Naval MRCA contest. Lockheed offers F-35 to IN

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by RAM, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

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    Indian Navy keen to buy newer generation aircraft

    New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) The Indian Navy has floated a Request for Information (RFI) for a newer generation of aircraft which can operate from the two indigenous aircraft carriers it will commission over the next 10 years.The Ministry of Defence and industry sources indicate that the RFI, issued recently, is of a “generic” nature, looking for newer platforms and airborne technologies and what is on offer from some of the well-known manufacturers. The US Boeing and French Dassault have confirmed receipt of the RFI for their respective F18 Super Hornet and Rafale.The number of newer generation aircraft is yet to be decided.According to the coming issue of India Strategic defence magazine, the new generation aircraft will be in addition to the 45 Mig-29Ks the navy is buying from Russia, 16 of which were ordered in 2004 along with Admiral Gorshkov. The Mig-29K is a modernized naval variant of the Mig-29 operational with the Indian Air Force (IAF). The order for an additional 29 Mig-29Ks is being processed, and is likely to be placed shortly after price negotiations and delivery schedule are worked out.There should be no delay from Russia on the supply of the Mig-29Ks although it has delayed the delivery of Gorshkov by four years and is also demanding an extra $1.2 billion over and above the contract price of $974 million. The old carrier was given free and the price was for repairing and refurbishing the vessel which was damaged in an onboard fire accident.

    The Super Hornet, a successor of the earlier Hornet, was introduced in 1998 for the US Navy while Rafale, a successor of the old Mirage 2005, has both air force and naval versions already operational. Both these aircraft are also competing for the nearly 200 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) requirement of the Indian Air Force.Eurofighter Vice President and Head of India Campaign Directorate Dr Matthias Schmidlin told India Strategic that while he could not confirm receipt of the RFI for the naval variant of Eurofighter, his company would bid for the Indian Navy’s requirement if invited. In fact, he pointed out, Eurofighter is the only aircraft among the six contenders for the IAF order which would have thrust vectoring capability in the coming years. Thrust vectoring capability allows an aircraft to stand still in the air, and takeoff and land even in vertical mode like a helicopter.

    Some 200 Eurofighters have been produced so far, predominantly to meet the requirements of participating nations which include Germany, Britain, Spain and Italy.Thrust vectoring is being developed and would be operational on Eurofighters within the first half of the next decade, Dr Schmidlin said.
    Harrier, which India bought in the late 1970s from Britain, was the first aircraft with thrust vectoring. The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), being developed by Lockheed Martin for US Air Force and Navy for the coming years, will have this capability.Besides Boeing, Dassault and Eurofighter, the other contenders in the IAF competition are Mig-35 (a newer version of Mig-29), Gripen from Sweden and F 16 Viper IN (US Lockheed Martin).The Indian naval brass is reportedly only doing a bit of loud thinking on its new requirement, but if it formally opens the competition in the coming years, it would add a new dimension to the IAF’s ongoing contest.IAF’s Request for Proposals (or tenders), is for a firm order for 126 aircraft and for 63 more as an option at the same price. Given the continuing fall in the number of IAF squadrons due to the obsolescence of its largely Soviet-vintage aircraft, a repeat order for at least 100 more MRCAs is likely.


    If the Indian Navy chooses the same aircraft, then it would be a bonus for the supplier, and also for HAL, which would be the lead integrator for Transfer of Technology (ToT) and 50 percent offset mandatory in the RfP.Procedurally, the Navy would also find it easier to buy the same aircraft without opening an international competition, as it would be a follow-on order requiring no multi-vendor bid.The Indian Navy has one small aircraft carrier, INS INS Viraat, which has recently been refitted and modernized for life-extension. There are a dozen old Harriers to operate from its deck, while Gorshkov will be available in 2012 or 2013.

    Notably, Gorshkov is a 44,000-tonne carrier while India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, being built at Kochi, will only have about 37,000-tonne displacement. The second carrier, already sanctioned by the government, could be modified to be a little bigger.Both these carriers are being designed by Italy’s Fincantieri.
    It may also be noted that both Eurofighter and Rafale are smaller in size than the F 18 Super Hornet, which operate from very large US aircraft carriers floating in all the oceans.But Boeing IDS’ Head for India, Dr Vivek Lall, told India Strategic that Boeing had done a computer simulation to verify that the Super Hornet could operate from Gorshkov and Indian carriers as and when they are commissioned

    Read more: Indian Navy keen to buy newer generation aircraft
     
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  3. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

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    i think that the IN is intrested in the Bug so are we going for a naval mmrca kind of ?
     
  4. Payeng

    Payeng Daku Mongol Singh

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    IMO 2 types are better than one especially when IN is increasing its power projection, so I say good going :)
     
  5. JHA

    JHA Regular Member

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    best option is rafale... or may be we can get f-35 in future.....
     
  6. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    I now believe that this queen elizabeth acquisition thing is serious & not just paper talk
     
  7. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    What about n-tejas programme? Are they throwing it to the wolves?
     
  8. frankenstein

    frankenstein Regular Member

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    what about naval version of FGFA:twizt:
     
  9. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    N-tejas should be pursued instead of this tender

    the bird is still in its nest, hasn't flown yet and those air-craft are too huge, but still too little on payload 6,500 kg compared to even proposed n-tejas with 4,000 kg. Further there take huge deck space and also heavily maintenance intensive. The Us didn't even navalise raptor for this very reason. Our carrier operations too would be carried out close to the shores an aircraft of the legacy hornet would be more than enough to fullfil this role which I think n-tejas is more than capable.

    Tejas is our ticket into that exclusive club that manufactures its own carrier borne aircrafts, which china is poised to enter and india should do well not to miss. We should not condemn our next generations to design a new carrier aircraft for india under sanctions while v have n-tejas butter right now and still go for foreign ghee. I had thought the second carrier would be flooded with tejas, seems its not the case anymore.

    A closer look at the report that boeing and dasaalt getting rfi. But leaving eurofighter in the cold suggests that the navy is confident enough to develop and use Emals on our own built carriers since both there aircrafts require catapult take-off. Should it be the case we should work hard to make a catapult launched version of n-tejas than go for there crafts.

    For all the navy's commitment to indigenisation, the mig-29k which we would buy a total of atleast 45 has been mired from the general public leads me to suspect if any tech transfer was ever made.

    An agency of the likes of Hal should understand than building 10 planes on its own by tirelessly working on controls, avionics and air-frame changes periodically to get the plane marine worthy is 1000 times better than licence manufacturing 1000 super hornets.

    it is my humble request that not just for the tejas but also the medium combat aircraft too that we develop the in hand tejas which is still in its mouldable design stage than going for aircrafts that would be required to serve on carriers least to be completed by 2018.
     
  10. frankenstein

    frankenstein Regular Member

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    frankly i don't belive in tejas that much. may be its just better that IN go for f-18E/F or rafale or ever F-35
     
  11. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    Its more about industrial capability. Finally the indian navy allocated Rs 900 cr to the tejas programme and aircraft building, component integration and testing can finally go fast track. The rafale has been crashing periodically from its carriers would be naive for us to order, taking it as the most advanced one. F-35 though best has order back logs with the Us that is serious and Us navy wouldn't compromise on it. Super hornet is the best option, proven and reliable, the growler is there for e-warfare, but i'm still routing for tejas.

    in the extreme case, indian navy should be prepared to accept 20 aircrafts 10 each for two carriers with one growler's each with the rest 20 or so for each carrier being tejas. All the indian navy's ambitions hinge on the belief that they can develop emals in time the carriers get deployed, otherwise hawkeye e-2d, super hornets would all be hanger queens.
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The growler is not on offer. They have not given it to their best of friends. Don't see india get near a growler.
     
  13. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    I would agree with E1 , this proves that we are looking at a CATOBAR variant of the QE as a potential supercarrier for the IN in the near future. as i have already posted in another thread, we could borrow the CATOBAR QE design from the French , The French plan to operate the Rafale from this carrier so the IN could be looking at the rafale as well.
     
  14. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    It was the previous jaques chirac administration that had sought to take part in the british program and declared that the next french carrier would be gas turbine propelled ,the sarkozy administration has already pulled out from joining the british elizabeth class programme. Since it would be economical for the french to use nuclear propulsion since they have already built one and created the necessary infrastructure. The future french carrier itself has been in question. So how can india borrow a non-existent design. V had assistance from russia and italian ship-yard now lets build on that.

    rafales have fallen regularly during take off from the 40k displacement small super carrier charles de gaulle. The super hornet has the luxury of operating from a 100,000 ton carrier with crew for whom experience has been handed down from generations of development and carrier borne aviation. So its better that v take smaller steps for our carrier like the russians by stobar then catobar.

    The Us hasn't developed a deployable emals system. The french couldn't develop steam steam catapults and bought an american design, why tinker to waste money on british yards who are on the same league as us since both haven't graduated beyond stovl. Its best to navalise a small aircraft like tejas for a smaller super-carrier than large aircraft like super hornet, rafale, f-35 or pak fa.
     
  15. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    It's mentioned on Boeing India's website amongst other products they've sold & marketing in India. Have a look at this:
    Boeing India Home: Introduction
     
  16. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    The steam catapult was a British invention.
     
  17. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

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    and just to add to E1's post it was the RN that Invented the concept of Aircraft carriers and our first aircraft carrier the Vikrant was a steam CATOBAR carrier
    it was only made SVTOL capable in the 1990's
     
  18. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Adding to what F-14 has already stated i am attaching a video of CATOBAR operations from vikrant.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeX4-vVWmRM
     
  19. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The design exists the French navy and Thales finalized it along with BAe(who by the way also conceptualized a draft CATOBAR QE for the RN).The French parliament has been dithering on the entire issue of the French future carrier, it's more of a political issue than any design issue now.

    [​IMG]
    (Above) A model of the French PA2 (aka CVF-FR) displayed on the Thales stand at Euronaval 2006 in October and (below) the model in company with one CVF-UK furthest from camera. The distinctive forward island is clearly shown, however it was later changed back to a closer variation of the CVF-UK baseline. (Source: Thales)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    (Above) August 2006 graphics of the French PA2 (aka CVF FR), the design is evolving from the UK baseline, and associated cost increases have become an issue. (Source: DCN/Thales)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Models of a CTOL CVF displayed on the Thales stand at DESi in September 2005. (Source: Beedall)
    [​IMG]
    (Above) Extracts from a DCN video showing French and British CVF carriers in company. (Source: Beedall)
     
  20. Arjak

    Arjak Respected Member

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    Call me anything,but is what the article says bout thrust vectoring correct?.....i dont think so.......also with the 45 mig29k-s to be operated from 45000kt displacement carrier gorshkov and the 37000kt indegenous one,i think we are done for the next decade or so!.......the qe class as far as i know is under construction,and if we are interested may take more than a decade for the deal to come through and for its induction
     
  21. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    Ok, Fair i should not have clubd the us with britain. But the fact still remains that v are ordering there planes for our indigenous carriers and not the british carrier.
    I wish more funds were used to develop our carrier building capacity like upgrading vizag shipyard or other docks in gujarat so that they would be able to build a carrier of elizabeth's scale at a fraction may be a third of cost. Y not just buy the design which would cost less than $300 million including assistance to build the ship in our own yards with british help.

    a certain someone had indicated that growler is not available for sale. If v play our diplomatic cards right this offer by boeing may fruition, though watered down is a good asset.
    AERO INDIA: Boeing reveals plans for 'Growler Lite'
    australia has already got the growler with perhaps better capabilities than growler lite.
    Boeing Growler for Australia Despite Export Ban on Aircraft Asian Defence Industry Monitor

    88 growlers have been planned to be produced by Us navy. Our capabilities in naval aviation would significantly if v could place 2 growlers each on our future carriers of vikrant class with catobar. But, buying those planes in high quantities and deprive n-tejas of funds would be foolhardy on our part.
     

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