Production rate of combat aircrafts

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Yusuf, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I was just wondering why it takes so long to build modern combat aircrafts that the maximum that are built are at the rate of about 20 a year or so in advanced countries. In India the Su30 MKI is being produced at 12 a year with all the modern technologies available.
    Compare it with the WWII era aircrafts which were mass produced like we produce cars today. Some examples are as below.
    Bf-109:- 33,984 in 8 years
    Spitfire:- 20,351 in 10 years
    P-51 :- 16,766 in 8 years
    B-29 :- 3970 in 3 years
    Lancaster Bomber 7377 in 6 years

    All the above were some of the most successful birds of all times. Did a great job for their respective operators.

    One argument that will be put forth is that so many were required so they were produced in large numbers during the war. Yes but a "small" order of 250 MKIs is going to take us a dozen years!!

    The production rate of WWII fighters was a staggering at about 4000 a year for the Bf 109 and 2000 a year for the spitfire.
     
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  3. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Modern fighter aircraft are a lot more complicated and expensive to build than WWII fighters. For example a Supermarine Spitfire has a unit price of about $600,000 (adjusted for inflation), while a Su-30MKI has a unit price of $40 million. Comparing the two is like comparing a musket with a modern assault rifle.

    As you mentioned, wartime demand tends to greatly increase production of military equipment. But even in a WWIII scenario we won't be seeing 20,000 or so Su-30MKIs being produced....
     
  4. plugwater

    plugwater Elite Member Elite Member

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    During world war 2 there were 2 million workers worked 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week to produce aircrafts in US alone. so the production rate is so high but we simply cannot do this now.
     
  5. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    If there is a WW3 and India is richer than today, then we will be able to replicate the same feat. Building thousands of MKI is not as problematic as you think. But using those 1000s is nearly impossible with current standards of training.
     
  6. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    The production figures will not increase just by investing in HAL. There are thousands of components in a modern fighter aircraft and for these there are hundreds of suppliers.

    Also manufacturing components for Defence industry is not similar as compared to say for Automobiles. Each and every component has to undergo 100% inspection have a traceability record, which translates into huge paperwork right from the Raw Material stage to the finished component.
     
  7. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Those suppliers are funded by HAL and you can always find millions of employees for paperwork. Bangalore alone accounts for 50000 engineering graduates every year.
     

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