Facing an enemy like China (once we're finally done dealing with Pak some day, for which we'll have to overwhelm them with numbers as well); with the whole aspect of electronic warfare and SAM evasion/counters - I'm not sure it'd be a good idea to go too much in the Point defense = SAM direction.Point defence is now more about SAMs and cas is increasingly attack helicopters.
Even if 200 MWF come total numbers will still be 323 .
The Chinese meanwhile are building 100 jets a year.
Anyways, consider this simple calculation: If we take 60 jets per year that is a lot. If we take it as sustained production and assume a 30 year lifespan of an airframe as well as ensure that when one type of jet ends its production run, we replace it with the next gen jet, the size of our Air Force would grow to 1800 jets and then level off. I think that's a bit too much, so even if we go for 40 jets per year, we can get 1200 jets, enough for 60 squadrons. I know we are at half that number right now, but 60 squadrons seems like a good number in the long term if we want to be strong enough to deter China alone.
Thinking long term force planning, Air Force should be targeting 40 jets per year sustained production. If the Air Force was like the Navy, then they would have been planning future procurement like this. The biggest problem is can we continue adding a new generation after every 30 years? If not, we can continue to produce a newer version of the older model with some modifications till the time tech for a new generation matures.
Right now, IAF doesn't need $200 million per fighter, particularly for LCA. For 40 LCA every year, they would need $ 1.6 billion which is well within 40% of their capex budget.Something like this, if we assume a $200 Million per jet (including costs of spares, weapons and blast pens), we'd need $8 Billion spent on fighter jet procurement each year. Right now the entire CAPEX of Air Force is around $6.5 Billion of which around 40% might be for fighter jet prcurement. So assuming our economy continues to grow, we might become able to spend this much annually by 2030-35. So our target from 2030 onwards should be for 40 jets per year production which would include a mix of AMCA and MWF (So maybe 10 AMCA Mk1 and 30 MWF per annum from 2030-35?).
My opinion diffesr slightly. HAL has 28,345 employees as on April 2019, which is 300% of actually required workforce. If the workshops got modernized and workforce got rationalized, I can't think any reason why HAL won't achieve the production numbers.Of course in short term right now, we need to get annual production as high as possible because we are 10 squadrons down in the 42 figure of minimum squadrons required. Right now, budget is our limiting factor, especially given that Air Defence modernization, IACCS roll-out, new ALG constuction, HAS construction, drones and drone defence procurement, attack helicopter procurement, C-295W procurement and procurement of AWACS and Tankers is all happening simulatenously.
Absolutely correct.How many fighter jets we will require depends upon many new technologies too which are taking over various roles of fighters jets.
Drones like predators/ rustom reduce need for patrolling by fighter jets .
Programs like cats with unmanned teaming reduce need of jets to carry armament / missiles / bombs.
Cruise missiles reduce need of jets to penetrate enemy airspace .
And then there are SAMs like s400 , xrsam, mrsam, akash / akash ng , qrsam , vlsam etc which are coming in Massive numbers which reduce requirements for fighter jets to respond to enemy advance.
Meanwhile new technologies also increasing radius of action of jets making a single jets capable to do what earlier required 3-4 jets .
Swing role lca mk1 / mk1a can do alone what required 1 MiG-21 + mig27 combo before. single Rafale can execute mission of 2 mirages simultaneously.
Jet's can now hit farther with new air to air and air to ground weaponary. Scalp can obliterate 600 km away while bramhos can hit 800 km away.
Keeping all these things in mind one might see fighter jets requirements to be more or less consistent over coming decades. Other assets may grow much faster like sams , cruise missiles , tactical ballistics missile ( rocket force) , drones of all kind small for swarm and big for patrolling surveillance .
This episode is very informative and useful to understand a few things...
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