between guns and butter-between the forces pushing for military expansion and those pushing for more civilian spending-is ongoing. The Bush military and counter-terrorism buildup is already creating conflicts in the federal budget and drawing resources from civilian uses. But if the post-World War II pattern continues, this buildup will end and military spending will again decline. In order to analyze the economic effects of military activity, we need to take both patterns into account. -David Gold
    Whenever military spending increases in the United States, as it is at present, economists and others debate whether military outlays help or hurt the economy. Most recently, as the Reagan buildup began in 1981, the debate entered the popular press. But neither the ongoing debate nor the recent one has been adequately resolved.
    In the years after World War II, military production may have provided some benefits by giving a boost to purchasing power when government spending was low and credit tight, and by giving a push to some high technology industries. But over time, other more effective forms of stimulating purchasing power came into play, and the negative effects on research and development and investment began to assume a more prominent role. While military spending might, on balance, have been stimulative at one point, it most assuredly no longer is.
    STIMULATING DEMAND
    Military spending represents a direct demand by the government for products and services. An increase in military spending brings forward an increase in production and employment, and as military-industry workers spend their higher income, it generates further increases in jobs and income. The issue for debate, however, is not whether an increase in military spending stimulates employment and purchasing power, because of course it does, but whether military spending does so more effectively than other forms of government or private spending.
    Using a variety of methods, and covering different periods of time, researchers have found that spending on the military generates fewer jobs than spending the same amount of money on a wide range of alternatives. This conclusion is strongest when the military budget emphasizes weapons purchases and development, which is the case at present. For example, the Congressional Budget Office recently found that every $10 billion spent on weapons generates 40,000 fewer jobs than $10 billion spent on civilian programs. These numbers are not large, given the amount of unemployment in the economy. But they are important in the current situation, since a large part of the military buildup was financed by cutting civilian spending. Looking at its impact on jobs, it is hard to justify military spending as a means of stimulating the economy.
    The ability of military spending to stimulate demand and employment was probably greater in the 1950s than it is today. Weapons production was more jobs-intensive than it is now. Moreover, the economy was in greater need of the added stimulation that military purchasing power could provide; today, with growth in government social spending, and with the tremendous growth of credit over the last several decades, our problems are not lack of overall purchasing power. Current problems lie more in the area of innovation and investment, and inequalities of income and power- problems that high levels of military spending can only worsen.
    STRANGLING THE SUPPLY SIDE
    Military spending also has implications for the supply side of the economy. The people, equipment, materials, and production capacity that are used by military industries are similar to the resources needed for civilian research and new investment. While military spending accounted for about 6% of total output in 1983, about 30% of all durable goods output was for the military. Because there is direct competition for resources, military spending may reduce the ability of the economy to generate new products and rebuild production technology.
    Economists have researched this issue, also. There are a number of studies showing that high levels of military spending are associated with low rates of economic growth. British economist Ron Smith, after analyzing data for the United States and other advanced capitalist countries, concluded that there is a direct effect whereby countries that maintain large military establishments also have low rates of investment. This is because military spending can push civilian investment aside. Military industry firms outbid civilian companies for engineers, skilled workers, key materials, and even loans. Military firms use these resources less efficiently than would civilian ones because they are less concerned about controlling their costs. They know the Pentagon will foot the bill.
    The Department of Defense frequently argues that the civilian economy benefits from the spinoff from military research and development (R&D). Military investment probably had more impact on civilian products in the years after World War II than recently. Innovations in aircraft design and computer technology received a push from the military and space programs in the 1940s and 1950s. (So did nuclear power, which may be an example of a negative spinoff.) Today, military technology has become far too complex to have significant civilian applications. In any event, looking at the economy as a whole, it's likely that spinoff was never a very important phenomenon.
    Military priorities also have a qualitative impact on civilian innovation. In the United States, where transistors, semiconductors, and other electronics originated, the emphasis on military-oriented research has reduced the ability of companies to compete with Japanese and European companies. Military requirements emphasize high-speed applications and products that can withstand extreme pressures and stresses, with little regard for cost control. Civilian products need low cost and standardized components, an area of electronics where the Japanese, in particular, excel. Because of these differences, several U.S. companies have left the Pentagon's R&D program, fearing they will be unable to keep up with civilian market developments if they follow the military's lead.
    Whatever the actual effects of military spending on the U.S. economy. those who make decisions may still use the military budget in an effort to fight recession.
    A problem, however, is that in today's era of large weapons systems, it may not be possible to increase the military's budget fast enough to be an effective counter-cyclical tool. For example, the B-1 bomber was approved by President Reagan in October 1981, during a recession, but actual production was not scheduled to begin until the end of 1983, by which time the recession had ended. Similarly, the Pentagon spent $4 billion less in the 1983 fiscal year than planned, partly due to delays in the MX program. Other defense money can be allocated in a more flexible fashion, but there are severe limits to the extent that weapons purchases can be used to fight the business cycle.
    Since military spending is a poor way of fighting recession, and it imposes significant long-term costs in terms of undermining innovations and economic growth, one must also ask why the country's political leaders turn to the military budget as a means of economic stimulation. Is it misinformation? Or are there political constraints and rationales that override economic considerations?
    POWER POLITICS
    Part of the answer to these questions is that military spending is used to enforce the dominant role of the United States in the world economy. Military spending purchases military forces which are used to project U.S. power and protect U.S. economic interests against a variety of real or possible threats. This actually creates another drain on the U.S. economy because the cost of maintaining U.S. overseas forces and giving military aid is greater than what is earned through arms sales. According to a recent Economic Report of the President, "net military transactions"-money earned
    through arms sales minus expenditures made overseas to support our military forces-have been negative almost every year since 1946. Another part of the answer lies in the domestic political power exercised by the military establishment. Thanks to the political support it receives, military projects are vigorously supported by local interests in Boston, New York, Texas, Southern California, etc. Effective or not, military spending may seem like the easiest way to fight recessions because of the political backing for it.
    Reducing the military budget and shifting resources to civilian activities would improve our prospects for long-term economic growth. Conversion is not a cure-all; too much else is wrong in the U.S. economy to suggest it can all be made right by a change in the military budget. But the costs imposed by military spending indicate that conversion is a necessary part of any program for change.

    David Gold is Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Change and Governance, Rutgers University-Newark, and Adjunct Professor, Graduate Program in International Affairs, New School University. He has recently written on military spending after the peace dividend; the arms trade; and the economics of missile defense.

    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Military_Budget/MilitaryBudget_Economy.html


    This from a country that only spends into its own economy.
     
  9. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Diversification of suppliers is only necessary if you are subject to sanctions by your main party. Russia will never sanction India. It is wise to conduct most deals with one leading country as that gives the buyer far more bargaining power. Russia cannot afford to lose India and will do whatever it takes to make sure it stays that way. No other country will go that far.
     
  10. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Our own LCA range is same as SU-30MKI..
    Weapon load is less coz its a light fighter..

    Unfortunately we tend stick with failures than courage to push on..
    HAL needs more manufacturing plants..
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Negative. LCA range is very small. MKI has one of the biggest range around. With refueling it can go 8000kms. LCA is nowhere in the frame.
    Its a diff thing that LCA will prove to be a fighter in a class of its own.
     
  12. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    U seem not to take into account technological developments, GE F404 was a more fuel efficient engine compared to RD-33 and AL-31. In other words, an aircraft with this engine spends less fuel compared to an aircraft flying with an other engine. With continuous technological fusion from various projects improvement of the engine has been commendable, F404 has grown more fuel efficient and hence increasing the ability of an aircraft with the engine stay longer in the air compared to others.
    In the case of Su-30 mki, the aircraft burns twice the amount of fuel of a single engine plane to reach a given target, hence its absolutely critical for it to carry large amounts of fuel. Furthe Su-30 is a deep strike plane, conceived to target high value NATO aerial and ground targets. Hence it would be optimum of it to use large amount of fuel to get to heavily defended target and back. Sometimes in case of emergency the Su-30 can take off with lesser fuel and less armaments to take off quickly a medium role mission. Thus eliminating what remains as a need for a specific medium role aircraft.

    With A-A refuelling, the ability of Su-30 to perform local airsuperiority and deep strike mission by going around enemy air defences has been enhanced to 8 hours as you said. At the present status of its programme, reportedly Tejas has flown non stop 45 minutes, dropped bombs on test site and returned. My mistake before, Air force technlogy acknowledges Tejas can deploy refuelling probe
    http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/tejas/
    The above quoted capability is already designed into Tejas, may be Chobam is going to cetify it or has been invited exclusively for the mk-2 programme. If tejas were fielded 400 in numbers, with a combat radius of 1000 km for mk-1, the salvo of tejas combat aircraft falling upon intruding chinese and pakistani jets can free the Su-30 to strike high value targets within Chinese and Pakistani territory and Airspace, taking out their C4I systems.

    As of now, all the limitations of Tejas are planned to be overcome by a new Mk-2 aircraft based on the tejas airframe layout. This aircraft with a significant new generation GE F414 INS6 is touted to be the most powerful and advanced. If looked at within the context of fuel efficiency for given thrust to weight, Tejas mk-2 would outclass F-16 bk-52 of pakistan, J-10 of china and JF-17 of Pakistan. In time, Tejas mk-2 would prove itself on paper and practice as a very good, low cost buying & operating aircraft that could go toe to toe with any aircraft in the medium category that presently compete in the IAF MMRCA competition. Being a single engine, small platform, with very few parts, the problems associated with maintenance too would be hugely minimises compared to Su-30 mki. Thus it will be easier to get into the air aka quick reaction time.

    Concerning our neighbourhood and extended neighbourhood, in due time Tejas would outclass every aircraft that features as its adversary , all it requires is support from the home nation's defence services and some fanatic cyber fan boys.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  13. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    Even if MRCA goes thru quick delivery will not start in major way until 2013-2014 ,the whole point of MRCA was to fill the gap ;now we will have 3 planes inducted close to each other LCA,MRCA,PAKFA
    ( QUOTED from lethal force above )


    the muddling of the mrca project is no great surprise - usually goi delays projects until they become no longer directly relevant , then the project is shelved in favour of a quicker deal, rushed through in the exigencies of the moment
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  14. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    i think we should take serious view of the last sentence - and realise the need for mutual co-operation . It has been successful thus far mostly without any hitches and rather than split resources it might be better to form alliance(s) with one or two countries ( Russian and USA for example) than split like the mmrca tender and go nowhere for years .

    Shouldnt we take a lesson from the more straightforward bilateral co-operation with russia to co-develop a fifth-generation fighter; as it seems much more succesful and therefore points to the way to go for future projects ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  15. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    The reason why MMRCA is looking so blurry right now is because IAF seems to be retiring jets faster than inducting any new ones. Except for the heavy sector, all the rest are in shambles. Unless and until the decision comes out in March 2011, we cannot say for sure. As must as I would hate to say this, the possible winner is F/A-18 since some reports cited "TOT problems" which only American companies can have as all others are bending backwards for tech transfer for the deal. I pray hope I am wrong here through.

    We must remember that 126 is a small number but each of these jets perform the functions of a MiG-27 and a MiG-29 combined in one platform--air and ground and with its latest tech, reduces the need for massive orders. Though I am pretty sure that IAF will take the order to 200 with its 74 optional buys. Russia would be least upset for losing out because 272 MKIs +250-300 PAKFA/FGFAs is in their bags already. Since we have discussed to death what we all want, I won't highlight that.

    In fact, worldwide MMRCAs are not going very fast either. Brazil has held its decision until next year; Switzerland is furiously debating on its 3 final contenders and kept it to last year; Austria is putting it on hold, Greece is still in the beginning stage etc. So I don't think we are the only ones slow here; also to consider that our order is the heaviest than all of these combined.
     
  16. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    IAF to achieve 34 fighter squadron strength by 2017


    http://www.equitybulls.com/admin/news2006/news_det.asp?id=45847


    We will be retiring unupgraded 80 mig-21, unupgraded 30 soviet supplied mig-27 and first 50 british supplied jaguars. Essentially 160 aircraft are retiring.

    We have 130 Su-30 now, So 140 more to be produced to reach 270 for 15 squadrons, 140 jaguars upgraded will make up 7 squadrons, 140 upgraded Mig-27 will make up 7 more and 120 mig-21 bison will make up 6 squadrons. Totalling 35 squadrons, The MMRCA doesn't have any Space to squeeze in till 2017. Even the LCA has been a bonus of 2 squadrons, from this we can see the airforce doesn't have a plan for LCA Tejas or MMRCA at all. The institution is full of ad hocism and it shows no signs of redemption.

    The phase of Fifth generation commences with FGFA


    • From 2017, we will retire 120 mig-21 bison.
    • Planned from 2020 140 mig-27 , but I doubt it can withstand such extension, the replacement might start sooner by 2017.
    • Jaguar retirement starts by 2020

    Essentially discounting the 140 Jaguars being put off till 2022, we have the airforce looking to replace 120 Mig-21 and atleast a 140 mig-27.

    How many planes their plans afford for them to induct at hand? 100 LCA Tejas mk-2, MMRCA 126 and perhaps First 50 FGFA.

    Thats Essentially 3 new platforms entering about the same time with established platforms leaving abruptly, they would progress about the same time, go to TACDE the same time, its not just a spare parts logistucs nightmare, the operational capability too would be seriously affected.
    A combined Mig-27&mig-29 has already been combined with Su-30 MKI with the best results. Any new platform would necesarily be only a western duplicate equivalent or cheap inferior platform to Su-30 mki.

    Reliance on sole source? Its not about Russia at all, if there was any war, Our Su-30 mki, would be supplied spares by HAL, as I see companies like Samtel entering the fray. By most accounts, after production ceases all the Spares and Support would be completely Indan. The missiles themselves R-77, Novator K-100 and most Russian weapons are manufactured in India. We will only bind ourselves if we go for Mig-35 with 60% TOT. Everyone is talking about TOT, the TOT necessorily revolves around Radar for source codes for strategic autonomy and Engine for HAL to learn Engine manufacturing, I'm not even going to comment on the 74+ because there is no more room for new old hags after 2022 in IAF 5th generation recruitment, except may be some middle aged Tejas mk-2 due to GOI/ADA/DRDO pressure.
    Why should we care about those far off nations fare in the Defence realm? Our security concerns are China with J-10 and J-11 and Pakistan with JF-17 and F-16. I don't have a clue about china, mostly the IAF doesn't do either. As far as I know pakistanis have planned for 150 more JF-17 jets, 36 J-10 and upto 100 F-16 by 2017. Thats about 286 combat Jets. Estimating that we need to field 39 squadrons against pakistan's 22. We should hvae fielded 507 4 gen combat planes, deducting 270 Su-30, 51 M2k and 69 mig-29 smt. We should have fielded 107 more planes. Now that we have bonus of 2 tejas mk-1 squadrons, the number of deficit is bought down by 67, Had the IAF made some sensible planes to induct 60 more LCA with perhaps levcons like naval version to improve turn rate or some technology from the existing twin-seater variant and naval variant, the next batch of 60 tejas could have held fort the attriction till 2017 before Tejas mk-2 arrives. But for whatever reason they they are always obliged for a foreign solution.

    Like one IAF officer of very high rank admitted "For better or worse HAL is their Indian partner and they will work with them towoards end of mordernisation" This methodology has doomed them from the start and still they continue to prefer this route based on its maturity and trust. HAL defeintely serves to gain more than ADA from MMRCA, if there was no MMRCA some quick fix engineering work of Tejas mk-1 would have been assigned to ADA for bringing Tejas mk-1 to progressively to IAF standards by batches till mk-2 development is complete, but for HAL it would have to change tooling frequently to produce a low cost plane that doesn't necessarily reflect in its profit book; if MMRCA goes through for HAL, not only does it get more oders for a costly plane, it gets technology to build engines and the licence to brag about it in its website how they posses some state of art technology of western origin in its arsenal.

    The way this acquisition is going only remains me of a suitable carollary " while the government/Bureaucrats are asleep on MMRCA files, the IAF f**** with LCA Tejas and the future Indian security scenario is in deep deep S*** "

    I agree the IAF is losing combat jets to retirement fast and there are lapses in the air security blanket, But the MMRCA is not an apt solution to the emerging scenario.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  17. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    The aircraft manufacturers may be professionals and Boeing known for lean manufacturing and efficiency has made quite a good plan for offsets. But Boeing is not responsible for contract execution MOD and HAL are.

    Due to several delays, the procurement has been postponed time and again. By the time it enters production it could give a run for DRDO late tag with one of its own the Late Procurement Aircraft. HAL which was producing Su-30 at 8 per annum until recently from raw materials will be able to absord such capacity within a stipulated time is questionable. So essentially HAL has to rush through like Su-30 procurement with imports of completely knocked down kits and give up TOT learning curve or HAL can absorb production technology of 108 aircraft for 13 years stating 2015/16 - 2028/29, this time-line puts us in a padingram we experienced with Jaguar; the OEM themselves scrapping production infrastructure and manufacturing technology getting outdated, if the additionals are exercised another 8 years can be added to production of obsolent aircraft. Essentially India would be entering the china rot of 1960s,70s and 80s when it kept manufacturing F-6(mig-19) and F-7(mig-21) in different versions.
     
  18. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    i personally witnessed air display of Rafale at Paris air show. Amazing plane.very agile, looks deadly than typhoon
     
  19. debasree

    debasree Regular Member

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    we all talked about lcamk1,mk2,but these are not tested in real situation,so please before post think,that it outperform f-16 or j-10,we nead some machines which are tested in real situation,like rafel or eurofighter,which is tested over libya and afganistan,it sounds bad but many war machine failed in past,when they really in nead. iaf have to be ready for every situation,so iaf brasses dont do any mistake to go for a proven machine,war is not a game,u do one silly mistake,u can lose urs whole world for it.
     

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